Doctor Who/Big Nate fusion fanfiction
by Gary Kleppe

_Doctor Who_ was created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald
Wilson, and developed by too many other talented folk to name. _Big
Nate_ was created and written by Lincoln Peirce. This is fan material
written and freely distributed solely for the enjoyment of other fans. I
do not claim ownership of nor legal right to use either series nor their
associated trademarks.

All honest feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

Getting Ahead of Myself

Energy crackles around the giant spectral hand as it reaches out towards me. If you die in a simulated immersion reality, do you actually die? Seems I'm about to find out.

Suddenly I'm floating in a gray-ish void. There's nothing but nothing as far as I can see. So this is what death is like? All these years I've wondered what it would be like to actually experience kicking the bucket. Now that I've found out, it's kind of an anti-climax.

"Um, hello? Anybody?" I call out. There's no response. I hope this isn't all there is to the afterlife. Having some time to myself is a nice change, but this is going to get boring pretty quickly. I suppose I could start plotting out the next installment of Adventures of SuperWho, even though there's nothing here to write it on.

All at once, reality snaps into view. The Old Guy, Hedin, and Disan are staring at me right in front of my face. I'm back on the bench in the practice room.

"You're awake," Hedin says. "Welcome back to the real world."

"Thanks, I think." I shake my head. "That was quite an experience. I hope we never have to do something like that again." I look around the room. "How's..."

"Back in his body, and resting," Disan says, giving me a puppy-dog-eyed kind of please-don't-smack-me-upside-the-head look. "Sorry."

I look her straight in the eye. "What happened?"

"It wasn't her fault," the Old Guy answers for her. "She created a character that fit into the virtual reality. But that reality, and your friend's expectations, took it over. She lost control over it, but still she influenced it enough to stall it from attacking you."

"I see," I say, feeling a bit like a heel for jumping to conclusions. "Then how did..."

"While the monster was paying attention to you, your friend managed to get out," the Old Guy says. "Once that happened, I could safely shut down the simulated reality without having to worry about frying his brain."

"Okay." I smirk. "Frying *my* brain is no big deal." Yeah, of course that wouldn't have happened. I hadn't been in the simulation world anywhere near as long as Chadap had, and my mind wasn't invested into it like his was. I know, and these guys know that I know, but I can't resist busting their chops a little.

"Disan, please help me get Chadap to the infirmary," I say. I key up my handheld unit to forward to Hedin the fractal pattern that got us past the entrance scanners. His unit blips to register the delivery. "You'll need that to get your 'uncle' out."


"Please input subject identity," the infirmary AI bot tells me.

"His name's Chadap. He's a student at this school."

Chadap, a bit groggy but conscious, steps up to the scanner port, and it blips, verifying his identity.

"Please identify subject's symptoms or conditions which need medical attention," the AI says.

"Subject was hooked up to a mind-bending practice machine and had his consciousness uploaded through a mezoneural transmitter into a virtual simulated reality."

"Logged." That's the good thing about dealing with an AI. They're completely unflappable. If you say something that sounds like you
misspoke or meant something else, they might ask you to confirm that you meant what you said. But they're never like What?! No way! You can't be serious!

Scanning beams run back and forth across Chadap's body. There's about a ten-second pause. "Diagnosis: Neurological trauma. Treatment: Subject is to remain here for thirty-six hours for rest, observation, and periodic synaptic adjustments. Prognosis: Subject is expected to make a full recovery."

"He sure knows how to deliver good news," Chadap quips. He and Disan smile at each other as she eases him into a cot.

"Yeah," I say. "He's an okay doctor, but I'm not crazy about his bedside manner." Disan and I wave as we head for the door. "Get some rest, and we'll see you when you're ready to get back into action."

I turn around. On the table where we came in is something that wasn't there before. It's a plate of frosted pastries. I recognize the distinctive pattern of the icing and the tiny bits of fruit poking out from the crust. "Those are--"

"Vhlurgian tarts," Chadap says. His eyes bulge out and he looks like a predator about to pounce. Vhlurgian tarts are just about the tastiest thing in the known universe. I had half of one that my dad gave me once, and it was heavenly.

I peek my head out of the door and look up and down the hallway. There's nobody there. I ponder who might have left this stuff here. The answer I come up with pisses me off. "Ginahepiltona!"


