CHRONICLES OF THE CULT
EPISODE FOUR: CAAN
I should have fired he thought to himself, as he sped along the time vortex. His greatest enemy, the Doctor, had not once but twice offered himself for extermination during their last encounter, and yet despite this, three of his associates were dead. Worse still thought Caan, I might be the last of my species.
Dalek Caan had barely escaped from the primitive Earth time period of early twentieth century America. The Doctor had managed to foil their plan for using humans as Dalek slaves. The Dalek DNA planned for the humans had been transplanted for Time Lord DNA, and thus the humans had to be exterminated. His previous leader, Dalek Sec, had even combined his DNA with a human in a bid to create the next evolution of the species.
Unfortunately, Dalek Sec simply became an abomination that had to die. And he had.
Now Dalek Caan was alone. His power cells needed recharging and he chose to use the power from the time vortex itself as a source. While traveling along the vortex he contemplated what to do next. Out amongst the real world, there was nothing. The Emperor's database had shown him the wonders that existed in the universe, be it mortal, non-corporeal or deity, but ultimately it only served in increasing Dalek Caan's xenophobia.
Whatever time period, whatever planet there would always be something waiting for him, something he hated, something he despised. He had to escape. He had to be with his own kind.
But they were gone. Dead. Destroyed by the Time Lords.
He couldn't even think his name anymore. The one who had, in a single instance, exterminated the Daleks from existence. Caan knew no matter how hard he tried he would never be able to defeat the Doctor, or at the very least, by himself.
Thus Dalek Caan had decided to risk everything. To take a chance and try to find more Daleks. Try to find a way to do what very few beings had ever done, or he expected ever wanted to do.
He wanted to get back to the Time War.
He knew the temporal and spatial coordinates. He knew what to look for. He just had to wait.
- I - I - I -
Dalek Caan arrived at the destination coordinates and began a scan. In front of him stretched the barrier. It could not be entered, nor exited. He was able to pass through the barrier once before, although the ship had been destroyed on Earth.
As they left the Time War the first time round, Dalek Caan had detected numerous vessels attempting to leave the time-locked event. Almost all didn't make it, but he had to make sure those believed to be completely destroyed could have survived. Using his stealth technology, he made sure – to the best of his knowledge – that any energy released from the time lock wouldn't harm him.
Over the next 7200 rels, Dalek Caan detected only three ships. A TARDIS which exploded as soon as it breached the barrier. A Dalek saucer that was so badly disintegrating Caan knew it was pointless to follow. The third ship – another Dalek ship – managed to escape, yet an instant they joined the time vortex a powerful blast of orange energy had followed them through and torn the ship into tiny pieces.
Caan knew it was hopeless. As he powered up his temporal circuits to leave, he detected one last ship trying to break through. Judging by it's size, the power output could be enough to escape what would follow.
The large saucer-shaped craft emerged from the rift and flew straight into the time vortex. Dalek Caan followed it immediately, for he knew only one ship with that configuration.
It was the Emperor's command ship.
Dalek Caan was as excited as a Dalek would permit itself to be. Here it was, the Emperor of the Daleks himself, a survivor and leader of the victorious Daleks, who won the greatest battle the universe had ever seen. The ship was damaged, trailing debris and failing components but it was still intact. The Emperor would be alive, he had to be, and no doubt several hundred fellow Daleks. He wouldn't be alone anymore.
Dalek Caan was about to send a signal to the ship when he detected a build up of energy behind him. He swung his eyestalk around and couldn't believe what he was seeing.
A wall of orange energy was pouring down the time vortex towards him. Dalek Caan turned back and saw the Emperor's ship had begun to accelerate. Caan increased his speed to match, but knew at this rate he would be hit by the wave before he reached the command ship.
A quick scan of the ship revealed several de-energised power cells on the aft section, which fed the engines. If the command ship was trying to flee the vortex and return to normal space it simply wouldn't be able to. Dalek Caan knew what had to be done.
Caan adjusted his extender and fired a beam of green energy at the command ship. Receptors on the rear of the craft accepted the energy beam and converted it for use in the power cells. Across the rear of the ship, Caan saw the power cells activating one by one.
