Lesterson has brought his new toy, his reactivated alien machine, to Governor Hensall’s office.  He boasts of how it could revolutionise life in the Colony.  It can end their labour problems, their economic problems… all their problems.

“It can do many things,” agrees the Doctor, “but what it does best is exterminate human beings!  It destroys them… without pity…”

He continues.  And the machine speaks too.

“I – AM – YOUR – SER-VANT,” it says, an unconscious admission in its strange inflection.  It says this again and again and again.

The two voices overlap, trying to shout each other down.

The tool, the machine, the product, bellows that it is our servant, while one man desperately claims that it’s a killer, an apocalypse in waiting.

The two claims merge until they become one contradictory truth.

Later, the Dalek (I choose to believe it’s the same one) murders Hensall on Bragen’s orders.

It turns to Bragen.

It has a question.  The tool that kills, the dead labour, the mass produced thing, the weapon, the tank, the gothic monster, the repressed thing returning, the fascist principle that mirrors Bragen’s own, the social-Darwinist that embraces the idea of the racial struggle for survival against all other competing races… has a question for Bragen.  For humanity.


 Good question.  One of the few genuinely good questions asked by anyone in this story.

Bragen, of course, cannot answer.

He has no idea.

(UPDATED 21/11/13) …

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