Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Fan's Pompeii...

THE FINAL DAYS by Ron Mallett.

Vesuvius bubbled.
N: Well, that's always a good line to start off with.
E: What next? Vesuvius gurgled?
A: Not really giving across the fire mountain of death vibe. It's more the unfunny mountain of mirth vibe.

Molten lava streamed down the sides of the mountain in thin rivers and spat high across the blue sky to land on the stretch of coast that was gradually being built before it.
A: This is part of the "bubbling" is it?
N: The sky's still blue with all the volcanic ash and fiery red glow?
E: It should be black if the coast is being formed. What about all the steam when it hits the water?
A: This is why I don't trust Ron Mallet with my geological strata.

Unusually, a large bolt of fire streamed down in the opposite direction and embedded itself in the side of the goliath.
E: Eh?
A: I think a passing giant just got hit by lightning.
E: Yeah, I'd agree that that would be "unusual".
N: So THAT'S how David won! Act of God! Call the ref!
A: Yep, that's a foul. Normally the large bolts of fire stream down from the OTHER direction.

When the smoke cleared, it was revealed that a metallic object of some kind had come to rest on the giant's breast.
N: My god! Goliath's a woman!
A: That's GOT to get the game cancelled!
N: This smoke that's cleared, is this also happening during a volcanic eruption? So, basically, we're taking weeks or even years later for the smoke to clear?
E: And Goliath didn't notice the shrapnel in her tit. How gauche.

The egg shaped lump glimmered oddly.
A: As egg shaped lumps are want to do.
E: Is this the metallic object of some kind or something else?
N: No idea.

Any lava that happened to be sprayed in its direction seemed to run over an invisible wall, never touching the white shell beneath.
E: So, this egg-coloured egg-shaped thing... which might be an egg... isn't metallic at all?
A: Even if there IS a forcefield, the lava will turn to rock. It'll be trapped.
N: So?
A: I just hope this isn't another Cunning Plan...

A pair of oval shaped eyes
E: So, oval is different to egg now, is it?

materialised above the inhospitable landscape and surveyed the surrounding area. They seemed to be searching for any sign of life but the search revealed nothing.
N: So... was it a search or wasn't it?
A: Why couldn't this survey be carried out BEFORE bisecting Goliath's nipple and being buried in lava?

Then, the eyes faded and the mountain continued to spew the lava that was now gradually disguising the egg from view.
E: "Disguising from view"? Oh, the pain! Never again.

Innumerable seasons rolled past.
N: How about a slightly easier-to-compute measure of time? Like centuries? Is that still innumerable? How about millennia? It has to be sometime less than a hundred trillion years, so work from that!

Vesuvius quietened.
E: It can't have taken that long to stop bubbling.
N: Am I the only one thinking nostalgically of Eye of the Giant?
A: Nigel, I'd be nostaligcally thinking of Battlefield Earth right about now...

The tiny mammals grew up into apes, then man and then they started to alter the landscape to suit themselves.
E: Fuck the Silurians! They don't merit anything in Italy!
N: Mallett's keen grasp on the concept of evolution shows itself once more.

A small settlement eventually began to form at the foot of the giant.
A: Goliath? What do the times and misfortunes of a biblical giant have to do with Vesuvius? And how come Goliath existed before life on Earth AND was a woman?
E: Stupid hetro agenda.

Then walls encircled it and the fragile pieces of wood that the dominant animals of the planet used to roam its oceans began to stream in and out of its port with increasing frequency.
N: Is he talking about the settlement or Goliath's foot?
E: You don't think, that, maybe, just maybe, Goliath is actually supposed to be Vesuvius?
A: Get real! Volcano's don't have breasts!
N: They are breasts.
E: Not now, Nigel.
A: I still don't get how we go from "dominant animals" using "fragile pieces of wood" to "city ports". Suddenly becomes over-familiar with the concept of human civilization, you know?
E: And "increasing frequency"? We've zapped through a million years of evolution and the only notable increase is the shipping forecast?!

Along one of the main streets of the bustling stone metropolis, walked an imposing, mature woman.
A: "Through an imposing, mature city strode and imposing, mature woman..." by Terrance Dicks.

She moved in a determined manner, her hair intricately styled, her gown made of the best silk available. A golden necklace hung around her neck. She was still attractive despite her years, and most men's heads turned as she passed by.
E: 180 degrees! Pompeii... WAS POSSESSED!!
N: Filmed in Horror-Scope!!

