11: Executioner

Tegan was horrified. ‘Doctor!’

‘I must!’ the Doctor insisted. ‘Davros created the Daleks. He must not be allowed to save them.’

‘But murder?’

‘Once before I held back from destroying the Daleks. It was a mistake I do not intend to repeat. Davros must die!’

Mercer stepped forward. ‘I'm coming with you.’


‘I can show you where he is,’ the Lieutenant argued.

‘I'm coming too,’ added Stien. ‘I wouldn't mind a taste of revenge.’

‘All right,’ the Doctor conceded reluctantly, and turned to Tegan and Turlough. ‘Wait as long as you can. But should the Daleks attack, you leave at once.’

‘But what about you?’ Tegan demanded.

The Doctor looked at her for a moment in silence, and then turned and left, followed by Mercer and Stien.

Tegan gave Turlough an appalled look.

On the laboratory scanner screen, Davros and Kiston watched as the Doctor was led through the station airlock by Stien and Mercer, as though they were prisoner and escort. Stien and Mercer carried lasers, but the Doctor was unarmed.

‘Could this be the Doctor?’ Davros wondered.

‘The prisoner is certainly important,’ Kiston observed. ‘The one on the left is Stien, a member of Lytton's Special Guard. He wouldn't be assigned to escort duty otherwise.’

Davros turned to Kiston. ‘The Doctor and his TARDIS,’ he mused. ‘Perfect.’

Turlough watched the scanner screen which displayed two Daleks approaching the TARDIS.

‘That's it,’ he said dismissively. ‘Let's go. The Doctor'll never get back.’

‘We wait,’ replied Tegan firmly.

Lytton was leading members of his Special Guard along a corridor of the space station. They were hunting the Doctor. He raised his right hand and they halted while he spoke into his helmet communicator. ‘Lytton.’

‘Davros has gained control of two Daleks,’ the Dalek Supreme informed him. ‘They are in the reception area attempting to enter the Doctor's TARDIS. You must exterminate them.’

‘At once,’ Lytton confirmed.

‘You must also destroy Davros!’ the Supreme added. ‘He is unreliable. He cannot be trusted.’

Lytton switched off his com-link and turned to Grogan. ‘Take two men and kill Davros,’ he instructed. ‘I'm going to the reception area.’

The door of Davros's laboratory slid open and the Doctor, Mercer and Stien entered. Mercer and Stien stood on guard by the door, their weapons raised. Mercer had a second laser clipped to his belt.

‘Welcome, Doctor...’ said Davros, as the Time Lord stepped forward. ‘I have waited many years for this meeting.’

‘I'm sorry to have detained you,’ the Doctor replied.

‘It was but a pleasure deferred.’ Davros's voice hardened. ‘Now you are here, you will repay tenfold for the mental agony I have suffered.’

‘I'll say one thing for you, Davros. Your conversation is totally predictable,’ the Doctor observed. ‘You're like a deranged child. Always talking of killing, revenge and destruction.’

‘It is the only path to ultimate power.’

‘But to what end?’ the Doctor asked. ‘Just more suffering for those unfortunate enough to survive.’

‘Only for those who resist my will.’

The Doctor turned to Mercer, who silently handed him his laser.

‘What are you doing?’ Davros asked nervously.

‘Until I walked through that door, I foolishly hoped you had changed enough for me not to have to do this,’ the Doctor said quietly, levelling the gun at Davros's head.

‘Stien, kill him!’ Davros ordered, on the verge of panic.

‘I'm not here as your prisoner, Davros! But as your executioner.’

Davros became very calm. ‘Listen to me. In your way, you are not an unambitious man. Like me, you are a renegade,’ he said persuasively.

‘Save your breath,’ the Doctor advised.

Davros chose a different tack. ‘I had planned to completely redesign the Daleks. Kiston will confirm I am telling the truth...’

‘It is so,’ Kiston answered automatically.

‘My mistake was making them totally ruthless. It restricted their ability to cope with creatures who rely not only on logic, but instinct and intuition. That is a factor I wish to correct.’

‘And compassion?’ the Doctor asked, lowering his gun and moving closer. ‘Are they to be programmed for that?’

‘They will learn to recognise the strength that can be drawn from such an emotion.’

‘But only to make the Daleks more efficient killers?’

‘To make them a more positive force,’ Davros insisted.

‘For destruction!’ the Doctor exclaimed.

‘The Universe is at war, Doctor. Name one planet whose history is not littered with atrocities and ambition for empire. It is a universal way of life.’

‘Which I do not accept!’ the Doctor stated bluntly.

‘Then you deny what is real. Join me! You will have total power at the head of a new Dalek army.’

This exchange was interrupted by Stien. ‘Doctor,’ he said urgently, and pointed at the scanner screen, now showing a view of the corridor outside the laboratory.

