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Short Trips: Dalek Empire
edited by Nicholas Briggs

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: Dalek Empire

Everybody remembers Doctor Who's most terrifying monsters, the metallic, murderous Daleks!

Here they are again in a collection of ripping yarns that draw upon the events and themes of Big Finish's acclaimed series Dalek Empire.

But never fear, no prior knowledge is necessary. The good Doctor in his many incarnations is on hand to guide us through the terrible events before, after and during the Daleks' ruthless onslaught.

  • This is the Nineteenth volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: December 2006
    ISBN: 1 84435 150 5

Kalendorf by Nicholas Briggs Dalek Empire

The Knights of Velyshaa, who were once defeated in war by the human race, are now trying to make peaceful diplomatic contact, as their First Knight, Praylaron, has foreseen a time when the two races will have to unite against a common enemy. The knight Kalendorf is sent to Vega 6 to make contact with an unreliable human agent named Alby Brook, but the Daleks attack Vega 6 and a burning Earth Alliance spacecraft crashes down onto the city. Kalendorf tries to escape, but the last space liner leaves before he can reach it. He meets a celebrity pop singer, Siryo, who survived the destruction of the city only to be trampled in the stampede when the survivors crammed into the last liner; realising that he's dying, Siryo urges Kalendorf to flee and save his own life. Kalendorf is forced to leave Siryo to his death as the Daleks begin strafing the city, but he eventually realises that they're not trying to kill all of the survivors; they're herding them out of the city, weeding out the unfit and slow. Despite Kalendorf's despair, the woman next to him keeps him on his feet and running, and he soon finds he's trying to survive of his own accord. This is how Kalendorf and Susan Mendes meet, and how Kalendorf is reminded of the one thing that will keep him going through all the terrible years that follow: hope.

Time-Placement: Set during Invasion of the Daleks, prior to Kalendorf's first meeting with Suz.

Natalie's Diary by Joseph Lidster 7th Doctor, Ace, Hex

A secretary named Holly decides to improve herself by taking an adult education course on Dalek history. For homework, Professor Sax gives her a series of extracts from the diary of Natalie Fulton, a survivor of the Dalek invasion of the Earth colony Manikis. Natalie's story begins in the Blue Peter pub, where she's drinking with her friends Shona and Ted from work when the Daleks attack Rainbow City. Stunned, Natalie remembers her brother Ted talking about how the heroes in alien invasion movies survive by hiding out in the country, and convinces Shona and Ted to flee with her -- but the Doctor, Ace and Hex then enter the pub, followed by a Dalek that has captured them. The Doctor distracts the Dalek, allowing Ace and Hex to get Natalie, Shona and Ted out of the pub. They try to get out of the city through the sewer system, but get lost and encounter a number of Robomen. One of the Robomen used to be Shona's dad, and Shona rushes forward to her father, who shoots and kills her. Ace gives herself up to the Robomen, allowing Hex to get Ted and Natalie out of the sewers. In the fields outside the city, they encounter an elderly woman named Theresa, who catches them off guard and holds them at gunpoint; the Daleks have threatened to kill the rest of Theresa's family unless she turns over anyone she finds escaping from the city. Hex and Natalie distract her, seize the gun and order her to tell the Daleks that she's captured no one, but when she starts to warn the Daleks that she's been overpowered, Natalie shoots and kills her. Ted remains at the farmhouse with Theresa's other captives, while Hex takes the shaken Natalie onwards. They eventually end up in the village of Lenthorpe, where they hear that a woman in the city is organising the resistance while the Daleks are being killed off by a computer virus -- evidence, as far as Hex is concerned, that the Doctor and Ace are alive and well. The Daleks are on their way to Lenthorpe, and Natalie decides to stay with Hex and the townspeople and fight to defend her planet. This is where the extracts end.