Part of their reason for their curiosity was how unusual it was to see such a well-to-do woman out alone on the streets at dusk.
N: The other part was to look at her booty as she shook it like a Roman stripper.

The house she stopped at was as imposing as she was: its ornate marble facade smacked of an ostentatious desire to impress.
E: Rather like the author.
A: Hang on, is he saying that this woman is a pathetic slapper trying to look cool? Doesn't that contradict the last few paragraphs?

The woman looked at it with awe.
N: Awe?
E: Awe something else.
A: BOOMBOOM! Seriously, though, she must be easily impressed.

She walked up the steps and a slave opened the door courteously for her. She was clearly known to the household.
E: He's doing it again... tell, don't SHOW!

"Please tell your Master that Lulia Firmus wishes an audience."
N: Why do I get the feeling that name means "firm buttocks" for some reason?

"At once Mistress," the slave replied with a bow. He was an awkward, red-headed lad, whose toga seemed too large for him.
E: Well, is that important? Did he kill someone and steal their robes?
A: And is he related to Mel?!

"Not necessary Cornelius, your master is here!" A loud voice roared from the next flight up.
E: So... you're NOT here. You're upstairs.
N: Maybe he means, "Your master CAN hear"?
A: Lulia Firmus was nothing compared to the THING UPSTAIRS... don't you open that trapdoor...

A stout but handsome man came down to join them, wearing impeccable clothes and a wide grin. He moved across the floor to take the woman's hands in his own. He kissed her cheeks and waved her over to a nearby couch.
N: Those firm buttocks were made for kissing...

"Lucius, Your house seems to be all I have heard it to be!" She congratulated him.
E: "SEEMS"!? Talk about damning with faint praise. What, does she have to check the kitchen before she commits herself or something?
A: Lulia and Lucius? THAT could get a little bit confusing.
E: Does he have a stone arm?
N: Does she have a stone butt?

"A few fortuitous investments have payed handsomely," he boasted.
A: The part of Lucius is played by Anthony Ainley. Dialogue by Pip and Jane.

"I came to apologise for my husband. He never understood your decision to... free yourself and doesn't approve of..."
"Slaves getting above themselves?" Lucius chuffed.

E: Huh? He didn't understand that slaves like being free? Is he a retard or something?
N: He honestly expected a slave to remain a slave given the choice?

"I'm sure if you persist, Marcus will not refuse any arrangement that might be mutually profitable."
A: So he's a hypcrite as well as a moron! Great catch you got there, Lulia.

"To be honest... I learnt all that I know from him and was very... hurt when he denied me a loan," Lucius admitted.
N: But then I had an orgy, and all is right with the world.
E: Dude, you bought the coolest house in Pompeii and then you go back to your old boss and ask for more money? Fuck off, Free Man!

"We both used to think of you as the son we never had," Lulia reminded him with a slight crack in her voice.
A: Which is why we made you cook and clean and tend to us at every opportunity and made you sleep in the barn and beat you... oh, what happy times!

"If it would make you happy... I cannot refuse," Lucius promised her, kissing her hands.
E: Ew. I don't like where this is going. She's your maternal figure, dude!
N: This is just wrong.
A: And he tried to sleep with his stepsister.
N: At least she's not, what, twenty years older than me!
E: Well, not physically...

She rose up with a new smile on her face:
A: The old one was SO last week.
E: Disposible Expressions - the next big thing!

"You always were a charming devil!"
A: Which is why we worked you to the point of collapse and had you flogged when you knocked things over and tried to repeatedly flay you alive when you spoke in polite company...

At that moment, in an alleyway nearby, a burly man threw a smaller one against a stone wall.
N: Take that, stone wall! You dare mock my burlyness with your fancy stone alleyway properties!

"My master expects all his debts to be honoured," he spat, thumping his quarry in the solar plexus.
A: Oh, he's Celtic!
N: More Anti-Welsh agenda.
E: Shouldn't the debt be THIS guy's debts? The master must be the creditor!

The rather unequal contest
E: "Contest"? He's beating him up! It's not got a prize and a referee.
A: That's why Goliath didn't retire hurt with metal jammed in her areola.

was shortened by the sudden materialisation of the TARDIS further along the dingy alleyway. The unearthly growling of the engines made the collector hesitate and gave the debtor a chance to flee.
E: How civilized and Italian of them.
N: Don't they have slaves to do all this for them?

The doors fell inwards and two rather young people stepped out.
A: Ow! Stupid doors!
E: "Fell"? You mean "opened?"
N: Rather young? Far too young in the opinion of the author, you mean?

