Entered 05:14:18 AM Terra, Sol-III Mutter's Spiral
To the Cursed Earth
Entered 03:12:36 AM Terra, Sol-III Mutter's Spiral
Calm before the storm indeed.
"So you want to cultivate discipline?" the Miko asked incredulously, pausing her sweeping of the temple grounds for a moment. The Time Lord was almost certain she was about to break into spontaneous laughter. He was not amused that the human would find something mirthful in his confused mental state. Moreover, given how reserved she usually was, he found it doubly irritating that she would use his discomfiture to 'break out of her shell' so to speak.
"Hmph", the Time Lord replied, doing his best to look as cross as possible. He turned his back to the shrine maiden and looked up into the clear, cloudless sky, flecks of light playing across his hypersensitive retinae. After carefully scrutinizing absolutely nothing for several seconds--the proper length of time, he decided, to chastise the impertinent human by ignoring her-- he slowly turned again and leveled his gaze at the Miko, who was now smiling. Blatantly.
Unbelievable. Inconceivable. Annoying.
"I tried Misogi", the Time Lord began slowly, in a quiet, abashed (indeed, some rude, unthinking utterly ignorant observer might even characterize it as embarrassed-- but they would be completely wrong, of course) tone.
"Oh?" the Miko asked, stooping for a moment to lay her broom flat in the grass. She walked over to a rather large rock which was strategically placed under a shady tree, and sat down. "And what came of it?" she asked, as one of the two black birds that perpetually seemed to hover over the shrine grounds landed at her feet, picking at some poor unfortunate insect that had had the misfortune to emerge from its hiding place underground just at that moment.
Misogi was a Shinto ritual of purification that involved standing under a waterfall and allowing and allowing all one's inner psychological and spiritual impurities to be washed away, leaving one with "a bright pure heart." In theory, anyway.
"I caught cold," the Time Lord said irately, leaning casually against the bark of another shady tree directly opposite the Miko. Almost immediately, a small column of ants that had been traversing the bark altered their course and began climbing onto the shoulder of his black velvet jacket.
"Gah!" he exclaimed, jerking away from the tree and irritably dusting off his shoulder, trying his best to displace the ants without crushing them. He had a grudge against insectoid life forms that bordered on the irrational at times, but at the same time he didn't feel comfortable terminating even their simple lives.
"Don't like ants?" the Miko asked with a definite air of amusement as the Time Lord continued muttering oaths in Old Low Gallifreyan, eventually pulling off his jacket and shaking it vigourously in the air (although he knew that was probably a futile maneuver due to the van der Waals forces acting on the creatures' feet).
"I just wish they would stay out of my way, is all," the Time Lord replied, eventually giving up and donning his jacket once again.
"You got in their way first, you know," the Miko observed matter-of-factly.
"Keh," the Time Lord replied, not wanting to give the ants-- or the Miko the advantage.
"How long have you been here now?" the Miko asked in a somewhat rhetorical tone.
"12 days," the Time Lord replied with a quick glance at his Wrist Chronometer.
"Wrong," the Miko replied sternly, standing up and locking gazes with the Time Lord.
For a moment the Time Lord wondered if she were going to launch into a discussion of the philosophical tenets of Zen as they related to the utter nonexistence of Time (Heresy!), but she was not.
"You have been here for perhaps a day or two at the most," the Miko said in a tone dripping with... what? Sarcasm? So hard to tell with Humans.
"Ahem," the Time Lord began immodestly. "I do believe you have forgotten who the Time Lord is around here, young lady."
The Miko pointed to the ground at her feet. "When you arrived, you said you had come here to rest and clear your mind."
"Indeed I did," the Time Lord replied. "And so I have been attempting to do for 12 days now."
"This is not so," the Miko said somewhat tiredly. "You spend the bulk of your time inside that machine of yours, the TARDIS."
"It's my home, such as it is." the Time Lord replied. "And it's quite spacious, I assure you--"
"--my point," the Miko said in an almost exasperated tone, "is that you are, as they say, paying 'lip service' to the idea of relaxing or changing scenery. You emerge from your TARDIS, wander around the Jinja grounds for a few hours, perhaps rake some leaves, observe the animals, and then you disappear into it again for the bulk of the day."
"Well I've got to catch up on my Sub-Etha-Net transmissions and the latest HyperWave broadcasts of 'Class 3 Civilisation Survival Camp Gallifrey'", the Time Lord said almost plaintively. "That's nothing I can do staring into the sacred flames all day."
"And there you are," the Miko said firmly. "you haven't attempted to really change your thoughts or way of thinking at all these past weeks."
