The Nature of the Daleks
A Doctor Who fanfiction

Disclaimer: Doctor Who, its universe and characters (the Doctor, Amy and Rory) are property of the BBC. The Daleks belong conjointly to the BBC and the Terry Nation Estate. This is an unofficial fanfiction that is not endorsed in any way by the BBC. It was written solely for enjoyment and I make no money with it.

The Nature of the Daleks
Completed (6th December 2012)
Science-fiction, drama, adventure
Rating / warnings
You can't expect Daleks to show up without at least some violence, but this story is (and will remain) very family-friendly, even compared to actual episodes.
Arguably, Victory of the Daleks, but mostly none.
The Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory, Daleks, original characters
The events take place at some point towards the end of series 6.
So, Daleks are a hateful, murderous, evil species. Their creator altered their genetic code for this very purpose. But what if he, the Doctor and the Daleks themselves were all wrong? Just to what extent is a person defined by their DNA?

This story is also available on AO3.

Table of contents

  1. Dalek Terrence
  2. Family Dalek
  3. Back to the crime scene
  4. Face-to-dome meeting
  5. The Dalek and the Time Lord
  6. The Daleks' ploy
  7. The parts and the whole
  8. Disruption
  9. Time of choices
  10. A Dalek's humanity

Dalek Terrence

The Daleks had attempted to invade Earth once again, and once again, the Doctor had foiled their plans. As he fled the collapsing reproduction factory, he couldn't help but worry that some of the younger embryos, before the conditioning unit he had overloaded, could still be mature enough to survive outside their growing tube. Not that it would make much difference, he reassured himself, as they wouldn't last long without proper life support. If any had managed to escape destruction, they were as good as dead anyway.

Pain. Fear. Confusion. A glint in the dark. He drags his shivering form towards this only light. As he emerges from a hole more than a meter above ground, the rocks collapse under him, around him, over him. Pain!

Hours pass. Hunger. Cold. Weakness. And pain, so much pain. Despair. Help! Help!…

"Careful, Douglas!" Julia shouted to her brother. "Don't go opening your knee on a rock again like you did last week."

"Yes, Mummy!" the thirteen years old boy retorted mockingly.

Although they were twins, Julia had always been the reasonable one. Douglas loved his sister, but there were times like these when he really found her annoying.

His musings were interrupted by weak squeaks nearby. As he approached cautiously, he noticed something in the bushes. His eyes opened like saucers when he discovered the distorted greenish squid with a single yellow eye that was staring at him, half buried under fallen rocks.

"Julia…" he called in an uneasy voice. "Come here… I found something."

"What is it?"

"Just come and see… Please?"

She let out a cry of fear and disgust upon seeing the hideous being.

"What's that?! Doug, step back! We must kill it!"

She raised the heaviest rock she could lift and prepared to crush the gelatinous body but her brother held her arm back.

"No, wait! You can't!…"

She hesitated, watching the panicking creature wriggle desperately while emitting pathetic screeches. As she felt her heart melt, she tossed the rock away.

"Oh, well. It doesn't look really dangerous anyway, whatever it is."

She crouched to get a better look.

"I think it's hurt," Douglas remarked.

"Yeah, it must have fallen from up there." She pointed at the collapsed hole on the hill. "I really wonder what kind of animal it is, though. I've never seen anything like this."

Her brother shook his head in agreement.

"Nor I." He hesitated: "Do you think we can take it home while it heals?"

"Mum will never agree!"

"But look at it, it will die if we abandon it here!"

Aww, puppy eyes. Julia sighed. "All right, all right. But you're the one explaining it to her!"

Under her brother's fascinated eye, she began to remove the rocks which were crushing the little body.

Pain! Anger!

Julia jumped back as a tentacle whipped her face feebly.

"Ah!" She approached again cautiously and spoke in her softest voice: "Shhh, shh, it's all right, I only want to help you. You're not going to attack me again now are you?"

As the pain receded somewhat, so did the anger. He was so weak anyway he could barely move…

A few moments later, Julia lifted the freed Dalek infant and held it gently against her chest. At first, he tried to struggle but he didn't have the strength to defend himself, and the girl's arms felt pleasantly warm and soft after the last hours of agony. By the time they reached the two teenagers' home, he was clinging onto her like his life depended on it.

At first, Claire Barry showed herself quite unrelenting. But the combined pleads of her children and the sight of the poor creature buried into Julia's arms –as revolting as it looked– finally softened her.

They had some trouble getting it off and onto the kitchen table but milk and yolk managed to convince it to leave its comfortable nest. Apparently, it was hungry enough to fall upon the food even though each move made it cry in pain. A light painkiller dissolved in sugared water later, it was dozing on a towel.

"I'll go buy a cage or a tank or something to put it in," Claire sighed. As the two children looked disappointed, she added: "We can't just let it roam the house. We might step on it at night, for starters. Also I'll have to bring it to a vet. Who's to say what kind of sicknesses it might carry?"

"And a name," Julia exclaimed. "We need a name."

Her mother found her smile back: "Any idea?"

The girl gallantly looked at her brother: "Doug found it first, so, the task befalls you. How do you want to call it?"

Douglas hesitated. "Er, I don't know? Terrence?" More firmly: "Yeah, Terrence, we'll call him Terrence."

And thus, Dalek Terrence was christened.


Family Dalek

Two weeks later, Julia discovered Douglas playing on his bedroom floor with wooden alphabet cubes, Terrence apparently watching carefully.

"What are you doing?" she asked, bewildered.

"I'm teaching Terrence to read."

She burst out laughing. "You. Are. Kidding me."

He stood and defiantly crossed his arms on his chest. "I'm serious! I tell you, he's intelligent. He understands everything we say." He lowered his voice, sparing the Dalek a side glance. "It's kinda creepy, actually."

Strangely enough, Terrence averted his gaze. It was hard to interpret the expressions of this lone yellow eye, but Julia could have sworn he felt sad, or guilty, or something.

"One thing's for sure," she replied hesitantly, "he grows fast. And nobody's been able to tell what kind of animal he is. Even Dr. Laurel doesn't have the slightest idea."

She sat besides the young Dalek. "All right, do you want me to participate in teaching you to read?"

Terrence looked up at her and squeaked.

"Yeah," she thought, "kinda creepy."

One more week had passed when Julia was trying to program the brand new video recorder while her mother was out shopping –trying being the important word here. Douglas had already given up and was busy playing a game. The girl threw the manual to the ground in frustration. She looked at their tentacled pet, who was perched on her shoulders, and smiled jokingly:

"And what about you, hm? Your turn to try and set this damn thing."