"Are you sure about this Doctor?" A young woman asked in an American accent that wouldn't even be cultivated for more than a thousand years in the far future.
N: Yes, does that mean the far future plus a thousand years or a thousand years plus the far future.
E: An American accent. A specific accent of America. So other American accents are around at the moment?

"Oh yes, Roman theatre is an educational experienced not to be missed!" The Doctor answered, locking the door behind him.
A: "Experienced"? Mixed your tenses up.
N: Come on, "educational"? Is that supposed to motivate people?
E: Which Doctor is this?
A: Fifth.
N: Bullshit.
A: It is!
E: I was kinda hoping Ronny might be able to do other Doctors convincingly.

Their clothes were totally anachronistic. He was wearing a Victorian cricketing costume, sneakers and a white sun hat. His companion looked just as out of place in her white shirt and pink shorts. Regardless, they did seem to make a rather handsome couple.
N: Rather handsome? Rather young? Do I detect disapproval, matey boy?
E: Ron's ideal Doctor and Companion would be a pair of ugly octogenarians in period costume.
A: Yeah. I buy that.

However the young man, who seemed barely ten years older than her, related to the female as if she were little more than a school girl!
N: Gosh, that's FAR more impressive than them being anachronistic or arriving in magic blue boxes!
E: I've never known ANYONE say, 20 years old treat a 10 year old as a school kid! Oh, wait, I have.

"So, this is Pompeii then!"
E: Well, screw THAT potential for conflict, drama and intrigue.
A: The Doctor actually goes there deliberately for once, that's novel.
E: How many times has he been there?
N: If you believe the Mind Robber novelization, and the audios, and this... call it... four times?
E: No wonder it's a fixed point in history...

"Oh, it just much more exciting than this," The Doctor assured her with boyish enthusiasm.
E: Well, yeah, forgive me, but if I was in a time machine, I wouldn't instantly judge the entire experience on an alleyway.
A: Yeah, Peri, come on! Lighten up!

"The mountain's not going to erupt or anything is it?"
"Not for at least a couple of decades...

N: Well, this plain sucks!
E: If the whole volcano thing is irrelevent... why go to Pompeii at all?
A: To prove us all wrong?
E: How petty.

we aren't planning to stay that long are we?" The Doctor answered in a haughty manner.
A: Haughty? Fifth Doctor?

"No, I suppose not."
"This way then, then a right..."
"How do you know?"
"My dear girl I've been here before!"

E: He's been here before? When?!
N: No idea. He normally checks out the eruption.

"I've seen pictures of all this two thousand years from now. It's rather eerie really," Peri admitted as they made their way up the alley.
A: What marvellous characterization. Note how the Doctor doesn't give a shit.
E: It's a back alleyway at dusk. Of COURSE it's eerie!

"If we're lucky, we'll catch Dion's evening performance of The Haunted House..."
E: Nah. Got nothing.
A: Me niether.
E: Who cares?
N: He's taking her to see a scary play, the dirty bastard, so she'll get scared and snuggle up to him... BRILLIANT SCAM! Why didn't I think of that?
A: Because you wet yourself before we finished watching House 3. Kills the romance.
N: Oh yeah. Damn my superb hightened animal instincts!
E: And non-washable seat covers.

As there footsteps faded, the debt collector stepped out of the shadows and stared at the blue object before him.
N: Hmmm. Is that the same blue object as the TARDIS, do you think?
A: Wow. Some local spots the TARDIS and decides to nick it. THAT hasn't happened before?
E: Has to be said, it's a lot better than this. A busy marketplace, yeah, a shattered temple, yeah, that's a good reason to lose a TARDIS. A hired goon spotting it, not so good.

In the nearby Temple of Isis a ceremony was taking place.
E: Well, where else would they hold the ceremony? The pub?
N: Those Sabine sisters are up to no good again...

A dozen or so black cloaked figures paraded around a stone altar. The members of the cult chanted in a low monotone. One broke away from the main group and stepped solemnly to the altar.
E: The others, of course, were giggling uncontrollably.
N: In monotone.
A: How monotonous.

He took a wriggling crow from under his robes and strapped it to the altar. The animal struggled as if it knew what fate awaited it.
N: Because normally wild birds are more than happy to be strapped to things.
A: Yeah, I used to strap seagulls to ironing boards for fun. Only time they put up a fight was when I wanted to carry out pagan sacrifices.
E: You're joking right? Right? Seriously?

