Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 3429
Author’s Summary: Gallifrey is silencing its women.
Characters: Romana II, The Doctor (8th), The Rani
The fic of which this is a remix--Nameless, Faceless by voodoochild--has been recced here before, and deservedly; it’s a brilliant, chilling look at the women of Gallifrey during the Time War. Le Donna che Piangono has a very high bar set for it, then, but it clears it with space to spare. Aralias has captured the best and worst of the Time Lords (and Time Ladies) in a single fic, their strength and pride and the corresponding vices of ruthlessness and arrogance, and shown just how narrow the line between the two can be. The characterization and voices are flawless, and the atmosphere is just as beautifully terrifying as in the original. It’s a brilliant re-interpretation, and entirely worth a read.
She was flung into small room at the top of the tallest tower like the sort of princess she and the Doctor had always been rescuing. Naturally Romana behaved with dignity. She had been flung into many towers in her time and Gallifrey’s was not the worst, except that it belonged to her. She asked for clothes, books, a loom and thread to pass the time, and her K-9 robot. They brought her only a set of white presidential robes, as though to mock her, but Romana wore them proudly. She continued to ask for books and for K-9, to disguise the plan she was working on. The loom she would do without - unlike Strella, she had never been that good at weaving. She would pass the time another way.
She was allowed the occasional visitor, of course. Gallifrey had not entirely forgotten its laws and Cardinal Braxiatel and Chancellor Flavia were quick to exploit the few rights Romana had left. They brought her news (without her biodata the council were having difficulties operating the resurrection looms) and minor pieces of technology and tat— nothing they would get into trouble for carrying, Romana made sure of it. Braxiatel brought her a long defunct communicator, Flavia the broken end of a sonic device that might once have been a toothbrush, Braxiatel a box of chocolates from Earth, each individually wrapped in colourful metal foil, and Flavia a hot eyelash curler Romana could use to solder the components together. In her cell Romana worked — not on a plan of escape, but on something much more dangerous.
She used her machine the moment it was ready. Every speaker grill on Gallifrey sprang to life, and Romana’s voice echoed through the corridors:
“This is the Lady Romanadvoratrelundar, head of the house of Heartshaven and still lawful President of Gallifrey. I have been betrayed and imprisoned by those who should have been most loyal to me, my own High Council. This was done for one reason and one reason only. Because I refused to sanction their idiotic plan to bring back our once great leader Rassilon. People of Gallifrey, I urge you not to fall into complacency. Rassilon cannot save you, except by descending to the level of the Daleks. Our civilisation may have been built on Rassilon’s genocide and deceit, but it has risen far beyond that. Rassilon will take us back to the days of barbarism, and if that is the case, why shouldn’t we let the Daleks win?” She carried on speaking as the door to her cell opened. “We are different from them. We are stronger than them, and we deserve to survive. The only logical choice is for us to save ourselves. Unite behind me—”