(Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter)
“EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE” the metal monsters screeched at Yarox who in desperation tried to climb up a nearby tree. He knew he couldn’t get out of the Daleks line of fire by simply running away, but as soon he started to climb the trunk, one of the Daleks had already hovered to the very top ahead of him.
“YOU WILL NOT ESCAPE!” The Dalek taunted as it aimed its gun down. Yarox closed his eyes and prepared for the worst. Being shot by a Dalek was literally the most painful way to die. Their death rays stimulated every single pain receptor in a person’s body to the maximum they could be.
To Yarox’s surprise however he heard one of the Daleks screaming instead.
“HELP, HELP EMERGENCY”
Yarox turned round to see several more humans, similar in appearance to those he had left behind in his own time swarming the Dalek from behind. The Dalek that had hovered to the top of the tree started to open fire on them, whilst the Dalek on the ground was able to push several more off. The humans were weak, sickly and battered looking. They had only been able to momentarily swarm the Dalek due to their large numbers, but in a matter of seconds the two monsters had gunned them all down.
Yarox used the opportunity to jump down from the tree and speed off through the undergrowth. He hated having to leave the others, but he knew that there was nothing he could do against the two Daleks. As he ran through the thick forest aimlessly, Yarox saw the Daleks green rays heading in his direction, melting all of the trees and plant life around him. He jumped to behind a nearby tree narrowly missing the Daleks rays. As it was being this close to the radiation from the Dalek rays was still enough to cause Yarox tremendous pain. He’d never felt agony like it before as the background radiation from the rays soaked every cell in his body. He wanted to scream, but the Daleks were right above his head. Fortunately they hadn’t seen him hiding in the undergrowth just yet. They were firing at random into the woods to try and smoke Yarox out. He had to keep moving, but the pain was so much he could barely move. As soon as the rays started to move closer to him however, Yarox instantly jumped in the opposite direction. The brief burst of adrenaline gave Yarox enough strength to stumble through the woods a short distance before he collapsed again face first onto the earth above the TARDIS floor. He almost fainted in the process.
When Yarox pulled his head up from the dirt, he saw the woods ahead of him were gone. The entire landscape had changed. Up ahead was a Dalek camp, where hundreds more humans were being worked in the Daleks filthy mines. The most disturbing sight however was just outside the mine, where those the Daleks deemed unfit for work were being lined up for extermination.
The humans included men, women, children and the elderly. They were all incredibly frail, some couldn’t stand, others were even missing limbs. One at the front, a child was crawling along on the floor, clearly unable to see.
“EXTERMINATE” one of the Daleks shouted as it fired on the prisoners, one after another. The Dalek could have easily doused them all in the radiation at once, but it chose to kill them one at a time instead. The screams from each prisoner were deafening. Even after all the prisoners had suffered they still feared death at the hands of the Daleks and some of them even got on their knees only to be cut down. Yarox couldn’t take it anymore and tried to crawl back through the woods, but when he turned around he saw the woods had been set ablaze. The two Daleks were flying through the fire, completely unaffected.
“THE HUMANOID WILL BE FOUND! ALL RESISTANCE WILL BE CRUSHED! DALEKS ARE THE SUPREME BEINGS!”
Yarox was so terrified he crawled behind a nearby tree and curled himself up into a ball, and put his fingers in his ears to try and cover up the screams. This was his worst nightmare coming true. Yarox hadn’t even thought about the Doctor and Elena during the ordeal. The only escape he thought was possible was a quick death.
Elena meanwhile was jolted awake by the Daleks screams of exterminate. Her room was just a few decks above the garden. She was so exhausted from her ordeal against Scratchman that she had collapsed into a sleep almost the second she hit the bed. The Daleks rasping battle cries, as well as the screams from their victims would be enough to wake her from even a coma. Like Yarox, Elena was terrified of the Daleks more than any of the other monstrosities she had encountered on her travels with the Doctor.
“No they can’t be here.” She said to herself.
“THE DOCTOR IS LOCATED, ALERT, ALERT” One of the Daleks below screamed.
Elena jumped out of her bed to try and find the Doctor, but the door to her room suddenly sealed itself shut. She tried to pull on the door, but it wouldn’t budge, so she tried to kick it down, but again it wouldn’t move.
“Why do you bother.”
Elena turned around only to see there was no one there.
