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"Every day you're in this place you're two days nearer death." - Eram quod es, eris quod sum
Sex and Medical Malpractice
randomhouses
randomhouses
"Every day you're in this place you're two days nearer death."
Eram quod es, eris quod sum

Chapter 4
I Can See Your BRAIN
(Part 2 of 2)



Click image for sources used


Jack had slipped out about a minute ago in a way that he probably thought was discreet. House noted the direction he’d gone and now that Chase and Cameron were gone--Cuddy and Wilson had long since left, probably to find an ice pack and some coffee--he went off to try some reconnaissance work.

He had a shrewd idea of where Jack had gotten to; it wasn't difficult to deduce that Jack's first priority would be to locate the curious object, and House didn't want that. After all, he'd found it, which to his mind made it his (House was a huge supporter of "finders, keepers", but only when it benefitted him).

Sure enough, Jack hadn't gone far. He was just down the first hallway on the right and was doing something with a device that looked like a small metal detector. House made sure to stay out of sight and watched, interested. Jack was waving his little device by each door along the hall, and each time finishing with an annoyed expression and occasionally a disgruntled noise before moving on to the next door.

Five doors later, Jack found a door that was apparently of interest. He waved the device over it two more times, then gently knocked. House was close enough to hear that there was no answer. Jack carefully opened the door and peeked in, then opened it the rest of the way and tip-toed through.

House meandered up and watched through the open door, careful to stay out of sight. It was difficult to suppress a snort when he saw the old lady asleep in the bed and Jack's attempts at being quiet so as not to awaken her.

Jack quickly ran his detector over most of the room, then paused and turned; he hadn't found what he'd been looking for. House ducked out of sight behind a convenient meal cart. He peeked between the trays.

Jack was sneaking out of the room, keeping his eyes locked on the old lady in the bed. This, it turned out, was a bad idea, since it meant he wasn't watching his feet. He tripped over a wire on the floor, caught himself on a precarious shelf, and caused several nice vases to crash to the floor, making a loud noise.

He recovered quickly, but not quickly enough.

"WHO IS HERE? WHAT DO YOU WANT?" shouted the old woman, not too pleased at having been abruptly woken. Jack flailed backwards, turned, dodged a thrown water bottle, sprinted out of the room, and slammed the door behind him.

"Sorry!" Jack yelled through the closed door. Something crashed on the other side. House tried to stifle his snickers, but with the bustle in the hospital it wasn't as though Jack was going to hear him anyway.

Jack didn't bother to linger. He walked briskly down the rest of the hall, his eyes on his little detector. House followed. It wasn't hard; Jack was occupied and there were plenty of people around to mask his presence. Unfortunately for Jack, the amount of people meant that it wasn't a great idea for him not to be watching where he was going.

The unsuspecting captain slammed right into a doctor, who had also been preoccupied and not paying attention. The two staggered backward. The doctor (whom House recognized as one of the board members, though he couldn't remember which department) ended up on his ass, while Jack caught himself on some poor visitor. Neither of them went down, but Jack got a long-winded lecture. House grinned, appreciating the free entertainment.

Flustered, Jack maneuvered himself away and disappeared into the stairwell. House frowned and said, "Bastard." He looked into the stairwell, determined that Jack was headed up, and then went to the closest elevator.

He got off on the third floor, in the middle of the psych ward. It was far from his favorite part of the building, and so he was a little miffed at Jack for leading him there. And speaking of, Jack was nowhere in sight.

After examining the stairwell, House heard a loud squawking noise from a room across the hall. He ducked into the stairwell just in time as Jack came stumbling through the doors, followed inexplicably by a largish chicken. Someone inside was yelling and Jack's hair and clothing were in disarray. There was a feather sticking resolutely in his hair.

"This is ridiculous," House murmured to himself, staring with wide eyes as Jack dusted himself off and turned indignantly on his heel. House cautiously left the stairwell, holding the door open so the chicken could get through, and followed.

