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Myfanwy 2

January 2018

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The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Three

The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Three
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 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?




18 September 2009

Jack stepped forward. “I’m Captain Jack Harkness,” he introduced himself, his voice hard. “”I’ve dealt with you lot before. I’m here to explain why, this time, you’re not going to get what you want.”

“You yielded in the past,” the strange, electronic voice given to the alien by whatever translation matrix they were using hissed from the speaker beside the tank.

Ianto barely kept himself from shivering at it. It was inhuman, and didn’t belong on his world. The very tones of it made him want to transform and tear the creature to pieces.

“Yeah, I know that,” Jack answered. “I was there, in 1965. I was a part of that trade, which is why I’m never going to let it happen again.”

“Explain.”

Jack took another step forward. “There’s a saying here on Earth, a very old and wise friend taught me it: an injury to one is an injury to all. And, when people act according to that philosophy then the human race is the finest species in the Universe.”

Ianto wasn’t sure he liked Jack quoting the Doctor, since the Time Lord had made it clear where both of them stood when they’d met him again when the Daleks had stolen the Earth, but he had to admit the words were true. Not that he enjoyed admitting that the Doctor was right. “Never mind the philosophy,” he growled. “What he’s saying is that you’re not getting a single child. Whatever deal you’ve made, it’s off.”

“I liked the philosophy,” Jack pouted.

To anyone else, it would seem that his mate wasn’t taking this seriously at all. But to Ianto, who knew Jack better than anyone, it was obvious that the banter was there in an attempt to throw the 456 off balance, to make the alien think that they were just that strong that they weren’t concerned about how things were going to turn out.

“I gathered,” Ianto replied, winking.

“You yielded in the past,” the 456 intoned. “You will do so again.”

“We were wrong to do so,” Jack said. “It didn’t matter that the numbers were so small…we should never have capitulated. We’ve learned from that and it’s just not going to happen this time.”

“Besides,” Ianto added, “you have no claim on the Earth’s children. Another race has a previous claim and they will not give that up so easily.”

“Previous claims do not matter to us,” the alien refuted. “We recognise no claim but our own.”

“That’s too bad,” Jack answered, “because you don’t want to get on the bad side of the Fae.”

“Besides,” Ianto added, “we’ve also recorded everything that’s gone on in this room: the negotiations, your demands…everything. We aren’t afraid to release those recordings to the public if you do not leave now.”

“You have yielded in the past,” the 456 repeated. “You will do so again.”

“Saying it over and over isn’t going to make it true,” Jack snorted. “When the people find out what’s going on, you’ll have over six billion angry human beings taking up arms to fight you. That might be a fight you think you can win, but in the end the human race will rise up to protect their children. And if we have to lead them into battle, we will.”

Ianto was so very proud of his mate. Jack was making a stand, just as he always would in defence of his adopted home, and the dragon would always stand next to him, to support him in his fight. It was how it should be. “And it won’t just be the human race fighting back against you,” he said. “There are races on this world far older that humankind, and they will also take up their weapons in order to protect their world. You cannot win this.”

“The human infant mortality rate is 29,158 deaths per day. Every three seconds, a child dies. The human response is to accept and adapt.”

“Because there is nothing they can do to prevent it,” Ianto said. “This, they can fight against.”

“And we’re adapting right now,” Jack added. “We will make this a war if we have to.”

“Then the fight begins,” the alien responded.

Ianto glanced over at Jack, and his mate looked confused. The dragon couldn’t blame him, because there didn’t seem to be anything happening…

Oh, of course.

“Jack, put on your gas mask,” the dragon ordered, fitting the personal respirator over his own face. As it settled into place, alarms began going off in the building, red-tinged lighting flashing on in warning.

“You wanted a demonstration of war,” the 456 explained. “A biological weapon has been released into the building. Everyone within will die.”

“Then your demonstration has failed,” Jack said, his voice muffled by the mask, “because we evacuated the building before coming up here. Unlike the bureaucrats you’ve been dealing with, we expected you to pull something like this.”

