Chapter 9

"We're not going to get out of this, are we?" Mari shot an accusing stare at the Doctor. "It's all your fault! If you hadn't come charging in there like some mad kind of superhero, I might have had a chance. Now..." She stared helplessly at the yawning black hole.

"What's your name?" The Doctor finally got around to asking.


For a moment the Doctor looked guilty. Then his eyes glinted with a hardness born of all the death and suffering he'd witnessed the Daleks inflict on the innocent throughout each of his lives.

"Well here's a little news bulletin for you, Mari." Throwing his head back he proclaimed, "'Extra! Extra! Read all about it! No one survives Daleks." He glared at her coldly and continued in a flinty voice. "No one. You may live for a time, true. But sooner or later, you die. That's what they do, you see. They kill. That's all they do. If you're not Dalek—and I mean pureDalek, you are not fit to live. That's all they think about. Day and night, twenty-four-seven, year after deadly year. That's the depraved logic they are born with. Their whole reason for being. And you know what I think? Maybe they're not so wrong. Maybe there's some things that are worse than dying."

"Like what? What could be possibly worse than dying?" Mari retorted, taken aback slightly by his icy tirade.

Pausing for a second, the Doctor's breath heaved. Then his raised tired, sad, old eyes to her. He said, simply, "Living."

"That's a bit dark. Even for you. Don't you think, Doctor?" A suddenly worried Clara asked him softly.

"Maybe all of us have a bit of darkness lurking in some cobwebby corner of our minds." He nodded, turning his head away.

Then he turned back to them, and with his usual aplomb said, "Or maybe, we just watch too much violence on television. What do you say we blow this joint and do something else? Oooh! I've an idea! Let's go thumb our noses at the Daleks some more."

With that, the Doctor backed up as far as he could. Then, he made a mad dash for the hole.

"No! Wait!" Clara called out after him, but she was too late.

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