MST3K: The Masque of the Baron, Part One

And now for a little lighthearted weekend fun.  😉  There is a cult-classic sci-fi TV show that was produced right here in Minnesota: Mystery Science Theater 3000.  If you don’t know what that is, go over to YouTube and search for it.  The premise is as ridiculous as it is simple: a mad scientist and his lackey (or, in later seasons, his mother and her lackeys) have taken a man and shot him into space, where he is forced to watch terrible movies in attempt to find the one that will break him.  The original test subject, Joel Robinson (played by series creator and local prop comic Joel Hodgson), found a way to persevere despite the torment: he dismantled some of the equipment around the Satellite of Love (unfortunately, the components used to control the movie theater) to build some robot friends to keep him company: Cambot (who videotapes everything that happens on board), Gypsy, Tom Servo, and Crow T Robot.  Tom and Crow accompany Joel (and in later seasons, Mike Nelson) into the movie theater and help him survive by relentlessly mocking them.

Oh heck, here’s an example.  When they did “Space Mutiny” (a really terrible 80s movie using blatantly “borrowed” footage from Battlestar Galactica), there’s this beefy guy who is basically the hero.  Sort of.  It’s kind of an informed attribute.  Anyway, Mike and the ‘bots had a running gag going where they kept coming up with names for him.  It’s priceless.  Some wonderful person on YouTube has edited all of them together:

Like all sci-fi, there is, of course, MST3K fanfiction.  It all started on rec.arts.mst3k.misc, back in the Usenet days.  (Kids, ask your parents what Usenet is.  Broadly speaking, it’s what we had before the World Wide Web got big.  Before Facebook, before Twitter, before Reddit, there was Usenet.  And it’s actually still around, just not as active as it once was.)  Unlike most fanfiction, MST3K fanfiction is typically written in script format, mocking some previously-obtained text, with the source text noted by angle brackets or indentation such as you would see in Usenet or e-mail replies.  MST3K fanfiction started out as fiskings of posts, but inevitably branched out as writers became more creative and started seeking things to MiST.  Some MiStings even come with creative MST3K-style framing skits, even including the Invention Exchanges that were a mainstay of the Joel years, and in-jokes referencing both MST3K and the common culture that grew up among MiSTies.  There used to be a fantastic archive of them on the Web called Web Site Number Nine, but alas, it has gone the way of all flesh.

Anyway, that’s what a MiSTing is.  😉  I used to write MiSTings too, and I’ll share them here.  I will start with the longest one I did: the MiSTing of “Masque of the Baron”.  I MiSTed a lot of my early work previously, so I tell you that to establish why they’re so upset to read it — they know the author, and they’ve felt the pain before….

Due to length, it is in three parts.  Enjoy!

MST3K: The Masque of the Baron

[MST3K theme]

[6...5...4...3...2...*]


[SoL]

[MIKE NELSON, TOM SERVO, and CROW T ROBOT are standing behind the desk.
Cooking products cover the surface, from mixing bowls to bags of flour and
sugar, to a Kitchen Aid and cake pans. Everything is shiny and clean.
They're all looking straight into the camera. TOM and CROW are both wearing
little frilly pink aprons. A dogeared copy of the "Death By Chocolate"
cookbook sits on the counter in one of those cookbook stands, open to a
page which is not visible to the audience.]

MIKE: Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Satellite of Love! I'm Mike Nelson
 and these are my 'bots, Tom Servo and Crow T Robot. They're gonna
 do one of those cooking shows for you tonight, and demonstrate the
 art of making Death By Chocolate.
CROW: That's right, Mike! There are many "Death By Chocolate" cakes in the
 world, but there is only one which is true, one which stands the
 test of time, one which has a cookbook named after it.
TOM: Remember, folks, *do* try this at home! Just remember to make out
 your will before you eat it!

[MIKE backs off as TOM and CROW converge on the cooking products. TOM
reads the instructions off of the cookbook while CROW puts things into
a bowl.]

TOM: Okay, Crow. First we need to make the brownie layer.
CROW: Brownie layer, comin' right up!
TOM: Um....do you put in wet ingredients first, or dry ingredients? Mike?
MIKE: I think it's dry ingredients.
CROW: Mike, the most complicated thing you've ever cooked was Mac & Cheese
 with animal-shaped Macaroni!
MIKE: I really think it's dry ingredients....
CROW: Leave this to the experts, Mike!
MIKE: Well, okay....

[Clearly dubious, MIKE leaves.]

TOM: Wet stuff first, then?
CROW: Yep.
TOM: Three eggs.

[CROW tries to pick up an egg. The egg rolls off the counter and hits the
floor. We hear a dull splat.]

CROW: Oops. Heh. <jovial> Well, you know what they say: you can't make an
 omlette without breaking eggs!

[CROW reaches for another egg. This time his claw comes down on top of the
egg, shattering it right on the counter.]

CROW: Oops.
TOM: Nice going, Crow.
CROW: I, uh, I meant to do that! Yeah! So....I could do.....this! Yeah!

[He somehow manages to pick up the bowl with his beak and places it under
the spot where he broke the egg. Almost none of the egg drips into the
bowl. Commercial sign flashes.]

CROW: Mffffoommffiolll ffffffffffn!
TOM: Ah, could you get that, Mike? Mike!
MIKE: <os> Sure!

[MIKE enters. He does not notice the eggy mess. As he reaches for the
button, he slips and bumps into CROW, who loses his grip on the bowl. We
cut to the spaghetti ball over the sound of the bowl shattering into a 
million pieces and MIKE groaning in pain.]


[Commercials.]


[SoL]

[During the break, disaster has ensued. MIKE's formerly blue jumpsuit is
completely covered with flour. So are his face and hair. CROW has globs
of batter all over him and there are bits of raw egg in his net. TOM is
smeared with melted unsweetened chocolate.]

MIKE: Now, what have we learned from this, Tom and Crow?
TOM: Unsweetened chocolate is incredibly bitter.
CROW: Dying eggs is more fun than wearing them.
TOM: Mike doesn't count as parental supervision if he's in the next room.
CROW: Never operate an electric mixer with your mouth.

[MIKE nods approvingly. The Mads Light flashes. A mixing spoon covered
with some sort of semi-liquid paste falls from the ceiling and hits it.]



[Deep 13]

[DOCTOR FORRESTER is staring hard into a saucepan full of water. The pan
is sitting on a hotplate. When DR F speaks, he does not look up.]

DR F: Ah, booby. You're just in time to see my latest experiment: does a
 pot, if observed in close proximity by an intelligent organism,
 i.e. a cook, fail to acheive its boiling point within a reasonable
 length of time?


[SoL]

MIKE: <disbelieving> In other words, you're testing to see if a watched pot
 doesn't boil?
CROW: <sniggers>



[Deep 13]

DR F: <staring> Laugha while you can, Monkey Boy! If this is successful,
 I can disrupt the world's electrical supply by hiring people to
 break into steam plants and stare at the water!


[SoL]

TOM: Does this mean you're too busy to do this week's movie?


[Deep 13]

DR F: <still staring> Of course not. I've set my VCR. Your regularily
 scheduled torture will continue. This week it's "The Masque of
 the Baron," a 10-part epic....


[SoL]
ALL: Aaaaaaaaah!



[Deep 13]

DR F: <staring> ....crossover between "Doctor Who" and "Highlander"....


[SoL]

ALL: Aaaaaaaaah!


[Deep 13]

DR F: <staring> ....by Kirstin Beall.


[SoL]

ALL: Aaaaaaaaah!


[Deep 13]

DR F: <staring> It'll make you wish you were reading "Treklander."
 Prepare for torture! <reaches waaaay over to press the Button>


[SoL. All the lights are flashing.]

MIKE: We've got crossover sign!

[All heck breaks loose as we zoom into the door sequence.]


[*...2...3...4...5...6]



[Theater. All enter and take their seats.]

CROW: I have a bad feeling about this....

