On the dead planet of Morag,
Where the Starlord and Timelord met,
A deal for a long coat was struck,
Even if the weather was wet.
Then Time did once again splinter,
And away the Timelord shall go.
He set up the gift for himself,
To find somewhere only he’ll know.
…a tear falls in the darkness.
From a very young age, I have read these words a hundred times before. I have held onto it as my own personal riddle for over a millennia; some kind of ancient folklore that no-one knew about except myself. This man, this time-crossing hero, the faceless wanderer: he was who I wanted to be.
And now it turns out, it’s me. It was always me, and shall always be me. Because only now can I realise, it’s written in my handwriting. Or rather, the handwriting of my future self, which truth be told has hardly changed a bit.
…a second tear falls.
“You utter, utter bastard.”
I found this cave when I was a boy on Gallifrey, exploring the Plains of Serenity. The fields of red grass ended at the tree line, leading into the White Forest. The silver leaves always shone under the twin suns, setting the forest perpetually ablaze.
Deep within the forest, far away from the Citadel where I wasn’t supposed to be, as always, I found a cave of obsidian. And somewhere inside, scratched in my awful childhood handwriting, I christened it the Black Diamond.
It was my den, my haven, my safe place. A place to come for peace, to admire and wonder over the aged writings. The words are carved into the solid obsidian, and were aged even when I first discovered them.
Throughout my young years, I asked every possible question. What is a Starlord? Where is Morag? What is a long coat?
What was the ‘gift’?
Now, centuries and a multitude of faces later, I get the answers. I made myself my hero, or shall do, at least. Ned, that’s a personality complex in itself.
Damn, I’m looking forward to making this trip. I must have gone (/will go) to the birth of Gallifrey itself…
…a third tear.
“Who are you?” A voice from behind me. Young. Which of course can only belong to…
I turn. And there he is. There I was. Wearing a face I haven’t seen for a depressingly long time. Ned, I was short back then.
The boy’s eyes travel from me, to the archaic writings, and back again. Then, his eyes light up like the galaxies he’ll one day see for real.
“Are you him?”
Tell him, HH. Tell him who he shall become. Who his hero really is. Every young boy needs to hear that.
And tell him, that no matter how many black days are to come, when morality and pure sense seem to have shattered, he will make it through.
He will even meet Starlord and get his long coat.
“Are you the Timelord? The one with the gift?”
His smile is worth it. My smile. Any idiots who say “don’t meet your heroes” are sorely, horrifically mistaken. I’ve just made this little guy’s whole damn year. Trust me, I know.
And then, everything stops. Time’s up. Or repaired, more accurately. The last splinter locks back into place, and I am back on the TARDIS. No Black Diamond. No message. Nothing. Just the back of the box’s doors.
…a fourth tear.
Slowly, gradually, I sink to my knees, and put my hands to my face.
But. This is not grief. Nor anger.
At last, for once, in my collapsing life, is it relief. That young lad will one day take to the stars, seeking adventure, knowledge and freedom.
But he will also be looking for the great man, who literally just disappeared before his very eyes.
Now, I can stop searching.
Thank you, HHYetToCome. I have dealt with my past. I have found myself. And I have met my hero. I’m ready for whatever comes my way.
It’s finally time to move on.
Time to find Womble again.