The Doctor, Lilith, Jack, and Martha stood a ways away from the plane where the American President was disembarking. The Master saluted as the President walked up to him. “Mister President, sir.”
“Mister Saxon, the British Army will stand down. From now on, UNIT has control of this operation,” the President said, briskly.
“You make it sound like an invasion.”
“First Contact policy was decided by the Security Council in 1968, and you've just gone and ignored it.”
The Master shrugged. “Well, you know what it's like. New job, all that paperwork. I think it's down the back of the settee. I did have a quick look. I found a pen, a sweet, a bus ticket and er, have you met the wife?”
President Winters narrowed his eyes. “Mister Saxon, I'm not sure what your game is but there are provisions at the United Nations to have you removed from office unless you are very, very careful. Is that understood? Are you taking this seriously? To business. We've accessed your files on these Toclafane. First Contact cannot take place on any sovereign soil. To that purpose, the aircraft carrier Valiant is en route. The rendezvous will take place there at eight am. You're trying my patience, sir.”
“So America is completely in charge?” the Master questioned with false innocence.
“Since Britain elected an ass, yes. I'll see you onboard the Valiant.” President Winters turned to leave.
“It still will be televised, though, won't it?” the Master called after him. “Because I promised, and the whole world is watching.”
“Since it's too late to pull out, the world will be watching. Me.” The President walked to his motorcade.
“The last President of America.” the Master said once he was gone. “We have a private plane ready and waiting. We should reach the Valiant within the hour. My darling.”
Lucy left with her security guard. The Master turned and looked in the rough direction of the four. Lilith had the uneasy feeling that he could see through the perception filters. He looked away.
A Police van arrived and the Master ran over to it. Martha’s parents were bundled out. “Ha, ha, ha! Hi, guys!”
“Oh my God,” Martha breathed.
“Don't move!” the Doctor hissed.
They watched as the two were pushed into a Range Rover Vogue. “I'm going to kill him,” Martha growled.
Lilith cocked her head to the side. “I bet I could take him out from here with my blaster.”
“What say I use this perception filter to walk up behind him and break his neck?” Jack wondered, darkly.
“Now that sounds like Torchwood,” the Doctor said.
“Still a good plan.”
“He's a Time Lord, which makes him my responsibility. I'm not here to kill him. I'm here to save him.”
“Aircraft carrier Valiant. It's a UNIT ship at 58.2 north, 10.02 east,” Jack informed them.
“How do we get on board?” asked Martha.
Lilith held out her arm. Everyone put a hand on her vortex manipulator and they disappeared in a flash.
“Oh, that thing is rough,” Martha complained. “I envy you, Lilith.”
“I've has worse nights.” Jack shrugged off the pain. “Welcome to the Valiant.”
Martha looked out a window. “It's dawn? Hold on, I thought this was a ship. Where's the sea?”
“A ship for the twenty first century, protecting the skies of planet Earth,” Jack said. The four of them ran down the halls. The Doctor stopped short. “We've no time for sightseeing, Doc.”
“No, wait. Shush, shush, shush, shush. Can't you hear it?” the Doctor asked.
Lilith’s eyes widened. “Oh, Rassilon,” she breathed.
“Doctor, my family's on board-” Martha started off.
The Doctor grinned. “Brilliant. This way!” They ran down a gangway to level 4, and then opened a door at the end of the hall revealing the TARDIS. “Oh, at last!”
“What's it doing on the Valiant?” Jack wondered.
I thought all our problems were over. I was wrong.
“Dad…” Lilith said slowly.
The Doctor paid her no mind. He ducked inside the TARDIS.
The entire console room was lit with a red light. The whole console was blocked off. Lilith could hear the Old Girl moaning in her mind. Rage flashed through her. “What the hell's he done?” she demanded.
“Don't touch it,” the Doctor warned them.
“What's he done though?” Martha asked. “Sounds like it's sick.”
“It can't be,” the Doctor murmured. “No, no, no, no, no, no, it can't be.”
“Doctor, what is it?”
He spun around on the spot. “He's cannibalized the TARDIS.”
“Is this what I think it is?” Jack said.
“It’s a paradox machine,” the Doctor growled.
“That’s it!” Lilith shouted. She took her blaster out of its holster and handed it to the Doctor. “Take that.”
“Because if I have it the next time we see the Master, he’ll be dead before you could say ‘regenerate’,” she growled.
The Doctor tucked her blaster into his bigger on the inside pockets. He tapped a gauge on the metal mesh around the console. “As soon as this hits red, it activates. At this speed, it'll trigger at two minutes past eight.”
“First contact is at eight,” Jack said. “Then two minutes later…”
“What's it for? What does a paradox machine do?” Martha asked.
“The more important question is can we stop it?” Lilith mused.
The Doctor shook his head. “Not till I know what it's doing. Touch the wrong bit; blow up the solar system.”
“Then we've got to get to the Master,” Martha decided.
“Yeah,” Jack agreed. “How are we going to stop him?”
“Oh, I've got a way. Sorry, didn't I mention it?” The Doctor smiled innocently.
He led them to the flight deck of the Valiant where President Winters was giving a speech. “For as long as man has looked at the stars, he has wondered what mysteries they hold. Now we know we are not alone.”