He hadn't taken more than a couple steps when he heard a voice call out, "House!" He froze.

"Wilson," House hissed under his breath. Wilson walked briskly up to him.

"What are you doing up here?" he asked. House chanced a glance at Jack, who had indeed noticed them and was walking over.

"What are you doing here?" House countered, more than a little vexed. Wilson made to respond, but Jack beat him to it.

"What are you two doing here?" he asked, glaring at House. House rolled his eyes.

"I was following you. Duh," House said.

"Why?" asked Jack and Wilson at the same time.

"Why do you think? Don't be obtuse."

"Well, I'd appreciate it if--" Jack was cut off by his cell phone ringing. He glanced down at it. "Ianto? What does he want?"

"How should I know?" House asked. Wilson gave him a light slap on the shoulder.

"Be nice."

* * *


Neither of the tests revealed any abnormalities, which left Chase baffled. He’d been sure it’d be either the eyes or the heart, as he still wasn’t convinced that this would be a big mystery case. However, it seemed Cameron’s position was becoming more and more valid, which didn’t bode well for Gwen.

“What’s next, then?” Gwen asked. “I mean, if everything’s fine, what else could cause a stroke?”

“I don’t know,” Chase said. “What if it’s a tumor?”

“I thought that’s what you’ve been searching for.”

“No, I mean, uh, well, we really shouldn’t discuss this around you. A lot of the ideas we throw out are just that: ideas, nothing to be worried about, but patients--”

“It concerns me, doesn’t it? You can discuss it right here.”

Chase stood up. “I’m sorry, but really--”

“No! You’re not going anywhere! I want to know if there’s something wrong with me!”

“I--” Chase began, but Cameron cut him off with a hand on his arm. They exchanged a quick look, then Chase nodded and sat back down, though he knew that’d be a bad move if his suspicions were right. Well, it was in the name of science.... “Gwen, you’re right, we’ll stay right here. Of course it concerns you, and we don’t want to upset you.”

In the blink of an eye, Gwen’s hand went from the side of the bed to Chase’s throat. “You’re lying to me!”

Guhyeerghk!” Chase managed.

Gwen pulled him closer so that their faces were almost pressed together. “You’re conspiring against me, all of you, and-- oh no you don’t!” Still with only one hand, Gwen threw Chase aside, grabbing Cameron’s wrist with her other hand just as Cameron began to bring a tranquilizer down onto her thigh. Cameron cried out and dropped the needle.

Gwen leapt out of the bed as Chase scrambled for the shot. She caught him before he could reach it and threw him against the wall. “Back away from the needle!” she growled as Cameron began to kneel down. “Or I’ll kill him!”

Well, here goes nothing, Chase thought. Then he slammed his head against Gwen’s. She cried out and collapsed to the ground. He grabbed the tranquilizer and injected it into her anyway, just in case, and then they dragged her back into the bed.

“You smeared my makeup!” Cameron told him afterward.

“What?”

She sighed. “It always happens to me; the patients always beat up on me.”

“What are you talking about? She was choking me.”

“Yeah, but it’s my body,” she pointed out. Chase glared.

Suddenly, they heard a yelp outside the room, and they were forced to leave the mystery of Gwen’s sudden rage attack for a later time. Outside, they found Ianto dialing on his phone.

* * *


“Jack?” Ianto’s voice came over the headset.

“Yes?” Jack replied, eyeing House and Wilson and wondering whether to let them in on the conversation or not.

“You’d better get over here.”

Jack ran off without waiting for the two doctors; he’d rather not let House feel he had the right to interfere in Torchwood affairs. When he arrived, he found Ianto standing in front of a manhole just outside of Gwen’s room. Cameron and Chase were beside him, and just as he was despairing at the constant presence of House’s minions, he saw Cuddy striding over as well, her face grim.

“Why’s there a manhole on the second floor of the hospital?” Cameron asked.

Cuddy didn’t waste her breath on such a ridiculous question and instead stalked over to the PA system and screamed, “HOUSE!” Her voice echoed across the hospital.

