It was so easy. Sickeningly easy. Humans were such simple creatures. Verbal communication was so delightfully indirect and limited. Even better was the use of physicality. And emotion. It hardly took any effort to break those last threads of loyalty, and now her beautiful little lover was leading her right into the heart of her 'friends'' stronghold.
Mary danced behind Toshiko on their way into the Hub. It was all so exciting. There was nobody else there, which was somewhat unexpected but made things quite simple. Unfortunately, that also meant no snacks on the way out. A pity. That sweet little receptionist ("It hurts so much and they don't even notice"/"Why can't they just leave me alone"/"Ugh this tastes terrible, I should know better than trust Starbucks") looked like he'd be fun to play with. Or her darling's little darling, Owen-on-the-fridge, what fun that would be, taking his heart after he broke her sweet little Toshiko's.
But the place was empty, so she flounced her way up to her lover, tired of exploring, ready to get on with her mission before they were caught.
She caught Toshiko's wrist and pulled her close, demanded the location of her ship, lovingly pushing the thought into her already racing mind ("Jack must have moved it"/"I'm going to be in so much trouble"/"Oh god Mary what are you doing with your hand") so she'd obey just a little faster. Mary let her go, letting her fingers linger over her lover's fluttering heart.
It didn't take long for little Toshiko to find Mary's ship. How easy were they going to make this? It practically reeked of a trap, but the Hub remained stubbornly empty. Lucky for her.
The ship was in good shape, if a little bit rusty. It would fly just fine, and even the matter condenser seemed to be in working condition. Perfect. She pulled it into her arms, embracing it and her little sweetheart at once.
("Good girl,") she said, the words supplemented and enhanced by pouring them directly into Toshiko's mind. ("Good job, lover, you've saved me, I could kiss you where you stand.")
She did just that, and Toshiko melted into her arms ("Mary"/"What do I do now"/"Mary!"), and the sweet lies ("Such a good girl"/"I love you") overwhelmed the poor little human's mind. So starved. Poor, pathetic thing.
There was a noise from somewhere off in the Hub, and it was followed by noise, busy minds, enveloped in their thoughts, too distant to make out (fear, excitement, confusion, determination) but getting closer. The morgue, they were coming from the morgue.
Toshiko's thoughts confirmed this, and she urged Mary to get out, quickly, before they found her ("They really will do something horrible"/"You have to hurry and get safe"/"What the hell am I going to say to them?"/panic/fear/guilt/relief), but Mary just smirked and grabbed her around the waist.
Now they were noticed. The noise got louder, more frantic, desperate ("Oh my god she has Tosh!") ("Shit shit shit, what's going on, where the fuck is my gun?") ("Oh god, not again") ("Come on come on, I was trained for this, do something") ("It's an ambush, dammit, Jack, I thought you had a plan for this") ("It's hopeless, what can I do, I can't lose anyone else") and poor little Toshiko flinched away from it, into Mary's shoulder.
Their leader was strangely silent, completely silent, and Mary was intrigued. He was also the only one with his gun out, and didn't appear half as flustered as the other three.
"Let her go," he said.
Mary sneered back, discomforted by his seemingly empty mind. She didn't like being limited to her ears and tongue. They could be fun, sure, in the right circumstances, but it put her at just a slight disadvantage. "Why should I?"
"You got what you came for, let her go."
"Oh, I don't think so. I think I need a hostage to get out of here alive, don't you?" She tossed a few thoughts back to Tosh ("I would never hurt you"/"They'll lock me up if they get a chance"/"I love you") and though the girl sobbed a little at each one, overwhelmed with the cacophony of the others', she didn't try to escape. ("Good girl.")
Mary didn't see the attack coming, as she was tuning out the mess of thoughts from the others as she focused on Jack, staring back into his gaze, giving as good as she got, digging, scraping, raping as hard as she could. He had no reaction, no acknowledgement of her efforts besides a small snarling smirk, no thoughts. The man was wrong, and it terrified and enthralled her, here on this planet of constant, unrelenting, vapid noise.
