City of the Daleks by deathman
Summary: It is the Destroyer. And all will be destroyed.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Other Character(s), Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th)
Series: Deathman - Chronology
Chapter 1: City of the Daleks Part 1 - The Dark City
Chapter 2: City of the Daleks Part 2 - Battle Begins
Chapter 3: City of the Daleks Part 3 - Eon Eater
Chapter 1: City of the Daleks Part 1 - The Dark CityOn the planet Tegrak, strange things were occuring.
The world was a dusty, densely populated planet, bustling with life.
Actually, saying the world was dusty was an understatement. Huge dust storms were raging, dozens of miles wide, leaving devastation in their wakes. Ripping mountains apart, drying rivers, collapsing trees. Enormous drifts of dust were beginning to cover the ground. These events had begun a year ago.
However, with the start of building work on a new wonder of the world, this was the last thing on the people’s minds. A titanically high city, built into the rock of Mount Keledon, including thousands of buildings, and shielded from the dust storms inside an electromagnetic force field. At the time of completion, the whole population was to migrate to the megacity, and then the monument was to take off into space, leaving Tegrak to be destroyed by the dust devils.
The people of Tegrak imagined that the city was to be their saviour.
How wrong they were.
VWORP! VWORP! Slowly the TARDIS crashed into reality.
On top of a piece of scaffolding.
Watching the time machine appear was a small blue alien, with an enormous head and stumpy limbs growing from it. It possessed large brown eyes and a comically soulful expression on its mouth. Its name was Tob.
As the TARDIS materialised, Tob squealed and was about to run away when the Doctor and Rose simultaneously disembarked from the craft.
The Doctor opened his mouth to talk but saw the cowering creature. ‘Oh. Hello!’ he said cheerfully.
Tob squeaked in alarm as the Doctor came closer. He patted the alien’s head. It ran off.
‘Why is it,’ the Doctor said, ‘that every time I try to be friendly, people just throw it back in my face?’
‘I dunno,’ replied Rose, smiling. ‘Your smell, or your clothes, or something? Where are we?’
‘Tegrak, Tegrak Beta to be precise, fourth planet of the Furguson system, now owned by the Scarlet Junction, officialy allied to the Rakka Rakka Hypermarket branch and sponsored by the Great Grey Gorilla of Santrakaloon Five,’ the Doctor answered, pacing down the walkway that Tob had left by.
‘What’s happened to the planet?’ Rose inquired anxiously. Beyond a thin layer of ropes, poles, ladders and walkways, she could see an almighty dust storm raging. Plumes of the stuff rose like endless waves above the scaffolding, looming imposingly over the entire construction. But whenever some dust came within a few yards of the scaffolding, there was a flash of purple radiance and the dust bounced back off thin air.
‘I have no idea,’ the Doctor answered grimly, observing the flailing clouds from the walkway. He produced the sonic screwdriver and shone it in several directions. Whenever its blue light fell upon a point a few yards away, the air would glow fiercely purple.
‘Electromagnetic force field,’ the Doctor said, slightly relieved. ‘We’re safe behind it.’
‘So, what’s the story?’ inquired Rose, skipping down the walkway to join the Doctor.
‘Let’s find out,’ he replied.
Some time later, the pair arrived at a pub. It was a clinical, modern place, with white steel walls and a streamlined feel.
‘It’s strange,’ Rose said as they entered the pub. ‘Because I always expect pubs to be all shabby and stale with flaky wooden tables and spilt beer and things. But this looks like... I dunno... Bentalls or something.’
‘Nice description,’ the Doctor commented, as they sat down on a long metal bench, next to a clump of writhing tentacles and what looked like an elongated potato. ‘Shame about the end.’
A small white robot glided forward. Its speaker-grille mouth glittered red as it asked, ‘Drinks?’
‘Er... No thanks,’ replied the Doctor.
The robot’s head swung gently at Rose. When it saw that she wasn’t concentrating, it pointedly said, ‘Miss Rose Tyler?’
Rose started. ‘How do you know my name?’
‘My controllers have your bio-data. Drinks?’
‘What do you have?’ Rose asked, tentatively.
The robot’s hand snapped upwards. On it glowed a menu.
‘I think I’ll have a Tegraglossian Blasterwine, thanks,’ Rose replied. The robot hurried off.
‘Oh no,’ the Doctor moaned. ‘You chose the seventy-third worst drink in the universe!’
Rose glared at him. ‘Robots who know my name, freaky aliens all around us, a dust storm destroying everything on the planet, and you’re saying I chose a bad wine?’
‘Sorry.’ The Doctor shifted and leaned in closer to her. ‘Don’t say the word F-R-E-A-K-Y.’
‘Why not?’ Rose hissed.
‘In Tegrakian, that word means something very naughty.’
‘Point taken,’ Rose said, leaning back from the Doctor. ‘But what I want to know is, how do those robots know my name?’
‘It said, “My controllers have your bio-data.” ‘
‘And who are their controllers?’ wondered Rose.
A robot tramped over to them. ‘Your drink,’ it intoned. The metallic creature placed a large frothing glass on the table. It was an odd shade of red.
‘Yeah, thanks,’ Rose replied, glancing with distaste at the Tegraglossian Blasterwine. ‘We were wondering who your controllers were.’
‘The name is forbidden.’
‘Oh come on,’ urged the Doctor. ‘Live a little!’ Rose smiled at this repetition of one of his favourite phrases.
‘The name is forbidden, Doctor Storm.’
‘Just Doctor, thanks,’ responded the Doctor irritatedly. If only he had looked at that sentence a little closer, thngs would have been so simple...
The robot trundled off. The Doctor raised an eyebrow. ‘They have my bio-data too...’ he realised.
‘Then we’ve met them before...’ Rose said ominously.
‘Not necessarily,’ the Doctor disagreed. ‘They could have found it out while we were travelling. But most likely...’
He looked grim.
‘Yes we have.’
Burning, endless burning. Saucers, ships and stations everywhere. All on fire. Banks of flames thousands of miles wide. And yet, the constant exchange of missiles. Warheads, plumes and streams of light, zapping and flowing between one craft and another. The void of space was consumed with screaming, explosions and the flickering of fire.
Great hatchways opened and millions of warriors streamed out. In the centre of the void, the shouts and gunfire of intense battle reverberated. Ships zoomed crazily through the tumult, still firing. The sound of thousands of ray guns echoed in the nothingness. Bolts of static hissed and buzzed. Blades of energy bit into flesh and the metal of spaceships. Glowing missiles consumed planet after planet after planet, turning to dust. Consumed by the darkness.
Instantly everything was lost in a ferocious, corroding light, the light of a huge wave of energy. Sizzling everything. It slammed into the heads of every warrior, punctured the hull of every spaceship. It seemed that the screams would never end, soldiers tumbling into the void, a continuous flow of bodies. All screaming. Ships turned to dust. Total inferno. Neverending fire.
Shaking off such grim thoughts for the present, the Doctor got up and crossed over to the bunch of tentacles and the potato. ‘This may sound really dumb, but where am I?’ he asked.
The tentacles peeled back, to reveal a wide mouth containing no tongue or teeth. It spoke, and as it did its mouth moved up and down in a rythm that looked completely out of sync with the words it was uttering. ‘You are correct.’ It had a strangely Italian accent.
‘What does that mean?’ the Doctor said, slightly taken aback.
This time the potato spoke. There was no mouth or movement, even. A deep, chocolatey voice emanated from the general direction of the alien. ‘That does sound really dumb.’ This was followed by a rasping, rustling noise which could have been the vegetable’s attempt at a laugh.
‘Seriously, though,’ Rose put in. ‘Where is this? And who are you?’
The clump of tentacles replied. ‘I am Idgland. And this is Gevevine.’ A tentacle slithered over and touched the potato. ‘We are on the planet Tegrak Beta of the Furguson System, inside the construction of the Karazt City on Mount Keledon.’
‘Karazt?’ Rose inquired. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end at this mention of her old enemy. Karazt had been a demon from another dimension who had attempted to invade Earth, but who had been killed upon the arrival of a second war force, the Cybermen.
Karazt could be the old enemy who was controlling the robots...
Rose instantly shoved the notion to the back of her mind. Karazt had died, she was certain of it. Something else was behind the robots.
‘Yes, Karazt,’ Idgland responded, dragging Rose back to the present. ‘It was the name of the leader of an attempted invasion of the planet Earth, about ten thousand years ago. I don’t know why it’s called that. It just is.’
