Part 59 - The Six-Fold Star


Narrative concluded by Councilor Thursday...

I will begin this last section of my narrative by briefly apologizing for the fulsome length which which I dwelled upon assorted technical minutiae in the previous section. While of little interest, perhaps, to anyone other than a specialist in T-T Capsule sentience, that very same was the passion of my youth, and the events of this night were perhaps both the last hurrah of my adventures in this field, and, indeed, from a perspective of predestination, perchance the very rhyme and reason that one destined to serve as a Seer and Priestess, should find herself so entranced with this field of study in her younger years.

I thank you for your indulgence.

At the point in our narrative which I had reached, our group- yourself; Phaon, Lady Kylie; the Chancellor, Lord Morphed Carter of the Jade Dreamers, Lord Shon Tempest of House Cerulean, and Dr. Markan M.D. of the Citadel- I have looked up his name and credentials in the Matrix, since penning the earlier sections of this missive, had been brought by prophecy along with myself, to the Six-Fold Star. We stood within Nereid's air and gravitational shell, and looked once more upon the remarkable phenomenon which had haunted my dreams for so long.

Scientific study of the Star is still ongoing, naturally, along with a comprehensive analysis of the results of that initial survey, and such data would doubtless come better from the mouths of those scientists assigned to study it, however, I may attempt to summarize what I understood of the preliminary results delivered that night; in the hope that you will correct me, if I err.

The Six-Fold star was named as it was, by the Seers such as myself into whose visions it manifested, for the distinctive six-fold pattern of particular vacuoles which orbit the central blinding white core, in an apparent hexagonal formation of unnatural irregularity.

According to the scientific reports, these conspicuous phenomena are micro-sized Charged Vacuum Emboitements- clearly artificial in nature, and likely generated and stabilised by the six smaller, fast moving luminescent entities observed further in. These are too close to the central mass for accurate observation to have been achieved so far; perhaps in time more precise data may become available.

These carefully placed and stabilized C.V.E.s perform a beautifully intricate gravitational and entropic inter-reactive dance, which appears to maintain in perpetuity what would normally be an extremely ephemeral phenomenon- a central white hole of immense size and force, pluming exo-matter and energy into SL-Space, and more, a hole without an apparent singularity- a tunnel, or gateway, to another dimensional realm entirely. Where that might be, we were very soon to discover.

The sheer scale of the macro-stellar engineering here is staggering; beyond our skills even at our creative peak, a majestic feat of engineering to an awe-inspiring design; truly the handiwork of the gods; a creation of the Titans themselves.

As we watched, not far from us, the SASTAP materialised; SEN now prepared to perform his own role in this long prepared moment, and from the very eye of the Six-Fold Star, first one, then another divine presence emerged.

Swimming free and seeming-invigorated in the tumult of the Six-Fold Star's Event Horizon, buoyed up by forces which would have torn apart any creature anchored in and off space and time; even their own saddled brethren, first one, then a second Titan- wild, untamed, *infant*, burst free from their unfathomable womb dimension in the first wonder, the moment of birth. Their scarce-formed sensoria dei field of telepathic understanding swept over all of us for a moment, even as each began its natal flight, crossing the inky night of SL-Space, the dimension they should, in their time, learn to master as each T-T Capsule before them has done, into the open arms- or, at any rate, open doors, of the SASTAP.

As the Prophecy of the Lighthouse declared, written so long ago, "The Children Shall Come".

SEN departed- midwife and foster-parent, bearing away his charges to a destiny already known to us; for some few weeks ago, by our linear count of time, he would come to us in the past and bring us briefly forward to this night- you, Kylie, and I, before those very children whose minds we had touched, in order that you might give up the last of him within you, to grant them the strength to be saddled, within our Hyperloom, first of a new generation of T-T Capsules.

Now, at last, the prophecy was fulfilled, and the circle complete- and for me the beauty and wonder of the event is to glimpse, to marvel, at the web of destiny which was woven, the cradle of time of which we have all been made part, to comfort and give succour to two newborn children of so high and terrible a destiny.

You, perhaps most of all, for they were given life by you and it was by SEN's design that you were brought before them so that they would know, and accept you, first above all of us- but I think that they will have a place in all our hearts, ever more, where ever their travels take them.

