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I have this thing, it seems, for coming up with theoreticals and "what ifs" and testing them out, especially if they involve exploring identity issues. This is a transcript of a little fiddling about [livejournal.com profile] laser_not_sonic and I did in AIM, exploring an alternate idea for where my Doctor's drums may have come from (and also explaining what, exactly, happened to the Master in my Doctor's universe, a question I still haven't answered for myself, definitively).

I'm oddly fond of the scenario, even though it would be ridiculously complicated and disorienting to work out in RP, but...it's sticking with me. I may have to play with it, somehow. It explains a lot about the character, in my head. Though it brings up as many questions as it answers, and new holes to fill.





Jasper: WOO.

Jasper: *talks to self in AIM, is silly >_>*

Culumacilinte: That. Is incredibly intriguing

Jasper: It would so mess him up. He's been saying he's not the Master, and he'd be all " D: " if it turned out he *was.*

Jasper: Or not, because the Master!personality would be like "Of course I am, I'm clearly more awesome than the Doctor could ever be, pshaw."

Culumacilinte: Hah, quite

Jasper: I just like mucking with identity, it's so much fun to play with.

Jasper: And he'd realize he'd gotten himself stuck with rubbishy Type-40 and now he *likes* it and is all *bonded* to it and what the hell.

Culumacilinte: I'm not really sure what my Master would think of all this. If, like, it came out during their experimenting, and they realised that that's what the Doctor was, this weird mesh of Master and Doctor...

Culumacilinte: You know, the Master sticks him down somewhere all in the name of sadistically monitoring him or whatever, somewhere where the Doctor's going to have to resort to violence and is going to be under all sorts of stress, and he suddenly comes out with 'You will obey me!', and the Master just goes o_O.

Jasper: And the Doctor would go "...Um," too XD

Culumacilinte: And it's even worse when whoever it is does obey him.

Jasper: Oooh.

Jasper: That is a thought.

Jasper: Though I probably won't put it into any 'verses I've got established already, it's too left-field, I think.

Jasper: But it's a fun thought experiment.

Culumacilinte: Quite.

Culumacilinte: But ooh, ooh. And then the Master insisting to be let into his mind, because he was in there before, of course, but he never thought to look for himself, of all things

Jasper: And the Doctor "You won't find anything, I'm *me,* I'm not you" but there are traces in there, like dreams, memories of being Koschei watching Theta, in the Academy, and the madness of the War, which was both gratifying and not, because there was bloodshed everywhere and so little room for *art* and a personal touch and no audience, really, it all moved too fast for that, and building the Keller machine and all of those other silly devices and knowing they'd bring the Doctor running, even if you pretended that wasn't your goal, and all of this there, like John Smith's dreams of the blue box, and *that's* where the drums are coming from.

Culumacilinte: And the Master forcing his way into the Doctor's mind, seeing all these memories- his memories, but different somehow, like looking at pictures through a cracked lens, filtered and shaded where they shouldn't be, but they're him. And he can see in there too his Self's intention in becoming a part of the Doctor like this, and just laughing, because he's not sure whether to admire it or be horrified by what it's turned into.

Jasper: And the Doctor disoriented, because that's his subconscious, excuse me, and you're bringing it up to the surface, and you have *no right, get out.* And trying to snap back and force the Master out because he feels like he should be able to do that, he should be able to *compel.*

Jasper: And meanwhile those memories are responding to the Master, because, hello, it's a Self, and they've always been fond of those, they like the way they think.

Culumacilinte: And the Master pulling back, physically if not mentally, to look the Doctor in the face, see if he can see himself there in his eyes as well as in his mind. Chuckling, 'Ohh, Doctor. Or should I say...?' Trailing off with a leading little waggle of his eyebrows. Because it's easier to make it a taunt, an innuendo, than to reflect on what was truly the incredible stupidity of his Self, to choose to inhabit the Doctor like this, knowing that the original owner of the body was lost, should such a transfer take hold correctly.

Jasper: It was meant to work differently, give the Doctor his final three regenerations and the last would trigger him, his full possession of body and mind, just in time to save the Doctor--or at least, his body, the last Time Lord in the universe, from what would certainly be his ridiculous insistence on sticking to death, when the thirteenth came, playing it by the *rules.* Let the Doctor have his time, and then step in and take over when he was going to let it go to waste, anyway. He could afford to wait, the Doctor was certain to get into enough ridiculous messes to burn through those last regenerations in good time.

Jasper: But it's gone wrong. The drums carried over, and they've pushed memories through, personality traits, woven them in with the Doctor's, and that business with the watch and the TARDIS only made it worse, because *she* wanted her Doctor and when she put them back together, that was what she made, trying to fit all of the mismatching parts of them into a whole personality, into one man. And she did a far better job than he would ever have believed an obsolete junker like that could do, and another plan of his has been ruined by the Doctor, even though the Doctor is *dead.*

Jasper: So, yes, there'll be the Master in the Doctor's eyes, arrogant and sharp but also that fear they have, the scramble when they see it all coming apart, and there'll be the Doctor, too, and he, whoever he is, won't know how to answer his Self(?)'s question. "The Master," he says, and it's question and realization and horror and triumph, gloating and despair both at once. Too much to sort out.

Culumacilinte: And something about it makes the Master shiver, that combination of the Doctor's voice in combination with his own self-possession. But it's strange, it shouldn't be, this man, a combination of himself and the Doctor. Two men who lived by defying each other, now made one... it's disturbing as well as beautiful, and the Master isn't entirely sure how to deal with it. 'Oh, yes,' he purrs, lifts a hand to stroke the backs of his knuckles down the Doctor(the Master?)'s cheek. 'I am in there somewhere, aren't I? What an entirely unexpected delight.'

