Author’s Note: I’m not gonna bullshit anybody. I may not follow this up.
I tend to do this shit once every few years. I read stuff from other people (i.e. other efedders) and I get the stupid, hairbrained idea of establishing the lore in case anybody is bored enough to read it. I do all the research. And then do more research. And then inevitably I end up doing too much research where by the time I attempt to write this stuff, my brains are clogged, I’m sick of the whole idea, and it turns into a charred shell of a shell of its former self that I half heartedly stuff into a roleplay because “well, I wrote it so I might as well use it”. Needless to say, the chance of this being part one of an aborted history are high.
Even if I do manage to keep this going, there is also a chance that I will contradict part or whole of the entire thing because I plan absolutely nothing and always run by the seat of my pants. If I see something else that I think is cool, guess what? I’m using it!
Plus this story did not come from me. This, if anything, is a retelling of events that lead to other, somewhat more meaningful (to the character) events. I could just say “find the book and read this part, this part, and this part to understand this second part”. But how many people are actually going to do this? Zero. The book is the biggest pain in the ass to find anyway.
To the two people who lasted this long in my ramblings, know that the convenience of this rewrite (if not subtle reimagining) is for you while the length is clearly for the writer in me, as it was never meant to be this long in the first place.
It started with a warning.
Once upon a time, a renegade turned himself in under the pretense that he would be heard by those who have wanted his head. He had a warning to give, something that he tripped upon, something that they had better start preparing for. The Lord President was filled instantly with disgust, automatically wanting his prey to suffer for every rule he broke. And there were several, broken multiple times with enough evidence to not just keep him in jail but bury the bastard underneath it. The most egregious and the most recent was the murder of three of the former President’s guards and holding said President hostage. It was only for a few minutes–fifteen, according to the records–but in those fifteen minutes, he held the whole world in his blood covered hands. That was treason beyond treason. And who knows why they didn’t just kill him then.
Unfortunately for the current Lord President, the rest of the Council were willing to hear the renegade out. With hatred in his hearts, he refused to participate in the proceedings. And so under a closed session with the heads of the ruling Houses in their ceremonial robes and the renegade dressed in hideous human garb, he started to paint a picture.
Firstly, it should be noted that the renegade did not deny any of the charges against him. In fact, he admitted to every single one including his brief upheaval of the establishment just a short five years ago. Rightly, he should be punished and was more than willing to pay the price. But he knew there were questions about that situation. Why did he do it? Why didn’t the then-President order for his head? The second was simple. Despite that his would-be assailant had already killed two of his guards, the then-President did not and would not accept him as a threat. The stoic mindset of the leader just could not allow it, especially as he managed to stomp out potential revolutions before they even started.
As to the answer of the first question? Well, that was why their prisoner was standing before them.
You see, he gave this warning to the President back then. He wanted to do it peacefully. Nicely, even. But the head of state refused and the guards weren’t exactly friendly. So he did what he had to do to get his point across. The loss of two lives was unfortunate yet compared to the losses they were going to have, they were less than the proverbial drop in the bucket. What he would warn about wasn’t like these weak little at-home skirmishes they had been having. Oh, no. This would be nothing else than a full-blown, downright, capital-W War the likes of which nobody left living has ever known against an enemy that they don’t know.
Now under normal circumstances, this declaration would’ve warranted massive amounts of laughter and doubt at best. If this was any other person, they would’ve been laughed out of the building and retro-annulled on the spot without a second thought. Yet as much of a rap sheet as this particular villain had gained and as much trouble as his antics may have caused, he also tended to be the type to call on when things needed…fixed. The relationship was one of begrudging respect, balled fists and gritted teeth at the best of times as well as a certain silent understanding. Even as the names and faces changed on the Council, there was one thing that remained firm.
This particular specimen wouldn’t kill unless it was necessary. And that he did it to relay a message had serious implications.
