Chapter 4, Preliminary Experiments
Rose jogged around the corner, trying to find out what had startled Tallulah so badly. Ahead, cowering in the shadows, she could just make out another pig-man. Rose put a comforting hand on Tallulah's arm as the Doctor stepped towards the figure.
"Where's Martha? What have you done with her?" he demanded. "What have you done with Martha?!"
"I didn't take her," the pig-man answered, quite clearly.
Rose glanced at the Doctor. It seemed he was just as surprised as she was to be answered in more than squeaks and whines. They took a few tentative steps towards him, as the Doctor asked more gently, "Can you remember your name?"
But the pig-man moved even deeper into the shadows. "Don't look at me," he begged.
Tallulah stepped towards him, away from Rose. "Do you know where she is?" she asked.
The pig-man turned towards the tunnel wall, seemingly panicked. "Stay back! Don't look at me!" he yelled.
Rose stepped forward to put a restraining hand on Tallulah's shoulder. "It's alright," she told the pig-man, comfortingly. "We're not gonna hurt you." From closer up, it was clear there was something different about this one; he seemed to be more man than pig.
The Doctor squatted down, still keeping a respectful distance from the frightened pig-man. "What happened to you?" he asked.
"They made me a monster," he replied, despondently.
"Who did?" Rose asked.
"The masters," he answered her.
"The Daleks," clarified the Doctor. "Why?"
"They needed slaves. They needed slaves to steal more people so they created us. Part animal, part human. I escaped before they got my mind, but it was still too late."
"Do you know what happened to Martha?" asked Rose.
"They took her," he answered. "It's my fault. She was following me."
"Were you in the theater?" Tallulah asked.
"Yes," he admitted. Then, more quietly, "I never wanted you to see me like this."
"Why me?" asked Tallulah. "What do I gotta do with this? Were you following me? Is that why you were there?"
Rose tightened her grip on Tallulah's shoulder. "Easy," she said, quietly.
"I needed to see you," the pig-man told her.
Rose felt her shudder as Tallulah asked, "Who are you?" Rose was starting to guess, and she didn't like her guess one bit.
"I'm sorry," the pig-man said in answer, turning away from them.
Tallulah pulled away from Rose, moving towards the pig-man. "No, wait," she said gently, grabbing his arm, and pulling him into the light. "Let me look at you . . . Lazlo?"
"My Lazlo?" she asked, her voice breaking. "Oh, what have they done to you?"
"I'm sorry," he said, hardly meeting her eyes."So sorry."
"Lazlo," the Doctor asked after a moment, "can you show us where they are?"
He looked away from Tallulah, obviously shocked. "They'll kill you," he told the Doctor.
"If we don't stop them, they'll kill everyone," the Doctor answered.
Lazlo looked around at all of them. "Then follow me," he said, turning and leading them down the tunnel.
Tallulah stood rooted to the spot, until Rose touched her arm. She jumped, as if stung.
"You alright?" Rose asked her, sensing the ridiculousness of her own question the moment the words left her lips.
Tallulah just shrugged and gave a half-hearted laugh, but let herself be led down the tunnel.
Rose could hear human voices coming from just ahead. It wasn't long before Lazlo signaled for them to walk carefully, as they approached a junction. Moving quietly up to where she could see, Rose was relieved to hear Martha's voice.
"--Nasty feeling that we're being kept in the larder. Still, we can find out what's going on down here," she heard her saying.
Martha and about a dozen others were waiting in a section of the tunnel, surrounded by pig-men guards. To Rose's additional relief, she recognized Frank standing right next to Martha. He was still alive, after all!
The pig-men started squealing, as a Dalek glided into view. Lazlo backed away, but Rose and the Doctor inched closer.
"Si-lence. Si-lence," ordered the Dalek. "You will form a line. Move."
As the pig-men pushed the prisoners into line, Martha spoke up. "Just do what it says, everyone, okay? Just obey."
"The fe-male is wise," observed the Dalek. "O-bey!"
A second Dalek arrived, demanding a report.
"These are strong spec-i-mens," replied the first Dalek. "They will help the Da-lek cause. What is the sta-tus of the Fi-nal Ex-per-i-ment?" it asked.
"The Da-lek-an-i-um is in place. The en-er-gy con-duct-or is now com-plete," the second Dalek answered.
"Then I will ex-tract pris-on-ers for sel-ec-tion," replied the first Dalek.
