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8:02

Title: 8:02
Series: Doctor Who/TOC Files
Characters: Ten, Martha, Jack, Simm!Master, Jones Family, Lucy Saxon, OCs
Word Count: 7831 (overall)
Rating: Gen
Spoilers: The Sound of Drums
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, it's not mine. Only Alan Kelly and his friends are
from my brain.
Summary: A friend of the Doctor's gets dragged into the Master's machinations. Includes scenes and dialogue from The Sound of Drums.
Author's Notes: This is an "off=shoot" of an ongoing series in which an original
character, Alan Kelly, will meet all of the Doctor's incarnations (well, at least up to
Eleven). As he had alread met Ten, Martha, Jack and Delgado!Master, this seemed something of a gimme.





The TARDIS did not like this creature that had stolen her away from the Doctor, but she had to do what he wished. Thankfully, the Doctor had limited her movement, locking the coordinates. This man was familiar to her as he had tried to take her from the Doctor many times before, but this madness was overwhelming as it seemed to override all sense and logic.

They had spent a long time in the early 21st century, and he had used her to create a past for himself. As part of this false life, he had begun to see a human woman who seemed just as lost as he. He had brought her inside and forced the TARDIS to go to Utopia to see what the human race had become. The woman, Lucy her name was, had returned broken.

Now they were back and approached her console wearing black insulated gloves. No! She instinctively tried to shake him, make him fall, but he held on tightly.

"None of that," he scolded. "You are the main part of my plan so behave, or I will make it more painful than it needs to be."

With that, he reached into her inner workings and she cried out. Her Doctor was unable to come to her in time so she called for another to help her. Another with whom she could communicate. Another who had gotten the better of the Master.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"C'mon! This is supposed to be a celebration! Drink up, or have you forgotten how?" Ryan shouted to be heard.

Alan Kelly pasted on a smile for his inebriated brother's benefit. It had been awhile since he had been out drinking. His pain meds had been the cause of that. Today was the last day of his sick leave, but he still hadn't officially been placed on active duty, so no worries in case of a possible hangover. "Sorry, just lost in thought."

"Glad you found your way back." Shannon Flynn looked to the final member at the table. "It's your round, Eric."

"I thought I got the last one." He gathered the empties and took them to the bar.

Eric's voice seemed to sound far away and garbled, almost as if he were underwater. The rest of the pub seemed to disappear as Alan experienced some tunnel vision.

"Alan? Alan?" Shannon placed a hand on his arm. "Are you okay?"

Alan turned his head so he could see her face completely. "Just feel a little weird." His own voice sounded bizarre. "Getting the beginnings of a headache."

"You do look a bit white. I think we may have rushed this. We should get you back to your quarters."

"Shannon, don't be such a--"She glared at Ryan. "Well, he does look a bit peaky. C'mon." Between the two of them, they helped Alan stand.

Just the act of standing made Alan dizzy. "Guys, I don't think this is a regular headache. It's like someone's trying to contact me."

They headed for the door. "You can tell us once we get you back to your quarters. Eric, we've got to go."

"What? What's wrong?" Eric followed them outside. "Is it the beer?"

"No," Alan gasped. He doubled over and gripped his head.

The pain was excruciating. It wasn't all his pain, however. The one contacting him, it was...hers. Images flashed through his mind. Then it was gone. He straightened and blinked. "It was the TARDIS," he said between breaths. "She's in trouble."

"Why doesn't the Doctor help?" asked Ryan.

"Most likely because he can't," Eric answered.

"I have to go. I have to help. I'll contact you and let you know what's going on."

"Why can't we go with you?" asked Shannon.

"You'll have to cover for me." He separated himself from them.

"What? You're going now? All you have are the clothes on your back!"

"Ryan, I have to go while the connection is strong. Besides, it's the TARDIS. I can get whatever I need once I'm there."

He focused on the psychic link that would lead him to the TARDIS. He had teleported directly inside once before, but he wasn't going to do that this time. Somehow, she had been compromised so he placed himself a little ways off. His vision cleared and he found himself in a service tunnel of some sort with a number of pipes running along the ceiling. "OK, now where?" He peered around the corner and saw the TARDIS seemingly unguarded. He crept cautiously to the doors and was surprised to find it slightly ajar. He stood back as far as he could and pushed the door open. Nothing was fired at him. He entered the TARDIS and was shocked at what he saw. The ship that was normally bathed in a golden green glow was radiating an agonizing red. The panels underneath the console were open, and there were wires dangling that made Alan think that someone was in the middle of a DIY project. He tentatively reached a hand out to touch the console but hesitated, his hand just inches away, somehow knowing it would not be a good thing. "What have they done to you?" he whispered.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"How could I have ever been bested by a man so disorganized? He doesn't even have the decency to keep them close to the console room," the Master grumbled as he walked the corridor for the umpteenth time. He was almost done, and the Doctor was trying to stop him even though he was trillions of years away. "Damn the man!"

