Episode Title: After The Battle of Canary Wharf
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will, Torchwood or the characters within.
Notes: A series of interconnected episodes starting from Canary Wharf and leading into Season 1and probably beyond.
Update: Am reposting this series here and removing it from my LJ...
Summary: Torchwood One held many secrets and after the Battle of Canary Wharf, Captain Jack Harkness discovers one of them - Ianto Jones.
After The Battle
Captain Jack Harkness stepped over another body and his scowl grew deeper. Six bodies he had passed and only two had been human. His disgust for Torchwood One increased with every step he took through the dark corridors. Their arrogance and carelessness had nearly brought about the end of the world and Jack Harkness had strong views on stupidity of that magnitude. It was almost unfortunate that there was no-one left that he could take his anger out on.
He swung his torch in a wide arc and made his way further through the lower levels of Canada One Square - also known as Canary One Tower and - up until six hours ago - the previously impregnable Torchwood One. Impregnable until they’d managed to give two of the Universe’s most deadly aliens access to this world. Not that they’d known that when they’d started experimenting and playing with things far beyond their understanding. And they hadn’t listened to any warnings or cautions. Just barreled on ahead towards devastation and near extinction. Sometimes Jack wondered how humans had managed to survive this century let alone prepare for the future he knew lay ahead.
Earth could’ve been thrown back to the Dark Ages and beyond if it hadn’t been for the Doctor’s intervention Jack knew. Against daleks and cybermen the regression of society would have been inevitable. Survivors were the exception rather than the rule when either of those aliens were involved, and Earth had been extremely lucky that they had been intent on destroying each other first.
“Jack, we’ve found survivors on the fifteenth floor.” The cockney voice crackled through his ear piece and Jack stopped walking.
“Two. They’re in deep shock but seem okay otherwise.” There was a pause and the sound of muted voices. “Gonna send ‘em to the triage tent out front.”
“Alright Owen. How many does that make?”
“Nine so far.”
“Out of over eight hundred,” Jack sighed. It could have been a lot worse. The Canary Wharf development held over forty thousand workers. If the damage had not been confined to the Tower the death toll would have been horrendous. As it was no-one had yet given any thought to the many civilian deaths that had occurred when the cyberman had fully materialized around the world.
“Not odds I’d be betting on,” Owen replied and the hint of sarcasm made Jack grin. “And on a lighter note, sixteen more conversion units were found here too. UNIT want to keep one, I told ‘em to fuck off. Colonel moron wants to speak to you about it. And my behaviour too probably.”
“Colonel moron?” Jack questioned. “Which one is that?”
“Moore. The fat one.”
“I’ll speak to him when I’m finished down here. If he tries anything call me straight away.”
“Sure. How much longer will you be?”
“I’m at Sub Five now.”
“Christ, did they get down that far?”
“Yes.” Jack looked around the darkened corridor. “I’m guessing most were herded upstairs and I’m just finding the ones who fought back.” Jack didn’t need to elaborate. Both men had seen the same on every floor.
“Do you want me to send the corpse collectors down?” Owen asked referring to the group of soldiers who had been given the task of gathering the bodies.
“Not yet. Let me finish clearing the level. They’ve got more than enough to keep them busy up there.”
“Yeah, they’re trying to get more people to help. UNIT’s called in another couple of squads.”
“Contact Suzie and get her to ring Knealy at the Palace and Thompson at Downing Street. Tell them we’re keeping them informed and in the loop and if UNIT oversteps the boundaries we’ve set then I want their backup when I lose my temper with UNIT.”
“Right.” Jack could almost hear Owen smirk. “Because that’s something you never do.” Jack laughed. They both knew it happened far too often some weeks.
“I’m going to keep on going. Call if you need me.”
Jack tapped his earpiece to disconnect the call and took a breath. He was glad he’d brought Owen along with him, not that he’d ever tell the man that. Owen Harper was a walking sarcastic pain in the ass but he was a damned good doctor and Jack trusted him to more than hold his own against the UNIT soldiers above. With Owen in control upstairs and Suzie’s backup from their base in Cardiff Jack was free to search through the sub levels without interference.