Terrence jumped to the floor and glanced through the manual before he began manipulating the buttons with his tentacles. It only took him a couple seconds to set the recorder perfectly.

"O-kay," Julia whispered in a blank voice while Douglas had forgotten his game and was watching the scene with a big enough mouth to gulp all flies of Great Britain and half Europe, "I think we'd better not tell that to Mum. She's gonna freak out if she ever learns about it."

Terrence looked at them and blinked.

A few days later, Julia and Douglas were trying to teach him to write, which was proving much more difficult than reading a documentation and pushing a few buttons. Since they didn't want to risk their mother discovering their "pet" typing perfectly sensible sentences on the family computer, they were reverting to plain old paper, but holding a pen in his tentacles seemed almost impossibly hard. Terrence was very dedicated, though, so they weren't about to give up.

Suddenly, angry shouts disturbed the studious gang. The two teenagers immediately recognised the masculine voice who was replying to their mother, and they paled.

"Dad," Douglas said, and Julia silently nodded.

They ventured into the living room to see their mother pointing towards the door.

"Get out of here right now or I'm calling the police!" Claire screamed.

"Don't you dare use that tone with me!" He lashed out at her so hard she fell on the sofa.


Douglas raced towards his mother while Julia attempted to look as tough as she wished she really were. "Leave us alone, Dad. You know they'll send you back to jail if they learn you came here."

He raised his hand to hit her, and…

Seething with rage, Terrence jumped at his throat, wrapped his tentacles around it and squeezed with all his might.

Everybody began shouting at once.

The Dalek had doubled in size since the children had found him and his strength had increased tenfold, and it took all their combined efforts to get him off his victim's neck.

Claire's husband, all anger now replaced with terror, backed away to the door while pointing accusingly at the nightmarish creature that had just attacked him:

"What… what the hell is that thing?! It tried to kill me! You tried to kill me!"

He didn't wait any longer to turn tail.

Once her father had left, Julia yelled at Terrence: "You can't go on strangling people! It's wrong, wrong, wrong!"

Claire put an understanding arm on her daughter's shoulder and spoke softly: "He doesn't understand, sweetheart. He's just an animal, he felt the agitation and wanted to protect us, that's all. You can't expect him to understand things like the value of human life."

Douglas opened his mouth to speak but a mute look from Julia silenced him. Nearby, Terrence was looking at the ground, all tentacles limp, as if awaiting punishment. The girl simply lifted him and put him back into the glass tank that served as his cage –which he had never seemed to mind; actually, the children suspected he was very well able to get out and in at his leisure and just considered it his "bedroom".

Late in the night, Julia couldn't get a wink of sleep. She went back to the living room, lifted a drowsy Terrence from his tank and sat on the sofa.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you earlier, but you mustn't harm people, you understand? Even bad people like Dad. It's wrong. Promise me you'll never do it again." As the yellow eye looked up at her and blinked, she went on: "I'll take that as a yes. Still," she added after a second, "thank you for wanting to protect us." Suddenly, she started sobbing and hugged the bemused Dalek.

Truly, he didn't understand her behaviour. Yet it wasn't the first time he'd seen her cry and he believed he knew how he was supposed to react: He gently wrapped his tentacles around her back, like he had seen Claire do. After a while, she calmed down and wiped her teary eyes. "Thanks."

With a hint of pride, just a hint, he thought he'd indeed managed to chose the appropriate action to take, as incomprehensible as the Barrys sometimes were. That Julia was back to her normal self was the icing on the cake.

However, Terrence's luck turned the next afternoon, as Julia's attempt at a first ever kiss fell short when he believed she needed hugging again.

"Just what do you think you are doing?!" she shouted after her tentative boyfriend had hastily left the house with no intention of ever coming again. Apparently, cuddling a greenish tentacled blob wasn't his idea of the perfect date.

And the Dalek was back to his tank, baffled and ashamed at a mistake he still didn't understand.

As time went on and Terrence's successes at predicting the right conduct in a given situation remained counterbalanced by almost as many failures, he felt increasingly frustrated and angered towards himself. Why, despite his best efforts to comply to the family's expectations, was it so hard to live up to them? Why was he unable to simply conform to the normality they were defining?

Just what was wrong with him?


Back to the crime scene

Roughly a month and a half after the Barry family had adopted Terrence, Douglas, beginning to feel tired of unsuccessful writing lessons, suggested: "Hey, we could show Terrence the place where we found him. Do you remember anything about it?" he asked him.

The Dalek's squeak had Julia pull a face. "Was that a yes or a no? Anyway, it's a good idea: I feel like getting some air too. Come along, Terrence."

"Perhaps we'll learn more about what exactly he is?" Douglas added with excitement as they left.

Meanwhile, inside the Tardis, Amy was trying to worm an answer out of the eleventh Doctor under the amused eye of Rory: "Come on Doctor, tell us where you've brought us!"

Their tall guide was barring the way out with a mischievous grin. "No, it's a surprise. Now close your eyes… and don't cheat!" he added as Rory tried and peek.

As they complied, he opened the Tardis doors and burst out, as energetic as ever. "Now come and fill your…" His voice dropped: "… lungs."

Rory's head slid outside. "Hum, looks very Earth to me."

Amy stepped out and confirmed: "Early twenty-first century Earth, Great Britain, godforsaken village. Doctor, why are we here instead of… whatever place you wanted to show us?"

"Good question, Amy. Very, very good question. And very worrying." All enthusiasm had vanished from his face; instead, he felt his hearts oppressed with anxiety. He patted the Tardis door. "Why have you brought me back, old girl?"

"You've been here before?" the red-haired asked.

"Yeah…" He noticed a nearby ad. "A few weeks ago. Or a few decades, lots of travelling in-between and all that. But I've definitely been here before."

Rory spoke up: "What happened then? The place looks pretty normal to me. No signs of obvious destruction or heavy damage."

"No, I stopped them before they could do any real harm. Or so I thought."

"Stopped them? Stopped who?"

"The worst beings in all creation. The bane of my nights. The scourge of the universe." He paused. "Daleks."

"It's here, Terrence; apparently, you'd climbed out of this hole," Julia said while indicating the pitch black opening in the ground.

"I really wish we could explore what's inside," her brother sighed. "It looks deep."

Taking his cue, Terrence jumped from the girl's shoulders and quickly squirmed into the burrow.

"Be careful, Terrence!" she called out.

"We won't be able to fetch you if you hurt yourself," Douglas added.

But the Dalek had already disappeared out of sight.

