Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. If I did, this wouldn't be FanFiction, would it?
The lone Dalek
Sunlight was shining through the hole I shot in the ceiling. The human Rose Tyler was smiling. "I never thought I'd feel the sunlight again." she said relieved.
"How… does… it… feel?" I asked. I never cared about something as trivial as mere sunlight. However… it seemed comforting to the human. And… I longed for comfort now. All these emotions and feelings I had been contaminated with… This newfound curiosity… The need to feel… to touch… it wished to be satisfied.
On a rare occasion a Dalek would do this, I opened my travel unit, and not only saw sunlight for the first time with my own eye, but… felt it. I slowly reached out with one of my tentacles, almost as in a foolish attempt to not only touch but grab the sunlight… keep it… hold it forever, never to let this new sensation go. Warmth… I never felt warmth before. I never thought I wanted to feel it.
Rose looked in a mixture of surprise and confusion at me. I was aware that my form had to be to her what the human species would call 'ugly', 'disgusting' and 'terrifying'. Daleks had no concept of beauty or elegance. We never distinguished between beauty or ugliness, between elegance or inelegance. For us, there was only Dalek or not Dalek. And everyone not Dalek was an enemy. Everything that was not Dalek was wrong.
Still… I couldn't exterminate Rose. I could not even exterminate Van Stetten, the human who had tortured me.
"Get out of the way!" The Doctor had finally appeared. He was carrying a weapon. Clearly he had the intention to exterminate me. And in my weakened state he might have very well succeeded. Rose had a horrified expression on her face.
"Rose, get out of the way, NOW!" Rose, still with her abhorred expression answered the Doctor: "No. I won't let you do this." Compassion. One of the emotions I learned due to my contamination. Rose Tyler had compassion for me. She wanted to protect me, from my greatest enemy.
"That thing killed hundreds of people!" the Doctor exclaimed angrily. "It's not the one pointing the gun at me." Rose calmly answered. True, Doctor. I did kill hundreds of people. How many people did you kill? How many Daleks? How many Time Lords? All of them. Wiped out in one second as you said. You were absolutely willing to commit genocide. While I absorbed the network the humans called internet, one tiny fragment of it was a phrase from a collection of texts called Bible. 'Why do you see the splinter in the eye of another, and do not see the beam in your own eye?' While I did not believe the content of that 'Bible', I thought that there seemed some wisdom to be found in it.
"I've got to do this! I've got to end it! The Daleks destroyed my home, my people! I've got nothing left!" the Doctor cried out. Yes Doctor… we were at war, after all. But wasn't it you who destroyed my home? Wasn't it you who destroyed my people? We called you Destroyer of Worlds and Bringer of Darkness for a reason, after all. I too had nothing left. As I said earlier, we were the same. Both of us were alone in the universe. However… this was not entirely true. Through Rose Tyler… we both experienced the comfort of companionship. You had the privilege of enjoying that comfort longer than me.
But I Doctor… I could not exterminate you. I lost all my will to destroy and to conquer. Right now… all I wanted was sunlight… just sunlight…
"Look at it!" Rose said and stepped aside to let the Doctor have a look at me. I was still reaching out to the warm, soothing light, so longing to touch it. The one thing a Dalek couldn't do… touch.
The Doctor seemed confused seeing me like that. "What's it doing?" he asked, his voice now lacking anger and hate.
"It's the sunlight, that's all it wants." Rose explained. The Doctor seemed unable to cope with the situation. "But it can't…" he began, before being cut off by Rose. "It couldn't kill Van Stetten, it couldn't kill me. It's changing."
Changing… Into what? I didn't know… this confusion… I could not bear it. Being bread to kill and receive orders… and now realizing all the senselessness of revenge and war and… hate. Hate. The only emotion the Daleks were engineered to feel. To feel any emotion other than hate… It was unbearable for a Dalek. Like it would have been unbearable for a human to have all his emotions but hate removed. Perhaps… I almost didn't dare to form this thought, perhaps our creator was wrong when he removed our emotions. This after all denied us the chance of happiness… and unhappiness. How could he have been so cruel that he denied us both? That he turned us into pure hate-machines?
"What about you Doctor?" Rose continued. "What are you changing into?" The Doctor seemed to consider her words for a moment. I could only guess what he had been thinking. Perhaps he realized, that while, through my contamination I was becoming more like him and Rose Tyler, the hate he felt for me had made him more like a Dalek. As I had observed earlier, the Doctor would have made a good Dalek. I wondered… Would I have made a good human? Would I have made a good Time Lord? Even just considering this should have abhorred me, but… it didn't. Yet I wished it would, as strange as it sounded. I was more abhorred by the fact… that I wasn't abhorred. Yes, even if the Doctor had chosen to exterminate me… the Last Great Time war would have ended with a victory for the Daleks. In some sense, despite a Time Lord being the only survivor, the Daleks would have won. They would have won, because the Doctor would have had become like us.
It seemed the Doctor just didn't know what to do or to say. He finally let go of the weapon. Did he finally have pity on me?
"I couldn't…" the Doctor seemingly close to tears, began helplessly to stutter. Couldn't what? Expect a Dalek to become like me? Neither did I.
"I wasn't…" he continued, still not finding words. Wasn't what? Prepared to confront a Dalek who could do more than hate and kill and obey orders? Neither would I have been.
