The Dalek's Servants is a Doctor Who story written by Toothless100.
Early Victorian London. Not a pretty place, nor kind to the environment, but certainly not supposed to be as bad as the Doctor finds it. Reading one newspaper, and one book, is all the Doctor needs to find out that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong with the earth's timeline. And he knows who is causing the manipulation.
But can it be stopped, before time is changed irreversably?
- The Twelfth Doctor
- Adella Latham
- Eternal Dalek
The Doctor skipped around the TARDIS console, desperately pushing buttons and pulling levers here and there.
"Come on!" he cried, but stil the TARDIS pitched and lurched as it hurtled through the time vortex. The Doctor was thrown off his feet into the console as the TARDIS landed with a shudder. Hauling up his bruised body, the Doctor said, "OK then. Let's see what we've got outside."
He opened the TARDIS doors, and his first reaction was to pinch his nose.
"Eurggh. What a disgusting smell."
He was in a narrow alley. Two-storey houses towered above him, the second storey of each house forming an overhang, almost completely blocking out the sunlight. Or what little there was of it. Smoke and fumes completely obscured the blue sky, and as the Doctor exited onto a wider, main street, it was the same. The smell wasn't as bad here, though. As a horse and cart trundled past, the Doctor deduced he was in Victorian England, probably some time before the invention of the car.
"Oh well," he said. "Not the best place in the universe, but at least no-one will report a strange, public-use police box that doesn't open... hmm, maybe I shouldn't stay too long. Anyone living off the streets could find it there."
A second horse-pulled cart came past, and as it did so, a scrumpled newspaper detached itself from one of the back wheels. The Doctor caught it as it fluttered away.
"So exactly when are we?" the Doctor said to himself, unfolding the newspaper. "The date is... 5th January 1862. What's the headlines, eh? New Year's Day celebrations?"
He read the headline. "No. No no no. This is all wrong. This is all wrong!"
The headline read: PRINCE ALBERT SAVED FROM DISEASE BY PASSING TRAVELLER
The image of the traveller was extremely blurry, and the Doctor could see no detail. "But it's all wrong. Albert died. He died! The disease killed him!"
Then, suddenly noticing several curious faces pointing his way, he dashed off, into another side street.
"What on earth has gone wrong?"
The Doctor strolled down the Victorian streets, still both worried and puzzled about Prince Albert's saviour. His history wasn't perfect, but he knew Albert had died from disease, not been saved. Which meant something was messing around with Earth's timeline, and it was highly likely they were doing it with malicious intent. But who?
Eventually, he stopped outside a bookstore.
"Always liked books," the Doctor said to himself. A quick glance over the shelves showed a variety of works he had heard of, but one caught his eye; Great Expectations. It was perfectly on-track to be published by now, but closer look at the title proved that something was indeed very wrong.
It did not say Great Expectations. It was such a slight modification the Doctor barely noticed it, and for everyone else, it would always have been called that, as they were susceptible to changes in the Earth's timeline.
The title read Great Exterminations.
"No, no no no! Not again! Just done this, I'm not having it, not again!"
Dashing over to the shopkeeper, he asked, "How long's this been on for sale?"
"Fully published about half a year ago."
"December, November, October, September, August... about right. No-one's messed that bit up. The question is, how many survivors?"
The shopkeeper was staring at the Doctor like he was mad. Which he probably was, so he just yelled "Thanks" and rushed out.
"But, why," the Doctor wondered, "Change it to such a blatantly obvious title. I suppose, fits in, Expectations, Exterminations, but still. Maybe I should've picked up the book. Not sure I have any Victorian England currency on me, though."
Right now, the Doctor needed to find the Dalek, or daleks. He thought briefly about having a companion to help him, but these brought back painful memories about his last encounter with the daleks, so he quickly changed his train of thought.
"So, they're corrupting the ruling powers on Earth. Human economy will collapse... it will be a perfect time for the daleks to strike. But I don't get it. Weaponry is so weak in this time period, why not just storm the Earth now? Even one dalek could take on the world."
