Episode NINE Please address comments or requests for further information or the previous e

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------------------------------------------------------------------------ Episode NINE Please address comments or requests for further information or the previous episodes to: ng436@pnlg.pnl.gov (or) ng436@traken.pnl.gov -- David E. Woon -- Molecular Science Research Center -- PNL -- -- Alumnus of Michigan Tech University -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ THE AMBITION OF THE DALEKS by David E. Woon BACKGROUND: The first series of stories (Birthright of a Time Lord, The Last Cyber- man, and The Attic of Eternity) detailed the return of Nyssa of Traken to the life of the Doctor and her subsequent adoption by him into the body of Time Lords. In the second series (Confluence, Punting on the Stream of Time, Kingdom, and Subsequential, Consequential) she encount- ered David Ramsey and they began to travel together. The sequence of stories was discontinued after they returned from de- feating the Valeyard, who, it develops, is not the final regeneration of our Doctor but an evil variation of him from an alternative reality. Although there were a number of loose ends to tie off, I was delayed by my move here to Texas. I did not know if I would be able to write any- further adventures. This concern did not stem from lack of desire but from wondering if Texas would radically change my perspectives. For- tunately (and I should have known better), it has only strengthened my interest in what I've been doing with these stories. So now I am back with a third series of episodes. It is time to break new ground in my characterizations of Nyssa and David Ramsey, but there are many elements from the previous stories which will be faithfully carried on. And somewhere in here I will write the story whose title I created before I left Houghton -- The Ekques of Rassilon. David and Nyssa have now been travelling together for many months. They have been here and there, bopping around a variety of realities in the Type-60*. They have become more comfortable together, and it's very evident that their relationship is going to last. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ SCENE 1: An apartment in north Texas, a Saturday night (A version of David Ramsey is sitting on the floor at the foot of the only window in the room. It has been a warm day, typical for May in Texas, and he is sitting in the dark, looking out into the night and enjoying the touch of the variable breeze lapping around his shoulders and head.) (He is thinking about any number of things. In the early part of the evening he had been rereading certain Doctor Who stories he'd written. He knows that the time has come to pick of the work again, and he is savoring the prospect.) (He looks to the south, past the well-lit parking lot and the trees across the street, over the creek, beyond Arlington, toward Houston and vaguely spreading out to encompass past memories of Galveston, as well as current wonderings.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 2: Nyssa's TARDIS, the sitting room, Nyssa and the other David Ramsey (The scene opens with the two of them sitting together in close, comfor- table proximity. They have been just sitting quietly, enjoying the glow of what has grown between them.) N. How long has it been since you last experienced a burst of your un- chained intuition? It's been several weeks, hasn't it? D. We haven't been faced with much in the way of challenges here in transit. I've been able to focus entirely on the present. (He runs a finger lightly down the contour of her nose. She smiles.) N. So if I were to provide any sort of inspiration that would tap into it... D. It would respond with its accustomed alacrity. In the infinity of universes, you could say almost anything and there would be some association. N. Eepwop neebledunk? D. An herbal tea grown during the diurnal phase on the fourth moon of Spectrix VII. The exclusive product of the Yyterna Sporgan Company, Ltd. N. If I hadn't seen you produce so many useful and accurate pieces of knowledge, I'd swear that you make it all up as you go along. D. And I'd swear that you've become positively whimsical recently. Eepwop neebledunk, indeed! N. It's one if my endearing qualities. You've said so. D. I said that it was remarkable the way your usual detachment leads to some truly unique perspectives which are as spontaneous as my oc- casional bursts of intuitive gestaltic comprehension. N. It's why we get along so well. Mutual admiration of mutual inspi- ration. D. It's led us into some interesting adventures. N. I'm glad for what we have. I provide facts and perspectives, and you dream up possibilities. You've taken us to some wonderful places, even if half of them have been based on television shows. D. I'm glad you finally let us visit the Remington Steele universe. It was fun being a part of "Quenched Steele." N. It was fun for all of us. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 3: the Amalgam pub (The Amalgam of Nyssa's TARDIS enters and approaches the Amalgam of Rassilon, who is alone at a table.) A. Hello. Can I talk with you a bit? R. You're welcome to join me, but I fear you want to talk about your charges again. A. What else does an Amalgam ever want to talk about? Except you, of course. R. With Rassilon long dead, I tend not to share in the normal exuber- ance you whelps have for your respective Time Lords. A. It's fortunate for us that you don't. With everyone so preoccupied with the exploits of their own Time Lords, it's hard to get in a proud word of my own sometimes. R. Yes, well, I don't think I would ever get a word in myself if you all weren't so inclined to worship my antiquity. A. There will never be another Rassilon. R. And there may never be another situation such as yours. How are you doing, being the Amalgam for two individuals? A. I like it. I'm surprised it's never happened before. Don't Time Lords every fall in love with one another? R. Time Lords never fall into anything, except