By DJ Forrest
Created by Russell T Davies
Original Broadcast: 9 Jul, 2009
It’s 1965, Scotland, and Captain Jack Harkness thunders along the dark moor road towards Vanessa and a troop of soldiers. Jumping out of the vehicle to meet her, Vanessa relays the information relating to the 456. Jack asks of their name but all Vanessa was able to pick up was their wavelength combination designated 456.
‘According to our alien friends, in four months’ time, the virus will mutate. It’s a brand new strain of Indonesian Flu. They claim it could kill up to twenty-five million people. All our research seems to back up their figures. In 1918, the Spanish Flu outbreak killed something like five percent of the human race.’
‘I know.’ Replies Jack. ‘I was there.’ Vanessa doesn’t flinch, not even for a second.
‘Well this time we’re being offered a cure. They’ll send the antivirus in exchange.’
‘How many children do they want?’ Jack asks resignedly.
‘Twelve. It's like a sacrifice to the ancient gods. Twelve virgins.’
‘Just twelve? It sounds like a good deal, what do they want them for?’
‘They say they'll live forever.’
‘Yeah, sure. Why do you need me?’
‘Well, assuming twelve children can be found, then we need someone to deliver them.’
’What, in case the aliens are hostile, you need someone who can't die?’
‘Actually, we need someone who doesn't care.’
In present day, Jack explains to a shocked team and Clem McDonald. ‘1965, I gave them twelve children.’
‘You just handed them over and hoped for the best?’
Clement McDonald remembers a different story to how Jack recalls it. He remembers Captain Jack Harkness referring himself as Uncle Jack, driving his twelve friends in a bus to the destination on the black moors to meet the 456. He remembers Jack encouraging them all to walk towards the light, and Jack ensuring young Clem that it was safe. As the lights dipped out, and his eleven friends were taken by the alien, Clem ran for his life across the moors, afraid of the world that had betrayed him. As Jack looked back at the soldiers and called out if everything was ok. Vanessa relayed the information back to him. The 456 had been good to their word. They now had the antivirus.
‘Good night’s work.’ Jack replied bitterly. Vanessa considered that perhaps the gods had been kind, and that the children were in paradise. But Jack, knew there was no such thing.
‘You are in every nightmare I’ve ever had.’ Clem tells him emotionally.
‘I’m sorry.’ Jack offers, stepping forward. ‘I’m really sorry. I…’ But he says no more, as Clem snatches Gwen’s gun and shoots Jack, dead.
Terrified of his own actions, and of the actions of the rest of the team, Clem waves the gun around, afraid to give it up.
‘Stay away.’ He says, waving the gun around. ‘You’re on his side.’ He protests as Gwen encourages him to give up the weapon. ‘And he’s on their side. You’re all involved.’
‘Gwen, let him go. He’s dangerous, man.’ Rhys replies, concerned for his wife.
‘I’m not dangerous.’ Clem defends himself, while still holding the gun. Gwen talks him down. ‘But that’s a lie, isn’t it? Isn’t it? We both know I, I killed a man. I am dangerous.’ He says glancing back at Jack now cradled by Ianto.
‘Can I take that?’ Gwen asks encouragingly to Clem, who has lowered the weapon. Carefully she takes her gun back, and holds it out for Rhys, who takes it.
‘But it wasn’t my fault. There is something up there. They do want children. That man held my hand and took me to them.’
Suddenly, without warning, Jack gasps back into life. Clem can’t take it all in. The man he shot is suddenly alive. He runs away into the depths of the warehouse. Gwen follows after him. Hitting his head against an upturned table, Gwen encourages him back into the group.
In the Hub 2, Ianto can’t believe that Jack had never mentioned his involvement with the 456 before. Returning with Gwen, Clem realises how ironic it is that the man who sent him and his friends to die, couldn’t die himself.
At Ashton Down Cell Block, Steven and his Mum Alice are taken to the cells. Johnson is surprised to learn that Steven has no idea that Jack is his grandfather, and not his Uncle. Alice, who has no intentions of making small talk stops outside of the cell to give Johnson a warning.
‘I can only assume that you’re holding me here as insurance against my father. But let me warn you, if you’ve angered him, then God help you.’
‘This from the woman who’s spent her life running away from him.’ Johnson replies.
‘And why do you think I did that? A man who can’t die has got nothing to fear. So you watch it, and you keep watching.’
