WARNING!: If you have NOT read the story "Trials & Transmutations" this is just one HUGE spoiler. If you have, enjoy the added bits that I was unable to put into that story.

by Margaret Price


Cardinal Wythe moved quickly down the corridors within the Capitol of Gallifrey. He had been delayed in a committee meeting and knew he would be late for a meeting of the High Council of Time Lords if he did not hurry. Unfortunately, a cadet from the Academy had attached himself to him and he could not shake him off.

"Young man, this is not the time or place to be pestering me with theories," the Cardinal said impatiently, turning down another a corridor. He did not even bother to look back, knowing the youth was still dogging his heels.

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir," the cadet replied. He was considerably smaller than the taller, more imposing figure of the High Councilor he was pursuing and the fact that he kept his head down the whole time made him look as though he were paying homage to a deity. "It's just we were learning about your work in temporal transcendentalism. I thought you might let me interview you for my theses."

Wythe sighed heavily and stopped at the top of a flight of steps. He turned back to his relentless pursuer. "Young man, I'm already late for a High Council meeting. If you wish to talk to me, make an appointment. I am not in the habit of giving interviews in corridors."

The Cardinal turned sharply back to descend the stairs. His feet seemed to get tangled in the hem of his long robe and he fell headlong down the flight of steps. Behind him, the cadet stood watching, a satisfied smile coming to his face. No one would learn until much later that he was more than a simple cadet. He was an Alterran named Trevor, a member of the shape changing race that were actually allies of the Time Lords. He, however, was working to his own agenda and his own vision of the future.

Trevor slowly descended the steps and stood over the moaning Time Lord sprawled at the bottom. He knelt down, took the stunned Wythe's head in his hands and then smashed it hard against the tiled floor. There was an audible crack, which could have been tile, bone, or perhaps both. He then went on to break one of the helpless man's arms and the bones in both legs before finally screaming, "Help! Somebody, help me!"

The first to answer the call was one of the Chancellory guard. The apparently panicked youth ran up to him. "Help me, please! It's the Cardinal! He's fallen down the stairs. Please, you've got to help. I think he's dying!"

The guard was already calling for medical assistance and then turned back to calm the apparently hysterical cadet. A group of others appeared in response to this commotion. More guards came to remove onlookers as the medical team took the unconscious Cardinal away. In the midst of all this activity, Trevor vanished; now free to carry out his vision of the future.