The 456 thrashed against the side of the tank, spitting goo all over the glass. It didn’t seem very happy at all, and Ianto grinned through his own mask at the alien’s fury. “You’ve failed in your attempt to bully us into surrendering what you’re demanding. Now, we’re telling you again…leave this planet. We won’t give in to your threats.”

The 456 continued to thrash about, slamming its large body into the glass of the tank as if it were trying to get out, to get to them and kill them with its bare hands…if it had hands. Ianto took a hesitant step backward instinctively, but Jack was standing his ground, facing the rage of the alien behind the floor-to-ceiling windows as it reacted to Jack’s words.

“We’re prepared for you,” Jack went on. “This world will fight as it always has done. Did you think you could do what the Daleks and the Cybermen and countless other races couldn’t? Every alien invasion we’ve fought against and won. You’re no longer wanted here, and the children will never be yours.”

“We will send our ships to collect them ourselves,” the 456 threatened. “We can control them to come to us.”

“I don’t think so,” Jack countered. “You see, we know how to stop you from controlling our children any longer. Right about now, my technician is completing work on a shield that will block your signal and will keep you from taking the children by force.”

Of course, Ianto knew this was too easy. The 456 had to have some sort of back-up, something that will still get them to their final goal. Yes, taking away their control of the children was a huge step in getting rid of them for good, but the dragon knew they would keep trying as long as there wasn’t some sort of show of strength. The problem was, no one had been able to find out where the ship – or ships, according to the alien’s previous slip – were, and there was still a chance they could destroy the planet when they didn’t get what they wanted.

This was the problem the Fae foresaw…the 456 being beaten away from the Earth, but at the same time making a final strike that would make the storms the Fae controlled look like a peaceful spring shower by comparison. If too many people were killed by the 456 then it could mean disaster for everyone on the planet.

So many things could still go wrong…

“We’re going to fight you,” Jack was saying, “and you might as well accept that and move on.”

The 456 continued to slam against the tank, and this time Jack did step back, away from the furious alien. “You don’t dare risk what you want by taking action against the entire planet,” Ianto taunted, even though he was getting more and more concerned as time went on. He was certain that the 456 could still strike, that there was something they didn’t know.

Would making a first strike give the 456 pause in their actions? The alien before them was trapped within its habitat, not able to breathe the air or leave, unless it chose to use whatever teleportation system it must have used to arrive at Thames House. Could they scare it off? Or would it take more than that?

Plus there was the child currently attached to the alien. Ianto wanted nothing more than to save it, and continuing to taunt it wasn’t going to achieve that.   “Jack.”

His mate stepped back farther, until he was even with Ianto. “I get the feeling there’s something we’re missing,” Jack whispered.

Ianto nodded. “It’s not going to leave, not willingly. It doesn’t care that the Fae have a prior claim. The only thing keeping them from taking the children is Tosh’s barrier, and if they discovered where that was coming from…” He didn’t need to point out the inherent weakness of using the Archangel Network: that the satellites are unprotected in space, and that destroying one would break the nebulous web surrounding Earth.

Suddenly, the 456 calmed. “You are nothing to us,” it rasped, the voice sounding downright smug.   “We will take what we require, and you cannot stop us.”

Jack was frowning; it was even visible through the gas mask. “I thought we made it clear that you couldn’t take the children using your current forms of persuasion.”

“You will yield. You will have no choice.”

Ianto frowned as well. “I think you’ll find we have plenty of choice.”

“No. You are dying even now.”

Ianto glanced at Jack, worry suddenly rearing its ugly head. “What do you mean?”

“You have retreated beneath masks, but our biological agent does not rely on breathing it in order to be affective. It is absorbed through the skin. You are dying. Your precautions were of no substance.”

