Of course, reality has a way of proving you wrong.
All publically recognizable characters are property of their rightful owners.
This is a work of fanfiction, and seeks to draw no profit from its publication.
Dalek Sec was especially angry with the universe right now.
He was familiar with the process of temporal cloning, and with alternate timelines.
He had never expected it to happen to him, though.
Dalek Sec wasn't sure he wanted to know why it did, or how he had managed to get his casing back, or why he was in orbit around –where else- Earth when he gained his senses.
The murderous curiosity that came from being the Scientist of the Cult of Skaro lifted its head anyways. Maybe he should investigate…
No, no, no! Bad Sec! No Mad Science for you!
Especially after what happened last time; in retrospect, becoming an abomination of Dalek and Human physiologies was quite possibly the most insane plan he ever had. He really should have seen the mutiny coming.
A change in doctrine did not mean he had to change his own being, just because he wanted to be thorough.
He probably would have continued his metaphorical self-kicking, had his sensors not detected an anomaly.
He read the output, took 0.00045 rels to reset his casing's systems, and rechecked the readings.
It was an Eye of Harmony. Or a piece of one, which was just as good.
Had he been human, he might have squealed in glee.
Instead, he shoved as much power he could spare into the trans-solar disks in his casing, and flew down, towards the source.
Five minutes later, he hit atmosphere.
Dalek Sec had been trying to track down the piece of an Eye of Harmony, trundling down the streets of a city the locals called Mitakihara when he, literally, fell into a pocket dimension.
The landscape was absolutely surreal, an eternal sky, stretching all around him, below a large, vaguely humanoid shape hung, suspended from what appeared to be rope. The ropes were –of course- attached to nothing at all, and floated in midair, laughing in the face of gravity.
Dalek Sec decided to studiously ignore such happenings and concentrated instead on finding his goal.
Odd, his micro-harmonic drive was in range of acquiring a time-stream lock.
He activated the device, originally designed to draw power from the Eye on Skaro, but tweaked to accept power from any time-space disturbance, mostly because of the extremely bizarre circumstances destiny often threw his way when he had been leader of the Cult of Skaro.
And them Time ground to a halt.
Even being a Time War veteran, Sec was caught completely off-guard. Thankfully one of the many advantages of being a Dalek was that, even if you lost your composure, Dalek body language was so different from that of inferior species' no one else would notice.
Being a particularly adaptive Dalek, it took only a scant fraction of a rel to take the new development in stride.
The first rule of dealing with the unexpected being to hoard as much information as possible, Sec ran a full sensor sweep. Sure enough, external temporal readings showed a halt in the flow of time. Spatial distortion on the immediate area was consistent with an artificial bubble universe.
Longer ranged sensors showed that the surrounding micro universe was curling in on itself. They also revealed that the unidentified life-form wasn't wholly organic, the strong spatial distortion surrounding it hinted that it was the source of the pocket dimension he seemed to be trapped in.
Active temporal readings managed to pinpoint the location of the piece of the Eye of Harmony. Biological scans, long-distance genetic profiling and the Eyestalk Mk. 7 revealed that it was in the possession of a young human female that appeared to be fighting the abomination.
They also revealed that she was moving normally, meaning that she was behind the time-stop.
Which meant that she already had some measure of control over the Piece.
Daleks were heartless, merciless and bloodthirsty like you wouldn't believe. And Dalek Sec was all of those things.
However, he was also cautious, at least when his survival instincts weren't clouded by whatever example of mad science he was currently attempting.
So he hovered, content to watch the fight.
Homura tossed air-fuel grenade, the explosive shell freezing in midair partway through its arc.
Time resumed, and the fuse ran out just as it entered the skirt the abomination happened to be wearing.
It exploded, pieces of the non-Euclidean abomination raining around her in flames. Most Puella Magi would have at least made a show of the fight before delivering the finishing bow.
Homura didn't. She was precise, economic and practical. Her powers were draining, and her energy was limited.
So she made up with as much skill as she could, not to mention some… interesting toys the Yakuza and the JSDF had.
The remains of the witch disintegrated, a Grief Seed falling to the floor with a soft clink as reality asserted itself.
She heard a soft electronic noise behind her.
She whirled around; bringing what the internet had called a PM-9 submachine gun to bear.
She was… surprised, to say the least, at what was staring back at her. It took a while to assimilate the improbable collection of characteristics: The pepper pot-shaped outline; the half spheres dotting the metal "skirt" on the lower half; the armored panels on the torso; one telescoping arm shaped like a plunger, the other like an egg whisk; the grilled neck, protected by a thick cage; the dome, adorned by what seemed like a pair of lights, almost as if they were ears; and the glowing mechanical eye, stuck to the end of a metal rod.
