part 6

Composed by Jay O the McIntyre grieg, HTMLed by Lith O the Skye Rael grieg

   The Doctor grabbed frantically for a handhold as he fell.  Would all 
his previous lives flash before him?  The drop was more than long 

   His wildly flailing hands found a tree branch.  He swung into it, 
bruising his ribs.  Joel, falling next, grabbed his leg.  Ace caught the 
next tree branch down.  Maxx missed the tree, and kept falling.  His 
claws slashed at lower branches, until finally he managed to wedge a 
claw into a lower tree trunk.  Ace's bag and ladder, falling, bopped him 
on the head.  He managed to stick an arm inbetween ladder rungs, and 
caught it.

"Climb down!" Maxx called to the others, and began using his claws to 
lower himself.

"Easy for him, he's got claws," said Joel.  "But I'm no monkey."

"Neither am I, but we must get down," replied the Doctor.  "So grab hold 
of the tree, and let go of my leg!"

     Mike Nelson woke up.  He didn't know where he was.  He was hanging 
from the ceiling, wrapped in Christmas tree lights.  The lights were on, 
blinking in that random, annoying, headache-inducing way that such 
lights have.  He could see where the lights were plugged into the wall.  
He wiggled around, trying to swing over to the plug.

     Gone was now using a white Isz to hold up his head.  The stranger 
was walking off towards the Labirynth.  "I'll see to the new human, and 
set up the toys for the Doctor's arrival," he said.

     Gone nodded absently.  His alliance with the stranger was purely to 
get Maxx out of the way, so he could continue to work on Julie.  His 
ally had no style or sense of theatrics, he felt.  As soon as the Maxx 
was finished, so too would the alliance.  And in any case, Gone was 
convinced that the Maxx, at least, and maybe this "Doctor", too, needed 
a little more pushing.  He gave the isz a command to head for the 

     Maxx got down after about five minutes of climbing.  Surrounding 
him was the splattered remains of the Isz the Doctor had tricked into 
walking over the edge of the crevasse.  He didn't know who this Doctor 
was, but he was impressed by him.  Perhaps he was a sorcerous rival of 

     Ace clambered down.  "Hey, Maxxie, can I have my bag back?"

     He handed it over.  As she was rolling the ladder back into it, he 
asked, "Who is this Doctor you travel with?"

     Ace looked at him somberly.  "I know he's a time traveller, and a 
crusader against evil.  But what I don't know about him could fill 
several libraries.  I think nobody really knows him."

     Joel arrived at this point.  Hands on knees, he tried to get his 
breath back.  "Then...(wheeze)...why do you....(pant) with 

      "Because she knows that I do good, and because she wanted to see 
some of the Universe," the Doctor answered, clambering down.  "Now Maxx, 
you said this crevasse was dangerous?"  

     "Yes," Maxx replied.  "Even the airwhales fear to come here.  I 
know that the Jungle Queen keeps some of her great cats here, but beyond 
that it's a mystery to me."

     "Probably why the bad guys put their base on the other side," Joel 

     "Indeed," said the Doctor.  "Let's get going."

     Mike finally managed to reach the plug.  He yanked it out, and the 
power died.  But he was still hanging there.  So he began to unravel the 
wire from the socket end he had just unplugged.

     Gone reached the other side of the crevasse, and the isz began to 
carefully climb down that side.

     The stranger reached the Labyrinth.  He stepped into his secret 
entrance, and uttered a word of command.  The various games and toys 
activated themselves.

     "This time, Doctor, you will die.  And I will take your TARDIS and 
rule the Universe!"  

     The stranger, the Celestial Toymaker, threw back his head and