Infection

By Steven Jones

THEN

‘If we fight like animals, we die like animals!’ the Doctor cried, dropping the skull. ‘If we fight like -’ There was a flash, and the Doctor was gone. The Master snarled and looked wildly around. Where was he?! Damn him! Escaped?! Impossible! And yet, he was gone! A fire rose within the Master, intermingled with the colours surrounding him. He snarled an animal snarl, like those of the fighting Cheetah People around him. Where are you, Doctor?! Gone? No! The Master closed his eyes as the fury coursed through his veins. Gone?! Every atom of his body burned with fury and hate. Gone?! No! Trapped? NO! His fists covered his eyes as something exploded within his brain, mingled with the explosions of the dying planet. Fire, fire, fire, all the way through him! I'll get you, Doctor...

...cold. No fire? Cold. Explosions? Gone. What else was gone?

Doctor!

The Master's eyes flicked open. He was lying on his front in the black interior of his TARDIS. Groggily, he got to his feet and staggered over to the console, grabbing it for support. Dizziness overwhelmed him, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them, twin yellow orbs of hate glared back at him, reflected in the polished black console. No! He shut his eyes and concentrated.

‘I have escaped,’ he mumbled. ‘I can control it.’ The hate within him subsided. He felt a great weight fall off his shoulders. When he opened his eyes, twin jet orbs looked back at him. He sighed and smiled. It was time he paid a visit to the Doctor! But first, preparations! So many things to do! The Master pushed the doors to the interior of his TARDIS open and walked through. He hummed and rubbed his hands as he walked down the corridor, a devilish smile across his face.

NOW

Ace pushed open the door to the control room and walked inside. The Doctor was, as usual, hunched over the TARDIS console, checking instruments, turning knobs, flipping switches. Ace was looking for Blair, and at the same time following the trail of mysterious blue string that had just appeared from nowhere.

‘Professor, have you seen Blair?’ she asked, not expecting a reply.

The Doctor grunted and mumbled something which Ace didn't catch.

‘Never mind,’ she sighed. Then she caught sight of the blue string again, and followed it to the hatstand, where it was tied with a large knot. There was a message attached. Ace looked at it. It read:

To whom it may concern,

I have boldly gone where no man has gone before, without fear in my heart, or a packed lunch. If I am not back in two days, send out search parties. Either that, or start cooking spaghetti bolognase. I'll follow my nose (and stomach).

Yours exploringly,
Doctor Livingstone (you presume).

Ace smiled. Another of Blair's eccentric actions! She stood up. ‘I'm off, Professor,’ she said. The Doctor grunted, not even looking up. ‘I'm going to blow up Buckingham Palace,’ Ace said sarcastically. The Doctor moved about the console, not showing any sign of having heard. Ace shook her head and followed the string out of the console room.

Behind the Doctor, a grinding noise issued from nowhere. The Master stepped out silently from his TARDIS. He executed a smile that would make Dracula wince in envy and dashed a small capsule to the floor. A wispy clear gas lazily rose up. The Master stepped back inside his TARDIS and dematerialised.

The Doctor spun around. What was that?! Hadn't he heard something? Maybe not. Perhaps he was still dwelling on his latest encounter with the Cybermen. Had he done the right thing by taking the miners back to ancient Earth, in effect making them their own ancestors? Only time would tell.

The Doctor smiled, turned to the console, and sneezed. Bless myself, he thought as he dabbed a handkerchief at his nose. Stuffing it back into one of his pockets, he reached for a switch, and coughed.

And again.

And again, deeper now, from the chest. The Doctor hacked uncontrollably as he fought for breath. His chest tightened, as if it were in a great invisible vice. He gasped. The control room spun. He collapsed onto the console. Vainly, he stretched an arm out to the doors leading to the TARDIS interior. ‘Ace...’

Ace followed the blue string down the corridors. She heard a voice. Gently, she pushed a set of doors open and saw Blair, crouched over, his back to her. He was moving forward slowly, unravelling a ball of blue string he held in his hand. ‘The TARDIS interior...’ he spoke in a deep voice. ‘...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship: Corporatised. Its four-hour mission: to seek out new rooms and interiors. To seek out new forms of door handle. To boldly go where no twit has gone before!’ He began to hum the ‘Star Trek’ theme.

