From the diary of Carl Dean, former undercover police officer, DEA, New York.

It was cold: And rainy, and slightly freezing.

I hate cold. I hate rain. And I really, really, really, really, hate freezing.

What really ticked me off was that I wasn't out here by choice. If I had been out here by choice, I wouldn't have been complaining, because it would be my fault that I was out there, and my fault I was freezing.

No, I was out here because my boss told me to. My stupid boss, that fat, imbecilic, lazy piece of dirt! Total waste of skin, bones, internal organs...

I waited in the rather lovely park – or it would have been lovely had it not been for the fact that it was cold and rainy weather.

I was waiting for an even bigger waste of skin, bones and internal organs, namely my contact, Johnny Daniels, known as Johnny D throughout the criminal underworld.

When the guy finally turned up, he looked a mess. He was a tall guy, about 6'3, he was a druggie, a dealer, and he was an idiot – though those two things really go together hand in hand.

"So," I asked him, "what is this massive piece of information that I really need to know?"

"Don Barty Masters," replied Johnny D, in as much of a panic as a high druggie can be coherently. "He's got an army, man! Hundreds of guys, all tooled up to the max with AK's and stuff. He's going to war against Dimitri Valtane, the local Russian mobster –"

"I know who Valtane is," I replied.

"But that's not the worst of it, man!" spluttered Johnny D. "He's got some new backers – tough guys, with really freaky ray gun things and stuff, man..."

I'm pretty sure I gaped at this point. Ray guns? Was Johnny even more off his head than usual?

"You sure about that?" I asked him.

"Sure as the sky is blue and the grass is green," he replied, his customary stupid metaphor slipping in.

"Right," I said. "Well then, I guess someone's got to do something."

-------------------------------------------------

That someone, you guessed it, was me. My boss (curse his oily skin) sent me in deep undercover.

I got in pretty far, as it happens. Not as far as I'd have wanted, but even a low standing position in Don Bartholomew's (Don Masters' full name) inner circle was impressive for a Junk Squad Plant – as the mobsters call us.

It took me nine months, though. And in those nine months I've seen horrors that scarred my soul, to the extent that every single night I wake up screaming. People murdered for being in the wrong place in the wrong time, families wiped out for the crime of being related to a snitch, pregnant woman high on heroine...

Then the letter came, one day, for me to become part of the inner circle. Don Masters was calling a meeting...

Dear Mr Dean.

For nine months now, I have been watching your progress.

You are exactly what this organization needs, and that is why I have decided to appoint you to the inner circle, as a Lower Boss.

Lower Boss was one of the ranks that Don Masters had created for his circle. Lower boss was the least of them, but still pretty high in his organization. They ran hustling, small time operations. Then there was middle boss, and these tended to run his operations on a city wide scale. Finally, we had High bosses, of which there were four – one for each continent – and Masters himself, who ran business in America himself, from the rotten core of the Big Apple. They were all goons, flunkies, and general other types of Yes Men that weren't worth the skin bones and other organs they had.

As a 'trial by fire', if you will, I want you to come to a very special meeting. My conference room, 10 0'clock, tomorrow.

Don Bartholomew Masters, Esq.

The Circle met only a few times a year, to discuss business plans, company morale in the various filler organizations, and the occasional really important deal. Judging from the way Masters out it – in his very own writing as well – this was the latter.

This was it. This meeting was the big one – the one where Masters boy would reveal to us exactly what he had and how he had it. I had to attend, to get enough evidence of what he was planning.

Although I would have had to attend anyway, in retrospect. If you didn't, he killed you.

--------------------------------------------

I arrived at his private conference room, along with the other lower bosses, at about five minutes before the appointed time. Nervously, I entered the circular room with the others. Masters sure had a taste for the Arcane.

We gathered around the similarly circular table, the other flunkies and I, and waited for Don Barty-boy to show up. The room was like something out of Dungeons and Dragons or some such crap. Old swords and stuff were hung up around the walls, mixed with pictures of the Don with various people – including one of him with some broad that looked like she a a pole up her rear end.

When Masters finally did show up, he was as impressive as a guy could be without being OTT.

He was tall and thin, unlike most gangster kingpins, with long, dark, swept back hair. He completed the image with a goatee beard that suited is powerful features, and his eyes were yellow, catlike.

He radiated power.

And it wasn't just the Armani suit he wore, the golden rings he had on his hands, or even his accent, a deep rich British one that no other mobster boss I knew of had.

No, it was the fact that no one – no one – could stand to stare at his eyes. No one could dare to look straight at him. He was a dominant man, by his looks, his voice, and his very eyes, and that was why he was in charge.

"My friends," he began. He always began with the phrase 'My friends,' as though we were his closest pals, his best buddies, but none of us were, not even the highest in his inner circle, could really be called anything other than an employee. He stared into our eyes, each in turn, and I am slightly proud to say that I held the yellowy gaze the longest.

"My friends," he said again, "this is the dawn of a new era. We have secured several powerful backers, who will help us to defeat our rivals, of the Russian Mafia, take over this city, and even take over the country."

"Take over the country?" repeated one of his flunkies, disbelievingly. "That's impossible."

Masters looked at the man, a lower boss like me, then he smiled softly, baring sharp teeth.

"I shall demonstrate the effectiveness of the weapons our... backers, have provided us."

He took out a small pen like device, aimed it at the dissenter, and pressed a button.

A thin beam of golden light shot out, and hit the man squarely in the chest. He fell out of his chair silently, and lay on the floor, still as death.

"Check him for yourselves," Masters said to the other members of the inner circle. "He is very, very dead."

None of us bothered. We believed him, and the man's glassy, staring eyes, and steadily paling complexion said all they needed to. We turned instead to look back at Masters, who was looking smug, showing his teeth again.

"That would be the power of a hand held weapon," he explained smoothly. "Imagine the power of one the size of a person – or a tank. That is the power that this weaponry gives us."

Nobody spoke for a long while, each of us lost in our own dark thoughts... me lost to mine, as I imagined the NYPD up against weapons like that. Then, coming from the corner of the room, a clapping began, slow and soft, but unmistakeable.

"Oh bravo, bravo!" came a voice, in an accent that I vaguely recognised as Scottish. "I must say, as evil plans go, that one really is top notch."

A shortish man in a cream coat, chequered brown trousers and a horrible pullover stepped out from the shadows.

"Ten out of ten, really, nice plan," the man continued. "It's simple, smart, effective, and with a nice 'killing your underlings' moment in there to cap it all off that all Blowfeld impersonators need. 8 out of 10 – you need the cat."

"Are you a crazy-man or something?" asked one of the Flunkies.

"No, I'm the Doctor," replied the man, as if it was a common misconception. "And you," he continued, turning to Don Masters, "are getting far too obvious in your old age, old friend."

Masters shook his head, and looked at the man with abject hatred on his face.

"It's always you, isn't it?" he asked. "It can't ever be anyone else's turn to win, or to rule, or to be 'it', it's got to be you."

"Nope," replied the Doctor. "It just can't be you."

He turned to the lackeys, sweeping his gaze over each of them in turn. I'm pretty certain he was judging us; but oddly, I didn't feel at the time that he was judging me, just them...

Finally, he spoke.

"I think all of you should leave."

Every single person there, to a man, left the room, walking, then running, some yelling as they barged through the door.

But not me. I refused to leave, because I wanted to know where this guy got off, entering a mafia meeting, unarmed, alone, and then telling a whole room full of people to leave. And I wanted to know why they did, why he had scared them that much.

"So?" asked Masters. "What do you want?"

"For you to surrender quietly, and leave now," replied the Doctor. Funny thing is, that the thing that occurred to me wasn't the fact that he seemed to know Masters – even calling him friend – it was the way he rolled his 'r's.

At his words, however, Masters laughed, a cold, inhuman sound that chilled me to the bone.

"Not happening, Doctor. Dean, kill him."

That's it, I thought to myself. Got to reveal myself now. Arrest him while I've still got the chance.

But instead I found myself reaching for a gun, and aiming at the Doctor. He just stared at me. What was I doing? I tried to get a hold of myself, but I couldn't. I heard Masters's voice in my head – obey me, kill him, obey me – and I aimed right between the Doctor's eyes, a perfect headshot within my reach.

"Kill him," Masters repeated. His eyes seemed almost to glow, but since my vision was entirely peripheral, I couldn't tell if they actually did.

The Doctor stared. His eyes were icy blue, cold and unthreatening, as if the man behind them was just watching a play, not staring death in the face. They seemed to say "go ahead, look me and the eye and pull the trigger." I could have sworn I heard him say it out loud, but his mouth didn't move, and no ones that good a ventriloquist.

I stared back. My gun hand didn't waver, but I didn't pull the trigger either.

"Kill him!" Masters yelled. I swung my gun to cover him.

"Mr Bartholomew Masters," I said, slowly and evenly. "I am arresting you for being in possession of illegal substances, murder and terrorism. You have the right to shut the hell up."

The Doctor's eyes flicked to Masters.

"No," the Mafia Don said. "I think you'll find that I'm not going anywhere."

He aimed the weapon at me, and smiled.

"Die," he said. He pressed a button. I closed my eyes and waited for death.

Nothing. I peeped my eyes open, and Masters was staring at the weapon in disbelief.

"What?" he said. "How is this possible?!"

"Well, that would be me," the Doctor smiled. He held up a device similar to Masters's, and grinned. "Shut your weapon off remotely. You are so very beaten."

He smiled, and walked over to me.

"Well done," was all he said. Then he turned to Masters, and softly conversed with him for a while. Well, I say that, but Masters never talked. He just stood there, staring at the weapon that had failed him.

Masters was still staring at the weapon half an hour later, when the uniforms came to arrest him properly. The Doctor slipped quietly away, and I let him. He'd done nothing wrong.

Three weeks later, Masters escaped, and hasn't been heard of since. I wasn't really surprised somehow. It seemed pretty obvious that he'd get away, in retrospect, though no one else saw it.

I quit the DEA. It wasn't for me really.

Even now, I wonder if I'll see the Doctor again. If ever I'll see those blue eyes again. Yeah, that sounds like I'm hopelessly in love, but really, it's because I want to ask him. How does a guy look at a gun, aiming at his face and not care? What kind of life does a man have to live to get to the point where a gun in the face is nothing to worry about?

I'll know one day, I guess. It's a small world.

Extract ends.

------------------------------------------------------

The Doctor put down the diary, and smiled. He'd changed a lot since then, of course. Everything had. But he still found the fact that he was mentioned in a diary quite touching. He dusted a bit of fluff off of his fawn coat, and glanced at himself in the mirror. In retrospect, he missed the eccentric stuff about his body. The old stuff.

Maybe with my next body, he thought to himself. Why not?

Carl was wrong though, the Master had said something to him. "Why can't I ever beat you?" he had said. "Why do you always win?"

He smiled at the irony of his answer.

"Maybe when the universe ends, Master."

He stopped smiling, as memories of his recent past flashed through his mind. The Master stealing his TARDIS. The Laser Screwdriver. Toclafane. The year that never was.

"I guess you don't know me so well after all."

The Master's death.

"I win."

He put the card in his hands up on the drawing table, and the memoirs next to it. Then he walked back to the TARDIS.

The card had the words;

Thanks for helping out, Carl.

The Doctor,

--------------------------------------------

Fin.