If the last three days were Davis with a 2x4, Day Four is when he drew the knife from behind his treacherous back.
Ianto! Ianto! O, I know he was the next to sit on the chopping block—I’d sat at this very desk yesterday and had that very thought, but dismissed it because we all love Ianto, and Jack loves Ianto, and Ianto and Torchwood is like the coffee and cream he makes every morning—always better together.
When I did that little Comic Con dialogue yesterday, I’d thought to bring Gareth in on the craziness with John and David, as he’s not as bad as those two but from the stories John told, does join in. However, Gareth had . . . I’d thought it was because John doesn’t shut up, ever, but now that I think about it—Gareth hadn’t shaved. He barely said anything. There was this one, two-man joke which John started and Gareth was meant to complete, but Gareth just had not been paying any attention to the loud, flailing man sitting next to him and it took a few beats for him to realize *oh right, audience, joke* and do his part. So when I was writing the dialogue, I consciously left Gareth out because he hadn’t been anywhere near as wound up as John. He’d been mellow. Noticably mellow, so I didn't write him in with David and John's fun.
And now I’m tempted to go back and watch the Con footage of when they were discussing the death of Tosh because I have a sick, voyeuristic desire to see what his face looked like. I don’t think he said a word during the exchange.
Also, I now understand why Julie duct taped Davis to his office chair and his wrists to the keyboard.
Sci-fi, really good sci-fi, holds up a dirty mirror to the face of humanity and says, look: look at what you are, what you’ve been. Now who do you choose to be?
I wish the Doctor were there. If the Doctor was there I wouldn’t be so worried sick—not so much for the fate of the earth because I know that Gwen and Rhys and Jack are on top of it (Jesus, we’re reduced to bloody Rhys! Ianto, Ianto!)—I’m sick because the rest of the goddamned humans are acting so fucking human. You get so used to TV shows and movies turning humanity into the noble force, and while sometimes it is (Iran), so often it’s not (I-fucking-ran), and we reduce each other to numbers or use our great and terrible minds to reshape those who are humans into something . . . less. And killable.
All of this . . . of late, since Natalie except really since Camp A, it’s bothered me that legally, socially, children aren't much more than property. No, serious. Property. Mom and Dad own this little not yet fully formed—and yet is fully formed in his/her own way—human who’s entered the word because even though Natalie came out of my sister, I don’t—I can’t—see her as ‘my sister’s’ so much as . . . Natalie is Natalie’s, with deeply loving guardians who will care for her and acclimate her to society and survival and growth of intellect. Because it’s not just a matter of adults bickering amongst one another about whose children are going to be turned over to the aliens, the ‘dreg children’ of society or the ‘future contributors’—this is also about how those children don’t yet count as people. They’re not ‘voters’ or ‘constituents’. They’re the future burden this planet must sustain. The adults needn’t ask permission of or persuade, and they’re not violating the children, only their parents. It never occurs to them to ask the children to decide amongst themselves, and why should they? They’re just children (argh!). But think about it. If it were adults the aliens were asking for, I bet those government officials would at least toss around the notion of putting it to a public vote of whether the nation would sacrifice 10% of themselves or fight and die together as one.
Must get through their keepers, their masters, their parents.
Maybe I’m looking at this from a strange angle—I had a very ‘unusual’ childhood . . . I wasn’t necessarily an extraordinary child, but I remember my childhood very well. I remember being upset that adults would talk to each other as if I weren’t really there, and their voices changed when they spoke to me. Of course, that sort of changed dramatically once I started holding conversation with them. Then they’d find out what I did every day—took care of myself, the household chores, my mother—and they’d say, “How well trained you are! How responsible!” And yes, I remember a lady who used the word ‘trained’.
Maybe it was because I was 100% responsible for me (with the exception of financial backing) since I was 7 and had a father who refused to recognize the fact, persisting under the delusion that he was somehow raising us, which lights my indignation on behalf of the hypothetical children in Children of Earth. Children are not fucking property, okay?
(I will clear the air right now and say that I might not have a right to say anything on the matter since I don't have kids, but I'm going to say it anyway because I think I've got a point, and anyone who reads this can call me nasty, insensitive names if you'd like) Parents: they’re not ‘your kids'. They belong to no one but themselves. The way I see it, you’ve got a stewardship. You are a caretaker. You have a goddamn responsibility for a whole human being who happens to be frail and lacks a fully developed frontal lobe, but comprehends far, far more than he or she is linguistically capable of conveying back to you. You have a duty to protect that child, to love them, to nurture and teach. Every goddamn adult in the vacinity of a child is, for a split second, a little responsible to that child. This might be the Camp A in me. I see a child in a parking lot wandering away from his father while a car turns the corner and the Camp A warning bells go off and I don't give a damn if I don't know you or your kid, I will pull him back and instruct him to stay with Dad in parking lots. My opinion extends to schools and government. If they're responsible for helping out regular adults, their responsibility towards children is . . . trippld? Quadrupled? A whole hell of a lot more, okay? If the government has to pick either adult or a child to feed, I don't want to live where they pick the adult. And what I'm talking about isn't being 'responsible for' children, either. I really hate the phrase "responsible for". Nobody is "responsible for" a child, unless the kid has done something an attentive adult could have prevented to some degree. No, parents are responsible to their children. Not for them-- TO THEM.
