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Doctor Who Fic: The Price of Usage (4/7)
Cherik! By oh-freckle @ dw
Characters: Ten, 'Saxon', OCs
Pairings: Ten/'Saxon' implied if you can see it. Basically it's not much different than what RTD gave us.
Spoilers: Series 3, mostly the last three episodes. Set a long time after Series 3's end.
Rating: PG-13 (usual stuff: violence, dark in places, swearing)
Summary: A certain Time Lord being ensnared by Colony 9's newly-formed oppressive regime leads to some dangerous possibilities, while the Doctor may have arrived too late to stop it.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything. If I did, RTD would've written LotTL MY way =D

A/N: So sorry this took forever! I had a small case of writer's block for later in the story... but anyhow, I now know there will be 7 chapters and have the whole thing nicely plotted out. The next chapter will likely be longer then this one. And there is probably typos in this somewhere, I didn't re-read it all as many times as I usually do. I figured you were all getting impatient.

And no, I really don't understand nuclear physics at all.. I'm bad with science (haha!). A friend of a friend helped me out with this.


The Price of Usage

Chapter 4: The Underground

The moment the Master had been knocked back against the wall two well aimed laser bolts had zipped through the smoke and freed the Doctor from his bonds. He coughed, not taking any time to think as he ran and snatched his things from the table. A gloved hand then grabbed him and pulled him toward the hole.

Now he followed his black clad rescuers down a dark tunnel, smoke still stinging his eyes and his face still throbbing from where the Master had hit and cut him. It was lucky for him they showed up, as he had not actually worked out a way to escape. And their timing was impeccable.

They led him on and on for a while, through the sewers, until they reached a spot where a beam of light shone down from the city streets above. Here he finally got a good look at them.

There were four in total, all wearing black camouflage gear, their faces obscured beneath black masks. One of them stepped forward, his blue eyes glinting. The Doctor noted a name tag on his black shirt which read ”Jones.”

'You're the Doctor?' he asked.

'Yeah. Jones, is it? Leader of the local resistance movement?'

'Hey,' another one spoke out, 'he catches on pretty quick!'

'Well,' the Doctor grinned, 'every oppressive regime's gotta have a resistance movement. That's practically Galactic Law. Now, hold on - don't think I'm not grateful, because I really, really am but... how'd you know how to find me?'

'Mutual friend,' Jones answered. 'He's back at base.'

The Doctor had only to ponder a moment before he figured it out. There was only one person on this planet who had known that he was going to Central Headquarters.

'Oh! Miles sent you!' he exclaimed. 'Miles G--'

'Don't mention his bloody name!' Jones snapped. 'Don't know who we can trust. We're not even sure we can trust you. No real names.'

'Right, sorry,' the Doctor joined them by the wall, 'but you can trust me, really.. I promise,' he put on his biggest, most sincere grin and blinked when they all stared at him.

He was about to say something else when one of them took out a brick in the wall and pulled down a small lever. The Doctor felt the ground vibrating slightly beneath him and looked down (he noticed his shoes were completely soaked) as a part of the floor shifted away to reveal a hole, through which most of the water drained.

'You first, Doctor,' Jones ordered, gesturing toward the hole. The Doctor went, climbing down the ladder. When he reached the bottom he came out of one small room and into another, feeling slightly disappointed at what he saw.

Well, human beings were still utterly brilliant for holding on, resisting and fighting till the very end. Yeah. Even if their current rebel movement consisted of about a dozen people gathered together in two little rooms. Still, it was something, the Doctor decided. Especially since they managed to rescue him.

'Right, so, you can take off the masks now,' the Doctor said to his escort, turning to face them as they entered the room behind him.

'Why would we? You crazy or something?' Jones asked. 'If we show our faces to each other, chances are somebody will talk. You think we're all bloody fools?'

'Oh, come on!' the Doctor said. 'How are you spose to trust each other? And, I gotta say, I'll get tired of talking to a bunch of black masks.'

Jones rolled his eyes before turning to one of his men and striking up a conversation about the status of things. The Doctor waited, stuffing his hands into his pockets and taking another glance around the room. It was inevitable that he ended up here, he realized. Helping the local resistance movement while the Master ran round up top going about his evil plans. Yeah, this really was just like old times.

