A/N Finally, the sequel is out! I just want to establish a few things before we start: first, in addition to the Superwhovengerlock quartet, this one will also concern Torchwood (though only in the first chapter), and a bit of BBC's Jekyll. However, if you haven't seen one or more of these, you should still be alright; like I said, Torchwood is only in this chapter, and Jekyll will be explained as the story progresses. (If you haven't seen that miniseries, though, I highly recommend it- it's by Steven Moffat, and is sort of like a more mature, intense version of Sherlock. The main actor, James Nesbitt, is absolutely fantastic, as well.)
Additionally, this story differs from the previous in that it will be written as I post it. "Edge of the Earth" was completed by the time I posted the first chapter, but that's not the case this time around. For that reason, I don't have every minute point of the story figured out yet, and one big part that I have left to confirm is its inclusion of slash ships. As most of you probably noticed, the previous story hinted at Johnlock and Destiel, but, at this moment, I don't plan on including either of them in this one. If you prefer to see otherwise, LET ME KNOW IN REVIEWS/COMMENTS. If the majority of the audience is interested in seeing these ships sail, then I'll make it happen.
Finally- as always- I don't own the cover image used, and it will be taken down immediately if requested.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
Rated T for violence and language
Disclaimer I don't own Sherlock/Doctor Who/Supernatural/the Avengers/Jekyll, or any associated characters, events, etc.
They will not force us, they will stop degrading us
They will not control us, we will be victorious
Interchanging mind control, come let the revolution take its toll
If you could flick a switch and open your third eye
You'd see that we should never be afraid to die
So come on
~ "Uprising," Muse
CHAPTER I. Uprising
"What do you reckon we're up against, anyways? Hopefully nothing that'll burn Cardiff down completely? Because we've had plenty of close calls in the past few months for my taste."
Jack Harkness was half-running, his feet pounding against the damp pavement and his long grey coat snapping around his legs in the wind. The skies were dark over the city, and nobody was out to notice the dark-haired man or the haste which consumed him, clear in the intensity of his usually light blue eyes and the hand held stiffly at his ear, keeping a com unit carefully in place.
"I've got no idea, that's why we need you to get here!" Gwen Cooper's voice, fiery with impatience, crackled through the mechanism in his ear, and he gritted his teeth, increasing his pace.
"I'm trying, sweetheart. It's a bit tricky when I was on the other side of Cardiff with no method of—"
He resolved not to talk, instead moving faster. The air was cold against his skin, but the tense heat inside his mind kept him warm and swift—fragments of the distressed calls he'd received from Torchwood earlier were pounding through his mind.
It's a man, I think—
—Can't be natural, he's some sort of superhuman—
—Just come quick!
He's trained his operatives—the entire handpicked four of them—to be perfectly coherent and careful with their communications, which is perhaps why it was so anxiety-invoking now, that all of them should be so wordless. Hell, these people had seen aliens, countless aliens and now they had no way to describe what was in front of them now?
"I'm at the entrance," he hissed, raising a hand to his ear again as he slid towards the perception-filtered sidewalk square that Torchwood's opening consisted of. "Is he under control?"
For a moment, there was silence, then a burst of static that lasted for several seconds. Jack swore meaninglessly under his breath and stepped onto the disguised lift. Instantly, the rain-stained concrete began to sink away, carrying him with it, away from the dimly lit street and into the amber glow of the underground Hub. No one was visible—even Toshiko was far from her usual station. "Damn it," he breathed. "Ianto—Ianto? Gwen?"
At that precise moment, though, his com unit chose to crackle to life again—this time, however, the voice on the other end was much clearer, sounding exhausted but lit with relief.
"We've got him. Holding area, come on."
"Is everyone alright?" He leapt off the lift before it had completed its descent, dashing along the ground and towards the corridor that led to Torchwood's alien prison. There was something undeniably eerie about the blank emptiness of the space, which was usually so alight with the energy of the people working there—even for Jack, who was used to long, lonely nights after the rest went home.
"Yeah, it's fine," Gwen promised. "Just—just come quick, would you?"
