Author: Deastrumquodvicis PM
During the execution of Morbius, Time Lord adolescents try to go about their daily lives.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Words: 2,697 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7441731
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It was the scandal of a millennium. Everyone gossiped about it, from the proud members of the Inner Council to the schoolchildren of the Citadel. It had become a favourite topic of conversation. Such a shameful thing! And yet the children of Time knew nothing of its true future, or what would happen concerning such a trial…
Varriusloppssilon walked about the citadel with fresh eyes. A tall young man of about 129, he had never seen the city in the way he saw it now. Red hair with a slight curl, ferociously green eyes, but the mouth of one who plans for many things to come; yes, that was Varrius in a nutshell. Yet something troubled him now, a rumour which he'd heard immediately prior to his commencement ceremony. The
Lord President was a criminal? Surely not, thought Varrius, though indeed it was true that the Time Lords had become a bit less like observers in recent days. But how, how could it have happened that one of such noble bearing could fall so far from glory to horror?
The young Prydonian walked around the city, buried in his own thoughts. He himself had been the ambitious one in the family, his twin brother choosing to join the Chancellery Guard rather than take a place among the Time Lords. Silly old Maxil. He just wanted to concern himself for the present. No thought for the past or the future. Still, as a member of the Guard, he was able to (one day) claim the title Castellan. Varrius would settle for the Chancellery position. Though perhaps…no, he thought quickly, this business with the Lord President going on trial may well change the future of Gallifrey.
The trial was to be private. Who knew the outcome? Surely the Inquisitor could not find the Lord President guilty and carry out an extreme sentence! And certainly never execution! On a primitive planet, perhaps, but this was Gallifrey! They would obey the Lord President. They had to.
Varrius wandered the passages, too deep in thought to notice he'd passed his house until five minutes later. Whispers of "Did you hear about Morbius?" followed him as though his own thoughts were being made audible. Quite suddenly, a blustery fellow of about 160 came barreling around the corner, smacking into Varrius.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, sir," commented Varrius.
"Oh, no, no, not at all, I was just a little carried up in my train of thought." "Mm, me too."
"Bit of a nasty business. But then I never did like Morbius much. Oh, by the way, the name's Borusa."
"Varriusloppssilon, sir." They shook hands. "Oh, forgive me, I've got to go back to my house for the night, and I seem to have passed it."
"That's alright. I hope we meet again, Varriusloppssilon." "I hope so too, Borusa, was it?"
The next morning was the first stage of Lord President Morbius' trial. Evidence for the prosecution. There was some coverage, of course, but Varrius really wanted to hear about something else for a change than presidential politics.
"Do you mind?" came a question from the hallway as Maxil came staggering in. "The volume is insane on that thing."
"Only to your troubled body, Maxil." "So you claim."
"Presidential nonsense," Varrius muttered as the long-winded reporter told of some rumour about the Lord President which had been proved false.
"Varrius, it's your day for breakfast! I've got training in an hour and I am not going to do your job for you."
"Get yourself some cereal, then. I'm not hungry just yet."
More mumbling came from the kitchen as Maxil poured a bowl of what claimed to be the breakfast favoured by the High Council. Varrius hated the stuff, but, if Maxil liked it, who was he to argue.
Varrius slipped into a sort of trance as he looked at the newsvid. He hardly even noticed when Maxil had left. Something felt, well, contrived about this whole thing. Surely the revocation of the non-interference policy which had been around since Rassilon's death meant that Gallifrey was progressing.
The coverage of the trial continued, with no one officially commenting, but everyone speculating. Silly thing for people to do, really, talk about something you know nothing about.
Varrius had gone out to do the usual things—being a new graduate he had no day-to-day routine as of yet, but he did have friends, most noticeably the beautiful Vix, and he spent the day with them talking about anything but the trial.
"Varrius," said Vix in her melodic alto voice. "Mm?"
"Sirygy's right." Sirygy was a short Arcalian who'd known Varrius since before the Academy. His blond hair and brown eyes now looked at Varrius as if to see his soul.
"I was saying that you've been a bit distracted. Come on, my good fellow, let's talk Agamon!" Agamon was the traditional sport of Gallifrey; a zero-gravity combination of Earth's football (soccer) and cricket. The players would whoosh about in midair, knocking the ball back and forth with a bat-like device, trying to score goals. The game would last two hours, with ten players on each team.
