“We're coming back.” And the two of them walked off.
One year later…
Lilith could see a man signaling to the rowing boat offshore with an oil lamp. It hit the shore and she and Martha got out and went over to the man.
“What's your name, then?” Martha asked.
“Tom Milligan,” he answered. “No need to ask who you two are. The famous Martha Jones and Lilith Smith. How long since you were last in Britain?”
“Three hundred and sixty five days.” Martha sighed. “It's been a long year.”
“So what's the plan?”
“Professor Docherty. We need to see her,” Lilith said, stiffly. “Can you get us there?”
Tom nodded. “She works in a repair shed, Nuclear Plant Seven. I can get you inside. What's all this for? What's so important about her?”
Martha looked away as the started walking. “Sorry, the more you know, the more you're at risk.”
“There's a lot of people depending on you. You two are a bit of a legend.
Lilith raised her eyebrows. “Really? What does the legend say?”
“That you sailed the Atlantic, walked across America, that you were the only ones to get out of Japan alive. Smith and Jones, they say, they’re going to save the world. Bit late for that.”
They went up to a flat bed van. “How come you can drive?” Martha wondered. “Don't you get stopped?”
“Medical staff. Used to be in pediatrics back in the old days,” Tom explained. “But that gives me a license to travel so I can help out other the labor camps.”
“Great. We're travelling with a doctor.”
Lilith snorted as they got in the car.
“Story goes that you're the only people on Earth who can kill him,” Tom said, conversationally. “That you, and only you, can kill the Master stone dead.”
The two girls looked out into the night. “Let's just drive.”
Lilith tried to reach out to the Doctor telepathically, but he had put up walls not a month after she teleported away from the Valiant. The emptiness in her head was a reminder of what she was fighting for.
Once the Master was done for, the Doctor would be safe. Earth would be safe. And it was she and Martha’s job to save them.
The car ride ended at a quarry where a giant statue of the Master stood above the rocks. Lilith scowled at it.
Martha made a face. “All over the Earth, those things. He's even carved himself into Mount Rushmore.”
“Best to keep down,” Tom instructed. “Here we go. The entire south coast of England, converted into shipyards. They bring in slave labor every morning. Break up cars, houses, anything, just for the metal. Building a fleet out of scrap.”
Below them was a fleet of space rockets. “You should see Russia,” Martha said. “That's Shipyard Number One. All the way from the Black Sea to the Bering Strait, there's a hundred thousand rockets getting ready for war.”
“War? With who?” Tom frowned.
“The rest of the universe. I've been out there, Tom, in space, before all this happened, and there's a thousand different civilisations all around us with no idea of what's happening here. The Master can build weapons big enough to devastate them all.”
“You've been in space?” he asked.
“Problem with that?” Martha looked at him.
“No. No, just er, wow. Anything else I should know?”
“I’ve seen a black hole up close,” Lilith offered.
“I've met Shakespeare,” Martha added.
Two Toclafane flying out from behind the statue cut off Lilith’s slight amusement. “Identify, little man!” one ordered.
Tome whipped out an ID. “I've got a license. Thomas Milligan, Peripatetic Medical Squad. I'm allowed to travel. I was just checking for—”
“Soon the rockets will fly, and everyone will need medicine,” the Toclafane interrupted. “You'll be so busy.” The two spheres flew off to the shipyard, laughing.
Tom furrowed his eyebrows. “But they didn't see you.”
“How do you think we travelled the world?” Martha and Lilith took out their TARDIS keys. “The Master set up Archangel, that cell network. Fifteen satellites around the planet, but really they’re actually transmitting this low level psychic field,” Lilith explained. “That's how everyone got hypnotized into thinking he was Harold Saxon.”
“Saxon. Feels like years ago.”
“Our the keys are tuned in to the same frequency. Doesn’t make us invisible, just unnoticeable.”
“Well, I can see you,” Tom pointed out.
Martha smiled. “That's because you wanted to.”
“Yeah, I suppose I did.” He smiled back.
“Is there a Mrs. Milligan?” she asked.
“No. No. What about you?”
“No, maybe in the future.”
