Future of the Daleks by deathman



Summary: If reinforcements run out in the present day, why not get some from the future?
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Original Companion, Other Character(s), Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th), The TARDIS
Genres: Action/Adventure
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Deathman - Chronology
Published: 2007.05.12
Updated: 2007.05.16


Index

Chapter 1: Short Cut
Chapter 2: Under the Sunglasses
Chapter 3: The Chase


Chapter 1: Short Cut

Carol sat at the centre of the room, as voices babbled frantically around her. Surely she wasn’t going to be punished badly. She’d only stolen a few Nastapukar vegetables, for God’s sake. They couldn’t execute her. She was just worrying... Yet what frightened her most was that anything was possible. She didn’t know the extent of the Supreme Court’s harshness. Times had changed since she had last seen the court. Before it had been more messy and homely, with squashed sofas lying haphazardly around the entire circular floor space.

Now there were tall glass sheets dividing sections of the court, posh, sleek leather sofas arranged in lines, roughly carpeted balconies spiralling neatly upwards like in a stadium. In the ceiling was a large oval panel which, at the end of the session, would inevitably open and the Supreme Judge’s voice would boom forth, speaking Carol’s sentence. She shivered in her chair at the cold bottom of the stadium-court, the centre of attention for all those calm faces and bickering voices.

For the next half an hour or so the lawyers talked on and on, and Carol lost track of their arguments. Although she did vaguely note that they were not disputing about whether she should be executed or not, but what the manner of her death should be.

Carol had gone past caring. Her large brown eyes darted back and forth, trying to find something interesting to look at, but there was nothing. Only endless lines of identical leather seats, rotating upward in a boring, clinical fashion. Only thousands of drab, black-suited lawyers, crossing their legs and adjusting their ties, waffling on about the importance of Law Precinct A, Section F 47-56, or the moral high-grounds of their arguments.

She wanted be free from this synthetic hell-hole, be her escape route death or simply the back door. She looked through this exit and saw the reception, reeking of wood polish, heard the ringing of unanswered telephones and the simpering of smooth female voices.

At last the clamour of the lawyers ceased, and across the hundreds of balconies there was complete silence. The clean PA proclaimed. ‘The Supreme Judge Viron has heard your respective arguments on the fate of the thief Carol, charged of the robbery of ten Nastapukars from the Market of Viros. Let us now hear the opinion of the Judge himself.’

Carol gazed upwards, not expecting to be spared. There was a slow, smooth humming sound and the oval panel in the distant ceiling clicked and rolled open.

‘Sentence?’ the PA spoke.

There was a long, tense silence.

‘Execute,’ came a drawling male voice above. A beam of white hot energy slashed from the open panel and through the air into Carol’s body. She screamed as electricity seared through her nerves and her throat and her head and OH HELP and then her whole form collapsed in on itself, imploding into a pile of dust on her leather swing-seat.

There was silence again.

Then, without any further speech from the Supreme Judge, the panel hummed once more, and slid shut.

‘Case closed,’ declared the PA. And all of a sudden, thorughout the nexus of balconies, there was a mass shuffling as lawyers straightened their jackets, brushed themselves off, filed away their speeches and opened the gates of their balconies, walking out onto the carpeted spiral ramp that led down past all the gates to the door at the bottom of the stadium.





Matt felt a pair of warm lips on his, and sighed. ‘Isabel, we’re meant to be cleaning the floor, not snogging. Monway will be here at any moment...’

Isabel pulled away, smiling sheepishly, her blonde locks bouncing around her slim face. ‘Sorry,’ she said. Excitedly. ‘It’s not every day we get some time to ourselves though, we’re normally in different sectors, and so...’

Matt nodded, reluctantly accepting the truth of this. ‘But still...’ he held his mop in a steady way. Isabel tilted her head seductively at him. He groaned. ‘Oh come on then,’ he said, and kissed her, his short black hair contrasting with the gold of her head.

Suddenly, the door burst open, and Monway gazed in at the two, kissing. ‘Well, well, well,’ he said, smiling slightly. They were inseparable.