"Who won the championships? I've been so annoyed with the newsvids lately that I've turned them off before we got to the sports."
Sirygy rolled his eyes, annoyed at the outcome of the games: "The Prydonians won (again), beating the Arcalians 330 to 173. You Prydonians can't ever lose, can you?"
"That's not true, Sirygy. My first year at the Academy, the Patrexes beat the Prydonians! Granted it was only a one-point victory, but the Patrexes had a killer defense that year!"
Varrius stood up. "Let's go walking. I'm tired of sitting here. Everyone's talking about Morbius."
In the outermost walkways of the city, the trio wandered, trying to think of something to do. They came to the windows, where they could see the suns setting (only twice a decade would the suns set at the same time), and a breeze was blowing as they looked outward. The trio fell silent as if in memorial to something lost, and as the suns touched the horizon, Vix lifted up her voice in song:
Once there was a man Endowed with the gift of Time Foresight, pastsight, 'twas all in his mind Yet sorrow was his companion
For none else would share this No one else could
He had the thought
To endow his gift upon his world But he had not the knowledge Of how to bring the sight of Time So to his brother he went
His brother shared not his ambition More concerned with machines was he But he agreed to help
And they set off to find The Black Star
They discovered it
A way to harness a Black Star's pow'r But t'would have a fatal risk
A chance they had to take
A dying sun
The two brothers found
Death need come to the star
To take it from White to Black
And they waited
The star collapsed A fantastic sight The brother seeded The sun's corpse With gravity
But he came too close to its power
And Omega fell His form ripped apart "Rassilon, my brother!" He cried in utter despair
"Save me from this doom!"
But there was nothing No way to save his brother
So Rassilon took the Black Star Back to his home
As a monument to his lost brother And as the source of Time's Power The Black Star of Omega became The Eye of Harmony
"Vix! That was beautiful!"
Vix's violet eyes shone with racial memory as her raven hair blew about in the wind. She looked downwards toward Varrius (for indeed she was seven feet tall and willowy) and laughed.
"It's silly, really."
"No, no," agreed Sirygy, "It was fantastic! I can see why you're a Patrex!"
She blushed lightly. "I sort of just made that up on the spot without any work. Something about the suns setting on a perfectly clear night put Rassilon and Omega into my mind."
The three went on their way. Several corridors down, they heard murmuring. "Shh!" Varrius put his hand up to silence the chatter of Vix and Sirygy. They listened. "I will always love you, you know that," said a male voice.
"I know, and I will always love you too," came the reply. She sounded as though she was crying. "I'm going on a trip for fifty years, not breaking up with you. I just don't know if I can bear not to see you for so long."
"It's alright, Elwynn, I know that when I look up at the stars, they shall be the same stars I see, no matter where you are."
"Oh, Max…" The trio they heard the sounds of vigorous kissing. Varrius knew the man's voice, and now thought it an opportunity to embarrass him…
Stepping around the corner, Varrius stood watching the two of them go at it before making his presence known. (Vix was trying her best not to giggle, while Sirygy also had a tremendously amused look on his face).
"Ah, there you are, Maxil."
The two kissers broke apart quickly. "You have no right to barge in on private matters!" "It's a public corridor," Varrius pointed out.
Maxil spluttered, his face as crimson as his Chancellery Guard outfit. From the looks of her (blonde wavy hair, deep blue eyes, white dress), Elwynn was an intern in the records department.
"It's alright, Max," she said. "He's right. I don't want to leave you, not now, not ever, but it seems fate would have things differently. I shall contact you daily until I leave transmission range." She reached up and gave him a peck on the cheek.
Maxil watched her go with the eyes of a man who feels he is seeing his love go for the last time. He turned to Varrius.
"You had no right to do that! It's just not done in a modern society!" He clicked his heels together and stormed off.
"That went well, don't you think?" Sirygy quipped.
The morning came. Maxil came down the stairs to see Varrius cooking eggs.
"It wasn't very nice of you to do that, Varrius. It was the last time I'm going to be able to see her in person for fifty years and you had to go and ruin it!"
"Eat your egg." Varrius put it on a piece of toast and handed it to Maxil. "As it so happens, those were public corridors. I really don't see your problem. The Castellan probably saw what was going on, what with those monitors, and it wasn't like you weren't supposed to be seeing her."
