CAVERN OF DEATH

Chapter 17

Finding herself once again under the Dalek guns, Clara acted quickly. Turning about on her heels, she held her breath, shut her eyes, and randomly pointed the sonic screwdriver in the direction of the Dalek Warriors. The Doctor had secretly passed his sonic to her when he'd shaken her hand. There was no time to guess at the correct setting. Clara merely pressed down on the button and hoped for the best.

As it happened, the Doctor had pre-programmed the sonic screwdriver for her. The device had been put on a generic position for unlocking things. However, the setting proved a bit too much for the chambers holding the captured natives.

Like a set of dominoes set into motion, each warrior's cubicle suddenly shattered in a shower of Perspex, sparks and coloured fluids. One by one, in quick succession, the warriors were released. They staggered free into the tunnel, arms flailing, moaning in pain.

"WHAT IS HAPPENING?" Screamed the Dalek technician anxiously.

'ALERT! ALERT!" Shouted one of Clara's guards. It nervously turned back and forth, dividing its attention between them and Clara. As if unsure which one to kill first. "DALEK WARRIORS ESCAPING PROCESSING CHAMBERS!"

Another guard shouted, "ASSISTANCE REQUIRED FROM CENTRAL CONTROL. WHAT ARE YOUR ORDERS, COMMANDER?"

One half-formed Dalek Warrior, a man dressed in native garb, turned to Clara.

"Orders? You have orders? Iówe, ask for orders?" He spoke almost plainitively, like a confused child.

The man had a Dalek gun attached to his arm. Clear plastic tubes hung from various parts of his body. Yet, Clara could see that there was something about him which still looked quite human. The eyes were cast with uncertainty. His entire visage appeared disjointed, bewildered. Like someone torn between two worlds. Twin minds of opposing viewpoints. The other warriors with himóboth men and women, wore similar expressions.

"You're not completely Dalek yet, yeah?" Clara addressed the warrior. "So fight them. Don't let them turn you into one of them. Fight back. Now's your chance to show them you're still human."

Clara almost regretted her words as, without warning, the Dalek Warrior suddenly opened fire on the Dalek guards. Leaping back against the coarse black rock of the tunnel wall, she'd narrowly avoided the green ray emitting from the warrior's gun.

In the ensuing firefight between the warriors and the Daleks, Clara slipped away unnoticed. "Right." She said to herself. "Now all I have to do is find the Doctor, defeat the Daleks and escape back to the TARDIS, wherever that is." Giving a wry smile she shrugged, "Just another day at the office, then."

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