2000 years ago, during the Dalek War, the Emperor Dalek hid his mind inside the mind of a human being named Susan Mendes -- but her friend Kalendorf learned the truth and planted another, destructive mental impulse within her consciousness. When the Emperor possessed Suz’s body completely, Kalendorf triggered this impulse, and Suz was able to use the Emperor’s authorisation codes to sweep aside all Dalek defences and destroy every single Dalek outpost in the galaxy and beyond, back to the Daleks’ home galaxy of Seriphia. Soon, only one Dalek outpost was left, but the few remaining Daleks, desperate to survive, conditioned a single Dalek subject to absorb the full force of the destructive pulse and then isolated it from the rest of the command net so that it would be unable to transmit the pulse any further. However, the mind of the Dalek subject absorbed the entire pulse, including the mind of Susan Mendes, and the two minds merged into one entity that possessed the command codes for the entire Dalek network. Thus, with the death of the Emperor, the Daleks gained a new leader: the Dalek Supreme.
The Dalek Supreme is now interrogating Galanar on Scalanis 8, and has just informed him that his kind, the Demons, were created by the Daleks. She demands to know why Galanar is working for the Galactic Union and how much they know about the Daleks’ plans, but he refuses to answer, even under torture. To his surprise, the Dalek Supreme releases him and orders him to visit a certain patient in the Healing Zone; she has realised that Galanar retains some memories of his origin, and believes that there is another way to convince him where his true loyalties lie.
Back in the Galactic Union, Giorgi Selestru is telling Bulis Meitok about his first encounter with Galanar. Years ago, before the plague outbreak, Selestru was hunting scavengers in the outer star systems when he and his crew stumbled across an ancient space station hidden behind a particle cloud in the Pkowik system. Aboard the station, they found three cryogenic tubes; one was empty, but the other two contained a man and a woman in suspended animation. According to the computers, the missing subject was named Morli, the man was Galanar, and the woman was Elaria. Curious, Selestru woke Galanar and took him back to Planet 9 for study, but decided to leave the woman where she was until he’d learned more about their origins; unfortunately, the NFS plague struck and the Border Worlds were quarantined before he could return for her. The scientists who studied Galanar determined that he had been genetically and technologically augmented: he has a longer lifespan; he is stronger than humans and can somehow easily convince them to trust him; and he is capable of altering his appearance on a cellular level, even to the point of becoming temporarily invisible. Galanar claimed to have imprinted upon Selestru, the first person he saw when he woke up, and ever since then, he has been unswervingly loyal to Selestru and has carried out several covert ops missions for him. However, Selestru concedes that he can’t be sure whether he really does trust Galanar of his own accord or because of Galanar’s odd powers. Meitok, appalled, demands that Selestru tell him everything about Galanar’s missions -- and warns Selestru that he will be placed under arrest and charged with treason if he doesn’t co-operate.
Galanar is disturbed by what he’s learned, particularly as his memories are starting to return and he’s realised that he finds the Daleks familiar. The Daleks now send him to attend to Siy Tarkov, who has been cured of the NFS plague, but Tarkov is hostile and unwilling to trust him. Galanar identifies himself to Tarkov as Dr Dennis Grentram, but can say little of use to Tarkov, as he realises that the Daleks are probably still monitoring him. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Healing Zone, Japrice is questioning Amur, whose stated motives for bringing her father to the Border Worlds don’t quite add up; she claims she was desperate for a cure, but her father’s condition had stabilised and nobody in the Galactic Union could have known that a cure had been developed here. The interrogation is interrupted by the Dalek Supreme, who wishes to speak to Amur personally.
Elsewhere, the Graxis Wardens are on the run in Ranger 1, heading for the Scalanis system to investigate its Healing Zones, armed with a multi-imager and false recognition codes to help them avoid the Daleks. However, Frey Saxton is having second thoughts. She and her fellow Wardens barely escaped from the Graxis system before the Daleks geoformed it, destroying all life on the system’s planets -- but what if the Daleks’ actions, evil as they may seem, really are necessary if the NFS plague is to be cured? Dan Culver urges Saxton to trust her instincts; she’s a good person, and as long as she trusts in herself, the Wardens will follow her wherever she leads them. Ranger 1 is then intercepted by a Dalek patrol, but their false recognition codes buy them some time; instead of opening fire, the Daleks assume them to be the ore transport Helios, and contact the Wardens to inform them that they’ve trespassed into the Scalanis system and must be scanned for signs of plague. Once the Daleks draw to within visual range, they realise that this is not the Helios after all, but the Wardens then activate their multi-imager and the Dalek sensors are overloaded with multiple false signals. Before the Daleks can identify which of the images is the correct one, the Wardens open fire and destroy them. Saxton puts her doubts behind her and orders her crew to resume course for Scalanis.
