Rightfully Theirs

by Danny_B [Reviews - 16]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • All Ages
  • Swearing
  • Action/Adventure

Rightfully Theirs

Part 3: Answers

Sarah noticed a figure step out in front of them. A man with no hair, wearing a black suit and with glowing yellow eyes.
"Jack, did the intruders look anything like that?"
Jack looked over and swore.
"That's them."
Jack turned, to see another of the aliens behind them. As he and Sarah looked around, another six of the aliens stepped out of the early evening shadows and formed a circle around them. They were trapped.

A second later, Jack clearly heard a shot boom out. He glanced back, to see the alien behind him collapse to the ground. He grabbed Sarah by the arm.
"Come on, run!"
She didn't need to be told twice. Jack took the lead, heading for the fountain.
"What just happened?" Sarah asked. Jack had been working for Torchwood long enough to see and hear straight through the perception filter, and so he could clearly see and hear the figure of Owen standing on top of the slab, the still-smoking pistol in his hand. To Sarah it seemed as though the bullet had come out of thin air.
"I didn't come alone," Jack replied, "we'll have to go in the back entrance."
Sarah glanced back, to see the remaining seven aliens taking off in pursuit. She looked forward, to see that Jack was leading them towards the fountain. She was expecting there to be some sort of concealed door in the fountain itself, so she was surprised when Jack stopped just in front of it. He nodded to the slab directly in front of the fountain.
"After you."
Sarah stepped up onto the slab, and she felt something reach out and help her up. There was a brief flitter at the edge of her perception, like she was passing though some sort of shield. And suddenly there was a young man on the slab in front of her. He had his hand on her arm, and she realised he was the thing she'd felt helping her up. In his other hand he held a pistol. He stepped back and allowed her to step forward, to make room for Jack.
"It's called a perception filter, Ms Smith," the man explained.
"A cloaking device?"
"Something like that," Jack replied as he stepped onto the slab. He nodded to the other man.
"Sarah Jane Smith, Owen Harper."
Jack activated the control on his wrist computer, and with a slight jolt the lift began to descend.
"Doctor Owen Harper, actually," Owen corrected.

Sarah looked around curiously as the lift descended. The hub was laid out below her and she took note of all the alien flotsam and jetsam lying around. A screeching sound caught her attention and she looked up. Just above the elevator, a prehistoric bird swooped by.
"A pterodactyl?"
"We call him 'Fluffy'," Jack said. He then turned and began issuing orders.
"Tosh, cut power to the primary elevator and lock down all the doors. Seal off the staircase. Don't cut base power, we'll need the computers. Gwen, break out the weapons. Ianto, join us on the main floor."
He turned back to Sarah.
"Welcome to Torchwood, Sarah Jane Smith. I'm afraid we don't have time for a tour."
"I quite understand."
The elevator reached the bottom and the three of them climbed off. Jack performed the introductions, then turned to Ianto.
"How much time do we have?"
Ianto thought for a second.
"The main door was replaced with a temporary one. It's wood, would last about two seconds. Then there's one two-inch thick armour door, then they'll have to cut through the lift, descend through the shaft, then cut through a five-inch thick steel door. The elevator's made out of three-inch thick armour plating, it should slow them down a bit."
They were standing in the main computer area, and Jack leant on the desk.
"We need to find out what that artifact is."
"What did you have on it already?" Sarah asked. It was Tosh who answered her question.
"Preliminary results seem to indicate it's a power source of some kind. But the energy is unlike anything we've ever seen."
Sarah remembered something she'd heard earlier. She glanced at Jack.
"Your message said something about the energy signature covering a variety of spectra?"
Tosh activated the recording they'd taken of their own artifact.
"Electromagnetic, biological and all other energy spectra known to man."
There was a loud clank from upstairs, and all six pairs of eyes looked upwards. Ianto glanced at the security feed.
"They've breached the outer and inner doors. Next stop's the lift."
Sarah's eyes turned from the ceiling to the image on screen. She had a suspicion as to what the energy might be, but it seemed a bit far-fetched. But it was better than nothing.
"Could it be emotional energy?" she asked.

She could feel five pairs of eyes turn to her.
"Emotional energy?" Gwen asked. Sarah noticed a note of fear in the younger woman's voice, which struck her as a bit odd. Jack, meanwhile, turned to Tosh.
"Can you call up the file on that device we recovered from Bernie Harris?"
"The ghost machine?"
Tosh turned to the computer and brought up the file Jack had asked for. Guessing her boss' intention, she compared the energy signature of the ghost machine with the energy signature of the stolen artifact. The phases were completely different, but everybody in the room saw that the range of spectra covered was the same.
"Emotional energy," Owen said thoughtfully.
"All those ghosts..." Gwen said in a voice tinged with sadness. Sarah looked at her curiously, then looked away when she noticed Owen shaking his head in her direction. She nodded to her half of the sphere, lying on the bench.
"So what do we have here?"
"It's a power source, we know that," Jack pointed out.
"Two parts, two poles? Like on a battery?" Tosh suggested. The others considered her suggestion.
"What about some sort of critical mass? Like in a nuclear bomb?" Ianto proposed. He glanced at the security monitors.
"They're inside the elevator."
There was a second's pause, then Sarah broke the silence.
"What do they hope to accomplish? Releasing emotional energy..."
She trailed off, and Jack realised exactly what the aliens were up to.
"Ianto and Gwen hit the nail on the head."
"What do you mean?" Gwen asked.
"Ianto's suggestion of a nuclear bomb. An explosive release of emotional energy-"
Gwen gasped as she grasped what Jack was getting at.
"The ghosts!"
Jack snapped his fingers.
"Exactly! The emotional echoes will become active, like those visions we saw with the ghost machine. Result, chaos."
"The perfect cover for an invasion," Sarah said grimly. The implications weren't lost on the Torchwood team. They were all that stood between the artifact and an invasion of the entire planet.

