Tom, Lilith, and Martha dodged a patrol, and knocked on the door. “Let me in. It's Milligan.”
The place was filled to the brim with people. “Did you bring food?”
Tom shook his head. “Couldn't get any, and I'm starving.”
“All we've got is water.”
Martha and Lilith looked around at the excess of people smashed into one place. “Oh, Rassilon,” Lilith breathed.
“It's cheaper than building barracks,” Tom said. “Pack them in, a hundred in each house, ferry them off to the shipyards every morning.”
“Are you Lilith Smith and Martha Jones?” a teenage boy asked.
“Yeah, that's us,” Martha said.
“Can you do it? Can you kill him? They said you can kill the Master, can you? Tell us you can do it. Please, tell us you can do it.”
Everyone started talking at once.
“Come on; just leave her alone. They're exhausted,” Tom told them.
“No, it's all right. They want us to talk, and we will.” Lilith looked at Martha who nodded.
Martha told the people all about her travels with the Doctor and Lilith told them about hers. “We’ve travelled across the world, from the ruins of New York to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe.” Martha spoke to the group. “And everywhere we went, we saw people just like you, living as slaves. But if Martha Jones and Lilith Smith became a legend, then that's wrong, because our names aren’t important. There's someone else. The man who sent us out there. The man who told us to walk the Earth. And his name is the Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times, and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But we've seen him. We know him. We love him. And we know what he can do.”
A woman came pushing through the crowd. “It's him! It's him!” she cried. “Oh my God, it's him! It's the Master. He's here.”
“But he never comes to Earth. He never walks upon the ground!” the boy from earlier panicked.
“Use this.” They covered Lilith and Martha with an old sack. Tom readies his gun by the mail slot.
“He walks among us, our lord and master.”
“Martha Jones! Lilith Smith! I can see you! Out you come, little girls. Come and meet your master!” the Master shouted from outside. “Anybody? Nobody? No? Nothing? Positions. I'll give the order unless you surrender. Ask yourself. What would the Doctor do?”
Martha and Lilith looked at each other. They took off their TARDIS keys and went outside.
“Oh, yes. Oh, very well done. Good girls. He trained you well. Bag. Give me the bag,” the Master ordered. Martha took a step forward. “No, stay there. Just throw it.”
She threw her backpack towards the Master, who fired his laser screwdriver at it and it burst into flame.
“And now, good companion, your work is done." The Master pointed his laser at Martha.
“Don’t you dare!” Lilith hissed.
Tom ran out of the house. “No!”
The Master killed Tom, and laughed. Then he looked at Lilith. “And what about you, Miss Smith? Tell me, have you looked into the Schism? If I kill you, will you regenerate?"
“You’re a dead man, Koschei!” Lilith snarled.
“Don’t call me that!” the Master growled. “No matter, the Council gave me a new set of regenerations. You’d be dead before you could kill me enough times.”
“There’s more than one way to kill a Time Lord,” she hissed.
“But you, when you die, the Doctor should be witness, hmm? Almost dawn, girls, and planet Earth marches to war.”
“Citizens of Earth, rejoice and observe!” the Master announced.
Guards pushed Martha and Lilith in. Martha’s family was already there on one side, and Jack on the other. The Doctor, the tiny creature that we was, stood in a bird cage.
“Your teleport device,” the Master demanded. “In case you thought I'd forgotten.” Martha threw Jack’s vortex manipulator to the Master. Lilith tugged on her sleeve to make sure hers was properly hidden. “And now, kneel.” They knelt. “Down below, the fleet is ready to launch. Two hundred thousand ships set to burn across the universe. Are we ready?”
“The fleet awaits your signal. Rejoice!” someone said over a communicator.
“Three minutes to align the black hole converters. Counting down. I never could resist a ticking clock. My children, are you ready?”
“We will fly and blaze and slice. We will fly and blaze and slice,” the spheres chorused.
The Master checked his watch. “At zero, to mark this day, the children Lilith Smith Martha Jones, will die. My first blood. Any last words?
The girls stayed silent.
“No? Such a disappointment, these two. Days of old, Doctor, you had companions who could absorb the time vortex.” The Master sneered. Lilith flinched. “Ah, that got a reaction, didn’t it? Bow your head. And so it falls to me, as Master of all, to establish from this day, a new order of Time Lords. From this day forward—”
Lilith started to snicker.
“What? What's so funny?” the Master asked, irritated.
Martha joined her, laughing quietly. “A gun.”
“What about it?”
“A gun in four parts?”
“Yes, and I destroyed it.”
“A gun in four parts scattered across the world?” Lilith snorted. “I mean, honestly, did you really believe that?”
“What do you mean?” the Master demanded.
The Doctor spoke in his raspy voice. “As if I would ask them to kill.”
“I’d do it anyway.” Lilith shrugged nonchalantly. “But he’d never ask me to.”
“Oh well, it doesn't matter. I've got them exactly where I want them.”
