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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (6)

Galaxy Quest (6)

Word Count: ~37.000
Summary: Eight years ago, the actors of the popular sci-fi show Galaxy Quest were heroes – these days, they can't escape the shadow of the roles they played, even though the show has been cancelled. When an alien race mistakes them for real heroes fighting evil and seeks their help, they quickly find themselves in a fight that goes way over their heads. To survive, they have to overcome their differences and conflicts of the past, but pride is something that's very hard to swallow ...
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, John Hart, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, Mathasar, Sarris, Laliari, Teb, Eugene Jones, Carys, Annie, Lahnk, OCs
Pairing: Ianto/John Hart, Jack/Ianto, Tosh/Owen, Gwen/Rhys
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Torture, mention of partner betrayal, language
Beta: danian and czarinakitty, who did a great job under time pressure. Thank you both!
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv show Torchwood as well as the movie Galaxy Quest and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.
This is a work of fiction. No similarities to the private or public lives of the Torchwood actors are intended, even though there are references to the fictional characters they played in other productions.

Complete Fanfiction Masterlist
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Chapter Five



***
***


6.



Dinner was next. Tosh hadn't even realized how hungry she had been until a Thermian had set down a plate with sushi in front of her. Jack was digging into his fish and chips with relish while Ianto and Gwen had been served a Welsh cawl. John – out of default – had been served fish and chips as well. Tosh felt a little sorry for Owen. Since Dr. Lazarus had died in series two and then revived, he'd lived the life of a zombie. He didn't eat, he didn't drink.

The Thermians respected that. Owen's plate remained empty. He glowered at it sullenly.

Mathasar, Laliari and Teb – their company for this dinner – were oblivious to that. They sat around a U-shaped table in a room that had hosted several formal dinners on the show. The flat screen on the far side of the room showed a picture of a galaxy, taken from quite a distance. Tosh remembered this particular picture. They'd had it on the show as well.

Mathasar smiled at Jack. ”How are you enjoying your meal, Captain?”

Jack chuckled. ”I’m really enjoying it.”

”Yes,” Teb said, ”we programmed the food synthesizer for each of you based on the regional menu of your birthplace.”

”I don’t care where you did it! It tastes great!”

Owen glared at him. Tosh took pity and rested a hand on his arm. ”I'll just put something aside for you for later?”

Ianto leaned over to them. ”There are synthesizers in our quarters – at least there were some on the show. He can make himself something later.”

That didn't really seem to make Owen any happier. His stomach grumbled loud enough to be heard by Mathasar, who looked up quizzically.

Tosh laughed. ”Oh, listen to my belly. I'm starving!” she covered quickly and dug in.

Owen cleared his throat and seemed to endeavour to distract himself. ”So tell me, Mathasar, this Sarris bloke that we’re flying to meet, what does he want, exactly?”

Mathasar's smile dimmed a little. ”He ... he heard about the device – the Omega 13.”

Ianto frowned. ”What is it? What does it do?”

Mathasar shook his head. ”We don’t know.”

Teb said, ”We were hoping you could enlighten us.”

Gwen chuckled and looked at Jack. ”Yes, Captain, enlighten us.”

Jack cleared his throat and wiped his hands on a napkin, a bit nervous. ”Oh, the Omega 13 device. We found that on some alien planet. We don’t know what it does, either.”

Tosh remembered that all too well. The last episode of Galaxy Quest had ended on a cliffhanger. They'd found the device and been surrounded by enemies and Taggart had ordered his crew to use the Omega 13 … that had been the end of it. The show had been cancelled.

Ianto seemed to remember as well now, though for quite different reasons than Tosh. ”Right.” He cleared his throat and looked at Jack with raised eyebrows. The show had been cancelled at short notice but they all knew that the end of that plot line had been intended to kill Laredo. They all knew, too, who had had that idea. “Well,” Ianto said, ”why don’t you just turn it on and see what it does?”

The Thermians laughed their artificial laughs.

