Title: What Will Be.
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Martha, Gwen.
Summary: Jack calls a team meeting to find out what Tosh has found.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC and RTD
A/N: Usual apologies for mistakes, bad grammar, dodgy plot etc.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy.
Story starts here:
At Tosh’s words Jack and Ianto had frozen. Looking into his Welshman’s beautiful blue eyes Jack saw a gamut of emotions. Anticipation of what Tosh might have found out. Fear that the results of the search could have dire consequences. Hope that answers would be forthcoming, and a need to know, one way or the other, about what the orb was, and what, if anything, it had done to him. Jack was just as nervous as Ianto was about what Tosh had discovered. Standing, he took hold of Ianto’s left hand, the feel of the ring he had placed there both reassuring and calming the immortal.
“ Let’s go and see what Tosh has found out.” Jack gave Ianto what he hoped was an encouraging smile.
“ Should we get the team together ? Don’t want to be accused of hiding something.”
Jack knew what, or rather who, Ianto was referring to. Checking the time he decided it could be a working lunch.
“ Right, why don’t you order in lunch, and I’ll let Tosh know to set up in the boardroom. We can check how Owen and Martha are getting on as well.”
“ Sounds like a good idea. What do you fancy ?”
“ Other than you ?” Jack tried to look innocent, Ianto just gave him a ‘look’. “Sorry, couldn’t resist...How about Chinese ?”
“ Ok. I’ll order and it should be here in about half an hour.”
“ That will give me time to round everyone up.” With that, Jack stole a quick kiss before going down to speak with Tosh and the others, leaving Ianto to order lunch and prepare the coffees.
“ Tosh.” Jack motioned for the tech to start.
“ Ok. These are classified as ‘Memory or Fact Stones’.” Tosh said as she handed round copies of a photograph. The image showed five teardrop shaped stones, approximately eight centimetres in length and four at their widest. All the stones had a marbling effect. Two of them were aqua and white, two more were vibrant yellow and white, while the last one had a pink tinge to the marbling. Also in the picture were two rectangular objects. These looked as if they were made for one of the teardrop stones to be placed in, as there was an indentation that matched the stones shape. As her colleagues looked at the photograph Tosh continued. “ They were salvaged from the wreck of an alien ship that crashed into Ben Nevis in the 70’s.”
“ I remember that. A couple of us went up to give Archie a hand dealing with it.” Jack reminisced, interrupting Tosh. “ We had to get Nessie to make an appearance to distract the press away from the crash site.”
“ Nessie ?” Gwen queried
“ You know..big monster, lives in a lake in Scotland...” Owen helpfully confirmed, with just the hint of sarcasm.
“ Loch.” Ianto automatically corrected.
“ Lake, Loch, whatever. Still a large stretch of water either way.” Owen retorted.
“ You’re saying that the Loch Ness Monster is an alien ?” Gwen looked incredulously at the others. “ But it’s not real !”
“ Don’t let her hear you say that ! She is a big softie really, but doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and if you insult her well... Let’s just say you do not want to have to deal with a pissed off Nessie !” Jack was smiling at the memories of his encounter with the Scottish legend, then realised they had gone rather off topic. “ Sorry Tosh, I digress. You were saying about the crashed ship and the stones found on it.”
“ Archie examined the stones and the rectangular objects found with them. He discovered that the rectangular pieces seemed to be a power source and ‘reads’ the stones, projecting an image to be viewed. Unfortunately, only one of the ‘readers’ was operational, and it had a limited amount of power, consequently only two of the stones were activated and partially viewed. Luckily for us, one of them displayed markings that matched those Ianto remembers being on the orb.”
“ So the orb originates from the same place as the crashed ship.” Martha surmised.
“ No. The ship was, if I remember correctly, a Raetihkan small cruiser, and those markings are definitely not Raetihkan.” Jack responded to Martha’s comment.
“ Jack’s right,” Tosh continued, “ From the limited information gathered before the power source died, it seems the markings where found on a planet called Xythlyen...”
“ But that can’t be right.” It was Jack’s voice that interrupted Tosh.
“Why not ? That’s how the information translated.” Tosh was sure she had read the information correctly, admittedly she hadn’t had time to do an in depth analysis of her own, but Archie, for all his gruffness, wasn’t one to make mistakes and his original report on the viewing of the stones had mentioned Xythlyen as their origin.
“ Xythlyen is one of three planets in a distant galaxy found in an area of space known as ‘dark’, and isn’t discovered for centuries.” Jack began to explain, however Gwen interrupted him.
“ If it isn’t discovered yet how do you know about it ?”
“ Time Agent from the future !” an exasperated Owen reminded Gwen, as he wondered if it would be possible for her to be introduced to a certain Scottish 'monster' !
“ Over time, probes were sent out to explore the far reaches of space. One was directed to the ‘dark area’. The readings that were sent back before the probe stopped transmitting showed there was no light to speak of, and the temperatures were extremely cold.” Jack continued to explain.
