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Myfanwy 2

October 2018



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Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter Ten

Ghosts of the Collider - Chapter Ten
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: Well, this is the final chapter of this particular story.  Next up, is "Remember", the Dragon-verse version of "Adam", which will most likely post after the holidays.  I also have a future-fic ready to post, and a short sequel to "The Breaking" that should go up for Christmas.  Stay tuned!

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?

11 September 2008

Ianto managed to find himself, Toshiko, and Patrick a flight that would get them back into Cardiff by late afternoon, which meant they would be staying in Geneva for a little bit longer.

The team – joined once more by Clint Barton – had breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. Patrick was the last to join them, but he looked very much better than he had the night before, inhaling his coffee and ordering the biggest stack of pancakes he could get. Ianto gave them their flight information, after which Toshiko called Kathy to let her know when she would be home.

Ianto tried to call Jack, but his phone went right to voicemail.

He left the message, but continued to stare at his mobile until Martha asked him what was wrong.

“Jack didn’t answer,” the dragon said, puzzled. “He never turns his mobile off.”

“They had a call-out last night, right?” Toshiko asked. When Ianto nodded, she went on, “Maybe there was something about what they went to retrieve that damaged Jack’s phone? It wouldn’t be the first time.”

She had a point. In fact, there was a special fund for damaged or destroyed phones, because Torchwood went through them like Myfanwy did with chocolate bars.

“Well, he’ll get the message if his phone is working,” Ianto replied, “and I’ll go ahead and call the land line…”

He dialled it, and after about three rings Deborah answered the line. “Tourist Information Office, Mermaid Quay, Deborah Morrison speaking.”

“Deborah, it’s Ianto.”

“Ianto!” She sounded very happy to hear from him. “Please tell me you’re all coming back soon.”

He laughed. “Yes, our flight comes into Cardiff at 4:25pm. Is everything alright?”

“Oh yes,” the young woman answered, “I’m just a bit tired of Owen’s complaining about the quality of the coffee and Jack looking like someone kicked his puppy.”

Ianto felt a warm glow in his chest, knowing that Jack had missed him. “I don’t know why Owen complains…I’m the one who taught you to use the coffee machine, and you caught onto it quickly.” He didn’t add that he’d also once tried to show Owen, but the prickly doctor had nearly destroyed the machine the first time he’d attempted to use it.

“Swears he can tell the difference…oh, Jack, Rhys, and Owen are on their way back, I see them on the CCTV. Better get them at least some caffeine brewing.”

“They were out on another Rift call?” Ianto frowned. He knew about the callout late last night, but it must have been a bad one if they were only just now coming back to base.

Deborah chuckled. “I think you’re forgetting the time difference, Ianto…oh, looks like there’s someone with them I don’t recognise. Let me have Jack give you a call as soon as he can, okay?”

“Sounds good.” Yes, the dragon had forgotten that Cardiff was an hour behind Geneva. But that went right out of his head at Deborah’s comment about the team bringing someone in with them. He wanted to stay on the line long enough to get an explanation but knew Jack would read him in as soon as he could. “See you when we get back.”

“Safe flight!”

Ianto hung up, chewing his lip thoughtfully. Could it be someone who’d been left by the Rift? But wouldn’t Jack have taken them to Flat Holm? Why bring them back to the Hub? Hell, Rhys hadn’t been informed about the island yet; Owen knew, because he was the perfect person to have on call for medical emergencies, and Toshiko helped out sometimes with the facility’s hardware.

“What’s wrong?” Patrick asked.

“Looks like someone came through the Rift,” the dragon answered slowly. “The team was bringing them back to the Hub, according to Deborah.”

“Wait,” Clint cut in, “this Rift thing you have in Cardiff…it drops people off? From where?”

“Pretty much anywhere,” Toshiko answered, taking a sip of her juice. “The Rift has one end anchored in Cardiff, but the other end vacillates through space and time. If someone came through…they could be from anywhere and anytime. We mostly get pieces and odds and ends of technology, but every once in a while…some poor soul is deposited to Earth.”

“The Rift can also take away,” Ianto murmured, thinking of the damaged people that they were taking care of on Flat Holm. The ones that had been sucked in and then dumped back out were the ones in the worst shape; the ones who would never be the same, no matter what treatment there was available. His mind went to poor Jonah Bevin, who screamed his life away with only short periods of lucidity, and he couldn’t help but shudder a little.

Clint was staring at Patrick, who managed to shovel two heaping forks’ full of pancake into his mouth before noticing. “What?” he asked, swallowing.

“Are you sure you want to be in a place where you might be scooped up and taken away at the whim of some sort of weird space/time anomaly?” the SHIELD agent asked, worry in his face and voice.