That it was also pained a sleek, shiny black seem almost like an afterthought.
The thing's complete lack of facial structures failed to diminish the intensity of the stare it was giving her. It waved the plunger in her direction, and a there was a brief buzzing noise in her head.
A harsh, electronic staccato voice, seemingly stuck on the loudest possible setting, came from the machine.
"YOU ARE A TIME TRA-VEL-ER." It stated.
That was enough to shake her out of her reverie.
"How do you know?" she growled, "Who and what are you to know?"
There was a tiny mechanical whine as the glowing light of what she assumed was the thing's eye contracted momentarily.
"I AM A DALEK." It spat, confirming Homura's suspicions that she had pissed it off. "AND YOU? WHO ARE YOU TO MA-NI-PU-LATE TIME? YOU ARE NOT A TIME-LORD, YET YOU CON-TROL THE TIME-STREAM IN WAYS THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW OF! EX-PLAIN! EX-PLAIN!" It screeched, seemingly on the verge of hysteria.
It doesn't know? Homura mulled over this information. On one hand, it meant that it had no relation with Kuubey's people and their energy-collecting scheme, meaning it could be an ally. On the other, there was the possibility that this… thing… could be worse that whoever controlled Kuubey.
Considering what she knew of alien species, that was a good chance. She decided not to risk it.
The world dulled into sepia tones. The "Dalek" didn't.
She walked around it and, sure enough, the dome on the top of the thing tracked her, keeping her in sight.
"YOU HAVE NOT EX-PLAINED." It stated, and Homura swore it sounded a bit smug.
*Click*. Time resumed its normal flow.
"I will explain." She ground out, "but not here. Someplace more…private."
This had not happened in the other timelines. Maybe… maybe if she included this creature into her plans, things could change.
Hopefully for the better.
But even so she would not rely on it. She had no reason to believe the loud metal alien
She returned the gun back into her shield and changed back to her normal form. The dalek said nothing.
"Hey! What are you supposed to be?"
"I AM AN IM-PERIAL-IS-TIC SPACE NAZI."
Laughter erupted from the gaggle of teenagers and they went on their way. The dalek's response to the previous five or so people had been the exact same thing, which was worrying in and out of itself.
Homura had asked it about it, and its answer confirmed her fears.
"THE DALEKS HAD THAT RE-PU-TATION. IT WAS NOT UN-EARNED."
They walked in awkward silence after that, Homura wondered wherever or not she had bitten off more that she could chew.
They arrived at her usual apartment, the old building hiding a rather modern interior. She changed shoes at the entrance, the alien watching her in what seemed to be curiosity. They entered the living room, the lights switching on by themselves.
The dalek looked at her decor with what she assumed was interest, letting its sight hover on the E-wall that dominated the living room.
Homura sat down on one of the seats, and the dalek maneuvered itself opposite her, his own form worse than unsuited for such a human display.
They stared at each other for a good while.
The dalek's "eye" adjusted it's iris slightly.
"WE ARE IN A SE-CURE LO-CA-TION." It stated. "YOU SAID YOU WOULD EX-PLAIN."
"I will." She said, her voice finding the flat tone she had gained in this timeline. "But I also have questions, and I will have answers. Can you promise me that?"
The alien stood silent for a few moments. Eventually, it spoke.
"YOU HAVE MY WORD."
And so she began.
My name is Homua Akemi.
And I should start from the beginning.
The universe is dying. The physicists are calling it "heat death". At one point in time, energy will run out, and everything will die. Slowly.
A race of ancient, advanced beings didn't like this. They raged. They raged without anger, worried without despair.
They put all their effort into finding a way to halt entropy. They found one.
But it was useless to them, the process required emotion, and they had none.
But then they found our world and, what would you know, we were compatible.
They send these…Incubators. I don't know if there's more than one, or if they're all part of the same-
…Wait, here's a picture. Do you-?
No? Oh… well, it was worth trying.
Anyways, these incubators wander the planet, searching for pre-adolescent girls to grant them wishes.
In return, the girls are turned into Puella Magi, magical girls who fight witches that feed on human misery-
…No, I don't know how it's supposed to be possible either. Please stop shouting.
To do their *ahem*duty, Puella Magi are granted abilities beyond normal humans. They can summon weapons, use magic and gain great strength and resilience.
