Written by Jay "Arcalian" McIntyre, HTMLized (and Lithified) by Lillith "Pete-fan" Skye Rael


Ace chucked the can of nitro at the Iszes. It blew up in the middle of them, turning eight or nine of them into black gloop. It spattered their fellows, who seemed not in the least bothered. The remaining Iszes came on strong. She reached for another can, but Maxx charged past her, and started tearing into them with his claws. "No isz can stand the might of the Maxx!" he bellowed.
"Smegging idiot," Ace muttered to herself, but he seemed to be holding the things off for the moment. She went over to the Doctor. "Wake up, Professor," she urged.
He groaned and sat up. "Two concussions in one day." he muttered. "This is not good."
(When they were to relate this story to Benny much later, she laughed at this point, and thought that the Doctor should've known better. He was not amused.)
"The monster thing is holding off the blobbies," she said urgently. "He calls himself Maxie or something like that."
The Doctor looked at the creatures thoughtfully. "Hmm. Some kind of converted vegetarrrrrrian species, looks like," he rolled.
"How d'you know that?" Ace wondered.
The Doctor waved a hand arily. "I've experience with these things, Ace. Anyway, it's simply a matter of concentrating my mind power to stop them." He grinned toothily at her, then got that look of intense concentration in his eyes again. His eyes squeezed shut. Ace could hear the Maxie-wotsit still shouting defiance at the blobs. The Doctor re-opened his eyes and looked at her. And the look in his eyes took Ace's breath away; she hadn't seen him this scared since...since she couldn't remember when.
"What's the matter?" she pressed him.
"My mind powers," he gasped, "they're being blocked!"

Now the stranger was concentrating fiercely, and it was Mr. Gone's turn to look on.
"Can you keep the Doctor from manipulating events here?" Gone asked him.
"If I know he's trying to, yes, " the stranger whispered without opening his eyes. "And once they get to the Labyrinth, which was constructed by me and my...minion, he won't be able to affect the environment."

Ace looked back. Maxieman or whatever was still holding the blobs at bay, but more of them were coming all the time. It was only a matter of time until he was overwhelmed. She turned back to the Doctor. "D'you think it's Fenric?" she whispered. She was deathly afraid that he had come back to use her again.
But the Doctor shook his head. "Fenric would be more subtle than this," he replied, "I'm still trying to work it out. Go help the...purple with the creatures. I've got to find a solution." he began to delve into his pockets. Ace shrugged and turned away, tugging out a can of Nitro Nine.

Joel woke up at the bottom of the hill. His ribs hurt. He sat up slowly. The monster was nowhere to be seen, though he thought he could hear it shouting in the distance. He started climbing back up the hill, noting the strange handholds conveinently placed in it.

Ace chucked another can of nitro at the blobs. They spattered to bits.
Slashing throught the things a few feet ahead of her, the Maxx looked back. "You fight well! You are a worthy ally of the Maxx!"
"Charmed, I'm sure," Ace muttered.
The Doctor was emptying his pockets. He fished out his second incarnation's recorder. "No, that won't do," he muttered. Then he came across his spoons. He smiled briefly, then with a sigh put them aside as well. At that point, Joel climbed up. "Ah good, young fellow." said the Doctor. "Perhaps you can explicate this strrrrrrrrrange chain of events?"
Joel looked at the odd little man for a moment, then replied, "I was escaping from a Sattelite, don't ask me why, we don't have time. This blue box crashed into my escape pod."
"Oops," muttered the Doctor.
Joel blinked sleepily at him. "What?"
"Nothing, nothing, do go on." the Doctor gave him his toothy grin.
"Uh, right. Anyway, I woke up and this wierdo field was surrounding the box and my pod. I tried building a gizmo to short it out. Then this purple guy," he pointed at the Maxx, who was still slashing away, "broke the thing and started chasing me. I fell off that cliff, woke up and climed back up. And here we are. Where is here, and who are you?"
"I'm the Doctor, the young girl throwing the bombs is Ace, and I'm just as much in the dark as you are as to what this place is. Perhaps our purple friend can explain the situation...if we survive."
"At least he's not Barney," Joel pointed out.
The Doctor snorted.
("Barney?" Benny would ask later. The Doctor and Ace assured her that she was better off not knowing.)
Ace was running out of nitro, and the beasties were still coming. The Maxx was holding his own, but there were simply too many of them. Deciding that she didn't want to run out of nitro in two adventures back to back, she reached deeper into her rucksack and pulled out an Omega-Powered Baseball Bat (TM Ben Aaronovitch and the BBC 1996, all rights reserved, blah blah blah yakety smakety). She got to swinging.
The Doctor crept up to the Maxx. "Ace, hold them for a moment." she nodded. The Doctor tapped Maxx on the shoulder. The Maxx turned around, claws dripping with Isz-goop, and stared at him. The Doctor raised his hat and trilled, "Grrrrreetings, I'm the Doctor, the girl with the bat is Ace. Who are you?"
"I am Maxx. Ruler of this land. And you are the fool that knocked me off the ledge." the Maxx glared at him through his mask's eyeholes. The Doctor returned the glare with his chilling alien stare, his blue eyes fading to grey, then to a purple shot through with orange threads. The Maxx, like so many before him, drew back from that stare. This little man scared him in a way Mr. Gone never had.
The Doctor's eyes returned to normal. "Just an accident, I'm sure you'll agree," he said, cheerily.
"Ur...of course," Maxx muttered.
"Vulcan...mind...meld," Joel whispered behind them scarcastically, in a fairly good Kirk impression. Both the Doctor and the Maxx looked at him and he shut up.
"And despite this young man's witticism, I'm sure he meant you no harm either. Would you care to tell your side of the story? But quickly, my dear Ace is badly outnumbered."
The Maxx stood sideways to the Doctor, with his head turned towards him, while slashing Isz with one claw. "Ace fights well. I was missing my Jungle Queen, Julia, when this blue box and this cheesy escape pod appeared in front of me. There was this field about them. The field vanished, and the dolt behind you was holding what I took to be a weapon. I destroyed it, and chased him. I knocked him off the ledge, you ran into me and I fell on top of him, climbed back up, and then the Iszes came."
Joel made no comment this time, but felt his sore ribs and winced.
The Doctor "hmmed" thoughtfully. "Some kind of dimensional transference. Right, we have to get away from these...Iszes, and quickly. I see they have no eyes. How can they detect us?"
An Isz landed on Maxx's shoulder, and he absently flicked it off. "In the more mundane plane known as Earth, they can only smell. But here, they can hear us as well, though they are too stupid to understand us."
The Doctor decided now was not the time to ask the Maxx about his own dimensional travails. He looked down at the spoons and the recorder, then his face lit up in a grin. "Tell me young man, are you familiar with the pied piper?"
"The name's Joel, and sure." then he looked at the instruments. "You can't be serious!"
"I'm quite serious Joel." the Doctor picked up the spoons.
"Roger Corman and Sandy Frank have conspired to take over my life," Joel muttered, but he picked up the Recorder and began to play. The Doctor counterpointed him with the spoons.
The Isz stopped charging, and made a collective "MEEP?" then they started following Joel and the Doctor as they lead them down the side of the hill.
The Maxx stared. Ace burst out laughing.

Gone and the stranger's reactions are, alas, unprintable.
"At least they're still heading for the Labyrinth," Gone managed eventually.
The stranger scowled, then popped the energy bubble that was levitating Mr. Gone's head.


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