Dave-El here for another Doctor Who Weekend post.
In less than two weeks, we get new Doctor Who in the form of this year's Christmas special with the ominous title of Last Christmas. Does this Christmas mark the end of a journey? Will we bid a sad farewell to Jenna Coleman, aka Clara Oswald? As I type this, Clara's fate remains unknown. Well, we'll see what happens on the 25th.
In the meantime, I putter along with my fan fiction to cover the space between new episodes of Doctor Who. After his encounter with the Master in the form of Missy and leaving Clara behind, the Doctor has decided to seek answers to the question of the Master he encountered in my fan faction, Time of the Dominion. There, the Master was reduced to a head in a jar. That head and its accompanying jar have been located in the heart of a high tech start up company called Masterson FutureWare where we have learned the Master is in league with...his son?
Last week saw the revelation of who the son of the Master is and things have taken a deadly turn for one of the players in this story.
Before we get to Episode Four, here is the disclaimer.
Here are links to:
And here's a picture of a cat in a TARDIS box.
And at last...
The Doctor: Liam! Nooooooooo!
Jump cut to: A pair of expensive shoes walk into the frame as "Jive Talkin'" by the Bee Gees plays. As our view moves up, we see a very expensive suit and the broadly smiling face of Adam Masterson...or rather Liam Sterling in the guise of Adam Masterson. As he walks with an undeniable swagger down the corridors of his company, Adam/Liam waves, snaps his fingers and gives thumbs up to the men and women he passes along with the occasional "Hello, ladies!"
Then a woman's voice: Mr Masterson!
The music screeches to a halt.
Adam/Liam turns and a young woman is standing there. Adam smiles.
Adam/Liam: Oh hello...
Adam/Liam's eyes line up with the ID badge on her jacket lapel but the name is obscured by her jacket lapel.
Adam/Liam (awkwardly): er...you.
Woman: Mr. Masterson, the reporter from the BBC is here to see you.
Adam/Liam (nervous): The...what? The BBC?
Woman: Yes, for the TV interview, about the launch of Masterson FutureWare.
Adam/Liam (more nervous): Wait a minute! TV?
Jump cut to: the labs of Sector 8. Adam/Liam marches around the lab in a rage, slamming things, throwing papers.
Adam/Liam: Argghh! How could I have been so...stupid?!?!
From his life sustaining cannister, the head of the Master bobs in the bubbling fluid and watches this with an expression of concern.
The Master: I'm going to make a wild guess here, son, but I think something's bothering you
Adam/Liam: Oh, you think? I made a fool of myself on national television.
The Master: Maybe they'll put you on opposite Downton Abbey, nobody'll notice.
Adam/Liam: This is not funny, father! I made an mistake, father. Adam Masterson may have been an ignorant opportunist but he had certain...attributes that are beyond me.
The Master: Attributes?
Adam/Liam: I believe the term is "charm". The ability to play to a camera, the ability to talk to...ugh!...people.
The Master: Don't worry, my boy, that will come with experience and wisdom. And that will be my gift to you with the final step of your ascendancy.
Adam/Liam stops pacing around the lab and approaches the Master.
Adam/Liam: I don't think...you don't need to do that!
The Master: Yes, I do, son!
Adam/Liam: But you will die!
The Master: Son, listen to me. I'm a head in jar. Despite the glib tongue and the staggering intellect, I really can't go on like this. It's your time to fully accept your destiny as...the Master.
Adam/Liam: But Father...
The Master: When the gift is given, this pathetic existence of mine at the whims of ancient science will be no more. But I will live on through you, son. That is not death; that is immortality as you stand astride this universe like a god!
The Master: No "buts". Don't force me to pull rank on you, son. I AM your father.
Adam/Liam stands silent.
The Master: Come back tonight. I will be ready and you will become more than you ever dreamed.
Adam/Liam stands still for a moment.
Adam/Liam (mutters): Yes, father.
Adam/Liam exits the Sector 8 laboratory as the Master closes his eyes, a serene smile on his lips.
Scene jump to Adam/Liam walking down a corridor. The swagger he expressed at the start of the episode is gone. His shoulders are slumped and his expression is one of worry. Adam/Liam approaches a door, reaches towards the key pad at the side of the door, pauses a moment, then enters a code into the key pad. The door clicks open and Adam/Liam walks inside.
Scene shift to inside the room. It appears to be a residential apartment, slightly less lavish than the suite the Doctor was confined to back in Episode Two. It looks like a nice clean place but devoid of any identity. The apartment is dimly lit.
