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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (3)

Galaxy Quest (3)

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 Two



***
***

3.



He woke to the sun piercing his eyes and a soft knock on the glass doors of his patio in his ears. Carefully, he opened his eyes and saw three people – two men and one woman – wearing silver jumpsuits and similarly styled, short black hair looking at him with tilted heads and curious expressions on their faces.

He groaned and closed his eyes.

The knock sounded again.

Jack frowned. Something was niggling at the back of his mind. He was supposed to do something, be somewhere … he sighed deeply and carefully got to his feet. The sun fell through the panoramic windows facing his patio. It felt like it was trying to split his skull apart, his mouth was dry and his stomach nauseous, the perfect view over the mist-covered hills and valleys lost on him. He'd drunk more than he'd intended to – it happened more and more these days. Sometimes, he worried about himself.

Despite only wearing pants and a t-shirt, he slid open the patio door. Unexpected visitors would have to deal with his state of undress this early in the morning. The cool air felt fresh against his prickly skin. A relief.

His visitors took a respectful step back, simultaneously placing their left fists over their hearts in the typical Galaxy Quest salute he remembered so well. Their costumes and make-up were flawless and they seemed decent enough, but while Jack liked being surrounded by fans, he didn't appreciate them turning up at his house. He grumbled, ”Can I help you?”

One of the two men stepped forward and spoke in a hushed tone, ”Sir, I understand this is a terrible breach in protocol.”

”Right. You shouldn’t come to my house.”

The man swallowed nervously but met Jack's eyes with his clear blue ones. ”Please, I beg you to hear our plea. We are Thermians from the Klatu Nebula. Our people are being systematically hunted and slaughtered by Roth'h'ar Sarris of Fatu-Krey. We are to meet in negotiation.” He grimaced. “However, our past efforts in this regard have been disastrous.”

Jack frowned quizzically.

The man seemed to see that as interest and eagerly continued, ”Please, Captain, you are our last hope.” He paused and then with a hopeful light in his eyes said, ”We have secured your limousine.”

”What?” Jack asked and then he remembered. ”Oh! Oh, it’s the thing for … the thing that’s ...” He smiled, slightly embarrassed. ”Maybe I should get some trousers on. Come on in.”

He rubbed the back of his neck while he went back to the couch and picked up one of his socks, looking around for the other one. He found it under the coffee table and put them on while the man spoke again, ”Captain, I must say that standing here in your presence is the greatest honour we could ever have hoped to achieve in our lifetimes.”

The woman and the other man nodded in agreement.

Jack shrugged, pulling up his jeans and then slipping into his shoe, looking around for the other one. ”That’s ... I really appreciate that.” He turned in a circle, shaking his head. ”Would you guys look for another shoe that looks like this, please?” He pointed at his foot.

His visitors turned stiffly and then, in unison, looked at the ceiling.

Jack closed his eyes. ”Uh ...” He sighed. ”It's all right. I'll just get another pair.”

***

The tinted windows and air-conditioned passenger section of the limousine made up for the tortuous trek over Jack's sunny lawn. He huddled into the seat, sliding his sunglasses up to rest on his head. By now, he'd learned that the group's leader was called Mathasar and the young man's name was Teb. They were very dedicated to their roles, apparently. Jack could appreciate that and decided to play along for now. The woman hadn't been introduced as of yet, even though Jack had made several hints at her to tell him her name. She was a pretty little thing with the same clear blue eyes Mathasar and Teb had – Jack by now assumed that they were siblings or at least related – and a shy smile. Jack preferred men, but he had also always felt attracted to women and she was his type, so he didn't hesitate to throw her flirty smiles and winks despite his hang-over.

A third man was waiting in the car for them. As soon as the door closed and the car started to move he said, ”Sir, I am Lahnk, Senior Requisition Officer.”

Jack's gaze was riveted on the girl. He winked at her, which she answered with another one of her shy smiles.

Lahnk droned on, ”Before we travel to the ship, please let me know if you have any requirements. Weapons, documents, personnel ...”

”A coke?” Jack asked, feeling parched. ”Do you have one of those?”

Lahnk nodded at Mathasar who opened the small fridge installed in the door and got out a can. Jack took it appreciatively. Then he looked at the girl again, smiling.

Lahnk and Mathasar exchanged nervous glances, while Teb took over the conversation, ”Sir, I would like to explain the history between our people and the Sarris Dominion in greater detail. In the five million years following the great nebula burst, our people were one ...”

