Chapter 1: A Fortuitous Meeting
[Standard Earth year-4125]
[Location-Passenger Liner “Solar Skimmer”]
Captain Jack Harkness sat in the mess hall of the Solar Skimmer, prodding at some sort of unidentifiable sludge. He didn’t have a problem with the cuisine itself; it was his own fault that he had accidentally ordered the meal plan for Judoon. Plus, it was actually kind of tasty, but there was something off about this specific meal, and he couldn’t place it. Well, it’s not as it forgoing a meal would kill him; in truth, nothing could kill him. Well, to clarify, nothing could kill him for long. Then again, that was an issue for another day. Not that Jack was relaxed, but he didn’t expect anything bad to happen on this particular voyage. He was just returning to Earth to finish up some business with the third incarnation of Torchwood. The organization was no longer needed, and Jack was out visiting one of their branches to help clean up. Torchwood was packing up shop, forever.
“Excuse me,” the voice of a young woman brought Jack out of his thoughts. A woman who was probably about the same height as Jack stood awkwardly across the table from him, looking down at Jack as he poked his food, “May I sit here?” she asked.
“Oh, it’s my pleasure, go ahead and sit.”
“Thank you,” the woman smiled, setting her tray down and sitting. She had on a deep blue vest, with a white t-shirt, blue jeans and worn Converse shoes.
Noting her clothes, Jack said, “I couldn’t help but noticed your choice of clothing. Going for an oldie look?”
The woman smiled in amusement, “No, my good sir, they just happen to be some of the only clothes I own. Before this conversation progresses any farther, may I ask your name?”
“Ah, where are my manners,” Jack apologized, “I’m Captain Jack Harkness.” He extended his hand.
“Jack of all trades, Dove Smith,” Dove took Jack’s hand and shook it, “Nice to meet you Captain.”
Jack tasted his food again, and made the final decision to skip that meal. As he pushed his tray away he asked, “So, Dove, what’s bringing you to Earth?”
Dove thought for a second, before answering, “I’m not really sure. I just got the feeling that I needed to be there. Besides, it’s not as if I have anything tying me down.”
“Intuition, huh?” Jack commented, “Who knows, maybe you are here for a reason.”
Dove put a bit of her food in her mouth, before scrunching her face in disgust and spitting some in a napkin discreetly, “Dear god,” she coughed, “what’s wrong with today’s food?”
Jack looked around the room, and saw everyone else eating their food without a fuss, “I think it’s just the two of us who have a problem with the food.”
Dove pushed her tray away, “Well, regardless, I’m not eating that.”
Suddenly the entire ship shook, as if it had been hit by something. People cried out and some screamed in fear. Dove and Jack held onto the table and the tremors passed. Over the intercom, the captain announced, “Just a bit of engine trouble, folks, nothing to worry about.”
“Engine trouble?” Dove appeared troubled, “But the Sparrow-Classes have the most stable engines of the 42nd century! Engine troubles my ass.”
Jack began to walk off, and Dove shot him a look, “Hey, where are you going?”
“Just going to check on my luggage.” Was the terse reply.
Dove smiled, “You’re going to check things out, aren’t you?”
Jack raised an eyebrow in surprise, “You’re perceptive, aren’t you? Are you going to report me?”
Dove shook her head, “Nope. Count me in on your sleuthing.”
Jack grinned, “Great, let’s go.”
The pair set off towards the maintenance areas unnoticed.
[A few minutes later]
Deep within the maintenance access corridors, Jack and Dove stood in front of a big metal door labeled “Engine Access-Staff Only”. Jack was punching numbers into his Vortex Manipulator, attempting to override the door’s deadlock.
“Damn,” he swore, “I can’t disable the deadlock.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Sonic Blaster, “Guess I’ll just have to force the issue.”
Dove rolled her eyes and pushed the weapon down, “Calm down, Jack. No need to remove the entire door. I’ve got this.”
