Roots: Hellraiser (the sadistic Lacuna). There are references to the library of Alexandria, Romeo and Juliet, Alice in Wonderland, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Henry VIII, The Elephant Man, Jesus, Buddah, Lenin, the Count of Monte Cristo, Everton and Sun Park, The Wizard of Oz and the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour ("We're off to see the wizard on a magical mystery tour."), Bosch's Garden of Delights, Picasso's Guernica, Greek mythology (Medusa, Perseus), Casablanca, Frankenstein, Transformers, and Lord Byron ("Mad, Bad, or Merely Dangerous to Know?"). The Doctor whistles "Amazing Grace". Abslom Daak fist appeared in the Doctor Who Weekly comic strip "Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer". He met the Seventh Doctor in the Doctor Who Magazine strip "Nemesis of the Daleks".
Goofs: Ace still carries her augmented baseball bat, despite the fact that it was destroyed in Remembrance of the Daleks [the Doctor repaired it].
Dialogue Disasters: "Daleks? Yes, you always did have a way with our metal-skinned friends."
"Tin-plated vermin! I'll slice 'em open. I'll stew 'em in their tins."
"Cybershit and Dalek dung!"
"That stupid foamhead!"
And many more.
Dialogue Triumphs: Giant prawns can't live in space. Well known fact.'
'I do my best work when I'm being underestimated.'
Continuity: Arcadia's sun is smaller and brighter than Earth's. One other planet in the system is closer to the sun than Arcadia, the remaining planets are located further out. Pool reshapes the asteroids in the system's asteroid belt into images of Britta's contorted face. In theory, several Princes rule Arcadia, although in practice they are answerable to the Humble Counsellors from Landfall. Prince Edward's full title is Prince of Beaufort, Elector of Verdany, Warden of the Northern Marches and High Alderman. Principalities on Arcadia include Beaufort, Clairy, Grandbourg, and Fauville. None of the humans on Arcadia are older than thirty, since they are harvested by Pool. Species indigenous to Arcadia include a small four-legged, forked tailed animal with an insect like body; it has four rows of spiky feelers attached to its small middle section, and a wedge-like head. It has a pair of mandibles and two fish-like eyes on the underside of its head. Another native animal has four straight, hairy legs, and a huge head, flat-fronted and grey, with plate-sized blank eyes and a round mouth filled with spines. Flora and fauna imported to Arcadia by the Spinward Corporation includes nettles, beech trees, foxes, boars, badgers, weasels, mice and squirrels. The entire colony on Arcadia was set up as part of the experiment that created Pool, intended to provide a fresh supply of organic material whenever Pool needed it.
Pool is the collective brains of the Spinward Corporation. It was originally a research team consisting of the Corporation's most senior scientists, who used semi-organic material to link their minds so that the six of them became one. They added to themselves for centuries, abandoning their bodies and growing in size and power, gaining mental powers that can surpass physical laws. Pool is essentially a supercomputer consisting of a massive vat filled with human brain tissue, located on board the space station that orbits Arcadia. It intends to destroy the Arcadia system to fuel the creation of a private universe of pure thought. Androids and robots are used on board Pool's space station. The Humble Counsellors are organic humanoid constructs, with bulging, ridged, lumpy hairless heads, and black, purple and green lumpy skin. They have electronic components; Lacuna refers to them as 'Droids. Winged, legless androids with flexible necks and chest blasters protect Pool from above. The Doctor tricks Pool into downloading itself into the Tertiary Control Console in the Zero Room and then jettisons it into the Vortex.
Following the events of Love and War, Ace has spent two or three years as a soldier in Spacefleet fighting in the Dalek war. She claims to have been seconded from IMC (Colony in Space), although she may be lying. She was in the Special Weapons division and is, not surprisingly, an explosives expert. She seduces and drugs Second Tracker Reynald Yesti in order to steal his ID chip and take his place on the Arcadia mission. The Doctor infected her with a benign virus that protects her cells whilst she was travelling with him. Hacking the built-in monitor system of a cryo capsule was her first act on her first Spacefleet combat trip. She still has the tesseract that the Doctor gave her when she stormed out (Love and War). Whilst in Spacefleet, most of her possessions were stored in an anonymous container on Zantir; they include drums of nitro-nine and its derivatives; logic crystals she smuggled out of the Procyon system; various hand-held weapons modified by Ace; a tripod-mounted surface to air cannon; and bales of circuit membrane purchased from a tailor on Antonius before the Daleks arrived. She is gradually buying a quarter share in a converted X-ship, which is currently being refitted on Harato by a dealer who owes Ace a favour. She wears a voice-activated dart gun strapped to her right forearm, which fires heat-seeking missiles. She's proficient at hacking computers and wears a wrist-processor that allows her to interface with them. She has played a VR game called Horror Walk 3. When she rejoins the TARDIS crew, she is wearing her combat suit, high boots, gauntlets, ammunition belt, and sunglasses.
Bernice has now been travelling with the Doctor for several months. Bernice again plays four-dimensional chess with the Doctor (see The Pit) and insists on a trip to Club Outrageous on Bacchanalia Two if she wins. She likes Erdanian brandy. She gets to drink wine on Arcadia. Her history studies included medieval Europe, including the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berri. She hasn't been on Earth for fifteen years. She has heard of the Spinward and HKI Industries Corporations. She has always fancied visiting Lubellin, the Mud Planet. Souvenirs that she keeps in the TARDIS include Heavenite porcelain (Love and War), script discs from "Sakkrat" (The Highest Science), and her collection of beer glasses.
