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Myfanwy 2

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Before the Fall - Chapter Three

Before the Fall - Chapter Three
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Rhys
Warnings: Language, Angst
Spoilers: Up through Series One, and Doctor Who S3 E11 and E12, "Utopia" and "The Sound of Drums"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.  I also don't own Doctor Who.
Author's note:  This is the story leading up to the Year That Never Was.  Dating is, as usual, taken from "Ianto's Desktop" and the TARDIS Index File. 


Summary:  Darkness is falling, and the Great Dragons have called the four Dragon-Friends back to Ddraig Llyn.   Ianto is in charge of a splintered team as he tries to figure out how to stop the end of the world.




5 June 2008

 

Ianto had been working non-stop for several hours before the cog door opened, heralding Owen’s arrival.

He’d gone through every piece of Rift data they had on file for the last several months, hoping to find evidence that something had come through the Rift.  He needed some clue to back up his guess that the Dragons had been intimating that some sort of alien invasion was about to occur.  When he’d exhausted what information Torchwood had, he used Toshiko’s backdoors into the servers at UNIT to see if anything had been recorded there. 

It really was the only explanation.  If it was something that humanity was about to do itself, then it would most likely have raised the ire of the Fae, especially if a possible Chosen One was involved.  The very fact that they were retreating to the Lost Lands meant this was something dire, and that it wouldn’t break any of the Pacts that were in place.  Something beyond this planet, though…that would have nothing to do with human-kind, yet would be bad enough to retreat.

As for the Great Dragons…a part of Ianto was glad that Toshiko and Kathy would be safe, but he had to wonder just what the Dragons could do to protect the valley from any sort of attack.  He was very much aware that their powers were greatly diminished; he’d heard stories in the past, of the Great Dragons being able to mold the forces of this planet to their wills, with the help of their Dragon-Friends.  Ianto doubted that they’d be able to do such again, and really doubted that they could, ever.  If that had been possible, then they would have found a way to save his people from genocide.

For hours, he pored over anything he could find, and in the end he had to accept defeat.  He could find nothing that would help head off any sort of invasion.  Whispering curses in several different languages, he leaned back in Jack’s chair, rubbing his neck in an attempt to get some of the stiffness out.  His eyes felt gritty from staring at the computer, and he blinked them tiredly. 

He looked up as the alarms went off, and saw that it was Owen.  Ianto got up, and headed out to meet him.

Owen got the first word in.  “You look like shit, Dragon Boy.  Did you sleep at all last night?”

Yes, Owen may be a prat, but he did care about his teammates.                                                       

“A little,” he admitted.  “But something’s come up.”

“Sounds ominous.”

“Very much so.  Gwen should be in shortly, and I’ll explain it all then.  In the meantime, I’d like you to check the drugs inventory, and see if there’s anything you need.  I want enough supplies in case of a siege.”

“We expecting something big then?”  Owen asked as he headed toward the autopsy bay. 

“Pretty big, if the indications are true.”  Ianto turned back toward the office.

“Oi!”  Owen’s shout spun him on his heel.  “Where’s Tosh?”

“That’s another thing we’ll talk about when Gwen gets here,” Ianto answered.  “Get that inventory done, yeah?”

Owen gave him a jaunty salute then disappeared into the bay.

Ianto found himself calling UNIT next, after making certain they wouldn’t have noticed his poking around their files.  He’d found himself on hold as they transferred him to Colonel Mace; Ianto respected the man, and hoped he might be able to convince him without giving too much away…

It ended up being a fruitless conversation.  While Mace had been polite, he’d also been dismissive; without any real proof, Ianto wasn’t going to get anywhere with UNIT.  He put the phone down a little harder than was strictly necessary, out of frustration.  He’d have to try the Home Office next; and that was something he wasn’t looking forward to.  Of all the people he liaised with, John Frobisher was the one he really didn’t care for, besides Harold Saxon.  It wasn’t that the man was offensive or anything; Ianto thought it was simply because he was a consummate politician, and if he was honest with himself he did hold Jack’s opinion that politicians were a necessary evil.   He was just able to hide it better.

The door opened again, this time ushering Gwen into the Hub.  He could put off calling Frobisher for the time being. 

He got up, and called out, “Owen!  Gwen!  We need a meeting in the boardroom in about five minutes.  And yes Owen…I’ll make the coffee!”

“Bloody well do!” came the answering shout.