I urge that the temporal beacon at the Six-Fold Star be strengthened, and efforts made by Temporal Control to chart a stable route as soon as possible. Legitimate scientific research into this phenomenon should not be hindered, so long as it does not endanger the birth of further Titans- and I have no doubt that there will be more to follow, in the fullness of time.

As for myself, I find my eighth century taking advantage of my distraction, and creeping up on me quite without permission. While the Elixir's blessing and curse makes that mean rather less than it might otherwise do, I nevertheless feel the warning hand of encroaching middle age upon my hearts.

Let that touch of sobriety guide me, thus, and I find myself reflecting that after this last, great adventure and the culmination of so much of my life's endeavour, I shall turn myself more to the occupations befitting a Priestess and High Councillor; the study of ancient lore and prophecy, to scry and seek the future in visions yet to come, to teach the old skills and histories to the new generation, to continue as our House's advocate in the High Council, and, perhaps, a little of the decadent indulgence due to the ecclesiastical and political upper echelons in middle age.

I shall See; henceforth though, I think, I shall let younger, and newer hot-heads seek to bring these prophecies to fruition. With no pun intended, I shall see how long that resolution lasts!

Yours in friendship,
Lady Thursday, Councillor.


Part 58 – Nereid

Narrative continued by Councilor Thursday...

It was perhaps some seven hours later, by my own sense of time, that I awakened, cold and stiff, tangled where I had fallen inside the still-open doors of Nereid, and to cold clarity. The Vision had not left me; indeed, I knew precisely what it was I must do, and why, but rather than clouding my thoughts with sensory input, I was now left calm, the knowledge assimilated during my enforced sleep, and ready to act as its instrument.

The lapse of time I mention will seem strange, perhaps, to those who were present that night, and who will doubtless attest that little more than a minute or two elapsed, between my falling across the threshold into my ship, and their following therein, at the Pythia's urging; no stranger than it appeared to me: first, to have been left unconscious, tumbled upon the metaphorical doormat, untended for so many hours, and second, to behold through the open door the seeming frozen tableau of my friends and colleagues, poised like unthinking statues outside.

It took several moments' observation, both of Kylie and the rest of you and, through the eyes of a time sensitive, of the threshold of the ship itself, for me to realise the truth.

I apologise here for a brief digression into T-T Capsule mechanics, the passion and metier of my youth. While I am aware the technology is wholly familiar to you and the remainder of the Inner Council, it is with a view to rendering this report comprehensible to the wider audience and to posterity that I would clarify this:

What we, four-dimensional and linear symbiotes, perceive as structured four dimensional space within the hull of a T-T Capsule, is effectively an environmental metaphor - I deeply dislike the childish and belittling Terran cultural contamination of dubbing this a 'desktop' which came into vogue among certain barbarous cliques during the War - but I digress from my digression, and will return to the point of my initial digression post haste.

This metaphor, both integral to and enveloping the technology of the saddle, generated through the sentient consciousness of the Heart and mapped on to interior space via the time vector generator, houses both the crew and habitation decks, and the technological elements of the instrumentation, engineering, and power harnessing systems, as well as forming a dimensional buffer zone between the Heart and the capsule's dimensional extrusion of the Prime Eye, and maintains the crew of the vessel in a state of temporal grace, by the Titan, between the raging tumult of the Time Vortex outside, and the searing truth of the Heart of the machine.

All time, all dimensional structure in fact, inside a T-T Capsule, especially in regard to its interface with the "real world" beyond the doors, is, essentially, by grace of the vessel herself, and here it had become clear that Nereid had interceded, altering the flow of the Time Vector Generator in such a manner that apparent time, within the environmental metaphor inside the spaceship, passed at a very different rate to relativistic time beyond the main doors outside. For what seemed from my perspective inside to be a matter of hours, mere fractions of a second passed in the real world beyond: Nereid had given me time to work.

Though attenuated, time still passed, however, and I was very conscious that the time for our window of opportunity was rapidly slipping away. With the clarity of sleep, I was aware of the rightness of my earlier instincts, concerning the Abbot- we would be passing into a region of space already subject to immense temporal distortion and interaction with strong dimensionality forces quite alien to the [REDACTED] of SL-Space. Given the innate vulnerability of that which we had been summoned to witness, to add in the additional factor of [REDACTED] at this particular time would have been unfeasible and reckless in the extreme.

