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Thread Contributor: PythiaAll the Time in the World
Doctor who-DWU

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#1
The city seemed to be one of the quieter places, and while Pythia did not spend all of her time in the Hub, she did return routinely to repair her ship, organize her library and specimen, and put her thoughts and findings down, be it on paper or in a pad she had picked up...somewhere. Maybe it had been here? It was possible, she hadn’t kept track of those kinds of things in a very long time now.

Hub had two premiere choices for places to find a good meal, something enjoyable to drink, and music. One was the club-like atmosphere of the Green Goddess, which Pythia did frequent from time to time, and the quaint tavern in a tree run by an elf she had yet to actually meet, The Wandering Moon. Tonight, she chose the Moon. It was quieter and would offer her a chance to eat and drink and write at her leisure. She could, of course, do much the same on her Tardis, but Pythia enjoyed going out on the pretense of being sociable, so to the tavern in a tree it was.

She walked in, her required materials in her bag, she moved to a table, ordered her meal and drink, and spread out her notes and things, picked up her sonic pen, and began to make the last few months worth of notes, observations, and sketches into a semblance of sense. Every now and again she would look up to take in her surroundings, eyes sharp most of the time, and going far away and unfocused for a few moments here and there before she’d return to her latest project with the tiniest of knowing smiles.

Once, she looked up, her eyes taking on that far away look for a few moments, and then she pulled a small stack of notes specifically out of an area, arranging them neatly elsewhere on the table. A few minutes later, a patron, drunk to his gills, moved by and spilled his ale in just the same spot, earning another of the tiny, knowing smiles from the Time Lord. Then, silently, she raised her sonic pen and wrote, distinctly in the air, for a server to please come with a towel.

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#2
Asa had been on another of her infamous explorations when she had come across the wandering moon- and by exploration she meant that she was dictating commentary to her drone as she wandered around the hub. By 'come across' she meant that she had been there several times and knew they served reasonably tasty food that she didn't even have to ask whether it was levo or dextro- which was one of the few nice things she had found about the hub so far.

Despite how much she desperately missed her friends- that she would happily give up the ease of sustenance for the heterogeneous nature of her home. It meant that she was actively searching out those who were different from the norm. And more so than the elves- who just had pointier ears and longer life spans- or the orions, who as far she could tell were incredibly rigid in their sexuality and gender- but were green and smelled good. Honestly, it resembled some of the old human stories she had learned of when studying them- a whole pile of species that barely differentiated from the earth born.

So finding someone who's technology was at least different? That perked Asa right up. She grabbed a towel from the bartender and walked over to wipe up the spill. Quickly depositing the now moisture heavy fabric on a passing waiter's tray, Asa smiled at the other woman. "Hi- I'm Dr. T'Esria- but you can call me Asa. Would you mind telling me about your-" There was just a breath of hesitation as Asa's eyes noted the colour fluctuations in the silver haired woman's eyes. "-species?" She continued. "I haven't met anyone else like you yet."

She flagged down another server to ask them to deliver her food to this table as she sat down. "Is it alright if I sit with you?" She asked, despite having already done so, folding her hands under her chin and propping her elbows on the table. Asa paused again before smiling. "Is all your species as lovely as you are?"

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Doctor who-DWU

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#3
Sonic was the gourmet of technology. It had a wide range of uses; they made phasers and blasters with it, but Pythia preferred to travel without any items that served only the purpose of weaponry. Her colleagues often argued over the usefulness of something along the lines of her pen; some argued it was a waste, that such things should be used as tools, to which she always argued that the pen was a tool, and it was, as so aptly quoted by the humans of Earth, often mightier than the sword. That usually shut them up.

Really, Time Lords were an uppity, snobbish, opinionated bunch of politicians. For the most part, anyway. There were those who were more akin to her; The Rani, Corsair… The Doctor. She had watched his exploits from time to time, same as she did all of the runners and renegades, amusing herself by their lives until she had finally demanded to be given a ship of her own to explore. Eight pilots, they said. The Doctor, Corsair, they did it with just one, and they made it just fine. Besides, she wanted a smaller capsule, something meant for a single Time Lord or two.

Here in Hub, at least, there were no others to crowd her or argue with.

Pythia sat at her table, and requested a server to wipe up the spilled ale, and immediately went back to her work. No doubt that she would need to rewrite plenty of this in order for it to make any real sense; writing it as she went, a few months of notes at a time, meant there would be holes and skips, but at least it would make a modicum of sense when she was finished. The sudden sound of someone speaking, to her nonetheless, earned a glance up and over to the blue-skinned individual, tilting her head slightly at the question. Up came her pen, and with a quick flourish, the word ‘Gallifreyan’ appeared between and just to the side of them, allowing Dr. T’Esria to read without turning her head very much. ‘There aren’t many others like me.’ Even amongst her own people there weren’t. Even only among the Time Lords. Most, when they looked into the schism, they ran, they created, they destroyed. Pythia saw. The tiny smile she reserved for moments when she saw into the future, or looked back into the past, graced her lips, turning them ever so slightly up, ’You’re welcome to sit, Asa. What brings you to my table, other than to wipe up a spill for our overworked hostess?’, the words appeared with little flicks of the pen; Pythia never spoke. She understood it was curiosity, but she wondered if there was more.
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Mass Effect-Completed Trilogy (Original)

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#4
Asa had the orange glow of her omnitool encasing her wrist before the first words appeared in the air. She had been expecting that sort of reply, seeing as this woman was writing in the air rather than calling for a server, which is what Asa would have done if her work was in danger of being spilled upon.

