Well, I really enjoy holiday pieces. And since Christmas is all of two days away, I figured I'd write one.
Summary: Will there be peace on Earth and good will towards men this Christmas? Not if the Daleks can help it!
Daleks found an overwhelming majority of human activities completely illogical, wasteful, and in need of swift and merciless extermination. Celebrating holidays was just one more item on a list long enough to stretch from the Sun to Alpha Centauri and back again. Despite their insignificant spot on the sprawling list, few human activities were more mind-shatteringly infuriating than celebrating holidays. And among all the ridiculous holidays humans celebrated around the world, the absolute, undisputed most despised was Christmas.
Maybe it was the month and a half marathon of Christmas music broadcast from seemingly ever station in the world. After picking up thousands of transmissions of Santa Baby and Do They Know It's Christmas, the Daleks were ready to incinerate the whole planet. If humans found the music tiresome, Daleks, with no appreciation for what music even was—to them it was all equally painful noise—found it criminal.
Or maybe it was the revolting emotions humans were always spewing at each other during the holiday season. Daleks had the emotional range of the pepperpots they looked like. Humans were constantly awash in emotions, and Christmas only served to accentuate the ones Daleks hated most.
If the emotions weren't bad enough, the behaviors could send a Dalek into screaming insanity. Random acts of kindness, baking cookies, caroling, helping the poor, all of these things made Daleks sick. There was nothing worse to a creature that had been genetically created solely for hatred than the physical expression of love.
Fully fed up with love and songs and smiles and happy little children, the Daleks decided Christmas needed a makeover. The plan was simple: turn Christmas into such a day of agony and pure human suffering that it would never be celebrated again. Ravage the Earth so badly that all its denizens would rue the 25th of December. Turn all that was good and pure to dust and then blast the dust into molecules, which would then be ripped apart into their base atoms!
With their goal in mind, the ultimate grinches set out not to steal Christmas, but to exterminate it from the face of the world. Unfortunately, the Dalek forces numbered exactly three. And to make matters worse, the Doctor was having a merry time down on Earth and would not take kindly to having his festivities wrecked. Openly attacking the Oncoming Storm would not be a wise move.
"THE DOCTOR MUST BE DEALT WITH FIRST," a Dalek said.
"HE EXPECTS CERTAIN BEHAVIORS FROM A DALEK. DEVIATION FROM THOSE BEHAVIORS WILL LEAVE HIM VULNERABLE," a second Dalek replied.
"DEVIATIONS? EXPLAIN,"the first ordered.
"DALEKS DO NOT PARTAKE IN THE HUMAN CELEBRATION KNOWN AS CHRISTMAS. PARTAKING IN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION IS UNEXPECTED OF A DALEK. THE DOCTOR WILL BE CONFUSED," the Dalek explained.
"HOW WILL WE DISPLAY OUR 'CHRISTMAS SPIRIT?' WE CANNOT BAKE GINGERBREAD MEN OR DECORATE TREES," the first screeched.
The third Dalek offered a most bizarre solution. It rolled to the back of the flying saucer, rummaged around for a bit, and then returned with a cardboard shoebox attached to its plunger; inside the box was a length of bright red ribbon and a felt-tip marker. None of the other Daleks knew how any of those items had gotten on board.
"HUMANS TRADITIONALLY GIVE GIFTS TO THEIR OFFSPRING AND FRIENDS. WE WILL GIVE THE DOCTOR A GIFT,"the Dalek said, waving the box about for emphasis.
"THE DOCTOR IS AN ENEMY OF THE DALEKS! HE DOES NOT RECEIVE GIFTS!" the first Dalek protested.
"THE GIFT IS A TRAP." The third Dalek placed the box on a nearby table and began the incredibly laborious and frustrating task of wrapping it in ribbon without the use of hands.
Seven hours later, the box was covered in welts of red ribbon and a bow that vaguely resembled a bird's nest had been fashioned from the remaining ribbon. The first Dalek picked up the felt marker using its plunger and the second Dalek was kind enough to remove the marker's cap. The Dalek then proceeded to write, with stunning penmanship, "Happy Xmas, Doctor."
With Christmas only a few hours away, the Daleks set their plan into motion. They exited the ship and glided down through Earth's atmosphere. The third Dalek kept a tight hold on the box during the descent. If the seven torturous hours all went to waste because the box was struck by a migrating goose, the Dalek would probably self-destruct.