"Practically there." It took him twelve seconds to dash through the side hallways and descend a level, before he was turning a corner into the long series of cells where they typically kept their Weevil stock. As per the norm, a few of the ugly-faced, orange-brown humanoids were huddled in corners, lurking behind the dirtied glass walls. One little corner, however, was what his attention was drawn to—the four other members of Torchwood Three were all clustered intently around it, peering inside.
"This had better be good," he muttered. "This is the first night off I've given myself in a month, now."
He intended for his tone to be ambiguous, up to interpretation as either hostile or joking, but according to the multiple irritated glances tossed his way, it wasn't really the time for either. Gwen looked awed, Toshiko worried, Owen disgusted, and Ianto pensive as they gazed into the small cell, which, as Jack saw upon his approach, housed a man.
Only a man, or so it seemed. He was clothed in a black suit, his curly dark-haired head hanging down, shoulders slumped and hands at his sides. So normal, in fact, that for a second it gave Jack an uncomfortable lurch to see him walled up like this. It didn't take long to overcome the strange feeling, though; he'd learned over his many, many years not to judge someone based on looks alone. So he narrowed his eyes and peered closer, searching for what could possibly cause so much tension in the stressed crew.
The answer came almost immediately.
It was in a flash—literally a flash, so quick that he flinched slightly—that the dark-haired man's head jerked up. The first thing that Jack noticed were his eyes—dark, dark eyes, almost completely black, wide and mocking. Laugh lines were etched at their ends, but something about the toothy, too-wide grin underneath lead to the impression that such laughter would be provoked by violence more easily than humor. His mouth swiftly curved even farther upwards, and he whipped his hands behind his back, tilting his head slightly.
"Aw, d'you think that you've won, now?" he asked liltingly. His voice, leaking through the air holes of the thin glass wall, was poisonously Irish, and almost flirty—Jack would have responded in a similar manner on a normal occasion, he figured, but this was anything but. "D'you think you've got me all caught and sealed like a mouse in a trap?" His voice is crisp, with clean, sharp edges—each of his words clearly enunciated, and all the more deadly for being so.
"I figure about that, yeah," Jack allowed, folding his arms. "Up for telling us what you are, handsome, or do we get to guess?"
The man—creature—sneered and withdrew, moving towards the back of the cell. His dark eyes remained locked in on Jack's, not moving at all even as his lean muscles shifted predatorily. "I'm a person," he drawled, his head tilting ever so slightly sideways, "just like you." His voice was growing high, almost singsong. "Nothing unusual here, so I figure you can just let me go."
It was an odd thing to say, considering how it was abundantly clear to everyone in the room that the last thing Jack would be doing is to let the creature go. "Well, sorry to disappoint, but that's not going to be happening until we get some more information out of you."
"Following instructions so blindly. Did you even ask your friends what I'm guilty of?"
A slight scowl creased Jack's features, and he instinctively glanced over towards Ianto, who replied without hesitation.
"Murder, sir. He was found with a young woman who was steadily bleeding to death."
"Oh, but did she ever really die? I make my marks carefully, mind you." He flexed his thin fingers, and only then did Jack see the stain spread across them—rusty red encrusted the skin and nails of his right hand, which stretched and twisted casually at his intent observation. "I think you'll find the young lass to be in perfectly fine condition, at least after a few months in the hospital."
Jack turned his back to the cell for a moment, facing his team instead. "What did you bring him here for?" he questioned intently. "Anything particularly inhuman? Because as much as I hate to get rid of a pretty face, this looks like something the police could probably handle."
Owen was the one to speak up immediately. "No bloody way are we giving him to the police."
Jack raised a questioning eyebrow, and Tosh hurriedly continued, her voice rushed with fevered explanation.
"There's something wrong with him, Jack. He can… he can move too fast to be human, and the strength—all of us together could barely force him in. It's—it's insane." To emphasize her words, she lifted her arm, the shirtsleeve of which was ripped down the middle, exposing a long strip of paled flesh cut through with a jagged wound that could only have been inflicted by alarmingly sharp fingernails. Owen's hand flinched almost instinctively towards the woman's injury, and Jack nodded slowly, turning back to where the dark-eyed man watched idly from inside his cell.
