A poster on GB stated that they would like to see the Master come back after TEOT thus: washed up on a beach in a bay somewhere, having fallen out of the void....
Title: The Way Back (4/?)
Genre: Doctor Who
Characters: Simm-Master, the Doctor (Eleven), Joshua and Abigail Naismith, Martha and Mickey Jones-Smith, etc, OCs....
Rating/Warnings: Adult themes throughout –some bad language, sex and violence.
With heartfelt thanks to my Beta, Jinxed.
Title: The Way Back (4/?)
Genre: Doctor Who
Characters: Simm-Master, the Doctor (Eleven), Joshua and Abigail Naismith, Martha and Mickey Jones-Smith, etc, OCs....
Rating/Warnings: Adult themes throughout –some bad language, sex and violence.
With heartfelt thanks to my Beta, Jinxed.
Sarah Jane Smith looks at the screen and frowns. ‘Mister Smith, run that by me again?’
‘There is activity on the world wide web relating to The Master, also known as Harold Saxon, Sarah Jane.’
‘But he’s ... well, I was going to say dead, but after those nightmares at Christmas, I’m not sure that is the case any more... And we’ve heard no more from the Doctor...’ she adds sadly.
'Readings indicate that the entity known as The Master or Harold Saxon may be alive and on planet Earth, Sarah Jane,' the super-computer's calm tones inform her.
This isn't good news....If the Master is back, does that mean that the Doctor will follow? She very much hopes so, and yet at the same time she isn't sure if she wants to find out who the Doctor might be now... She’d known the moment she'd seen the Doctor’s expression just before he disappeared back inside the Tardis with only minimal acknowledgement, that she wouldn’t be seeing that particular face again. It hadn’t just been the sadness she’d seen –clearly visible even all those yards away- but the distant, mournful tolling of the Cloister Bell, clearly audible through the open Tardis door. She has only ever heard that on very few occasions before but she knows what it means.
When the Tardis had dematerialised and Luke had disappeared off to meet his friends, she’d shut herself in her room and wept quietly. No matter that the Doctor would return in another body... each incarnation is different; a different personality who just happens to share the same memories as the Doctor she knows. There is always the fear that one day he’ll be someone she doesn’t like. It hasn’t happened yet, but the law of averages doesn’t make her feel hopeful that it won’t...
So what to do about Mister Smith’s report? .
‘Mister Saxon, can you hear me? Are you able to talk?’
There’s no response and Bulmer sighs. For twenty four hours now the Master has been sedated, and Commander Stafford is insistent that he needs to talk to him. An official order from UNIT HQ had landed on his desk (or, more accurately, via email) at 9am precisely, ordering him to withdraw all sedation and to inform Commander Stafford as soon as his patient begins to regain consciousness. That was two hours ago. The sedation should have worn off by now, and still the Master shows no sign of waking.
Bulmer isn’t happy about this. He’s got the Time Lord wired up to all manner of monitors and every one of them is telling him that the alien is in a coma. There’s little or no brain activity, the two hearts are beating very slowly and his body is so cold, the skin icy to the touch, that to the inexperienced eye he would seem to be quite dead. Bulmer has read and re-read every single record UNIT has on both Time Lords – everything that UNIT knows about the two aliens – and he’s still none the wiser. The Master’s physical condition appears unchanged from when he was first brought in – no better, no worse. What is that Stafford needs to know so badly, he wonders? He makes another notation on the computerised chart, and turns to his senior nurse, Abigail Fletcher. A small sound from the figure on the bed has him swinging back around and stepping up to the bedside to see the Master moving restlessly against his restraints. Part of his mind notes that the monitor readings on the screen are unchanged. How can that be?
Regardless of what the monitors are saying, the Master is clearly conscious. And unhappy: brown eyes glare at him over the respirator mask and small choking noises caused by the tube in his throat confirm his discomfort. Bulmer quickly looks away, remembering Stafford’s initial briefing:
‘Do not make eye contact with the prisoner, do not talk to him except where it concerns specific medical matters and then only with caution. Under no circumstances are you to remove his restraints, even in an extreme medical emergency. If he does break free, he will be shot. I can’t stress to you all just how dangerous this creature is. He might look human, but he is alien, Bulmer. Treat him as you would a very dangerous wild animal.’
‘Nurse Fletcher – if you please!’