‘Outside,’ said the Doctor urgently. ‘Deal with them.’

Mercer unclipped his own laser from his belt, and then he and Stien left.

‘To be honest, Davros,’ the Doctor said, aiming his laser at the Dalek creator once more, ‘I wouldn't know what to do with an army.’

In the TARDIS console room, Tegan and Turlough listened to the sound of Dalek lasers as Davros's Daleks attempted to break through the TARDIS's defences.

‘Don't look so worried,’ Tegan told Turlough. ‘Others have tried to break in before.’

Before Turlough could reply, an electronic noise started to howl from the console. ‘What's that?’ Tegan asked.

Turlough examined the console readings, and as he did so, the central column started to rise and fall, indicating that the TARDIS was taking off.

‘The Doctor pre-set the controls on the timer,’ Turlough told her. ‘We're going to Earth!’

Tegan stared at him. ‘He didn't intend to return,’ she said quietly.

The floor suddenly tilted at forty-five degrees, and they clung on to the console. The TARDIS engines began to roar.

‘What's happening?’ Tegan shouted over the din.

Turlough pulled himself up to get a look at the TARDIS computer screen. ‘We're travelling down the Daleks' time corridor. We're being dragged back to the warehouse!’

The two Daleks ceased firing as the police box faded from sight. One Dalek glided over to the wall controls and activated the temporal scanner. ‘The TARDIS has entered the time corridor,’ it reported.

Its companion moved to the time corridor entrance. ‘We will follow and capture it on Earth.’

The Doctor was still pointing his laser at Davros's head.

‘You hesitate, Doctor,’ Davros observed. ‘If I were you, I would be dead.’

‘I lack your practise in killing, Davros.’

‘You are soft, like all Time Lords,’ Davros said scathingly. ‘You prefer to stand and watch. Action requires courage; something you lack.’

Stien was attempting to bluff the two troopers outside the laboratory.

‘Don't argue,’ he barked at them, sergeant-major style. ‘You are to report to Commander Lytton at once.’

The troopers' expressions betrayed their lack of conviction.

‘Perhaps I can convince you,’ Mercer suggested, and promptly shot them both dead.

‘Did you have to?’ asked Stien quietly.

Mercer glanced at him contemptuously. ‘Help me with the bodies,’ he instructed. As they dragged them away Stien suddenly stumbled.

‘Now what?’ asked Mercer.

‘The Dalek conditioning...’ Stien explained. ‘It's starting to take hold again.’

‘You should have stayed in the TARDIS,’ Mercer told him.

A voice said, ‘Drop your guns,’ and Mercer and Stien looked up to see three troopers standing at the end of the corridor, guns raised. These were the troopers Lytton had sent to kill Davros.

Stien recognised their leader, Grogan, and for a moment was confused. ‘It's all right,’ he assured Mercer. ‘They're our troopers.’

Mercer stared at him incredulously. ‘They're Dalek troopers!’ He fired, killing one of them, but the other two fired back, and Mercer fell dead at Stien's feet.

Stien started firing wildly, killing another trooper. Grogan fired again, and Stien fell to his knees, wounded. Grogan started forward, but Stien found the strength to raise his weapon and fire once at close range.

Grogan died instantly.

Alerted by the sounds of weapons firing, the Doctor backed out of the laboratory, his gun still trained on Davros.

Outside in the corridor, Stien was lying against a wall next to the bodies of the troopers and Mercer. He raised his laser as the Doctor approached. ‘Stay where you are!’ he warned.

‘You need medical attention,’ the Doctor told him, crouching down beside him.

‘I can't control my mind. I'm not safe. I caused Mercer's death... I've got to get away from here.’ Stien stood up painfully.

‘No, wait!’ the Doctor insisted, leaping to his feet. ‘Look, I can help you. Go back to the TARDIS.’

‘No... Don't try to follow me,’ Stien advised unsteadily. ‘I may cause your death.’ With that, he ran off down the corridor.

The Doctor looked after him, and then turned to re-enter the laboratory; just as the door slid shut.

‘I'm an imbecile,’ the Doctor muttered, and kicked the door in frustration before heading back towards the Dalek ship and the time corridor terminal.

Lytton was just entering the time corridor reception area, where three of his troopers awaited him, when the Supreme Dalek contacted him on his helmet communicator once more.

‘Your troopers have failed,’ the Dalek reported. ‘Davros still lives.’

‘Then shoot the space station down,’ Lytton advised. ‘Kill everything on it.’

‘I must see him dead. I have despatched Daleks to complete the task you failed. You must redeem yourself. You must destroy the Daleks of Davros.’

‘Where are they?’ asked Lytton.

‘You must follow them to Earth. You must exterminate them.’