On Scalanis 8, the Daleks are listening in on the conversation between Galanar and Tarkov -- and so is the woman whom Tarkov believes to be his daughter Amur. She is in fact the Demon named Elaria, an agent of the Dalek Supreme whose actions have secured the downfall of Tarkov and Selestru, the only two men who believe that the Daleks pose a threat. However, when she reveals that Tarkov had hoped to find evidence of his claims on Velyshaa in the recorded memories of a man named Kalendorf, the Dalek Supreme recognises the name and realises that this evidence could still pose a threat. She thus assigns top priority to finding the planet Velyshaa and preventing the human race from acquiring its knowledge of the Daleks. In the meantime, Elaria must convince Galanar to join forces with her; once this is done, he must return to the Union and ensure that nobody believes the Daleks pose a threat.
Meanwhile, Tarkov finds himself talking to Galanar, inexplicably trusting him without really knowing why, and trying to figure out why the Daleks are helping to cure the NFS plague when their primary concern has always been conquest. “Amur” then enters the room, but as Tarkov starts to introduce her to “Dennis Grentram,” he realises that they already know each other. Galanar has recognised her as Elaria, and he reveals that she is, like him, a Demon -- but one who imprinted on the Daleks instead of on humans. Elaria claims that Galanar’s imprinting was a mistake, and when the bewildered Tarkov demands to know what’s going on, she strikes him, knocking him unconscious instantly. She feels no guilt at tricking and betraying Tarkov, but Galanar then reveals that he’s starting to remember his origins; he and Elaria are indeed stronger and more powerful than ordinary human beings. The Dalek Supreme is monitoring their conversation, and is confident that Elaria is winning Galanar over -- but in fact, he’s the one who’s goading her on, stirring up her memories by reminding her of how they were called “demons” as a joke by those who created them, and of the power she can feel flooding through her body from the implants inside. As she gives in to that power, he reveals that she can turn it inwards rather than outwards -- and before Elaria realises it, she does so and is swept up in her memories of the distant past.
Galanar communicates telepathically with Elaria through their implants, guiding her through the memories she’d forgotten. He, Elaria and Morli had been declared criminally insane and abandoned by human society -- until they were taken by Daleks from another dimension and adapted into warriors to fight the warlike Daleks that Elaria now serves. They were supposed to imprint upon their creators when woken, but their conditioning was interrupted when enemy Daleks attacked the Pkowik station; Morli escaped during the fight, but Elaria and Galanar remained in suspended animation for another 2,000 years. Galanar was woken by Selestru and imprinted upon him, but Elaria was found and woken by the enemy Daleks from Seriphia. These Daleks also found and interrogated the scavengers who had plundered Siy Tarkov’s ship, the Crusader, while he was in suspended animation. The remnants of its data store indicated that Tarkov had vital information concerning the Daleks, and, under torture, the scavenger captain admitted that he’d sold Tarkov’s cryogenics capsule to a ship heading towards the Galactic Union. The Daleks thus sent Elaria in undercover to infiltrate Tarkov’s life and find out what he knew. She has now completed that mission, only to learn that the Daleks have been lying to her; they are not her creators, but the beings she was created to destroy. And when Galanar urges her to look at the unconscious Tarkov and think about what she’s done to him, she feels the full guilt of her betrayal
The Daleks are unable to monitor the demons’ conversation via their implants, but the Dalek Supreme is confident that Elaria must be winning Galanar over -- until she notices that Elaria is crying. Elaria and Galanar suddenly vanish from the Daleks’ sensors and disable the surveillance monitors, and the Dalek Supreme realises that Elaria has betrayed them. She thus orders a full security sweep, but the human inhabitants of the Healing Zone are unaware of the demons’ true nature, and Galanar and Elaria are able to alter their appearances and carry Tarkov right past Mevis, disguised as Japrice and another doctor.
Galanar isn’t entirely convinced that Elaria has truly shaken off her conditioning, but she assures him that she’s been shocked back to her senses by what she’s remembered. She and Galanar lure two Daleks into a trap, temporarily turn invisible, and tear the Daleks’ guns right out of their armour while the Daleks are caught off guard. Armed, they head for the landing pad, hoping to steal a ship; however, Elaria insists that Galanar carry Tarkov, as the Daleks need him alive for interrogation and may be reluctant to fire upon him. Galanar fears that Elaria intends to sacrifice her life out of guilt, but she assures him that her priority is getting Tarkov back to the Galactic Union in one piece so he can convince them to go to Velyshaa. However, as they’d feared, the Daleks have traced them to the landing pad, and although they take out the airborne Daleks, a ground-based patrol emerges from the smoke between the fugitives and the Dalek saucers. Galanar and Elaria, aware that they haven’t a hope of survival, nevertheless refuse to surrender and run straight towards the ambush...