This sick, twisted, disgusting idea is all a bloody game.
It's not often that they take a shuttle down to Earth. Not after the last time, where the Doctor broke his own wrist to wriggle out of his handcuffs and run through the crowd, trying to make it to safety. Make it to the resistance, make it to Martha, make it to anyone.
He actually got a few blocks before he realized that by leaving the Master behind he was only dooming him. And, really, no matter how much he hated what the Master was doing to Earth, he couldn't just leave him to die. He went back on his own accord. Martha would probably be disgusted.
And so his youthful body (which the Master had "privileged" him with after a few months of good behavior) is gone again and he is an old, brittle man. It is easier this way. He is made to be helpless instead of willingly remaining so. It becomes routine.
So, when he wakes up to a strong back and wrinkle-free hands in the attic of a building he knows isn't on the Valiant, he's disoriented. He gets to his feet and looks around. The attic is expansive, probably covering the entire length of the house. Well, mansion. Wherever he is. The walls are lined with torture devices that would've been scarier a few months ago, and at the other end of the attic is an iron maiden.
His lips twitch into a smirk and he wonders, briefly, if it might be the Master's TARDIS again. Of course, if the Master had a TARDIS he wouldn't' feel his own crying out in compressed agony from holding up a paradox.
But it's all a game to him.
As the Doctor approaches, he sees attached to the maiden is an led clock display.
"It took you very nearly ten minutes to wake up, did you know that?"
The Doctor nearly leaps out of his skin at the sudden blaring from an old-fashioned intercom. The Master sounds positively delighted and that only sends a frightened chill up the Doctor's spine.
"Would've been easier to wake up if you hadn't drugged me with----" the Doctor tastes the inside of his mouth, considering the genetic makeup of its staleness. "Hmmm…what is it? Tastes like…"
"Siralanomode," the Master replies cheerily, and the intercom crackles.
The Doctor takes another step towards the maiden. On the top of its head is fixed a small intercom speaker. "Siralanomode affects the memory," he says.
"Oh, there's very little about today you want to remember, Doctor."
"You know, I had a fun run-in with a rebellion group just outside of London," the Master says. "They were all huddled together in a video store, planning ways to get to the Valiant and stop me!"
He laughs. It doesn't seem very funny to the Doctor, but he imagines he hasn't gotten to the punchline just yet.
"They were all so very disappointed that the infamous Doctor whom Harriet Jones begged to save them on Christmas Day didn't show up. I had to wonder if you knew any of them, considering how virulently they called for you."
The Master orders the slaughter of thousands a day. The Doctor wishes he wasn't feeling numb to it. Wishes he wasn't inwardly reminding himself over and over that they were all savable. Once Martha...oh, but it all rested on Martha.
As if he can read his mind, the Master says, "Pity Martha Jones wasn't there. No idea where she is, do you, Doctor? I need you to tell me what you whispered in her ear."
The Doctor shakes his head and takes another step towards the maiden.
"I only have one thing to say to you."
The Master doesn't reply, just the crackling of the intercom.
"What's that counting down to?" the Doctor snaps. Suddenly, approaching the maiden seems like a bad idea he should've stopped a long time ago.
"Oh! Noticed that, did you? Lovely little things; got them wired all over this house. Oh, but you'll learn that soon enough."
"Why, what have you got planned? What are you doing?"
"Well, I did tell you ten minutes ago. Let's see if you can remember. Work past the drug."
"You're not going to kill me," the Doctor says, because the Master can't kill him any more than the Doctor could kill the Master. But, as the counter goes down, he's just not sure.
The reply is amused. "Of course not."
From within the maiden, there's a sharp crunch and the sound of a muffled scream. The Doctor's eyebrows knit together in confusion. Oh, no. No, it can't be. Oh, but it probably is and the Master could only be watching to see what he's going to do next.
His hearts beat faster, much too fast for the old man he's been all these weeks. Curiosity takes over. He moves another step towards the maiden and peers inside.
He recoils instantly, grief and terror shooting through his veins. He cries out and turns away, emptying bile onto the floor before he can stop himself. The siralanomode keeps him from controlling his emotions but doesn't block out what he just saw.
The Master does what any good sadist would do: He laughs.
"One of the rebels! Let me see what we've got here. Donna Noble. Lovely name, very royal, don't you think? Love the little setup I made, I'm so proud of it. You know, all you had to do was unclasp that lock and she would've been free. Pity the rest of them aren't quite so easy."
He recovers just enough to look up at the intercom atop the maiden again. The rest of them?
He doesn't have to say it, of course, the timer tells him what's next.
"Go on, Doctor! Find them fast! Run for their lives!"
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,004