House turned the corner and said in a theatrical whisper, “Really, Cuddy, you’re scaring the patients. Think about their psychological welfare!”

“Why’s there a manhole in the middle of the second floor of my hospital?”

Ianto poked the lid, which promptly spun around as though on greased hinges. “As strange as this may sound, Dr. Cuddy, I don’t think Dr. House had anything to do with this.”

“Yeah, why would I need a manhole when I have Wilson?”

“It just materialized right in front of me while I was walking,” Ianto said, as though this would make everything clear.

Jack knelt down and started scanning it with his wristband.

“I nearly spilled my coffee,” Ianto added.

“How’d you not fall in?” Cameron asked.

“Only idiots don’t watch where they put their feet, Dr. Cameron.”

“Well?” Wilson asked, clearly giving up all his preconceived notions of reality. “What do you think?”

Jack frowned. “It’s probably quantum.”

House grabbed Cuddy’s clipboard and dropped it down the manhole.

“House! That was your case report!”

“Good thing I have it all in my head, then.”

A second later, they heard a dull thump and then: “Ow!”

“That’s curious,” Jack said.

House motioned for Ianto’s mug, and Jack was surprised when he handed it over without protest. House poured the contents down the manhole. This action was followed by a loud scream and some steaming.

IANTO! YOU BASTARD!

“Oh, well that does confirm my suspicions, sir.” Ianto said.

“About what?” Jack peered down the hole.

“Well, Owen’s locked in the trunk of the rental car, sir, under very curious circumstances.”

“When’d you find this out?”

“Oh, this morning, about eight hours ago.”

“Why didn’t you mention it?”

“Yeah! Why didn’t you get help?!” Owen’s voiced echoed up to them.

Jack clearly couldn’t resist any longer. He grabbed Cuddy’s pen and dropped it. House looked on with poorly-concealed approval.

“JACK!”

“How’d he know it was me?” Jack scratched his head.

“I’m afraid that between the impressment of my services in your search for the alien artifact and the attack by the droid, sir, I never had the time to tell you, though I did try,” Ianto said.

House took a seat at the edge of the manhole and lifted his cane.

“House, what are you doing?” Cameron demanded.

“Scientific experiment, Cameron. It’s important to know how far down this goes.”

Cameron reached forward to stop him but House plunged the cane down.

“Ow!” came a second voice.

Everyone froze. Even one of the passing nurses, normally oblivious to just about everything not medical, stopped and stared for three seconds before moving on. House looked thoughtful. “I thought we were missing someone.”

“Foreman?” Cameron called down.

“Duh!”

House tried to pull out his cane, but it was stuck. He shrugged and dropped it. “Cuddy, I need a new cane.”

“Ow, it’s in my--” Owen paused. “Oh never mind, just get us out!”

“Foreman, what happened?” House barked.

“Well, it’s all sort of confusing, but I was treating this clinic patient, and suddenly, he sprouted fangs and ate me.”

Everyone took a step away from the manhole.

“This patient,” House said, “was he round and dark grey with ‘Property of the City of Princeton’ printed on him?”

“What? No! I just, well, I was pulled toward an orifice of some sort, and there was teeth, and then suddenly I was here next to Owen.”

“So it’s like some special corner of hell?” Ianto mused. “If you’re bad, you get stuck with Owen for all eternity.”

Jack giggled. Cameron stared.

A scream rang out down the hall, accompanied by dozens of shouts of, “Monster! MONSTER!” and one scream of, “My hair! It ate my wig!”

“Oh god.” Cuddy rolled her eyes.

“Sorry, boys, but looks like we have an emergency.” House jumped up and clung to Cuddy's shoulders. “Carry me?”

Jack pulled out his miniature screwdriver and set off running. “We’ll be right back! Just stay put!”

“Is that supposed to be some sick joke, Harkness?” Owen yelled.

The others followed Jack, Cuddy begrudgingly allowing House to lean on her. Cameron spared the manhole one backward glance before rushing into a nearby room, removing a wicked-looking scalpel from a drawer, and rejoining the group.

