Children of Earth: Day 5
Broadcast 10th July, 2009
‘There's one thing I always meant to ask Jack. Back in the old days, I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know why not. But I don't need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame. I'm recording this in case anyone ever finds it, so you can see. You can see how the world ended.’ Gwen Cooper.
Prime Minister Green addresses the nation. He speaks calmly as he reads from the autocue, watched over by Pierce in his military attire. As he speaks of inoculations, David and Mica question their mother’s reactions to his speech. After hearing from her brother Ianto, Rhiannon is adamant that her children are going nowhere, and that the man speaking on the telly, is lying.
‘David, on your feet.’ Rhiannon finally says. ‘Go to the Baxter’s opposite, then go to Sally’s, then go to Mrs Singh. Tell ‘em we’ll have the kids, only free of charge.’ Johnny protests.
‘It’s ten quid a kid.’
‘Shut it you.’ She snaps. ‘And run. Tell them my brother works for the government. He said it’s not safe.’
‘Yes Mum.’ David replies as he runs across the street.
As Green hopes for the co-operation of the people of the United Kingdom, Anna Frobisher also refuses to allow her children to go to school.
‘And as ever,’ Green ends. ‘I thank you for your patience, your understanding and your faith.’
Back at COBRA, Riley addresses the Prime Minister with her files on the list of primary schools, but Pierce insists he addresses him rather than Green.
‘You and Mr Green and this government have proven yourselves incapable of handling this crisis. All decision will now go through me.’ Pierce takes his seat. ‘You were saying?’
‘We have two thousand six hundred primary schools listed here.’ She hands him the document. ‘We’re mobilising transport. At twelve hundred hours, the British Army will take the children from their schools to the designated rendezvous points.’
‘What if they refuse, the soldiers?’ Green asks as he stares out of the window. ‘We could have a mutiny on our hands.’
‘They’ve been told. Any soldier refusing to do his duty will make his own family liable.’
Riley is curious as to what happens to the children when they reach the rendezvous point. Pierce is yet to discover this too. Colonel Oduya has just entered Thames House and rides the lift towards the 13th Floor.
As Oduya steps from the lift, the smell of death reaches his nostrils.
‘Disinfectant doesn’t work. You can still smell it.’ Dekker tells him. ‘There were bodies lying ten deep around those doors.’
Oduya is curious as to how Dekker has survived where others had not.
‘I just stood back, sir. A strategy that’s worked all my life.’ Changing subject, Dekker urges Oduya not to keep the creature waiting.
UNIT soldiers are stationed around the room. The creature moves slightly, noticing Oduya’s presence as he enters.
‘I seek audience with the 456. My name is Colonel Augustus Oduya of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. If I might speak.’ The creature thrashes about in the chamber, spraying green slime against the glass. ‘We have no choice but to initiate, may God help me. But I need to ask. We have designated rendezvous points, selected army bases in all participating countries, but once the children are assembled, what then? How do you collect them?’
‘As we arrived. Observe.’ The creature shows Oduya the footage of its fiery arrival through the clouds into the roof of Thames House.
From COBRA Pierce observes the transportation device and curiously wonders where it came from.
‘Then let me ask, not as a representative, as a father. You need these children. We’ve seen you hooked up to that boy, but why? Are they keeping you alive?’
‘No.’ The 456 replies.
‘Then what are they for?’
‘I don’t understand.’ Replies Oduya.
‘The hit. They create chemicals. The chemicals are good.’
‘Good in what way?’
‘We feel good. The chemicals are good.’
The penny finally drops, horrified Oduya realises that the children are like drugs.
In the COBRA meeting room, Green is equally horrified to learn the truth.
‘They’re trading in drugs?’
‘You’re shooting up on children? Our children?’ Oduya asks.
In Cobra, Pierce bitterly resents Green’s activity forty years ago and lets him know it. ‘Are the troops on standby?’ he asks Riley.
‘Then we begin.’ It’s 08:51.
‘The government claims it's Britain back to normal. Schools across the country are being reopened and parents are being urged to return their children to a normal routine. The inoculation programme will begin at midday, and the World Health Organisation has issued a statement guaranteeing the safety and beneficial effects of the treatments. Critics are still demanding more information, but the government is simply asking for trust.’ Louise Minchin reports.
