Author's Notes: This is my very first attempt at fanfic. I would appreciate reviews and any constructive criticism you can possibly offer. My greatest fear is writing myself into a box, and while I do know where this one is going (and I hope to have it updated soon), getting there is always hard. Suggestions are welcome. I'm pretty nervous about posting…..
When Jack felt the bullet rip through his chest, it felt different than before. He had felt plenty of bullets tear through his body over the hundred plus years he'd spent on this crazy planet, but not like this. This one was on fire. It was on fire and it was churning through him and spreading pain like thousands of needles piercing him through his whole body, not just where the bullet was. And then there was ice everywhere and he couldn't move and then there was nothing but darkness and death.
Gwen and Rhys were laughing at one of Rhys' stupid jokes and enjoying their first sips of the coffees they'd ordered after waiting an extra ten minutes on Jack and Ianto to join them. Jack and Ianto had a habit of getting sidetracked and delayed when it came to social engagements lately, so Gwen wasn't worried about being rude. They were startled, though, when a gunshot rang out, and Gwen instinctively looked around for any police who might be heading to check it out. She didn't see anyone, though, and had relaxed and taken another sip of coffee when her mobile rang. She raised her eyebrows at Rhys and answered the phone. She put her coffee cup down as she listened, and said, "Okay. We'll find them." She hung up and looked at Rhys. "Tosh was bothering Ianto for an archive code a minute ago when a gunshot rang out and Ianto dropped the call. She hasn't been able to raise Jack or Ianto since. We've got to go." Rhys threw a tip down on the table as they left, and Gwen told him quickly to go around to the car park and see if the SUV was there. "Then meet me on the walk path; I'm going to check there."
"Jack!" Gwen yelled, rushing through the trees to Jack's body laying face down on the path. Jack was actually covering Ianto's body, which seemed to be passed out underneath him. She rushed up to the two men and rolled Jack's body off of Ianto's. She saw the bullet wound on Jack's chest but wasn't worried; she had seen that before and was finally used to the gasp for air and renewal of the glimmer in her boss's eyes. It was Ianto she was worried about.
As soon as she moved Jack, Ianto rolled over and gasped; he'd had the wind knocked out of him when Jack had thrown himself upon him. He coughed violently and Gwen leaned down and held him as he tried to regain his breath. "Ianto, are you all right?" Ianto nodded, still coughing. "Who did this?" Gwen asked, and Ianto looked at Jack and took a shaky breath. "I don't know, but as soon as Jack saw him on the path he threw himself at me like he knew what was coming. Jack definitely recognized him. All I heard was the man shouting at Jack, and then he fired right at us."
They both looked at Jack. "Is he dead?" Ianto asked, still taking deep breaths to clear his head. "Yeah," said Gwen. "Rhys and I were waiting on you two outside the coffee shop when Tosh called in that you were down and out of contact. We even heard the gunshot. I sent Rhys to get the SUV."
Ianto leaned over Jack. "It's taking him a bit this time, isn't it?" This was odd, and odd worried Ianto. He liked Jack being predictable in his deaths, not odd. One gunshot didn't usually knock Jack out for this long, and it had been almost ten minutes since he fell and a crowd was starting to gather. That could be trouble, so Gwen got up and spoke with the police that had arrived and they started moving the crowd back as Rhys walked up to them. "All right, Ianto?" he asked. "Yeah, thanks," Ianto answered back and then looked back down at Jack with concern. "Listen, something is weird here. I think we ought to get him into the SUV and back to the Hub." Ianto and Rhys carried Jack to the SUV and laid him across the back seat. Ianto climbed in with him and Gwen and Rhys got in up front and Rhys headed back toward the Hub. As soon as they got going, they heard the familiar gasp for air from Jack.
"Jack. Are you okay?" Ianto asked. Jack coughed and coughed, but finally settled and sat up shakily. He saw Rhys driving the SUV and pointed and said, "What the hell is he doing driving the car?" Gwen grinned. "He helped clear you out from the crowd that was gathering; I figured he earned the okay to drive this time." Jack just shook his head. Putting his hand to his temple, he said, "Ianto, are you okay?" Ianto nodded and waited patiently for Jack to look up again. "Jack," he asked, "who was that? What would he want to shoot at us for?" The SUV rounded a corner and Jack hesitated. "If it is who I think, his name is Kent Fischer and I thought he was long gone. He used to work as a research scientist for Torchwood in the mid-nineties. I thought he was dead, though." Jack's voice trailed off as he winced in pain and the color drained from his face. "Jack?" Ianto asked, concerned. Jack's hand went back to his head and he doubled over as fire and needles rushed through his body once again, filling it with a relentless agony that wouldn't stop. Fire was burning every inch of his body and it was so consuming that he was barely aware of his own screams.