As he got closer to the console room, he heard a voice. If someone has come down here despite my orders, they will-- All thoughts of fitting punishment fled his mind when he saw who it was: the man he hated almost as much as the Doctor. "Oh-ho, this is just too good. Col. Alan Kelly," he announced loudly.

The man turned, startled to be caught out. "Where's the Doctor?"

"How do you know I'm not him?"

"The TARDIS. She showed me bits of what happened, what you did to her. That's why I'm here. I guess I was too late to stop you...Master."

The Master grinned. "You are quick." He set his tools on the floor by the console.

"How did you survive the Time War," Kelly asked, putting the console between them. "The Doctor told me he was the only one left."

"A strategic withdrawal." He could see the colonel watching him warily. If I can get inside his head, I'm sure I could expand his talents without destroying him.

"You ran away! That is just priceless! The man who would be ruler of the universe turned tail and ran!"

"You do not mock me!" he ordered, barely controlling his temper. He stared at the officer, itching to wipe that cocky grin from his face. He then saw that Kelly was resting his hands on the console. The Master reached down and picked up one of the many exposed live wires, holding it out of Kelly's line-of-sight. "You weren't there," he argued. "You have no idea what it was like. The utter scale of it." Memories of the carnage he had witnessed flooded the Master's mind. There was only one other in existence that could understand, and he wasn't ready for that conversation, not yet.

He touched the wire to the console and watched in delight while Kelly spasmed as the current ran through his body. When he removed the wire, Kelly's body fell to the floor. The Master stood over him. "Now the fun begins."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Alan came to with a massive pounding in his head. There was also pain -- massive, gut-wrenching, migraine-inducing pain -- that wasn't his. For some reason he was connected to the TARDIS. He tried to shut her out using some techniques the Doctor had taught him, but that only lessened the pain to a slightly more tolerable level.

He cracked open his eyes and saw the Master's grinning face. "What the hell did you do?"

"Now is that any way to thank me?" he asked, leaning back in his chair.

"Thank you for this pounding in my head?"

"Ah, Colonel, you are missing the reason you have that pounding. Your telepathy only worked with, what, three or four other people? Now you have no limits."

Alan knew the Master wouldn't do this out of the kindness of his hearts. He had to want something and Alan knew it wouldn't be good. "And why would you do that?"

"You will stay in the TARDIS. When I need you, you will wear a dark suit of my choosing."

"What's to keep me from getting away once I'm outside?"

"As you can see, I have your machine. That bracelet you see in its place will send a charge of 10,000 volts through your body if you move more than ten feet away from its mate." The Master held up his own wrist.

"You want me to read the minds of your enemies. Isn't that a bit low, even for you?"

"I'm merely using all assets at my disposal."

"Oh, so I'm an asset now, am I? You don't need my help to become Prime Minister." The moment it passed his lips, Alan regretted it.

"So my little camouflage against the Doctor works. Since he doesn't try to stop me, that can only mean he returns after the election. Thank you, Colonel. I can now adjust my timetable accordingly." He rose and headed for the door. "Now I'm off to see a man about a science project."

Alan allowed enough time to pass before heading to the console room. He didn't want to give the Master the satisfaction of seeing him test his boundaries. The pain in his mind increased as he got closer and he tried to build stronger mental walls.

He opened the door to the room and was nearly doubled over. He took a series of deep breaths to regain control over the pain. When he straightened, he saw what the Master had done. There was grating that surrounded the whole of the console. Even if he knew how to pilot it, there was no way to reach the controls. There was also a massive industrial pipe connected to the base of the console through the grating. Whether it was feeding or draining energy, he couldn't tell. There was a gauge set above it and Alan knew the Master wanted it to reach the red.

It seems my best bet is to wait it out. Maybe contain the madness until the Doctor gets here or I can enlist some help.

He stroked one of the coral-like buttresses as he returned to the inner rooms of the TARDIS.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Master leaned back in the chrome and leather chair. It all seemed rather pretentious for a man of Lazarus' age and background. He had expected oak panelled walls and brown leather chairs. Perhaps he went the opposite of the expected on purpose. The wall of windows looked out onto London's skyline, giving the impression of having the city at your feet.

"Everything seems to be moving on schedule, Mr. Saxon," said the older woman sitting at the desk. "All preliminary tests show we're ready to begin the final phase." She slid the folder across the desk towards him.

