So, I know I'm not getting any awards for timely updates lol but here is the next one!
It turned out, the Doctor didn't have to track down Rose himself. He received a video message, which shocked him as he knew it was impossible. The man on the screen had an expression so cocky and confident that the Doctor's eyebrows rose in disbelief. The man laughed at the Doctor's bewildered expression.
"Ah, Doctor. Long time, no see. Do you know who I am?" He paused only a millisecond, only long enough for the Doctor's mouth to open to answer. "I imagine you don't. It was so long ago, so very, very long ago, since you've seen me. I didn't have this same face, either. I've changed. You honestly don't remember, do you?"
The Doctor's expression hardened. "Who are you and what do you want?"
"Ah, now where's the fun in simply telling you. Come on, guess!" The man smiled giddily, clasping his hand together like he'd just received a great gift.
The Doctor groaned. "I will not guess."
The man's smile immediately fell. "Still no fun, Doctor. Still no fun. Even back on Gallifrey, you were never any fun. Come on, now, Doctor, there's a big hint."
The Doctor froze. "Gallifrey? You're a…a Time Lord?"
The man sneered and laughed. "Bingo! Now we're cooking!"
The Doctor just stared, trying to think of who this could possibly be. When the answer came to him, he sighed and his eyes closed in utter dread. "You're the Master."
"RRRRIGHT! I was beginning to think that you'd forgotten about all the fun we had on Gallifrey! Indeed, that would be a pity," The man yelled as the Doctor struggled to rationalize how this was possible.
"How did you survive the Time War?" The Doctor asked, scared to hear the answer.
"Now, there's an interesting question, Doctor. The Time War…everyone died, so many of our people. The Daleks died, as well, though I hear through certain channels they resemble cockroaches in their ability to stay dead. Now, my dear Doctor, how did you escape the Time War yourself? Me, I wasn't there. I wasn't gonna fight for my homeland, you see, all those pompous bloated aristocrats that had never turned a kind eye towards me? No, definitely not! I refused to come, refused to help. Honestly, I might have been the only Time Lord who wasn't there. Were you there, Doctor? Oh, you must have been. You and your idiotic heroism, I can't imagine you being anywhere else," The Doctor laughed at the end, a shrill chest heaving guffaw from deep in his ribcage.
The Doctor just stared, barely able to even process that a Time Lord had survived simply because he hadn't been there. Everyone had been called home to help fight. It had never even occurred to him, even being the rebel he was, to not answer it. He had loved his planet, and some of the people on it.
"Master, why…why didn't you contact me before?" The Doctor barely spoke, his voice thick with emotion.
"Because, Doctor, I've been busy. Searching, traveling, researching…and I've found the one thing that we as the last of the Time Lords need…the rebuilding of the Gallifreyan race! Doctor, we can be the creators of the new Gallifreyan bloodline!" The Master was yelling now, obviously having strong feelings, manic as they are, about his plans.
The Doctor squinted, not quite grasping the Master's intent or the meaning behind his crazed words. "Um…how do you propose we would do that? I don't know of any looms around, and even if there were, there are no more Tardises other than my own. I've scanned and scanned, and nothing. You don't have one hiding away somewhere do you? They would be forced to remain on Earth forever, which could get tricky."
The Master laughed again. "Oh, Doctor, you misunderstand. Humans wouldn't need to exist. We would make Earth our home base, our new home. Gallifreyans would repopulate this Earth and we would live on, Doctor, we would create a new life!"
The Doctor shook his head. "And I suppose the humans would just…live in peace with us?"
The Master smiled cynically. "Oh, Doctor…no, they would die. They would die so that we could live. So that our race would live."
The Doctor straightened and his face became hard with anger. "No, you will not do this. I won't allow it."
The Master sighed, as though truly hurt by the Doctor's words. "I thought you might say that. But, Doctor, you didn't hear the best part of my plan," The Master paused here and leaned towards the camera as though it was a great secret, "I have something you've lost."
The Doctor's mouth fell open in shock. Rose. It had to be Rose. "What do you have?"
