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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (14)

Galaxy Quest (14)

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 Thirteen



***
***


14.



“They're following us,” Owen said, staring at the schematics on his screen.

Jack's shoulders tensed and he bit his lip. His plan was dangerous, he knew that. Downright crazy. A plan worthy of Captain Taggart. He could hardly believe that he was doing this, sending his team and the last survivors of the Thermian race into this danger. He'd though about this, though, and talked it through with Ianto on their way to the bridge and Ianto had agreed that it was the only way. They weren't equipped for a space battle and Sarris wouldn't just let them go – they needed to fight dirty. “Ianto,” he said, “we need to get closer to the mines.”

Ianto gave him a small smile. ”Yes, sir.”

The minefield was looming in front of them, some of the mines already drifting slowly towards the Torchwood, pulled by the magnetic effect of the hull.

Still standing behind Jack's chair, John asked, ”What's the plan?”

Jack swallowed, wondering how he should put it into words without it sounding like a suicide mission.

Tosh had connected some of the dots already, though – his smart Toshiko – and answered, ”The magnetism of the mine field will disrupt their instruments.”

Owen gave a nod. ”That's a good plan.”

Jack took a deep breath. ”But that's only the start. Ianto, ready?”

Ianto sounded tense and focussed when he answered, ”Yes, this should do.”

”Turn back around.”

Gwen and Owen stared at him and John came around Jack's chair to give him a glare. ”But we just lost them.”

Jack met his eyes. ”Trust me. I've got a plan.”

Tosh drifted over to Owen, looking at his screen, while Ianto turned the Torchwood carefully until Sarris's ship approaching them could be seen through the front screen. Owen cursed under his breath. Tosh, though, gasped in surprise, staring at Owen's screen. ”Oh my God!”

John looked at her. ”What?”

”That's genius, Jack!” Tosh said instead of answering. ”How did you think of that?”

”Hey!” Jack answered, faking hurt. ”I'm smart, you know.”

Gwen's voice shook when she said, “Okay, I'm reading activity on Sarris's ship.”

Owen nodded in confirmation. ”They're opening fire.”

Jack looked at him. ”Here we go, then. Divert all energy to the armour.”

The front screen flickered and Sarris's grinning face appeared. ”How adorable! The actors are going to play war with me.”

Gwen ignored him, keeping her eyes firmly on her screen. ”Sarris’s ship accelerating toward us at Mark 2.”

”Accelerate to Mark 4,” Jack replied and got up, crossing his arms and staring at Sarris with determination.

Sarris chuckled darkly. ”Let me remind you, son: I am a general. If you are counting on me to move my ship out of the way first, then you are making a deadly mistake.”

Jack grinned wildly, feeling his heartbeat accelerate, adrenaline giving his morale a boost. ”Well, let me tell you something, Sarris. It doesn’t take a great actor to recognize a bad one. You’re sweating.”

Owen said, ”Armour almost gone, Jack.”

He registered that information, heard his team working quietly but frantically, but the major part of his attention remained riveted on Sarris, who growled. ”You fool! You fail to realize that with your armour gone, my ship will tear through yours like tissue paper!”

Jack smirked. ”And what you fail to realize is that my ship is dragging mines.”

It was almost comical to watch Sarris's eyes widen, his hasty turn to bark at his men “Turn! Turn!”, the image of him vanishing from the screen to show how close they already were to his ship. A ship which tried to move its considerable size to the side ...

… but it was too late.

Ianto dipped the NSEA Torchwood down at the last moment, diving elegantly underneath Sarris's ship. The mines didn't change course that fast, crashing into the hull of Sarris's ship, the explosion rocking the Torchwood. John stumbled and caught himself on Jack's chair. Ianto accelerated and only slowed down a minute later, turning the ship around once more to show them the fireball that had once been Sarris's ship.

For a moment, they all just stared.

Then Gwen squealed and jumped up from her seat. ”We did it!”

Jack laughed, turning around to look at his team with pride.

Ianto left his station to join him, pulling him up from his chair and hugging him tightly. ”Simply amazing,” he said with a smile and Jack leaned down to kiss him soundly. Ianto pulled away after a moment with a laugh, his blue eyes sparkling with joy and relief. ”Set a course for home, Captain?”