Jasper: The other Time Lord closes his eyes, because he can't find the stable point, here, the drums are there and that's so very reassuring, him, part of him, they've always been and to have them still there... Except he's been fighting them. Why? Because they drive him to kill. No. That's wrong, that's not *his* reason. Is it?

Jasper: And there's a Self here, the hand on his cheek, and he smirks at the touch. Oh, yes, he's in good hands here, finally. Finally.

Jasper: Except he's not sure he is. Except he's afraid, and there's something wrong with the other man, and he shouldn't trust him. "Get back. Give me room."

Culumacilinte: The Master can almost see it, the memories of his Self fighting to assert themselves against the Doctor's consciousness. The expression on the face even changes, a smirk twisting the mouth to one side that is decidedly the Master, before it melts back into distrust, and the Doctor's looking at him, on edge, confused, fearful. Half mocking and half obliging, he steps back, hands in the air in a gesture of surrender. 'No, wouldn't do to have me in the way while you're having a crisis of identity, would it?'

Jasper: He keeps swinging back and forth, like a pendulum, exhilaration and hearts-dropping horror and disgust and denial, and they're both his and neither is. Somewhere between. Find somewhere between. Pull yourself together, make a show of it. You've always been good at a show. We have, the both of us. "Too many cooks spoil the soup." He presses a hand to his forehead, grimacing, trying to find a still place within himself and knowing there isn't one. "Was that *entirely* necessary? You could've used more finesse, I feel like I've been pithed."

Jasper: And there's an odd disconnect to speaking and moving, hearing his own voice and feeling the way he holds himself, like the echo of regeneration or that point after waking up abruptly where you're not entirely certain who you are or where you are.

Culumacilinte: It's a strange thing now, but the Master can't entirely tell who he's talking to; whether it's the Doctor or his Self, or that strange, uncomfortable blending of the two. And it matters, naturally; one doesn't talk to one's Self the same way one talks to one's nemesis/ex-boyfriend/best enemy/prisoner. So he opts for neutral. 'I hardly knew what I'd find, did I? And if you're feeling, hmm, disorientated, that's hardly my doing; that'd be the great bloody cache of extra personality and memory you were keeping secreted away in your subconscious.'

Jasper: "Extra?" He catches on that word, because it wasn't extra, it was...just as important. Both. "There's nothing extra in my head. No matter what I--he--he/she/it, I sound like a bloody grammar book--what I've been telling you. You're not keeping me on your TARDIS." Rassilon, this *hurts,* it's like every synapse in his mind is a magnet, and they've all suddenly turned the wrong way about, repelling each other instead of clinging together as a whole.

Jasper: And he tries to stand up, which isn't the world's best idea, because part of him isn't used to being this *tall* and the proportions are all off and he doesn't trust the other part that says it's fine, just move like *this*...

Culumacilinte: He stands in synch with his Self- because it clearly is his Self at the moment, or at least mostly- ready to catch him should he fall. He's already swaying dangerously. Because of course, the Master's hardly a nice man, but there's no-one he loves more than himself, and it would never do for his Self to get all bruised up without need. 'Of course not,' he says congenially, brushing off the words like so many flies. 'Not if you really are me. Though if you are, I should have thought you'd be glad to see Lolita.'

Jasper: And that triggers another wave of disorientation, because this *is* his, this is his TARDIS, the *right* TARDIS, not the Doctor's clunky old Type-40, held together by cobwebs and sentiment. But he can't feel her, and all that he *can* feel is an emptiness, a desperate need for an old blue police box with a broken Chameleon Circuit that, for Rassilon's sake, he should have *fixed* by now, and the certain, unalterable knowledge that *that* is the TARDIS that's part of him, the one he cares for, the one who saved him. "She shouldn't have. She *really* shouldn't have," said more to himself than to his Self/the Master. And he's almost got this standing up thing down, except...not, and he stumbles and falls against the other Time Lord.

Jasper: (And, boy, oh boy, this is cracky to write. My head's going o_O )

Culumacilinte: (Yes, I can imagine)

Jasper: (I have *no idea* how I'm doing, but it's...interesting. I wouldn't be my muse right now for all the money in the world >_> )

Culumacilinte: He wants to touch, to get inside the Doctor/his Self's mind again, if only so he'll be able to actually tell who he's speaking to when. And if it was only the Doctor, he'd have no reservations, but once again, this makes things complicated. Or it's about to, when quite suddenly, the man next to him stumbles like the floor under him's shifted, and the Master's caught off guard. He manages to catch him, though, hold him up despite the fact that he's all limbs and height, and quick slips into his mind again, taking advantage of the part that's his Self, that's more open to him and his presence. Ah. He'd seen how this Doctor came into being, of course, when he first met him, but the fact of it had nearly been forgotten. He lifts an eyebrow. 'Your TARDIS? Yes, that was fairly idiotic of her.'

Jasper: "Mine? Of course. Right. Mine. She is. Idiotic. And mine." It's the verbal equivalent of squinting hard and hoping that might, please God, bring something into focus.

Jasper: And the part of him that's the Master responds to his Self's presence in his mind, as does the part of him that's the Doctor--at this moment, both "halves" are united in the need for something familiar, something stable to relate to. The Master-part is mortified and affronted at how easily its Self can slip in, uninvited, but it understands. Someone has to take control in a situation like this. They need help--the Zero Room? Your Lolita *does* have a Zero Room, doesn't it? And there's snide undercurrent to that last trail of thought--it had better, he's not much of a Self if his TARDIS isn't whole, none of her rooms burned away in slapdash jury-rigged last-minute engineering *disasters.*
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