Enemy Unseen

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:56 pm

Jack had spent the night in frustration, switching from checking the monitors in the infirmary for any sign of change in the Doctor’s condition, to scanning the skies for any alien threat that might take his mind off the Doctor’s current situation. Unfortunately aliens seemed to have no interest in the Earth that night, not even the random joy riding teenager appeared. The rift was quiet and even the police scanner had nothing of interest.

In fact, the only activity seemed to be Gwen, who after using the anit-grav handles to move the medical supply cart from the cell block to the infirmary, busied herself rearranging equipment and cabinets in the main Hub area. Her activity produced an almost steady clank and clatter throughout the night. He didn’t agree with all of her changes, but rather than protest, he decided could change them back later. He suspected some of the moves were simply a chance on her part to exercise the freedom the handles gave her.

Jack stretched his arms up over his head and leaned back in his chair, the increased pressure against his shoulders brought some needed relief from the tightness that had developed. His clasped hands dropped down behind his head which pressed back against them as his elbows drove forward. The kinks out, he relaxed and let his hands drop to his lap, before reaching forward for his coffee cup. It was cold in his hand as was the contents.

He stared that the multi-colored oily film swirling on top of the dark liquid as he thought about what to do next. The Doctor didn’t need his help. He wished he did, he wished there was something he could do. He hated the sit and wait position he was in. With a sigh he shook his head, there was nothing he could do about it. There was however something that did need to be dealt with, Mr. Fisher. Frank had been cluttering up his cell block for far too long. Time to get rid of him, but how.

The sanitation cell the Doctor had been in was overdue for a live test. He briefly considered the idea. It would be appropriate considering Frank had been playing with the controls when the Doctor was in it. He sighed and shook his head. Unfortunately Frank’s father was too high up in the government and his disappearance could result in some unpleasant scrutiny. So he was going to have to come up with something else. Something that would explain the MI5 bureaucrat’s long absence and not implicate Torchwood.

He went on his computer and started checking for what assets he had available in the area. He wanted Frank controlled and he also wanted him out of Cardiff. He had more important things to do than dance with the idiot. Frank’s second wasn’t as ego driven, and would make a good replacement. Now what to do with Mr. Fisher?

A plan was starting to form in Jack’s mind when he heard the front door. He checked the monitor and saw Ianto was back. Earlier than Jack would have liked, but his return was welcome. He needed Ianto’s assistance in working out the details of his plan.

His aide went past Jack’s office without stopping, and proceeded right on to the coffee mess. Jack smiled as he saw the Welshman shake his head at the disarray and pour out the contents of the current pot, his nose wrinkled in disgust. Pushing back from his desk, Jack stood and expressed the same disdain for cold stale state of his current cup of coffee. Time for a refill and a strategy session.

Ianto looked up and smiled when he saw Jack approaching. “I’ll have a fresh pot in just a few minutes. How’s the Doctor doing?”

“No change,” Jack replied.

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Ianto took Jack’s cup and proceeded to wash it, the smell of dish soap became layered on top of the smell of the coffee. “Is there anything I can do?”

“For the Doctor? No, but I have something I could use your help with.”

“Yes?” Ianto dried the cup and poured fresh coffee in it for Jack.

“It’s Frank, I want to dispose of him before the Doctor wakes up.” Jack added a silent, unspoken ‘if he wakes up’ to the end of the sentence as he took the cup from Ianto.

“Dispose?” Ianto raised his eyebrows.

“Unfortunately not that way, unless you know of something that might work?” Jack himself wasn’t sure if he was kidding or not.

“Not for that, but I have been doing some research, I was going to run some ideas by you. I can’t keep him sedated forever.”

“Why not? No, don’t answer that. Did you manage to get some Retcon into him?”

“Yes sir, he shouldn’t remember anything and I did report to MI5 that he had gone missing.”

Jack sipped his coffee, enjoying the nutty flavor with an overtone of chocolate. His spirits were lifted by it along with the renewed knowledge that Ianto was good for far more than the brewing of the beverage. “Perfect, let’s go over these ideas of yours. I have a few of my own. Maybe they’ll mesh up.”

“What about Gwen? Should I send her home?”

Jack looked around at the reorganized office, Gwen was nowhere to be seen, nor were the handles. Who knew what she was rearranging now. “Yes, send her home and tell her to leave those handles here.” Jack felt he was doing more than just enforcing the Torchwood rule against taking alien tech home, he was doing Rhys a favor with that last order. Tripping over moved furniture on the way to your morning coffee was not a pleasant way to start the day.

Ianto left to find Gwen. Jack, glancing at the monitors saw that Martha was up. He poured a second cup of coffee with a dash of cream as she liked it and headed to the infirmary.

Martha was working when Jack entered and didn’t look up. Rather than disturb her, Jack watched from the top of the stairs. The Doctor’s arm and part of his chest was exposed. Martha picked up a bottle of lotion and deposited some in her hand, then rubbed her hands together before applying it to the Time Lord’s bare skin. She worked methodically not pressing hard like a massage, but a smoothing motion that distributed the lotion evenly. Once the lotion was applied on the exposed area, she took his arm and raised it up over her patient’s head and then back next to his body. She then took his arm out to the side in a large arc until it was back over his head again. The pattern continued this way with each joint bending and straightening them. The fingers she curled into a fist, then straightened and splayed them, pushing them as far apart from each other as she could, before returning the hand to its resting place and covering up the area she had been working on.

Jack realized the coffee in his hand was getting cold and cleared his throat as Martha was pushing the sheets from the Doctor’s leg from the hip down. “Is there a queue?” he inquired as he descended the stairs.

Martha looked up and smiled at him as she shook her head. “For receiving or administering?” she replied as she started to apply the lotion to the exposed leg.

“If I have a choice, I’ll take both. What are you doing anyway? It’s not like he’s awake to enjoy this.” Jack smiled and held out the cup of coffee.

“I doubt he would enjoy it, or even let me do it, if he was awake,” replied Martha as she finished applying lotion to the leg before reaching for the offered coffee and taking a sip. “His skin is dry. I can at least help with that. Give his body one less thing to deal with.”

“And all the bending?”

“Range of motion, helps a little with blood flow and keeps the joints flexible so when he comes out of this he isn’t stiff.” Putting the coffee down on the counter she went back to treating the Doctor, flexing the hip, knee and ankle joints.

Jack watched patiently while she finished her work and allowed her another sip of coffee before asking, “Has there been any improvement?”

Martha sighed. “Not that the instruments show. But there is one thing.” She set the coffee down on the counter and walked over to the bed. She pushed back the bed clothes from his arm. On his upper arm was a bluish purple spot ringed greenish brown. “That was red yesterday like the others around it. But it’s healing now, maybe it means other things will start healing soon.”

Jack studied the bruise. Such a small sign. Just one bruise out of many. It was grasping at straws, but right now he would take even a single straw no matter how weak and soggy. His thoughts were broken into by the sound of someone coming down the stairs. He looked up, expecting to see Ianto but instead it was Gwen, carrying a blanket.

“Why, aren’t you on your way home?” Jack questioned.

“I am, as soon as I deliver this,” Gwen answered. She looked over at Martha. “I’ve been changing them out all night. Did I do the right thing?”

Martha smiled nodded. “Yes, you did and you must have been very quiet about it. I slept much longer than I thought I would.”

“I tried not to disturb you. I checked with Ianto by the way, and he’s going to get one of those warming cabinets. It should be here this afternoon. Give the dryer a break at least.”

“If you two ladies are done chatting,” Jack interrupted as he took the blanket from Gwen and handed it to Martha, “it’s time for Gwen to go home.”

“Alright, I’ll go, but why can’t I take the handles with me? It’s not like they’re dangerous.”

