The Second Doctor Liz Story

Doctor Liz awoke suddenly in a white, elevator-like room. "What? Huh, wuh, snore?" A hand grabbed her from behind and yanked her into an equally white hallway.

"At last!" a voice hissed into her ear. "I went with Krekka, but I'm back. I've got you, Doctor Liz, and you'll never get away! Heh, heh, heh!"

Doctor Liz screamed. As she did, she could hear a faint, far away, "Hello? Hello? Doctor Liz? Helloooo? Hellooo? Why are you screaming? Is it a game? Helloooooooo?"

The unending questions grew louder and louder, until...


Doctor Liz woke up. She opened her eyes. Staring into her eyes were a pair of big, blue ones. The Doctor closed her eyes and opened them again. The blue eyes were still there.

"Doctor Liz? I just thought you'd want to know the TARDIS is making a funny noise and it smells like smoke. I like smoke. It reminds me of roasting marshmallows over campfires and singing songs and..."

Doctor Liz gently pushed Margaret aside so she could see something besides those big, blue eyes. Above her was the familiar turquoise ceiling of her own bedroom. "What?"

"...and campfires are nice for when you're camping, 'cause then you aren't cold! Oh, nothing, Doctor Liz. The TARDIS control room smells like smoke. Is it a surprise? Are you roasting marshmallows and didn't want me to know? Ooh, I love marshmallows!"

Doctor Liz sat up. Through the special telepathic link every Time Lord shared with her TARDIS, Doctor Liz was able to sort through Margaret's ramblings to pinpoint the important part. "Smoke!?"

She pushed aside the covers, hopped out of bed, and ran down the hall. Margaret jumped up and trailed after her. "Yeah, smoke. I like smoke. Smoke is pretty and..."

Doctor Liz raced through the long TARDIS corridor. She ran and she ran. The further and faster she ran, the longer the corridor seemed to be.

"This isn't right," she huffed. "We should have been there by now. Margaret! Stay close beside me. Something is very wrong here!"

She glanced back. Margaret was nowhere to be seen. She stopped. "Margaret?"

No answer.

"Margaret?"

Still no answer.

"Margaret!"

And still no answer.

"This is strange," mused Doctor Liz. "Either Margaret has lost her voice or something is very, very wrong here."

Then, remembering the smoke in the console room, she continued as fast as she could down the hall. Ahead, she could hear that loud beeping noise.

"Whew!" she said when she reached the console room door. "I made it!"

She burst open the door and stared in shock. There was no loud sound. No beeping. And only the faintest smell of smoke. At the control panel, she opened the scanner screen. Outside were stars...a moon or two...and the big, white words...

INCOMING TRANSMISSION!

Doctor Liz nearly collapsed in relief. "I was afraid they would say bad wolf, or worse, dog shampoo!"

She opened a transmission frequency, and a familiar face appeared on the screen.

"Fred!?" exclaimed the Doctor. "How good to see you again! But, how are you communicating? You destroyed all the screens, and I removed my name from the Intergalactic Scanner Frequency Phone Book."

Fred smiled at the camera. "Hi, Doctor Liz! Oh, it's easy. Funland's so popular, we're on TV! People all over the universe can watch us! Sure is useful when we're broadcasting commercials. We've had to expand."

"Expand! You mean you had to expand a hundred-floor building with two thousand rooms on each floor!?"

Fred shrugged. "Like I said, our commercials broadcast all over the universe. We have satellite now!"

"Oh."

"So, how's Margaret doing?"

"Margaret? She's...uh..."

"Have you seen our most popular act?"

"Your most popular act?"

Dalek shoved his eyepiece at the screen. "HELLO."

"We built a ton of robots who are specially made to act! We've produced many plays and are currently working on another, 'The Princess and the Polycarbonate-Cased Prince 3.' "

"Yes, well..."

"Oops, gotta go!" Fred squeaked. "I'm needed on the twentieth floor. But if you need any help, call me! Number 456, 13, 9734! Got that?"

"456, 13, 9734."

"Right! Bye!"

---

Doctor Liz sighed when the screen shut off. "Well, that was fun. But I still have to find Margaret!"

She turned on the TARDIS's internal scanner. A question appeared on the screen.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEARCH FOR?

