Okay, so this isn't going to be so much about 'Skies of Arcadia'. It's just going to be the setting. The story is mainly Doctor Who based. BTW. This is about the 8th Doctor only because that's who he was at the time of this incident, but I will be pretty much be writing the Doctor with the personality of the 10th Doctor since he's the one I know best. Enjoy!
'Dead-eye' galaxy, officially designated as 'Galactic class body type 5 variable/EMC- 9ms/86% negative/14a/no. 41' was a ring galaxy. Its nickname derived from two sources. The first was its appearance from above; a pulsating violet core of matter and anti-matter sitting alone as a ring of stars and rocks circled it from light-years away. The vague resemblance to an eye was undeniable. The second source of the colloquial name was the obvious lack of life in the star cluster. As the '86% negative' of its name suggested, the eco-structure of the 'Dead-eye' was almost non-existent. The suns that were strong enough to become the basis of solar systems gave off conflicting energy wavelengths that poisoned all they shined on. The planets and moons were unstable, the crusts shattering with ease, allowing the molten, radioactive interiors to flow out to either tear the astral bodies apart from within or to flow over the surface of the globes to reshape them into new worlds, only to begin the self destructive process again centuries later. Even for single celled organisms, of which there were few, it was a hard place to live.
Between the ring of asteroids and the angry purple core of the galaxy there was nothing. Aside from gravitational pulls the area was devoid of all but dark matter, the self contradicting substance that 'nothing' was made from. Empty space, too vast for most minds to even try and comprehend, slap-bang in the middle of lifeless heavenly bodies. The perfect place to hide.
Secluded in plain sight was a single planet. Its atmosphere was a blend of blood red and brown streaks that arched across its surface like veins. From above the planet the sky seemed to be writhing, the balance of the world still heavily disrupted by its new place in the universe. On good days (though without a sun there was no day or night) it was just possible to make out two vast continents of plant deficient dark brown, separated by battleship-grey oceans.
No one knew if this was the original home world, or if it was a terraformed copy, but none of the natives of the planet asked.
Daleks never questioned superiors.
The topsoil of the Skaro's land was a ruse, to hide the bunkers and small buildings that led into the underground city that was a home for the Dalek race.
The Dalek's physical form was rarely ever seen, least of all to the Daleks themselves, for they were born into their travel machines with a mentality that demanded they never leave them willingly. The dalekanium shells were just under the height of a regular human being, wide and oval at the bottom and thinning into a circular shape as they went up, with a wide dome on top. The round heads of the machines were topped with a duo of dome lights each, with a stalk sticking out the front to hold a ball that gave off a blue light; the Dalek's mechanical eye. At the base of each Dalek machine was a large jet black fender that used anti-gravity technology to move and even fly the suits when necessary. The lower half of the polycarbide form was covered in spheres that were buried halfway into the 'body'. Around fifty six per Dalek, acting as a force field generator and as a remote interface projector. The midsection was covered in oblong slats that made up the sensory array. Two metal arms reached out from this part of the Dalek. One was the Dalek manipulator arm, most often equipped with a highly adaptive plunger. The other was the infamous gunstick, wrapped in a small cage and carrying enough power to turn the average organic being into vapour, though it was now common knowledge that the Daleks intentionally widened the wavelengths of their energy beams in order that their victims die in agony as a sign to all other species of the Dalek's hatred of them. On top of the midsection was a stack of layered mesh and metal rings that supported the head.
