The members of the Cabal were created by the Daleks for possessing a talent that no Dalek could possess — creativity. They were warped both in mind and body compared to regular Daleks, and their mechanical shells had a variety of shapes only faintly resembling the familiar Mark III Travel Machines, though they still tended to possess Dalek eyestalks. (COMIC: The Organ Grinder) Much like the Cult of Skaro, they were distinct from the Dalek Empire; their motto was "Exterminhate", an atypical example of Dalek wordplay. (COMIC: Downtime, The Organ Grinder)
The Cabal's minds were as bent as their bodies, "volatile". This was reflected in their rambling, incoherent, digression-prone speech and their constant suggestion of new and strange ideas for weaponry inspired by their surroundings. The Cabal Daleks knew that they were impure by Dalek standards for being "unique", and looked forward to the "delight of self-terminating" that was in store for them at the end of the War; however, they were otherwise unbothered by the knowledge of their inferiority, and chose to enjoy their odd and shifting existence while it lasted. The Volatix Cabal Daleks enjoyed "wallowing" in impurity, to the point that one of them had read Earth literature, later quoting Alice in Wonderland to Alice Obiefune. (COMIC: The Organ Grinder)
Meeting Obiefune on Golgauth
The Volatix Cabal had a base on Golgauth. The War Doctor and the Master killed one of its members near where the TARDIS landed on the planet. Volatrix tendrils captured Alice Obiefune (who had travelled back to the Time War from the Future) and scanned her mind to discover her origins; in doing so, they discovered that the Daleks were doomed to lose the Time War.
They did not doubt the information, but had no other reaction to the news than to laugh, something which they explained to Obiefune as an effect of their insanity. However, this did cause them to switch plans; as a future without Daleks was unbearable to them, the Cabal reasoned that the only rational thing to do was to destroy the Universe, and therefore the future, so that such a world would never come to exist. They planned to recruit the Cyclors (godlike beings from a higher dimension, who had recently allied with the Daleks in the War) to achieve this.
Shortly after this harrowing interrogation, however, the Squire rescued Alice, seemingly killing the Cabal. (COMIC: The Organ Grinder) However, the War Doctor later fought the Volatix Cabal when the Then and the Now reappeared, bringing with it Abslom Daak, who had been sent by the Eleventh Doctor to fight in the Time War. (COMIC: Physician, Heal Thyself)
Becoming the Malignant
One Volatix agent (who had been posing as a human soldier) touched the energy emitted by the Psilent songbox, and harnessed the temporal trauma caused by the paradox of the Master trying to break the Time Lock from the inside using a chronal tumour-augmented TARDIS he hadn't created yet, merging the Volatix Cabal and the Cyclors into the Malignant.
The Squire, quite like the Volatix agent disguised as a human, had in truth been created as a Volatix agent now unaware of her identity. In the end, however, the Squire remembered its true nature, and, mutating back into a Volatix Dalek, shot Abslom Daak nearly to death and blackmailed the Eleventh Doctor with the life of Alice Obiefune, forcing him to take it back to the future Golgauth. (COMIC: Fast Asleep)
There, the Squire manipulated Obiefune's knowledge of the Psilent Songbox's tune, and forced her to make all the surviving Overcaste surrender themselves to the Malignant. Having fulfilled its purpose, the Cyclor part of the Malignant was released and ascended back to the home dimension the Cyclor had originally come from. The point of the exercise was that what was left of the Malignant was the essence of the rest of the Volatix Cabal, now in control of the Cyclor and Malignant's godlike powers as the "Dalek Gods".
Despite the Squire's gloating about this being the beginning of a new age of "Cookoo Deities", the Doctor stopped the Dalek Gods by summoning the Then and the Now and having Obiefune (whom the Then and the Now now recognized as its "mum", having finally learned the circumstances of its own creation) tell the Then and the Now to fight the Dalek Gods. The Then and the Now, thanks to its paradoxical temporal powers, was able to cancel the genocide absorption of the Overcaste by the Malignant (resurrecting their people) while still banishing the Cyclors back to their own universe. The Dalek Gods, stripped of their powers and again nothing more than the mad Volatix Cabal, were then swallowed by the Then and the Now, forever trapped at the heart of the "living paradox" with no way to affect the rest of the universe. (COMIC: Gently Pulls the Strings)
Behind the scenes
- The Volatix Cabal were seemingly created after the template of the Cult of Skaro, both being secret societies of mutant Daleks possessing creativity, and created by the Dalek Empire to help win the Last Great Time War without being officially under the authority of the Dalek Emperor. However, no link has been drawn between the two groups in narrative sources.