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Zombie Plan

Zombie Plan
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.
Characters: Third Doctor/Delgado Master, Jo, the Brigadier
Warnings:  It's just silly, really, with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure.
Original Prompt: Three/Delgado. The Master has once again attempted to Summon Stuff, and it has once again gone wrong. Except that this time he was attempting necromancy, and as a result, a plague of zombies is sweeping England. He and the Doctor have to work together to overcome the zombie hordes. Extra points for Jo and the Brig, and as much crack as you can cram in at the seams.
Notes: Written for the best_enemies anon meme. Original can be found here.  It was written for my wonderful nemaline for all the hard work she's done betaing and for being a great roleplay partner.  <3 I'm glad this fic met your expectations.
Thanks: A lot of thanks to my beta, narwhale_callin, for not only making this better, but also giving me an awesome ending line. Also, the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks is well worth the read!

~

The Master had to admit that this hadn't been one of  his better plans to gain immortality.  However, he did have the sense to use the electronic beam in a graveyard that was near UNIT HQ; that way if the summoning did go wrong (which it did), he had a nice army of toy soldiers to take the bullet for him.  The Brigadier, on the other hand, had not seen the sound reasoning in that plan and the Master had been arrested on sight.

Arrested, then left free to wander, since the guards were needed elsewhere to deal with the menace he had summoned.  Which was the other reason he'd chosen just outside of UNIT HQ for the summoning: the Doctor and his TARDIS were there, and if worst came to worst, he could find a way to hide out the storm he'd created there.  And if things got really bad...  at least there was the Doctor.

Of course, the Doctor would lock his TARDIS and refuse to let the Master in.  What the Master hadn't counted on, though, was getting suck behind a hastily constructed barricade in the lab with the Doctor, the Brigadier, and Miss Grant.  A barricade that was currently under siege by a horde of grotesque undead monsters that he deemed Not His Fault Or Problem.  Not that the others viewed it as such, but the Master didn't really care about their opinion. 

"What were you thinking?" the Doctor asked again.  "Of all the foolish schemes you could come up with...  Do you have any idea how dangerous this was?"

"It wasn't supposed to get this out of hand," the Master said, sitting tensely against the wall of the barricade that didn't have hideous moaning coming from it.  The lab was becoming claustrophobic and the constant noise from the undead on the other side of their slapdash wall wasn't helping his nerves any.  Looking nervously to the other wall that the zombies were attacking from, the Master continued, "Stop making a fuss or you'll draw more of them here."

"The Brigadier is already doing that well enough, thanks to that gun of his," the Doctor said. 

"I'm still waiting to hear a better idea from you, Doctor," the Brigadier said between shots.  He was perched on top of a few boxes they had rounded up and stacked together as part of the makeshift wall, picking off as many zombies as he could with his pistol.  "Sometime soon, since I'm rapidly running out of bullets."

"Yes, hm," the Doctor said, rubbing the back of his neck.  "It would all be much easier if we had the proper weapons for this kind of thing.  There was a ready supply of swords at the Master's former prison.  I don't see why you shouldn't have the same here."

"What would we do with swords against aliens?" Miss Grant asked, tilting her head to the side.

The Doctor shook his head, placing his hands on his hips.  "That's not the point, Jo.  The point is to be properly prepared for a zombie apocalypse when it comes." 

The Master shuddered at the last bit, but he thought he managed to hide it well.  The way the Doctor spoke about a 'zombie apocalypse' was like he believed it to be a certainty.  It didn't happen, did it?  He wasn't nearly as good at human history as the Doctor was.  The Master made a mental note to make sure that the Doctor was just joking next time he had a history text in front of him, and if the Doctor wasn't...  he was going to avoid that century, no matter what potential plans could be had there.

"We don't get funding for such frivolities," the Brigadier said, cursing as he missed his target.  "If you want swords, Doctor, you'll have to buy them yourself."

"Typical military mind, always buying newer and bigger guns with no appreciation for finer, more trustworthy, weapons.  You could at least do with a machete.  Surely that would be useful in other things."  The Doctor pulled out a book from his jacket pocket and started to flip through it.  "My dear Lethbridge-Stewart, if a real zombie apocalypse happened, UNIT would be woefully under-equipped for it.  You need to have a proper zombie plan, Brigadier." 

"What's that book?" Miss Grant asked, interrupting the Doctor's scolding. 

The Master was far more interested in the growing lack of bullets than a 'zombie plan' or the Doctor's reading choice, but he also didn't want to get any closer to the ghoulish creatures he summoned or to draw their attention to himself by speaking again.  For now, he held his peace and tried to focus on the conversation instead of the dreadful noise from the other side of the wall.

"This?" the Doctor asked, holding the book up for her to see.  He grinned as her eyes widened.  "It's the Zombie Survival Guide, Jo.  One of the best guides for surviving the undead masses that was ever written.  The events listed as proof of zombie existence are complete nonsense, of course - I was there for two of the examples and they had absolutely nothing to do with these ghastly cadavers.  But the advice given for fighting them is sound."

Which was all very fascinating, but not making the current zombies any less of a problem.  Fidgeting impatiently, the Master spoke up again, though softly, "And what does it say to do when we run out of bullets?"  His eyes never left the steadily firing Brigadier, who was their only current defender. 

The Doctor ignored the question, looking closely at the Master instead.  "You aren't still afraid of this sort of thing, old chap?" the Doctor asked.

"Of course not," the Master snapped a little too quickly.  He forced himself to relax and folded his hands in front of him in an effort to calm down.  These zombies weren't nearly as terrifying as the ones in Time Lord mythology, the Master reminded himself firmly.  Just because the Time Lord version tied the soul to the decaying body that was unable to regenerate in agony as their essence slowly broke apart and...  No, he wasn't thinking about that and he had to say something more or the Doctor would get suspicious.  "My dear Doctor, I'm hardly going to be afraid of a silly, childhood fantasy any more."