Of course, all of Asa's work was stored as data. An interesting fact that this woman was using such an advanced device, yet writing on solid materials. Perhaps a logical fallacy, perhaps indicticative that the device was beyond her understanding. Though Asa chose not to say as much, and simply made note of it- in asari shorthand, something that was near incomprehensible even if you did understand her language.

Though she also noted that this woman held no surprise at Asa's appearance. She was learning that most of the hub would take it in stride as she was hardly the only oddity, but most humanoids she had met at least regarded her scalp crest with curiosity. Asa smiled at the gallifreyan. "Curiousity, it seemed like your pen may use something not dissimilar to my reality's mass effect fields and I wished to know more." Asa gave a nod in the direction of the bowl the server was carrying towards them before it was encased in a blue ish glow and carefully set itself on the table in front of her.

Having demonstrated her biotics in explanation, Asa lifted her arm up to gesture with her electronic device. "You seem unsurprised by my appearance, have you met an asari in the past- or is your race a space faring people? Do you mind if I take a scan of your anatomy for my notes? May I ask what your name is?" The doctor asked quickly, jumping from one topic to the next.

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Doctor who-DWU

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#5
There was something about putting pen to paper that Pythia enjoyed. Perhaps it was the almost technological way the words simply flowed onto the page, or because the ink smelled fresh and good when she wrote, but the Time Lord very much liked the old way of communication. It was a bit less efficient, but it felt good, and that was important in its own right.

Of course, her pen could recall nearly anything she had written in the past as well, so the paper wasn’t really necessary at all; it just gave her a familiar interface that she preferred over most others. Books were important. The smell and feel of paper, the stories, the character that remained in handwriting… Not everyone agreed with her, of course, but Pythia could honestly care less about what others thought.

’It’s Sonic. I chose a pen because I enjoy the process of writing, and have no need for a formal weapon. Besides, this form allows me to better communicate with others.’ Pythia watched as Asa controlled the bowl, setting it down on the table. That was interesting. The Time Lord’s shifting eyes settled on the blue skinned alien with more interest and curisoity than they had before. Fascinating. You call these mass effect fields? Not magnetic field manipulation? She didn’t put the pen down, of course, using it as she was to communicate with Asa, but her attention left her work entirely as Pythia focused on her new companion.

’I have met with the Alpha Centauri. I have danced with the Adipose. I have fought side by side with the Sontarans. Appearance has little to do with who a person is. Was her race a space faring people? That tiny smile once again graced Pythia’s lips, You could say that about us. More than space. If it would please you to scan me, be my guest. She didn’t really care; Asa hadn’t seemed to recognize Gallifrey, and didn’t resemble a Dalek by any means. I am called Pythia, and I am a Time Lord of Gallifrey. That should tell her guest just what, other than space, her people travelled.

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#6
Asa tapped her fingers on the table thoughtfully even as her forehead ridge wrinkled. "Sonic? How does sound factor into it?" She murmured out loud, eyes temporarily fixated on the pen in the other woman's hand. The words it put in the air were visible across the ultraviolet spectrum as well- shifting in a way that defied definition. Asa wouldn't scan the tech without invitation- biology was one thing, but many people felt more strongly about the creations of their minds. Especially since technology could be far more easily replicated.

She nodded at the woman's question. "Mass effect fields. Yes. They're created through the use of element zero or eezo. When subjected to an electrical current, eezo releases dark matter than can increase or decrease the mass content of space-time. If a species is exposed to enough of the stuff- they start developing the ability to manipulate it mentally- and the have enough in their system that they carry it with them wherever they go. We call them 'Biotics.' " Asa tapped her ear where a small scar lay nestled amongst her fringe. "Though for most- anything more than the most basic control, you have to have an implant. If nothing else- to offer the electrical kick needed for more powerful effects."

She reached for her spoon without thinking, a small popping noise accompanying the action. Asa cursed quietly in asari and dropped the utensil to shake out her fingers. "Downside- builds up static electricity." She added with a wide smile, carefully reaching again for the tool and sighing with relief that she had let off enough of her static the first time.

The words Pythia offered meant nothing to Asa- past a vague interest in learning about these other species. Her permission for scanning however- Asa couldn't help the grin she got, tapping a few buttons on her omni tool to have her little ball of a drone hover outside the booth, scanning Pythia eagerly.

The responding info she got- Goddess, Asa could start an entire new discipline of science based on the study of this species. Seemingly random things could change a substance in their body from harmful to not- in a way that was chemically unlikely. It was mind boggling of the highest sort. They had the same physique as asari, the environmental resistance of the vorcha, the memory of the drell, the biodiversity of the humans, the redundant organs of a krogan- As far as Asa could tell from the scan, these Gallifrey natives were near ideal organisms.

