He never told anyone the truth, for any number of reasons.
The biggest one was obvious — or would be to any Gallifreyan, Time Lord or not.
Time Lords lied every time they opened their mouths.
The habit was reflexive and all-encompassing. Incomprehensible, really.
They lied about Time, to begin with. You could fill shelves with volumes about those lies. Actually, you could fill shelves with boxes of microfiche packed with their lies. No, scratch that; the shelves would be piled high with tumbled and misfiled data chips full of Time lord time lies.
(That? Was simple disorganization, that was. That was the problem with lying so much; you couldn’t control the lies, and you ended up sounding like a perfect ass.)
The other lies were pretty comprehensive, too. Lies about history, Gallifreyan and everyone else’s. Lies about science — usually accompanied by various sorts of panto hand-waving custom-designed to explain nothing at all, for whoever they were lying to.
Lies about justice and mercy...oh, dear god in heaven, those lies. He’d heard too many of them, particularly his own, to bear thinking about.
More lies...lies about the origin of time travel, lies about Rassilon, lies about Omega, lies about the looms, lies about children and enemies, etiquette, art and emotions, about Earth, about involvement.
They lied about their fashion sense, for god sake. Imagine trying to pass off those dreadful outfits as tradition, instead of the failed grad student term projects they were. He’d never been able to determine whose favorite had designed them; it had obviously been someone with the kind of weight one would need to cement an entire species as multi-galactic fashion victims.
Padded shoulders and wobbly styrofoam collars aside, the real problem was the lies. The lies were everywhere, woven into Time Lord culture, its very warp and weft.
Take dreaming for example.
Time Lords told the universe that Time Lords didn’t dream. The truth was that Time Lords dreamed every damned time they slept — which is why they worked so hard not to sleep — dreamed more vividly and lucidly than almost any other intelligent species. You would think other intelligent beings might have spotted this lie, might have grasped the simple logic of the truth. You really would.
It went something like this.
First: work with the Vortex to any degree at all, and it burned permanent links to Past and Future into every atom of your being. Second: Past and Future are just stage names for Memory and Imagination. Third: Memory and Imagination are the parents of dreams.
Three easy steps; simple, logical, inescapable.
Of course, it was a bit disconcerting to remember that his people had the best memories and imaginations in the known universe, given all his lies about their supposedly thick and prosaic natures.
He’d passed on so much duplicitous Time Lord trivia, to so many people, come to think of it, that it was remarkable he wasn’t being tripped up at every turn, instead of at every third or fourth turn. Lucky, that; it usually gave him just about enough time to spin whatever “explanation” he needed to quiet the suspicions of enemies. And friends.
He lied for no particular reason, that was the hell of it. He was simply so used to lying to anyone who asked anything important, that he did it even when he didn’t have to. It was unbearably Time Lord of him.
It wasn’t unbearably Gallifreyan, mind. Regular Gallifreyans were more or less...hmmm. Not sure the best way to describe them, to make it clear that they were different....
Ah. Got it. Regular Gallifreyans were more or less honorable.
But he and the rest of the ruling class? The Nobility? The Gentry? The First Estate? (And the Second, frankly, given their delight in parading about in pontifical drag, calling themselves cardinals.)
Mother of worlds, what a crew.
And he couldn’t escape them.
He certainly made a bloody great show of rebelling. And, truth be told, it was surprisingly easy (not pleasant, but surprisingly easy) to run from the great and miserable mistakes of his kind. Shucking the little bits of habit and family indoctrination, on the other hand, was apparently next to impossible.
Then again, there were those who thought lying was one of the great and miserable mistakes. Usually the people he insisted on surrounding himself with.
Really, he ought to do something about it.
The problem was that he only had two options, as he saw it; either abandon his habit of traveling with bloody self-righteous aliens, or...or....
Well that certainly wasn’t going to happen.
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