"Why?" asked Ben.
"Then why are you?" asked Jamie.
"What is?" asked Polly.
"It means that Lord Limosnee's evil plot to take over the planet Entarnce is a conspiracy with the Aling!" cried the Doctor, hyperventilating so that his cheeks blew in and out.
"Well, what do we do about it?" asked Ben.
"So a 'conspiracy' is a kind of plot?" asked Jamie.
"Has anyone seen my nail file?" asked Polly.
"What was I thinking," moaned the Doctor, "three companions at once ..."
Lord Limosnee rushed into his study, activating the secret space radio in the dumbwaiter. "Limosnee to Sidr," he called. "Come in please. We have trouble!"
Sidr's raspy voice responded immediately: "Right there in Rizzer City?"
"We must break out of here at once!" huffed the Doctor. "I'll try to pick the lock. Ben, you examine the door hinges for weaknesses. Jamie, you see whether you might pull the iron bars out of the window."
"What should I do, Doctor?" Polly asked.
"Er, you look for your nail file. Wouldn't want to leave that behind, would you?" The Doctor smiled benignly as Polly bent to her task - then, when she was occupied, brought his hands from behind his back and began picking the lock with Polly's nail file.
"In my language," said Limosnee, "the names for the letters that are the initials for 'trouble' and 'Doctor' don't rhyme."
"Never mind!" snapped Sidr's voice. "You're supposed to be impressed that I knew you were going to tell me about this Doctor!"
"Oh, yes," said Limosnee. "That was clever, rather."
"That's better." Sidr adopted his more usual stentorian tones. "This Doctor is the greatest enemy of my people. He is more dangerous than he appears."
"I did take that possibility into account, Sidr. However, in my judgment, the presence of his three traveling companions is sufficient to counteract his effectiveness. So I locked all four in the dungeon in one cell."
"Good, good! Admirable, Limosnee. That ought to hold him." Sidr paused. "Unless he or a companion happened to be carrying a nail file."
"Oh my," said Limosnee.
"There!" said the Doctor, interrupting an argument between Ben and Jamie as to who needed more to have the cell's single chair to stand on. "The lock's picked."
"But where's my nail file?" Polly whined.
The Doctor opened the door. "Oh my, look at this." Palming the ruined nail file, he pretended to pick it off the floor. "It was under the door. It's the worse for wear, I'm afraid."
Polly took it from him, bursting into tears.
"When I say 'sneak out', everyone sneak out. ...Sneak out!"
"Things will shortly get out of hand," came Sidr's voice. "I must come immediately, to lay blame and to wantonly execute those who made errors in good faith."
"As you wish," said Limosnee. "But I shan't be here to greet you, as I have suddenly scheduled a dentist appointment. On the other side of Rizzer City. On the other side of the planet. On another planet. Terribly sorry. Must dash."
"Which aliens at the reception were the Alings?" asked Jamie as the time-travelers made their way past the incompetant guards.
"Weren't they the ones with the bug eyes?" said Polly.
"I thought those were the Flordias," said Ben. "Weren't they?"
"Not bug eyes, bug eyes," said Polly. "Oh, what's the word I want?"
"I don't know. How would I know that?" Jamie said helpfully.
"When I said 'bug eyes' I didn't mean 'pop eyes', I meant ... What's the word for how an insect's eyes are?"
"'Multifaceted'," said the Doctor. He led them brazenly through the dungeon passageways instead of trying to sneak through, because his attempts to get them to keep their voices down had been absolutely fruitless.
"That's it!" said Polly. "The Aling were the ones with the multifaceted eyes, weren't they?"
"No ..." said Ben slowly. "I remember now - the ones with the insect eyes were the Flordias. The ones with the pop eyes were the Tinos. Doctor, which ones were the Aling?"
"I don't know," said the Doctor. "I didn't meet any. I don't think there were any there."
That only shut them up a moment. "Doctor, where are we going?" asked Jamie.
"To the spaceport," said the Doctor. "The trumped-up charge that landed us in the dungeon suggested that these Aling, whoever they are, know of me and don't want me interfering in their affairs."
"What, the standing orders against monopolizing conversation?" asked Jamie.
"If the Lord Limosnee has told them I'm here," the Doctor ignored him, "the last thing they'll expect is for me to run off. Hence the spaceport."
Sidr's shuttle landed at the spaceport. He disembarked, his and his escorts' shiny green helmets and armor shining green in the sun. Lord Liek was there to meet him.
"Where is Limosnee?" Sidr asked. Had Limosnee been present he would have gratified to finally learn that the perennial hissing on the radio when he talked to Sidr was Sidr and not the radio.
"He told me to meet you because he was called away," said Liek.
"Ah. An error made in good faith," observed Sidr, signalling to the warrior at the front of his escort.
Sidr was just considering that you can't find out whether the Doctor has been recaptured from a smoking pile of ashes, when the Doctor, Polly, Ben and Jamie wandered around from the other side of his shuttle and stumbled into his escorts' arms. "Seize them!" Sidr hissed.
"Oh no!" said the Doctor, eyes and mouth wide. "The Aling are really Martian Ice Warriors!!"
"How fortunate for our plot that it encompassed the possibility of your interference, Doctor," hissed Sidr. "Dek, put them back in the dungeon. Confiscate all their nail files."
"What a disaster!" cried the Doctor as the time-travelers were marched off.
"A disaster?" said Ben. "What is it?"
"It's when things go horribly wrong, but that's not important right now," said the Doctor. "There can't be Ice Warriors here! Not now!"
"Why not?" Polly asked.
"Because Jamie's not supposed to meet Ice Warriors until next series! How ever can this conflict with canon continuity be resolved?"
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