Enemy Unseen

Page 4 of 7 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:44 pm

Jack looked up as activity on the monitor for the Doctor’s cell showed the Time Lord writhing on the floor. The medical read outs were so chaotic, it appeared as if the sensors themselves were failing. Sending his chair crashing to the floor the captain sprinted out of his office towards the holding cells. He was almost at the entrance when a body blow from the side knocked him off his feet. Rolling with the force of the blow, he expertly landed in a crouch and was about to jump at his attacker, only to have a fist slam into his jaw, knocking him back down to the floor.

“Jack! Think!” Ianto pleaded, his voice sharp edged with desperation. “You can’t help him. You’ll only make it worse. He’ll try to protect you from it. He can’t afford to do that.”


Sitting on the floor, Jack was stunned by the blow as the words sank in. Words that contained the truth he didn’t want to accept. There was nothing he could do. His only thought had been to get to the cell, but then what? He had no idea. Jack’s throat was tight, his fists clenched and unclenched as he stared at one of the screens showing the Doctor’s cell. The Time Lord’s pain was obvious as he twisted on the floor, but so was his concentration. A distraction, like an idiot friend entering the cell, could prove fatal. Then, as if a switch had been thrown, the spell stopped. The Doctor looked, well, not peaceful, but as least still. Eyes closed, breathing slow and measured. He’d won whatever skirmish he’d been in. Without saying a word, Jack pushed up from the floor and returned to his office, paying no attention to Ianto’s profuse apologies.



Hours later Jack finished following yet another promising lead that turned out to be a dead end. The snap of the pencil he had forgotten he was holding startled him, as did the pain of the jagged edge of the broken pencil piercing the palm of his hand. He stared at the injury, accessing the damage done. Just a minor cut, nothing more, but it did sting.


Leaning back in his chair he realized he had other damage that had set in during his fruitless search His shoulders ached and his eyes felt like they had been rolled in sand, side effects from staring at the screen too long. He arched his back and rolled his shoulders, feeling them pop and snap as he stretched muscles and tendons that had been too long held in one position. Then he entwined his fingers and stretched his arms above his head gasping with pain as his muscles protested. But it was a good pain and helped clear his head.


As he dropped his hands back down to the desk, the back of his right one brushed against a cold coffee cup. He looked down and frowned. Ianto was slipping or maybe after the altercation he just didn’t want to risk entering the office. Jack sighed and picked the cup up, grateful that he took his coffee black, any milk or cream might have turned by now. Grimacing he took a swig of the bitter liquid, not the way he preferred his coffee but with all his time in the military he’d learned not to be picky about such things. That he even noticed it showed he was getting soft.


“J-12, J-12” he muttered, frustrated at the scant information the Doctor had left them with. When he had started searching the data in his vortex manipulator, his initial fear had been that he would find nothing referring to J-12, that turned out not to be the problem. Towns, planets, solar systems, quadrants, anything that could be mapped on a grid, had an area that was labeled J-12. Then there were the countless flats, office spaces and hotel rooms that had the number J-12. As a result, even though he had worked steadily throughout the night, he’d barely made a dent in all the innumerable references to J-12. But he had to keep working if he was going to find out what J-12 meant, and what the mysterious device was before the creature killed the Doctor, or worse Jack had to flash the cell and kill his friend himself.


That last thought startled him. Kill the Doctor? Could he? He glanced over to Ianto, visible through the glass wall of his office, hard at work at his station. No, it wasn’t a responsibility he could delegate to someone else either. If it was to be done, he had to be the one to do it. He was about to turn back to work when he stopped himself. This wasn’t the answer. There had to be a better way.


Jack rubbed his jaw as he studied his monitor, stubble rough against his hand as he thought about the problem. The pain he felt as his hand rubbed over the bruise reminded him of his earlier stupidity. The view of the cell showed that the Doctor was quiet for now, he hadn’t moved for hours. His face was neither peaceful or in distress, but instead exhibited signs of deep concentration, he brow furrowed as if he was working on a problem he couldn’t solve. An expression that was at odds with what the medical readout showed. He was obviously in pain but was either blocking it or was so overwhelmed by the agony his nervous system had gone into overload and no longer registered it.


“You stupid idiot,” whispered Jack, still staring at the monitor, not knowing if he was referring to the Doctor with his stiff necked pride that wouldn’t allow him to talk about whatever problems he was having, or himself, for not pressing his friend for the truth. Rashly he had trusted that the Doctor knew what he was doing, a big mistake on his part, possibly a fatal one for the Doctor.


Jack shook himself, his mind was wandering. He needed to get back to the problem of how to narrow his search. The Doctor had been acting strange ever since he had been deposited in the Plass by the TARDIS. That was important. It didn’t start here. It had begun before the Doctor’s arrival. He’d brought whatever it was with him. He needed to find out where the Doctor had been recently. There were no companions with him when he arrived. No one he could question. When the Doctor had dropped Jack off in the park, Rose, his double and that redhead were with him. He couldn’t contact Rose or the double, but the redhead. Now that was a possibility, the Doctor had said she was back with her family. Donna that was her \name, Donna Noble, best temp in Chiswick she had called herself. She would know.


“Ianto,” he yelled as he ran out of his office, “get me Donna Noble’s phone number.”


“Donna Noble, sir?” Ianto asked, looking confused and concerned.


“Yes, try Chiswick. She may be able to give us a clue as to what is wrong with the Doctor.”


Ianto gave a quick nod of his head and turned to his terminal. “Yes sir, right away.”


Jack watched as Ianto’s eyes narrowed on his monitor and listened to the soft rhythmic clicking his fingers made as they flew over the keyboard. Excited and barely able to contain his impatience Jack waited. This was the answer. He held his breath when the sound of typing suddenly stopped. Ianto looked up. “I have it sir, I texted it to your mobile.”


“Great,” Jack said with relief as he tapped the number in the text message and heard his phone dial it. He was on the right track now. No more dead ends. Not only would Donna know where the Doctor had been, she was part Time Lord now. She had the Doctor’s intelligence, his knowledge. The DoctorDonna she’d called herself. She could solve this puzzle easily, all would be well.


“Hello?” said the familiar voice on the other end of the line.


“Donna, it’s Jack. I need your help.”


“Jack… Jack who? I don’t know any Jack. Who gave you this number?” the voice was becoming high pitched with confusion and exasperation.


“Jack Harkness, you remember, Torchwood, the TARDIS.”


“What’s a…” the voice faltered and sounded pained, “TARDIS?”


“Donna, Donna honey…” said a new voice, older, male, distant, in the room with Donna, but not on the phone. “Give me the phone.”


“Gramps?” asked Donna her voice weak and thready, “What’s wrong, what’s a…”


“Donna just give me the phone and go lie down,” ordered Gramps gently.


“Okay Gramps,” replied Donna feebly. Jack waited as his hopes for an easy solution faded with the sound of Donna’s voice. He heard a door close and then “Gramps” was on the phone. His voice containing more anger and threat than Jack would have thought possible in an old man’s whisper.


“Who are you? What do you want with my Donna?”


“I’m Captain Harkness,” explained Jack hoping his rank would get the old man’s respect and attention. A man his age should have had some military service.


“Well begging your pardon Captain, but you need to leave my Donna alone. Don’t you go calling this number again, you hear me?”


“Sir, I need to talk to her. She was traveling with a friend of mine…”


“If you’re a friend of that Doctor, than you should know better. He erased her memory, he did. Said if she remembered, her mind would burn up. Now you leave her alone. Don’t go calling here again.” The line went dead. With a despondent sigh, Jack slowly sank into an empty office chair at the workstation next to Ianto, absentmindedly slipping his mobile back in his pocket.


“No luck?” Ianto asked. His eyes and voice both full of concern.


“No… no… another dead end,” sighed Jack with a disappointed shake of his head. “The Doctor has apparently erased her memory.”


“We could try to restore it.” Ianto suggested hopefully.


“No,” replied Jack. “It seems that would “burn up” her brain, whatever that means.”


“Is there anyone else we can contact?”


“Not that I can think of.” Jack sat heavily in the chair and tried to gather his thoughts. “Secrets, so many secrets surrounded the Doctor,” he thought morosely. His stared at the base of the water tower as he tried to decide what his next course of action should be. Mesmerized by the flow of the water his gaze naturally sought out the source of its flow.


Springing from his seat, he grabbed his coat and ran to the exit.


“Jack?” Ianto called after him.


“The TARDIS, there has to be some record of where he’s been in there,” answered Jack as he opened the door.


“But…” Ianto’s next words remained unheard as Jack dashed out of the Hub. When he reached the edge of the Plass, his hopes sank. There was a break in the weather, many people were taking advantage of it. But the center attraction of the Plass, the water tower, was being ignored by all. A gaggle of children with their teacher headed in its direction, only to veer away, back to the road they had come from. The TARDIS’ mood had not improved. Well, she had to change it now. She wouldn’t let the Doctor die, that was inconceivable. Taking a deep breath he steeled himself for the mental assault he was sure to experience, focused his mind on getting to the ship and set off swiftly towards the TARDIS.


The next thing he knew he was studying the posters on the outside of the Millennium Centre. He turned and stared back across the Plass, his hands in his pockets, the wind off the bay playing with his hair. The coming storm matched his mood. “You’re not going to get rid of me that easily girl,” he declared through gritted teeth as he forced his eyes to remain on the ship. It was physically painful to keep them there as the TARDIS fought to push them away, make him forget her existence. But pain was merely an old friend for a man who had died as many times as he had. This time he tried a new tack, slow, steady, determined, keeping the TARDIS in his sight and the reason for going there, the desperate state of the Doctor, in his mind, hoping she could somehow understand that message.