Matt and Isabel parted. Matt looked embarrassed, but Isabel smiled at Monway, hoping he would be understanding. The lawyer’s eyes twinkled with humour. It was not for nothing that he was nicknamed the only living thing in the court. The rest of the officials who often gathered for trials were stuffy, clamouring businessmen. Monway was simply a middle-aged man, quick to anger, quick to laugh, instantly likeable.

‘Sorry,’ Matt said quickly, picking up the mop that he had dropped. ‘I trust you will excuse us. Isabel and I have been extreme-‘

‘Blah, blah, blah,’ Monway laughed. ‘Yes, you’re excused, I can understand, insert forgiving sentence of your choice, etcetera...’ Isabel laughed, and so did Matt, albeit hesitantly. ‘Seriously though, you’d better get that floor cleaned. I’ve heard this hall’s going to be used tomorrow.’

Monway turned to leave, tapping his watch. ‘You’ve got an hour to finish it. You can have a good snog later.’

The lawyer reached the door, just as it swung open once more. A tall, burly man wearing sunglasses barged thorugh into the hall. ‘Mister Monway.’ The man bowed. ‘I bring news from Supreme Judge Viron. This hall will not be in use tomorrow, and these cleaners,’ he gestured at Isabel and Matt, ‘are free to leave.’

Monway looked dismayed, as Isabel punched the air. Matt restrained his excitement, merely slipping an arm around Isabel’s waist, waiting to hear the rest of the man’s news. Surely there had to be a drawback. But the man merely intoned dully, ‘Come with me.’

He marched away, expecting to immediately be followed. Isabel, taking Matt’s hand and dragging him with her, ran up to Monway, who was standing uncertainly in the centre of the hall. ‘Who is that?’ she whispered to the lawyer. ‘I’ve never seen him before.’

‘I don’t... know,’ Monway replied uneasily.

Isabel was dumbfounded. ‘But.... you know everyone, you’re an official!’ she exclaimed.

Monway shrugged. ‘Maybe he’s a new recruit.’

Matt drew a hand up to his mouth and bit the nail of his index finger. ‘I don’t like this,’ he said. ‘I don’t know why I’m so suspicious, it’s just something about him.’ Isabel nodded gravely in agreement. ‘And why’s he wearing sunglasses? It’s not as if it’s particularly sunny at midnight in the Supreme Court!!!’

The man called to them from the door on the opposite side of the hall. ‘Come on,’ he spoke, in a drawling monotone.

Monway shrugged, and walked forward. Isabel and Matt, whispering conspirationally to each other, followed more tentatively, gripping each other’s hands tight.

When Monway caught up with the man, he asked, ‘Where are you taking us?’

The man smiled thinly. ‘A short-cut to the exit.’ Monway nodded, unsure of the truth of this, then walked through the door that the man was holding open. The sunglassed man beckoned to Isabel and Matt. They hurried slightly, making a visible effort to get through the door that the man was obviously beginning to close.

All three of them were through. The man smiled sinisterly to himself, walked through the archway, and closed the door behind him.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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Chapter 2: Under the Sunglasses

They descended a staircase, the mysterious sunglassed man and Monway taking the lead, with Isabel and Matt tagging along behind. ‘I never thought this was a short cut,’ Monway told the man. The latter replied simply, ‘It is.’

Monway sighed exasperatedly, knowing that he was going to get no more information out of the man.

In the next few minutes the four people made good time, traversing at least four long staircases in under one minute. Monway made a quick map of the Supreme Court in his head, and realised that they were right at the bottom of the building now — below ground! This wasn’t a short cut!

The lawyer ground to a halt. ‘How come this is a short cut? It would have taken a few minutes to get out the normal way. This journey has lasted ten.’

The man smiled. ‘The room you are about to enter connects to a nexus of underground tunnels, running right below the city of Viros. From this network the journey from the Court to your home will take less than half the time it would usually.’

