Monday, 28 February 2011

Broken, Beaten and Scarred

Just in time, the second story of series 3a see the return of Rachel Morgan and it's another chance of pace and tone. This one's pretty grim and nasty, but it's another splendid tale. It also is a sequel of sorts to one of Rachel's stories last series, in that it features the return of her alt-Fourth Doctor, this time facing....wait and see.


Broken, Beaten and Scarred

By Rachel Morgan

    The Doctor heard noises before she saw anything, the weak, harsh chatter of the broken and the beaten. She had been to many worlds, many battlefields and she'd heard the same tone so many times. The resentful words of the beaten, the vain hope that they can win one day and wipe out their victors. She feared that they may learn that knocking a hornet's nest over only leads to more trouble than they might expect. She came upon the settlement: three small sheds made from bits of wood and rusted metal sheeting and a field that was only detectable as a field because it had fewer rocks in it than the rest of the surrounding land.

    "Hold there, woman." Ginta stepped out from beside one of the shanty houses. "Who are you, stranger." The woman was wearing clothes, proper clothes, not stitched together rags or something made out of something else like everyone else had to make do with. Only those in the city had real clothes, but they all wore the same manner of dress to show their uniformity and superiority. Truth be told this woman looked odd, strange, different, alien.

    "I'm called the Doctor." The Doctor smiled, trying to show that she was a friend, someone to be trusted or at least not shot at or chased away by a mob. "You don't need a Doctor do you? That's rather a nasty looking wound you have there." She looked at the farmer woman's arm. "It looks infected to me."

    "What of it?" Ginta asked. "We don't have any medicines."

    "I'm sorry to say but neither do I," the Doctor admitted reluctantly and wished she had something more than disappointment to offer the injured woman. "However some boiling water might clean some good rags to bind that wound better after I bleed it. I need to get all of that bad blood out of you right away or you'll lose that arm and most probably your life."

    "Can't argue with that logic," Hawea said to her sister. "My sister's always been proud but she has two little ones to look after. If she dies then so do they. I have my own two to feed and the land only gives back what you can put into it, usually not even then."

    "Perhaps some sort of chemical reconstitution?" The Doctor mused. "Some plants provide for their next growth cycle by rotting down to essential base nutrients. You could start building a compost pile."



    The first suicide bomb exploded catching everyone by surprise, it tore Herix apart instantly and all around him died a fraction of a second later. Others died of their wounds from the blast debris and the fireball added more to the death toll. People screamed and yelled in shock and horror then the soldiers opened fire on all those they suspected of carrying a secondary device.

    Tobir almost died in a hail of bullets but when her bleeding body hit the floor her bomb exploded and the second blast killed mainly soldiers as they were rushing forward for what they thought was an easy kill, only to be killed themselves.

    Nadia closed her eyes and activated her bomb, but nothing happened. "Jast!" It was an old curse, one of the four aspects of the evil one of the ancient beliefs. She made her way slowly, calmly, circling away from the market place, live to die another day. If she was to die then she'd take as many of the bastards with her as she could, like her two martyred friends had just done.

    "She's one of them!" a voice called out. "She's got a bomb too."

    "Caan It!" Nadia swore and ran for it, using the bodies of the old and the young alike to shield her from the vengeful bullets of her hated foes.



    The Doctor winced as the dark purple blood was forced from the woman's arm wound, it stank and carried all the signs that the infection had spread further than the initial wound. "You need medicines, antibiotics. I have such things in my craft, I'll have to go and get them. Then she noticed other wounds on the woman's arms and legs. "These are burns, but not caused by fire or heat. These were done by ionising radiation. Oh Omega!" She realised that she'd forgotten to check a few of the less-used TARDIS readings. "No wonder the planet's in the state it is, you've only gone and had a nuclear war haven't you? I'm such a silly Doctor at times! Not to worry too much, I haven't been out here that long. I'm still a few days after my recent rebirth, and I should be fine, with a couple of pills to help. Call them the Doctor's little helpers if you like."

