Summary- Regeneration takes the pieces of you and turns them into something else. But what if a part of you didn't want to leave. What if your old self didn't agree with what you were doing? What if the animal within got out?
The Darkness Within Prologue (PG13)
The Darkness Within 1 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 2 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 3 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 4 (PG13)
Jack Harkness was scared of very little. Even before his apparent immortality, his upbringing and subsequent conscription into the Time Agency had made him immune to the usual fears that plagued mankind, even advanced as they were.
He had never been afraid of the dark, or monsters, or bugs and beasties and now even death held no fear for him.
He had never really been scared of people either, only what they could do, and, as he stood in front of the Doctor whose blood poured from his hand as his face twisted in sadistic delight, Jack felt that small frisson of fear of possibilities, of capabilities, of one who had so much power … and so little left to lose.
Rose had always been the Doctor’s weakness and from the first moment he had laid eyes on him, Jack had known that the Doctor would willingly die for the blonde human. He’d accepted that and even come to understand it to some measure, by the innocence and sweet naivety of the girl. She exuded an innocence and sweet naivety that drew men in and made them tremble.
But this determination to get to her, this intense resolve that he cross worlds to reach her was bordering on an infatuated foolishness that made Jack’s insides grow cold and wrench in apprehension.
It seemed that his regeneration had deepened his desire for Rose to a precarious level.
A Twenty-third century philosopher had remarked: What madness lies within, that genius in all its logic can be felled by need.
For the first time, Jack understood those words. All of the Doctor’s genius and intelligence were overcome by his need for one girl and it had driven him to this; to trying to circumvent nature and bend the laws of time and space to the breaking point.
In most it would be called madness, but with the Doctor’s power he could actually do it—and that was even more dangerous.
Jack bit down on his lip in unconscious anxiety as his mind whirled, trying to come up with a plan.
“Jack,” the Doctor said, breaking into his reverie with a low tone. “I’m not asking.”
“But you know how risky this is?” Jack tried with bravado. “C’mon, Doc. Rose was one hell of a gal but breaching the rift?”
The Doctor leaned back against the table and stared hard at Jack. Jack felt the skin on the back of his neck crawl—he wondered if the Doctor could read his every thought.
“A hell of a gal?” he raised one eyebrow and Jack straightened, refusing to back down.
The Doctor gave a short laugh, a bitter, hollow sound and he looked down at his folded arms before flickering his gaze up to the waiting Captain.
“Each of us bears his own hell.”
“Virgil,” Jack recognised the quote and the Doctor inclined his head in acquiescence.
“Knew what he was talking about, did old Virgil. Fact of the matter, Captain,” the address was laced with scorn, “is that I’ve had enough of my own personal hell. I want Rose back and I’ll do anything to get it.”
He turned and walked out of the room, the door slamming shut behind him.
Jack stared after him, icy fingers of foreboding sliding down his spine as he saw the shards of fractured glass littering the carpet. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
The Doctor strode out into the main hub of Torchwood and stared at the complicated machine in the centre. “So, what’s this then?”
Gwen looked over at him. “Oh, that’s one of Jack’s pet projects. Had it for a long while. He said it washed up in some sort of rift explosion back in the fifties. Apparently there was such a huge surge that it pulled a space craft into Earth’s orbit from nowhere and dropped it in America.”
“Roswell,” the Doctor nodded.
“A time surge, he called it,” Gwen continued in her sweet welsh accent, “made all sorts of things appear.”
The Doctor’s eyes drifted over the machine. “It was a backlash from a war fought light years away from Earth. You were lucky; some planets that got in the way of that backlash were incinerated. All Earth had to deal with was fall-out.”
“How do you know so much?” she asked curiously, but he ignored her.
“This machine was brought through the rift?”
“Far as I can tell,” Jack said, coming up behind them, “it’s a rift monitor. It sends off transmissions every time there’s activity. Past few months, it’s been going nuts.”
“Well it would,” the Doctor added scathingly, “what with Daleks and Cybermen coming through all the time; regular little party.” A thought occurred to him. “I suppose you took readings of all the temporal displacements and the energy signatures of each breakthrough.”