The dragon’s heart lurched. He reached out to hold onto Jack’s arm, and he’d barely touched his mate when Jack swayed. “Damnit,” he muttered, the mask making his voice sound even softer, “so much for being prepared.” Ianto watched as Jack yanked off the mask, revealing his pale face. His pupils were blown and his breathing was becoming laboured. “And here I thought it was Tom’s cooking making me feel sick…”

“Jack,” Ianto begged, his mate’s name sounding like a sob, “please…”

“You know I’ll come back, so don’t worry too much about it…” Jack suddenly coughed.

“Yeah, right.” Ianto wrapped his arm around Jack’s waist, holding him up. He, himself, didn’t feel ill, and that either meant it would take longer to affect him, or his dragon traits were protecting him from whatever the 456 had injected into the building.

He glared at the tank, and the dragon had the distinct impression that the alien was smirking at him. His anger blossomed in his chest, feeding his inner fire, stoking it hotter and hotter until Ianto had to force the dragon back down, his true form needing to be unleashed. Yes, Jack would come back, but this…thing…had still killed his mate.

But he needed to get Jack out of the line of fire first.

Ianto half-dragged, half-carried his mate out of the room and toward the lift. Jack tried to argue, but he shushed him, his free hand reaching for the call button. “I need you away from this,” the dragon whispered, wanting to explain what was going through his mind but knowing that, somehow, Jack would know. After all, he’d seen this before: back on the Valiant, when Ianto had gone to rescue his mate. His vengeance had been the reason the Doctor hated Jack so much now, but Ianto regretted nothing about killing the Master. And Jack understood and had never held it against him.

The lift doors opened, and Ianto carefully moved his mate into the car, helping Jack slide down the wall when his legs wouldn’t hold him any longer. Ianto reached around behind him and stabbed his finger into the ‘open door’ button, needing a few seconds to get Jack comfortable.

“I know what you’re going to do,” Jack wheezed.

“Then you know why you need to be as far away as I can get you,” Ianto soothed, cupping Jack’s cheek in his hand. He removed his own respirator, fairly certain the contaminates weren’t going to hurt him.

“I love you, you know that?”

The dragon smiled softly. “Yes, I know. You are my eternity, Jack.”

“Hurry back.” Jack’s voice was getting weaker and weaker.

“You too.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips against his mate’s. Jack kissed him back, but it lacked the fire it usually had.

Ianto stood. He turned and pushed the button for the first floor, stepping out of the lift before the doors slid shut. As much as he wanted to stay with Jack until he was gone, Ianto knew he couldn’t. He had work to do, and his revenge to take.

He strode back into the room. The tank was quiet, and Ianto knew that the 456 must be gloating over its perceived victory. “I’m not finished with you yet,” Ianto growled, standing in the centre of the room, his legs spread and his hands behind his back. “You should face your death, and not hide like a coward behind your glass walls.”

There was a moment of silence from the tank, and then, “You are dead.”

“No, I’m not. You seem to have forgotten me saying that there are more than one race on this world. Your airborne pathogen was designed for humans…not for those other races.   I may look human, but I can assure you I am not. You have killed my mate, and you will now face my vengeance.” Yes, Jack would recover, but it was the fact that this creature had caused him pain that was motivating him now.

The 456 thrashed, parts of its body slamming into the side of the tank. Ianto caught glimpses of wrinkled, brown flesh and he forced his flame back once more. It was almost time; he could keep in control for the moment.

“I claim the rite of vengeance against you, for the crime of bringing injury to my mate.” Ianto stood up even straighter, his eyes sharp in the huddled shape inside the blue gas. “I also claim vengeance for the Earth, my home, and the damage you have done to its people by threatening the young ones. I call upon the Fae to witness.”


The scent of rose petals filled the room. Ianto didn’t have to look to know that several of the Fae had appeared beside him, their hissing agreement to be witnesses to his claim filling the empty space.

Ianto finally let his dragon-form loose, his flame growing even hotter as his chest grew to contain it. He fit within the room, his tail lashing into the chairs and tables against the rear wall, scattering them with a clatter. He roared wordlessly, a battle cry that was full of the pain and rage he was experiencing…for his mate, and the pain Jack would suffer upon dying and awakening, and for the helpless ones these animals had demanded be turned over to them.