Ianto did so, and while the routine usually soothed him, this morning it didn’t.  All he could think of was how much he missed Jack, and that how he wished his mate was there to lead them.  Ianto was afraid that this would be too much for his skills, but he didn’t have much of a choice.

Just as he was pouring the coffees, the office phone rang.

Hoping it was UNIT having second thoughts, Ianto left the kitchen, running up the steps to Jack’s office.  He grabbed the phone off the receiver, barking, “Jones,” even before the handset was to his mouth.

“Ah, Mr. Jones,” the somewhat smarmy tones of the new Prime Minister, Harold Saxon, greeted him.  “We’re up early this morning.  Just the way I like my public servants: bright-eyed and bushy tailed.”

Ianto found himself trying very hard not to grind his teeth, since it might be heard over the phone.   “The Cardiff Rift never sleeps, Sir.”

“Very true, Mr. Jones.  It’s good to see that our civil servants are so diligent.  But, to business!  I’ve just received a very interesting report about some very strange activity in the Himalayas that I thought would be right up your alley.”

Ianto felt his eyebrows raise in disbelief.  “The Himalayas are a bit out of our jurisdiction, Sir.  I think you might get better results through UNIT.”

“I would think Yetis would be something Torchwood would be intensely interested in, all that ‘phantasmagorical’ stuff in your charter.”  He sounded a bit put out that Ianto would even be questioning it.

“I respectfully disagree; Yetis are more in UNIT’s purview, since they’ve dealt with them several times in the past, usually in context with the Great Intelligence.  They have extensive files they can refer to.”

“I don’t want to ask UNIT,” Saxon said, petulantly.  “I want Torchwood to go.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I must decline,” Ianto said, keeping his tone polite.  “Torchwood’s remit is for the United Kingdom only; we have no jurisdiction outside the kingdom or its satellites.  The Himalayas are not within that remit.”

“I am hereby ordering Torchwood to go to this mission.” 

It was like dealing with a child who wasn’t getting his way.  “I’m sorry, Sir, but the British Government cannot order Torchwood to do anything.  We are above the government; only Her Majesty can order us anywhere.  You will need to take it up with her, if you wish us to take on this mission.  Otherwise, your only recourse is to contact UNIT.  Now, I do apologize, but there is a Rift alert and, as you are no doubt aware, we are currently short-handed.  Congratulations on your election, and good day.”  He hung up the phone, ignoring the spluttering noises coming from the handset, not caring that he’d just lied to get off the line.

Ianto sighed, leaning resting his arms on the blotter and then paid his head on his heads.   The headache that he’d been nursing since earlier that morning was now banging away, and the dragon desperately wanted to go back to bed.

“You okay?”

He sighed, raising his head to look at Owen, who was standing in the door, concern on his sharp features.  Ianto stood, tugging his waistcoat down.  “I’ll explain in a bit,” he said, “let’s get things started before the coffee gets cold.”

“Cold coffee is a crime,” Owen concurred.  He turned and left and Ianto followed, stopping off at the kitchen to fetch their mugs.

Owen had taken his seat by the time Ianto arrived.  Gwen was sitting in her chair, smiling when a mug was set in front of her.  “Thanks,” she murmured, taking a small sip.

At least she was thanking him now.

“Let’s get started,” Ianto said, settling into his own chair.  By tacit agreement, no one sat at the head of the table; that was Jack’s place.  “I was contacted last night by the Great Dragons.”

Owen spluttered into his coffee.  “Warn me before you’re gonna bust out stuff like that!”

Gwen was obviously confused.  “What are the Great Dragons?” she demanded.  “I thought you were the only one left!”

“I am,” Ianto answered.  “The Great Dragons are the spirits my people worship.  They brought us up out of barbarism and helped us to become a civilized people.  There are four of them: Air, Water, Fire, and Earth.”

“Is that why Tosh isn’t here?” Owen asked.  “And is that why you have me inventorying the medical supplies?”

“It is.”  He recounted what they’d said last night, about the coming darkness.  “The only thing I can come up with is some sort of alien invasion,” he concluded.  “It makes the most sense, given the very little information they actually volunteered.”

“I don’t get it,” Gwen said disbelievingly.  “Why are you even taking this seriously?  How do these Dragons even know what’s going to happen?”

“The Great Dragons aren’t bound by time,” Ianto tried to explain.  “They can usually see certain things, but the future has gone dark for them.  They’re like the Fae, in a way: where they can move back and forth through the past and future, but the Great Dragons’ own power has diminished over the centuries.   But, if the Fae are retreating – “

“Good riddance!” Gwen exclaimed.

“This means whatever is causing the darkness isn’t something of human making.  The only thing I can think of is alien invasion.”

“But what does this have to do with Tosh?” Gwen asked.  “Why isn’t she here?”

Ianto knew this explanation was way overdue, but he simply didn’t know how Gwen would react to things.  So far, she was doing fairly well, even though she really didn’t look as if she believed a word of it. 

“Tosh was Named a Friend of the Earth Dragon,” he said.   “Back when I was young, being a Dragon-Friend meant certain things, but once again the Great Dragons’ power has weakened considerably, and it might not mean the same anymore.”

“What was that?”  Owen asked, curiously.

“A Dragon-Friend could tap into the power of the Dragon that had Friended them,” he answered, glad that he’d spoke to Rhiannon and had gotten his facts straight.   He’d thought that the power had come from the Dragon-Friends themselves.  “Although, I haven’t seen any sign of that with Tosh.”

“You mean Tosh has been…influenced, by an alien presence?”  Gwen asked, sounding outraged.   She pinned a sharp gaze on Ianto.  “I thought she was your friend!”

Before Ianto could say anything, Owen had jumped in.  “It was Tosh’s decision,” he snapped.  “She’s proud of being a Dragon-Friend.  And she did it because she loves both Ianto and Jack, and would do anything for them.  So don’t you even think of belittling what she’s done, Gwen.”

“I’m not!” Gwen denied hotly.  “I’m just questioning the fact that people around her put so much faith in dragons and spirits of dragons, when they’re nothing but another alien race!  Isn’t it Torchwood’s responsibility to protect humans from that sort of thing?”

“Gwen,” Ianto put in, grateful for Owen’s support, “as I have often explained, dragons have been on this planet a lot longer than humanity; in fact, we evolved here first.  And what you’re even saying is beside the point.  We’ve received a warning that something is going to happen, and happen soon.  Toshiko was recalled by the Great Dragons, as well as the other Great Dragon-Friends, and whatever is coming they will have a part to play in it, just as we will.  We don’t know what’s coming, so we need to prepare.   Unfortunately, we’re on our own.”   He explained about UNIT fairly dismissing his concerns, which led Owen to call them something uncomplimentary.

“And UNIT is…?”  Gwen asked, looking confused.

Once again, Ianto was glad that Jack had changed his mind about making Gwen the Torchwood liaison.  “UNIT is in the same business: protecting the world from alien intervention.  However, they’re military, and often have a ‘five rounds rapid’ policy.  However, they’re very useful in a fight, and when the odds are way against us.  Which, if this is an invasion, they would be.”

“Wait,” Owen said, “weren’t specific protocols put into place after Canary Wharf?  Just cause UNIT didn’t believe Jack when he tried to tell them the ghost shifts were something dangerous?”

Ianto nodded.  “The Bambera Protocols, yes.  I tried to enact them, but Colonel Mace is being particularly obtuse.  My next step is the Home Office, but that means Frobisher, and I share Jack’s opinion on him, which is that I won’t get very far with him.”  He sighed in frustration.  “If only Sir Alistair hadn’t retired!  I also tried Winifred Bambera, but she’s unreachable…she and her husband are having their third child, and her adjutant flatly refused to put me through to her.”  It had been a high-risk pregnancy, so he honestly couldn’t blame the UNIT corporal who’d shut him out.

“What about Whitehall?” Gwen asked, sounding somewhat belligerent.  Ianto wondered if that was somehow her default setting.

“I was going to bring it up to the Prime Minister before he called this morning,” Ianto admitted.  “But he thought it would be a really good idea to try to order us to go to the Himalayas and chase Yetis.”

“Fucking hell,” Owen groaned.  “Please tell me we’re not going!”

“But it’s the Prime Minister!” Gwen argued.

“Torchwood isn’t under the orders of the British Government, “Ianto reminded them both.  “So no, we’re not going.   Besides, it’s more UNIT’s bailiwick than ours, which I kindly pointed out to Mr. Saxon.  He didn’t seem to appreciate it.”

“I bet he didn’t,” Owen chortled. 

“It’s disrespectful!” Gwen exclaimed.  “You can’t just turn the Prime Minister down like that!”

“Yes, I can,” Ianto countered.

“That’s probably why you had your head down when I came to get you,” the medic said.