"She's trying to get me appointed to the student council. This is probably a bribe to get me to vote for her side. She used to procure stuff like this when her group ran the council." I raise a fist in the air. "Do you think I have no shame, Gi?"

Chadap scowls at me like I'm about to get strangled.

"On the other hand... as long as she's already gone through the trouble to get these, I suppose we could eat them. It's not like this is going to influence me on anything. It'll just make her feel stupid when I decline the appointment."

"That makes sense." Chadap goes back to his normal artless face. "Let's dig in."


I look up as Ms. Osfrey storms into the room.

"You know the rules!" She grabs the plate from the table. "No outside food allowed!"

"But... it isn't outside food," is all I can think to say. "It's inside. Here. This room. It's inside this room."

"That's not what the phrase means." Like I didn't know that. Before we can respond, she pivots neatly and strolls down the hall, plate of pastries in hand.

"Hey! Hey!" I say. But there's no point. I could run after her but I'd only end up getting another detention.

"I hate her," Chadap grumbles.

"Yeah. But what can we do?" I shrug as I move to the door. "We should let you get some rest. See you later."

Disan and I step out of the infirmary. I close the door behind us. "Thirty-six hours means he'll miss the match tomorrow. Maybe they can postpone the match until he's out."

"Let's let him rest," Disan says. "I'll compete in his place, if you help me get ready."

"All right. Let's go back to the practice room, then." If nothing else, this should be interesting.


A little later, we're hooked up to the test apparatus. I reach out tentatively to get a feel for how strong her defenses are. She waits, seeming a little nervous. I hesitate, knowing that this could go badly if I'm not careful. Disan is completely new at this. I don't want to discourage her from participating.

I reach forward, intending to gently knock her down. But her mind suddenly twists and I connect with nothing. Huh? What? How? This person who I thought was a complete novice just did the mental equivalent of an expert judo throw.

I brace for the counterattack that I'm sure is coming. But it doesn't. The time bell rings.

"Whoa, that was incredible," I say. "You must've done this before."

"Not exactly," she answers. "On Karn, where I grew up, they have school bullies, just like here. But most of them use psychic attacks. I learned how to defend myself against them. The principle is pretty similar."

"You should've gone in for the kill, though. Er, figuratively speaking, I mean. You had me at a disadvantage. You could've won the match if you'd taken advantage of it."

She smiles. "I suppose that's something I'll have to work on."


"I went to Yvel Nine. That's actually the only school on Karn," Disan says as we walk down the path towards home. "Every time they rebuild it they increment the number. The Elixir of Life makes everybody there functionally immortal. There are almost no children, and the few families that have them live in Yvel Nine or board their children there. My parents decided to move to Gallifrey so that I could meet more people my age."

Aaaaand blah blah blah. I suppose I would be interested in this if I hadn't already been listening to Disan yak for twenty minutes straight already. So this is what she's like when she isn't playing a role? A nonstop chatterbox? It pisses me off that she can't be herself thanks to Alabellaplunkett's bullying. Makes me definitely not want to see Al win the Council election. Not that Ginahepiltona is any better.

We get to a fork. "My house is this way," she says. "See you tomorrow!" Off she goes, and off I go in the other direction. Another round of Adventures in Dad's Bland Cooking, and I'll go upstairs and maybe spend some time working on my stories. Or I might try again to figure out who would want to set a trap for either Chadap or me. It still doesn't make much sense. As long as you don't try to keep him away from food, Chadap is probably the nicest guy you'll ever meet. I'd be astounded if he had any enemies. Now me, I've got more of them than you could name, but my enemies tend to be the comically inept type. If there's anybody with a grudge against me who would be capable of setting up such an elaborate snare, it's news to me.

Oh well, I think, tomorrow is another day. Whoever our friend is, either he'll be back, or he won't. If he is, we'll deal with him then.


The next morning, I wake up with a brilliant idea.

Whoever set the trap in the practice room isn't necessarily someone with a grudge against Chadap or me. School #32767 is a stone's throw from winning the regional mind-bending championship. This is the first time that we've ever been this close. So it might just be someone who's out to make sure that we don't take the title. Maybe they sabotaged our machine just to take out one of our team not knowing which one it would be.

I fire up my handheld unit. From here I can at least check the public records and see who might've had both the desire and the wherewithal to keep #32767 away from the title.

"Who!" Dad calls from downstairs. "Breakfast!"

