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Myfanwy 2

December 2017

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Myfanwy 2

The Torchwood Murders - Chapter Nine

The Torchwood Murders - Chapter Nine
Author: Milady Dragon
Series: Dragon-Verse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Jack/Ianto; Gwen/Owen, Gwen/Rhys (mentioned)
Warnings: Language, violence
Spoilers: Up through Torchwood S1, E8, "They Keep Killing Suzie"
Disclaimer:  I don't own Torchwood, I would have treated it better.
Author's note: This is based on the episode "They Keep Killing Suzie", although adapted to the Dragon-Verse.  Once again, the dating is taken from several fan-made chronologies and from the TARDIS Index File. 


Summary:  The team is called in to investigate a murder where someone has implicated Torchwood.  Can they follow the trail and find the murderer before there's another victim?



 

25 November 2007

 

Ianto Had just finished making the next round of coffee when the lockdown alarm sounded, and the lights went out. 

Luckily he was prepared; he had a torch under the counter, and with his sharper-than-average eyesight he was able to find it very easily. 

“Ianto!’ 

Jack’s shout drew him from the tiny kitchen.  He clicked the torch on, heading to where Jack and Owen were standing by the entrance into the lower levels.  “Jack,” he answered, holding the long silver light just out of the captain’s eyes.

“What happened?” Jack snapped, full into leader mode.

Ianto unconsciously straightened.  “I have no idea, just that we’re in lockdown.”

“Then we need to find out a way to reverse it.”  Jack strode toward Toshiko’s terminal, where the technician was trying desperately to get some sort of response from the mainframe.  “Anything, Toshiko?”

“Everything’s gone,” she answered, frustrated.  “Computers…mobiles…the lifts…everything.  We’re sealed in.”

“How the hell did we go into lockdown in the first place?” Owen growled.

“It was some sort of override,” she answered.  “I had a split second’s warning before everything went down.  It was definitely done from the inside.”

“But who would do it?” Gwen asked.  She looked a little spooked in the glare from Ianto’s torch.

That was a good question.  “None of us would,” Ianto said, certain of that.  There was no reason for it at all.

“Wait a minute,” Jack said, eyes widening, “we have a guest!”  He turned on his heel, heading back down toward the vaults.

Confused, Ianto followed, knowing that at least Owen was at his back.  “That’s fucking impossible!” the medic exclaimed.

Ianto had to agree.  How could Max Tresilian, locked as he was in a cell, be able to shut down the entire Hub? 

They slammed into the corridor outside the cells, coming to a stop in front of Tresilian’s cell.  The man was sitting on the floor, mumbling to himself. 

What the man was saying just added to the dragon’s confusion.

…stopped for me.

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality

Because I could not stop for Death,…”

“Is that a poem?” Owen asked incredulously.

“Emily Dickinson,” Ianto said.  Jack nodded his agreement.

“Doesn’t seem the type, does he?” Jack asked rhetorically.  “Torchwood!” he shouted.

Max didn’t respond, which was a surprise to Ianto, remembering the man’s reaction to the word back at his home. 

Jack was shaking his head.  “Look, we know Suzie did something to him, maybe even programmed him to become a killer.  Why couldn’t she have programmed him to do something else?”

“You mean speak poetry at a random moment?”  Owen scoffed.

Ianto looked at Jack, and saw him reach the same conclusion that he did.  “Suzie arranged the lockdown,” the dragon answered for both of them. 

“Oh, come on!” Owen exclaimed.  “What the hell would she want with a lockdown after she’s been dead for months?”

That was the question.  Ianto didn’t have the answer, but it fit with the few facts they’d been able to glean.    “She must have installed a voice command before she killed herself,” he went on.

“Max was just a Trojan Horse,” Jack added.  “She wanted us to find him, and bring him here.  She programmed him to kill and, knowing we’d go after him and bring him her, she implanted a verbal trigger that was lock down the entire Hub.   It was all a set-up.”

“And I ask again: why?” Owen looked decidedly put out.

The realization was blinding, and Ianto had to be in awe of the massive amount of planning this had taken on Suzie’s part.  “She wanted us to resurrect her.”

**********

They’d gathered back at Toshiko’s work station.  Toshiko was still trying to end the lockdown, but wasn’t having any effect.  Ianto knew what Suzie was capable of; while she’d never meet Toshiko’s level, she really hadn’t had to.  All she had to do was shut everything down and make it impossible to bring the power back up.

“It makes a horrible sort of sense,” Jack said, leaning against the desk.  “She gives Max a whole complex of subconscious triggers, using the Retcon to make him tractable.”