The progress he made was slow as he crossed the Plass. Each time he lifted a foot it was only with extreme effort that he was able to put it down in front of him and not to one side or the other as he felt the TARDIS try to turn him. Finally, his head feeling as if it had been filled with sharp rocks, he was standing in front of the TARDIS door.


“Good girl,” he whispered to the ship, feeling her cold surface beneath his hand. He stroked it as he had seen the Doctor do smearing the drops of rain that had started to fall, “now just let me get inside.”


Slowly, he pulled out his key and put it in the lock and tried it. It wouldn’t turn. There was a metallic rattle as he jiggled it to get it to work. Nothing. “Could the Doctor have changed the lock?” he wondered. No, that wasn’t it. She wasn’t going to let him in. Not without a fight. Well he did have the ultimate door opener and she wouldn’t expect him to have it. He pulled the sonic screwdriver out of his coat pocket with a smirk on his face.


“That’s alright,” drawled Jack, “you’re not the first to play hard to get.” He set the sonic, crudely, not having the finesse the Doctor had with it, but he felt his skills were sufficient for the task at hand. He had worked done repairs and modifications to the ship before after all, including a rather effective force field. Hand resting on the door of the TARDIS he started to work on the lock, the sonic screwdriver humming. He held his breath as the lock started to turn.


“Damm it!!” he yelled when a shock hit his palm. He shook his hand and frowned with narrowed eyes at the TARDIS door. Taking a deep breath, he calmed himself before continuing, he wanted her assistance, not a fight. “Come on now, whatever he’s done to make you this angry, you can’t want him dead. And that’s what he is going to be if you don’t cooperate. So, just let me in, will you?”


Hoping he’d made his case he tried the key again. He held his breath, hesitating for a moment as icy drops of rain formed on his hand. His hopes soared as he felt the cold metal turn in his hand. Then it stopped and would go no further. He tried turning it the other way and found it wouldn’t do that either. Pulling it out was unsuccessful, it was stuck. “Great, now the TARDIS had confiscated my key,” he thought.


“Alright, we‘ll do it the hard way,” stated firmly Jack. He brought up the sonic holding it in both hands and aimed it at the lock, careful not to touch the TARDIS.


Air came rushing into his lungs in a gigantic painful gulp as he sat up, accompanied by the all too familiar feel of having been dragged naked over glass shards, his face covered with cold wet rain. The TARDIS had killed him. Not that he stayed dead, but it still wasn’t an experience he enjoyed.


“Jack, are you all right?” asked a familiar voice with a strong Welsh accent. He turned to see Gwen crouched next to him her face showing concern mixed with bemusement. “What are you doing here in the rain?”


“I thought I was getting into the TARDIS,” sighed Jack as he got up off the ground. “I wasn’t very successful. She raised some very strong objections. I even lost my key.”


“This key?” asked Gwen holding up a small nondescript brass key.


“Yes, that’s the one,” said Jack as he took the key from Gwen. “How did you get it out of the lock?”


“I didn’t, it was on the ground next to you. I thought it might be important.”


“It’s very important. Good thing you happened by, I might have missed it.” Jack glanced over at the TARDIS and found his gaze sharply directed away, almost as if he had been slapped. Gwen was studying him under hair that was dripping wet as the weather became almost as inhospitable as the Doctor’s ship.


“You sure you’re alright?” Gwen asked.


“Yes, come on we’ve got work to do,” Jack said to Gwen as he started off towards the hub.


“I know, I spent most of the morning checking out leads for Ianto.”


“What leads?” asked Jack asked sharply, wondering what Ianto was on to and why he hadn’t mentioned it to him.


“Nothing much, just having me visit apartments and offices around here. All with the designation J-12. Didn’t find anything. It would have helped if he could have told me what to look for other than something that didn’t belong.”


“It would help us all if we knew more than that,” replied Jack irritated that Gwen was pointing out the obvious. “There is a good chance whatever J-12 refers to isn’t even on this planet. Ianto didn’t fill you in on the Doctor, did he?”


“He briefed me.” Gwen hesitated before continuing, her voice soft, full of worry and sympathy. “It’s bad isn’t it?”


“It’s worse than bad. We have no idea what we are dealing with and we can’t even get close to the victim without making him worse. And…” Jack took a deep breath. “There’s a chance whatever it is can jump into someone else. Even reproduce, though I’m not sure how.”


“That’s why he’s in the sterilization cell isn’t it?”


“Yes, he put himself there. I first thought… maybe…” Jack shook his head not wanting to discuss with Gwen accusations he had hurled at Ianto. “Never mind, I wish we had more to go on.”


“I think you are going at this the wrong way.”


Jack stopped himself from snapping that he had already figured that out and waited for Gwen to continue.


“If he’s as smart as you’ve said, wouldn’t he have given us an obvious clue? Why would he give us a clue about a place we can’t even get to? It’s should at least be on this planet and nearby I would think. Something close by that he believes we are familiar with. Perhaps something in the hub itself.”


Jack was silent as he opened the door to the Hub. Gwen had a point. It made sense. The Hub, it had to be in the hub. He raced ahead of Gwen, Ianto had been searching the Torchwood files, there might be something he might have missed.


“Ianto,” called Jack as he entered the main work area. “Did you find anything with J-12 in the Torchwood files? Something associated with this branch.”


“Not much sir, a few apartments in Cardiff that had been under observation in the past, a couple of bin numbers in store rooms but we haven’t used that system here for some time.”


“Bin numbers, here?”


“Yes sir, the bins were just shelving units the numbers were a way of identifying which one, but the store room that used that system was remodeled to make room for more holding cells and the lab. The back store room is used for larger items so they didn’t use a bin number system, just a grid, but it didn’t go up to J-12.”


“There are some shelves in the store room the Doctor was working in weren’t there?”


“Yes sir, but the inventory system…” Ianto stopped talking a look of sudden enlightenment crossed his face, followed immediately by shame. “The labels are still on some of the shelves and cabinets,” he continued quietly. “We didn’t remove them. I’m sorry Jack. I should have…”


Jack ignored the apology. He didn’t have time such niceties or more correctly the Doctor didn’t.


“Gwen, you come with me,” Jack ordered. “Ianto you stay here and monitor the Doctor’s condition, let me know if it changes.” He left for the storage room before Ianto could reply. Gwen gave him a sympathetic shrug before turning to follow the captain.


Ianto watched them both leave, feeling inadequate, unfit for his job. He’d let Jack down. The critical piece of information had been found by him and he failed to recognize it for what it was. The Doctor had no way of knowing that system wasn’t in use any more, he would have thought that label meant something obvious.


Turning to his computer Ianto went back to what he did best, taking care of things for Jack. Those little details that were often lost in the rush. A quick check of the cameras showed that Frank was safely asleep in his cell. He appeared to have eaten all of the breakfast Ianto had brought him. It brought an unexpected smile to the aide’s face. The MI5 agent should be out for the rest of the day.


Checking on the ambassador, Ianto saw a situation that was not as ideal. The ambassador hadn’t touched his meal. He’d slept through the night and awoken when Ianto had entered the cell with his breakfast, but other than sitting up he hadn’t moved or spoken. It was as if there was nothing behind the old man’s eyes. Not much could be done about that now. The medical readings showed he wasn’t in any danger. “Most likely it is just grief,” Ianto thought.


Now for the Doctor’s cell, prominent on Ianto’s display. There had been no movement for hours, the Doctor’s face was a study of pained concentration. The medical readouts appeared stable. Ianto studied them feeling he was again missing something. On a hunch he pulled up the reading from 4 hours ago. At first glance they appeared the same. The beating of his hearts was steady, as were the respirations. Not being medically trained, there really wasn’t much more he could tell from the various waveforms on the screen. He overlaid the older readout on the current one and froze at what he saw on the screen.


The wave forms were similar but the amplitudes had changed. Though his hearts were beating steadily, the strength of those beats was diminished. The same was true of the respirations. There were other readouts that had changed. Brainwaves were diminished in some areas and increased in others. What that meant, he didn’t know.


He pulled up a reading from two hours ago and added it to the overlay. The change from four hours ago to two hours ago was less than half what the change was from two hours to now. Not only was the Doctor getting worse, the rate at which his health was failing was accelerating.
Even if Jack figured out how to get whatever it was out of the Doctor Ianto was sure he would need medical help if he was to survive. Not wanting to let Jack down again he checked the local UNIT roster to see who was available from their medical corps. The pickings were slim. There had been an outbreak of avian flu in the local command. Everyone was under quarantine. He would have to search farther afield.


The London roster showed a welcome surprise. A medical doctor well versed in alien physiology was on leave, but available for emergencies. Hopefully they hadn’t strayed too far. He made the decision to call the person directly. He would work on getting permission from the UNIT commander in London once the MD was on the way. Quickly he dialed the number on the roster.