Besides this wasn’t the first time they heard of this. They have heard of the possibility in whispers ever since those fifteen minutes elapsed. Some of them even heard the then-President mumble about war and how it was impossible as if trying to convince himself. When asked about it, he launched into denial and when the idea that catastrophe might befall the great and mighty gatekeepers of time, he spent every bit of his resources to snuff out the mere thought. His successor, who pouted in his room as they deliberated, was hell bent on doing the same even as cracks in The Way Things Were started to form. Brilliant though they were at a good amount of things, nobody thought to connect the dots.
(Of course, the conspiracy went deeper than that. The then-President was not the only person the renegade talked to that day and multiple attempts were made to start peace talks with the Enemy. It is unfortunate that none of them were able to get through or if they did, the responses never came back. To the Presidency, even so much as humoring the ramblings of a madman was seen as weakness and an affront to everything they stood for. He smothered every last bit of it. None of this was public knowledge until after the War was well and truly started. One could only dream about what could’ve been.)
Without the Lord President around to veto the decision, the pardon was granted happily and hastily. When he heard that it went through, he was–to use human parlance–pissed the fuck off. He ordered the renegade in chains and was emboldened to snuff out this annoying rumor once and for all. “Show me where this alleged enemy is and I will come back in five days time with absolute proof that this man lies as easily as I breathe!”
It only took a moment for the renegade to nod in approval. He had to have known that some people just had to learn the hard way. He handed off the coordinates of where the Enemy were at that very moment. He also watched as the huffy little man got into his TARDIS and faded out.
The days were long. The nights were brief.
Finally, the fifth day arrived. The Council still wore their robes, the color of their specialties draped across their shoulders. They gathered at their proper places as the prisoner was wheeled in, his entire body in a state of crucifixion. And then…they waited.
It’s important to understand at this point the concept of lateness and how it affects certain races. The lesser species, humans in your case, have the wherewithal to know that time exists. However, they do not have the ability to travel through it. Humans are slaves to time and circumstance. That’s what makes you “lesser” in the eyes of these smug little assholes. Therefore, if you are five, ten, or fifteen minutes late to something, it’s not that big of a deal. Maybe you got held up in traffic or you overslept or your dog urinated all over your custom made Italian loafers and you needed to dig through your closet to find a matching pair of anything. It can be irritating the later you are. But ultimately, that’s all it is. Irritating.
To the Council, the Lord President of Gallifrey being late for even one minute is definitely cause for alarm. Because if one is a gatekeeper of time, one is expected if not demanded to be punctual. And if any one of them held that expectation more than the rest, it would have to be the figurehead of the damned place. As the minutes stretched on, the collective began to get antsy. After all, these were people to whom lateness was unheard of. Not to mention almost all of them never had it in them to leave the boring comfort of their domed cities and Houses. To them, this was the most anxiety they’ve felt about anything.
Finally, the Lord President arrived. Well, sort of. The TARDIS that he traveled in did not return. He did not come back with a smug look on his face or the etchings of defeat. He did not look at anyone nor did he say anything.
He was also missing a body.
It should be noted that everything up to this point has been the broad strokes of the situation. There was certainly more said and more done that is lost to time, as odd as the statement may be. Many things were either chronicled partly or not at all which leaves a lot to debate, speculation, and straight up lying. Honestly, it’s like a lot of history. But the main points are here. The renegade talking about an Enemy. The Council willing to listen. The President’s bluster. And the one thing that couldn’t be debated or shrugged away by any revisionist worth their weight in gold: said President’s severed head, eyes rolled back, a message wedged between his teeth.
We are not amused.
Those words made it abundantly clear to anyone who saw it–and many did, the Council would leave it there for a while on purpose to prove what happened to the masses en large–that whatever hopes they could’ve had of solving this whole ordeal peacefully were utterly destroyed. Whether they were demolished by the deceased himself or the prospect never existed was and will always be anybody’s guess.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking. What does this got to do with anything? Ah, children. Sweet, summer children. You have to establish the setting in order to understand anything else. Beyond this point, Gallifrey will be dragged into changing for better or worse. The culture would end up having to morph in new ways and accept new ideas which is quite the task for a culture that hasn’t changed one lick since the last capital-W War before the Time Lords ever became known as such.
At least one of these changes may or may not have produced somebody you know.