Tuesday, 18 February 2020


“Usually I find that if I ask people for help, they're happy to give it.”

“That has not been my experience.”

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
Dr. Asha. Your work here has always been excellent, but speaking to a Nameless in his own language? Outstanding.

You taught me that even a few words in the mother tongue can be soothing.
Even in an unconscious state.

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
There is no more despised people in the galaxy than the xBs.
People either see us as property to be exploited or as a hazard to be warehoused.
Our hosts, the Romulans, have a more expansive vision.
They see us as both.

I hate it.

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
You're different.

Thank you.

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
I've decided to let you have your interview with Ramdha.

Oh, my God, really? 

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
You've been pestering me about it for a long time.
After today, I'm inclined to grant your request.

Tell me, why? 

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
How much do you know about Ramdha before she was assimilated? 

Have you read her Romulan dossier? 

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
Of course not.
Wait, have you? 
How did you manage that? 

I just sort of asked to see it.

Daughter(?) of Data :
Usually I find that if I ask people for help, they're happy to give it.

HUGH, Not of-Borg,
Son of None :
That has not been my experience.

In particular with Romulans.

Ramdha was the foremost expert on ancient Romulan myth.
She wrote books about it.

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
And this interest of hers links you to her work how? 

There is ample evidence for the therapeutic utility of a shared mythical framework.

HUGH, Not of-Borg :
30 minutes.
As an experiment.
Then we'll see how that goes.

“ They would have flown off to find meat then, but a new sound split the air atop the tower: the sound of time and space being ripped apart. It was a sound the lovers had never heard before. 

They watched in amazement as a new pylon appeared on the roof top, a red light flashing on top of it. The light stopped flashing when it was fully materialised. The side of the pylon opened, and out stepped a woman. 

She was tall and straight-backed, wearing a neat black trouser-suit and a silver belt. From it hung a number of utility packs. Her hair was bound severely back to her head, and her features were sharp and inquisitive. 

Strangely, she sported a bruise across her cheek. She'd done nothing to hide it. The only ostentation about her was a necklace of golden spheres. "Ah." she said to Jake, smiling politely. "There you are." 

"You were expecting us, like?" Jake advanced with a cheeky grin, the courage that indestructability gave you.  

"Somebody like you, yes. My name is Ruathadvorophrenaltid. Call me Ruath. And you are?" 

Romana was walking back to her new quarters, she bumped into a fellow Time Lady who was hurrying round a corner. They exchanged apologies and Romana studied her new acquaintance with interest. 

She was tall and straight-backed, wearing a neat black trouser-suit and a silver belt. Fashions must have changed since Romana was last on Gallifrey. 

She had sharp inquisitive features, scraped-back hair and she wore a necklace of golden spheres. "Ruathadvorophrenaltid," she said formally, adding as one did if one was prepared to be friendly, "Ruath." 

"Romanadvoratrelundar," said Romana. "Romana." 

"I was hurrying to see the Doctor," said Ruath. "I heard he'd had an encounter with some vampires, and vampirism is a particular study of mine." 

"I'm afraid you've missed the Doctor," said Romana. "But perhaps I can help? I spent quite a lot of time on the vampire planet myself." 

"Oh, really? You know, that would be a help. Could you spare some time to help me complete my research notes?" 

"Of course. When would suit you?" 

"I'm not busy at the moment." Romana smiled. "Well, let's talk while my memories are still fresh, then. Would you care for a cup of synthetic artificial tea replacement? I'm afraid it's all I've got at the moment" 

Ruath inclined her head. "That would be very nice."

Ruath made a spire with her fingers, visibly calming herself. "Well. This is a set-back. It means that I shall have to do something that I didn't want to do. Rather a last resort, in fact." 

She unhooked the Child from the blood circulation system, a look of quiet determination on her face. "I knew that it might come to this. I shall have to give Yarven my own blood."  

She opened a hatch on the console and pressed a series of controls. The console room darkened as power drained away from the walls. A door opened overhead and a crystalline probe descended, a glowing series of interlocking cylinders. From the wall a metal chair emerged, with a heavy rubber tube connected to each arm rest. The chair had metal cuffs at the hands and feet. Ruath quickly sat in it, and began locking the ankle cuffs. 

"During this process, I must ask you to ignore any pleas for help I might make," she told the vampires. "It's not going to be pleasant, but one has to make sacrifices for the cause. It's about time somebody did." She looked up at Madelaine suddenly, while securing the first wrist cuff, and shrugged. "I mean, it may be fine. All I'm saying is, if I scream and plead, please ignore it. It's all for the best." Madelaine nodded. "We understand." Jeremy helped to connect up the other cuff: "Be careful," he advised. 