He shrugged. Right now, he had the more pressing problem of having to locate a Dalek which could be anywhere in London, or anywhere in the country for all he knew.
Suddenly, something hard connected with the Doctor's head, and he blacked out.
"CORRUPTION PROCEEDING AT OPTIMUM RATE."
"THIS WILL BRING THE DOCTOR TO US."
"RUN SCANS. SEARCH FOR HIM!"
There were several seconds of silence, then a bleep.
"SCANS COMPLETED. HUMANOID WITH TWO HEARTS DETECTED!"
"IT IS THE DOCTOR! HE IS HERE!"
"ADVANCED EARTH TECHNOLOGY FROM THE YEAR 3010 HAS ALSO BEEN DETECTED. SAME LOCATION!"
"THE DOCTOR HAS ALLIES."
"THEY MUST BE FOUND AND EXTERMINATED!"
When the Doctor regained consciousness, he found himself in a large warehouse. The majority of the roof had been torn apart and was missing, allowing what light that got past factory fumes to pour in.
Strangest of all, the wreckage of some sort of aeroplane appeared to be lying in the shady part of the warehouse. As the Doctor climbed to his feet, a shape moved away from the wreckage and stepped towards him. As it entered the light, he could tell it was human.
"Doctor," she said. It wasn't a question; merely a statement.
"Yes, the Doctor. That's my name. But the question is, at least for me - what's yours?"
"I'm Adella Latham."
"Good Victorian name. But why are you among the wreck of a futuristic plane? And how do you know my name anyway?"
"It's a long story. I'm from Earth, in the year 3011."
"During the dalek invasion, I intended to use the plane against them. It was armed with advanced weaponry. I was just nearly the main ship when they all exploded. It must have been an enormous explosion, and a real weird one too. Before I know it, I'm crashed here, only to find I've fallen through time and space."
"Yeah. Well, that would be my fault. And apparently the daleks wound up here as well. What a coincidence."
"Indeed. I reckon I know where their base is."
"Oh, you are brilliant! Show me, then."
"Not so fast. You'll need one of these."
She handed him a chunky pistol. The barrel was tall but not very wide, and instead of a trigger by the handle, there was a button where the trigger should have been.
"It's a Mauler Laser Assault Pistol. Top secret up until a few years ago, well, that is, a few thousand years into the future, when they became standard issue among the army. It fires an intense laser capable of smashing through a dalek's shell in seconds."
"Pretty good. And darn effective, by the sound of it. Which is exactly why I won't be taking one."
"What do you mean? You must carry one to protect yourself."
There was a bang as a hole was blown in one of the walls. Brick fragments flew everywhere. There were another couple of explosions and a landslide of bricks, before there was a hole large enough to admit two humans side-by-side.
But instead of humans, something far worse glided through. Hovering just above the ground, the Eternal Dalek passed over the wreckage of the wall, followed by two strategists who instantly flanked the Eternal on either side. Three drones followed after them, moving round in front as a protective barrier.
"DOCTOR. WHILE OUR SHIPS DIED IN YOUR INFERNO, I ESCAPED USING AN EMERGENCY TEMPORAL SHIFT. I MANAGED TO BRING THIS ESCORT WITH ME, BUT WE ARE NOW THE LAST DALEKS IN EXISTENCE!"
"Well ain't that good?" Adella said, before firing with her pistol. The laser hit the middle dalek drone, burning away at its forcefield for about five seconds, before there was a bang and its head exploded in flames.
Through the gap, the Eternal fired. The shot struck the gun, permanently breaking it and knocking it from Adella's hand. The force of the impact threw her against the plane wreckage.
"WE HAVE CORRUPTED THE HUMAN GOVERNMENT, DOCTOR, THROUGH BLACKMAIL AND BRIBERY."
"By that you mean threatening to kill everyone!"
"HUMAN ECONOMY WILL COLLAPSE, JUST AS WE KNOW YOU PREDICTED. AND DALEKS SHALL RISE FROM THE RUINS OF HUMANITY, AND MAKE EARTH INTO NEW SKARO!"