The three Daleks landed on the bright and cheery streets of London. A fresh snow was falling, and it began to collect on the Daleks' metal heads. While a human would have found this accumulation charming and festive, the Daleks found it neither. They melted it.
Having ruined the snow, the Daleks set out to find the Doctor and give him a gift for the ages. Since London was a large city, they couldn't expect the Doctor to stumble out a random pub and directly into their path. They would have to draw him out somehow.
"DOCTOR!" the first Dalek shrieked. It aimed its blaster at a random building—it was a restaurant closed for the holidays—and fired. The large plate glass windows shattered and the interior of the restaurant caught aflame.
The second Dalek joined in. Soon, the street and sidewalks were full of terrified revelers and last-second shoppers. An increasing number of buildings, not all of them unoccupied, were destroyed by the blasts.
Not far away, the Doctor was giving himself the gift of banana pudding. His gob was full of sweet pudding and he was halfway through swallowing it when an explosion shattered the silent night. He choked, yakking up his precious pudding all over his suit.
"Ah! That's never going to come out," the Doctor said, looking down at the yellow goo.
Another explosion, this one closer, rattled the room. The Doctor glanced around the small café, taking in the reactions of his fellow diners. One old bloke, probably having flashbacks to the Blitz, had crawled under his table. Two teenage girls who had stopped in for hot chocolate dashed for the door. The cook cautiously crept out of the kitchen and peered around.
"What's going on? Anybody know?" the cook asked.
"I intend to find out. Save this pudding for me, would you?" The Doctor pointed at his bowl. The cook nodded.
Confident his pudding would be placed in the refrigerator and not chucked out, the Doctor headed for the door. He stepped out into the cold night and was instantly able to identify the location of the explosions. Great billowing clouds of smoke rose into the night air.
"On Christmas…can't they give it a rest for one day?" the Doctor muttered.
He wasn't going to learn what was attacking London by standing on the sidewalk. The Doctor ran towards the billowing smoke. He met plenty of other people running in the opposite direction.
A horrified man, seeing the Doctor headed towards the fire, grabbed him by the shoulders. The Doctor looked into the man's wild, wide eyes.
"You don't want to go that way. Believe me, you don't," the man said.
"Why? What's that way? Something not good obviously, or you wouldn't be running and things wouldn't be burning. But what specific not-goodness is happening?" the Doctor asked.
"I don't know. There's some kind of robot rubbish bins. They're blasting buildings and cars and screaming for a doctor."
The Doctor's mind reeled. "Robot rubbish bins? Are they covered in a bunch of weird bumps and do they talk like this: I am a ro-bot rub-ish bin?"
"Yeah! Do you know what they are?"
"The worst possible not-good. Now run for your life."
The man didn't need to be told twice. He rejoined the thickening swarm of people that were fleeing the area. The Doctor found himself jostled by terrified passersby as he forced his way upstream.
"Daleks, again! And on Christmas Eve," the Doctor muttered as he shoved past a boy who was running backwards and filming the plumes of smoke with his mobile.
The Doctor finally escaped the crowds and emerged onto an empty street. A police car, or the smoking remains of one, sat in the middle of the street. The officers themselves were nowhere to be found, suggesting they had either escaped or had been incinerated. The Doctor preferred the hopeful option.
Past the skeletal frame of the burned-out police car, a single Dalek was roving back and forth. Its eyestalk bobbed up and down as it scanned the area. All around it, buildings and parked cars were on fire.
"Dalek!" the Doctor shouted, boldly striding towards the Dalek.
The Dalek swiveled around and faced the Doctor. For a moment, the two regarded each other in silence. Then the Dalek did something unusual: it ran away.
"Oi! Where do you think you're going? Obviously in that direction, but since when do Daleks run away?" The Doctor had seen Daleks flinch or withdraw a few feet at the sound of his voice, but he'd never seen one turn tail and flee.
The Doctor pursued the Dalek. He rounded the corner it had just vanished around and then discovered why the armored alien had run off. It had gone to alert the reinforcements.
The original Dalek had been joined by two more. The evil threesome stared down the Doctor, who came to a screeching halt in the middle of the road. Two of the Daleks raised their blasters at the Doctor and the third one raised…a decorated shoebox?
"What? What're you doing here, why are you destroying London and will someone please explain the box to me?"
"WE HAVE A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR THE DOCTOR."
"That's rubbish. Daleks don't celebrate Christmas."
"WE HAVE A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR THE DOCTOR," the Dalek reiterated.
The Doctor inched closer, wary of the weapons locked onto him. The Time Lord knew approaching was a dangerous and stupid act, but he was curious. He'd seen the Daleks implement some bizarre, long shot plots, but this had to be a whole new level of weird.
"You blew up half of London to give me a present?" the Doctor asked.
"That's just stupid. You could have sent it through the post. I don't know what address you should have sent it to, but I probably would have gotten it eventually."
"IMPOSSIBLE. THIS PRESENT MUST BE DELIVERED DIRECTLY," the Dalek said.
The Doctor reached into his pocket and pulled out his glasses. He put them on and then squinted at the Dalek's package. Satisfied, he removed the glasses and slipped them back into his pocket.
"I see what you got me. Exterminate in a box."
The Dalek's eyestalk drooped in disappointment. The Doctor had figured out his surprise too early.
"INCORRECT. THAT IS NOT YOUR GIFT." The Dalek tried to salvage the situation.
The Doctor snorted. "Yes it is. I can see the tip of your ray gun arm thingy sticking out the front of the box."
Sure enough, a bright spot of metal protruded from the poorly wrapped package. Since the jig was up, the Daleks decided to forget their Christmas plan and try to kill the Doctor the old fashioned way. With synchronized cries of 'exterminate', the Daleks began to fire at the Doctor. He squeaked and ran for cover.
The Doctor scurried back the way he came. Unfortunately, his escape route was now impeded by a squadron of police vehicles that had arrived while he'd been ruining the Daleks' schemes. The Doctor ignored the officers' orders to halt, and vaulted over the hood of a police car, instead. He didn't quite clear the car, and ended up sliding off the hood and landing on his face.
A pair of cops jumped on top of him a second later, crushing him against the snowy pavement. The Doctor grunted but didn't struggle. Police generally didn't like struggling.
"I didn't blow anything up, I swear! Please, just let me explain. I've got—oi, watch the tie!—ID in my pocket. Please," the Doctor said.
An intrusive hand shoved its way into his pocket. The Doctor prayed it didn't discover the true depth of his pocket, or pull out anything questionable. The sonic screwdriver, to the wrong eyes, would probably look like a detonator or something malevolent.
By sheer luck, the first thing the policeman's fingers brushed was the psychic paper. He pulled it out and examined it.
"Dr. John Smith of the Torchwood Institute? What kind of rubbish is that?"
"It's a top secret organization, and the things that blew up those buildings are aliens. Take a quick peek and I dare you to tell me otherwise."
The Daleks had appeared at the end of the street, and were not pleased to find the Doctor gone and their path blocked by emergency vehicles. One of the officers who kept the Doctor pinned released him enough to look up over the car. It took one second for him to decide the Daleks were not from Earth.
"I believe that they're aliens, and I take it they're the bloody hostile kind," the officer said.
"What are they doing?" the Doctor asked.
"Waving at us, I think. Are those whisks their arms?"
"No! They're their guns!"
All the police officers leapt to the ground and covered their heads. The two cops that had grabbed the Doctor released him so they could protect their own bodies. The car farthest to the right exploded in a massive fireball and shower of shattered glass and debris.
"Why are they shooting at us?" the officer asked.
"Because I didn't like my Christmas present," the Doctor muttered.
"I've got to stop them. Let me think. Ah, guns are useless and I don't like them anyway, no handy Void to chuck them into, and no Time Vortex to burn them all to dust. Hmm, this is bad. This is very bad."
Desperate, the Doctor looked around, trying to find something, anything, of use. Nothing even remotely useful jumped out at him. The policemen's guns were far too primitive to penetrate the Daleks' force fields, and there was no time to try and scrounge together a more powerful weapon. The Doctor supposed he could always try bluffing the Daleks with his sonic screwdriver, though they'd eventually blast it from his hands. And possibly blast his hands from his body.
Just when the Doctor had decided a bluff was their only chance, a policeman's radio emitted a burst of static. The Doctor winced briefly, and then his mouth broke into a monstrous grin. He clapped the owner of the noisy radio on the shoulder.
"I've got it! Brilliant idea, just needed a little push to put it all together."
The Doctor flung open the door to the nearest cruiser. He aimed his sonic screwdriver at the radio, and a moment later the car was blaring Christmas music.
"What the hell are you doing? You trying to deafen us?"
"No, though that might be a side effect. Daleks, those rubbish bins out there, have no concept of music. It's all auditory torture to them. Christmas music, with its warm, fuzzy messages, has to be even worse," the Doctor shouted.
The Doctor hopped over to the next vehicle in the roadblock. He sonicked the radio, and the car became another giant speaker.
