The air was icy...
A breath... cold, hard wood, just beneath his numb skin, his head resting there, stiff and motionless... it felt as though he'd been lying there for ages... a breath... what Daleks can take breaths...?
A small, muffled groan escaped him... confirming that he was, in fact, breathing. He heard the sound of his own soft, human voice, unable to believe it... oh, the pain... truly unbearable... pain like Daleks haven't felt in generations, as he'd said before.
I am alive...?
It flashed through his mind... the Doctor's face... how a shot from one of his previous followers, meant to kill the Doctor, hit him, Dalek Sec, instead. He had leapt in front of the shot, preventing it from killing the Doctor.
Now, here he lie, on the stage of a now closed and abandoned theatre, blisteringly cold air and darkness filling the place, the bodies of the Dalek-humans lying along the sides of the large room, the two broken robotic remains of Daleks Thay and Jast still standing on the stage, both shattered, both Dalek bodies within the shells entirely destroyed. Dalek Sec was alive... and he, alone, was the only Dalek remaining.
Dalek Sec took another breath, this time exhaling easefully, rapidly becoming more aware of his body... the body of an ambitious human man, a body he stole... a body that was now a Dalek human, that now belonged to him.
He placed his hands on the wood below him, slowly rising, the large metal chains still wearing heavy around his wrists and his throat, his body weak.
His cerulean blue eye blinked open, examining his quiet, still environment. The leftovers of the struggle were still there, the two dead Daleks that were previously his comrades, the lifeless bodies of the human Daleks...
Dalek Sec's breath was visible just before his face as the freezing winter air consumed him.
After moments of fidgeting with the chains and shackles, he finally managed to snap them off his body. He stood, his eye still stuck on the bodies that filled the room.
It was unexplainable how he was still alive, how anyone could survive a shot from any type of Dalek weaponry. Then again, he was the only one of his kind, and there was no telling exactly how his body healed itself, and how durable his new Dalek-human genetics were. Still, his joints and muscles ached terribly, and who knew exactly how long he'd been lying there...?
Dalek Sec approached the remains of the nearest Dalek, Dalek Thay, the Dalek that had shot him. Chunks of gold-colored metal were lying around the bottom of it, the head of the Dalek shell totally obliterated. He ran a hand over the damaged, cold metal, sighing. My dear Daleks... if only you had listened... it did not have to end in destruction...
Dalek Sec could only assume that the Doctor and his companions were successful, having stopped the Daleks remaining of the Cult of Skaro, who had betrayed him.
He was not at all used to feeling such a mixture of deep, profound sensations just at the coming of certain thoughts. The memory of leading his fellow Daleks pained him, as he imagined what would have happened if they had only listened, if only they had followed his leadership, if only they believed in something other than the idea of extermination... they never had much of a chance... they were geared from the start not to feel. Sure, the Cult of Skaro was intended to imagine outside the box for Dalek kind, but how open can you be when you're genetically geared to feel nothing but hatred and the urge to murder anything non-Dalek? His poor, dear friends were victims, destroyed at the hands of a madman, who set them on an unforeseen path of destruction...
His eye glistened with sadness, his fingers coiling around a particular mold of metal sitting on the Dalek carcass, the tentacles protruding from his face beginning to move ever so slightly, a sign that he was regaining his strength.
The Cult of Skaro, his only purpose in life, had officially been annihilated.
Along with the only living creatures he'd ever been close to.
Still, looking back, he could not understand why he felt so very conflicted and hurt, because his memories with the Cult of Skaro were bland, cold, and unfeeling. He had not the ability to feel emotion then. Now, his human DNA was eating him alive with an overwhelming, vast amount of feelings he could not begin to understand.
This, the state of feeling, was how living creatures were meant to be. The Daleks were genetically altered to have their feelings removed. But this... this deep, insane, awful, wonderful feeling... it was almost as though becoming a human-Dalek was needed to fill the void in him, as though he was born incomplete and unnatural... he indeed was born that way, after all...
Dalek Sec felt terribly about his companions' demise, but he did not regret his decision one bit. He stood by what he had attempted, how he tried to save what remained of the Dalek race from pointless lives of murder, racial cleansing, and genocide, how he wanted to give the Daleks feelings and purposes again, and what he had said to his fellow Daleks on that fateful day. The supposed "purpose" of the Daleks is wrong.
Indeed, if the only purpose of Daleks is to survive, remain pure, and exterminate, then it was wrong.
Dalek Sec looked away.
He stood alone, shivering in the center of the stage.
He, the only human Dalek in existence, was trapped here, alone in old New York, in the human world where he would never be welcome, with no plan, no purpose, no Daleks to lead, no mission to pursue, and no reason to be standing here, drawing breath and taking up space.
Dalek Sec released a heavy breath, hanging his head. He had been right, after all.
My Daleks... Just remember this... if you choose death and destruction... then death and destruction... will choose you...
Crystal flakes began to float down to the earth below, coating the streets and grass with a blanket of snow. The night air was in the teen degrees on this winter's eve, and the people of New York-the smart ones, anyway-were hiding away inside by their fire places and huddled in their blankets.
But, unfortunately, not everyone in the city was lucky enough to have a refuge against the harsh weather.
Down a lonely road, a young girl wandered along the ice-covered sidewalk, her little hands concealed within the sleeves of the navy blue jacket that was draped over her small, frail body. The jacket was worn and old, and was obviously much too large for her. Her arms were crossed over her torso as tightly as she could squish them, to hold in as much warmness as possible. Her pale little face was losing feeling, her nose and cheeks shaded pink, her short, thin, deep, ginger-red hair reaching down only to the top of her neck, pressed against her skin by the black beanie-like hat that compressed her hair down, helping greatly to trap in warmth. Her big, ocean blue eyes were scanning the street for alleyways or passages where she could rest. She did not want to stop walking, because she feared that, if she stopped moving, her body would not warm itself, and she'd freeze. Still, she was very tired, and wanted more than anything just to rest... she'd been walking all day, without a bite to eat...
"Stop!" A man's voice shouted out, startling her.
She halted, gazing down the street. Squinting, she realized that a hooded man was racing down the dark street, down the sidewalk, directly towards her, only yards away...
The hooded man was being chased by another figure-a uniformed officer carrying a pistol.
She gasped, taking a few steps back.
The hooded man appeared to be carrying two large brown paper bags in one of his arms. He rushed towards her, and just as she was preparing to leap out of the way, the man veered left, down an alleyway just feet apart from her.
The police officer approached the alley entrance, aiming the barrel of his revolver down the alley.
She stepped to the side, peering down the alley. The cloaked man was halfway down the alley when-
The cloaked man slumped to the side, leaning against the brick wall down the alley. It took a moment for Ginny to realize that the officer had pulled the trigger, his revolver emitting smoke. She'd jumped at the horribly loud sound of the gunshot, ringing her ears. Her attention was locked on the cloaked man, wondering how badly he had been injured.
Shockingly, the cloaked man regained his balance, and with amazing speed, he dashed down the alley and out of sight.
The officer darted down the alley, though when he reached the alley's end, the cloaked man had already vanished from sight. The officer gave up, turning and strolling down the alley back from where he came, concealing his pistol.
"If ya' ever see that guy again, you'd be best off alerting the authorities." The officer said to her, pointing at her in a direct, jabbing way.
She nodded obediently. The officer turned and marched off, down the road.
A lingering curiosity overcame her as she tip-toed to the alley's entrance, staring down in as though it was the gateway to some fantastic fantasy.
A wandering longing growing in her, she began down the alleyway.
It was sick, this world...
A world where stealing a small bit of food was enough of a reason to be shot at.
Still, it was nothing in comparison to the moral code of Daleks.
Now, here, at the head of his old lab, sitting against the wall, Dalek Sec sat, some of the wrapped burgers sitting on the floor beside him, having been removed from the paper bag. He had stolen human food, from a human restaurant... he had no clue how his body would react to it, but his rumbling stomach insisted that it be fed...
He gazed upward, half of the lights in his lab not working, the tubes hanging, the brightness of the multi-colored genetic artifacts that his lab was composed of dimly lit, though it looked quite beautiful in an odd, mysterious way, glowing in the darkness ominously.
The place had aged slightly, but barely. The sight of it brought back the far off, yet not-so-distant memories of his evolution, when he had merged himself with a human man to create the hybrid that he is today. He was sitting in the very spot where his evolution had taken place, where his black Dalek shell once stood. I... am... a human Dalek. I... am... your future...
No, he thought bitterly. I was not their future. It did not work out that way.
Now... the Daleks had no future.
And nor did he.
Dalek Sec stared at the burgers. He had no purpose, no hope, nothing left to live for whatsoever... and the odds of his survival in this human world were slim to none. Why, oh why in the world, did he bother to steal himself food? Why, he wondered, did he intend to survive? He was a mutant, with no reason to live.
He should not have stolen the human food.
By his side sat a Dalek-enhanced tommy gun, one of the weapons used by the Dalek humans. He had obtained the weapon just a little while earlier from the theatre, in case he were to run into any trouble.
Dalek Sec lifted the gun, one of his slender fingers gently stroking the trigger. He looked down the barrel wanderingly, the utmost of hopelessness in his expression. He blinked slowly, his breath slowing.
His arm throbbed terribly. Human bullets hurt more than any Dalek in a cold metal cell could ever imagine.
Just on the outer skin of his left arm, there was a small indention where he was missing some skin, coated with blood. A human police officer had shot him, though thankfully, the bullet barely grazed his arm. Still, it was quite uncomfortable, the sharp strokes of pain shooting into the wound with every beat of his heart...
But, truthfully, there was no reason for him to suffer the pain any longer. He was a monster, all alone in the entire universe.
Dalek Sec stared down the barrel, now convinced that this dark, endless hole was the last thing he'd ever see.
I have failed my Daleks. This world... no longer needs me.
The noise was not quite as loud as its echo.
Dalek Sec blinked, staring down his lab, towards the door on the opposite side where the elevator shaft once was, and where there was now only a dark hole in the shape of a door, leading above ground, to the outside world.
He was not mistaken. He had heard a noise from that opening.
"Who is there?" He demanded, growing scared. He did not mind dying at this point, but he certainly did not want to live in a human world after being captured by humans, being held by them for their own genetic experimentation...
"I... I know you are there!" Dalek Sec said, pointing the Dalek enhanced tommy gun towards the doorway with his uninjured arm. "Show yourself! Identify!"
Shaking, she decided it best to step into the opening hoping dearly that the man, whoever he was, would not be hostile with her.
It was astonishing, such a great, bizarre room filled with many strange, colorful objects, like nothing she'd ever seen before... and sitting furthest down the room was a man... or at least, she thought it was a man.
This man looked more odd than anything she'd ever seen. His skin was a purple-ish tan color, and he had three tentacle-like appendages sticking out of each of his cheeks. If she wasn't mistaken, she could swear his brain was on the outside of his head. In the center of his face was a single blue eye, and it was wide with shock. He seemed to be just as fascinated with her as she was of him.
His gun still raised, mouth barely open, Dalek Sec studied the young girl, wondering who on earth she was, and exactly why she'd come down here.
"Who... who are you?" He asked. "Identify."
The girl's arms were held together tightly, her underweight body trembling as the luminous lights of the lab shone over her.
"G-Ginny." She said, her voice high, timid, and somewhat scratchy.
"Why... are you here?" He asked her.
"I f-followed you." The girl named Ginny said, looking back and fourth between the man's bizarre face, and his strange looking gun.
"Followed... me?" Dalek Sec said, bewildered, staring endlessly at her. "For what purpose?"
Ginny's eyes drifted down, focusing on the wound on the man's arm.
"I s-saw you get h-hurt." She said between the tremors in her voice. "Are... are you okay?"
Dalek Sec stared at her, mouth agape, lost for words.
The girl did not at all seem intimidated by his appearance, nor the gun in his hand.
Her face wore an expression of concern, her eyes a deep blue, just like his own eye... she didn't seem to have any other reason for approaching him, she had no weapon, and she did not bring a team of humans with her to capture or kill him... she merely stood there, shaking a bit, watching him innocently and awaiting an answer.
"I... I am... alright." He said after what seemed like an eternity, beginning to lower his gun. "What... do you hope to gain by asking me this?"
"N-nothing." Ginny said, shrugging. "I'm sorry for bothering you." She told him, still hiding her surprise at the man's crazy, unthinkable appearance. Still, she could not help but think that he looked pretty cool... in a bizarre, science-fiction sort of way...
Sensing that her presence may be a burden to him, she turned to leave.
"Wait." Dalek Sec called, placing his gun on the ground at his side.
Ginny stopped, looking back at him.
"You had... concern for me." He said. "Why?"
"I don't like when people g-get hurt." Ginny said. "It b-bothers me. I don't really know why, I just... d-do you always need a reason to help somebody...?""
Dalek Sec pondered on this.
Yes, he understood... it was the same, unfathomable feeling of immense emotions that made her worry for him, the same thing that made him feel such guilt and regret for his previous struggle with the Doctor and the Cult of Skaro...
True, the human race had every ability to wrap itself around selfishness and greed... but the thing that made them so very unique, excellent, and wonderous was their ability to find meaning in their lives, despite everything... and their ability to feel, to love, and to care for things with absolutely no logical reason to do so.
"Perhaps... you need not a reason." Dalek Sec said, looking down.
"Are y-you sure you're okay?" Ginny asked.
Dalek Sec watched her.
She was a small human child... her red hair lining her smooth little face, her ragged clothes obviously hand-me-downs from some person twice her size.
"I could ask you the same thing." Dalek Sec said. "You appear... to be cold. And... you seem... ill."
Ginny didn't speak, still huddled into her jacket, shivering.
"I think I'm gonna die." She said honestly in a wispy voice, giving him an odd smile.
Dalek Sec narrowed his eye at her.
"Why?" He asked, suddenly concerned.
Ginny shook her head. "It's okay." She said. "I don't... really have anything to live for anyway. I don't have a family... or friends... I don't care very much anymore..." She let out a small, breathless laugh.
An intense emotion overcame him, this one stronger than guilt or sadness. It was a different emotion, one very new to him... and as he gazed into the eyes of this small, lonely child, it almost felt as though their souls had connected to one another... such a befuddling, captivating feeling...
"I was... kinda sure I was gonna die earlier." Ginny told him. "I s-saw you... I thought... well, I can do s-something nice before I die... then I came and found you... heh... s-sorry..." She let out a single, weak laugh again.
Dalek Sec understood. He himself was useless in the universe now, with no purpose, no comrades, nothing left at all...
Yet, here, now, looking at the face of this young girl, he couldn't help but feel as though there was something more to their lives than the black-and-white goals they'd set for themselves, or others had set for them.
"There... is always meaning for life." Dalek Sec said to her. "As long as you are alive... you have a purpose."
A rush of warmth ran through him as he spoke these words. He meant it more than he'd ever meant anything in his life... yes, he knew. His words were definitely right.
Ginny looked off, releasing air from her dry, aching throat.
"I do not wish you to die, human." Dalek Sec said. "Please... come here to me."
Ginny hesitated, watching him.
Dalek Sec held out a hand, fingers extending, his expression solemn, painful, yet somehow, also inviting, his alien face revealing a sense of compassion that no one would have thought possible of a Dalek.
"Do you fear me?" Dalek Sec asked.
Ginny shook her head.
"I'm... just..." She said. "Nobody's ever... really helped me."
"Likewise." Dalek Sec said. "But it does not mean... that you do not deserve it."
When Ginny didn't move, he spoke again.
"Please." Dalek Sec said. "If I can help you... it will be perhaps the only good deed I've ever done in my life. I cannot bear to watch another death. Please..."
Ginny swallowed, warming and stinging her throat. She stepped forward slowly, her legs stiff.
"Yes..." Dalek Sec said, moving his hand towards himself, motioning for her to continue coming closer. "Yes..."
She stepped timidly across the lab, until she was only about a yard from Dalek Sec. Ginny took a seat to his left, just inches away from him.
