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Myfanwy 2

September 2018



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The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Four

The Breaking - Chapter Twenty-Four
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?

19 September 2009

Day Five

It was either too late at night, or too early in the morning, for anyone to be awake.

And yet Toshiko was, hunched over her keyboard as if basking in the minimal warmth radiating from the monitors. Her head was aching and her eyes were gritty, but she needed to be working. She needed to figure out a way to repel the 456 using the readings she and Owen had taken during the chanting sessions.

She needed to get revenge.

One of the trio of monitors still had an open link to Thames House, but the only thing on it was snow. It had been like that since…Toshiko swallowed, not wanting to think about it but needing to keep it to the forefront of her mind, in order to use the rage that bubbled within her to keep her on task. Those who had been watching hadn’t known what had happened, not until Martha had gotten in touch via the subwave network and an internet café. She’d explained it all, and Rhys had taken over Toshiko’s own laptop she’d brought with her, pulling up the news feeds in order for them to see for themselves what Martha had been attempting to tell them through her own panic and anger.

The roof of Thames House had been blown completely off, and the upper floors had settled into the ones below, the building more a pile of rubble than a set of government offices any longer. Police, emergency vehicles, and even the Army and UNIT had turned out in order to keep people away, those working the debris field obvious in bright yellow hazmat gear.

They would be worried about the fallout from the pathogen that the 456 had released. Toshiko could certainly understand that.

The hum of commentary from the laptop tried to lull her, but Toshiko wouldn’t let it. She knew that Rhys was keeping a steady eye on the coverage, and would let them know what was going on the moment he heard or saw anything.

At least Jack and Ianto had managed to get Thames House evacuated. It could have been so much worse than it actually was, if one didn’t count the two who had been inside when the 456’s gasses had ignited.

It was quiet, beyond the news coverage. Toshiko knew that her team – her family – was still very much awake, waiting on news of their friends…no, their parents, because that was what Jack and Ianto were.   Alice may have had a blood tie to Jack, but it wasn’t always the genetic markers that made a true family.

When they’d lost the Thames House feed so suddenly, Toshiko had literally freaked out. The last thing they’d seen was Ianto in his dragon form, facing down the 456 with his flame. They’d been listening as Jack and Ianto had faced them down; about the alien pathogen that the 456 had set loose as an example, and how it didn’t need to be breathed in in order to be effective. They knew Jack would be alright, but they hadn’t understood what Ianto was up to until he’d gotten back from wherever he’d taken Jack. Toshiko, Rhiannon, and Alice had seen this before, back on the Valiant after time had been set right. Ianto was going to get his vengeance against the 456 for killing Jack, and honestly Toshiko had wanted to applaud him.

But then everything had gone to hell, and they’d had to wait until Martha had called in barely fifteen minutes later, her breathing sharp and shallow as she’d tried so hard to deliver her report past her trembling. Tom had been equally affected.

Owen had ordered them to keep an eye out, to stake out the area around Thames House. They’d need to know when Jack and Ianto were found, to know where they would be taken and by whom if only to be able to swoop in and rescue them. He wasn’t as polite as that, using terms such as ‘bloody dragon’ and ‘idiot immortal’ to describe their leaders. Still Martha and Tom had agreed, and Toshiko had suggested using their mobiles to report in, since it appeared as if MI5 had much more important things to worry about than listening in on any conversations they might have. The entire team had either left theirs in Cardiff or destroyed them, but Johnny had brought in a handset from the inn and had plugged it into a receptacle. He’d claimed that the phone lines were on in the small house, but no one had thought to bring a phone in for them.

Toshiko rubbed her eyes, taking a short break to turn in her chair in order to take in the rest of her family. Patrick had taken the single overstuffed chair, and Alice was cuddled up on his lap, her head resting on Patrick’s shoulder as he held her close. The technician couldn’t help but smile; it seemed once they’d admitted their feelings for each other the damn had burst, and she couldn’t be happier for them.