When Jack started to scream, Rhys slammed on the brakes and he saw both Ianto and Gwen reaching for Jack, who was thrashing, writhing, and yelling as if someone were stabbing him over and over again. It was chaos and Ianto was trying to hold Jack still. Rhys figured the place they needed to be was the Hub, so he got them there as fast as possible. Gwen tapped her coms and yelled over the screaming, "Owen! We need you to meet us in the car park NOW. There's something wrong with Jack." They heard Owen's voice, "On my way up." As Rhys pulled in and parked, Owen and Tosh ran out the door to the car park and they saw Gwen opening the back door of the SUV. Owen ran round the back and saw Jack writhing in agony and still screaming, and then, suddenly, Jack passed out cold. His body went limp and his face, glistening with sweat and tears, went slack. Owen checked for a pulse. "He's dead. No pulse." He looked into the fearful faces of his colleagues and said, "Well come on then, help me get him down to the lab so I can figure out what the bloody hell just happened."
Rhys and Ianto dragged Jack's body to the lift inside the tourist office and then down the steps to the lab inside the Hub. With Jack laid out on the table in the lab, Owen looked at Gwen and Ianto. "Who the hell did this?"
They took turns telling their story, and when they finished, Gwen looked up at Tosh, who was standing in the entryway to the lab, and said, "Can you look up Kent Fischer? Used to work for Torchwood." Tosh nodded, took one more worried look at Jack, and rushed back out to her computer station. Owen went to Jack's body and looked at the bullet hole in his shirt. After looking closely, he went to his tool station and grabbed a metal wand and ran it over the area where Jack had been shot. He looked at the monitor behind him. "Owen?" Gwen asked expectantly. "Look," he said, "this isn't a normal bullet. It's dissolving quickly. His body usually churns bullets up, part of his magic, but slowly. That's why he is an arse after getting shot. But this one is almost gone already. By the time I get in there it will be gone. And look where the bullet was. See that color?" There was an array of blues and yellows and greens stemming from the area where the wound was on the screen. "That's a chemical." He paused and looked at his friends, "Jack's been poisoned."
At those words, Jack gasped for air again, this time finding himself in the lab and feeling completely wiped out. He didn't even have the energy to sit up. He just looked at Owen and said, "Something's wrong." Ianto stepped close to him and told him, "Jack, Owen says you've been poisoned. That wasn't a bullet meant to kill."
Jack closed his eyes and said, "Yeah," quietly. He sat up slowly, with some help from Ianto, leaning against Ianto and finding his hand to hold himself steady. He wasn't in pain, but he was exhausted. "That figures. Kent Fischer wouldn't want me to go down easy, and I'll bet he knew I'd try to protect Ianto. Besides, he knows he can't kill me because he already tried once before." Ianto, who had no idea how to deal with the information that someone could poison him, looked at Jack and said, "Jack, who is he?"
Jack took a shaky breath. "Kent Fischer blamed me for the death of his wife. And I suppose that since I did kill her, then he'd have his reasons for some bitterness." When Jack looked at everyone's shocked faces he smiled apologetically. "Look. I was ordered to kill her and she wasn't really herself anymore." He paused as his smile faded and he gazed at Owen and then at Ianto, "Sound familiar?" Ianto nodded and looked a little sick. Jack continued, "She worked for Torchwood as well. An alien had taken her over and our scientists and my commanding officers agreed that it was a mercy killing. But it was dangerous, so they sent me to do it. I managed to kill her without getting hurt, but Kent knew I did it and tried to kill me." He smiled again, "It didn't take." Gwen asked, "But I thought you said Fischer was dead." As she spoke she looked at Jack and knew something was still very wrong. His face drained of color, and he rolled to his side in agony as the fire raced through his body once again, and once again he couldn't stop himself from screaming.
