THE MASTER, THE DOCTOR AND THE WOLF

Chapter Twenty Three

The Twelfth Doctor sat inside the jeep as it sped along the road. Sheila had borrowed the battered green jeep from her Grandfather after explaining the situation to him and promising that they could bring the threat to heel. Susan, Clara and David squeezed into the back seat and held on while Sheila drove them over Westminster Bridge. Clara could see the metal ball on the opposite bank. At first glance, it had appeared small, two small to fit two Daleks into it but as they grew closer to it, she could tell it was quite large. The front of it was still open as if the ball were yelling at something. Sheila pointed to it as they drove off the bridge.

"Do you need that?" Sheila asked the Doctor.

"Not yet, we need to find out where the Daleks have gone. That thing is impossible to carry without a gravity cancelling device and I don't have one handy."

"So shoot to kill then?" Sheila yelled as the wind rushed by the jeep.

"I hope so but it's very hard to kill a Dalek when you don't have the right weapon," the Doctor yelled back. "Times like this, I wish we still had Rusty. He could sort them out."

"Who's Rusty?" Sheila said.

"A good Dalek. His mission is to kill all the other Daleks," the Doctor said.

Sheila glanced at him in shock.

"I didn't know there was such a thing," she said.

"Neither did I until recently," the Doctor conceded.

Sheila slowed down when they suddenly heard screams coming from up ahead.

"Might I hazard a guess and say that the Daleks are ahead of us?" David yelled as he pointed out the windscreen.

The Doctor gritted his teeth when he heard the Daleks yelling "EXTERMINATE THE HUMANS!" followed by more screams. He was about to tell Sheila to step on it when she suddenly sped up and drove towards the melee.

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Meanwhile, the Valeyard had fetched his prisoners and put them in forcefield prisons. The Doctor and Rose were in one prison, Xelok was in another and the Master was in a third. All of them were standing by the front door while the Valeyard smirked at them.

"Well, I have brought you to the planet of Antarioch," he said to them. "It's a deserted planet…for the most part. The victim of an invasion and genocide. But I'm sure you'll find something to occupy your time."

"Let me go, Doctor," the Master snarled at him.

"Um…gee, should I?" the Valeyard mused as he scratched his cheek. "After all, you are a threat to me at this very minute…oh wait, you're not," he said as the Master glowered at him. "You're all caged up like they are and you know what that means? That means I don't give a fig about letting you go. So anyway, back to me," he said to his captives. "You lot will be led out of here onto the planet and the prisons will be put on a time delay so no one can be a naughty monkey and sneak back inside. And then, I'll be off. But I may come back and get you later on, have to see how I feel about that. But anyway, off we go then!"

He opened the doors and looked out. The landscape was barren with huge craters from bomb blasts. Very little vegetation was growing and there was a hint of gunpowder in the air. The Valeyard glanced up at the blue sky and noticed two suns overhead before sticking his head back inside. One by one, the captives were forced to walk outside and the Valeyard put the forcefield balls on the ground and programmed them to shut off in ten minutes. He did this with everyone, positioning them by a huge crater before he waved goodbye to them. Ignoring the Master's curses and threats of death, he strolled back inside, whistling, and shut the door behind them. The Master kept on yelling, even as the TARDIS dematerialized and left the planet. As soon as the wheezing stopped, the Master fell silent. He looked at the Doctor and Rose and the Doctor suddenly realized that the Master didn't recognize him. He quickly put a telepathic barrier around his mind in case the Master decided to check.

"So why are you here then?" the Master said to him and Rose. "What's he got to do with you?"

"Innocent bystanders," the Doctor said before Rose could speak. "We were in the wrong place at the wrong time, I'm afraid. You?"

The Master snorted.

"Same," he said. "Actually, I was trying to…fix him when he went off the rails and took control of my mind and now we're here," he said, waving his arm around, indicating the barren landscape. "So, my thought is we should work together to try to get off this mudball of a planet if we hope to see civilization again."

The Doctor wasn't so sure that the Master's motives were that innocent but he decided to play along for the moment and pretend that he and Rose were unwitting captives in all this.

"So what are your names then?" he asked the Master.

He resisted the eye roll when the Master raised his chin and gave him a haughty look.

"I am called the Master," he said.

The Doctor half expected trumpet fanfair to come from nowhere after that. He forced himself to play along and nodded.

"And him?" he said, pointing to Xelok.

"This is Xelok, my…ward," the Master said.

The Doctor also doubted that was all he was to the Master but again, he went along with it.

"I am Steve, this is my wife, Abagail," he said, gesturing to Rose.

Rose looked at him and he could see she was slightly stunned by the revelation that she was now his wife. But she recovered and followed his lead as she said hello to him.

"Do you think there'll be any air once the forcefields have dropped?" the Master mused as he turned and looked up at the sky. "This could be a way to kill us and not leave a mess in his TARDIS."

"Perhaps but I doubt it," the Doctor said.

"Oh? And why is that?" the Master said, glancing at him.

"Because he seems like the sort of bloke who does everything in a big way and that includes killing people," the Doctor replied.

The Master nodded, still gazing at the sky.

"I suppose we'll find out in a few minutes then," he said as he continued to scan the sky.

The Doctor looked at Xelok who was visibly frightened and tried to give him a few soothing words of encouragement. The Master glanced back at him and snorted softly before turning his attention back to the landscape, confirming the Doctor's suspicions that the young boy was a tool to be used by his adversary rather than a ward or a son. He made a decision to keep the young boy safe and try to find out where he came from and help him get back there. But for the moment, he could do nothing more than wait until the forcefields collapsed and he and Rose would have to work with the Master to find a way out.

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