> THE MASQUE OF THE BARON
>
> A Doctor Who/Highlander: the Series crossover
> by Kirstin E. Beall
>
>Doctor Who: set before "Enemy Within" and ignoring the New Adventures

TOM: We're ignoring the NAs? Can I ignore "The Pit" then?
MIKE: You can even ignore "Falls the Shadow" and "Goth Opera" if you want.
TOM: Cool!

>Highlander: set not long before the episode "Methos"

CROW: Quotes around the name.....my God, it's only a few characters from being
 "Manos"......AAAAAAAIIIIIIIGHGGHGH!!!!
TOM: Tonight on Music Through the Night we bring you "Methos, the Hands of
 Fate."
MIKE: Brought to you by Methos, the Freshmaker!

>
>Disclaimer: "Doctor Who" and all its characters, situations, and 
>jellybabies are property of the BBC and Universal Television. "Highlander"
>and all its characters, situations, and broadswords are property of Gaumont
>Television. My words are mine, as are my characters, but feel free to MiST
>liberally (heaven knows, I do it myself).

 [There is a crashing sound, like shattered glass.]
TOM: What was that?
CROW: Kirstin Beall, breaking the fourth wall.

> St Olaf College is not
>responsible for injuries incurred from misapplication of this fanfic.

MIKE: Not for internal consumption. Use only as directed.
CROW: Women who are or may be pregnant should not read this fanfic or
 handle broken tablets.

>
>
>EPISODE ONE: in which the main characters are introduced.

TOM: Hi, I'm a main character!
CROW: Hi, I'm also a main character!
MIKE: Hi, I'm another main character!
ALL: Hello, main characters!

>
> Alone again. They all left him, in the end, when they'd grown up
>or grown tired - or when they died.

TOM: And so we start our fanfic by stepping right into a seething cauldron
 of angst.
CROW: Give her a break, it's her first crossover.
TOM: Um, Crow....this is the same person who wrote "Pies of Mars."
 [beat]
ALL: AAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!

> The TARDIS seemed emptier without
>Ace's knapsack stuffed in a corner of the console room. It certainly
>seemed quieter.

MIKE: The Doctor was beginning to miss the above-ground Nitro 9 testing.
 His hearing had returned, and he wasn't sure how he would conveniently
 "mishear" his companions in the future.

> He'd reconfigured the interior space six times already, and fancied
>that it was as close to perfect as it was ever going to get. "Come on,
>Doctor," he muttered to himself. "It's time to move on"

TOM: Why did he reconfigure the TARDIS?
CROW: It's Kirstin's explanation for the gothic cathedral-esque console room
 in the telemovie.
MIKE: When you need to pad the story, just throw in a retcon!'

> His hands flickered over the worn brass controls with the skill of
>centuries of practise, setting the TARDIS' new destination. He paused on
>the final setting, sighed and ran his hands through his brown hair. So
>many years, so many deaths, so much vast Time that now those hands were
>beginning to age. This body wasn't going to last much longer.

TOM: <Eric Roberts> "This body won't last much longer. I need the Doctor's
 body...."
MIKE: I'm sure there are dozens of fangirls who'd agree with you, Tom.

>"Brave heart, Doctor."

CROW: <sports announcer> And she's pulled the first gratuitous continuity
 reference of the game!
TOM: Doctor Identikit. Not sure how to characterize Sylvester McCoy's Doc?
 Add a dash of Davison and a pinch of Pertwee!

> He remembered.

CROW: <sports announcer> With the score at 0-0, we bring you this flashback,
 already in progress.

> Tegan, now, as he'd first seen her, bursting into
>the old console room, furious at having become lost in the infinite
>corridors of the TARDIS. Tegan, demanding to be returned to Heathrow
>Airport.

CROW: Tegan, pissed that the TARDIS scanner doesn't get Cinemax.
MIKE: Tegan, worried that she left the lights on at home.
TOM: Tegan, bringing tea and cookies to the Doctor, clad only in a leather
 bikini. The sonic screwdriver sat suggestively in her hand....
MIKE: <shocked> Tom! Have you been reading those x-rated "Doctor Who"
 fanfics again? I'm going to have to ask Dr F to upgrade his firewall.

> Tegan rescuing Gallifrey with vital information. Tegan staring
>wild-eyed and terrified at him before fleeing into the streets of London.

TOM: I think "annoyed" would be a better description, don't you?
CROW: Fanboy.

> He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose, and remembered another
>friend, Romana. "Paris," he had told her, "is the only place in the
>universe where one can relax entirely." Opening his eyes, only barely
>aware of what he was doing, he set the coordinates for late 20th Century
>Paris.

MIKE: His subconscious was toying with him. Having defaced the Mona Lisa with
 the words "This is a fake," the Doctor's id was now prepared to
 carve "Don't Panic" into the Code of Hammurabi.

>
> Although the musty smell of dust had somewhat settled back into the
>book, Terri sneezed.

ALL: Gesundheit.

> The sound echoed through the high-ceilinged library,
>causing her collegue -- a twentysomething researcher named Adam Pierson --
>to look up, startled.

TOM: Methos! He *is* in this!
CROW: Huh?
TOM: Methos. He calls himself Adam Pierson. He's a five thousand year old
 Immortal pretending to be his own Watcher.
MIKE: Thank you, Thomas Exposition.

> "Bless you," he said.
> Terri rubbed her nose superfluously, grinning sheepishly at him.
>"Sorry about that. Allergies, you know."

CROW: <Adam - sarcastic> Oh, I thought you were practicing for the Sneeze
 Symphony. Of course it's your allergies!

> Adam smiled sympathetically and then returned to the text he was
>reading.

MIKE: <Adam, reading laboriously> See....Jane. See...Jane...run. Run...
 Jane....run!
TOM: Y'know, I heard they were gonna change the grad standards for high
 school, but this is ridiculous!

> Terri watched him for a few minutes, under the pretense of
>digging a kleenex and antihistamine out of her satchel. He would read the
>same passage over and over, then furiously scribble notes on a notepad.

CROW: Oh, he's just going to copy the book and hand that in!
MIKE: I hate it when people do that. Skews the whole grade curve.

>Occasionally, he would refer to a spiral-bound notebook for a few seconds,
>ponder the text, and then scribble more notes. Terri quickly realized that
>he was translating one of the older Chronicles into a modern language,
>probably French or English.

TOM: Why French and English?
CROW: Little did they know, it was all a part of Canada's secret plan to
 take over the world!
MIKE: And thus began Operation Canadian Bacon: A Line in the Snow.

> The heavy oaken doors of the library creaked reluctantly, and Terri
>turned sheepishly back to her own work.

ALL: Ba-a-a-a-ah!

> Footsteps rang loudly in the
>accoustically awful room, announcing another researcher.

TOM: What an annoyingly assonant announcement!
CROW: "Accoustically awful?"
MIKE: Yep, Kirstin Beall's back at it! You just can't find that irritating
 pile of modifiers anywhere else! Buy one now, get six free!

> Terri kept her
>eyes studiously on her own work.
> This was to be her main contribution to the Watchers.

CROW: ...in the Woods?
TOM: Nerak!

> Of all the
>Immortals, she found herself most drawn to those who represented unsolved
>mysteries. Immortals dead or disappeared for centuries, Immortals who left
>only vague rumors, legends, unsubstantiated anecdotes, and a few incomplete
>Chronicles.

TOM: Immortals who used incomplete sentences.

> The most impressive of what Terri liked to call "apocryphal
>Immortals" was Methos. Unfortunately, Adam, having been a Watcher somewhat
>longer than Terri, had already taken that choice assignment.

MIKE: Gee, I wonder why.
TOM: Good ol' Kirstin Beall. Suspense so thick you could mistake it for
 a laser beam.

> And anyway,
>Methos wasn't quite apocryphal enough for Terri. There were documented
>sightings dating up to the French Revolution, and reams of undocumented
>evidence since then.