Ace laughed and stepped through the door. Blair jumped two metres into the air and spun around. He was as white as a sheet. ‘Don't do that,’ he gasped, clutching at his chest. ‘We explorers have weak hearts, you know!’

‘Sorry,’ Ace smiled. ‘I liked your note and speech just then. Very funny.’

‘Thanks,’ said Blair. ‘Ah, would you mind showing me how you make that nitro-nine stuff?’ he asked nervously. ‘I'm interested in things that go boom in the night.’ He flashed a nervous grin.

‘Sure.’ Ace smiled and turned. ‘Come on.’ Blair picked up his shoulderbag and the pair walked back towards Ace's room. Blair was sixteen and short for his age: he was barely one hundred and sixty-eight centimetres tall. His very curly brown hair was cut close to his head, and his blue eyes glinted with a hint of madness. He had a preference for wearing a black sweatshirt with ‘Def Leppard’ emblazoned on the front, black whitewash or pale blue jeans, and white basketball boots. He was knowledgeable in varied areas, including history, German, and the occult.

As they neared Ace's room, they heard a noise, like someone falling over. It seemed to come from the TARDIS control room.

‘What was that?!’ said Blair.

‘Prob'ly nothing,’ Ace shrugged. Then they heard it. A croaking, rasping voice.

‘Help...’

Blair reached the doors before Ace - he was very swift when he wanted to be - and dived through them, Ace close behind. On the floor, near the console, the Doctor lay sprawled on his back.

‘Doc!’ Blair cried, not slowing from his charge through the doors. Flinging his shoulderbag aside, he slid across the floor to him.

Ace, close behind, shouted her concern, and dashed over to him. ‘Professor!’

The Doctor looked up at them both and smiled weakly. Blair thought he looked like he'd just had an asthma attack, being an asthma sufferer himself. Ace's face was creased with concern. ‘Professor, what's wrong?’

The Doctor smiled at her in an effort to calm them. He opened his mouth to speak, but his body was wracked with violent coughs. Ace and Blair were very worried now.

‘Virus...’ he managed to gasp, between fits of coughing. ‘...infected... must... heal self...’ His eyes closed and his head fell back.

‘Professor!’ Ace shouted. Blair put an ear to his chest. Ace tried to wake the Doctor up, without success.

‘Sheesh!’ said Blair. ‘His hearts have slowed right down. He isn't dead.’ Yet, he thought. ‘C'mon, let's get him to bed.’ Ace nodded, and they carried the Doctor to his room and lay him on his bed.

Ace sat beside him, watching his face anxiously for any signs of life. Blair stood thinking aloud. ‘Must be some kind of self-induced healing trance thingy,’ he mused.

‘Why weren't we infected?’ Ace wondered.

‘Dunno. I should've been the first, I've got asthma. Unless... unless this virus only affects Time Lords. Weird.’

Ace too was absorbed in concern for the Doctor. He was one of the few people who really cared about her, and she was very worried about what would happen to him.

‘I'll just go get my shoulderbag,’ said Blair, heading for the door. Ace didn't even hear. Poor Ace, thought Blair, she's really cut up. He entered the control room, picked up his shoulderbag, put it on, and stopped. He heard a weird grinding noise. He looked around, but could see nothing. With a thunk, the noise stopped. From thin air appeared a man dressed in black, with a black beard and moustache. He stretched back his lips in a grin which had Blair thinking that he would leap on him and bite his neck.

‘Hello,’ he said in a charming voice. ‘I don't believe we've met.’

Blair trusted this person about as much as he would trust a politician. ‘Who are you?’ he asked suspiciously. The man's eyes bored into his brain.

‘I am the Master and you will obey me,’ he commanded. Blair's will had almost gone when a voice shouted inside his head, ‘Vampire tactics! Avoid the eyes!’ Blair broke his gaze away and the Master cursed softly. This boy was a fool, but he was cunning.

‘So, Mister Master, why are you here?’ Blair asked, buying time.

‘The Doctor has something I need,’ the Master smiled.

‘A razor?’ A poor attempt, but it was the best Blair could do under the circumstances. The Master chuckled, smiling that rattlesnake smile.

‘Come, come, Mister..?’

‘Blair.’

‘...Mister Blair, must we fight like this? I am a business associate and longtime friend of the Doctor.’ If you can't hypnotise them, outwit them, the Master thought.

‘Izzat so?’ Blair countered. ‘Then why has he never mentioned you?’