Together, the two of them quickly remove the breathing tube and accessories. The Master is trying to speak but after two days on life support his throat is dry and he only manages an incoherent rasp.
‘Nurse – fetch me a glass of warm water.’ As he activates the mechanism that brings the top of the bed upwards, Bulmer glances at the monitors again. The readings have all flat-lined, even though their subject is quite clearly alive, if not exactly well.
Nurse Fletcher approaches the Master with the beaker of water, clearly intending to administer it herself.
‘Nurse – I’ll take that, thank you.’
‘It’s no problem, Doctor Bulmer –‘
‘Orders, Nurse. Thank you.’
He holds the beaker to the Master’s lips and watches carefully as he gulps the contents. He withdraws the beaker when he considers that the Master has had sufficient.
‘How do you feel, Sir?’
The Master licks his lips and eyes Bulmer up and down in a disconcerting manner. ‘Hungry,’ he rasps.
‘Well, that’s a good sign, at least. I’ll see what I can arrange. But first I need to run some checks –‘
‘Doctor Bulmer!’ Bulmer flinches as the door crashes open and Stafford barrels in, followed by four armed troopers. They fan out around the bed, aiming their weapons at the Master. Four safety catches click to the ‘off’ position.
‘I thought I made it quite clear that I was to be informed at the first sign of any change in the prisoner’s condition?’ It’s not a question, and Stafford leans into Bulmer’s face. To his credit, Bulmer stands firm, although he swallows audibly.
‘There wasn’t time, Commander. The monitors didn’t show....’
‘Remove him to the interrogation block!’ Stafford barks and two of the troopers shoulder their weapons and advance on the Master, pulling off straps and IV lines. The Master, whose expression had been one of disdain as he’d watched the soldiers surround him, winces as an IV is ripped carelessly out of a vein. Blood splashes the white sheets.
‘Hey, hold on! You can’t do that! He’s only just regained consciousness, I have tests to run before I can say whether he’s fit for –‘
‘He looks fit enough to me, Doctor Bulmer. You can have him back after we’ve had a word or two.’
With that, Stafford and his men march out again, pushing an angry-looking Master ahead of them.
Bulmer regards the trail of bright blood spatters with a concerned expression.
‘Sometimes I wonder what this organisation is turning into, Abigail,’ he sighs as he turns back to the equipment. ‘If you’d be so kind as to clean this up and ready the bed for Mister Saxon’s return... I have some test results to examine. Of course, without updated results they won’t be as helpful as they could have been, but...’
‘Yes, Doctor.’ Abigail steps away from the back wall, where she'd stood open-mouthed in surprise throughout Saxon's removal.
‘This is it,’ Martha indicates the slightly neglected property frontage as they slow to a crawl. ‘Looks like someone’s home...’
Mickey takes the small 4 x 4 a few yards up the road and parks up outside another property. Their vehicle is nothing remarkable, nothing as in-your-face as Torchwood’s SUV had been: they’d agreed that since it was just the two of them now, trying to fill the gap left by Torchwood Cardiff’s destruction, a ‘softly, softly’ approach was probably for the best. Not for the first time Martha wonders where Jack is, and how he’s coping. Gwen (proud mother of little Bronwyn, born the week before Christmas) had filled Martha in on the terrible details of the 456 affair and Martha wishes that she had been able to tell Jack how sorry she is to hear of Ianto’s death. First Owen, then Tosh and now Ianto... and Jack has somehow disappeared off Earth... how had he managed that, she wonders? The Doctor had disabled his Vortex Manipulator after the Year That Never Was (as she now thinks of it, which she generally tries hard to avoid) so unless Jack had managed to fix it...
‘Martha – you coming?’
She shakes her head. Pay attention, Martha Jones-Smith, she admonishes herself. Gonna get yourself killed otherwise...
Mickey checks the car over as they walk up the path. ‘Engine’s warm,’ he notes.
‘She might have been shopping,’ Martha points out reasonably.
‘How are we going to play this, then?’ Mickey had wanted to know on the drive down. ‘We can’t just barge in there and ask her why she’s been Googling a psychopathic Time Lord, can we?’
‘Actually he’s more... Sociopathic... with psychopathic tendencies,’ Martha corrects.
‘Is there a difference? He's barmy, whatever you want to call it!’