The other cultists fell silent and their leader made a pronouncement: "Oh great goddess Isis, receive this offering and look on us with favour!"
N: And Isis looked at the mangy crow and told them they had to be fucking kidding.
E: "KFC?! You call that an offering?"
A: "That's it! I'm gonna blow up Vesuvius to teach you punks a bit of respect..."

The High Priest was as surprised as the others by the appearance of two eyes floating high above the altar.
What a crap High Priest.
E: Oh. Wow. Floating eyeballs. Do you think this has something to do with those floating eyes earlier on?
A: It's only taken them, what, three million years to actually manifest.
N: Mmm. Aliens interfering with Pompeii belief systems... THEY RIPPED RONNY BOY OFF!... I'm fooling nobody am I?

Much to the relief of the bird, the knife rattled across the floor. The mystical eyes seemed to focus on The Priest and two rays of light shot from them and struck him in the face. The experience did not appear to cause him any pain and the light soon died. The Priest turned to the members of the cult who seemed to be waiting for the outcome of the contact with their god with apprehension.
N: What crap cultists. Honestly, they're SUPPOSED to be gullible...
A: "Appear"! "Seemed!" GAHH!
E: I dunno, it seems very suss that this just HAPPENS to occur two seconds after the Doctor and co arrive.

As he spoke, the others saw that his eyes now glowed from beneath his hood: "Isis has appeared to us my children. We are privileged. She speaks to me of an outsider among us. He must be brought here. Go. Seek him. Your goddess demands it!"
A: Er, "our goddess"? She was your goddess too a minute ago, scumbag!
E: Gosh! It's uncanny how much this is like Fires of Pompeii!
N: Which Doctor will they find? Considering there are two other religious factions after two others?
A: The Seventh Doctor and Donna? That could work...

The light in his eyes faded and the cultists moved to obey him. As they left he removed his hood, revealing the chiselled features of Lucius Firmus!
E: Jeez, calm down, Ronny!
A: Lucius... possessed by aliens... this is amazingly familiar!
N: Yep. This is ripped off Masque of Mandragora and no mistake.

"Are you sure that it's a good idea to be parading around in our normal clothes?" Peri asked.
"Oh, yes, after all it's evening time. For all the locals know we're just exotic foreigners - which is the truth in a manner of speaking!" The Doctor answered.

E: If it's the truth, it's the truth. No manner of speaking required.
A: If being mistaken for foreigners is how they get away with strange clothes, why does it matter if it's day or night?
N: This doesn't sound a BIT like the Fifth Doctor!
A: But he might pass for the Tenth, oddly enough...

They approached the walls of what Peri reasoned must be the theatre.
E: Ah, Peri can reason quite a bit with those two spare brains she has.

"There doesn't seem to be many about," she commented.
A: Many what?
N: Locals?
E: Readers?
A: Descriptions? Original plot ideas? Likeable characters? Interesting complications?

"Oh, it's best to get here early... avoid the rush..."
They passed a small group of children who were playing marbles on some steps. One or two of them were wearing gold amulets, which The Doctor explained were known as bullas and denoted that one had been born free and not a slave.
N: Wow. Educational. This has SO MUCH merit.

"Strange feeling walking around a slave society," Peri reflected, her eyes resting on a child without a bulla.
"They aren't that unusual in the universe and there are a lot more cruel socio-economic systems I can assure you," The Doctor responded.

A: The Doctor endorses slavery. How I love the Mallettverse.
E: This is just shit... two lines from Planet of the Ood beat this death and ground the corpse to dust!
N: The Fifth Doctor doesn't talk like that! At least the Sixth had the right vocal mannerisms...

They passed The Temple of Isis, where a minstrel was reciting poetry on the steps and made their way over to the theatre. The Doctor wandered over to the tollbooth and pulled out a bone ticket from one of his pockets. The ticket peddler looked them both up and down and shrugged. An usher came out and lead them inside.
A: Thrills! Spills! The management accept no responsibility for heart attacks in the audience!
E: That could have been an interesting sequence.
N: Could have been. But isn't.
E: I mean, a BONE ticket? That's worth discussing, isn't it? Isn't it?

One of the cultists - dressed in a white robe -
N: A WHITE robe!?!? But cultists are supposed to wear black! THAT'S HOW WE KNOW THEY'RE EVIL!
E: Maybe he isn't an evil cultist.
A: Maybe the Doctor and Peri will be incredibly in character and worthy of Big Finish?
E: OK. Point taken.

who had been listening to the old minstrel on the steps of the temple, observed them as they disappeared inside.
E: "Mm. Nice ass."
N: "And the girl weren't bad either."

