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Myfanwy 2

June 2018



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The Breaking - Chapter Twelve

The Breaking - Chapter Twelve
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

Jack was running a towel through his still-damp hair when Ianto stuck his head down the hole leading to his former bedroom. “Toshiko’s found something,” the dragon said, sounding serious.

He quickly slid his undershirt on, and then climbed out into his office, pulling his braces up as he followed Ianto toward Toshiko’s station. On the large monitor at the workstation, Toshiko and Patrick were looking out at them, and he smiled when he saw them. “Hey, kids!” he greeted them. “I understand you’ve found something?”

Toshiko’s face looked pale, and she nodded. “I finally managed to get into the Thames House computer system, and I found several things you need to know.”

This was serious, then. Jack nodded. “What did you find?”

When Toshiko went silent, Patrick stepped in. “Jack, MI5 has a Blank Page order out on you.”

Jack frowned. “Like that’s going to do them any good.”

“Yeah, exactly. Do you know anyone named Colonel Michael Sanders? Ellen Hunt? Andrew Staines?”

Jack wracked his brain. “No, I don’t know anyone by those names. Why do you ask?”

“What else did you find?” Ianto prompted.

Toshiko paused. She looked very uncertain, but Patrick put a hand on her shoulder. Jack was very glad that he was there with her, to support her. “They were named on the assassination order with you, Jack.”

He was even more puzzled. Why would his name be on that sort of order with three people he’d never even met? “Have you found some sort of connection between us?” He hoped so; this would give him a clue as to what was going on.

“It seems the four of you had something to do with an alien race known as the 456,” Toshiko answered.

Jack felt something crumble within him. He reached for the chair before he could collapse to the ground, and somehow he ended up seated. The screen swam in his vision, and it was as if the world had come to a complete stop.

“Jack?” Ianto asked, worry threaded through his name like filigree. “What is it? Let me get you a glass of water…”

Jack didn’t say anything, but his mate seemed to interpret his silence for agreement, and he headed toward the kitchen. Jack turned to look at his technician and his weapons expert, and saw concern in both of their features.

A glass of water appeared at Jack’s elbow, and he took it gratefully, sipping at it as he gathered his wits about him. His past was coming back to haunt him yet again, but at least these people wouldn’t judge him despite his actions.

“We should get the rest of the team together,” he said, “I don’t want to tell this twice.”

“Actually,” Patrick answered, “Owen and Rhys just came in.” He made a gesture somewhere off screen, and the two men joined them. “We can tell the others, Jack. Don’t worry about it, okay?”

“Thank you, Patrick.” He rubbed his eyes, suddenly feeling ever year he’d lived. “Ianto knows some of this already.” He glanced up at his mate. “I told you when the Fae came to take Jasmine away.”

Ianto’s brow furrowed for a moment, and then cleared as he apparently remembered that particular conversation. Then he put his arm around Jack’s shoulders, comforting him immensely. “At least we know now what the Fae meant when they said that you knew what was going on, but you didn’t remember it.”

That actually didn’t make Jack feel any better.

He gathered his courage around him, knowing this was going to be bad, even if his team wouldn’t condemn him for it. “Back in 1965, I’d been with Torchwood for nearly a century. I was getting really tired of living at that point, and I think it communicated itself to my superiors. In fact, they thought I just didn’t care anymore, and I’m afraid I let them believe that. It was easier than actually feeling anything.

“But, I’d met Alice’s mother earlier that year, and she was slowly bringing me out of my shell. At that point I was really beginning to fall for her, and I was getting some of my life back. Lucia was the one bright light in my life and even though we ended badly I’ll always be fond of her for that.

“We received a signal from space from a race that wouldn’t identify themselves, so we just called them the 456, after the wavelength they transmitted on. They secretly negotiated a deal with the British government: the vaccine for a mutated version of the Indonesian Influenza that would have killed millions, for twelve children between the ages of five and eleven. They promised that the children would not be harmed and that the 456 would then leave and never come back.

“Apparently the British government believed the aliens about the influenza, because they chose twelve children from a Scottish orphanage to give the 456, because they wouldn’t be missed.”

Jack took a deep breath, aware that his team was watching him, listening to him as he told this very shameful time in his personal history. Ianto had curled closer to him, and he leaned into his mate’s warmth, craving the closeness and needing them all to understand what had really happened.

“Anyway,” he went on, taking a deep breath, “Torchwood wanted to be involved, and they insisted that one of their own operatives go on the exchange. They chose me.”

He could hear Owen cursing over the subwave network, and from the timbre of the words Jack suddenly knew that yes, he really didn’t have anything to worry about from these people, his family.

“What did you do?” Toshiko asked softly.

