Soul's Shadow

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 79]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Character Study

Author's Notes:
Welp, this was the first thing I had in mind when I imagined the Master being there. I just had to do it.

"Oh, I hate you!" groaned Martha as she heaved herself from the ground. There were stains of mud all over her clothes and her face showed clear signs of exhaustion.

"The pleasure's mutual," grumbled the Master. "I had hoped those Hath would eat you. But I guess their taste is better than that."

Martha huffed out a bitter laugh and let a look wander over the rest of us. "I'm more surprised that you all are still alive." She thumbed towards the Time Lord. "With that company."

"Oh, we can take care of ourselves," Donna defended, starting a staring contest with the Master.

"I saved your bloody life at least six times, human!"

"And five of those were you restraining yourself?"

The Master grimmased, which Donna skillfully ignored. She was happier giving him a cheeky smirk instead.

Jenny kept silent and only observed the new woman she didn't know yet. Martha broke the silence then, before it could stretch.

"I was sure you'd abandon everyone and take over the place. That would have suited you."

"The thought definitely crossed my mind."

Luckily, the situation couldn't escalate. The little word battle between the Time Lord and the women was suddenly interrupted by another set of steps. Someone else was pathing their way through the thick plants. And they weren't very good at keeping quiet.

"You there, Martha?" a man's voice called out. A familiar one. "Blimey, that's a lot of plants. Where are… Oh! There you are."

In sight came no one other than the Doctor. Holding his hands up to brush big leaves out of the way, he stumbled through the miniature jungle. His face lit up like a light bulb when he spotted us.

"Donna! Lucy! Master! Oh, you have no idea how glad I am that you're safe. Knew you'd make it, of course, but it's still great. Martha here phoned me. Was a bit of a shock, honestly. You should have waited. No adventures without me."

"Is that your only concern?" Martha gasped. Her finger stabbed towards the Master. "He's on the loose! Who knows what he's already destroyed, and how many he's killed."

The Doctor rubbed his neck. "Uh, yes… yes, of course. Horrible thing that. We'll get back soon and uhm… talk. Yes, thats…" He coughed awkwardly, avoiding everyone's gazes. Then his face morphed into a grin. "So, what did you find out? I heard there's a secret in here? Oh, and you, of course, young lady. Hello, I'm the Doctor."

Jenny stared at him, not twitching a muscle for some seconds. "Father said you'll have a look at me and see that I can travel with you," she blurted out, childish enthusiasm mixing with careful hope.

"Stop fucking calling me that!" snapped the Master.

The Doctor paled. His hand sunk down and he looked the girl up and down. Donna and I answered his questioning looks with shrugs and nods. None of us knew what to say.

Except for Jenny.

"But… I was made from you."

"So it's true." The Doctor's voice was barely more than a whisper. "Martha told me, but… You can't be. Can't be a… Does she have…?"

"I don't care how many hearts she has." The Master was fuming. "We both know there is much more to a Time Lord than that."

The Doctor hummed and produced his Sonic from a pocket. The blue tip wandered over the girl, then over the Master. "Not quite… but similar. Very… Can't use the same genome, but this… Altered just enough."

"Stop babbling, Doctor," The Master growled.

The other man looked up. "Her signature is close enough to yours. Not the same, but… Well, I guess she really is-"

"Fuck off, Doctor. I don't need your stupid observations. Get back the way you came from."

"Go… back? Why would I go back? I just arrived. Really curious place though. Martha said she saw some documents and they speak of a source."

"I wanted you to get Donna and Lucy out of there, not go and meddle, Doctor!" Martha grunted.

"Mhm… I did. Sorta. The way out's collapsed anyway. And if I hear it right then we'll get company fairly soon. They don't seem happy. Let's see if I can end their stupid war. I'm sure we can talk about it."

Jenny shook her head. "That won't do. They know nothing but the fight. Even if they are so young. They are… like… me."

At the Doctor's questioning look Donna stepped forth to show him her notebook. She explained the new arrivals what she had found out about the place and the Doctor's eyes widened, his mouth turned into a goofy grin.

"Blimey! What a mess." He laughed. "Now, I'm sure as ever that we can get them to listen. Come on. Let's find this source."

Martha tried once more to protest, although her main reason for doing so seemed to be the Master. "You can't let him tag along as if he were someone… normal! And why isn't he restrained? You said there was a collar and that he couldn't move away too far."

"As if that could hold me." A mean cackle came from the Master, earning him a furious glare.

The Doctor was obviously nervous about the situation. He barely managed to walk a step without his fingers fidgeting or his eyes wandering in search of an easier way out." Not now, Martha," was what he settled on, eventually.

