Four

1.

The silence that hung like a shroud over the boy's dormitory was unusual for the time of the day. Normally, in the late afternoon, there would be a buzz of activity in the corridors surrounding the bedroom chambers, with the young Timelords chatting, playing or quarrelling their free hours between classes and supper away. Today however, was the first day of the four days of mourning over the death of young master Redgrave. His ash, or whatever could still be collected from it, was laid out in the chapel in the centre of the Citadel, resting on an altar surrounded by the stone faced statues of the founders of Gallifrey. A fobwatch was left by the remains. The time mechanism was stopped just after 12 o'clock, to symbolize that a young Timelord had passed before his time.

The Doctor sat alone in the dark in the dorm that he shared with the Master. He had closed the curtains to shut out the outside world, for he needed time alone to think.

There were other explanations, a hundred different things the Doctor could come up with that could have gone wrong and what would explain his peer's demise as a mere unfortunate accident. The diamond could have been old, sustained a crack or two before the energy surge that was needed to send the entire class on a fieldtrip hit it and made it shatter. Old master Azmael might have forgotten to check the biopads. He was nearing the end of his 13th regeneration, and had more than once lost his way in the schoolyard while trying to find the bathroom. It could have been the crystal monolith, the exceptional high number of students, the dodgy control system or even the position of the moons, the Doctor had considered them all, from the highly probably to the outright ridiculous. He needed to, or he would have gone completely mad by now. To think up alibis for the Master so he could not be responsible for this was a difficult, and fanciful exercise, but it was the only way he could appease his mind.

And yet, he could not lose the feeling of dread that was threatening to overtake him.

A door slammed shut, shaking the Doctor out of his train of thoughts. He gazed up and saw the Master entering the room. Judging by the smile on his face, the bad mood that had plagued him yesterday had completely lifted. The Doctor found it quite unsettling.

"What are you doing here in the dark?" The Master's voice wasn't unpleasant. Compared to how he was yesterday, he actually sounded friendly. He threw a linen bag on his nightstand and hopped on his bed facing the Doctor. "You're not trying to out-gloom me are you?" He grinned.

"Where were you?" The Doctor hadn't seen the Master since he woke up this morning. "We held a service for Redgrave instead of the early classes. Everyone was there except for you."

"I didn't think I would be much missed." The Master shrugged with an air of indifference. "Considering my relationship with the deceased, I thought I better not show up at all." The Master searched in the bag and dangled a bottle of robinberry cider in front of the Doctor's nose. "However, I heard that the evening classes are also cancelled. So I sneaked into the larder behind the canteen and took a couple of these." He smiled cheekily, his eyes carrying that mischievous glint that the Doctor used to love about him. "I thought we might sneak out tonight you and I. We could go to the Graveyard fields and stretch out in the grass to look at the stars, just like old times."

The Doctor exhaled deeply and turned away from him.

"What's the matter? Don't you want to go?" The Master asked, finally noticing that there was something up. "I'll let you take me for a quick spin with your Tardis. Hell, we could even go visit Earth. I promise I won't be all negative about it this time. There must be something worthwhile on that rotating mud-ball that doesn't make me wanne puke."

He leaned towards the Doctor, noticing his distress, he frowned.

"Just cheer up, Theta. I hate to see you like this."

The Doctor swallowed a hard lump stuck inside his throat. He hadn't heard him use his old name for a very long time. His behaviour unnerved him. It made him sad to realize that the only time the Master was acting like his lucid, kind and cheerful old self was in a moment that was so inappropriate that it turned the normal into the grotesque. He dreaded it, but he couldn't keep making excuses for him any longer. "Master." He said, his lips and mouth dry and his hearts racing. "I want you to tell me, and I want you to be honest. Did you have anything to do with it?"

There was a short silence. The Master kept looking at the Doctor. Then a corner of his lips twisted into a grimace of a smile.

"What kind of question is that?" He answered, acting innocent. "Seriously, I don't know what you mean."

"Did you or did you not have something to do with Redgrave's death?" The Doctor's voice was still soft, but carried that angry, righteous tone that the Master absolutely despised. He turned around and put the bottle back on the stand. His hands were slightly trembling.

"Master. Answer me."

"Who the fuck do you think you are?" The Master muttered, his irrational anger surfacing out of a swamp of hidden fear. "How dare you to accuse me? He wasn't exactly the most popular chap in our class. Why does it always have to be ME?!"

