Gwen drove to the police station and Trisha sat beside her in the passenger seat, typing away at the computer. "What are you doing?"
"I'm just sending an official memo to the Police station. Letting them know that I'm on my way to pick up Clem, under a guise of national security threat, of course." Trisha smiled and finished and hit send. "There now, we shouldn't have any problems."
Gwen chuckled as she parked the car in front of the station. "Jack's right. You are good. You and Tony would be the perfect fit for Torchwood."
"Ah, no thank you," Trisha said tightly. "My kids come first and having two parents in dangerous jobs wouldn't be a good idea."
"But you travel in the TARDIS with the kids. What's the difference?" Gwen asked, genuinely curious.
Letting out a slow breath, Trisha responded. "She protects the children. The TARDIS has no problem dropping off us adults or even teenagers in dangerous situations. Trust me, she's done it to me plenty of times and I loved every minute of it. But when the kids are there it's different. She'd never put them in danger."
"I'm sure you've heard I'm pregnant, can't keep a bloody secret in this group." Gwen groused. "How do you do it? Working at UNIT and having babies?"
"I did hear. Congratulations, by the way." Trisha paused and considered her answer. "I won't lie to you. It's not easy, by any means. And unlike you, I'm more of back office staff at UNIT than the one on the front lines. Having a great support group helps and make sure the nanny's CV is in order. The rest just kind of happens…" Trisha popped the car door open. "Let's go rescue Clem and we can discuss nappy choices and morning sickness later."
Gwen smiled and followed Trisha in to the station. It only took a few minutes to convince the people at the station to hand Clem over into Trisha's custody. Honestly, with everything going on, they seemed glad to be rid of him. Gwen followed the officer down the hall. The door clanged opened to reveal Clem sitting on the small cot against the wall. He was rocking back and forth slightly, obviously upset.
"Clem?" Gwen said softly. "Do you remember me?" Clem's head sprang up to look at her. Loudly, he sniffed the air. Recognizing her, he then he gave a cry of relief and reached out for her. Gwen walked into the cell and wrapped him in a hug. "It's all right. I've got you."
Gently, she rubbed circles on his back and gently led him out of the station and into the waiting car.
Alice Carter walked down the stairs at her home carrying a laundry basket. Stephen was sitting in front of the telly watching some children's program. "It's boring. I want to see aliens," he moaned.
"Yeah, be careful what you wish for," Alice scoffed. "Put some cartoons on." She carried the laundry to the back door with the intention of hanging it on the line, when there was a knock at the front door. With a sigh, Alice dropped the basket and changed directions. Opening the front door, she was met with a person that she had seen only in pictures.
"Hello Alice. I'm Ro…" the blonde began but Alice cut her off.
"You're Rose, Dad's friend." She stepped back to allow Rose to come inside. "Is he alright? I've been trying to get in touch but he's not answering his phone."
Rose gently laid a hand on Alice's arm. "Jack's fine now, but I'm afraid that you may be in danger."
"Why?" Alice blanched.
"It's the thing with the kids. There are people after Jack because of it and they want to use you and your son as leverage. We need to go now," Rose said and then moved towards the living room and Stephen.
"Where are we going?" Alice knew the answer really wasn't necessary, though. She trusted that Rose would keep them safe. Grabbing both her and Stephen's coats off a hook by the door, Alice led the way into the living room.
When Alice was very young her mother had taken her away from her normal life and the two of them went into deep cover. Not because, as most people thought, to get away from Jack Harkness. They were hiding from people who wanted to hurt him and would have used her or her mother against him without a second thought.
When Alice was older, Jack had found them again and he had seemed incredibly grateful for any contact he was allowed to have with her and Stephen. Alice knew it was dangerous to have him in her life, but he was still her dad. She trusted him not to allow anyone to harm her or her son. And her dad had always told to trust Rose if the woman ever showed up.
"I have this ship, a space ship. We can keep you safe there. She even blocks the telepathic signal that the 456 are sending to out to the children." Rose explained as she watched Alice help Stephen into his coat. "We can fill in the details later. For now, we just need to go."
"But the telly said we've got to stay inside," Stephen protested.
"Never mind that. Now listen to me. This is Rose. She's a friend of Uncle Jack's. We're going to go out, and you're going to be quiet, OK? Don't make a sound. Just like those games your gran taught you, do you remember?" Alice said, grabbing his hand.
