Tyro stood in the TARDIS work shop, having spent hours searching for it. The more he saw of this impossible ship, the more he wanted to know about its previous owner. He had discovered various libraries, a sauna and even a nature park. Right now, however, he was leant over the broken body of his robot attacker, various pieces of equipment scattered around the large work bench that he was using as a makeshift operating table. Various sets of cables ran from the machines open chest to an analyser, various diagnostic results scrolling across the screen.
"Think you're about ready." Tyro muttered, swinging the loose headphone cable over his shoulder and out of his way. Stepping back, he tapped at a nearby keyboard, inputting the start-up command. Instantly, the single eye lit up with a red glow, the connected screen outputting text sent from the robots processors.
"SYSTEMS INITILISING" This remained on the screen for a few moments, and Tyro could leant in close to hear the various processors and systems whir in to live.
"ALL SYSTEMS ONLINE"
The robot body tried to move, but to no avail, it's shoulders, arms, legs and torso securely held to the table with metal clamps. It only had the freedom to move its head from side to side.
"TARGET LOCATED." The screen outputted, as the robot looked straight at Tyro, who stood his ground, despite the twitching arm only a foot away from him.
"I'd like to see you try." Tyro smirked.
"COMPLETE WEAPON MALFUNCTION. OFFENSE SYSTEMS OFFLINE."
"Looking for these?" Tyro laughed, waving the two laser cannons in front of the mechanical eye. "Do you really think I'd be that stupid?" He paused. "Glad you can't answer that, actually." He placed the two severed weapons back down, and returned to the keyboard. "Now I have you online," he looked over his shoulder to the badly damaged metal body, miraculously still mainly intact, "which wasn't easy, I'll have you know, maybe you can help me. Access your databank. I need to know your mission. Who sent you?"
There was a long pause, the robots eye flashing rapidly. Finally, a message appeared on the screen.
"EMERGENCY PROTOCOL ACTIVATED. ERASING ALL CONFIDENTIAL FILES AND SUBROUTINES."
"No, no, no!" Tyro swore, prodding at keys rapidly, trying to stop the process.
"DELETION COMPLETE." The screen confirmed.
Tyro lashed out suddenly, sending a variety of robot parts crashing to the floor. He had lost track of how long he had spent trying to get the machine back in to an operable state, just so he could find out what the Archivist was up to. He knew that the Time Lord would not have sent this machine after him of his own accord, it would be too easy to trace, which meant that someone else was involved, and Tyro was determined to find out who.
"AWAITING INSTRUCTIONS." The readout flashed to him.
"Keep on waiting." Tyro huffed. "I've got no use for you." He stopped for a moment and thought about it. "Or have I?"
Lorendria shot upright from her slumber, sweat pouring from her forehead. After all the months she had spent trying to see it again, the vision had suddenly come to her, much more vivid this time, and showing her so much more.
This time, she had been there. This in itself scared her, she had never seen a vision of her own future before, but it was the circumstances that were even more terrifying. It had been bad enough knowing what was destined to happen to Tyro and Suress, but she had now learnt that she too was part of this story.
Nearby in the Citadel, the Archivist had also been suddenly bought back to consciousness. However, unlike the young Time Lady, he was calm, happy even. An evil smile adorned his face, knowing he had been successful.
The gift of seeing in to the future was a rare one, even on Gallifrey, and one that had always eluded the Archivist. He was however, highly skilled in the art of manipulation, something that seemed essential to get anywhere in Gallireyan society. Usually, however, this was limited to political scheming and backstabbing.
He hadn't expected it to be easy to psychically interfere with the dreams of another, but Lorendria had proven particularly susceptible. Perhaps, he theorised, it was due to her nature as a member of the Patrex Chapter. He spent little time pondering this matter though, much more interested in what the outcome of his meddling would be. He knew that for his eventual aim to succeed, what Lorendria had seen had to come to pass. He had always had faith in Time, but felt that pushing the Time Lady a little in the right direction couldn't hurt. The more she saw and knew, the more she would try and stop it, and eventually cause it to happen in the first place.
Little did the Archivist know, that his meddling had been more successful than he had hoped, for a few corridors away, Axelle also awoke, terrible scenes flashing through his mind.
"Steady!" Tryo exclaimed, supporting the robot as it almost tumbled over on to him. The pair had left the workshop now, and were heading back to the console room. After doing a bit of poking around in file systems, Tyro had discovered that all trace of any previous tasks, such as his execution, had been completely wiped from the robots memory. Therefore, the Time Lord concluded, it was not dangerous in the least; particularly now it was, literally, unarmed. He had of course also taken particular care to remove any systems and protocols that would allow any form of external control. The last thing Tyro needed was for the machine to turn on him again with no warning.
"Don't think I've forgiven you for Leanne though." He had said darkly before releasing the magnetic clamps.