”Can you do that?” Jack asked, suddenly longing to be back on Earth more than anything.

”Oh, yeah. Just point and click. But we’re going to have to go through a black hole. There's one close-by.”

Jack smiled, raising his voice to be heard over the chatter of the others. ”Everyone, any objections against going home?”

Nobody seemed to have any.

Jack nodded at Ianto. ”All right, set her up.”

Ianto went to do just that and Jack settled back into the Captain's chair. Tosh stepped up to him, pressing a kiss to his cheek. ”Amazing, Jack.”

”I aim to please,” he drawled and Tosh rolled her eyes. Jack activated the speaker system. ”All right, everyone! You will be relieved to hear that Sarris won't pose a problem for you anymore.”

Ianto nodded at him and when Jack looked out the window, he saw the black hole looming in front of them – an empty, dark spot in the ocean of stars and galaxies surrounding them.

”Everyone hold on tight now, we're going through a black hole. Next stop: Earth.” He deactivated the speaker and gripped the armrests of his chair. ”Let's go then.”

Flying through the black hole turned out to be less spectacular than Jack had imagined. It felt like using the turbo, the acceleration making the ship tremble violently and the systems go haywire, beeping in alarm … but just a few seconds after they'd entered, Gwen said ”We’re out” and they were looking at Earth far beneath them. It seemed calm and ordinary in comparison to what they'd seen … and so perfect that Jack found himself smiling, his mind already leaping forwards to make plans – plans with Ianto, with the team … with the show. Maybe he should call that producer who'd more than once proclaimed Galaxy Quest should return to the screens.

”Systems register functional,” the computer reported, pulling Jack from his thoughts.

Gwen winked at him. ”All systems are working, Captain.”

Tosh raised a hand. ”Wait a moment,” she said, frowning at the screen she was studying. ”Jack. Before the black hole, there was an energy surge from Sarris’s ship.”

He shook his head, getting up to stretch. ”Let’s not worry about that right now, Tosh.”

What happened next came so fast that Jack was barely able to understand at first. There was a bright flash of light in one corner of the room. He saw Sarris standing there, raising one of his brutal looking guns with a sneer, firing … and then he was lying on the ground himself, Ianto's body covering his.

Gwen screamed. Jack saw Sarris point his gun at her, but before he could do anything, John fired his stun gun and Sarris fell to the floor. Whether he was dead or not didn't matter to Jack, not at all, because he was busy rolling Ianto's slack body off himself gently with Owen's help. There was blood on his hands.

Owen whispered, ”Oh God. Oh shit!”

And Jack realized that Ianto wasn't moving, that he was bleeding, that his eyes were open but didn't look at anything … that he was dead.

”No,” he whispered.

And there was only one thing shooting through his head.

13 seconds.

Alarms started blaring, but he didn't care why. He stumbled to his feet and over to his chair and with the key code he remembered from the show, he called up the Omega 13 program on the small screen embedded into the armrest of his chair. He pushed the button without thinking twice.

Everything slowed, stopped and …

”We’re out,” Gwen reported, smiling as they left the black hole.

Jack looked around, confused for a moment.

”Systems register functional,” the computer said.

”All systems are working, Captain,” Gwen said and Jack realized that he was the only one who remembered what had happened. He looked at Ianto, who was just fine, working on his screen.

Even while Tosh said, ”Jack, before the black hole, there was an energy surge from Sarris’s ship” he was already moving, pulling his stun gun and pointing it at the corner where Sarris would materialize. Ianto stared at him in confusion but before he could ask why Jack was doing this, Sarris had already appeared.

Jack shot him and Sarris collapsed, a look of surprise and shock on his face. Jack shot again and again, keeping it up until Sarris was lying on the floor unconscious and Owen ripped the gun from Jack's hand. ”Stop it! What the hell, Jack?”

Alarms started blaring.

”Jack!” Ianto cried. ”Jack! I can’t slow it down!”

The ship was trembling, tilting to the side and Earth came closer, looming dangerously. Jack realized that they were crashing.

Mathasar stepped into Jack's view. He didn't even know when he had joined them, but it must have been while the red haze had blurred his vision. Mathasar's gaze was calm while he said, ”Our ship is too big to enter the atmosphere. We need to separate or we will die. The bridge alone will be able to withstand the atmospheric turbulences, the rest of the ship can lift and establish orbit on its own.”

