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.

He Who Wins Shall Lose


I turn towards the door, and I'm face to face with myself. I blink, unable to believe what I'm seeing. "Huh? Who? How?" I stammer.

Niblosky moves back to where he can keep his eyes on me and the other me at the same time. "As last-minute ploys go, this is at least creative."

"It's not a ploy," my duplicate says. "I'm Who. Use your bio-scanner if you don't believe me."

He does, and it dings.

"I'm from the future," the other me says. "About three hours. I've already lived through this." He turns back to Niblosky. "If you shoot my younger self, you'll cause a paradox that'll probably blow you to smithereens. And I won't be dead, because I'm already not dead over here."

Niblosky pauses, and I can almost hear the wheels inside his head turning. Then his hand shakes. "Wait... what..."

"Oh, didn't I mention? I also notified the town guard that there was a guy threatening people with a gun in here. They set up a remote neural dampener, which should be taking effect round about now."

Niblosky staggers, then collapses. Disan looks at me, and then future me, and grabs both of us into a big hug.

"You need to get back home to Dad's computer," my doppelganger tells me. "Go out the back window. Scanners are already programmed not to pick you up."

I nod, and go, passing Hedin as he examines the readout from the system diagnostic scan. I wonder what he found, but I'll have to wait three hours and go through this all again before I can find out.


I eventually make it back and go through everything again from the other perspective. I tell my past self to go out the window, and he does. The guard comes in and carries Niblosky out.

"Yup, the system has definitely been compromised," Hedin says, looking at the readout. "Pretty clever way of doing it if you ask me."

Alpha, having just arrived, eyes the screen. "Is opposition monkey business?"

"Exactly," Hedin says. "The apparatus is programmed to wait until Omega Tech is leading. Then on every subsequent round it'll generate an alpha wave pattern. That stimulates a happy, relaxed state. That means every match-up will end in a tie. Nobody in that kind of state of contented bliss will be able to dominate anyone else's mind."

"Let's show it to the authority," I suggest. "Make them clean it up before we start."

Hedin shakes his head. "The meta-data indicate that it was Niblosky who uploaded the malicious module. Even though he just tried to kill us, he's still officially part of our team. If we showed this to them, they'd declare us in violation of the rules and OT the winner."

Crap. "Can we remove the module?"

"Not likely. There's not enough time, and they'd probably catch us and accuse us of messing with the apparatus."

Double crap. My mind races. "In that case, I think there's only one thing to do. Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow."

"What neutron flow?" Hedin says. "It's optical quantum circuitry. There isn't any--"

"It's an expression, genius," I say. "I mean put it into reverse. In this case, just the peripheral interface. That should be quick and easy enough to do. Then the alpha pattern will fire only if we're ahead."

Hedin gives me his usual you-must-be-an-idiot look. "And when it does, they disqualify us for cheating."

"Well, this is the brilliant part of the plan." I smile with confidence that even I know is undeserved. "We don't get ahead. We need to make sure that we're never ahead."

"I see," Hedin says with a sardonic smile. "Our winning strategy is to not win. It's another world-beater."

"Not quite, wise guy. Our winning strategy is to not win until the last match. Just hold them to a four-point lead or less."

Hedin's eyes narrow as he considers.

I turn to the others. "Got that? Tie if you can, lose if you must, but don't win your matchup if it would put us ahead of the opposition."

"Hokay, got it," Alpha says. "Lose or tie."

"Not you, Alpha," I tell him. "You're in first position so you go last. You can win your match, and there won't be any others after yours for the pattern to fire in."

"It just might work," Hedin says.


"Hello, there. I'm Lanon, team captain for Omega Tech." He smiles smugly as he reaches out a hand. "We'll try to make this as painless as possible." Like everybody else on his team, this guy is decked out in loose shiny clothes, kind of like the Council wears but without the silly hats, and looks about five years too old to be at our grade level. Not that he's a behemoth like Chesrick, but his face looks too mature for his age.

"I'm Who," I say as I shake his hand. "Good luck." I should probably trash-talk him back, but after almost being killed by a maniac with a gun, I'm really not in the mood. "May the best team win."