Patrick shrugged. “Someone has to do it.” He put his fork down. “Sure, I didn’t know what I was getting into when I went to that first interview, but when it was all explained to me…I realised it was where I wanted to be. And yes, I could do some good with the FBI if I’d stayed with them, but what Torchwood does…it may start in Cardiff, but there are some things that we deal with that could possibly have world-wide consequences. And it’s certainly not pretty, but I’m doing this because it’s my contribution to the planet even though no one will ever know I’ve just saved the family down the road…or the population of the Earth. It’s important, what we do, and I’m proud to do it.”

Ianto couldn’t help but smile, his heart warming at the American’s words. “And we’re proud that you’re a part of our team,” he said, putting his hand on Patrick’s shoulder.

“A part of our family,” Toshiko added, toasting him with her glass.

The tips of Patrick’s ears turned pink, and he went back to his breakfast with a vengeance. Martha laughed, punching him lightly in the shoulder.

“I guess this means I get to report back that you’ve found your calling,” Clint said, his smile belying his serious tone.

Ianto could understand why that would be important to Patrick’s own family. While he knew that it had been Patrick’s grandfather, Canton Everett Delaware III, to have forwarded his CV to him and Jack, he couldn’t have known exactly what he would be getting Patrick into. Hearing from Clint Barton that Patrick was alright and thriving would be a relief to them all.

He was concerned that Patrick’s family had obviously been worried, though he didn’t bring it up. Instead, he said, “And if you could please tell whoever it is shipping Patrick explosives in diplomatic packages that he’s been busted and to please stop?”

Clint laughed, choking on a bit of bacon as he did so. He took a swig of his coffee, managing to bring the coughing under control. “I’ll be more than happy to deliver that message.”

“Of course,” Ianto went on, “if whoever this is can come up with a creative way to get such explosives to Patrick without Jack and I finding out…well, creativity is always appreciated.”

“They never catch whoever it is who hacks eBay once a month or so,” Toshiko said innocently, promptly munching on her toast to avoid saying anything else.

“Because I’m sure the Director of the Torchwood Institute and his Second in Command have better things to do than to monitor eBay,” Martha replied, giving the dragon a side-eye he could feel through his temple.

“Of course,” Ianto answered matter-of-factly. “We’re both far too busy to pay much attention to what happens online…and what new shoes Toshiko happens to wear into the Hub on any given day.” He gave his technician a grin. “I did like those boots you had on last week. Were they any particular brand?”

“Salvatore Ferragamo.” Toshiko looked smug. “Oh, and I found another Dogon Sixth Eye that really shouldn’t have been left to its own devices. It should have arrived at the Hub by now, given the slowness of the mail.”

Ianto rolled his eyes. “At the rate those Eyes show up for auction, I’m surprised the Dogon race aren’t extinct.” He’d have to ask Deborah if any packages had arrived for him when they arrived home.

“You really need to explain that to me,” Clint demanded, his eyes wide like a child who was being shown a roomful of candy. “Do these Dogon really have six eyes and what’s so special about it?”

The dragon chuckled. “That is a long story, and one that will most likely have to wait. Shouldn’t you and Martha be getting back to CERN soon?”

Martha nodded. “You’re right. I have patients to look after and more clean-up to do.”

“Yeah,” Clint made a face, “I should probably get back to what I was sent over to do…which is look after the baby scientists. I’m sure Sitwell is grinding his teeth and cursing my name right about now.”

“Finish up eating,” Ianto replied, “and thanks again for your help, Clint.”

“No problem,” the SHIELD agent answered. “There was no way I was gonna go back to Coulson and tell him that his favourite nephew ended up dying in a tunnel in Switzerland.”

“I’m actually his only nephew,” Patrick pointed out. “And you know that, Barton.”

He just grinned winningly. This just cemented Ianto’s opinion of the man that he was a smart-arse and wasn’t ashamed of the fact. He found himself thinking that Clint Barton would actually fit in very well with the rest of the team, and wished he and Jack had been the ones to recruit him. Oh well…at least they had an ally within SHIELD, which was a bonus out of this mission.

The group finished their breakfast, and then went their separate ways, Ianto making certain that Barton had his business card in case the agent was ever in Cardiff. The archer gave the dragon an irreverent, two-fingered saluted and then presented his arm to Martha, offering to escort her back to CERN. Martha accepted gracefully, calling back over her shoulder saying that she’d call once she was back in London.

Ianto found he was going to miss both of them.


The flight back to Cardiff was nerve-wracking for the dragon, and he was glad to finally be back on solid ground once more. And it wasn’t just because being trapped in what was basically a tin-can; he still hadn’t heard from Jack.

