The exceptionally bright Time Lady got the highest marks in a very long time when it came to Timeline Preservation and Temporal Technology at the Academy. Half of the official agencies on the planet were begging to bring her on as an advisor, but she wasn’t having it. “Renegade” sounded a much more interesting profession, although it was one of very few areas she wasn’t particularly skilled at. She rarely caused any actual trouble, but she pushed the envelope often enough that the Council would never admit she could be classified as “not a threat” and made them extremely uncomfortable more often than not.
Her TARDIS was heavily modified within a month. Once she verified that every system was functioning properly and ran multiple extreme tests on each, she tweaked and adjusted everything to her own specifications (all the while, the Black Hole Ship Yard still begging to employ her). The end result was probably one of the most dangerous ships ever to leave Gallifrey—a device so adept at avoiding paradoxes, it was bound to create exactly that at some disastrous point. Not that this information was a deterrent in creating it in the first place.
The Time Lady’s favorite pastime when she was young was acquiring stories. Any kind of story from anywhere and anywhen. Thank Gallifrey for dimensionally transcendental technology, as she already required dozens of extra storage rooms by the time she got her TARDIS. There were rooms full of nothing but millions upon millions of movie chips, comic discs, audio clips, formatted file banks, and several devoted exclusively to more tangible print. Her objective was quite simple: obtain every story she possibly could. Owning a TARDIS greatly assisted with this task, but it presented an unexpected problem. She amassed nearly every version of every recorded story a bit too quickly. Given her collection, one would assume that she would have more than enough material to be satisfied forever, but this is not the case for a being with a ridiculously long life span, speed reading skills that would make most people’s head spin, and the end result being a serious case of boredom. She began to revisit certain points that had previously been crossed off her list as pushing her personal limits of dangerous when it came to snatching up one more juicy tale when an idea struck her.
She had run into the Doctor on more than one occasion, and always recalled his raving about how fantastic the Earth was with its little humans. Rule-breaking be damned, she set the coordinates and landed her TARDIS without stirring so much as a dust bunny. It made no sound—it never did. Nobody knew she’d arrived. Ah yes, this was most certainly the right home. Several half-written pages and multiple ink pens were scattered on a cluttered desk, and the rest of the room looked like it had barely been touched for weeks, given the current layer of dust. She walked over to the exhausted human, slumped over in an armchair in the corner.
“Psst. Hey. Wake up!” She poked the slumbering figure.
“Wha… wha… what? Huh?”
“Wake up. Come with me. I’ve got something to show you.”
Ah, this was such a clever idea, she could barely keep up her act! No wonder the Doctor liked humans, they were so susceptible to suggestion! In such a drowsy state, there was all manner of manipulation she could cause, but she chose to keep it simple for her first try. She’d stick to the same galaxy and dimension, but set the timeline for random. After that, it was a simple mental reference to history, and she’d pick the most interesting physical coordinates based on what was going on at that time.
The upgraded perception filters worked flawlessly. The translation circuits would have burnt out on most other TARDISes, but not this one. Add in a few memory-boosting tricks and a quirk or two so as not to leave the poor soul thinking they were insane, and her job was done. She deposited her first human exactly back as they were in their chair, although propped up with a pillow and a blanket draped over their lap, just two perfect minutes after leaving. A short hop forward by several years, 3 blocks down the street, and into the stock room of the nearest book store confirmed her success. The euphoria came over her almost like a drug.
Over and over again, planet after planet, she repeated the same scheme. Eventually she became a bit bolder, and would visit people in broad daylight, if she thought she could get away with it. She became even more skilled at seeking out those who were in their slumps, and covering her tracks with memory tricks. It was a bit trickier with some species than with others, but she managed sufficiently enough most of the time to avoid any real trouble. Her library rooms grew and multiplied exponentially. She racked up more time, space, and distance on her TARDIS than a majority other Time Lords combined.
She eventually began to greatly influence a lot more planets than the other Time Lords were really comfortable with. Fortunately for her, they also didn’t really see the point of what she was actually doing, considered it childish, and due to what they deemed much more important matters, couldn’t be arsed to bother doing anything about it. Other renegades generally kept the High Council busy enough, though very few actually influenced time half as much as she did.
Her time was split into three major activities now: the influence, the acquisition, and the reward. She began to notice trends in others appreciating the end result of her meddling, and it amused her to see how far she could push it sometimes. She began to visit the same people multiple times, or show different people the same histories, just to see what would happen when she dropped them back off at home. Sometimes it worked out beautifully, and others eventually made the stories or the recorders too tired or too different from the first time around. A lot of it seemed to greatly depend on the timeline or the background of the person she picked. Occasionally outside events affected the overall reception of the story, once it was told to the masses. Things got even more entertaining when she finally decided to go for broke and delve into parallel and pocket universes.
Although she visited many wheres and whens repeatedly, she never quite got the same rush from seeing it firsthand. It was much more interesting to see it through someone else’s eyes, especially after their memory had been altered just a little to compensate. Even so, she would still occasionally materialize in some of her favorite story settings just to observe and ponder over why in the universe they had gotten that bit of the history different when it was finally written recorded by a complete outsider, and what influenced them to interpret it the way they did. Narnia, Magrathea, Vulcan, Neverland, Coruscant, Earth, Pandora, Asgard, and Orbis were among her top 1000 favorites (though greatly dependent on the timelines, of course).
At some point, she got a just a bit too reckless in her pursuit for the creation of fresh stories. She’s been around history and visited enough people that she can be, at times, actually annoying. Once or twice (perhaps even more), the memory tricks didn’t quite stick with a particularly clever regular. Usually this didn’t cause any major problems, but more and more people she’d visited began to associate with one another, and piece together the common threads. The more amazing their stories to tell, the more concentrated effort they had to make to get them recorded before they forgot completely. The more outlandish the settings, the harder they had to come up with descriptions in order to make sense to others who couldn’t visualize what they could. The better the story, the more likely it was that they “came up” with it at a highly inconvenient time, occasionally even blanking out to the world around them momentarily. Some would plead for her to visit them, and others would curse her very existence. Although quite clever when it came to the technical details, her passengers would rarely compliment her for having good timing.
Eventually, many of them would come to regain at least enough of their blocked memories about her to know what she called herself: the Muse.