The Outpost

Exterminate Isolation
By testing Potratz
Published October 14, 2019

The frenetic pace of business emails, push notifications, and negative news cycles are isolating. This isolation contributes to issues with mental and physical health and it wears down our souls. As we lose ourselves with these tasks, are we ensuring to add enough positivity to counteract the barrage of isolation?

Where should we find our tribes in this modern world? Somewhere I saw a sign saying, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” As trite as it is, this is what happened with me.

My family has adopted the tradition of going to Rose City Comicon. The first time we were planning on going my kiddo was 5. Her father and I committed to building her whatever costume she wanted. Part of me was afraid she’d opt for an incredibly simple costume as a result of not knowing what was available.

To inspire her to think bigger, I started building my costume, a Spriggan from Skyrim. She watched as I created antlers and a mask from scratch. I cut the heels off of a pair of boots and attached platforms to add height and the appearance of a joint where my heel appears.

So, when we asked what she wanted to be, we weren’t prepared for her answer: “a Dalek.”

We are avid Doctor Who fans. For those that don’t know, the Daleks are a hateful race referred to on the show as, “a psychopathic race bent on subjugating the universe.”


Dalek’s also look like their base is an upside-down trash can. After much discussion, Hubs wanted to ensure she didn’t want a dress with pom-poms going down the skirt in rows.

Nope. She wanted the full kit-and-caboodle.

So for the next two months, we dove in creating a Dalek with no directions, while binging episodes of the show and staring at images off of Google. During a good chunk of this build, it was rainy, and being afraid the moisture would slow the drying of the Bondo – we moved the build from the balcony inside the condo. Did I mention we had no space to build this thing?!

Fast forward to 5:30 AM on the day we’re attending Comicon. Finally finished, we load the beast of a costume into the truck and drive to the convention center. Kiddo has a blast. She challenged R2D2 to a dance-off, shocked several people when she popped out the back door of what many perceived as a robot, and screamed “exterminate!” every chance she got.

After the show she refused to get rid of the villain, choosing instead to give a substantial portion of her room to it.

This year, we updated this creature and loaded it again into the truck, not realizing that the best-possible thing was about to happen. At RCCC, we came across Project Dalek, Dalek builders from all over the world who join each other to share advice on building show-quality creations. Ours is nowhere near the quality of some of these incredible things.

At this booth my daughter, now 6, talked with adults about her love of Dalek-kind and fawned over their voice modulators, simulating the whiny yet gritty tone characteristic of the race. Surprisingly, they loved this shoddy purple child-hiding creation. Our time with them defined the show and created friendships we never anticipated when we walked into the convention center that day.

What can you learn about parenting from Stranger Things 3? Theresa explains. 

This experience taught me something very valuable – be true to yourself and exterminate isolation. Despite how unique you are, there are people with the same interests you have. You could love creatures that look like trash cans, wanting to enslave the world, and somewhere (probably online), is a worldwide community waiting to embrace you.

Next year kiddo will most likely cosplay as a Dalek again. We’re gearing up to rebuild the costume to accommodate her growing body. And this time, we get to add the voice modulator we received as a gift when we plugged into a community of experienced builders. Isolation, exterminated.