TOM: She's the discriminating Watcher.
CROW: Well, it's just too hard to make goofing off look like work when you
 can actually find your subject.
MIKE:The Dilbert Principle at work.

> Terri had searched long and hard for suitably apocryphal Immortals.
>The notebooks in her satchel were filled with names, rumors, references,
>and possibilities.

CROW: And used kleenexes, eight-sided dice, half-eaten apples....
MIKE: Ew.

> She had already discounted the Calleach as too well
>documented, despite that long-lived woman's mysterious disappearance, as
>well as the numerous Watchers found with their throats ritually cut by the
>Calleach's druidic devotees.

TOM: And it's another gratuitous continuity reference, right off the bat!
MIKE: <Calleach - sepulchral> Ogri....you shall do my bidding....

> She had also discounted the holy man K'Anpo
>as not an Immortal at all -- K'Anpo, a Tibetan monk, was described in five
>radically different ways by five independant Watchers.

CROW: The possibility that K'Anpo was just a bunch of monks had never
 occured to the Watchers.

> But there were a few that kept coming back to her. One in
>particular,

MIKE: Who do you suppose that might be?

> called by many titles but never by his given name,

CROW: Q? Oracle? Mother? Number Six?
TOM: The Professor? The Dominie? The Little Scottish Git?

> even had his
>own Chronicle, as well as erroneous references in half a dozen others,
>including the Calleach's.

MIKE: And he couldn't possibly have met the Calleach. Immortals never meet
 each other. Uh uh. Nope.

> Apparently, another Watcher had tried to piece
>this man's story together roughly 250 years ago. The dusty tome in front
>of her was the result of those efforts.

TOM: And it was only two pages long.
CROW: Unforunately, it had been edited by James Cameron, who had padded it
 out with sex, violence, and nauseating love stories.

> There was no name on the Chronicle, which was a large part of why
>it had been ignored for so long. -- No longer, thought Terri. She slid
>her notes on the Doctor (as he was so often called) out of her satchel and
>laid them out alongside the tome.

TOM: Oh, so it's the *Doctor*!
MIKE: Ah, I see!
CROW: <total sincerity> I never would have suspected.

> First she flipped to the list of aliases, neatly penned in the
>front leaf of the book. Doctor was first, followed by Healer, Traveller,
>Stranger,

TOM: Hey, I call a foul! The "Stranger" videos are outside the canon!
MIKE: Tom, this is a fanfic. The whole thing is outside the canon.

> Wise One, Teacher, and other, similar titles.

CROW: ...which we won't list because we can't think them up.

> At one point, he
>was even coincidentally referred to as Watcher.

MIKE: In "Logopolis."
TOM: Although how the Watchers would know this is a complete mystery.

> There were also names
>apparently drawn from mythology -- Shamash in ancient Babylon,

MIKE: In "Timewyrm: Genesis."
TOM: Hey, I thought we were ignoring the New Adventures!

> Merlin in
>post-Roman-Empire Britanny,

MIKE: In "Battlefield."
CROW: Mike, *why* do you know these things?

> Coyote in the old Navajo nation, and so on for
>quite some distance down the page. Cross-checking with her notes, she
>found only a few discrepancies.

MIKE: <Terri> Hmmm....Ronald McDonald, that can't be right....

> Her list was somewhat longer, including
>names that had no known roots, such as Ka Faraq Gatri, yet did not include
>some of the more chilling names that the book included. Hunter, Time's
>Champion, Doom-Bringer, the Evil One, and even Death.

CROW: When did the Doctor get to be Death?
MIKE: I thought he was playing for Time and holding back Death.

> Terri had the feeling that even with the information in the
>Chronicle, her list was far from complete. This made the Doctor her
>perfect subject: a truly apocryphal Immortal.

TOM: She could spend years playing Solitaire on her laptop, all in the
 name of research, and no one would know the difference.

> "Still at your apocrypha, Terri?" She looked up, startled, to see
>Adam looking across at her. He had to repeat himself before she answered.

MIKE: <Adam> Hellooooo, Terri? Anyone home? Geez....

> "I'm sorry, I . . . uh, I'm afraid I got a bit caught up in my
>work." She smiled apologetically. "I know it's not terribly conventional
>or anything, but . . ."

CROW: ...I'm an unconventional conventionalist.

> He smiled winningly at her. "I understand completely. Many of my
>own colleagues look down on book work."
> She nodded ruefully. "But you understand what it's like. I mean,
>you've got the best apocryphal Immortal of them all. Methos."
> "Yes, it is quite a project," he said.

TOM: <Adam> I'm not Methos.

> "No one knows where he is or even what he looks like. Heck," she
>said, "any of us could have met him without ever knowing."
> "That's true."

TOM: <Adam> You're not talking to him now.

> "So you see where I'm coming from when I chose to research the same
>sort of thing."

CROW: <Adam> Actually, I think you're a raving lunatic.

> She paused, waiting for a response. When Adam simply sat there,
>looking confused, she continued, "You do see where I'm coming from, don't
>you?"

MIKE: <Adam> Well, I thought you were coming from America....

> He shook his head. "No, I'm afraid I don't quite see what you're
>getting at."

TOM: <Adam> And I'm not Methos.

> "Curiosity! It's no fun just staring at an Immortal while he makes
>breakfast every day.

CROW: <suave> ...but with Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, it's grrrrrreat!

> It's no challenge working out what kind of a credit
>rating he's got. There's no mystery in it. And if were not in this for
>mystery, what are we here for?"

MIKE: I thought they existed to preserve the history of an otherwise
 invisible section of Earth's population.

> Adam finally nodded. "I'm with you on that, Terri." Suddenly, he
>stood up, walked across to Terri, and peered across at her notes. "And
>have you found one yet? An 'apocryphal Immortal' worthy of your
>curiosity?"
> She frowned at him. "Well, I didn't think it sounded quite that
>pretentious."

CROW: Oh, believe us, it did.

> Adam apologized. "But, anyway, yes I have. This one."
> Adam squinted at the Chronicle. "This can't have been touched for
>centuries. How can that be? They've all been moved so many times."

MIKE: Well, maybe they didn't exist in 3,000 BC, but we have these neat
 things called "libraries" now.....

> "It was kept, untouched, in a family library for nearly two
>centuries. It's sad, really." He nodded in response, reached out and
>turned the page. Terri watched him run his finger down the page, halting
>at a peculiar patch of script. "Ah, yes.

CROW: <Terri> ...er, no. That's a coffee stain. My mistake.

> According to a fragmentary
>account in an archeological survey of a Roman ruin, the insciption --
>transcribed here -- was made by a mysterious friend of Nero's. Nobody
>could ever translate it.

TOM: <Terri> So we called in Pip and Jane Baker.
MIKE: The inscription read, "KELAD-YM-009-1 ta tnarG oJ llac emit doog a roF"

> However, the same inscription shows up in several
>other places. Here, let me show you."

CROW: <Adam> Oh, you've got it tattooed on your....Terri, that's disgusting!

> Reaching across in front of Adam,
>Terri began flipping rapidly through the Chronicle, coming to a transcript
>taken from the Calleach Chronicle.

TOM&MIKE: <chanting> Calleach! Calleach! Calleach! Calleach!
CROW: Ooooo-kayyyy....
MIKE: <still chanting> Great goddess of mercy!

> "Here's an identical inscription, this
>time stamped onto a letter, written to a Professor Amelia Rumphart."
> Adam peered over Terri's shoulder at the letter. The inscription
>was indeed stamped, next to "Cordially, the Doctor."

MIKE: I don't like Doctor Cordials. I prefer Doctor Truffles myself.

> The entire letter was
>a bit peculiar, written in a loose, flowery hand which wandered over the
>page with no particular direction in mind.

CROW: In fact, the letter was completely illegible.

> The drift of the letter seemed
>to be that this Doctor had very much enjoyed meeting Professor Rumphart,
>although it was a pity about Miss Fay. "Who is Miss Fay?" he asked Terri.