There was a short silence before the Doctor responded. "Because it could only be you, who would consider the possibility that someone actually wanted Redgrave dead above that of an accident." His voice was rising as his desperation took the better of him. "It's only you who has that kind of murderous, insane mind! One that blows the cover before even it has started on making up a decent alibi!"

The Master kept down his anger as he leaned heavily with both hands on the nightstand. Why did everything have to be so difficult with him? Couldn't he just let it rest for once? He had only wanted to teach Redgrave a memorable lesson and hadn't expected the star to break and the annoying pupil to go poof and turn into nanodust in front of the entire class. He had an inkling of an idea what it could do of course, otherwise he wouldn't have bothered, but he had never imagined that it would be so final and so very visual. Still, in his opinion, it was more an accident than it was murder. Actually, he didn't really want to think about it anymore, let alone be reminded of it by the virtuous Doctor.

"I had nothing to do with it!" He replied in a firm voice in attempt to sound more convincing, and raised his hands up for the Doctor to see. "No blood on my hands!" He turned them in a theatrical display. "Not a drop of Redgrave's precious crimson. My hands are clean! There satisfied?"

The Doctor slowly shook his head.

"What?" The Master reacted as if he was insulted. "What do you need me to do to get that ridiculous idea out of your head? What more do you want me to prove?"

"I found this." The Doctor sounded broken and tired, his spirit crushed by the Master's stubbornness. He held out his right hand. On his palm lay the intact white point star that the Master had taken out of the biopad in exchange for the flawed one. The Doctor stared accusingly at him, waiting for his explanation.

"Where did you find this?" The Master asked, astonished.

"In your nightstand, the first drawer I opened. The thing is, I didn't really want to look. I didn't want to find anything. But my stupid, moronic brain just kept churning and wouldn't let it go. I saw how you reacted when Redgrave died, but I couldn't believe…so I thought, I'll just do a quick sweep on your side of the dorm. I was probably not goinh to find anything because I was not looking very hard. And that would have been fine.…Really…But you didn't even bother to hide it. Because you're not actually ashamed of it at all."

"Doctor," The Master was suddenly painfully aware of what the Doctor could do to him right now. "What are you going to do with that star?"

The Doctor bit on his lower lip. His eyes stung with angry tears. "Oh you are a marvel! You're incredible! First reaction, how to save your own hide! Not a scrap of guilt, not a tear of remorse, not even a pinch of self-doubt."

"You're not going to show it to the headmaster." The Master told him, while trying to appear calm, although inside, his nerves were close to span. "If he finds out, he's going to destroy me."

"Well, you should have thought of it earlier when you killed his son!"

The Master had enough. Reacting instinctively on anger and fear, he swirled around, took the bottle of cider, and threw it against the wall behind the Doctor's bed. It splintered in a hundred little pieces, leaving a stain of aortic crimson on the paint. The Master rushed over to the Doctor, and picked up the broken bottleneck, pointing the sharp edges at his friend.

"I won't let you do this!" The fear was now clearly visible in his eyes. Fear for being caught and punished. Fear for retribution, for being branded a disgrace and be treated like an outcast for the rest of his life. He grimaced and aimed the ragged end of the shard at the Doctor's face.

Doctor just stared at him, eyes unblinking, still carrying that righteous glint that condemned him for his crime.

His best friend looked at him as if he had gone mad.

He feared he actually had.

Finally realizing what he was doing and trying to calm down, the Master's voice softened,till he was no longer demanding, but pleading. "Doctor, I need that star. Hand it over to me."

Struck by a sense of hopelessness and grief, the Doctor shook his head, and cast his eyes on the wall with the blood-red stain to avoid him. Before the Master could threaten him again, he dropped the star on the ground, where it rolled away between the Doctor's feet. The Master immediately got down on his knees and scrambled over floor, searching frantically for the diamond between the dust and cobwebs under the bed. The Doctor watched him crawl on his hands and knees to get hold of the incriminating gem. His hearts felt heavy.

Without the Master noticing, he silently made his way to the door. With his hand resting on the handle, he turned around and gazed back at the Master one last time.

Despite what the Master's own paranoia had made him believe, the Doctor had never thought of showing the white point star to anyone.

It was only when the Master wrapped his fingers around the diamond, and heard the slamming of the dorm-room door behind his back, that he realized that the Doctor had left.

2.

