Home : Archive : TSV 21-30 : TSV 21 : Fiction

Warpath of the Daleks

By Jeff Stone

Back to part 2

PART 3

The Doctor acted quickly. The Daleks milled around in confusion, bleating orders at each other, completely ignoring him.

The self-destruct mechanism looked very simple to disarm. The Doctor hit the ‘disarm’ button. The words ‘Code required to disarm mechanism,’ scrolled across the mechanism's data-screen.

‘Forty-one, forty, thirty-nine, thirty-eight...’ counted the voice.

The Doctor opened the mechanism's casing and began working on its innards.

What a situation, he thought to himself. Here I am, struggling to save the lives of my worst enemies!

‘Twenty-five, twenty-four, twenty-three. Abandon ship immediately. Twenty, nineteen...’ said the voice with maddening calmness.

Holding two bared wires apart, the Doctor closed his eyes. This had better work, he thought, touching the wires together. There was a loud bang, and smoke poured from the console.

‘Deactivation code bypassed. Countdown halted at ten seconds. Thank you,’ said the voice.

The Doctor exhaled loudly, sliding to the floor. ‘Bit of an anti-climax,’ he remarked. ‘Had ten whole seconds to spare!’

The Daleks ceased panicking and resumed the capture of the escape pod as if nothing had happened.

‘What, no applause?’ the Doctor said, smiling. ‘I just saved your lives.’

‘SILENCE, DOC-TOR. THANKS ARE IL-LOG-ICAL AND THERE-FORE USE-LESS,’ said the Red Dalek.

‘Thought as much.’ Picking himself off the deck, the Doctor strode over to the Red Dalek. On the screen, the escape pod could be seen, caught in a tractor beam. ‘Why is this Sorvad person so important to you?’

‘YOU WILL FIND OUT IN DUE TIME, DOC-TOR.’

‘Oh, good. I hate to be left in the dark about anything.’

The Red Dalek glared at him with its one electronic eye. ‘YOUR FLIP-PANCY IS AG-GRA-VA-TING.’ it declared.

The Doctor smiled. ‘And I like you, too!’

Peri sat in the cell, staring at the roof. The place looked impossible to escape from - she had nothing to pick the lock with, and even if she had it would not have proved too useful as the lock was a psi-operated sensor-lock. There were no windows, save for a monitor screen that showed the passage directly outside the door; and worst of all, there was no ventilation duct to crawl into!

It looked hopeless, or was it?

Two minutes later, she decided that it definitely was.

‘THE ESCAPE POD IS NOW ON BOARD!’ one of the Daleks announced.

‘EX-CEL-LENT!’ declared the Red Dalek. Its eyestalk swivelled to face the Doctor. ‘YOU WILL AG-COM-PAN-Y US TO THE HAN-GAR BAY, DOC-TOR,’ it said.

‘Certainly. I must say, this is all very interesting.’

‘IT WILL GET MORE IN-TER-EST-ING STILL, I PRO-MISE YOU.’ said the Red Dalek mysteriously.

It glided toward the door, flanked by two Daleks and followed by the Doctor, also flanked by two Daleks. The procession led on through the ship. The Doctor took all he saw in - this really is fascinating, he mused to himself. But whatever the Daleks wanted, it must be evil and it had to be stopped, he reminded himself. Just what it was they plotted eluded him at the moment...

The hangar bay contained several hover-discs, a large orbital shuttle and the ‘Magellan's’ escape capsule.

The Red Dalek entered, followed by its four Dalek escort and the Doctor.

‘O-PEN THE ES-CAPE POD,’ ordered the Red Dalek.

‘Shall I?’ offered the Doctor. ‘Your plungers aren't very dextrous.’ The Doctor crossed to the pod and pulled the hatch open.

Inside the pod, out cold, was a small, thin, black-haired man, dressed in plain white clothes.

‘So you're Sorvad, are you?’ the Doctor muttered, picking the man up out of the pod and holding him up for the Daleks to see. ‘Is this who you want?’