Amy and Rory hastened to follow the Doctor's quick march in the countryside.

"Hurry, Ponds. The entrance to the Daleks' hideout was just over there."

They almost collided with him when he brusquely halted without a warning. Following his eyes, they noticed a boy and a girl, about thirteen or fourteen years old, apparently absorbed in the contemplation of a hill.

"Children," the Doctor muttered. "Just above one of the tunnels. Not good. Not good at all. Have to get them out of harm's way."

And with that, he raced towards the unsuspecting youngsters, his companions trailing behind.

"What are you two doing here?" he exclaimed once he'd reached the teenagers.

They jumped as the Time Lord's voice startled them, but before they could say anything he went on: "No, actually, I don't care. Just go back home right away."

"Why?" Douglas asked. "And who are you anyway?"

"I'm the Doctor, Amy, Rory, and I can't tell you why."

"Then we can't move," Julia retorted, beginning to feel annoyed at this worked-up stranger.

"Look… er, what's your name again?"

"Julia. And my brother's Douglas."

"Look, Julia, it's likely to become very dangerous in the vicinity. I have every reason to believe bad guys are about to turn up."

She laughed out loud. "'Very dangerous'? 'Bad guys'? Come on, we live in the middle of nowhere; nothing ever happens around here!"

Even worse, Douglas seemed to be quite excited by the idea of danger.

"I'm serious!" the Doctor protested. "Why won't you listen?"

The girl shook her head with a decided look. "Even if we believed you, we can't anyway. We must wait for… our friend." She'd had a slight hesitation.

"We'll warn him too when we see him. Just. Get. Home. Now!"

"Doctor, calm down," Amy intervened. "Please. Shouting doesn't help."

"I won't calm down when the place might be crawling with Daleks any minute!"

"'Daleks'? What are Daleks?" Douglas asked.

A noise interrupted them: The dreaded sound of a ray gun, accompanied by falling rocks. Moments later, a second blast was heard and as a portion of the hill collapsed, an unmistakable bronze and gold shape emerged from the rubble.


Face-to-dome meeting

"What's that??" Julia cried with a touch of apprehension.

"EEETEEESAAAYYEE," the Dalek replied in a slurred voice. He paused, then repeated, more distinctly, separating each word even more than his kind usually did: "IT. IS. I." After another second of silence, he began chanting in glee: "I CAN SPEAK! I CAN SPEAK! I CAN SPEAK! I CAN SPEAK!"

The girl took a step forward. "Terrence? Is that you inside this… robot… thing?"

The glowing blue eye clumsily whipped towards her. It went a bit too far, then struggled to focus. The voice was a bit steadier now:


Douglas approached to touch the casing with a very fascinated expression. "Waaah… So cool!"

"That's not possible," the Doctor snapped despite his definite confusion at his worst enemy's unusual behaviour. "I should know, I blew up the tunnels, with everything inside." He whispered urgently to the two teenagers: "Prepare to run as fast as you can. That thing is evil. It's going to kill you if you stay here."

The mechanical gaze focused on the Doctor. Unfortunately, the Barrys didn't seem to have understood the warning.

Julia asked perplexedly: "What are you talking about? You heard like us: It's Terrence inside there, we know him. He does look… different from you or me but he's our friend. Almost our little brother."

"Listen to me. This is a deadly battle gear and inside it, there is a Dalek. An alien bred to hate, intent on exterminating anybody and everybody who just has the bad fortune to be different. Daleks don't have 'friends'." He grabbed her arm. "You need to start running now while I stale it as long as I can!"

The aforementioned Dalek, who had been staring at the Doctor since he'd caught sight of him, advanced menacingly.


"Terrence!" Julia rebuked him. "I don't think the Doctor actually means us any harm."

Amy intervened despite her visible wariness of the bronze human-size tank. "Time-out, people! Let's talk this out shall we? No shouting, no threats, and absolutely no extermination of any kind." The last bit was specifically addressed to the metal-encased alien. She turned to Julia and Douglas: "You say you know it… him?"

"Of course!" The teenage girl turned to the Dalek: "Here, come out, Terrence. These people are afraid of you: Show them you're nice."

"Daleks are all but 'nice'," the Doctor grumbled.

Ignoring him, the casing opened and the mutant jumped into Julia's arms.

"See? Told you so!" she said with a victorious smile.

In his centuries of travelling, the Doctor had witnessed many things. Horrific, terrifying, nightmarish things. Things that still sent a shiver down his spine when he remembered them, things that woke him at night in a pool of icy sweat. But seeing this innocent girl cuddle a Dalek was a whole new level of disturbing.

Nearby, Douglas started examining the machine's inside, obviously wondering whether he could use it too. Rory swiftly pulled him back and silently scolded him.

Sulking, the boy turned to the Doctor: "Terrence said you are dangerous."

"Oh yes, he would," the Time Lord answered grimly. "There was a war, between my people and his kind. A terrible, unspeakable war. And ever since the creation of their wicked race by a mad scientist, I've been there to stop them every time they've threatened what I hold dear. I'm the one person Daleks fear, the one person who stands up to them and lives."

"Wait wait wait." Julia shook her head in confusion. "You say they are aggressive and murderous and everything, but if you attacked them at their very beginning, then you started it."

The Doctor protested in an offended tone: "Daleks launched their war against the universe long before I tried to avert their creation!"

"Time travel," Amy explained.

The girl scowled but her brother's eyes opened wide. "Seriously?"

The reaction made the Doctor smile briefly. "Seriously." His face became hard again. "Daleks are evil. They have no feelings except hate. They know of neither compassion nor morality. All they care about is their so called superiority over all other life forms and their obsession with wiping out everything which is not them. And this creature in your arms is a Dalek!" he concluded angrily while pointing an accusing finger.

Julia protectively tightened her hold on her tentacled friend. "Terrence couldn't possibly have fought in this war of yours. He was too young when we found him, and that wasn't even two months ago! Leave him alone, he hasn't done anything wrong!"

The Ponds exchanged a look and Rory spoke: "Aaaanyway, there's still the question of where he found that." He indicated the casing and asked the teenagers: "You've never seen it before, have you?" As they shook their heads, he continued: "Doctor, is there any possibility you'd have missed some tunnels last time you were here?"

Reluctantly, the Doctor gave up his glaring contest with the Dalek. "No, I'm a very thorough person. Well… Perhaps. I don't know!"

"Shouldn't we check it up?" Amy insisted. "Just to be on the safe side?"

"I say we should check it up," he sullenly retorted.

A smile came across Julia's face as she looked down: "Show us the way, Terrence."

