Paul Gadzikowski


Under Siege

Chapter 5

"Oh, Grandfather," said Professor Campbell, her arms around the Doctor, "you said you'd be back someday."

Jo looked over at Kirk. He now looked as shocked as Campbell and the Doctor had at first, and Jo had no doubt that she did too. But even as she looked, Kirk's expression was dissolving from shock into revelation.

"Grandfather," said the starship captain. "You're the Doctor's granddaughter Susan, who traveled with him when the TARDIS visited the Enterprise before my time."

"Yes," said Campbell, said Susan, turning to face him and Jo, her voice catching. "Yes, I am."

"Susan stayed behind on Earth," the Doctor explained, his voice low and shaky, through he was smiling, "when we rendered some small assistance to the anti-Dalek resistance in the twenty-second century."

"'Stayed behind'! You stranded me, you did." Despite the acrimonious words Susan was still smiling and still had her arms around him.

"You're the one who hadn't wanted to leave the stability you'd had in 1963," said the Doctor, a little defensive even if it was obvious Susan was teasing. "I was only trying to make it up to you. And you had found yourself a nice young man."

"Well, you were quite right in the long run," said Susan.

"So were you," the Doctor said. "You did need to live a stable life of your own in a single place and time, as I did, before you embarked on your own grand tour of the universe."

"If I so choose. I've been perfectly happy at Starfleet Command since David passed away."

"For a hundred years - without anyone in Records noticing?" said Kirk. "You really can make duotronics jump through hoops."

"Well, Command knows," said Susan. "But only because Chris Pike recognized me."

"He was your student?" asked the Doctor. "Then he'll have recognized your younger self when we were on the Enterprise."

"Well, yes, he was my student, but he didn't put it all together on the Enterprise. Not until he saw me, here again, at his installation as Fleet Captain. So there's an addendum about me in the Academy copy of the eyes-only datafile on you. At least," Susan's eyes twinkled, "there is as long as it suits me that there is."

"But what about -" Jo got three words in edgewise before Kirk cut her off.

"The rest of your catching up will have to come later, Doctor, Professor. We need to get into the computer room and see about the Master."

"Yes, I saw his broadcast too. But we don't need to go to the computer room," said Susan, scooting back around her desk with more energy than typical for an Earthwoman of her apparent age - perhaps fifty - let alone her actual age, in excess of a hundred. "I've tinkered some with my own terminal over the years. There's nothing you can do there you can't do here, aside from actual hardware manipulation."

"That should do nicely, yes," said the Doctor, sitting in the chair behind the desk. "At least for my part."

"What's the plan?" Susan asked. She sat familiarly on the arm of the chair, next to him. Jo moved quickly to his other side, and realized that she was feeling jealous of Susan.

"Well, we've been talking about getting control of the Federation net back from the Master," said the Doctor, "but according to what Sulu and the others said, it's actually Spock who's taken control of it, if under the Master's hypnotized control."

"How's that any different?" Jo asked.

"What do you want to do?" asked Kirk, standing to Susan's other side.

"All we have to do," said the Doctor, his fingers beginning to fly over and across the only keyboard Jo had seen since they arrived in this time, "is take back control of Spock."

"We'll leave you to it," said Kirk. "Come on, Jo."

"Me?" Jo asked as Kirk made for the doorway.

Kirk stopped and waved her to follow him. "Yes, you."

"Go on, Jo," said the Doctor distractedly as he and Susan leaned to the computer display, "there's nothing you can do here." Wordlessly Jo stood to follow Kirk.

"What are you going to do?" asked Susan.

"We're going to do some ..." He grinned. "Actual hardware manipulation."


Spock's secret interior battle against the Master's mind control was not progressing well. Distractions were continual, as might be expected in Starfleet Command Ops during the launch of invasions into Klingon and Romulan space on six hours' notice.

The Master's plan really was quite brilliant. As hard as Spock's mind was laboring to be able to subvert it, a certain intellectual curiosity remained as to how it would fare if the captain and the Doctor were unable to stop it.

Dumas drew Spock's attention. It was not from anything he was doing. Indeed, Dumas was suddenly the only person in Ops who was perfectly still. Just as it had lasted long enough that Spock decided investigation was called for, Dumas called to him. "Sir! I think you'll want to see this."


In the office of Professor Campbell, on a monitor screen set between the terminals each was using, the Doctor and Susan watched Spock cross to Dumas' station.

"Here we go," said the Doctor.

"I wish we could tell whether it worked on the duty officer."

"Well even if it did, he can't quite have called across the room, Come here, Mr. Spock, I'm free of the Master's enslavement and it's your turn, now can he?"

