"I don't know why you've dragged us all the way out here Jack, why couldn't we just have done this in the Hub?" Owen grumbled as he pulled on a second pair of gloves.
"Because there's a fifty-fifty chance this thing might go bang and blow up the whole of Cardiff," Jack explained, grinning broadly at his frozen colleagues. They stood together in a huddle, like penguins, trying to keep warm.
"So there's a fifty percent chance it won't explode? To be honest Jack, I'd have taken the risk," retorted Owen. "We're all going to die of hypothermia here anyway."
"We'll be home in time for tea," Jack told him optimistically, as he made the final preparations. Owen only snarled in response. "Now, Tosh, are we ready?"
Tosh checked the readings on her handheld computer and nodded.
"Ok, stand back folks, this could go up in smoke!" cried Jack, ushering Gwen, Owen Tosh and Ianto back to a safe distance.
He gave the thumbs up to Tosh, who activated the device.
The ball, about the size of a football, glowed a vivid orange and rose a few centimetres into the air. After a second, it emitted a shrill shriek and fell back to the ground with a distinct thump. Like a fire being sprayed with water, it hissed, and then ultimately died.
Jack approached the object with caution. He reached out his hand to it and found its surface to be cold to the touch. It was frozen, like the ground upon which it sat.
"Well, that was spectacular," commented Gwen. "Can we go home now Jack?"
Jack turned to face his team. He'd brought them all the way out here promising them that they'd see a spectacular light show. "Like the Northern lights," he'd insisted.
The piece of alien tech he'd brought with them had been found floating in the sea just off Flat Holm. Jack had seen these things before. In the 51st Century they'd been used during major events to impress the crowds. When it worked properly, the lights the device produced were captivating. Unfortunately, the devices also had a tendency to explode, which is why the Torchwood team were now stood on a hill in the middle of nowhere.
"It must have been damaged when it fell through the Rift...sorry," he uttered, feeling particularly guilty when he saw that Toshiko was shivering despite her apparently warm clothing. Jack's eyes sought Ianto's and he pleaded silently for forgiveness. Ianto didn't look too impressed.
"Let's go," Jack suggested, "and I'll buy you all a pizza on the way back."
He scooped up the device up and wrapped his arm around Tosh's shoulder in an effort to warm her up. The team headed down the hill together and back to the road where they had parked the SUV.
When they reached the bottom of the hill, Owen cursed so violently that Toshiko ran towards him and gasped in horror.
"The SUV's gone!" she cried.
Now that really was the icing on the top of a foul tasting cake, thought Jack.