"Going to need a name for you though." He said thoughtfully, as the doors opened to the console room. "I can't just keep calling you 'robot'." The machine turned its head to him, looking down from its above average height. Now the diagnostic equipment had been removed, it could no longer communicate effectively.
"I think I'll call you Archie." Tyro decided, dusting off a bit of dirt he had spotted on his silver waistcoat. "What do you think? Suits you."
Archie simply turned his head away, and followed Tyro towards the console.
"Ooh. Beeping." The Time Lord stated, positioning himself in front of the monitor. "Let's hope it's good beeping this time, eh?"
He worked at the keyboard for a minute or two, before discovering what the TARDIS was trying to tell him.
"Hazzah!" He exclaimed suddenly, a look of excitement spreading over his face. "It's the Doctor, Archie! I think we've found the Doctor!"
Archie did not respond, but instead just teetered on the spot as the TARDIS launched itself towards its new target.
"I must congratulate you Archivist." Axelle said as he entered the Archive Chamber. "I had no idea your cognitive influence was that powerful."
The Archivist turned his head from the monitor at which he was working, hiding his slight panic with a blank expression.
"Although perhaps it's a little too powerful." Axelle continued. I am assuming I was not the intended recipient of that particular vision."
"I have no idea what you are talking about Axelle." The Archivist sneered. "But then again, I always did know you were a little bit delusional."
"Let's not make this personal." Axelle gave a fake smile. "And let's not play games. Two of my students have vanished, one shortly after having accessed files from within this very room, and the other after confronting you on a guard patrol. And now I, and many other elders, I suspect, have seen a telepathically implanted vision intended for a third, who confided only in you. I would say my suspicion is a little more than delusion, wouldn't you?"
"Oh, very clever." The Archivist replied, getting to his feet. "And why, pray tell, do you propose I would go to all the trouble of this?"
"Because you've been changing the files." Axelle said bluntly. "I admit, I do not review them as often as I perhaps should, but over the last few days I have made a point of it, specifically the ones young Tyroanakdro accessed before his disappearance. We both know you are the only person who can change them, besides myself."
"That's not true." The Archivist sneered. "Your precious Tyroankandro is the one changing the record of our past. That's why he ran."
"You are lying." Axelle's stare burnt straight at the older Time Lord.
"Oh of course I am." The Archivist laughed. "But that is what that fool Suress believes, which is why he is after Tyroankandro, chasing him through time." He paused, a sickly smile spreading across his lips. "In order to kill him."
Axelle felt his body start to shake. Perhaps the vision he had seen was the real future after all, the Archivist had just manipulated the image to make it clearer. When he had awoken he had assumed, and hoped, that it was false future, designed to mentally cripple Lorendria even more.
"And where does Lorendria fall in to all this?" Axelle asked. "Why make her suffer?"
"Just keeping the path of history intact." The Archivist replied. "Wouldn't want anything to not-happen, would we?"
"Seems a little ironic, seeing as you're admitting to trying to rewrite our entire history."
"Oh, I'm not trying, Axelle." He boasted, gesturing to the computer screen he was working on. "I've succeeded. The perfect history of the universe now resides in our databanks."
"Perfect?" Axelle laughed.
"Yes." The Archivist nodded. "Not historically accurate, but perfect. We are such an old race, Axelle." He lowered his voice. "The two of us are examples of that. We have so much power, but we keep it to ourselves, we don't interfere. You've read my amendments; we could have saved civilisations, stopped planets from burning."
"But we didn't!" Axelle exclaimed. "Editing a datafile won't change that."
"You are correct of course, but history is written by the winners, Axelle. You know that. Why do you think our race is feared and turned away by the rest of the universe? It is because we do not use our gifts to help. With this version of history passed along the generations, the legacy of the Time Lords will be one of kindness and great power."
"That's it?" Axelle laughed. "All this, Tyroankandro, Suress, Lorendria, all so you can make the rest of the universe see us in a better light?"
"Of course not." The Archivist smiled. "Once the legacy of the Time Lords is changed throughout the universe, imagine how easy it will be to forge alliances with those races who now see us as saviours. Sontarans, Daleks, Zygons, they will all join with us, or rather with the Time Lord ambassador."
"Yourself, of course." Axelle continued for him. "With the rest of Gallifrey, myself excluded, none the wiser."
"Exactly. Now you see why I needed your little history boys out of the way. You've seen the future too, haven't you? Perfect solution to my problem, I think you'll find. I hardly have to get my hands dirty." He paused, a sinister look in his eye. "Apart from with you."
"That is your new future then, is it?" Axelle ignored the threat. "The Archivist travelling the universe with his army of grateful alien species?"