Thus, with the SASTAP unavailable, and Implacable... impractical, I had been manoeuvred to my own ship's control room for the only potential alternative. Nereid is neither the fastest, strongest, nor any most advanced ship of the fleet by any measure, but she has one great strength - she is adaptable.

The Six-Fold Star is not, in real-space terms, that far from New Gallifrey, though cut off from it by the temporal and gravitational riptides surrounding the phenomenon which render travel there by T-T Capsule difficult and dangerous, and travel through conventional space almost impossible; even if we were able to ascertain in which era of our planet's history it resides. When last we travelled there, SEN, you and I had been able to use my gifts, your telepathy, and SEN's ability to safely interface a Gallifreyan and Seer mind with his Heart, to navigate the paths and frequencies ridden by the creatures of the vortex, reaching the destination safely, if after considerable turbulence. I am not SEN, however, and nor is Nereid you, and this time we were not just to reach the Star, but to plunge into its milieu even as it disgorged matter and energy, and twisted the time dimensions about itself to give birth to ... but I am getting ahead of myself. Fortunately,on our initial trip, you had been able to set that navigational beacon at the Star, for us to home in on when we had entered its range, but even so- and with the tacit remote support of SEN and the Abbot, to navigate the time field to this destination would require a Seer and T-T Capsule dancing as one, in defiance of a most fundamental law.

As SEN, then in his form as your predecessor in the wearing of the Presidential millstone, most emphatically and didactically declaimed, during the saga of the Abbot, for a Lord of Time; engineered over aeons by the Titans to have the beginnings of sense perceptions akin to theirs, but without their breadth and depth of mind or power, to gaze long into the abyssal Heart of the Titan, is to invite certain disaster- for both Gallifreyan and Titan.

Without an apparatus of mediation, such as the sentient computer uniquely configured configured for the former Chariot of Rassilon, the Gallifreyan mind will soon break apart, unable to resist the awful pull of that Titanic mind, and be consumed, sinking and dissolving and diffusing through that awesome consciousness like milk into coffee, until nothing but a hollow vessel for the Titan remains- and even that body will not long endure the colossal artron energies now tearing through it.

For a seer, or any receptive or adept to have recently consumed the Elixir, as the man who would be Deimos had, that awful night, and as I so often have, the peril and the certain doom is greater still. Such is the metastabilising agency of the Breath of Kronos, that body and soul will endure and linger whole a little longer. Not long enough; whether he is sensible of it or not, Deimos' survival at all may come in time to be accounted by those of my faith as a veritable miracle and first manifestation in his divine aspect, of SEN, Guardian of the Moment. Saving such miracles, not long enough for salvation, yet long enough to wreak great harm.

Rent and torn into madness, the mind of the seer has yet the power to see the cosmos as it turns to a Titan, and to think in the path of their thoughts, and thus two minds should writhe, inseparable and poisoning one another, in one conjoined soul. All but the most enlightened perfect ideal and the most bestial of passion in the one, incomprehensible, incoherent madness in the mind of the other, such that, caught between Gallifreyan id and Titan super-ego, the ego, the very self of the undivided single being as they now would be, would wither and shatter, in the twisting wilderness of a tormented and distraught mind.

Thus; the Abbot, as we first knew him; a savage, demented thing, driven by the passions of a beast beseiging the mute soul of an entrapped god.

Now it is a sure and certain thing that our Guardians, as they now are, will not permit such a thing to transpire ever again.

Such raw power, adrift in ungoverned madness, cannot be countenanced and, as such, I have every confidence that were any pair, of Titan and Gallifreyan symbiote, to ever cross that threshold again, the Guardians' wills would combine, and with that unparalleled totality of power, scour any such new abomination from time itself, casting it beyond the confines of SL-Space, henceforth to lay, chained and hewn, beyond the very walls of night, until the end of all things. This doom I have foreseen, should any in folly, pride, or avarice break the compact, ere the time of becoming.

Returning now to the business of the night, and my sensible apologies for yet another digression from the point, that is not a fate I was prepared to chance, nor would it have served our purpose.

