Very in character. A poignant line for me was when the Master said something like the sound of the Doctor's chatter almost drowned out the drums. It made me think of when the First Doctor left Gallifrey and how that might have contributed to the development of the Master.
Heh! This is great. Oh. And Theta might be crazy, with the shortest attention span on Gallifrey, and a tendency to babble — is just about the most amazingest thing I've read. See that? I just made up a superlative for you. Because it's just so amusing. Great read.
Author's Response: Wow! A new word. Such an honor. *bows* Thanks!
Adorable. I love how empathic little Theta is... and how the seeds of his personality lies in a reminiscent love for the mountains and storms, wild and uncontrolled in nature, while the Master is all about encapsulating, labelling, scientific methods of categorization and order. We can see the beginnings of what will develop later on.
Author's Response: Thanks -- I was really trying to hit key aspects (or what *I* consider key aspects) of their respective personalities, showing how they \"were who they\'d be\" even at that early age. :D
Author's Response: Thank you!
That was a perfect little story. Nice to see outcast Theta from the POV of another outcast. I like that you've made their friendship based on circumstance and that circumstance dictates them both to be alone. Theta was charming and personable, and I liked how he kept asking questions and wasn't afraid of the outdoors. Mini Master on the other hand is curious but doesn't seem to go all the way in his lines of thinking, ie observing the city walls. Really lovely. Not too much info nor too little. You walked a tightrope and really pulled it off!
Author's Response: Thanks! I couldn\'t help remembering Reinette\'s line about the Doc being a lonely little boy, and you can imagine the Master wouldn\'t have had too many friends after going loopy from the Schism, so it seemed natural they\'d form an outsider alliance. I was going to write from the Doc\'s viewpoint, but the Master, typically, grabbed control and wouldn\'t let go. [Sets down little umbrella, hops of tightrope, bows.] ;)
Beautifully done. Poor lonely little boys! I loved your take on an early encounter for them, off to read sequels!
Author's Response: Thanks! They make for a great \"outside alliance\" team at this age, I think . . .
That was neat! You've very much made the characters your own here, but with definite and clever nods to "canon": the very definition of well-written fanfiction! I was super bummed to find out they showed the Master as a little kid on Gallifrey in the show--I really like the Loom idea. *shrugs* Maybe it was a visual metaphor. And the Loom idea still isn't entirely ruled out, I suppose. But I like this story. I like your insight into both their characters, and I like the way you portrayed the effect they have on each other. I haven't seen the Sound of Drums yet, but as far as I recall the Master never ever mentioned hearing drums before. Auditory hallucinations...I don't know, it kind of makes him seem like he really does suffer from a psychological pathology. But, if he's really hearing the rhythm of the universe, maybe it's not a hallucination, just a really deep connection. Sorry, I'm musing when I should be reviewing. This was a loverly story, great insight into the developing personalities of two amazingly complex characters, and a fun read. I fully agree with you that the Doctor's past should remain vague, but just the same thanks for writing this! It was an extremely welcome break from my research papers!!!! :D :D
Author's Response: Thanks! Feel free to muse away (I particularly like the idea that the \"drums\" represent a deeper awareness of the Universe than most, rather than a more traditional mental illness). I think Looms could still be worked in; I\'m a little ambivalent towards the concept, myself, but it is quite interesting. Good luck with the papers, BTW! :)
I admit that I have a fondness for Academy fics. There's a severe lack of them in fandom and this certainly satisfied a need that I forgot I had regarding them. That being said, I love how you describe Koschei's particular form of pre-madness and the young Doctor's (extra kudos for the shades of One, Four and Ten there) behaviour as it relates to Gallifreyan society. Absolutely lovely stuff, as always :) Thank you so much for sharing!
Author's Response: And thank you for the review! :D As I said below, I\'m leery of doing *too* much early stuff with the Doc, since I like having mysteries about him (vagueness also allows \"wiggle room\" in later stories, since one doesn\'t have to keep any previous details straight!), but I did turn out a sequel, anyway . . . Silly me. ;)
Ok, before I say anything else, I am completely clueless about anything Whovian pre-Nine. Never seen anything more than snippets as I flipped channels as a kid, though I've picked up bits and pieces here and there from fandom and friends who are long-time fans.
That said... wow.
As others have said, you've foreshadowed so much about the Doctor in his various incarnations, and about the Master as well. I can see the beginnings of what we saw in the last 3 episodes of s3, here in this fic. And a bit of reference to your own canon, too--Bliss!Nine pulls his hair back in one of those knots and it keeps falling loose. (Is that type of knot actual canon, or your invention?)
Gah, I don't want to go write my own stuff. I want to read more of yours! Though the ficathon folks might be a little annoyed if I don't finish this one.... :)
Oh--and having driven through the vast spaces of Eastern Washington myself on my way to Spokane, Walla Walla, Pullman, and various other places, I know exactly the frame of mind you mean, and something about this fic reminds me of that too. Staring out at the mountains and the storm from the safety of the dome--it's like watching a storm come in over the Cascades or up the Columbia River Gorge and make its slow, majestic way toward you in your car. Well-done.
Author's Response: Glad you liked it -- probably a good thing you aren\'t into serious DW canon, or this might be borderine offensive, given how fast and loose I\'ve been playing it . . . I had fun putting in all the references to later things, canon and not. :) As noted elsewhere, the long hair pulled back in a knot is completely my own invention, here and in the Bliss!verse. RE: Eastern Washington, I really got the images for this when driving along between Yakima and the TriCities -- vast open/deserty spaces, mountains in the distance, towering dust devils crossing plowed-up fallow fields, and a golden-orangey haze in the sky thanks to all the crud in the air. Very Gallifreyan. Heh! Best of luck with the ficathon, sorry for being distracting . . . And thanks for the review!
Gah. THis was just complete and utter awesomeness. Little Theta and little Koschei are adorable especiallly when THeta is trying to pull out his own sonic probe and can't find it.
Author's Response: Heh -- we generally stay much the same throughout our lives, and I had the feeling the Doc would start the habit of building up pocket detritus early on. Thanks for the review!
I can't express how much I love this beautiful little snippet of life on Gallifrey.
It is amazing.
Your young Doctor has shades of One (extra points for his hawklike demeanor), Four and Ten, and is so utterly Doctorly.
The young Master is perfect, his desire for control, however limited, and his motivation so clearly outlined.
Believeably and poignant, the atmosphere here is simply spellbounding. I could feel Koschei's isolation, the fear which drove him and compelled his each and every action.
I could really empathise with both him and Theta.
(Loved the backstory for that nickname, too, it just fits.)
This is the best Academy Era fic I've ever had the pleasure of reading - I'm adding it straight to my Favourites (and my personal canon).
Will you please consider writing some more of this?
Even a little drabble?
I'd really be delighted. :D
Absolutely divine read,
Author's Response: Wow, thank you! Glad the story \"worked\" for you. I wouldn\'t want to write too much more in this time frame (since the Doc\'s early past strikes me as being something of a necessary mystery), but I might revisit this if I get a good plotbunny. Gotta wait for those fuzzy little muses . . . :)
Wow. Part chilling, part charming. Cute to see how much young-doctor is like Ten.
Author's Response: Thanks! That was the sort of dissonance I was going for. Oddly, I was picturing a young Four, more than Ten, when I was writing -- but since Ten is a \"youthful\" incarnation, a little bleed-over isn\'t surprising. After all, they\'re all him. :)