The Power of the Daleks Prologue

By David Lawrence

Some say that evil has no name. It is an entity which exists in a universe all of its own and it is frequently attempting to break from that universe into our own.

Much of the time it succeeds.

Once inside our universe it is frequently attempting to cause chaos and destruction; that which evil breeds on. Without it evil cannot flourish and is forced back into its own dimensions. Forced into banishment.

Evil does not like banishment.

Nor does it like defeat. There are those who constantly travel the universe in search of evil, to fight against the chaos and destruction and return evil to its shadow dimension. There are others who do not look for evil but manage to find it anyway.

And then there are those that evil looks for itself.

Those who constantly defeat evil eventually find that they cannot get away. Evil starts to avenge itself; it hunts out those who have caused its banishment and tries to destroy them. The hunted has little choice but to battle and defeat the evil, and then fight the evil which follows it, and so on, until fighting evil becomes a life-long occupation.

Some say that evil has no name.

In many cases, such as this one, they are wrong.

The capsule moved sleekly through the blackness of space. It made no sound; or rather any sound it made was unheard due to the vacuum it existed in. It moved speedily as well - after all, it was on a fairly important mission.

One came into the main section. ‘Report status.’

Two and Three were still linked into the main computer. Two responded. ‘Status firm. Still on course to dock with mothership in precisely nine centi-units.’

‘Good.’ One swung round and headed to the information retrieval bank. ‘Is the information secure?’

Three linked into the main network. Images flooded through his brain. Many images, clustered into a gigantic ball of thought. ‘Affirmative.’

One felt an unusual emotion - satisfaction. That meant that everything was running to plan; within nine centi-units they would arrive at central command and relay the information concerning their deadliest enemy, the Ka Faraq Gatri, to the Executioners, and using the newly developed time/space travelling machine they would hunt down the time/space machine of the Ka Faraq Gatri and destroy him completely.

One felt a sudden surge of excitement through his neuroceptors; like his entire race he took pleasure in the death of enemies - like all universal races, then. But then, One thought, most universal races would not have had to deal with an enemy like the Ka Faraq Gatri - a benevolent, cunning creature capable of deception and destruction on an unimaginable scale; truly an adversary with as much intelligence as they had, if not more.

One did not realise that other races had dealt with the Ka Faraq Gatri - more races than One would have thought possible for one single person alone.

What made this enemy so dangerous, so unpredictable? One had an urge to know. He plugged himself into information retrieval and waited.

Information flooded from the console into his head. At first there was so much all at once that it made no sense at all. One concentrated on a single pattern and the information came up before him in an order that went back from the beginning of the end.

A slender face, cat-like with sleek grey hair running over the scalp. Then a round, dark face, foreboding and mystical. Next a chubby face with a stern glare of superiority to others, with a short burst of sandy blonde curly hair. Next a youthful face, with flowing locks of blonde hair neatly parted at the side. Following this a grinning face with wide eyes and flashing white teeth, and an untidy mop of curly brown hair badly positioned in a mess on top of his head. This face soon disappeared to be replaced with an older face; stern and intelligent, with a great beak of a nose splattered in the centre of the face. Next was a round and seemingly ageless face with a mischievous grin fixed on it, far below a neat mop of dark black hair. Finally was the original face of this cunning, shape-changing enemy - that of an old man with long white hair.

An alarm began to ring. One was absorbed in data consumption and did not hear it.

‘Sensors indicate vessel identified as hostile force in flight path.’ Three sounded almost worried.

Two plugged into the weapons station. ‘Visual contact has been established.’

The small screen activated and showed a barrel-shaped ship glistening with weapons.

The alarm continued to blare. ‘Identify,’ screeched Two.

‘Battle cruiser,’ reported Three. ‘Deep Space Combat vehicle.’

Two recognised it. A Draconian warship; Star Tiger class. A ship that had been attacking their fleets for over what humans would term as a year. Captained by a renegade human who seemed intent on destroying them completely.

The ship came at them, laser cannons blazing away. The ship was rocked by a violent blast.

