Word Count: 6983
Author's summary: During the year that wasn’t, Torchwood tries to save the day. Elim Garak just tries to survive. Crossover with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Doctor Who.
Characters/Pairings: Torchwood cast, the Doctor, the Master, Elim Garak
Warnings: Character deaths
Recommended because: Selena's a brilliant writer. She's actually a professional novelist in her native Germany, but she wields the English language better than most native speakers. This triple crossover displays the depth of her skill. You might look at the fandoms and think "crack," but it's not--she makes it work as a serious story, full of plot and character exploration. Even if you don't know a thing about DS9 except it's got those aliens with the funny foreheads--no, the other aliens with the funny foreheads--the story still stands on its own. Plus, nobody, but nobody, writes a better Owen.
“I might,” Garak said, “have been wrong about the type of occupation, though.”
Garak replayed the footage again; the American President getting pulverized, Saxon shooting Jack, Saxon talking to that man in the pin-striped suit and turning him into some kind of dotard.
“That man,” Garak said, “is in the background of every newscast the Master has made since.”
“You think he’s pulling the strings and the Master is just the front man?” Owen asked, trying to understand what the point of this was.
Garak shook his head. “Oh, no. Quite the contrary. But I do think this is all done for his benefit, which means you might have both a bigger problem and a quite different solution to that problem than I had originally thought.”
“Genocide on a global scale isn’t a fucking problem,” Owen hissed. “Cut the euphemisms. What the hell are you talking about?”
“Your planet isn’t occupied because if its natural resources,” Garak said. “Not even because someone with far superior means thinks it’s fun to play global dictator, though he obviously enjoys that. No. The whole thing appears to be a spectacle for an audience of one.”
Owen stared at him. “So the Master is a complete lunatic. Congratulations. Psychonalysis was my weakest subject, and I could have told you that after the original broadcast.”
“Even complete lunatics want something,” Garak explained patiently. “The trick is to figure out what. In this case, the whole subjugation of your species is really secondary. It’s the means, not the ultimate goal. As I said, it’s all a spectacle for a specific audience. He does it to break this man. And there you have your solution.”
“What I’m having is a slow day. It comes from selling out my people, I guess. Because I still don’t know what the hell you mean.”
“Take his audience away,” Garak said, “and he’ll lose interest in your planet at once.”
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