"Be down in a minute!" I answer. I get a list of Omega Tech's team members and their families. But according to records, none of them were anywhere near our area in the last few days.

I run the same check for East Division. They're the next best team and the only one other than us and Omega Tech with any chance of making it to the finals at this point. But there's nobody associated with their team that could possibly have the skills and resources to build a trap like the one that got Chadap.

"Who! Breakfast!"

"Hold on!" I check the roster for Makeru School. They're out of it now, but all of this started right after we beat them. They could be out for revenge or something. I scan the list and see something extremely interesting. The Makeru team captain's dad, Cojon, works as a part-time replacement faculty member at #32767. Cojon is also ex-Army. Very interesting indeed. I make a note to track down Cojon when I get a chance today. It may be nothing, but it's the only possible lead I have at this point.


"All right already!" I zip downstairs. "Why do you have to yell?"


I sit down to eat, and get the surprise of my life.

"Wow!" I say between mouthfuls. "This food actually tastes good!"

"You don't need to sound so surprised." Dad rolls his eyes. "But I didn't make this food."

I follow where Dad is looking over to Rodel. "You made it?" I ask incredulously. My first impulse is that maybe I shouldn't eat it. But too late. It's already half gone. If he put something in the food, I've already ingested it.

Rodel nods. "It's synthesized." Dad looks surprised. "But I made some key improvements."

I hesitate again. Is this really a good idea? But there's no denying how good it tastes. In for a penny, in for a pound.

"Thank you for making breakfast," Dad says to Rodel. "I appreciate it when someone steps up to help around here." He doesn't add the obvious: Unlike some people who have to be cajoled and threatened before they'll lift a finger to do anything. Gee, thanks, Dad.

"You're welcome." Rodel smiles. "I know I've had to work through some problems. I'm grateful for your being there and setting a good example."

Ugh. I think I might just barf up that breakfast I just had. Come on, Dad, can't you tell when you're getting a ridiculous snow job? But judging by his face, he doesn't, at least not when it comes from Rodel. If it had been me, he'd be wary of anything I said, because he's used to me trying to pull stuff on him.

"This is great!" Dad starts gathering together emptied dishes. "For the first time in a while, I feel like we're a real family." I try not to groan.

Dad carries away a stack of dishes. Something beeps from Rodel's pocket. He pulls out a handheld unit and peers at the screen, looking concerned. "Hmmmmm."

"Trouble?" I ask.

He looks at me, and stops for a moment to consider. "Watch out for the Initiative," he finally says.

"What's that?"

"It's better if you don't know."

I roll my eyes. "If I don't know what it is, how can I--"

"Just watch out," he says.


I'm in school waiting for class to start when the indicator on my handheld flashes. A voice message. There's still a couple of minutes before class, so I answer it.

"This is an interactive voice call for Who," a mechanical voice says.

"I am Who," I answer.

"You have been offered an appointment to student council. Please indicate your acceptance or rejection of this offer."

I break out laughing. "Are you crazy?" I suspected this was coming, but still can't bring myself to believe that they actually did it. Nice try, guys. "Who in his right mind would want to accept that offer?"

"Response received. You would want to accept the offer. The next Council meeting is in four days. Be in Activity Room Q after class."

"No, you idiot low-grade AI! That's not what I meant! Undo!" But the thing's already disconnected. Well, crap. I guess I could go to the meeting and turn in my resignation there. That would piss off both factions and keep either of them from electing a president. A win-win.

On the other hand... my being the lone swing vote means that both sides are going to have to be nice to me. Imagine two groups of people who hate my guts, who normally wouldn't flip a switch to save me if I were being electocuted, having to try to convince me that they like me and want me as part of their clique. Maybe it's to my advantage to play along with this as long as possible.

Hedin sits down in the chair next to me. "Have you found out anything yet?"

"There's a guy named Cojon who's the father of the Makeru team captain. He--"

"I mean about 'the other one.' You know, the person you agreed to write your term report about?"

"Oh." Yeah, I don't know what came over me, somehow thinking that a plot that nearly killed one of us is a bigger priority than a dull history project. "No, haven't had time to even think about it."

"Well, I have an idea that might help. You could check the remote archives."

"Why didn't I think of that? Possibly it's because I never heard of them and have no idea what you're talking about."

