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Curiouser and Curiouser (5/7)

Title: Curiouser and Curiouser
Characters: Seven, Ace, Romana, Original
Word Count: 2315
Rating: PG
Summary: The Doctor and Ace arrive in Victorian London and cross paths with a former companion and an old enemy
Notes: OK, this is yet another story version of a sim done by "Dr Who & Co". This time I have names! These are the ones whose creativity you are about to enjoy. John, Romana, Heather, Lynn, JenK, Cody, FifthDrFan, Flameress, Doctor6master. (If I skipped anyone, I apologize). This was first posted on FFN on 3/20/02

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four



V

Ace raced out of the TARDIS. "Doctor! Doctor, are you out here?"

Holmes grasped Ace's arm. "What happened?"

She ripped her arm away, and grabbed him instead. "You did it! Give him back!" She pounded on him with her fists. "Bring him back right now!"

"I did nothing. I swear, I don't know where he is." He let her pound away at his chest to get her anger and grief out.

"You made him disappear! You set that trap!" She was starting to wear herself out.

Romana dusted off her skirts and looked at the TARDIS, a stunned expression on her face. She turned back to Ace. "Ace! He did nothing of the sort! I tried to tell him, that wasn't part of his TARDIS..."

Ace yanked herself away from Holmes. Jenna walked up beside her to try to comfort her and be supportive. "Ace, tell us what happened."

"After he plugged that brick in to the console, some weird room appeared."

"What 'weird room'?" asked Romana.

"I don't know. I didn't get to see in it. There was all this light coming out. . ." She was on the verge of tears. "He went in and the room disappeared."

A look came over Holmes's face as if he suspected the truth of what happened. No one else noticed, as they were concerned over Ace and her story.

"What sort of light? Bright? Red?" asked Romana. "Ace, tell us

"Bright, yeah. Kinda red," she replied mechanically. "There was this sound too, like a church bell. Then the room vanished." Jenna dug about for a hankie or Kleenex.

"I'm okay," she sniffed. Holmes handed Ace his own handkerchief. She turned away from the others

"The Cloister Bell..." mused Romana. She frowned and walked towards the TARDIS. She entered, looked about the dim console room. She ran her finger along a scorched spot on the console itself. She wanted to escape the depressing atmosphere and went back outside into the sun.

"He's working fast," Holmes was saying.

"Who?" asked Paul.

"A man whose very presence pervades all of London, yet few even know of his existence. A genius of mathematical studies."

"Who? Not the Master, here?" questioned Romana.

" 'He sits motionless like a spider in the center of its web...'"

"The Napoleon of Crime?" Jenna asked.

"Napoleon?" Romana was puzzled.

Holmes looked appreciatively at Jenna. "Exactly." He looked at the others. "Professor James Moriarty."

*************************************************

The seventh Doctor wandered the corridors of a strange TARDIS. "Hm...this all looks somewhat familiar..." He meandered into a room and picked up an old violin. He played a few notes, badly. He shook his head. "Hm...I think I'll stick to these..." He pulled out his spoons and played them absent-mindedly as he continued through the ship. He soon came to a console room. He noticed a man out of the corner of his eye but ignored him and continued his spoon solo.

"My revenge grows closer. I shall soon........." The Doctor played even louder making it obvious how little he cared about the other man's words. The man turned to the Doctor. "Holmes, at last I-- What is this? You are not Holmes! What are you doing in my TARDIS?

The Doctor continued to play. "Hm? Your TARDIS...I don't think so."

"It is mine by right! Now, what are you doing here? Answer or I will throw you into empty space!"

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm playing the spoons." He kept on playing. "Squatter's rights, you mean? I don't think you've been here quite long enough for that."

"Whoever you are, I do not play games." He pulled out a gun and aimed it at the Doctor.

"Some people have no sense of humor," he muttered as he put the spoons away. "Now answer my questions or die! Who are you?"

The Doctor doffed hat. "I'm known as the Doctor...perhaps you've heard of me. Most people on our world have, these days."

"You are the Doctor?"

"Indeed."

"Then you must help me. The renegade Holmes must be stopped." He put the gun away. "Sorry about that. I thought you were Holmes regenerated."

"Oh? Stopped from doing what?"

"He plans to overthrow the government and take over. The CIA sent me to stop him."