The Daleks were surprisingly mobile and incredibly formidable. The only thing more recognisable about them than their appearance was their nature. Through genetic engineering, the Daleks had long ago been stripped of any positive emotions, leaving little in them besides hate. Convinced that they had reached the pinnacle of physical and mental perfection, the Daleks compulsively sought to destroy all life that wasn't Dalek as well. They had no understanding of compromise or mercy, but knew pain and fear like old friends, and made good use of them. Their most recent aggressions against the first human empire had once again been repelled, but had left scares on its people that would not heal for generations to come. The Daleks completely ignored the fact they had once again been beaten, and that they'd been forced to hide Skaro in a new galaxy just to keep it from destruction. In their minds they were still superior in every way, and that they had been defeated was a moot point since all non-Dalek races were doomed to fall anyway. Throughout the Dalek city, lesser species toiled in slavery for their Dalek overseers, taken prisoner in the most recent Dalek incursions. Machinery and computers would have got the tasks of building, mining and moving objects done far more quicker and efficiently, but it was in Dalek nature to see inferior beings broken and cast down in shame and defeat as they deserved to be. The thousand strong chain gangs drawn from a variety of species were forced to work beyond their limits, fear of the masters and pain from non-lethal extermination rays forcing them every step of the way as they cried out for freedom, whether it be in the form of rescue or a quick death.
Deep in the heart of the city, down near the hollow planet core, something was taking place. In the lowest chambers of the Dalek city, elite guard Daleks personally controlled all the systems. Unlike standard Daleks, whose mechanical bodies were completely bronze, the guards had black dome heads and double barrelled gunsticks. Diligently they monitored computers and patrolled the catacomb like hallways that encircled one of the most important rooms on the planet. Behind colossal bulkhead doors, high powered laser shields and a temporal distortion field, the Dalek council was holding a meeting.
The three story room had a total of ten sides, one for each member of the council. Two of the walls on either end of the room were much larger than the rest. On the eight remaining walls, there were alcoves set a few metres above the floor where each council member had already taken up position.
The first was the Supreme Dalek, the recognised head of the council. The creature's machine was identified by being red coloured, with gold globes adorning the lower body and external logistical hard drives clamped onto its neck bin. In the hole in the wall next to it stood the Dalek Inquisitor General. Named 'Dalek X-2' by the humans, as a reminder of the first inquisitor who was killed in the Dalek's first attack on humanity, this Dalek's shell was black with gold globes. Like its predecessor, it was the overseer of prisoner interrogation and slave labour control, and as such was known as an individual to races aside from Daleks. Next to it was a Dalek with a silver body and blue globes and neck rings. This was the scientific research head. Though the Dalek's mental capacity had been limited by their reduced emotions, their simplified state of mind gave them a stronger insight into science. The silver Dalek was the top scientist, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge through logical thinking alone.
The task of creative thinking belonged to the Dalek in the forth wall.
The infamous Dalek Sec, the first and one of only four named Daleks in existence. Armour black as night, Dalek Sec was the leader of the top secret Cult of Skaro, charged by the highest Dalek authority to do what was virtually abhorrent for a Dalek- to imagine; chiefly to imagine ways for the Daleks to survive when their existence was threatened, and ways to fight when they encountered an enemy beyond their normal abilities to defeat. Such thoughts were of course, in conflict with everything the Daleks believed in. It was an accepted though unvoiced fact that the Cult of Skaro would all be exterminated when all non-Dalek races were destroyed. Until then, however, the cult was a necessary evil the Daleks endured.
On the opposite side of the room, another four members of the council stood in their appointed positions.
Two of the Daleks had standard bronze armour. One was the Dalek Quartermaster, who had the responsibility of directing all activities of importing and exporting supplies and resources, which also extended to maintaining control over captured territories, ships and planets. The second was the Extra Taxonomic Control Executive, in charge of the Dalek spy network and non-Dalek mercenaries. Again, it was a questionable position to hold, yet the Dalek cause required that they succeed by any means necessary, and sometimes that meant Daleks were required to liaise with lesser beings.
The third Dalek along was an assault Dalek, with a tri-pronged laser cutting claw arm instead of a sucker. This Dalek was a command Dalek; the highest level of ranking Dalek that would command on the battlefield personally. The front line troop was the Designated Veteran Dalek, and was chosen for its experience to give first hand reports on encounters with the Dalek enemies to the council. The last Dalek in its hole in the wall was the Dalek chief administrator, tasked with keeping and managing all Dalek records. Its travel machine was the same as that of a standard Dalek, but the administrator was also outfitted with a 'C' shaped mounted mainframe that wrapped around its back, allowing it to hold massive amounts of data.