She didn't see the movement or tune in within the humans' thoughts, but little Toshiko did, and her wordless cry had a thought shouted out behind it ("Owen, no!") so Mary was able to just catch the attack. She whirled around, a rare use for her greater than human speed, swinging Toshiko to the side and slamming the side of her ship into the side of her attacker's head.
Toshiko gasped in pain from the noise in her head ("Owen no!"/"It should have been me"/"Why couldn't I move"/"Oh god don't die") ("Move damn it"/"Do I go for Tosh or Owen"/"What do I do"/"Somebody help") (Pain/confusion/pain/"Did I get her?"/"Gwen?"), or possibly from being yanked in a circle by her arm, or both ("Mary why"/"Oh god Owen"/"It hurts it hurts"/"Why did he think of her?"), but Mary didn't give her time to recover. She tugged her close again, sneering at the rest of the team.
The little lovergirl was frozen on her way up to her fallen comrade, the sweet secretary mirroring her indecision to Mary's right. The Captain didn't look so calm now, outrage written all over his face, but still silent where it counted. Owen-on-the-fridge was sitting up, glaring, his hand feeling the blood in his hair.
"Let her go," Jack repeated, his voice a low snarl.
"No," Mary replied, and ran her free hand up Toshiko's blouse, sending a shudder through her body. She smirked at the little team. "Or we could trade, if you like."
She leered at little-miss-perfect, and Gwen flinched at her gaze, taking a frightened step back.
("No, no, not Gwen")
Toshiko sobbed and Mary laughed, throwing her head back at her victory. "You see? He'd pick her over you!" ("He'll never love you like I do/You're mine")
("What/Did she hear me?") ("What's going on?"/"What did he say?")
"Tosh, get away from her, that thing eats people!" (Owen showing images in the conference room/Men and women with broken ribcages/Imagined scenes of her hand in Tosh's chest/Blood on her lips/Blood everywhere/The heart still beating as she ripped towards it) (Delicious)
Toshiko gasped in horror, pulling away from Mary for the first time. Oops. That was careless of her, letting her thoughts stray out into the general consciousness, but little teaboy had a rather vivid imagination, and she was a little peckish. No matter.
She wrenched Toshiko back to her side and wrapped her arm around her neck. She tangled her fingers in Toshiko's hair and yanked her head close to kiss her on the temple. "Well, it's been fun, really, but I think we'll be on our way now."
("No! Tosh!") ("No no no no no") ("Oh god no, Toshiko"/"How does that thing fly anyway?")
"NO!" Jack lunged towards them, his calm facade annihilated. "Let go of her!"
"Bye-bye," Mary sang. She commanded the ship to activate, grinning as it began to glow, feeling the tingle of the matter condenser activating.
("No no no"/"Let go of me"/"Oh god what have I done"/"Jack, save me"/"Help"/"Mary"/"Mary"/"I want to go home"/"Mary!")
("Shhhh, quiet now.")
Her sweetheart was still sobbing, filled with regret/fear/anger/guilt… Really, it just wouldn't do. Mary ran her finger through Toshiko's hair, over her face, beneath her clothes. ("Shh"/"It's all right"/"You're safe now"/"Look, look where we are")
Her hand came to rest on the pendant, warm from her lover's chest, and Mary poured into it thoughts of love/safety/beauty/perfection, connecting Toshiko's simple little mind to her own and to the ship, opening a 'window' to outside.
With her brain filled with stars and the endless expanse, Toshiko's head lolled to the side, staring blankly out. Quiet. ("Good girl.")
