Friday, 28 February 2014

Mini Series Mitchell - Patience Pt 2




Mitchell - Patience pt 2
By DJ Forrest 


Time was irrelevant, day and night didn’t exist below ground, just the constant trickle of water against the wall that made Jack’s mouth drier still.  He’d screamed out as the bones in his knees separated and the fluid that saved the bones from rubbing against each other escaped.  He screamed as he felt every bone and sinew stretch and move and tear.  Then he’d passed out.  He heard voices as he came to, the familiar ones out in the outer room.  There was a fresh voice.  Familiar.  So damn familiar.  His ears strained to listen to the low whisper, the slur of the voice like oil over a well used cog.  He knew that man but from where?  He reached back into his memory, as far as he could, somewhere that voice registered.  But then another voice, reached out to him, clasped both hands around his and hauled itself to the forefront of his mind.  Porlicanthus.
   “Whatever you do, don’t let him take the boy, promise me Jack.”  Porlicanthus begged as he gripped Jack’s hand in those final few minutes before death. 
   “You know I will.”
   “Say it...say it Jack Harkness.  Let me hear you say it.”  Porlicanthus said through gritted teeth as his body slipped between monster and human, his face a mass of blood and blackened veins.
     Jack Harkness sucked in his lower lip, fought back the tears threatening to spill onto the bloodied man on the ground by his feet.  Porlicanthus had been hit a few times before Jack had reached him, those in uniform only minutes behind him.
  “I promise.”  Jack said, through clenched teeth and bitterness as he gripped the Webley and pressed it against the other man’s chest, and pulled the trigger.
     Jack gasped and talk in the hallway ceased.  Footsteps like a dozen typewriter keys rattling off a sentence made their way towards the rack and the oily voice spoke into his left ear.
   “It’s funny that our paths cross again, Captain Harkness.”  The old man smiled.  He reached a gnarly hand over the sweat soaked shirt that clung to Jack’s taut chest.  “Won’t be long now, just a few more clicks...”
   “Why are you doing this?”  Rasped Harkness, his throat so dry and the rope so tight he could barely speak.
     The old man laughed.  “I think you know very well why I’m doing this.  It is amazing after all these years that you never changed, same man...” the old man stroked his fingertips along Jack’s taut body, the touch was like sandpaper.  “as if you never aged a second.  What happened to you Jack, where did you go after you left London with that wolf man and our queen?”
     Jack’s eyes gave away little to the old man, as he peered into his eye line. 
   “I heard you were dead.”  Jack rasped staring up at the figure, the old haggard man, with the murderous greying eyes, scars down one cheek, a wizened old man.  How he’d despised him all those years ago.
   “Only injured my dear boy.  But I adapted, like so many of us did.  And soon we will return home victorious.  A new generation.  Imagine that.”  The old man smiled, lost in his own thoughts.  Jack struggled with what little ounce of movement he had but it was futile.  He was going nowhere. 
   “You’re not having him.  I won’t allow it.”  Jack whispered loudly.
     The old man threw back his head to reveal a varicose neck line that bled down towards his chest.  “You’re not in any position to tell me what I can and cannot do Captain.  I will have the boy – sooner than you think!” 
   “He’s a good boy.  I won’t have you corrupt him.”  Jack’s eyes pinched with tears.
   “He might be, but I will improve his knowledge and his mind and give to him what is rightfully his.  You’re denying him his heritage.”
   “You’ll send him to hell.”
   “No, I’ll be sending him home, to stand at my side, with his mother as my wife, we will be victorious and all the races of the universe will bow down to us.  And do you know the best thing.”  He looked down at Jack with a wry smile.  “You’ll be coming with us.”
     Jack stared at the old man in horror. 

   “So who would want Jack dead?”  Clark asked after several false trails.  It had been a long day, even longer night, searching CCTV footage, sifting through partial plates, following up leads that lead them to a brick wall. 
