The sound of explosions was little more than a distant echo to the two men hunched beside the door. Sweat was beginning to form on their brows as they struggled with the lock.

‘We'll never make it, Doolan!’ one cried, looking around desperately.

‘Calm down Rayner! I'm almost through,’ Doolan replied. There was a hiss and the door in front of them glided open. The men were young and unshaven. Their once proud uniforms now sported rips, tears and scorch marks. They wore the uniforms of the Thal Imperial Guards, but their faces bore a weary, haunted look.

‘Halt! Halt or you will be exterminated!’ The familiar battlecry of a Dalek broke across the room. The soldiers' guns blazed and the domed head of the Dalek exploded in a melting conflagration of flying plastic.

Doolan closed the door, while Rayner made for a strange machine. It appeared to be some sort of large computer, dominating the room. Of more immediate interest to the soldiers was a small sphere, suspended above a glowing column of swirling energy. The sphere itself was pulsing, throbbing, radiating the same energy.

Rayner was typing quickly on a keyboard. With a flourish he stabbed a button and the column slowly descended, lowering the sphere onto the console. The energies channelled through it disappeared, leaving it devoid of the life it had previously shown. Rayner grabbed the now-transparent sphere and dashed out, followed closely by Doolan.

The corridors seemed endless to the two saboteurs, as they fled with their hard won prize. It can't last, thought Rayner, contemplating the lack of opposition to the fugitives escape. As if hearing his prophetic thoughts, a Dalek rounded the corner, its gunstick trained on them.

‘Halt! Do not try to escape or you will be exterminated!’ Swinging his weapon desperately, Rayner sheared off the Dalek's eyestalk. The Dalek began to fire wildly, in all directions.

‘Intruder! Intruder! Exterminate! Assist! Assist! Vision circuits inoperative!’ As the two Thals raced past the screaming Dalek one of the random blasts caught Rayner in the leg. As more Daleks came into view, Rayner shouted.

‘Go on! Get out of here! It's the powersphere that's important! I'll hold them off!’ With one last look at his friend Doolan sprinted down the corridor. Rayner pulled out a black, squat cylinder and began manipulating the controls mounted in the top.

‘Do not move! All intruders must be exterminated! Exterminate!’ With a crooked smile Rayner gave the cylinder one last twist...

The explosion behind Doolan was thunderous, sending shards of metal and globs of molten plastic flying at all angles. Doolan peered into the conflagration. Already dark shapes were moving, continuing the pursuit. For such a prize, their chase would be endless.

There was the door to the shuttle bay! Relief washed over him - beyond the confines of the satellite, he might stand a chance.

Dashing in, he sealed the doors and prepared for take-off.

‘The intruders have escaped. They have the sphere.’ The Dalek stood before the menacing spherical shape of the Emperor Dalek.

‘It is of no matter. They will be unable to use its power. Trigger the explosive device!’ The sleek, bullet shape of the shuttle appeared on the viewscreen, streaking away from the Dalek outpost. Suddenly the entire ship was consumed in flames and the burning hulk drifted away.

‘The intruder has been destroyed,’ the Dalek reported obediently.

A lone sentry patrolled the Arab camp. He looked up to see a burning object high above. To his horror he realized it was getting larger. He cried out in fear as the inferno descended, comet-like, to explode on impact beside the Great Temple.

As he threw himself at the mercy of the gods, little did he realize the significance of what he saw...

Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Epilogue