Fifty klicks east northeast of the hub, in the county of Monmouthshire just north of Chepstow, a mobile phone started to ring.


avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:08 am

Thank you for posting this. Smile
avatar
Aspadistra
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 1457
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:11 pm

Wow

Another good episde

Thanks

Paksena Smile
avatar
Jennyjenkins
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2078
Age : 57
Location : Somewhere else
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:47 pm

simply fantastic!

superb

engaging


(sorry to be so long replying -- I'll try to be better)

hope you're feeling better -- the writing is as good as ever, only problem is the time reading flys by then got to wait till next installment -- but good things are worth waiting for.

thanks
avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:47 pm

Aspadistra wrote:Thank you for posting this. Smile

You're welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting Smile

Jennyjenkins wrote:Wow

Another good episde

Thanks

Paksena Smile

Thank you very much. Comments like yours keep me going,.

konstantin wrote:simply fantastic!

superb

engaging


(sorry to be so long replying -- I'll try to be better)

hope you're feeling better -- the writing is as good as ever, only problem is the time reading flys by then got to wait till next installment -- but good things are worth waiting for.

thanks
Thank you very much. You weren't long in replying at all. I hope to get the next chapter up soon. Hopefully life will co operate. I really appreciate your kind comments.
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:44 am

Happy Birthday Paksena sunny
avatar
Jennyjenkins
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2078
Age : 57
Location : Somewhere else
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:17 am



Happy birthday Paksena!!

avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:47 pm

Thank you both for the birthday wishes. It made my day. Sorry I took so long to reply I'm on the road and connectivity is spotty at best. You are both great! Working on the next chapter now Smile
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:37 pm

Paksena wrote:Thank you both for the birthday wishes. It made my day. Sorry I took so long to reply I'm on the road and connectivity is spotty at best. You are both great! Working on the next chapter now Smile

Hooray!!! cheers
avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:30 pm

Martha was putting up a good front as they walked down the dusty gravel road between the shed rows on the backside of Chepstow Racecourse. The smell of hay and horse manure may be enjoyable for some, but her city educated nose found it acrid and unpleasant. She did a little skip step as she avoided a rather fragrant pile in her path. Close call there, she almost ruined her shoe. And today of all days she didn’t want to be the cause of a fuss.

This was an important outing for Tom. His department head was leaving soon and Tom, along with several other doctors, was under consideration for the position. He’d already done his charity stint. It looked good on his CV, giving him a leg up on the competition who hadn’t realized the long term benefits of a few months of less pay and substandard conditions. But that was Tom, always thinking ten steps ahead.

He had so many plans for how he could make things better in the children’s ward. She agreed his goals were good but hated that the decision of who would get the job was based not on merit, but who could be the most political. And that was why they were on the backside of a track going to see the Dr. Marsh’s race horse Seasparrow. To prove he was the kind of man who could mix in wealthy company and bring in the kind of donations his posh private hospital needed.

The gravel crunched under her feet as she thought about the label race horse. She had prepared herself for this outing by checking the horse’s history so she could talk intelligently about it and help Tom impress their host. Unfortunately the horse’s race record was filled with phrases like “dull effort”, “no threat” and “trailed throughout”. Not performances Martha imagined any horse owner would want to be reminded of.

She studied the horses as they walked by. Most had their long heads out over the stall doors. Ears pricked forward, their soft brown eyes watching them as they walked by. She was amazed at how expressive they were and found herself ascribing emotions to each of them as she passed. Some were curious and friendly blowing at anyone who came close catching there scent. Others looked worried with wrinkled brows and an almost 'please let me know I did right' expression. Occasionally one would puff itself up, arch its neck, and snap at the air in warning to anyone who would encroach on its territory.

One horse however, was quite unlike its neighbors’. Its head was almost resting on the top of the stall, eyes half closed, ears drooping off to the side, giving it a lazy, inattentive appearance. Looking for all the world like it could be hired out as a pony trekking mount, suitable for old grannies and young children. “It must be one of the pony horses that leads the races horses on to the track,” thought Martha. “It was hardly a fit race horse who could consume the track with ground eating strides and sail over the hurdles with ease.”

She smiled at that last thought. She had looked up a video of one of Seasparrow’s races. There was what appeared to her to be an awkward jump. It must have been very awkward as the jockey was catapulted from the saddle rolling with the fall and quickly standing up. He was in no danger of being trampled as Seasparrow was last, as usual.

Seasparrow, instead of trying to catch up with his mates and continuing to run as Martha had seen other horses do when losing their rider, had taken a far more practical route. He pulled up, put his head down and proceeded to consume the course. Not with thundering ground eating strides, but with his teeth.

“Hello there,” Dr. Marsh called out cheerily to the lopped eared horse breaking Martha out of her thoughts. “You ready to run today old boy?” The horse whickered in response, languidly lifting his head up with an economy of effort to greet his owner. The man absentmindedly patted the horse on the neck as he turned to address his entourage.

“I know he doesn’t look like much, but he’s got some great breeding. Same bloodlines as that American timber horse Saluter. That horse won the Virginia Gold cup six times in a row. Even retired the trophy. This guy is every bit as good as that horse, he just needs the right ride. And today I think he is going to have it. His trainer has found a new jockey who has been giving him some great workouts. The rest of the field won’t know what's hit them.” Dr. Marsh beamed as he spoke, his chest swelled up so much with pride that Martha was sure the buttons on his high street suit were about to burst.

The subject of his praise was unimpressed however, and started lipping the man’s coat sleeve, having no interest in his words of praise, but looking for something more substantive. The administrator prattled on, unaware of Seasparrow’s attempt to change the subject. Frustrated at being ignored, the horse used his teeth and gave the sleeve a good tug. Martha held her breath, sure that the man would not appreciate horse saliva and teeth marks on his thousand pound plus suit. She was wrong.

“Oh, where are my manners?” Dr. Marsh laughed as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a few lumps of sugar. “Here you go boy. You do good today and there will be plenty more where that came from.” The horse neatly plucked the offered sweets out of the man’s hand.

“Well, let’s get going, shall we? There’s a great lunch waiting for us and this guy has a race to get ready for.” Dr. Marsh gave the horse a final pat to which the horse responded by butting his head up against his owner’s chest. “Obviously looking for more treats,” thought Martha. “Well, obvious to some, but not to others.”

“Ah, this is how he says goodbye,” Dr. Marsh explained as he pulled a final sweet from his pocket and gave it to the horse. He then lead his party back to the clubhouse. “He’s got a good chance today. His new jockey loves him almost as much as I do, regular match made in heaven. Today will be the day he breaks his maiden in the hurdles.”

Martha was amazed at how deluded that man was. It was a nice horse, friendly and all, but it was no race horse, no matter what its pedigree. It’s only chance of winning was if every other horse fell before the last. As they walked along Tom reached for her hand and squeezed it, not in affection but in warning. He must have sensed what she was thinking, though she was sure none of her thoughts had shown on her face. Tom was like that, an almost sixth sense of what was on her mind. She looked down at her free hand, her engagement ring prominent on her finger. Once it had been a symbol of love, now it felt more like a symbol of impending ownership. This ambitious new Tom was not the man she had fallen in love with.

She sighed quietly, truth be told, the man she fell in love with was in a time line that no longer existed. The Tom Milligan she was with now hadn't been through the tyranny of the Master. A true sadist who killed and terrorized for his own pleasure. That Time Lord had destroyed 10% of the human population simply because he liked the word decimate.

The Tom Milligan who had endured that, had more important things on his mind than hospital politics and keeping up appearances. That year of terror had been a crucible which had burned away all pretense and selfish motivations, and left a man purely motivated to helping his fellow man, giving up his life to save a person at that time that he barely knew. It rankled her perhaps even more because she knew "her" Tom was there inside this man of drive and ambition walking next to her now. She wondered if she was only in love with what he could have been and not with what he was.

As they were approaching the clubhouse, Martha pushed her thoughts of her relationship problems aside. There was no need to interfere with Dr. Marsh's fun. His horse may be a total no hoper but the man clearly was besotted with it. She might as well play along if for no other reason than to help him enjoy the day as much as possible. She put on her brightest smile and started thinking of encouraging things she could say about Seasparrow. Tom must have sensed the change and put a comforting arm around her.

"Have I ever told you how much I love you?" he asked.

"A few times," Martha responded with a grin, "but it never hurts to repeat yourself in that area."

"I'll have to remember to do it more often then," he observed as he gave her shoulder an extra squeeze. "Too bad your mother couldn't have made it. Doctor Marsh has planned a very posh afternoon. It’s just her kind of thing.”

Martha just smiled and kept her thoughts to herself. Her mother's tendency to blunt honesty was the last thing that would be welcome here.

When they reached the private room in the club house Martha saw the Tom had not been exaggerating. A spread had been set up fit for royalty from fancy hors d'oeuvres (definitely too posh to be called nibbles), to a carvery with roast beef, mutton and ham, sides that were so exotic were all being attended to by liveried servants. She suspected as the day proceeded sweets and pastries of various kinds would be brought out. The champagne was already starting to flow.

One of servants was about to hand her a glass, when her mobile rang. Tom shot her a harsh look. "You said you had the day off," he accused.

"I'm sorry," she apologized with a shrug as she fished her mobile out of her bag. "They said I would only be called if it was a true emergency."

Tom rolled his eyes. He didn't know the true nature of her work. She hadn't been authorized to tell him. As far as he knew she was a medical bureaucrat with an obscure government agency. The secrets she had to keep from him proved to be another strain on their relationship. He had complained many times about her emergencies. “How could papers needing to be moved from one side of a desk to another constitute an emergency?” was typical of the kind of comments he would make. A soft voice caught her attention.

"Dear, if you need some privacy, you can use that room right over there," suggested Mrs. Marsh, her chiffon and gold bracelet clad arm was pointing to a door in the back of the room.

"Yes, thank you, that’s very kind of you, sorry to be a bother," apologized Martha as she put the phone to her ear and hurried to the offered room. "This is Dr. Jones," she spoke into her mobile, hoping it was a quick communications check. Tom would not be happy if she had to rush off.

She almost broke stride when she heard the voice on the other end of the line. It was Ianto. Clear and calm as always but she detected an undertone of tension.

"Dr. Jones, there's a medical emergency here at Torchwood. Is it possible you could get here straight away?"

