The TARDIS hurdled through space towards the Dalek ships. Lilith and the Doctor were dancing around the controls, keeping in on course. Jack was messing around with the wiring of the extrapolator. “We've got incoming!” he warned the two Gallifreyans.
The Dalek missiles struck the TARDIS. The ship shook violently, but stayed intact. “The extrapolator's working. We've got a fully functional force field. Try saying that when you're drunk.”
“And for my next trick…” the Doctor pulled a lever and the TARDIS materialized around Rose and the nearest Dalek. “Rose, get down! Get down, Rose!”
“Exterminate!” the Dalek cried, firing and missing. Jack took out the Dalek with the modified Defabricator.
“You did it.” Rose exclaimed. The Doctor hugged Rose tightly. “Feels like I haven't seen you in years.”
“I told you I'd come and get you,” the Doctor said.
“Never doubted it.”
“I did. You all right?”
“Yeah. You?” she asked, looking him over.
He shrugged her off. “Not bad, been better.”
“Hey, don't I get a hug?” Jack held his arms open.
“Oh, come here!”
“I was talking to him.” He laughed and hugged her. “Ha, ha! Welcome home.”
Lilith took her hugging turn hugging Rose when Jack let go. “Glad you’re alive, Tyler.”
“Oh, I thought I'd never see you again.”
“Oh, you were lucky. I was just a one shot wonder.” Jack said. “Drained the gun of all its power supply. Now it's just a piece of junk.”
Lilith went over next to where the Doctor knelt, studying the exploded Dalek. “Gross,” she murmured.
“You said they were extinct.” Rose said. “How comes they're still alive?”
Jack joined them. “One minute they're the greatest threat in the Universe, the next minute they vanished out of time and space.”
“They went off to fight a bigger war,” the Doctor stood up straight. “The Time War.”
“I thought that was just a legend.”
“I was there. The war between the Daleks and the Time Lords, with the whole of creation at stake. My people were destroyed, but they took the Daleks with them. I almost thought it was worth it. Now it turns out they died for nothing.”
Lilith slipped her hand into the Doctor’s and squeezed. She sent him a telepathic wave of comfort, which he promptly ignored.
“There's thousands of them now. We could hardly stop one. What're we going to do?”
The Doctor snapped into his ‘deflecting cheer’ mode. “No good stood round here chin wagging. Human race, you'd gossip all day. The Daleks have got the answers. Let's go and meet the neighbors.” He headed to the doors.
“You can't go out there!” Rose cried.
“Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!” The Daleks all chorused and shot at the Doctor. The rays were stopped by a force field extending a good three meters out from the TARDIS.
“Is that it? Useless! Null points,” the Doctor taunted. “It's all right, come on out. That force field can hold back anything.”
“Almost anything.” Jack amended. Lilith glared at him.
“Yes, but I wasn't going to tell them that. Thanks.”
“Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek Home world?” the Doctor growled, walking up to a Dalek. “The Oncoming Storm. You might've removed all your emotions but I reckon right down deep in your DNA, there's one little spark left, and that's fear. Doesn't it just burn when you face me? So tell me. How did you survive the Time War?”
“They survived through me,” a deep, Dalek voice said. The lights came up to reveal a large apparatus, which, on closer inspection, Lilith found to be an exploded giant Dalek casing, and a blue-skinned Dalek was happy for everyone to see it sitting there as if on a throne.
“Oh, Rassilon.” Lilith breathed.
“Rose, Captain, Lilith,” the Doctor said, “this is the Emperor of the Daleks.”
“You destroyed us, Doctor. The Dalek race died in your inferno, but my ship survived, falling through time, crippled but alive.”
“I get it.”
“Do not interrupt.”
“Do not interrupt.”
“Do not interrupt.”
“I think you're forgetting something. I'm the Doctor, and if there's one thing I can do, it's talk. I've got five billion languages, and you haven't got one way of stopping me. So if anybody's going to shut up, it's you!” the Doctor shouted at the smaller Daleks, who rolled backwards a bit. "Okey dokey.” He turned back to the Emperor Dalek. “So, where were we?”