The lake was at the bottom of a huge dune. The Doctor rushed down towards it, his feet slipping and sinking away fast in the ash, till it looked like he was falling down more than he was running. Neil and the rest of the gang were following closely. When the Doctor reached the more compact surface at the base of the dune, he took a few steps towards the shoreline of the lake, but stopped abruptly. The shard of the white point star that he held in his hand as a guide had changed its signal. Instead of the four drumbeats that he had heard faintly but clearly at the beginning, it now resonate a different sound. Instead of a clear rhythm, it was a more of a chaotic stampede. The Doctor swirled around on his heels, trying to retrieve the precious signal again when Neil bumped into his back.

"Doctor, why did we stop?"

"Sh!" The Doctor hushed.

Neil moved out of his way.

"Don't! Don't move a single step!"

The stampede quieted down, and the drums returned, just long enough for the Doctor to be pointed back towards the lake, before the chaotic bangs surged up again and complete drowned out the sound of the drums. It was at that moment that Will and Aurelia arrived at the base of the Dune.

"Hey, what's going on?" Will asked, while trying to catch his breath.

The Doctor let out a cry of irritation. "Stop! Will you just stop! Stop moving around!" He yelled, noticing the puzzled looks that Neil and the others gave him, he added. "I can't catch the signal when you move. The star is picking up too much noise. Must be the vibrations from our own footsteps. But why? Why now? It has never been that overly sensitive before." The Doctor rotated the diamond between his fingers as he reconsidered.

"What is he babbling about?" Aurelia commented. "What diamond? I though we were just running towards this lake. You don't need a frickin' signal to find this. It's right in front of our noses."

"Lake! It must be something to do with the lake!" The Doctor raked his fingers through his hair till it stood upright in crazy peaks. "Oh yes! That lake must be where the signal is from!"

He darted toward the silver shoreline, followed closely by the others who were by now completely bamboozled by the Doctor's strange behaviour.

"The lake, the lake is the source!" The Doctor yelled back. "That's why we were picking up the sound of our own footsteps!" He had reached the edge of the black beach. The Doctor halted abruptly with the tips of his sneakers almost touching the shiny surface of the lake. He fluttered his eyes when he realized what he saw.

Facing him was a smooth surface of blinding orange light that reflected the red sky as if it was a gigantic mirror, and stretched as far as the horizon. However, instead of water or any other liquid, the entire lake was composed out of diamonds so abundant in number that they were like grains of sand in a dessert. Each of them resonated the rhythm of the drums that the Doctor had followed, all the way from a different time and place of the universe.

Slowly, the very meaning of this discovery sunk in, and the Doctor rubbed his hand over his eyes as hopelessness and dread washed over him.

"God, is that what I think it is?" Neil whispered in amazement as he stared over the crystal surface.

Will picked up a gemstone from the shoreline and held it in his hand. "This is a diamond!" The young scientist stared at the many reflective facets as he turned it the little thing between his fingers. "This whole lake consists of diamonds!"

Neil had also picked one up and was closely studying it. He had never seen such a pure cut diamond in his life before. The number of facets counted more than a hundred, and the shape was almost perfectly round. "Doctor, These diamonds, there are not like the ones you find on the site of formation. They don't have the octahedral shape of rough diamond crystals."

"No."

"Someone cut these." Neil picked up a handful. "All of these. Filled an entire lake with it."

"They're called white point stars. They are very rare, and can only be found on one particular planet but nowhere else in the universe."

"You mean Pevogla?"

"Gallifrey."

Neil looked puzzled. The Doctor sighed and sat down in the black ash facing the lake.

"I've never heard of a planet called Gallifrey." Neil commented.

"It's because it was destroyed by a war. It no longer exists." The Doctor paused and frowned. "Or maybe it does, because this seems to be what is left of it."

"Hang on. I'm confused. You mean Pevogla used to be this Gallifrey?"

The Doctor looked up at the red sky, his eyes glazed. "It must be. The twin red giants of Pullox and Castor used to be the divine twin suns of Justice and Perseverance. These shifting dunes were once the red fertile hills of mount Perdition…and these ashes…" He swallowed. A tear glided down his face.

"Doctor…this is your planet, isn't?" Neil said, finally realizing what this was all about. "You're from Gallifrey, which means…"

"I'm not human. I may look like one, but I'm not. I'm a Timelord." He wiped the wetness from his cheek, and tried to put back on a brave face, but it was hard.

"And the others?"