“Like,” Toshiko went on, pounding uselessly on her keyboard, “if Max doesn’t see her in so long, the orders kick in, and he follows Suzie’s programming.”

“And the whole chain of events forces us to bring Suzie back,” Jack snarled.

“But her research says she’s too far dead to be brought back,” Owen argued.  “And if even if that wasn’t the case, then she would’ve only lasted a couple of minutes anyway.  What’s the bloody point?”

“I don’t think we’ll ever know,” Jack answered.  “And I’m not about to bring her back to ask.”  He shot a glare at Gwen, who met it with an embarrassed shrug.

“How was I supposed to know that’s what she wanted us to do?” she asked, although she’d lost the belligerent tone she’d had ever since she’d suggested using the glove in the first place.

That started a small argument, which Ianto promptly tuned out.  There had to be a way to get a signal out of the Hub; he just had to work it out.

The dragon might have not traveled beyond Ddraig Llyn for centuries, but he’d been well aware of technological advances.  He’d been one of the first in the village to get the internet at the inn, mainly to accommodate the few travelers he did get.  That had led to much exploration on his part, and he’d been the first in the village to own a mobile.  He’d known generally how they worked, but it hadn’t been until he and Jack had taken over Torchwood Cardiff that Ianto had actually indulged himself and learned all he could get his hands on about human-kind’s hand-held devices.

Ianto had also learned everything he could about Torchwood’s mainframe, becoming even more knowledgeable in it than Suzie had been.  Jack had teased him that the supercomputer had liked the dragon, and Ianto didn’t argue with him about it.  He suspected that she did, indeed.

It had been when Toshiko was hired that he’d gone completely nuts, because he’d found someone actually willing to teach him.  He’d learned all about signals and satellites and how waves could be bounced around the Earth…

He looked up at the water tower, and smiled.

“ – just saying you should actually listen to your teammates every once in a while,” Owen was saying, “because we sure as hell know what we’re talking about.”

“You’ve all been down here too long,” Gwen snapped back.  “You’ve forgotten what it’s like to be human.”

“I wish,” Ianto found himself answering, which caused Toshiko to giggle and Jack to snort playfully.

He didn’t look up.  He was fairly certain Gwen had just turned her glare on him, not that it mattered.  He had better things to worry about.

It took him two minutes, using the small penknife Toshiko had given him as a birthday present two years ago.  He unscrewed the back of his mobile, found the internal antenna, and fiddled with it.  Then he sealed the phone back up, and tested it. 

He then gained their attention by waving the mobile under their collective noses.  “I’ve got reception,” he announced, feeling justifiably proud of himself.

 That stopped the argument dead in its tracks.  “How’d you do that?” Jack asked.  “We’re sealed off!”

Ianto smirked. “I bounced the signal off the water tower.”

The smile that Jack favored him with lit a warmth in his chest that Ianto didn’t think would vanish in a long time.  “Nice work,” he drawled. “So, who do we call?”

“I have an idea,” the dragon answered, “but I’m not sure you’re going to like it.”

Jack stared at him for a moment, and Ianto felt as if he was trying to read his mind.  Then he nodded decisively.  “Call her.”

“Call who?” Gwen demanded.

Ianto didn’t answer; instead, he scrolled through his contacts, hitting the one he wanted.  The phone on the other end rang twice, before it was answered.  “Swanson.”

“Good evening, Detective,” Ianto greeted her. 

“Jones, what a surprise.  I was just actually thinking about you.”

“Were you?  Should I be flattered?”

She laughed.  “Probably not.  What can I do for you?”

He glanced over at Jack, silently asking him just how much he should say to her.  At Jack’s nod, he said, “We’ve managed to track down the killer.”

There was silence on the other end, and Ianto was just beginning to think the call might have dropped when Swanson said, “I honestly didn’t think you’d tell me when you did.”

“I’m glad I could surprise you.”

“You did.  Who is he?”

“A man named Max Tresilian.  He was in Pilgrim, that group I had Davidson tell you about.”

“Yeah, we got a report on him.  What made you think it was him?”

“I’ll be more than glad to explain that to you, however there’s a problem and I’d like to get your help.”

Another round of silence greeted his statement.  “And how can I help the high-and-mighty Torchwood?”

Ianto took a deep breath.  He knew he couldn’t tell her about Suzie, and how she programmed Tresilian into being her willing killer.  And yet, he wanted to keep it close enough to the truth so that Swanson wouldn’t call him on anything he was about to tell her.  “It turns out that you were right: the murders did have something to do with Torchwood, only in that an enemy of ours recruited Tresilian to do it and to draw us out in the open.  When we caught up with Tresilian, we found out he was programmed to get into our base and to lock us down.  We’re tapped inside.”

