:Torchwood is hardly the only group to employ Rift travel, and sometimes the Omniverse gets things a little mixed up in transit. How will Torchwood deal with something a little outside the Whoniverse washing up in Cardiff? Expanded Torchwood members including John Hart and Martha Jones. Characters are the property of RTD and BBC/Marvel:

My Torchwood fics
Deus Ex Machina (not yet published)
Oberon's Wild Night
Tripping the Rift
Kyhl's Story
Archives of the Time Agency

Tripping the Rift

Chapter One

"Where is the spike, Tosh?"

"There's no single location, Jack. I'm counting at least three different focal points. One at the Barrage, one at Harry Ramsden's, and one.. right above the Hub."

"Gwen, John, you head to the Barrage with the SUV. Owen, you, Tosh, and Martha check out whatever's up there. Ianto, let's go get some fish and chips."

The teams scrambled. Another night's work at Torchwood had begun.

Gwen slammed on the brakes as John jumped out of the SUV. "You mind if I stop?"

John ran to the edge of the Barrage, looking over what should have been a rail, but was now just twisted metal surrounding where a huge bite of concrete had been taken out of the structure. "Come have a look at this, lovey."

"G-wwwwennnnn. That's what I answer to, not lo-- what the hell happened here?!"

"I'd say something rather large and heavy crashed right through." John dropped down to one knee, peering into the dark water far below them.

"Now I see why Jack sent you along with me. I'd never have picked that up on my own." Gwen tapped her headset. "Tosh? We're here, but whatever it is must have crashed into the bay."

"Hold on a minute, lovey. I see lights down there."

Gwen crouched next to John, using his shoulder to brace herself as she leaned over the broken edge. "Where? Oh dear god, I see. Looks like a car went over."

"If so, it's got a headlight out. And it's moving."

Gwen inched forward, gripping onto John's jacket. "There could be someone hurt down there."

"Oh, goodie, time to be heroic?" asked the ex-Time Agent drily.

"That's never worked well for you before, John." Gwen frowned as her support vanished with John diving into the water below. "John! Oh, bloody hell!" she cried as she lost her balance and plummeted into the freezing cold water.

The air wooshed from her lungs as the water closed over her head. Frantically she flailed for the surface, squirming out of her handbag. Once her head broke the surface she gasped for air, then looked down for any sign of John. "I'm g-going t-to kill him if he s-survives." She caught sight of the light from below and John silhouetted against it, swimming toward it like a beacon. Suddenly the shadowy form around it moved and other lights sprang to life, churning the water into a glowing cauldron that blocked out her view of her partner. "John?!" she called out, suddenly worried for him. Something burst from the water, carrying her with it. She had time only to take in a metallic grasp around her waist and the cold rush of air before her stomach lurched into her throat, her rapid rise now turned into an equally rapid plummet. She was jolted by a sudden stop, accompanied by a solid thud of metal against concrete, and rolled onto the pavement of the Barrage. Pushing up to her knees, she saw John beside her, soaking wet and drawing his katana, his eyes fixed on something behind her.

Gwen rolled onto her backside hurriedly, acutely aware that her gun was now sinking in the bay inside her handbag. Her eyes widened as she saw a humanoid but entirely metallic figure, gleaming in crimson and gold, its face an emotionless mask with glowing eyes. A bright beam emanated from the chest of the creature. "No.. not cybermen again. Forget fighting it, John, get in the SUV!"

John grabbed her elbow and pulled her up with him, shoving her for the safety of the vehicle. "I'll take your word for it. Run!" He flipped a grenade over his shoulder and dove into the passenger compartment. The SUV was rocked by the blast, scooting several feet away from the edge of the Barrage.

Gwen sucked in her breath and lifted her head to see if they had destroyed the creature. It lay at the base of a support column, under a humanoid-shaped imprint in the metal. She gulped as it sat up, then stood, turning to face the vehicle. "John, it's still alive."

"What?" John scowled at the creature. "How might it feel about getting run over?"

Gwen answered by putting the SUV in gear, then giving it full speed at the metal man. Metal crunched metal, the body flipping over the rail, plunging out of sight. Gwen sighed with relief, then laughed, looking over to John. "I was planning on killing you just a few minutes ago."

"You're over it now?" John returned her grin. "I must be growing on you."

The SUV was suddenly lurched by a shock, rolling backwards. Gwen bit down a scream as she saw the glow of the creature's chest light in front of them. The metal man now hovered a foot above the pavement, its feet and hands glowing as well. One lit palm was pointed at them as Gwen got up to ramming speed again. The palm flashed and another blast hit the SUV, sending it flipping over onto the roof.

"Can we stop pissing it off now?" mumbled John.

Gwen whimpered as she saw heavy red feet drop down next to the driver's window. The door was ripped off with a sickening roar of bent steel and the creature knelt slowly, somewhat ungainly, to stare at her with its lifeless eyes.

"How about you stop doing that, lady, okay? You're scratching up my finish."

Owen crouched on the roof of the Wales Millenium Centre, listening as Myfanwy screeched in the air above. Torchwood's pet pterodactyl was an excellent guard dog, but she'd been trained to avoid attacking humans, so he was pretty sure whatever she was fighting was alien in origin. He peered up into the clouds, trying to see what was happening.

"Have you seen it yet, Owen?"

Owen touched his earpiece. "Not yet, Tosh, but Myfanwy's having a great bit of fun with it." He stood quickly as he heard a long screech from the pterodactyl, echoed by a howling whistle from plummeting wings. Seconds later the fight broke through the clouds, leather wings flailing against flashes of white. The screech ended suddenly along with the battle as it crashed onto the roof and started rolling toward Owen. The intrepid doctor stood, aiming his pistol at the fracas, keeping his finger on the trigger as it skidded to a tangled stop a metre in front of him. Myfanwy separated herself from her opponent, staggering for her hatchway, one wing dragging.