"Oh Rose," he finally found words. "They're all dead." Suddenly I was again overwhelmed by the senselessness of war and violence. "Why… do we… survive?" I was hoping the Doctor had an answer. However, I was to be disappointed.
"I don't know." he confessed. Sadly I finally accepted: "I am… the last… of the Daleks."
For some reason the Doctor had a sad, pitying expression. "You're not even that." he began. "Rose did more than regenerate you. You've absorbed her DNA. You're mutating."
Mutating? After all, mutation was an important part of our creation, since we mutated from the Kaleds. So… the contamination had far grater consequences than I had expected. But the Daleks already were the supreme race, weren't they? I wasn't sure any longer. If we were, what would mutation do to me? Was I now mutating into a weaker kind of Dalek? Surely the Doctor would know. "Into… what?"
The doctor's sad and sorrowful expression didn't change. "Something new…" he answered. After a moment he added "I'm sorry." And he spoke the truth. I could feel it. He truly was sorry. He knew what it meant for me. For a split moment I felt honoured in a twisted way. I made the Doctor feel sorry for a Dalek. Probably the first and only time the Doctor has ever felt and ever would feel sorry for a Dalek.
If I had humanoid form, this would have been the moment in which my entire body was shocked so much I would have collapsed on the floor. I would have grabbed my head with my hands and tears would have been running down my cheeks. Instead… I wasn't able to express what I was feeling. All that pain. Emotional pain. Far greater than the pain Van Statten's torture had caused. How cruel, that I could not cry…
I was not just becoming a weaker kind of Dalek…
I was becoming something new.
I was becoming not Dalek.
I was becoming the enemy.
And it was at this moment I realized what had to be done. It had to end here. However, I wouldn't shoulder the burden of ending the Time War on the Doctor… I wouldn't make him responsible for genocide…
"But… isn't that better?" Rose asked. She just did not understand. I did not blame her however, since she could not understand. I was feeling as if she would have felt had she been contaminated with Dalek DNA and was mutating into a creature whose sole purpose was to hate and kill and obey orders. Rose wouldn't be able to stand to feel nothing but hate. Rose wouldn't want to be like me. And I didn't want to be like her! I didn't want to realize war and hate and revenge were wrong! I didn't want to have emotions other than hate! And yet I despised myself for these wishes. Yes… Rose Tyler just could not understand…
"Not for a Dalek." the Doctor answered her. The Doctor understood. He was the only one capable of understanding.
There was only one thing left to do. I had to end the Last Great Time War. I had to exterminate the enemy. I had to exterminate myself.
However, I could not just self-exterminate. I had to be ordered to do so. A Dalek could not commit suicide under any other circumstances.
There was only one being who could give the order. Rose Tyler. She had given me life. Her DNA. She was the new creator. Only she could now be my superior. Only she could now give me orders. But I presumed Rose would not understand. She wouldn't want to give an order to kill. How could I make her understand?
"I… can feel… so many ideas… so much darkness…" I hoped Rose would now grant me relief. "Rose… give me orders… order me… to die…" I said closing my eye.
With a sad expression Rose said: "I can't do that."
I expected as much. I further tried to explain myself to her. I opened my eye again before speaking to her. "This is not life. This is… sickness. I shall not be like you. Order my destruction!"
Rose was still hesitating. Perhaps I had to order her to give me orders, as redundant as it sounded. Orders had made my life so easy in the past. And now, perhaps they could make my death easy as well. Or at least make it a little easier for Rose.
"Obey!" I screamed in anger.
"Obey!" I shouted again in frustration.
"Obey!" I now almost begged her in desperation, to finally grant me peace.
Rose finally seemed to understand. Perhaps not fully but she at least understood she could end my pain. "Do it!" she ordered hesitantly.
Finally. The order. I now was ready.
However… I figured I just couldn't leave, without giving Rose some of the comfort she had given me. I could neither smile at her, nor give her a comforting hug. There was only one way. Perhaps a pain shared would only be half a pain and so could give some relief. Rose was afraid, I could sense that, and although she did not know me for long, didn't want me to die. She cared for me… She would see that I too cared for her and that we felt the same.
"Are you frightened… Rose Tyler?"
Rose looked at me sadly and slowly nodded. "Yeah." she almost whispered.
"So… am I." I confessed. Truly, I was afraid of death.
Then I whispered, at least to the most extent a Dalek was capable of whispering, the last word of my life.
"Ex… ter… mi… nate…"
I closed my eye after taking a last look at Rose and the Doctor. When I activated my self-destruct mechanism my last thought was the hope, that the Doctor could overcome his hatred for the Daleks and hatred in general, so that he would not become like I and all the other Daleks had been in the past… and that Rose Tyler, the only friend I ever had, would one day understand what kindness she had done for a lone Dalek.
Later at the TARDIS
The doctor placed his hand on the TARDIS. "Little piece of home." he said. "Better than nothing."
"Is this the end of it? The Time War?" Rose asked.
Clearly not filled with joy over his 'victory' the Doctor sadly answered: "I am the only one left. I win. How about that?"
AN: I hope you enjoyed the story. English is not my mother tongue. I checked for errors in spelling and grammar, but I apologize for those I overlooked. I hope no one took offence because I mentioned the Bible, or maybe didn't quote it correctly. I just thought the phrase somehow fitted to the situation.
If there are enough good reviews, maybe I will extend this fic and write some additional chapters about the development the last "Dalek" went through in that episode.