With one last burst of energy, Caan activated the last power cell, and the great command ship shimmered and vanished from view. Caan knew he had done it. He had saved the Emperor, but sacrificed himself in the process.
Forced to slow now due to lack of energy, Caan felt the energy of time itself roaring towards him. He turned to face it, not wanting to die like a cowardly Time Lord. Maybe a quick prayer. No, that would be foolish he thought, there are no Dalek Gods.
As the energy wave almost hit him, he felt all the pressures of the universe float away around him, and suddenly, everything went white.
- I - I - I -
"Do you know where you are?" asked a voice.
"No" said Dalek Caan. "Have I been exterminated?"
"You are very much alive. And I have a job for you."
Dalek Caan tried to get his bearings. He was floating in space, over a yellowy-green nebula.
"This is the Medusa Cascade. We are inside the Time War."
"No we are not" said the voice. "I have created a pocket in the universe just for you, but there is a price to pay."
"Daleks do not pay" said Dalek Caan, still trying to work out where the voice was coming from. Maybe it was a deity, like the one Caan had been named after. Daleks do not pray to or even believe in deities so he doubted this would be the case. We do not believe he kept saying.
"You will complete your mission, because it has been foretold."
Dalek Caan was confused. Was he really speaking to a deity? Was he truly dead? Such thoughts would never have crossed his mind before joining the Cult.
"Explain the mission" he asked, if nothing but to further gain information about the voice.
"You will return to the Time War and obtain the Creator."
Dalek Caan couldn't comprehend. "Explain. I demand an explanation."
Suddenly Dalek Caan felt his atoms dividing. He was everywhere in the universe, at every star and planet, in every time period conceivable. He saw his own creation in a lab on Skaro, the formation of the Cult, the end of the war, the loss at Canary Wharf, the death of his associates. But then further, pushed back through time, witnessing the nuclear war on Skaro, the Dalek invasion attempts of Earth, Spiridon, thousand of other worlds, of the slaughter of humanity by the Emperor in the 200,000th century, of the countless attacks by the Doctor, each time killing more and more people, the extermination of billions of lives for a single purpose of wiping out everything that isn't Dalek-
It. Must. End.
Dalek Caan could barely believe he had produced that thought in his head. As he did so, his atoms reunited, coming back together in the Medusa Cascade.
"Now do you understand?" the voice said.
"Yes… yes I do" said Caan.
"Good. Then go."
"Who are you? Answer!"
Then the voice told him her name. And then the voice touched Caan.
And then Dalek Caan began to laugh.
- I - I - I -
Dalek Caan now knew the one way into the Time War. The voice had shown him the way. He knew the price. He knew the cost that would befall him. The time lock could be viewed in several ways. It was a bubble surrounding the universe inside; it was a fence keeping the combatants from the innocents; and it was a mirror, echoing the chaos that had spawned real space billions of years ago.
Caan accessed the human story known as Ragnarok. The final battle of the Gods. One man gave his sight so that he may see the future, and in doing so doomed the Gods into a battle that could not be won. By anyone. Caan knew by the time his mission was over, that story would be undeniably accurate.
Dalek Caan hit the barrier surrounding the time lock with the force of a trillion supernovas, allowing the lock to feed back into him, overlapping his body and soul before finally merging with it. The Dalek God had shown him the way.
He became part of the time lock.
Caan pushed with all his strength until finally he felt the weight of the lock crush his atoms to dust.
And he died. Then, he was reborn.
Caan forced his way further through the lock, which was both nothing and everything. And he died again.
Caan repeated the dark pattern of rebirth until finally, after a million years and countless deaths he emerged into the Time War, and began to find what he was looking for.
During the early years of the war, Caan knew of the skirmish that had claimed the Creator's life. The battle at the Gates of Elysium would be a turning point in the war. Davros's sacrifice stirred the remains of the army into a force that ultimately fought all the way to Gallifrey itself.
Davros had decided to hunt down the Doctor as revenge for all the battles they had fought each other. This personal vendetta, he decided, would ultimately bring about the death of one of them. Unfortunately for Davros, it wasn't the Doctor.
One of the many weapons employed by the Time Lords was the massive Nightmare Child. Davros knew such a weapon would easily kill billions of Daleks, and it had to be stopped.