They also gain other, unique abilities, the specifics of which draw from the wish they made.
…Yes, you guessed quite correctly, but please let me finish.
There is, however, a price.
You see, the Incubator never tells the girls the full story. The whole story would drive his precious contracts away screaming.
When we make our wish, he gives us this.
It's called a Soul Gem.
…Yes, you can "scan" it. Just… be careful.
Most girls assume that the Soul Gem is just a magic trinket from where their power comes from. It isn't.
The soul gem is them. It is their soul, their consciousness, their essence, their mind… whatever it is you wish to call it. The one you see sitting in front of you is just an empty shell. We can control our…bodies up to one hundred meters away.
…No, you can't test that on me. Now, can you hand me over?
There are other "details" that the Incubator forgets to tell us. He tells us to fight witches, so we do. He tells us using magic can corrupt our Soul Gems, and that defeated witches drop something called a Grief Seed, which we must use to purify our Soul Gems; so we do.
What he doesn't tell us is that, should we fail to cleanse our gems, we will turn into witches. This is our curse. Even if we were to stop using magic, simply controlling our bodies uses our energy, so we will always end up needing to fight them. A normal life is impossible for us.
Not all witches are fallen Puella Magi, otherwise there would never be enough for our subsistence. Wiches control beings called familiars, they are their helpers, their dutiful servants. Occasionally, a familiar will leave a witches control. If it can feed from the deaths of five people, it will become a copy of the witch that spawned it. Additionally, a witch gains a familiar for every kill it makes. Old witches can summon veritable armies.
… Fine, I'll tell you how I fit into all of this, on the condition that you stop shouting.
First of all, I am not from this timeline.
Of course, you probably know that already, with whatever gadgets you have in that… thing you're in. Casing, whatever.
I was naïve back then, a shy little girl just out of the hospital. I was nervous, alone.
There was this girl, her name was Madoka Kaname.
She was nice to me.
She was the first friend I ever had. Maybe…
Wait, do you know what love is?
…I didn't think so. Forget it.
What you have to know is that she was important to me. She still is.
And, when I was coming home from school-
…It's a place where you learn what should be useful things.
Anyways, I was attacked by a witch. I almost died. I should have died.
But Madoka saved me. She was…amazing, glorious.
And she wasn't alone, she was being taught by an elder Puella Magi, called Mami Tomoe. She told me what the Incubator –they called him Kuubey- had told them, about the Puella Magi.
They fought witches and familiars to protect the people of this city, and I trailed behind, like a lost puppy.
And then Walpurgis Nacht, queen of all witches, came.
Mami didn't stand a chance. She died almost instantly. We were…broken over her.
You know what I am talking about, right? Do daleks feel anything when someone close to you dies?
…Not always? Weird…
So she died and Madoka… she killed Walpurgis by herself, but she died to do so.
So I told the incubator, that I wanted have a chance to do it all over again. To protect Madoka instead of being protected by her.
So he made me a Puella Magi, and I returned to the past to try again.
I have done so many times since, more than I could care to count. I will not give up. Never. Even if it takes a million years.
You can help me, but I will succed, one way or the other.
There, I've explained everything.
I am Dalek Sec. Dalek Supreme of the Dalek Army, exterminator of the Mechanoids, leader of the cult of Skaro, and its last living member.
I am also the last of the Daleks.
My species believed itself to be the supreme beings of the universe. The master race.
For eons, we exterminated all our opposition, wherever it was real or imagined.
…Yes, what I said before is an approximation of what we are. Always tell the truth when your enemy will find it completely ridiculous.
We waged war against the universe itself. We had no use for what you would call a "culture", we made no friends amongst ourselves, or enemies. There was only our loyalty to the Emperor, the Dalek race, and the Dalek creed, the ingrained purpose of all Daleks: to conquer and destroy.
And then, we gained the attention of the Time Lords, a race of non-interventionists that were toying with the fabric of space when the universe was new. They were masters of time and space, and they had manipulated all species to evolve into the same basic template as they. Beings lesser than the Time Lords have been worshiped as gods.
They were the single, most powerful species in the universe, if you were to lift a single voice against them; they erased you from time itself. You would have never had existed.
They feared us. The ancient, immortal Lords of Gallifrey were afraid of a species born in a world torn apart by war, whose technology was millions of years more primitive that theirs and who had no true allies to call to their side.
They sent the Doctor, the hero of their race, to stop us, to kill us all when we were created by Davros during the Genesis War. He failed. Time and time again, they sent their very best to put and end to us, and we refused to die, each and every time.
