Romana’s time sense was, to say the least, tingling. Something in time and space was not right as she stared out the colossal windows of her presidential office. She did not move despite the feeling of tremors in the fabric of space time. The Other knows, whatever it was would come to her soon enough, quite possibly, literally, materializing right on her desk. “The bucks stop here”, as the old Earth saying goes.
Romana could not have been more correct. There was a feeling of air compressing, contracting and an odd smell of ozone, followed by an electric flash! Before Romana knew what was what, and certainly before she could call for the Chancellery Guard, there were two somewhat cowering figures in suits, which looked like they were once more accustomed to be being clean and crisp rather than ruffled, crouched on the floor. The way they were both clutching at their faces, Romana imagined that they were both nursing increasingly worsening black eyes.
Not sensing any danger, Romana approached them to see if they were in need of medical assistance.
“Transmating into my presidential office aside, are you quite all right?” Romana queried in as kind a tone she could manage while still sounding stately. She was President, after all. Then these two men looked up are her and Romana was flabbergasted!
“Braxiatel?!” Romana balked at the sight of two Irving Braxiatels. Her time lord mind instantly reached out for confirmation that she was not mistaken. This had to be some sort of freakish temporal accident to bring two of the same individual to the same instance in time. No such luck, they were not older or younger versions of Braxiatel. They were clones!
“Glory Be…” one clone stuttered, quite literally stuttered, albeit reverently as he stared at Romana. How could he not with her so beautifully backlit by the Gallifreyan suns? The other clone began gushing to his counterpart in between his own marveling at Romana.
“Glory Be, indeed! We have been taken into paradise! Oh, our defending Vingus Bank to our very last breath has been rewarded! You must be The Glory!” He insisted to Romana. Romana had no idea what he was talking about. She sighed. Oh, well, she supposed that she would be having a long talk with the real Irving Braxiatel about this before the day was done anyway. But first things first.
“Those lacerations around your eyes look very painful. Allow me to retrieve my dermal regenerator so we might have a little chat without you being in so much pain, Mister…” Romana paused as she looked at the name badges pinned to the breasts of their suit jackets. “Mister Graham and Mister Graham.” She concluded.
“Glory Be.” Both men worshiped.
When Cardinal Braxiatel walked into the Lady President’s Office, to say he was beyond confused was an understatement. He stood stunned as two versions of himself, with faces Braxiatel would never had suspected had looked pummeled up only until a short time ago, flitted about the room. Romana, however, only sat reclined and comfortable on a luxurious chair that had not been in the room before, according to Braxiatel’s recollection. Delicately, she sipped a drink as one of the cloned men suddenly brought a pitcher, an offer to refill her glass, which Romana gratefully accepted. Meanwhile, his carbon copy counterpart held up a covered, silver tray. With gusto, he then pulled back the lid to reveal an artful arrangement of sliced fruit piled in great, aesthetically pleasing pyramids with jelly babies playfully dotting the lovely, culinary masterpiece. After he safely placed the tray on a table in a convenient reaching distance for Romana, he took her hand and kissed it gallantly.
“Why, thank you for the beautiful fruit platter, Mister Graham.” Romana praised.
“The Glory is most magnanimous.” He sighed happily through his stuttering as he rested his chin on Romana’s outstretched arm.
“You are so sweet.” Romana replied. He closed his eyes and smiled so contently. Truly all the additional verbal hardships he had endured while piously performing his banking responsibilities, in comparison to his fellow clones, was worth it to get to this heavenly moment.
“Glory Be.” He reverently pronounced as carefully as he could. Not to be outdone in veneration, the other Mister Graham gently took Romana’s glass and kissed the back of her hand.
“And we must not forget you, Mister Graham. Hospitality skills in drink mixing aside, I must say how impressively quick you were able to reorganize my entire filing system. I thank you for your meticulous efforts.” Romana added, to which Mr. Graham eagerly repeated his coworker’s praise.
“Glory Be. Anything that will please The Glory shall be done in an instant.” Mister Graham pledged. Braxiatel was about to be physically ill at this display of worship to which Romana seemed to be the pleasantly agreeable recipient.
“What on Gallifrey is going on?” Braxiatel questioned, finally announcing his presence. Although he doubted that Romana could not have known he was there with how loudly the doors into her office opened.
“I was expecting you to tell me, Braxiatel. Since Mister Graham and Mister Graham here bear such an uncanny similarity to yourself...” Romana commented, trying to keep her patience intact for the sake of not upsetting the clones, both of which continued to go about the room cleaning. They were trying to make a good impression for their Glory’s guest. “…That is, if only in appearance, anyway.” She added dubiously as Braxiatel approached her side.
“I can say that I have no idea why there are zealous clones of myself in your office, Romana. And any uninformed theories I could have developed right now, would be flattering to neither of us.” Braxiatel honestly replied, trying to seem as detached as possible. Secretly, he was seething with jealousy at the liberties her devoted helpers, with his face, seemed to be taking with his president. Liberties in which he, himself in some cases had even yet to be privy.
“If you want my opinion though, Brax… From what I can discern, they seem to be from an ejected timeline and were somehow rerouted here. It was not an easy trip for these poor clones though. A quick bio-scan has already shown me that being torn from their original timeline seems to have taken a toll on them and has brought them to the end of their life cycles.”
“I see, and with so little time left, their only wish was to be in your company?” Braxiatel all but peevishly inquired, finally catching on.
“Yes, I asked Mister Graham and Mister Graham if they had any last requests before they perished to please tell me and I would see what I could do. All they wished for though was only to continue on in my company.”
“The Glory and her beauty are eternal and awe inspiring. There is nothing to be more desired than to bask in her presence.” stated one of the Grahams now putting on an apron and polishing the surfaces of the office with less of a luster than it ought to have until it shined.
“Glory Be. I could not have said it better myself.” replied the shier Mister Graham.
“Their zealous programming is too engrained, so I decided to give them their hearts’ desire for whatever duration of time they have remaining. Once the workday concludes however, I shall take them for a stroll to see if I cannot convince them that the gardens of Gallifrey are infinitely more glorious than me.” Romana confessed.
“Glory Be. The Glory is too humble.” The Mister Grahams piped up.
“My Lady, surely you cannot be seen with two clones of myself worshiping you as a goddess without raising far too many uncomfortable questions.” Braxiatel protested in alarm.
“They might only last a week or a couple more hours, Braxiatel. Sometimes you have to overlook your discomfort in favor of those less fortunate than yourself. But it is my private gardens we shall be touring. So you have very little fear of us being spotted and embarrassing you, if that is your primary concern.” Romana riposted. No, his primary concern was Romana spending time with doting Irving Braxiatels who were not him!
“All the same, I believe it best if I were to accompany you. Just in case two Irving Braxiatels are too much for you to handle.” He offered with as much composure as he could muster.
“The only problem with your logic there, Brax… Is then I shall have three Braxiatels in which to keep track.” Romana grinned, now beginning to suspect his jealous motive.
“Glory Be…” Braxiatel grouched, unamusedly.