“As you well know, as of this morning I am Cardinal, merely Cardinal, so I assume no responsibility for such matters, Lord Pasmodius! There is nothing to be gained in pointless wastage.”
Rassilon slams his fist down on the table, scattering two first year Academy students and a cloud of Namaste Nerada to opposite ends. One of them- a mouse-y Dromiean, he notices, had been carrying a large book. Pasmodius would never be foolish enough to pass information right in front of him, would he?
The Old Man is still seated, still watching- still munching on that disgusting seacress sandwich and dropping bits of long white cress on the floor; to presume otherwise would be like popping up at the GCIA and mentioning any of the three men he wished to rub out by name.
“Well I think you should! The Library funds are dwindling! Much more of this Post-War Effort nonsense and the Namaste Nerada may have to turn vegetarian!” Pasmodius taps his long branch-y finger on the rather plain, whitish wood.
“And do you know why we cannot afford to allow the Archive to appropriate more funds, Pasmo?”
Pasmo blinks; a mote falls. He rubs his face, wrinkles rolling everywhere as though he’s overturned a pail full of small sausages. Finally, his fingers eject from the mess.
“My dear Rassilon, without an Archive, how can we teach our students? How can we adjust to the rigors of maintaining the Restoration if we cannot educate the next generation adequately to avoid the mistakes of our shared past?”
Rassilon scoffs at this display. What is the old man getting at? He’s never been one for politics- he just wants what’s his. Nothing else matters. The Restoration is a fool’s errand. No reason for him to stick around once the manure flies. Between the Terrorist and the Lady Flamina, the Doctor and the Master, and the Old Man and the Sea, Gallifrey is going right back where it came from. Obscurity. He holds no love for the planet of his birth. They are not his people anymore.
He laughs as he waves away the Old Man’s glare. If he is to die, so be it. But it won’t be here, at that man’s hands.
He does not see Pasmodius staring after him as he departs.
But when two thin, leathery fists ball in purple fabric, clenching so hard that blood runs over the gnarled fingers, even Pasmo is surprised.
“Good thing you sent that mouse off with the book then, isn’t it, you old tosser? Can I play? I do love a good scavenge.”
Looking up into the unexpected and, wondrously placid, dark gaze of the Lord President, Pasmodius merely frowns.
Does he imagine it, or is the Master’s hair a shade lighter? And furthermore, is the discrepancy mistake or a’purpose?
He shakes himself, outwardly because that is who he is, of late.
Of course he doesn’t imagine it.
After all, Patrex isn’t a Chapterhouse known for its imagination.
But Rassilon is a curious man, if curiosity suits his needs.
So he waits.
He is jovial, even.
The Lord President, his hair intriguingly more blonde-white than it had been two weeks previous, grabs his hand, pressing his finger into Pasmodius’ palm until pain crawls outward over the nerves. He’s writing letters.
Get Box. Important. You-know-who has it. Time-travel. TARDIS. Knock. Leave. Ship hidden. Exit corridor. This date and time. Doctor asked. The Master.
What’s the matter, Old Man?” the man in his old robes groans, “…can’t you bloody read?”
Then he’s gone.