Martha sat in the jeep, staring out the window. She was so glad this was almost over. By tomorrow everything would be back to normal… This had been a very long year.
But the one thing she couldn't get out of her head was the image of what had happened to the Doctor. She just kept seeing him thrash about in pain as he shrunk smaller and smaller and smaller. Almost worse, had been the desperate cries that could be heard telling the Master to stop. She didn't recognise the voice, but she knew that whoever it was cared for the Doctor. The pain in her voice…
In a way it made her happy. She had no idea if anyone on the Valiant was okay. Now she knew that at least the Doctor was alive. As long as he was alive, everything would be alright. But who was that woman? Another captive? …But the look on Tom's face when she had first called out…
"You don't seem surprised by any of this," she commented lightly, doing her best to hide the suspicion in her voice. There weren't many people she trusted anymore.
"Not the first time I've heard of all this," he told her, eyes fixed on the road. "Well, the gun part is new. But I've heard of the Doctor before."
"Right, you're able to travel. You've probably heard some of the stories I've been telling about him."
"Actually, no," Tom said. "There is a woman… there were two - in one of the houses I stay at. They have both travelled with the Doctor. One, Sarah Jane Smith, she talked about him a lot. She kept saying that he would help us. She'd tell us all about him. Then, a new girl appeared about a week ago. Only young… about as old as you. She gave birth not long after she arrived, and the children had two hearts. Sarah said they were half Time Lord and that the Doctor was the father."
"That's impossible," Martha snapped. "The Doctor's been locked up for a year. There's no way that he could have any children." She wouldn't believe it… she refused to. "It must have been the Master.
"Yeah, but, Rose said that she used to travel with the Doctor. She could remember that much."
"Rose!" she cried in surprise.
"The poor girl. She's been through a hell of a week."
"How so?" Martha asked, curious about this woman now. It couldn't be. It just couldn't be.
"Well, a week ago she just appeared out of nowhere. Literally out of nowhere. I saw it when I was smuggling some food into the slave quarters. There was a flash of light and suddenly a very pregnant woman was standing in the middle of the alleyway. Looked shocked as hell when she saw what had happened here. But she had really bad memory problems, could hardly put her life in the right order. And that thing… that invisible thing you got on your key. She had one of those stuck on her stomach. She didn't even know she was pregnant until she went into labour a few hours after getting here. So I deliver the babies - twins - I'm checking to see if they're okay and next thing you know, I'm hearing two heartbeats down the stethoscope!"
"Shit," Martha breathed.
"And it only gets worse. She was trying to remember, she really was. But all she could recall was that she had been somewhere else. She said that something called the… Daleks had invaded and her friend sent her here." He didn't see Martha's look of shock at that. "He had told her to call the Doctor, and when she finally remembered, a swarm of Toclafane and a few of the Master's guard came and took her away. That voice, the woman screaming at the Master before… that was her."
"So, the Master has her. What about the babies?" Okay, that sounded weird. She still didn't believe this. It was some messed up dream.
"They're safe. Sarah Jane is looking after them. She was holding them when they took Rose. They never figured they were hers. But something's wrong with them. It's like they need her to be there with them. They know she's gone and it's causing them pain. They're a little frantic. And I wouldn't be surprised if the Master finds out about them soon.
"Let's hope not," Martha said. "I don't think the Doctor could handle that… Mind, I don't even think he knows about them."
Together, Martha and Tom snuck through the dark street. They made their way to a door. Tom looked around, making sure they were still unseen, then knocked quietly on the door.
"Let me in," he said quietly. "It's Milligan." The door opened and he rushed Martha inside.
"Did you bring food?" a woman asked him.
"Couldn't get any," he replied. "And I'm starving."
"All we've got is water," she told them.
As they made their way down the hall, Tom began explaining. "It's cheaper than building barracks. Pack them in, a hundred in each house, ferry them off to the shipyards every morning."
"Are you Martha Jones?" a boy asked.
"Yeah, that's me," she replied.
"Can you do it?" he said. "Can you kill him? They said you can kill the Master. Can you? Tell us you can do it. Please, tell us you can do it."
"Who is this Master? Even Sarah Jane didn't really know and she said she's met him." Suddenly everyone started talking over one another. She noticed that the only people not saying anything was a middle-aged woman and a young teenage boy. They each held a bundle in their arms.