“This is not your time. Not your home. Why bother travelling half way around the universe to solve some problem that would never have affected you, when there are people at home who need your help?”
“Who are you, what trick is this?”
“I am a servant of the Master.”
“Scratchman? I thought we sent the last of your lot back into the hell you came from.”
“When I attacked the TARDIS during that sacrifice I was able to take refuge in the heart of the console. The TARDIS itself acted as an unwilling shield when the rest of the Masters servants were pulled back into his realm. It took me a long time, but I was eventually able to work from within. I can control more superficial aspects of this vessel, but I still need.”
“You still need the Doctor, and let me guess you’re going to hurt us until he helps you. You’re so predictable.”
“No I’m going to cut a deal with you. If you convince the Doctor to help us, then I’ll send you back home.”
“Why would I do that?”
“You are selfish that’s why. You may play the hero to the others, but I know deep down you only care about yourself. The only reason you do this, is so that you won’t be seen as the failure of the family, which is what you always were. You let that man get pulled into our domain where he suffers every day while you go on quite happy. Most people after leaving someone to that fate, wouldn’t be able to sleep so easily.”
“There was nothing I could have done.”
“Oh please, no one else is around now Elena, I can read your thoughts. I know you. You were a sad joke of a woman whose life was going nowhere, while your sister was a famous astronaut. You lived off of your parents, bled them dry, never made any effort to turn yourself around, until the Doctor came along. With a quick fix he gave you a spot on the TARDIS, no responsibility, and the odd monster aside an easy life. You’ll always take the easy way out Elena.”
“If you want to cut a faustian deal this isn’t the best way. What about buttering me up, trying to play on my vanity.”
“I’m being honest with you young lady. I’m giving you the one chance you have to do the right thing.”
“And let a Demon into the universe?”
Just then Elena suddenly saw an image of her parents appearing at the far edge of the room. They both looked much older however.
“What are you doing?”
“This is your parents future. I am linked to the TARDIS a machine that can not only travel through time and space, but look into potential futures. How do you think it knows what timelines are safe for the Doctor to meddle in? This is a potential future for your parents. It’s what will happen if you stay with the Doctor.”
“What is happening.”
“They are mourning the loss of their daughter. Your sister to be precise. Killed in a mission in deep space, I won’t show you the gruesome details. Not yet anyway.”
“Its nothing but a cheap lie.”
“Can you be sure though? Besides you haven’t seen the best part yet. Losing one child is hard, but how do you think they will cope with losing two.”
“You’re saying I die?”
“No you don’t die. In fact you’ll live a long and happy life, but you will never return to your own time. You know how unreliable the TARDIS and the Doctor are. They’ll try to get you home, but he’ll miss it by about 100 years or so. Once that timeline is set for you, you can’t go back without creating a paradox. You’re parents will never know what became of you.
After your mother passes on from a broken heart, your father will spend most of his days waiting by the window, staring out in hope that his little girl will come to visit him one last time.”
“Shut up, you sick.”
“See for yourself.”
Elena saw an image of her father, weak, frail and utterly broken, staring out of a small window in a nursing home.
“We’re all just abandoned and forgotten about in the end, but imagine not knowing if your other little girl is even alive. If that careless moron she went off with got her killed, if she’s suffering in a Dalek camp thousands of light years away, been converted into a Cyberman, or if she just doesn’t care about you anymore?”
“Please stop it”
“You can avert this future now. This is your only chance. I can send you back to the 31st century. You can be reunited with you parents, stop your sisters death. I can give you an easy life back in the 31st century. Stay with the Doctor however and do you really trust that old fool to take you back to the correct time. You know how many mistakes he makes whenever he tries to get to the right time? You laugh them off normally, but this time?”
“Its a lie, I’d be a moron for listening to you.”
“Its true I am a Demon with an agenda, but are you willing to gamble with your families lives? Do you really trust the Doctor to get you home?”
Elena stared at the image of her father looking out the window, waiting for his daughter who would most likely never come for several minutes. She knew the Demon was trying to trick her, yet his words still tormented her. What if he was right, not only about her families future, but about her. She was sure that she had done everything to help Stanley, but then she remembered how she used to be. The first 30 or so years of her life were a complete waste. She was lazy, she constantly got into trouble and embarassed her parents. She thought about all the times she had let them down and couldn’t bare the thought of doing so again. Then however she thought about Stanley once more. If it was true that she had left him to suffer in the Demon’s dimension because she was afraid, then she owed it to him to do all she could to stop the last of Scratchman’s minions here and now.
“No.” She said proudly.
“Maybe you’re right about everything, about me only caring about myself, and if you are it’s time I stopped doing the selfish thing, which would be to help you free your Master into the universe, just for the sake of my family.”
The Demonic voice burst out laughing.
“Perhaps I should show you what is in store for your sister then? It’s one thing to be a sad lonely old man, but what they did to her? Its beyond description. Just a few years after you left the 31st century, her ship will be attacked by a race of creatures known as the Yisear. The Yisear will never become a major power like the Daleks or the Cybermen, but in some ways they are among the most vicious creatures in the galaxy. Your sister was very unlucky to stumble into their domain.”
Elena couldn’t even look at the Yisear they were so horrifying. She repeatedly tried to kick on the door, but it still wasn’t moving. With her sisters screams ringing in her ears, Elena with all of her strength picked up a nearby chair and rammed it into the door, but yet again it didn’t budge.
Elena turned around to see the monsters attacking her sister and in fury she jumped into the illusion to try and attack the creatures. Her hands and feet however just went completely through them and even her sister when she tried to grab her.
“This is a lie, an illusion!” Elena screamed as she continued to fight, pointlessly with the illusionary creatures.
After a few more moments however, the illusions vanished and the door opened.
“I’m not done with you yet.” The voice taunted.
Elena ran down the corridor to the garden screaming for the Doctor.
“HUMANOID LIFE FORM DETECTED! ADVANCE ADVANCE!”
“They’re not real, they’re illusions.” Elena said to herself as she headed down stairs. When she reached the door to the Garden however she saw that it was gone. There was nothing but a black wall. As she pounded on it, she heard the unwelcome sound of two Daleks coming up behind her.
“YOU ARE AN ASSOCIATE OF THE DOCTOR YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!” The Daleks screeched.
Elena tried to keep her cool. She knew they weren’t real, but up this close she couldn’t help but tremble in terror at the sight of the most evil creatures in the universe.
“EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!”
Elena still didn’t back down and as the Daleks cornered her against a wall the monsters suddenly stopped.
“Just as I thought a real Dalek would have killed me by now.”
The two Daleks faded into nothing much to the mutant’s relief. At the end of the corridor Elena could see the Doctor running frantically towards her.
“Elena, I’m so glad to.” Before the Time Lord could even finish, Elena tripped him up.
“What are you doing?”
“Sorry I just had to be sure you were real.”
“Well at least I know you are real.”
“Doctor what is going on? I thought you sent all of those things back to the other universe.”
“I know, one of them it seems managed to slip through the net. It’s conjuring up images from our minds to torment us. Don’t believe them for a second.”
The Doctor got to work on the door, with his sonic screwdriver. He knew the wall was an illusion, but he still had to find a way to open the jammed door.
“Yarox is in there. These Daleks are his worst fear, though some of the illusion’s the Demon’s conjuring are culled from my mind.”
“Doctor, what did you see.” Elena asked, not sure if she should. She knew how secretive the Doctor could be, but she was scared with all he had seen that something worse might be lurking around the corner.
“I saw many things. Daleks, Cybermen. There’s some horrible memories tucked up in here. Some wonderful ones too of course, but lets just say my head is not always a pleasant place to be.”
“The worst image was of The Master.”
“He’s not Scratchman. He’s a Time Lord like me. We’ve been fighting for thousands of years. I’ve tried to finish him so many times, but he always gets away. He always shows up again to cause more suffering. He’s tried to finish me too of course. We’ve never managed to rub the other one out. Whenever I see him I know that no matter who wins, more innocent people will die. Yet whenever he’s not fighting me I worry about the chaos he’s causing all over the galaxy. This wasn’t just a vision of the Master however. He was, he was attacking the worlds I have saved, the people I’ve saved. I have done so many things wrong, made so many mistakes, but knowing that I’ve saved people, it makes it easy for me to sleep at night. The Master however was destroying them all, killing the friends I’ve left behind and I was powerless. I had to watch him standing over my former companions bodies, in the ruins of earth and other worlds, laughing at me, telling me that my entire life had been worthless.”
