The rift was active, and Cardiff was doomed. The sky was filled with beings from another world, and the TARDIS was occupied by the most ghastly of creatures. As the Doctor and his close allies reached the doors, they suddenly stopped dead in their tracks.
The ground beneath their feet shuddered, and the world appeared to rise and fall around them. It was then that the Cyber Kings appeared.
It was already high tide on Cardiff Bay, but the waves were being sent high up over their boundaries as the Cyber Kings waded across the bay toward shore.
‘What are we to do, Doctor?’ demanded Clara.
‘The Cybermen have kept to their word,’ accepted the Doctor, ‘but does that mean the choice I was offered, between humanity and the TARDIS is at an end?’
The Doctor pushed the doors open to find the Cyber leader hatching plans with his associates.
The Cyber leader turned to find the Doctor stood in the doorway. ‘So you have returned!’ he bellowed.
The Doctor looked up and frowned. ‘I have every right,’ he stated, ‘This is my ship!’
‘What of the bombardment outside?’ questioned a Cyberman. ‘Is it not because of the shelling that you have returned to us?’
‘You've got it wrong!’ shouted Clara. ‘That's not it at all!’
‘So why have you come?’ demanded the Cyber leader.
‘To do this…!’ yelled the Doctor.
Giving the order, Ryan and his officers appeared. They opened fire, the Cyber leader took an incredible tumble as shots rang out throughout the console room. Inspecting his TARDIS, the Doctor was nonplussed.
‘What's wrong, Doctor?’ asked Clara.
‘I think he thinks it was too easy,’ said Ryan, ‘which I have to admit it was.’
It was at that moment the other Cybermen appeared.
‘Take cover!’ shouted Ryan, pulling his waist coat around him as a chill wind filled the console room and ghosts, phantoms, and ghouls suddenly appeared around them moving, floating swirling around them.
‘What's going on?’ cried Clara. ‘These things are impossible!’
‘They're here to help us!’ bellowed the Doctor, rising from beyond the console. ‘They wish to see the Cybermen driven from my ship.’
‘But why should they?’ shouted Clara, over the chaos that ensued around them.
‘The TARDIS is connected to the rift. It feeds on it to restore all power to fulfil its function,’ explained the Doctor.
The two officers who had accompanied them aboard had finished with the Cybermen, for what they hoped was the last time. They did not know however that an invasion was under way beyond the TARDIS. The Cybermen had been destroyed and taken out as trash.
‘Thank you for all your help!’ said the Doctor, speaking to Sergeant Mitchell. ‘Without your help, we would have never have taken back the TARDIS.’
‘You've still to show me to Miss Stewart!’ said Ryan. ‘You did say you would.’
The Doctor agreed. ‘Yes, well… come along then,’ he said.
Ryan turned his men away and agreed to stay on with the Doctor.
‘What about the destruction the Cyber Kings are displaying?’ wondered Clara. ‘Won't your men require your leadership?’ she winked.
Ryan shook his head. ‘My men have their orders,’ he replied. ‘We shall do all we can to hold the Cybermen back.’
‘And if you cannot?’ asked Clara.
‘We can but try,’ said Ryan. ‘And I'm sure we will…’
‘New York it is then!’ the Doctor announced and set the co-ordinates.
London. Downing Street. 6:30am - and beneath the city.
It was there the breach reached critical. The Prime Minister demanded a reason for this, and it was understood that the rift was active. Rushing into the lobby, he addressed his staff.
‘I'd like to know who is responsible?’ he demanded. ‘An intrusion such as this can keep a man awake for an awful long time!’ He was quite anxious to find out what was going on.
A man stepped forward. He was a stranger to the Prime Minister. ‘I demand to know who you are?’ he sneered.
The man was wearing a grey coat, arm stretched out holding a pass, on which It simply read: Torchwood.
‘The name's Jack,’ he said, ‘Jack Harkness.’
There appeared to be some confusion. Backing away, the Prime Minister told of his fear of the name “Jack Harkness”.
‘I've read the files on you,’ he uttered, ‘You cannot possibly be him…’
‘But I am,’ winked Jack. ‘I came back,’ he said, ‘for this.’
‘For what, exactly?’ urged the Prime Minister.
Jack thought it was fairly obvious who and what he was referring to. ‘A woman working for UNIT spoke of the Doctor’s return. He's here, in 2016...and we need him!’ he said.
‘So what's all this?’ complained the Prime Minister, ‘The noise? The break in? The intrusion?’ he declared. ‘Why have I been woken in the middle of the night if what you say is a matter for Torchwood?’
Jack did his best to explain. ‘When we were on the run,’ he began, ‘you had us tracked. This was so you could keep a watch on our activities, and find out all you could about what we were up to, whilst dealing with the 4.5.6. But those days are over,’ he pointed out, ‘and the rift is not of your concern.’
