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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (9)

Galaxy Quest (9)

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 Eight



***
***


9.



Gwen stared out the window embedded into the ramp and saw Jack get to his feet again, looking after them for a moment before turning back to face the aliens. ”Ianto, turn around!” she yelled.

”I can't, it's on auto-pilot!”

Owen pressed against the glass next to Gwen. She jumped when she saw the creatures hitting Jack over the head with a stone. He dropped to the ground, unconscious.

”Oh God,” she muttered.

”It's always him who gets to be the hero,” Owen replied. He looked worried. ”That idiot!”

***

Jack slowly became aware of his surroundings again when something wet brushed over his face. He groaned and opened his eyes, scrambling back in shock when he saw a huge creature hovering over him. It looked like a buffalo with its shaggy fur and the mule-like head. It didn't follow him, instead just licked over his arm. Jack wiped his face and got up slowly, taking another few steps back just to be on the safe side. He realized that he was still clutching his stun gun and pointed it at the creature for good measure but it didn't follow him, instead just standing there looking at him. Jack looked around and noticed that he was standing in a kind of an arena. Rocks were piled up around him – no exit was visible – and on the ridges, way above him, the little blue aliens were standing and chanting.

He needed a moment to figure out what they were saying.

”Gorignak?” he repeated and looked at the buffalo. ”Is that your name?”

The buffalo snorted.

“Yeah,” Jack muttered. “Didn't think so.”

***

Gwen, Ianto, Owen and John stormed into the ship's transport chamber where Tosh was already awaiting them, frantically tapping orders into what had been the control panel on the show. Most of the room was taken up by the beamer itself – a round platform on which whoever needed to be transported up or down would stand.

Gwen activated her vox. ”Jack? Jack? Can you hear me?”

It took a moment, but then his raspy voice filtered through the vox. ”Yeah, Gwen. You got me.”

They all let out a sigh of relief. Jack hadn't answered in the last fifteen minutes. That he did so now was a good sign.

Gwen smiled. ”Thank God! Are you okay?”

”Yeah. As a matter of fact, I’ve got Gorignak staring me in the face right now. But, you know what? I think I can take him.”

Gwen nodded at Tosh and she switched on the screen in the control panel, zooming in on the planet and finding Jack standing in an arena opposite what seemed to be a buffalo. Gwen was relieved that he wasn't in any immediate danger. The aliens were keeping to the ridge of the arena, apparently not interested in hurting him at the moment. ”Jack, we’re going to use the digital conveyor to get you out of there.”

She saw him raise the vox to his lips. ”The digital conveyor?”

”Yes.”

”You mean I’m going to be diced into cubes and sent up there in a million pieces?”

Tosh nodded and answered loudly enough for Gwen's vox to pick up her voice. ”Exactly.”

”Well, you know what? I think I’ll take my chances with Gorignak.”

Gwen saw Ianto roll his eyes before he frowned in concern again. She knew he felt guilty because he'd been unable to deactivate the auto-pilot before they'd arrived back on the ship. Going back by shuttle would take too long now. The idea to use the digital conveyer had been Tosh's when they'd been about half-way back. Instant transport. Tosh thought she was able to do it. Gwen thought they didn't have any other choice. ”We’re getting you out right now. It’s perfectly safe.” She turned to Teb, who'd showed them the way to the transport chamber from the hangar and was now hovering in a corner. “Isn’t it, Teb?”

The Thermian looked almost startled to be asked and then cleared his throat awkwardly. ”It has never been successfully tested.”

She stared at him until her vox sounded with Jack's voice. ”What did he say?”

”Hold, please.” She deactivated the channel.

Teb explained, ”Theoretically, the mechanism is fully operational. However, it was built to accommodate your … anatomy, not ours. But now that Sergeant Chen is here, she can operate it. It was designed watching her motions from the historical documents.”

Tosh swallowed, her dark eyes wide. ”I … I mean, I can’t. I … can supervise.”

Owen cursed and grabbed Gwen's vox. ”Jack, we’re going to test it.”

”On what?”

Ianto pointed at the screen. ”How about that buffalo?”

”Hey, I’m doing all right with the buffalo.”