"Sorry, no." Ruath took a deep breath. "Activate speed plasma drill, then full rejuvenation. Thank you, all. Goodbye." 

There was a sudden thump of machinery and Ruath sucked in a breath, slamming her back up against the chair. A sharp sound came from the cuffs, and she bit her lip. A powerful liquid throbbing resonated through the fabric of the console room, and Ruath closed her eyes. She was getting whiter as the vampires watched, blue veins starting to stand out on her neck. Her skin became flaccid and dull, and her lips were the grey of death. She was silent throughout, her chin held up and still. The roaring stopped. Ruath's head fell forward, the muscles no longer strong enough to hold it. "She's given everything," whispered Jeremy. "All her blood." 

Suddenly the crystal lattice in the ceiling began to pulse, and the grating sound of take-off filled the room. The walls reflected the beat of the light, the whole craft booming with noise and glare. Ruath's face took on the colour of the light, an orange glow that enveloped it and held to it like a second skin. The glare spread to cover her body. The vampires staggered, their senses suddenly full of a rich, organic scent. The glow flared to white light around Ruath, and she was gone. Then, everything stopped. The light faded, all was silent. The cuffs opened, and somebody fell forward from Ruath's seat. Somebody dressed in a red velvet gown and long gloves. Her hair was different too, black and flowing to her waist. Jeremy ran to the new arrival and helped her stand. "Who are you?" he asked, amazed. 

"Why, Jeremy," the voice was rich and full of laughter, "it's me. Ruath. Ruath number three. A new body, a whole new me." Even the bruise had vanished. She raised her elegant hands to her face and grinned at them. "Isn't it wonderful!" 

"I agree!" The new voice caused the vampires to spin around. It was powerful and dark, with a cultured edge to it. It came from a patch of shadow and mist that had risen around the remains of the silver hammock, now a pile of tatters on the floor. 

The darkness resolved itself into a cloaked figure, a thin, sharp-faced man with shining eyes and a neatly pointed beard. He was dressed in the garb of an aristocrat, waistcoat and boots set with silver buckles and purple silks. He held his hand out in demand. "Give me the ring," he commanded. Ruath quickly reached into one of the pouches her new gown had around its waist, and threw the silver band to the man. It sped through the air and spun onto his upraised finger. 

"I am Yarven," he said. "Lord of the House of Yar. Last survivor of the Great Vampire's progeny, father to all the Earth's Undead. 

I am the Vampire Messiah. Kneel before me." 

They all did so. Even the Child. "Good. . ." 

Yarven looked around slowly, delighting in his new strength. "You have done well, my children, to free me from my long imprisonment. 

Especially you, Ruath, who are of the same blood as that insolent wench Romana. 

You honour the Time Lords with your actions." 

Ruath looked up at Yarven, her green eyes glittering. "You have been treated with Numismaton gas, my Lord. Your body is awash with symbiotic nuclei. Do you not feel the joined power of both Time Lord and Vampire?" 

Yarven threw his head back and laughed in joy. 

"Yes! I do feel it. It is a magnificent sensation, the ability to travel through time and space. Name your boon, Ruath, for I would grant anything to the one who has given me such freedom."

Ruath licked her lips. "I desire nothing more than for our bloodlines to be joined. I have done this for you, Lord. Do the same for me." 

"Very well." Yarven opened his arms. "Come to me." Ruath stood and walked to him, still unsteady. 

He put a hand on both of her shoulders. "You will be my consort," he told her. "We shall be King and Queen of the Night, and we will unite all of human and Time Lord society in the great communion of the Undead. 

We shall feed through all time and space. 

There will be no limit to the letting of blood in our name, and no power in the universe to challenge us. 

You, with the wisdom of your people, have brought us this far. 

Together, nothing is beyond our reach." 

He bent forward and bit her, drawing his cloak around her as she cried out at the sensation.

History being born, a grand marriage of peoples and destinies. Her own wish made flesh. Ruath could feel the new principles taking root in her, the new abilities rushing to remake her genes. 

Holding her against him, Yarven raised his head once more and bared his bloody fangs. Her blood was dripping off them, Ruath realised with a little shudder of delight. "Thus it begins!" bellowed Yarven, his voice full of the lust of blood. "The time of humanity on this world has come to an end. The long night is starting!" He spread his arms wide and shouted a berserker shout. "The age of the Undead is upon us!"

Chapter 1

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Chapter 2
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1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.
3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.
5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.
14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.
15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:
16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.
18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.
19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.
23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Chapter 3

1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.

3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
15 Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.
18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Chapter 4
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1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

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