“Harkness? House?”

There was no reply.

“Damn it.” Foreman said.

A minute later, an unfortunate passer-by, who was really a very nice old man who didn’t deserve to have his IV drip taken from him, walked by the manhole, which then promptly disappeared, leaving the old man dazed and confused and sitting on the ground.

* * *


The source of the panic was in the hall outside of House’s office. Seven giant slug-like creatures were oozing slime all over the floor and blasting people with lasers emitting from their feelers. One did, indeed, have a wig hanging off its extended radula.

“Can you shoot them?” Cameron asked.

“No guns!” Jack replied, raising his little yellow screwdriver.

“I thought you’d gone back to your car,” Cameron told Ianto. “I mean, you got more bullets!”

“Actually, turns out there was one left,” Ianto said, shrugging. “But I used it on von Lieberman.”

“Von Lieberman?” House turned, surveying Ianto with new respect. “You shot von Lieberman?”

“It was an alien pretending to be von Lieberman,” Cameron said. “It also got the idea of being Sebastian Charles out of my head.”

“You shot von Lieberman and that arrogant ass of an activist?” House grabbed Ianto’s hand and shook it. Cameron slapped her forehead.

Jack yelped as one of the slugs fired a laser at him. At the last moment, he moved his screwdriver into its line of fire and the beam reflected off its tip to blast a hole in the ceiling. “Oh, this could be a little more sonic,” Jack said, bouncing the screwdriver from hand to hand as it smoked from the heat it’d acquired. Then he paused. “Did I just say that? Someone tell me I didn’t just say that.”

“Spread out!” Cuddy yelled. “We’re too easy a target.”

Cuddy and House dodged behind a nearby stretcher while Jack led Chase the other way toward the entrance of House’s office. Cameron let out a battle yell and attacked the closest slug with her scalpel. The slug turned and fired at her. She ducked, then slid on the slime and fell next to its back end. She brought the scalpel down on the skin, but it went right through, and a little puff of smoke appeared where she’d made contact.

“They’re hallucinations!” Ianto called out. “Hold on!” He ran back toward Gwen’s room.

“That isn’t helpful,” Cameron remarked. Then the slug turned to face her, and she levitated into the air. “Help!

“She’s always the one who gets in trouble,” Cuddy said, looking pointedly at House.

“What?” House said. “You think she isn’t good enough for me? I mean, I’ll admit her ass isn’t as big as yours, but when you spurn all my advances, I have to settle for second best.”

House!” Cameron screamed disapprovingly.

“Oh, why don’t you focus on your own problems?”

Cameron screamed again as she began floating toward the slug’s yawning mouth. Jack tried to grab Chase’s arm as he leapt toward her, but Chase shook him off and slammed into the slug.

“Sure! Save your lover!” House shouted from behind the stretcher.

“I’m not sleeping with her!” Chase cried, grabbing Cameron’s leg as he slipped on the slime. “But that’s my body that’s about to be eaten!” He tugged on her leg harder, but it didn’t reduce her altitude any. The slug began to extend its radula.

Cuddy sighed and left the safety of the stretcher. “Put her down!” she roared. The creature paused, glancing at her in amusement. Cuddy slapped it, sending blobs of goo onto the wall. She cringed at the thought of what it’d cost to get those stains removed, but at least she had the alien’s full attention now. “Put her down,” she repeated the demand.

At that moment, the entire creature flickered and turned into a snowy blob of static. The slime vanished from the floor and the slugs disappeared. In their place were seven hunched, leathery creatures. Though they were bipedal, their feet were lost amidst the folds and folds of flesh that rolled from their body across the floor, spreading about until they resembled highly-mobile versions of Jabba the Hutt. They each had four arms, though two were more tentacles than arms, with one eye embedded in the “palm” of each tentacle. The bottom two arms more closely resembled humanoid arms, with eyeless hands that had seven tube-like fingers.