   “You’d be better asking the question of who doesn’t want him dead, or out of the picture.”  Gwen replied leaning back in her chair after another dead end threw itself up on the computer.  “Back when we were a proper team we’d have the entire network of Cardiff sewn up, we’d be out and we’d rescue our team from whatever situation we came upon.  Since we’ve been back, every avenue...this is ridiculous.  It’s as if we’re being blocked from our own system.  Mitchell, did you do anything to the software?”
   “Hmm what?”  Mitchell replied dragging a red queen to a black king to clear a path through to the next card, more engrossed in this than in the search for Jack.
   “What are you doing?”  Gwen asked.  She slid herself along in the chair to clock Mitchell’s monitor.  “You’re playing cards – all this time?”
   “Well it’s not as if I can do anything else is it?”  He dragged his eyes away from the screen.  “I ran a full system check on the security; I don’t touch the software, that’s alien origin I don’t even want to mess with.  Everything is protected just how Jack wanted it.  For the last month all I’ve been doing is searching names that don’t even register because Jack only wants me here, he doesn’t want me working.”  He pointed out bitterly.
     Gwen narrowed her eyes.  “Actually you’re very wrong there.  The names you were searching are aliases of the people we need you to trace.  You had 1500 variables, out of those, there should be at least 20 names that will crop up innumerable times because of the aliases they belong to.  Your job is to locate the 20 names.  When Jack ran the Hub, we had a handful of names of freelance operatives who we could contact if we needed, you were finding the names but if you can’t handle that...”
   “Sometimes it would be nice to have been told that and not just, here’s a list of names, now find me a connection.  One name is all we got.” Mitchell glanced over the computer screen at Clark “One name out of 1500 variables, now you can’t tell me that one man has that many aliases.”
   “What’s his name?”
   “Todd Jamieson.”
     Gwen considered the name.  “Doesn’t register as anyone I’ve heard of before.  Widen the search that could be an alias he went under. Jack would know.”
   “Except Jack’s not here.”  Mitchell replied returning to his game.  Finding no way of completing it, he cancelled it and played another. He dropped down to four hearts beating.

     The cogs moved into another slot and Jack’s cries echoed through the underground bunker, as the pain of separation in his lower body shot though him like a fiery bolt.

     Clark’s phone buzzed on the desk beside his monitor.  Uncle wanted a word.  “I’ve got to take this.”  He said excusing himself from the room and pushed open the fire door into the hallway. 
     Gwen watched him go and narrowed her eyes.  She disappeared inside Jack’s office and closed the door.  Bringing up the CCTV for the building’s interior she highlighted the cameras for the corridor and screened those around Clark.  She watched the young Welshman pace the corridor, glancing back towards the doors to the office several times.  He glanced at his watch twice and talked in hushed whispers into the phone.  He also kept his face away from the cameras as if he knew she was watching him.
     Marley glanced at Mitchell.  She’d recovered from the incident in the bathroom.  “How’s your ribs?”  she asked smiling awkwardly.
   “I’ll heal.”  Mitchell replied sighing at the monitor.  “This game is...” he said in frustration.
   “Annoying?”  Marley added with a smile.  “I didn’t think you were into computer games.”  She said watching him move the face cards about the board.
   “Arcade games, I like those, but to be honest, this isn’t my bag but what else is there to do?”  He sighed heavily.  He was stuck again.  Time to play a new game. The beating hearts dropped to three.
   “That’s different.”  Marley announced as she stared at the screen curiously.
   “What?”  Mitchell asked as a new game dealt all the cards onto the board, how he preferred to play instead of one row dealt at a time.
     Marley inched closer to his desk, inching around on her seat.  She waved her finger at the screen.  “I’ve played this before only I’ve never seen those hearts.  Is it an online game?”
   “Not that I was aware.  Clark was playing it earlier; I just hooked up what was on his computer.” 
     Marley opened up her computer and brought up the games preset into the system.  “Here look see, this is what’s on mine.”  She turned her monitor around to face Mitchell who glanced up from his own.  He turned back to the three beating hearts.  Getting up he checked on Clark’s computer and stared at the screen.  This was impossible.