The burly debt collector strode into the main lounge of his master's house. His master, was enjoying a glass of pompeiiana and reclining on his favourite couch.
A: Odd. Normally he reclines on the couch covered in broken glass, salt, and lemon juice...
E: Pompeiiana? How pretentious.
N: I hope debt collector doesn't blab about the TARDIS and fortune-telling time travellers...

"Ah! Rufus, I trust the debt has been reclaimed?"
"Master I bring news of a strange development. A short while ago, I saw two gods arrive here in Pompeii."

N: Son o fa bitch!

"Are you sure you haven't been drinking Rufus?"
E: "Then it's time you started!"

"No. I swear Master. They appeared in a wooden temple, the colour of the sea, in the alleyway between The Temple of Isis and the theatre."
"This is not some kind of elaborate excuse for failing to collect my debt is it Rufus?" His master demanded.

A: Well, actually, that WOULD be a pretty cool idea. This guy makes up a blue box appearing out of nowhere, and it turns out there really IS one!
N: Nifty. Will never happen in a Mallett story.

"No master!"
A: "Yes master!"
N: "Three bags full master!"

"I will not allow the name of Marcus Firmus, The Banker become a laughing stock!"
A: Marcus Firmus the Wanker, did he say?
E: He's already a laughing stock!
N: And that's just for his incredible stupidity in thinking slaves love their lot in life.

Marcus was an aging, lean man with a prominent proboscis.
N: Or, to put it another way, he was a scrawny old bastard with a big nose.
A: Where's he from? Nose City?
E: I'm sure that makes some kind of sense in context...

"No, I swear by Jupiter himself, that I saw what I have described. They even talked of the destruction of Pompeii and other matters I could not comprehend."
N: Oh god. Well, this is utterly identical to the others.
A: And I have to say Vulcan and Pompeii got off better in presentation. If this bloke was so worried, he should have fled the city right away!
E: If he was listening closely, he'd know it's not going to happen for decades.
A: If he was listening closely, he'd know they weren't gods.

This seemed to grab Marcus' attention:
E: Seemed to. But didn't. It was just his nose making him look interested.

"Indeed? Then I want you to fetch it for me.
E: Yeah, cause that's a logical course of action. "Bring me that temple!"
A: Get off your ass and look at it yourself!
N: And shouldn't the Doc and Peri be easier to locate and collect? And also a bit

They will presumably have to return here before they leave.
A: And if they don't? Got a plan then, smart arse?
E: Why would they visit Marcus anyway? Does he think all gods pop by down to talk to him?
A: Maybe he thinks that they'll visit him once he has the TARDIS?
N: How are they going to know it's him?
E: They're supposed to be gods.
A: If they are, they can still leave without him seeing!
N: This is just messed up. The modern art gag makes much more sense.

I've always wanted to meet some gods.
E: So, this plan HASN'T worked before then?
A: Doesn't he have some special household gods like everyone else?
N: He's probably forgotten about them.
A: No wonder all his slaves want to ditch him. The guy's so stupid he makes Nigel look intelligent.
N: And THAT is stupid. ... Shut up, Andrew!
E: It's the delay that's funnier than the agreement.

Fail, and I will have you carting dung out to the streets again like you did as a boy!"
A: Maybe he'll LIKE that, huh? You ever think like that?
N: Hurray! I never wanted to be a debt collector. I wanted to be... a DUNG CARTER!
E: Remind me, why do people carry dung TO the streets rather than, say, away from them?
N: Uh... I dunno. Italians are wierd.
E: Or maybe Ronny's made a mistake.

Much to her surprise, Peri enjoyed the performance.
A: "Oh, darn, nothing to mindlessly bitch about!"
E: Once again, the Doctor is proved correct. Does this track record impress Peri? No.
N: It's ironic that she gets more likable the more she gets strangled.
E: Kinky.
N: Oh yeah.

They play had centred on Tranio, a slave played by Dion, who tricked his master into believing that his house was haunted so that his son could have a party.
N: With hilarious results!
A: "They play"? Who is "they"?
E: The Beatles?
A: Wha? Why the Beatles.
E: The Beatles are "they".
N: What makes you say that?
E: "They" say that all you need is love. The Beatles say that all you need is love. Ergo, "they" are the Beatles.
A: ...fair enough.

