Chapter 22

"I've gotta' say Clara, when you're right, you're right." The Doctor sighed.

"Good. So we're getting the hell out of here, then?" Jack said urgently.

"You and Clara go."

Clara and Jack both halted before they could sprint off. They turned to gape at the Doctor. He was still standing there, hunched over the keypad.

"I wonder." The Doctor said, eying the warning indicator. Its red pulsing light reflected off his face. "Would the Daleks use such a simple code? A code they'd know I could very well crack? Is there a device that's about to blow us and this planet out of existence? Or do they just want to make us think there is?"

"Er—sorry to interrupt your deep philosophical moment, Doctor. But just as a reminder, this is the part where we run for our lives. Remember?" Clara said nervously.

"Yes, yes. I know, Clara." The Doctor responded shortly. "But I'm not convinced this warning is real."

"Doctor." Jack shook his head, "If you blow yourself up, you know you're not going to regenerate."

"But this was simply way too easy, Jack. Can't you see? It appears to be a trap. The lack of guards, the easy access. That code was easier than Rubik's Cube. And I should know. I invented it for Emò to give him something to do. One helluva' gossip. Couldn't shut him up! Didn't know he was going to patent the thing. And he still owes me royalties, come to think of it."

"Maybe I should invent a puzzle for you, then." Jack muttered under his breath. Out loud he said, "In my experience, if it looks like a trap and feels like a trap..."

"But maybe the Daleks want me to think it's a trap. Maybe the trap in itself is a trap."

"Never thought I'd hear the word 'trap' said quite so often before." Clara shook her head. "Especially when there's a great big bomb just a few meters away."

Jack squinted suspiciously at the Doctor. "Have you been eating one of those Androgum mushroom omelets again?"

"I don't think now's the time to bring up that particular experience, if you don't mind, Jack." The Doctor responded uncomfortably. "And I didn't know the chef was an Androgum, if you remember."

"Oh, I think you'll find it was a trap, Doctor" Came a voice out of thin air. Davros' voice. "A most delicious trap."

In the air above them suddenly floated a holo-image of Davros. He sat there in his chair, gloating down at them. Behind him were ranked hundreds of Daleks.

"I hope you liked our little charade. I've been planning this for such a long time. The capture. The escape. Letting Captain Harkness find our plans. It was all leading down to this moment. The moment when you, not me, destroy the earth, Doctor."

"You get so cranky when you're hungry, Davros." The Doctor said flippantly, trying to hide his anger. Gesturing with his hands for emphasis, he shouted up to the holo-Davros, "Why don't you take a break from being a bitter old—whatever you are? Go and eat a Snickers bar or something."

"You pretend to be calm. Yet, I see your anger, Doctor. And I find that worth waiting for. You see, I know you by now. You wouldn't be able to resist getting to the cyclotron. And I also knew that only you could crack that code. The code," Davros added with undisguised relish, "that triggers my World Crusher."

Leaning forward in his chair, Davros stabbed a finger at the Doctor. "You Doctor, and you alone. You are the one who set off the bomb which will destroy this planet in...five minutes. Meanwhile, I and my Daleks will be safely teleported off world, waiting in our ships to begin construction of a device to end all life in the universe. Only Daleks will reign supreme!"

In the background, the Doctor and the others could hear the Daleks chant, "DALEKS ARE SUPREME! DALEKS ARE SUPREME!"

"Enjoy the last moments of your life, Doctor." The flickering image of Davros pronounced from over their heads. "And know that you helped to end, not just this world, but every world in all of time and space."

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