Ianto watched from the rooftop, hidden by view as the military swarmed over the smoking hole in the ground in the middle of the Plass. Thanks to his quick thinking, they couldn't get past the first few levels since the blast doors had closed upon lockdown, effectively cutting everyone off of the storage areas of the Hub. Ianto's eyes tracked the movement of the rescue workers and he frowned when they pulled a couple of body parts together and put them on a stretcher. There wasn't much there, just part of the torso. Another worker came over with something wrapped in a towel and Ianto swallowed as he saw part of a skull get dumped onto the stretcher.
Jack's skull. He closed his eyes and laid flat against the roof, trying to stop himself from vomiting. They were picking over what was left of the Hub's main room, looking for whatever was left of Jack. Obviously, they knew he wouldn't stay dead for long, so they were gathering his body parts to take elsewhere. Ianto felt his stomach heaving when he thought of what happened to his lover. That last look as the lift was ascending was all he had to remember. Well, that and the kiss. Ianto reached up and touched his lips as he remembered.
"God, Jack," he murmured. "How did this happen?" He rolled over so he could peer over the edge again. The soldiers were putting the stuff on the stretcher into a body bag. There wasn't much. Ianto followed their movements as they loaded the remains into a van for transport. Pulling out a pen, he wrote the numbers on the back of his hand. If he could get to the library and a computer, he could then track the vehicle and rescue Jack. The library would be dicey if they had put out an APB for him or Gwen, then. He chewed his lip as he watched the crews moving about as if they were ants on a hill.
He wondered how long it would take for Jack to return to normal. As far as Ianto knew, he had never been blown to smithereens before, so he had no frame of reference when it came to regenerating from such a catastrophic death. Ianto shook his head. He had to concentrate. A helicopter flew overhead and he rolled under the shadow of aircon unit mounted to the roof so he wouldn't be noticed. He itched to be gone and to be away, but he also felt an urge to get into the blast site and see if they missed anything of Jack. He decided to stay and see whether the military forces left. It would take Jack some time to regenerate, so he would have time to find him.
Ianto waited. He was wedged under the edge of the aircon unit which made for an uncomfortable resting spot, but he was so exhausted by the events of the last day that he fell asleep, lulled by the continuous rumble of the machinery around him. When he woke, it was the middle of the night. Carefully he looked around to make sure that no one had come up onto the roof while he had been sleeping. All seemed quiet. He stayed to the shadows and moved to the ledge to look out over the Plass. There were some work lights scattered about, but the area of the blast looked deserted. He spied a couple of guards patrolling about, but a scan of the area buildings failed to show any sign of snipers. Good. They figured that they had the team on the run and that none of them would come back. Their first mistake was underestimating the Torchwood team. It was that mistake that Ianto would make certain would cost them.
Moving stealthily, he skulked over to the edge of the building and pried open the security door which led to the back of the building. The top of this building was the mechanical and ventilation support area for the office building below, so he wasn't concerned about being seen once he got inside. He quickly made his way down to the ground floor and out the back entrance by the garbage bins.
Once outside, he was more cautious, and worked his way in a wide circle around the Millennium Centre to the edge of the blast radius. He had gotten a good view from above, so he knew that there was a lot of scaffolding built around the site for access into the pit where he could make his way down for his own search for additional remains. He slipped from shadow to shadow, keeping a watchful eye out for the security forces which were watching the site. It was child's play to get past them and he silently shook his head at how easy it was.
Once on the scaffolding, he was far more cautious. He was exposed there and one glance at the wrong time from the security could get him caught. He was thankful for the dark clothing he had worn the day before as well as the dirt that covered his face, minimizing the chances of being seen. As soon as he could, he slipped beneath the scaffolding to walk in the debris. Once in the shadow of an overhanging piece of concrete, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his PDA. It had been damaged in the explosion, but he hoped it had enough range to do a search for bio matter. He had each of their individual signatures stored there, so he would have more luck in finding Jack than the MI5 had.