There were too many secrets down here and Jack had no intention of sharing them. Technology considered too important or too dangerous to be readily accessible had been stored down here. One of the sub levels was no more than a large laboratory fitted out with equipment not of Earthly origins. The next two levels consisted of Archives. Rows and rows of boxes and cabinets filled with files and catalogued items. This lowest level held the deepest secrets.
“If it’s alien, it’s ours,” Jack muttered as he started walking again. Torchwood One’s underlying policy. Take it and use it. And not just technology. Jack paused as he came across another body. Not human but alien. Torchwood had caught and imprisoned any they found. Kept them sequestered down here. Experimenting and testing, allowing them no escape and no rescue.
Jack had often argued with Yvonne, demanding access, and always been refused. Yvonne had denied their very existence. Yvonne Hartman, Director of Torchwood One and possibly the most stubborn bitch Jack had ever met. Arrogance and self-righteousness had been her attack and defense and he had never been able to get past that. Her body had not been found yet and much as he hated her, the thought she might have been converted was something he wouldn’t wish on his most hated enemy.
Jack sighed as he looked at the body. He’d have to find some way of disposing of it and the others he’d seen before UNIT came down here. He did not want it to end up on a UNIT examination table. UNIT might not have an aggressive policy regarding aliens like Yvonne had had but Jack knew they wouldn’t hesitate if given an opportunity.
Jack moved forward again, torch swinging from side to side. All the power had been cut to the Tower and he doubted the lights would be coming on any time soon. From what he had seen upstairs the cybermen had routed the power and backup generators to their conversion units and it was going to take hours to re-route it back. Jack wondered briefly what would happen to the Tower itself and decided that as long as Torchwood One was never resurrected and everything removed from the building then it could crumble for all he cared.
He turned the next corner and found another empty corridor. Several doors stood open and he knew they would lead into small cells all empty now their occupants no longer lived. Jack wasn’t surprised that the aliens had put up more of a fight against the cybermen than the humans had. Cybermen were one of the monsters in the closet that parents warned their children about on nearly every planet Jack could name.
Jack paused, his head tilting to one side as his ears caught the faintest whisper of sound. He held his breath as he played the torch slowly along the walls. Just as he was about to draw breath he heard it again. A soft noise of something shifting. Jack’s eyes narrowed and he trod carefully as he moved down the corridor. Stealth was out of the question. The light from his torch had obviously been seen, but Jack had no wish to walk into a possible ambush. He kept his pace steady, walking down the middle of the corridor as he approached the first door. He angled himself slightly, a hand at his side to release the Webley from its holster. With its comforting weight against his palm and the torch held still, he smoothly swiveled through the open door and into the room.
Gun and torch swept the room and found it empty. Jack moved through the small cell searching through the disturbed bedding and basic amenities. Still nothing and he moved back into the corridor making his way to the next room.
At first he thought this room to be as empty as the first. Until the light flashed over the huddled form caught between the bed and cupboard. Eyes squinted and blinked rapidly before a shaky hand lifted to cover them from the light.
“Sorry,” Jack said without thought as he moved the torch and it shone upwards to the ceiling diffusing the light between them.
“Thank you,” a hoarse voice replied and Jack’s eye brow rose. He hadn’t expected a reply and certainly not one in English and with an accent that he recognized.
“You sound Welsh.”
“That would be because I am Welsh.” The quick response had Jack grinning.
“Gotta love the Welsh. All those vowels,” Jack quipped. He studied the face barely visible above a dark covering, probably a blanket. Male, young with dark hair. Streaks of what might have been blood ran down the left side of his face and even in the reflected light of the torch Jack could see shadows under his eyes. “I’m Captain Jack Harkness, who are you?”
“Of Torchwood Three?” The man moved and Jack recognised the shifting whisper he had heard earlier. The blanketed man settled deeper into his niche.
“You’ve heard of me?” Jack lowered his weapon and stared at the young man.
“Who hasn’t?” Another quick response and Jack felt his curiousity increasing. He hunkered down and faced the man with a serious look.
“Who are you?”
“Jones, Ianto Jones.” There was a hesitancy to the words as if he expected Jack to recognize them. Jack’s mind was blank. He’d never heard the name before.
“And why are you hiding down here Jones, Ianto Jones?”
There was a pause and Ianto Jones shifted before he replied in a careful manner, “I live here.”
Jack blinked. “You live here?” Several questions came to mind immediately as he stared at the young man. He’d never heard of anyone human living in the sub levels and Ianto Jones certainly looked human. Which caused his questions to multiply rapidly, and one thought overrode everything. Torchwood One was no more and Jack wasn’t about to let anyone live in the ruins whether they were human or alien. “Not anymore you don’t.”
Ianto Jones started at Jack’s blunt statement. His face paled alarmingly, noticeable even in the dim light and his mouth opened but nothing came out. His eyes were wide and he appeared frozen in place. Jack reached over and placed a hand on the young man’s shoulder ready to assure him that he’d be looked after. Jack froze, the words unspoken as his hand touched something unexpected.
“What…?” Jack swallowed and focused his eyes and torch on what he had assumed to be a blanket. Not a blanket but feathers. Smooth feathers of dark brown with pale tips. Jack kept his touch light as he stroked downwards. The feathers were soft under his fingers and he inched closer. He ran his fingers gently between several feathers and found warm skin that felt thin and delicate.
“Do you mind?” Ianto Jones sounded highly offended and he tried to move away but with little success. He was firmly wedged in his little niche which left him with two choices. Going forwards was out of the question with the Captain hunched right in front of him or standing up. He chose the second option and staggered unsteadily to his feet leaning heavily against the wall behind him.
Jack rose with him and the changed position gave Jack a better view of Ianto Jones. Wings. The young man had wings that he was pulling away from Jack’s questing fingers. Jack wanted to reach out again but didn’t. The young man was still very pale and visibly shaky. Upright he was nearly the same height as Jack but of a more slender build. He was clad in jeans and had a half-unbuttoned shirt over a t-shirt. Torchlight was not the best for determining colours and Jack really wasn’t that interested. It was the wings he stared at. Not that he could see them properly anymore. Ianto had folded them behind himself. Just like a bird Jack thought.
“I apologise. It’s been a while since I saw such a fine pair,” and Jack paused for the innuendo to be noticed and grinned as he continued “of wings”. He was rewarded with an eye-roll and the pale face flared with sudden colour.
“I bet it has,” Ianto mumbled and Jack grinned again.
“So… are they natural or what?” Jack put an audible leer into his voice and Ianto stared at him, disbelief writ all over his face as his blush faded. He shook his head and had to try twice before he could speak.
“It… There was an incident.” Ianto swallowed. “I ended up with them.”
“Shame. You’d fit right in on Galdos IV. ” Jack let the flirty overtones drop as Ianto showed no signs of relaxing. “So how did you just happen to end up with a pair of wings, Ianto Jones?”
“I would have thought you’d have heard about it, Captain.” There was a nervousness in Ianto’s reply that Jack didn’t like.
“No. Yvonne wasn’t the sharing type. I however, am more open. More open to most things really,” Jack replied and he saw Ianto stare at him as if debating whether or not to trust him. Jack didn't blame him. Trust had probably been very thin on the ground in Torchwood One.
“It was a retrieval.” Ianto spoke suddenly and without much confidence. “Just a black box in the middle of Hampstead Heath…”
“Hampstead Heath?” Jack interrupted in surprise.
“Near Kenwood House to be exact,” Ianto told him. “We found it in the middle of the woods. They say it was probably damaged and that’s why… that’s why we were changed.”
“You weren’t the only one?” Jack queried with a frown. “Why haven’t I heard about this? How many were affected?”
