noun: advent; plural noun: advents
1. the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.
Gallifrey had once been called the Shining World of the Seven Systems, and with good reason. It had been magnificent, the closest thing to what one might call perfection, revered across all of time and all the universe. And then they'd heard of the Daleks, some idiot's idea of genetic manipulation on some backwater planet and they'd thrown the Doctor onto Skaro, their seers foreseeing a time when the aliens would exterminate the entire universe with no hope of stopping them.
The fool hadn't been able to do it.
From then on the species had carried an inbred hatred for all Time Lords, and specifically for the Doctor. He'd fought them off time and again, but Gallifrey's wayward child rarely turned his eyes to his home world, and war brewed without his knowledge. By the time he came running back it was much too late.
They used all the weapons they had, and when those didn't work they broke open the Omega Archives and used what they had there. And when those didn't work, they resurrected soldiers every single time they died and sent them back in the hopes to change the outcome of the battle, and again when those soldiers died, and again when they kept dying. Time was beyond hope of salvaging, it was knotted and tangled to the point where it would leave a ragged scar no matter what the outcome.
They resurrected Rassilon in the hopes that he would lead them safely into peace and glory once again, but to no avail. The supposed leader was mad with bloodlust and war and with the Glove, the Sash, and the Key, it was impossible to disobey him. He tried to break them free by destroying the rest of the universe and leaving them as a form of consciousness in the endless void. The High Council was in an emergency meeting doing just that, destroying the mind of Gallifrey's other renegade son, the Master, for their own salvation.
What had become of them? How could something so great have fallen so far?
"You'd have hope! And right now, that is exactly what you don't have."
The face of one of three Doctors smiled at him, and the General took a shuddering breath. The entire room was shaking around them, the entire planet, and it was a miracle the ceiling hadn't caved in and killed them all. It was a rather sturdy ceiling, perhaps they had a bit longer to do... to do something.
They could put their lives, all of the lives of Gallifrey, into the hands of a madman, or they could burn, endlessly burn until the entire universe burned with them.
"It's delusional!" he said, shaking his head, so lost in the war that he couldn't ever see a way out. "The calculations alone would take... hundred of years!"
"Oh, hundreds and hundreds!" the Doctor agreed.
"But don't worry." Another face waved away his concerns dismissively. "I started a very long time ago."
"Calling the War Council of Gallifrey, this is the Doctor!"
"You might say," and now the face was grinning like a fool, "that I've been doing this all my lives!"
Around the room, holograms began to spring to life, surrounding the three faces of the Doctor that were already there. The elderly man that the General quite clearly remembered breaking into the repair rooms and stealing a faulty TARDIS capsule, the one they had forced to regenerate and the following regeneration that had landed on Earth – and somehow managed to repair his TARDIS with their primitive technology. The one that couldn't bring himself to destroy the Daleks, the one that had been to the Tower of Rassilon with the previous four. The one that they had put on trial against his future self, and good heavens above, if that hadn't been a migraine for all of them, and so, so many more.
"Hang in there!"
"Across the boundaries that divide one universe from another..."
"Just got to lock onto these coordinates!"
"And now for my next trick...!"
The General shook his head weakly, turning to look at Androgar next to him. His second-in-command looked back with wide eyes. "I didn't know when I was well off," he muttered. "All twelve of them!"
"No, sir!" The unfamiliar, authoritative voice had the General spinning around to see where it was coming from. A thirteenth hologram sprang to life in an empty space between the others. "All thirteen!"
The entire room shook again, and the General was knocked to the floor.
"Sir!" The Commander looked up from a computer panel. "The Daleks know that something is happening! They're increasing their firepower!"
Dust crumbled down from the ceiling, and the lights began to flicker on and off. Perhaps the ceiling wasn't as stable as he had originally thought.
You'd have hope!
And right now, that is exactly what you don't have.