‘So deal with it!’ ordered the Prime Minister. ‘Keep me out of this. Anything to do with you is trouble.’
Jack was pleased to hear it, and he set off on a mission to find the Doctor, to save him from the Cybermen. Joining him was his team, and they were readying themselves for what would mark their return to the Torchwood Hub.
It was there Kate Stewart was waiting for them. A new underground facility had been constructed and was where the re-instated Torchwood team would be based. But a new threat had made itself known to them and Jack had been instructed to deal with it.
The Cybermen had invaded across the planet. UNIT had been drafted in to deal with them. Rockets had been fired to do damage to the invaders but had little effect on the efficiency of the Cyber Kings.
It had been left up to Torchwood to assist the armed forces in dealing with the threat of the Cybermen, but re-establishing themselves in the middle of such events would prove difficult.
Meanwhile the Doctor had arrived in New York and still had no explanation as to how word got out, but that could wait. He was there for Kate, but she was now missing. He stepped outside the TARDIS doors, calling her name, when a Cyber King emerged from behind him, firing into the streets below.
The Doctor pushed open wide the doors to the TARDIS, narrowly missing the blast. It was clear to him that Kate must have left New York, once the threat of the Cybermen had been established. He paused in thought. 'How could the rest of the Cybermen have known to invade when the order hadn't been given?' He suddenly dived to the floor in answer to his own question, searching through the armaments of the Cyber leader. It was among the panelling of his chest unit that he discovered a burnt out signalling device. It had been used to call on the assistance of the Cyber force.
‘It could only have been functional for a short time,’ he mused. ‘It's still hot!’
‘It must have been his back up,’ voiced Ryan. ‘We didn't see him use it, so perhaps it kicked in when he went down?’
‘You mean he was transmitting from the dead?’ questioned Clara. ‘But that's impossible…’
‘Not if you're part man, part machine," stated the Doctor
‘Did you find Kate?’ Clara asked.
‘Have we arrived in the right place?’ She wandered outdoors. Searching for her friend shielding herself from within the doors of the blue box as Cyber Kings passed overhead.
‘Yes!’ the Doctor shouted after her, ‘but hours after we left.’
‘She'll be around, somewhere.’ suggested Ryan.
‘But it's of little importance,’ said the Doctor, ‘because the Cybermen have invaded.’
‘What about Kate?’ nagged Clara, ‘We can't just leave. Who knows where she might be.’
‘We'll find her,’ he said taking hold of Clara by the arms to reassure her.
Dematerialising, with the co-ordinates set for Cardiff. It was there Kate was waiting for them and with her was Jack Harkness, who didn’t hold back on his excitement at finally meeting up with the Doctor.
When the TARDIS appeared, the Doctor emerged and stopped dead in his tracks.
Almost speechless, Jack stepped forward and saluted. ‘It's good to see you, Doctor.’ His friend couldn't believe his eyes. It had been ages since they last met. They had much to talk about.
Ryan appeared in the door frame, with his eyes set on Kate. He rushed towards her with his arms out open. ‘I thought I'd never see you again!’ he sputtered. ‘We thought you were in New York?’
‘I was,’ she said, forgivingly, ‘but Jack brought me home.’
Clara was the last to appear at the Doctor's side. She smiled towards Jack and shook him by the hand.
‘We have an awful lot to talk about.’ he commented. ‘You and I, Doctor,’ grinned, Jack.
‘Then we'd best get to work.’ suggested the Doctor.
Jack Harkness had aged. He wasn't as young as he used to be and he didn't feel it either. Meeting the Doctor again made him feel even worse. It was the first time he had encountered this version of the Doctor. At first, he wasn't quite sure what to expect. It had been a long time since their last encounter, and it had been a brief occasion leading up to him meeting his lover, - Alonso. But standing face to face with a man who called himself the Doctor was the most unusual experience. He was the same man, but completely different: His face, his shoes, the smile, the eyes, the nose, the clothes, and his mannerisms. They were all brand new, and completely unique.
It made him feel worn out. As though he could begin to rest knowing he had done his bit. But this was something he felt passionate about. It was almost as if all his old friends had come together, - to reunite to save planet Earth, just like they used to. Ianto was dead, as were many of his friends, except for those now close to him being Gwen, Rhys, and the Doctor.
Helping to eradicate the Cybermen, Jack had leant a hand in assisting Kate and Ryan of UNIT to come to some sort of a solution in dealing with the crisis. Cyber Kings marched across Cardiff wreaking havoc. The same action was being carried out all over the world. The Cybermen had invaded. The invasion was well under way, and it was up to the Doctor, UNIT, and Torchwood, to deal with them.