The Master waved it away. "My dear Lady Thaw, I trust your money management skills to keep things on track." And your vanity, he added to himself. That is what made him choose Lady Thaw as his representative at LazLabs. It wouldn't do for him to be openly funding such an experiment. The fact that Lady Thaw believed herself to be in love with Lazarus and that her feelings were reciprocated made everything so easy.

"And what is the projected timetable for the grand unveiling?"

Lady Thaw consulted the folder. "Prof. Lazarus believes it should be ready in two months, possibly right before Election Day."

"Excellent." He stood. "Call me when you have a firm date or if anything else arises that I should be made aware of. On my private line," he reminded. "We must be discreet."

"Of course, Mr. Saxon. No one besides Prof. Lazarus and myself know of your involvement."

"Good day, Lady Thaw." He slipped out of the office and down the backstairs to his waiting car.

"Where to, sir?" asked the driver.

"Back to the Ministry, I think. I have a few more things to attend to today."

"Very good, sir."

As the car pulled away, the Master leaned back into the soft leather seat. It amused him how some humans clung to their pitiful little lives; doing anything they could to prolong it. Lazarus and Thaw were the ideal pawns in this particular scheme. They both wanted to restore their youth and the adulation such an accomplishment would bring.

His reason for funding this project was twofold. He would have access to the genetic manipulator for his own purposes. Also, if the Doctor were to be in town the day of the unveiling, there was no way he would pass up a chance to witness such a momentous occasion.

That brought him back to Kelly. He'd enjoy having the man around. He had to have someone to talk to who understood. Lucy knew what was going on, but she couldn't fully grasp it all. He'd let the man stew for a few days to realize there was no escape from his prison. Though, as far as prisons went, the TARDIS wasn't so bad with its practically limitless resources.

He'd check on the new satellites for Archangel and make a few public appearances with Lucy then find some reason to get back to the Valiant. Aside from checking on the TARDIS and Alan, he had to make sure that everything was running according to schedule. He sighed contentedly. He could easily get used to this.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isolated within the TARDIS, Alan had no idea how much time had passed when the Master returned. He heard him calling in a singsong voice like he was playing Hide and Seek. Alan ignored him and kept reading.

"So this is where you are." The Master said with a touch of disdain in his voice. "Not quite what I expected."

"You didn't think I was the library type? I'll have you know I graduated top of my class at the Academy." Alan closed the book. "To what do I owe this dubious honour?"

The Master sat in one of the worn, cracked leather chairs. "Can't I just drop in on a friend for a chat?

"As we're not friends, I strongly doubt it. However, if you feel the need to brag, go ahead. Tell me of your new life. Why do you need me?"

The Master seemed to think it over.

"I'm not asking for you to tell me your plans for world domination, just how you got here."

The Master looked at his watch. "Maybe another time. You need to change for your first appearance as one of my bodyguards."

Alan stood. "Dark suit, tie and sunglasses? I think I might be able to lay my hands on something like that. After all, I've had enough time to look around."

He walked out of the library and headed for the wardrobe room knowing the Master wouldn't be far behind. He needed to know where the Doctor was while all this was going on. He just had to get the Master to tell him.

Alan heard footsteps. "I'm a big boy and can get dressed by myself."

"I'm not letting you hide yourself in the TARDIS. I'm running to a schedule and I don't have time to go looking for you."

"So tell me what I need to know about Harold Saxon. Don't want to let the wrong word slip."

"Ooh, not above a little blackmail. I like that. I'll bring you a copy of my biography since you like to read so much."

"That won't help for this time." They reached their destination. "OK, just tell me how you and the TARDIS came to be here." Alan strode to the section where he remembered seeing dark suits.

"Honestly, how much of this has actually been worn?" The Master fingered a multi-coloured monstrosity. "Though I will admit his sartorial taste has improved."

"Your story!" Alan called from the changing room. "You 'escaped' the Time War. How?"

"I made myself human. Long story. The man I became, 'Professor Yana', ended up on the planet Malcassario endeavouring to help the last surviving humans find Utopia."

Alan listened as he dressed. The Doctor, Martha and Jack had helped Yana - the Master referred to him as a whole other person and perhaps he had been - prepare to launch a rocket to Utopia. It was Martha who had inadvertently brought Yana's attention to a broken fob watch. Once he had opened it, the Master's essence was released.

"I was shot by Yana's assistant, took refuge in the TARDIS and regenerated. The Doctor arrived, we spoke briefly and then I left them."

Alan heard the undisguised glee in his voice. I think it's time for a little defiance. He grabbed the finishing touch to his uniform and rejoined the Master.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As they were short on time, the Master had Alan teleport them down to the MoD from where his driver took them to a meet-and-greet in some posh Mayfair hotel. These things are such a bore. Only a few months to go and then no more pretence.

