Virus by James Moran
reviewed by Dawn Christoffersen.
"Virus" is the fourth short story in the Torchwood book "Consequences", a collection of five different stories that are all linked. Some take place many years apart but what happens in one story may have consequences that we read about in the next.
"Virus" picks up immediately after the third story. Without revealing too much, the Torchwood team has managed to sorely piss off an alien. As an act of revenge it poisons Jack and Gwen and it's now up to Ianto to find a cure before time runs out for his friends.
Anyone familiar with James Moran's writing, from his Doctor Who episode "The Fires of Pompeii" to his horror comedies, knows that he doesn't do subtle. Somewhere, somehow, something will be blown up, and it will be big. That he only has 39 pages to do it in here is no hindrance at all.
I noticed in the Torchwood episode he penned, "Sleeper", that he likes to have fun with Ianto, making him even more daring and cheekier than he usually is. He seems to be fond of throwing the normally introverted buttoned up boy into all sorts of situations. In Virus the cheekiness is back and he's cast in the unlikely role of the action hero, with capital letters. It must be that suit that does it.
The story also has a cameo by one of my favourite recurring characters, Nina Rogers! Having her pop up every now and then in Torchwood books creates a lovely continuity.
"Virus" is a humorous and strangely sweet story. James Moran obviously had a lot of fun writing this crazy bugger, and I had a lot of fun reading it.