January 14, 1901 - The Manor House, Berkshire
One minute, the carriage had been rolling on the road. Then it had been enveloped by a blue nimbus. Suddenly it was gone. Ace noticed the Doctor's intense agitation.
‘What's wrong, Professor?’
‘Something's going on here, and I've got no idea what it is.’
‘Feeling left out?’
‘Extremely. Carriages don't just disappear without a reason. And when there is a reason I like to know about it. It usually means strange technology is involved, and you know what problems technology causes. Especially in the wrong hands.’
‘That's not the whole story, is it?’
‘Come on Doctor, spill the beans.’
‘Oh all right. I'm annoyed that things are starting to happen which I have no control of what so ever. I feel insignificant. I've got virtually no clues, and a carriage - possibly carrying an Egyptian sarcophagus, purpose unknown - has just vanished under my nose.’
‘I think I detect a note of jealousy.’
‘For once, you have no idea what's going on!’
‘I would have liked to hide that from you a little longer. It gives me my competitive edge.’
‘Well, why aren't you doing anything about it? You could start with that diary under your hand.’ The Doctor looked down. Unconsciously he had rested his hand on George Cartwright's log book.
‘Ace, what would I do without you?’ He began flicking through the pages. ‘Aha, this looks promising.’ He started to read the diary aloud:
The Doctor gazed at the hieroglyphics. Then he grabbed a blackboard and a piece of chalk and began scribbling furiously. As he worked, Ace heard him muttering incomprehensible statements on the Egyptian language as a medium for preserving information.
Sir Arthur had pulled the curtains back from one of the windows and was staring out. ‘Doctor, I think you had better have a look. I think something's moving out there.’
‘Mmm,’ the Doctor replied, totally absorbed with his work.
Ace walked over to the window to try and work out what Sir Arthur had seen. Did something move? There, and there - black shapes darker than the rest.
‘There, finished.’ The Doctor stepped back and admired his handiwork.
His appreciation was interrupted by Ace. 'Doctor!!’ she shouted. Something was wrong.
There was a scream from the hallway, followed by the unmistakable sound of energy weapons. The Doctor turned to see the door open, and Crabtree's inert form slump through.
Before the Doctor could react to Crabtree's plight or Ace's warning, a Dalek appeared in the doorway. The Doctor's heart dropped. How could he hope his most persistent foes weren't involved? However his first obvious reaction was anger.
‘That was unnecessary!’
‘The human had to be subdued,’ the Dalek replied in its harsh parody of a voice. It watched impassively as Sir Arthur rushed to the side of his stricken butler, and moved him out of the way.
The Dalek filed into the room, closely followed by several more. One, the Doctor noticed, sported a different arrangement from the usual sucker arm. It seemed to be some sort of sensor unit, for its arm consisted of several tube-like instruments, built up around a central core. At random intervals these would swivel round, and the Dalek would use a different instrument.
The first Dalek's head swivelled round. ‘Report,’ it grated.
‘Analysis indicates the powersphere is no longer present.’ This seemed to agitate the first Dalek. Its head swung back to face the humanoids.
‘Where is the powersphere?’ As it talked, the Doctor noticed a nervous twitching among the Daleks.
‘I have no idea what you are talking about.’ The sensor Dalek was monitoring the Doctor's reply carefully.
‘The humanoid is telling the truth.’
‘The instruments are wrong!’ The first Dalek screeched. ‘Where is the powersphere?’ it demanded again.
‘Suggestion: the people of this planet are primitives, and may be unaware of the powersphere's existence. It has not manifested itself.’
The first Dalek seemed to consider this proposal. The Doctor had listened to this exchange with interest, and decided it was time to act.
‘Just what do want here anyway? This world is of no use to you. You Daleks always were good at sticking your noses in where they don't belong.’
‘This humanoid is aware of our identities. He may be a threat. Begin scan,’ the first Dalek screeched, getting even more agitated.
The sensor Dalek rolled up to Sir Arthur, and started to scan him. The sensor stick rose and fell, its various parts whirring and clicking as the tubes swivelled around.
Then it moved on to Ace. It spent a longer time, and started to twitch a little more. Finally after what seemed an age, it moved on to the Doctor.
The Doctor was starting to sweat. He was unsure of the technology these Daleks possessed, and whether they could identify him. The Dalek's scan stretched on... and on. After several minutes the Doctor was starting to get impatient.
‘Well, get on with it!’ The Dalek duly recorded this, and then started to get very excited.
‘Report!’ the leader bellowed.
‘Third subject is of extra-terrestrial origin. Physiology resembles that of beings known as Time Lords, natives of Gallifrey. Brain patterns and genetic coding identify subject as entity known as The Doctor. He is an enemy of the Daleks. He has intervened on the Thals' behalf twice in our recorded history.’
‘I've always wanted to know how you Daleks do that. There are times when I am truly amazed by how fast you identify me.’ As he suspected the Daleks could not resist the temptation to gloat.
‘Your records were on our computers from the moment of our creation. Experience with Gallifreyans has indicated they are capable of both changing their appearance and time travel. For this reason, Dalek technology found it necessary to devise a way of readily identifying potential threats. Fortunately, physiological and neurological data on the Time Lord known as the Doctor already existed, enabling ready identification.’
The Doctor delved deep into his memories. From the moment they were created, records existed of the Doctor. It must have when he had been sent to Skaro to try and eliminate the Daleks. His brow furrowed in concentration. Of course! The security check into the bunker. Who was it? Nyder, yes he had run the Doctor through some sort of scanning device. He sighed. So the Daleks would always know who he was. Or had been. That was the tricky thing with time. What would have happened if he hadn't been sent to Skaro? Would they have been able to follow him in their own time machine all those years ago? Or snatch Jamie and he from Gatwick Airport to Victorian England, to perform a series of bizarre experiments?
Now was not the time to dwell on the past though.
‘You still haven't explained what you're doing here.’
‘Silence! You are in our power!’
‘Too embarrassed to admit you've made a mistake?’
‘Silence! We are the superior beings! We do not make mistakes!’
‘But you have, haven't you? You've lost it! Now things are slipping out of control. You were beaten to it. Beaten to it by someone who is aware of its power.’ The Doctor's barrage was unrelenting on the agitated Dalek.
Desperately, it tried to reassert its authority. 'Silence! You will obey! You will obey!’
‘Obey you? A bunch of overgrown dustbins?’
‘Where is the powersphere?’
‘So that's what you lost. Thought you would have progressed beyond that by now.’ The Dalek was enraged by this insult to Dalek technology. The person who said Daleks were emotionless lied, thought the Doctor to himself. They might have no compassion, but their egos were enormous.
‘Where is it?’
‘I really don't think I should tell you.’
‘You will obey the Daleks!’
‘Suggestion:’ the sensor Dalek interrupted. ‘The fabric in the female's clothes is not congruent with the technology level of this planet. It would be safe to assume she was brought by the Time Lord. He may value her.’
‘Doctor,’ the Dalek grated, its voice falling to a whisper as it realized its trump card. ‘You will reveal the location of the powersphere, or the female will be exterminated.’ To emphasize his point, his gunstick rose to train on Ace, as did the other Daleks' weapons.
Several long seconds passed by. Sweat formed on the Doctor's brow.
‘All right. I'll tell.’
‘Doctor, don't do it!’ Ace screamed.
‘I hid the powersphere.’
‘The Gallifreyan is lying! He is trying to hide something,’ the sensor Dalek announced. The leader noted this with interest.
‘Move to the window.’
‘I will not!’
‘Doctor!’ Ace's voice was alarmed, as the Daleks moved closer. Their sucker arms started to telescope outwards, prodding the humanoids into position. It was then that Ace saw the blackboard the Doctor had been standing in front of. The Dalek spent several seconds examining it with his eyestalk. Then it addressed the other Daleks.
‘The powersphere has been stolen by a group of fanatics, who hope to use it to resurrect their leader. They will carry out the ritual in a building at these co-ordinates. Relay them to the mothership.’ He then read out a string of numbers, which were meaningless to Ace.
‘Inform the mothership that we will rendezvous with the shuttlecraft and reclaim the powersphere.’
‘But how are we to get to the meeting point?’
‘We will use the Gallifreyan's time machine.’ The leader turned to the Doctor. ‘Resistance is useless. Do not try to escape.’
The Doctor was crest-fallen as they were herded outside, and round to the TARDIS. Every time it was captured, the results had been tragic. He couldn't help remember the deaths of Adric and Lytton, as a result of his carelessness with the Cybermen. Now he was surrendering control to the Daleks.
Sadly, he unlocked the TARDIS door, and the group filed in. He strode over to the console, and started punching in the co-ordinates. The Daleks milled around, apparently at a loss. The sensor Dalek was examining everything, its sensor stick spinning round. Ace walked over to see what the Doctor was doing. She had managed to snatch back her tape deck when the Daleks weren't looking, and it was swinging from her shoulder.
‘So what are you doing?’
‘Trying to concentrate.’ As they spoke several Daleks headed through the inner door, leaving only the leader and the sensor Dalek.
‘When I say now, duck and try and push the leader out of the door,’ the Doctor whispered.
‘Won't that be dangerous?’ Ace replied urgently.
‘NOW!!’ the Doctor bellowed. Ace dropped to the ground, while the Doctor dived forward, knocking both Sir Arthur and himself to the ground. At the same time the leader fired, missing the time travellers, but blowing the top off the sensor Dalek.
Then Ace and the Doctor were on their knees, pushing the struggling Dalek outside. As it passed through the exit, the Doctor leapt back to the console and closed the doors. He breathed a sigh of relief.
‘Aren't you forgetting something?’ Ace reminded him. 'The other Daleks?’
‘Oh yes. Still got your tape deck? Good.’ He checked the tape. ‘Jazz. My favourite.’ He adjusted the controls, inserted the tape and started it playing.
‘I don't hear anything, Doctor.’
‘That, Ace, is because it is being broadcast on the exact frequency the Daleks use to operate.’
‘You mean their brains are being scrambled?’
‘Ahh, Doctor. I see you managed to remove those infernal creatures,’ Sir Arthur said, rising a little uncertainly to his feet.
‘Unfortunately, they're still outside. I'm afraid you're going to have to stick with us till we sort out this mess, Sir Arthur.’
‘I could use a change of scenery, anyway.’ Grinning, the Doctor pushed down the dematerialisation lever, and the TARDIS disappeared.
Outside, the Dalek leader seethed as the TARDIS dematerialised.
‘The Doctor has escaped,’ it grated. ‘Destroy the building.’ The Dalek watched impassively as the other units surrounded the house and started to fire. Soon their weapons had done their deadly work, and Sir Arthur's mansion was a blazing inferno. As the flames licked through the aged timbers, the Dalek screeched.
‘You have not evaded us, Doctor. We will find you, and destroy you!’