"We will." His hand goes to his lip, as if to keep himself from laughing. I start to say something, but decide not to. What would be the point?

I take my position in the number two spot. Lanon goes to second position on his side. That's interesting. I look over at their first position player, a guy whose head seems about ten percent too big for the rest of his body. So unless that's not indicative of mental power, they're probably not stacking at least. Is OT using genetic alteration to beef up their players' brain power? That'd be just like them, and it'd be just like the school authority to let them get away with it. Raw power isn't everything, as we've spent the whole season proving, but it certainly counts for a lot. I hope Alpha can take him. Our whole strategy hinges on that.

Disan and Chadap talk for a moment, and then she lines up for fourth position and he for fifth. That's good. I think she has a better chance of not getting beat at that level. I look at the audience, and it's pretty packed, with nary an empty seat. I spot Dad sitting in the second row. He gives me a thumbs-up, and I wave back.

The district grand administrator steps up to the dais, and the room falls quiet. He starts the usual spiel welcoming us all to the event and extolling the virtues of fair competition. That's funny, considering all of the under-handed stuff they let the favorite schools get away with. He introduces the team from Tech. A group on one side of the audience starts whooping it up and stamping their feet. Then us. The rest of the audience claps, whistles, and cheers. Almost every other school wants us to win. It's rare that a "no-name" school gets this far, and we're pretty much the exemplar of those, having literally no name because no one's ever bothered to give us one. I start to feel pumped. We can do this.

"This is it, people," I say to my teammates. "The last match. Give this one all you've got."

Aaaaaand we're off. Chadap and Tech's fifth position guy step up to the apparatus, and the rest of us stare at the monitor. The Tech player wastes no time coming after Chadap with a huge wave of mental force, and Chadap hangs onto himself for dear life. The guy tries to bury Chadap in a torrent of negative emotion. Chadap calls upon his memory of the virtual fantasy universe, the lesson he learned that something that seems real might not be. Then he brings up the memory of Niblosky holding a gun on him and knowing that he might be about to die. Through all of that he never gave into fear and despair, and he's not about to start now.

The time bell rings. A tie. Half a point to each side. So far, so good.

As the fouth position players get into position, the guy who had just competed steps over to Lanon and leans in. I try to listen to what he's saying without being too obvious. When he was mind-linked to Chadap, he got an impression of a memory in Chadap's mind, that he had been told not to try to win his match, that the plan was to try for a tie. Uh oh. This could end badly if they figure out the reason behind that plan. But with luck they won't.

Disan and another Omega Tech guy engage, and this time she gets in the first attack. She taps into her memories from back on Karn, picturing a universe full of spirits and specters, where technology is just a comforting affectation that man uses to fool himself into thinking he's in control. The guy counterattacks, but it's pretty feeble. It may have been dumb luck, but she pretty effectively found his psychological weak spot. She holds him down and waits for the time bell.

Still tied, one and a half points each. That's the good news. The bad news is, Lanon is clearly starting to catch on. He calls time out to confer with his other players. I can't hear what they're saying, but it's not hard to guess. Disan could've gone in for the win but clearly chose not to. They probably have no idea why we'd do that, but it couldn't possibly be anything other than a deliberate plan.

The conference over, the third-rank players take up their positions and begin. Hedin does his usual defensive move, filling his mind with trivia. Then the Tech player shreds his defenses like tissue paper. Hedin flails, searching for any vestige of mental strength. His opponent grabs his mind and squeezes. What is your plan? the opponent demands. Why were your players told to tie rather than win? Thankfully Hedin doesn't break down and tell him, but the screen goes gold. First score of the match goes to Omega Tech. Four and a half to one and a half.

Next is me, facing off against Lanon. The bad news is, if he beats me, they'll be up by seven points, so we lose the match no matter what Alpha does. So I not only mustn't win, I mustn't lose either, I have to force a tie. And my usual "short attention span" stratagem probably won't work against Lanon. They'll be ready for that. They seem to have scouted and researched us. All of that's the bad news. The good news is... well, there really is no good news.