"Let's see,' said Doctor Liz. "What can I search for that would be nowhere else on this ship? Oh, I know!"

She typed in, "Red hair."

A moment later, another message appeared.

THERE IS NO 'RED HAIR' ON THIS SHIP. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEARCH FOR, 'RED HARE?'

"No, thank you," said Doctor Liz, deactivating the scanner.

"Well, that settles it," she said. "Margaret is no longer on board the TARDIS." She began to pace around the control console. "The TARDIS tried to warn me something was wrong. Margaret said she smelled smoke in here, but there's nothing smoking. She said it reminded her of a barbecue."

She stopped pacing and tapped her cheek. "Barbecue...barbecue... Why would a non-existent smell remind Margaret of a barbecue...?

"And that beeping," she continued as she started pacing again. "The beeping stopped after Margaret disappeared. Or..."

She turned abruptly to the control console and began setting coordinates. "That was no beeping I heard. It was the sound of an amusement park! Fred's transmission was no simple transmission, and that wasn't Fred. It was a computer-generated approximation of Fred piggybacked over a transmat beam. I've got to get Funland now, before it's too late!"

Doctor Liz opened the scanner door again, ignoring the message protesting opening and closing so many doors. She silently scanned for several minutes.

"Ah ha!" she said finally. "That's it! Margaret fell through a transdementalishional loop into the forcegramental field and dropped with the antisonicafied current waves and landed on the lekitrancelucent trampobuffer! With the help of the TARDIS's sweepchoreogrophic ragmiphier, she fropforealiced right onto...well, I haven't figured out that part yet." Doctor Liz glanced back and forth to make sure no one was looking, then hugged herself. "I am so smart!"

---

Moments later, the blue box materialized in the middle of Funland. And what a sight it was! There were rollercoasters, merry-go-rounds, and an observation tower.

Doctor Liz stepped out of the TARDIS and looked around. Motors hummed, music blared and the smell of cotton candy and popcorn drifted passed; but she noticed something odd. "Where are all the people?" Not a single person was to be seen.

A short distance away was a building with a small sign hanging over the door. The sign read, "Funland Office." She crossed to the door, opened it, and entered. There was nobody there either.

"But what is in here...?" She opened the door to a room in the back of the office. The room was dark, but she could see a light switch on the wall. She entered to reach for it, but... The door slammed shut behind her! She tried to open the door. It was locked. At that moment, the lights came on, and Doctor Liz decided she liked the room better in the dark. Surrounding her were a dozen pink Vahki and a familiar green face.

"Nidhiki!" she gasped.

"Ha, ha, ha! Doctor Liz, this time I will get my Rolaids and dog shampoo back from you!" he cried.

Doctor Liz said nothing. She didn't know what power these Vahki had, and if she told Nidhiki that she didn't have his Rolaids and dog shampoo he would be very mad. He might even sic the Vahki on her.

"Vahki!" Nidhiki ordered. The Vahki raised their staffs. "You see," he said. "They listen to me again! And I've changed their staffs from the Staffs of Joy to the Staffs of Pouting! And you get to be our first victim if you don't give my stuff back!"

Then Doctor Liz got an idea. "I don't have your Rolaids and dog shampoo."

Nidhiki's face turnedcrimson with anger. "Vakhi! Now!"

The Vahki fired...

---

Doctor Liz gasped. Then,

"Oh, no, no, no!" cried Doctor Liz. "No!" She threw herself down onto the floor and began pounding with her fists. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!!!"

Nidhiki and the pink Vahki looked at one another. "Uh-oh," said Nidhiki. "Instead of Staffs of Pouting, we've designed Staffs of Temper Tantrums! This will never do. We have to get to work on that right away. Vahki, stand guard outside until the power of tantrums wears off Doctor Liz."

They all tramped out of the room. Doctor Liz looked up from the floor. She grinned. It worked! Nidhiki had forgotten that Vahki staffs had no effect on Time Lords!

Now to find Margaret. Nidhiki might be a Rolaids-obsessed tyrant, but he didn't know a thing about Margaret. Otherwise, he'd have threatened Doctor Liz with her.

Doctor Liz pulled her sonic screwdriver from her pocket and got to work on the office window. Without a doubt, Margaret was being held somewhere on the lower levels...and there was something much more sinister at work here than Nidhiki!