"For a while." The Archivist hissed. "Until I take over completely. They won't even see it happening. We Time Lords are gifted at political manipulation, after all." He looked straight at Axelle. "But you wouldn't know of that, would you, buried in your databanks. But no, soon enough, I will be the supreme ruler, not just of an army, but of entire worlds. Entire races of unstoppable killing machines, military minds, all at my fingertips."
There was a silence for what seemed like hours, but Axelle knew it was no more than a few seconds.
"You're insane." He said at last. "This is what our high and mighty attitude does to us. It turns us in to power hungry monsters."
"You judge too harshly, Axelle." The Archivist replied. "I will not be alone. I will seek out like minded Time Lords, once it is too late for the council to stop me, of course, and recruit them in to my regime. That will be the basis of my society, the entire universe ruled by Time Lords." He paused. "I would start by asking you to join me, to stand with me at my side, but I think we both know that would never happen."
"You are right about something, at last." Axelle nodded.
"Then," The other Time Lord said sadly, "I am going to have to kill you too." He paused, stepping towards Axelle. "But at least with you I can be sure you won't regenerate."
A sudden wind whipped up from nowhere, blowing dust and leaves around as the scrapyard was filled with sounds of space and time splitting in to two, as if the universe was groaning. The wind got stronger, and very soon a white flashing light appeared from nowhere, fading in to existence. Soon after, a large blue box started to materialise, light emanating from the small windows on each side.
Moments later, a fully formed, well-worn Police Box was sat in a long forgotten corner of 76 Totters Lane.
The door creaked open slowly, as it's Time Lord pilot stepped out, a silver tube like device in his hand. He waved it around for a moment, before holding it to his ear carefully with one hand, whilst batting his neckwear away from his face with the other.
"Nothing!" Tyro exclaimed, shaking the Sonic Screwdriver. "Well, nothing recent anyway. If the Doctor was here, it was a long time ago." He took one last look at the screwdriver, before throwing it back through the TARDIS door. He stepped out further, looking at the new form of his time machine, and smiled. He had heard so many stories about a box like this, the fear and hope it gave to many civilisations. As a very young boy, he had dreamt of travelling in a TARDIS that looked like this, the Doctor's TARDIS, and now he was doing it, if only for a short time before he rushed off elsewhere.
Turning his attention away from his ship, he looked around the scrapyard.
"Late twentieth century I think." He muttered to himself. "Probably not much to keep me..ooh!" He cut himself off, noticing a pile of discarded computer components. He quickly rushed back inside the TARDIS, where Archie stood beside the console. Tyro straightened his neckerchief, sweeping the now empty shopping basket from the floor. Archie turned slowly on the spot to face him.
"Arm out!" He ordered with a smile. The robot obeyed immediately, raising his right arm, which now ended in some twisted metal and disconnected wires. Tyro leant forward and hooked the basket handle over a hooked piece of broken metal.
"Perfect!" He exclaimed. "Come on then Stumpy! let's find you some new parts!"
Axelle struggled, pushing with all his might as the Archivists hands gripped him tightly around the throat, his face showing a hint of delight as he started to squeeze.
"This is getting to be quite a habit." The Archivist muttered over Axelles gasping, thinking back to the previous two murders he had committed. Up until now he had managed to keep his hands relatively clean, something Time Lords were particularly good at. They were not known as a violent race, but a manipulative one, gently pushing other races in to doing their bidding.
As he watched the life being squeezed from his fellow Time Lord, the Archivist had to wonder why his race had kept way from this method of dealing with their problems. He had always been proud of his original plan, full of cunning and manipulation, there was something satisfying about disposing of this obstacle with his own bare hands.
Once the old man was out of the way, he thought, he would have to act quickly. The decision to kill Axelle had been a quick one, so he had no plan. The only thing that would sprung to mind was a plea of self-defence. With the council now aware that archives were being changed, and Tyroankandro missing, it would not be a giant leap to accuse his mentor of being part of the plot too. Yes, he thought to himself, that could work perfectly. Just as long as Suress caught Tyro before the council did. He had to be the one to recover that TARDIS.
Axelle fought as hard as he could, but this body never had been strong. He was a sage, a teacher, a scribe, not a warrior. His strength had always lay with his mind, rather than his strength, something he was regretting now.
Then it hit him. The power of any mind, let alone a Time Lord one, was not something to under-estimate. He stopped fighting, and closed his eyes, reaching out with his mind, to the one person he knew would be listening.
Across the Citadel, Lorendria woke from her half sleep and burst from her room.
Tyro cursed loudly in Gallifrean as he burnt his hand, once again, on the soldering iron.
"This really is hurting me more than it is you." He quipped, attaching one wire to another deep within Archie's chest cavity.
"Well, that shopping trip was a bit more successful than the last." Tyro said to his new companion as he placed the soldering iron back on his work bench. "This time the killer robot was just carrying the basket." He sighed, remembering Leanne. Was it really right, he thought to himself, for him to allow this machine to live, if you could call it that, after it had taken an innocent life?