Together the three of them made their way through the crowds at Cardiff International, and Ianto took a deep breath of the filtered, overly-cold air of the airport. Even though it tasted artificial on his tongue, the dragon ignored that part of it and enjoyed it for what it was…the breath of home.

They headed toward baggage claim, and Ianto had expected to see someone from the team to meet them there…but there was no one.

He frowned, reaching into his pocket for his mobile. He turned it on, noticing that there were still no messages waiting for him. So, there’d been no call-outs; Jack would have phoned to let him know if no one was being sent to pick them up.

“What’s wrong?” Patrick asked, manhandling one of their bags off the carousel. It looked like it might have been Toshiko’s.

“I was expecting at least Deborah to be here to meet us,” Toshiko said before Ianto could speak.

“So was I.” Ianto speed-dialled Jack’s mobile.

It went straight to voice mail.

The frown turned into an unhappy press of his lips. Alright, he could see Jack’s phone getting damaged in some way, but it had been hours since he’d last tried to call his mate, and he should have had a new mobile by now. There was absolutely no reason for Jack not to answer.

Worry coiled deep in his stomach. Something was very wrong.

Hands shaking slightly, Ianto dialled the main Hub landline. It rang six times before it went to the machine.

No, something was more than wrong.

“We need to get back to the Hub,” he growled. “Neither Jack nor Deborah are answering there.”

Toshiko had her mobile out, and judging from the look on her face whatever number she’d called was doing the same thing. “Nothing from Owen, either. I’m not sure I even want to attempt to try Rhys at this point, out of fear he won’t answer as well.”

“We’ll get a cab back to the Plass,” Ianto ordered. “Patrick, make sure your weapon is ready, just in case.”

“No problem, Boss.” The American already had his suitcase on the floor, and was unzipping it and retrieving his sidearm and ammunition. He was getting some strange looks, but he didn’t seem to notice as he dug the gun, holster, and spare clips out from under his shirts, tucking it into his belt and the clips in his jacket pocket. He threw everything back into case without any sort of care as to the condition of his clothes.

Both Patrick and Toshiko had their game faces on. They knew something bad must have occurred to have made the rest of the team incommunicado. Ianto glanced at each in turn; Patrick gave him a firm nod, while Toshiko met his eyes with an expression of fierce determination.

No one messed with their family, if that was indeed the case. Ianto didn’t have any reason to think otherwise, since it looked like the entire team was down.

He grabbed the handle of his case and strode toward the exit doors, Patrick and Toshiko flanking him with their own luggage. Ianto could feel the wrath growing as he stopped at the taxi stand, not having to wait long at all for one to stop in front of them. The driver helped them stow their luggage in the boot of his cab, and it was an intense silence as the trio rode back toward the Hub.

Ianto chewed his thumbnail as Cardiff whizzed past. He didn’t see any of it, his mind fixed on his mate and what could have caused the lack of response from his and Toshiko’s phone calls. Certainly, they could have been called out, but Jack would have left some sort of message on Ianto’s mobile if that had been the case, and not every phone they’d tried would have gone straight to message. Especially not the one in the Hub; Deborah didn’t go out into the field, and she would have been left there to man the Tourist Office even if the others had gone out on a Rift alert.

Of course, she could have been on the way to pick them up at the airport, but once again there would have been a message left for Ianto to receive once they’d deplaned, if just to keep them from catching a cab like they had done. Of course Deborah had her own mobile, and the dragon attempted it while they were sitting at a traffic signal, but to no avail.

This wasn’t good at all, that no one was answering.

He heard a quiet clicking sound, and Ianto turned to regard Patrick, who had his gun tucked into his lap and was checking the clip and action, trying to do it silently enough that their driver wouldn’t catch on to what he was doing. Patrick glanced over, meeting Ianto’s eyes, and the dragon could see the concern and determination in them. He knew that whatever happened, he’d have both Patrick and Toshiko at his back.

It didn’t seem to take any time at all to arrive at the Plass. The cab let them off at the entrance on Bute Road, and the three of them collected their luggage and headed across the Plass, ducking into the early evening crowds as they made their way toward Torchwood’s entrance on the Quay. “Alright,” Ianto said, bringing them to a halt near the invisible lift. “I’m going to take the lift down. Patrick, I want you and Toshiko to go through the main entrance. Tosh, you’ll need to cut the alarm on the cog door before you go in. I’d like to have the advantage of surprise if something is wrong.”

“And if there isn’t?” she asked, even though the dragon could tell she believed like he did, that the team had somehow been compromised.

“Then the Jack and Owen will get to laugh their arses off at us for being paranoid.”

“God, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Owen’s shit,” Patrick sighed, sounding very put-upon. “Please let there be something wrong…”

Ianto couldn’t help but shake his head, a smile half-forming on his face. He knew Patrick didn’t mean it like that, but he could certainly go along with the sentiment. Owen could be a right prat when he had something to tease about.

Toshiko smacked him in the shoulder. “I can take care of the door, don’t worry.”

“I always do, of course.” He did. The majority of his team were painfully human, and anything could happen to them at any time. He and Jack, though…they would be forever, unless the dragon himself received some sort of catastrophic injury, leaving Jack alone…no, he would do everything in his power to prevent that from occurring.

“I’ll give you both five minutes,” he went on, “and then I’ll head down.” He wished they had their comms, but hadn’t taken them with when they’d left for Geneva, since there would have been no reason to. And, because of events, there was only one of the special comms left after their adventure at CERN; two had met sticky ends in the Collider tunnel, and one had been smashed to pieces when Oliver Harrington had taken Martha hostage. They would be going in without communications, and it made Ianto nervous.

However, there was nothing for it. “The sound of the lift should distract whoever is down in the Hub from you both going in. Toshiko, there should be a stun gun in the drawer under the counter in the Tourist Office, so you won’t be unarmed.” Deborah had asked for one, for self-defence, and she’d become quite good at using it.

He pulled the ever-present stopwatch from his waistcoat pocket. “You have five minutes from…now.” He clicked the button and set it running.

Ianto watched as his friends strode down the Plass and toward Mermaid Quay. He took a deep breath then stepped onto the paving stone for the invisible lift, pulling his wheeled case up after him, not wanting to leave it on the Plass for anyone to find. He kept his eye on the sweeping hand of the stopwatch as he pulled the key fob to his Audi from his trouser pocket, where he’d hooked the ‘key’ to the lift’s mechanism to his key ring ever since Suzie had cobbled one together for him. Toshiko had improved upon the design, and now it closely resembled a car alarm control.

His heart began beating faster the closer the time came for him to descend into the Hub. Ianto found himself praying to the Great Dragons that he was being overly paranoid and that Jack would get the chance to tease him mercilessly for days for coming in, metaphorical guns blazing. He didn’t want to even consider that something was wrong just under his feet.

But, if there was, then he and his two teammates would do something about it.

The stopwatch hit five minutes, and Ianto pressed the red button on his so-called car remote. The lift rumbled into life, dropping him down through the ground level of the Plass and into the Hub.

As he went deeper, he passed Myfanwy’s nest, and Ianto could hear the pteranodon rustling within. She usually greeted anyone coming down the lift, but this time she didn’t rouse.

Ianto didn’t know if he should be worried about that, as well.

Down below, the floor of the Hub got closer. The interior of the Torchwood Hub was dark and quiet, and Ianto realised that the team must really be out…and then he caught the sense of his mate, somewhere below him, and Ianto’s unease grew. He would have expected Jack to come out to meet him, but there was no movement at all in the main area, only gloom with the faint lights of the various computer terminals winking almost merrily in the darkness.

It was even more disturbing than the LHC tunnel, and he shivered slightly as the stone ground to a halt.

Leaving his luggage on the lift, Ianto stepped off onto the mesh metal plating of the Hub’s floor, his senses on red alert. It was utterly quiet, only the drip of water the only accompaniment to his exploration of what was one of his homes, now strange and surreal.

He didn’t even sense the presence behind him, but he did hear the soft voice whisper in his ear, “Remember…”

A sharp pain pierced Ianto’s head, and there was a sudden upsurge in music…music only he could hear, the song of the Earth Dragon, living within him since his sister’s mating flight oh so long ago.

And then, everything went black.


In the words of Charlie Brown, "AAaAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"

Can't wait for more :D
I'm going to read this in full at A03 later but YAY for upcoming fic!
LOVE Patrick and Clint's snark!

But...but.... nnnnnnoooooooo!!!!!!

Cliffhanger!!! :(
OH NOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait for the next story! :D
Nooooooooo! Nonononono! *After* Christmas?! NO!!!

Other than that - great update! ;-)
What a start!
What a cliff-hang... Nooooo! Another cliff-hanger! ^_^

Hope Ianto's okay.
... And I hope Adam's in a lot if pain (does that put me in Santa's naughty list?!?)

I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapter :)
OMG What is happening!!!! I have a sneaking suspicion that Grey and John Hart have arrived! I am dying to know what is going on! :)
Loved the conclusion of the story - well except for the evil cliffhanger!
it has long. I never liked this ghost story but you managed to transform it.
For cons, the end is: argghhhh
I'm lucky not to have to wait!