---

Nidhiki studied the Vahki staff he was working on.

"Ah-ha! That's why it triggered Temper Tantrum powers! I have to reverse the googaltimer, switch the converter, turn the gear that controls the intercontrator valve so the light energy will go through the magnifiers and convert to quantum pulses and will then kick in the vohposterationer to make it pouting zipperzapper bolts! I'm brilliant!"

Nidhiki went out to install his new Vahki staffs. But then he came back in, picked up a screwdriver, and jabbed it into his work.

"Oops, I forgot to check if the multipurpose double-sided Vahki Staff of Pouting had enough power. Now I'll have to hook up the chargerator into the hookie-thingie at the non-firing end and hit the incromocyderifax."

Nidhiki smiled as the fuel pumped into the Vahki staff.

"Ha Ha! With the Staff of Pouting fueled and the uniworkings functional... achieving our final goal should be easy!"

---

Doctor Liz finished unscrewing the window and reminded herself she really must recharge the battery on that screwdriver. Ever since she'd put in all those cupboards, it hadn't been the same...

She quietly --ow!-- pulled herself --ouch!-- out the --oof!-- window.

She landed gracefully on the ground, carefully tucked the threads around the hole in her coat back in, and looked at her reflection in the glass. That was her all right. The small, delicate ears...the perfect, sensitive nose...the reflection of a Vahki coming up behind her.

Doctor Liz pretended not to notice until the last possible moment. She turned around and gave the Vahki one of her brilliant smiles.

"Why, hello!" she said. She noted the end of its staff was not the Staff of Pouting. Good. This one didn't know she was supposed to be throwing a hissy fit inside the building. "I'm looking for someone."

The Vahki tipped its head to the side. Vahki were programmed to be as helpful as possible, though sometimes they had to make things up to help at all. That's a good lesson for everyone: Never ask a Vahki what Mc-45 and propostoenergy mixed do, and what base you should add. Not that I've tried it.

"I am looking," said Doctor Liz, loudly and clearly, "For a little, red-haired doll about this high and wearing a pink dress."

The Vahki shook its head. It needed more information.

"She plays dress up..."

The Vahki shook its head again.

"What else...Oh! She likes to talk."

The Vahki brightened. With a nod, it led her to a small building not far from the main one. Opening the door, it gestured for her to go inside. It followed her. It showed her a seat, and she sat down as it turned on the huge plasma screen.

Wow, Doctor Liz thought. Nidhki sure loves his toys.

It set the channel and pointed to the clock. It was seven fifty-nine. Doctor Liz watched several boring commercials about the latest in robot fashions. Then an interesting 3d tunnel came onto the screen, along with a nice theme song. It gave the feel of rushing through the tunnel. Then Doctor Liz noticed the words coming closer to the screen. She started to read them. "Doc--"

Like a flash, she raced to the TV and flipped it off. "You fool!" she shouted. "That was a program from an alternate universe! If the program had come on and I had seen it...K-POW!! Smoke, flames...and no more Earth."

The Vahki hung its head.

Doctor Liz patted its shoulder. "I'm sorry," she said. "I know you didn't know. Now, go back to your job. And if you happen to see the redheaded doll, tell me. Okay?"

The Vahki nodded vigorously.

Doctor Liz left.

A moment later, Nidhki walked in. "Hey you!" he yelled at the Vahki. "Have you seen Doctor Liz!? Tell me! NOW!"

The Vahki shook its head. Boy, big-four-footed-green-Vahki-head was sure mad about something.

Nidhiki plopped into a chair and grabbed the remote, muttering, "Gonna miss my favorite TV program...probably missed the theme song already."

---

Doctor Liz hurried to the next building. She was looking for Margaret. Margaret wasn't in there, but something else was.

Doctor Liz opened the door. A voice said, "It is I!!!"

"It is who?" she asked.

"Not you. Me. I!"

"Oh." Doctor Liz said. She was glad it was I, but she didn't know who I was. "I'm glad you use nice grammar."

"But who are you?" she asked.

"I'm not you. I'm I! That's my name!" said I.

"Oh." said Doctor Liz.

"I'm here to tell you to be careful because there is something you have to be careful for."

"What?" asked Doctor Liz.

"Her," said I.

"Her?" asked Doctor Liz.