TOM: <falsetto> Oh, just a gratuitous continuity reference.

> "The Calleach," she replied. "She disappeared immediately before
>this letter was written."
> Adam nodded in response. They both knew very well what it meant
>when two Immortals went off together and only one returned.

MIKE: They get turned into stones by rogue justice machines? Wow, I never
 realized that was part of the "Highlander" continuity.
CROW: Maybe that's what happened to the plot of "Highlander II."

> "But," he
>said, a curious tinge to his voice that Terri was unable to pin down, "by
>all accounts, the Calleach was too cunning to have just walked into
>something like that. You really think she's dead?"

TOM: <Terri> No, my running theory is that she moved to Winnipeg and founded
 a performing arts troupe.

> Terri looked up, surprised. "Of course," she said, automatically,
>then trailing off as she met Adam's eye. There was something there which
>disturbed her. "What?" she asked.
> He did not answer for several seconds. "I seem to remember . . . .
>No, never mind."

MIKE: Is that foreshadowing?
CROW: Nope. Kirstin will forget all about this scene long before she
 finishes the story.
TOM: Folks, this is a good time to explain to your kids that editing
 is a *good* *thing*.

> He shook his head as if to clear it. "Have you had
>lunch yet? I'm afraid I've been focusing rather more on Methos than
>myself." He grinned peculiarily.

ALL: Wah, wah, wah, waaaaaaah....

> Terri raised an eyebrow at him, but agreed to lunch anyway.
>
> In the middle of the brilliant day, a spot of darkness found its
>way to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

TOM: Then, tragedy struck.

> Tourists elbowed around the spot of
>somber blackness, unaware of its presence, seeking only a good view. At
>the center of the darkness was a dark man.

CROW: The dark man had a dark grin on his dark face as he adjusted his dark
 hat on his dark head.

> He reacted to the tourists with
>nothing more than a faint grin at the corners of his mouth.
> The dark man was pleased. The people of Paris had become if
>anything more cosmopolitan than the last time.

TOM: Last time, they had been more "People." He hoped that next time they'd
 become "National Geographic" so he could read that nice article
 about manatees.

> Everywhere he looked, he
>saw printed journals with beautiful colors. Everyone could read, which was
>perhaps the greatest departure from his last experience of Paris.
> No, he corrected himself.

CROW: And then yes, he incorrected himself.
MIKE: Then he covered his body with White-Out, got high off the fumes, and
 danced naked down the Champs Elysees.

> It was the wonderful computers which
>were so different. Information!

CROW: <Patrick McGoohan> You won't get it!
TOM: <Leo McKern> By hook or by crook, we will.

> The dark man's grin broadened with
>pleasure. He'd found it most enjoyable to manipulate the curious machines,
>causing them to give back the information he wanted. He chuckled out loud,
>causing a young American tourist to stare peculiarily at him.

TOM: <tourist> Geez, what's your problem? You on something?
MIKE: It's the White-Out. He's been correcting himself again.

> "Don't worry, little one," he said in Old French, knowing the young
>man would not understand. "You at least may escape in time."

MIKE: And with that cryptic comment, we bring you this weak, uninspired
 cliffhanger.

>
>
>EPISODE TWO: in which the main characters meet some other people

CROW: Main character, meet main character.
TOM: Hi, main character!

>
> A sky-blue Citroen honked angrily at the Doctor as he darted across
>the street. The driver cursed creatively at his dimishing form.

TOM: <French> Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

>Ordinarily, the Doctor would have found the string of expletives amusing.
>Now he found it tedious

MIKE: So do we.

> Following the footsteps of his last journey, the Doctor wandered
>the streets of Paris. After fifteen minutes of walking, he arrived at the
>Place de la Concorde. And he remembered.

CROW: Again with the "remembered"!

> The tumbrils, clattering across the cobblestones. The guillotine
>in the place now occupied by the obelisk, its blade rising and falling,
>severing the heads of the innocent. Their blood running in the gutters as
>thick as new rain.

TOM: <singing boldly and operatically> The blood of the martyrs will water
 the meadows of Fraaaaaaaance!

> The Doctor shuddered. It had been a very long time since he'd seen
>the French Revolution. His first incarnation, in fact.

MIKE: And the BBC *still* can't find the footage.

> But the
>intervening centuries had brought him no nearer to forgetting. He'd been
>powerless then to stop it. Or had he?

CROW: Or had he just forgotten to pick up the laundry?

> It was growing harder and harder to
>find the razor-edge balance between the Laws of Time and simple compassion.

TOM: It must really hurt to balance on a razor edge. Yikes.

> The Doctor's past was full of deaths and lies. He saw no reason to
>assume that his future would be any different. Indeed, he saw an excellent
>reason to support the opposite case.
> He remembered.

MIKE: ...to pick up the photos he'd left for processing.

> The Valeyard, playing the role of prosecution for
>the Time Lords in the Doctor's most recent trial. The Valeyard, charging
>the Doctor with genocide.

TOM: Oh, come on! Killing six homicidal mutant plants hardly counts as
 genocide! And how was he to know those were all there were?
MIKE: Typical Time Lord hypocrisy. One day they tell you to commit genocide
 on the Dalek race, the next day they're ready to hang you for
 killing off six cheezy rubber-suit aliens that probably would've
 died anyway.

> The Valeyard, admitting that he was a potential
>future incarnation of the Doctor himself.
> Shaking himself back into the present, the Doctor considered his
>immediate options. "The first thing," he said aloud, "would be to find a
>cup of tea."

TOM: <Sarah Jane Smith> Oh, I could murder a cup of tea.

> A young couple stared at him. He doffed his hat politely to
>them, glad to react to something external that wasn't trying to kill him,
>as was more often the case.

CROW: Little did the Doctor know, the two young people were really
 shapeshifting brainsuckers who planned to stalk him until night
 fell and then devour his steaming corpse.

> As the couple moved on, shaking their heads, the Doctor went
>through his pockets for change. Coming up with enough battered coins to
>buy tea, he turned purposefully towards a cafe which he remembered very
>well from his visit with Romana.
>
> Terri sipped thoughtfully at an enormous cup of cafe au lait,
>grateful for its warmth.

TOM: What, is she cold-blooded?
CROW: Little did Terri know, the aliens that were stalking the Doctor had
 irradiated her in her sleep, and she was now turning gradually
 into a lizard.

> Adam, meanwhile, was attacking a chicken crepe
>with gusto across the table.

MIKE: <Adam> En garde!

> Terri had, at Adam's request, driven them to
>this small, somewhat untidy cafe in the center of Paris. "No one," he was
>saying to her, "can make a proper crepe these days. Except here." He
>poked his fork in the air to indicate the cafe.

CROW: ...and accidentally blinded the waitress.
TOM: <Oscar> Dissatisfied customers usually just don't leave a tip.
MIKE: If anyone gets that, I will be very impressed.

> Terri smiled hesitantly back, rearranging her purse on the
>unoccupied third chair at their table. She'd had a hell of a time getting
>her little rented Pugeot into its parking space and was still feeling
>jumpy. "I'm not a tremendous expert on French cuisine, I'm afraid."

MIKE: That's a polite way of saying, "I don't eat snails, excrement-
 shaped fungus, organ meats, or live invertebrates."

> He smiled cheerfully back. "That's all right! I'm sure you'll be
>quite taken with it in no time at all!"
> Terri smiled back at him, unsure of what to say. -- Damn, she
>thought. I wish I were better at making small-talk.

TOM: I wish the *author* were better at it! When is something going to
 happen in this story?
CROW: Kinda reminds me of "Star Trek V."

> She was rescued by the entrance of a most peculiar individual to
>the cafe.

MIKE: Then she was reendangered by a most ordinary individual.

