Saturday, 31 January 2015

Articles Episode Breakdown: Meat by DJ Forrest

Episode Breakdown: Meat
Episode 4, Series 2

Written by Catherine Tregenna
Directed by Colin Teague
Produced by Richard Stokes

  “The beauty of it is it just keeps growing, no matter how much we cut it.”  

It’s raining as Rhys Williams drives to work along the dual carriageway.  The jingle of the Harwood’s Haulage ad plays on the radio and he joyfully joins in with the chorus.  His phone rings suddenly.  Pulling off the road he answers it.  It’s Ruth, with bad news.
   “What sort of accident?”  He asks her.

The rain now eased as he pulls up behind a parked car.  Ambulances, fire crew and police swamp the scene.  Rhys gets out for a closer look but is immediately asked to move his car.  When he introduces himself.  The lorry lies on its side and a car lies on its roof.  The lorry driver is dead, things don’t look good for the car driver either.
   “Now you can check on the vehicle later.”  The police officer tells Rhys.
   “I know the driver, is he…?” Rhys asks.
The officer turns to see and replies: “He didn’t make it, sorry.  Can you give me some details sir?” 
   “He’s Leighton, Leighton Reynolds.”  Rhys tells him.
   “Next of kin?”
   “Yeah, uh, wife…Jen, just had a baby.” 
   “Do you know the address?”
   “Yeah, 54, Keppoch Street, Roath. I gave him a lift to football.”
   “Thank you sir.”

As the ambulance takes Leighton’s body away Rhys pulls himself together.  “Right, um, we’re going to need to arrange to move the lorry.”
   “Not yet, there’s something suspicious in the back.”  Replies the police officer.
   “It’s just meat.  Leighton was taking it to the abattoir.”  Rhys replies defensively.
   “Yeah, well…whatever.  Torchwood want to look at it first.”  He says glancing towards the oncoming SUV pulling up alongside the lorry.  As Rhys looks towards them his eyes deceive him.  He sees his girlfriend, Gwen Cooper.

Inside the overturned truck lies pure carnage.  Blood everywhere and torn open sacks of meat chunks lie scattered in the truck.  And it stinks.  Jack steps inside the vehicle and shines his flashlight around the interior.  The stench of the meat affects all of them.  Gwen coughs.  Jack looks distastefully at the huge chunks.
   “No bones, just dense flesh.”
   “It’s not like any flesh I’ve ever seen.”  Quips Owen.
   “What is it?”  Calls Gwen looking in.
   “Well as there haven’t been any giant cow sightings, I suggest we take a sample back to the Hub.”  He replies exiting the foul smelling truck. 
   “We’re going to need to take the contents of the van, confiscate it until we’ve done further investigations.”  Gwen tells an officer waiting.  Rhys looks on from behind the fire truck. 

   “Did you find out where it came from?”  Jack asks Ianto as he comes into view. 
   “No, but it is a Harwood’s lorry.”  He tells him.
   “Oh, that’s Rhys’ firm.”  Gwen replies surprising the pair as she steps into the conversation.  Owen cuts a large slice of the meat and drops it into the box.  Jack and Ianto stare at Gwen.
   “Right done.”  Owen declares lifting the metal container out towards the SUV.
   “Let’s go.”  Jack declares.  The team head back to base.  Rhys attempts to follow but is grounded by the police officer.
   “Sorry sir, you can’t come this way now.”

In the Hub Owen analyses the meat. 
   “There is evidence of a vertebral column but its genetic make-up isn’t compatible with any known animal.”  He tells Jack who is currently leaning over the railings in the autopsy room.
   “Any idea what it is?”  He asks.
   “Scanning.”  Owen replies.  “Whoever is farming this meat knows it’s dodgy.  See this!”  He holds up a torn label from the meat sack.  “Official vet stamp, fit for human consumption.  It’s fake.”  He declares.
   “Tosh, get onto the haulage firm, find out where that meat is from and where it’s heading.”
   “Why does it have to be Rhys’ firm, it’s too close to home.”  Gwen says walking back to the workstations with Jack.
   “Do you want to stand down?” 
   “No, I want to find out what’s going on.”  She replies fiercely.  “Thank you Ianto.”  She says taking a coffee from him.

The Harwood’s Haulage jingle echoes around the Hub as Tosh locates the website.  Jack grins at the jingle, Gwen smiles coyly. 
   “Catchy.”  Ianto replies.
   “Do you think the haulage firm may be in on it too?”  Toshiko throws the question out.  Gwen defends her partner.
   “Rhys? No. He doesn’t know what goes in the vans, he just hires them out.”  She replies too quickly.  The grin on Jack’s face drops.  Gwen is too close.
   “The driver must have seen it loaded.”  Ianto says.
   “That doesn’t implicate Rhys.  He’s the most honest man I know.”
   “Have you got his direct line?”  Toshiko asks.
Jack watches as Gwen goes for her coat, but she lifts out her phone.  Ianto suddenly has an idea and disappears to his work station. 

At Harwood’s Haulage firm a phone rings out in the office.  Ruth, a mid 30’s woman wearing a brown low cut top answers the phone.
   “Harwood’s Haulage, how may I help you?”  She asks calmly as Rhys passes her with a box folder.  She looks towards Rhys at his desk, her hand over the mouth piece.  “It’s the police.” 
Rhys takes the call.  “Yes, speaking.  Yes I’m aware of the accident.” He replies engaging with the caller.  “It’s a firm called Harries & Harries, they came to us a few months back, it’s a weekly contract.”  He explains.
   “Are they licensed?”  Toshiko asks portraying a police officer.
   “Yeah course they’re licensed.”  Rhys replies defensively.
   “Could you give me their address?” 
Rhys follows his finger down the sheet of paper and casts a look at Ruth.  “There’s no address down here.”  She points at his desk.
   “There’s a pick up point, they said it was hard to find.”
Ianto passes up a note to Jack.
   “I’m sorry, all I’ve got is a service station on the A470, 15 miles from Cardiff.”  He looks at Ruth again. 
   “Do you have their contact number?”  Tosh asks.
Rhys looks up with annoyance.  “No, there’s no contact number either.”
Gwen closes her eyes, her hope of Rhys not being involved quickly disappearing. 
   “Can you tell me where your driver took the meat?”  Tosh asks without faltering.
   “Yes, he was taking it to Caerwen Abattoir.  It’s a processing plant, just a gen…a general meat suppliers.”  Rhys says as back at the Hub, Jack passes Toshiko the note.
   “What time did the driver leave base?”
Rhys turns the pages of his invoices.  “Signed out  ten to one.  May I ask what this is about?”  He asks.
   “I can’t release that information sir.” Tosh replies.  “Thanks for your co-operation.” 
   “Yeah but I’m manager of….”  The caller hangs up.  Rhys slams down the phone and sits back in his chair, angrily.
   “Well Leighton was their regular apart from that first booking they just went through him.”  Ruth says in her defence.
   “Yes but now it looks like I’m hiding something Ruth.”  Rhys shouts.

