Chapter One: Candidate For Bodice

Tumbling tumbleweeds.

That's what they've been reduced to.

The Master's boyish Flesh avatar drifts in a special place in time.

And space.

But that's all right. He has a white, warm, disagreeable cloak made of drippy stupid person.

The Doctor's own liquidating, mindless Flesh has drawn around him, like a blanket.

It's not warm at all now, really. Rather a bit like an ice lolly.

He is rolled in a ball, see, wrapped in a very cold almond paste man's idea of an insular, he himself being much the warmer as they drift in the cold of space. It is getting cold inside though. If they do not find shelter soon, the Flesh Doctor's now-frozen form will crack and shatter from keeping a round shape around the heat of the Master's Flesh.

Leave it to the Doctor to admire the quirky physics of a living snowbank enough to mimic the reactions involved on the fly.

If Koschei the Master's hands ache like little thin reeds from the cold, Koschei's toes feel like the benchwarmers at a C game.

Inside his cocoon of Doctor-flavoured almond paste, the Master he sighs.

Alone, the Master of All, he tumbles, with this oldest and now completely brainless companion, hugging him out of habit, a white ball skipping merrily from chronotic wind to chronotic wind in the cold sanctity of the Vortex.

Sanctity. What a word to come out of –his- mouth.

"You know, Theta," he murmurs to the dormant Flesh, on whom the only thing left of a face are twin suns of ice green eyes staring sightlessly back at him like the inside of a behelit, "…you'd think we'd have packed some Jelly Babies. And I see no corsets. What gives?"

But it is just then that a flicker sharply shimmers over the walls of the Vortex now, humming along like a predatory toothy fish with prospects as it shoots through and over and under and comes out a hole on the other side of the temporal tube, swimming along.

A woman's white head breaches the slit in odd repose, giant and wide like a fluttering salmon in a silky stream. Silent and solid. Motionless.

The rest of her soon follows, first a milky elbow, then a shoulder carved of cream. A bodice of nude breasts and fluid torso. Legs that taper to a bent point like the broken tip of a short wave radio antenna. Above the lines of sculpted navel, thoughtful fingers tented in repose cover something small, sharp and hidden in their palms.

A ship, then. But whose? The Master can only guess, because the Doctor's Flesh is incapable of relaying any messages to him now. It's gone completely to sleep. He's using his psychic abilities to see; best not to dwell. They suck, compared to the Doctor's. Although, he's always fancied his hypnotism prowess…

As he rambles on inside his head, the white, blank Michelangelo eyes of the solitary Fortuna slide over the tiny spot of Flesh. Her arms reach out for them.

Her mouth opens to breathe them in.

There is a woman in the mouth, waving from between the singing teeth. A woman in a corset.

A lavender corset.

And a mess…no, a mass of white hair, tied up in some kind of bird's nest bouffant.

Is it…

It is.