> A diminutive, middle-aged man had entered the cafe. He wore a
>cream linen suit, a straw hat, and a sweater that appeared to be covered
>with question marks.
> Terri almost dropped her cafe au lait. She gasped. Startled, Adam
>looked up at her. "What is it, Terri?"

CROW: <Terri - valley talk> *Look* at what that guy's wearing! Ewww!

> She carefully set her cup down on its saucer and leaned across the
>table.

MIKE: Knocking the cup over and spilling coffee all over her new blouse.
TOM: Figures.

> "See that man?" She indicated the newcomer. Adam nodded. "That's
>him."
> "Who?"
> She made a face. "You know!" she hissed. "My subject."

TOM: <Adam> Oh, I thought it was your indirect object. Or maybe your
 preposition.

> Frowning, Adam glanced across at the stranger, who was conversing
>in rapid French with the patron and gesticulating with his question-mark
>umbrella. As he turned back to Terri, he shook his head, smiling. "No,
>that can't be him."
> "Why not?"
> "Just take my word for it."

MIKE: <Adam> I'm not Immortal, you know.

> She frowned at him. "You haven't been studying this guy. He is
>frequently described as wearing question marks." Adam shut up. "Who else
>would wear question marks?"

CROW: The Riddler?

> He shrugged. "I don't know, Terri, " he said before returning his
>attention to his lunch. Annoyed and unwilling to show it, Terri did the
>same.

MIKE: She returned his attention to his lunch?

> She jumped and nearly lost her coffee again when she heard a
>clearly Scottish voice politely ask her, "Excuse me, but may I borrow this
>chair?"

TOM: Ewan McGregor?
CROW: Sean Connery?
MIKE: No, it's Ian McDiarmid!
TOM: <Scottish> "Grrrreetings, young Skywalker!"

> She looked up. Smiling charmingly at her from his modest height
>was the man she strongly suspected of being the Doctor. "Um, uh, that is,
>ah . . ."

CROW: ...er, uh, ah, eh, oh, um, ahm, erm....
TOM: Easy for you to say!

> she stammered. She looked across at Adam for help, but he just
>sat there, beaming fiendishly at her. Looking back at the Scotsman, she
>said, "yeah, uh, yeah, sure!"
> The man pulled the extra chair out and moved it to the next table
>over, which was unoccupied. This caused Terri's purse to tumble out onto
>the floor, spilling its contents.

MIKE: Oh no, it's "Angel's Revenge" all over again!
CROW: <falsetto> Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm a very organized person!

> "Oh, dear," said the man, and bent to
>the floor, picking up the minutia of Terri's life and putting them neatly
>back in the purse, apologizing profusely.

CROW: Is that anything like bleeding profusely?
MIKE: <falsetto> Oh, now I've got your apology all over my purse! That
 just *doesn't* wash out!

> When he had finished, the strange man handed the purse back to
>Terri. "I am sorry, madam. Most abjectly sorry." He doffed his hat to
>her. "Allow me to introduce myself: I'm the Doctor."

TOM: <Doctor> ...I believe you want to kill me.
MIKE: Wrong story, Tom.

> He extended his hand
>to her.
> Terri was dumbstruck.

CROW: Actually, she was just dumb, but we won't go into that.

> This really *was* the mysterious Doctor,
>irrefutably. So she couldn't go introducing herself to him. No, not at
>all! She looked over to Adam for support, but he looked just as surprised,
>if not more.

TOM: <Adam - stupid voice> Dahhhhhh-huh?

> "Hi, er . . . hello?" she ventured, extending her hand as
>well. The Doctor grinned and shook it. "I'm Terri Johnson."
> "Charmed to meet you, my dear!"

MIKE: "My dear?" Is this Sylvester McCoy or William Hartnell?
TOM: <Hartnell> Yes, Chetterton, my dear boy, hmmm, yes.

> He doffed his hat again and then
>turned to Adam. "And you are . . .?" he continued, extending his hand once
>more.
> Adam shook his hand, a curious expression on his face. "Adam Pierson."

CROW: <Adam> And I seem to remember turning the water on but not turning it
 off....

> "Splendid!" said the Doctor. "Well, I musn't hang about bothering
>you! I do apologize for knocking your purse down. I didn't mean to."

MIKE: <English> I'm English, you know.
CROW: I thought he was Scottish.
TOM: Apparently dialect is not Kirstin's strong suit.

>And with that, the Doctor turned around, sat down, and became extraordinarily
>interested in the menu.
> "Well," said Terri. Adam did not reply, but stared curiously at
>the Doctor.

CROW: <Adam> Curiouser and curiouser....
TOM: Let's get out of here.
MIKE: Yeah, I want to change out of this jumpsuit and get the flour out of
 my hair.

 [ALL stand and exit theater right as we go to Spaghetti Ball]


[Commercials.]


[SoL. It's bathtime. MIKE is wearing a fresh jumpsuit and has a towel
draped over his shoulders. He is using a big brush to clean the chocolate
off of TOM. CROW is standing behind him, wearing a terry-cloth bathrobe and
with a towel wrapped around his net.]

MIKE: <scrubbing vigorously> Geez, this stuff is really stuck on.
TOM: Whose idea was it to make a "Death By Chocolate" anyway?
CROW: I think it was yours.
TOM: No, it was definitely yours.
CROW: I will deny that to the last breath in my body.
MIKE: Crow, you don't have any breath.

[MIKE has gotten most of the chocolate off now. It's just the really stuck
parts that are left. He pauses for a moment, catches his breath, and then
starts scrubbing again.]

TOM: What really gets me about this fanfic is the cliches.
CROW: The cliches?
TOM: The cliches. I mean, Kirstin probably meant well, but it's just coming
 out as one "Doctor Who" cliche after another.
MIKE: I know what you mean, Tom. And as for fanfic cliches, well, we've got
 the inconsistent characterizations, the gratuitous continuity
 references, and even the author avatar.
CROW: Author avatar?
MIKE: Y'know: Terri Johnson. Avatar for Kirstin Beall?

 [Beat while CROW thinks.]

CROW: No, Mike, I don't think so. I think Kirstin genuinely came up with
 that character. In fact, she can't see herself in Terri's shoes.

 [MIKE finishes scrubbing TOM.]

MIKE: There ya go, lil' buddy.
TOM: Thanks. And don't call me "lil' buddy" anymore, okay?
CROW: Well, fanfic cliches and sci-fi cliches are all well and good, but
 what really gets *me* about this fanfic is the dialect.
MIKE: I know what you mean. I can't figure out if the Doctor is supposed
 to be Scottish, English, American, Australian, Canadian....
CROW: Exactly. Kirstin says that he has a Scottish accent...
TOM: ...which he does on TV...
CROW: ...and then she has him talking in the stupidest, cheeziest, lamest
 fake-Brit accent I've ever seen. <overdone Brit accent> "I do
 apologize, Terri. Dear me, but this is a mess, what what?"
MIKE: I miss Sylvester McCoy. <overdone Scotch accent> "I've made a
 grrrrrave errrrrorrr of judgement."
TOM: <Sylvester McCoy, as a Dalek> "Conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable
 power! Unlimited rrrice pudding! Et ceterrra, et ceterrra!"
CROW: <Connery, as Bond> "D'ya exshpect me to talk?"
TOM: Nice Connery, Crow.
CROW: Thanksh. <Connery, as Ramius> "Shome thingsh in here don't react
 well to bulletsh."

 [MOVIE SIGN begins to flash.]

MIKE: <really hamming up the accent now> Och, therrre be a Movie Sign!
TOM: <Scotty> Aye, Cap'n. She canna take much moorrre o' this!
CROW: <Connery, as Ramirez> "Ye've both still got yerrr full measurrre of
 life, Highlander!"

 [TOM protests as we zoom into the door sequence.]

TOM: Argh, Crow! Don't make me remember that movie!


[*...2...3...4...5...6]


[Theater. All sit down. TOM is still bellyaching about CROW's Ramirez
impression.]