"All the information in the main global network about your guy has been purged. But there are buildings in every major city with offline archives of all government information. These have been around since even before Rassilon. They're run by robots and hardly any actual people ever go there since it's so much easier just to look things up on the network. But the stuff in the remote archives is on detached module disks which are a lot harder to selectively edit. Somebody doing a purge might have forgotten about them."

"Okay, there's no school tomorrow, so let's go visit the remote archives. After we win tonight's match, I'll be in a good mood and it won't be so bad to have to slog through incredibly boring old stuff."

Hedin rolls his eyes. "I just love a positive attitude."

I blow a raspberry at him. Then my handheld beeps. It's a textual message from Dad. Do you remember the name of the Arcadia city administrator that we met on our trip there last month? I need a contact there.

I respond, That was three months ago. I don't know if he even gave his name. But he probably wouldn't be a good contact anyway. You whacked him in the head with your ball when you played 3-D golf.

That was the same guy? I thought that one was a data line inspector.

No, the data line inspector was the one you spilled your drink on two days later.

There's a lengthy pause. Oh.

Good old dad, not one of the universe's most highly effective people. But this in a nutshell is why all of this history stuff is just pointless. The Time Lords can go back and actually visit the histories of other civilizations. For our own, we can't. There's a time barrier that prevents anyone from going more than a few hours into Gallifrey's past or future. It might be something the Time Lords put up, because they don't want some troublemaker going back and trying to change our history. Or it might be a natural consequence of how we travel in time, using the Eye of Harmony which is, probably not coincidentally, a few light hours away. But whatever the reason, Gallifreyans have to rely on what we remember and on what's written down. But people like Dad can't even remember what they did a few months ago, let alone thousands of years. And the so-called important historical facts have been continually adjusted and reworked by whoever was in charge for their own advantage. Rassilon might've just been some bureaucrat who happened to be in the right place at the right time, if he even existed at all. Without being able to visit, there's no way to know.

Ms. Osfrey walks in, and the room gets quiet. I notice small but tell-tale traces of brown around her mouth. She ate the tarts. Why am I not surprised? I don't complain, and try to at least look like I'm listening as she starts class. Today's match isn't until later in the evening, and this Cojon guy is at our school today. I can go talk to him after class, if I can get through the whole day without getting any detentions.


"Move! Move!"

I try to respond, but can barely breathe. The surroundings whiz by as my legs carry me round and round the track. I gasp for air, but somehow I keep going.


I don't know if Cojon was supposed to meet someone else for physical training and mixed me up with whoever that is. Or maybe he does this to everybody he meets.

Feeling like I'm about to throw up, I slow down. Cojon looks at me with contempt. "Rotten! No good at all! Why do they let you kids get so far out of shape? Don't you play a sport?"

"Mind... bending," I manage to pant.

Cojon hmphs. "I meant a real sport! Not that in-tell-ectual stuff that my no-good son does. What's the point? Especially with all the namby-pamby safety features they make you use. In my day they didn't have all those things." Yeah, that explains a lot.

"You should join the army," he says. "They'll make a man out of you." Because clearly you're not a man if your pectoral measurements don't exceed your IQ. "I'd still be there now if it weren't for the Initiave."

"Whss... tht?" I manage to get out in between breaths that by now are louder than the average power generator on overload.

"What's the Initiative? It's... I don't know what it is. Some sort of group. They get what they want. They told my colonel to discharge me, so he did. That story about the goat was completely fabricated. Didn't happen at all. And there's nothing wrong with a little chronic flatulence."

I really don't want to hear this. Finishing my current lap, I change direction and head toward the exit doorway.

"Same time next week!" he calls after me. Yeah, I'd love to, right after I go get my frontal lobes removed. If I don't see this guy again until universal heat death and the eventual collapse of the cosmos takes place, it'll be too soon.


With nothing to do and a few hours before tonight's match, I go home. Rodel is up in his room as usual, and Dad's not here, but there's a note. Stuck in the city for a while. There are cold cuts in the stasis chamber. Good luck with your match. Dad. All right, then.

I've often wondered, why does Gallifrey even have a standing army? They have technology that could time-loop any wannabe attacker out of existence. Why dick around with a bunch of people carrying zap guns? Probably they're just there so that the Lord President can feel important.

So anyway, unless Cojon is a spectacularly good actor and the way he acted was a put-on, it's pretty safe to say that he didn't set the trap that got Chadap. So that leaves me back to square one. But he did mention the Initiative, which Rodel also said I should look out for. Definitely something that I should check out.