As Holly reads through Natalie's diary, the city begins to experience a number of power failures and glitches in the phone network. The authorities insist that these are minor technical difficulties and not harbingers of an alien attack, but Holly has become engrossed in Natalie's story and is beginning to fear the worst. Soon, the news reports an incident in the skies above the city, and just as Holly reaches the end of the diary extracts, Daleks descend upon the city, slaughtering everyone they encounter. Holly's boyfriend Andrew bursts into the apartment, terrified, but Natalie's diary has given Holly hope, and she tells Andrew that they have to leave the city.

Time-Placement: Hex has travelled with the Doctor and Ace for "a few months," and speaks of having had to kill a man during The Settling.

Alby by Sharon Gosling Dalek Empire

While searching for Susan Mendes, Alby Brook encounters a lone Dalek scout in a star system containing one gas giant with a number of moons. The Dalek has located mineral ore that the Daleks require for their war effort, but Alby intercepts its transmission and attacks, hoping to destroy it and keep at least one moon safe from Dalek occupation. Rather than use his ship's targeting systems, he tries to take down the Dalek manually, and the Dalek ends up bringing his ship down on the planet's third moon. Alby ejects moments before his ship crashes, but the ship hits the Dalek and takes it down as well. The Dalek's casing is damaged, and it is unable to exterminate Alby or even move. Alby repairs his ship's communications system, and while doing so, he speaks to the Dalek and learns that Suz has been giving hope to the oppressed slaves of the Dalek Empire. As far as the Dalek is concerned, hope is a waste of energy that serves only to fool slaves into working more efficiently -- but Alby points out that it's stranded alone on an alien world with no way of contacting its fellow Daleks, and its conviction that it will be rescued is a form of hope. Alby manages to contact his superior, Tanlee, who agrees to send in a retrieval team but warns Alby that they may not make it in time; there are Dalek saucers in the area, which may have received the scout's original transmission. Even if they do rescue Alby from the moon, he'll just be sent back on his suicide mission to find and possibly kill the woman he loves. But Alby continues to wait for rescue, because he has hope.

Time-Placement: Set during "Death to the Daleks!", in the years between Alby's departure from Guria and his arrival at the Aurealis array.

Private Investigations by Ian Farrington 7th Doctor, Ace

Dr Colem Litchem of the Landaluze Corporation makes a pitch for funding to a galactic university, hoping to use their resources to learn more about the incident on Malite during the last Dalek Wars. Fragments of video recordings and the personal memos of T.H. Bassing, assistant to Premier Mercado, suggest that a stranger known as the Doctor showed up on Malite and warned the Premier of the forthcoming Dalek invasion. Malite held off the Daleks for 72 hours, but the Doctor was then arrested on charges of treason and the Daleks moved in, killing the Premier and installing Bassing as a puppet leader. However, Litchem has found further evidence that the Doctor, accompanied by a woman named Ace, apparently helped a group of scientists to escape from the moon Haiduk when Premier Mercado tried to force them to remain and surrender to the Daleks. This evidence suggests that it was Mercado who was the traitor and that the Doctor really was trying to help the people of Malite all along. The truth may never be known, but Litchem urges the university to fund a full-scale expedition to the ruins of Malite to find out more; only by understanding the past can they prepare themselves for the future.

Time-Placement: There is no mention of Hex. The Doctor is described as wearing a light jacket with a patterned sweater, as seen in Seasons 24 and 25.

