A/N: First, I must apologize for the length of this note. Moving on, I feel the need to explain this story to you. A friend of mine, the wonderful Lindelas, was unhappy with Old!Doctor from The Sound of Drums and The Last of the Time Lords. We both thought that the Doctor could have been subdued just as easily by other means. SO this story is the result of that – It is in alternate version of the "year that never was". It is a divergent path, but it does not change the ultimate end of the episode, so it does not end up creating a true alternate universe. All that to say – Because this begins and ends within the episodes themselves, I STRONGLY suggest you go re-watch these two episodes before reading if you get a chance, as the story begins and ends quite suddenly. There are 25 chapters, and I shall be posting a new one every few days. This story should be around 49,000 words long when it is completely posted.
Next I have to say this: This is NOT a slash fic. NO Doctor/Master here. I do not think that the Doctor has any romantic or sexual relations with the Master, nor do I think him at all homosexual. (If you don't like that, don't read it.) The Master, on the other hand, is rather fond of, well… making the Doctor uncomfortable. So you may have to excuse some action on his part. However, this story is rated for violence and general angst, not for any other reason.
EDIT: I've decided to change this story to a "T" rating instead of M, but if you think I should bump it back up after reading a few chapters, please tell me! But after looking over some other "M" materials, I don't think that this belongs with them.
I think that's all that needs to be said – you all know that Doctor Who belongs to the BBC. In this case a good bit of the dialogue is straight from the episodes as well. Now on with the show!
"Let him go."
"Gaah!" The Doctor was shoved face first into the floor. "It's that sound." He pushed himself back up and urgently addressed the Master on his knees. He had two minutes to stop this. "The sound in your head – what if I could help?" He offered. It was not an empty, desperate cry or a deception. All he wanted was to help. The Master was the only other Time Lord left, and he would do whatever he could to keep him safe, including save him from himself. But this plot needed to stop. If only the Master would listen!
"Ooh, how to shut him up?" The Master mocked, miming a babbling puppet with his hand. A dark smile came over his face. "In know…" in a flash, he pulled out his laser screwdriver again, reached forward, and grabbed the Doctor's head.
"Master!-" The Doctor tried to stop him. The Master shoved the end of his laser device into the Doctor's mouth and activated it. Agony laced through every fiber of the Doctor's being as a stream of golden fire ripped down his throat, burning and tearing his windpipe and vocal chords. The Master grinned as he held him there a moment longer, as the Doctor struggled to even cry out in pain. He had dialed it down and made sure that nothing he did would kill the Doctor. He could not have that. But what was to stop him from having a little fun? This had been far too long in coming.
When the Master finally let go, the Doctor fell to the ground gasping and wheezing for breath. The Master laughed as the other Time Lord desperately sucked in air, grasping his throat in vain. Nothing could make the fiery pain stop. "M…Mast…" The Doctor choked, trying to push himself off the ground.
"Ha!" The Master cheered. Stepping back to where the 'freak' lay 'dead' on the ground with the girl beside him, he aimed his screwdriver at the Doctor again, sending another stream of torturous energy straight into his chest.
The Doctor tried to scream but no sound escaped his lips. Fire burned through every cell of his body as if each of them was about to explode. His muscles locked and his vision flashed as pure, excruciating pain washed over him.
On the ground beside him Captain Jack Harkness lurched back into life just in time to witness the brutal assault. "Teleport." He ordered quietly, grabbing Martha's hands and shoving his vortex manipulator into her grasp. "We can't stop him." Jack's breath came in heavy pants. "Get out of here." He whispered desperately. "Get out." He did his best to smile, falling to the ground again.
When he was released a second time the Doctor collapsed motionless to the floor. "Doctor." Martha called to him, coming at once to his side. She quickly checked for his pulse, laying a gentle hand under his jaw. "I've got you." She whispered, tears filling her eyes. The Doctor's skin was hot and his pulse was erratic and weak. His breath came in shaky, labored gasps.
"Aww, she's a would-be doctor." The Master taunted. "But tonight Martha Jones-" He drew her attention away, "We've flown 'em in! All the way from prison!" He motioned excitedly towards the door, which opened to admit several guards. They shoved Francine, Clive, and Tish Jones with them, bound and at gunpoint.
Martha stood slowly and sadly to her feet. She had tried to stop this. "Mum…" She whispered.
"I'm sorry." Her mother sobbed. Martha bit her lip. This could not be happening.
"Th... The" The Doctor choked out from the ground beneath her, pushing himself up to his hands and knees. The Master returned his attention to the helpless man. "The Toclafane." He finally said, using every ounce of his will power. "Wh-what… what are they?" He begged of the Master.
The Master faked a look of pity, squatting down to the Doctor's level. He motioned to his ear in question, mocking the other's inability to speak clearly.
"Who are they?" The Doctor changed his question, worry growing in his mind. Those things were alive.
"Doctor." The Master addressed him seriously. "If I told you the truth," he placed his hand on the Doctor's chest and found eye contact with him. "Your hearts would break."
