THE ‘SHOGGOTH’ INCURSION –Nikki White
The planet on which the Tardis materialised was desolate, windswept and cold. Jagged rocks thrust up the flat barren plain, forming a rough circle around some ruins. A large pale red sun hung in a clear starless sky above the horizon. The Doctor and Sarah Jane stepped outside. "Bit chilly for a place you described as a semi-tropical paradise, Doctor," the girl said.
"Ah- well - yes. It seems to have changed a little bit since last I was here. Must be further forward than I thought. Look at that sun. It's a very old planet now. Still, we aren't going to stand around discussing the weather, are we?"
They both started to walk in a westerly direction. "As I recall, there is a city just over the rise. We'll head for that," the Doctor continued.
Sarah nodded. "And then we can go back to the Tardis. They say Brighton's nice this time of year. Anyway it can't be worse than this,"
They began to climb the slope in front of them. It was rather hard going is the ground was covered with small pebbles that slipped beneath their feet. The Doctor had to help Sarah a couple of times when it seemed likely she would topple backwards. However, by grasping large boulders that jutted up, they made their way the top..
Below then, were the remains of what had been a large city for there were a number of large, stone buildings, their roofs open to the sky, as well as the foundations of many smaller ones.
"Hmm," said the Doctor, standing up and rubbing his chin..
"Come on, Doctor, let's go off to Brighton. I don't think much of the accommodation here. It looks deserted."
"I wonder what could have caused that. The people were well able to take care of themselves in the event of an attack, and there is no evidence of a disaster such as an earthquake or a flood. Even the obvious climate changes wouldn't have driven them to desert their city, surely? Do you notice the lack of any vegetation - not only where we walked but also in the ruins? Usually... " He was interrupted by a loud shout behind him, which was repeated several times.
They turned to see a figure on the next ridge waving at them, waving at them. Having attracted their attention, the figure darted towards them, gesturing that they should follow it.
The Doctor and Sarah looked at each other. Just then, another sound came from the opposite direction, a rather less familiar sound not unlike a herd of trumpeting elephants, which ended in a wild banshee-like screech.
At that point, the figure finally got within earshot. "Hurry up. You're in terrible danger if you stay here. Follow me!" A repetition of the sound, this time much closer, convinced the Doctor and Sarah that this suggestion might have some merit to it. They hurried across the ridge in the direction of the figure who had turned and started bac the way it had come. They followed, running as best they could over the uncertain ground with the wild trumpeting and screeching behind them, spurring them on.
Gasping for breath, they reached a narrow cleft in the rocks where the figure who they saw to be a man in some sort of space suit, was waiting for them. He grabbed them and dragged them inside, down a narrow passage just wide for one person to move if he or she was flattened against the wall.
As they moved down the corridor, the Doctor turned his head to the entrance and caught a glimpse of something white and viscous-looking, heaving outside. He hastily turned away
After following the passageway for some minutes, they reached a place where it widened out into to a large cave. Their guide halted and spoke to another space-suited man who was standing guard. They went inside and found a group of about six people, all in space suits like their guide.
"Captain," the latter said, addressing a tall, dark woman, sitting in the centre of the group, "I found these two outside.I had to bring them in before one of the Shoggoths, got them since they appear to be human."
The woman stood up and spoke to the Doctor and Sarah. "I am Captain Carmilla Winters, in comman of Galactic Exploration Croup 12 - Earth Division. Who are you?"
"Ah -Earth. We are also from Earth. This is Miss Sarah Jane Smith, and I'm Doctor -er –John Smith."
"What are you doing here? This planet is out of bounds to all but those on Galactic Federation business."
"Why? It used not to be."
Captain Winters looked at. him strangely. "Don't you listen to news broadcasts or read the official gazettes? The planet's been declared a plague planet due to its infestation by the 'Shoggoths'. That's why we are here - to see what can be done to destroy them. Now, why are you here?"
"I see. My space ship developed a fault and we had to put down here. When did these 'shoggoths' come to Kolkoth?"
"Kolkoth! No one has used that name for centuries. As to when the ‘shoggoths' came, we don't
know. It has always been like this - at least since we explored this arm of the galaxy. Indeed, the captain of the first exploration ship gave this planet and the creatures the names by which they are now known, 'Shaggai' and 'Shoggoth' respectively. Rumour has it that he got these names from stories in an old 20th century pulp magazine." Indicating the group in space suits she continued with grim features, "We came here to put an end to these things which are growing in numbers and somehow spreading to other planets in this sector. We have lost more than half our numbers in the attempt."
"So there goes your little holiday resort Doctor."
"It does rather seem that way."