    Nadia burst into the house. "I'm with the people's militia, hide me."

    "I'm rather busy here," The Doctor said to the rude woman. "You'll have to wait your turn."

    "What turn?" Nadia asked. "My bomb didn't explode, they're after me."

    "Get out of here!" Hawea said sharply. "If they find you here they'll kill us and the kids too."

    "No-one's killing anyone," the Doctor muttered. "Not while I'm here."

    "Who are you?" Nadia asked.

    "I'm the Doctor," the Doctor replied. "This woman needs medicine and you need a place to hide. I need to go to my ship to get the medicine and you can't be here if the soldiers search this place. Therefore you'll accompany me back to my ship and I'll hide you there. How does that sound to you? If you're really well behaved then I'll even teach you the value of life and the wrongness of violence. I believe it may have been my good friend Mohandas who said that it's better to live for your cause than to die for it."

    "Soldier, on the horizon," Hawea said to the two strangers. "I'll look after my sister, I'll say you came by, we turned you away and you went off in another direction to the one you really depart in. My sister really needs that medicine and I can't afford to let you get captured, Doctor."

    "I'm very evasive when I want to be." The Doctor smiled. "And very hard to miss when I want to be found. I think with a local guide I can find my way back to my ship quickly and quietly."

    Captain Krang tore into the pitiful excuse for a farm in the one remaining serviceable vehicle his section of the guard had. "This place smells like a sewer. Get the scum out here, shoot them if they give you any bother, any bother at all."

    "Please, my sister is very ill," Hawea said to anyone who would listen. "She needs medicine."

    "Medicine?" Krang scoffed. "Medicine is for decent normal human beings, not filthy terrorist scum like you!"

    "We're not terrorists, we're farmers," Hawea said defiantly. "We work the land to sell our goods in the local market."

    "You'll get nothing this year, the market's just been bombed – yes, bombed. Two of you lot massacred dozens of my men and innocent Thal civilians too. A third escaped, her bomb didn't go off. Because of her your children will starve come the winter. It may well be a blessing if I put a bullet in their heads now, not that I'd waste good bullets on you scum of course."

    "There's no sign of anyone," trooper Dinal said to the captain. "Tracks lead in, nothing leads out and they're not here, just these two women and their mewling brats."

    "Two women were here," Hawea said quickly. "One said she was a terrorist, she took the other woman hostage. The medicine woman was treating my sister's wounds, she was going to bring her medicine when the other woman came. We thought she'd kill us all but she took the doctor hostage and left in a hurry." Hawea saw the flap move that served as the doorway to her sister's home and she saw a Thal soldier raping her dead sister's corpse. "What the Thay!?"

    "Leave her alone, Kesin, you don't know where that Kaled whore's been. You could catch something from her." Krang looked at the surviving Kaled woman. "Torch this place, shoot the children, make her watch and then shoot her as well. We've got a terrorist to find and some sort of medical woman too. Could be one of the pacifist rabble, tending to the meek and all that crap. They should see sense and infect the lot with a plague of some sort."

    Hawea screamed as all she knew was destroyed by the accursed enemy. She wished now that she'd helped the woman with the bomb more, or that she had one herself so that she could take all these scum out with herself. It took six of them to hold her back while the others shot her children and then her sister's children and then they shot her.

    They laughed as she took a long time to die.



    The Doctor felt that she was making good time back to the TARDIS however she was intrigued to know more about her new travelling acquaintance. "So you're a terrorist then? Well a wannabe terrorist. Maybe it's fate that your bomb didn't work? Maybe you're meant for something better, something nobler?"

    "Shut up, I may need you to hide me from my enemies but I don't need your pathetic attempts to be my friend," Nadia ranted. "Two of my best friends died today, they killed themselves, and I should have died with them."

    "It's hard, being the one to survive," the Doctor mused. "Carrying on, knowing they died and yet here you are still alive. It's easier to give in, find the easy way out. Roll over and beg for death, the sweet oblivion of it all. I died recently, did you know that? I actually died, well it's not the first time but this one was the best I think."