"We in trouble?" Stephen looked trepidatious and just a little excited. "Gran always said, there'd be trouble."
"Then do exactly what she said. Just like the games. Nice and quiet. And don't let me out of your sight. Come on." Alice followed Rose out the back door. They had just cleared the doorway when soldiers in black uniforms broke down the front door.
"Run," Rose shouted, grabbing Alice's hand and dashing towards the alley. But it was no use. They were halfway down it when s group of soldiers appeared at the end of alley and more appeared from the way they had come. The same brunette that had held Jack hostage stood in the front of the group of soldiers.
"Get out of the way," Rose said in a low threatening voice.
"No," the brunette spat. "And don't even think about using that teleporter on your wrist or I won't even hesitate to have the boy shot. We can test to see if he's as immortal as his grandfather." The woman took a step forward and Rose held up her hands.
"Take me. Let him go," Alice said as she stepped in front of her son.
"No," Rose and the brunette said in unison.
"He's only a child," Alice protested.
The brunette shrugged. "So? Alice. If we wanted you dead, we'd have opened fire by now. Let's make this easy and the three of you can come with us peacefully."
"Oh I don't think so," Rose said with a derisive laugh. "I think that you and your band of misfits had better let us go before you make him angry."
"I'm not afraid of Jack Harkness and I'm not letting you go," the woman said calmly. "Now surrender or I will have to shoot you."
Rose laughed and took a step towards the woman. "I wasn't talking about making Jack angry. But I wouldn't want to be on his bad side either."
"The Doctor." In a flash, Rose whipped the other woman around and twisted her arm behind her back. Several guns clicked, ready to fire and then a noisy wind seemed to come out of nowhere. The men took several steps back and a few of them lowered their weapons.
Alice stood completely still as a room started to form around her, a large brightly lit room that seemed to hum with energy. She blinked and scanned the area around her. Stephen was still next to her his hand firmly encased in hers. Rose and the other woman had arrived here as well. Several people that she didn't recognize were standing around a column on a raised platform in the center of the room.
A familiar face was mixed into the crowd and he looked shocked to see her there. "Dad!" Alice yelled. She pulled Stephen behind her, as she bound up the stairs, throwing herself into Jack's arms. Relief filled her as she hugged him tightly. "I didn't know what happened to you," she said softly.
"I'm fine, shhhh. See I'm fine. Are you okay?" Jack asked, pulling back to look at her and then her son. "Both of you?"
"Fine now. Where are we?" Alice said, giving a tight smile.
"Inside the Doctor's TARDIS," Rose said from her new position by the front doors. She turned the brunette around and slammed her against said doors. Rose leaned in until she was less than an inch from mystery woman's face. "Now you go back and tell your bosses that if they come after Jack and his family again, they'll have to come through me."
"And who are you?" the brunette asked, refusing to be intimidated.
Rose growled. "You can call me the Bad Wolf." And in one swift movement, she opened the door and pushed the woman outside.
"Blimey, Mum," a young man with brown hair said as the door slammed shut. "It's a good thing we weren't in the Vortex just now."
"Like I would have done something like that. I just wanted to scare her a bit," Rose said with a small laugh.
"Or a lot," Jack chuckled.
"Mission accomplished then," a red head smiled. "And who are our guests?"
"Sorry. Everyone this is Alice and Stephen Carter." Rose smiled at them and began pointing to everyone in the room in turn. "This is my son Rory and his wife Amy." She pointed to the man and woman who had most recently spoken. "That's my other son Tony, my daughter Jenny. That's Ianto Jones from Torchwood and that man over there who looks a bit like a Maths professor is the Doctor."
"Oi," the Doctor protested and Stephen giggled.
Alice swallowed hard, looking around the room. It was overwhelming, one minute she had been standing in an alley surrounded by soldiers and now she was on what she could only presume to be an alien space ship. Oh God, she had called Jack Dad in front of Stephen.
"Uncle Jack," Stephen said, looking up at them. "Are we on a spaceship?"
Jack looked at Alice. She nodded, might as well tell him the truth. There's no going back now. "Yeah, buddy. This is the TARDIS; she belongs to my friend the Doctor. Come on, I'll show you and your mum a really cool room that has all sorts of video games. This way." Together, the three of them started walking towards one of the halls when Jack stopped.