Soon it became clear that one could only survive if the other was dead.
We accelerated our research into Temporal Warfare. We tried to perfect the technologies necessary in the little time we had left, gain what little experience might help against a race that had already won a Time War. We even resurrected our Creator, so that his genius could help our cause. We did everything to prepare against an enemy that had all the advantages.
In the end, we weren't prepared enough. We fought anyways.
The Time War raged. Davros, Creator of the Daleks was one of the first casualties. The Emperor decided to create a special group of Daleks to replace him. Daleks whose intelligence went beyond previous parameters, whose authority overrode even the Emperor himself, whose creativity matched the mad genius of Davros. He took the most experienced, loyal, aggressive and daring Daleks in the army and had them undergo behavioral modification and gene therapy.
I was amongst them.
The result were Daleks that could do what no one else in my species could: what you humans call "think outside the box". We called ourselves the "Cult of Skaro", in honor of our poisonous home. We gave ourselves names, something no Dalek has ever had. We became… friends.
Together, we drove our species forward. The Time Lords had grown comfortable over the eons. They had expected an easy victory. They had expected us to bow down in fear.
Daleks have no concept of fear. We only knew how to fight, and we fought ferociously. I and my comrades only guided that ferocity into where it would do the most damage.
The Time Lords were enraged; they pulled the Doctor into their war to lead them in our destruction.
Much to their horror, and our pleasure, it made no difference. Victories for the Time Lords became narrower, and their losses became greater.
And then, on some small, insignificant battlefield, a force of fifty hundred Daleks, held out against a superior force of Time Lords and Sontarans and pushed them back.
A race that could have never existed at all, that had never fought within time, that all of existence believed that they would perish against the might of Gallifrey, had taken on the masters of the universe, and was winning.
And suddenly, small victories became larger. The Time Lords, long accustomed to victory, simply could not handle defeat. They were being devastated beyond proportion to what we were doing to them. They struck at our world, erasing it from existence. It did not stop us, it only made us angrier.
I believe a few Supremes exploded from rage.
And then the battle for the Cruciform happened. If we could secure the Cruciform, we would be able to access the separate Time Stream where Gallifrey was located. Previous assaults had been unsuccessful, only a few of our ships could have entered at a time. They were intended as psychological warfare. Most of the planet had been rendered lifeless; the remaining Time Lords were within their capital, where they waited for a miracle.
It did not happen. The Cruciform fell into our possession.
Tell me, Homura, have you ever seen someone break? Or, as you humans call it, "snap"?
… Now, imagine it happening to an entire species.
That is what happened when the Time Lords lost the Cruciform. They drove themselves insane.
I do not know what happened on Gallifrey. Intel from spies indicates that someone of the name of Rassilon was resurrected. Other sources claimed that the Time Lords intended to use their technology to "ascend".
All I have the knowledge of, is that the Emperor, and his fleet of five million ships entered the rift to Gallifrey, and never returned.
I had foreseen such an occurrence, so I devised a plan to save the Daleks. The Time War could not be escaped. Neither we nor the Time Lords could do so.
There was, however, another way.
I created a Void Ship, capable of crossing the barrier between universes and into the Void. I gathered what remained of the Cult for one final mission.
Time Lord Vessels use a spatial disturbance device to make them be much larger on the inside. We retrieved a prison ship filled with Daleks.
We stored it inside the void ship and escaped to another universe, until it was safe to return.
When we did, we discovered that the Doctor had survived.
Twice I have tried to restore my species. The first time, I tried to use the Daleks trapped inside the prison ship to conquer the Earth-
…Not this Earth. It appears I am also not from this timeline.
The Doctor found a way to draw us back into the Void. Me and my comrades barely escaped.
Our casings allow for a limited amount of movement through time. We escaped into a more primitive Earth to rebuild our race.
I however had other plans. I wanted to change my people; I wanted to have us forget our dreams of becoming the sole life form in the universe, because it had clouded our capacity to survive. They grudgingly agreed.
I was, however, too radical in my implementations. There was a mutiny, and I was shot.
…No, I have no knowledge in how I survived. Stranger things have happened to me.
I am not interested in your own personal objective. I only seek to resurrect my dead race. I have no interest in your affairs and will not become involved.
I will not, however hinder you in any way.
I hope you can understand that.
They saw each other off at the doorway into Homura's apartment, The Puella Magi to plan for the battle ahead, and the Dalek to create a destiny for itself and its people, never expecting to see each other again.
Of course, reality has a way of proving you wrong