Here’s the second part. A little side note for you who have read the first: the story might need a few rough edges smoothed out, so if you spot any typos, feel free to let me know. I’m trying to edit it myself as I go along, but if you’re an author yourself, you know how that goes…. 😀
Anyway, enjoy! Part III will come out later this week!
“I have a visual, Librarian!”
The Paladin manipulated a series of controls, projecting what she saw upon the screen opposite her and drawing the attention of the other two to the flickering image. The Monitor frowned at the picture, noting the faint outline of something resembling no ship with which he had familiarity. The overall form was that of a large, rectangular object, smooth on all sides save for the bottom, which possessed a jagged, uneven edge. Black, triangular panels spaced at regular intervals ran along the visible faces, covering almost all of the elongated exterior sides.
“I don’t recognize it,” he commented.
“We didn’t expect you to, my lord,” the Librarian answered, stepping away from the console. “Standby for enhanced imaging, Paladin.”
The Monitor moved towards the overhead screen squinting as he examined the object: tall and relatively thin, without any evidence of spacecraft design. “I don’t understand,” he murmured. “This looks like no ship I’ve ever seen before.”
The Librarian paused from his rhythmic typing upon a series of multicolored studs on the far wall. “That’s because it’s not a ship, my lord,” he answered.
“Not a ship!? But how…?”
“Soon, my lord. Enhance, Paladin.”
Upon the activation of a switch by the tall female, the image blinked, becoming a featureless green shadow of itself. But something else appeared around the image. “That circle…” the Monitor began, his finger tracing the closed arc that surrounded the object. “That’s a Time Lock!”
“It is, my lord,” the Paladin replied, glancing up at him, then toward the Librarian with worried eyes. The bald fellow waved her off. “It’s alright, child,” the eldest being assured her.
“What’s alright!?” The Monitor demanded. “I want answers from you two, and I demand those answers right now! What is that thing out there!? And why is it encapsulated in a Time Lock!?”
“That thing,” answered the Librarian, “holds the answer to the problem which I and the Paladin overheard you posit to yourself after your final transmission to the Time Lords. And as it requires the authorization of a Time Lord as high ranking as yourself, dear Monitor, to disengage a Time Lock, it was necessary for us to bring you to this place.”
The black eyes of the Monitor blazed with anger. “You brought me out here to disengage a Time Lock encasing something I know nothing about!? And you—” the Monitor growled, glaring at the armor-clad female “you did not consider breaking this lock yourself!?”
“I could have, yes,” the Paladin replied softly. “But I insisted to the Librarian that it be performed in accordance with our law. Regardless of what has become of our beloved world, I demand that we still operate in a moral and legal fashion. Yes, my lord, we could have undertaken this trek without you. But as we are doing this for the sake of what is just and right, it seemed quite a hypocritical thing to perform evil in the name of good. And I would not stand for that.”
The Monitor’s face softened—slightly.
“And,” the Librarian added, standing by his female accomplice, “isn’t that why we are here to begin with? To undo the work of one of our own who has taken it upon himself to defy the very laws we have established as Gallifreyans? To repair the damage he has done and retrieve our world, bringing it back into its proper physical place in the universe?”
With those words, the Monitor released a tense breath of air. He glanced at the screen again, studying the bubbled object a second time. “And I have your word that all will be explained to me should I disengage this lock. No secrets, lies, or deceit?”
“You have our lives as much as you have our word, my lord,” the Librarian responded. He pointed toward a black door measuring slightly more than a meter long on the wall near the craft’s entrance. “The Paladin’s rifle is stored in there,” he continued. “You may shoot me yourself if I do not disclose everything to you when we disengage the Lock.”
At this statement, the Paladin let out an alarmed gasp. The Librarian held his ground, feeling her eyes lock upon him. He responded with a subtle shake of his head, still watching the Monitor’s examining glare. “Is that equitable for you, my lord?”
The dark-haired fellow reached into his robe, retrieving a small, cylindrical object composed of a deep, crimson metal. “If it comes to that, my friend,” he answered in a low voice, “I will not need the Paladin’s weapon to expedite your departure.