“Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too.
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...”
Peace. Utopia. Such perfect ideals. A world where people could live without fear, without despair...without death. Such was Lord Rassilon’s vision for Gallifrey. He built Time Lord Society with the idea that his race, the Lords of Time, could all live as Kings and Queens forever. No discrimination. No violence. No suffering. They were to be the strongest and wisest beings in the cosmos, and with knowledge and immortality on their side, they would be like gods among the stars, watching over the universe. And so the Time Lords were, to some extent.
From a glance, Gallifrey seemed so perfect. Far too perfect.
And for all the glorified legends the Time Lords wished everyone including themselves to believe, some people knew the truth...
And in time, others shall know the truth too. ~ * ~“Commentator Farron for News Feed One, standing just outside the Time Lord Citadel, inside the Capitol.”
The robed Time Lord gestured around with a sweeping hand on the holographic screen. “Today for Gallifrey, marks a new chapter in our long celebrated and prestigious history. Barely forty-five years ago, the mere concept of Time Lord intervention was regarded with concern and severe disapproval within our society. It is only through the revolutionary, if controversial, reforms brought about by Gallifrey’s esteemed Lord High President, the Lady Romanadvoratrelundar, that we Gallifreyans have become involved in the universe openly, for the first time since the great days of Rassilon himself. Would it not be for the Lady President Romanadvoratrelundar, the Supreme Council of Gallifrey and of course the other leaders of the Temporal Powers Coalition, access to these new windows of opportunity and change, would not be possible.”
“Today, the well revered and exclusive Time Lord Academy, home to Gallifrey’s most talented students and future pioneers, is opening its doors to Off-worlders for the first time in its long history. The Transduction Barriers around Gallifrey have been temporarily lifted whilst the Time ships and spacecraft carrying off-worlders arrive outside the Capitol; many of these ships are government ships funded and provided by the Temporal Coalition. It also appears that the Chancellery Guards and the Celestial Intervention Agency are working together today to ensure events today run smoothly. Whilst there has understandably been much controversy over the notion of non-Gallifreyans being educated on Gallifrey, the Chapter Houses of the High Council and the Madam President herself, have all assured that this decision, is made for the benefit of the future, and as a welcome gesture to our newly found allies in the Temporal Powers. This is a historic day indeed...”ffffffffttttt
*static*..."From our debate this morning, the question on everyone’s minds still remains: Can these ‘aliens’, truly be trusted with time travel?"...fffffftttt
*static*..."One would like to question whether President Romana’s reforms are truly the way forward for our people. Why change a system that has proved successful for thousands upon thousands of years? Surely, this ‘experiment’ with the Academy, is a step too far? Is our society ready for the implications that might arise from such a rash decision?"...ffffftttttt
*static*...“We Gallifreyans have always feared a time when we would lose our power and knowledge to other forces in the universe. But perhaps that paranoia in itself is the greatest threat to our society! For too long, we have walked in the shadows. Perhaps the Madam President is right. We need to change...give these off-worlders a fair chance”...fffffftttt
*static*....“So it seems that Mirquelarunstillhaven has won the Golden Delta Fourth dimensional Chess Chalice, consecutively for the 8,894th time. Lords and Ladies, can he ever be beaten? Find out in our next annual tournament when...”....fffffffttttt
*static*...."So remember, young Time Tots, the moral of today’s story: Never Play with Paradoxes. Until next time, dear children"...ffffttttt
*static* ....“And now for the weather in the Wild Endeavour Continent, with Forecaster Alandreiusandro-”...ffffffttttt
*static*....“♫ So have a good life; do it for me, make me so proud, like you want me to be. Wherever you are, I’m thinking of you; oceans apart, I want you to know... ♫”“-K9, that will do, thank you. Turn it off! I can’t hear myself think.”“Mistress.”
The transmission being displayed on K9 Mark II’s holographic projection screen was cut with a ‘bleep’, disappearing and fizzling out into silence. The robotic dog lowered its head apologetically.