Viewing a certain strip of road from CCTV footage Ianto locates the Harwood’s lorry.  “Got him.” The team glance over as a lorry passes under the CCTV camera on the computer screen.  “There he is coming back 40 minutes later.”  He turns to face Jack and the team.  “Let’s say it takes 20 minutes to load, we are talking about a ten mile radius.”

Down in the Autopsy room Owen has discovered something. 
   “JACK!”  He shouts. 
   “Yeah!”  Setting his coffee down on the nearest workstation Jack heads on over to Owen. 
   “The scan shows it’s definitely alien meat.”
   “Where the hell would they have got it from?”  Jack asks curiously puffing out his cheeks.
   “If it’s going to the processing plant that means it’s going into pies, burgers, pasties…everything.”  Toshiko pulls a face.
   “That means people have been eating it for months.”  Gwen says equally displeased. 
   “Well, the DNA traces are stable.  There are some signs of animal sedative but no detectable diseases or residues.  My guess is it’s good to eat.”  Owen assures her.
   “Would YOU eat it?” Gwen asks him as both she and Jack raise a brow.
   Ianto bounds up the steps from behind them announcing that their pizzas have arrived, when Owen asks what Ianto got for him, he’s less than pleased to discover it’s the usual. 
   “Meat feast.”
   “Lovely.”  He replies staring at the hunk of meat on the slab.

Picking the meat off his pizza, Owen listens as Ianto narrows the potential locations of the slaughterhouse.  “I’ve narrowed it down to three potential areas, only one warehouse is unoccupied.  It’s just outside Merthyr.”
   “Makes sense.”  Says Owen.  “Who knows what goes on there.”
   “We’ve got to shut the operation down.  Neutralise whoever is doing this and identify the alien meat.  Tosh, you can co-ordinate.”
Gwen receives a message on her phone.  It’s from Rhys, requesting her home. 
   “I have to slip home to check on Rhys first.”  She says.
   “Good idea!” Says Jack between mouthfuls of pizza.  “Find out how much he knows.”
   “That’s not what I meant.”  Gwen replies before heading out.  Jack silenced discards his pizza.

When Gwen arrives at the flat, Rhys is sat at the breakfast bar, a mug of tea beside him.  He’s far from happy.  He toys with his phone.
   “Hiya…I got your message, are you alright?”  Gwen asks stepping into the room, awkwardly.
   “Bit of a tough day.”  He sighs.  “Had an accident at work.  One of our lorry’s crashed."
   Gwen struggles to find the right words before asking: “Anyone hurt?”
   “Leighton.  One of my drivers, died.”  He replies bitterly. 
   “Oh no.”
   “He was only 24.”
   “Were you close?”
   “God sake Gwen, you met him.  Small, dark hair, played 5-a-side with me.” Rhys replies slight annoyance in his tone.
   “Sorry I can’t…I can’t place him.”  She says entering the room properly and dispensing with her keys onto a side unit.
   “Well then, I hear that the er…the police have taken the meat out the back of the van you any idea why?”
Leaning against the back of the sofa Gwen pulls a face, clearly unable to offer up any explanation to Rhys. 
   “How would I know?”
   “You work for them.”
   “I don’t deal in traffic accidents.  So…”
   “Well they phoned the office and um…and they asked a load of questions.  Thing is all I do is hire out the lorries, so I…”
   “So there’s nothing to worry about is there?” 
Rhys gave Gwen a hard stare, why wouldn’t she own up?  “Must be something dodgy going on though.”
   “Well if there is you weren’t to know were you?”
   “Er, no, of course not.”  He replies taken aback suddenly.
   “Wish I didn’t have to go back to work now.”  Gwen replies after an awkward few moments.
   “Hardly worth you coming home.”
   “Yes there was.”  Gwen smiles.  “To see you.”  She says stepping towards him, cupping his face in her hands.  “I’m sorry.”  She says kissing him on the lips.  Rhys reciprocates his eyes completely open while Gwen’s are closed.  “I’ll see you later.”  She says moments later.  “Go and have a pint.  Call Dav.”
Rhys nods.  “Yeah, yeah I will.”  Gwen kisses his forehead twice before grabbing her keys and leaving. 
Rhys gives her a few moments head start then follows after her.  Following her to the site of the water tower in the Plass he is surprised to see a man step out from nowhere. 
   “Like I thought,”  says Gwen.  “He has no idea what is going on.” 
Jack smiles and hooks out his arm to Gwen, adopts an olde English accent and asks: “Would you like to accompany me to the slaughterhouse?”  Gwen links arms with him and they walk towards the parked SUV.
   “Have you ever eaten alien meat?”  Gwen asks.
   “What was it like?”
   “He seemed to enjoy it.”  Jack grins.  Gwen’s eyes eventually widen as she gets it.  She giggles.
   “You’re rough.”

Rhys follows them towards what looks like an old warehouse on an industrial estate.  Jack comms Owen and Ianto to hear they are in position.  Ianto directs Jack in to the side where they won’t be noticed, Rhys continues to follow.
   “Ianto, nearly there.”  Jack says, pulling up to the building.
   “Take the 2nd turning.”  Ianto instructs.  “Pull up on the left, no-one will see the car there.”
Jack does so, moments later, Rhys arrives and takes the first road on the left, unaware of the danger he is putting himself in.  Owen uses the sensor while he and Ianto walk around the perimeter of the building.
   “There’s a main entrance outside the front.”  Ianto continues.  “It’s the only one open, the rest are padlocked and alarmed.”  Jack drives up slowly.
At the first exit, Rhys pulls up, going no further as a locked metal fence and gate prevent him.  Looking to his left he sees Owen and Ianto head around the back of the building disappearing from view. 
Jack comms the Ianto and Owen.  “How many are in there?”  He asks from the comfort of the SUV.
   “Difficult to tell, there are no windows.”  Owen replies.
   “I’ve got a blueprint of the warehouse.”  Toshiko adds from the safety of the Hub.  “The stock has to be in the central area.”  After a beat she teases Owen and Ianto.  “Having fun?”  The two exchange glances.
   “Dunno what you’re missing.”  Ianto replies.
   “According to the sensor there’s a heat signature across the entire building.”
   “That’s a lot of meat.”  Gwen says as she waits in the SUV with Jack. 
Impatiently, Rhys calls up Gwen on his mobile, but she doesn’t pick up. 
   “Ohhh answer the phone Gwen!” He growls stowing his phone back in his pocket.
   “You two, take the sides, Gwen and I’ll go in the front.  We don’t want any casualties.”  Jack informs them.  “We stun gun whoever is in there and we stop them from what they’re doing.”

Rhys steps from his car and locks it, pocketing the keys, he goes in search of Gwen.
   “Let’s go.”  Jack announces pushing open the driver’s door.  He doesn’t lock the SUV.  Rhys pulls out his phone and begins texting Gwen while he stands behind a Restricted Access sign on the gate.  Jack notices an unknown male lingering across the fence from them.
   “There’s someone there.”  Gwen looks and is horrified to discover that it’s her boyfriend.
   “It’s Rhys.  It’s Rh…what’s he doing?”

   “Did you bring the alarm deactivator?”  Ianto asks Owen as he surveys the area.  Owen pulls the automatic pistol from the inside of his jacket, the silencer already screwed into the end of the barrel and aims it at the lock disarming it successfully in one shot. Ianto jumps.  “Well that’s one way of doing it.” 

