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Crossroads (2/2)

Title: Crossroads (parts 4-5)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Four, Adric, original
Word Count: 7861
Rating: G
Notes: I couldn't post it in one because of the size. Sorry!



IV

Adric looked down the alleyway and saw the goons rushing the Doctor and Alan. “Quick! We've got to help them!” He charged into the fray. Spidey went after him.

Alan and the Doctor tried to fight off the goons. Alan kicked a few stomachs while the Doctor used some Venusian karate. “You sure know all the hot spots, Doctor,” commented Alan.

“Yes, well, I like to think I show both sides of life.” He tripped one of the goons who was standing on his scarf.

Adric kicked a goon’s feet out from under him, then got slammed into a wall by another. “Ooof!” The goon tried to follow up with a punch but Adric dodged aside, and the goon cracked his knuckles on the wall. Adric laughed at the clumsy goon and missed the one who hit him from behind. He crashed to the ground. A goon dragged Adric towards the back seat of the car; then he shook his head, and dumped the boy in the trunk instead.

Spidey got a few punches in and entangled another in webbing. Spidey tried to get to Adric but was prevented by another goon who came at her from behind. She moved out of the way just in time but another came at her from the other side. He dragged her kicking over to the limo.

Alan grabbed an arm of one of the men and pulled it behind his back. However, before he had a chance to do anything, he was hit from behind.

The Doctor flipped one of the men over, a move he hadn't used since Rome.

“This is good exercise,” puffed Alan. “And I thought I was getting out of shape.”

“Alan! Duck!” called the Doctor. Alan ducked and the Doctor landed a facer on the attacker.

A stunning young woman waited impatiently in the limousine for the goons to finish their work. She took out a mirror and looked in it as she applied lipstick. Once done, she tapped her foot impatiently and put away her makeup. She looked at her watch and glowered at the goons still fighting in the alleyway and opened the car door. “Hurry up, boys. We wouldn't want to keep the boss waiting, now would we?” she called seductively.

The man staggered back from the Doctor’s punch. Two others stepped in and grabbed the Doctor. Alan tried to free him but was knocked out from behind. The Doctor and an unconscious Alan were dragged to the car.

Adric woke up, groggily, and started to pound on the lid of the trunk. “Doctor! Get me out of here!” He gave up as he felt the car begin to pull away, knowing it was too late. The movement of the car soon lulled him to sleep.

The Doctor looked at Ivy behind the wheel. “You must be the prettiest chauffeur I've seen.”

She gave him a seductive grin. “Chauffeuring isn't my main profession.”

“Trying to learn a little extra money then?”

“You could say that,” she purred.

Alan grunted as he came to. “Sorry, Doctor.”

“Don’t take it so personally, Alan. But thank you for trying.”

In her own corner of the car, Spidey feigned unconsciousness so as to listen unimpeded to the conversation. She also worked on the ropes that bound her.

The woman behind the wheel spritzed herself with a bit of an intoxicating perfume she created while she slowed for a light. Alan smelled the perfume and saw her as the most gorgeous woman in the world. He looked at her with puppy-dog eyes. “Alan, snap out of it. It must be a pheromone of some sort.” He dug about in his pockets for smelling salts or something equally atrocious. He soon found a small vial of ammonia and held it under Alan's nose.

Alan snorted. “Ugh! That stuff is disgusting!”

Spidey agreed by holding her nose once she had untied the knots.

“It's the only thing that would work. She sprayed a pheromone that attracted you to her. We need to keep our wits about us until we know what's going on.”

The car entered an underground parking lot and the driver hit the brakes. She turned around and faced her passengers. “Now, now. . .” She took the ammonia away. “It wouldn't do for you to meet the boss holding this.”

“Hey!” Alan was indignant.

The goons got out of the car first. Some kept their eyes on the Doctor, Spidey and Alan while another went to open the trunk.

Alan made to struggle but the Doctor stopped him with a look. “So we get to meet 'the Boss'?” asked the Doctor.

The driver got out last and locked up with a hand held remote. As the trunk was opened, Adric seemed to be still asleep. He wasn't. He launched himself at the goon, then tried to run for it. “Stop him!” she ordered. Ivy pressed another button on the remote and the doors to the parking lot slammed shut.

The Doctor shook his head. “No, not now.”

“Adric!” called Alan.

Using the distraction, Spidey webbed the ammonia thinking it might come in handy later.

“No need for that, my dear Ivy,” came a voice from the shadows. Adric skidded to a halt as a steel blade blocked his path. It is attached to an umbrella. All heads turned towards the voice. The bearer of the umbrella stepped from the shadows. A short round man in top hat and tails, with a beakish nose, squinting around a monocle.

“I knew I smelled fish,” whispered Spidey.

“I am the Penguin.” He doffed his hat. “And you shall all be my guests, for... Well, however long it takes for the ransom to arrive.”

“Ransom?” questioned the Doctor. “You must be mistaken. There is no one who would ransom me.”

Alan looked at the newcomer in disbelief. “Can't be. You're not real.”

The Penguin looked at Alan dubiously. “Oh really? Do you not know Descartes? I think, therefore I am. So evidently I can be real.”