A loud clanging echoed through the hub, causing all six people to jump.
"What the bloody hell was that?" Owen asked. Ianto glanced at the feed from the inside of the elevator.
"That would be the floor of the elevator hitting the bottom of the shaft. They've cut through."
That galvanised Jack into action. He straightened up.
"Everybody, action stations. Sarah, you'd be best off in the board room."
Sarah appreciated his offer, but her mind was already working on a plan of action.
"Jack, I think I can get us out of this. I'll need Toshiko's help."
Jack paused. There were seven intruders and five of them, not counting Sarah. He'd need whatever firepower he could get. But at the same time, he knew Sarah wouldn't let him down. He'd read her file. And he knew that the Doctor only asked the best to go with him. He met her eyes and saw grim determination within them. That made up his mind.
"You've got it. Tosh, give her whatever she needs. Everybody else, defensive positions. Move!"
As the others moved into position to cover the final door leading into the hub, Sarah picked up the artifact and headed over to the workshop on the other side of the hub with Tosh.

Jack nodded to the walkway that ran around the hub.
"Ianto, go up there and provide covering fire."
"Yes, sir."
As Ianto turned and headed for the stairs, Gwen noticed a spot on the circular door beginning to glow red.
"Here they come."
"Spread out a bit. Keep moving."
They watched with horrified fascination as the red glow began to cut a circle in the door, moving slowly around. After about three minutes, the circle was complete. There was a thud as one of the aliens kicked the cut circle from behind. Jack fired before the circle of steel had hit the ground, his shot taking out one of the aliens. He ducked and rolled as the aliens returned fire, the beams of their weapons passing through the space he'd been less than a second before. Owen and Gwen fired almost simultaneously but missed, due to the aliens' movement. Jack sprung to his feet and came up firing, snapping off three shots in rapid succession. All three found their mark and one of the aliens went down. Gwen ducked as two of the aliens fired in her direction, then quickly fired off two shots. Too quickly, as both of them missed. As she ran across, she heard a shot boom out from above her and one of the aliens went down, a bullet from Ianto's gun in its head.
"Not a problem."

Across the hub, Tosh handed Sarah's bag to her. She then led the older woman around the wall of the hub, until she reached a door with a keypad set into it. Tosh punched in the emergency override code, opening all the doors to the garage.
"The garage is through here."
She pulled a car key out of her pocket.
"I can't give you the landrover, only Jack's got the keys to that. You can take my car, the red BMW Z8."
She held out the key and Sarah took it.
"I'll be careful."
Tosh nodded. She knew it was for the best.
"There's a remote for the garage door in the glovebox."
"Thank you."
Sarah turned and headed down the passage, her bag banging gently against the side of her body.

Owen took two steps back as one of the aliens approached. As a doctor, he hated taking a life. But he would if he had to. He leveled his pistol at the alien's head.
"Don't make me do this."
The alien brought its own weapon up and Owen's finger tightened on the trigger.
"Freeze! Any movement and I'll break it!"
The aliens froze and Owen took the opportunity to look back. Tosh was standing in the middle of the hub, Sarah's half of the artifact in her hand. In her other hand she held her pistol, and it was aimed at the artifact. She addressed the aliens.
"You need this for something."
One of the aliens spoke, for the first time. He spoke in his native tongue, a harsh, grating sound, but the translation software build into the Torchwood comm systems was able to translate it.
"It is rightfully ours, stolen from our planet years ago."

Jack didn't buy it for a moment. These aliens, whoever they were, had tried to kill his team in order to retrieve this artifact.
"What are you going to use it for?"
"Conquest, of course. And you will not stand in our way."
They'd been right. The aliens were going to use it to launch an invasion. Even as he realised this, Jack noticed that only three of the four surviving aliens were in front of him. He turned around and spotted the fourth sneaking up behind Tosh.
"Tosh! Behind you!"
Tosh turned just in time to receive a blow across the face. As she staggered back, the alien reached out and lifted the other half of the artifact from her hands. Four pistols immediately turned and fired in his direction. He moved quickly, dashing past the Torchwood personnel and rejoining the three others. He handed the hemisphere to the one that seemed to be the leader. A smile crossed the alien leader's face, and he reached into his suit and pulled out the half that had been stolen from the hub just a few hours earlier. He ran his hands over the flat surface of both hemispheres, and he spoke again.
"The phases match. Begin the ceremony."
The other three formed a triangle around the leader and the four of them began to chant, a low, harsh sound that somehow echoed around the hub.

While this had been going on, Jack, Gwen, Owen and Tosh had surrounded the aliens. The air around the aliens began to shimmer, and the five members of Torchwood Three opened fire. The bullets sped out and vapourised in the shimmering air.
"Cease fire!" Jack ordered. It was pointless wasting ammunition when they may need it later.
"What is it?" Gwen asked. Jack shrugged.
"If I had to guess, I'd say it's a telepathic shield of some sort. Impenetrable."
"But they're joining the halves!"
Sure enough, the leader was bringing the two halves together. A sense of utter helplessness went though Jack. They'd failed, and there was nothing they could do.

The aliens chanted for several minutes, as the leader brought the two halves slowly together over his head. As the two halves clinked softly together, Jack realised he'd missed something important. Something that could mean the difference between life and death for the entire planet.