Owen stepped forward to see what she had dragged down. One bloodied white wing lay stretched over it, feathers skewed and snapped. The other wing lay along the back of the creature in a more resting position, nestled to the back of a pair of white boots. A shock of golden hair was visible under the edge of the bloodied wing. Owen cautiously stepped around the creature, nudging the wing aside with his foot, eliciting a groan of pain. He blinked in shock at seeing the face of a man, looking quite human under the edges of a blue cowl that attached to a blue and white body suit.

"H.. Help me," whispered the figure, opening his eyes to look at Owen. "Don't.. shoot."

Owen slowly holstered his weapon. "I'm a doctor. Don't move, mate. What the hell are you?" He knelt to check the winged man for other injuries. "Tosh, it's something sentient. Myfanwy gave it a good mauling. I'll need help getting it down to surgery. Martha, get prepped."

"You got it, Owen," came the reply from Owen's fellow medic. "Anything remotely human?"

"I'm on my way up," chimed in Tosh's voice. "What is it?"

"Dunno. Looks like an angel."

Ianto did his best to rein in the flood of adrenaline that always accompanied a field mission. He was doing much better now than when he had first started venturing out of Torchwood with the team. It had been months since he suffered an anxiety attack and he was certain he would never hesitate to kill a blowfish again, but the first few minutes of a mission, when he didn't know what they might be up against, were a battle against an urge to run screaming. He looked over to Jack, standing on the other side of the entrance, and felt confidence well up inside him, quelling his fears. Jack gave him a wink and a grin, almost seeming to enjoy the thought of facing unknown dangers. Jack raised a brow and Ianto answered it with a nod. Jack signaled a three-count with his fingers, the pair of them bursting into the restaurant in unison.

The interior hardly seemed like a crime scene. The jukebox was bleating out Otis Redding to an empty dining room, the only indication that things might not be normal at the busy eatery. A lone figure sat at the bar, back turned to the intruders uncaringly. A hand slipped to the side to collect a bottle of Heineken and deliver it to the mouth of the diner. Ianto and Jack exchanged confused glances before approaching the man at the bar.

"Where is everyone?" Jack called out while still several feet away.

The man straightened slightly. Even sitting it was clear he wasn't particularly tall, probably a half foot shorter than Ianto, but his denim jacket was tightly stretched to contain his muscular build. Shaggy brown hair brushed the collar of the jacket, matching an equally shaggy scruff of long sideburns as he turned to look at Jack. "How the hell should I know?" he asked in a gruff accent that wasn't far off from Jack's American.

"Hey, you from the States?" Jack held his pistol lowered but at the ready as he moved to the bar, a couple of stools down from the man.

The man finished off his beer. "Sort of. Canadian. Why? What're you, a cop?" He glanced down at the gun, not seeming disturbed by it. "Thought nobody had guns here. This is England, right?"

"Wales. We're special cops. We deal with special guests."

"Zat so?" The man set the bottle down and got to his feet, confirming his stature as less than even Owen's, but hardly seeming less threatening for not having a height advantage. "What do you do with them?"

"Depends on whether they're dangerous or not," answered Jack with a smile. "Now how exactly did you get here and where is everyone else?"

The man smirked. "I fell out of the sky and they didn't like my taste in music." Ianto sucked in his breath as the man curled his hands into fists, long steel claws breaking from between his knuckles, extending over a foot, three on each hand. "Or maybe it was the way I eat my fries." He speared a chip with a claw and brought it up to his teeth.

Jack raised the pistol. "Looks like you're in the wrong neighborhood. Guess we have to give you an escort home through the Rift." Ianto followed suit from the side.

"Not until I find my friends," replied the man without flinching. "Why don't you put that away before you get yourself in trouble?"

"We'll take care of your friends, too."

The man growled, lunging for Jack. "Put it away!"

Jack's eyes widened and he fired instinctively, sending three shots into the chest of the man, knocking him back a bit. The man looked down, then let out a roar and swiped at Jack, slashing his claws through his chest as if it were tissue paper.

"Jack!" Ianto cried, horrified. He knew that Jack had proven impossible for death to claim permanently thousands of times in the past, but that didn't mean he was ready to accept it. His finger gripped the trigger of his handgun, shot after shot firing into the body of the man until he crumpled to the floor. Ianto dropped his pistol and ran to cradle Jack's limp form, wiping the blood from his neck and face with a sob. "Jack, come back to me." He rocked Jack's head against his chest, avoiding looking into the soulless eyes of his boss and lover.

"Ungh..." The groan came not from Jack, but from the man Ianto had just filled with bullets. Ianto whipped his head around in time to see the man sit up, then get to his feet, using a claw to pick out a bullet from between his ribs. "You prick. Where are my friends?"

Ianto grabbed the revolver that Jack had dropped, raising it to aim at the man he had already killed once. "Stop or I'll shoot!"

"You're going to get yourself killed, kid. Sorry about your friend, but he didn't give me much of a choice. I'm not a murde--" He stopped, eyebrow raising as Jack coughed.

"Did you get him, Ianto?" Jack sat up, rubbing his chest, then squinted at the man. "What are you waiting for? Shoot."

"Huh. And they say I'm hard to kill." The man chuckled, crossing his arms. "Go ahead, kid, shoot."

Ianto swallowed, his hand starting to shake. "I already shot him, Jack. Several times. He came back to life faster than you."

Jack raised a brow, then put his hand over the revolver, lowering Ianto's arm. "Just where in Canada did you say you were from?"