Publisher's summary Edit
"Logically, the war ends with one form of life in utter control of the world. All other life forms gone. That is the goal — that is the only true victory!"
Now established within the Scientific Elite, Davros and his team are pushing the boundaries of Kaled experimentation further and further forward. Access to Thal DNA spearheads an entirely new field of research for Davros, and as he becomes more and more intrigued by genetic mutations, others around him begin to fear him, his drive and his obsessive need for power.
Meanwhile he must learn to cope with betrayal and political manoeuvrings that will leave him changed forever...
Davros continues his analysis of his own past, musing on his progress through the Kaled Science Elite, and his growing political skill, all in pursuit of power.
A squad of Thal paratroopers come under Kaled fire as their plane is destroyed. As they land and commence their mission, they know they will not return home. Meanwhile, Councillor Matross summons Davros to the Council of Twelve, which now includes his mother Calcula, to answer for the expenses of the Scientific Elite. As the meeting devolves into argument, they are attacked by the surviving Thal paratrooper, who shockingly reveals that she has come to kill, not the Supremo, but Davros! He outwits her by ordering Calcula to reactivate the magnetic field of the assassin’s parachute; the planet’s magnetic field is strong here, and crushes the assassin to the floor, killing her.
Davros takes advantage of the situation to analyze the Thal female’s DNA. He finds it to be completely different from Kaled DNA, implying the two races have no common ancestor—they simply fill the same ecological niche, though with certain differences in internal organs. Davros notes that Thal men outnumber the women seven to one, but laments that the mass extinctions of other life forms in the war make it impossible to draw good comparisons. If any living creatures remain, they are in Drammakin Lake—now the Lake of Mutations—and the tunnels beneath the city. His associate Shan suggests capturing some samples in order to preserve as much of the genetic record as possible before it is too late. Davros disagrees, looking to the future instead of the past; but at any rate, non-military research has been banned, and so Davros directs another associate, Ral, to develop a quick test for Thal DNA. Perhaps a biological plague weapon can be developed. As Ral leaves, Davros asks Shan to stay behind.
Calcula meets with Section Leader Fenn of the Military Youth. Davros joins them, introducing Calcula to Shan, who was formerly in the Military Youth herself. Davros speaks highly of Shan, gaining Calcula’s notice. Calcula introduces Davros to Fenn, and says that she is planning a movement for the Youth; Davros interprets this as seeking a power base. He excuses himself and leaves with Shan. Fenn misspeaks and angers Calcula, but gets back in her graces by agreeing to a job before he knows what it is—a kind of loyalty she approves.
Davros jokes with Shan that, as Calcula is now technically her leader, she might be a spy; but Shan reminds him that Youth membership is compulsory, and that things have gotten worse with Calcula’s involvement, with any questioning resulting in punishment and even death, even for the very young. Davros expresses some frustration with the private army of loyalists that Calcula seems to be constructing. They are distracted by the DNA analysis; Shan assumes there is a fault, as the damaged DNA is changing—evolving, possibly? It makes no sense, as evolution within an individual is unheard of. Nevertheless, Davros thinks they can shape their own genetic destiny; Shan isn’t so sure, as they are killing Skaro, and have found no other life-supporting worlds. She mentions her own home in Darrien, which is now lifeless; Davros counters even this, pointing out the mutated worms and monsters that survive there and elsewhere. He reminds her that she herself proposed a solution in a paper a year prior; and now it’s time to make her dream reality.
Fenn provides Calcula with Shan’s personnel file. He admits that he has known Shan for years, but doesn’t like her; she is too clever. Calcula suspects that Davros is becoming romantically involved with Shan, and she wants to make the most of it; hence, the file. Fenn leaves, and Davros arrives; Calcula reads parts of the file to him. Shan’s family, while poor, is well-connected. Davros shows her blueprints for a radiation machine—not a weapon, but a variation on a cancer-curing device he invented. She dismisses the achievement. He inquires about her interest in Shan, and reacts badly at the suggestion that the Council may be interested in her. She changes the subject, and tells him that Councilor Matross has died in an accident, removing an obstacle to Davros’s work...and she hints that she may have had something to do with it.