All thoughts of pleasing Tom left her mind, if Ianto was calling her it was more important than her making a show for a department administrator. There was another concern however, she was too far from Torchwood to be the physician of choice for a true emergency. "I can come, I’m almost an hour away, but isn’t there someone closer you can call?"

"No, I'm sorry. We need someone with your expertise and special experience. There’s no one closer. Should I have a car pick you up?"

Martha noticed he didn't ask her location, of course he would know where she was. He was Torchwood after all. He probably had a map of the club house and knew what room she was speaking from. "No, I'll borrow Tom's car."

"The green boxster?" Ianto inquired.

"Yes, that one," Martha replied with a sigh. A car built for pure ego, another sign Tom was more about flash than substance. She remembered him telling her that having that car would show him to be the kind of young go getter the hospital board liked, the kind that would bring in the posh private patients. Pure stuff and nonsense her mother had called it.

"I'll arrange for lights and speed cameras to be favorable," Ianto informed her. "Please come quickly."

“Is there anything you can tell me about the patient,” Martha queried.

“No, I can’t, this isn’t a secure line,” Ianto replied. “It’s none of the staff though.”

Martha relaxed, suddenly aware of the tension she had been holding in her body since she’d heard Ianto’s voice. “So, you, Jack and Gwen are all alright then?”

“Yes, we are, but please hurry. It’s important that you get here soon.”

"I'm on my way," Martha assured him. She hung up and smiled despite the seriousness of the situation. For once that stupid car just might come in handy. Tom would envy the drive she was about to give it.

She quickly walked back into the private party room and found her fiancé, who was chatting up Dr. Marsh's wife. Perfect. She attracted his attention with a hand on his arm.

"Tom, I have an emergency and need to go now. May I have the keys to the car?" Martha asked.

Tom's eyes narrowed suspiciously. Martha held her breath. "Oh please don't be difficult," she prayed silently. Before Tom responded, Mrs. Marsh spoke up.

"I really do think it is delightful how supportive you young men are of your partners these days. I wish there had been that kind of understanding when I was young. Who knows what I might have become if only I'd had the opportunity. But back then a woman's career and plans always took the back seat to the man's.”

Tom fished the car keys from his pocket and handed them to Martha. "Yes, of course you can take it. Call me and let me know you’re alright will you?”

“Of course I will,” Martha replied.

“Will you be back in time for us to go home together or will I need to hire a car.”

“Don't you worry Tom, we have plenty of room in our car,” Mrs. Marsh interjected. “I’m sure my husband would enjoy the chance to talk in private."

Martha felt a surge of gratitude towards the woman. "I'm sorry I'll miss the race," she apologized as she fished a twenty pound note from her purse. "Please put this on Seasparrow for me," she requested as she handed the note to Tom.

"You sure you want to do that dear?" asked Mrs. Marsh. "I know my husband thinks this time he'll win, but..." The old woman shook her head with a sad smile her gold and diamond earrings slightly swaying beneath her well-coiffed hair emphasizing the movement.

"I'm sure," assured Martha with a smile. "I have a feeling also. This just might be his race after all."

"Well run along then dear," urged Mrs. Marsh. "I'll make your apologies to my husband."

Martha took time for one last thank you then quickly left the room. Soon she was on her way to Torchwood, wondering what the emergency could be. At least she was familiar with their equipment and facility. That was an advantage over some of the situations she'd been in since joining UNIT. At the first light she saw Ianto's magic was working. The light short cycled so she had a green when she arrived. She could floor the Porsche with confidence and give it a good workout.



Ianto pocketed his mobile. Martha was on her way. He was grateful she hadn’t pressed him for more information. From what he had observed she was almost as besotted by the Doctor as Jack was. Her medical professional objectivity might carry over to when she was driving but he didn’t want to risk it. Even with the traffic lights adjusting to expedite her journey, she needed to fully concentrate on her driving at the speeds she was traveling at. He watched her progress for a few miles making sure the software was working. Not only did it ensure she always had a green light but once she was on the M4 it would alter the traffic lights to lessen the number of cars that would be entering the motorway as she passed by.

Satisfied it was working, he proceeded to prepare for her arrival. The coffee mess was ready. Martha preferred tea and he had laid in a fresh supply with the Doctor here. She would need some changes of clothes and perhaps some toiletries. It was doubtful she would only be here a day. He knew her size and taste, and ordered what he felt was appropriate.

Taking care of the details no one else thought of, that was what he was good at. The things that others were at first grateful for, then later they just expected it as a matter of course. Hopefully Jack would appreciate his efforts in getting Martha here. He felt the Doctor was a rival for Jack’s attention, but he was still going to do whatever it took to help him. Maybe then Jack would forgive him. And he owed the Doctor. He’d felt that creature take control of him and seen the effort it took for the Time Lord to free him from it. He was grateful for that, but didn’t understand why. Why would the Doctor save him at such a cost?

He stared at the monitor, the pale, thin, fragile looking figure on the screen offered no answer to that question. And somehow he doubted it ever would.

avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:07 pm

cool! new installment. And very, very good! I go off to play music at camp for a week and come back to this -- fantastic!


avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:39 am

*applauds* Smile
avatar
Jennyjenkins
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2078
Age : 57
Location : Somewhere else
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:05 pm

konstantin wrote:cool! new installment. And very, very good! I go off to play music at camp for a week and come back to this -- fantastic!



Thank you, I'm glad you liked it.

Jennyjenkins wrote:*applauds* Smile

Thank you. Nice to see you're still reading it
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:12 am

Jack skidded to a halt when he entered the storeroom, stunned by the mixed up jumble of a mess that it was in. How much of the chaos was from Torchwood's neglect and how much was from the Doctor's recent efforts he wasn't sure. As his eye caught on the pile of rubble where the cyber converter had been, he suspected the later. He turned as he heard Gwen coming up behind him.

“Start working over there with that first cabinet,” Jack ordered indicating a gun metal gray storage cabinet with doors with his chin. “Look for anything that is marked with J-12 or could be mistaken for J-12. We aren’t sure it was a bin number, so examine everything. I’ll check where he was working. Hopefully he left a clue or two there as to what we are dealing with or looking for.”

"I suppose it would be too much to ask that he kept notes." asked Gwen as she started over to her assigned cabinet.

"Definitely," the captain laughed coldly as he started to go through the items on the table, “he’s the type who feels if it's important he'll remember it, and if he doesn't remember it, it wasn't important."

"Works for him, does it?" responded Gwen as she turned over a metallic cube, checking all sides for any markings before replacing it on the shelf.

"Mostly, but I've seen it catch up with him a few times, like now. A computer file or voice log would really come in handy at the moment." Jack stopped talking and frowned at the mess on the table. It was mostly tools and spare parts, a tea pot with a matching cup, but no sign of what the Doctor had been working on last. He sat down in the lone chair, there had to be a clue in here somewhere.

With a frustrated sigh he stretched out his leg. His foot bumped into something. Looking down he saw the Toclafane shell rolling away from him in an arc, making a thumping sound as it moved from one black lacquered metallic petal to the next. It stopped when it hit one of the table legs, almost embracing it between two of the petals. Curiosity piqued, he bent over and reached down to pick it up only to find he had to work it free of the leg. It reluctantly came free, scraping some paint off the support as it did so.

Frowning he turned it over in his hand as he leaned back in the chair, trying to figure out what the Doctor could have been doing with the shell. When he’d brought it back to the Hub the Doctor had treated it as if it was the golden egg itself. So what was it doing discarded so cavalierly on the floor?

As he examined the shell he could identify the disconnected life support system, loose wires and tubes, but there was nothing obvious that could tell him what the Doctor had wanted with it. He briefly wondered if perhaps his friend had disabled it. He glanced at the pile of scrap that had been the cyber converter. No, this device was far too intact to have received that treatment at the hands of the Time Lord.

“Nothing in this one,” Gwen declared, breaking into his thoughts as she slammed the cabinet door shut with a loud metallic clang.

“Did you see anything that looked like it shouldn’t be there?” Jack asked putting the Toclafane shell down on the table.

“Now how would I know that? It’s all alien to me. It’d be better if you asked me if anything looks like it does belong.”

“Point taken, keep looking,” Jack ordered.

“Yes sir,” Gwen replied curtly. Her voice then softened, “We’ll figure this out Jack, don’t worry.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“He’s your friend, you won’t fail him.”

The muscles on Jack’s jaw tightened briefly. “That wasn’t enough for Tosh and Owen,” he stated quietly. Gwen opened her mouth to respond but no words came out, Jack broke the uncomfortable silence. “Go on, get back to work,” he barked.

He watched as Gwen shrugged and moved on to the next storage unit. She was immediately on task, carefully but quickly examining every shelf and item on it. It was time he got back to work also. Contemplating the table, he felt he was missing something, something important. He examined the teapot. He wasn’t sure why. Trying to read the tea leaves perhaps. Didn’t work, the tea was well confined in a strainer, there were no leaves.

‘The Doctor had been doing something that involved the Toclafane shell, but what?’ Jack wondered. His eye caught a part lying on the table. Small, black, it was familiar to him, but he hadn’t seen one in a while. Picking it up he saw it was damaged, a slight bubbling on the surface consistent with a burnout of some kind. The TARDIS had a ton of them in her circuitry. It had to be Gallifreyan in origin.

‘What would the Doctor want this for?’ he asked himself as he rolled the part between his thumb and index finger. ‘Or is this what he replaced?’