The part of Asa that was nearing matronhood was offering that an Asari born to such a father could be the next large step in her species' evolution. Focusing instead on her conversation, Asa shook her head in incredulity. She had the sinking suspicion that she was conversing with a much higher lifeform than herself.

"Pleasure to meet you Pythia. I have to say, your biology on it's own is fascinating- but you possess a means of time travel as well?" Asa asked, blinking rapidly, barely able to contain her rising excitement. If only her sisters could see this- learn about this incredible species- because really?! Time Travel?! The only other species Asa had come across that was half as interesting was the inhumans- and they evolved at random and as individuals.

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Doctor who-DWU

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#7
Pythia dipped her head in a nod, a gesture that she was neither terribly familiar or comfortable making, but seeing as Asa chose to communicate verbally, the Time Lord was attempting to do as close to the same as was possible. As far as her technology went… Time Lords were less concerned about people scanning it to figure out how it worked, because… Well, Time Lords were fairly confident that their technology would not, could not (at least not easily) be replicated. Not without access to the Untempered Schism, and that was terribly unlikely to happen for anyone. Gallifrey was a well protected plant to start with, and the Schism was within the dome of the Citadel, and thus even more well protected than even Arcadia had been prior to its fall.

Element zero? Pythia asked the question with an arch of her brow and a small cant to her lips, her focus entirely on the being speaking with her, considering what Doctor T’Esria was saying while also trying to think of what this element zero or ‘eezo’ could be. It was possible that the element didn’t even exist in her home universe, that it was unique to the doctor’s dimension, which only made it all the more interesting. Her pen flicked through the air, the words appearing almost as glowing rends in the air between them, What does the implant do that gives you more control?

The tiny shock that Asanyahi received was noticed, registered, and before she reached for the spoon again, Pythia aimed her pen at it, the device emitting a similar harmonic sound, though one slightly different than the one it used when she wrote in the air with it. What the pen was doing was simple enough; it was suppressing the electrical conductivity within the metal, rendering it unable to give the doctor another shock. It also rendered the spoon momentarily nonferrous as well, but that was unlikely to be a problem.

Pythia had no issues with being scanned, looking almost bored while the drone did its work. Being scanned was never very much fun, but the responses Gallifreyans, especially the Time Lords, got when other species scanned them medically was always amusing. Asa proved to be no less entertaining than many others, Pythia’s tiny smile returning at the doctor’s excitement over her unique physiology. Near ideal was a very polite, fairly accurate way of stating it. Oh, there were differing opinions. Davros thought his Daleks were closer to perfection, and there were Time Lords who were convinced that Gallifrey had produced the epitome of evolution and life. Pythia herself held to the belief that true perfection was an unreachable goal, albeit a worthy one. There was always, always room for improvement.

Flick, flick went the sonic pen, and Pythia’s answer clearly read in the air, Indeed we do. We don’t call ourselves Time Lords for nothing. She leaned forward, amusement glinting in her shifting eyes even if it was incongruent with her lack of real expression, the words this time simply finding their way into Asa’s mind, ”Would you like to see my ship?”

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Mass Effect-Completed Trilogy (Original)

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#8
Asa was capable of recognizing the nod as foreign to the other woman- which made her chuckle slightly. "That's a very human motion." She remarked conversationally- though Asa knew the motions well enough, perhaps Pythia would feel less obligated to respond in physical movements. Asa was fine waiting for the woman to write.

For her part Asa smiled and tapped at her omnitool. The blue element appeared in holographic form above her wrist. "Eezo." She offered, gesturing for it to rotate for ease of observance. Moments later, she exchanged it for the hologram of a basic implant. "Do you have instruments? Think of it like a speaker amplifier. It aids not only in strengthening the abilities, but also in giving minute control. Like I said, it's through Eezo being electrified that creates mass effect fields, and there is only so much electricity that the mind can generate before it starts damaging itself irreparably." In example, Asa lifted her finger, directly above her bowl, generating a tiny black dot.

The tiny singularity started lifting the soup from her bowl, the spoon lifting as well. When Pythia’s papers started shifting as well, Asa closed her hand around the black hole. "I'd build a larger one but the bigger it is, the more damage it does." She did pause before standing up and seemingly teleporting to the bar to ask for a drink before warping back.

"If you have enough control, you can blink when moving instead of just affecting your movement speed. You can sometimes maybe go through solid matter- which is to say, I'm pretty sure that's what I'm doing but it should be scientifically impossible. The other option is charge, in which you make yourself faster or stronger by altering your personal gravity." Sitting back down to wait for her drink, Asa smiled again. "And a whole number more combat applications. There are as many uses as there are ideas."

Asa reached for the spoon with a smile, having seen Pythia target it. As she suspected, the utensil was no longer conductive, though as she had reactivated the grounding effect of her gear, it was no longer important. No need to mention that however, so Asa just ducked her head in appreciation. "Thank you." She offered simply, finishing up her meal quickly.