‘Out of control,’ screamed Three as the ship plummeted out of the sky towards the nearby planet.

‘Full systems shutdown,’ ordered Two as the surface of the planet loomed closer and closer.

One continued to absorb information concerning the Ka Faraq Gatri. Soon he too would be closed down.

The information would never reach the central command ship.

The old man sat slumped in the seat, his eyes closed, his body unmoving. His face was old, wrinkled, and he had a long flow of white hair.

Ben Jackson frowned as he examined the Doctor. He glanced over at Polly. ‘What's happened to him?’ he asked, a nervous edge to his voice.

Polly shrugged as she got to her feet. ‘I don't know. He seemed to faint when you came through the door.’

Ben chuckled in a vain attempt to lighten the tone of this situation. ‘My presence that overpowering, is it?’ he joked in his distinct cockney accent. He leaned over the Doctor and snapped his fingers. ‘Come on, Doc,’ he said loudly, as though he assumed the old man was deaf, ‘wakey, wakey.’

The Doctor's eyes opened almost instantly. He glared at his young companion. ‘Don't call me ‘Doc'!’ he growled.

‘It's all right,’ continued Ben, ‘it's all over now.’

In a way Ben was right. The Cybermen had been defeated in their attempt to take over Earth. Their home planet, Earth's twin, Mondas, had disintegrated, and the Cybermen had gone with it. What Ben feared now was that the Doctor might be headed the same way.

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. ‘What did you say? It's all over? Is that what you said?’ His eyes twinkled; he attempted weakly to smile. ‘That's where you're wrong, my boy,’ he said with a chuckle. ‘It's not over yet, not by a long way...’

Ben looked back at Polly. She shrugged. He turned back to the Doctor. ‘What are you on about?’ he asked.

In a sudden, quick movement the Doctor got to his feet. There was an expression of panic on his face, and also in his voice as he straightened to his full height. ‘We must return to the TARDIS,’ he snapped quickly.

Polly placed a hand on his arm. ‘What's the matter?’ she asked.

He shook off her arm. ‘We must return now,’ he said. Pulling his cloak close to him, he left the ship as fast as his worn out legs would carry him.

Ben and Polly rushed to the exit after him. They looked out. Through the snow they could see the Doctor hurrying towards the familiar old blue police box. Ben picked up one of the sub Antarctic coats they had ‘borrowed’ from the polar tracking station and handed it to Polly. ‘Come on,’ he said as he put the other one on himself, ‘we'd better get after him.’

It wasn't over yet - not by a long way...

They had been there a long time.

The pilot awoke. The vestigial power that remained in his energy unit had revived him. His sensors reached out through the capsule in an attempt to find thought traces of the other three.

He could find no trace of them. It appeared that they were no longer awake, but the pilot was sure that they were still thinking. Thoughts are private; and he could not reach theirs. He tried desperately to contact them but could not. Instead he met with empty minds. Cold, immaculate, waiting for a revival that at this point seemed unlikely.

The pilot tried to move. At first the gyros were slow to respond, but within several minutes they were functioning again. The pilot turned and freed himself from the control position. He moved a few inches and attempted to open the door. As the pilot had suspected, the power to the door was cut off, as it was from the rest of the ship. Once the pilot had made a physical link with the door he attempted to transfer a small amount of power to it - small, but large enough to open it. To the pilot's surprise this was a success. The door slid open - slower than usual - and the pilot came out in a hatchway which led to the main section. He saw the sleepers - he had been right, they were asleep. The pilot did not have enough power to revive them.

The power would be best served, then, using it to try something else. The pilot went over to the tightly sealed door to the entry compartment. The doors were inoperable, the pilot discovered. To open them he would need the key; and he did not have it. He did not know where it was, nor did he have the power to search for it.

There was no hope, then; not yet, anyway. The pilot had no choice but to return to his position, shut down, and wait for however long it took for someone to find the ship, open it and revive them.

The pilot had the strange suspicion that they wouldn't have that long to wait...

