They exploded onto the deck with only slightly decreased force of a thermosystron grenade that had been fired at them by a Time Lord assault force.
Harry saw the wall approach and didn't have any time to stop himself crashing into it.
Thankfully one of the Dalek attack squad that had transmatted with him had hold of him. So he crashed into the wall with significantly less than lethal velocity.
It was still enough to make him blackout for...he didn't know how long.
The darkness of unconsciousness was replaced by the annoying noise of the alert tone. Harry looked up and found he was in a crumpled mess on the floor, a Dalek was looking down at him.
Harry reached up and grabbed the manipulator arm that was still holding the non-fabric of his coat. He wanted to say 'scan me for any immediately lethal injuries' but all he managed to do was croak, tasting blood and then coughed a breath of air out of his lungs. It stuck in his throat making him wince more and he decided he didn't want an answer to his question. He could worry about that later.
The Dalek looked seemed to look him over as Harry pulled himself up into a somewhat standing position.
Harry tried for another breath, this again felt rough, a sensation that felt similar; the possibly of cracked ribs, but again, that was a problem for later, when the saucer wasn't under attack.
Trying to remain stable and catch his breath he became aware of the noise of battle. "Location of Dalek Mage?" He finally decided to get out, with less of a croak this time.
"Dalek Mage and attack squad 19 are still on the surface, Sorcerer" said a nearby Dalek which was sat where the transmat controls had been.
Which answered his next question. "We are not to leave orbit until Dalek Mage is recovered," Harry ordered to the Dalek he was still leaning against.
"Communication received, command understood," it said.
Harry pushed himself away from the Dalek and breathed heavily as he looked around for what remained of the transmat controls which had been hit by battle detritus and half destroyed Daleks as they'd transmatted aboard.
Harry tried to clear his mind back to however it had been before he'd been knocked out and how he'd ended up here as he considered his next move.
-/ - \\-
They'd gotten intelligence from Supreme Command and the Eternity Circle; some sort of working group of Daleks close to the Emperor that there was a high probability that the Time Lords would attempt to exploit an ancient weapon. Beyond that information was conflicted. It might be one of Rassilon's own designs, and it had something to do with needing a non-Time Lord to open. Other reports from 'Dalek agents' said it was some sort of 'doomsday device'. Which meant sweet F.A. in the Time War Harry decided.
Other reports connected to the first suggested vampires, which did at least have the benefit of being consistent with what he and Oswin had seen; bowships were being flown by the Time Lords in battles. Though he and the Daleks had assumed it was due to their firepower and massive defences.
On the first occasion when he'd seen them just thought they were using everything they had left in the shed to throw at the Daleks and to be unexpected.
From what he understood from battle reports, only through sheer brute strength they were effective against moderately sized Dalek fleets.
Harry did wonder if this is where the necessity for the Cult of Skaro came from, to think laterally against the Time Lords.
It made sense; for the Time Lords to use an individual who was aligned with them to manipulate something to do with vampires.
Their own pet witch would be perfect.
At least on this occasion they didn't go in with just a single Dalek attack squad.
No, this planet was seen as a major strategic opportunity, with information provided from several sources that it was of high value to conquer and destroy this Time Lord facility.
They had saucers, although they had to establish a beachhead in order to effectively land them.
Harry wasn't sure how he and Oswin came to be with the breaching squad.
It was his idea of course, with Oswin backing him up.
They'd hoped to get in and out before the battle started properly, they'd hoped Ginny would be waiting somewhere, easy to get a hold of. Hopefully.
Unfortunately they'd also needed to leave the Timeship on the saucer, said saucer would be remaining in orbit.
Danger of Time Lord weapons, Time Lord time vessels (battle TARDISes, war TARDISes and whatever else and various other forms of danger that meant putting it in an expanding bag and taking it with them was...more dangerous than leaving it on the saucer.
Harry did wonder who or what it was less dangerous for, him, the saucer or the Timeship.
But Oswin didn't seem too worried.
Nor was he, not really. Not too much. Mostly.
He'd 'had words with' the Timeship, that if the saucer broke up it was to follow his biodata trace. He wasn't sure it had any effect. The Timeship wasn't like the Doctor's TARDIS, it wasn't as intuitive. But he felt there was a connection between him and it. Oswin still seemed less...Harry wasn't sure how to describe it, engaged with the Timeship, piloting it even that short distance to the Doctor's TARDIS she said felt...uncomfortable.
It was odd, that he felt more of a connection than her, she was after all...well, that was questionable what she was. Oswin Oswald, that's who she was, whether she be a woman in a variety of red clothing, mostly dresses or a Dalek who packed quite a bit of firepower, she was something he trusted in this war.
They were able to transmat down, but the location and amount of transmatted was small. As the world materialised in front of him in shadow, he thought for a moment they'd transmatted down in the shadow of a saucer, which he thought was hovering nearby but very quickly realised it was crashing into or through various Time Lord defensive systems.
What he wanted to do at this point was thrown himself to the ground and hide, or find some cover and hide, but what he did instead was put one foot in front of the other, wand and biodata scanner in hand and looked to Oswin who gave him a reassuring look of 'hope we don't get killed magic boy'.
It wasn't just him and Oswin, which was what was different. But the noise, the noise of weapons fire, of ships screaming in the distance, of TARDISes exploding; their dimensional stabilisers failing and spewing their dimensions across the sky.
That was...Harry struggled to find words for it, a lexical gap for something no one had prepared him to hear, or to see. He was thankful to be surrounded by several dozen Daleks making up attack squads 15 through 25.
It didn't make him feel safe, he'd never let himself feel that, but there was some security in being surrounded by Daleks on a battlefield. If he were a slightly more megalomaniac sort of person he might feel powerful.
But he still felt vulnerable.
Especially when he was shot in the back, his bioengineered coat absorbed most of the dangerous energy weapon's fire but the physical, it couldn't do much about, both he and one of the Daleks spun around, firing. Harry did so without thinking, reacting and shooting, but he suspected that the Dalek did the opposite, it calculated and shot with a good amount of accuracy.
Or maybe, Harry thought as he turned around, trying, as he did, to not think about the specifics of where he was, who he was fighting and instead focusing on the end goal; of who he was pursuing and why he was here, and why she was here. Or not, those questions of why had a tendency to get away from him when he wasn't looking and crept up on him in his sleep, he could do well without those questions for the moment and concentrate on finding her.
Finding Ginny Weasley.
The Daleks and himself were looking worse off, dimensional dust and actual dust and rubble from the surrounding buildings. Oswin had said this planet had been invaded by the Time Lords to construct their facility here.
The Eternity Circle and Dalek intelligence reports seemed to suggest that the planet might have had some Time Lord influence very early in its history, but it had since been settled by a civilisation, who'd colonised it, left, returned and gone away, governed by their gods or the seasons or something. Then the Time Lords had come in and...well the Daleks didn't really postulate on what happened, it was very cold, the facts presented like that. Exterminated the population to establish a temporal war base. That's the gist of what the report said. Harry liked to think that the Time Lords might have moved the local population off to another planet. Or maybe they're just used the De-mat gun on their civilisation so it didn't exist. He didn't know.
Insulated, that's what he thoughts as they continued on, the Daleks, because of how many, or rather how many continued with them, it meant he didn't have the greatest view of their surroundings, not really enough to take in what remained of this planet's civilisation, just enough to look around and try and focus on what they were looking for.
"Anything more direct?" Oswin's voice was close to him, and she was, leaning into him as they continued to move at a constant pace. She slung an arm around his shoulder like they weren't casually walking through a battlefield.
He felt himself relax a little bit and then tightened up as he remembered where he was and gestured, looking between the masses of Daleks and destruction and back to his biodata scanner. "That central building, I think."
Oswin looked past him to it. "And that one with the cables leading off to it is where I'll have to go."
Harry looked past her, he knew and didn't like this part of the plan, but it was the only way they'd be escaping. The Time Lords were broadcasting a wide band jamming field.
It was why that saucer had been crashing through the Time Lord's atmospheric defences and why the ships in orbit were mostly there with only 30 or so attack squads on the ground.
If the Daleks tried to transmat any more soldiers down without that diversion, or more importantly if they tried to leave and transmat back up the transmat signal had an 85 percent chance of being scrambled.
It wasn't splinching, that seemed like a walk in the park to what could happen because of misaligned, or jammed transmat signals.
And he and Oswin, or more so, just he, Harry suspected had a higher chance of being smeared across the transmat signal bands than the Daleks, or maybe the same chance. He was a lot less robust than the Daleks.
Harry said 'good luck' to Oswin, or rather he shouted it, but over the roar of battle he doubted she heard it, but as she peeled away with half of the attack squad she gave him a reassuring look.
"Onwards," Harry directed the Daleks in a simple tone, they would be able to hear him. He essentially outranked all the Daleks around him, although while he carried a higher rank nothing was deferred to him. He and Oswin essentially sat outside the Dalek rank structure, holding a superior rank but not being within their rank and file structure.
Harry had wanted to ask as they had prepared to transmat down and now, as his boots were falling on the paved walkways of this planet; why they couldn't land all the saucers, sacrifice them and take out whatever would attack them. They being the Daleks, he tried to keep that clear, even if it was just to himself, in his mind.
They. They were the Daleks. He wasn't a Dalek soldier, he wasn't anything related to them, he was just...here, with the Daleks, and had a Dalek rank because...
His thoughts were interrupted as something exploded nearby and the Daleks closed the gap that was around him. His own personal Dalek shield around him.
He fancied he could feel their force fields touching him. Except they didn't work, or only worked at a quarter strength. The Daleks didn't hold mission briefings, or none that he'd managed to drop into, but he had gathered from Oswin that they Dalek squads on the ground were more exposed than they would usually. To do possibly with the transmat jamming field, or whatever it was.
Which probably had something to do with why the saucers couldn't land.
Then he almost walked into the Daleks in front, in between his musing he realised that they had arrived at a door that the Daleks had stopped and tried to blast open.
"Halt," he said in a simple tone, the Daleks stopped.
Harry slipped his translation lip balm stick from a pocket and extended it, applying it behind his ear and looked around.