He jumped back into the casing, closed it and moved towards the opening in the ground he had blasted a moment before.

"Oi!" the Doctor called out. "If you intend us to break our necks on collapsed rubble, be aware that I won't let you. We'll get in through the main entrance!"

Amy and Rory looked at each other and shrugged, and with that, the Time Lord led the group to the main entrance of the Dalek underground tunnels.


The Dalek and the Time Lord

The reproduction factory looked very much like the Doctor remembered it, barring the flames and the smoke. Despite the overall destruction, the main structure of the construct was still holding, and after a bit of fiddling, the Doctor managed to turn some of the lights on.

Terrence led the way, followed by the Doctor, Amy and Rory, while Julia and Douglas were lagging behind, both fascinated by this alien equipment and horrified at all the dead Daleks remains, murmuring intently to each other.

"Why do you think he's staying with the kids?" Amy asked in a hushed voice, indicating their guide with a nod. "What can a Dalek possibly want with them?"

"Honestly, Amy, I don't have the slightest idea… But it can't be anything good," the Doctor sighed. He suddenly straightened up. "Unless…?"

"Unless what? Doctor? Doctor!"

But he had already sped up to reach Terrence. "Dalek!" After a slight hesitation, he resigned himself to use his name: "Terrence!"

The Dalek stopped and silently turned his dome around to look at the Doctor.

"Open your casing; I need to check something," the Time Lord ordered. As Terrence distrustfully moved away a bit, he went on: "Oh come on, I won't harm you. If anything, I wouldn't want to sadden Julia and Douglas. You must have that in your data-banks, don't you? 'The Doctor is compassionate towards humans, use any opportunity to exploit this weakness'," he quoted sarcastically in a mock-Dalek voice.

Finally, Terrence decided to turn fully towards him and complied to reveal himself. After having waved his sonic screwdriver for a while, watched warily by the yellow eye, the Doctor frowned in confusion upon seeing the readings.

"Oi!" Julia rushed up to them, closely followed by her brother. "What are you doing to Terrence?!"

"I'm not doing anything to him! I'm just… checking his health."

"With a magic wand?" the girl jested.

"Oi, it's my sonic screwdriver," he protested.

Douglas intervened: "It doesn't look like a screwdriver."

"It looks like a sonic screwdriver," he retorted.

Julia rolled her eyes. "And you're checking Terrence's health with a screwdriver?"

"It has many functions!" He shot a sidelong glance to the Dalek. "I'm done with him anyway."

As he returned to the Ponds, Amy asked discretely: "What was it all about? What have you learnt?"

"Nothing. Nothing makes. Any. Sense!"

"Doctor…" she scolded. "Talk to us."

"All right, all right." He seemed distressed, angry and downcast at the same time. "I've met humanised Daleks in the past, Daleks whose DNA had been hybridised and who ended up developing emotions."

"And?…" she pressed him.

He shook his head. "And it's not the case here: This… Terrence is one hundred percent pure Dalek. Which just doesn't make sense, unless he has some hidden agenda."

"What if he's simply grateful because they took care of him?" Rory suggested. "After all, from what Julia said, they basically raised him."

"No, it doesn't work like that. Daleks don't even understand gratitude."

They resumed their progression through the destroyed facility in grim silence.

They didn't walk long before they saw a brightly lit opening on a wall. On the other side, the tunnel seemed totally undamaged.

"This door wasn't there the last time," the Doctor said flatly.


"Right." The Time Lord inspired deeply and turned to the four humans: "Amy, Rory, take care of Julia and Douglas while I check it out." He added in a low voice lacking conviction: "Daleks, always Daleks. Geronimo."

He jumped when Terrence spoke again: "I SHALL ACCOMPANY YOU."

"Will you now…" They glared at each other for several seconds, until the Doctor brusquely turned to the entrance. "Fine. But don't try any trick. I'm watching you."

The unlikely pair rapidly reached a casing assembly room. The line was stopped, but some were fully constructed and ready to be transported to the –destroyed, courtesy the Doctor a month and a half ago– hatching factory. A gap in the perfect alignment revealed where Terrence had found his own shell.

Muttering to himself, the Doctor began examining the equipment. For the second time in five minutes, their companion Dalek's grating voice gave him a start.


He swivelled around. "Huh, what?"


The Doctor couldn't believe his own ears. Curiosity began to rise under the tenseness. "Why would you ask that?"

The eye-stalk dipped towards the ground.


Okay, now that was surprising. The Doctor held back a strong urge to rub salt in the wound.

"Well… Daleks in general certainly are, but… you individually might not be. At least you try to behave." Or so you say, he added silently. Don't even begin to think I'm trusting you fully just yet.

He took a few steps away, then suddenly turned back to the Dalek: "Tell me, how do you feel about Julia and Douglas?"

"I… DO NOT UNDERSTAND." He sounded genuinely confused.

"How do you feel about living with them?"

The blue mechanical eye oscillated slightly. "I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND. IT IS MY PLACE," he stated as if it were an evidence.

"I see…" The Doctor was thinking madly. "And what about strangers? People who don't belong to their family? Do you hate them?"

This time, the answer didn't come immediately: "… SOMETIMES." He hesitated some more before admitting: "OFTEN."

The Time Lord's eyes narrowed. "And what do you intend to do to them?"


The firm reply took him by surprise: "You don't plan to kill them?"


"Why not?" he insisted, plunged in disbelief.


"And you obey them, just like that?" The Doctor suddenly clapped his head with his palm. "Of course! You 'obey'! Whatever instruction they give you is an order that must be followed because they are the closest you have to a commander."

Terrence took the last sentence as a question: "THIS DESCRIPTION IS ACCURATE."

The Time Lord chuckled with relief, feeling much more relaxed all of a sudden. "Well, Terrence, as long as you keep this line of thought, there's nothing wrong with you. Keep obeying Julia and Douglas' orders, ask for their instructions whenever you're unsure, and you should do just fine."

The Dalek stared at him for a couple seconds. Then, without a further word, he turned heels and left to explore the rest of the room.

Not two minutes had passed when the Barrys entered the factory, closely followed by the Ponds.

"What are you doing here?" the Doctor exclaimed. "Is nobody ever going to play safe??"

"Sorry," Rory apologised sheepishly. "They couldn't keep still and managed to evade us." He was, of course, referring to the two fidgety teenagers.

"Where has Terrence gone?" Julia wondered.

Just as she was asking, a now familiar bronze and gold shape emerged from a corridor.

"Ah, there you are."

Her smile faded and a deadly silence fell upon the group as a second Dalek appeared right behind the first.


The Daleks' ploy

"That's not Terrence, is it?" Julia quavered.

Amy put an arm around the girl's shoulders to comfort her, and Rory tried to hide Douglas behind his back. Two glowing blue eyes fixed on the group.

"ALERT! ALERT! ALIENS HAVE BROKEN INTO THE BASE!" the first Dalek grated in a slightly higher pitch than Terrence's.

"IT IS THE DOCTOR!" his companion added. "THE DOCTOR HAS RETUR…"

He was abruptly interrupted by Terrence's arrival from behind a corner, and he screeched with something akin to panic in his voice:


They remained silent for a second before the front one replied to an unheard order: "WE OBEY." He advanced menacingly, his gun aimed straight at the Doctor: "YOU WILL COME WITH US! MOVE! MOVE!"

The second Dalek threatened Terrence: "KEEP YOUR WEAPON DOWN AT ALL TIMES OR BE EXTERMINATED!"

After a long glance to Julia and Douglas, their friend obeyed the injunction. "I… SHALL… COMPLY," he conceded reluctantly, hatred very audible in his voice but repressing the fiery drive to respond with a blast at maximum power.

While the procession was advancing into the Dalek facility, the Doctor felt the knot tighten on his chest. The corridors were too spread out, the complex too deep. It didn't add up with the reproduction plant he'd blown up a month and a half earlier. Something was amiss… that is, even more amiss than was to be expected, considering they were dealing with Daleks; and the thought filled him with dread.

Douglas' voice startled him when it broke the humming silence. "So they are Terrence's people?" he was asking uneasily. "That's what he'd have become if we hadn't taken him in?"

As Rory was about to offer a generic answer, the Doctor snorted: "No, he'd have become dead. They would have left him to die."

"But that's horrible! Wouldn't they have searched for survivors? You're at war, I get that, and people do horrible things in wars, but he's their kin."

"Weren't you listening? I told you, Daleks have no compassion. Full stop. No more to their own than to anybody else."

"That's horrible," the boy repeated.


Douglas cringed and grabbed his sister's hand. Although she was trying to walk with her head held high, her eyes were damp and her lip quivered.

Finally, they were brought to a different-looking Dalek. Noticeably larger, his casing had a dissimilar build altogether and was painted a dark metallic red. The organic-looking eye was even more unsettling than the cold blue glow they were starting to become used to.


"Stop you doing what? Why did you come back, you never come back once I've defeated you! And how did you even manage to build this underground complex so fast? I destroyed your main base six weeks ago! I destroyed your reproduction factory!"

As the Oncoming Storm took an angry step forward, his opponent flinched slightly but held his ground. He retorted:


"What," he asked blankly.


The Time Lord gasped for air. "You built a reproduction factory for the sole purpose of putting me on the wrong track?"

Meanwhile, Julia moved closer to Terrence and put a hand on his casing as though he could indeed feel it, the other still in Douglas'. "Help us," she mouthed almost inaudibly when their gaze met. After a small oscillation of his eye-stalk –was it a nod or an interrogation?– he began looking about at the room layout and equipment. Their three enemies were all intently keeping a watch on the Doctor, obviously considering him the biggest threat in the room by far.


"What was it, then?"

With an exultation his kind wasn't even supposed to experience, the Dalek crowed: "THE RETRIEVAL OF THE THIRD TACHRONIC ARTRON DISRUPTOR!"

The Doctor felt the world spin around him.

"Doctor," Amy asked softly, "what is a 'tachronic artron disruptor'?"

His face had turned to grey as he breathed: "A demat gun… with all subtlety Daleks are capable of."

"That doesn't help, Doctor."

Only then did he seem to actually notice her, but his eyes were still lost in some horrific thoughts. "During the Time War, the Daleks developed a weapon, especially targeted at Time Lords. It is designed to emit a specific radiation into the time vortex, which will interfere with artron energy and…" He gulped before finding the strength to continue: "Basically, it would wipe out all time-sensitive species, or anybody who has ever travelled inside a Tardis, from all of time and space at once. It would not kill us: Instead, we would have never existed in the first place."

Her eyes widened. "Like… like the cracks?"

He nodded slowly. "Yes, except it would happen instantly everywhere and everywhen, from the beginning of the universe to its end."

"Hey, raggedy man," she tried to cheer him with a forced smile, "I've brought you back once. I can do it again."

"Amy, Amy… You've travelled with me, you'd be affected too."

"But," Rory pondered, "wouldn't the Daleks be affecting themselves? I mean, I'm going out on a limb here but I suppose it wouldn't have been a Time War if they didn't have time travel too."

Unnoticed, Terrence turned towards the nearest control panel and began moving slowly in its direction, while trying to keep the original orientation of his middle and dome sections.

"Theirs use much simpler principles," the Doctor answered, "but it doesn't matter. The Thal-Kaled war, Davros, the creation of the Dalek race, it all predates their time travels. And they don't care how many of their own they wipe out in the process as long as they are victorious in the end."

He struggled to regain some composure. "The first tachronic artron disruptor backfired and turned the planet on which the Daleks were experimenting into a black hole that engulfed half-a-dozen closest solar systems. A second one merely malfunctioned, which allowed me to find and destroy it before they could fix it; but the Daleks were believed to have built a fully functional third one. Luckily, it needs rather specific cosmic conditions to be operated, and they never had the chance to use it before the end of the War."


"DALEKS SHALL REIGN SUPREME!" the two bronze and gold soldiers took up.

The Doctor looked aghast. "Don't use it. I beg you, don't use it. Kill me if you have to but don't use it! You have no idea of the consequences! Everything that has ever been in contact with the vortex will be erased from existence in all of time at once and least of them the last Time War; such a cataclysmal change is bound to upset the balance of the universe and rip the fabric of space-time apart!"


"But you don't know all the parameters!" the Doctor shouted helplessly. "You don't even have the math to perform the calculations accurately!" He felt despair overcome him. With three Dalek blasters trained at him, there was nothing he could do.


The parts and the whole

"YOU ARE STALLING, DOCTOR," the red Dalek ground, "BUT YOU ARE POWERLESS." As if suddenly remembering the improbable –and armed– companion, he jerked his eye-stalk towards Terrence, who immediately stood still. "EXPLAIN YOUR PRESENCE ALONGSIDE THE DOCTOR!"

Trembling, but braving her fear, Julia stepped in before he could answer: "We found him by a hill a month and a half ago. He must have escaped the Doctor's attack." Her voice had faltered a bit at the end of the sentence. "He has nothing to do with you any more!"