‘Well, some experts argue that there isn’t much difference...’ Martha tails off. ‘Uh-oh. Someone’s nervous...’ She’d seen a figure at the window, which quickly stepped backwards as if realising they’d been seen. The watcher had been female, Martha is almost certain. ‘Let’s hope she doesn’t have company...’ She presses the doorbell, her heart pounding under her ribs, and takes a deep breath. If the Master is still there.... she tries to remember if she'd taken the safety catch off on her weapon.
Mina steps quickly away from the window. She doesn’t know the man and woman approaching the house but something tells her they’re trouble. There’s a watchful alertness to their manner which reminds her of the UNIT troops who’d taken Saxon away. What now? She glances towards the laptop to make sure its closed and not showing her recent searches. Until she’s decided what –if anything- to do about this mornings’ events she doesn’t want to broadcast anything.
‘Hello – Mrs Faulkner?’ Martha smiles warmly, recognising straight away that the slim mousy-haired woman in her late thirties who opens the door is on edge.
‘Yes, that’s me. How can I help you?’
‘Um – it’s rather a delicate matter ... do you mind if we come in?’
The woman looks startled, and clearly wants to shut the door in their faces. ‘What do you mean? It’s not my son, is it? Nothing’s happened...?’ She’s gone very pale, Martha notes, and hastens to reassure.
‘No, no, it’s nothing like that. But it does concern your safety – and maybe that of your son’s. Please, may we come inside? Don’t want the neighbours talking, do we?’ It’s a line Martha loathes, but it usually works. You gotta love us Brits, she thinks. God save us from embarrassment above all else...
The woman’s face sinks in defeat. ‘Come on, then. You might as well – I’ve had half the army in here already today...’
‘What do you mean by that, Mrs Faulkner?’ Mickey asks as they’re ushered into a comfortable if untidy lounge. Martha looks around with interest. A number of half-empty mugs sit on the coffee table and several used towels lie on and around the couch, along with a bowl of water and a flannel. A pile of wet clothing sits wetly on the throw rug next to the coffee table. Two duvets and a pillow thrown untidily onto one end of the largest couch complete the picture. Martha sniffs – she recognises the faint odour of fresh urine.
Mina follows Martha’s gaze and sighs. ‘I’d sit on the smaller couch if I were you – that one is rather wet.’
‘What happened?’ Martha asks in sympathetic tones, and realises that her instincts were right. Mina Faulkner is out of her depth and trying to make sense of whatever incident caused her to spend half the afternoon researching the Doctor’s fellow Time Lord.
‘Okay if I make us a coffee, Mrs Faulkner?’
Mickey is keen to know what went on here, but he knows that she’ll do rather better at getting the information woman-to-woman. He’s a spare part for this part of the operation, and the tea/coffee ritual is as good a way of establishing his credentials as a non-threatening entity as anything else. Unless of course Mrs Faulkner needs to be threatened... which on balance he rather thinks she doesn’t. She’s another victim of the Doctor’s people, he thinks. He likes the Doctor and all, but as far as he’s concerned, life was going along quite nicely thank you until the Doctor (the first one that is) had showed up and changed their lives for good. He still misses Rose even though it’s obvious to him now in a way it wasn’t at the time that they never would have worked as a couple. She was more a friend who happened to be a girl than a girlfriend, but it had taken him quite some time to realise it. Now... well, he wouldn’t swap Martha for the world. If the truth be told, she was the main reason he elected to remain here after that Dalek business; Rose doesn’t need him – she’s got the Human Doctor. She’s okay. He misses Jackie too, but a mother and daughter should be together. And they’ve got Pete as well... he smiles. He and Pete could’ve been mates in another life. That’s the way it goes.
‘What happened?’ Mina repeats and smiles shakily. ‘To be honest with you, I’m really not sure I understand any of it...’
‘Well, if you tell me, maybe I can help,’ Martha says kindly. Mina nods and takes a deep breath, composing herself. She'd obviously been holding herself in check since it happened, Martha thinks; the sudden sympathy is threatening to shatter her self-control. She smiles reassuringly. 'It's okay,' she says. 'Take your time.' There's no sign of the Master still being around and she'd surely be a lot more rattled if he was.
‘This morning – about ten-thirty, I think – I got a call from my son, Toby. That’s him,’ she points to a large school portrait hanging on one wall.