"There has to be a control panel..." he said to himself stopping forward to look at the door and stood in front of it.
It didn't look like any sort of Time Lord door, or rather the internal of what he knew as a TARDIS door. It just looked like a black metal door.
"Time Lords utilise retina scans," said a Dalek next to him. Harry assumed it was the lead commander.
"Yes Soldier, and if that fails...or this isn't a Time Lord facility..." Harry stepped forward to the door and extracted his wand trying to open the door with it. It failed, as he suspected it would, but casting some revealing charms showed to him...a panel on the right side.
"I will destroy the panel," said a Dalek behind him, it shifted forward colliding with his boot.
"Patience Soldier," Harry said as he narrowed his eyes slightly and focused on the panel. The 'Babel Fish' in a stick the Doctor had given him worked for words, but much less well than speech. It also often left him with a headache especially with Gallifreyan text. He'd decided that was his goal, to try and learn Gallifreyn, both the modern and High versions of it. Which looked to his eyes like mathematic symbols and turning circles and cogs. The latter was before him at the moment as he tried to forced understanding and recognition in his mind.
Then slowly the symbols swirled giving him a sense of motion and movement for a moment and he reached out jabbing the controls with his fingers and hoped he didn't get electrocuted.
Blissfully the doors opened with a clunk and thud.
He let the Daleks go first, which was a good idea, but it didn't stop him taking two staser bolts to the chest.
The lethal energy of the Time Lords' energy weapons were dissipated by his coat, but the physical force, that blew him backwards into the suckers of the two Daleks that were taking up the rear, even they were pushed back in catching him. Harry knew that was going to leave bruises. Both the being shot twice in the chest and the Daleks catching him.
Though the Daleks catching him and the coat saved his life, he fancied if he'd kept going that would have done significant bodily damage.
Shaking himself off and taking a breath he motioned to them to fan out around the building. There looked to be something happening in the middle, so that's where he'd go with three Daleks around him. Hopefully the Time Lords wouldn't creep up behind him, one behind and two either side should be enough.
It was gloomy inside, with no further bolts of staser fire now at directed at him, Harry looked around as the Dalek behind cried out "Exterminate" as it fired.
"No battle cry," Harry ordered to the Daleks. There was an actual Dalek word for it. The battle cry of the Daleks. Battle cry was the best translation.
He drew his wand, though didn't keep it too close to his body, he wanted freedom of moment to gesture, should the need arise.
The space they were in was gloomy, although it was well cared for, it seemed like it as more like deliberate gloom, or intentional gloom, maybe? Harry wasn't sure. He could still hear the noise of battle as they moved forward, both outside and inside, the Daleks' battle cries in the distance, but those around closest to him all he could hear was the occasional twitch of their eye or gun stick, searching for targets; for the enemy.
Harry still had some problems with what he was doing and who he was, in this conflict, who he happened to by allies with. He tended to focus on Ginny, she being the reason he was here, and the damage to the timeline she could, had, would, might have, whatever the tense was for her interference. Perhaps he was being the role of the Time Lords, in the Time Lords' own conflict, preventing interference in established events, even if those events were Time Locked, theoretically preventing their escape. His presence, the Doctor's existence, the Parliament of the Daleks' existence and Rassilon and his cohorts along with Gallifrey appearing over Earth would say something against that.
During his quiet doubting and wanderings on the meaning of his existence here they came across something that for a moment he thought was a support column for the building's roof.
Harry did think to tell the Daleks to scan the structure in front of him, but he just did it himself, he felt like even though he'd been shot at, there was still some sense of discretion here.
The column was a metal girder, or at least that's what it looked like at first, it wasn't bolted onto the ground; it looked like the metal had melted into rock and almost coral-like sort of substance onto the surface of the building.
Changing his mind as he reached for his scanner he knew he didn't need to scan it to know what it was, instead he dug around in his bag for some plastic explosive, moulding it around both sides of the support column and hoping, that by virtue of him being shot and the Daleks happily firing their weapons everywhere meant that this place didn't have a State of Grace enabled.
Harry continued foward motioning for the Daleks to follow, it was too late though as he passed through some sort of force field that, only once he was through it, he realised came from the roof down somewhere, seemingly from where the support column was.
"They shot to kill, Daleks can't get through the force field," said a voice that at first he wasn't familiar with, yet he was. It was mature, oddly alluring in a weird sort of way. Intriguing more than alluring. "You should be dead, they shoot traitors on sight."
Harry edged his way back to where he fancied the force field might begin.
"There's no use backing out now traitor, it's a force field," said in a way that suggested he should know that it's a one-way force field.
The lighting however was on his side, carefully he cast a few discreet spells around the general area to keep him obfuscated, without being too obvious.
Harry tried not to clear his voice as he launched into a sentence that he hoped sounded like his old friend. "My dear woman, I'm simply here to look around, I can't see why the Time Lords would think I-"
Harry was cut off by voice. "That Time Lord left us early in the war, he ran," she said, a tone of hate in her voice. "He's not been seen since and most definitely not here."
