Space Pilot Commander Don Morais and his co-pilot, Zec, are on a deep-space reconnaissance mission. Harassed by the Daleks, they implement a plan to get rid of their pesky foes. They have their fellow pilots fly in close formation so that they'll appear as one craft on their opponents' screens. At the last moment they split apart to deliver a massive blow. The plan works brilliantly.
With the Daleks now vanquished, Don sends the other pilots back to base while he and Zec press on with the reconnaissance. For days, the mission proves a quiet one. Between the planets of Troch and the Vale of Holocaust, things quickly go sour. Their ship is gripped by a mysterious force which knocks out their instruments and pulls them toward a dangerous stellar whirlpool. At the last moment, a kind of lightning storm hits the ship, and reverses the hull's polarity. Now, instead of being drawn towards the whirlpool, they are repelled by it. The two adventurers have escaped almost certain death!
What they've not avoided are more mysteries. Suddenly, their viewscreen fills with the image of another spacecraft. The only problem is that Don recognises it as a ship that went missing more than three hundred years ago. Attempts to raise its crew fail, but it's flying so close to Don's ship that he needs to get control of it before his ship is damaged.
Don and Zec initiate docking procedures and are soon onboard the ancient vessel. No sooner have they transferred over than its controls spark to life. No one's in the ship, but it's now rapidly exiting the area. Too late, Don and Zec understand it was all a trap. Before they know it, they're on Skaro, forced to do the bidding of the Golden Dalek. To demonstrate why they must accept the mission, he tortures them with plasmoral constrictive gas. After they recover, they get their orders. Don and Zec are to go to the depths of the planet to find the rare mineral, doranium. It's in a tight spot the Daleks simply don't have the agility to reach. Doranium, it turns out, will give Dalek weaponry enough power to reach targets vast distances away. Essentially, doranium is a miracle power source that will make the Daleks invincible.
Still, the duo have very little choice but to help their foes. They go on a very long hike down to the strata of Skaro's crust that contains the mineral, until the Valley of Rocks. The precise spot of the doranium vein is directly beneath a brand new Dalek space station. This gives Don an idea. Since doranium is naturally electric, he can short it out with his water bottle, allowing them to pass to the surface of Skaro through a pre-existing hole in the doranium strata. At the same time, the resulting electric explosion weakens the foundations of the Dalek space station. It falls into the now-open doranium pit and explodes. The doranium's natural electricity has now been exhausted and the mineral is useless.
With one tiny action, Don has deprived the Daleks of the fuel and the staging area they were going to use for universal conquest. The two pilots quickly find a spacecraft in which they leave Skaro and return to base.
- Doranium is a mineral charged with electricity power, usable as propellant. It is found in a stratum beneath the surface of Skaro, in the valley of Rocks.
- Zec risks sinking in quicksand.
- Spaceship One disappeared three hundred years before the time of Don and Zec.
- Phoretic crystals are guaranteed to last a thousand years.
- Plasmoral constrictive gas slowly burns skin tissues.
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