Word Count: 2812
Author's Summary: When he cut and ran from the Vortex, the thud-thud-thud of his hearts like drum-beats within his ears, he knew they had deemed him a coward. Unfit. Unbecoming material for Time Lord.
Characters/Pairings: Borusa, Irving Braxiatel, The Master (Academy era), The Rani (Academy era), The Doctor (1st)
Recc'ed Because: Great world-building, and a chilling and very believable backstory for how Koschei started on the road to the incessant sound of drums. The Time Lord mythology is both intriguing and mysterious, and I love how the Master's downfall is brought about by his own brilliance and insatiable desire--not just to know, but to cement his own superiority in his mind and chase away his insecurities.
There was no winning here. There was no losing. Now there was only one thing — to prove he could master these coordinates, these directions to ‘no-where’ and ‘no-when’. To prove he was right. He could walk away now, but he would never know — and worst of all, it would change nothing. He had no choice.
He told himself that as he slipped out of the student quarters that night and stole a TARDIS from the Temporal Bay wing of the Academy. He kept telling himself that as he retraced the steps of their ancestors, the call of the Relic the only thing he could hear aside from the thud-thud that seemed to take residence within his mind. It was a distant noise and could be borne — but it was only on accepting that idea that he realized it had never left him. And it likely never would.