Adam/Liam (gently): Jasmine?
Jasmine's voice, choked with sobs: Go away!
Adam/Liam turns towards the voice. Sitting in semi-darkness in the living room area is the shadowed form of Jasmine Tate. She's holding a glass in one hand.
Adam/Liam: Jasmine, I needed to see if...if you were all right.
Jasmine: All right?
Jasmine chuckles ruefully as she set her glass down on a table, the ice cubes rattling sharply.
Jasmine: I'm a prisoner here. What do you think?
Adam/Liam: You...you're not a prisoner. You're here because...I was worried that...well, after last night....
Jasmine stands up, quivering with rage.
Jasmine: Last night?! How am I supposed to react to what happened last night! You were some kind of...monster, Liam! You killed Adam!
Adam/Liam: Jasmine, please. It's Liam Sterling who's dead; I am now Adam Masterson!
Jasmine: Oh, keep telling yourself that, whoever...whatever you are!
Adam/Liam: Jasmine, Adam...the old Adam, he didn't love you. He was just using you.
Adam/Liam moves closer to Jasmine, his hand reaching out to her.
Adam/Liam: But now, the Adam Masterson that stands before you now, I can be so much...
Jasmine abruptly steps back from the advancing Adam/Liam.
Jasmine (sharply): No! Don't you touch me! Just....don't.
Adam/Liam halts, his hand held out to the empty space before him. Slowly he drops his arm to his side.
Adam/Liam: I...understand. You need...more time.
He turns to leave.
Jasmine (angrily): What I need is to get out of here, Liam!
Adam/Liam opens the door.
Adam/Liam: We'll...talk later.
Adam/Liam walks out of the door and closes it behind him. We hear the click of the lock.
Shaking with fear and anger, Jasmine snatches the glass off the table and hurls it at the closed door. The glass shatters and Jasmine falls to the floor, sobbing.
Scene change: the luxury suite where the Doctor has been confined. There are more papers strewn about, adorned with complex calculations, scribbled words and intricate diagrams. But we see the Doctor sitting a desk, the sheet of paper before him is blank. The Doctor takes a deep breath and begins to write with his pencil.
The Doctor: Dear Clara.
The Doctor stops and ponders this, then erases what he wrote. He starts again.
The Doctor: Dearest Clara.
The Doctor stops again
The Doctor (muttering to himself): I am not her boyfriend.
The Doctor erases the paper and writes again.
The Doctor: Clara.
The Doctor pushes away from the desk and begins to pace around the room. He sees all the other sheets of paper that he has nearly filled to their very edges with writing. Then he looks again the blank sheet of paper on the desk.
The Doctor: This! This stumps me.
There comes a sound from the door, a code being entered into a key pad. The door clicks and opens. Adam/Liam walks in.
Adam/Liam: Hello, Doctor. How are you to...?
The Doctor (interrupting): Oh, I'm glad you're here! I'm working on a poem and I need a word that rhymes with "charlatan".
Adam/Liam: Very clever, Doctor.
The Doctor: Why, thank you....what should I call you? Adam? Liam? Master? Phil? I like Phil! Can I call you Phil?
Adam/Liam: Don't provoke me, Doctor! After the day I've had...
Adam/Liam gestures towards some chairs.
Adam/Liam: Sit down with me, Doctor.
The two men sit down. The Doctor watches Adam/Liam warily while Adam/Liam seems unable to stay still and get comfortable.
The Doctor: Two questions! One: do you think Manchester has a chance this season?
Adam/Liam: I really don't follow...
The Doctor: And two: Who are you?
Adam/Liam: Yes, who am I? Men often ask themselves that, seeking glory, power, enlightenment. In my case, that is a particularly potent question.
The Doctor: Does it come with a particularly potent answer?
Adam/Liam: You, of all people, might think so. Doctor, the first name I was given shortly after my birth was Harold Saxton Jr.
The Doctor: Harold Saxton Jr? That's impossible! That would make you....
Adam/Liam: Seven years old? Exactly!
The Doctor: How can that be?
Adam/Liam: Thank the Cult of Saxton who saw me as an...abomination, born of the woman who dared to betray their leader. They sought to slay me in my crib.
The Doctor: Barbaric!
Adam/Liam: But my destiny as the son of the Master was set in motion. Mere days old, I regenerated into a grown man. My mind was also accelerated by the process. I went from the mewling instincts of an infant to a mind so sharp, so advanced...
The Doctor says nothing but the look on his face reveals his disbelief.
Adam/Liam: You look skeptical, Doctor.
