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.

Unwritten Rules

"Member Who, we're waiting." Alabellaplunkett stares at me with the outraged exasperation of somebody not getting something to which she thinks she's entitled. "Please cast your vote."

I wait a few seconds, just to irritate her even further. "Okay." I gesture towards her and her two cronies on one wing of the table. "The three of you basically despise the three on the other side, am I right? None of you would ever vote for any of them."

Al and her faction look at each other. There are murmurs of vague assent.

I turn to the other side. "And the same goes in reverse, right?"

"Yep," Ginahepiltona says. "And your point...?

"I vote for... me! I'm your compromise candidate!" I stand up. "Right then, no winner on the first ballot. Second ballot. I still vote for myself. Who's with me?" I raise my hand. At first nobody reacts. Al bangs her gavel and calls me out of order. Then one of Gi's friends reluctantly raises her hand. Then her other friend. Then two from the other side. Al and Gi, once they see that I've got a majority, join in.


"You've got to go into these things with a clear plan," I say. "Come in knowing exactly what you're going to do, and just do it."

Disan smiles. "Well, I for one am just happy that those people got what's coming to them. Let's go celebrate. I know a confectionary that has some great new artificial flavors."

"Later." I look down at my shirt. "I have a couple things I want to check out."

The four of us go our separate ways. I bound down the trail towards my home. I'm pumped that I managed to outwit two different sets of annoying twits. But something nags at the back of my mind, telling me that what I really just did was set a trap for myself and then fall into it. Thanks to my brilliantly cunning plan, I now have to do student president stuff for a year or maybe longer.

I don't like responsibility. People hand you things so that they don't have to be bothered with them, and then you can't get rid of them. I remember reading how in Kellorgian mythology how there was supposedly a giant god who held up the sun. I always wondered how that god ended up that way. Some other god said to him, hey, come over here. Could you hold this just for a minute? I just need to go use the little gods' room. Then that other god ran off and was never heard from again. And what's this one going to do? Just drop the thing and let it go out? Nope. He just has to stand there for all eternity until he can find some other poor sucker to take over.

Oh well. What's done is done. But I really want to check out my idea about the shirt.


After dinner, Hedin drops by my house. "Any news?" he asks. "It sounded like you had an idea about the shirt. I must admit you've got me curious."

"The grid of black and white mini-squares would be a perfect way to depict a sequence of binary code. A series of ones and zeroes. If I wanted to leave a message for posterity, and hide it well enough so that somebody like Morbius wouldn't find and erase it, I might do something like that."


"Well, the idea doesn't go anywhere," I admit. "Between whether black or white represents one, which sides to start on, and which direction is the most significant, there are sixteen different ways you could interpret the pattern. I had Dad's computer analyse all of them. None of them are executable code, nor compressed data, not according to any known format."

"Hmmm. What if it's a network address?"

"I thought of that. Not enough bits. You need 131,072 bits for a Globalnet location. The shirt only had a quarter of that."

Hedin's face breaks into a big grin.


"A *modern* Globalnet node has 131,072 bits. About three hundred years ago, due to increasing network congestion, they quadrupled the number of bits."

It takes me a second to comprehend what Hedin said. In another second, I'm back at the computer.


"Okay, we've converted the sixteen possible addresses from old format to new," I say. "Let's go through all of them and see what if anything they point to."

Hedin nods.

"Here we go then." I set the system to voice access. After my last screw-up, I'm leery of direct mind interface. "Computer, start recording this session. If we do find something, we'll want to save it."


"First address." I enter it.

No content found, replies the computer.

"Second address."

A video forms on the screen. It's a woman, flanked by smiling kids, holding up a cake with Happy Birthday, Tippy written on it.

"I think it's safe to say that this isn't what we're looking for," Hedin says.

