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Myfanwy 2

April 2018

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The Breaking - Chapter Thirty-One

The Breaking - Chapter Thirty-One
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.

A/N2:  Well, everyone...there's just one more chapter after this, which will be posted tomorrow on schedule.  I can't believe I've finally gotten the entire thing posted!  You have all been amazing with your comments and everything, you have no idea.  All of you out there made writing this monster completely worthwhile.  Thank you, everyone.

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




19 September 2009

Toshiko knew that staring at the screen wouldn’t make her program run any faster, but she just couldn’t help it.

They were running out of time. She was working as fast as she could, but even with Owen’s help in running scenarios it was taking too long. The rest of the team were out preparing for UNIT’s invasion of their village, and there she was…sitting on her hands and watching the numbers scroll by, seemingly taking forever.

Still, there was progress. The countdown was slowly reaching conclusion, when the Archangel Network would be reconfigured properly. It had been Owen who’d pointed out rather forcefully that this wouldn’t work if the harvested brain cells that powered the telepathic circuitry weren’t the right type. There was a reason that only children were affected, after all.

Eventually though they’d come up with a way to do it, and it had taken a hell of a lot of programming, but now they were nearing the end. The timer was spinning outward, ticking down at the rhythm of her heart. Toshiko rubbed her eyes tiredly, referring to the PDA in her other hand as she finished up with the signal modulation harmonic. The calculations looked right, and she prayed this would work because the entire world was counting on them.

She could sense the unease in the Earth, through her feet against the floor, shooting up her nerve endings and into the hind-part of her brain. Toshiko knew that she should be out there with her fellow Dragon-Friends and her team, but she couldn’t. Not this time. This time, she was stuck at her terminals, doing her part to destroy the 456 and their hold over the human race. She had always been loyal to her friends and family, but this was more important. This was loyalty to the entire planet, to all the races that lived on her. This was her duty…her responsibility. And she took that responsibility very seriously.

Toshiko didn’t have to look to know Owen was pacing behind her, gun in his hand and willing to protect their work – and her – if he was called upon to do so. He’d changed so much since he’d met Diane, and Toshiko felt closer to him now than she ever had before, even when she’d had that ill-advised crush she’d carried around for years. Looking back, she wondered just what had attracted her to Owen, and she honestly couldn’t answer.

Her finger hovered over the mouse, tempted to bring up the window with Kathy’s office computer on it. But Kathy wasn’t there; she was out trying to keep order in Cardiff, which had exploded when the troops had rolled into town. It was like that all over the country: parents challenging the military over the theft of all of those children, even if they didn’t know the real reason they were being taken. She could hear a newsreader in the background, where Rhys had left the laptop booted up, and it seemed as if Great Britain was the only country going through with the collecting. Other countries were postulating on just what the government was up to, and it was causing an outcry. If England had a cure for the chanting, why weren’t they sharing it? Apparently there was a press conference scheduled for later in the afternoon, and Toshiko was certain it was just more of Green’s posturing. He didn’t know what she did, that the 456 hadn’t moved from their hiding place behind the Moon, and Toshiko wasn’t about to tell him. He should have trusted Torchwood in the first place, and not tried to capture or kill anyone on her team.

A soft chime sounded from her workstation, and it had her attention immediately. Owen must have heard it as well, judging from his sudden presence at her back, the heat from his body actually calming her nerves just a little.

“Well?” he demanded.

Toshiko smiled. “The reconfiguration’s done. Now we just have to upload the signal and cross our fingers.”

“Well done, Tosh.” His hand was warm on her shoulder.

Her hands flew across the keyboard, opening the file she’d prepared earlier and sending it through the link to the Archangel Network. The progress bar seemed to move much quicker this time, and she leaned back against Owen and sighed. “We’re not sure if this gonna work – “

“Of course it will,” Owen exclaimed.   “How can it fail with two geniuses on the case?”

She turned and smirked up at him. “You’ve never had much of a sense of humility.”

“Never saw the need for one,” her friend shrugged. “I call it like I see it.”

Toshiko snorted, just as the computer chimed once more, making her aware that the upload was complete. She instantly sat up, checking her readings for any anomalies, her anxiousness back in full force.