He looked over at Kelly. "What's with the..." He motioned his hand to take in the man's outfit. His navy suit was a fine cut, most likely Saville Row. No off-the-rack for him. It was the pinstriped waistcoat that made the obvious difference. That, and the gold pocket watch.

Kelly looked down and tugged at the vest to straighten a wrinkle. "Well, I thought that since I was not a regular bodyguard for you, one you bring out for special occasions as it were, I thought I'd need to be a bit different. The vest gives it that little oomph, don't you think?"

"You look more like a banker or a stockbroker or, God forbid, a solicitor than a bodyguard."

"Perhaps if I had been given some background information, I could have dressed in character."

The Master picked the briefcase off the floor and opened it using the combination. He tossed the manila folder that was resting on top at Kelly. Inside was the life he had created for the man. It was almost as impressive as his own.

Kelly read it over quickly. "I find it rather unnerving that you know enough about me to create this."

The Master had to admit to himself that he was rather proud of working in the colonel's strengths of weapons and languages. Maybe I should call him a Special Consultant instead of a bodyguard.

"So, we were both on the rugby team at Cambridge and I went into the RAF. Ah, Special Forces. That explains the rate of promotion," Kelly continued to read. He looked at the Master. "You know, this is eerily similar to fact."

The Master put on his innocent face that always worked a charm. "Really? I just thought it would make a good read."

"This regeneration is quite a change from before, not as cold or superior and with an actual sense of humour."

"I've had to blend in, being stuck here for 16 months."

"You have the TARDIS. How are you stuck?"

"The Doctor," the Master sneered. "He fused the coordinates with that ridiculous sonic screwdriver of his. I can only travel between now and when they found me and back again. I haven't let that stop me, however."

"I can see that."

The car slowed to a stop. "We've arrived, sir."

"Very good." The Master turned to Kelly. "Now you get to meet the wife."

"Wife?!"

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

They stepped out of the car amidst cheers from the awaiting crowd. Why are they treating him like a movie star? I mean, charm can only go so far. The Master smiled and waved before entering the hotel. Alan fell into his role of bodyguard, one he had played many times before. He followed the Master closely as he strode towards the conference room where the luncheon was being held. He could hear the murmurs as word of Harold Saxon's arrival preceded them. This is not normal for a politician.

The Master stopped at the set of double doors and waited. Belatedly, Alan realized he was to open the door. He did so, allowing 'Saxon' to make a grand entrance. He exchanged a few greetings and shook a few hands as he made his way to the main table where a woman with mid-length blonde hair stood waiting. This can only be the wife. She seemed the epitome of British upper class with an ivory complexion, blue eyes and a lovely figure decked out in what was most probably a designer dress.

The Master gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Lucy, you've heard me talk about my old friend, Alan Kelly."

"Of course." Her voice was soft and cultured. She held out her hand. "A pleasure to finally meet you, Col. Kelly. Harry has spoken of you often."

Alan took her hand and bowed over it. "An honour to meet the woman who finally got Harry to settle down, Mrs Saxon."

"Lucy, please."

"Then I must be Alan."

"You must," interrupted the Master. "Shall we sit?"

Lucy took the seat at the Master's left while Alan was given the chair to his right, forcing a re-arrangement of place settings before the luncheon began.

A large number of people stopped to speak with 'Saxon', shake his hand and even get their photograph taken with him. On the surface, he seemed to be enjoying himself, but Alan knew the Master thought all of this beneath him. He just wished he knew how the Master had done all this. There was no way he could have swayed the majority of Britain to his side on charm alone.

When the luncheon was over, Alan followed the Saxons out to the waiting car, stopping for a photo op along the way. The Master and Lucy got into the car first and Alan climbed in and sat backwards, facing them. He leaned forward, hands on knees. "Don't you two make the cutest couple," he said lightly. "Tell me everything."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Harry, I'm not sure I want Alan with us tonight," Lucy said as she put on her earrings. "I feel nervous around him."

The Master came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders like any comforting husband. "Really? I thought you liked him."

She looked at him in the mirror. "Yes, he's nice and he's charming, but how do we know he isn't turning people against you?"

He chuckled. "How could he? I've kept him away from mobiles and computers so he's been unable to contact UNIT or Torchwood, the only ones who'd believe him."

"But what about..." Lucy pointed to her head.

"Telepathy? In this day and age, if someone heard voices in their head, they would either think they're going mad or wouldn't say anything fearing others would think them mad. You have no reason to worry over his loyalty. I own him. He can do nothing without me." He felt her relax. "There. Now let's just enjoy tonight and know that I've got everything in hand."

She faced him. "Of course you do." She kissed him. "I don't know why I doubted you." She headed for the door. "Are you coming?"

"You go ahead. I'll be right down."