TOM: Why did you have to go and make me think of that movie, Crow?
MIKE: What movie is that?
TOM: Highlander II. If you didn't see it, count your lucky stars.

>
> "Just shut up," Terri snapped.
> "Well, I'm not the one who lost him," Adam replied.
> "I said, SHUT UP!" shouted Terri.

ALL: Please!!!

> They were standing together in
>the Touilleries Gardens trying to work out where the Doctor had disappeared
>to. They had been arguing for the better part of ten minutes. The
>unfortunate thing was that Adam was absolutely right -- Terri was the one
>who'd lost the Doctor.

TOM: <Adam, whiny kid voice> So there! Nyah!

> "Look, Terri," he said. She shot him

CROW: Yay! The fanfic's over!

> a warning glance,

CROW: ...oh.

> but he did
>not stop. "We'll find him again. Why don't we go get some supper? We've
>been tracking him for hours."

TOM: <Adam, whiny kid voice> And I wanna go hoooooome! <bawls>

> Terri sighed. She knew that a full stomach would do her the world
>of good. Staring off into the diminishing sunlight, she gritted her teeth
>and accepted that Adam was absolutely right. "Okay. Dinner it is."
> So together they set off in search of a cafe.

CROW: <Elmer Fudd> Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting westauwants!

> It didn't take long
>-- Paris is nothing if not a good place to eat. Unfortunately, given their
>hunger and lack of money, the first suitable place they found was a small
>cafe that was being battered about by a jazz group that had tried much too
>hard to mate jazz and heavy metal.

MIKE: Mating jazz and heavy metal? What kind of sick genetics experiment
 is this????

> They had done so largely by the use of
>amplifiers, which had not gone over well with the cafe's proprietor. This
>was their last night, and they were trying to make up for it by sheer
>noise.
> After a time, to Terri's extreme relief, the band took a break to
>let their PA system recover. "At last!" she breathed.

CROW: <Lloyd Bridges> By this time, my ears were aching for silence.

> Adam nodded. He had ordered fish, which was bothering Terri a
>great deal. In France, it seemed, it was appropriate to serve fish with
>heads intact.

MIKE: That's just so you know what you're eating.
CROW: Mike, sometimes it's better if you don't know. Especially in France.
MIKE: You mean you wouldn't mind ordering rabbit and getting cat?

> "How can you eat that?" she asked.
> "Easy," he said. "Like this." And he started eating. Terri shook
>her head, avoiding the sight of the dead fish's eye.
> "That is so gross, Adam."

TOM: <Valley girl> Ew, it is like totally grody.

> He cocked an eyebrow at her. "Why? I've eaten stranger things."
>And he dove back into the fish.
> Terri shuddered. "Yuck." And she dug into her own dinner: a
>simple bowl of French onion soup. "Now French onion soup, on the other
>hand . . . mm-mm good!"

CROW: <Homer> Mmmm, onion soup!

> Adam frowned at her. "Actually, it's called 'Gratinee des Halles,'
>not French onion . . . soup . . . ," and he trailed off, staring over
>Terri's shoulder at the door.

CROW: <Adam> Wow, you've got a lot of dandruff.

> "What is it?" she asked. Adam did not answer, but merely continued
>to stare at the door, an curiously blank expression on his face. It was
>almost as though he'd slipped on a mask to hide behind.

TOM: <Adam> I'm not Immortal.

> Curious, Terri turned towards the door. And gaped at the figure
>standing there.

MIKE: Ladies and gentlemen: this week's evil Immortal!
TOM: <crowd noises>
CROW: <Terri> I'm gaping. Can't you tell I'm gaping?

> A tall man stood in the doorway, eclipsing the street light. He
>wore a long black overcoat despite the summer's heat, the lapels turned up
>to obscure his face.

MIKE: <suave> Are you gaping, or are you just happy to see me?

> There was a darkness surrounding the man, a blackness
>that seemed to hang about his features. The dark man swept into the cafe,
>drawing every eye to his preternatural presence.

TOM: ....perchance to purchase his perpetual perfume.

> Terri sat frozen as the man walked -- no, *sauntered* -- ever
>closer and closer to her table. She turned slowly as he came, only enough
>to keep her eyes firmly glued to this curious figure.
> He stopped at her table. Terri began to shiver uncontrollably.

CROW: She began convulsing harder and harder, then fell out of her chair and
 hit her head on the floor. Death was instantaneous. The end!
MIKE: Wishful thinking.

>She felt as though the ambient temperature had just dropped seven or eight
>degrees. Perhaps the dark man noticed her, for he turned and looked her in
>the eye. He held her gaze in an iron grip for some time. Terri noticed
>that one of his eyes was green, while the other was black.

TOM: Cool. Mike, can I paint half of my dome green and the other half black?
MIKE: No. I don't want to have to help you scrape it off when you don't like
 it anymore. Or discover that you can't see.

> "Tu n'es pas important," he said abruptly.

TOM: Uh oh. French. Does anybody want to translate that?
CROW: I'll do it!
MIKE: Why thank you, Crow.

> Reality suddenly
>snapped back into place for Terri, and she was left feeling rather silly,
>if not a little frightened.

TOM: Instead, she felt a big frightened. Saddened by the frightened's
 loneliness, she took it home and kept it as a pet.

> "Mais vous . . .," he said, turning to Adam, who looked
>unflinchingly back at the dark man. "Vous etes different."

CROW: Okay, we've got, "Corn for you.....you eat differently."

> Terri, who was too frightened to draw on her small command of
>French, was lost by the dark man's words. Adam, however, was not. "Qui
>etes-vous?" he asked the dark man.

CROW: "Quiche for you, then?"

> The dark man laughed. Loud, long peals of malicious laughter
>rumbled out of him, clearly at Adam's expense. "Moi? Je suis le Baron!
>Le maitre de Paris! Et je sait votre nom, Monsieur. Votre vrai nom."

CROW: "Me? The Swiss drive le Baron cars! The Parisian maitre-d's do as
 well! And the salty voter nominates you, Mister. The voter's
 nomination is free, i.e. unbribed."

> Terri watched as all the blood drained slowly from Adam's face.

MIKE: <Adam> Then it's true..."Voyager" really was renewed....

>"Dear God," he breathed, as the apparition calling himself the Baron
>smirked at him, retreating back towards the door. Darkness refolded itself
>around the man as he called out one last time: "Au revoir, Monsieur!"

CROW: And that means, "Until we meet again, Mister!"
TOM: Oh, now you're just making things up!

>And he vanished into the night.
> "Good God, Adam," she said, "Who was that?"
> "Well, he said he was the Baron."

MIKE: <Adam>...and that Snoopy couldn't be far behind.

> Terri shook her head in disbelief. "What kind of a nut walks into
>a cafe, chooses people at random, and picks on them?"

MIKE: <whiny> He was picking on me!
TOM: Oh, he just goes into cafes and says, "Does this bug you? I'm not
 touching you."

> Adam did not answer right away. "I only hope we never find out."
> "What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded.
> But Adam only stared cryptically at her.

CROW: Is this becoming a habit for him?

>
> It was upon the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in all of Paris,
>legended to have been built by good king Henri, that the dark man

MIKE: Hey, an accurate historical reference!
BOTS: Oooooooooh....

> - the
>Baron - at last found what he sought. There was a young man standing in
>the pool of yellow that lay beneath the streetlamp on the northeastern
>corner of the bridge. He was in severe withdrawal. The dark man could
>smell it.

TOM: <Worf> Your ambushes would be more successful if you were to bathe
 more often.
CROW: Remember, kids -- always shower and wash behind your ears, or you'll
 be kidnapped by a poorly-realized incarnation of evil!

> So he ventured near the young man, who did not look up at his approach.
> The dark man knew everything about him. (Telecommunications had
>made all that so much easier this time.) He knew where the boy'd been
>born, how he'd done in school, on the bac . . .