"Come on, just leave her alone. She's exhausted," Tom said forcefully, trying to get them to stop.
"No, it's alright," she said. "They want me to talk, and I will." Everyone parted for her and she was directed to a spot that she could sit on the stairs. Soon everyone was gathered around her and she began. "I know that only a few years ago, that if I had told you that aliens exist you wouldn't have believed me. But now, there is no doubt. Now I'm asking you to believe in something else impossible. Time travel. And no, before you ask, I'm not going to go back in time and kill him before all this started. I can't. That would make a paradox, and that's exactly what the Master wants.
The Master is a Time Lord. His people are extremely clever, they are the ones who first discovered time travel, but they also understood the working of it. All the other Time Lords are dead… all except one. And he is brilliant. Two years ago, he took me to travel in his spaceship. And it was dangerous and wonderful and brilliant. But the Master found us and stole it and came here.
This man. He has done so much for you. The aliens that crashed through Big Ben, he figured that one out and stopped the missile launch. The Sycorax invasion, he stopped that. It was him, not 'Harold Saxon', who saved you from the Christmas Star. When that hospital was transported to the moon. That was where I met him, and oh, you should have seen him. And he has done it so many more times since. He's still trying to do that now.
I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went, I saw people just like you, living as slaves. But if Martha Jones became a legend, then that's wrong. Because my name isn't important. There is someone else. The man who sent me out there. The man who told me to walk the Earth. His name is the Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never knew he was there! He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I've seen him. I know him… I love him… And I know what he can do."
"She's right," the middle aged woman said, stepping forward. "I have travelled with the Doctor too. I've told you all the stories. He's even more extraordinary than you realise. You can hardly put him into words. And Rose… you remember Rose. She used to travel with him too, until they were separated. She spent months trying to get back to him. The Master took her to try and hurt him. Because he knows that the Doctor is the only one who can stop him. He's done it before. I have every faith that he will do it again."
"He will," Martha said confidently, glad of the backup. "But he can't do it alone. At the moment the Master had him trapped. But there is a way to set him free and we need your help. You don't even have to move from where you're standing or do anything dangerous. All you have to do is say one word. You have to say 'Doctor'. Think about him. But it will only work if it's at the same time. Tomorrow, at the countdown. When the countdown reaches zero, think about the Doctor. Because he is our only hope. And he will succeed."
Around her everyone began to murmur to each other. Now that she had explained, there weren't really all that many questions left for her, but the middle aged woman and they boy beside her came and sat next to her.
"I'm guessing you're Sarah Jane," she smiled.
"I am. Nice to meet you. The next companion… Did the Doctor tell you about me, or did Tom?"
"Tom," Martha replied. "The Doctor only ever really talks about Rose… even then I don't think he wants or means to." For the first time she noticed that the bundle that each of them were holding was a small few week old baby. "Are they…"
"Rose and the Doctor's children? Yes."
"Wow… I knew he loved her, but I never thought…" She reached up and touched the head of the baby Sarah Jane was holding. A girl. Her short brown hair puffed up wildly on the top, reminding her of the Doctor. She knew that it would go away as it got longer, but right now it was just so like him…
It hurt. Seeing the proof before her. She knew that the Doctor had never really been hers. Never truly shown that much of an interest in her, not that way at least, but still, she had hoped…
And yet, she knew the pain had dulled. If she had been told a year ago, she might have even burst into tears, but now she had been a year without him. She still cared for him, but she was coming to accept he could never feel the same way. And before that she had been so angry at Rose. She had always believed that she had simply left him. That she had hurt him and didn't really care, and that he was just still hung up on her. Hearing that she was trapped somewhere else, where neither of them would be able to see the other again… it made her feel sorry for the girl. She couldn't imagine if that had happened to her.
And now that in a way, something similar had happened, she knew that the separation would have been hell.
"It's him!" A voice startled her out of her reverie. The woman who had let them in pushed her way to the front. It's him! Oh my god, it's him! It's the Master! He's here!"
Martha stood, knowing it was her time to go. This was what was meant to happen.
"But he never comes to Earth!" the first boy said fearfully. "He never walks upon the ground!"
"Hide her!" someone shouted.
"Use this!" Tom tossed them his jacket. In the next second, she was being forced to the ground and hidden under the jacket. Through the gap in the banister, she saw Sarah Jane and her boy pull the blankets up around the children and curl them in closer.
"He walks among us, our lord and master."