"One way or the other, if it doesn't work on Spock we're sunk."


On Dumas' screen was a graphic Spock instantly identified as similar in principle to a Vulcan meditation diagram, a type of maze design whose visual tracking helped to acheive a particular mental state. But this wasn't a Vulcan design, and there could only be one purpose in its appearance in this place at this time. Spock's mind clamped down as hard as he could on his motor functions, trying to force his eyes to follow the maze against the Master's will.


After many moments, the Time Lords saw Spock displace Dumas in the seat at the lieutenant's post with a polite, "Allow me, Lieutenant."

"That was longer than it ought to have been," said Susan.

"He's half human," said the Doctor. "You can't expect entirely normal responses."

Susan smiled because she knew he wasn't looking. Then there was a tone from the terminal. "He's in." Her fingers began flying over her keyboard.

"Now we find out."


Back in the service corridors Kirk explained to Jo the plan that he and the Doctor had cooked up while Jo was assisting the Enterprise medics. Jo responded with nods and monosyllables, much more subdued than Kirk's experience of her until now. When Kirk was done they continued in silence until Kirk said, "You didn't know he had a granddaughter."

Jo gave him that look people give when they thought their thoughts were private. "He doesn't talk about himself much."

"He hardly talks about anything else."

Jo didn't even smile. "You know what I mean," she said. Kirk nodded; he did know. "I suppose it's my fault," she went on. "For the longest time I didn't believe any of the fantastic things he did say. I must seem very foolish to him."

"I don't think so."

"He thinks of me as a child."

"He thinks of me as a child," Kirk snorted. "But your opinion matters to him."

"What makes you think that?" From Jo's tone, she thought he was just saying it to be nice.

"In the brig you told him to stop baiting me and he stopped. I've never known anyone else he minded making a scene in front of."

"Oh, I've seen a few scenes made."

"I bet." Kirk turned his grin on, full power. "But over much better causes." When Jo didn't answer he said, "Right?"

Jo smiled weakly but sincerely. "I suppose that's right."

"Here we are." They'd arrived at the main computer maintenance room, incidentally by the same route Kirk had used the eve of his third Kobayashi Maru. Kirk checked his chronometer: it was almost the prearranged time. He checked Jo's phaser, but she already had it on stun. Moments later the two duty sysops were unconscious and Kirk and Jo were examining the network relay console.

"We'll want to close all the circuits," said Kirk, pointing to the four rows of slide levers covering the console, "as simultaneously as possible, except ... that one. Fifteen seconds." He and Jo positioned their hands and forearms carefully. "Ten seconds."

"Isn't there a switch to do this?"

"Not to turn off all but one." The software could've done it, but what hacking could do, counterhacking could undo. "Three. Two. One." With one stroke they slammed the first two rows of switches shut, and within a half a second all the rest but the one Kirk had indicated. They straightened up and regarded each other with a feeling of anticlimax.

"If the Doctor and Campbell were successful," said Kirk, "that should have done it."

"Well, shall we go see whether we've won or lost?"

"After you, Miss Grant."


"Master," reported Spock, "there has been a failed attempt to subvert the Starfleet computer network at the main Academy computer. It was rerouted around in time. The perpetrators have been apprehended and are being brought here."

"The action the Enterprise's puny distraction was meant to cover, no doubt," said the Master dismissively. "Carry on."


Kirk looked at the status board at the Ops flag module as the security squad escorted him, the Doctor, Jo and Campbell to the Master. "You're mad," he said to the sable-clad Time Lord with more incredulity than anger. "Invading the Klingons and Romulans? You're absolutely mad."

"Heel, boy," the Master snapped at him before turning to the Doctor. "Perhaps I finally see the worth in these humans of yours, Doctor. They can be very efficient tools!"

"Then I'd have to say that in this case the workman isn't even as good!" the Doctor retorted.

"Oh shut up!" the Master sneered. "Do you realize how stupid you sound when you try to be clever?"

Kirk was taken aback by the contrast between the articulate, genteel maliciousness of the man he'd met on Andor and the middleaged schoolyard bully standing before him now. Kirk would've expected urbane promises of death tinged with gloating, rather than this shouting. So from their expressions would have the Doctor and Jo. Something was wrong with the Master.

"Master," called Spock before the Time Lords could start swinging at each other, "the fleet bound for Romulus is awaiting departure clearance."

"Very good!" the Master replied, still looking daggers at the Doctor. "Bring them!" he barked at the guards, and the prisoners were bustled to the flag module after him.

"Commander London, Master," said Spock, indicating the flag module comm.

"Jackie London?" said Kirk. "She's first officer on Yorktown."

"A commander in charge of an invasion fleet?" asked the Doctor.

