48 : End of Time (Part 1)
The TARDIS materialises in the snowy landscape, and the Doctor steps out wearing a suit, a brown trenchcoat, a stetson and a lei, with a pair of blue Converse and sunglasses. Violet laughs and hops out after him, her usually blonde hair a wild array of colours starting with a dark red and ending with a vibrant purple, but not a streak of green in sight. She’s wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a baggy white hoodie and black Converse, purple glasses perched on her nose.
Ood Sigma is waiting for them, and he doesn’t look too impressed.
“Ah! Now, sorry. There you are,” the Doctor says. “So, where were we? I was summoned, wasn’t I? An Ood in the snow, calling to me. Well, I didn’t exactly come straight here. Had a bit of fun, you know. Travelled about, did this and that. Got into trouble. You know me. It was brilliant. I saw the Phosphorous Carousel of the Great Magellan Gestadt, saved a planet from the Red Carnivorous Maw, named a galaxy Alison. Got married, again. That was a mistake.”
Violet laughs. “Should have just stuck with me, Doc.”
“Good Queen Bess. And let me tell you, her nickname is no longer… Ahem. Anyway, what do you want?”
“You should not have delayed,” Ood Sigma informs.
“The last time we were here you said my song would be ending soon, and I’m in no hurry for that.”
“You will come with me.”
“Hold on. Better lock the TARDIS.” The Doctor points a remote key at the TARDIS. The door locks and the light flashes at it beeps. “See? Like a car. I locked it like a car. Like. It’s funny. No? Little bit? Blimey, try to make an Ood laugh.”
Violet sighs and covers her eyes, dragging her fingers down her face and shaking her head.
“So how old are you now, Ood Sigma? Ah.” He sees the Ood city and changes topics. “Magnificent. Oh, come on, that is splendid. You’ve achieved all this in how long?”
“One hundred years,” Ood Sigma informs.
The Doctor takes off his sunglasses. “Then we’ve got a problem. Because all of this is way too fast. Not just the city, I mean your ability to call me. Reaching all the way back to the 21st Century. Something’s accelerating your species way beyond normal.”
“And the Mind of the Ood is troubled.”
“Why, what’s happened?”
“Every night, Doctor, every night we have bad dreams.”
: : : :
The Ood Council are sitting in a circle in an ice cave when Ood Sigma leads Violet and the Doctor to them.
“Returning, returning, returning, it is slowly returning through the dark and the fire and the blood,” an Elder says. “Always returning, returning to this world. It is returning, and he is returning, and they are returning, but too late. Too late. Far too late. He has come.”
“Sit with the Elder of the Ood and share the dreaming,” Ood Sigma tells them.
Violet instantly sits, the Doctor taking a second longer to do so. “So. Right. Hallo.”
The Ood repeat the same phrase over and over. “You will join. You will join. You will join. You will join. You will join. You will join. You will join.”
The Doctor and Violet link hands with the Ood and see the laughing face of the Master. His laughter echoes in their minds and she flinches, fighting the urge to release the Ood’s hand, and gripping the Doctor’s hand tighter.
“He comes to us every night,” the Elder informs. “I think all the peoples of the universe dream of him now.”
“That man is dead,” the Doctor says in a flat voice.
“There is yet more. Join us. Events are taking shape. So many years ago, and yet changing the now. There is a man.” The laughter sounds again, but this time it is accompanied by the image of the Nobles’ home. “So scared.”
“Wilfred,” Violet muses.
“Is he all right?” the Doctor demands. “What about Donna, is she safe?”
“You should not have delayed, for the lines of convergence are being drawn across the Earth,” the Ood Elder berates. “Even now, the king is in his Counting house.” The Doctor and Violet are given images of a black man and his daughter being photographed, by the Elder.
“I don’t know who they are,” the Doctor says. “And neither does my wife.”
“And there is another. The most lonely of all, lost and forgotten.” The Ood Elder shows them a woman in a cage.
“The Master’s wife.”
“We see so much, but understand little,” Ood Sigma admits. “The woman in the cage, who is she?”
“She was… It wasn’t her fault, she was…” The Doctor trails off and decides to try again. “The Master, he’s a Time Lord, like me, and like Violet. I can show you.” The Doctor shows the Ood images from the Year That Never Was. “The Master took the name of Saxon. He married a human, a woman called Lucy, and he corrupted her. She stood at his side while he conquered the Earth. I reversed everything he’d done so it never even happened, but Lucy Saxon remembered.”
“I shot him,” Violet murmurs, showing them his death at her hands. “Lucy was taken into custody for the crime I prevented her from making.”
“I held him in my arms. I burnt his body. The Master is dead.”
“And yet, you did not see,” the Ood Elder muses.
The Master’s crazed laugh sounds again, this time accompanied with the image of a woman picking up the Master’s signet ring.
“Part of him survived,” the Doctor exclaims, jumping up, his hand still holding Violet’s and dragging her up as well. “I have to go!”
“But something more is happening, Doctor. The Master is part of a greater design, because a shadow is falling over creation. Something vast is stirring in the dark,” the Ood Elder warns. “The Ood have gained this power to see through time, because time is bleeding. Shapes of things once lost are moving through the veil, and these events from years ago threaten to destroy this future, and the present, and the past.”
“What do you mean?” Violet dares ask.
“This is what we have seen, Doctor and Violet. The darkness heralds only one thing.”
“The end of time itself,” the rest of the Ood say.
The Doctor and Violet run outside and back to the TARDIS.