There are several rooms containing Gothic follies in the TARDIS, including one with a fountain. There is a terminal in Ace's old room that allows her to access the TARDIS memory store. The TARDIS has a new Zero Room (Castrovalva), in which Ace meets the Doctor when the tesseract activates. The tesseract was programmed to activate as soon as the Doctor entered the Zero Room. The protoplasm that the Doctor used to refuel the link with the Eye of Harmony was contaminated (Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark); according to the Doctor, the impurity affected both the TARDIS and his mind, forcing him to shut down both to get rid of it. The tesseract was intended to reunite him with Ace, whose familiarity with him would help to restore his mind. Safe from the bug in the Zero Room, he uses the console from the Tertiary Control Room (Nightshade) to filter the TARDIS through a decontamination system "room by room" and remove the impurity. There is a cinema in the TARDIS, in which Benny has forced the Doctor to watch Double Indemnity.
Earth colonies during the twenty-fifth century include Astral, the university planet Academia, Belmos, Thrapos 3, and Hurgal. There was a plague attack on Yalmur during the Second Dalek War. Belmos base is three weeks away from Arcadia. Tarian asteroids are notoriously clean. The Spacefleet station is on Garaman.
Dezeldox is a lethal poison.
Links: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. There is a reference to plagues on Earth colonies during the Dalek War (Death to the Daleks). Benny recalls the destruction of the Seven Planets (The Pit). The Doctor mentions Romana and has a flashback to the events of Castrovalva. Refreshing the Doctor's memory, Ace mentions the destruction of the TARDIS (Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible), Turkey and New York (Cat's Cradle: Warhead), Tir-na-n-Og (Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark), Robin and the Yorkshire Moors (Nightshade), and Jan's death on Heaven (Love and War). The Doctor wonders if he remembered to set the TARDIS' internal stabilizers (Time-Flight). There are references to spectrox (The Caves of Androzani), Mel, Peri, Susan, Block Transfer Computation (Logopolis), Nyssa, Tegan, Kane and Iceworld (Dragonfire), the Master, the Monk (The Time Meddler, The Daleks' Master Plan), and Draconians (Frontier in Space).
Location: Arcadia, the mid-twenty-sixth century (three years after Love and War).
Future History: The Butler Institute (Cat's Cradle: Warhead) and Eurogen Company merged in 2107 to form the EB Corporation; the Corporation commissioned its first warpship in 2112. They changed their name after the Cyber Wars. They were one of the first Corporations to leave Earth. Arcadia was settled during the twenty-second century and is one of the first Spinward colonies. It was advertised as a paradise planet, and thus differs from most of the Spinward colonies, which are one-product factory worlds. The Corporation's administrative base is located on Belmos. HKI Industries Corporation is another big corporation.
Before humanity started to leave the Solar System, the Cybermen and the Ice Warriors both attacked (The Moonbase, The Wheel in Space, The Seeds of Death, Transit). At this time, soldiers were genetically manipulated to follow their leaders and were fitted with intelligent chips that could enforce military discipline.
Abslom Daak sacrificed himself to destroy a Dalek Death Wheel some years previously; Spacefleet gave occasionally employed clones of Daak for special missions. The Third Dalek War during the mid-twenty-fifth century lasts for roughly six years. The Spinward Corporation is the first company to successfully re-enter the equities market once the war ends. Dalek Killers, known as DKs for short, are criminals sentenced to exile on Dalek-controlled planets; those that survive the transmat journey have to kill Daleks in order to stay alive. Consequently, they are very rare and considered almost mythical by most people.
The Irregular Auxiliaries have a reputation for being the most dangerous arm of Spacefleet. Drinks in the mid-twentieth century include vodka and Burn-up, and Triple-Z. "My Dalek Lover is a Sex Machine" is a twenty-fifth century record. Common is the principle language spoken on Earth Colonies. The Office of External Operations is established during the Dalek War and is answerable to the Earth President and to Spacefleet High Command.
Federation Archivist Ven Kalik publishes From Break-out to Empire: Essays on the Third Millennium, presumably c. 4000 AD.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor was with Abslom Daak when he died in a suicide attack on the central reactor of a Dalek Death Wheel. Ace read records of the meeting in the TARDIS memory store. [I think this happened in one of the DWM comic strips - ed.]
Q.v. Benny's Birthday, Love and War.
The Bottom Line: 'I feel like I'm being manipulated again.' Largely serving as a vehicle to reintroduce Ace, Deceit is surprisingly bad considering that the man responsible for the genesis of the New Adventures wrote it. Scenes of lesbian domination and some genuinely horrific scenes don't make the novel interesting enough to compensate for its horrendously drawn out-plot, which suffers from a phenomenal amount of padding and is about one hundred pages too long. The inclusion of Abslom Daak is largely pointless and the character gets some atrocious dialogue. However, whilst the combat-hardened "Neo-Ace" alienated many fans at the time, she works quite well, and the tension in the TARDIS at the end promises a great deal for the future.