"Which is why I said I needed to cultivate discipline," the Time Lord replied somewhat sheepishly, running his hand through the hair on the back of his head in an embarrassed gesture. "I suffer from a somewhat split personality." He waved at the ancient Jinja grounds. "I admire the stark simplicity of this natural, uncluttered life that you lead. But on the other hand, my mind is active, inquisitive-- I need the stimulus of information that only education and entertainment can provide. I need to work with tools and technology-- without it, I am lost. On Gallifrey, technology is ubiquitous. It permeates every aspect of our lives. To be without it is..." he paused, trying to envision a suitable analogy the human might comprehend. "is... like losing a limb," he concluded.
"But obviously there is a lack of balance if you still seek a simpler mode of existence," the Miko replied, sitting back down on the rock behind her, cracking her neck slightly.
"The problem is," the Time Lord replied, looking up at the sun for a moment. "I seem to be suffering from information addiction. I have a tremendous amount of data at my command, and I can't tear myself away from it. I've lived like this for hundreds of years-- it's not easy changing one's ways."
"But you want to change," the Miko pressed. "Why?"
"Is this all that there is?" the Time Lord replied sadly. "Is there nothing more? The same old plots, recycled. The same old machinations, arguments, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. I'm sick of it. The Universe is a large, complex place full of wonder and interest... but I can't see it. I'm like a hamster caught in a wheel... in the same old cycles doing the same old things, for all of eternity. It's not living, it's merely existing."
"So you aren't just trying to 'get back to nature', then."
"I'm seeking, as you said, 'Balance'. As a scientist, I have developed my mind to a tremendous degree. I won't say I'm at the limits of my intellect, but I've pushed it as far as it can go in *this* direction. I would say I know 'too much', but to me the idea of 'knowledge as a burden' is anathema. The thing is that as a result I have become somewhat cynical and jaded-- almost callously so."
"Are you seeking 'answers'?" the Miko asked, trying to guess what the Time Lord was getting at.
"If you mean in the context of a Religion, not really," the Time Lord replied. "I'm sure there will be answers enough when my day is done. What I need is to restore an even keel, to get my mind and spirit back on balance so that I don't end up something akin to a fat, lazy, inverted-Cyberman like thing. I also want to expand the range of my mental perceptions. I want, for lack of a better phrase, to develop a better way of thinking and living that walks the middle ground."
"Well you won't find that in your TARDIS," the Miko said resolutely, getting up and walking towards the edge of the shrine. Her back to the Time Lord, she raised her hand to indicate he should follow.
"Where are we going?" he asked.
"To a place with a taint that stretches back for countless generations," the Miko said. "A place where the dead have no rest, where the minds of mortals are nothing but playgrounds for the dark forces of the night. A place where souls are tested, their mettle forged in the flame of spiritual torment and emotional terror."
"The set of 'American Idol'?" the Time Lord quipped weakly. He'd dealt with Daleks, Cybermen, Nestenes and Bo'rath, but fighting the paranormal was something he had never been good at. True, that was one reason why he wanted to build up his mind power and discipline-- but his new Miko friend was wading in the deep end of the pool, he thought worriedly. He almost longed for the days when he travelled with the hyperagressive demolitionist, Mr. M___.
The Time Lord followed the Miko back to her room, where, for the next few hours, she carefully gathered up some lamps, futon, ofuda, incense and various other necessities as the Time Lord watched in growing alarm. By his calculation, the danger inherent in the Miko's little enterprise was directly proportional to the amount of material she was packing, and damned if she wasn't packing a lot.
"Put these in your TARDIS," she ordered, thrusting the whole lot into the Time Lord's arms, causing him to stagger backwards under the weight. "It can take us there." she said flatly, as if speaking from past experience.
Ahh yes, I meet her here in the future, the Time Lord pondered, remembering her words to him when he first visited the shrine. Good, that means I live through this thing.... or do I?
"Err," he began, "when I will have met you in the past, what did my face look like?" he enquired nervously. The Miko, who was busy digging through an aged box of Shinto artifacts, ignored him completely. Well, she seemed to recognize my face, he thought. so I couldn't have regenerated-- then again maybe my name was the tip off, and If I'd told her about regeneration before she would not have been surprised at my appearance--by Omega this could be bad!
"Are you absolutely sure about this?" the Time Lord asked nervously (though he sounded absolutely confident to human ears, he was sure) "Perhaps simple meditation exercises or--"
The Miko responded by turning her back to him and heading for the vending-machine shaped TARDIS that was nestled in an out-of-the-way corner of the Jinja grounds far from the sacred sites.
"You know the Temporal Interocitor is faulty!" the Time Lord almost whined as he followed, opening the TARDIS door for the Miko via remote command from his wrist Chronostat.
"Oh?" the Miko asked in a tone that betrayed a complete and utter lack of interest in the poor Temporal Interocitor.
"Well will you at least tell me where we're going?" the Time Lord asked as he bounded forward to catch up with her, almost losing his balance as the gravity differential between the inside of his TARDIS and the outside world caused him to stumble slightly.
