by Mags L Halliday and Helen Fayle
SPOILERS for Shadows of Avalon and PT2
The sound quality from the creaky old system was crackling, squeals of
feedback threatened. Sam gave a hopeless shrug at the women on stage.

"Oh look, this really isn't good enough," the woman in blue said. She
wriggled her nose. The system was upgraded to the sort of rig Hotblack
Desatio would have given a lot of money for. She looked out over the
room. They were all there. She caught the eye of the honey blonde who
was standing by the bar. Even her oldest and staunchest friend had found
a way to get in. She winked at the Doctor, who raised her glass of
champagne in silent reply.

Lolita, at the other end of the bar, glared at the stage. "It's just not

"Leave it, Lolita." Marie took another sip of her Adric's Demise. Her
companion ignored her. That was the trouble with these earlier types,
she thought, far too emotional. Marie prided herself on her nonchalance.
She sometimes felt Lolita had an attention seeking streak. Not something
sentient time travels machines should go in for. Then again, those three
up on stage...

She turned her attention back to her companion, who was still

"I mean, we're the best. We're Mother's favourites. We're the ones who
should be up there. Us. We should be having the publicity, the
adventures,. the..."

"Lolita, forget it. Besides, you're embarrassing me."

Lolita ordered another Screaming Orgasm. "Yeah, well let me tell you:
those girls are gonna pay..."

The woman in blue turned to Compassion, producing a silver, alien key
from inside her dress. "Congratulations, darling." She gave her a hug.

Compassion looked faintly embarrassed. "Mother...!...not in front of

The woman in blue raised an eyebrow. Jade giggled. The three highly
complex spacetime events with block transfer computated real world
interfaces, formed a three way, giggling huddle.

"Ready girls?" the eldest asked, cocking one perfect eyebrow.


"As I'll ever be," Compassion grumbled. They pulled out of the hug and
Compassion walked forward to where the microphone hummed with power. The
lights darkened so that just a single spot picked her out. The crowd,
which had started to murmur, quieted.

"I am what I am."

When she started to sing Compassion was pleased to see Sam start at her
deep voice. They hadn't expected that, obviously.

"I am Miles' own special creation."

Lolita nearly swallowed the ice-cube she'd been sucking, so Marie gave
her a thump on the back. The women within earshot shushed them.

"So, come read the books: Give me a hook, or an ovation."

With a twitch of her nose, the music started, a slow ponderous beat but
building, building.

"They're my worlds, that I want to have a little pride in my worlds and
it's not a place I have to hide in."

Compassion glanced at the third Romana, who was staring at her. The
redhead winked.

"Life's not been worth a damn till I could shout out: I am what I am."

The beat reached a crescendo, suddenly pulsing to a hi energy rhythm.
Jade and the woman in blue joined in, harmonising along behind

"I am what I am, I can time-phase, I can be witty. I choose my own path:
some think it's a void, I think it's pretty."

"So what if I love each Fitz and each entangle. Why not try to see
things from a more rad angle? Your life is a sham, till you can shout
out I am a Who fan!"

All the girls were on the dancefloor now, arm in arm singing along. Even
the third Romana was tapping a bound foot along in time.

All the women but two. Lolita sniggered at Marie. "You know," she
muttered, leaning back against the bar, arms crossed. "I'm no
electrician, but that lighting rig looks dangerous."

Marie followed the direction of her gaze, to the spotlights above the
stage, swaying dangerously. A figure in a long black leather coat and
sunglasses was making its way down from the rig, unseen by the rest of
the audience.

"I am what I am And what I am needs no excuses. I deal my own deck
Sometimes the Ace, sometimes the Doctors. It's one life and there's no
retcon and loads of paradoxes. One life so it's time to throw away all
the police boxes. Life's not been worth a damn till I could shout out: I
am what I am."

Marie stared at her colleague. "Lolita - what have you done?"

Before the other woman could answer, there was a groaning sound from
above the stage. Far too fast to take in the details, the lighting rig
crashed onto the stage. As one, all the women in the room took cover.
Some rolled into attack positions, hastily searching for a target to aim
at. Other covered their ears and screamed. Clouds of dust were rising
across one whole end of the room. Crackling sounds suggested electronics
were shorting. As is traditional, a final light fell from the rig, its
lens rolling out of the carnage, spinning gradually to a tinkling stop
on the bare boards of the dancefloor.

As the smoke cleared, Marie looked at her friend in shock.

"Whoa - Lolita!"

Lolita sniggered. "Don't worry, Marie, someday every TARDIS has to die."

"That's not funny."

The other woman shrugged. "I laugh when I'm sad."

All around the women were slowly standing, staring at the stage. Jo was
in tears and being absently comforted by Polly. There was movement on
the wreaked stage, causing a murmur from the crowd.

The woman in blue shoved aside a girder and stood. She coughed, waved
away the clouds of dust and then gave the cheering audience a thumbs up.
She began to haul wreckage aside, till she saw some green silk and
helped Jade up.

"But..." the woman in blue said, still looking about.

"Why?" Jade coughed.

Lolita buried her head in her hands. 'Oh no...'

Compassion stood up, brushed herself down and gave Lolita a filthy look.
She pointed, her hand shaking in anger.

" 'S her!" she accused.

Lolita placed her head in her hands and groaned. "Never trust a villain
without a beard of evil!"

Part One - Part Three

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