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Myfanwy 2

June 2018

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Myfanwy 2

Contagion - Chapter Six

Title:  Contagion
Author:  milady_dragon
Artist: jkivela, whose fantastic art is here and here
Beta: bookwrm89
Genre:  Crossover; Adventure; Romance
Pairing(s):   Jack/Ianto; John/Elena (implied)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 25,268
Warnings:  Violence, Language
Disclaimer:  Torchwood is owned by BBC and Russell T. Davies; the Tomorrow People is owned by Freemantle and Roger Price
Summary:  After the events of “Cyberwoman”, Ianto vanishes and Jack discovers yet another secret: that Ianto was a Tomorrow Person – Homo Superior – the next stage in human evolution, with powers beyond those of normal humans.  Three months later, Jack discovers a plot against the Tomorrow People themselves.  Can he find Ianto and work with him again, in order to prevent genocide?




Chapter Six           

Ianto settled on the sofa, making himself comfortable.  He thought about what was most likely going on deeper into the base, and a frisson of fear passed through him.  He hoped Jack would be back soon…“What I’m about to tell you is a secret that perhaps only a handful of people know.  It’s for the safety of those involved, because if word got out they’d be hunted by most agencies on the planet.  I’m trusting you with this information.”

“You can trust me, Ianto,” she answered solemnly.

He nodded, acknowledging her comment.  “First of all, evolution hasn’t stopped.  Humans may be top of the food chain now, but at some point in the future that won’t be the case; another race will evolve from human beings, with greater powers and abilities than what normal humans possess.”

“What sort of abilities?” Toshiko asked, the scientist within her getting interested.

“Mental abilities; telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, and other minor powers,” Ianto answered.   He didn’t add time manipulation; he didn’t think bringing the Time Guardians into it was necessary.  Besides, it would be millions of years before they eventually evolved from the Tomorrow People themselves.

“That certainly explains a lot of what I saw tonight,” she mused.  “How else do you explain a teenager pulling a door off a reinforced SUV?”

Ianto smirked.  “Exactly.  Back in the early 70’s, the first of this advanced race grew into their powers…or ‘broke out’, as it’s called.  Since then, there have been more and more children breaking out.  In the 80’s Torchwood One put a bounty out on them, hoping to capture one for study.”

“Autopsy, more like,” Toshiko said angrily.       

“They never did get one, though.”

“That’s good.”  She paused.   “Wait…you were at Torchwood One!”

“I was undercover,” he admitted.  “John – our leader – thought it best that we have someone in Torchwood, and I was sent in.  We needed to know if they were getting close to us.”

Toshiko nodded thoughtfully.  “It must have been hard for you, though.”

“It was.  And while London never got close to any of us, I was able to report back about a lot of what they were doing.”  He sighed.  “There’d been a time when we were on good terms with UNIT and the government…but not anymore.  John tried to get them to listen to what was going on, but he was brushed off.  Of course, he was proved right when Canary Wharf fell.”

“I’m a bit confused though,” she said.  “If you can do all of that, all those mind powers…why didn’t you use any of them when…well, you know…happened.”  She shifted uncomfortably.

She was trying to bring up Lisa without bringing up Lisa.  “I couldn’t,” he answered.  “Our powers can be affected by head injuries; when I was thrown across the Hub, I must have hit my head.  It completely scrambled my powers.”  That entire part of events was very fuzzy; he only really remembered waking up to Jack kissing him, and a strange warmth that seemed to course throughout his body. 

“Is that why you vanished?” Toshiko asked shrewdly.  “You were injured?”

“In a way.”  He didn’t want to get into the Prime Barrier; he was fine talking about powers and such, but to him that entire part of the affair was too personal.  He didn’t want to get into what had happened between himself and Jack, mainly because he didn’t want her pity over it.  It was bad enough just mentioning it.   “But honestly, I hadn’t expected to come back, because I thought I’d pretty much burned my bridges behind me.”  He hadn’t expected to miss them, and them him. 

“And that brings us to what happened tonight,” she prompted.

Ianto nodded.  He told her what he knew: that Jack had somehow found out about UNIT coming after them for some reason, and that he’d managed to get a warning out.  He glossed over quite a bit; like where he’d been in all this, and that John had brought him back because of  his ‘connection’ with Jack and Torchwood, and he could tell Toshiko noticed the gaps, but she didn’t say anything. 

“That explains why Jack had me poking around the UNIT system,” she said.  “He gave me a list of parameters to follow, but I couldn’t find anything.”

“Neither could Tim,” Ianto admitted. 

“I have come to the conclusion,” Tim said solemnly, “that any information on the Tomorrow People is either on a dedicated server or kept completely in paper form.”