Lytton switched off his communicator, went to a wall locker in the reception area, removed a bundle of clothing which he tucked under his arm, and then ushered his troopers into the time corridor terminal...

The TARDIS console room righted itself as the craft landed, and Tegan operated the scanner screen to show a view of the lower level of the warehouse, just outside the entrance to the army camp.

‘What do we do now?’ Turlough asked.

‘We must think,’ replied Tegan. ‘We have to find a way to help the Doctor.’

Stien slowed to a halt in a deserted area of the space station. He leaned against the wall, clutching his side. ‘It isn't any good,’ he muttered to himself. ‘Got to be more positive.’

He staggered forward and came to a corridor junction. ‘Self-destruct,’ he said. ‘I must find the self-destruct chamber.’

Tegan emerged from the TARDIS and looked around. The lower level of the warehouse appeared to be deserted.

Turlough followed her out, closing the door. ‘This is lunacy,’ he complained.

‘Quiet!’ hissed Tegan. ‘The soldiers might hear you.’

‘What's the point?’ asked Turlough, as Tegan moved away. ‘We can't get back to the Dalek ship.’

Tegan turned to face him. ‘The Doctor may get back,’ she insisted. ‘Some other opportunity may arise. I don't know.’ She moved away again.

‘Absolute madness,’ Turlough muttered.

Tegan stopped at the entrance to the camp site. ‘The virus in those cylinders is the only effective thing we've got to fight the Daleks with. Come on!’

She entered the camp, and Turlough reluctantly followed.

Kiston donned his trooper breastplate, gloves and helmet, and then opened a side pouch in the trousers of his uniform. Davros handed him a number of the egg-shaped virus containers prepared by the chemist, and he stowed them in the pouch. ‘Go,’ Davros instructed. ‘Release the virus in the Dalek ship.’

The duplicates of Archer, Calder and Private Mellor hid behind crates on the upper level of the warehouse and watched as two Daleks and three troopers emerged from the time corridor.

‘Davros's Daleks?’ ‘Calder’ asked ‘Archer’.

‘Archer’ held a small communications device to his ear. ‘They are to be destroyed,’ he reported. ‘It is the Supreme Dalek's order.’

The duplicate soldiers drew their weapons. One of the Daleks advanced on their hiding place, its eyestalk casting around the room. ‘The TARDIS is not on this level,’ it stated. ‘We must search elsewhere.’

‘Now!’ shouted ‘Archer’, and he and his men emerged from hiding, directing a volley of fire, but the troopers and the Daleks had the superior firepower, and the duplicates died screaming.

Below in the campsite, Turlough looked up nervously at the faintly heard sounds of death. ‘Surely one's enough?’ he said nervously, and moved away from standing over the buried cylinders to examine the one still lying on the cot where Tegan and Laird had left it.

‘We need another,’ Tegan told him, kneeling in the soil, and trying to dig out a second cylinder unsuccessfully with her fingers. Eventually she conceded his point, and got up, brushing dirt from her hands and legs. ‘All right,’ she said crossly. ‘Let's get back to the TARDIS.’ She picked up the cylinder from the cot and walked out of the room.

Stien peered through the hole that had been blasted in the side wall of the self-destruct chamber. He moved to the corner of the corridor, saw the two troopers standing on guard at the doorway, and pulled back unseen...

The renegade Daleks and troopers were still searching the upper level of the warehouse. As they moved into an adjoining room, the time corridor activated again, and Lytton materialised with three troopers.

The Daleks swiftly returned at the sound of the troopers' materialisation, and Lytton yelled ‘Take cover!’ They all dived behind crates and started firing.

The Dalek commander and two scout warriors stood in the time corridor terminal on the Dalek ship. ‘We are ready to descend,’ reported the Dalek commander to the Supreme Dalek.

‘Everything in the warehouse must be exterminated,’ the Supreme instructed him. ‘Including Lytton and his troopers.’

‘We obey.’

The terminal shutter slid shut - just as the Doctor entered the reception area. Looking around, he saw the locker that Lytton had opened minutes earlier, and going over to investigate, found two small magnetic Dalekenium bombs which he pocketed. He then went over to the terminal controls and pressed a button. The shutter opened for him.

Kiston and the chemist were moving down a corridor towards the Dalek ship when a Dalek appeared behind them. ‘Stop!’ it commanded.

They stopped and turned.

‘Exterminate!’ the Dalek screeched, and blasted them both down. As he fell, a blue egg fell from Kiston's outstretched hand, unharmed.

The battle on the upper level of the warehouse between Lytton's troopers and Davros's Daleks and troopers was continuing. Soon nearly all of the troopers on both sides were dead. As one of the Daleks glided past the body of Lytton, he opened his eyes...