Alice had taken what had occurred at Thames House particularly hard. She’d just seen both of her parents get caught up in an explosion, and it had to have been traumatic. Both Owen and Toshiko had been quick to reassure her, sharing the story of the cannibals at Brynnblaid, and how Ianto had come out of a flaming manor house with only a few scorch marks; Alice claimed to have heard the story before, along with the one about the bombs that John Hart had set to trap them, but re-hearing it seemed to settle her nerves a bit. The dragon was immune to his own flame, Owen had pointed out, and a little explosion wasn’t about to take Ianto down. And, of course Jack would always come back.

They just had to wait. Ianto had been buried under all that rubble, and it would take time to get to him. The same for Jack, and what was worse in his case was that they had no idea where Ianto would have taken him.

Rhys was seated in one of the rolling desk chairs, his feet up on the scuffed coffee table and the laptop on his knees. His dark eyes glittered as he watched what was happening on the screen, a frown on his usually jovial face. He’d been ready to storm London when word had gotten back to them about the explosion, and while they’d all been aware that Rhys had a temper on him, this was perhaps the first time Toshiko had seen where they’d almost been unable to talk him out of anything rash. Rhys Williams was a loyal friend, and he had a sharp streak of justice, and Toshiko was glad he was on their team.

Owen and Deborah were sharing the sofa, the medic working over another laptop – this one belonging to Rhiannon – and Toshiko knew he was putting the finishing touches on the algorithms they would need for the Archangel Network. They’d managed to jury-rig a block to the 456’s signal, but it was only stop-gap. These would be unbreakable, and could also allow them to trace the signal back to wherever the aliens were hiding. Toshiko was willing to bet they were hidden behind the moon, but then needed proof. Deborah was sleeping, her head resting on the arm of the sofa, a knitted afghan thrown over her. Toshiko actually envied her for being able to close her eyes, let alone sleep.

Estelle was pacing. She’d known Jack longer than anyone in the room, had been a former lover and cared for both Jack and Ianto. She was worried, but at the same time she had been the one who had been the most confident of their survival. She’d tried to call on the Fae for answers within minutes of losing contact, but nothing had come of it. They’d heard Jasmine tell Ianto that they’d managed to rescue the poor child tied to the 456, and Estelle had been certain they would know something.

Well, the Fae might know, but they apparently weren’t going to say anything to them.

Toshiko turned back to her own work, trying to shore up the Archangel Network more than it was already. Several of the satellites were barely functioning, and those were the ones she was trying to repair. The Master had thoughtfully added several self-repair routines into his creations, but after the network being shut down and exposed to the coldness of space the programs were working somewhat fitfully. At least the neural network was still viable, although the biological sections of the satellites had degraded quite badly. That really wouldn’t matter, since after the 456 were taken care of Toshiko planned to deactivate those systems completely, letting the harvested brain cells follow their once-owners to the grave.

She had no idea how long she’d been working when Rhys cursed, the tone of his voice motivating every member of the team to cluster around his laptop. Toshiko looked over Deborah’s shoulder to see emergency services bringing out a stretcher, the orange blanket pulled up over the body’s head in order to obscure the face. But a tail of a very familiar greatcoat draped over the edge of the stretcher, and Toshiko felt something loosen in her chest that she hadn’t been aware had settled there.

The house phone jangled discordantly, and Patrick grabbed at it, answering it gruffly.   “Yeah, Martha, we’re seeing it,” he spoke. “Where are you?...Oh, that’s smart, yeah. Any sign of Ianto yet?...No, we haven’t either, but then we’re on the news feeds so I doubt they’d broadcast finding a large winged lizard in the wreckage…” He laughed, and it was an almost relieved sound. “Yeah, I know he’s not technically a lizard, but still…yeah, you’re right…do you think you can find out where they’re taking Jack?” Then he frowned. “Okay, sure. Thanks.” He hung up. “Martha says that Jack was taken away by UNIT, and I don’t know about you guys but I don’t like hearing that at all.”

“Yeah,” Rhys said, pointing toward a corner of the screen. Several familiar red caps were visible, barely on screen. “Got ‘em right there.”

‘Yeah, this isn’t good,” Owen muttered. “UNIT seems to be in this up to their necks, and having Jack fall into their hands is asking for trouble. Sure, he does have friends in UNIT but Colonel Oduya doesn’t care for him at all.”

“I wish Colonel Mace was still in charge,” Toshiko sighed. She, above them all, had no trust at all for UNIT after the way they’d treated her about her turning traitor to save her mother’s life. With UNIT there was no trial, no jury, and a person was proved guilty no matter what the circumstances were. The best thing that could have happened did that day that Jack and Ianto had walked into her life. But she’d respected Colonel Mace after his involvement in cleaning up after the Master, and had been upset when he’d been wounded badly during the last Dalek attack.

“We need to get Jack away from UNIT,” Patrick snapped.

“Agreed.” Toshiko turned back to her terminals with new purpose.   She minimised the diagnostics on the Archangel Network, pulling up the thread she’d left dangling from UNIT’s servers.

“Martha also said Tom would follow and then report back where they take him,” Patrick went on. “But it’s most likely going to be the holding facility outside London.”

Toshiko couldn’t help but shiver. That had been where UNIT had held her after she’d stolen the plans for that sonic device, and it was a horrible and depressing place to be. “I don’t want Jack to wake up there,” she snapped, her sudden fear for Jack overwhelming her anger at him falling into UNIT’s hands. “He’ll be alone, with no idea what’s happened to Ianto…”

She felt a hand on her shoulder; it was Alice, who was familiar with her story, one that the technician had shared during that Year. She’d been so proud to know that Jack and Ianto had come for her, when they could have just let her rot in that concrete cell, that she’d had to let Alice know how wonderful her father and his mate had been to her. It had been at the very beginning, when Alice had been angry and suspicious of everything, most of all her father and the dragons that she’d thought had manipulated her presence there.

And yet, Alice had come around, and now she was a good friend as well as a member of the Torchwood family. Yes, she still had that ingrained fear of Torchwood, but it was fading, and her newly-minted relationship with Patrick was a sign of that.

“We’ll get him out,” Alice said, smiling despite the stress lines that had appeared around her reddened eyes. She’d done a fair bit of crying after they’d discovered what had befallen at Thames House, even though the chances that either Jack or Ianto were gone was very small. Alice, despite the hatred and fear she’d grown up around, had a gentle soul, and she loathed seeing anyone hurt. It made her feel guilty about her behaviour toward her father, because she felt as if she’d only gotten one half of the story…which, of course, she had. But she’d left so much baggage behind, and she and Jack – and Ianto, as the step-father – had a wonderful relationship now. Thinking even for a few minutes that she’d lost that had nearly crushed her.

Toshiko took a deep breath and nodded then turned back to her monitors. They were really effectively blind at the moment, having lost the feed from Thames House when it had been destroyed, and without eyes in either Downing Street or UNIT’s holding facility. Computer traffic was also compromised, with only the UNIT hack currently up and running.

The problem was she wasn’t really getting a lot out of that particular source. Yes, the troop movements were disturbing, especially the order to have a platoon stationed at Caernarfon, which was just a bit too close for comfort, and another stationed in Bangor. Toshiko didn’t care for that one bit.

However, judging from the new movements, she could guess that something was definitely up. They had no eyes into the on-going Gold Command meeting, and there was no telling what the Cabinet was up to. She’d tried to hack backward into the CCTV from Thames House, but had gotten nowhere. It really wouldn’t matter much anyway, since the transmission looked to be one way and, even as good as Toshiko was, she didn’t think she could make a closed circuit monitor into a rudimentary webcam.

She was afraid that they were planning on going ahead with taking the children, and that Jack and Ianto’s ‘sacrifice’ would be in vain. They needed to do something, to step into their teammates shoes and make sure nothing happened.

She just didn’t know how to do it.

Toshiko lost track of time as she worked simultaneously on the Archangel Network and to get some sort of eyes into Downing Street. She managed to shore up a couple of the more corrupted satellites until she was certain their signal-blocking shield over the planet was stable. But, as to Downing Street…nothing.

“I have a question,” Deborah said at one point.

“What is it, sweetheart?” Owen asked. He’d finished his work, handing it over to Toshiko, who had implemented it. It had worked perfectly, strengthening the signal and putting less stress on already stressed systems.