Shielding the device so that the telltale glow wouldn't give him away, he held his jacket around the PDA and did a scan. The device flickered sluggishly and he quietly cursed the damage as he coaxed information from it. He paused when he got a bio reading off to his left and he looked up to judge if there was a viable path in that direction. The area was shrouded in darkness and he was forced to just guess what the best route was. Moving as quietly as he could, he moved over to a bent support beam. Metal gleamed and he looked around to see if anyone could see him from where he was. He was below the edge of the mound around the pit so was not really visible to the guards. Good. He stared blankly at the metal he was crouched next to, trying to figure out what it might have been. Shaking his head, he pushed the thought out of his head and continued moving.
He started to cross diagonally to the right to an overhang and paused to get his bearings. He had to tap the screen to get the display to settle down as it was jumping and making it hard to read the image. He stayed still and willed it to settle down. It did, and he could see he was almost close to the first bit of bio matter.
Moving to the next logical hidey hole, he peered out into the dark. The lights from the Plass really didn't illuminate the area, so he was left trying to judge between dark and darker shadows. Looking at the PDA screen also didn't help because his eyes had to adjust afterwards. He looked from the screen to the direction it was indicating for the biomass and he turned the device over to let his eyes adjust. Something was there. He moved forward slowly, trying not to jostle and of the debris around him. Rocks skittered down the slight incline and he froze and listened for a long moment. He could hear two of the guards talking and they were joking about guarding a gravesite and how boring the task would be. He wished them all the boredom in the world at the moment as he slid down the gravel incline down another few feet to the area directly in front of him. He had moved a bit to the right as he slid down so he looked at the beam he had used as a reference point to check how far off he was from the item he was looking for. It seemed he had to move a little further to the left. He shifted carefully and crept forward.
Something gleamed in the moonlight. He dropped down to his stomach and crawled forward. He flashed back to the explosion in the old warehouse when the team had been caught by the multiple bombs. Closing his eyes and focusing on the task at hand, he shook himself and inched forward. Just outside of his reach was something. He touched it and almost instantly recoiled. Something wet clung to his hand. Steeling himself, he reached out and touched it, then pulled it towards him. Something flapped and he bit his lip. It was flesh, but it wasn't Jack's. Closing his eyes, he realized he was holding part of the leathery sail of Myfanwy's wing. He rested his head against the rock and silent tears flowed. He gave himself a moment to grieve before he went back to work.
Pulling the PDA up, he scanned the wing and stored the data in the PDA. Then, fighting with the display again, he filtered that bio signature out of his scan and tried again. He got a faint blip off to his right. Peering in that direction, he looked for the next place he could go to continue his search. Getting up onto his knees as quietly as possible, he got his feet under him and moved over to the right. He paused next to the part of a wall and tried to scan again. The signal was a little stronger now and he headed in that direction. Eventually he stopped. In front of him was the heavy metal cog wheel door that had guarded the entrance to the Hub. It was still intact, but it was fairly thick and he couldn't imagine even a blast tearing it to pieces because it was so solid. He rested in its shelter and scanned again. The signal came from off to the side and behind it. He moved carefully around it, aware of the shifting shale around him.
On the other side he saw why the recovery crews had missed this in the search. The back side of the door had rubble up against it. It looked solid, but a scan showed him that it was just a piece of concrete that had settled up against the door. He knelt down and carefully slid in between the concrete and the metal, very aware that any shift in the ground underneath could potentially crush him. He breathed a sigh of relief as he made it to a larger pocket where there was a metal beam that held the area up.
In this darkened corner, he felt safe enough to use the PDA as a torch. He turned it around and shone it on the ground in front of him. Something white gleamed under some rubble and he moved over to lift up a rock. Then he knelt down and started digging. He dug for about five minutes before he was able to clean enough spare around the gleaming white object. It was a bone. More specifically, a human thighbone. Ianto closed his eyes for a moment. It was one thing to go looking for pieces of Jack. It was another to find him. He spent a long moment fighting back tears and again his thoughts went back to that body bag that the MI5 had taken. He reached out a trembling hand and grasped the splintered ends of the bone and pulled it towards him.