Monway had never heard of this underground network, and said so. But again, the man only replied, ‘There is one.’
At last the group halted at a pair of automatic doors. Their sunglassed guide held out an arm to Monway, inviting him in. ‘You first,’ he proclaimed.

‘Why do we have to go one at a time?’ Isabel enquired, craning her head forward to try and peer through the crack between sides of the automatic door.

‘The exit at the end of the room is very narrow and only one can pass through at a time. Also the security system gets agitated when more than one person enters,’ the man replied, cleverly. However this response made Monway decide. This man was not an official and he was leading them nowhere.

‘You might as well tell me,’ Monway said simply, without doubt. ‘Who are you?’

This time, the man didn’t even make an attempt to reply, just smiled and said, ‘Enter.’

Monway walked forward, hesitantly, and the doors slid open. As soon as he was inside the automatic doors slammed behind him, and locked.

The man in the sunglasses smiled to himself.





Monway marched forward. The first thing he noticed about the room was that the exit at the far end was wide, wide enough for at least five people to walk abreast. The man had been lying. He had another motivation for making the trio enter one by one.

The second thing Monway saw was that it was circular, and at the very centre of the circle stood a machine. It was glazed white, smooth and modern, stark against the dull grey polished walls. The device was a large sphere around two metres in diameter, with the word ‘STRAND’ printed in large bold capital letters upon its surface. The sphere was set into a circular platform or pedestal, the space between the sphere and the edge of the base being just enough for a man to stand on. A ramp was currently in position leading from the floor to the surface of the base. Four tall humming columns of white stainless steel stood around the platform.

Monway could also see shapes, moving around the machine. They were shaped like pepperpots, golden knobs protruding from their bases, cold, flashing eyes placed at the end of swinging metal stalks, rectangular lights glittering upon their arching domes. Ray guns and long sticks with uncertain purposes pointed menacingly from between plates of bronze.

Suddenly, one of these things swung round to face Monway, its eye glowing with terrible intent, its lights flicking to the rhythm of its harsh, grating words. ‘THE HUMANS ARE READY FOR CON-VER-SION!’ the creature shrieked.

Another of the things turned. Instead of gold, this one was black, and seemed to have an air of authority around it. ‘CORRECT, DALEK JASST! RETURN TO WORK. I WILL BRING THE HUMAN!’

Monway covered his ears. Something about the voices of these creatures penetrated his brain and bones and seared his flesh. There was so much... anger... within the things. Hatred. For him.

The black one glided forward on hidden wheels. It reached Monway. The lawyer steeled himself, ready for his death. Strangely, he didn’t feel any regret towards the man in sunglasses for tricking him. He just felt sad. Why? Why had he been lead down here to die in the darkness at the foundations of the Supreme Court? Just... why? With that thought he closed his eyes, put his hands in his pockets, and waited for the inevitable blast of energy.

It didn’t come.

‘YOU WILL OPEN YOUR EYES!’ the creature beside Monway commanded. Monway was extremely confused and scared now. ‘Who are you? And what do you want?’ he asked, adjusting his tie for something to distract him from the terror of helplessness.

‘WE ARE THE DALEKS!’ the creature intoned. ‘I AM DALEK SEC, LEADER OF THE CULT OF SKARO!’

A golden Dalek turned to face Monway and Sec. ‘I AM DALEK THAY!’ it boomed. ‘DALEK JASST!’ chorused another. ‘DALEK CAAN!’ cried the final Dalek.

When the creatures did not attempt to answer his second question, Monway repeated it. ‘And... what do you want?’

‘YOU WILL BE THE FUTURE OF THE DALEKS!’ Dalek Sec screamed at Monway. The lawyer felt terrified, but hid his expression under his shady hat. ‘What am I supposed to do?’ Monway asked nervously.

‘ASCEND ONTO THE PEDESTAL!’ Dalek Thay replied. The lawyer obeyed, walking onto the smooth base of the contraption.