"No no no. The Cult of Skaro tried that once before, and I stopped it. I'm gonna do it again."
"MAKE A MOVE AGAINST US AND THE FEMALE DIES."
The two remaining dalek drones had their gunsticks trained on Adella. The Eternal had its gunstick trained on the Doctor. Trying to buy Adella some time, the Doctor asked,
"Why not just storm the Earth now? Earth weaponry at this stage is no match for yours."
"THERE WAS THE PROBLEM OF BRINGING US TO YOUR ATTENTION, AND OF HER. THE SECOND THREAT HAS BEEN NEUTRALISED, AND THE FIRST HAS NOW HAPPENED."
"Yep. And that means I'm gonna stop you."
The Doctor didn't answer that, as he honestly had no idea how to stop the daleks. There suddenly came an exclamation of shock from outside. The Eternal swivelled round, spotting a human staring throught the gap. He was completely awe-struck, unable to move.
The man screamed as he died.i
"I've got it!" the Doctor exclaimed.
"You can't corrupt Earth and take over it. The events that created the new paradigm take place in the future, so if you destroy the Earth now, that can never happen, and you won't exist. But if that happens, the Earth won't be destroyed, so you will exist, and Bam! there's your paradox."
The Eternal Dalek seemed to consider the Doctor's words.
"YOU ARE CORRECT."
"Precisely! So what will you do now?"
"EXTERMINATE THE DOCTOR AND HIS NEW ASSOCIATE."
"Oh, yeah. Forgot about that."
"I didn't!" Adella yelled. She had a second gun in her hand, and a second drone exploded in flames. The Eternal Dalek's gunstick swivelled to aim at her. It fired at the same time she did; the third drone was destroyed, and the gun exploded. "Dammit!"
But as the Eternal had changed its aim, the Doctor darted past it. All three remaining daleks swivelled to face him, as the Doctor had hoped. Adella rushed back to the plane, seemingly having an idea. The Doctor smiled. That was good. Ideas were good.
"DOCTOR, YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!"
He was backed against a wall, the daleks getting closer, gunsticks aimed.
"Do you know what?" the Doctor said lightly. "Backing people against walls is a very good battle tactic. Except when you back them against a hole in the wall. Bye!"
He leaped out through the broken wall, sidestepping the laser that followed, and darting out of sight. Inside, he heard a sound often associated with heavy weaponry charging up. Horrified, as he realised what might be happening, he poked his head round the hole. Sure enough, he could see Adella powering up a cannon on the plane wreckage that was clearly still working.
"NO!" the Doctor cried, but it was too late. The cannon fired, hitting the Eternal Dalek. The resulting explosion was enormous, engulfing all three daleks in flame and smoke. The already damaged warehouse completely fell in on itself, in a shower of bricks and torn metal. Everything; Adella, the daleks, the plane, disappeared from sight under the avalanche. However, in a few seconds, Adella emerged from the wreckage, and bounded over to the Doctor.
"Why did you do that!" he cried, furious.
"I killed the daleks," Adella said coldly. "That's good, surely?"
"Yes, but the way you did it is bad."
"How much weaponry from Victorian times can blow up an entire warehouse in a spectacular display of light and sound that can be seen and heard for miles?!"
Adella, embarassed, was silent.
"There'll be people swarming over the site any second now. And when they find the dalek casing, the guns, the plane; history gets thrown right off course! Are you trying to accomplish what the daleks can't?"
The Doctor was right. People were already running to the warehouse. There was a disturbance among the rubble; the Doctor froze.
"No," he uttered, almost too quiet to hear. This was definitely a different kind of 'no' to the one he had shouted at Adella earlier.
"What is it?" Adella asked.
"The Eternal Dalek stood at the exact spot of the disturbance."
Sure enough, a yellow, domed shape emerged from the rubble, bricks cascading off it from all sides. Soon, the entire dalek was exposed, hovering above the rubble. The people froze in shock.