Harry gave himself a pat on the back, he'd been taught both by the Doctor and the Master at different points in his life some vocal mimicry, although he'd not really had a reason to break out the skill. The Master's instruction in hypnotism and mesmerism far more useful to him than the vocal skills that both he and the Doctor had taught him.
"My dear lady, I was simply attempting to establish a dialogue. I was merely travelling nearby this planet," Harry paused, mimicking the Doctor brought something of a smirk to his face, which prevented him from accurately mimicking the Time Lord's voice. The Doctor did not smirk.
The voice laughed. "You're unlikely to be the Doctor, he wouldn't have let himself get shot. Enough of this," then the lights snapped on around him and Harry winced for a moment before walking towards the centre of the room and saw a woman standing with her back to him working with some consoles.
The woman didn't worry him, not too much, she was after all who he was here to kill.
No, what worried him was this didn't look like a facility to summon vampires. It didn't conform to any of the data he and Oswin had seen from the Eternity Circle, nor did it feel right.
Not from his limited experience with vampires in the wizarding world, nor anywhere else. This just felt...different, there was power here, and it set his teeth on edge.
A sense of foreboding, that was what he might think, were he not trying to concentrate on the other things around him and also keeping enough distance from the older woman.
From the back she looked older; long platted hair ran down her back, she was dressed in simple clothing which made her look regal.
"My, my, you've aged well," Harry said and then shot her in the back. The speed at which she moved surprised him, as did the ferocity with which she fired a spell back. Harry diverted most of the spell towards the ceiling the remainder hit him in the chest making him wince, like the staser, though from his own doing this time it was the physical energy of the spell that hit him, the more dangerous parts of it he'd redirected.
The woman now looking at him wore an expression of surprised amusement. "Here I thought you were a Time Lord traitor. Instead, you're a collaborator," she sneered.
"Like yourself," Harry smiled. "Hello Ginny," Harry said with some warmth. "You look-"
"Older?" Ginny asked, cutting him off.
Harry nodded. "More mature," he complimented and tried to break her legs, her spell reflected his spell into the ground with a dull thud.
Then, it felt like she was moving in slow motion, but it was just his brain working faster than usual she flung a flurry of spells at him, all wordlessly.
Harry worked mostly to fling equally worldless shields, deflections and killing spells at her as they moved around the room.
In a brief pause in their movement, as Harry tried to ignore his bleeding leg and the pain in his chest he spoke. "So, what're you up to?" He asked casually trying not to sound out of breath, he'd not fought, one on one with someone whom he might be out-matched to for a while. Certainly not in such a tight environment and high stakes. It was...exciting. Exciting enough to even blot out most of the pain he was in.
"You don't know do you Harry?" Ginny asked, annoyingly she wasn't at all breathless.
"Ou-" Harry began, he was going to say 'Our' but changed his mind half way through the sentence. "The intelligence I saw said the Time Lords were working on using vampires."
"Vampires?" Ginny sounded very surprised and shook her head. "They would never use vampires," she fixed him with a look. "You know their history don't you Harry? Those two Time Lords you so expertly mimicked, they would know."
"The war against the Great Vampires, I know," Harry commented. "It would not be outside of possibility," he paused and then added. "especially how many bowships are in the field of battle."
Ginny laughed, "For a collaborator you are well informed, I unfortunately don't know or care as much for your allies' history. But I will tell you what is here Harry, my associates will have reinforcements here soon, it's not vampires, it's something far more powerful than that," she waved a hand around her bringing up a variety of holograms displaying Time Lord symbols, Harry had to concentrate to make them appear in some semblance of English. He could feel his headache getting worse, but it was something he could deal with later. Hopefully when he was unconscious.
He wanted to say 'you're that confident that I'm going to die', because he wasn't entirely confident that he could kill her, but he decided to go the Doctor path and let the enemy talk themselves to death. Or at least until he could think of some way to combat her.
"How old are you Ginny, how long have you been in the Time War?" He drawled the Time War a little bit, that part made Ginny turn around to look at him. It was how the Daleks said the Time War, it was slightly elongated. When other people said it, the Time Lords, it was short Time-War. Harry suspected it was a translation element. The Daleks viewed it as separate and linked things. Time. War.
"You've met some of my other selves haven't you?" She asked watching him.
"We've had words," he said, omitting the death parts.
"400 years, I found this project, abandoned by the Arcalian Chapter," she paused, but her tone suggested she wanted someone to gloat to, even if it was someone who was trying to kill her. "This is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe."
"The Daleks like to claim that all of the time," Harry commented idly. "What makes this so powerful, it looks like you've stripped a TARDIS of its interior dimensions."
Ginny laughed a surprised laugh. "You're more intelligent than I remember Harry Potter, a pity the Time Lords will rip you apart when the time is right."
"I try to match your level," Harry praised casually with a small bow of deference to her.
Ginny snorted something of a sneer. "You will never be at my level, you're still a filthy deviant, even more so, cavorting with the enemy."
Harry wanted to say he wasn't exactly cavorting. The Daleks were the best means to her end.
Harry wished the Doctor had explained a bit more than just 'oh, I just talked to them, they soon work out the error of their ways' of how you talked someone out of information. He doubted he could be Scottish and devious and talk Ginny to death.