   “What are you doing on my computer?”  Clark said as he entered the office.
   “Keep your wig on I’m just checking something.”
     The Patience game was open and half the cards were displayed.  It was the same as Marley’s.  “I don’t get it.”
   “Are you done now?”  Clark muscled in, pushing the younger man from his computer.  “What don’t you get?”  He closed down the game as Gwen re-entered the room. 
   “What’s going on?”  She called over, her eyes narrowed.
   “Mitchell is interfering with my computer.”
   “Mitchell, what’s going on?”  Gwen asked stepping closer.
   “I transferred the exact game onto my computer.  Only, they’re different.”
     Gwen stepped closer again as Clark logged out.  “Going somewhere?”  She asked as switched off his computer and prepared to leave.
   “That was my Uncle, he’s taken a fall, I have to go.”
   “Can’t social services deal?”
   “Are you trying to tell me I can’t go?”
   “Are you trying to tell me you can’t call someone else to deal with him?”
   “He’s my Uncle, he needs me.”
   “We need you here, now tell me what’s wrong with the game?”
     Sighing Clark looked at Gwen.  “I had to put a lock on the computer as I’ve noticed things have been going missing, certain files are disappearing.  I thought it was Jack checking up on me at first but then I noticed other things were missing.”
   “What things?”
     He felt his phone vibrate in his hand and switched off the call.  “Little things but also personal details I had stored.  I set a password but the photos had been moved. I’m very careful about my personal belongings and I know if things have been moved.  The computer keeps a log of who signed in.  Here.”  Gwen watched as Clark set his phone on the desk and re-opened his computer.  Mitchell too stared over his shoulder all too aware of what they would find.  Stabbing a finger at the screen Clark pointed out a series of log entries that hadn’t been his own.  “I can account for every moment I have been away from the computer and that wasn’t even when I was in the office.  I was out with Marley collecting sandwiches.  Mitchell was on this computer claiming to be playing the card game, even though a program I had running was on another window.  And that’s something else, he knew exactly which program was running.  I don’t trust him.”  He turned and glared at Mitchell who felt a hot burning sensation around the collar.  Gwen scanned the data on the screen.
    “Each computer has their own personal log in details, these are your details Clark.”
   “But they’re not me.  Here.”  He thrust a notebook in her face.  “Times and dates of when I log in and log out.  I’m fastidious about these kinds of details.  I don’t however keep a password anywhere but my head, but even at that, he’s hacked, or bypassed the system.  I’ve had to keep this log because I know I’m not going crazy.  He has been interfering with my system.  And I want it stopped.”
   “Mitchell, anything to add?”  Gwen replied leafing through the meticulous data hand written in blue biro, underlined in red.
     Mitchell attempted to explain but each time he sighed.  It wasn’t going to be easy stating his reasons, and second guessing the argument he knew that whatever he said, Clark would have an answer to contradict him. 
   “Well?”  All eyes focused on Mitchell now.  He could feel them boring into his skull searching out his soul.
   “I have no games on my computer, I saw the Patience game on Clark’s so I transferred it to mine, except it’s different to the one he now has.”
   “I’ve always had that game, its preset on all the computers.”
   “Not mine, there were no games on my computer, I checked, except for that minefield game which is crap.”  He sighed. 
   “There’s three beating hearts on the game that Mitchell has, it’s unusual because it’s not on mine.”  Marley called over.  Gwen walked around the pool of tables to Mitchell’s screen. 
   “Where did the hearts come from?”
   “I don’t know, I never really paid any attention to them, took it that all games did that.  But I admit, I took it from Clark’s computer.”
   “You don’t have the authority to access people’s private computers here, only Jack has that.  Tell me, what else have you looked up?”  She asked, her curiosity heightened.  She glanced at Mitchell who had followed her over, he was unusually quiet. 
