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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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The Breaking - Chapter Sixteen

The Breaking - Chapter Sixteen
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.


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




17 September 2009

Toshiko lifted her glasses and rubbed her eyes, tired after spending so much time in front of her monitors. Usually she took some sort of break, but today it seemed as if every time she thought about it, something happened.

From her surveillance, she could see that John Frobisher had been busy. There had been communications between various governments, many of them very strongly bothered by the fact that there was an alien ambassador on British soil, in direct contradiction to several United Nations statutes. There had also been an itinerary for an American general coming to sit in on the negotiations, as well as a couple of others who would be able to arrive in time to meet with the 456. There were also a couple of governments who seemed to simply ignore Frobisher, as well as many that didn’t receive anything.

It seemed very slap-dash to her, and a part of Toshiko was amused by it.

UNIT activity had also gone up. There had been orders for troop movements across the globe, and Toshiko couldn’t make heads nor tails over them, not being a tactician like Jack or Patrick. She flagged them for Jack, who promptly came to the conclusion that they were preparing for something, most likely some sort of invasion.

Knowing what they did about the 456, that made a certain sense.

There had also been a second camera set up on the thirteenth floor of Thames House, which she promptly hacked. This one was aimed at a place in the middle of the room, while the original camera was still focussed on the tank.

That tank really disturbed Toshiko.

The gas within glowed blue, and every once in a while the alien within would move, pressing against the glass or throwing some sort of fluid that made a sickening splatter when it hit. Toshiko managed to make out three long necks and a barrel-shaped body, but the gas kept her from getting any better glances at the 456. She quit trying after a while, deciding that it really wasn’t that important that she know.

Her teammates kept her fed and hydrated during her time at the computers. Owen brought some gossip along the lines of Rhiannon catching Alice and Patrick making out at the lake; he’d even did a really bad imitation of Rhiannon’s cooing over the new couple. Toshiko was glad for them, but it certainly had taken them long enough.

She decided not to tell either Jack or Ianto. Mainly because she wanted to be there in person when they found out.

It was nearly dark when activity started up in Thames House.

Toshiko chimed in at the Hub, and it was only seconds later when Jack and Ianto appeared. She barely hid her smirk, because it was quite obvious what the boys had been getting up to with an empty Hub. This made her news about Alice and Patrick even sweeter, but she still wasn’t going to say a thing.

Instead, she said, “There’s something going on at Thames House. I think things are getting ready to kick off there.”

“Thanks, Tosh,” Jack said. “You better let the others know.”

“On it.”

Toshiko reached over for the phone that Johnny had thoughtfully hooked up for her, since she still wasn’t ready to use her mobile, and dialled the Green Dragon Inn. Rhiannon answered, “Thank you for calling the Green Dragon Inn, Rhiannon Jones-Davies speaking.”

“Rhiannon, it’s Toshiko. Things are happening.”

“We’re on our way.” She hung up before Toshiko could question who ‘we’ were.

She put the phone down. “They’re coming…and from what Rhiannon just said the team might have company.”

“Good,” Jack approved. “The more witnesses, the better.”

Before she knew it, both the team and a large chunk of the adult population of Ddraig Llyn had managed to squeeze into the small house that was Torchwood’s secondary Hub. Not everyone could see what was on the screen, but they’d be able to hear.

The team, plus Alice and Estelle, were clustered around Toshiko. No one had argued with their right to be close to the workstation, their eyes on the unfolding drama going on down in London.

Toshiko felt something change in the atmosphere. A tingle went up and then back down her spine, and she shivered. Owen, who was sitting next to her, must have felt it, because he gave her a look that she interpreted as, ‘Are you alright?’

She gave him a short nod, and Owen nodded back. He turned back to watch the movements going on at Thames House, but he reached out and grasped her hand in support.

Toshiko was grateful, but couldn’t help but wish that it was Kathy giving the comfort.

Several black-clad guards entered the room, taking up positions along the perimeter, automatic weapons at the ready. Just as they were getting settled, a man and a woman came in behind them. The man was John Frobisher, and he looked a bit nervous, fiddling with his tie.

“The woman is Bridget Spears,” Ianto volunteered. “She’s Frobisher’s PA.”

The pair stopped in the centre of the room, speaking quietly, and then Bridget Spears left camera range. Toshiko turned up the gain on the speakers just a bit, hoping for more sound.

Others entered after them, to a man staring at the tank as if they were seeing some sort of miracle. Ianto began a running commentary of who these people were, and it read as a hodgepodge of governmental officials. One of them was an American general, and Toshiko wished she could have heard the conversation he’d had with the Prime Minister when he’d arrived.

Speaking of the Prime Minister…

“Where’s the Prime Minister?” she asked.

“I don’t seem him,” Rhys put in.

“He’s not there,” Ianto confirmed.

“It could be some sort of concession,” Jack answered. “If the Americans are as pissed off as that memo you found states, Toshiko, then Green could have stepped aside in favour of someone who wasn’t in the actual British government.”

“Could also be plausible deniability,” Patrick added. “I mean, if they’re determined to hide Britain’s previous involvement with the 456…”

Both comments made sense, Toshiko admitted. She wondered if she could dig up something later on, and check to see which one might be correct…unless they both were.

“I don’t see UNIT,” Patrick said.

Toshiko hadn’t either, and she wondered what that meant.

She didn’t know if anyone had a theory about that, because Frobisher began to speak.

“Thank you. If I might bring into session the first diplomatic congress between the representatives of the planet Earth and the representative of the 456. I bring you greetings from the United States of America, from the People’s republic of China…”

Frobisher kept droning on, and Jack spoke over him, “I think it’s safe to say that Frobisher’s been put in charge of this horse and pony show. It would make sense, if the PM recused himself from the proceedings. Frobisher isn’t voted in and if anything goes wrong then Green won’t be seen putting his foot into it.”

Frobisher droned on, listing a laundry list of governments until he finally said, “And it must be stated on the record that any country not named herein does not indicate their withdrawal from these proceedings. And, according to the rules of protocol as established by the United Nations, I must ask you to state if these greetings are accepted.”

It was as if the air had been stolen from the room. Everyone was holding their breaths, those who hadn’t been in the secondary Hub before waiting to see what the 456 sounded like.

There were some splatting noises, but no response.

Frobisher looked pained. “Do you understand me?” He waited for a few more seconds, and then said, “I repeat, I must ask you to state –“

“Yes,” came the disembodied and mechanical-sounding voice of the 456.

Toshiko shivered again at the utter inhumanity of that sound.

There were more noises from the tank, and the shadowy shape within was twitching and spitting. As they watched, someone from the audience left the room, holding a hand over her mouth in order to keep from vomiting.

“Makes me glad we’re not up close and personal,” Owen snarked. There were some chuckles from around them, breaking the tension somewhat.

“Are you alright?” Frobisher asked worriedly. “I’m sorry, but I can’t help but be concerned. Is there a problem?”

The 456 thrashed about some more, before settling down. A repeat of what Frobisher had said came from the large speakers next to the tank, causing Frobisher to frown.

“Do you want me to continue?” he inquired.

“Yes,” the 456 answered.

“Right, then in the spirit of cooperation we must ask that you no longer use the children for communication, in case certain parties or territories consider that a violation. Is that acceptable?”

There was a long pause, and Toshiko was wondering if the alien was actually going to answer, when a single, sibilant, “Yes,” came from the speakers.

“Fuck,” Owen swore. “We were counting on getting one more set of testing in order to pinpoint the frequency exactly.”

Toshiko didn’t say anything, but Owen was right. They’d both hoped for one more chance to observe the chanting, to get a better handle on just what was causing it. She hadn’t had a lot of luck with the Archangel Network, but she’d wished…but at least the children appeared to be safe, which was a very good thing indeed.

“And,” Frobisher went on, “as a gift and as a welcome to our world, we’ve prepared a document summarising our culture and history –“

“This is a bit boring,” Patrick commented.

Toshiko had to admit he had a point, but they had to at least play with diplomacy, in order to give the whole thing an air of respectability.

“Gotta make it look official,” Owen said, unconsciously mirroring her thoughts.

“Something’s happening,” Ianto’s voice came over the connection.

Toshiko tore her gaze away from the tank just in time to see someone step forward and hand Frobisher a piece of paper. Frobisher read it, frowning, and then turned back to the 456.

“I have been given a specific request for information,” he said, not looking happy. “It has been asked…why the 456 chose Great Britain for its point of embarkation.”

“Yeah, I’m sure he doesn’t want that question answered,” Patrick scoffed.

“I’ll bet anyone ten pounds it was the Americans,” Jack replied.

“No bet,” Alice said.

“We came here…” the 456 began, with a bit of thrashing. Something slimy hit the glass once more, and Toshiko didn’t envy the person who would be assigned to clean up after the alien.

There was a long pause, and it was obvious that the 456 was trying to come up with something that wouldn’t out Frobisher to the rest of the room and to whomever was listening on the other end of the camera set-up…which Toshiko knew was the Prime Minister and the cabinet, since she’d hacked the connection earlier.

After what seemed like forever, the 456 spoke again. “We came here…you have no significance. You are middle men.”

“I could have called that lie,” Patrick said. “There was no way they were going to rat out their buddy Frobisher, not until they got whatever the hell they want.”

“They’re on the same side,” Ianto pointed out. “But, I just know if the time comes, the 456 won’t hesitate to spill everything.”

“They’re spilling a lot now,” someone from the back of the room – Toshiko was pretty certain it was Johnny Davies – snorted, as another stream of slime splatted against the side of the tank.

Several people chuckled, while others made noises that suggested they’d found the comment – and the alien – pretty offensive. There was also the sound of a slap, a small, pained, “Ow,” and Toshiko didn’t even have to see to know that Rhiannon was attempting to bring her husband back into line.

“We have a request,” the 456 said.

“By all means,” Frobisher replied, looking uncomfortable.

“We want a gift.”

“Of course, but what nature of gift exactly?”

“We want a gift.”

Frobisher’s expression went from worry to frustration, but he carefully did not let it show in his voice. “Gladly, but what do you want?”

The activity within the tank grew frenzied, and Toshiko couldn’t help but flinch back at a particularly hard crash into the glass. She hoped it held up to the punishment.

“We want…your children,” the alien hissed. “We will take your children.”

The room behind Toshiko broke out into uproar. “No fucking way!” someone shouted, while the other villagers agreed with various other curses and slurs against the alien, and against the government. By now the story had gotten around about what Jack had had to do back in 1965, and while the village had been firmly in Jack’s corner apparently none of them had thought that this could be the reason the 456 had returned.

Frobisher looked appalled. “I…I’m sorry, but I think there’s something wrong with the translation…”

“He only wishes there were,” Owen growled.

Toshiko took a moment to glance over at the screen where she could see Jack and Ianto back in the Hub, to see how her friends were taking the news. Jack had gone white, and Ianto had him in an embrace, whispering something in his ear that Toshiko couldn’t make out. She wished she was there, to help Ianto comfort his mate, because while this was always a possibility, hearing it must have been a tremendous blow to Jack’s conscience.

Frobisher was speaking, but Toshiko missed his words. She, however, didn’t miss what the 456 said next. “Your descendants. The offspring of the human race.”

“How many?” Frobisher choked out. In Toshiko’s opinion, this was completely the wrong thing to say. He should have been stating that this was not an option; that the children of Earth were not something he was willing to give away.

But no, Frobisher asked how many.

“Ten percent. We want ten percent. Ten percent of the children on this world.”




Chapter Seventeen


Comments

Uh-oh! S**t, meet Fan.

This is so not good (the situation, not the story). ;)
Yep, pretty much!

No, I have to agree...it's not gonna be good at all. *laughs manically*
"Frobisher asked how many." - definitely not the right thing to say :(

it's 'kicked off' all right - into the deep, deep end.

I hope Torchwood's ready. ^_^
Yeah, I agree. Not one of Frobisher's better moments...not that he has that many!

Don't worry...even if Torchwood's not ready they are very good at improvising. :)
Damn Frobisher... GRRRR!

(Loved it!)
Frobisher is no one's friend, that's for sure!

Thanks! :)
*spits out toenail*
Fingernails all gone..have to chew Something....
You must be really well jointed... I do hope you washed your feet first before chewing on those nails!
Things just seem to be going from bad to worse. However I am fully confident that Jack and Ianto will save the day. :) Hopefully by some fire breathing from Ianto and some dashing behaviour from Jack. I nominate Frobisher and the 456 to die via fire...
The boys are on their way, but we'll see if they save the day...

Well, not Frobisher... *side-eyes the newest chapter*
Loved the update
Thank you so much! :)
You know, I just realized I don't think I've ever read a fic that's actually covered the events of CoE - they usually just deal with what should have happened after - at least not in detail, and it's a very fascinating read.
Thank you! CoE is just so screwed up it's a daunting thing to try to rewrite. :)
argh!!!
Frobisher who ask How much!!!
Yes it wasn't the most intelligent question to ask. :)