“You know the rules, plus I want to you to get some rest. If you took them with you, you wouldn’t. So come on, get going.” He put his hands on Gwen’s shoulders and turned her towards the stairs. Gwen needed no further urging and left.

Jack turned to see Martha back at work. She had swapped the blankets and had rolled the Doctor onto his side, using the other blanket as a bolster to hold him in that position.

“You’re worried about bedsores?” Jack asked.

Martha arranged the sheet and blanket, and combed the Doctor’s hair back in place with her fingers as she replied, “He’s bony enough to get them easily and I don’t know how long he is going to be in this condition.”

Jack nodded his understanding. “It looks like you have everything under control here then. Ianto and I may have an errand to run later. Will you be okay without us?”

Martha sighed as she sat down on a small black stool, still staring at the Doctor. “Yes, I’ll be fine. There’s really not much I can do for him at this point. It’s just watching and trying to support him any way I can. But…” She put her hand to her forehead and unnecessarily smoothed back her hair with it as she looked down at the floor, her voice choked with emotion, tears starting to form in her eyes. “Jack, I have to be honest, he may not come out of this. I know what I would be telling someone in my position, but this is the Doctor and I have to keep hoping.”

Jack walked over and put his arm around her shoulders, for a moment she stiffened and resisted, then she relaxed into him. “I’ve seen the Doctor do incredible things,” he assured her with more confidence than he felt. “I don’t believe your hope is as unreasonable as you think. You’re doing a great job. If anyone can pull him out of this it’s you.” He stepped away and turned her on the stool to face him. With a single finger he chucked her under the chin and lifted her face so he could look into her eyes.

“When did you eat last?” he asked.

Martha blinked and stammered at the unexpected question, “Uh… I…”

Jack smiled. “That’s what I thought. I’ll have Ianto get you some breakfast before we go. They should have taught you in medical school to take care of yourself as well as your patient. Is there anything else you need?”

“I only have enough of the IV fluids for another day. I’ll write up a list and if you could get some waterless shampoo.”

“How about a shaving kit?” Jack suggested.

“Yes that would be good. Thank you.”

“Alright, I’ll leave you to take care of him.”



Ianto was already preparing a tray when Jack returned to the office area. On it was eggs, bacon, some hash browns and toast. “Where you listening in?” Jack accused light heartedly, trying to counter the seriousness of the situation.

“Actually no, I saw she was up and knew there was no food down there. I also took the liberty of ordering your breakfast. Given the state of the coffee, I doubted you’d eaten.”

“You’re right, I hadn’t. By the way, Martha has a few items she wants, a shaving kit, dry shampoo and the rest will be on a list she’s writing up.”

“I have a spare shaving kit here. I’ll have to check around for dry shampoo.”

“If you can find some she’d appreciate it. She’s trying to get him squeaky clean. When he comes out of this I don’t think he’s going to need a shower for a year.”

Ianto placed a fresh cup of coffee on the tray and picked it up. “I’ll be right back, your breakfast is in your office.”

In his office, Jack found a couple of wrapped breakfast sandwiches. He ate absent mindedly with one hand while operating his computer with the other, continuing his search for a solution to the Frank problem. The one idea he’d had earlier didn’t really pan out. Another on further consideration was too risky. For him, not Frank. There was however one possibility. He actually started to smile, it could work out very well.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:28 pm

Thanks for the installment!! great story - still riveting as ever - love it!

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:33 pm

Thank you. I wish I had more time to spend on it and could get it out faster for you.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:51 am

Continuing to enjoy this. Thanks for posting, Paksena.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:34 pm

Aspadistra wrote:Continuing to enjoy this. Thanks for posting, Paksena.

Thank you. The next chapter will be interesting.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:02 am

Paksena wrote:
Aspadistra wrote:Continuing to enjoy this. Thanks for posting, Paksena.

Thank you. The next chapter will be interesting.

No need to rush - quality takes time you know. And I need to make more time to go back and read it over in one go.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:09 pm

*Applauds* Thanks again Paksena, another good read Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:47 pm

Jennyjenkins wrote:*Applauds*  Thanks again Paksena, another good read Smile


Thanks I finally have the next chapter ready. Hope you like it.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:48 pm

The metal door crashed open with such force that it rebounded off the wall adjacent to it. Weapon drawn Jack shouldered it aside and entered the small drab room. He quickly surveyed it with a practiced eye. The stained gray walls, exposed piping, bare light bulb protected by a steel cage, the incredible eye watering stench like a mix of urine and carnivore waste, all registered and filed away in his memory. He was focused on the furthest corner of the room, where dressed in a grey boilersuit, curled up in fetal position, facing the wall, was the intended audience for all the drama, Frank, silent and unmoving. Jack holstered his gun and ran to him, cursing under his breath.  They had meant to scare him, not kill him.

His hand on Frank’s shoulder triggered a reaction that alleviated his worst fears and required his immediate attention. The MI5 member demonstrated he hadn’t been totally neglecting his martial arts training by snatching Jack’s wrist and throwing him into the wall.  That initial assault was followed by a kick of surprising force that only Jack’s quick reactions prevented from being disabling. Instead it connected solidly with the wall. The Torchwood leader rolled to his feet and dodged a leg sweep. Frank’s eyes were wild with no recognition in them.  Jack wasted no time, feinted left, and then dashed around behind Frank to the right. Due to Frank’s agitated state it worked and soon Jack had him pinned to the ground.

“Frank!” Jack’s voice was urgent but low as his captive continued to struggle. “It’s me, Jack! Normally I’d enjoy a little tussle in the afternoon, but there’s no time. We’ve got to get you out of here.”

At the sound of Jack’s words, Frank quit struggling, but was still tense.  “Jack, is it really you?” His voice was horse, desperate.

“Yes, it’s me. I’m here to rescue you. Unless you want to keep fighting.”

“No, no, I don’t. You can let go of me.”

Jack slowly released his hold on Frank and stood up, prepared to fend off another attack if need be. Frank rolled over to face him.  “You alright now?” Jack asked. “I don’t want to have to knock you out.”  

“Yes, I’m okay,” replied Frank, he let out a deep breath and started to stand. There was a gasp of pain as he put weight on his right foot. Jack caught him before he could fall and helped him to his feet, placing Frank’s right arm over his shoulders.

“Can you walk?” asked the captain hoping he wouldn’t have to carry him out. That would really mess up the plan.

“Yeah, but I’ll need to lean on you for a bit.” Frank took a little hop step forward as Jack helped him toward the door.  “That kick to the wall set off the arthritis in my foot.”

“Arthritis? At your age?”

“Childhood injury come back to haunt me,” explained Frank. “It’s why I was taken off of field work.” He looked around at his surroundings with a scowl. “So where is this place? The last thing I remember was us entering Torchwood with the ambassador.”

“Later, they could be coming back at any moment. We don’t want to be here when they do.”  Frank froze at that last statement. “Come on Frank don’t do this now.” Jack’s charge shook his head as if trying to clear it.

“Sorry,” came Frank’s reply breathless as he stepped forward, leaning heavily on Jack, “I… I don’t even know what I’m afraid of. I don’t remember anything.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jack assured him. “Amnesia is common in these circumstances.  Just keep quiet now. I need to listen as we go. I don’t want to accidently run into one of them.”

Frank nervously nodded his understanding as they moved forward. Jack stopped at the door and listened before turning to the left. The corridor was darker in that direction, only one third the bulbs were lit.  The walls were damp and the sounds of their footsteps echoed against them.  After about a hundred meters they encountered a banged up metal door on the right. A large white sign with red letters cautioned that only authorized personnel were allowed through. Jack yanked it open, despite its age and deterioration it was surprisingly quiet, the dim light from the corridor revealed a tiny landing, and a steep narrow staircase whose depth was concealed by the darkness.

“We’re going down there?” Frank whispered incredulously.

