Paul Gadzikowski


The Death of Web "Episode 3"

"We have a problem," said Harbison, standing at the door.

The Doctor looked up from what he was doing. "Another one?"

"What now?" cried Weingarten.

"If we're going to have all the envelopes stuffed by the last mail pickup at 4:30, we can't let anyone out for lunch."


"It's really quite simple," said Wiggins, "but it's very important that it's all done right."

"I said I was ready for anything, didn't I?" Romana tried to reassure herself.

"I mean really," said Wiggins. "The slightest mistake and you can end up with a huge explosion right in your face."

"Right," said Romana. "Psych," said Romana. "What do I do?"

Wiggins pointed at a honeycomb of square wooden cuppyholes. "Everyone in the company who gets mail has a box here in alphabetical order by last name. The boxes and the mail carts are colour coded by department. ..."


"No lunch break?!" cried Hadley. "I won't be able to go on!"

"Surely," said the Doctor, "personnel from other departments can cover for -"

Harbison was already shaking his head. "Monthly and annual inventory are going on, Doctor. I'm turning down requests for personnel loans."

"I can't work like this," sobbed Weingarten.

"Keep working!" the Doctor declaimed. "There's got to be a way!" He drew Harbison aside and hissed, "Even if we work through lunch, we must be fed, do you understand, we must! I cannot stress too much the importance of proper nutrition to physical and mental health."

"I know that, Doctor," said Harbison. Now that his facade of leadership was not required to reassure his people, the strain showed. "But we can't even spare someone to run to the deli."

"There's time to at least assemble lunch orders for the deli, isn't there?"

"Well ..."

"What good are your people going to be if we don't?"

"But the deli doesn't deliver, Doctor! How will we get the order here?"

"You leave that to me." The Doctor took a dog whistle from his pocket and blew on it.


The lift music was Stairway to Heaven.

Romana pushed the mail cart out of the lift on the seventh floor. The mail cart had sections coloured yellow, red, violet, indigo and forest-green. Romana distributed mail from the yellow, red and violet sections on the seventh floor, without finding what she was looking for, before proceeding on to the eighth floor.

This time the lift music was Highway to Hell.


"... Lettuce - crisp lettuce," said Weingarten, "a half teaspoon of mayonnaise, lightly toasted, and cut diagonally."

The Doctor took ten seconds to catch up writing Weingarten's order on the back of the folded piece of paper whose front read SALVADOR DELI CARRYOUT MENU. "Right," he said finally. "Goldman?"

"Ham on pumpernickle toast," said Goldman.

"Master." As the Doctor finished writing, K-9 trundled up next to the absent Hornberger's desk where the Time Lord sat behind the towers of conference flyers and empty envelopes.

The Doctor impaled the menu on K-9's nasal laser. "Fetch!"


"That's done," said Romana to Wiggins, returning the empty seventh-eighth floor cart to the mailroom. "May I have another?"

"Nope," said Wiggins. "Time for your lunch break."

"Lunch break?" Romana didn't want that, not when she hadn't yet found what she and the Doctor were looking for. "Couldn't I just work through lunch?"

"Of course not! There are federal laws - I could get in a lot of trouble."

"But -?"

"Out! I don't want to see you for half an hour!!"


Romana finally located the Doctor stuffing envelopes in R&D. "How does anyone ever accomplish anything in such a work environment?"

"I infer you haven't found it."

"No. And I've been sent to lunch. Any chance of something to eat?"

"Directly," grinned the Doctor as K-9 arrived.

"Who ordered pastrami on rye?" asked K-9.

"Here," called Lipschitz. As K-9 passed on his way to Lipschitz, Romana let out a little startled gasp.

"Thin sliced turkey on wheat, with halved olives, tomato slice, three strips of bacon, crisp lettuce, half teaspoon of mayo, toasted."

"Better not have to cut it myself," whined Weingarten. As K-9 passed her Romana grunted and steadied herself with a hand on Hornberger's desk.

"Four cheese special with ketchup and mustard?"

"That's mine," called Kowalski. This time K-9 went by Romana with no effect.

"Doctor," Romana asked, pointing at Weingarten, "could that sandwich be the next segment of the Key to Time?"

The Doctor, who'd been watching Romana since K-9 came in, asked, "Where exactly have you hidden the tracer?"


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