“Maybe you should think not,” muttered Spidey.

“He's just as real as you are, lover boy,” said Ivy as she ran a finger over his chest.

“Now now, Ivy. You may play later, after our guests are settled in.”

Alan looked at Ivy with something bordering on disgust. Ivy pouted. “Till later then.” She let her finger drop.

“Much later, I hope.”

The Penguin gave a squawking laugh at Spidey's joke. And then at Alan's. “I'm impressed, Ivy. You've brought us quite a catch! Jesters and philosophers!”

Ivy gave a throaty laugh. “I do my best.”

“Just don't get them started. . .fish jokes. . .” Spidey shook her head.

“But what is it you think about, Penguin?” asked the Doctor.

“What do I think about? Well, money is nice. And a lovely aviary, with no bats to bother me. . .”

"’There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so’."

Spidey grinned at Alan. “Very true.”

“Indeed! So with the correct mindset, we could enjoy our time together! Come along, my friends.”

“I don’t think so,” commented Alan. He saw Spidey’s smile fade into a scowl.

"Um...well...do you have anything to eat?” asked Adric.

Spidey looked at him wondering how he could even think to ask that. She just wanted to reach out and hit him.

“Unless you have a taste for raw fish, I don't think there is anything here for you,” said the Doctor as he decided to bide his time and follow the Penguin.

Ivy walked ahead and pressed the button for the elevator. The Penguin then ushered the others inside and they soon headed up many stories.

“Up?” asked Alan. “I was expecting cells in the dungeon.”

They emerged in a grand and gilded apartment suite. “This is just as bad as a cell, Alan. We're still prisoners,” said the Doctor.

“Perhaps, Doctor. But I would still take a gilded cage over a cement one,” commented the Penguin. As he said this, goons locked the doors and stood guard over the exit.

"’Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage,’” quoted the Doctor. “I told Lovelace that, but not so flowery. Still works. As long as the mind is free.”

Ivy walked in and lounged on a plush couch while the others looked over their surroundings. She sprayed on some more of her perfume. Before she could put away the bottle, Spidey used her webs to take the bottle. She looked at Spidey in disgust. “If you wanted a bottle, all you had to do was ask. They are my own blend. And I do have plenty more where that came from.”

“Ivy...do call up Commissioner Gordon. Let him know we have several hostages. He can meet us in the park, tomorrow at dawn, with $5 million.”

Spidey sniffed the perfume bottle before setting it on the windowsill. “$5 million?” She laughed.

“You expected you'd be worth more?” Ivy cooed.

“I only wish to make a living, my dear,” Penguin informed her.

“Oh, I see.” She didn’t bother to acknowledge Ivy.

“As I don't even know where I am, why would they want to ransom me?” asked Alan.

“Oh, every man has his price,” the Penguin informed him.

Alan walked over to the floor-to-ceiling windows. “Quite a commanding view.” He slid open the door and walked onto the balcony. He spotted a telescope and peered through it.

Ivy walked over to Spidey and picked up the bottle of perfume. “Hyacinth, a dash of roses, a touch of chlorophyll, and a drop of pheromones.” Spidey, however, paid her no attention and webbed her way to the ceiling. Ivy pouted and mumbled, “They never do hang around long enough to talk woman-to-woman with me.” She pocketed the bottle.

Through the telescope, Alan noted he could see just about everything in the area, even into the alleys. “Hey, Doctor! C'mere!”

The Doctor joined Alan. “What is it?”

“You'd better look through here.”

Adric, munching on some crackers and cheese from a side table, wandered over to join them.

The Doctor looked through telescope and saw the TARDIS---the fake one--in the alley. “Ah, so that's how they knew where to find us. I wonder where the real one is.”

“Do you think Birdbrain has it stashed somewhere?”

“That's our little secret, of course,” Ivy said with a smile.

There was another burst of squawking laughter from the Penguin. “Yes, indeed, Doctor. A most intriguing crate you have. Which reminds me...”

“Yes?”

“I believe you have my key, as well.”

“Key? Which key would that be?”

Spidey listened intently from her perch on the ceiling.

“Do not toy with me, Doctor. I would like the key to my new blue box.”

“Oh-ho, that key.” He began searching his coat pockets. “A key, a key, my kingdom for a key. Ah, here we are.” He held up a skeleton key. “No, sorry, that's the one to the china cupboard.” The Doctor began pulling out keys of various shapes, sizes, and materials.

What a clown, thought Spidey with a shake of her head.

“You are not taking me seriously, Doctor. A dangerous mistake.”

“I'm sorry, I must have left it in my other coat.”

“Giving him that would be like when the gods gave Pandora the box,” commented Alan.

“Of course I'm taking you seriously. And I am serious when I say I don't have it.”

The sword point snapped from the Penguin's umbrella again, and he pointed it to the Doctor's throat. You would be wise to play straight with the Penguin,” said Ivy. “He can be rather....persuasive.”

Alan stepped forward to defend the Doctor if necessary. Spidey was glad she was on the ceiling yet was ready to help should it be required. Adric tensed, ready to rush the Penguin.

The Doctor’s eyes widened. “Well, when you put it that way. . .” He smiled genially. With his hands in the air, he said, “It's there, in my left pocket.” He gave Alan a wink.