Jack picked up the shell again, examining the inside closely. There were two parts identical to the damaged one left in the shell. He could see several ports that might accommodate additional ones. He tested his theory with the burnt out part. It fit perfectly. So the Doctor had been cannibalizing the shell for its parts. Its Gallifreyan parts. He looked around for the device that the Doctor had been working on. It wasn’t on the table or under. Nor had it contributed to the debris around the table. It must be somewhere in this room.

“Gwen,” Jack yelled as he stood up from the table, “I know what we’re looking for. It’s gold, shiny, oblong shaped, about the size of a DVD player but no sharp corners, rounded, and has uh this etching on it like the symbol at the car park only more complicated.”

Gwen looked over to him hope then doubt crossing her face. “You sure?

“Positive. It’s got to be what he meant,” Jack replied as he quickly went to the nearest shelf unit on his side of the room. “It’s the last thing he was working on and now it’s missing.”

Gwen frowned. “He might also have meant something he saw here.”

Jack didn’t even bother to turn around to answer her, instead he just kept quickly going through the storage units on his side of the room as he responded. “Look it’s a gut feeling, but it’s a strong gut feeling. And if I had listened to my gut instead of being so stupidly bureaucratic in our search we would have it by now. My gut is also telling me we don’t have much time left, so get back to work.”

From the sounds behind him, Jack could tell Gwen was doing as she was told and moving far more quickly than before. The unit he was on was not much help. It had some labels, all R with a hash mark except the top one which had a J but no number other mark that he could see. The label was worn though, so as a precaution, he scanned it with his wrist device, just in case there was a 12 the Doctor could see but he couldn’t. Disappointment hit him as he saw it was the manufacturer’s name.

The next unit was more difficult. It was labeled, but with barcodes. He was about to skip checking them, thinking the Doctor wouldn’t have been able to read it, but stopped himself. The TARDIS might still be helping her pilot with translations. Barcode patterns had to be in her data banks. He scanned them, no joy. All A’s followed by three digits, numbered consecutively. There was no rhyme or reason for the markings from one unit to the other. They seem to have been gathered from random storage areas around Cardiff. He expanded that region when he saw the next shelf. It was labeled in Jathaaese. Torchwood had apparently scavenged a lot more than an energy weapon from that downed sunglider.

Fortunately Jack was fluent in Jathaaese, having had a few assignments on Jathaa. The warlike race that lived there knew the importance of R&R. Jack never found those assignments particularly arduous. They had no equivalent for “J” in their language however. So it wouldn’t be here. He gave the shelves a cursory look, there was nothing that looked even remotely like what the Doctor had been working on, and moved on.

Soon Jack was beginning to wonder if he had overlooked the device. There were only four unsearched storage units between him and Gwen. He couldn’t imagine the Doctor would have bothered to put it this far back in the room. Going through the motions, he was now convinced was heading down another dead end, he moved to the next storage unit. It looked more like it belonged in a hobbyist’s garage than in a government facility. Open in structure, its gun metal gray were shelves bulging with spare parts and cables. He was about to give it a pass when his eyes stopped on a middle shelf, its label clear and easy to read: J-12.

“Oh, please be it,” pleaded Jack unaware he had spoken out loud.

“Have you found it?” asked Gwen stopping in her work.

“I’ve found a shelf labeled J-12,” replied Jack as he started removing coils of cable. “I haven’t found the device though. It’s just junk back here. Nothing’s intact. Wait...” A glint of gold caught Jack’s eye. Way in the back of the shelf. He started to reach for it and saw it move, a slight tilt upward. That meant the part he didn’t see had moved downward, possibly starting on a path off the shelf itself. He backed off.

“It’s not there?” asked Gwen, who was now standing behind him.

“Oh it’s there, but it’s about to fall off the back,” replied Jack as he pushed past her to have a look at the back of the open shelf unit and found himself thwarted by the 5 cm gap between that unit and the next. To his dismay it was the same on the other side.

“What was he thinking, stuffing it in the back like that?” asked Jack, exasperated and not expecting an answer. Gwen provided one anyway.

“Maybe he was hiding it from the creature. Maybe it’s the creature that wants us to find it, not him.”

Jack thought for a moment, ‘Could she be right? Could they be on the creature’s errand, not the Doctor’s? He pushed the idea from his mind, he didn’t have time for it. “No, it’s the Doctor who wants us to find this.”

“All right then,” said Gwen, “how do we get it out safely?”

Jack stared at the unit then shook his head with a laugh when he realized how simple the solution was. “Start stuffing things in the shelf below it till they reach the wall. Give it nowhere to fall then we can get it out.”

They quickly took large items from the other shelves and jammed them into the lower shelf. Soon Jack saw the movement he wanted, the gold corner of the device moving down meaning the other corner was now supported. “Okay that’s enough.” He carefully removed the items in the front of the shelf and revealed what he had been looking for. Intact, undamaged and hopefully, operational.

“Now comes the hard part,” declared Jack as he picked up his prize from the shelf.

“The hard part?” queried Gwen, incredulously.

Jack smiled wryly as he answered. “Yes figuring out what it is and how to operate it.” He was turning the device over in his hands when another idea struck him. “Look, this might not even be what he was talking about. It could be something he saw when he put this on the shelf. Go through everything on there and see if there is anything else we should be looking at.”

Gwen raised her eyebrows. “Are you sure I’m the one to do that?”

“Yes, from what I saw it was mostly mundane earth parts. Just bring me anything that isn’t. I’ll be over at the table trying to open this up without breaking it.”


At the table Jack continued to turn the device trying to discover its purpose. This was going to be a difficult puzzle. He recognized the markings as Gallifreyan. Not good, he’d never learned how to read that language. The Doctor had always ignored him when asked what a specific marking meant. All the time he had spent on the TARDIS and he didn’t even know what the Gallifreyan for Exit was. He could see no seams, openings or controls. Just the unreadable markings.

He started to trace one of the lines and felt a vibration beneath his fingers. Had he turned it on? He continued to trace the pattern and was rewarded with a display screen. Amazingly the language of the display was fifty first century common, his native tongue. ‘At last a break,’ he thought.

Reading the instructions that had come up on the screen he realized this was indeed the correct device, the hunt was over.

“Well that’s convenient,” said Gwen, who had come up behind him unnoticed holding a few Sfiphix children’s toys in her hands. “It’s in English.”

“English?” repeated Jack surprised. “No, it's…” he stopped himself as he realized what was going on. “It’s telepathic. It’s doing the translation for us.”

“Why bother with words then? Why not just put the instructions in our mind direct”

“That’s not as easy as you would think. Words make a better interface. Gives the recipient a chance to digest the information in their own way. Important when dealing with cross species communication.”

“So is it what we were looking for then?”

“Yes, it is,” affirmed Jack as he stood up from the table tucking the device under his arm. “Let’s go, it’s time to see whether it works or not.”

Gwen followed Jack as he set off at a quick trot. “Ianto, let me into the cell block,” Jack yelled as he entered the main office area.


“You found it?” Ianto asked as he entered a few strokes on his keyboard. Jack heard the click of the locking mechanism for the cell block opening.

“Yes, it’s here,” Jack looked down at the device. “And disarm that cell.”

“No, sir.”

Jack turned back from the open door to the cell block, fury in his eyes. “What?”

“No, you don’t know if that will work. It might make things worse. We need the cell in case things go wrong.”

The captain stole a glance at Gwen to see if he could get some support there and saw none. Wrong time to throw his weight around. “Alright you have a point. Come on, I might need some help.”

Ianto gave a worried glance at his monitor. “What is it?” Jack asked.

“I have Dr. Jones coming in.” explained the aide.

“What? What does she want?”

“I called her in. The Doctor’s condition is deteriorating, we might need her expertise.”

“Okay, but she can wait at the door for a few minutes, can’t she?”

“I told her not to worry about traffic lights that I would take care of them. She’s in the city now and someone needs to monitor the program as a precaution.”

“What’s her ETA?”

“Ten minutes.”

Jack smiled. “Good work, I hadn’t thought of that but you’re right we may need her.” He then turned to Gwen. “Looks like it’s just you and me then, you ready?”

“Of course.”

Jack hurried through the cell block aware of the ambassador and Frank as they passed them by. One sitting on his bed, frail and pathetic, staring at nothing. The other out cold, most likely drugged by Ianto. Both problems he would have to deal with later, but didn’t have time for now.

Outside the Doctor’s cell he quickly went over the instructions for the device. Simple enough: target the alien energy, extract it, it goes into a holding area where it can be destroyed. He saw his friend shudder when he opened the door. ‘Don’t worry my friend it will be over soon,’ he said silently.

He started to scan the Doctor’s body and his hopes for an easy solution plummeted and shattered into a thousand pieces. The energy signatures were hopelessly intertwined one green, one yellow. There was no central core that he could see and both seemed to be hanging on to the other, so it was impossible to tell who was the invader and who was the invaded. He quickly scanned his own hand, as the Doctor’s screams started echoing off the cell walls, hoping perhaps a body’s native energy was represented by a specific color. No joy, his energy was blue.

As he saw his friend thrashing on the floor he thought to just pull one color energy out and if he was wrong put it back and pull the other. With the intertwining it would take a long time, but it was the only hope they had. He started to pull on a tip of the yellow energy lifting its grasp on the green. An alarm showed on the device. The containment chamber was disabled. He released the energy and shut down the device. The Doctor’s screams subsided into ragged sobs, He rolled on his side and Jack could see trails of red blood dripping from his nose and mouth. His eyes staring at nothing, as if blind.

Jack’s hands shook. He wanted to smash the energy extractor into bits for the harm it had caused, but it was still the only hope they had. He put it down gently and stepped into the cell wanting to assure his friend he would find a solution. The Doctor’s reaction was immediate, arched back and screaming, his hands pounded against the hard floor. Jack heard a sickening crack as he backed out.

