Title: What Will Be.
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Martha, Gwen.
Summary: Tosh takes a look at the parcel from Archie.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC and RTD.
A/N: Usual apologies for mistakes, bad grammar, dodgy plot etc.
Story starts here:
Tosh watched Jack leave his office. She hoped that whatever Owen wanted him for it wasn’t bad news about Ianto. The couple had been through so much recently and she wasn’t sure how much more they could take. Sighing to herself, Tosh refocused on the task at hand. Before having to leave, Jack had opened the package from Scotland and the pair of them had started to examine the contents. As well as the Memory stones and ‘readers’, Archie had included the original reports on both the crashed alien ship and the analysis that had been done on the stones. There was also a cube, 3 centimetres square, with dot and dash markings all around it, and a translucent cylinder 20 centimetres long with a diameter of 2 centimetres, along with a note from Archie saying the two extra objects were thought to be power sources, though neither had been able to be activated. As much as Tosh wanted to get her hands on the stones and ‘readers’, she thought it best to take a look at the reports first. The one about the crashed Raetihkan ship informed her that it had appeared to have collided with something, possibly an asteroid, in space, and it was believed that that had caused the damaged ship to enter into the Earth’s atmosphere where it crashed unable to break free of the gravitational pull, or manoeuvre for a safe landing. The three occupants, all natives of Raetihka, had died apparently on impact, and there was alot of damage to the ships internal systems. The other report, on the stones and readers, was basically the same as the one she had already seen on the system. There were a couple of hand written notations which, to be honest, Tosh found impossible to decipher. She thought that if Archie ever wanted another profession, becoming a doctor would be a good call as he already had the illegible writing down pat ! Tosh put the report to one side; she would ask Ianto if he would have a look at it for her. The Welshman dealt with Archie on a regular basis, and she was sure he would be able to read what the Scotsman called writing. ‘ Right,’ thought Tosh, ‘let’s get down to the fun bit.’
After scanning the stones with her PDA, Tosh picked up one of the yellow and white coloured ones. Expecting it to feel similar in weight to marble, Tosh was surprised by its lightness. The shiny surface was as smooth as it looked, and there was a slight warmth when holding it that wasn’t something she expected. The scan showed that the basic make up of all the stones was the same, with minor differences between the different colours. All of them had elements that were similar to quartz and hematite, along with other unknown ones. The scan had also shown an energy coming from each stone. It was small and Tosh deduced it was the energy that was making the stones feel warm. She also noticed a definite concentration of the energy at the centre of each stone. Possibly the area holding the ‘memory’ Tosh thought. Although the stones seemed to be made up of natural elements, their structure implied that they had actually been manufactured.
Having been told by Jack to use the computer in his office Tosh logged in and started to input the scan information hoping to find a match for the energy, structure readings or both. Once the search was running Tosh turned her attention to the ‘readers’. Rather than being made from metal, as she had thought, they were in fact stone. A scan showed residual energy traces similar to the stones but with a stronger base element, and it was focused on the indent area where the stone would sit when being read. Whereas the stones seemed to have been manufactured from natural elements, the ‘readers’ appeared to be totally natural stone, with the only ‘outside’ input being when they were cut to shape. Tosh picked one up and turned it over in her hands. Again it was surprisingly light in weight, but didn’t have the warm feeling that the stones had. As Tosh considered this the door to Jack’s office opened and the man himself entered.
“ How’s it going ?” Jack asked, as he sat uncharacteristically in the ‘guest’ chair in his office, Tosh having taken his seat to be able to use the computer.
“ Alright,” she smiled as she looked up as Jack entered. “ How’s things with Owen?”
“ They just wanted to go over a couple of things.” Jack replied, not elaborating. Tosh didn’t push, knowing that if it was anything she, or the others, should know they would be told in due course. “ So, found anything interesting?” Jack added.
Tosh proceeded to explain what she had discovered so far, as Jack studied one of the stones.
“ Have you seen these before?” Tosh asked.
“ No, nothing exactly like these, though I have come across items that do the same thing; storing and displaying information.” Jack reached towards the cube and cylinder, “ These however..” he picked up the cube, “...I have seen. They are a future equivalent of batteries.”
“ Archie put a note in ...” Tosh began to say.
“ And you actually managed to read it!” Jack was surprised. His opposite number in Scotland was not known for his neat penmanship.
“ Well..No, actually I didn’t. The note was typed.” Jack smiled at the young woman as she continued. “I’ve left the hand written bits in the hope that Ianto will decipher it for me.”
“ I’m sure he will, if you ask him nicely.” Jack winked at Tosh, who just shook her head at her boss.
Before the conversation could continue there was a noise from the computer signifying a match had been found. Moving round to his usual side of the desk, Jack watched as Tosh accessed the relevant information.
“ I’ve got a match on the energy reading from the ‘readers’. There’s an item in the archives that has the same energy signature.”
“ Is it another reader?” Jack asked, even though he was sure that if one had been in the archives Ianto would have already mentioned it.
“ No, it’s not. It’s classified as ‘Hand held laser cutter circa 47th century’.” Tosh brought up the information, including a picture. “ Recognise it?”