Drawing attention to himself, Rhys has visitors in the shape of a white Pontiac Trans Am driven by a hired hand, the young Harries brother rides shotgun. 
   “He must be in on it.”  Jack says without a shadow of a doubt.

   “Don’t bother running mate.”  Says Dale as he steps out of the car.  It was the last thought Rhys had on his mind. 
Unable to hear the conversation by the three men, Gwen still can’t believe or accept that her fiancé is involved in anything dodgy.
   “Never, no!”
   “Greg, we’ve got a bit of a problem bruv.”  Calls Dale via walkie talkie as he sizes up Rhys.
   “How else do you explain that?”  Jack asks.  Around the other side of the warehouse, Owen and Ianto, weapons drawn prepare to storm the building as Jack comms them.
   “Ianto!  Owen!  Stand down.  I repeat, stand down!”
   “He told me he didn’t know what was going on, he wouldn’t lie to me.”  Gwen said still in shock.
   “He also said he didn’t know where they were based but he did.”
   “There’s something wrong.”  Gwen cries as she sets off to protect her fiancé from further trouble, stun gun in hand. Jack is quick to catch her up and grabs her arm and pulls her away from view, up against a wall and pins her there.
   “Gwen, no!”  He says stamping his authority.  Gwen struggles but Jack won’t allow her to leave.  Catching his breath he maintains focus on Gwen and she on him.  “No.”

   “Come with me.”  Dale instructs Rhys while the hired hand looks on, arms folded, as he leans against the passenger door of the car. 
   “I just have to get him out.”  Gwen insists.
   “What, by charging in there?  What then, you gonna knock him out?”

With flickering fluorescent lighting overhead, Rhys is pushed ahead of Dale, along the grey coloured corridor inside the warehouse.
   “Look lads…I don’t mean any harm, honestly.”  Rhys tells them as the older brother steps into view and walks on ahead.
   “You can’t just go in there.  You have to do as I say.”  Jack says controlling the situation.  After a few moments he releases hold of Gwen and steps back, his eyes still upon her.  “We wait until he comes out.”  He says, looking back towards the car, side glancing at Gwen momentarily.

In a bloody room where an even bloodier conveyor belt sits containing a few slabs of freshly cut meat.  A worker in protective clothing wearing a helmet and protective goggles carries a hunk of meat the size almost of a bale of hay towards the belt as Rhys enters after the Harries brothers.  The bespectacled Vet enters briefly holding his nose against the smell.  He’s particularly concerned about the condition of the creature and the cutting of the meat.
   “Boys, you should have waited for the Ketamine injection before doing that.”  He tells one of the butchers.
   “What about the hoses?”
   “That’s only Lidocaine.  It’s not strong enough.”
   “Well if you care so much, go and work for the RSPCA.” Quips Dale as he walks through to the office.  “Or don’t they pay as good?”
   “Oi, you through here.”  Greg instructs.
   “SHIFT.”  Yells Dale as Rhys lingers at the meat on the belts.  He points to a meat cleaver on the side.  “I want you with one of those, with me, now.”  He orders before following after his brother and Rhys.

In a cluttered ‘boys’ office bearing white walls where posing girls on a calendar hang beside an array of car number plates and a dart board, Rhys sits on a chair facing Greg, the elder of the two brothers.  The man holding the meat cleaver guards the door, Dale sits nearby on the sofa. 
   “Who sent you?” 
   “Come on now don’t waste our time.”  Dale gets to his feet.
   “No-one sent me, I um…I came on my own.  I’m looking for the boss.”  Rhys admits.
   “You’re looking at him.”  Dale says.
   “No my little brother.”  Greg corrects him.
   “I’m er…” Rhys fumbles in his pocket for his Harwood’s ID. “I’m from Harwood’s.”  He says handing over his ID as proof to Dale.  “Harwood’s Haulage.  Leighton?  Leighton your driver, he um, well he er, he sort of told me what was going on and that.”  Rhys nervously told them.
   “Mouthy git, he was paid to keep quiet.”  Dale growled.  Greg raised his hand to stop his brother saying anything else he shouldn’t.
   “Er, well, he’s dead.”  The brothers exchange glances.  “The lorry crashed.”
   “With the goods inside?”
   “What about the meat, did anyone see it?” Greg asks.
   “No, I er, picked it all up and took it all to be incinerated.”  The brothers exchange silent glances.  Dale hands the ID to his brother.  “You see I was hoping I could pick up where he left off boys.”
   “How do we know you won’t report us?” Dale asks.
   “I’m here aren’t I?” Dale laughs.  Greg moves from the desk.
   “What exactly did he tell you.”
   “Er, everything, you know, that you were cleaning up old meat.”
   “Oh it’s a lot bigger than that.”  Dale says, staring from the window back to Rhys.

Taken along the same old corridor, Rhys notices the level of blood on the ground.  The smell is heavy and overpowering.  As Rhys is led through to the warehouse the stench makes his eyes smart and catches at the back of his throat.  Plaintive cries can be heard from the creature as meat is continually cut from its body. 
   “What’s that noise?”  Rhys asks his hand near his mouth.  Suddenly as his eyes grow accustomed to the room he sees the massive creature before him and walks towards it in wonderment and awe.  It opens its large eyelid and stares back at him.  As it screams again in pain Rhys leaps back, fear gripping him, yet he still can’t take his eyes from the monstrous whale like creature taking up almost the entire warehouse. 
   “What is it boys?”
   “No idea.”  Greg replies admiring the cash cow.  “The beauty of it is it just keeps growing, no matter how much we cut it.” 
As Rhys gazes along the side of the beast his eyes linger on the bloody flesh at a workman’s feet, and the vet injecting something into the creature using a very large syringe.  Unable to stop himself, he throws up.  Dale laughs.
   “You get used to it.”

Outside Jack and Gwen watch as Rhys returns to the Pontiac Trans Am and shakes hands with Dale.
   “I don’t get it.” Gwen replies still in shock.  Jack equally with questions shakes his head in disgust.  Rhys hurries to his car and unlocks it, waving to Dale as he climbs back into it.
   “Come on.”  Jack calls to Gwen.  “Let’s go.”