   “It’s a game of Patience, and you’re making it out as if I’ve committed treason.”
   “But you have.”  Mitchell spun around and glared at Clark.  Gwen raised her head from the computer screen after taking a seat at Mitchell’s workstation.  The hearts were beating fit to burst. 
   “You shut up now, you don’t know anything about me.”  Mitchell growled.
   “You stole a blueprint for something highly classified and killed a man in the government for it, that’s what I heard.”
     Marley stared at Mitchell in disbelief, her mouth ajar.  “Is this true?”
     Mitchell looked at Gwen for back up, but saw nothing in her demeanour that would defend him.
   “There are circumstances behind everything that happens Marley and it would be in your best interest to disregard anything that is said on this matter.  Now, tell me about these hearts, where did you get the game from?”
     For a moment nobody spoke.  Clark glared at Mitchell aware that he’d struck a chord, and Marley looked fit to cry.  Mitchell returned his gaze to the game.
   “I took it from Clark’s computer.  He was playing it the other day.”
   “Then there would be a history log.”
   “No, there wouldn’t.  Well there would but there isn’t.”  Mitchell said with regret.  Gwen turned to face him.  “And by that you mean?”
   “I mean...I cleared all traces of history so nobody would know I’d been in the system.”
     Clark smiled inwardly and lifted his phone from the desk.  “Well that concludes that then.  I have to go see my Uncle, thanks for delaying my time, let’s hope he’s not seriously injured.”  Clark pushed his chair in and left.
   “I think you and I need to have a talk.”  Gwen said rising from the computer seat.  Mitchell sighed and followed her to Jack’s office and closed the door behind him.  Marley stared at the computer screen blankly, a tear escaping down her cheek.

     Jack’s office hadn’t been touched bar the laptop on his desk that Gwen had up until just now thought that only she was privy to.  She leaned her bum against the square edged desk, how she missed the soft wooden contours of the old one, in the Hub so many years earlier. 
   “When Jack gave you the job of security I don’t think he intended that you secretly view everybody’s computer.  Jack takes security very seriously...”
   “So do I.”
   “Then you’ll understand why when you take something from another computer you’re bound to upset someone.”
   “It’s just a fucking game Gwen, it’s not as if there’s anything of any real value on any of these computers, and if you wanted a secure password, dates of birthdays are not the best to choose.”
   “I don’t.”  She defended.
   “Anwen’s birthday.  I figured knowing a little bit about the people I’m “working” with.”  He said making quotation marks with his fingers.  “helps break down some of the barriers that we often have.  So I know that Anwen is very important to you.”
     Gwen felt uncomfortable.  There was a different tone to Mitchell’s voice, a tone she didn’t like.  In a group, he was quiet, on his own... She moved behind the desk and sat in Jack’s chair.  The leather smelt of him and she felt instantly comforted.  Her eyes remained on Mitchell, standing beside the sofa bed that he’d slept on many a time when he’d first arrived. Gwen began to wonder how much he had searched, and if he knew anything of the joint investigation she and Jack were involved in.
   “I know enough.”
   “What?”  Gwen’s eyes widened.
   “Oh sorry, you didn’t say that out loud did you?”
   “You heard what I was thinking?”
     He sighed and sat on the arm of the sofa and stared at his hands on his lap. 
   “How long have you had this gift?”
   “For as long as I can remember.”  He looked up.  “It’s just when people think too loudly, I hear it.  It’s probably part of who I am.  I just want to know why you’re investigating me and Clark.”

     Clark sat in the expanse of an outer office with triple windows covering three of the four walls surrounding the room.  A plush reception desk with a curvaceous young blonde smiled as she answered the phone, her manicured nails pressing the headset against her right ear, moving the mouthpiece back towards her lips.  She did nothing for him, he much preferred Manda, the last receptionist, with a tight bodice he wouldn’t have minded untying, except she’d received her posting for another location.  He’d been sat in the office for a good fifteen minutes watching the world go by.  Uniformed men and women with clipboards, orders, scraps of paper, folders and instructions all to be somewhere important, or not so important.  He missed that, the being involved in a life that wasn’t sat at a computer searching for a name that Mitchell still claimed didn’t exist.  He was certain he and the wolfboy as he’d discovered, were being tested, put through the ringer, there was something about both of them that amused Jack Harkness and it wasn’t because either of them were any good in bed – not that he’d been asked, not that he’d comply.
     The door opened to a dark office beside a tall green, large leafed pot plant and a man in a wheelchair wheeled out to greet him.  The old man with the green and blue tartan blanket over his knees to keep out the cold on numerous days now sat in a completely housed zipped up sleeping bag for want of a better word, covering his legs up to his waist.  Clark eyed it suspiciously, the bag and the chair were a lot wider than usual.
   “I trust that nobody suspects a thing back at Torchwood?”
   “No sir, we’re right on schedule.”
   “Good, then we can make plans to retrieve the data this week Goodson.  It’s imperative we have that laptop.  Make sure you locate it, make sure he leads you to the whereabouts.”
   “And what of Captain Harkness?” 
   “He’ll crack soon, don’t you worry.”  The old man smiled, the varicose veins in his neck pulsating black as he laughed.  “You can buy me lunch, we have much to discuss.”  He said as he wheeled himself towards the elevator that led down to the underground car park.
   
     Tomas Constantine felt Jack’s pulse, clamping his fingers against his neck.  The pulse was weak.  The captain was beyond hope.  His face and clothes were flanked in a cold sweat.  His eyes flickered; he could barely keep them open.  He prayed for death, for the reset button, but he was too tightly held that he doubted if he came back he’d be in any less a restricted condition. 
     Jack could no longer feel below his waist.  Earlier he’d had the pins and needles, similar in fashion to the sprains and twists he’d suffered in other times.  His arms, his wrists, he knew the ropes had rubbed his skin raw.  In a few more clicks of the cog he doubted he’d feel his own upper limbs or body.  If the old man wanted him alive, he was running out of time.  It bothered Jack though and he was determined to try and stay awake for as long as possible.  The old man didn’t need use of his limbs, so what would he do with them, would he reassemble them for his own use?  Chunks of memory were returning to Jack, the old man, what was his name now?   Jack searched his memory banks, sifting through names like one does through a phone directory, it was a funny name, not funny haha but funny, odd, odd sounding, he tried to growl frustration as a word flashed into the forefront of his memory but he couldn’t get it as far as his tongue, couldn’t pronounce it.  He could barely speak, his lips were chapped and white, his pallor was pale to grey.  He tried to think of the name, tried to think of Mitchell and Gwen.  Tried to remember everything of that night, what had he missed, what had he not accounted for?

     Mitchell paced the corridor beside the two elevators.  He had to get out.  He planned to get out.  He cast a glance at the camera secured above the double doors, shining directly at the two elevators and most definitely upon him.  He heard the rumble of the lift as the mechanics cranked it towards him.  The lift doors slid open with ease.  An empty carriage.  He cast another glance at the camera and stepped in hitting the ground floor button.
     Gwen watched from the monitor as the elevator door closed behind Mitchell.  She tapped into the security of the elevator itself but the camera was down.  Cursing she thought a moment and sought out the secondary camera, the back-up Jack had put in for just this type of occasion; she knew Mitchell would have tried to disable the camera.  She pressed the command button and the camera lit up the elevator carriage – it was empty.
   “Oh shit!” 
   “Where did he go?”  Marley asked glancing over at Gwen’s screen. 
   “He can’t have gone far. Bring up the schematic for the entire building, check the lift shaft.”
   “On it.”  Marley dragged the plan for the entire building onto the main screen, enhancing the image she isolated the lift from Level 17 and brought up thermal imaging to detect movement.  “There’s nothing on the lift shaft...oh wait.”  She enhanced further and saw a small heat signal further along. 
   “What is that?”  Gwen glanced at the schematic as a blob of heat moved along a narrow tunnel and edged towards a joint in the tunnel.  “Hone in on that.”  She pointed a finger at the movement and grabbed her coat and stun-gun.
   “Are you sure you’re going to need that?”
   “Jack’s missing and I’m pretty sure that whoever has him is connected to Mitchell in ways I don’t even want to consider.  So keep feeding me on the Bluetooth...”
   “Mitchell has a Bluetooth too.”
   “Then call me from my mobile.”  She checked her phone, fully charged, just like her.  She left the office at a sprint and took the elevator to the next level.  Marley kept her and the heat blob on her screen. 
     Mitchell inched along the tunnel using his elbows and trainers.  He was almost through when he spotted something in the tunnel, the source of the interference in the security equipment.  A rat, but not just any kind of rat, a Rodent Android Terminator – R.A.T.  He’d read about them online, they were used by competitors for high corporate businesses that wanted the edge on the competition, electronic terrorists, practically comic book gadgetry that were the invention of some whiz kid in Colorado Springs, but what they were doing in Torchwood was anyone’s guess..  Unlike the computer, the R.A.T. was released along with others of its kind through the physical tunnels of office buildings.  It would locate the security system and offline the company, it would feed its own codes sent from whoever operated it and take down the firewalls, and let in the bogeyman.  It had bugged Mitchell for a while during the initial set up of the security system.  He knew he couldn’t prove his theory, he knew that he couldn’t also account for several items disappearing from Clark’s computer, some he was responsible for.  He couldn’t also account for why his game had hearts on and others had not.  But one thing he could account for was that the bug alerts that had flashed up on the screen, his screen and the screen in Jack’s office was something he’d been tracking for several weeks now.  Something was feeding off their system and he wanted to know who, what and definitely why?
     The rat size metallic creature, its red eyes flashing to green as it guzzled it’s update from a circuit box feeding a bunch of cables along the tunnel and beyond to the various levels, stopped as it detected another source in the tunnel.  Its body turned to face the ‘intruder’ and scanned for threats.  The source was unarmed. 
     Mitchell, cramped as he was in the service tunnel pulled what looked like a phone from his pocket.  He depressed the back of the device, the cover popped up, he slid it back and lifted out the tool he required, a small magnet attached to a length of wire.  He secured it to the jack at the top of the device.  The rodent returned to its job, all the while aware Mitchell was there.
     Marley viewed the monitor and saw the heat signal was static between floors 13 and 12.  “It’s not moving, it’s static.”
   “Can you get an identification?”  Gwen asked as the lift continued to descend.  She glanced up at the camera.
   “Not yet, something is interfering with... HEY!”  She yelled as the screen fuzzed, buzzed and shut down.  “What the hell was that?”
   “What?  Marley?  Hello?”  Her phone crackled.
     Marley stared at the screen a good few seconds before looking across at all the dead monitors.  “The monitors are down.  It must have been a power surge.  I’ve lost control.”  She tapped redundantly at the keys, it wasn’t going to make a difference but she hoped nevertheless.

     The service tunnels were powered by tiny sensors of light that suddenly went out and plunged the tunnel into darkness.  He heard the pattering of metallic feet on the tunnel flooring and having attached the tool he needed to the device selected PLAY and slid it along the floor, colliding with the intruder. The magnet secured itself to the creature and stopped the download midway.   An array of brightly lit binary coding and polka dots bounced off the metal walling around the creature and a high pitched frequency whistle that could probably raise the hounds from hell screamed through the narrow chute.  Mitchell winced, the pain between his eyes and through his ears was extreme but he had to nail that creature before it left.  Although the data it stored in its memory banks had stopped downloading to the outside source it wouldn’t be too difficult to override it, if they knew what they were doing.  Mitchell didn’t have time to consider that option.
     Lights popped and arced throughout the fire exits and a low hum could be heard echoing through the flooring vibrating beneath Gwen’s feet.  She stared down at her feet nervously and stepped away from the vibrations.