‘PLACE YOUR HAND UPON THE STRAND MACHINE!’ Jasst intoned. Monway did, feeling the shiny surface of the sphere. Sec, Thay, Jasst and Caan fanned out around the device, placing each of their suckers on one of the four surrounding columns.

White beams slashed at Monway, and he screamed...

The hand he had placed upon the sphere sizzled and glowed around the edges. Monway was bathed in agonising radiance. He thrashed and cried out, but his words were torn from his mouth before they fully formed, and his palm seemed to be attached to the sphere now.

Sec was booming out the orders to the other three Daleks. ‘CAAN — ACTIVATE THE FUTURE EXCAVATION MODULE! JASST — FIND THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DALEK EMPIRE!’ The two Daleks glided off. Sec and Thay clung to the columns, the surfaces of the pillars shining under their sucker arms. Monway screamed as Caan turned something on, and power racked his brain, so much power, in and in and in, and onwards, and it was dragging things from him — thoughts and events, and just throwing them out. It was excruciating.

Above the thundering slipstreams of noise and energy Monway heard Sec screaming. ‘WE ARE THE ONLY FOUR DALEKS IN EXISTENCE. OUR RACE PERISHED IN A GREAT WAR. BUT NOW YOU WILL HELP TO REVIVE... THIS!’

Sec turned to face Jasst, who had projected an image onto the dim wall. A technicolour picture of thousands of Daleks, gliding through the void of space.

‘YOU MUST DEVOTE YOUR LIFE TO THE RECONSTRUCTION!’ Sec ordered Monway, who was clutching desperately at his skull as Caan wrenched parts of it away, draining through the machine in front of him.

Monway managed to shake his head, and shout, ‘NO!’

Sec dislodged himself from the machine, and wheeled over to Monway, who was transfixed by radiant blades, floating in a sea of searing heat. Sec pointed his ray gun, and spoke out, in loud, demanding tones. ‘YOU WILL DEVOTE YOUR LIFE! DEVOTE! DEVOTE! DEVOTE!!!’

Monway’s bones cracked in an agonising arch as Caan turned up the power. The lawyer’s throat was burning, and soon he wouldn’t have time to accept Sec’s offer. Cursing himself and praying internally for God’s forgiveness, he croaked, ‘Yes.’

His hand glowed even brighter, and the machine shone. The Daleks reversed slightly, away from the device, and watched emotionlessly as Monway’s body crackled. A thin string of light unfurled from the lawyer’s head to the centre of the machine. ‘DALEK EMPIRE CREATION STRAND — PROBABILITY FOURTY PER CENT!’ cried Dalek Thay.

‘WE MUST INCREASE!’ Dalek Jasst intoned, and glided over to Monway, his eye glittering with malice. ‘IF YOU DO NOT DEVOTE YOUR LIFE TO THE EMPIRE, THEN WE WILL TAKE YOUR DNA PRINT!’ Jasst pushed his sucker arm onto Monway’s thigh, and pulled. ‘WHENEVER YOU HAVE DOUBTS, REMEMBER. WE CAN SEND A GAMMA STRIKE THROUGH THE DNA. AND YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!’

All thoughts of disobeying the Daleks vanished from Monway, and, at that point in time, honestly devoted his life to them.

‘PROBABILITY OF EMPIRE CREATION STRAND — SIXTY PER CENT!’ Dalek Thay proclaimed.

‘EXCELLENT!’ Dalek Sec congratulated Jasst. ‘PROBABILITY IS OVER FIFTY PER CENT! THEN THE EMPIRE CREATION STRAND SHALL BE STORED WITHIN THE MACHINE. AND THIS ONE WILL BECOME A FUTURELING!’

Monway convulsed for one final time as energy rushed through his nerves. Then, one by one, the columns powered down, and their beams of energy vanished. As the last transfixing ray disappeared, Monway dropped from his floating position, his hand burnt yet still there.

He felt dizzy, dry and aching. But still alive. He wondered if the Daleks intended that.