Mary shed her disguise with a sensuous sigh. It was so nice to be weightless again, free of the limitations of her human body. Toshiko's eyes swiveled to stare at her, unfocused and wet. (Fear/awe/wonder/lust)
Mary smiled and leaned forwards into the prisoner cell, covering her lover's body with her own. How exciting, to be free and in her own skin, giving her a chance to learn her darling's body all over again. (Beautiful/exciting/mine)
Toshiko shivered at every touch, unused to the feel of Mary's real self, still full of (fear/anger) but being flooded with (love/affection) through the pendant. Somewhere in the back of her mind lingered something of (doubt/suspicion) but Mary forced it out. ("Mine"/"Mine"/"My sweet little Toshiko")
Mary wrapped herself around her lover's warm, sweet little body, peppering her with kisses, and the dear little thing clung to her neck, pulling her close, kissing and gasping desperately back and hating herself the whole time, against the onslaught of psychic tenderness.
She forced herself deeper into Toshiko's mind - how fun, how cute, how exciting. There was a long, long trip ahead, and Mary was well aware she was likely to get hungry on the way, but there was no reason they couldn't enjoy themselves until then.
(lust/love/hate/"You lied to me"/"You betrayed me")
The dearheart was getting a hold of herself again, even with all the crying and the mental attacks. Maybe little Toshiko was stronger than Mary had given her credit for. All the more fun to play with.
("I still love you"/"I can't believe I'm letting you do this"/"You hurt Owen"/"We're going to die")
Mary laughed into Toshiko's neck. ("That's right, lover, I'll play with you until you start to bore me, and then I'll rip you apart and devour your sweet little heart"/"What does it matter, you're already mine") Fear was a fun emotion to toy with, and if she became too much trouble, Mary could always shut the door to the prison half of the ship. What a wonderful feeling, to be the one in control.
("No"/sadness/fear/victory/"You've got it all wrong"/"We're going to die")
(Mary holding her around the waist in the Hub/Her arm hurting from being pulled/Jack's eyes boring into her/Jack's voice in her head/"Don't move until I tell you to"/The ship's been altered somehow/This was all a trap/He's so confident/Don't let Mary know)
("It can't be") Mary flung her mind into the ship's interface - altered, altered how, what the hell did that bastard do? The trajectory. Autopilot set. Set, but to where, the wrong direction, the wrong distance, everything wrong wrong wrong.
The sun. The sun. And the controls locking her out, somehow able to identify her again as prisoner instead of pilot.
She was going to burn. She would never get home, never have her revenge, never do anything again.
She screamed, a psychic blast of all her (frustration/fear/anger/desperation/no/no/no/NO/NO/NO), and her brain filled with the (sadness/anger/victory/pride) of Toshiko's silent, sobbing, terrible laughter.
Mary grabbed Toshiko, making her gasp in pain as the fragile human bones ground together under the pressure. ("Fix it"), she snarled, forcing the command into Toshiko's mind. ("Fix this, reverse it, change the course.")
Mary screamed again, ripping through the ship's controls. There must be some way to fix this. There was just no way a simple human could have done this, Torchwood or not, he must have made a mistake, left some sort of loophole. But the transmat was still broken, communications incompatible with anything within distance, unless…
She still had her hostage. If Torchwood had something in its possession that could receive, maybe they could negotiate.
It took time for the answer to come. Mary seethed at her own overconfidence, sending waves of loathing and sheer anger into her lover's mind as retribution. Toshiko just sobbed, but that damn edge was still ever present. Mary dug around her thoughts spitefully, sadistically glad when (inadequacy/"They'll be better off without me"/useless) overpowered that stupid spark of victory.
("You won't beat me") Mary crooned, slipping back into her purring, loving persona. Her caresses might leave bruises this time, being so preoccupied with impatience/fear, but sweet little Toshiko still felt that shiver of excitement/love at her ministrations. ("You'll never, ever beat me"/"Pathetic, weak little things") She ran her fingers over Toshiko's chest and pressed down.
The comm clicked in the back of Mary's mind. Contact.
("Give her back!") ripped through her mind the moment she opened the connection. Whatever receiver they'd found down in their dusty old archives, the humans obviously didn't know how to use it. They were sending verbal messages through a telepathic relay. And they apparently couldn't control the volume. Nor the range - she could hear each of their surface thoughts in addition to their words. That damned leader of theirs was still disconcertingly silent, but she could hear his muttered commands and curses through the link as he fiddled with the device.