“Talking to Harold Saxon usually does give me a headache,” the dragon admitted. “But this one’s been around since my rather interesting awakening this morning.”  He stood.  “All right, we need to get back to work.  Owen, you keep up with that inventory.  If it gets bad, we’re going to need all the medical supplies we can get.  There’s no idea how many casualties we might need to take care of.”   Owen nodded, getting to his feet. 

Ianto turned to Gwen.  “Gwen, I need you to run a supplies inventory; we need to know just what sort of food and materiel we have in the Hub.  If we need to take on survivors in the Hub, we’ll need to have enough to get by.”  Gwen also stood, although she didn’t look happy. 

The dragon didn’t care.

“I’m going to take care of weapons and technology,” he said.  “But I want everyone to keep an ear on the news and police bands.  I spoke to Kathy this morning before she and Toshiko left – “

“Kathy Swanson went with Tosh?” Gwen asked incredulously.

“Yes; Kathy is the Dragon-Friend of Fire,” he answered calmly.  “She contacted DCI Henderson, and he’s agreed to cooperate with us when it comes time.  If anything, Cardiff will be prepared as best it can be.”

They’d have to settle for that, for the time being.

**********

Ianto was down in the armory when Owen’s shouting into his comm. brought him running. 

“What is it?” the dragon hit the main Hub at a run, almost skidding to a stop next to Gwen; she and Owen were intent on one of Toshiko’s terminals, watching as Harold Saxon finished a speech and stepped down from a podium.

Owen looked furious, and Gwen was pale as milk.  “What happened?” Ianto demanded of his teammates. 

“Bloody hell,” Owen swore, reaching over to punch some keys on the board.  “I’m backing this up; you need to see it.”

The screen snowed out, and in seconds Owen had the video queued up.  Harold Saxon grinned out of the screen, looking just as smarmy as he sounded on the phone.

Owen started the speech.

“Britain, Britain, Britain,” the Prime Minister began, “What extraordinary times we’ve had.  Just a few years ago, the world was so small.  And then they came, out of the unknown, falling from the skies.  You’ve seen it happen – Big Ben destroyed, a spaceship over London, all those ghosts and metal men.”

Ianto shivered, he couldn’t help it.  Saxon was purposely playing on the fears of the people for his own purposes.

“The Christmas star that came to kill,” the man went on.  “Time and again, the government told you nothing.”

What did he hope to gain in raising the fear levels of innocent humans?

“Well, not me!  Not Harold Saxon!  Because my purpose here today is to tell you this – citizens of Great Britain…I have been contacted.  A message, for humanity…from beyond the stars.”  He signaled someone off camera.

When the sphere floated into view, Ianto knew this was it.

This was the invasion.

This was what the Great Dragons had warned about.

And they were called the Toclafane.



Comments

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I love how Ianto told Saxon to basically go jump off a short cliff. Gwen needs to shut the fuck up and do what she's told. FFS.

I love this series SFM!!!
Thanks! No way was he going to the Himalayas, at least not on Saxon's say-so.

Thanks hon! :)

Edited at 2011-11-09 09:32 pm (UTC)
Wow! Fantastic. I really love this so far. I will be eagerly awaiting updates. And I especially loved the ending. By the way, you really don't like Gwen, do you?
Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Well, it's not so much that I don't like Gwen...I just don't think she actually serves much purpose when the others have skills that fit on the team. Unless you count sheer pig-headedness as a skill. :)

OHHHHHHHH


There's our Gwen, wouldn't be Torchwood without....or it would but you had such DRAMA (and not RTD DRAMA)
Pretty much, yes. :)

Yep, gotta love her...or throw her under the bus.
This is exciting and already so very different - and more consistent - than canon. T-3 had no business in the Himalayas. I'm looking forward how a properly-led T3 will fare against the Master and the Toclofane. The canon team hadn't a chance with Gwen in charge. I can hardly wait for all that gorgeous Welshman to go head to head with the Master.
No, you're right...I don't think the team would have gone to the Himalayas, and honestly I think Saxon just told Jack that so he wouldn't go to Torchwood for help. *nods*

As for going head-to-head with the Master... *smiles innocently*
Oh God, I can just pictured Saxon's face. Evil. Pure evil, that Time Lord. *sporks him*
I know! You know darned well he didn't appreciate in being told 'no'. :)
Ohhh - Loved this. Ianto putting Saxon in his place was perfect, I could never understand what Torchwood would be doing in the Himalayas - it's out of their jurisdiction. Eagerly awaiting more.
Thanks! Glad you liked it. Oh, I don't even think they really went, honestly...I think Saxon just told Jack that so he wouldn't go to the team for help.

