There were glowing neon signs and images everywhere, at least that was what it looked like to his eyes. According to Oswin they were solidgram projection systems, popular for forceful interaction and media systems.
It was also eerily quiet. Yet visually loud. He hated it.
Alvega would have to wait, they could hopefully just firebomb it.
There was apparently a psychic temporal detonation involved here which had affected the planet's population. It appeared that the Time Lords had sought to destroy a key supply line to the Deathsmiths of Goth, according to Oswin even the Daleks feared them. He doubted he could get the fleet commander to agree with that sentiment.
That was one thing he liked about investigating this. They had a fleet above them, not just a couple of saucers but several dozen.
But the surface was still temporally unstable. He and Oswin were probably the safest ones here, not connected to the local timeline. The Daleks with them were new with little experience, and little history tying them down. That was the theory according to the Eternity Circle's directive.
Harry wished there was a Time Controller or Time Strategist around, smug and irritating as they were, they seemed to have their domes on a bit straighter than the Eternity Circle of late.
At least the Eternity Circle hadn't mentioned vampires again.
The Daleks with them were incredibly twitchy, he could hear them as he walked; wand in hand, every non-sound or more likely every sensor ghost made them move and twitch.
Harry pulled out his new version of the Ginny scanner, it was mostly his old one with better batteries, just that noise made the Daleks twist around in his direction.
"Careful boys, don't get trigger happy," Oswin remarked idly beside him.
"Not a sausage," Harry commented gesturing around with it.
"Just psychic ghosts, weird on the edge of perception," Oswin mock shuddered.
"Again I'm doubting the Eternity Circle," Harry reflected. "They're about as useful as Trelawney," he finished to mostly to himself.
"What was that?" Oswin inclined her head towards him.
Harry shook his head as he fumbled inside his bag for his broom. "You two, elevate," Harry ordered two of the Daleks either side of him as he pushed off from the ground.
"What will height give us?" He heard Oswin call.
He didn't know, hopefully some perspective, or someone would start shooting at him.
He let the broom almost coast up to the height of the tallest building.
There was still no wind, no air movement. It was all still very eerie.
"Anything?" Harry asked the Dalek that was closest to him.
Its eye was swivelling around taking in the surrounds. "Negative Sorcerer."
Harry wrinkled his nose. "I hate this, nothingness," then he felt a presence behind him.
"Is the perspective any better up here?" Asked Oswin whose presence even in Dalek form seemed to unsettle the two Daleks with him.
"No," Harry muttered in an annoyed tone and looked left and right to the Daleks and was about to order them to return to the ground when thankfully someone started shooting at them.
"Staser blasts are ineffective at current range," the Dalek to his left said as it tilted to move downwards towards the bright white flashes of the staser bolts.
"Well don't go down there," Harry said in annoyed tone. "Tell those on the ground to move around and flank them, we can reign death down from here."
"I…obey," it said in a disappointed tone.
Rummaging in his bag he extracted his omnioculars which were completely useless, something to do with the weird temporal stuff that was around here.
"Anything?" He asked Oswin beside him.
"Group of Time Lords, they're retreating to a building on the other side," she paused.
As she paused the other Dalek nearest to her spoke. "No TARDIS vessels detected."
"I'd hope the fleet would take care of that," Harry mused. "Let me guess we can't scan the building?"
"Yep, of course Harry, we can't have too much of an easy time," she joked, even with a Dalek tone she could make it sound jokey.
"I wish we could drop some major ordinances around here, it'd make things so much easier," Harry lamented. Supposedly due not just to the temporal weirdness but because these people had before the temporal detonation at least been involved with the Deathsmiths of Goth, the Daleks were reticent to start blowing up big chunks of the planet. Even small chunks, they were somewhat worried about the side effects.
"I'm going to send the ones down there in, wide pattern blasts, let's level the area," Oswin offered almost gleefully.
Harry looked to her surprised.
"You're sounding annoyed and we can't hang around up here forever," she paused. "There's higher levels of temporal washout here, it's itching at me," her lights flashing for a long time as she rotated and gestured, he was pretty sure only for his benefit towards the remaining Daleks on the surface.
Harry removed his regular advanced binoculars from his bag and pointed them towards the attack squad who began to advance and predictably came under heavy, though ineffectual fire; blasts of staser fire being absorbed by Dalek shielding.
Then as the group of Daleks approached the entrance to the building something unexpected happened, for which Harry was glad he was looking through digitally enhanced binoculars, because according to Oswin the flash probably would have blinded him.
There still wasn't any noise, but it was like a bright flaring flash of nothing as the building seemed to pulse with energy and he felt something…something magical in one big blast that seemed to tug at his broom and the air around him and then….
Harry whistled a long surprised whistle. "Still here?"
"Yes Sorcerer," came two Dalek voices.
"Yup," said one less so Dalek voice.
Below, as the binoculars adjusted there was now no buildings in the vague vicinity and no Daleks either.
There was also something tickling him, on the edge of his remembrances. That tugging feeling…it had felt like something that he couldn't quite put his finger on.
Something in the past like this, he'd definitely been on a broom. He wrinkled his nose, trying to uncover the memory.
"Let's go down and have a look," he announced.
"Local area may not be secured Sorcerer," Harry turned his broom to look at the Dalek. "Can the fleet transmat down more attack squads?"
"Negative," it said. "Temporal backwash after event has increased."
Harry gave it a look and aimed his broom back down towards the ground.
Landing and shoving the broom back into his bag he began casting around with his wand with a wide variety of diagnostic and detection spells.
The neon solidgrams remained lit and remained quiet.