Laliari answered, ”It has at its heart a reactor capable of unthinkable energy. If we were mistaken in our construction, the device would act as a molecular explosive, causing a chain reaction that would obliterate all matter in the universe.”

Ianto's eyes widened. ”Just an idea.”

Jack asked, ”Has Sarris ever seen any of the ... uh ... historical records?”

Mathasar shook his head. ”No, thank God he has not.”

”Oh? So how does he know about the Omega 13 device?”

Mathasar grimaced and ducked his head. ”Our former Captain was not ... strong.”

Jack raised his eyebrows. ”Former Captain?”

”I'm sorry,” Mathasar said. ”You deserve to be shown.” He nodded at Teb who pushed a button on a remote control. The screen lit up when static started to swim on its surface. ”The tape was smuggled off of Sarris’s ship,” Mathasar said. ”Originally, one of our own tried to lead.”

The image cleared to show a dark room that looked a bit like a cave. A huge, insectoid alien in a suit of armour – Tosh suspected it was Sarris – was standing in front of table, on which a Thermian was strapped down. Others like Sarris, smaller but not less vicious looking, were watching the proceedings.

”Is that all?” Sarris asked threateningly with a deep, gravelly voice. ”After three days of this, you still require incentive?” He pushed a button on the table and the Thermian screamed when his arms and legs were stretched beyond endurance.

Gwen's fork clattered on her plate and Ianto drew in a shocked gasp. Tosh felt slightly light-headed all of a sudden.

The Thermian sobbed loudly. ”I have told you all I know. If you have any mercy within you, please, let me die.”

Owen leaned back in his seat, swallowing thickly.

Sarris answered, ”When I grow weary of the noises you make, you shall die.” He pushed the button anew and the screams of the Thermian echoed along the room, unbearably shrill and pained. And then the footage cut off abruptly.

They all stared at the screen for a second longer in shocked silence, then John got up and grabbed Ianto's hand. ”Hell, no!” he said and left the room, dragging Ianto with him. Owen wasn't far behind and Gwen also followed them quickly.

Tosh met Jack's eyes, who sent her a pleading look. But as much fun as this adventure had been up until now, she couldn't forget the screams and sobs of the Thermian … and she didn't want to end up like him.

She shook her head and got up as well to follow the others.

***

All Gwen could think of was that she wanted to go home and be with Rhys, buried under the covers in their bed and planning their wedding. She didn't want to be here, where overgrown cockroaches tortured people and aliens expected them to solve their problems.

How she could ever think that she would be able to handle this, she didn't know. It seemed the others shared her opinion, because they were walking down the corridor just as fast and determined as she was.

”Hey!” Jack called behind them.

It occurred to Gwen that she had no idea where they were going. They were following John. She was pretty sure he didn't know where the exit was, either. He was mindlessly pulling Ianto along and dodging Thermians looking after them in puzzlement, not turning back at Jack's shout.

Nobody did.

”Wait a minute!” Jack called, following them quickly. ”Come on! Hold on a minute. You just can’t leave. Give me some time to think.”

Owen scoffed angrily. ”He wants to think.”

Ianto turned his head to look over his shoulder back at Jack. ”No, Jack. That’s a wrap. There’s nothing to think about.”

John added, ”I'm not even supposed to be here. I'm just your agent.” He stopped dead, everyone else almost running into him. John zipped his leather jacket open and made a choked sound at the red t-shirt he was wearing underneath. He raised his gaze to stare at Ianto. ”Oh, hell! I'm expendable. That's how this works, isn't it? I'm the bloke in the episode who dies to prove that the situation is serious! I have to get out of here!”

Mathasar caught up to them, looking distressed. ”Captain ...”

Jack turned to him, resigned. ”We have to prepare the pods for my crew’s departure.”

Mathasar shook his head. ”Begging my Captain's pardon, sir, but we cannot launch pods at the moment. Sarris will surely detonate any objects leaving the ship.”