After Lucy had gone, the Master looked at himself in the mirror. This incarnation was perfect for public life. The boyish charm and good looks did better than slicked-back hair and a goatee. As Kelly had said, not as cold and with a sense of humour.

Kelly. He had been rather cooperative with little or no resistance. Well, that's what happens when a man has no choice. Kelly wasn't broken, but he was quite surprised the man hadn't at least tried anything yet. He had probably been plotting and scheming to escape at the first opportunity.

At this point, it really didn't matter. He did have it all in hand. The Doctor and Miss Martha Jones met just two days ago. Yesterday, yes, the Lazarus Experiment failed, but he had already corrected the errors. He had also had an agent on hand to begin turning Francine Jones against the Doctor. He chuckled. The Doctor, who, at this moment in time, had no idea of his existence, thanks to Archangel. Oh, he was so predictable.

Tomorrow when he won the election, it would mark the beginning of the end of the Earth. With one last look in the mirror, he straightened his tie and rejoined his wife.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The day after the election - which was just a formality, judging by the results - Alan had been "fetched" and brought in to be part of the entourage as the new Prime Minister met with the Queen.

Now, within Saxon headquarters, Alan stayed back as far as he dared, blending in with the other bodyguards. He watched as the Master used that boyish charm on the media. The whole thing made what resided behind that façade even more dangerous. Who would ever suspect that face of such heinous crimes? Oh, the loving couple. Give me a break!

Then the Master spoke. "This country has been sick. This country needs healing."

Oh, I know where he's going.

"This country needs medicine. In fact, I'll go so far as to say, what this country really needs, right now, is a doctor." After a quick smile for the cameras, he and Lucy walked to the limo, Alan and a guard not far behind.

Alan got in the back with the Master and Lucy while the guard sat up front with the driver. "This whole thing was a set-up!" he declared as the car got underway. "This is just to get the Doctor!"

"No need to get your knickers in a twist, Colonel. The Doctor only just arrived. I sensed him the moment it happened. Anyway, he miscalculated. There's no way he can stop it now. His TARDIS is mine and Torchwood is virtually on the other side of the world."

"This is the Doctor. You know things like this won't stop him."

"I have taken that all into consideration. After all this time, I know his weaknesses."

Alan knew that wasn't an empty boast. He sat back and remained quiet for the rest of the drive.

The car pulled up in front of Number 10 and the Saxons emerged to the sound of clicking shutters as photographers from all over the world marked the event. Alan followed feeling more like a puppy at his owner's heels instead of a supposed right-hand man.

On the ground floor, the household staff greeted them. Upstairs on the way to the Cabinet Room, various clerks handed him files that needed his attention.

Just before he went inside, Lucy placed a hand on the Master's arm. "I'm so proud of you, Harry."

He kissed her. "Bless."

At that moment, a young black woman approached them. "Uh, sir... If you don't mind me asking...I'm sorry, but it's all a bit new. What exactly do you want me to do?"

"Oh yes, what was it, uh..?"

"Tish. Letitia Jones."

Christ! He's got Martha's sister! He must want her close to use as a hostage if necessary.

"Tish." He repeated the name like he was testing the sound of it. "Well then, Tish, you just stand there and look gorgeous." The Master entered the Cabinet Room.

Alan knew he would have to keep an eye on Tish for Martha's sake. Perhaps after he had built up something of an acquaintance, he might be able to use telepathy and warn her of the danger. Until then, she'd just think him mad.

He approached her. "Letitia Jones? I'm Alan Kelly. You don't know me, but I'm a friend of your sister's."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Master sat at the table tapping out that incessant drumming. Maybe if he achieved his goal, it would stop. He straightened and removed the mask, the gas having already dissipated. He looked at the bodies of the Cabinet members. They had betrayed their own parties to join his bandwagon so who was to say they wouldn't have done it again?

This also cleared the last bit of opposition out of the way. There would be no one to question his plans, no one declaring every little thing had to be put to a vote. He headed for the door. From this moment, the Cabinet was "in seclusion".

He left the room, closing the door tightly behind him only to see Kelly speaking with the Jones girl. That would not do. "Miss Jones. Tish, please go assist Mrs Saxon and make sure she is not disturbed."

"Yes, sir." She scurried off.

"Hiring Martha's sister was an interesting move."

"She could prove useful. Family ties and all. I have a job for you." He opened the door to the Cabinet Room and pushed Kelly inside. The Master closely followed, closing the door quickly behind him.

Kelly stood still, a blend of horror and disgust on his face. "You killed them! They supported you in your campaign and you killed them!'

"Your point?" The man was almost as morally high-minded as the Doctor.

"You are totally demented!" Kelly glared at him. "I expect you want me to dispose of the bodies."