This just had to work.

“Everything okay?”

“It seems to be,” she acknowledged. “All we can do it start it up.”

Toshiko’s finger paused just above the ‘enter’ key, praying for success. They just couldn’t have gotten this far and it not work.

Owen’s hand reached around her, and together they activated the Archangel Network.

It took three very long minutes for results.

After that, Toshiko did the only thing she could do…she picked up the phone.

**********

Ianto sat on his old perch, looking down into the valley that was his home.

From where he was sitting, he could see the village and the road. The dragon’s eyesight, although a bit dulled by the pain medications Owen had pumped him up with, could still see his mate as he faced down the soldiers. Damnit, he wanted to be down there, at Jack’s side, but his injuries wouldn’t let him change his shape at all. He was stuck as a dragon, and with his head the way it was plus his bad leg there was no way he would be able to make it down the trail on his own.

He felt worse than useless.

Down there his team was fighting for the children of the Earth. They were going head-to-head with the British government for the future of this planet. And Ianto couldn’t do a damned thing about it.

“Grandtad?”

The dragon turned his large head, to see that Steven had come down from the cave. “You’re supposed to be up in my old nest,” he chided gently.

Steven shrugged, making his way down the path to stand next to Ianto. “I know,” he admitted, “but I couldn’t, not with Mum and Patrick and Granddad down there.”

Ianto could sympathise. “It’s dangerous though. If they see you…”

“Then you can flame them!” The boy shouldn’t sound so enthusiastic, but all Ianto could do was laugh, even though it hurt his head.

He’d do anything to protect his precious grandson. They might not have been related by blood, but that didn’t mean Ianto didn’t love him any less.

Steven curled up against his side, and together they watched what was going on down the road. Ianto couldn’t help but think that Jack would look much more dashing with his coat. UNIT had better have taken good care of it, or they were going to own them another one!

The sun was warm despite the time of year, and the dragon found himself dozing slightly when the first of the gunshots rang out down below. He jerked at the sound, and Steven made a noise that seemed to be a cross between fear and surprise. Ianto watched as Jack dodged, but nothing seemed to have touched him. To his magical sense, he could ‘see’ the shield that Estelle must have put up to prevent his mate from being shot; it was as if a slightly transparent curtain had come down between Jack and the convoy that had attempted to invade Ddraig Llyn.

“He’s okay,” he told the frightened boy. Steven may have been told about Jack’s immortality, but he’d never seen it up close and personal, and Ianto hoped he never would. Alice had kept him away from the Master’s transmissions during the Year of the Toclafane. “Estelle has him protected.”

He swivelled his head around to look at Steven…and his heart lurched painfully in his chest at the sight of the boy.

Steven was frozen in place, just like all of the children did when the 456 started communicating through them. His eyes were glassy and staring, almost as if the young boy wasn’t in his head any longer.

Ianto was terrified. Had the 456 managed to get past their jamming field? Were they going to be demanding the children once more? Today was the time limit on gathering them up, so were the aliens getting ready to announce that they were coming to collect what they wanted?

But, as soon as it happened, it was over, and Steven was blinking up at him owlishly, like he’d just awakened, his face confused. “Grandtad?”

Somewhere, down in the valley, came the faint echo of a ringtone.

Ianto thought it came from Martha’s phone, but he couldn’t be certain at the distance.

**********

“It’s done.”

Jack’s knees almost buckled with relief at Toshiko’s smiling voice on the phone. It’s done. The threat of the 456 was over.

He’d been through so much in his time on Earth, and as an uncontracted agent, then leader, of Torchwood. The job wasn’t for anyone who couldn’t handle the stress of it. But this…these last five days had been some of the worst that Jack had had to get through, and he was pitifully grateful for it coming out all right in the end.

No more children would be on his conscience.

At least, not until the next time…and he prayed to deities he really didn’t believe in all that much that there would never be another time.

“The signal did more than we thought it would,” she was still speaking, and Jack had to drag his attention back to what she was saying. “The ship exploded just on the other side of the Moon, and Jodrell Bank has confirmation of a detonation in space. They’re gone, Jack.” There was such relief in her words, and he couldn’t blame her.