"Do it, Doctor." It went against every fiber of the General's being to flee from battle, but what choice did they have? "Just do it."
The Doctor looked at him with old eyes.
"Do it,"he ordered.
"Okay." The other Doctors moved to their consoles. "Gentlemen, we're ready."
"Find something to hold onto," the General said, looking at Androgar. "Something tells me this isn't going to go smoothly."
"Yes, sir." Nodding shakily, the other man turned and began relaying the order to the others. The High Command had abandoned all pretense of dignity and clung to whatever they could in the hopes that it would provide some small modicum of stability.
"Oh, for God's sake... Gallifrey stands!"
Echoes of whooping shouts, the not-quite battle cries, flew around and around the room.
The entire Citadel seemed to be shaking by this point, the Daleks raging fury spurring them on to ever increasing firepower, and the General coughed and peered up through the dust with watering eyes. The rotating hologram above the table continued to glow even as the voices of the Doctors became garbled and slowly began to disappear, one by one until there was nothing but silence.
Convinced the floor wouldn't send them flying off their feet once more, one of them got up and rushed to a computer panel that was sparking, smoke pouring out from the sides of it. Tearing off a piece of their ruined robes, they covered their hands so the screen wouldn't burn them and let out a hysterical laugh when the results came up.
"We've moved!" he gasped. "The entire planet- we're in some kind of a pocket universe – no suns, no moons, but gravity is stable, there... there doesn't seem to be anything but us... but no Daleks, either." Hands shaking, he turned back, seeming unsure whether he should smile or whether he should collapse with relief.
"He did it." The General looked back at the hologram above the table. "That madman actually did it!"
The screaming seemed to stop all at once.
Children slowly climbed out of empty pipes, from around corners, from underneath rocky crevices in the remains of what used to be rows of beautiful spiraling towers, and they stared upwards in confusion, squinting into the light as the smoke cleared in a breeze. It wasn't bright, per say, there were no stars, no suns, no moons, only a dim glow that seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere, yet it was enough to puzzle the children into silence.
An elderly woman let out a shuddering gasp and dropped to her knees, prostrating herself in the dirt, and a grown man actually stumbled backwards in shock before bursting out into tears. Parents tugged their sons and daughters close, staring, sobbing, but still it was silent.
"Mother?" A boy tugged at a woman's sleeve. "Mother, what is it? What's the orange?"
She was too stunned to answer.
"It's the sky!" A man's shout finally broke the heavy atmosphere, voicing all of their thoughts in a few simple words. "Oh, heavens above, I can see the sky!"
"The sky! I can see the sky!"
"The sky! The sky! The sky!"
As quickly as silence had descended it was gone again, a fleeting moment in the endless amounts of time. Now the planet was full of cries and shouts and screams once more, but this time, they were of joy.
Romanadvoratrelundar had been Lady President of Gallifrey at the beginning of the war, but then the people called for a man, for a soldier, and the High Council had gone behind her back and resurrected Rassilon, who had promptly seen her presidency taken away and had her instated as Lady Chancellor. A high position, well-respected, but purely for politics, and there was no negotiating with the Daleks. Still, it was too good of a position to pass down without being thoroughly scorned – if she refused to accept she would be seen as a petty woman, who only wanted her presidency back and wouldn't stand for anything less.
Rassilon essentially forbid her from voting, kept her locked out of all things that he discussed in the Senate or with the High Council. A figurehead was all she was. A puppet, and Rassilon was the one that was pulling the strings.
It had been a surprise to see the General practically running down the hallways to meet her. The man was military straight through to his bones, and never broke his stern composure.
Was he smiling?
"My Lady Chancellor!" he gasped, hysterical laughter bubbling from his lips. He clasped her hands in his, and she noted with a frown that they were shaking. "Oh, my Lady Chancellor, he did it! That crazy fool did it!"
"Did what?" she asked sharply. "General, show some composure and explain what you are talking about. I can hardly understand you when you offer me no context."