“Allow me, boss.”

“Thank you, my dear.”

Ivy strode up to the Doctor and searched his coat pocket while the Penguin kept his sword point just under the Doctor's chin. Alan watched Ivy carefully wondering if he should do something. {Doctor? Should I stop her?}

{If you wouldn't mind.}

Alan moved to stand close behind Ivy. He inhaled deeply. “That's some perfume. “It's giving me dark thoughts.”

Ivy chose that moment to let out a very unseductive “Youch!” She pulled out her hand very quickly with a mousetrap attached.

The Penguin suddenly looked alarmed. “Are you all right, Pam? What happened?”

Alan took the opportunity to grab her about the waist.

“Oh that's where I left that! I was going to build a better one, but I haven't got ‘round to it yet.”

From her position in Alan’s grip, Ivy glared at the Doctor. “Kill him! Kill him now!”

“Ah, ah ah....that's not very good hospitality is it?”

The monocle dropped from the Penguin's eye, and his umbrella fell from his hand. “Stop that! You're not playing fair!” he whined. “I'm the bad guy, and even I never hurt anyone!”

Realizing the Penguin was not going to follow Ivy’s idea, Alan released her. She pulled off the mousetrap and saw that her knuckles bleeding a bit. “If you won't, I will!” she said to the Penguin.

The Penguin looked at the blood, not sure what to do. “Um...does someone know first aid? Or something?” he said with a look to his goons.

“I'm so sorry, dear. Here, let me look. It's alright, I'm a Doctor.” He tried to take her hand.

She slapped the him and walked over the Penguin’s umbrella stand. She looked them over carefully before finding the one she wanted, the one with the gun attachment.

The Doctor was taken by surprise. “Well, that wasn't necessary.” He put his hands up again.

“Pam...Pam, dear, I know they were mean. . .”

“Wait a moment.” The Doctor turned to the Penguin, indignant.

“But you're not helping matters. That only fires blanks, anyway.”

Taking his cue, Adric lunged for the gun only to be nearly hit in the head as Ivy tossed the umbrella away.

When she thought no one was watching, Spidey scuttled across the ceiling and out to the balcony. However, the Doctor noticed. “Just what is going on here?”

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

Somewhere else in the city, in a smoke-filled room, a large color screen showed the scene of the attack in the alley and all that followed. A large be-ringed hand pressed a button and the scene switched to that inside the Penguin’s abode. The man watched the enfolding incident like a voyeur. He had let them have enough time. Now he meant business. He pushed another button and the cameras buzzed into the penthouse and began shooting.

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

“Everyone get down!” yelled the Doctor as he ducked behind a sofa.

Alan dove under a table. “What they hell are those?”

“They're flying cameras, of course,” answered the Doctor.

“I've always been camera shy!”

The Penguin stood, dumbstruck, in the middle of the room. “Where did those come from? I didn't order any cameras!” Adric pulled the Penguin back down with the others behind the sofa.

Ivy ducked behind the coat rack and Spidey watched what was happening from outside.

Suddenly, a voice echoed from all the cameras. “Surrender now, or the cameras will tear you to pieces. The bullets are made of a very strong alloy.”

“Will someone kindly tell me What The Hell Is Goin On Here!” demanded Alan.

The Penguin stood and faced the cameras as if they were toys. “Oh, please! Pam and I know full well those only fire blanks. As for the rest of my guests... They seem a bit confused. Just leave us alone and let us sort this out!”

“Do I have your complete surrender?” questioned the voice.

The Doctor cautiously raised his head. “Perhaps you could kindly tell us who you are, so we know who we should be surrendering to?”

“I think you should be surrendering right outside the apartment.” Loud steps and guns being loaded could be heard outside Penguin's door.

“Well I didn't say we would be surrendering. Could you give us a moment?”

Ivy stood proudly with a look on her face that dared anyone to say she would do otherwise. Alan crawled out from under the table and looks questioningly at Doctor.

The Penguin looked at Spidey. “Miss, can't you do something about those cameras? With you web?” From her position on the ceiling. Spidey webbed the talking camera and drenched it with something. Sparks started to fly from it.

The Doctor looked at the door as it opened and armored guards holding laser weapons entered. Ivy looked in dismay at the body of the goons lying in the hallway.

The Doctor looked back at Alan. “I really don't know what’s going on here, but if you find out, could you please tell me?”

The Penguin strode forward. “Look, this really isn't a good time. They don't seem to understand the game!”

“'Game'? This is a game?” Alan couldn’t believe it. “What's wrong with chess?”

“Game?” The Doctor grinned. “Oh, I love games. What are we playing?”

The Penguin had Spidey’s attention with the word GAME. Game? What game?

“Well, chess is nice enough, if you like that sort of thing.”

“Ring-Around-the-Roses has always been my personal favorite,” commented Ivy.

“Somehow, I thought you would like a game that came out of the Plague,” said Alan.

Spidey turned on her. “Zip it!”

Ivy glared at Spidey. “That was highly uncalled for.”

Spidey glared right back. “So, what are you saying?”