“You’ve got to be shitting me,” Swanson exclaimed.

“I wish I was, believe me.”

“Well, this is certainly a day of surprises.  I can’t believe you’re actually admitting that the killings were indeed linked to you, however peripherally.  You’re gonna owe me for this, Jones.”

Ianto grinned.  “I’ll take you out to dinner.”

Wait…did Jack just look jealous?

He was brought back to matters at hand by Swanson’s delighted laughter.  “You’re on.  But I want that fancy Italian place near the Center.  I have a craving for bruschetta with tomato and olive oil.”

“All right, you’re on.”

“Okay…so, what can I do for you, Jones?”

“I’ll need you to look up Emily Dickinson.  The lockdown code is somehow tied into her poetry.”

The sound of keys clacking came over the connection.  “Thank God for Google,” she said.  “Am I looking for any particular poem?”

“Find ‘I Could Not Stop for Death,” Ianto instructed.  “That’s the poem that caused the lockdown in the first place.”

“Got it.”

 “Could you read me out the next verse?”

“Sure.  But what if this doesn’t work?”

“Then it looks like you’ll really earn that Italian dinner.”

“Only for you, Jones.  Only for you…”

**********

They ended up going through several poems, Swanson commenting that Dickinson was a “bloody bundle of laughs.”  Ianto had to agree, the poet seemed to have been obsessed with dark themes, and he couldn’t tell if he was getting depressed because the lack of success, or because the poetry was bringing down his mood.

Ianto was just about to ask for another line when Toshiko waved her hand to get his attention.  “Wait, this isn’t working.  Maybe if words caused the lockdown, numbers could reverse it…I need the ISBN number for the original book.”

“Did you hear that?” Ianto asked Swanson.

“Yeah, I did.” More keyboard clacking accompanied what must have been yet another internet search.  Christ, do you have any idea how many editions of Emily Dickinson there are out there?”

“How are you going to input it?” Owen asked.  “The keyboard’s not working.”

“No,” Toshiko answered, “but the membrane underneath might pick up the code and mainframe might recognize it.”

“Is there any way to narrow down to what edition you need?” Swanson asked.  “There are over 1,800 hits on Amazon alone.”

Ianto repeated what Swanson said, and jumped when Jack slapped his own forehead.  “Oh, I’m an idiot.  Try The Complete Poems.”

A few seconds later, Swanson said, “Yeah, that narrowed it down. Try this…”  She rattled off a number, and Ianto repeated it back to Toshiko…and nothing happened.

“Is there another one?” he asked.

“Um…yeah.  How about…”  She gave him another…

And that one worked. 

“That did it,” Ianto said, grinning.  “You more than earned that dinner, Detective.”

“Glad I could help.” He could tell she was smiling as well. 

“Thank you.”

“AS I said before…only for you, Jones.  You’re the best of them all, and a friend besides.  Now, I need to take my exhausted arse home.  Call me to arrange that dinner.”

“I shall.  Good night, Kathy.”

“See ya, Ianto.”

He flipped his mobile closed, sighing.  She had the right idea; the dragon was tired, from the excitement of the day and the lack of sleep last night. 

“Owen,” Jack said, “We need to sedate Max Tresilian so he doesn’t trigger another lockdown.  Toshiko, go through every bit of code you can and find out whatever Suzie did and fix it.  Gwen, go home to Rhys, and tell him what a wonderful boyfriend he is.  Ianto, I want to talk to you in my office.”  With that, Jack turned and headed into said office, leaving Ianto with the distinct impression that the captain wasn’t happy about what he’d promised Detective Swanson in order to get her help.

 



Comments

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It's okay to be jealous, Jack. It means you care! Ianto isn't going to run away with Kathy, though, so you can back off on the testosterone just a tad!
I do love a jealous!Jack. :)

Well, you and I know he doesn't have anything to worry about...
Aw, jealous!Jack. Silly boy, he ought to know by now that Ianto only has eyes for him, so to speak. Then again, maybe he can take it as a bit of a reality check, and realise how Ianto felt every time he made googly eyes at Gwen.

Glad that they never fell into the trap of resurrecting Suzie, and hopefully Gwen feels a right fool... although her argument with Owen would suggest she's learnt nothing about trusting the judgement of her teammates. Silly, silly woman.

Have I said recently how much I love this series...?
Jealous!Jack is a good thing. And you're right about the googly eyes part. *laughs*

They should have been able to solve the case without her. All the clues were there, if they just followed them. Although, the science was so bad in this episode maybe even a professional CSI might have had problems!

And yes, Gwen sticks by her own morality even in the face of being completely wrong.