The General paused, cleared his throat, but still he smiled and he hadn't let go of her hands. "The Doctor stole the Moment, he intended to use it to- to destroy Gallifrey, to destroy the Time Lords and the Daleks alike."
Romana knew this – she had helped him into the archives. She knew Rassilon was planning something massive, and would much prefer that it was ended quickly and efficiently. The bloodshed had gone on for long enough.
She kept quiet on this fact, however.
"And- oh, I don't know what happened- I have no clue how they did it-"
"They?" she cut in. "I believe you had said he the first time, singular."
"Yes!" The General laughed again. "Him! The Doctor! Lady Chancellor, all thirteen of them, all thirteen! The stasis cubes, they've locked Gallifrey in a pocket universe, we're suspended out of time, but the Daleks destroyed themselves in their own crossfire. We're alive, and they aren't. That man, insane though he may be, he put us here and he can get us out. We're alive, Lady Chancellor, we're alive!"
The words numbed her brain, brought everything to a grinding halt, and she swayed slightly. "Show me," she demanded.
He promptly dragged her to a window, brushing aside the broken glass. "The sky! No Daleks. No smoke. No light, either, but they couldn't bring our suns along, could they? No Daleks, no smoke, no fire... we can see the sky again."
For a moment she understood the urge to laugh, to break composure and just laugh, because it was so very like that man to do the impossible and pull it off without a problem. But it was quickly quashed, and she stiffened, feeling as though ice water was suddenly running through her veins.
"I must inform Rassilon," she said abruptly. "He's been planning something, him and the High Council, and whatever it is, it won't work now. They need to know we're safe before they do something drastic-"
She cut herself off before she could potentially let something slip and commit treason, but the General shook his head.
"We lost contact with the High Council some several hours ago," he informed her. A pause. "Rassilon is insane. As far as I know, whatever plans he had in mind during that emergency session failed, and to that, I say good riddance!"
"I should at least see if anyone is still alive down there," she argued. "They are all mad with power, and something must be done about them."
"Hmm." He seemed to agree with her, at any rate, so she turned to leave. "Godspeed, Lady Chancellor."
As Romana walked down the hallway at a brisk pace – she didn't run, Lady Chancellors certainly didn't run – she could still hear the General talking to himself behind her.
"I can see the sky..."
The meeting room for the High Council was even further beneath their shattered Citadel than the War Rooms where the Gallifreyan High Command were frequently found. Romana never broke stride as she continued to walk, down winding stairs and the walkways over gaping chasms where the Daleks' attacks had split the crust of the planet itself and down and down and down...
The doors were closed, so she knocked. She'd probably die if she walked in without showing some form of respect.
A couple moments had passed, and she wondered if she had missed the response. She knocked again and pressed her ear to the crack between the doors, but there was no reply save silence.
Perhaps their plans did fail. Steeling herself for whatever was inside, she pushed the doors open and stepped through.
They had tried something- oh, it was clear that they had tried something, but they had failed, they had failed and it was so plainly obvious. The meeting table had been overturned by some unknown force, there were bodies strewn across the cracked tiled floors. The seer's eyes were open but glassy, never to see again.
There were only four that were conscious, two dressed in the formal robes of the Presidential Guard and two Romana recognized – they were dressed in commoners robes despite their high status, for they had voted against what Rassilon wished and were thus punished appropriately. Those two were kneeling on the floor with a guard next to something she couldn't quite see, and one guard was standing.
"My Lady Chancellor!"
One looked up, and made a helpless motion.
"What happened?" she demanded to know.
"The Final Sanction," came the instantaneous response from the guard on the left, the one standing. "He wished to destroy the rest of the universe and have the Time Lords ascend to a higher form of consciousness – he sent a- a signal, he said, back in time to the Untempered Schism, to link us to the outside."
"And how would that be of any use to us?" Romana said derisively, emphasizing each word.