Maxil spoke through his toast. "Fee waf my guhlfend! Fat'f piva! Oo haf no ri oo barg im!" (translation: "She was my girlfriend! That's private! You have no right to barge in!")
"It very well may be, but you could have chosen somewhere more out of the way. As it so happens you chose the very corridor I was walking down. And why haven't I ever been introduced?" Varrius bit into his egg-toast.
"She—I—we were getting around to it! I was going to introduce her at our birthday party!" "In three weeks? How long have you been together, anyway?"
"None of your business."
"Maxil, I'm your brother! Family has to confide in one another. If I had a girlfriend, I'd be sure to let you know."
"Oh, would you? Brothers must have some secrets! For example, I'm betting you won't tell me what you were doing down that corridor!"
"Watching the suns set, that's all. Dear me, Maxil, you are paranoid!" "Not at all. Merely watchful."
"Alright, Mister Watchful, how come you haven't noticed that you're five minutes late?" Maxil checked the clock, gave a startled glance at Varrius, and dashed off.
The day passed without incident (well, except for the fact that Varrius nearly burned his kitchen down trying a new method of cooking), until Maxil came home, interrupting the newsvid.
"Thanks to you, Commander Spandrell told me off for tardiness in the middle of everything!" "Shut up."
"I will not! It also gave me a black mark on my permanent record!" "Shut up, will you? The trial's over."
The commentator on the newsvid continued: "—crimes without measure, according to one juror. The sentence will be one that has never been carried out on Gallifrey since the Dark Times. Lord President Morbius is to be executed tomorrow."
The twin brothers looked at each other in horror.
That night was sleepless for all of Gallifrey. Some whispered that it was a sign of Gallifrey's decline; others claimed that the violent crimes of violent men call for violent action. Not a single soul from the members of the High Council to Vix's tabby cat was calm.
Varrius's dream was very troubled. A montage of sad or disturbing imagery flooded his head: Rassilon shaking his head in sorrow, Sirygy trapped in a birdcage crying "Let me out", evil cackling
laughter, the entire Citadel in ruins with a black-clad and smiling Morbius standing atop the rubble; Maxil, dead, eyes glazed over and his face blood-splattered; Vix, her long limbs twisted at odd angles as she was wracked with intolerable pain; Maxil's best friend Hildred stretched out upon a medieval rack; and at the end of it all, a white clad being telling Varrius that this chaos is what would come to be if Morbius was allowed to live.
Sweating and terrified, Varrius awoke with a start and a yelp. His hearts were pounding as though he'd run twenty miles without resting.
Only a select few members of each chapter were invited to see the execution. It was history, they said, one should be privileged to witness it, terrible though it may be. Varrius was one of three Prydonians invited. He did not wish to go, yet he could not turn down an invitation from Chancellor Pandak (who was to become Lord President after Morbius's death).
The Time Lords stood as Morbius was informed (officially) of his demise. As Pandak read the statement, Morbius bored into the witnesses with his terrible eyes. If looks could kill, Morbius would have blown a hole in the space-time continuum the size of several galaxies.
"—and so, by reason of cruel but unavoidable necessity, we have no option but to exercise the final sanction of Termination."
"You fools," whispered Morbius, "You don't realize your mistake."
Varrius, the youngest by far of the witnesses, thought of pleading with the Council to revoke the sentence. But then he remembered his dream and the warning of the white-clad figure.
Morbius stepped into the Termination Chamber (and why did the Time Lords have one, anyway, if it had never been used?), and the fog issued forth from the bottom of the chamber. Varrius looked at the Time Lord's face, and saw in it, not fear, nor hatred, but the look of one who expects to be known as a martyr.
Termination took place. Only Varrius was able to have the courage to see the actual moment of Morbius's death, the others looking away. And yet Varrius saw something that would trouble his mind for the rest of his lives—Morbius's brain, separated from its body. Or was it an illusion? And then the brain was gone. Termination had been carried out; Morbius was dead.
The witnesses had been dismissed from the room, but only Varrius had seen the disembodied brain. Then Varrius formed the question in his mind that would trouble him for millennia: was the brain of Morbius an illusion or was it real?
Not for four thousand years would the question be answered.
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