The Doctor: Oh, good because that's EXACTLY what I'm feeling right now: skeptical.
The Doctor bounds up from his chair and begins pacing the floor.
The Doctor: The odds of a human and a Time Lord conceiving a child born with the two hearts necessary to support regeneration are beyond astronomically slim!
Adam/Liam: Well, I...
The Doctor: Not too mention the concept of an infant Time Lord regenerating into an adult form defies all Gallifreyan lore and science.
Adam/Liam: You should...
The Doctor: AND if a physical transformation of that sort was possible, what about the mind, hmmm? The sum of a Time Lord's prior experiences helps shapes each regenerative persona; as an infant, you had no prior experiences, no accumulated knowledge or wisdom or...
Adam/Liam: ENOUGH. Doctor! I am because...I am. Call me a miracle, if you will.
The Doctor: Over 2,000 years and I've seen my share of miracles and they all had one thing in common.
Adam/Liam: And what is that, Doctor?
The Doctor: Someone or something made them happen. So tell me, Harold Saxton Jr, aka Liam Sterling all dressed up in your Adam Masterson suit, tell me this: if you are a miracle, who or what made you happen?
Adam/Liam: Have a care, Doctor. The former Adam Masterson thought you had your uses. So does my father. But soon my ascendancy will be assured and I won't need anyone anymore. Least of all you!
Adam/Liam turns to march out.
The Doctor: Liam?
Adam/Liam continues to the door.
The Doctor: All right then! Adam?
Adam/Liam stops at the door and turns around.
Adam/Liam: Yes, Doctor?
The Doctor: Last night you did something that even the most well trained Time Lord cannot do, not without help. You controlled your regeneration to assume a very specific form. How?
Adam/Liam gives the Doctor a smile.
Adam/Liam: Perhaps I'm something new. Or perhaps it's just that...the paradigm has shifted.
Adam/Liam then exits as the door closes behind him, the lock clicking back into place.
The Doctor stands silently watching the closed door for a moment. Then he takes a deep breath.
The Doctor: Paradigm. I was afraid he was going to say that.
The Doctor withdraws his sonic screw driver.
The Doctor: Time to blow this popsicle stand. But first....
The Doctor bends down to the floor and brushes aside the paper lying everywhere.
The Doctor: I need my secret weapon.
Scene change: the Sector 8 lab. Adam/Liam enters the lab with a black bundle of cloth in his hands. He lays the bundle on a table and faces the Master in his head cannister.
Adam/Liam: I...brought the shroud, as you requested.
The Master (nods): Good work, son.
Adam/Liam: It seems a bit large for....er, well, you know...
The Master: The specifications I gave you for a Time Lord death shroud were for a full a body. Sorry, I should have made adjustments accordingly. Still, it will do.
Adam/Liam: I'm still...not sure about this.
The Master: Son, I...need to make a confession. A secret I've kept from you.
Adam/Liam: A secret?
The Master: Yes. I...son, I am in pain in here. Being in this state....I feel constant pain.
Adam/Liam: Why didn't you say something before?
The Master: Why? There was nothing anyone could do. I knew the only release from this pain is death. But I've lived too many centuries to let all that I've learned and experience be lost forever. But you've changed that! Thanks to you, I have someone to give the gift of my knowledge and wisdom while ending this...this pain...forever.
Adam/Liam swallows hard and straightens up his back.
Adam/Liam: I...will not let you down, father.
The Master: There's no way you can.
Adam/Liam: What do I need to do?
Scene change: Jasmine's room. She's asleep on a sofa when she's startled awake by a whispered voice.
Voice: Pssst! Jasmine!
Jasmine's eyes slowly open and then widen with shock when she sees the Doctor's face, eyes wide and eye brows flaring, directly in front of hers. She screams.
The Doctor: Shhhh! It's OK, it's just me.
Jasmine: You...you scared the hell out of me! How did you get here? Adam's orders to security to shoot you...
The Doctor: ...if I was seen on the premises alone. Yeah, I know. Thankfully I was not alone.
Then the Doctor holds up a stick with the following items stuck to it with tape.
1) A sheet of paper with a crude drawing of a face.
2) A 2nd sheet of paper with the words, "Hello, I am Adam Masterson."
3) The Doctor's psychic paper opened up.
4) The Doctor's TARDIS key
Jasmine: What the hell? How did that help you?
The Doctor stands up and guides Jasmine to her feet.
The Doctor: Look, I could explain the psychic paper and the perception filter inherent in my TARDIS key...