Jack frowned at him. ”Sarris?”

Mathasar nodded gravely. ”Yes, sir, he's here now. Your presence is required on the command deck.”

Owen asked, ”So what? We're not going home?”

Mathasar just gave him a nervous smile that seemed to suffice as answer in his opinion and turned to Tosh. ”You're needed in the engine room.” With that, he turned and walked back towards the bridge.

Jack looked at them all. ”You can't leave anyway.”

John groaned.

”Jack,” Gwen said earnestly. ”Is this really a good idea?”

Jack stepped closer to her and shook his head. She'd never seen him so honest and serious and it shocked her a little. Jack put his hands on his hips, looking exactly like the heroic character she remembered. ”I chased him away once. I can do so again.” He nodded at them and then turned to walk back towards the bridge. ”You can stay here and wait or you can come with me and help.”

”Jack,” Gwen called after him.

He didn't stop, didn't even turn around ... but he answered. ”It's going to be okay!”

John muttered, ”Says the guy who is not wearing the red shirt.” Then he followed him.

***

Except for Mathasar, the bridge was empty when they entered and they all stopped dead at the sight.

Owen made a sound that was somewhere between a groan and a whimper. ”Oh God,” he said. ”There's nobody here. Jack ...”

Mathasar said, ”While my people are talented scientists, our attempts to operate our own technologies under tactical simulation have been disastrous.” He leaned over Gwen's command station and pushed a button. ”I have raised Sarris on zeta frequency for you.”

Jack swallowed. ”Still, Mathasar ...” But whatever he wanted to say was interrupted by Sarris appearing on the screen at the front of the room.

The room fell silent and the tension increased. Owen felt Gwen shift a little closer to him and wondered if she actually thought he would be able to protect her from this. Sarris grinned at them evilly like an oversized ant, but … Owen frowned. He remembered him from the video. The eye patch and the scar across his face were new additions to his appearance. Maybe Jack's attack on him had left an impression after all.

He saw Jack straighten his posture determinedly and tried to do the same, even though his slighter frame fell pathetically short.

Sarris inclined his head in a mock show of respect. ”We meet again, Captain.”

Jack cleared his throat and stepped forward, crossing his arms. ”Hello, Sarris ... how are you doing?”

”Better than my Lieutenant. He failed to activate the ship's neutron armour as quickly as I'd hoped on our last encounter.” With that, he raised his hand and Owen felt the blood drain out of his face when he saw that he was holding the head of one of his own – most likely the unfortunate Lieutenant.

”I'm going to be sick,” Gwen whispered. ”Owen ...” He grabbed her hand and squeezed.

Jack stared for a long moment. Owen was impressed by how calm his voice sounded when he finally said, ”Yeah. Well, you know, I’d like to say I’m real sorry about what happened before. The whole thing was just a misunderstanding.”

Sarris threw the head to the side. ”Deliver the device to me or I will destroy your ship!”

Jack let out a deep breath and stepped closer to the screen. ”We’d like to do that, but frankly, Sarris, sir, we don’t know what it is or even where it is.”

Sarris smiled. ”You have ten seconds.”

”Okay,” Jack said. ”Ten seconds ...” He cleared his throat and looked at Mathasar who just shrugged. “I don’t …” He sighed. “I give up. It’s yours. You can have it. You have to give me a minute to put it in a box for you, okay?” He turned around. ”Gwen,” he said, motioning with his hand across his throat to cut the transmission.

Gwen nodded.

Jack looked at all of them earnestly. ”Don’t panic!”, he said calmly. “I've dealt with this bloke before. He's as stupid as he is ugly. Come here.” He grabbed John's arm and sat him down at one of the consoles.

Gwen cleared her throat. ”Jack.”

”Not now, Gwen. Sit.” He pushed Ianto to his own chair. “We're going to send everything we can at him, all right? You two fire the guns.”

Gwen said, ”Jack.”

”Not now! John, push these red buttons and send everything we have towards him, okay?”

