at The End of Time
Wilf waited as the young woman flicked back and forth through his Donna's medical chart. 'This doesn't make any sense.' she muttered under her breath. Wilf didn't know what to make of Martha Jones. She was young, and determined and had a set way to her that he recognised as the Doctor's doing.
On the other hand she had been completely stumped by what she was reading. Just then Donna's doctor came in, her face like a thunder cloud. 'I've just been told you're now in charge of my patient.' The smaller woman said, sounding as if she was about one step away from snapping. Then she smirked. 'Getting anywhere?'
For a moment Wilf bristled, she might have been put out but that was no reason to not want to help, this was his granddaughters life. Jones didn't say anything at first. Then she closed the chart. 'It's not a virus, there's no sign of her body fighting whatever's happening. We need to get her to a specialist facility, full DNA tests everything.'
'You're not taking my daughter anywhere!' Sylvia almost shouted and donna's eyes opened.
Wilf was the first by her side. She hadn't been awake since the collapse back home. 'Donna, are you alright?'
'I can see!' she whispered urgently. 'I can see, oh stars, I can see!' Donna wasn't talking to them. Suddenly she sat up bolt upright, a manic grin on her face. 'Martha! Benjamin Franklin!'
'Donna?' She asked as confused as Wilf was but Donna fell back again, eye's closed. He could still see them though, moving behind her eyelids.
After a handful of seconds she whispered again. 'They're coming.' Donna muttered before shuddering and passing out again.
Jones didn't waste a second. pulling out her phone she jabbed out a number. 'This is Dr Jones, require evacuation to the Priory. Confirmed code nine, three passengers plus myself and one is bedridden.' Wilf recognised that tone, she was an officer.
The Doctor awoke, head pounding and hearts beating out of rhythm, hissing as he prised himself up to his feet the Time Lord fell off the cot he'd been unceremoniously dumped on.
Of to one side there was a short barking laugh. 'Graceful as ever old boy?' It was the Master. Finding which way was up and which the ground the Doctor stood up. He was in a cell, metal bars over the windows and some more iron work between him and his arch-foe.
For a second he almost believed the stun grenade was the Master's doing, but it was too brutal, too primitive and most of all too human to be a product of his imagination. There was also the fact he was in the cell opposite. 'It's about time you woke up Doctor. I was waiting for our esteemed host to show himself. Now he will.' The Master nodded pointedly at the security cameras.
The Doctor was far more interested in where his coat and jacket were, along with his sonic screwdriver and psychic paper. Looking outside the cell he found them on a coat hanger at the far end. Ignoring the Master's tight grin he tried to get a better idea of where he was. The building wasn't as old as it pretended to be, built probably about ten years earlier They were buried in the cellar and he could see the concrete foundations.
There was also some sign that the bars had been put in at a hurry. Some of the welds were sloppy. If any of his old friends, like Jamie or the Brigadier were here they'd throw themselves with the usual brute force. It might even have worked and without his screwdriver it was probably the only way to brake out.
The Master just smirked, as if he knew what the Doctor was thinking. The pair of them had been playing their eternal chess match for hundreds of years Even before that they knew each other so well that they had learnt how to predict what one another was thinking.
Of course violence was the last recourse of the incompetent and as the Master pointed out, their host would make themselves known. An hour later and that was exactly what happened.
Their host was normal, as humans go; a couple of inches shorter than him, dark skin, short receding hair. He was in his early fifties and from the looks of him fairly well off. The suit was expensive, bespoke and very well made. 'Hello. You must be the Doctor and you sir. When we last met you went by the name Harold Saxon but I understand you're really known as the Master.'
'Mr Naismith, can I still call you Joshua?' The Master said pleasantly.
'Of course, Would you be so kind as to introduce me to your colleague?'
The Master smirked. 'Doctor I'd like you to meet Sir Joshua Naismith, one of England's more influential businessmen. Mr Naismith here owns about four different companies. He was very helpful in setting up the Archangel network and provided the private services used to build the Valiant.' He turned on Naismith. 'Joshua, this is my long term opponent and constant pain in my side The Doctor. If you wanted to talk to me Joshua you could have called.'
'Yes, I could Mr Saxon.' Naismith nodded. 'After seeing your meteoric rise through the government I did some investigating. When I saw you designs for the Valiant I knew there had to be more to you than just ambition.'
The Master sat back, 'Ahh you must have been one of the four percent.'
'Four percent?' Naismith asked, blinking.
'Four percent unaffected by Archangel.' The Doctor explained. 'The Master embedded a hypnotic signal into the network, that's how he got voted in.'
Naismith nodded. 'Thank you Doctor, I suspected as much but couldn't prove it. He smiled. 'Very clever. Although that is exactly what I wanted to know. You see I have need of your services. Both your services.'
'Oh really, why?' The Master asked The Doctor was just going to sit back and listen, villains were all the same. More interested in bragging than thinking.
'You see after you revealed your alien allies to the world Mr Saxon I began to research anything I could find. Ever since the collapse of Torchwood information and artefacts have been coming up for the highest bidder.'
The Doctor kept his face impassive. He knew that Jack had his own Torchwood in Cardiff, but it wasn't a surprise that a lot of their pilfered technology had slipped through the cracks. Hiding a terrible shudder he remembered the amount of firepower the clandestine group had hoarded for decades.
'And I take it we are to the prized additions to your collection.' the Master sighed. 'After more than nine hundred years you would think at least one master villain would attempt something original.' The Doctor cocked an eyebrow at his fellow Time Lord.
'Oh no.' Joshua Naismith smiled lightly. 'You're not prisoners, I'm not trying to take over the world like some moustachioed pantomime character. I'm trying to safe it. Save it from it's reliance on oil, on nuclear power, on solar, wind or any of the other inefficient ways they're talking about.'
