Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, The Doctor (10), OFC, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Benton, Harry Sullivan, Michael Yates, Wilfred Mott/Tom Campbell
Disclaimer: Neither Torchwood or Doctor Who are mine
Summary: Someone is stealing soldiers
Spoilers: All Torchwood, including Children of Earth, all Doctor Who
Warning: Talk of nudity
A/N: This answers the questions. Well… my questions anyway.
A/N2: This is a sequel to Doctor Who and The Infernal Inferno. You don’t have to read it, but it explains where the OC came from.
’Old soldiers never die, it just feels that way.’ Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart said to himself as he made his way back towards the taxi rank, every bone in his war torn body aching from age and over use.
‘It had been good to see Benton and Harry again at the reunion,’ the Brigadier mused to himself, ‘but Yates… that was a different story. After being kicked out… "Asked to resign"… from UNIT, he… he’d gone and become gay of all things. Living with a chap called Tommy.’ Last time the Brigadier had seen them both was in a Buddhist meditation centre, he recalled… ‘All those dammed spiders.’ He gave an involuntary shiver of revulsion, the smell of brandy heavy on his breath. ‘Seemed a decent sort of chap at the time. Who would have thought? Batting for the other side now… so to speak,’ he said, shaking his head in wonderment.
Taking a short cut through the park had been his idea. He could have called for a taxi from the hotel but, ‘where was the fun in that?’ He had to live dangerously at times to help make him feel alive, even if it was only a short walk through the park at midnight.
The Brigadier walked on, musing to himself, going over old times from a full and active life to the old man that he was today. The noise of his cane tapping the ground in front of him distracted him from the noise of approaching footsteps from behind. The two muggers were almost on top of him by the time he turned to confront them.
‘Give us your money granddad, we know what you’ve got.’ Shaking his head the Brigadier casually raised his stick, but then thought better of it. Threatening someone with the gun that was housed inside was one thing but shooting them was another. Casually, and without any sign of anger, he poked the lead hooligan in the eye.
‘Bastard, that hurt!’ The man screamed as he removed a flick knife concealed in a trouser pocket. ‘I’m going to cut you so you bleed, you old fart.’ Fuelled with hatred and anger he swung the knife, its blade missing the Brigadiers face by inches. Inverting the walking stick, the Brigadier slammed the handle against the back of the mugger’s hand, causing him to drop the knife. Turning the stick again he prepared to slam the rubber end down on the back of his attacker’s neck then stopped, looking on he couldn’t comprehend why the blow had missed. Pain ran through his old, worn out body as the second blow landed against the side of his head. He felt the warmth of blood run down his cheek as he slowly dropped to his knees, coughing and retching. A well-aimed kick caught him in the ribs and rolled him over onto his back. The overhead light flashed on the silver side of the flick knife as it descended towards his throat.
Closing his eyes he pictured his first wife Fiona and wondered where their relationship had gone wrong. They’d had a loving daughter Kate and one or two grandchildren to boot. Then there was Doris… the love of his life. The marriage to Fiona had been one of convenience. Her father, the general, had wanted a suitable man for the job and it seemed he was that man. No matter what he did to try and change things, he ended up marrying her anyway. Working for UNIT had finally put paid to their relationship… and Doris. He felt guilty having an affair with her; she was worth more than that. But that was life… full of surprises. Like the one he now found himself in.
‘Is he alright? Can you hear me Brigadier?’
‘Get back Benton, you’re crowding him.’ Harry said, checking the Brigadier’s pulse as he did so. ‘And that’s General or Sir Alistair to you.’ Benton shrugged as he snapped the flick knife’s blade against the ground and threw it in the bin next to them.
‘But Harry, you called me Benton, not Regimental Sergeant Major Benton.’ Harry shrugged as he held a handkerchief against the side of the Brigadier’s head.
‘Nothing broken here old boy; I fear he may have a concussion though… and I’m Commodore Sullivan Deputy Director of MI5 and I want you to address me as such.’
Benton grinned and, ignoring Harry, turned and picked up the unconscious body of the first attacker. A rustle in the bushes produced another ex-UNIT soldier, the body of the second attacker slung unceremoniously over one shoulder.
‘Yates, Harry says the Brig’ll be fine. Just a bang on the head.’ Harry shook his head in frustration.
Looking over towards Yates, Harry shouted, ‘Captain Michael Alexander Raymond Yates,’ he then paused for effect but, realising he wasn’t getting any, continued, ‘just put that trash down anywhere and help me with the Brig… er… the general, will you old thing.’
Yates dropped the second attacker into a bush of nettles and hurried over to help Harry with the Brigadier who, it seemed, was coming round.
‘Ahh, what the hell happened?’ The Brigadier said, holding his hand to his sore ribs. ‘Benton, I want a full report now. Yates, don’t stand there dithering man, put me on that bench over there.’ Harry and Yates lowered the Brigadier carefully onto the wooden bench.
