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Title: From Ashes to a Phoenix

Rating: At the moment, T (emotional hardships, and later some suggestive implications).

Summary: “The Belted Doctor” supplement: The story of Donna Belle, of Pete's World. How she lost her family, nearly lost herself, and was reborn with the right support.

Disclaimer: The simple matter of this fan-verse's existence should prove my lack of ownership. Capish?

Dedication: To MonkeesDoctorWho1987, whose review planted the seed of this story. So if you're getting sick of this universe, you know who to blame. (grins) Anyway, thanks for the idea. It allowed me to flesh out some other events within this universe when the tone of TBD didn't allow for it. Well, the truth is that I didn't want TBD to grow past 90 pages on my word processor...

Author's Note: Almost there. Might want tissues for this chapter...

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

PART 7: Comfort After an Unbearable Sacrifice

Donna Belle had finally seen a day to rival the living nightmare that had been the Cybermen invasion of Pete's World. And it targeted Earth's children... and their own family...

Seeing all the children in the world freeze at exactly the same moment? Scary enough. But Flumena being affected by whatever was also making all the children talk at the same time...?

No way the Doctor wasn't solving this mess and seeing what the government was hiding!

It had gotten ugly far too fast. Someone planted a bomb inside Jack, and only Jenny and Martha's quick thinking had enabled them to disable it – with seconds to spare. Given how Jack couldn't die, the idea of how his blown-apart body would've come back together was disturbing on so many levels...

But another bomb did make it inside Torchwood, damaging a lot of the equipment. Mercifully, Jenny and Mickey had helped make back-ups of the data. However, it meant the team had to work out of either the TARDIS or random spots around Cardiff and London...

And a call to Martha revealed that UNIT had detected that the orders for those actions came from somewhere within the government. Apparently, someone thought that Torchwood could harm Earth's chances of defending itself against the new threat...

So who within the government was trying to destroy one of the best defenses? It led to Jenny managing to plant a bunch of listening devices, and the team enlisting a young government worker to wear the special spy contacts Jack had picked up from his Time Agent travels. The information they got was horrifying... and damning...

An alien species, known only as the 456, wanted the citizens of Earth to hand over ten percent of all of the children on the planet – all within a certain school-age range. And they'd been to Earth before, demanding twelve children within that same age range. Donna Belle had slapped Jack over his role in that mess, beating quite a few people who were feeling the urge.

Well, James wanted to punch Jack. The Doctor was just angry that he hadn't known about it at the time...

But how to make them leave without endangering all of Earth? With the team from Torchwood Cardiff having to relocate to London, UNIT headquarters became the primary base of operations quickly. The UNIT commanders tried to obtain information, and it helped that it turned out the American general who was speaking with the Prime Minister and his cabinet was quietly involved with the organization.

The Doctor figured out a way to talk with them, but it required setting up a remote link and letting the one survivor from Jack's actions be the one to confront the 456 who were set up in the container set up in Thames House. Donna had sensed that they wanted to keep others out of it as much as possible; there was simply no telling how far the 456 were willing to go, and no one wanted to find that out...

Except the poor, psychologically wounded man was killed. That link that made the children let out a haunting scream changed, and destroyed him in the process.

And it made the government step up their efforts. Orders were given to forcibly remove children from homes if their parents kept them from school the next morning...

So the whole team spent the night desperately trying to figure out a solution. Whatever had happened to poor man had to be the key. But how to create that sound...?

Unfortunately... the answer was grim. They needed a child to generate the noise... and said child would burn like the poor man had...

But they had to. Jack's daughter and grandson were already prisoners of the government, and then... A frightened call from one of Wilf's neighbors. Wilf and Sylvia had been taken into custody... with Flumena...

It seemed the government thought she was James and Donna Belle's child, and figured that capturing her would ensure their cooperation. Instead, the two rushed to a nearby hospital where Donna Belle had done some volunteer work helping terminally ill children. (A form of dealing with tragedy by making lives happier before their end.) And they gathered all the children of that age range and their parents and guardians, explaining what was needed; if a child had to die to save all of Earth, why not give an already dying child a chance to be a hero...?

One girl, who they'd befriended on numerous visits beforehand, and her parents had just found out that her little brothers had been among the children snatched by the military. She stunned everyone by instantly asking to take on the sacrifice. Her parents, already shaken, were faced with an impossible choice... But Maite Alexander, faced with only months to live due to a rare cancer, found that grace that only those who know they're going to die soon anyway could obtain and begged her parents to let her save her brothers.

Neither James nor Donna Belle could dare ask how Mr. and Mrs. Alexander could find the strength to agree to her wishes... It took every bit of their combined persuasive abilities to convince the parents that they didn't want to actually be there to witness their daughter's death...

And they were so grateful for it... The horrible noise had been bad enough when poor Clement McDonald died. But knowing that when they set it off together (in an act mirroring what happened inside Vesuvius so long ago) they were causing one girl's death to save millions...?

It didn't matter that Martha had given her an injection of pain medicine to hopefully lessen any agony. It didn't matter that Jack, who risked going to Thames House alone, was able to bully the 456 into surrendering the two children in that ship's possession and then ordered the stunned soldiers into helping him remove the children to a UNIT vehicle – rushing them into Martha's care.

Yes, it was a relief that Gwen and Mickey quickly intimidated a number of high-ranking military members into releasing Alice, Stephen, Wilf, Sylvia, and Flumena. And that Flumena's cries were finally soothed when she was placed in-between her parents – and stopped altogether when she was fed.

But it left James and Donna Belle clinging to each other. With the exception of Donna and the Doctor, no one else could even begin to comprehend what they were feeling. And with the distraction of making sure Flumena wasn't harmed by being kidnapped (for what many in her family feared would be only the first of many times), the attention previously paid to watching them went away.

Except for checking in and making sure that they weren't going to harm themselves over what they had to do, of course...

But it left them with a lot of time to themselves... Which slowly grew into seeking more private moments to share in their grief... until they realized their needs had changed, and they found they had to know each other...

Those consequences would make themselves felt that Christmas...

FInale: Am I Ready For This...?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
I wonder what James and Donna Belle were doing.....? As they eased their grief, I mean. Nope, I'm flummoxed! ;D
Dec. 21st, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Oh, please... *blows raspberry* ;D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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