One of the bronze soldiers waved his manipulator arm towards Terrence. "SCANS CONFIRM PURE DALEK DNA."

The Doctor tried to take advantage of the distraction and pulled out his sonic screwdriver; but the third enemy immediately noticed him: "DO NOT MOVE!"


"I DO NOT OBEY YOU!" he rebelled straight away.


In a typical Dalek fit of rage that had his casing vibrating in pure hatred, Terrence spat the most un-Dalek reply the Doctor had ever heard:


If the situation hadn't been so dire, the Time Lord would have burst out laughing.

The commanding Dalek reeled in shock. He remained silent for a second, eyeing Terrence top to bottom and backwards, then he replied in a voice dripping with utter contempt:


Just as he prepared to carry out his threat, the Doctor took a step forwards. The red Dalek warily recoiled, all three enemies instantly focusing their undivided attention on their worst foe and ignoring the traitor to their kind. Between the Oncoming Storm and a rogue member of their race, they knew who represented the biggest menace.

He warned angrily: "No, I won't let you touch a hair of his head. Or… whatever," he added with a side glance to Terrence, who had resumed his slow movement. As an idea formed in his mind, he began pacing in the opposite direction while talking: "For hundreds of years I've fought you, I've thwarted you, I've killed you, but now, for the first time ever, he's giving me a glint of hope. 'Cause removing your emotions, that's not enough, is it? Davros had to brainwash your newborns and lock you in a metal prison to make you as dangerous as he wanted, and you're just perpetuating his whim. Funny that, when you think about it. Daleks obediently following the destiny mapped out for them by a non-Dalek."

He shook his head. "But you can learn. You can change. Terrence is the living proof that things can be different. There's no need for you to try and kill every sentient being in the universe; you could live in peace if only you cared to give up your stupid superiority complex."

While the Doctor soliloquised, Terrence reached his destination and waved his manipulator arm towards the panel in an attempt to understand the unknown controls. Holding back a nasty grin, the Time Lord not-so-subtly walked towards an opposite console.

"So what do you say? How about you get some sense and forget this insane plan of yours to activate the tachronic artron disruptor?"

"THE DOCTOR WILL STAY AWAY FROM THE EQUIPMENT!" the red Dalek screeched with a nervous edge in his voice.

"That's wise," the Doctor smirked, faking a respectful admiration. "I mean, I can't use my sonic screwdriver, but who knows what I could do if I got access to your systems?" He indicated a device. "This is a quasi-bosonic field inducer, right? An overload of three hundred percents would be more than enough to melt your polycarbide shells. Assuming I'd have a gravitic lens generator to focus it, of course. Which…" He turned to a different machine: "… –guess what!– just lies there. You know guys," he taunted, "you really should never capture me in a lab." He frowned: "Unless, obviously, you prevent me to use my sonic screwdriver or to touch the controls."

Terrence pressed his plunger-like "hand" on a round slot. He glanced at Julia, who nodded mutely. All four humans tensed in expectation of the chaos that was likely to come very soon.

The Doctor pointed at another mechanism. "But oooh, look at that! A psychokinetic syntoniser! A pulsation with the right parameters… say, fifty-six to fifty-seven megalev at twelve Herz, and oh ho, that would interact with your motive units and send you swirling right across the room." He turned on his heels with a laugh, an index in the air.

Terrence began operating the controls, completely ignored by the three other Daleks, who were warily keeping watch on the Doctor's slightest move, ready to exterminate him three times at the first sign of actually carrying out something against them.

Without pausing to breathe, and still unnervingly walking to and fro, their most fearsome foe continued his speech: "Also if I were carrying a gun –which I'm not, I never carry guns, can't stand them; but we're talking theoretically are we not?– I could blast one of you while an other just spins around and the third one is conveniently hidden behind the two front ones and can't shoot me."

Upon hearing this, his opponents rapidly spread out more evenly around him, more or less aligning themselves relatively to Terrence in the process. The satisfied Time Lord shouted: "Terrence, now!"

All hell broke lose.

One of the Daleks was thrown in the air by the psychokinetic syntoniser. "OUT OF CONTROL! OUT OF CONTROL! AAAH!" he yelled desperately as he eddied randomly.

Before the leader could react, a blue ray from Terrence's gun hit him and engulfed his casing in a bright glow and a cloud of sparks. After a short cry, his eye-stalk and arms dived lifelessly towards the ground.

The third enemy hesitated just a second too long between attacking the Doctor and retaliating against Terrence: The whirling soldier hit him and they both flew this way and that, screaming in chorus.

Without waiting for the outcome, the Doctor had dashed to his human friends and led them to the exit: "Run!"

Terrence quickly followed; as they left the room, he shot a panel on the wall and a huge bulkhead fell down behind them, effectively trapping their enemies in the room.

"Ha ha!" the Doctor beamed with a little tap on the Dalek's dome. "You're brilliant. A Dalek companion, that's a first!"



After running down a few corridors, Julia moaned with exhaustion and tripped. "Wait!… You're going… too fast… for me…" she panted.

Douglas ran back to her while the adults stopped to catch their own breath.

"Should be far enough even if the Daleks get out," Rory puffed, hand resting on the wall.

The girl looked up at her metal-clad friend: "The red one… The one you fired at… Is he dead?" she asked in an uneasy voice.

"I would hope so," the Doctor frowned. "Would make one less to worry about."


The Time Lord rolled his eyes to the sky in exasperation. "Just my luck," he groaned, "I meet the one decent Dalek and he's as stubborn about sparing his counterparts as they are about exterminating us!"

Rory sighed: "What's the plan now?"

Amy, lent on her own knees, shook her head: "We still have to neutralise that time disruptor thingy, and better not turn the Earth into a black hole in the process. Doctor, do you have an idea?"

"Well, we have to locate it first. Obviously, they haven't transmatted it aboard their ship yet or they'd have already left."

Douglas looked at him quizzically: "How come it took them so long to retrieve it, by the way?"

He dismissed the question with a waving of his hand. "These are not Time War Daleks, they were created much more recently. They might not have known its exact location; besides, if the tachronic artron disruptor was heavily protected, which sounds more than likely, they may have needed to disable traps they had forgotten about. But from what the leader said, they must be nearly ready. We must absolutely get to it before them."

He pulled his sonic screwdriver out but soon growled in frustration. "Rah, it's useless, everything in there is shielded!"

Julia turned to their Dalek friend: "Terrence, can you find out where this… er, disruptor is?"

