Doctor Who Internet Adventure #03 - "Altered State"

Chapter 15
"Reality Check! or "Wake me when we get to California.""
by Jenifer Jennings Hancock


Grace looked up.

       Mistress Mel looked up.

       The Daleks, eagerly gathering around Mistress Mel and her throne, looked up.

       The Doctor, his face set in a mask of concentration, looked up. His face suddenly paled. "Oops."

       A large wooden platform suddenly appeared fifty feet above Mistress Mel's head. It looked solid, well built, heavy, and getting larger as it began speeding towards her and her collection of Daleks.

       Mistress Mel laughed. "*That's* what you 'thought up' to destroy me?

       A few of the brighter Daleks began aiming their lasers up at the rapidly approaching wooden platform and started shooting. The majority of them, however, milled about aimlessly, not wishing to displease their Mistress, but not wanting to get crushed by a large, heavy object, either. The result was total confusion.

       "That's *it*?" She cackled again and waved a dismissive hand toward the object. "You are so *pathetic* Doctor! Why, all I have to do is concentrate and I'll think it out of exis--"

       A rather large and impressively built wooden stage landed on Mistress Mel and her Daleks. The Doctor and Grace stood silently for a moment, listening for any sounds coming from underneath the stage. There were none.

       The Doctor let out a sigh and said, "You know, I really didn't think that would work. I thought she would get up and run; I was really only hoping to destroy the throne."

       Grace snorted and draped her left arm comfortingly over his shoulders, "Yeah, well she could've gotten away. How were *you* to know she'd think it was more important to give the typical 'villain speech'? By the way, isn't that the stage where..."

       "We saw the alternate Master in drag? Yes..." he shook his head and looked down. "I couldn't think of anything else! I just couldn't get that image out of my head!"

       "So why did you say 'oops'?"

       "Well, that wasn't the *only* image I couldn't get out of my mind..."

       Just then, two masculine arms with long red fingernails wrapped themselves around the Doctor's chest. "That was *brilliant,* brother! What a clever idea!"

       "Oh *no*!" Grace groaned.

       The Doctor politely disentangled himself from the embrace and turned to face his 'brother'. "Well, I can't really take all" he began cautiously.

       "*Nonsense*! You exploited Mistress Mel's normal tendency to belittle people at the expense of all else! Very smart!"

       Grace gritted her teeth and turned to face the 'Master'. He stood there, looking exactly as he had before Omega had thought him out of existence. His hair was mussed up, his dress was a shambles, his make-up was smudged and there were dark circles under his eyes from when his mascara had run when he'd cried for his brother. His eyes were still puffy, but he grinned at the two of them happily. "And *thank you* for willing me back into existence! There's so *much* I still want to do!"

       "Um, yes, well...we must start heading back..." the Doctor began.

       "Yes!" Grace piped in. "We don't belong here, so we should leave before we do much more damage!" She managed to force out a rather fake sounding chuckle as she linked her arm through the Doctor's. "Shall we go?"

       "Well, you need me to help you leave! I want to come with you!" The Master then maneuvered himself between them and the TARDIS. "You need me to help you get back! I helped my brother get here in the first place, I can help to get you back."

       Grace just stared at him. "You mean you *want* to come with us? *Why*?"

       The Master smiled sadly and looked away from the two of them, his eyes focused on the crumpled stage. "I have nothing here of any importance," he said quietly. "The only thing that could keep me here is my brother, but now...well..." He looked back to the Doctor. "I have my brother's legacy, his remaining regenerations, and I want to live them out in the most fitting way possible.'re all I have left of him. I wouldn't tag along -- you don't have to worry about that -- but I want to be able to visit you from time to time, and...perhaps...if you wished, you could visit me?"

       The Doctor and Grace looked at him for a few seconds, neither knowing what to do. Finally, the Doctor smiled back. "Yes, I think I'd like that. What about you, Grace?"

       She sighed and smiled also. ", too."

       The Master grinned widely, then started crying again, making the mascara run even worse.

       Grace began to try to comfort the Master while the Doctor pulled out his TARDIS key. "Come on, let's go. We can do all the calculations in the Vortex. And I think we can *all* use the chance to get freshened up."

       As they started to walk towards the TARDIS, Grace stopped suddenly in realization. "Wait! What about the other Doctor's TARDIS? We can't just leave it here in working condition!"

       The Master smiled, reached into his dress, and pulled out a circuit board. "It won't work without the bit that links the TARDIS with the Eye of Harmony." He then pulled out another board. "Or the bit that actually drives the time travel function."

       For the first time in what felt like ages the Doctor burst out laughing. "I think you have what it takes to wander the universe after all!" He then gave the boards a critical look. "By the way, can I borrow those from you? I can always use replacements..."