No longer flippant but deadly serious, the Doctor turned on the Penguin. “What game are you playing?”

“You mean you really don't know?” Shocked, the Penguin looked from the Doctor to Adric and then to Alan.

“None of this makes any sense!” said Adric. “What game are you talking about?”

“Come on, we're all waiting.” The Doctor looked right back at him.

The voice over the cameras warned. “I wouldn't try anything. My cameras have high-frequency sensors and detect your every move and speech. Just follow my guards or would you rather conspire and all be dead?”

The Doctor faced the camera. “I can only deal with one nefarious scheme at a time. We'll be right with you.”

“How can you have come to this planet without understanding our game?” The Penguin still could not understand this.

Spidey was really getting tired of hearing the word game. Right about now, she was beginning to hate any word.

“I thought I was going to New York City on Earth. Ended up here,” explained Alan.

"Come on. Let's go,” said the voice. One of the cameras made a few warning shots.

Ivy ducked the bullets. “He's not playing by the rules...”

“Well, come along everyone.” The Doctor followed the armored soldiers.

Adric sighed then shrugged and followed. Alan also followed Doctor as that always seemed to be a good idea. Spidey followed along on the ceiling.

The Penguin mumbled, “This just isn't fun anymore...”

One of the guards said, “You heard the voice, move it!"

The Doctor turned to the Penguin. “You're going to have a lot of explaining to do once we're finished being taken captive.”

“Me?! Ivy and I are the only ones who haven't done anything wrong!”

“Then you won't have an ulterior motive while explaining,” said Alan.

“Oh do hush up.” He lapsed into a moody silence.

Spidey glared at the Penguin’s back. So, what do you consider wrong?

Ivy took the Penguin’s arm. “We’ll get this sorted out. Just you wait.” She smiled at him. The Penguin nodded and smiled back as bravely as he could.

They were taken to a warehouse on the other side of town from the Penguin's apartment. A secret door on the wall of the warehouse opened “Bring them in,” said a British accent.

The guards escorted them into a room where they could see themselves on- screen. “Oh, you didn't get my best side,” said the Doctor, disappointed. In spite of himself, Adric smiled.

A platform moved everyone to a wall that opened to reveal the man behind their presence at the warehouse. He was sitting facing the monitor and they could only see the back of his very large, very bald head. The body was also large and they could also see a large cigar.

“Who are you?” questioned the Doctor.

The man turned around. Spidey and the Penguin recognized him but the newcomers were still in the dark. “Ah, Doctor, I think we need to talk about your blue box. And I think your friends are useful enough to get the information out of you.” He laughed manically.

V

“So, Doctor, if you don't mind, the key to the blue box.”

“What's going on here, Kingpin?” the Penguin squawked. “My associate and I found the blue box first!”

“Why does everyone want the key? Now I have to search for it again.” Knowing the mousetrap trick won't work again, he began to go through his pockets.

“Found it on my turf which gives you no rights. Be happy I haven’t had my men kill you.”

Adric sidled over to the Doctor. “Give it here, Doctor. They won't think to search me. How could I hide anything in this outfit, eh?”

“If I could find the thing. Never in the same place twice. . .”

Penguin was still arguing with the Kingpin. “Oh no...crossovers are perfectly legal! Ivy and I can go where we please!”

“You can go, yes, but, as your foe Batman would say, who said you could leave?”

Penguin gulped as Kingpin's men leveled their guns. “Look, Kingpin...let's handle this like professionals. Ivy and I can cut you a share...say 60/40?”

“You forget, Penguin. I have the control here. I might settle for 90/10, if you get lucky.”

Spidey was becoming rather irritated at them for going out of the plans. Ivy, too was upset. “They aren't playing by the rules!” she whispered.

The Doctor quickly palmed the key to Adric just before Kingpin turned back to him. “Now, Doctor, I am not a patient man. Give me the key and I just might give you a place in my organization.”

“I honestly would, if I could find it. I'm forever losing things.”

Kingpin heard Ivy’s comment. “Rules? What rules?”

Ivy pouted. “The weapons rule, of course.”

“I think the rule is there are no rules,” said Alan.

“The one with the most weapons and power makes the rules.”

“I know! We should have stayed in Gotham! This town is nuts!” the Penguin whispered to her. “And these kooks don't seem to know they're even playing!” he added with a nod to the Doctor and his friends.

Ivy nodded over to the Kingpin. “He doesn't seem to know either. This is the last time I ask for an apartment upstate.”

“It's not my fault! You want a new place, I'll buy you a new place!”

Spidey also was worried about Kingpin and his use of weapons. “And I for one would like to know why...”

Kingpin turned his attention back to the Doctor. “Now, Doctor, as I was saying, you can cooperate with me or have my men terminate you. Either way, I get the key.”

“Why do you want it, anyway?” asked the Doctor innocently as he continued his search. “I feel I have a right to know.”

“Right? Right? The only rights you have are the ones I give you!” He explained anyway. “Your box is a mystery, but I sense somehow that I can use it to defeat my enemies. Spiderman and Daredevil wouldn't stand a chance if I am right. Now, Doctor, the key. You have 5 minutes.”