Dove reached into her pocked, disturbing a silver chain that reached from a belt loop into the same pocket. She pulled out a large silver cylindrical device. It appeared homemade, but had a certain elegant symmetry. The bottom of the device ended in a two-pronged black point, while the other end had a blue diode surrounded by three claws slightly longer than the diode. The main body had many exposed screws and sported an impressive amount of buttons, dials, and small displays. In size, it reminded Jack of the Master’s Laser Screwdriver, but its style reminded Jack of The Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver.
Dove caught Jack staring at the device, “Do you like it?” she asked, “I made it myself. I call it the Sonic Hammer.” She pointed the Sonic Hammer at the door’s lock, and the claws snapped open. She adjusted a few of the dials and pressed a central black button. A low-pitched whining echoed in the narrow corridors, reminding Jack of The Doctor’s Sonic device. After nothing happened, Dove frowned, and turned one of the device’s dials all the way up. The whining became higher-pitched, and the door’s lock sparked and clicked open.
Dove powered down her device and smiled, “See? No need to remove the whole door. Just smash the lock. I’ll repair it after we go through.”
Jack grinned at Dove, “Dove Smith, you are brilliant.”
Jack and Dove went through the door, and closed it behind them. Dove used her Sonic Hammer on the door again, reinstating the Deadlock Seal, before they both continued on.
The engine room was dark and a bit stifling. The heat from whatever reactor powered the ship smothered Dove and Jack under a blanket of warmth. Otherwise, from what Jack and Dove could see, the room was well maintained.
A few pieces of machinery glowed in the room, but they couldn’t make out anything definitely.
“Kind of dark in here.” Jack stated.
“Allow me.” Dove pointed her Sonic Hammer in the air, and activated it again. It emitted a low-pitched modulated whine, and the lights in the room came on, illuminating a large room with the central reactor dominating the middle. It resembled a tube, filled with red liquid. Machinery surrounded the tube, and wires and metal tubing attached the central reactor to the machines. Computer banks whirred and clicked, as Dove and Jack examined the equipment.
“Standard 42nd Century Red Matter reactor,” Jack said, looking over the equipment, “I can’t see anything out of the ordinary.”
Dove accessed one of the computers, its screen coming to life, displaying numbers at a fantastic rate.
“The computers say there haven’t been any problems during the last couple of hours. So whatever that tremor was, it wasn’t the reactor.” Dove reported, scrolling through the automated logs.
Another tremor shook the ship, this time accompanied with the sound of tearing metal and explosions. They were faint, though.
“What was that?!” Dove yelped, startled.
“I don’t know,” Jack said, running to the computer, and patching it in to the ship’s emergency systems. The camera feeds it presented were grim, “but I think we were just boarded.”
Chapter 2: Deus Ex Horologium
In which ships are boarded, parts are skipped, and watches are opened.
I am so very sorry about the quality of this chapter. I am so inspired about this story, but only on the later parts. This part is incredibly disinteresting to me. Please bear with me.
Jack and Dove contemplated on what they should do next. They could either lock themselves in the reactor room and ride out the raid, or they could try and help repel the boarders.
They gave each other knowing looks, and grinned slightly.
They made their decision in two seconds flat.
“Dove, do you have any weapons on you?” Jack asked, quickly checking his Sonic Blaster and revolver.
“I’ve only got this,” Dove indicated her Sonic Hammer, “I’m not sure if I can weaponize it, but I can give it a shot if I need to.”
“I’ll go first, then.” Jack told Dove as they headed out of the engine room. Dove opened and resealed the door with no problems. As they made their way back to the main parts of the ship, the sounds of screaming and gunfire got louder and more prominent. They reached the exit from the maintenance areas, Jack stopped in front of the door and listened. Gunfire was heard right outside the door, along with screams and shouted commands.
“Should we go for it?” Jack suggested, the screams of the dying clearly audible.
Dove wordlessly kicked open the door, and activated her Sonic Hammer. A wildly fluctuating modulated whine filled the corridor, and the sound of mechanical mechanisms breaking filled the area, as well as the subsequent curses of both guards and boarders alike who suddenly found their guns to be broken.
