I recently discovered Doctor Who, and rarely has a series gripped me so strongly. I can't say I expected to ever write a fanfic for it, but the Daleks compelled me and it happened.
Summary: An intergalactic recession strikes, and even the Daleks aren't immune. How do they continue their efforts to exterminate the last of the Time Lords when they're strapped for cash? By exploiting the good people of Earth, of course.
Gene-manipulating technology, lasers, space ships, armor, androids, and repairs for all aforementioned necessities...these things were not cheap. And when most of these resources were focused on destroying a certain bowtie-wearing, banana-eating quasi-immortal Doctor, the return from investments wasn't stellar. Throw in a major slump in the galactic economy—especially in the planet conquering sector—and the Daleks found themselves strapped for cash.
"WE MUST FIND WAYS TO SUPPLEMENT OUR RESERVE OF CREDITS," a Dalek said.
"WHAT ACTIONS DO YOU RECOMMEND?" a Dalek wearing identical armor asked.
"PERHAPS WE COULD SELL SUPERFLUOUS SUPPLIES."
"THEY WERE ALL DESTROYED. WE HAVE NO NON-ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES REMAINING," a third Dalek, this one bearing scarred armor, said.
"WHAT ABOUT NON-ESSENTIAL CREW?"
"WE HAVE NO NON-ESSENTIAL CREW REMAINING."
The three Daleks put their metal heads together. For the next two-and-a-half hours, they stood in a silent circle, their eye stalks lowered in deep concentration. They could have been mistaken for statues, except nobody would have been crazy enough to waste that much time and energy on carving futuristic salt shakers.
Abruptly, the scarred Dalek's eye stalk shot up and it emitted a high-pitched squeal. Its badly mutated, emotionless mind had finally hatched a viable idea.
"I HAVE THE SOLUTION. WE MUST FIND ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT."
The other Daleks found the proposal acceptable. Since the Earth was conveniently located nearby, they decided to find said additional employment among the hapless human populace. They figured, since humans were such primitive creatures, any job they could perform a Dalek could perform several thousand times better and expend only a fraction of the energy. In only a few short days—or possibly hours—they expected to own a major percentage of all Earth monies.
The three Daleks, to avoid competition, landed in three far-flung regions of the planet. One appeared out of clear skies in Texas, one out of rainy skies in Great Britain, and one out of snowy skies directly above Mount Everest. The Texan Dalek was unobserved, though the UK and Nepalese Dalek were met with peculiar stares and pointed fingers.
A small group of climbers, led by an experienced guide, were making their final ascent to the summit when a gray, metallic object caught their attention. The mysterious object was floating freely in the sky and bore no resemblance to any craft any of the climbers had ever seen. Their curiosity turned fearful when the object approached them. It eventually came within feet of the climbers, and looked at them with the long projection that jutted from its head.
"SCANNERS INDICATE ENVIRONMENT IS HOSTILE TO HUMAN LIFE," the UFO bleeped.
"What are you? And how are you floating there? We're 8,000 meters above sea level!" the lead climber shouted.
"PRECISELY. WHY ARE HUMANS AT THIS ALTITUDE?"
"We're climbing Mount Everest."
"THAT IS FOOLISH. STUPIDITY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. YOU MUST BE EXTERMINATED."
"Exterminated? What are you going on about? We've got 850 more meters to the summit and conditions are going to turn nasty pretty soon. We don't have time for you, whatever you are," the climber said.
The Dalek was about to blast the belligerent human, but then it got a better idea. If the humans were wasting their precious energy in such a frigid, low-oxygen level environment, surely they would welcome help. A Dalek, superior in every imaginable way, could make their ascent a cakewalk, instead of a frost-bitten climb of hellish pain. The humans would then make proper monetary reparations.
The Dalek fastened its plunger to the front of the lead climber's insulated coat. It lifted the human, plus his gear, with ease. The other climbers, tethered to the leader, were dragged up the icy face of Everest.