'Doctor! You made it!' The Doctor turned and saw another man wearing a black hood with a badge that read “Miles” sewn onto his shirt. 'Are you alright?' he gestured at the Doctor's bloodied cheek.

The Time Lord put his hand to the wound on his face, feeling warm blood. He pulled his palm away and looked at it, his eyes glowing darkly for a moment.

'Yeah!' he waved his hand dismissively, once again behind the mask. 'I'll be fine, only a little scrape!'

'Did he do that to you?' Miles asked. The Doctor didn't answer, his eyes scanning the room once more.

The moment he spotted something of interest, anything to keep himself from having to explain his ordeal to Miles, he ran toward it. In this case it happened to be a glass case full of interesting little trinkets.

The chest in question sat on a shelf amongst a maileport box and an old tele-transmitter. It wasn't very big, but it contained a large amount of unorganized alien goodies from all sorts of places, some very far away.

'Alien technology,' the Doctor said, glancing at Miles as he soniced the chest's electric lock and threw it open. 'Where'd you get all this?'

'They're from the old museum,' Miles answered, 'the resistance stole them during the revolution. Jones knew that Greer's vision would turn into a dictatorship. I guess some of us learn from past mistakes.'

'Oh, yeah,' the Doctor stopped digging through the chest and looked at Miles with a grin, 'only takes one person to change history. And you keep going, you lot, you keep surviving. All the way till the end of time, the human race!'

'Well, thank you.. I.. suppose,' Miles almost seemed uncomfortable in the face of the Doctor's awe and praise. He indicated the chest. 'Do you always just break into things like that?'

'Well, old habit.. can't help it,' the Doctor didn't stop smiling, his enthusiasm unabated as he kept digging through the alien tech. There was no weapons, but so many other interesting trinkets. Musical instruments, communicators, holographic devices, there was even an old holo-news tuner from Taron. For a moment the Doctor thought he was back in the junkyards of Idel, such was the variety of all these things.

'Colony 9's not a space exploration planet, where did all this stuff come from?' he asked, flipping the holo-news tuner on and hearing static.

'Some of it was excavated years ago, once a spaceship crashed here, and other things were donated by various collectors,' Miles answered. 'The resistance thought some of those things might be useful, at least they aren't in Greer's hands anymore.'

'Mmm,' the Doctor nodded, pulling up a small circular device with two buttons attached. His face lit up as he realized what it was; his last one had been stolen during his previous trip to Idel.

'Oh, that's brilliant!' he exclaimed. 'You know what this is?' He waved the device in front of Miles, bouncing on his heels.

'Well.. no, I can't say so..' Miles eyed it.

'Holo-reflector!' the Doctor explained gleefully.

'I see.. what's it for, exactly?'

'Well, it's this, sort of, copier--'

'Doctor!' The Time Lord and his human friend turned as Jones came toward them. The Doctor swiftly dropped his arm, stuffing his hand and the Holo-reflector into his pocket. He had a feeling it would be useful later on.

'Could've asked before you started going through our stuff, you know,' Jones said, frowning as he looked at the chest. He closed it in one quick movement. 'I don't like it when people poke around with these.'

'Yeah, but you can trust me,' the Doctor said confidently. 'Promise. Swear on my life. Cross my hearts,' he indicated his chest.

'Whatever,' Jones shrugged. 'Miles said you could help us out... said our Minister of Truth was a dangerous bloke,' he said.

'Yeah,' the Doctor just nodded, not wanting to get into specifics about the Master. 'Have you got a pencil and paper?'

'Sure, come on.'


The Master could tell by the looking Greer's eyes that she was more than a little annoyed with him, she blamed him for having loss of the Doctor.

She had come to the laboratory with a group of guards as soon as the explosion was reported. Immediately the men had grabbed him and escorted him to a small room with a the table and chair. An interrogation room; it was so obvious it might have amused him if he wasn't so annoyed.

He'd been quiet about it, as he had been trying to figure out what he was going to do about the Doctor. He already knew, of course, that it was the local resistance movement who had saved him. Every military dictatorship had one, it was practically a rule. And, while he was at it, he deducted that Miles Gordan must have passed the information about the Doctor's location on to those oh-so-heroic rebels.