‘Anyway,’ continued the Doctor, who didn’t seem to have been at all shocked at the Karazt reference. ‘Do you know why the city is being built?’
‘Yes, of course,’ Gevevine confirmed. ‘You know the dust storms?’
‘Yeah...’ the Doctor answered.
‘They are destroying the planet. As you probably saw. But, at the time of completion, the entire population is to gather inside the city, shielded by an electromagnetic force field. Then, drawing on the reserves of energy contained in the power source below Mount Keledon’s crater, the city will rip off the planet and will fly to a new home.’
‘I hope the Great Grey Gorilla of Santrakaloon Five withdraws his sponsorship soon,’ said Rose.
‘He has,’ said Idgland.
In the great wave of light, all the warriors in the war were swept into infinity. But one ship was lucky.
Amidst the inferno floated a snake. A metal snake, with eyes of ruby, scales of platinum and a tongue of gold. It coiled and slithered in the emptiness of space, not yet affected by the blinding fires of conflict. A golden, ravaged saucer tumbled towards the snake. But a plume of fierce energy dissolved it as it flew. Screaming, its pilots spiralled into the void. But they collided with the snake.
The snake suddenly realised the danger of the oncoming energy wave. SLAM! An electromagnetic force field clanged into reality. The strongest force field in the universe. The light wave streamed into it. Silver sparks shattered the edges of the force field. Beams of power bounced harmlessly back into the blackness. The field glowed purple.
Both the snake and the group of soldiers were unharmed.
A booming, endlessly echoing voice smashed space apart. ‘I MUST FEEEEEEEEED! I MUST FEEEEEEEEED! FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!’ It came from the snake.
The snake and the warriors zapped through the emptiness, spinning uncontrollably.
Destination — Tegrak Beta...
‘So,’ the Doctor went on, leaning forward. ‘What’s this power source, then?’
‘I don’t know,’ Gevevine replied. ‘No one does. It’s buried under the mountain’s crater, that’s all I’ve learnt. And that it’s supposed to somehow blast the city into space.’
‘Don’t you think it’s a bit suspicious?’ Rose asked.
‘In what way?’ Idgland turned to her.
‘Well, that everyone is meant to gather together in one place,’ Rose said. ‘If, say, a missile hit the city, then WOOMPH! Everyone goes up in flame.’
‘Someone might be planning this...’ the Doctor wondered.
‘Good query. You should ask the authorities about that,’ suggested Idgland.
The Doctor finally stirred. This was more like what he wanted to hear. ‘And who are “The authorities”?’ he questioned.
Idgland and Gevevine exchanged a glance. Neither of them possessed eyes, but that feeling was given off. ‘By the great god Sungrosimmic, I don’t actually know!’ exclaimed Gevevine. ‘They only send us a message saying if anyone has an inquiry, they should go to the CC, on top of the city, near the crater.’
‘This CC sounds suspiciously like Control Centre,’ the Doctor said ominously.
‘Then the controllers of the robots could be there!’ Rose realised.
‘I wonder...’ said the Doctor.
The snake and the soldiers smashed through the darkness towards the planet Tegrak Beta.
Then the force field beeped. A strange burbling report echoed in the soldiers’ minds. Nothing could be understood. However the flashing, beeping red lights on the snake’s platinum head indicated emergency.
Suddenly the force field ran out of energy. The snake’s cries of ‘I MUST FEEEEEEEED!’ transformed into, ‘CRASH LANDING IMMINENT! ALERT!’
Then, abruptly, the group of strange objects hit the atmosphere of Tegrak. They were falling, through clouds, now the ground was whistling up to meet them, sickeningly fast. The aerial view of the landscape tilted alarmingly, three hundred and sixty degrees. Then everything was a spinning blur, a mountain... an empty plain... buildings...
The snake and the soldiers buried themselves in the ground, falling endlessly into the crater of Mount Keledon, hundreds and hundreds of miles down into the earth, until they hit hard rock. And halted.
But one soldier was not deposited in the crater. It landed some miles away from Keledon, in the centre of the empty plain.
It flew into the clouds, waiting for the appointed time.
For on the journey, the snake had told them its plan and included them in it.
It was about a year until the universe would fall.
The Eon Eater had come.
‘Well, you know what?’ Rose suddenly stated.
‘Yes, I know him very well,’ responded the Doctor.
‘Don’t be stupid,’ Rose said, half laughing and half moaning. ‘I feel like we should make an inquiry, we don’t know enough.’
‘Good idea actually,’ commented Idgland. ‘I had a good friend, Laglag, who did the same. I’d be interested to find out where he went.’
‘He never came back?’ the Doctor said, his face lighting up.
‘No... I suppose not,’ Idgland confirmed.
‘Fantastic,’ the Doctor grinned. And he ran towards the exit, followed by Rose, Idgland and Gevevine. Both aliens floated in the air to move.
‘Excuse me...’ Idgland said, pushing out of the door, ‘should I take that comment as a personal offence, a sarcastic thought or evidence of a lunatic?’
‘None of them,’ the Doctor replied. ‘Come on!’
They ran and glided endlessly up the spirals of half-constructed balconies, up, up, up towards the Control Centre, and the crater.
In the end they found that they could never hope to climb up the whole mountain without assistance. But they discovered a lift system, and, armed with this speed boost, they procceeded to the crater.
Finally, and majestically, the Control Centre rose up in front of them, glittering in the reddish light of three suns setting and twelve moons rising. It was a sort of T-shape whose “stem” ended in a semicircular glass dome, which looked very modern compared to the rusting steel of the T. A door could be seen in the left side of the stem of the T. A tower rose up from a point roughly halfway along the stem. Balconies and spaceship hangars jutted out from the eaves. Satellite dishes, transmitters and control rods pointed from the rooves. All around the Control Centre hovered spaceships of various shapes, colours and sizes.
‘Well, there you go,’ Gevevine sighed. ‘Now try and get inside it...’
The Doctor, Rose, Idgland and Gevevine came to the small pair of automatic doors. A padlock was on them. As soon as they automatically began to open, the padlock chain stretched taut. The doors would open a sliver, then close again.
‘I told you,’ Gevevine said.
‘Oh, the Doctor’s very good at locks,’ Rose smiled. Sharing the smile, the Doctor stepped forward confidently, with the sonic screwdriver in hand. However, when the light shone over the lock, there were no sparks or explosions. The rays were repelled, and hit the Doctor harmlessly. The lock glowed slightly purple.
‘Oh, that’s a new one,’ groaned the Doctor. ‘Putting up an electromagnetic force field around a padlock?!’
‘Hang on,’ Idgland said. The alien glided forward. The doors opened a crack, then were halted by the padlock. However Idgland’s malleable body adapted to this, forming a talll, incredibly thin sausage shape. In this form, the alien was able to squeeze into the crack and out the other side.
There were two human guards on duty, holding plasma guns. Before they could open fire on the intruder, Idgland’s tentacles peeled back to reveal its mouth. Two jets of concentrated acid squirted out and connected with the guards’ faces. They turned limp and collapsed, unconscious. A key tumbled sideways out of one of their pockets. It hit the floor, clanging.
‘Haha!’ Idgland exclaimed. The alien threw the key into the crack in the auto-doors.
The Doctor caught and and called, ’Thanks!’ He then fed the key into the padlock. For a moment the electromagnetic force field resisted. Then it gave way. It had been programmed to respond to this object.
The lock clicked. The Doctor pulled out the chain from both sides of the padlock. The lock fell to the ground. Rose helped the Doctor to pull the chain out. The auto-doors slid open.
‘Very posh,’ Gevevine remarked, observing their surroundings. Everything was made of smooth, sleek steel and smoked glass. To their left, the corridor stretched down into the semicircular glass dome. To their right, the corridor went on for a while then split into two corridors. There was no sign of the entrance to the tower that they had spotted earlier.
Meanwhile the Doctor was examining the two unconscious guards. ‘How long will they be out for?’ he asked Idgland.
‘About two weeks,’ Idgland answered absently.
The Doctor cursed. ‘We need them now!’ he told himself. ‘Is there a seperate room? Yes!’
There was a door on the other side of the corridor. The Doctor opened it. It was a lavatory. Rose, Idgland and Gevevine burst out laughing.