The Doctor stared into the Master's eyes in question when at his words he realized with a shock that maybe he really did not want to know. Fear grew inside him unlike any he had felt before. There was nothing that he would hold past the Master's depravity.
"Is it time?" The Toclafane interrupted them. "Is it ready?" one of them asked in an all too human voice.
"Is the machine singing?" Another of them echoed.
The Master stood and checked his watch. "Two minutes past." He told them.
"No…" The Doctor muttered as the Master climbed back up the stairs at the front of the room.
"So!" He addressed the camera that broadcast live to the world. "Earthlings." He addressed them with a smile. "Basically, um… End of the world." He raised his laser screwdriver high above his head. "HERE. COME. THE DRUMS!"
"Here come the drums, here come the drums" Music began to play at his words, its all-too-happy beat only serving as one more insult to the captives aboard.
"GAH!" The Doctor cried out in honest, doubling over in pain and grabbing his head. He could hear her. She was screaming. His TARDIS. His beloved ship and most constant companion. What had he done to her? Even from here he could feel her crying out in agony as the Paradox Machine was activated. He looked up to where the Master danced happily by the window. He knew that the other Time Lord could hear it too, but paid no attention.
Doctor. The TARDIS cried. Help! Doctor! She screamed though his mental link. He could do nothing to save her. As the sky above them cracked open the Doctor felt like his own head might have been cracking open as well.
"I'm sorry…" He muttered, trying to use his telepathic link to do what he could for the ship. "I'm so sorry."
The Master flew back up the stairs and looked down at the Doctor again. He knew exactly what the other Time Lord was going through. He could hear it. But he did not care. He blew the Doctor a kiss of mock-pity, then turned back to celebrate his victory.
"How many, do you think?" He brought Lucy, his wife, to the window.
"I…I don't know." She gasped, placing a hand on her husband's chest and looking over the masses of alien spheres raining down on the earth in wonder.
"Six billion." He answered proudly, flicking the music off. "Down you go, kids!" he yelled happily as his unstoppable army descended upon the earth.
"Shall we decimate them?" He turned to his wife in a seductive whisper. "That sounds good. Nice word. Decimate." He repeated. She smiled up at him as if he was the only thing worth adoring in the universe.
"Remove on tenth of the population." The Master ordered in a loud, clear voice that was projected out to his army.
Tears filled the Doctor's eyes. One tenth of the population: Millions of people, all dead because he could not stop the Master. His mind worked furiously to try and piece together any reasonable response. This would not be quick and it would not be easy. They had a war in front of them.
He pulled Martha close and desperately whispered in her ear. "The network." He whispered, "Use it – tell them. Tell everyone about me – tell them who I am. Tell them to think of me instead of the Master. I can use the physic energy to stop him. You've got to tell them all." His voice was fast and desperate. "Use the countdown. All of them together, it will work. It's all down to you. Please." His last word was nothing short of begging: Begging Martha for help, and begging that his plan might work.
Tears ran freely down Martha's face as she committed each of the Doctor's words to memory and realized that she might never see him again. She nodded, grateful that he had a plan. She would do whatever it took to stop the Master.
"Martha." The Doctor said at last. "Thank you." He grabbed her hand and held it tightly. "Now go."
"Valiant this is Geneva, we're getting slaughtered down here! Valiant report!" - "This is London, Valiant this is London calling, what do we do? They're killing us! The Toclafane are killing us!" Reports poured in from every corner of the globe as the whole world cried out in one voice in every language, desperate for help. Martha knew they needed the Doctor. As she stood to her feet she knew that only she could bring him to them. The Doctor was their only hope. And she was his only messenger.
She looked around the room sadly once more, silently wishing a final goodbye to her family, to Jack, and to the Doctor. Holding the vortex manipulator tightly in her hands, she closed her eyes and teleported away to the earth's surface.
The Doctor looked to Jack Harkness. They on their own now: Prisoners of war. It scared him to think of what form of hell the Master would put Jack through; the man who could not die. He was so sorry that all of this had happened. But he was even more sorry for what was still to come.
As he looked back to the Master pure hatred rose in his hearts. No. He had to banish that. That was not what was needed to fix this. But he could not help feeling more disgusted, outraged, and heartbroken than had ever felt before.
"Come on." The Master came down and grabbed the Doctor by his arm, forcing him to stand and dragging him to the window. Lucy grabbed his other arm and the Doctor was forced to observe the annihilation and massacre below. He had done so much for planet Earth and its people. Now he could do nothing but watch them burn. This was not supposed to happen.
"And so it came to pass that he human race fell. And the earth was no more." The Master said proudly, as if writing his own history book or Bible. "And I looked down upon my new dominion as Master of all. And I thought it… Good." He smiled, convinced that he himself was a god. Lucy, for one, was convinced of it. The Doctor could only look down in fear and disdain and pray that the world would live and triumph in the end. It seemed impossible now. Hope had been banished, it seemed, forever.