Dalek Sec turned his head to her. Ginny couldn't take her eyes off his fascinating face, those tentacles, that beautiful eye...
"You are very... small." He said. "You... are smaller than most humans. Why?"
"I'm only ten." She said.
"Yes... but..." He said. "You are too small."
"I don't really eat very much." Ginny said.
Dalek Sec looked away, seeming to be in thought. He then picked up one of his wrapped burgers and handed it to her.
"You must eat." He said.
"But that's your-"
"I will not allow you to die." Dalek Sec told her, ushing the burger closer to her.
Ginny took the burger, peering at him as though she was taking something of great value away from him. Still, when she unwrapped the burger, she couldn't hide her joy... she took a bite, then gave a tiny moan of excitement, grinning broadly as she chewed the tasty burger, happier than she'd been in a very long time... the food slithering down her thin throat and into her shrunken stomach, the greatest feeling ever...
Watching her greatly pleased reaction made Dalek Sec reveal the slightest hint of a smile, his eye shining peacefully.
Ginny had devoured the burger in three minutes flat.
"You are... better now?" Dalek Sec asked.
"Yeah, thanks!" She exclaimed, beaming. "Thank you so much!" She scooted closer to him. "What's your name?"
Dalek Sec sighed, leaning his head back against the wall, staring at the upper half of the lab. For some reason, he began to feel less and less serious, and much more light headed with every passing minute.
"Dalek Sec." He replied.
"Dalek Sec?" Ginny repeated. "What's that mean? I never heard a name like that."
"Dalek... is the name of my species." He said. "Sec means… leader. It is my... personal name…"
"Ohhh, cool." Ginny said. "Dalek is your species? Does that mean you... you're not human?"
Dalek Sec took a moment.
"Not... particularly." He responded. "I am a human-Dalek hybrid."
"So you're human?" She asked.
"Yes..." Dalek Sec said, feeling strange for calling himself human. "Partly."
"Does that hurt?" Ginny asked, glancing at the injury on his arm.
Dalek Sec glimpsed at the bloody spot.
"It will be fine." He said, observing his arm. "It will heal."
"But it's still bleeding." Ginny pointed out. "You're losing lots of blood. You could die if you keep bleeding."
Dalek Sec tilted his head at the wound.
"Is that so...?" He said. "I forgot... this human body... perhaps that is why I feel... so light headed... and tired..."
"Do you have any cloth?" Ginny asked him.
Dalek Sec blinked at her, confused.
"Yeah, do you have any extra cloth? I can fix the bleeding for you." Ginny said.
Dalek Sec looked around him, then located his cloak, the one he wore when he went to snag the food. He gave it to Ginny.
"Perfect." She said, taking the cloth and rolling it into a long, thick, rope-like shape. Dalek Sec watched her curiously as she molded the cloth into a new form.
"Give me your arm." Ginny said, holding the cloth in one hand and reaching for his hurt arm with the other.
"Why?" Dalek Sec asked cautiously.
"Cause I can stop the bleeding for you." She said. "It might hurt a little bit... but it'll work, I promise."
Ginny have him a reassuring smile.
Dalek Sec paused, then easefully, held out his arm, his muscles becoming tense. Ginny took his arm by its back, just under his armpit, handling his arm as gently as she'd handle a new born kitten. Her other hand pushed the cloth under the arm, then she began to wrap the cloth around the open wound.
"Agh..." Dalek Sec groaned, wincing.
"I'm sorry." She said, imagining how badly it must hurt him. "It's gonna work, though. I promise."
After wrapping the cloth around the wound three swift times, she tightened it as carefully as possible, then tied it into a firm knot. Ginny sensed that Dalek Sec was holding his breath, bottling up the urge to scream in pain.
"There, all done." Ginny said. "I'm sorry it hurt, but you won't bleed anymore."
Dalek Sec ran his hand over the covered wound, staring at it. It was no longer visible, and he was no longer losing any of the the red, metallic-smelling liquid that was human blood...
"Thank you." He said.
"No problem." She told him. "Dalek Sec."
Dalek Sec took back, meeting her eyes.
"If you do not mind, please... call me Sec." He said.
"Just Sec? No Dalek?" Ginny asked.
"Yes, please... no Dalek." Sec confirmed.
"Okay, sure." Ginny said, nodding and smiling. "Sec."
"Thank you... Ginny." Sec replied, just the faintest of a smile showing again.
"You wanna be friends?" Ginny asked, peering up at him. Sec looked into her, through those bright blue eyes... the most innocent creature he'd ever laid his eye on...
"I do not see why not..." Sec said. "We... are friends, then."
A few moments of silence passed by. Nothing stirred, no noise, no movement... just the two of them, sitting against the wall, side by side, enjoying the view of the glowing lab in the night.
After a moment of sentimental silence, a thought occurred to Sec.
"Why do you have no family...?" He asked her.
"I just don't." Ginny said, shrugging. "I live in an orphanage... I've lived there for a year or so... well, I don't really live there anymore. That place is really mean, so I ran away. I still go to school and stuff, but... I don't really have a place to live live. Other than Hoover Ville."
"I see..." Sec said. "You shall remain here with me, then."
"What?" Ginny said, looking surprised.
"As I said, I do not wish you to die." Sec said to her. "If you are sleeping out in the cold... you will surely die."
"But it's just as cold in here as it is outside." Ginny said. "How do you sleep in here without freezing to death?"
"I have never slept here before... not in this form." Sec said. "The nights I used to spend here... I spent in a metal shell. I had no physical threats."
Ginny made an adorably dumbfounded expression. Knowing she couldn't possibly understand, he went on.
"I was once a full-blooded Dalek." He explained. "To you... you would call the Daleks aliens. The Daleks... are very hostile, cold creatures. They feel no emotions, and they live... within great metal containers that are nearly indestructible. I was the leader of a secret Dalek order... called the Cult of Skaro. There were only four of us Daleks left in the universe... so I made a plan to merge the Dalek race with humans. That way... we would gain our ability to feel back, and we would multiply, and we would not be wiped from existence."
Ginny looked downright amazed.
"Tell me more." She said excitedly. "What happened?"
Sec went silent, appearing to be reliving something unpleasant.
"My comrades... betrayed me."
"Huh?" Ginny said. "Why?"
"Because... Daleks believe that Dalek kind must remain pure. They believe... that everything different from Daleks is wrong. I tried to explain to them that such a destructive purpose could not be pursued any longer... but they did not listen. And... it lead... to their demise." Sec said, his tone growing darker.
"I'm sorry." Ginny said, her voice light.
Sec glanced at her.
"Why are you sorry?" He asked. "You... had nothing to do with their choices."
"Yeah, but I'm still sorry." She said, inching closer, appearing to be worried. "I'm sorry your friends went against you... that's sad..."
Sec kept his eye on her for a moment... that pale little face, her short, thin, soft red hair poking out from under her black wool hat, her gorgeous, compassion-filled eyes...
Yes, this feeling... this sensation...
The purpose of all humanity.
"Purpose..." He said aloud.
"Sec." Ginny said.
"I'm really glad I met you." Ginny said sweetly. "I really am. You're a lot nicer than a lot of people I know. Thank you."
She placed her tiny hand on his leg tenderly, giving him a warm grin.
Sec couldn't comprehend the amount of emotion brewing in him now. He laid his slim, tan-ish colored hand over her small, white one.
"Likewise, friend." He said. "Your hand... is so..."
He paused. Ginny looked at him.
"Cold." Sec finished, meeting her gaze once more.
"S-sorry." Ginny said. "It's really cold... so..."
"I believe..." Sec said. "That if we remain in here tonight, without any way to warm ourselves... we will both die..."
A moment of silence loomed over them both.
"Let's go to Hoover Ville." Ginny suggested. "It's this really poor town full of people like us, who don't really have a home. They have blankets and fires there."
Images of the Dalek massacre in Hoover Ville ran through his mind. He himself had never been to Hoover Ville, but he remembered watching from his lab as his Dalek followers terrorized the tiny town, killing many innocent people, including Hoover Ville's leader.
Solomon, the man who was in charge of Hoover Ville, stood his ground before the Daleks, and gave them a heart warming speech. Daleks... ain't we the same? He admitted to them that he was frightened, and proposed that the fighting should cease, for both of their sakes. His words filled his human companions with a naive, almost child-like sense of hope, as Dalek Sec watched from his lab, taken by the man's unyielding courage and bravery, his determination to stand up for his people... and at this, Dalek Sec seemed to have forgotten, just for a split second, what it meant to be a Dalek... at the end of Solomon's speech, he hadn't expected... well...
The Dalek fired, and Solomon dropped dead before his people... his town panicked, cried and sobbed... the Doctor went into a fit of rage...
Dalek Sec gasped, staring up at the big screen, mortified.
They murdered him.
"Sec, what's wrong?" Ginny asked, bringing him back to reality.
"Hoover Ville..." Sec said, staring off. "I... am not human. They... would not... accept me... not there..."
"Sure they would." Ginny said. "I go there all the time. There's even a guy who lives there who has a pig nose and pig ears... it's really weird... if you see him, promise not to stare. He's really friendly, but... don't stare too much. Anyway, Hoover Ville is a place for people who don't have anywhere else... and you said yourself, you are human. Partly, at least."
Sec rubbed his forehead with his finger and thumb, attempting to massage the headache away.
"You should go." Sec told her. "Go... to your fellow humans... be warm..."
"You're human too." Ginny said.
It took a moment for those words to sink into Sec's mind. Yes... to some extent, I am human, aren't I...
But he was also a Dalek... one of the evil beings who attacked Hoover Ville...
"I will not... be welcome there." Sec said.
"Yeah you will. Everybody in that town knows me... if I bring you with me, they know they can trust you." Ginny assured. "They can give us a few blankets and stuff to bring back here. They might even have an extra loaf of bread today."
"Bread..." Sec said, his voice becoming softer. "You should go, Ginny... get some blankets... I can not..."
"I don't wanna go unless you go with me." Ginny said.
Sec looked at her.
"Why...?" He said.
"Because I don't wanna leave you down here by yourself! You'll freeze!" Ginny said, sounding appalled at the thought of leaving Sec alone to die. "I came down here to make sure you were okay... you have to come with me. Please?"
Sec couldn't tear his eye from her. What on earth made her care so much...?
"You... need not worry for me." Sec said. "You... young human child... you have a life of your own... goals, missions to pursue. Your life... is only just beginning... but mine is... over..."
"Oh come on." Ginny said, exhaling, giving him a challenging look. "You just told me that you always have a purpose, as long as you're alive. And you just told me you'd be my friend... so you're not allowed to die. I won't let you."
A warm, fuzzy sensation swirled around in the pit of his stomach, then made its way throughout his entire body, his skin tingling, his heart beating just the slightest bit faster as he watched her, his eye portraying a flabbergasted mixture of utter confusion, and a deep sense of happiness, his mouth barely open, his mind racing...
The feelings cooking within him were becoming almost unbearable now... he had no idea what the feeling was, consuming him... all he knew was that no one had ever cared for him before... not one... no one had ever wanted him alive for anything more than emotionless leadership, information, extermination...
"Sec, what's wrong?" Ginny asked, seeming alerted, staring at his face. "You're crying..."
Sec blinked, sliding a few fingers down his face, under his eye... and indeed, a small trail of tears had began leaking from his eye.
"Oh..." He murmured. "I'm sorry... I don't... understand..."
"Crying?" Ginny asked. "You don't understand crying?"
"What is this...?" Sec asked, his expression clueless, holding two of his damp fingers in front of Ginny, showing her the tears.
Ginny smiled. He was simply adorable, like a child just learning everything about the world, feeling everything for the first time...
"Crying is what happens when you feel a lot of emotions... if you get too sad, or too happy." Ginny explained to him. "It can happen if you get too angry too. Crying is from having lots of emotions."
Sec went quiet, his face cumbersome.
"That was to be... my position." He muttered. "To be... Dalek supreme... and destroy..."
His followers' voices echoed through his mind... You told us to imagine, and we imagined your irrelevance... you have lost your authority...
How, how in the world, could Sec have ever followed the ways of the Daleks? How could he have ever thought it to be good to kill and destroy, simply in the name of Dalek purity...?
"Stop it." Ginny said.
"Stop thinking about sad stuff." She said. "Whatever it is... it's in the past. You can't do anything about it now. Let's move on... come with me to Hoover Ville. I'm not going without you."
Sec remained silent, watching her intently. If he didn't go with her, she was going to stay here, and likely freeze to death... then he would be responsible for yet another innocent life being taken before its time...
"I... will go." He said at long last. "But, please, do not tell them that I am a Dalek hybrid. They... they can not know." He remembered that everyone in Hoover Ville was aware of Daleks, and they certainly were not very fond of them.
"Sure." Ginny said, leaping to her feet. "Come on, and bring your food." She held out a hand.
Sec stared at the hand, then at her, as though he had never seen anything quite like her before.
Reluctantly, he slipped his hand into hers, and trying not to rest much of his weight on her, he stood, and she assisted him.
"Whoa, you're tall." Ginny said, looking up at him. She only came to his chest... then again, she was very small for her age.
A rush overcame him, and he stepped back a couple feet, off balance. His head went very light, and he became quite dizzy.
"Are you okay?" Ginny asked, grasping his wrist with both of her hands.
Sec placed a hand on his head, letting out a cloud of breath. He looked down, spotting a small puddle of crimson colored liquid, just beside where he was previously sitting. She was right, he had lost a lot of blood... and if he hadn't imagined it, he suddenly seemed exhausted...
"I..." Sec said. He could not explain the feeling... he felt as though he'd collapse and fall into a comatose at any moment, his body completely void of energy... he was currently using every bit of his strength to remain standing...
"You're shaking." Ginny said, tightening her grip on his arm.
"Cold..." Sec whispered.
"C'mon, let's go to Hoover Ville." Ginny told him, tugging him along. "We can't stay here... you're gonna freeze over unless we get there soon."
Sec took a step forward, then stopped. He was entirely depleted... walking too much would overwork him right now... he'd likely pass out...
"I... can't..." He said.
"Hang on." She said.
Ginny threw the open burger into one of the paper bags, then grabbed the bags, hugging them firmly in her left arm. She returned to Sec's side, then placed his hand on her shoulder.
"Lean on me, if you have to." She said. "We gotta get there soon, okay?"
Sec overlooked her, wondering how such a tiny girl could ever hope to support him, a fully grown man-mutant. Nevertheless, as they began to walk, his hand, gripping her shoulder for dear life, kept him balanced and moving... the little girl was much stronger than she looked. Sec hoped that he was not harming her by being partially dependent on her.
The both of them made their way out of the lab, through the short dirt tunnel past the ruins of the elevator shaft, and found themselves on the outside of a cave a little while later, under the night sky, the fluttering snowflakes, and the horribly cold weather.
After walking uphill through the tunnel, Sec halted, taking breaths. He barely believed he was still conscience and moving, his head now constricted with a thumping migraine, his limbs now almost entirely numb. Ginny waited patiently for him to recoop.
When Sec looked up, he hardly remembered the fatigue he was suffering.
The stars in the pitch black sky twinkled, the moon hovering over the planet beautifully, watching the world below, snowflakes descending from above, the city in the distance shining, and the ground below coated in a blanket of snow.
Sec had never visited the outside world in his human body before today...
It was breath-taking.
"Beautiful..." He said, his voice wispy, fading.
Ginny smiled at him.
"Why..." Sec said. "Why am I... so..."
"Tired?" Ginny asked.
"Um... well... you left a trail of blood in the alley when you were shot." She said. "You might've lost a lot more blood than you thought you did."
Sec exhaled, his eyelid growing heavy... his hand loosened its grip on Ginny's shoulder, his legs failing...
Sec hit the white ground, his cheek pressed with wet, slick snow, his eye closing...
Ginny fell to her knees next to him, grasping him by the shoulders, dropping the paper bags onto the ground.