‘Oh well, better than nothing,’ the Doctor muttered. He dragged the two guards into the small closet and examined them. One was young and looked slightly bewildered and comical. He had a small, well-formed nose, hazel eyes and spiky light brown hair. He was of a muscular build. The other was in his mid-forties, had a grizzled look and greying hair. They were both wearing dark red uniforms and hobnailed boots.
Gently, he shone the sonic screwdriver over them both.
Gasping, they jolted upright at exactly the same time. ‘Blimey, me head!’ rasped the older guard, rubbing it.
‘It’s OK,’ the Doctor reassured. ‘We’re here to help.’ By now, Idgland, Gevevine and Rose had all crowded into the lavatory. ‘What are your names?’
‘General Tugrank,’ the older guard replied.
‘Junior Harley,’ the younger one added.
‘Right,’ the Doctor said. ‘This is Rose Tyler,’ he tapped Rose on the shoulder, ’and this-‘
‘Is Idgland,’ Idgland finished. ‘Masculine.’
‘I’m Gevevine,’ concluded the potato. ‘Feminine.’
Tugrank and Harley nodded.
‘Right, back to the original point,’ continued the Doctor. ‘What are you controlling here, at the CC?’
‘Why should I answer you?’ Tugrank frowned.
Exasperated, the Doctor said, ‘Don’t you ever just want to know what’s going on? To find out everything? Confirm your suspicions? Be active?’
‘Yeah...’ agreed Harley. After a hesitation, Tugrank replied,’I suppose. But how would answering you and betraying the authorities help me do any of that stuff?’
‘You’ll find out...’ the Doctor insisted.
The General breathed heavily. ‘All right. We’ll tell you everything we know.’
Up in the tower, a single being, that had fallen to Tegrak one year ago, a survivor of the greatest war in all time and space, one of the soldiers who had fallen to the planet, which was now wired into machinery, glowing with power, gave a single command which would change the universe.
‘Harness robot energy! Break the seal on Keledon’s crater! Preparation has begun! Victory is approaching! The universe will die!’
In the pub, all the white robots suddenly stopped moving. Drinks fell from their hands. Everything ceased. All the clamour and chat silenced. All attention was fixed on the robots.
Then long volcanic streams of energy hissed out of their bodies, travelling ponderously through the air, all headed for the same place.
‘This place is controlling three things,’ Tugrank said. ‘The robots, the power source, and the seal.’
‘Which seal?’ Idgland interrupted.
Harley’s eyes boggled. ‘You haven’t seen the seal?’
‘No...’ Rose replied slowly.
‘Seal in which sense?’ the Doctor asked. ‘The furry creature or the trapdoor sort of thing?’
‘Doctor...’ Rose chided. ‘I think you know!’
‘The trapdoor?’ the Doctor guessed.
Tugrank nodded. ‘Something fell onto the surface of the planet about a year ago. People were scared, because it left a great big hole in the ground, leading to who knows what. So they built a seal, a huge trapdoor, almost indestructible. Blocking out whatever is down there.’
‘You control it?’ Gevevine inquired.
‘Yeah,’ confirmed Harley.
‘Well, what’s the point in that?’ Idgland asked. ‘All you’d ever have to do is maintain it.’
‘We’re not the ones who are controlling it,’ Tugrank reminded them.
‘Who is?’ Rose questioned, leaning forward.
‘The authorities,’ Harley said, shrugging slightly.
‘And who are they?’ demanded the Doctor.
Tugrank and Harley were definitely floundering now. ‘I don’t know!’ cried Harley. ‘How should we know?!’
‘All right,’ said the Doctor. Sensing their exasperation, he changed track. ‘When did you say something fell to earth?’
‘A year ago,’ repeated Tugrank.
Now the Doctor turned to Idgland, in full flow. ‘And when did you say the dust storms started?’
Idgland gasped. ‘A year ago...’
They were slowly but surely making the connection.
‘So, we can safely say that whatever landed here caused the dust storms,’ the Doctor concluded, pacing round the room. ‘Therefore it must be malign. And powerful. So we can also safely say that we do not want the seal to open.’
‘What I don’t understand,’ Gevevine said, ‘is the city. Where does it fit into the picture?’
‘That’s true,’ the Doctor agreed. ‘It doesn’t make sense. Who had the idea of building the city? The thing that landed here? The citizens? Because, if the thing that landed here wanted the dust storms for something — which it probably does, since it caused them — then why hasn’t it taken action against the city being built?’
‘Unless it wanted the city to be built?’ Rose stated another possibility.
‘Now we’re back in business.’ The Doctor grinned. ‘But why does it want the city? Maybe it wants to escape when the city flies away? No, the dust storms don’t fit in then. Unless it wanted to convince the people to build the city by creating the storms? But why would a powerful organism want to hitch a ride with “mere mortals”? And if it needed to escape, why did it head for Tegrak in the first place? It doesn’t make sense!’
But none of the Doctor’s friends were looking at him now. They were gazing out of the window, towards the crater.
He pushed amongst them to have a look. And gasped.
In the centre of the crater, the seal lay. A magnificent circular area of metal, at least thirty feet in diameter. But this was not what made the Doctor gasp. Long lancing lines of energy hissed and crackled towards the seal.
CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!
One by one the waves of power collided with the seal. Dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions! An endless river of white light.
The last line hit the seal. Light swirled around the metal trapdoor. Shrinking, pulling everything in, the fabric of reality S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G, being sucked in...
The seal exploded.
Shards of metal span everywhere, biting into air, brick, earth and flesh. Fires raged all around. But over the tumult, multiple voices resounded. Coming closer. Flying from the pit. ‘THE SEAL HAS BROKEN! WE ASCEND!’
The Doctor’s eyes widened with horror.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Back to index
Chapter 2: City of the Daleks Part 2 - Battle Begins
Author's Notes: The second part of City of the Daleks in which things start to get better for me and worse for my characters... ie. LOTS OF VIOLENCE!!!! WOOHOOO!
A DOCTOR WHO STORY
Fires licked up from the gaping pit where the seal had been. Smoke and spouting steam shot up in the night sky for at least one hundred feet. Hissing and crackling rang in the Doctor’s ears.
And over the barrier of flame and heat, rising into view, majestic, returning to the universe, wreathed in terrible glory.
Shapes that had not been seen on Tegrak Beta for thousands of years.
The terrible grinding metallic cry of ‘EXTERMINATE!’ reverberated, the stories say, all around the planet.
Dozens of Daleks, rising inexorably, arching down upon the world, hundreds and hundreds, their dome-lights flashing in anger, their ray-guns swivelling, some alredy firing vicious white bolts into the sky in celebration.
‘What the hell?’ Tugrank exclaimed.
Harley looked like his eyes were going to pop out of his head. Gevevine was screaming. Idgalnd was ready to run. Rose looked sadly and fearfully at the Doctor.
‘How come there are always more Daleks?’ she asked. ‘However many you kill, they just keep on coming.’
The Doctor just stood and stared. To terrified to run, too angry to shout, too sad to cry. He just stood there, looking all of his nine hundred years.
The long stream of machines stopped abruptly. The wave arced downwards. The Dalek at the head of the column suddenly screeched, ‘THE DOCTOR HAS BEEN LOCATED!’
The Dalek line swerved left. Towards them.
‘THE DOCTOR WILL BE EX-TER-MIN-AT-ED!’
The Doctor kept on staring.
Rose, panicking, screamed at the Doctor, ‘COME ON!’
He did not respond.
Rose punched him gently. Then harder. She even tried hugging him. Shouted in his ear. Nothing worked. And the Daleks were coming closer...
Suddenly a Dalek’s eye-stalk turned to meet her gaze. ‘DOCTOR’S FEMALE ASSOCIATE DETECTED! TREACHEROUS SECURITY GUARDS AND CRUDE ALIENS ACCOMPANY HIM! ACCELERATE!’
The Daleks screamed, ‘ACCELERATE!’ and accelerate they did.
But, as if this message was the ringing of an alarm clock, the Doctor awoke. ‘Stage One. Observe situation.’
He looked out of the window. The Daleks were only a few metres away.
‘Stage Two. Leg it.’
The Doctor jumped into action. He bounded over to the door and kicked it open. ‘Everybody through! Now!’ Rose, Idgland, Gevevine and Tugrank rushed past. But Harley was too slow. As he made for the exit, the lead Dalek performed a swashbuckling somersault through the window, smashing the thin flimsy glass. ‘EXTERMINATE!’ A ray of energy exploded from the Dalek’s blaster. It hit Harley in the back. Screaming, his skeleton briefly showed through his flesh. Then the guard collapsed, dead.