"Dystopian movies always seemed to be raining and neon," he said to Oswin who was now back in her human form.
"This is your early 21st century idea of the future?" Oswin asked, "There was a genre category on the Alaska for them, not much neon."
"What was in the genre category?" Harry asked as he drew his wand around in a wide arc, the Daleks shifting surprisingly quickly out of the way of his spell.
"World of Ooo, Gods of the Twelve Colonies, Panem Adventure Kill, Rockatansky Interceptor-V8, Wanheda kom Skaikru, I'm sure there were others," Oswin pondered. "I was meant to begin tagging and re-cataloging them when the Alaska crashed."
While Oswin was listing off movie titles Harry was trying to discern what spell it was that had been cast. Some sort of momentum arresting spell, but sort of in reverse, all the matter around here seemed to have been sucked in and compressed.
"Why would she do that?" Harry pondered aloud as he shared his findings.
"There's a lot of energy in that, in all of this, if she's able to compress all that potential down, not like your bags," Oswin mused.
"That's more dimension warping, than compression…" Harry trailed off.
"Harry, we're now standing in the middle where it was, if she were to return and undo-"
Harry didn't let Oswin finish that thought, he ran towards her and disapparated, he felt the impact of whatever it was as they disapparated.
They reappeared where they'd first transmatted down.
Harry was bent over breathing heavily and dragged a hand over his head, he felt like he was missing some hair on his head, then he felt a transmat grab a hold of him.
"I'm using our override, come on," Oswin said tugging him by the arm as they re-materialsed within the transmat area on the saucer. "Had enough of stumbling around in the solidgram neon," she finished as they stepped into the lifts for the command deck.
It had a beauty to it, watching a dozen saucers pummel the city with their weapons. They didn't even need to use any temporal weapons like torpedoes, just regular conventional weapons at a higher power to punch through the temporal backwash, and now a biodata search for Ginny. Or more likely her remains.
The fleet commander had not liked the damage projections for Oswin's order, but supposedly she'd made it clear that she and Harry weren't about risking their lives for infrastructure, especially as the Time Lords had already blown up a bit of it.
There wasn't even a population to get annoyed with them pummelling the planet's surface. Unless the Time Lords altered the timelines again.
"I was looking forward to a bit more banter," Harry lamented as he looked across the various screens at the data coming in from the Dalek scouts that were above the targeted location. They'd found various Time Lords, or the remains of them. No signs of any TARDISes though.
"I thought you just wanted it over and done with?" Oswin asked.
Harry nodded, something catching his eye on a side screen, he dismissed it for a moment.
"True, I did, those holograms were starting to get to me," he said, thinking quietly to himself that it was true, after the torture by the Time Lords he wanted a lot of things. At least the more sane, controlled Ginny under the influence of the Metebelis III crystals had been nice to chat to, and completely willing to answer some of his more burning questions.
Next destination would be Alvega, he almost said out loud. But that destination, they would be keeping from the Daleks, they didn't need to know anything about what he and Oswin got up to which they couldn't help with.
Or more to the point he didn't need them involved in all their business, they were an efficient means in this war, of attack and protection.
Harry let Oswin continue to direct the attack and search squads on the ground as he crossed the command deck to one of the Daleks monitoring something some distance away.
"How far is this energy detection?" Harry asked of the Dalek at the console.
The number was big, so he clarified it asking how many systems away it was; the answer approximately 3 systems. It was within range of the larger battlegroup they were a part of, though not close enough to be within sensor range of the fleet they were within.
"Sorcerer?" The Saucer Commander's lights illuminated for a long time as it managed to make querying his name as a question of intent.
Harry turned around to look at the Saucer Commander and was pretty sure this was one he'd be able to work easily enough with, Oswin seemingly have established a working relationship with it, through her dominance of ordering it around.
Any Dalek that could incline a query using just his rank he liked, the ones that droned on with the questions he wanted to kick. This one had worked out he was curious with just a query.
"Harry?" Oswin asked. "Looks like they've found minute traces of Ginny."
"Good, we might be in trouble, something looks familiar," Harry explained as he looked to the Dalek nearest to him. "Put it and any other data about this energy system on the main displays."
Elsewhere, on a Time Station…
He leaned back on one of the man chairs on the bridge of the Time Station. Ollistra seemed to be raiding the old dimensional storage facilities for her little projects.
This Time Station had been built around the same period as Romana's time as President. It looked similar to the one he'd been on during the whole Anti-Time Zagreus situation. He was pretty sure if they still had the Oubliette of Eternity it would have been used several times over by now against their enemies. Rassilon had a penchant for that sort of thing.
He heard the man sucking in a breath of air before speaking, the man's injuries were significant, the result of a poor regeneration, and one he seemed unwilling to correct. "You are sure your TARDIS is functioning?"
"This is your plan Voran, I'm here because Ollistra wanted me here," he said and looked at the disfigured man, he was one of the few people on the bridge of the Time Station who did look at Voran in the face. "and yes, my TARDIS is maintaining the temporal distribution and balancing of the connections between the other TARDISes you have placed," he paused and added "as instructed."
"And-" the disfigured man began.
"And it will anticipate the imbalances that will creep in. That's why you wanted my TARDIS and not one of your fancy battle TARDISes, need something with more intelligence," he commented.
Another rough breath from the man. "Standby to move in the prison ships to the first designated region once we receive the signal."
He looked over at the Time Lady the disfigured man was ordering and gave her a reassuring smile, she didn't return it, far too focused on her work.