Johnson closes the cell door after Alice enters.
In the warehouse, Gwen questions Jack about the 1965 hand over.
‘It was a protection racket. You must have known they'd be back.’ Gwen says.
‘I knew it was a possibility.’ Jack replies.
‘But you still gave them the payoff?’
‘We had no choice.’
‘Why us?’ Clem asks.
‘You wouldn't be missed.’ Jack replies, truthfully.
‘I can see that.’
‘All this time, the one consolation I had was, the deal seemed to work.’
‘It worked for forty-four years. That's not a bad breathing space.’ Rhys weighs it up.
‘Why was I left behind? What's wrong with me?’
‘We know they only want pre-pubescent kids. Maybe it's got something to do with that. Maybe you were just on the cusp of puberty. Not quite adult, not quite child.’
‘Saved by your hormones.’ Rhys smiles.
‘Everyone follow us please, thank you.’ All eyes turned towards the computer, voices on the screen were bringing the officials back into the Contact room.
‘Is this still recording, Ianto? I need every second of this.’ Gwen asks Ianto, who replies.
Lois edges her way around the room in order to see Frobisher and pick up his speech for the team back at the Hub2. Bridget is becoming suspicious of her.
Frobisher addresses the 456.
‘Hello again. Before we consider your request, I've been asked for a point of clarification. Before we even discuss your, your request, we need to know exactly what it is you intend to do with the children.’
‘Somebody is watching. Some remnant.’
Back at the warehouse, Clem is convinced that the alien creature knows exactly where he is. Gwen convinces him that it’s the camera in the room. Frobisher also convinces the 456 of the camera and who else is watching and needs to know what will happen to the children when they’re handed over. The 456 invite Frobisher into their gas chamber with the camera, so long as everything is kept off the record. Agreeing, Frobisher sends in a soldier, completely suited up, with a roving camera to view the creature and the ‘off the record’ evidence.
Dekker oversees the procedure as the soldier is helped into the hazmat suit. Bridget wishes him good luck as he enters the chamber on Floor 13.
Watching from the screen, showing the soldier’s life signs, heartbeat and full body health, they view what the soldier sees in the gas smog. The giant shape of the 456 with its 3 heads looms over the soldier. Green gloop trails down over the large heads of the creature as the soldier takes in the size of it. His heartrate quickens. Dekker notices now, there are three life signs in the tank. He instructs the soldier to get closer. As all view the screen, they’re horrified to discover…
‘No, no, no, no, no, no!’ Clem wails.
In the Cabinet room, Pierce is horrified. ‘Is that a child? Where'd it get him from?’
Green squirms in his seat.
In the warehouse, the team stare in horror.
‘He’s one of the kids from 1965.’ Gwen exclaims.
‘He’s still just a child.’ Jack says.
‘Do you think he knows? Is he conscious?’ Rhys can’t take his eyes off the screen. Suddenly viewing is blurred.
‘What’s happening?’ Clem asks.
‘It’s Lois.’ Gwen replies. ‘She’s crying.’
‘What have you done to him?’ Frobisher demands to know. The 456 becomes agitated and splatters the walls of the chamber with green goo. With the soldier still inside, Frobisher demands his release from the tank. The soldier can’t get out quick enough, nor out of his suit fast enough. The images still horrifying.
Meanwhile, the 456, in the voice of John Frobisher, replays his words from the previous meeting, about diplomatic relations, and previous encounters kept off the record.
‘What’s it saying?’ Green asks from the Cabinet room. Pierce is equally as curious, especially with regards to what might be ‘off the record’.
The 456 continue to mimic Frobisher’s voice regarding his previous requests to them.
‘This is unacceptable.’ Frobisher says to the alien creature.
‘We do not harm the children. They feel no pain.’
Ianto relays the message that Lois writes in short hand from the 456. But to Jack it’s not enough.
‘What does it do with them? What does it want them for?’
‘Bit late to ask now.’ Rhys replies.
Ianto translates the shorthand. ‘We have answered your question. You have one day to select and deliver your ten percent.’
‘And if we refuse?’ Frobisher asks.
‘We will wipe out your entire species.’
Back with COBRA, Pierce is extremely irritated that the UK have had dealings with this creature before. Green defends that he was only a child before, but it doesn’t save him, as Pierce points out the decision earlier that week to keep previous negotiations a secret.