The Doctor leapt through the doorway and swung it shut, as more Daleks poured through the shattered gash of the window.
‘Phew,’ Rose panted.
The Daleks blew open the door.
‘I take it back,’ said Rose.
They sprinted down the corridor. However the Doctor sprinted across it. He reached for the force-fielded padlock that was lying on the ground next to the automatic doors.
A Dalek swerved out of the lavatory. ‘OPEN FIRE!’
Several Dalek bolts whizzed at the Doctor (five to be exact). He ducked two, dodged one, and the fourth merely hit the fire alarm. But the fifth was headed straight for him. He swung the padlock on its chain like a flail. The laser collided with the padlock’s electromagnetic force field and bounced off thin air, sliding into the ceiling. The ray just happened to hit a major beam.
The beam snapped and swung limply from the ceiling. For a moment nothing happened. Then tonnes upon tonnes of masonry cascaded down, thousands of chunks of sharp jagged steel. Three Daleks were crushed and dozens were trapped. The rest were cut off from the Doctor and his friends.
On the other side of the barrier, the Dalek Leader turned to its followers.
‘THE DOCTOR IS SAFELY CONTAINED! INITIATE THE FINAL PHASE! THE CITY WILL BE COMPLETED! THE EON EATER WILL RISE TRIUMPHANT!’
The Daleks glided away down the corridor.
Tugrank, Idgland and Gevevine lay panting on the floor. The Doctor crossed over to Rose.
‘You OK?’ he asked, concerned.
‘Yeah,’ she grinned, nervously. He held out his arms and she fell into them.
Idgland and Gevevine seemed to be doing their equivalent of hugging, too. Idgland was enveloping Gevevine in tentacles. The potato-like creature was elongating herself so that she ringed round her friend.
Tugrank just sat there, mopping his brow and panting.
The Doctor let go of Rose. ‘I wonder how they survived...’ he murmured.
‘There’s always some endless story to explain it,’ smiled Rose, still clinging onto him. ‘Though at least this gives us a clue as to what’s going on.’
‘It does, you’re right,’ said Tugrank.
Hundreds of miles down in the earth, in the immeasurable depths of the crust, the ancient intergalactic snake stirred.
‘THE FINAL PHASE HAS BEGUN! FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!’
The platinum snake writhed in hunger. And it was not hungry for chickens, or rats, or flesh, like a normal snake.
It was, of course, aptly named “The Eon Eater”...
‘How exactly?’ inquired Rose.
‘Um... yeah,’ he said.
‘Well, now we know what was below the seal, and we can concentrate on one thing,’ Tugrank answered.
‘OK...’ the Doctor responded slowly. It was taking a while to understand this. ‘Two points. What’s the first one about?’
‘Well, the Daleks came out,’ Tugrank said. ‘So we know that that problem is solved.’
‘Yeah. I suppose it is,’ agreed the Doctor.
‘And we now know that the Daleks are the controllers of the robots, because they have our bio-data from the past,’ Rose added.
‘But the Daleks couldn’t control the robots from the pit,’ interrupted Gevevine. ‘How did they do it?’
‘One of the Daleks must not have landed in the crater,’ concluded the Doctor grimly. ‘It must be the “authority”. The one who controls the seal, the robots and the power source. The leader of the control centre.’
‘It must be either up in the tower or in the glass dome we saw,’ realised Rose.
‘Also, another thing,’ Idgland put in. ‘The broken seal. I did a scan. It was blown apart using waves of Default Five energy. The energy used to power robots.’
‘The authority must have transmitted the robots’ life force into the seal,’ the Doctor said.
‘So, back to my second point,’ continued Tugrank. ‘The Daleks only have one thing to control now — the power source. Because they’ve used up all the energy in the robots and the seal has broken. But what I want to know is — why do they need to control the power source?’
‘To make the city fly away, presumably,’ Rose guessed.
‘But why would the Daleks want that?’ Idgland pointed out.
‘I need to have a look at the control systems,’ announced the Doctor. ‘To see what they’re up to.’
‘Where is the control centre?’ Gevevine asked.
‘Either in the dome or the tower,’ the Doctor replied. ‘And I suspect it is the dome, because the tower is too small to house masses of controls... which is good, because the dome is on this side of the rubble. Come on!’
The small party ran down the stem of the T, towards the waiting dome.
Up in the tower, the Authority hung in mid-air. It was a magnificent white Dalek, with wires pouring into it, allowing it to manipulate the controls downstairs in the dome, send messages across the whole planet and transmit all sorts of energy and signals. It was thronged by its followers, including the black Dalek Leader.
‘TELEPORT REMAINING CONSTRUCTIONS INTO PLACE!’ the Authority cried. ‘THE CITY WILL BE COMPLETED AND WE WILL REIGN SUPREME!’
‘BASIC PROCESS WILL ENDURE FOR APPROXIMATELY HALF AN HOUR!’ the Dalek Leader informed its master.
Right across Tegrak Beta, VWEP sounds were heard as buildings appeared in flashes of blue light. The city was being built.
‘ACTIVATE INTERNAL LASERS! DESTROY ALL SCAFFOLDING!’ the Authority commanded.
Beams of blinding light blazed from the rock of Keledon itself. The lasers all round the city simultaneously dissolved every nearby piece of scaffolding. It was no longer needed. It had never been needed. It was only there to make the construction work look authentic.
The Doctor, Rose, Idgland, Gevevine and Tugrank reached the dome.
‘Oh dear,’ Gevevine groaned. The automatic doors were locked with another padlock. And this time the chain was so tight that the doors wouldn’t even open a crack. They couldn’t get in.
‘Uh-oh...’ Rose said.
The Doctor frowned. ‘Hang on a moment,’ he ordered. He whipped out the padlock from the other door, still inside its elctromagnetic force field. He read the carved writing on the metal. It read, Factor Five.
The other padlock read, Factor Four.
‘Oh yes!’ the Doctor exclaimed. He pressed his padlock against the other one. BEEP! The force field faded out of existence on the new padlock.
‘How did you do that?’ Tugrank inquired, shocked and fascinated.
‘My force field was a higher factor than theirs,’ the Doctor explained. He tugged the chain down and off the padlock. Both objects fell to the ground. The doors slid open.
Several security guards thronged the glittering white controls, computers and desks. As soon as they entered, they opened fire with their plasma guns. Rose and Gevevine raced back into the corridor and round a corner, unarmed. But the Doctor, Idgland and Tugrank held their ground. The Doctor stepped forward as a barrage of plasma rays hurtled towards him. He swung his padlock-flail, deflecting the rays with deadly accuracy.
Idgland stepped to his right and Tugrank to his left. Tugrank fired his plasma gun at them, while Idgland squirted his internal acid.
In the corner, Rose and Gevevine cowered, listening to the sounds of battle.
‘Look, I hope this doesn’t sound rude, but what exactly are you?’ Rose took this oppurtunity to question Gevevine.
‘I’m a Glossian,’ Gevevine replied. ‘From the Glossia Six Junction, Space-Lane nine hundred and twenty three thousand four hundred and fifty six point nine reoccuring. And you?’
‘Human. From Earth.’ Rose’s answer seemed disappointly short compared to Gevevine’s. She sensed this and gave a small rustling laugh.
‘What about your friend? Idgland?’ continued Rose, fascinated.
‘He’s Tegrakian. But he’s not my friend. He’s my husband.’
Rose’s eyebrows raised and she giggled. ‘My God, I didn’t know!’ she gasped.
‘Oh, yes. Have you-?’
‘No,’ Rose answered quickly. Then she smiled. ‘Not yet,’ with a glance at the Doctor.
‘OOOOOH!’ sniggered the potato. ‘Shall I tell him?...’
Rose whirled. ‘Don’t you dare!’
Gevevine pretended to immediately silence like a naughty schoolchild who has just been told off by a teacher.
Rose muttered to herself, ‘What are their babies going to be like?...’
Idgland finished the last guard and turned to the Doctor. ‘All over,’ he sighed.
‘Rose! Gevevine!’ the Doctor called.
The pair strolled into the room.
‘Arm yourself!’ commanded Tugrank.
Everyone took a plasma gun from the pile of prone forms in the centre of the room, except Gevevine, who had nothing to hold one with. The Doctor walked over to them sadly and touched each of their cheeks in turn. ‘I’m sorry,’ he murmured.
Tugrank took an extra plasma gun for back-up and slotted it through the strap of his belt. ‘Right,’ he said. ‘Investigation time.’