Back at the flat still wearing the same clothes from earlier, Rhys knocks back a beer to take the foul taste from his mouth.  The outer door slams shut and Gwen enters demanding to know what Rhys was doing at the warehouse.
   “YOU LIED TO ME.”  Rhys yells.  “YOU WERE AT THAT CRASH.”
   “I don’t know what you are talking about, what...?”
   “Stop pissing me around Gwen, you’re so used to lying, fobbing me off like the idiot I obviously am.”
   “Those blokes paying you?  Why were you there?”
   “No I’m asking the questions, alright?”  Pause.  “I followed you ok.  Yeah.  So that bloke, the tall bloke in the coat.  You fucking him or what?”
Gwen who had so far tried not to get involved in a shouting match straightens up and glares daggers at Rhys.
   “All I ever asked was you trust me.”
   “What, like you trust me? It’s a two way street, Gwen.”
   “There’s stuff you don’t understand Rhys.”
   “Oh of course not, I’m just a big dumb animal aren’t I?  I mean what’s so secret that you can’t tell your own fiancé eh?  You know in fact…why are you marrying me, eh Gwen, what am I, a habit you just can’t be arsed to break?”
   “Then tell the truth.”
   “ALRIGHT.”  Gwen yells.  “ALRIGHT, MY JOB…THE SPECIAL OPS THING…it’s a lie, a cover story.”
   “Thank you, at last, God what’s that taken, about a year? That’s one lied down, how many more have we got to deal with eh?  Is there anything in your life that’s actually based on truth?”
   “Us.”  Gwen utters in a whisper.
   “Us?”  Laughs hysterically.  “Us? Us is crumbling, Gwen.  Us is falling to shit.”
   “Do you think I enjoy keeping all this stuff to myself?”
   “Then why did you?”
   “BECAUSE I’M TRYING TO PROTECT YOU.”  Gwen replies.  “Have you ever stopped to think about that? No!  No, because you prefer to blunder in without thinking or looking.  Good old ham fisted Rhys, his heart, his heart is in the right place but his brain is a million fucking miles back.”
   “Come on, come on.”  Rhys goads her.  “Let’s have it all then shall we, eh?  What exactly do I need protecting from?”
   “I CATCH ALIENS.”  Silence falls for a beat.
   “Piss off.”
   “No you piss off, it’s the truth.”
   “If you’re not going to take it seriously.”
   “This is why I couldn’t tell you, because I hunt down aliens and I scavenge the stuff they leave behind.  I mean, sometimes I don’t believe it myself.”  She says taking a seat.
   “Jesus Christ, what’s got into you?  Have you been brainwashed is that it?  Is that what happened as you’re talking some high grade shit here.”
   “Every word is the truth.  Rhys, the things I have seen…”  Gwen knows how hard it will be to explain her life with Torchwood to Rhys, and part of her isn’t sure she should.  “The times I have wanted to tell you…”  She sits back taking in deep breaths.  Rhys stares at her and points out of the window. 
   “Aliens, in Cardiff?”
   “Have you never seen something so mad, so extraordinary that for one second you think that there might be more out there?”
   “Prove it.”

In the Hub Jack stands beside a large Victorian waste pipe glowing green inside, while Ianto waits at his workstation.  News of Gwen and Rhys’ confessions to each other has reached the team. 
   “Well this is unprecedented, the fiancé finding out.”  Ianto finally takes a mouthful of beer as he leans against an iron prop near Toshiko’s workstation.  Toshiko sits on the sofa near her glass of wine while Owen takes a pew at the top of the steps leading to the Autopsy room for a better view of his overhead screen.  
   “Mainly because we’re sad and single.”  Toshiko laughs, Ianto smiles, knowing different.
   “Er speak for yourself.”  Owen replies turning his seat around to face her.  “I am better off without all that kind of hassle.”
Jack walks towards the greenhouse. 
   “Maybe the answer is to go out with someone who knows what you do?” 
   “Look around you Tosh, only we know what we do.”  Owen replies going back to what he was doing prior.  Tosh lifts up her glass of wine while Ianto glances up at Jack now standing hands in pockets in the greenhouse, staring back down.  Ianto returns to his beer. 

Outside in front of the Millennium Centre, Rhys walks with Gwen towards the water tower. 
   “I saw you earlier, with him, that bloke.  He appeared out of nowhere.”
   “It’s an invisible lift.”  Gwen explains standing on the step and encourages Rhys to do the same.  “Oh it’s too complicated to explain.  Come on. Trust me.”  She holds out her hand to him, once on, she holds onto his arm ready for the lift beginning to move, in the same way she remembers holding onto Jack when it happened to her, on the way back up. “Ready?”  Not sure what to expect, and doesn’t really expect anything to happen, he replies.
After a few moments the floor opens below them and the hydraulics begin to pull the step down into the Hub.  Jack strides along the top gangway, past the green portholes, and stares towards the lowering lift. The hydraulic hatch closes above them.  Rhys is amazed and can’t believe his eyes as he sees the magnitude of the underground lair he’s entering.  Gwen smiles patiently. 
   “Wow.”  Gwen laughs at her fiancé’s reaction to it all. “Who’d have thought all this was here?”    Myfanwy flies overhead, screeching, again Rhys is taken aback at how lifelike it looked.  “That looked so real.”
   “It was real.”
   “They’re extinct Gwen.”
   “In your time line yes.  Captain Jack Harkness.”  Jack says striding over to shake hands with Rhys as the lift touches down.  “Thanks for dropping in Rhys.”
   “This is the rest of the team.”  Gwen introduces them to Rhys.  “Owen and Toshiko, Ianto.”
They each acknowledge the newcomer but with an air of caution.
   “Pleased to meet you.”
   “Welcome to our headquarters.”  Jack says.
   “It’s a bit bigger than mine.”  Rhys replies.  Jack laughs lightly.  “So, Gwen tells me you catch aliens.”
   “That’s right.”
   “There’s a Rift through space and time that runs through Cardiff, Rhys, and stuff slips through it from other time lines and planets, and it’s our job to monitor it.”
Rhys isn’t sure about them and as he steps off the lift he airs his feelings to Gwen.  “Are you sure they’re not some kind of weird cult?”
   “You saw that alien in the warehouse.”  Gwen replies, then with some urgency nudges him to open up.  “Go on.”
   “What did you see?”  Jack asks, mirroring the questions he began to ask Gwen when she first arrived.
   “Er…it was like this huge, shapeless beast, filling the space.  Like a mound of flesh.”
   “So it’s one massive entity as opposed to several organisms.”  Tosh begins to realise.
   “The latest tests reveal high levels of chloride, so it probably lives in the water.  I reckon it came through the Rift, into the sea and it’s beached itself.”
   “Like a giant alien manatee.”  Jack suggests.
   “But how did they get it there? That warehouse must be 50 metres long."
   “Maybe it was smaller when they found it, because they said it’s growing.”  Rhys explains.
   “It’s not dead?”  Jack is surprised.
   “No it’s breathing.  Its eye opened.”
   “So the protein chains regenerate despite the mutilation.  So not only is it replenishing its own flesh but it’s increasing it, giving them a brand new meat supply.”  Owen realises.
   “It will last them for years then.”
    “If we understood how it worked, we could feed the world.”
   “We could release a single.”
   “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”  Jack steps in before talk of feeding the world gets out of hand.  “We’re talking dodgy pies in Merthyr, ok? And the fact that they’re cutting it up alive, which we could have put a stop to already if it wasn’t for you.”  Jack turns on Rhys. 
   “I thought my fiancee was in danger.”  Rhys becomes defensive.
   “Well Mr Caveman, she wasn’t.  She can handle herself.” Jack says taking steps towards Rhys.  Gwen steps back and tries to calm the situation but Jack isn’t stepping down. 
   “All you did tonight was mess things up.  Now we have to think of a way to get back in and thanks to you, they’ll have tightened security.”  Jack walks away from Rhys.
   “Well if you stopped and asked me exactly what I saw in there, instead of showing off around the place…”
   “Do I show off?”  Jack asks Ianto.
   “Just a bit.”
   “…you’d know that I got out by telling them I wanted a job, as a delivery boy.  So rather than cock things up, I’ve found you a way to get in.”  Rhys replies walking towards Jack.  “But if you can’t handle that big boy, then you can stuff it.”  He says almost nose to nose with Harkness.
   “This is quite homo-erotic.”  Jack says staring past Rhys to look at Gwen.
   “No, no, no Jack, he is not getting us in.”
   “Team meeting.”  Jack says pointing his finger at Gwen.  He turns to face Rhys.  “You too.”  He points before stalking away.
   “Jack…”  Gwen follows after him and the team follow suit.  A little bewildered Rhys steps in line and trails after them. 

 In the Boardroom a series of blueprints line the long table.  Rhys points out a few of the rooms from the top sheet.  Jack sits at the head of the table, Toshiko at the opposite end, while Owen and Ianto sit either side.  Gwen stands, arms folded.  Now that Rhys is in the Hub, she begins to wish she’d not told him.  He could get hurt, if Jack gets his way. 
   “That’s where the thing is.  That’s the sedatives room.  That’s where they pack the meat.” 
   “That’s good to know.”
   “Yeah that is good to know but he’s not driving us in.” 
   “But they’re expecting me.”  Rhys replies.  Gwen doesn’t like it. Anything could go wrong.  “You lot can hide in the back of the van.”
   “What is this, Scooby Doo?  Absolutely no way is he getting involved.”  Gwen asserts herself.
   “Oh, where was I when you decided to get involved, did you give me a second’s thought?”  Rhys replies aggressively.
   “Oh joy, a domestic.”  Owen says to Toshiko.
   “Rhys is right, he’s our best way in.  Stun guns only.”
   “We’ve handled bigger than this.  Why don’t we storm in, guns in the air and arrest them?”
   “Those men aren’t organised criminals.  If we go in guns blazing they’ll kill the evidence and run.”
   “I wasn’t suggesting blazing, just waving.”  Owen replies.
   “The last thing we need is a bloodbath.”  Jack says rising from his seat.
   “Point taken.”
   “I know that…”  Gwen replies.
   “Once Rhys has loaded up, he can clear.  You don’t have to come.  You can stand down.”  Jack offers to Gwen.
   “It might be better.”  Tosh says.
   “You love him.”  Jack says.  “Makes you vulnerable.”
   “He’s not going in there without me.”  Gwen says determinedly.
   “That’s your decision.”
   “Yes it is.”
   “You both have to live by it.”
   “Come on.”  Rhys says gearing up for the return.  “You and me – a team!”
   “Damn it Rhys!”  Gwen snaps, angrily.  “This is for real.  Do you understand that?  This is for real.  And if you mess it up, I will kill you.”
Rhys takes a seat, as Toshiko stands.  “So, after we’ve stun gunned the workers, we put the creature out of its misery.” 
   “No.”  Jack surprises them all.  “We’re gonna save it.  Stabilise it, wait for the Rift to open and…send it back.”  He says.
   “Guess who’ll have to look after it in the meantime.”  Ianto drowns his disappointment in a cup of coffee.
   “Tell me exactly how are we going to use it to arm ourselves against the future?”  Toshiko asks retaking her seat.
   “We could always hide behind it.”  Owen jokes.
   “Why shouldn’t we save it?  Because it’s alien?  It needs our protection.”
   “You didn’t hear its cry.  Heart breaking.”
   “Listen to Ahab.”
   “Jack, it’s growing.”  Owen points out.
   “Well, we’ll find a way to stop it mutating.  We are doing this. That’s an order.”
   “I’ll stock up on plankton.”  The team depart.  Rhys drinks his coffee. 
   “So you do have a heart.”  Gwen says looking at Jack.  Aware that Rhys is watching them, Jack turns to face him. 
   “We see enough death.”  He exits the boardroom leaving Gwen and Rhys alone.

In the Greenhouse, Owen stares at an animated version of the creature from information he’s gathered, as Toshiko enters with sandwiches on a plate decorated with a side garnish.
   “What’s that?”
   “Oh it’s an idea of what it looks like.  I had it made up from the genetic make up.”
   “It looks lovely.”
   “You’re just a big softie really, aren’t you?”  Toshiko says reaching a hand to touch his shoulder, retracting quickly as he moves away.  
   “I’d better get on with that report.”
   “I brought you some sandwiches.”
   “Thanks Tosh.”
   “It’s ok, it’s just cheese and pickle.”  She smiles, even more when Owen grins at her.  “I can keep you company, I’m not tired.”
   “In that case, maybe you can do it, I’m knackered.” Owen says throwing the pen down with a clatter and leaving Toshiko deflated. “That’s another big lump out of its habitat.”  He says pointing to a long leafy plant under lighting.  As he settles to work he sees Gwen and Rhys on the sofa below them.  Toshiko places the plate on the table and looks over also. 
   “Makes you realise, maybe it is possible to do this job and have a relationship.”  Owen looks at her and mutters before returning to the box at his feet. 
   “Do you fancy a game of pool sometime?”  Toshiko asks changing the subject.  “We’re always in here slaving away.  It might be nice to, I don’t know, kick back and have some fun.”
   “Yeah, why not?”
   “I’ll check with the others.  We could have a Torchwood tournament.”  Toshiko’s face drops, it hadn’t been what she’d meant.  It was going to be impossible to have Owen all to herself.  Impossible!  “Thanks for the sandwiches, Tosh.”  Owen says, lifting them up as he exits the room. 

   “I thought you were anti-terrorism or something.  That was bad enough, but knowing you’re in this much danger.”  Rhys says to Gwen on the sofa, in the Hub. 
   “Yeah, you’d feel like I do now.  Worried sick.  You don’t have to do this to prove anything to me.”
   “I’m not leaving you with all these sexy young men.”  Says Rhys as Owen walks past for a second time.  Gwen smiles. 
   “There’s only one from where I’m sitting.”  She says leaning in to kiss Rhys, with one eye on Jack, in his office, reading ‘Scavengers from Space’.  Jack looks up, at Gwen, as she kisses Rhys, before moving away. 

It’s the next day.  The SUV drops Jack and Rhys off at the Haulage yard.
   “Sure about this?”  Jack asks as they walk towards the office.
   “Cos once they ring, there’s no turning back.”
Inside, Rhys shouts a good morning to Ruth.
   “You just missed the advert.”  She tells him.
   “Yeah? I just popped in for my jacket and to sign for a van.”  Rhys tells her as he lifts the clipboard from the wall.  Ruth squeezes past Jack with a brown paper bag in her hand and a mug in the other.
   “Here’s your tea.  And I got you a Danish, your favourite.”
   “I’m in the wrong job.”  Jack quips. 
   “We have got job vacancies.”  Jack’s eyes light up.
   “Maybe you could fit me in.”
   “I’d be delighted to.”  Ruth smiles.
   “Would I need a licence for trucking?”  Jack says pronouncing the ‘ck’ clearly.
   “Yes.  Takes four weeks, and then you can go long distance.”  She replies clearly unaware that the Captain was teasing her.
   “That wouldn’t be a problem.” He says leaning in towards her ear.  As he walks past Ruth feels a pinch on her behind.  As she turns back towards Jack, he winks at her.  Her morning just picked up.  The phone rings.
   “It’s them.”  Rhys says. 
   “Yeah, hello?”