"Have you ever heard of Delta Magna, Tara or Ribos?" Ginny asked, her tone suggested he should.
Harry admitted that he hadn't.
Ginny laughed again. Harry wondered if while she was aggrandising he could slit her throat, but he suspected he'd have to be closer to do anything like that. "You're standing on Ribos."
Like he knew that, the Daleks had only said this was an occupied Time Lord world, with certain energy properties that made it suitable for what the Time Lords had in mind. "The Daleks' intelligence didn't extend that far to names, only that the Time Lords occupied this world," he paused and fixed Ginny with a look "then dispersed and exterminated its population."
There wasn't even a flicker of a pause on her face as he said that.
"This planet was needed for the greater war effort," she said simply.
"Of course," Harry said casually, making a show of pocketing his wand. "I'm in no position to judge," he said in a reasonable tone.
Ginny didn't seem surprised, but did seem pleased that he'd stopped aiming his wand at her, or maybe accepted that he wasn't any better than her, or the Time Lords.
"So explain, what makes this the most powerful weapon in the universe, why don't the Time Lords just use the Hand of Omega or something to blow up a couple of stars, that's powerful isn't it?" Harry asked casually, he couldn't think off the top of his head of too many powerful Time Lord weapons. It was either that or the De-mat gun and that he wasn't sure even existed.
"This uses remnants of the Key to Time!" Ginny exclaimed, as though that was meant to mean something. But thankfully she also seemed like she wanted to explain all of this to someone, which was completely fine with him. He chanced some glances past her hoping for a blue eye stalk to come out of the bright white fuzz that as all around this central areas.
Instead he listened to Ginny, about how she'd collected pieces of planets, that like the horcruxes, these planets remained imbued with the Key to Time, and could be harnessed, or focused, or something.
"How do you focus something that's meant to influence the..." Harry trailed off as he recalled the phrase she'd used. "omniversal chaos and order."
"Concepts, but they were physical objects of power Harry, real universe shaping power, through dimensional warping and a focusing element we have directional power to rip asunder areas of space through the pulsing maelstrom between chaos and order!" Ginny exclaimed.
'Now I know you're mad.' Harry wanted to say, but didn't, this was next level mad bovine-ness.
"How's it focused? What sort of focusing lens have the Time Lords used? Or have you wrought one yourself?" Harry asked, wondering if she'd acquired some sort of wizard glass blowing in her time at the Ministry or at some point between then and the 400 years that had elapsed till now. Not that she was the original Ginny, she might be, but he doubted it, he felt like he'd intrinsically know if she was the original one.
"I used some techniques the International Confederation of Wizards Quidditch Committee used to use to make viewing galleries," she paused and Harry knew she was going to say something mental. "Only on a moon."
"Delta Magna," Harry said with dropping realisation.
"The Time Lords had to clear the planet of course and move it into the correct position, but then, Harry, the power I wrought, the power I have, you will witness it!" She almost exploded with intensity at him.
Harry smiled to himself, he hadn't encountered someone this absolutely mental for a long time, it was almost like being back facing Voldemort. Except he'd never shared a bed with Voldemort. Harry silently cursed his brain for even thinking about something like that.
Even the other Ginnys so far, they'd been skilled, interesting and unrespecting of him, but this, this woman, she was really mental. Yet, oddly enticing, it was weird, to be listening and talking to someone so...it probably said something deeply disturbing about his personality he fancied.
-/ - \\-
With a zap of electricity Harry was brought out of his remembrances.
"You have incorrectly welded the fourth and seventh transmat linkages," a vaguely operational Dalek informed him looking down where he was sat.
"I know!" Harry snapped as he burnt his fingers as he soniced the cable linkages apart and re-welded them together.
Just snapping felt good, felt good that he could say something beyond a croak, it made him feel like he would actually stand up and then he almost doubled over in pain, that last battle with Ginny and what happened next was fresh both in his mind and body.
"Status of Dalek Mage and attack squad 19?" Harry demanded instead.
"Unknown," said a Dalek behind him.
"Status of Time Lord attack fleet?" Harry decided and was rewarded by the saucer rocking again, he hadn't really noticed it while he was sat down, working away at the control linkages while reminiscing about the recent events.
He lurched across the large space he was in towards where the transmat control interface used to be, now there was just half a console and the vital controls were missing, either burnt out or destroyed. Harry almost screamed in desperation, he'd spent the last...he couldn't remember how long wiring up the linkages between the focusing array and power systems but he had no way to activate it...
Breathing a calming breath, or at least what he hoped was calming then tried and failed to ignore the fetid smells of burnt out Dalek casings, organic Dalek interiors and the pain in his chest from what he was fairly certain were several cracked or broken ribs, he's also broken several toes when he'd kicked at Ginny, but the spell he'd cast slightly after that would still hold for now.
"Daleks, weapons and manipulator arm status, now," Harry shouted, or maybe he just said, it felt like he shouted as he looked around the room and lurched towards one.
"Motive units inoperative, vision below 10 percent, weapons systems destroyed, manipulator arm operative." It reported in a croak that sounded worse than him.