On one end of the room, against one of the two larger walls was an interconnecting group of white mainframe computers. On top of the middle mainframe was a white dome Dalek head. Dalek Prime was responsible for keeping Skaro running in top condition, and had control over the entire planet via the core computer it was conected to. It was immoveable, but was in control of four double barrelled gunstick turrets set in the walls of the meeting room.
All the council members were present, save for one. They all waited in silence except for the eternal hum of endless amounts of technology, having nothing to say until the last member of the Dalek command was among them.
They didn't have long to wait, as on the final wall of the room, a vast transmission projector buzzed into life, displaying an image a Dalek. A Dalek in its natural form, outside of the travel machine.
Its body was a sickly purple colour. It was fleshy and wrinkled, and pretty much resembled an octopus, complete with a collection of tentacles reaching out through the blue fluid of its life support capsule. At the back of the creature body, a brain could be seen, swollen disproportionately against the flesh so that it was almost visible through the skin. Dead centre of the Dalek was an eye. A single, yellow, narrowed eye which seemed to glare with an insatiable hatred.
This, was the master of all Daleks. The Dalek Emperor.
"The Dalek council is now in session." the emperor bellowed in its mechanically translated voice, deeper than any regular tone used by the Daleks.
"The chief administrator will take the minutes of the meeting." the Supreme Dalek commanded.
"I obey." the equivalent of a pen-pusher droned in response, the dome lights on top flashing with each syllable.
"Report on the status of the war supreme one." the emperor directed at the Supreme Dalek.
"All Dalek forces have pulled out of effective battle range of the human empire. Our fleets are regrouping as we speak."
"Many ships are in need of repairs," the quartermaster spoke up in a higher pitched machine voice "but maintaining no contact with opposing forces is delaying the transport of necessary supplies to allow the ships to make good speed."
The Dalek in charge of spies and mercenaries joined by saying "The withdrawal occurred at an inopportune time during the battles with the humans. The limited minds of our enemies convince them that the Daleks are defeated. Many spies have abandoned the Dalek cause, and the information required to coordinate our support ships without engaging the humans is limited."
"This is unacceptable!" the boom of the Emperor Dalek seemed to add an extra micro-vibration to the already vast collection of tiny shudders that came from the activity of so many machines in the Dalek city. "Designated Veteran, what is your opinion of the human psychological condition?"
"The humans indeed fight with far more confidence than before. It is apparent they think they have the upper hand in the war against us. Other races are also expressing doubt in the strength of the Dalek Empire and have been reported making rapid strikes against retreating squadrons."
This was not good news, and the members of the council couldn't help but feel glad that the Emperor was incapable of attending the council meetings personally, seeing as how it was hardwired into its 'Exterminator' class flagship.
"Veteran Dalek, what is the status of our own forces?" Dalek Sec enquired.
"For what purpose is such a question relevant?" the Inquisitor General now spoke, an undeniable note of venom in its machine generated voice. Dalek Sec was necessary. That didn't mean its presence wasn't a bitter pill to swallow.
"The morale of our troops affects their combat effectiveness. We sh-"
"Daleks obey orders! That is their purpose!" the Inquisitor roared in disgust. "Daleks do not respond to emotional influence! Daleks are supreme!"
Dalek Sec's implications were an intolerable insult to the Dalek leaders, and the others watched with enthusiasm that their expressionless machines couldn't hide as the Dalek perversion came under attack from the advanced fury that the Inquisitor General had been gifted with as a requirement for its post.
"Nevertheless, Daleks are still subject to the influence of the conditions they encounter. Increased efforts by enemy forces are capable of having negative effects on Dalek mental disposition."
"This is obscene!" the Inquisitor raged in contrast to Sec's icy cold calmness. "Your words suggest flaw in the Dalek race! It would appear that the only Daleks whose mental disposition should be in question is-"
"SILENCE!" the Emperor's voice exploded into the exchange and the single word was instantly obeyed. All eye stalks turned back to the visual feed.