The Doctor strode to a particular desk, which was covered in buttons, levers and screens. He shone the sonic screwdriver over it.
‘Now this,’ he relayed his discoveries to the others, ‘is odd. The systems are hundreds of times more complicated and powerful than an ordinary control centre’s, even though this one controls three things. Hold on, let me have a look. Rose and Tugrank, you can help me.’
The two humans rushed over to the desk and started pulling at a panel, trying to expose the wires underneath so that the Doctor could take a closer look.
‘And you two,’ the Doctor momentarily turned to Idgland and Gevevine, ‘can keep a lookout for more guards or Daleks. We don’t want to get caught unawares, do we?’
Gevevine went to the outer door and Idgland to the doors that they had come through.
The trio resumed their efforts. Finally the panel ripped off, revealing a tangled mess of wires, plugs and extensions.
‘Right!’ the Doctor exclaimed, pleased. ‘Now we can, once and for all, figure out what’s going on here!’
The Authority was informed by the Dalek Leader, ‘TELEPORTATION PROCESS FINISHED! THE CITY IS COMPLETE!’
The Authority was triumphant. ‘BEGIN GLOBAL MESSAGE TRANSMISSION!’
In the middle of work, the Doctor suddenly cried, ‘NO!’
Rose leapt to him, shocked. She placed a hand on his shoulder. ‘What? Are you OK?’ she burst out.
The Doctor recovered. ‘Yeah,’ he gasped. ‘But I know their plan. And it means...’
‘What?’ Rose pressed. Tugrank peered over her shoulder, concerned.
‘It means that within one hour, the universe will be doomed,’ he told her.
Tugrank sputtered. Rose turned deathly pale. ‘But how?’ they asked in unison.
‘You asked for it...’ warned the Doctor grimly before continuing. ‘The Daleks only created the dust storms, and the city, and the scaffolding for show. To make the project look authentic. You see, the dust storms were only to convince the government of Tegrak that a city was needed. And the city, and the plan of migration, were just an excuse for building the Control Centre, breaking the seal and destroying the entire universe.’
‘But how will they destroy the universe?’ Tugrank urged, not daring to believe that this was true.
‘The power source. In the crater. Below the seal.’ The Doctor grimaced. ‘Every single citizen of Tegrak thinks it’s an anti-gravity wave transmitter. But it’s not. It’s the reason these controls are hundreds of times more complicated than I expected. The power source is a time conductor.’
‘Which would mean...?’ hinted Rose.
‘All these extra wires, they go right down into the power source, hundreds of miles underground. They transform it into a time conductor. When it’s activated, a period of time will get sucked into it and transmitted into something. I don’t know what. But it leaves whole eons devastated, burned and fed upon.
‘But that’s not all. This time conductor is thousands of billions of googols and googolplexes stronger. Its range covers the entire universe. The whole of time and space will get sucked into the power source and fed into a greedy predator who’s everlastingly hungry and nothing can stop it!’
The Eon Eater lashed and coiled. ‘HUUUUUNNNNGGGGRRRRYYY!’ it screamed, at the small whirling pillar in front of it. The power source. It was mindboggling that such a tiny object would grant the Eon Eater everlasting victory.
‘FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!’
‘On that screen,’ Rose pointed out. ‘It says “incoming message”.’
‘Oh, EXCELLENT!’ the Doctor cried. ‘This control centre allows us to read the message before it gets globally transmitted.
‘And alter it!’
The screen read, ‘Citizens of Tegrak, if you stay on this world, you are all doomed. There is absolute proof that if the Heliesin Streak reaches you, you will be dead within two seconds. Reminder, the Heliesin Streak is the largest patch of dust storms on Tegrak and it is headed west from the Longlow Sea...’
But the Doctor didn’t care about the rest. He was devising a plan, to alter the message so that it sounded rude. Therefore the citizens would be offended and would not come to the city, and the Authority would have no excuse to activate the power source. And the universe would be safe...
He deleted ‘if you stay on this world,’ but kept the ‘Citizens of Tegrak, you are all,’ and deleted the ‘doomed.’ He then deleted ‘there is absolute proof that i,’ and kept the ‘f’. ‘The Heliesin St,’ was deleted, but the ‘reak,’ was kept. The Doctor also kept the ‘ea,’ at the end of Longlow Sea, and deleted everything else.
The message now read, ‘Citizens of Tegrak, you are all freaky!’
Rose laughed uproariously at this. ‘What does F-R-E-A-K-Y mean, Doctor,’ she asked, still giggling.
‘You really don’t want to know,’ said the Doctor.
On every screen around the planet, the distorted message rang.
‘Citizens of Tegrak, you are all freaky.’
The planet’s suicide rate quadrupled overnight.
Up in the Tower, the Authority cried, ‘THE DOCTOR IS INTERFERING WITH GLOBAL TRANSMISSION! LEADER, TAKE TWO HUNDRED DALEKS AND TERMINATE HIS ACCESS!’
The Leader glided off.
It just so happened that after all their efforts, they were caught unawares.
For Idgland was guarding the inner door, Gevevine the outer door. But nobody was looking up.
‘So what is this everlastingly hungry predator?’ inquired Rose, thoughtfully.
‘I dunno,’ the Doctor answered absently, fiddling with wires.
‘But at least we know where it is,’ Tugrank pointed out. ‘In the pit.’
‘True,’ the Doctor responded. ‘It’s also true that we need to get out of here. Because I suspect we might have company.’
He rolled his eyes up. Everyone followed his gaze. Hovering above the dome was the Dalek Leader, flanked by its army.
The Leader’s dome-lights flashed four times in a silent ‘EX-TER-MIN-ATE!’ Then a sizzling laser bolt lanced down and struck the top of the dome. The glass shattered and fell away, leaving a long jagged rip. Daleks streamed through.
‘RUN!’ screamed Tugrank loudly. Everyone dashed for the outer door. The Doctor hastily dissolved the padlock’s force field with his padlock and the doors slid open. The Doctor, Rose, Idgland, Gevevine and Tugrank bounded through and ran for it.
Dalek rays bounced and hissed all aroud them. Suddenly three Daleks reared in front. Tugrank dropped down and rolled as he ran, came up on one knee, balanced his plasma gun on the knee and fired. The Daleks crashed down in ruin.
Idgland and the Doctor took up the rear, defensive position while the others ran forward. The Doctor’s padlock-flail whirled like a dervish, deflecting Dalek rays, while Idgland shot plasma at them. However there were simply too many Daleks. Ruthless machines spilled past them, catching up with Rose, Gevevine and Tugrank. And whenever a Dalek was felled, another simply took its place.
‘EXTERMINATE!’ A bolt whizzed dangerously close to Rose’s arm. She fired at the offending Dalek, but she was inexperienced in gunfighting and the plasma ray hurtled way too high. Sensing her helplessness, the Daleks moved in for the kill.
Tugrank retaliated automatically, but suddenly the Dalek Leader loomed up. Its sucker arm jutted forward and snatched Tugrank’s plasma gun from him. In the second it took for him to reach for his second weapon, the Leader cried, ‘EXTERMINATE!’ and fired. Tugrank screamed madly and his skeleton shone through his flesh. Then he was lying limply on the rock.
Rose realised with horror that her group was now defenceless — she could hardly fire, and Gevevine had no weapon. The Dalek Leader tossed Tugrank’s gun over its dome, where it lay uselessly on the hard stone.
‘EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!’
The Doctor, seeing the predicament which his friends were in, raced back. ‘RETREAT!’ he shouted to Idgland.
He complied. The Daleks whizzed overhead, eager to kill Rose and Gevevine. The Doctor and Idgland opened fire. Daleks were blasted down. The Doctor broke through the circle of Daleks and, without stopping, grabbed Rose’s hand. They sprinted together, Idgland and Gevevine following, pursued by the Daleks.
Suddenly they ground to a halt. They were on the very edge of the pit where the seal had been. The Daleks caught up. They were trapped.
The Dalek Leader soared up in front of them, hovering above emptiness. ‘WE DO NOT REQUIRE YOU DEAD.’
The Doctor’s eyes boggled. ‘You’re not going to kill us?’ he asked, hardly daring to believe that this was true.
‘WE REQUIRE INFORMATION. HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?’ the Leader demanded.
There was a silence.
‘WE DO NOT REQUIRE YOU DEAD BUT YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED IF NECESSARY. I REPEAT, WE DO NOT REQUIRE YOU DEAD.’