    "You died? You look pretty healthy for a dead woman," Nadia said.

    "My people conquered death a long time ago." The Doctor stated matter-of-factly. "We wanted to be gods, we sought immortality and got it – at a price. So many mistakes, so many billions died for our sins. We tried to help people and they fought themselves and died. We became engrossed in petty diversions to pass the long years, drawing beings into our arenas of death and mayhem. We were convinced of our own supremacy, gods at play, then we met others as strong and different to ourselves as we could imagine. We called them demons, monsters, evil, but we were just as alike in our merciless cruelty as them. We won, in the end, but at a cost. We turned inwards, becoming aloof and isolated. We cut ourselves off from everything, hiding away in our lofty towers in a vast goldfish bowl with the rest of the universe remembering us only as a legend. So naturally when I was old enough I stole a TARDIS and escaped. I ran so far and fast across this and a thousand other galaxies, never stopping, always moving onwards."

    "Why did you stop running?" Nadia asked. "Why come to this place?"

    "I've never been here before, the readings showed a primitive society. I thought trees, beaches, a nice holiday. Instead I find people I can help. Point to me I think."



    The TARDIS was a welcome sight, the only shade of colour in a landscape of dusty greys and muddy browns. "Home sweet home." The Doctor smiled. "I know she doesn't look like much, that's part of her charm. What you don't see is what's inside that small blue box."

    "What's inside that small blue box?" Nadia asked.

    "A pocket dimension, a miniature universe. Artificially grown of course but an elegant blending of bioengineering and retro-chic architecture. I know it's all very minimalist and white, I've been trying to remember how to operate the interior redecoration controls but I can't quite remember which ones they are just yet. My mind's still a bit vague about a few things at the moment. For instance I keep putting the loo seat up after I use it and I really don't need to. Hopefully for a long time to come, unless I have an accident or get shot or something and end up having to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothing again. My galactic shopping card took a heavy hit in knickerbox yesterday, let me tell you."

    Nadia had the shock of her life when she entered the cabinet, she expected there to be barely enough room for the two of them and the controls. Instead there was an impossibly large control room. "Sec me!"

    "You're really not my type," the Doctor said as she gently got Nadia sat down on the comfy armchair. "Relax it's just a moderate dose of culture shock. I should probably have prepared you more but I really like seeing the look of surprise on people's faces. It's one of the ways I can judge what type of person someone is. You're in awe, scared, unsure, anxious, afraid, curious – you have all the makings of a new best friend."



    The Doctor stuffed her favourite handbag full of antibiotics, anti-radiation drugs and a dozen other medicines. She slipped a small pill dispenser in her jacket pocket. It had an inbuilt alarm which would tell her when next to take a pill. She'd taken two as a precaution and she'd made Nadia take two as well. "We'd better get back. The longer we wait then the greater the risk of that poor woman losing her arm."

    "You really care about her, don't you?" Nadia asked. "What is she to you? With all of this technology you are like a god. We must look like tiny bugs to you."

    "Hardly," the Doctor snapped. "You're living, hurting, wonderful people. You just need a helping hand. You need a Doctor and you're lucky as today I'm making house calls." She opened the door and stepped outside into the barrel of a gun. "That's never happened before."

    "So you're either a terrorist or a healer," Krang said to the woman in front of his gun, then he looked down at her entirely inappropriate footwear. "I'm guessing the latter, which means you're harbouring the terrorist in there which makes you my enemy as well."

    "He's just looking for an excuse to bully you," Nadia said as she emerged from the TARDIS, her gun in the Doctor's back. "She's my prisoner, not yours. I made her give me her medical supplies. Either the resistance has them or nobody dies."

    "You scum don't deserve to live," Krang sneered and hit Nadia in the face with his gun. "Tie them both up, we'll let the people tear them apart at the scene of their crimes."

    "What crimes?" the Doctor asked. "I may be guilty of a little meddling here and there but I've never hurt anymore, not deliberately."