If someone had told a highly self-righteous nine-year-old nepenthe that aliens were threatening to kill all humanity, but if she and several million other children went with the aliens they could save everyone . . . let's look at reality for half a tic . . .
Four-year-old nepenthe disillusioned a clown by interrupting a magic act and showing everyone how the tricks were done, and called him a liar.
Five-year-old nepenthe gave her Sunday school teacher gray hairs and was yelled at for asking ridiculous questions, such as, “if Adam and Eve had two sons, how did they make more people?”
Six-year-old nepenthe beat the crap out of the stranger-danger lady and got her ball back from across the street, thank you very much.
Eight and Nine-year-old nepenthe had elaborate plans to kill her classmates in their sleep and to kill herself. She made a poisonous dart gun out of school supplies. The mother she had to care for was the only consideration in not carrying it out. Her twin decked one of the bitches and nearly strangled her unconscious--not in defense of herself but to protect one of their friends. Nepenthe was not shocked and felt untroubled, in that if she’d been in her twin’s shoes, she’d do the same. No guilt for the self-righteous. Years later, teenage nepenthe would say to the bitch, who was at risk of incurring wrath from another if she didn't quit, again: “You know, you did deserve it. You of all people should know you can only push people so far before they snap” and she said, “Yeah, you’re right. I know”. And the bitch stopped.
--And to clarify: Those two years, her eigth and ninth years, Little nepenthe had one friend who was so tormented, she now has no memory of them. They are blocked. Two years at school so fucked up she can't remember. Little nepenthe suffered the same, but went home to take care of her mom who was dying a little more every day on top of it. Little nepenthe did not block her memories. She took hold of them in a vice and will never forget.
. . . So I think it’s not inaccurate to suppose Nine-year-old nepenthe might have told the adults she understood if they chose to hand her over, since adults are completely useless cowards, and very well may have lead a one-child attack on the aliens, with the kitchen knives she'd brought along and passed around. Nine-year-old nepenthe might have volunteered (with plans of taking kitchen knives, of course). She’d do it, in spite of the fact aliens are the thing she’s most terrified of. In spite of the fact that what frightens her more than anything is being paralyzed and unable to fight back. That even as an adult, she still has those nightmares. Little nepenthe would be terrified. Little nepenthe would not expect anyone to save her. I don’t think she would have wanted anyone to (ugh, the stories about that; I feel bad for the counselor, but I'm not sorry I 'endangered' myself while you felt responsible to me, because, well, by that point adults acting like real parents was both a novelty and a joke and insulting for you to care for me for a week, then turn me over to my father for the rest of my life. Fucking. Joke). And while no one would help Little nepenthe, there would be other children and incompetent adults who needed saving. Little nepenthe would have been dishonored (even if she didn't know that word) if she hadn't died trying. Little nepenthe saw death every day, and wasn't afraid of it (still not).
Little nepenthe was a much more awesome person than I am. I think she might even be disgusted by the person she’s become. Not as much self-righteous indignation and anger to propel me, now, (too fucking exhausting!) and I get to be selfish, since I don’t have my mother to take care of, only Bunny. Nor wretched classmates. Then again, Little nepenthe might accept it, like it, look forward to it because all things considered, I’m happy, and she didn’t get to be. I have freedom of movement she didn’t have, get to read and do as I please, when I please, which she never had control of. Dad's halfway across the country, and now and then, I don't bother returning his calls. I have everything Little nepenthe ever wanted in her most desperate dreams with the exception of a published book, and a healthy mom.
I can work on one of those, little one, I am.
Huh. Makes me wonder if it wasn’t Little nepenthe eking out over that month of rage I went through.
Back to the point:
I wonder if Jack can remember what it was like to be that young, to be possessed without understanding he was and much too disposed to trust adults without question. He’s suffered from being burdened by adult responsibility—responsibility adults schlepped onto him. Then there’s living forever and seeing so much death, too much death. Maybe all the humans start to blur together, living and dead, where those who haven’t yet been born matter as much as those already dead, and what’s one more body when they all die in the end (but not Jack or the Doctor)?