‘Anyone got any ideas?’ urged Jack, hands on the table, leaning on it, his back arched, gazing up at those around him, waiting for someone to answer.
‘The thing is,’ said the Doctor, he reached for a chair, and sat cross-legged opposite Jack. He paused for a moment, as the vibrations on the surface above them caused bricks, dust and bits of metal to clatter all around them, and whispered, ‘The Cyber Kings are moving.’
‘What does that tell us?’ asked Clara, fetching a chair for herself. She sat close to the Doctor, waiting for him to answer.
He sat in thought. Something was puzzling him. He sensed that the wait wasn't quite over. He felt the urge in his two friends from UNIT. He could hear them whispering in the shadows. They were eager to do battle with the Cybermen.
‘It tells us the Cybermen have no intention of staying put. Once Cardiff is destroyed, they'll move on to the next city, and the next, and the one after that.’
‘Do you recall the scenes of Canary Wharf, Doctor?’ Jack asked. ‘The panic and the confusion…’
‘Yes,’ said the Doctor. ‘I remember.’ Something filled him with dread; thoughts of his adventures with the wonderful Rose Tyler. How he had changed, but his memories remained. ‘This is the Cybermen as I have never seen them before.’
Clara didn't understand. She tried to make sense of her confusion by asking the Doctor more questions. These he answered the best he could, and did so in a hope of making her see how, whilst travelling with him was all in the spirit of adventure, that things could also turn very nasty.
‘What makes them a greater threat to you this time?’ she had asked; ‘Why do you fear them so much? How have their advancements made you feel weaker?’
The Doctor didn't know how to reply. At first, he gave the questions some thought. He didn't like to rush in with an answer. He wasn't sure of anything. It had taken him some time to realise how the Cyber leader had called on the fleet, and so he was understandably flustered.
‘I think,’ he said, finally, ‘that we're dealing with the Cybermen quite some way in the future,’ he replied. ‘Think about it,’ he urged her. ‘This is 2016. I have no doubts that the Cybermen have indeed made certain advancements, and that their technological achievements are now far greater than they were when we last faced them, so when it came to us defeating the Cyber leader, even I didn't anticipate him actually calling on support of this magnitude.’
‘Then we really are in trouble.’ wondered Jack. He spun around to his friends. ‘Haven't you two any say on the matter?’ He was referring to the two UNIT officers.
Kate didn't like the situation one bit. She had seen her fair share of invasion attempts in the past. On three occasions in her long history; she had stood at her father's side. She had seen him in battle. It had changed her. Even when she had been studying at school, she had seen things far beyond her imagination.
This was another of those unbelievable moments in her life where fighting the monsters threatening her life and others was something she really had to think about. Working for UNIT, - her role was about putting other people's lives first. Her father had taught her that. She too had met the Doctor, but long ago in the country, for what felt like a life time away from her current position, and at the age she was today.
He was different then, and completely un-recogniseable to what he looked like at present, and she remembered what he had said, about regeneration and re-newal. It was all a matter of time.
‘We need to do something,’ she said, ‘before it's too late.’
Ryan joined her in the discussion. He too was willing to rise to the surface and take his best shot at any Cyberman who came his way. ‘Kate's right,’ he agreed, ‘Something must be done to stop the Cybermen.’ He took out his pistol and re-loaded. ‘We've heard what you've had to say about the Cybermen not standing still, and it's worrying us all, Doctor.’
‘It's worrying me too!" insisted the Doctor. "But we need to get to the bottom of what the Cybermen want.’
‘What about the TARDIS?’ asked Jack, ‘I thought the Cyber leader said something about the information you or your TARDIS possessed?’
‘But are Cybermen that cunning?’ wondered the Doctor. ‘Would they destory the whole of Cardiff to get at me and my ship?’
‘What makes you think they wouldn't?’ asked Clara. ‘They have the means to wipe us all out, and I'm sure they could. Your TARDIS is superb,’ she went on. ‘It can go anywhere in time and space. It's brilliant! No wonder the Cybermen want it. It's so special, the Cyber fleet will do anything, absolutely anything, to get their metal hands on it.’
‘But will you let them?’ Ryan asked. ‘You may save lives if you do?’
‘And if the bombardment continues?’ smirked the Doctor. ‘Handing over the TARDIS could result in far worse than we've yet seen.’
‘But you could do it?’ said Ryan. ‘You could bring this skirmish to an end, before it's too late…’
‘But If I choose to do that,’ replied the Doctor, ‘I may as well sacrifice my own life altogether. Then the Cybermen get what they're after, if the TARDIS is really what they want, and have me out of the way, and unable to stop them from destroying the Earth.’
‘But we'll never know unless one of us, that being you, Doctor, steps up to the challenge we've set!’