Twins of Evil
The corridor hadn't been used in nine years. A build up of dust and cobwebs covered the archaic contents. Borers, bulldozers and digging equipment all lay dormant, having been abandoned where they were shut down.
Dust which hadn't stirred in years began to swirl. A wind generated not from within the corridor but from a thousand years in the future began to disturb the sleeping mechanical devices.
Before long, the sound of metallic grating filled the air, and a small blue box appeared. Out of stepped a man in a brown over coat and white shoes, followed by a female in her twenties. The man looked angry.
"I don't understand it" said the Doctor, scratching his head. "She was fine a second ago, now she's just... dead."
"Where are we?" asked Martha, looking around the abandoned corridor.
"Bremen Rock" replied the Doctor, observing some of the computer systems on the wall before moving off to inspect some artwork hanging nearby. "Says so on the sign."
"Not very exciting" said Martha, wiping her fingers across a dust-covered piece of machinery that resembled a harpoon with a harness.
"This is just a storage area. Bremen Rock was one of the best mining asteroids in this quadrant. Left the others in their dust, so to speak."
"So what are we doing here?" asked Martha. "I thought we were heading for Florana."
"We were. The Tardis just... stopped. Done it before. Got stranded on Exxilon for a bit. Maybe there's something similar here" said the Doctor, looking around the small area. "Ah ha!" He spotted a door and headed for it.
"Guess this means no swimming for a while?"
"Not really- OOF!" The Doctor attempted to shove the door open but it stayed shut.
"Need a hand?" Martha asked mockingly.
"I'm fine" said the Doctor, putting the full force of his shoulder into the door. Again it didn't move. The Doctor turned to face Martha.
"Not a word" he said, then turned and gave a small run up to the door.
This time it moved without any protest.
The Doctor spilled into an adjoining corridor, almost knocking down a woman walking with a pile of paperwork. The corridor was brighter and more maintained than the one they'd arrived in. Both of them crashed to the floor as Martha rushed through behind them.
"Are you OK?" Martha asked the woman. The Doctor sat up on his elbows.
"I'm fine, thanks for asking" he said.
The woman rolled onto all fours and began collecting her paperwork. Martha crouched down to help.
"The Administrator turns the other way when you guys play around in there but you could at least keep it quiet" said the woman.
Martha blushed. "Oh no, we're not-"
"Sorry, won't happen again" interrupted the Doctor. "Miss...?"
"Cynthia Brown. Chief medical officer. And come to think of it, I don't recognise you."
"No, we just arrived" offered the Doctor. "I guess we should have a medical, probably due. Haven't seen a doctor in ages."
"Oi" said Martha, "you forgetting what I am? Or who you are?"
Cynthia stood after collecting all her papers, and took the ones off Martha.
"So you're both Doctors then?" she asked. The Doctor nodded. "Makes a change" continued Cynthia. "It would be nice to have a medical conversation with someone who actually understands what I'm talking about."
The Doctor frowned. "I thought you said you were chief medical officer?"
"Fine, 'only' medical officer. Hardly necessary now given our population."
The trio began walking down the corridor towards a more populated area. Workers and administration staff could be seen going about their business. Martha noticed a man wearing colorful robes, who was deep in a form of meditation near an orange flag.
"I thought you had a large team here? Especially given your track record of beating the other mines in this area. You'd need a large staff to-"
Cynthia laughed. "Track record? We're next to the bottom. I don't know whose been telling you our goings on here."
Cynthia carried on as the Doctor stopped Martha and lowered his voice.
"Near the bottom? That can't be right. Bremen Rock was legendary until the end. I can't see why it be anything different."
"Early days?" offered Martha, "or maybe we're here at the decline."
"No" said the Doctor, grimly shaking his head. "The asteroid mining colonies were all wiped out on a war that swept through this quadrant in about forty years time. They were strong right till the end. No... something has changed history. And we need to find it."
- : - | - : - | - : -
In the infirmary, the Doctor was sitting on a bench, while Cynthia was waving a tool over his face and chest. She was frustrated, while the Doctor smiled.
"I don't believe it... this is the third scanner to fail" said Cynthia.
"Is there a problem?" asked the Doctor, smirking at Martha, who was frowning.
"It says you have a binary-cardiac system." She put the tool down and rubbed her hands through her hair. "We have so little in the way of supply runs these days it's always a shame when we lose equipment."
"Your equipment is fine" said Martha, smacking the Doctor who got the hint and jumped off the bench. "The Doctor has a... unique biology, believe me I've tried understanding it myself. You don't need to worry."
"No supply runs?" queried the Doctor. "You should be visited twice a week."
"Don't you get it?" said Cynthia, a little more annoyed than before. "This place is a derelict. We hardly mine anymore. All we do is... preach." She said the last word with disgust.
"Preach?" asked Martha.
Cynthia eyed the two visitors in front of her. "You are here for the sermons, right? The only guests we get these days are followers of the Twin Gods."
"Oh now I am interested" said the Doctor, leaning forward with his chin resting on his peaked arms.
"The Church of the Twin Gods. Surely you've heard of it." Martha shook her head. "Look, six years ago some miners discovered two objects buried deep in the rock. Given the weak minded individuals who mine this place they started their own religion. Began worshipping those stupid things. One thing lead to another and before we knew it Bremen Rock was the laughing stock of the Quadrant. The UMC began treating us with less interest and raving nut jobs began arriving to pray with the Administrator and his devout followers. Don't even mine for minerals these days. All bogus if you ask-"
Everyone turned as a man dressed in dirty overalls entered, ushering in a small boy with a cut on his hand.
