The so-called Battle of Canary Wharf that had resulted in the downfall of Torchwood One had been beyond tragic, such a dreadful, senseless loss of life and potential. Jack had always known Yvonne Hartman and her cronies would come to a bad end, what with the way they played around with things they didn’t understand, but he’d never foreseen her taking so many innocent people down with her.
She’d been power mad and her hubris had almost destroyed the whole of humanity. If not for the Doctor’s actions, every person on the entire planet would have been either exterminated or converted. Earth had got off lightly, all things considered.
Still, Hartman had brought the destruction of Torchwood One down upon herself. He’d tried repeatedly to warn her but her only response had been to threaten his removal as head of Torchwood Three if he kept trying to interfere with the way she ran things, so he’d washed his hands of her.
After the disaster, with everyone who’d once outranked him now either dead or missing, Jack had taken his small team to London and searched the wreckage of Torchwood Tower, liberating as much as he could from One’s archives. The things stored there could not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands, whether those hands were the Department of Defence, UNIT, or random civilians. They were potentially too dangerous, alien weapons and technology that humans were not ready to know about. He had a responsibility to protect the timelines
That, however, had been the sum total of his ‘interference’ in the cleanup. He’d left the handful of survivors for other agencies to deal with. To his mind, they were all guilty by association with Hartman, and anyway, he had enough to deal with. Besides, there was no place on his team for what was left of hers; he kept Torchwood Three small for a reason.
But then one of the survivors had found his way to Cardiff, no surprise in retrospect since the young man was Welsh and had grown up in nearby Newport. What was surprising was that he’d sought out Jack and asked for a job. Hadn’t he had his fill of Torchwood and its dangers yet? Jack couldn’t decide whether Ianto Jones was brave or foolish. Whichever it was, he was stubborn; he wouldn’t accept being repeatedly turned down, and eventually, against his better judgement, Jack had given in.
Turned out Jones was simply desperate and didn’t know where else he could find the resources he needed.
Fuelled by rage at being played, the conman conned, Jack found himself wishing he’d never met Ianto Jones, that the young Welshman had found what he needed elsewhere, but… If he had, the cyberwoman that had once been his girlfriend might well have succeeded with its plan to conquer earth.
Instead, it had been neutralised, bringing devastating grief crashing down on a young man who’d lost everything that mattered to him.
Never had a victory seemed more like tragedy.