"Yeah. Meta-data say this is was uploaded only a couple of months ago." I wonder if there's really anything to find here. Or are we just going to end up Zhlorb-rolled for our troubles? Would a guy who expected to die leave a secret clue as a practical joke so that somebody in the future would find it and waste his time? "Third address."

No content found.

Sigh. "Fourth address."

The screen resolves into a face. It's a somwhat cartoonish rendering, with abnormally big eyes and just a simple curved line for the nose, but it's unmistakeably "the other."

Hedin and I stare at the face.

"Um... ohhhh-kay," I say. Obviously this is what we were looking for, but just what are we supposed to do with it?

We stare at the image for the better part of a minute, waiting to see if it does anything. Long story short: it doesn't.

"I think we're wasting our time here," I tell Hedin. "Let's watch a video or something."

The image on the screen opens its mouth. "There are some Antharian comedy performances that your father downloaded onto this computer last week."

"That sounds good. Thanks," I say. Then Hedin and I both do double- takes.


"It's alive?" I whisper to Hedin, neither of us taking our eyes off the screen.

Hedin thinks for a moment. "Maybe 'the other' knew he was going to die, so he uploaded his consciousness."

"Yeah, that's probably what I'd do." Not that I ever really gave it much thought. That's a decision that I fortunately haven't had to make, though with The Initiative apparently after me, maybe I should.

"On the other hand, it could just be a malicious AI virus that invaded your dad's computer, and took this guy's face because it knew we were looking for him."

"I suppose there's no harm in hearing what it has to say," I whisper back. "Um, hi there," I say to the image on screen. "Are you the guy who ran for president in year 8191 of the old calendar?"

"Well, yes and no," it says. "He was my original. I'm actually an artificial intelligence seeded from his memory and personality. What you would call an AIvatar."

"Oh, an AIvatar!" Duh. I hate it when I end up missing the obvious explanation.

Hedin leans in close to me. "Don't--"

"I know," I whisper back. "Don't ask it something that's going to make it lock up."

Hedin pauses, obviously waiting for me to start listening. "I was going to say, don't ask him his real name. If his name was excised, any mention of it will probably cause a monitor process to take notice, which might result in him getting purged from the system."

I nod, then turn back to the screen. "Tell us your story," I say. "I mean, your original's story."

"That's okay, you can think of him as me. Or rather me as him. I have all the same memories. Anyway, I suppose you know that I was the third member of Rassilon's expedition into the Eye of Harmony. Omega was lost, but Rassilon and I came back with the secret of unlimited time travel."

"We did know that, yeah," I say. "But go on."

"For a while, the two of us were content to be celebrities, until we found out how the High Council was using the newfound power we gave them. Rassilon campaigned for president on a pledge to shut down the Death Zone. Of course he won. Everybody knew his name as the guy who had cracked the secret of time travel. But not everybody was happy about seeing this outsider scientist take over the most powerful position in the cosmos. A conspiracy started up to try to keep Rassilon from changing things too much."

"Ooh, I know!" I perk up like Ginahepiltona answering a teacher's question. "They were called the Initiative. Right?"

The cartoon face gives me a nod and a thumbs up. "I've been floating around the network for what seems like forever, and I still don't know who started The Initiative, or who keeps it going now. But they were quite effective, even in those early days. While Rassilon was every bit the genius inventor he was billed as, it turned out that his political skills were only fair-to-middling. He did close down the Zone, but for the most part they played him quite effectively and kept him from getting most everything else he wanted -- or so it seemed at first."

"At first?"

There's a noticeable pause. "I got elected to the High Council myself, which gave me access to some confidential files. I discovered evidence of a crime."

"What kind of crime?" I say. Hedin readies pen and paper to take notes. I guess he forgot that I turned on recording?

"There was a world, a peaceful civilization devoted mostly to its own scientific advancement. On this world there was a particular individual whose intelligence and inventive genius rivalled Rassilon's. Computer extrapolations and simulations indicated that if this individual were allowed to continue, he would likely make the same discovery that Rassilon did and give his civilization the same unlimited access to time that Gallifrey enjoyed. There were a lot of doubletalk rationalizations about how this world would be able to destroy us if we let them share our secret. But the truth was, the Time Lords were afraid to give up their monopoly."

"So they killed him?"

"Worse than that. Just removing one individual would leave the door open for their world to produce someone else equally capable. So they went back into this world's timeline. By strategically meddling -- starting a war here, a famine there -- they turned an enlightened world into a brutal hellhole. Somehow the genius inventor still existed, despite all the changes to his world's past, but suffice it to say that he had other things on his plate than developing time travel."

"And Rassilon knew about this?" Hedin asks. I can see the disillusionment in his face. Poor guy. His big hero is Omega, but he's still a fan of Rassilon and all the other historical figures that they teach us about in school.

"He had to. This kind of operation couldn't have taken place without orders from the presidency. When I asked him about it, he refused to comment, and just cautioned me against giving out secret information. I wondered whatever happened to the Rassilon that I went into the black hole with. The person who once sought truth for its own sake now seemed intent on burying it."

"Then you decided to run for president yourself?" I ask.

"A few years later, yes. Rassilon at that time had announced his intention to retire into the now unused Death Zone, to carry out research and eventually die. I wasn't as brilliant as he was, nor as famous, but I did have one advantage. Unlike him, I listened to ordinary people. I understood how most of them were being left behind by this new Gallifrey, and what I needed to offer them to earn their support. It worked. Within a few months I went from a virtual unknown to the odds-on favorite. But of course, the Initiative wasn't about to stand by and let me get elected."

"They programmed an AI to swing the election against you, and then put out a contract on your life?" I say. "Couldn't you have run away?"

"I could've, yeah, but that would've sent a message to everyone else on my side that the struggle is too difficult and not worth fighting. The movement I started would've collapsed."

Hel-lo? Doesn't seem like his dying exactly did wonders for this movement either, whatever that was. But this is an argument I really don't want to get into.

"We'll check into what you've told us," Hedin says. "What was the name of the planet you talked about?"

"Skkkkkkkkkkk--" The image on screen sputters and is replaced by random gray fuzz.

"Computer, reconnect to address," I say, knowing that it probably won't work."


"Run network diagnostic."


"Only this one particular address is unreachable?"


"Well, crap." So, there's bad news and good news. The bad news is, Hedin and I have been handed even bigger responsibility. We've been designated the keepers of a secret passed down from a long, long time ago, and the one clue to that secret has now been made inaccessible to anyone else. But the good news is, I shouldn't have to shoulder that responsibility for long. The Initiative was already trying to bump me off before this started. Now the fact that somebody blocked access to the other's AIvatar is a pretty good indication that they know that we've seen it, which gives them even more reason to want to see us dead. And if that weren't bad enough, by fingering them through the fake AI, we practically dared them to come and get us. So unless we come up with a world-class brilliant idea for dealing with these people, we should be dead soon. Come to think of it, that's not good news at all.


Miraculously I make it to tomorrow without being poisoned or meeting with a fatal accident. I spend the day typing up my history class term paper on "the other." Why, I'm not sure. It's not as though I'm likely to live to see what grade I get on it.

Later that afternoon, Hedin, Disan, Chadap, and I take the public hovertram over to the school authority central office. Lots of our classmates are there, coming to cheer us on, though of course we won't be able to hear them cheer in the isolated competition room. But hey, it's the thought that counts.

We get off the hovertram at the stop right in front of the central office. There's a big crowd wearing Omega Tech shirts and carrying banners, which they wave in our face as we pass by. Stay classy, guys. Off to the other side there's a bunch of people in mismatched shirts from various other schools. They cheer us as we go by. These guys were our opponents during the regular season but obviously they're happy to see a non-"big name" school get to the finals.