CROW: The "bac"?
MIKE: Baccalaureate. Your score can determine the course of your life.
TOM: Well, I think we can assume "Michel" here didn't do real well.
CROW: Well, naturally. Michel is the French form of Michael.
MIKE: Yeah, I suppose......hey!

> He knew everything. Everything that mattered.
> The boy (or was he a man? What is a man? Doesn't matter) was
>named Michel. His last name does not matter.

CROW: So why'd you bring it up?

> Michel never used it anyway.
>He was only two months shy of twenty-two, but looked more like seventeen
>or eighteen. Except around the eyes, where amphetamines had caused the
>blood vessels to show. There he looked nearly as old as the dark man
>himself.

TOM: Mentally, he was six.
MIKE: <Red Green> You can only be young once, but you can always be immature.

> So it was a boy of twenty-one, not a man, whom the dark man chose.
> The moon broke briefly through the clouds, sending a crystalline
>sparkle across the Seine.

CROW: <stupid voice> Pretty!

> When it disappeared once more, the Pont Neuf was
>empty.
>
>
>
>EPISODE THREE: in which the plot thickens a bit

TOM: <Julia Child> Just add a little gravy flour and the plot will
 thicken right up.
CROW: *What* plot? I wasn't aware we'd had anything more than vague
 foreshadowing so far.
MIKE: Just like a real episode of "Highlander," then!
 
>
> "Adam, that was seriously wierd," said Terri, leading the way back
>towards her car.
> Adam nodded in response. "I only wish that Baron fellow . . ."

TOM: <British> I'm British, you know.

> "What?" she said.
> "Oh, it's nothing," he said, shrugging. "Let's just get back to
>headquarters for now." And he picked up his pace, taking the lead. They
>walked in silence for about two hundred yards.
> "Hello?" said Adam suddenly. "What's that?"

TOM: It's a form of greeting, but that's not important right now.

> "What's what?" asked Terri. For answer, Adam turned and headed off
>across the street in the direction of an alleyway. "Oh," replied Terri as
>she noticed the flashing blue lights. "Police." And she followed him
>towards the alley.

CROW: Maybe they'll find the plot while they're in there.
MIKE: We can only hope.

> The flashing lights shone on the walls surrounding the alley,
>turning it into a gruesome ballroom where shadows danced the foxtrot,
>endlessly repeating the same move over and over and over and over . . .

TOM: Oooooooh, nice metaphor.
CROW: Then the music changed, and the shadows started dancing the rumba,
 the dance of luuuuuuuuve.

>There was something wet and red underneath a cloth in the middle.

MIKE: Oh, my God, Po! Oh, the humanity!

> Men and
>women in uniforms were circling around it, taking photos, writing notes,
>speculating about how the wet something got there.

CROW: Po had been mugged. Her response was to ask the attacker for a
 "big hug."
TOM: <Dragnet voice> Dipsy was arraigned in the city of Paris later that
 day. In a moment, the results of that trial.

> It took Terri a few seconds to realize that the the very dead wet
>something was a corpse. When she did, she felt her gorge rise at the
>thought. Blood had seeped through the white cloth in many places, pooling
>in depressions in the cloth.

MIKE: Clinical depression, geographical depression, or the Great Depression?

> "Are you all right?"

TOM: <corpse - muffled> No, I'm dead!

> Terri jumped, turning to see Adam staring at her with some concern.
>"Yeah," she replied unsteadily. "I'll be okay." She swallowed carefully.

CROW: So, despite seeing death frequently as a Watcher, she can't stand the
 thought of it now?

> "Are you sure?" Terri nodded. "Good." Adam turned back to watch
>the police poking about the alleyway. Swallowing again, Terri followed
>suit.

TOM: Then Adam trumped her and took the trick.

> Calmer now, she was able to follow the policemen's French. As she
>listened, she was able to piece together their picture of what happened.
>The victim, an elderly man, had entered the alley and met his killer. The
>killer had stabbed the old man in the leg, then slashed open his stomach
>with a sword.

MIKE: Ladies and gentlement, our first plot point!
BOTS: <crowd noises>

> Then things got tricky. There were five more stab wounds,
>probably made after death (they had not bled much), and inexplicable
>second- and third- degree burns, all made around the time of death. Oddest
>of all, the dead man's thick wallet had not been stolen.

CROW: Because it was full of Monopoly money.

> Terri shuddered at the inevitable thought. The killer had been
>armed with a sword. The killer could well have been an Immortal. And it
>was not without reason that most Watchers feared Immortals.

MIKE: Yeah, they think Immortals might get annoyed if they found out that
 people had been stalking them for centuries, writing down their
 innermost secrets.

> She turned and looked at Adam. His eyes were fixed upon the corpse
>and a grimness had come over his features. "Well, Adam," she said. "You
>know as well as I do what this looks like."
> He smiled sardonically and turned to face her. "Well, Terri, it
>certainly seems . . ." and he trailed off, looking over her shoulder.

MIKE: <Adam> Sorry, dozed off there.

> -- Oh no, thought Terri. Not again. "What is it?"

TOM: "It" is a gender-neutral pronoun, but that's not important either.

> "It's him," replied Adam. "The Doctor."
> She turned and, sure enough, there was the diminutive Immortal. He
>was standing just behind the police line, frowning pensively at the corpse

CROW: <Doctor> Corpse, you've disappointed me.

>as he tapped his curious umbrella on the pavement. With a start, Terri
>realized that he might be the killer. A chill went down her spine.

MIKE: So she reached back and swatted the chill.

> "So," she said, turning back to Adam. "What now?"

> He shrugged. "You tell me. You're his Watcher."
> She frowned back at him. "Oh, you're no help," she said,
>exasperated, and turned back to watch the Doctor.
> Who wasn't there anymore.

TOM: Do you suppose Kirstin lined those two sentences up like that just
 so she could get "Doctor Who" out of it?

> "Oh, great," she said. "Just great." She bowed her head, fed up
>with the afternoon's events.
> "If I might ask, Miss Johnson, . . ." began a polite, Scottish
>voice. Terri started and spun around. It was the Doctor again. Since she
>didn't answer, the Doctor continued. "If I might ask, do you happen to
>know if I might get a look at the body?"

CROW: <Terri> Sure....it's right there! Haha! <normal> Kill me.

> Terri drew her face back in an astonished expression. "You . . .
>want . . . to look at the body?"

MIKE: <Doctor, overdramatic> Yes, I....*do*!

> He stared at her as one would at an ignorant child. "Yes, of
>course! That is what I said, isn't it?"
> Terri laughed shortly in disbelief. "You seriously expect . . .
>no. Look, I'm not with the police. Just . . ."

TOM: Just finish your sentences, for cryin' out loud!

> "No," he interrupted. "I must know. They," he said, gesturing to
>the policemen, "don't have the first idea what happened. But you do."

CROW: <creepy voice> I know who you are. And I saw what you did!

> Terri grew very worried at this. But she was determined not to
>show it and laughed in the Doctor's face.

TOM: <Terri> I laugh at you! Ha!

> "Look," she said. "I don't know
>what you're talking about." And she looked to Adam, who nodded in support.
> "Look, Doctor whoever-you-are,"

CROW: <Doctor> No, no, I'm Doctor Who.
TOM: No, he's not!
CROW: Then why's the show called "Doctor Who?"
TOM: Because that's what people say when he introduces himself!
MIKE: Guys, stop it or we'll have another flame war on our hands. And you
 remember what happened last time. My Dapol Dalek will never be
 the same.

> Adam said, "we really don't know
>anything about this. So please, just leave us alone."
> The Doctor turned to face Adam, looking up to do so. Yet it
>somehow seemed that Adam was the smaller of the two, for such was the
>intensity of the Doctor's gaze that Adam shrank back from it.

MIKE: <spooky voice> I am the Doctor, and you....will obey me!
TOM: Wrong character, Mike.