for the Doctor. If he doesn't fall once or twice a day into something or over something, I begin to wonder if he's getting staid and sedentary. A. Time Lords do marry. R. But they never fall into it. It is usually an excessively well- planned capstone in the career of an up-and-coming Time Apprentice. One doesn't want to get involved with anyone until everything else is safely determined: Time Lord rank, position in the hierarchy, party affiliation, fringe benefits and retirement plans. Then, and only then, one may make a cautious search for another individual of the opposite gender with similar aspirations and interests. It's remarkable that this works at all, but Time Lords are good at any- thing where the course is well-defined. Of course, by the time they marry, both of the Time Lords are established in their own TARDIS's and have distinct Amalgams. Your situation is unique. A. It's unique is a lot of ways. Nyssa is one of the few Time Lords not born on Gallifrey, and David is from Earth, and unchained as well. R. You are quite lucky. I'm glad it's worked out for you. If they weren't so compatible, you would be in the cross-fire of their dis- agreements. A. They don't agree on everything, and a little tension is natural and even enjoyable. R. David and Nyssa are more tightly wound as individuals than they are as a couple. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 4: Earth (Dave and Nyssa are standing next to a beat-up and rust-eaten '76 Cut- lass Supreme. It is black with red pinstripes and a dreadfully tacky row of sea gull appliques at the top of each window running all the way around the vehicle. On the trunk, above the lock, are small white letters which spell "Ipskich".) D. It's a perfect replica. N. It's beastly. D. It doesn't look like much, but it rides like a cloud. N. Are you certain you want to do this? We could be in Nova Scotia in no time if we used the TARDIS. D. You said you'd try this. I miss normal travelling. We have an ex- pression here, "Getting there is half the fun." N. That assumes you get there. D. C'mon, Nyssa, it's more solid than it looks. N. Then why does rust keep falling out from behind the rear wheels? (She kicks a rear quarterpanel and a bunch of black and brown powder scatters to the ground. The sheet metal flaps.) D. Give it a chance. N. I will, don't worry. But I'm glad I insisted that we install an anti-collision computer and repulsors. D. Fine. I won't worry as much when you're driving. N. Me??? You're loopy. I'll ride with you, but you won't get me to drive. D. We'll see. Get in. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 5: the border between the US and Canada at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (They have been driving for several hours across the UP. They are now in a line of cars waiting to get into Canada.) D. Uh, oh. I just remembered something. N. What? D. The last time I did this they made us stop and then they searched the car for contraband. We don't look as much like potential drug smugglers as Trent and I did, but we don't want them searching this car. N. You're right about that. (They pull up to the window. The officer is a middle-aged woman.) W. Hello. What is your purpose for entering Canada? D. Tourism. We're driving out to the maritime provinces. W. How long are you planning to stay? D. About ten days. W. You will need to pull off to the left. Someone will assist you in searching your vehicle. D. Thanks. (He drives forward and stops off to the left.) N. We're in trouble, aren't we? D. Only if they insist on looking in the trunk... N. How likely is that? D. How does "dead certain" strike you? N. This was your idea, remember. (They emerge as a second officer comes up to the Cutlass.) D. Hello. O. Good day. Please open the trunk. D. Ummm... (There's really nothing to do about it. All they can do is hope that their good characters will get them through this.) (David opens the trunk and the officer is shocked to see the inside of a TARDIS.) O. What is this? It isn't possible. D. You wouldn't be a fan of Doctor Who, would you? I only ask because this would be easier to explain if you were. (The officer looks around to make sure that nothing else has become bizarre and to see if anyone else is looking.) D. You see, we're time travellers on holiday. N. He's in shock. D. I think I'll just close the trunk. (He starts to lower it.) O. Wait. (He goes into a building.) D. I hope he's not going to get reinforcements. (The officer emerges from the building with a fellow officer.) N. How does Canada feel about aliens? O. Here, Bob. Look at this. (He raises the trunk lid.) B. It looks like a TARDIS. N. It is a TARDIS. B. And this looks like Nyssa. D. It is Nyssa. O. What should we do? Are they dangerous? B. You don't watch enough TV, Jim. If Nyssa wants to enter Canada in a TARDIS disguised as a beat-up Pontiac, I'm sure it's for no harmful reason, right? N. Right. We're just tourists. B. See? Just tourists. Where are you headed? D. Out to Nova Scotia, to Cape Breton Island. Nyssa has never been there. B. It's a beautiful place. I'm sure you'll love it. N. I'm sure I will, too, thank you. B. You're free to go. Have a good trip. It was a pleasure to meet you, Nyssa. (At the same time, he takes a long look at David.) N. Thanks. (David shuts the trunk. They get in and drive off.) O. Did we do the right thing? B. Of course we did. Expand your mind, Jim. Just because you encount- er something outside of your preconceived view of reality doesn't mean it's anything bad. You should consider yourself lucky. It's not everyone who meets someone like Nyssa of Traken. (To himself.) B. I wonder if that was the Doctor in a new regeneration??? O. I don't know about this... (But he's obviously also thinking, "I don't know about you, either." This is a new and intriguing side to Bob, otherwise distinguished only by owning the lowest handicap on the bowling team.) B. C'mon Jim, loosen up. What I wouldn't give for a trunk like that! (Meanwhile, half a mile down the road.) D. That couldn't have gone any better. N. Only if it hadn't happened at all. There is probably some Time Lord watching this through the Matrix back on Gallifrey, and he's probably pulling his hair out. (Meanwhile, on Gallifrey, a man wearing a hat is watching the events transpire by means of the Matrix. We see only his back. He takes off the hat and puts it down solidly on a nearby table, then grabs the hair on each side of his head. He swivels so his face shows that it is the Doctor. He suddenly pulls free his hands.) W. What am I doing? Doctor, old chap, you're becoming very susceptible to suggestion! I think it's time you had your two hundred year physical. (Meanwhile, back in the car, Nyssa knows what has just happened on Gallifrey by means of her psychic link. We are watching through the Matrix as she says:) N. Doctor, you're a dear. W. And Nyssa, you're a moose! D. Whimsy runs in the family. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 6: a ferry, a couple of days later (Dave and Nyssa are standing at the railing watching the ocean go by. They are unusually quiet.) D. Nyssa... (She doesn't answer right away.) N. What? D. I'm sorry about the way I've been acting the last day or so. N. Why? D. I've been a bit frustrated with how things are going. Why does it always rain when I come to Canada? I shouldn't have been so upset with you for insisting that we go out to Prince Edward Island. N. Well, you were right about it. It rained too much and the place IS mostly dedicated to miniature golf. D. But I was being too domineering, and I've been resentful since then. N. Travelling in that tiny little space you call an automobile is part of the cause, especially when you spend all of your time packed into it with only one other person. D. Actually, the tension was worse when I did this trip with Trent. It was a lot of fun, but you can only play "Would you rather?" so many times. N. I'm not him. I don't mind the tension as much. Besides, it's allowed me to see another side of you. D. Sorry about that. N. I didn't say I don't like what I see. D. Thanks. At least it's clearing up at last. We'll get to Cape Breton Island by tomorrow afternoon. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 7: aboard a vessel in Earth geosynchronous orbit (An alien prisoner is seen to be chained to a wall. He is humanoid, but clearly an outworlder. He has been ill-treated and is visibly at the end of his strength. A door opens and a human male enters. This is Tendrock. He does his job well, but he is detached, even remote. His style of interrogation is a practiced method rather than an outflowing of stridency and fanaticism.) T. And how are we today? (The prisoner doesn't move at all.) T. We're in Earth orbit and in position over the locality of Nova Scotia. We only require one more piece of information from you, and you will be free... to die. (At this, the prisoner looks up. There is a mad expression in his eyes: he considers death to be the ultimate reward, a final release from his tribulations.) T. Tell me where they will be tonight, and it will be all over for you. I will then give you the sweet, sweet death you are longing for. (Tendrock holds up a small vial of cool blue liquid and the prisoner leaps against his chains. His entire being is wrapped up in pursuing this elusive death. He slowly calms down, and a moment of sanity comes to his eyes.) P. No, don't make me tell. I don't want to betray one of my unchained kindred, even if he is a total stranger. It is not a gift to be used for evil. T. I won't pretend that our aims are good. It is too late for that, and I have more persuasive means at my disposal. P. No! T. If you will not trade the knowledge I seek for this vial of freedom, then I shall have to treat you to more of this. (He displays another vial.) T. You're quite familiar with this blackish, brackish sludge, aren't you? Will you tell me what I want to know? P. No, please, no. T. As always, you resist. (Tendrock grabs the weak prisoner and forces him to drink the goopish liquid. It is the Essence of Suicide. The alien sags and begins to moan in self-pity and self-hatred.) P. Kill me! I can't stand this! I want to die, I must die! The world is so black! Please let me die. I don't want to live. I can't take it any more. I can't take it any more. T. Where will they be tonight? P. What does it matter? Life is futile and I want to die! T. Tell me this one last tidbit, and the blue vial is yours. (Again, the prisoner grows frantic at the promise.) T. Not until you tell me. P. They will be at McLeod's Campground in a little dingle by them- selves. Please, I've told you. Let me have the vial. T. Here it is. (He holds it just within reach of the prisoner, who snatches it from his hand. The tortured soul is so frantic that he breaks it open, cutting his hand, before he drinks its contents. Rather than the typical scream, he breaks out into a smile of incredible pleasure, then collapses into death.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 8: McCleod's Campground (Nyssa and David stand above a sandy beach facing north toward the sea, surrounded by beautiful terrain. A headland rises in cliffs to the immediate left, and a grassy, gentler one rises to the right. The pattern of sudden headlands repeats imperfectly to the vanishing point along the eastern shoreline. It is not a bright day, but it is still breath-taking.) (Behind them is a small tent, the Cutlass and various accoutrements of camping. They are camping away from the rest of the campers to avoid revealing the secret of the trunk again.) N. I can't get over the beauty. It's so perfect, even with the threat of rain. D. It was clearing up last night. N. It's all right, Dave. It's perfect even without sunshine. D. I'm sorry, you're right. (A man walks by, an older gentleman. The three exchange greetings.) A. Isn't it incredible? N. I was just saying that myself. I'm Nyssa, and this is David. A. Nyssa? That's an unusual name, but pretty. I'm Arthur Smith. It's a pretty bland name. D. Is this your first visit to Cape Breton? A. Yes, and I'm sorry I waited so long to visit. How about yourselves? N. It's