One of the parts of being a commando- she did everything with maximum efficiency, because if you ate too slow, there was always a chance you weren't going back to finish.

Asa was still processing the fact that this woman could actually travel through time when she leaned forward. There was no easily read smile on Pythia’s face- true. But when compared to some of the species of her universe- even being able to see her eyes was a lot more than some. It was elementary to read the amusement from the strangely coloured orbs.

The voice in her head had Asa widening her own eyes in surprise before grinning largely. "Is that even a real question? I can't think of anything I'd rather do."

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Doctor who-DWU

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#9
Nods were certainly not a Gallifreyan form of agreement. Really, it was a bit primitive, and truth be told, humans didn’t even use it the proper way half the time. The sonic pen flicked and the words that Pythia wished to communicate with Asa appeared in her own flowing handwriting, It is used by humans, yes, but it is not only they who use it, at least not in my home universe. Humans have a very haphazard way of using it, meaning far more than a simple ‘yes’ or agreement. They overuse far too many of their words, which drains the meaning it might have once had. The same is often true of their use of body language.

When Asa showed Pythia the element, the Time Lord paid attention, watching the hologram of the eezo, putting it to memory. It was interesting; an item that could be used to directly affect matter. Did it only exist in Asa’s universe, or could Pythia perhaps find some within her own if she truly looked for it? That would remain to be seen for now, but that didn’t mean that she didn’t want to learn as much as she could about it. The creation of a black hole. Oh, Gallifreyans had possessed the knowledge and technology to create such phenomenon for ages, but to see it possessed by a hitherto unheard of specie? That was something far, far less common. Well yes. They are destructive by their nature. As for brains and electricity, it does depend on the species; some are more resilient and resistant to such damage.

And then it came down to personal enhancement and weaponry and Pythia’s eyes drifted back to her notes, the pen twitching over the paper, the hum of the device quieting as she wrote, working on her project.

She had discharged the spoon’s charge of electrical energy, an easy and simple accomplishment with the pen. Of course. It had been nothing to do, a second’s pause to direct her tool and use it. It had been nothing to do, but the appreciation was nice nonetheless.

While Asa ate quickly, Pythia took her time, finishing her meal as she worked and conversed with her new companion, obviously in no rush at all to finish, or really even to return to her work. It was a work of a lifetime, of several lifetimes, and she had all the time she needed to finish it; there was no point in rushing, in making a mistake, just as there was no reason to rush her meal.

New people were not, perhaps Pythia’s cup of tea. She did not usually extend such invitations to those she just met, unlike some Time Lords were wont to do, and yet… Even she grew lonely sometimes. Even she could decide she liked a person after a few moments. Asa seemed the sort who might appreciate seeing the inside of a Tardis, and perhaps might even be helpful to Pythia’s work. Leaning back, Pythia returned to the use of her pen to communicate, understanding that many species, and individuals amongst the entire range of intelligent life for that matter, preferred verbal or written communication rather than telepathic, seeing as many felt it to be an intrusion, Once we are both finished with our meals, perhaps we can take a walk and I will show you my ship then. She left room for Asa to back out of the arrangement, of course. It was one thing to imagine entering an alien’s time travelling space ship, and quite another thing to actually step foot into such a vessel when you only just met the person.

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#10
Asa chuckled and rubbed at her forehead in reply. "Agreed. Sometimes I get stuck with their language- because they use one word to mean so many different things." She flapped her hand in a dismissive motion, glad to know that at least one other alien understood her pain. "It's often hard to describe exactly what I mean- knowing that my language has a word that describes that exact thing, but that to describe it in human tongues, I must add all kinds of descriptors to explain."

Asa was momentarily bummed out by the lack of interest Pythia had in her abilities- she understood they were largely combat prioritized, but she didn't think that made them less interesting. "It's also our main faster than light transport system. It's used in everything. Guns. Toothbrushes. Other things that have similar shaking motions." She explained smoothly. Pausing for a second, she reached behind her back to pull out her shotgun, which she popped the core of.

Setting the small tube on the table, Asa smiled. "I don't use that gun often, you can play with that if you'd like." Despite the lights on the capsule glowing red- the material inside was a rather brilliant blue- Element Zero, in a very pure form reserved for very high quality weaponry.

The abrupt shift back to written communication threw her for a loop- without even thinking, the blue woman reached for Pythia's mind. Asa's normally pale yellow eyes flickered to where even the sclera had gone pure black. She took one surprised gasp before she jerked back and snapped her eyes shut, rubbing her forehead with a laugh. "Sorry sorry." She started. "Not used to other people breaking a mind to mind connection. Do you only have limited telepathy?" She offered, eyes closed against the light before she had regathered her mind.

Asa when she did reopen the yellow orbs, she couldn't help the light that entered them when she read the reply. "Incredible. I can't wait." She added, drumming her fingers without thinking, but not wanting to hurry the other woman.

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Doctor who-DWU

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#11
Language. It was something made so much simple and easier with her Tardis. Perhaps that was ‘cheating’ but even as far from her ship as she was now made things unnecessarily complicated when attempting to communicate. As convenient as it was, Pythia had learned a large number of alien languages that were common throughout time and space, both out of curiosity as well as ‘just in case’. She could not, of course, speak them, but she understood them, and knew how to write in the languages she understood without her Tardis. Human languages have the same problems when compared to each other. They are simultaneously fascinating and frustrating in their diversity.