“Tosh did.” Gwen offered and Jack turned to call across the Hub.
She peered up from pages of calculations and hurried over. “Jack, I’ve found a random transposition of elements from that diacritic—”
“Yeah, great,” Jack interrupted, “call the Daily Mirror. The Doc has a question for ya, Tosh.”
“Yes?” Her curious eyes blinked up at the Doctor.
“Miss Sato, you took readings from all the displacements during the Battle of Canary Wharf and the energy signatures, right?”
“Naturally,” she said, somewhat baffled.
“So you have the transfer signatures for the place of origin?”
“Let me put this another way,” the Doctor looked into the air with a smug look crossing his face. “If we reversed the energy signatures, relayed the readings and retraced the temporal alignment and feed the figures into the rift monitor …”
Her eyes widened as she caught on. “We could pin point the point of origin and—”
“Open the rift back to Pete’s world!” the Doctor grinned widely. “Bam, problem solved.”
Toshiko frowned. “But to open the rift we’d need a huge source of interstellar energy, maybe even a matter transference monitor and something that could hold the tear in reality open.”
The Doctor sniffed and jerked his elbow over his shoulder to the blue box standing not too far away. “Easy. She’s got enough residual energy from an overdose of Huon particles and the remnants of a super nova surge. No problem.”
“Doctor?” Jack tried in vain to get the Doctor’s attention.
“It won’t take me long to find the specific co-ordinates,” Toshiko said excitedly. “The equations for the machine should be easy to calculate from there.”
“Doctor?” Jack spoke up louder, but the Doctor ignored him.
“Good girl, get on that.”
“We can reconfigure the monitoring coordinates to synchronise with the data that Toshiko calculates,” The Doctor said to Jack. “Then I can use the residual TARDIS energy to open up a small hole in the rift with the use of your machine and Bob’s your uncle—instant hole through to Rose’s universe.”
“Great,” Jack’s voice was flat.
“I know! It’s fantastic.” The Doctor beamed brightly and opened his arms wide, as if to embrace the world. “It’s more than fantastic, it’s … well, it’s me so I’m not surprised,” he grinned. “Always been a genius, me.”
Jack gave a small half-smile. “Yeah. Genius.”
“I am,” said the Doctor modestly.
“What?” the Doctor demanded testily.
“The machine isn’t complete.”
The Doctor stilled, triumph draining from his features. “What?”
“I bought it at auction in America, but the collector had already sold a part of it. I could never find out who to. The machine won’t work, Doctor. It’s pointless.”
The Doctor folded his arms across his chest and faced Jack with all the menace at his disposal. “It’s not complete?”
Jack refused to waver or back down from the irate Time Lord, despite the annoyance that flickered in his expression that sent unease shooting into Jack’s veins. “No.”
“Marvellous!” he scoffed and rolled his eyes towards the ceiling, suddenly deep in thought.
The ambiance of the Hub had stilled at the same time as the Doctor’s enthusiasm and the other members of Torchwood watched in seeming anticipation for this highly acclaimed Doctor to make his next move. Even Owen was oddly silent as the Doctor jammed his hands in his leather pockets and rocked on his heels.
“We have a rift manipulator that we can’t use because we don’t have all the pieces,” he mused aloud.
“Right,” Jack echoed.
“Solution,” the Doctor paused, staring around, “anyone?”
Gwen shrugged. “Get all the pieces?”
“Right!” the Doctor pointed at her. “Ten points to the Welsh. Right, Jack—where did you buy the manipulator?”
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “It’s a big place, Jack. Texas, Tahoe, Colorado, California? Can you narrow it down to a state?”
Jack wasn’t as impressed with the Doctor’s wit as Owen seemed to be and he glared at his flat-faced assistant. “Hey, Owen, how about you go finish those reports on the latest murders?”
“Oh, I’m fine here,” Owen waved his hand and Jack shot an irritated glare at him.
“It wasn’t a request.”
Owen pouted and jerked his feet off the table, muttering under his breath about abuse of power as he wandered off to the autopsy room in a snit.
“Got that out of your system?” the Doctor asked in amusement at Jack’s attempt to reassert his authority with his team in the face of their wavering loyalties to the Doctor.