Dalek Jasst glided forward, holding an object in his sucker arm. A pair of sunglasses. Normally Monway would have laughed, but there was something sinister about the glasses. Then he remembered. The man who had led him to this room had worn exactly the same type of sunglasses. Had this happened to him, as well? Was he also whatever a ‘futureling’ was?

Then the bridge of the sunglasses clamped over Monway’s nose, and he screamed. Reflected on the surface facing Monway’s eye was an image of his eyeball. Again, in normal life that would not have been anything drastic. But his eyes had changed. Before this encounter with the Daleks they had been a warm, welcoming shade of blue.

Now they were pure white, with no pupils. Only text. Spidery black writing scrolled across the surface, endless letters and numbers with no evident meaning.

Then Dalek Sec moved towards him, and Monway realised. This was it. His life had ended. He had no purpose.
The Daleks might as well have killed him.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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Chapter 3: The Chase

Without warning, Monway was pushed aside by Dalek Sec’s sucker arm. The lawyer looked up through the shade of his glasses, at Sec’s emotionless eye, at his cold black sheen and his merciless ray gun. This was EVIL, and it terrified Monway right to the core. But he kept quiet, not for fear of his life. That had already been taken from him. He wanted to listen to the Dalek’s next command, and stop it from being carried out if that was possible.

‘CONVERSION COMPLETED!’ Sec grated, and turned to a screen set into the wall. His sucker arm pressed against the glass. ‘FUTURELINGS WILL BRING THE NEXT HUMAN!’

Outside the automatic doors, the sunglassed man snapped to attention, and turned mechanically to Isabel and Matt. ‘The human male will come,’ he spoke icily.

Isabel was outraged at this. ‘So now you don’t even pretend to know our names. Who the hell are you?’ Isabel spat. Matt suddenly sprang into action, bunching his fists rebelliously, shielding Isabel from the man. ‘Don’t you think we haven’t had suspicions,’ Matt said loudly, ‘because we have, and now you’re going to tell us. Who are you, and WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MONWAY?’ With the last part of his sentence Matt’s voice turned as hard as steel.

The man in sunglasses gave up even trying to persuade them to gently go into the room. ‘I am a Futureling. And you will be too.’ The sunglassed man lunged forward and before Matt could protest, his hands were clamped around Matt’s waist. Matt yelled in surprise, and the Futureling pulled him with inhuman strength through the automatic doors. Isabel rushed forward, screaming at both Matt and the Futureling, but the doors were already closing.

But, at the last second, an agonised cry tore through the decreasing gap between the wings of the doors. ‘ISABEL!’ Matt’s anguished voice boomed. ‘RUN! FOR GOD’S SAKE, RUN!’

‘MATT!’ Isabel yelled back. But the doors had closed with a shunk. She beat at them with her fists but they wouldn’t open for her. Locked. She turned, sobbing, and ran, putting out of her head the images of the sinister man and his abduction of her boyfriend. She only knew how to move her legs in one way, and that was in tune to the timeless rhythm of sprinting, of escape and panic and nameless fear. Almost against her own will, Isabel ran, shaking the tears away. Hoping the day’s events had just been a dream.

Dalek Sec screamed out orders. ‘THE FEMALE IS ESCAPING! JASST! THAY! RETRIEVE HER! ALL POTENTIAL FUTURELINGS MUST BE RETURNED! RETURN! RETURN! RETURN!!!’

Thay fired his ray gun, a long lancing lash of laser light. The bolt slammed into the automatic door, which exploded, showering sparks and smoke across the room. The two Daleks rose into the air, their bases glowing electric blue, and whistled through the smokescreen, coils of gas snaking around their metallic shapes. Dalek Sec’s frantic voice followed them through the holes they had made, even as the smoke died down. ‘THE SUPREME COURT MUST NOT BE ALERTED TO OUR PRESENCE!’





Isabel hurtled up a stairway, her feet aching. She took a moment to pause and gaze between the rails of the spiral staircase, in an attempt to see what exactly was pursuing her. However sheets of thick, pulsating darkness clung to the steps and the girl could discern nothing. Isabel ran onwards.

