Scene 14: Training Barracks
(Athos and Aramis are standing outside a huge set of doors and idly chatting to each other)
Athos: (gesturing) And so I said to him, “To quote the Romans, your pilum may be harder than my sternum, but this sword can easily rip you to shreds!”
Aramis: (laughing) I presume he got the “point” then?
Athos: Indeed he did, Aramis. Never saw him again. Ah, Monsieur Rocks, how are you this fine morn?
(Paul enters the shot wearing a Musketeer’s outfit)
Paul: I feel marvellous and take a look at these togs. (He spins round showing off his outfit)
Athos: A Musketeer in the making, Aramis, no?
Aramis: A Musketeer indeed. All you have to do now is to beat that person in there (points to doors) and you will be a qualified Musketeer.
(Paul makes for the doors but is stopped by)
Aramis: Although what he suggested about your mother was most uncalled for.
Paul: What did he say about my mother?
Aramis: I can’t rightly remember but I think he suggested that you were born out of wedlock. Can you remember what he said Athos?
Athos: What are you on about Aramis, there’s (Aramis elbows him and winks) Oh yes, I remember. Yes, after Aramis and myself told him about you he remarked and I quote “The bastard doesn’t stand a chance!” before hitting us both in the stomach and walking in there as if he owned the place.
Paul: (gulps) Big is he?
Aramis: Bigger than Porthos!
Paul: (starts to back away) You know, I don’t think I’m really cut out for this Musketeer lark (and turns to leave)
Athos: Does the term “chicken hearted” mean anything to you?
(Paul turns round clearly angry)
Paul: (on the verge of shouting) He called me “chicken hearted”?
(Aramis and Athos nod)
(Paul grabs the door handles and opens the doors)
Paul: (shouts) NO ONE CALLS ME A CHICKEN! GOT THAT? (As the doors close)
Athos: (rubbing where Aramis elbowed him) What was that for?
Aramis: I just felt that he needed a little encouragement and nothing works better than a good sense of personal revenge. And speaking of revenge…
(Porthos saunters up and bows)
Porthos: Good morrow gentlemen, is the candidate ready to get beaten?
Aramis: Well, he’s in there if that’s what you mean but I don’t think he’s going to be an easy one.
Porthos: Oh? What makes you say that?
Aramis: Well, he seemed to indicate that he thought you were all brawn and no brains, not to mention that he thought that you were very fat and had no real strength at all.
Porthos: (annoyed) He said what?
Athos: He never (Aramis elbows him again) Ow!
Porthos: Are you all right, Athos?
Aramis: Just a slight twinge from that feast at the Pomme du Pup.
Porthos: (opening the doors) I have told you before Athos, eating gets you nowhere but an early grave (shouts) THIS IS ALL MUSCLE STRANGER (and the doors close)
Athos: (looking at Aramis angrily) I thought that you wanted to be a priest. Priests don’t tell lies. That’s two lies you’ve told in less than ten minutes.
Aramis: (kneeling) I know (prays) Dear Lord and Father of Mankind forgive my foolish ways. Reclothe me in your rightful mind, in purer lives thy service finds, in deeper reverence praise, for thou art the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. Amen!
(As Aramis is praying, the Doctor wanders up)
Doctor: Is this a private prayer session or can anyone join in if they want??
Athos: Aramis is just seeking penance for having lied. Twice.
Doctor: Ah, oh by the way, have either of you seen Paul at all, you know the person I arrived with a few days ago, prevented Athos here from being shot. I was told that he’d be in the barracks but then someone said he was seen heading this way.
(Sounds of sword fighting can be heard from behind the doors)
Doctor: Goodness, they’re going at it hammer and tongs aren’t they? What’s happening there then?
Athos: Porthos is testing a candidate to see if he’s suitable enough to be a Musketeer.
Doctor: Oh? The final stage of assessment eh?
Aramis: The final stage ever. Many candidates have withdrawn after losing to Porthos.
Doctor: I can well imagine, so who’s the unlucky fellow this time?
Aramis and Athos: Paul!
Doctor: Oh, I know a (pause) PAUL? (Angry) You let Paul tackle Porthos? But he’s only got a limited knowledge of swordplay. I know Paul is pretty strong for his age but Porthos is the strongest man in this time period. I’m do apologise, gentlemen, but I have to put a stop to this.
(The Doctor advances to the door but Aramis and Athos pull their swords on the Doctor)
Athos: No one may enter during an examination. Those are the rules
(The Doctor starts pacing up and down)
Doctor: Why do my assistants do this to me? First I leave my granddaughter on 21st century Earth, then I kill Sara on Kemble by activating the Time Destructor that the Daleks made, then Adric gets killed trying to defuse a Cyber bomb, Rose has to remain in that parallel dimension because of what her father did. I sometimes wonder if it’s worth having them. I’m beginning to see why the Master travels alone.
Doctor: My mortal enemy Aramis. And that is why I wanted to find Paul. I was hoping that he’d help me defeat the Master once and for all. It seems though that I will need to place an advert for a new assistant. The TARDIS can get mighty lonely. Now what would I need to put. Wanted, companion for ancient Time Lord. Might have a basic understanding of the complexities of temporal physics or have a willingness to learn. Must be able to ask questions, be inventive and if the applicant is a lady, scream for at least 15 seconds at a level of 115 decibels or more
(As the Doctor reels off his requirements, the sounds of fighting stop. Athos and Aramis realise this and open the doors. Paul steps out with a massive grin on his face with Porthos limping beside him)
Doctor: Please reply by universal roaming e-mail within three weeks relative time, which should get some replies worth considering. It’s a shame really. I really wanted to show Paul that being strong is okay, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a little brain. After all Hercules wasn’t just a mass of muscle, oh no, he was quite bright considering.
Paul: Hercules? Bright?
(The Doctor spins round)
Doctor: Paul! You’re all right!
(The Doctor runs up starts to hug him, but Paul coughs and the Doctor shakes his hand instead)
Porthos: He is more than all right Doctor. He’s a Musketeer!
Paul: (shocked) You mean it? I’m a Musketeer?
Doctor: Oh good. Now, anyone fancy giving old Richelieu a helping hand?
(The Musketeers and Paul look at the Doctor in amazement)
Doctor: Don’t worry. I’ll explain on the way