Owen was listening to Jack talk about his past and thinking, 'Good god, how can one man have pissed off so many people?' when he saw Jack go into agony yet again. A pattern? This could get ugly. He rushed over to Jack, who had fallen off of the table from writhing and thrashing in pain. Ianto was there right away, trying to hold Jack still and shouting for Owen, and Owen helped him hold Jack, looking for signs of pupil dilation or something that would indicate other effects of the poison besides just pain. There was nothing. He needed to get Jack still so he could run some other tests, but it was impossible at the moment. It looked like someone was holding hot irons to Jack's body, and this time it was lasting longer. Jack must have screamed for more than five minutes before he passed out again and died. Three deaths in thirty minutes wasn't good for anyone.
" What. Is. Happening?" Ianto said heavily after they put Jack back on the examining table in the lab. Tosh and Gwen and Rhys were standing up on the balcony with the exact same question on their faces. Owen thought for a minute. "I don't know." He rummaged on the cart near the table and pulled out a sterile syringe pack, ripped it open, and proceeded to draw a tube of blood from Jack's arm. As he was working, he said, "We know it's poison of some sort, and I have to isolate it." He went back to a cabinet and drew out the Torchwood blood samples and pulled one of Jack's. He also knew nothing he could say would be enough for the rest of the team. "Look, Ianto I need you to time this thing. See if there are any patterns. And just help Jack get through it." He looked at Gwen and Tosh, "You two need to find the bastard who did this. Or at least find the lab where he concocted it. If we can't find an element match in our databases, we need to find a stash. Plus, a lot of times when you create a poison, you create an antidote, too. We need to know what this guy knows." He looked back at Jack, lying inert on the table. He knew when this happened again he needed to do a scan, so he clenched his teeth and reached for the restraints found hanging off the table and began to tie Jack down. The team looked on horrorstruck, knowing that it was necessary, but hating the very idea. Owen tied him down and then looked around at the people depending on him. "I will figure this out. It may take some time, though, and that will mean more for him to put up with."
"Owen," Gwen asked quietly, "Could you at least give him a painkiller when the pain starts? You know, just to tame it down a bit?" Owen looked at Jack, "I can try. I have absolutely no idea how his body reacts to painkillers, but it's worth a shot." He looked at Ianto, "Call me when he wakes up again." Ianto nodded and watched as Owen climbed upstairs to run his blood tests.
Tosh and Gwen watched as Owen settled at his computer and testing station and looked at each other. Gwen said with a small smile, "Okay. Let's figure this guy out. We know he worked for Torchwood. What else have you found?" Tosh looked wearily at Gwen, knowing Gwen was hoping for a load of information. "I found out who he used to be, but in 1995 everything stops. He stops being on payroll, his file is closed down as terminated, and there are no government records of Kent Fischer because he died. According to this he died in the line of duty a few months after Jack killed his wife." They both looked back at the records in front of them for a few minutes. Gwen said, "Maybe we should go talk to someone he knew. See what they remember. It's better than nothing." Tosh flipped through a few screens, "He has a brother in town. He's a businessman. Let me find his address." Gwen told Tosh that she wanted to check on Jack, and then they'd pack their field kits and go fishing for information.
When Gwen walked down the stairs to the lab a few minutes later, Jack was awake. Ianto had undone the straps on his arms, and Jack was sitting up, drinking a glass of water. He looked up raggedly when Gwen came down. "This is fun, huh?" he said. She crossed over to him and looked in his tired eyes, "Owen will figure this out," and she paused, "or maybe it will just wear off." Jack shook his head. "If there are two things I remember about Kent Fischer, it's that he is persistent and incredibly smart. Not necessarily the kind of evil scientist you want plotting your downfall." Gwen protested, "Jack, I think you may be wrong about who it was. Kent Fischer is dead, according to all of our records. We're still looking, though, and he has a brother who is still around." At that, Owen came downstairs with a pill cup. "Jack," he said, "We'll try giving you a painkiller before it starts again, right?" Jack nodded and accepted the painkillers, drinking them down right away. Then he looked at Gwen again, "I thought we had him in the vaults. You should check the vault records for Torchwood. This doesn't make a lot of sense." Gwen looked puzzled. "But if he's declared dead and he's figured out how to fool Torchwood, then what good will that do us?" Jack said, "Well, I don't know, but Torchwood vaults don't usually sit empty. Maybe there's a clue in the vaults." He leaned into Ianto for support again, feeling completely wiped out. Gwen started to tell him about the brother that she and Tosh were going to go talk to, and then she saw his hand go to his head again. "Jack? Is it starting again?" He nodded. They began to lay him back down and put the restraints back on; they didn't want him to keep falling, and Owen needed a scan. As they were trying to tie him down he said through the pain, "Wait." And then he leaned over and vomited. He shook his head and closed his eyes in pain and a minute later he was screaming again.