“ Cold like the Arctic ?” Gwen asked.
“ No, I mean -320 degrees Fahrenheit and below cold.” Jack informed her.
“ Bloody hell !” Owen exclaimed. The others all looked slightly stunned by the information as well.
“ Exactly. So you see nothing could have lived on Xythlyen, so the markings couldn’t come from there.” Jack concluded.
“ But the probe didn’t actually land on any of the planets, did it ?” Tosh enquired, her quick mind absorbing the new information.
“ No. It ascertained that there was a small sun that, although it held the three planets in orbit, gave out barely readable signs of light or heat. The probe also transmitted the extreme temperature readings and then ceased transmission. It was assumed the cold had rendered it useless.”
“Mmm...” Tosh looked thoughtful as she continued. “ Just because no life forms as we understand them could survive in that environment, doesn’t exclude the possibility of ‘life’ existing there in a form that can withstand the temperature.”
There was silence as the group considered what Tosh had just said.
“ Tosh is right. There are so many other races out there, who’s to say that there isn’t one that can live at those extreme temperatures, and that inhabits Xythlyen.” It was Martha who broke the thoughtful silence.
“And if the Memory Stones are correct, and there is no reason to doubt them, then the inhabitants of Xythlyen seem to have a thriving culture. The markings that the stone showed were apparently found decorating a wall in, what the occupants of the crashed ship described, as a theatre/meeting place.” Tosh added.
“ Ok, whether these are from Xythlyen or not, the fact is the markings match the orb, yes ?” Jack looked to Tosh for confirmation. She nodded. “ With what you have, can you decipher what the markings Ianto remembers from the orb ‘say’?” Jack asked hopefully.
Tosh hesitated slightly. She knew what Jack, and particularly Ianto, wanted to hear, but in all honesty she wouldn’t be able to totally oblige her friends.
“ Obviously there are some words I can decipher otherwise I wouldn’t have got a ‘hit’, but with only a limited reference from the stone, I don’t have enough to translate what was on the orb.” Tosh looked apologetically at the Captain and her best friend.
“ If you had more to use as a reference, do you think you could ?” Ianto spoke for the first time during the meeting.
“ The more I have to work with the better, so, yes.”
Ianto turned to look at Jack, “ I doubt the stones and readers have been looked at since Archie archived them in the 70’s. What if we bring them down here, get Tosh to have a look at them. I’m sure that even if she can’t get the actual readers working, that she will be able to rig up some sort of way to view the information held by the stones.”
“ Good idea Ianto, could you get on to Archie when we finish here, and arrange transportation of the items asap, thanks.” Jack then turned his attention to the two doctors sitting to his left. “ Martha, Owen, anything new ?”
Martha looked to Owen who indicated for her to go ahead and brief the others.
“ Sorry Jack, but we’ve got nothing new at the moment. Blood tests still appear normal, the Bekaran scans haven’t shown up anything unusual, although Tosh has accessed some of the lost material from One, the medical records aren’t amongst them so we can’t do complete comparisons yet, and the other scanner gave us some questionable readings. Tosh has taken a look at it so when you’re free Ianto...”
“ Let me guess, more tests.” Ianto sounded resigned to a future filled with trips to the autopsy bay for test upon test.
“ Look on the bright side, at least we don’t need blood samples this time !” Martha tried to lighten the mood.
“ Thank God for small mercy’s.” Ianto muttered, making Jack smirk .
“ Alright people. Tosh , keep up the good work with the searches and if you manage to access those medical files...”
“ I’ll let Owen and Martha know straight away.” Tosh finished for Jack who smiled his thanks.
“ Owen, Martha, carry on with what you’ve been doing, if there’s anything you need...”
“ Actually...” It was Owen interrupting Jack this time. “ we were wondering if Ianto knew of any other devices in the archives that might be of help. I know we’re already using the Bekaran, and deep tissue scanners but is there anything else stashed away down there ?” Owen looked towards the archivist, who had a thoughtful expression on his face. It was a few minutes before Ianto answered.
“ Possibly. There’s an Aelranian device that is classified as medical equipment.”
“ I’ve had some experience with Aelranian technology, and their medical supplies were pretty advanced in the 34th century,” Jack said as a Time Agency mission came to mind.
“ I don’t recall it being dated.” Ianto remarked.
“ See if you can find it Ianto, and I’ll have a look and see if I can identify it more accurately. With any luck it will be of help to Owen and Martha... Gwen, when you’ve finished with your paper work help out where required, please.” The Welshwoman grudgingly mumbled her acceptance. “ Ok everyone, let’s get back to work.”
As Jack watched the team returning to their tasks, his eyes automatically came to rest on his lover. Ianto had remained in the boardroom and was now bending over to retrieve some containers from the table. Jack couldn’t help smiling as he admired the view !
next chapter: http://jackxianto.livejournal.com/5525915.html#cutid1