Title: Ghost In The Machine
Rating: teen [language]
Characters: Captain John Hart, PC Andy
Spoilers: Children of Earth: day 5
Disclaimer: ducking and covering as we speak
Summary: Shame if all of this were to fall into the wrong hands...
Note: Contains spoilers through the Torchwood: Children of Earth miniseries.
Someone had certainly done this place up a treat since the last time he'd seen it. Hart couldn't help but find himself trying to calculate backwards to the probable size and yield of the device as he slipped through the rubble of Jack's subterranean lair, whistling in disbelief at the scale of the mess. And the thorough way in which the ruins had been pillaged, all bagged and tagged and taped up in yellow ribbons of caution as the authorities had their jollies revenging themselves upon the arrogance of a not-so-secret ops team's hubris in declaring itself above them all. And then being so bloody incompetent
Trouble was, those authorities hadn't the faintest notion themselves what they'd been carting off to enter into evidence. Hart chucked aside yet another uselessly mutilated scrap of circuitry and heaved a sigh, wondering if it was about time to bugger this idea for a game of soldiers. Wasn't helping anything that while he might not have had a sensitive stomach in the moral respects, that lingering niff of a cooler let too long without power was beginning to offend delicately tuned centres in his brain. And I'm supposed to be the depraved one, when he keeps his kinky trophies
"Stop there and keep your hands where I can see them, please."
Hart had no intention of doing any such thing, well, he might have if the voice had been Jack's, but it wasn't as if anyone else would have any more standing than him to be down here anyway. He turned around with just enough speed to show the other intruder that he'd heard, he didn't necessarily give the damn, but he'd humour
the man by not immediately going for his sidearm. Not immediately
Tall. Decent arse. Complete bloody stranger, though. Holding a gun on him like he wasn't sure if he had the right bit pointing front. "Who are you, then, love?"
A deep breath, sounding as if he might be trying to convince himself of it as well: "Torchwood."
Hart nearly did laugh aloud then. "I told Jack he needed a blonde, but I was thinking of someone with a bit more... experience. What are you, ten?"No
weapons-training, from the way that barrel was shaking now, and Hart was beginning to doubt he'd even know how to fire it if he tried. "You know Jack Harkness?"
"I could say 'biblically', but that would rather short-change the scale of it," Hart replied breezily, eyeing the stranger's rucksack. A looter (well, another looter) picking over Torchwood's bones, scavenging for salable tech? Or a tourist with sandwiches and a thermos of tea who'd picked up the gun for a souvenir? He took a stab at it: "You're not with Torchwood, though."
"And who says I'm not?" he demanded, brandishing the pistol like he must have seen done in bad vids.
"For a start, your safety's still on."
The man's face crumpled, as if this embarrassment were merely the capper on a truly shit string of experiences. "Well, not like I was an Authorised Firearms Officer," he muttered, sticking the pistol back into his trousers.
This was... novel. "You're a copper
He started to hold out his hand in introduction and thought better of it somewhere in the middle, running it through his hair instead. "PC Andy Davidson. Or I was, I'm sort of on suspension right now while they try to work out what to do with me. Can't even resign properly until they've decided whether to go ahead with charges."
sounded promising. "Who did you kill?"
Davidson looked horrified. "Nobody
, I -- There was a riot, according to my superiors I was on the wrong side of it. And technically it was disobeying orders, maybe even treason, but when the orders are shit in the first place --"Ah, lovely, a disillusioned True Believer
. A bent copper would have been one thing, Hart rather enjoyed the bending when he had the time to apply himself to the art, but big doe-eyes on the kid or not he had
been in the middle of his own pursuits here. "You don't know where Jack is, then."
Davidson's shoulders sagged. "Nobody does. It's like he's disappeared off the face of the earth. Which I'd say I'm exaggerating, but lately..."
The distress appeared to be genuine, which meant there was a fair chance he had
missed Jack altogether, buggered manipulator or not. Probably thumbed a lift for the Vegas galaxies to set up for his act by now. Hart flipped open his own wrist-strap. "Pity. Well, then, you're a lovely boy, really, and it's a shame I've missed the excitement, but if Jack's not here --"
"You're not going
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"I don't know, it's, I thought... maybe... You seem to know about Torchwood. The equipment that's still down here..."
The equipment that he had been thinking of nicking himself, Hart didn't bother to bring up, but he paused with his finger over the key that would trigger a jump, struck by some undertone to the copper's desolation. "And this is what to do with me, exactly?"
"I just..." Davidson swallowed visibly. "Only, there's still this sodding tear in time and space in the middle of my city and no one left to watch over what might come out of it. If you know Captain Harkness, what Torchwood was, what they did
, maybe... maybe you could help me sort what some of the machinery that they were using to mind it all is? Before you go?"Hm
. The remnants of tech far beyond what this miserable rock could otherwise offer from what he'd seen of it, an opportunity to camp a site Jack would surely be coming back to someday in the company of a pretty, young, desperate
thing like this...
Maybe he did have some time to kill, after all.