Jack has claimed the Doctor made him a better person. We know the Doctor isn’t perfect, we know he makes mistakes and we know he leaves people to die. Because Time demands it, because he was too late, because humans chose it, because he loves them too much. Then he’s sorry. He’s so sorry he can’t do more.
But the Doctor teaches there is a choice. There is ALWAYS a choice (even if you pretend there isn’t).
The Doctor says you have to give them a chance to do the right thing. You don’t have to give them a second chance.
Jack should know this. He was there The Day Everyone Lived. He should have known how precious and rare an event that was, have some inkling as to what that meant to the Doctor.
Did Jack even pay attention? Because we know those 12 children weren’t the first—they wanted someone who wouldn’t care, remember? Jack, was this some kind of immoral adolescence where you were all, ‘screw you, Doctor, I fucking hate you and the TARDIS you ride in on’. Or is this another case where humans aren’t the Doctor and since the Doctor won’t always be around to help, we’re on our own to make the best of what we’ve got? And then we say and do stupid things and he wouldn't want to help us anyway.
Off topic again, but did you notice who takes this whole mind-control thing with evil aliens really well?
(We want a pony. We want a pony)
You know who panics and acts stupid?
(Why don’t we give them the stupid ones?)
Who reassures the adults?
They want to use standardized tests. Do you know how fucking useless goddamn standardized tests are? Whoops, there goes Einstein.
And it was stupid of me to share any of this with VomitSound because she didn’t think it was such a bad idea to trade in the stupid kids.
Not sure if she was kidding, or trying to lighten me up.
Nevermind, I don’t care. Her brother was autistic, so the aliens could have him and she could find out if it was such a bad idea all on her own.
Jack, if you don’t feel fucking sorry now, if you don’t admit that handing over those 12 wasn’t a good deal and was downright wrong, I don’t love you anymore.
Ianto! Ianto! Ianto! I can’t even touch this yet. Killing what brings out the best never, never ends pretty.
RTD, are you fucking trying to murder Torchwood? Is that what this is? I swear to God, if you burn my goddamn carrot and there will be no saving you from evisceration, none I tell you!
Torchwood. Just as I give up on TV and have completely forgotten that they're actually making more Who and Torchwood, Davis takes hold of a 2x4, sidles up beside me friendly-like, and beats me bloody.
I love every second of it.
Jack!!! Oh, John, poor John. Now I know why he *could not contain himself* at Comic Con last year. And why the producer, Julie, was sitting next to him with her fingernails digging into his arm as he bounced in his seat--like a parent with an over-exuberant child. I imagine there was a conversation before appearing on stage that went something like this:
Julie: "John? Remember what we talked about? You can't tell them anything about the script you read on the plane."
John: *Bouncing* "Got it, Boss-Lady."
Julie: "I mean it John. We can't have another repeat, like at the restaurant when I told you you Jack didn't die on Satellite Five and you were getting your own show--"
John: *Bouncing* "Right-right-right, got it, lips sealed."
Julie: "--and contain your tendancy to geek-out, please. When we get back on set, I promise we'll put you and David together in a nice padded room and you can crawl up the walls and scream like fifteen-year-old girls in "A Hard Day's Night" all you like. We can't have you doing that in public, okay?"
John: *Doe eyes* "Really, Julie, can we?!"
Julies: "We'll even get you matching straight-jackets."
John: "Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Boss-Lady! You're the bestest Boss-Lady in the history of ever, you saved Jack, you gave me my own show, you give me scripts I'd give you my left boy for--"
Julie: "I don't want your left nut, John."
John: "And this has been my best day ever the script blowning me up--"
Julie: "John! You can't say--"
John: "An hour with my fellow Who-nerds and the love will flow like milk and honey and coffee--"
Gareth: *to Julie* "Whatever they put in his coffee, I want some."
Julie: "WHO GAVE HIM COFFEE?!"
*Sigh*. Is it sad that I can imagine this happening?
I love Doctor Who. Love, love, love, love, love. I want to give Jack and the Doctor hugs, let them cry for humanity and its lost souls and love them for still believing in us in spite of ourselves.
I want to tell the Doctor he's not alone, he's never alone, we love him, he makes mistakes and we still love him because eachother is all we've got--faulty, lying, miserable, desperate, lonely eachother. I've almost forgiven him for Donna (he has make-up work to do this season; the kind that involves whips).
I want to take the burden for Jack--die just once if it means he won't have to--just the one time, or fifty. I don't want him to die anymore.
Huh. So that's what it felt like--why the Bad Wolf did it. If I had all of time and space, I'd never be able to let him go. Call me Bad Wolf.
Jack! Doctor! Never leave me again, please, please, please!