“Tim is a biotronic artificial intelligence,” Ianto answered Toshiko’s silent question.  “He’s self-determining and self-aware. “

“You’re alive?” she asked, surprised.

“As alive as I can be, with biological components as well as electronic and mechanical,” Tim said, sounding almost shy about it. 

Ianto could tell Toshiko was impressed.  “Who built you?”

“John did,” the supercomputer said.  “He has quite a good brain for a human.”

Ianto snorted.  “John builds most of our equipment,” he answered.  “He has done, since the beginning.”

Toshiko looked interested, and Ianto thought it might be a good idea to warn John that a fellow techie would be hunting him down…no, John could take care of himself.

“Toshiko,” Tim said, “someone is trying to reach your mobile.  I have boosted the signal, and it should be clear to answer.”

She reached into her pocket just as the phone rang.  “It’s Gwen,” she said, glancing at the display.  She flipped it open.  “Yes, Gwen?” 

Ianto stood, in order to give her a bit of privacy, but he couldn’t help but hear her end of the conversation.  He knew that Tim would be monitoring both ends of the call, and if he wanted he could have the blow-by-blow, but didn’t want to spy on either of them. 

“Yes, we’re fine,” Toshiko was saying.  “Jack was hurt, but…yes, he’ll be okay…no, Gwen…yes, I know the SUV was totaled…”

“Let me talk to her.”

Ianto turned.  Jack stood in the entry to the sleeping quarters, wearing what looked like a fresh shirt, his greatcoat tucked over his arm.  He looked just fine; not like he’d recently died.   He was just as Ianto had remembered, and he hadn’t realized just how much he’d missed the captain until that moment.

Jack was staring at him, a leer tugging the corner of his mouth upward.  “Looking good, Mr. Jones.  You should wear jeans more often.” 

The flirting was second nature, and Ianto could tell that it was helping to cover up the wariness in Jack’s eyes.  Ianto could understand; he’d admitted to knowing Jack’s greatest secret, and Jack had to be considering how Ianto had found out.  He wanted to tell Jack that he could trust him, but he didn’t see his former boss believing him after what he’d done.   Yes, Jack had tried to warn them, but then he was a good man, and wouldn’t have been able to stand still and let UNIT hunt them down.

Toshiko grinned, handing Jack her mobile.  “Hello, Gwen…well, I hardly knew we were going to be shot at with a rocket launcher…yes, have the cops release the SUV to you and Owen and have it taken to…” He glanced at Ianto, an eyebrow raised.

Ianto gave him the name of the mechanic he’d found who could be trusted with the vehicle, and Jack relayed that to Gwen.  He listened for a few seconds, then said, “I’m sending Toshiko back to the Hub, and she can explain things…no, I’ll be back in a bit, I need to speak to the people who got us out…no, you can get the story from Toshiko when you see her…no, we’re both perfectly fine.”  He rolled his eyes good-naturedly.  “Yes, mother,” he laughed.  “Toshiko will explain…you are at the Hub?...okay, she’ll meet you and Owen there…good-bye, Gwen.”  He snapped the phone closed, handing it back to Toshiko, then turned to regard John, who’d entered into the main Lab area right behind the captain.  Elena and Paul were hovering, waiting to see what was going to happen next. 

The intensity in the room was so strong Ianto thought he could cut it with a knife.

“Do you mind sending Toshiko back to the Hub?” he asked. 

“Not at all,” John answered.  “We can transport her back whenever she’s ready.”

“How much should I be telling Gwen and Owen?” she asked. 

Jack glanced at John, then Ianto, and back again.  “That’s up to you lot,” he said.

‘And you trust him?’ John asked mentally.

‘I do,’ Ianto answered, wishing John would quit asking him that.   ‘He didn’t have to try to warn us, and it’s put him and his team in danger.  It’s up to you, but I think we should be as truthful as possible.  I’m not saying reveal everything…’

‘But enough for them to understand.’ John nodded, turning back to Toshiko.  “As much as you need to,” he said aloud.  “We do have secrets we’d not want to get out, but pretty much everything Ianto has explained should be fine.  We need to trust each other, if we’re to work together.”

Toshiko nodded.  “And I’m assuming that anything else that we need to know, we’ll be told.”

John smiled.  “Exactly, Ms. Sato.  I’m glad we understand each other.”

She returned the smile.  “We do.  And it’s Toshiko, or Tosh.  Oh, and Ianto says you’re the tech expert around here.”

“I am,” he answered proudly. 

“Then maybe we can talk tech sometime.”

“I look forward to that, Toshiko.”

‘She’s good,’ Elena teased.

‘Got him where he lives,’ Paul joined in.

