The Doctor, hurrying round a dull provincial city on the fringes of the Roman empire, was not really paying much attention to what was going on. He was too busy trying to work out where he'd get the materials to replace the fluid mercury link in a late iron age civilisation, on the eve of what seemed to be a major religious holiday which would necessitate the place shutting down, to worry about what the primitive natives were actually up to. If he did spare a thought for the evidently rather precarious political situation, it was only to worry about how he would prevent Susan from getting caught up in danger. She was far too fascinated by alien cultures as it was, and if it wasn't for the fact that it assuaged her homesickness, he would have made more strenuous attempts to check it.
He did, vaguely, notice the party of criminals being taken off to be publicly executed, but only in order to file it under the category of Things Not To Mention To Susan. It was a fairly standard, if regrettable aspect of barbarian culture, but it would upset her.
About forty hours later, he had succeeded in working out a jury-rigged solution that would take them at least to a time and place with better amenities, and was just putting the finishing touches to his surprisingly elegant improvisation, when he felt a most peculiar sensation, as if for a moment the universe had slipped out of time, and slipped back in again. It gave him a dreadful headache; the telemetry which the TARDIS has logged was little help in reaching a conclusion about what had happened.
He wondered if he should go and investigate. He was a Time Lord, after all… but then, if there was a major temporal anomaly, it was quite likely that another Time Lord might turn up to ensure that there was no major threat to the integrity of the web of time – possibly even a CIA operative, and he had no desire to run into anyone who might recognise him. Best leave, now.
Susan padded into the control room, still in her pyjamas, her hair messy, but her eyes wide in uncertainty. "Grandfather!"
"I know, my dear, I felt it too. But everything is all right now. Just the temporal equivalent of an unexpected storm, I'm sure."
"But what do you think caused it? And shouldn't we go and…"
"No," he said firmly. "I'm sure it's of no great significance; and if it was, then someone from Gallifrey will be along poking their nose in soon enough. Either way, it's better we leave now, hm?"
"I suppose," said Susan, scuffing her toe along the base of the central console. "But –"
"It can't possibly be anything to do with us," he said, and punched new co-ordinates into the TARDIS, "Now – how about Rigel IV? It has a good market for parts – and some rather interesting musical traditions."
"Ooh, yes," said Susan enthusiastically. He was grateful that she was still so easy to distract.
It was not until many years later, after Susan had left him, after those first human companions and after he'd worn out another face, that he connected those spring days in the dusty Mediterranean city – he'd never bothered to ask the name – with the foundational narrative of one of the major human religions. He'd never been particularly interested in mythology, except when it contained hints that some evil from the dawn of time was about to bite your head off, or when it involved him. Not that he was vain, but it was important to know what people thought about you before you met them. He'd learned that much over the years.
Ah, he thought vaguely, as Jo Grant attempted to explain why she'd given him a chocolate egg, that temporal anomaly. Odd things happen as a result of temporal anomalies. All quite satisfactory and scientific, really; of course the humans of that period would draw all sorts of peculiar conclusions. Though he didn't quite follow where the chocolate and the chickens came into it.
It didn't occurred to him, then or later, that he might have been leaping to conclusions about the direction in which causality had been operating; but that was understandable. As he had said to Susan on numerous occasions, he was a Gallifreyan, not a human, and it was none of his business, really.