my first time, too. Dave was here three years ago and painted such a glowing picture of it that I let him drag me up here. A. From a long ways away? D. Michigan. A. That's quite a distance. I'm from Fredricston, over in New Bruns- wick. N. We came through there. New Brunswick is nice, too. A. Oh, it's pretty good. But this is wild and enervating. I think I prefer that it's a darker day. There's more character in the onset of one really thorough storm than in ten consecutive days of blue sky and sunshine. D. Normally, I would agree, but I feel edgy. A. There's a thunderstorm building up. There's tension in the air. N. I feel it, too. I hope we'll be all right with our little tent. A. Well, if it pours down rain and you get flooded out, come over to my trailer. I travel alone, but I like having a lot of elbow room. There's lots of extra places to bed down. (He points out a fifth wheel just visible from the relative obscurity of the dingle.) D. Thank you very much for the offer. The tent looks flimsy, but it's quite waterproof. A. I guess it's about time I should go whip up some supper. It was pleasant to chat. N. Yes, it was. Have a good evening. A. You, too. (He wanders away.) N. You know that that tent starts to leak when it rains. We haven't even been sleeping in it, just using it for verisimilitude. D. If it starts to pour, where will you go? N. Into the TARDIS, of course. D. Right. I didn't want him to think that we were just avoiding his generosity if it does rain. N. It seemed an awkward thing to say, that's all. D. I know. I'd probably have said the same thing even if the Cutlass was a real car. It's a natural tendency of mine not to depend on other people very much. (She looks at him, straight into his eyes.) D. You're right. How about if we call on Mr. Arthur Smith after we eat? N. He didn't invite us... D. He's the sort of person who is always prepared for visitors. I'll bet he even keeps a pot of coffee ready. N. Are you just guessing that? D. It started as a guess and became a certainty. N. It's a good idea, Dave. He's probably a little lonely if he's travelling by himself. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 9: after dark (Dave and Nyssa are seen stepping out of Arthur's trailer. The bright light shines out into the darkness of the campground.) N. Thanks again for your hospitality, Arthur. A. You're quite welcome. D. It looks like the storm decided not to move inland. A. It feels much less threatening, but you can still see flashes from below the horizon, way offshore. If it comes back, don't hesitate to knock on the door, even if it's late. D. Sure. Thanks again. (Everyone says good night and the door closes.) D. Nyssa, I don't know what it is, but I feel even more tension than I did before. N. Is your intuition trying to warn you about something? D. I don't know. I can't get it to cough up any insight. I don't think I can be specific enough yet. That's been a problem before. N. Let's walk down to the beach. D. OK. Ask me some questions. Maybe you can jog something loose. (They walk along the grass toward a path that leads down to the beach.) N. Is something going to happen? D. Yes. N. What? D. I can't tell. N. Is something going to happen to us? D. No, just to me. N. What's going to happen? D. I still can't tell. N. Are you going to be hurt? D. No, neither injured nor killed. N. Can you identify the agency? Are we talking about something in the weather or will there be some personality involved? D. I don't know. I should, too. There's something interfering with my intuition. N. What? (They have just reached the top of the path.) D. That. (He points at the beach.) N. I don't see anything. D. Don't look. Feel, then look. You have a capacity for intuition, too, but it's vestigial. (Nyssa closes her eyes and concentrates. Dave puts an arm around her and helps from within. Then Nyssa looks again, and she sees something begin to appear.) N. What is it? (There is a tall, immensely thin creature, only vaguely humanoid. It is nevertheless maintaining a very readable pose: it faces the sea, with it's limbs outstretched, all senses taut. There is a perception of a flowing, ragged robe that is caught in the stiff breeze. It whips and frays. But the creature is solid and intent on absorbing what it senses.) D. You know what it is as surely as I do. N. A Threnodanian. D. It has been standing there, rooted just over the edge of reality, for over 1200 years. It will be there for many times longer into the future. N. But that's not completely true. D. You're right. It's also smeared out over that whole period of time. That's the nearly pure form of being unchained. His ship is situ- ated about 800 years into the future. He will arrive, take his stance, and let himself be almost free of time. N. It's wondrous. That's not a very scientific observation, but this is no time for science. D. No. There is some sort of field which is interfering with my own percipience. If we go a mile away, I'll be normal. N. Will you ever be like him? D. I don't think so. The Threnodanians are almost completely unchained at all times. It's a strain for them to collect themselves into a single sense of the present. I don't have the capacity that they do. N. Good. D. Don't worry. I enjoy the present too much to be entirely seduced by the gravity of the past or the future. (They lapse into silence and watch.) D. Nyssa, I'm going to sleep in the tent tonight. I want to stay close to this as long as I can. I can't see what's going to happen to me, but I'm learning so much. He's aware of me, and I'm being tutored, tutored by a Threnodanian in the mysteries of being unchained... N. I'll get you a sleeping bag. (She returns in a few minutes.) D. Thanks, Nyssa. Sleep well. N. You, too. (She kisses him lightly. He smiles, but continues to gaze at the beach. We watch as Nyssa ludicrously opens the trunk, gets in, and closes it.) (Dave stares a while longer, then enters the tent.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 10: much later, the dead of night (There is a sound and a couple of flashes. Dave sits up within the tent.) D. Oh, no. Not them! (There are more sounds and lights, then it is quiet again.