Just then another woman entered, reporting that the 'shoggoth' had gone. Captain Winters and four of the others picked up their guns and headed towards the entrance. The Doctor and Sarah followed.
Once outside the group scattered in various directions. The Doctor and Sarah remained with the Captain. Sarah asked, "What exactly are these 'shoggoths'?"
"'They are enormous slug-like creatures and are only partly of matter as we know it. Their appetites are voracious, devouring any living thing, We have finally discovered a type of explosive that destroys them and that is what my people have scattered to do - plant the explosive in the path of any they find. As you can imagine, this is a dangerous business and slow. We hope to discover where they breed and destroy them at their origin."
They were walking over a ridge, somewhat lower than the one in which the cave was located. In a little hollow below them was a large space ship that reminded Sarah of a jelly-mould in shape, theplain sort, not the ridged. The Doctor was about to ask the Captain if it belonged to her party whenhe saw a familiar, sinister metallic cone shape on a rise above it, but still below them. He stopped and pulled Sarah by the arm.
"Daleks!" he hissed, "get down!"
"I see only one Doctor," Captain Winters commented, while continuing to stroll along the ridge.
The Doctor concluded that the strain of worrying about the threat of the 'shoggoths' had dulled her mind to other dangers. Fortunately, the Dalek had its attention elsewhere. its eyestick was fixed on the sky and it remained motionless.
"I don't see what worries you. The Dalek is only taking readings," she called over her shoulder. "Come on, You never know what may be behind you. Anyone would think you had never seen a Dalek before."
"It is precisely because I have Madam, that I am so concerned," the Doctor snapped, but the
Captain had already disappeared around the next rise.
He scrambled to his feet and saw a huge featureless white head on a long waving neck, peering down at him. He also saw the cruel slit of a mouth open to reveal rows of jagged teeth. He gripped Sarah's arm again and dragged her away from it. All at once, the edge of the ridge gave way and he found himself and Sarah half falling, half rolling down the slope. He had no idea whether the ‘shoggoth' was aware of where he had gone. All he could see was a confused kaleidoscope of sky, rock, Sarah's arm, and the Dalek space ship rapidly rising to meet him. He closed his eyes as blackness enveloped him.
When he opened his eyes, he had come to rest on his back. He found himself looking into the eyestick of the Dalek which was staring down at this rude interruption to its observations. The business end of its gun waved into his range of vision.
"Are-you--da--maged?" it barked in its metallic, staccato monotone.
This wasn't quite what the Doctor had been expecting, knowing the race's usual ruthless ask-questions-later approach.
"I don't know."
"I-will--ex-am-ine" the Dalek said, There was a click and a hum as the eye piece thoroughly examined his body. Then the Dalek said, "Da-mage su-per-ficial. Torn li-ga-ment in leg. Bruised shoul-der –and – back. You - can – stand."
The Doctor wasn't sure if this was a statement or a question but knowing the Daleks, it was probably the former. He struggled to his feet and found it difficult to put his left foot down. He looked across to where Sarah was sitting against a boulder rubbing her head and shoulder. At least she was only 'superficially damaged’, to coin a phrase. Which brought him back to his present situation. What was the use of escaping from the 'shoggoth' with only 'superficial damage' if they were to be exterminated by a Dalek. It was a case of 'out of the frying-pan, into the fire' indeed.
He looked at the Dalek. The ball was in its court. He wasn't going to make any first moves. A screeching trumpeting was heard over the ridge and the pallid, flabby body of a 'shoggoth' oozed its way downward towards the ship, and themselves. The Doctor moved aside, not wishing to be caught in the way of the Dalek's ray when it decided to exterminate the 'shoggoth'. He wondered how effective their rays were against such a creature. The 'shoggoth's' waving head came within 10 metres of the Dalek. The Doctor and Sarah were almost overcome by its mephitic odour. The Dalek, to the Doctor's astonishment, did nothing but stand observing the creature. Perhaps their guns were ineffective after all. If so why didn't it retreat into the space craft?
Suddenly Sarah cried, "Fire! Why don't you kill it?"
But the Dalek only said, "Go - in-to - the - ship, both - of- you."
"But..." Sarah began and was stopped in mid sentence.
" 0- bey - the – Da-leks!"
The Doctor had heard that one before. "Better do as it says," he muttered, taking her arm and quickly hobbling up the ramp into the ship. The Dalek came behind them and the ramp closed shut.
"But why didn't it fire?" asked Sarah "It had plenty of opportunity. They were never slow to fire before,, no matter what the odds."
"You're right. Whatever else you might say about the Daleks, you could never accuse them of cowardice. No, there must be something else," said the Doctor looking wary. He looked around.
Inside the ship were about a dozen Daleks, including a Black Dalek. They were all very busy at their posts around bank after bank of computer equipment. The Dalek which had been outside with them, glided straight to a terminal and began to feed vast amounts of data into it with a low buzzing murmur. For the moment the Doctor and Sarah were ignored in a room full of Daleks!
"Ac-ti-vate-de-fence-sy-stems!" The Black Dalek ordered. A klaxon sounded and red lights flashed.
"Force- field- on," came a reply.
The klaxon stopped blaring and the red lights stopped flashing.
"Shog-g-oth – retreating."
The Black Dalek backed into the middle of the room and abruptly swung its eyestick at the Doctor. "Hu-mans. What - are - they - do-ing - here? Re-port!"
The Dalek which had been outside replied, "They - were - un-der - att-ack - from - the - Shogg-oth. They suff-er-ed, - some - min-or - da-mage."
"Then - they - must - be - re-tur-ned!
The Doctor's eyebrows shot up to his hairline at this unexpected response. He immediately suspected a trap. Perhaps the Daleks wanted to know the whereabouts of the human camp.
"The-Shogg-oth-is-still-in-the-vi-cin-ity," reported the Dalek.
"There - is - still - dan-ger - to - you - out-side. You - will - re-main – here. We-will-con-tinue- our - observations - of - this - crea-ture. To-day - was - the - clo-sest – one-came-to-us. Be-cause-they- can-riot - eat - us - we - are - of - no - use - to - them," the Black Dalek said.
"Is that why you didn't fire at it, because you wanted to observe it it later," said the Doctor, feeling as if he were seeing the light for the for the first time.
The Black Dalek swung sharply around at him so that its gun was pointing ominously. The Doctor feared that the word "destroy" had reminded the Dalek of unfinished business. He and Sarah were both helpless in the Dalek space ship, there was no escape.
After turning on the Doctor and Sarah so violently, the Black Dalek remained poised, motionless as if it was deeply shocked. It then broke its silence and said, "We -Da-leks -do -not -kill, e-ven in -self - de-fence!"
The Doctor rubbed his ear, not sure if he had heard correctly. He felt as if the light he had seen as to the Daleks' motives, had been abruptly extinguished, leaving him in the dark once more.
"Pardon? You did say you don't kill, didn't you?"
"That-is-cor.r-ect. The- Da-leks-do-not-be-lieve-in-vi-o-lence. We-mere-ly-wished-to-ob-ser-ve- such- a -high-ly -un-us-ual -creature -for- scientific -pur-po-ses."
The Doctor was feeling weak. In his dazed state he threw diplomacy to the winds and said, "But when I last encountered your race these noble thoughts were far from your minds. You were the most ruthless and cruel race in the galaxy, bent solely on power, killing everything that got in your way, oppressing countless planets."
"That -was -true- many -ages -a-go. Now -we - have - abandoned - the - way - of -vi-o-lence and - the - irrational - and - are - dedicated - to - peace. E-ven - our - guns - no - lon-ger - ca-rry ve-ry - pow-er-ful - char-ges. They - only - stun. if - Me-na-lek - had - not - been - near - the - ship - when the - shoggoth - at-ack-ed - he - would - have - cea-sed - to - ex-ist. All - we - have - left - of - our - em-pire is - a - core - of - pla-nets - near - Ska-ro, the - oth-ers - have - been - free-d."
The Doctor sat down abruptly.
"You -look -pale. Are -you -operating -correctly?" asked the Black Dalek, looking at him.
The Doctor tried to speak but only a croak emerged. The shock of discovering the Daleks to be a race of peaceful, non-violent scientists devoid of the usual megalomania, was almost enough to effect another transformation of his face and body. He fought against it, telling himself he didn't want' to be nurse-maided by a Dalek!
Finally he asked, "How did this dramatic transformation come about?"
"It - was - the - work - of - a - small - but - se-lect - group - of - Da-leks – led- by - Sym-men-ar-lek'- the - Re-for-mer, one - of - the - High - Coun-cil. They - encountered - a - race - that - showed - us - the er-ror - of - our - ways. Un-der - the - slo-gan - 'Ex-ter-min-ation - is - illogical they –instituted a - ser-ies - of - re-forms - that - made - us - what - we - are - to-day. "
"I'd like to hear more about this," said the Doctor, wondering how far into the future he had come. Certainly a long way indeed to find the Daleks so changed and their warlike past forgotten. For undoubtedly this explained Captain Winters' casual acceptance of their presence. Doubtless, she and her fellows never knew them as anything else but harmless, perambulating pepper-pots.
In the twelfth year of the Firestar, to use the old Kaled calender (the Black Dalek explained), an expedition consisting of Symenarlek and three other High Councillors, plus ten Dalek rankers, set out on a mission of conquest to a planet in the Cadmus system. This was the next step in the expansion of the Empire. When they got there, they found other worlds had also sent expeditions, but for exploration purposes only, as there were some interesting archaeological remains. This being the case the Daleks decided to pose as a scientific expedition, while waiting for reinforcements from Skaro.
All went well at first. They were welcomed by the other races who seemed to be part of some federation of worlds. They made superficial studies of the ancient civilisation around them and pretended to aid the other explorers with their advanced technology.
Then one day Symenarlek and two of the High Councillors and five of the other Daleks were exploring a passageway in a part of the ruins, remote from the rest of the explorers. Suddenly, at the turn of the corridor, they found themselves in a huge room filled with complex machinery. All around the room were panels with many dials, lights and switches, now coated with dust. Running off from them was an intricate array of coils, spirals, helices, rods and the like, which reached up to the domed roof. In the centre of the room stood a small black box, also covered with dust. All the Daleks but one of the rankers moved towards it. As they passed in front of it, a blinding beam of; green light lanced out, enveloping all of them. In an instant it was over. It was determined later that in passing, the flanges of the casing of one of the Daleks must have touched a button which was part of the machine's defence system.
The seven Daleks remained motionless and the eighth, undamaged tried to raise a response from them. A quick scan showed they were not dead but that their minds were damaged. In particular, the memory circuits had been blocked off. The eighth Dalek, Kyralek, went to get help, knowing he could not drag his companions out by himself. The other scientists were willing to help as, to them, the Daleks were nothing more than fellow scientists in trouble.
Back at the camp, various methods were tried to restore consciousness to the damaged Daleks.
Nothing seemed to work. The doctors of the various races reached the same conclusion Kyralek had that the damage was located in the mind.
"What we need to do is to reach those lost minds and draw them out," one of the human
A long conference followed and finally a solution was reached. Among the scientists was a race
who had the ability to reach in and touch the mind of another. Not only that, they had been successful
in treating similar cases. So the seven catatonic Daleks were led into a room where seven scientists of that race were waiting. The scientists were of a hawklike humanoid type with sallow skins and pointed ears. They were very respectfully asked to help the Daleks recover their minds. Apparently the procedure of ‘mind-melding' as it was called, required a great deal of them. But they agreed because it was illogical to lose and waste good scientific brains while there was still a chance they might be saved.
Each scientist approached a Dalek and placed a hand on either side of the head, just below the lights and took a deep breath, concentrating hard at the same time. Then they intoned: "My mind to your mind. I am a Vulcan. You are a Dalek. Our minds are drawing closer ... closer.." This was repeated over and over endlessly. The Vulcans were sweating with the exertion and gradually became tired but still they continued always intoning the same words.
The one began to say, "I am Sponn. You are Symenarlek. My mind to your mind. Closer- clo- Ah! Ex-ter-min-ate-exter-min-ate-exter- -- No! That is illogical. A Vulcan does not kill. I am a Vulcan. I am a - o-bey-the-Da-leks-or-you-will- -- No! I am a Vulcan. Your mind is an ugly one, Symenarlek and it is invading mine, but I will overcome it."
There was an abrupt tension filled silence while perspiration ran down Sponn's face. Suddenly he pulled away and Symenarlek rolled forward, fully conscious now. The Dalek swung his gun around.
"Die. You-know-too-much-a-bout-us," he said. Then suddenly paused and continued: "It-is-ver-y-
strange-l-do-no t-want- to-ex- ter-min-a te-you." Then he added, "or-any-one-else. It-is-il-log-ical."
He glided to a corner of the room. "It-is-a-new-thought-l-must-con-sid-er-it."
While he was doing so, the other Daleks were coming to the surface with precisely the same results - a battle of wills between Dalek and Vulcan in which the former seemed to take over the
latters’ minds, followed by a silent struggle between the two and a strange unwillingness on the part of the Daleks to engage in force. Finally, the other six gathered in the corner with Symenarlek to consider matters. The Vulcans meantime, withdrew to rest.
During the mindmeld, the Daleks had learned as much of the Vulcans as the Vulcans had of them, as
it had been a deep-rooted contact. The Daleks saw a society based entirely on logic and non-violence, but which had strength, great intellect and technical knowledge like their own. The precepts of Vulcan society and philosophy such as the meaning of the Idic, the Commitment of Surak, the nome and so forth had been ingrained into the Daleks' minds during that meld, as the Vulcans' one defence against such a ruthless and aggressive race, whose true purpose and nature they had discovered.