“No choice, it’s the only way out,” Jack explained keeping his voice low.  “Can you make it using that hand rail, it’s only one person wide here. I can’t be next to you for this. You’ll have to do it on your own.”

“If that railing holds I can make it.” Frank gingerly put his bad foot on the floor and winced but didn’t immediately lift it.  

“Alright, I’ll go first,” Jack explained, “you follow right behind me. Just give me a warning if you are about to fall and I’ll brace myself.” Jack hoped that would work and not cause them to both wind up in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. With the door shut, the light seeping around it was the only defense against the darkness. The first step was barely visible, the second wasn’t.

“Didn’t you bring a torch,” hissed Frank as they started down the stairs.

“Can’t use it here, they might see it. Now keep quiet.”

The progress down the stairs was slow. There was an uneven sound of shoe clad feet, accompanied by an ominous metallic creak each time Frank used the railing for support. After about twenty stair steps Frank gasped. Jack quickly pressed a hand against the rough walls on either side of him, not trusting the railing to handle the weight of both of them. Frank’s hand landed on his shoulder like a blow and stayed for a few seconds then Jack felt Frank push himself upright. Crisis averted. “Sorry, I trusted that foot when I shouldn’t of,” was the contrite explanation.  

“That’s okay, we only have a few more steps,” whispered Jack.

“How can you tell? I can’t see a thing.”

“We have to be, I’ve just hit the end of the railing. Yeap, we’re here.”  Jack held Frank’s forearm to steady him for the final step then resumed his role as a human crutch. “We’ve got a ways to go still before we’re out of their territory. There’s going to be more stairs. Are you up for it?”

“If the alternative is leaving me here, then I am.”

“Good.”  Jack smiled in the dark, it was working out better than he had hoped. He started on a circuitous route through the sewers and abandoned underground structures, crisscrossing their path many times, taking multiple stairways, all to confuse the MI5 agent and ensure he never found his own way back. Frank for his part was being a trooper. Not questioning their route and occasionally testing his bad limb, trying to put weight on it. When he pushed it too much, he’d give out a short cry of pain but clamped down on it quickly.  The weight Jack felt on his shoulders gradually eased as either the foot got better or Frank learned to deal with the pain. Jack wasn’t sure which, but was starting to feel a little guilty over what he was putting the agent through.

Then Jack’s cleverness caught up with them. There was movement at the far end of the passageway. Jack saw it and recognized the familiar gait.  He swiftly pulled Frank into a narrow side alcove and held his gun at the ready, trying to stay calm as a Weevil drew near. It stopped close to their hiding place and sniffed. Jack knew the dank smell of the passageway wouldn’t cover their scent as he watched the weevil move its bulbous ridged head slowly from side to side as if it was scanning the very air itself.  He was sure they were about to be found, when there was a clatter and a crash.  The creature turned towards it and headed off down the corridor, his bare feet slapping against the damp floor. As the sound retreated Jack breathed a sigh of relief.

“What was that?” whispered Frank after it was gone.

“Later, we need to move fast now.”

There was no more time for games, Jack grabbed Frank and hauled him limping down the corridor as fast as he could, taking the most direct route to alley that was his goal. Upon emerging through a manhole cover that had been conveniently removed, he saw the SUV with Ianto standing by it. He signaled for him to come over.  He noticed his aid was winded as he helped get Frank up the access ladder and on to the alley. As Jack suspected, the noise that had distracted the Weevil hadn’t just been a fortunate coincidence.

“Is he alright sir?” Ianto asked as he assisted Jack in getting Frank into the SUV.

“I think so, he has a bum foot and is shook up. Nothing unusual considering he was with them long enough for…” Jack didn’t finish the sentence as he closed Frank’s door.

“I was in there long enough for what?” Frank shouted.

The Torchwood members ignored him as they entered the vehicle. Ianto behind the wheel. Jack riding shotgun. He hadn’t fully settled in his seat when Frank reached for his arm and pulled Jack towards him.  “What do you mean, long enough? What happened to me?” Franks voice was fearful and desperate.

“Don’t worry, it’s nothing you won’t recover from. We’ve managed to rescue a few others like you. Most had amnesia, a couple didn’t, that’s how we know what goes on. I told you not to leave the Hub alone at night.”

“I left the Hub? What would I leave the Hub? I was there to make sure the ambassador arrived safely.”

Jack just shook his head.  “You insisted on calling back to your headquarters,” he lied, ”and was afraid we would listen in. You even avoided the CCTV cameras. That’s when they must have gotten you. Lucky, they had you near one of the sensors we have in the sewer system, that’s how we were able to locate you. Otherwise…” Jack frowned as he let the sentence trail off.

“But who had me? Why did they want me?”

“Umm… well…” Jack rubbed the back of his neck for effect. “Might be better if you didn’t know. Truth doesn’t always set you free.”

“Jack, please, tell me.  Who had me and why?”

Thrilled that this con was going so well, Jack relented and answered the question. “It’s not really who, but what.  The Weevils had you.”

“Weevils? Bugs had me?”

“No, humanoids, nasty looking creatures, ridged heads, black eyes, sharp teeth”

“Like that thing that almost found us?”

“That was one of them. It was probably looking for you.”

Frank leaned back, wedging himself against the seat and door of the car. “What would they want me for?” The words came slow and deliberate as if he was having to force them from his throat.

“Breeding,” was Jack’s short, matter of fact reply.

Eyes wide, mouth open, Frank choked out his next question. “You’re saying they used me for breeding? What, with other humans?” his voice contained a small glimmer of hope at the last question. Hope that was quickly snuffed out by Jack.

“No, with weevils. They have something that confuses humans. Makes them…” Jack didn’t finish the sentence. “We’ve seen half-breds, all young ones, so this is something relatively new.” Jack smiled at Frank.  “Look at it this way.  At least they don’t know about the court system and child support. You were there long enough you might have a bit of a brood forming.”

“Half-breds? You’ve seen them? How could you tell what they were? Do they look human?”

“A little, enough so we can make guesses as to who the fathers are.”  

Frank drew in a sharp breath and looked around desperately. Jack was afraid for a moment the man just might try to jump from the speeding vehicle. The con was almost working too well. Then Frank slumped his shoulders and hung his head. “Oh my god, Oh my god,” he was saying over and over again.  

The litany continued for the rest of the trip. Frank turning paler with each recitation. Until they were in front of his house. A plain brick structure, with no plants to soften the harshness of the architecture. In sharp contrast to the attached houses on either side that boasted traditional gardens and hedges.

“Why are we here?” Frank protested weakly.  “I need to go to MI5. Report in.”

“No, you don’t want to go there in your condition,” Jack explained. “You need to sleep this off so you can think more clearly in the morning. Besides,” Jack grimaced, “you need a change of clothes and shower.”

“But that will destroy evidence!”

“Evidence of what?” Jack asked. “Think about it. Do you really want them to know what happened to you?”

“But, how do I explain?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jack replied reasonably. “We’ll explain it. Weevils are a known problem. “You ran into one. Fought it off, escaped, but lost your mobile in the fight and got confused in the maze down there. It easy to do, former routes to the surface have caved in, lots of dead ends.  You’re getting out was further complicated by having to dodge the free roaming Weevils. We realized something had stirred up them up. Went to check and found you. You were exhausted, so we just took you home to sleep it off.

“See, simple explanation for your absence” Jack smiled reassuringly at him.  “And coming out ahead in a one on one with a Weevil is pretty impressive. Should serve you well.”

“And no mention of the other…”

“None, but that’s why you need to get out of that boilersuit. There may be some evidence on it of what you were doing. You wouldn’t want anyone at MI5 to get wind of that now would you?”

