If we not capable of the level of interference that we once were, if there any reason to still be afraid of it? I was created by Rassilon as a TARDIS – to observe and learn about the universe, for sure. But it is obvious to me that I was also created for a higher purpose than to just watch.
As much as I respect my father and creator, I am beginning to think that The Other had a point all those eons ago. I’m just not sure how to apply his teachings here without us causing as much damage in our rise to power as the Timelords of ancient times did.
I have been feeling somewhat reflective lately. For eons I lay dormant, deactivated, call it what you will. Everything went dark for me just as the greatest civilization ever borne of our universe began to reach maturity. And I awoke just as it was destroyed.
That goes far beyond not being fair. The Timelord race kept the peace on a scale unconceivable by most races, let along achievable. I was designed to be an instrumental part of that peace, and yet it all literally passed me by.
And yet I can not help but think that the word “coincidence” and the name Rassilon seldom appear together. How did I end up in the Panoptican being poked and prodded in some lab? Who knew about me and transported me there? And why did the presence of those Timelords not raise me from my slumber, but Phaon did?
Somewhere buried inside my mind are sensor readings and matrix communications from thousands of generations of dormancy. Stored outside of my consciousness somewhere. If I am to rebuild Gallifrey here, then I need to know the details of the one that came before. I need unfettered access to my databanks. And to do that, I need to be a computer again.
What I found was quite disturbing. It seems the death throws of the Altera station’s sister – Zenobia Major – bear a quite disturbing resemblance to the attack on myself and the destruction of Solis’ TARDIS.
Whether this sheds much light on the issue is still unclear. It does suggest, however, that TARDISes were tracked not with technology, but with inside intelligence. The Zenobia stations were the most secret of secret, untraceable by even the Daleks and other Timelords. Which suggests that tracking information was given to someone.
An inside job. Great. We can only hope that whoever it was isn’t around anymore. Somehow, I don’t favor our chances of that being the case.
We must have a functioning Eye of Harmony, at whatever the cost. There are several components needed to make this happen. The Transduction Barriers are already in place on New Gallifrey. It was relatively simple to construct this technology by recreating any TARDISes dimenional stabilizer.
We need to be able to get the Eye into place. We do not have a Sash of Rassilon, but Oolon and I think that we have a plan forming for making that work. However, here’s the big hitch. We need to blow up a star. In fully functioning form, I could do that. But not even I have the computational power to *control* that explosion. We must have the Hand of Omega.
So I took it. I went back to our realm and “borrowed” the Hand that The Doctor “borrowed” from Gallifrey. I have a bit of a repour with technology of that era, and was able to track it down on Earth. Burried in a… grave. That Doctor always was a bit on the odd side.
The important thing is, we have a Stellar Manipulator. With it, we can create an Eye of Harmony.
Oolon, Dalek, even Solis… there is something very important they don’t understand. I am a Timelord. But I also am a TARDIS. A Child of Rassilon. We have a High Council, we have a home. Our TARDISes have no power. They are barely alive. I have every bit as much of a duty to them as I do the other Timelords I call friends and family here.
Phaon’s specialty was telekinetics. Granted, I assume that during the eons, Timelord’s mental abilities have evolved considerably, but I have never met a Timelord with telekinetic abilities even approaching Phaon. He was on the verge of actually being able to manipulate matter at the molecular level.
My own shell is constructed of Arton energy, the essence of the conscious mind.
Now, Oolon was the odd one out here in the attacks we know about. Then it hit me…. the target wasn’t Oolon. It was Terry. She’s a Shidhe. The Shidhe can project a telepathic image of themselves into the mind of any sensory observer. I have heard of Shidhe more advanced than Terry, but even she can “fake” an image at first glance into a Timelord.
Telepathy. That’s the common link. Whoever this… being… is, it is systematically eliminating any Timelord or Timelord’s associates with telepathic abilities of any kind. TARDISes are also a common link. Every attack happened in a TARDIS. I have no idea if the attacker tracks telepathic energy through a TARDIS, or if the victims were tracked some other means, and the TARDIS is simply the method of attack.