‘Ah, the Doctor is so forgetful sometimes. How could he forget his Master?’ he said, feigning innocence. Blair still did not believe the menacing stranger. Then Ace burst in.

‘Blair, the Doctor's getting worse,’ Ace said, and then noticed the Master. She froze and gaped at him in surprise. Blair noticed this and deduced that this Master guy was no good.

Oh dear, the Master sighed. The element of surprise smashed to smithereens. Ah well, Plan B. The Master's hand closed around his Tissue Compression Eliminator secreted in his pocket. He grinned the vampire grin at Ace. ‘Ah, Miss Ace I believe. I must say you look much better than when I last saw you. And how is the dear Doctor? Quite well, I trust?’ He chuckled the executioner's chuckle.

‘So, it was you!’ Ace's eyes spat hate at the Master. She spun around to leave.

‘Ah, ah, ah,’ reproached the Master, pointing his TCE at Ace. ‘I enjoy your company here more. She stopped and turned again. The Master knew he had the upper hand. He decided to exploit it. ‘How about we all pay the Doctor a visit, hmm?’

‘No!’ said Ace. ‘I won't let you near him!’ Her expression became one of defiance.

‘My dear Miss Ace,’ the Master said impatiently. ‘I infected the Doctor, I can just as easily cure him.’ Ace looked puzzled. Blair moved over to her.

‘I don't see we have any choice, Ace,’ he said, laying a hand on her shoulder. Reluctantly, Ace agreed. She could see Blair's reasoning.

‘A very wise choice, Mister Blair,’ the Master grinned. The grin widened. ‘Take me to your leader.’ Blair glared at him and the two led him to the Doctor's prostrate form. ‘Ah, Doctor,’ the Master breathed. ‘How easily I could destroy you.’ And before Ace or Blair could stop him, he leant forward and broke a capsule under the Doctor's nose. For a few seconds, nothing happened, then the Doctor's head thrashed about, his eyes opened, and he sat up.

‘What? How..?’ he mumbled, gasping for air.

‘Doctor!’ Ace cried, hugging him in relief. The Doctor smiled at her, then caught sight of the Master.

‘You!’ he snapped. Then he coughed uncontrollably. The Master clucked disapprovingly with his tongue. He held out a small pill.

‘Take this,’ he instructed. The Doctor glared at him.

‘You expect me to?!’ he rasped, cut off by a coughing fit.

‘Doctor,’ the Master sighed boredly, ‘if I'd wanted to kill you, you would have been dead by now. Now, come.’ He shook his hand, the pill danced about on his palm. The Doctor hated to admit it, but he could see the sense in that. Still glaring at the Master, he swallowed the white pill. The vice on his chest released slightly, his coughing became less, as did his dizziness. ‘Doctor, what you have there is a purely temporary decelerant. If you do not have the cure - which I have - in twenty four hours, your condition will rapidly worsen and you will die.’

‘You toerag!’ Ace yelled, launching herself at the Master. Blair stopped her, as the Master had his TCE trained on her.

‘Ah, the impetuous Miss Ace,’ the Master said mockingly. ‘Even if you do overcome me, you will never get the cure. Think about that.’

Blair comforted Ace. ‘Ace! I know he's a black-hearted criminal, but just this once, he's right!’

‘No!’ she exclaimed. The Doctor looked up at her and smiled sadly.

‘Ace, please. Just this once, don't do anything stupid.’ He broke off, coughing. Ace sat beside him on the bed. The Doctor put his arm around her comfortingly. The Master put his TCE back in his pocket.

‘Ah, how touching,’ he mockingly said. Blair glared at him.

‘Before the day is out, I'll have your head in a jam jar,’ he promised. The Master was surprised at the hate he saw in the boy's eyes.

‘Brave words, Mister Blair,’ the Master countered. ‘But as the saying goes, talk is cheap.’

‘Why are you here?!’ the Doctor interrupted.

‘A business proposition,’ the Master began. ‘In exchange for the cure to the virus, you will take me to Krystos.’ The virus that had infected the Doctor he had invented himself, a sort of super-accelerated cold. He had only made enough antidote for two doses; one for himself - which he had already taken - and one for the Doctor. He intended to give it to him, then kill him when he was in perfect health.

‘I've never heard of Krystos,’ the Doctor said.

‘Come, come,’ smiled the Master. ‘Of course you have. You even have the map to its location aboard this TARDIS.’

‘I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about.’

‘Doctor, Doctor, Doctor,’ sighed the Master impatiently. ‘Of course you do. I obtained the knowledge of the whereabouts of the map from your precious Matrix.’

‘You scoundrel!’ whispered the Doctor with much emotion. Unperturbed, the Master went on.

‘It was placed here by a Time Lord who wished Krystos' location to remain a secret. But I found it.’ He grinned.

‘I won't help you,’ the Doctor stated. The Master was irritated now.

‘Doctor, I am rapidly losing my patience. Now, either you die first, or I kill one of your companions.’

‘You scumbag!’ cried Ace. ‘Don't do it, Professor!’ she urged the Doctor.

‘I'm sorry, Ace,’ the Doctor said to her. ‘You and Blair are more important than some old map.’ Ace felt a warm glow inside her, and Blair grinned.

‘Ah, this sentimentality gives one a warm feeling inside,’ the Master grinned. Ace and Blair helped the Doctor up, and along the corridors, following Blair's trail of string. ‘Follow the blue string road,’ chuckled the Master. None of the others felt like laughing.

Presently, they came to a door. Ace and Blair helped the Doctor inside, and they got a map from a desk drawer. ‘Thank you, Doctor,’ the Master said. ‘Now, why don't you take us there?’

‘Why can't you go by yourself?’

‘Doctor, you are dying. I'd like to keep an eye on you. Besides, I can't afford the chance that you'd double-cross me.’ And I need you as pawns, in case there are any booby-traps.

Ace and Blair helped the Doctor out of the room and towards the control room. ‘You want us to take him, Doc?’ Blair queried. The Doctor coughed to cover his reply.

‘No, Blair, too risky. He'd kill you as soon as look at you. Best to play along until we get a better chance.’ Just then, he stumbled, his head spinning madly. Ace and Blair struggled to get him back on his feet.

‘As you see, Doctor,’ the Master said from behind them, ‘you have no choice in the matter. As the expression goes, I have you over a barrel.’

‘I'm gonna twist a corkscrew into his vocal chords,’ snarled Ace.

‘Stop that muttering!’ snapped the Master. They reached the control room. With a certain degree of difficulty, the Doctor set the co-ordinates, taken from the map, and set the TARDIS in motion. The time-rotor began to rise and fall rhythmically.

Apart from the hum of the travelling TARDIS, all was silent. The Doctor was clutching the console for support, coughing occasionally, his head spinning. Ace stayed close to him, ready to help him if he fell. The Master stood laughing up his sleeve at the Doctor's condition, and the concern which his two companions showed, which he found highly amusing. Blair was keeping a close eye on the Master, watching for a chance to catch him off guard. Presently, the Doctor landed the TARDIS.

‘We've arrived,’ he wheezed.

‘Whoever said getting there was half the fun was right,’ grinned the Master. The Doctor opened the TARDIS doors. ‘After you,’ the Master mockingly said. Ace and Blair supported the Doctor, and they moved out of the TARDIS, the Master following closely.

Ace and Blair marvelled at the alien landscape: it was very crystalline, with clumps of white growing out of the ground in varying sizes, as far as the eye could see. The atmosphere was chilly, but breathable. It reminded Ace of Svartos, What struck the two of them was that two minutes after leaving the TARDIS, they hadn't been attacked.

‘That way, Doctor, if you please,’ the Master said, directing them to a pathway cleared through the crystal. So far, neither Ace nor Blair had seen another living soul.

‘Professor, why aren't there any people around?’ Ace asked the lethargic Doctor.

‘They're all dead,’ he stated. Ace and Blair felt sudden pains in their hearts, remembering the Doctor's condition. ‘They were wiped out centuries ago by a mysterious virus.’ A planet whose population had been wiped out by a virus, and the Doctor dying of an infection? thought Blair. Now all he needed was Rod Serling to jump out at them.

‘What does laughing boy back there want with a crystalised dead planet?’ said Blair.

‘I shall explain, Mister Blair.’ The Master's grin widened to include his white molars. Typical egomaniac! thought Blair. Loves the sound of his own voice! ‘The Krystosians were great thinkers in their time. Unfortunately, some centuries ago, as the Doctor pointed out, they suddenly started dying very rapidly from an unknown virus. Not even their great intelligence could save them. So they stored their collective knowledge in a computer in the hope that a Krystosian would survive and re-populate the planet using the knowledge that he, or she, or they would absorb form the computer. Alas, none survived, and the knowledge remains intact.’