"Dis..." Harry swallowed a mouthful of what he hoped was saliva but knew was blood, "Disengage manipulator arm controls. You're going to help me retrieve Oswin."
-/ - \\-
"Watch Harry as I unleash my power, the Time Lord's power on the universe!"
Ginny had pushed some leavers or something and the whole ceiling had opened up, or more likely was a hologram display, it was exactly like in the Doctor's TARDIS when he'd rescued him.
Then there was an audible rumble from outside and all the lighting around them went out.
Harry didn't realise he could be so happy to see the glowing blue eyes of Daleks coming out of the gloom.
It seemed to distract Ginny so he rushed her firing off a quick succession of spells and then with a flying kick tried to kick her towards the Daleks but his foot collided with something heavy and he was forced to dart back.
"Physical attacks Harry, you really are just another mundane," Ginny sneered as she flung spells at him and around her. "What have you done to my power?"
Harry chuckled. "I'm just getting started," then he triggered the explosives and immediately regretted, the noise was unimaginable, but for sheer dramatic effect and the distraction it gave he was able to fire a spell he needed to shout the incantation of, long and complicated as it was, its affects were...dazzling. It also almost ripped his arm off as it barrelled towards Ginny, exploded into her wand arm in a shower of light and power and tearing away her wand arm and the shield and spell she was trying to fire at him.
For several moments Harry was hunched over breathing the dust and explosion fumes heavily he didn't realise she was screaming and firing staser blasts at him, presumably with her still attached arm.
It was after the fourth one hadn't found purchase that he looked up and saw three very dirty and somewhat damaged Daleks were shielding him.
"Exterminate that mad woman," he ordered in a cold tone as he straightened himself up.
"No, Harry, no I can help you I can..." the mad bovine woman began, her shouts cut off by projected energy launched from one of the Daleks beside him.
Harry dragged a hand over his face and hobbled towards Ginny's body taking a blood sample and vaporising the body as he turned around, summoning her wand and doing the same to the remains of her arm.
"We must move to the transmat coordinates, structure is unsafe," a Dalek reported as it glided up beside him. It looked like half a wall had collapsed on it.
"Time Lord reinforcements are arriving in local space," another reported.
"Then let's go," Harry took a breath of the dusty air that was mingling with the scent of explosive residue. "where's Dalek Mage?" Harry asked as he fell in behind the first line of Daleks.
"Dalek Mage and attack squads 19 through 25 are encountering heavy resistance, Dalek forces are beginning ground assault," another said, this one beside him.
Harry wanted to say that he'd dealt with the reason the Time Lords were here, that it wasn't the vampires, that the Eternity Circle had got its intelligence wrong, but he was having trouble concentrating on any of that and was mostly focusing on not coughing as he breathed and weaving a healing spell onto his foot so he could walk properly, and likely run if he needed to. His breathing issues were not something he wanted to cast spells on at this moment, lest he collapse a lung or something.
As soon as they stepped outside, onto Ribos that was what Ginny had called this planet he was assaulted by the noise of battle. The battle cries of the Daleks, the pulse of the Time Lord soldiers' weapons. The sounds of transmatting Daleks and the thrum of saucers' engines as they landed.
But there was also a noise in the background of all of this a noise he recognised; that of TARDISes materialising, they sounded similar to the Doctor's TARDIS, or the Master's or even Lady President Romana's beach hut TARDIS he'd seen in Cheldon Bonniface at Bernice Summerfield's wedding. They all sounded similar and they all sounded different, a different wheeze-groaning sound of time and space being parted to allow a temporal craft to materialise. He was starting to think that his Timeship was much more subtle with its almost electronic pulsing wind-type sound.
"We must move quickly," the Dalek ahead was saying.
As they came under heavy fire Harry pulled on the hood of his coat tighter and kept his head down, wary that the Daleks surrounding him had already fought and taken damage from the Time Lord soldiers here.
"No shit," he muttered as he fired off several spells in various directions. Mostly wide area affecting spells; wide area sticking charms, weather affecting spells, modified poorly executed wards, the latter deliberately so. Everything aimed at making it hard for the Time Lords to aim at them or even fire accurately, it was the best option when they seemed to be getting attacked from all side.
Harry fiddled with his communicator as he tried to contact Oswin but got nothing but garbled noise.
He had to trust the Daleks leading him towards a good transmat point, because he couldn't see much, just explosions, weapons fire and Dalek energy blasts accompanied by Daleks exploding.
Harry walked into the back of two of the Daleks as they suddenly stopped.
"We must wait for our saucer to return to transmat range," it reported as the Daleks around him spread themselves out into a wider perimeter blasting at anything that moved.
Harry was going to ask why the bloody hell it had moved away from transmat range when something that looked like a grenade landed at his feet. Reacting without really thinking with a quickly gestured levitating charm he banished it away from the group. It exploded in the air and he felt himself being pulled into the sky for a moment before being slammed back into the ground. He knees and hands taking most of the punishment.
Harry spat out predominately a gob full of blood and swore. "What in crukking hell was that?" He asked as he grabbed onto the back of one of the Daleks and pulled himself up, leaning against the back of it as he caught his breath.
"A gravitational explosive device," the Dalek he was leaning against explained unhelpfully.