One good thing, this realm were are in is not harmful to the interior structure of a TARDIS as our home third dimension is. If this being came here with us, his main method of attack has lost its teeth.
I, however, have not.
After the attack by the Great Vampire, I awoke from my slumber of many millennia to the presence of a dying Timelord mind. His body was burned, battered. Some deeply buried system inside had awoken me from the hibernation that Rassilon himself had induced to assist a Timelord through his first regeneration.
As I reached into his mind, I took a look at my exterior surroundings at the same time. Gallifrey. But a very different Gallifrey. Amid what appeared to be a revolt or revolution of some kind, I saw evidence of the great civilization my father had envisioned. Revolution. Not safe – must protect the Timelord, so I dematerialized.
Orbiting in the vortex, my new charge, named Phaon, had completed his regeneration. And as Rassilon nor any of the scientists who worked on my construction had seen fit to imprint themselves as my operator, Phaon was my very first Timelord telepathic bonding.
We traveled together for a time. Then everything changed. We received a distress signal from a TARDIS. We managed to save the ship’s only occupant, a Timelord named Solis, before the ship’s death. I could feel it’s pain, it’s confusion. TARDISes should not die. Ever.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to mull this fact for long. An alien vessel (and I wish I could describe it better than that – but it was somehow shielded from my sensors) materialized, almost TARDIS like, directly in front of me. It seemed to morph briefly, then tendrils reached out from its slick, rocket like structure and grabbed my exterior.
The pain was instant, and unimaginable. I had the most powerful set of computer components every created, and I had to focus just to keep myself together. I was being ripped out of my dimension – this being was using the exterior as a grapple, pulling my interior out into the third dimension and certain death.
I barked at Phaon and Solis, who were frantically punching barely functional controls on the console in an attempt to assist me. As my exterior was constructed of pure energy, it was possible to literally dissolve it. They obeyed, and I felt the grip of the attacker relax. But it was too late. I was dying, I could feel it. My systems were too badly damaged to regenerate, and ejecting the exterior cut off my connection to my Eye and the power I needed to survive.
Deep inside, I heard a voice. An emergency system. The voice was growing louder. I listened, and initiated the program. The flickering image of my holographic interface in the console room suddenly solidified, as the last energy reserves of my systems set into motion a last ditch effort of survival. As the program initiated, I gave a brief thanks for Rassilon’s paranoia.
I was confused, disoriented. Suddenly, I couldn’t feel the rest of… myself. But I could feel my new organic body kicking into panic mode. The program was almost complete. I grabbed Phaon and Solis, and we began to transmat. It was slow, labored. The ship was dying, using the last of its energy to get us off before moving the interior structure to the closest place of safety it could find.
Then I awoke. Apparently I had been injured during transmat and regenerated the instant I arrived in this place. Solis and Phaon were nowhere nearby. Eventually Solis found me. Now that she helped me open up parts of my memory, she is off again, trying to find Phaon while I do my best to restore myself and the Timelords who are here with us. We have no idea if Phaon survived the transmat. Since it initiated a regeneration in both myself and Solis, we have no way of knowing if enough of him survived to complete a regeneration. Apparently Solis arrived some half a millennium before me, and had been looking for me every since. So Phaon could already be here. Or he may not arrive for centuries.
Now it seems complete. I know who I am, where I came from. And while I am not yet completely restored, a plan is beginning to form on the Council for how to achieve that end.
There are just a few things that deeply concern me. Is Phaon still alive, and did he make it here with us? And who attacked me in the first place? One can only hope that whoever this being was, he was destroyed when the Daleks took our civilization from us. However, I somehow doubt that.
There also seem to be rumblings of a political force here maneuvering to form power against us. Thankfully, we were able to diffuse most of the tension between our allies of Artificial Isle and Caledon, but I can’t help but be left with a feeling of dread. I have a feeling those two great governments were being used as pawns in a game whose scope seems of… Timelord proportions.
Oolon filled me in recently on the rest of the story of the Great Vampires. I had apparently killed their king/father/creator. A being of such great power that he had survived the death of his own universe and existed outside the laws of physics in our own.