“But we knew what Professor Docherty would do,” Martha said. “The Resistance knew about her son. We told her about the gun, so she'd get us here at the right time.”
“Oh, but you're still going to die,” the Master sneered.
“Don't you want to know what we was doing, travelling the world?”
The Master rolled his eyes. “Tell me.”
“We told a story, that's all. No weapons, just words. We did just what the Doctor said. We went across the continents together. And everywhere we went, we found the people, and told them our story.”
“We told them about the Doctor,” Lilith said. “And we told them to pass it on, to spread the word so that everyone would know about the Doctor.”
The Master scoffed. “Faith and hope? Is that all?”
“No, because we gave them an instruction, just as the Doctor said.” They stood up. "We told them that if everyone thinks of one word, at one specific time—”
“Nothing will happen!” the Master snapped. “Is that your weapon? Prayer?”
“—right across the world, in word, just one thought at one moment but with fifteen satellites.”
“The Archangel Network,” Jack said.
“A telepathic field binding the whole human race together, with all of them, every single person on Earth, thinking the same thing at the same time. And that word,” Lilith smirked, “is Doctor.”
The countdown hit zero. The Doctor in his cage started to glow.
“Stop it!” the Master demanded. “No, no, no, no, you don't.”
“Stop this right now. Stop it!”
The Doctor was back in his previous centenarian form. “I've had a whole year to tune myself into the psychic network and integrate with its matrices.”
“I order you to stop!” the Master shouted.
“The one thing you can't do. Stop them thinking.” The Doctor was back to his normal appearance, in all his pinstriped glory. “Tell me the human race is degenerate now, when they can do this.”
Martha ran to Francine and Tish for a group hug.
“No!” The Master fired his laser screwdriver at the Doctor.
The energy field surrounding him stopped the beam and it didn't get through. “I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.”
“Then I'll kill her!” The Master pointed the screwdriver at Lilith. The Doctor stretched out his hand and the screwdriver flew out of the Master's grip. “You can't do this. You can't do it. It's not fair!”
“And you know what happens now.”
“No! No! No! No!”
The Doctor floated towards the Master. “You wouldn't listen."
“Because you know what I'm going to say.”
The Master curled into a ball in the corner. The Doctor puts his arms around him. “I forgive you.”
The Master pulled out the vortex manipulator and set coordinates. The Doctor noticed and grabbed it. “No!” They both disappeared.
Lilith sprinted over to Jack, who swept her up in a spinning hug. “Worried about me?” she asked, cheekily.
“Maybe a little.”
Something dawned on her. “Uncle Jack, we’ve got to stop the paradox machine.”
“Right. You men, with me!” Jack shouted at some guards. “You stay here,” he said to Lilith.
She nodded, went over to Martha, and hugged her tightly.
“We did it,” Martha breathed.
Lilith smiled. “Martha Jones, the girl who walked the Earth.”
Martha smiled back. “You were there too.”
“Yeah, I am pretty cool.”
They all rushed over to the window where they could see thousands of spheres flying towards the Valiant. Lilith swore in Gallifreyan. “The Master must’ve summoned them to protect the paradox machine!”
And then, the world started to shake.
The spheres disappeared and the ship shook harder than the TARDIS landing in a parallel world. Martha got thrown to the floor, but Lilith caught her.
“Everyone get down! Time is reversing!” the Doctor shouted. He crawled over to Lilith and Martha and took both of their hands. They all beamed at each other.
Finally, everything stopped.
“Jack did it,” Lilith breathed. “The paradox is broken.”
“We've reverted back, one year and one day,” the Doctor confirmed. “Two minutes past eight in the morning. Just after the President was killed, but just before the spheres arrived. Everything back to normal. Planet Earth restored. None of it happened. The rockets, the terror. It never was.”
“What about the spheres?” Martha asked.
“Trapped at the end of the universe,” the Doctor assured her.
“But I can remember it,” Martha’s mother protested.
Lilith was the one to explain. “We're at the eye of the storm. The only ones who'll ever know.”
The Master ran for the door just as Jack came in. “Whoa, big fella! You don't want to miss the party. Cuffs.” He locked the Master’s hands in handcuffs. “So, what do we do with this one?”
“We kill him,” Martha’s dad said.
“We execute him,” Her sister said.
“You give me my blaster and I shoot him in the face,” Lilith suggested.
The Doctor glared at her, but gave her the blaster back anyway. “No, that's not the solution.”
Martha’s mom grabbed a pistol and aimed at the Master. “Oh, I think so. Because all those things, they still happened because of him. I saw them.”
“Go on. Do it,” the Master goaded.
“Francine, you're better than him.” The Doctor got Francine to lower the gun and gently pushed her to Martha.
“You still haven't answered the question,” the Master said. “What happens to me?”
“You're my responsibility from now on. The only Time Lord left in existence.”
“Yeah, but you can't trust him!” Jack protested.
“No. The only safe place for him is the TARDIS.”
Lilith gaped at her father. “What are we going to do, shove him in a cage a feed him three times a day? We can’t just keep him!”
“If that's what I have to do,” the Doctor said, firmly. “It's time to change. Maybe we've been wandering for too long. Now we've got someone to care for.”
There was a bang as Lucy shot the Master. The Doctor caught him as he staggered back. “There you go. I've got you. I've got you.”
The Master gave him a pain twisted smile. “Always the women.”
“I didn't see her.”
“Dying in your arms. Happy now?”
“You're not dying. Don't be stupid,” the Doctor said. “It's only a bullet. Just regenerate.”
“One little bullet. Come on.”
“I guess you don't know me so well. I refuse.”
“Regenerate. Just regenerate. Please. Please!” the Doctor begged. “Just regenerate. Come on.”
The Master shook his head. “And spend the rest of my life imprisoned with you?”
“You've got to. Come on. It can't end like this. You and me, all the things we've done. Axons. Remember the Axons? And the Daleks. Come on, there's no one else. Regenerate!”
“How about that. I win.” The Master smirked, then his face turned serious. “Will it stop, Doctor? The drumming. Will it stop?”
Lilith knelt next to the Doctor. “They’ll stop, Koschei. They’ll stop.”
The Master closed his eyes.
“No!” the Doctor cried. “No.” Lilith held her father as he sobbed.
Back on the ground, she helped the Doctor set up a funeral pyre. When the sun was down, he lit it. Watching the flames, he pulled Lilith into a tight hug.
‘I’m so sorry.’
‘We’re alone, Lilith. There’s no one else now.’
‘We have each other. And I’ll stay with you for as long as I can. I promise, Dad.’
The Doctor, Lilith, Jack, and Martha leaned against a railing at Roald Dahl Pass. “Time was, every single one of these people knew your name,” Martha said. “Now they've all forgotten you.”
Jack knocked on the railed. “Back to work.”
“I really don't mind, though,” the Doctor told him. “Come with us.”
“I had plenty of time to think that past year, the year that never was, and I kept thinking about that team of mine. Like you said, Doctor, responsibility.”
“Defending the Earth,” Lilith said. “Can't argue with that.”
“And what about me? Can you fix that, Doctor? Will I ever be able to die?”
The Doctor shook his head. “Nothing I can do. You're an impossible thing, Jack.”
“Been called that before.” Jack saluted. “Sir. Ma'am.” He winked at Lilith. “Sweetheart.” Lilith rolled her eyes. “But I keep wondering. What about aging? Because I can't die but I keep getting older. The odd little grey hair, you know? What happens if I live for a million years?”
“I really don't know.” The Doctor chuckled.
Lilith giggled. “You’re so vain, Uncle Jack.”
“Yeah, can't help it. Used to be a poster boy when I was a kid living on the Boeshane Peninsula. Tiny little place. I was the first one ever to be signed up for the Time Agency. They were so proud of me. The Face of Boe, they called me. I'll see you.” He walked away.
The Doctor and Martha looked at each other
“It can't be.”
“No. Definitely not. No. No.”
Lilith started cracking up. The Doctor stared at her. “You knew?”
“I’ve always known!” she laughed.
They parked the TARDIS outside of Francine’s house. The two Gallifreyans watched the family inside the house from across the street. Lilith went back inside the ship and the Doctor followed. They flopped onto the jump seat, Lilith leaning her head on the Doctor’s shoulder.
Martha came in and the Doctor jumped up. “Right then, off we go! The open road. There is a burst of starfire right now over the coast of Meta Sigmafolio. Oh, the sky is like oil on water. Fancy a look? Or back in time. We could, I don't know, Charles the Second? Henry the Eighth. I know. What about Agatha Christie? I'd love to meet Agatha Christie. I bet she's brilliant!”
Martha looked at him, somberly.
“Okay,” he sighed.
“I just can't,” she said.
“Spent all these years training to be a doctor. Now I've got people to look after. They saw half the planet slaughtered and they're devastated. I can't leave them.”
“Of course not.” The Doctor hugged her. “Thank you. Martha Jones, you saved the world.”
“Yes, I did,” Martha said with a smile. “I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second best, but you know what? I am good. You going to be all right?”
“Always.” The Doctor nodded. “Yeah.”
“Right then.” She tossed her cell phone to him. “Keep that, because I'm not having you disappear. If that rings, when that rings, you'd better come running. Got it?”
She turned to Lilith. “And you better make sure he picks up.”
“Will do.” Lilith nodded.
Martha turned to go, but stopped at the door. “I'll see you again, you two,” Martha promised.
Lilith saluted. “Hasta luego, Aunt Martha.” Martha laughed and shook her head before leaving.
“What was that for?” the Doctor asked.
“Spoilers, my dear father.” Lilith grinned.
The Doctor rolled his eyes and pulled a lever on the console. Alarms started to blare and the TARDIS spun and shook, and the two travelers were thrown onto the jump seat.
Lilith swore loudly in Gallifreyan.