Jasst and Thay shot straight up between the railings, their eyestalks swinging chillingly, searching calmly for any sign of Isabel. Even through their emotionlessness there was an air of confidence about them, as if they knew for sure that they were going to catch Isabel. Their sucker arms flicked lazily to and fro. It looked like they were enjoying the chase.

Isabel sensed something behind her, and shoved a hand over her mouth to stop herself from screaming. She moved faster than she had ever done before. However her brain screamed at her to look around, look upon what was probably a few feet from her unprotected back. But whenever she turned frantically, eyes wide with terror and sickening expectation, there was nothing. Only the swirling darkness of midnight, and the glowing sliver of the golden moon penetrating both window and blackness with untroubled ease. Wisps of fog floated eerily through the void of the night, wrapping half-heartedly around the moon like limp, groping fingers.

She came to the top of the staircase, and stared around like a panicked deer. There were no more stairways, only thick, oozing, blackness. Crickets and bats called obliviously from outside, their cries penetrating Isabel’s ears like tense, thrumming bass drums. She pushed through the darkness, wading in its liquidity, and saw, ahead of her, two grey doors, yawning wide and empty in the centre of her vision. She hurled herself through the closest one to her, just as she heard a sound. A grating, indistinct noise of frustration. A small sound of terror escaped her mouth. Her pursuers had reached the end of the stairs! Isabel pounded down the tunnel in front of her, taking no notice of the creepiness of the Court at night.

Jasst and Thay reached the landing, and lowered themselves onto the ground. ‘CHOICE OF TUNNELS!’ cried Thay. ‘YOU WILL GO RIGHT, I WILL GO LEFT!’ Jasst did not question Thay’s authority, gliding swiftly to the right hand tunnel entrance. Thay went to the opposite, and both Daleks hurried down the passageways, the darkness parting around their casings, hunting Isabel mechanically, their wheels rolling at full speed, carrying them hard and fast into the shadows. The bobbing beams from their eyestalks bounced to and fro like twin searchlights, penetrating the darkness with chilling ease.

Isabel reached the end of the tunnel, and saw that she had come into the main hall of the Supreme Court. The Judgement Hall, above which lay the Supreme Judge’s chambers and the deadly weapon that would execute criminals in a single flash of moments. She heard a mechanical hiss and realised with a sick feeling that her pursuers had found her already! Or maybe her pursuer. She could only sense one creature.

Quickly, she ran up the spiral walkway, past all the balconies with their sleek leather sofas, until she found a large area, hurdled the gate, and dropped into it. Isabel huddled behind the sofa, hoping that her pursuer would not find her, and that the darkness was concealing enough so as not to let the creature see her immediately.

She heard a slow, chilling sound, and realised that this was the sound of her pursuer moving, trailing along the carpeted ramp with lazy confidence. As the thing came nearer, she could make out a blue light, travelling at shoulder height through the air, sweeping in a logical pattern around the deserted court as if searching for her.

Thay moved up the court, frustration and hatred burning along his circuitry. He received a message from Dalek Sec. ‘IF THE HUMAN IS PROVING DIFFICULT TO RETRIEVE, THEN YOU MAY... EXTERMINATE!’ Thay recieved the order gratefully, and continued his path up the ramp.

Isabel watched as the blue light came closer and closer to her hiding place. She knew what she must do. Slowly, shoes making no sound on the thick carpet, she moved towards the edge of the balcony, climbed onto the railings, and lowered herself down. Soon she was only clinging onto the rails with her fingertips. Silently, she let go, and thumped onto a balcony a few spirals below her previous one.

Thay heard the noise, and turned round, beginning his path back down the walkway, towards the source of the sound.

Isabel, muscles straining, heaved a sofa into her arms, and struggled with it to the edge of her balcony. She dropped it, and it hurtled down onto another ledge. There was a horrible clattering sound as the railings of that balcony shattered. Isabel huddled in the corner of her balcony.

Thay heard the crash, and the idea occurred to him that his quarry might be dropping from balcony to balcony. So he headed for the source of the latest disturbance, passing Isabel’s box without perception of the girl. Isabel breathed a long sigh of relief, and climbed over her gate. But then she remembered — the only exit was at the bottom of the court-stadium. And to get there, she would have to bypass Thay on his way to the shattered balcony...

Isabel cursed, and shrank back as Thay heard. His blue eye swung in her direction, and he began to ascend yet again... Isabel gazed around for any sign of an alternative escape route, but found nothing. She tried to hurl herself over the gate of the balcony, but the blue light was approaching faster than ever... The only thing Isabel could see to help her on this balcony was a large plant pot, with a spiny bush protruding from it.

The gate of her balcony exploded, and Thay silently entered, his eyestalk sweeping round for any sign of Isabel. But there was nothing. Only a tall plant in a pot... Thay advanced on the plant, and glided around it. Isabel edged around the plant, careful to keep herself on the opposite side of the blue light. At last she was facing the exit with no plant in the way. In a split second, she calculated distances and trajectories, and sprang.

She plunged through the space where the gate had been just as a laser beam lashed from her pursuer. She cried out as the bolt struck the wall, and bounced back towards Thay. Thay dodged with some skill, and the beam hurtled away, vanishing into the darkness. She hauled herself up, dizzily, at a speed that she knew wasn’t fast enough, as Thay turned out of the balcony, ray gun at the ready. Isabel sprinted down the ramp.

Thay launched himself into the air, slowly floating up towards the ceiling. The Dalek let loose a barrage of energy strikes, which bounced around Isabel’s fleeing form like thick, deadly rain. ‘EXTERMINATE!’ Thay cried. ‘EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!’

Isabel dodged a beam, and the bolt slammed wince-inducingly into the fire alarm. A raucous, clashing din reverberated through the Judgement Hall, and Thay recoiled, his beams faltering for a moment. This was all Isabel needed. She reached the very bottom of the Supreme Court, and spotted the exit in a hasty slash of her vision. Her feet pounded noisily against the cold, slippery steel, and twice she lost her balance and fell.

Explosions continued to rack the balconies of the Supreme Court, illuminating the darkness with sudden mind-mangling flashes of colour and noise and light. Dalek Thay was no longer even aiming for Isabel, firing random shots at random places in his anger. Arcs of energy spun and whistled across the breathing blackness, striking walls and sofas and carpets as the fire alarm continued, a panicked rhythm against Thay’s screams of ‘EXTERMINATE!’

Suddenly, Thay saw Isabel sprinting out of the hall, and his rage increased tenfold. ‘YOU WILL NOT ESCAPE!’ the Dalek thundered, and swooped downwards, firing as he descended. Just as Isabel passed it, the doorway erupted into flame. The girl screamed out her heart, but pounded into reception and out of the final door. She punched the ‘Emergency Lock’ button on the reception desk and the hard glass emergency panels began to slide into place around the exterior of the building. Isabel managed to slip out before they slammed shut.

The day’s events suddenly caught up with her as she stood panting outside, under the bright shard of the moon. The loss of her boyfriend. Her inhuman pursuer. The mysterious, sealed room. She raised her head to the sky and spread her arms, as if asking, ‘Why me?’ The hard, glittering stars shone down on her frail form without compassion. The first tears rolled down her cheeks, reflecting in those pain-filled drops the light of the stars and the anguish of lost love, and the continued terror of pursuit.

She started at this thought, and pulled herself together. Isabel looked up at the looming front of the Supreme Court, fear carving up her slim face. When she saw nothing of her pursuer, she turned and ran, down an alleyway, sobbing for her lost boyfriend Matt.

Then a window smashed before a furious laser beam. Dalek Thay swooped from the shattered gash, his eye-stalk swinging wildly. When the Dalek saw no Isabel, he screamed regretfully, soared up and hovered in the sky, silhouetted by the golden moon of Clacoex, and let out an untamed roar of ages past.

'EX-TER-MIN-ATE!!!'

TO BE CONTINUED...

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