The creatures had one head each, but they were shaped like giant urns, with foot-wide openings at the tops of their heads that were lined by fangs. A complex system of muscles and bones allowed the heads to rotate and twist about in all directions, and the neck could lengthen or contract to give their jaws a reach of anywhere from zero to four feet. If they’d been standing upright, they would’ve been at least twelve feet tall, but it appeared that their skeletal structures could dislocate portions of themselves to let the creatures fit into lesser spaces without significant discomfort. As evidence of this, the aliens’ bodies rippled like water, and portions of them would jut out or shrink back into the torso as though they were separate beings rather than part of a greater whole.

Now that the illusion was gone, they could see Cameron was being held in the air by the creature’s two functioning arms, and its mouth was outstretched to eat her. Confronted with this image, which she found much more horrifying than a slug, Cameron screamed again. Jack ran up to it and stabbed it in the eye with the screwdriver. It let out a chilling roar and shuddered, like a dog shaking water off its coat, and Cameron, Chase, Cuddy, and Jack were thrown down the hallway like fallen raindrops.

Jack looked up see Ianto typing away on his laptop.

“You could’ve done that sooner, sir,” Ianto said reprovingly.

“Well, I didn’t know what effect my stabbing the alien would have had on everyone else, and I refuse to kiss all of them; House and Cuddy would slap me.”

“I’m using the wireless signal to jam their devices’ psi-waves, sir,” Ianto said, indicating little black boxes attached to the aliens, “but the algorithm is designed to change constantly, and the program’s having a hard time keeping up.”

“Good job, but that’s hardly a long-term solution,” Jack said.

“What’s the plan, then, sir?”

“Cuddy!” Jack called. “Where can we get some high-power battery packs?”

“Storage room, but I’ll need help!”

Cameron stood shakily. “I’ll help.”

As Ianto continued typing, Jack started unscrewing the panels on the laptop. With Chase, the three of them retreated into House’s office, where Chase began throwing chairs at the aliens to keep them at bay. Jack started talking to keep his focus off the advancing creatures.

“It’s curious, isn’t it,” he said to Ianto. “They’re not wearing spacesuits.”

Ianto’s voice was strained as he shifted part of his attention from the program to Jack. “I wish Tosh were here; she’s better at this,” he said. “The lack of spacesuits, sir, would imply they know what to expect from this planet’s ecology, and that disturbing as they look, their physiology is not significantly different from Earth-life.”

“Indeed,” Jack said. “It means they’ve been here a while. But look, they have a pack around their necks, if you can call those things necks. They look like they should be multi-purpose, so in addition to generating hallucinations, they might also be a biofeedback mechanism hooked directly to their internal organ system.”

“So if we can overload the devices, they’ll cease functioning and the aliens--”

“We’ll stop their hearts, or whatever they use to keep alive.”

Cuddy and Cameron returned with massive battery packs in their arms. The aliens had blocked the doorway, though, and they were pondering what to do when House shoved the stretcher at the glass windows, shattering them. Cuddy gave him a look that contained the precise price figure of the cost of replacing those windows, but House ignored her.

Once they arrived, Jack began bypassing the laptop’s power through the packs. Once he was done, he told Ianto what he needed.

“If I stop now, the hallucinations will resume,” Ianto protested.

“Just do it!”

Ianto began typing even more frantically.

“What’s he doing?” Chase asked, dodging a swipe that smashed the chair in his hands to pieces.

“I’ve modified the wireless output to generate a pulse powered by the battery packs to disable the bio-systems hooked into the aliens’ anatomies,” Jack said.

The laptop began whining, and then all of a sudden, there was a loud discharge, like the sound of a thousand capacitors unleashing their power at once. Ianto dropped the laptop as it burst into flames from the power surging through its circuits. The aliens’ electronic devices sparked and smoked as well, and the creatures collapsed, moaning.

Just as they seemed dead, though, a wave of nothingness burst forth from one of them and Chase yelled, “Everything’s black! What’s happened?”