He turned back and ran over to hug Rose. "Thank you, Rosie."
"Anytime, Jack. I'll always have your back." Rose released him and gestured to the people around her. "It seems both of us have some explaining to do."
Jack jogged back to where Alice and Stephen were and this time they did leave the main room. Somewhere behind her she heard a man with a Welsh accent ask. "What did she mean by 'Dad'?" At least Alice wasn't the only one keeping secrets, she thought as she allowed Jack to pull her down the corridor.
The noise of kids shouting was almost deafening at the Davies household. At last count Rhiannon had twenty-five kids in the small flat. "I charge extra for cleaning. Tell your mum, it's another two quid," Rhiannon sighed and scrubbed the little girl's face. "Go on then." She patted the girl on the back and pointed her back in the direction of the other kids.
Turning towards the sink, Rhiannon listened to the roar of the children. And then there was silence. Every child stopped and was simply pointing off in the distance, in the exact same direction. "What is it?" Rhiannon asked the nearest child. "Stop it." The familiar panic she felt every time this happened began to set in. She tore out of the house and ran straight into her husband.
"It's on the news, they're pointing." Johnny looked around wildly.
"I know, but they're pointing over there." Rhiannon said, pointing in the same direction as the children. "What's over there?"
Trisha was navigating her car through the heavy traffic when Clem went stock still and started pointing into the sky.
"What is it? Clem?" Gwen asked from the back seat.
"It's happening again," Trisha said as she began looking for an opening in the line of cars.
"But he's not speaking, just pointing." Gwen reached out and touched his arm.
"All the more reason to get him back to the TARDIS as quickly as possible. Now you might want to hold on." Trisha looked in her mirror once more and then jerked the car onto the sidewalk. Quickly, she turned down an alley and soon they were clear of traffic.
In the console room of the TARDIS, Ianto stared after Jack after he left with his daughter. "What did she mean by 'Dad'?
Rose shook her head. "She meant that Jack is her dad. Beyond that I can't say much about their relationship."
"Why is she here?" Jenny asked. "And who was that woman that showed up with you."
"She's here because I couldn't let the people after Jack use her or her son as leverage against him. That woman," Rose said with disgust, "is one of the people we have to thank for blowing up the Hub and for holding Jack hostage."
"And you let her go?" Tony looked incredulous.
Rose gave her son a half-smirk. "She was let go as a warning. Don't mess with friends of the Doctor." She turned to the Doctor and gave him a seductive smile. "Nice rescue by the way, love, very dramatic."
"Well, I am very impressive." The Doctor wiggled his eyebrows.
Amy rolled her eyes. "Now is really not the time, you two."
"Especially when it's happening again," Rory said, nodding to his computer screen.
"What are they saying?" The Doctor rushed up behind Rory and peered over his shoulder.
Rory shook his head. "Nothing, just pointing."
"News says, all the children in America are pointing east. And all the children in Europe are pointing west." Ianto's fingers flew over the keys.
"It's us," Tony said. "They're pointing at us, pointing at London."
"According to reports, children in London are all pointing towards the center of the city." Rory explained. "If I had to make a guess I'd say that they were pointing at Thames house and to whatever Trisha said they were building up there."
Tony's phone rang, cutting some of the tension in the room. "Hello… yeah, the news reports say it's happening all over the world… It appears that all the kids are pointing at Thames house…. Alright, get here safe… Love you, too."
"What did Trisha have to say?" Rose asked.
"She said it's affecting Clem as well. They were in the car when it started. She's racing back here and every time she turns the car, he keeps pointing in the same direction that he was originally, right at Thames House."
In the sky over London, a column of fire punched through the cloudy blue sky. Its destination, none other than Thames House and for what felt like an eternity the unearthly fire continues to pour into the building. Then it stopped and every child in the world spoke three of the most ominous words yet.
"We are here."
Trisha pulled her car into park, just as Clem was freed from the 456's control. "It's them," he sobbed. "They're back."
Gwen hopped out of the back seat and was gently pulling him out of the car. "Come on. You're connected to them; we need to find out how."