Gwen nodded at Tosh. ”Please, Tosh. And hurry.”

Tosh nodded and prepared to beam, her shoulders tense and her jaw set grimly ... when Teb suddenly let out a high-pitched squeal, making all of them jump.

Owen glared at him. ”What the hell?”

Teb shrugged with a sheepish expression. ”I’m sorry. It’s very exciting to watch the master at the controls. The operation of the conveyor is more … art than science.”

They all stared at him.

Tosh sighed. ”Great.”

Gwen spoke into the vox. ”Stand back, Jack.”

Tosh cleared her throat and adjusted the controls, zeroing in on the buffalo. Then she hit start. There was a blinding light on the transporter's platform and then the buffalo appeared on the field but … Gwen turned around, gagging around a sudden lump of nausea.

John was deathly pale and Ianto put a hand over his mouth. ”Oh my God.”

Gwen turned back slowly to stare at what was apparently the right body having been transported. The only problem was that it now seemed to be turned inside out. The ribs were sticking up in the air and the organs were still working frantically to support life.

The buffalo groaned one more time and then died.

Tosh took a deep breath. ”Oh.”

”What? What was that?” Jack asked.

Owen quickly took the vox from Gwen. ”Uh …,” he said. ”Nothing.”

”I heard a groan or something.”

Ianto shook his head. ”Oh, no,” he replied with a nervous laugh. ”Everything’s fine.”

Teb said, ”But the animal is inside out.”

Gwen glared at him while Jack answered, ”I heard that. It turned inside out? Did I just hear that the animal turned inside out? Hello?”

Gwen snagged the vox from Owen's hand. ”Hold, please.”

”Hey, wait a minute. Guys!” He paused for a moment. ”If the buffalo is gone, why are they still yelling 'Gorignak'?”

Ianto's eyes widened and he turned to Teb. ”Teb, hit the translation circuit.”

Teb did as asked and the chanting changed, the translation software letting them hear the garbled translation. ”Rock!” the aliens chanted. ”Rock! Rock!”

Gwen looked at Owen. ”Jack. I don’t think the buffalo was Gorignak.”

”Oh, really?” Jack asked sarcastically and then sighed. ”That would have been too easy I guess.”

Tosh was still frantically tapping away at the transporter controls. Ianto stepped closer to her, putting a hand on her shoulder. ”Can you fix it?”

She answered, ”Well, there's nothing to fix, really. It works. There's just some options I need to deactivate.”

Owen cursed. ”You should think that the option 'transport alive' would be default.”

”Oh, shit!” Jack said. ”Kids!” he yelled. ”I found Gorignak.”

They all focussed on the screen again and gasped when they saw part of the rock formation that had been lying in the middle of the arena starting to move. The rocks rolled around and finally formed a humanoid giant. And it went for Jack.

John gulped. ”Oh, fuck!” he said. ”It's a rock!”

”Jack, run!” Ianto yelled into the vox and Jack didn't hesitate to obey.

Tosh followed him with the transporter's camera and they all cringed when he stumbled over the ground and fell.

”Digitize me!” he screamed.

Gwen looked at Tosh. ”Come on.”

She shook her head and took a step back. ”Not me.”

”Come on! They based it on your hand movements.”

Tosh shook her head. ”Am I the only one who saw that thing inside out? No, no, no, no. I … I’m not the person who kills him. I’m not even Tech Sergeant Chen. I’m Tosh Sato. I'm an actress!”

Owen snagged the vox. ”Tosh won't do it, Jack,” he said angrily. ”You’re just going to have to kill it.”

”Kill it?” Jack asked, hiding behind a rock. ”Well, I’m open to any suggestions.”

Ianto leaned towards the vox, his eyes riveted to the screen. ”Go for the eyes, like in episode 22.”

”It doesn’t have any eyes, Ianto.”

”Go for the mouth or the throat, its vulnerable spots!”

”It’s a rock! It doesn’t have any vulnerable spots!”

John gasped and quickly grabbed the vox from Owen. ”I know! Construct a weapon. Look around you. Can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?”