“We waited here in the dark space, damaged but rebuilding. Centuries passed, and we quietly infiltrated the systems of Earth, harvesting the waste of humanity. The prisoners, the refugees, the dispossessed. They all came to us. The bodies were filtered, pulped, sifted. The seed of the human race is perverted. Only one cell in a billion was fit to be nurtured."
“So you created an army of Daleks out of the dead,” the Doctor concluded.
Rose frowned. “That makes them half human.”
“Those words are blasphemy.”
“Do not blaspheme.”
“Do not blaspheme.”
“Do not blaspheme.”
Lilith looked around at the smaller Daleks. “What the hell?”
“Everything human has been purged. I cultivated pure and blessed Dalek.”
“Since when did the Daleks have a concept of blasphemy?” the Doctor asked.
“I reached into the dirt and made new life. I am the God of all Daleks!”
“Worship him! Worship him! Worship him!”
“Oh great, just what we needed.” Lilith moaned. “A Dalek with a god complex.”
“They're insane,” the Doctor realized. “Hiding in silence for hundreds of years, that's enough to drive anyone mad. But it's worse than that. Driven mad by your own flesh, the stink of humanity. You hate your own existence. And that makes them more deadly than ever. We're going.”
“You may not leave my presence!” the Emperor Dalek said.
“Stay where you are!” commanded a Dalek.
“Exterminate! Exterminate!” The Doctor, Rose, Lilith, and Jack went back inside the TARDIS. The Daleks started shooting at the force field again.
The Doctor leaned his head against the doors. Lilith pulled him into a tight hug. ‘We’ll figure this out. Everything is going to be fine. We’ll get rid of them.’
He held her close. ‘You can’t possibly know that Lilith. This could easily be the end.’
Lilith started the engines and in moments, they rematerialized on floor 500. “Turn everything up. All transmitters full power, wide open. Now! Do it!” the Doctor ordered the remaining three people.
“What does this do?” Pavale asked.
“It’ll stop the Daleks from transmatting on board.” Lilith explained. “What happened on this end? Did you contact Earth?”
“Well, we tried to warn them, but all they did was suspend our license because we stopped the programs.”
“And the planet's just sitting there, defenseless.” The Doctor noticed the identity of one of the remaining people. “Lynda, what're you still doing on board? I told you to evacuate everyone.”
“She wouldn't go.” Pavale shrugged.
“Didn't want to leave you two.” Lynda said sincerely.
“There weren't enough shuttles anyway, or I wouldn't be here,” the still unnamed woman muttered. “We've got about a hundred people stranded on Floor Zero.”
“Oh, my God. The Fleet is moving. They're on their way.”
The Doctor started pulling bits out of the conduits. “The Dalek plan— big mistake. Because what have they left me with? Anyone? Anyone? Oh, come on, it's obvious. A great big transmitter. This station. If I can change the signal, fold it back, sequence it, anyone?”
Realization dawned on Lilith. “You can’t be serious.”
Jack’s eye widened. “You've got to be kidding.”
“Give the man a medal.”
“A Delta Wave?”
“A Delta Wave!” the Doctor confirmed.
“What's a Delta Wave?” Rose asked.
“A wave of Van Cassadyne energy. It fries your brain.” Jack said. “Stand in the way of a Delta Wave and your head gets barbequed.”
“And this place can transmit a massive wave. Wipe out the Daleks!” the Doctor crowed. “Trouble is, wave this size, building this big, brain as clever as mine, should take about, oh, three days?”
Lilith stepped forward. “But add me to the mix, and we can cut that time in half. How long till the Fleet arrive?”
Pavale checked the monitor. “Twenty two minutes.”
Lilith and the Doctor went to work rerouting bits and pieces of the station while Jack worked on modifying the extrapolator again. “We've now got a force field so they can't blast us out of the sky, but that doesn't stop the Daleks from physically invading.”
“Do they know about the Delta Wave?” Pavale asked.
“They'll have worked it out at the same time. So, they want to stop the Doctor. That means they've got to get to this level, five hundred. Now, I can concentrate the extrapolator around the top six levels, five hundred to four nine five. So they'll penetrate the station below that at level four nine four and fight their way up.”
