Pryde Goeth Before a Fall

"This was your fault."

"It was NOT. You're the one that decided to do this!"

"Well, I wanted to be of the elite. It was YOUR complaining about that that got us here."

"Pass me that spanner. And, no, it was NOT mine."


This argument continued for a time between the two shadowy figures engaged in an apparently nefarious deed. In the shadows of the Panopticon, there is a small alcove. It was in this alcove that our two miscreants were currently fiddling.

"I'm telling you," Theta Sigma snapped urgently to his companion. "We are going to be in trouble, now hurry it up!"

"I am!" Drax replied, in a harsh whisper. "Now, go and check that that Panoptican guard is still down the corridor."

Theta sighed and carefully skulked to the other end of the large green-paneled room. The guard they had been warned about was indeed still at the other end of his route. They'd been told he would spend at least five minutes down there. ~Long enough to finish this.~

Turning to go back, he froze. Another guard had entered across the way. And he was heading for the alcove! "Drax--" The strangled whisper found its way out of his throat of its own accord before he could stop it. He ducked into the archway.

For a moment, the guard looked over in his direction. Theta closed his eyes, ~Rassilon, let him NOT see me.~ He reopened them and watched as the guard looked around the floor a bit more, then shook his head and wandered up the steps into the gallery. ~He-he changed his direction! Drax may still have a chance!~

At least, Theta thought his friend should. ~Come on, Drax.~

The shadows in the alcove moved and slowly Drax stepped out, looked about himself and darted towards Theta. He reached Theta as the first guard came through the door.

"HALT!" The guard pointed a light at Drax. "Who are you, and what are you doing in this zone?"

Drax sent one agonized look to where Theta was obscured in the shadows and slowly turned, gulping. "Um, hello. I was taking a walk, sir. Just out walking." He finished, nervously.

"Right." The guard stepped closer to him and looked him up and down. "Next time, don't forget that this is a restricted zone?"

He turned away and Drax breathed a sigh of relief and stepped towards the alcove Theta was hiding in.

"Oh, and tell anyone else you may run into tonight to stay out of here." The guard called after him.

Drax blinked and nodded before walking towards and passed Theta.

Meanwhile, the other guard stepped down the stairs, joined his compatriot and the two conversed.

~Oh, WHY did I let him talk me into this? No, wait. I talked him into this.~ Theta Sigma shook his head and watched as the guards stopped talking and both disappeared. One went up the stairs and the other went out the door across from him.

~The elite. I want to be one of the elite. I AM one of the elite.~ He mentally corrected himself as he stepped out into the hallway.

A voice clearing behind him made him freeze. He slowly turned. The chancellery guard captain stood there. "Er, hallo." He said weakly as the man inspected him coolly.

"You, of course, know that you are in a restricted zone?" Captain Crancible asked.

"Yes, sir." Theta nodded. "I do, sir. I was, just taking a walk, sir."

"I thought you might say something like that." The Captain looked at him again, then nodded. "Get back to the non-restricted zones. If you're seen in these premises again, there will be questioning."

"Yes, sir!" Theta turned and walked down the corridor, away from the Panopticon. Away from the Captain. Away from the. . .


Laughter was the chief trait among visitors to the Panopticon during that morning session of the High Council. Laughter and a bit of frustrated anger as the Captain attempted to explain to the Chancellor just how the miscreants had gotten away.

In another quarter, three elder Time Lords of the Prydonian academy checked the applications of two enterprising youths. Lenore was the eldest presiding. Next came Than, and then young Grivner.

"Well, they did do it."

"No, no, they must do one more."

"Really. This is MOST unusual. We're letting the Rani in with less."

A knock came at the door to this inner sanctum, so lavishly decorated in red brocade and gold velvet. "Come in." Called Lenore.

Borusa, their headmaster walked in. "You've the applicants and your recommendations, I take it?"

"Nearly done, sir." Lenore replied as she made another mark on the tablet. "There."

The Chancellor of the Prydonians nodded. "Thank you." He turned to go, then stopped. "Oh, about those two that applied at the last moment and conducted themselves in the Panopticon?"

"Yes, sir?" Lenore held her breath, hoping they hadn't gotten their recommendations wrong.

"They ARE to do one more. . .service, before becomming one of this illustrious college." Borusa stated. He looked her in the eye, lips twitching. "They are to clean up their transgression. And, of course, not get caught. Do inform them of that?"

And he swept out, leaving three rather stunned Time Lords.

"But. . ."

"Lenore, I thought we could keep them out?" Than snapped, angrily, glaring after Borusa.

"Well, it's NOT my fault!" Lenore snapped back. "Bloody stapler thief! Griv, give that back!"

Grivner looked guilty as he silently handed the stapler back to Lenore. His predeliction for absently wandering off with things would have gotten him in trouble, were it not for his father. Grivner's father, the Lord Chancellor, ruled Gallifrey. Well, mainly ruled it. The President also did a lot of that ruling.


"We know who the miscreants are, sir." The guard saluted his Captain and awaited his authorization. The Captain was going over reports on his computer screen.

"Good. Leave me the report, and then I'll look into it." Crancible glanced up dismissively at the guard, who saluted again, turned on his heel and left.


Night again covered the Panopticon as two young Time Lords crept into the room. Theta was hoping they'd brought the correct tools for the job--Drax had been *so* sure that they could do this, easily.

"Now," Drax hissed softly. "I'll watch, you clean."

They'd agreed before they left Theta's quarters on this. He nodded at Drax and carefully stepped into the alcove.

"HALT." A light shone on them and three guards stepped up to them. "Who are you--oh, it's *you* again, I thought I told you not to repeat this transgression"

Theta squinted against the light and nodded, "You did. Thought I'd come clean this up is all. No harm in cleaning it--after all, it was the upperclassmen that did it."

"Yeah," Drax inserted. "They always leave *us* with the grubby jobs."

Captain Crancible's lips twitched, and he slowly nodded. "Do clean it up then. I shall make a full report to the Chancellor tomorrow."


"Chancellor Borusa?"


"I have here evidence that three of your students have propagated a certain pernicious deed. How do you plead for them?"

"My students? Oh. Yes, I see." A sigh issued into the air. "I shall take care of them. Thank you."

"Sir." The air was disturbed again as the Captain left.


"Theta Sigma, Drax the two of you are hereby granted leave to call yourselves Prydonians. Gentlemen, here follows a list of duties you must..."