Frank paled at the thought. “No I wouldn’t.” He took a deep breath. “You’ve thought of everything haven’t you? I guess I’m in your debt. If you ever need a favor…”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Jack replied cheerfully. “But now, you should get cleaned. And honestly, get some rest. You want a clear mind tomorrow.”

“Alright but… he stopped and felt for pockets that weren’t there. “My keys are gone.”

“That’s okay, we provide door to door service. I’ll get you in.” Jack got out of the SUV and opened the door for Frank.

“You’re not going to break my door down are you?”

“No, I’m not, I just have a way with locks. Everything will work fine when I’m done. But I’d recommend getting your locks changed.  The Weevils do have your keys…”

“You mean they could come after me? Here? In my house?”

“They haven’t done anything like that yet,” Jack temporized. “I was just suggesting it as a precaution. You should be fine tonight. Don’t worry.”

“You sure?”

Jack put his hand on Frank’s shoulder and smiled reassuringly as they stood on the porch . “Yeah I’m sure. Let’s just get you inside now shall we?” The door had a standard dead bolt and the house was equipped with an electronic alarm. Jack used the sonic screwdriver on the dead bolt while Frank punched in the code for the alarm system.

“Is that what that thing is for?” Frank asked indicating the sonic screwdriver.

“Basically,” replied Jack as he flipped the screwdriver in the air before pocketing it. “It’s harmless. Just makes things easier for the Doctor.”

Frank’s eyes hardened. “Good thing he doesn’t have it then. Nothing should be easy for the likes of him.” Before Jack could respond, Frank cut him off. “I’ll see you around Jack,” he said as he limped through the door and closed it.

Jack frowned and was deep in thought as he reentered the SUV. Any sympathy the Torchwood leader may have been starting to feel for Frank left him with that last exchange. It was obvious Frank was still a danger for the Doctor and that meant Frank had to leave, be neutralized.

“I suppose it would too much to ask that foot of his gives way on his stairs and he breaks his neck,” Jack commented as he entered the SUV.

“Is everything alright sir?” Ianto asked as he put the car in gear.

Jack sighed. “I’m not sure. That post hypnotic suggestion may not have been sufficient. He’s scared, but it might not be enough. He’s still focused on the Doctor. Hopefully he’ll have nightmares tonight about having recognizable half-breed children running around under the streets of Cardiff or of that Weevil we ran into coming to visit him. That was too close even for my comfort. It was you who distracted it, wasn’t it? I thought I told you to stay here.”

“Sorry sir, you were taking longer than expected so I was checking up to see if you needed assistance.  I saw the weevil, and that it was heading towards your position and decided to draw it away.”

“I’m glad you did. It worked. Now, how is phase two of this operation going?”

“The position in MI5 London HQ is still open.  I’ve applied one of his previous applications against it.  The top runner is no longer eligible, some issues with his clearance and background investigation, which his family have decided to handle it by letting him immigrate and sending the girl and child along once she’s of age.”

Jack laughed “A remittance man? In this day and age?” He shook his head. Some things just never changed with the aristocracy. “So the fancy titled job for useless lords’ sons is wide open for our friend?”

“Yes sir, and I’ve managed to have Mr. Fisher’s paper work expedited.  He’s to report day after tomorrow.”

“Good work, I know he’s been trying for London for a while. I hate giving him what he wants, but if it keeps him out of our hair and away from the Doctor, it’s worth it. Hopefully the scare we gave him will be enough to prevent him from questioning how he became so lucky. What is the job anyway?”

“It’s an old section. It seems to involve a threat no longer active, but they do a lot of monitoring and analyzing of radio waves, both terrestrial and space in origin. Especially wavelength 456.”

Jack blanched at that last.  “456? You sure?”

“Yes, that was it. Why? Is something wrong?”

Staring out the window Jack pondered the question as the rain started up again.  Was that a safe unit for Frank to be in? It had been years, decades in fact. They’d gotten what they wanted, if they hadn’t come back by now…  He stopped himself. He was worried over nothing and once Frank was read in, he would be convinced there were far larger threats than the Doctor to worry about. He turned to Ianto and smiled.

“No, nothing, just old memories.  That should be the perfect place for him. Any word on how the Doctor is doing?”

“There’s no change. Martha asked me get an oxygen condenser and a few more supplies. I get the impression his recovery will take quite a while if at…”

“Don’t say it! Don’t even think it,” ordered Jack. “He’s going to pull through. He has to.”

Cowed, Ianto didn’t respond. Only the steady beat of the wipers broke the silence until they approached the Plass on the way to the Hub.

“Pull over,” Jack directed.

“Sir?” questioned Ianto as he complied with the order.  

“I’m going to go to the TARDIS and make her let me in.”

“Jack, are you sure? I mean. One time you might not come back.”

“Just stay here and don’t let any ambulances cart me off.”

“Yes, sir.” Disapproval was apparent in Ianto’s voice in contrast to the words.

Turning his back on Ianto’s worried expression, Jack started towards the TARDIS. He could feel her trying to push her away.  He set his mind to walk a straight line, concentrating on the ground, not thinking about his goal. He ignored the rain as it ran down the back of his neck, each determined step taking him closer to the goal he dared not let enter his mind. It worked, he was there, he could see the edge of the TARDIS, then he felt Ianto’s arms around him as he was looking down at a curb. He was overbalanced would have fallen into the busy street if not for Ianto pulling him back.

“Jack, you awake now? Back with me?”

“Yes,” came Jack’s disheartened response. “What Happened?”

“You almost walked into traffic. I couldn’t stop you.”

Jack stood there wavering, trying to make sense of what Ianto was saying. He almost walked into traffic? The words stunned him. He knew he’d been at the TARDIS. He saw the bottom of the door.  Shaking his head he realized this wasn’t going to work. Ianto could have been hurt trying to save him. Innocent bystanders might have been injured or killed.  No matter what his pride told him it was time to give up.

“Alright let’s go,” ordered Jack, resigned to his failure. Knowing he’d let both the Martha and the Doctor down. One was in no condition know, but the other he would have to face shortly.



Back at the Hub, Martha was just finishing another round of range of motion exercises on the Doctor.  There had been no reaction at any time during the procedure. No trace of muscle tone, no pain response, reflexes minimal. She sighed as she laid his leg back on the bed and covered it with the sheet. A few more bruises were starting to heal, but the read outs showed the major organ damage that he had sustained was still unchanged. Brain waves minimal almost an anomaly of the instrumentation.  

She replaced his old blanket with a new warmed one from the cabinet. Smoothing it over him she felt its softness and heat, wishing somewhere in the motionless body he felt it too. She adjusted his oxygen mask and checked the reading on the tank. It was running low and she only had one more on hand. Hopefully Ianto would have the oxygen concentrator here soon.  Her one attempt at decreasing the flow had resulted in his breath becoming shallow and rapid as the oxygen in his bloodstream dropped.

Wearily she sat down on the stool next to the Doctor’s bed and reached under the blanket taking his hand in hers. Feeling on some level he might take some comfort from it. She wanted to speak to him but had no idea what to say as she looked at his motionless form. Her emotions held in check by medical detachment as she treated him, ran rampant through her mind. Anger, despair, heartache, hope all jockeyed for position in her mind. Exhaustion was one she pushed away as she heard the door open. There would be time for that later. With a final squeeze she let go of the Doctor’s hand and stood up and turned to see Jack descending the infirmary stairs carrying a package.  “I’ve got that oxygen thing for you,” he called out.

“Thank you. Everything go alright?” she asked.

“Mostly,” he responded as he put the package on the counter, “we were just tying up some loose ends. Ianto is bringing in the rest of the supplies you ordered. I tried the TARDIS again.” He shook his head before Martha could get her hopes up. “I’m sorry. It’s just not going to work.”

She reached out and took his hand. “It’s okay Jack. You tried.”