'Power, you're talking about generating energy?' The Doctor blurted out.
'Exactly!' Naismith grinned. 'Energy, with enough of it there is nothing the human race can't do. Return to the moon, then further, into the universe itself. Can't you see, our reliance on the middle east oil has brought war, poverty and destruction. To the very birthplace of mankind itself. If we are ever to rise above that we need to use these technologies, these gifts to advance ourselves.'
'And how much will the rest of the world have to pay for this technology?' the Master jibed.
Naismith shook his head. 'It's not about money, its about humanity. We've stagnated, come to a stop. In the last forty years what have we done but wallow in past successes. We've even gone backward. Just look at Concord, one time it was a shining example of what could be done. Now it is a failure, all that promise wasted. Just imagine what we could do if this yoke wasn't around our necks!'
The Doctor let himself smile sightly. A man with vision. He was, in his own way, right. Using alien technology to advance mankind was a noble effort. Unfortunately it didn't work that way. The Doctor shook his head. 'Won't work, you can't just pick up a piece of alien technology and expect it to work for you. That's why we're here isn't it, you need someone to explain what it is you've got.'
Naismith nodded. 'I see you're reputation is well earned Doctor. I was hoping to track down Mr Saxon here, when his former wife disappeared I knew he had to have some sort of connection. Imagine my surprise when I found two of you.'
'As much as I hate to agree with him, the Doctor is right. You can't just walk into a patent office with a Quark-drive reactor and expect to solve a world wide energy crisis.'
'That's where you're both wrong.' He pulled out a mobile phone and waved it in front of them. 'For the life of me I can't understand how this works. I press the glass on the front and it knows just what to do. I have office upstairs with a Computer, I press buttons on a keyboard and things happen on the screen. Again I don't know how it works, only that it does. That's where you come in. I don't need to know how these things work, I only need you to make them work.'
The Doctor sighed, what was it with humans and blinkered vision. He didn't need to say anything, one shared glance with the Master was enough. Without a working knowledge of the underlining physics even the most simple generator could be a doomsday machine.
Naismith gave some sort of signal to the camera and the unthinkable happened. Two men came in, wearing laboratory aprons. Each carrying something that shouldn't, even couldn't exist.
They were eight feet tall staffs, topped off with four mirrors and a carving of the founder of Time Lord society. Rassilon himself. 'Reflector staffs!' the Doctor hissed. It shouldn't be possible.
Rassilon swept into the Medical hall. Dozens of Time Lords, injured and suffering, lined the walls. Even in spite of their wounds they stood as was their duty in the presence of the Lord-President. further, deeper into the hall, was reserved for those that could not be helped. For those that were there the was no cure. As repulsive as the thought of harming another Time Lord was Rassilon wondered if their deaths might have been a mercy.
Beyond them was cordoned off. Three Time Lords resided in that terrible place, they they would always reside. Their minds shattered, lost in time and space. Their Physical bodies were broken but not as much as their minds. Even regeneration offered no rest for those poor souls. What they had seen, what they still saw even now was beyond horror. Beyond sense.
While Rassilon pitied the others, these even he almost feared.
Lady Festouvaolnola stood up and brushed the creases from her plain gown. 'Lord-President.'
'Lady.' he nodded with courtesy. 'You summoned me?'
She wasn't afraid. After seeing the horrors these three Time Lords suffered Rassilon wondered if anything could phase her. 'I did. It's Lord Scholar. He's seen something.'
'When do they ever not see something?' he asked pointedly.
Lady Festouvaolnola seemed to shrug and led Rassilon to the bedside of Lord Scholar. The previous Lord-President had once marked this man as a trouble maker, it was hard to see now. There were large bags under his eyes and a hounded look in them. He was skeletally thin, his hair shot through with grey. 'Scholar, it's me Fest. Can you hear me?'
'On the fifth tole the stars ring true, on the sixth silence will fall…' he muttered eyes scanning this way and that. As if reading something.
'You told me of a horror, of what is coming?' she prodded.
The Scholar turned his eyes to her. 'Yes. Yes I was.' his sudden sanity terrifying. 'Lord President?'
Swallowing Rassilon nodded. 'You look different, have you regenerated?'
'Yes, yes he has.' Lady Festouvaolnola said soothingly. 'Can you tell him?'
Scholar nodded, his voice strained though chapped lips. 'This is the last day, Gallifrey will see no more.'
'This is what you've called me here for, these ramblings?' The Lord-President spun to leave, disgusted.
'But look!' The Scholar shouted, ignoring his outburst. 'Look to the lost children, they war among themselves and in their struggle they will open a door. The fool will hand over the last of us to them and he will use it!'
Rassilon suddenly stopped. 'A door...?'
'Once opened can go both ways.' The Scholar completed the ancient saying. 'For Gallifrey is doomed to end, but every end is a beginning.' The Lord Scholar fell back in his cot, all strength drained from him.
'Lady Festouvaolnola, attend him as best you can. He might have saved us all.' Rassilon said, a plan forming in his mind. If what this blessed lunatic had said was the truth there may yet be a chance.
'That is not necessary, Lord President.' She said sadly, closing the dead man's eyes for him.
Rassilon looked at her. 'Last Regeneration?' he asked carefully.
She shook her head, 'Only his third. He just didn't have the energy left.' Standing up Lady Festouvaolnola looked him in the eye, she truly was fearless. 'It's a mercy, don't force him to return.'
'I accept your judgement.' Rassilon tilted his head in respect. 'Thank you.' With that the Lord-President left, he had orders to give and preparations to make.
End Chapter Four