Deborah wrinkled her nose at him calling her ‘sweetheart’, but she didn’t give him her usual lecture about having a perfectly good name, one that she quite liked. “What’s going to happen when the 456, wherever they are, find out that their ambassador is dead?”

That had been the very question lurking in the back of Toshiko’s mind. It was obvious that Ianto’s flame has destroyed the alien at Thames House. How long would it take for the others to know and to retaliate?

The others looked just as worried as Toshiko was. “Well,” Patrick said, “we’ll just have to come up with a way to stop them.”

“That’s what we need…optimism,” Estelle replied, smiling at the American. “There has to be a way to do just that.”

“Up until what happened at Thames House,” Patrick added, “I was certain the 456 wouldn’t kill the thing they were demanding. But it just tried to kill an entire building full of people, and it was just plain good luck that Jack and Ianto cleared them all out before pissing off the 456. Now, I’m not sure.” He bit his lip, folding his arms around his chest as if he was hugging himself. “I still can’t see them completely destroying the planet, but what if they have something that takes care of the adults? They can already control the kids – although Tosh and Owen fixed that – who can say they don’t have a special virus or something that just targets adults?”

That sobered everyone in the room. Patrick had a point: how were they supposed to fight something they couldn’t see before it was too late?

“Isn’t there a way to figure out where their ship is?” Alice asked. “They’re putting out signals, aren’t they? Can’t we…I don’t know…trace them or something back to their source?” She looked taken aback by the six pairs of eyes that zeroed in on her, and she held up her hands as if to ward them off. “Okay…so it was a bad idea –“

“No, it’s not,” Owen reassured her. “In fact, it’s a bloody good idea.”

Toshiko nodded, mad at herself for not thinking of that very thing. “We have the frequency they’ve been broadcasting on.” She turned back to her workstation. “I can attempt to backtrack the signal to their ship, as long as the frequency remains open.” She could do it through the Archangel Network; the programming was already there, the Master not leaving much to chance.

“Hey, everyone!” Rhys called out, just as Toshiko was digging into the proper programs. “You have to see this!”

There was a minor stampede toward Rhys’ chair; Toshiko simply tapped into the feed he was using and dragged the newscast up onto her third monitor.

“– happening within the wreckage,” the newsreader was saying. “We cannot make it out as yet, but there is definite movement…” The man faded out, and the video from Thames House filled the screen. Toshiko could see several large chunks of brick and masonry sliding down from the destroyed upper floors of the building. It was almost too dark to see anything, but the glare from the halogen lights set up around the structure threw up shadows enough to just make out what was happening.

It had to be Ianto.                                                   

Toshiko couldn’t help but grin like mad. Even though she’d been certain that her dragon friend would be fine, even if he’d been buried under all that rubble, there had still been that voice in the back of her head babbling away in terror that Ianto wouldn’t make it this time, that the dragon would finally succumb to the life that was Torchwood. That Jack would, indeed, spend the rest of his horrifically long life without his mate.

Just then, the phone rang, and it was a fight to get to it. Alice won, only because at the last no one wanted to deny her the right to hear the news from Martha.

They knew everything was going to be alright when Alice laughed in sheer relief.

“Martha says that’s Ianto,” she said. “She can see better from her viewpoint on a building across the way, and she says she can see Ianto’s head and neck pushing out of a large pile of debris.”

There were hugs all around, and Toshiko joined in on Alice’s laughter. She watched her screen as it became more and more obvious that something large and living was emerging from what had once been the upper floors of Thames House.

And then, the televised pictures suddenly stopped.

“We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties,” the newsreader apologised.

“More like UNIT or whoever was on-scene didn’t want it to get out that there was a dragon digging himself out,” Rhys scoffed.

Owen snorted. “You realise this means we might get another visit from that American TV presenter who was chasing dragons in Cardiff over a year ago.”

“Oh, I missed that!” Patrick exclaimed, pouting.

“It was quite fun,” Toshiko grinned. “But he’d most likely come to London this time, instead of Cardiff.” She couldn’t help but chuckle as she recalled the look on Ianto’s face when he’d told them about Josh Gates coming to town. That particular episode of “Destination Truth” she still had downloaded to mainframe's server, and she played it when she wanted to torture her teammate.

“Martha says she’s got Tad’s attention,” Alice said, breaking into their conversation. She sounded a little worried. “He’s flying somewhat erratically, but should be with her in a few seconds.”

So, Ianto must have been injured in some way. Toshiko watched as Owen requested the phone from Alice. She handed over the handset almost reluctantly. “Martha, when you can give me Dragon Boy’s condition…yeah, I know…visually then, cause I don’t trust him to give it to us straight, not with Jack still in the wind…idiot…put him on, darlin’…oh really?” He put his hand over the receiver. “Ianto’s refusing to change back to human,” he told everyone in the room, “which means something’s pretty seriously wrong.”

Toshiko lost her smile. The very few times she’d seen Ianto injured there’d been an issue with him returning to his human shape; the only time that hadn’t happened was when he’d been hurt while he’d been changed, like the time he’d nearly been electrocuted by Bilis Manger.

“Well,” Rhys said, “he did have a building blow up around him. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t hurt in some way.”

“Rhys has a point,” Estelle said, putting her arm around Alice. “And he’s most likely not going to let anyone look him over until he has Jack back. He won’t want to leave his mate in UNIT’s hands.”

“Yeah, I can hear him asking Martha where Jack is,” Owen confirmed. He took his hand off the receiver. “Martha, tell him what we know, okay? You know he’ll want to go after him…yeah, I don’t like it either but we’re not gonna stop him…okay, let us know.” He hung up, sighing, “Bloody stupid dragon.”

Toshiko knew that Owen had done the right thing, giving Martha the go ahead to inform Ianto about UNIT having Jack, but at the same time she was afraid for her friend. He’d obviously been hurt, and yet he was going to fly right into UNIT’s stronghold…she didn’t like it one bit.

But, she also knew Ianto, and knew he’d never stop looking for Jack despite any injuries he might have gotten at Thames House. It would be an almost physical imperative, to find his mate and make certain he was alright…or avenge him if he wasn’t. Toshiko would have done the same thing if it has been Kathy, and she knew that everyone in this room would have travelled to the ends of the Earth for any one of their team family.

So, she went back to her work. But she couldn’t help but giving a quick prayer for Ianto and Jack.

Chapter Twenty-Five


Okay, now I'm really worried. I'd give Dragon!Ianto at full strength good odds against UNIT, but hurt? *gulp*
UNIT better watch out, Ianto is on their tail and if they hurt Jack they are going to regret it! :)
I hope Ianto isn't hurt too badly. UNIT is not match for Ianto, event injured - I'm sure he will be able to get Jack out of their clutches.
I hope Ianto isn't hurt too badly! This is nail-biting stuff.
hmmmm... injured, pissed-off dragon vs UNIT
I _really_ want the dragon to win this...could the Fae help?!?

again, running low on adjectives here
going back to "Brilliant!!" :)

Edited at 2014-02-01 01:24 am (UTC)
Damn you and your stories..I can't grow my nails fast enough..

Is is tomorrow yet? Need the next chapter...
I can't wait for Ianto to corner UNIT!!! Love this story!!
My heart is really thumping! Great take on this [originally awful] story.
Prelude to Roast Oduya & UNIT: piss off a Dragon and the Fae.
Keep messing with Jack.
Ok, I've put on the fake nails to keep biting...got 2 packs just for this fantastic story!

But what does Oduya and UNIT think they've got to handle a Dragon?!
And do they really think they can blackmail or hold Jack against the Fae and the Great Dragons as well?
The UNIT takes Jack: arghhhhhhhhh
this is very bad way.
But it is doing what Sir Alistair? he was able to join the queen??

Phew, Ianto was released. I do not doutains although Thame House is a sacred piece.
I hope it is not too hurt and will arrive on time.
I can not wait to see it.
Oh no, they can't just take Jack away like that! And Ianto hurt ... Can't write more, need to find out what happens next!
Somehow, I didn't realize this the first time I read it, but THIS is where the world finds out that Torchwood has a Dragon. I always wondered where the whole "Torchwood Dragon" thing first started, given how secretive Ianto had always been. And he is much better at it than Jack. Ianto would never have put the word Torchwood on the SUV.