     Mitchell grabbed the creature and felt the metal hot against his skin, he also felt the barbs cut into his palm as its protective casing reacted to the assault.  He yelped but remained hold.  Quickly, and without considering the pain in his hand he slammed the creature several times against the wall of the tunnel.  It wasn’t about to break. He swore and crawled rapidly with the rodent in his left hand, the device in the other to the crossroads in the tunnel, more space to move.  Up ahead he knew there was another elevator shaft, a harder surface, if he could just...
     Marley grabbed her PDA and ran to the fire exit, the stairs, safer than the elevator she felt.  An emergency back-up generator had kicked in but it was weaker and the computers were still down.  “Where are you Gwen, I’m on my way down.  I have the heat source on the PDA it’s moving?”
     Gwen glanced towards the fire exit situated alongside the elevators and pushed open the door, she leaned against the railing and peered up at the floors above, hearing the clattering of footsteps many floors above her.  She saw the Plate on the wall indicating the floor level she was at. 
   “I’m on 12.”  She said before ducking back into the warm office.  The elevators were out of order, whatever had triggered the power surge was determined nobody was going to be leaving in a hurry.  But even at that, she thought, there was still the elevator shaft.  She put away the stun gun and tried opening the elevator doors manually, with her fingers.  She grimaced as she tried, but it was hopeless.  She glanced around for something to help her.
     The pain was excruciating, the barbs dug deeper into his hand.  They were thicker than regular fishing hook barbs and he knew his hand would take a few days to heal at this rate.  He was losing the feeling in his little finger.  At the end of the tunnel he came out at another lift shaft and stared down into the abyss.  The lights from the backup generator shone dimly into the darkness.  He located the ladder and tucked the hand held device into his pocket while the wired magnet remained in position on the rodent.  The eyes of the creature were flickering from red to off.  He didn’t want to think what that meant.  He hoped he still had time.  Locating the ladder with his feet he climbed down the shaft using only one hand.  Gripping the ladder tightly he slammed the rat against the dirty metal shaft, the legs rattled and two came loose, he slammed it again and the loose legs broke waggling pathetically, still held together by the cables that operated them inside the shell.  It was then he saw the body properly.  It was in two parts, the front end and the back end.  He tried twisting the two parts and felt it give, then countered that it was likely his hand slipping deeper into the barbed body and whimpered.  The eyes were becoming less of a flicker and more of a red.  He was running out of time.
     He inhaled deeply and climbed down the ladder, he needed to see what he was doing, a sudden thought crossed his mind, some of the earlier devices had been fitted with a self destruct mechanism, when data had been sent through it exploded, removing any possibility of being located to its source.  Slipping on the dirty ladder towards the elevator carriage Mitchell continued on the journey down.  He saw the carriage in sight and jumped onto the roof, it echoed through the shaft loudly.  With his free hand he pulled open the roof of the carriage and with the lighting available stared at the bloodied R.A.T. in his hand.  His hand cut and bleeding forced him to wince but he was running out of time.  He pulled his phone from his pocket and made a call. 
     Gwen felt her phone vibrate in her hand and frowned at the name.  Flicking her hair back she pressed the phone to her ear. 
   “You’d better have a bloody good reason for this.”  She growled.
   “Whatever you think of me, put it to one side, I’m on the elevator on Floor 12, I need you to open the door.”
   “There’s no power and there’s nothing to open the doors with.”
   “There’s a store cupboard along from the elevator, in there is a manual operational door opener, propped up against the shelving, you can’t miss it.”  Gwen raised a brow and made her way to the cupboard and found a crowbar rested against a shelf stacked with coloured paper and stationery.  She grabbed it and prised open the lift doors after much effort.  Slightly sweaty she blew the hair from her face that clung to her forehead and cheek.  Standing dripping blood in the carriage was Mitchell, his hand grasped around a metal rodent like robot.  “Thanks.”  He smiled weakly and took possession of the crowbar in Gwen’s hand. 
   “What is that?”  Gwen asked following after him, her right hand over the Stun Gun.  She watched him as he extricated his bloodied hand from the hooks on the metal creature and raised the crowbar over his head bringing it down fiercely onto the metal rodent.  After several smashes, growls and grunts the machine broke apart, the eyes stopped staring red, and it shut down.  Inside the creature Mitchell picked out the small device that stored the data and sent it to its creator.  “Again, what is that?”  Gwen pressed grimacing at the blood dripping from his hand onto the desk and the metal pieces.
   “It’s a device for obtaining information, robot terrorists, it was in Computer Monthly, a nerd from Colorado Springs invented it.”  He held up the device in his hand and squinted at the minute detail.  “Someone has been feeding off the information we have on the computers in this place.  My guess is it’s been going on for some time and might explain why information off our computers has been removed.”  He looked at her.  “You’ve been hacked!”  He said pocketing the device and making his way back towards the exit.
   “Where are you going?”
   “I was going out to find Jack, but I have a feeling, this might tell us where he is, because whoever has been taking our information might actually have left us a clue.  Or there’s another reason this is in the building and it mightn’t have anything to do with us personally, considering this was a Telecommunication building prior to you guys taking it?”  Again he glanced over at her.  “So are you coming, or do you plan on hauling my ass over your shoulder after you’ve stunned me a little?”  He raised a brow to match Gwen’s and grinned.  “Look I’m not your enemy ok.  I know you’re looking out for Jack and he wants you to look out for me, but I’m a big boy now and I can cross the road without Mommy holding my hand, ok?”
   “Says the man whose hand is bleeding all over the carpet and needed me to get him out of a lift.”
   “Didn’t want you to feel inadequate, standing there with your gun an’ all!”  He pushed the door open with his good hand and held the other against his chest.  They strode back up the stairs meeting Marley on the way, exhausted, panting heavily and staring from Mitchell to the bloodied hand to Gwen with the Stun Gun, and her mouth fell open in horror. 

     Clark sighed heavily and slammed the laptop closed with a slap.  The Major eyed him suspiciously.  “The R.A.T. is down.”  He said bitterly, eyeing the old man in the wheelchair before looking away, having failed again.
   “That is a pity, it’s fed us with a lot of information over these past few months. “  The Major replied sadly.  Wheeling himself back from his desk he stared at a photograph in a stand of a beautiful woman with the brightest of eyes and the deepest smile and beauty that couldn’t surely belong to just one woman, and bit his lower lip. “Then it’s time to put Plan B into operation.”
   “But the game isn’t over.”
   “Jack Harkness is close to death, for what I need him for, it’s enough, and knowing his Lazarus qualities for survival, he’ll fuel me for where I’m going.”
   “What do you need from me?”
   “I need you to get the boy away from Gwen Cooper and I want the blueprint that I know the boy has somewhere.  We need a trade.  Jack Harkness for the blueprint.”
   “But you just said you need Harkness.”
   “I also need the boy, but I’ve studied Torchwood for years, and I know that this Cooper woman has a soft spot for the old Captain, and there may be a simple trade off.  The boy for the Captain, complete with the blueprint.  Everyone’s happy, I get what I want...”  The old man smiled at Clark.  “You get what you want, now set the ball in motion.”
     Clark closed the door behind him as he left the office.  He would finally have the closure he needed, the truth behind his sister’s death.  The Major had promised to release the details to him, only he could, when he knew that Clark was ready to hear the truth.  Finally he could close his eyes and sleep and not see a repeat of her death over and over in his head, her scream echoing through his mind and her body slip further and further away from his grasp. 
     As Clark stepped out into the cool afternoon on the way to his car, he knew his objective and checking the rounds in his automatic handgun, he would achieve his objective at any cost.  He wouldn’t fail the Major again.  He snapped the first bullet into the chamber and slipped the safety on.  The first bullet was for Gwen Cooper.





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