Thereupon the seven pacified Daleks had no trouble in persuading Kyralek and the other High Councillor of the advisability of adopting Vulcan philosophy, mainly due to force of numbers. They then embarked for Skaro and set about putting their reforms of Dalek society and thinking into practice. This was done with typical Dalek efficiency and residual Dalek ruthlessness. Since a number of the reformers were on the High Council, they could initiate matters from the top and persuade others of the upper echelon to their point of view, Those that chose to fight rather than change were exterminated. The Dalek emperor was overthrown and a Board of ten set up in his place, each member having
supreme power for a limited term, in rotation. The Board was elected by an expanded High Council.
Thereafter Daleks were re-programmed to think logically and non-violently. Powerful guns were banned and only stun-guns were carried. Other weapons were destroyed. With the enthusiasm of the newly-converted, the Daleks carried their reforms to all planets of the empire. They ceased further conquests and concluded peace treaties with other planets. They joined the galactic federation and had a prominent place on its scientific committees. They threw open their resources and their best brains to all who wanted to use them, but there remained one area in which they resolutely refused to cooperate. They would not take part in any war. At all times they remained strictly neutral. Even the Thals could be prevailed upon to go to war before the Daleks would, became a saying throughout the galaxy. Generation succeeded generation and people forgot about what the Daleks had been. They were known only for their advanced technology, their brilliant scientific minds and their logical, non violent society.
When the Black Dalek finished its narrative, the Doctor loosened his cravat and opened his shirt
"We-have-made--peace-with-our- en-em-ies- in-clu-ding- you- Doc-tor" it added.
Before the Doctor could make any sort of adequate comment, another Dalek reported: "The - shog-goth – has - left - the - vicinity."
"Then it - is- safe for - you - to – re-turn."
The Doctor assembled his scattered wits and mumbled, "Come on, Sarah." Sarah, who had listened throughout the Dalek’s story with eyes round with astonishment, hastily joined his side. The Doctor, still feeling thoroughly upside down and inside out, turned to the Dalek and said, dazedly: "Well, goodbye, old chap, and thanks for having us." -- something he'd never dreamed of saying to a Dalek before.
The spaceship's ramp was lowered and they left. They scrambled up the slope as best they could in utter silence. Once they reached the top, the Doctor felt a return of his old suspicions and glanced back, but no Dalek was following, nor was there any evidence of one in the area. He supposed that what the Black Dalek had said was true; after all, the other humans hadn't seemed to worry about them. But he'd learned from long and bitter experience never to trust the word of a Dalek. He said as much to Sarah, and she said excitedly: "Do you really suppose that's true, what they said - the Daleks, I mean - about being against war? I've only met them once before and they weren't very friendly then. Not the sort to turn anti-war. Somehow I just can't picture a Dalek as a peacenik."
"Nor I, Sarah". He added, "But all evidence does seem to point to the contrary."
At that point Captain Winters appeared. She seemed annoyed. "Where have you two been?' I've had what's left of us out searching for you for the last couple of hours", she snapped. As she spoke, the others of the group re-appeared.
"We were in the Dalek spaceship", the Doctor replied.
"Hmph! Much good it would do you there. Those tinpots won't lift a finger to help the Federation in its fight against the 'shoggoths'. All they ever think about is their precious nonviolence policy. They wouldn't kill a shoggoth even if it was going to swallow one of them up." She spat contemptuously. "They are so attached to that no-killing idea of theirs that it's all they care about, no matter what the consequences. They couldn't give a hang about anyone else."
The Doctor frowned and rubbed his chin. "Well, Sarah - at least the Daleks haven't changed in one respect. They're still as selfish as ever. All this logic and non-violence philosophy seems to have done is remove their aggressive and ruthless instincts, making them peaceful but by no means selfless or helpful When it comes to bending their principles. Their loyalty to the Federation is strictly limited to not attacking other planets and people, and to offering their knowledge for only scientific purposes when needed. No, their minds are still as one-tracked as ever, Only now it is a different track. This nonviolence idea has done nothing to soften them."
"And now", Captain Winters said, breaking into his monologue, I've lost two more.. We have
very little hope of destroying these 'shioggoths'. No way of stopping them from breeding and spreading. All we can do, it seems, is to kill individuals until our explosives run out."
"Have you tried ? Asked the Daleks for help?", the words sounded strange in the Doctor's ears.
"What's the use? You saw how they are. That stupid tinpot this morning just stood in the shoggoth’s path taking readings. All in the name of science! Bah!" .
"But they are the most technically advanced race in the galaxy. I hate to admit it - nothing can equal the ingenuity of a Dalek, particularly under stress."