Nobody does anything to stop us as we enter the building. I wonder if I'm not just worrying a lot over nothing. Would they really try to kill people over a scandal that happened dozens of centuries ago and nobody cares about anymore? Yeah, somebody did set the trap that we had to get Chadap out of. But we're ready for that now and they're unlikely to try the same thing twice.

Walking down the hallway to the prep room, I spot a face eyeing us from the end of the hallway before whoever it is ducks out of sight. Okay, nobody would find that suspicious, except somebody with at least half a brain. It could be a wannabe assassin, but then again, let's not overlook the possibility of standard cheating of the kind that OT likes to engage in. We'd better run a full diagnostic on the equipment before doing anything.

But hold on a moment. I take my handheld out of my pocket and patch into the building security sub-net. Last night in my fit of near-paranoia I accessed and downloaded the local security access codes. The central office layout is a closed loop with the only entrance in the front. So I can patch into the cameras and see exactly who our friendly stalker is.

I look at the image that I've patched into, and I'm baffled. Everything else is normal, but there's a gray blob where the mysterious person is. What the...? Installing a real-time filter on the cameras to edit out his image isn't the thing you do on the spur of the moment. It would be a lot easier to disable the cameras, or to wipe the records afterwards. There's no reason to go through this much trouble unless he knew I was going to tap into the cameras, and unless he has the fastest programming AI in the universe, he would've had to have known I was doing it before I even knew.

I start to go looking for this guy, and then stop. Maybe he's a distraction, there to keep us from checking out the equipment. If he sabotaged the apparatus, then we need to fix it before the match starts.

I go into the room. The others are already there, except for Niblosky. Hedin is hunched over a desk, engrossed by something on the network terminal. "Alpha messaged and said he'd be along in about fifteen minutes. Haven't heard from Niblosky but he should be here anytime."

"Did you find something in the system?" I ask him.

"Yeah, there's definitely something not right."

"Another neural transmitter?"

"No, nothing like that," he answers. "I'm still analyzing it, but they did something, and it permeates the whole system."

"Great, as if we didn't have enough to worry about." I catch a whiff of something vaguely smoky. "Are you burning a circuit?"

"Oh, that was me," Disan says, smiling enigmatically. "I thought that in case those Initiative people do show up, we should be ready for them."

"What have you got in mind?"

"Just a little Karn witchery."

I glare back at her. Didn't she tell me that there was no such thing?

She laughs. "It's an infusion that I've vaporized and released into the air. A drug of sorts. It releases inhibitions. If someone comes here he'll be more likely to tell us what he knows."

Hedin turns around. "Won't that make us more likely to tell him things too?"

"Maybe. But we know about it, and can make a conscious effort to resist it."

"Worth a try, I suppose, if they even bother to show up at all," I say, then turn to Hedin. "Is the analysis done? I'd like to get in some last-minute practice."

He looks back at the screen. "Almost."

The door opens and Niblosky steps in. "Okay, we're all here, and we've got one too many people," I say. "Let's talk about who's going to sit out." I hope it will be either Niblosky or Chadap. Disan is the newest player, and it would be customary to exclude her on that basis, but I'm sure she's better than either of those guys.

Niblosky reaches into a pocket and pulls out a high-tech-looking handgun, pointing it at me.

"Whoa, hey! I never said I wanted to cut YOU from the team! Let's talk about this!"

"Too many players? Not a problem," he says. "I'm going to kill one."

He points his gun. My eyes follow the trajectory and end up at Chadap.


There are times when things just come together in my brain. Usually too late to do any good. "You set up the neural transmitter? The whole virtual world thing?"

"I just set it up," Niblosky says. "I got all of the equipment from someone through the Initiative. They came up with the whole plan, I just contracted to carry it out."

"Isn't gunning people down against the law?" I ask. "I thought you were a stickler for rules."

He smirks. "I'm following a different set of laws. The real rules say that if the Initiative contracts you to do something, you do it."

