Tyroankandra stood completely still, his feet frozen to the floor with the fear of what he was about to see and do. He had heard the stories, so many stories, of the various reactions that the sight of the Untempered Schism had provoked over the millennia. He had always known it was coming. At eight years old he was at the start of what was intended to be a very long life but Tyroankandra knew that what happened here would shape him forever.
"Move." The golden robed Time Lord behind him barked in a hushed tone, gently pushing him forward and breaking the young Galifreyan from his thoughts. He looked at the floor and took a deep intake of breath before moving forward towards the large chasm that housed the only known gap in time and space itself. Tyroankandra stopped again, a few feet away from the edge this time, before shuffling forward slightly and peering over the edge.
Instantaneously he saw everything. Everything that ever was, would be and could have been. The entire history of the Time Lords entered his mind and for a few moments it was all he could register. He was no longer in the chamber peering in to the Schism, he was everywhere and everywhen all at once. He saw all of the good the Time Lords had given to the universe and all of the bad. He saw rulers sitting in their chambers as planets burned and races died, but at the same time he saw individuals willing to sacrifice themselves to save them.
A gentle hand on his shoulder bought him back to his present, and Tyroankandra realised he hadn't needed to be afraid. He had been told of Time Lords who had run away at the sight of what he had just witnessed, not being able to bear it. He also knew that some of the greatest Time Lords in history had claimed to have been inspired by what they had seen. Tyroankandra, however, felt both. He had seen the great power he could harness, given the choice, and seen the good he could do if he chose not to take it. He had been inspired, but not in the same way as Borusa or the other Lord Presidents before him. He knew that one day he would run away, not because he was afraid, but because he would have to.
He was once again interrupted from his thoughts by his Time Lord mentor, Axelle, who placed his hand on the young boys shoulder once more.
"Now the oath." He said softly, with a smile. Tyroankandra looked up to him, and couldn't help but wonder what the old man had expected from him. His old face looked down with pride, and at that moment the young Gallifreyan knew that Axelle had expected him to run away. He turned back to face the chasm and closed his eyes. He had been practising this for what felt like his entire life, so much so that the words were relayed from his brain almost automatically.
"I swear to protect the ancient Law of Gallifrey with all my might and brain. I will to the end of my days, with justice and with honour temper my actions and my thoughts."
He raised his head high and opened his eyes, to the sight of Axelle beaming at him, his old features framed by the magnificent golden collar and skull cap. In his hands was a golden robe, emblazoned with the same patterns and seal of his own.
"Tyroankandra." He smiled, placing the robe around the boys' shoulders. He held his arms out awkwardly and shrugged it on. "I hereby induct you in to the Time Lord Academy of Gallifrey." He paused, placing a golden hat, the same style of his own, on the junior Time Lords' head, taking care to cover all of his rather long dark brown hair.
"Wear these robes with pride. They represent our past, and your future as a member of the Prydonian Chapter."
"Of course," Axelle frowned, but quickly followed it with a smile, grateful that his newest regeneration showed far less wrinkles and signs of age than his previous one. Realising he had paused slightly too long, he continued quickly with his lecture, "not all Time Lords are as dedicated to preserving the First Law of Time as the High Council. Some choose to ignore it where as others deliberately go out of their way to break it."
He placed a hand on small clear sphere which sat on the desk in front of him and closed his eyes. From the sphere various images were projected. The first a grinning man wearing a hat and a long scarf, followed by another with dark hair, menacing eyes and a beard.
The old Time Lord immediately caught the look of excitement on Tyroankandras' face as the image of the Doctor had appeared. Although the appearance of young Time Lords body had stopped matching his actual age many decades ago, Axelle only ever saw the boy he had inducted in to the academy. The one with all the questions about what had been, not concerned with what was to come. Occasionally Axelle wondered why that was, whether something he had seen in the Schism that day had given him a reason not to think about the future, but instead focus on the past. The teacher would never spend long pondering this however. He was instead so pleased that someone shred the same thirst for knowledge as he did, the same desire to know what had shaped their society, and those outside.