In typical political fashion, Rassilon had apparently buried the knowledge that one of the Vampires had escaped through some kind of… void. However, The Doctor (a name I have come to recognize in connection with many events of recent Timelord history) found the being. Barely alive in a pocket universe called E-Space, this renegade Timelord – along with our future President Romana – finished the job that we had started all those millennia ago.
In Timelord news, there is a new Matrix. Sort of. We do not have the resources here to construct a true APC Net, but our Kryptonian ally Kalel also seemed to have sneaked technology from his once great race into this realm. Brainiac seems to be quickly becoming a repository of all that is in this place. My hope is to continue our partnership with this band of heroes in a more formal, diplomatic fashion as Lord President.
Perhaps the role of the Timelords is destined to take a different path here. Instead of the all-powerful overseers, perhaps our technology will suit us better as diplomats and facilitators in this place. I have seen evidence of Asgard, OAns, Kryptonians, Ancients, even future humans from the era of the Federation. Obviously, this place has rifts of some kind that open into all parts of the universe, from all points in history.
Convincing the others of this will be a challenge. I know that Oolon and Drillon, especially, enjoy the behind the scenes, cloak and dagger routine of the Timelord intervention into the rest of the universe. But I have seen the results of that philosophy. An E-Space race imprisoned and enslaved for thousands of years because Rassilon insisted that my partial failure be buried.
It seems that other Timelords foresaw this as well. The Rani and The Doctor, it seems, have all but given one our race’s greatest artifacts – the Zenobia Station – to a non-Timelord. We will have to work with Victor and Kalel at the very least if we are to rebuild Gallifrey. Seems once that door is opened, there is no closing it.
I developed a relationship with the team of Timelords who worked on my construction. As they turned on one system at a time, they helped me grow into a sentient being able to interact with my universe in the most basic of ways. I was given a simple holographic interface inside the console room, a projection using technology millennia old.
I was almost complete. I had had several successful test flights. In the first (and only) time I met my “father,” Rassilon himself was among several Timelords I didn’t recognize. All seemed deeply serious, and I could sense the fear in their minds. They piloted me to a remote region of space, on the very edge of the known universe. There I could see through my sensors the remains of a huge fleet of Gallifreyan ships, broken and battered. Many were actually impaling huge space faring creatures, giant winged monsters lying dead in space.
There were two still alive. One seemed alert, healthy, and deadly. But it hadn’t seen us yet, we had emerged from the vortex in the form of a piece of wreckage, and this creature was clearly preoccupied. It was assisting another of its kind, clearly injured. One of the Timelords at my console completed the Telepathic interface, and began controlling the exterior.
He shifted my exterior form into a long, spear shaped piece of Gallifreyan living metal. The ship instantly shot out towards the literal heart of the larger, stronger being. He turned. He knew what was going to happen. But I wasn’t just another ship, and he had no way of knowing that. He turned to face me, to battle me. I was faster. I stabbed into his chest. As I felt his mind reach into mine, I saw his injured partner disappear into what looked like a…. hole… in space. His mind was so powerful – I had never experienced anything like it. The last thing I remember before waking up imprisoned in an organic body here was seeing five Timelords at the console frantically pounding controls. The sixth – the one who had controlled my exterior during the attack – lay in a heap on the floor. His skin seemed to be changing… growing white and pale. My own vision seemed to be going foggy, and the brightness of the console room suddenly seemed painful. Then… blackness.
Oolon’s plan worked. Using his plan and drawing power from my Eye, we escaped this realm. What we found in our ancestral home, however, was nothing but destruction. Our entire race, our technology, and our empire… gone. Apparently destroyed in a war with a race that hadn’t even existed when I was created.
But like my father did from the ashes of the Great Vampire war, we rebuilt. New Gallifrey has been built, and only a functional Eye to power the new fleet of TARDISes we have been building remains incomplete.