Very quickly, he decided it was. Archie hadn't made the decision to tear that shopping centre to pieces, that had been the will of its master, presumably the Archivist. Infact, he reasoned to himself, Archie didn't exist back then. Archie was the machine he was building now, the machine that had come in to existence when Tyro had wiped its previous 'personality' and data.
Tyro stood back in the workshop and looked at his handy work. Archie now had an old PC monitor, CRT apparently, sitting in his chest, wires running from it, one up in to the machines head, another up to its right shoulder. It continued down the arm, where it was connected to a keyboard, haphazardly attached to the forearm.
Various parts of Archie's white armour was cracked, or missing completely, exposed joints and circuitry covered with wire mesh.
Tyro leant forward, and pressed the enter key on the keyboard, before quickly standing back. The servos in Archie's legs jolted suddenly, the single red eye lighting up slowly. Both arms lifted together, each still ending in a stump. Tyro had done his best to remove any potentially dangerous pieces of jagged metal from where the laser cannons used to be, as well as trimming back the remaining strands of wire. He left them just about accessible though, for whatever he may want to connect Archie to in the future.
"Archie?" Tryo said inquisitively. "You there?" He waved a hand in front of the machines eye, prompting it to sit up from the long table.
"Yes." Archie replied, monosyllabically. Tyro grinned. He wasn't sure that his modifications to the voice recognition software would have allowed an interface between it and Archie's core processor, but it certainly seemed to be working.
"Maybe it does pay to be optimistic sometimes."
"All evidence would suggest you are correct." Archie replied, the same message appearing across his chest monitor, green text on a black background.
"So then, Archie." Tyro said, watching as his masterpiece lifted itself from the table. "Time for some tests. Who are you?"
"This unit is designated Archie. Systems running at 78 per cent. Critical damage sustained to weapons systems. All archived data has been erased and is unavailable. This unit is programmed to take orders only from you. Please identify yourself."
"Wow." Tyro rubbed his forehead. "Chatty, aren't we. Don't make me regret giving you a voice."
"For security reasons please identify yourself. This information will be stored to ensure this unit is not used for purposes other than intended."
"Alright, alright. My name is Tyroankandro."
"Unit is now registered to Tyroankandro." Tyro waited impatiently as Archie said his name, at a painful syllable by syllable pace."
"You know what," he smiled sadly, looking down at the yellow badge on his waistcoat. "You can call me 'Sir'."
"Axelle!" Lorendria shouted as she burst in to the Archive Chamber, to see the Archivist gripping her mentor tightly by the throat, Axelle dropping to his knees.
"Oh well done, old man." The Archivist sneered. "Now you've gotten her even deeper in to this. I was going to use her, you know." He looked straight at the young Time Lady in training. "Yes, your gift would have come in very handy."
"I would never have helped you, whatever you are up to!" She shouted, rushing towards the two old Time Lords.
"You wouldn't have had the choice." The Archivist replied, releasing Axelle and throwing his limp body across the room. "In fact, you wouldn't have even known you were doing it. You'd have just made things nice and easy for me, until, well, you know what."
"That isn't going to happen." Lorendria cried, rushing to Axelle's side. She placed a hand on his chest. Still beating. She sighed a deep sigh of relief. "Tyro and Suress haven't even regenerated yet. Those bodies in my vision, they weren't them. Not yet."
"Oh, but you are wrong, my dear." The Archivist said cruelly, reaching in to his robe. "You see, Suress, I saw him regenerate myself. After I stabbed him through a heart, of course."
Lorendria looked up at him, horrified.
"Well, I didn't see it myself, but seeing as I shot him at point blank range, I'm left to presume that he too has moved on to his next life." The old Time lord said, dismissively. In his right hand he held a small device, which looked to Lorendria as if it should fit around the wrist.
"I saw your vision too, remember." The Archivist hissed. "I know all of the pieces of the puzzle. They just need to be slotted in to place." He held the device up in front of him. "I'm sure you know what one of these is?"
"A Vortex Manipulator." Lorendria answered, her attention on Axelle, who was weakly gasping for breath. "Primitive time travel device, and potentially dangerous, as there is no capsule involved."
"Very good." The Archivist mocked. "You've been paying attention. That explains why you were always one of the old man's favourites." He began to tap at the buttons on the device, facing it towards the pair on the floor.
"Of course, the limitation of our TARDIS' is that the passenger must always be on board, the machine must travel with them."
"And?" Lorendria snapped, half surprised that the Archivist had not yet made his way to kill her.
"And, my dear," The sickly smile spread over his face, "although primitive, the Vortex Manipulator does not have that problem."
Pressing one final button, the Archivist watched in triumph as the device ripped open a hole in space and time, right around Lorendria and Axelle. Seconds later, they vanished before his eyes.
"One more piece in place."