Feeling helpless as he closed the door to the cell, he turned to see Gwen, whose face was filled with sympathy, when what he really wanted was for someone to blame him as much as he blamed himself.
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:36 am

oooo! thanks for the update! fantastic as always!


-hope life and the holidays have been treating you well-

.
avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:40 am

konstantin wrote:oooo! thanks for the update! fantastic as always!


-hope life and the holidays have been treating you well-

.

Thank you for your kind words I hope to have the next chapter up soon. I'm using my holiday to write. Hope you are enjoying your holidays.

avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:29 pm

Continuing to enjoy your work, Paksena. Smile
avatar
Aspadistra
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 1457
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:20 am

Aspadistra wrote:Continuing to enjoy your work, Paksena. Smile

Thank you I finally got the next chapter finished.
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:22 am

Not being able to sense his location either spatially or temporally was maddening for the Doctor, in a very real and literal way. He felt as if he was spread across a thousand galaxies and condensed down into a single grain of sand slipping into a black hole. His mind rebelled at the impossibility of it, but it felt real none the less. The creature was concentrating on toying with the organ that allowed Time Lords to sense time and space, making him feel stretched and folded in ways no mere human mind could imagine. Mixed in with this were incoherent flashes of light and pain that made no sense. But then it was the time that mattered anyway. It could not have been eons he told himself. The earth had not turned to dust. It was just his broken time sense. He had to believe he was still in Torchwood, on the floor of the cell. He had to continue to hold the creature to him, not let it escape. So he doggedly sent the signals for his lungs to expand and contract, drawing in the air he couldn't feel, trusting it was still there. He willed his hearts to beat slowly, steadily, to send life sustaining blood to the rest of his body, unable to feel them respond, but knowing they must be responding because he still had thought. Unless he was wrong and there really was a hell, and he was in it.

Suddenly he felt the cold of the hard floor against his back, the beads of sweat that stung when they rolled across the scrapes and cuts on his body. His body shivered as nerves that had been under the command of the monster were freed and real world sensations rushed in. But most importantly, he could again sense that wonderful dent the mass of the earth made in the fabric of space, he felt its movement and the necessity of it. He delighted in the sensation of knowing when and where he was. Then felt an internal yank as the creature put all its effort into trying to escape his grasp. Someone was dangerously near, a target the creature dearly wanted. A target the Doctor could sense anytime it was near, Jack. In desperation the Doctor made his grip even tighter. Letting the creature know he would hang on till death. Then death came.

The cell was flooded with fire. He felt his skin blister and crisp as it charred in the intense heat. He continued to hold on to the creature’s energy, not letting it escape, hoping he could at the critical moment, stop the regeneration and force the creature to die with him. His lungs filled with searing hot air as he started to scream. Then he realized he shouldn’t be able to scream. He’d be dead before his first breath was complete. This was all sensory input the creature was driving into his nerves, effective, but not real. The lack of reality didn’t stop his screams however. The pain was real even if the cause was not. But he could spare no thought to it. He had to continue to hang on, concentrate only on the creature and let his body react as instinct demanded.

Something new was added to his burden. Something he couldn’t identify was making it harder to maintain his concentration. Like a buzzing throughout his body on top of the pain. His hearts were skipping, out of rhythm. He tried to regain control, but he had too much to do. The creature was now trying to merge totally with him. He was tempted to give up his grip but feared it was a feint. Panic struck when a small part of his energy was pulled away from him. Then it stopped, the energy returned, wounded but whole. The buzzing ceased. He could block the pain again and stop the screams. He couldn’t see, but at least, he could feel cool air fill his lungs with every ragged breath he took. A small reprieve. There was a taste of iron and salt in his mouth, consistent with blood. He didn’t care. He was breathing and the creature hadn’t escaped. His energy was still firmly entwined with its. He’d won.

Then too quickly the battle was rejoined. The creature was sending new pain into his body as if his back was being racked by fiery claws. Putting rends in his flesh down to his ribs and spine. He knew it wasn’t real, it was a distraction designed to get him to let go. It was after Jack again, he was sure of it. He tried to yell a warning, but could form no words through his screams. Then the pain stopped and he was plunged back into that world without sensation or time. He suspected the creature was recovering from its latest efforts, feeding off the mental pain and confusion caused by the impossible sensations. He made a feeble attempt to try to control his emotions, starve the creature. He failed. Keeping his lungs breathing and his hearts beating, holding the creature to him, that was all he had strength for. A strength that was fading as the creature became stronger.


Jack had the extractor tucked firmly under his arm as he approached the cell block egress. The door handle moved away from him as he reached for it.

“It didn’t work?” asked Ianto as he held the door open.

“No, it didn’t,” barked Jack, irritated at being asked such an obvious question.

“Jack,” snapped Gwen, the reprimand clear in her voice as Ianto looked away.

The captain held up his hand to stop her from continuing. He got her message, it was clear. This wasn’t the time to alienate the team with his frustration. He took a deep breath, as he walked over to Tosh’s old desk and gingerly set the energy extractor down on it, wishing she were still alive to help. He stared at the frustratingly meaningless symbols on the device, as he gathered his thoughts and considered his next words carefully.

They needed to concentrate on the problem, not on the failure. Who was he kidding he needed to concentrate on the problem. He was the one with the distracting emotions from this last failure, not his team. He turned away from the desk and faced them. Both were eyeing him warily. Ianto trying to keep his face a professional mask of neutrality but the worry behind his eyes was plainly visible. Gwen was not so subtle, her jaw was set firm, almost defying him to speak out of line again.

“The display makes no judgment as to which is host and which is invader,” Jack explained with far more calmness than he felt. “What I saw was two equal sized, totally intertwined life forces. I couldn’t even tell which was attacking which. I could have killed the Doctor while trying to save him. Let that thing have his body. We need to find a way to determine which energy signature is the creature’s and which is the Doctor’s.”

He gestured towards the recalcitrant device. “Gwen, take a scan of the markings on this thing, see if you can find anything similar in our files. Gallifreyean is a rare language but a few symbols are common enough. We might get lucky.”

He watched Gwen pull out her camera and carefully take pictures of the device. She was thorough, checking it on all sides for any markings, before taking the camera to her desk. He could tell from the worry on her face that she doubted she was up to the task. It didn’t matter, he doubted any of them would be able to make sense of the markings. It was most likely a futile act. Just as what he was about to do was. But it was all he had. It was either this or go back with a fifty-fifty chance he would kill the Doctor. No, he pushed that thought aside. There had to be a way.

Jack sat down and turned on the device, and started searching through the instructions for any clue as to how to solve the problem of getting the creature out and leaving the Doctor intact. There had to be a catalog of energy signatures. Surely if it was a Gallifreyan device, it would at least have a typical Time Lord’s energy signal on file somewhere, possibly hidden by a broken link.

He felt a presence behind his shoulder and turned to see Ianto hovering over him. A sudden thought stuck him. “Where’s Martha?” he asked. “Shouldn’t she be here by now?”

His aid frowned. “A rookie stopped her. Insisted on searching her car. I had to make a couple of calls or he would have taken her in for speeding and tampering with the traffic system.”

Jack shook his head, most of the local constabulary knew their place, but there was a definite training problem with new hires. No time for that now though. “So how much longer till she is here?”

“She’s almost at the car park now.”

“Good, we’re going to need her. I’m pretty sure his arm was broken in that last fit and I doubt that is all that is wrong with him.” Jack ran his hand through his hair and started to turn away, but stopped when he realized Ianto wasn’t leaving.

“Is there something else?”

Ianto looked down, hesitating before he responded. “I think I know something we might try.”

Doubt warred with desperation in Jack’s mind. The last thing he needed was another false lead, but he had to admit his current plan was grasping at straws. “I’m open to suggestions.”

“The Doctor thought the ambassador might be infected. You could try the device on him. It might at least give us the creature’s energy signature.”

Dumbstruck that he hadn't thought of that himself, Jack snatched up the golden device and dashed back towards the cell block.

“Jack, No!” yelled Gwen as she ran after him.

He ignored her as he unlocked the cell block door. She grabbed his arm causing the energy extractor to slip from his grasp.

“What are you doing?” he yelled, barely managing to catch the device before it hit the floor.

“I could ask the same of you?” Gwen countered, the force in her voice more than matching his as she stepped in front of the open cell block doorway.

Jack, shifted his weight, preparing to push past her, then hesitated. The near accident with the energy converter made him more cautious. Best he try reason first, though he was going to be in for a fight. Her face was firm and stubborn, with a fire in her eyes that told him this stubbornness was born of compassion, and she had no intention of giving in.

“He’s not a lab rat, Jack, he’s a human being,” Gwen reasoned. “You can’t just turn that thing on him and hope it works. You saw what it did to the Doctor. It might kill a human for all you know.”

“And if I don’t do this, the Doctor might die,” retorted Jack trying to keep his voice calm and rational. “I’m out of ideas Gwen and he’s almost out of time.”

“We don’t even know if the ambassador's infected. You could be risking his life for nothing. Would the Doctor want that?”

Jack looked past Gwen at the cell that held the Doctor. “Would he?” he asked himself. “Did it matter?” came the reply. People had risked their lives and died for the Doctor many times before, whether he wanted them to or not. He really didn’t get a vote in this. But it was time to try a different tack with Gwen.

“Gwen, if that thing is in the ambassador it won’t be long before he finds himself in the same predicament the Doctor is in. Right now it should be small and easy to remove. Later it might be too late. This is as much for the ambassador’s own good as it is for the Doctor’s.” He saw Gwen bite her lip as her resolve started to falter and he knew he had his lever.