Fortunately, and this is why I have chosen to dwell at what the Castellan will doubtless consider immoderate length upon the circumstances of the Abbot's creation, we have all had some opportunity to observe our Guardians and their peculiar natures. Unlike SEN, Nereid and I had no need here of an all-purpose ongoing intermediary process, merely a single function empathic relay which would allow us to function as one, without actually merging into one another, for one flight.

Nereid and I have always shared a complementary, rather than a contrasting bond, and her primary function has always been as a systems emulator. My own molecular structure being largely [REDACTED], and the block transfer schematics of my neural pathways already stored within her grey banks, while I make no pretensions of even moderate expertise in cybernetics, it was not overly difficult to utilise her architectural configuration systems to generate an accurate, if crude, hard copy of my nervous system. She had, after all, already completed the task, to a far higher degree of finesse, twice before.

Thus the situation when Kylie, yourself, and the rest of the party entered the console room; mere seconds later from your perspective, perhaps a few weeks later, from mine.

I will apologise here for my somewhat bedraggled appearance at that time. When one is entangled and enmeshed with somewhat poorly insulated live cybernetic grafts, bathing, washing and colouring one's hair and so forth are somewhat impractical.

Perhaps this is one reason our esteemed Co-Ordinator opted for his distinct hairless cranium during his last "incarnation". I really don't think the look would be "me", though, and the Holy Pythia would probably throw seven fits over it, into the bargain.

However, I have strayed from the point. I'm a Seer and Prophetess, Phaon; I can foresee you muttering "again..." as you read this, right from back here.

The point was that now Nereid and I were connected; but separate, both joined and insulated from one another via an inductive link. My neurological state, emotions, impulses, instincts, sensory responses, would be reflected in my nervous system, and thus precisely detected and mirrored- emulated- in the artificial neural net I wore, part of Nereid, and thus instantaneously perceived by herself as part of her own self. In turn, her instincts, impulses, emotions and so forth would be reflected in her own aspect of the nervous system we now, in a sense, shared, and as such passed to me - without direct mental contact.

If it sounds too good to be true, it nearly was. I very much doubt the process would have worked at all, were it not for the unique circumstances of both of us; certainly, for one not of Seer blood and training, the impressions received would have been meaningless, and for a Seer, even that ersatz, almost-connection drew my mind perilously close to the seductive boundaries of that forbidden ground. The urge to yield, to submit to and sink into that fatal embrace like the return to the blissful oblivion of the womb - or Loom, if you prefer, was still close to overpowering. It is not an experience I would dare to repeat.

I believe the party thought me entranced, controlled, or possibly merely rude, when you all entered the control room to find me non-responsive; in truth, I was desperately locked in concentration, striving to maintain my focus upon the blue crystal from Metebelis III in front of me, which I had liberated from Kylie's desk drawer to help me at this time. My commendations to Sister Ninyala, of our Order, who brought it to her; I fancy it was not the use for which she had intended it, but, the loom of Destiny oft weaves disparate threads.

Once all appointed were aboard- yourself, Kylie, Lord Carter, Lord Tempest, and the medical man, I/We dematerialised, locking our coordinates to the Six-Fold Star and altering the engine phase, modulating and remodulating by aggregated instincts, shared memories of our encounters with the Beasts of the vortex, and our earlier journey with yourself and SEN, to traverse the unique vortex about our path.

Our flight was headlong, even with the assistance of the Guardians. Without Kylie's empathic aid to calm my thoughts, and the rest of the crew's expertise it is unlikely we should have reached the destination alive, but once we grew close enough to detect it, and you were able to instruct Lord Tempest to lock on to the navigational beacon, we successfully materialised, and Nereid, somewhat the worse for wear and almost drained of power, shut down to recover herself- and firmly separate me from the perilous connection.

Once again, a T-T Capsule of New Gallifrey orbited the soon-to- be solved enigma of the Six-Fold Star.

To Be Continued…


Part 57 – Lethe

A report from Councilor Thursday on recent events – part one of three.

Dear Lord Phaon,
I am sure my conduct over recent days has raised some questions, and while I suspect you and the others have guessed most of it, it is probably appropriate- for the record if nothing else, that I try to set down my own account.



