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Myfanwy 2

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Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter Four

Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter Four
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto, Toshiko/Kathy
Warnings: Language, Violence
Spoilers: Both series up to S2, E4, "Meat" and the radio play, "Lost Souls"
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note:  This is the Dragon-Verse version of the radio play, "Lost Souls".  I decided to use the real-world dating for the activation of the LHC instead of what the radio play inferred, and that put this right in the middle of Series Two.  It actually makes a really good segue into "Adam", which you'll see later. 

A/N2: There is nothing in canon to say what Toshiko studied at University, so what I came up with is from my own imagination and from what we've seem her do onscreen.  Also, on Toshiko's publishing name:  "Sakura" means cherry blossom and "Ryuu" means spirit dragon.  I thought it was appropriate for her.  *grins*


SummaryAfter a call from Martha Jones at CERN, Jack sends Ianto, Toshiko, and Patrick in to investigate.  Can they discover the secret of the Collider before it's too late?




10 September 2008

Martha managed to get her friends smuggled out of the auditorium just as the speeches began.

She’d never been so glad to see Ianto and Toshiko when they’d arrived at the airport. They were her friends but, no offence to Toshiko it was Ianto she’d really been happy to know had come. There were perhaps a handful of people she’d trust with her life, and Ianto Jones – her Dragon – was at the very top of that list. Even the Doctor didn’t rank as highly, but she wasn’t ashamed to admit it had been different before the Time Lord had forgiven the Master for what he’d done during that Year, when it hadn’t been his place to do so.

She wasn’t at all upset that Ianto had killed the Master. What that made her, she didn’t know…but she didn’t much care. After what that bastard had done to Jack and her family and the entire planet he deserved whatever he’d got.

So, having Ianto at her side in this comforted Martha, knowing that her friend and protector would do anything in his power to help her find Julia.

As for Patrick’s presence…          

Jack had warned her, of course. And Martha felt she’d handled herself quite well under the circumstances. But her first sight of him at the airport had triggered the memory of how she’d first seen him during that Year, looking innocuous yet deadly in the lair of one of the petty warlords that had sprung up under the Master’s rule…

He’d blown his cover order to save her. He could very easily have been killed in that escape, but he’d done it anyway, knowing she needed to be free. She could still see him, bleeding, as Ianto had carried him from the ruins of the warlord’s mansion…

But Patrick was alive, and there, and Martha couldn’t help but be glad that he’d found his way to Torchwood. When Tish had told her that Jack and Ianto had hired him, Martha had rejoiced. He was a good man, and even though that Year didn’t exist any longer he was still family to her.

Still, a part of her wished that he’d been told about what had occurred during the year of the paradox. She would have given anything to thank him, for saving her and for helping her and Ianto get across the wilderness that New York State had become to the SHIELD resistance cell that had come together in what had once been the city of New York…renamed by the Master as New Saxon. There’d been a price on Nick Fury’s head that would have given even the most sincere resistance member pause, but not a one of those who followed the former SHIELD director would have considered selling him out to the Master. They’d all been so very loyal…Martha didn’t know what had happened to all of them after she and Ianto had been escorted to Captain Dalton’s ship, but it couldn’t have been pretty if the Master had managed to trace the pair of them to the cell’s headquarters.

She hadn’t been able to help herself when coming up with a cover for Patrick. Martha had first seen him as the scarily competent personal assistant to that warlord, and so she’d given him that cover once more. She’d been entertained by his disgruntlement over it, knowing what she knew, and was pleased that Ianto seemed to find his reaction funny as well. Toshiko had too, even though she hadn’t seen Patrick as he’d been, looking out of place in the opulent mansion that the warlord had taken over in his plain black suit and frighteningly bland smile.

Nor had Toshiko seen Patrick kill the warlord with his bare hands when he’d attempted to hurt Martha.

See, Martha figured the Doctor could afford to be magnanimous toward the Master in defeat, simply because he hadn’t seen what she had. The sheer barbarism the Earth had fallen into when the paradox had been in full effect was something he hadn’t had to experience. And Martha knew it wasn’t just what the Master had done to cause humans to fall into darkness, although he’d certainly given the bad guys the opportunity to ooze out of the woodwork like bloated termites.

No, it was the innocent ones that had suffered that made Martha disagree with what the Doctor had done. She’d believed in him; that had been the point of her walking the world, telling people the story of the Time Lord, to get them to all think of the Doctor in that single moment before the rockets were launched into space. Martha had believed that the Doctor fought for the Earth, that he would set things right, and that, in the end, justice would be done.

Well, she’d been a bit wrong about that, and she wasn’t ashamed to admit it.