‘And we're here to get it!’ snapped Ace. She was really mad. The Master was slowly killing the Doctor just to get a few stupid secrets from a stupid computer on a stupid dead planet!

‘Correct, Miss Ace,’ the Master grinned. He looked ahead. ‘We're nearly there.’

The Doctor lifted his head and tried to focus his vision. They saw a vast white crystalline building at the end of the track, situated against a massive white crystal cliff-face. Records centre? the Doctor thought. Ace and Blair were getting tired, helping the Doctor along, but they managed to reach the front of the building. To one side of the massive crystalline door was an alien keypad.

‘Doctor, if you would be so kind as to open the door,’ requested the Master.

‘Why can't you do it, fuzzy chops?’ enquired Blair snidely.

‘I'm tired, what with walking up this long path.’ The Master feigned fatigue.

‘And you don't want to be caught in any traps!’ accused Ace. The Master flashed his teeth.

‘Just open the door, Doctor, while you still have time.’ The Master chuckled at this unexpected pun.

The Doctor coughed, and tried to concentrate through the dizziness and lack of air. It was a fairly simple entry code for him, but his sickness made it difficult to concentrate. At length the door slid into the ceiling.

‘After you, Doctor,’ the Master invited. The Doctor, Ace and Blair stepped through into a vast interior. It was made out of a rough, white crystal-like element. Pride of place went to a huge screen in the left wall, which had a massive jagged crystal console jutting out of the wall beneath it. The Master looked greedily at it. ‘Over to the console, if you please,’ he directed. Ace and Blair complied. The Master, keeping his TCE trained on them, started work at the console with one hand. The screen flared into life, alien characters raced across it. The Master chuckled. Not long now! In response to a pressed key, a thin headset-like device rose from the console.

‘We've brought you here,’ said Ace, confronting the Master. ‘Now give the Doctor the cure.’

‘After I have the knowledge,’ the Master said.

Ace was choked up with rage. She was about to charge the Master when Blair firmly said, ‘Wait!’ Ace stopped herself. She thinks I've got a plan, Blair thought. He wished he knew what it was.

The Master placed the headset on his head, two electrodes at either temple. His lips drew back in that million-dollar grin; his finger stabbed a key. A low hum reverberated around the building. Alien characters sped across the huge screen. The Master closed his eyes in rapture as raw knowledge surged into his brain. It was knowledge that he already possessed, but the best was yet to come.

The Doctor suddenly coughed violently and staggered. Ace moved to support him. Blair moved towards the Master slowly, seeing his chance. Suddenly, the low hum rose to an alarming shriek. ‘What's happening?!’ exclaimed Ace.

The Master's eyes exploded open and affixed to the screen. A single huge character winked on and off menacingly; beneath it were two more, much smaller. The small one on the right kept changing regularly.

‘A self-destruct sequence!’ smiled the Doctor, his breath rasping in and out of his lungs. ‘The Krystosians don't want any knowledge bandits!’

The Master growled in fury and tore off the headset. Blair levelled his finger at him. ‘Yahaa, your number's up, blackbeard!’ he proclaimed. ‘Up there!’ he added, hooking a thumb at the console screen. Ace saw him waving with his other hand for her to move around him towards the Master.

The Master snarled. He needed to avenge this set-back. The boy's death would do. As he levelled his TCE at Blair, the Doctor inched away from the console. The Master's finger tightened on the trigger. Timing his leap just right, Blair threw himself to one side as a beam stabbed for him, instead smashing into the floor. Ace darted forward, and grabbing the Master's wrist, thrust it up, preventing him from firing again. She brought her heel back onto his. With a startled yelp, the Master fell backwards, dropping his TCE. Blair caught it, while Ace tore a transparent capsule from the Master's pocket.

While Blair covered the Master with his own TCE, Ace dashed over to the Doctor, who had fallen to his knees, coughing uncontrollably. As she had seen the Master do, she broke the capsule under his nose. The Doctor inhaled deeply. Almost immediately, he felt his breathing become less and less laboured, his head stopped spinning. Ace helped him up.

‘Well done,’ he smiled at her, tweaking her nose. She grinned, euphoric that he would live. ‘Blair, come on,’ he called. ‘We've got to go.’