"Well, we aren't gonna be letting you out anytime soon, that's for damn sure," he promised, leaning up until his forehead was practically brushing against the glass. "So, are you up for telling us what the hell your problem is, or will we have to guess for ourselves?"
"Probably the latter," the man drawled. "I hate spoiling mysteries."
"Then so be it." Jack nodded slowly. He didn't mind that much, really—despite himself, he couldn't help but be interested in this mystery, as well, in what could possibly have caused its existence. Finding out would be the perfect way to spice up what had been a rather dull past few weeks of work—busy, but dull, with seemingly every hour taken up by procedural Weevil hunts that had long ago lost their adventurous air. "We'll get the truth out of you sooner or later."
"Don't be so sure that you'll get it out of me."
"Yeah, whatever you say, sunshine." Jack stifled a yawn and glanced down at his watch, faintly luminescent in the low light—nearly eleven. "Alright, well, everybody, I say we call it a day."
"Call it a day?" Owen shot back indignantly. "There's no way I'm gonna be able to rest while this thing is still breathing!"
"Owen," Tosh murmured.
"It's our only choice," Jack said shortly. "You know he's safe here, and there's nothing else we can do, is there?"
"We could kill him," the medic pointed out dourly.
"And then never know what he is, or whether there are more like him. This is our only choice. Our security's good enough here that there shouldn't be a problem." Despite his exhaustion, Jack forced an authoritative grain into his voice, enough for the other man to back off slightly, though with a notable roll of his eyes.
"Good. Everybody head home, and rest up, because we'll take another crack at this guy tomorrow," he announced. Rather than sticking around to see them all off, he cast one more glance back at the dark-eyed man—still smirking—and whipped around, striding back up the hall and towards the higher level of the Hub.
He genuinely did not believe, at that point, that the monster of a man could possibly escape.
Director Nick Fury had learned to despise calls from Torchwood.
They were a rather ridiculous bunch, after all—considered themselves all high-and-mighty, when their team consisted of five operatives and his of hundreds. Perhaps it was, admittedly, a bit childish to see the relationship between SHIELD and Torchwood as an ongoing competition, but regardless, there was a certain frustrating feel to being so often one-upped by a small team of Welshmen in Cardiff when he ran a massive organization encompassing the whole of North America, and plenty of space beyond that, as well.
Besides, Captain Jack Harkness was an absolutely ridiculous flirt.
He didn't object, though, when the screen in front of him flashed that there was a call coming in from Cardiff. Instead, he let out a heavy sigh, sent a silent prayer to probably nonexistent gods that the man would at least behave himself, and tapped the accept button.
"Harkness," he greeted as soon as the dark-haired, blue-eyed man's face flashed to life onscreen. "I wish I could say it was a pleasure."
"Likewise, Director." Surprisingly, the captain's voice was much more serious than usual—not completely lacking its playful element, but hardly light with it. "As much as I'd love to say that I just wanted to call you up and see if you're free this weekend, there's a pretty deadly matter that we're dealing with this time around."
"Of course there is," Fury muttered, raising two fingers to press against the headache snarling against his skull. "What did you do this time?"
"Your accusatory tone wounds me, Director."
"Get on with it."
"'Course." Jack sighed, settling back in his chair, and proceeded to speak with full seriousness, giving background in the same way that a soldier would deliver to his superior. "Well, there's this creature-type thing. Human-like, you could say, but… well, he's got a bit of a temper."
"Sounds familiar," Fury murmured, memories of a quiet doctor morphing into a bellowing green monster flashing behind his eyes. Perfect. The last thing he needed was another Banner to deal with.
"Yeah, he has a bit of a thing for violent murder, this friend of ours." A smile twitched at the corners of his mouth, but his tone remained entirely devoid of humor. "And something about him's inhuman—we haven't quite been able to pinpoint what yet, unfortunately, because it only shows up on rare occasion. I've never seen it myself, actually, but my workers say that he has a speed and strength that couldn't possibly be natural."
