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Greetings, Bearers!

Here’s part IV of the fan fic.  Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

The Paladin gasped.

The Librarian cried in glee.

The Monitor swore a disbelieving oath in the name of Kasterborous.

They had landed in a vast chamber, upon a floor connected to a tall ceiling by an infinite labyrinth of columns, all of which blazed with a soft, blue light that rippled and swirled, as if fashioned from phosphorescent water.   The Monitor raised her rifle, turning from left to right, her eyes watching for any disruption in the azure architecture indicating movement.  The Monitor and the Librarian maintained their positions behind her, scanning the darkness beyond for signs of life, although the Monitor redirected his scowl-filled vision toward the other two on occasion.

“Safe for the moment, are we?” the Librarian whispered.

“Looks that way,” she replied.  “But I request that we stay together, regardless of what is to happen.”

“An impressive place, I must admit,” the Monitor remarked.  “So what is it about this place that can be of use to us?”

“Not ‘what,’ my lord.  Who.  If you’ll hold your position for a moment…”

The Librarian took a few steps away from the others and faced an endless corridor of black flanked upon either side by endless rows of shimmering, rippling sapphire.  He brought his hands against his mouth, cupping them as his body rose in a deep inhale.

“We seek the Keeper!” he cried.

His voice fell into the deep, without echo.

“What!?” the Monitor hissed.  “For whom did you call!?”

A worried look filled the Paladin’s face as she glanced at the Monitor, then back at the hairless head protruding from the red robe.  “My lord—” the Librarian began.

“Have you lost your mind, fool!?” The dark-haired Gallifreyan male scowled.

“No, my lord.  Please, listen to me!”

A shaking fist protruded from the Monitor’s sleeve. “You dare to drag me out to this place in search of a bedtime fable!? Is this your idea of a prank!?”

“My lord!” The Paladin exclaimed, “This is no prank! The Keeper—”

“The Keeper is a myth!” The Monitor thundered, marching toward the sphere.”An invention of mothers and fathers from a million past generations to ensure good moral behavior from their children!  Nothing more than a rhyme before sleep in order to put nightmares into the minds of boys and girls entertaining the notions of morning mischief!”

The Librarian threw up his hands.  “No, my lord!” he shouted.  “Hear me out!”

The Monitor whirled around, narrowing his eyes as he glared at the other fellow. “Expose your wrist, Librarian!”

“The Keeper is real, my lord!” the Paladin protested.

“You stay out of this, soldier! Mind the area!”

The young woman grit her teeth, refraining from unleashing her tongue.  She let out an impatient growl before returning to surveying the area.

“Now, Librarian, on my personal authority, I order you to expose your wrist!”

The older man looked down.  “I know what you’re looking for,” he said patiently,  “but it changes nothing, my lord.  The Keeper is real.”

“Then consider this a mere satisfaction of my curiosity.  Now expose your wrist!”

The right wrist emerged from the crimson sleeve.  The Monitor retrieved his screwdriver, holding it just above the skin below the Librarian’s palm.  At first, the flesh showed nothing under the golden halo of light beamed upon it.  But a second sweep revealed something else: an image of two hands crossing at the palms, enclosed within the borders of a triangle.  Above the two hands hovered a single eye, open and malevolent.

“I don’t believe it,” the Monitor hissed, pushing away the Librarian’s hand.  He turned toward the Paladin.  “And I suppose you have the same stamp upon your wrist as well?”

“She does, my lord.  We are both members.”

The Monitor threw up his hands and expelled a frustrated breath.  “How many more in the Gallifreyan governmental system were members of the Coven of the Keeper?” he asked.

“Now come, my lord,” the Librarian replied, shaking his head.  “You know we cannot divulge either members or numbers of our society.”

“I believe the proper term for you and your members is cult,” the Monitor snapped.  “And you have the audacity to have inserted yourself in such a prominent position as a trusted advisor to the Time Lords, knowing of their disdain for membership in this particular organization?”

“The truth is the truth, dear Monitor.  I cannot deny what is true.”

“You have staked your devotion upon a myth—both of you!”

“How do you explain this place, my lord?” The Paladin asked.

“I explain this place as an odd anomaly which you discovered through some freak entrance into the Void at some earlier time and have somehow deluded yourselves into believing that this place holds your fictional heroine!”

The Monitor laid his hand upon the spherical craft’s metal hull, leaning against it in fatigue.  “I thought you were all extinct by now,” he muttered.  “The last known open session of the Coven occurred just before the Time War commenced.  No trace of your fellow… believers… was seen after that.”

“We learned to be a bit more subtle,” the Paladin replied, cracking half a smile at the tired Time Lord.  “Sorry to disappoint you on that point—no offense intended, my lord.”

“When the authorities of your own world deem you to be an extreme group to be avoided, you tend to learn how to operate covertly as a matter of necessity,” the Librarian added.  “And yet, here we are with you, my lord, as the instrument of your assistance.”

“Some assistance you are.  You called and nobody ans—”

His retort ceased as the screams filled his ears.

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