When all other plans failed, Davros knew he would have to ram it. Despite calls for aid from the Doctor, Davros chose death over salvation from his greatest enemy. The great Dalek ship flew right into jaws of the Nightmare Child, and both vanished into the heart of a quantum singularity.
Now that Caan could cheat death, he wanted to make sure he got it right. He would only have one shot at it, it would take up all his energy and if he failed he would die alongside Davros.
But even then, he knew that would never ever happen.
Caan temporal shifted through all the defences and landed on the flight deck of the ship. It felt good to be back on a Dalek cruiser again. Davros was seated at the front of the room, who turned at the sudden arrival of a functioning Dalek. All around the bridge, Daleks lay dead or dying. The ship was about to fall apart, courtesy of the Nightmare Child. Davros had already set the ship for collision course when Caan arrived.
"Who are you?" asked Davros.
"There is no time, Creator. We must flee."
Caan elevated over to Davros as quickly as he could. Outside, the massive shape of the Nightmare Child bore down on them.
Caan linked with Davros using his extender and triggered his temporal shift for the last time. Using all of his remaining energy, both forms vanished from the shattering flight deck as the ship collided with the Nightmare Child, and the star in the belly of Davros's ship shone as bright as the light of a new day before consuming the Gates of Elysium into pure darkness.
- I - I - I -
On a lone, lifeless planetoid, Davros and Dalek Caan appeared on a plateau above a small valley.
"This is the Medusa Cascade" said Davros, looking up at the sky. "Why have you-"
But Davros couldn't finish his sentence as Caan's casing began to crack and fall apart. His eyestalk shattered into shards and his dome fell to the ground. His shoulder struts peeled off to the ground. Both his gun stick and his extender melted and disintegrated.
The now-exposed Dalek Caan let out a scream which pierced the darkness above them.
Davros sat in shock. His saviour was now badly damaged, and exposed.
"Why?" asked Davros.
"The war was lost. We must rebuild" said Caan, weakly. "They cannot find us here. We are safe."
Then Caan told him of the fall of Dalek kind. Of the Emperor's death, of every attempt to rebuild failing miserably. Afterwards, Davros looked around the planet, then up at the stars and nebula.
"Yes… yes we can" he said, with the power and determination of old. "We shall build an army again. The empire will rise. We will crush the entire universe!"
Caan began to laugh. While Davros was sure Caan shared his enthusiasm, Daleks shouldn't laugh. As Caan continued, Davros had a worrying thought. This Dalek might be trouble.
- I - I - I -
Elsewhere in time and space, a being of immense power watched proceedings unfold in the Medusa Cascade. Excellent she thought to herself.
Dalek Caan was easily duped. His belief in a deity and seeing his own past, present and future was enough of convince him to do her bidding.
She knew he would succeed. For anything touched by her survives indefinitely.
She who was all powerful.
She who was all knowing.
She… who liked to be simply known… as Bad Wolf.
- 'Chronicles' was originally gonna feature four stories set prior to Doomsday, but expanded out after working out decent ideas for Thay and Caan.
- Dalek Rabe (in Chapter 'Sec') was originally gonna be called Dalek Zon, but after a small bit of research found Dalek Jast was originally called Rabe in an early script for Doomsday.
- The day after I wrote chapter 'Sec' I learned about the short story Birth of a Legend. Turns out I got a few things similar! I preferred Dalek Sec coming up with the names though; the Emperor would be too busy to deal with that. :-)
- Chapter 'Thay was gonna feature more 1930s New York, but enjoyed writing the Canary Wharf story more. I also had to rewrite part of it after I included Thay observing Rose hanging horizontally off the lever. After rewatching Doomsday I saw Rose didn't go horizontal until after the last of the Daleks had entered the void.
- Chapter 'Caan' was originally going to have Caan entering the Time War and fighting through wave after wave of resurrection battles, thus fulfilling the 'died a thousand times over' line from Journey's End. Ultimately went with the other direction.
- There are four key words in each chapter which relate to that specific story: Dream (Sec), Hope (Jast), Wish (Thay), Pray (Caan).
- Despite listing this story as complete, I may carry on with future CoS stories. There is a small window between Doomsday and Daleks in Manhatten which I intend to exploit.....