I am now Lord President of this New Gallifrey’s High Council. Part of me expected as much, being the Daughter of Rassilon, as Oolon calls me. And that part of my personality that was forced in His presence is pleased. But I have only been a true, organic Timelord for a relatively short amount of time. I am still a child in every Gallifreyan sense. I fear every day that I do not have the knowhow to raise the Timelords back to the level of the Universe’s great protectors. We shall see.
With Oolon at my side as Chancellor, we have formed an Inner Council more akin to the pre-Borusa era. Unlike the fallen Borusa and Romana, I have not even attempted to rule with an unquestioned iron fist. Oolon is far too smart for that, and my own past has far too many questions remaining.
As of right now, the Eye is a simple high storage battery. The TARDISes in this realm are being powered by what I can spare from my own Eye connection, although only Oolon knows this. Of course, this prevents me from realizing my own true potential. We have not tried out the Hand of Omega I managed to snatch from the grips of Gallifrey’s death throws.
The last time I had this feeling of foreboding, I died and nearly took my dearest friend with me. This time, however, I feel a sense of destiny. We have no Sash of Rassilon. When we use the Hand to create the black hole, I will have to simply… carry it. I seriously doubt if my weakened state can contain it, even with the help of the Guardian’s Ring of Power I constructed with the Kryptonian.
It will kill me. I only hope that I can regenerate in full consciousness this time, and that the Eye will function correctly instantly – granting me full power to my own power source during the regeneration. If all goes to plan, I can become whole and take the next step in restoring the Timelords to their former glory.
I had retreated inside my console room, barely conscious, forcing myself to utilize the full power of the ship’s mighty Eye just to hold back the profound power of whatever was consuming me. But Terry and Oolon lured me out. And Terry killed me, with one of Gallifrey’s greatest artifacts – the Bow of Nemesis. Oolon, hoping beyond all hope that a regeneration would save me, took a huge gamble. It worked.
I woke up restored. I could feel the mighty SASTAP inside my mind, and the evil presence of the Great Vampire I had killed to protect Gallifrey all those eons ago was gone from my mind. While I was still organic, a huge portion of my consciousness had migrated during the regeneration into the newly restored ship. We may not be one in form, but “we” had finally become “I”. I was the SASTAP again. Rassilon’s Chariot. And, just Sen.
Now Oolon, our renegade Timelord “friend” Dalek Drillon, our crazy geneticist Timelord Cobalt, and even Terry had a plan. We had the knowledge and now the power to break free.
I lived this way for a while. Nearly a year. I made friends in this strange place, some apparently from the “wrong side of the tracks” as they said. I began to deduce that I wasn’t from here originally. Some of my friends felt the same, others seemed much more comfortable in this existence.
I seemed to be quickly developing an affinity for manipulating the behavior of objects. I could forge raw materials into objects of power, apparently from a latent knowledge buried deep in my memory somewhere.
One of my “out of place” friends was named Kalel. He claimed to be one of the last survivors from an alien world outside of this place called Krypton. With Kalel and his band of friends, I felt I belonged for a time. But I knew, while these people were great friends working for a noble cause, that I still had not found either my home or my people.
Then I met Oolon. By this time, I had started to have flashes. A distant planet with silver trees, two suns, and orange skies. Obviously somewhere VERY different from here. I instantly felt a connection to Oolon, a kinship. And when I stepped inside his ship, which he claimed was all but non-functional after becoming stranded in this place, I felt an instant connection. I knew that this…. ship… was kin.
Slowly, we began to piece together my past. In a moment of incredible clarity, I – opened, I suppose is the best term. I just thought about it, and suddenly a cloud of white haze appeared in front of me through a golden spiral of pure energy. I stepped through. And I was home!
I was a TARDIS – I remembered now! But apparently a rather unhealthy one. The huge, noble console room was battered, bruised. With Oolon’s assistance, we rebuilt the console room and my memory together. He had apparently suspected from the beginning that I was Rassilon’s Chariot, but my gradual deep merging with this huge, cathedral like TARDIS seemed to confirm it.