Ianto turned and kicked the cart nearby in frustration, sending the whole thing clattering to the floor. The idea that the painkillers wouldn't help drove him to anger, and the feeling of helplessness he had was becoming overwhelming. All he could do was watch Jack scream. Ianto clicked the stopwatch as Owen had asked, and stood with his hands on Jack's chest to at least let Jack know he wasn't alone. Gwen was standing there, too, and when the screaming lasted for six minutes she shook her head and looked pleadingly at Ianto. He looked at the stopwatch and said, "It should stop soon." Jack's now-hoarse screams were raking through the room and he was thrashing and sweating like mad. At seven minutes precisely, he died again. Ianto clicked the stopwatch twice, wrote the time down on his clipboard, and threw the clipboard down loudly onto the nearby counter. Gwen looked at him and said, "I'm going to go talk to Fischer's brother. We'll let you know if we find anything out." She squeezed Ianto's hand and then walked away. Ianto went to the nearby sink, found a washcloth, and wet it. He went back to Jack's body and began wiping his face off, getting it clean from the sweat and tears. He wet the washcloth with cold water again and laid it across Jack's forehead. Then he waited. Three minutes later Jack took a deep breath, but he didn't open his eyes. Ianto held his hand and brushed the washcloth over his face again. "Jack. Owen tried to give you a painkiller, but it wouldn't stay down. There's nothing else to do until they figure this out." He asked, after Jack lay still and quiet, "Can I get you some water?" He just wanted to do something. Anything. But Jack shook his head weakly and took several shaky breaths. Then it seemed like he went to sleep, but five minutes on the stopwatch later, the pain began again.
Ianto had timed the cycle three more times before Gwen and Tosh left for Fischer's brother, and it was clockwork. Seven minutes of pain, five minutes of death, and three minutes awake before it started again.
When Gwen and Tosh arrived back at the hub a couple of hours later, they weren't sure what they would find. Gwen was more worried than she ever had been about Jack, and that was saying something. She never knew what might finally drag him away from all of them in the end, but she always felt like someday he would be gone from her life, and she didn't know how the hell she would ever cope with that. This, though, Jack being tortured, was nothing she had ever imagined. She was almost sure Owen would figure something out, but after her entirely unproductive visit to Kent Fischer's brother's office she was decidedly upset at her lack of a lead to the origin of the poison. She was tired, and she really just wanted to go home to Rhys and come back in five hours to a healthy and whatever-normal-was kind of Jack. She could hear his tormented screams as soon as the hub door alarms went off, though, and she quickly calculated how many deaths, awakenings, and pain periods he must have gone through while she and Tosh were gone. "Eight times," Tosh said softly, as though reading Gwen's mind. They looked grimly at each other and headed toward the screams. Owen was not upstairs at his computer, but was in the lab with Jack and Ianto.
Gwen saw Ianto in the lab and her heart broke again. He was sitting on the edge of a rolling chair, holding Jack's hand limply with one hand, and his head was down on the edge of the table on his other hand in the most defeated way she had ever seen him look. Hs usually rigid and impeccable suit jacket was thrown absently on the floor in a heap, with the tie draped across the pile. His hair was obviously tousled, and when he heard Gwen and Tosh coming down the steps to the lab he looked up wearily and then laid his head back down on his hand without even acknowledging them. Owen was standing nearby looking at the monitor screen. He had probes stuck all over Jack's bare chest; he and Ianto had either helped Jack strip his braces and shirts off or had done it for him. The monitor was reading vital signs, brain activity, and pain levels, and a separate monitor was testing chemical levels in his blood every few minutes. All three lines on the vital sign monitor were flat at the moment. Gwen and Tosh approached the table and Tosh picked up Jack's other hand and held it to her cheek. Owen looked up and asked, "Well? Did you find any leads?" Gwen thought his voice betrayed a note of desperation, and his face visibly dropped when Tosh shook her head. "He doesn't know anything, it seems, and was quite surprised to have questions about his long-dead brother being brought up," Tosh said. Gwen added, "And he has a good alibi for yesterday. He was out of the country on business until this morning. I suppose we should double check that, though." Tosh smiled weakly, "Already did. Customs cleared him for reentry at five this morning." A few minutes later, Jack took a small breath and the monitors beeped as the vital signs and brain activity jumped back into action.
