“In the fiftieth-first century, Earth finally got it together and introduced world democracy,” Jack said. “The centre of government for the whole planet was decided by lottery every six months. In the first half of 5098, Earth affairs were decided in the Republic of San Marino. Then it was Brazilia…. Dublin, the Hague…”

“A very intelligent way of ensuring that larger nations didn’t seize all the power,” Kristoph noted. “Humans were really learning by then.”

“I always thought so,” Jack answered him. “Wales was in the lottery, too. Sooner or later its turn would come…”

“In 5113,” Kristoph confirmed.

“And that’s where Ramasu went. He means to destroy the Earth government and seize power. And… we were sucked right in, weren’t we? We let him have the means to get there.”

“He must have been stranded in the late twentieth century. But he found out that there was another way to achieve his aim. Mastery over ten billion Humans on Earth, to say nothing of the countless more on Earth Federation colonies. With that sort of power he could turn back on Gallifrey and conquer us, too.”

“So we both have good reason to stop him,” Jack Harkess answered. “Apart from revenge for the people he’s hurt.”

“Were you…” Kristoph watched the Captain’s face carefully. “Were you close to any of the people he killed? They were friends, of course. Colleagues. But…”

“No. Not… close in that way. Don’t worry. I’m not going to do anything stupid out of grief because he murdered my boyfriend… or girlfriend. Don’t have either right now. And I’ve learnt from experience not to find them in the office, anyway. I’m about as calm and level-headed about this as I’m ever going to get. And… you can count on me.”

“Good. Get ready. We’re there.”

The TARDIS was only a very few yards away from where it had been in 1996. But now it wasn’t in a building site. It was on top of a tall building that overlooked a calm, blue Cardiff Bay on a warm, summer day. Jack Harkness stepped out of it and looked up at the sky. He smiled as he saw two artificial satellites in synchronised orbit.

“Europa I and II,” he said. “At night they look so beautiful, shining down. Almost as lovely as the real moon. Communications arrays, of course. Keeping Earth in touch with its colonies and dominions.”

“Impressive,” Kristoph agreed. “And the final proof that this is your real time, not the twentieth century. If we had the time, I’d ask how it is you come to be living there. But right now, we have to stop a madman.”

Captain Harkness reached for his gun and checked it. Kristoph did the same. Then he put it back in its holster as he stepped towards the door leading off the roof. His sonic screwdriver opened it and they made their way downstairs into the parliament building. Jack Harkness was just wondering why they hadn’t come across any security when they were challenged by a guard. He reached into his pocket for his psychic paper wallet before remembering these weren’t his own clothes and his psychic paper had probably disintegrated along with his skin in the portal.

Kristoph didn’t need psychic paper. He simple squared his shoulders and looked the guard straight in the eye.

“We’re with the President of Belgium’s security detail,” he said. “Don’t worry about our credentials. We’re clear on all levels. It would be useful if you would let your colleagues know we’re on our way down to the public gallery.”

“That was clever,” Jack Harkness told him as he stepped into the turbo lift alongside him.

“Takes up to eight hundred years practice,” Kristoph responded.

“So I might just have time to get really good at it,” Jack noted grimly. “I seem to be around for the long haul. Does Ramasu know how to do it, too? Only we do know how to spot that sort of thing. And that guy looks like he’s been hypnotised once already today.”

Kristoph thought about that as the turbo lift opened and they stepped out of the lift on the public gallery level. A guard looked at them casually and was about to let them past unchallenged.

“Who else passed by here using false identity?” Kristoph asked the clearly hypnotised man. “How long ago?”

“A man calling himself the director of the Celestial Intervention Agency,” replied the guard in a strange, monotone voice. “He went into the public gallery twenty minutes ago. That is him, right over…” The guard made as if to point. Kristoph stayed his arm. He had seen his quarry anyway. He didn’t want him to run just yet.

“There is a security breach,” he said in a calm tone. “Please ask your colleagues below to delay the entrance of the delegates to the chamber. This sitting of the World Government must not start on schedule.”

The guard stared at Kristoph for several seconds before turning to do as he was bidden. Kristoph was satisfied. Even if they didn’t believe him, there would be a few minutes of confusion which might buy them a little more time.

There were still lives at risk even if the leaders of the Earth governments did stay away. The public gallery was full. So was the press gallery. It was going to be difficult to avoid casualties.

“The problem is, Ramasu knows what you look like, Captain. And when he sees me, he will know who I am, too. Time Lords have a psychic ident – it’s how we know each other even after regeneration. It’s how I know him even from here. He hasn’t noticed me, yet. But when he does…”

Kristoph looked carefully around the gallery, trying to think of a way to turn the situation to his advantage. It was, of course, built on the same lines as the original 21st century Senedd building, but on a bigger scale. The debating chamber below could accommodate up to four hundred delegates and the public gallery that ringed it high above had nearly a thousand seats. A window sloping inward in a cone shape separated the public from the chamber. It was transparent steel, sound proof, bullet proof and bomb-proof. But Kristoph guessed that Ramasu had a way of dealing with that when it was time for him to make his move.

“I don’t suppose you’ve ever used a personal perception filter before Captain?” he asked his companion.

“No... what does…” Jack Harkness stared as Kristoph disappeared from his view and then reappeared pulling a medallion on a ribbon from around his neck. “Neat trick.”

“It’s a low trick, frowned upon by any assassin worth his training,” Kristoph replied. “Anyone can sneak up on a mark this way. Professional pride alone forbids the use. But…”

“You’re going to use it to reach your man?”