We didn't need to move far. Right in the next room was what he had been looking for. There was no doubt about it. A pedestal reached up from the ground, adorned with roots and leaves that climbed upwards in a spiral, ending in a wooden hemisphere.

And in there sat a glowing orb of light.

"Aw, yes!" The Doctor exclaimed, running up to the pedestal. "Brilliant, isn't it?"

"Is that the Source?" asked Donna.

Jenny looked at it with awe. "It's beautiful."

"And it's mine. Get away from it, Doctor." The Master came up to the other man and lightly shoved him.

"Don't be silly." The Doctor returned the playful shove with a smile. "What would you want that for?"

"What is it?" asked Martha. She didn't leave the Master out of her eyes.

"Terraforming." The Doctor grinned from ear to ear. "It's a third generation terraforming device."

Donna glared at the Source. "So why are we suddenly in Kew Gardens?"

"Because that's what it does. All this, only bigger." The Doctor spread his hands. "Much bigger."

Terraforming. I had only heard of it in sci-fi movies where they had tried to inhabit new planets by altering the atmosphere and temperature to suit the needs of their own species. In the end it was true and people really had done it. Well… would do in some distant future.

"It's in a transit state," The Doctor kept explaining. "Producing all this must help keep it stable before they finally-"

He didn't have time to finish. Steps rounded on us from all sides, loud and aggressive, ready for a fight. Within seconds we were surrounded by humans and hath, both holding their arms, both surprised by the sight of us.

"Stop! Hold your fire!" called the Doctor.

General Cobb was in the front row. He didn't look too happy. "What is this, some kind of trap?"

"Not a trap. This is a way to end your war."

"I want this war won."

"No, no, no, listen," The Doctor pleaded. "You can't win. No one can. You don't even know why you're here. Your whole history…"

"What he wants to say," drawled the Master, drawing all attention towards himself as he casually took the shining globe out of its socket, "is that you will bow before your Master. Because I hold the Source you've been looking for and I control whatever will happen to it."

"Master, no!"

All weapons were raised up to point at him, but he only chuckled. "Shoot me and your little treasure breaks."

I held my breath. This was the moment he had been waiting for. They all had no clue what the Source actually was and assumed it to be some kind of mystical weapon. He had them at his mercy, could make them do whatever he-

Donna smacked the globe right out of his hands.

With a numbing shatter it crashed to the ground. Somewhere was a scream, weapons got raised and lowered. People lunged forward to stop mid movement. No one knew what to do and in the end everyone was merely staring at the golden cloud of dust that slowly rose up into the air.

"Spoilsport," grumbled the Master and Donna stuck her tongue out at him.

The one who claimed the attention, however, was the Doctor. "Look, it's just Chinese whispers, getting more distorted the more it's passed on. This is the Source. This is what you're fighting over. A device to rejuvenate a planet's ecosystem. It's nothing mystical. It's from a laboratory, not some creator. It's a bubble of gases. A cocktail of stuff for accelerated evolution. Methane, hydrogen, ammonia, amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids. It's used to make barren planets habitable. Look around you. It's not for killing, it's bringing life. It will lift you out of these dark tunnels and into the bright, bright sunlight. No more fighting, no more killing."

The people looked at one another, understanding slowly creeping into their awareness. The Master stood there, sulking and glaring at Donna, who dared him with her eyes alone to even move a muscle. And somehow it worked. He didn't wrap his hands around her neck, didn't even snap an angry comment at her. He only slipped away whilst the Doctor spoke, stepping in front of general Cobb.

"There should still be a reward in it for me. I found this place, don't you forget that."

The general only laughed at him, though, and his hand shot up, carrying a small gun that he pointed at the Time Lord.

"You were only making trouble from the get go. The only reward you deserve is a bullet!"

"Stop it." The Doctor appeared next to the man. He wrapped his fingers around the gun and ripped it away, tossing it to the ground. "No more. This planet will thrive within days. You will walk on soft grass and breathe clean air. The whole planet will be alive. Don't feed its soil with more blood, general."

Cobb scrunched up his nose, fighting with himself. Fight was all he'd ever known in his short life, after all. But then his shoulders sacked, he let out a deep sigh and then an exasperated grunt. "You guys are unbelievable. This will never work. Humans and Hath? Are you kidding?"

"No. No, I'm not. All I want is that you try. All of you." He turned around and faced the small crowd of fish creatures and humans. "Just try. There's enough for everyone here."

And that was it. To my surprise, everyone threw their weapons to the ground, some happily, others with more reluctance. But everyone followed the example until no one was left armed. A low murmuring arose among everyone, mixed with the sound of blubbering water from the mouth tanks. Even general Cobb eventually tossed his rifle to the ground, sulking, but compliant.