    "Save your wind, his kind doesn't listen. They don't hear us speaking so they don't have to let the truth get in the way of their murderous fantasies. They murder us with their indifference and dare to complain when we repay them in kind."

    Krang shot Nadia in the lag to shut her up. "If you're really a healer you'll save that leg, if not then you're a fake and she'll have to hop to her execution."

    "I'm really losing patience with this planet," the Doctor muttered. "I've never seen such stupidity."



    The ambush took the Thals by surprise. The Kaled freedom fighters stood over the bodies of their hated foes and put their guns to their heads and fired where necessary. Only three remained alive: Nadia, Krang and the Doctor.

    "She's with me, she saved my leg," Nadia said to a man, Riuaj, she vaguely recognised. "He's the bastard who shot me. I'd love to repay the favour but he said something about a crowd of people tearing me apart. I think our people might like to do that to him instead."

    "We're to take all captured officers in for questioning. Same with your mystery woman. She's no Thal but she's not one of us either."

    "I'm an alien being from another world." The Doctor smiled. "I come in peace, take me to your leader."

    "I'll take you to a cell," Riuaj said to the civilian. He knew that pretty much every Kaled above the age of minority became a soldier of some sort or other. They had the scars of war about them, the obvious signs of pain and injury that were caused in the mind and soul rather than the body. The woman had seen suffering, it was there in her eyes. Such terrible pain but her body had the stance and bearing of someone quite unmarked by warfare. "Either you join us or you oppose us and we kill all those who aren't with us."

    "I'm with me," the Doctor replied. "I'm impartial to this conflict. I have medicines and curatives, I care not who I care for, their beliefs are unimportant to me. A true healer does no harm to those she tends to."

    "We'll see if you change your tune after you speak to those of us hit hardest by this conflict. They call it peace but as many die now as when we were honest about our intent to kill each other."

    "You deserve death," Krang spat. "We'll wipe you all out, every last one of you stinking Kaled scum."

    "Not today I fancy," Riuaj said simply. "Bring them both, harm neither unless you fancy taking their place in their chains. If they're judged guilty of any crimes then you'll get all the bullets you want to get the job done."

    "I've only been to resistance HQ three times," Nadia said to the Doctor. "All our leaders are there, they'll find a way for us to win yet. One day we will be free of our oppressors, we will be free to claim our destiny. One day we might meet your people out there in the stars."

    "Maybe," the Doctor mused. "You might have a way to go before then but most species have very violent birthing pains before they discover themselves anew."



    "What is this?" Nyder asked his boss. "It looks like a small tank."

    "It is much more, Nyder, so much more. As you know I have discovered the final form our species will take once the mutations have finished. That travelling machine will house our people. It will be both a life support machine, a means of locomotion, armour for defence and a weapon for offence. It is the prototype, the design can be upgraded and refined as needed over the coming years. The battle computer will link directly into the mind, enabling each of us to think and act so much quicker and faster and it will allow for co-ordinated stratagems."

    "Impressive." Nyder had to admit to the genius of the design. "What about production? We don't have the resources to mass produce anything yet, we'll need time to set up a factory."

    "Once we have established a few creatures they can work away to build all that they need for the rest of us to follow. They can do the hard work with their new travel pods to keep them safe."

    "Travel pods, I'm not sure it's a fitting enough name, Davros. To fully honour your great mastery of the sciences we need a name that will command instant respect." Nyder knew full well the power of words and imagery, having been with the Department of Propaganda for a few years in his youth.



    The Doctor and Nadia were shown to a minimum security area. They were fairly sure that the Time Lady wasn't a danger because she carried no guns of any sort. In fact the only slightly suspicious item in her possession was a silver wand that emitted sound waves which she claimed to be a screwdriver of sorts. "I could really use a cup of tea," the Doctor mused as she sat and waited. "Nothing grand, a pyramid bag would do. Very strange things pyramids, very abundant on Earth. The idea goes back into their primordial past. I think it was the ancient Silurians who built the very first pyramids, and well of course somehow the idea got passed down through racial memory to their successors, the Humans. Funny creatures, humans, as likely to help you cross the road as they are to push you under a bus."