Anyone who would ask – and there weren’t that many – Martha would explain that she’d stayed on Earth to help her family after what the Master had done to her. That was the truth, to a really large extent, but she’d also found it nearly impossible to travel with the Doctor any longer. She’d learned a lot from him, and would forever be grateful for the time she’d spent in the TARDIS; however, between her crush on him and how he’d acted after the Master’s downfall, she just couldn’t do it any longer.

And so, she was working for UNIT. It might have seemed a good idea at the time, but Martha was getting a bit tired of having people think she didn’t know what she was doing. She was really wishing she’d convinced either Jack or Ianto to let her come to work at Torchwood…although it would have meant leaving her family to cope on their own.

Although, if Colonel Mace was going to make her travel then she might as well have gone to live in Cardiff…

Together, the four of them made their way down the corridor outside the auditorium, Martha in the lead. Ianto walked beside her, and she turned to regard him. “You should know…there’s been another victim.”

“When?” Ianto asked.

“This morning. From what I’ve found out, he was working in the tunnel when…something happened.” Martha shivered slightly. “His radio was on. The control room could hear him screaming.”

“What’s his name?” Patrick asked from just behind her shoulder.

“Leon Foiret.” She was grateful that he’d asked. “He’s a technician.”

“We’ll find out what’s going on,” Ianto promised, his hand resting on her elbow. She was comforted by the warmth of his touch through her sleeve.

Martha had no doubt of that.

The lift was at the end of the corridor. Martha ran her security pass over the reader, and the red light changed to green. The lift doors slid open, and she ushered her friends inside.

There was actual lift music. Martha had laughed when she’d first heard it.

“How far down does this go?” Patrick inquired.

“About a hundred meters altogether,” she answered.

“We’re going to take this in two teams,” Ianto said. “Martha, you and I will go and see Monsieur Fioret. Toshiko, I want you and Patrick to find a computer and run a list of the missing people, and find out what they were doing when they came down with whatever it was they were exposed to before they vanished.”

They all nodded in acknowledgement of the dragon’s orders.

“I knew we’d be underground,” Toshiko added, “so I brought along some handheld comms since our usual ones won’t work down here. Patrick, if you don’t mind?”

The American smirked, raising his arms up as if he was carrying something. Toshiko slipped the trap of the bag she’d been carrying over her head, setting it into the cradle formed by his forearms.

Of course Martha had noticed the satchel. It resembled a laptop carrying case, in black leather, with a zipper that went around three sides. She’d been prepared to say something if any of the security guards had requested to search it; this was one of the reasons she’d made Ianto an ambassador, knowing that at least Toshiko would be bringing equipment with her and that they could have used diplomatic privilege to carry inside anything they might need.

Luckily for them, it had worked, and Martha hadn’t had to pull any tricks to stop any sort of search.

Toshiko opened the satchel, revealing its contents. Inside were four devices, resembling mobiles only without any numbers on their faces, and a bulky thing with a large screen and two handgrips on it.

Ianto must have seen Martha’s curiosity, for he said, “That’s a Bekaran deep tissue scanner. We took the gamble that there might be another victim before we could figure things out and that we’d be able to get some sort of access before they vanished.” He shrugged. “It was a good chance, given that eleven people had fallen to whatever it is we’re dealing with.”

Martha shook her head. “I figured you’d come prepared, but I didn’t know what you’d be bringing. I’m amazed at what the Rift spits out.”

“This wasn’t the Rift,” Toshiko said, passing around the communications devices and re-zipping the case. Ianto looped the strap over his own shoulder. “I found that on eBay.”

“Our Tosh feels it makes good practice for her to hack eBay every once in a while,” Ianto said, smiling. “Or when she finds a pair of shoes she likes.”

“Yeah,” Patrick replied. “I found out that Jack and Ianto will look the other way for certain things. As long as we don’t get caught, that is.”

“Which is why you’re currently in the doghouse because of the explosives,” Ianto teased.

Patrick rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah. I got caught. I get it.”

“Be more sneaky next time,” Toshiko added, grinning.

“You should take lessons from Tosh,” the dragon suggested. “We have yet to ‘catch’ her at anything.”

“And you’re supposed to come from a family full of spies!”

Martha laughed at their antics. This was another reason she was so glad they were there: they made her feel like part of a family, the banter and the laughs welcome after all the crap she’d been putting up with being in UNIT. Yes, she did have her own blood family, but there was something about the extended Torchwood family that made her feel light and happy.

The lift stopped with a soft ‘ding’ and the doors opened. “This hallway leads to the control room,” Martha explained as they walked. “This complex is like an enormous underground city, with labs and offices and living quarters for those staff that stay onsite. Of course the Collider is also down here –“

She pushed open a pair of large double doors, ushering them into the room beyond. The first time Martha had been in the Collider control room she’d been in awe; in a couple of ways it reminded her of the Doctor’s TARDIS, in that it seemed too big for its dimensions. Along three of the walls were controls and computers, all dedicated to the running of the Large Hadron Collider. The last wall was glassed in, looking down into the tunnels that had been dug from the bedrock and actually housed the collider itself.

