Part Seven: Freedom to Live: The Pilgrim at the Gates
Gutarriezknindracastorblyledgespillioth touches his hands to the sheets of fine whitish metal bolting closed the storage room door. The bolts are large on the sides, large enough to tear him in two should he attempt it.
Hainish’s doing- he can feel the dissipating residue of a Space-Time Trap in the vicinity, all squiggles and interrupted timelines. Other Time Lords have been trapped in here, before this great crude bolted portal was installed.
Of course he’s going to. Naturally.
He digs his white, clean nails into the edge of space running through the middle of the entry, stuffing his fingers into the spiking lock mechanism within the gap.
The door will chew his nails for him, he thinks, as he angles his elbows out to his sides and pulls, his Time Lord senses straining through the metal’s individual atoms, touching them. In the space of many microns, countless covalencies flatten and stretch between his fingertips.
With his senses, he feels every tiny bond between the molecules of the door. If he can just... wedge himself, will them apart, he can... almost...
Pain erupts along the bottom of the front of his neck, surfacing and diving under his slender collarbone.
He sinks against the door with his hair tangling a web through his hands, remembering the doppelganger of Hainish created by the Namaste Nerada, back when the pod fell. And at the gala, when the mind-controlled Hand scratched the Doctor in its bird-form... had it been them then, too? And why Hainish? The Doctor’s instructions... the Doctor. Who?
The image of the Doctor decaying into a river of the dust of man superimposes itself, slamming into him, trumpeting a fresh strength through his nerves. He pulls again, easily ripping some of his long emerald locks away from his scalp and drawing it across his vision in little wet strings of hyper-gravitized blood and shredded Time Lord.
He casts the bits of door aside, and the two wrenched sheets fall back in a heavy sigh of creaking metal.
Down his arms comes a roving wave of pain like burning pitch, radiating from a weakened structure in his upper chest. The space above his hearts... something is crunching inside the small place... broken and sliding. A bone? Ah yes- his clavicle.
Soon his muscles will give way, due to the lack of support in the center of his chest.
He rests back on the floor for only a moment, then pitches himself into the austere little room to grab the folded clothes sitting neatly in a pile.
Next to a blue time travel capsule.
A glass jar of pale dirt sets beside her.
Oh. Of course. The Rings. Or perhaps... the Ring. Could it really be so simple?
All right then, he thinks to himself, calculating how long it will take him to get the simple dust cloak and cap on and leave.
The door is just outside, only a few steps away.
The Eye is due to open in approximately five minutes time. He must cross under it before it opens, for if it sights him it will alert the guards. And through them, the Pythia.