“I tried to tell them that I didn’t want the assignment,” Jack answered. “But they pointed out it was the lives of twelve compared to the lives of millions, and that how hard could it be? They scoffed that I could actually care for twelve abandoned children and that if I didn’t go along with it, I would be responsible for an epidemic that would sweep the world and infect so many…I thought about Lucia, and how close we were getting, and how I would feel if she’d become a victim of this mutant influenza…and I finally agreed to do it. Personally, I think they were testing my loyalty by asking me to do it, as well as thinking that I just really didn’t care. Whatever it was…I guess it doesn’t matter now.”

“Of course it matters!” Owen’s harsh voice came through the link. “Those bastards used you, Jack. They manipulated your emotional state for their own bloody ends. I doubt anyone could have stood up to that.”

Jack’s tenseness faded even more. His guilt was still very much present, but it was as if a weight was being lifted from him as he confessed to his team.

“That’s what I’ve tried to tell him,” Ianto said, wrapping his arms around Jack.

“What I don’t get,” Patrick said, “is why this wasn’t familiar for you at all before Tosh got into MI5.”

“That’s because the 456 didn’t speak through children before,” Jack said. “They contacted the government directly.”

“This is probably why all the kids were chanting in English,” Rhys pointed out. “These bastards dealt with the British Government. Making the children speak English is a warning they’re coming back.”

“It’s also a terror tactic,” Patrick added. “Taking control of children and using them to deliver your message is a classic manoeuvre. It’s done to throw adults off, because it’s hardwired into the majority of the human race to protect those unable to protect themselves. You’re more likely do to what the hostage-takers want if a child is in danger.”

“But the British government’s stance on terrorists is that we don’t negotiate with them,” Ianto pointed out.

“Which they completely failed at back in 1965,” Patrick pointed out. “Giving in once shows weakness…and of course these 456 came back because we were an easy target. We’d given in to their demands before.”

Jack knew Patrick was correct. By handing over those twelve kids back in 1965, they’d opened up to further demands. They still didn’t know what those demands were, however they’d been warned that the threat would be returning today. “Toshiko, can you find out anything else about the 456’s plans? We need to know what’s going to happen in order to counter it.”

Suddenly their perspective shifted; Jack found himself looking at his team from the side, and he realised Toshiko must have flipped the subwave connection to another screen, in order to do the search as Jack had asked. “Should be easy,” she answered. “Once I’d managed to get in, looking around is simple. Their security is meant to keep people out; not to hide things once you have access.”

From over his team’s shoulders Jack could tell that the door to the secondary Hub had opened, and while he couldn’t see who had entered he was willing to bet it was Alice and Deborah, judging from the reactions of everyone except for Toshiko, who was engrossed in what she was doing.

The team made way, and Alice’s face appeared on the screen. “Hello, Dad…Tad,” she greeted them, smiling.

“Hello, sweetheart,” Jack said warmly. Ianto echoed him.

“Have we found out anything yet this morning?” she asked.

At that single sentence, Jack suddenly became very afraid.

How would Alice react to what Jack had done in the past? Things were so good between them now, but how much would that change when she found out the truth? Would she go back to hating him, and refuse to let him see Steven ever again? Would she cut him out of her life as he if were some sort of cancer? She still had such ambivalent feelings toward Torchwood in general; would this tip her back over into distrust?

Something in his face must have communicated itself through their communications link, because Alice frowned and asking, “What’s wrong?”

Before Jack could say anything, Patrick butted in. “Tosh’s managed to finally get into Thames House, and what we’ve found is pretty nasty.” With a small nod toward Jack, the weapons expert was pulling both Alice and Deborah away from the screen, and Jack can’t help but feel so very grateful at the moment for his teammate’s intervention.

“Okay,” Toshiko said, “it looks like the 456 have been sending transmissions…yeah, there are some schematics here that explains how to build an atmospheric tank, as well as a formula for the gasses that need to be piped inside.”

Owen leaned forward, looking at the screen that Toshiko had up. “This combination would be lethal for humans, Jack. These arseholes are definitely not oxygen breathers.”

“Where are they building this tank, Tosh?” Ianto asked. His arm was still around Jack, but the embrace was tighter, and Jack knew his mate was thinking about Alice’s reaction, as well.

“Thames House…the thirteenth floor.”

“Those idiots,” Jack swore. “They’ve invited an alien race down, not knowing what they were going to demand, into a crowded office building in the middle of London? If they were smart, they’d have done that somewhere out of the city and away from innocents.”

“Especially with a completely foreign atmosphere involved,” Ianto added. “Owen, is the combination of gasses corrosive, explosive…?”

“Just the nitrosyl chloride is dangerous enough.” Apparently he was getting confused looks at that, because Owen rolled his eyes. “Nitrosyl chloride is a compound made up of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. It’s highly toxic. We all know what hydrochloric acid will do…hm, hydrogen cyanide is deadly…and phosgene –“

“That was used as a chemical weapon during World War I,” Jack said, angrily.

“It’s also currently used in pharmaceutical production,” Owen replied.

“And acetone is basically fingernail polish remover,” Rhys added.

They all looked at him. “Is there something you should be telling us, Rhys?” Ianto teased.

Rhys looked affronted. “I like to be pretty as much as the next bloke,” he answered.   Then he laughed. “No, I know what it is because it was something I ran across at Harwood’s. We had a contract with a local lab that used it to clean their equipment. I asked the guy who set up the contract what it was, and that’s what he told me.”

“So yes…very dangerous,” Ianto said.

“Yeah, especially when exposed to heat, when the various compounds start to break down,” Owen confirmed. “How stupid can they be, putting this out in the middle of a city?”

“They’re not doing a lot of smart things at the moment,” Jack growled. This was just getting worse and worse. “It sounds like they’re going to be at least hosting one of these 456, and that’s just so wrong on so many levels. You give these aliens a foothold and they’re going to get all the way into the door. We don’t even know what they want yet, but I’m almost positive they’re after more children.”

“Jack’s right,” Ianto said. “It has to be about the children. Why else figure out a way to speak through them? And we already know they’ve taken some before.” His fingers squeezed Jack in support. “We just have to find out exactly what they’re going to be demanding.”

“I can get us into their security camera network,” Toshiko answered. “We can monitor the meeting that way.”

“You are a star, Toshiko,” Jack said warmly. “Are you sure you can do this without getting caught?” The last thing he wanted to do was to expose his team to possible government retaliation.

Toshiko looked at the screen, rolling her eyes. “Jack…”

He held up his hand, laughing. “Yes, yes…I know. You’re the best. I’m sorry I doubted you.”

“You better be,” she mocked threatened, turning and going back to whatever she was doing.

Patrick rejoined the group, and he brought Deborah and Alice with him. Jack’s only daughter looked at him through the screen, and she murmured, “Are you okay, Dad?”

Those four words broke something loose within Jack, and before he would even register it he felt dampness on his cheeks. He couldn’t believe it; his daughter had heard the truth, and she was asking if he was alright. She wasn’t turning her back on him, nor was she condemning him for what he’d been forced to do in the past. “I…I’m fine, sweetheart,” he answered, feeling choked up. “I’m just fine, now.”

Ianto hugged him, and Alice gave Jack a fierce look. “I hate what they did to you, Dad, but I’m proud that you’ve taken their horror and made something good out of it. We’re gonna stop them; don’t think we won’t.”

“Thank you, Alice,” Ianto sighed.

“No need to thank me, Tad. What was done was wrong, and I know we’ll make it right.”

There were so many times when Jack had felt he was truly cursed; to be immortal, to lose everyone he would ever love to the ravages of time, and to know that he would have to walk through the universe until every star went out.

But here and now, he had a family. He had Alice and Steven, the family of his blood; and he had his team, his family of choice. And he had Ianto, his beloved mate, the one who will talk down his long and once lonely path with him. Their mating had bonded them for eternity, and that Ianto was willing to give that to him, was something that Jack had never once thought of having.

Jack somehow felt as if he didn’t deserve all he had. And Ianto would do everything in his power to disavow him of that particular notion.

“Toshiko,” Jack said, wiping a hand across his face, “I want you to keep monitoring things, and definitely keep an eye on Thames House. We need to know exactly what we’re dealing with before Ianto and I head in.”

“How are you going to get near Thames House with an assassination order out on you?” Patrick demanded.

Jack smiled. “I bet they don’t look up…”

Chapter Thirteen


Loved the update!
Thank you!
squeee!! impatiently waiting for more :):):)
By now you know there's more up now. :)

Great update.
Thank you! :)
I have a feeling that Londoner's are going to be introduced to a dragon soon... :)
Hm...could be! *winks*
I'm so glad Alice took it so well..
Please, let Steven be ok in this 'verse.....pretty please...
If she hadn't gotten to know Jack as well as she has, it wouldn't have gone nearly so well.

As for Steven...you just have to trust me. *laughs manically*
All right! Team Torchwood is on the case! I love reading a COE fic when I know things will turn out ok. Plus, with you at the helm, this will be a fantastic journey.
Thanks! And yes, things do turn out okay...well, relatively okay...

And yes, you should trust me! *laughs manically*
Torchwood's on the offense!

Glad the team & Alice understood what Jack went through.

Can't wait for the confrontation in London.
Great update!
Yes they are. I just hated the team in the original, they didn't do anything! So this is my competent version.

Thanks! :)
456 vs. Dragon. I don't like the 456's chances...
Nope, I wouldn't bet any money on the 456... *winks*
Are the chapters getting shorter? ;-) Love the update, love the way you tweak it just enough ... Can't wait for more!

Oh, and Patrick is a great addition to the team!
I don't think they're getting shorter...it's just where the best place to break them is. I write until I don't have anything else to say! *grins*

I really am glad you like Patrick. :)
It's true! :-) Jack had already spoken to Ianto!
and of course, the whole team is with him.
Alice too! :-)

I thought a trip to the back of Dragon would be!
Attention Frobisher, THEY are coming ...
Yep, his entire team and family are all behind Jack. They care about him that much.

Oh yes, they are definitely coming... :)