Doctor Who - BBC
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The next two days went by in a blur. The Master behaved normal again - at least his kind of normal - and was busy most of the time, putting something together at his desk that was now littered with all sorts of parts and screws and what not. Roka tried to get a glimpse of what it was, but he shooed her away each time she came too close. So she spent the time augmenting the tiny drone with some extras. There she had the opportunity to sniff around. In those two crates were enough things that could finally give her some advantage.
But it was hard to think. Roka had trouble concentrating, cause she was so tired. Each time she tried to get some sleep she jolted awake shortly after with this strange feeling one gets after a nightmare they can't remember anymore. So she stayed awake as long as she could, disassembling devices, sorting out fitting parts and reassemble them into something useful. The Master ignored her most of the time and she exploited this tiny little bit of freedom.
And she repeated the words the Doctor had said to her over and over in her head: "Whatever he does. It's just a game. He tries to break you." Whatever this had been a few days ago, it only was part of the game. She had to be even more careful than ever before.
"What the hell are you doing now?" A halfway wondering, halfway amused tone came from directly in front of her and she looked up.
Instinct. Right now she actually couldn't see anything because of the blindfold. Well... she could see though.
"I have no idea what triggered my sight back to normal", she explained. "So in case it ever breaks again... I augmented this drone here with a psychic sensor, amplified the signal so even my weak abilities are enough and..." There was a tug at the blindfold and it got lifted. Roka pinched her eyes and flinched. "... can't separate the drone signal from that of my visual cortex though. Give that back."
"Wait... you see with that thing?" The Master observed the drone that was flying above Roka's head. "How does it move? You have no controller..."
She grinned widely, tapping against a tiny triangular device on her ear. "I intercept the signals from my brain to my eye muscles. There is only one drone though, so it's just 2D."
"You build an actual eye..." He said slowly, looking at the drone; very interested and a bit surprised.
"Uhm, yeah somehow. I should call it... Psye."
His face twisted. "Ugh, pleeease, no puns!"
Roka giggled and of course didn't tell him the actual use of that thing. Extending it's reach and the signal's strength would provide her with a nice way to spy around.
"Get up." He threw the blindfold onto her head and she put it back on. "Really? Well... as long as you don't run into me..."
"Down again?" It was a bit harder to walk and at the same time control the Psye. She decided to actually call it that.
"No. Just outside. Taking a walk."
Roka tilted her head. "What do you need me for then?" And since when did he...
The Master laughed. "You seriously think I let you alone with alien tech ever again after you build a psychic replica of an eye?" He snipped at the drone, but Roka evaded fast enough.
It was the first time since she had arrived here with the Doctor that Roka left the building. It felt strange, but controlling the drone kept her mind busy at least. She didn't want to think. And she was tired.
To her luck both, wind and rain, had settled. Otherwise her Psye would have been damaged very quickly. A red leaf sailed down. She had no idea in which time they were and also not in which season. But more leaves revealed that it had to be autumn.
The Master snatched one of the leaves and held something against it that, at first glance, looked like a sonic screwdriver. She flew the drone closer and saw that it emitted a laser which burned a tiny hole through the leave.
A satisfied smile spread on the Master's face. "Precise... perfect." Then the laser beam got wider and the whole leave combusted into a flame. He turned his head to Roka, holding the device with a grin in front of her face. "Bio-locked. Meaning, only I can use it."
She giggled. "I feel honored that you deem me that dangerous." Somehow she really did, although she probably shouldn't.
Suddenly the smile vanished from the Master's face and he fully turned around to Roka.
"You know... this game really was fun." He looked down to her, ignoring the drone. "But it's time to end this. I'm sick of this place and especially of this planet." He flicked her forehead. "You will tell me where the TARDIS is."
"Certainly not." She frowned at him, but a very mean grin sat already on his lips.
"Destroy that stupid drone." He said in a cold, commanding voice.
And something strange happened to Roka. Her mind went blank and she felt a sudden urge to... she grabbed the Psye out of the air, smashed it to ground and crushed it under her shoe, before wincing from the short sharp pain that went through her head when the signal got disrupted.
"Tch, don't tell me you haven't build in security measurements..."
She took down the blindfold and stared at the broken drone with confusion. Why had she done that? But then she remembered the Master's mind control abilities and threw a frown at him. "It was just a prototype." And looking down again she sighed. "What a shame. I had some cool ideas for it."
The Master still looked down to her, a finger at his chin. "Hm... disappointing... Somehow I almost expected you to resist." But then he grinned nastily. "Better for me, eh?" And with the same commanding tone as before he continued, "Go to where the TARDIS is hidden and stand in front of it."
Again her mind went blank. The noises around her vanished and there was only one thought left. The TARDIS. She had to go there. It had been so long since she had been in it. So long. She wanted to be back. Surrounded by the humming of the machines that had given her headaches for the first few weeks, but was now as much part of her life as breathing.
She stopped and faced the air in front of her. There it stood, hidden from sight. Just a second...
"Just a second out of synch, eh?"
