38 : The Stolen Earth (Part 1)
It’s only a few days later that everything goes to hell in a handbasket, and Violet’s not sure if that’s an exaggeration or not. A rather large tremor throws the furniture around in Cardiff, sending everyone in the Torchwood Hub tumbling to the floor.
“Whoa, what happened?” Jack exclaims. “Was it the Rift? Gwen? Ianto? Violet? You okay?”
“No broken bones,” Ianto reports, helping Violet up. “Slight loss of dignity. No change there then.”
“The whole of the city must’ve felt that,” Gwen muses. “The whole of South Wales.”
“I’m going to take a look outside.” Jack runs out while Ianto activates a computer screen.
“A little bit bigger than South Wales,” Ianto says with disbelief.
Violet takes one look at the screen and sprints outside after Jack, finding him standing in the middle of the street near the Roald Dahl Plass.
“That’s just impossible,” Jack breathes, taking Violet’s hand in his and holding it tightly.
: : : :
In Ealing, London at the house of Sarah Jane Smith, the worried mother is checking up on her fourteen-year-old son. Her son, Luke, is climbing up off the floor when Sarah Jane hurries in, fussing over the young boy like only a mother could do.
“Luke, are you alright?” Sarah Jane asks her son, worried.
“Felt like some sort of cross-dimensional spatial transference,” Luke exclaims.
“But it’s night. It wasn’t night. It was eight o’clock in the morning. Mister Smith, I need you.”
A brick fireplace transforms into a computer.
“Can you just stop giving that fanfare? You just tell me what happened.”
“Sarah Jane, I think you should look outside,” Mr Smith, the computer, informs. “I think you’ll find the visual evidence most conclusive.”
Sarah Jane runs outside and stares up at the sky, her eyes wide with horror. “That’s impossible.”
: : : :
Outside the Nobles’ home in Chiswick, Donna’s grandfather, Wilfred, is glaring around, ready to beat some sense into whatever kind of aliens have invaded his home planet this time, and all he has to do so is a wooden cricket bat.
“It’s gone dark. It’s them aliens, I’ll bet my pension,” Wilf curses, brandishing his cricket bat. “What do you want this time, you green swine?”
“Dad,” Sylvia, Donna’s mother, calls.
“Look, you get back inside, Sylvia. They always want the women.”
“No, Dad, just look. Oh, my God. Look at the sky.”
: : : :
UNIT, New York
At UNIT in New York, Martha Jones has also felt the earth-shattering shock that sent nearly everything flying, and also sent people tumbling onto the hard floors of the base, battering and bruising the soldiers. After making sure nobody was seriously hurt, she rushes outside and stares up at the sky, her brown eyes filled with terror she’s only ever seen and never felt.
“It can’t be,” she breathes in complete disbelief.
: : : :
A Street in London, near Chiswick
The milkman turns around to see a blonde woman toting a honking great weapon pop into existence. He’s startled to say the least, but he finds it to be the smallest of his problems once he takes note of the sky.
Rose looks up. “Right, now we’re in trouble.” She powers up the gun. “It’s only just beginning.”
Instead of distant stars, the sky is filled with other planets in close proximity.
: : : :
For some odd reason, the TV is on in the Torchwood Hub, and both Violet and Ianto are sitting in front of it, watching some random talk show the male put on. She’s not entirely watching it, more focused on her inability to get in contact with either the Doctor or Donna, and her rising anxiety of the situation at hand.
“The United Nations has issued an edict, asking the citizens of the world not to panic,” Amnn informs. “So far, there has been no explanation of the twenty six planets which have appeared in the sky
“But it’s an empirical fact,” Richard Dawkins dismisses. “The planets didn’t come to us, we came to them. Just look at the stars. We’re in a completely different region of space. We’ve travelled.”
“…do you know what, I look up and there’s all these moons and things,” Paul O’Grady relays. “Have you seen them? Did you see them?”
“Yeah!” the audience replies.
“I thought, what was I drinking last night, furniture polish?”