From what he could gather this plan had been tried a few times before and failed. This time was a compromise, and they needed someone with an intelligent enough TARDIS and 'operator' to balance the massive dimensional and temporal energies. Thankfully none of it was actually flowing through his TARDIS. The Time Station was handling the bulk, his TARDIS, along with two others on board were just the control interface like three massive temporal stabilisers. Despite this Voran had made last minute changes to include a planet linked to the Deathsmiths of Goth, which he knew was outside Voran's purview, but he didn't say anything. He was here with his TARDIS not to offer an opinion, even though in his opinion there might be other operations going on throughout the war, last minute changes didn't go down well, unless you were an expert at last minute changes.
"Prison ships are ready, TARDISes are ready to propel them into the void, sir," the Time Lady reported.
He leant further back into the chair, it was an easy way to deal with their prisoners. While they didn't need sustenance, it required far too much power to dispose of them in any meaningful way. Shada had long since been raided for useful Time Lords to fight the enemy, and such a location better used for other things, other things than storing Dalek prisoners.
A dimensionally transcendental prison ship was an inelegant solution. That they could only be opened by the hand of a time sensitive was inspired.
Dumping them in the void somewhat less so.
But that was a worry for another time.
He was here to perform a job, his penance for allowing the prisoner to escape.
He was relatively certain Ollistra hadn't believed him. But the trauma to his biosystems was still evident when he reported, as summoned. The mental shake up of having discovered the hidden memory too helped sell his trauma to Ollistra.
He did suspect he was as much here to keep an eye on the disfigured man from the Dromeian Chapter, he who had also encountered the prisoner and barely lived to speak of it.
The prisoner who had a Dalek timecraft and who had disrupted Time Lord activities on at least one other world, and managed to escape a Degradations planet.
But of course, he knew the individual in question, not that he would tell anyone about him.
He'd yet to discover why the prisoner, the man who'd been tortured was here. The specifics of the Ribos Operation had not been covered in the data he'd taken from space station Zenobia.
The prisoner had only given a single name, and his interrogators hadn't asked for more.
Through the process of interrogating the prisoner, somehow he had managed to trigger an abortive regeneration in Voran.
The prisoner had suffered a mind bending by a Time Lord of a Dromeian Chapter. While they weren't individuals to partake in games like the Eighth Man Bound, or to run off and be renegades like his own chapter house they were still capable Time Lords. Mind bending an individual like the prisoner they had held should not have resulted in the man before him and his damaged regeneration.
"Temporary state of grace established, battle TARDISes and prison craft are corralling Daleks now, in selected sector" reported a Time Lord off to the side.
"Status of energy matrix?" He wheezed.
"Stable, we have control and containment over the 6 systems," reported another, who paused and added "Including your additions to the programme Lord Voran."
Voran looked around to him, challenging them, glaring at him.
He never said it wouldn't work, the containment was thin, theoretically it would be strong enough. For their purposes the Daleks should not work out what was happening until it was too late.
A thin sub-stratum of space-time manipulated to contain several vast fleets of Daleks without disrupting the rest of local space-time. It would take a large number of Dalek fleets out of the war with only a relatively small losses on Gallifrey's side.
But there was a lot of instability.
From the limited data he had seen he could tell this was something that had been attempted before and with a different tether and catalyser, likely a psychic catalyser with a randomly sampled tether points, so he'd gathered from the data. This was too much of a lateral plan for Voran to have considered, and there was a better way, he was sure, than daisy-chaining TARDISes together through the vortex to contain the Dalek fleets.
Inelegant and disruptive; the energy fields would now be visible to the Daleks, not that they could do anything about it; any energy they might throw at it would feed in and make it stronger.
To a point, then they all might explode.
"That formation of energy looks like that planet we blew up," Oswin observed as they watched the energy flare through space, connecting and coming together.
It now wasn't in the visual or anything else spectrum, but it definitely was there on the rangerscopes.
They at least had FTL, not that they could go anywhere.
"We have lost contact with 7th battle fleet," the Saucer Commander announced.
"Where about's is that?" Harry asked gesturing the holographic map.
A section highlighted purple.
"Move any ships near there away, whatever's gone on there we don't want to lose any further until we're sure what's going on," Harry ordered as he watched the little dots representing the ships start to move slowly, further indicating the size of the area they were looking at.
"And now what?" Oswin asked.
"Presumedly it's the Time Lords," Harry reasoned.
"We're in a Time War, it's not likely to be the Bandrils," Oswin rolled her eyes.
Harry gave her a look.
She put her hands on her hips.
"Unhook yourself Saucer Commander, let's power up the battle computer," Harry waved at the Saucer Commander.
"Is that wise?" Oswin asked now in Dalek guise.
Harry shrugged. "We're not going anywhere useful, let's see if we can put my head together with yours and the rest of the Dalek observations and see what's up, worked last time."
"Biological interface with battle computers has not been implemented for hundreds of years," the Saucer Commander pointed out.
Harry looked up at it as he sat down on the floor. "Got a better idea?"
"We must locate the source of the Time Lords' establishment of the perimeter of this field," it said.
Harry nodded. "That's what I intend to do, faster than methodical."
"Ready Harry," Oswin said as she extended her manipulator arm to the back of his head.
"Ready," Harry said as he relaxed, feeling his mind fall into a pool of cool blue and chilly mountains, of Eight Legs and blue crystals.
He could feel Oswin leading the way this time, he felt less in control, less seeking.
He wasn't seeking out Ginny this time, they were seeking…meaning in the maelstrom of information and observation.
Each Dalek, observing on each ship, the data coming in making contrary and confusing statements.
A section of space, there was an absence of data in the stream that was pooling through.
There were six…six sides to the energy field that had warped across space.