On the road to the delivery Rhys wants to know why Torchwood wanted Gwen.
   “Why her? Of all the women you could have chosen…”
   “She chose us.  Kinda stumbled upon us.” 
   “So did I.  Doubt you’ll be asking me to join.”
   “We needed someone with police skills.”
   “Could have chosen anyone.  Did you ever think about us? You know, me, her parents, people who love her, who want her safe?”
   “No, I’m sorry.  We needed her.”  Jack stares out of the side window.  “On her first day at work she told me off for being too clinical.”  He laughs remembering.
   “She doesn’t hold back, mind.”
   “Stubborn as hell.”  Jack agrees.
   “Tell me about it.  Yeah she’s an amazing girl.  I’m a lucky man Jack.”
   “Yeah, you said it.”
   “I just wish you were a bit uglier.”  He says looking at Jack and laughing.  “Not gay by any chance are you?”

Guided in by Owen, Rhys backs the van at the back of the Hub, near to where the SUV is often parked.  Gwen meets him at the drivers door with another Danish. 
   “I know what you’re like on an empty stomach.”  Rhys casts a glance at Jack, who chuckles and exits the cabin. 
   Rhys follows them to the back of the van to lock it up as soon as the team are securely inside.  After insisting that he ‘get away’ as soon as he can, she kisses him often till he insists she get in the van with the others. Jack and Rhys exchange glances before he closes the back of the van and heads on to the slaughterhouse.
In the back of the van the team tool up.

At the entrance to the slaughterhouse, a scruffy worker in a fluorescent jacket checks his paperwork before letting him and the van through.  Meanwhile in the back of the van, in torchlight, Owen makes his plan of action.
   “I’ll prepare a ketamine antidote so we can start weaning it off.”
   “Gwen, Tosh and I will take the main area.  Owen, Ianto, cover the corridors and the small rooms.”  Jack shines his torch back at Gwen who stares ahead, worried for Rhys but aware of her role today.  “You ok?”
   “What do you think?”
   “He’ll be fine, he’s a good bloke.”  Owen reassures her.
   “Let’s go.”  Jack says.

The van pulls up outside the slaughterhouse and the heavy from the day before meets them and opens the passenger door. 
   “Yeah I just need your boss to sign this mate, Don’t want any questions asked, see?”  Rhys tells him.  The guy wanders off.  While he waits, Rhys whistles the attention of another worker and asks for a cup of tea.  The worker reluctantly heads off to make one.
With the workers out of the way, Rhys heads to the back of the van to release the team but they’re already gone and the back doors are open.  Glancing around him, Rhys sees nobody.  Quick as he can he quickly closes the doors.  He sees the side door of the van is open and quickly closes it, as Greg calls him from inside the warehouse.
   “Where do you want my autograph?”
   “Er…just on there, mate.”
   “Here’s a oner for your trouble.  Count it, if you like.”  Greg signs the docket.
   “No it’s fine, mate, I trust you.” 
   “When you get to the abattoir, ask for Graham.  Him and the boys clean it up and process it.”  Dale informs him.
   “Alright.”  Rhys checks the form and returns to the van.  Dale watches him suspiciously.

Entering the meat room there are meat chunks hanging from meat hooks over conveyor belts, meat on trays, all raw and the stench very strong.  Ianto is momentarily overcome by the smell.
   “Mmm!”  Owen glances at Ianto before edging ahead, weapon raised for danger.  Owen gestures for Ianto to continue ahead while he heads off for the sedative room. 

It’s only when Jack and the girls reach the warehouse itself does he lower his weapon.  The size of the creature takes his breath away, that and the smell.  He shines his flashlight along the bulk of the creature.  Gwen and Toshiko stare in horror at the sentient creature in awe.
   “Oh my God, it’s amazing.”
   “How did it get here?”  Toshiko asks edging closer.
All three shine their torches at the creature.  They see the cables that tether it to the spot.  It continues to cry in pain while they watch.
 Jack hushes the girls as he hears a wheelbarrow close by, holding back Gwen and Toshiko he steps back as a worker passes with a container.  They put their torches out.  Running but keeping in the shadows, Jack, Gwen and Toshiko go for a closer look.  With hand signals, Jack relays instructions to both of them.  Jack edges closer.  Ahead of them the constant thunks can be heard against the creature.  Only when they’re close enough do they make out what the worker is doing to the creature.  Jack steps out of the shadows as the man wheels a chunk of meat on the barrow and  attacks the him with the stun gun from behind, quickly catching him as he falls, dragging him out of sight.  The man’s hard hat falls to the ground.     
Gwen switches on her flashlight shining it at the creature in front of her. 
   “Imprisoned, chained and drugged.  Welcome to planet Earth.”  The Star Whale cries out in pain, opening its eye. 
   “It heard you.  It’s sentient.”  Tosh smiles.
Gwen continues along the side of the creature, checking the shadows to be sure nobody else is about.  She calls to Jack to follow.  Shining her flashlight at the creature she sees what is causing the strong smell that gets her at the back of her throat.  The gaping wound in the side of the creature. 
   “Oh, that’s disgusting.”
   “What have they done to you?”  Jack touches the open wound of the creature finding an empathy for it and closes his eyes, deeply saddened by the vicious human attack upon a defenseless creature.  “What have they done to you my poor friend?” 

In the meat room Owen spies a worker coming towards him, he hides behind the door, grabbing the worker as he enters and throws him against some units.  Dazed and confused, the worker is thrown against a table and stun gunned at the back of the neck.  Owen finds a weapon on him and relieves him of it.  The stakes have now been raised.
   “Everyone…they’re armed.”

   “Rhys.”  Gwen says, hearing the news and backing away slightly.  Jack keeps her focused.
   “Gwen, stay here.”

Ianto hares down the metal stairs out into another room.  Outside, the vet has arrived, on his pushbike.  He cycles past Rhys and Dale having a cuppa.
  “Where have you been, that injection was due ten minutes ago?”
   “I needed more ketamine.  I’ve had to up the dose.  Dale, the thing’s in agony man.”
   “It’s meat.  It can’t feel anything.  You going soft or what? Get inside and play nurse, if you’re so bothered.  We’ve got work to do.” Dale knocks back his large mug of tea when he’s distracted by his brother calling to two workers with a trolley.  Something clearly isn’t right.
    “Woah woah woah hang on.  There’s only 12 bags in here.  He’s supposed to have three more.  Come on, hurry up!”  Greg orders.  Nervously, Rhys checks his watch.

In the Sedatives room Owen concocts a mixture while Ianto keeps watch.  A workman comes through from another room.  Ianto cheerily waves to him.  “Hello.”  He says patting down his coat.  “I think I have a thingy here.”  He tells him as the worker who made Rhys’ tea comes over.  Finding the stun gun inside his jacket, Ianto fires it into the man’s chest.  “Hell of a day.”  He says catching the unconscious male before he falls.  