Ianto laughs with the studio audience and Violet blinks several times before letting out a half disgusted, half irritated sigh. She has never been able to understand how some people find this kind of thing amusing, but she supposes that it’s due to everyone on planet Earth being completely different no matter how hard they try to assimilate with “normal” society - whatever that is.
“Ianto,” Jack warns. “Time and a place.”
“He is funny, though,” Ianto sighs, but he evidently turns off the TV.
“Violet, Gwen, come and see.”
Violet groans in mock complaint but swings her legs off Ianto’s lap and hops off the chair, hurrying up to Jack while Gwen finishes phoning her other half. Ianto soon follows and Gwen’s call comes to an end, leading to four people crowding around the computer Jack’s working at.
Jack clicks on something. “Someone’s established an artificial atmospheric shell, keeping the air and holding in the heat.”
“Whoever’s done this wants the human race alive. That’s a plus,” Ianto muses, a hint of sarcastic amusement in his voice. “Twenty seven planets, including the Earth.”
As the planets on the scan move in their orbits, a flashing red dot appears in the middle.
“No, but what’s that?” Gwen asks. “That’s not a planet.”
: : : :
“The reading seems to be artificial in construction,” Mr Smith informs.
“Some sort of space station sitting at the heart of the web,” Sarah Jane muses.
“They’re fine,” Luke says on the phone. “Maria and her dad, they’re still in Cornwall. I told them to stay indoors. And Clyde’s all right. He’s with his mum.”
“Sarah Jane, I have detected movement,” Mr Smith says. “Observe.”
Luke hangs up and stares at the screen. “Spaceships.”
: : : :
UNIT, New York
Army brass are taking control.
“Tracking two hundred objects. Earthbound trajectory,” Sanchez declares. “Geneva is calling a Code Red. Everyone to battle positions. Doctor Jones, if you’re not too busy.”
“I’m trying to phone the Doctor, sir,” Martha informs, phone to her ear.
“There’s no signal. This number calls anywhere in the universe. It never breaks down. They must be blocking it, whoever they are.”
“We’re about to find out. They’re coming into orbit.”
: : : :
Violet turns the TV back on and switches it to BBC News. “We’re now getting confirmed reports of spaceships. The Pentagon has issued an emergency report saying that two hundred objects are now heading towards Earth in a regular pattern.”
“Three thousand miles and closing,” Gwen informs. “But who are they?”
Jack’s mobile rings and he puts it on speaker. “Martha Jones, voice of a nightingale. Tell me you put something in my drink.”
“No such luck,” Martha laughs slightly. “Have you heard from the Doctor?”
“Not a word. Where are you?”
“Ooo, nice for some”
“I’ve been promoted. Medical Director on Project Indigo.”
“Did you get that thing working?” Jack and Violet ask, delight and interest in their voices.
“Indigo’s top secret. No one’s supposed to know about it.”
“Jack met a soldier in a bar,” Violet laughs. “And I may have or may have not accompanied him.”
Jack grins. “It’s a long story.”
“When was that?” Ianto asks, jealousy slipping into his usually controlled voice.
“Fifteen hundred miles, boys, and accelerating,” Gwen warns. “They’re almost here.”
Suddenly, an incoming transmission from the spaceships is played and Violet almost screams out in pure terror, her legs instantly giving out and making her fall back onto Jack. He is rigid, she is trembling, and it’s one whole shit ass mess that both wish that they weren’t here to see.
“Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate,” the Daleks recite, their static, electronic voices making Violet whimper. “Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate.”
“No,” Jack breathes.
“What is it? Who are they?” Gwen asks, her own voice fearful. “Do you know them, Jack?”
Jack pulls Ianto and Gwen close and kisses them both on the forehead before also doing the same to Violet once Ianto his holding her upright.
“Exterminate. Exterminate,” the Daleks continue. “Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate.”
“There’s nothing I can do,” Jack tells them.
“I’m sorry. We’re dead.”