Both the Doctor and Susan jump in surprise, not having seen Astra appear
out of thin air...
Susan screamed, as she was wont to do. The Doctor only said "Oh, dear." He regarded the new arrivals dispassionately. They were a young man in the armor of a medieval knight, and a beautiful red- haired woman in armor that still fit her curves well.. They looked more like something out of a 20th century fantasy novel than anything actually medieval. "Who are you?" asked the Doctor. "What do you want with us?"
Lord Fred was for a moment to disoriented to respond. All this strangeness was a little much for him, and Astra seemed disoriented too. Fred looked at Astra and felt a pleasant stirring...of course, he realized. As he was no longer a Shoggoth, he could feel sexual desire again. And Astra was very desirable, besides being very spiritually beautiful. Astra saw him staring at her, and smiled at him. He realized that he had been so distracted by his disorientation and by Astra that he hadn't answered the Doctor. Luckily, Astra answered for them. "I'm Princess Astra of Aqualaria. This is Lord Frederigo D'Honaire. We have a message that we must deliver to Rassilon. It's imperative that we get to the Tomb of Rassilon."
"Why is that?" asked the Doctor. Lord Fred explained their story to the best of his ability. The Doctor pondered these people. Their story was strange, but you would expect that from people who appeared out of nowhere. They also seemed to be quite in love with each other, and slightly confused as well so they probably weren't evil. The Doctor knew the behavior of young people in love, he remembered how Susan left, and he also remembered...but that was a long time ago. And she was dead now. The Doctor pulled his concentration to the moment at hand. Even Time Lords couldn't live in the past. "Yes," he said, "I'll help you deliver the message."
Then, some Sontarans appeared out of nowhere and fired on the Doctor.
Meanwhile, Rule 1 and Agent 1 were conducting a very important meeting.
"So you fixed that little situation that popped up in your universe?" said Rule 1 to Agent 4.< p>"Oh yeah," said Agent 4. "I terminated the Shoggoths with extreme prejudice. And, I got us some new Eternal Champions. I sent them to Gallifrey, to deliver that letter to Rassilon."
"Cool," said Agent 1. "Is the One Shoggoth dead, or still alive? I'd probably like to 'ave a bit of a word with 'him."
"Way ahead of you," said Agent 4. Appearing suddenly in front of him was a hideous pink creature that looked like something out of H.P. Lovecraft.
"Shoggoth!" said Rule 1 in the most imposing voice he could manage. "We are very displeased with your actions. Why did you attempt to warp reality in such a manner?"
The Shoggoth didn't answer. He only quaked in fear. And then, he suddenly disappeared, in a strange flash of what could be best described as black light, not black light of the ordinary novelty light bulb variety, but energy that somehow seemed to combine blinding brightness with absolute blackness.
It was a sort of energy that was very familiar to the Department Heads.
"I don't think it was us 'e was scared of," said Agent 1.
"Oh no," said Rule 1. "He was working for the Dark Gods. They're coming back. I was afraid this would happen. If Randall Flagg disrupted the timestream enough, they could easily escape their temporal prison and be released upon the world again. Probably now, their forces aren't powerful enough to do much damage, but their escape is inevitable. It's only a matter of time. A few years down the line, they will probably become a major threat again."
"What're we gonna do about this?" said Agent 1. "We can't kill them."
"Yes," said Rule 1, "but we can hold them off long enough for the Doctor to meet up with a certain Fred analog. Surely you know of the prophecies?"
"Oh yeah," said Agent 1. "Looks as if we sent that letter to Rassilon not a moment too soon."
"I only hope we're not too late," said Rule 1.
6/4/2000 9:41:02 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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