As per usual, the universe was working against the Master.  Their barricade took a very intense battering at that very moment and he jumped half a foot at the sound.  The Master wasn't as successful at suppressing a small cry as he'd have liked to have been either. He cleared his throat and fidgeted, trying to act as if he hadn't just betrayed his terror.

"You are, aren't you?" the Doctor said, once again ignoring what the Master was actually saying in that incorrigible, self-assured manner of his that assumed he was always right.  At least the Doctor didn't mention the Master's jumpiness, though Miss Grant looked as if she were barely refraining from giggling.  "Is that what this is about, you trying to face your fears to get over them again?" the Doctor asked.  "There are easier ways to do that, you know."

"I didn't-" the Master was cut off by a hand of rotting flesh, which grabbed his arm from over the barricade.  He yelped in surprise, feeling his hearts race as he tried to pull away from the cadaver. But the bony grip was as cold and unforgiving as death and he couldn't break it off.  "Let go!" he cried, reinforcing the command with hypnotism and trying to hide the fear in his voice.  The problem was the undead didn't have a brain to convince.

The ghoul was climbing over the wall, yellow teeth bared as it pulled the Master's arm up to tear the living flesh away from him.  The Doctor was shouting, but the Master couldn't understand the words.  All he saw were those horrible flat eyes gleaming down at him as it prepared to bite. The face of death.  Decay.  Everything the Master feared.  He struggled uselessly against the iron grip as the smell of decaying flesh overwhelmed him.  

A shot rang out and whizzed above his head.  The grip on his arm went slack as the creature fell back and the Master immediately pushed himself away from the barricade.  He started as he felt hands reaching for him again, but this time they were warm and gentle, pulling him away from the horrors that were over the barricade wall.  The Doctor's hands. 

Unashamed, the Master took shelter in those open arms, hiding his face against the Doctor's shoulder as he caught his breath and his hearts pounded in his ears.  "There, there, old chap.  It's alright," the Doctor said soothingly, patting his back.

He felt silly and childish, but at the moment the Master didn't really care.  The Doctor always had so much energy and life about him that was so unlike the rotting corpses trying to attack them.  It was also... more than a little nice in ways the Master wasn't quite willing to admit, being this close to the Doctor.  He smelled a little bit like mechanical oil and peppermints, the former no doubt from working on that ridiculous car of his.  The Master found the scent oddly comforting and despite the horrific situation they were in, he didn't want the moment to end.  Not just yet.

"He really is afraid of those monsters," Miss Grant said, completely ruining the moment.  "But why would he summon them then?"

"Because he's insufferably foolish and doesn't have the common sense to let a little fear stop him from getting himself killed when power or immortality is involved," the Doctor said, but his voice was fond. 

The Master was still too shaken by the close encounter with the zombie to say anything against it; he was just grateful to have the Doctor hold him as he managed to stop trembling. 

The Doctor shifted slightly, turning to look at the Brigadier but not pulling away from the Master.  "That was a fine shot, Brigadier."

"It was my last shot," the Brigadier said dryly.  "Well, Doctor?  What do we do now?"

"Now we exit stage left through the window and hope we don't find another group of walking corpses to tear us to pieces."

The Master stiffened as the Doctor spoke, but he forced himself to calm down and move away from the other Time Lord.  He gave Miss Grant a quick glare as she giggled at him and the Master wondered briefly what Miss Grant was afraid of.  He resolved to find it and pit her against whatever it was to see how she liked it.  The Master didn't stray too far from the Doctor, however, nor did he protest when the Doctor took his hand even though the idiot took Miss Grant's in the other.  The loud moaning from behind the shaking barricade left little time for jealousy.  "Let's get on then, shall we?" the Doctor asked, smiling reassuringly at all of them. 

Once they'd all climbed out the window, they had to run past a group of the undead.  Thankfully, as the Doctor told them, zombies don't run very fast and it was easy to get distance between them.  Miss Grant tripped in those absurd heels of hers, but there were no major mishaps and she was back on her feet quickly enough with some assistance from the Brigadier.  They reached a defensible grove without any further harassment from the walking dead, where Sergeant Benton had a few men and lots more ammunition gathered. 

In the end, even though the number of cadavers had been very large, the summoning had only raised a limited number of them.  Three hours after  the first attack, most of the zombies were now permanently dead, and the Brigadier had sent out units headed by Captain Yates to comb the surrounding area for stragglers. The remaining bodies were also disposed of, but the Master stayed well away from any corpses they found just to be on the safe side.

While the others were distracted, the Master slipped away before they remembered that he needed to be arrested again.  The one soldier that did find him was easily hypnotized into letting him go and once he had a few miles between him and the whole fiasco, the Master felt much better.  He silently resolved to never touch necromancy again, regardless of how tempting its promises of immortality were. Or at least if he did dabble once more, the Master would make sure the Doctor was still around. 

Just in case.

~FINI~

Memory: Actually, I think the Master's zombie plan was a rather good one.  'Have UNIT around and the Doctor and TARDIS for real emergencies' sounds like a stellar zombie plan to me. 

Quote of the fic:
"Choosing the right weapons (never carry just one) can make the difference between a pile of dead zombies and becoming one yourself.  When confronted with the undead, it is easy to believe in the super-commando strategy: Load up with the heaviest, most powerful weapons possible and go out to "kick ass." This is not only foolish--it is suicidal.  Zombies are not camp guards in some POW escape movie, crumbling en masse with the first theatrical volley.  Arming yourself for a zombie encounter requires careful consideration, a cool head, and a practical analysis of all factors involved."
-Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide