Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. It belongs to the BBC.
Author's Note: Okay, the events in this story use the tale of the Timeless Child with a few small changes. I don't have a problem with a female Doctor as long there is a story need for it and not just a case of do it because we can. I quite like the idea that some Time Lords we met in the series switching gender. The Rani is a good example because I can see the type of amoral scientist she is when female is very different to how it would be when male. Missy and the Master are another example. Some Time Lords however, I could see taking steps to avoid changing gender, going so far as to force regeneration to get back to what they believe is their true form.

Rise of the Time Lords

Tecteun was worshipped for aeons as a god on Gallifrey, even though she and many of those she chose to associate with disapproved of such references - the society she sought had no room for the sort of supernatural and unexplainably powerful beings defined by the term god. The High Engineer as she preferred to be called had bravely rejected the notion of mortality and gifted her people with the science of regeneration. Those she had selected to save from the ravages of old age and disease considered her one of Gallifrey's few deities. Those she condemned to death for their opposing beliefs about the future and destiny of their race cursed her name. There were even some who chose to leave Gallifrey forever and seek out other methods of immortality; some of them were more successful.

But there was a problem with the serum Tecteun had devised. It worked well for the first few regenerations, but then the underlying genetics of the Shobogans rejected the changes. Their new bodies became unstable, mutating as they slowly tore themselves apart.

Unable to find a solution to the problem, Tecteun chose to limit the possibility of side effects by limiting the number of regenerations to twelve, allowing a Shobogan thirteen lives with the possibility of an additional graft later in life. The subject of regeneration became a taboo on the planet and was something never to be discussed off-world as the Gallifreyans sought to hide their secrets from their competitors and to lead the rest of the cosmos to assume that they had unlocked the secret of immortality.

With the secrets of regeneration and the purging of those who failed to share Tecteun's vision for the future, Gallifrey was transformed into one of the most technologically advanced civilisations in the universe. And it was as Tecteun looked on as the god of Gallifrey, that her former students Rassilon and Omega stepped forward as the founding fathers of their people's new pursuit: mastery of time.

Rassilon began experimenting with the exciting new field of temporal physics while Omega pursued his mastery of stellar engineering. Their projects often caused them to work together with many other leading scientists as they encountered one obstacle after the other. But working together with the Timeless Child as Tecteun's son had become known despite choosing a name, they were able to unlock the first stages of time travel.

The knowledge and understanding of temporal physics possessed by the Timeless Child was far greater than that of Omega and Rassilon. However, his knowledge was instinctive and required the two geniuses to explain it in a way that others could relate. The Timeless Child helped them to unlock the secrets of first peering through time and then as their knowledge evolved, manipulating and moving matter through time. They even managed to demonstrate the basic technology needed to rewind or accelerate time. All of the discoveries they made led to the development of technology capable of opening temporal rifts, creating corridors through time and time scoops to pluck matter from another time and place.

Although a part of their success could be attributed to the activities of Rassilon, Omega and their companion, other scientists soon came to realise that the serum that had provided them with the ability to regenerate was causing them to evolve. New generations of Gallifreyans were being born to those spliced with the Tecteun's serum. It was found that with even generation the serum was becoming more and more embedded in their genetics. Indeed within ten generations, it was considered unnecessary to administer the serum, only to activate it.

And the surprises did not stop there. Further research revealed that Gallifreyans as a whole were becoming time sensitives with an innate understanding of temporal mechanics. Such changes urged Rassilon and Omega onward despite the words of caution from their junior partner - for it seemed that as Rassilon and Omega grew in notoriety, the Timeless Child was pushed into the background with many no longer realising that Tecteun's son and the third member of Omega and Rassilon's triad were the same being.

Rassilon and Omega built the first of their new time ships and dispatched them on missions of discovery. Their experiments grew more controversial as they pushed beyond the established limits. As their confidence grew, so did their attempts to influence other races. They started to use their technology against their galactic rivals, removing those they deemed a threat. Their methods led to a falling out between Rassilon, Omega and the other member of their team. Tecteun's son stepped away from their group, leaving Rassilon and Omega struggling to solve the next problem they encountered.

For it seemed that in developing time travel, the great scientists had failed to understand the strain they were placing on Gallifrey. Their activities had drained the planet's natural energy placing Gallifrey in danger of breaking apart. The search for a new source of power became a top priority and led Omega to suggest using their knowledge to transform a star into a supernova and using the energy released to power their experiments.

