Strategist Dalek was worried. The Supreme Dalek had just left the control room, and wasn't happy. Further delays with the Kor'Cha attacks and continued losses were frustrating enough. Now the Supreme Dalek wanted results.
Over a year since their creation, the new Paradigm Daleks had relocated themselves to a small world at the trailing edge of the Cygnus spiral arm. The distance, thought Strategist Dalek, was prudent considering the state of the small saucer they had bequeathed from their saviors. A trio of Daleks, not the Originals of old, but abominations created from the flesh of Davros, the creator of the Originals. Shortly after their creation, despite all they had been through to ensure the survival of their species, the Supreme Dalek had them exterminated.
Now the Five new breed Daleks were on a planet which they had named New Skaro, surrounding a red giant. Tactically it had been a good choice, yet within a couple of months the attacks began.
A vicious species called the Kor'Cha had begun striking the new Dalek production factory and fleet yards in orbit, using wormhole technology. Their homeworld was a few light years away but the Kor'Cha possessed a shield technology which the Daleks were presently unable to penetrate. Their entire solar system was surrounded by a massive energy barrier. Scientist Dalek had been attempting to crack it, yet he had been ordered by the Supreme Dalek to instead help with the procreation of their own species first and foremost, and thus the war became one of attrition.
Strategist Dalek had fallen out of favour with the Supreme Dalek, mainly due to a perceived lack of participation in the creation of the new empire. As Strategist Dalek rolled into the control room, he caught sight of a Dalek with a green casing at a console, checking over the construction of a new super-saucer. If the choice of planet to settle on was one of Strategist Dalek's two main contributions to the empire, this was the other.
As Scientist Dalek was pre-occupied with the biogenetics of producing a far superior master race to that of the Originals, the focus on starship technology and manufacturing was lacking. While the Progenitor was capable to assisting in the reproduction of their species ad infinitum (Drone Dalek had been cloned to the nth degree and thus the base was now swarming with red Daleks), Scientist Dalek was too busy to actually design and build the vessels the new Daleks would use.
To this end, Strategist Dalek was granted permission to access the Progenitor chamber and reprogram it to create a Dalek capable of the task required. What emerged was the Engineer Dalek, a Paradigm Dalek in a green casing. Needless to say, Scientist Dalek wasn't happy. He felt his abilities had been undermined, and that Engineer Dalek was superfluous. Despite attempts to have him downgraded to a simply Drone – or simply exterminated – the Supreme Dalek permitted him to remain.
As he approached the central annex of the main control room, the Engineer turned to face him.
"I have successfully created the new warships that will allow us to take control of the Kor'Cha and begin our conquest of the galaxy" said Engineer Dalek. "The first of three are being deployed to engage in conflict with a species in a nearby star system."
"Good" said Strategist Dalek. He was lying of course.
He felt his decision to focus all their war efforts on the Kor'Cha were being ignored, and the Supreme Dalek was now completely ignoring his strategic advice altogether; instead opting to fight as many species in neighbouring star systems as possible.
He turned to observe the main screen, which showed the position of the Dalek fleet at present. At present they only had a handful of ships, and all but two of them were in the present time period. Every few rels, a red flare would alert part of the screen. Another Kor'Cha attack was underway.
The attacks were simple and deadly, and didn't last long. A wormhole would open, high velocity projectiles would emerge and the wormholes would close. A matter of rels at most. Strategist Dalek was ordered by the Supreme Dalek to neutralize the wormhole threat and begin a fight back against the Kor'Cha. Unfortunately the wormholes were virtually impossible to detect prior to opening - let alone target with weapons - before they closed.
Strategist Dalek left the control room and made for his lab in the centre of a large tower. En route, he was travelling along a bridge over the vast citadel when he encountered Scientist Dalek. His orange casing appeared a darkened shade of scarlet and amber in the light of the setting sun.
"Strategist, the Supreme Dalek demands an update on the Kor'Cha strategy."
Strategist Dalek stopped just short of his counterpart. He pondered his response. Ever since their creation the five Daleks had taken on a heirachy, and with the exception of the Supreme Dalek, they should all be equal. However, after the Kor'Cha attacks the Supreme Dalek began changing his attitude towards the others, and cracks in their small army began to appear.