Jasmine (confused): Wait! What's a TARDIS?
The Doctor: But you are really coming in on the ground floor and I don't have time.
The Doctor takes Jasmine by the hand and hurries towards the door.
Jasmine: Where are we going?
The Doctor: Sector 8 and I need your help. This....
The Doctor pulls the key and the psychic paper from the stick and puts them in his pockets.
The Doctor: Would not get me past the tighter security around Sector 8.
The two walk out into the corridor. A security guard approaches.
Jasmine (quietly): Doctor, my access has probably been revoked.
The Doctor (quietly): I doubt Liam has thought to do that.
The security person nods as he approaches.
Guard: Hello, Ms. Tate.
Jasmine nods back and continues on her way with the Doctor as they approach an elevator.
Jasmine: Doctor, what is going on here? What happened to Liam?
The Doctor: Liam turns out to be the son of the man in the jar. Well, from a time before he was a head in a jar, of course.
The two enter an elevator.
The Doctor: The head in the jar is what's left of an old enemy of mine who calls himself "The Master".
Jasmine: The Master? OK, that's way off the arrogance chart.
The Doctor: Tell me about it. Anyway, Liam seems to have inherited certain abilities from his father including the ability to heal and change his body when mortally injured.
Jasmine: He turned into Adam Masterson.
The Doctor: And do you see what's odd about that?
The elevator doors open and The Doctor and Jasmine walk determinedly out and into the corridor leading to Sector 8.
Jasmine: Uh, Doctor, the whole thing seems odd to me.
The Doctor: Oh, sorry, Forgot. Liam should not have had that much control over the process. Question: what else is at work here? I suspect it has to do with this "Paradigm Process".
As they approach the Sector 8 lab, various science types and security personnel are running towards them. A female scientist approaches Jasmine.
Scientist: Ms. Tate, something's seriously wrong in Sector 8!
Jasmine: What's happening?
Scientist: Mr. Masterson entered the Sector 8 lab and engaged maximum security protocols. Then this happened.
The scientists gestures towards the sealed lab door. A strange light is pouring out from around the edges.
Jasmine: Good Lord! Doctor, what's...?
The Doctor pushes himself between the door and Jasmine as he withdraws his sonic screwdriver and begins scanning.
The Doctor (very worried): Oh, this is not good. This is so far on the other side of good.
The Doctor: Jasmine! You have to go! Everyone, go! Get this building evacuated NOW!
Jasmine: What's going on, Doctor?
The Doctor: No time to explain! But if I'm right, everyone here is danger! Now, GO!
The Doctor turns back towards the door with his sonic screwdriver.
Jasmine: Wait! What're you doing?
The Doctor (very determined): It's probably too late but if there is any chance at all of stopping this madness, I've got to try!
Scene change: Inside the lab. We see Adam/Liam has reached his hand into the cannister and is physically touching the top of the Master's head. Energy sparks and crackles around them.
The Master: Do you feel it, boy? The power!
Adam/Liam: Yes, such power! Oh, it's glorious! The things you have seen! The wonders of the universe! The....
Adam/Liam looks shocked, alarmed.
The crackling energy around Adam/Liam and the Master grows even more intense.
Adam/Liam: I...can't let go!
The Master (laughing): And I won't let you! My plans have come too far now!!
Adam/Liam's face contorts with pain as the energy overwhelms him.
Adam/Liam: Arrrgghh! Father! What?
The Master: Do you think I've cheated death all these centuries to willingly concede to it now?! I don't want immortality through you, sonny boy! I want immortality by NOT DYING!
With a surge of power, the light overwhelms them both.
Scene change: outside the Masterson FutureWare building. For a moment, nothing happens. Then a mighty explosion blasts out the windows of the upper levels of the building and fire explodes through the roof.
Scene change: The Doctor staggers as his surroundings become very unsteady. Fires burn, smoke chokes the room, the walls shake and the floor buckles. The Doctor coughs through the smoke and dust as he squints to peer into the bright conflagration in front of him.
Out of the fire and smoke, a figure stands.
The Master's voice: Legs? Yes two of them! All the better to stand on the foundation of my empire! Arms? Oh yes, YES! Arms again with hands to reach out and grab the power that is my right.
The Master with a fully formed and naked body stands dramatically in the smoldering glow.
The Master: Booyakasha, baby! I am BACK!
---to be continued---
Next Saturday (no, not Sunday), the epic conclusion of The Son of the Master.
And look out for next Sunday's special Doctor Who Christmas fan fiction.
Until then, be good to one another.
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You