My own computer has built-in limitations as to what information it's allowed to access, which I'm in the process of figuring out how to get around. But Dad's computer is another story.

Dad's desk sits against one wall, near the corner, mostly covered by miscellaneous papers and books. Looking at it, you wouldn't know that it's not only a computer, but a fully functional spacetime transport unit. A leftover from his government days which he got to keep thanks to Mom's influence. I could get it to get off this mudball to somewhere a lot more interesting, like the Great Library, or Space City. But if I did, it'd be about fifteen seconds before they'd detect me leaving Gallifrey and recall me back, at which point I'd be in deep doo-doo. I don't mind sometimes getting on the wrong side of Dad, or of Ms. Osfrey, but when the government catches you they do not mess around.

I flip the switch to activate the interface. "Begin isolated session with logging disabled," I tell it. An isolated session can be terminated without leaving any trace.

** CONFIRMED, ** a voice sounds in my head.

Whoa! Dad's moved up to direct mental I/O. This will definitely take some getting used to. How do I get this thing to work?


It heard that? Okay, then. Computer, search for information on something called the Initiative and report most relevant items.


For a global network search, that came back suspiciously quickly. It might be that Dad has a higher priority than I normally do. Still, maybe.... Computer, search for information on something called the Initiatish.

There's about a ten-second pause. ** NO INFORMATION FOUND. DID YOU MEAN THE INITIATIVE? **

Yes I did.


Aha, so that's it. If you ask for something that doesn't have an information file, but the name is almost the same as something that does, it'll ask you whether that's what you meant. So the Initiative does have a file, but not even Dad's account has permission to access it.

I wonder whether the school administration would know anything. Computer, connect to Intermediate School #32767 information exchange server using access code 50617373776F7264.


Search message archives for any mention of the Initiative.


Show contents.

** MESSAGE CONTENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS: To all faculty: There is no such thing as the Initiative. The spreading of any conspiracy theories related to this group is not to be allowed. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, Chief Administrator Skolnik. **

Okay, when you feel the need to deny something that nobody's suggested exists in the first place, you probably know something that you aren't telling. But getting any useful information out of the big guy isn't going to be easy. Computer, disconnect from server.


I suppose that's it for now, I think. Figuring out who or what this Initiative is will obviously take a fresh angle. I also still have no leads on who set the trap in the practice room. But right now, the only thing that matters is winning our final match. I really can't wait until tonight.


Um, what? Lights on the panel behind the desk start flashing and making beeping and booping noises. What the heck? I hope I didn't just do something that I'm going to get in trouble for. Time to cut my losses. Computer, terminate isolated session with no logging.

** DONE. **

I pull up my sleeve so that it covers my finger, and flick the switch to deactivate the interface. Yeah, I'm being paranoid, and pretty silly to boot. It's not like "Who used Who's dad's computer while he was away?" would be a terribly tough thing to figure out. Just round up anyone who could conceivably have been involved. Suspect number one, Who. And, um, that's about it.

I do my best to leave the desk exactly the way I'd found it, and head to the kitchen. The stasis cube does indeed have some cold cuts plus bread and assorted vegetables. A pretty extravagant meal, by Dad's usual standards. I sit at the table and chow down.

There's a knock on the door, and I just about jump out of my seat. Hi, Dad! I'm just home waiting for the match, and certainly wasn't messing around on your computer or anything.

I open the door. Surprisingly, it's Hedin and Disan Desu.

"Where were you?!" Disan demands, with an angry edge to her voice.


"You missed the match," Hedin says. "We had to compete with four players. We lost."

"But... but it's not time yet! It's--" I look at the wall clock and can't believe my eyes. But my handheld confirms it. The match was over twenty minutes ago.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: The Old Guy is someone from Doctor Who canon. Props (whatever they are) if you can identify who he is. Cojon is based on Coach John, a Big Nate character.

With gratitude to Doctor Who writers through the years, specifically to the works of:

Bob Baker
Johnny Byrne
Andrew Cartmel
Russell T. Davies
Terrance Dicks
Robert Holmes
Malcolm Hulke
Matt Jones
Barry Letts
Dave Martin
Steven Moffat
Terry Nation
Anthony Read
Robert Sloman
Keith Temple
Graham Williams

and of course

Lincoln Peirce