Drone Dalek, rather than become a leader of the new militia, was simply to become a template for the new army, and soon became absorbed within its ranks. Scientist Dalek, with the promise of creating a new breed of Emperor and superior form of Dalek soon became the Supreme Dalek's trusted advisor, although according to Scientist Dalek the gene banks used to create the superior life form were constantly corrupting, and any mutant produced didn't live long. If anything it allowed for the Supreme Dalek more time to rule.
Eternal Dalek remained with the Supreme Dalek at all times. According to Drone Dalek, only the Supreme Dalek knows of his special ability, and he wasn't about to let on what that was any time soon.
That left Strategist Dalek - struggling to win a war and guide an Empire without any help from the rest of the Paradigm - who fast believed he would be the first to be exterminated.
"A stratagem is being formed. I will observe the interrogation of an alien regarding the Kor'Cha, after which I will deliver my report" he said. Scientist Dalek turned and continued on the bridge without another word.
Another lie. He needed to. Scientist Dalek had proven to be dangerous at times. After the creation of Engineer Dalek he felt threatened, and, like all Daleks, threats had to be neutralised.
Strategist Dalek entered his lab and moved to a screen which, after receiving a wireless signal turned opaque and shimmered to reveal a cell behind it. A filthy insectoid alien hunched in the corner, eyes darting around all areas.
"We are ready" came the Dalek voice over the intercom.
"Begin" said Strategist Dalek.
Two red Daleks entered the cell and approached the alien. It immediately jumped up and latched itself to the ceiling using a gelatinous substance excreted from its hands.
"What you want from me? What? What? Just send me back to ship!" it yelled.
"State the information you have regarding the Kor'Cha" demanded one of the red Daleks.
The alien eyed the two metal creatures in front of it.
"Then I leave?"
The red Dalek paused. "Yes."
Strategist Dalek knew the alien would never leave the cell alive.
"Kor'Cha deadly. They want all beings dead" the alien said. "Many cities lost. My people slaughtered in millions. Can't stop wormholes. They linger to watch. Kor'Cha bad."
Strategist Dalek turned to look at his chart on the wall, temporarily ignoring the interrogation in front of him. The display of the last battle appeared before him. A fleet of new Dalek saucers were attacked and destroyed in a vicious strike that killed 1700 Daleks and put their efforts back by two months.
The alien was right. Two wormholes had stayed an additional 6.2 rels after firing their ordinance through. And if they were using it to observe-
"NO! Take me back to ship! I need to get back to my colony. We are all that left!" The alien was screaming at the two Daleks. He had come down from the ceiling, now part way down the wall next to a cooling duct, his eyes firmly fixed on the door. He was sure he could leap the metal creatures if he wanted, but didn't know how many additional aliens were waiting on the other side.
"Your colony has been exterminated."
The alien screamed and unfurled glands from its back, with obvious intent to attack. "My people gone! How we rebuild our civilisation now?" it screamed, and pumped it's limbs full of adrenaline ready to strike.
The leading Dalek levelled its weapon at the alien. "You won't" it said, and opened fire.
Strategist Dalek had seen many aliens exterminated by Daleks, either by the new Paradigm or by the Originals.
He had never seen a victim simply pop before.
Strategist Dalek waited patiently outside the command room when Scientist Dalek emerged.
"The Supreme Dalek is occupied. He demands the destruction of the Kor'Cha. You are permitted twelve Daleks to assist."
Strategist Dalek was shocked. "The plan requires additional numbers to succeed" he replied.
"You have your orders" Scientist Dalek said, and went back into the command room.
Strategist Dalek turned and left. He knew he would have to rethink his plan. It may not work.
Outside, he passed a puddle of liquid. He observed his own reflection as he did so. His blue casing shimmered in the rain water that had fallen the night before.
Strategist's mind amended the plan in three point two rels. Twelve Daleks would be more than enough. He needed a quick modification of his own casing first.
A stratagem had been formed.
Strategist Dalek was leading a large swarm of Red Daleks surrounding six new super-saucers in an area of space known for Kor'Cha attacks. He had sent an open signal to the Daleks on New Skaro stating his intended route, and had launched immediately in a bid to capitalise on his efforts.
After only two hours of their intended flight path, the first wormhole opened up. This time however, things would be different.
Strategist Dalek blurred and vanished. He realised as soon as the alien had spoken of lingering wormholes the Kor'Cha must be using them to observe and gloat over their victories. This would be their downfall.
For if they could see the battle, then the wormhole must work both ways.