Before he had considered telling Greer about Miles, but now he decided that the alien expert had more uses after all. But Greer was talking now, pulling him out of his musings.

'Tell me,' she said, standing on the other side of the table where he sat, 'exactly what happened.'

The Master simply could not resist. 'Well, it all started back in school, officer,' his voice became shy, his mouth turned downward, 'and I asked him to go to the dance with me... over and over again... and he just kept saying no!' He put a hand over his hearts. 'I was just so hurt, so I decided--'

'Enough! You don't play these games with me, Time Lord. Now answer the question,' Greer glared down at him, those pretty green eyes of hers narrowing.

The Master's expression became hard, his eyes burning as he looked back at her. Normally he might've enjoyed having her run around in circles a bit more, but it was his move in the never-ending chess game that he was playing with the Doctor. And every moment that he delayed gave his nemesis more time.

'Are you interrogating me?' He asked bluntly.

She folded her arms. 'Just answer the question. What happened?'

'No,' he stood up, his patience nearly gone, 'let me ask you again, slowly so you can understand; you ignorant, half-witted, deficient little apeare you interrogating me?' He glared at her, so utterly annoyed with her and her stupid questions that he wanted to kill her right there (he so missed killing people!), perhaps with a knife so he could watch her bleed to death.

'If you don't stop this right now,' she said icily, 'I'll throw you back in your cell and you can stay there until the rocket launches. You know I've never trusted you and you're not winning any points. Now you'd better start answering questions.'

And that was it, he had had it. He had better things to do than sit around explaining something that was irrelevant. Growling, he took the table and threw it sideways before grabbing her by the throat and shoving her up against the wall on the opposite end of the room.

'You've forgotten who you're talking to,' he whispered dangerously. His face was just inches from hers and he savored every second of the fear that slowly made its way into her wide green eyes. She was so tiny, her ambitions so small and worthless. He could conquer the Calken System in a beartsbeat, it wouldn't even be worth the effort.

He considered for a moment. His hand was at her neck; with just one swift move, he could kill her, snap her fragile little bone and watch the life leave for eyes. The drums pounded inside his head, practically demanding him to do it...

'Take your hands off me,' she seethed, unable to take all the fear from her voice. He smiled sadistically, he could do so many other things to her before he killed her... she was pretty, after all, for a human, anyway. He'd thought about all the things that he wanted to do to her over the past few months when he had to put up with her every single day.

'Oh, now you're scared,' he purred, 'good. Listen, have some respect, because without my help your little empire won't ever get off the ground and this silly little planet of yours won't amount to anything.'

She didn't say anything, her eyes wide and full of fear, but there was still the faintest hint of defiance there. On any other occasion he might have enjoyed slowly unravelling her, assaulting her mind, and tearing at her until she broke. But today he would do things the easy way. He grabbed her arm and reached for the anti-hypnosis device she had on her wrist.

Suddenly three guards burst into the room and forcefully pulled him away from Greer. She came forward and threw her fist into his gut as they did so. He doubled over, sucking in a breath as the pain tore at him. Sometimes he didn't mind a bit of pain.. but.. she had punched him. She had punched him! Oh, he was going to make her death extra special.

When he finally looked up at her, he was grinning because he knew how much his smug attitude pissed her off. 'Oh, that hurt!' he jeered.

'If I didn't need you, I'd really have you thrown back in that damn cell of yours, Time Lord,' she said coolly, rubbing her neck. 'Now, I want you to do as you're told if you ever want your ship back.'

'Ask me nicely,' he said, baiting her.

She came forward and smacked him hard in the face, not once but twice. He recoiled, then smiled, his cheeks stinging. Violence was such a simple way of trying to force someone into submission, so much that he almost laughed at her attempts.

He leaned toward her, whispering: 'To find the Doctor, I'll need those tools you took from me before. Go and fetch them for me, good little ape.'

She hit him again and this time he laughed.

'What do you need those for?' she demanded. 'And what makes you think you're going anywhere?'

He ignored the first question and went with the second: 'Because the Doctor is much too clever for you and your little band of soldiers. And if I don't catch him, he might exercise his annoying habit of bringing down dictators. You wouldn't want that, would you?' He could tell by the look in her eyes that she believed him.