There was the sound of a scrape and rocks shifted as the limb began to move towards him. He swallowed convulsively and kept on pulling. The bone resolved to a thigh, then a knee and a calf. He bit his lip when he touched the sock, but he wrapped his hands around the lower part of the extremity and moved it towards him. He had Jack's leg, complete with the boot still on it. Bowing over it for a moment, he let himself come to terms with his grisly find. Then he tucked it behind him and did another scan. He got another flicker of the screen ad he was off, tugging the limb behind him as quietly as he could.
He searched for several hours, findings several bits and pieces, but only took those large enough to matter. In the end, he found the leg, part of an arm and shoulder that the MI5 hadn't found and something else which he didn't take with him. He had to pause for long moments to fight the urge to vomit. No need to leave any evidence to be found. He also unthreaded a rope from one of the scaffolds and used it to tie up what he had found so that he could carry it. He made his way back to where he first entered the site and climbed out of the pit. He had to time his exit in between passes by the guards, but eventually was able to slip out of the debris field and back onto the Plass. Wasting no time, he darted back into the shadows of the Millennium Centre and worked his way around the back. Once out of sight, he sat down behind a bin clutching his grisly possession and allowed himself a short time to breakdown. After a few moments, he pulled himself together. He didn't have a lot of time and the cracked face of his watch showed him that dawn was not too far away. He slipped into the car park, down a side street and made his way over to the docklands where no one would be looking for him. He needed a place to hole up, and a place to store Jack. It was going to be along day ahead while he figured out how to get in touch with his sister and see if he could get some help. He had given her a laptop as a gift several Christmases before to help her with some of that at home work she did to help pay the bills. Neither she nor Johnny ever accepted money from him, so the best he could do was to give it to the kids and to buy them lots of gifts to help them along. This particular gift would be very useful if he could get a hold of it.
He walked paths familiar from many instances of Weevil hunting, looking for a place to hide for the morning, and a place where Jack could be safe while he regenerated. If he could regenerate from the little bit that Ianto had been able to collect. He thought about the rest of the body and wondered if it would also regenerate. His mind balked at the thought of multiple Jacks arising from the dead. Was it even possible? Ianto didn't know, but he knew he couldn't leave what was left of Jack in the rubble of the Torchwood Hub.
He ducked down an alley and after looking around, found himself in an area of abandoned property. Perfect. He worked his way down the street in the dark. No one bothered to fix the streetlights on a street with no tenants. Which worked for him. Ianto finally got to a door and peered through the windows. It looked empty. He jimmied the lock and was able to force his way in. He dragged his package along inside with him and closed the door. He peered around in the dark and tried to get his bearings. Eventually his eyes adjusted to the light and he laughed softly.
He was in an old textile plant. Apparently one that had closed and not been sold off, since most of the stuff was still in place, although covered in dust. Ianto worked his way through the equipment and towards the back, away from the windows. There was a platform and what looked to be a supervisor's office, so he headed for that.
Navigating the stairs in the dark was difficult, but he managed to get up the stairs and down the walkway to the office. He stepped inside and closed the door. Reaching for the wall, he tried the light. Nothing. He wasn't surprised. Probably the power had been shut off before the plant was shut down. Ianto sank down to the floor and felt that he could finally relax. He let his head rest against the wall as he surveyed the bundle in his lap. Jack. He closed his eyes, feeling the sting of tears again, but stopped himself from letting them fall. He had work to do.
Putting the bundle aside, he dragged himself to his feet and looked at his watch. Dawn was almost there. He needed to get a message to his sister. He got up and went to the door. He needed to get that set up before he could rest. Looking at his reflection in window, he saw he wasn't looking too good. He did his best to dust himself off, but he really was a mess. He needed to get going. He went to set his plan in motion to meet his sister. It was a good thing he had money in his wallet, so he could do that. He set off to do what he needed to go before coming back to rest.