Gwen saw Jack kick the rock he was hiding behind. ”A lathe? Get off the line, MacGyver! Owen, you’re my advisor. Advise me.”

Owen balled his hands into fists and closed his eyes, clearly trying to think through the haze of panic they all felt. ”Well, you’re just going to have to figure out what it wants. What is its motivation?”

Jack left his hiding spot when the rock monster got too close and ducked behind another one. ”Are you kidding me? It’s a rock monster. It doesn’t have motivation.”

Owen cursed. ”See, that’s your problem, Jack. You were never serious about the craft.”

For a moment, they only heard Jack frantically drawing in breaths, then he said gently, ”Tosh, can you hear me? Tosh, are you there?”

”Maybe,” she answered hesitantly.

”You can do it, Tosh. It’s up to you.”

”Oh, no, no, no, Jack, I’ll just ... I’ll just mess it up.”

”You did it for five years on the show. Do it now.”

Tosh shook her head. ”That was on the show. I’m not that girl.”

”Tosh, you never forgot a line! You never missed a mark!”

Tosh closed her eyes. ”That’s not me anymore, Jack.”

”It is you! You can do this, Tosh. I know in my heart that you’re going to save my life.”

Tosh drew a deep breath. ”I am?”

”No doubt about it.”

Owen put a hand on Tosh's shoulder and nodded at her. ”He's right. If anyone can do it, then you can. You weren't just a whiz kid on screen.”

She smiled at him.

”Now, Tosh!” Jack screamed and they saw him running, looking for another hiding spot and finding none. The rock monster approached, roaring loudly.

Determinedly, Tosh zipped up her uniform and took position, her fingers flying over the keys.

”Tosh? I don’t want to die down here. Digitize me, Tosh.”

The rock monster raised its arm, ready to strike and Tosh pushed the button. Just a few seconds later, Jack was lying on the transport platform, his arms crossed over his head protectively.

”Jack!” Gwen said, relieved, and hurried over to him.

Tosh laughed. ”Oh, wow!”

Owen put a hand on her shoulder. ”Good job, Tosh.”

Teb looked at her with something akin to adoration. ”Tech Sergeant Chen,” he whispered.

”Yes!” Jack shouted triumphantly, getting to his feet. He ran over and whisked Tosh into an embrace. ”I knew it! That's my girl!” Tosh laughed and let him press a kiss to her forehead. ”Good job, everyone, in fact!” Jack said, looking at them all.

Ianto nodded. ”Glad you're okay,” he muttered.

”Yeah, well,” Jack answered, standing with one arm around Tosh. ”In the nick of time.” For a moment, they were all quiet, just basking in the feeling of success, then Jack clapped his hands. ”Well, back to business. Did we get the Beryllium sphere installed?”

Teb smiled widely. ”Yes. We are back to full power.”

”Great! Engines and pods?”

”Fully operational.”

”Perfect! You can drop us off on Earth and you kids can be back on the road to your home planet before supper.”

Teb shook his head. ”Oh, no, sir. We have no reason to go back.”

Jack laughed. ”Sure you do. Family, friends ...”

Teb just stared at him quizzically.

”Come on,” Jack said.

”We are all that is left,” Teb said.

Gwen felt as if she'd been punched. She put a hand over her lips and blinked against a well of tears.

Ianto swallowed. ”You never said.”

”We didn’t know that,” Jack said at the same time.

They glanced at each other and then ducked their heads.

John gave a sigh. ”Damn.”

Gwen wiped her eyes. ”I'm so sorry,” she whispered.

”I'm sure you are,” Teb replied with a nod, his eyes shining, but he smiled when he focussed on Jack and held his vox out for Jack to take. ”Sir, I have hailed Mathasar.”

Owen cleared his throat and Jack visibly shook himself out of his shock, grabbing the vox. ”Mathasar, meet us up on the command deck.”

No answer came.

”Mathasar.”

Gwen caught Jack's uneasy glance, catching herself thinking that this would be the point in a script where the bad guys would enter the room.

”Mathasar, Laliari!” Jack looked at Teb. ”Why can’t we reach them?”

At that moment, the door opened and Sarris strode in.



Chapter Ten
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist