Jack woke the next morning to the pleasant sensation of Ianto sleeping peacefully in his arms. Smiling down at the sleeping man, he carefully smoothed back his sleep-ruffled hair.
Despite not actually having said as much, Ianto had seemed relieved after he had told Jack about his ongoing nightmare. It had been a long time for him since he had been able to tell anyone about his dreams or nightmares. After that, he was able to settle back down to sleep and even managed to stay nightmare-free for the rest of the night.
Knowing Ianto was still asleep, Jack took the opportunity to sneak a tender kiss onto Ianto’s forehead. Looking at how relaxed Ianto was, Jack nearly backed down on his resolve from last night, but he knew that he didn’t want to have to lie to Ianto any more.
Ianto opened his eyes a short while later, feeling more at ease than he had felt in quite a while. He looked at Jack lying there watching him and smiled. Neither of them said anything and Ianto eventually reached up a hand and touched Jack’s cheek gently.
“I felt that, you know.”
A look of guilt started to cross Jack’s face before he saw Ianto was still smiling. “Sorry,” he said anyway.
Ianto shook his head. “It’s OK, I really didn’t mind.” He reached his hand around a bit further to the back of Jack’s head, pulled him closer and kissed him softly on the lips. “There. Now we’re even.”
Jack laughed quietly. “Indeed we are.” He didn’t try to take the kiss any further. Anything more needed to be left up to Ianto, and Jack knew he wasn’t ready just yet.
Ianto closed his eyes again, still half asleep, with a half smile still on his face.
“Hey” Jack said after a few more minutes of watching him lying there. “How about I go get us some breakfast, before the others get in?”
Ianto mumbled his agreement and snuggled back into the warmth of the covers as Jack got out of bed to get dressed.
As soon as he left the Hub, Jack got out his mobile phone and made a call. He called from outside of the Hub to make sure Ianto didn’t hear what he was saying, and started making various arrangements.
Later that day, when the team had finished work, they started the next round of the Torchwood basketball competition. After both sides did their fair share of cheating – Jack had picked Gwen up to put her out of reach of the ball, and Owen went up to a higher level to get the ball through the hoop – Owen’s team won the game. Owen was not a particularly gracious winner and after taunting the losing team, he declared the first round of drinks on Ianto, something which Ianto good-naturedly went along with.
They had just started on their second round of drinks and were sharing work stories, when a report of a UFO sighting came through on Tosh’s PDA. Jack volunteered to go back to the Hub on his own to investigate, so that the rest of the team could enjoy their drinks. He promised Ianto he would call if he thought the rest of the team would need to get involved. Ianto was initially reluctant to let him go alone, but when he saw Owen, Suzie, Tosh and Gwen enjoying themselves he agreed.
Back at the Hub Jack had to move fast. He quickly deleted the program he created that sent out the fake UFO sighting. He then disabled the CCTV cameras covering the main area of the Hub. He briefly considered ordering some pizza and a tub of coleslaw for later on, but he realised that no matter how things went down tonight, food would be the last thing on his mind. Or Ianto’s.
He had just called Ianto to let him know he could handle the alert on his own, when he saw the cogwheel door start to open. Jack ran down the stairs to greet the man who entered, Doctor Ryoichi Tanizaki.
Jack escorted Tanizaki down to the lower levels, and from there to the room where he had been working on Tosh’s present. Walking over to the workbench, he moved a large section of the device and revealed a hidden switch. Flicking the switch there was a low, rumbling noise sounded, and the cupboards on the back wall started to move, revealing a concealed section. A mechanical whirring noise could be heard coming through from the room beyond.
Jack paused and looked reluctantly at Tanizaki. “I did all I could. I really did. But it has to end now.”
The other man just nodded and gestured at the door. Jack looked back at him once more and ushered him in. “This is Test Subject 12.”