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 11: the next morning (Nyssa carefully peaks out from within the supposed trunk, sees that no one is around, and hops out. She releases a repressed combination of shocked scream and shout when she sees that the tent has vanished. She looks briefly at the ground, then hops back into the trunk to reappear a few moments later with a volume from the TARDIS library. It is Bosco's "A Definitive and Exhaustive Guide to the Spoor, Footprints, Impressions, Lingering Odors and Other Signs of Every Known Mobile Creature" [Volume CDLVII in The Complete Works of Bosco, Citadel Press]. She flips through and finds the entry she is afraid to look up. Her comparison is quick, but conclusive.) N. Daleks! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 12: aboard the ship (Dave is in a cabin similar to the one in which the previous scene is set. He is not chained up -- not yet. Tendrock enters with a tray.) T. Hello, Ramsey. D. Hello, Tendrock. So I've fallen into the hands of the Daleks. T. You're definitely one of the unchained. D. You're relieved to hear that? You weren't quite certain that your last victim was telling the truth before he died. T. Your perceptions are, of course, quite accurate. I presume there is very little I need to inform you about. D. When I woke up in the tent I had the entire picture. I could see the Daleks and their zeal for this project. What an asset -- to know what is going to happen before it does. But then, I'm not much use for that, am I? My latent ability is a paltry thing in contrast to the reputed percipience of any single member of the mythical race you call the Trenodons. Which is why you have been searching for individuals with an ever-increasing capacity for being unchained. You hope it will eventually lead to a Trenodon. Now it is my turn, and I see the entire course laid out for me. First a bit of softening up. The Daleks always like to know they have the complete abject obedience of their slaves, don't they? Then I will be made chemically dependent, probably with the same substance you used on Ulus, and I will be driven until I locate an unchained one stronger than myself. T. Ulus? D. You didn't even know that my predecessor was Ulus of Utabbes, did you? No, you didn't. So do you find that I'm better than he was? T. You are the first to perceive the final object of the project, to attain the services of a full Trenodon. D. Attain the services, right. Subjugate it and genetically splice what you want of it into something which your Dalek masters are referring to as the "god Dalek"? T. They haven't told me their ultimate plans, but I will trust your perceptions. D. Will you? Shall I tell you something else? Will it matter to you? If I told the Daleks, they would ignore it. No, I see that they are listening even as I speak, and your Supreme Dalek is coming to see what I have to say. Perhaps Daleks aren't as blind to reality as they have been in the past. T. The Daleks grow ever stronger and more capable. Every improvement brings them closer to their final victory, when they will sweep aside all lesser creatures! D. You sound more like an advocate than a slave. But we are all slaves in the Dalek view of things. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 13: the campsite (Nyssa is still standing where the tent had been, holding the book and deep in thought. Arthur walks by.) A. Good morning, Nyssa. Isn't it a lovely day? (It is, for a fact. The sun has come out and the place has not lost any of its charm.) N. Oh... Good morning. A. Is there something wrong? (She knows she shouldn't say anything, but...) N. I think that David has been abducted. A. That's incredible! Is there any doubt? He didn't just go off for a long walk before you woke up? N. No, the tent is gone, too. A. The tent? Weren't you in the tent as well? N. I was in the... (She's already gone too far.) N. I slept in the TARDIS last night, but he wanted to sleep outside. When I came out, he was gone, the tent was gone, and there are Dalek impressions in the ground. He's been abducted. A. Perhaps if you explained what you're talking about. TARDIS? Daleks? (She throws open the trunk.) A. I see. The TARDIS you were sleeping in. (She hands him the book, open to the entry on Daleks. He looks at the picture and reads a bit.) A. I pride myself on my adaptability, but let me check one of my little presuppositions. This is all real, and not some dream caused by all the coffee we drank last night? N. It's real. He's gone. A. Is there anything I can do to help? (Nyssa looks like she's ready to collapse, and Arthur's strength is in- viting. But she straightens up and flattens her frown into the same iron determination that sustained her on Terminus.) N. We must find him and rescue him. Any help is welcome. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 14: the ship, David's cell (The door slides open and the Supreme Dalek enters.) D. A Dalek Supreme! You're bigger than I expected you'd be. S. You will be respectful or you will pay the price! What do you have to say? Tell me! T. Perhaps we should process him first? S. It will not wait! Tell me! D. Tendrock is afraid I won't tell the truth. I want to see your reac- tion, so I must tell the truth. S. Proceed! D. You will never succeed in constructing your ultimate Dalek. I can assure you of that fact with the certainty of the unchained. S. The Daleks will not be defeated in their quest! The god Dalek will know all and insure total Dalek domination! D. You're side-stepping the issue. Perhaps what you say about a god Dalek is true, but you will simply never achieve the goal, no matter how many people with my gift you burn through. You will surely be denied your goal. It is ordained. S. It is not ordained! The Dalek race will be victorious! You will serve us, and we will achieve what we set out to achieve! We are the Daleks! Process him, Tendrock! T. Yes, lord. (The Supreme Dalek swivels and exits.) D. Tendrock, you