‘He looks cheeky’ Martha smiles, feeling that some acknowledgment is needed. Toby Faulkner is a tall, gangly boy with deep set eyes, dark hair and a mischievous grin. Something about him –the wild hair and the cheeky smile, Martha later realises- reminds her of the Doctor, and she quickly turns her attention back to Mina, who is watching her for a reaction as any proud mother would.
‘Yes,’ she smiles. ‘He’s a good lad. His father left us a few years ago now... but he’s turned out alright.’
‘I’m sure,’ Martha smiles, wanting to move the conversation on. ‘You said you got a call from Toby...’
‘Yes. He’d taken Nipper –that’s his dog- down to the beach. He was out of breath, when he rang; he sounded frightened. I thought the worst... like you do... ‘She looks at Martha as if really seeing her for the first time. ‘Or perhaps you don’t, yet...?’
Martha smiles and shakes her head. ‘Not yet, no,’ she says. ‘We’ve been a bit busy...’
‘Oh, he’s... you’re...?’ Mina gives a nod in the direction of the kitchen where Mickey is making rather a lot of noise about making coffee, Martha thinks.
‘Married, yes,’ Martha holds up her right hand. ‘Nine months now. Novelty hasn’t worn off, yet,’ she laughs, knowing that the seemingly irrelevant turn the conversation has taken is necessary to put Mina at her ease and hopefully get as much information as possible from her.
Mina smiles wistfully. ‘Hopefully it won’t! Toby’s father and I ... well, you don’t want to know all that. As I was saying, Toby was in a bit of a state. He told me he’d found a man on the beach, half-drowned. I could hear Nipper barking in the background.’
‘Who was he?’ The cold feeling in the pit of Martha’s stomach grows and she suppresses a shiver. Here it comes....
‘Well... oh, it’s all a bit of a muddle really. Let me tell it as it happened, or I might miss something out. Oh... I forgot to ask... who are you?’ Mina looks shocked, as if she can’t quite believe that she’s let this couple into her home, people she doesn’t know, without so much as asking who they work for.
‘I’m sorry; I meant to show you...’ Martha fishes out the ID badge that both she and Mickey carry. They don’t mean much really, but it’s amazing the places you can get into and the way people will open up if you flash something that looks even vaguely official ... she’s often reminded of the Doctor’s psychic paper. An ID card can be many things to people depending on what they’re expecting to see.
‘Investigations Unlimited...’ Mina reads. ‘What does that mean?’
‘We investigate... odd things,’ Martha half-shrugs. ‘Things that the other authorities ignore or don’t have time to investigate, maybe don’t want to investigate. Like...’ and she knows she’s taking a risk here, but Mina Faulkner is sharp enough to know when she’s being fobbed off, so Martha decides that the best policy is honesty. ‘Like UFO’s, paranormal activity, that sort of thing.’ Best not mention Aliens just yet.
‘Oh.’ Mina looks confused. ‘I’m not sure what that has to do with what happened here...’
‘It may have nothing to do with it at all,’ Martha hastens to reassure her. ‘But something clearly did, and it’s bothering you, isn’t it? So why don’t you tell me about it? And together we’ll decide if there’s anything to investigate or not.’
‘Okay. Well, as I said – Toby told me he’d found this man lying on the beach. I could tell he was really worried about him. So I called the ambulance service – I work at the local hospital – but all the vans were up at a big RTA on the motorway... so I drove down there. When I got there the man was on his feet, talking to Toby so I thought he’d recovered... but I’d left the car up on the road as I didn’t want to risk getting stuck, and by the time I got to them he’d collapsed again. Toby still seemed quite agitated and I got the impression they’d disagreed about something... maybe. I don’t know. But Toby wouldn’t talk about it. And Nipper was all for biting the poor man; he didn’t like him at all.’
‘What did the man look like, Mina?’
‘He was... blond. Slim...skinny, actually. A few years younger than me – I’d say early thirties, if I had to guess. He was clearly hypothermic... he’d stopped shivering, and his pulse was almost non-existent, but fast, almost like a double beat, at the same time. It was weird, actually, now I stop to think about it. He shouldn't even have been conscious, let alone on his feet and talking to Toby.’