Combat was something that others held interest in. It wasn’t that Pythia didn’t see the usefulness of weapons or the ability to defend yourself and make war against those that threatened you… There was even plenty to learn from war and violence. But there were also so many others who studied such topics; Pythia simply turned her attentions to subjects that were interesting and educational that others didn’t notice or care to study. The mention of faster than light travel and the other uses of the element had Pythia pausing in her work again. The race of her companion did not, then, focus entirely on war or violence as so many species did. More similar to yes, humans, in that way, then. Interesting. She reached to take the capsule that Asa offered to her, using her pen to analyze the substance within, head tipping to the side in curiosity as she considered it.

Pythia’s mind was… Layered and complex. The past, the present, the future all met within her mind, sometimes growing just a touch confused. When and where sometimes held the same and entirely different meanings, crisscrossing and running parallel. Asa laughed, but Pythia’s ever shifting eyes were focused sharply on the blue alien, the light that lit from within swirling and agitated in what may or may not have been concern. I am limited by what is safe for those communicating with me. With Asa closing her eyes, the communication was once more directly to Asa’s mind. Please do not give chase if I must pull away. There are times when I must do so. Most species’ minds weren’t meant to see the past and future alongside the present; Gallifreyans had evolved with access to the Schism, and had been greatly affected by it, but it was still overwhelming at times, even for them.

The statement about not be able to wait along with the drumming of her fingers on the table earned another of the tiny smiles from Pythia. She liked this alien, who was so honest with her words and physical tells. Pythia finished her meal and began to put her notes away. While she did neither quickly, there was also the sense that she was not biding her time or dithering. Once I am ready, we can go, if you are ready.

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#12
Had Asa known what the beautiful woman opposite her was thinking, she would have been inclined to laugh. The Asari. Combat oriented. It was an image so ludicrous that it was unbelievable.

Asa was combat oriented. Her father had been of one of the angriest races on their side of existence. She had been gifted I'm biotic and trained in all of their uses- including their many combat applications. She had the patience required for a sniper. Asa was a soldier, and combat oriented by nature.

The Asari however, they were not. They liked art, poetry, culture. All the while, maintaining their technological superiority by intense secrecy. They played at being diplomats, while taking advantage of the natural beauty that somehow affected all currently space fairing races. They quietly looked down on those who were not one of them.

Asa preferred the honesty of combat. Even if it was bloody, even if she was sneaking in order to launch a first attack, it still involved less backstabbing then Asari politics. A group that they were all expected to join if they lived to matriarch age.

She'd rather die, fighting alongside friends. She dreaded the day that she was expected to look down on them instead.

Unfortunately she did not know what Pythia was thinking.

Asa ducked her head apologetically. "I will attempt not to, it's simply strange for me." She replied easily, though she was well aware of the fact that her mind melding was a very different kind of connection to the one Pythia was offering. There was a reason why they called it 'eternity'. And it was something that was impossible for the non-Asari to comprehend.

Asa started twiddling her thumbs instead of drumming, hoping not to annoy her companion, even though she was actively impatient. She nearly jumped up at the remark, smiling hugely. Asa was very honest and she was nearly bouncing with excitement. "I'm ready whenever you are."

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#13
Asa was the first Asari that Pythia had come across, and thus she was the prime sample of her species for the Timelord. Asa was extremely combat oriented from what Pythia had seen thus far, and that lead the Timelord to assume that most of her people would be at least somewhat similar. She could, of course be wrong, and Pythia would actually be happy to know that she was in this case. Societies based on education and the arts were so very interesting, and ones that she could often relate to the easiest.

Politics and plots weren’t Pythia’s cup of tea. She understood the necessity of secrets and rules, of course, but at the same time, making your business into deception and misdirection wasn’t something she was overly fond of. Combat was not always honest, either. Pythia had seen war; she had fought in the last great Time War, and she knew that battles were often fought on deceit and lies and underhandedness.

Better to be on her own, studying and learning and writing her notes, putting together her books to add to the collection she had already written. Here in Hub, she was likely to learn more about so many races, so many different dimensions of existence than she would at home, which was one reason that she was still here, watching and learning.

Asa might be surprised at just what the Gallifreyan could understand. She could put all of what made her her into a small device and become someone else for as long as need be should she wish it, she could communicate psychically, she had a ship that travelled through time as well as space. But she was unwilling to burn Asa’s mind out by overwhelming her with what Pythia sometimes saw, especially when she had only just met her.

Pythia didn’t not speed up or slow down in her eating even as Asa twiddled her fingers. There was no sense of hurry or rush in the Timelord, and yet neither did she delay. Once she was finished, she offered her companion to leave, to see her Tardis, and when Asa took to her feet, Pythia joined her, leaving payment behind on the table and leading her down the street to where the small silvery capsule shimmered into being, one moment appearing to be a light post and the next being a Tardis, the door sliding open as Pythia and Asa approached.

It was, of course, bigger on the inside. This was a common technology on Gallifrey, and it was applied to their craft. The inside was a soft coppery color mixed with darker and lighter shades that might call to mind Pythia’s odd shifting eyes. The middle of the initial room in the ship was dominated by a large column surrounded by what might be workstations, all with different tools. My ship.

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Asa highly doubted that she had met more varieties of species than the time lord had- but she had learned early on that you couldn't judge a species by it's first representatives. She had met Krogans who were peaceful, Salarians who were dumb, Vorcha that were brilliant- she had come to one conclusion. There was one thing she could assume about a species upon first contact- that the rest of the species shared similar genetics. Even that one coulde prove false- but it was more generally true. Thus far, the only things Asa knew about the Gallifreyans was what Pythia had told her.

That they were masters of time. And that presumably they had similar biology to Pythia.

Asa didn't doubt that Pythia would be able to comprehend the concept of what Asa did when connecting to minds. But there was a difference between understanding the concept, and being able to understand the reality. Even those who Asa had mind melded with still generally had minimal understandings of how it worked. It was similar to trying to explain the ultraviolet spectrum to a human. They understood the idea. Even the mechanics of it. But they would never be able to know what a sunrise looked like through the eyes of the Asari.

Thankfully Asa had also never found that her mind was damaged by mind melding. There were those of her kind who did burn out minds by connecting- but Asa also knew that some of her kind had melded with beings older than they could possibly comprehend and had walked away with little more than a migraine. She had always theorized that the Asari mind simply took in only what it was capable of processing- that if there was more past that, it would be simply left untouched.

Walking with Pythia at her side, Asa hummed softly under her breath. A wordless tune that her father had crooned to her when she was young. She idly wondered what the grumpy old man would have thought about this place. Probably that there was far too little in the way of headbutting.

Her eyes lit up upon seeing the capsule- she had some serious questions about how it moved- but that could wait until she was done exploring. The way Pythia spoke, Asa couldn't believe that this small object was all there was to her ship-

A thought that proved right when she saw the much larger interior. Her breath left her all at once. "By the Goddess." She whispered, turning around fast enough to make her self a little dizzy. Asa had not been prepared but- Somehow the fact that these time lords were masters of space as well hadn't struck her fully until she saw this. Surely this was accomplished by some sort of space folding- which had never reached past theoretical in her reality. She repeated the statement again, this time in her own language, in such disbelief.

"How?" She asked finally.

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Asa was, perhaps, correct. A single specimen could greatly vary from the baseline of their race. Still, as Asa was the only contact Pythia had, and thus, for now she was forced to draw... Assumptions. Distasteful, yes. but necessary at the moment.

Most Gallifreyans shared similar biological traits with Pythia, but not all. Her eyes, for instance, were quite unique, even amongst the other Time lords. Still, two hearts, redundant... Everything... All perfectly normal for Gallifreyan biology. The differences, aside from her odd, shifting eyes, were in her mind. How it worked. the setup of her synapses, how much of her brain remained active at a given time. (It was much more than her race used.) Those were where her true differences really lie.. Physiologically, anyway.

Telepathic races tended to have a greater understanding of minds different than their own. but there was nothing that was more informative than experience. There were Gallifreyans, nay Time Lords, that
had shared mind space with alien beings. It could easily be done. But likewise, it could be dangerous to their counterpart, a danger that only q increased as a Time Lord aged, retaining more and more memories and experiences to overwhelm the mind of someone not built to contain so much information and input.

A Tardis did not move the way a person might imagine moving. Pythia would be hard pressed to explain it in a language she did not know. But nearer to the ship, Asa might be surprised to notice that the words the Time Lord wrote in the air appeared to be in Asa's native tongue. With no flourish or embellishment, Pythia opened the door to her ship, revealing its true, hidden nature.

It was bigger on the inside.

Dimensional transcendence. It was the simplest way to describe it. The shell is in our current dimension, but the inside is its own dimension.

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Asa would argue that assumptions were almost never helpful. If you were attempting to feed a group, perhaps. An assumption that food of a similar variety would be edible. And that table manners would be relatively similar. But if you faced an enemy, assumptions could get you killed. If you went into a negotiation with that attitude, you could lose horribly by making assumptions. An assumption could offend someone you were trying to impress-

Asa was still in her maidenhood, and as she was speaking to this person who she was getting the feeling that she was much younger than- she couldn't help but feel like a youngling trying to teach an elder. Certainly as one aged, they gained perspective that shaped matters, but it didn't change how cut and dry it seemed from the spectre's eyes.

Even assumptions about biology didn't always prove true- seeing as the asari had their own genetic quirks. The Ardat-Yakshi who burned out the mind of their mates being one of the notable ones. There were some who's ability to wield their powers was crippled, others who wielded biotics with almost impossible dexterity.

Asa had once upon a time been one of the previous. Not a time she spoke of much- though it was easiest to compare to the sensation of one's non-dominant hand. She had honed her body to it's breaking point- and then stopped using it for anything but exercising. If she needed to move, she lifted herself along the path. If she needed to eat, she fed herself with her mind, or not at all. Her sisters used to yell at her when they found her passed out at the dinner table with blood dripping from her eyes.

It's part of why she was such a strong believed in the power of her mind. Because she had pushed it well past what it was capable of, time and again, taking pride even in the most minute of progress. Who could know their abilities better than the one who had almost burned out their implants with force?

She did startle back to the now when she noticed the distinctive curvature of the Asari's writing as they came close to the vehicle. Automatically she shifted to the language, her skin wrinkling together with surprise. Forcing her muscles to relax, she laughed slightly. "Does that mean you hear my words in Gallifreyan?" She asked idly, terribly excited by this new development. It wasn't truly relevant to her- what with how she could copy another's knowledge of a language- but it was fascinating.

She did take a deep breath of excitement at the other woman's words. Without thinking, Asa flew up, admiring the walls from as many angles as possible, as quickly as possible. "Brilliant." She breathed with a laugh. "How long has your kind had this technology?" She asked, landing neatly beside Pythia, though sparks of blue still danced around her heels as she bounced slightly. "My species is only 50,000 years old- if you're counting years of true sentience of course. Certainly we grew earlier than that- there are records that tell of experiments done by our predecessors- which explain why our kind alone has such a gift for biotics- but that is the stretch of time in which we changed the least compared to what we are now- I'm sorry, this is all terribly exciting for me." Asa ran a hand along her fringe with a laugh, her cheeks going a deeper blue with the realization.

"Did I mention my first doctorate is on the interactions between species?" She explained easily. Asa honestly wouldn't be surprised if Pythia hadn't noticed the title, when Asa carried so much combat gear, very few took her for a scholar as well.

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The pair would have to agree; assumptions were rarely accurate. Still, it was natural to make them, even for a Time Lord. Even for a Time Lord such as Pythia, it was a bad habit that was hard to break.

While Pythia was far older than most of the people she met, she didn’t go out of her way to treat adults as children; she took those she met as seriously as they presented themselves, and Asa had thus far presented herself as someone to be taken seriously. Another odd quirk the Time Lord possessed was one that wasn’t so uncommon amongst her people; Pythia had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. When Asa spoke, primarily about non-combat subjects that could range from literature to society to science and even theology, Pythia paid attention with an intense but usually (to non-Gallifreyans) foreign focus. The Time Lord was able to pay attention to more than one thing at a given time, but when she placed all of her considerable mental power on one problem or idea… When combined with her silence, it could be almost a physical presence.

The smile that Pythia turned on Asa at her question was perhaps the largest thus far, and certainly the most amount of emotion the Gallifreyan had shown until now. Her expression shifted toward a more inviting warmth, still less than what someone might call a real show of emotion, but more than she’d given in the bar. I do. The Tardis uses physic circuitry to translate for us so that we may both now shift into languages we find more comfortable and natural. The words were no longer being written in the air with the sonic pen, but rather appearing of their own accord, thanks to the Tardis translating not just Pythia’s language, but her thoughts for the Asari as well.

When Asa flew within the Tardis, Pythia made a soft huff, not so much with actual sound than the telltale escape of air from her lungs; should Asa turn and investigate, the fact that the silent Time Lord was laughing was evident in her eyes, if not her upon her face. She is lovely, isn’t she? Tardises were sentient, after all… Why not indulge hers with a bit of well earned fawning? Since… Forever. That was the thing about having the ability to travel through time; Gallifrey had become a whirlpool of time, with the timeline blending and mixing on the planet until ‘time’ had grown muddier and muddier. It was one reason why the Council had declared that time travel needed to be controlled and tempered instead of left open and free, to keep the rest of the universe from sharing a similar situation.

Reaching out, Pythia brushed a hand against Asa’s arm, just a quick and gentle touch, but the first the Time Lord had opted to give. This was her Tardis, though, her sanctuary and vehicle and home, touching was hardly the most intimate thing they could do here. There is nothing wrong with excitement; learning should always be so. Where Pythia’s face was not always expressive, here, in this moment, with this statement, it was. Her eyes were bright and focused, held wide, her mouth firm but curled upwards into a smile that was less the ghost of the expression it had been in the bar and more that of a woman who was in the midst of doing something she loved. I also study species. Their biology, their society and culture, their histories. Everything I can learn. She moved to a screen that seemed to serve almost as a blackboard against the wall, pressing a button on her pen and causing a soft buzzing noise to emit from it. Immediately, the screen changed, words flashing across, first in what looked to be circles and lines, but firming up into the writing of Asa’s native tongue as the Tardis translated immediately even as the writing appeared. It was account after account of planets full of research and data; about the planet itself and every specie she could find upon it. There were entries from plants that had warlike natives that gave as much information possible, but that were less detailed, the author’s frustration evident in the entries as she indicated that the populations were uncooperative and unwilling to even be watched from anywhere nearby, let alone interacted with or interviewed. Oddly enough, should Asa look for it, there was indeed an entry (a very lengthy one at that) on Gallifrey. Time Lords, customary Gallifreyans as well as the plants and animals on the planet, complete with several pictures.