In the cafeteria of Thames House, Gwen sits alongside Jack at a table when Frobisher and Bridget arrive and take a seat.
‘The threat still stands.’ Gwen states as they exchange glances.
‘Haven’t we gone past that?’ Frobisher replies.
‘My husband is still out there with everything you’ve done, recorded on his laptop. One word from me and he will release that information to the public.’
‘What do you think Torchwood is now?’ Frobisher replies. ‘Do you think you’re still players?’
‘We can try.’ Gwen replies, emotionally.
‘We’re at a tipping point right now. Civilisation's about to fall into hell. You want to start that descent a little earlier, go ahead.’
Jack can see that they’re beat. Turning to Gwen he admits defeat. ‘He’s right. Look what happened. Phone Rhys, tell him we’ve lost.’
Gwen leaves the table.
Freezing his ‘balls’ off outside the Houses of Parliament, Rhys receives the phone call from Gwen that cancels all their plans.
‘It’s too late, sweetheart. They’ve killed him. Not just Clem, they’ve…they’ve killed Ianto. He’s dead.’ Gwen tells him tearfully. Rhys is devastated.
‘What about Lois?’ Jack asks of Habiba.
‘I’m afraid Miss Habiba is in police custody, charged with espionage.’
‘Then, what about my daughter and her son?’
‘They’re free to go.’
Jack glances over at Gwen sat on the floor, head hung low. ‘Ianto Jones, he’s got family back in South Wales, a sister, has she been told?’
‘We’re not releasing any of the names, not yet.’
‘Then let Gwen tell her. You said yourself, the world is going to hell any second. Before it does, give us a moment of grace. Just take Gwen home, please. I can’t look at her anymore.’
The helicopter lands at the London Heliport. Before it leaves, Jack embraces Gwen, holding her closely before watching her and Rhys climb aboard. As it takes off, Jack is slapped in irons. Escorted to the police cells, his arrival alerts Lois Habiba in a cell opposite.
‘Captain, is that you? Captain Harkness, it’s me. It’s Lois. It’s Lois. Captain? What are they doing? What’s happening out there? Can you hear me? What do we do? Captain?’
Taking his seat in the cell, Jack bows his head.
Johnson releases Alice and Steven from their cell in the Ashton Down monitoring station. ‘You may want to look at this.’ She leads them to a film taken inside the contact room chamber, of the boy hooked up to the 456. Alice ushers Steven out of the room.
‘I want to see.’ He complains.
‘Not now darling, this is for grownups.’
Johnson calls for Suzanne, to look after Steven before returning to the video.
‘It’s inside Thames House. All recorded by Torchwood. They're inventive, I'll give them that. That's a child, abducted in 1965. Now they want more, millions more. And in two hours' time, the government is handing them over. It’s inside Thames House.’
In the Prime Minister’s office, Green writes nervously while he delivers a harsh blow to Frobisher.
‘You asked to see me sir?’ Frobisher asks equally as nervous. He takes a seat and makes light of the day until…
‘Your name was chosen, John.’
‘Right. Good. In what way chosen?’
‘The inoculation story seems to have gained some currency. Might even be called popular.’
‘Indeed. And what's that got to do with me?’
‘Your children will be inoculated.’ Green explains, whilst writing.
‘In two hours, there will be selected news media at your house. You'll be seen to offer your children for treatment. This will be broadcast on every network channel at twelve o'clock midday.’
‘But there is no inoculation.’
‘This action will help the public and show them no cause for unrest.’
‘You mean I pretend they're going to be inoculated?’
‘Your children will then be taken to one of the designated rendezvous points and they'll become part of the, the process.’ Green looks up at Frobisher, currently standing, shocked, and horrified at the words coming from the man he held in high regard. ‘It's our duty now to think beyond this terrible day. And once it's over, the government must be seen as victims of the 456. We must be seen to have lost.’
‘If you put me on camera, I will tell people the truth.’
‘Then your daughters would know where they're going. Best not.’
’I can't do it! I won't! You can't make me.’
‘In which case, your children will be taken without you.’
‘But you've seen what they do to them! They're just girls, sir. They're just girls. They're not, they're not, they're not.’
Returning to his paperwork, the Prime Minister cannot make eye contact with Frobisher.
‘I'm sorry, John. I'm really, I'm really very sorry. And I'm really very busy.’
Stepping from the Office Bridget is keen to know what Green had said. Frobisher knows there is only one thing left to do.
‘Bridget, I need a Requisition 31.’
Shocked she asks what for. Again he restates his request. After another stab of curiosity, Bridget complies and signs out the item. She returns post haste and hands over the metal box, the size of a wooden cigar box, large enough to contain inside a magazine and a .45 automatic.
Taking the box, Frobisher makes for the door but stops momentarily to kiss her on her cheek. Aware of what Requisition 31 is, Bridget knows it will be the last time she ever sees John Frobisher again.
Awaiting their arrival in Cardiff, PC Andy Davidson welcomes Gwen and Rhys home.
‘Croeso i Gymru.’
Gwen runs to him and embraces him, as Rhys looks on.
Driving away from the helicopter, through the streets of Cardiff and beyond, Andy informs her that everyone’s on standby. ‘Red alert. Riot gear and everything. All ready to mobilise, except no one's saying why. What's going on?’
‘I can't tell you.’
‘I am the police!’
‘Right now, Andy, I need you to drive this car. And if I told you…’
‘What? Well, come on, then. What? Don't you bloody hate people who don't finish their sentences?’ Andy quips.
‘Hey, she's pregnant.’ Rhys calls from the back seat.
‘Oh, thank you. Who's she when she's at home?’
‘Bloody hellfire. Who's the father?’
‘Oh, I'm slapping you, yeah?’ Rhys laughs.
‘It's Torchwood. That's what did it. They give you Retcon and chemicals and radiation and God knows what. Bloody Pill didn't stand a chance. That's what Torchwood does, you see. It ruins your life. ‘
‘How is it ruined?’
‘You want to have kids in a world like this, Rhys?’
‘You're not getting rid of it.’
‘Is that right. Take the next left. Ianto's sister lives off the Cromwell Estate.’ Gwen replies bitterly, drained from the recent events. Andy drives the car onto the Estate.
An hour to go before the troops mobilise by direct orders of COBRA; Wittington Road Primary School, Head teacher Nora Shariff gives a maths class, counting by 2 on the scale. The children count in unison.
‘Two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen, twelve, ten, eight, twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen, twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, zero.’
As John Frobisher steps from his car as he arrives home, Press photographers snap happily.
Visiting Lois in the Police cell, Bridget Spears is given a chair and takes a seat. John Frobisher hugs his children, his heart breaking. As Bridget opens up about how she met John Frobisher, the man encourages his children and wife to meet him in Lilly’s room, and watches them go, curiously, yet concerned.
Opening the box, his hands shake violently as he struggles to fit the magazine into the gun. His mind in turmoil.
‘It was thirty years ago. You weren't even born. I was on attachment to the Civil Service, only for six months. And just down the corridor, there he was. You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was a clumsy thing. Always losing his key. Mister Swales never thought he'd amount to much, but I thought, well, keep an eye on that one. And all the others came and went. The high flyers, they burnt out or went on to something better. And do you know what John Frobisher did? He kept working. Head down, worked hard, all his life. It was another ten years before we actually worked in the same office. He asked for me. I didn't think he even knew my name. And we made quite the team. I'm not saying he was perfect. You know that better than me. But he worked hard. He always worked hard. I don't think that's valued enough these days, hard work. And he was a good man. I want you to know that. John Frobisher was a good man. Because when the history of this is written, they'll talk about the ministers, and the soldiers, and the things with numbers for names, and I think people will forget how very good he was. I want you to remember him like that. If ever you think of John Frobisher, just remember that it wasn't his fault.'
John Frobisher climbs the stairs with one hand behind his back. He closes the door behind him, and for a few seconds only silence is heard, before three shots are fired in succession, a second’s pause, and the final shot signifying the end of John Frobisher’s line.
‘Now,’ Exclaims Bridget. ‘I think I should get back to work.’
Gwen instructs Rhys to wait beside the car and call them if anything happens.
‘Like what?’ Rhys asks.
‘Just keep an eye out, yeah?’ She replies. Crossing the garden to the house, Andy makes light conversation which is met abruptly by Gwen who having lost Ianto so tragically cannot engage in light hearted humour with anyone just now.
‘Look, listen, there’s a lot more going on. You’ve just got to trust me, OK? She’s got two kids. We need to find out where they are. That’s why we need a car. We might have to pick them up from school and take them back to mine, OK?’
Explaining further Gwen adds: ‘We’ve got to look after these kids. Just do what I say. Please.’
When Rhiannon opens the door, she is surprised by the uniformed officer and the plain clothes woman on her door step. Before Andy has chance to explain who he is and why he’s there, Rhiannon cuts him off.
‘You're not shutting me down. They've got food, they've got drinks, proper drinks. And I got permission off their parents. Come on, have a look. I'm not apologising.’
Entering the Davies’ home, Gwen sees a sea of children and a large grown man playing computer games, who with a low respect for the law insists Andy ‘go do a proper job’.
‘I know I need a licence for a crèche. I'm not thick. This is emergency circumstances, right? I'm not trusting the telly.’
‘If we could have a word in private.’ Andy asks quietly.
‘They're not even paying, so it can't be illegal, right?’
‘No. I know. It's not about the kids. I just need a word, if we could.’
‘How many are there?’ Gwen asks unable to tell who out of the children would be David and Mica without literally asking.
‘But what are they doing here?’
‘Well, they're not gonna go to school. No way. If they want 'em, they'll have to come and get 'em.’ Shouts Johnny from the sofa.
‘I just need a word.’
Gwen remembers Jack’s words as he whispered in her ear at the heliport. ‘They’ve got kids. Ianto’s niece and nephew. Save them.’
The digital clock in COBRA announces Noon, and it’s all systems go.
‘Stage one. Mobilise.’ Pierce declares.
Across the country Army trucks disperse and escort buses into the targeted schools. Teachers become as hysterical as the parents outside watching helplessly, as children, their children are filed onto waiting buses and escorted off the premises. As a boy breaks cover to run to his mother, he’s chased and captured by a soldier and taken back to the buses. Hysterical parents scream and run down the streets after the buses.
Andy has broken the news to Rhiannon and Johnny. Gwen hangs back but is aware of the short time they have in getting the children to safety.
As his wife cries, Johnny’s only other concern is his car. Sadly, no news is good news.
‘There’s something else. Something he wanted me to tell you. And I’m sorry, it’s kind of urgent.’ Gwen presses on the urgency.
‘You can get out.’ Rhiannon snaps.
‘I knew Ianto properly.’ Gwen explains. ‘I've worked with him for years. No, I did. I really did. We were a team. We did all these things together. And he’d always be fussing about his bloody coffee yeah?’ Gwen tried to make light of it. She was grasping at straws. Ianto never spoke of his family, never spoke of his dad apart from that one time when he told Jack that he was a master tailor.
‘He worked in Debenhams. If Ianto gave you that old shit, then you didn’t know him at all.’
At Ashton Down, Johnson brings over a drink for Alice, while Steven plays football with the soldiers.
At COBRA Riley updates Pierce of the uptake so far. Only there’s a snag.
‘As predicted, a lot of the children in the target area have stayed at home.’
‘Then we’d better go and get them. Stage two. Mobilise.’
Rumbling through the quiet estate, Rhys sees the green Army trucks advance on the Cromwell. He hastens inside.
‘I swear on my life; you have to get those kids out of this house. Is there anywhere you can take them? I don’t know, anywhere safe?’
As Andy tries to hurry her, Rhys enters the room.
Gwen knew they’d come but didn’t realise just how soon they would tag on that many kids would be at home and not in school.
‘Oh God. Look, I haven’t got time to explain, OK, but they are coming for your kids. I swear.’ As both Johnny and Rhiannon disbelieve her, Gwen continues. ‘They’re going to come into your house and they’re going to take your kids, and I’m sorry, but you’ve got to believe me. That's why Ianto died, OK? He was trying to stop them. They're gonna come and they're gonna take your kids. You'll never see them again. Never.’
As Steven plays football with a soldier, Johnson looks on as she sits beside Alice, while the ‘boys’ play.
‘He’ll be fine. The nice kids are safe. If you’re going to get rid of ten percent, then take the ten percent you don’t want. All those kids on street corners, we’ve finally got rid of them.’
‘While everyone else just stays indoors? Ninety percent just hugging their kids, not making a sound, just like they did before. I don't even know your name.’
‘I protect the state. I was brought up to believe in and protect the state.’
‘Not much good now, are you? Even if ninety percent look the other way, what sort of world are you leaving behind? I swear to you, if your duty is to protect the state above and beyond any other authority, then the one person you need right now is Jack Harkness.’
The custody sergeant checks the inmates, both Lois and Harkness when black uniformed soldiers in full riot gear enter and pin him to the ground. Lois hearing the ruckus looks up and peers through the eyehole in the door, as soldiers open Jack’s cell and hurry him out. Jack is taken to the helipad, hands cuffed behind his back AGAIN, and waits for the transportation to arrive.
As Dekker reaches his store room, removing his brown overall coat he spies Johnson’s squad clearing shelves of material that they’re going to need. When he goes in to question them, he’s hit in the face with a weapon and knocked out.
Gwen helps to dress the kids in coats and gloves and prepare them for a quick dash across the estate while Andy tries to get in touch with Control, out in the front. Soldiers are already using battering rams to enter homes and remove children. As the children with Rhys, Rhiannon and Gwen hurry out the back garden to safety in a building down by the field, Johnny rounds up his mates for a bit of a distraction.
Treating it like a game, Rhiannon keeps the children’s hopes up.
As Andy watches Johnny and his mates fight off the soldiers, angered by their decision to remove children from the estate, he can hold back his anger not a moment longer. Today, he is no longer Andy the Police officer, he’s Andy the human being, the man who cares. Removing his uniform jacket and accessories he wades in and throws as many punches as he can, before being pinned to the ground and held there, the same as many of the unemployed dads on the estate.
Rhys closes the old cow byre corrugated sheet and sits with his wife who holds a young child quietly on her knee. With the children sitting quietly, the adults in the group pray they’re safe.
At Ashton Down Jack arrives much to the surprise of his grandson Steven. With time running short before the handover, Johnson takes control. Alice asks a woman officer to mind his son while she goes with her Dad Jack, to the control area now set up in the warehouse
Dekker is brought in and uncuffed.
‘This should be everything you need. And if it’s not, we’ll find it.’ Johnson tells him.
‘For what?’ Jack asks.
‘Wavelengths. The 456 are named after a wavelength, and that’s got to be the key to fighting back.’
‘You’re wasting your time.’ Dekker moans. ‘There’s nothing you can do. I’ve analysed those transmissions for forty years and never broke them.’
Johnson takes out her gun and shoots Dekker in the leg. Holstering her pistol she turns back to Jack.
‘What do you think Captain? She told me you were good. Was she right?’
Jack turns to face his daughter and the twinkle of a smile lifts the corners of his mouth. Shrugging off his coat, he heads to the work station.
‘Let’s get to work. Get me access to the Torchwood software. Log on to the servers and welcome back.’ He says as he taps in a few codes and sees the old familiar alien software ignite into life.
‘It still won’t work. There’s nothing on there. It’s useless.’ Dekker groans his leg now tied up in a make shift tourniquet.
‘We’ve got technology way beyond you.’ Jack replies.
‘We hacked into Torchwood years ago, you idiot. There’s nothing.’ Retorts Dekker.
‘Bring him over here.’ Johnson instructs Alice as she looks at a computer screen.
‘Dad, come and look at this. It’s some sort of pirate station. They’re trying to get the story out to the public. But they’re taking the kids.’ Jack views the screen of the kids in buses heading towards the rendezvous point as a reporter broadcasts from the Digital One Four One site.
Rhys videos Gwen making her statement regarding the Doctor and lowers the camera as she ends. Tears fall down his face.
‘You didn’t mean it, did you? About getting rid of it?’
‘No, of course I didn’t.’ Gwen replies touching his face gently and hugging him closely, tears in her own eyes at what the world was slowly becoming. ‘I would never. Never. I wouldn’t do that to you, sweetheart. No. I wouldn’t, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Alright, darling?’
At COBRA the illegal broadcast on Digital One Four One has reached them and is instructed to be shut down. Nothing should stop the hand over, nothing at all.
When only eighty per cent of the children have been collected, Pierce asks Oduya to see if this is enough. But as predicted, the 456 want them all.
Pierce authorises maximum force in collecting the last twenty percent, as Bridget enters with the latest report from Germany.
‘Old fashioned hard copy, I’m afraid.’ She tells Riley. ‘The system’s gone into meltdown.’
‘You don’t have to be here.’ Riley offers gently.
‘It’s what he would have wanted.’ She replies, turning her attention to Green, sitting uselessly in the chair at the head of the table.
‘Do you think so? I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be in this bloody room.’
At Ashton Down Jack is trying to come up with a way of using the wavelength against them. Dekker knows what he’s thinking.
‘Do you think people aren’t working on that all over the world? But it’s never going to work. The effect would be like shouting at the 456, that’s all. Just shouting.’
‘Why did Clem die?’ Jack wonders.
‘It was the 456 that killed him.’ Johnson recalls.
‘But how did they do it? Why did they do it?’
Johnson fetches the recording.
‘His mind must have synced to the 456 back when he was a child. But they didn’t need to kill him. He wasn’t any threat. Unless, maybe that connection hurt them.’ Jack ponders.
‘This is the 456 at the moment of his death. We’ve lifted the sound from the Thames House link.’ Johnson tells him, playing the recording. Everyone listens.
‘That sound, Mr Dekker, what’s that sound?’
‘I don’t know. It’s new.’
‘Exactly. It’s new. We don’t have to analyse the wavelength, just copy it. Turn it into a constructive wave.’ Jack replies triumphantly, then pauses. ‘But we’ve got no way of transmitting it.’
‘Of course you have.’ Dekker informs him but Jack is already aware of that.
‘Same way as them.’
‘I'll find something else.’
‘What does he mean?’ Johnson questions Dekker, but Jack begs her to ignore him. She persists. ‘Dekker, tell me.’
‘The 456 used children to establish the resonance.’
‘We need a child.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Centre of the resonance. Oh, that child's going to fry.’ Dekker laughs.
‘No, Dad. No, tell them no.’ Alice begs of her father not to risk her only son.
‘One child or millions.’ Johnson presses Jack.
‘Dad, no. Dad, tell them no!’ Alice pleads with her father.
‘We're running out of time.’
‘Dad, no! No, Dad!’
If there was more time. If Steven wasn’t in the building. If this hadn’t been Jack making the decisions. If? If? If….. Jack nods quickly. Alice runs screaming from the warehouse, desperate to find her son and protect him.
The soldiers are redirected to the old building across the field by a pensionable resident. David sees them and calls to Rhys. It’s time to run again. Kicking out the back exit of the building, the adults pick up the smaller children and encourage the larger ones to keep running, as the soldiers barge into the building, taking stragglers along the way, and pursue the adults and the fleeing children across the muddy field.
Johnson has Steven and as the soldier’s prevent Alice from entering the warehouse, young Steven is brought into the centre of the room, on a circular unit as his mum shouts from the corridor.
‘STEVEN, RUN AWAY.’
‘What are we doing, Uncle Jack? What’s happening? What do you want me to do?’ Steven asks while Jack cannot bring himself to make eye contact and jumps between one computer and another preparing the constructive wave. As Jack works, the sound waves echo around the room and Steven’s arms fall down by his side. His eyes blank he focuses on the sound and begins to scream.
As the soldiers catch up with Gwen and Rhiannon and the children, the children stand facing London and Thames House and begin to scream. Children at the rendezvous points across the globe also face towards London and scream, firing the resonance back to Thames House. The 456 begin to thrash inside it. Oduya flinches as splashes of blood cover the glass screens. As the resonance begins to grow stronger, Steven begins to bleed from the nose and ears. Jack can only watch as his only grandson begins to shake violently as the shrill sound vibrates through his body, frying his brain.
Tears fall down Jack’s face. Alice can only hammer on the glass but is unable to save her son and can only watch as his body suffers the trauma of the experiment.
Suddenly at Thames House, the 456 explodes spraying blood against the glass screen. Oduya cowers. As swiftly as the creature entered, the fiery blast exits Thames House and back into the sky whence it came. The gathering clouds disperse.