"Sec?!" She gasped, giving him a few hard shakes. "Sec, get up! G-get up! Can you hear me? Sec?"
"Mngh..." Sec gave a moan, but he did not move.
Ginny attempted to lift him by the under-arms, but even pulling with all her might, she could barely move him.
"Sec!" Ginny yelled, her voice echoing through the trees. "Get up! You'll die if you stay here! Get up!"
Sec didn't move.
The tentacles on his cheeks had stopped moving.
Ginny ran her hand over his face, fearing that he may be close to death. Frantic, she stood and dashed away as fast as she could.
Sec lie there alone, the unmerciful icy cold of earth's winter devouring him, freezing him stiff... he couldn't feel his fingers, toes, arms, legs... he wasn't sure if he even had them anymore... he listened for Ginny's voice, hoping it would scream at him again... that voice... it rang through his mind... it was perhaps the only thing keeping his brain working, his fading thoughts clinging to the echoing of her voice in a desperate attempt to keep him conscious... but her voice had gone... he was alone... perhaps death had finally gotten him in its grasp...
Then.. moments later, something... a sound... a scared, sweet sound... her voice had returned... but it was no longer calling his name... Ginny was talking, speaking very quickly... she sounded frightened...
"He won't get up!" Ginny said. "He won't wake up and he lost a lot of blood... I tried to get him to walk into town, but... but he passed out... can you help him, Frank?"
Frank? Who was Frank?
A second human, a tall, lanky man with messy brown hair, bent over Sec, examining him.
"Dang, Ginny... what the hell is he?"
"He... he's like Lazlo." Ginny said. "He's like Lazlo... he's a mutant. Can you help me take him into town? Please? Hurry up or he'll freeze!"
"Aw'right, aw'right, let's do it. Grab his feet, Ginny."
Frank flipped Sec over, then from the back, wrapped is arms around Sec's torso and lifted him off the ground. Ginny had a leg under each arm, and the both of them began carrying Sec off into the night...
Cozy... safeness... like all was right in the world... feeling of the flesh, a feeling alien to Daleks... a terrible, wonderful feeling...
His tentacles twitched.
"Sec...?" Came a soft voice.
He realized that he was coated in layers of something thick... thick, glorious, and warm... many blankets were wrapped around his body, his head resting on a small, comfortable tattered pillow... such comfort... he could have never imagined such a serene feeling existed...
Sight came back to him... blurred at first... above his head was tan, something tan-colored... and to his side, sitting over him, was a girl in a wool hat, with a pale face, slightly dotted with dirt, short red hair, blue eyes...
"Oh thank God..." Ginny said, sighing in relief, stroking Sec's chest with her hand. "I thought you..."
"He alright?" Came another voice.
Behind Ginny, the lanky southern man was sitting in an old chair, watching from the other side of the tent.
"He's awake, Frank!" Ginny exclaimed, grinning.
Sec's eye rested on her, his gaze easeful. He was sure he had died... yet here he was, lying in a tent... with humans... caring humans...
"James made some soup!" Ginny said. "He made soup outside at the fire, there should be enough for you to have a bowl, Sec. I'll go make you a bowl, be right back!"
And at that, Ginny stood and rushed out of the tent.
Sec stared at the tent's top, his mind, for once, blank.
"Dalek Sec, 'm I right?" Frank asked.
Sec blinked, turning his head to the side, staring at him.
This man knows my identity.
He wanted to ask how he knew his name, but could not yet find the strength to make words... so he simply remained lying still, staring at Frank, awaiting an explanation.
"I remember ya'." Frank said. "I was there when you came outta that robot thing... a human Dalek, they called ya'. You and those other Daleks attacked us here... ya'll killed Solomon."
Sec felt a sinking sensation in his gut, guilt growing within him again.
"I..." Sec said, his throat raspy. He gulped, then continued. "I... did not... kill him."
"You did too." Frank argued.
"No..." Sec said. "I... did not order... his death... I... wanted him to-"
His words were cut dry when an odd, painful itchiness attacked his throat, sending him into a spiraling coughing fit.
Sec took a few minutes to regain his normal breaths, then spoke once again.
"I... wanted... to spare him." He said. "My Dalek followers... did not want the same things as I... they betrayed me... attempted to... kill me..."
Frank stared daggers at him.
Sec was unsure of what Frank was thinking. His harsh leer began to make him uncomfortable.
"For Ginny's sake, I won't tell nobody who you are." Frank said. "She got her heart set on you right now. But so help me God, if you try to hurt anybody here..."
"I won't." Sec vowed, then began to cough repeatedly again.
"Sec!" Ginny said, entering the tent, this time with a small black bowl in her hands, which she was careful to balance as she walked. "Man, you must really be sick. This will help... this helps for the cold. Hot soup."
Ginny set the bowl beside Sec's head, then plopped down beside him.
"Do you want me to feed it to you?" She asked him kindly.
"No... please... you have helped me enough... thank you." Sec told her.
Despite what he'd said, Sec was not sure if he could move. He felt as though moving even an inch would make him freeze... he wanted to stay hidden under the blankets forever...
"Let me feed it to you," Ginny said. "I don't want you to move yet, you need to rest. Please, Sec?"
Sec said nothing, peering up at her. He shut his eye, then opened it slowly, his throat hurting awfully.
"Oh, I forgot a spoon... I should get some water for us, too. I'll be back." Ginny said, standing and exiting the tent once again.
Sec didn't look right way, but he knew that Frank was still glaring at him.
"Where... am I?" Sec said, clearing his throat some more.
"Hoover Ville." Frank told him. Sec could hear the displeasure in his tone. "I'm just gonna tell you right now... I don't trust you. I'm watchin' you."
"...understandably." Sec said solemnly, letting his eye drift closed again for a moment's peace.
Ginny returned a moment later with a large plastic bottle and a small metal spoon, then knelt beside Sec. She filled the spoon with hot yellow soup, then gently glided her hand underneath Sec's head, trying to lift it so that his face would be level with the spoon of soup.
Sec's heart leapt. He hadn't expected her to touch him, let alone to tend to him so carefully. Ginny held the spoon to his mouth... the scent of the hot, salty liquid rose into his face... he opened his mouth and sipped the soup.
It melted in him, running down his dry throat, almost instantly healing him... such a wonderful feeling... he'd never eaten food before...
"Is it good?" Ginny asked, smoothly lying his head back on the pillow.
"It... is..." Sec said. "Fantastic."
Ginny continued to lift his head and feed him, spoon after spoon. Sec savored every mouthful of the amazing soup, and he soon forgot that his throat had ever hurt at all. It took a while for the soup to finally vanish, but when it had, Sec had a full stomach, and felt more satisfied than ever.
"Thank you..." He said gratefully, taking a deep breath.
Ginny placed a hand on his forehead, grinning.
"You're welcome... that's what friends are for." She told him in a sweet, soft tone.
The warm, static-like feeling spread through him again. Sec didn't realize it, but the warm, safe feeling made him smile, just before shutting his eye and drifting into a light sleep.
He had never slept so soundly.
Morning came at an easy, slow hour.
Sec was lost in a peaceful slumber, his consciousness creeping up on him... his eye eased open, seeing the dawning sunlight bleeding into the tent from behind the flap.
Though the air was still freezing, he himself felt warmer than ever... he turned his head, his tentacles lying over his cheek, his breath slow and deep.
His heart skipped.
There lying next to him was Ginny, barely an inch away, huddled tightly under his blankets with him. She was lying there, her little hands balled up beside her face, lying on her side and facing Sec, her face still a bit dirty, but still pale and adorable...
Sec felt her breath against the skin on his neck. Of course she slept close to me, under these blankets... otherwise, she would've frozen to death last night...
Sec sat up very slowly, careful not to wake her. He then noticed that Frank was also sleeping under the blankets on Ginny's other side. Sec slid his hand under Ginny's head and lifted it, then placed his pillow under her head.
He sat upright, watching the rest of Hoover Ville out of the tiny opening between the flap and the tent, hearing voices, watching people pass by the tent. He wondered exactly what they were all doing, what they were saying, where they were all going...
After a good ten minutes of sitting in the tent, watching out the crack, he decided he wanted very much to observe whatever the people of Hoover Ville were doing up close. Sec carefully slid out from the blankets, stepped over Ginny and Frank, and approached the tent flap. He lifted it, stepping slowly out from the tent, looking around wonderously, compelled by the people, the fires, the big pots of soup, the men trading chunks of bread and making conversation... Some people looking down and depressed, others conversing and laughing with one another...
Sec stood just outside of the tent, watching in awe. Humans, such amazing survivors... even on the brink of death, all here, huddling together, surviving the harsh world with one another... a woman across the way from him was sitting outside of a tent, holding a small metal pot, sharing spoonfuls of soup with two small children, all of them wearing old, ragged clothes... two men marched past Sec, carrying a couple of large firearms, talking calmly to one another about their plans to find new work in the city...
Hoover Ville was a town of human survivors.
Sec blinked, studying them all, taken by their simple lives, their determination, and the amazing human ability to always, always survive...
"Sec," a voice same from behind. "Whatcha' doing out here?"
Sec looked down to see a tired Ginny, standing by his side, looking up at him.
"You are awake..." Sec said.
"Yup." Ginny agreed. "What're you doing?"
"I was..." Sec turned his head, examining the environment again. "I... was watching them."
"They're all working." Ginny said. "Some of them are cooking... some of them have to go look for work to make more money. Everyone here is poor and homeless."
Sec remained quiet, his attention still stuck on the people of Hoover Ville.
It was only a matter of time before they noticed him, and they would most likely give him some nasty looks due to his appearance... but he wouldn't mind.
"Hey, Sec." Ginny said, tapping his arm.
"Be careful, I haven't talked to everyone in town about you yet. It's gonna be hard, explaining to them that you're a mutant... but... they let Lazlo live here, so it should be okay for you to stay here too."
"Who is Lazlo...?" Sec asked.
"He's a guy who lives here, he's a mutant too." Ginny explained. "Everyone in Hoover Ville believes in aliens a lot... they're the only people I've ever met who believe in aliens. People here say that Lazlo was mutated by a bunch of aliens who came here and turned a bunch of people into pig slave people or something. Lazlo was one of the pig people that got mutated."
Sec's heart sank, his stomach suddenly squirming.
"That's how I know they'll be okay with you." Ginny said, smiling. "Cause they believe in aliens... and they helped Lazlo out, so they'll help you out too. You're both mutants."
Sec looked off, watching all of the people.
Frank sat up, staring at Sec and Ginny from inside the tent intently.
"Thing is..." Ginny said. "I'm not sure who to talk to about you staying here."
"What... do you mean?" Sec asked. "Who is the leader of this town?"
Just after the words left his mouth, the memory flashed through his mind again. Oh yes... that's right... this town has no leader... I murdered him...
"Hoover Ville doesn't really have a leader." Ginny said. "I didn't come to Hoover Ville until their old leader passed away. Frank told me that their old leader was a really cool guy who took care of everyone.. he made sure there wasn't any fighting or stealing between people in town and everything... but that's before he passed away. Since he died, Frank says Hoover Ville has pretty much fallen apart. People fight all the time now... and they take food from each other. Sometimes they even steal food from the kids. Frank's scared that people might start killing each other soon. He says Hoover Ville is getting less and less safe, and the people are getting really hostile."
Sec stared down at his feet, his shoes buried in the snow. Hoover Ville was falling apart, all due to my Dalek invasion...
"So.. I guess... we don't really have to talk to anyone about it. I don't think anyone will mind you staying here." Ginny added, awaiting his reaction.
Sec, however, did not act pleased, but merely stood, silent, staring off, seeming to be in deep thought. Ginny watched him.
"Hey Sec, maybe we can go-"
A loud eruption of metal clashing, followed by the screams of grown men, made the both of them jump. Ginny, Sec, and many of the surrounding towns people looked around, only to see two men yelling vulgarities at one another, one of them having just thrown a metal pot at the other, hitting him squarely in the forehead, then it fell and crashed into another set of pots on a wooden table.
Oh great, Ginny thought. Another fight... here we go...
"What the HELL are you doin' with my FOOD!" The man standing upright shouted, swerving slightly in his step. He was very noticably intoxicated.
The other man advanced on him, huffing, his face scarlet.
"What the hell's-" Frank said as he came out of the tent, standing just behind Sec and Ginny, watching the fight.
Many of the towns people looked mollified.
Sec inhaled, his expression revealing his anxiousness.
"I'M STARVING!" The second man bellowed. "I gave all my food to my son-God damnit I need to EAT!"
"Stop!" Sec called.
Neither of the men paid mind to him.
One of the men charged at the other, raising his fist-
Before anyone knew it, Sec had vanished from Ginny's side.
Ginny gasped, and Sec rushed forward, leaping in between the two men, shielding them from one another.
The man intended to punch anyone who got in the way-until he saw Sec... a purplish-tan face with one eye, with protruding tentacles, a visible brain-
"AAGH!" The man hollered in fear, halting mid-punch, stumbling back and falling onto the pile of pots beside the wooden table behind him.
Sec stood rooted to the spot, staring at the fallen man, looking completely stunned. The towns people's attention was now locked on him, all of them looking downright awestricken.
The man did not stand. He just sat there on the ground, surrounded by dirty pots, looking up at Sec fearfully. The other man, along with the towners, kept their gaze on Sec.
There was a moment of silence.
"You must... not fight." Sec said to the man on the ground. "You people... are the survivors of your time... you are the foundation for your ancestors. You... you will only survive together. You will not survive if you fight petty battles... if you, the survivors, fight against one another... you are sure to die. Your only chance to live... is to live together. You must... compromise."
Sec turned to the other man.
"And you must... forgive." He said. "Compromise, and forgive."
The drunken man blinked several times, his eyes bloodshot, attempting to comprehend whatever Sec was trying to explain to him... or perhaps, just trying to process that Sec had a single eye and tentacles sprouting from his face...
Frank squinted at Sec, dumbfounded. Ginny grinned.
There Sec stood, in the center of the crowd, between two rivaling men, everyone's attention on him. What was he to do now...?
When all the people remained silent, Sec spoke again.
"If you can not pull together, in this... your hardest time... then you are losing the very thing that makes you all... human. Your ability... to feel, to empathize, and to compromise. You must pull together, and be sure... to never lose your humanity!" Sec said, now speaking to all of the towns people in earshot, his fists clenched together, his eye scanning over all of them.
None of the people responded. They all continued to watch him, halfway flabbergasted by his appearance, and halfway taken by his deep, passionate words.
"And what would you know about humanity?" One of the towners shouted. "What the hell are you?"
Sec blinked, looking into the crowd, his tentacles giving a slight twitch.
"I… am…" He said, thinking to himself. "Human. A… human mutant."
A few people glimpsed at one another, the rest still staring at him.
"You ain't human." Another man said.
"I am human." Sec told them. "I assure you I am human. And I… feel… humanity… yet again. I see humanity… and it is better than this. Brawling over sustenance, casting judgment on me simply for being a mutant… but you are capable of better. I have seen the best of your kind. And you all… through your faults… are better than this."
"And who the hell are you to tell us what to do?" The man behind him snapped, pointing angrily at him.
Sec watched him, taking a moment of thought.
"A leader." Sec said. "I have spent years leading brilliant creatures out of the dark… I understand how survivors struggle, scrounging for life… yet, here you are, resorting to your primal ways, rather than following your caring nature. You… are all at your lowest. You can not… afford to let go of your humanity. It is… all you have. And this town..." He made a motion with his hand, gesturing to the tents in Hoover Ville. "This sanctuary of refuge would not exist without you. All of you... coming together, supporting one another... that is how you've survived this long. Are you going to throw that away?"
"He's right." Came another voice.
Frank stepped forward, joining by Sec's side, facing the crowd.
"That's just what Solomon said to us, ain't it?" Frank told them. "He said we all act like humans, no matter what. He told us we all stick together. No matter what happens, that's the only way we survive. We stick together."
Sec glanced at Frank.
The both of them stood quiet, in the center of the people of Hoover Ville. Sec had never felt so out of place… all these people, pink, fleshy, squishy human beings, all dressed in ragged clothes and tattered hats, and here he was, a mutant man, with one blue eye, a showing brain, and wearing a sleek black suit, no less.
Frank exhaled, slipping his hands in his over-hauls pockets. Sec felt entirely grateful that Frank had spoken for him… a dirty, southern, all-human man made for a good alibi for someone who posed as such an outcast to the people of Hoover Ville, like Sec.
The towns people had nothing left to say.
"Aw'right then, go on 'bout your business. Ya'll all have things to do." Frank said, waving everyone off.
The crowd broke apart, and after a few minutes, no one was glaring at Sec anymore, leaving he, Ginny, and Frank alone in the middle of town.
"Thank you." Sec said, turning to Frank.
"Nah." Frank said, shaking his head. "Don't thank me. And don't do nothing stupid while you're here neither. Last thing we need here is another Dalek."
And at that, Frank marched off.
A lingering sensation loomed over Sec, left by the rough words Frank had spoken. Hoover Ville had suffered at the merciless grasp of the Daleks in the past… the last thing we need here is another Dalek...
"Yes." Sec said to himself. Then, a moment later, he stepped forward, walking off.
"Where are you going?" Ginny asked, trailing close behind. When Sec didn't answer, she continued to follow him as he marched through the snow, between the tents, and towards the trees in the distance that bordered Hoover Ville.
Once the two of them were yards away from the tents, Ginny ran ahead and stopped in front of Sec, her expression questioning and demanding.
"Are you gonna tell me where you're going?" She asked. "How come you're just wondering off?"
Sec stared at her, silent.
"Where are you going?" Ginny asked again. "You said you'd stay in Hoover Ville. Why are you leaving? Where would you go?"
"I forgot." Sec said, his face grave, his voice soft.
"Forgot what?" Ginny said.
"Forgot… I am a Dalek." Sec said. "I have no place here."
"Oh, would you stop that?" Ginny said to him. "Hoover Ville is for people who don't have a place. You don't have anywhere else to go. Just stay with us… please?"
"Please step aside." Sec said. "Go back to Hoover Ville."
"Nope, I'm not going without you." Ginny refused, standing her ground, crossing her arms.
Sec observed her.
"Why do you care so much for me?" Sec asked. "We… have only just met."
"Because." Ginny started, gulping. "I don't know… I just do. I mean… when I first met Frank, he refused to eat soup when he was sick, but I made him. It was only a day or so after I met him. I like to take care of people, I don't know."
"I am not a person." Sec told her.
"You are too." Ginny argued. "You might be different, but you're still a person."
Sec didn't respond.
"If you go, I'm going with you." Ginny said.
"Very well." Sec said. "I am… only going for a walk."
So, Ginny kept close to Sec as he made his way into the forest, examining the blanket of snow, the dead leafless trees, and the remarkably gorgeous sunlight creeping through the branches.
"See the nature of planet earth…" Sec said. "The plants… birds… all fed by sunlight… aiding in the race of the great survivors."
He placed a hand on a nearby branch, running his crooked fingers over a single green leaf, stroking it gently.
"I like everything you said to the town." Ginny said a moment later. "It was nice."
"They need a voice." Sec said, giving a gentle rub to the small leaf, wetting his thumb with spots of snow. "I said once before… this species is very Dalek… and Daleks always require orders. Human kind is similar… they require a voice to guide them, when they are lost."
"Yup, you're right." Ginny agreed. "You were awesome, talking to them. You put them all in their place. I hope they listen to what you said."
"So do I." Sec replied, releasing the leaf.
"So… are you okay now?" Ginny asked.
Sec turned, meeting her eyes.
"I mean…" Ginny scratched the back of her neck. "You were sort of… uh… I thought you were dying last night, so… are you okay now?"
"Yes." Sec said. "And I believe… you are less ill as well."
"Yeah." Ginny grinned, nodding. "Totally less ill. It was just a bad cold… everyone in Hoover Ville gets sick a lot."
"Common cold…" Sec said. "I seem to forget what primitive age I am in… such a simple, irrelevant illness, causing such grief and trouble for civilized life forms…"
"You've never had a cold before?" Ginny asked.
"I have never been ill." Sec said.
"Are you serious? Lucky you." Ginny commented.
"Daleks have been cured of all threats of illnesses… from the moment of their creation… their births, I suppose you could say. The cure for the common cold is… one of the most simple antidotes ever made." Sec explained.
"Heh… I wish I had that cure." Ginny joked, staring up at the morning sky. "We could sure use it in Hoover Ville. I'm pretty tired of being sick all the time… and I'm sure they are too."
"The antidote… is simple." Sec said. "The only thing I would need to create the antidote is a sample of the illness."
"Really? I have that." She giggled.
"Then I shall create the antidote for you." Sec told her.
"Are you sure? Really?" Ginny asked in disbelief.
"I have an advanced genetic laboratory at my disposal… and I have no other purpose for it anymore." Sec said. "So… yes. I will create the antidote for you… and your people… the humans of Hoover Ville."
"Yes!" Ginny exclaimed.
Then, something occurred that Sec couldn't have prepared for.
Ginny came forward, wrapping her arms around Sec's torso in a clinging embrace.
Sec gasped, his heart jolting. He looked down at her, dumb-stricken. He felt her breath against his chest, her heart beating against him, her sheer warmth…
He'd never been so close to another living creature… touching…
She let go of him, staring up at him, beaming, her cerulean eyes sparkling with excitement. He gaped at her, still quite in shock.
"I'm gonna tell everyone in Hoover Ville!" Ginny said joyfully. "They're gonna be so happy! Oh my God… I bet they won't believe it. Thank you! Thank you!"
Ginny hopped in place, squeaking with happiness. She jumped forward and gave Sec another big hug, startling him yet again, then she released him, giving him a broad smile. She turned and dashed away, out of the forest and out of sight.
Sec stood board stiff, watching after her, more befuddled than he'd ever been before.
"What?" Frank said a while later, slacked back in his chair, still attempting to scrub the dirt from the barrel of his rifle.
"He said he can cure the cold." Ginny repeated. "Isn't that amazing?"
Frank didn't reply, but kept rubbing his gun, biting his lip.
"Think about it, all the kids here who're sick." Ginny added. "We can cure them. We can stop everyone from being sick all the time. That'll make it a lot easier for everyone to find work, too. The city never hires anyone who's sick."
"There ain't no cure for the cold, Ginny." Frank mumbled, paying her little mind.
"But he says there is." Ginny said. "Give it a chance. I really wanna tell everyone… they need to hear something good for once. Look at what's been going on, Frank… everybody keeps fighting, things are just falling apart… look at them!"
Ginny gestured behind her, towards the people of Hoover Ville.
Skinny mothers, sitting around a fire, their children in their laps, all having started their day without a bite for breakfast… men sitting with one another along the walls of the tents, all looking particularly pale, dirty, and void of energy… and not a single smile on any of their faces.
Frank glanced up, sighing.
"Look at everyone." Ginny said. "They need some good news. Please?"
"I don't wanna be gettin' their hopes up for nothing." Frank said. "There ain't no cure for the cold. C'mon Ginny… you really believe that?"
Ginny paused, looking down.
Frank sighed again.
"Look." He said, patting her shoulder. "I'll believe it when I see it, then you can tell anybody you want. Until then, don't go 'round telling stories like that, okay?"
"It's not a story." Ginny muttered, staring at her feet.
"Aw'right, aw'right." Frank nodded, looking away, polishing his gun again.
Ginny huffed, staring him down. He didn't believe her at all.
"Fine." She said. "Be like that."
Ginny snatched the crate from beside Frank's chair, marched forward, placed the crate down in the snow in between all the tents, then stepped on top of it as though it was a little stage.
"Hey everybody!" She shouted.
Frank squinted at her. "Ginny, what're you doin'?"
The towns people within the vicinity all reared, their eyes on Ginny. All the mothers, men, and children…
"My friend Sec is doing something amazing for all you guys." Ginny said. "Remember the mutant guy from earlier? His name is Sec, and he knows how to make medicine for everyone in town so no one gets sick anymore. Tell everyone in town… spread the word!"
Ginny hopped off the crate, gave Frank a quick smile, then walked off, leaving a series of bewildered, lost expressions on everyone's faces.
Frank let out a breath, shaking his head.
The glass shone brilliantly in the dim glowing light of the lab, the shimmering red liquid inside the glass orb bubbling down, indicating that the mixture was just right.
Sec held the orb inches from his face, narrowing his eye at the mixture, studying it for flaws. But, as far as he could see, he made no mistake with the mixture. It was boiling at first, then it cooled down, simmering to a light bubble just as it was meant to. It only took about half an hour to throw the mixture together, but it would not be entirely complete until Ginny would return to give a sample of the illness.
Though Sec had only been in his lab for thirty minutes or so, he began to grow impatient waiting for Ginny to arrive. Then, he began to wonder if she had forgotten the way, or perhaps it wasn't clear to her that she was supposed to meet him here…
His eye drifted to the computer, where the image of the Empire State Building still remained. The computer had been activated and untouched since the lightning strike had hit the building, awakening the army of the Dalek-humans.
He still had no way of knowing for sure how long it had been since the Cult of Skaro was destroyed, since his encounter with the Doctor, since he was nearly killed. It was winter, the theatre had been closed down, and the elevator leading to his lab no longer existed… so, he estimated it had most likely been at least a month.
Not long ago, he was here in this very lab, still concealed within his shell along with his three followers, plotting their plans to repopulate the Dalek race with empty human bodies that they had stolen from Hoover Ville. He, Dalek Sec, was the grand master of this elaborate plan, the king of an entire race… now, here he was, the only Dalek left, alone, with no purpose, brewing up simple medicine for sick humans to which he had no real attachments, simply because he had nothing better to do.
How had it come to this? He wondered. I was to be the master of the new Dalek race. I was to be the father of the new Daleks. The leader of the Cult of Skaro. Now... I am nothing.
A familiar, overwhelmingly hopeless feeling consumed him. For the Dalek leader, there was no purpose. No Daleks to give orders to, no planet to abscond to, no race to rebuild…
I was the genetic template.
Sec's heart skipped.
A breath escaped him, his eye widening.
Yes, he knew. How had he not thought of it before?
He, Dalek Sec, the human hybrid, was the genetic template for the new Dalek race. He himself was the only thing he needed to build the human-Dalek race. He would not need the other Daleks, the Cult of Skaro.
Rapid waves of ideas began to rush through his mind like an angry ocean, filling him with an unfathomable mixture of various different feelings. He could attempt again what he and the Cult of Skaro had failed to do.
But it would be much more difficult for such a task to be attempted by Sec alone. Last time, his Dalek followers and the pig slaves rounded up the stolen people, while Sec lead the operation. And, the gamma radiation from the lightning strike was the ony thing that made the creation of the Dalek-humans possible. Coming across a power source like that again would be fairly unlikely…
And the people… he'd need to steal more people, harvest more empty bodies… not dead, but simply empty.
Images of their emotionless, vacant faces flashed through his mind... so many people... wiping their memories, erasing their humanity entirely, making them into shells ready to be converted into Dalek-humans...
I can't do that again.
Conflicting thoughts began to tear his mind in two.
I can not steal innocent people and ruin them… not again. Still… this may be my only chance to liberate the Dalek race… what are the lives of a few humans compared to saving my race? But... no… I can not… not again...
"Hey." Ginny's voice called from the broken doorway, making Sec jump so hard he nearly dropped the red mixture.
Ginny chuckled. "I didn't mean to scare you… hehehe..."
"Yes." Sec nodded. "You are here… yes… good. Come… let me extract your illness for the mixture." He said, startled so badly that he almost feared Ginny may have overheard his thoughts somehow.
"What is… all of that?" Sec asked, pointing to the things in her arms.
Ginny was carrying two dirty pillows, three brown paper bags, and wore a thick, slightly torn green blanket around her shoulders. She looked as though she was trying very hard not to drop anything.
"It's stuff we need." Ginny said. "I brought sleeping stuff, in case you wanna spend the night down here… and Frank gave me a little bit of food to bring down here too. It's just bread and stuff… but it's food."
"Yes." Sec said. "Good… yes…"
"Is that the medicine?" Ginny asked, placing the items on the floor and approaching Sec at the end of the lab.
She gazed at the bright red mixture, fascinated.
"Yes… it is called Dencerine. A simple formula… this Dencerine is used for Daleks… but with a human strain of the virus… it will alter. And… the drinker of this antidote will never be sick again. They will never have the cold, the flu, or run a fever."
"Wow, really?" Ginny asked, impressed. "I didn't know it could do all that…"
"It only takes a single drop." Sec said. "While it is a simple formula… it is… very potent. Very… strong."
"Wow…" Ginny said.
"Come here," Sec told her, waving her towards him. He lifted a large syringe, the needle shining in the light. "Allow me to extract your blood."
"Y-you need my blood?" Ginny asked, her voice suddenly high and squeaky.
"Yes," Sec said, giving a slight nod. "A sample of the illness you bear… then the mixture will need to brew… and it will be complete."
"You're… gonna put my blood in that medicine?" Ginny said. "And people are gonna be… drinking it?"
"A very small amount… yes." Sec agreed. "Unless you would prefer… to use mucus."
Ginny looked appalled.
Sec continued to watch her, completely unaware that he'd said anything strange.
"N-nope," Ginny said. "Blood is good."
"Very well," Sec replied. "Come here."
Ginny stood just a foot from Sec.
Sec took hold of Ginny's arm gently, then placed the end of the needle against her skin.
"This…" Sec said, pointing to the long vein in her wrist. "This is a vein… correct?"
"Yeah…" Ginny said doubtfully. She wondered exactly how much about human anatomy Sec really knew, and she began to grow skeptical about letting him draw blood from her.
The needle punctured her arm softly, easing into her… the syringe began to fill with blood, then Sec removed the needle from her, leaving a small spot of blood on top of the tiny hole in her arm.
Sec opened the syringe, then poured the blood into the mixture. He held the glass container up, and as the blood fused with the bright red liquid, it began to turn into a darker, deeper, more brilliant shade of glimmering crimson, like a large glass pitcher full of beautiful, shining blood…
Ginny watched, quite taken by the magnificent process.
"It's beautiful." She said, a smile forming on her little face.
Sec watched the mixture brew quietly.
"It needs time to mix," he said.
"How long?" Ginny asked.
"An hour." Sec told her, setting the mixture down very carefully beside the computer. "How many humans live in Hoover Ville..?"
"I dunno." Ginny said. "A hundred or so at least."
Sec blinked, staring at his mixture.
"This will not be enough." He stated. "We will need… more… for the whole town."
"You're gonna make more?" Ginny said.
"Yes." Sec responded, his eye still on the mixture.
"You're so nice, Sec." Ginny said to him.
"Nice…" He said to himself. "Daleks have no concept of… nice."
"Yeah, but you're not just a Dalek. You're a human too." Ginny said, grinning.
Sec went silent, his expression wandering, lost… the captivating scarlet colors of the mixture now engulfing all of his attention… like a bizarre, oddly shaped, blood-colored lava lamp… strange, how something so simple, irrelevant, and utterly pointless, such as bright colors, could grasp his attention like this… he'd never been distracted by such simple things ever before… no wonder humans are so very full of life... they're constantly finding beauty in the smallest, most meaningless things…
"Beauty…" He whispered. "Such… a human idea…"
"It makes everything worth while." Ginny told him, standing by his side, watching the mixture. "Beauty, love, happiness… it makes everything worth while. Even through all the pain and suffering. That's how humans see it anyway… I should know, living with the people in Hoover Ville… heh… they're always talking about hope for a better tomorrow and stuff… when they're not fighting."