Suddenly the Doctor leapt into action. ‘Suits me fine!’ he said, and fired three plasma rays in quick succession at the Leader. With a croaking, machanical cry, the Leader of the Daleks tumbled back into the pit. And this time there was no force field. WHAM! The lifeless Dalek hit the ground. And stayed there.
Instantly the Daleks retaliated. They shoved the Doctor, Rose, Idgland and Gevevine forward. The Doctor and Rose clung onto the edge of the pit with only their fingertips. Idgland did this with his tentacles, and Gevevine performed the task with a newly grown arm.
‘YOU MUST SURRENDER!’ a Dalek cried.
‘OK,’ the Doctor answered. ‘We surrender.’
‘YOU MUST CARRY OUT THE OFFICIAL MARK OF SURRENDER!’
‘What’s that?’ Rose inquired. And the Dalek gave a terrifying, intimidating answer which they could never hope to do.
‘HANDS UP! HANDS UP! HANDS UP!’
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Chapter 3: City of the Daleks Part 3 - Eon Eater
Author's Notes: Part Three of City of the Daleks is here! And this is a good morning for me so the place is gonna get flooded with my stuff... beware!
A DOCTOR WHO STORY
‘Plasma… gun…’ gasped Rose, groaning with the effort of supporting herself.
‘Wrong angle,’ the Doctor said.
A Dalek’s eye-stalk swung down, fast, fixing on the Doctor, Rose, Idgland and Gevevine. ‘HANDS UP OR YOU WILL BE EX-TER-MIN-AT-ED!’
The Doctor didn’t seem to be concentrating on the Daleks, though. He was pointing a thumbs-up sign at a point some way beyond the Daleks, in the sky.
The Daleks seemed to notice this, and their eye-stalks swivelled all at once. As soon as they did this, all four creatures leapt up from the pit. However it was not a bluff. A long gleaming sleek spaceship swerved from the sky and PLONK landed flat on top of the Daleks. Mechanical screams reverberated in the night sky as two hundred Daleks died all at once.
‘Very Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ remarked Rose.
‘What?’ asked Idgland.
‘Never mind,’ said Rose.
‘Who’s in there?’ the Doctor called to the spaceship, tapping on its windows.
A cool female PA voice rang out in answer. ‘This ship is automatic, the very latest model of a T-M765 Beta Maximum Luxury Skystroller from the Rakka Rakka hypermarket branch. Compatible with all fruit and vegetables, including the Nastapukar, the MMNN prototype and the banana. Pilots are reminded that overdoses of luxury may severely damage paranoia. The Skystroller reacts on pure impulse and any hitch-hiker may temporarily override controls.’
‘Ah, so you’ve been set on auto-pilot,’ the Doctor realised. ‘You’re returning to your owner.’
‘May we hitch-hike?’
‘OK,’ the Doctor said brightly. ‘Hop in, then!’
Up in the tower, the Authority screamed, ‘THE STRATAGEM MUST NOT FAIL! WE MUST ACTIVATE THE POWER SOURCE AT ALL COSTS! EVEN IF WE HAVE NO OFFICIAL EXCUSE TO DO THIS!
On every screen on the planet, the Dalek message played. And this time it was not just an audiolink — it was a picturelink. Every citizen saw the Authority in plain view.
‘YOU ARE DOOMED!’ the Dalek cried victoriously. ‘WHETHER YOU COME TO THE CITY OR NOT, THE UNIVERSE IS SET TO FALL! ALL OF YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED BUT THE DALEKS WILL RISE SUPREME! THE EON EATER HAS COME!’
For a moment the message blinked off. There was a pause.
It came back on.
‘WE ARE COMING!’
It fizzled and went dead.
‘Where are we going to go?’ Gevevine asked, as the Doctor slammed up a lever.
‘Into the pit.’ The Doctor succeeded in pressing about ten buttons at the same time. The engines roared into life. VROOM!
‘What the hell?’ Rose burst out. ‘Why?’
‘It’s time I found out what this ‘predator’ is,’ the Doctor replied. ‘The one that’s going to absorb the universe.’
‘Online,’ stated the ship’s PA.
‘Oh finally,’ breathed the Doctor. He grabbed hold of a strange bicycle-pump-like device and heaved it up and down. The ship lifted from the ground, twirled in the air, and dived straight down into the pit.
‘THIS TOWER ONLY HOLDS US CAPTIVE!’ screeched the Authority. ‘VICTORY SHOULD BE GLORIOUS! REMOVE CONSTRUCTION!’
The Daleks that thronged the Authority fired simultaneously. The whole of the top of the tower flew off and spiralled down. It collided with the roof of the Control Dome, splintering it into crunching, clanging shards. In all directions, the Daleks whistled. Finally enjoying freedom, they rained down upon the city, firing wildly, not caring now whether the city looked ready to lift off or not.
Buildings burst aflame and explosions racked the spiralling balconies.
‘EXTERMINATE ALL LIFE FORMS BELOW!’ a Dalek cried.
And, back in the tower, the Authority loomed. A threatening, majestic figure.
One by one the wires connecting the Dalek to the controls snapped. The Authority cried in ecstasy! SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! Explosions splintered through the air as machinery burst apart.
And, at last, the Authority was free.
And was ready with its deadly weapon. For, instead of a sucker arm, the Authority possessed an extra gun — like a normal one, except ten times larger. The Authority rose into the sky, elegant, iconic and unstoppable.
It fired its gun down.
A huge nuclear warhead vomited from the gun. It headed straight for the city…
The missile sent whole levels of the city flying outwards, crashing into the ground. Thousands of buildings destroyed, hundreds of citizens killed.
And the section that was destroyed just happened to be the place where the TARDIS had been parked.
Lurching and rolling, the ship tore through the blackness at a sickening velocity.
Rose was screaming and clinging onto the Doctor for support. Idgland and Gevevine were rolling around in the back seats. The Doctor himself was bright and cheery.
‘Sorry,’ the Doctor apologised happily. ‘You may be unconscious for a while after we land.’
‘Unconscious?’ screamed Rose. ‘You’ll be lucky if I’m alive!’
Then lines of red light lashed from the darkness below them and flung them to and fro, like a cat playing with a captured mouse. The Doctor looked worried for the first time since the Daleks had emerged from the seal. He slammed levers and buttons but nothing worked.
Rose swore. ‘What the hell’s happening?’ she yelled.
‘I don’t know!’ screeched the Doctor. ‘Something’s got us! And it’s not happy!’
‘Escape pods!’ ordered Idgland.
‘There are only three!’ Gevevine yodelled.
‘That’s you then.’ The Doctor observed them grimly.
‘I’m not leaving you!’ screamed Rose, staggering in the turbulence. The ship’s hull was breaking apart.
‘Rose,’ the Doctor said gently, you’ve got to. Trust me. Now go.’
Rose’s face was torn with indecision between her survival instinct and love. The Doctor gave her a small push. And she was stumbling for the escape pods. He eyed her longingly.
Then he swivelled in the pilot’s chair.
‘COME TO ME!’ rumbled a voice. The Doctor froze. The hairs on the back of his neck stood erect.
CRASH! The whole lower section of the ship had broken off.
The Doctor raced round the ship, searching for a safe place to hide and brace himself. He found a small maintenance cupboard, shoved all the machinery out, and clambered in. He checked it. It was made of thick ten-inch steel. Good.
‘COME TO ME, LAST OF THE TIME LORDS.’
The Doctor gasped. What was this voice?
‘WITH HIS LITTLE HUMAN GIRL FROM LONG AGO…’
‘Who are you?’ the Doctor asked to thin air.
‘I AM THE DESTRUCTION OF TIME, THE DEVOURER OF SPACE, THE EATER OF EONS. I WAS HERE BEFORE TIME AND SPACE AND LIGHT AND MATTER, AND I SHALL BE HERE ONCE THE UNIVERSE HAS PERISHED IN FIRE AND DUST.’
‘That’s impossible,’ the Doctor disagreed.
A huge, booming, endlessly echoing cackle screamed in the Doctor’s head. ‘YOU AND YOUR INFANTILE KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNIVERSE ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO I, WHO MEASURES TIME IN CONTINTENTAL DRIFTS!’
The last few words were said with such malice that the whole of the spaceship shook and the cockpit split open. Debris was sent spinning into the walls of the pit.
‘Who are you?’ the Doctor repeated.
There was a long pause.