greatly exaggerated your claim that the Daleks have changed. Their sense of manifest destiny is still far more ex- cessive than their capacity for logical thought. T. You underestimate their tenacity. They have endured an enormous number of defeats, but their efforts continue to escalate. D. And become more desperate. T. Sooner or later, they will win. D. Why are you so sure? T. It is inevitable. Otherwise I would not have thrown myself on their mercy. It is better to live as a slave than to be crushed beneath the ambition of the Daleks. D. We see two different sides of inevitability. Only one of us will be proven correct. Do you know what I find most illogical about that Dalek's reaction to my statement? He wouldn't believe me, yet they seek the ultimate doomspeaker. They never will capture a Trenodon and create their bastard god, but if they did, it would only say the same thing. T. Perhaps you are right. D. Your faith isn't wavering, is it Tendrock? You're not going to allow the unsupported opinions of a desperate prisoner to shake your determined sense of inevitability? Of course, if you had any intel- ligence, you would see what is just common sense: the Daleks are losers. You should be outraged, not resigned. (Tendrock has raised a hand, clearly about to backhand David. But he has somehow lost track of the thought. He wanders out of the cell looking confused.) D. Right on schedule. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 15: aboard Nyssa's TARDIS (Arthur Smith is looking a bit out of his depth. In his hands he holds his miniaturized trailer and truck, brought along for their protection. He watched the Cutlass transform into something smaller, but no smaller on the inside. Now he has been led to believe that they are flashing through time, space and imagination in search of David Ramsey and a means to rescue him from the Daleks.) N. There are no ships in orbit. That means they're already in hyper- space and untracable. They are probably unaware that I was nearby in a TARDIS or they would have tried to abduct me as well. But where are they taking him? A. Why would they have kidknapped him in the first place? N. I would guess that it's because of a condition he has -- which is similar to prescience. A. Knowing the future? N. Foreknowledge of events occasionally, but mostly any generic knowledge of immediate use. A. I can see the value of that. How bad are these Daleks? (She just looks depressed.) A. What are the chances we will be able to rescue him? N. Rescuing him isn't the problem, finding him is. If David were here, he'd know. I've become sort of dependent on him for direction. A. Nyssa, I saw how the two of you feel about each other. I think you miss more than his skills. You miss him just being beside you. N. I hurt like I haven't hurt for many years. I don't know if I'll ever see him again. We haven't been together very long, either. A. Well, I don't know what use I'm going to be, but if there's a way, I'm sure we'll find him. N. I hope so. I have to make a decision now, though. Do we stay here and start some sort of systematic search, or do I take the steps which will be necessary to rescue him? A. How much time will the latter take? N. Less than a day. A. It would be better to have the means of rescue at hand when we start the search. N. You're right. (She studies the controls briefly.) N. You'd better brace yourself. I have to activate the imagination circuits, and I haven't done it very often. I may make a mistake. (She hits the first control hesitantly. The imagination rotor begins its oscillation without complaint.) N. We're in imaginary space. Now I'll set up a thrust vector toward our destination. (She flicks another control and the TARDIS starts shaking. She im- mediately turns it back off and looks at a monitor.) N. That was close. I threw it into overdrive without stepping through the lower graduations. A few more seconds and things would have started to fall apart. On the other hand, we're only twenty minutes from our destination. A. Where are we going? N. Skaro, homeworld of the Daleks. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 16: the Dalek space cruiser (David Ramsey is now chained to the wall. He has been roughed up, but not too seriously. Tendrock enters.) T. It is time for your treatments to begin. Do you know what this is? (He is holding another vial of the blackish, brackish sludge.) D. The Essence of Suicide. (His buoyancy has been drained out of him. He is now faced with en- during the drug. He knew it was coming and what it would do, parti- cularly to him, but the inevitability of his perceptions has been keeping him afloat.) T. You will want most fervently to die, by any means, and you will tell me anything you can in order to bring that death closer. We only want one thing from you: your perceptions on where we will find the next unchained one in our link to a Trenodon. D. If I told you what you want to know, would you spare me from the drug? T. You know that will not happen. Your allegiance to the Daleks must be complete or they will not act on anything you say. (Ramsey is on the verge of giving himself up to what he knows will follow, but he must say one last thing.) D. Tendrock, you're a fool. You're allegiance to the Daleks is as drug-induced as mine will be. (Tendrock hits him hard and dazes him with the blow. He empties the vial into his throat and forces him to swallow. A trail of black fluid runs down from the corner of David's mouth as he collapses, sagging against the chains. Tendrock adopts his interrogator's tone of voice.) T. Tell me what we want to know, and death will be yours. (He holds up the blue liquid, but David doesn't even hear him.) (If we were drawn into David's head, we would see why the outer world has gone away. The effect of the drug was to blow the lid off part of his heart which had been sealed safely under many layers of careful healing. His psyche is dragged screaming into that pit. He scrabbles frantically at the ground but cannot even slow his progress. He dis- appears and the screaming fades away behind the ominous seething of the pit.) (Outside, there is only silence. Tendrock is perturbed, even angry.) T. What a stupid... (He goes to a viewscreen.) T. Supreme Dalek, this is Tendrock. S. Report! T. Ramsey is reacting differently to the drug. He is totally with- drawn. It is the reaction of a latent depressive. He will never respond to this treatment. He is useless for our purposes. S. Did you not test him for such latency? T. I was not instructed to do so. (He is becoming more angered.) S. You claimed to be a psychologist of high standing when you sur- rendered yourself to us. You should have tested him before you acted. T. You ordered me to proceed and have always punished any initiative. I have done no more than what I was told. S. You have failed the Daleks. T. You're an illogical monster. All Daleks are! S. This is treason, Tendrock! You will be exterminated for your in- solence! (Tendrock abruptly turns off the viewscreen and bolts the door from the inside, for what little good that will do. T. What's happened to me? Where has this anger come from? I've been a complete fool. (He starts to shake Ramsey.) T. Wake up, Ramsey. The drug should already be wearing off. That was only a minimal dose. (Ramsey starts to mumble, out of his control.) D. ...Threnodanians, not Trenodons... ...there was one not far from where I was captured, on the beach... ...stupid Daleks... T. Shut up, you fool. The Daleks will be monitoring this cell. D. ...doesn't matter... ...what must happen, will happen... (Tendrock opens the door and looks out. Seeing that the corridor is clear, he drags David Ramsey out and closes the door, then begins to move toward the aft. Ramsey starts struggling to his feet.) T. We've got to find a place to hide. D. Just what I need... a big chase scene. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 17: aboard Nyssa's TARDIS A. Where will start our search? N. I'm going back to Earth. From there at least we'll be at the center of the region we should search. There are several Dalek bases and thralldoms within easy reach. We will have to check them out one by one. A. That will take a long time. N. Too much time, I'm afraid. (The viewscreen shows the transreality approach to Earth [see "Subse- quential, Consequential".]) N. We're back at Earth. A. Why are there two blips on the screen? N. There must be another ship. A. Could it be... N. I hope so, Arthur, I truly hope so. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 18: a large hold on the Dalek cruiser (Ramsey has long since recovered consciousness. The two men hide in the shadows cast by some sort of supply cases. Daleks can be notoriously slow in their searches.) T. They will find us eventually. D. We may starve to death at the rate they're searching. T. They tend to be thorough about their searches. It's too easy to hide from a Dalek. That, and they'll shoot at anything and will have to take time to repair the damage as they go along or the ship will be in complete ruins before they find us. D. I see you've regained a good healthy contempt for the little pepper pots. T. I feel alive again. You said I had been drugged. D. They polluted the entire water supply of your homeworld with traces of the Essence of Suicide, but only enough at first to induce cer- tain people to surrender to them, people who were susceptible to threshold levels of the drug. They gradually replace the more resistant leaders with puppets, and continually raise the level of the drug. It is their standard procedure for pacifying a world without recourse to war. T. Why did it wear off? D. Some idiot Dalek screwed up and forgot to treat the drinking water on the ship. They have a lousy chain of command. T. You betrayed the presence of a Threnodanian on Earth. D. I know. It was necessary. (The door begins to melt away as the Daleks break in. Several crowd into the room. D1. Exterminate! D2. Exterminate! D3. Exterminate! D4. Exterminate! (The Dalek chorus.) (The Supreme Dalek glides into the room, pushing past his inferiors.) S. The humans are in this room! Surrender and die! (They step out from their hiding place.) D. You're still convinced that you're going to succeed, aren't you? S. We will capture the Threnodanian and build the god Dalek! You were in error! D. Perhaps. But you've made mistakes, too. Tendrock is now free of the drug. S. It is a minor oversight easily remedied by your mutual extermina- tions! D. If you say so. But you know what you get if you keep sweeping things under the rug -- a lumpy carpet. S. Exterminate them! ( The charging cycles of the four Daleks' weapons stalks begin to gener- ate the blasts of plasma ionization which will destroy both Ramsey and Tendrock. The one furthest to the rear fires first, its crimsom beam lancing out, and one of the other Dalek explodes! The others quickly follow.) S. What is happening? Why have you destroyed them? Malfunction! Malfunction! Exterminate! (Ramsey and Tendrock run out the door behind him. The two Daleks fire upon each other, and the Supreme Dalek is stunned [he missed]. The other Dalek moves out into the corridor. Tendrock looks at it warily.) D. How have you been, Zed? Z. Great, Dave. How's tricks? D. Good guys 1, Daleks 0. Tendrock, could you arm the ship to self- destruct? T. I don't know. Z. I can do it, Dave. D. Yeah, right, Zed. Last time you said that, we nearly lost the TARDIS. You're dangerous with matches. Z. Why don't you do it, Dave? You're the one with foresight. D. I will do it. These were all things that just needed to be said, just like the ship needs to appear to self-destruct. (A few minutes later, outside the bridge.) D. There's only one more enemy Dalek on the ship. Are you ready, Zed? Z. Hot and handsome! (Zed blasts the open the door, slides in, and puts the last Dalek out of our misery. The others follow him in. Ramsey looks things over and approaches a certain console.) D. OK, this activates a distress signal, warning of extreme failure in the main engines. And this sets the overload. The base which is monitoring this ship will assume it's another failure of Dalek technology. T. What are we going to do, go down with the ship? D. No, in about two seconds a TARDIS will materialise. (Nyssa's TARDIS does just that.) (Nyssa bursts out of the TARDIS and then notices the audience. Arthur pokes his head out.) A. Don't mind us, Nyssa. (So Nyssa abandons detachment and throws her arms around David.) D. I missed you, too. (The Supreme Dalek has shaken off the stun and appeared in the doorway. His first blast stuns Zed, who was taken off guard. The others duck behind consoles, but there isn't much protection. The TARDIS door is a long way off.) T. What are we going to do, Ramsey? He has us pinned down. We're doomed! (There is a sudden beam of intense blue light from the direction of the TARDIS, and the Supreme Dalek goes Whoof! in a puff of greasy green smoke.) N. What happened? (Arthur steps out of the TARDIS with a weapon in his hand.) N. Arthur? D. Arthur nothing, Nyssa. You're eyes have been confused. A. But it's been quite enjoyable. She hadn't a clue who I really am. N. Who are you? D. It's our old acquaintence, Argix the Sprite. (Arthur Smith shrinks and becomes Argix.) D. And we both know that it's time to leave. In another thirty seconds, this ship is going to go bye-bye. (They scurry aboard the TARDIS, and Nyssa activates the demateriali- sation circuits. They watch in the screen as a brilliant shaft of light blasts upward from the Earth's surface and the Dalek cruiser disintegrates in a display of pyrotechnics.) D. Well, Tendrock, do you understand now why I'm confident the Daleks will never capture a Threnodanian? Threnodanians aren't exactly defenseless, and they can see an enemy coming from years around. T. Your confidence was well-founded. A. I must depart now. The Threnodanian prefers I stay close at hand. N. Why did you pretend to be Arthur Smith? A. Will it suffice if I say that it was ordained? N. That's no better than saying, "Just because." A. You will discover that a lot of what has just happened was "just because." D. You'll thank the Threnodanian for us? A. Yes, and he thanks you as well. D. He did quite a bit for me that evening on the beach, but so did you that afternoon in the cottage not so long ago. A. You're welcome. Nyssa, I did enjoy it, Arthur Smith or not. N. I was glad for your moral support. D. Till we meet again... A. On the day which we both foresee. (They bow to each other. Argix places the miniature trailer on the floor. It evolves into the pod seen previously, and in a moment, he is gone.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 19: the sitting room in Nyssa's TARDIS, with Nyssa, David, Tendrock and the Dalek That Saved The Day N. So Zed isn't one of the Daleks from our universe at all. Dave and I found another Skaro on one of our jaunts. The Davros of that reali- ty had decided to give his creatures the benefit of conscience, and it made the most incredible difference. They have real personal- ity -- they're even fun to be around. Z. I gotta be the life of the party, Nyssa. (Can you imagine a Dalek saying this, it's eyestalk wagging like the tail of a puppy, and gliding back and forth with the sheer joy of being alive? No? I didn't think so.) T. How did they find us? D. The Supreme Dalek had brought the ship back to earth for the Threno- danian, and Nyssa had just returned to start her search for me. I knew everything that was going to happen from the moment I woke up in the tent, just before I was transmatted up to the ship. The Threnodanian had planted the whole sequence in my mind so that I would know that rescue was imminent. T. That explains your bravado. D. Somewhat. A lot of it was whistling in the dark. It was nice to know that I would eventually be saved, but that didn't entirely protect me. (Nyssa looks at him with concern. Meanwhile, an unobtrusively placed light begins to flash.) N. We're about to land on your planet, Tendrock, or should I say, Dr. Tendrock? D. We wish you luck in your battle against the Daleks. T. It's time we began to fight. N. The drug I synthesized will help you to counteract the Essence of Suicide in the water, but take it slow. If the Daleks detect your work too early, you won't be able to stand against them. D. But we will also notify the Dalek Pest-Control Center. They'll help you as best they can. T. Thanks for everything, especially my freedom. You know, somehow the final defeat of the Daleks seems more inevitable now than their final victory. (Nyssa open the door and Tendrock exits.) Z. What about me, Nyssa? You're not going to take me back right away, are you? N. Don't worry, Zed, you're too much fun to have around. Z. I hope the comic books are still in my room. I love that Man of Steel! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SCENE 20: another beach in Nova Scotia (It's dark, but the water is lit by moonlight. Dave and Nyssa are alone on the beach.) N. I wish I could have shared some of your certainty that things were going to work out. I was scared that I'd lost you already. D. Are you ready to hear one of my pronouncements now? N. One of those intuitions about the permanence of our love? D. No, just the simple words, "I'll love you forever." N. Actually, if you wanted to tell me one of your intuitions, that would be all right, too. D. We're going to be together for a long time, Nyssa. It's a certainty. Well, we'll be together most of the time. N. Good. It's nice to know. Can you tell me now what they did to you and why it hurt you so much? I saw your pain when you were talking about it. D. They could have distilled the Essence of Suicide out of a period from my own life that lasted about ten years. Being forced to relive it was horrible. Even now, intuitive confidence or not, I still fear what depression can do to me. Sometimes it isn't enough to know that things will be all right again tomorrow or the next day. The pain is just too big. N. I understand. We have the knowledge of a certain tomorrow, but we still need each other today. D. Every bit of it. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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