"Hope…" Sec said, still staring into the mixture, compelled by its beauty, his expression almost trance-like. "The secret to the great survivors…"
"They haven't had much hope lately." Ginny said. "Frank said ever since Solomon died, people are fighting worse and worse. People are making gangs with each other, and they'll fight each other and steal food from each other… Frank said it never used to be that bad."
"The humans are running rampant... like Daleks without orders." Sec said, his voice soft. "They have no hope… no direction… no guidance… so they become simply destructive…"
"Yup. That's how people are when they're scared." Ginny said.
Fear. Sec understood. Fear makes you vulnerable, and more dangerous than ever. Just like Daleks.
"I will make more Dencerine.." Sec said, turning away. "It will not take long." He approached the table just across the way, then began assorting the different vials of mixtures.
Ginny stood and watched him from behind for a few minutes, then looked away, examining the computer, the image of the Empire State Building, the bright shiny screen and advanced, confusing buttons, the likes of which Ginny had never seen before.
She ran her hand across the keyboard, her fingers skimming across the buttons. She wondered what on earth the function of such an amazing, complicated device must have been.
One of her fingers pressed a random button by accident, making her withdraw.
The computer screen changed, and the Empire State Building vanished. The image was replaced the a 3-D image of a strange robotic creature, one with two light bulbs protruding from it's odd, egg-like head, orbs along the sides of it up and down, a single eye stalk, and what looked like two skinny arms, one of them resembling a plunger, the other short and shiny, appearing to be a mixer. The third dimensional image was spinning in place, hovering just in front of the computer's actual screen. It was the oddest thing she'd ever laid eyes on, though she was a little more concerned with the computer itself—she hoped she had not damaged it somehow. She did not want to anger Sec.
Ginny glanced over her shoulder to see that Sec was still fiddling with different mixtures at the table, facing the opposite way, and had not yet seen what she'd done. Just as she was about to step away from the computer, to her surprise, it began to speak in the most horrible, frightening robotic voice she could have ever imagined existed.
"Information log regarding the Cult of Skaro. RECORDED by by Dalek Sec, leader of the Cult of Skaro. We have located the Genesis Ark and now possess the human girl for the completion of the project. We have experienced an unforeseen event. We must now exterminate a fleet of the inferior race known as Cybermen, who have taken over the earth, infecting the human race with the superstition of ghosts. They have crossed our path and have proposed an alliance. We will tend to the Cybermen after operation Genesis Ark has met its completion. End log."
Ginny watched the hologram of the Dalek, the horrid voice of the computer giving her chills. Her heart thumped uncomfortably, anticipating Sec's reaction.
Sec turned from the table, staring at the computer.
Ginny stole a glance of him.
Contrary to what she had feared, he did not look angry at all. In fact, he appeared rather solemn. He placed his hands together, cupping them, watching the computer silently, his eye portraying an easeful, mysterious, unreadably calm emotion.
The computer spoke again, startling Ginny.
"Information log regarding the Cult of Skaro. Recorded by Dalek Sec, leader of the Cult of Skaro. The Doctor terminated operation Genesis Ark. The Cult of Skaro was forced to evacuate by use of an emergency temporal shift. We have landed in New York City of planet Earth. I have formed a plan to repopulate the Dalek race, but it will take much time and effort. We are to harvest human bodies from human society, and empty them of their lives and memories. The humans will be filled with Dalek-human DNA after I, Dalek Sec, sacrifice myself to the cause. I will merge with another human being, creating the genetic template needed for the completion of the Dalek-humans. End log."
Ginny's breath grew thin. She faced Sec, who was still watching the computer.
"I'm sorry." She told him. "I didn't mean to press anything. It was an accident, I'm sorry…"
Sec did not speak, his focus stuck on the computer, the hologram of the Dalek… the black Dalek shell he once wore.
"What did all that mean?" Ginny asked him. "Harvest bodies…?"
Sec didn't meet eyes with her. He continued to watch the hologram of his former self, spinning in place as it hovered.
"Sec…" Ginny said, her tone lightening. "Did… did you kill people?"
For some reason, his heart began to pound, his skin tingling. He felt the oddest sensation of discomfort overcoming him, though he still appeared calm, watching the hologram.
"Yes." He said painfully, after an eternity of thought. "We did."
Ginny went quiet for a moment.
The small moment of silence could have been hours… Sec was attempting to guess what Ginny could be thinking. The thought of it made him squirm beneath his skin.
"That," Sec said, pointing to the Dalek hologram. "Is a Dalek. That… was me."
"That was you?" Ginny said, examining the hologram. "That weird thing…?"
"Before I… became a hybrid." Sec said. "Our purpose for being here… for building this lab… we needed to restore the Dalek race. And… we sacrificed humans."
"You killed them?" Ginny said.
"No." Sec replied. "We did not kill them… we erased them. We erased their memories… we erased everything they were… but their bodies were still alive in a comatose state… waiting to be filled with new personalities… new DNA."
"Oh…" Ginny said, looking down. "But… you said you killed people. That's not really killing them. That's… more like stealing them."
Sec gulped, still looking away from her.
"We did kill." He said in a dark tone.
"Who did you kill?" She asked.
Sec kept his gaze on the projected image of his Dalek shell, his expression grave.
"Hundreds…" He said in a wispy voice, his gaze narrowed at the hologram. "Thousands… many… too many to keep count. I… don't remember…"
"But why?" Ginny said, looking up at him.
Sec met her eyes.
"What?" He said.
"Why?" She repeated. "Why did you kill so many people?"
Sec pondered on this.
Yes… indeed… why. The question no Daleks ask themselves. We exterminated just for the sake of cleansing the world of anything non-Dalek, and for no deeper reason. We ever thought to ask why.
An unbearable, sinking feeling overtook Sec, making his stomach uneasy. He'd never felt guilt before, and had no clue how to handle it… the feeling consumed him… he wanted more than anything for the hologram of his former pure-Dalek self to vanish from his eyeshot…
"Daleks… are emotionless." Sec said. "They were genetically altered by their creator never to feel. He said… removing the emotions makes us stronger. But he was wrong… it makes us lesser. Before I became human… I felt nothing. Our only purpose was to exterminate… anything that was not a pure Dalek."
"Well… then it's not really your fault, is it?" Ginny said.
Sec squinted at her.
"Not my fault…?" He said.
"Nope. You had your emotions removed from you before you could ever do anything about it. It's not your fault you thought that way… someone else pretty much geared you to be like that. But now you've changed it… now you've made yourself better because you knew that the Dalek way of doing things was wrong. Right?" Ginny explained.
Sec thought for a moment.
He could not clear his own name simply by means of a technicality, nor could he cleans himself of this immense, intolerable guilt. Still… logically, Ginny was correct. It was not his fault that he was born unnaturally, and lived without emotion until now. So, how responsible was he for his actions in the past? How many of his evil doings were truly his fault…?
"Sec." Ginny said.
Sec looked at her.
"I just wandered in here all by myself… and you had a gun. You coulda' killed me, but you didn't. I was starving… and you fed me. I don't really care what you did when you were in that shell thing… since I've met you, you've been really nice."
Sec's head tilted, his eye still resting on her.
"I… do not know what I am." He said quietly, his gaze drifting off.
"You're my friend, that's what you are." Ginny told him, slapping his arm. "Now stop being sad. We got medicine to make."
"Yes." Sec nodded, then returned to his table.
The both of them spent the next hour making another batch of Dencerine.
As Ginny observed the lab more and more, she found herself thinking deeply... and she wondered exactly what Sec's past must have been like. What must it be like, to live numb and apathetic? How could someone like Sec-the mutant man who had saved her life-ever have been uncaring and evil?
Ginny cocked her head, looking up at Sec as she stood beside him, watching him mess with the mixtures. She figured most people would find him ugly or frightening... but she herself couldn't possibly see him that way. He looked absolutely fascinating and wonderfully different, and though he had a great leadership about him, he still seemed like an innocent, growing child in a way... that big blue eye, watching the world curiously with every occurrence. And here he was, cooking up a cure for the poor, sick people of Hoover Ville, free of charge...
She couldn't imagine him evil.
"Let's go." Ginny said a little while later, after the second batch of medicine was complete.
She and Sec departed the lab through the tunnel, then emerged in the field of snow a bit later. The day was easing into afternoon, the sky shining brightly over the snowy city below. Ginny lead Sec away from the tunnel, through the field, through the trees, and finally, into Hoover Ville.
Sec received some odd stares from passerby towners. He felt a stab of annoyance... still, he couldn't blame them for staring.
"Frank!" Ginny called, waving her arm. Frank, sitting outside of a tent a little ways further, looked up.
He stood and approached them.
"What...?" He said.
"We got it." Ginny told him proudly.
"The cure for everyone." She gestured to Sec, who held up the glass pitcher of the brilliant red liquid.
"That's medicine?" Frank asked, looking unconvinced. "Looks like blood."
"Let someone try it." Ginny said. "Let's test it on someone."
"No, wait... Ginny-"
Ginny dragged Sec by the arm into a nearby tent, leaving Frank following close behind.
Sec crouched, entering the tent behind Ginny.
Inside the tent was a woman who looked as though she was once plump, sitting buried in the corner by three small children... two boys and a girl, all very young, looking up at them wonderously.
Sec's eye was drawn to the woman... a woman who appeared thinner than she was meant to be... holding her children... her expression tired, depressed... pleading, even. He then glanced at the children, all watching him in awe, mystified by his stunningly odd appearance.
"Clara," Ginny said, kneeling in front of the woman and her children. "Are you guys still sick?"
The woman gave a smile... a broken, painful smile. Sec watched her.
"You're a sweet heart, Ginny." The woman named Clara said. Her voice was terribly scratchy. "Jenna and Michel are getting a little better... Tommy has it real bad, I'm afraid."
"Here, try a drop of this stuff." Ginny said. She turned and took the mixture from Sec.
Clara couldn't tear her eyes from Sec for a moment, looking dumbfounded.
"Only a drop each." Sec told them. "A very small sip."
"Here." Ginny handed the mixture to Clara.
"What is it...?" Clara asked.
"It's medicine Sec made." Ginny informed, pointing at Sec. "He made medicine that can make everyone in town better. Nobody's gonna be sick anymore."
"But... sweetie... that's not possible."
"It is, just try it." Ginny said. "Sec can do anything."
Sec looked at her.
Clara hesitated, looking doubtful.
"Please try it? Trust me." Ginny ushered.
Clara took a breath... then, after a moment, she turned up the glass container, letting the slightest bit of the red liquid seep into her mouth.
Her face twisted.
"It is bitter sweet." Sec said.
"Give it to Tommy!" Ginny said. "Let Tommy and the others have some too."
Clara fed a very small amount of the mixture to her three children, each of them showing displeasure at the medicine's taste.
"Your illness will be gone in a matter of minutes." Sec told the mother.
"Minutes...?" She said in downright disbelief. "That can't possibly-"
"Minutes for your children... your body is stronger. It is more mature... your body will be cleansed in about thirty seconds." Sec said.
Clara appeared shocked beyond comprehension.
"It is... an enormous boost to your simple immune system. You will never be plagued with common illnesses again." Sec explained to her.
"H... how can this..." Clara said. "I-I don't believe you."
"Give it time." Sec said. "You will feel the effects at their fullest... by tomorrow."
Clara merely stared at him.
"Let's give some to everyone. C'mon Sec, we got a big town to cure." Ginny said, grinning broadly, reaching her feet.
The sun rise was downright beautiful, casting a glare on the big city in the nearby distance as the people of Hoover Ville arose from their slumbers to begin their daily activities, greeted by Dalek Sec, who had awoken early.
Two and a half weeks had passed since he and Ginny cooked up the medicine for the people of Hoover Ville. After feeding the medicine to Clara and her children, the four of them had fully recovered in less than an hour. The three children were running about, playing as carefree as ever, and their mother stood happy and healthy outside of the tent, watching them. Sec and Ginny spent the next two days making a few more pitchers of Dencerine and spreading it around town until they were convinced everyone had taken a sip. No one had seen a fight in Hoover Ville since the day of Sec's first visit. More and more people were finding work, due to their wonderfully improved health, and no one even so much as scowled at their fellow towners.
Frank did not believe that the Dencerine had any real effect, until he experienced it for himself. Each day, he felt fantastic-no coughs, no fever, no illness whatsoever. He seemed quite a bit happier now, and he even began to treat Sec with respect, speaking to him politely and helping him with daily work.
"Sec!" Ginny called, emerging from her tent. She dashed up to Sec and hugged him from behind. "What're you doing awake before everyone else?"
"Watching the sunrise..." He replied in a soft, profound voice, his eye fixed on the gorgeous sky.
"Let's go!" Ginny exclaimed, hopping in front of him. "Let's go fishing! Let's go! C'mon!"
"You just woke up only a moment ago." Sec said, looking at her.
"Yeah, but you promised we could go fishing today. Let's go!"
"Yes, but... it is only seven in the morning-"
"I wanna go before Frank gives me chores to do!" She said. "I'm gonna have to cook soup for everyone or something... James and Frank both got work today, so I'm gonna be the only one cooking and-"
"Very well," Sec cut her off, holding up his hands in surrender. "We shall go."
"Yes!" Ginny squealed, thrusting her fists in the air in victory. "We only have one fishing pole, though. It's Frank's. I'm gonna go grab it before he wakes-"
"What's Frank's?" Frank asked, standing only an inch behind Ginny, making her leap from her skin.
Sec smiled faintly, attempting to hide his amusement.
"I'm gonna use your fishing pole. Sec said he'd take me fishing today." Ginny told him as-a-matter-of-factly.
Frank raised his eyebrows at her. "Z'at so?"
Sec cringed, still halfway grinning. She just had to put my name in the middle of this...
"Yep." Ginny said.
"You know I ain't gonna be here today, right? I got work to do in town." Frank told her. "I need someone to look after Clara n' the kids-"
"I knooooow!" Ginny said. "I'm not gonna be gone that long! I swear! Sec's gonna be with me. He can make sure I get back on time."
Frank looked at Sec.
"Can you have 'er back by ten?" He asked.
Sec nodded. "Of course."
"Aw'right." Frank returned the nod. "You best be back here at ten, not a second later. Ya' hear?" He pointed at Ginny, his finger inches from her little nose. She sighed at him.
Frank marched away, leaving a trail of footprints in the snow behind him. Ginny made a horrifyingly hilarious face at Frank's back, mocking him, making Sec grin again.
Ginny ran after Frank, dove into the tent, and returned a moment later with a large, old-looking fishing pole.
"Let's go!" She said happily, leading Sec in between the tents and out of Hoover Ville's center.
Minutes later, the two of them were stepping carefully down a small hill, which lead to a large body of partially frozen water.
Sec took each step with caution, annoyed at how very slippery the snow beneath his feet was.
"Sit right here." Ginny told him. She sat cozily on a ridge just beside the water, then patted the patch of ground beside her.
Sec sat beside Ginny, both of them watching the water.
The lake stretched forever, the reflection of the city visible in the icy water, more and more as the sun slowly began to shine brighter and brighter.
The beauty captivated Sec. He watched the wonderful view, wearing an expression of serene pleasure.
"Fish live in this water...?" Sec asked a moment later, easefully reaching out his hand, his fingers tapping the water. "It... seems too cold."
"It's not too cold for the fish." Ginny said. "I've tried fishing here before, though... I never caught one. I always use bait... fish like to eat bread. But... the fish are out there, further into the lake." She pointed out towards the deeper end of the lake.
Ginny squinted at the lake, seeming to be in thought.
Sec observed her.
"Maybe..." She said. "Parts of this lake are really frozen... they're frozen so hard, you can walk on the ice."
Ginny stood, then overlooked the lake, attempting to determine which parts of the lake were sturdily frozen, and which parts were not.
Sec reached his feet as well.
"I wanna go out there." Ginny said.
Her foot lifted, and she placed it upon a chunk of ice-
Sec grasped her arm.
"No." He said. "It's not strong enough. You can't."
"I won't know if it's strong enough unless I try." Ginny told him. "I really wanna catch a fish. Wouldn't that be cool? To catch our own food instead of always bumming it from people?"
"Parts of the ice are not even frozen... they are thawed." Sec told her. "Its not strong enough to support you."
"Please let me try," Ginny asked, gazing up at him, giving him a pleading, puppy-like look. "If it's not strong enough, I'll get out. I won't try it anymore."
"No." Sec said flatly. "If you fall into the ice... it will kill you."
Ginny went silent for a full minute, staring longingly at the water.
At last, she stepped back, away from the lake.
"Okay, I won't."
The two of them sat once again, and Ginny placed a small lump of bread on the hook, then cast the line out into the thawed portions of the lake.
They both sat beside the lake for nearly an hour, talking with one another, enjoying one another's company... they'd both grown to be very close over the past couple of weeks. Sec had come to think of Ginny as family... like a loved, protected creature that he alone was responsible for... he'd never felt such a thing before, but nevertheless, he would not change it for anything.
"Oh..." Sec said a while later. "I..."
"What's wrong?" Ginny asked.
"I forgot... I was supposed to get bread... for Clara's children. For breakfast." Sec said.
"Oh yeah, that's right..." Ginny said, looking down. "The guys who bring the bread are across town from Clara and her kids..."
"I told them... I would bring it to them in the morning." He said, his expression appearing conflicted.
The two of them looked at one another, wondering what their next course of action should be.
"So, go get them the bread." Ginny suggested.
"I can not leave you alone." Sec said.
"I never come here alone... can't I stay here alone just this once?" Ginny asked. "You're always with me... you know nothing's gonna happen if you leave me just for a few minutes."
"I don't want to leave you." Sec said to her. "It is... dangerous."
"Yeah, but no one can find me here. This is our secret spot. You're the only one I ever brought here. I used to come here all alone before I met you. Don't worry about me." Ginny said.
Sec continued to watch her, looking concerned.
"Just go get the bread for her... please? I don't wanna be the reason you break your promise to them. They're hungry by now, I bet." Ginny said sincerely.
Images of Clara and her children played through Sec's mind. I don't want to break my promise.
"Please?" Ginny begged.
Sec stared at her, her pale face, her short, cleanly cut ginger red hair, her deep, glistening blue eyes... she was so, so selfless... almost too selfless...
"Do not move from this spot," Sec told her. "Please... do not go anywhere, or speak to anyone."
"Okay." She nodded.
Sec stood, gave her a last reluctant glance, then turned and began up the small hill.
Ginny watched him until he had reached the top of the hill, and he was out of sight. She faced the lake once again, releasing a breath... she still had not had so much as a nibble. There was no way she was going to catch a fish at this rate. Ginny shifted the pole back and forth, boredom consuming her.
Sec strolled through the snow, towards the tents of Hoover Ville, a strange feeling settling within him... a feeling comparable to guilt. I should not have left her.
It had not dawned on him until now, but since he met Ginny weeks ago, he had not left her side. The only time Ginny went anywhere by herself was when the both of them were in Hoover Ville, and even then, they were usually never farther than twenty feet or so apart from one another.
Now, here he was, leaving her all alone... God knows what kind of animals were around this area, or God forbid, some criminals might just stop by...
Stop it. Sec scolded himself. Stop thinking negatively. The people of Hoover Ville have not fought in weeks... there is no danger around here... not anymore...
Sec entered Hoover Ville once more, approaching his own tent, the tent he shared with Ginny and Frank. Clara's tent was just across from his own.
Clara was sitting around the fire spot just outside her tent, watching her children contently. Tommy, Micheal, and Jenna were having a snowball war just a couple yards from the fire.
"Sec!" Jenna squeaked, pointing at Sec.
Sec blinked, looking alerted.
Tommy and Micheal reared, and all three of the children were staring him down. Clara noticed Sec, and she smiled.
"Attack!" Tommy yelled.
The three children bolted towards him.
Sec's breath ceased. Not again...
Tommy tackled Sec squarely by his stomach, taking him to the ground. Jenna and Micheal leapt on top of them, creating a great dog pile, of which Sec was trapped on the bottom.
The children were rolling with laughter, all trying to cover Sec with their entire bodies, and essentially bury him alive.
"Oh... alright... please..." Sec said, attempting to crawl out from under the children and failing.
"Okay, okay, get off him." Clara said, now on her feet. She swatted at her kids, smacking them all lightly until they released Sec. They stood and ran away giggling, leaving Sec sitting in the snow.
"I'm sorry." Clara said to him, offering her hand.
Sec grabbed her hand and stood, still watching the kids.
"Sec!" Jenna said, stumbling towards him, brushing her long brown hair from her face. "Did you bring us food?"
"Not yet," Sec said. "I'm about to go and pick it up."
"Yaaaay!" Jenna jumped with joy, along with her brothers. "Can you bring us some fruit too?"
"Jenna, stop that." Clara said. "Sec doesn't have to get our food for us, he's being very kind. Don't ask him for more favors."
Jenna stared up at Sec hopefully.
Sec knew that buying bread was rather inexpensive, but fruits were another story.
"I will try." He told her.
Jenna grinned broadly.
"Where's Ginny?" Clara asked. "I don't ever see you two apart. You two are an inseparable pair."
"She is fishing." Sec said. "I'm going back to her after I've gotten your food."
"Oh, alright... well, you look out for her. She's a lot more adventurous than she likes to let on. She's a free spirit."
"Yes, of course." Sec agreed. "I will go get your food... I'll return shortly."
At that, he turned to leave. The children all shouted their goodbyes, and Sec waved them off, giving them a smile, then marched away.
It was astonishing to him, how a frightening-looking alien like himself could have ever been accepted among humans... though now, for some odd reason, living here, spending his days simply helping humans with their every day lives, he felt more complete than he ever had before... happy, even. Still, the thought of reviving the Dalek race still entered his mind now and again... but he made no extensive plans for such an event. Most of the time, he shook the thoughts away, and continued living his new life among the humans as though his Dalek life had never existed.
Sec walked through Hoover Ville, passing many people he now recognized, some of which he even knew by name.
"Hey," James said, stopping to speak with Sec. "You seen Frank, Sec?"
"He is in the tent." Sec informed, his tentacles giving a twitch. "Have you gathered water... for the town?"
"Yep." James replied. "And I see you're still patrolling around here, Sec. Keeping everybody in check."
"I simply do not want anyone to fight..." Sec said.
"Yeah, well... you've practically turned this place around on your own. We all owe you a lot." James told him, patting his shoulder.
"Thank you." Sec said. "Please tell Charles and his mother I will have their medicine by this evening... if you see them."
"Of course, man. God bless. I gotta head into town. Watch out for yourself." James saluted, then walked off.
Sec began walking through town again, passing by many people... the people he loved to observe.
Humanity at its greatest.
After a little while, he reached the edge of town. He approached a man behind a large wooden stand, a man who was selling food.
"Jordan," Sec said to the man. "I would like a basket of bread... please."
"Basket?" The old man called Jordan said.
"Yes, and... do you have fruit?" Sec asked.
"Costs a bit more n' bread... but yeah, I got fruit." Jordan told him. "Got a brown bag full of apples here. Fresh ones. They were just sent into the city earlier today... Don't ask how I got a hold of 'em. They cost a pretty penny."
Sec reached into his pocket and pulled out what little change he had. There was no way he'd have enough money to buy the fruit.
"You're a bit short." Jordan noticed. "How 'bout that ring?" He gestured to Sec's hand.
Indeed, there on his left hand, was an expensive-looking ring. He had never noticed it before.
Diagoras, Sec remembered. This body was not originally his... It once belonged to a man named Diagoras, and he now wore Diagoras's ring.
"This ring... will pay for the fruit?" He asked.
"Yep." Jordan nodded. "That'll buy you a few sandwitches too, if you're interested. Made 'em myself."
"Yes," Sec said at once. "Give me all that you can for this ring... yes." He handed the ring and the change over to Jordan.
This situation worked out nicely... he would not only have enough to purchase fruit for the children, but he was able to get sandwitches for himself and Ginny. How lucky.
A moment later, Jordan handed Sec a basket containing four small loaves of bread, and two brown paper bags, one full of apples, the other containing three sandwitches. He placed all of the items in the basket, then began walking through town again.
After a bit, he returned to Clara's tent, where the children were still throwing snowballs at one another, and Clara was watching them calmly.
The children noticed that Sec had returned, and they rounded on him. Clara stepped towards him.
"I was able... to purchase apples, for you all." Sec said, handing the basket to Clara after he removed the bag of sandwitches.
"Apples?" Jenna gasped. "Yaaaay!"
"Attack!" Tommy yelled.
Sec braced for impact... however, this time, the children did not knock him to the ground... instead, they circled him and embraced him in a smothering group hug. Clara smirked.
"Alright, alright, leave him alone... he's gotta go get Ginny." Clara ordered her children. "Come inside, if you wanna eat." She began guiding them into the tent. After giving Sec one last look and mouthing the words "Thank you!" she vanished into the tent.
A warm sensation filled Sec, a glorious feeling he was finally growing accustomed to. He absolutely adored helping others... he never imagined such a wonderful, pure feeling existed in the world before now.
"Sec?" A voice came from behind. Sec turned.
Frank stood feet away from him, now wearing his jacket, preparing to leave for the city.
"Where's Ginny?" Frank questioned.
"I forgot... I needed to give Clara and her children their food today." Sec explained. "I left her there for a moment... I am about to go get her."
Frank narrowed his eyes at him.
"You left her?"
Sec went quiet, beginning to feel guilty.
"It's ten minutes past ten, Sec." Frank said. "She should've come back on her own by now."
Sec's heart sank.
Sec looked off, an anxious feeling rising in him.
"I will go get her." He told Frank, then shuffled off. Frank watched him go.
As Sec walked, crunching the snow with each step, he began to regret leaving her alone. Nothing will have happened. She hasn't been alone very long. There's no need to worry.
Soon, he was stepping slowly down the hill towards Ginny's fishing spot. He spotted her, though she was no longer sitting at the water's edge. She was now sitting against the nearby tree, the fishing pole lying right next to her. Perhaps she gave up on capturing any fish...
He approached her... though as he drew nearer, he began to notice something off about her... her hair was no longer casting a glare in the sunlight... it looked incredibly damp... her face shining... her eyes closed... she coughed...
Sec hit his knees beside her. He took hold of her arm.
Her jacket sleeve was completely soaked.
Sec repressed a gasp, his eye widening.
He clamped his hands on her shoulders, shaking her.
"Ginny?" Sec said, his heart pounding. "Ginny? Ginny...? Wake up, Ginny... Wake up!"
Ginny exploded into awful, dry coughs. Sec held her.
"Did you try to walk on the ice?" He asked, almost frantic. "I told you not to-"
"I'm sorry..." Ginny mumbled, her voice raspy. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry..."
Sec took back. Her voice sounded terrible... the icy water must have made her horribly sick...
His breath grew rapid.
It hit him like a ton of bricks.
How bloody stupid could I be? I gave Dencerine to everyone in town... except the one who most needed it...
"Ginny... Listen to me," Sec said, cradling her head, staring into her eyes. "You... you are going to freeze out here. We must go to the lab."
"The tent..." Ginny muttered, her voice weak.
"All the remaining Dencerine is in the lab... I must take you there. You need it right now."
"I can't..." Ginny said sadly, her eyes drifting shut.
"No, Ginny..." Sec placed his hands on her cheeks, patting her face very lightly, his body hunched over hers. "Stay awake, please... stay awake."
Ginny gave a moan, her eyes remaining shut.
Sec watched, panic erupting inside of him.
I should not have left her...
Sec acted. He slid his arms under her legs and body, then lifted her off the ground, holding her like an infant baby. He had never lifted a whole human body before... and oddly, it didn't seem difficult at all.
Rushed with adrenaline, Sec carried Ginny away from the water.
I must get to the lab. Now.
All sense of time left him... Sec held the little girl close, her dripping wet clothes freezing him, numbing his hands...
Eventually, he approached the cave, leading to the tunnel to his lab. Yes...
Sec had a hard time walking through the tunnel, trying to avoid rocks and holes even though he could not see his feet. Though Ginny was small, she began to grow heavy the longer he carried her.
"Ginny... stay awake..." He whispered, growing breathless.
At long last, he reached his lab.
Sec placed her gently on the ground, just at the head of the lab. Her eyes were shut, and she gave no response to him, though she appeared to be breathing...
He ran a hand over her face. Freezing.
His mind racing, Sec snatched up his cloak-the one he used the night he met Ginny-and threw it to the ground beside her.
Sec grabbed the Dalek-enhanced tommy gun from his table of mixtures, aimed, and-
He pulled the trigger, and the lazer shot directly into the center of his old cloak, sending bright orange sparks into the air as it hit the cloth. The cloak caught fire... the flame grew ever so slowly, but surely.
Sec moved the flaming cloak closer to Ginny, as close as he could without possibly burning her.
The fire was only a foot from her as she lie there, motionless on the floor. He had hoped that, by starting a fire, she would warm up... but she was still wearing soaking wet clothes, her skin still as cold as ice to the touch.
"Ginny..." He touched his fingers to her face, hunched over her. "Please wake up... Ginny..."
I should not have left her... I should not have left her...
"Hm...?" Ginny groaned, raising her pencil thin eyebrows.
Sec exhaled a cloud of breath. "Stay awake," he told her straightly.
He took the pitcher of Dencerine from his table, then returned to Ginny's side. There was only about three spoonfuls of Dencerine left.
He sat on his knees, watching her intently... she lie there before him, on her back, an open flame just on her opposite side, her body trembling...
"Sec..." Her voice came, soft spoken.
"I'm here..." Sec rested his hand over her forehead. "Please... sit up so you can take the Dencerine."
Ginny's eyes flickered... she cracked them open... such warmth... a fire... and that big, blue eye...
Sec lifted Ginny, supporting her back with one arm, and holding the pitcher of Dencerine with the other. He pressed the glass against her lips and tipped the container, letting the flowing red liquid pour smoothly into her mouth.
Ginny consumed a single gulp, then Sec placed the pitcher on the floor.
Her eyes closed again, her breath much quieter now.
Sec let her lie in his arms. Though her clothes were wet and cold, he held her close, hoping to share even the slightest bit of his own warmth with her.
I should not have left her...
A sick, painful, morbid feeling began to spread throughout his body, making his head throb with pain... the terrible feeling settled in his stomach... What is it about me... always leading my followers to their deaths..
"Just a moment..." He whispered to her, her head lying cozily beneath Sec's chin. His fingers coiled around her... she simply could not be close enough to him... "Just a moment... the Dencerine will take effect... just a moment..."
A few minutes passed by.
The longest minutes of Sec's life.
He glanced down at the beautiful creature he was holding, that little face...
"Ginny...?" He said.
When she didn't give an immediate response, his heart began to bash against his ribs.
"Sec...?" Her tired voice spoke so quietly he could barely hear her.
Ginny peered up at him through those ocean blue eyes.
"I'm sorry..." She said. "I wanted a fish..."
"No... no..." Sec squeezed her. "I'm sorry I left you alone... please... don't... don't ever do that again."
Ginny gave a slight, tiny giggle.
The sweet sound of her faint little laugh send joy rushing through Sec. He began to inhale deeply, relieved.
This little girl, the only creature to ever care for him... and he nearly let her die...
She is not leaving my sight again.
"You need... new clothes." He said a moment later.
"I... I don't have any clothes other than these." Ginny told him.
Sec thought for a moment. Who was he to talk... he had been wearing Diagoras's black suit ever since he transformed...
"They... have no extra clothes for you in Hoover Ville?" Sec asked.
"Nope." Ginny answered. "Not right now... sometimes they find clothes in the trash... no one's found any lately, though..."
Sec went silent, in thought.
Then, it occurred to him.
The Dalek-humans. They all wore human clothes.