We engage. I brace myself for a full-powered frontal attack, but instead Lanon starts trying to probe my thoughts and memories. Okay, good luck there. I fill that part of my mind with the plot from my latest chapter of Shubugan the Shobogan from Sheboygan. Have fun with that, bozo.

You don't want to win this round, he thinks at me. Why is that?

I keep my mental poker face.

Come on, attack me, he taunts. I know you want to. Look at me. I'm a smug asshole who thinks he's hot stuff because he goes to a stuck-up school. His chin juts out toward me as he laughs. Plant one on there. You know you want to.

I'm not only between a rock and a hard place, but the rocks are closing in. If I attack him, I'll win, and the alpha pattern will fire on the next round. If I don't attack him, everybody will know that he's right about our strategy, and it won't be long before someone figures out why we needed to do that. And he's right. I really want to clobber him.

But wait. We're mentally connected, and he wants to break into my thoughts. So let's give him some. It's a big gamble, but it's the only chance I have.

All right! He fell for it! I think, projecting it just enough so that he'll "accidentally" pick up on it. By making them think we were trying not to win, I conned him into lowering his defenses. Now I can take him out. I can't believe he's this stupid!

I wait just a fraction of a second to give him a chance to react. Then I attack with everything I've got; anything less and he'd still be suspicious. His defenses go back up just in the nick of time. My attack rocks him a little but doesn't do any more than that. The time bell rings. Thank goodness for that, because I'm spent, and if he'd had time to counter then I'd have been toast. It just goes to show, there's brain power, and then there's brain power. These guys probably spend hours every day exercising their minds on the latest equipment, but they've never had to survive by their wits.

With the score now six and a half to three and a half, the last set of competitors step up, and they commence. The guy with the slightly-too-big head fires a mental tsunami at Alpha. It's a mental attack of planet-shattering proportions. I nearly fall off my chair, even though I'm not even connected to the apparatus. For a moment, nobody reacts. I stare at Alpha. Is he...

Thank you! That was exhilirating! Alpha thinks at his opponent, who looks back at him in disbelief. The screen background turns green. A win for us. Tough luck, guys. Attacking Alpha's mind is like trying to drown an ocean. He hasn't got a trace of fear, or despair, or hatred, or any of those other weaknesses that the rest of us have to live with that you can use to attack us. That's just the way he is. I resent him for it, and I know that's one of my weaknesses, which only makes me resent him more. But it makes him pretty much unbeatable. I almost feel guilty about letting him compete, until I remember that the guys we beat are the same ones that didn't want people like Alpha at their schools in the first place. Maybe this'll make them show a little more respect to people who aren't "pure" Gallifreyians. But I doubt it.

Final score, eight and a half to six and a half. The match and the championship goes to School #32767. The crowd goes wild. The five of us high-five each other. People step over the guard rail and rush the stage. Dad shakes my hand, followed by Administrator Skolnik and Mr. Asornek.

My handheld unit blips. A message. Maybe it's Mom, sending congratulations? I look. It isn't. It's a message from an Administrative Services bot.

You have been scheduled to look into the Untempered Schism. Your appointment is at noon, five days from now, in Arcadia City Hall, room 1401.

Ummm. Ooookay. Well, I'm glad that my sanity survived long enough to get to this point. Because unless I figure out another good excuse, it may not last much longer.


A few days later, we're all back at school. It's lunch period; excitement over our win has finally died down, people are no longer high-fiving me and I can finally eat in relative peace. I pick at the unidentifiable slop I got from the server bot while using the other hand to work on my handheld.

"Something interesting?" Hedin asks.

"Yeah, I noticed a message going out from Administrator Skolnik's account to the district authority. He obviously didn't want us to see it, so I want to see it."

Alpha flashes a conspiratorial smile. "We are being snoopers?"

Hedin nods. "Super snoopers."

I start connecting to the auxiliary drive that I programmed to save copies of all of Skolnik's messages. I know from experience that I can trust all of these guys not to report me. If Ginahepiltona had been here that would be another story.

The message text appears on-screen. Hedin starts to read. "Hello, Coordinator Schlub. I appreciate the congratulations you sent after our team's victory in the district Mind-Bending championship. For an out-of-the-way school like us to have a win like this is unprecedented. This isn't just a feel-good thing. It gets us a much higher priority for badly needed improvements and new personnel hires."

