Dawn M Duval

Chapter One

The darkness was pretty impenetrable, there was no moon to light the night. The SUV pulled up, it's blue lights stronger than the old street lamp above. They parked next to a house which would have been the envy of the street when it was built. That now stood there mouldering, vandalised and unloved.

"Great we've stepped into a cliché" Owen said as they got out of the SUV "Why are we here exactly"

"Reports of a ghost" Jack said taking out a torch.

"Great now we're ghost busters or is it Scooby doo?"

"What's the matter with you" Gwen asked "Didn't you and Tosh get it on last night"

Toshiko could feel herself blushing, she was surprised she wasn't lighting up the street.

"No" He said winking at Tosh which didn't make her blushing any better "I just don't like being sent on a wild goose chase, remember the Himalayas?"

"That was Saxon's doing" Jack said breaking the lock on the large iron gates.

"Since when have ghosts been our area anyway?"

"Anything unexplained needs investigating to see if it's 'our area', you never know. Back in the day, before even Torchwood, there was a load of gelths disguised themselves as ghosts. Would have been a mess if it wasn't for the sacrifice of a selfless maid. I've seen a picture of her in the archives, it happened ten years before Torchwood was formed but they still thought the incident was of note. I tell you it is, that maid was the spit of our Gwen or is Gwen the spit of her"

"So do you think it's the gelth again?" Gwen asked a bit concerned

"No, they lived off the gas and this place must have been cut off years ago"

"So what is it?"

"We don't know that's why we're here" Jack said slipping the lock on the front door.

The house was dark, there was dust and cobwebs everywhere. They walked carefully in, watching out for any floorboard that might be missing.

"It's not April fools day is it?" Owen asked

"No" Came Jack's curt reply.

"Someone is having us on, there is no such thing as ghosts"

"All the things we've seen and you're querying ghosts?" Gwen asked


"I believe in the stone tape theory" Toshiko said

"What's that when it's at home?" Owen asked

"That ghosts exist in as much as their surroundings have absorbed the energy created when they were alive or just dying -as is often the case- and every so often it plays that event back. It's just a recording of what happened stored in the surroundings"

"Interesting theory" Owen said

Gwen reckoned his relationship with Toshiko had softened him a bit to new ideas.

"Remember a couple of years back" Owen said "Everyone thought they saw ghosts. Turned out they were just cyber…" Owen saw Ianto's face and shut up.

"That was because Torchwood One liked playing with their toys, and look where it got them. We've gotta make sure we don't make the same mistakes" Jack said putting a caring hand on Ianto's arm.

They entered the large main room. The many windows' curtains were hanging tattered letting what little light there was outside in.

"This place is really rather freaky" Gwen said "And it reeks" she said wrinkling her nose.

"There's someone outside" Toshiko said as she saw a silhouette at one of the windows.

The others looked but it had gone.

Owen went to the window and looked out "There's no one there babe"

'Babe' Gwen mouthed to Ianto

"My how things have changed" he whispered back with a grin.

"It must have been the shadow from one of the trees or something" Owen said coming back into the room.

"It defiantly looked like a man to me" Toshiko said still looking at the window.

"Shadows can be deceptive" Gwen agreed "and we are all a little on edge"

"Isn't the ghost supposed to be on the inside?" Ianto asked

"Or whatever it is" Gwen corrected

"Yes it's supposed to be inside" Jack said looking around.

"Why don't we split up and get this over and done with" Owen said "We can find there's nothing here but spiders, then we can all go home"

"That might not be a bad plan" Ianto agreed

"I'll go with Tosh"

"No surprises there then" Gwen said

"Why don't you go with Ianto" Owen said to Gwen

"I'm fine with that"

"But that'll leave Jack on his own" Ianto pointed out

"I don't mind I can take it" Jack said "You haven't lived as long as me without being on your own occasionally" Jack smiled to show he really didn't mind "Owen you and Tosh take the ground floor, I'll take the next floor up, Ianto and Gwen you can have the top floor. I want everyone to keep in contact"

Gwen and Ianto crept up the stairs, each stair creaking as they trod on it.

"You do think these stairs are safe don't you?" Gwen asked Ianto

"I certainly hope so" Ianto said leading the way.

Toshiko cautiously lead the way with Owen right behind her, their torches making little dent in the gloom.

"This place is a bleeding death trap" Owen said "Someone is laughing at us big time"

"There might be something here"

"Other than rats"

"Oh no, not rats" Toshiko said stopping in her tracks "Mice I can handle but rats"

"Yeah and there going to climb right up your trouser leg" Owen teased

"Owen don't"

Owen gave her an enigmatic smile and they continued walking down the corridor. The floor boards creaked and groaned beneath them. The creaks and groans suddenly got louder. The floor gave way beneath Toshiko, Owen make a grab for her but it was no good.