[Warning: I apologise in advance. This ‘story’ is unlikely to make any sense to anyone but Doctor Who fans. Non-Who material from yours truly can be found at Tortenblog (fantasy) and 4dEvil (SF Comedy). As for this site, please don’t worry, this story will all be over in six parts.]


Pre-Credits Teaser

There was a buzz in the conference room. Several, in fact. This was nothing unusual for any room where a number of Megara were gathered – alien energy spheres were apt to emit some sound when hovering – but the first item on the morning’s agenda was cause for some excitement – and a fair amount of debate.

“I just don’t think we should take the case,” said Megara Three. “He’s a Time Lord.”

“Being a little racist, aren’t we?” remarked Megara One from the other end of the conference table. He hovered a short way above his chair, like all the Megara present, but was applying his tractor beam to push it gently back at what he liked to think of as a casual angle. He was fond of the human habit of leaning, but it wasn’t always easy to indicate posture when you were a spheroid. His political leanings, on the other (purely figurative) hand were notorious and it always amused him when his more liberal colleague, Three, sounded like he was taking a turn for the right.

“It’s not his race I’m concerned about. It’s the fact that he’s a renegade. He has a past record.”

“None of which will be admissible in court,” Megara Six pointed out in tones that couldn’t help being silky and sexy even when discussing business. Everyone knew it was down to a reprogrammed vocoder, but she wasn’t about to change her voice to suit them. Not when she could see the effect it had on the male staff and she was keen to retain that edge.

“It’s true,” agreed Megara Two, who had attempted similar adjustments to her vocoder, but her voice had come out a little gravelly. She didn’t mind: it still sounded quite sexy and fitted well with her seniority in the practice. It helped convey the wise air of a Megara who had been around the block a few times. And she had, that first day they had set up the practice and chosen their premises. Unaccustomed to human buildings, she had experienced some difficulty in locating the entrance. She had finally descended through a ventilation duct, only to be told that the doors at the base of the building and an elevator ride would serve as the conventional route to her office in future. She had – quite rightly – pointed out the redundancy of an elevator to a species that could freely levitate, but Megara Four had made it clear that they were now professionals in their own law firm and should act as such. Thus a little unnecessary luxury – like riding in an elevator – went with the territory. She had adjusted soon enough and now everyone, including Four, looked to her for guidance. “We can easily object to any attempt to bring it to bear,” she said.

Three was still not satisfied. “Yes, I realise that. But will our objections carry any weight when the Time Lords show up to bring him in?”

“Would they do that?” worried Four. “They have no jurisdiction here.”

“They’re Time Lords,” sighed Three. “They believe they have jurisdiction everywhere. Also, I’d hate to suggest such a thing, but they have no extradition treaty with Diplos, so if they do come after him it probably won’t be through official channels. I suppose it depends how badly they want the fellow.”

“Ah!” One chipped in keenly. “Then we hold them off with firepower. It’ll be like Rio Bravo, holed up in the town jail while the bad guys come to get the guy in our custody.”

“He’s not in our custody. He’d be our client.”

One wasn’t listening. “Or was it El Dorado? Which was the one with James Caan? I forget.”

“Well, movies aside,” said Four with heavily reinforced patience, “I think we should go ahead and take the case. We have, ahem, very little on our books at this time.” All the Megara present bobbed a shade lower. It couldn’t be denied: if they took this case, that would make two. It was early days and the success of their bold venture into private practice depended on their first big case. “And our client has been out enjoying the sights of Diplos for the past two days. If the Time Lords wanted him, they surely would have come for him by now.”

“Surely,” said Megara One, mulling it over. “That brings me to another matter.”

“Oh dear god,” said Four. “Not names again.”

“Well, it just so happens I think ‘Surely’ would suit Megara Two very well. Or ‘Shirley’. That’s even better. She sounds like a ‘Shirley’.”

“Does she really?” growled Four sceptically. “Personally I don’t see what’s wrong with our current designations. And I’m growing tired of you bringing this up in every meeting.”

“It’s on the agenda.”

“It’s always on the agenda,” said Six silkily. “You’re always putting it there.”

One inched suggestively forward over the table. “I haven’t made up my mind what to call you. How about we have a face to face and see what comes out? Or better yet, a face to – ”

“I’ll report you for sexual harassment,” she warned him.

“How can it be sexual? You’re an asexual justice machine.”

“I have a voice identifiably in the female range. That’s a different sex. Plus you know how good I am. I can make it stick.”

“If you’re going to talk dirty like that – ”

“Megara One – ” broke in Four. He’d heard quite enough.

“Call me – Denny.”

“I certainly won’t.”

“But when I repeat my designation over and over,” One protested, “I feel so foolish.”

“In that case I have a radical suggestion. Don’t do it.”

“But I have to convey the weight of my reputation somehow.”

“Then eat more doughnuts.”

One blinked, off and on once like a light bulb. “That’s not nice. Odo.”

“Excuse me?”

“You look like an ‘Odo’. Doesn’t he look like an ‘Odo’? What do you think, Alan?”

“Me?” Three was startled. He’d been busy thinking about the case and just how wonderfully identifiably female Megara Six’s voice was. He’d been picking up a lot of thoughts like that since working so closely with humans on a day-to-day basis. At first his precision-programmed legal mind had found it troubling. Right now he just found it – pleasant. “Me?” he repeated. “An ‘Alan’? Do you really think so?”

“Enough of this nonsense!” objected Four angrily. “Now can we please – !”

“Hallo! Sorry to interrupt,” said a new voice in an accent that each Megara’s internal database identified as ‘broad Scots’. “But have you lot decided to take my case or no?”

In the doorway was a shabby looking man in a shabbier-looking tartan suit and badly scuffed trainers. His unkempt brown hair was receding from his high forehead and heading for his shoulders. The bags under his eyes looked like they’d be good for carrying a fair quantity of duty-free, which went some way towards explaining the beer belly. His broad smile inflated his heavily stubbled cheeks and made his face look something like a grinning puffer fish.

Megara Three was set to castigate him for sticking his head in on their meeting, but stopped himself.

Just behind this unlikely figure stood a Cyberman.


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