Tanizaki looked around the room in amazement. The test subject lay in the middle of the room, surrounded by what appeared to be a combination of Cyberman and Earth technology. What they had called the test subject had clearly once been a human, but was now a nearly converted Cyberman. How human it still was could not be easily determined. While its arms and legs were only partially covered with cybernetic parts, its whole head and part of its upper torso had been encased in cyber-technology.
The doctor had only seen it once before, many months ago when the near-Cyberman had been transported from London over to Cardiff. The need to keep it a secret from the rest of the Torchwood 3 team meant it was not practical for him to be at the Hub very often. Instead, he had worked remotely from his laboratories in Tokyo, using the data sent to him periodically by Jack. Even so, he was still amazed to be there. He had begun to think he would never see the test subject again or get his chance to study or work with anything like it.
Jack had told him that there was a significant risk that the team were going to find out about what was happening, so the next phase of the experiment had to be brought forward: getting it to breathe on its own. That would mean it could be removed from the Hub, as it would no longer need to remain attached to the machinery set up in the room.
Tanizaki opened up his case and started taking equipment out. Once he had his laptop up and running, he started loading the latest data directly from the cyber unit. When he had finished going through the data, he started to prepare to disconnect the test subject.
At the pub, Ianto found himself continually looking around to see if Jack had come back yet. He had a bad feeling, like something terrible was going to happen, but he had no idea what.
After having woken up in an unusually good mood, he had felt a sudden stab of fear when Jack had left to get their breakfast. When Jack returned without anything untoward having happened, Ianto soon forgot all about it. It wasn’t until later, after the basketball match, that the feelings returned, and when Jack had left them behind at the pub, those feelings intensified so sharply that he was set to forbid Jack from going anywhere at all. Not even the call from Jack to say he could take care of the UFO sighting on his own did anything to allay his fears. He bit his thumb nervously and looked around again.
Ianto felt a hand on his arm. “Ianto, is something wrong?” Tosh asked, looking at him with concern.
He shrugged. “I was thinking I should probably head back to the Hub. Jack’s been awhile, he might need some help.”
“Nah, he’s probably just found a better prospect for the night and has forgotten all about us,” Owen interjected.
Ianto smiled weakly, deliberately ignoring the irrational stab of jealousy that particular thought stirred up. “I’ll go back anyway. Just in case. You lot don’t have to come, you’re welcome to stay here.”
“That’s OK, I’m done here anyway,” Suzie replied. “I’ll come back with you.” Tosh and Gwen nodded in agreement, and Owen shrugged in reluctant acceptance.
“We’ll all come then.”
Jack looked up as the heart-rate monitor began flat lining.
“If she dies because of you, you know what they’ll do!” Jack warned.
Tanizaki kept on working, ignoring Jack. The test subject suddenly gave a big gasp and the two men sighed in relief as it started breathing on its own.
The relief disappeared quickly as an alert came from Jack’s surveillance system. He ran out of the hidden room to see that Ianto and the team were returning. He let Tanizaki know what was happening and started to close the hidden room off again. As the door was closing he looked at the doctor and at the test subject, sitting on the cyber unit, unconnected to the machinery for the first time since the battle, and he wondered briefly whether it was wise to leave them alone. He put that thought out of his head because Ianto was coming back and he had to get back upstairs to be there when Ianto got back.
As they entered the Hub, everyone knew what they needed to do to investigate the sighting, so they all jumped onto their computers or phones to make the necessary checks. Jack was not in the Hub when they returned and Ianto was about to call for him over the comms when he came jogging back up from the lower levels.
Ianto looked over at Jack from within his office, but before he had a chance to say anything Jack asked if he should make them all a coffee. The loud and emphatic “No!” from Owen had them all grinning as they remembered the disaster that had been Jack’s last attempt at making coffee. Ianto was quick to agree with Owen.
Ianto was about to go over and make a round himself when the lights started flickering and then went off. All the computers that were switched on started flashing warning messages. Jack looked up in shock.
“What’s happening?” Gwen asked.
Tosh checked her computer. “Internal power drain.”
“What’s causing it?”