“Enemies? I thought you said the one with the most weapons had the most power What harm could your enemies do?” questioned the Doctor.

“My enemies can't harm me, but they hamper my men and my plans. Even I can't be everywhere at once.”

Alan came up quietly behind Penguin and Ivy. “You never explained the Game.”

The Penguin's eyes boggled. “You mean you really have no idea?”

“So it would appear,” remarked Ivy. “They certainly must not be from around here.”

Penguin sighed. “This whole planet is one big game...role-playing.”

She pulled Alan off to the side. “Penguin’s right.” She ran a finger up the front of his shirt. “The weapons all fire blanks. Except for his, so it seems,” she added with a nod in Kingpin’s direction.

Alan shook her hand off his arm. “And where do you fit in?”

“How do you think?” said the Penguin. “We're the bad guys. We try to steal things or take over the world, and the good guys stop us.”

"Why would you want to play the part of a villain? Don't most people want to be heroes?” asked Alan.

Ivy gave him a sweet smile. “What would be the fun of that?”

“Indeed!” agreed the Penguin. “We get to be melodramatic, we live in luxury... The heroes just run around, getting captured and beaten and brooding a lot!”

The Doctor came over to them. “Role-playing? Who is running this game, then? Who sets the rules?”

“Where are you really from, then?” asked Alan. “If this is a game, you must have real lives somewhere.”

“Well, we were born on Earth. You at least know Earth, right?”

Alan smirked. “Yeah, very well. From there myself.”

“And you never heard about the gamers' colonies?” The Penguin couldn’t believe it.

“Can't say as I have. I've . . . been away for sometime.”

Penguin looked a little dubious. “Oh. Well. Now you know.”

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

After the Doctor had gone, Adric turned to Kingpin. “What would the key be worth to you?”

“I told you before, give me the key and I will put you in important places in my organization.”

“You and I just might be able to work out a deal.”

“A deal, boy? What sort of deal?”

“Oh, we can't discuss it now. Why don't you...make sure my friends can't overhear us.”

“Well, come--Adric is it? Follow me and maybe we can make a deal.” Adric followed the Kingpin away and Spidey watched them.

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

The Doctor listened intently and let Alan ask the questions.

“Poor boy. You certainly don't know what you're missing,” commented Ivy as she attempted to flirt with Alan. Penguin watched, slightly jealous, and then looked mournfully at his own round gut.

Alan ignored her and tried to get more information out of the Penguin. “You don't explain very well. All I know now is that they exist.”

“Oh, but haven't you ever wanted to be someone you're not?” Ivy asked.

“Believe me, lady, I do quite a bit of role-playing in my job.”

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

Adric faced Kingpin in the man’s office. “Look...even if you get the key, you'll never get inside the box.”

“Oh come now. A key is a key is a key--unless you believe it's magic, which is silly.”

“Oh, not where the Doctor comes from. It's very complicated. . .if you use it wrong, you'll destroy the lock.”

“Comes from? You aren't from Titan, are you?”

“Not magic. Science, very very advanced science. Far beyond mere humans.”

“Well, it doesn't matter. If the Doctor is the only one that can open the box, then I will force him to open it.”

“Oh, he's not the only one. I could open it...if you make it worth my while.”

“You would betray your friends? for a price?”

“Not a price, but the right price, perhaps...”

“I like a challenge. Name your price and I will consider it.”

“I want two things.”

“Two? Go on, you interest me.”

“First of all, I want...um...what is a lot of money on your world?”

“A million dollars?”

“Yes, that'll do. For a start, anyway. Second of all...I want time alone with my companions. To let them know just who got the better of them.” He grinned maliciously.

“Since you can't leave the building without my permission...... it is done.”

Adric's grin became triumphant, and he offered Kingpin his hand. “You have one hour to come back with the key or your life and the lives of your friends are forfeit.”

Adric walked back into the main room, looking very pleased with himself.

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

The Doctor continued questioning the Penguin. “So when did these colonies come about?”

“They're vacation colonies. We work hard, and we can come live and play here for a few months out of the year.”

Spidey folded her arms and took in all the information from her place in the background.

“Must be pretty expensive,” remarked Alan. “Or are they rather commonplace?”

“Oh, there are quite a few, for whatever role you wish to play,” answered Ivy. “The barbarian worlds are very popular this year.”

“Yes...I'll never understand that...,” mused the Penguin.

“Ah, but there's nothing like being a comic book villain.” Ivy smoothed out her green leotard and smiled at the Penguin.

He preened. “Indeed, indeed!”

Spidey chuckled under her breath in spite of herself.

“Your real life must be rather dull, then, if you choose to use your money this way,” commented Alan.

That hit too close to the mark and Penguin stammered, trying to get the words out. Ivy answered instead. "But this is high adventure. What would you have us spend our hard earned money on?”

“Perhaps in making your true life more adventurous. It would certainly be less expensive--and less dangerous,” said the Doctor with a nod towards Kingpin’s office.

“But the safety protocols won't allow for us to get anything more of a paper cut during work and there certainly isn't enough breathing space on the planet for proper adventures anymore.”

“Um-hmm,” agreed Spidey.

“Which is why the colonies were set up in the first place.” She fixed the Doctor with an odd look. “You haven't been to Earth in a while, have you?”