As he looked out from his podium on his class of seven Time Lords in training, Axelle didn't have any resentment, even when faced with the countless rows of empty benches towering above him. In fact he was grateful that he had so many pupils, the most he had ever taught. He had learnt many years ago that a society that can travel through time at will has very little need for historians. Those with enough interest would go back to see it themselves. Axelle however, never had. He had the option, of course, as did every Time Lord, but he had chosen to stay on Gallifrey, learn from the records and create the ones that were missing. It was all well and good, he thought, to witness history happen but all you would see was the there and then, not the effects of the event itself, all of the ripples reaching out from that particular point, creating their own waves in the future.
"They're not the same though, are they Mentor." Tyro, as he had taken to being called, said in the moment of silence. Axelle knew his student well enough to know that it wasn't a question.
"That depends on perspective." Axelle replied, non-committedly, watching Tryos' eyes light up. He knew that look, the one the young Tryo would get whenever he heard news of the Doctor, his chestnut eyes glimmering, almost matching his shoulder length hair. Even though his body now had the appearance of a twenty-something, Axelle was sure that look would never leave him.
"Don't let him start, Mentor." Another pupil piped up. He wore the silver robes of the Dromeian Chapter and sat directly next to Tyro. "We all know how Tyro gets when you start talking about the Doctor." He nudged Tyro in the ribs. "You like a renegade, don't you?"
"Rather him than the Master, Suress." Tyro said seriously, not joining in with the fun. "When the Doctor disobeys the First Rule, it's to help others. The Master does it for his own gain, that's not what it should be used for."
"Smarter idea though." Suress muttered. "If you are going to use our power over time, it might as well be for your own good."
"And that," Axelle said loudly, pointing straight at the dark haired Suress, "is exactly why the First Rule of Time is in place. History shows it is far too easy to overstep the line between selflessness and selfishness. Hence if no one can use the power, it cannot be abused."
"Yet we do not punish those who do abuse it." A third student added. She wore the pink-purple robes of the Patrex Chapter. "History shows that despite non-interference being a 'law', neither the Doctor or the Master have ever been properly punished. I hardly think a short term exile and being made Lord President are much of a consequence for breaking what is supposed to be the corner stone of our society. "
"It depends." Tyro muttered, only loud enough for Suress to hear. "I certainly wouldn't wish the Presidency on my worst enemy."
"A very good point Lorendria." Axelle nodded. This was entirely why he studied and taught history the way he did. He loved to hear the opinions on what had happened, and what potentially should have happened. "I'm afraid however, all this talk of renegades has bought us to the end of this session. We will continue next time"
He placed his hand on the desk in front of him and closed his eyes, concentrating as seven small cubes formed from nothing, filling with his memories of the past hour. As the students left the auditorium each picked a cube and took it with them, their record of the days lesson.
"Tyroankandra." Axelle said kindly as his favourite student walked past him. "Remember what we talked about." Tyro looked back at him, blankly as he brushed a long strand of hair from his face. "He may have saved many lives, but he is still a renegade. The doctor deserves no more respect than the Master."
"Respectfully," Tyro replied, "that is your opinion, Mentor."
"And that of the Time Lord society."
"If that is so, why is what Lorendria said true? If he really is a criminal, why does our society still allow him to continue and even grant him privileges? If the council disapproved that much, he would be stripped of his TARDIS, or even executed. So why is he still alive?"
Axelle smiled at his young student. They had shared many a debate like this over the years.
"That, my boy, only history can tell us." He paused, only continuing as Tyro made his way from the room. "The history that has been, and that which has yet to come."
Tyro watched in suspense for the few moments that the eight sided die span through the air, before landing in the middle of the Sepulchasm board. As his three pieces moved of their own accord around the relief of a mountain side, adorned with replicas of the Great Houses of Gallifrey, Tyro couldn't help but notice that his opponent didn't seem his usual self.
"Your roll Suress." Tyro reminded him, prompting his on-and-off friend to pick the die from the table. "I can't help but notice," he paused, waiting to see the outcome of the roll. "That you've not been your usual self lately." He continued, watching Suress' coloured pieces move around the board, which was mounted on a pedestal between the two of them. "You've not belittled me for at least a few months." Tyro smiled, trying to provoke a reaction. Years ago, he would have never have believed he would be trying to get Suress to talk. In fact, during their first semester in the Academy, he would have given anything to make the Dromeian stop talking.