‘It could be said, that perhaps it was convenient, for the moment, until further consideration.’
Pierce demands that the Prime Minister release all files on 1965 immediately, and that the United Nations would decide what measures they would take against him.
Ianto would only ever have scratched the surface of Jack’s considerable long life. Yet still he persists to know more about him, about the life he prefers to keep locked away.
‘I tell you everything.’
‘Yeah? So, tell me, what should I have done?’ Jack asks suddenly facing Ianto.
‘Stood up to them. The Jack I know would've stood up to them.’
Jack steps away, making for the door. Ianto calls him back.
‘You're doing it again. Speak to me, Jack. Where are you going?’
‘To call Frobisher. I can't make the call from here, because they'll be able to trace it. Is that okay?’
‘You're the boss.’
‘And just so you know, I have a daughter called Alice and a grandson called Steven, and Frobisher took them hostage yesterday.’
Sitting outside of the Contact Room, Frobisher, Bridget and Lois sit, sleepily. It’s been a long few hours.
‘You two should get a couple of hours sleep while you can.’ Frobisher suggests to the two women.
‘So should you.’ Bridget offers as Frobisher’s phone rings.
‘It’s Harkness.’ Frobisher realises. He instructs both women as he gets to his feet. ‘Ring Ashton Down. See if you can get a trace on it.’ To Lois. ‘Strong coffee, loads of.’ He takes the call walking away. ‘Hello?’
‘Have you thought about what I said?’ Jack asks from outside of the warehouse.
‘Bit busy to be honest.’ Frobisher stalls for time.
‘Let me put this right. Release my family and we can work together.’ Jack offers.
‘Give yourself up and they won’t be harmed.’
‘I wish I could believe that.’
Ashton Down work on the trace.
‘You can.’ Frobisher tries to convince him.
‘You’ve spoken to the 456, haven’t you? They want more children.’
‘What makes you think that?’ Frobisher asks. Bridget responds as Ashton Down begin closing in on the location.
‘It doesn’t take a genius. And with them going so public this time, I think they want a lot more. Millions even. If I have to stop you, then I’ll tell the world what’s really going on. There’s too much at stake not to.’ Jack hangs up. Ashton Down fail to get a trace.
‘I’ll try the Echelon satellite data.’ The operative at Ashton Down tells Frobisher.
‘He'll be gone by then.’ Frobisher replies, bitterly. As Bridget suggests he get his head down on the couch for an hour, Lois returns without coffees but with a message:
‘The Prime Minister wants to see you.’
At Downing Street, Bridget instructs Lois to her role brusquely.
‘Take notes. Facilitate. Generally, make sure it all runs smoothly. The most important thing is to blend into the background. No one should know you’re there.’
Jack returns to the warehouse as all systems are go in Downing Street. From the contact lenses worn by Lois Habiba, Gwen reads the sign on the door Frobisher and team are entering.
‘Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. COBRA. Where all the emergency planning takes place.’
‘Gold Command meeting’s about to start.’ Ianto calls out.
‘They’ll sell us out, just like they did last time.’ Clem mutters, still afraid.
‘I’m sorry to hear about your family by the way.’ Gwen says sympathetically as Jack nears the computer. ‘We’ll get them out.’
‘I know we will.’ Jack replies, quietly.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been decided, we’re going to make the 456 an offer.’ Green begins as everyone takes their places. ‘A realistic number, something we can manage, and then we see what happens.’
‘You mean we’re going to haggle.’ Quips Riley. ‘What about the military option?’
‘There's nothing to take action against. Evidently, the 456 must have some sort of base of operations in orbit, but our satellites are showing nothing. Whatever's up there, it's beyond our technology.’ Replies the Defence secretary.
‘There's a target sat in Thames House.’ She returns.
‘Taking that out would be a declaration of war.’
‘A war we can't win.’ Says Yates, the Deputy Prime Minister.
‘That's why I've invited John to address Gold Command. In terms of managing the figures, what could we offer and get away with?’ Green continues. ‘We need to know how many units would be available by tomorrow morning.’
In the Warehouse, Clem and Gwen can’t believe it’s going to happen again. At COBRA, Riley hopes it’s not just going to be Britain making the sacrifices.
‘The idea is that every country makes a camouflageable contribution.'
Frobisher turns around to speak with Bridget, and requests the FAS file. In the warehouse it’s picked up as something completely different.
‘SAS? Oh, now you’re talking.’ Says Rhys, excitedly.
In order to pick up Frobisher’s speech for the team at Hub 2, Lois moves to pick up a coffee cup, noted by Bridget. Frobisher opens the FAS file.
‘Right, well, er…for a start, there are twenty children in Oakington right now. Twenty-one units. Unaccompanied asylum seekers awaiting deportation.’ He reads.
‘FAS.’ Gwen corrects him. ‘Failed Asylum Seekers. Orphans in ’65, asylum seekers today. There’s progress for you.’
‘And no one would miss them. We need more. Can you bump the numbers up to sixty?’ Asks Yates.
’I think so. We could have them all in Oakington by first thing tomorrow.’
‘Thank you, John.’ Replies the Prime Minister. ‘Now go back to Thames House and consult with the 456. Make them an offer of sixty units and no more.’ John looks horrified.
Heading back to the Contact Room at Thames House, Frobisher calls home. Anna picks up the call.
‘It’s me.’ He says.
‘Well, how did it go?’
‘All you need to know is there’s nothing to worry about. I’m sorry, I can’t explain, but trust me. Don’t worry.’ He replies diplomatically.
‘Well, have you slept yet?’ she asks domestically.
‘Are you on your way home?’
‘No time for that sweetheart. I’m afraid it’s a matter of utmost national security.’ He replies.
‘Are you safe?’
‘Of course I am. You know me, I’m just pushing papers around. They just need me to make sure all documentation’s in place. Did the bodyguards turn up?’ Anna glances out of the window.
‘Yeah, they’re outside.’
‘Good. Good. I just wanted to say, I love you, and I love the girls.’
Tears fill her eyes. ‘When will you be home?’
‘Soon. Look, I’ve got to go. I love you.’ He hangs up.
‘I love you too.’ She replies to an empty phone and cries.
In the Contact Room, Frobisher returns with a revised decision of the alien creatures demands.
‘We’ve arrived at a solution that might satisfy both parties. I’ve been authorised to offer you one child for every million people on planet Earth. That’s about six thousand seven hundred in total. Sixty-two from the UK alone.’
‘That is not acceptable.’ Replies the 456.
Frobisher restates his decision. The 456 start counting.
‘Three two five zero zero zero. Three two five zero zero zero.’
Across the country and indeed the world, every child stops activities and chants the random set of numbers.
The children at the Davies’ home. Frobisher’s children, even Clem.
‘What are you going on about? Lottery numbers or what?’ Johnny asks.
‘Coordinates? Grid reference, maybe?’ Rhys asks.
‘Children in different countries are saying different numbers.’ Louise Minchin reports.
‘Ici en France le nombre est de quatre, quatre, huit, zero, zero, zero.’ A French reporter states.
‘The children of America are saying two, three, four, zero, zero, zero, zero.’ Trinity Wells reports.
‘But what is the meaning of three, two, five, zero, zero, zero?’ Louise ends the report.
In COBRA headquarters Yates confirms the figures across the globe, regardless of the figure, is ten per cent of the units.
‘I think it’s fair to say that our final offer has just been rejected. Ok, thanks, everyone. Let’s take a break.’ Green suggests.
‘It's worth considering, sir. The world's population will be nine billion by 2050. That's a two and a half billion rise. The UK'll go from sixty-one million to seventy-seven, every one of them needing food and water, a home, transport, fuel, TVs and fridges.’ Yates replies.
‘Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick. What are you suggesting, a cull of ten percent would do us good?’
‘I'm just saying, if we need to spin this to the public, and God knows, at the moment, spin is all we can do, then in an age when we're terrified by the planet's dwindling resources, a reduction in the population could possibly, just possibly, if presented in the right way, be seen as good. Sir.’ Yates replies.
At Ashton Down, all is quiet. ‘Whatever's happening in London, no one's breathing a word.’
‘It’s about time I found out what’s going on.’ Johnson decides. ‘I’m taking a squad to London. Are the roads still blocked?’
‘Only in the centre.’
‘Then patch me through a clear route. And keep watching for Harkness. If it’s happening in London, then that’s where he’ll be.’
At COBRA meeting, Prime Minister Green addresses the board.
‘With regrets, ladies and gentlemen, I have to tell you that we're now facing the worst case scenario. And right now, we don't have time for a discussion on ethics. I'm afraid the hand-wringing will have to wait. All we can do at the moment is to address a number of vital and practical questions.’
‘Namely, how do we select the ten percent? Who would go? How would we transport them? And how could we sell it to the voters?’ Yates adds.
Green looks to Frobisher.
‘Well the selection’s not down to me.’ John replies.
‘Nevertheless. Practical solutions, please.’ Green insists.
‘Once the selection has been made, then my department can arrange to bus all the children to the rendezvous points together, school by school. My staff are compiling various school databases.’
At the warehouse, Ianto transcribes the shorthand.
‘You just need to decide what criteria you’d use for selection.’
‘Which is out of my hands.’ Frobisher ends. ‘Over to you, sir.’
Green casts a glance around the table.
‘Anyone? Might I remind you the clock is ticking.’
The Defence Secretary pitches in. ‘It would have to be random.’
‘No-one’ll believe it was random. Not unless some of us are seen waiting at school gates for empty buses to return.’
‘If the criteria we use is demonstrably fair and entirely random, then at least we could defend ourselves.’ He replies.
‘So you’re willing to risk your kids to make it look fair?’ Riley adds.
‘Then how else could we choose?’
‘We could do it alphabetically.’
‘Oh yes, thanks, Mister Yates.’
‘I didn't mean. I've got no kids. I wasn't trying to.’
‘Yes, no kids and no consequences. And yours have already grown up.’
Green cannot tolerate their bickering a moment longer.
‘Let’s keep this civil, Denise.’ He requests of Riley, but Riley is far from done yet.
‘Oh yes, let’s discuss the loss of millions of innocent children, and let’s be civilised about it.’
‘Could we limit it to one loss per family? Every second-born child?’ The Defence Secretary suggests, adding fuel to the fire.
‘That would take more time, more organisation.’ Frobisher replies.’Time we don’t have.’
‘So it would have to be one school at a time.’
Eventually Riley says the one thing that everyone at the table is thinking. If whatever plan COBRA decide upon, then it mustn’t contain any of their own children.
At the warehouse, the news is met with disgust.
‘Gang of bastards. Isn’t it?’ Clem listens to their plans over the computer, protecting their own families while others stand to lose theirs.
At COBRA headquarters, Green makes the executive decision regarding the children. All of those around the table with immediate family would not be affected, but as far as nephews and nieces go, that was just one gamble they would have to face.
‘That’s the responsibility of government, Denise.’ He tells her, but once again, Riley has him on the ropes.
‘No, the first responsibility is to protect the best interests of this country, right? Then let's say it. In a national emergency, a country must plan for the future and discriminate between those who are vital to continued stability, and those who are not. And now that we've established that our kids are exempt, the whole principal of random selection is dead in the water anyway. Now look, on the one hand you've got the good schools. And I don't just mean those producing graduates, I mean the pupils who will go on to staff our hospitals, our offices, our factories. The workforce of the future. We need them. Accepted, yes? So, set against that you've got the failing schools, full of the less able, the less socially useful. Those destined to spend a lifetime on benefits, occupying places on the dole queue and, frankly, the prisons. Now look, should we treat them equally? God knows, we've tried, and we've failed. And now the time has come to choose. And if we can't identify the lowest achieving ten percent of this country's children, then what are the school league tables for?’
Green glances around the room to see if anyone wishes to argue this, but only silence meets him. ‘Then there we have it. John, you have your criteria. We’ve selected the ten percent.’
Back at Hub2, they have enough evidence recorded to destroy the entire governmental team. Jack sees it as a great bargaining tool to force their way into Thames House and deal with the present danger.
‘Right, everyone know what they’re doing?’ Jack asks.
‘What if I can’t get Lois to agree to this, Jack?’ Gwen asks suddenly.
‘She hasn’t let us down yet. Rhys, ok? Let’s go stand up to them.’ Jack orders.
‘Yes sir.’ Ianto replies following Jack out.
Taking the stolen Boxster, Jack drives him and Ianto out to Thames House.
Louise Minchin, a French reporter and Trinity Wells keep the country up to date with the news so far:
‘The government has yet to give a reason why the children have stated a number which equals ten percent of the child population of each country.’
‘Aurait demande a la Grande-Bretagne qu’elle fasse une declaration plus vite concernant ses.’