'Alright, and the tools? What do you need them for?'

'It'd take too long to explain it to you,' he would've waved his hand dismissively if he could have, 'your little human brain might implode.' He grinned at her, practically daring her to hit him again.

'You're really asking for it,' she said angrily, looking like she wanted to do more then smack him. 'Why are you so smug? I really could lock you up forever.'

'Yeah,' he said, grinning, 'you could. But you won't. You need me, I'm the only one who can make the final preparations to the rocket before it launches. And if I don't,' he put on a frown face and spoke in a tone of mock sadness, 'all your little dreams won't come true, Princess.'

She didn't say anything for a moment, her eyes glowing with rage. He tilted his head and met her gaze, knowing that she had no choice. She might've refused to accept it, but he was really the one in control. He had been the moment he decided to make the weapon. Seeing her realize just how much she needed his help was such a satisfying sensation.

'My guards will escort you,' she said, her tone somewhat resigned, 'and don't push your luck, or I might just destroy your ship and keep you here forever.' She stepped back and nodded to the guards.

As they dragged him from the room, he laughed again. He found great amusement from Greer's idle threats, the Doctor's eventual defeat, and the moment when he took his revenge on these pitiful people for daring to use him.

Soon he would dance and laugh while they all died. Slowly.


Lifting the pencil at last from the page, the Doctor admired his handiwork for a moment. Before him, and those around him, lay an almost-perfect replica of the Master's rocket schematic, drawn from memory.

'Right, so, interplanetary nuclear warhead. Tiny bit primitive, still not sure why, but! You pack the uranium here,' he indicated the nose-cone of his rocket drawing, 'and--'

'Not uranium,' Miles spoke out from beside him. 'That's not what they're using.'

'Oh, yes, sorry,' the Doctor pondered a moment. 'Year 2305. What are they using now? Tarium?'

'No, he got us with some new substance.. he made it by mixing a couple elements together. None of our scientists have ever heard of it. He had it installed in all our nuclear power stations, it's worked great so far, created a lot of power. It's called karniam, I think.'

'What?' The blood drained from the Doctor's face. 'No! No, no, no!' he walked away from them and to the wall, 'it can't be. He wouldn't.. oh, no.. he would.' He turned back to face the bemused and puzzled humans, both anger and shock coursing through him.

'What's.. uuh, karniam?' Jones asked.

'It's like uranium, but more unstable, more destructive. The people of Karin, where it came from, they destroyed themselves trying to use it. It'd take someone like the Master to bring it under control... but... Time Lords are immune to it, just like uranium,' he trailed off, deep in thought. His mind raced, doors opening, pieces slowly coming together. Colony 9 clearly didn't have very advanced technology. However, he knew the Master could've built a highly advanced piece of technology out of the old odds and ends on this planet, what with being a brilliant engineer and all. The rocket wasn't more advanced because it didn't need to be.

'So?' Jones asked. 'It's more deadly. Greer'd wanna use it to attack Colony 5, sounds like something she'd do.'

'No,' the Doctor shook his head, walking back to stare at the schematic. 'No, he's not really helping her..' He pointed a finger at Miles suddenly. 'How many nuclear power stations?'


'You said he installed Karniam in your power stations. How many?'

'Oh.. um.. all of them, I think.. we've got.. a few thousand for everyone... apparently it was a pretty simple procedure so it didn't take long.' Miles and the others kept staring at him, clearly waiting for him to deliver his final deduction.

The Time Lord looked at the schematic again, his voice becoming low and dark as he spoke: 'He's gonna destroy all life on your planet.'

More soon, promise :) Next chapter this way!

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I simply adore this fic.
I love how you've blended Old and New School elements, I love your characterisations, I love the Master and how you've depicted his thought processes, and I can actually hear the Doctor and the Master saying those lines.
I short, I really, really, love your writing.
I wish this is what they'd have in the next series - what a missed opportunity! :(

I need more!
Please? :D

Thanks! Working on it right now :)

I love this fic, man. I'm in awe of your story. It's one of the best fics I've ever read. I really appreciate your attention to plot.

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