Yates began dusting off dirt and grass stains from his dinner jacket when the Brigadier stopped him. ‘Stop fussing Yates. You’re not at home now.’
Benton delved inside his jacket pocket pulling out a hip flask filled with whiskey. ‘Ah, just the ticket Benton. Knew I could rely on you.’ Turning towards Yates he gave him a pained look. ‘What the hell are you doing here Yates? Didn’t you get drummed out for being one of those “Nancy boys” or something?’
Harry, embarrassed at the Brigadier’s tactlessness, turned away, checking on the two unconscious men that lay in the bushes next to him. Benton looked at Yates and smiled. Watching Harry tending the two unconscious men, then over at Benton, the Brigadier dabbed at the cut on his forehead.
‘Good work Benton; I could have had him though. Just about to pounce when you took the blighter out.’ Benton shook his head.
‘It wasn’t me Brigadier, it was… well…’ Yates cut in.
‘It was the “Nancy boy” that saved you… sir.’ He added the sir out of respect for his rank and the years of service he’d spent with the Brigadier.
‘Oh… well… good show anyway Benton.’ The Brigadier tried to stand but sat back with a start, his vision still blurry.
‘I say old thing, you nearly took this one’s eye out. Harry chirped up trying to diffuse the situation.
‘Would have taken his head off if I hadn’t slipped.’ The Brigadier said with a sense of pride. Looking around at Harry tending to the wounded, the Brigadier said offhandedly, ‘better call in the locals Benton, get them on the scene.’ Looking back the way they had come, the Brigadier noticed a figure heading in their direction.
‘Don’t have to sir. Wilf’s on it.’ The Brigadier looked back at him, his face filled with incomprehension.
‘That would be Captain Wilfred Mott, late of the Parachute Regiment, the SAS and seconded to UNIT back in the sixties.’ Harry looked up staring at the approaching figure.
‘Extremely late, if you ask me.’ Yates said, as the advancing figure joined them.
‘It’s you isn’t it?’ The Brigadier said, standing with the help of Yates. Realising who it was that had helped him, he brushed away Yates’ grip. ‘You’re not in one of those leather clubs on the West End now Yates. A chap can stand on his own when the moment calls for it.’ Suitably chastised, Yates took a step back under the Brigadier’s stern gaze.
Turning back to Wilf, the Brigadier eyed him closely. ‘It is you. You were the first of us; the most important man here.’ Wilf smiled, not knowing what the Brigadier was talking about. ‘It’s Wilfred Mott, or should I call you Special Constable Tom Campbell?’ Wilf’s smile dropped at the sound of the name he hadn’t heard in years, and approached the Brigadier with caution.
‘It’s been forty years since I last heard that name. Forty years of hiding who I was, pretending to be someone else until I was that person.’ Yates smiled.
‘He’s not gay is he? Frightened to come out and all that?’ The Brigadier looked at Yates with horror in his eyes.
‘No Yates, he’s not one of your shirt lifters.’ Yates looked indignant.
‘I’ve never lifted a shirt in-‘
‘He’s a soldier like us. He was the first person to have contact with a certain extra-terrestrial we all know and love.’ Benton smiled, his hand outstretched before him.
‘Wilf you old fraud. You never said. How long have you known the Doctor?’ At the mention of the Doctor’s name, Wilf’s eyes lit up. Passing the flask over to him the Brigadier nodded, giving him approval to tell his story and break forty years of silence.
‘Well it all started when I was a Special Constable. I was only eighteen at the time. Fresh out of college I was. Still wet behind the ears so to speak.’
Stopping, he took a pull from the flask and, gasping at the fiery fluid inside, he handed it across to Benton.
‘A bank robbery took place in the centre of town just as I was passing. I can tell you in no uncertain terms, I panicked. Without thinking I ran to the nearest Police call box to report the burglary.’ Standing, Harry approached them with a smile.
‘Ahh, the TARDIS. Now that’s something that can get a chap into real problems, what.’ Wilf nodded.
‘Yes it was the TARDIS but… the Doctor was different back then.’ The Brigadier nodded.
‘Small chap about forty five… fifty… heavy fur coat… played that infernal flute.’ Wilf shook his head. ‘Or was it the dandy, six foot two, grey hair… dressed as if he were just about to go to the opera?’ Wilf again shook his head.
‘No General, he was old, grey haired yes but about five six and walked with a stick.’ The Brigadier was momentarily stunned. He’s never seen the Doctor in that regeneration before. Then he remembered their meeting on Gallifrey that time, when all the Doctors were called in together. He did recall an old man walking with a cane.
‘Anyway,’ Wilf continued. ‘Before I knew what was going on, off we went to Earth in the future. That’s when I first saw them.’
