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Game Over

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A year and a day after announcing his supremacy over the Earth, the Master killed Martha Jones, and then her family, and then launched the missiles.

"The Time Lord Empire," he declared, triumphant. It was disappointing that even Lucy didn't seem to share in his excitement, but she was, after all, just another human. Fun for a while, but they wore out so quickly.

The Doctor sat in his little cage, his big Tweety Bird eyes looking so sad. It was just too funny. The Master hoped he hadn't broken him too badly, because that would be a shame. He had so many plans, and they wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable without the Doctor's sanctimonious hypocrisy. It had been fun, letting the Doctor think he had the upper-hand, letting him into the Archangel network. It made the year of preparation more interesting to pretend the Doctor might just find a way to stop him. It made the waiting more palatable.

He was done with waiting. He gave the order. No more humans, no more Earth. It was a most glorious victory.

"Did you enjoy your little hide-and-go-seek?" he asked, grinning down at the Doctor. "You worked so hard trying to stop me. You and your favourite human."

He scooped up Martha's ashes and blew them into the Doctor's face. The withered little man coughed and gagged.

"They're all dying. Every single one. And since you're still connected to my lovely network, I'll even let you listen." The Master concentrated, and oh yes, there it was. The psychic screams of an entire race as they were massacred by their own distant descendants. It was beautiful. The Doctor collapsed, clutching his shrunken head with his tiny wrinkled hands.

The Doctor was muttering something, and the Master had to lean close to hear it. "Not again, not again, no no please, oh please not again." It was such a pitiful little sound, but begging was a lovely counterpoint to the screams and the drums. Good thing he was recording all of this for posterity. Perhaps he would edit something together and play it back over the sound system on a loop for a few weeks. It might even break the Freak.

"Is this what it was like?" he asked. The Doctor's anguish was its own delightful reply.

The Master turned up the psychic volume just a few notches, and left the Doctor to wallow. It would be a shame if he missed any deaths, and it would take a while to finish off the last humans.

A week later, the Toclafane reported in. "We've got them all, Master!" one squealed happily.

"Killing them was such fun," said another. "Can we do it again?"

"Yes, yes!" a third one said. "Use the machine and let us kill them again."

"How about," said the Master, slowly, "destroying some other planets?" He fed them the coordinates. "The rockets should have reached these two by now. Take a billion to each and introduce yourselves to the natives."

"Oh, thank you, Master!" they cheered, and zoomed off to collect their fellows.

The Master made his way to the viewing room, where the Doctor sat huddled in his cage. He'd given him a perfect view of Earth to go with the surround sound of genocide. If he squinted, he could make out the fires below the smoke. All the forests burning at once made such a lovely glow.

"What, no more tears?" the Master sneered. "No more righteous anger? Tell me, Doctor, now that your precious humans are extinct, do you still forgive me?" He leaned close. "Come on, I want to hear those three little words."

No reaction. As much as it pleased him, it wasn't right. Where were the witty retorts? Where was the pathetic moralizing? He shook his head.

"Poor Doctor. Did I break you?" He reached into the cage and pulled out the tiny figure, squeezing him like a squeaky toy until the Doctor grimaced in pain. "Ah, there you are. Come on, say it. Repeat after me: I. Forgive. You. Master."

Still nothing. "Oh, very well. If you're not going to forgive me for destroying the human empire in its cradle, I'm not sure if I can forgive you."

Oh, that got some attention. "What do you want?" the Doctor asked, so wearily. He'd never sounded so defeated. It was almost heart-warming.

"I want you to hope," the Master said, in a mockery of concern. "Where's that famous optimism? You have to fight on, like a good little hero. Never surrender!"

"You've won," the Doctor said. "Happy?"

"Extremely," the Master agreed. "But I want you to be happy. It's your empire, too. The last two Time Lords, side by side. Isn't that what you wanted?"

"Never," said the Doctor, and this time there was a bit of fire to his words. Good.

"You can't lie to me, Doctor. I know." He tapped the Doctor's wrinkled forehead. "I've seen. You shouldn't have put yourself into my network if you wanted to hide things from me. And the best part is, you haven't been able to get out again. Isn't that right? Stuck in my trap, and you walked right into it."

The Master slipped a tendril of his mind into the network, and probed right into the Doctor's consciousness. The Doctor flinched, but there was no escape.

"To think, you spent a whole year locking yourself in, opening yourself up for all those pathetic humans, and all it did was get blessed Saint Martha killed. She must have trusted you so much. The last thing she thought before I incinerated her was how much of a disappointment you were."