Pythia noticed the title, but a doctor was, on Gallifrey, a healer, if not always of the body. There was a Time Lord who used such a title… Looking at Asa, the Gallifreyan tipped her head curiously, Our schooling is different than yours. I am a researcher, even if I do not possess that title.

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Asa found that usually when she was focused on something- she rarely ended up a physical presence. She was more often the opposite, her biotics turning inward to carry her, separating herself as much as she could from the area around her. Creating for herself a reality in which she could not be touched, spoken to, goddess, half the time you couldn't see her for the blue light she cocooned herself within. She did understand that focus when talking to an interesting person. Asa's eyes sharpened almost impossibly in two situations- when she had a sniper rifle in her hands- and when she was conversing with someone who was capable of holding all of the Asari's attention.

Asa's eyes went to such brightness when Pythia confirmed that she heard Asa in the language of Pythia's home. It brought a number of questions to mind instantly- the leading one being that psychics was usually a term used for living beings, was the Tardis living? It occurred to the Asari that it could also be a term that the Gallifreyans had adopted to refer to a specific kind of force- But when Asa's flyover of the ship ended, Pythia implied with her chosen words that the ship was indeed sentient.

"She? Is your ship alive?" Asa asked, relatively confident that her thoughts would be confirmed, but not turning to look to see if they were. "If she is, may I attempt to mind meld? I would love to learn from her as well." She asked quietly, her hand lightly trailing along the wall, her attention turned reverent with the knowledge that this ship was quite likely conscious of the way she treated it- Her.

Though the touch on her arm certainly had Asa's eyes turning back to the time lord immediately. Asa smiled, though her head tilted with a thoughtful pull at the corner of her eyes. The touch was unexpected- and not unnoticed. Perhaps this time lord was comfortable enough in her own ship that she was more willing to connect here. Asa would be lying if she said that she didn't find the time lord desirable- but she wasn't going to push the contact. There was a lot that she could read into the action, but it was likely best if she didn't. Friendship was something that was worth plenty on it's own.

Besides which the words on the screen were plenty distracting. She wished, not for the first time, that she had an eidetic memory and could remember all of the words she was being shown. Grateful for the other woman's words, Asa smiled softly. "Would you mind if I came back and spent some time going over your notes? I could bring you a codex of information about the species of my reality?"

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Pythia could, and sometimes did, simply stop to consider some fascinating thing or other, her eyes growing focused but bright with the energy of the time vortex, studying what- or who- ever it was that had captivated her attention not only in the current time but in its history and future as well. So it was that her gaze could grow heavy on a person or object. It didn’t happen constantly, but when something truly interested her, it was there, and while she didn’t explain it to those who would witness those moments, she did nothing to hide it, either.

Watching Asa’s reaction to both the change in languages as well as the Tardis itself, Pythia’s eyes crinkled into the facsimile of a smile even if her lips didn’t twitch up. Her eyes could be expressive, as odd as they were.

She. Pythia’s words, thought, not written with the pen, though they still appeared as writing in the air, formed from nothingness. She, yes. Of course she is alive. My mentor grew her himself and bequeathed her to me when he went on to join the academy and teach there and no longer travel. It is not easy to procure permission from the Council to travel with a Tardis. His recommendation carried much weight. The Time Lord looked to the center column of the room they were standing within, eyes glistening in the dim light, the play of darkness and light in those strange orbs shifting rapidly. You are welcome to try. She may choose to share some of her wisdom with you. It was an open and honest agreement; though the look she gave the column was one of warning; she would not be happy with her ship should the Tardis choose to be...difficult with her new companion.

Friendship was important. It wasn’t as though Pythia had no friends; she did. She had made them on the last world, in a different universe, she had lived on, and she missed those friends with the sort of calm understanding that most Time Lords who had made friends amongst the shorter lived races possessed. Most races would age, grow old, and pass away long before a Time Lord had even begun to truly explore a relationship. It could be a hardship, but that made those friendships and sometimes even loves any less meaningful.

Oh certainly. I would be remiss if I expected you, or anyone for that matter, to read all of this in one sitting, let alone absorb the information. If you would like to return again, you are more than welcome to. There was a moment between her response to the initial question and the offer where her words faded before new ones burned into the air, I do not require repayment, but were you to bring such a repository of information, I would be quite glad to receive it.

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#20
The Quarians had full face masks. The Hanar communicated through flashing lights as they do not possess traditional faces. The elcor had to describe their words because so much of their expression was tied up in their pheromones. A little crinkle of one's eyes was more than enough for Asa to read easily.

Asa smiled at the correction. "I am of an agendered race, but we use She for the ease of others. Is it the same among your people in regards to your vessels, do they truly have gender, or is similar to how earth ships are referred to as women?" She asked, mostly to the air around her, even as her hand ever so lightly touched the center column. With permission from her companion, she flicked her eyes closed before reopening them with the full sclera having gone black.

Her breathing eased as the tension fell away from her muscles. There was no pretenses when one connected to another.

After returning to her body, Asa grinned at her companion. She offered her hand in a hand shake. "Deal." She replied easily, already planning a return visit.

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