In the breast-pocket of the suit he intends to wear to the funeral, there’s a handwritten letter for Koschei: a single sheet of psychic paper, folded over.
I’m sorry if I switch tenses during this. I’m not running on a lot of sleep yet and I was never very together even at the best of times. I think I’ve rewritten and crossed out things about a thousand times so far; the console room is covered with papers I crumpled up.
There’ll be a funeral. Your body will be burnt. We’ll be out on the shore watching, with alcohol and crying and fireworks and all the silences nobody knows how to fill up. The molecules in your body will drift apart; most of your organs and tissue will be oxidized in the burning process while the dry bone fragments crumble to ash, phosphates and minerals. People walking on Gallifrey will breathe you in, step on you, swim in you—carry you across the universe. If we tried to find you, track down all your component atoms, they’d be indistinguishable. You’d be gone.
Nothing left to carry anything or bear any weight. Your soul would be untethered. I know how badly you’ve wanted that, for so long. I know how much you want to sleep.
I don’t know if I have the right to place anything on your back or on your shoulders or in your arms. I don’t know what you’ll be carrying with you. The only thing I want you to bring is memories, the good memories, memories of dancing and laughter and people in your arms, because the only thing I’ve ever wanted you to be is happy.
So here they are. All the good memories. This psychic paper carries the imprint of them, as many as I can find, underneath your fingertips and off the scent of the paper and in the words. I don’t know how else to give them to you, to reach you, when you’re gone, and it’s selfish to want to cling to you and say: me, mine, love me more, I loved you best. I can’t. I have to let you go.
Put all your weight on me. I’ll take care of them all. I’ll carry them all wherever they need to go. I’ll keep going, I’ll keep walking, and I’ll do whatever you need me to do. Let go, be free, and be happy. If you meet God, laugh in his face. Only take with you the love of so many people—all the hearts that pecked at your ribcage until your own got loose—and my love: stupid, baffled, hopeless, exasperated, bigger on the inside by many worlds and galaxies, it made me alive and I will never be able to repay you for that. You will always be part of me, my code and my signature, no matter what happens to the Imprimatur.
You are, were, will be loved. Take these memories with you and remember us. We wait to shed our own heaviness and watch our bodies disappear; we’ll join you, and you’ll keep running and laughing at us all.