    "You sometimes speak of these humans with great affection and sometimes with great distain," Nadia said casually. "Which is it?"

    "Both. Neither," the Doctor stated. "They are very complicated beings, they never know what they want most of the time. They have it within themselves to be beings of infinite charity and light and yet they also have the potential for dark cruelty, malice and spite."

    "I think that sums up most people," Nadia replied. "Sometimes at the same time for the same reasons, sometimes people see it as good and others evil."

    "Maybe." The Doctor sighed. "Maybe I just hope for the best and get let down too much. That's why I keep moving on, there's always someplace new to see and yet I always keep going back to Earth in the end. It's like I'm running in circles at times. I guess I could just be spiralling in towards something. I'd just like to know what it is before I collide with it."



    Davros didn't want to be dragged away from his research when it was at such a critical stage but the resistance only had one expert on the science of life on other worlds and he was it. He was sure the prisoner was a Thal with an inventive imagination and he would quickly uncover her weak lies with his superior intellect. He manoeuvred himself into the prison room.

    "Are you ok?" the Doctor asked the badly handicapped man. "You look like you've had a very rough day."

    "My work is more important than pandering to the lies of a Thal spy." Davros retorted. "You claim to be an alien being from another world, such a being would obviously follow different lines of evolution to those beings of this planet. You look like one of us, more Kaled than Thal I must confess, but no alien being I fancy."

    "You look Gallifreyan to me." The Doctor replied. "My species was one of the first to evolve in this universe. Others look similar to my people and yours. Humans, Dominators, the people of Marinus, Didonians and many others. I think that because there are certain key laws of physics that rule the way the dimensions relate to each other, then on similar worlds evolution will tend to use the same answers to the same problems."



    "Fascinating." Davros was convinced the woman was highly intelligent, she was theorising on the spot and he had no doubt that she was speaking the truth. It takes a lot of creative talent to invent things and maintain a constant focus on what you're saying so you don't contradict yourself. This made him afraid. If this woman was from another world, another people, then she could be a threat. However she seemed more interested in simply talking as one intelligent being to another. Perhaps he could take a risk and show her something of his solution for solving the plight of his people?

    "My people have been at war for over a thousand years. Officially the war is over but while the breath remains in Kaled bodies and our hearts still beat then we will carry on fighting for a final victory."

    "Victory at any cost is hardly a victory if too few survive to make anything of it," the Doctor countered. "Then again without shadows candles have no meaning. My people fought wars too, terrible wars, but we survived and we prospered in the end. Hopefully one day your people will prosper too."

    "We will triumph, my newest discoveries will make certain of it. We will consign the name Thal to the pages of history." Davros felt a mixture of pride, hate and joy as he spoke of his great vision of the future. "My newest invention will assure us of our great victory."



    "Get in the back of the van!" the Thal shouted at the 'scum'. "Do it or we shoot the children!"

    The scared and confused Kaleds did as they were ordered before the van was sealed up and they were driven away. Many of them had never seen a vehicle before except in a book, and now here was one in front of them, a symbol of the bourgeoisie Thal tyranny.

    "Keep quiet in there you scum," the soldier yelled again. "Do as we say and you'll live. Disobey and you'll die as an example to the rest of your kind."



    The Doctor felt that she was moving south of heaven as she entered the science lab and found jars of all sizes full of bits of brain, many of which seemed to be kept alive by some crude mechanism or other. "What have you done to them? It's obscene!"

    "My people are heavily exposed to a mutagenic radiation, our cellular structure is beginning to break down and eventually we will mutate in all sorts of horrific ways. I am examining how that process will occur so that I can find a way to keep our people alive and secure through it."

    "You butchered these people for that?" the Doctor gasped. "There's anti-radiation drugs, cellular stabilisation processes, you should be examining those."