Jack tuned him out. He'd never needed the back story, even when still filming the show. He could run with his dialogue and nothing else. He winked at the girl again, softly asking, ”Hey, darling, how are you?”

She smiled back prettily but didn't answer.

”What’s your name?” he asked.

She just continued smiling.

Jack looked at Mathasar questioningly. ”Doesn't she talk?”

Before Mathasar could say something, Teb interrupted his history lesson to explain, ”Laliari's translator is broken.”

She opened her mouth, as if to contradict him, but instead of words, a screeching sound poured forth that made Jack wince slightly. He stared at her, once again deciding that fans were a weird if loveable bunch, and opened his coke. ”Okay.” He took a sip and settled back into the seat. ”You know, guys, I had a late night with a Kreemorian Fangor Beast, so I'm going to just shut my eyes for a bit.” He gifted Teb with a smile and then settled his sunglasses over his eyes. ”But go on, I'm listening to everything you say.”

Within a minute, he was asleep.

***

He woke to somebody shaking his shoulder. Blearily, he blinked his eyes open, just to look into Laliari's beautiful face. ”Captain?” She gave a chuckle when he just groaned groggily. “I'm sorry to wake you, sir, but your presence is requested on the command deck.”

Jack sat up slowly, finding himself no longer in the limousine, but on the floor of a round room. The walls, floor and ceiling were white and smooth, reflecting the bright lights and reminding him faintly of the clean, neat atmosphere of the NSEA Torchwood. He reminded himself that he was at a gig organized by fans and thus assumed that the similarities were intentional. He got up slowly, finding his feet just like he found his role, shrugging it on like a coat he'd missed. He stretched and looked at Laliari questioningly. ”I see they fixed your translator.”

Laliari just gave a tense nod and folded her hands on her back before walking towards the door.

Jack followed her out of the room into the corridor. ”Wow!” he said upon seeing the corridor's walls and floor were just as flawlessly white as in the other room – and seemingly endless. ”This model is actually quite big. Looks like the real thing from the show. Good work, guys.” He touched the wall, the sleek material feeling warm to the touch. Some other fans in silver jumpsuits and with short black hair and blue eyes wandered about, nodding at him or saluting. He did his best to slide into character, his posture becoming straighter. He felt a little silly in the faded grey t-shirt and the track pants and sneakers. The fans had done some amazing work here, they deserved better.

Laliari pulled him out of his thoughts, her brisk walk matched in her serious demeanour. ”Sir, Sarris has moved the deadline. We are approaching his ship at the Ni-delta now. He wants an answer to his proposal. I understand you have been briefed.”

Jack rubbed his forehead, trying to lighten the insistent pounding behind his eyes. ”Yeah, I got most of it in the car. Sarris is the bad guy, right?”

Laliari nodded. ”Yes, sir, he is a very bad man indeed. He has tortured our scientists, put us to work in the gallium arsenide mines, captured our females for his own demented purposes ...”

”Okay, I've got the picture,” Jack interrupted her. ”You have pages or do you want me to just improvise?”

Laliari stopped at an intersection of several corridors, looking up at him with a frown. ”I’m not sure I understand you.”

Before Jack could answer her, Mathasar joined them, smiling tensely. ”Captain, welcome to the Torchwood II.”

”Hi!” Jack replied.

Mathasar looked at his t-shirt sceptically. ”Would you like to don your uniform?”

Jack checked his watch. He'd slept through most of this gig and he wasn't even sure whether he'd thought to bring his jumpsuit. Was it in the boot of the limousine? He couldn't remember. ”You know what, I’d like to skip that. I've got this gig in Swansea in about two hours. Is that all right?”

Mathasar looked at Laliari, who shrugged. Mathasar frowned at Jack and slowly answered, ”As you wish.”

Just then, Teb skidded around the corner, hurrying towards them with a worried expression on his young face. ”Sir!” he called, addressing Mathasar. ”It's Sarris. He's here.”

***

They had walked further down the corridor and passed a lot of doors and Jack had again marvelled at the sheer size of the model when, finally, they reached the bridge. When the door slid open, Jack felt transported back into the good old times.

The set was amazing, all blinking lights and sleek forms, people working on the computers and a large flat screen at the front showing stars and planets, imitating space perfectly. The centre of the room was taken up by a group of comfortable chairs and tables with screens fitted into them to form work stations. They were grouped around one chair in the middle without a work station – the Captain's chair, Jack's chair.

