Fic: The UNIT Recruit's Handbook
Title: The UNIT Recruit's Handbook
Characters/Pairings: Brigadier Winifred Bambera/Ancelyn, the Master, the Rani, Lucy Saxon, the Tenth Doctor, Donna, the Sea Devils, UNIT in general
Rating: PG at most.
Summary: The zeroth law of UNIT: it always gets weirder.
Word Count: 1000
Original Story: The Unbearable Weirdness of Being UNIT, by biichan.
Notes: Remixing any of biichan's work is both an honor and completely terrifying. I hope I've done her justice. Beta'd by the incomparable eponymous_rose.
When incorporeal men show up and begin dancing (badly) to strange music (also bad), do not flinch. This is the least of the weird things that will happen.
Julian Boyles was not having a good first day on the job.
He'd heard that UNIT was an odd duck among military assignments, of course; who hadn't? But Julian liked odd jobs, usually. He'd been the first in his original unit to recover when robotic Santas and plastic mannequins started attacking people, which was how he'd got here in the first place. But those were things you could shoot, besides which they were doing some quite amazing things with robotics these days. He could believe such things as robot Santas.
He was having a harder time with ghosts of former, slightly-psychotic Prime Ministers.
And Brigadier Bambera was scowling. That was never a good sign.
Beside him, his fellow recruit and for-the-moment partner Holly McGuire was staring at the ghost with wide eyes. "I can't believe this," she whispered.
"I know," Julian whispered back, relieved.
"That is a terrible song," Holly hissed.
Julian was suddenly very depressed.
Marion is a small child. She may, therefore, shriek in fear and hide beneath a desk--though she won't. You are a UNIT recruit. Chin up.
He got used to the ghost, after a bit. After a fashion.
He and Holly got stuck on lab-guarding duty for three months, perhaps because there wasn't anything better to do, and the ghost of Mr. Saxon had quickly discovered that Holly was vulnerable to bad music (but not averse to telling him to shut it) and that Julian could be made to shriek if the ghost, just for example, were to pop suddenly out of a wall beside him. Julian would then usually curse inventively, which made the pretty blonde lab assistant laugh, which was probably the ghost's original intention.
At any rate, Julian got used to that rather too quickly, and the ghost stopped popping out of walls, rather sulkily. Then he stopped being there altogether, which made Julian heave an internal sigh of relief just as the first fish-man appeared on the monitors.
Holly poked fun at him for hours, after. Even in the middle of all the shooting.
Should a man in a blue box materialize out of thin air and chaos ensues (as it will), take it in stride. He is not an enemy, nor is this the weirdest thing that will ever happen to you (though the odds are, if the Doctor has turned up, things are already beyond weird).
[handwritten addendum by Julian Boyles] If he's got a ginger bird with him, do not engage. Repeat: do not engage.
The box was a surprise. Julian did not, however, shriek. He felt quite proud of himself.
The man who exploded out of it, running after the Brigadier and the LT and Marion down the hallway, was even more of a surprise. Holly, out of breath as she and Julian sprinted down the tile floor after him, panted something about electric sockets and forks, and added something a minute later about hedgehogs. If Julian could have understood her, he probably would have agreed--that was fairly impressive hair--but he was really more interested in the ginger woman's equally impressive chest.
Which was probably why he more or less ran into it when they stopped.
If Brigadier Bambera begins snogging her husband at any time, do not snigger. Do not make catcalls. Do turn sharply away and stand at attention until they are finished. Most importantly, do not make comments: you are not as funny as you think you are.
This time, thank God, it was Holly who got in trouble, and not Julian, because he didn't think he could deal with being slapped any more today, not with the arm that ginger bird had on her. Anyway, he had three sisters and the sense God gave a flea, and knew therefore that commenting on anyone snogging was a bad idea. Commenting on your superior snogging was tantamount to suicide in some circles.
"Aren't we sort of in battle?" Holly murmured to Julian. "Should we break this up before there are babies? More babies?"
"MCGUIRE!" The LT had, with the stealth mode possessed by officers everywhere, crept up on them. Holly flinched.
It was the dinosaurs that saved her in the end, though Julian privately thought that the LT was not going to let this go anytime soon. "Latrines for a month," he told her, wisely, and she squeezed her eyes shut.
If a government official should unexpectedly turn out to be the arch enemy of a former government official, do not get involved. You will regret it.
Dr. Usher (who was apparently somebody called the Rani) and the maniac man with the fascinating hair and terrifying ginger friend (who was the Doctor; the maniac, not the ginger woman, who was named Donna) were winding down a long and very complicated argument that Julian had not been able to follow in the slightest. The pretty blonde lab assistant was occupying herself by opening her eyes very wide and looking innocent, which Holly was vocally sure she was not in the least. Brigadier Bambera was looking cranky again, the terrifying ginger bird was rolling her eyes, and the LT was trying to turn invisible.
Julian and Holly looked at each other, then quickly took a smart step back.
Definitely not the time to get involved.
Yes, it is always this strange. Get used to it.
Holly took Julian to the pub after. They both agreed they deserved it.
"Well," Julian said, after several drinks.
"Well," Holly agreed, and put her latest one down empty.
"Not the smoothest couple of months."
"No." Her big eyes turned suddenly mournful. "You were right. Latrines. For a month."
The LT must have caught up with her after all the dinosaurs had been sorted. "You'll get through it," Julian said, and patted her shoulder vaguely.
"Suppose," Holly said. "D'you think today was an exception, or were these last couple of months just quiet?"
"I daren't even think," Julian murmured.