part 9

Jay McIntyre, Director. Lillith Skye Rael, Producer.

     "Oh no," Mike whispered,  "Mortal Combat."  Then he ducked as the 
ninja hurled a harpoon at him.  "Where was he hiding that on himself?" 
Mike wondered, but had no time to think about it as the woman came 
charging at him.  He ducked as she leapt into a flying kick.  She sailed 
over him, and the ninja blocked the attack.  Mike went tearing down the 
walkway, but heard them chasing him.  He threw himself flat on the 
ground, just as the woman fired some sort of energy bolt at him.  It 
passed over harmlessly.  He rolled to the edge of the walkway and hung 
himself off the side.  The ninja, leaping to the attack, went over the 
edge.  The woman in green began to kick at him.  He caught her foot and 
sent her sprawling, then climbed back onto the walkway and started 
running again.  This time, he wasn't so lucky, as her next energy bolt 
grazed his side.  He yelped, reached the end of the walkway, and dived 
over another low wall.  But the floor on the other side was far lower.  
He landed unceremoniously on his rump, and found himself back in the 

     The Doctor was about to turn the second watch over to the Maxx when 
he sensed someone below the tree.  He looked down, and say the bodiless 
head of Mr. Gone, still being held up by an isz.

     "Who are you?" he demanded loudly, waking Maxx and Ace. 

     "I am Mister Gone.  And you are interefering in my plans.  I had to 
ally with an old foe of yours, just so I could concentrate on Maxx. But 
of course, you chose to travel with him.  How foolish of you."

     "He is wiser than you, Gone!" rumbled Maxx, as Joel snored on 

     "Oh do be quiet," snapped Gone irritably.  His eyes glowed, and the 
tree branch they were on snapped off and fell.  This woke Joel.  Ace 
already had her baseball bat ready, and she and Maxx advanced on Gone.

     Gone laughed spitefully.  "You cannot withstand me," he intoned. 
His eyes glowed more brightly, and suddenly each of them saw their worst 

     Joel saw himself trapped alone in the Sattelite, without the bots 
or the parts to make new ones, doomed to forever watch the same 
documentary on slugs over and over.

     The Maxx saw the Outback turned into a desert, with Julie starving 
to death before him.

     Ace saw herself as a pawn on the Doctor's chess board, moving 
aimlessly, uselessly, until the time she would be discarded.

     The Doctor saw...

     He saw...

     "No," he said firmly.  "You died at my trial.  I know you did."

     "Did you truly think you could be rid of me so easily?" laughed the 
Valeyard.  "You knew I'd be back after that business with Ashley Chapel 
and Saraquazel in London.  And did you really think that you would have 
been able to formulate a plan to destroy Skaro without me?"

     The Doctor stared him down.  "The elements of my personality that 
could become you I do not deny.  But I will never become you!"
     The Doctor's eyes cleared.  Gone stared at him in shock.  "None has 
broken my power before!" he gasped.

     "You're not the first foe to underestimate me," the Doctor replied, 
"And you won't be the last.  Your ally, whoever he is, should've told 
you that much at least."

     Gone laughed.  "My ally is almost as pathetic as you.  But never 
mind.  You will not survive the Labyrinth.  I've made some...additions 
of my own.  You're not immortal.  It's only a matter of time."  and with 
that, he vanished.

     The others blinked as they woke from their own nightmares.  "Who 
was that?" Ace demanded.

     "He is Mister Gone, my sworn enemy," thundered Maxx.

     "And he's in league with one of my old foes, apparently. what does that remind me of?" The Doctor 

     Mike had been stumbling around the corridors for a long time before 
he tripped into a new room with high grass.  

     *This is one of Mister Gone's improvements,* the Toymaker whispered 
in his mind.  *I doubt you'll survive.*

     Before Mike could ask who Mister Gone was, hundreds of black Iszes 
were charging him...