Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the shows involved or any of the characters, and I’m not making any money out of them, I’m just doing this for the love of the shows and the love of Richie. All rights and ownership belong to whoever actually owns them, I’m just having a party in their flat and promise to clean up after myself.
Warning: This story contains non-graphic same sex relationships, so don’t read it if that sort of thing offends. There’s also the occasional bit of bad language, but I try to keep it to a minimum (except when Spike’s around).
Non-explicit reference to extended torture.
For those late to the party…
Richie is back from the dead and he and Duncan have become lovers. Daniel Jackson, Jack Harkness and Xander Harris are all new Immortals and Jack O’Neill is a ROG named Angus McNeill. They have discovered that there are several Goa’ulds on Earth who have taken Immortals as hosts. Anyone who takes the head of one of these inherits the genetic memory of the Goa’uld along with the Quickening. Daniel, Methos and Xander have all recently taken the head of one and it was discovered that Richie and Duncan also did at some point in the past. They have found out that there are at least four more, and discovered that they all work for governments, two in the US. Daniel was captured and then rescued but Mitchell is badly injured and Gwen is comatose. Jack Harkness is angry and is about to give a lesson in pain.
Phew! Got that? Then on with the show…13. Lost and Found
They chased Jack into the warehouse and discovered him with his blade pushed against the neck of one of the two captives so hard that he was drawing blood.
“Wake up and talk to me bastard.” They were all shocked and a little frightened by this darkness in Jack, except for the small part of Methos that would always remain Death. He was turned on by this behaviour in a way he hadn’t been since Kronos, in a way that Methos wasn’t about to admit to himself, let alone anyone else. But the mood Jack was in, he would take their heads before they got any answers and that was no use to them. He walked up to Jack and gently pulled his arm down.
“You won’t get any answers from them yet lover. They’re both still dead. Go outside now. Your team needs you.” Jack resisted him for a moment then, silently, he capitulated and in a daze walked back outside. Methos had never seen him look so utterly dejected and lost. Sam and Teal’c also went out to deal with the medics and back-up when they arrived, leaving O’Neill, Daniel, Methos, Angel, Spike, Giles, Richie and Amanda.
“Daniel, I don’t think you want to be here for this.” O’Neill said, but Daniel shook his head.
“No, these guys made me suffer for days, took pride in how good they are at torture, I have absolutely no qualms about watching them suffer. I’d consider it karma. The one on the left called himself Mr Smith, the other is Neil Anker, Niankhkhnum is his real name.” As they watched, Mr Smith came back and his eyes flashed as he did so. Amanda let out a little gasp.
“His eyes just glowed.” She whispered.
“Well, dur.” Richie whispered back, “We told you they were aliens.”
“Oh.” Amanda was momentarily speechless, a fact noted by both Richie and Methos. They might have been in a serious situation, but some things were important.
Shortly Mr Anker joined them back in the world of the living. All the Immortals drew their swords, and Spike and Angel both put on their game faces as Methos stepped forward.
“Ah, Mr. Smith, Mr. Anker, so glad you’ve joined us.” The Goa’ulds’ eyes flashed at him, “We have some questions for you, and you are going to answer them truthfully and as fully as possible. We have in this room five of the most viciously skilled interrogators and torturers the world will ever know.” Methos had slipped into that cool, silky tone that Death always favoured, and the others in the room who knew him were chilled by his detachment. “Now, Doctor Jackson has told me that you are quite skilled yourselves, so I’m sure you’ll be suitably impressed when I tell you that you are in the presence of William the Bloody, Angelus and…me.” He placed such emphasis on this final word that it was practically dripping with icicles.
“Who are you?” Smith spat arrogantly. Methos smiled, a big, wide, crocodile smile, leaned forward and whispered just loud enough for both Goa’uld to hear.
Except for O’Neill the others in the room had no idea what Methos whispered, but they were suitably impressed as the two Goa’uld turned a whiter shade of pale. Amanda and Richie looked at each other darkly, wondering just what the hell the old man was hiding. He turned back to them, the Death persona temporarily cloaked again by Adam Pierson and asked,
“So who wants to go first?”
Jack wanted to rush back inside as the screams began, but now he had calmed down; he knew he was better off outside with his team. Besides, he thought darkly, the old man has had more practise at that sort of thing than I have.
But his team weren’t here any more. Gwen had been taken to Cheyenne Mountain by the medical team that arrived shortly after he came outside. Tosh had gone with her, not wanting her to be alone, and Owen had gone to accompany his patients, claiming not to trust ‘bloody Americans’ though Jack figured it was a lot more to do with his feelings for Gwen. Only he and Ianto remained, going over the dead looking for clues to their identities and affiliations, a small task that could be left to others but one that kept their minds from the still form of their fallen friend. Ianto was kneeling down and Jack walked over to him and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. He felt a stifled sob under his hand, so he knelt beside him and pulled Ianto into a hug. Ianto pulled back and assessed Jack.
“I’m sorry sir.”
“For being unprofessional.” Jack laughed humourlessly.
“After everything we’ve been through… now you’re worried about professionalism?” Ianto smiled. Jack caressed his cheek and leaned in to kiss him, but Ianto pulled back.
“No. Not here, not now. Please.” Jack nodded and stood up. “I just can’t. Not now.”
“I understand. It’s fine. No harm, no foul.” Jack walked away round the building, leaving Ianto alone.
He walked back to the front of the building and was met by Duncan, Joe, Xander and Sam. He nodded towards the door.
“Going in?” he asked. The others shook their heads.
“There’s nothing we can add, and opening the door might break the mood.” Duncan said sagely. Jack could tell from his tone that, despite his Boy Scout demeanour that Methos always complained about, the Highlander had obviously taken part in an interrogation or two over the centuries. He deferred to the wisdom of age in this instance and the four stood vigil outside, joined a few minutes later by a silent and thoughtful Ianto.
“So Mr. Smith, Mr. Anker, do you feel like talking yet?” Methos asked, the civility of his words cloaking the pain Giles had just inflicted upon them, their bloodstained shirts the only evidence of already healed wounds. Methos was impressed by Giles’ performance, he’d heard from Joe of his Ripper days, but he had no idea a mortal could be so scholarly and yet so skilled in brutality.
Smith’s eyes flashed in defiance,
“You will get nothing from us.”
“No, see that’s where you’re wrong.” Methos’ tone implied a light, casual conversation about the weather, “You will tell us everything we need to know. It’s just a case of when.”
“You will all die.” Anker said, a satisfied smile spreading across his face.
“Brave words, and terrifying.” Methos said, looking to the others for confirmation, smiling, “At least they would be if we hadn’t already despatched your reinforcements and surrounded the building with several units from the SGC.” The smile was wiped from Anker’s face, but it was Smith who spoke,
“So, what answers let us keep our heads?” Before Methos could answer, Daniel stepped forward, with a cold humourless smile, and answered him,
“Oh wrong answer, Mr. Smith. You see no matter what answer you give us, you are both Goa’uld, and for that you have to lose your heads.” Both Richie and O’Neill were chilled to see this side of Daniel, Richie because he had never seen it before; O’Neill because he had seen it and it usually ended with dead Goa’uld. Not that he had a problem with that per se, but he knew killing never sat well with Daniel, even Goa’uld.
“Now,” Methos picked up the interrogation again, “Just why exactly did you take Immortal hosts?” Smith laughed.
“We aren’t interested in your precious Game, if that’s what you mean. Our interests are far more important.”
“Oh really.” O’Neill said, “Then why don’t you tell us? I know how you Goa’uld love to show off. Or has hiding out here all these millennia softened your egos?”
“You have no idea, any of you. When he returns…” Anker began, but was shouted down by Smith,
“Kri!” Daniel and O’Neill looked at each other and stepped forward.
“He?” asked O’Neill, “He who? Ra?”
“Dead I’m afraid.” Daniel informed the Goa’uld.
“Apophis?” asked O’Neill.
“Also dead.” Daniel said amicably, and began counting off dead Goa’uld on his fingers. “As is Hathor, Yu, Seth, Anubis, well most of the System Lords actually.” This didn’t have the desired effect on the Goa’uld, who were actually smiling, Smith was grinning broadly, and said,
“This serves our purpose well. They would only have interfered in our plans and nothing can stop us now.”
“Oh please,” interrupted O’Neill, who was in his patented ‘Jack O’Neill taunts the Goa’uld’ mode, “I can’t stand to listen to another ‘we’re gods and we will rule the universe’ speech. They usually end in us killing the Goa’uld in question, so just can it.”
“Oh, but we are not gods. How could we claim to be in the presence of Immortals? No, we do not seek to rule, but to serve our Lord, one who is a god. One perfect in an imperfect universe, and he shall remake the universe in his own image. Kill us; you cannot stop what has already begun. Our Lord shall rise and purify the universe.”
They were all concerned and made more than a little curious by this enigmatic statement, but it was Giles who voiced the question on all their minds.
“Who, who is your Lord, what is his name?”
“He has no name that may be spoken; he is known as the Emperor.” They all looked at each other, more confused than ever.
“Spike, Angel, see what more information you can get from our friends here about the resurrection of their ‘Emperor’.” Methos instructed as he and the others walked towards the door. They walked out into the night to discuss what they had learned.
They found the others and briefed them on what had been said inside. At the mention of the Emperor, a shadow passed over Jack’s face.
“The Emperor? That’s what they called him?”
“Yes,” Giles said, “Why, do you think you know who he might be?”
“No. It can’t be. I mean it’s impossible.” Jack looked confused and headed back into the warehouse at a run. The others all looked at each other and gave a shrug before following.