With all this talk of adventures and the past, Alan began to wonder if they knew of him. The Doctor would probably frown on that anyway. . .but if he could just learn if he was famous. . .

The Doctor saw Adric enter the room from Kingpin’s office and was immediately suspicious.

“All of you...follow me. We're leaving,” said the boy.

“What have you done?”

“You'll know soon enough, Doctor. Just come on.” He gave the Doctor a look that said “Trust Me”.

Putting his trust in the boy, the Doctor followed, but not blindly. Penguin shrugged at Ivy, and followed Adric to the elevator. Alan tagged along as well. Intrigued, Spidey followed after them unsure as to whether or not she was included in the invitation.

As soon as they reached the street below, Adric turned to the Doctor. “All right, I've bought us an hour.”

“You what? What exactly did you do?” The Doctor was bordering on disbelief.

A guard appeared. “Going somewhere?”

Ivy smiled at the guard seductively. “Yes, we were in need of a breath of fresh air.”

Adric took on a superior and arrogant tone. “I'm working with the Kingpin. You're merely working for him. Leave us.”

“No one works with the Kingpin. Besides, you can't leave the building. Kingpin's orders.”

"I was beginning to wilt in there, it was so stuffy.” Ivy put a hand on the guard's arm and ran her fingers up his chest. Alan smiled to see her at work on someone else. “Even pretty little me? We're a new addition on his payroll.” She winked mischievously and took out a bottle of her perfume and applied it. It was only a matter of time before it took affect.

The Penguin chuckled. “He's a dead duck.”

“I have my orders. Set one foot outside, I shoot you. Simple.”

“Oh, now, there's no reason to shoot us. Do I look capable of harming anyone?” She looked up at the guard innocently, waiting for her best chance to kiss him.

“It’s not a matter of choice. I must obey the Kingpin.”

Adric left the guard to Ivy, and whispered to the Doctor. “Never mind how, we've only got an hour!”

“How do you expect us to find the TARDIS is such a short time? I have no equipment.”

“Well, that's never stopped you before! Build something!”

“If you hadn't noticed, we have nothing to build with! I'm sure the Kingpin has his equipment under guard.”

“His equipment, perhaps. But if we could get back to the apartment...” the Penguin said. He looked over and saw Ivy still working on the guard.

“Yes, yes, you must, but we just needed some air. ...and some diversion.” She took out her lipstick and quickly applied it.

The guard aimed the gun. “Go ahead. I could use the target practice.”

Ivy quickly ensnared the guard in a kiss, taking away his gun as she did so.

“I---I---ah.” He fell unconscious to the ground. Ivy smiled.

“Lovely work, my dear! Lovely!” congratulated the Penguin.

“Took you long enough,” commented Alan. “Maybe his head was too thick.”

Spidey looked over to what just happened. “You take too much pride in what you do.”

“Can I help it I'm good at my work?” said Ivy.

The Penguin was affronted. “And why should we not? We're not really hurting anyone.”

Alan heard the Doctor and Adric’s conversation. “Do you think you could use this to make something?” He held out his time machine.

“Yes! Doctor, couldn't you...” Adric turned to him.

The Doctor looked at Alan's machine. “Perfect! With a little tweaking. . .”

He opened the machine and fiddled with the innards. “Now we should be able to track the TARDIS.” He held the machine out in front of him.

The Penguin watched as Spidey suddenly looked up, as if sensing trouble, before swinging out into the city. “Typical hero, so smug, and no attention span...”

“That's certainly why she isn't villain caliber, like us. Anyone can be a hero.”

The machine in the Doctor’s hand beeped slowly as he turned in a circle but sped up when he faced the right direction. “C'mon! This way!” He took off with Adric beside him.

“Oh, absolutely,” agreed the Penguin. “It takes a special...dramatic flair to do what we do.”

“And a,” Ivy smiled, “green thumb.”

With a shake of his head at the two villains, Alan followed the Doctor and Adric.

Penguin jogged along behind, huffing and puffing a bit while Ivy ran, easily keeping up with the others. “But...of...course...even among...we...villains...you're quite...remarkable...” he said. She smiled back.

The Doctor led them through a myriad of alleys near the warehouse district. He soon stopped at a warehouse near the river. “In there. Hurry!”

The Penguin suddenly stumbled to a halt, trying to catch his breath. “Ivy... please...wait a moment.” Ivy halted and went back to the Penguin. Adric stayed with the Doctor, not noticing that the Penguin had stopped.

Alan looked back. “You guys coming? Kingpin could be here any minute.”

At that moment, Kingpin stepped out from behind the TARDIS. “I was wondering what was keeping you.”

“Correction. He's here.”

“Just taking a brisk run to clear the head. We still have time, don't we?” asked the Doctor.

“I told you I want the key to your box, Doctor, and I will have it whether you and your friends are alive or not.”

Adric looked shocked for a moment, and then tried to take control of the situation. “Mr. Kingpin, my hour isn't finished yet!”

“Ah, but I also warned you not to leave the building our deal is off.”

“Ivy...just why are we helping these people? It doesn't seem very...villainish,” whispered the Penguin.