Out in the Loading Bay Rhys is getting nervous.  “I should be getting off mate.  I’ve got jobs backing up, you see?”  He tells Dale while he climbs into the driver’s seat.
   “Well they’ll have to wait, won’t they?” 
Ianto drags the unconscious man out of sight, but not quick enough, he’s been spotted. 
   “Dale, we’ve got trouble, there’s people in the building.” 

Ianto dispenses with the unconscious man and dusts himself down.  Out in the Loading Bay, Dale retaliates by attacking Rhys with the butt of his handgun. 
   “You want to answer me?”

In the warehouse, Gwen asks after Rhys.
   “Ianto did Rhys get away?”
   “I’ll check now.”

In the Sedative room Owen continues to mix from the selection of drugs available on the shelves.  As Ianto rushes through the Meat room one way, the Harries brothers with Rhys rush through the other end and meet in the middle.  Suddenly the tables are turned.  Ianto faces unpredictable men with guns. 

   “Hey hey hey!  You looking for someone?  How many more of you?”  Dale asks waving a gun at Ianto.
   “Just us.”  Ianto says with the roll of the eyes.
   “You thought the two of you could take us out?”  Ianto raises a brow.  “Nah, you’re not that stupid.”  Dale opens Ianto’s jacket and pulls out the stun gun.  “Dave, get some ropes, tie their hands.  I want every door locked, inside and out.  Nobody leaves the building till this is sorted. Move it.”  Dale bellows.  Owen who had heard the commotion watches from the opposite end and reports back to Jack, through comms. 
   “They’ve got Rhys and Ianto.”

Inside the warehouse, with the Star whale, Gwen heads for the exit as Jack grabs her.  She wrestles in his grip, but Jack doesn’t let go. 
   “Gwen!  Gwen!  Listen!  Hey!  It will be ok.”  He assures her, but Gwen has her doubts.

The warehouse goes into lockdown, the workforce including the Harries brothers secure every lock on every door, for the team inside the warehouse and the slaughterhouse itself, there is no escape.
Toshiko tries the door, Jack kicks another. 
   “They must know we’re here.”
   “This way.”  Gwen says leading the way back out of the Whale room, just as Ianto is brought through with Rhys.  She quickly ducks behind some boxes, Jack and Toshiko a little behind duck out of sight also.  Ianto stares at the huge whale in awe despite the gun pointed at his head.  Gwen watches as her boyfriend is pushed roughly into the room with Ianto.  Glancing back at Jack, he insists she remains calm.
   “What is it?”
   “The lads call it the Cash Cow.”  Dale replies pressing his gun to Rhys’ head.
   “Dale, what are you doing?”  The Vet races into the warehouse, events are escalating beyond his imagination. 
   “They couldn’t bear to see us making money, Vic.”  Dale tells him before turning his attention to Rhys pressing the gun harder against his neck. “Fancied some for yourselves, eh?  Thought we’d be a pushover?”  Again Gwen looks to Jack negotiating tactics, again Jack mouths ‘No’.
   “Mate, you’re so out of your depth.”
   “Funny, I was just thinking the same about you.”  Dale shoves Rhys forward, Vic the Vet begs Dale not to do anything stupid.
   “Show yourselves.”  Dale calls out across the Whale room.  “Or I shoot the delivery boy.”
Against Jack’s wishes Gwen steps forward, arms raised.  “OK.  There’s no need to make threats.”
   “Just the two of you is it?”  Ianto glances from Dale to Gwen.  “Gun down.  Kick it over here.” 
   “I don’t have a gun.”  Gwen says walking slowly towards them.
   “He had one, so you must have.”  Before things escalate further, Gwen pulls her gun from her back holster. 
   “Ok.”  She drops it to the floor ahead of her.
   “Any more of you?  And before you answer, have a proper think, cos if you lie…”  Dale shifts his aim towards Gwen.  “I will shoot you.”
   “It’s just me.”  Gwen confirms. 
   “Get against the drum.”  Dale instructs Gwen as she walks towards him. 
   “We can help you, Dale.”
   “Yeah, help yourselves more like.”  He shoves Rhys forwards. “Stand next to her.  You too.”  Rhys runs towards Gwen.  He instructs Ianto until from up on a walkway his brother spots Jack and Toshiko behind crates. 
   “Dale, two more.  Far corner.  They can’t get out.  It’s locked.” 
Dale pulls back Ianto and orders Jack and Toshiko out from their safe zone.  “Kick out your weapons, stand where I can see you.”
Jack and Toshiko step from behind the crates, their hands raised.
   “Drop your weapons.”
Toshiko drops hers near her, Jack tosses his to one side, it clatters to the ground.  “Do you know what you’ve got here Dale?”
   “Shut up now.”
   “It’s an alien.  A creature from another galaxy.  It came through a Rift in time and space and it was unlucky enough to find you.”
   “No, no way.”  Vic the vet can’t believe it.
   “Did you really think it originated on this planet? Have you ever seen anything like it before?”
   “It can’t be.  Can it?”
   “Look at it.  Look at it.”
   “It’s just meat, that’s all.” 
Ianto slowly begins to loosen the ropes around his wrists.
   “You’re carving up a sentient creature, and you’ve got to stop.”
   “And then what have I got?  I’m making money here!  This is my business.  For the first time in my life, I’ve actually got something for myself.”
   “Dale, stop.  You can still walk away from this.” 
The ties are almost off his wrists.
   “No, you lied to me.”  Dale switches his aim towards Gwen and fires off a shot.  Rhys cries out “No.”  and leaps to Gwen’s defense taking a bullet for her.  Ianto now free of the ropes wrestles Dale for the gun.  Jack and Toshiko pick up their weapons, Gwen helps Rhys, Jack can’t get a decent shot of Dale without hitting Ianto, the Whale distressed enough without hearing gunfire begins to stress at the cables containing it, pulling them from their moorings.  Jack pulls Toshiko away from the cables before it cuts her in half.  The moorings are coming away on all sides.  Dale brings Ianto down to the ground and attempts to fire but there are no more bullets.  He runs from the warehouse.  Winded by Dale, it takes Ianto a few moments to regain his breath as well as notice that the whale is just a tad angry. 
   “Ianto!  Go, after them.”  Jack yells.  As Ianto heads off Jack comms Owen.  “Owen, Rhys has been shot!  The creature’s coming loose – we need that sedative now!”
   “Open your eyes.  Come on.  You can do this.”  Gwen begs Rhys as she cradles him in her arms.

   “Yeah I’m on it, I’m on it.”  Owen replies from the Sedative room, continually mixing
   “Owen, we need you.”  Jack calls over comms as the whale is free of its moorings and looks to crush everything in it’s path.  “We’re trapped.  The creature’s breaking free.  If we try and get past, we’ll be crushed.”

Vic stumbles upon Owen in the Sedatives room and is instantly grabbed and slammed against the secured door. 
   “It wasn’t me!  I never wanted to be a part of this!”  He whines.  “Sedatives won’t work now.  If it’s got loose, you’re never gonna stop it.”
The stun gun screams into action and Vic the Vet is out for the count. 
   “We’ve gotta help them.”  Ianto pants.  “It’s out of control.”
   “Change of plan.”  Owen decides and grabs a large syringe, a bottle and exits the room.