"Martha!" The Master's sing-song voice echoed through the street. "Martha Jo-hones. I can see you! Out you come, little girl. Come and meet your master. Oh, and bring the babies with you. The Doctor's children… Anybody? Nobody? No? Nothing? …Positions! I'll give the order unless you surrender. Ask yourself - 'what would the Doctor do?'"
Knowing that these people were putting themselves in danger for no reason, Martha took off her TARDIS key and shrugged off the cover of the jacket. She knew that if they died, they would only be alive again tomorrow morning, but event hen, she didn't want more innocent lives lost.
She went over to the door and placed her hand over Tom's. He had his hand around a gun he was pointing at the Master through the mail slot. He slowly stood, giving her a look. With a last small reassuring smile to everyone in the room, she opened the door and walked out.
"Oh, yes!" the Master said, clapping. "Oh, very well done! Good girl! He trained you well." He looked back to the house as Martha came over. "And the children too. I know they're there. If someone doesn't bring the twins out now, I'll have to give the order, and they will die with the rest of these people. Imagine what that would do to Rose. She has a connection to them, it would drive her insane. And the Doctor, what would it do to him?"
She noticed, sickeningly, that the more he spoke, the more the idea seemed to appeal to him. But thankfully - or not - at that moment, Sarah Jane walked out, a twin in each arm. She came and stood beside Martha.
"That's better. Now, bag. Give me the bag." Martha pulled it off her shoulder and went to give it to him, but he held up his hand. "No, stay there." She tossed it on the ground before him and he destroyed it with his laser screwdriver. Then he raised it up to her. "And now, good companion, your work is done."
"No!" Tom cried from behind them. He burst out of the house and ran towards them, his gun aimed at the Master. With a flick of the wrist, the Master changed his aim and shot Tom dead instead. All Martha and Sarah Jane could do was glare as the loathed man chuckled at what he had done.
"But you… when you die," he said to Martha, "the Doctor should be witness, hmm?" He inhaled deeply, breathing in the crisp night air. "Almost dawn, Martha. And planet Earth marches to war." He laughed, and then turned to Sarah Jane. "Well, well, well. I don't believe it. This one's still alive! Here's a face I haven't seen in a good few hundred years. Sarah Jane, wasn't it? Yes, we met in the Death Zone, all those years ago. You've grown up a lot since then… Oh, and these must be the twins!"
He reached out and Sarah Jane took a step backwards. "Don't you dare touch them!" she said.
"They may be half apes, but they are still of my kind. Thank Rassilon the Gallifreyan gene drowns your pathetic ones out. They will be fully Time Lord… And since I'm the one with the laser screwdriver, I'll do what I want." Once again, he reached forward and grabbed one of the children. Unable to hold onto them both and fight him off, Sarah Jane was helpless as he plucked Jack from her arm. "What's his name?"
Sarah Jane hesitated. "Jack."
The Master snorted indignantly. "Typical," he said. "And her?"
"G-Gallifreya," she said, too quite for him to hear.
"Sorry, what was that?"
"Her name is Gallifreya."
"Gallifreya," he said. He was impressed. It did sound beautiful, and of course, he knew how beautiful the namesake had been. It was very inventive for someone with next to no memory. "Wow, named after her long dead planet… At least her name is a lot more fitting. His name shall have to change. I'll not have my children with such… common names."
"They aren't your children!" Martha said. She may not know Rose, but she knew the Doctor. She could never let his children - no matter how bewildered she was by their existence - belong to someone else… Especially someone like the Master.
"I think you'll find that they are now. Unfortunately, I'll have to keep their mother around a little while longer. Natural births were extremely rare on Gallifrey, but the one thing we did know was that it was very dangerous to keep the chid separated from its mother. Were you trying to kill them, Miss Smith?"
Sarah Jane only glared at him and held tighter to Gallifreya. She was not going to let go of her. She had to make sure that nothing happened to them. So, knowing how dangerous it was, knowing that she was leaving her son behind… where it was actually safer... she climbed aboard the helicopter. As they took off, only one thing was going through her head.
'Shit. I'm being taken to the Valiant.'
Poor Martha. Bit of a shock for her. But really, I think that being separated from him in the Year that Never Happened really helped her get over him.
And of course the Master wants to use the children to hurt the Doctor… but why do that just by using pain. What better than knowing your children think THAT horrid man was your father.