In hindsight, enlisting the aid of a renegade, even an intelligent one, for an important scientific experiment had never been a good idea. Then again, the same could be said for crossing his own timeline, especially to escape from a fixed point in time and space. Omega groaned, running one gloved hand over his face and glaring pointedly at the Rani from across his unkempt TARDIS console. This was the second – no, third – time, today, that she had put science over both of their welfares, and that of his TARDIS, and normally he would have shrugged it off but well… This time he couldn’t easily replace his TARDIS. He had coral of course, only a fool like the Doctor would travel without it, but not the time to grow a whole new symbiotic machine. The one he was flying in, his old machine and not just a stolen one, had somewhat of a sentimental value, and he didn’t like the Rani’s company either but then after so many years of solitude in the anti-matter universe that was only to be expected.
He’d lost his temper this time because not only had she done something analytically reckless, she’d also set his console on fire. And he, the great Omega, would not tolerate flames in his TARDIS! It wouldn’t do. Pushing the now charcoal-coated lab goggles up onto the top of his head the Time Lord genius stalked purposefully around the console; his hair, too, had turned smoky, hiding his recently regenerated strawberry blond. The flames, since his assistant’s attention had been focused on desktop readings, had taken rather longer to quench than he have originally planned. For Pythia’s sake, as far as assistants went she was almost as bad as that mutinous Vandekirian! Almost, luckily for Omega the Rani had absolutely no interest in the moral implications or the subtle intricacies of what he planned to do with the information they were collating. She was unlikely to cut off her hand with remorse. But they were off schedule, and he was annoyed. Amiable Omega was no more.
"Ushas, really, setting fire to my TARDIS once is a mistake. Twice, is bearable. A third time, for Pythia's sake, is just insulting!”
The Rani set her jaw but her indifference towards the pioneer of time travel was too powerful to rise to the bait of correcting her name. After all once you weighed things up where was the sense in wasting her breath? Lord Omega had always been recorded in history – although for the most part, this history had been politically re-written by Lord Rassilon, and neither of them had spoken about their pre-Time Travel history leading to such theories as their drive being sexual tension, and Rassilon having been infected by the Vampires during the old war – as blindly stubborn, someone that you couldn’t argue with. And she’d already learnt that his temper was shorter than his fingernails. Fingernails, she’d noticed, that he either kept cut short, or chewed. But the fires in the TARDIS were nothing important, so long as the samples of vortex DNA could be safely removed from the centrifuges, and their crude development of a Rassilon Imprimatur was not damaged. Even she had to admit that what Omega wanted to find out here could revolutionize time travel, and she had no doubt that he was telling the truth; the man had been a recluse since his escape from the anti-matter universe and would have had no reason to come out of solitude if not for a revelation.
“As you can see, Lord Omega, there has been no long-term damage to either the console or the portable laboratory.”
The y would have worked in his extensive laboratory, something that had excited even the Rani, but he’d insisted that the amount of time travel they would be undertaking would make it unsuitable and had brought the laboratory to the console room. He still went back and forth between the room for equipment or samples when it was the Rani’s turn to pilot, and she was beginning to suspect that he was paranoid enough not to want her in there. She had once created giant mice that ate the Lord President’s cat, she supposed, and her being a renegade, one of the two most traditional Time Lords in history was bound to turn up his nose.
“This time.” The Time Lord massaged his temples, stroking the console in a manner almost fond. He had nothing against her methods, after all if Gallifrey had still existed he would probably have been exiled if it weren’t for his standing for everything that he had done during what had been dubbed – much to his annoyance – the Rassilon Era. “But it’s only a matter of time. I will not have you destroying my TARDIS, accidentally or otherwise. Next time something threatens to catch fire you will address it regardless of the status of the samples, do you understand me?”
The Rani hissed in impatience. “Lord Omega, you make the duration of this experiment needlessly exaggerated!”
“I, and on occasion Lord Rassilon and Lord Other, put over ten years of work into the extensive thesis on my theory of time travel that earned me my damned omega grade,” The Rani raised an eyebrow despite herself; this was something she, and most Time Lords, had never heard about him before. “And we did not once give up. You will exercise patience and obedience, or I will find myself another assistant who needs less incentive than you to aid a fellow and your better!”
The Rani scowled, but kept quiet. She wanted her payment – Omega had been willing to give her what no other Time Lord had allowed her in order to gain his own redemption through this research. Nodding obediently, she waited for Omega’s insistence that she could leave him to work before navigating her way through the TARDIS to her prize. It didn’t take her long to find the bedroom which had been converted into a sort of glorified prison cell. The Time Lord inside was not pleased. The Rani sniffed cordially; he should have been grateful, Omega had said. Fishing him from the Time Lock before it had closed up again had been difficult. But at this moment in the time, he was the most genetically developed Time Lord alive, and the Rani couldn’t let that opportunity slip through her fingers.
“Good morning, Master.”