The Master smiled and then turned very serious. "See for yourself."
The camera went black but then readjusted as a white room came into view. He could easily see a blonde woman beating against the door and screaming. He would know her voice anywhere. She was yelling for someone to let her out, for help,…for him. She turned and slid down to the floor, folding in on herself as tears flowed down her face. His hearts broke.
"Rose…," the Doctor breathed, and he heard the Master's manic laugh as the camera switched back to him.
"Ah, yes…the infamous Rose Tyler. I have searched for her for a while, well, ever since I heard of what happened at Satellite 5, that is. It must have been something to see how she absorbed the vortex, Doctor. She became…what few of us have even dreamed of. She became a goddess that day. Tell me, what was it like, knowing your precious little human would die for you?" The Master asked, smiling for ear to ear.
The Doctor let his head drop down as he closed his eyes, "It was heartbreaking. My only goal is to keep my companions safe and show them the universe, and I failed that day."
The Master snickered and shook his head. "No, my old friend, you definitely succeeded. I obviously know something that you don't, which just gives me...," He paused here, closing his eyes and outstretching his arms, "…SO much joy!"
"Master, tell me! If you've done anything to her, I swear I'll-"
"YOU'LL WHAT?! You are just a sniveling little coward deep down, Doctor. You haven't changed at all in the centuries since I've seen you. All you are is a coward and it's all you'll ever be," The Master gritted his teeth in anger as he practically spat at the Doctor.
"Tell me," The Doctor softly spoke, his anger so great his hands were shaking.
The Master seemed to soften drastically and unexpectedly, as was his personality. He put his hand to his chin as though deep in thought.
"Doctor, I wonder…what would you do if your companion turned out to be our only shot at rebuilding the Gallifreyan race?" The Master asked calmly and eerily quiet.
The Doctor's head snapped up, his eyes wide. "What do you mean?"
"No one absorbs the time vortex without becoming changed, Doctor. Well, besides us, of course. We just regenerate. But your girl…she changed herself, with some help from the Tardis, that is. She's different now…like us…well, sort of. She's a bit…well, unaware that these changes occurred. Someone blocked her memories, after all. But, no matter, I will unblock them myself soon," The Master said this all as though it were the most natural thing in the world and the Doctor struggled to process it all.
"How do you know this? She's fine other than being kidnapped and imprisoned by the likes of you!" The Doctor vehemently spoke.
"I did my research, Doctor. When I heard the tale of Satellite 5, I had to see for myself," The Master said with a wink.
"Leave. Her. Alone. Now," The Doctor practically snarled.
The Master feigned fear as he put his arms up, and then he laughed, a frightening shrill sound. "Don't command me to do anything, Doctor. For it is you who are in the palm of MY hand! If I were to but snap my fingers, I could have her killed in a second. Don't test me, old friend."
The Doctor paled at the mention of him killing Rose, and he sobered. "What do you want from me? What do I need to do?"
The Master paused, and then a smile broke out on his face, every tooth in his skull showing. "Ah, now there's the real question. What can you do for me? Well, the short answer is…nothing. I have what I want. You see, Rose is the key to bringing forth an entire new Time Lord race, with me being the Father to lead them all into this new generation…and your lovely Rose as their mother." He paused here for effect, watching the Doctor's expression very closely.
The Doctor's stomach dropped as he let the Master's words rumble around in his head.
"That is my plan, Doctor, and now you know. However, I'm afraid I have a date…a date with a certain beautiful companion of yours, and I mustn't keep her waiting. Tata!" The screen went black just like that, while the Doctor screamed.
"NOOOO!" He yelled, thumping his hands on the console, mentally apologizing immediately to the Tardis for letting his anger get the better of him.
He felt hopeless, he felt disgusting and small. He felt bested, which he really didn't like to feel at all. The Master had been absent from his life for centuries. Where had he been? The Doctor sighed hopelessly, dropping his tired body down into the jump seat.
"Rose, I'll find you somehow. I'm so sorry," he breathed, and received a sympathetic mental caress from the Tardis.