"I do know this lovely, isolated spot." He grabbed Kelly's arm and removed the cuff. "You are to go to the destination I tell you, no deviation. You are not to contact the Doctor or any of his companions. Failure to comply will result in an injury to my newest employee."

The look on the colonel's face was priceless. "You wouldn't."

"Not if you do as you're told. It's quite a simple decision, really."

"Fine," Kelly said resignedly. "Where am I going?"

"Llyn y Fan Fawr," the Master told him.

Kelly stood between two bodies, a hand on each. "I will make sure word of this gets out," he stated before disappearing.

"If it's later than 8:02 tomorrow morning, it won't matter." He sat in his chair and waited for Kelly to return. Once this little matter was taken care of, he'd go check on Lucy. It wouldn't do to have her slip up when he was this close.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Alan didn't think he'd ever feel clean again. He had never done anything so dirty. Forget all the perfumes of Arabia. Try all the perfumes of the world, maybe the galaxy. He'd have to do something to redeem himself, to make being at the Master's beck-and-call worth it, before he lost his humanity.

He stopped when he saw Tish standing nervously outside the closed door to Lucy's sitting room. Even though he wanted to follow the Master into his study and confront him, he wanted to put Tish at ease. "What is it?"

"Mrs Saxon said she didn't want to be disturbed but the reporter just pushed her way past me and--" She took a couple of deep breaths. "She said it was more or less a fashion piece so Mrs Saxon said okay."

"Then why are you upset? Mrs Saxon agreed to speak with her."

"But she shouldn't have gotten by me in the first place. I hardly have any duties and the ones I do have, I can't even do right."

"I think this reporter--"

"Mrs Rook," supplied Tish.

"Mrs Rook has far more experience pushing past assistants and clerks than you do at stopping her. You'll do better next time."

She brightened. "Thanks." She saw the clock on the wall. "I'd better go see if they need help setting up for the address. Thanks again."

"Don't forget to phone your sister!" he called after her. Alan looked at the sitting room door. Somehow he knew Mrs Rook did not want to do a simple personal piece. He sat in the chair at the desk and closed his eyes. He concentrated on the woman's name and soon he was seeing through the reporter's eyes. The setting wasn't that unusual except for the three floating metal spheres. Lucy and the Master accepted them, but Alan could feel Rook's terror as they came towards her.

"The lady doesn't like us," said one in a feminine voice, blades extending from its lower half.

"Silly lady," said a second in a masculine voice.

"Dead lady," said the third in a deeper male voice.

Alan pulled himself out of Vivian Rook as she began to scream. Outside in the hall, he breathed deep as he tried to calm down. Why had the Master killed her? She had to have suspected that he wasn't who he said he was.

At that moment, the door to the Prime Minister's study opened and the couple stepped out. The Master looked at Alan and he realized the Master knew what he had done.

"Sir." One of the aides came down the hall. "They're ready for you."

"Thank you," the Master said as Lucy looped her arm through his. "Come on, Alan. Don't you want to witness history?" With a knowing smirk, he headed for the Cabinet Room.

With no choice, Alan had to follow.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Master stood on the tarmac as Winters lectured him on the so-called protocol for First Contact. "First contact cannot take place on any sovereign soil. For that purpose, the aircraft carrier Valiant is en route. The rendezvous will take place there at 8:00 am."

The Master pretended to speak through zipped lips. Acting like an idiot was something he had picked up from the Doctor - and perfected.

"You're trying my patience, sir."

The Master unzipped his lips. "So America is completely in charge?"

"Since Britain elected an ass, yes. I'll see you onboard the Valiant." Winters turned to leave.

"It still will be televised, though, won't it? Because I promised, and the whole world is watching." And they will see the end of the world as they know it and witness the birth of something new.

"Since it's too late to pull out, the world will be watching. Me." Winters turned and headed for his waiting car.

The Master watched him walk away. 'The last President of America. We have a private plane ready and waiting. We should reach the Valiant within the hour." He motioned for Lucy to go first. "My darling."

He watched as the President's car disappeared. Everything was falling into place. Kelly was secured in the TARDIS. The Doctor and his companions were on the run. Correction: were right behind him watching it all. Why does he think a perception filter will work on me? Let's have a little fun. He turned and looked directly at the three, pretending not to see them. He turned for the car but stopped when he heard a siren, smiling as the police
van approached him. When it came to a stop, two police opened the back doors and took the Jones family out.

"Hi, guys!" he greeted with a smile. They all began to speak at once, making demands, none of which he planned to answer now. It would ruin tomorrow's entertainment. "All will be revealed!"