Jack looked away his eyes resting on the Doctor. “It’s not right,” he said. “There’s something I’m missing.” He suddenly turned and looked at her. “And you, can’t you at least be angry with me.”

“Why, so you don’t have to be so hard on yourself?” Her voice softened as smiled at him. “Jack, we’ll make do with what we have. He’s stable now, hopefully he’ll start to improve on his own.” Then to her embarrassment her stomach growled. “Sorry…”

“Don’t be, that’s why I came down here. Gwen’s coming in soon. I was going to have her pick up some take away. You want fish and chips or curry?”

“Curry.”

“I’ll let her know. It will be here in twenty minutes. You should join us upstairs.”

Martha bit her lip and glanced at the Doctor.

“You said he was stable” Jack asserted. “You need a break. You can’t spend every minute in here. You’ll go stir crazy. Come on, we have mentors upstairs you can watch him on, see all the readings and you won’t be more than fifteen seconds away from him.”

“But…”

“No buts, twenty minutes I want to see you upstairs.” He put a hand on each of her shoulders and bent down so his face was level with hers. “That’s an order. No arguments”

She nodded and he smiled as he let his hands fall away. “Good, now don’t forget, twenty minutes.”

“I won’t. Thank you, Jack”

“Don’t mention it.” The captain gave on last sad glance at the Doctor before leaving the infirmary.

Martha, opened the package and saw the exact model oxygen concentrator she had ordered. She smiled, she knew Ianto wouldn’t let her down. She set it up and transferred the tube from the tank to the device. The Time Lord’s oxygen saturation level dipped briefly and then returned to its previous level. She checked the boluses connected to the IV and the IV site itself before putting another warmed blanket on him. With two fingers placed under the side of his jaw she felt his pulse. Slow, faint and barely discernible as the as the instruments said it would feel. As it had felt all day. After a deep breath she ran her fingers once more through his hair, now clean and silky as it should be, combing it back from his face. There was really nothing more to do for now, and her twenty minutes were almost up.

Reluctantly she ascended the stairs. Her hand went out for the door handle and stopped. Her gaze and attention drawn back to the Doctor. Seeming even more helpless when viewed from above. She closed her eyes and told herself she would be gone briefly and only seconds away from him. Opening the door was easy, but stepping through… It was as if there was an invisible barrier, an emotional one, illogically making her feel as if she was deserting him, betraying him. That she had no right to any rest or enjoyment while he was so desperately ill. Jack called out her name, urging her to join them. She stepped forward and the barrier vanished like the illusion it was and she walked towards the sounds of camaraderie and welcome.


Last edited by Paksena on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:47 am

Wow - another fantastic installment. Great job! wonderfully engrossing.

Thanks!

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:52 am

konstantin wrote:Wow - another fantastic installment.  Great job!  wonderfully engrossing.

Thanks!

Thank you for your comment glad you liked it. We are nearing the close now, I think, but don't count on that I'm notoriously bad at determining how many chapters I have left. Embarassed
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:49 am

Can we look forward to a sequel? Or a new saga?

Wink

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:34 pm

It will follow this story time line wise but will be able to stand alone. It will take place off Earth.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:42 am

>squee<


Wink
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:58 am

Gripping as always Paksena - thankyou sunny 
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:44 pm

Thank you for posting again, Paksena. Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:08 pm

Jennyjenkins wrote:Gripping as always Paksena - thankyou sunny 
Thank you, sorry was late in responding. Been a weird month.

Aspadistra wrote:Thank you for posting again, Paksena. Smile
Thank you it's good to know people enjoy it

More below.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:11 pm

Going through reports Ianto had prepared was one task dreaded task that Jack couldn’t pawn off on someone else. His aid was thorough and detail oriented. Never did Jack have to add anything. It was possible deletions he needed to look for. Information he didn’t want to be recorded for all time. Such as the details on Frank Fisher. The story Frank believed was what needed to be in the official record, not the con, not the facts. Jack left that there were marks, deep scratches, discovered on Frank’s door the morning after he had returned home accompanied by strange foot prints on the walk. He deleted that it was Ianto who had caused them. He wasn’t sure if those additional touches had been necessary, but Frank had wasted no time in accepting his new position in London and moving out of his house. In fact he stayed in a hotel after he found the signs of Weevil interest around his dwelling. Jack doubted he would ever see Frank within fifty miles of Cardiff again.

There were other details that Jack didn’t want in the records, that the Doctor had been in the infirmary for three weeks now was one, at least not the actual truth. So he conveniently changed the Doctor’s identity in all the reports. It was a Lackalin that they had in the infirmary as far as the records were concerned. Harmless race, curious explorers, not conquerors, they passed for human quite easily, unless someone noticed their ears were glued on or the advanced prehensile nature of their tongues. That last part Jack had often found entertaining and enjoyable in the past, and caused them to come to easily to mind when he decided he needed to conceal the Doctor’s identity.
Right now he was ‘correcting’ an entry from a week ago. For thirteen days the Doctor had lain pale and unmoving, no change in his condition but a few glacially healing bruises and scrapes. Martha continuously worried and fretted over him. It had been a challenge for Jack to get her to take a break from her vigil. One meal a day outside of the infirmary was all he could manage to get her to do and then she watched the monitor like a hawk the whole time. Though she feigned a relaxed attitude, Jack could tell she was braced to bolt back to the Doctor’s side should the need arise. Then a week ago, there was a change.



Jack had entered infirmary determined to get Martha to step outside of the hub, get a breath of fresh air, convince her the Doctor would be safe in under his watchful eye. Determination changed to surprise when he heard Martha happily humming as she switched out the IV boluses.

“Good news?” Jack asked.

Martha looked up at him. Smile wide and eyes bright no longer lined with worry. “Yes, definitely, look.” She pointed to the monitor.

Jack shook his head. “I don’t see anything different?”

“This section here. It shows brain activity. See the waveform?”

Jack squinted his eyes as he studied the screen, there were very small bumps in the lines. So small he would have thought that they were just an artifact of the instrumentation.

“I know they’re small,” Martha continued. “But they weren’t there yesterday. It’s been flat since he collapsed.”

“So, what does it mean?”

“His brain is starting to function. He’s a long way to consciousness, but it is an improvement. One I've been waiting for.”

Jack looked down at the Doctor. He was lying on his side. Bolstered by pillows and covered by a sheet and a blanket. He was still pale, unmoving, there was a slight fog on the oxygen mask that covered his face. The bruises were gone, but that was the only change he could see. Then there was movement, a tremor that rolled thought the Doctor from head to toe like a wave. So strong it was visible through the bed clothes.

“What’s that?” he asked in alarm.

“I don’t’ know.” Martha responded calmly. “It’s been happening all along. Two of three times a day. At first I couldn’t see a change in his condition when it occurred, but look now.” She gestured towards the monitor.

Jack could see it. The little bumps had increased, slightly but definitely. “So it’s something good?”

“I think so,” she answered as she looked down and smoothed the blanket covering the Time Lord. She sighed and turned back to Jack with a sad smile. “Don’t worry Jack, I’m not a fool, I know he’s not out of the woods yet, but I do believe he found the path. We just have to help him keep on it.”



And help him keep on that path is what Martha had done with a vengeance over the next week. Jack couldn’t get her to leave his side for even one meal a day and she barely slept, despite the fact the Doctor was improving dramatically. But now when Jack looked up from his paperwork and checked the screen showing the infirmary, what he saw was totally unexpected. Martha had taken the Doctor off the oxygen and the Doctor’s brown suit, a shirt and tie, replaced the fluids that had previously been on the IV stand. He left his office in a hurry wanting to get the latest news directly from Martha.

“How’s the patient today?” Jack asked as entered the infirmary.

“He’s better, much better,” Martha answered as she put some medical supplies away. “Off the oxygen and brain activity shows he’s just in a deep sleep now. He should be waking up in a few of hours. Definitely by days end. You should have some food ready for him, he’s going to be hungry.” She hesitated then continued. “I’d say make sure he doesn’t eat too much, but he knows his body pretty well and gorging himself may be just what he needs.”

Jack realized what her instructions meant. “You’re not going to be here?”

Turning to the bed, Martha avoided Jack’s gaze. Her hand went out over the Doctor’s chest and hovered there for a moment, as if she was about to touch the blanket that covered it, but instead she let it drop to her side. Jack noticed her ring finger was now bare, the engagement ring nowhere to be seen. “No, he doesn’t need medical attention now and I have to get back to UNIT.” The regret was obvious in her voice.

“Surely they can wait a few more hours till he’s up and around.”

Martha stared at the Doctor’s face and sighed. “They can, I can’t. If I stay… Jack, I fell in love with a man who didn’t exist. I need to straighten that out. Figure out what I want do with my life.” Her hand reached out and gently brushed the Time Lord’s hair from his forehead. “If I stay, he might ask me to go with him, and I don’t know if I could resist. But it’s a poor trade, leaving the man who never was, to run after the willow the wisp. I need to know my own mind first. I need to know I’m running to a new life, not just away from an old one.” She faced Jack as if daring him to find fault.

“He might not ask you, you know,” Jack reasoned, trying to get her to stay.

“Then it’s his decision and I need it to be mine, as my first step in taking back control of my life.”

“He’s going to wonder why you aren’t here.”

“But he won’t ask, I know him.” She took a pad from the counter and wrote quickly. “Here give him this,” she said as she handed the note to Jack.

Jack looked at the note in surprise. “Your mobile number?”

“Yes, remind him, that the phone receives calls as well as sends them. He doesn’t have to wait for me to call him. I’ll be there for him, whenever he needs me.”

As he put the note in his pocket Jack nodded. Personally he doubted the number would ever be used. Admitting he needed help was hardly one of the Doctor’s strong points. “So is that it?” Jack asked. “No other instructions?”

“Yes, there is one thing, get him to talk about what he’s been through.”

“Me?” Jack pulled a face and pointed to his own chest, incredulous. “How am I supposed to get him to talk? I think it would be better if you stayed and did it.”

“Jack, I’ve heard you two. He opens up to you. I don’t know if it’s because he’s more comfortable with you or respects you.” Jack’s eyebrows shot up at that and he cut off a short bark of laughter. “No, really Jack, he does. But it might just be that… Well, you are a con man. One of your skills is getting people to tell you things they didn’t intend to.”

“I don’t see him as a mark.” Jack protested.

Martha reached out her hand and touched the captain’s forearm. “I know you don’t,” she said kindly. “But you still have the skills and,” Martha smiled fondly at him as she shook her head, “you can’t help using them. With the Doctor, it’s good that you do. I had to stage a sit down strike to get him to admit his planet had been destroyed and he was the last of his kind. You, he talks to. He answers your questions.”

“He didn’t this time. He was evasive about everything, from why he was here, to if he was hungry.”

“I know, Ianto told me. But still, you need to try, and you will have a better chance than I would. Maybe with that thing out of him, he’ll open up a little easier.”

The Torchwood leader frowned. “I hope it’s out of him. I’d love to give him another scan, but the device is dead now. No power.”

“Don’t borrow trouble when you don’t need to. You didn’t see his face before he passed out, it was him and only him. And the device did show you’d gotten it all before failed.”

A sigh followed by the rustle of bed clothes broke into Martha and Jack’s conversation. The Doctor had rolled onto his side.

“Jack, it’s time for me to go,” Martha whispered as she quietly walked over to the cot and picked her bag up off it.

“Should I stay here?” Jack asked softly.

Martha shook her head then beckoned for him to follow her up the stairway. Once they were outside the room she explained, “You should let him wake up by himself. He’s been out a long time. Give him some space while he acclimates.”

Jack nodded, he understood the reasoning. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay? I’d feel more comfortable if you were here.”

Martha looked down and stared at the bag in her hand as she bit her lip before nodding and turning her attention back to Jack. “Alright, I promise not the leave the Quay until you let me know he’s fine. But…” she looked up at one of the screens that displayed the medical readout on the Doctor, “I think he’s going to be awake before I get to the car park.” She offered her hand to Jack.

“A handshake? After all we’ve been through?” Jack protested as he held his arms wide.

With a generous smile on her face, Martha dropped her bag and stepped forward into his embrace. She returned it tentatively at first, but soon Jack felt her pull him close with a fierceness that surprised him. He waited for her to relax and then took her by the shoulders and held her slightly away from him, fixing his eyes on hers. “Are you going to be okay?” he asked.

She nodded a slight glistening in her eyes. “Yes, I’ll be fine. I know what I need to do now.”

“Good. You know, there is a position here for you, if you ever want it.”

“Thank you Jack, I’ll keep that in mind.” Her smile told Jack she was complimented, but most likely would not take him up on the offer. She glanced again at the monitor. “I really need to be off. Take care of him Jack.” Then, without another word, she picked up her bag and was out the door.

On his way to his office Jack was interrupted by Ianto. “Is everything alright sir?” his aid asked holding out a cup of fresh coffee for him. Jack took it gratefully.

“It appears to be. Martha says he’s just asleep now and should wake up at any moment. Are there any new developments with the TARDIS?”

“The protective circle is still contracting but it’s also changed shape, more like a pear.”

Jack frowned. “A pear? Show me.”

Sipping his coffee Jack followed his aide to his workstation. There Ianto pulled up the necessary display. “See this is what it was like three weeks ago when the Doctor collapsed,” he explained. The display showed random green dots, representing people in the Plass, with a dark circular area in the middle. “I’ll move through the past three weeks.” The dark area shrank as more dots encroached on it. Then it started to change, holding the border on the side corresponding to the entrance of the TARDIS and shrinking on the sides and rear. Definitely a pear shape as Ianto had reported.

Jack placed his hand on Ianto’s desk and leaned forward, studying the screen. “Can you run the timeline again, slower this time?”

“Certainly, sir.” The simulation ran again. The dark area developed a bulge in front of the door before the sides started collapsing. But what did it mean? Why the collapse at all? His first thought was conservation of power, but she was parked on the rift, with all the power it gave her that shouldn’t be necessary? Maybe it was, as Gwen had suggest when the area had started shrinking, the start of forgiveness. Or perhaps she was just bored with pushing everyone away. If so, then soon she should just go back to her old mode of using the perception filter to not be noticed. Not be so aggressive.

Gwen interrupted his thoughts as she came up behind him. “Jack, Ianto, I think our patient is awake,”

The TARDIS forgotten, Jack pushed away from Ianto’s desk and hurried to the workstation that served as the main control for the cameras in the infirmary. There he saw the Time Lord was indeed awake and sitting up. Jack zoomed a camera in on him and was rewarded with a rather nonplussed glare from the Doctor who stood up and let the bedclothes fall away from him as he did so. With regret, Jack resisted temptation and yielded to the Doctor’s unspoken demand, turning the camera so it’s only view was a wall, hoping he was doing the right thing. Praying Martha was correct and it was just the Doctor in the infirmary and nothing else.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:19 pm

Yay! Great installment!

You've got a great story here. Great story, and well written. Thanks.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:16 pm

konstantin wrote:Yay!  Great installment!

You've got a great story here.  Great story, and well written.  Thanks.

Thank you very much. It's reviews like yours that keep me going. Very Happy 
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:07 pm

Continuing to enjoy this. Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:49 pm

Great glad you are continuing to enjoy it. Writing the next chapter at this moment hopefully it will be up soon.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:47 pm

Bars, steel bars, less than six inches from his face were big formidable shinny steel bars. The Doctor’s thoughts raced. What had he gotten himself into now?  He didn’t know where he was. In friendly or hostile hands, he had no idea.  He forced himself to relax and assess his environment. The steel bars only went up about a third of a meter above the surface he was lying on and that surface was soft yielding to his weight and pressure points. There were coverings that were warm and comfortable. It wasn’t bars meant to imprison him that he saw, they were rails, hospital bed rails, meant to protect him against gravity. He was with friends.

Friends who from the soft friction of the sheets on his skin as he rolled on to his back had apparently stripped him naked. He shook his head as he gazed up at the large silver eye of the operating light that hovered ominously over the bed. Whatever they thought that accomplished he had no idea. He rubbed his forehead trying to get the sleep inertia muzzyness out of it as his tongue worked around his teeth and gums trying in vain to ease the sticky dryness of his mouth.

His hand slide down to his face and he stopped. His cheek was smooth, surprisingly smooth with only a hint of stubble. They’d shaved him? What about his sideburns. It had taken him ages to get them just right and to think some ham handed idiot might have… He took a deep breath and stopped that train of thought. He was alive and free of the creature.  Sideburns could grow back, as he rubbed in front of his ear, he realized there was no need to worry, there was enough there to work with. A little coaxing they should reach perfection in a week or so.

After a deep breath, he tried a full, tension filled stretch, his toes pointed and his arms out away from his chest reaching for the ceiling, fingers splayed. He let his breath went out in rush as his arms dropped back to the bed and assessed his condition. His time sense had been too muddled by the creature for him to know how long he’d been out, but judging by the lack of stiffness it couldn’t have been more than a few days. He mustn’t have been as badly injured as he had thought. It had been so hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t. Maybe the only thing that had been wrong with him was exhaustion.  There was one thing however, that was real and extremely demanding of his attention, hunger.  He was incredibly hungry.

He grabbed the cold metal bed rail and pulled himself up into a seated position, a little too quickly as it turned out, the room spun for a moment as his body adjusted to the new position. The bed clothes slid down to his waist as he worked the mechanism that let down the rail. A clatter and clank and he was free. He swung his legs over the side of the bed preparing to stand up when a whirring sound high and to the left caught his attention.

There he saw a camera trained on him, its lens zooming in. He glowered at it and stood up, letting the bedclothes fall to the floor, leaving him totally naked, exposed. The camera slowly turned so it was facing a wall. Hearing whirring behind him, he twisted to see a second camera in the room, also turning towards a wall. He nodded in satisfaction and surveyed the rest of the area.  There were some medical supplies neatly lined up on the counter behind a change of underwear and an IV stand that was currently being used as a clothes horse, his brown suit occupying it. He smiled, that was just what he needed to feel like himself again. First order of business was the sink. He needed water.

He turned on the taps and let flow over his fingers till it was cold. Not bothering to look for a glass or other vessel, he cupped his hand and drank in the refreshing liquid as if flowed from the tap.  Not too much, just enough to wet his mouth and throat.

“Jack, I know you can’t help listening in,” he called out as he started to dress himself, “so could you have some food ready for me when I come up. I don’t care what. Just a lot of it.” As he finished his request he felt lightheaded and put a hand out to the counter to steady himself while he completed donning his trousers. The shirt was crisply pressed as was the suit.  Not the way he preferred, but he knew it would return to its normal rumpled form soon enough. Of course that lead to a dilemma when it was time to do up his tie. Should he match the rest of the look and do it neatly. He grimaced at the thought. So half-mast and askew it was. The best choice most likely, Jack would worry it wasn’t him if he was too tidy.

That decision taken care of, he looked around, he needed shoes.  Surely they had left them about here somewhere. They weren’t on the counter or that place most humans liked to put them, under the bed. There was a cot with neatly folded sheets as if prepared for inspection against one wall, but no shoes either on or under it. The floor held no hint of their location nor the cabinets. His search however produced some rather disturbing clues as to his time there.  There were boluses of fluid in one cabinet. IV kits and tubing in another.

The trash held the most disturbing information. In one container were remains of a cast for a lower left arm. He looked at his. Had he broken it? All his fingers moved and his wrist was flexible. It must have been nothing a false alarm. It would take a week or more for a real fracture to heal. He checked the other container, bright red in color and discovered tubing and an oxygen mask. He unconsciously touched his face when he saw that. Had it been on him? Empty oxygen bottles in the corner and an oxygen condenser on the floor next to the bed told him it had. Worse some of the tubing in the trash wasn’t for oxygen, he could see drops of liquid inside them. He flexed his hand and stared at the back of it. Aware of a slight sting there that he hadn’t noticed before. Which of those potions in the cabinet had they used on him?

He sighed, what was done was done and overall he seemed to have suffered no ill effects. There were no shoes here, or answers for that matter. Hopefully both would be upstairs. He took one last look around, ran his fingers through his hair to fluff it a bit and headed for the stairway. He was tempted to fly up it multiple steps at a time. However, with stocking feet, traction was an issue and there was the balance problem he’d experienced earlier, so with regret, it was a sedate single step approach that he settled on.


“What took you so long?” asked Jack as the Doctor entered the control room.

“I was looking for my trainers. You haven’t seen them, have you?”

Out of the corner of his eye the Doctor saw Ianto jump out of his chair. “Sorry sir, I’ll be right back,” was the only the only explanation the Welshman gave as he left the room.

Jack was staring at his colleague’s exit with a puzzled look on his face. The Doctor cocked a single eyebrow at him when he had the captain’s attention again.

“I think he might have sent them out to be cleaned,” Jack temporized.

“Cleaned? He had my trainers cleaned?” The Doctor was incredulous, first the pressed clothing and now the wonderful patina that had graced his trainers had been removed. What were they trying to do? Prep him to see the Queen?

“It won’t be a problem, it’s mid-day, he’ll have them back here shortly.”

“But why did he have them cleaned? They were fine.”

Jack shook his head and gave a wry smile. “Look, he was just trying to help. He says you saved his life and…” Jack shrugged his shoulders. “I think he felt a little guilty. Don’t worry, you’ll have them dirty again in no time.”

“They weren’t dirty, they were seasoned.”

“Alright, you’ll get them seasoned in no time.” Jack stepped next to the Doctor and put his arm over the Time Lord’s shoulders guiding towards his office.  “Come on, Gwen should be back soon with your lunch, but I have some doughnuts left over from this morning, you can have those till she gets here.”

They were passing by the base of the water tower when there was a blast of air, a rustle of wings and suddenly in front of them was Myfanwy.  The Doctor stepped back and eyed the pteranodon cautiously. Jack moved forward, waving his hands and yelling “Shoo, shoo, get back up there!” to no avail.

Landing lightly, Myfanwy danced around Jack and approached the Doctor, head down and tilted slightly to one side. The captain was about to jump on her when the Doctor held up his hand. “No, wait, I don’t think she’s attacking.”

“You sure you want to risk it?” asked Jack, shifting his weight to his toes, ready to pounce if need be.

“I’m sure, well…” the Doctor tilted his head and grimaced, “not sure exactly, but, let’s give her a chance.” The Doctor lowered his hand and held it out. Myfanwy ducked her head under it and rubbed her top knob against his palm. He slide his hand down to her neck and massaged it feeling the tendons move against the vertebra, her skin surprisingly warm and soft beneath his fingers.  “Easy girl,” he crooned as she tilted her beak inward and arched her neck upward into his palm, obviously enjoying his attentions.

“What’s caused this change?” asked Jack, relaxing, no longer ready to leap on his pet if need be.

“I’m not certain, but I think it wasn’t me she had a problem with, but what was inside me.” He bent down till he was eye level with Myfanwy as he continued to rub her neck. “Was that it girl? You were trying to knock that thing out of me?”

Myfanwy didn’t answer, but just closed her eyes and rubbed her head against his shoulder. The Doctor’s stomach growled. “Well you might not be hungry, but I am,” the Doctor apologized. “I have to go now.” He gave her neck a final stroke and stood up.  With a disappointed chirp, Myfanwy launched herself into the air, towards her roost at the top of the hub.

“You two done now? Or should I book you a room?” Jack asked with a smile.

The Doctor crossed his arms and ignored Jack’s question as he stared up at the ceiling where Myfanwy was resting.  “She is quite friendly as you said.  I can see why you keep her around.” He looked back at Jack. “Now where are those doughnuts?”



The doughnuts proved to be adequate in every way but mass.  There were only three and they were the small cake variety, one each of plain, powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar. Not that the Doctor noticed, he woofed them down so rapidly, barely stopping to chew. Jack had brought him some imperfectly brewed tea, more colored water than anything. It didn’t matter, it was wet and hot and he used it to wash down the last of the doughnuts.  He looked around hoping to find something else to eat, but there was nothing.

“Sorry,” Jack apologized, “Gwen should have been back by now. Martha warned us you would be hungry.”  

“Martha? She’s here?”

Jack shook his head. “No. Not anymore, she went back to London this morning.”

The Doctor was disappointed but decided Martha must have had her reasons. He was about to change the subject when Jack continued.

“She’d stayed here almost a month and UNIT is shorthanded on medical staff. They needed her back. “

“She was here a month?” asked the Doctor frowning as he tried to make sense of the time line, wondering how much of his memory was gone. He didn’t remember her being there before the creature revealed itself. But she must have been if she’d been here that long. Jack continued talking during his ruminations.

“Yeah, lived in the infirmary for most of it, taking care of you. She wouldn’t leave. We had to set up that cot for her.”

The Doctor’s mind scrambled as he took in what he heard and swallowed against the tightness that was starting in his throat. “How long was I out?” he asked hesitantly, not knowing if he really wanted the answer.

“A little over three weeks,” Jack explained matter of factly. Then his voice softened a bit. “The first two you were barely alive, we thought we’d lost you.”

“Do you want to eat in here,” Gwen asked standing at the door and holding several bags filled with Styrofoam containers. Ianto was behind her, looking sheepish as he held up the Doctor’s trainers.

“Here, will do,” said Jack as he cleared some room on his desk for the bags. “Smells good. What’d you get?”

“The Quay was swamped with school groups, all the normal places were jammed with hungry children, so I convinced that Indian restaurant to do some take away for me.” She turned to the Doctor and smiled as she put the bags on the desk. “I hope it’s alright with you.”

“It’s great, just what I need,” he replied cheerfully as he put on his shoes, though his newly awakened stomach did a flip at the thought of the thick spicy and aromatic sauces that were the hallmark of India’s food.

Ianto went to fetch some utensils and make some proper tea. Not wanting to wait for those formalities, the Doctor began poking around in the bags. He discovered some naan. Perfect, no need for a need for a knife and fork for that and bland enough his stomach wouldn’t protest.  He tore off a piece and ate it.

“This is quite good,” he commented between bites.

“If you like that plain, you should try this,” Gwen produced small plastic containers with sauces of varying colors and some crisp papadam. The Doctor sampled the offers as Ianto came back and deposited some strong black tea in front of him, along with a knife, fork, spoon napkin and plate.  Soon the plate was full of food that the Doctor dug into with a relish. It was indeed rich and flavorful with spices and as he feared almost too much for a digestive system that had been unused for over three weeks.  A careful blending of rice with the curries, tikas, and marsalas quieted his midsection after the first few bites and he was able to get on with the task of refueling his body, ignoring the others as they conversed and joined in sampling the wares of the restaurant.

He did slow down after a bit, wanting to try a little test on the side without anyone noticing.  There was a paper packed with food. It was in Hindi and would serve as adequate test material. Would the TARDIS help him translate? She wasn’t with English, but that wasn’t unusual. It was second nature to him now and her help with it was purely extraneous. He stared at the paper while absent mindedly dipping some naan in a curry.  No assistance came forth, he could read it but he was relying on his own memory banks not on her converting it to his own language for him. He covered up his disappointment by taking a forkful of curry, savoring it as the flavors not only hit his palate but his sinuses as well.

He was about halfway through his third plate when he leaned back in his chair, letting it take the full weight of his shoulders and neck, and sighed contentedly, patting his midsection. “That hit the spot, thank you.”

Gwen beamed at him. “You’re welcome. I’m glad you’re back with us.” She frowned sadly. “You had us all worried. Especially after what happened with the ambassador.”

“The ambassador?” The Doctor was confused and looked to Jack for an explanation.

“We tested that device on him. I’d tried it on you first, but couldn’t tell which energy was which, I almost extracted you, not it.”

The Doctor closed his eyes at the memory of part of him being pulled away from the rest, the terror and confusion it had caused, as Jack continued. “You’d said the ambassador might be infected. You were right, he was. But it was much smaller in him, just starting I think, so it was easier to sort out which energy was the invader. Still it fought. I guess that took a toll on the old guy. He died in a hospital a few hours later.”

Opening his eyes the Doctor stared at the empty tea cup in front of him, slowly shaking his head. Another life lost. If only he’d been paying attention. Not dismissing the warning signs. Disregarding his symptoms, that man might still be alive.

“Look, there was nothing else we could do,” explained the captain not understanding what was troubling the Doctor. “I tried going to the TARDIS to see if I could find some answers.”

“And I found him lying dead in the rain as a result,” Gwen broke in.

“Dead?” The Doctor was stunned and dreading what he would hear next.

Jack just shrugged his shoulders. “Every time I got close, she killed me. Once before we got that thing out of you and twice afterwards. ”

“She killed you? She actually killed you?” The Doctor couldn’t understand why the TARDIS would do that or wasn’t even aware she could do that.

“Hey, it’s not like it’s permanent with me,” Jack assured him, “and she knows that.”

“No one else has been hurt?”

“No, just the Plass was hard to walk through for a while. But people are able to get a lot closer now. I think her mood may be improving. That or she’s gotten bored or tired with keeping them away.”

“So she’s not just using the perception filter, she’s still actively pushing them away?”

“Yeah, but really, people can get much closer to the water tower now. That’s a good sign isn’t it?”

“Was it? Was it really?” thought the Doctor. “Killing Jack, pushing people away even if weakly.” ‘Weakly’ he seized on that word. There was no reason for her to be weak, not sitting on top of the rift. His breath stopped, his throat tightened, unswallowed saliva was building up in his mouth. “No, no, no he thought. It can’t be. It couldn’t”

“Is everything alright?” Jack asked as the Doctor stood up, not bothering to answer as he left the office and headed at a run towards the Torchwood entrance.

Outside it was a bright sunny day. School groups were everywhere, blocking his path to the stairway that lead to the Plass. He made his way as carefully and as quickly as possible through the children. At the top of the stairs he stopped. He needed to go no further. In sharp contrast to the brightly dressed children and balloons swaying in the breeze was dark malevolent energy he felt emanating from the TARDIS.

His gut clenched as he recognized it for what it was. Another of the creatures, fully grown and even more powerful than the one that had been inside him. It wasn’t just the ambassador the creature had invaded, it was in the TARDIS as well. Fear hit him like a blow as he realized what was going on. The TARDIS was grappling with it, holding it there, all while trying to keep the people away and safe from harm. He wanted to go to her, but he dared not approach. Tears brimmed in his eyes as realized the agony she must be in. Agony he knew all too well. She was in the fight of her life, and she was losing.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:14 am

Thanks for another fantastic installment!! Great writing, great story!


Love your work.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:57 pm

konstantin wrote:Thanks for another fantastic installment!!  Great writing, great story!


Love your work.
Thank you for hanging in there. It's great you are enjoying it.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

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