"Have you ever heard of Eighth Man Bound?" Suress finally said quietly, as he passed the die to the long haired Time Lord. Tyro nodded, leaning his head slightly, wondering where this was going. Of course he had heard of the game, but he had never seen it being played, yet alone taken part.
From what Tyro understood, Eighth Man Bound involved a single Time Lord surrounded by a circle of his peers, all whom would chant the individuals name constantly, until it lost all meaning, in an attempt to cause temporary loss of identity. This in turn would allow the Time Lord in question to enter a state of non-being, and sub-consciously move through his future incarnations. Tyro had heard rumours that at least fifteen deaths or regenerations each semester were related to the game. It wasn't this danger though, that had kept Tyro from playing, he simply had no interest in seeing his future. He had been offered to play once, but everything within him steered him away.
"You played?" Tyro asked, immediately realising it was a redundant question.
"A few months ago." He replied.
"I couldn't see past my first regeneration. My second incarnation." Suress sighed, looking to the ground.
"That's nothing to be ashamed of." Tyro smiled, trying to be reassuring. "I hear it takes practice to see even beyond the third regeneration." He also knew that the Time Lord that held the 'record' for the game had only seen as far as his seventh regeneration, hence the name of the game.
"You don't understand, Tyro." Suress continued, as Tyro threw the die. "I ventured past my second regeneration, but there wasn't anything to see."
On this, Tyro looked up from the board, to the despair in his fellow Time Lords eyes. As a race they were blessed with longer lives than many, yet death was still something to be feared, no matter how far away it was.
"Maybe you just couldn't see it." Tyro shrugged. "Maybe if you try again.."
"No." Suress cut him off. "There was nothing to see. I could tell."
Tyro was trying to think of something to say, when he realised the die had settled on the table. Face up was the number 45.
"Sepulchasm!" Both Time Lords shouted in unison, as the model mountains on the board started to crack, a miniature earthquake ravaging the replica land. Both Tyro and Suress concentrated intently on the board, keeping their own individual pieces hovering over the gaping chasm growing across the game board.
The moments seemed to last forever as Tyro focused his mind on keeping his coloured pieces in the air. The game would only be over when one of them lost concentration and let their counters fall to their doom. He and Suress had played several times, and were more or less on par. In fact, last time the pair had played, they had both kept their pieces suspended for almost half an hour before Tyros' concentration had lapsed, giving Suress the victory.
"A sign of things to come."
A soft voice behind Tyro said sadly, he tried to block it out, but his focus was gone. Luckily for him, however, it seemed Suress' attention had been drawn away first.
"Thanks Lorendria." Suress sneered, as his pieces plummeted in to the fissure that ran across the board. As the crack sealed itself, Tyro lowered his pieces back down.
"Sorry Suress." The blonde Time Lady replied, turning away. "I'm so sorry."
Lorendria sat on the floor of her chamber, her eyes closed and knees crossed, her purple robe flowing around her body. The room was very plain, as was the norm with Academy quarters, although other students, Tyro included, had been known to decorate them to suit their own tastes. The young Time Lady had no interest in that, however. In order to keep her mind clear, she was of the opinion that her quarters had to be the same.
At that moment in time, however, her mind way anything but clear. The future flowed through her head, as it did with every member of the Patrex Chapter. They were well known on Gallifrey for having an amazing sense of precognition, although very few ever used it regularly, and especially not for their own gain. Lorendria, however, knew that she had to try. She had to make sense of what she had seen all of those months ago.
Ever since the vision had come to her, out of nowhere, she had tried to recall it, to perhaps see more of what was to come. She couldn't change it, she knew that, but she had to know what happened, or more accurately, was going to happen. Even if she did manage to tune in to that part of the future again, Lorendria knew that she would have the same dilemma as she faced right now. Her oath as a Patrex forbade her to pass on her knowledge of the future to anyone outside of the High Council, and even then the circumstances had to be extremely dire in order to allow it. She had already said too much.