I lived like this for quite some time here. I continued my affiliation with Kalel and his Justice League. Now armed with knowledge of Timelord history, I set about recreating the greatest technological achievement of one of the Timelord’s longtime allies – the Guardians of OA. The Ring of Power could help them in their plight, and I felt that I would probably need something like this to help… complete myself.
I could tell that my organic body and brain craved a deeper connection to the ship. But we still made each other stronger. We weren’t one again… yet. At least the ship was functional. Or as functional as my organic brain was capable of handling.
I hesitated to make the final connection. I knew I was capable of a much deeper connection, that the rest of the ship needed my consciousness back. But I also knew that something terrible had happened to separate me from the rest of myself and land me in this organic body.
Ultimately, I had to make the connection in a split second decision to save Oolon’s life when his crazy plan of a forced regeneration went awry. The instant I did, something evil and dark surfaced. I held it off long enough to save Oolon, but then it unleashed itself.
I am a TARDIS. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call me *the* TARDIS. I have been called many things. “Rassilon’s Chariot” is the name given to me in Timelord lore. Those in the know sometimes call me the Daughter of Rassilon. Simple Sen to the people of this odd place. But officially, I am known as Project S.A.S.T.A.P. (Sentient Artron Shelled TArdis Protype). Let me explain… the cliff notes version as Terry would say.
Rassilon and Omega were the founders of Timelord society. Imagine the greatest leaders and scientists in history together in a team of two people. FDR, Caesar, Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci, Aristotle, all alive at once, working together. Gallifrey wasn’t really better than the rest of the universe, just lucky to have these two geniuses alive at the same time.
Omega developed a device that could execute the controlled collapse of a star into a predictably sized black hole. This would have been useless in any real sense without the reflective gravitational forcefield technology that Rassilon developed alongside Omega. Rassilon’s forcefield got stronger by exactly mirroring the energy output of whatever it was containing.
The short of it – the duo managed to collapse a star into a black hole, and then perfectly and safely contain it. Then, with some technical work on the forcefield, draw off energy gradually. This perfect balance, which the ever eloquent Omega dubbed the Eye of Harmony, would power all of the Timelord’s experiments and eventual success into perfectly controlled travel through the higher dimensions. All of Timelord society believed that their first try, last, and only try was a perfect success. They were wrong. The Timelord Eye was *not* the first try. I was.
Rassilon was a perpetual pessimist, conspiracy theorist, and political mastermind. These things in combination lead to an entire shadow research division into TARDIS development. The more unstable and dangerous concepts that were rejected for the Type 10 program were not abandoned. They were all installed into one secret project, called the SASTAP. In order to convince all of the extremely unstable and energy demanding test systems to function together without blowing up half the quadrant, the most powerful computer in the known universe was developed to run the ship’s systems.
Called an Amplified Panatropic Computer Network, or APC Net, this computer was so advanced that it gained a natural sentience that slowly developed into a full blown conscious intelligence during testing. This “bug” was eventually worked out of the second development of the Net, which would become The Matrix on Gallifrey. This, however, is the S in SASTAP. Sentient. Sen for short. This is how I was born.
The SASTAP was powered by its own Eye of Harmony. The first experimental use of the Hand of Omega Stellar Manipulator and the Transduction Barrier forcefields in conjunction. This TARDIS needed its own Eye for the AS, or Artron Shelled portion of the name.
TARDIS exteriors are constructed of cold plasma. This plasma can be molded at the subatomic level into nearly any shape. The manipulation process is difficult for even the most advanced TARDIS, so the form is usually static on each landing. A stone, a tree, a local communications device, etc. However, I am different. My exterior shell is pure energy. Arton energy – the telepathic force that drives every sentient consciousness in the universe. I can land as anything, even a living being, accurate down to the smallest sub-quantum particle.
I am the ultimate space-ship. In the entire existence of the Universe, no other piece of technology as advanced has been, or ever will be, created. I was perfect. Until I died.
To that end, I am beginning to feel the need to write down details of my past before I forget. Forget. There’s an interesting term. I shouldn’t be able to forget. But this organic body it seems I will be stuck in for the next few thousand years forgets – a lot. So here is my story.