He pushed the cart down the corridors, wincing as one of the wheels squeaked insistently. Computer techs didn't exactly have legitimate reasons for knowing about the solitary confinement cells, let alone visiting them; he'd quickly dispatched the two sentries before they could call for help, then used their computer to load the program that he'd created to fool the security cameras. All he'd done was replace the feeds with looped video for a certain amount of time – video that certainly didn't show him breaking into a cell and abducting one of their prisoners.
He'd wanted to leave Donna here longer, but he was afraid to, lest UNIT discover precisely what they'd created. The results of their experiment had even surprised him; he hadn't quite imagined Donna would end up dead, but he hadn't predicted such a radical change, either. It shouldn't have been possible – but, then again, being part of a metacrisis was unlikely enough as it was.
Even with his diminished capabilities, she still shone like a beacon in his mind – and that was the other problem; anybody else with innate psychic powers, including several nastier species he could think of, could hunt her down. The ring on one of his fingers would take care of that, dampening her psychic field enough to make her nearly invisible to extrasensory perceptions.
All the other bindings, he would have to manage himself, and that was the other argument for coming as soon as possible, when she was still weak and uncertain, probably overwhelmed by all that had happened to her. Though it pained him to admit it, he wasn't as strong as he used to be, and he needed to conserve his limited power carefully.
He grimaced at the thought; all right, so he'd prepared for the worst early on, but he'd somehow encountered the one thing in the universe he'd least expected. And, God, he hated this time period – even a genius such as himself could only do so much with the limited materials available to him. Everything that could have restored him fully was beyond his reach.
That was why he'd kept a careful eye on UNIT's research – he didn't know what they'd looted from the wreckage of Torchwood One, but Torchwood had been gathering everything they could for over a century, more than fifty years longer than UNIT, and there could have been something useful. Not that it was the sort of thing you stumbled upon every day, but, well, unlikelier things had happened before (typically to the Doctor, rather than him). Stumbling across Donna Noble, for one; he didn't even know what stroke of luck had managed to get her a job at one of UNIT's shell corporations. After that, it had been simple enough to get her to play right into his hands.
He frowned at the electronic lock on the cell door. It was the sort of thing he'd figured out how to break at a very early age, and still less sophisticated than he had expected, even from these idiots. He hadn't been lying when he'd told Donna that he could pick locks; some idiots relied on sonic frequencies to do their dirty work for them, but he preferred to use his own formidable wits instead. There were, in fact, very few locks in the galaxy that could stand up to him – and certainly not some piddling Earth technology. The lock clicked as the electronic pick found the correct combination, and the thick steel door swung inward.
"Oh, you are brave men," he muttered, "keeping a human woman who couldn't hurt a fly sedated." Really, it was positively insulting how easy they were making this. He shrugged and bent down, scooping Donna up in his arms – and he had to brace himself against the doorframe for a moment as the sheer presence washed over him. It was intoxicating, being in such close proximity to so much power – power that would be under his control soon enough. He groaned, his eyelids fluttering closed for just a moment until he managed to snap out of it. Nudging the cart closer with a foot, he set her down inside the large cardboard box he'd prepared – it had once held a server, and that was what he would say it contained if anybody stopped him.
He looked down at Donna's naked form for a moment, red hair spilling over milky-white skin (he fancied he could almost see golden strands shifting under her skin, a webwork of light and time and power). He had to admit, she was rather attractive for a human – and now she was nearly irresistible, even with bruises smudged on her skin, yellowing around the edges. Her eyes opened for just a moment as he bent to cover her with the blanket, and she worked her mouth, trying to speak, but nothing came out.
Of course, he knew what she was trying to say – what she thought his name was – and he gave her a benevolent smile in return, following the curve of her cheekbone with a fingertip. He'd teach her the truth of it soon enough – or what he wanted her to think was the truth, anyway. As she closed her eyes again, he swapped the thick ring from his finger to hers and breathed a sigh of relief, feeling her psychic presence dissipate.
