“So, this is how it ends Doctor. This is what it all comes down to.” Davros wheezed, “My children,” he gestured broadly to the assembled Daleks. “against yours. Who will be the victors I wonder.” The Doctor jolted angrily.
“My children,” He spat, face twisted harsh and hurt. “are all dead!”
“No, no, no, of course they aren’t, they’re already working on a plan to save you, and such industrious workers too.” Davros continued forebodingly.
“Incoming transmission. Origin Planet Earth.” One of the Dalek’s declared.
“Watch Doctor.” He said, and the doctor looked at him in confusion, his hearts twisting with pain and anger and a tiny, miniscule spark of hope that hurt even worse than the other two, that he dared not acknowledge, as he tried to process the impossibility of what Davros was suggesting. Davros flicked a finger of his gauntleted hand and a screen lit up revealing…
Hair up tight in military style, something terrible in the set of her face.
“This message is for the Dalek Crucible. Repeat. Can you hear me?” she asked firmly. The Doctor looked up at her image in confusion, a mixture of disappointment, relief, and utter bafflement filling him.
“Put me through.” He demanded.
“It begins as Dalek Caan foretold.” Davros declared dramatically, ignoring him. Dalek Caan laughed.
“The Children of Time will gather, and one of them will die.” He babbled disconcertingly joyful. The Doctor cutting him off impatiently.
“Stop saying that! Put me through!” He demanded a little panicked.
“Doctor!” Martha exclaimed in surprise at his voice “I’m sorry, I had to.” She explained pleadingly. The Doctor stared at her image worry beginning to overtake him at her words wondering what exactly she had done that she needed to apologize for.
“Oh, but the Doctor is powerless, my prisoner. State your intent” Davros called up towards her image.
“I’ve got the Osterhagen key” she declared, snapping back to herself. Pure confidence, brandishing a square computer board. “Leave this planet and it’s people alone, or I’ll use it.”
“Osterhagen what? What’s an Osterhagen key?” Martha hesitated at his interjection before straightening her shoulders and facing the camera with a hard look of determination.
“There’s a chain of 25 nuclear war heads placed in strategic points beneath the Earth’s crust. If I use the key, they detonate, and the earth gets ripped apart.” She explained calmly only a trace of tightness in her voice betraying the enormity of what she was saying.
“What?!” the Doctor shouted mixed feelings giving way to abject horror “Who invented that?! Well obviously, someone called Osterhagen I suppose. Martha are you insane?!”
“The Osterhagen key is to be used, if the suffering of the human race is so great, so without hope, that this becomes the final option.” She explained.
“That’s never an option” He whispered aghast, he thought she knew better, thought she’d learned from his mistakes, thought that this one lesson at least would not need to be learned by anyone else, ever again.
“Don’t argue with me Doctor!” she shouted “Because there’s more than that! Now I reckon the Daleks need these 27 planets for something, but what if it becomes 26? What happens then Daleks?” she asked triumphantly Davros frowning at her image “Would you risk it?”
“Oh, she’s good.” Rose said admiringly to the doctor’s dismay, much too lighthearted a reaction to Martha’s declaration that she was going to blow up the world.
“Who’s that?” Martha asked confusedly as another voice joined the call.
“Oh, my name’s Rose, Rose Tyler.”
“Oh my god he found you.” Martha exclaimed, Rose nodded happily looking over at the doctor who could only stare in horror.
“Second transmission internal” One of the Daleks blared bringing up another screen.
“Captain Jack Harkness calling all Dalek boys and girls, are you receiving me?” Jack called all showy bravado as usual “Don’t send in your goons or I’ll set this thing off.” he warned holding up a strange device wired into something off screen suspended by a pendant chain.
“He’s still alive?” Rose asked disbelieving before taking note of the others on screen “Oh my god that- that’s my mum!”
“And Mickey,” the Doctor said resigned. “Captain what are you doing?” Jack looked at the camera a little sadly.
“I’ve got a warp star wired into the mainframe. Break the shell… the entire crucible goes up.” He threatened.
“you can’t!” the Doctor shouted terrified “Where did you even get a warp star?!”
“From me.” Sarah jane said stepping forwards “We had no choice.” She hurried to explain, words pouring out all in a rush “We saw what happened to the prisoners.” Davros rolled forwards staring up at the screen intently as Sarah spoke.
“Impossible,” He rasped “that face, after all these years.”
“Davros.” she said in a hushed voice shocked before continuing, voice rising as her anger returned “That’s been quite a while. Sarah Jane Smith. Remember?!”
“Oh, this is meant to be!” Davros declared happily “The circle of time is closing. You were there on Skaro at the very beginning of my creation.” He remembered.
“And I’ve learned how to fight since then.” She warned “You let the Doctor go or this warp star, it gets opened.”
The Doctor looked away.
“I’ll do it” Jack added tightening his grip on the chain “don’t imagine I wouldn’t.” Rose looked up at them in wonderment.
“Now that’s what I call a ransom!” she laughed before catching sight of the Doctor. “Doctor?” she asked hesitantly.
“And the prophesy unfolds.” Davros drawled happily.
“The doctor’s soul is revealed” the mad Dalek proclaimed excitedly “See him, see the heart of him!” he cackled. Rose looked at the doctor, really looked, finally taking note of the pain and shame that seemed to be painted into every line in his face.
“The man who abhors violence, never carrying a gun.” Davros taunted “But this is the truth Doctor,” he declared facing his long-time enemy head on “You take your children, and you fashion them into weapons.” He said wielding his words like a blade designed to cut into the heart of his enemy “Behold your children of time, transformed into murderers. I made the Daleks Doctor. You made this. You made them, into this. Your children of time become children of death. Soldiers one and all, ready to kill and die for you.”
“They’re trying to help” The Doctor defended looking up at them unable to deny it.
“Already I have seen them sacrifice today for their beloved Doctor,” Davros said barreling on, the Doctor looked down on the verge of breaking but still Davros continued “The earth woman who fell defending the sub wave network,”
“Who?” He asked desperately.
“Harriet Jones” Rose explained softening her voice at the doctor’s horrified glance. “She gave her life to get you here.” Davros drove even closer raising his voice.
“How many more? Just think! How many have died in your name? You raised them to be this. More soldiers for your cause. As you raised your own children so long ago. You never learned did you. Even then. Tell me doctor, how many of your children survived the time war?” He let his voice drop as raw emotion took over the Doctor, pain, and anger, and deep unending mourning for all he’d lost, causing him to shake violently unable to look away from his enemy. “The Doctor. The man who keeps running, never looking back because he dare not, out of shame. This is my final victory Doctor. I have shown you, yourself.” He declared triumphantly, as at last tears began to fall silently. As the Doctor looked around at all his children, the people he had gathered to him, the people he had tried so hard to teach be better than he was. Realizing that thing that every parent learns when they see their children making the same mistakes they had so long ago. That they really were just like him. They had indeed learned from him, but not just the lessons he wanted. They had learned to copy him in deed and not just word. And he saw now how he had failed them.