Chapter 4 - TT#1
"Well, Sarah Jane, welcome to Gallifrey." The Doctor twirled around a bit, his coat creating a multi-colored whirlwind. He stopped after a minute and thrust his hands in his pockets and continued on down the hallway.
Sarah looked around in awe. So this was where he couldn't take her when they had decided to part company. She could still remember that moment clearly, her standing in the console room with her stuffed owl and luggage in her arms, and him with that odd expression on his face, hovering about the console trying to remember the galactic co-ordinates for South Croydon. This message from Romana certainly wasn't like the Time Lord summons he had mentioned right before bundling her out onto the street. He hadn't even bothered to check if it really had been South Croydon. It hadn't and she ended up having to take a bus home. At the time it had struck her as being very typical for him, but at least he had managed to drop her off in the right century. She looked at the spacious rooms around her, large enough to fit Cricket fields in them. She almost let off an appreciative low whistle, but stopped herself.
"Come along, Sarah. Don't dawdle."
"I wasn't!" She hurried to catch up with him. Already his long strides had taken him around the corner and into yet another stretch of hallway. With a hand, he gestured at the doors around them. "Presidental chambersConference room.Thermo-retulicar roomPatrexan Cabinet room"
"Doctor, what was that you said earlier abut Trial?"
Sarah could practically hear him grind his teeth together at the sound of the word. "I didn't."
"Right." She huffed and puffed after him, though after the tenth turn around yet another corner, she knew she was hopelessly lost.
"Aha! Here we are!" He thrust the doors open. "The graduate student rooms."
Sarah followed him into the rooms and looked around. She could distinctly smell the musty tang of ancient books and the tart smell of some foreign brand of air freshener. She vaguely thought the place belonged in a four-page spread on gothic architecture. The Doctor counted out the number of rooms on his fingers, "eany, meany, miny," and paused on "moe." "Hello?" he queried, poking his head into the room. "You're not her! Who are you and what are you doing in Romana's room?" Sarah stood on her toes and tried to see over the Doctor's shoulder. A young girl, dressed in a miniaturized version of Time Lord robes, sat on the edge of the bed, in the center of the room. She dangled her feet off the bed in a childish manner, and a mass of books was spread out around her on the bed. Most of the books were open to various Gallifreyan events and she had a sheaf of notes in her hands. She stared up at the Doctor with a startled expression on her face.
Sarah smiled at the girl. "We're looking for someone. Maybe you know her. She used to live in this room, I think."
The girl shrugged.
"Now what, Doctor?" asked Sarah. "I hate to say it, but this looks like a dead end. What did the note say? Did it have any clue at all to where she was?"
"No, it just said to come immediately. WaitIt did say something odd"
Crimson robes brushed by in the hallway. The sound of footsteps on the tile grew softer. Colin pushed the door open and peeked out. "Can you detect anyone else out in the hallway?" he whispered.
"Negative, Master." He hurriedly tried to shush K-9. "Good. Let's go then." It hadn't been too hard to figure out which lever opened the door. It was just a trial and error process, asking K-9 which button was which. He hurried down the hallway and ducked into a room with an ornate set of double doors. K9 trundled along behind him. He stared around in wonder at the auditorium. It was completely deserted making K-9's motors sound like a lion's roar. The ceiling of the room stretched up to infinity. "K-9, where are we?"
"Of course." Not that he actually knew what a panopticon was, let alone that they were even in one, but it just felt like the right thing to say. He pulled out some jelly babies from his pocket and sat down on the floor munching happily. The place felt familiar. He couldn't tell how, but it was like a dull nagging whisper at the back of his head. A whisper that seemed to be growing louder the more he concentrated on it.
"K-9" he paused in mid sentence, listening. The whisper grew louder. "K-9, stay here." He got up. The whispers seemed louder from the left end of the hall. He walked over, and stood in front of a large drapery that impossibly hung down from the ceiling. He pushed it aside and found a doorway behind it. The doorknob gave at his touch and the door swung open. From inside, he could smell a light scent of early morning dew mixed with the honey from a Gallifreyan Flutter Wing. The scent seemed to pull him in and the whisper coaxed him to relax. The door swung shut behind him. With the bang of the door, the drapery fell to the floor in a puddle of material. And in the rush of movement, the door vanished.
K-9 wheeled over to the edge of the fallen drape and extended his sensor. His ears whirred, but there was nothing he could do. "Master?"
Behind the door lay a flurry of robes whipping through the air in time to a haunting strain played by a man strumming his fingers lightly over the strings of a golden harp. He had a brown beard, the robes of an unnamed official, and eyes that seemed a trillion parsecs away. People clothed in scarlet, lavender, and green swirled about the room as if entranced by the music. There was something about them that didn't look quite right. The more Colin watched, the more he wanted to join in. It was almost a nagging feeling that he must join in. Unfortunately, watching them was giving him a slight headache. He was having trouble focusing on the dancers. Almost like a nearsighted person without his glasses. He sat down and tried to stop the crowd from blending together in his mind. One of the dancers paused in mid step and smiled at him. She bowed to her dancing partner and approached him. Colin stood up, looking for the nearest exit. He knew he was out of place and shouldn't be caught there. The woman smiled and knelt in front of him. She lifted his face with a finger to stare into hers. She reached out and placed her other hand on his shoulder. As she made contact, she disappeared. He blinked his eyes rapidly. The more he blinked, more of the dancers disappeared. Until by the final blink, all that remained was the harp player, who looked at him, with a vaguely annoyed expression. "You've spoiled my dream," he accused. "I wanted them to dance longer. I wanted them to know no such thing as worry, or pain."
Colin cleared his throat and felt in his pocket for anything. He pulled out his hand, clutching the yellow yo-yo. "Who were they?"
"They were the past, the present, or perhaps even the future."
To Be Continued...