“He should still be the one to make the decision, Jack.”

“And how is that going to happen?” he replied with a calculated hint of sadness in his voice. “Gwen, you’ve seen him. He’s in no condition to make any decisions. He’s just been staring at the wall for the past three hours. I’m not even sure if we can get him to talk, the state he’s in.”

“Let me try. We owe him that much, at least. If it’s obvious he can’t decide for himself, then yes. But if he says no, you have to find another way, agreed?”

The old man was out of it, thought Jack. He doubted she would get any reaction from him, which would be just as good as a yes. “Agreed, you have five minutes to get a response from him, then we do it my way.”

Gwen frowned, but nodded her agreement before entering the cellblock. Jack followed her to the cell, stopping in the doorway to observe. The former policewoman did have a touch when it came to connecting with people, though he felt her efforts would be futile in this situation.

“Hello Nigel,” she said softly as she approached the old man, pulling up a chair so she could sit across from him. As Jack expected the ambassador showed no sign of noticing her presence, his gaze was over her shoulder, staring at nothing, she persisted however. “I know this all must seem horribly confusing to you, it certainly was for me when I first came here, but I need to talk to you about what happened. We know you weren’t the one who killed Celeste. It wasn’t your fault what happened.”

To Jack’s amazement and disappointment, the ambassador blinked and turned to face Gwen, Calm and soothing, her voice continued. “I know you remember doing it, but it wasn’t you, not really. There’s this creature, made of energy. It was inside you when Celeste died. It used your body to kill her.”

“Wh… Why?” the ambassador stammered as a faint light of intelligence showed in his eyes. “Why kill Celeste?”

“We don’t know.” Gwen shook her head. “I’m sorry. I wish I could tell you we’ll find out, but we may never know why.”

At that news the old man turned away from Gwen. His shoulders sank and his gaze became unfocused again. She was losing him.

“Nigel,” Gwen called sympathetically, her hand reaching out to his, “I need you to stay with me. This is important. We think the creature may have left a piece of itself inside you.”

His head turned quickly back to face her, his eyes wide. “Inside me?” he whispered.

“Yes, and we need to get it out before it grows any stronger.”

“But, it’s not the creature that killed Celeste?” he asked. There was a slight tremble in his voice, but it was obvious to Jack he was quickly regaining the use of his faculties.

“No, we think what is in you is like its child, but removing it from you will give us information on the creature that killed Celeste and prevent it from taking over anyone else.”

“Will you kill it?”

“Yes, we’ll kill it, if we can. So, will you let us try to take it out? We’ll move you to the infirmary and there will be a doctor there to look after you.”

The ambassador stared at Jack and the device he had tucked under his arm. “Infirmary? Not here?”

“Yes, the infirmary,” assured Gwen with a smile. “It will be safer for you and we can get more information about the creature there than we can here, can’t we Jack?” She looked Jack in the eye, defying him to contradict her.

“Yes, we can,” Jack replied impatiently. “Is he able to get there under his own power or should I call Ianto to help him?”

“I can walk,” stated the ambassador as he stood up rather shakily. The steps were small and slow but Jack could tell from the expression on the old man’s face he thought he was striding determinedly to the door. The sluggishness of the pace was frustrating. He was about to call for Ianto to help, but Gwen caught his eye and shook her head. Jack sighed and stepped out of the way as the pair exited the cell. Gwen was next to the ambassador, her arm was behind him, not touching, but ready catch him should his pride cease to hold him upright.

Jack stared at the pair as they walked down the corridor. This wasn’t working out quite how he planned, but Gwen was right, the infirmary would be better. And not injuring the old man’s pride was probably a good idea. He just hoped that pride was strong enough for the old man to make it to the infirmary. Cracking his head on the floor and dying before they got to use the energy extractor on him could ruin everything.
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:09 am

Thank you for posting this. Excellent, as ever. Smile
avatar
Aspadistra
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 1457
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:39 am

Another great installment! wonderful as ever.

yay!
avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:32 pm

Aspadistra wrote:Thank you for posting this. Excellent, as ever. Smile

Thank you I hope to get the next installment up a bit quicker.

konstantin wrote:Another great installment! wonderful as ever.

yay!

Thank you I've got a good start on the next one.

I really am grateful for both of you for your patience and sticking with me. Smile
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:11 pm

Jack slowed his step when he entered the main area of the hub, letting Gwen take the ambassador on ahead into the infirmary. Something was different, wrong, dreading what he might see, he looked over to one of the monitors that showed the Doctor’s cell, only to find it was blank. He quickly checked all the monitors within his sight. There was a faint glow by Ianto’s workstation. But that was it and he couldn’t see the screen.

“Ianto, status report,” Jack called, putting a calmness in his voice that he didn’t feel. If not for fear of spooking the ambassador, who was cooperating at the moment, he would have dashed back into the cell block to see for himself what had happened to his friend.

“Sir, Dr. Jones is here,” came the composed reply. “I’ve briefed her on the ambassador’s condition and she has the infirmary ready.”

After a puzzled moment, Jack nodded his understanding. Ianto had told Martha about the ambassador’s condition, not the Doctor’s. Good call on his part, this way she would concentrate on the ambassador. Telling her about the Doctor would be an unnecessary distraction at this time and remembering his own reaction to his friend’s condition, it probably saved Ianto from having to execute another flying tackle.

“You’ll let me know if anything changes?” asked Jack.

“Of course,” Ianto’s response was curt, with an insulted edge to his tone, clearly upset that the question had been considered necessary. Knowing he would have to make amends later, Jack hurried to the infirmary.

Somehow the old man had managed to make it down the stairs with only minor assistance from Gwen, by the time Jack arrived the ambassador was being helped up onto the bed by Martha. Or rather Martha was trying to help him. The old man was balking.

“No one said anything about restraints,” protested the ambassador, staring at the offending straps lying on the bed. His voice clearer and stronger than Jack would have thought possible a few minutes earlier. Back straighter too. He set down the energy extractor on a counter, wanting it safely out of the way if force needed to be used. Gwen gave him a warning stare which he ignored.

“They’re just a precaution,” Martha explained quietly. “Sometimes in these procedures there is some involuntary muscle movement. The restraints prevent you from injuring yourself.”

The old man reached out and touched the cuff closest to him, refusing to look Martha in the eye, putting her at a disadvantage as she stood facing him but he keeping his side to her and the bed, preventing her from getting round in front of him.

“They seem awfully… sturdy.” He frowned as he fingered the cuff, it’s still stiff outer leather and softer padded leather on the inside of the curve. “Why is it so big?”

Martha reached over and gently took the cuff from him. “It’s made the way it is because if it breaks you could be hurt even more than you would without it,” she explained in a casual but authoritative tone. “Your hand would fly at an incredible speed. If it hit something, like a bed rail, you might even suffer a fracture.”

She turned it over in her hand. “These are actually quite comfortable. The padding is good, the inside leather is smooth and it is wide enough to distribute any pressure and avoid bruising.” She laid it on the bed and leaned over the bed turning her head so she could look him in the face. “Think of it like a seat belt, something to protect you. And like a seat belt these are just here as a precaution. I promise I’ll take them off as soon as we’re finished.”

The old man sucked in his lower lip and let it out absentmindedly from between his teeth as he considered her words. Jack watched impatiently, subtly shifting his weight, preparing to jump the ambassador and throw him on the bed if need be. Gwen was glaring at him but he didn’t care. He ran Torchwood and it was time he started acting like it again.

He was taking a step forward, about to implement his plan, when the ambassador nodded his head and said, “Alright, if it helps get Celeste’s killer.”

Martha looked puzzled at the statement, but Gwen spoke up before she could ask what he meant. “Yes Nigel, it will help. I promise, we won’t let it get away.”

With a small nod as his eyes turned bright with unshed tears the ambassador turned his back to the bed and with a hand on each side pushed himself onto it. The bed creaked softly and he started to lie down when Martha stopped him.

“Let me just check you over first,” she said, as she pulled out her stethoscope. “Sorry these always seem to be cold no matter what they’re made from.” She slide the chest piece of the stethoscope under the man’s shirt, tilting her head to one side as she listened intently. “Now breath deep please.”

The old man complied and Martha move the stethoscope around, check all the pulmonary lobes Jack guessed as his patience wore thinner. What was Martha thinking? It’s not like they weren’t going to go through with the procedure if the man failed whatever physical she was giving him. And they had far more advanced equipment for checking heart and lungs than a stethoscope.

When she picked up a tympanic thermometer he looked over at the energy extractor sitting on the counter. He could just pick it up turn it on and be done with all this. Gwen walked over to the device, picked it up and set it down firmly but gently on the opposite side of the room, well out of his reach. Jack just shook his head unable to believe he’d transmitted his intentions that clearly, like some rookie fresh out of the academy.

Martha appeared unaware of the little scene he and Gwen had played out. Instead she was fastening an old style sphygmomanometer around her patient’s upper arm. The whooshing, hissing sound that was created with each squeeze of the bulb grated on his nerves. This whole procedure she was doing made no sense at all. Martha was familiar with the equipment they had. She could have known more about the man’s health in 30 seconds than she would get in a hour with the technology she was using. He stared at the scene frustrated and puzzled.

“Your blood pressure is a bit elevated,” Martha was saying. “Nothing to be worried about. I would get it checked by your own physician just to be sure.”

The ambassador nodded. “I’ve had problems with it,” he admitted. “I’m supposed to take some pills, but I keep forgetting.”