Suz by Sharon Gosling Dalek Empire

Susan Mendes considers the nature of hope. When the Dalek Supreme offered her a chance to live in exchange for convincing the slaves of Vega 6 to adopt a shift system, she seized it, telling herself that things would eventually get better. When they didn't, she came to understand that hope was a lie, a trick to keep slaves pacified -- and she still went along with it, because she simply didn't want to die. When the Daleks prepared to move her off-world, she insisted that her friend Kalendorf come with her, claiming that she needed him to give her hope. In fact, she believed that Kalendorf hated her for collaborating as much as she hated herself for it, and she wanted to punish him for judging her by making him compliant in her treachery. Eventually, after a bitter argument, they realised that their travels would give Kalendorf an opportunity to use his telepathy to spread a message of resistance and prepare the slaves to rise up in a single, organised rebellion when the time was right. However, Suz was only going through the motions and no longer believed that this time would come. She was eventually forced to acknowledge that she'd become a collaborator of her own free will, and that her role as the Angel of Mercy made her responsible for the deaths and enslavement of millions of innocent beings. On the planet Yaldos, she and Kalendorf find a small plant growing up out of the ruins, preparing to bud, and finally Suz finds hope again -- hope that even if she dies in the process, the Daleks will ultimately be defeated.

Time-Placement: Runs concurrently throughout the first three chapters of Dalek Empire I.

The Best Joke I Ever Told by Simon Guerrier 6th Doctor, Mel

Zeet Frenzy is the host of a light entertainment show that pokes fun at current events, including the Dalek invasion of the galaxy. The Doctor and Mel visit him as he writes his memoirs, and when Mel tells him that she disapproves of his show, he concludes that he's being punk'd. Nevertheless, he plays along with it, at least until the Doctor ushers him into the TARDIS and transports him to the ruins of the planet Guria. There, they are captured by Daleks, who recognise Zeet and decide to keep him alive. The Doctor and Zeet are locked up while Mel is interrogated, but the Doctor escapes and manipulates Zeet into helping him to sabotage the base's reactor. He then ushers Zeet to an escape pod, which Zeet boards and launches without giving the Doctor a chance to join him. He feels terribly guilty about this, especially when the pod rises high enough for him to see that the continents of Guria have been warped out of all recognition by the Dalek bombardment; for the first time, he registers the real impact of the genocide that occurred here. Moments later, the Dalek base explodes, and when Zeet's escape pod is picked up by the Earth Alliance ship Cavalry, the crew recognise him and conclude that his comedy persona is a front for his true activities as a secret agent. Zeet returns to his studios, but his experiences have caused him to reconsider what he sees around him, and he finally realises that the "actors" playing the comedy Daleks in his skits were replaced by real Daleks long ago. The Doctor pops back in, thanks Zeet for his help and assures him that Mel is safe, and then leaves. But Zeet now understands why the Doctor showed him the true horror of the Dalek invasion, and why the Daleks remained on Guria even after slaughtering the entire population; by turning the Daleks into fodder for light entertainment, he's helping to keep his audience complacent and unprepared while the Daleks build up their forces for another blitz deeper into the heart of the galaxy. The Daleks know this, which is why they allowed him to live and why they're sent undercover agents to participate in his comedy skits. Zeet decides that his audience must be told the truth, and vows to do so even though he knows what the "comedy" Daleks will do to him when he breaks from script. Since the recording of his memoirs is later found in the smoking ruins of his television studio, it appears that he was right.

Time-Placement: Mel needs to brush up on her knowledge of future technology, which she has done by the time of Fegovy.

Continuity: The Sixth Doctor's jacket is described as Kolpashan, as seen in the comic strip Victims. Zeet owns a Drahvidian two-seater, presumably a reference to the species mentioned in The Brain of Morbius.