“This Emperor of yours,” Jack called out across the warehouse, “What does he look like?” Mr Smith glared at him before answering,
“We have not gazed upon his countenance. He communicated to us from before time began, in the dark space before the universe existed.”
“I see, and so how did he communicate to you?”
“He spoke to us through Goa’uld communication devices.”
“So how did you know he was a god?” Daniel asked, “I mean, pretending to be one is what Goa’uld do all the time. How did he prove it to you?”
“A true god does not need to prove his existence. But he gave us information about the future. He told us of Immortals and of how to adapt our technology to use them as hosts. He told us about the uprising against Ra so we might hide in safety until we could find Immortal hosts. He told us to wait through the ages, biding our time until the moment of his return was at hand.”
“And how would you know when that was?” Jack asked them.
“He sent us signs. Lo, though the Chappa’ai shall be uncovered, the Goa’uld shall not return to this world for it is protected by the Emperor. And yet, though a race of metal insects shall come forth to devour that world, they shall not succeed, for it is protected by the Emperor.”
“Um, some would say that it was SG-1 and the Asgaard who kicked Goa’uld and Replicator butt.” interjected O’Neill, but Smith by this point could not or would not be interrupted,
“When the time is on hand, an army of his children shall come forth in a tide to purify the world, then shall disappear again until he is ready. Then a great tear in the world shall open the doorway and he shall return.”
“The rift.” Ianto said, barely audible. Jack nodded then turned to Smith again,
“Go back to the last part. The army of his children? When did they come?”
“Last year. They came to cleanse the earth in a tide of steel. You cannot stop him, he will return.” Jack stood up, white as a sheet.
“Can we bloody well kill them now? This ponce is starting to do my head in.” Spike said. Methos nodded and Spike and Angel snapped Smith and Anker’s necks. Later they would be killed permanently, once there were no witnesses about, and they might provide more information in the meantime. They all turned to Jack.
“You know what he was talking about don’t you?” O’Neill asked. Jack nodded.
“I’m afraid I do and if I’m right then the Earth is in big trouble. If they meant who I think they meant, then they are worse than the Goa’uld, the Ori and the Replicators put together.”
“I assume that’s bad.” Quipped Richie, but with no real humour.
“It’s bad alright. It’s the end of everything.”
“Who, Jack? Who are they talking about?” Methos demanded.
“The Daleks. The Emperor of the Daleks.”
“The Daleks?” asked O’Neill, “Those things that look like pepper pots with sink plungers on the front? That arrived with the Cybermen and killed all those people?”
“The Battle of Canary Wharf.” Ianto said coldly, “The annihilation of Torchwood One.” Jack lay a comforting hand on Ianto’s shoulder, who stared resolutely forward. “Yes, those Daleks.” Ianto confirmed.
“But they were all defeated weren’t they?” Sam asked. “The Cybermen and the Daleks were sent back to wherever they came from?”
“Yes they were.” Jack said, “But the Daleks have a real nasty habit of popping up when you expect them to be extinct.” A shadow passed over his face, but then was gone again. “Ianto, get your laptop and start accessing the Torchwood files. There must be a way to contact him in there. Finding him has been part of our mandate for a hundred years, they must have found something.”
“Finding who?” Richie asked, but the answer came from an unexpected place,
“The Doctor.” Methos answered. They all turned to stare at Methos, who shrugged his shoulders and grinned.
“The Doctor has defeated the Daleks on several occasions.” Ianto provided, “If anyone can stop the Emperor, he can. I’ll start accessing the files right away.”
“In the meantime, I suggest we try and get more answers from our friends inside about the time and location of the Emperor’s arrival.” Suggested Giles, and after a short discussion, he Spike and Angel went back inside. Methos drew Jack to one side and said,
“I know a way to contact the Doctor. After the last time, in Cardiff, he said that if I ever needed him… Oh this is ridiculous, I can’t even believe I’m about to say this. He said if I ever needed him then all I had to do was whistle.”
“Whistle?” Jack said incredulously, “I know he’s pretty amazing but how will he hear a whistle?”
“I don’t bloody know, but that’s what he said. Something about me having been in the TARDIS. I said it was bloody stupid, that’s why I’m only telling you.”
“Well, what have we got to lose? Maybe if we both do it, after three; one…two…three!” They both let out a loud whistle as though they were hailing a cab. The others all span round and stared at them, but they both just stood there, with bated breath, waiting…
“What was…” Richie began but was shushed by Methos. They waited for a few moments more, before letting out the breaths they’d been holding without even realising.
“I told you it would never work, now we just look like…” Methos stopped mid flow as Jack began to grin and raised a hand. Just on the edge of hearing was a growing, and very familiar, thrum. “Well, I’ll be buggered.” Methos exclaimed, “It worked!”The L World Will Continue in Part 14: Late Arrivals