14 March 2009
Turnmill Nuclear Power Station, Cardiff
Ianto knew that Toshiko was lying about having things well in hand.
The nuclear core was overheating, and the one lone tech who’d decided to stay and try to fix things had given up minutes before Hart had called them about Jack. Toshiko was still trying – she would never give up – but there didn’t seem to be that much more anyone could do to prevent the power plant from going into meltdown.
“You need to go and find Jack,” Toshiko said.
“What are you going to do here?” He was almost afraid to hear her answer. There really wasn’t much she could do from what Ianto was seeing.
“There’s one more thing I can try,” she said. “If I can somehow cool the core without using the actual coolant system…”
“And how do you propose to do that?”
She smiled at him, a smirk that was almost teasing in nature. “I propose to open a channel through the earth to the bay, and flood the thing. Then I can close the channel to keep the radiation from flowing back out to sea.”
Ianto was speechless. It made sense. “Are you sure you can do it?”
He knew Toshiko was powerful, tapping into the power of the Earth Dragon, of whom she was Friended to, but to attempt something like that…it didn’t seem possible. Magic wasn’t nearly as strong as it had once been, and while he didn’t want to doubt his friend he wasn’t sure she could actually accomplish such a feat.
She rolled her eyes at him. “I wouldn’t have suggested it if I wasn’t.”
Toshiko looked fairly confident, and so Ianto decided to let her try. At this point it couldn’t hurt. “Are you sure you won’t need my help?”
“Even you admit that your magic is relatively minor,” she answered. “I can’t think of a single thing you can do that will help.”
She did have a point. Not for the first time Ianto wished he’d paid attention to his father and the magical lessons he’d tried to instil in his only son.
“Alright,” he capitulated. “But I want you to stay on comms with Owen and the Hub at all times. I’ll be out of contact while in dragon form…” It was the best way to cover distance at speed.
“I will,” she promised. “Now go…and find your mate.”
Ianto nodded once, leaving Toshiko to her work.
He was in the air over Cardiff when the intruder alarm went off once more at the Hub.
He didn’t know about it until it was too late.
14 March 2009
The Torchwood Hub, Cardiff
John Hart’s pronouncement seconds after the intruder alarm went off was all that Owen needed to hear.
Rhys beat him to Toshiko’s workstation. The Welshman had his gun tucked away, and was typing at the keyboard almost as fast as Dragon Boy could. “He’s down in the cells,” he reported.
Owen was about to order Rhys and Hart to go with him down to face Jack’s nutjob brother when a terrible whistling sounded over the comms.
He had it out of his ear and tossed onto the floor before Owen even knew he was doing it. “What the fuck is that?”
“Weevils are loose in the lower levels,” Rhys said. His brows were drawn, and Owen could tell he had a headache that matched his own after that godawful racket.
“That’s just what we need,” Owen sighed.
“It’s Gray,” Hart reiterated. “Stirring up your Weevils would be just like him. He swore he’d tear down Jack’s world, and this would make a dandy start.”
“We need to get the Weevils back in their cells.” Owen pulled his gun, racking the slide. Bullets weren’t that much of a deterrent against them, but they’d knock them for six long enough to get them back where they belonged. “What’s the chance they tore Gray up and shat him back out?”
“Not hardly,” Rhys answered. “According to the internal cameras they just passed him by once he let them out of the cells.”
“That’s bloody wonderful.” They needed to head them off before they could get up to the main Hub; Owen didn’t want Patrick and Deborah to be sitting ducks.
“Hart and me will take care of the Weevils – “ Rhys began.
“Oi! I don’t remember volunteering!”
“– while you stay up here and keep watch on Deborah and Patrick,” the Welshman finished, ignoring Hart’s outburst.
It made sense. With Gray loose in the Hub the unconscious Patrick was completely helpless, and Deborah didn’t have quite the same weapons experience that the rest of them did, despite Patrick insisting on training her. And he didn’t dare wake Patrick up and have him move the wrong way. The last thing he needed was for the American to undo all of Owen’s good work.
Besides, Rhys knew how to handle Weevils. He and Patrick made a great team out in the field, and Owen could trust the man to do what needed to be done.
He was about to say so when Toshiko’s terminal beeped.
Rhys turned back to it. “We’re getting Weevil sightings all over the city. There’re being drawn up from the sewers.”
“Alright. You and Hart take care of things down in the lower levels.” Owen wished there was some way to alert Kathy and Davidson, but without phones there was no way to warn them of the Weevil infestation. He just had to trust them to handle things on the police side. “You’re right; we can’t risk Gray sneaking in up here and getting his hands on Patrick and Deborah. There’s no telling what he’d do to them, and Patrick can’t even defend himself.”
Then perhaps Toshiko could figure out the signal to get the Weevils back to where they belonged. He could only hope.
“Let’s go, you.” Rhys pushed Hart in the shoulder, to get him moving.
“You’re being too rough… and I don’t even know your name, big boy…”
Owen ignored the pair, knowing Rhys could handle Hart’s flirting. He went back to the autopsy bay, where he leaned over the railing. “We got trouble, sweetheart,” he told Deborah, who was sitting next to Patrick, a gun in her lap. She looked scared, but ready for anything. “Jack’s crazy brother let the Weevils out, and he’s somewhere in the Hub. Don’t leave him, okay? He can’t defend himself and there’s no telling what Gray will do to him.”
Deborah nodded once, her pretty face grim. She’d follow his orders, Owen was certain.
He’d just turned back toward Toshiko’s station when he heard the shot.
Pain lanced through his abdomen, fierce and bright as the sun.
Owen went down hard, not even getting his gun up. His last thought was, ‘Shit, I hate getting shot…’