"What happened?" asked Cynthia, as she rushed over to the boy.
"Simon grabbed a laser lance while my back was turned" said the man. "Only got a glancing blow but it looked painful. It's my fault really-"
"Usually is" said Cynthia, coldly. "Does it hurt if I roll it like this?" she asked Simon. He pulled back in pain.
"OK, I'll have to put a cold pack on it." She stood up and moved to a bench, pushing past the man back as she went.
"Don't change, do ya Cynth" said the man.
"Do you blame me David?" she said, preparing the cold pack.
David knelt down to Simon. "My shift is starting now, OK? I gotta go. I'll let your mother know where you are and she'll come get you." The boy nodded, and gave him a hug. David turned, gave Cynthia one last look then left the room.
The Doctor stepped forward and leaned into Martha. "Stay with her" he said in a quiet voice, then sprinted after David.
In the corridor, the Doctor caught up to David.
"How are we?" he asked, a little too cheerful. David eyed him for a second, then kept walking.
"Do I know you, friend?" he said.
"Ah well, I doubt it, but it doesn't take long. Eventually everyone likes me."
David glanced at him again, this time eying his clothes.
"You're not a miner. You here for the ceremony?"
"Oh yes! Here for some Twin Godly goodness-"
David spun on him, prodding his finger into the Doctor's chest.
"I don't like you. Your kind come down here and slam what we believe in. You can just leave-"
The Doctor held up his arms in defence. "Whoa, hold on there, big fella. I meant no disrespect. Always keen to learn new beliefs. The last thing I want is to destroy anyone's Gods-"
The Doctor and David rounded a corner and walked straight into a Dalek.
The Doctor leapt back and fell to the floor. The Dalek turned and followed him with his eyestalk.
"Run!" he yelled to David. The Dalek turned to look at David, but the Doctor waved his arms as he got up.
"No, me! Look at me!" he yelled. Suddenly he noticed David hadn't moved. "What are you waiting for, run!"
David shook his head. "So much for respect" he said, and walked off. The Doctor watched him go, then realised he still had his arms above his head, and lowered them. He turned to face the Dalek. Slightly different from the standard Dalek. This one seemed taller, and where usually they were gold and bronze, this one was silver and grey.
"What are you doing here?"
"You do not show the same respect as the others" it said.
"Why should I give you respect?"
Three men in what appeared to be ceremonial robes, flanked with two men with guns run into the corridor.
"What is the meaning of this?" yelled the leader of the group. "Lord Hercules, are you alright?"
The Doctor stopped in his tracks. "Hercules?"
"This human showed disrespect" said Hercules. Others in the corridor frowned and spoke disapprovingly under their breath.
The Doctor stepped forward. "Sorry, all a big kerfuffle really. My fault actually, just trying to get acquainted with Hercules here-"
The leader of the group ignored the Doctor, instead addressing the Dalek.
"Lord Hercules, forgive this non-believer. Can I do anything to make amends?"
"Report on the status of mining in sector seven."
"Going well my Lord. We should have cleared the last of the collapsed section and we can get back on schedule."
"There must be no delays" said Hercules. The doctor didn't take his eyes of him.
"There won't be, my lord. We will find The Key, do not worry."
"Daleks do not worry" said Hercules, and trundled off down the corridor, flanked by the group. The leader however, stayed behind, and grabbing the Doctor by his chest he threw him against the wall.
"People like you should be spaced!" he spat at the Doctor, who tried to keep a brave face.
"A simple misunderstanding. Look, I'm a lost soul, looking for guidance. I came here because I heard you could help."
The man stared at the Doctor for a long moment, trying to see if he meant the truth. "My name is Administrator Cameron" he said, releasing his grip on the Doctor. "You must forgive my reaction, but we have had many wolves attempt to break in here."
"Wolves?" asked the Doctor.
"In sheep's clothing. They always come here, try to disrupt our way of life. Then the Gods meet with them, and they soon see the light."
"Well, no need for me to do that. I'll just follow the rules like normal. Can we have a chat at some stage? I'm very keen to 'follow'."
Cameron indicated down the corridor. "My office is this way."
- : - | - : - | - : -
"You didn't like that guy very much" said Martha, trying to break the uneasy silence ever since Cynthia had finished applying the cold pack to Simon's hand and sending him on his way. The mother had arrived to pick him up, but Cynthia reacted with even less interest to her.
"He's a cheater. We used to be married. Then when we moved here he fell in with the religious crowd and... found someone else." Cynthia's voice broke as she said her last few words.
"I'm sorry. Was that his son he just brought in?"
"No" said Cynthia, washing her hands in a basin. "He's her son."
Cynthia dried her hands vigorously on a towel, allowing her anger to shine through. "He won't even speak to our daughter now. She loved him so much and he..."
She trailed off, not wishing to speak anymore. Martha put a hand on her shoulder, but she shook it off.
"So what's your deal then?' Cynthia asked, trying to change the subject. "You and your man wanting to play all eighteen holes?"
"What? I don't follow-"
"The eighteen holes. Eighteen asteroids in this area. Have a shag in each one."
Martha laughed. "Sorry, we're not like that. We just travel together."
"Sure you do" said Cynthia, smiling.
- : - | - : - | - : -
"...and then three years ago we managed to get one of them to speak. To finally break that communications barrier was amazing. We realised they were of superior intellect and vastly more powerful than humanity..."
The Doctor had listened to Administrator Cameron for over twenty minutes now, going on about how the Daleks had be found in one of the tunnels, and how great and glorious they were. Blinded by their own beliefs in the Daleks, they had let their profit and work ethic slip.
"So there's definitely just the two of them?" asked the Doctor when he could finally get a word in.
"Oh yes. The Twin Gods are all that remain of their once vast empire. They spoke once of their war in heaven, of fighting the heathens who would challenge them."
"Heathens, huh?" said the Doctor with a wry smile. "Tell me, my ship lost power as I came close to your asteroid. Do you know what caused that, or if the Da- the Twin Gods may have caused this?"
"No, that was us. Our great and glorious dampening field. The one thing we hold over the Daleks, in order to make sure they are protected."
The Doctor was confused. "Why do you need a dampening field here?"
Administrator Cameron stood and walked the room, gesturing with his arms as he went. "There have been rumblings for a while of a war brewing in the east. We had to take precautions. We used all our technologies to make sure anything that isn't certified by us is shut down in an instant. We don't want a repeat of the Drenarian crisis again."
"Interesting" said the Doctor, standing to try and match pace with the Administrator. The Doctor knew in a few decades time the Denarians would once again invade, and all the mines would be lost.
"It doesn't seem to affect the Gods though."
"Why should it? They are Gods! They can move around as they wish. We are not hindering them in anyway."
The Doctor stopped and thought, allowing the continued appraisal of the Daleks by the Administrator to drift off into the background of his mind. The dampening field affects their weaponry but not motor or vocal systems he thought. For now.
- : - | - : - | - : -
"Sector seven complete. Apologies my Lord, but it appears The Key isn't here either."
David jumped down from his large earth mover to stand beside the Dalek. It surveyed the area in front of him.
"Proceed to sector eight." It turned and began moving down the corridor.
"Really? I mean, can't we have a break?" he asked. The Dalek stopped and turned slowly back to face him.
"Do you deny your God?" it asked.
"No, my Lord! I would never-"
"Good. Proceed to sector eight." It turned back and left David alone in the tunnel.
- : - | - : - | - : -
The Doctor headed back down the corridor, trying to retrace his steps to get back to the infirmary. He had been invited to a sermon that was scheduled to take place later today, but was worried what that might entail.
He turned a corridor and walked into a Dalek heading the other way.
"I must stop doing that" he said to him. He noted this Dalek was silver as well, but had sustained battle damage; one of it's dome lights had been smashed.
"Stand aside" the Dalek ordered.
"No, what if I want to stay right here?" The doctor noted the corridor was empty; if other colonists were present he probably wouldn't been as foolhardy.
"You are a non-believer-"
"What are you doing here?" demanded the Doctor. "And more importantly... how did you survive the Time war?"
The Dalek drew back, eying the stranger who would dare question a Dalek.
"Yes that's right... I know about the Time War... of the Dalek race wiped out, and how despite attempting to survive you always run into me... and you always fail."
"Who are you?" demanded the Dalek.
"I'm the Doctor. Don't you recognise- oh well no, you wouldn't, I had the curls back then. I guess this dampening field is really playing havoc with your systems."
"Doctor..." the Dalek said, rolling back. The Doctor noticed a clicking sound coming from the Dalek's gunstick.
"Oh that must annoy you" smiled the Doctor. "Pesky old dampening field ruining your plans for world domination. It must make you sick inside that casing, knowing you must co-habitate with all these humans."
"I most certainly will not be silent. You can't kill me. So answer me this... how did you survive the Time War?"
The Dalek looked at him for a long moment, before finally answering. "Your question has no relevance."
With that, the Dalek turned and progress down the corridor.
- : - | - : - | - : -
The Doctor burst into the infirmary to find Martha sitting with Cynthia, laughing over a humorous story regarding something embarrassing involving David.
"Doctor" said Martha, "you've been gone over half an hour. I was about to come looking for you-"
"Daleks" said the Doctor.
Martha went as white as a sheet. "Here? Is it Caan?"
"No, these two look different. They have silver casings for a start. Means they're part of a higher order. I need to know what they're planning. Cynthia, what do the Daleks want?"
"Your so-called 'Gods'. What is this Key they're looking for?"
"No idea" she said, pouring herself another cup of tea. "Sounds like you've met them before."
"We have, and they're anything but Gods. A single Dalek can exterminate billions of humans given half a chance, and you've got two of them. I need to find out what they're planning. What goes on at these sermons they do?"
"Prayer of some sort. I have no idea really. Outcasts don't get invited to many parties."
"Outcast?" asked the Doctor, looking at Martha.
"Cynthia was dumped by David for another woman. Because Cynthia refused to take part in religious activities she isn't liked much. Patients don't treat her very well."
"Then leave! Get out why you can!"
"I can't afford to. Believe me I've tried. God knows I want to. I want to feel the sun on my face, let Amelia run through the grass of a real world-"
The Doctor stepped up to Cynthia. "Look, the Daleks are intensely xenophobic. They would spend time around humans only when they have to. I'm sure they must retreat somewhere to be alone."
"They do. At the back of the...'temple'. A private room that no one is allowed to enter."
"Better not be a production line in there... Martha, we have to find out."
"How?" began Martha. "I'm sure it'll be guarded by heaps of security."
Cynthia smiled. "I know how you guys like to be close together... you could always try the vents..."
- : - | - : - | - : -
The Doctor met Martha in the mess hall as Cynthia was bringing a tray of food over to them.
"Looks good, what are we eating?" asked the Doctor, rubbing his hands together.
The sight of the food was less than enthralling. A bluey-grey substance with the consistency of yoghurt was in three bowls, accompanied with two pieces of bread each, and a thick dull yellow liquid to wash it down.
"Oh gross..." said Martha.
"Once you get past the gag reflex it's really not that bad" said Cynthia, watching as the Doctor took a spoonful of the faux-yoghurt. He slowly took a mouthful, gagged a couple of times, swallowed then smiled. "Lovely", then repeated the process again.
Martha pushed her bowl away. "Thanks but I'll skip it."
"So Cynthia" said the Doctor, with a mouthful of food that made Martha want to gag, "tell me about these vents. Decent enough room?"
Cynthia nodded. "Oh yes. Make 'em well here. Need them given the amount of crap they have to filter out."
By the line waiting for food were two of the orange flags they saw earlier. The shape of a Dalek was clearly printed on them. The Doctor was annoyed he didn't spot it sooner.
"Did you ever do any mining?" asked Martha.
"Some, but not much. I used to work as maintenance for the grappling harpoons they use for tearing down stubborn walls."
"I saw those" said Martha, remembering them from the abandoned corridor. "They looked tough."
"Oh they were."
"Right, best get going" said the Doctor, standing up. Martha was amazed his bowl was empty.
- : - | - : - | - : -
The Doctor crawled along the narrow space linking the two areas of the mine; crew quarters which were generally pleasant – they had recently passed the galley which appeared to be cooking up some form of curry for dinner – and the working area, which simply smelled of oil and lubricant.
The Doctor and Martha arrived at a junction, looking left and right, before carrying on. The Doctor used the light of his sonic screwdriver to illuminate the rough map Cynthia had drawn for them. Despite the light functioning from the core of the screwdriver itself, all other functions seemed to be dead.
"Right up here. Stay quiet."
Martha looked offended. "And here I was planning on singing a song."
They pulled up to the vent cover and slowly looked over the edge. Inside, only one of the Daleks was present, attempting to fix a console. The Doctor noted the technology was clearly Dalek, with circular orbs and screens. The rear of the console had been sheered away, as if simply sliced off. Moments later, the second Dalek entered. The Doctor saw the new arrival was the same one he'd encountered after meeting with the Administrator, with the damaged dome. Cynthia said this one was known as Goliath.
"Report" it demanded.
"Translation matrix still offline. Dalek technology can not be repaired while dampening field is in place."
Goliath observed the dead equipment in front of Hercules.
"Discard it" ordered Goliath. "The humans will soon assist us in finding the Key. We will be able to return to the Extinction Catalyst."
"I obey" said Hercules.
"We have a new problem" continued Goliath. "The Doctor is here."
"He must be exterminated!" said Hercules. Hercules looked agitated.
"There is more. He claims the Daleks lost the Time War. This must not come to pass. Once the Key is found we must use it bring the Extinction Catalyst through to this time period. We must prevail."
"Take up position and wait for my signal. We will exterminate the colonists and restore the Dalek empire at the same time."
Both Daleks turned and left the room. The Doctor waited until they had gone, then slumped against the wall of the vent, allowing his head to rest against the cool wall of the shaft.
"What the heck is the Extinction Catalyst? And what do they mean by this time period?"
"I've made a grave error of judgement with these two... I always assume time is relative but sometimes time itself plays games with me. These Daleks aren't from after the war... they're from the war."
"Is that possible?"
"I would've thought not, but then again both sides were developing technologies exponentially during the Time War... it's conceivable something was developed to pierce the Time Lock surrounding the Time War, and somehow these Daleks got out. Then again, I don't think it was voluntary."
The Doctor got back up and peered out to the still deserted room. "See the technology Hercules was trying to fix? It's been damaged in a clean break at the rear of the console. Almost as if a force field of some kind sliced it clean in half."
"So now what?" asked Martha. "As soon as they find this Key they're looking for it sounds like the colonists are gonna be wiped out!"
"We'll do what we can but if the Daleks bring the Catalyst through-"
"You can't just say that! The colonists can't just be-"
"Martha, please! There's around fifty to sixty humans on this asteroid. If that ship gets through a lot more than that will die."
Martha looked at him with a queried expression. "You know about this ship, don't you?"
"Oh I've heard of it alright. Throughout history, species from all over the universe have built their own Extinction Catalyst, and most have even had the audacity to use it. When ships like this are seen, darkness follows. Humans even built their own versions of it."
"One always springs to mind. During your twentieth century. You called it the Enola Gay."
- : - | - : - | - : -
Goliath entered the darkened corridor that led to sector eight, arriving at the mining operation. Large earth movers and power suits worn by individual miners ploughed through the rock and granite, searching for their goal.
"Report" asked Goliath.
David stepped down from his earth mover. He looked tired. "Almost there. We're picking up a powerful energy signature around forty metres directly ahead. Could be the Key."
"Good. Return to the main complex. Tell Administrator Cameron to prepare a meeting of all colonists in the temple."
"I will." David jogged off slowly as Goliath turned back to witness the power suits get closer to their destination.
- : - | - : - | - : -
Two technicians were working in the main power room when Hercules entered.
"Lord Hercules, we didn't expect you-"
"Continue your work" said Hercules.
The two men turned back, sharing a glance then carried on with their work. Hercules turned his eye stalk to survey the room. After a few seconds he found his target. He focused his attention on a grey box about a metre high on a far wall. A sign on it read POWER DISTRIBUTION FOR DAMPENING FIELD. DO NOT DISENGAGE.
Hercules positioned himself in front of it, and shunted all power to the servos in his plunger arm. All he had to do now was wait.
- : - | - : - | - : -
The Doctor and Martha emerged from the vent and slipped back into the corridor as discreetly as they could. They walked casually before entering the infirmary. Cynthia was standing with a little girl, maybe six years old.
"This is Amelia, my daughter." Amelia smiled and waved. Martha turned and gave the Doctor a worried stare. The Doctor relented.
"Fine. Take her to the Tardis. I have a feeling the dampening field will be shut down soon. I'll join you when I can." The Doctor headed back for the door.
"What are you gonna do?" asked Martha.
"Defy the Gods."
- : - | - : - | - : -
Goliath moved to the entrance of the cave when one of the workers pulled back from the rock wall. A bright yellow light shone through a few cracks. Goliath rolled froward.
"Clear the debris! Free the Key!" he screamed.
The workers move quickly to apease their God. Slowly, the Key came into view. A shining orb of light, a metre wide, pulsing like an alien heart beat.
"It is the key! The Daleks will reign supreme!" yelled Goliath.
The workers had no idea what Goliath was on about. Goliath turned to face the workers. "Destroy the dampening field!"
- : - | - : - | - : -
The instant Hercules received the order, he threw his plunger arm into a pneumatic drive towards the distribution box, shattering the casing, severing the thick fifteen centimetre cable inside and emerging through the far side of the wall.
Inside his casing, Hercules felt systems that had been dormant for years slowly begin to power up. Levitation... temporal shielding... weaponry systems...
The two technicians rushed to Hercules' aid, believing what had just happened occurred by accident. Hercules turned to face both of them.
"EXTERMINATE!" he yelled, and fired two quick blasts which quickly killed the technicians. "All systems now returning to nominal status. Weaponry systems online."
- : - | - : - | - : -
Goliath received the communication as workers climbed down from their earth movers or had begun removing their power suits.
"Report to the temple. Exterminate all humans" he communicated to Hercules, then blasted the workers in the cave.
In a matter of seconds, they were all dead.
- : - | - : - | - : -
Martha, Cynthia and Amelia rounded the corner at speed and bumped into David heading the other way. David was momentarily distracted by Amelia, who hugged her mum at the sight of him.
"Where are you going?" he asked. "You should come to the ceremony. The Gods have something special planned-"
"Not bloody likely!" said Cynthia. "Those Daleks are gonna wipe everyone out!"
"What's a Dalek? Listen-"
"No you listen. Amelia and I are getting to safety. You can either stay here and die or come with us."
David shook his head, and slowly backed away from the group, walking down the corridor away from them. "You're crazy. The Gods are our friends. You'll see."
"Daddy-" began Amelia.
"Leave him" said Cynthia. "We have to go." Cynthia turned and looked at Martha, who was staring at her watch.
"What is it?" she asked.
"My watch" said Martha, "it hasn't worked since we arrived."
- : - | - : - | - : -
Hercules arrived at the door to the temple, just as Administrator Cameron greeted him. "Everyone is inside as you requested, my Lord."
"Good. Seal the door" said Hercules, and rolled inside. Administrator Cameron shut the door and locked it, then walked to the front of the room. In the front row, Simon and his mother smiled eagerly.
"My friends, the time has finally come. From the eagerness of Lord Hercules I can only assume the Key has been found, and we are to ascend to the rapture."
Cheers from everyone in the temple filled the air. Hercules ignored them, and concentrated on powering up.
"We will now, bow our heads in prayer and give thanks for-"
"Your usefulness is over" said Hercules, rolling to the centre of the room.
Cameron was confused. "My Lord, I don't under-"
A blue blast streaked out from the Dalek's gun stalk, illuminating Administrator Cameron before he crumped in a heap on the floor. Those that had gathered screamed and panicked as Hercules elevated, set his targeting systems to automatic and began firing at will.
Outside, David arrived late and heard the screams but was unable to open the door. Less than a minute later, the screams had all stopped. David took a step back, then heard a whining noise coming nearer to the door. He ran a short distance down the corridor and hid behind a row of shelves. He watched in horror as the door of the temple was blown outwards and Hercules emerged, scanning the corridor then continuing off towards the mining section.
- : - | - : - | - : -
Goliath was conducting a power transfer with the glowing orb in front of him. In a matter of seconds he had completely reprogrammed it, removing all errors in programming code that had trapped them there years earlier.
"Begin activation sequence" it ordered, and turned to leave the chamber. Moments later, the Doctor entered, and walked straight up to the orb. "Now what do we have here then...?
He pulled out his sonic screwdriver and pointed it at the orb, checking the results.
"Hmmm... a temporal depth charge... oh you Daleks are naughty aren't you..."
The Doctor took a step closer. The orb was shimmering as if a solid image were inside. Another step closer, and the Doctor gasped in absolute shock.
Inside the orb he could make out stars. Shining brighter than the heavens. Two large blue giants circling a red giant, a chain of yellow and white stars spun out like a scorpion's tail... the Doctor knew exactly what he was looking at.
The Constellation of Kasterborous. Only a few light years from his homeworld.
But during the war the Daleks had caused one of the blue giants to go supernova in a cowardly act that caused the death of seventeen million Time Lords, not to mention destroying the planets in that star system. The scorpion's tail was also ruptured, with three of the nine stars destroyed as well. So much killing. So much death. These Daleks who claimed to be Gods were truly from a stage early in the Time War.
The Doctor didn't realise a tear had rolled down his cheek. As he wiped it away he saw it. A monstrous vessel, larger than the Emperor's saucer itself. Two spinning discs rotating in opposite directions, linked by what looked like a web of black gelatinous material, pulsing and growing as if it were alive.
This was the heart of the Extinction Catalyst. A deadly weapon, designed to pull anything within range into a temporal vortex and crush it. Clearly their experiments – the temporal depth charge was obvious to the Doctor now a smaller version of the Extinction Catalyst's heart – had somehow managed to rupture the Time Lock and escape the Time War.
The Doctor stepped back. He had seen enough. The Time War was but a memory to him, and witnessing the battleground here when so much of what was lost still remained was a pain to him. A pain that would never die.
The orb began to darken, the translucent image slowly fading from view. The Doctor took a precautionary step back. The sonic screwdriver in his hand began to beep. He checked it, and smiled.
"Ha! Foolish Daleks... now where are you..." The Doctor spun the screwdriver around the room, searching for something. He moved the screwdriver up a nearby wall and stopped, smiling to himself. "Oh this should be an easy fix."
As he turned to leave the orb began to shimmer then vanish.
- : - | - : - | - : -
Outside the asteroid, at a distance of ten kilometres, the orb reappeared and began to grow. The orb flattened itself into a disc, spreading itself out to cover an area of nearly three kilometres. Once it reached it's required diametre, it began to readjust itself, alternating through the spectrum and began emitting various forms of radiation.
In a matter of minutes, the Time Lock would be broken again.
- : - | - : - | - : -
David ran his hands through the hair of the small boy which lay lifeless in his mother's arms. Tears streaming down his face, he picked up the small boy and hugged him tightly, collapsing into the chair beside the boy's dead mother.
All around the temple, several dozen bodies lay dead, either on the floor or slumped over chairs as they tried to escape. David looked up every now and then to see if he could see anyone moving. But no one did.
"There's nothing you could've done."
David looked up and saw the Doctor standing in the doorway.
"Why... why are the Gods doing this to us...?" asked David, fighting back the tears.
"They're not Gods... not by a long shot. The Drenarian War fifty years ago saw six hundred worlds invaded and attacked. If you thought that was awful, the Daleks wouldn't have even bothered to invade. They'd simply save the time and effort and make six hundred stars go supernova."
David slowly got up, allowing the body of Simon to lay peacefully on the chair. "You've encountered them before I take it."
"Yes" said the Doctor.
"My people were rendered extinct. I'm the sole survivor."
David looked at him quizzically. "Your people? I thought you were just-"
"Human? No, far from it, although of all the species I've encountered I believe humans to be the most resilient and resourceful of all of... God's creatures."
David grabbed down one of the orange flags displaying the Dalek and draped it over Simon and his mother. Then he turned to the Doctor.
"OK... how do we kill them?"
The Doctor began to lead him out of the room.
"It's tough, but I think if we play our cards right we might be able to kill all the birds with one stone."
- : - | - : - | - : -
Martha, Cynthia and Amelia ran through another corridor until they reached a familiar intersection. Martha poked her head around the corner and saw the door the Doctor had crashed through shortly after they had arrived.
"OK... lets go."
As they entered the corridor Amelia let out a scream. The women turned and saw Hercules had entered the corridor at the far end.
Hercules saw them too.
The three of them ran at full speed to the door. Amelia and Cynthia made it through before Hercules fired, catching Martha square in the shoulder. She fell to the ground, clutching her dead arm. Cynthia appeared at the hatch, and began to advance to try and pull Martha through.
"No! Get to the Tardis! Get Amelia inside!" Martha threw the keys to the Tardis to Cynthia who reluctantly disappeared from the hatch. Martha turned her attention to Hercules who was almost on her position.
Martha began to try and crawl away but found the damage to her shoulder was worse than she thought, and ended up crawling to lean against the far wall of the corridor.
Hercules rolled right up until he was only about three metres from her.
"You are the Doctor's companion" he said.
"Cut the talk... get it over with" she said, feeling absolute agony from the wounds.
"You will be exterminated!" screamed Hercules, and leveled his weapon at Martha.
Hercules swung his eyestalk around to see where the voice had come from. Emerging from the hatch was Cynthia, holding one of the grappling harpoons from the store.
Cynthia fired the harpoon, almost blowing herself backwards in the process. The spear struck Hercules square in the back, penetrating his Dalekanium shell and ripping the mutant inside from it's cradle. The spear continued on it's trajectory before finally impacting on the wall just above Martha's head. She rolled out of the way as bits of mutant and Dalek casing rained down to the ground.
The Doctor and David entered the corridor as Cynthia dropped the harpoon and ran to Martha, helping her up into a sitting position. David moved over to the both.
"Are you OK?" he said to Cynthia.
She stared at him for a moment, then relented her anger. "We're fine. Can't say the same for your God over there.
David watched as the Doctor walked passed the shattered Dalek casing and stood by the wall with half a spear sticking out. Handing from the front of it, partially obscured by debris, half crushed and oozing a thick liquid from it's skin, was the Dalek mutant.
"Why are you here? You should be with Karen and Simon-"
"They're dead" said David, which stopped Cynthia in her tracks. "They're all dead. Every last one of them. I'd imagine we're the only ones that- wait, where's Amelia?"
"In the Tardis" offered Cynthia, taking in what David had just said.
"In the what?" asked David.
"Behold the true face of your God."
Everyone turned to see the Doctor, who had removed part of a fallen ceiling panel to reveal the hanging Dalek mutant. The singular eye was half open, lifelessly looking to the floor. David walked over to it.
"It's hideous" he said.
"That's one word for it. I've heard others" said the Doctor, turning back to the women. "You were lucky Cynthia; if we hadn't reactivated the dampening field the Dalek shield would've been online. That spear would've bounced right off it."
"Don't anyone help me" said Martha, directed at the Doctor.