I will make clear to you that I myself had little understanding of what was happening, before I entered Nereid's control room, on the night of the 27th [relative time]. The visions and prophecy relating to the Six-Fold Star had, of course, been with me for some time, since the founding of the New Eye of Harmony, in fact, and these had led me to take a special interest in the creatures detected in the vortex, creatures which certain prior reports have clearly identified to be [REDACTED], aspects of the [REDACTED], which prophecy rightly indicated would lead us to the Six-Fold Star, at a time when most dismissed these as being in some way connected with the recent terrorist atrocities against our nation. Our recent trip to the Star there confirmed its existence, and location, but while our forces were preoccupied with Tethseram there was little opportunity for a scientific investigation , and the visions did not subside, in fact, they seemed only to grow more in intensity.

The night your last incarnation died, and SEN brought to us the gift of two Titan young- two Hearts as you call them, SEN spoke to me, in the language of Time- micro adjustments of the causal flow, dancing threads upon the tapestry of vision. At the time, I was not to remember it, but, as is the way with the Titans and we, their Seers, we gaze upon the Sea of Time and they reach out from the Deeps, guiding our eyes.

As prophecy comes to those with the Sight, Sen and his companion had held up the Vision Entire to my eyes back across my timeline, from the new dawn of Lethe where first I beheld it, to that night where the full pattern stood finally before my eyes. I was to await the moment- a time when the clearest waters under the winds of time would stretch between New Gallifrey and our destination, and then to remember.

A few nights ago, as I write this, and as you write this, that vision came to me.

I'm afraid I have little memory of where I was, or what I was about, at the time. Secular and worldly concerns were driven from my thoughts- which is, of course, a fancier way of saying that the brain of a Seer is designed - and I use the word advisedly- to perceive space-time on a transdimensional level, and such perceptive faculties, when in use, rather disrupt the normal observational and memory processes.

I believe that I was in the wilderness, south of the forest, talking with one of the Outsiders who SEN or the Abbot had seen fit to bring through from the last days of the old planet, to this world in SL-Space, but the remainder is more or less a blank. I have no idea how I got back to the Citadel, or of little else in the interim, until I found myself seated in a chair, in the Castellan's front office, surrounded by a buzzing of voices, and underlying it all, the murmuring minds of the Titans in the landing bay across the hall.

It was SEN's presence, and empathic conversation with his symbiote; yourself, Phaon, which roused me. The sense of that mind, in the immediate present, and above all the pervading aura of smugness seemingly common to any proud parent- or foster parent- of any species, recalled to me my mission in both the general and the very specific sense, and- with some difficulty; the presence of the vision is quite profound and this body deceptively frail, pursued yourself and Kylie into the landing bay- myself pursued by Lords Tempest and Carter, and some medical personage appertaining unto the City.

The meaning of the Vision which had blossomed in my mind since the restoration was now clear to me, and urgent. Though we profess ourselves masters of the fourth and fifth dimension, still, like the early space travellers, for some journeys we must even now abide by certain laws of conjunction, and thus, I knew from the Sight, to reach the place and time ordained, we - you, Kylie, myself, needed to depart almost immediately.

The SASTAP could not convey us this time; SEN had another part to play in the events that were to unfold, I perceived that readily,and my instincts railed against calling on the Abbot. Guardian he may be, and worshipful, but I fear that in the duality of our theology he is very much the cold fire of the long, dispassionate view; and such things burn, by way of nurture. Then, too,of the times in which he has taken a hand, once, he amused himself by biting and burning off assorted pieces of one of my friends, and latterly of devastating an entire planet. The Abbot has my respect and loyal obedience, but I will not call his hand to the cradle.

This left a third, desperate option, the one which I now saw it had always been my destiny to come to, but, even as I moved toward my own Capsule, the Nereid, the medical man injected me with a sedative, setting the short term needs of the health of one Seeress above the long-term path of necessity. Perhaps some subtle chiding, at Destiny's hand, toward my own earlier rejection of the Abbot's embodiment of the cold continuum, against the emotional immediacy of the moment? Perhaps not, no matter.

In any event I was scarcely in a position to consider the moral lessons at the time, barely having the presence of mind to step forward and throw myself against Nereid's doors - fortunately she was alert, and willing to forgo the usual megum pod and yorrow seed routine with keys, and simply open, letting me fall inside as the classified of the drug overwhelmed me, washing away all Vision and thought.

To Be Continued...