Oh shit. Fast pulse... a double heart-beat? It’s got to be him, hasn’t it? She glances up with a forced smile as Mickey re-enters the room bearing three mugs of steaming coffee. ‘Thanks. Mickey, have you got that ID photo...?’
Martha shoots him a look which is meant to convey Keep it professional! But he winks at her and fishes in his pocket before pulling out a snapshot. It’s a print from low resolution CCTV footage but it’s plainly the ex- Prime Minister, Harold Saxon.
Mina gasps as she sees the image, and takes it gingerly from Mickey as if it might bite her. ‘That’s him!’ she gasps. ‘Harold Saxon! But how did you know ...?’ She gives them a sharp look. ‘How do you even know about this? I’d assumed you were with the other lot, UNIT they called themselves. But you’re not, are you? So how did you know?’
‘UNIT have been here?’ Martha feels a rush of relief, and then worry - the Doctor clearly hadn't been too impressed with UNIT the last time he'd encountered them, which had been part of the reason Martha had decided to resign. What with UNIT and Torchwood... are they part of the reason for the Doctor's long absence?
‘Yes, yes. They took him away! But you haven’t answered my question! How did you know he’s been here?’
Martha realises that they’re in danger of losing the bond she’s established, and hastens to repair the damage.
‘I’m sorry – we don’t mean to deceive you, Mina. We have to be so careful ... we have computer software that alerts us if anyone keys in certain words on the internet. It’s not spying’ she asserts, seeing Mina’s look of disgust. ‘We had other information that led us to believe he might be around and when the software alerted us to your searches we had no option but to investigate. But you said that UNIT took him away – do you have any idea where?’
‘No. And that was down to my neighbour... he recognised Mister Saxon and called the Police, who then presumably talked to UNIT, who came and arrested him. They were rather brutal about it, Martha – the poor man was still in shock, hypothermic and he had a grand mal seizure shortly before the soldiers turned up. Not that it made any difference to them – they cuffed him and dragged him off. Cuffed him! As if he was in any condition to run away! He could barely stand as it was.’
Martha recognises familiar terminology. ‘What do you do for a living, Mina?’
‘I’m a nurse, why?’
‘Thought I recognised a kindred spirit, that’s all,’ she says. ‘I’m a qualified Doctor.’
‘Then you know that what UNIT did was just plain wrong, don’t you? George –that’s my neighbour, George Simpson – he has contacts in local government and keeps abreast of all the political news - he told me that Saxon is insane and a murderer. Well that may be so, but he’s still entitled to certain basic human rights.’
‘Why did you Google the word Master?’ Mickey interrupts. This is all very well but time is ticking on and if UNIT have the Master... from what he's heard about him, even UNIT is likely to be unable to contain him for long.
‘Because he said that’s his name. “My name is the Master,” he told us. I mean, it’s an odd sort of name if you ask me, but that’s what he said. So I looked them both up.
‘What did you find?’
Mina looks uneasy. ‘Some web page belonging to a group calling themselves The Saxon Disciples,’ she says uneasily. ‘To be honest I thought they were just a bunch of crack-pots who had a fixation on the Prime Minister. But it’s some sort of cult...they referred to him as ‘The Master of all things’ and went on about resurrection and ... well, if you know who he is then you’ve probably seen it.’
‘Yeah,’ Martha confirms. She’d assumed that the site would be taken offline after the Broadfell incident, but clearly it hasn’t been. Are there some of Saxon’s people still out there, she wonders? What are UNIT playing at? She'd known that they were becoming increasingly militaristic, as opposed to the organisation she'd joined, which valued the scientific approach above all.
‘Did you get the name of any of the UNIT troops, Mina?’
‘Um, yes... Stratford...? I’m not sure, it all happened quite quickly...’
‘Stafford.’ Martha knows him. This is bad news.
‘Yes, that’s it. Stafford; he was in charge. Quite threatening he was.’
‘Yeah... I know him.’
Both Mina and Mickey look at her. ‘I worked with UNIT for a while,’ she explains to Mina. ‘He was part of the reason I don’t anymore.’
‘What’s his game, then?’
‘I don’t know, Mickey. I mean, I know that UNIT were becoming too militarised for the Doctor’s liking, but this dragging sick people off in handcuffs... that’s a bit OTT. I don’t like it.’
Mickey pulls a face. ‘The Master’s not ‘people’, Martha... he’s a murderer and he’s not even human.’
