The Captain laughed awkwardly at Roy’s comment about weapons. “Of course not sir,” Henzil replied as they walked. “But there is no need for concern” he nodded acknowledgement at Shiro before continuing to address Roy, “All members of the Chancellery Guard based in and around the Capitol have been in service on Gallifrey for at least 200 years, and all are fully trained and prepared for any possible threat to security. Crime rates are comparatively low here on Gallifrey and the more dangerous forms of flora and fauna tend to stay away from the Capitol and other Time Lord settlements.”
Henzil glanced at Roy grimly. “Ah yes, from your description, that would most likely be the Daleks. My post has always been on Gallifrey itself, so I’m not fully up to date with Galactic affairs, but I do know the Dalek Empire has been causing Gallifrey and the other Temporal Powers a lot of grief in recent years...There was an unfortunate incident some decades back involving the Daleks and this planet. I’m not aware of the particular situation you speak of, and I must say it is...curious, but I can understand your concerns. There are some rather hostile elements out there in the universe. Which is why our security on Gallifrey has been tighter than ever. The Lady President, the Castellans and the Celestial Intervention Agency have insisted. ”
“But it is for matters of security that the Academy does have a anti-weapon policy, as does the majority of Gallifrey. Only members of authority are permitted to carry weapons, to ensure Gallifreyan security. But rest assured you are all quite safe, sir. My orders are to defend you all with each of my remaining regenerations, in the unlikely event that your lives should be threatened before we reach our destination. Aside from the fact you would be breaking the law by possessing a weapon, weapons should not be needed by members of the public. That is what the Chancellery Guard are here for: to protect the people and to ensure everyone’s safety.”
To the query of currency, Henzil nodded. “Pandaks are indeed the currency here on Gallifrey,” the Captain replied, confirming Shikin’s response. “Named after one of our forefathers, Pandak the First. He was one of the six Founders of Time Lord society...not one of the most famous, but still largely important. As for acquiring money, any you currently have can be exchanged at the exchange office on the upper levels of the Capitol. In addition I believe you may be able to get a student bursary or loan from the Academy; you will need to consult the Academy’s financial support office about the details; I’m afraid I’m not well versed on that matter.”
The Academy was getting closer now. It stood on top of a rocky platform; the dome surrounding it was so large from this proximity that the apex of it could no longer be seen. Inside, the ancient stone spires and towers gleamed an orangey gold against the glow of the suns. It was a great architectural masterpiece; majestic and medieval in appearance, but with an almost futuristic radiance about it, as if it had been torn straight out from a sci-fi fantasy book. A path zigzagged up the outcrop of rocks ahead of them and led to a stone gateway along the walls of the dome. It was to this gateway that Captain Henzil was leading them.
Despite his professional manner, Henzil almost laughed at Roy’s question of wine. “I have met Lady Rodan on the odd occasion, although I do not know her well. But she’s right. One of the things us Gallifreyans pride ourselves on is our fine wine,” Henzil replied. “Should you go to any highly reputable bar, retailer or restaurant in the Capitol, you should be able to find what you’re looking for in terms of good wine. Of course if you want my recommendation, Rassilon’s Wine Merchants in the upper north-west sector of the Capitol is certainly worth looking into, provided the prices don’t scare you off,” Henzil nodded with a wide smile.
Henzil’s professional attitude was back in an instant however, when he spotted movement from the silver leaves of a near-by tree. A hand was on his pistol in a flash. “Who goes there?” he called out, “I am a Captain of the Chancellery Guard and I am armed; I request that you show yourself immediately.”
“Oh Rassilon, please don’t arrest me Captain, it’s my first day and I’m not doing anything illegal, honest!” a clearly harmless voice called out from the tree. A young woman with long ginger hair poked out her head from the cover of the leaves.
Henzil relaxed, letting out a weary sigh. He tapped the communications device of his wrist, speaking into it. “This is Captain Henzil – I’ve located the missing student safe and well. Will escort her to the Academy, Henzil out.”
The Chancellery Guard Captain then addressed the girl in the tree, displeased. “Lucidameritidianthus of the Patrexean Chapter, I presume? Commander Janartis reported you missing just two micro-spans ago. Students are supposed to be escorted to the Academy and to remain with their designated escorts until they reach the Academy grounds – why are you out here on your own?”
“Becauuuse...well Sir, I was following my group you see, but then I had to follow my cat.”
Henzil raised an eyebrow.
The Gallifreyan woman sighed. “My cat saw something important in this tree and decided to climb it. So I climbed the tree when he wouldn’t come back down. In fact, he’s still refusing to come down. I couldn’t simply leave him out here, Captain. That would have been terribly irresponsible of me.”
“And you didn’t think to ask a guard to help you?”
“Well you see, Captain, that’s the thing, Snug – my cat – he doesn’t like guards,” Lucid explained. She said it with such a straight face it was hard to tell if she was serious or whether she was just messing with him.
Henzil’s patience was certainly beginning to be tested. “Well can you please fetch your cat down as quickly as possible so that I may escort you to the Academy? My duty is to ensure the safety of all students – I can not leave you on your own, and if we have to wait for you out here much longer, you and your new classmates will be late.”