That single word contained such force that the whole of the ship crumbled and the cupboard was torn off its hinges. Then, impossibly, the ten-inch steel ripped to shreds. The Doctor, screaming, desperately clung onto a long jagged shard of metal as he spiralled into the pit.
‘Right,’ Idgland said on the PA. His voice reverberated in all three escape pods, spinning through the emptiness. ‘I want you all to press the third button, on the second row, OK?’
‘What does it do?’ asked Gevevine.
‘Random teleportation,’ Idgland replied.
‘Why do we need to?’ Gevevine inquired, suspiciously.
‘Because whatever got the Doctor is following us.’ Idgland pressed the button. VWEP! His escape pod vanished.
‘It got the Doctor?’ Rose asked. She couldn’t believe it.
VWEP! Gevevine’s pod vanished.
Rose burst into tears. She checked the screen showing the ship. It wasn’t there.
Her tears spilled onto the machinery, sending little bursts of smoke flying up into the artificial air. She was too miserable to be angry. Her arm lifted weakly and hit the button. Her pod disappeared.
The Authority suddenly gave a command. ‘ALL DALEKS TO CONVERGE ON THE CONTROL DOME, IMMMEDIATELY.’
The Daleks withdrew reluctantly from their hunting and whirled like a storm of hailstones towards the crater.
‘WE MUST ACTIVATE THE TIME CONDUCTOR!’ cried the Authority. ‘ONLY THEN WILL THE EON EATER POSSESS ENOUGH ENERGY TO REBUILD THE DALEKS!’
The wave of Daleks poured endlessly into the dome (or where the dome had been). And the Authority was triumphant.
‘I HAVE JUST DECLARED THE UNIVERSE… OFFICIALLY… DEAD! BEGIN ACTIVATION!’
Rose’s pod appeared on a sort of rock platform, jutting out into… nothingness. But in the void were hanging thousands of wires. All streaming down into the darkness.
And, for some reason, they looked familiar. Then Rose realised that they were the wires that had been inside the panel in the Control Dome. They were leading to the power source, and turning it from a transmitter to a conductor! If she could cut them somehow… the universe would be safe.
But the Daleks would still be there. And this ‘predator’.
And no Doctor…
SLAM! The steel shard landed.
SLAM! The Doctor’s corpse landed on top of it.
But, however hard it was, it had cushioned the Doctor’s fall. And he was not a corpse. Not quite yet. He was bruised and battered and several of his bones had broken, but not dead.
Slowly, ever so slowly, he tilted his head up. And gasped. ‘No… it can’t be!’
In front of the Doctor’s limp, lolling form, the Eon Eater stood in all its glory.
It was a thirty-foot thing of beauty, a platinum snake with eyes of ruby and a tongue of gold. It lashed and coiled around, devastating in its terrible fury.
‘HUNGRY!’ it rumbled. ‘FEEEEEEEEEEED! FEEEEEEEEEEEED! MUSSSST…
The Doctor crawled away in horror.
In the very centre of the Control Dome, three Daleks hovered their sucker arms over a huge grey globe shaped button.
‘ACTIVATE!’ the Authority commanded.
The sucker arms fell.
Back down in the darkness of the pit, the power source was revealed. A whirling, rotating column, a pillar buried in the dust, with wires jutting forth from it, spilling into the rock.
And it was activated.
Red light glowed around it. And the burning spirals of the time vortex were pulled into it, being sucked into the pillar with an awful rupturing sound. Light exploded around it, too much for this tiny object ever to hold. And then the light flowed into the Eon Eater.
‘AAAAAAAHHHHHH…’ sighed the Eon Eater. ‘FEEEEAAAASSTING! FEASTING! FEASTING!’
The Doctor eyed it in horror.
‘QOLCAR… GURADIA… PIASIGUL… LASISAUR… RM87… THE DAGMAR CLUSTER… ANDROMEDA… YURAGTUSS… 098… SPACE LANE ZERO ONE… SPACE LANE ZERO TWO… THE FINAL QUASAR… K37GEN5… ALL CONSUMED…’
‘You can’t do this!’ the Doctor raged. ‘It’s wrong!’
‘NO!’ screamed the Doctor.
‘SOL… DESRUGRAT… MOLCIT… RAXACORICOFALLAPATORIUS…’
‘The Slitheen,’ the Doctor said numbly.
‘GRET… LASSSSSSSZ… 89651324… THE ASTEROID REALM… SPACE LANE ZERO THREE… THE SCARLET JUNCTION… KYOT… GETRETGETTET… PELUGICON… BUTSKARR…’
The Doctor raced to the ruins of the ship. He had an idea. He picked up the screen from the cockpit from underneath a pile of rubble. ‘Can you wirelessly interfere with controls?’
‘Affirmative,’ came a distorted, half- meaningless PA voice.
‘LILILIL… UNIT 398…’
‘YOU HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY!’ cried the Authority. ‘REBUILD US!’
The Eon Eater stirred. ‘YOU HAVE DONE WELL. YOU WILL BE REWARDED.’
And the Eon Eater’s metal mouth vomited forth energy. It gathered together, forming a Dalek.
Then a colossal wave of energy spewed out from the Eon Eater, consuming the air with blazing fire. This time it did not stop, it just kept on flowing, forming more Daleks, dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions. All crying, ‘EXTERMINATE!’ they rose up and flew out of the pit, enough to take over the universe. Daleks uncountable, a never-ending stream of foul robots, forming from the energies of the time vortex.
The Authority watched as its new endless army flowed from the pit.
Ecstatic, it cried, ‘THE DALEKS RISE REBORN!’
The googols of Daleks flew into space, ready to destroy all the planets and stars that there were to destroy before the Eon Eater consumed everything.
Idgland and Gevevine both materialised inside the Control Dome, and instantly received a message from the Doctor.
‘You’re alive!’ cried Gevevine happily.
‘Yeah,’ confirmed the Doctor. ‘No time to explain. I had a fiddle with your escape pod controls, ordered two of them to teleport to the dome, and the other to the wire matrix. Because I’ve got a plan.’
‘What’s the wire matrix?’ Idgland asked.
‘Never mind,’ the Doctor said, frustrated. ‘I need you to change the point of conduction from coordinates 01 to coordinates 5.6.17/9.434Sigma777.’
‘There should be a big globe-shaped button and a screen next to it. Just type in that on screen.’
Idgland and Gevevine rushed out of their pods and immediately saw the globe button, and the screen. They glided over to it and Idgland started to whack keys with his tentacles. However a high-pitched beeping noise kept sounding. ‘It’s locked!’ cried Idgland despairingly.
‘Can you see the system lock?’ the Doctor asked eagerly.
‘Over here!’ shouted Gevevine. She indicated a small circular device. Idgland tried to shoot at it but the plasma ray bounced off it. ‘It’s got an electromagnetic force field round it!’ screamed Idgland. ‘Factor Ten!’
‘YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!’ screeched the Authority, gliding into the room. Idgland raised his plasma gun, but Gevevine pushed his tentacles down. ‘Come and have a go then,’ she said.
‘EXTERMINATE!’ The Authority fired with its smaller, more precise gun. A ray whizzed at Gevevine. She dodged and the bolt collided with the system lock! And even the force field could not compare with the firepower of the Authority. Smoke blazed through the air. The code that Idgland had typed in on the screen flashed. Gevevine lunged over to press the button. ‘EXTERMINATE!’ The Dalek fired once more. It hit Gevevine and her skin glowed. Idgland screamed as his partner fell dead.
But she slumped on top of the button.
It just so happened that the code was the code for every Dalek.
The power source stopped conducting the universe into the Eon Eater. The coordinates had been changed. The time vortex was fed into every Dalek in existence.
In the Control Dome, the Authority screamed and turned to dust.
All over space, the Daleks exploded and trails of dust snaked through the void.
Idgland crossed over to Gevevine, who was lying dead on top of the button. He touched her. Felt her cold skin.
A single drop of acid fell from his mouth like a tear.
The Eon Eater grinned and boomed a small malicious verse. ‘THE DALEKS FAIL, AS ALL THINGS MUST, TILL SILENCE RINGS ME IN ETERNAL DUST.’
The Doctor’s face fell. It was far from over. The Eon Eater was still alive. And now that the Daleks were dead, the power source had reverted to default. The universe was pumping back into the Eon Eater.
Time was running out…
Idgland stirred from the body of Gevevine. He looked outside the Control Dome. The electromagnetic force field surrounding the city was holding back a gargantuan dust storm. The Heliesin Streak.