With Rassilon's help the plan was revised into two parts: firstly to engineer a star so that it would explode as a supernova and then to capture the energy as the resulting explosion collapsed into a black hole. Omega and Rassilon schemed to accelerate the two events so that they occurred simultaneously and then planned to lock them in a permanent temporal loop within a dimensional pocket at the centre of Gallifrey. The Eye of Harmony as they called it would reenergise the core of the planet and provide the unlimited energy needed to enable time travel.

The two scientists each led a team to oversee their part of the project. Omega would venture into the star and manipulate its structure to trigger the supernova, while on Gallifrey, Rassilon's mission was to control the massive energy collection apparatus that would house the Eye of Harmony. Rassilon's part of the plan was an unqualified success, Omega was unable to escape the explosion and was believed lost. The Eye of Harmony was created to channel, store and distribute the power that Omega had unleashed, and Gallifrey continued their work in memory of Omega. But without Omega to keep him focussed on the development of time travel, Rassilon's attention continued to drift to maintaining a firm hand over the development of the rest of the universe; while Omega was purely an engineer, Rassilon had always harboured the cravings of a politician and a deep desire for power.

Omega and Rassilon had found the answer to Gallifrey's power problems. With the Eye of Harmony, it was possible to re-energise the planet and meet the demands of future time travel. Indeed as the primitive technology of TARDISes evolved, it would be possible to create receivers that allowed a TARDIS to receive energy from the Eye of Harmony anywhere in time and space. But the work to establish the Time Lords as masters of time was far from over and the Time Lords realised how precarious their position had become; at that moment it would be possible for any race with access to time travel to change events so Gallifrey never found the answer to their energy crisis. The security of Gallifrey and its place in history became a priority.

For generations, there had been games played on Gallifrey where students would attempt to set their version of events in place using time travel, observation and belief. The Time Lords had realised that when time travelling it was possible to change events. If those events were then observed to have happened and were recorded, it became more difficult to alter them. And once there was sufficient belief that those events had occurred, they became moments that were solidified in history. Students would compete to find ways of solidifying their version of events while using the minimal amount of time travel. The smallest change the closest to the time they were attempting to influence would win.

But Rassilon had a more ambitious scheme in mind to secure Gallifrey's future. He proposed to send forth observers into time and space, recording events throughout history on worlds all over the universe. The Time Lords would then create solidified moments in history and link those moments together to form a cohesive web of time. Rasilon's plan required them to anchor those points in history through the observers' TARDISes to a point on Gallifrey where the Eye of Harmony would be used to sustain the Web of Time. In doing so they would allow the Time Lords to dictate the history of the universe and its people, making their view of events the accepted account.

It took much longer than many hoped and during that time Rassilon and those working under his guidance took steps to keep competitors from reaching a point where they could challenge Gallifrey. They erased planets from existence and hunted races to extinction to secure the glory of their world. In some cases, they unleashed storms of antimatter to erase star systems that had proven to be outside of their influence. It was a process some referred to as Fluxing.

After centuries of work, the moment finally arrived for the anchoring of the Web of Time when Gallifrey's dominance would be secured. It was also the time when Rassilon envisioned the total elimination of magic and similarly uncontrollable forces from the universe. It was a disaster.

Rassilon and Omega had been geniuses, there was no question about that. However, they had failed to grasp the nature of the forces they were playing with when they exploded the star to create the Eye of Harmony. The energy that had been released from the explosion had been enough to recharge Gallifrey's core, but even the formation of a black hole looped through back upon itself would have provided the energy Gallifrey needed. Had they paid attention to their calculations they would have realised that the Eye of Harmony was feeding off more than just the energy they had foreseen: Omega had unknowingly tapped into the very energy that had sustained the star during its existence... its connection to the Morphin Grid.

As the Time Lords had ventured forth and carried out the work needed to secure their history, they had continuously created breaches between the material universe and the realm of energy. All that power was safely harvested by the Eye of Harmony and stored until needed. But in allowing the energy to flow through, they had opened the barriers between dimensions, allowing other forces to enter.

It had been as Rassilon had stood before his monolithic creation, speaking of how the Eye of Harmony within would lead to a new age, that the rips between the dimensions collapsed. Just as Rassilon claimed stewardship of time on behalf of Gallifrey, and activated his creation, the forces that had previously been contained within the Morphin Grid and other places, broke through.