Once found out, Tranio was threatened with a whipping but he then jumped up on an altar and claimed protection from the gods. Peri had found herself laughing along with everybody else.
E: You're nothing but a sheep, Peri.
A: Maybe the part of Tranio was played by Frank Woodley?
N: What the hell is Frank Woodley doing in Pompeii?
A: No idea, but it'd make a great story, wouldn't it?

Only The Doctor sat unmoved, watching in his own detached manner, wearing a wry grin.
A: Not REALLY detatched, then. If he's smiling, he's not unmoved either.
N: Maybe he's really embarassed by Peri's laughter.
E: If it's anything like her sobbing, I buy that.

"Doctor how is it that I can understand what they are saying..."
"Ah, that relates to the Time Lords gift I allow you to share..."
"How does that work?"
"I'll explain later!"

E: Oh, for fuck's sake...
N: Another Masque of Mandragora rip off. Why does Ronny steal from the era he thinks is most overrated?
E: Maybe he's insane?
A: Let's be honest, Donna's dissertation on instant translation was much better. It was more original at the very least! Why did they have to discuss the translation thing anyway? Especially in the middle of the play?

He assured her holding up his hand, eager to enjoy the remainder of the performance.
E: Which she refused to do, and poutily sulked.
N: Yeah. Random Hinchliffe transfusions can do that to a character.
A: Doesn't Peri noticing this pre-time-war mean she's actually possessed or something?
E: No idea. Maybe her extra brains make her super intelligent.
N: I love Peri's brains. They're my favorite companions.
A: Frobisher's favorite, too.
E: Who's Frobisher?
N: He's Peri's bikini.
E: ...her bikini is a companion?
A: Yep. Played by Robert Jezek.
E: You're joking. Right?

After the show, they casually made their way out of the theatre and started to head back to the TARDIS. Peri wasn't sure if it was her or The Doctor who spotted them first: three men wearing dark cloaks.
A: Which immediately worth noticing why?

They appeared to be following them, forming a ever tightening triangular net around the odd pair.
E: So, at least one of them has to be in front of them?
A: And the other two beside them?
N: And Peri is the only one to notice this?
E: Give me strength...

The Doctor overturned a washing trolley near the entrance of alleyway and The Doctor and Peri dashed inside.
E: Inside the washing trolley? How the hell can that help?
A: The Doctor doesn't just shout, "Hey, piss off, buster, I'm a citizen of Rome?" at the top of his voice?
N: Or just say, "Can I help you?"
E: No, he has to look like a vandal and run like a baby man...

The Cultists then had an irate Fuller to deal with before they could gain access.
N: The Cultists are scared of a washer man? Wimps!
E: The Doctor should have just gone "boo!" and scared the crap out of them...

The Doctor and Peri dashed down into the little alley - now lit only by moonlight. Their footsteps slowed as they reached the dead end.
A: As footsteps often do in dead ends.
E: How can it be a dead end, the alleyway runs the length of the block! There HAS to be two ends!

The alleyway was empty... the TARDIS was gone!
N: Wow. THAT is original.
E: No. No it isn't.
N: You're right. It isn't. Seriously, Pompeii really cracks down on abandoned police boxes, doesn't it? You can't leave them anywhere.
A: Still, it's not so bad. It's not like it's going to be a mad race against time since Vesuvius isn't going to erupt for decades, is it?
E: Course not. That would be cliched.
N: And Ronny never goes for cliched.

Lucius had retired home and into his private bath - a place he reserved for himself and his most honoured guests.
A: More bloody orgies. Is this Doctor Who or Torchwood: Italy?

He felt he was brimming with power and was keen to return to the Temple of Isis but there were some rituals in civilised society that had to be maintained.
N: Like the orgies.
E: And the eating of ants eggs.
N: And whipping the slaves.
A: And vomiting everywhere.

The former slave shed his robes and followed the steps down into the scented water. Lucius ran his fingers through the tepid water brought them up to his face. It was then that he noticed the cracks on his skin.
N: "Moisturize me! MOISTURIZE ME!"

He immediately began to shake. Why was there no pain? What was this?!
E: A fic by Mallett.
A: Welcome... to hell.

Reluctantly he looked at his own reflection in the water. As the ripples cleared he could see that his face was horribly lined.
A: So? He wrinkles in the bath? Get over it!
E: Yeah. You think you can absorb alien intelligences without comebacks? You're worse than your old boss!

He began to scream...
E: Wow. That was a vaguely decent cliffhanger.
N: Quite like that bit in The Impossible Planet.
A: Which was ripping Mallett off.
N: So it was.

to be continued...

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