“Something big to drain that amount of power. I’ll run a system diagnostic.”
“Actually…” Jack interrupted. “We’ve been having generator problems all evening. I was down there checking earlier. A couple of bits of cabling have come loose. I thought I’d fixed it.”
Ianto and Suzie exchanged a glance. She hadn’t found any issues with the generator when she was checking the building for Ianto.
“Let me have another look,” Jack continued.
“Want some help?” Gwen asked.
“I’m fine,” Jack hoped he sounded more comfortable than he felt about it.
He walked off in the direction of the generator, and as soon as he was out of sight, he ran at full speed to his work room. When he got there he was shocked to the door to the hidden section had been opened again and the test subject was nowhere to be seen. Entering the hidden section, he saw the cyber unit had been switched on and then he stopped cautiously when he saw the body of Dr Tanizaki on the floor.
Switching the unit off, he looked in horror at the body. With cyber implants in his face, the test subject had clearly tried to convert the doctor while he was upstairs and failed. He needed to find out where it had gone. Jack heard heavy footsteps outside the door and spun around to the test subject standing in the doorway.
“The upgrade failed.” It declared in a cyber-voice.
Jack’s blood ran cold. During the time the test subject had been at Torchwood, it had barely spoken. The few times it had actually spoken to him, it had always been with a human voice. He had always thought there was still some humanity left in it, and the rare conversations he had had with it certainly made it seem to be at least partially human, complete with human feelings and emotions. It had obviously been disguising itself though, and now that it was separated from the cyber unit, it had realised it no longer needed to maintain the disguise.
It was in fact, a fully functioning Cyberman.
Once the power appeared to be restored, the team continued to search for the supposed UFO. One by one, they began to figure out that there never had been any such report and they were starting to let Ianto know, when the lights went out again.
This time Ianto didn’t hesitate to try to call Jack over the comms. There was no response.
Tosh checked her computer again. “Power’s draining to the storeroom at the bottom of the building. Looking for human heat signals. We’ve got…”
Owen came over to look at her screen. “Two signals?”
“So assuming one’s Jack…” Tosh continued.
“Who’s the other?” Gwen looked at Ianto in confusion.
Tosh spoke up again. “There’s something else you need to know. I’ve tried going back through our internal CCTV footage for the last couple of hours. Someone’s turned everything off to the main Hub.”
Ianto looked at Suzie again. “I’m thinking we’re under attack. Security’s been breached. We assume battle protocols. Owen, get everyone armed and ready. I’m going down to take a look.”
“I’ll come with you,” Gwen offered but Ianto shook his head.
“No, I’ll take Suzie. She knows the corridors down there better than the rest of us put together,” he told her. And then turning to address Owen and Tosh as well, “Keep your comms open at all times. If there’s any doubts, shoot first. The priority is to find Jack.”
Owen handed Ianto and Suzie a gun each and then proceeded to arm the rest of the team as the two left.
Jack and the Cyberman looked at each other before Jack picked up Tanizaki’s body to move it to another room. As soon as he got out into the corridor though, he heard the cyber unit being powered up again. He returned to the hidden room, still carrying the body, to see what was happening and switched it off again. The Cyberman raised a hand threateningly.
Jack jumped as he heard the surveillance system alarm go off again. He looked up to see that Ianto was on his way down with Suzie. He placed Tanizaki’s body on the floor on the far side of the room, found a tarpaulin in a cupboard and covered up the body. When he had finished that, he turned around to see the Cyberman standing there, motionless, staring through the doorway at something. He stepped closer only to see Ianto standing there, looking back at the Cyberman in absolute terror.
Ianto and Suzie had gone down to the room where Jack had been working, both wondering why he wasn’t at the generator, like he had said he would be. Arriving at the room, they both immediately saw the doorway through to the hidden section.
Suzie looked at Ianto in disbelief. “That wasn’t on the blue prints!”