    "What if they fail?" Davros asked. "I cannot risk the survival of my people on such a weak solution. This may not be the best way but it is the only way to guarantee success. All these people volunteered to help my experiments. I can assure you that their sacrifices will not be in vain. I am very near to creating the first prototype survival unit."



    Stress is perhaps the worst enemy of a soldier. Nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, fear, all are causes of stress and the more of them you have then the worse things will be when the person succumbs to it and an accident happens.

    Trooper Feya didn't mean to shoot the child. His hands were sweaty with fear and his finger slipped and his reaction was to squeeze the trigger, a simple mindless error that saw the brains of an infant splattered over the clothing of its family.

    "Kill them!" The Kaled hostages had just had enough of Thal cruelty and the cold-blooded murder of a child was the last straw. They rushed the soldiers and grabbed the guns from many of them and in the ensuing mayhem both sides killed as many of their enemies as they possibly could.



    The inner workshop was more orientated to metalwork and fabrication. There were electrical devices and tools of every sort all over the place. The survival unit was based in part on Davros' own electric wheelchair but it was both more advanced in its design and yet cruder as it didn't seem to have as many functions.

    "This is my third attempt at such a design. The first two were inferior in many ways, but I won't bore you with those details." He looked down at the computer interface. "This is the real problem, the connection between the controlling computer and the brain of the occupant. The computer delivers the data stream too fast for the mind to process."

    "Slave the computer to the occupant's mind rather than the brain to the computer," the Doctor muttered. "This is a travesty of life, Davros, a mockery of existence. It's a jumbled up being, you're taking a person apart and putting them back together again in all the wrong ways possible."

    "A jumbled up being," Davros mused. "Yes, no longer will they be Kaled, they will be something else...yes, I have it! They will be called Daleks!"

    "I'm going back to my cell," the Doctor said sharply. "I need a shower after seeing this place, I feel dirty."

    "That will no longer be a problem. You'll be as affected as anyone else. You'll soon be begging me to let you become a Dalek."

    The Doctor took the pills from her pocket. "I think not. My advanced science has provided my salvation. Yours will condemn thousands to a living hell."

    "Rather a living hell than a dead paradise," Davros retorted. "The Daleks will survive, they will not die!"



    Davros waited in the large room while the people slowly filed in. They tended to drift into the room in groups of two and three. Something fundamental of Kaled nature was the need to make friends and stick by them through thick and thin. It was what had made them strong during the war and enabled them to survive to this day.

    "Don't do what he says," the Doctor whispered to Nadia. "I've seen what his plan for the future is and I'm going to have to try and stop it."

    "Davros is a great man," Nadia stated coldly. "Many of his weapons saved us in the last years of the war, we'd have lost a good deal quicker without him. If only we had more like him then we'd have won."

    "Winning isn't everything," the Doctor replied. "Often it isn't anything. Living well is the best revenge."

    "My people," Davros began his speech, "I have finalised my researches and I've concluded that my earlier test results are indeed true, we are all too soaked by radiation to survive as we are. This radiation is already beginning to transform us in many ways. Luckily I have determined the end result of these mutations and I have designed a survival unit capable of protecting those forms and enabling us to move about and defend ourselves too. I have very nearly produced the first prototype and with your help we can soon construct many more, enough for one each, and then we'll be able to survive where our accursed enemies will be weak and vulnerable. Make no mistake they are just as infected by the legacy of our war as we are but we have the advantage and we must grasp this opportunity now before it is too late. I need volunteers to finalise the process. Your transformation will be accelerated and you will be installed in your survival unit. You will become the first members of a new species, the Dalek race. This world will belong to us and then we can turn our gaze to other concerns." He turned to look at the Doctor. "There are other worlds out there, they might pose a threat to us. We will either make allies or enemies. I propose we offer them the security and honour of becoming part of a new Dalek Empire."

    "No!" the Doctor yelled. "I've travelled far and wide through this galaxy. I've never heard the name Dalek before today. You're proposing to try and change time itself! I cannot allow that!"