"Dalek Sec makes a valid point in that there is relevance in the conditions of lower ranking units. The question will be answered."
Dalek Sec took a quick opportunity to look back at the inquisitor with an unmistakable air of smugness, before it joined the others in looking towards the assault Dalek.
"Dalek combat units continue to operate effectivly against the enemy." the Dalek clarified straight off as it angrily forced itself to answer the ridiculous question. "Dalek units are resentful against the humans due to the increased number of defensive encounters the Daleks have been required to carry out, yet extermination ratio remains at tolerable levels and Dalek units continue to operate at maximum efficiency."
"Then they must continue to operate at maximum efficiency," the Emperor growled, and all present detected the underlying note that said 'or else' "yet it is clear that efforts have to be made to reassert Dalek superiority throughout the universe."
"The incubation laboratories are still being impaired by the new galactic conditions we are in." came a voice from the core computer that sounded even more mechanical than Daleks normally did. Dalek Prime continued.
"The background radiation is still causing mutations in sixty percent of new Dalek units. Any attempt to create another army will be met with considerable delays."
"Then we must use our current armies to carry out an act that will clearly establish Dalek supremacy in the eyes of our enemies." the Supreme Dalek stated.
"And it must be highly effective." the Emperor agreed. "The possibility that the Time Lords will soon break the Act of Master Restitution is becoming ever more likely."
"Spy intelligence suggests that Lady President Romana has been in contact with commanding bodies of species who have openly challenged the Daleks." the Extra Taxonomic Control Executive reported. "It indeed seems certain that the Time Lords intend to declare war against us."
Now the science officer spoke too.
"We still hold the Great Key, yet it is clear from our studies of that Time Lord technology poses a significant threat to the Daleks."
"Then we must also send a message to the Time Lords. A message that all enemies of the Dalek's shall take heed of." the Emperor grated.
"I have a suggestion."
Everyone looked to the chief of the spy network
"The prime Dalek attack fleet of the human empire invasion is still in human controlled space, near the planet Arcadia. Spy reports indicate that the rogue Time Lord, the Doctor, is there."
A cold chill passed throughout the room at the mention of that name.
The Doctor. The enemy of the Daleks. A name that was burnt into the genetic memory of every Dalek in existence. Ka Faraq Gatri- Bringer of Darkness.
"The planet of Arcadia is on the outer reaches of human space, yet it is heavily populated and it a world that inspires admiration among the humans. It would be an excellent world to target as an example to our enemies."
"The destruction of Arcadia and the Doctor as a result would undoubtedly traumatise both the human and Time Lord races'. And news that our greatest enemy had died at hands of the Daleks would have a strong positive effect on all Dalek units."
For once, no one seem to mind that Sec once again suggested that Daleks morale was an issue, nor did anyone point out that Daleks did not have hands and Sec had clearly spent too much time thinking like a human. There was suddenly an undercurrent of excitement between the council members. Even though they believed themselves to be absolutely perfect, all Daleks new that the march to victory as the only living beings in existence was a long one. Yet if the Time Lord known as 'The Doctor' was to be killed, ultimate victory suddenly didn't seem quite so far away.
"I have decided." the Emperor's harsh voice drew all attention back to it. "The Extra Taxonomic Control Executive shall go to the planet Arcadia and lead an attack upon it."
"I obey." The Dalek spoke immediately, not at all surprised that it had been selected for the task. All Daleks were soldiers, no matter what rank they held, and Dalek protocol stated that since it was its idea, it would carry out the task.
"The Designated Veteran Dalek shall also take part in the battle." commanded the Emperor.
"Then let it be known throughout the Dalek fleets. The final attack upon the human race shall take place on Arcadia. No living creature is to escape from that world. Arcadia will fall, and the Doctor, will be exterminated!"
And as though someone had given a signal, the Dalek council began to chant as one.
"Exterminate the Doctor! Exterminate the Doctor! Exterminate the Doctor!"