A Good Man – Chapter 6

Extracts from case file “1899-CJH”:

Subject Profile – Compiled by Guppy, Alice (Miss), Senior Field Operative:
Name: Harkness, Jack.
Captain (unconfirmed).
Unknown – claims to be human but his unique “ability” clearly shows he is not of this planet and not fit to be called human.
Date of Birth:
Late 51st century – unable to confirm exact date as impossible to convert to Earth time.
Unknown. Appears to be physically in his mid thirties, which was his estimated age when his ability first emerged – this was roughly thirty Earth years ago.
Place of Birth:
Boeshane Peninsula (location unconfirmed).
A small number of items have been confiscated from the subject as they are of no obvious use to the Torchwood Institute and have been identified as objects that should be kept away from the subject. Refer Secure Container 1899-CJH-01.

April 3rd 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
I had a meeting today with the esteemed gentlemen from the committee. They gave me a file on someone known as Captain Jack Harkness. By all reports, he is a very disreputable character who frequents drinking dens and other such unsavoury establishments. We have been asked to observe him and bring him in for questioning, should he prove to be a person of interest.

April 9th 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
What manner of creature is this Harkness fellow? Five times now he – should I even call him a ‘he’ – has died and come back to life. Harkness is a freak of nature, exactly as the committee described him. Miss Guppy and I need to be extremely careful how we proceed.

April 16th 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
Thirteen times now the aberration has now died and come back to life since we have been observing him. We have now begun to work out the correlation between how he is killed and how soon he revives. I believe we have enough information for Miss Guppy and I to be able to safely collect him the next time he is killed. We shouldn’t have to wait long, the way he is continually getting on the bad side of his fellow patrons.

April 18th 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
As suspected, it did not take long for Harkness to fall foul of another drinking den patron, and we were easily able to subdue him and bring him back to the Institute. Once there one of the tests we performed on him was to give him a full power charge from the Electro Machine and afterwards he was still breathing! Miss Guppy shot him directly in the forehead and he still revived. All the time the arrogant man was conscious he was spouting sexual innuendos and other entirely inappropriate comments. He is a truly repugnant ‘person’.

June 4th 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
After many weeks, we are no closer to finding out anything useful about Harkness’ immortality. I think it is time we found another use for him. I will consult with the committee on how they wish to approach employing Harkness for the benefit of the Institute.

June 8th 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
The committee has provided a contract to ensure Harkness will remain at the Torchwood Institute for what I suppose for Harkness would be eternity. After his first mission for us, he thought he was going to walk away from us – apparently he took exception to Miss Guppy’s excellent and most efficient solution to the Blowfish case. We have given him until morning to think about his position, but the committee assure me he will not be a problem. They are sending someone to meet with him at his preferred drinking den to ensure he makes the right decision.

June 9th 1899 – Log Entry filed by Holroyd, Emily (Miss), Director:
Harkness turned up stinking of his beloved drinking den and advised me he would accept the contract in return for no longer being subjected to our testing. Our spies have reported that a young girl was seen at his table last night. I believe she was the one sent by the committee to convince him to accept our contract. What hold a young girl would hold over Harkness I hate to think, but at least now we have someone to take on all our dangerous missions. I am grateful Miss Guppy, oh and Mr Gaskell as well, I suppose, will no longer need to put themselves in so much danger.

Ianto slammed the file shut. He had skipped through the entries detailing the ‘tests’ Holroyd and Guppy had performed on Jack – he had read them once before and had no desire to sit through them again – but he was still curious about why Jack had signed the contract. Ianto knew there was no point questioning the committee on why they had condoned the treatment of Jack; their attitude towards him at the meeting earlier that day had left no doubts what they thought. Reading between the lines, Ianto was pretty sure that the way Jack had been treated by the Torchwood staff was actually because of the committee’s attitude towards him in the first place.

I’ll need to make use of a lot of their ‘drinking dens’ to get through this file, he thought.

Walking out of his office, he saw that only Toshiko was in the main area of the Hub. He went down and stood beside her.

“Where is everyone?” he asked.

“Owen’s down in the morgue cleaning up, Gwen’s gone out to see Andy and Jack’s downstairs somewhere working in the Archives,” she looked up at him and smiled.

“Cool. What are you up to?”

“Just working on a rift predictor programme.”

Ianto nodded and looked towards the doorway to the lower levels. “Do you know how long Jack will be down there?”

“Hard to tell,” Tosh replied. “Depends on how much he wants to get done. If he gets on a roll, he could be down there for hours.”

Ianto nodded again and then went and made them both a coffee before disappearing back into his office, this time closing the door behind him. He walked over to the Secure Archives and retrieved secure container 1899-CJH-01.

Opening it up he started taking out everything that was in there. He opened up a leather wallet that held a piece of psychic paper. Psychic paper was one of the things all Torchwood One employees were taught to deal with, as part of their psychic training. Some of the young operatives struggled to be able to tell it apart from normal paper, but luckily, Ianto had no troubles with it. He wasn’t sure why he scored so well on the psychic tests, but he was extremely grateful he had. It made life much easier at London to have an ability that not many others had.

Putting the wallet down he took out the next item, Jack’s Compact Laser Deluxe. Ianto chuckled to himself as he recalled the disgust that showed through in Emily Holroyd’s report when she documented where Jack had been hiding that one.

Next he pulled out the Sonic Blaster which he placed on the table next to the laser deluxe, and finally he pulled out the item he was most interested in, the Vortex Manipulator. It was the only one of his belongings Jack had physically fought against them taking away from him.

As well as resisting them taking the manipulator away from them, it was also the only item he had refused to tell them about. None of the directors had ever been able to get him to talk about it, not even the ones who actually seemed to treat him decently could convince him to reveal its secrets.

Ianto flipped open the cover and had a look at the device within. The child within him wanted to start pressing buttons to find out what they would do, but the adult Ianto knew better so he closed the cover back and put everything back into the container. He heard Jack talking to Tosh so Ianto hurriedly locked the container back away and went out to see if anything interesting was happening.

The next couple of days were relatively quiet, compared to Ianto’s first day. There were a number of rift alerts, but nothing major. Most alerts only required Jack, Owen and Gwen to be present, with Tosh staying behind to co-ordinate. Ianto would stay with her to learn how everything worked. Ianto was not trained for the field, as was the custom for Torchwood One management, so he learned the systems so that he would be able to co-ordinate for them for the alerts where Tosh would be required to join them.

With Suzie still on leave, Ianto had named Jack to be in charge of all field trips, acknowledging Jack’s superior knowledge of aliens. Neither Owen nor Tosh disagreed with that decision, and Gwen had not been there long enough to even be considered.

As the week passed, Ianto had his promised meetings with Owen, Tosh and Gwen to get to know them and their jobs better. The meeting with Jack was left for after he had finished reading through his files and contract thoroughly.

He continued making the coffee for the team at regular intervals, he may have been the boss but no one was going to complain about that point. He joined the team in the boardroom for their shared lunches, and a couple of times he took them out for drinks after work. The five of them bonded quite nicely.

Jack’s flirtatious nature could sometimes be overwhelming, and he seemed to be on a mission to make Ianto blush as often as he could. Ianto, luckily, had so far been able to maintain his professional exterior, and had proven to be able handle Jack’s comments and mannerisms quite admirably. Owen proved to be as snarky as his reputation suggested, but underneath it all was a sharp-witted and highly intelligent man. Toshiko was simply brilliant; she would have done well at London, if her circumstances had been different. Gwen, being the newest recruit to Torchwood, still had a somewhat innocent and naïve approach to life.

It amused Ianto to see that Gwen seemed to be developing a bit of a crush on Jack; he doubted she had come across someone quite like Jack before. For his part, Jack seemed to be totally oblivious of her attraction to him. Jack clearly had a soft spot for Toshiko; he was after all the one who had arranged for her to be removed from UNIT custody. Tosh, in turn, was quite fond of Owen, and they quite often socialised with each other after work. Ianto was yet to work out how Owen felt about Tosh. He had heard from Jack that there had been something between Suzie and Owen, but that was quite firmly in the past.

As the end of the week approached, there were some comments made about Suzie returning, and Ianto felt mildly uneasy. The team were getting along so well, he didn’t know how Suzie’s return would affect the team dynamics.

There were no rift alerts on Friday afternoon, and after Gwen had made a comment about how her boyfriend Rhys had been hassling her for a night out Ianto decided to let them all go early.

A few hours later Owen and Tosh were at a quiz night in a pub near the Plass, and winning quite comfortably. Gwen and Rhys had taken advantage of the fine weather and were at an outdoor restaurant enjoying dinner together after having gone bowling and to a movie.

Ianto and Jack had ordered pizza and ate together in the boardroom and were walking back through the Hub when various alarms started going off. They ran over to one of the workstations to see what was happening. Reports of a meteorite streaking over Cardiff had started coming in, but then when the reports started saying it had changed course they both knew it was more than that.

Gwen and Rhys had just finished their dinner when Rhys looked up to see what he thought was a plane on fire. As they watched, the fireball changed course and Gwen instantly knew it wasn’t a plane. They started running down the street to see better, just two of many people who left the restaurant without paying the bill. The fireball crashed into the hillside, with a loud bang that was both heard and felt throughout the entire city.

Gwen scrabbled through her bag as she heard her phone go off. Unlocking the screen, she saw the simple message that just said ‘Torchwood’. She looked at Rhys excitedly.

“I’ve got to go to work!”

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