> "And pray,
>Mr. Pierson, could you tell me why in the name of Rassilon you followed me
>about all afternoon?"
> Adam was dumbstruck. So, for that matter, was Terri. Neither of
>them were new to the art of following people. He shouldn't have noticed
>them. But he had.

CROW: Yeah, because your average Watcher is about as subtle as a brick.

> The Doctor sighed. "Look," he said. "I don't know what you two
>are about, but trust me, you've no idea what you might be getting into."
>He looked into each of their eyes in turn.

MIKE: <turning his head back and forth> Look....look. Look....look.

> "I have seen things that would
>cause each 'knotted and combined lock to part/And stand on end like quills
>on the fretful porcupine.'"

TOM: Oh, geez, Kirstin lifted that right out of "So Long and Thanks for All
 the Fish!"

> He turned his intense gaze to Terri, and she felt herself shrink
>back in fear before she'd really thought about it. He didn't say anything,
>but she slowly got the feeling that he didn't mean them any harm.

CROW: <Terri, hypnotic> Yes, Master, I obey....

>She started, and the Doctor broke the contact, turned, and walked away.
> Terri and Adam stood there for some time in silence. Unnoticed, an
>ambulance arrived and took away the body. After a time, the two Watchers
>slowly turned and continued on their way to Terri's car.

MIKE: <Adam> Yep, another vicious killing. So, how 'bout them Packers?

>
> The darkness moved around Michel with a materiality that did
>nothing to reassure him. The dank air didn't help either. Nor did the
>chill in his bones, the chill that reminded him of his master.
> Ah, yes. Son maitre, le dieu des drouges.

TOM: What does that mean, Crow?
CROW: "Son of the maitre d', the parachute is dying."

> His master, the god of
>drugs.
> --Mon dieu, he thought, if only I could have them, I would live in
>this pit of despair for all eternity. If only for fifty milligrams, if
>only for ten, if only for a grain of anything at all . . .

MIKE: How about a grain of corn? I can get you that.
CROW: <pusher> Psst....wanna buy some barley?

> Like so many, Michel would do -- and had done -- absolutely
>anything to acheive his worldly nepenthe.

TOM: <portentious> Yes, he quaffed, oh, quaffed this kind nepenthe, and
 forgot the lost Lenore!

> Lethe's waters, alcohol laced
>with morphine. That was his nightcap. And with breakfast, pretty
>capsules, filled with all sorts of things to infuse his body with energy.

MIKE: Like battery acid. Phosphorescent chemicals. Or spent uranium.

>(Those he met frequently, in a bold but futile effort to shake off the
>everlasting cloud under which he lived.) And for special occasions, in the
>company of what passed for friends in his life, were hallocinogens.

TOM: "Everlasting cloud?" "What passed for friends?" Sounds like this
 guy's got a pretty rotten life, if you ask me.
CROW: <Michel> Oh well, might as well start stringing the noose, dum dee
 dum dum dum....

>Many different ones, each with flavors all their own.
> Right now, Michel didn't care what kind of nepenthe he got. He
>just wanted something. Now.

TOM: <whiny> But I want something noooooowwwww!
MIKE: <whiny> But I was going to go to Tachi station and pick up some
 poooooower converters!

> The dark man knew all this. It was he that moved in the dank
>darkness around Michel. He did not need the light. He knew where
>everything was. He had lived here, a fantome not of the opera but of
>Paris herself, for a very long time.

CROW: "Paris herself?" This dark guy needs to get out more.

> He considered telling Michel just how long he'd been there, but
>decided that the twenty-two year old boy had few enough nerves left as it
>was. And he would need them soon enough, to begin le masque de la terreur
>noire.
> Ah yes. The masque. It had been -- how long? -- just over two
>hundred years since the last proper masque of black terror.

TOM: 200 years.....that gives us the late 1700s..... Oh, of course.
 The introduction of the potato. It's all clear now.

> Yet the dark
>man remembered it as clearly as if it had been yesterday. La Semaine
>sanglante -- the Bloody Week -- had not been so successful. But there,
>circumstances had played against him. The dark man had not counted on the
>effectiveness of the new artillery.

MIKE: Rocketry for fun and profit!
CROW: Bang, zoom! To da moon, Alice!

> But the last really glorious terreur noire had followed on the
>heels of the revolution, in that beautifully violent year, 1793. And that
>young fool Robespierre had followed the dark man so easily, despite his
>noble title of Baron.

TOM: I didn't know Robespierre was a Baron.
MIKE: I think Kirstin means the dark man is the Baron.

> And, unlike la Semaine sanglante, he'd gotten his
>sacrifice then. On his dear Madame Guillotine . . .

CROW: His "dear Madame Guillotine?" Baron, you are one sick mammajamma!

>
> "Yes? May I help you, Monsieur?"
> The rather smelly secretary behind the rough desk had to repeat
>himself twice before the foppish - but distinctly alarming - gentleman

TOM: "Foppish but distinctly alarming?"
MIKE: Think Michael Jackson.
TOM: <shudder>

>would deign to answer. He was clad all in black velvet, with an elegant
>saber at his side. Upon first seeing him, the secretary's first impression
>was of a nobleman of the worst sort.

CROW: His second impression was of a nobleman of the bucket sort.
TOM: Ba-dump-bump-pish!
MIKE: The bad Comp Sci joke, ladies and gentlemen.

> The sort that still believed in
>noblesse oblige, despite having seen his king's blood spilling into the
>streets around Madame Guillotine and into the gutters of the Place de la
>Revolution. Despite having seen the fall of the Bastille and the burning
>of the Tuilleries, the sacking of Versailles, the mass destruction of
>anything of value to those of name, . . .

TOM: The unstoppable growth of the French war debt.
CROW: The eating of incredibly rich foods in incredibly small portions.
MIKE: The coming of tasteless fashion designers and dresses shaped like
 snowglobes.

> And, of course, the wooing of
>those of name by that most persuasive of mistresses, the one over which all
>suitors completely lost their heads, Madame Guillotine.

TOM: <laughing> Oh, what an unexpected delight of a jest!

> But when the dark man introduced himself as the Baron Lucien Noir
>d'Enfer Profond -- Lucien Black of the Deepest Hell -- the secretary felt
>his superstitious innards curdle.

MIKE: He forgot to bring his innards to room temperature before adding the
 melted chocolate.
CROW: Really?
MIKE: Really.
CROW: Well, that explains how lumpy the chocolate meringue was.
MIKE: Actually, that shouldn't happen with meringue. Egg whites don't
 curdle; it's the yolks that do that.
CROW: Huh?
MIKE: Well, you separated the eggs, right?
CROW: Separated?

> And he froze, stuttering badly as he
>asked the dark man what he wanted.
> "I want to speak with Maximilien Francois Marie Isidore de
>Robespierre," he replied, with formal precision.

ALL: <bust up laughing>
TOM: Robespierre's name was *Marie*?!?!
CROW: No wonder he started the Reign of Terror! He was bitter because of
 his name!

> To the secretary, this
>made sense. If this demon of hell had come for Monsieur Robespierre, then
>he would call him by name, now wouldn't he?

MIKE: No, demons of hell usually call people "Fred." They think it's funny.

> "And I shall speak with him now," said the Baron d'Enfer, pushing
>past the unresisting secretary with ease. The terrified young man did not
>stay to warn his employer, but fled into the streets, warning all he met
>that the judgement had come at last.

TOM: Hey guys, I think it's time for us to flee as well.
CROW: Run away! Run away!

 [MIKE picks up TOM and everybody files out.]


 [Spaghetti ball and commercials.]


 {CONTINUED IN PART TWO}
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2 Comments

Filed under Doctor Who, Fanfiction, MST3K

2 responses to “MST3K: The Masque of the Baron, Part One

  1. Pingback: MST3K: The Masque of the Baron, Part Two | Calli Arcale's Fractal Wonder

  2. Pingback: FANFIC FRIDAY: The Shadow of the Daleks, Episode One | Calli Arcale's Fractal Wonder

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