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The Despair are a species of telepathic, shapeshifting vampirc entities that feed on the pain and misery of sentient life. A member of the species tormented Jack and Torchwood shortly after his return by asuming the form of the deceased Ianto Jones.
The Despair are the accidental byproduct of a long forgotten war between two telepathic alien races that destroyed each other in a bloody war. The despair and missery in the war combined with the telepathic energy of the aliens and created energy beings made from negative emotion that began to roam the universe, destroying any sentient life they encountered to feed on their despair. They were eventually known as the "Blight of the Universe" and destroyed countles fledgling races in their feeding.
Eventualy the fledgling Empires of the Universe (Timelords in paticular) were able to defeat the Despair through an electromagneting pulse that decimated much of the species. Unfortunatly several members of the species were mearly put in to a state of hybernation as a result of being on the fringe of the blast area and were left to drift in the cold dark of space.
One member of the race eventualy became incased in an asteroid the crashed on Earth and was put in to the storage of Torchwood three in the 1950s. It would remain their for several years before awakening again as a result of the 456 invasion.
The Hub Ghost
The Despair was partialy revived by the 456 attack and the fear generated by the Alien's demand for children. Unfortunatly the creature had not regained enough strength to break free of the metorite that it had become bonded to and remained traped in the Hub vault.
When the Hub was eventualy rebuilt and restored by the goverment under the management of Gwen Cooper the creature started to attempt to fully awaken by subtly feeding in the doubts and insacurities of the new team. It would have taken the creature years to free it self this way if not for the return of Jack Harkness who needed to hide out on a backwater planet due to a incident on an alien world with a High Priestest.
While Jack claimed he was over the events of the 456 the guilt and despair he still felt was enough to engergise the creature back to full consiousness. The creature still reamained bonded to the meterorite. It would require Jack the one with "Pure despair" to make physical contact with its prison to break the bind on the prison.
Useing its telepathy it asumed the shape of the one who would cause the maximum amount of damage and influence over it's target. It took the form of the deceased Ianto Jones, first in a corpse form and becoming more corporeal and violent. Its intended to torment Jack and the others to feed on their negative emotions so that it would be at full power when freed.
At first the team were conviced they were dealing with a qsychic residual imprint left in the base and tried to ignore it and then deal with has it became more violent. Jack however felt the entity was the ghost of his dead lover that had become enraged over Jack leaing the planet taking it has a sign he abbandoned him and broke his promiss. The creature began to draw Jack down to the Hub vault to release it while causing chaos with the team to distract them.
Down in the Vault has he aproached the meteorite he was about to release the creature under the assumption it woul put the ghost to rest. It was then however that Jack noticed a flaw in the illusion due to close proximity to the meateor and the alien prisoner and its exitements about being freed. In its exitement the creature had reverted its eyes to there natural green instead of Ianto's blue. Realising the ruse Jack was able to pull back before touching the object but the creature threatned that someday it would be free and it would drive mankind mad till then though useing the strength it had regained by feeding on the team.
Knowing this could not be allowed Jack and the team formulated a plan and they were able to deterine the creature's weakness to electricity and created a partical cage to vaparise the creature and destroy it.
In their natural form the Despair are six foot non coporeal humanoids with glowing green eyes and claws and talons. Useing their shapeshifting abbilities they can assume multitudes of other forms down to the detail. While changed they are more urable than humans ancan pass through walls like ghosts due to there non coporeal nature.
While they are imune to physical fire arms due to their non coporeal nature they have a vunrability to certain electrical attacks. The right frequency can stun them in to hibernation and a properly tuned electrical blast can destroy them.