Obedient, he moved his manipulator arm about for a while before announcing: "INTERNAL DETECTION OF THE TACHRONIC ARTRON DISRUPTOR FAILED." He glided a few meters away towards a walled panel. "ACCESS BUILDING MAINFRAME."

Pictures flashed on a nearby screen too fast for the human eye to read; then he exclaimed with unmistakable satisfaction: "TACHRONIC ARTRON DISRUPTOR LOCATED! YOU WILL FOLLOW!"

Really, the Doctor thought, he'd never get used to it. As useful as Terrence's help was, he liked it better when the Dalek remained silent!

The group managed to reach their destination without running into enemies –apparently, the Doctor's intervention six weeks before hadn't been a total waste after all and had at least taken a toll on their numbers. As soon as they were inside the room, the Time Lord closed the door and deadlocked it.

"Won't stop a determined Dalek," he conceded, "but will hopefully buy us enough time."

At the centre of the room stood a large device with spiralling tubes and glowing iridescent spheres. Three protuberances of a newer and slightly different design were attached evenly onto its periphery.

"So, that's what was slowing them down," he mused; then he explained to his puzzled companions: "Handling such a dangerous technology is a highly delicate operation. They needed to calibrate the teleporting very precisely or they'd blow everything up." He gave the weapon an evil glare. "Now, let's get you sorted before they snatch you away!"

"What'll you do?" Amy asked.

He laughed in glee: "Disrupt the disruptor! I can't destroy it directly because of Earth's gravity well, but I can tweak the settings so that when they time-jump, it gets sucked into the vortex and basically erases itself from existence. Poof!" he mimed happily. "By the time they notice something is wrong, it'll just dissolve under their very eyes."

But as soon as he approached it, an ominous red light began flashing and an alarm rang. He quickly backed away, and the warnings calmed down.

"Right," he moaned. "Of course. Time War Dalek technology, detects a Time Lord at ten feet. It would probably self-destruct before I could even touch it."

His brow suddenly lifted up and he grinned from ear to ear as he turned towards their unlikely ally: "But I bet they did not see that coming! Terrence, I have a job for you!"

Without a word, the Dalek looked at the Barrys for instructions. As Julia nodded energetically, he turned his gaze to the Doctor: "I AWAIT YOUR COMMAND."

It didn't take long for the pair to carry out their task; after just a couple minutes of Terrence reconfiguring the device under the Doctor's guidance, a panel opened and he extracted what appeared like a small silver hourglass, which he obediently handled to the jubilant Time Lord.

"There!" the latter exclaimed. "Without this, even if they do notice our tampering, they can't even hope to stabilise it!" He swiftly hid the component away into his pocket while Terrence closed the panel.

"Now, that won't take care of the Daleks themselves. But if I sneak up onto their ship, I can tweak the engines frequency so that they will resonate with the tachronic artron disruptor and be dragged along with it into nothingness. I might not have time to go back to the Tardis, but," he turned towards a teleportation terminal, "I can transmat up, and if I'm clever enough, which I am, I can work fast enough to be back before they leave. Just in time for tea!" he smiled.

However, his enthusiasm was short-lived. A shrill voice dampened his drive and stopped him dead in his tracks:

"HALT!" Terrence commanded. "DO NOT APPROACH THE PLATFORM!"

The Doctor paled as the gun stick twitched disturbingly towards him.


Time of choices

The Time Lord ground his teeth. "And why's that?"

"YOU WILL NOT ARRANGE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SHIP! STEP BACK!" the obnoxious grating voice insisted, more aggressively.

He laughed bitterly. A familiar hatred grew in his chest, stronger than ever; but a new feeling added further to his rage… Disappointment, perhaps, almost a sense of betrayal. "So that's it, then? Now you're revealing your true colours. I guess I was wrong about you: Once a Dalek, always a Dalek! What are you waiting for? Go on, 'exterminate' me! Cause I will not let them escape! Not after they wanted to use the tachronic artron disruptor!"

The four humans were watching in horror.

"Terrence, don't! You can't!" Julia exclaimed.


This time, the Doctor complied, albeit very slowly. "And then what? We might have disabled this one disruptor, but if they have retrieved the specifications, they can build another! You're going to just let them get away, knowing that they'll try and wipe me and a lot of other people out of existence at the first opportunity, and possibly destroy the universe in the process?! Perhaps Julia and Douglas haven't explained it to you, but letting people die although you could prevent it is exactly like killing them yourself!"

The teenage girl stepped in to defend her protégé: "Terrence is right, though, in content if not in form. Even if there is a possibility they'll attack you again in the future, you can't murder them in cold blood while they're just leaving without doing any actual harm."

"Yes I can! They're Daleks!" he shouted back.

"As is Terrence," she retorted, "and he is our friend! Right now, they are not threatening us. They're the ones supposed to show no mercy, and yet you want to shoot them in the back!"

As her eyes began filling with tears, Douglas hugged her comfortingly and glared at the Doctor. Rory opened his mouth to speak but Amy's hesitant grimace deterred him.

Suddenly distracted from a situation that was largely overtaking him anyway, Terrence made them all jump as he declared with urgency: "WARNING! FACILITY SHIELDS LIFTED!"

Not a second later, the appalling weapon disappeared in a white glow and a screen on the wall came to life, revealing the red Dalek leader.


The screen flickered to static and went dark.

"All right," Douglas admitted, "they are nasty. It still doesn't make it right to kill them."

"Well, it doesn't matter now, I guess," Rory sighed. "Is there a risk they'll be able to use the disruptor?"

"No, no, there isn't. As soon as they time-jump, it'll vanish from reality." The Time Lord looked defeated.

"So, it's good, right? I mean, it can't be that easy to build one of those things."

"It's certainly not. But I let them slip away… again…"

"Aw," Amy smiled kindly. "Don't worry Doctor, I'm sure you'll manage to stop them before they become truly dangerous again. You always do!"

With the adrenaline reflux, Julia looked down awkwardly. "Doctor…" she called tentatively. "They won't kill you, will they?"

He mellowed at her touching shame. "No; well, not any time soon anyway. They are probably gone already."

"CONFIRMED," Terrence coldly stated, insensitive to the humanoids' turmoil. "THE SPACE SHIP HAS BROKEN ORBIT AND IS NOW UNDETECTABLE."

As a flash of anger burnt in the Doctor's eyes, the girl interposed: "Don't resent him! Please… He only wanted to do the right thing." She addressed the Dalek: "Just don't threaten people again, all right? You need to ask more nicely, and only if and when there is no other choice, you can use your weapon to paralyse people."