“This plan, you going to tell us?” Jack whispered.
“If I can get this around the Master's neck, cancel out his perception, they'll see him for real. It's just hard to go unnoticed with everyone on red alert. If they stop me you've got a key,” the Doctor whispered back.
“I'll get him,” Martha said, lowly.
Lilith looked up at the Doctor. “Last chance. Are we sure we want him alive?”
“And I ask you now, I ask of the human race, to join with me in welcoming our friends. I give you the Toclafane.” President Winters announced. Four of the ‘Toclafane’ appeared. “My name is Arthur Coleman Winters, President Elect of the United States of America, and designated representative of the United Nations. I welcome you to the planet Earth and its associated moon.”
“You're not the Master," said one sphere.
“We like the Mister Master.” said another.
“We don't like you,” said a third.
The President hesitated. “I can be master, if you so wish. I will accept mastery over you, if that is God's will.”
“Man is stupid.”
“Master is our friend.”
“Where's my Master, pretty please?”
The Master leapt up. “Oh, all right then. It's me. Ta da! Sorry, sorry, I have this effect. People just get obsessed. Is it the smile? Is it the aftershave? Is it the capacity to laugh at myself? I don't know. It's crazy.”
“Saxon, what are you talking about?” President Winters demanded.
“I'm taking control, Uncle Sam, starting with you. Kill him.” One of the Toclafane pointed its weapon at the President and blasted him. Panic broke out and The Master laughed and applauded. “Guards.”
“Nobody move! Nobody move!” the guards ordered.
Lilith swore in Gallifreyan.
“Now then, peoples of the Earth,” the Master said, “please attend carefully.”
The Doctor took off his key and tried to run forward. Two men in black grabbed him and dragged him over to the Master. Lilith made to lunge after him, but Martha and Jack caught her arms.
“We meet at last, Doctor. Oh, ho. I love saying that.” The Master laughed.
“Stop it! Stop it now!” the Doctor insisted.
“As if a perception filter's going to work on me,” the Master sneered. “And look, it's the girlie, the weakling, and the freak. Although, I'm not sure which one's which.”
“I’m the Doctor’s daughter. You think I don’t know how to kill a Time Lord, Koschei?” Lilith snarled.
The Master glared at her and reached for something in his pocket. Jack ran forward and the Master zapped him with a new kind of screwdriver. “Laser screwdriver. Who'd have sonic? And the good thing is, he's not dead for long. I get to kill him again!”
Lilith tried to pull away from Martha, but the other woman kept a tight grip on her left arm.
“Master, just calm down. Just look at what you're doing. Just stop. If you could see yourself—”
“Oh, do excuse me. Little bit of personal business. Back in a minute. Let him go.”
The guards threw the Doctor to the ground. “It's that sound. The sound in your head. What if I could help?”
“Oh, how to shut him up? I know. Memory Lane. Professor Lazarus. Remember him and his genetic manipulation device? What, did you think that little Tish got that job merely by coincidence? I've been laying traps for you all this time. And if I can concentrate all that Lazarus technology into one little screwdriver? But, ooh, if I only had the Doctor's biological code. Oh, wait a minute, I do.” The Master opened a large metal briefcase. “I've got his hand. And if Lazarus made himself younger, what if I reverse it? Another hundred years?”
The Master aimed his screwdriver at the Doctor, who went into rapid convulsions.
“Dad!” Lilith screamed, tearing out of Martha’s grip and rushing to his side. Martha knelt next to Jack as he revived.
The Master stoped zapping the Doctor, who looked at least a hundred years old.
Martha crawled over to where Lilith was clutching the Doctor. “Doctor? I've got you.”
“Ah, she's a would be doctor. But tonight, Martha Jones, we've flown them in all the way from prison.” The Master waved his hand and Martha’s parents and sister were brought in, their wrists fastened together with cable ties.
“Mum,” Martha whimpered.
“The Toclafane,” the Doctor rasped, “what are they? Who are they?”
The Master knelt in front of the Doctor. Lilith snarled at him. “Doctor, if I told you the truth, your hearts would break.”
“Is it time? Is it ready? Is the machine singing?” asked one of the Toclafane.
The evil Time Lord jumped up. “Two minutes past. So, Earthings. Basically, er, end of the world. Here come the drums!”
Lilith could hear the TARDIS scream as the paradox machine activated. A tear appeared in the sky above the Valiant and thousands of spheres poured out of it.
“How many do you think?” the Master asked his wife with a wide, maniacal grin.
“I, I don't know,” she replied quietly.
“Six billion. Down you go, kids!” The spheres flew down to the population centers and opened fire. “Shall we decimate them? That sounds good. A nice word, decimate. Remove one tenth of the population!”
The Doctor whispered to Lilith and relayed to her a telepathic message. She nodded, put Martha’s hand on her vortex manipulator, and stood. “Hey, Koschei!” she shouted. The Master spun around. Lilith swore at him in Gallifreyan and smashed the button. Her and Martha were teleported away.
They landed in a field outside of the city. Martha held Lilith as she cried, and watched London burn.
“We're coming back,” she promised.
And the two of them walked off.