Jack waved John closer. ”We have to do it then,” he answered. ”It’s our only hope. But you need to take Sarris with you. He would be a bit hard to explain.” He grabbed one of Sarris's arms and John the other and together they quickly dragged him out the door of the bridge, letting him slump to the floor outside where more Thermians were waiting anxiously. Jack straightened and looked at Mathasar earnestly. ”Thank you. For everything.”

”I knew you weren't lying,” Mathasar answered.

Jack gave a sad smile but didn't reply.

Mathasar nodded at them. ”Thank you for your assistance, my friends.” With tears in his eyes, he quickly gave the Galaxy Quest salute – raising one fist to rest over his heart – and closed the door to the bridge.

”Now, Ianto!” Jack called and the ship jerked when the bridge separated from the lower part. Jack hurried to his chair. ”Okay, we have to bring her down safely.”

”Where?” Ianto asked. ”We need a wide, open field where nobody is in danger of being hit by us.”

Gwen looked up from her screen. ”We're coming down in Cardiff Bay.”

Jack grimaced. ”Can you adjust our landing?” he asked Ianto.

”I've got minimal movability,” Ianto answered and grimaced when another shudder went through the ship, flames licking at the protective shield when they breached the atmosphere. ”I can't see anything. It's too dark.”

Jack realized that he was right. They were coming down on the dark side of the planet. Night had fallen over Europe – it was a good thing because chances of being seen were smaller, but also meant that they were in trouble. He recognized Cardiff from above, the gentle lights of street lamps and cars. ”There's city lights.”

Ianto shook his head. ”I need something else. A source of light that's not street lamps. There's too many of them. It has to be unique, a beacon to focus on. Bright lights, a unique radio frequency ...”

”I have an idea,” Jack said, raising the vox to his lips. ”Eugene?”

***

Eugene shoved as many Roman Candles into his backpack as he could, took three more in his hand and hurried past the lounge for the front door. ”Bye! Be back soon!” he called to his parents who were sitting in front of the television.

”Wait a minute,” his mother called. ”Hey, Eugene! Where are you going with all those fireworks?”

He rolled his eyes, nervously bobbing on the balls of his feet while he explained, ”Well, the Torchwood got super accelerated coming out of the black hole, and it entered the atmosphere at Mark 16, which, you know, is pretty unstable obviously, so we’re going to help Laredo guide it on the long-range communicator's ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman Candles for visual confirmation.”

His parents stared at him.

His father sipped his beer. “And where is that supposed to happen?”

”Oh, just down the road,” Eugene answered. ”IKEA's got a big parking lot and it's Sunday, so it's closed.”

”All right,” his mother said finally. ”Dinner’s at seven.”

Eugene nodded and ran for the front door, hearing his father grumble, ”Well, at least he's getting some fresh air.”

***

“Got them!” Ianto called when he locked onto the vox's frequency. On the rapidly approaching parking lot of the IKEA, several Roman Candles lit up, taking position in front of the store.

Jack grinned and gripped the armrest of his chair tighter. ”Go, Eugene.”

Gwen shook her head, staring at her screen. ”We're still too fast. At this rate, we are going to meet the ground hard.”

John groaned. ”We're going to die.”

”Shut up,” Owen replied.

Jack fastened the rarely used seatbelt of his chair, pulling it taught across his shoulders and middle. ”Everyone, brace yourselves!”

He saw everyone buckle in, John and Tosh using the visitor's chairs off to the side of the bridge. The ground approached fast and Jack swallowed, his heart racing a mile a minute, his hands clenched around his armrests, his breath coming in short gasps …

… they hit the ground hard enough to knock the air right out of their lungs, but the initial contact with the concrete was the worst. After, they slid over the asphalt, the metal on concrete making a screeching, drawn-out noise and their bodies pressed into the seat belts … but they survived.

For one moment, it was quiet, then Tosh let out a loud laugh and they all joined in, the tension of the last few days finally dissipating.

”Is everyone all right?” Jack asked, looking around.

But he needn't have asked. It was obvious that they were all more than all right.



Epilogue
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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