The Eon Eater’s platinum teeth snapped and grated against each other, forming a malicious ten foot wide grin.
‘DEACTIVATE FORCE FIELD!’ it roared.
Idgland screamed in shock as the force field beeped and shattered into silver sparks. The Heliesin Streak was whirling towards the city!
‘Doctor!’ he shrieked. ‘The force field’s gone! The planet’s got seconds left!
‘More like “the universe has got seconds left”!’ cried the Doctor as the very fabric of the world s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d…
Rose, standing inside the escape pod, cried in delight as the pod’s screens all came to life, showing the Doctor’s face.
‘You’re alive! Oh my God you’re alive!’ she laughed.
‘Look, Rose, we can do this later. Right now I need you.’
‘What for?’ asked Rose, barely able to contain her joy.
‘See those wires? Cut them.’
‘Have you still got your plasma gun?’ the Doctor demanded onscreen.
‘Go on! Use it! Fire it at the wires!’
Rose caught up the gun and rushed outside. She stood on the brink of the abyss with the weapon in her arms.
‘Come on,’ she urged herself.
‘What a time to learn to shoot a gun,’ the Doctor grinned.
BANG! A jet of plasma shot from the gun. SNAP! One of the wires was cut.
‘One down, three thousand to go…’ she muttered.
The small rotating pillar that was the power source flashed and beeped. The Eon Eater whirled round to observe it.
‘NOOOOOOOOO!’ it rumbled. ‘I WILL NOT LET A TEENAGE GIRL, INFINITESIMALLY YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED, SABOTAGE MY PLAN, THREE BILLION YEARS IN THE MAKING! I AM THE DESTROYER, AND ALL WILL BE DESTROYED!’
With that last word, the Eon Eater roared and leapt up. And it was lashing and bounding through the rock wall of the pit, terrifying in its wild, savage fury.
‘Er, Rose,’ warned the Doctor, on the pod’s screen. ‘I think you might have a bit of a problem…’
‘I’m on two hundred and twenty seven out of three thousand,’ Rose said.
At that moment the Eon Eater smashed through the wall of the pit. Rose screamed and screamed.
‘YOU WILL DIE…’
Fire burst from the Eon Eater’s mouth. It leapt forward, intent on incinerating Rose.
She backed off, as an idea popped into her head. She backed up against the edge of the chasm.
The Eon Eater advanced. ‘I WILL CONSUME YOU, ROSE TYLER!’
‘Will you now?’ Rose provoked, dancing around, not letting it catch her.
The snake’s impassive face twisted into one of feral, snarling ferocity. ‘YES!’ Lines of light lashed from its scales, grabbed Rose, and tossed her into the void. However she clung onto the wires.
‘Got to catch me first,’ teased Rose, clambering up the wires.
The Eon Eater roared in anger and leapt at her. Its fiery breath threatened to scorch her into shreds.
The wires burnt in the onset of flames. It was stunning how easily they were eliminated. How easily it ended.
‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’ screamed the Eon Eater. In its desperate bid to destroy Rose, it had destroyed itself. The light of the time vortex ceased streaming into the snake. Instead it funnelled out, back into the universe. All the eons the Destruction of Time had ever consumed, every creature, every star, and every millennium, spewed from it. Back into reality. The Eon Eater roared in pain as its power source was drained. It teetered on the brink of the chasm. It screeched, battling furiously with gravity. For a moment it looked like it might win. Then it tumbled… and shattered. Metal shards raced through the air.
As soon as the snake was destroyed, the dust storms ceased. They folded into the air. Vanishing into the void. Gone.
Rose leapt back onto the platform. And there was complete silence. The aftermath.
She walked slowly towards the pod.
But the silence only lasted for a few seconds. VVVVVVVVVRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOMMMMMMM! Mighty engines slammed into life.
The ground shook. Rose stumbled and cried out in shock. SMASH! A fault line appeared in the ground. It snaked towards her, extending a spider-web expanse of cracks all over the rock.
Fire burst from these cracks! A jet of flame singed Rose’s side. She screamed and raced for the escape pod.
One huge crack sliced off a whole chunk of rock, sending it flying into the void after the Eon Eater.
Rose just about managed to leap into the pod. ‘What’s happening?’ she demanded desperately to the Doctor onscreen.
‘Now that the power source has been turned back into a transmitter, the city’s going to take off from the planet. And the sheer amount of energy involved means that Keledon’s going to erupt!’ explained the Doctor. Then he cried out as fire exploded all around him. Cracks splintered the rock with a tik-tik-tik sound and the Doctor was sent sprawling.
Rose lunged forward as if she could burst through the screen and rescue him. But she couldn’t.
A jet of fire smashed through the pod’s glass walls and hit the screen. It fizzed and went dead. Rose slammed random buttons but none of them worked. The engines had failed and fuel was leaking onto the floor. She realised with horror that the fire was advancing. Her pod was going to ignite. And the ground outside was falling away, fast.
She closed her eyes.
Fire roared up around the small kneeling form of Rose Tyler.
Idgland suddenly snapped back to his senses. They had won! But for some reason he wasn’t feeling victorious.
Then he realised why. The volcano was going to erupt. The Doctor and Rose were trapped. And Gevevine had just died.
He could, however, amend the second situation.
He rushed into his escape pod and slammed buttons. The pod took off, rolling through the sky, and then diving down into the pit.
The Doctor lay on his back, a circle of fire roaring around him, closing in. He smiled sadly. He had defeated the Eon Eater and the Daleks, but with a price — his life.
He waited for the end.
The escape pod roared through the blackness, as the sides of the pit crumbled and blazed, molten seams of magma bursting into light. Rocks started to fall, and soon an avalanche of boulders was rolling down towards the pod. But it was too quick. Its pilot was too determined to fail now.
The Doctor’s eyes snapped open as the escape pod crashed down next to him. He couldn’t believe it.
Idgland’s tentacled head popped out of the door. ‘Fancy a lift?’ he said.
The Doctor boggled. Then he realised this could be his only chance to escape. He leapt over the walls of fire and ran for it, aware that the ground was crumbling behind him. He crammed himself into the pod.
Idgland shut the door, just as the ground gave way and flames consumed the pit.
Rose knelt there, in the last second of her life, as flames seven feet high bloomed above her, about to crash down…
An escape pod hovered next to her.
Not missing this chance for one second, she leapt up. And a hand jabbed out to meet hers. The Doctor’s hand. He pulled her up, as the flames descended and the platform tumbled into the chasm. Then she was inside. Safe.
She flung her arms round the Doctor, wordless with joy.
He laughed, held her tight and spun her round and round until he felt dizzy and still she held on.
The escape pod zoomed up and out of the pit, just before every ounce of rock smashed and splintered.
The city took off. A huge wipe-out of hot orange energy obscured the whole sky for a few moments. Then it could be seen zooming up into space.
The escape pod followed.
Inside, Idgland looked down. Keledon had been left behind, smoke still billowing from it.
Trails of flaming black soot and ash hundreds of miles long belched from the crater. Molten rock poured down its sides, melting rock. The mountain was destroying itself.
Idgland watched sadly, thinking of dead Gevevine, as Keledon’s great mountain-cone darkened with fire.
The escape pod whirled up towards the floating city amongst the stars, and landed in a particular street.
‘Now where’s the TARDIS?...’ the Doctor wondered.
‘I’m sure it was in this street,’ Rose said.
It was only then that they noticed the rubble and debris lying around.
‘A nuclear strike…’ the Doctor said grimly.
‘The TARDIS might have been destroyed!’ Rose thought.
‘No,’ the Doctor shrugged off this terrible concept. ‘It’s invulnerable to most missiles.’
‘So where is it?’
The Doctor leaned against a boulder. And fell into it. A rock doorway opened up, to reveal a glittering, eternally spacious pillared room.
‘The TARDIS?’ Rose said with disbelief.
‘The chameleon circuit’s been fixed…’ the Doctor concluded, amazed. ‘The nuclear strike must’ve caused an electrical overload. All the systems have been restored to default! The ship’s brand new!’
Rose looked sad. ‘I liked it as it was,’ she said.
‘We can convert it back whenever we want,’ the Doctor reassured.
He ran inside and slammed up a lever. It transformed into the usual police box.
He led Rose towards the TARDIS, without looking back.
Idgland waved goodbye to his two best friends, and walked off into the future.
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