The family was put into a Land Rover and driven off. With one last look in the Doctor's direction, the Master got into the car with Lucy and headed for their plane.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Alan woke the next morning a little groggy. He had a feeling the Master had drugged him. How else could he have slept for-he checked his watch-14 hours? The Master's plan would culminate in a little less than 30 minutes. Alan pulled on some jeans, a T-shirt and some trainers before going to check on the console room like he did every morning. He had thought of it as a challenge and also to build up mental resistance to the TARDIS's pain. It had progressed to the point where it felt like a dull throbbing, like the onset of a migraine.

Alan stopped at the door when he heard familiar voices.

"Doctor, what is it?" That was Martha.

"He's cannibalised the TARDIS," the Doctor answered.

"Is that what I think it is?" And that was Jack.

"It's a paradox machine."

Alan opened the door. "Took you long enough to get here," he said as he walked in.

"Alan!" Martha met him halfway and hugged him tightly.

They walked over to the console where the Doctor and Jack were standing. Both men clasped him in a warm embrace-Jack's lasting a little longer than the Doctor's. "I see your patience paid off," Alan said to Jack.

"Yeah, he came to refuel and I, um, hitched a ride."

"But what are you doing here?" the Doctor asked.

"She called me," Alan answered, motioning with his hands to encompass the TARDIS. He then explained all he had been through and witnessed. He looked at Martha. "I tried to help Tish but they brought me up here before I could do anything."

"Do you have any idea of what he has planned?" Jack asked.

Alan shook his head. "He only told me the barest minimum. Whatever it is, he's been working on it for months."

"How much time do we have?"

The Doctor squatted in front of the gauge. "As soon as this hits red, it activates. At this speed, it'll trigger--" he grabbed Jack's wrist and looked at his watch-"at two minutes past 8:00."

"First contact is at 8:00 and then two minutes later..." Jack didn't need to finish the sentence.

"That doesn't leave us much time," said Alan.

Martha got down next to the Doctor. "What's it for? What's a paradox machine do?"

"More importantly, can you stop it?" Jack demanded.

"Not until I know what it's doing. Touch the wrong bit and blow up the solar system."

"Then we've got to get to the Master," stated Martha.

"Yeah. How do we stop him?" Jack wanted to know.

"Oh, I've got a way." The Doctor looked at them. "Sorry, didn't I tell you?" He grinned and stood. "Let's go." Alan hesitated. "What's wrong?"

Alan held up his arm with the cuff on it. "I can only leave with the person wearing the mate to this."

"I know," said Jack. "They were mine." Martha looked at him questioningly. "Long story."

The Doctor examined the bracelet. "Let me guess. The Master told you only he could take it off."

"Something like that, yeah. What are you doing?"

The Doctor found the spot where the cuff joined and pulled. "Another of the Master's lies," the Time Lord said, slipping the device into his pocket. "Anyone but the wearer can take it off."

"No wonder he kept that to himself."

"It's almost 8:00," said Martha as she headed for the door.

"Right." The Doctor attempted to be light-hearted. "I think it's time to save the world."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Master reclined as well as he could in the uncomfortable chair as Winters addressed the world. A man so pompous deserved what he got. He smiled. In just under two minutes he would be the unequivocal ruler of the Earth. His smile faded as he sensed the Doctor enter the room. It was right that he would be here to witness the beginning of the new world order.

"And I ask you now, I ask of the human race, to join with me in welcoming our friends. I give you the Toclafane."

The Master smiled at the gasp that echoed through the room. And this is just the beginning.

The spheres hovered around Winters as he introduced himself and welcomed them. "You're not the Master," said the first.

"We like the Mr Master," added the second, the female.

"We don't like you," said the third.

Winters tried to assert himself but the "Toclafane" wanted nothing to do with him. It was becoming unbearable to watch. "Oh, all right then. It's me." The Master stood and moved to the front at the bottom of the steps. "Ta da!" he laughed. "Sorry, sorry. I have this effect. People just get obsessed. Is it the smile? Is it the aftershave? Is it the capacity to laugh at myself? I don't know. It's crazy!"

Winters glared at him from the steps. "Saxon, what are you talkin' about?"

The Master turned on Winters, arms crossed, all humour gone. "I'm taking control, Uncle Sam. Starting with you" He looked at the "Toclafane". "Kill him."

One of the spheres shot Winters, disintegrating him. Chaos erupted as everyone tried to leave the room. There was one, however, who rushed in: Kelly. The Doctor must have stopped at the TARDIS. "Guards!"

Saxon's men rushed forward, weapons raised. "Nobody move!" one ordered. "Nobody move!"

Kelly stopped, a gun aimed at his head. "So this was your big plan?"

"Merely a small part." He stood on the steps and looked into the camera. "Now then, peoples of the Earth, please attend carefully."

The Doctor chose that moment to rush forward, making himself seen. "Stop him!" yelled one of the guards and two others grabbed him, forcing the Doctor to his knees.

