"Horrid. Absolutely horrid!"
The black garbed figure observed this as he stepped out of what looked like a Greek Corinthian Column. The column looked out of place in the dark, dank, swampy environment, but the man most certainly didn't. He looked perfectly at home here, even though this place was making him nervous.
From his cloak, he pulled out what looked like some kind of tracer. He clicked it on and it hummed to life. He slowly turned round in a circle until it clicked loudly and insistently.
That way, into the darkest part of the mire.
He gulped at the prospect of going in there; but if he was to succeed, he must.
Slowly and cautiously he made his way through the mess of mangled trees. Overhead, he heard the cry of a Grindal. He looked up to see the great mythological monster soaring high above him. Its membranous wings were outstretched as far as they would go. He held the tracer for dear life and proceeded onward.
When the figure had cleared through a mess of tangled vines, he saw his quarry. It was a magnificent column far greater than his own. It rose so high he could not even see the top of it. It seemed to spiral up and up. And lightning flashed around it with such regularity and consistency that it actually appeared as though the column itself was the source of the lightning
"No matter," the figure said to himself.
He walked toward the single door at the bottom of the column. He arrived to find the door was held closed by some sort of impenetrable force. He had suspected as much. On the door was the ancient symbol of the Time Lands of Gallifrey. The ones who had built the place.
He took out a black device from his cloak. He moved it in circles around the door. Within seconds, a pink light began to shimmer about the door. It did so for about a minute before it disappeared. Then, the door opened.
The figure stepped through the now-open archway and into a long narrow hallway. It was lined with shields, trophies, and armor from Gallifreyan ancient history. The black-garbed figure marveled at such treasures. Then, at the end of the hall, a brilliant yellow light shone all around. The figure was blinded for a moment but then in them, in the middle of it, he saw a tall figure. This one was clad in a long, studded robe and wore a mask that appeared metallic and covered his entire head. The lights on the mask lit in perfect synchronization with the words as it spoke.
"Who are you?!" It boomed menacingly. "What are you doing here?!"
"Omega…" the black-clad figured gasped. "Are you Omega – the greatest Time Lord of all time?"
"And were you banished here by the Time Lords for your numerous crimes against the state of Gallifrey?"
"I was. But who are you?" Omega boomed.
The figure in black smiled. "I am the Master," he proudly said. "And I've come to help you."
The tall blue box with the light on top spun on it is axis Is it traveled through the space-time vortex.
Inside the control room of the TARDIS sat Melanie Bush, one-time computer programmer from Sussex. She was filing her fingernails watching the illuminated center column of the TARDIS console rise and fall as it seemed to do endlessly whenever the Doctor set it on auto pilot.
"Doctor?" she called.
She opened the main doorway to the console room and entered a long corridor. She walked its length calling for the Doctor, but receiving no answers. Just then, she came upon a door from which seemed to be muffling some wild shouting on its other side. She opened the door and walked into a huge cathedral-like room. On the walls were numerous paintings by the greatest artists in the universe which the Doctor had collected in his travels. There were even some paintings done by the Doctor himself.
And there in the center of this gallery—jumping wildly up and down at a canvass—was the short man Melanie knew as the Doctor This was the Doctor's Seventh incarnation. He was short and sported a pullover adorned with question marks along with a paisley tie and a white coat, plaid trousers, and a rather silly looking straw hat.
At the moment, his hat and coat were on a chair and he sported a red beret as he jumped and hollered. He was stroking something up and down: a paint brush.
"Doctor," Melanie began, stifling a chuckle. "What on Earth are you doing? "
"Painting Mel," he said in his usual excited voice. "That's the spice of life, you know! "
"I thought variety was."
"Oh," the Doctor said disappointingly. "Is it? Well no matter. Take a look at my newest masterpiece!"
Melanie studied the canvass, "Well, I'm no art critic Doctor, but it just looks like a lot of black lines to me."
"Yes, that's the beauty of it! Its simplicity!"
"Doctor, where did you learn to paint like this? "
"Why, on Earth of course. Charming man: Van Gogh, I think was his name. Nice guy. Had a terrible insecurity about his ears though."
Melanie could not help but chuckle now. The Doctor had been a little unbalanced since his forced regeneration after his trial on Gallifrey. His train of thought trailed off from time to time, and he also had these fits of shear zaniness. But all in all, he was a much nicer person to be around than his previous self.
He removed his beret, flung it across the room, and then picked his coat and hat off the chair and put them on. "Well Mel," he said. "What do you think?"
"About this collection? It's incredible."
"Nothing compared to the Louvre. Now there's an artist's dream! Y'know, I don't believe I've ever taken you there. Would you like to see it? "
"I'd love it!"
"I'm sure you would. Romana always did."
That was another thing, he constantly made references to people she did not know. Oh well, she thought, nothing to do but laugh it off. She followed him to the console room.
"How is it that you may help me?" Omega boomed.
The Master strolled around Omega, enjoying the sense of authority he now seemed to have. "Back from where I came, I have a TARDIS in which we can escape and go to Gallifrey to destroy our mutual enemies: The Time Lords!"
"You are forgetting something. This is a world of anti- matter. I can only exist in anti-matter environments. Besides that, those cretins would call for the help of the one called 'the Doctor.' How do you propose to get rid of both of these problems?"
"With one fatal blow!" The Master said dramatically. "Aboard my TARDIS, there is a device which will effectively rid us of the Doctor and give you a new regeneration."
"You are lying!" Omega stormed.
"No," said the Master nervously. "No. Wh... what makes you say that?"
"Because, if you did have such a device, you would have used already used it on yourself. Oh yes, I know of your interminable conflict with the Doctor and how you... steal bodies instead of regenerating. You waste my time."
"How can you pass up an opportunity like this? I learned of your existence from the people who developed the device. Together, we could crush The Time Lords!"
Omega was silent. This pitiful fool had a point, and he could not argue with the possibilities it presented. "Very well," he said. "I will join you..."
"Good," the Master replied. "Follow me." The Master walked out the door, his cloak flowing as he led the way to his TARDIS, Omega stayed behind for second.
"...For the moment," he said to himself.
There it was: The out-of-place Corinthian column that was the Master's TARDIS. When Omega stepped inside, he found it quite ordinary. It was much like the TARDIS he once owned, with the exception of the black walls and floor. The Master then asked him to be follow him through the console room's main door out into the main corridor.
After a few moments' walk, the two found a door at the end of the hall. The Master opened the door to reveal a huge cathedral-like room. Though similar to the Doctor's art gallery, it had some startling differences, like being black and having rows of glass (or similar clear materiel) cells.
The most startling difference of all was the machine in the center of the room. It was about seven feet tall and had a series of lights, dials and a rectangular screen in the center. The most striking features were the seven globes on top of the machine. Omega studied the machine with keen interest
"Is this it?" he asked.
"Yes," the Master replied.
"It is a most unique construction. How does it work?"
"Even if I had a thousand years, I couldn't begin to tell to tell you how it works. But put simply, it's a variation of the Time Scoop."
"The Time Scoop? That is merely a legend."
"Oh," the Master said fleetingly, "it was quite real, believe me. But this device scans backward in time to find its quarry and pluck them up into one of those Spheres on top. And that person's memories and experiences are stored there, and their energies are stored in the main batteries. Once it is filled, it will give you the power to regenerate."
"And it is of course..." Omega began.
The Master nodded, "Set to the Doctor's brain pattern. Once we have all seven of his regenerations stored, you will live again! And now..." The Master paused dramatically. "Observe."
The Master touched a series of buttons and the machine hummed to life. The screen began to flicker and finally, an image began to form…
The old man was running down a crystal - lined corridor with a young woman. They were obviously trying to get away from something. This was the Doctor as he first appeared, as an old man in an elaborate black coat and vest with a black ribbon tie. The woman was his granddaughter Susan and she looked worried.
"Oh," the old man gasped. "I must rest. I'm getting too old for this."
"Alright, Grandfather," Susan replied. "I think we lost it for a moment."
Suddenly a blue laser bolt singed right by them almost burning through the Doctor's cane. Susan helped her grandfather up and they began to run down the corridor as more bolts singed by them. The automaton cry they heard behind them was not friendly.
They were being chased by a Dalek!
The Doctor and Susan could run no further. They had hit a dead end. They turned to face their nemesis. The Dalek stood there; its gun arm pointed directly at them.
"You - are - the - Doc-tor," it said its electronic staccato cadence. "You – will – be - ex-ter-min-a-ted."
The Doctor and Susan were prepared to meet their fate when all of a sudden, the Dalek began to glow as a shimmering energy engulfed it. The Doctor and Susan raised their arms to shield their eyes as the energy surrounding the Dalek grew in intensity. Within seconds, the energy field disappeared; and so had the Dalek.
The Doctor and Susan lowered their arms and stared straight ahead, confused. "Grandfather," Susan gasped." I... I don't understand."
"And don't like it," he replied. "I have a bad feeling abou..." Suddenly the shimmering energy field returned. This time, it engulfed the Doctor. Susan screamed as the as the energy field built up just as it had before. And once it faded, the Doctor too was gone.
Susan took a moment to process what had just happened before taking the only course of action she could: Go back to the TARDIS and wait.
"You're going to love Paris, Mel," the short Doctor said as he operated the console, the main column rising and falling. "Beautiful city," he continued, "full of beauty, history, ideology and..." The Docter stopped. He put his hand on his head and his eyes bulged wide. He looked like he was going to pass out, but he quickly recovered.
"Doctor?" Melanie asked. "Are you alright? "
"Wha...?" the Doctor said, momentarily confused. Then he quickly added, "...Oh. 'Course I am. Small problem for a minute, Susan, but I've worked it out. Now, where was I? Oh yes, Paris!"
Now Melanie was concerned, the Doctor had made several references to his past travelers before, but he had never actually called Melanie by one of their names. And why did he look so sick a few moments ago? Melanie decided to keep a close watch on him.