‘IT IS SOR-VAD, DOC-TOR. PLACE HIM ON THE STRETCH-ER,’ said the Red Dalek.

One of the Daleks had obtained a hover-stretcher on the way to the hangar bay. It pushed the stretcher forward, and the Doctor placed Sorvad on it.

‘TAKE SOR-VAD TO THE IN-FOR-MA-TION EX-TRAC-TION CEN-TRE!’ the Red Dalek ordered.

Chanting, ‘WE O-BEY!’ two of the Daleks carried Sorvad off on the stretcher.

‘Do you think it's wise to pick his mind just now? I suppose that's what you want him for,’ said the Doctor. ‘He could be hurt.’

‘WHEN I RE-QUIRE YOUR O-PIN-ION, I SHALL ASK FOR IT, TIME LORD.’

‘Just a thought.’

Peri looked up as the cell door opened.

‘Doctor, are you okay?’ she asked, as her friend walked in.

‘Fine, Peri, I'm fine. I'm afraid Colvar isn't however. The Daleks killed him when he set off the self-destruct device.’

‘I heard the countdown! I was a bit worried for a while.’

‘Yes, well, come on, the Daleks have agreed to let you stay with me.’

‘That's awfully nice of them.’

‘Yes, isn't it? They've been very hospitable. I wonder why?’ the Doctor pondered. He took Peri's hand. ‘Come on, I want to see something,’ he said.

Sorvad's unconscious body was hooked up to the mind probe, as the Doctor's had been, but this time wires had been fixed to Sorvad's head. These wires snaked along the floor into a cubicle alongside. The cubicle's frosted cover showed a shape within.

The Doctor and Peri marched in, along with the Red Dalek and a huge escort.

‘PRE-PARE FOR MIND TRANS-FER,’ the Red Dalek ordered.

The mind probe was set up again, but somewhat differently.

‘They've reversed the polarity. They're going to transfer Sorvad's mind-print, his consciousness, into that cubicle. But why?’ pondered the Doctor.

‘Beats me,’ Peri replied.

‘FULL TRANS-FER COM-PLETE,’ the Dalek operating the probe announced.

‘EX-CEL-LENT. RE-LEASE SOR-VAD,’ ordered the Red Dalek. ‘AND ACT-IVATE RE-CIP-IENT.’

Suddenly the Doctor realised. ‘Sorvad! Of course! Peri, don't you see? S-O-R-V-A-D! Spell it backwards!’

‘D-A-V-R-O-S! Davros! Oh god!’ Peri cried.

The cubicle opened and the unmistakable form of Davros, creator of the Daleks, emerged.

‘I live again,’ he hissed. He looked about. ‘I live! I am free!’ The evil mutant threw back his head and laughed. He then glided forward and peered at the Red Dalek. ‘Where am I?’ he demanded.

‘YOU ARE ON A DA-LEK CRUI-SER, EN ROUTE TO OUR BASE.’

‘Excellent! How long has it been?’

‘EIGHT-Y YEARS,’ the Red Dalek replied.

‘Huh! Too long! You don't know how I-’ he noticed the Doctor at that moment. ‘Who is this?’ he asked.

‘IT IS THE DOC-TOR, OUR GREA-TEST EN-E-MY. HE HAS BEEN KEPT A-LIVE BE-CAUSE HE MAY BE OF USE TO YOU.’

Davros whirled on the Time Lord. ‘Doctor! I always knew you would be nearby when I came alive again.’

‘It seems the Galaxy is too small for the both of us,’ replied the Doctor.

‘Doctor, I wish to speak with you.’ Davros turned to the Red Dalek. ‘Is there somewhere we can talk?’

‘A ROOM HAS BEEN PRE-PARED FOR YOU.’

‘Good. Take me there now.’

The Daleks filed out of the room. Davros following the Red Dalek. The Doctor and Peri tagged along behind.

‘First things first, Davros - why?’ asked the Doctor.

‘Insurance, Doctor. Unlike you, I cannot change my appearance when my life is threatened, so the only way to save my genius from being lost was to transfer copies of my mind-print into the brains of selected Earth people, to be used when and if they were needed. I suppose there must be at least a thousand Sorvads scattered across the Galaxy, most of them on Earth.’

‘Some insurance policy,’ Peri remarked.

‘One that has paid off handsomely. After my ‘original’ body died of the Dalek virus, the Daleks - the ones that remained - sought to reactivate one of the Sorvads. It seems, by what this Sorvad's mid-print tells me, the Earth officials found out about the duplicate Sorvads and sought to destroy them. This Sorvad was the only one on Earth left,’ said Davros.

‘When did all this happen?’ Peri asked.

‘The 25th century,’ replied the Doctor. He told her of the Dalek plot he had helped to foil when he was in his fifth incarnation. About the time-tunnel from the 25th century to 1984 Earth, about Tegan's departure, about the deadly virus that almost wiped out the Daleks.

‘And now it's eighty years later, Peri mid-2500's, I should think.’

‘Correct. Doctor. You see, my duplicates do not age. They fitted well into Earth society. All that is required is the duplicate, the proper mind-print transfer equipment, and a cloned recipient body to place the print in.’

Davros was still confined to the ‘half-shell’ Dalek wheelchair, but had the use of both arms and eyes. These eyes glittered malevolently at the Doctor.

‘Now that I am free again, my Daleks and I shall instil a reign of terror that shall know no bounds! I shall be the architect of the new Dalek Empire!’

‘Oh, stop it!’ the Doctor commanded tiredly. ‘Do you really think the Daleks will let you just swan in and take over everything? I thought you would have realized that by now.’

‘They require my services?’

‘Of course, Davros! Why do you think the Daleks waited eighty-odd years? If they had needed your help and leadership that badly, they would have resurrected you a long time ago! No, they just need you to help them out of a difficult spot. As soon as you do get them out of it, they'll forget you ever existed. Believe me, they'll do it.’

Davros thought for a moment. ‘If what you say is true, Doctor, then I shall never give them the opportunity to forget me!’

The Red Dalek entered the bridge.

‘O-PEN DI-RECT LINK TO SU-PREME HEAD-QUAR-TERS.’

‘I O-BEY,’ replied the Dalek Communications Officer.

A few seconds later, the bloated spheroid shape of the Dalek Emperor appeared on the main screen. ‘RE-PORT.’ It demanded coldly.

‘WE HAVE DAV-ROS, MIGH-TY ONE. WE ARE RE-TURN-ING TO BASE WITH HIM NOW. AL-SO WE HAVE TAK-EN THE DOC-TOR PRIS-ON-ER.’

‘EX-CEL-LENT! RE-TURN WITH ALL SPEED. THERE IS MUCH TO BE DONE!’

‘I O-BEY, MIGH-TY ONE!’

The Red Dalek turned to the Helms Dalek. ‘MAX-IMUM WARP SPEED!’ It ordered.

‘I O-BEY!’

‘We are en route to the Supreme Dalek HQ on the asteroid LV-624, located in the Tarsus sector, I believe,’ Davros said. ‘They were proposing its construction when I - er - passed away.’

‘Why tell me its location, Davros? I thought the location of Dalek bases were deadly secrets,’ said the Doctor, a sly smile on his lips.

‘You are going to die there. I see no reason why you shouldn't at least know where you are to meet your demise.’

‘Great,’ Peri moaned.

The Doctor peered up at the video screen, which displayed the position of the ship in relation to the base.

‘Hey, I thought you told me the Daleks' supreme HQ was on Skaro, Doctor,’ said Peri. ‘Not on an asteroid.’

‘Yes. I did. I wander why they've shifted...’

The ship sped on towards the very seat of Dalek power, the most evil place in the Universe...

TO BE CONCLUDED...

On to part 4

This item appeared in TSV 21 (February 1991).

Index nodes: Fiction