"He plans to overthrow the High Council?"

"No, that's too dangerous. He wants England first."

"England? What good would that do him?"

"He will start there, build up an army, and then rule the planet, possibly the solar system. He has been clever to elude me, but two Time Lords together can stop him."

"Oh, I doubt he'll start with building the army...won't he have to hunt the Crowned Saxe-Coburg, first?"

"It would be child's play for him to hypnotize their leader."

He tried hard not to smile. "Please, Moriarty. For someone who thinks himself fit to fill the shoes of the Napoleon of Crime, and yet that's the best lie you can come up with? A Dalek could do better!"

"So you know who I am, Doctor? A pity. I could use your help, but if you choose to oppose me then you will share Holmes's fate!"

The Doctor stepped over to the console, and began to fiddle. He ignored Moriarty as the man pulled out a gun and yelled for him to stop. The Doctor continued to tap away at the keys even as Moriarty fired. The Doctor turned and watched as the bullet slowed, then stopped in mid air. He then reached out, grabbed the bullet, and looked at it. "Oh, very nice! Thank you! Perfect for my collection!"

"How! That is impossible!"

The Doctor pocketed the bullet and tapped a few more keys. "You obviously don't know very much about TARDIS systems," he commented as he worked. "Probably because you never earned your own. I brought the temporal grace circuit online."

"I don't have to know to do this!" He pulled out a small device. "This battle is yours but I shall yet win the war!" He hit a button on the device and disappeared.

The Doctor doffed his hat to departing Moriarty. "Good day! And thanks again! Now...where was I..." He turned his attention back to the console.

***********************************************************************

Paul turned to Romana. "So, is the...ship okay?"

"I'm not sure. It looked rather dark. but everything looked operational."

"Well, that's something at least. So, what are we going to do?"

"We're gonna find the Professor, that's what," declared Ace.

"So what does Moriarty want with the Doctor?" Jenna asked Holmes.

"I'm afraid it's me he's after. He took my TARDIS and dispersed it. He wants me that badly. The Doctor just happened to get in the way. "

"Where's this Moriarty bloke at then? Let's go get him," declared Ace.

"I didn't see anything out of the ordinary in the TARDIS, so I suggest our best bet would be to check the house for further clues."

"Why do we have to go back in there? The Professor's not in there. Is he?" she added after a pause. She looked up at the house, back at the group, and then ran for the house. "Professor?" she called as she ran up the stairs

Jenna ran in after her. "Slow down! We don't know what else is here!"

Paul faced Romana. "Um, I think maybe we should stop her?" he said, pointing at the house

"Yes, we should." Paul hurried after Jenna and Ace. Romana picked up her skirts and tried to follow. "There's no telling what's waiting for us upstairs."

Holmes followed more slowly. "This is not at all how it looked in theory," he mused. He took a deep breath, and then entered the house.

Upstairs, Ace stopped at the door with the light under it. She hesitated. "But what if something's happened to him? What if he's...?"

"Ace, careful. . . could be booby-trapped," said Jenna in a forced whisper.

"He might be hurt though, he might need me." She opened the door. Jenna followed closely, not wanting to leave the girl alone.

Once inside, Romana sensed something different about the house. She put a finger to her lips. "There might be someone up there. Someone other than him."

"That blast of light must have drawn some attention. It's not like they get a lot of that around here." He and Romana followed the others upstairs and into the room.

From out of a shadowed corner, Moriarty approached with a gun. "Hello, Holmes, my friend." He grabbed Ace from behind.

"Hey! Let go of me, Weasel-Face!"

Holmes turned to face his nemesis. "Moriarty. How did you get here?"

"How? That's not important." Ace struggled against him. "I don't think so, my dear. I think you will make a good hostage."

Jenna pulled out her revolver. "Let go of Ace, you walking corpse!"

"The rest of you stop. Make one move against me and this girl dies."

Holmes merely stood there, not knowing what to do without hurting anyone. Romana tried to non-chalantly hide the tracker without attracting attention. Jenna held her revolver steady but saw there was no clear shot.

"You're Moriarty?" questioned Ace. "Where's the Doctor?"

"Locked in my booby-trapped TARDIS. When he tries to leave, the console room will jettison."

Ace renewed her struggles. "If you hurt him, I'll... I'll... I'll. . .I'll rip your lungs out!"