       Still smiling, the Master handed the boards over to the Doctor. "Anything for my brother."

       Grace looked at the two of them. "Oh boy, the universe is going to be a *much* different place now, isn't it?" She then chucked. "I think it's for the best."

       The three of them entered the TARDIS, and not long after it dematerialized.

* * *

An angry scream ripped out from under the crumpled remains of the stage, followed by the sounds of a whip being lashed. Before long the stage had been reduced to small chunks of wood and standing in the middle of the wreckage was a very dirty, very hurt, very *mad* Mistress Mel and the remainder of her Dalek force.

       "I can't *believe* it!" she screeched. "I had ultimate power in my *grasp* and I lost it because I *talk* too much!"

       She proceeded to vent her anger by lashing one of the remaining Daleks into little pieces of scrap. Feeling better, but not much, she turned to the Daleks and said, "I may have lost ultimate power over this Universe, but I still have control over Time and Space! That damned Doctor's TARDIS is *mine*! Follow me, boys, and we'll hunt down and *kill* that other Doctor and his brother, then we'll work to achieve what we deserve! Total domination of both this and that alternate Universe!"

       The Daleks cheered metallicly, waved their appendages in the air and began trying to compose a poem for Mistress Mel on the spot.

	  "Mistress Mel, Mistress Mel, our dominatrix supreme!
      When she cracks that awesome whip her enemies flee and
      With high heeled boot and leather clad bod she is our
         Mistress divine!
      And all of you should shake and shudder, 'cause now she's
        the Mistress of Time!"

       "*Quiet* and follow me!" she commanded, cracking her whip for emphasis and meekly the Daleks obeyed, toddling behind her as she headed for the TARDIS.

       Triumphantly she brandished the key and flung the door open. "Inside! All of you! And soon we shall taste revenge!"

       Obediently, they went in, single file, followed by Mistress Mel. The door shut.

       And nothing happened.

       Peace finally settled on the countryside except for a frustrated, piercing shriek followed by the words "I'll *get* you for this, Doctor! You'll *pay* dearly for this!"

* * *

'*Sunny California*, Grace thought to herself as she lounged on the beach. *I should be feeling better, so why aren't I?*

       Grace was stretched out on a piece of one of the most beautiful beaches she had ever been to. On her left was the Master, cleaned up and looking much better. He was lounging on the beach, like her, dressed only in the most impossibly tight Speedos which left *nothing* to the imagination. She noticed also, with a degree of irritation, that the ladies who passed by *never* failed to give him an appreciating look. *Or* the Doctor, she added wryly.

       The Doctor was to her right, stretched out in a lounge chair. Dressed as usual despite the heat and reading a book in a language she'd never seen before, he was sipping a glass of iced tea. Grace herself was wearing a modest bikini which, she thought at least showed off all her good points while hiding the flaws. So why, she wondered angrily, was she being ignored by the male contingent of the beach? *It's just not fair!*

       The Doctor leaned back in the chair and sighed. "We needed this."

       "Hmph," was all Grace felt she had to say.

       The Master yawned and said, "So here the Daleks are *not* controlled by a Mistress anybody, right?"

       "Yes," Grace said, rolling over a bit so she could see him more clearly. "They are ruled by Davros. Well, some of them, anyway."

       "And the Cybermen aren't too friendly?"

       "No. Best to stay *far* away from them."

       "Huh.        What about the Sontarans?"

       Grace was just about to answer when she was *sure* she saw a shock of red hair off in the distance but getting closer, surrounded by a large group of muscle men in very small swimming trunks. "Hey, look over there," she said, pointing to her left. "Do you see what I *think* I see?"

       The Master and the Doctor turned to look, and weren't too impressed with what they saw.

       A petite woman, with a long, riotous shock of red hair, was riding on the shoulders of one of the men. She was wearing a very, very tight and tiny black leather bikini and thigh high black leather high heeled boots. They couldn't tell much else from that distance, but Grace really didn't want to stick around to see more.

       The Doctor stood up, putting his book in his coat pocket without looking away from the red headed woman. "I think it would be wise for us to leave now. Too much sun is bad for you, anyhow."

       "I agree," added the Master. "I have to keep my skin at it's best if I decide to attend any, erm, *competitions*."

       The three of them hurriedly got up and left, with Grace hoping like anything that they hadn't been seen.

* * *

Mistress Mel looked at the departing figures and grinned evily. "Yes, Doctor," she whispered under her breath, "I'll let you go *this* time. But I hope you realize that there's not much time left."

       And with that she continued her 'getting to this universe in one piece' celebration with her new-found toys.



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