Lasers leaped from the Eternal's gunstick faster than the Doctor could see. One by one, the people screamed and fell to their knees, dying slowly and agonisingly. After a few seconds, with no-one else to hit, the Eternal turned to face the Doctor and Adella, who was shaking her head.
"Impossible. That cannon hit it straight on, nearly point-blank. Nothing could survive that."
"THE STRATEGISTS DID NOT. BUT I AM ETERNAL. NOTHING CAN DESTROY ME."
"Oh yeah?" Adella shot back, her anger bubbling to the surface. The Doctor put a comforting hand on her arm, and told her quietly to calm down.
"I always wondered what you were for," the Doctor commented. "Supreme, drone, scientist, strategist, all obvious. But Eternal? What does that do? It turns out, it's near-invincible, to ensure the survival of the dalek race."
"THE FORCEFIELD THAT PROTECTS ME SURVIVED IMPACT WITH A NUCLEAR BOMB IN TESTING."
"Wow, that's strong," the Doctor said, whistling. "But it won't help."
He had a plan.
"So if that forcefield is so brilliant, why not put it around all the daleks?"
"IT IS... HARD TO PRODUCE, AND CAME AS STANDARD WITH ANY ETERNAL PRODUCED BY A PROGENITOR."
"Hard to produce... hmm. In what way?"
"TIME LORDS ARE NOT PRIVY TO THAT INFORMATION."
"I thought you'd say that."
He took Adella's gun from her hands, and pointing to a shining blue canister embedded in the handle.
"What does this do?" he asked.
"It's a generator," Adella explained. "The power source for the laser it fires. It can be taken out, in which case the gun is useless, but the pent up energy inside can be released if the canister is shattered."
"Pent up energy..." the Doctor trailed off. "Could your shield withstand this?" he asked.
"I AM UNAWARE OF THAT CANISTER'S PROPERTIES. I CANNOT STATE ACCURATELY."
"Then let's find out."
He dropped the canister into the barrel of the gun. "I hope it does still have some basic sort of firing mechanism," the Doctor said.
"Here you go," he said, handing the gun back. Adella looked back at him, puzzled.
"I don't use a gun."
Shrugging her shoulders, Adella turned to face the Eternal Dalek, gun in hand.
"DUE TO UNKNOWN PROPERTIES, I CANNOT ACCURATELY PREDICT THE DAMAGE SUCH A WEAPON WOULD INFLICT UPON ME. I CANNOT TAKE THAT RISK; THE DALEKS MUST SURVIVE! EXTERMINATE!"
The Eternal Dalek fired a deathray straight at Adella, but she ducked it and fired the canister. It soared towards the Eternal Dalek; and continued straight past it. Adella stared in shock at the gun in her hand, and then at the dalek.
"I missed," she said, as if realising it for the first time.
But before the Eternal could fire, there was an enormous explosion behind it; the canister hitting something. Flames raced outwards in all directions, engulfing the Eternal Dalek in seconds.
"Time we scarpered," the Doctor said, grabbing Adella's hand and pulling her away from the flames. Adella dropped the useless gun behind her as they ran.
After quite a lot of running, they arrived in a small alley, the overhanging houses completely blotting out any sunlight that would otherwise break through the fumes. At the end of the alley stood a battered police box.
"My ship," the Doctor said proudly.
"Your ship?" Adella echoed, raising an eyebrow.
"I'll show you inside them, in that's not impressive enough," the Doctor said, somewhat hurt.
As Adella stepped inside, she let out a gasp of astonishment.
"It's... bigger on the inside."
"Yup," the Doctor said, smiling. "And even better than that, it travels through not just space, but also time."
"Really?" Adella said disbelievingly.
"I'll show you," the Doctor said.
And he closed the doors behind him, skipped over to the main console, and pulled a lever. There was a familiar wheezing noise as the TARDIS de-materialised.
To prove to Adella that the TARDIS travels through time, the Doctor intends to travel far into the future, into the 50th century. However, the TARDIS is still unstable, and they land on an apparently abandoned battleship floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in the year 2012. But there is more to this battleship than meets the eye...