And suddenly, the TARDIS materialized, and the Doctor looked up.
"He should be out there," he said softly. "Somewhere."
Carrie started, and looked up, looking at the door apprehensively.
"I'll go first," the Doctor said. "I know him well enough…"
Carrie sighed, and looked down at her feet, waiting, before summoning up the nerve to follow him.
It was a corridor. A loud alarm was blaring, and uniformed guards were running past them, holding mauls. The Doctor whistled in worry.
"That," he said quite simply, "is both bad and good"
"I'll say," said Carrie, from behind him, before realising the second half of his appraisal. "Hand on, good?"
"Good ish," the Doctor said. "If the guards can stop him, then we've had a job saved. If they can't…"
He grabbed Carrie's hand and they ran off, heading for the yelling.
They ended up in the hall, where they watched the unfolding carnage in horror.
The Master was there, wielding what appeared to be an ornate staff. He used as a bludgeoning instrument – which despite its ornamented nature, it seemed very good at being.
"That's the Sceptre!" yelled the Doctor. "The Great Sceptre of Ages! How dare he use it like that?"
"The Sceptre of what?" said Carrie in utter disbelief. "What's the Sceptre of Ages?"
"The Great Sceptre of Ages," the Doctor corrected. "An ancient relic of an ancient civilization," he continued. "And it's priceless, and now he's using it like a maul, to kill people with. That's wrong! Him even having – even holding it – is wrong!"
The Doctor locked eyes with the Master, and waited until the opportune moment.
"Doctor?" said Carrie. "Are you alright?"
The Doctor had locked eyes with the Master. Just for a second, just one second. And they communicated telepathically for that one second. Time Lord minds being insanely fast and all.
'Stop this,' the Doctor said. 'There is no purpose to your doing this.'
'It's fun,' the Master protested.
'It's insane and evil,' the Doctor replied. 'You've done enough. Stop.'
'What if I choose not to stop?' the Master asked, taunting the Doctor. 'What if I choose to go further instead? Take on the universe?'
'Then I'll make you stop,' the Doctor promised him. 'If it kills me.'
The Master laughed in the mindscape.
'I almost regret not stealing your body,' he said. 'It would have been so much fun.'
'The universe doesn't exist for your personal amusement,' the Doctor snapped mentally. 'You should have learned that long ago.'
'Oh shut up and die, Doctor,' the Master said. And then the connection broke.
The Doctor snapped out of it, and pushed Carrie out of the way - just as the man turned the staff and held it in their direction.
From the bottom end, a blue beam of light zoomed towards them, but it impacted harmlessly on a wall – well, harmlessly except for the wall vanishing.
"A staser gun?" yelled the Doctor, utter disbelief evident in his voice. "The Sceptre of Corinthia is a staser gun?"
The Master turned from the two cowering time travellers towards the gaping security guards, and smiled.
"Are you going to stand there all day, or can I go now?" he asked, sarcasm lacing his voice.
To their credit, every last guard stood their ground.
But bravery was no match for the Sceptre, and the Master who whirled through first one, then the other, then a third, slicing and dicing... and when he used the weapon as a staser, the people just fell out of existence.
After a long moment, Carrie stared at the bodies, and the Doctor beside her stared right at the Master. He glared daggers at his arch foe, who simply smiled.
"It's not just a staser," he said, softly enough that only the Doctor's hearing could catch. "It's more powerful than that. Powerful enough to make me God."
And then he was gone, running down a corridor. The Doctor could have run after him but with the Sceptre it would prove too dangerous. The Doctor simply stood there for the longest moment, staring after the Master angrily, in shock and in wonder.
"Come on," he said. Carrie didn't move, violent sobs wracking her body as her gaze remained fixed on the dead guards.
"We can mourn for these people later, now come on!" the Doctor yelled. "Back to the TARDIS!"
He dragged her to her feet, and to the TARDIS, and they both went in.
Inside his TARDIS, the Master studied the Sceptre of Corinthia. It was a staser gun, as the Doctor had said - but it also had a force-field generator built in, and an energy cutter that could slice through adamant. Oh the possibilities...
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. He could find Earth in its primitive times – well, more primitive times – and take over as a God. That might annoy the Doctor.
Before he could commence further study though, his TARDIS's cloister bell rang, to indicate extreme danger.
He went to his console to check the scanner. It had to be...
When he saw who was following him, he laughed. Of course it was.
A 1960s Police Box.
The Master laughed at the sight of it. It was so obvious. So simple.
"Oh, Doctor - you're so predictable."
He set off the temporal mines he'd been stocking, and watched them go off in front of the Doctor's TARDIS. Thinking no more of it, he turned back to his study of the Sceptre. Nothing could survive that...
The Doctor piloted the TARDIS past the Temporal mines. The Master was seriously overconfident in this body... a mistake he would regret. The mines though, refused to quit – locking onto his ship and following.
The Doctor snarled, dropped out of the Vortex, and then dropped back in, but the mines stuck. Swearing, the Doctor managed to get the mines to ram into each other, but the Master had gained a lead and Carrie was staring at him.
"Turbulence," he said by way of simple explanation.
"Where's the Master going now?" Carrie asked, ignoring this.
"No idea," the Doctor said. "I'm following him, though. We'll soon have him."
"What's a staser gun?" Carrie asked. "It's that… thing, so what was it?"
"Dangerous," the Doctor said.
"We should have just killed him there," Carrie muttered, hoping the Doctor wouldn't hear her – but he did.
"That staff is an ancient weapon from my home planet," the Doctor replied. "It might not just be a staser gun. It might well posess the power to destroy an entire planet; that's one of the things the legends mention. In the Master's hands, it could cause untold damage on a cosmic scale. Fighting him then would have been suicide; you saw what happened to those guards. And anyway, I've got to stop him myself, and I'm not killing him."
"Why not?" Carrie snapped.
"Because it wouldn't be right," the Doctor said simply.
"He's murdered all those people," Carrie said. "It has to be right. What else can you do?"
The Doctor looked at her, his eyes betraying a pain. He didn't want to answer because the simple truth was, he didn't know what he was going to do with the Master. He didn't know and he didn't like thinking about it because he knew in his hearts, he had no options.
A bleeping on the console distracted him, and he checked the scanner.
"Ah! Got him!" said the Doctor.
"Where?" asked Carrie, concerned for the inhabitants of the place the Master was, having seen his evil first hand.
The Doctor read the co-ordinates, and then blanched.
"Home," he said. "My… home…"
"Where?" Carrie asked.
"Gallifrey," the Doctor replied.