by Paul Gadzikowski
Bits of this work may derive from properties owned by the BBC, Paramount,
Fox, etc., but it's not-for-profit and doesn't intrude on their markets.
THIS TIME ROUND created by Tyler Dion, after Kielle.
THEN DO THAT OVER (H.G. Wells Memorial High School) created by Paul
Gadzikowski, after Imran, after Tyler, after Kielle.

Previously in the author's Outside-Continuity (and you thought KING ARTHUR IN
TIME AND SPACE was hard to follow): Peri married all eight Doctors in a
ceremony at the tavern outside continuity, This Time Round. The two (nine) of
them enjoy frequent extracontinuity quests to hunt down the identity of
Peri's father, so that she can eventually pick the scenario she likes best.
The Valeyard and his reflection from KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE, Merlin's
evil amalgam Taliesin, teamed up as villains of this Peri arc(s). Rather than
villainizing the usual adult Peri, however, they elected for the present to
set their sights on teenage Peri who attends the high school outside
continuity H.G. Wells Memorial. Posing as the school's new headmaster,
Taliesin has informed Peri that he is an old friend of her father, that her
father was a powerful wizard, and so is she; and has directed her to return
to his office when the school day is over to learn more.

Peri couldn't believe how the day was dragging. All she wanted was for
classes to be over so she could go find out the truth about her father, and
about herself, and who this Lord Val de Yard was. But all her teachers seemed
today to be experimenting with slowing time to a crawl (particularly in
Professor Azmael's science class, where time field manipulation was the
actual curriculum for the day). Colin wouldn't stop pestering her about her
visit to the headmaster's office, which she didn't want to talk about until
after she knew more, and she'd only made it worse to no profit by asking him
whether he knew the name Val de Yard. And if she thought it had been
interminable being in class with all this on her mind, it was even worse
during the study period in the library which capped off her day where there
wasn't even tedious lecturing to distract her from watching the clock.
Finally the last bell rang. But as Peri started to dash for the door,
the librarian called her back. "Miss Brown! I need to see you."
"Popular today," Colin whispered as he followed all the other students
"I have an appointment with the headmaster," Peri whined.
"This will just take a moment." Mr. Merlin was a little old man who
reminded Peri somehow of Colin's eldest brother Bill. He had only been the
school librarian a short while, previously having operated a garage down the
road. As Peri trudged over to the circulation desk he was rooting around
behind it, and just as she walked up he smacked a huge book on top of it in
front of her. The book was thick with brown, crinkly pages, and had a cover
that looked so old it must be dinosaur hide, on which was embossed the single
word VAMPYR.
"I think you've got the wrong girl," said Peri.

"It might have been a mistake to name me to her," said the disembodied
voice in the headmaster's office.
"Nonsense," said Taliesin. "She'll hunt the magic object down for me all
the faster if she thinks she's keeping it from you."
"It's risky involving her at all, until I'm at my full strength."
"Well, that's the whole point, isn't it?" said Taliesin gleefully. "It's
no fun unless you've tricked your adversary into doing exactly what she
thinks she's preventing."
"Right. Right," said the disembodied voice with as much bathos as a
disembodied voice can manage. "At the villains' table at This Time Round we
call this sort of scheme a 'Master plan'."

"'Wrong girl'? I don't think so. Oh, the book title!" said Mr. Merlin
with endearing scatterbrainedness. "Never mind that." He opened the book. It
was hollowed out to provide a secret compartment, like where jewels are kept
in movies where the thief is the good guy. In it there was a plain metal cup,
with a stem and a base.
Peri tried to remember what the headmaster had said. "Is this the ...
uh ... prison philosophy chamber pot?"
Mr. Merlin's ears were apparently as dyslexic as Peri's memory: "That's
one of its names," said he mysteriously. He took the cup out of the hollow
book and set it on the circulation desk. Then he pulled out a propane torch,
ignited it, and turned it on the book and the cup.
"What are you doing?!" Peri screamed.
"Don't worry, it's perfectly safe," said Mr. Merlin, apparently meaning
the cup, for the hollow book was burning merrily, as well as few that had
happened to be nearby; there were even a few smouldering patches on the desk
surface. "Take it. It's quite cool to the touch. See if any lettering appears
on it."
"This isn't turning out the way I expected," Peri said.


Summary for archivist
Humor; TDTO, Peri arc IVii
Peri, the Valeyard, Space Merlin, Space Taliesin, Doctor Six