As the Miko expertly worked the door control and shut the doors (By Rassilon, the Time Lord thought, how much does she know about the TARDIS?!), she pointed to the deactivated scanner screen which was embedded in a recess along the far wall of the console room.
"Show me a map of Japan, please," she asked politely.
The Time Lord grudgingly obliged.
"Take us here," she said, pointing to a small island far to the south.
"What will we find there?" the Time Lord asked as he set the co-ordinates.
"A house," she said quietly.
"House, eh?" the Time Lord muttered under his breath as he keyed in the Dematerialisation sequence and set the TARDIS off careening through Space, but not Time.
The journey, such as it was, took place in silence, the Miko observing the up-and-down bobbing of the TARDIS' time rotor, and the Time Lord observing the whiteness of his knuckles.
Within a minute, Remateralisation had occurred, and the duo exited the craft.
A cold night wind whipped through both the Time Lord and the Miko, her robes flapping in the stiff gusts of air.
Before them, lit by the light of a Waning gibbous moon, lay an obviously ancient edifice constructed of wood and thatch. The last remnant of what had apparently been a large compound, the mighty structure loomed large and long, its implacable image-- even in disrepair-- standing as stark contrast to the relatively insignificant beings arrayed before it.
"And what is so special about this house?" the Time Lord asked, pulling his jacket closer to him as the wind increased its pressure. The lamp the Miko held in her hand began to flutter.
"Nothing," she said flatly.
"Nothing?" the Time Lord asked with a mixture of incredulity and relief. He had noticed that his hearts had been beating faster than usual.
"Nothing. It is the cursed earth underneath that gives this place its reputation as the destroyer of souls." The Miko shot the Time Lord an amused smile and made for the interior of the house.
"Splendid," the Time Lord intoned disgustedly as he followed her into the house. "Just splendid."
For Monitor Problems on the Laptop
Entered 06:01:46 PM Terra, Sol-III Mutter's Spiral
2 - turn off composite sync
3 - set the width overscan to max, and toggle the height
that is all
Entered 12:29:30 PM Terra, Sol-III Mutter's Spiral
"The cases of great mathematicians with mental illness have enormous resonance for modern pop writers and filmmakers. This has to do mostly with the writers'/directors' own prejudices ... The Mentally Ill Mathematician seems now in some ways to be what the Knight Errant, Mortified Saint, Tortured Artist, and Mad Scientist have been for other eras: sort of our Prometheus, the one who goes to forbidden places and returns with gifts we all can use, but he alone pays for."
-David Foster Wallace
"The matter of why Doctor Xadium's Time Capsule is fixed in the curious shape of a 'beverage vending machine' from late 20th-century Earth [Humanian Era 607934] is a subject never broached in polite conversation. Ever. Whilst some have scurrilously posited that Xadium cannot properly effect the repair of a simple Type 60 Chamelionic circuit, it is generally accepted that these disgraceful innuendo are slanderous and utterly unfounded."
- Lord Sendrilmetavanskastaron, "The Gallifreyan Renegades", thirty-eleventh ed.
D O C T O R
"Doctor Xadium was an errant Time Lord whose overactive sense of humour at High Council meetings earned him a more or less permanent holiday from Gallifrey.
Stuck on Earth trying to cobble together a new TARDIS-- but equipped with nothing more than the technological equivalent of bear-skins and stone knives (as well as some metal tape)-- he decided to use his time to follow the myriad trends in Terran society, studying their crude, primitive laws and laughable attempts to improve themselves scientifically.
Aproximately 26 Earth-years into his exile, in order to offset his growing frustration with the 'self-involved, short-sighted, bombastic ape-monkeys with delusions of grandeur"', he took to irregularly recording his more sardonic-- or dare we say even cynical-- views on the ever-progressing devolution of 21st century human civilization (not to mention his own petty irritations) in his 900-year diary, excerpts of which we have extracted from the data core of his notoriously insecure Terran 'computing device' (which in terms of function is slightly less advanced then a Gallifreyan child's first number line).
It is almost refreshing to note the ceaseless amazement he displays at the Terran propensity to supress any information, be it political, archaeological or scientific, that gets in the way of their pedestrian, self-absorbed world-view. It is for this reason that historians have labeled Doctor Xadium 'The Discoverer of Obvious Truth'
- Lord Sendrilmetavanskastaron, "The Gallifreyan Renegades", thirty-eleventh ed., WHO IS GOING TO GET SUED ONCE I GET BACK TO GALLIFREY BECAUSE HE DOESN'T REALIZE MY SUB-ETHER NET CONNECTION STILL WORKS AND I CAN SEE THE ABSOLUTE RUBBISH HE'S SPEWING FORTH OVER THERE AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE GALAXY
T H E