"I had planned that for you Holmes, but. . ."

"All this because of me? What? No waterfalls nearby?" mocked Holmes.

"Ace, don't struggle. There's no telling what he might do," advised Romana.

"He isn't hurt. In fact, he won't feel a thing." Moriarty gave an evil laugh.

"Holmes, what do you want me to do?" asked Jenna.

"Put the revolver down, Jenna. Even you're not quick enough."

Romana stared at Moriarty. "What do you really want of us? Keeping our friends trapped certainly isn't getting you very far."

"Just turn over your TARDIS key to me so I can leave this primitive planet."

Romana looked at Holmes. "The key, Holmes, or the girl dies. Your choice."

"My key? I barely have a functioning TARDIS thanks to you."

"Certainly that's not what he's truly after," said Romana.

"But it's broken, isn't it?" asked Paul. "The Doctor's ship."

"Exactly, which is why my key certainly wouldn't do him any good," said Romana.

"What I am really after is beyond your understanding."

"I very much doubt that."

Jenna lowered her gun and tried to get close to Moriarty in order to save Ace somehow. "I told you to stop." He put the gun to Ace's head. Jenna stopped in her tracks. "You have one minute, Holmes!"

"Ow! Hey, watch it." Ace tried to move away from the gun.

Holmes tried to regain Moriarty's attention. "Not worth our understanding more like."

"Ace, just hold still." warned Romana.

Ace squeezed her eyes shut, pressed her lips together and whispered, "Professor, help me."

"You have none of the finesse of your namesake," continued Holmes. "Manhandling a young girl like this. You're nothing more than a common thug," he said in an attempt to make Moriarty lose control and release Ace.

**********************************************************************

Through the telepathic circuits in Holmes' TARDIS, the Doctor heard Ace's call. "Ace...hold on! I'm trying to reach you..."

**********************************************************************

With Moriarty facing Holmes, Jenna tried once again to get behind him. She got close enough behind him and raised the butt of her revolver to the back of his head.

"Out of time, Holmes! The key now!"

In a delaying tactic to give Jenna time, Holmes went through his many pockets. "If he wants the key so badly.... You do have a spare, don't you?" asked Romana. "Or an apartment key?"

Hoping he wouldn't notice, Jenna prepared to bring down the gun.

"Hmmm perhaps I am not playing fair. . ." Moriarty released Ace, spun around, and grabbed Jenna.

"Ow!" The revolver went flying out of her hand.

"Jenna!" cried Holmes.

"What's your problem? Can't get a date, so you have to steal one?" taunted Ace as she backed away.

. "Ace..." Romana warned.

"If the girl means nothing to you, then your so-called Watson must."

"This is not how it was supposed to work out," said Jenna.

Romana edged non-chalantly toward the revolver while eyes were elsewhere. She then stood just above it, then stooped down, covering it with her skirts."

"You let her go," Ace demanded.

"Let her go? I am holding the gun."

"Look, what's it gonna take? We don't have a TARDIS to give you!"

"A working one at any rate," muttered Paul.

"I don't know what good the key would do for you anyway," said Holmes.

"Fools! If I have the key, you are all trapped here! I tire of this game. Holmes, either the key or....".

"It isn't properly functioning. Why do you think I've been here so long anyway?"

"It won't function for you, maybe. Now the key or the woman dies!" He placed the gun to Jenna's head, point blank.

Romana felt underneath her then picked up the gun, holding it behind her back. She then edged nearer to the others. She whispered, half hoping, "Jenna, do something."

Jenna squirmed as she tried to maneuver into a better position. "That was foolish," declared Moriarty. Without expression, he broke Jenna's wrist.

Jenna screamed in pain and buckled over. "Jenna!" cried Ace. She turned on Moriarty. "You bully!"

Instinctively, Paul took a few steps forward. Romana took this distraction to throw the gun to Holmes. He grabbed the gun out of the air and aimed it in one swift move.

"My plan is the key, Holmes, or you will be down one companion!" He then noticed the revolver in Holmes' hand. "A gun, Holmes? You? You must be desperate."

"Now you're in for it," said Jenna through gritted teeth.

A gunshot echoed through the room.

**************************************************************

In Holmes' console room, the Doctor jerked upright, as if he heard the shot. "Ace!"

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