Blair showed no sign of having heard. He fixed the Master in a concrete stare. ‘I said that before the day was out I'd have your head in a jam jar,’ he coldly stated, aiming the TCE at him. The Master stared defiantly at him.

‘Blair, don't!’ the Doctor exclaimed. Surely Blair wasn't going to kill him?!

Blair's finger squeezed the trigger.

The beam lanced through the air millimetres above the Master's head, punching into the wall behind him. The Master's eyes widened in surprise. An adolescent fool had had him at his mercy and let him live? The humiliation!

Blair swiftly backed towards the Doctor and Ace. ‘C'mon Doc, Ace,’ he said, ‘the place's gonna blow. Time to go!’ He grinned at his rhyme. The Doctor and Ace smiled at him, and with him bolted out the door. Behind them, the Master got to his feet, cursing the Doctor.

As they ran along, the Doctor complimented Blair on his action. ‘Well done, Blair, for not killing him.’

‘Yeah,’ Ace added. ‘I just knew you wouldn't!’

Blair smiled. ‘Thanks,’ he mumbled shyly. He never had intended to kill the Master.

They reached the TARDIS and dived inside. ‘Blair,’ the Doctor said, nodding at his hand.

‘Hunh?’ Blair said, and looked down, seeing the black TCE nestled in his hand as if for the first time. ‘Oh!’ he said, and gave it to the Doctor, who put it in his pocket.

‘Thank you,’ he smiled. The Doctor groped around the walls.

‘Doc, this is no time to go nuts!’ said Blair, then yelped because of Ace nudging him sharply. The Doctor suddenly disappeared from view. ‘Wow!’ gasped Blair. ‘So that's where something goes when I really need it!’

Having found the entrance into the Master's TARDIS, the Doctor stepped inside. He hurried over to the console, and set about dematerialising it.

Inside the Doctor's TARDIS, Ace and Blair heard a strangely familiar grinding sound.

‘What's that?’ wondered Blair.

‘The Doctor,’ Ace said confidently.

Blair's eyes widened. ‘I didn't know he was that hungry!’

Ace wilted him with a glare, then, despite herself, laughed.

The Master's TARDIS rematerialised a few metres from a blue police box. It disguised itself as a particularly large clump of upright crystals. The Doctor walked out and looked in the direction of the crystal building. Silhouetted against the white crystal landscape, a black-clad figure was rapidly moving down the path.

The building blossomed into obliteration in a red, yellow and orange bouquet, accompanied by a deep, throaty rumbling. The black figure tumbled over and over down the path. The Doctor took a last look around before entering the police box.

‘Professor!’ cried Ace joyously, seeing him entering the TARDIS. The Doctor made for the console, smiling broadly at them both. ‘Feeling better?’ she asked.

‘Yeah, how's the old respiritory tracts?’ Blair added.

‘Fine, thank you,’ he replied, fiddling with the console controls. The time-rotor began to rise and fall. He stopped and looked up. ‘Well done, both of you. Without your help, I'd have probably been dead by now.’

Ace and Blair stood awed and slightly embarrassed by the Doctor's praise. ‘Anyone you know would've done the same,’ said Blair, overcome with modesty. He really hadn't done all that much, had he?

‘Yeah,’ Ace agreed. They'd just helped the Doctor out of a tight spot, that's all. For some reason she couldn't understand, Ace was feeling very embarrassed and uncomfortable. She tried to change the subject. ‘What do you think's happened to the Master, Professor?’ she asked.

‘He'll be okay,’ Blair responded.

‘How do you know?’ Ace asked, puzzled.

‘Guys like him never die,’ explained Blair. ‘They always manage to escape somehow.’

The Doctor chuckled and turned to the console.

The Master lurched into his TARDIS, the explosion of the building still ringing in his ears. Reaching the console, the Master set about leaving Krystos, calling the Doctor all the foul names he could think of - and he could think of quite a few. Next time, Doctor! I'll get you and your annoying adolescent companions!

‘Do you think that we'll see the Master again, Professor?’ Ace enquired.

‘Hmmm?’ the Doctor said, and looked up. Blair sensed a time pun coming on. ‘I think it's only a matter of time,’ the Doctor said.

Blair laughed and Ace smiled as the TARDIS travelled to new horizons.

This item appeared in Timestreams 4 (April 1992).

Index nodes: Fiction