“I’m sorry Doctor. I saw my parents and my sister. I had always thought that they were relieved to get rid of me. I wasn’t up to much back home. I was a bit of a burden, but in the vision they were alone, miserable, waiting for me.”
“We have to ignore these visions Elena. This Demon wants to break us so it can use the TARDIS to free its Master. Always remember that whatever this Demon can throw at us, its nothing compared to what Scratchman can do if he gets free. He created this monster.”
The wall soon vanished and the TARDIS door flung open.
“Ah see, your illusions are nothing but cheap tricks” the Doctor said proudly. “You think I can’t rework the lock on one of the doors of my own TARDIS?”
“Or maybe I want you to see what’s happened to your friend.” The voice taunted.
The garden had been replaced with a long, drab silver corridor. The Doctor instantly recognised it as being of Dalek design, as did Elena. Up ahead they could hear Yarox’s screams.
The Doctor ran down the corridor, passing through several more illuisonary Daleks in the process. At the end of the corridor he saw Yarox strapped to a table with two Daleks standing over him.
“I don’t understand they’re just illusions, how can they hurt him?”
“He thinks they are real. These memories are not his however. They’re mine. This is a memory of the Daleks camps, the worst place in the universe. They’ve kept people alive in these torture chambers for decades, even centuries in a state of perpetual agony.
“YOU ARE AN ASSOCIATE OF THE DOCTOR, YOU WILL TELL US WHERE HE IS!” One of the Daleks screamed at Yarox.
“I don’t know where, I would tell you if I could, but you took me from his TARDIS.” Yarox said in desperation.
The Doctor paused for a second. He had hoped Yarox would have been stronger, but he didn’t blame him for giving in. The Daleks torture device used the same principle as their guns of stimulating all pain receptors, except it did not damage the tissue like their death rays and thus kept the victim alive in the worst agony.
The Doctor and Elena ran through the two Dalek torturers and tried to help Yarox snap out of it.
“Its all just a dream Yarox, these monsters aren’t real, you’re still on the TARDIS. The pain isn’t real, it’s an illusion.”
Yarox wasn’t listening however. He felt sure it was another trick from the Daleks to get him to let his guard down.
“PLEASE, PLEASE JUST KILL ME” Yarox pleaded with the Daleks.
Elena tried hitting him, but he didn’t even feel it through the pain of the imaginary Dalek’s torture device.
The Doctor then tried to pull Yarox off of the table, but unfortunately the Demon was using its actual power to hold him onto the illusion. Still the Doctor tried and tried with Elena’s help until eventually he was able to wrench Yarox free. As soon as Yarox was free the illusion of the Dalek ship, and the Daleks themselves vanished into smoke and the Doctor, Elena and Yarox were back in their garden again.
Yarox had by this stage fainted after everything he had went through. Elena cradled him in her arms, whilst the Doctor searched around the woods for any sign of the Demon.
The TARDIS suddenly started to shake violenty enough for the Doctor to be knocked off of his feet.
“What are you doing to my ship?”
The Demon laughed. “These illusions were not designed to break you, rather to distract you. The TARDIS had unknowingly shielded me from being pulled into the other universe for a time, but even it couldn’t keep me here forever. Eventually I will be pulled back too, so I decided to fuse myself to your machine’s very core. When I am finally pulled back into Scratchman’s domain, so will the TARDIS and all of you. There your machine will give Scratchman the power he needs to enter your universe. Of course if you had been in the console room you would have detected my presence and been able to eject me right away. These illusions culled from your worthless life have given me the time I needed.”
The Doctor instantly ran back to the console room, with the Demon taunting him as it did.
“You’re too late. I was thinking of killing you, but the Master may have some fun with you and your companions instead. The horrible things you’ve seen Doctor can allow him to create a very special hell for all three of you.”
The TARDIS shook again, much more violently than before, with several of the Doctors clocks and ornaments that decorated the walls falling and breaking. The Cloister bell began to ring again. Once the machine had calmed down the Doctor made his way to the console room, where he saw on the scanner that the ship had landed.
On the scanner the Doctor could see the landscape was a mostly barren wasteland, save for a few rocks that led to a large boiling lake. The earth was completely red, whilst the sky was burning.
The Time Lord knew where they had landed, but couldn’t bring himself to say it. He couldn’t even believe it existed.
To Be Continued