“Now Jack!” Dove shouted as she started knife-fighting with one of the boarders; that is to say, she was fighting his knife with her Sonic Hammer. Jack leaned out from behind the door and started firing upon the aggressors with his Sonic Blaster, which was set on its lowest cannon setting. The three men Jack fired on went down quickly, as Dove slammed the double-pronged end of her Sonic Hammer into her opponent’s chest. He went down without uttering a sound.
“Wow,” Jack said as he went over the Dove, “I thought that thing wasn’t a weapon.”
Dove cleaned the end off on her victim’s shirt, “The tip is laced with a mild paralytic toxin. He’ll be fine in a few hours.”
Jack examined the insignia on the man’s clothing, and sighed, “They’re pirates. A certain faction, anyways, and I’ve met their leader before. Maybe if I talk to her, I can convince her to leave.”
Dove patted Jack on the back, “Well then, what are we waiting for?”
One of the guards behind them said, “Wait a second, who are you two?”
Jack turned to face the guard with a serious look on his face, “I’m Jack Harkness, Torchwood. This is Dove Smith, and we’re helping you.”
The guard scowled, “We didn’t need your help, we have this covered.”
Dove shot the guard a stern look, “If you’re going to be ungrateful, do it silently. We don’t care whether you ‘had this covered’; from the numerous corpses littering this hallway, I’d say you were getting slaughtered. You’re welcome.” With that, she spun around and stalked down the hallway towards the sounds of battle.
The guard gritted his teeth, motioned his four remaining team members to stay behind, and followed Jack and Dove.
A few minutes later, the trio came upon a blast door, sealed and deadlocked. Beyond it, sounds of combat were barely audible. Dove scanned the door as Jack asked the guard, “What’s beyond here?”
“Hangar and Main cargo bay.” He responded, “The bastards probably came in a landing craft. We’re a passenger liner, not a military vessel. We can’t prevent people from just landing.”
Dove ceased scanning and flipped on a small 1X1 inch screen on her Sonic Hammer. Reading the data, she swore, “Damn it, the door is quadruple-deadlocked.”
The guard nodded, “Standard procedure when being boarded. It requires three to open, and the switch is hidden.”
Jack felt around the door, and Dove began scanning for a hidden panel. The guard rolled his eyes and flipped up a section of the wall that was located nowhere near the door. “Over here.” He sighed.
“Thanks,” Dove went over to the mechanism and went to town on it with her Sonic. There were a few sparks, but the machine stayed intact. It intoned, “Authorization required for deadlock override.”
The guard pushed past Dove and put his thumb on the reader. It flashed blue, and beeped. The door began to unlock, and slide into the walls. Dove twisted some dials on her Sonic Hammer, intending to disarm any weapons she came across. Jack pulled his Sonic Blaster out of its holster, and pointed it at the rapidly growing opening in the door. The guard chambered a round in his pistol, and waited until the hole was big enough to see through.
As soon as the opening was three feet wide, Jack dove through, much to the surprise of Dove and the guard. The sound of his Sonic Blaster discharging was heard, along with the screams of its apparent targets. Dove and the guard entered the hangar when the door opened wide enough to do so, and were greeted with a very shocking sight. Bodies from both sides littered the ground, and the hangar itself was damaged. Panels hung from the ceiling and walls by tattered, torn power cords, which sparked occasionally. A large gull-winged transport vessel sat in the hanger, a gaping hole in its side spewing pitch black smoke. Around the transport, the pirates had taken cover, and were using cargo crates as shields, firing around them indiscriminately. At the other end of the hangar, the remaining guards had set up a barrier and were trying to return fire, but weren’t being all that effective. In the crossfire between both groups, Jack had taken cover behind a maintenance cart. He fired shots at the pirates periodically. The whole situation, though, was effectively one big stalemate.
Dove and the guard stood off to the side, wondering how they could help. As the guard began to fire upon the pirates, Dove looked up and saw a massive crane-claw running on ceiling tracks. She grinned, as inspiration struck. She flipped some switches on the Sonic Hammer, and aimed it at the crane. The claws snapped open, and the device began to emit a low whine. It was nearly inaudible in the hangar that was filled with the sound of gunshots, but that doesn’t mean the Sonic Hammer didn’t do its job.