Davros makes up with Shan over his earlier, disparaging remarks about Darrien. The conversation turns to their work, and he excitedly reveals that his machine can definitely shape the direction of mutations. He suggests that they may engineer an organism that can survive any environmental changes on Skaro. It need not be attractive, but must be intelligent, and have strong survival instincts.
At dinner, Calcula is pleased to see Davros reading a paper on obstetrics. She interprets his distraction as sulking over the obstacles from the Council, and reminds him that Matross is out of the picture. He is more determined than ever not to get politically entangled, but she suggests that he at least attend the unveiling of a new weapon he invented—and why not bring Shan along?
Shan joins Calcula in the War Room for the unveiling and the attendant military push. Shan’s father, in the military, is leading the campaign, but they are unable to speak to him from here...but perhaps he will survive and be able to speak afterward. They watch as the weapon, a massively overpowered beam generator, breaches the wall of a Thal command bunker; as survivors pour out, they are slaughtered by the Kaled ground forces. To the Council, it is much like a sporting event; Calcula complains that things of this nature aren’t shown to children more often. Another Councilor, Valron, is surprised by her reaction, and argues briefly with her. As the weapon’s power requirements burn it out after one shot, the Supremo asks Davros to build more of them. He asks Davros to stay as he addresses the people; Calcula offers the disgusted Shan a ride home, but she refuses, and walks.
As Shan tries to leave, Fenn accosts her, and refuses to leave her alone. Valron intervenes, and Fenn apologizes and departs. Valron is more sympathetic to her view on the carnage of the evening, and offers to walk her home. She accepts.
Davros is starting to see the Council’s view on things—more efforts like this might win the war, and wipe out the Thals completely. He advises the Supremo to pursue such a genocidal course; after all, logically, only one life form can triumph. The Supremo changes the subject and reveals that Thal spies are known to be in the city; one such is Fenn, who will soon be arrested. Davros wants to warn Calcula, but communications are down; he goes to do it in person.
Calcula finds Fenn waiting for her at home. He tells her that Davros is waiting for her in his lab, and leads her there as she exults over the massacre. When she unlocks and enters the lab, Davros isn’t there; Fenn immediately begins destroying Davros’s equipment. He says that the Supremo sent him to destroy Davros’s work in exchange for a promotion; and that he is also to injure Calcula, ensuring that she will fade into obscurity. She declares him a spy, and tells him she will do anything to protect her son and his work. She switches on the radiation machine, and Fenn cries out in pain; but she has already doomed them both with a high dose of radiation. As Fenn dies, she tells him that these actions will also bring down the Supremo, and put Davros on the throne, just as she always wanted. Before Fenn dies, they both begin to mutate.
Davros arrives at the lab, finding Shan already there. Fenn is dead, and Calcula is dying; but Davros only has eyes for the mutations they have experienced, and how it proves his theories. His clinical reaction to his mother’s impending death shocks Shan; she asks him to reverse the process, but he says that he cannot. Calcula tells him that their enemies killed her because they fear Davros, and that he must ascend and destroy their enemies. She expresses her pride in him, and then dies. He sends Shan away and tells her he is not to be disturbed while he works.
Shan finds Valron and tells him Calcula is dead. She also realises, and explains, that Fenn’s mutations matched Calcula’s, implying that he was not a Thal, but a Kaled. She and Valron deduce that he was not a spy, but that his questionable actions were under orders from someone very senior, more so than Calcula herself, and possibly a Councilor. Valron dismisses her concern that Davros might be next, and tells her to leave Davros to his grief—though she is sure he isn’t grieving.
A pregnant woman named Renna finds that her regular doctor has been replaced by Davros, whom she does not know. He accidentally reveals that she is having a boy, but covers by telling her that she will be offered an injection of a new drug to counter certain negative environmental factors. She agrees.