He was greeted with another belligerent look from Jack who felt somewhat sheepish at the thought that that was exactly what he had been doing.
“A’right, Doc. I was in North America, Utah, when I heard that there was this auction for—”
The Doctor held up a hand with a pained groan. “Tell me, this auction wasn’t by any chance hosted by a ‘Henry Van Statten’, was it?”
“Yeah, actually, it was.” Jack frowned at yet more evidence of the Doctor omniscience. “You know him?”
“Know him, tortured by him, wiped his memory … but not yet.” The Doctor let loose a smirk. “And not with this face. Well, Jackie boy, looks like we’re going to America.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Ye—haw.”
Jack’s reintroduction to the TARDIS interior had even the super-composed Ianto blushing slightly as he ran his hands over the console and walls, cooing to it like a long lost lover.
The Doctor cleared his throat. “You want a moment alone?”
“Can I?” Jack’s eyes glittered.
“No.” The Doctor turned his back on the softly laughing Jack, and muttered something like “tart” to the console before turning to the gaping group who stood inside his magnificent time machine. He sighed, hating this part. “Yes?”
“It’s—” Owen began.
“—bigger on the inside, yes,” the Doctor finished. “Another?”
Gwen closed her mouth. “It’s—”
“—alien, yes.” The Doctor nodded.
Toshiko shook her head. “She’s—”
“—very shiny, yes.”
“—I’m not telling you.”
“You wouldn’t understand.” He glanced around. “Are we done?”
The four members of Torchwood nodded and clustered together in the room, eyes running greedily over the wonders that the TARDIS held.
The Doctor turned back to Jack and pulled a face. “If that stains, I’ll kill you.”
Jack held up his hands in feigned innocence. “Can’t I even say hello to the girl?”
“It’s sentient?” Toshiko wanted to know.
“She,” she was corrected by a very impatient Doctor, “and, once again, yes. The TARDIS—which stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, by the way—is sentient and has feelings and I can tell straight away that she dislikes Owen.”
Owen snatched his hand away from the console, looking guilty. “What?”
“So she transcends dimensions? Allowing the insides to be held on a different plane to the outside whilst intrinsically tied to the outer manifestation.” Toshiko murmured in appreciation of the machine. “Fascinating.”
The Doctor smiled down at the woman in faint approval. He always liked people who liked the TARDIS. “So, we’ll be off then.”
“This thing, this box,” Owen sneered. “Is going to, what? Teleport us to America?”
“No,” retorted Jack. “It’s going to transport me, Gwen and the Doctor to America. You, Tosh and Ianto need to watch the screens, monitor rift activity.”
“Oi!” Owen was not happy and was under no compulsion to keep it to himself. “How come policeman Polly gets to come and I don’t?” He groused.
“Police-woman,” Gwen corrected pompously and then stuck her tongue out, “because Jack likes me better.”
The Doctor stared at them in half-amusement half exasperation. “When you’re done acting like kids, we’ll need a ruse, Van Statten isn’t just going to let us waltz in and commandeer his files to find out who he sold the part to.”
“You could be collectors?” Toshiko offered. “Or sellers, do you have something in here that’s alien but harmless that you could sell him?”
The Doctor’s eyes glinted and he snapped his fingers. “Oh, I really like you. Right,” he eyed them all over. “Ianto, Toshiko and Jack, you’re coming with me—you look like rich collectors.”
Gwen pouted. “You saying I don’t?”
The Doctor shook his head, eyeing her faded t-shirt and black jeans in abject amusement. “No. Comic book collector maybe, but dealer in alien artefacts? Not so much.”
Gwen had the decency to blush as she took in Jack’s uniform, Ianto’s shirt and tie and Toshiko’s tailored suit.
She turned and walked out of the TARDIS, followed by a complaining Owen.
“What about me?” Owen gestured to his shirt. “I’m smart.”
“That’s debatable,” said the Doctor and smirked at the irritated look on Owen’s face. He started to shut the door in his face before thumbing over his shoulder and gesturing to Ianto and Tosh. “Besides, I like them more.”