“We aren't. We're working against him!” She pointed at the Kingpin.

The Penguin suddenly grins. “Right!” He glanced over inside the warehouse, but Kingpin didn't seem to notice him. “Come on, Ivy...we'll go in the back. Take the fat man by surprise.”

“Fine.” Ivy helped the Penguin into the warehouse.

“Deal?” The Doctor stared at Adric, pretending to know nothing about it. “You made a deal with him?”

Adric sighed. “Oh, all right. You can forget about the hour. You give me the money, and I'll still give you the key.”

“How much did you ask for?”

“A million. I wouldn't sell you out for anything less!”

The Doctor snorted in laughter. “A million? Adric, that is a paltry sum in this time. You tried, though.”

“The key. Give me the key now and I will pay you once I know what's in the box.”

Adric was angry but wasn’t sure if it was because of being cheated by the Kingpin or his own foolishness.

The Penguin and Ivy came in the back door, concealed by some crates. Alan saw them and tried to think on a diversion. The Penguin noticed some rope on the ground, and a convenient group of crates, stacked like steps leading up to the rafters.

“Come on...up there. Batman pulled this trick on us enough times!”

“Right!” Ivy took the “steps” two at a time.

A guard came from nowhere and shot at the Penguin. With a squawk, the Penguin dove behind some crates as did Ivy. He pulled off his top hat and stared at the hole it the crown. “You'll pay for that! Literally or figuratively, its your choice!”

“Nice try, feathered fool, but I am not the Batman.”

The Doctor was indignant. “That was no reason to shoot him!”

“Look who you're talking to, Doctor. Reason doesn't enter into it,” said Alan.

“I don't need a reason. He is an enemy.”

“He's still not playing by the rules. We certainly have to do something about that.” Ivy looked at the Penguin. “We could call in the colony security.”

“Well...we could...but is that any fun?”

“Hmmm....” She smiled. “Perhaps not...”

“For now, just wait. If the Doctor can just distract these goons...”

Ivy gave the guard a long, considering look from her spot on the sidelines. Alan thought hard on this world and how his telepathy had worked. Perhaps he could do something else. He concentrated on the Kingpin's weapon. Perhaps. . .

“Fine. I gave you a choice.” He turned to his guards. “I order you to. . .”

The gun flew out of Kingpin's hands and straight to Alan. “Whoa! It worked!”

“What? My gun!”

“Now!” The Penguin grabbed up the rope again and started up the crates, rather clumsily.

Alan turned the gun back on its owner. “Who has the power now?”

“You won't shoot me! You can't! I am unarmed!”

“That didn't stop you from shooting the Penguin.” The Doctor looked at Alan, knowing he wouldn't shoot.

The Penguin reached the rafter, tied one end of the rope to it, and then sighed. “Well, here goes...” He grabbed the rope and swung down, knocking over the Kingpin. “Hah! That's what you get for playing against the rules, yeah!”

“You dare?” Somehow, it was less than threatening from his position on the floor.

In all the confusion, more of the Kingpin’s guards had entered the warehouse unseen. They now opened fire. Alan turned and fired on them. The Penguin fell to the ground, covering his head and squawking like mad.

Adric ducked behind the cover of the TARDIS. “Doctor!”

The Doctor ducked behind some crates. “I think that’s enough, Alan!” he called as the Kingpin stood and his men stopped firing.

“Ah, fine. You fools win this round but you have not hear the last of the Kingpin!” He left with his men in tow.

Alan lowered the gun. “Whoa, what a rush!”

Ivy made her way to the Penguin. “There, there. They've stopped shooting

for the moment.”

The Penguin looked up and smiled gratefully at Ivy. “I'm...alive!” he said with surprise.

The Doctor took out the machine, fiddled some more then walked over to Alan and handed it to him. “I believe this is yours.”

Alan took it and strapped it to his wrist. “Thanks.”

Adric looked cautiously out from behind the TARDIS, and grinned before walking over to the Doctor and Alan. “So...you'll be heading back to Earth then, Alan? And your own time?”

“Gonna try. I don't think I need that vacation now.” He looked at the Doctor. “No more interference, right?”

“Shouldn't be. Now that I've taken out that piece.”

“Great. Thanks, Doctor.”

Adric offered his hand. “Well, it was nice meeting you, Alan.”

Alan shook his hand. “You, too, Adric.”

The Penguin looked over to Ivy. “So...now what?”

“We could go after him. We still have a score to settle for shooting at you.”

“Yes...my poor hat.”

Alan walked over to Penguin and Ivy. “Remember what I said. Don't depend on these. . .games too much.”

Ivy pouted and the Penguin spoke for the both of them. “Ah, but what makes the game less real than the reality, my boy?” He glanced over at Ivy, and grew sad and quiet for a moment. “I certainly don't have friends like this back on Earth.”

“I've been a fighter pilot for most of my life. I don't need to escape to this.”

“A fighter pilot! They could write comic books about you, then! Show me the comic book about an accountant's adventures, and I might just stay home.”

Alan grinned. “Who knows? Perhaps they have.” He gave them a conspiratorial whisper. “I'm from the past, you know.”

“Um...if you say so. Are you sure you've never been gaming before?”

Alan wondered if he should tell them. What the hell! “I've been an actor, revolutionary, soldier, gunslinger. . . Can't remember what else.”

Ivy sighed. “Now that certainly sounds worth living.”

“Alan,” the Doctor warned.

Alan turned to the Doctor. “It's already happened. What harm can it do?”

“As long as they don't start talking about your future. . .”

“C'mon, Doctor, it's not as if they know me.”

The Penguin blinked, still finding the Doctor a bit strange. “Yes, well, nice meeting you, Doctor. Hope we didn't cause any trouble for you and Adric, or

Mister...” He turned to Alan. “I'm sorry, what did you say your name was, my

boy?”

“Col. Alan Kelly.” He saluted.

Ivy approached Alan and tried to work her magic again. “Too bad you can't stay for longer, it could be....interesting.”

“Oh, I'm sure he has much better...the Alan Kelly? The hero of Alan Kelly and the Time Pilots?”

Alan grinned. “So I guess I am famous. Time Pilots?”

“My, my....” Ivy walked around him, looking him up and down. “The

drawings certainly didn't do him justice.”

“Of course! You know, I thought about going to Time Pilot World, and being Alan Kelly myself. But I decided Penguin is much more fun.” He winked at Alan. “It's all in the company you keep...”

“You mean I have my own 'world' here?” He looked to the Doctor.

“Perhaps in this world you are a work of fiction.” He looked at the Penguin. “Are these worlds ever based on real people?”

“Well, once in a while. It takes a real legend, though, to get his own world.”

Alan puffed himself up. “Now I have something to live up to,” he said with a grin. “Thanks.” He looked at the Doctor. “I guess I should go before I hear something I shouldn't.”

“Oh, it was an honor to meet you, colonel!” The Penguin pumped his hand, grinning widely.

“Guess you'll have something to talk about over those ledgers, hm?” said the Doctor.

Ivy smiled, wiped off her lipstick, and gave Alan a quick kiss on the cheek. “Good-bye--Pam, is it?”

The Penguin looked over at Ivy. “Er...we really should be going. A Kingpin to topple, you know. Come along, my dear...” Ivy smiled at Alan before hurrying to follow the Penguin.

“Bye Penguin, Ivy. Thanks,” called Adric as he waved after them. He then turned to the Doctor. “So...time to be going?”

Alan watched the two walk away. “Hm, too bad I didn't get to see my own world.” He grinned and looked at the Doctor. “Just kidding. Bye. Thanks again!”

“Sure. Maybe we'll see you around.”

The Doctor gave him a piece of parting advice. “Before you go, don't let what you've learned here change the way you act. Be yourself. That’s the Alan Kelly who got his own world.”

“Right.” Alan punched in his coordinates and disappeared.

“Should have tried to study that closer....Ah, well.” The Doctor headed for the TARDIS and stopped outside the door. He held his hand out. Adric shrugged and handed him the TARDIS key.

“Doctor...you know I was only bluffing the Kingpin, right?”

“Of course. Inside. Next time, don't go off like that without telling me first.”

“Doctor, if I told you ahead of time, the trick would be kind of obvious, wouldn't it?”

“I'm a wonderful actor! No one would know!” the Doctor replied with mock indignation.

Adric grinned in spite of himself as he followed him into the TARDIS. “Of course not, Doctor.”

The Doctor put his hat on the stand. He walked over to the console and patted it in welcome. “Now, let's see. . .” With a resounding vworp, the TARDIS was gone.

Ivy kicked open the doors to Kingpin's office, and stood by the door for Penguin to enter. He raised his new hat to her. “Thank you, my dear. Now, Kingpin...I believe we have some unfinished business.”

“What? How dare you break in here my guards can be here in half a minute!”

“Your guards are now in my employ. Which makes them my guards.”

“My guards have betrayed me? Me? The fools! I will teach them to betray the Kingpin!”

“You made a very simple mistake, Kingpin.”

“I am the Kingpin! I don't make mistakes!”

“It's not he who has the most weapons who makes the rules. It's the Golden rule. He-or he and she-with the gold, makes the rules!”

“But I have a whole organization. What do you have?”

“We have a corporate take over,” said Ivy.

“Very clever.”

The Penguin glanced at Ivy, and smiled. “We have all we need. Guards!”

The guards entered obediently and Ivy smiled at them. “Yes, Mr. Penguin?”

“Take your former boss away. I believe the rules commission would like a word with him.”

“Well, if you will excuse me, I must start again.” He tried to force his way though the guards.

“No, no...you aren't leaving that fast,” declared Ivy. “We still have some unfinished...business with you.” She smiled.

“Fine, you win but you have not heard the last of the Kingpin!”

Ivy pushed him down with her hand. “I think we have, for at least a little while.”

The Penguin sighed, but was still smiling. “You know, we may be villains, Kingpin...but we don't have to be so cliché.” He settled into Kingpin's chair with a small, contented squawk and watched as the guards dragged Kingpin away. Ahhh, time for a celebratory dinner, wouldn't you say, my dear?”

“Certainly.” Ivy sat down in a window seat, relishing the warmth.

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