“No, you are,” Kristoph replied. “I’m going back up to the roof for my TARDIS. I couldn’t bring it into the gallery before. There are anti-transmat barriers that prevent a lock on.” He put the perception filter around Harkness’s neck and pressed his sonic screwdriver into his hand. “I can override it and focus on you as long as you have this. You get as close as you can to him, Captain. If he looks like he’s going to make his move then… do what you have to do. I’ll be as quick as I can.”

It was a new experience for him, trusting somebody else in a situation like this. Except for when he and Lee Oakdaene had worked together, Kristoph had never relied on anyone else but himself to get the job done. But he had to trust the Captain if he was going to stop a terrible crime being committed.

And why wouldn’t he trust him? His son did. Strangely, that was a pleasing thought. Knowing that his future son was going to follow in his own footsteps, leading a dark, dangerous life, did bother him. But he was comforted by the thought that Captain Harkness would be there to be his friend. His son would not be alone in his brave work.

Nobody challenged him as he reached the roof and found his TARDIS again. The hard part would be breaking through the anti-transmat barrier and getting back to the gallery. Even with Harkness there as a marker for him to focus on it strained the engines. The first time he wasn’t sure it was even going to work. He boosted the power and even though the sound of the materialisation was a little strange, he knew it was working.

He watched as Ramasu and Captain Harkness materialised in the TARDIS, as he had expected. He hadn’t expected Harkness to be holding Ramasu in a headlock as they fought hand to hand or for Harkness to get the upper hand over the Time Lord.

“He’s got a bomb!” Harkness warned him. “It’s going to detonate. Where can…”

“Zero room,” Kristoph answered. “It’s down the corridor… third right. Pale grey-pink door. It will contain the explosion.”

“Ok.” Harkness grasped the struggling man and pushed him towards the inner door of the TARDIS. Kristoph made as if to help but he warned him off.

“Time Lords only have limited lives,” he reminded him. “This is for your lovely wife.”

He shoved Ramasu through the door and kept pushing him all the way down the corridor to that Zero Room. Kristoph watched his progress on the environmental console. He could see the two men, one Human, one Time Lord, and what the TARDIS identified as a thermic device that would have reduced the Assembly Building to rubble.

The neutralising effects of the Zero Room would cushion the explosion to some extent. But any living tissue within close range was going to be badly damaged even so. He hoped Harkness’s plan was to slam the door on Ramasu and run for it.

But he had the sinking feeling it wasn’t.

“Rassilon keep you, my friend,” Kristoph whispered. The environmental monitor stopped showing the two figures when the door to the Zero Room closed. It was a special part of the TARDIS that was separate from the reality around it.

Even so, the explosion was measured on the console’s instruments. Kristoph walked slowly along the corridor, dreading what he was going to find inside that room when he opened the door.

Jack Harkness groaned out loud as he woke. He was slightly reassured to find himself in a comfortable bed. It wasn’t always like that. He opened his eyes and saw the white ceiling of what was obviously some sort of medical centre.

“I’m alive,” he said.

“I hope that will always be something you’re glad of,” Kristoph said as he helped him sit up and pressed a cool drink against his lips. “It took a while. Your body was very badly damaged by the bomb. Another one for your top ten unpleasant deaths, I think.”

“Yeah. What about Ramasu? He can do this trick, too, can’t he?”

“He started to. Then I put him into stasis. He can stay that way until I get him back to Gallifrey. The Celestial Intervention Agency can decide whether they want to let him continue regenerating before freezing him in a cryogenic cell on our prison planet. There are even a few liberals among our people who might think he should have a trial first. Personally I favour dropping him into the heart of the nearest neutron star, but there might be questions. Anyway, I’ll take you home, first. If you think you know where home is. We’re in temporal orbit in the fifty-first century right now. I can drop you anywhere you want. Or back to the twenty-first…”

Jack Harkness took no more than a few seconds to decide.

“Twenty-first century,” he answered. “I’ve some unfinished business there. I’d… be grateful if you’d come and explain what happened to Alex. He deserves to know that the people we lost are going to get justice, after all. And… I owe you a cup of coffee, at least.”

Kristoph agreed to that. Alex Hopkins reluctantly agreed that Gallifrey’s idea of justice for mass murderers was better than anything Earth offered in his century and closed the case. Jack gave him coffee in the Torchwood rest area before walking with him back to the TARDIS.

“Something you should know, Captain,” Kristoph said as he stood by the portacabin with Gallifreyan symbols on its door. “Time Lords are very difficult to slip mind-altering drugs to. I knew there was something in my coffee. I’ve already expelled it from my bloodstream.”

“It… was for your own good, sir,” Jack Harkness answered, looking suitably chastised. “I figured it might be better if you didn’t know too much about… destiny, all of that.”

“I can deal with my destiny. But I am wondering if I ought to leave you with a few less memories of the last few days. I’m particularly concerned about your thoughts about my wife….”

“Marion… is a special lady,” Jack Harkness told him. “I am honoured to have met her. But… my thoughts… my intentions towards her… were never… what anyone who knows me would think they are. She’s…” He paused and then shook his head. “You told her we would never meet again. And that’s the right thing. I won’t try to find her again. You have my word. But let me keep my memories of her. That’s all I ask.”

“Good enough,” Kristoph answered. “Goodbye, Captain Harkness.” He reached out to shake hands with him. Harkness did so. Then he stood back and saluted neatly. Kristoph acknowledged that gesture before stepping into his TARDIS. The enigmatic and extraordinarily brave Captain was walking back towards the Torchwood Hub when the TARDIS dematerialised and Kristoph set his course back to Gallifrey, first to deliver a dangerous Renegade to the proper authorities, and then home to his wife and his fosterling and a peaceful evening by the fire.