The tunnel was the same basic size and shape of a London tube tunnel, only brightly lit and missing the crowds. In the centre of the tunnel was the actual tube that was the collider; it was about two meters tall, and held in place in the middle of the tunnel by metal struts painted a brilliant blue. Various controls were in positions along the tunnel walls, and as Martha watched she caught sight of two technicians walking along the collider tube, their white jumpsuits pristine in the near-sterile environment.

“It’s fantastic!” Toshiko gasped, moving to the glass and staring down into the collider tunnel.

“I’m glad you think so,” a voice answered.

The woman how joined Toshiko at the glass was in her near sixties, her hair a sharp grey and done up in a severe bun at the nape of her neck. She was dressed in an expensive skirt suit, over which hung a well fitted white lab coat. Her features were alit as she seemed to eat up Toshiko’s amazement.

“Sorry for intruding,” Martha said, hiding her surprise that finding someone in the control room. She’d been hoping everyone would have been distracted by the reception.

“No problem. I was just checking the systems for the activation. We wouldn’t want anything to go wrong, not in front of the dignitaries at any rate.”

“That’s it then?” Ianto asked. “The Large Hadron Collider?” He sounded almost as much in awe are Toshiko was.

“That’s quite correct,” she replied. “The tube is where the proton beams will be fired.” She transferred her grin to Ianto. “I’m Professor Katrina Johnson, head of the LHC Project.”

Martha darted forward, knowing that introductions should have been up to her; she’d just been knocked off her game for a second by the professor’s appearance. “This is the Ambassador from Wales, Ianto Jones, and his wife Dr Sato-Jones. And Patrick Delaware, the Ambassador’s personal assistant.”

At least Patrick didn’t grumble this time at being called an ‘assistant’.

“They were a bit late in arriving,” Martha went on, “and missed the earlier tour.” It was the best she could come up with on short notice, although she really should have come up with something in case they ran into anyone.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Dr Johnson said warmly. She shook Ianto’s hand, and then Toshiko’s. Patrick simply nodded, not offering his hand, but the professor didn’t seem slighted in the least. ‘Doctor Sato-Jones? May I ask what your doctorate is in?”

Toshiko actually blushed a little. “Engineering, with specialities in Electrical and Computers, as well as Engineering Physics and Micro-Mechanics. I’ve recently begun a Temporal Physics course of study and hope to branch out into Quantum Mechanics at some point.”

Martha had never really asked what Toshiko’s fields of expertise were; she’d just known that she was a certified genius, and that she pretty much did every sort of technical work Torchwood called upon her to do.

Ianto was looking at Toshiko with such pride. “Toshiko is a genius,” he said simply, as if it were completely obvious that she was the smartest person in the room.

Surprisingly, Professor Johnson didn’t seem to take any sort of offense to Ianto’s silent insinuation. “It seems our specialities overlap somewhat. Why haven’t I read any of your papers?”

“Unfortunately, the nature of government work means I can’t publish like I’d wish,” Toshiko answered, sounding disappointed. “However, I did manage to submit something recently to the British Journal of Applied Sciences, and it’s due to be in their April, 2009 issue. It’s a treatise on micro-engineering and the future of various forms of crystallography for use in computer applications, and it’s under my publishing alias, Dr Sakura Ryuu.”

Patrick cleared his throat. “Doctor, don’t forget your monograph, Membrane Wet-Ware for Use in Learning Algorithms for Very Intelligent Systems,” he murmured.

Professor Johnson’s eyebrows went up. “You mean you’re the one Tony Stark tried to sue for stealing his intellectual property?” She sounded positively gleeful.

Martha’s jaw dropped as Toshiko laughed. “He was certain I’d somehow hacked into his systems and stole his ideas for his own artificial intelligence system. It didn’t matter to him that my ideas were perhaps two iterations behind his own, personal, AI project. Honestly, if I was going to take the time to hack into Stark Industries I would have taken the newest iteration available at the time. Of course, once he realised I’d come up with the theories on my own he tried to hire me.”

“And you didn’t take him up on it?” Martha asked, shocked. The moment they were done with this mission she was going to demand details!

A shadow passed over Toshiko’s face. “I had some…family issues at the time, and I wasn’t able to take him up on his offer.” Then she smiled happily. “But if I had, I’d never have met Ianto. So it all turned out good in the end.”

“This has to be a very exciting day for you,” Ianto said, breaking the silence that had fallen between them all at Toshiko’s declaration. There was something else shining in his eyes besides fierce pride, and Martha couldn’t quite identify it.

“Oh, it is!” Professor Johnson enthused. “I’ve been working my entire professional life toward this moment! Today we could unlock the secrets of dark matter. What we’re about to do could change our understanding of the entire universe!”

“I really should be getting on with the tour,” Martha butted in, before the professor could get going on her speech about the boundaries of science once again. She’d heard it at least three times in the last week, and it was getting to the point where Martha could quote large chunks of it. “We want to be finished up before the actual ceremony.”

“Of course,” the professor exclaimed. “I shan’t keep you. I’ll see you at the activation.”

They all shook hands once more, and it was all Ianto could do not to drag Toshiko out of the control room. It was obvious she didn’t want to leave, and Martha really couldn’t blame her. This was what she did; all the tech stuff and discoveries and the reason Toshiko Sato would never leave Torchwood: the sheer joy of the science, of seeing the unknown up close and being on the cusp of the fantastic.

Once outside though, Toshiko turned to Patrick. “How on Earth did you know about that paper?” she asked, her eyes dancing with merriment.

The American laughed. “It’s right in the Torchwood mainframe,” he chuckled. “I do believe our mainframe is quite fond of you, and likes to show you off. Although I had no idea that Tony Stark had accused you of theft over it.”

“He didn’t really, and although he did lead off with questioning me about how I’d gotten into this dedicated server he wasn’t serious,” Toshiko admitted, grinning. “But those were the rumours that got around after the fact. He did try to hire me, though.”

“Okay, team,” Ianto cut in, his voice serious once more, “we have work to do. Martha, where’s the infirmary?”

“Just down here,” Martha pointed down the corridor. “And any of the open offices should be fine to use to get into the computer system.”

“You have a list of the missing employees?” Toshiko inquired as they walked together, Patrick trying office doors along the way.

Martha reached into her trouser pocket, pulling out the list she’d prepared the night before. She handed it over. “It should be interesting to see if they all have something in common.”

“I’m willing to bet they do,” Ianto said. “There has to be something to link the disappearances, and it’ll be up to you to find it, Tosh.”

“Here we go,” Patrick called, pushing open a door to their right. “This should do.”

“Be careful, you two,” Ianto warned. “Call us on the comms if you find anything.”

“Will do, boss,” Patrick acknowledged. He let Toshiko enter the office first, and then he followed, shutting the door behind him. The lock engaged with an audible click.

“Come on,” the dragon said, resting his hand on the small of Martha’s back as they headed toward the infirmary.

Martha really did hope that Toshiko and Patrick would find something. She was deathly worried about Julia, but she had confidence that, with Torchwood on the case, that they’d discover what was behind the disappearances.

She would have faith in her friends, because she knew they were the best.



Chapter Five


.



Comments

Hehe! Tony Stark accusing Tosh of stealing his work - and then offering her a job! Were her "family issues".the Unit incarceration?
That part just wrote itself, I have no idea how it got in there... *laughs*

Yes, her "family issues" was her mother's kidnapping and subsequent UNIT capture. Although you know if Stark had found out about it, he might have actually beat Jack and Ianto to her!

Glad you liked it. :)
Great update! Loved Martha's interaction with Ianto, Tosh and Patrick. Loved the in-site into Patrick's life during TYTNW!
Thanks! I wasn't going to really go much into Patrick's time during that Year, but Martha insisted. She's really quite fond of him. :)

There's much more to it than that, and maybe some day I'll write that story...we'll see. I have this huge timeline of events that I use and there's quite a block of time she and Ianto spend with the SHIELD resistance.

Hee, I just knew Tony would want Tosh at SI! ;)

Loved this chapter, and I would love to read more about what SHIELD did during The Year. It sounds like an epic onto itself.

Edited at 2014-09-04 05:25 am (UTC)
Tony Stark loves surrounding himself with brilliant people. There was no way he wasn't going to try to go after Tosh!

I have three timelines made up for this series: One for the stories before Jack and Ianto leave Earth; one for after they leave; and for that Year. Some day I might write some of the stories I have for the paradox, because some interesting things do happen... *winks*
Another awesome chapter..love Tosh...and the unexpected knowledge Patrick displayed..
Thanks! I adore Tosh and she's so much fun to write in place of Gwen in this story. Because she's just so into the science this is like, for her, going to a rock concert or something.

Patrick loves his new team and is very curious about them. Mainframe loves Tosh and will poke him in the right direction. LOL!
I feel that you gonna make me love this episode!
Oh, I hope so! I did enjoy the radio play, except for some parts of it (every time they mentioned that Tosh and Owen were dead...boo!) and I'm just loving rewriting it. :)
Of course Tosh is at risk of being head-hunted by Tony Stark! Makes perfect sense to me. I love the pride and love that Ianto has for Tosh. They really are two of a kind... :)
Tony loves having scarily smart people around him, and Tosh definitely qualifies.

I just adore Ianto and Tosh's friendship, and writing it is so much fun. Glad you like it too. :)