"Go on. What business of SHIELD's is this?" Fury, despite himself, was beginning to grow impatient. As far as he could see, this creature that Harkness was describing so vaguely had nothing whatsoever to do with SHIELD, and everything to do with Torchwood. "Since when haven't you been able to deal with minor threats?"
"He's no minor threat," Jack muttered, "that's for damn sure."
"Yeah. Thing is, the guy broke out of Torchwood last night."
Fury went silent, the pit of his stomach growing disturbingly cold. Broke out of Torchwood. Torchwood's security was a bragging right of theirs—Harkness would often go on and on about just how impenetrable the joint was, how it was near-impossible for any of its prisoners to escape. And now he was saying that this—a mere man, at the core, despite some apparent advantages over the general population—had escaped. Escaped.
"And he was under full security?"
"Top notch," was the grim guarantee. "Trust me, Director, I wouldn't have called you if it wasn't important."
"So now he's on the loose. A wild, inhuman madman, and he could be anywhere in the whole damn world."
"We'd like to think he's in Wales, but there's no real way to tell, unfortunately. He didn't have any kind of ID on him—nothing at all. He's dangerous, though, and powerful. As much as we don't want to trouble you… he's quite something to stand up against. We might need a bit of help from you—whatever you can spare."
Whatever he could spare.
Fury sighed again, speaking to the ceiling. "We'll do what we can. Send me any other information you have on this creature—anything at all. Images, video recordings, documentations. We'll be on it."
"Torchwood appreciates it. Really. Thanks for your help."
"Anytime." He tried to filter as much sarcasm as was possible into the three syllables, but it appeared to be lost on the captain, who only winked and grinned before the video call was ended, announced by a flashing banner of text across the screen.
Torchwood, asking for help.
If Nick Fury had been the sort of man who let himself feel fear, this would have been utterly terrifying.
Because the Cardiff-based organization had never done something like this before. He never, not in a million years, would have expected them to actually ask for help—and help from him, nonetheless. As small as the threat Harkness had mentioned still sounded, he couldn't deny that he felt utterly sick at the prospect of something dangerous enough to merit something like this. What was even worse, though, was the thought of what he would have to do—the unavoidable steps needed to make sure that this mysterious man didn't kill anymore.
He could send agents, he thought futilely, just agents—it couldn't be too difficult to capture a single man, in the end, could it?
Even as the stupid ways out battled against his logic, though, he knew what he had to do. It was unavoidable—completely unavoidable, and he knew that. To track the man down, to figure out what he could possibly be, and to bring him down—bring down something strong enough to break out of Torchwood, something that held that sort of power within the body of a single man…
They're too dangerous, all together. The last two times… explosive, practically, but the most powerful thing we have…
Before he fully confessed the unavoidable route of action to himself, he was leaning forward, depressing the button on the small speaker that sat on his desk—direct communications to Maria Hill, who was currently situated a few buildings over, occupied with a different task entirely—something more minor, surely, than the scourge that Fury was the only one so far to know about.
"Hill," he spoke quietly into the microphone. There was a brief silence, then a buzz and the familiar sharp voice of the agent.
"We have a problem. Torchwood just called, and it sounds like we have another monster on our hands."
He could practically hear her internal sigh, though he knew that she wouldn't protest. An average person, perhaps, would voice some sort of disbelief—disbelief that they could have another huge problem, this soon after Loki and the Master and Moriarty, this soon after Satan himself. Maria Hill, however, was anything but an average person, and her response was immediate.
"What do you need me to do, sir?"
He paused, then, just for the briefest moment, let his mind run over all of it once more. Are you sure you want to do this? Is this the wisest choice? The best time? It was unavoidable, though. Despite everything about him that wished otherwise, what he had to do was completely and entirely unavoidable, and so he spoke the next words with as much authority as he could possibly muster, making sure to show that he was fully behind the decision he was announcing.
"Get Romanoff and Barton. I have jobs for them."
"If you don't mind my asking—what sort of jobs, sir?"
"They have allies to retrieve." He took one long, last deep breath before speaking the damning words, the words that were the only choice he had ever really had on the matter. "It's time to bring the Avengers together again."