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By David Ronayne

High on the dais the three waited, searching, scanning the time lines for a release, an escape from their continual existence. From a dark alcove below a pair of sharp dark eyes watched them intently while a set of slender fingers deftly flicked over a small plastic cube.

The green fog rolled closer. He screamed over the deadly hiss as it billowed out, ranting at the creature bearing down on him with the gas cylinder. The betrayal by his creation, the unravelling of his master plan, revenge centuries in the planning. How he cursed. The flames from the storage area licked into the isolation room, but still he damned Ingiger to hell, before noticing the danger. Suddenly the concoction of heat and fumes reached flash point, and the room exploded into...


He felt the dank chill in the air, and a stone floor beneath his feet. Fenric lowered the arm he'd raised to shield himself and found himself in a vast vaulted round chamber. Standing in a dimly illuminated circle he could just make out the three in the poor light, and could sense, rather than see, another hidden in the shadows to his left. He still had the captain's body. Young and fit, it should hold him in good stead for whatever the three had in store for him. He knew who they were of course. They had all been together since the dawn of time, immortals caught in the monotony of eternity, each trying to combat the curse of their longevity, boredom.

‘YOU REMEMBER US,’ the voices boomed in unison. Fenric nodded. ‘YOU KNOW OF OUR AMUSEMENTS?’ Fenric smiled, ‘The competitions of Ragnarock.’ There was a faint clicking from the darkness. He turned, but was unable to locate its source. ‘Why am I here?’ he asked, rounding on the triumvirate again. ‘WE PICKED YOU FROM TIME TO FACE OUR CHAMPION FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT. IT WILL RELIEVE ALL OUR MONOTONNIES.’ The background clicking continued, increasing in pace. Their powers were matched, and his curiosity was roused. Any creature weak enough to succumb to the Gods would definitely be inferior to him. He was eternal, all-powerful and unstoppable. The clicking stopped.

‘I accept,’ Fenric called, striking a defiant pose, ignoring the silence to his side. There was a final click, and the plastic cube hurtled towards his head like a projectile. He caught it without turning, and turned it over in his hand. Each coloured face was segmented into nine interlocking pieces forming a three-dimensional puzzle. This one was solved. He looked up to see the Mandarin suited figure disentangle itself from the shadows.

‘It's your move...’

Editor's Note:
Readers might notice a similarity between David Ronayne's story and one by Warwick Gray that appeared in Doctor Who Magazine 192. We would like to point out that David wrote and submitted his story to us before he had seen Warwick's story. This stands as an intriguing example of two writers having much the same idea at the same time.

This item appeared in TSV 32 (February 1993).

Index nodes: Fiction