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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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The Breaking - Chapter Eight

The Breaking - Chapter Eight
Author: Milady Dragon
Artist: Madbottoms
Beta: Totally4ryo
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy, pre-Alice Carter/Patrick Delaware, Martha Jones/Tom Milligan
Warnings: Language, Violence, Child Endangerment, Temporary Character Death
Spoilers: Up through S3, "Children of Earth".
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better...and so I rewrite it so it might make more sense.
Author's note:  This is the "The Breaking", the Dragon-Verse rewrite of "Children of Earth".  I have changed the date to reflect the fact that school doesn't start in Great Britain until September, and not the original airing date.  This was written for the Long Live Ianto Big Bang Round Two.

A/N2: Sorry, I meant to have this up last night, but work kept me late.  I also won't be posting tomorrow, I'm going to be at my Mom's and away from a computer.

SummaryThe Fae are watching.  The children are chanting.  Can Torchwood stop the end of the world?





16 September 2009

“What did they mean by that?” Jack demanded.

He’d met Ianto on the roof of the Millennium Centre, where he’d been waiting almost from the time his mate had flown off. Leaving that way made the most sense, since it was highly doubtful that whoever was stalking them would think to look up, let alone equating a dragon with Torchwood’s Second.

“I have no idea,” Ianto admitted, as they headed down toward the Hub together. “Only that you know, but you don’t remember. So probably something in the past?”

“Must be.” Jack chewed his lip fretfully. He’d done so much in his past that he was ashamed of, and it looked like one of those things was coming back to haunt him. “Jesus, Ianto…how do we even figure out what it is?”

“I’m guessing, from what the Fae told me, that we’ll find out what it is soon. Hopefully Toshiko will come up with something, or a clue drops into our laps.”

Ianto wrapped an arm around Jack’s waist as they entered the Hub. Jack appreciated the closeness; he’d felt like it was something he’d been missing, even though Ianto had only been gone several hours. There were times when Jack felt as if the two of them were connected in some elemental way, and that had only grown since they’d flown their mating flight.

Jack wished he could transform into a dragon once more, but that had been a one-time event. Still, Ianto had never thought of him less than an equal partner in their relationship, and while Jack missed the excitement and glory and togetherness of the mating flight, he knew it really didn’t matter. They’d been mates before their mating, and they would still be when the sun finally died.

What they had was for eternity. Jack had never really thought about it before, but it meant he would never be alone again. It was his greatest wish and desire come true.

“Have you found us any allies?” Ianto asked as Deborah appeared, bringing him a cup of coffee. He thanked her, and she smiled then headed back to the terminal she’d been using to see if anything was being mentioned on the major news networks all over the world.

“Maybe,” Jack answered. “I spoke to Sarah Jane Smith, and she’s got feelers out for any news. She also went ahead and contacted the Brigadier, as well as a friend of hers who used to work for NATO –“

“Commodore Sullivan?”

“That’s right,” Jack agreed. “She says neither has heard anything, but Sir Alistair thinks that UNIT is behaving oddly and he doesn’t trust Oduya. The Commodore told her that NATO is trying to figure it out themselves, with their own equipment, and he thought they might have some leads he’d be willing to pass along, one Companion to another.” He’d known that Harry Sullivan had travelled with the Doctor’s fourth incarnation, at the same time as Ms. Smith, and had spoken with the man a couple of times. Jack had been impressed with his manners and old-fashioned charm. “Ms. Smith had her supercomputer working on it as well, so hopefully we’ll be hearing something soon.”

“That’s good,” Ianto sighed, his arm tightening around Jack and pulling him even closer.

“I also bit the bullet and contacted Patrick’s family,” Jack added. “They have their fingers in pies all over the States. According to his father, Homeland Security is considering this a threat and they’ve elevated to Level Yellow, and the President is thinking of raising it to Orange. They’re just waiting for more information, as is SHIELD, who have their scientists on it. Also, Martha and Tom are back. They’re in London now, and Martha is trying to get some straight answers but she says they’re blocking her. She…also tried to call the Doctor, but there was no answer.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Ianto said.

“Me, neither.” Jack sighed. There wasn’t a thing he could change about their relationship with the Time Lord. It was as if he’d decided to wipe his hands of Earth…or at least any former companions who had a way to reach him.

“Jack! Ianto!” Deborah called out from the workstation she’d been using.

Ianto dropped his arm – and Jack missed it right away – and together they moved quickly to where the young woman was sitting. “What is it?” Jack asked.

“The children,” Deborah answered, “they’re chanting again.”

She raised the volume on her terminal, and the eerie sounds of millions of children speaking in unison filled the Hub.

“We…we…we…we…”

It sent a chill up Jack’s spine. Ianto must have sensed his upset, because the dragon’s hand went onto his shoulder. Toshiko and Owen had both joined them, watching the news report that Deborah had found.

“We are…We are…We are…We are…”

“This is so fucking wrong,” Owen swore. “Nothing we’ve done has gotten us any closer to what the hell’s doing this.”

“We are coming…We are coming…We are coming…We are coming…”

“It’s a repeat from yesterday,” Toshiko sighed. “If only we knew who they were -“

And then, things changed.

“We are coming tomorrow…We are coming tomorrow…We are coming tomorrow…We are coming tomorrow…”

“So now we have a time limit,” Jack whispered. He was creeped out by the sheer alienness of the sound, and he put his own arm around his mate and held him close. He felt comforted by the closeness, the heat of Ianto’s body grounding him.

The children repeated their chant once more, and then went back to normal, as if nothing had happened.  

“I’ve tested for everything,” Owen groused. “It’s not an advanced form of blood control, there are ways to test for that, even after the chanting stops. The only things I can come up with are: some kind of telepathic control; something to do with hormones, which would make sense due to the ages of the children involved; or maybe a technological advancement so beyond us we don’t have any context for it.”

“Do you have a way to test for either of the first two?” Jack asked.

The medic ran his hand through his hair. “Sure, but it needs to be during the act of control. Testing before and after doesn’t work for shit. There’s also the problem of getting someone to go along with me hooking up their precious babies to an EEG and watch what their brains are doing while they act like human communicators for some god dammed aliens or whatever. ”

Jack sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He was getting a headache. “What if you could be somewhere there are children whose parents trust you?”

Owen was silent for a moment. “You’re thinking about Ddraig Llyn, aren’t you. It wasn’t a question.

“The villagers trust you,” Ianto pointed out. “Plus there are several children there.”

“That’s true,” the medic agreed. “However, there’s getting me there when we have some sort of team on our arses.”

“We could call and have someone come and pick him up,” Toshiko suggested.

It was a good idea, and it would mean that one more of Jack’s team might be safe. “Calling from the landline would be safe?” he confirmed.

Toshiko nodded. “Both your phone and the one at the Green Dragon Inn are both on secured lines. No one could tap either one without the proper encryption codes. I’d guarantee it.”

“As far as we know, no one has connected Ddraig Llyn with Torchwood,” Jack said.

“No,” Toshiko answered. “Whatever information I happened to drop on our friendly hackers always listed Ianto’s city of birth as Cardiff. I had quite an interesting background made up for him, including a stint at Torchwood London and a cybernetically-enhanced girlfriend.”

Jack’s eyes widened at her comments but he didn’t question; Toshiko knew what she was doing. “Then we’re good. Ianto, call up Rhiannon and see if she can’t send someone down in a van to pick up Owen and his equipment.” He drew in a breath, because he knew what he was about to say would not go over well. “Deborah, I want you and Toshiko to go with Owen –“

“Jack, no!” Toshiko cried. “You need me here!”

“You can work on your hacking there just as easily as you can here,” he said gently. “You’re the one who set up the system out there, after all.”

She didn’t look happy. “I don’t want to leave Kathy.”

“You know Kathy won’t leave her duty,” Ianto pointed out. “And you also know she’d want you out of harms’ way.”

Toshiko’s chin lifted defiantly. “What about you two? You can’t stay here on your own!”

“Actually, I don’t intend for us to stay in Cardiff, either,” Jack said. “While we don’t know exactly who’s behind what in this, I want to head to London and talk to some of our contacts face-to-face.”

“You just want to punch Frobisher in the nose,” Ianto sighed.

“Well, if his face happens to get into the way of my fist, I can’t help it!” Jack said innocently. Personally, he really would like to hit someone, and Frobisher was on that list. The man had continuously ducked his calls and Jack was certain Frobisher was the one responsible for setting the hackers onto their mainframe.

“What if they get into our system while I’m transferring to Ddraig Llyn?” she asked, sounding put out.