Stien braced himself, and then emerged from around the corner, catching the two self-destruct chamber guards by surprise. He gunned them both down before they had time to react. Clutching his stomach in pain, Stien stepped over their bodies and entered the chamber. He smiled grimly.

The Supreme Dalek watched Stien in the self-destruct chamber on its scanner screen. ‘Daleks to the self-destruct chamber,’ it ordered. ‘A hostile has broken in. ‘Emergency! Emergency! He must be stopped!’

‘We must find the TARDIS. That is our prime mission,’ stated the first Dalek renegade as they patrolled the warehouse. ‘We must obey Davros.’ The renegade Daleks glided away, followed by their one surviving trooper.

Behind them, three more Daleks materialised in the time corridor. The renegades halted. ‘What is happening?’ asked the second Dalek renegade.

‘The Supreme Dalek wishes us destroyed,’ reported the first renegade. ‘We are being attacked. The invading Daleks must be exterminated!’

The Dalek commander started forward, surveying the warehouse. ‘We must find the traitors,’ he instructed his two scouts. ‘The enemies of the Daleks must be destroyed.’

The two renegade Daleks emerged from the shadows. ‘We are not traitors,’ the first renegade replied. ‘We serve our creator, Davros.’

‘The Supreme Dalek is your ruler,’ said the Dalek commander. ‘The Supreme must be obeyed at all times.’

‘Davros must be honoured,’ retorted the first renegade.

‘He must be exterminated!’ the Dalek commander insisted. ‘Nothing must interfere with the true destiny of the Daleks! You must be exterminated!’

This was picked up by the commander's two scouts who echoed his words, ‘Exterminated! Exterminated!’

The Dalek commander and the first renegade Dalek fired simultaneously, each destroying the other.

In the background, unnoticed by the warring Dalek factions, the Doctor materialised at the end of the time corridor, and dived for cover behind a crate.

Four more Daleks materialised in the warehouse, and while they were still gaining their bearings, the Doctor nipped out from behind his crate and slapped one of the magnetised bombs on a metal plate between one of the Daleks' sucker arm and gun stick.

He dived back under cover again as the Dalek exploded in a shower of metal, plastic and organic fluids.

The one remaining renegade Dalek was holding its own against the Supreme's Daleks.

The Doctor moved behind another crate as a Dalek emerged from a doorway, and skimmed the second of his bombs across the floor. It struck the edge of the Dalek's casing and it erupted in a sheet of flame.

The Doctor emerged from hiding and made a dash for the stairs to the lower level. As he passed, Lytton raised himself on his elbows and fired, but the Time Lord ducked nimbly out of the doorway.

Tegan and Turlough were crouched on the floor of the TARDIS console room, intently studying the cylinder of Movellan virus, when the doors opened and the Doctor entered.

‘Doctor!’ exclaimed Tegan, intensely relieved to see him safe and unharmed.

‘Well done,’ the Doctor said, observing the cylinder.

Turlough got to his feet. ‘We've been trying to open the cylinder,’ he explained. ‘I warned her that she could start an epidemic if she released the virus.’

‘The virus is only partial to Dalek,’ the Doctor explained. ‘It would die once it's done its work.’

‘What's happening up on the next floor?’ Tegan wanted to know.

The Doctor looked up. ‘Lunch has arrived for our friend here,’ he quipped, indicating the cylinder.

Tegan winced slightly at the callousness of the Doctor's off-hand remark, but her feelings were plain enough to see. Events had taken their toll on the Doctor's young Australian companion. The Doctor attempted to give her an apologetic, reassuring smile, then rather self-consciously busied himself at the console.

Davros was at the rear of the laboratory. He pressed a switch on his chair and a portion of the wall slid away to reveal the interior of an emergency escape pod. Wary of her safety, the late Doctor Styles had been careful to maintain an exit for herself in the event of disaster or an attack on the station. The instrumentation indicated that everything was ready for immediate departure.

‘My escape route is prepared,’ he murmured, and closed the shutter before returning to a table where a few blue eggs of the virus sat. He picked one up and crushed it in his hand. A thick cloud of gas poured out. ‘Now for the Daleks!’ he declared, and threw the container to the floor.

Suddenly the laboratory door exploded and two Daleks entered.

‘I did not summon your assistance!’ Davros shouted.

‘We are here to exterminate you,’ a Dalek announced.

‘By whose order?’ Davros demanded to know.

‘The Supreme Dalek's,’ replied its companion.

‘Exterminate me and you abandon your lives without purpose. Join me and I will make you rulers of the Universe!’

At this point, both Daleks began spewing foam from their casings.

‘Malfunction! Emergency!’ they began screeching.

‘Your lives are over!’ Davros declared triumphantly.

Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Epilogue