Ianto looked back at her and nodded. “I know…”
Ianto walked further into the room and any further words died away as he saw the Cyberman. Suzie came up behind him and gasped in shock as she too saw it. She started to try to contact the rest of the team on the comms just as the Cyberman started to move. It pushed them aside, knocking her over, and left the room.
Ianto was helpless to stop it. As soon as he had seen the Cyberman, he began having flashbacks to Canary Wharf, and to finding Lisa afterwards in one of the conversion units. Suzie got back to her feet and put a hand on Ianto’s back. He was trembling.
“Ianto?” she said softly. The whole team knew by now about his girlfriend dying in the battle, but Suzie couldn’t begin to imagine what was must be going through his head at the sight of a Cyberman in the Hub.
When Ianto didn’t – couldn’t – respond she turned to Jack in confusion, just as the rest of the team arrived. Owen and Tosh had matching looks of dread on their faces when they saw the cyber unit.
“No! No, no, no, no!” Owen said in panic.
Gwen, who hadn’t yet joined Torchwood at the time of the battle, didn’t know what it was. “What the hell is it?”
“It’s wrong. It’s beyond wrong! It shouldn’t be here!”
“Owen, calm down,” Suzie was worried about what effect Owen’s words would be having on Ianto.
Owen took a breath and continued. “It’s the remnants of a conversion unit. This machinery turns humans into Cybermen. Is this what’s draining our power?”
Ianto turned and looked at Jack in sudden understanding, and with a fair degree of hurt.
“Did you know that thing was down here?” he asked.
“I put her here,” Jack replied. He was determined not to hide anything else from Ianto.
Ianto’s eyes widened in disbelief, and then he realised what Jack had said.
“Her? That thing is a girl?”
Ianto was about to ask another question when they heard the stomping of the Cyberwoman coming back down the corridor. It paused in the doorway and stared in at them all. Then it carried on stomping its way up into the main Hub.
Suzie picked up her gun. “We’ve got to go, who knows what it will do up there.” She refused to call the Cyberwoman a ‘she’.
Jack agreed. “We’ve got to make sure it never gets to the outside world.”
Ianto glared at Jack, but knew he was correct. He turned, left the room and the team followed him back up. Ianto made sure he kept as far away from Jack as possible.
Owen went back to the weapon armoury. Now that they knew they were dealing with a Cyberwoman, he knew the guns they had on them would be useless. He pulled out a couple of cases that held the parts of what had been very unimaginatively called their “Big One”.
He and Suzie had just started assembling the gun when they heard the stomping of the Cyberwoman. They all looked up to see it standing on one of the walkways.
The Cyberwoman started to speak. “The army will be rebuilt from here. This building is suitable.”
“Who are you?” Gwen asked.
“Human point two.” It turned around to look at Gwen.
Jack stepped in to distract it from Gwen; he didn’t want the Cyberwoman going near anyone. “So how come you look like human point one?”
“I do not understand.”
“Look at yourself. Go ahead.”
The Cyberwoman looked at its reflection. “The upgrade is incomplete.” The Cyberwoman seemed to be distressed.
“I am… disgusting. I have… I am… wrong. I must start again. Upgrade properly.”
Suddenly it started moving towards Ianto. “Ianto?” it said, using a more human-sounding voice.
Ianto froze, and nearly lost hold of his gun. The voice sounded way too familiar to Ianto.
The Cyberwoman stepped closer again and reached a hand out to Ianto but he stepped back out of its reach. When it couldn’t reach Ianto, it started pressing some buttons on the side of its head, causing the faceplate to split into two halves and reveal a face behind it. The sections of the faceplate clattered to the ground as its hands returned to its sides.
“Ianto,” it said again.
Ianto stared in shock and felt the blood drain from his face. How was this even possible? He turned and looked helplessly at the rest of the team who were watching on uneasily. They didn’t know what was happening or how the Cyberwoman knew Ianto’s name, but from the look on his face, Jack was beginning to work it out.
Ianto felt like the walls were closing in around him and the ground was disappearing beneath him. As he collapsed to the ground in a dead faint, he uttered one single word.