Martha makes warning eyes at him, not wanting to say too much in front of Mina. He raises his eyebrows. ‘Well, it’s true. You told me about him - you can’t deny it.’
Mina stares. ‘What do you mean...? “He’s not even human.” Why do you say that?’
Martha sighs. ‘Thanks, Mickey.’
‘Oh come off, it Martha – she’s a nurse! She’ll have clocked the two hearts, won’t she! Don’t insult the woman!’ Sometimes he thinks that working for both UNIT and Torchwood has given Martha airs and graces that don’t come naturally to her, and he doesn’t like it.
‘Are you telling me that Harold Saxon isn’t human? That he’s a...an alien?’ Mina looks from one to the other, disbelieving.
‘Well... yes.’ Martha nods. 'His real name isn't Harold Saxon. He calls himself The Master.'
‘The Prime Minister of Great Britain was an alien?’ Mina repeats, looking stunned. Then Martha sees comprehension dawn in her eyes. 'He said that was his name... 'the Master', he told us. But I thought he was just delirious...'
‘Yes. Yes, I’m afraid he is. And he might be delirious, but if UNIT have got him... well, I worked for them once and now I don't. They won't treat him well.’
Now she’s going to have to consider giving the woman a dose of RetCon... Gwen still has a small supply of the drug that she’d kept at home (against Jack’s express wishes, she’d confessed to Martha – but she’d taken some from the Hub stores when she’d used it on Rhys that one time; and after Jack had taken an inventory she’d never quite plucked up the courage to take it back and own up.) so obtaining a pill won't be that difficult. But in all honesty, with all the things that are coming out into the open now – the airborne Titanic that had buzzed Buckingham Palace, the 456, the Dalek invasion, and now the nightmares about Saxon and the planet in the sky which Martha still hasn’t quite got to the bottom of yet... but which she knows are both somehow connected to the incident at Broadfell, the arrest of billionaire Joshua Naismith and the violent deaths and dismemberment of several homeless people in the days and weeks during and over last Christmas... after all that, is there really any point in trying to keep what they do secret in the way that Torchwood used to do?
‘Yeah, like any secret organisation that has its name plastered all over their SUV likes to be secret, huh?’ Mickey had scoffed once. And he has a point. Jack's Torchwood had been created literally at a crossroads in time, Martha sees that now. ‘This is when everything changes,’ Jack had told her once. (‘He used that line on me too,’ Gwen had told her later.)
And now everything has changed: Torchwood Cardiff is no more – the Doctor is worryingly absent since his mysterious appearance when he saved their lives from the Sontaron and vanished again, without a word –just with what Martha would later think of as a sad little wave before he’d put his head down and strode away without a backward glance. It was so unlike him that Martha hasn’t been able to get the memory out of her mind since, and she worries that something very bad has happened to him. The fact that he’d seemed to be nowhere in sight over Christmas had only added to her fear. And now the Master is back on Earth ... if indeed he’s ever been away. Martha knows that he had died in the Doctor’s arms on board Valiant - she'd examined his body herself and knows it to be true. But she also knows that Time Lords can regenerate. Just because he didn’t do it on the Valiant... could he have brought himself back from a pile of ashes on a funeral pyre? She has no idea, but nothing would surprise her any more. If the reports are true – and she has no reason to doubt them now - then somehow he has managed it, hasn’t he? And that’s very worrying. Her family have been slowly coming to terms with what they saw on board the Valiant; the idea of the Master being at large again and having to break the news to her parents and sister is a terrifying one on so many levels.
‘So what are you going to do?’ Mina interrupts Martha’s thoughts. ‘I mean, I assume you do intend to do something, otherwise why come all the way from London to see me?’
‘How do you know...?’ Mickey goggles at her.
‘I recognise the accent. One of my colleagues sounds just like the pair of you. So tell me I’m wrong.’
‘You’re right,’ Martha acknowledges. ‘And I’m not sure what we’re going to do. Historically speaking, UNIT should be on our side, if you like, against the likes of the Master and anyone else who wants to take a pop at us. But I don’t like the idea that Stafford has got him captive. The Master is sick, Mina, mentally ill. Insane, if you like. He’s the childhood friend of a very dear friend of mine and he tried to help The Master once before. He couldn’t manage it then, but he did help us, and I don’t feel that I can simply ignore what’s happened just because... well, because of who he is.’