”Okay,” John answered, clearly nervous. He rested his hand on the buttons. His fingers were trembling so much that Owen feared he would accidentally discharge.

Jack nodded at Ianto who called up the weapon's control panel on his console. Jack returned to his place in the middle of the room, facing the screen. ”All right, Gwen.” He cleared his throat. ”Put me back on with him.”

Gwen glared at him. ”That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. You are back on with him.”

Jack froze. Owen stared at Gwen in disbelief.

“What?” she asked.

Sarris interrupted any answer Owen might have been able to find by saying, ”Perhaps I’m not as stupid as I am ugly, Captain.”

Jack looked over his shoulder at Gwen. ”I gave you the 'kill' gesture.”

She crossed her arms. ”No, you gave me the 'we’re dead' signal. I was agreeing with you.”

Owen let go of her hand. ”Are you seriously that dense?”

Gwen pointed a finger at him. ”Like I know where the 'hold' button is.”

”Uh … guys,” John said, raising one hand tentatively. He was staring at the monitor of his console. ”There’s a red thingy moving toward the green thingy.”

Ianto frowned. ”What?” he asked, coming up next to him and looking down at the monitor.

John repeated, ”Red thingy moving toward the green thingy. I think ... I think we're the green thingy.”

Owen closed his eyes while a cold weight settled in his chest. ”Oh my God, there it is.”

Sarris laughed. ”A little present for you, Captain.”

With that, the transmission ended and the front window showed them exactly what was headed straight at them. Gwen screamed at the sight of the torpedoes and Owen took a startled step back.

Jack yelled, ”We have to get out of here. Move the ship. Turn it.” Ianto just stared at him, so Jack grabbed his arm and dragged him back to his console. ”Move! Let’s go!”

They were hit before anyone could do anything else.

Owen felt himself lifted off his feet and slam into something hard and unforgiving, winding him completely. The lights flickered, Gwen screamed again when she was thrown through the room and landed next to him. Owen heard Jack call Ianto's name frantically and saw Ianto and John huddled together on the floor, Jack stumbling over to them while the ship groaned and shook. ”Ianto! Let’s go! Get us out of here!”

”What do I do?” Ianto's voice sounded panicked and unsure.

Jack grabbed him off the floor and hauled him over to his seat, slamming him down into it. The next hit would have thrown Jack back, had Ianto not grabbed his wrist.

”Go! Go! Go!” Jack yelled.

Owen braced his feet against a console and pressed his back against the wall. He was holding Gwen to him with an arm around her waist. John had vanished from sight and he had no idea where Mathasar was.

Ianto hit a button and the ship was thrown forward.

Gwen struggled to her feet and made it over to her console, pulling herself into her seat. She stared at the screen of the console. ”They're turning. They're coming.” She looked up at Jack. “They're following us!”

Annoyed, Owen yelled, ”Yes, all right! We got it!” He saw John getting up from where he'd been thrown over Jack's chair and crawled over to him, helping him to his feet. ”All right?”

John nodded.

Jack was standing next to Ianto, grabbing his shoulder. ”Go faster!”

”I’m going as fast as I can.”

Gwen gasped. ”He’s still behind us.”

Jack looked at her and back at Ianto. ”Well, press the turbo. I'm always saying 'press the turbo', right?”

Ianto nodded. ”It’s right here.”

”Press it and hold it down.”

Ianto obeyed and Owen grabbed Jack's chair to avoid being thrown backwards with the sudden acceleration.

A computerized voice spoke up. ”The enemy is matching velocity.”

Gwen called, ”The enemy is matching velocity!”

Owen rolled his eyes. ”We heard it the first time!”

Gwen stared at him, wide-eyed. ”God! I'm doing it! I'm repeating the damn computer!”

The front screen flickered and then showed Tosh in the engine room. She was standing calmly, holding onto a chair, but several Thermians behind her were hurrying about, tripping and stumbling, frantically looking around.

”Hi!”, Tosh said, the eye in the raging storm. “Just FYI, they're telling me that the generators won't take it, the ship is breaking apart. So slow down a bit, yeah?”

The screen went blank.

John screamed, ”What the hell?”

Owen shrugged. ”She's always like that. We've got to stop!”

Jack glared at him. ”We stop, we die. Keep holding the thruster down, Ianto!”

”You can’t hold a turbo down! It's for quick boosts!”

”Oh! Like you know!”

The ship started to tremble, the groan from the engines growing louder. An alarm started to sound.

Gwen's eyes widened. ”I remember that sound! That's a bad sound!”

Jack stared forward. ”Wait! We might be able to lose them in that cloud there.”

Owen looked through the window and swallowed. ”I don't think that's a cloud ...”

”Mathasar?” Jack asked. ”What is that?”

Mathasar stood from where he'd been huddled in a corner unnoticed by Owen and answered, ”It's the Tothian mine field left standing from the Great War of 12185.”

Gwen gasped. ”Did you say mines!?”

But it was too late to question Jack's decision. The first mine hit them and they were thrown to the front. With the next impact, they flew to the side and then there was another and another.

Owen cursed. ”Ianto! Could you possibly try not to hit every single one of them?”

”Sorry,” Ianto answered. ”They're drifting toward us ... I think they're magnetic, drawn to the hull!”

Owen closed his eyes. ”We're going to die.”

John raised his voice. ”We’ve got to stop.”

Jack shook his head. ”We're almost through this.”

Owen felt the ship starting to vibrate in earnest. He exchanged a worried glance with John who then looked at the turbo button still being held down by Ianto. ”Jack!” John yelled.

”Shut up, you have no idea how this works!” Jack replied angrily.

”And you do?”

Before Owen could tell them that they should both shut up, the ship lurched violently to the side and the lights went out. Several consoles sparked and Owen lost his grip, staggering and falling when the ship tipped to the side, screams from the corridors floating in.

It righted itself a moment later, though, and silence enveloped them. Then the emergency lights came on.

Owen coughed, the smoke clearing slowly.

Jack loudly asked, ”You okay? You all right?”

”Yeah,” Gwen answered.

”Yes,” Owen said.

Mathasar nodded silently.

John looked around. ”Where's Ianto?”

”Ianto?” Jack called, turning in a circle. His eyes widened and he hurried to crouch in a corner of the room. John followed him immediately, Owen and Gwen remaining on the side-lines but stepping close enough to see what was going on. Ianto was lying on the floor, motionless and with his eyes closed.

Gwen clapped a hand over her mouth. ”Oh, God.”

Mathasar looked at Owen questioningly. ”Dr. Lazarus.”

Owen's eyes widened. ”What am I supposed ...” He reminded himself of his role on the show and tugged on his lab coat, before he quickly strode over to Jack and John, kneeling next to them.

John was just hissing at Jack, ”Do you now understand that this is not a game?”

Jack ignored him, looking at Owen. ”What's wrong with him?”

”He's ...” Owen bit his lip and tapped Ianto's cheek. ”... unconscious.”

”Brilliant,” John muttered.

”What am I supposed to say?” Owen hissed. ”I'm not a bloody doctor.” He glared at Jack. ”And John's right. This quit being funny.”

Ianto groaned.

”Hey,” John said, leaning over him immediately. ”Ianto, all right?”

Ianto grimaced. ”My head hurts.”

Mathasar stepped closer. ”We could bring him to the medical quarters.”

John nodded. ”Thanks.” With Owen, he got Ianto standing, supporting him when he swayed on his feet.

They were on their way to the door when Jack softly said, ”I'm sorry.”

”Nobody's interested,” John replied. He paused to turn back briefly. ”You got us into this mess, get us out!”

With that, they left. The last Owen saw was Jack standing in the middle of the bridge lit only by emergency lights, his shoulders slumped and his head down.



Chapter Seven
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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