In minutes, the team was standing at the summit, and surveying the pristine view. They could see for what seemed like hundreds of miles. The snow-capped and craggy Himalayan Mountains spread out before them. In complete awe of nature's mastery of beauty, the team drank in the glorious sights.
The Dalek, having no sense of beauty or any love of nature, interrupted by screeching, "I REQUIRE MY COMPENSATION."
"Compensation? Look around you! The view is your compensation," a climber said.
"THE VIEW WILL NOT PROVIDE THE DALEKS WITH A FLEET."
"No, but it will touch your soul, which is more important, anyway."
"DALEKS HAVE NO SOULS."
"'Course you do. Everything has a soul. You just need to explore your spirituality. You'll find it."
"I DO NOT DESIRE THAT. I DESIRE COMPENSATION FOR MY LABOR, AS IS FAIR AMONG YOUR SPECIES."
"Even if we wanted to, we can't pay you. Nobody here has any money. When you've got to climb almost 30,000 feet, every ounce of weight matters. Money's just a waste of space," the lead climber said. He hoped the "Dalek" wouldn't stick that plunger thing on him again. It tingled his skin, even through the layers upon layers of weatherized clothing.
"NO MONEY? NO MONEY! THEN YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!"the Dalek wailed.
"Wait!" the leader screamed.
A second later, he was killed by a laser beam. The rest of the team panicked, and tried to flee. Seeing as how they were on the top of the world and weighed down by oxygen tanks, they didn't get very far. The four climbers became the first men to die on Everest due to extraterrestrial influences.
Still destitute, the Dalek decided to return to the ship that was orbiting miles above the Earth. The extreme cold of the mountainous land made finding other humans unlikely, and ice was starting to collect on the Dalek's eye. It hoped its fellow pepperpots had better luck acquiring money.
A continent away, the second Dalek had just landed in the middle of a busy London street. A cab swerved out of its way and crashed into a light post. A double-decker bus slammed on the brakes and stopped centimeters in front of the Dalek's protruding eye stalk. The stalk swiveled and zoomed in on the bus driver. The driver, sensing this was another one of those horrible aliens, similar to what had crashed into Big Ben not long ago, decided to bolt. The passengers followed close behind.
"STOP! I REQUIRE CREDITS."
People disappeared from the sidewalk, ran from their cars, and locked their doors. The street, in bare seconds, was deserted. The Dalek glided along, looking for someone who would give it money.
A fish and chips restaurant, crowded with both its usual lunchtime customers and people fleeing the metal monster, caught the Dalek's attention. People had crowded the restaurant's plate glass windows, and were staring at the Dalek. One of them had to have money. The Dalek headed for the door.
The locked door offered little resistance to the Dalek. It plowed through the cheap door, shattering glass and twisting metal. It then settled among the broken glass and scanned the horrified crowd.
"I DEMAND YOU ABDICATE YOUR MONEY."
"You want our…cash?" a woman asked.
"But we worked hard for our money! Who are you to take it?" the cook demanded. He'd emerged from the kitchen, and was armed with a potato peeler.
"I don't care if you're the Queen's favorite taxman! This job isn't easy and I'm hardly making enough to pay my rent," the cook said.
"YOUR TASKS ARE MINDLESS. MOVE ASIDE AND I WILL DEMONSTRATE THE SUPERIORITY OF THE DALEKS."
The cook opened the door to the kitchen and held it as the Dalek entered. As soon as the door swung shut behind the alien, the entire restaurant emptied. People streamed through the smashed front door, mindless of the glass and jagged metal.
"YOU PREPARE SUSTENANCE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, CORRECT?"
"Yeah, fish and chips. You dip the fish in batter, fry it until it's golden brown, then put it on a plate. You fry the chips over there, in those two vats. You want to try it, Metaltron?" the cook asked.
"DALEK," the Dalek corrected.
"Yeah, right, give it a go."
Using his plunger, the Dalek picked up a slice of fresh cod. The Dalek battered it as instructed, then dropped it in the hot oil. While the oil bubbled and the fish fried, the Dalek went to work on dipping the rest of the fish.
Twenty minutes later, working much faster than a human would have dared due to the high heat and boiling oil, the Dalek finished plating the last of 268 fish-and-chip lunches. The alien had completely cleaned out the restaurant's supply of codfish.
"TASK COMPLETED. GIVE ME MY COMPENSATION."
Nobody spoke. The Dalek swiveled around a full 360 degrees. While it had been frying hundreds of fillets, the cook had slipped out the door. There was no one left to pay the Dalek for its labor.
Disgusted that it had not watched the cowardly human closer, the Dalek headed for the door. Using its plunger, which was now coated with grease, the Dalek picked up one of the plates. Perhaps some race would be interested in bartering the flesh of deceased aquatic Earth creatures for Doctor-destroying weaponry.
The last Dalek floated along the Texas grassland until it ran into a fence. The Dalek blasted a hole in the barbwire fence with its laser, and then glided through. It continued on, not feeling the grass that rubbed against its shell like stubble.
Eventually, the Dalek came to a large, grazing animal. The dimwitted beast, much larger than the Dalek, continued to crop the grass. It made no move to acknowledge the Dalek, and that did not please the alien.
"EARTH CREATURE, YOU WILL RELINQUISH YOUR CREDITS TO THE DALEKS OR YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED."
"Moo," replied the cow.
The Dalek raised its laser to the cow's head. Before it could exterminate the cow, there was a boom and a scatter of objects harmlessly struck the Dalek's protective force field. The Dalek turned to the source of the attack.
A rancher, shotgun in hand, was running toward the Dalek. The Dalek aimed its laser at the rancher.
"Get the hell away from my cow! I knew you aliens'd be comin' for my livelihood one of these days! I saw that crop circle you space bastards left last month, and I been waitin' for you!" the rancher yelled.
"CROP CIRCLE? DALEKS DO NOT LEAVE CROP CIRCLES. THEY EXTERMINATE."
"You're not fooling me! I know an alien when I see one, and you're an alien! Now get away from my cow."
"I DEMAND MONEY."
"What are you, some kind of space rustler? You're not getting my cows!"
"COWS ARE MONEY?"
"Yeah, about 900 dollars a head. That's why you ain't abducting them."
Back on the space ship, the two failed Daleks expressed their contempt for humans. The Everest adventurer had at least managed to exterminate four people. The London Dalek, who reeked of fish and oil, couldn't even say that. All it had to offer was a cooling plate of fried food.
"AND THEN THE HUMAN TOLD ME I HAD A SOUL. SO HE WAS EX—"
A door slid open and the last of the Daleks arrived. It was soaked from top to bottom in blood. The two failed Daleks fixed their eye stalks on it. If they had been humans—or had had eyelids—they would have been giving the gory-covered Dalek horrified, wide-eyed stares.
"I DISCOVERED THAT COW HEADS TRANSLATE TO MONEY."
"900 EARTH DOLLARS PER HEAD. I ACQUIRED 125 COW HEADS, AND A HUMAN HEAD, AS WELL."
"LET US EXCHANGE COW HEADS FOR CREDITS," the London Dalek said.
So, the Daleks tied the cow heads—which had been wrapped in several blue tarps from the ranch and secured with rope—to their flying saucer and set off to find someone who could convert them into more universally accepted credits.
Of course, they had no luck with that endeavor and were left just as poor as when they started. Worse yet, word of their stupidity spread to the sole remaining Time Lord and his companion. The dreaded Oncoming Storm was hardly able to keep a straight face the next time he encountered a pack of ornery Daleks, and broke down into a giggling fit halfway through his noble speech on why he would ultimately save the universe from the Dalek scourge.
The three Daleks were exterminated for disgracing their race not long afterward.