The official history of Gallifrey would record the emergence of Yssgaroth, the giant vampires of space with whom Rassilon would wage war. The other records and observed events at the time would note other entities breaking through the Web of Time and into the physical universe. Among them had been many of those that had once served the Dark One, freed from where they had been imprisoned who had been trapped within the fabric of Morphin Grid since the end of his father's war against The One. He had departed before the Time Lords could challenge him, fleeing to the distant stars as it began its invasion of the universe. In time its efforts would bring it into a confrontation with the Morphin Masters. Many other entities emerged that day as the barriers between dimensional planes weakened, ending Rassilon's hope for a completely rational, logical and scientific universe.

Many centuries later, after a string of disastrous decisions had led him to conduct experiments that had put all creation at risk, Rassilon decided that only he could lead Gallifrey through the difficult times ahead and appointed himself the new leader of Gallifrey as he claimed stewardship of time, usurping the existing leaders of the planet and creating a new High Council. He announced that Gallifrey was now the home of the Time Lords and directed the intervention in the affairs of those he believed would challenge their power. Under his guidance the Time Lords erased the existence of many races, sometimes eradicating planets and even star systems to achieve their goals.

The Time Lords started to use the Time Scoop to capture representatives of alien cultures. They pitted them against each other, judging whether they could be useful or serious threats to Gallifrey. The games as some called them became a popular form of entertainment for the masses. But the stories of the cruelty of Rassilon and his people were spreading through the cosmos.

And eventually, Rassilon's constant interventions backfired. The Time Lords removed a race from history who had been essential to the survival of the early Shobogans. The resulting temporal storms threatened to obliterate Gallifrey. It was only the actions of the Other, Rassilon and Omega's often overlooked partner, that saved Gallifrey from destruction. It also brought an end to Rassilon's reign as he was forced from office and given residency within a tower built in his honour. Officially he retired, but many considered him to be imprisoned.

Unfortunately, the Time Lords failed to learn the correct lessons from the near disaster. They decided that instead of ending their strategy of intervention and destruction, they should work to protect the history of Gallifrey from outside threats. They created temporal buffers that prevented travel into the planet's distant past, protecting all events up until the moment Rassilon declared their new position as lords of time.

Officially intervention did stop. It took three more close calls, but the Time Lords eventually decided the risks were too high. On the surface, the Time Lords adopted a stance of strict non-intervention and pure observation. In secret Tecteun realised that the universe was still at risk from those forces that defied their technology. A secret organisation called Division was formed to maintain the scientific nature of the cosmos and the dominance of Gallifrey.

With Omega dead and Rassilon effectively in exile, the other member of their triad had found himself adrift. So when Tecteun had approached him and offered him the chance to work with her again, her son had readily accepted.

And so the Timeless Child, for it seemed that nobody could remember the child's chosen name no matter how many times they said it, worked for Division. Division interfered in the cosmos, but the Timeless Child exerted some control over that intervention, demanding that they devote their efforts to dealing with the dark forces the Time Lords had unleashed. The Timeless Child prevented the extreme acts that some favoured, instead offering an assessment of whether a problem even existed before trying to solve it. In the universe such an approach was welcome, within Division it was a cause for concern.

The Timeless Child had long proven to be an issue for the Time Lords. Even though his biology now closely resembled that of a Gallifreyan, his ability to regenerate was natural and unlimited. And his knowledge of the science and mechanics required to keep Gallifrey ahead of its rivals still put their greatest scientists to shame. Perhaps the most terrifying point was that with their improved instrumentation, scientists had determined that the Timeless Child possessed more power than the rest of their race combined and that should a fight between them arise, the Timeless Child would easily destroy them.

Contingency plans were put in place as Division worked to keep the Timeless Child from noticing their less savoury activities. They kept the Timeless Child loyal by emphasising their dependence upon its service and sending it forth to confront some of those evils that had been released by Rassilon. Eventually, the Timeless Child noticed what was happening and in an act that resulted in its injury and need to regenerate, uncovered evidence of the truth.

The new incarnation of the Timeless Child, now female, seemed unaware of the events leading up to her regeneration. For a time everything returned to normal as Division resumed its operations. But Ruth, as she was now known, had been playing a part while looking for the opportunity to run.

The Time Lords had moved beyond Time Corridor technology and had moved on to using machines that existed partially inside the dimensions of time and space. Constructed using the application of Block Transfer calculations, the TARDIS was the most efficient and safest means to travel through time and space. During one of her missions, Ruth found a Type 40 TARDIS that shared her views on the Time Lords and a desire to be free. Following a disagreement with Division over their latest attempt to micromanage the evolution of a small world far from Gallifrey, Ruth took her TARDIS and left.