What choice did they have? Whatever had been inside that globe, it spread so fast that we could watch new plants grow right in front of us. Someone ran outside, only to come back and confirm that it was happening there too.

"That's really it, isn't it," said Martha to the Doctor. "They only needed to get here. If only the map hadn't been concealed."

"Which map?"

"They had a holographic map of the whole place, but the way to the Source was hidden. It appeared after the Hath had brought me to their headquarters or whatever that was."

"Yeah, you have me to thank for that," The Master drawled. He was done teasing the general, as it seemed. "All that work and we don't even get anything out of it. What a waste."

"Of course you'd find helping useless," accused Martha. "What was your plan anyway? Conquer the whole place and become their king?"

He shrugged. "It was more a 'let's see what happens' thing. I could have asked them to give me whatever they hadn't awaited to find, when they got home."

Martha gaped at him.

"Did you read my books again?" I asked.

The Master chuckled and poked his tongue out. The twinkle in his eyes told me, he had indeed. "You'll get them back, lil' lumin."

"Shall we join them outside?" The Doctor tossed in. "By now it should start to get really cosy."

But Martha wasn't so easily convinced. She stabbed a finger in the Master's direction. "You can't let him stay in any proximity to them. You promised, Doctor, remember? No more lives lost because of him."

"Little late for that, Jones. But if it consoles you, a murder spree wasn't on my to-do list for today."

I exchanged a quick look with Donna. Not long ago and over a million people had died. Only because he had 'forgotten' to mention the capsule in his pocket. Maybe no one should ever tell that to Martha. She was obviously distressed by our lack of concern.

Luckily there was still Jenny. She ran towards us and only now did I realise that we were the only ones left inside the building. They had all gone outside. "You have to see this!" she called out. "It's so beautiful. There is grass everywhere. 'S not high, yet, but I bet it will be." She stopped and looked at each of us. "Why the serious faces? Come on. The war is over."

"Yes, yes it is." The Doctor smiled at her. "But what about you?"

"Will you stay with them or come with us?" asked Donna.

The girl's smile dropped, but only for a moment. "I talked to the general and explained everything. He's not too happy. Not at all. He… he says, I can't stay here."

The Doctor rubbed his neck. "Weeell… I guess we'll manage. That's better either way. We definitely need to run more tests on you."

"We can have fun family evenings!" Donna beamed at her. "You'll see, this will be a lot of-"


I jumped, startled from the loud shot. Someone screamed and the Doctor ran. He ran towards Jenny, catching her as she sank to the floor.

"What have you done!" shouted Martha, before running too.

I hurled around. The Master stood there with a dark face, his hand still clutching the small gun, the one Cobb had held just before. Slowly he let it sink. The weapon clattered to the ground.

"Why have you… Oh no, the poor girl." Donna pressed both hands before her mouth, unable to tear her gaze away from the scenario ahead.

The Doctor and Martha were both with Jenny, trying to search for any signs of life. A lump sat in my throat. I already knew they wouldn't find any. After all, the Master would know best where to aim to kill someone for good, even if that one was potentially a Time Lord.

It was odd. I felt… nothing. I hadn't known Jenny well and there had been no real time to form any kind of bond, but it still felt inappropriate to be so distanced.

Martha stood up, tears shimmered in her eyes. She glared at the Master with hatred. "You bastard! That's why I wanted you locked up! How could you! Your own daughter!"

It was the first thing that made the Master move. He had only stood there, silently watching. But now, when I looked at him, there was an equal hatred burning under his skin. He held out an arm, pointing, lips curled into a snarl.

"That thing is not my daughter! Don't you ever dare, you filthy ape, don't you ever dare to say anything like that again!"

The Doctor sprang up, stepping between the two. "Master, calm down."

"Calm down?!" he shouted. "You really think I would just replace…" He cut off his own sentence with a growl, his fists bawling so tightly that it must hurt.

"No, no, of course not." The Doctor stepped closer and gripped the other one's shoulders. A gentle squeeze made him look up. "I didn't know you still… remember. I'm sorry, I really am."

The Master clenched his teeth and breathed out. "You know nothing."

At that the Doctor snapped his head up and his look darkened. "Don't say that. I've lost children too." He winced at his own words and lowered his voice again. "All of them... Come. This is no place to talk."

The Doctor held out his hand, expectantly. But the Master rushed past him, not even deigning him a word or a look or even a touch. Without waiting he stormed away, towards the doors, maybe desperate to flee the confinement of steel and memories.

Something I could relate to all too well. So I didn't wait for the others either and followed him outside. Into the light of a new world.