The explosion had blissfully seemed to stun the Time Lords from attacking their position for a moment so Harry could perform a few healing spells on himself, alleviating some of the feeling that he might be suffocated before he escaped this planet.
As another explosion went off nearby he grabbed onto the Dalek he was standing against as both it and he started to be dragged towards the source of the explosion, which stopped abruptly.
Chancing a look around the Dalek he was shielding behind; it looked like the Dalek squads that were on the ground were being matched by those Time Lords that had been filing out of the battle TARDISes that had materialised and Harry thought he could see two saucers that had landed on nearby buildings beginning to burn; flames erupting around the perimeter of the saucer.
"Transmat in 15 rels," a Dalek elsewhere in his group announced far too loudly as that seemed to attract the attention of a lot of Time Lords.
Harry began counting down as he practically batted away grenades or whatever they were that were being chucked in their direction. "Short burst fire; defensive fire, extermination is not a requirement, full protection defensive firing," Harry shouted out quickly as the Daleks swivelled around and began to take heavy fire.
Not just the Daleks Harry realised as he was shot several times by staser fire, the bolts of energy were diffused both by his coat and by the fact they had to travel through the maelstrom of the Daleks' defensive weapons fire and his variety of spells he was flinging around. But it still hurt you couldn't wipe out physics, you could only cheat so much with it until it repeatedly slammed you in the back and kicked you in the chest then followed it up by trying to break your legs as an encore.
Just as his internal countdown in rels was reaching its end point several Time Lords chucked, launched or something like that projectiles and grenades at the ever diminishing group of Daleks around him.
"Transmat now!" Harry may have whispered, may have screamed, he didn't know, everything went white for several seconds and then he was accelerating towards the side of a saucer's internal wall with a sense of relief and a desire for unconsciousness.
Neither were forthcoming.
He had only one chance with this. He'd wired three Daleks' manipulator arms into the remains of the transmat controls.
"You're controlling power flow, functional triggering interface and transitional transmat control," Harry said as he hobbled between the Daleks, the pain having returned to his foot.
"Report on transmat targeting?" Harry demanded of another Dalek that he'd levitated into position in front of a control panel he'd wired into the remains of the transmat system, he was vaguely sure it was used for secondary missile targeting, but it had been damaged, so wiring it into the transmat systems had made it useful.
"Damaged, targeting is locked to previous coordinates," it reported. It sounded like it was trapped under wet newspaper. It probably had something to do with the large chunk that was missing out of its lower skirt.
Oswin had checked in via the Daleks' message service, or something like that. He'd only been vaguely aware that a Dalek had been telling him about it, instead allowing his reminiscing on the recent battle allowing him to concentrate on the task at hand while simultaneously distracting him from the pain which seemed to ebb throughout his body.
He did fleetingly wonder in what was probably a moment of shock or panic that if he took off his coat whether his organs might just spill out onto the floor. He'd shut that thought down, lest he devolve into a fit of giggles.
Harry looked around at the Daleks he'd wired up. "Status ready?"
"Confirmed," chanted the various Daleks, he'd already informed them while he was wiring them up that he didn't want to hear about the percentage that this had the potential to fail or that the systems were not meant to function like this.
It was either this or death, and he already felt like death warmed up.
"Oswin, can you hear me?" Harry asked, his voice rough as he stood in front of the remains of the transmat controls, his fingers blackened with soot or whatever you got when you burnt your fingers by sonicing the wrong bits of wire and some sort of smoke came away.
"Took your time Harry, going to get us out?" Said Oswin's voice, strained, even in her Dalek-y tone, but Harry could tell it was her. Daleks didn't speak like Oswin did even if she sounded like one. On the surface at least.
"Oswin, you and the rest have to get to where I transmatted from. The targeting's broken, I can't," Harry started and stopped himself, he'd tried there was just not enough left of the systems, and there were no Daleks available, they were working to make sure the saucer remained in orbit, following his orders. "You have 30 rels and then I have to activate," Harry looked over to his communications Daleks. "Send the coordinates to Dalek Mage."
"I obey," it also sounded as croaky as he did.
Oswin only acknowledged the receipt of the coordinates, it was probably for the best to keep communications to a minimum. It didn't stop Harry from worrying.
It felt like hours had elapsed since he'd come up from the surface, but it was more like 20 minutes or so. Ages in a battle. But some of the Daleks had informed him they, the Daleks, had landed thousands of soldiers.
Harry wondered if it would do any good.
Certainly not for the inhabitants of Ribos, the way Ginny had been talking they'd all been exterminated not that she used that particular turn of phrase.
The Time Lords had extracted every bit of whatever the 'Key to Time' had touched on the planet.
Ginny certainly seemed like she thought he'd know what it was, or have heard of it.
He'd told a Dalek to countdown the rels for him and he was glad it had, because his flights of musing were reaching extreme levels of distraction at the moment. He wondered if it was the adrenaline kicks he'd had basically throughout this day so far wearing off, making him less focused.
"9, 8, 7," it was counting down.
"All Daleks ready," Harry hovered his hand over the final activation controls.
"4, 3, 2, 1."