Sitting upon a high-backed elegant chair behind an equally elegant desk, the Lady President sighed. 25 years in office was merely a blink of the eye to most Time Lords, yet to her it already felt as if she had been doing this job for centuries. Perhaps it was the monotonous Time Lord lifestyle, or the fact that time moved differently here on Gallifrey to the rest of the universe, but Lady Romanadvoratrelundar could hardly believe she was only 448 years old. Considerably young for a Gallifreyan politician with such a high status, and yet sometimes she felt too old; too tired. She never used to be like this. She remembered only too well what her younger years as a renegade had been like: running off on adventure after adventure, righting wrongs, defacing Leonardo’s works of art; all without a care for what the Time Lords thought about it. Perhaps, returning to Gallifrey and taking on this job had made her more jaded than she was willing to admit... “Madam President?”
A familiar voice spoke over the intercom. “Sorry to disturb you, my Lady...may I come in for a moment?”
Romana sighed. Apparently this job also meant that she never had a moment to herself. “Very well...Come in.”
The President’s office door whirred open, and another time lord entered the room; a tall, dark-haired, imposing gentleman, with deep eyes that seemed to see into the soul. He wore the customary robes of Lord Cardinal; no time lord collar at present, but an elaborately decorated cap, and a golden medallion around his neck. His moustache and goatee were immaculately trimmed. “Cardinal Braxiatel,”
Romana sat up straight in her high-backed seat, the hint of a frown on her face. “Considering what day it is, I would have expected you to be at the Academy right about now. Is there a problem?”“A problem?”
Braxiatel repeated in his gentlemanly voice, “No...no not at all, Madam President, everything is satisfactory. I was merely checking to see how you were getting on.”
The Lady President leaned back in her seat, her arms folded as she stared up at the ceiling high above her. “Well let’s see; my appointment of Time Lord graduate Wynter as a new Castellan has already raised some questionable eyebrows, Co-ordinator Narvin is more displeased and unpleasant than usual, it seems like half of Gallifrey is already having doubts over the Time Academy, the High Monan of the Host world has been swamping me with calls lately to check that Gallifrey’s security arrangements for the Monan Host students are to his satisfaction...and not to mention all this time, the Daleks are building a shining new Empire right on our galaxy’s doorstep.”
Romana smiled dryly. “Apart from that, I’m doing marvellously, thank you. But am I to understand it that you really journeyed all the way up the Presidential Palace just to casually concern yourself with mine and the planet’s well being? Brax? There is something else, isn’t there?”
Irving Braxiatel hesitated. “...There is a slight issue, now you come to mention it my Lady...Leela has...well...”
President Romana put up a hand. “Don’t tell me...Leela’s wandered off again, hasn’t she?”“...She hasn’t turned up at the Academy yet,”
Braxiatel admitted, “I did request her presence today, and yet I can not seem to find her at all...not that there is any cause for alarm. She is probably just out exploring the Capitol and lost track of time. I was hoping, perhaps, your ‘K9’ could locate Leela’s K9 unit and establish contact with her?”
The grey metal dog next to Romana’s desk raised its head. “Locating...”
K9 Mark II announced. The whirring of machinery could be heard, as the two small satellite dishes on top of its head began to turn this way and that. “Inferior K9 unit Mark One is currently located in Sector 14, junction 13 of the Capitol cloisters, Lord Cardinal. The Mistress Leela is there too.” “Thank you, K9,”
Romana said, breathing a sigh of relief. “Can you please tell K9 Mark I to relay the information to Leela, that she is requested at the Academy this morning, and that Braxiatel is concerned about her absence?”
There were further noises from the robot, before it reported: “Mistress Leela and K9 Mark One have received the message, and are now making their way to the Time Academy, as requested.”
The Lady President looked to Braxiatel. “Well, problem solved I believe, Cardinal. You may return to your duties...”
Romana regarded Braxiatel for a moment, before raising an eyebrow. “...Unless there is anything else troubling you?”
Braxiatel hesitated for a moment, looking as if he was going to add something, before apparently dismissing the thought entirely. “No...that is all, my Lady President...I have matters to attend to, and students to welcome...I-I should be getting back to the Academy. Thank you graciously, for your time, Romana, I...I’ll see you later.”
Braxiatel gave a small bow before turning and swiftly leaving the President’s office. Romana watched him leave, a puzzled frown on her face. Something else had obviously been on the Cardinal’s mind...“Well,”
Romana muttered to herself, “Whatever it was, I’m sure I can address him about it later.”
