Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

There's... Something on the Ring

Rassilon reaches the double doors that lead to the Panopticon.

They would have been the reward to a long walk, a while ago.

Now, though, they simply loom, like old friends no longer recognised.

Strangers.

The Council has summoned him to speak today. Or was it to listen? Same thing, really, in the end.

They must know, then, about The Other. They have the Rings from the old woman, after all.

-He- must have known, must have seen it. With a whimper, indeed.

Rassilon places his big hands, hands he used once to write poetry to his wife, against the smooth interlocking wood slabs connected by intricate carvings of claws and winged women. Who would waste beautiful northern wood on such a travesty? He's never noticed it before.

Oh well, he thinks as he pushes the great doors open in acceptance of his fate, at least the Doctor has the endearing little monkey from Boeshane- and that idiot, Koschei. He himself has no one.

A very short time before this, he would have said he needed no one, either.

"These doors... they are no comfort to me now," he murmurs, sliding his hands off the inside edges of the widening vestibule as he steps within.

As he expects, one foot toward the inner sanctum and there are guards at his back and sides, holding his arms behind him.

He is pushed.

They walk him roughly to the little phallus of order hovering over the brink, the Eye, the false birth canal in mimicry of life which he fashioned with two other men, so long before this quiet day.

His unquiet dead lie rustling now, in the tiger-stripe forests of his night-brain, waiting to see him. To see what he'll already have said.

The speeches begin as an old man in purple, that wrinkled archetype, Pasmodius, holds up a page from another old book.

"You, Once-Lord Rassilon of no remembered House, have been found guilty of attempting to extinguish life..."

Rassilon drowns out their droning, for the moment. They are like bees, all of them. Buzzing with the certainty of their conviction, so easily come to, so hard to obtain.

Bzz.

Bzz.

Bzz.

Once in a while, he hears them murmur about it, or about the Rings. He feels movement at his back again; he laughs once, twice, three times like a chortling bird, full-throatedly, making sure to keep his teeth far apart, just like he's seen a certain bohemian scoundrel fond of scarves and little candies and the color blue do once...

"What sort of answer is that? Has he finally lost his mind?"

"I think so, Raskalin- I think he's been driven mad from it all."

"On the contrary, my friends, I have gone there quite of my own accord," Rassilon murmurs as they read out more of the charges against him.

"...also find him guilty of treason, trespass, secretive dealings, political tampering, societal neglect, unlawfulness, social engineering... cruel and unusual punishment, domination of office, abuse of power, attempted assassination without the proper filing of intent, unjust legislation, unfair usage of public monies, underhanded tactics, and an overinflated fashion sense."

He adds, with one finger skyward and two guards clinging lest he make a run for it, "...and let's not forget a most unfashionable late-coming to one's senses. But as for me, I'm dying for a jelly baby."

Then Rassilon, the father of Time Lord Society, sits down in the middle of the cold floor and twiddles his thumbs.

He further adds, the pools of his eyes draining grateful tears like pus over the drapes of his white toothy grin, "That's all right; I know you haven't any. But there is an urgent business of the Doctor's that needs personal attendance before I go. Might I have a messenger and another bag of those fried bats? I suspect this is going to keep me from his counsel for a time, and though I am happy that he is alive to witness this chain of events, I will miss him, in the interim, while he recovers. You see, he’s within a secret chamber somewhere below, in a coma..."


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