Six, was significant, though not to the Daleks.
One side, one area was missing, the Dalek fleet there was…gone from the rangerscopes.
Something…there had to be something, something meaningful in the mess.
"Begin moving the fleet, seek, locate…disruption," Harry said in a slow tone, his eyes still closed, he could hear Oswin speak as well, as he spoke.
"I obey," drawled the Saucer Commander.
"The fleets are starting to move," Voran said in an annoyed tone.
"You didn't think that they were going to just sit there and wait did you?" he asked incredulously.
"Open communications, I want to speak to them all," Voran said sucking in a wet raspy breath.
"Dalek fleet, you are surrounded. Resist and you will be destroyed. Surrender. You are without weapons. The Time Lords offer you life. Resist and you will be destroyed."
Harry opened his eyes as Oswin's manipulator arm disconnected. He didn't feel like they'd found anything, but had rearranged the fleet a little bit more to collect more information.
"What was that?" Harry queried.
"Communication from Time Lords, audio only," reported a Dalek in front of him,
"Play it again," Harry said and found Oswin, now in human form again beside him.
"Okay?" Oswin asked curiously.
Harry nodded as the audio played. "What can you get from an audio transmission?"
"Not location, it's not that simple," Oswin commented, Harry guessed she wanted to say more but it was going to be more complicated than simple for him.
"What about background noise or stuff like that?" Harry wondered.
"Be better if we had a video signal, then I could find something from that data, what are you thinking?" Oswin asked.
"Time Lord," Harry said again, drawling. "No, less like the Time Controller, we need to make it interesting enough that they connect video."
Oswin did something.
"Time…Lord…." Harry drawled again and smiled, "Good," he said as he looked at the holographic controls in front of him. "If they connect with video just give them panning shots or random interiors."
"Just not you?" Oswin asked curiously.
"Not yet, I want to work out who it is," Harry said.
"Because you know every Time Lord," Oswin deadpanned.
"Time Lord," a message came through their communications. It sounded unlike any Daleks he'd encountered before. Less harsh, though different, although unlike Davros or the Time Controllers.
Voran looked back at him. "Do you know it?"
"No," he paused. "If they're talking then that's worrying Voran."
"Within the field that's all they can do," Voran snapped.
"Time Lord," the voice drawled again.
"Surrender," Voran said simply.
Harry pushed the mute control as he tried to think of something that wasn't a laugh and wasn't Dalek-y enough. He wished there was a book on Dalek psychology to check, one that wasn't his.
"You fear the Daleks Time Lord, your subterfuge in capture of our forces is…" Harry trailed off. "Noted. The Daleks have fought many more wars than the soldiers of Gallifrey."
"We are Time Lords!" The male Time Lord voice exclaimed, it sounded wet, breathless.
Harry smiled. "Soldiers of Gallifrey, have fought the Daleks on many battlefields."
"Soldiers of Gallifrey, have fought the Daleks on many battlefields."
"Don't let them rattle you Voran," he warned Voran while he had outgoing communications closed.
"I'm not rattled, this Dalek knows nothing!" Voran exclaimed as he pushed the communications button again. "We have captured you, that's more than just another soldier."
"Soldiers against the Daleks will be exterminated in the face of battle, it is inevitable in war," the Dalek responded almost philosophically.
He sat up a little straighter, the more intelligent the responses a Dalek gave the more dangerous it was.
The ones that barked 'exterminate' were the simplest. They were the most predictable to fight.
"You're going to need to rattle him more, there's at least 7 Time Lords around him I can hear some things, but we need a visual link Harry," Harry turned around to look at Oswin, despite her being in Dalek form he liked to look to her.
"And you like war don't you Dalek?" The Time Lord sounded phlegm-ridden.
Harry's hand hovered over the communication controls, trying to think of a Dalek-y response but one that would throw a curve ball at the Time Lord, enough to make them switch on video. "The Time Lords fear war. Soldiers who deny the Daleks in battle," he almost purred as he spoke. "Protected against the Daleks," Harry paused. "Are your Sky Trenches and Transduction Barriers still waiting for the Daleks to attack your homeworld of Gallifrey?" Harry wondered with a smile as he could hear heavy breathing, and it wasn't his.
He stroked his beard in thought, watching Voran breathing heavily as he got more annoyed.
This Dalek was intelligent and baiting.
With the energy field they were trapped in the most they had were the engines in their ships, weapons wouldn't function, the state of grace was part of their large energy use in maintaining this field and why it wasn't sustainable long term. It was why the prisons would be so effective. Once they'd got the Daleks in those were almost self sustaining, and once in the void they wouldn't need to worry about them.
"What do you know of Gallifrey?" Voran almost hissed.
He would have praised Voran, the knowledge the Daleks might bring to the conversation would at least help him, or rather other more tiresome people in Ollistra's ranks work out if they had a traitor in their midsts. There were always some madmen bent on tearing asunder Gallifrey and all her dominions.
He felt like he might have been one of those people, in another lifetime.
No more, not now. Now there wasn't any need for a doctor, only warriors, to fight the enemy.
"What do you know of Gallifrey?" Hissed the sickly sounding Time Lord.
"Good question Time Lord," Harry said out loud, he'd muted the communicator, he could feel the Daleks' eye pieces on him. "The Daleks know much of Gallifrey Time Lord, your homeworld has been invaded countless times; by the Vardans, Sontarans, and by the Daleks, you fear the ability to do so again," Harry challenged and hoped that those two invasions were as common knowledge, the Vardan he and LPI had helped had been very chatty once LPI had rescued them.
"His breathing is increasing Harry, keep pushing I think you're getting somewhere," Oswin urged.