You have...but I do like to hear it. :)
Ahhh poor Jack feels left out *Hugs Jack*
Jack will feel much better in the next chapter *winks*
Great chapter. I love that you skipped the "Swanson gets to humiliate TW in front of the whole police force" bit. That part of the show rankled the hell out of me, not that professionalism was ever exactly a key element in the show. The way you wrote it here showed the respect and common courtesy there should have been. I really like that.

Poor jealous Jack. You should know by now that you're the only one Ianto wants, and if you don't, you're an idiot.
Thanks! I'm glad you liked that, Swanson might not like Torchwood very much, but I didn't see the need for humiliation. Besides, she likes Ianto. And Italian food.

Jealous!Jack is a good Jack. Just saying.
DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN

Jealous!Jack!!!!! LOVE IT. Jack, you better tell Ianto what a wonderful boyfriend he is! MAWHAHAHAA. Sorry. Couldn't help it. Begging to be said, even if they haven't consummated what they are. :D
*cues dramatic music*

I do love jealous!Jack.

As for consummation...hm... *grins*
a green eyed jack. i like the fact that swanson had a chuckle and helped ianto with their 'ahem' problem. always loved the fact that it was ianto that figured out how to get the phone to work so take that rtd. honestly it is like the man never bothered to watch his own damn show. gwen still makes me nervous i don't think she has given up on her idea to bring suzie back.
No, I'm convinced RTD never watched any of it. But then he was always saying Torchwood didn't have any canon. Silly man.

I do like Kathy, I really do. And I also loved that Ianto was the one to figure things out with the phone. I just had to keep that in.
As always, you make it wonderful as well as sensible. And I can tell Jack is feeling the poke of Mr. Jealousy's pitchfork.

Thank you. I'm glad it was sensible. The episode was filled with inaccuracies I felt I just had to fix it.

Maybe we should be glad that the Ianto in this universe doesn't have a scythe...Jack just gets poked with a pitchfork here!
This was a great chapter as always. I can't wait for the next one
Thank you!

Next one should be up Friday. :)
I love Swanson - they should totally have hired her instead of Gwen.

And bless jealous!Jack. He did sort of possibly marry Ianto in his dreams last night... But he should know by now that Kathy's not a threat
Oh, I agree. Swanson would have been so much better.

Haha! Yes, I suppose he did, in a way... :)
And there we go again...testosterone flying....It's only dinner, Jack! Get over it!
*ducks the flying testosterone*

Jack just needs a little reassurance. I'm sure Ianto will be glad to give it to him. *winks*
*giggles in delight*

And yeah it would be good if they sedate Max, really what if he rattles this poem again....and again...and again...D:

Jealous!Jack strikes...and now I am off to buy bruschetta.
Yep, it would be a pain to keep having to get themselves out of lockdown every few minutes. LOL!

Bruschetta does sound good...
Aaww I love that Jack is jealous and thinks Ianto asked her for a date! Bless him.

I love this, I really love that you've played out the whole episode without Suzie! I mean I actually think in canon she is a great character and the episode needs her, but this works really well for your AU.
Suzie really is a great character, I agree. And honestly, seeing Suzie sucking Gwen's life out...*cough*

But I really wanted this to play out like a murder mystery, so I was glad it worked. And jealous!Jack...oh yes. *grins*

Glad you liked it!
*bounces happily* smart!Ianto, jealous!Jack...i love it to bits!
D xxx
Thanks hon! Next chapter is going to be fun, I think.

More soon!
I always love a strong female cop. And I actually thought it was very funny in the epi when Swanson got her mates around the phone to listen to Torchwood beg for help. It spoke t5o Jack's need to be arrogant, and how cheesed off the regular cops were at Tw's routine habit of blowing off all the work that the police force did.

And if Jack has any sense at all, he will go with Ianto to take Kathy out for dinner, and treat her like a princess.She deserves it after all the crap TW has put her through. One woman's humble opinion.
XOXOXO
Torchwood really does have a bad rep, doesn't it? Yes, I could have had that back in, but Kathy likes Ianto too much, and the cops respect him. Now, of course if Jack had been on the phone...well, she wouldn't have hesitated to call her fellows around for a bit of Torchwood baiting.

Well, if Jack does go, it'll be more as a chaperone, to make sure Kathy doesn't get any ideas, *winks*
Beautiful: Suzie was not out; The glove was not used, they are no longer locked; Gwen has almost felt embarrassed to have offered the glove.
Jack jealous! I hope Ianto takes it as a compliment and proof of the commitment of Jack.
I didn't see that using the glove was needed, all it took was a bit of investigating.

Glad you liked it!
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