During the Vampire Wars, the Time Lords designed a planet-sized warship shaped like a disk and patterned with an omniscate, (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, Interference - Book Two) which could cause neural spasms in creatures from outside the universe. At the ship's centre was the Cold. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two) However, the Vampire Wars ended before the weapon could be used. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, Interference - Book Two)
After Norval's TARDIS was destroyed by a ball of energy from the Needle, acting-President Voran planned to deploy the warship against the Needle, worried that the people there had control of the Effect. He called it the ultimate countermeasure. However, the Doctor and Larna stopped him from using the Great Key to activate it. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)
During the War in Heaven, the Time Lords deployed the ship against 20th century Earth, which they knew to be a major historical nexus as well as their enemy's original homeworld. Since they knew the enemy would block the attack if they put the ship straight into Earth's orbit, the Time Lords sent it out from one of their bases at sublight speed, planning for it to reach Earth in three billion years, at which point they would decide whether or not they needed to activate it; if they chose to activate it, Earth would be destroyed, and the causal nexus of the universe would unravel, erasing the Time Lords and their enemy alike. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two)
In 1799, Mother Mathara brought a group of the Remote to Anathema after the Second Wave destroyed Ordifica. Members of this group included Fitz Kreiner and Laura Tobin. (PROSE: Interference, The Book of the War) Around this time, Father Self deposited Giordano Bruno onto Anathema to integrate into the Remote. (PROSE: De Umbris Idearum)
The central focus of Anathema was the transmitter which held "the media", a medium through which all occupants of Anathema received the signals.
By the time that Anathema arrived in local Earth space, Laura Tobin and Fitz Kreiner had been re-remembered through the use of remembrance tanks and had new identities as Compassion and Kode. (PROSE: Interference)