Shan realises that Valron is taken with her, and he admits his attraction to her. Shan thinks word of Calcula’s death is being suppressed. Valron worries that the Military Youth may be turned on any Council member who is implicated. Shan suggests making peace with the Thals; the idea is illegal, and Valron is shocked, causing her to backpedal a bit. However, she insists that Davros, at least, should know the truth of who killed his mother.
Shan joins Davros at the hospital, and is surprised to find him working the maternity ward. They argue over their respective emotional involvements in the circumstances. Meanwhile an expectant mother unexpectedly dies of complications, the fourth such death today. He rushes to incubate the baby, but it latches on to Shan and tries to hurt her. He gets it into the incubator, and Shan inquires about their chances of survival, but he does not know. He reveals that each new baby, on which he has experimented, is genetically identical to his post-mutative mother—a new species! Shan tells him that the Supremo ordered Calcula’s death, possibly in league with the Council. Davros acknowledges it, but doesn’t care; Calcula lives on in the new species. He believes no revenge is necessary, as the murderers’ deaths are inevitable—only his new species will ultimately survive. Shan asks what he has taken out of them, and he says he has only removed that which affects their ability to think rationally. She thinks this is horrible, prompting him to disdain her.
Shan returns to Valron and reports Davros’s words. Meanwhile the Military Youth begin to riot, word of Calcula’s death having gotten out. Davros meets with the Supremo, who asks about an anti-radiation drug that was in development; it has been completed and distributed. Davros confronts the Supremo about Calcula’s murder, which the Supremo denies ordering. Davros declines to use his influence with Calcula’s followers to stop the riots, as it was a Kaled, not a Thal, that killed her. The Supremo suggests that the attack was to restrain Calcula, not kill her; but clearly it has backfired. The Supremo agrees to give Davros whatever he wants. Davros turns down a Council position. Instead, he wants complete autonomy and unlimited resources for his science division, starting with new labs underground. He backs up his demand by threatening to prove who killed Calcula, ensuring death for the killer. He suggests that it is more advantageous to leave the Supremo in power, and suggests naming Valron as the murderer in order to stop the riots. To that end, he provides a faked file of documents proving Valron’s guilt.
Davros tells Shan that Valron has pro-Thal views, but she doesn’t believe it. He is angered to learn that she has been discussing their work with Valron, and orders her to end her relationship with the Councilor. Shan argues for pursuing peace with the Thals. The Supremo, having been eavesdropping, enters, and has her taken away to be hung. Later, he makes an announcement that the traitors have been unceremoniously hung; Shan’s father was killed in battle hours earlier, before he could hear of her fate. Davros watches this in bemusement; but he is interrupted by a call from Ral about an incoming Thal warhead. The lab is twelve stories below ground, and Davros is sure he’ll be fine—but an explosion occurs, and he blacks out.
Over the next month, Davros lingers near death, and sees his life flash before his eyes, with visions of his mother urging him to live—even at the sacrifice of his flesh.
Kaled medical technology saves Davros’s life—in fact, it can make him outlive his compatriots, surviving to the end of his natural lifespan, as no one has done in ten generations. And yet, with his terrible condition, do the doctors have the right to inflict this life on him? As he awakens, he learns that the Council and Scientific Elite have decided that if he will die, it will be by his choice. Ral provides him with a poison injector with which he can end his pained existence if he chooses. The Supremo thinks it is over...
However, Davros chooses to live. A week later, he emerges, and meets with Ral; he rejects any thought of weakness and recovery. He lives by machines now, in a life support vehicle. He will improve on the designs, but in the meantime, he feels a great clarity, with the world no longer filtered by his flesh. He feels no more affinity for the Kaleds, but also feels no fear—and he has a destiny to fulfill.