The dragon opened his mouth, letting his inner flame free.

Fire splatted against the glass of the tank. From the technical stats that Toshiko had been able to gather on the construction, it was a form of bulletproof material that was rated to withstand even the heat of fire.

But a dragon’s flame was fiercer than a normal one, and the glass began to melt under the assault.

The 456 began to panic. Its shape twisted within the mist as the glass slowly turned orange and started sliding down the outside of the tank. It let out a scream, a loud, ululating cry that assaulted the dragon’s ears and drove into his brain like a sword, like the dragon-killer that still rested within Jack’s protected safe back at the Hub. He ceased the flame long enough to roar once more, and then began his attack on the tank again.

The horrid stench of the 456’s home atmosphere hit Ianto’s sensitive nose, and once more he halted the flame, this time to address the Fae standing beside him. It was Jasmine once more, only the changes to her physical form were almost complete. “Can you save the child?” he growled, wanting nothing more than to destroy the alien but needing to check. He didn’t want innocent blood on his hands, not if there was another option.

It was only a heartbeat, but a single rose petal floated from the hole he’d made in the glass. “We have him, ancient one,” Jasmine answered. “The gas was poison, but we have managed it since it has been diluted.”

The dragon didn’t bother to thank her. Instead, he focussed his attention back on the tank, where the 456 had to have noticed something was wrong; it was keening, the sound of it unnatural from the speaker. Ianto grinned, unleashing his fire once more.

In the back of his mind, he worried that the aliens would take some sort of vengeance of their own when they discovered that one of theirs was dead, but Ianto pushed that back, determined to avenge the hurts done to his mate.

He didn’t even feel the explosion as the gas within the tank reacted to his flame.



Chapter Twenty-Four






Comments

That's it, burn that sucker. I do love this dragon.

It was just so satisfying writing this bit... *laughs*
go, Ianto!

I hope he's ok


incredible chapter
Thank you!

And more about Ianto in the next chapter... :)
Wooooo crispy alien.
MI5 will never get the smell out.... *laughs*

And see, I can imagine Eleven making just those sorts of motions like in your icon when finding out. :)
Now we know how word got out about the Torchwood Dragon. Everyone in the Gold command meeting saw him transform over the video link. Way cool! Deep fried aliens are the best kind.
Yep, we do. That was a pretty public confrontation! :)
Now THAT was truly satisfying. Ianto absolutely rocks when he goes into vengeance mode! I love that he could do that, confident that Jack supported him wholly.

*sigh*

What an awesome chapter. This is how CoE should have been written.
I love writing Ianto when he's all vengeancy. *grins*

Thank you! Glad you liked it, although I'm glad CoE had such massive plot holes for me to fix even though I absolutely hated it. :)
The 456 shouldn't have underestimated the power of the other races that inhabit the earth. Loved the update!!!!
Burn, baby, burn!!!

Great update!
crispy snot-lobster = good
exploded dragon = a bit worrying
WOAH! Go Ianto, I am so proud of him. Dragons rule, 456 drool! I am sure that this is far from over but woo hoo!
1-0 for the good guys!
YES! Take that, you *insert profanities of choice* alien creep! It's a shame Jack had to die again, but at least this time he won't wake up to find Ianto dead.

Good one, and lovely artwork!
456 barbeque, nice!

*gulp* I hope Ianto's okay...
Oops! Did Ianto break the villain?:)
it's funny, when I read that Martha recommended a mask, at the same time, I remembered the other mad scientist had gone to an integral combination ...
I have not made ​​you note, saying: she knows what she does ... argh!


Magnificent chapter; Ianto angry, it's worth the trip ... It does so only in extreme cases. fortunately.

Now Tosh and Owen must develop the offensive against ... Quickly! ppllllleeeaaaasssssseeeee
Dragon-1
Roast alien critter-0

Never piss off a dragon...you could find yourself being lunch...or a snack! :D :D :D