Basically, the Doctor has to bail out Gallifrey. Again.
The Master never feels the impact as the shard juts through his chest, crushing bone and ripping muscle even as it tears through what the bone and muscle protect. As the light goes out, the ring twists on his finger, capturing the moment and reflecting its energy, preserving him as it was meant to do.
There is a flash, and then, he’s the man who isn’t there. Because he’s everywhere.
He is in his room. He is in the Tomb of Rassilon. He is in the TARDIS. The Panopticon. If he turns the ring the opposite way, he imagines, might he gain substance again? As it is, his body is little more than a projection. He turns the ring, and touches the desk.
“Where… oh yes, I was about to put my mask away.”
He takes the mask from his face and stuffs it in a drawer. A rapping noise of four beats can be heard outside the room… he has a visitor. Must have followed him from the… But no one was behind. He’s just got back. Whoever could it be? He blinks.His room is dark. The mask is in his hand. He stuffs it in a drawer.
No, wait. What?
His shoulder… something…
He looks down. There are patches in the drawer. He reaches for one.
But things are out of order.
He blinks. Again, time falls back on itself.
He’s standing in front of his nightstand. His fingers are on the hem of his long grey glove. He pulls it off, then flops down on the nice warm bed. Pain happens, erupting through his shoulder in a stabbing bloom that leaves his fingers tricky and useless for just long enough. He stares at the ring for a moment, then rips the bear mask from his face and stuffs it in a drawer. He pulls off the ankle boots and hose, then stuffs them under the bed.