Now might be a good time to put Disan's drug to the test. "What has the Initiative got against us? What did Chadap ever do to them?"

"It's not what he's done. It's what he'll do. In the future."

Now I'm genuinely curious. "The Initiative have cracked the Gallifrey time barrier?"

"You don't have to visit the future to know what will happen," he says with a hint of condescension in his voice. "If I drop something, I know that it'll hit the floor."

"Let's put that to the test. That gun in your hand..."

He laughs. "Nice try. The Initiative monitors all of our medical and school records as well as all of our other history on the globalnet. Certain genetic and behavioral traits send out a red flag. One troublemaker with a sharp enough mind and deep enough issues can grow up to bring down everything. So they don't let them grow up. And your friend definitely qualifies. From what they told me, he has one of the highest danger indexes on record."

"Chadap? Really?" I look over at him. "Have you been holding out on us?" He shrugs, trying to stay brave, but I can see sweat soaking through his shirt. No, I can't believe it. There's only one way this makes sense. But before I bet Chadap's life on that theory, let's see what other beans he's willing to spill. "Who's in charge of this Initiative, anyway?"

He laughs. "I've no idea. Maybe nobody."

"You've gotta be kidding."

"Nope. The Initiative runs on a point system. Anybody can offer a contract and put up any number of points for it. I accept the contract without knowing who offered it or why, and upon successful completion the points transfer from the contractor to me. Once I have enough points I can get just about anything. My mother's regeneration got stuck and unable to complete. I waited for years for help through official channels. Then I spent points, and she got fixed up the next day."

The possibilities start to roll through my mind. There would have to be servers that validate transactions and keep track of points. If...

"I know what you're probably thinking. But this isn't like the kiddie servers that the school uses. Points are tracked on a distributed system with probably the highest security in the galaxy. Better people than you have failed to get into them, and if you try it automatically puts a price on your head."

"Silly boy," Disan says in her "witch" persona. "If you harm Chadap or anyone else here, your spirit will face unimaginable torment. I've already set the spell in motion. I couldn't stop it if I wanted to." Damn, she's impressive. It's a bluff, of course, she can't actually torment someone's soul, but I hope this idiot doesn't know that.

"A psychic attack? The Initiative will be able to find someone who can dispel it."

She cackles. "This is Karnian sorcery, dear boy. It's far beyond the ability of Gallifreyan science."

"I'll take my chances."

Okay, nice try, but that didn't work. Time for my own gamble. "Well, I for one appreciate what you're saying. You've convinced me. Sorry, Chadap, but it looks like you have to die."

Everybody else looks horrified. I can only hope to live long enough to explain what I'm doing.

"Go ahead and shoot him, Niblosky," I say. "Oh, you did scan him, right?"

"Um... what?"

"An identity scan. You need to run one on him before doing anything. That's the rule, and I'm sure the Initiative would agree with that rule."

"That makes sense." With his free hand he pulls a scanner from his pocket. "Verify identity for subject 446F63746F722057686F."

The scanner buzzes. No match. Niblosky looks confused. Everybody else looks ready to jump for joy.

"Ha!" I say. "The code doesn't match, so it's back to the drawing board for you! And do you know why it didn't match? Do you?"

He looks back at me dubiously. Whoops. Big mouth strikes again. I guess Disan's vapor affected me too.

"Um, because I don't know. And I'd like to. So if you can figure it out..."

"I think maybe I can." He points the scanner at me. Ding. Affirmative match.

He points the gun at me. "Thank you for correcting that mistake. I don't know how it happened, but it would've been embarrassing."

"If you shoot me, I promise I'll regenerate into a Florghian skunk-beast and stink up your house."

He laughs. "You won't regenerate after being shot with this gun."

Nobody's close enough to get between him and me. There's no escaping the conclusion: I'm dead meat.

Suddenly the door swings open, and the last person I'd ever expect to see rushes in. "Stop!"

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