The only difference to the set was that this bridge wasn't as brightly lit as Jack remembered. It seemed a bit dark. Jack put his hands on his hips. ”This is just great. You know, usually it's just cardboard walls in a garage.”

Mathasar led him forward and invited him to sit in the Captain's chair. He sat down, readjusting to the feel of it and swallowing his disappointment at being the only one here. The workstations of his team were manned by strangers. Jack could still remember how Ianto had always sat to the left of him, navigator and gunner, and Owen to his right, always the faithful adviser. Gwen had been situated just behind Jack while Tosh's place had been in the engine room, often communicating with them via the flat screen.

Teb approached. ”Sir, we apologize for operating in low power mode, but we are experiencing a reflective flux field this close to the galactic axis.”

Jack cleared his throat, fiddling with his empty can of coke. ”You know, what I could use is a cup-holder and a couple of aspirin.”

The young man who was sitting in the chair Ianto had owned during the show turned to him. ”We're approaching in five ticks, sir. Command to slow?”

Jack nodded, reminded of an old joke between Ianto and him. ”Set it on screen-saver two.”

The navigator looked confused.

Jack smiled. ”Because, you know, we have to ... oh, I’m sorry to break the mood here.” He cleared his throat and straightened his posture. ”Slow it down to Mark 2, Lieutenant.”

The screen at the front flickered and then suddenly showed an image that made Jack grip his coke a little tighter in response. The face staring back at him looked like that of a cockroach gone mad: green scales made up the skin, mean yellow eyes glared at him and it had feelers on its head. ”I see fear,” it – he – said in a deep voice. ”That is expected.” His beady eyes alighted on Jack and he felt a shiver down his spine. ”Ah, they bring a new Captain.”

Jack looked at Mathasar appreciatively. ”It’s good,” he said softly. “Good job.”

Sarris continued, ”Here are my demands.”

”He's very scary,” Jack added.

Sarris grinned evilly, ”And if I do not hear what I like ...”

”Very real,” Jack muttered.

”... then there will be blood and pain as you cannot imagine.”

Jack took a deep breath and checked his watch. His time was running out. He would have to leave now to be in time for the gig in Swansea. He resolved to note down the number of the guy who played Mathasar, though. These fans had done an amazing job and he was tempted to come back and work with them again – maybe even convince the others to do a little reunion thing.

”First,” Sarris said, ”I require the Omega 13. Second: I will require a technician.”

Decision made, Jack raised his voice to be heard over Sarris. ”All right, everyone! Let's bring this to an end.” The Thermians were staring at him and Jack grinned. “Let's fire blue particle cannons full, red particle cannons full, gannet magnets left and right – and let them run all chutes. And while you’re at it, why don’t you toss that at them, killer.” He chucked the empty can of coke to the gunner. ”That should take care of old lobster-head, shouldn’t it?” He got up and turned his back on Sarris, applauding the fans who were looking at him in confusion. “This was great! You'll be hearing from my agent.”

With that, he left the bridge.

***

Standing just outside the door leading to the bridge, Jack looked up and down the corridor, not quite sure where he'd come from. All the corridors looked virtually the same and seemed to go on forever. He started to wonder whether these people had rented an old warehouse and built the set in there. This was way more than the project of a few fans in a garage or the basement of their parents' house.

He finally picked a direction at random, hoping it would lead him towards the exit. Curiously enough, nobody was around he could ask. All the extras seemed to have vanished, probably to watch the proceedings on the bridge.

He'd only walked a few steps when Mathasar caught up to him, looking slightly stunned and very nervous. ”Captain? Where are you going?”

Jack shrugged. ”I have another gig for an electric store this morning. This was fun, but I need to dash.”

Mathasar's eyes widened. ”You ... you mean on Earth?”

Jack raised an eyebrow and checked his mobile to see whether John had already impatiently texted him, however, they must be somewhere remote. He didn't get anything resembling a signal. John would be cross and the team would be angry – again. He sighed resignedly. ”Yeah. Earth. I need to get back to Earth, kids.” He grinned at Mathasar and then startled slightly when he heard a muffled thump followed by several others. He realized what the noises meant and chuckled. ”Sorry I can't stay for the epic space battle.”

”But ...” Mathasar looked completely out of his depth, his blue eyes desperate. ”Captain ... the negotiation ... you ... you ... you fired on him.”

Jack nodded, looking down one corridor and turning to take another, vaguely more familiar one. ”Yes, long live ... what's the name of your planet again?”

”Thermia.”

”Long live Thermia.” He gave up his futile search. ”Where's the exit?”

Mathasar didn't answer, instead asking, ”But what if Sarris survives?”

Jack frowned in annoyance but decided to play along for another minute or so. ”Oh, I doubt it! I gave him both barrels.”

Mathasar looked doubtful. ”He has a very powerful ship.”

Jack sighed, finally putting a hand on Mathasar's shoulder. ”If you get any more problems with the guy, just, you know, give me a call. Now, where do I need to go?”

Mathasar gave a short nod and swallowed thickly, then he reached into his pocket and handed Jack a small device that looked like a futuristic, silver walkie-talkie. Jack remembered it from the show – it was a long-range communicator. As if reading his thoughts, Mathasar corrected, ”It's an interstellar vox.”

Jack frowned, accepting the device. It fit into his hand comfortably, just like he remembered. For a prop, it also felt quite heavy. ”Vox is actually a cooler name.” When he looked up at Mathasar again, he was slightly perturbed to see a single tear sliding down his face. ”Uh ...”

Mathasar threw his arms around him, the awkward hug only made more awkward by the fact that he was much shorter and pulled Jack down quite a bit. When he stepped back, there were more tears on his face. Jack felt slightly out of depth and didn't quite know what to say. Fans had got emotional on him before but this seemed … different, somehow. He cleared his throat and nodded, pocketing the vox in his leather jacket.

Mathasar returned the nod with a brave smile and led the way a few more steps down the corridor, opening the door to the glaringly white, empty circular room Jack had arrived in. He crossed his hands on his back. ”How can we thank you, Captain? You ... you have saved our people.”

Jack waved the compliment away, feeling a blush rise. ”Yeah, okay. You know, you people have been great. You really have.” He clicked the button on the vox that opened a channel, flustered about his own emotional reaction. ”This thing is real-looking. Hello? Hello?” He chuckled, winking at Mathasar, and entered the room. He looked for an exit, another door, but he didn't see anything of the sort. When he turned back to ask Mathasar about it, he realized that he was gone and the door to the corridor was closed.

”Hey!” Jack called. “Where’s my limo?”

The lights went out.

”Very funny!” Jack said. “Come on, people, I've got an appointment to keep!”

A single spot of light above his head lit up, blinding him for a moment. If Jack was completely honest with himself, he was starting to feel a little anxious. ”Okay, I get it!” He tried to take a subtle step to the side to escape the spotlight – for once not feeling like he wanted to bathe in it – and found himself unable to move. That was when fear set in for real. ”Guys?!” he screamed. ”Not funny!” He yelped when something liquid-looking and clear started to creep up his legs. ”Oh, Jesus!” he muttered. ”Bugger!” He tried to step out of it, but was still unable to move. ”No, no, no!” The liquid crept up to his hips, encasing his chest and then it was over his head. It wasn't wet, though. Just a bit cold. He could still breathe, his panting, panicked breaths seeming unnaturally loud to him.

And then, the ceiling started to slide open with a loud, humming noise until the walls were gone and he was standing on a platform … in space.

When Jack looked at the stars spread out around him, at the planets he could make out and the moons surrounding them, at the space ships battling, the energy weapons discharging, the steady thumping noise he'd dismissed just a minute ago actually turning out to be the sound of Sarris's brutal-looking ship firing at and hitting the sleek Thermian version of the NSEA Torchwood … that was when Jack Harkness realized that everything he'd witnessed today was real.

No fans trying to catch a bit of private time with their star. Aliens looking for their saviour.

”Oh God,” he muttered … and then he screamed as he was shot forward like a cannon ball, passing by stars, planets, sun systems and galaxies in seconds, nausea rising, his pulse elevated, his mind unable to catch up …

… the next thing he knew was that he was standing in his backyard, shivering and stunned, staring at the beautiful expanse of the Brecon Beacons in the morning light.

His mobile beeping with a text message from John startled him out of his stupor and he only now noticed that the strange liquid suit was gone, only leaving a puddle on the ground around him. With shaking hands, he got his mobile from his jeans.

John.

Where the hell are you?

There was no way he could answer in the form of a text.



Chapter Four
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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