“Is that a chance?”

She chewed on her lip nervously. “I doubt it; I have things too well shored up for anyone to get in.”

“Then you’ve just blown your own argument.” Jack rested his hands on her shoulders. “Toshiko, it’s going to get to the point where they’ll move against the Hub directly. For now, they’re simply willing to keep us under surveillance and we have to take the time given to us to make a retreat to a place we know they won’t follow. You can keep working for the time it’ll take someone to get here, but I really think the best thing we could do is evacuate the Hub at this time and put it into total lockdown.”

“And you can do me a favour,” Ianto added. “I have some of the good chocolate for Myfanwy, and you can take it up to her.”

Jack nodded. One of the best things they’d done was move their pteranodon up to the valley where she could fly free. The villagers loved her and pampered her shamelessly.

“Ianto’s missing her,” Jack teased. “He’s missing his flying partner.”

Ianto huffed, and the light banter seemed to raise the atmosphere of doom that had pervaded the Hub. “Yes, I’m sure I miss cleaning up after her when Owen leaves his leftover pizza out for her to eat.”

“That only happened once!” Owen snarked. “And how were we supposed to know that prehistoric watch dogs can’t digest pizza dough?”

“Anyway,” Jack jumped back in, “while I know you disagree with my decision, I am the leader here. We’ll contact someone in Ddraig Llyn and have them come and pick you all up. Oh, and Estelle, too. I don’t like her being on her own even with what she can do.”

Deborah nodded. “Alright, Jack; I’ll go.”

“Yeah, me too,” Owen agreed. “It’ll be hours before anyone can get here, so I’ll just figure out what I need to take with me. I know Tosh also set up a medical bay up there, but I also know just how rudimentary it is.”

“Thank you both.” Jack looked at Toshiko, awaiting her answer. He knew she hated to run like this, but there really was no choice. Yes, the Hub was practically impenetrable when in lockdown but whoever was out there could decide to come at them in a completely different way, and Jack didn’t want to risk anyone. There was still the backdoor through the Cardiff sewers, and although the Weevils along the way pretty much guaranteed that way would be a bad path to take, he simply didn’t trust those bastards not to find it and go in, guns blazing, and it would be a massacre.

Finally, his technician sighed. “Okay, I’ll go. But I want to let Kathy know where I am, so she won’t worry.”

“Fair enough.” Jack was relieved that that was as easy as it was. He’d thought he’d have to argue a bit more.

“I just think it’s a waste of time,” she continued, “not when I could be working to get into MI5 and the Home Office servers.”

“Noted.” Yes, she could be correct in that, but Jack still felt the need to keep everyone safe. “You can keep working until we can arrange things.” He reached over and rested a hand gently on her shoulder. If he already didn’t know she was mad, the trembling under his fingers would have been enough to communicate that to him directly. “Toshiko,” he murmured, “I know you feel like this is a waste of time, and I do understand. But according to the chanting the main threat won’t even be here until tomorrow. But, until then, we simply cannot trust anyone at this moment. We’re being kept out and hunted, and it has to be because of the children. I’m still not certain why, but that’s up to you to find out. I trust you to work your own brand of magic and help figure this out. But I also need to know you’re in a place of safety in order to do that, and the Hub just isn’t safe anymore. It’s a delay, and I understand that, but you are far too important for me to risk right now. If Kathy were standing here, she’d agree with me one hundred percent.”

She rolled her eyes, but the trembling was calming down a little. “Oh, don’t you dare use my spouse against me, Jack Harkness, because I can turn that around on you so easily…”

He smiled. “Yes, you can. And you also know how I feel about putting my mate in danger.” He met her gaze, trying to project to her the pride and love and fear he was feeling. “Any other mission we’d stay here and tough it out. But we’re talking about parts of our own government seemingly gunning for us. Toshiko…my Toshiko…we’re only a team of six. Going against both aliens and MI5…it’s not a winning situation, and I think you know that.”

She nodded. “I do, Jack. That’s what scares me more than anything, leaving you and Ianto to face things here and in London alone. This is bad, Jack, and I want to be able to work on this every moment we have.” She sighed. “But I also know what will happen if they do manage to get into the Hub, and if we’re arrested we can’t do what it takes to help the children. I really do know that, Jack. But you’re also my family. You and Ianto stood in the circle at my wedding, which put you on the same level as my parents. I want you both to be safe, too.”

Jack felt such a burst of love for her in that moment that he pulled her into his arms, holding her close. He kissed her hair, and then whispered, “If I could send Ianto away with you I would. If I could face this danger alone…”

She stepped away, and there was a suspicious wetness in her eyes. “You don’t get to do that, Jack. You’re not alone anymore, and you won’t ever have to be.”

He couldn’t help the soft smile that bloomed on his face. He was also a bit teary-eyed, but he didn’t care. “I know that. And even if I ever forgot it, Ianto would be happy to remind me.”

“Oh god,” Owen’s acerbic voice cut in, “if we’re gonna get all mushy, I’m gonna vomit.”

Jack turned just in time to see Deborah smack in Owen in the arm. “You are a Neanderthal,” she exclaimed.

“No,” Ianto said, one side of his mouth curling upward, “that’s giving Neanderthals a bad name, and believe me when I say I’ve met a few, and I know.”

That caused a round of laughter, even though the dragon wasn’t nearly old enough to have been around at the time of Neanderthal Man. Jack hated to burst the good mood, but he needed to get them all back on track. “Ianto, can you call Rhiannon and let her know we have people coming? I’d hate for her to be surprised when most of Torchwood lands on her. And Toshiko, you can call Kathy in a bit and let her know you’re leaving, but you also get to work on whatever you’re hacking at the moment. Owen –“

“Yeah, make a list of things I’ll need to take with me.”

“Exactly. Get that to Ianto when you’re done so we can work on logistics on getting it all smuggled out of the Hub. I’m absolutely certain we have eyes on us and we don’t need to tip them off to the evacuation.”

“I can help Owen if he wants it,” Deborah volunteered.

“Sure, darling,” the medic answered. “You can make out the list Dragon Boy will need.”

“Okay, team,” Jack said, clapping his hands together, “let’s get to work.”


Chapter Nine






Comments

Loving this! And I can't wait to read about the things you've hinted about - Tosh's wedding, Rhys joining TW after escaping Gwen's clutches, the Doctor's apparent abandonment of Earth...
There are many stories planned to cover these events, in fact we learn a lot about Rhys in "Cry of the Space Whale". And of course there has to be a story to replace Something Borrowed. *grins*

Well, as for the Doctor, let's just say he doesn't like some things that were said during the Stolen Earth incident... I shall say nothing more.
It's all so chilling.
Thank you! :)
Loved the update!
Thanks! Glad you liked it. :)
I like that everyone is so pro-active in this story. One of the problems I have with COE is that everyone is so reactive, (apart from Ianto's little rescue mission) which is so out of character for everyone. I think that Frobisher needs a boot up the ass to go with that fist to the face! :) Looking forward to the next chapter. :)
Yes, you're right. No one was acting, and it drove me nuts. Sure, there are going to be parts of this that they have to watch and wait, but they do things.

Glad you like it. :)
This is totally gripping, and I love how the team is so on top of things. Poor Jack still needs a memory jog, though...
Thanks! And yes, Jack will be getting just that very soon...
omg this is getting very tense. I feel for Jack when he finally rembers about the children, though thats if you do it that way lol. Thats why i love your writing you never know where it will take you :)
When Jack does remember, he won't be very happy, and we'll see how the team reacts...

I'm glad I can be surprising. :)
I'll be glad to see them all safe in thingy-with-the-difficult-name

I do hope they all get there safely And Jack+Ianto will safe the world and escape less harmed than in that season that I want to erase from my memory
Haha! I like that! "Thingy-with-the-difficult-name"! Yeah, it's that Welsh thing going on. *laughs*

We'll have to see about the boys escaping relatively unscathed or not...
This was worth waiting for! I'm glad this is going in such a different direction from canon, and that they're actually doing stuff to protect themselves while they investigate.

Also glad you chose tomorrow to skip posting, since I wouldn't have been able to read it for another day or so anyway :-D
Thank you! They're acting, instead of reacting, and that was one of the things that irritated me. So I had to try to fix it.

More is up now, actually. *grins*
I also would feel more reassured if they evacuate all the Hub yet.
But go to London? Jack is afraid of nothing!

nb: I want do a croche foot Frobisher so that it falls on the fist of Jack ...
Yes, getting out would be a good idea.

LOL! Jack would love it if Frobisher accidentally fell onto his fist! :)