“ Looks familiar. Could it be used somehow to access the stones?” Jack asked as he tried to place the ‘laser cutter’.
“ Same energy signature, if I can route the energy from the cutter to a ‘reader’, possibly to charge it or maybe as an external ‘battery’ ...” Tosh was thinking aloud.
“ I’ll take that as a definite possibility then.” Jack smiled at his tech genius, before opening his com to Ianto in the archives.
“Yes, sir.” Jack smiled at the formality.
“ Could you bring...” Jack looked at the monitor, “... item 71009, a 47th century hand held laser cutter, up to my office please.”
“ Of course, sir.”
An hour after Ianto had brought the laser cutter to the office a triumphant “Yes!” from Tosh broke the silence of the room.
“ Tosh?” Jack, who had remained in the office going over a couple of reports, looked towards the tech genius.
A smile crossed the young woman’s face as she looked at her boss. Picking up one of the stones, she waited for the Captain’s nod of permission and placed it onto the ‘reader’. The stone began to glow showing up five previously hidden markings, as well as emitting a glow above it the same colour as the stone, yellow in this case, and then a holographic image appeared.
“ Oh Tosh you beauty!” Jack looked from the glowing stone to the smiling genius, then both their attention was back to the image playing in front of them.
The markings on the stone caught Jack’s eye, moving to touch one of them. As his finger hovered over it, the audio accompanying the visual display changed, still not English, but different. Doing the same again and again until both he and Tosh were able to understand what was being said. The stone was the one that had been partially ‘read’ before in Scotland, and that had shown corresponding markings to those found on the orb.
“ So the markings on the stone are like play, rewind, etc, and the one you used changes the language?” Tosh checked with Jack as they continued to view the display.
“ Yeah. It might be programmed to be voice activated as well, though if it is, it is probably set to recognise specific voice patterns rather than general voice commands.” Jack replied, suddenly pausing the display as Tosh suddenly said.
“There! That’s the section mentioned in Archie’s report.”
Starting the image running again, both watched as the markings appeared along with descriptions and translations. It seemed, from what they were watching that the occupants of the crashed ship were archaeologists/adventurers, ‘kind of alien Indiana Jones’ Tosh thought. They had ventured into the ‘dark space’ Jack had told the team about and had explored at least one of the planets. This had Jack at a loss; nothing should have been able to survive out there and, certainly up until his time, it was thought nothing had. Then a time code was mentioned dating the venture into the ‘dark space’ as being in the 84th century, and there was a mention of the suns strength growing and warming the area of space alittle, thus allowing the more adventurous the possibility of investigating what was there. Obviously those on the crashed ship had done just that, by landing on and exploring Xythlyen. As more examples of Xythlyen writing appeared Jack asked Tosh if there was enough for her to be able to decipher what had been on the orb. Her affirmative reply brought a small smile to his face, as a sense of relief came over him at the thought of maybe finally getting some answers with regard to the orb.
Leaving Tosh to start deciphering the orb with the help of the new information, Jack went down to her workstation to check on the rift and any possible predicted activity. There was a spike expected that afternoon, but other than that things looked clear. Jack’s attention was drawn away from the monitor by the sound of movement coming from the direction of the archives, a smile gracing his lips as his fiancé emerged from his domain.
“ Everything alright, sir?” Ianto asked when seeing Jack checking the monitor.
“ Yeah, just keeping an eye on the rift. Nothing ‘til this afternoon by the looks of it.”
“ Should I order lunch now then? Get it out of the way before any interruptions.” Ianto suggested as he moved towards his lover, carrying a couple of files in his arms.
“ Good idea.”
“ Where is everyone?” Ianto asked as he reached Tosh’s workstation and placed the files she had requested on it.
“ Owen and Martha are down in autopsy, Tosh has taken over my office, and Gwen is up in the Tourist Office still.”
“ And she’s not complaining? Is she feeling alright?” Ianto inquired raising an eyebrow in disbelief.
“ Oh she wasn’t happy, if the noise she was making leaving the office earlier was anything to go by. Mind you, I’ve not heard anything from her since.” Jack frowned, that wasn’t like Gwen.
“ She’s either fallen asleep or planning my downfall.” Ianto said casually, taking his mobile out of his pocket to order the team’s lunch.
“ Don’t joke about it.” The tone of Jack’s voice made Ianto look up from his phone, and he saw obvious concern on his lovers face.
“ Hey. It’s ok.” Ianto moved into Jack’s personal space, still keeping their work persona in place but close enough for the personal reassurance he wanted to give his fiancé. Before he could say anything else, the cogwheel door opened.
“ Talk of the devil.” Jack murmured, as the woman in question appeared.
“ I closed up seeing as it’s nearly lunch time and there is only so many stupid questions I can take in one day.” Gwen moaned as she headed towards where Jack and Ianto were.
“ Welcome to our World.” Jack said, giving Ianto a knowing look as both men tried to hide the smirks pulling at their lips.
next chapter: http://jackxianto.livejournal.com/5582314.html#cutid1