Just Another Day on the High Seas (Hornblower/Dr. Who crossover)
by Zenia


Chapter One:

Devil's Child

Hurtling through the continuum, his craft barely holding together, life fast ebbing away, a lone figure with an action born of blind desperation flayed out a hand, splaying weakly upon his ship's dematerialisation control before slumping into unconsciousness.

The day was sunny, beautifully so for a change as it dawned over an isolated beach upon a small blue-green jewel of a planet called Earth, somewhere along its northern coastline during the closing decade of the eighteenth century. Quite ordinary and indistinguishable from others of its kind, it would shortly witness a wholly extraordinary occurrence as a barely operational Space Time Vessel or 'TARDIS' as its makers referred to such, materialised amidst the undergrowth where green and sand met - blending seamlessly into its surroundings. this particular ship , in and of itself was not remarkable; no, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, to the people of this humble world, its very being would be considered nothing short of sorcery .

Jolted into wakefulness upon landing, the traveller, clinging only to a thread of life gossamer thin, hauled himself across the floor of his ship on all fours (agony as he'd never known racking every cell of his body). Opening its door, he surveyed the landscape with tired eyes as the barest shadow of a smile dared crease the corner of his mouth before darkness once more claimed him. "Yes", he thought; despite her extensive damage, she'd indeed managed to seek a destination from the entire cosmic plain of space-time wherein her pilot stood the greatest chance of survival - well knowing the events which would invariably play out upon this very strip of coast in but a few hours time.

Two men, One Noble, One diabolical - rotten to the core. One chance, one shot One breath held for an eternity as all hope turned itself inside out - wrent into pieces by treachery's hand. Another shot, one life, one death, justice at last.

The traveller stirred, death still in abeyance for the moment as he scanned the scene before him. Not twenty feet ahead, the shell of a man lay all but doomed upon the ground; the scarlet shadow of his lifebreaking free upon the sand. Gold, white, navy, glacier-blue - here lay a miraculous reprieve as the dying traveller summoned every last ounce of strength to crawl, to strain towards the prize - survival and power. Moments oozed by, treacle-thick as hours; the felled young man at last within reach. With renewed energy, spurred on by imminent success, he rummaged through a pocket , finally locating the key to this last desperate venture. Touching it against the temple of his quarry, a thread of life intensified; a celestial glow of stolen regeneration blinding in its intensity enveloping the two. Mission accomplished, this super-human aura gradually faded revealing one man only, attired in the garb of British naval Midshipman slowly rising into a sitting position ; alive, yes, Alive! Glancing about, white sails caught his eye, glittering in the sunlight now some way out to sea. what did it matter though? HIS ship could sail the ether of time itself. Taking to his feet, this new man, once oh so close to death yet living again flexed joint and muscle experimentally, gazing upon the outstretched hands that had so readily taken whatever he wished. Imbued with confidence, the young man spoke, his eyes flashing with a brilliance of hue at once both compelling and terrifying. ..."I am the Master, You will Obey me". The words were resonant , rich, powerful; words capable of bringing whole starsystems to their knees. Ever so imperceptibly, laughter rang forth from this newborn demon, creschendoing into madness. Sighting his vessel, he made his way to its side, the merest of touches providing the power it so desperately required that it also may regenerate - a ridiculously simple act as his unfortunate host ran hot with an evil beautifully suited to the task. Entering, barely seconds past before the dissonance of dematerialisation rang forth for all to hear.

Deep deep down, held captive by forces beyond his understanding, Jack Simpson screamed a silent scream of anguish before the final vestige of his essence became completely consumed forever - he who had so expertly perfected the art of bending men's wills to his heart's wicked desires in a stroke of bitter irony found himself thus taken by forces utterly incomprehendible

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