Harry smiled, he was enjoying this. "The Time Lords resurrected Rassilon, so much you fear the Daleks you recreate your past."
"We are Time Lords!" The Time Lord exclaimed definitely again.
"You fear the present Time Lord," he drawled, saying 'Time Lord' came out so well in a Dalek tone. "You are soldiers who fear the battlefield. The Daleks will front the battlefield, seek and locate you Time Lord, you face nothing."
The video turned on.
Harry grinned triumphantly and then frowned at the face of the Time Lord standing front and centre.
His face was malformed with dark…fleshy pieces all over it. What hair he had was dark, matted, almost like it carried malignancies on its fine strands. His body was lumpy and malformed too, like he'd been created with the odds and ends of putty that had fallen on the ground and picked up dirt and hair, he stood at a slight angle to the screen. Even through the malformations Harry could tell he had an expression of anger.
"This is the face of battle Daleks! I fought and faced the battle of war!" he shouted.
"Voran-" another voice, one Harry recognised warned from the back of the area he was stood in.
Harry had to hit mute quickly as his surprise turned to a dark laugh.
"Explain your reaction?" The Saucer Commander inclined a question to him.
Harry looked past it to Oswin. "Getting good data, should have a location soon, you'll need to respond soon to keep him on the line."
"He didn't get that face in battle," Harry said looking at the Saucer Command. "I gave it to him," Harry finished and turned back to the controls.
The communications had been quiet, Voran had left it open, they would hopefully get something further from the communications data. At least he hoped that was what Voran was doing. He wasn't allowed to be doing anything else but looking after his TARDIS and the systems associated.
"Voran," the Dalek mused almost curiously. "A Time Lord from the Dromeian Chapter."
"How do you know that?" Voran hissed.
The Daleks were playing footage from around their fleet, but nothing of the Dalek speaking, that was interesting.
"The Daleks have many sources of information within your ranks Gallifreyan," the Dalek commented almost idly.
"Time Lord," Voran corrected.
"A soldier of Gallifrey, Voran, you have fought many in your war against the Daleks?"
It was curious, the Daleks did sometimes ask questions, but very rarely were they phrased in a sentence like this.
Voran paced to the edge of the command deck and back in thought "Why do you care Dalek?"
"The Ka Faraq Gatri has battled long against the Daleks, you are a soldier."
He sat up at that utterance of 'his' name the Daleks gave him.
Harry watched as Voran walked over to the Doctor and was pleased that the camera followed Voran as he walked to the rear of the Time Lords' command deck.
"Clever," Oswin commented as more of the screen was filled up with screens in the Time Lord's ship.
There was also the Doctor's TARDIS with cables trailing out and two other battle TARDISes he was relatively sure there as well.
"This is your show Voran," the Doctor muttered.
"I am in commander here Dalek," Voran exclaimed as he walked a different path back to where he'd been standing.
"Harry, I think I've worked out where they are," Oswin said as she put the Time Lord's base of operations up on a neighbouring screen.
"Weapons are still not functional," the Saucer Commander said.
Harry breathed in as he thought. "Then get all the most damaged saucers and align them," Harry paused. "and ram the Time Lords' station."
"What?" Oswin asked surprised, or perhaps shocked.
"Ram them, jump to lightspeed at the same time and then ram the station and transmat aboard," Harry explained and then added. "I'm pretty sure I can't make him angry enough to drop his shields."
"Will that work?" Oswin asked looking around.
"It will cause significant damage to the saucers," the Saucer Commander admitted.
"How long will it take once they go to lightspeed?" Harry asked looking back to the screen.
"You know how fast light is Harry don't you?" Oswin teased.
Harry rolled his eyes dramatically and sighed. "And you're often informing me the speed of light is slow."
"Once aligned it will take 32 rels to impact the Time Lords' station," the Saucer Commander explained.
Harry nodded and looked around the command deck. "Then I'll need two Daleks to stand beside me."
"Harry?" Oswin queried.
"I'm not going to miss the opportunity to humiliate Voran and gloat Oswin," Harry smiled. "Launch when I say 'fool', and give me video and audio-effect control."
"Sir Dalek fleet is repositioning," one of the Time Lords said.
"Is it moving towards the isolated area?" Voran asked, he was pleased that while he was distracting the Daleks several prison ships had been filled with Dalek prisoners.
"No, current destination unknown," they said.
Voran paused. "Continue monitoring."
"You should be careful Voran the Daleks-" he cut him off.
"I am aware," Voran said to the bearded Time Lord behind him.
"Voran, commander," the Dalek said almost condescendingly. "The Daleks have fought many wars, against several commanders, your injuries show failure, the failure of the Time Lords against the Daleks."
"I fought against an enemy and succeeded!" Voran exclaimed.
"You are a fool Voran," Harry said calmly with a smile as Oswin helpfully put a countdown in front of him.
"You're the fool Daleks, we will defeat you!" He sounded utterly mad.
Harry smiled, he was familiar with mad people, and mad bovines. "You might not have been an enemy when we first encountered one another," Harry said as he adjusted the audio effect down though still Dalek-like.
"What, what do you mean?" Voran asked his voice wavering slightly.
"You made an enemy of me, the Time Lords weren't my enemy, they were related to my target," Harry explained calmly.
"Surprise, fuck wit," Harry said and dropped the audio effect and activated the video. The Doctor, he was amused almost fell off his chair.
"Surprise, fuck wit."
He almost fell off his chair. There, with two Daleks standing either side of him was Harry Potter.
"You…you did this to me!" Voran raged.
"And you made an enemy of me Voran, my only disappointment is that I won't get to see you die," Harry said devilishly calmly and smiled.
It was then that several craft crashed violently into the Time Station and warnings started going off.
"What?" Voran had been thrown into the ground.
He had been saved by being seated and struggled towards the screen, Harry was stood, a Dalek either side watching him.
"Harry what are you doing, what have you done?" he asked.
"Nothing Doctor, hanging with my mates here," Harry said brightly throwing an arm around each of the Daleks and smiled.
"Doctor, Lord Voran, Daleks are transmatting throughout the Time Station, the saucers have weakened the superstructure.
"Increase power to structural field!" Voran roared.
"Oh, and I've crashed some saucers into your space station, did I forget that part Doctor?" Harry asked. "I hope they get through that door soon," Harry commented idly in a tone colder than an icecano. "I should so hope to watch you die Voran, it seems I did a bad job of it the first time."
"Harry, you don't need to do this," he pleaded.
He could hear the noise of Daleks blowing stuff up nearby through the communications link.
"I think I do, you're holding the Daleks' fleet in this field, escaping is one of the first rules of being captured," Harry challenged watching him.
"I never meant that to be…" he trailed off.
"Unintended consequences is what have led me here Doctor," Harry earnestly said looking at him. "I didn't come here to sight see, I came here to address something particular."
"Energy dispersal field is lifting," a Dalek beside him announced.
"Begin to move the fleet away from this region of space," Harry paused and muted the communications systems. "Are all the Daleks off of the saucers?"
"Yes, Sorcerer," the Saucer Commander reported.
Harry nodded. "Do they come with a self destruct?"
"Yes," it said.
"Good," he said brightly and turned the communications back on. "Voran, I hadn't forgotten about you," Harry continued brightly. "Blow the saucers."
The noise blew out the microphones or whatever it was that was transmitting sound.
"You will die for this Harry!" Voran shouted above the noise.
Harry noticed the Doctor was making a quick retreat.
Harry took a step forward away from the two Daleks who had remained quietly staring throughout their conversation, so he hoped his face filled the screen. "I didn't hate you before this Voran, you did this to yourself, you and Waym," a door onto their command deck exploded inward as the Doctor's TARDIS dematerialised.
"Time Lords detected, exterminate!" Came the shout.
"You know me Harry, I can give you information, can help the Daleks, I can help you, just don't-" Voran started as he looked between the screen and the Daleks that were now filling the command deck of the Time Lords' carrier station.
Harry smiled cooly. "I remember what the Time Lords do to traitors, you showed me that yourself Voran, I'll remember to tell the relevant authorities. End Transmission."
Harry stepped backwards a few steps and exhaled.
"How're you feeling now after that catharsis?" Oswin asked patting him on the back.
"Are we underway away from this area of space?" Harry looked around asking.
"Yes Sorcerer," the Saucer Commander paused. "You survived torture by the Time Lords?" It queried.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I did," he looked to Oswin. "I feel better, closing that page."
"With that many Daleks he's definitely dead," Oswin commented idly.
Harry nodded. "I could have watched, it was more satisfying not to somehow." Dragging a hand through his hair he let out a sigh of relief, they'd soon be able to leave, get off to Alvega and work out how much stuff Ginny had been brewing up.
"TARDIS detected inflight!" Announced a Dalek.
"Put it up on screen," Harry ordered.
"Yes Sorcerer," it said.
A blue box spinning through space was displayed.
"It is the Doctor's TARDIS!" Exclaimed the Saucer Commander.
"Communication from Doctor's TARDIS directed at this saucer," the Dalek at the front of the command deck announced.
"Let's see it," Harry said walking forward with his hands behind his back. "Hello Doctor, you escaped I see, good to see the Ka Faraq Gatri lives to blow up a sun for another day."
"I should have realised it was someone I knew Harry, the Daleks are not that eloquent," he said looking at him.
"They do a good stanza of poetry occasionally," Harry countered.
"Harry, come with me, we can help," he pleaded.
"The Time Lords?" Harry asked curiously.
"Yes," the Doctor paused looking at him. "there's a bigger fight here Harry and you're with the Daleks."
Harry nodded. "Doctor you once told an old friend of ours that humans have to sort out their own messes, and take responsibility for what we do, and what we affect. Here I am, watching out for the things the Time Lords used to. The web of time and the degradations upon it from outside influences, outside of this war."
"From the Daleks' side?" The Doctor spat. "That's rich Harry, do you know what they've done?"
Harry shook his head. "I know what the Time Lords have done Doctor, and what they will do if the ends come to pass. The oldest civilisation, decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. The Time Lords' taste for absolute power, that's what it takes to be really corrupt, to forget the teachings you told me of the old times of Gallifrey, now all of history is weeping at the banquet the Lords of Time are serving."
"Harry, you don't know them like I do," the Doctor began.
"Remember Doctor, I've known you all my life," Harry paused. "I've known you longer than you've known yourself, remember that," Harry paused again and then issued an order calmly; "Prepare to fire torpedoes at the Doctor's TARDIS." It was more of a warning to his old friend than anything really threatening.
Earlier…for the warrior, the one in a leather jacket and beard…the Doctor, no more…
It was dangerous and worrying to see the cold fury in Harry's eyes. He had yet to fully review exactly what had occurred between Voran, Waym and Harry. He knew it could not have been pleasant. As an identified traitor, and knowing how ruthless Voran was, and the condition Harry was in when he'd found him he knew Harry had been subjected to significant interrogation.
He also knew that to produce the feel of his clothes, that smell in the Zero cell, Harry probably didn't understand fully how long, how many times he had been placed within that cell.
He looked very relaxed between the two Daleks and entirely focused on Voran, as he was on Harry.
Something outside of the control room exploded, the sound of Daleks approaching increased in tone and urgency.
He took the distraction as an opportunity to remove his sonic screwdriver and begin severing the connections to his TARDIS, the energy field was already collapsing, nothing would save it now and Voran was obsessed.
"Voran, I hadn't forgotten about you," Harry addressed him far too brightly. He began running for his TARDIS, Harry sounded far too happy for it to be anything good, and Harry learnt all the worst things from Alistair as what to do in a dangerous situation. "Blow the saucers."
"Of course," he muttered to himself as he kicked the cables out of the TARDIS doors and quickly dematerialised the old girl.
As she was dematerialising he felt the thump of the explosion blasting them away from the Time Station, also he was pretty sure she was just glad to not be hooked up to all the equipment, glad to be free of it all.
He assumed he would be the one left to report to Ollistra. Waym had fared much better than Voran on this account from their first encounter with Harry.
He really should have realised the cold fury and seething anger that sort of encounter that interrogation would breed in his young friend.
But he still needed to see, to talk to Harry properly; so began to search for the signal, there would still be an echo of it. The Time Station was a large temporal object, the communication lines would ripple back through the vortex as it was damaged and exploded. All parts of the Time War rippled in some way, it was part of the danger being in an unprotected part of it. Collateral damage, if you were unlucky enough to be in it.
Rushing around the console he quickly grabbed his screwdriver to sonic on a piece that had come loose as they'd dematerialised.
Now, looking at the scanner he could see vaguely where the signal had come from. A large group of at least 15 Dalek saucers.
He'd have to materialise in normal space to get a proper fix and communicate.
He just hoped Harry wouldn't be as trigger happy with him as he had with Voran.
"Hello Doctor," Harry said brightly again, he was still stood on the control deck of the Daleks' saucer. It was strange to see someone, anyone who wasn't a Dalek standing so casually with the death machines; the enemy. "you escaped I see, good to see the Ka Faraq Gatri lives to blow up a sun for another day," he commented idly with a steely coldness he'd used when addressing Voran, there was however a hint of amusement.
He looked at Harry. "I should have realised it was someone I knew Harry, the Daleks are not that eloquent," he said as he adjusted the controls on the console so keep the TARDIS at the same pace as the saucers.
Harry smiled and countered. "They do a good stanza of poetry occasionally."
Harry had often professed an interest in Dalek poetry, he shook his head, he needed to have a proper conversation with his old young friend. "Harry, come with me, we can help."
"The Time Lords?" Harry asked curiously.
"Yes, there's a bigger fight here Harry and you're with the Daleks," he almost spat. He hated seeing Harry over there with them, just seeing him and the wary look he had of him and the mere affirmation of the Time Lords, he needed to help him, show him that they weren't all like Voran and Waym.
Harry nodded seemingly considering his offer. "Doctor you once told an old friend of ours that humans have to sort out their own messes, and take responsibility for what we do, and what we affect. Here I am, watching out for the things the Time Lords used to. The web of time and the degradations upon it from outside influences, outside of this war," Harry seemed to be implying far more, but what could he, and the Daleks know of the web of time? Harry didn't understand the implications of the strata of reality that the Daleks were affecting, how many worlds and timelines ruined by their influences. How many planets he'd seen torn asunder by them.
"From the Daleks' side?" He spat, the Daleks that were watching him through the scanner, that were on either side didn't say anything. That was part of the unnerving thing. None of them had spoken since he'd communicated with Harry. Even communicating with a Black or Gold Dalek they would have said something. Even the Soldiers, they would have let out a cry of their favourite word when speaking with him but these Daleks…nothing. "That's rich Harry, do you know what they've done?"
Harry shook his head, seemingly denying his argument. "I know what the Time Lords have done Doctor."
His tone was weighted with a look that suggested he had seen what his fellow Time Lords had done, he knew, seeing those small movements in the body language that Harry wasn't just defending his position, he had seen things which had shaken him, of the Time Lords. He had told Harry stories of the Time Lords, good and bad, great and majestic in the past, he knew that the Master too had told Harry some great stories of their collective pasts, a shift, realisation that those of tales and wonder are real and fallible can change anyone.
Harry continued. "and what they will do if the ends come to pass."
This was a worrying sentence, and the inflection equally as worrying, a tone that a seasoned time traveller knew, it spoke from a future standpoint, and confirmed what he'd suspected as to when Harry was from. His being able to pass through the Time War's timelines at will suggested a higher level of technology and perspective.
Harry continued, paraphrasing his own tales and probably the Master's as well words "The oldest civilisation, decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. The Time Lords' taste for absolute power, that's what it takes to be really corrupt, to forget the teachings you told me of the old times of Gallifrey, now all of history is weeping at the banquet the Lords of Time are serving."
Harry spoke with a distaste of the Time Lords, as though he had seen them at their very worst, ravaging and rampaging, Rassilon was the worst, what was needed against the enemy, and enemy that just stood there as Harry spoke, seething with anger and destruction.
"Harry, you don't know them like I do," he started to say, but Harry cut him off.
"Remember Doctor, I've known you all my life," Harry spoke with cold calm, of someone who had just dealt with something seething within him. He knew that tone, that feeling very well. Harry seemed to fix him with a look. "I've known you longer than you've known yourself, remember that."
Which seemed to confirm completely, that Harry knew him after the Time War, and that was something, knowledge he couldn't let himself know, or the enemy.
He reached around the console and prepared to materialise around Harry. He'd take him away from all this…pain.