Jack grabbed Ianto and kissed him. Together, they turned and saw one of the aliens was still alive and pushing itself back upright. Its device was glowing but not destroyed. It hit several buttons on it.

“It has a teleporter!” Jack said, surprised. He and Ianto ran for the creature and jumped on it. Ianto jarred its hand just enough so that its finger went wide and hit the wrong button. The three of them vanished from the hospital.

They rematerialized in a rather elegant-looking room with massive windows overlooking a street several stories below. The creature bellowed and threw them off of itself, but then it stumbled.

“Who are you?” Jack demanded. “Where are you from? What do you want?”

It groaned, then leered at him, its mouth writhing in a chewing motion and its tentacles maneuvering its eyes as far apart from each other as possible. “Little fools, what have you done?” Its tentacles flipped around and around.

“That was the home recall button, wasn’t it?” Jack said. “You were trying to escape, but now you’ve led us to your headquarters.”

The creature gasped. “You idiots! Fools of Torchwood.”

“He’s dying,” Ianto said.

“And I will take you with me!” It collapsed onto the floor, its entire body expanding and contracting like a huge, heaving whale. Jack noticed the device on its body was flashing mauve now.

“The device is also a bomb! It’s programmed to detonate if it dies! Run!”

They threw open the door and ran for the staircase. Down and down they went.

“There could be other people here! We need to warn them!”

“If it’s in its home base, there shouldn’t be civilians around!” Jack said. “Besides, no time!”

The concussion from the explosion blasted them through the front doors and into the streets. Above, the top few stories of the building vanished in the inferno as a rising column of fire expanded over the road. Debris littered down around them, and they ducked behind a nearby mailbox, covering their heads, to protect themselves.

“Where do you think we are?” Jack asked. “It can’t have been far.”

Ianto looked around. “You might be surprised.” Jack followed his gaze until he saw a white obelisk on the horizon jutting into the sky.

“Oh,” he said. There were only so many places one could spot the Washington Monument. “Hmm, First Street, the sign says.”

Ianto glanced at it, then turned to the burning building. “310 First Street?” he said incredulously. “Oh no.”

“What?”

“We’ve blown up the Republican National Committee headquarters,” Ianto said.

“Why the hell do you know the address of the RNC headquarters?”

“It’s my job, sir.”

They watched the building burn for a few more moments, and then the sound of sirens became audible. “We’d better get out of here,” Ianto said. Jack nodded, and they set off down the street. As they were leaving, however, a burning piece of paper landed before them. Ianto stamped the flames out and picked it up. Most of it was no longer readable, but it appeared to be a memo. Scanning it, Jack could see nothing of note, but then Ianto pointed at a fragment of a sentence.

“‘They’ve agreed to share the secrets of the BRAIN...’” he read. Then he turned pale. “BRAIN?”

“You’ve heard of it?”

“It can’t be,” Ianto said. “It has to be something else.”

“What is it?” Jack asked, perhaps a little too insistently.

“Torchwood One was looking into it a while back, but it was more an idle pursuit for employees to consider in their spare time, a fun thought experiment rather than anything practical. BRAIN is an acronym: Beta-Radiating Abstractive Innovatory Neurology; it’s the idea of mind over matter, that humans can control or at least affect the world around them with their brains. You’ve heard of the different types of brainwaves: alpha, beta, theta, and delta, and the idea that the unconscious or subconscious can receive and send signals to the world around, but you have to be in a meditative or deep-sleep state to achieve this.”

“Uh, what?”

“Let me pose you a question. What is luck?”

“A set of coincidences that happen in your favor.”

“So why are some people luckier than other? For example, every once in a while we hear about someone who has won millions of dollars in the lottery twice, even though statistically it's next to impossible to win just once. Do the laws of probability twist in favor of them?”

“No, probability indicates that some people might just happen to have more favorable outcomes than others, because by chance, it has to happen to someone.”