Suddenly, a loud knock on the door bought her back to the present. She blinked a few times, and wiped away the tear that she wasn't even aware she had shed.
"Enter." She said getting to her feet as the door slid open to reveal Tyro. As usual he was dressed in his golden robes but, as usual, his hat was missing, allowing his hair to flow down over his shoulders.
"Shouldn't you be studying?" She asked coldly, already anticipating what the visit was about.
"Probably." Tyro grinned. "But since when has that ever been a reason not to be somewhere?"
Lorendria rolled her eyes.
"So, did you want something?"
"Just to make sure you were ok." He said genuinely.
"Why wouldn't I be?" She snapped,
"Well, we've not seen you since your odd little appearance in the games room. I've already got Suress acting weird and depressive on me, the last thing I need is for you to disappear too."
Lorendria paused for a moment, before forcing a smile. Tyro looked straight at her, and she knew he could see through her act. He knew when she was really happy, as her eyes lit up to a brilliant electric blue, not the subdued blue-grey they were now.
"It's just my duties." She lied. "I have been assigned to look in to the future of Earth." She knew that would help change the subject.
"Fantastic!" Tyro exclaimed, fidgeting excitedly. "Sometimes I wish I could see what you see, just experience that little bit of Earth."
"Because spending almost every day in the databanks isn't enough?" She teased. "Sometimes I think you know more about that planet than you do our own home."
"That's because there's more to know." A wide grin spread over his rather long face. "Hundreds of cultures spread over one planet, hundreds of languages and ways of life, not just the six Chapters we have here. Who could ever get bored learning about all of that."
"I could." Lorendria groaned. "I see enough, thank you very much. I can take my own conclusions from that. I don't need to know the history behind every civilization. That's where we differ." She gestured him towards the door. "I live in the future, literally sometimes, whilst you are so obsessed with the past."
"I like the past." Tyro defended himself, stepping through the door way.
"You like the certainty of knowing what happened." She corrected him. "There's a difference. You can't run away from the future just because you don't know what it holds, Tyro." She turned away from him as the door started to slide closed and another tear started to run down her cheek. "However much you might want to."
It was growing late in to the evening, and as usual Tyro was sat in the Archive Chamber, alone. The room was a large one, designed as a resource for the whole academy. As such the walls were lined with screens, each connected to an interface panel, showing the student any information they required from the databank. Tyro had long learnt when his follow junior Time Lords commonly used the facility, and instead only came when he knew it was deserted. As such, the white walled room was lit up by different databank entries on Earth history and culture. Tyro had long gotten bored of only reading up on one subject at a time, and had perfected taking in information from every screen at once. His mind raced over every terminal, taking everything instantaneously, dates, places, names.
But suddenly it stopped. It had taken him a moment to notice, but something was wrong. Tyro blinked himself out of his self-imposed trance, and concentrated on one screen in particular.
"The magnificent city of Atlantis stands as one of the greatest sites of Sol 3. The island city was almost destroyed thousands of years in Earth's past, but its destruction was prevented by the Time Lords, acting through their agent, the Doctor."
Not quite believing what he was reading, Tyro scanned the screen again, before quickly moving on..
"Sol 3 saw many invasion attempts in its twentieth century, all of which were thwarted by the Doctor, working in the capacity of an off world Time Lord agent, his purpose to ensure time progressed as intended."
"If not for the immediate action of the Time Lord High Council, it is likely Earth would have been completely destroyed by the Dalek invasion."
"No." He said quietly. "That's not how it happened at all." Tyro reached for a screen interface, when a cold voice behind him stopped him in his tracks.
"But of course it is, young one."
Tyro turned around, recognising the Archivist, keeper of all Gallifreyan records.
"Your mentor, Axelle, compiled most of them, after all." His old, cruel face curled in to a snarl, grey hair poking from underneath his green and brown skullcap.
"But.." Tyro stuttered, feeling like a young boy again, challenging his superiors. "With respect, I have read these archives many times. They've changed." He paused. "Everyone knows the Doctor doesn't work for the High Council. He can't abide politics and power."
"That may be the appearance." The Archivist sneered. "But you can't argue with the written word. You, as a lover of history should know that. The past is the only certainty, isn't that what Axelle says?"