The Time Lady stood up from her seat, lifting the stiff Time Lord collar from off her shoulders and removing it, setting it down on a stand at the side of the large office. “K9, if Commander Hallan has a fit when he realises that I’m missing from my office, tell him that I’ve gone for a casual walk in the Presidential gardens and that I don’t require an escort. If he insists then he can place guards around all the entrances, I don’t care, so long as I’m not disturbed. And tell him I only wish to be disturbed if something is of the utmost importance and can not possibly wait until I return. Oh, and if the High Monan demands an audience with me yet again, get Castellan Wynter or one of the Cardinals on the High Council to speak with him on my behalf...preferably someone who won’t say the wrong things and make the High Monan...displeased.” “Affirmative, mistress.”
Romana massaged her temple with a weary hand as she walked away, the small train of her dress trailing across the polished floor. “I need some space and time by myself; preferably without any further interruptions,”
she muttered to herself “...oh, Madam President of Gallifrey, you shall be lucky...” ~ * ~Meanwhile...Outside the Capitol
There was a reason some called Gallifrey ‘The Shining World of the Seven Systems’. It was, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful sights to behold. Two suns shone bright under the orange and amber sky, the sunlight bright and warm but the air was cool. Between the snow-capped mountains, the sunlight gleamed on the surface of the dome surrounding the Capitol, and beneath it the city shone gold, like something from a story book. Today, the sky seemed to be alight with stars...but a closer look would show that the lights shining were not stars, but Gallifreyan TARDISes patrolling the skies, looking like small metal diamonds in a sea of gold and orange. Somewhere in the distance, an otherworldly watery sound of singing came from the glimmering golden lake beside the Capitol, a faint breeze picking up and carrying the sound across the valley.
And far out in orbit, various ships and small spacecraft from different parts of the universe were gathered. Some were there to bring off-world students to the planet; others were gathered there simply to watch and report news back to their own planets. To many, this was the news of the millennia. The ancient Lords of Time, sharing some of their greatest secrets with the rest of the universe. Species from all across space and time, gathered under one Gallifreyan institution to learn about time travel. People couldn’t stop talking about it.
And at the centre of all of all of this commotion, stepping out into the middle of it like the eye of the storm, were the students of the Time Academy. Gallifreyan and non-Gallifreyan, aliens from all across the stars. Perhaps some of them weren’t even aware just what they had walked into...or what it would mean for the future.
One such student, was a human called Taylor Addison. As the ship carrying him and several other students of all different species, landed at Gallifrey’s space port outside the Capitol, Taylor could not have imagined what he was getting himself into. “So this is it,”
the teen remarked in his cynical Scottish accent, slinging his heavy rucksack with all his belongings over one shoulder. “This is the ‘great’ Gallifrey that everyone’s been talking about...let’s see what all the fuss is about.”
As he walked out of the space port and onto the soft golden sand outside, he stared out at the shining city in the middle-distance. The expression ‘feeling like you’ve died and gone to heaven’, sprung to mind, as he stared out at the world before him. “Well,”
he murmured in surprise, trying to take it all in, “It certainly puts Scotland into perspective...Would you believe it they weren’t exaggerating...”
He stared down at the sand and rocky ground below his shoes, and then looked right up the sky. He was standing on another planet...another world. And not only that, it was the most incredible place he had ever seen. For a human from 21st century earth, it was a lot to take in.
He looked around him, as other students began to file out of the space port. Stationed nearby were members of the Chancellery Guard: Gallifreyans dressed in red and white uniforms with long flowing capes, each with a staser gun visible at their sides. Most of them didn’t seem to paying Taylor any specific attention, but any that did spare him a glance did so with an unreadable stoic expression. Taylor decided right away that he didn’t like them; although perhaps that was because they reminded him too much of the police back at home. Taylor and the police had never quite seen eye to eye.
Some distance apart from the other guards, one guard stood watching, apparently waiting for something.
Taylor then turned his attention to the other students; many of whom were coming out of the space port, but some, he noticed, seemed to be arriving to this location using other methods. Just outside the space port, there was a small Transmat platform. Every so often, a student would materialize out of nowhere and walk off the platform, the majority of them Gallifreyans who had come from various locations all over the planet. Everyone had been told to meet here, outside the Space port at this specific date and time. Many of the students already on Gallifrey could have just gone straight over to the Academy instead of coming all the way out here, but it was courteous for them to be there to meet and greet the off-world students arriving on Gallifrey. “...Who else will arrive here?”