The massive crane groaned, moving at a slow speed. It inched over to a spot right above the landing craft that the pirates were based around. Dove grinned as she turned a knob on her Sonic device and pressed the activation stud again. With a loud clank, the claw disconnected, plummeting to the deck and crushing the landing craft. A second later destroyed carcass of the ship exploded, sending pirates (and pirate body parts) flying in all directions.
Jack stared slack-jawed at the extent of the destruction. The explosion had torn a hole in the deck, and the hangar doors looked damaged, as if they had almost blown out.
Jack had the distinct impression that a certain Doctor would’ve disapproved.
He rounded on Dove, intending to reprimand her for the gratuitous damage and bloodshed, when he saw she was just as disturbed. She was shaking as is she had just seen someone else murder a whole bunch of people with a utility crane.
“Dove,” Jack addressed her, concerned, “Are you okay?”
“I… I don’t know…” Dove muttered, “I have the feeling that what I just did was… wrong…”
Jack frowned in confusion. Wrong? What did she mean? Plus, she had a look Jack recognized. She looked as if she had been severely scolded by someone she admired. Jack should know, he wore that look many a times when The Doctor yelled at him for using a gun or killing.
Subconsciously, Dove touched her pocket.
The startled yelps of the guards near the cargo door drew the attention of Jack, Dove, and their escort guard. A group of black-suited pirates had swiftly incapacitated the men guarding the door, and were already through into the cargo bay before Jack could close the distance between them.
The doors slammed shut into Jack’s face, and he skidded to a stop before he could slam into them.
“Open them, open these doors now!” Jack shouted, panicking. Dove tried to sonic the door, open, but it was unresponsive.
“Don’t bother.” The guard groaned in frustration, “We can’t open it from this side, and it’s deadlock sealed.”
“But I can unlock deadlock seals!” Dove protested, to which the guard replied, “There are also wood locks.”
Dove fixed the guard with an incredulous stare, “Wood locks?!” she shrieked.
The guard shrugged, “Budget cuts.” He answered simply.
“Is there an override?!” Jack almost screamed at the guard, who shook his head.
“Jack,” Dove interrupted, “stand aside.”
As Jack cast a questioning glance at Dove, she plugged a cord into a port on the side of her Sonic Hammer. The cord led into a leather wrist strap on her left arm.
For a second, Jack wondered why the strap looked so familiar to him. Then he realized.
“That’s a Vortex Manipulator!” he almost shouted.
“Yep,” Dove nodded, inputting some commands into her wrist strap.
“You’re a Time Agent?!” Jack’s voice turned into the higher range as he started to panic a bit.
Dove fixed Jack with an almost patronizing stare, “Just because I managed to get my hand on a piece of Time Agency equipment, doesn’t mean I’m one of them, Mr. Harkness.”
With a high-pitched whine, the Sonic Hammer began to build up a charge. Dove pointed it at the door, warning Jack, “You don’t want to be in the way of this.”
As Jack stepped aside, Dove depressed the button. For two seconds, a screech filled the hangar bay, causing Jack and the guard to clutch their ears in pain. Around the outside of the door, sparks flew, and the tip of the Sonic Hammer blew apart in a small explosion. Dove gazed remorsefully at the mangled end of her tool, and Jack stared at the still-standing door.
“Uh, was that supposed to do something?” Jack asked.
“I disabled the multiple deadlocks on the door.” Dove explained, “Try using your Sonic Blaster on it now.”
Shortly, the trio went through the rectangular hole in the blast door.
(Alright, so I am really sorry, but I can’t find the will in me to write the next scene, it’s just too boring. Here’s the jist. They walk into the cargo bay, and see the pirates and their leader. Their leader is some woman who Jack dealt with before on Torchwood business. She is there to steal a crate of equipment that Torchwood is transporting back to Earth. It turns out the box is filled with scavenged Dalek tech. Attempted diplomacy happens, emphasis on the “attempted” part. A fight breaks out, the pirates teleport out with the cargo, but not before killing the guard and leaving a little surprise for the ship. We’ll pick up where they discover exactly what the surprise is.)