"ACTIVATE TRANSMAT!" Harry shouted and pushed the controls feeling them electrocute him a little bit. The whole room thrummed and flared with power and energy and then, there in the middle was a group of Daleks, battle scarred and damaged. And a woman in a red dress looking more than a little bit flustered.
She rushed forward and enveloped him in a hug. "You took your time."
Harry winced. "You're safe."
Oswin pulled away surprise in her eyes. "You were worried?"
Harry coughed. "Tell the command deck break orbit; retreat."
"Internal communications damaged, unable to do so," a Dalek somewhere said.
Oswin grabbed Harry's hand and pulled him towards the lifts. "Come on, let's save the day."
"I'll settle for my own skin," Harry mumbled.
"Can we escape?" Harry asked as they stumbled out onto the command deck of the saucer. A girder had collapsed in the middle of the deck that he hoped wasn't too structural. His question was directed at the Timeship. Its outside doors flashed a sickly purple.
"It's never done that before," Oswin observed in an interestedly curious tone.
Harry nodded and doubted sickly purple meant a good thing, purple seemed to universally mean danger and caution, except on Earth where red was the de riguour
"Who's-" he coughed a swallowed and coughed again earning a worried look from Oswin.
"Are you alright Harry, you sound like death," Oswin asked with concern.
He shook his head, "who's in charge?" Harry continued as he followed Oswin down from where the Timeship was sat in one corner of the mostly circular room to where the Saucer Commander usually sat positioned so it could look around the command deck.
"Uh oh, he's not going to be giving any orders," Oswin observed and Harry realised that was what the girder had fallen on to.
"Display enemy." Oswin was ordering and standing where one of the main screens was currently displaying damage information.
"Uh," Oswin paused studying things. "Oh..."
Harry leaned on the remains of the Saucer Commander. "Plot an escape vector, we need to retreat."
"No vectors viable for remaining fleet," reported a Dalek off to his right.
"Display all Dalek controlled areas of space," Harry ordered in a weary tone. He could feel the desire to just collapse down next to the remains of the multi-tonal Saucer Commander and just fall into sweet unconsciousness, so he wasn't as surprised as he probably should have been when a wobbly hologram appeared in the middle of the room.
"That is a lot of battle fronts," Oswin commented from some controls from one side of the room.
Harry coughed again and swallowed whatever it was had accumulated in his mouth. "..." he tried to say something but it was just a mess as he tried to breath in and focus on the wobbly symbols on the screen, nay, on the holographic thing he was standing in front of. Clenching his fists into his damaged, bloody hands, which if enough time had passed he presumed would have been bruised and felt a dull rush of something in his body; the last remnants of adrenaline coursing through his body and everything slowly dragged itself into some sense of awareness. Out of the wobbly morass of symbols one was within their lightspeed range. Gesturing towards it Harry made an expand gesture at it. "There, that planet," he paused as he tried to read the symbol below it the saucer was hit by some sort of Time Lord weapon making him stumble, off to one side he was sure he heard a Dalek say something about missiles inbound. "That planet," he said again. It was pulsing a dull blue, that definitely wasn't the purplely colour tone of warning or alert, nor the sickly colour the Timeship has displayed. "The Skaro..." Harry trailed off as he thought for a moment what the second word was. Everything was displaying in native Dalek so he needed to translate. Somewhere in the back of his mind, the part that probably hadn't suffered a concussion whispered that 'Skaro' was ancient Kaled for 'home' and they were one and the same in the language. "Skaro Decay," he finally said jabbing a finger at the display, he was fairly sure that wasn't the word for it, but it was close enough.
"Skaro..." whatever the Dalek at the controls for the Saucer said was lost by a rather ominous 'clang' on the hull.
"Yes that," Harry risked a breath, he barely managed to control the coughing, or at least he thought he did, everything was getting a bit hard to hear. "All remaining saucers to go to lightspeed, now," Harry was going to say 'that's an order' but his rank made anything he said implicitly an order.
"I...obey," the Dalek said with some hesitation, some hesitation for a Dalek that is.
A warning tone went off somewhere behind him. "Alert, inertia systems damaged, may result in..." whatever the Dalek said Harry didn't hear he was more concerned with remaining standing.
Suddenly Oswin was taking him in a hug, he didn't complain.
"What was that?" Harry asked as he let his body sag slightly against her body.
"The inertia systems have been damaged, so you're going to have to brace Harry," she said as he felt acceleration press his body against hers.
"And then?" Harry asked.
"Then you're probably going to..." whatever else Oswin said was lost to Harry as the motion of the saucer dragged him into blissful unconsciousness.
This chapter wasn't going to be this long, not this visceral.
In The Night of the Doctor Cass essentially says the Daleks and the Time Lords were as bad as one another in the Time War, which contributed to me sending Harry into the Time War in opposition to the Time Lords, and also contributed to this chapter. I wanted to have the Time Lords destroy a few planets.
The planets from the Key to Time seemed like a good place to start. I briefly considered the setting for this chapter to be Ravolox (Earth) but it threw up a few too many questions which would've made the chapter needlessly complicated.
Also apologies for the lateness of this chapter, a variety of things got in the way.