“Who are they fighting?”
“And what are we fighting with?”
“The guards had guns with bastic bullets. That's enough to blow a Dalek wide open.”
“There's five of us,” the still unnamed woman pointed out.
“Rose, you can help us. I need all these wires stripping bare,” the Doctor said.
“Right, now there's four of us.”
“Then let's move it.” Jack said. “Into the lift. Isolate the lift controls.” Pavale and his colleague ran off.
Lynda went over the Lilith. “I just want to say, er, thanks, I suppose, and I'll do my best.”
Lilith smiled. “We will too.” They shook hands and Lynda moved away.
Jack came over next. “It's been fun, but I guess this is goodbye.”
“Don't talk like that.” Rose said. “The Doctor's going to do it. You just watch him.”
“Rose, you are worth fighting for.” Jack kissed her, and then turned to the Doctor. “Wish I'd never met you, Doctor. I was much better off as a coward.” He kissed the Doctor in the same way, and then looked at Lilith, who held him at arms length with tears in her eyes.
“Don’t you dare kiss me goodbye, Jack Harkness.” She pulled him into a tight hug and whispered in his ear, “I love you, Uncle Jack.”
“See you in hell.” Jack said to them and left.
“He's going to be all right,” Rose said, “isn't he?”
Lilith smiled tightly. “He’s Jack. He’s probably gonna seduce the Daleks into not killing him.”
They went back to fiddling with the wires. Rose was the one to break the silence. “Suppose…”
The Doctor looked up. “What?”
“Nothing,” she dismissed.
“You said suppose,” he prompted.
“No, I was just thinking. I mean, obviously you can't, but, you've got a time machine. Why can't you just go back to last week and warn them?”
“As soon as the TARDIS lands in that second, I become part of events, stuck in the timeline,” the Doctor explained.
“Yeah, thought it'd be something like that.” Rose said.
Lilith stayed silent. She remembered this part of the story. She knew what was coming and she didn’t like it one bit.
“There's another thing the TARDIS could do,” the Doctor said. “It could take us away. We could leave. Let history take its course. We go to Marbella in 1989.”
“Yeah, but you'd never do that.”
“No, but you could ask. Never even occurred to you, did it?”
Rose shrugged. “Well, I'm just too good.”
“The Delta Wave's started building. How long does it need?” They ran over to a console. He sighed and looked down.
“Is that bad?” Rose asked. “Okay, it's bad. How bad is it?”
The Doctor suddenly sat up straight, eyes wide. “Rose Tyler, you're a genius! We can do it. If I use the TARDIS to cross my old timeline… yes!”
‘What are you doing?’ Lilith asked, knowing the answer.
‘Don’t interfere,’ was his reply.
Lilith watched as Rose followed the Doctor into the TARDIS, then as the Doctor came running out. He stopped, looked at the TARDIS with the most torn expression Lilith had ever seen, and then raised the sonic screwdriver and buzzed it.
The TARDIS dematerialized with Rose screaming from the inside.
“She’s going to hate you for that.”
“We protect the people we love at any cost,” the Doctor said flatly. “No matter the sacrifice.”
“That’s the closest you’ll ever come to saying it, isn’t it?” Lilith sighed and shook her head. “Let’s just get back to work.”
“Rose,” Jack said over the monitor, “I've called up the internal laser codes. There should be a different number on every screen. Can you read them out to me?”
“She's not here.” Lilith said dully.
“Of all the times to take a leak. When she gets back, tell her to read me the codes.”
“She's not coming back,” the Doctor told him.
Jack frowned. “What do you mean? Where'd she go?”
“Just get on with your work.”
“You took her home, didn't you?”
“The Delta Wave. Is it ever going to be ready?” Jack asked.
“Tell them the truth, Doctor.” The Emperor Dalek appeared eon the holo-viewscreen. “There is every possibility the Delta Wave could be complete, but no possibility of refining it. The Delta Wave must kill every living thing in its path, with no distinction between human and Dalek. All things will die by your hand.”