“Is she insane?!” Jack screamed at nobody in particular. Both he and Dove were standing in the main reactor room, surrounded by red emergency lights and drowned in sirens. The Red Matter reactor was going critical, and the whole ship was shaking. Those who could had already left the ship, meaning that Jack and Dove were the only ones left who could save the remaining passengers and crew.
“Less talk about your acquaintance’s mental state, and more problem solving, please!” Dove barked at Jack, as she was already at one of the nearby consoles, tapping its screen furiously. Jack looked over the equipment, and saw that the regulator unit was smashed to pieces.
“Jack!” Dove cried out, “The reactors already gone past the meltdown stage!” She looked hopelessly at him, “We’re doomed.”
The entire ship shook, knocking both Jack and Dove to the floor. With a clatter of metal against metal, Jack’s attention was drawn to a fob watch that had tumbled out of Dove’s pocket, a chain trailing from it.
With wide eyes, Jack recalled something The Doctor had told him a long time ago, at the end of the universe. He scrambled over, and grabbed the watch, held it up in front of Dove and asked, “Dove, do you trust me?”
“Uh, yeah!” her voice was full of fear, “I do, what does that have to do with our situation?!”
“Then please trust me when I say this is necessary.” He opened the watch.
Golden light flowed from the watch into Dove, and she jerked as if she’d been seized by some greater power. The light ceased, and Dove’s entire demeanor changed. She quickly took in the situation, and stared at the reactor, frowning, “Ooh, A meltdown in a Red Matter reactor? That’s very, very bad. So! Fixing, fixing, fixing,” she pointed at Jack, “What have we tried?”
Taking the sudden personality change in stride, Jack responded, “Well, there’s a containment system, but it’s too late to use it!”
Dove interlaced her fingers and began rocking back and forth on her heels, muttering, “Too late? Nothing’s too late. If I reverse the polarity of the reaction then…” she pulled out her Sonic Hammer, and stared at it, as if it had disappointed her. Jack could barely make out a “They always break when I need them most.” Before she stuffed it back in her pocket. Then Dove noticed her wrist strap.
“Why am I wearing this?” she asked nobody in particular, before looking at Jack, “Is this is a Vortex Manipulator?”
Jack nodded. He briefly remembered a certain pinstriped friend. Whoever this time lord was, she sure was talkative. Jack watched as Dove fiddled around with the Vortex Manipulator as the ship shuddered around them.
“Yes!” she cheered, “A built-in Timeline Slider! Oh, Time Agency, you wonderful, megalomaniacal lunatics! I love you!”
She started tapping away at her wrist strap, as Jack asked, “A Timeline Slider?! That’s dangerous!”
Dove gave Jack a smug look, “And I’m a dangerous individual. Good match!” She turned the wrist strap towards the reactor. “Locked, and… reverse!” She pressed a button, and the wind whipped around the pair of them. Jack shielded his eyes from the reactor as it began emitting blinding light. After a few seconds, the light died, and Jack stared, awestruck, at the once again pristine reactor.”
Dove poked the console once, and a metal cylinder encased the reactor. “Sealed!” she chirped.
“That was incredible.” Jack complimented Dove, “Time Lords always are.”
Dove smirked at Jack, “Of course we are, you impossible man. How’s immortality treating you?”
Jack laughed nervously, “I guess all Time Lords can see that, huh?”
Dove raised an eyebrow in amusement, “Are there any other Time Lords who have seen that in you?”
“Well,” Jack mused, “The Doctor did.”
Dove’s grin stretched from ear to ear, “I ask again, have any other Time Lords seen that in you? Are there any others I should know about?”
“Wait,” Jack’s mind took a few seconds to put the pieces together. When it did, he almost didn’t believe it.
“Doctor?!” his scream of incredulity filled the reactor room.
Dove just grinned back and replied, “The one and only! Hello Jack, it’s been a while!”