"Only two Time Lords were known to escape the Time War," the shamed man said softly. "The Doctor and the Master."
It wasn't hard to believe. The Master claimed to hear a drumbeat, an echo of four that nobody else could hear, and it drove him mad before he had even graduated from the Academy. That the High Council would ruin such a brilliant life for their own gains didn't require a huge stretch of the imagination.
"And then what?"
"They pulled Gallifrey out of the Time Lock," the kneeling guard said quickly. "To Earth, where the Doctor and the Master were. And the Doctor fell through the ceiling, he had a gun, primitive, human, but it would work. Rassilon refused to bring the Master back with us. He was... diseased, he claimed. The Doctor could shoot the Master, one end of the link, or Rassilon, the other, and either way he would be taken back with us."
"He told the Master to get out of the way," the first guard continued. "He shot the device the Master had used to amplify the signal, and was prepared to die as the Time Lock pulled us back in. And then the Master... the Master, he..."
"He saved us," the shamed woman spoke for the first time. She was elderly, from what Romana could see, hardly a soldier. Someone who would vote for peace.
"None of us could do anything," the standing guard added. "It was... we could hardly question Rassilon."
"Something had gone wrong in his resurrection, probably the humans messing something up. His essence isn't locked onto his body, he could do so much more than what he might have been able to do, but it is destroying him. He attacked Rassilon..." And the shamed woman pointed to the overturned table. Romana turned to look where she was pointing, only to see a crumpled set of robes and a staff lying a few feet away on the floor, metal glove wrapped tightly around it. Rassilon's resurrected body had crumbled into dust after the onslaught.
"Dead." The woman nodded firmly. "Quite dead."
"Hold on." Romana shook her head, trying to clear it. Gallifrey lived, Rassilon dead, the Doctor had survived against impossible odds and saved them all... "Hold on. You said is about the Master, is, present tense. Is he...?"
She stepped forward, and then she could see what the three were kneeling around and why they seemed so unsure of what to do. The man curled into a tight ball on the floor could only be the as they watched, a pulse of energy seemed to run through him, and his body flickered blue. She could see straight through his skull.
"Get him to the medical rooms," Romana ordered without thinking. "And change into respectable robes when you get the opportunity. Do not fear the war, Gallifrey is saved, something which I will explain later. Someone remove the bodies from this room, inform the High Council that they are disbanded until further notice."
"My Lady Chancellor," one of the guards began, even as the two shamed picked the Master up by his arms, one on either side of him, and started carrying him towards the door. "You do not have the authority-"
"I think you will find that Rassilon was never officially elected," Romana said coolly. "I was, and still am, Lady President of Gallifrey, and I most certainly do have the authority. Now do as I say before I relieve you of your post."
The guard stiffened into a salute, face going blank. "Yes, ma'am!"
Oh, she had far too much work to do.
Elsewhere in the universe, some unknown time, some unknown place, a little blue box drifted aimlessly through the stars. Inside the box was far more than one would expect, but perhaps, excluding the large amount of space and the mechanics of it all, the most interesting thing inside that box was a man.
A man, who, currently, at this moment, was standing in front of a screen by a round console, eyes flickering over intersecting circles and lines faster than anyone should possibly be able to read.
"Aha!" The exclamation was quiet, but it seemed very loud in the otherwise empty room. "Gotcha."
So! Here's my take on how the Doctor is going to go about finding Gallifrey. It's going to focus on a few key points of view, some from the Master and some from Romana. Some from the Doctor and Clara, and a few old companions make a cameo. There's also some various Time Lords/Ladies that show up along the line, and everything all sort of ties together in the end, so don't worry if it seems a bit disjointed at first. I've got all the chapter summaries written out and most of the chapters handwritten, so it's just a matter of getting everything typed up by this point. This'll be updated daily, and there's twenty-five chapters in total.
As always, feedback is appreciated.