Packing the money into bags and sliding them across the floor to his older brother, Dale is clearing out. 
   “You went and shot him, bruv.  Come on.”
   “Go, go!”
   “Fill the other one.”
   “I’m going as fast as I can.” Greg rushes to the door as Ianto kicks it open, knocking him off his feet.  He doesn’t have a chance to react before he’s stunned in the chest.  Ianto, cool as a cucumber turns his attention to Dale as he reaches for the gun on the table, it’s kicked clean from his hand.  Dale looses balance and falls backwards. 
   “Pray they survive.”  Ianto says firing the stun guns Dale in the head.

With the syringe and bottle in his hand Owen enters the room with the rather aggressive screaming pissed off whale and having never seen it before is taken aback by its sheer size.
   “Bloody hell!”  There’s no time to lose, filling the syringe he edges warily towards the creature.  “I’m sorry.”  He says as he pumps in the contents of the bottle before backing away and filling it up again.  The creature screams and thrashes.  Clearly distressed.
   “He’s ok.”  Gwen assures Jack about Rhys. 
   “Owen, you’re making it worse.”  Jack shouts over the din.
When Owen injects the whale again it’s cries change pitch, and it grows heavy and tired and drops.  Owen doesn’t take his eyes off the creature.  Able to move now, Jack comes to Gwen’s aid.  Rhys’ eyes are closed.  She yells at him to wake up.
   “Open your eyes!  You can do it.  Come on.”  Gwen begs of Rhys again.
   “It’s working.  Yeah, it’s working.”  Owen says watching the creature weaken.
   “What did you do?”  Jack asks, almost afraid to ask.
   “Mercy killing.”  Owen replies angry that he had to resort to this and discards the syringe in temper.
Jack is saddened by the turn of events.  The plaintive cries of the whale lessen, it’s dying.  He shifts his attention from the team to the whale, placing a hand on the creature, while Owen rushes towards Gwen and Rhys. 
   “Rhys, Rhys, listen to me, listen to me.  That’s it, you’re with me, OK?  I’ve got you tight, keep your eyes nice and open.”
Jack closes his eyes and mourns the loss of a beautiful creature, like a man losing his faithful hound. 
   “Gwen, let me look at him.”  Owen begins to treat Rhys with help from Gwen.  “OK.  Soft, soft, soft.  Ok.  I’m going to rip this.  I want you to keep the pressure on ok?”
The creatures cries are like that of a small kitten.  As Owen gets to his feet he can feel it’s pain.  “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.”  Owen knew it was the right thing to do, the creature had suffered enough, but as the creature finally died, he felt saddened by its loss and as Toshiko placed her hand upon his shoulder, he took great comfort in it.

Back at the Hub, Rhys lies upon the table, as Owen completes the dressing.  Gwen is happy he’s alive. 
   “Hero of the hour.”  Toshiko says peering over the railings beside Jack. 
   “Hey.”  Rhys smiles up at Gwen.
   “Hey.”  Gwen replies.
   “Are you alright?”  He asks, still a little woozy.
   “I am now you are.  Yeah.”  Gwen kisses him but he groans.  “Sorry.”  She pulls away.
   “Next time let her take the bullet.”
   “Never.  What happened to the blokes?”
   “We gave them amnesia pills.  They’ll remember who they are but not what they did over the past few months.” Jack says regrettably.
   “So they got away with it?”
   “It would never stand up in a court of law.”  Jack tells him.
   “And the creature?”
Gwen looks at Owen who remains silent.  Toshiko remains quiet, after a few moments Jack sadly breaks his silence.
   “So there’s nothing left.  It was never there.”  Rhys shuts his eyes. 
   “Gwen, I need a word.”  Jack says walking off.  Gwen leans in and kisses Rhys before following Jack to his office.

   “Rhys has to forget too, you know.”  He says picking up the wooden box on his desk that contains the retcon pills.
   “At least let me give it to him at home.”
Jack lifts out a white pill and hands it to Gwen, who takes it and puts it into her back pocket and leaves the room. 

Outside of the Hub Rhys his arm in a sling, enjoys the fresh air after the horrors of earlier.  Gwen looks across Bay thoughtfully.
   “Let’s not go home just yet.”
   “Rhys, you’ve just been shot.”
   “I know.  Come on, let’s go for an ice cream.”

In the basking heat, Rhys sits with his ice cream down to a mouthful, on the steps of the Senedd building.  Gwen quietly thinking as she holds her drinking glass. 
   “Look around us.  Nobody else knows what we’ve been through.  Or what else is out there.  The sky won’t be the same to me any more.  I used to look up and think, “Ah, looks like rain, man.”  But now, oh, now I’ll…I’ll look and I’ll think of all the other worlds and the planets and stuff spinning around out there.  Oh!  And I got to be a part of it all!  Fantastic!  Which puts worrying about unsigned dockets into perspective, I can tell you.”
   “You’ve got some ice cream on your chin.”
   “Have I? Gone?  I want to know about all of it, about every alien you’ve ever seen.  You could take photos.  I’ll keep a scrap book.  Wouldn’t show no-one, no way.”
   “No, because you won’t be keeping one.”
   “And you know…I’m even cool about Jack.  Alright, he’s handsome, enigmatic, saves the world and all that, but it’s me you come home to at the end of it all.”
   “And I always will.”
Rhys’ phone rings.  It’s Daf.
   “Alright?  Oh nothing much, same old same old.  Yeah, what? No way.” 
As Rhys walks away to chat Gwen looks at the white pill thoughtfully. 

Inside the Hub Jack drinks from a bottled water and selects a book to read.  Owen works at his desk, Toshiko at hers, when the alarm sounds across the building and the cog door opens.  Gwen is back and she’s not happy. 
   “I’m not doing it, I won’t drug him.”
   “You have to.”
   “You can’t allow him to remember.”
   “It’s the rules.”
   “But none of you have any partners outside of this.”
   “But we understand how you feel.”
   “No you don’t.  No you don’t Jack!  You all think it’s cold and lonely out there.  But it isn’t for me because I have him.  He matters.  And I’ve lied to him for long enough.  What he did today was so brave.  Braver than any of us because we signed up for this.  But he didn’t.  He did it because he loves me, and I won’t take that away from him!  I won’t.  And if that means I have to quit or you retcon me or whatever, then fine, fine.”
Jack tosses his bottle of water to Ianto before striding towards Gwen.
   “You really think you could go back to your old life before Torchwood?”  Jack asks staring directly at her. 
   “I wouldn’t know anything different.”
   “I would.”   He replies clinging onto his emotions.  As Gwen doesn’t back down, Jack eventually does.  “Give Rhys my love, and I will see you tomorrow.”  He growls.  As Gwen leaves, Tosh stares at Jack questioningly.  He looks away, and returns to his office taking the bottle from Ianto, puts on the CCTV and takes his seat back at his desk.  Owen returns to his work. 

Out in the warm sunshine Gwen strolls over to Rhys on the boardwalk and kisses him, under the watchful eye of Jack.  It burns that he feels so strongly for Gwen and it takes some time to calm his emotions after Gwen and Rhys walk away from view. 

     Next month…..’Adam’

©BBC Torchwood 2006

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