If Braxiatel had a reaction when the Chancellery guard came for him, he didn't deign to give them the satisfaction of seeing it. Barely looking up from his desk with its missives, correspondences, and other diplomatic documents, he sighed heavily at the sound of boots smashing and dirtying the rare carpets he'd acquired on the outer world of Praxima Major.
“To what do I owe this unaccustomed pleasure?” Braxiatel addressed the captain, sarcasm heavy in his voice.
“It's merely for your protection,” the captain remarked, his hand ready on the staser.
“Ah,” Braxiatel remarked, barely looking up from his work.
The captain fidgeted, clearly disarmed by Braxiatel's lack of consideration. “You must understand, we're under orders--”
Braxiatel looked up from his work, took off his glasses and met the captain's glare, forcing the other to back away slightly. Braxiatel sighed. “Do you really think I'm going to single-handedly rescue my prodigal brother? This is why the Chancellery guard are storming my study, isn't it?”
“We have our orders,” the captain repeated, this time in more of a whimper.
“Now isn't this interesting,” Braxiatel said with amusement. “I'm considered a threat. That I'm still breathing means I'm enough of a threat to be dangerous–or that I have enough political capital to be useful. I must admit I'm rather amused at the former and slightly insulted at the later.”
“I meant no disrespect, Lord Braxiatel, but I've--”
“Orders, yes, we've been through this.”
“I'm to escort you, if you should need to leave your chambers,” the captain explained.
Braxiatel stood, and the guards reached for their stasers. “I'm assuming there is to be a trial?”
“They are concluding the War Lord's trial,” the captain said.
Braxiatel nodded and walked to the door with the Chancellery guards never far behind. His hearts threatened to leap into his mouth with anxiety, but he kept himself outwardly calm. Knowing he would be watched, he refused to give them the satisfaction of seeing his reaction to events. As he was shown inside the tribunal's room, he found a place next to a woman, who was also with her contingent of the Chancellery guard. Her face was almost severe, but lined with sorrow. As she greeted Braxiatel with a kiss to his forehead, her control nearly slipped, letting her eyes water slightly.
“I didn't know you'd be here,” Braxiatel said.
“It may be the last time I ever see my youngest son,” she responded, not in the formal cadence of Gallifreyan but in the dialect spoken in the southern mountains of Gallifrey, the language of a people unbroken by harsh, dark winters.
“It may not come to that,” Braxiatel noted, continuing her act of defiance while ignoring the disapproval of those around them.
“We both know the penalty for interference,” she said.
Their conversation was cut short, as the Doctor was led into the tribunal's room. He felt his knees turn to water at the sight of his brother in front of the white and black-robed Inquisitors. There was only one penalty for interference, Braxiatel knew: to be wiped from the Web of Time, as if he had never existed at all.
“You are the grandson of a President. Do not shame his honor,” Braxiatel's mother hissed in his ear, snapping his attention back to the present moment.
In silence, they watched the trial unfold, as a formal declaration of the Doctor's crimes was read and he was allowed to speak on his own behalf. Braxiatel felt his blood freeze in his veins at the sight of the Daleks, and he involuntarily shuddered at the sight of them.
“All these evils I have fought, while you have done nothing but observe. True, I am guilty of interference, just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!” the Doctor accused the Inquisitors. Braxiatel felt a surge of elation, as the Doctor, defiant, stood unbowed.
As the Inquisitors left to debate the Doctor's fate, Braxiatel embraced his mother, then left the room. Shortly after he left, another Time Lord in scarlet and orange robes joined his procession.
“Lord Braxiatel,” the newcomer said.
“Cardinal Rexlan,” Braxiatel acknowledged, reluctantly speaking Gallifreyan once more.
“We have much to discuss. Would you have a moment?”
Braxiatel stopped dead in the middle of the hallway, making the Chancellery guard stumble, so as not to trip over him. “I regret that I'm a bit indisposed,” he replied.
“This concerns recent proceedings,” Rexlan responded.
“Very well,” Braxiatel acquiesced and allowed himself to be shown into a nearby conference room.
“There are individuals sympathetic, shall we say, to the Doctor's positions,” Rexlan began. “But they are scattered and lacking a spark.”
“And by 'sympathetic,' would that include my present august company?” Braxiatel asked.
Rexlan smiled, and the captain of the Chancellery guard who followed them inside bowed slightly to Braxiatel.
“And the reason for my current escort becomes clear,” Braxiatel mused. “Speaking plainly, it seems we have a common interest in the Doctor.”
“Our interests would be better served with a presence on the High Council, a presence whose judgment and loyalty to tradition is unquestioned, but also a presence who thinks to the future–the future of our race, that is.”
“With the Doctor's recent trial, we believe this may be the spark, the rallying cry our movement so desperately needs.”
“But if matter dispersal--” The words broke in Braxiatel's throat. He paused to collect and chide himself for losing control in front of another. “Were the penalty to be meted out, you would hardly have the symbol you desire.”
“He would be of no use to us rotting away in Shada, either,” Rexlan agreed. “We propose exile.”
“That's all?” Braxiatel asked. “And what would you ask of me?”
“Quite simply, a seat on the High Council. As the wronged party–the long-suffering result of the current administration's short-sighted policies, there would be much popular support and sympathy for your promotion.”
Braxiatel felt his small freedom–that of various diplomatic posts around the galaxy fade away and be replaced with the bars of a gilded cage. But his dread was replaced by the small glow of hope–his brother would survive.
“I would be honored to serve,” Braxiatel said simply.
Moments later, back in the tribunal at his mother's side, Braxiatel stood and listened to the Doctor's sentence. He felt a small surge of relief when his exile was announced. But when the Doctor's forced regeneration and selective memory wipe was sentenced, Braxiatel glared at Rexlan. The Cardinal nodded in Braxiatel's direction and smiled faintly.
“They mean to humiliate him,” Braxiatel fumed to his mother in the southern dialect. He saw the holo-vid cameras turn towards them, hoping to get a good shot of the grieving mother and brother, even as the Doctor's protests turned to screams during the agony of regeneration.
“'The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned...'” Braxiatel whispered to himself. Once again he met Rexlan's gaze. For now he would be patient and play along with their little schemes, as he played along with the current administration. He would make himself indispensable to those idiots like Rexlan, who thought they could so easily control him. It was simply a new role for him to play, but one day, he would be the one wearing the President's white robes.