“You are an amazing woman, Toshiko Sato,” Jack couldn’t help but grin. “Remind me to give you a raise.”

“Don’t forget Owen,” she said teasingly. “He’s my partner in genius on this.”

Jack laughed. “No promises, because he’s a dick. Now, I have phone calls to make. Get all the evidence together so we can prove all this.”

“You got it.”

Jack disconnected the call, turning to face the troops currently parked on the Ddraig Llyn road. “I’m going to be calling the Brigadier,” he warned the major, who was staring at him as if he thought Jack was something other than human. Well, he was…but nothing he’d done warranted that expression. After all, it hadn’t been him to use magic to save himself from getting shot although he didn’t need to actually know that. “He’s most likely going to recall the lot of you, so be ready to get the hell out of here immediately.”

The man looked as if he was going to either argue or pass out, but Jack didn’t give him the opportunity to do either one. He was already dialling the number he knew by heart, needing to call an end to the chaos that Green and Frobisher and the rest of his weak sycophants had caused.

The first step in that: getting these bastards away from his home.

“Lethbridge-Stewart.”

“Good afternoon, Sir Alistair,” Jack greeted him boisterously.

“Damnit Harkness, I’ve only been trying to reach you for the last two days!”

Jack felt just a twinge of guilt at that. He’d abandoned his mobile back at the Hub when he and Ianto had left for London, and he didn’t have forwarding on his office line. “Sorry about that, sir. We were being surveilled and we had to leave the Hub.”

“I figured as much, since I saw your dragon at Thames House. You should really warn him about drawing attention to himself. I take it he was the cause of the explosion?”

“Yes he was, but I’ll get you a full report as soon as the mop-up is over. Right now, I have a UNIT major and a combination force of UNIT and Army trying to steal the children from the village I’d taken refuge in. We’re in a bit of a stand-off at the moment, but I’d really like it if you could call them off. Oh, and the other troops around the country as well.”

“The situation is contained?”

“More than contained. We blew them to hell and we have the proof.”

“Well done. Oh, you should know that Brigadier Bambera is on her way to relieve Colonel Oduya of his command. She’ll be the new commander of UNIT Great Britain.”

“That is good news, sir.” Jack quite liked Winifred Bambera, and had hated it when she’d retired to raise her twins, as she’d been one of the very few UNIT people who had treated him with respect and not as a possible threat needing to be taken down or an insect that needed to be pinned to some sort of board. It was great that she had agreed to come back into service, and she would be an excellent commander.

“Let me get on the horn and recall the troops. Oh and Jack…please try to stay out of trouble for a bit? You’re going to give me a heart attack.”

“Never, sir. You’re too stubborn to die.”

There was an inelegant snort in his ear, and then the click of the line being disconnected. Jack folded up the phone and returned his gaze to the UNIT major, who was busily in a conference with an Army lieutenant who didn’t seem to be convinced by what the UNIT man was saying.

Jack didn’t really care. He had one more call to make, and he wasn’t above gloating, not in this instance.

He dialled again, and this time the phone was answered by a professional-sounding woman who identified herself as Shelia.

“Prime Minister Green,” Jack requested, sounding just as professional.

“I’m sorry, but the Prime Minister is in a meeting and cannot be disturbed.”

In normal circumstances, Jack would have flirted with her. But this was hardly normal. “Listen, Shelia, you need to get him on the phone now. Tell him it’s Captain Harkness of Torchwood, and if he isn’t on the line within the next minute I’ll find a way to add this uncooperativeness to the list. He’ll know which list I’m talking about.” The list of charges, which was growing by the minute, but his PA didn’t need to know that.

The woman put him on hold. Jack hated the hold music used by the Prime Minister’s office, but this was a good cause. Not even the sleep-inducing song playing in his ear could detract from his good mood.

However, the sharp sound of a bullet could.

Before Jack could turn and bring his own gun up, a second shot was heard, this one coming from near him, just on the side of the road. He spun and saw Patrick standing, automatic in hand and aimed toward the convoy.