‘Hey, let me get this straight, Martha...’ Mickey rounds on her, his expression troubled. ‘You want to rescue this Master bloke?’
‘Not necessarily. I want to find out if he needs rescuing,’ Martha corrects him. ‘Mina is right – regardless of what he’s done in the past, or because he isn’t human, he still doesn’t deserve to be treated any less fairly than anyone else. Anything else would make us no better than him, and the Doctor wouldn’t like it. And nor do I, as much as I hate the Master. We can't just walk away, Mickey.’
‘I don’t believe you sometimes, Martha! After you told me what he did... okay, so the Doctor put it right, but as your Mum says, all those things still happened! She remembers them, you remember them, and your sister and your dad... how can you care what happens to him?’
‘Like I said, because if we let it happen, then we’re not much better than him, are we? We should be above all that, Mickey – otherwise what this about? What’s the point?’
Martha is suddenly close to tears and Mickey throws his hands up in frustration.
‘I know what this is about – it’s the Doctor again, isn’t it? I thought you were over him, I really did. But you reckon he’ll come back for the Master, don’t you? And you want to be there when he does!’
He turns away, spinning on his heel and slapping the heel of his hand against his forehead.
‘I get it now – you want to rescue the Master so the Doctor will be all grateful and all “Martha you’re wonderful, I love you, blah blah blah!” I’m just the rebound, aren’t I! Oh yeah,’ he continues, angry now. ‘I saw the way you looked at him... I never said anything because you seemed happy with me and I thought it’d be different this time... but it was the same with Rose. I lost her to him and now I’m gonna lose you! Well, if that’s how it’s going to be, you can do it without me!’ He chokes back a sob and storms from the room. They hear the front door slam and moments later the sound of the engine as he drives away.
‘He left me behind!’ Martha is shocked. ‘Oh my God, he actually left me behind!’
Mina has followed all this with sad eyes. ‘Well... if you want a ride anywhere...’
Martha looks at her, surprised. ‘Thanks. What about your son... Toby?’ Martha recovers herself. Mickey is so wrong about this... but she mustn't let their personal issues cloud her judgement. She has a job to do and she intends to do it, with or without Mickey.
‘He’s away until Sunday evening now – camping trip.’
‘In this weather?’ It’s early March and it isn’t exactly warm, with a biting wind which has been threatening snow for several days now.
‘Oh, you know what boys are like – they don’t notice things like that, do they?’
‘No, probably not...’
Martha is in a quandary. She doesn’t want to do this without Mickey, and she also wants to clear up his misconceptions about her reasons for wanting to do any of this – she could just drop this, go after him and sod the rest of it. She knows that he has a temper and sometimes suffers from low self-esteem, but he has no cause to believe this of her. Martha has long come to terms with the fact that the Doctor has never viewed her in ‘that’ way, and she’s finally comfortable with the knowledge; she loves Mickey and knows that whatever she might once have felt for the Doctor, now he is just a very dear friend. But she knows deep down that Mickey will be back when he’s cooled down, and he’ll be contrite and apologetic. But until then... she turns to Mina, pushing aside the thought that she could be putting the woman in danger – clearly she’ll be useful and Martha can’t do this by herself. Her wish not to let the Doctor down wins out.
‘I want to carry on with the investigation, Mina – if you’re up for it, you’re welcome to come along.’
‘As your driver, you mean?’
‘No – as part of the team; if you want to, that is.’
Mina thinks it over. ‘Well... I’ve never done anything like this before. And I’m a little worried – if this man is as dangerous as your... as Mickey says... oughtn't we to get backup?’
‘There is no backup, Mina. We’re all that there is of Torchwood now, although we don’t go by that name anymore. Too many people died.’ Besides, the Doctor still has issues with the stated aims of Torchwood Martha knows; and the last thing she wants to do is to alienate him by flying that particular banner.
‘Oh. Well ... Look, Martha, I was shocked by what I saw today. I’m not keen to risk life and limb because of Toby... but I can’t ignore what I saw. It’s not right. Saxon – or the Master or whatever he calls himself – deserves a fair trial, just like anyone else. So yes, I’m with you.’
‘I had a feeling you’d say that. Welcome to the team, Mina.’
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