“The whole team. Five of us.” Ianto gave a one-sided shrug and Jack heard the feathers rustle. "It was kept very quiet. Very few people knew what had happened."
“And you all got wings?” Jack fluctuated between anger and curiousity. Anger at not having known about this. As Head of Torchwood Three he should have been notified of this. And curious because he had never heard of anything like it before.
“No, only two of us got wings. The others… the others were different.” Ianto rubbed his hands together in a quick nervous gesture. “The box was a DNA splicer. If they ever found out where it came from, they never told us. It mixed our genes with genes taken from around us. Will and Terry were part fox, Mark part badger. Karen and I got the wings. Apparently she’d been spliced with a bat.”
“What happened to them?” Jack asked gently already fearing he knew the answer.
“Mark’s change went wrong. He was in a lot of pain and he had a stroke three weeks later. Will died on the operating table. Terry went insane and attacked a guard, he was shot. Karen committed suicide.”
“And why are you still alive Ianto Jones?”
“Mam always said I was stubborn.” Ianto shrugged and tried hard to sound casual but Jack knew it hadn’t been anywhere near easy and Ianto probably had no idea how he’d managed to stay both sane and alive. Sometimes survivors just survived.
“When did this happen?”
“Two years ago.”
Jack was flabbergasted. He couldn’t believe something like this had been kept hidden for so long. Torchwood was a secret agency, it was well-versed in keeping secrets but like all top secret organizations it had a very active internal rumour mill. Jack never sought out the rumours but enough trickled from One to Three to keep him up-to-date, but there hadn’t even been a whisper of this. A DNA splicer? People becoming part-animal? Jack wondered how deep the change went. He looked at Ianto. The young man had probably been the subject of every possible experiment and test to answer that question.
“I’d like to know more but we really have to go now.”
“I can’t.” Ianto shook his head. “I’m not allowed to leave the sub levels.”
“Ianto, the cybermen and daleks have slaughtered just about everyone in the building. There’s no-one to stop you and there’s no way I’m leaving you down here.”
“I…I can’t…” Ianto slipped back down to the floor and Jack let his breath out before kneeling in front of Ianto. The young man's self-control was obviously paper-thin and the day wasn't getting any shorter or easier.
“You can. You have to. You can’t stay here. Where’s that stubbornness you mentioned?” Jack kept his voice even and gentle, trying not to spook the young man. He was not prepared for Ianto to extend his left arm and pull the sleeve back. A flat strap was wrapped around his wrist and Jack stiffened as he recognized it. A restraining band similar to those used on criminals under house arrest, but this one was definitely not man-made.
“This keeps me in the sub-levels.”
“And shocks the hell out of you when you try. Tracker too and physical monitoring.”
“Yes,” Ianto whispered and Jack heard the shame in it.
“Not your fault. Just one more to add to the slate. God, I hate One.” Jack studied the band for a moment and then flipped the cover on his own wrist strap. Several buttons were pressed and there was a small beep. “There, that’s all fixed. I can’t actually remove the strap itself right now. We’d need a laser saw for that but at least you can move around and no-one can track you either.”
“..and my wings?” Ianto asked nervously after he had examined his now deactivated restraint.
Jack pursed his lips. Ianto was right to be nervous. UNIT and all sorts of people would be very interested in young Mr Jones if he suddenly appeared amongst them.
“We’ll hide them and get you some place safe.” Jack grinned. “How would you feel about coming to work with me at Cardiff?”
Ianto stared at him, eyes very wide and slack-mouthed. “Just like that?” he asked disbelievingly.
“Pretty much,” Jack said with supreme confidence.
“Nah, just irresistable.” Jack grinned. “Come on, let’s get you out of here,” and Jack held out his hand. Ianto stared at the hand for the longest moment before he placed his trembling hand in it.
“Alright,” and Ianto Jones found himself on the receiving end of an approving smile as Jack pulled him upwards.
To After The Battle - Part 2