    "Who are you to judge what is time?" Davros challenged the alien.

    "I am a Time Lady, sworn to protect and defend history. I may meddle a little here and there to keep things on track, but if you try and rewrite time then I'll have to stop you."

    "Words are nothing to us," Davros sneered. "We are creatures of action, we do what we must to survive."

    "I can save your people, you can live on as you are now. I can give you anti-radiation medicines, I can reverse the mutations!"

    "Your medicines don't work on us," Davros shouted. "You gave a child one of your pills and an hour later she was dead!"

    "They work on Nadia," the Doctor stated. "She's quite free of the harmful effect of your war."

    Davros shook his head. "Your medicine is too risky, it cures as many as it kills. As I told you earlier, my way is the only way to ensure the survival of my people."

    "Let me try to save you!" the Doctor pleaded, but her words were cut off by a massive explosion.

    "Thal attack!" Garvin yelled. "Get to the shelters!"

    Krang burst into the room. "Your cells aren't well made." He grabbed the Doctor and ran for the exit.

    "Wait for me!" Nadia said and ran after the Doctor and the Thal.



    "Enough is enough!" Diona said loudly.

    "It's time for a change." Aladat agreed.

    "We can't let the Kaled scum get away with their crimes anymore," Merant said. "Fetch weapons, lots of them, we must do what the weak cowards in the administration refuse to do. The only good Kaled is a dead Kaled!"

    "This is our time," Diona said joyously as the Thal civilians began to form up into death squads.

    "The group who kills the most Kaled scum is the winner!" Aladat said mockingly.



    Alima screamed as the drugs burned her mind. Her whole body was melting, changing, lumps of flesh were twisting into new shapes, her insides were like a fire and her skin blistered as it was changed into something soft and rubbery. Her soft feminine curves had been one of the first things to go, her breasts simply dropped off and her bottom reduced to a simple orifice that had been invaded by a probe to ensure the quick removal of bodily waste in a timely manner. Her womb was gone too, no longer needed as her new species would no longer breed sexually. Instead the strange thoughts in her head told her that cells from her body would be cloned so a new occupant of her Dalek shell could be grown when she was too old to be of use anymore. She felt her mind being focused more and more on survival; all those unlike her were the enemy, they had to be wiped out, they were a threat, a danger, nothing could be allowed to get in the way of the Dalek cause. She felt the hate rising up more and more inside of her twisted body until she became the living embodiment of it. All non-Daleks would be exterminated! She looked over at her sister Daleks and they shared their minds completely with each other and found that they were of one thought and purpose – all those not like themselves must be wiped from the universe. They turned on the Kaleds and began to kill them all.




    The hill was as dry and dusty as anywhere else they'd been but the Doctor was sure they were moving away from both the Kaled and the Thal bases. "Did I ever tell you about this place I know? They have a wonderfully large hill and once every year they take a large wheel of cheese and they roll the cheese down the hill. Then the whole village gives chase after the cheese and the person who catches the cheese first is the winner and they then get to eat it. I've still got some of it somewhere in the TARDIS. I thought I might do us all a nice cheese omelette."

    "I don't think we'll have time for that," Nadia said sadly as Thal soldiers began to shed their camouflage and aim their guns at the three of them.

    "Kill them," Corporal Jakop snarled. "Kaled scum."

    "I'm a Thal officer," Krang said sternly. "Captain Krang, 2nd Defence Platoon. These two are with me, one's a Thal healer and the other is my personal spy recruited from the Kaled resistance. She's sworn loyalty and allegiance to both myself and to Thal high command."

    "Don't care, my sister died earlier today in the market place. The only good Kaled is a dead Kaled!" Jakop aimed at the Kaled slut and prepared to send her to hell.

    Krang shot the Thal first. "I said they're with us and you will obey me!"