"Her. That's his name. He is another loud voice. We were low on budget and couldn't afford costumes, so they handed us microphones and here we are."

"Who is her?" said Doctor Liz.

"Her is not here. He's somewhere else. He is a boy. But his name is her and he hates it," said I.

"No, I don't!" said Her.

"Shh," said I. "Now go find Margaret before you blow up."

Doctor Liz left, wondering. "That had to be one of the strangest rooms I've ever seen," she said.

But she didn't know where Margaret was.

---

Nidhiki was stuck in a cliffhanger. The hero of his favorite show was hanging from a cliff in an old, abandoned quarry and his grip was slipping. Below him were a million giant spiders, just waiting for their dinner. And Nidhiki needed to wait until tomorrow for the next part! Oh, so long to wait!

---

Doctor Liz ran out of the elevator even before the door finished opening. She ran toward The Cage, the place where DALEK had been kept before he escaped and later turned friendly. She wanted to check there first because it was one of the most highly secured areas in the former bunker. Most of the rooms she'd explored to now were sealed off, including Nidhiki's old playroom.

---

Back in the TV room, a pink Vahki entered and beeped a report to Nidhiki.

"Oh, no. I'm too busy to hear that Doctor Liz is going to free her friends. I must figure out what happens to Doctor--"

The Vahki left Nidhiki to his problems, and ordered 92 squads of Vahki to help him stop Doctor Liz.

---

Doctor Liz was right outside door to The Cage, when disaster struck. Smoke, flames, explosions...

Nidhiki must have said the name of his program, thought Doctor Liz,
and because I was in the building...

FLASHBACK:
Like a flash, she raced to the TV and flipped it off. "You fool!" she shouted. "That was a program from an alternate universe! If the program had come on and I had seen it...K-POW!! Smoke, flames...and no more Earth."


Well, the world didn't end because I didn't hear it, but I was in the building.


An explosion knocked Doctor Liz to the ground. She covered her head as ceiling rubble fell on her. A moment later, she threw off the rubble and brushed the dust from her coat. "That fool," she muttered. She approached the lock for The Cage. "Now, what was that combination?" With fingers quick as lightning, she tried a multiple number of sequences before finding the right one. The door opened and inside she was met by...


...nothing.

"Oh dear, no one here," said Doctor Liz. "Now I have to keep looking." She noticed a computer terminal on the wall and switched it on. The desktop contained an advertisement for Funland Alien Amusement Park.

One hundred levels! Thousands of Rooms! it read. And now, our Super-Colossal Expansion Satellite! Five Hundred Levels of FUN! FUN! FUN!

"That's it!" exclaimed Doctor Liz. "Margaret must be on the Expansion Satellite!"

---

Doctor Liz hopped into the elevator and pressed the "close door" button. "Now, which way?" she asked. "Ah..! Up!"

She jammed her finger at the "up" button and the elevator went up all right, faster than an elevator would normally go. Doctor Liz paid no attention to the fact they were fast approaching the roof of the place. It seemed she wanted to be smushed flat.

Impact!

But the elevator slammed into the ceiling and kept going higher and higher. And higher. Doctor Liz's eyes blinked shut, and she let out a snore.

After two hours of flying, Doctor Liz awoke and found herself on the space station expansion pack. Just one problem. She was on the station. Unless she took the necessary precautions, she would suffocate in space.

Doctor Liz was not worried at all. She pressed another button labeled, "E.S.S.F.W.Y.W.T.G.O.B.A.O.A.S.S." (emergency space suit for when you want to go outside but are on a space station), pulled out the space suit, put her legs in and zipped it up. Then she jumped outside and prepared to get herself inside the station. Written on the side was:

"Station Five--the universes FIFTH amusement park in space! Come here for FUN FUN FUN!!!"

Doctor Liz flew through the door and closed it behind. She took off her space suit and put it into her purse. Then she went to look for Margaret. But as she rounded a corner that led into a T-junction, she came face-to-face with a Vahki. A purple Vahki. She noted that it had the Staff of Tears.

So Nidhiki has done his wonderful, sinister work up here too, thought Doctor Liz.

Doctor Liz backed away. The Vahki aimed and fired! Doctor Liz whipped out a mirror. The blast hit the mirror and bounced back into the Vahki.

At first, nothing happened. But then the Vahki made a sniffling noise, and even more unbelievable... it started crying!