Hide and Seek by Ian Farrington 3rd Doctor, Jo

The Daleks attack a human colony, and a military pilot named Timmins, is assigned to help Captain Tillyard evacuate the small coastal village of Cami, where Tillyard's relatives live. The Doctor and Jo had been visiting Cami at the time, and they assist in the evacuation, helping Timmins to escape just as the Daleks swoop down. The Doctor reconfigures the ship's engines to give it an extra boost of speed, and Tillyard orders Timmins to set course for the nearby planet Credence and then go for a walk to stretch his legs. Timmins returns to the cockpit earlier than she'd expected, however, and hears her communicating with the leader of a Dalek taskforce on Credence. The Doctor confronts Tillyard, who reveals that the Daleks have already conquered all of the planets in this sector; their colony's leaders had hoped to escape the Daleks' notice by keeping out of the fighting, and now there's nowhere for them to flee to. Intelligence reports suggest that the Daleks are allowing people to live as their slaves if they surrender of their own free will, and Tillyard feels that she has no choice but to do so. The ship doesn't have enough fuel to change course, and Timmins is forced to touch down in Credence's capital city. Tillyard emerges from the ship to greet the Daleks, who exterminate her immediately; as the Doctor had feared, the rumours of safety were a lure planted by the Daleks to draw their victims here. Timmins launches the ship once again, and as the Daleks pursue him, other human ships approach; thanks to the Doctor's earlier work, Timmins' ship arrived on Credence first, and he now has a chance to warn the others of the truth, join forces with them and escape to safety. The Doctor and Jo then return to the hold, and although Timmins survives these experiences and later files a report with his superiors, he never mentions the part where the Doctor and Jo enter a blue box that had been loaded into the ship at Cami and vanish into thin air...

Time-Placement: Jo says that she and the Doctor travel a lot, and the Doctor notes that Jo is beginning to grow up.

The Eighth Wonder of the World by Simon Gurrier 6th Doctor, Evelyn

The Doctor and Evelyn visit 19th-century archaeologist Charles Newton as he unearths the funerary temple of King Mausolus, the derivation of the word "mausoleum." While they are discussing the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, one of Newton's team unearths a frieze that will soon be damaged by the elements -- but for the moment, the image of a Dalek is plain for all to see. Unable to locate any alien signals in the relevant historical era, the Doctor and Evelyn visit the library at Alexandria, where the Doctor bumps into his old friend "Phil from Istanbul" -- better known to history as Philo of Byzantium, the man who listed the world's seven most impressive architectural achievements. The Doctor tracks down legends of a Dalek who helped a former slave named Aku to destroy his Egyptian enemies, free his people and found a new kingdom; the Dalek was then buried in its master's tomb to protect him in the afterlife. The tomb is now empty, as the Dalek has presumably tired of fighting tomb raiders and has hidden itself elsewhere. Reasoning that the Dalek would wish to hide in a structure that would stand the test of time, the Doctor checks out the items on Philo's list, and eventually locates the Dalek hiding in the Colossus of Rhodes. The Dalek is an ordinary soldier left behind after the incursion at Khufu; unable to alter history without orders from the Emperor Dalek, it has been waiting for rescue, but it now knows that its power supplies won't last long enough for rescue to arrive. It thus changes its priorities and attempts to exterminate the Doctor; fortunately, its power supply is almost exhausted, and it runs out of energy and dies while chasing the Doctor through the Colossus. The Colossus collapses, weakened by the structural damage caused during the battle, and the Doctor advises the terrified townspeople not to rebuild the fallen statue and just be thankful that their guardian protected them.

Time-Placement: Evelyn is familiar with the Daleks, placing this after The Apocalypse Element, but her horror at the thought of them rampaging throughout history suggests that this takes place before she sees them doing so in Jubilee. The Doctor's promise to show Evelyn her world's history and his need to warn her to play along with their out-of-sequence meeting with Newton suggest this takes place early in her travels; and the fact that she's suggested visiting Newton implies that the Doctor has already kept his promise to take her to meet Charles Darwin, as seen in Bloodtide.

Mutually Assured Survival by Justin Richards Dalek Empire

A state of cold war exists between the Galactic Union and the Dalek-occupied Border Worlds, but the frontier is shrinking and Giorgi Selestru fears that the Daleks are planning a major assault. Most of his agents have gone missing, and he's been forced to resort to sending in ordinary, untrained people with nothing to lose -- such as Sasha Vredenburg, whose husband Leon went missing near Dalek-occupied territory two years ago. After living on the occupied planet of Astronomar, she is extracted and sent to Station 17, a secret base in orbit around the planet Manikis, where human scientists are trying to reverse-engineer Dalek technology. A star recently collapsed in Astronomar's vicinity, and it appears that the Daleks were able to neutralise the ensuing neutron strike; now another star in Station 17's vicinity is showing signs of collapse, and Selestru needs to convince the station's Dalek prisoners of war to co-operate. To this end, he sends Sasha to speak with one of Station 17's captive "patients," former humans transformed into Daleks by the NFS plague. Believing that one of the patients is Leon, Sasha speaks to him, but these new Daleks want to die and refuse to help. The scientists are forced to strike a deal with their pureblood Dalek captives, and give limited power to their saucer so they can determine what's happening to the star. The Daleks then report that the star is being destabilised by a Dalek weapon -- which is being fired from Station 17. The "patients" have acquired just enough technology to build this weapon and are apparently trying to take out the entire station to end their own suffering. The "patients" agree to tell the Daleks where the beam is coming from only if they're allowed aboard the Dalek saucer. Suspecting a trick, Sasha follows them aboard, and learns that the patients have struck a private deal with the purebloods; this has been a plot to trick the humans into feeding power into the Dalek saucer, and the purebloods grant the patients' wish for death, exterminating them once they've revealed the location of the starkiller. The Dalek that Sasha thought was Leon dies claiming that it has no idea why she's calling it by that name. Since the Daleks only have enough power for their weapons and not enough for their ship, Sasha lunges at the controls and detaches it from the station, knowing that it will burn in the atmosphere of Manikis. As Sasha starts to succumb to the high levels of radiation aboard the Dalek ship, the Daleks connect themselves to the saucer's navigational system, preparing to drain the energy out of their weapons and into their ship. Sasha dies before she knows whether they've succeeded or not, and one of the last things she hears -- or thinks she hears -- is one of the "pureblood" Daleks calling her by name and bidding her farewell.

Time-Placement: set after the final chapter of Dalek Empire III.

Museum Peace by James Swallow 8th Doctor

The aging Kalendorf sits in a Velyshaan museum dedicated to the Dalek war, remembering the sacrifices that were made and glumly watching schoolchildren wander through the hall with no appreciation for the horror it represents. A young man then approaches him, speaking of the horrors of the war, and Kalendorf realises that this is the Doctor, the man he met on Spiridon -- although his appearance has changed since then. Having learned that the Doctor is capable of travelling through Time, Kalendorf pleads for the chance to go back and wipe out the Daleks at the moment of their creation, but the Doctor admits that he had that opportunity and chose not to use it. The Doctor starts to speak of a planet called Tsan but then stops, and Kalendorf realises that the Doctor has a grave decision to make: one that could destroy the Daleks forever, at the cost of everything that the Doctor himself holds dear. The Doctor once believed that he could only change small moments in history, not the major brushstrokes, but he's come to believe that this is not the case; before he makes his decision, he has come to speak to Kalendorf in the hope that he will find some other way of going forward, one that doesn't involve death and destruction. But as they speak, a Dalek in a nearby display cabinet lifts its weapon and fires a single blast. It's been lying dormant for decades, hoarding scraps of power and very slowly repairing itself without being detected by museum security -- and, having recognised the Doctor, it's chosen to take this one chance to exterminate its race's greatest enemy. But its eyesight is still faulty, and the blast hits and kills a young boy who had wandered away from his group and was standing in front of the display case. Kalendorf shoots and kills the Dalek, too late, and carries the dead boy's body out to the memorial outside the museum, leaving the shaken Doctor with an answer to his question... although it wasn't the answer he wanted.

Time-Placement: Presumably towards the end of the Eighth Doctor's life. The implication seems to be that he's preparing for the Time War described in Dalek.

Return of the Daleks by Nicholas Briggs 7th Doctor

The script of the audio adventure.

Source: Cameron Dixon (with time-placement by David Hancock)

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