It was morning, and Fred was running late. Not that she had any sort of deadline for when she had to be at work, but that was beside the point. She really should have been showered, changed, and out of the house half an hour ago at the latest; she was starting to get a tad sloppy about when she went to work in the morning, it seemed. The fact that she had been tinkering with one of the items she had found in the Scavengers' Yard was no excuse. Grumbling under her breath, she grabbed her canvas bag, looped the straps over one shoulder, and stuffed her gloves into it. Opening the door, she was more interested in tying her hair back than looking where she was going… which meant she almost tripped over the large ball of snakeskin someone had deposited right in front of her door.
"What in the name of… who left this here?" There were a few possibilities, but each was equally ridiculous.
Whoever had left it, it was in her doorway. Fred reached down and picked up the skin, planning to move it somewhere out of the way, and something clattered to the ground. Not really able to see what it was, she shifted the skin so she was cradling it in her right arm and reached with her other hand to pick up the small object. She felt cool metal rings beneath her fingers as her hand closed around the object, and realized she had picked up a memory crystal—about a second too late to stop her fingers from brushing the smooth stone at the center of the rings. The world around her faded away…
Fred waited for her vision to return. Every other time she had had a memory she had been able to see, so she was expecting it to happen. But the blackness blotting out her sight never lifted; instead, to her mild surprise, her nose was suddenly assaulted by aromas. Her sense of smell obviously worked in this memory… she could smell dust, a hint of mildew, the musty scent of old books, and tea, though it was too faint to identify what sort of tea it was by smell alone. Was there something over her eyes in this memory? She couldn't feel anything, but it was certainly a possibility…
There was the noise of heavy, hard objects hitting each other, or possibly being thrown into each other, and then a voice spoke up. It was pleasant and masculine, and very, very familiar… but frustratingly, Fred had no clue as to whom the voice might belong to.
"…once upon a time, read that… ah." There was the rustle of pages being turned. "In the great days of Rassilon, five great principles were laid down. Can you remember what they were, children?"
"It's just a Gallifreyan nursery book," Fred heard her own voice say. She sounded rather dismissive of the man's words… but not as annoyed as she would have been if she was wearing a blindfold.
"Yes, I know, I know," the man's voice said patiently.
She continued speaking, as if the man hadn't said anything. "I had it when I was a…"
The memory faded away, to Fred's frustration. If it had just lasted a bit longer, just given her a little more of herself back… what had she been about to say, 'when I was a child'? 'When I was a young adult'? 'When I was a…' what?
It was easily the shortest memory she had had so far. But what it had given her, those names… it was good to have them back. 'Gallifrey' was the name of her home planet, she was sure of it. Rassilon, though… that name was a little trickier. She would have to think about the names—and what they meant to her, exactly—later, when she wasn't running late.
She took a step forward, wobbled, and almost fell over. She just barely managed to hold onto everything in her arms, though she did come perilously close to dropping the bundle of snakeskin. Something was wrong with her feet; they were being forced into an awkward position. It was significantly throwing off her balance. She looked down to see what was wrong with them…
Her wardrobe had undergone a significant change, and was now decidedly inappropriate... and it suddenly started giving off sparks from some contraption wired over her breasts, to Fred's further dismay. She stood there, shocked and indecisive for a moment, and then she spun around (almost falling over in the process, thanks to the utterly ridiculous shoes she was wearing), went back inside her house, and slammed the door.
She thought that maybe, just maybe, she wouldn't go to work today. Or any day, until this outfit went away.
(ooc: Fred is doomed to be stuck in this outfit for the next 5 days. Oh god.)
(Sound/Smell memory crystal taken from the audio book (not episode) Shada, part one, 18:54.)