“But why them in particular? And why does chance even work like that? Think of entropy; if you have a partitioned box with gas molecules on one side and a vacuum on the other, and you remove the partition, the molecules will diffuse and fill the box. However, by all known laws, chance should allow the molecules to run exactly backwards and return to a state where half the box is dense with gas and the other half is a vacuum, even without the partition present, but it never does. Diffusion occurs far more often, the universe runs toward chaos, and the opposite, though equally likely, never occurs.”

“But luck isn’t like that, because it happens.”

“But it doesn’t happen for everyone. Has the Doctor ever talked about this? Torchwood didn’t have that many alien contacts, but from what I’ve read from certain documents that have fallen to Earth, I have suspicions.”

“The Doctor...” Jack said slowly, wracking his memory for mentions of this topic. “The Doctor did once say humans were the damn-luckiest species alive, but I think he was sort of joking at the time. But he was sort of serious too.”

“What if humans are lucky because they have a physiology, a brain structure, that enables their minds to interact with the outside world more so than other species? And lucky humans are more able to tap into that ability than others?”

“That’s absurd.”

“That’s the whole basis of BRAIN. It’s the idea that, assuming humans have this ability, you can train yourself to elevate this power to the level of beta brainwaves, to conscious thought, and with your mind, create whatever you can imagine, alter the fabric of the universe to whatever you desire.”

“But there’s no way it can be true!”

“It is highly unlikely,” Ianto agreed. “Torchwood theoreticians established a number of tests in their free time to try to discover this ability and never found anything. That’s why this BRAIN reference has to be about something else...”

“But you don’t think it is.”

“No, I don’t. But BRAIN is a well-known theory in various intellectual circles, so it isn’t impossible that the political parties here would be aware of it, and if the aliens wanted their aid, what better offer in exchange for their help than the promise to let them mold the world as they wish, to flatter them by implying they are the most powerful and blessed species in the universe?”

“The luckiest species alive. Now there’s a thought.” Jack grinned. Then he turned serious again. “Why do you suppose it tried to teleport out of the hospital? It had no qualms about killing us... unless it thinks the artifact is still in the hospital!”

“But it isn’t,” Ianto said. “I’ve scanned House’s office for radiation, and there are no new readings. The object teleported out, but the aliens are still after House and the rest of us, so they must not know it activated, and therefore they think we still have it.”

“So it knew it was going to die, the others bombs had been disabled by our blast but its was still active, so it tried to flee, but then we messed up its attempt to save the artifact, and we blew up its headquarters instead...”

“We have to warn Tosh!” Ianto said. “If the aliens are in league with the political parties, I’ve sent Tosh into the lion’s den!”

“You mean the artifact she has from the governor’s office?” Jack asked. “She told me about it when we went to intercept House.”

“Yes, and I sent her after the governor! I didn’t know the aliens would be so dangerous, and if it knew we were from Torchwood, its comrades will recognize her on sight as well!”

They both reached for their phones, but then they realized they were destroyed by the laptop’s signal.

“Damn it,” Jack said. “Come on, maybe we can rent another car.”

They began running down the street.

“Jack, did you recognize the alien’s species?” Ianto asked.

“No, why?”

“Because I told Tosh I thought they were Korkekians.”

“They’re extinct!”

“They may have faked their extinction.”

“Yes, well?”

“There’s pictures of Korkekians in Torchwood One. They’re definitely not the aliens.”

Jack stopped dead in his tracks. “But they have Korkekian technology, the psi-devices are definitely Korkekian in origin... which means only one thing.”

“They destroyed the Korkekians.”

“Seventy-five planets in one night,” Jack whispered. “‘What powerful but unrecorded race once dwelt in that annihilated place.’”

Ianto smiled grimly. “‘The awful shadow of some unseen Power.’ Let’s get going.”

They jogged off again, but the rising smoke from the burning building threw a shadow onto them that they couldn’t outrun.

To Chapter 5: Fire and Brimstone

Back to Chapter 4: Part 1



Summary: Part 2 of Chapter 4. Oh hush, we only went over by 600 words this time.

