"Nothing," said the Doctor. "We died of old age, days apart. Then I left."
"And after her was ..." Rose tried to remember. "Alison?"
"Went back to her boyfriend, tried to make a go of it. Unfortunately my personality of the moment had turned her off men permanently."
"You made a lesbian of her?"
"No, 'men' as in 'Mankind'. Peoplekind. She became a recluse and raised bees to sell their honey while writing depressing poetry that became immensely popular three years after her death."
"No middle ground with you, is there?"
"It's not all like that."
"You can say that while we're having a friendly chat in a locked stone dungeon with water up to our chins and still rising?'
"My chin. Your collarbone."
The tall man in the black cloak which obscured his every feature (failing his height) strode down the corridor of exactly the sort of shiny metal you wouldn't expect in a building also containing a stone dungeon, albeit a stone dungeon with indoor plumbing. A minion displaying the badge of evil data accumulation, spectacles, fell into step with him.
"Fix that hole in the ceiling," said the evil man. "Good job, landing on your feet."
"Here's what I've found out about this Doctor person, Lord Krino," said the minion.
"The fellow in the watertrap."
"Ah, yes. Go ahead, Oikrn."
"There are extensive entries on him in the Villianous Database, the Ronki Index of Interplanetary Conquest and 'Megalomania for Dummies', compiled by people with the unlikely names of the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, the Sontarans and the Rutans -"
"The Sontarans and the Rutans? I saw them in concert when I was thirteen. Those were megalomaniacs?"
"The band was named after the megalomaniacs, sir."
"And what do these entries say?"
"Well, for one thing, leaving him alone in a trap is contraindicated."
"Well, too late now. Very well, get in touch with each of them and find out what does work."
"Here we are," said the Doctor, holding out of the water a small device whose function resolutely failed to leap to the observing eye.
"What's that?" asked Rose.
"Watch," said the Doctor, eye twinkling. He pointed it at the ceiling and pressed a button on its side. There was a great bloop of air bursting through the surface heralding the rapid descent of the water.
"What did you do?"
"You'll never guess."
"I don't mean to guess! What did you do?"
As the last of the water disappeared, leaving the Doctor's right foot exposed but for the large, thin stone disk under which his toe lodged, he giggled, "I found the stopper. Look, it's wide enough for us to escape."
Oikrn caught up with Lord Krino in a wood-paneled corridor this time.
"Yes, Oikrn, what is it?"
"Lord Krino," said Oikrn nervously, "I've done as you asked and attempted to contact the sources of the data we have on this Doctor."
"'Attempted'?" Lord Krino came to a halt. Lord Krino never came to a halt but that the party who induced it in him saw the stone walls.
"Y-yes, Lord," Oikrn stammered.
"Why have you not succeeded?" Lord Krino inquired silkily.
"None of the Doctor's enemies exist any more," said Oikrn. "They've all vanished from the face of the universe."
"What, all of them?"
There were odd sounds behind the paneling. Knocking, what might be animal calls, or human voices. Then one of the wood panels popped out of the wall.
"That's done it," came the Doctor's voice.
The Doctor and Rose climbed out of a waist-high hole in the wall exposed by the missing panel. It took them most of a minute and, though they could not have failed to notice Lord Krino and Oikrn standing there watching, they didn't address or acknowledge the pair of villains; until they were both on their feet and the Doctor turned to Lord Krino and said, "Now, about this taking-over-the-universe business. I'd suggest giving it over."
Lord Krino looked the Doctor up and down and replied, "I'm listening."
"We've waited long enough, Nikro!" said Kroin.
"So what's another night?" Nikro shouted. "This Doctor can solve all our problems for us!"
"So he says!" growled Kroin. "How many people have promised us release from Lord Krino's oppression and failed to deliver for the past thirty years!"
"You, mostly," said Nikro.
"We must stick to the plan," Kroin hissed. "Tonight is the only time it can work, because of the rokin!"
"I have this aversion to collateral damage," said Nikro. "Let me rephrase that: I have this aversion to becoming collateral damage."
"But there's -"
"Along with the entire capital megatropolis."
"But there's no other way! Everyone in the capital would rather die after a millisecond's freedom than live enslaved for the rest of a natural lifespan! I took a poll."
"Oh all right."
"What you're saying makes sense," said Lord Krino as he and the Doctor strode along a rooftop garden pathway, Rose and Oikrn pacing them behind. "A just, benevolent rule could turn its attention to genuine issues of government like economics and public defense, and drop things like food-tasters and 'Popular Invasions' subscriptions from the budget."
"What an intelligent fellow," said the Doctor. He turned back to Rose. "Didn't I say he looked like an intelligent fellow?"
"You did? When did you see what he looks like?"
"As if you two were the height of fashion," sniffed Oikrn.
"Never been to Orkin IX, have you?" Rose shot back.
"So you'll do as I ask?" The Doctor stuck his hand out to Lord Krino.
"Yes, Doctor, you've certainly ..." Lord Krino trailed off as his eyes focussed on something past the Doctor's left shoulder. The Doctor, Rose and Oikrn turned and looked. Off in the distance, there was a growing purple cloud hanging over the city.
"The rebels have activated the rokin mist!" Oikrn cried.
"The fools!" cried the Doctor. He turned to Lord Krino. "It may not be too late -"
"You know, I was almost convinced," said Lord Krino. He seized hold of the Doctor and threw him off the roof.
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