"I'll have to see what he says." Tyro snapped. "He'll prove me right."
"I'm afraid," the Archivist started, reaching in to his robe. "I can't let you do that."
With a speed that defied his apparent age, the old Time Lord revealed a silver staser, the weapon of the Chancellery Guard. Everyone on Gallifrey knew one of these weapons on sight, they were well known for being the only effective means of offense on the planet. For in a society where one simply moves on to another life after death, a weapon to completely disable the regenerative process was the only way to be sure the target was no more.
Tyro barely had time to move before the weapon was pointed straight at him, barely had time to make a sound as the trigger was pulled, and the energy blast struck him dead centre in the chest. As he fell backwards, all the young Time Lord could see in his mind were the images he had seen all of those years ago as he looked in to the Untempered Schism, and as his eyes closed for the final time he wondered if this was why he had never wanted to look to his future.
The Archivist groaned, a muscle in his back reminded him he must have been close to another regeneration, as he dragged Tyros' body from the middle of the room where it had fallen. He looked around the room quickly, trying to find some way to conceal the body. Death had never been his intention, but he knew Tyroankandra would never have been convinced by any yearn he could have spun. The old Tie Lord almost gave up hope, before spying an old, non-descript unit in the corner. It was completely white, so almost blended in with the walls.
"Perfect." He hissed, dragging his victim to the antiqued TARDIS. "We've been meaning to have this old thing decommissioned. Seems like you have given me the perfect excuse. No need to keep an old Type 51 around anymore."
He slid the door open quickly, and with no grace at all, pushed the body through on to the floor. He didn't enter, but instead just closed the door and walked away.
"You always did like history, Tyroankandra." The Archivist muttered. "This time tomorrow you'll be thrown in to the Eye of Harmony itself. Part of Time Lord history forever."
As the door opened, the TARDIS console room lit up, as if welcoming someone home. The Time Rotor in the centre of the console moved slightly, but stopped when the lifeless body of the Time Lord hit her floor, and the doors were closed again.
The white walls were embossed with circular panels, each concealing a different part of circuitry and systems. Some of the panels were missing, having never been replaced after maintenance or perhaps used for spare parts. The console too, looked as if it had met a similar fate, the occasional button and lever missing. The buttons that did survive, however, slowly started to light up, one at a time at first, and then all started to pulse in unison. The Time Rotor shuddered again, as if struggling to move after all of this time. The movement was slow and strained at first, until it became regular, as if the machine was learning all over again.
The column lit up with a bright light, filling the console room for a few moments, and illuminating the stationary body of the Time Lord, face down on the floor.
All of a sudden, Tyro's right hand began to twitch, and then his left. Very quickly, they both faded away, replaced a moment later by brand new hands. His long brown hair faded away abandoning his shoulders and settling at a chestnut brown that finished at a more appropriate length down the back of his neck.
With a gasp, Tyro turned over, and shot up from the floor.
"Odd!" He shouted excitedly. "I should probably be dead." He stopped himself. "Oops, being pessimistic again, wasn't I? They always said, 'got to look on the bright side Tyro." He grinned and continued rambling to himself. "Nothing like not dying to make you look on the bright side. Still,hoped I would have gotten more than 87 years out of that one." He held both arms out in front of him and frowned. "Still a bit weedy though, shame that. Still, who needs brawn when you've got brains?" He ran a hand across his head, as if demonstrating to the TARDIS. "And hair!" He smiled. "Should have done this a while ago! Only kept it long because there wasn't much of it otherwise." He circled the console, taking in every detail as he ran a finger over a dusty set of buttons.
As if in response, the Time Rotor stopped suddenly, making an unbearable grinding noise.
"Oh yes!" Tyro exclaimed. "Was doing something wasn't I. Someone rewriting Time Lord history. Agh!" He suddenly doubled up in pain, grabbing hold of the console. "Need to find the Doctor!" He struggled, before the burst of pain faded. He looked down at himself, still dressed in his Prydonian robes.
"But first," He grinned, flicking controls randomly on the console and hoping it looked like he knew what he was doing, "I need to go shopping!"