"Oh so if I'm on the floor I get ignored but when it's you everyone should drop everything and help?" said the Doctor, folding his arms, reminder her of when he'd first crashed through the hatch of the disused corridor.
"The thing shot me!" she said, grabbing her arm in pain.
The Doctor knelt down and put his sonic screwdriver close to her shoulder. A low residual hum emitted from it, and Martha suddenly felt pins and needles.
"Of course it is, I'm a Doctor."
"No I mean the sonic screwdriver, I thought you said you turned the dampening field back on?"
The Doctor smiled. "I did, but I added a few exceptions to it, namely Time Lord technology. The Daleks are still stuck."
"Which I should remind you, we've still got one running around out there" said Cynthia.
"Yes, not to mention a very large Dalek warship is about to appear in orbit" replied the Doctor.
"A what?" panicked Cynthia.
Ignoring her, the Doctor motioned to David. "David, grab Martha and take her into the Tardis. Keep everyone inside. You as well. I can deal with Goliath alone"
With that, the Doctor ran off down the corridor, ignoring all protests that followed him.
- : - | - : - | - : -
Goliath was in the main control room at the back of the temple, and was worried. A few minutes ago the systems that had reactivated when the dampening field was shut down had suddenly gone offline again. The temporal depth charge was still active – it was now tied to another system – but several key systems were down.
Worse still, his link to Hercules had been severed. While weak emotions like compassion and friendship had long since been purged from his DNA, he hoped the breakdown was simply a communications error.
Goliath turned and saw the Doctor entering the room, hands in his trouser pockets, forcing his brown trenchcoat back past his arms, casually swaggering towards his greatest enemy.
"Halt! This area is restricted!" creamed Goliath.
The Doctor laughed. "Not to me it isn't. How are things? Dampening field not making you feel sad?"
"Silence. You will be exterminated."
"I'd like to see you try." The Doctor strolled around the room. On the far wall was a single large screen, which currently displayed the area immediately outside the asteroid. The Doctor could just make out the black disc of the temporal depth charge, which now resembled the event horizon of a black hole. The Doctor leaned casually against the console in front of it and turned to Goliath.
"Almost time, huh? You know, my friend Martha – lovely girl, speaks way too much though – told me a great story. Do you wanna hear it?"
"No" said Goliath.
"When she was younger she and her sister Tish... funny name that, Tish, sounds like the noise a drum would make... used to play on a tyre swing in a park near to their housing estate. Her father hated it. Tree was old and rotting. Could've fallen over and killed them. He used to remove the tyre but they'd find another. Then he'd try and remove the chain that the tyre was attached too. They'd always find another-"
"Cease the verbal ranting!" yelled Goliath. "Your efforts are futile. Observe."
The Doctor looked at the screen. The Extinction Catalyst was coming through the rift.
"Oh yes, very clever, except you've forgotten one very important factor." The Doctor took his sonic screwdriver out of his pocket and held it up. "Because you can't get your Dalek technology working properly you've had to tie everything into the human system, and that's why I'm telling you Martha's story. Wanna know why? Cos Martha's dad was smart. He knew there was only one way to stop Martha and her sister from disobeying him."
The Dalek rolled back slightly. The Doctor smiled.
"He cut down the tree" and with that, the Doctor activated the sonic screwdriver.
In the vacuum of space, on the very top of the Bremen Rock asteroid, the satellite dish that had been sending the sustaining pulse to temporal depth charge suddenly went offline, then twenty four explosive bolts at the base of the dish detonated, sending the dish drifting off into space.
Goliath was shaking in his casing as alarms triggered all over the room. On the screen, the black disc of the temporal depth charge suddenly began to shrink. The Extinction Catalyst was only part way through.
The disc disappeared, cutting off the main universe with the hell that was the Time War, and slicing the Dalek warship clean in two. The engineering section remained behind in the Time War while the forward command saucer and the black heart began to tumble out of control towards the asteroid.
"This can not be correct!" Goliath screamed.
"It has." The Doctor allowed himself a small smile. "So I suggest you simply do what you do best, and die. The dampening field will prevent you from elevating out of here, you don't have any temporal escape mechanisms installed... I'd say you're dead."
Goliath spun round to face him, faster than he expected.
"Then you will join me" said the Dalek. His sucker arm lowered and fired out quicker than the Doctor knew was possible, and connected with his left knee, causing it to twist and fall to the ground. He could feel his knee cap had been dislocated as well as severe bruising, causing him to throb with excruciating pain. He had a very brief thought of the Time Lords of old, of how a wound of this calibre would cause them to consider regenerating to simply avoid feeling the pain.
The Doctor gathered his senses and rolled as Goliath shoved his plunger arm at the Doctor, causing it to shatter the floor panels.
He turned and hobbled as fast as he could out into the temple, Goliath close behind.
"You will be exterminated Doctor. The Daleks will be victorious. Even now there would be Daleks escaping from the Extinction Catalyst and fleeing to avoid destruction."
"Oh I doubt that" said the Doctor, pulling himself up against a chair. The pain becoming too great. Sensors indicated the heart of the Catalyst was destabilising. It's probably generating a mass greater than the ship can handle. If I were on that ship I'd say I was stuck to the deck, maybe even starting to become crushed."
Goliath pulled up right in front of him, leveling his plunger arm with the Doctor's head.
A powerful purple laser between two metal prongs suddenly surrounded Goliath, and began to slice him in half. He screamed as his casing was destroyed around him, sliced clean through his plunger and gun stalk and back up to his dome.