But now he had to get the hell out of here before someone noticed that the guards he'd neutralised had simply...disappeared. His perception filter was very, very good, but it was far from an invisibility cloak. He shrugged and began trundling the cart back to the lift. The sooner he left, the sooner he could start the real work.
Luck was with him today; leaving the base and returning to his flat proved to be just as easy as the original trip had been. His identification got him through the barricades he encountered – though it had an entirely different alias on it, one that he'd created in a previous life that had no connections to anything or anybody. Not that he would need to hide behind false names much longer, he thought, shedding his polo shirt and khakis for the crisp, reassuring folds of one of his suits.
God, that had been one of his least favourite things about pretending to be an inconspicuous human, the wretched fashions. He had a whole line of expensive tailored suits in his closet that had been waiting to be worn. Most of them, of course, cost more than his silly human persona made in a week's time.
The entire flat was furnished in a sleek and modern style that was equally clearly beyond his means; if anybody had asked, he would have told them that he was very good at investing. Of course, he was also very good at making money disappear without a trace and reappear in different places – primarily Swiss bank accounts. Quite a lot of it had originally belonged to the government, when he'd had access to such things. Computer security was just as laughable as the rest of it, and he'd been able to hack into virtually anything and everything. He'd even had a good laugh reading the UNIT files on himself one day – despite what the Doctor had told them over and over again, and what he'd proven to them first-hand, they persisted in underestimating him. Still, nearly everybody did.
As he tugged at his cuffs to make sure they were straight, he glanced over his shoulder at the bed where he'd laid Donna, but she was still sound asleep, her limbs askew on the bedcover. He hadn't wanted to use a stimulant, but if she persisted in remaining unconscious much longer, he would have to inject her with something. His patience was worn quite thin.
He seated himself on the edge of the bed and clicked the television on, where newscasters were persisting in their helpless panic. Really, watching humans run around in a headless frenzy ceased to be amusing after the first few hours – though they'd had a few marginally interesting developments. And now, it seemed, the Prime Minister was declaring a state of emergency.
"Idiot," he muttered, turning it off and tossing the remote aside. He was fairly certain the previous Prime Minister had fallen victim to the Daleks – which should have shown his successor how ridiculous curfews and barricades and suspensions of civil rights were in the face of nonhuman enemies. However, the British government remained stubbornly inflexible on the issue of extra-terrestrials, something he found to be exceedingly strange (though, it had to be said, the last time they'd tried to handle such things through proper channels of government, the American President had been assassinated, something he considered no great loss).
Donna stirred behind him, making a few incoherent sleepy noises – and it was then, in that vulnerable state between sleeping and waking, that he struck. Calling it a strike was inaccurate; like everything else he did, it was lightning-fast, but barely perceptible. He wove through the net of her mind with a surprising ease, establishing his preliminary bonds – the rest of it would have to wait until she was in a state of completely distracted consciousness.
Still, even that simple psychic contact was enough to act as a dam against the constant flow of information that bombarded Donna, and he heard a sigh of relief from her. It was something he'd been used to since childhood, of course, an instinct that had been subconsciously controlled – but someone who'd been human didn't have those instincts, and the machine had served to blast the areas of her mind receptive to such things completely raw and wide open. It really had been quite poorly done, he thought; he was of the belief that any creation ought to be a work of art. This held especially true for those he bent to his will.
"Oh, Donna." He smiled warmly at her. "I'm so glad you're finally awake. I was dreadfully worried about what had happened to you, you know."
She blinked, bleary-eyed, and he could almost see her mind working to assemble the pieces of the puzzle; it hadn't grown used to escaping the fetters of its human counterpart yet. "Simon?" she managed to say finally. "But – I was – what happened?"
His smile grew broader. "Why, Donna, love, you wouldn't believe me if I told you." Particularly because he'd been very careful to keep the wall the Doctor had built completely intact. Donna having access to the Doctor's memories would be...inconvenient, to say the least.