Rose mouthed, "selection?" at the Doctor, but at his slight shake of the head turned back to the prisoners. She watched with her breath held as the Dalek extended its sucker towards one prisoner after another, apparently scanning them.
Lazlo spoke up, quietly, from behind her. "They're divided into two groups: high intelligence and low intelligence. The low intelligence are taken to become pig-slaves, like me."
"What about the others?" Rose asked him.
"They're taken to the laboratory," he answered.
"But why?" asked the Doctor. "What for?"
Frank and Martha had just been scanned and separated into the superior intelligence group.
"I don't know," said Lazlo. "The masters only call it the Final Experiment."
The first Dalek completed his scans. "Pris-on-ers of high in-tell-i-gence will be ta-ken to the trans-gen-ic lab-or-a-to-ry to be-come part of the Fi-nal Ex-per-i-ment," it ordered, confirming what Lazlo had just told them.
Martha was indignant, shouting at the Dalek as the pig-men began ushering them away. "You can't just experiment on people! It's insane! It's inhuman!"
"We are not hu-man," the Dalek replied, coldly.
"Look out," the Doctor whispered, flattening himself against the wall as the prisoners were marched past the junction.
Lazlo took Tallulah by the hand, and headed back down the tunnel. "Doctor, Rose, quickly!" he whispered harshly at them.
"I'm not going; you go," the Doctor answered, staring at the passing prisoners. He turned to Rose. "I've got an idea," he whispered to her.
Lazlo was hesitating. Tallulah tugged on his arm. "Lazlo, c'mon!"
To Rose's surprise, he asked Tallulah, "Can you remember the way?"
"Yeah, I think so," she told him.
"Then go. Please," he said.
"But Lazlo," she pleaded, "you gotta come with me."
"Where would I go?" he asked her, and Rose saw the argument die on her tongue. "Tallulah, I'm beggin' you, save yourself. Just run. Just go. Go," he begged.
Rose watched her turn and run back up the tunnel on her own, as Lazlo returned to the Doctor's side. They watched as a Dalek passed by the junction between the two groups of prisoners. Then, at a nod from the Doctor, Rose fell in line behind Frank, the Doctor behind Martha, and Lazlo at the back with the guards.
"Just keep walking," the Doctor told the prisoners, quietly.
"I'm so glad to see you," Rose heard Martha gasp.
"Yeah, well, you can kiss me later," he answered. Rose couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at that. "You too, Frank, if you want," he added, and she found herself stifling a laugh.
As they entered the lab, Rose felt her breath catch. There they were, all four of the cult of Skaro. All they were missing was the Genesis Ark.
The Dalek who had escorted them through the tunnels approached one of the others. "Re-port," it ordered.
"Da-lek Sec is in the fi-nal stage of e-vo-lu-tion," came the reply.
"Scan him. Pre-pare for birth," ordered the first Dalek.
"Evolution?" breathed the Doctor, quietly.
"What's wrong with old Charlie boy over there?," Martha asked. The Dalek, Rose assumed it was Sec, looked like a teakettle set to boil.
"Ask them," the Doctor told her.
"What me?" asked Martha. "Don't be daft."
"I don't exactly want to get noticed," he told her.
"We'd both be recognized," Rose supplied. "Just ask 'em what's goin' on."
After a steadying breath, Martha stepped out of line. "Daleks," she said loudly, "I demand to be told. What is this Final Experiment?" The Daleks turned towards her, but made no reply. "Report!" she ordered.
To Rose's relief, the first Dalek answered. "You will bear wit-ness," it said.
"To what?" Martha asked.
"This is the dawn of a new age," it said, unhelpfully.
"What does that mean? she asked.
"We are the on-ly four Da-leks, so the spe-cies must e-volve a life out-side the shell," it explained, gliding towards her. "The Chil-dren of Ska-ro must walk a-gain."
Rose moved closer to the Doctor. It was plain on his face that he didn't like the implications of this any more than she did.
The Daleks' attention returned to Sec, as its casing began to slide open.
Out of the shell stepped a strange mixture of Dalek and humanoid. The body was clad in a suit that reminded Rose of the man who had been recruiting in Hooverville. But the flesh was obviously some form of Dalek. Its head had a single eye, and tentacles that fell to its shoulders. Its hands were almost claw-like
"What is it?" asked Martha, aloud.
Sec, or what used to be Sec, answered slowly, "I am a human Dalek. I am your future."
The end. . . for now. To be continued in "Evolution of the Daleks".
P.S.--A whole lot more script divergence to come in the next part.