"No doubt you have been told of Captain Sitting Bear's fate," said Spock. "All post- and flag- rank officers have been confined, since they have been similarly resistant to -"

"You don't have to answer them," the Master snarled. "Send the fleet off."

Spock checked several readouts. "All clear. Task Force R, you are clear and free to navigate."

He transferred the tactical display to the main flag screen. Seventeen Starfleet vessels were leaving Earth orbit. Suddenly an eighteenth began moving too, just as some duty officer shouted, "Enterprise on the move!"

At that point Kirk knew whether their plan had been successful. He stole a look at Spock, but as might be expected Spock gave nothing away either way.

"Visual!" ordered the Master.

The main screen switched to a visual tracking of the Enterprise just as it caught up with the Task Force R rear guard, ironically the Destroyer class USS Thetilsol. The Enterprise opened fire on the Thetilsol, and blew it up with one phaser blast.

"Impossible," said the Master.

"You've made Mr. Sulu very angry," said Jo in a low voice.

The Master stomped to the comm. "Task Force R, destroy the Enterprise! Obey me! Destroy the Enterprise!"

Kirk watched as the task fleet began one by one to turn around. Closest to the Enterprise was the George Rogers Clark. The Enterprise loosed a torpedo at it, and before it had even completed its turn it was a fireball.

"But their shields!" the Master cried.

"Scotty's had a lot of experience with aliens getting through ours," said Kirk mildly.

The task fleet was firing on the Enterprise now - to no effect. She took out the Reliant, and her sister Constitution class the Endeavor.

"Doctor!" The Master whirled on his fellow Time Lord. "Stop this! Kirk will listen to you! Think of the lives being lost!"

"If you really cared about lives none of us would be here now!"

The Master gaped at him while Spock began counting off the ships destroyed: "USS Surak. USS Omaha Beach. USS Tog. USS Cooke. USS Sirius ..."

The Master pounced on the comm again. "Task Force K! Turn on the Enterprise! Obey me!"

But it was of no use. In another ninety seconds Spock had called off the names of all thirty-eight vessels in the Master's invasion fleets.

"It can't be!!" The Master slammed both fists on the comm and charged aimlessly into the center of Ops, turning finally back to face Kirk. "How can this be?"

Kirk shrugged. "It's the Enterprise."

The Master was glaring at him and panting like a cornered animal when the Doctor said quite conversationally, "Oh, now look at this." Kirk saw the Master's eyes move back to the viewscreen before he turned to look himself.

On the screen the Enterprise had become a large white blur, though the debris-filled starry background was still in focus. Then the white blur became a red and black blur. Suddenly it came into focus - and there, hanging in Earth orbit, approximately twenty-five degrees starboard from vertical relative to the visual pickup, was a giant Doctor.

"Well, my dear chap," said the preprogrammed image, slowly rotating clockwise around its center of gravity as it spoke, "how did you like the show?"

When Kirk looked back at the Master, the Master was glaring with clenched teeth and pop eyes at Spock. "Spock!!"

"Sir," said Spock, with the same imperturbed lack of apology with which he'd addressed Kirk from the Master's side in the Enterprise rec room. Later Kirk would learn that this was the first time since then that Spock had called the Time Lord "sir" rather than "Master".

The Master let out an inarticulate yell of frustration at the ceiling before asking, "But how did you break my control?"

"With the assistance of the Doctor and Professor Campbell," said Spock, nodding to the pair of Time Lords (but preserving Campbell's secret through ignorance or design; Kirk didn't know which). "They tapped into into one of the security monitors here, and presented me with a meditation diagram that restored my own will to me."

At Spock's words "meditation diagram" the Master began looking around the room. Kirk saw him graduate to the realization that no one here was under his control any more. Kirk only underscored it by waving back the security men who started toward the Master. He had nowhere to go.

"With Spock's help," said the Doctor, "it was child's play for Professor Campbell to program the battle simulation you've just seen, and for me to access monitor screens throughout Command and the fleet to begin deconditioning your victims."

"Assisted," Jo added, "by the Captain and me shutting down all the I/O ports from this room but the one to Campbell's terminal." At a nod from Kirk, two subsystems lieutenants ran off to fix that.

"So that I could -"

"We could," interrupted Campbell quietly.

"We could," the Doctor continued, "pipe the simulation in here, and show you what these 'tools' can do."

"'Can do'!" The Master salvaged some scorn and turned it on Kirk. "I should have known even the Enterprise couldn't destroy the whole fleet!"

"Maybe," said Kirk, "but you didn't. You believed it."