Tony stepped out of the TARDIS, carrying a medical bag a few moments later and came to stand near the group. "Hello Clem, my name's Tony."
Clem sniffed loudly and then point between him and Trisha. "You're her husband."
"Yes, he is my darling husband," Trisha said with a smile.
"Sabrina and I have set up a room for you to use." Tony indicated one of the few offices and the group made their way over to it. A television and several computers had been set up as well as a bed, a table, four chairs and a fridge. "I was hoping to give you a check-up." Clem tensed and Tony laid a hand on the man's arm. "Nothing invasive, I just wanted to check your heart rate and blood pressure." He held out a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff.
Examining both of them briefly, Clem nodded in agreement. "Nice house you have here."
"We just want you to be comfortable," Gwen said with a smile. "Can we get you something to eat?" Clem nodded again and Gwen fixed him something to eat while Tony finished the exam. After that, Tony filled everyone in on what was going on and helped set up the live feeds that Hannah would soon be sending.
About an hour later Rhys had joined Gwen, Trisha and Tony outside with Clem. Amy had been having some stomach pains so after Rose and the Doctor exchanged worried looks, she went to sit with the Stephen, EJ and Jamie. Everyone else was gathered in the television room to watch everything unfold. Jack was standing somewhat awkwardly between Ianto and Alice.
One telly was showing an image of Hannah and another man stepping out of a car. "At Downing Street, these images are from five minutes ago. They been identified as Colonel Oduya and Lt Colonel Stalwart of the Unified Intelligence Task Force and this is coming live, that's General Austin Pierce, representing the American Armed Forces, he's heading inside Downing Street right now."
"And we're live," Ianto said as the images from Hannah's contact lenses filled the screen.
"We have full audio as well," Rory said, turning up the volume on one set of speakers. Another screen flickered into life as it connected to another view of the meeting room at Downing Street. "It also looks like Hannah planted another one of those cameras in the room. So we'll see what the Prime Minister is up to even if she isn't in the room.
"You know," Rose said, bumping the Doctor with her shoulder. "Downing Street looks pretty good since they rebuilt it."
He looked down at her and smiled. "It does, doesn't it?" Then he turned his attention to the screens.
General Pierce was sitting across from PM Green. "I have been asked to convey, from the President of the United States, his absolute fury. Is that understood?" The General hadn't raised his voice but the rage coming off of him was evident.
"Very much so." Green nodded.
Pierce continued. "That landing wasn't spontaneous. It was planned; it was prepared, by you. And don't go calling this diplomacy, Mr. Green... You have established a court, the sovereign court of Great Britain, in direct contradiction of the statutes of the United Nations."
Green was stone faced. "We were acting under orders."
Colonel Oduya tilted his head in contemplation. "Did they threaten you?"
"I think we can say the mere existence of the 456 is a threat," Green scoffed.
The Doctor rolled his eyes as there were several more exchanges about 'no claims of ownership' and how 'unfair' it was that the 456 had come to Britain, instead of America, of going straight to UNIT. Like all aliens would automatically know the first contact protocols that had been put in place. The Prime Minister offered to let all the American President as well as all the world leaders. Of course with all the security involved that was impossible and everyone in that room knew it.
"Then I offer to withdraw," Green said, holding up his hands in surrender.
"What does that mean?" Peirce asked.
"I won't usurp the United States, or any other nation." Green leaned forward. "I suggest that dialogue with the 456 is taken out of my hands." He paused. "And conducted by the civil service."
"They're still British," Pierce objected.
"But not elected, with no authority of State," Green said. "And that's exactly what we need. Middle men. John Frobisher's already spoken to the 456, I suggest he continues."
"Always playing politics," Rose ground out. "Pass the blame, keep your hands clean. I hate it."
"I'd suggest that UNIT steps in," Oduya asserted.
"I wish it were so," Green conceded. "But the 456 chose Britain. They designated the location. It's out of my control. What do you want to do, anger them? Look... John Frobisher's a good man. And better than that, he's expendable. So what do you say?"
Pierce narrowed his eyes. "Do we have your absolute guarantee that you won't enter the room?"
"My absolute guarantee." Green gave them a sneaky smile.
"Gentlemen, I insist that I be allowed in the room as an official UNIT observer. I have considerable knowledge in extraterrestrial matter and would be an invaluable resource to Mr. Frobisher," Hannah added. "You have my word that I will not interfere or intervene in the diplomatic negotiations."
Oduya leaned forward. "UNIT agrees to concede negotiations to Mr. Frobisher, if Stalwart is allowed to be in the room and step in if necessary. She is my best officer, when it comes to these sorts of alien contacts."
The Prime Minister looked Hannah up and down for a moment before nodding curtly.
"Then that's agreed," Pierce acknowledged.
"Agreed." Oduya nodded.
The group broke up and Oduya and Hannah went to a small room off the main hall. "I'm counting on you not to let him screw this up, Stalwart," Oduya said soon after they were alone. "But only step in if things are going to hell."
"Sir, trust me, I have a flawless record. Why would I let Frobisher ruin that?" Hannah joked.
"There's something else." Oduya paused. "There has been a sighting of the Doctor. The TARDIS was seen outside the home of Jack Harkness' daughter."
"Harkness is a known ally of the Doctor, Sir. Dr. Jones' report after the incident with the 27 Planets confirmed that. I know that you insisted that UNIT not contact the Doctor, but it's highly conceivable that Harkness or someone from the Torchwood team reached out to him."
"Your daughter has had dealings with the Doctor in the past as well. I remember the Atraxi incident."
"She was simply at the right place at the right time. I doubt Patricia would know how to contact him, besides she was given a direct order not to contact the Doctor. And she knows how to follow orders."
"Patricia always seems to be at the right place at the right time when it comes to the Doctor. Royal Hope Hospital, she was outside when it happened."
"Her husband was a resident there." Hannah sounded unconcerned.
"We weren't able to contact her for three days after Canary Wharf, missing from the incident with the 27 Planets, and she was missing again when Harold Saxon returned and turned everyone into a version of himself. And yet again today, she called in sick. Add to that the fact she is UNIT's liaison to Harkness. I think that Captain Tyler knows more than she's saying."
"And I would know how? Patricia and I don't have the closest relationship. I devoted my life to my career and my daughter suffered for it. Biggest regret of my life, that is. I'm honestly surprised she hasn't just cut me completely out of her life." There was the slightest hint of pain in Hannah's voice. "She only lets me see my grandchildren because she's the better person."
In the converted office, Trisha blanched and looked over at her husband. "She knows that's not true, right? She's my mother. I would never cut her out of my life."
"I'm sure she doesn't believe that." Tony came over and wrapped an arm around her.
"Sounds to me like that Colonel is getting too close to the truth about you," Rhys said. "She's protecting you."
"Yeah," Trisha said softly and turned back to the screen.
"Well, nevertheless," Oduya continued. "The Doctor is still here and I'm not sure what he's up to. We still don't know what the 456 want and I don't want him messing up what could officially be our first contact."
"From what I've hear, Sir, the only reason the Doctor comes here is to help."
"Hannah," Oduya said, the hard edge in his voice diminishing slightly. "I've known you a long time and I know how good you are at your job. I wouldn't want you to throw all of your life's work away because you aren't willing to be honest with me. If you know something, anything, I expect you to tell me immediately. And if you or your daughter hears from the Doctor or Harkness…"
"Understood, Sir," Hannah barked.
Without another word, Oduya turned and left the room. When the door shut, Hannah turned towards a small mirror in the room.
"Well, that was enlightening," she seemingly said to herself. "Guess I had better find Frobisher and help get this show on the road."
The Doctor walked over to the keyboard that they could use to send messages to the contact lenses. He typed 'stay safe'.
Hannah smiled and snapped into a salute. "Yes, sir."
Again the Doctor's fingers flew across the keys. 'Oh, don't salute.'
A/N I'm sorry this took so long. It was actually finished last Thursday and just couldn't bring myself to edit it because of the sensitive nature of the COE story line and the events in Connecticut last Friday. It hit me really hard as I'm sure it did all of you. I have a daughter similar in age to those kids and I used to live 20 minutes from Newtown. And with what is coming in the next few chapters I just need to step back from this story for a little bit and write some lighter story lines
Not long probably just until after the new year. Then I will be back at this story. The end of the COE arc only puts me through the first 9 points on my 26 point outline. So there is still plenty more to come.
Wishing all of you a very happy and safe holiday season