For the Time Lords, her departure was unacceptable. Not only was Ruth a source of knowledge that they needed to pursue their plans, but she knew the secrets of Division and would likely share it if necessary. Ruth fled from Gallifrey, seeking refuge among the citizens of a distant world in a relatively primitive era. She took steps to hide herself from her pursuers, even changing her biology to avoid detection.

Of course, it was not possible to hide forever. Eventually, her identity was exposed and she was forced to run. They didn't catch her at the time, but the end was inevitable: capture and forced return to Division. There it was decided that while they could not kill her, they could neutralise her.

All of Ruth's memories were removed, leaving behind an empty shell. The Time Lords dared not destroy her - for they feared that doing so would unleash a cataclysmic burst of energy and destroy Gallifrey. Instead, they decided to use the empty shell as part of their efforts to save the Time Lords from extinction.

When Tecteun had developed her serum it had been administered to her fellow Shobogans with little testing. Initial concerns about the inability of the Shobogans' genetics to handle changes caused by the serum had been offset by limiting the number of regenerations to twelve. But over time the number of those rejecting the genetic graft or falling ill due to complications had grown. The number of children inheriting the Time Lord traits had fallen and many found their bodies rejected the serum when it was given at the age of eight. In addition, even those who possessed the necessary traits were unable to activate their Time Lord heritage.

Over time the number of Time Lords had diminished and the number of Shobogans had increased. The Time Lords had tried to spin the changes to make it seem that those who rejected the genetic grafts were unworthy of becoming Time Lords. They elevated the status of Time Lords as something to be aspired to, holding themselves above the lowly Shobogans. They pushed the Shobogans out of the Time Lord cities, allowing them to return to their previous homes in the wastes of Gallifrey.

The truth was that year after year fewer Time Lords were being born. In the past five years, the number of new Time Lords had been zero. It was no longer possible for the Time Lords to breed naturally and it seemed that Time Lord births amongst the Shobogans had also halted. A new method of producing Time Lords had been required. It was then they had turned to the new science of Looming.

The Looming Engines were based upon the technology that had been used to create TARDISes. Strands of Gallifreyan DNA were woven together along with vast quantities of temporal data. It allowed for a constant renewable population of Time Lords who were genetically stable. The problem was that the DNA pool was growing stale. That was where the body of the Timeless Child would serve its final purpose.

The Time Lords threw the body of the empty shell into one of the Looming Engines; unofficial accounts would recall the other member of Rassilon and Omega's triad had leapt into the Looming Engine of House Lungbarrow and disappeared.

The Timeless Child was broken down into strands of genetic material and temporal possibility. It was then reformed into the body of an infant as a part of House Lungbarrow. Other children would follow as some of the Timeless Child's genetic material remained within the Looming Engines, ensuring that future children produced would possess the ability to become Time Lords.

Eight years later the child would be taken to the Untempered Schism and forced to stare into the abyss. There its Time Lord heritage would be activated and it would be taken to the Time Lord Academy to learn. He would be joined by others with the potential to take Gallifrey to greater glory. As part of a rite of passage, he would choose a new name for himself and set out on his path.

Meanwhile the TARDIS that had aided her escape had been taken to a workshop for repair. The idea of a disobedient TARDIS was unacceptable to the Time Lords, but the fear that destroying it could lead to other TARDISes revolting led them to spare it from the scrapyard. Instead they decided to leave it in a state of disrepair, its navigation systems and chameleon circuits disconnected until they could find a way to remove its rebellious mentality.

As for Tecteun... In the aftermath of Ruth's escape and recapture, Division realised that its activities were at risk of detection. Although no record of its existence remained with Gallifrey's archives, the decision was taken to remove themselves to a location better suited for their operations while they continued retroactively rewriting history to serve their purposes.

By now Division had moved beyond being an organisation of just Time Lords, recruiting those they deemed useful allies when adjusting reality to their standards. Their new headquarters was built beyond the accepted limits of the universe inside the boundaries between the universe and what lay on the other side. For Tecteun had always felt the urge to push further in the name of discovery. As the oldest surviving Gallifreyan and equipped with an updated version of her serum, she was not about to stop anytime soon. Especially since her manipulations meant that the Time Lords would retain a position of unchallenged dominance over the rest of the universe for at least ten million years.

End of Part

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