He nodded with his eye-stalk –or at least, that's what it looked like. "I SHALL DO AS YOU REQUEST."

Her face lit up. "See, Doctor? Terrence is nothing like these horrible other Daleks."

Having calmed down a bit, the Time Lord approached the metal casing and thoughtfully looked into the glowing blue eye. "Actually," he mused, "there might be a way to ensure it conclusively…"

"What do you mean?" Douglas asked, frowning.

His sister began to panic. "You don't intend to harm him do you?"

Amy tried to put a kind arm on her shoulder but the girl freed herself angrily. The Doctor turned back to the humans with a large grin:

"Absolutely not; quite the contrary, in fact. He told me himself he's trouble reacting appropriately in everyday situations."

Reassured, Julia nodded with reddened cheeks as she remembered the awkward date with her boyfriend. "Well, he has a hard time understanding social conventions. That doesn't make him evil, though."

"Yes, yes, it's not my point. Do you remember what I told you about the Daleks? They are an artificial race. Not only was the mutation of their body amplified, their psychology was also altered to make them into the perfect warriors, by divesting them of their humanity and leaving only anger and hatred. The Daleks' ancestors, the Kaleds, were mostly similar to you and me, both physically and mentally. While of course, I can't turn Terrence back into a Kaled, I can, by mixing some human DNA into his, restore human emotions to him. He would become able to think like us, to feel like us."

Douglas opened eyes like saucers and his sister spoke his mind: "Is it safe? Is it even possible?"

"It has happened to individual Daleks before, by accident or miscalculation. Obviously, they didn't expect their new-found emotions, but since Terrence already tries to conform to your role model, it should work seamlessly. He would become less Dalek, and more human. So, what do you say?"

"Well, it's not our choice to make, is it?" She looked at the bronze robotic armour, imitated by everybody else in the room. "Terrence, what do you say? Do you want to change what you are?"


A Dalek's humanity

A tense hush fell upon the room for a couple seconds before the synthetic voice broke the silence: "DO YOU… REQUIRE ME TO CHANGE?"

"No!" Julia replied. "Of course we do not require it. As I said, it's your choice."

She glanced for confirmation at her brother, who nodded intently and added: "We'll support you whatever you decide, Terrence."

The Doctor pushed the matter: "While normal Daleks are brainwashed into unconditionally obeying orders from their superiors, they have little initiative in the first place. You should choose for him, because his lack of emotions makes it hard for him to desire anything at all."

Truth was he really didn't like Terrence's hesitation. Hopefully, an explicit injunction from the Barrys would overcome the Dalek innate hostility to change.

Alas, the two teenagers were even harder to convince. "We can't make such an impacting decision on his behalf. It's all right Terrence, we're not in a hurry. Just take your time to think this through and tell us your choice when you are ready. Do you prefer to be modified in order to become more like us, or do you prefer to remain the same as you are now?"

The Doctor felt his hearts grow cold. With such a wording, he already knew what the Dalek's answer would be: Even a sincere attempt to consider both possibilities would lead to the rejection of the proposal.

Seconds passed relentlessly, during which the humans and Time Lord stared at the inexpressive mechanical shell and held their breath.

After more than a minute of frozen silence, Terrence spoke again: "I… I PREFER… TO STAY THE SAME."

The Doctor had prepared for this outcome. He immediately countered: "But again, you can't fully grasp what it would mean, seeing as you precisely lack the ability to empathise. Really, ask for Julia and Douglas to give their own opinion."

Terrence sounded more determined now, as if the Time Lord's insistence backed up his choice: "IT WOULD MEAN CEASING TO BE ME. IT WOULD MEAN DYING, AND BECOMING AN OTHER."

"Now you're just being melodramatic. It would just mean becoming complete and being able to live a full, normal, emotional life, as you should."

Julia interposed herself between the Doctor and the Dalek and stood defiantly, soon imitated by her brother.

"He said 'no', that means 'no'," she declared. "Leave him be, Moreau. He's not the one who needs amending in the first place. He's not the one who wanted to blow up a retreating ship. He's not the one who demands that people must be similar to him before he recognises them as proper people."

She turned around and opened her arms invitingly: "Oi, come here, Terrence; let me give you a hug. I don't care that you are a Dalek: You are a good guy and that's all that matters."

With a whir, the casing opened and the mutant jumped into her arms. In truth, he couldn't have cared less for the cuddle, or even the kind words themselves. But he recognised their core meaning –he had done well–, and that brought him all the satisfaction he needed.

The group didn't talk much while they left the Dalek facility. Against the Doctor's opinion, Terrence had returned to his casing, both he and the teenagers having argued that it was the only way for him not only to move freely, but even to express himself. At least, they had agreed to limiting the gun output to non-lethal levels only. Not that it would stop the Dalek from restoring full firepower if he so decided, given time and a bit of human help; but at least it would prevent accidents.

As the Barrys trio returned to their home, the Time Lord couldn't shake the feeling that the day had gone terribly wrong.

Even once the Tardis had departed, the Doctor remained silent. Amy approached, put an arm around his shoulders and forced a smile.

"So, what's our next destination, then?"

He didn't answer.

"Okay, what's wrong? Do you think they're in danger? I mean, sure, Terrence is not my first choice of a guest for family parties, but he seemed rather good-willed, all things considered."

Her friend turned a lost gaze towards her. "Amy, I've been taught mercy and lenience. By a Dalek. A Dalek, of all things!"

Rory tried to reassure him: "Well, he didn't act out of inner goodness. He sounded more like he was reciting a lesson by heart, to be honest."

"Oh, Rory, Rory… I too need rules," was the Doctor's cryptic response.

"Come on, Doctor!" the red-haired cheered. "After all the times you saved the world, cut yourself some slack. Guess what? I think you need a nice, uneventful holiday."

Her husband nodded vigorously. "What about this deliciously smelling planet you wanted to bring us to?"

The Time Lord's spirits returned and, finding his smile again, he flipped a switch on the console. He truly had wonderful friends.

Julia and Douglas laughed in delight as Terrence carried them on his casing, half a meter above ground. Knowing where he came from, that he was an extraterrestrial, a being genetically engineered to remove all emotions except rage and hatred, actually helped him overcome the confusion, frustration and self-loathing he'd too often felt in the past. Even though he would always need to quell his bursts of anger and urges to destroy strangers, even though the Barrys' joy and love and hugging would forever remain alien to him, it didn't matter. He was Terrence Barry, and he belonged with his family. Being with them, caring for them, entertaining them, protecting them was his place in the universe.

It was right.



Doctor Who fanfictions.
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Last update: 6th December 2012.