The pilot had been right. It wasn't a long wait; a mere two hundred years. Throughout those two hundred years, the capsule remained where it was, sealed and impregnable, deep beneath the swamp, where it seemed unlikely anyone would ever find it.

Unlikely. Not impossible.

A hundred years after the capsule had made its arrival on the planet, which would come to be named Vulcan, more space capsules arrived. But these contained Humans, who were very anxious to spread their already fairly large empire, so they colonised the planet. Within fifty years the planet had new buildings and domes built over a considerable part of its mass. All sorts of people inhabited the colony - scientists who wanted peace and quiet from the chaotic, though not evil, homeworld, Earth, families or couples who wanted more room than the standard allowance of space on the overcrowded planet Earth, people such as hardened criminals who wanted to start their lives again, a new beginning, away from people who knew their past history. The list of reasons for immigrating to outer worlds was endless.

And so it seemed inevitable, then, that one day the capsule would be found, and its passengers unleashed upon an unsuspecting world...

Janley shivered in the cold. The night mists were beginning to fall and soon it would be dangerous to be outside. It had been said that the mercury gases that filled the air at night were lethal to the human mind when inhaled. Janley remembered stories of people who had breathed them in and gone insane.

In fact, thought Janley, the whole planet was enough to drive someone insane. But at least it was better than Earth. At least the air wasn't thick with pollution - not yet, anyway. Knowing the human race, it seemed only a matter of time before the colony on Vulcan would be pumping waste into the atmosphere and making the chances of air poisoning more likely. One thing was sure - there was no way she was ever going to wear an air supply tank all day ever again. By now the human race should have learnt its lesson so far as pollution went.

Pria Janley was young, in her mid-twenties. She was quite tall and fairly slim. She had an attractive round face and shoulder-length auburn hair. She had an almost seductive look about her. She wore a cream tunic and trousers which indicated that she was of Vulcan's scientific division.

She was also bored. She wanted to return to the colony. She could understand Lesterson's enthusiasm for this examination, but they had been caught up in it for three days now and had found absolutely nothing. She hated pointless work which led nowhere. She liked to think that what she was doing was of some benefit to someone, even if it was in the most remote of capacities.

She had no idea of the benefit their work was to the most unimaginable evil. Had she known she would have regretted it.

‘How much longer?’ she asked aloud. She was sick to death of waiting.

Lesterson didn't look up from where he was crouched at the foot of the mercury swamp ahead. ‘Just a little bit more,’ he said, lowering the cable with the detector probe attached to the end deeper into the bubbling pool. He nodded to her. ‘Check the readings,’ he ordered.

She sighed and moved over to the small portable detector unit and looked at the small screen. ‘Nothing,’ she told him. ‘No trace of any sort of capsule.’

‘It must be down there somewhere,’ Lesterson muttered as he lowered the cable another few metres. ‘It must be!’

Suddenly there was a clunk. The detector unit began bleeping madly. Janley rushed over to it and frowned. ‘You were right!’ she exclaimed as she took in the information. She didn't even think about her previous lack of enthusiasm or her doubt. ‘There is something down there!’

Lesterson was ecstatic. ‘I told you! I told you it was down there!’

Janley nodded; she almost regretted disbelieving him.

His wide grin disappeared to be replaced by a solemn frown. ‘Call the colony,’ he said as he recorded the readings on the detector unit in a notebook. ‘We'll need them to lay on a crane to get this thing out. It looks fairly big.’

‘No.’ Her voice was firm and insistent, like that of a mother scolding a child. ‘The mercury gases will have risen soon.’

His face fell. ‘Surely you don't believe all that rubbish and superstition about them driving people insane...’

She continued to shake her head. ‘There's plenty of time tomorrow. It's been there long enough. Another day won't make a terrible amount of difference.’

Lesterson shrugged glumly and got to his feet. ‘I suppose you're right,’ he said resignedly. ‘It's hardly likely to disappear overnight - unless your mythical mercury gases drive it insane.’

She scowled. They packed up the equipment and returned to the colony, leaving the mercury swamps to bubble and hiss.