    "Let me take a look at that leg." The Doctor fussed over the wounded soldier. "Oh dear we have been in the wars haven't we. Come on then be a big brave boy for me now. She pushed her fingers into the wound and pulled out the bullet. "Now a little of this will do you good, it's a broad spectrum universal antibiotic."

    "You two, carry him once his wound's dressed. You're lucky she's with us or I'd have had to shoot you in the head to save you from a slow and painful death."



    Davros emerged from his hiding place to look upon the corpses of the willing volunteers. "What went wrong?"


    Davros turned himself around to look at one of his Dalek creatures. "They would have become Daleks."


    "The Doctor was right, I didn't see that this would result from the changes I made to your minds. I removed something that made you strong, created a weakness inside of you."


    Davros moved over to the self-destruct mechanism. Someone with adequate foresight had seen the possibility that the Thals might infiltrate his base and become a creature within the Dalek shell and turn on his people, but he had never suspected that the Daleks would turn on him, their creator. "I will start again, build better Daleks."     He was about to press the button when he was struck by a death ray.

    "EXTERMINATE!" The Dalek kept firing until the inferior being was dead.



    "We're nearly back at the TARDIS." The Doctor saw the sight of her beloved home in the middle distance. "I'll take you away from here if you'd like that." She said to Nadia and Krang. "You can see the universe, see that violence isn't always the answer. Sometimes love is all you need."

    "Two hostiles inward bound," Malton said sharply.

    "Guns ready," Krang said.

    "What are they?" Nadia asked.

    "Davros' creatures," the Doctor replied. "That is what he wanted to turn you into. They're not people any more, they're twisted creatures of hate and merciless anger. We have to escape or they will kill us both." She led the way as she ran towards the TARDIS.

    "They're massacring Krang and the others." Nadia almost felt sorry for Krang as he'd saved her life not an hour before hand, a very unusual thing for a Thal to do for a Kaled.




    The Doctor closed the doors once she and Nadia were safe inside the TARDIS. "No-one else got away." She sighed and moved over to the controls. "I might be able to make it over to the Thal city in time to save some of them."

    "Too late." Nadia looked at a screen. "It says the life signs in the city are falling fast. They're dead, they're all dead!"

    "Only the Daleks remain," The Doctor sighed. "They killed everyone else, Kaled and Thal alike."

    "I'm the last of my people." Nadia burst into tears.

    "Those things will find a way to make more of themselves. I saw plans for a cloning facility, they'll clone themselves again and again until they're an army and then they'll build spaceships to terrorise the galaxy with. They're evil, pure evil, we have to stop them." She pressed buttons, turned dials, moved levers until she set up an energy drain on the whole planet. "Let's see how well they do without any power to fuel their armoured shells, instead of life support units they're now their prisons. Alone in the dark they'll go mad, they deserve to suffer a million years for their crimes!"

    "What are you?" Nadia was horrified by the lack of mercy her new friend was showing.

    "I am the Doctor, friend to those who need one and the oncoming storm to those who'd hurt others just because they can. One day they might find a way around their confinement and I want the fear of me buried deep in their minds because I don't think anything else will stop them."



    The small enclave of Thals to the south had forsworn violence and hate after the end of the war and now they lived on as a farming commune far from their aggressive kinfolk to the north. Theirs was a simple life of peace and love.

    Their harmony was disrupted for a moment by the strange arrival of a mysterious blue cabinet of light and wind.

    "Hello, I'm the Doctor and I bring you medicine. Don't ever go north. Your people are dead, you're the last of your kind. Flee south if strange things ever appear, they'll bring you nothing but death." She had adapted the drugs to perfect the mutation process. These people would go through the mutations as normal but they wouldn't get stuck midway like the Daleks, they would return to their current form again.

    "How can we thank you?" Alydon asked the woman.

    "Live well." The Doctor smiled. "Live well."



    The Dalek had an idea. It could adapt its shell to function on solar energy instead of ionised static electricity. It might take a long time to create such changes but it would do it because to not do so was to not be a Dalek.

    It would survive, and it would kill all who threatened the survival of the Daleks.

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