As the upper half fell to the floor, the doctor saw David standing behind the remains of Goliath. He dropped the lance and ran to his aid. Unseen by both of them, the Dalek eyestalk went dark.
"We have to go" said the Doctor. "This asteroid is gonna be destroyed in a matter of minutes by the Dalek warship."
"Don't have to tell me twice" said David, putting the Doctor over his shoulder. As they made for the exit, they both heard the sound of servos winding down and clamps disengaging themselves.
They both slowly turned back and saw the green form of the Dalek mutant emerge from the damaged casing. Before they could react it leapt from casing and landed on David, causing the Doctor to fall to the ground. David threw it off but tripped, and tried to crawl backwards down the main aisle of the temple, dodging bodies as he went. Goliath landed on a large worker, rolled and began chasing David down the aisle. Just as David neared the door, Goliath lunged, wrapping a tentacle round his neck.
David struggled trying to keep Goliath from him, the mutant's single eye staring down on him as it began to unfurl it's mouth.
David turned to his left, looking for anything that might be able to help. Then he spotted it.
A basin of water near the wall of the main door.
With all his strength he grabbed the tentacle surrounding his neck and squeezed it hard, causing it to temporarily lose it's grip. Collecting as many tentacles as he could in one movement, he shifted the weight of the mutant to his right hand, then heaved it towards the wall.
The Dalek mutant screamed as it hit the wall and landed in the water. The Doctor was hobbling down the aisle to try and help David, as he slowly got up off the floor. Both of them transfixed at what was happening in the basic.
The Dalek mutant was screaming as steam began to rise off his bubbling body. Skin shredded itself from it's body and fell to the base of the tank. After a matter of seconds, the creature lay still, floating on top of the water like a dead fish.
"Holy water" said the Doctor. "Must remember that."
An alarm as loud as thunder pierced the hall. "Proximity alarm" said David.
"The Extinction Catalyst! We have to get going!" yelled the Doctor. David helped the Doctor from the room as they limped down the corridor.
Outside, the Extinction Catalyst tumbled out of control towards the asteroid, the hull beginning to buckle as the heart of the ship generated gravity waves far beyond what the saucer was designed to withstand.
Near the abandoned corridor, David and the Doctor reached the hatch and entered. The Tardis was only a few metres away. Cynthia was waiting at the door.
"Come on!" she yelled.
Outside, the Catalyst slammed into the asteroid, spilling materials and Daleks onto the surface of the asteroid. The heart of the dying ship lost cohesion and compressed down to the width of a human hair, but with the gravitational pull of a quantum singularity. Debris from the ship was pulled in, destroying everything as it went. As the heart touched the asteroid, it began to devour it.
In the abandoned corridor the Doctor and David reached the Tardis as they felt the floor buckle and smaller lose components begin to fly towards the wall. They got inside and shut the door. The doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and fired it at the console, which began to rise and fall.
In the corridor the Tardis slowly vanished, as the corridor itself was ripped upwards, obscured by rock and conduits, the rooms and structure of Bremen Rock itself began to fall towards the heart. After three minutes, the entire sixty five kilometre length of the asteroid disappeared, leaving behind nothing but darkness.
- : - | - : - | - : -
The doctor was walking around the console room, checking out his leg. Still felt a slight twinge but most of the pain was gone. In one of the chairs, Martha was cycling her shoulder, Cynthia slowly watching her.
"All good?" she asked.
"Not bad. Not bad at all. Think it might be a couple of weeks but.. yeah."
Cynthia stood. "This Tardis of the Doctor's is amazing. Not only for what it does but the medicines, the scientific knowledge. It would've taken months to get your shoulder back to where it was, considering the damage that was done to it."
Martha stood as well, spying David in a corner of the console room with Amelia. "It's good like that. And what about you guys? You and David talking?"
Cynthia thought long and hard before she spoke. "Just. It'll take time. But he came through. As bad as what happened... this is the best thing to happen between us in years."
Martha nodded. "Not too worried about history changing Doctor?"
"Hmm? Oh no, I mean Time Lord history is the same; the Extinction Catalyst was last seen in that area, and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. It's just... I can't believe Bremen Rock went from being the amazing powerhouse of legend to a minor outpost."
David leaned into the conversation. "Are you sure you're not getting confused with Drummond Rock?"
The Doctor leaned back to look at the top of the time rotor. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh yeah. That's what I meant."
Martha just shook her head. Over her shoulder, she heard the time rotor slowly down and stop.
"Here we are" said the Doctor, pulling a level on the console to unlock the doors. "Time to go."
David picked up Amelia, who gave him a big cuddle. He locked eyes with Cynthia, who met him at the ramp to the exit. She nodded in silent agreement.
"Thank you Doctor" said David. "For everything. You have a good little ship here. Well, not little..."
The Doctor smiled. "Thank you. She's not a bad wee girl."
He tapped the side of the console a few times with his knuckles. Amelia let out a surprising laugh.
"He knocked four times" she said.
The Doctor frowned at the statement, then shook his head and soon forgot about it.
Cynthia hugged Martha then all three left the Tardis, stepping onto a grassy field under a bright sun. Amelia got down and began running through the long grass. David saw a small river babbling through the countryside in front of him.
A grating noise grabbed their attention, and they turned to see the Tardis turn translucent and vanish. Cynthia smiled as she turned back to the vista before them.
"How do you think we'll explain this to the UMC?" she said.
"You'll think of something" said David, "you're good like that."
Cynthia smiled, and offered his her hand.
"It'll take time" she said.
He nodded, took her hand, and both started slowly walking down the hill after their little girl.