More up soon! :)
Gulp. I hate those things.

I loved Ianto's conversation with Saxon. Way to go, Ianto.
Quick comment. Great no Himalayas. I hope Ianto and TW and the dtagons can sort things.
Love love love Ianto telling Saxon to take a hike! I think that things are already a little bit better than in cannon. Tosh is safe and the rest of the team aren't on an icy mountain! Yay for the dragons!

I am really looking forward to what Ianto has to say when he finds out that Jack is a wanted man. It makes me want to snigger and giggle like a teenager!

I wonder... could dragon fire kill a toclafane? Or will Ianto simply squash them with his tail or even sit on them! WOuldn't that be a laugh!?

Always looking forward to the next chapter! :)
Thanks! There was no way Ianto was going to let Saxon get away with ordering them to the Himalayas. That just didn't make any sense to me.

Oh, that will be soon. He will not be a happy dragon at all.

Dragon fire is pretty hot. I think it would be quite uncomfortable for the Toclafane. We'll just have to see. *winks*

Next chapter soon. :)
*hugs you with crushing strenght*

So love this!!!!Ianto rocks, telling Saxon off.
Gwen is still a pain, but she could have her uses (if they need canon fodder??)
So, now I am back to biting nails until the next chapter is up.
Oof! Can't breathe... *grins*

There was no way Ianto was taking his team there. Nope, not on Saxon's say-so. And yes, Gwen does have her uses, as we'll see.

Next chapter up soon, so please be easy on the nails. :)
Love Ianto putting Saxon in his place. Unfortunately, I can see that making him a target in the coming troubles. And Gwen.... Dear little Gwen...
One thing that really irked me was that she supposedly led the team while Jack was gone, and yet "Reset" rolls around, halfway through series 2, and she doesn't know what UNIT is? WTF???
*shakes head*

Part of me hopes you'll kill her off early in the invasion, but another part wants her to be around to see how utterly wrong she is in her opinions about, well, everything.
Thanks! There was no way Ianto was taking his team there on Saxon's word. It never made sense to me that they would go, and I do think Saxon just told Jack that to keep him from going to the team for help.

Well, Ianto is going to be a target anyway it goes. *winks*

Oh yes, the UNIT thing...well, I thought it best to just it out of the way this early. Gwen really should have known by "Reset" even if she hadn't led the team...which I think it's obvious that it was Owen doing the actual leading.

Gwen does have her uses. We'll have to see if she makes it through to the end. :)
Yes, Ianto is exactly right, TW answers to "The Throne", not to the politicians. And UNIT is rather neatly sewn up in Saxon's pocket. If Ianto had been human the satellite would have been able to brainwash him into obeying. That's why the headache; the satellite is trying to crack into Ianto's dragon brain.

And Gwen. Sigh. Hopefully she will see sense when the Toclafane start slaughtering people in front of her eyes. But then she will probably want to run off and save Rhys.

Meanwhile the Dragon friends are setting up a haven in the valley. That will be the one place on Earth where the Toclafane can`t go.
XOXOXOXO
Ianto wasn't about to do anything on Saxon's word alone. I never understood the whole Himalayas thing really, and I just think Saxon told Jack that to keep him from going to the team for help.

Gwen has her uses. We'll see.

yes, the valley will be a safe place. And we'll also see how that plays into things later on. :)
Totally awesome...I find myself getting closer and closer to the screen until my nose is practically on the keyboard, such is the power of your writing...

Adore this verse...
Love D xxx
Thanks, hon! Glad you liked it, but please don't hurt yourself on the keyboard, okay? :)
Oh I loved it, I loved it. I loved Ianto, I loved his conversation with Saxon. I loved everything.
Thanks you! Glad you liked it, hon. I did have fun writing Ianto smacking down Saxon. :)
Ianto sends walk Saxon :-))!
beautiful!
I would have liked to see his head.
But I fear his revenge. Especially since there are Toclafane.
Gwen is always spirited challenge ...
I did have fun writing that. *grins*

Yeah, don't think Saxon is going to let it slide, I'm afraid.

Thanks! :)
Go! Ianto! Great chapter. I love how you made Ianto tell Saxon to talk a long walk off a short cliff
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