A fresh wave of pain came through the link, making him smile. So much emotion, and it was all wide open. Oh, the Doctor wasn't completely vulnerable. There were still plenty of psychic blocks and secret places. Given time, the Master would tear those open, and then he would have everything, and that would be the most glorious of all.

"Fortunately for you, I've been busy too," he continued. "I saw what you want, deep down. Your fondest, dearest wish. And it's your lucky day, because I've decided to be generous in my victory."

Fear and anxious hope flooded through the link, betraying the Doctor's stony expression. He carried the Doctor into the hall and brought him to one of the labs. It was rather convenient being able to carry him around like this, but all good things...

He put the Doctor down on a metal table and pointed his laser screwdriver at him. "This is going to hurt a lot," he said, and fired.

The Doctor's screams sang like music as he de-aged his body, bringing him back to the peak of health. It was very important that his body be in its prime for what the Master had in store for it. He changed settings on the screwdriver and the Doctor's screams intensified.

It all took rather a while.

When he finally finished, the Doctor was naked, sweating, and trembling, and in all his youthful, lanky glory. He touched skin, feeling the double-pulse. He'd missed this, oh yes. As much fun as pocket-Doc had been, the full-sized version gave him so much more to play with.

Metal bindings popped out of the table and pinned the Doctor flat. He was probably too weak to do anything but fall to his knees, but the Master didn't want him hurting himself. That wouldn't do at all.

"Would you like to know what I've done?" the Master asked, sweetly, once the Doctor was coherent enough to listen.

"What?" the Doctor asked, weakly. The Master could see him running through the possibilities. One of them was even close to the truth.

"The Toclafane have been very helpful," he replied, waving an arm, though there were no floating globes in the room. "But they're still humans. They're not like us. They don't deserve to be a part of our new Empire."

The Doctor's curiosity was strong. The Master savoured the moment.

"A Time Lord Empire needs, well, Time Lords. Don't you agree?"

"You can't bring them back," the Doctor said.

"Why would I want to? Pompous bores. Wouldn't know an Empire if it hit them. No, what the universe needs is a new breed of Time Lord. Ones just like... me." He gestured and a far bank of lights switched on.

The Doctor gaped. His horror was delicious.

"I'm looming a whole new batch. Specially designed to follow me, of course. I don't like competition that much." He rested a hand on the Doctor's chest, forcing his attention back. "You spent so much time on Earth, it must have felt like home to you. They," he said, nodding at the nebulous forms in the looms, "are going to live there, too. I might even make the grass red, if I'm feeling sentimental enough."

"No," gasped the Doctor.

"Yes," said the Master, feeding him an image of what the world below would soon become. New Gallifrey built on the ashes of Earth, a fitting end for the Doctor's adopted planet. "Oh, and one more thing. You'll love this, I promise. You loved humans so much, I think you wanted to be just like them. Especially all those women."

His hand slid down to rest on the Doctor's flat abdomen. "Congratulations, darling. We're pregnant."

"What?!" The Doctor's eyes were even wider than usual.

"It's not like the others. I used both our genetic material for this one." He rubbed a slow circle, as if to soothe. "How long does womb gestation take? Eighteen months? I'll have to cut it out when it's ready, of course."

The Doctor's mind was a blur, racing so fast the Master didn't even try to keep up. He caught a glimpse of the Doctor holding a baby, smiling like an idiot, and knew right then that he'd truly won.

"It's very important that you not strain yourself. Our child is very precious. One of a kind." He leaned close, whispering into the Doctor's ear. "I'm going to let it grow up. It's going to be just like you, no tampering. And just like me. In eighteen months, we'll have a whole new game to play, to see who wins it."

A blast of fierce, protective pride hit him like a physical blow. Oh, there was his Doctor, full of hope again, ready to be crushed. Just the way he liked it.

"No need to thank me," the Master said, caressing the Doctor's body. He could almost feel the new life within it, even though it was barely a thousand cells. No need for bird cages or artificial aging. He probably wouldn't even need to keep him locked up, not for long. He had the ultimate leash on the Doctor, one that would keep the sentimental fool in line for years to come.

There were tears in the Doctor's eyes, gratitude warring with revulsion and horror. "Beautiful," he said, and kissed him softly on the lips. He sent a message of caring through the link, and was amused at how easily the Doctor accepted it. He waited until the Doctor kissed him back, and then smiled affectionately down at him.

Seduction was going to be so much sweeter than rape.