Captain Winters retorted: "The Federation did make some overtures at the outset, but were politely refused on the grounds of killing an alien life-form, even a hostile one, was against their philosophy. They did send a survey team - the one you saw."
"Well, I'm going to talk to the Daleks again, and see if I can make them see they must help you.
The Doctor turned away, squaring his shoulders and marched as best lie could, with his sore leg,
back down the slope with Sarah following behind. Captain Winters shook her bead and gathered her
group to consider best how they might deploy their dwindling resources.
As they crossed the broken ground outside the Dalek spaceship, Sarah said to the Doctor: "I gather you now believe the Daleks are genuine in this non-killing business."
"I do." he answered, "I wouldn't be risking this if I didn't. It'd be suicide."
When they reached the spaceship, tile ramp was down and they went inside. Sarah repressed a shudder as she found herself in the midst of the Daleks again. The Doctor went straight to the Black Dalek.
"I wish to talk with you about the Galactic mission here", he said.
The Dalek's eyestick swivelled around to face him. The Doctor continued before he could be interrupted. "Do you fully realise what they are here to do?"
"To exte-rminate - the - shog-goths".
"Yes, and do you know why? Because they are spreading outwards from this planet to others, swallowing up every inhabitable planet in this part of the galaxy, perhaps in the whole galaxy. They constitute a grave threat. The people here have done what they can with the weapons at their disposal, but they have not proved effective in destroying more than one at a time. They need weapons that will wipe them out in one blow, destroying their nests so they won't breed anymore. You alone of all races have the technology to produce such a weapon."
"We - will - not - kill - any - life-form - no - mat-ter - what- the - circumstances," was the reply.
"But don't you see what a threat those creatures are? Where they came from and how, I -don't know, but I do know this planet was once the most beautiful in this sector with a splendid civilisation of technically advanced beings. All that has been obliterated and the pattern will be repeated. Once they have finished here - devoured everything there is - they'll move on. Already this has started. They'll cut a swathe across the galaxy. Millions will die. Great cultures will be lost."
The Doctor paused, looking at the Dalek's absence of a face, knowing it was useless to appeal to its humanity, for it had none. Help, or at least corroboration of what he was saying - came from an unexpected source. A second Dalek said: "There - is - some truth in his the-ory. Com-put-er - an-al-y-sis - is of - da-ta – we - have - collected - shows a ser-ies - of - devastated - plan-ets - in a - dir-ect – line - from - here to the - edge - of - the gal-ax-y. Ex-trap-o-la-tion - of - that path - shows - the - shog-goths came from - An-drom-e-da or - be-yond."
The Black Dalek seemed to consider this. Heartened, the Doctor tried another tack. If he couldn't appeal to their humanity, he'd try their self-interest.
"As they reach more populated areas, they will spread out, they breed fast enough. Not even Skaro will be safe. Just because you are machine creatures with only your brain cells made of living tissue, you will still suffer. The great bulk of the shoggoths will crush your city and all it contains and crush you as you flee. All your knowledge and technology will be lost. You will perish as a race."
"We - will - not - des-troy - mere-ly - to - save - our-selves - especially - such - a u-nique - and - fascinating - life-form."
"Good heavens, man", the Doctor expostulated. It was an absurd situation and one he'd never thought he would find himself in - having to persuade, nay, virtually beg a Dalek to exterminate something. "Your 'fascinating life-form' is capable of wiping out half the galaxy. Your own findings have shown that. What's the good of observing it if there's no one left alive but yourselves to make your report to? Tell me thatl"
"That - is - a - lo-gi-cal - point. I - will - consider it."
At last we're getting somewhere, thought the Doctor. Then he remembered the Black Dalek's narrative about the Vulcan scientists.
"Consider the illogicality of waste," he said, waving his finger in front of the Dalek's eyestick, his own eyes shining. "That is germane to your philosophy these days. Consider the waste of lives if you do not act. - your own and those on other planets in these creatures' path. Consider the waste in the loss to the galaxy of those great civilisations, especially yours with its vast technology, if they should perish without a trace, as will surely happen. This planet and others like it are ample evidence. If you destroy the creatures here, you will halt their advance permanently. There are a lot of them but not many compared with the millions who will be saved if they die. These creatures in themselves are not logical, they do not follow your precepts of not killing. They simply devour and leave nothing. They waste so much. Destroy so much, without thought. They cannot be controlled. They do not come from this galaxy, possibly not even from this universe. They don't belong here Their presence here is an anomaly, their existence here is in defiance of the laws of logic, when one considers their material composition. Surely you should put this right. They may be a unique species here but in their proper place, perhaps not?"
He paused for breath, not sure he had been entirely logical himself throughout his various arguments. There was a long silence while the Doctor waited expectantly for the Dalek's reply.
"Ma-ny of - your - points - are - well - taken", it said at length. "Ev-i-dence - does in-di-cate - the - shog-goths - are - to-ta-lly - al-i-en - to – this - ga-lax-y- and - prob-ab-ly -to - the-universe. It- would - al-so - fol-low - that - they – are - not - a - u-nique- race - in- their- own -place. It - can - al-so - be - seen - they – constitute – a - threat - whose re-mov-al – would - be-ne-fit - non-y - mil-lion - and - that - it - would - be more lo-gi-cal to - des-troy them - for - the - good - of - the -great-er - ma-jor-i-ty -to,-a-void un-ne-cess-ary- loss - of know-ledge - and - life."
"Then you will help?"
"Af-fir-ma-tive. But - first - we - wish - to -try – to --com-mun-i-cate - with - these- crea-tures. You - said - they - could - not - be - controlled - but - this - has – not – been – proved. We - will - try - now."
The Doctor looked taken aback. "You mean no one has tried before?"
"Then by all means, do! I'll come with you if you like."
"It - would be - sa-fer - if - you - re-main - here. They - might - de-vour - you." The Black Dalek summoned two others and disappeared through the open hatchway into the gathering dusk. The Doctor looked a little abashed as he turned to Sarah: "I've just had a sharp reminder of a valuable lesson I'd temporarily forgotten," he said, 'And from a Dalek, of all things, too."
"And what's that, Doctor?"
"Never to assume that a creature so alien in appearance has no intelligence. Therefore one must reason with it before resorting to violence. To think I was always dinning that into the ears of UNIT personnel, and it took a Dalek to remind me. No wonder I'm feeling a little ashamed of myself - I was going to go ahead and destroy the shoggoths without giving them a chance."
"Yes, but you weren't to know that it hadn't already been tried. Things happened in such a rush."
"Well, never mind. It’s sorted out now. Let's see if we can find Captain Winters and her party." They went down the ramp and saw the Earth people in a little group on the edge of the Dalek camp. "Well? How did it go?" Captain Winters asked
"The Daleks have agreed to help but first they want to make contact with the shoggoths and try to persuade them to leave, before resorting to force."
The man who had been their guide when they first arrived looked up: "That's a typical dotty Dalek idea. Fancy trying to negotiate with things like that. The best thing is to get in there and destroy them as quickly as possible. They aren't intelligent and it wouldn't matter if they were. They've destroyed so much - the only thing they'll understand is a blaster!"
The Doctor looked at him, sternly: "What kind of talk is that? You should have tried to make , contact at the outset, made them understand what they are destroying. It might have saved a lot of bloodshed. Are we to loose out humanity while the Daleks gain theirs?" He stalked off by himself and stood brooding alone.
"If they are intelligent, then the Doctor is right. The Daleks have shown themselves our masters in this respect. We should have tried .."Captain Winters broke off as the three Daleks returned. The Black Dalek said,
"You-were -cor-rect- Doc-tor, the -shog-gcths -are -not -from -this -uni-verse. Man-y -aens - ago -they-came - through -a -space-warp -to -a -star-sys-tem -in -An-drom-e-da. We -will -now –com-mence -work -on –a-de-vice -that -wall –op-er-ate -a -space-warp -to -re-turn -them -to -their -uni-verse."
"Do you need any help?" asked Captain Winters.
"No!' Then the Daleks rolled back to their ship. The small party of humans and one Time Lord returned to the cave to await the completion of the Dalek's machine. Three days passed during which little was said in the group. The Doctor had a feeling his sharp words had sunk home. On the fourth day, the look-out reported that the Daleks were wheeling a huge contraption out of their ship; a large, saucer-shaped thing mounted on rollers, within the centre was a rod wound with a thick coil of metal. The tip was pointed, fine wires ran from it to the saucer edges and a long lead trailed back to the ship. A smaller object, also on wheels, was brought out. This was square and black with rods projecting from it. Six Daleks accompanied these. The strange procession went to the place where the shoggoths congregated and spawned, Captain Winters explained. The humans followed from a safe distance and took up a vantage point on a high crag to see all that occurred.
Below was a large number of the shoggoths. One was bad enough but a score of them writhing and undulating together was nauseating. It was easy to see why the humans had avoided contact. The Daleks took the machine within range and the Black Dalek said something to the mephitic creatures. It was too far away to be heard clearly. The shoggoths moved restlessly and reared up, jaws gaping. There was a hum as the machine switched on. The slug-like creatures' writhing increased, as if in protest. Their jaws opened wider and the head of one lunged at the Dalek, who swiftly evaded it, before speaking again and pointing to the machine. The shoggoths swarmed forward and around it but avoided going too near. One made another vicious snap and the Doctor expected to see the Dalek fire, but of course no such thing happened. Sarah thought the Daleks were like little metal sheep-dogs herding bulky, white and rather noxious, uncooperative sheep.
The Black Dalek spoke again - there was that hint of querulous impatience which marked the speech of the old Daleks. It usually meant trouble for those who chose to ignore it. The Doctor leaned forward, anticipating the once-familiar, now long-forgotten war-cry chorus - Ex-ter-min-ate - exterminate --. The Black Dalek pressed a lever on the black box, while dodging a weaving shoggoth head.
A beam of intense light lanced from the box tubes into a shoggoth. Green vapour enveloped the area and fumes wafted to the group on the crag, causing them to choke. Nothing remained of the shoggoth. The box was trained on a mound of round objects, which the Doctor and Sarah took to be eggs. The Dalek repeated its demands - no response. A blinding flash followed and the eggs vaporised. A high-pitched chattering came from the shoggoths, different from their usual trumpeting, sounding alarmed. The black box was turned on a second pile of eggs, and the demand repeated.
The shoggoths moved towards the huge saucer - when they reached a certain distance from it, they simply disappeared, as if going through an invisible gateway. First the front, then the back half of their bodies vanished. Finally all, including a group which bore the remaining eggs, had gone. The Daleks trundled the great contraptions over the next rise to confront another group. The first results were repeated - reluctance to accept Dalek demands followed by open hostility until the Daleks showed they meant business. This led to the shoggoths to acceding to the ultimatum, departing through the space-warp created by the Daleks.
Mopping-up operations went on all day and into the night. The Daleks had a device to detect the presence of shoggoths, and this was attached to the disintegrator-ray box and speeded up matters. On one occasion, the Doctor and his companions were treated to the ludicrous sight of a creature hurrying its huge bulk in great loops, like a giant caterpillar, across the plain pursued by six Daleks - tiny in comparison - with their infernal machine (side-on and at a distance it looked like an old-fashioned phonograph with coils). Eventually they got it in range and the shoggoth abruptly disappeared.
The Daleks decided to halt pursuit and resume at dawn. They returned to their encampment - the Doctor and the others were waiting for them. "Congratulations, you boys really know your stuff", Captain Winters said enthusiastically, at the same time shaking the Black Dalek's rubber-sucker-tipped arm and pounding it on the back with the flat of her hand.
"I notice you weren't averse to using a bit of violence there," commented the Doctor, curiously.
"It -was -necessary. The -shog-goths - re-fused -to -cooperate. We -feared -this-might -hap-pen- - from -our -previous -con-tact -with -them. We -de-vised -a gun -to -exterminate -them -based -on -obser-va-tions. We -used -the -wea-pon -to -per-suade -them - as -they -were- reluctant -to go- as- they like -this -universe -be-cause -they -have- no- nat-u-ral -en-emies- to pre-vent -them -glut-t.ing -themselves. This -convinced -us-of the- truth -in -your -arguments -in fa-vour of- destruction -Doc—tor. We -could -see -they -were -a -men-ace -bet-ter -re-moved."
"So you made them an offer they couldn't refuse", prompted Sarah. The Dalek stared at her.
"Some-thing -like -that. You -have- shown -us -that -in -certain -circumstances -it -is -log-i-cal - to -ad-apt -our -philosophy -to -fit -situations -and -consider -mat-ters -from -all -ang-les."
"And you have reminded me of something I had forgotten", commented the Doctor, not to seem smug.
"We -will -aid -the -hu-mans -and -build -oth-er -warps -to -clear -this -pla-net's - sys-tem."
"Good, I'm glad you can give your full co-operation. Now - I think we'd better go back to my ship. To repair the damage. Coming, Sarah?"
"Do -you-re-quire -assistance?" asked the Black Dalek.
"Er - no thank you". The thought of a Dalek helping him "repair" the Tardis made him chuckle softly. He turned and bustled Sarah outside before anyone could stop them to ask questions. They hurried across the plain and reached the Tardis.
Shortly afterwards, a groaning noise was heard and the police box slowly faded from view.
(Originally published in Zerinza #2 (1976)-#4 (1977) , written in 1976. If I recall correctly, it was written after seeing a repeat of "Curse of Peladon" where the Ice Warriors were now pacifists. This got me wondering what it would be like if the Doctor’s number one enemy also got non-violent – and how that could come about. The Doctor here is thus probably the Pertwee Doctor)