Chapter One, Part One: The Pilgrim at the GatesMature

Not the Sandman.

Gutarriezknindracastorblyledgespillioth touches his hands to the sheets of fine whitish metal bolting closed the storage room door. The bolts are large on the sides, large enough to tear him in two should he attempt it. 

Hainish’s doing- he can feel the dissipating residue of a Space-Time Trap in the vicinity, all squiggles and interrupted timelines. Other Time Lords have been trapped in here, before this great crude bolted portal was installed. 

Of course he’s going to. Naturally. 

He digs his white, clean nails into the edge of space running through the middle of the entry, stuffing his fingers into the spiking lock mechanism within the gap. 

The door will chew his nails for him, he thinks, as he angles his elbows out to his sides and pulls, his Time Lord senses straining through the metal’s individual atoms, touching them. In the space of many microns, countless covalencies flatten and stretch between his fingertips. 

With his senses, he feels every tiny bond between the molecules of the door. If he can just... wedge himself, will them apart, he can... almost...

Pain erupts along the bottom of the front of his neck, surfacing and diving under his slender collarbone. 

He sinks against the door with his hair tangling a web through his hands, remembering the doppelganger of Hainish created by the Namaste Nerada, back when the pod fell. And at the gala, when the mind-controlled Hand scratched the Doctor in its bird-form... had it been them then, too? And why Hainish? The Doctor’s instructions... the Doctor. Who?

The End

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