"Prepare to fire torpedoes at the Doctor's TARDIS," Harry said far too calmly.
"TARDIS has dematerialised," announced one of the Daleks.
"Can we go to warp?" Harry asked out loud, he wasn't sure who to address the question to.
"Not quite yet," Oswin replied from the back of the command deck.
"Can we dematerialise?" Harry looked to the back of the command deck where they'd set the Timeship up.
"With the Doctor out there? I don't know if you want to tangle with him and whatever other TARDISes are around here Harry," Oswin asked.
"Temporal stabiliser initiation detected!" Alerted one of the Daleks.
He could hear and feel the TARDIS coming.
"Can one of the nearby saucers form a warp eclipse around us?" Harry asked remembering what had happened the last time they'd encountered a bunch of TARDISes.
He cursed as the stabilisers exploded, he'd almost matched the Daleks' saucers' interference field and was even beginning to materialise.
The warp ellipse had booted him out and thrown his TARDIS into the vortex and far into a vortex fold, it would at least allow some protection to do lengthy repairs.
There was still a vortex spore nearby the saucers he could piggy back a communication line onto.
The screen fizzed as the Doctor made contact again.
"You've learnt a lot Harry."
"Thanks Doctor," Harry said with a brief smile.
"It wasn't a compliment Harry, you're in dangerous company."
"That's what they all say, about travelling with you. That doesn't stop it being engaging," Harry countered, then added. "And my time spent with your two fellow Time Lords has not dissuaded me of this."
"Fleet is now warp capable, loss of communication with the Doctor will entail," a Dalek said beside him.
"When we meet again, I hope we can put all of this in the past or future," Harry said, less coldly to the Doctor. "Go to warp," he finished. The screen devolved into digital static as the saucers leapt away from the benighted system.
Harry didn't know how long he spent in the shower, long enough that everything felt wrinkled and Oswin was knocking on the door.
"Are you alright in there Harry?"
Harry got out of the shower, wrapping the towel around himself and stood, looking in the mirror that was helpfully there for shaving, self reflection and moments of stress and wondering.
"Am I alright?" He asked the reflection, not really expecting a response. Or even a thought from himself.
Rubbing the towel through his messy hair he shook it, "come on, we've still got work to do."
He didn't know how Harry came to be this, be here, how this all came to pass.
Harry was a brilliant individual, and was long his friend, he had, as Harry had observed known him throughout his lives.
It also suggested he knew his future selves, but in his own personal past.
They, those that would come after him, if he survived this, and the future was still quite uncertain, they couldn't know about this.
Any of this, with Harry and Voran, Waym and all of it.
He didn't want to know. And he was here.
He wasn't the Doctor Harry had known, or would know.
He was what the Sisterhood said; what the universe needed, here and now.
But Harry would have his future, he'd not seen Harry grow up, grow through his schooling, he could still remember when he'd last seen him…sort of. Earth was protected from the Time War, it couldn't be touched. Which hadn't stopped Harry from escaping it to be here.
He knew Harry had succeeded in his schooling, he'd met him in the 1970s, but he'd made sure to section that knowledge away for the appropriate time. Especially after his exile had ended and full use of the TARDIS was returned. Each self had their own memories, own experiences, squirrelled away.
Now, he slipped his fingers into and palms onto the telepathic circuits. The old girl would know, when the time was right, to help him hold away his memories of this, of this and any other encounters.
When he regenerated, if he regenerated, the old girl would help obfuscate the memories, when he could be co-temporous with Harry, when they could both be on the same page, perhaps?
He hoped not to be faced with Harry, on opposite sides of the battle.
He hoped Harry would not be again, even though he seemed to have chosen a side to be allied with.
Hoped that Harry wouldn't encounter too many of that opposing side.
At least he still had that he thought ruefully, the TARDIS indicating with a noise that it would be done, when the time was right.
"Still got to hope," he muttered as he resumed the other repairs he needed to get the TARDIS out of this vortex fold and back to Gallifrey, back to report to Ollistra and what a mess Voran had made of things. "Still got work to do."
This chapter, or rather the way it's set out is sort of inspired by the War Doctor audios. Which obviously being audios there's a lot of talking in it.
I wanted to have a proper confrontation between the Doctor and Harry, and also Voran. And give Harry the opportunity to drop a piano on Voran.
Harry's obviously (despite his time on Metebelis III) still messed up from his torture at the hands of Voran.
I didn't want to have the Doctor and Harry meet face to face, it would have been too awkward to have them like that and then put Harry in a position to drop the piano on Voran.
I've also swapped the perspectives a little, switching from the Doctor to Harry and also repeating a section from the Doctor's POV, just because I quite like being able to show the more detail the Doctor gets from Harry talking.
The last section of this chapter is told from Harry's (on the Dalek saucer), Voran's / on the Time Station in general and the War Doctor's personal perspective.
I also wanted a piece in here about why the Doctor doesn't remember / bring up that he met Harry in the Time War when he meets Harry in his 9th, 10th and 11th incarnations.
I was just going to leave it as being implied that the Doctor doesn't like to remember parts of the Time War, which seemed to be implied by the dialogue in The Day of the Doctor. But as I got some questions from reviewers about how this worked I wanted to make it a little more obvious.
The Doctor will eventually remember what happened, post-The Day of the Doctor and anything to do with the Harry and the Time War will probably be dealt with by the Twelfth Doctor when they meet.
At that point Harry and the Doctor can have a good chat about everything.
Some have asked for a Ginny death count: 1 dead Ginny this chapter, 8 dead Ginnys in total.
Thanks for reading.