Theta Sigma and Koschei chased each other over the fields of Gallifrey laughing happily as they ran. Out here, they felt free. No bossy, pompous Time Lord's telling them what to do; they could just be themselves. Even Koschei's irritating drumbeat, which he had started complaining about after looking into the Un-tempered Schism, didn't seem to bother him out here.
Then they noticed someone watching them. They stopped for a moment and looked at the girl who stood on a hill above them. She was small, slender and very pretty with long brown hair tied in a ponytail. She looked about eight, the same age as Theta and Koschei. She smiled at the boys and then came down the hill towards them.
"Can I play?" she asked shyly. Theta and Koschei looked at each other then back at her.
"Who are you?" asked Theta.
"Oswin," the girl replied, "Oswinclaraoswald. I looked into the Un-tempered Schism yesterday."
"Did you get inspired, go mad or run away?" asked Koschei. Oswin shrugged.
"I don't know yet," she admitted.
"Koschei went mad," said Theta with a smirk, "He keeps thinking he's hearing drums in his head."
"I do hear drums in my head," Koschei insisted crossly. Theta grabbed his head and tapped a rhythm of four beats on the top of the boy's skull, "Get off me!" Koschei snapped wrenching himself free. Oswin noticed that he did not seem to find Theta's teasing funny.
"What are your names?" she asked hoping to distract them.
"I'm Theta Sigma," said Theta, "and this is Koschei. My slightly crazy best friend."
"Shut up Thete," said Koschei grumpily.
"I don't think Koschei likes being teased," Oswin said quietly.
"Oh he knows I'm only kidding don't ya?" Theta said tapping the drum beat on Koschei's head again in what was supposed to be an affectionate manner.
"Stop it!" roared Koschei, "It's not funny anymore! I wish I'd never told you about the drums!" he turned and ran away. Theta seemed genuinely taken aback. He obviously hadn't realised that he was upsetting Koschei by constantly teasing him about the drumbeat only he could hear.
"You should consider his feelings Theta," said Oswin, "He's obviously sensitive about the drumbeat."
"You don't believe he hears it do you?" asked Theta incredulously.
"No but that doesn't mean you should tease him about it," Oswin replied.
"Who are you my mother?" Theta asked grumpily. Oswin glared at him.
"I know you're mother," she said, "She's on her third regeneration already."
"How do you know my mum?" asked Theta, "I've never met you before!"
"My mother's a friend of your mothers," Oswin explained, "She didn't want me interacting with you because she thought you were too much trouble. I think she was right." She walked away and Theta watched her leave with a slightly shocked expression.
Standing on another hill was a man who watched the children with an evil smile. Theta's relationship with Koschei had already been tainted by the drumbeat, which the Great Intelligence knew was real. Now he just needed to turn Koschei's resentment towards Theta into hatred, poisoning the first true friendship Theta had ever made.