"Turned into ash." His voice trembled. In his mind's eye he saw them standing in the corrupt immortality gate, seeking salvation from their doom. His right hand closed around the hilt of the revolver that in his nightmares continued to assist him in murder. One shot, and the link was broken, back they went into the Timewar. Back into hell. He saw the fury in Rassilon's eyes as he burned, and the look of sadness as she bowed and covered her face, the Doctor's weeping angel. And then the Master, his life-energy drained to the very last resort, but still pushing forward, sending the Lord President back into the void.

Gone.

All of them gone.

"Doctor?" Neil tried.

"We should leave." The Doctor rose up and brushed the ash from his clothes.

"Leave? But I thought you were looking for something? Didn't that star-diamond thing lead you the way?"

"Yes. No." He shook his head. "It doesn't matter. Look if you must know, I was looking for someone. A man like me. Another Timelord." He paused a beat as the heartache hit him. "That sound coming from the white point star, he used to hear it all the time. It drove him mad. I thought I could help. I thought I could still find him, just by following that sound. It brought me here all the way across the universe to this red planet on the edge of a blackhole. I had such hope." He bit on his lower lip. He didn't know why he was pouring his hearts out to these humans he barely knew, but he did.

"You don't know him, but that man could survive anything, came back even from the dead, twice." The small smile that had appeared on the Doctor's face faded again. "I thought he was here because of that sound. But it wasn't him. It's just this lake." He gazed over the placid surface. The reflected light of the late afternoon suns that scattered from the diamonds was almost blinding.

A trillion white point stars, still ringing out those cursed drums that Rassilon sent out into time and space to implant it into the Master's mind when he was still a child.

"The war is over and everything what was once Timelord is lost, but still they send out the signal, like an echo from past." The Doctor bowed his head. Caught up in misery, he dropped the diamond that had been his guide on the shoreline. He believed he had no longer use for it. Better to let it join the others.

"The man I seek is no longer here." He gazed back at Neil. "What I've found is the fading light of a long-dead star. My search is over."

"Aurelia, what are you doing?" Will shouted, breaking the silence between the two of them. They turned their heads and saw how the young girl was picking up handfuls of gemstones from the lake to put it inside her pockets.

"I'm just collecting samples for the lab. We might actually consider selling a couple of these to back up our research funding. These extraterrestrial diamonds could be worth a couple of million credits!"

"Hey! Put those back immediately! You can't take them with you!" The Doctor fumed, amazed and infuriated by the student's greed.

"What's wrong with taking them along?" Aurelia asked, deeply offended. That weird Doctor didn't need to shout at her, she wasn't deaf. "You had one with you when we arrived."

"Those diamonds are not like normal diamonds. They can capture any frequency of sound and amplify it a million times. Have enough of those on board of your spaceship and give them the wrong pitch, and every cell in your body could be ripped apart." The Doctor explained in an angered voice.

Better just to leave them where they are." Neil told Aurelia.

His colleague sighed and rolled her eyes. She took handfuls of diamonds out of her pockets and let the whole load plunge into the lake.

The loud sound of clattering crystals that erupted once they hit the surface was deafening enough to make the Doctor grimace and the rest of the group cover their ears.

The Doctor looked accusingly at Aurelia.

"Hey, you said I should put it back. This isn't my fault!"

"Put it back, that's what I said. Not throw it on a pile and make a hell of a lot of racket!"

His eardrums felt like splitting. The Doctor covered own his ears and gazed over the lake. The surface was no longer placid. "The whole lake is vibrating." His feet started to sink down into the ash.

"It's destabilizing the surrounding shoreline. We have to get away from here before the whole lake disappears below the surface!" The Doctor turned on his heels but noticed that the others weren't following. "Start running, NOW!" He yelled above the noise, and finally catching the group's attention. Following the Doctor, they headed for the higher parts of the dunes.

3.

"There are four of them. How can there be suddenly four of them? I only counted three. Three humans. What is the fourth one supposed to be?"

The Doctor raked through his hair in surprise and irritation. He was sitting behind his desk in his office. The old-fashioned telephone had been replaced by a primitive eighties model of a Mac computer. He was sick and tired of having to call the operating system every time that he needed access. Besides, the Master was still caught in the program, lost in own demonic version of LaLa land, so there was no use to keep up the exhausting pretence of running an Italian Asylum in the 1950s. He actually had turned off the rest of the simulation, just to be able to cope better with the crisis on hand.