"You're wearing a suit," she said thickly, and he sighed to himself. Honestly, the things he put up with in the pursuit of power. Someone less determined might have given up long ago – of course, someone less determined would also have been dead several lifespans ago.
"Mm," he replied, moving closer to her as a predatory glint shone in his eyes. "And you aren't wearing anything at all." His voice was lower and more seductive – and with a nudge just there. He didn't have to be Jack bloody Harkness to shag someone any time he liked; arousal was one of the easiest states to manipulate. Most of the time, he could do it with sheer charm and persuasion – but Donna had all sorts of ridiculous chemicals swimming through her bloodstream, so he'd been forced to cheat just this once.
"I really don't think," Donna started, and then her eyes fairly glazed over, her pupils blown wide till her irises were just thin rims of blue-green. Had he been in possession of his proper abilities, he would have been able to bring her off without ever touching her, had he wanted to. Still, he imagined he could make himself suffer through sex just this once.
He was almost sad he'd dampened her psychic field, actually; her mere presence had been enough to arouse him earlier, and having sex with her would have been positively intoxicating, like a former addict getting the first hit of a drug he'd been deprived of for far too long.
"'s hardly fair, is it?" she slurred, grabbing his tie and pulling him down to kiss her. This was going to result in an embarrassing trip to the dry cleaners', he just knew it. She already had her legs spread wide, and she was trying to arch up to rut against him as they kissed – but he was too busy slipping through the warp and weft of her mind to pay her much attention. Sufficient arousal would spread her mind as wide open as – well, her legs – and orgasm would simply cement all his work. He'd spent quite some time at Academy perfecting his work, experimenting with the others in his class until it was merely child's play to him. He could have bound them to him permanently if he'd chose – but he'd been young and naïve then, unaware of his true potential. And now, well, they were all gone.
He was barely aware when Donna pushed his jacket off his shoulders, then undid the fly of his trousers and –
"Fuck," he swore, losing his concentration for just one moment as he bucked into her mouth, so warm and wet and willing. Lucy had never been much of one for oral sex; she'd been nearly frigid in bed most of the time, where Donna was lush and warm and inviting. He stroked her hair as she worked at him with her mouth, crooning what sounded like nonsense, but was actually Gallifreyan erotic poetry that suggested they take part in a series of increasingly debauched actions. He would, he thought absent-mindedly, have to try a couple of them with her one day, once she'd been properly instructed.
"Simon," she groaned as she let his cock pop out of her mouth, her lips swollen and wet. His erection twitched as it was suddenly exposed to the cold air, leaving a trail of saliva across her cheek. It was all incredibly arousing – but that name would never do.
He bent to whisper in her ear. "Oh, Donna, I'm afraid I've been quite naughty, keeping such a secret from you. See, my name isn't really Simon..."
As he lifted her up to straddle his hips, he kept whispering in her ear, a string of profanity falling from his lips – he was nestled deep in her mind now, joined to her physically and mentally, and, God, he didn't know which was better. Her breasts were pressed against the starched cotton fabric of his shirt, but even through the fabric, he could feel the doubled heartbeats echo the drumbeats in his mind. He mouthed mindlessly at the soft, unblemished skin of her neck as he slipped a pair of fingers between them to rub at her.
Donna let out a high-pitched noise of arousal, rolling her hips at a counterpoint to his, faster and faster until he felt her contract around him as she reached her climax – and the knots he'd woven were pulled tight, entangling her mind with his. That was enough to make him come with a shout, thrusting deep into her as he spilled over.
He rested his forehead against hers as he caught his breath, fingers running over the marks where he'd bitten down on her neck. He pulled her down onto the bed with him, still embracing her, and she laughed breathlessly, her eyes sparkling with a renewed vitality – all of time and space was hers now, even if she didn't realise it. And she, in turn, was his, and that was, perhaps, the most arousing part of all.
"Master," she whispered just before she kissed him on the lips, and the Master's self-satisfied grin was impossibly wide.