"Hopefully some better lunch food too," I quip.

Hedin chuckles, then continues reading. "I would like to show my appreciation to the students on our team in a tangible way. As you know, our school #32767 has never had an official name. It's time we changed that. I'm proposing that our school be named after the young man who led our team to victory."

I blink and read again to make sure I saw that right. Holy crap! Take that, all the people who said I could never be famous. How many people do you know who have schools named after them?

My eyes scan downward to the part of the message that Hedin hadn't gotten to yet. Will take many years to approve, blah blah blah... wait, what?!?

"As you know better than anyone, a change of this sort will take many years to be approved and go into effect," Hedin continues reading. "That actually works well, because I don't want this going into effect until the team members have graduated. But I'd like you to start the wheels in motion to change our school's name to Ood Alpha School."

"Is great honor," Alpha says. "But why Who's head is down on table?"

"It's, er, it's an old tradition in his family," Hedin says. "He's showing how happy he is for you."

"Yes, really happy," I say as I bang my head into the table. "So happy I can't contain myself."


I've just about finished the last bite of my lunch when I notice Mr. Asornek looking down at me.

"Um, wha--?"

"Would you come with me, please?" he asks.

I check the clock as I stand up. There's still twelve minutes before History class. Sure, why not? Hedin follows behind us. "Where are we going?" I ask. I wonder if I'm in some sort of trouble, but if I were, I'm pretty sure they would've sent someone else.

"The infirmary," he answers as we walk down the hallway.

"What for?"

"Because she asked for you."

Before I can wonder who "she" is, I come into the room and see for myself. "Ms. Osfrey?" She's sprawled out over one of the cots. A guy in a med-tech uniform stands next to her, examining scanner read-outs. This must be a pretty unusual case if they had to call in a living person.

I lean over to the tech. "What happened?" I ask him.

"We aren't sure. The data we have suggest that she ingested some sort of poison. But we've no idea where it came from."

"A disgruntled student, maybe?" Who would want to poison Ms. Osfrey? Wait, let me rephrase that.

"This was no home-grown formula," the tech says. "There was a component that appeared designed to interfere with a body's ability to regenerate, so that it could take out a Gallifreyian in one shot. Even most military-grade toxins wouldn't work that well."

I wonder if there was an Initiave contract out on Ms. Osfrey. Why would they care? She lifts an arm and beckons me over. I lean in, and she whispers in my ear.

"We've got to get her to a more advanced facility," the tech says. He fiddles with a hand control unit and a transport cart materializes with a robot standing beside it. With practiced ease the tech and the robot ease Ms. Osfrey onto the cart platform, then it disappears along with the two of them.

"Weird," I say to no one in particular.

"What did she tell you?" Hedin asks.

"Nothing that made any sense," I answer. "I mean, I'm glad she thinks I'm clever, but I don't have to run. I've already been elected student president. And remember what?!?"

Hedin flashes a wry smile. "I guess you forgot."

"Yeah." The three of us drift down the hall towards history class. "I hope they can do something to help her."

Mr. Asornek nods. "Let's keep a good thought."

"Because after she's healthy, I can go back to hating her guts."

Hedin and I get to class and take our usual seats. "I suppose they'll have to call in a substitute now," he says.

"Yeah." Which may be a good thing. Not that I wish any harm on Mrs. O., but let's face it, just about anyone else would be an improvement.

A figure bounds into the room. "All right, you scrubs!" It's Cojon. "Line up for wind sprints!"

"Um... in History class?" Hedin says.

"Yes! Learning is enhanced by physical activity!" He blows on the whistle hanging from his neck. "Move! Move!"

I never thought I'd say this, but Ms. Osfrey, please hurry back.


The big day finally comes. Dad drives me to Arcadia in an anti-grav flyer that I never even knew he had.

A big crowd of spectators is milling around the area as we land. Dad sets the flyer to hold but doesn't pop the bubble. "It's not too late. You can still demur. I'll back you up if you do."

"Relax, Dad. I've got it covered."

"You kids all think you're invulnerable. That's what Rodel thought too. I..."