The Master rounded on the Doctor. "I don't understand you! All right, all right - so you want to see the universe, not rule it. Why can't you just leave ruling it to me if you've no interest? I was born to rule the universe!"

"Because," said the Doctor, "ruling the universe derives not from birthright, but of the consent of the governed."

"The people! Pah. We are Time Lords. We are the most intelligent humanoids the universe has ever produced! And you and I, we are the cream of the crop - to have escaped the ridiculous strictures they place on themselves and would place on us, to roam the universe free! They only caught you because you gave yourself up. Are we not the most qualified to decide what is best for the 'people'? Have we not the duty to see that that vision is acheived?"

"The Time Lords only caught me because I gave myself up, eh?" The Doctor smiled. "If that's measure of my intelligence, what measure is it of yours that the people you so despise have you surrounded in custody now?"

"Have they?" the Master growled. "So the mice might have said on Rassilleve." He squeezed the top and bottom edges of his belt buckle firmly with his right hand and it gave a click. Promptly Kirk began to rush him, for he heard the low, rhythmic thunder of TARDIS dematerialization; but the Doctor blocked him, and the Master faded out of this space and time.

"His belt -" Kirk said.

"Yes," said the Doctor. "A demonstration, ladies and gentlemen, of what a properly functional chameleon circuit can do for a TARDIS."

"What was that about mice?" asked Jo.

"It's an idiom from the Time Lord language," explained the Doctor. "It refers to having stuck with a bad decision which unexpected circumstances vindicate.

"You see, constant contact with the transcendental dimensional field around a TARDIS's interface with the real world grows very uncomfortable after a time. Prolonged exposure can result in actual interphasic tissue damage, like what happened to your crew in Tholian space, Captain. Certainly it does during dematerialization. That's why I stopped you," the Doctor added; "the Master won't have been seriously harmed - quite - but you might have been killed. But that's why TARDISes are never disguised as clothing items."

Spock nodded. "Logically, given the capability of disguising his transport, a time-traveler would prefer to disguise it as something from which he might expect not to be separated."

"Exactly - and this is why it isn't done. Obviously the Master decided to try it this time; just as obviously, he doesn't intend to try it again." The Doctor turned from Spock to Kirk. "Nevertheless it seems I'm forced to admit, Captain, that you and your crew are making quite a reputation for yourselves. Did you notice that the Master said 'even' the Enterprise couldn't have destroyed the fleet?"

"The Master also earlier referred to the crew of the Enterprise as your 'most choice allies', Doctor," said Spock.

"Did he, now," said Kirk. His and all eyes turned to the Doctor.

"Now gentlemen," said the Doctor blandly. "You can hardly believe that I've casually discussed such a personal matter with the Master. Whatever conclusions he may have drawn on his own are no responsibility of mine."

But Kirk noticed the Doctor didn't deny it.


"Doctor, you never told me you had any family," said Jo, back in the comfortable confines of the UNIT laboratory. By the good offices of the Time Lords they'd arrived home the same hour they'd left (even after a further ten-hour stay on the Enterprise, so that Jo could face her work day properly rested).

"Time Lords don't, really."

"Then why does Susan call you Grandfather?"

The Doctor's goodbye to Susan had been just as brief, and on both sides, as the Doctor's goodbyes prefacing his to date unsuccessful attempts to leave Earth despite his exile; though that was no doubt in part due to Susan's desire not to be publicly recognized as other than a native Earthperson.

"Time Lords are conceived artificially, Jo, a chromosome each from twenty-seven donor deposits out of the millions in the gene banks; then raised by the state in what I believe you would call a 'creche'. Susan decided the odds weren't as good as one in twenty-seven that I was one of her parents, but at least one in seven hundred and twenty-nine that I was of one or more of theirs."

"So you don't have any real family."

"Well, I have you, Jo," smiled the Doctor. "But not the way you mean, no. But Susan must be right - my genes are probably spread throughout all the Time Lords from my generation on." His smile faded. "I sometimes wonder whether the Master has any heritage from me."

"But you said you were in school together. Surely if he's the same generation as you, he can't have any of your genes."

"My skills as a temporalist were recognized, and my genes coopted for the gene banks, at a very early age," said the Doctor - though the gravity of the subject to him kept out the vainglorious tone that would have accompanied this statement at any other time. "And a 'generation' is much longer for Time Lords than for humans, with our longevity. So, for all I know, the Master could well be younger enough than I to have my genes from the banks."

"Doctor," said Jo sharply, "that doesn't make you any more responsible for what he does than his hypnosis victims are."

"I know, Jo," the Doctor sighed. "Still, if it were true - 'how sharper than a serpent's tooth' ..."


For more about the Master's heritage than the Doctor ever learns

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