Lilith rolled her eyes. “Suddenly, I’m reminded of my parents. Come on, we've got to find this Docherty woman.”
“We'll have to wait until the next work shift,” Tom said as they got in the car. “What time is it now?”
“It's nearly three o'clock.”
When they got to their destination, Tom cut a gap in the shipyard's chain link fence, and they ran to a building where an older woman was thumping a cathode ray tube in frustration. “Professor Docherty?”
“Busy,” the woman said without looking up.
“They, er, they sent word ahead. I'm Tom Milligan. This is Martha Jones and Lilith Smith.”
“They can be royalty for all I care. I'm still busy,” Professor Docherty snapped.
“Televisions don't work anymore,” Martha said.
The woman sighed, frustrated. “Oh God, I miss Countdown. Never been the same since Des took over. Both Deses. What's the plural for Des? Desi? Deseen? But we've been told there's going to be a transmission from the man himself.” A static-ridden black and white image of the Master appeared on the screen. “There!”
“My people. Salutations on this, the eve of war. Lovely woman. But I know there's all sorts of whispers down there. Stories of children, walking the Earth, giving you hope. But I ask you, how much hope has this man got?” He motioned to the Doctor in a wheelchair. “Say hello, Gandalf. Except he's not that old, but he's an alien with a much greater lifespan than you stunted little apes. But what if it showed? What if I suspend your capacity to regenerate? All nine hundred years of your life, Doctor. What if we could see them?”
The Master retuned his screwdriver and zapped the Doctor again.
“Older and older and older. Down you go, Doctor. Down, down, down the years.”
Lilith growled at the screen. Finally the convulsions ended, and the Doctor is no longer sitting in the wheelchair. “Doctor.”
A tiny creature with big eyes peers out from the otherwise empty clothes.
The Master smirked at the camera. “Received and understood, girls?” The broadcast ended.
I'm sorry,” Tom whispered.
Martha took Lilith hand to calm her down. “The Doctor's still alive.”
Lilith sighed. “It’s times like these that I wish Dad would’ve let me shoot that bastard in the face.”
Tom frowned. “That’s a bit violent, don’t you think?"
“Oh, don’t tell me he doesn’t deserve it.”
“Obviously the Archangel Network would seem to be the Master's greatest weakness,” Professor Docherty said. “Fifteen satellites all around the Earth, still transmitting. That's why there's so little resistance. It's broadcasting a telepathic signal that keeps people scared.”
“We could just take them out,” Tom suggested.
“We could. Fifteen ground to air missiles. You got any on you?” Professor Docherty asked, sarcastically. “Besides, any military action, the Toclafane descend.”
“They're not called Toclafane,” Lilith said. “The Toclafane don’t exist. That's a name the Master made up.”
“Then what are they, then?”
“That's why we came to find you. Know your enemy. I've got this.” Martha held up a computer disc. “No one's been able to look at a sphere close up. They can't even be damaged, except once. The lightning strike in South Africa brought one of them down, just by chance. I've got the readings on this.”
Docherty put the disc into her computer and thumped it as it struggled to read the data. “Oh, whoever thought we'd miss Bill Gates.”
“So is that why you travelled the world?” Tom questioned. “To find a disc?”
“No. Just got lucky.”
“I heard stories that you walked the Earth to find a way to build a weapon,” Professor Docherty said. “There! A current of 58.5 kiloamperes transferred charge of five hundred and ten megajoules precisely.”
“Can you replicate that?” Lilith asked.
“I think so. Easily. Yes.”
Martha grinned. “Right then, Doctor Milligan, we're going to get us a sphere.”
Outside, Martha, the professor, and Lilith set up an electrical field. Tom fired a gun three times. A sphere chased him down as he ran.
“He's coming,” Martha told the other two. “You ready?”
“You do your job, I'll do mine!” Professor Docherty shouted.
Tom ran in. “Now!”
The sphere got caught in the electrical field they had set up across a narrow passageway. After a few moments, it dropped to the ground.
Lilith picked up the sphere. “That's only half the job. Let's find out what's inside.” They headed back inside.