"We meet at last, Doctor," the Master said looking down at his foe. He laughed. "I love saying that."

"Stop this! Stop it now!" his long-time adversary demanded.

"As if a perception filter's gonna work on me." He looked to the back wall where Miss Jones and the captain were standing. "Oh, and look, it's the girlie and the freak. Although, I'm not sure which one's which."

Harkness ran towards him, and the Master took out his own screwdriver and fired a laser at the man. The captain fell to the floor dead. "Laser screwdriver, who'd have sonic? And the good thing is, he's not dead for long. I get to kill him again!" he said gleefully.

Martha ran to Jack and Kelly pushed past his guards to get closer to the Doctor. "Oh, and the good colonel. A man forced to do every distasteful job for someone he detests. A hero demoted to general dogsbody, rendered powerless to stop what he sees happening." The Master then noticed that Kelly was no longer wearing the cuff. "Why don't you try something now, Colonel?" he taunted.

Kelly clenched his fists at his sides but did nothing.

"Master, just calm down," placated the Doctor. "Just look at what you're doing. Just stop. If you could see yourself..."

The Master sighed. It wouldn't do for the world to see him explain all to the Doctor. It would be bad for PR. He looked to the camera. "Oh, do excuse me, little bit of personal business. Back in a minute."

He ordered the guards to let the Doctor go and they pushed him to the floor.

Undaunted, the Doctor continued to plead his case. "It's that sound, the sound in your head. What if I could help?"

"Oh, how to shut him up? I know. Memory Lane!" He sat on the steps facing the Doctor and proceeded to tell him of his connection to the ill-fated Professor Lazarus. The look on the Doctor's face at the revelation of the hand was priceless. "And if Lazarus made himself younger, what if I reverse it? Another hundred years?" He aimed the screwdriver at the Doctor, switched it on and then watched as the Doctor screamed and convulsed as his genetic makeup was altered.

"Is this the only way you can stop him?" Kelly yelled. "Change him into a helpless old man? You're pathetic!"

The Master stopped and the Doctor fell to the floor. No one calls me pathetic. "Just be thankful I don't have your genetic material." He saw Martha crawl away from the now-conscious Jack to the Doctor. Now it was time for her surprise. "Aw, she's a would-be doctor. But tonight, Martha Jones, we've flown 'em in all the way from prison--" He motioned to the door, and it slid open as guards escorted in Mum, Dad, and the lovely Tish.

"Mum," Martha said softly as she stood.

"I'm sorry," Francine apologized in-between sobs.

A mother's love is so easy to manipulate. The Doctor was trying to speak so the Master bent down so he could hear.

"The Toclafane," he said breathing heavily, "who are they? Who are they?"

"Doctor, if I told you the truth, your hearts would break."

"Is it time? Is it ready? Is the machine singing?" asked the three Toclafane like eager children.

The Master checked his watch. "Two minutes past." He joined Lucy on the steps and once again spoke to the camera. "So! Earthlings. Basically, um, end of the world." He held up the screwdriver and used it to start the end. "Here...come...the drums!"

To the sound of the Rogue Traders, cued to start at that moment, the paradox machine activated and the Master went to the window to watch as a massive rift tore open the sky and thousands upon thousands of Toclafane appeared through it.

"How many do you think?" he asked his wife.

"I don't know."

Oh, I love that simple devotion and trust! "Six billion." He flicked a switch that activated the exterior speakers. "Down you go, kids!"

As he looked down through the clouds, he could only imagine the havoc and chaos as the Toclafane fired indiscriminately. Even so, he felt the need to punch things up a few notches. He looked at Lucy. "Shall we decimate them? That sounds good. Nice word-decimate. Remove one-tenth of the population!" he ordered the Toclafane.

He watched, elated, as his plan came to fruition. He needed to share - no, gloat over it - with the Doctor. He turned and looked down at the group and noticed they were one short. Martha Jones was gone! The Master then remembered she had been by Harkness. He looked and saw the captain no longer wore his vortex manipulator. It's okay, just a minor setback to the plan. What can she do alone anyway?

"You weren't expecting that, were you?" This was the old, unintimidated Kelly back. "Just because you're from the future doesn't mean you know what's going to happen. For example..."

"No!" the Master yelled. Too late. With a wink, Kelly was gone. He growled in frustration. Kelly's military training combined with his talents made him dangerous. His retrieval would be top priority. But for now...

He bounded down the steps, grabbed the Doctor by the lapels and dragged him up to the viewing platform. He kept one hand on the Doctor's shoulder and another on his arm, holding him in place between him and Lucy. "And so it came to pass...that the human race fell and the Earth was no more. And I looked down upon my new dominion as master of all and I thought it...good."

To Be Continued

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