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a collection of loosely related ramblings
Ghost In The Machine 
16th-Jul-2009 04:51 am
Title: Ghost In The Machine
Rating: teen [language]
Characters: Captain John Hart, PC Andy
Spoilers: Children of Earth: day 5
Advisories: none
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 about it.

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."

Well, that 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.
16th-Jul-2009 11:22 am (UTC)
I loved this. I don't know if this will become slash but I imagine John would have all sorts of fun corrupting Andy.

On a COE note yay for Andy joining in the riot. Tom did a great job at showing Andy's conflict.
16th-Jul-2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
And possibly vice-versa, considering that this 'verse!bunny was originally labeled "Hart ends up rebuilding Torchwood in Jack's honor"... ;)
16th-Jul-2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
My goodness - this is absolutely wonderful! You have Captain John's voice and thought spot on, and oh, how I love him. Your Andy is delightful too.

Best lines:

"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 about it."

"he might have if the voice had been Jack's"

"I told Jack he needed a blonde, but I was thinking of someone with a bit more... experience."

Innocent Andy is so beautifully persuasive.

Loved it.
16th-Jul-2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
The scary part is that this is the first time Hart's turned up to be my POV character and he turned out to be suspiciously easy to write...

And I can just see Hart taking one look at Andy and going "...I can work with this." :) Now if only I can get the other two fics in this set (that I know about at this point...) out in the middle of working on the ongoing serial and the Big-Bang fic that some stupid Muse < /shouting over shoulder> seems to have applied to do... {sigh}
16th-Jul-2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
Oh this is great, there will be more i hope?
16th-Jul-2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
According to Muse, there appear to be at least three (...two? did I say two up there? silly me listening to any sort of preliminary estimates from this Muse) more installments lined up, although they're distinctly "as I get to that" in my fic-writing queue 'cos I'm pretty booked. I wanted to get at least the first one out while the idea was still fresh...
16th-Jul-2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
Ooh, new John Hart fic and with Andy as an added bonus! I like the look of this, especially as in merucha's fic Andy and John become very close and it seems to work so well. I'd like it if John didn't corrupt Andy, but did teach him those vital skills necessary to be an alien hunter! It'd be good if John, who normally poo-poos organisation and 'team' was the one to keep Torchwood going. Looking forward to much more!
16th-Jul-2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
That was the original plotbunny, yes, and I can see these two interacting to form something quite unexpected...
16th-Jul-2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that - glad that Capn John is staying around.
16th-Jul-2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this is gonna get... interesting.
16th-Jul-2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Very nice,
I love the idea of John accidentally helping Torchwood rebuild, firstly to see what he can steal and then later because he can't seem to leave.
Your PC Andy was perfect.
16th-Jul-2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Come for the looting, stay for the pie Jack... ;) And who besides Andy could threaten Hart with a safetied gun and get away with it?
16th-Jul-2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, fabulous :) There is a kind of decency in John ;)
16th-Jul-2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
He has, somewhere, deep deep down, at least a vague sense that there are ideals that he could be measuring up to, and that this might impress Jack favorably, and that that would be something he'd kind of like...
16th-Jul-2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
Oh what fun! I've been saying I'm through with Torchwood but if it became the John Hart/PC Andy show, I'd be watching!
17th-Jul-2009 03:18 am (UTC)
I think that's about where this came from, me going "...And exactly what could they do to make me tune into ep 4.2?" (The scary part is, hey, what else have they got, huh? ;) )
17th-Jul-2009 08:14 am (UTC)
Loved this, and am very happy to read that you're doing more. Yea!

"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."

And of course, what immediately popped into my head was Hart teaching Andy to shoot. Wonder how his "technique" compares to Jack's *grin*
17th-Jul-2009 09:46 am (UTC)
...Crap, make that four more of these... ;)
29th-Aug-2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, what an intriguing idea! John showing up to steal stuff out of the rubble of the Hub and being talked into staying by Andy.

29th-Aug-2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
And if only Muse hadn't got distracted enough for this to fall to fourth in the work-queue I might have got more of this written up by now... {sigh} (And no, I still don't know how the werewolf story won that battle when the other two have actual deadlines...)
5th-Sep-2009 08:55 am (UTC)
found this via dontask_pcandy - loved it very much - did you write the sequel?

(Edit: I should get the name of the reccer right)

Edited at 2009-09-05 08:57 am (UTC)
5th-Sep-2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
My Muse got a little distracted, but there are several sequels in her work queue... >;)
18th-Nov-2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Here from pcandy_love and I adore this. It's so them. Very in character. Love it. :D
18th-Nov-2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
And at some point I really must buckle down to finishing some of the other stories in this little 'verse that I already had a start on when my Muse dragged me off to write about werewolves and do a BigBang fic... {sigh}