The Doctor wasn't really fond of surprises. Peering into the monitor intensely, he followed the four dots of green that represented the intruders. One of them had just accidently triggered the diamonds and had reawakened the activation system. Soon, the Arc would rise from the bottom of the lake, and would be revealed to these humans plus one. Judging by his previous experiences, their reaction would not be the one that the Doctor preferred, although it would be nice for a change if they had enough sense to say, hang on, this is freakishly scary, let's just bugger off and leave this sinister Arc-thing alone.

But that was, of course, wishful thinking.

"Computer, did you scan the fourth trespasser?" He asked. He was really starting to regret that he had decided to save efforts on the construction of proper surveillance cameras. A green bleeping dot on a black screen wasn't much information and was leaving out a hell of a lot of detail. The female computer voice answered him diligently.

"Scanned intruder four for racial identity. None indentified."

The Doctor scratched the back of his head. This was rather unexpected. When he created the computer to assist him, he had fed information about every single existing race in the universe into her database. She should recognize them instantly by performing a simple body scan.

"Al-rrrright, what about where he comes from?"

"Planet of origin, planet 19911744AA, solar system of Castor and Pullox, Adratic constellation."

"Planet 1991174-, but that's here right around corner!" The Doctor cocked an eyebrow in absolute disbelief. "That's that tiny bare rock thing balancing on the skirt of the solar system. It only got one gas-station and a rusty service droid! He can't come from there!"

"Reconstruct path of intruder four…planet of origin, planet 19911744AA, solarsys-"

"Yes, yes, yes, I heard you already." The Doctor went through another session of extensive hair yanking. Alright, so he could not identify the fourth trespasser. When he thought of it, it was not really that important. Since the alien was hanging out with the human race, he could be sure that he wouldn't be any less insufferable nosy than they were. He just needed to intervene quickly, if only to prevent the ventilation system to become clogged up again with decomposing bits of human. The computer was already getting overheated trying to keep up with the Master's bumpy ride down memory lane. It didn't really need another excuse to blow up in the Doctor's face.

Speaking of whom….

"How's the status of program 110012?" He enquired.

"Program 110012 has been corrupted. Estimated success rate now less than 26,5%."

"How about the damage to the neurological pathways?" He asked with a heavy heart.

"Damage so far…calculating…."

The Doctor puffed a stray lock of hair out of face. Somehow, he knew that the upcoming results would gnaw on his mental health, much like how a hungry mongrel would chew on a leg.

"Damage so far…56,4% from previously existing neural pathways destroyed as compared to the readings from before initiation of program 110012."

- And he was wrong. It actually felt more like it was running him over with a massive truck. He sucked in a deep breath of air and tried to keep himself under control.

"Give me an estimate how much damage we would do if we pull him out now." It was not the most brilliant of ideas, he agreed, but he didn't feel like being any cleverer. He had done enough damage to the poor sod by being this stupendous clever already. Besides, he was too much caught in blind stinking panic to think of anything better at the moment.

"Estimated damage if program 110012 is abruptly terminated…an additional 12% as a result of cellular shock."

"Right…doesn't sound too bad…" He grimaced. Let's give that a try before he gets the chance to turn himself into a sad bed-vegetable. "Computer, terminate program 110012 immediately."

"Affirmative. Program aborting…"

A drop of sweat trickled down his neck as he waited. He noticed that the green dots on the screen had stopped moving. If he was correct, the intruders were standing halfway on the west dune. He crossed his fingers. Please let those idiots turn around and get the hell out of here. He had larger problems to deal with and he wasn't sure he would be able to do any damage control for the tress-passers' sake once the Master returned to the asylum.

It seemed to take forever for the computer to respond.

"And?" He asked again, rather agitated.

"Program termination…aborted."

"What?!"

"Program termination…aborted. Master overrides."

"Oh no…no, no, no, no…" The Doctor started typing frantically to activate the manual shutdown. "No, no, no, you DON'T!"

He hit the enter key. A green bar appeared with the message that program 110012 shutdown was initiated. The Doctor bit his nails as he watched how the bar crept over the screen like a snail on narcotics while the termination process proceeded.

18%

25%

65%

And then it became stuck for a very-very long time.

"Come on!" The Doctor yelled, shaking the monitor with both hands. "Just another lousy 35%! Don't die on me now you piece of junk!"

The bar disappeared, and was replaced with what were currently the three most hated words in the Doctor's vocabulary.

PROGRAM SHUTDOWN TERMINATED

Followed by:

MASTER OVERRIDES

MASTER OVERRIDES

MASTER OVERRIDES

MASTER OVERRIDES

That last message repeated itself on and on, till it flowed down the screen in a green blur. The Doctor stared at the computer, numb and feeling rather defeated and vulnerable.

"Oh you poor, stubborn idiot." He whispered, and covered his eyes.

4.

He sat on the bed. The Doctor's bed. In his hand he still held the star, the cold evidence of his crime. He wrapped his fingers around it and squeezed it so hard that the sharp edges cut tiny wounds in his skin. It helped him to regain focus.

He felt so numb and dead inside.

Why did he threaten him?

He had hated the Doctor. He had loathed him for his righteousness and his compassion for those who were so un-deserving of his sympathy. Why did he even care for what happened to Redgrave? That insufferable twat had tormented them both for years. If there was anything to be said in his defence, he could at least claim that he was evoked.

He had been poisoned by jealousy. Last night, when his dear friend had revealed to him his plans to leave this cold, regimental place in his precious Tardis, he had only felt betrayed and angry. Only the Doctor could so easily decide to head out into the universe without considering the consequences. His mom would be devastated, his family name would be ruined, and any bright future that was promised to him by those stuck-up Academic fart-heads would be flushed down the drains. But who would care about that? NOT the Doctor. He would rather play the renegade, the brave maverick Timelord, too busy cruising through space and really experiencing life to care a bloody toss about anything, or anyone.

He was jealous of the Doctor, because he could not be like him. Too scared to become an outcast, he would rather wait and endure his promised apprenticeship in the House of Lords, and hope that under his father's guidance and support, he would rise above the others and secure himself a seat in the government. Then he would finally be heard. Then, he could take actions and change things for the better. Unlike the Doctor, he needed that bright idyllic future that was whispered into his ears by his teachers. Every single one of them he ever had, had claimed that he was brilliant, and was destined for greatness, capable to become one of the new generation of rulers of Gallifrey, if only…

There were other things that they whispered about him, but never to him, only to each-other and perhaps to his father, if they dared.

Madness. Afflicted. Damaged.

He ran his hands through his shortly cropped hear, sucking in a deep breath of air.

Empty dreams. A fool's fantasies of success, power and acceptance.

Once, a long time ago, he had found himself in this situation, sitting exactly like this in his darkened bedroom. With the doctor gone after the argument, his mind was easily flooded with dark thoughts. But then he had not been alone. The drums had been there, feeding his insanity, telling him he was right to act in his own interest. It was only self-defence. The doctor would have ruined him. The Doctor wasn't his friend, but his adversary, and he should be cautious.

There was no end to the paranoia that those four taps could evoke.

But now the drums were gone. His mind was silent. And for the first time since he remembered his last days at the Academy, he could reason clearly, and reflect on his actions.

He realized that he had been wrong about the doctor.

He actually knew, when he looked into his eyes, that he wouldn't have done it. He would never have given him up to the headmaster. Not the Doctor. Not Theta.

He loved him too much.

And what did he do with that love?

He had ripped it out of him with a bloodstained star, threw it on the floor in ridicule, and stamped on it with his destructive anger. He had done everything to kill his love and destroy their friendship, and perhaps….he had succeeded.

He closed his eyes in misery. Without the drums, he was victim of his own conscience, something he didn't believe he still had. At least he hadn't heard from the bastard for some time now. He thought he had killed it years ago. But here it was, banging at the door like a tax collector, demanding at least an attempt or two at redemption from the Master's side before it would even consider leaving him alone.

What had he done?

He needed to talk to the Doctor.

He would finally tell him the truth. That he was sorry and that he was afraid. Scared to death that he had finally lost his mind. He needed him. He needed him to stay sane. Jumping up from the cot, he rushed to the door.

He would promise to do anything, even if it meant that he had to go the headmaster and admit to his crime, if only he would forgive him.

There were only two people in this entire universe who meant anything to the Master. The first one was his father, and the second one was his childhood friend. Without them, he would just be lost in a world of beings to which he felt no connection, and no mercy. Losing one of them was like loosing his final grips on humanity.

Outside in the corridor, he stopped and closed his eyes to focus on the Doctor's scent. He picked up the smell immediately. It led in the direction of the west gate, where behind the tall walls of the citadel and beyond the red grasslands, was the wilderness of the graveyard fields. His eyes fluttered open, and with heavy hearts, he followed the Doctor's trail.

TBC

Meanwhile, please review and comment on the story sofar, it helps me to keep my interest in writing the whole thing down.