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13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
julorean From: julorean Date: April 29th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow. This story is all kinda of crack...yet it's not. (Well, same could be set for Torchwood..a cyborg woman fighting a pterodactyl? that's some good crack right there). Body switching! More random disappearing! And blowinf up the RNHQ...brilliant! (espcially since I'm a liberal). The thing ate Foreman and now he's in special hell with Own! XDDD

Gods, this is exteremely entertaining! Cracky, yet there's something intriguing going on here, with the BRAIN thing, and the luck...wow.
randomhouses From: randomhouses Date: May 1st, 2007 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
heh, thanks! Yep, crackbutnotcrack! is what we've been aiming for thus far. The fic kind of goes through cycles of complete psychosis and dramatic, serious... uh... angst? And yeah!! Lisa vs. Myfanwy was totally when I knew the Whoniverse was for me!

We're both liberals too, so we thought that was as good a target as any, although NJ is currently Democratic, so they're gonna get hurt a bit too just through the natural progression of the alien invasion.

-suninos

benbenberi From: benbenberi Date: April 30th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes, totally crack -- and addictive. I can only imagine how much fun it was to write, cause I was just smiling the whole time reading it. Keep it up!
randomhouses From: randomhouses Date: May 1st, 2007 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)
hooray! Glad you enjoyed it! And yes, we've had a lot of fun with this fic so far!! One of us proposes some completely outrageous idea and then the other one has to work to make it plausible, but thus far we've managed to keep to our policy of No Idea Left Behind. Currently, I think Owen falling into the manhole was definitely the hardest to make believable even in an alien invasion setting, but I think the pay-off will work in the end. My co-author may disagree, though, and choose some completely insane idea of mine as the weirdest (I think she had a hard time with the salt trees in the Interlude for a while...)

-suninos
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randomhouses From: randomhouses Date: May 1st, 2007 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Haha, thanks! Don't hurt yourself laughing!!
crowson75 From: crowson75 Date: April 30th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I find this fic absolutely joyful; marvellously silly and slightly mad. I love it!
randomhouses From: randomhouses Date: May 1st, 2007 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!!! Glad you like it!
elenariel From: elenariel Date: April 30th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
lmao... so much love for this fic right now.:D Body swopping Cameron and Chase is just genius (though I'd love to see how House would have handled the same situation XD )and Chase when he found he had boobies lol. Oh, and are Owen and Foreman going to run out of space in their special hell?
randomhouses From: randomhouses Date: May 1st, 2007 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Haha, both the body-swap and Chase's reactions were muskratio's work, so she'll be glad to hear you loved them!

I'm pretty sure the trunk should be full by now, since all of their luggage is still in it too! :) But... it's aliens! Maybe the trunk has stolen Time Lord technology and is bigger on the inside....
firefox1490 From: firefox1490 Date: June 4th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Beta-Radiating Abstractive Innovatory Neurology=BRAIN thats the sexiest acronym I've seen in a long time :)
randomhouses From: randomhouses Date: June 4th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
haha, thanks! and I can't believe we got Ianto to say some form of "innovative" before the show writers did :)
stillbrainfried From: stillbrainfried Date: May 17th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I love Jack and his little yellow non-sonic screwdriver ;-)

Slugs here again? Is it just me or is that a bit more than just a coincidence?

So, who and what do we have in the car boot? Owen, Foreman, a clipboard, coffee, a pen, a cane and an iv drip... It's getting a bit cramped in there, don't you think? The boot must be bigger on the inside ;-)
suninos From: suninos Date: May 18th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Hehehe, yeah, Jack deserves it for making fun of the Doctor.

No, the slugs are definitely the primary antagonists. It's kind of hard to take them seriously, though, so we're confused how to transform them into real threats.

Mwahahaha, they borrowed the car from Harry Potter (Time Lords can't build everything...). Oh, and to answer your question from earlier, yeah, they do get out eventually and pick up their own plot lines. We're not that mean (though we come close)
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