("Reverse what you've done to my navigation system, or she dies.")
More cursing. The Captain muttered something Mary couldn't quite hear.
("Use the transmat to send her home, and we'll release the lock on your navigation.")
("There is no transmat. Its systems are dead. You bring the both of us back to Earth, now, or I will spend every second of my remaining time torturing her, and you can listen as we both burn.")
Mary forced her way into Toshiko's mind again, its already weak defenses worn down to practically nothing, and shoved the jumble of thoughts back through the comm to her comrades.
The three humans back on Earth all screamed - not out loud, but clearly enough through the telepathic communicator - shouting for their leader to do something, begging for Mary to stop.
She laughed and shut the connection to Toshiko. ("Fix this. Now.")
("Promise to let her go.")
Mary sneered at the girl's plead. ("Get us back to Earth, and we'll see.")
Something changed in the ship's systems. Something tangible, right there in the corner of Mary's mind. It shifted, like someone had flipped a switch and an electric current had begun running through the system.
Mary scrambled for it. Whatever they were doing down there, she wanted to know what it was. But it didn't make any sense, it was all backwards and sideways and primitive - the idiot humans had no idea what they were doing.
("Faster,") she snarled. ("Before it starts to get warm in here.")
She dug her fingertips into the thin layer of flesh covering her lover's ribcage. Toshiko moaned in pain, transmitting unwillingly down to her planet.
("Last chance,") said Jack, loud and clear for the first time since she'd been down on the planet with him. ("Let Toshiko go, stop this torture, and we bring you both back.")
Mary sneered. She still couldn't read him, and it was infuriating not having the upper hand. She wasn't going to give up her one advantage just yet. ("Just bring me back.")
("Last chance,") he repeated.
Something clicked. The body under Mary's fingers tingled as all of the ship's power was rerouted to the transmat. A moment later, and the cell was empty.
The system began to shut down. Mary frantically locked herself into it, trying to regain control but the bastard had somehow gained remote access. The transmat fizzled and died again. The controls stayed locked.
She screamed into the comm.
("Bring me back!"/fear/desperation/"Help me!")
The other side was chaotic, filled with shouting and muddled thoughts. (Relief/fear/joy/sadness) (distress/confusion/victory/dread) (gratitude/empathy/camaraderie) silence (bliss/freedom/mourning/safety/love/terror/"Oh god Mary")
("Toshiko!") Mary wailed back, clinging desperately to the connection, to the pendant, to her lover's mind, ("Toshiko"/"beautiful, loyal Toshiko"/"Help me"/"Please"/"I'm so sorry"/"I love you"/"I love you!"/"Help me!")
She poured everything into the transmission, all her love and affection and fear for the future and anguish, ("I love you"/"Love me"). Through the comm in her mind, she could hear the reply, in the muddle of the others' meaningless lives, worries and fears and friendships. Toshiko's beautiful mind, filled with love and sadness, the desire to save her lover, her Mary, save her.
There was still hope. She still had some control. Mary laughed in relief, sending love and hope through the connection, intensified by the pendant. ("Good girl.")
Their connection was so strong, Mary could see through her eyes, watch through the pendant's powers as Toshiko ripped away from her friends - the sweet secretary trying to pull her back, the girl with tears in her eyes, Owen-on-the-fridge checking her pulse and eyes - beautiful, strong Toshiko, forcing herself to her feet and half-collapsing onto the desk, reaching over Jack's arms to switch the receiver off herself.
The connection cut. She couldn't hear the others' voices any more, just a fading remnant of Toshiko's mind listening to the others' worry/relief/so glad she's ok/compassion, until Toshiko wrapped her hand around the pendant.
The pendant shattered as it smashed into the ground.
The silence was suffocating.
Mary screamed again and again with nobody to hear.
The ship's systems sputtered out one by one. Mary grasped onto them, desperate for mental contact. With the last of the ship's power, she opened a window. She stared out into space - dark, black, nothing, with only the light from the sun growing brighter every second.