‘All eyes are now turning toward the United Kingdom as we ask, what exactly are they hiding?’
‘London remains gridlocked in the city centre.’
Jack and Ianto drive into the city centre to a traffic jam. Exiting the vehicle they continue on foot. Ianto calls Rhiannon, aware that the signal will be detected by surveillance teams. Only now, he doesn’t care.
Rhiannon learns more from her brother than she’s heard on the news.
‘Listen, that column of fire over London. Did you see it on the telly?’ Ianto asks her.
‘No, I was watching the other side. Of course I did, you dumbo. What’s happening? The kids said, they are coming, but who’s they? Who is it?’
‘Just stop a minute and listen.’
‘Ianto, just tell me, who are they?’
‘They’re from another planet. They want children. That’s why they’re here.’
Horrified, Rhi listens as Ianto explains further.
‘Over the next few days, don’t let anyone take David and Mica away from you, for whatever reason. This goes for you people listening in on the wire as well. Forget the Official Secrets Act. If you’ve got children or grandchildren, you need to hear this. And you need to tell every parent you know.’ Ashton Down Operative is concerned but not concerned enough to do act on the information given.
‘I’ve found Jones. We can assume Harkness is nearby.’
Johnson in the Land Rover instructs her driver, and they set off through the streets.
Ianto ends his phone call with terms of endearment, but a strong instruction not to leave the kids unattended. ‘Don’t let the kids out of your sight. I love them too. I’m even warming to Johnny a bit.’
As Rhiannon responds with her own ‘I love you’ messages, Ianto has rung off.
In the Warehouse it’s time for Rhys to leave and hands him the laptop.
‘You're just getting me out of harm's way, aren't you? You don't think I can hack it.’
‘You're the most important part of this whole plan. Now go on. You've got a job to do, and there isn't much time.’
The location for Ianto Jones is cold. Both he and Harkness have completely disappeared. Johnson is far from happy.
But the Operative does have another option.
‘Two miles to the south, there’s a warehouse area in Battersea. It used to be an old holding facility for Torchwood One back in the 90s. Could be significant. Ianto Jones worked for Torchwood One.’
Johnson requests he pinpoints the location of the facility and waits to hear back from him.
Back at COBRA HQ, Frobisher knows that the general public will need a cover story for why the operation is happening. He suggests the children are given some kind of inoculation. ‘A jab to stop them speaking in unison. We stress that there’s no immediate danger, that everyone will be seen in due course. Then when it goes wrong, and the children disappear, we blame the aliens, claim ignorance and face the music.’ Frobisher ends.
‘We say the 456 double crossed us?’ The Defence Secretary replies.
Gwen’s phone rings. It’s Ianto. They’re in position.
‘Take care.’ She tells him.
Having made a positive fix on Gwen Cooper, Johnson guns towards Battersea Bridge, the sirens screaming. Gwen types to Lois: Jack is in position. Let’s do it.
In COBRA the discussion continues.
‘That is where the blame should lie, not with us.’ Yates replies, shifting the blame for anything going belly up, on the 456.
‘We play the part of naïve dupes rather than willing accomplices.’ Frobisher adds.
‘We’re not willing. No-one in this room is a willing accomplice.’
The Land Rover advances on the Torchwood warehouse. Gwen types again to Lois, in case the first failed to get through.
‘Jack is in position. Do it NOW.’
As the meeting drew to an end, Green asked anyone around the table if they had any comments. Lois, seated behind Frobisher, raised her hand. Ignored, she cleared her throat and drew their attention to her.
‘Lois, stop it.’ Bridget quipped.
‘I have something to say.’ Lois continued.
Frobisher is less than pleased that a member of his staff wishes to speak at a time like this. But Lois is determined to have her say. Bridget insists she step outside where Bridget will have more than a few words to say to her.
‘I’m not just speaking on my behalf.’ Lois continues, rising to her feet.
‘Just what we need, a revolutionary.’ Yates quips.
‘If you like sir, then that’s what I am.’
‘Oh yeah? You and whose army?’
Suddenly, Lois has the attention of everyone around the table.
‘Don’t be ridiculous.’ Frobisher snaps. If this is a joke, it’s a pretty sick one.
Smiling, Gwen is proud of Lois’ stand.
‘I think she’s doing it. Good girl.’
‘But Torchwood has been recording all these meetings, and everything that's been said around this table, every single word spoken by every single one of you, will be made public unless you do exactly what Torchwood says.’
Marching into Thames House, Jack and Ianto slammed their weapons down on the front counter, amidst armed guard responses and announced their arrival.
‘Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones. We’re Torchwood.’
In the warehouse, as Johnson and her crew arrive, Gwen has already been expecting them. Johnson issues orders for Gwen to get down on the floor, but Gwen is not so easily ruffled.
‘You traced Ianto’s calls, did you?’
Johnson issues another demand which once again is ignored.
‘Now that you’re here, you can take me to Alice and Steven Carter.’
‘You’ll be in the very next cell. Second thoughts, maybe I’ll just have you shot while resisting arrest.’
‘That would be a mistake.’ Gwen informs her.
‘Take a look at what we’ve been recording.’ Gwen invites her, as Green and the cabinet round on Lois Habiba and are surprised by her announcement that…
‘Right now, Captain Jack Harkness, head of the Torchwood Institute, is in the reception of the MI5 building. So you’re going to stand aside, and let him do his job, and deal with the 456. Immediately. And, er…I think that’s it.’
‘What she's telling them is, my gorgeous husband has recordings of them all secretly agreeing to sacrificing millions of innocent children to the aliens. Now, him and his laptop, at this very moment, are in a secret location, and he's ready to press send and tell the whole world exactly what's been going on, unless you do exactly as we say. Take a seat. Maybe you'll learn something about the people you've been working for. Come on, Clem.’
On Floor 13 having been given clearance, Captain Jack gives Dekker a piece of paper.
‘I want to feed the live TV pictures direct to this number. Can you do that?’ Dekker nods.
‘I can do it.’
Inside the Contact Room with Ianto Jones, Jack speaks with the 456.
‘I’m Captain Jack Harkness. I’ve dealt with you lot before. I’m here to explain why this time you’re not getting what you want.’
‘You yielded in the past.’
‘And don’t I know it.’ Jack replies.
COBRA watch from the monitor.
‘I was there in 1965. I was part of that trade. And that’s why I’m never going to let it happen again.’
‘There’s a saying here on Earth, a very old, very wise friend of mine taught me it. An injury to one is an injury to all. And when people act according to that philosophy, the human race is the finest species in the Universe.’
‘Never mind the philosophy.’ Ianto adds. ‘What he’s saying is, you’re not getting one solitary, single child. The deal is off.’
‘Er, I like the philosophy.’ Jack says turning to face Ianto.
‘You yielded in the past, you will do so again.’
‘In the past, the numbers were so small they could be kept secret. But this time that is not gonna happen. Because we’ve recorded everything. All the negotiations. Everything the politicians said, everything that happened in this room. And those tapes will be released to the public. Unless you leave this planet for good.’ Jack causes unease in the government office, but the 456 is undeterred.
‘You yielded in the past. You will do so again.’
‘When people find out the truth, you will have over six billion angry human beings taking up arms to fight you. That might be a fight you think you can win, but at the end of it, the human race in defence of its children will fight to the death. And if I have to lead them into battle, then I will.’
‘You've got enough information on this planet, check your records. His name is Captain Jack Harkness. Go back a hundred and fifty years and see what you're facing.’
‘This is fascinating, isn't it?’
In the warehouse, Clem panics.
‘Isn’t it? It knows I’m watching.’
‘The human infant mortality rate is twenty-nine thousand, one hundred and fifty-eight deaths per day. Every three seconds, a child dies. The human response is to accept and adapt.’
‘We're adapting right now, and we're making this a war.’
‘Then the fight begins.’
‘We're waiting for your reply.’
‘Action has been taken.’
Suddenly alarms sound all around Thames House and the outer doors slam shut. The whole place is in lockdown. Nobody can enter or leave.
‘What have you done?’ Jack demands.
‘You wanted a demonstration of war. A virus has been released. It will kill everyone in the building.’ The 456 casually reply.
Shocked by the actions of the alien creature, Gwen can only watch in horror.
‘Can they override it?’
‘I don’t know.’ Johnson replies, unable to take her eyes off the monitor.
In COBRA, Frobisher answers Gwen’s questions.
‘The building’s designed to withstand chemical and biological attack. Nothing or no one can get in or out.’
‘Oh. Happy now?’ Green directs his disgust at Habiba.
Staff trample each other in their bid to escape, but all in vain and it’s not long before they succumb to the toxic gas in the building. Only Dekker survives by diving into a protective hazmat suit.
‘The air’s poisoned. Call someone. Shut down the air conditioning.’ Jack shouts at a guard outside in the corridor. ‘Block every air vent. Get gas masks, hazard suits, oxygen cylinders.’
Inside the Contact Room, Ianto thinks on his feet.
‘If there’s a virus, then there must be an antivirus. Release it now or I’ll blow a hole in that tank, and we’ll all die together.’ He demands of the 456, aiming his weapon at the glass.
‘You’ve made your point. Now stop this, and we can talk.’ Jack begs.
‘You are dying even now.’ Torments the 456.
Jack and Ianto open fire on the chamber but unbeknown to them, it’s bulletproof. The 456 begins to thrash about inside the chamber and emits a high pitched tone.
‘What’s that noise? What’s it doing?’ Jack asks curiously.
In the Warehouse, it reaches its target. Clem can feel the pressure of the creature inside his head. Thinking that the sound is connected to the monitor, Gwen screams for it to be switched off. But the sound still penetrates Clement’s head and he suffers for it, despite Gwen’s calming voice. As she holds him, he cries out, blood pouring from his nose and ears.
‘We’ve got to get you out of here.’ Jack tells Ianto. ‘I can survive anything, but you can’t.’
‘Too late.’ Ianto tells him. ‘I breathed the air.’
‘There’s got to be something.’ Jack says, desperately. ‘There’s got to be an antidote.’
‘You said you would fight.’
‘Then I take it back, alright? I take it all back. But not him.’ Jack pleads, as Ianto collapses. Jack catches him, cradling him in his arms.
‘No! No, no, no, no, no. No. Ianto. No.’ He cries desperately.
Clem screams in agony as the 456 tie up loose ends.
‘The remnant will be disconnected.’
Clem’s body relaxes eventually. Gwen lies him back on the pallet and composes herself.
‘He’s dead. What about Thames House?’
‘They can’t get out.’ Johnson replies, glued to the events on the screen.
All through Thames House, desperate staff try in vain to escape, attacking the doors with fire axes to no avail.
Jack cradles Ianto in the Contact Room, succumbing to the toxins in the room.
‘It’s all my fault.’ He says bitterly.
‘No, it’s not.’ Ianto replies, weakly.
‘Don’t speak. Save your breath.’
‘I love you.’ Ianto replies.
‘Don’t. Ianto? Ianto. Ianto, stay with me.’ He cries, as Ianto drifts off. 'Please. Stay with me. Stay with me please.’
Ianto opens his eyes
‘Hey. It was good, yeah?’
‘Don’t forget me.’
‘A thousand year’s time you won’t remember me.’ Ianto cries.
‘Yes I will. I promise. I will. Ianto. Ianto?’ Ianto’s eyes never open again. ‘Don’t go. Don’t leave me please. Please don’t.’
‘You will die, and tomorrow your people will deliver the children.’ Reply the 456, as Jack glares defiantly at the tank.
With his last breath, Jack kisses Ianto one last time before giving in to the toxins in the room. He lies beside Ianto, dead.
After an awkward silence, Green ponders on what happens now. Yates considers the two choices left open to them.
‘Either we go to war against an enemy we can’t beat, or we go to war against our own people for their own good.’
‘An injury to one is not an injury at all. We have to surrender.’
‘Thirty-five million children.’ Green says.
‘Or six point seven billion people.’
‘Start putting your plan into action.’ Green instructs.
In a large hall, under red blankets are the bodies of the dead. Gwen Cooper is lead along the corridor by uniformed soldiers and given the details of where Jack and Ianto lie.
‘Thirteen, fourteen.’ A soldier points.
Kneeling down between them, she uncovers Jack’s face, smiling lightly. With a heavy heart, she turns and uncovers Ianto’s face and her heart breaks. So immaculately dressed, his tie fastened, he could have been merely sleeping, but for his deathlike complexion.
Within moments of being uncovered, Jack opens his eyes but gasps less than normal. He sits up, and moves over towards Gwen, placing an arm around her shoulder as the tears begin to fall. They both mourn the loss of Ianto Jones.
‘There’s nothing we can do.’ She cries.
Next month – Day 5 – the finale.