Once, he had fooled himself by leaving Omega to die in the heart of Qqaba. Then, once the sacrificed star had been rammed into place, he had fooled himself again in sending his pets after the Other, the Other’s granddaughter and her nurse, all his little assassins scurrying for witnesses like filthy rats after a scrap of bacon. Some had been foolish enough to lie; still others had claimed they’d never found the body- he’d taken care of them personally, a fact only one man still living knew, other than him. And that man... he’d thought he’d taken care of, too. He would do for that man, this time.
So many things he’d thought he’d taken care of.
Plink, plink, plink plink.
The medal is warm now. His fingers, gnarled and frail, settle around the hammered metal round, feeling the smooth lines, the heat radiating in waves.
“Let me see her,” he breathes, berating himself as the voice lock recognises the patterns in his deep voice and begins to open the medal in his hands, revealing tiny quiverings to the peripheral nerves in his digits while it clicks.
He feels a swaying, chattering flip of the little edge as it forms; his hands jump apart; the catch melts in and the hinge melts out and back, until the other side of the medal splays apart from its mate, the welcome of a clam. The glint of the inner machinery catches on his walls, and dances over the bookshelf where the Doctor was leaning. He can still see the elbow-patch-shaped void in the dust.