The visual feed from Room 13 has vanished, only static shows in the COBRA office. Pierce presses the comms for a report from Oduya. Advancing towards the empty and clean chamber, Oduya reports that the 456 has left the building.
The children in the wasteground, and across the world have returned to normal. Gwen praises the little girl she stood beside, while Mica runs to her Mum.
At Ashton Down, Alice is allowed into the warehouse. There are no words to describe her loss. Her beautiful boy, used by her father, for an experiment to save the world. All she can do is cry and question, why?
Jack is equally as distraught.
Pierce salutes the Prime Minister as he leaves the office. Riley looks to Green.
‘The public will be wanting a statement, sir.’
‘I suppose you could say we were lucky.’ Green smiles, smugly.
‘A bit soon to tell. We don't know exactly what happened yet.’
‘Lucky with the Americans, I mean. General Pierce took charge without ratification from the United Nations. We can say that today's events were in American hands.’
‘And do you think that's lucky?’ Bridget asks bitterly, her eyes never once leaving Green’s position at the head of the table.
‘Do you know, yes, I do, rather.’
‘Your first thought now is to save your own skin. In which case you might like to know I paid a visit this morning, sir. I went to see Lois Habiba. You might remember her. I sat with her a while. We had a number of things to discuss. And while I was there, I used the emergency protocols to sign out a particular piece of evidence.’ Bridget explains. ‘Contact lenses, sir. The Torchwood contact lenses. And Lois was very helpful. She told me how they worked. I can hardly feel them, sir. But everything that happened in this room has been recorded, sir. All waiting to be made public by me. Including your statement just now that after the events of today you feel, as you said in your very own words, sir, lucky.’
‘You wouldn't dare. I can have you arrested.’
‘I don't think so.’ Riley steps in. ‘Thank you, Bridget. You're free to go. And Miss Habiba will be released. I'll see to it myself. I think I'll be taking charge of very many things in the days to come. Is that all, sir?’ Riley asks of the dumbfounded Prime Minister.
Jack sits quietly in the corridor at Ashton Down, taking stock of the events. He can hear his grandson calling to him, and his own voice calling back, as Alice enters through the fire doors, lingers a moment and slips back through the doors. Jack gets to his feet, and walks out of the building.
Six months later, down a dirt track, a heavily pregnant Gwen gets out of the passenger seat of Rhys’ car and stares up at the walk ahead, up the hill in the dark. At the hilltop, Jack is waiting for them. The lights of the city twinkle below them.
‘Couldn’t have just chosen a pub, could you?’
‘It’s bloody freezing. My feet.’ Rhys moans.
‘Oh, I miss that,’ Jack calls over. ‘The Welsh complaining. You look good.’ He diverts his attention to Gwen and her bump.
‘I look huge.’ She replies.
‘She’s bloody gorgeous.’ Rhys adds.
‘You OK?’ Gwen asks moving closer to Jack, wrapped up warm against the cold evening air.
‘Did it work?’ She asks, looking up at him.
‘Travelled all sorts of places. This planet is too small. The whole world is like a graveyard.’
‘Come back with us.’ Gwen begs.
‘Haven't travelled far enough yet. Got a lot of dirt to shake off my shoes. And right now, there's a coldfusion cruiser surfing the ion reefs just at the edge of the solar system, just waiting to open its transport dock. I just need to send a signal.’ Gwen raises a finger as she stops him there, and fishes out his Vortex Manipulator.
‘They found it in the wreckage. Indestructible. Like its owner. I put on a new strap for you.’
‘Cost me fifty quid, that.’
‘Are you ever coming back, Jack?’
‘Me. It wasn't your fault.’
‘I think it was’.
‘Steven and Ianto and Owen and Tosh and Suzie and all of them, because of me.’
‘But you saved us. Didn't you?’
‘I began to like it. And look what I became. Still, I have lived so many lives. It's time to find another one.’ He touches a button on the VM.
‘They died, and I am sorry, Jack, but you cannot just run away. You cannot run away.’
A bright light glows around Jack.
‘Oh yes, I can. Just watch me.’ And with that, Jack is beamed aboard the cruiser.
Staring up at the sky, Gwen begins to cry. Comforted by Rhys he decides it’s time to go home. Gwen agrees.