‘Daleks,’ the Brigadier announced with a shiver, as if someone had just walked across his grave.
‘Yes, Daleks, the most evil bunch of tin metal that ever rolled across the Earth.’ Wilf’s eyes looked wild, as if remembering his youth, a thousand mile stare looking into the past.
‘Wait a minute… I’ve read about this, old boy, in the UNIT files. It was Chesterton that went to Earth in 2150, not Wilfred Mott… or Tom Campbell or whatever he calls himself now.’ Harry’s words stung Wilf, snapping him out of his reverie.
‘It was me that fought the Daleks in that mine. Ian Chesterton was away that day with his sick mother. It was just Tom Campbell, Barbara and Susan… and the Doctor of course.’ Yates took a step forward placing a hand on Wilf’s shoulder.
‘It’s okay, we believe you. Now tell us why the name change and all the cloak and dagger stuff.’ Wilf looked up, his eyes focusing on the old men in front of him.
‘When I returned no one would believe me. Yes I’d caught the criminals but they all thought it was potluck, so I left. Changed my name to Wilfred Mott and joined the second Parachute Regiment where I served as a Captain. Joined the SAS after that, for a three year stint, until I bumped into one Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart… and for the first time in my life someone believed me.’ The Brigadier nodded. ‘He regaled me with tales of Yetis in the Underground, time vortex’s, you name it and I was hooked. The Colonel was promoted to Brigadier and I worked for UNIT until I retired.’
‘Good name, good man.’ The Brigadier added. ‘Kept our secrets safe for years. Even his wife didn’t know.’ Wilf nodded.
‘I never told Irene, not once. Never thought of a reason to, I suppose. For forty years I kept that secret, selling papers, gazing up at the stars, talking to anyone and everyone, but not about that, no… not until one Christmas weekend. There he stood, large as life, one of those waitresses next to him, a cute little thing as I remember. I knew it was him, different face, younger body, but I knew it was him, except… he didn’t recognise me. I was sat there in front of him and he didn’t even recognise me.’
Yates was just about to put an arm around Wilf’s shoulder but froze when the Brigadier shot him a look. ‘And then I knew. For the first time I realised something.’
‘What? What had you realised Wilf?’ Benton asked.
‘He has more important things on his mind than remembering you, old thing.’ Harry added, looking down at the still unconscious bodies as he did so.
‘No… I realised for the first time that I… I was old. I wasn’t getting old anymore, I was old.’ Each man, in turn, stopped all their thinking processes and gazed at each other, as if for the first time they too realised that they were old.
From everywhere a voice reverberated through out the clearing, washing over them like an icy bath.
‘You’re not old. You have life, experience and an ability to go on when all about you is in devastation. You were, and still are, warriors.’ In an instant their vision flashed bright as unconsciousness took hold of their old frail bodies, snatching them from the park.
A police car pulled into the clearing, the blue and red light flashing, bathing the surrounding bushes and trees in an eerie glow, causing strobe light shadows to dance and hide with each pass of the beam. The passenger door opened and a police Chief Inspector stepped out playing his torch across the bushes.
Lying behind a park bench were two youth, dressed in leather jackets and looking worse for wear as they staggered to their feet. There was no sign of the attacked man that the call had informed them would be there.
He’d responded to an emergency code which had been given by the caller. It was an old code but still active. To him it meant danger was at hand. If it was danger outside of his remit he would normally have called Torchwood but no one had heard from them in s while and he wasn’t even sure they were still going. The crime scene looked like an attempted mugging but there was no sign of the victim or victims, just four piles of clothes and a walking stick.
‘Where the hell are the bodies?’ The Inspector looked worried. This was definitely out of his hands.
Behind him he heard a vehicle accelerating up the path, blue lights flashing on either side of the driver’s window. ‘Now it’ll hit the fan,’ he said to his driver as the Torchwood SUV drove into the clearing. Within a split second, a bright light engulfed the vehicle causing it to swerve, skid and then slam headlong into a nearby tree, just missing the two men as they tried to walk on unsteady feet.
‘Right, I was a cordon set around this park and as many men as we have to search the area.’ Running towards the vehicle, heedless of his own safety, the Inspector removed his torch and ran the light over the interior. All that was left, to say that anyone had been there, was a blue air force greatcoat and matching trousers, draped across the front seat.
Shinning the torch into the rear of the SUV, all the Inspector could see was an empty hospital gurney with a set of clothing, shoes and matching tie. All looking the worse for wear and set out as if someone had been wearing them and had somehow slipped out of them without disturbing the material.
‘Who the hell do I call when Torchwood are in trouble?’ The Inspector asked one of his PC’s, who had run up to join him, his jaw hanging open in surprise at what he saw.
The Sontaran Police 2/7