"There there," comforted Doctor Liz, "it's all right."

The Vahki continued to sob.

"Don't worry, everything will be all..." Doctor Liz stopped speaking. The Vahki had quit crying! Either Nidhiki had given the staff short-lasting effects or...

Doctor Liz heard a noise behind her and whirled around. The hallway she came into the T-junction through was now blocked by three Vahki. She turned back to the Vahki that had been crying and saw that two more had stepped up beside it. She had walked into a trap!

Vahki are immune to their own staffs, thought Doctor Liz. How foolish of me to forget that!

"HA HA HA!" Nidhiki's voice rang through the hall. "I HAVE YOU NOW, DOCTOR LIZ!"

A net fell from the ceiling, pinning her to the ground. The Vahki grabbed the net and started dragging it along the ground. Inside the net, Doctor Liz wondered where they were taking her and what those strange tracks on the ground the Vahki seemed to be following were...

---

"Put her with the others," said Nidhiki, pulling a bottle out of his pocket. "Coke, anyone?"

Doctor Liz made a face. "Ick."

The Vahki dragged the net down the hall for a long way. Doctor Liz was hoping the friction would wear a hole in the net, but after five Vahki slipped and crashed into walls, she realized the floor was too well waxed for that. It was a very long ride. She fell asleep.

She was awoken by a Vahki prodding her with its toe, as if it did not wish to be infected by her germs. She obediently climbed out of the net. They opened a door and threw her into the room it led to. Then they slammed it.

Doctor Liz looked about. The room was well lit. On the other side, resting on a bench, were three figures. Doctor Liz got up and walked to them.

"Don't be afraid," she said. "I'm not going to hurt you." She gasped. The figures were Margaret, DALEK and Fred!

They were sitting, motionless, on the long, hard bench. The vahki must have zapped them with their staffs of no motion, Doctor Liz thought. She gently touched Margaret. Margaret fell over and landed on the floor.

Instead of screaming or panicking, Doctor Liz collapsed to the floor, laughing and beating her fists against the floor. When she had slowed a bit, she finally gasped out, still giggling, "That Nidhiki. He thought he found Margaret and the others. I wonder what he would say if he found he had kidnapped cardboard cutouts!"

Doctor Liz started laughing again. She knew she had to go find the real Margaret, DALEK, and Fred, but right now it felt good to laugh.

---

Nidhiki smiled at his own cleverness. Doctor Liz had actually thought that he had captured that annoying redhead doll, the terrifying DALEK, and the betrayer squeakbox Fred. Doctor Liz was easier to fool than he thought.

Nidhiki chuckled to himself. My next trick will blow Doctor Liz and her friends sky-high.

---

After Doctor Liz had gotten over her laughter, she happened to glance out of the bars of the cell. On the wall, The Cage, Floor 1 was painted.

So there is a Cage on this station, too, Doctor Liz thought.

With nothing else to do, Doctor Liz sat down and tried to solve the mystery. She needed to get out of the cell, and she wondered since when Funstations have had disappearing halls. That would confuse the guests. She thought about Margaret vanishing into thin air, the call from the fake Fred...

Wait! What if the number Fred had given Doctor Liz had some meaning? 456, 13, 9734. Doctor Liz went to the phone and dialed the number.

"Hello, and thanks for calling!" a voice on the phone said.

"Who is this?" asked Doctor Liz.

The voice didn't seem to hear her. "You are buying Super-Dee-Duper Window Scrubber. It's just 9.95. Since you have called 'now' you get a second one, FREE!"

She hung up. "That was odd. I wonder if that means anything...?"

---

Doctor Liz awoke on the floor of her prison cell. She clambered to her feet and dusted the dirt off her coat. Her finger caught in the hole she had made while climbing out the window earlier.

I really have to pick up a sonic needle to go in my sonic tool box, she mused. I have everything but that and a sonic raygun.

Doctor Liz approached the window next to the door and pressed her face against it. She noticed a window sticker. It was backwards. She squinted and slowly read, "This...win...dow...has...been...cleaned...by...super...dee...duper...win...dow...scrub...ber. Window scrubber again! That has to be something--a warning perhaps. Maybe a warning against climbing through windows."

As she tucked the threads back into the hole in her coat again, she got an idea. My sonic screwdriver! I can use it to undo the lock.

 If there was one thing Vahki were bad at, it was making locks. Doctor Liz turned her sonic screwdriver on, undid the lock and crept outside. But when she tried the outer cell door that led out into the halls of Funland Station, it was locked. The sonic screwdriver didn't work either. If there was one thing Nidhiki was good at, it was making locks.

Doctor Liz looked around for anything that could help her escape. In one corner of the room there was a balloon maker. And, waiting in the other corner was a thermal ray! Doctor Liz picked it up and pointed it at the door. Nothing. She found the instruction manual.

"The thermal ray MK2 is used to open jammed doors, stuck doors, and glued doors," Doctor Liz read. "It also can be used to 'open' locked doors. To activate, press the big RED button."

Doctor Liz pressed the big BLUE button by accident. There was a big explosion and Doctor Liz was laying on the ground, black and smokey, and the machine was in pieces.

"I think I pushed the wrong button," Doctor Liz gasped. She got up and stared at her discolored blouse. "I knew I should have gone with the black," she muttered. "It's just what Mom used to say. White attracts dust, dirt, and, apparently...catastrophes."

She decided to examine the door again. It was a pretty stout door, and the big explosion hadn't done anything to it.

With a shrug, she looked around the room. Her eye fell to the balloon maker. Of course!

She pushed the balloon maker under the ventilation shaft, climbed on top of it and pulled off the vent. The she jumped off the balloon maker, made a jumbo balloon, and grabbed the string. Up, up, she went. Doctor Liz had to find her friends, before it was too late!

---

Up the ventilation shaft when Doctor Liz. Up, up, up...

Floor 10, read a little sign on the wall.

Floor 11

Floor 12

Up and up and up...

...and still up. Doctor Liz wrapped the string of the balloon around her waist to give her hands a rest. Then she fell asleep again. This was the most tiring adventure she'd ever had.

When she awoke, she looked at the signs on the wall.

Floor 367

Floor 368

Doctor Liz yawned and stretched. How many floors did this station have?

She began humming a little tune and before long, she'd burst into song.

"...and the rockets' red glare!" Her voice reverberated back to her through the ventilation shaft. "The bombs bursting in air! Gave proof through the night..."

Floor 400

Floor 401

Floor 402

"Low bridge! Everybody down!" Her giant balloon jostled as Doctor Liz pretended to duck. "Low bridge! 'Cause we're coming to a town..."

Floor 438

Floor 439

Floor 440

"Wait a minute!" exclaimed Doctor Liz, interrupting her breathtaking rendition of Jingle Bells. "This space station has 500 floors! Is it possible Margaret is on Floor 500?"

"No, no, no!" she argued, interrupting herself again. "Not Floor 500! Floor 456, Section 13, Room 9734! That's what those numbers meant!"

Floor 449

Floor 450

"Oh, hurry, hurry, hurry!" she said to her balloon. "I must save Margaret!"


Suddenly, her balloon stopped with a jerk and a "ding!"

"456! That's my floor!" Doctor Liz said, untying herself from the balloon. She grabbed the string again as soon as she was done to avoid a very, very long and fatal fall. Grabbing the ventilation vent that just happened to be on the wall near her, she swung her body at the wall. Miraculously, her balloon stayed where it was, hovering near the vent.

"What did they use to make it stay in place like that? I could use one of those," said Doctor Liz, turning the balloon with her free hand to find the writing.

The machinery that holds this balloon where you want it is sponsored by Super-dee-duper window scrubber!

"Not window scrubber again!" Doctor Liz moaned as she undid the vent bolts with her sonic screwdriver. Forgetting she had all her weight hanging on it, she pried it off and barely grabbed the edge of the tunnel behind as it fell far below.

She hauled herself into the tunnel and started crawling. When she reached a fork, she decided to head towards the large, neon sign that said: Section 13 this way!!! -> -> ->

---

Nidhiki, along with four Vahki squads, were searching floor 456 for Doctor Liz. As Nidhiki passed a telephone, it started to ring. One of the Vahki answered it. After listening for a few seconds, it handed the phone to Nidhiki and beeped.

"For me! For me! Yes, a call for me!" Nidhiki sung.

He put the phone to his ear.

"Mummy? Mummy? Are you there, Mummy?" a voice said.