"Happy Xmas, couldn't have asked for better. If Yoko can't scare off the Daleks, she's lost her touch," the Doctor said.
As expected, the double barrage of sound hit the Daleks with such power it physically hurt them. The decibels were uncomfortable to humans, but humans had a high tolerance—sometimes even a desire—for loud music. Any kind of music was, to a Dalek, like nails on a chalkboard played through a stereo at full volume.
"I'm going to drive the car closer to the Daleks. If they blow me up, get out of here while you still can," the Doctor said. The few cops close enough to hear him over John Lennon and Frosty the Snowman nodded.
The Doctor got behind the wheel, shifted the car into gear, and began slowly rolling towards the Daleks. The Daleks retreated as the noise approached. One of them—the strange, Dalek-Santa with the present still jammed on its blaster—raised its weapon. The Doctor cranked the radio up as loud as it would go, threatening to destroy the stereo system. The Dalek's blaster jerked upward and it shot at the sky.
To be heard by the Daleks, the Doctor had to dial down the radio. Once he'd done that, he shouted, "Either leave Earth, or I turn it back up! And if that's still not enough, consider this. Every single one of those cars has a radio. And I can make each and every car play a different song. If you think you've suffered already, just know that these are examples of good Christmas music. The bad stuff, ooh, I imagine that will liquefy your insides and turn you into Dalek marmalade."
"ELEVATE!" the box-toting Dalek exclaimed with something in its voice that sounded suspiciously like the fear Daleks weren't supposed to possess. It began to rise into the air.
The other Daleks mimed the first and left the ground. Soon, all three Daleks had vanished into the starless sky.
With the pepperpot menace once again defeated, the Doctor switched off the radio and stepped from the car. He was greeted by over a dozen utterly bewildered faces. The cops wanted answers, and the Doctor needed to leave before they got any bright ideas and detained him.
"Right, crisis averted. I'm sure you're all wondering why a portion of the city's on fire, why evil robot rubbish bins tried to kill you, and how Christmas music saved the day. Well, I can't tell you. It's highly classified, and I will be taken out back and shot if I reveal anything. I don't like being shot, it isn't any fun. So don't ask me questions. Let me slip away into the night. If you do want answers, harass the Torchwood team that I have no doubt will be here momentarily," the Doctor said.
"But your ID, it said you were from Torchwood," someone shouted.
"Oh yes, my credentials. Where are they?" The Doctor's psychic paper was pressed into his hand. "Very nice, thank you. And yes, I am from Torchwood. I'm low-level, though, a nobody, hardly a step above a secretary."
"And they'll shoot you for telling us anything?" a cop asked.
"Shoot me, burn the body, and who knows what else."
"Fine, we'll ask your superiors."
"Marvelous, wonderful, molto bene. Now that that's settled, I believe I have a report to write. So, excuse me."
The Doctor wished the officers a merry Christmas before running from the scene. Though he doubted Torchwood would shoot him, he didn't want to get into any long conversations with the organization that had let five million Cybermen "ghosts" loose on the Earth. He just wanted to retrieve whatever remained of his pudding, and then get back aboard the TARDIS.
The café was packed with people who had fled the Dalek attack. Someone had taken the Doctor's original seat, and didn't look interested in giving it back. That was alright; the Doctor could eat his pudding as he walked to the TARDIS, which he had parked in a nearby alley.
"Where's my pudding?" the Doctor asked the cook, who was not cooking, but watching the small wall-mounted television.
"You actually came back for it?" the cook said.
"Of course. It's banana pudding, and bananas are good."
"Right, hold on a second."
The cook went into the kitchen and emerged with a plastic bowl filled with pudding. He had evidently given the Doctor a refill to make up for the huge mouthful that had spilled down his shirt.
"My pudding!" the Doctor cried happily, taking the bowl from the cook.
Pudding in hand, the Doctor merrily strolled from the café. He had no spoon, so he began to lick the pudding as he walked. By the time he arrived at the TARDIS, the bowl was nearly empty.
Once he was out of the cold, the Doctor set his pudding bowl down on the TARDIS' console. He fiddled with a few dials, pulled a lever, stepped on a pedal, and poked at a bright screen. Christmas music began to filter through the ship. The Doctor sighed in pure contentment.
"Happy Christmas, old girl. Well, happy two hours and seven minutes until Christmas, anyway."
There's an actual song, written in 1964, called I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek. So, if your holiday music needs more Doctor, there you go.