Strategist Dalek appeared at the event horizon of the wormhole and passed through. He was greeted by a projectile which exploded instantly at the result of the instability caused by the arrival of Strategist Dalek through the terminus. The warhead however wasn't active; clearly the Kor'Cha didn't want anything exploding on their side of the wormhole.
All at once Kor'Cha fleet began to panic, but it was too late. Less than a rel on the other side, Strategist Dalek taken over the Kor'Cha battle computer and ordered the wormholes to remain open. He observed the attack on the other side, and allowed pride to flood into his system.
The projectiles fired through the seventeen remaining wormholes had all targeted the six super-saucers, yet had sailed clear through without any impact. Strategist Dalek sent a signal to shut the holographic projectors down, and the saucers and most of the Dalek swarm vanished, leaving the twelve red Daleks he had been permitted to use.
For the first time since the attacks began, the Daleks had the upper hand. The blue Dalek was joined by the twelve others on the Kor'Cha side as Strategist Dalek began redirecting the wormholes to collect Daleks to begin the attack. New wormholes opened and twenty six Kor'Cha attack ships arrived.
Strategist Dalek was prepared for this, and began redirecting wormholes to parts of Dalek space, in direct defiance of Scientist Dalek's instructions. Suddenly, a handful of Dalek saucers appeared and began to devastate the Kor'Cha fleet, taking them completely by surprise. Red Daleks poured from the saucers as Strategist Dalek redirected wormholes in front of them, and deposited them inside Kor'Cha attack vessels.
Strategist Dalek accessed the entire Kor'Cha mainframe and learned the location of every Kor'Cha fleet, base, outpost, colony and world he could, then redirected quantum and temporal energy weapons to their location, vaporising everything within range.
Finally, he accessed the defense grid surrounding the Kor'Cha homeworld, turning its once powerful barrier into a cage which no one could escape. Using a single wormhole, he dropped a Nightingale Crusher into the heart of the Kor'Cha star and watched it go supernova, obliterating the entire civilisation.
In the space of a matter of rels, the Kor'Cha species became extinct, and the wormhole technology had fallen into the hands of the Daleks. Better still, no Dalek had been lost in the attack.
Strategist Dalek was in his lab studying the wormhole technology when the Supreme Dalek entered, followed by the Eternal and Scientist Daleks.
"Strategist... you have done well. The Dalek Empire commends you" the Supreme Dalek said.
Strategist turned to face him, his eyestalk staying on Scientist Dalek the whole time.
"I was delayed by Scientist Dalek. His instructions would have prevented the victory."
Scientist Dalek pressed forward. "You are lying" he said.
"No" said the Supreme Dalek, spinning on Scientist Dalek. "Your actions would have proved costly. Strategist Dalek has proven his ability.
"You requested a limitation on the attack for-"
"There is no limit for conquest. You did not understand my instructions."
Scientist Dalek rolled back slightly, unnerved by the way Supreme Dalek was speaking to him.
"I am waiting on the design for the new Emperor" said the Supreme Dalek.
"The gene banks are failing. The superior being must be perfect" said Scientist Dalek.
"Failure will not be tolerated" said the Supreme Dalek, moving towards him. Behind, Eternal Dalek moved so he too had a clear view of Scientist Dalek.
"I cannot work with the equipment available to me! It is inferior technology!" screamed Scientist Dalek.
The Supreme Dalek turned to face his disobedient minion. "You are inferior technology."
Both the Supreme Dalek and Eternal Dalek powered up and fired at Scientist Dalek, causing the orange casing to atomise instantly. Scientist Dalek screamed briefly before his entire body vanished in a cloud of ash.
"The Progenitor will create a new Scientist Dalek, one worthy of the Empire" said the Supreme Dalek. "Strategist, you will continue to plan our rise to power. The Empire will once again rule the cosmos."
"I obey" said Strategist Dalek. The Supreme Dalek turned and rolled out the door. Eternal Dalek stayed momentarily to observe Strategist Dalek, then followed.
After he was left alone, Strategist Dalek looked at the wormhole technology for a moment, then rolled over to the window. Outside, squadrons of red Daleks drifted over the city, heading for the newly constructed fleet yards at the outskirts of the city. The red sun was setting in the distance. Some stars had begun to emerge overhead.
Scientist Dalek was a fool thought Strategist Dalek. A true scientist would have detected tampering with the gene banks. A true scientist would know there is always somebody behind them attempting to gain the upper hand. By any means necessary.
The perfect strategy he thought to himself.