The Master's chuckle brought Roka back and she shook her head to shake off the strange dizziness. And then she realized what she had done. Next to her the Master pointed the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver into the air and a moment later the blue box appeared.
"Finally!" He patted her head like a dog's and stuck out his tongue. "Good human. And now give me your key."
It was no use, she couldn't resist. The urge to do what he had commanded was too strong and she reached inside a hidden pocket at her belt to pull out a small key that she dropped into the Master's open hand.
It hurt. It stung. It felt as if every organ in her body contracted, when he opened the door, only to push her inside, following closely. And still... there was a question, burning in her head.
"Why?" She asked quietly while the Master started the engines. The TARDIS sprang to life. "You could have ordered me all that time... why only now?"
"Oh... it was fun!" A satisfied grin sat on his face. He ran around everywhere, checking the control room. "Ah, what a mess. That guy just can't keep things in order." Then he came back, took the blindfold, Roka still held, and tied her hands onto her back with it. "I actually never planned to stay that long... this place stinks. But you were such a fun distraction. Now though...!" He ran back to the console and pushed some buttons, only to chuckle.
"But... what about that whale?" Roka asked, but somehow she had a hunch what the answer would be. It all made sense now.
It's just a game.
"Just another remnant from the scavengers. I never intended to free it myself. But it was interesting to see what you would come up with." He turned around and smiled wickedly at her. "And since you had a rather brilliant idea, I have to admit... I now have not only the TARDIS, but also a nice way to destroy this garbage dump of a planet. That hadn't even been included into my plans before."
It's just a game.
The words kept repeating in her head. Over and over. He had tricked her. Exploited her urge to help. All those days... all the work... absolutely everything. Nothing more but a precisely planned betrayal.
Roka stared at him and really wished she hadn't hesitated and instead just killed him a few days ago. How could she have been so stupid? What she had felt in his mind had shook her, had made her believe that there might be more to him. And he had even helped her. But thinking back this probably also had been part of the plan. Never would he have put himself into a weak position just to save her mind from burning up.
Lies... nothing more but lies. She felt hatred burning inside her, hot and cold at the same time.
"Good. Be angry." He stepped closer, only a finger-width away from her and grabbed her chin to make her look up. "Hate me with all you have, silly little human."
And for a second she did. It burned inside her chest and she wanted to scream, to cry. But she swallowed it all. This was a victory she wouldn't grant him. Instead she just stared at him with all the hate she could put into her gaze, staring into those nasty hazel eyes that still carried a longing for the stars within them. To burn them all...
It's all just a game.
He put the newly build laser device onto her chest.
"Any last words?" He let go of her, but didn't step away. "Oh don't look at me like that. You were never needed for anything else than my personal amusement. And now I throw you away like an old broken toy." And when Roka still didn't respond he just kept talking. "If it comforts you, I really had some fun. That doesn't happen too often, especially not with humans. And your technical skills are rather impressive..." His head tilted as if he was thinking about something. "Whatever... I'll have enough time to talk to myself soon again." He chuckled. "Last words? Last wish?"
"Yeah one", she still stared at him, into those old eyes. And she hated herself for still being fascinated by them. "Do me the favor and crumble to dust."
A laugh burst out of him, short and dry and his next words were accompanied by a pained smile. "I'll be long gone insane before that happens."
Those words moved something inside her, and suddenly all hate and all anger subsided. No, not everything had been a lie, not everything part of the game. The things she had seen and felt in his mind... what she had seen and could still see in his eyes. He truly was a miserable creature. A lonely wanderer through time, haunted and torn by whatever had made him what he was today.
And the sudden thought struck her mind that probably no one would ever smile at him again.
So she did. One last time. Only short, but with all she had.
The laser pointing towards her chest, the Master not saying a word, time slowed down and Roka closed her eyes once more. Waiting.
Two fingers touched her throat and she heard a voice close to her ear. So low, it was almost a whisper. "You can smile all you want, but your pulse doesn't lie." Indeed, it was racing, although she still, consciously, couldn't feel any fear. "It's fascinating, isn't it? Feeling the heartbeat of another living being..."
The same words she had thought herself a few days ago. Her gaze met his and a smile twitched in the corner of her mouth. "It is."
For a second they just stared at each other, then the Master straightened himself again, ruffling through Roka's hair while stepping away. The only thing he burned with his laser was the blindfold that tied her hands together.
"I'll restrict your access to a few selected rooms. And also mark you as an intruder so you can't touch the controls."
She stared at her now free hands, then up. She didn't understand anything at all anymore.
"What?" He looked over to her. "Come on, why should I kill you? I'm still having fun."
There was no reason for her to still be alive. None at all. All she could mean to him was trouble. But then why...? It just made no sense.
The Master turned back to the control panel. "I guess that's all. You can move freely between those rooms. The TARDIS locks the rest." He pointed at the screen.
Roka stepped closer to take a look. Then she tried to touch one of the buttons and got an electric shock so strong she almost fainted. A mean laugh resounded next to her and she didn't try it ever again.