Docherty is tried to open the sphere with what looked like an exacto-knife. “There's some sort of magnetic clamp. Hold on, I'll just trip the—” The sphere opened the four quarters of the top. “Oh my God!”
It contained a tiny, wizened head. It opened its eyes and made them all jump back. “It's alive!” Professor Docherty breathed.
“Martha. Martha Jones,” it said.
“It knows you!” gasped Tom.
“Sweet, kind Martha Jones. You helped us to fly.”
“What do you mean?” Martha asked.
“You led us to salvation.”
“Who are you?”
It’s milky blue eyes looked at Martha. “The skies are made of diamonds.”
Martha’s own eyes widened. “No. You can't be him.”
“We share each other's memories. You sent him to Utopia.”
“What's it talking about? What's it mean?” Tom asked. “Martha. Martha, tell us. What are they?”
Martha looked at Docherty and Tom. “They're us. They're humans. The human race from the future.”
Lilith nodded. “I sort of worked it out with the paradox machine. Dad said that when the Master was stealing the TARDIS, the only thing he could do was lock the coordinates. The Master was only able to use the TARDIS, a time machine, to go to the year one hundred trillion and back.”
“So he found Utopia,” Martha guessed.
“The Utopia Project was the last hope,” Lilith explained. “Trying to find a way to escape the end of everything.”
“There was no solution, no diamonds. Just the dark and the cold,” the head said. “But then the Master came with his wonderful time machine to bring us back home."
Docherty frowned. “But that's a paradox. If you're the future of the human race, and you've come back to murder your ancestors, you should cancel yourselves out. You shouldn't exist.”
“Hence the paradox machine.” Lilith made a disgusted face. “A living TARDIS, strong enough to hold the paradox in place would allow the past and the future to collide. The Master is changing history. Not just Earth’s, the entire universe’s.”
“But what about us?” Tom asked. “We're the same species. Why do you kill so many of us?”
“Because it's fun!” the sphere laughed.
Lilith snarled, grabbed Tom’s gun and shot the future human. She handed the weapon back and sank onto a chair. “Fun,” she spat. “Those things are foul, wrong, repugnante.”
“I think it's time we had the truth, Miss Smith,” Docherty said. “The legend says you two have travelled the world to find a way of killing the Master. Tell us, is it true?”
Lilith sighed. “The Doctor and the Master, they've been coming to Earth for years. And they've been watched. There's UNIT and Torchwood, all studying Time Lords in secret. And they made this, the ultimate defense.”
Martha opened a case to reveal a gun-like device, with a squeeze trigger and four small cylinders along the top. It also held three vials of colored liquid.
“All you need to do is get close,” Tom argued. “I shoot the Master dead with this.” He held up his gun.
Docherty glared at him. “Actually, you can put that down now, thank you very much.”
Lilith shook her head. “It's not that easy to kill a Time Lord. They can do this thing called regeneration. It’s like bringing themselves back to life.”
“Ah, the Master's immortal. Wonderful,” Docherty muttered.
“Except for this.” Lilith tapped the vials. “Four chemicals, slotted into the gun. Shoot him with this and it’ll kill a Time Lord permanently.”
“Four chemicals? You've only got three,” Tom said.
“Still need the last one, because the components of this gun were kept safe, scattered across the world, and we found them,” Martha explained. “San Diego, Beijing, Budapest and London.”
“Then where is it?” he asked.
“There's an old UNIT base, north London. I've found the access codes. Tom, you've got to get us there.”
“We can't get across London in the dark. It's full of wild dogs. We'll get eaten alive. We can wait till the morning, then go with the medical convoy.”
You can spend the night here, if you like,” Docherty offered.
Tom shook his head. “No, we can get halfway, stay at the slave quarters in Bexley. Professor, thank you.”
“And you. Good luck.”
“Martha, could you do it?” the woman asked. “Could you actually kill him?”
Martha hesitated. “I've got no choice.”
“You might be many things, but you don't look like a killer to me.”
“Do I?” Lilith asked, voice as cold and hard as steel. “I will do whatever it takes to stop the Master. I’ve killed to protect the Doctor before, I am not afraid to do it again.”