I look him in the eye. "No, Dad, I really mean it. It'll be okay. I've got a plan that can't fail. But thanks, though. I really do appreciate the thought."

Dad pauses, sighs, and finally pushes a button. The flyer's bubble top pivots open.

"Good luck," he says. I flash him a thumbs-up.


His jeweled cloak dragging on the ground, and flanked by two assistants, a guy who's obviously a Time Lord strolls across the grounds. In full regalia with goofy hat included, and flanked by the Mayor of Arcadia and several assistants, he looks over the students who've come for the ceremony, then stops to address one of them. "What's your name, lad?"

"Blorgleflurt, my lord," the student answers.

"Best of luck to you, Blorgleflurt."

"Thank you, my lord."

The Time Lord walks further down the line, and pauses again. "What's your name?"


"You," he replies. "What's your name."

"My name is Who, sir."

"Ah, I see, yes." He peers closely for a moment. "Are you familiar with the rules of this event? The rules say that no one may impose any rules. Take care, because this rule must not be violated."

Oh crap. I frantically try to kill the processing thread before-- But it's too late. My AIvatar sputters out of existence.

From my position in the crowd, I watch and listen on the nano-cam that I hid earlier. The Time Lord turns to one of the assistants. "Were all of these students scanned in?"

"Yes, my lord. We personally verified all of them."

"Remarkable. So this one, Who, has found a way of defrauding our scanners?"

"Apparently so, my lord." The aide takes out a hand-held computer. "Should I put him down as having ducked out?"

"Seems a bit of a waste, doesn't it. If this person is clever enough to do something none of our scientists have yet managed, I would think that we might like the chance to recruit him, wouldn't you?"

The assistant stares back, waiting for instructions.

"Schedule him for the same time next year," the Time Lord says.

"Yes, sir."


Several hours later, Hedin and I are in Rodel's room, watching the scene with the Mayor on Rodel's computer. It's not from the same perspective as my nano-cam. I don't know where he's getting the video feed from. He laughs as it gets to the part where the Time Lord pops my AIvatar.

"So how did you fool the scanners?" Hedin asks.

"Actually, I didn't. I was there when they scanned us in. When that Time Lord guy showed up, everybody was paying attention to him and nobody was looking at me. So I snuck out and left my AIvatar behind."

Hedin grins. "That was good thinking."

"Yeah, I thought so. Dad took me out for treats after. I think he was pretty worried."

Too late, I wonder whether I should've said that. He was worried that I might end up like Rodel. I look over at him, trying to be nonchalant about it, but there's no sign that he's taken any offense. "I have to say, you do come up with some creative ways of getting out of these messes," he says.

Hedin nods. "Like Who's future self coming back to save his past self from Niblosky. I have to say, I never would've come up with that."

"I'm not sure how *I* came up with it. I got the idea from my future self, and then passed it onto my past self."

Rodel laughs. "I did try to help with that one."

"Really?" I ask, surprised.

"Yes." He flashes a predatory smile. "Even I can't get into the Initiative's systems, but I could intercept the message that they sent to your associate while it was in transit to him, and make certain alterations."

Hedin looks puzzled. But I get it. "Alterations like removing my namenand substituting..."

Rodel gives a self-satisfied nod. "You're welcome."

"You--" Hedin stammers, realization dawning on his face.

"I think we'd better go," I say, nudging Hedin towards the door while he's still mostly dumbstruck. "Those homework essays aren't going to write themselves." I practically shove him out, not taking no for an answer.

Hedin and I stop at the top of the stairs. "He's--" he says. "He's a..."

"Yeah, I know." Psychopath. Sociopath. Total nutcase. There's no other kind of person who, when finding out that someone wants to kill his brother, would happily put an innocent person in the crosshairs instead, and then expect that I should be grateful for it. But at least he won't be my problem. Rodel's already gotten in trouble with the Time Lords and soon he's no doubt going to piss off the Initiative and eternity only knows who else. When that time comes, neither I nor anyone else will be able to do anything to save him.

I look down the stairs, and there's a familiar face. "Mom?"

"Hello, Who."