"We... must go to the theatre." Sec said.
"Hm?" Ginny began to sit up. Sec assisted her, placing his hand on the small of her back. "The... the old abandoned theatre? No one's been there in months..."
"Yes... there are clothes there." Sec informed her. "Clean clothes, for you..."
Ginny looked down, examining herself. Yes, she surely needed new clothes...
"I feel... amazing." She said.
"Amazing...?" Sec repeated.
"Amazing... that medicine... it worked so... so good!"
Sec revealed a smile.
"Of course it did... I made it."
Ginny returned the grin.
"You are shaking..." Sec said, his hand still on her back.
"Cold..." She said, crossing her arms tightly.
"Let's go to the theatre... right now." Sec stood, then hoisted Ginny's arm, pulling her to her feet.
It did not take long to arrive at the theatre. The two of them forced the old doors open, then found themselves in a particularly dirty theatre room. At first, it appeared empty... then, Ginny realized that the room was inhabited by many bodies... human bodies, lying up and down the left and right isles.
Ginny withdrew, staring at the bodies in shock.
Sec closed the doors behind them, hoping to keep out some of the cold.
"Sec..." She whimpered. "Th-there's bodies... in here..."
"Yes..." He said. "They look human, but they're not. They... were the Dalek-humans. They were given... pure Dalek DNA. That is why their bodies did not decompose... Dalek bodies do not decay."
Ginny couldn't tear her eyes from the bodies... the horrific sight mesmerized her.
Sec could clearly see that Ginny was still trembling.
"I will be right back... don't watch."
Sec walked down the isle, then bent down beside some of the Dalek-humans. He then began to pull off one of their jackets, then the shirt, then pants, socks, shoes... Ginny turned away.
He returned to her with a full outfit in his arms, then handed the clothes to her. "Put them on."
Ginny looked at him.
Sec returned the stare almost cluelessly.
"Oh! Sorry... I will look away." He said a moment later, then turned the opposite direction, facing the stage.
Ginny hurriedly yanked her clothes off-feeling colder than ever-and she quickly slipped the pants on, then the long sleeve button-up shirt, then the jacket...
Sec's gaze met the center of the stage, where the chains lie on the hard wood... the chunks of metal that were the remains of Dalek shells...
"I'm done changing!" Ginny said joyfully, clasping her arms together, hugging her newly found warmth.
Sec did not turn around.
Ginny stood by his side, reading his face. He would not look away from the stage.
"What are those?" Ginny asked, pointing to the Dalek remains on stage.
Sec said nothing.
Ginny eyed him.
"Daleks." He replied a minute later, his voice dark.
Then, Sec began to step forward... he stepped onto the stage, slowly approaching the Dalek remains, the wooden floor creaking with each step.
Ginny followed behind.
Sec ran his fingers over the metallic chunks that were the remnants of Dalek Jast, his eye softening mournfully.
"These two..." He began. "Were... my comrades... they were my minions... my followers, in the Cult of Skaro."
Ginny nodded, now understanding why he suddenly seemed so disturbed. Then, she stared at the Dalek remains, both of them...
"Those two...?" Ginny asked.
Sec nodded, still staring at the metal Dalek carcass.
"Where's the other one...?" Ginny wondered.
"You said there were three other Daleks in the Cult of Skaro... but there's only two here. Where's the other one?" Ginny pointed out.
Two... two Daleks.
Only two Daleks.
Sec's mind slowed in thought... everything seemed to freeze.
Only two Daleks... here on the stage...
The horrendous memories flashed through his mind...
War demands strategy! I am designated controller! Connection confirmed... all soldiers will take heed... weapons will be primed... sonic device detected... find the Doctor... kill him...
How, how could it have slipped his mind...?
The very Dalek that had taken his place of leadership, after the Cult of Skaro betrayed him...
Ginny blinked. "What?"
"Dalek Caan." Sec turned to her, looking positively alert now. "The Dalek second in command to me... he took my place as designated controller... he..."
Thoughts began striking through his mind like a rapid lightning storm... Could he have survived...? What if he is still in New York...? What's become of him? Has he decided to wreak havoc on humanity? Could he be out there right now, exterminating humans on the streets...?
Mixed feelings brewed in him...
A Dalek survived... I am not alone... there is still one other Dalek, in the universe... the Cult of Skaro is alive... but he is evil... still a pure, hating, killing Dalek...
He couldn't know if he was happy, frightened, angry, upset, or anything in between...
"What's wrong?" Ginny asked, worried.
Sec's expression said it all... his tentacles barely moved, his eye shining with disbelief, his mouth agape.
A Dalek was still out there.
"We must return to Hoover Ville..." Sec told her.
"Why? What's wrong?"
"There... may be a Dalek in New York. And... if there is... we are all in terrible danger."
Ginny watched him, concern in her eyes.
"But... if one of the Daleks survived... why haven't we seen it for the past couple weeks?" She asked.
"When we were preforming our experiments... we would not come to the surface for weeks at a time. I... do not know what Dalek Caan is doing, or where he is... but he is a threat to all of humanity." Sec said, the fear becoming more noticeable in his tone.
"He's just one Dalek." Ginny said. "Are you sure he's that dangerous...? There's only one of him."
"He is dangerous... more dangerous than anything humans can comprehend." Sec said.
Sec swallowed, looking down, his expression grave.
"Because... he is a Dalek."
Then, Sec took a vice-like grip of Ginny's arm, and lead her out of the theatre.
"Sec!" Ginny said as Sec lead her through the snow, away from the theatre, his grip not loosening on her arm in the slightest.
Sec didn't reply, but continued marching forward, a pep in his step, dragging her along.
Just as they arrived in Hoover Ville, Sec stopped, then grasped Ginny's shoulders, staring deeply into her eyes.
"Ginny," he said seriously. "I need you to find Frank... and warn him. Tell him to warn everyone on the east side of town... I will warn everyone on the west side."
"Warn them for what?" Ginny asked anxiously.
"Tell them... a Dalek may be returning."
"But... but they won't know what a Dalek is, they-"
"They do." Sec said. "The people of Hoover Ville have seen Daleks before. They will understand. Tell Frank... tell everyone... from me."
Ginny looked positively petrified... still, she gave him a strong nod, then turned and darted away, further down the trail. She stopped and began talking to people, giving them Sec's warning.
She was still within Sec's eyeshot. Ginny went from person to person, explaining what Sec told her.
Before Sec could make a move, he heard laughter.
No... not human laughter, not happy laughter from the children of Hoover Ville, not Ginny's innocent laughter, not the laughter of Clara watching her children play...
Sec felt a chill run down his spine.
His breath slowed, his heart thumping.
The people around him didn't seem to notice anything odd... they entered their tents, or marched on, minding their own business...
Sec wanted more than anything not to turn around... but... nevertheless, he turned, facing the source of the odd laughter...
He should have expected it... but he didn't...
Just a yard apart from him, there sat Dalek Caan, his golden exterior sparkling under the sunlight, his eye stalk focused directly on Sec.
Sec's heart could have stopped.
"Dalek Sec," Dalek Caan spoke in his taunting, cold, robotic Dalek voice. "If I am correct... and I am always correct... I have arrived here just after you realized I was alive. Hehehehehehh..."
Sec still did not believe his eye.
Dalek Caan... right here... in front of me...
"Dalek Caan..." He said. "What... what is it you want?"
"Hehehehehehehh..." Caan laughed, the lights on his head piece flashing. "I am the seer of truth... the knower of all. I have come here for a reason, Dalek Sec... my leader... heheheheh..."
Sec listened intensely to Caan. This was not exactly how he remembered Caan... Caan was always a very intelligent, logical Dalek, with a deep, distorted voice... now, his voice seemed more shrill, and his words seemed more aloof, more random... and that laughter...
"Dalek Caan." Sec said. "You betrayed me."
"Heheh... yes... I did, Sec. I betrayed you. But... it was a necessary evil that had to be done. I am the enlightened... the seer of time and space... the god of knowledge... I have seen all... I have known all. I repent the Dalek way... you were right. Our purity lead us to extinction... and our desire has lead to our destruction." Dalek Caan said.
Sec glared at him.
"What... is the matter with you?" Sec asked him after a moment's thought. "You... you do not seem..."
"I am the god of knowledge. Heheheheheeeehhh..." Caan said.
"What are you saying...?" Sec said, lost. "Are you truthfully Dalek Caan?"
"Eheheheheh... You are wise as ever, Dalek Sec. Wise to be suspicious of me, my old master... heheheheh... I fell through time and space, my mind unprotected... heheheh... I apologize, Dalek Sec... for my hand in the Cult of Skaro's destruction. And... for yours as well... hehehehhh... though through horror comes truth, and through pain comes joy... it had to be done!" Caan told him.
I see... his mind has been exposed to things that no mortals are meant to see. He's gone mad.
"Why are you here, Dalek Caan?" Sec asked.
"Legend tells of a deadly pair... defying laws and logic, rejecting restrictions and hatred... the deadly pair will defy the laws of blood feuds. It will rebuild two lost societies... heheheheh... it will establish peace... ending the never ending war!" Caan explained.
Sec continued to listen, feeling utterly bewildered. What on earth was he talking about...?
"You have befriended a young human girl, Dalek Sec." Caan added. "I have come to warn you. She is in danger."
"What?" Sec said, suddenly alarmed. "Ginny? How is Ginny in danger?"
"You have left her... alone." Caan said.
Sec's spirit sank.
"She is without you by her side... Dalek Sec... go to her."
"What is that?"
The towns people started to notice Dalek Caan, all of them surrounding him and Sec, looking terrified.
Sec's mouth hung open, staring at Dalek Caan.
"Go... to... her." Caan told him profoundly. "Now, Sec... now."
It happened without warning.
Before anyone knew it... Dalek Caan was not the only Dalek in Hoover Ville.
Great flashes of illuminating light blinded the sky... and from above descended at least five other Daleks, all flying in different directions, shooting their lazers, destroying the town... tents went up in flames... people screamed, cried, hollered for help...
"EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINAAAAATE!"
"Daleks! Daleks! Run! IT'S THE DALEKS! THEY'RE BACK!"
Sec watched in horror at the massacre... Daleks... how... how could this...
Towners ran and ducked, Clara shielded her children, rushing them into the tent... others yelled, sobbed... some people dropped to the ground, after being shot...
Then, he located her.
Just further down the trail, Ginny stood, looking up at the sky, watching the Dalek attack, rooted to the spot, paralyzed with fear.
Sec dashed forward, unable to think.
He reached her.
Sec grabbed her, then turned, watching the Daleks.
The Daleks all elevated into a side-by-side line, then landed on the ground, in the snow, just yards in front of Sec and Ginny, all of the Daleks facing them both.
They want her.
Dalek Caan followed close behind Sec, and Caan, Sec, and Ginny were facing the line of Daleks before them.
The people of Hoover Ville were huddled together, inside their tents, or outside, watching the Daleks, too afraid to move.
Everything stopped for a moment.
Sec stared at the Daleks.
They seemed very different from any Daleks he had ever seen... they were much bigger, and each of them wore a colored shell... there was a red one, a blue one... and the leader of this Dalek squad was white. They appeared even more monstrous and intimidating than any ordinary Daleks.
Sec stood his ground, grasping Ginny from behind, securing her behind him.
"Daleks!" Sec called. "What business do you have here?"
"I am Dalek Supreme." The white Dalek declared in a sick, beastly Dalek voice. "The girl must die."
Sec made sure his body was covering every inch of Ginny's, shielding her from their line of fire.
"What business do you have with her?" Sec said.
"She will be exterminated." Dalek Supreme replied.
Sec grew frustrated.
"What do you want? Tell me your intentions! Why do you want her exterminated?" Sec demanded.
"We do not have to answer to you. You are nothing but a hybrid monster." The red Dalek told him. "An abomination to the Dalek race."
"I am Dalek Sec! I am the leader of the Cult of Skaro... and the savior of the Dalek race. You will comply with me! Obey!" Sec commanded.
"Stand aside. The girl is predicted to cause the downfall of Dalek kind." Dalek Supreme said, aiming his lazer. "She is an enemy of the Daleks, she must be exterminated."
Sec didn't move. How could Ginny be the downfall of the Daleks? She's only a human girl...
"New Skaro will rise! The girl must die!" One of the other Daleks said in a high voice.
"Dalek Sec." Dalek Supreme said. "If you have any loyalty left for your kind... for the Dalek race... you will hand over the girl."
"No." Sec refused. "I have no loyalty for the monsters of my kind. Leave my town."
"Your town." The Dalek replied. "You stand at the side of such filthy, inferior beings. You have stooped so low, Dalek Sec. So very low. You will stand aside. Now."
"Stand aside. Obey... OBEY!"
Sec stood before Ginny... Dalek Supreme inched forward...
The sight of it was awful...
The lazer hit Sec squarely in the chest... he shouted in pain... his eye shut... Ginny cried out... he fell...
Ginny barely caught Sec... she held his head in her arms... this couldn't have happened... it... it couldn't...
Tears began to fill her eyes... she stared into Sec's face, placing her little hand on his cheek, over his still tentacles...
Sec, her best friend... lying here in the snow... in her arms... dead.
"The hybrid has been eliminated." Dalek Supreme stated. "It is your turn, young girl. You will stand before the Daleks."
Ginny remained on her knees, holding Sec's head close, fighting down the urge to sob. She stared at the big white Dalek.
"Stand before the Daleks." Dalek Supreme ordered.
"N-no." Ginny choked.
"Stand. Now. Obey."
"No!" Ginny cried, grasping Sec's motionless body.
"Very well... EXTERMINATE."
Dalek Supreme fired its lazer... Ginny snapped her eyes shut, clinging to Sec's body... I'll die with you...
A moment passed.
Ginny awaited death anxiously.
When she felt nothing, her eyes slowly opened.
Dalek Supreme and the other multi-colored Daleks were still there, facing her. It looked as though nothing had happened.
"What has happened?" Dalek Supreme said angrily. "The girl has been shielded from danger."
Ginny listened, shocked.
PYOO. PYOO. PYOO.
The Daleks shot off their lazers one after another, all aiming directly at Ginny...
Something spectacular happened.
The lazers did not reach her.
Just before they came within a foot of her, they vanished in midair...
It looked as though the lazers were hitting an invisible sheild, bursting apart into shards of energy against a barrier that no one could see.
Ginny watched, completely stunned. How...?
Then, another noise entered the atmosphere... an odd, echoing noise... Ginny thought she had imagined it... it sounded like a loud, wheezing hair dryer... it grew louder... from behind...
Ginny looked over her shoulder.
There, behind her, something was coming into view... something big... big and blue... it seemed to fade in and out of vision... and at last, the strange noise stopped, and the blue police box came into full view, just a couple feet behind her.
Ginny couldn't tear her eyes from it.
I've seen that thing before.
The Daleks ceased fire. Dalek Caan's eye stalk turned to the police box.
Everything went silent.
One of the doors of the police box creaked open... a hand was poking out of the box, holding a small, peculiar silver tool, which was glowing blue at the end. It scanned around, making an odd, zzzzzzzing-ing noise, then it withdrew. After a moment, a man slid out from behind the door.
The Doctor placed his sonic screwdriver back into his pocket, stepping out onto the snow. When his eyes met the Daleks, Ginny, and the frightened towns people of Hoover Ville, he looked a bit more serious.
"Oh..." He said, his left eyebrow perked. "Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt. Just... followed a signal here." He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his stylish tan coat, looking around.
Everyone's attention was on him.
The Doctor scratched the back of his neck, studying them all.
He glanced down, only to see Ginny, sitting on the ground, holding Sec's body.
The Doctor took a second look. Yes, it was indeed Dalek Sec... the very same Dalek Sec he saw die once before.
Then, his attention went to the oversized, multi-colored Daleks, the likes of which he'd never seen before.
"Well then," Doctor said, raising his brows, scanning over everyone. "Looks like I got here a bit late."