Nidhiki jerked the phone away from his head and hung it up. The phone, not his head. "It was a wrong number," he told the waiting Vahki. "Someone looking for the Egyptian Exhibit in the Historical Science Museum"

The phone rang again. Another Vahki picked it up and gave it to Nidhiki. Nidhiki sighed and put the phone back to his ear.

"This is the Super-Dee-Duper Window Scrubber company telling YOU that we just got a successful sale, thanks to YOUR..."

Nidhiki slammed the phone down. "Not him again. That company seems to almost be following me everywhere."

The phone started ringing again. "Now what?" Nidhiki screamed.

---

Doctor Liz had just reached the door 9734 of section 13 and floor 456. She entered a long combination code that was conveniently printed on a plate next to the door. I wonder why someone would put the combination to a lock right beside it? Maybe so they won't lose it?

The door opened to a darkened room. Cautiously, Doctor Liz stepped inside. She could almost make out shapes. Almost, but not quite.

"Hullo?" she said.

The shapes blinked their head lights, and Doctor Liz gasped.

At that moment, the room lights blazed on to reveal rows and rows of Daleks, who all began to chant:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOCTOR LIZ!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!


Streamers and balloons rained down and a slender, red-headed doll squeezed out from between the Daleks.

"Oh, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy birthday, Doctor Liz!" Margaret shouted, jumping up and down as she gave Doctor Liz and hug. "Were you surprised? Were you, were you? It was all Fred's idea!"

"Hi!" squeaked Fred, popping out from behind the Daleks. Two more five-year-old dolls appeared with him--one blonde, the other brunette.

"Doctor Liz! Doctor Liz! Doctor Liz!" they exclaimed in unison. "Happy Birthday!"

"Hello, Britney. Hello, Annie," said Doctor Liz. She didn't have the heart to tell them it wasn't her birthday; and she was very relieved to see Margaret safe and sound and with her friends. "How did you get here?"

"Fred brought us! And you get to take us home! Isn't it exciting! We get to ride in a TARDIS!" The girls joined hands and began to dance round and round and sing, "We get to ride in a TARDIS! A TARDIS! A TARDIS! We get to ride in a TARDIS! A TARDIS today!"

Before Doctor Liz could say anything, Fred took her hand and led her through the Daleks. "Come and blow out the candles on your cake!"

One of the Daleks blew a party horn and another twirled a shaker as Britney, Annie and Margaret danced around singing, "Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!"

"Where did all these Daleks come from?" asked Doctor Liz above the noise.

"Dalek found them!"

A gold Dalek wearing a party hat rolled up to them. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOCTOR LIZ! WE ARE HAVING A FUN PARTY FOR YOU. THESE ARE MY FRIENDS. THEY WERE LIVING IN THE DARK SPACE. FRED INVITED THEM TO LIVE WITH US."

Doctor Liz's face sobered. "These Daleks live here? With you?"

"Yeah!" said Fred. "It's a long story, but we've discovered Dalek's DNA is an airborne infection, highly contagious to other Daleks. We call it, The Margaret Virus.

"The Margaret Virus? You don’t mean that all these Daleks are..."

"CAKE! CAKE! CAKE!" chanted the Daleks. "WE WANT CAKE! GIVE US CAKE!"

On a table was an enormous cake, almost as big as the table and decorated to look like a window.

This cake brought to you courtesy of Super-Dee-Duper Window Scrubber, was written in the corner of the cake in pink frosting.

And very large in blue frosting across the entire cake it read,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOCTOR LIZ!

Doctor Liz took the cake knife from Fred, but before she started cutting, there was one thing she had to know. "What's Super-Dee-Duper Window Scrubber?"

"Our sponsor!" squeaked Fred. "They paid for everything!"

At that moment, the door burst open, and with a clatter of feet, Nidhiki shuffled in, followed by four squads of Vahki. Everyone stood still and stared at him.

Nidhiki's eyes narrowed as he glared at Doctor Liz. He looked at Fred. "Where's the cake?"

"We're cutting it now!" Fred said. "Plenty for everyone!" He squeaked an, "Ahem."

"Oh yeah. Happy Birthday, Doctor Liz," Nidhiki mumbled sulkily. "There," he said to Fred. "Now, give me my cake. I want cake!"



THE END

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