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Warpath of the Daleks

By Jeff Stone

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PART 4

The Dalek Supreme Headquarters had been carved out of a massive asteroid; one of many left after the destruction of a planet that had once occupied the same location. The asteroid had become the centre of the Dalek Empire - it was now the home of almost every Dalek in the galaxy.

The Dalek cruiser carrying Davros, Peri and the Doctor touched down in one of the cavernous landing bays drilled into the asteroid. The two time travellers walked out into the landing bay, escorted by Davros and thirty Daleks. They gazed about themselves in wonder. There were at least two hundred cruisers just like the one that had brought them there in the bay, and there were literally thousands of Daleks.

‘This is very scary, Doctor. How in hell are we going to escape from Dalek central?’ Peri whispered frantically in the Doctor's ear.

‘I'm working on it,’ he muttered back. ‘Don't fret.’

‘Huh!’ she laughed. ‘That's great! Don't fret!’

‘SI-LEN-CE, EARTH-LING!!’ the Red Dalek ordered.

The procession moved on through the massive base until finally they arrived at a huge hall which terminated in two huge ornate gold doors, guarded by two green and white Daleks.

‘Elite Guard Daleks. They protect the Emperor,’ the Doctor told Peri. ‘Armed with rotary cannons. Very nasty.’

‘They look it.’

‘STAND A-SIDE. WE HAVE AN AU-DI-ENCE WITH THE MIGH-TY ONE!’ The Red Dalek announced.

Silently, the Elite Guards withdrew and the doors opened. In filed the Red Dalek, followed by Davros and the two travellers.

The throne room was incredible - a staggering array of computers and other machines. Sitting beneath it all, looking very small for such a powerful thing, was the supreme commander of the Dalek Empire - the Emperor!

Davros glided forward.

‘PAY HO-MAGE TO THE MIGH-TY ONE!’ commanded the Red Dalek.

‘Never!’ Davros cried. ‘Pay homage to me, Emperor! I am the master of the Daleks!’

‘YOU ARE OUR MAS-TER NO LON-GER, DAV-ROS.’ the Emperor said. ‘NOW YOU O-BEY US.’

‘Why should I?’

‘YOU WILL BE DES-TROYED IF YOU DO NOT.’

This shut Davros up. The Doctor bowed humbly. ‘Oh, mighty one!’ he cried passionately. ‘I am yours to command!’

Peri gasped. The Doctor in league with the Daleks?!

‘YOU SHOULD FOL-LOW THE DOC-TOR'S EX-AM-PLE, DAV-ROS. HE KNOWS WHEN HE IS BEAT-EN.’

‘Indeed I do, mighty one,’ replied the Doctor.

This isn't happening, Peri thought to herself.

‘Why did you bring me back to life? You must have had a reason,’ inquired the Daleks' creator.

‘WE DID. WE NEED YOU TO RE-BUILD OUR WORLD.’

‘Skaro has been destroyed?’ Davros exclaimed.

‘NO, BUT IT IS AS GOOD AS DES-TROYED. THE THALS BLAN-KET-ED THE EN-TIRE SURFACE OF SKA-RO WITH DEL-TA PAR-TIC-LES.’

‘Delta particles - deadly to Dalek life support systems! How did this happen?’ Davros raged.

‘THEY DET-ON-ATED A BEV-ANIUM BOMB IN THE AT-MOS-PHERE. THEY COM-MIT-TED SU-I-CIDE IN AN AT-TEMPT TO DES-TROY THE DAL-EKS! THE AT-TEMPT FAILED BUT NOW WE CAN NEVER RE-TURN TO SKA-RO.’

The Doctor frowned sadly. Delta particles made life on any scale impossible. The Thals must have been desperate, he thought. Desperate enough to kill themselves...

‘BEV-ANIUM FALL-OUT DOES NOT DE-CAY FOR TWO THOU-SAND MIL-LION YEARS. WE NEED DA-LEK-EN-IUM TO SUR-VIVE!’

‘The only supply of it is on Skaro, right Doctor?’ asked Peri, less frightened now that she knew she wasn't about to be destroyed.

‘Yes, my dear. But how can Davros rebuild a world?’ he demanded of the Emperor.

The Dalek leader glided forward. ‘DAV-ROS WAS WORK-ING ON A PLAN-ET CONS-TRUCT-ION DE-VICE WHEN THE KA-LED-THAL WAR BE-GAN. WE HAVE WHAT RE-MAINS OF THE DE-VICE. IT ONLY RE-QUIRES A FEW COM-PO-NENTS AND THE COR-RECT MU-ME-SON CRE-ATION PRO-GRAM FOR IT TO WORK.’

‘Incredible!’ the Doctor breathed. ‘The creation of a planet from scratch - using a mu-meson bonding program!’

‘How could it work?’ Peri asked.

‘Yes, Doctor, tell us!’ Davros said slyly. ‘You seem to know so much.’

‘The device projects a matrix of sub-atomic particles, mu-mesons, using any substance as a source of particles. The matrix attracts other particles and bonds. A simple manipulation of the bonding process, and you can create any element in existence in unlimited supply! But the Time Lords declared mu-meson bonding impossible after five centuries of work on the project!’

‘It is possible, Doctor. And you will help me achieve it. I require your knowledge of thermodynamics to help me find the correct bonding amplitude for the mu-mesons,’ Davros said.

‘I will never help you to overthrow the galaxy!’ the Doctor cried. ‘With the device you could do anything!’

‘AND WE WILL. YOU WILL HELP DAV-ROS! YOU WILL - OR YOUR FRIEND DIES!’ shouted the Emperor.

Peri looked at her Time Lord friend.

‘I'm sorry, Peri. If they build this device, the Daleks will never be defeated. I will not do it. I'm so sorry...’

‘Doctor!’ Peri screamed, as the Red Dalek approached. ‘No!’

‘KILL THE GIRL!’ the Emperor shrilled.

The Red Dalek targeted Peri in his sights. ‘EX-TER-’

‘All right I'll do it!’ shouted the Doctor desperately. He realized that he could never let his friend die, whatever the cost. ‘Just don't harm her,’ he added in a broken voice.

‘EX-CEL-LENT, DOC-TOR. YOU WILL BE-GIN WORK AT ONCE,’ the Emperor ordered.

Defeated, the Doctor nodded, and the Red Dalek escorted the Time Lord and Davros from the throne room, leaving Peri to follow, shaking with fear.

‘Try Omega-seven, Doctor,’ Davros suggested.

The Daleks had set up an extensive lab for their creator and their greatest enemy. Standing in the middle of the room was the nearly completed mu-meson bonder. It had remained in immaculate condition through all the years since the war that spawned the Daleks in the first place.

The Doctor adjusted the mu-meson amplifier to Omega-seven frequency and turned the bonder on. ‘It works perfectly, Davros,’ he reported.

‘Excellent!’ said Davros, studying the wave pattern on the screen. ‘Place the particle source in the bonder, Doctor.’

The Doctor inserted a block of ordinary salt into a receptacle on the bonder.

‘Try gold,’ Davros demanded.

The Doctor adjusted the controls. The matrix for gold appeared on the bonder screen, and then, thirty-eight seconds later, a block of solid, 24-carat gold appeared in the bonder output cabinet.

‘It works! Doctor, it works!’ Davros was nearly mad with glee. ‘Now begins the re-building of Skaro and my ascendance to Emperorship of the galaxy!’

Three days later, the Doctor, Peri, Davros, the Emperor and several thousand Daleks congregated in the Great Hall, a huge cavern carved out of the asteroid. A giant version of Davros' mu-meson bonder stood on a raised platform, aimed at Skaro through a portal in the asteroid.

‘IN A MAT-TER OF MIN-UTES, WE SHALL HAVE A NEW WORLD!’ the Emperor declared.

‘THE MU-MESON BON-DER SHALL NOW RE-DUCE OUR HOME WORLD TO SUB-AT-OMIC PAR-TICLES THEN RE-BUILD IT INTO A NEW WORLD, MADE TOTALLY OF DA-LEK-EN-IUM. WITH THIS SOURCE, WE SHALL CON-QUER THE UNI-VERSE!’

‘ALL PRAISE TO THE EM-PER-OR!’ the Daleks chanted as one.

‘You shall see the rebirth of our world before you die. Doctor,’ Davros said.

‘You won't last much longer, Davros,’ replied the Doctor.

‘Oh yes I will. Only you and I know how to operate the bonder. With it I can reduce the entire Dalek race to dust!’

The Emperor glided over. ‘START THE PRO-CESS.’ he ordered.

‘Doctor, you may have the honour of beginning the new age of the Daleks,’ Davros said.

‘Thanks!’ spat the Time Lord and went over to the bonder controls. He nodded at Peri.

Peri winked back, and pushed a control mounted on a device in her pocket.

The Doctor activated the bonder, and Skaro's matrix appeared on the screen. ‘Converting now,’ the Doctor said.

Suddenly, the roof cracked, spraying the assemblage with huge pieces of rock.

The Doctor ran over to Peri. ‘Let's go! This place is going to blow in about two minutes!’

‘Why?’

‘The bonder's forming the matrix of the new Skaro directly over this asteroid! It will utterly destroy this place!’

‘The device in my pocket!’ she yelled as they ran through the crowds of milling, screaming Daleks, too concerned for their own safety to bother killing them.

‘What did it do?’

‘It confines the matrix to this area - a kind of barrier control. I was lucky enough to give it to you without being seen, let alone build the thing!’

The two friends ran from the hall into the nearby hangar bay. They quickly located the ship with the TARDIS on board and hurried towards it.

The Doctor and Peri rushed into the console room, panting for breath.

‘Close the doors!’ the Doctor ordered. ‘Quick!’

Peri slammed the door control down and helped the Doctor set the controls.

‘Let's hope we're lucky again! No guidance system, remember!’ Peri said, praying silently.

Fingers crossed, the Doctor hit the last control.

The time rotor started oscillating, and the Doctor sighed with relief.

Seconds later, the asteroid exploded into a thousand pieces, and slowly a new Skaro formed in its place. The Daleks were not completely destroyed, however. Several ships had escaped before destruction. The Daleks could still colonise the new planet. Davros had also escaped, although he had been wounded in a rock fall which had returned him almost to his normal state.

‘I am not defeated,’ he spat as his escape pod drifted in space, blasted far away from Skaro. ‘I shall return! The Daleks will triumph!’

He regarded the pod's controls with his one remaining eye. There was a planet within range of the pod's fuel reserves. A planet called Necros.

The battle had only just begun...

THE END FOR NOW

This item appeared in TSV 22 (April 1991).

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