“Well try to remember, it’s important you take them,” she said as she removed the blood pressure cuff and put her stethoscope away. “Otherwise you are in fine shape, now if you could just lie back, we can get on with this over with in just a few minutes.”

Acting as if what he was about to be done to him was the most natural thing in the world, the ambassador laid back on the bed, and only then did Jack understand the reason for Martha’s exam. She had provided a familiar routine for the old man, putting him at ease and establishing some trust. Her patient was relaxed and cooperative now. There was a slight worried frown that passed over his face when Martha attached the first of the restraints.

“Don’t worry,” she assured him with a smile, “I’ll take these off as soon as the procedure is over. Remember what I said, just think of it like a seat belt.”

The ambassador gave a brief nod and closed his eyes as Martha gently but efficiently finished fastening the restraints.

As soon as she was done and stepped away from the bed, Jack strode over to the machine and turned it on, ignoring Gwen’s protest and Martha’s puzzled look. His patience was past the breaking point. He didn’t care if the old man was comfortable or not, he only cared to get the information he needed to save the Doctor, information that was now as clear as day on his screen.

The screen showed a predominance of light blue threads, and a smaller condensed set of green threads where he suspected the base of the brain to be. As he watched a green tendril started to grow downward along the spine. The creature in the ambassador was alive and sentient. The new and selective growth was an obvious attempt to anchor itself further. An attempt that was having obvious physical effects on the host as the ambassador’s eyes had rolled back in his head and his whole body was shaking.

Martha stepped forward to help the old man, and was quickly restrained by Gwen. “No wait, this is normal. We’ve seen it before.” Gwen explained calmly.

“You’ve done this before? Then why was this an emergency? What did you need me for?"
“Later, we’ll explain it all later,” Gwen replied in an attempt to answer all the questions with one response. Jack let the conversation fade from his awareness, trusting that Gwen could handle Martha. Jack’s top priority right now had to be getting the creature out of the ambassador. Not for the old man’s sake, but for the Doctor’s. This was a full test of the device. The only one he would get before using it on the Doctor again.

He attacked the newest tendril sliding his index finger on the screen to peel it back from the blue ignoring the warning that the containment chamber was disabled. It fought him, sending out energy with an appearance similar to the hair like fibers on a plant root as it tried to regain a grip on the host energy. The device was prepared for that and with a tap of his little finger the hair like energy disappeared as if singed by a match. Once he had it free he quickly and swiftly slid it down to the bottom of the screen. Seeing if once part of the creature was inside the machine the rest would be quickly pulled in and destroyed.

Unfortunately that was not the case. The tendril snapped and shattered. Only the part of the tendril was destroyed. Six other pieces were now free, sending out fibrous energy trying to gain a foothold. Quickly he play grabbed them and slid them to the bottom of the screen. Each was destroyed.

Jack stopped and considered. This technique was not going to work. The thing reproduced by fission. If he wasn’t careful he would be like the sorcerer’s apprentice, chopping up his main adversary, only to find he had created unaccountably many in its place.

Time to try something new. He repositioned the device bracing it against his body so he could put his left thumb on the screen. He then peeled back the tendril that was starting to grow in place of the one that shattered. He flashed the fibers quickly and then slid his finger along the screen to place the tendril under his thumb. He pulled his hand away. Success, the tendril stayed put under his thumb. He tried it with another tendril. It too stayed, struggling but trapped. He had his technique.

It was going to be the slow and steady way. He bent to his work. Unwinding tendrils and trapping them under his thumb. Working carefully so as not to cause another break but quickly enough so the rate at which the tendrils were trapped was faster than the creature could grow them. He was vaguely aware of sounds about him, but he spared no concentration to determine what they were. It was just him, the screen and a knot of energy determined to never be untangled. Deliberately he unwound tendril after tendril, holding on to each one as he freed it, preventing it from reattaching, staying ahead of the creature's growth. He shook his head trying to shake off the sweat that stung his eyes, not daring to spare a hand for the effort.

Then there was a soft cloth being pressed against his forehead, he was about to bark an order to back off, to quit distracting him, when he realized it was to take away the sweat for him, leaving him free to concentrate on the task at hand.

Finally there was just one last tendril to be captured. It struggled with him, desperately trying to send out new shoots, each being destroyed before it could gain purchase. It wound itself around the brightest part of the blue energy, appearing to choke it off. That tactic didn’t work, he had plenty of practice now and he peeled the green energy, now a sickly pale color, away from the blue and trapped it under his thumb. Quickly before another tendril could form he slid his thumb to the bottom of the screen.

The displayed showed the word DESTROYED in bright mauve letters. He was pretty sure for the rest of the people in the room they would appear as red and in English, not fifty first century common. There were numbers and units scrolling by on the display. He had no idea what they meant or even if they were important. The device seemed incapable of communicating the information to him in a way he could understand. He stared at the display panel, committing as much of the data as possible to memory. Maybe the Doctor would know what it was about, but for now, he knew how to work the device and that was all that was important.

His job done, he let back in the distractions he had blocked out. His shirt was sticking to his chest and back from the sweat. He was thirsty and tired. How long had it been? He checked his vortex manipulator. 110 minutes and that creature was a small one, barely a twentieth of the size of the one in the Doctor.

Almost in a daze he put the device down on the counter. The desire to run with the device into the Doctor’s cell was overwhelming. But he needed to rest, and perhaps something more. This was going to be no simple operation and there was no one he could pass the controls to if he faltered, if indeed the machine would even let a second operator take over. He shook his head trying to clear it.

Gwen was at his side. “Are you alright, Jack?”

“I’m fine,” came the obvious lie of a response from Jack as he pressed his fingers deeply into his scalp rubbing in small circles, trying to fruitlessly clear the fog from his brain. “How’s the ambassador?” he asked changing the subject. He dropped his hand and turned to see Martha removing the last of the restraints as she had promised. Her patient appeared awake and talking, but tired. His voice was hoarse and weak, and Jack couldn’t make out the words. The captain approached the bed to hear what the man had to say.

“…was real wasn’t it? That thing really was inside me? I could feel it. It’s gone now, isn’t it? Tell me it’s gone.” The old man was whispering desperately. His hand reached out to Martha and clung there.

“Yes it is gone,” assured Martha as she gently removed the man’s hand from her arm. “Now lie back down. You need to rest, that was quite an ordeal you went through.” She eased the man back into the bed and put up the sides.

Jack looked at her quizzically as she took out an oxygen kit. “What’s going on?” he asked.

“Nothing, just a precaution,” she replied but the swiftness with which she set up the equipment proved her words to be false. Soon her patient had a mask on his face. His eyes blinked at her slowly and Jack could tell the man was fading fast. “Nigel,” she called with soft insistence. "I’m going to be putting in an IV, like the oxygen, it’s just a precaution. You’re a little dehydrated, nothing to worry about.”

It was doubtful that her words registered with the old man. His eyes were closed and his breathing was slow and shallow. Jack thought he could detect a slight wheeze, like a rusted gate opening, as Martha quickly and efficiently started the IV. She injected several drugs into the line before she left her patient’s side. A quick jerk of her head indicated to Jack she wanted him to follow her out of the room.

As soon as he was up the stairs and closed the door. Martha laid into him. “I hope what you did was necessary,” she asked impatiently.

“It was,” he assured her.

“It better have been because it weakened him considerably. You need to move him to a hospital, now. His heart rate went up over 240 during that procedure. He’s not going to make it through the night if he stays here.”

Jack rubbed his forehead as he thought about the consequences of the ambassador leaving his control. He’d like to retcon the man at least. They did have an injectable form. Otherwise he didn’t need him. But MI-5 might wonder where Frank was if the ambassador suddenly turned up at a hospital. On the other hand, the one bed infirmary might soon have another occupant. Having it clear and ready for the Doctor might be a good idea.

“Is he stable for now?” replied Jack trying to buy a little time to think this through further.

Martha bit her lip and looked back at the room. “For the moment, but he could crash at any time. He really must be moved now. I’m not a cardiac specialist, and that’s what he needs.”

Jack closed his eyes and shook his head. It seemed there was just one thing after another. “Alright,” he acquiesced. “I’ll have Ianto check into making the arrangements.”

Martha nodded her agreement. “Are we done here then?” she asked.

“Yes,” replied Jack, relieved he could now go and check on the Doctor’s condition. Martha’s hand was on the infirmary door when he changed his mind.

“Can your patient wait for a while?” he asked. “I need to talk to you in my office about another situation.”

“It has to be in your office?”

“Yes, it does. I have something there you should see.”

Martha hesitated before answering, clearly torn between her patient and the urgency in Jack’s voice. “Let me check him, make sure he’s okay and give Gwen some instructions for watching him.”

Jack forced a smile on his face. “While you do that, I’ll see that Ianto gets started on arranging to have him transferred.”

Martha smiled back with a quick nod, then her face was serious as she turned to take care of her charge. Jack headed over to Ianto to give him instructions on the ambassador, at least one, the retcon, Martha might not agree with, but security was security. As soon as he finished there, he was going to put away the breakables in his office. Hopefully Martha’s reaction to the Doctor’s condition would be better than his, but he wasn’t taking any chances.
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:05 pm

yay! great installment! captivating as always


.
avatar
konstantin
Justified and ancient

Number of posts : 2033
Age : 62
Location : Durham, NC USA, Sol3
Awards :

Registration date : 2008-11-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:49 pm

konstantin wrote:yay! great installment! captivating as always


.

Thank you my life is easing up a bit now. I should get the next chapter out quicker.
avatar
Paksena
Properly wrinkly

Number of posts : 111
Age : 62
Registration date : 2009-06-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 7 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum