Title: Through Time And Space: Chapter 19.1 – Undoing The Past Part 1
Characters: Ianto, OCs.
Word Count: 1135
Spoilers: CoE, House of the Dead
Summary: Ianto and his TARDIS embark on a risky attempt to change the recent past and save lives. Will they succeed?
Written For: Challenge #123: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge # 7: Do-Over.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
Ianto finally called a halt to the celebrations somewhere around five in the morning, station time; by then everyone was too tired to dance anyway.
“We should all try to get some sleep,” he told them, “tomorrow is going to be busy.”
“I do not understand,” Garten admitted. “We were victorious; what more is there to be done?”
“Well, for a start you need to report to the temporary commander of the station. She’s going to be taking statements from all those affected by Pax’s activities, that’s the only way you’ll get back what was taken from you. I expect once she’s been made aware of the details, Commander Bain will authorize the start of repairs to your lifepod; that is, if Pax hasn’t already had the work done with the intention of selling it so he could pocket the proceeds. That lifepod and everything that was on it belongs to you and your people, I see no reason why you shouldn’t get it back.”
Garten looked surprised. “You are right, I had not thought of that; we should reclaim what is ours.”
“Bain’s investigation is set to start at noon; best to be there early if possible, there are bound to be a lot of other people in a similar situation, and you don’t want to be at the back of the queue.”
“Wise advice indeed. There is not much time left for sleeping; we had best not waste any more of it. Good night, Ianto.” The content but weary family left the console room to return to their quarters, and after wishing Ianto a restful sleep, the Tallans also departed.
As soon as he was alone, Ianto sank into one of the console room’s comfortable armchairs, closed his eyes and waited. It wasn’t very long before Auber joined him.
“It is right that Garten and his family should request return of their property, yet I sense you have other reasons for wanting them to return to the space station,” he said shrewdly, settling into the chair across from Ianto and pouring them both a drink from the bottle Ianto had brought to the table.
Ianto picked up his glass and sipped slowly. “I do. I’m about to attempt something that may not even prove possible. It’s risky, and I don’t want the Megillys to know about it in case I fail, but the TARDIS seems to think it should be possible, at least in theory. Only trouble is, she can’t see whether or not we’ll succeed.” He set his glass back on the table and leant forward, forearms resting on his knees. “You know that the TARDIS can travel in time as well as space?”
“So you have said.”
“Well, we’re going to try to go back in time and save the Megilly family’s freighter, or at least the crew. It’ll be tricky, we can’t do anything to interfere with Garten and his family escaping in their lifepod, so the TARDIS will need to materialise somewhere onboard that it won’t be spotted. Garten doesn’t know the fates of the other people on board, or what happened to their ship after they left, which means that altering events won’t change anything from their point of view. If there was a significant possibility of creating a paradox, I’d be wary of attempting it, but so far it’s looking good. From what the TARDIS tells me, the pirate ship’s hyperdrive engines were damaged in the battle; it’ll take weeks for it to get back here through normal space, which is why it hasn’t shown up yet.
Now, obviously there’s no profit for the brigands in destroying the freighter; they’ll want to salvage everything they can, so chances are it’s still more or less in one piece, just drifting. Garten’s people might have been taken as slaves, but were most likely killed. I’m going to try to alter the outcome of the battle, change something that’s already happened. I’ve never done anything like this before, and I have no way of knowing whether or not I’ll be changing things for the better, so while I’d appreciate your help, it’s up to you whether you and your people stay on the space station or come with me. Before you decide, I should warn you; it could be very dangerous.”
Auber considered Ianto’s words carefully, finishing his drink before speaking. “You will be one man against however many brigands are attacking the freighter, and there is no guarantee that any of the freighter’s crew will be able to assist you.”
“I know, but I’ll have the element of surprise, plus I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Most importantly, if I do happen to get killed it won’t be permanent; one of the advantages of being immortal, though I’d prefer to avoid dying if at all possible. I’ve already died once; it’s not an experience I particularly want to repeat.”
“Understandable.” Auber’s nose crinkled up in a Tallan smile. “Therefore, I will accompany you, in case you need someone to watch your back, but I will send the young ones with the Megillys. I believe they would enjoy visiting the space station now that it is safe to do so, and they will be company for Surilla while her parents are busy.”
“Thank you, Auber, you’re a true friend.” Ianto laid his hand briefly over the Tallan’s. “I appreciate it more than I can tell you.” Rising to his feet, he stretched and yawned. “Well, now that’s decided, I suppose we’d better get some sleep ourselves. This is one adventure we’ll need to be at our best for!”
The next morning after breakfast, all the companions gathered in the console room, feeling surprisingly refreshed; Ianto suspected the TARDIS had done something to the flow of time within her walls so that everyone could get a full night’s sleep while only two or three hours passed outside.
It was still relatively early in the space station’s day, but even so, by the time they reached the atrium in front of the security HQ, where Commander Bain and her troops were billeted, there were already hundreds of people milling about. Men and women in steel grey uniforms were moving among the complainants, handing out paperwork to be completed in order to speed up the investigation process.
Garten and Jessa approached one of the uniformed personnel, collected the necessary forms, then found a place they could sit to fill them out, while Izelle and the Tallans took Surilla and Henty to play with the children of the other complainants. They were all so busy that Ianto and Auber were able to slip away without anyone noticing and return to the TARDIS, where they’d left her posing as an inconspicuous doorway on a side street. With a muted whooshing sound she dematerialised….