‘The way to a man’s heart is through his technology,’ Ianto added, not bothering to keep the smile from his face.

‘Shut it, you three,’ John growled half-heartedly. 

Toshiko was looking between the four of them, shaking her head.  “I suppose this is why telepathy is useful…you can talk about someone right in front of them and they not realize it.”  She didn’t really sound upset about it.

“More like giving John a hard time,” Ianto reassured her. 

“Nothing new about that,” Elena laughed.

“This is the respect I get.”  John sounded put-upon.

“That’s the curse of leaders everywhere,” Jack commiserated.  “Toshiko, time you were off.  Fill Gwen and Owen in, and I’ll be along in a bit.”

“You got it.”  She moved forward to hug him once more.  “Don’t be a stranger,” she murmured as Ianto put his arms around her.  “You really were missed.”

It was more than Ianto had expected, and he was touched.  “I won’t be,” he promised as she pulled away. 

John actually escorted her to the jaunting pad.  “It was a pleasure to meet you, Toshiko,” he said gallantly. 

“And you, John,” she smiled. 

‘Quit flirting with her,’ Elena warned playfully.  ‘You’re taken, remember?’

‘Yes, ma’am,’ John snarked back.  “To the Torchwood Hub, Tim.”

“Of course,” the supercomputer answered almost primly. 

Toshiko waved as she faded away.

“Now,” Jack said turning to face them all, “I think it’s time we get down to business.”

“I agree,” John said, motioning the captain toward the sofa.  “Tim, coffees, please.”

“Right away.”  The requested cups appeared on the link table.

“Now, that’s a trick,” Jack said, staring up at Tim’s housing.  “Biological-mechanical construct?”

“That is correct,” Tim answered. 

“Nice technology,” Jack said admiringly. 

“Thank you, Captain.”  If artificial intelligences could blush, Tim would be doing it.

“Great balls, too.”

Ianto should have expected the remark about the four hemispheres on Tim’s housing.  It was just such a ‘Jack’ thing to say.

“Now,” Jack went on, “while I appreciate the warning and the save, I’m a bit concerned over the fact that you’ve been keeping me and my people under surveillance.  I’d really like to know how you managed to hack our communications, and if you’ve managed to get any farther than that.”  He didn’t sound angry or belligerent; merely curious.

“Tim was able to get into the comms,” Ianto answered, with silent prompting from John.  It made sense that he lead the conversation, since it had been Jack who’d warned them, and he above them all knew Jack Harkness.  “Beyond that, he couldn’t get into the mainframe.”

Jack stood, his arms crossed, great coat hanging from his forearms.  “Wanting to check up to see if I was telling the truth?”

Ianto felt himself blushing a little.  “That…and making sure UNIT didn’t pull anything.  I know Tosh is the best, but it never hurts to have back-up.”

The captain nodded.  “Makes sense.  Personally, I wouldn’t trust me, either.  Oh, and thanks for the warning about the ambush.  The idea of one had come to me, but I underestimated UNIT just a bit.  I really didn’t think they’d move against Torchwood like that.”

“We do appreciate your own warning to us, Captain,” Ianto said.  “I’m just sorry you and the team seemed to have been dragged into the middle of it.”

Jack shrugged.  “There wasn’t any way I was going to let UNIT sneak up on you like that.  The Tomorrow People are a force for good on Earth.  They shouldn’t be made a target by a paranoid general with delusions of aliens under his bed.”  He paused for a moment.  “What about the shooter?  I think I remember you saying you apprehended him?”

“We did,” John answered.  “He’s bound and gagged in another room.  We don’t really have the resources to keep him, though.”

“I’ll take him off your hands.  I’ll want to question him, anyway.  I assume you also don’t have interrogation facilities?”

“You would be right.”

“All right.”  Jack slid his coat back on.  “We need to find out who he is, and who ordered him to ambush us.”

“You’re more than welcome to him,” John said.  “Although I do ask that we be allowed to watch any questioning you do.”

Jack looked at him closely.  “I have to warn you:  I’m going to do everything I can to get the information out of him.  It might get ugly.”

John nodded.  “I understand, and we won’t interfere.”

Ianto was a bit surprised by the capitulation.  Perhaps John wasn’t aware of just how…persuasive Jack could be?

‘I remember your memories of that night,’ John reassured him silently.  “I believe I’ll be prepared to witness whatever your captain may try.’

Ianto thought it was being a bit naïve, but didn’t say so.

Comments

I find myself wishing i still had the Tomorrow People book i had way but when now!
I found a bunch of them on eBay when I got back into fandom again. I'm such a sad completist, I think. :)
Hmm, I'm sensing some conflict on the horizon...
Hm...maybe... :D