Leaving the sleeping evil to sleep for one more day.

Roshe Hensell, the Governor of Vulcan, sat behind his desk in his office at the heart of the colony. He wore a dark blue tunic with a patch on the chest which indicated he was the highest position possible on this planet, that of Governor.

Hensell had been the Governor for the last fifteen years of his life. He was about fifty, with slicked back white hair and a short beard.

His office was an adequate size. It was quite empty except for the large desk he sat at, which was cluttered with various files and papers. The intercom buzzed. Hensell pressed the single button on it. ‘Yes?’

‘Security Commander Bragen is here to see you, Governor,’ a pleasant voice informed him.

‘Thank you,’ Hensell said. ‘Send him in.’

He looked up at the doors as they opened and Security Commander Charles Bragen entered.

Bragen was both taller and younger than Hensell. He was confident and ultimately ambitious. Hensell was wary of ambitious men. Bragen had a certain charm, though. Hensell couldn't quite make out what it was. Perhaps it was his name, Charles, which came from Old Earth, a name which like many had fallen into disuse over the centuries, like many of the other old and more preferable names of the past.

Hensell smiled, ‘Bragen. Sit down.’

Bragen obliged and sat in the chair facing Hensell's desk.

Hensell continued. ‘What can I do for you?’

‘I just thought you might like to know,’ Bragen told him, ‘the capsule Lesterson found in the swamps has been transferred to the scientific division's dome.’

Hensell raised an eyebrow in surprise. ‘That must have been quite a difficult feat. From what I hear it's quite large.’

Bragen nodded. ‘They had to remove the top of the dome in order to lower it in.’

‘Right, thank you for letting me know.’ Hensell leaned foward in his seat. ‘Is that all?’


Hensell resisted a smile. I didn't think it would be, he mused silently to himself.

‘Well, as you can imagine, Lesterson is anxious to open it as soon as possible - with your permission, of course.’

‘Do you really think it's wise, Bragen, what with all the rebel activity within the colony?’

Bragen considered this. ‘Perhaps we should radio Earth for an Examiner?’

‘No.’ Hensell was quite definite. ‘I don't want to involve Earth, not unless I have to.’ I don't want to risk losing my job before I'm ready.’

‘You're sure?’

‘Yes. Tell Mr Lesterson he is not to open the capsule. Who knows what kind of bacteria or space plagues the thing might contain.’

Bragen frowned. ‘Lesterson won't be very happy about that.’

Hensell nodded. ‘And Earth won't be too happy to learn that an entire colony has been wiped out by a virus released from a two hundred year-old capsule buried in a mercury swamp. My final answer is no, Mr Bragen. If I reconsider my decision I'll let you know.’

Bragen got up. ‘Very well,’ he said resignedly. ‘Thank you for your time, Governor.’

‘Thank you, Mr Bragen,’ Hensell replied as the Head of Security left the room.

He sighed and leaned back in his chair.

Whether or not he had been granted permission, it was too late. Lesterson had already opened the capsule.

As the interior hatch slid open, he shone the flashlight further into the darkness. He peered at the shapes before him.

The light fell on an object. A solid object. Lesterson felt a surge of excitement rush through his body as he moved the torch beam up and down so he could see the object fully.

It was about the same size as a human. It was definitely made from some sort of metal. The bottom half consisted of a metre high base. All around the base were blue balls; four from the top on each row. The middle section had a protrusion which had an object resembling a sink plunger on the left side and a shorter rod on the right side which was obviously some sort of weapon. Three rings went around the ‘neck’ which led up to what Lesterson assumed was some sort of head. This ‘head’ was a dome. It had small lights on either side and a long stalk protruding from the front, upon the end of which was some sort of eyeball. The eye stalk was drooped, the machine, if that was what it was, was dormant.

Some say evil has no name. In many cases they are wrong. This evil had a distinct and definite name which would strike terror into the hearts of all on Vulcan. A name none of them would ever in their lives forget.


This item appeared in Timestreams 2 (April 1991).

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