“Doctor, the range of this transmitter covers the entire Earth.” Jack pointed out.
“You would destroy Daleks and Humans together. If I am God, the creator of all things, then what does that make you, Doctor?”
“There are colonies out there. The Human Race would survive in some shape or form, but you're the only Daleks in existence!” the Doctor snapped. “The whole Universe is in danger if I let you live. Do you see, Jack? That's the decision I've got to make for every living thing. Die as a human or live as a Dalek. What would you do?”
“You sent her home. She's safe. Keep working.” Jack said sincerely.
“But he will exterminate you!”
Jack grinned. “Never doubted him, never will.”
The Doctor got up and went over to the viewsceen. “Now, you tell me, God of all Daleks, because there's one thing I never worked out. The words Bad Wolf, spread across time and space, everywhere, drawing me in. How'd you manage that?”
“I did nothing,” the Emperor Dalek claimed.
“Oh, come on, there's no secrets now, your worship.”
“They are not part of my design. This is the Truth of God. If you wish to know, ask the child.”
The Doctor frowned and turned to Lilith. “Lilith? What do you know?”
Lilith bit her lip. “It’s never been about you, Uncle. It’s always been about Rose. You’ve cornered a wolf and left her with no way out. You made a mistake, sending her home.”
The young Time Lady could only sit and watch the Doctor continue to set up the Delta wave and listen to the reports of what was going on. “This is it, ladies and gentlemen! We are at war!” Jack announced.
The Daleks forced their way in through the airlock on floor four nine four. The Doctor and Lilith picked up the pace as an explosion shook all of the Game Station. Somewhere down on that floor, a group of people was shooting ineffectively at the Daleks. They would all be exterminated.
The Daleks made it to floor four nine five where’s they’d be met by the Anne Droid. The robot would take out two, maybe three Daleks before getting its head blown off.
Then, things went wrong. Lynda reported that the Daleks were going down instead of up. In moments, the entirety of floor zero would be exterminated as well.
“Lynda, what’s happening on Earth?” the Doctor asked.
“The Fleet's descending. They're bombing whole continents. Europa, Pacifica, the New American Alliance. Australasia's just gone.”
The Daleks made it to floor four nine nine and exterminate the last defense. They find Lynda and take her too.
“Last man standing! For God's sake, Doctor, finish that thing and kill them!” Jack shouted.
“Finish that thing and kill mankind!” the Emperor Dalek taunted.
“Doctor, you've got twenty seconds maximum!” At that moment, Lilith knew Jack had run out of bullets. Tears streamed down her face as she heard the sound of the Dalek blaster snuffing out her godfather’s life.
“It's ready!” the Doctor exclaimed. Lilith rushed to his side and Daleks surrounded them. “You really want to think about this, because if I activate the signal, every living creature dies.”
“I am immortal.”
“Do you want to put that to the test?”
“I want to see you become like me. Hail the Doctor, the Great Exterminator,” the Emperor Dalek said.
“I'll do it!” the Doctor warned.
“Then prove yourself, Doctor. What are you, coward or killer?”
The Doctor was shaking. Lilith could see the pain on his face. She wrapped her arm around his and sent him a wave of comfort. He closed his eyes and lowered his head. “Coward. Any day.”
“Mankind will be harvested because of your weakness.”
“And what about us? Are we becoming some of your angels?” Lilith asked.
“You are the heathen!” declared the Emperor Dalek. “You will be exterminated.”
“Maybe it's time.”
The Doctor took Lilith’s hand and closed his eyes. ‘I’m sorry it had to end like this.’
Suddenly, the air was filled with the sound of the TARDIS materializing behind them. Lilith’s eyes snapped open. Here we go.
“Alert! TARDIS materializing!”
“You will not escape!”
The TARDIS doors opened. Rose stood there, silhouetted in a blinding golden light, energy tendrils snaking outwards. “What've you done?” the Doctor shouted.
“I looked into the TARDIS,” Rose said calmly, “and the TARDIS looked into me.”
“You looked into the Time Vortex. Rose, no one's meant to see that!”