Jack glanced back at the troops, and saw one of the UNIT boys down on the ground, hand clamped to a shoulder. Blood was seeping through his fingers, while every other gun in the group was aimed in Patrick’s direction. His weapons expert didn’t look at all fazed by all that weaponry pointed at him.

“No one shoots at my girlfriend,” Patrick growled, the dark look on his face promising retribution.

Jack’s heart thundered in his chest. He spun on his heel toward where Alice had been undercover, and saw his daughter standing there, defiant in the face of all the weapons, her hands up in front of her in a warding gesture and her hair blowing in a breeze that didn’t exist anywhere else on the road. He realised at once that she’d figured out that everything was over, that the 456 were defeated, and he knew that she’d acted on instinct, going to Steven to make certain he was all right. He’d have to have a talk with her about it later, but for now he could relate to the feelings she was having, because once Jack was sure everything was said and done he was going to go to Ianto’s side and not leave the dragon for quite a while.

Instead, Jack turned back to Patrick. “And when did all this girlfriend stuff happen?” he demanded, one arm cradling the rifle and the other still holding the phone and trying to look forbidding.

Patrick grinned, not at all intimidated. “While you and Ianto were off gallivanting all over London.”

“It’s about time!” Jack couldn’t keep up the mock-anger and had to smile. He’d charted their relationship as they’d danced about each other, and honestly he was glad all that tip-toeing was over with. “And were you going to come and ask for permission to court our daughter?” Ianto was horribly old-fashioned about that sort of thing, and Jack hadn’t really cared until he discovered just how much the dragon enjoyed the manners involved.

There was a part of him that was trying to tell him off for talking about personal business in front of these soldiers, but Jack found himself not caring. It was most likely a symptom of the adrenaline rush that had cascaded through his body ever since the trucks had arrived, but it was also a slice of normal that he needed to grab onto with both hands and hold on tight.

“I actually told him he should talk to Tad,” Alice piped up. She walked toward Jack, doing a good job of ignoring the lethal weapons being flourished in her direction, even if he could just make out the tell-tale shaking in her hands.

Jack felt very proud of her, knowing she got that courage and determination from her mother. He might not agree with a lot of what Lucia did, but she’d certainly raised their daughter to stand up for what she believed in.

Once she made it to Jack’s side and was protected by Estelle’s magical shield, she turned toward Patrick, waggling her finger at him. “I could have handled it, you know. You didn’t have to act like some action hero protecting the love interest.”

“Hey!” Patrick exclaimed. “I respect that you’re a total badass, and I would never dream of denying your right to take down the bad guys, but I just thought my way was faster!”

“I’m glad you think so,” Alice said, her voice bland but her face giving away her pleased flush.

Jack was about to add something to the conversation – enjoying the incredulous looks they were getting from their trespassers – when the atrocious hold music stopped. “Haven’t you done enough damage, Harkness?” Green’s voice came from the phone.

“I’m not the one who decided to give into the demands of alien terrorists,” Jack retorted. “I’m also not the one who cut the one organisation out of the loop who could have fixed the situation in the very beginning!” He took a deep breath, trying to get his sudden anger under control. Green was being an ignorant prat, and he could deal with the man without letting his temper get the best of him. “Enough of that. I’m just calling to tell you that the 456 are gone. Torchwood took care of the problem. And, the moment I speak to Her Majesty – and you cannot block me from seeing her, don’t even think about it – you are going to be up on so many charges you’ll be lucky to see the light of day again. Now, call off whatever plan you think you’re implementing. I’ve talked to Brigadier Sir Alistair and he’s already arranged to put someone else in charge of UNIT, someone who’s gonna clean house as soon as she can. It’s over, Green.”

There was silence over the line. Jack could feel every eye on him, even those waiting back in the village proper. They were all waiting for what was going to happen next, even those not in the ‘know’ realising just how important this was.

It was as if the world had stopped breathing, awaiting the final outcome of events.

Then there was a sigh in Jack’s ear. “Thank you, Harkness,” was all that Green said before disconnecting the call.

**********

Ianto didn’t know what was going on down on the road. Even with his better than human eyesight, the dragon wasn’t sure what Jack was up to. His heart was racing; the pulse of his blood throbbing through his injured wing joint despite the good drugs Owen had pumped him full of when the medic had set the dislocation. He shifted uncomfortably, being careful not to communicate his distress to Steven, who was standing beside him, his hand on the dragon’s shoulder.

There was a gunshot, and Steven jumped. Ianto saw someone fall, and he thought it was one of the interlopers into his valley. The boy started forward, and Ianto tugged him back gently back into his side. “It’s fine,” he reassured Steven.

“But Mum!”

“Your grandfather and Patrick will look after her.”

“Hey, Dragon Boy…why aren’t you asleep? Do I need to up the meds?”

That time, Ianto jumped a bit. He’d been so enthralled with what was going on down below that Owen had managed to completely sneak up on him.   “No, no more medication,” he growled. “I’ve had enough, thank you very much. Do you have anything to report?”

Owen joined them, slipping in beside Steven. “Yep. Toshiko’s plan worked. The 456 have been blown to hell and beyond.”

“Steven had a funny reaction,” the dragon said, recalling his grandson’s episode earlier. “He froze for a couple of seconds.”

The medic nodded. “Yeah, probably feedback through the wavelength they used to control the kids. When we punched the signal through, it was the last straw for the telepathic network. It went blooey about two seconds before the 456’s ship followed suit. We have lovely proof of the explosion, although it happened just beyond the Moon. The glow was quite satisfying.”

Ianto finally allowed himself to relax. It was over. Those horrible five days were done. Things could go back to normal – well, as normal as Torchwood did.

“It seems almost…anticlimactic,” he mused.

Owen nodded. “Yeah, I get what you mean, although for Tosh and me it was nearly a ball-buster. We had no idea her program would even work, and I swear it was like waiting for the next shoe to drop.”

He could see Owen’s point. It had been them to have worked the hardest at the solution to their problem, and when they got back to Cardiff he was going to put commendations in their files.   “At least it’s over,” he murmured.

Ianto was tired, very tired, and he hurt like a bitch. But it was over, and he was relieved.

As his eyes tracked down to where the military trucks were, he smiled as the soldiers got back into their vehicles and began to drive out of the valley.

It was over. Time to clean up and go home.



Chapter Thirty-Two






Comments

YAY!

Yay for Tosh and Owen! They came through. 456 have been vanquished.
Brilliant work.
I think this will be my head canon from now on!
Thank you so much for writing and sharing this, :D
Loved the way you handled the destruction of the 456! Green and his colleagues have so many criminal charges they are going to face - he is going to regret not trusting Torchwood.
Yes!!!!!
Victory be Torchwood's
& everybody lived! ^_^

Thanks for such a phenomenal story!
I will be re-reading it for ages. :)

Oooh I can't wait for the 'clean up' on this one, especially with Brigadier Bambera in charge of UNIT.
[now,could you work a way to bring Ace in too? heh-heh hee ;) ]
Yay for Torchwood! They did it.
w007!!!! Do I sense an epilogue coming?
Hurray for Tosh and Owen!!!

I can breathe again!
Yippee, they got those creeps! :D

This is going to be an interesting clean-up, to say the least!
A wonderful finish to a wonderful story that satisfies greatly. :D Some folks are definitely going to have a few problems within UNIT but Jack & Company definitely showed what Torchwood could do and should have been allowed to do. Just sorry the other 11 kids didn't make it...
Woo Hoo! Yay Torchwood! Toshiko deserves the holiday of a lifetime I think after the effort she had just put in, maybe a nice early honeymoon? I love the way that Ianto is with Steven, he is such a good father figure and a wonderful grandtad. :)
What confusion on Saturday when I have not seen post.

I just take a deep breath! I am relieved, like them.
Finally, they managed without too much damage.
I would like to attend the interview with the Queen ...

Dialogue between Jack, Alice and Patrick: LOL
I imagine very well the head of the poor soldiers. They will not soon forget this meeting.
Oh thank god! And go Patrick - again! :-)

Look forward to the last chapter (even though I always wish your stories would never end)!