"Doctor, you will remove the TARDIS. You will not protect the girl." Dalek Supreme told him, now understanding that the TARDIS had protected Ginny from the Daleks' lazer fire.
"Ohh, I don't think so..." The Doctor said, cocking his head to the side, looking off. "I'd like to know what you great big rainbow-colored Daleks are doing in the middle of old New York. Why's that?"
"The girl must die!" Dalek Supreme said.
The Doctor eyed the Daleks oddly.
He looked down once again, watching Ginny.
"The girl must die...?" The Doctor repeated in a high, questioning tone, giving the Daleks a twisted look. "Looks just like an ordinary girl to me. Now explain to me why a fleet of gigantic Daleks came here just to exterminate some human girl?"
The Doctor glanced down at Ginny again.
Ginny knelt there, holding Sec, staring down, her face wet with tears.
The Doctor watched her closely.
Ginny placed her hand upon Sec's chest. She sniffed, biting her lip, holding Sec closer.
Her hand began to glow.
The Daleks all watched her.
The Doctor observed, standing over her, growing intrigued.
A brilliant, starry flow of glowing golden light emitted from Ginny's hand... the light bled into Sec's chest.
Sec's mouth opened... the golden light arose from his mouth, almost like a spirit departing a body... like a golden breath...
The Doctor's mouth opened, though he couldn't yet find words.
A minute later... Sec's eye gently blinked itself open, his tentacles giving a slight tremor.
Ginny grinned, sighing with relief, tears still filling her eyes as she supported Sec's head.
"Ginny..." Sec whispered, peering up at her.
"You're a Time Lord." The Doctor said, wearing an expression of utter disbelief.
"Heheheheheeehhh..." Caan's insane voice interrupted. "Yes... the girl, Ginny, is a Time Lord. That is why I came here, Doctor... and that is why I sent a signal to your TARDIS, to bring you here... I came to to inform Sec that his companion was not an ordinary human girl... that she has not, in fact, spent her whole life on planet Earth... how she was born on planet Messaline, and how she escaped the planet, leaving behind the humans and the Hath... a cloned Time Lord, with no destination... how she fell through a crack in time and space after stealing a space ship, and landed here, in New York... her ship was destroyed, and the crash nearly killed her. She only survived by means of a last minute regeneration while she was unconscious... and she regenerated into a younger form than her original self. She awoke with no memory of her past... then began living in New York, under the assumed identity of a human. Hehehehehh..."
The Doctor couldn't look away from her.
"Yes, Doctor... your daughter." Caan said. "Ginny is your daughter."
"Ginny..." The Doctor said, stepping in front of her, watching her ominously. "You're Jenny... my daughter, from the planet Messaline... I... I thought you died."
Ginny looked up, staring into the Doctor's face... that messy brown hair, those big brown eyes... Yes... I have seen him before. Somewhere.
"You've healed him." The Doctor said, looking at Sec. "You've regenerated him."
"Ginny..." Sec mumbled. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah.." Ginny said, nodding, tears blurring her vision once again. "Yeah... I'm fine..."
Sec gave her a weak smile. He sat up, then stood, slowly, facing the Daleks once again. Ginny reached her feet as well, standing behind Sec.
"You will die." Dalek Supreme said harshly.
"I think not." Sec told him. "You will obey me, Dalek. I am the head of the Cult of Skaro. I am Dalek Sec."
"I am a pure Dalek." Dalek Supreme retorted."You are nothing more than an unclean mutant, you will be extermin-"
"You, Dalek, are the unclean monster. You feel nothing... you love nothing... and you know nothing." Sec said, his voice stronger than ever. "I pity you, Dalek. You are a pure blooded Dalek... which means you know no feeling. You are empty... and you are lesser than the worms in the ground beneath my feet."
Sec stepped forward, now only a foot from Dalek Supreme's eye stalk, glaring into it heatedly.
"Sec," The Doctor called. "You're outside of the TARDIS's reach. Come back, or the TARDIS can't protect you-"
Dalek Supreme fired.
Sec deflected the shot, smacking it out of the air with his palm. The lazer broke into shards of light, vanishing.
The Doctor narrowed his eyes, wondering if he'd seen it right.
Dalek Supreme stopped, staring at Sec.
Sec's body was flowing with power... he could feel it... a bizarre, rushing sensation... it overcame him...
His hand glowed with a golden, glistening light... it almost looked as though his hand was emitting a brilliant, gold-colored smoke.
Sec stared at his hand, flabbergasted.
"Oh, my God." The Doctor said. "Sec... I think... you're still in your regeneration cycle."
"But..." Sec said, examining his hand as it continued to radiate the golden light. "I... am not a Time Lord..."
"You are now." The Doctor told him. "Ginny overcharged you when she healed you... she's given you Time Lord DNA."
Ginny watched in amazement.
Sec continued to stare at his hand, unable to believe what he had heard.
"Heheheh... Yes, Dalek Sec." Caan said. "I have seen all that is... all that was... all that can be. And I knew I would be here to witness one of the most remarkable days in the history of all time... the day that Dalek Sec becomes the very first Dalek Time Lord!"
The Doctor glimpsed at Dalek Caan, looking defused.
Ginny kept her eyes on Sec, compelled.
"I am..." Sec watched as the golden light gracefully faded from sight, leaving his hand feeling no pain whatsoever. "A... Dalek... Time Lord..."
"You are an abomination to Dalek kind." Supreme Dalek stated.
"You are an abomination to all kind." Sec responded. "You... you feelingless, empty monster... are not the master of the Daleks. I am. I am Dalek Sec... the Dalek savior. And I declare... that you shall be no more. Dalek Caan!"
"Yes?" Caan said.
"I need you to fulfill one last order for me."
Sec pointed to Dalek Supreme and his followers.
Dalek Caan crackled with laughter.
"I obey! HAHAHAHAH!"
Rather than attacking, Dalek Caan elevated into the air, hovering above everyone... tiny bolts of lightning began to strike, slithering around Caan's metal body... the lightning bolts grew, then began flashing amok... electric blue... Caan began to glow a bright red as he floated in the air...
The Doctor's two hearts skipped at once.
"Come here!" The Doctor said, grabbing hold of Ginny with one arm, and Sec with the other, yanking them towards the TARDIS. "Hang onto the TARDIS! Don't let go! All you people! Run away! Get away from here! NOW!"
The Doctor waved his arm at the towners... they stared at him, frightened, then they all began to panic, all scrambling about, running different directions... Good, The Doctor thought as he watched them flee... As long as they get away from here... they should be safe... hopefully...
The Doctor, Sec, and Ginny took hold of the TARDIS's door handle, watching in awe as Dalek Caan hovered in the air, now resembling a robotic lightning rod...
"What's happening?" Ginny asked.
"Dalek Caan is a broken piece of the universe," the Doctor told her. "He holds powers that no one is meant to have... he's creating a hole in time and space."
A great, dark hole began to form just behind Dalek Caan... Dalek Supreme and its followers began to move towards the hole, but not of their own will... the horrendous void was sucking them in with great force...
"Just keep a hand on the TARDIS, it will make sure we aren't sucked in... it will protect us." The Doctor assured them both, his attention still stuck on Dalek Caan.
Dalek supreme flew into the air, then the red Dalek, then the others... all of them flew into the hole, their horrid voices leaving a shrill, echoing screech as they went...
"Hehehehehahahahahah! HAHAHAHAHAAH!" Dalek Caan rejoiced.
At that, the hole faded, then vanished.
Dalek Caan stopped glowing, returning to his original golden color.
"Emergency temporal shift...!"
Caan shone with a blinding light, then, in a split second, he too had vanished.
Sec, Ginny, and the Doctor stood beside the TARDIS, all still watching the sky, even minutes after the Daleks had gone.
"Daleks..." The Doctor said in a vacant tone. "They always survive, don't they..."
"No." Sec said. "They don't."
A moment of silence lingered over them. The three of them exchanged expressions.
"By the way, Dalek Sec." The Doctor said, facing him, his brows raised, smirking. "That was brilliant. That was fantastically, impossibly brilliant. That speech was spectacular, and here you are again, standing right in front of me... I've seen you die twice now, and here you are! You're just impossible to keep down, aren't you? When did you get so brilliant?"
"You once told me that I am... clever." Sec replied.
The Doctor gave him a broad smile.
Sec grinned, releasing a breath.
Ginny watched them both.
"You're my dad, aren't you?" She said.
Sec and the Doctor looked at her.
"Yes," the Doctor said to her. "Do you remember...?"
The images played through her mind... pictures she'd only seen in her recent dreams... she recalled the Hath, the fish people, the seven day war on the planet Misseline... she emerged from the cloning machine as a young adult, a trained killer, made for the war... she grew close to a man, a man with two hearts... her father... then... she took a bullet for him...
"I do!" Ginny yelped. "I.. I actually remember. I remember! Oh.. I dreamed about it all the time.. I thought it was just dreams... I didn't know... I didn't know it was real! I remember!"
Ginny jumped forward, wrapping her arms around her father... the Doctor returned the hug.
Sec watched the both of them happily. The Doctor seemed moved, but he didn't cry.
"So..." The Doctor said, standing upright again. "What are the universe's most clever Dalek hybrid and the youngest, kindest Time Lord planning to do now?"
Ginny and Sec traded faces.
"I dunno," Ginny said. "I just wanna be with Sec."
Sec ran a hand over her head, petting her.
"And you," the Doctor said, eyeing Sec. "A Dalek-human-Time Lord. Can't believe it... simply unbelievable."
"Yes," Sec agreed. "I am a living contradiction."
"No, you're my best friend. That's what you are." Ginny told him, slapping his arm.
"I wish... to stay here." Sec said. The Doctor gazed at him, looking interested. "I have found... a purpose... here. To serve humanity."
"Ah, yes." The Doctor said. "You're not just a Dalek anymore... you have two other species you belong to now."
"Yes." Sec said. "I do." He placed a hand on Ginny's shoulder.
The Doctor stared at them for a moment, a solemn, easeful smile forming on his face.
"You're inseparable, you two are." He said. "A deadly pair."
Sec paused... Caan's voice played through his mind... Legend tells of a deadly pair...
"Yes." Sec said. "We are."
Sixteen years later
The summer sun was easing into the sky, the rays of light already vibrant and bright, though it was only nine in the morning. The light peaked into the window, resting on the furniture in the living room, illuminating the place.
"Ginny?" Sec's voice came from the hallway. "Where are you...?"
"I'm in here, where do you think?" Ginny answered from the kitchen. Sec revealed himself from the hallway, looking handsome in his black suit and tie, his eye still that of a big, lovable, innocent child. Ginny grinned at him.
"How is it you always get lost in here?" Ginny asked. "You designed this place, you'd think you could find your way around."
"All I have to do is follow your voice... then I can never be lost." Sec told her.
Ginny tilted her head at him, wearing a warm smile.
"Are you going out today?" Sec asked.
"Not sure," Ginny said, looking out the window, seeing bits and pieces of town. "I'll have to take Caan with me... I'll be with him by myself today."
"Uncle Frank will help," Sec said. "He always does."
"Yeah, he's a sweetheart." Ginny said.
A faint, high-pitched cry echoed from the hallway,
"Oh... he's up early." Ginny said. "He wants to say bye to his daddy before he goes to do mayor stuff."
"Hoover Ville won't run itself." Sec said.
Ginny and Sec stepped down the hall, then entered Caan's room. They leaned over the crib.
"He's got his daddy's tentacles." Ginny giggled.
"And his mother's beauty." Sec added.
They looked at one another from opposite sides of the crib, their gazes bleeding into one anothers' lovingly.
Caan's great big eye stared up at them innocently... his tiny little hands groped at the air above him, his pinkie-sized tentacles, two on each cheek, twitching, his little feet giving a slight kick every now and then. His baby blue pajamas were thin and cool, so not to warm him up too much in the summer weather. Caan released random, sputtering sounds from his mouth, looking back and forth between each of his parents.
Ginny bent down, then lifted Caan by the under arms. She held him close, and Caan smiled, waving his hand up and down joyfully.
Sec watched his son, a fuzzy, static-like sensation settling in him.
I have repopulated the Dalek race, it seems... just not in the way I had expected.
A distant, growing noise occurred. Sec and Ginny met one another's gazes.
The sound they both recognized, echoing in the distance...
Sec and Ginny headed outside, out the front door.
The blue police box had arrived just before their house.
The TARDIS doors flew open, and the Doctor stepped out, looking them both up and down.
"Well, Ginny, you've surely... grown." He said. Then, his eyes locked onto the baby in her arms... a baby with tentacles...
The Doctor gulped.
"What is that?" He asked, gesturing to the baby.
"He's my son... your grandson." Ginny said. "Who d'you think?"
"My... my grandson?" The Doctor repeated, his voice cracking. "You-you two-" He pointed between the two of them over and over, looking puzzled.
"Yes, Dad. We're married." Ginny said, a grin spreading over her face. "I'm twenty six, I can make my own choices."
"Twenty six?" The Doctor said, shocked. "When did that happen? How ruddy long have I been gone!?"
"Sixteen years, Dad." Ginny told him, laughing. "Nice of you to finally visit."
"Oh..." The Doctor said, looking down. "I meant to come forward sixteen months..."
"Yeah, well... here you are." Ginny said, stepping forward and embracing her father.
The Doctor returned the hug, then examined the baby on her arm.
"Well, aren't you a cute little Dalek-human-Time Lord?" He said, tickling Caan's tentacles, making him crackle with laughter.
"With another on the way, Doctor." Sec said, placing his hand over Ginny's stomach. "If it's a girl, she'll be named after her mother."
"And if it's a boy, he'll be Sec junior." Ginny said.
The Doctor smiled.
"I believe... in human terms... this makes me your son-in-law, Doctor." Sec said, smirking.
"I suppose so.." The Doctor said. "Oh... brilliant... well, this is awkward..."
"So... Sec... why are you so over dressed?" Doctor asked. "And what's with all the new houses around here? What happened to Hoover Ville?"
"This is Hoover Ville, Doctor." Sec informed him. "We've built houses. We're established as a true town now."
"And my husband here is Hoover Ville's mayor." Ginny said, stroking Sec's arm.
"Really?" The Doctor said, impressed. "Man, how a place can turn around in sixteen years... so, when are you two going to travel with me?"
"C'mon Dad, we've got a lot to do here." Ginny said. "I would love to, but... we have a baby now. And Sec has to go into work today."
"Oh, Ginny, Ginny..." The Doctor said. "I have a time machine, sweetheart. I can have you back right on time."
Ginny and Sec looked at one another.
"What do you think, sweetheart?" Ginny asked. "We have time for a trip to the stars?"
"Always. I've missed it out there."
The Doctor was smirking.
Sec leaned in, pressing his lips against Ginny's, and they exchanged a soft, tender kiss.
The Doctor looked away, his brows raising.
"I love you." Sec told her.
"I love you too." Ginny said, her eyes twinkling with happiness. Then, she turned to her father. "So, Dad... where are we off to first?"
"Dunno, where ever you like... or maybe I'll surprise you. Fifty-first century, maybe... the home of the evolved centaurs. Eh, or maybe not... they aren't the most friendly creatures, mind you... although they make a mean mutant rat stew. We oughta make a stop at the new human empire, see the sights, pet the cat people... maybe pop in on Churchill, see how that war's going. Shall we?" He pushed the doors open, revealing the inside of the TARDIS behind him.
"I'll go ahead and warn you." The Doctor said to his companions. "It's bigger on the inside."
He entered the TARDIS, with Ginny carrying Caan following closely behind, and Sec following suit.
The Doctor grinned.
The TARDIS doors closed, and the light on top of the police box shined, on and off... the sound echoed through Hoover Ville as the box faded in and out of vision... and then, it vanished into time and space, taking with it the Doctor and his loved ones, leaving behind nothing but a square-shaped indention in the grass, having vanished from the front yard of the home of the first ever Dalek-Time Lord family.