“This is the Abomination!” cried the Emperor Dalek.
“Exterminate!” One of the Daleks shot at Rose, but she stopped the beam with a wave of her hand.
“I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words, I scatter them in time and space. A message to lead myself here."
“Rose, you've got to stop this. You've got to stop this now,” the Doctor insisted. “You've got the entire vortex running through your head. You're going to burn.”
“I want you safe. My Doctor. Protected from the false god.” Rose said, looking down at him.
“You cannot hurt me!” the Emperor Dalek stated. “I am immortal!”
“You are tiny. I can see the whole of time and space. Every single atom of your existence, and I divide them.” She waved her hand and a Dalek disintegrated. “Everything must come to dust. All things. Everything dies. The Time War ends.” All of the Daleks crumbled.
“I will not die. I cannot die!” But the spaceship disappeared in a golden wave.
“Rose, you've done it. Now stop. Just let go!” the Doctor pleaded.
“How can I let go of this? I bring life.”
Lilith felt the moment Jack became a fixed point in time. She desperately wanted to go to him, to make sure he was on the TARDIS when they left, but she couldn’t.
“But this is wrong!” the Doctor protested. “You can't control life and death.”
“But I can. The sun and the moon, the day and night. But why do they hurt?” Rose asked.
“The power's going to kill you and it's my fault,” he said hopelessly.
“I can see everything. All that is, all that was, all that ever could be.”
The Doctor stood. “That's what I see. All the time. And doesn't it drive you mad?”
“It's killing me…”
“I think you need a Doctor.”
The Doctor kissed Rose. The golden energy transferred from her eyes to his, then she fainted in his arms. The Doctor exhaled the energy back into the TARDIS and its doors closed. Lilith ran to his side.
“You moron.” She sobbed, hugging him close. “You’re going to regenerate!”
“I know,” he said solemnly. She helped him bring Rose into the TARDIS.
“What happened?” Rose asked when she came to.
“Don't you remember?” the Doctor said.
Rose sat up. “It's like there was this singing.”
“That's right. I sang a song and the Daleks ran away.”
Lilith rolled her eyes from her spot on the jump seat. She tucked her knees under her chin, not taking her eyes off of the Doctor. Waiting for the dreaded glow to appear.
“I was at home. No, I wasn't,” she frowned, “I was in the TARDIS, and there was this light. I can't remember anything else.”
There it was. His hand was starting to glow.
“Rose Tyler,” the Doctor sighed, “I was going take you to so many places. Barcelona. Not the city Barcelona, the planet Barcelona. You'd love it. Fantastic place. They've got dogs with no noses. Imagine how many times a day you end up telling that joke, and it's still funny.”
“Then why can't we go?”
“Maybe you will, maybe Lilith will, and maybe I will. But not like this.” He was speaking through gritted teeth.
“You're not making sense.” Rose said, standing up.
“I might never make sense again. I might have two heads, or no head. Imagine me with no head.” The Doctor laughed. “And don't say that's an improvement. But it's a bit dodgy, this process. You never know what you're going to end up with.” He doubled over in pain.
“Doctor!” Rose cried.
Lilith vaulted over the jump seat to hold Rose back. “You’ve got to keep back, Tyler."
“Someone tell me what's going on.”
“I absorbed all the energy of the Time Vortex, and no one's meant to do that. Every cell in my body's dying,” the Doctor explained.
“Can't you do something?” Rose panicked.
“Yeah, I'm doing it now. Time Lords have this little trick,” he told her. “It's sort of a way of cheating death. Except it means I'm going to change, and I'm not going to see you again. Not like this. Not with this daft old face. And before I go—”
“Don't say that.” Rose begged.
“Rose, Lilith, before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what?” The Doctor paused. “So was I.”
Golden light burst out of the Doctor's body. It was not the change Lilith remembered. Everything changed very suddenly and, before she knew it, a familiar man was standing in front her.
“Hello. Okay. Ooh, new teeth. That's weird. So, where was I? Oh, that's right.” the Tenth Doctor beamed. “Barcelona.”