The future solidifies on Sontar.
She had done the utmost to precisely take on the appearance of a Sontaran architectural, structural support beam, but he had been dissatisfied in his conscientiousness and had cloaked her, too.
He admonishes her for being faulty when yet again she lifts the cloaking.
The Time Lord chooses the TT-capsule, but it would have been so much nicer if she had been chosen by one slightly less precise, slightly less careful, one slightly less adverse to seeing more of the universe.
She listened to her sisters' advice — she is lucky to still get out much at all, being her age, and being her age and still being taken out to Sontar during the time of the Rutan declaration of war is almost too good to be true.
Still, there is so much more out there that they, the Time Lords, refused to even approach, let alone get involved in. This one is one of the more adventurous ones, and even he is content to cloak her and observe from within her confines.
The future solidifies on Sontar, when the message arrives from the Inner High Council.
He will be designated Prydonian Cardinal at the next Academy Graduation Ceremony and she willfinally be taken out of service.
Gone the heady days of being an Academy lecturer's antiquated TT-capsule.
She will be put to rest with her sisters, left for dead.
Only she'll be damned if she let that happen.
Seeing it in real life was something else entirely. It had been described to him often enough, but to see it here, before him, in the Time Vaults — it almost took his breath away.
It was beautiful.
Sneaking into the Vaults wasn't all that difficult, he and Koschei had done it often enough before, but getting in deep enough to reach the Omega Arsenal was a before-then-unknown achievement.
The treasures of the Time Lords were vast, and like most artefacts bore the name of Rassilon, but only a handful had been allowed to keep the name of renegade Omega.
Omega was a hero, the true father of the Time Lords, but Rassilon's power-bid had been ruthless. And labelling people 'renegade' was a tried-and-true method of ensuring their position as social outcasts.
He would bear the label with pride, should they ever exile him, cast him out. At least being a Gallifreyan renegade meant that you had stood for something, defended something against all Time Lord principles, stood your ground — not like those spineless Rutans on the High Council, refusing to look outside of Gallifrey's time-sphere, but pioneers, like Rassilon and Omega and Salyavin, willing to take risks, to do what was right rather than what was proper.
His hand hovered over the Hand.
To be like them, like the great ones of History — it took courage, determination, loyalty.
He chuckled to himself.
One day, he would leave. Yes, he would leave.
Until then there would be no more bending of will to the likes of Borusa, the High Council, all the Time Lords.
He would go forward in all his beliefs, and prove to Gallifrey that he was not mistaken in them.
Even to Koschei.
Koschei had teased him, told him that he thought too small, that simple meddling wasn't sufficient, wouldn't have any lasting effects — the Time Lords would step in and fix the web of time, restring it to its former state — Koschei believed vehemently that to effect any change in the state of being of the temporal-spatial universe, one would first have to have ownership over it, to prevent any others from meddling with your own well-thought-out plans.
As always, Koschei had been terribly convincing, but it took more than beautiful words to prove the truth of one's beliefs.
Skirting past the knot in the Vortex — it only slows them down for mere microseconds — she knows it's her — she always knows it's her, always has known. And him. But she doesn't know him, the him inside the knot.
It's not the Time Lord travelling with her now, who is too precise, too Time Lord to ever get caught in a temporal entanglement. And yet she does know him, because of course she does, if he is her future. She is with him always, he with her.
It is then that she takes a decision, and a further strand of future solidifies.
She will steal a Time Lord.
He would steal a TT-capsule.
Thin branches reach out through the Capitol, seeking, searching for the one in the knot, the one who will take her to so many places that she manages to get stuck in the Vortex.
Her sisters admonish her for it, telling her it's madness, she ought to take her well-deserved rest, allow the mechanics to strip her of those parts that are not her own but were introduced by her Time Lord masters so that they may be used for her younger sisters, the one who have yet to be taken away from Gallifrey to observe what is out there.
She ignores them.
He is hers. Will be hers.
The Ceremony was soon enough, and after that he could learn to fly the TT-capsules until he had learnt enough to sneak off in one in the night.
They said Borusa would be made Cardinal of the Prydonian chapter.
He was not surprised. Borusa had a knack for playing Time Lord politics just right.
She feels disappointed when she finds him.
He is him, undoubtedly, but he is hesitant still. Unwilling to yet discard all his years of training and rush head first into whatever is out there.
She has to remember she is so much older than him.
He doesn't trust her probing, doesn't trust her calls, but she feels his admiration of the renegades.
He is loyal.
“Bring it,” it whispered in his mind. “You must.”
A heady rush of adrenaline almost clouded his judgement and he felt giddy. Now?
But Now is an elusive point in time.
He chuckled and snatched the Hand.
She clears a path for him, leaving only Susan to be persuaded, and the girl she did not like but has to admit regardless.
And then still he has to be pointed in the right direction.
She feels frustrated with him. Too young to even know which TT-capsule called for him.
But elated. So young, so idealistic, so curious, yet so fearful still.
This is going to be fun.
He rested his hands on the console.
“My dear. Aren't you the most beautiful thing I have ever seen?”