- Coordinator Davros - Terry Molloy
- Renna - Lucy Beresford
- Scientist Ral - David Bickerstaff
- The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Councillor Valron - Sean Carlsen
- Section Leader Fenn - Daniel Hogarth
- Lady Calcula - Carolyn Jones
- Scientist Shan - Katarina Olsson
- The Supremo - John Stahl
- Matros still serves on the Council of Twelve has risen to the rank of the High Councillor. Davros refused to take his daughter to a state dinner the night before the Thal attempt on his life.
- The name of the Thal state is the Thal Republic.
- DNA makes up living creatures on Skaro and all living creatures on Skaro have a double helix.
- Drammankin Lake is now known as the Lake of Mutations.
- Davros determines that, in spite of their outward resemblance, the Kaleds and the Thals' evolution diverged a hundred million years prior to the Thousand Year War. This is approximately the era when life first evolved on Skaro.
- The Kaleds and Thals' internal organs are of a completely different structure. For instance, Thal lungs are longer and thinner than those of the Kaleds.
- There are seven males for every female Thal.
- Most lifeforms that existed on Skaro have become extinct. Consequently, natural foodstuffs are a rare commodity.
- Davros is now a Coordinator within the Scientific Elite.
- The life expectancy of Kaled females is 52, an age which Lady Calcula has long since surpassed. According to Davros, she is one of the oldest living Kaleds.
- Joining the Kaled Military Youth is not technically mandatory, but in practice it is. The ones who do not join up are beaten by those who do. Several weeks earlier, a ten-year-old boy was dragged from his classroom and killed when he asked why rations had been cut if the war was allegedly going well.
- Of all the other planets that the Kaleds have detected, none are capable of supporting life.
- The Darrien province is the area where Shan and her family used to live. It is now a radioactive glass desert. They once owned more than half of the province.
- Shan's father Colonel Krakor is a senior member of the Military Elite. He turned down a place on the Council of Twelve to remain on the battlefield.
- Davros developed a device which cured cancer one year earlier.
- High Councillor Matros was killed when he slipped and fell under a training tank. When Davros points out to his mother that he was one of her political enemies, Calcula comments that he was always opposed to the Scientific Elite's work and should not have gotten in the way...of the tank.
- The Supremo orders Fenn to destroy Davros' laboratory. Calcula then exposes herself and Fenn to a massive dose of radiation.
- Skaro's sun can no longer be seen from the Kaled Dome due to the high levels of radiation in the atmosphere. According to Valron, there has not been a proper summer for the last three years as a result.
- Butterflies existed on Skaro prior to the war.
- No Kaled has died of old age for ten generations.
- Katarina Olsson (Shan) and David Bickerstaff (Scientist Ral) reprise their roles from AUDIO: Davros. Councillor Valron was mentioned in that story but does not appear.
- This audio drama was recorded on 2 August 2006.
- The story was reissued in 2007 as part of The Complete Davros Collection DVD boxset.
- Some of the events in this story were first touched upon in AUDIO: Davros.
- Drammankin Lake is now commonly referred to as the Lake of Mutations and is one of the few places on Skaro where animal and plant life can flourish as the Thousand Year War has destroyed Skaro's ecosystem. (AUDIO: Innocence, TV: The Daleks)
- Davros and Shan collect rodents for genetic research. (AUDIO: Davros)
- Davros tells Shan that he saw Kaleds being mutated by the Varga plants in the Wastelands years earlier. (AUDIO: Purity)
- Davros mentions that she wrote a paper suggesting the Kaled race would need to be re-engineered to survive on Skaro after the war, which she called "the Dalek Solution." (AUDIO: Davros)
- Davros refers to the Varga plants and the Mutos. (TV: Mission to the Unknown, Genesis of the Daleks; AUDIO: Purity)
- Years later, the Thal spy Baran would read Davros' report about his experiments on his mother's corpse after she had been mutated by the radiation. (AUDIO: Guilt)
- Davros's conviction that Kaleds and Thals are not closely related is supported by the experiments of the Halldons. (PROSE: We are the Daleks!)