"Hedin, have you met my mom?" I say as we drift down the stairs. "This isn't actually her, of course; it's one of the AIvatars she often sends us." I turn to her. "Hey, Mom, the Time Lord at the ceremony asked me an interesting question. If there's a rule that says there can't be any rules--"

"I found out about your run-in with the Initiative," she says. "I had no idea that they'd targeted you. I had to call in a lot of favors, but I got your name removed."

"So you, I mean your original, knew about them? How many other people are on the kill list? Why doesn't the High Council put a stop to the whole thing?"

"I'm only one person. There's only so much I can do."

"Yeah, whatever." I'm too pissed off to continue this conversation. Yeah, as long as it's not your offspring who's being assassinated, it's not worth doing anything about. Her attitude really isn't that different from Rodel's. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. "Tell your original I said hi when you report back to her, since you're just an AIvatar and all."

She turns, and disappears through the door to the kitchen.

Hedin raises an eyebrow at me. "You know that she--"

"Yeah, I know." I shrug. If she isn't going to own up to it, it's not my problem. I gave her every chance to cut the crap and she just couldn't do it even though she obviously wanted to. Really, we're a whole family of chronic bullshitters. That's the only reason we won the mind-bending championship. In a fair and honest competition, Lanon would've fried me.

"Okay," Hedin says. "I'm sure you'll have other chances. I mean, the High Council certainly wouldn't out of spite arrange things so that you and her will never see each other again, right?"

I stop to think for a moment, and then run over to the kitchen door and push it open. "Mom?"

There's no one there.


Another school day, the last one before break. On my way to school, I pass the Old Guy, and wave as usual.

"Hiya, sonny," he says.

"Hey." I stop for a moment. "I was wondering something. You've had to deal with the Time Lords and all of their BS. How do you cope with it all? How do you keep from saying 'I can't take it anymore!' and just running away?"

"I just think it can all be worked out."


"Using complex space-time coordinate functions to describe lateral probability shifts. It's all about the neutrinos! The representation of divine and infernal power in terms of continuously parameterized symmetry groups."

"Um, yeah. Why didn't I think of that? See ya later, man." So that's how. I hope I can see him when he gets back to our reality, if he ever does.

I make it to school ahead of class time, and detour into the Administrator's office. After some obligatory pleasantries, I get to the point. "You asked me what I wanted to do after school. This is it." I pass my handheld to him, and he reads.

Chief Investigator: Inspects and monitors governmental and other public activity to expose and prosecute misconduct or misuse of resources.

"Interesting," Skolnik says. "I didn't know that such a position existed."

"The InfoNet says it does. But they won't say who the current one is. Maybe nobody. Maybe just an AI, though it's supposed to be a person."

"You think there's a lot to be investigated?" Skolnik asks with a barely concealed smirk.

I resist the urge to roll my eyes. "It's just possible."

"What sorts of things do you expect to find?"

"I can't tell you. If the very existence of the Chief Investigator is secret, then obviously what he investigates is too." I mean, duh.

"You know that you'd have to significantly improve your academic work before you could ever be considered for something like this, right?" He hands back my computer. "And you'll have to keep out of trouble."

"Absolutely." I smile. "You won't catch me doing any bad stuff anymore."

He eyes me cautiously, as if waiting for the other shoe to drop, or me to tell him what the catch is. Well, too bad. Not my problem if he wasn't listening closely enough.

Okay, I did lie a little. I'm not planning on being an official government inspector. They'd never give a role like that to someone like me anyway. But I am going to bring down the Initiative and put a stop to all the crap that they pull on the rest of us. I'm still a troublemaker. But I'm going into stealth mode. Deep cover. That's assuming I can keep away from this Untempered Schism thing, or actually go through it without going bonkers, of course.

Seeing that the big guy is done with me for now, I get out of my chair and stand up. But before I can leave, his assistant pokes her head in. "Excuse me, Administrator," she says. "There's a problem with the computers in the AI lab. They've started playing Zhlorb Yargley songs."

Skolnik raises an eyebrow at me.

I shrug. "I was with you." Yeah, I'm in stealth mode. But that doesn't mean I can't have a little fun.

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