13 May 2011 – 12:00pm

Jack watched carefully as the figure came closer. He pointed his Webley, taking a defensive stance and licking his suddenly dry lips. Gwen and Owen flanked him on both sides, determined looks on their faces.

"The signal is getting stronger, Jack," Tosh advised through his earpiece. "The readings are off the chart."

"Do you think it's lost, Jack?" Gwen asked, not taking her eyes off the shadowed form approaching them. "Why is there only one?"

"Not sure there're rules to this, Gwen," Jack replied, brow furrowing. "And does it matter? One Cyberman or two, the threat is still very real."

"If you ask me we should have fried the bloody thing already. Why are we waiting?"

"Because I want this thing alive, Owen," said Jack, raising his arm as the figure took more definite shape. "I want answers for the hell that was Canary Wharf."

"J-Jack?" Gwen whispered, eyes wide as the ghost broke through to their reality and into its natural form.

"Bloody hell!" cried Owen, turning to his leader with eyes as wide as Gwen's.

Jack's arm faltered, falling to his side as his throat constricted. "This isn't possible," he stated, watching as the figure before them raised its hands.

"Please, help me?"

10 May 2011 – 5:02am

Jack stalked through the Hub, frustration coloring his features. He was exhausted, having not been asleep for more than a couple of hours. He frowned at the coffee machine, wishing Ianto was there to work his magic. Jack swallowed the lump in his throat and prepared a pot of coffee, glaring at the contraption as he awaited his team's arrival.

A glance at his watch confirmed his suspicions that it was entirely too early, but for a man who'd not slept properly for a century, five in the morning versus seven really made no difference. And it wasn't as if he had any control over the situation, lately. There wasn't a day that had gone by in the last several weeks that he hadn't been yanked out of sleep by his recurring nightmare.

As he wandered through the row of computers, switching them on, he tried to shake the tiredness from his body. Stretching one arm and then the other, Jack attempted to bring blood flow back to his limbs. Sleep, or lack thereof, in his small bunker cot was never very comfortable.

Myfanwy squawked above him, making her return from her nightly hunt known, and Jack wondered absently if he had any spare chocolate left for the Torchwood pet. He'd have to look for some later, if he remembered after completing the stack of paperwork that awaited him in his office. Or maybe he'd make Owen do it.

Jack allowed himself a smirk, remembering the last time Owen had been anywhere near the beast. She'd nudged him playfully, knocking him into the base of the water tower, where he'd then sprawled flailing and sputtering in indignation. He'd since steadfastly refused to feed her, mumbling about it being someone else's responsibility.

Returning to the metal contraption in the kitchenette Jack poured himself a cup of sludge, stirring in just enough sugar to keep him wired. He traced the rim of the mug, remembering how Ianto had bought it for him after tripping on the stairs and dropping his favorite mug. Ianto's eyes had been wide and pained, and he'd apologized profusely for the shattered mess when Jack frantically rushed to his side. It had taken hours before Ianto believed that he wasn't upset with him.

Sighing at the memory of the man Jack headed back to his office. Might as well tackle the work he'd been avoiding. Maybe it would get his mind off a past he couldn't change.

10 May 2011 – 10:35am

Jack felt like he'd barely made a dent in the papers spread over his desk when there was a knock at his door. He glanced up, receiving an apologetic smile from Tosh as she entered his office.

"I'm sorry for bugging you, Jack," she murmured, "but you should really see these readings."

"Something off, Toshiko?" he asked, standing even before she answered.

"You could say that."

He opened his mouth to question her but she had already turned to head back to her computer station. Jack followed close behind, standing at her shoulder when she pulled up the program she'd been working on for the better part of the morning.

"Did I miss a Rift alert?" Jack asked, knowing full well he hadn't. But the readings scrolling across Tosh's computer screen said otherwise.

"Not exactly," she began, flipping to another screen. "You see these figures here? These indicate an anomaly in the time space continuum."

"But…not the Rift?"


"So, it's like…what, exactly?"

"Like something is trying to cross over from another reality."

Jack's eyebrows shot up and his mind immediately went back to his nightmares over the last few weeks. There'd been a shadow, a figure he couldn't place. He knew he'd seen something like it before, but he hadn't been able to piece the images together. Not completely. No until now.

"Tosh, Gwen, grab Owen. Meeting in five minutes. There's something I need to tell you all. I think we've got a big problem on our hands."