Ianto looked up wearily and said, "Jack, we're all here. Do you want a drink?" Jack said no through a breath, and Gwen leaned over and kissed him gently on his forehead. He smiled a bit, and opened his eyes. She looked at him and watched as his eyes tried to focus on her, but he was too weak and he finally just closed them in resignation as she told him about Fisher's brother's alibi. Jack actually seemed to be struggling a bit to draw each breath, and he whispered, "Check the vaults. Make sure it's Kent Fischer down there." He paused and opened his eyes again and said, "Did you check CCTv?" Tosh answered, "I have the recognition software program running right now. No matches yet." He nodded and closed his eyes again. Ianto watched his stopwatch and then watched as Jack seemed to be breathing too shallow and struggling too much. "Jack. Is it hard to breathe?" Jack nodded and Owen leaned over, checking Jack's pulse and watching the monitor. "It's getting harder for even your body to keep up with the stress put on it for the last six hours, Jack." Owen looked at Ianto, who obviously wasn't happy with this development. "I'm gonna get an oxygen line started for him. Then I have a phone call to make." As he finished putting an oxygen line on, they heard Jack's sharp intake of breath through clenched teeth, and the pain monitor began to spike upwards. As Owen saw Jack start to writhe in pain again, he stormed upstairs with Gwen on his heels.
"Owen. You don't have any leads either, do you?" she asked.
"No," Owen said as he sat himself down at his workstation wearily. "Well, a sliver of one. I mean, there are a total of six elements that make up the poison, as far as I can tell, and I know what two of them are. They're not toxic themselves, though, and are probably just suspension liquids. I have no idea what the other four are, though. There's nothing close in our database. That is why I am making a phone call." He turned away from Gwen to the video phone and clicked a number. Gwen watched quizzically and then gave a small smile and sigh of relief as she heard Owen ask, "I need to speak to Dr. Martha Jones, please. This is urgent." When the voice on the phone said, "I'm sorry, sir, but she hasn't arrived yet this morning," and as hoarse screams erupted behind him, Owen said, "Then you need to page her with whatever sort of urgent code you have and tell her that Jack Harkness has been poisoned and is currently in the worst Hell possible and she is our only hope of helping him." Owen paused and then added, "I'll wait." Gwen grinned and patted his arm, "Good show, Dr. Harper."
A few minutes later, as Jack lay quietly in the lab below, and Owen was waiting for Martha to get to his call, Ianto watched in visible pain. "Owen," he called, does he have to stay here with the monitors? You've run your scans to no avail, and it seems to me we could at least move him to a more comfortable spot than the table." Owen looked at the monitor and back to Ianto, knowing how much watching your lover in agony was pure misery, but also seeing the clinical issues at hand. "Ianto, I have to know the second anything in his body chemistry changes, and one of the monitor lines is also reading blood chemistry, which is vital right now. I am sorry." Ianto's face fell, but Owen continued, "Look, I have a call into Martha Jones. Hopefully the UNIT database will have something ours doesn't." He finished checking on Jack, leaving Ianto to stare blankly at Jack, who had never before looked quite real to Ianto, but who looked, at the moment, like the most vulnerable human being he had ever seen.
Martha was waiting on the line as soon as Owen got back upstairs, and she didn't even say hello. "Owen, what do you mean, poisoned him? How does anyone poison Jack?" Owen grimaced and replied, "Anyone with a stock of alien chemicals and a genius level medical knowledge of how Jack's body works. Apparently someone who used to work for Torchwood and who Jack was able to piss off even more than his usual ability would allow. Look," he made a few clicks, "I'm sending you the breakdown of the chemicals raging through his blood right now. I have tried filtering them, I have tried our antitoxin kit in its entirety, and I have even tried a transfusion to dilute, but nothing works. Nothing. We even tried painkillers just to give him some relief, but that just makes him physically ill on top of it all."
Martha interrupted him. "Okay. I got the breakdown and am running it through our system now. But tell me, what the hell is this doing to him?" Owen sighed. "You aren't going to believe how tailored to him this is. It has been going on for six and a half hours." Just then the usual screams erupted from the lab. Martha's face froze in shock as Owen explained and as she could hear Jack's screams in the background.
When Owen finished his story, Martha was quiet for a bit. When Jack's screams died, she looked at Owen determinedly and said, "All right. I'm coming over as soon as the database scan is complete and I know anything. Stay alert for my call." Owen nodded and told her thanks. Then he went looking for Gwen and Tosh. What he found was two irate colleagues. "What's up?" he asked. Tosh was glaring at her computer screen. "You know, it's lucky we're such thorough people. Otherwise we'd miss out on catching assholes on a weekly basis. Look, Owen. The DNA results from the corpse in the morgue." He looked at the screen that held two sets of DNA code. They did not match. At all. "That corpse isn't Kent Fischer. Shit, Jack was right. Still, the CCTV would pull him if he is trying to pass as a citizen, so hopefully that will work soon." Tosh paused and then added, "waiting on technology again."
Owen looked thoughtful. Gwen said, "Who is the corpse? What if Fischer just slipped into his life? It is a lead." Tosh grinned, and said, "With an address and phone number and job." She moved back to her system and hit a few keys. "Johnathon Guines." She grinned. "Still alive and well and living in Cardiff. Shall we pay him a visit?" Gwen nodded, and Owen said, "Try to take Ianto. He needs to get away from this for a bit. Besides, I bet he'll figure out a way to extract information from this prick."
When Gwen went to talk Ianto into going with them, he was leaning over Jack, his face close to Jack's face, talking softly. Jack was awake, actually looking at Ianto and smiling weakly at whatever he was saying. Gwen felt like she was interrupting something, but she was so glad to see Jack smiling that it didn't matter. When Ianto saw Gwen he stood up and smiled a little. She brushed Jack's face with her hand and leaned over. "I need to steal Ianto for a bit, Jack. We think we found Kent Fischer. You were right about him not being in the vaults. We think he has slipped into another man's life, so he might not be too hard to find. "Jack's eyes lit up a bit, but Ianto shook his head."No. I'm staying here. You and Tosh can vet him."
Ianto couldn't think of leaving Jack's side, and besides, he was absolutely exhausted and thinking of interrogating someone who had hurt Jack so much only ended with visions of hurting Kent Fischer in ways he had never imagined hurting anyone, even when he had thought he had wanted to kill Jack over Lisa. But Jack shook his head weakly and said, "She's right. You should go. Nothing is changing with me, and you have an ace in the hole that Gwen and Tosh don't have. You can win his trust and find out about the poison, you know," and he smiled sadly. Suddenly Ianto understood what Jack was getting at, after all, he had just been thinking about Lisa. "I don't know, Jack. It seems like a long shot." But Jack grimaced in pain as it began again and said through his gritted teeth, "I'll take a long shot at this point, Ianto." And as Jack succumbed to the pain once more, Ianto looked at Gwen and said, "All right, but you two will have to follow my lead. And I need to clean up a bit before we go. Stay with him, okay? I'll be right back." He put his hands on Jack's face for a moment as Jack writhed again, but then let Gwen take over holding him as best she could as Ianto ran downstairs to change clothes. He needed to look sharp, even if he didn't feel it.
Ianto washed his face, put on a clean button down shirt and a jacket. He didn't put on a tie because he wanted it to look like he had been staying with the team for the past hours and it would be less believable for him to be completely crisp. He could hear Jack screaming in the background as he combed his hair, and he could hear it as he climbed the stairs to ask Owen a few questions before they left. He didn't want to mess this chance up. He was afraid, though, he had to admit. Even though he was pretty good at selling an image that might not be true, flat out lying to someone he wanted to strangle wasn't something he was sure about being able to do.
Ianto, Gwen, and Tosh gathered in the conference room before they left to outline their plan. They didn't want Jack to have to wait, but they couldn't afford to go in without planning. Gwen fitted Ianto with the contact lenses that weren't, they debated about whether he should be armed and settled on not, and then they discussed the 'script' he could use. He had been figuring it out since they started, and they agreed with him. He would go in alone, even drive there alone, with Gwen and Tosh in the SUV a safe distance behind. Then he would act. They had a code word for the barge-in from Gwen and Tosh, but they hoped they wouldn't have to use it so that Fischer wouldn't be on to them and wouldn't put up a fight.