. (CHPT.1)











A young man, dressed in his immaculate dark suit, crisp white shirt, black tie with its near invisible logo (a honeycombed T), stands almost still in the ascending lift. It carries him away from the lower level archives which are held within the sub-levels of Torchwood Tower; Torchwood 1. He is heading up to ground floor main reception lobby to pick up the keys to a company car that he has been allocated for his mission; a standard BMW. Well standard for Torchwood and many other secret or government divisions.

The lift pings to announce its arrival at the designated floor. The door slides open almost silently, opening on to a highly polished area with a security desk in the middle of the lobby. There are a handful of suited people moving around area. There are also eight members of Torchwood's private army; their security force, armed standing at various points.

As the young man steps out of the lift, his path is hindered by another suited older man, who, though not quite as tall as the young man, stands with military confidence.

"Mr. Jones ?" The older man says, already knowing the answer.

The younger man, Mr. Jones, gives a slight nod.

"Ms. Hartman wishes to see you before you depart." Says the older man.

Mr. Jones looks at the man for a moment, weighing him up, looking into him; studying him... He surmises that the older man is not one of Ms. Hartman's admin. staff but one of her personal security officers... So this must be important... Very important... Possibly related to his new assignment... All his senses are on alert... If anyone took a quick glance at this situation, one would wonder why Ms. Hartman, the Director of The Torchwood Institute, would want to talk to a lowly archivist who is just going on a simple pick up job from one of their smaller branches... But if you start to look; to dig; to investigate well...

The Torchwood Institute, set up by Queen Victoria to protect the British Empire and the Earth in general from all things alien, with the motto 'If it is alien it is ours'. The Institute was charged with studying aliens and alien technology, then using what they learnt and what they could use of the technology to arm the human race for the future... A part of the original charter is also to apprehend and study the alien known as The Doctor... Queen Victoria deemed him a danger.

Then we look at Ms. Hartman, the head of The Torchwood Institute, which incorporates Torchwood 1 where they are now in Canary Wharf. Torchwood 2 in Glasgow run by a man called Archie with his team of four. Then there is Torchwood 3 in Cardiff, which is where is heading, run by a Ms. Suzie Costello with her team of eight... They also guard a rift in time and space, a tear in the very fabric of the universe, where aliens and alien artifacts come through. Then there is Torchwood 4 that had originally been situated in Northern Ireland but according to rumors it disappeared but what actually happened was it became a mobile unit operating out of Torchwood 1, travelling the world for alien incursions.

Now we come to the lowly archivist... Yer right... Mr. Ianto Jones, born in Wales, head hunted by Torchwood straight from university, went through the basic training and tests... Started as a junior archivist... Over the last few years Torchwood has invested a lot of time and money in training Mr. Jones in combat (armed and unarmed), surveillance, psi-abilities, retrievals, interrogation to name but a few areas. He already had certain talents; abilities; interests when Torchwood took him on like a photographic memory, martial arts, fencing, a talent for electronics, an interest in history and a flare for numbers. Torchwood took his young mind and made it theirs... Mr. Jones is a Senior Archivist and a member of one of the elite retrieval teams, retrieving alien artifacts by force or by stealth.

So on farther inspection of this assignment, a simple pick up from Torchwood 3 would actually be below Mr. Jones pay grade, his talents. Though anyone who knows anything about Torchwood knows things are never what they seem.

Oh then we have Ms. Hartman's personal Security Officer... Why send him instead of one of her admin. staff or why not put out a general call for Mr. Jones to see her?

Plus there is the point of her requesting him to see her before he leaves... No nothing is ever simple or what it seems with Torchwood.

Mr. Jones steps back in the lift followed by Ms. Hartman's Security Officer, who stands to the left of Mr. Jones. Ianto presses the number forty-six on the lift's control panel; the floor has her main office.

They ride the lift in silence... Mr. Jones knows there is no point in asking the security officer what Ms. Hartman wants him for because one, it would be unprofessional and two, Mr. Jones knows the Security Officer probably would not know.

The lift stops on the forty-sixth floor and the doors silently open on to a carpeted area. Mr. Jones walks out of the lift followed by the Security Officer... Two more armed security personnel stand either side of one of the doors off this area.

In one corner of this carpeted area is a large desk... A woman in her late thirties looks up as she hears the lift. "Good morning Mr. Jones." She says with a smile. "Go straight in. Ms. Hartman is expecting you."

"Thank you." Replies Ianto. He heads straight to Ms. Hartman's office door; its brass nameplate shines in the artificial light, proudly showing the Torchwood logo, Ms. Hartman's full name and title... Director Yvonne Hartman.

Ianto knocks twice on the door then enters the office. The Security Officer walks off down the only corridor off this area.

As Ianto enters the office, Ms. Hartman looks up from her paperwork. "Good Morning Ianto." She greets him... She believes in knowing as many of her staffs names as possible, a personal approach especially when it is one of her staff she is knowingly sending into danger.

"Good morning Ms. Hartman." Replies Ianto.

"Yvonne, please." Says the Director of Torchwood, looking at the young man in front of her... Tall good-looking man that Torchwood has stamped as an employee who will go far in their employment... The irony is not lost on her... If this mission goes wrong he could end up going very far, farther than most in the twenty first century have gone or he could come to a dead stop... Dead!

"Good morning Yvonne." Says Ianto with a slight smile... Why does he get the feeling he is the condemned man?

"Please sit." Says Director Hartman... Yvonne.

Ianto sits in the chair in front of the desk. "Thank you." He says... Definitely the condemned man as Ms. Hartman does not always offer a seat.

"What are your orders from section leader Barry Graham?" Yvonne asks. Barry Graham a section leader of the secured archives.

Ianto looks at Yvonne or more into her... He had suspected there was something more to this simple pick up, something not quite right... Barry had been a little to nervous... Barry had him read up on all the information, look at the blue prints of the item that he has to go and pick up... This in itself is unusual... Barry's explanation for it was that just in case there is a problem with the item... In case it became unstable during transportation because of its nature as they do not know if it was damaged coming through the rift... A legitimate sounding explanation except for... "I am to travel to Cardiff... To go to Torchwood 3 and to met with their head, a Miss. Suzie Costello. She will sign the item over to me for transportation back here for farther research and eventual archiving of what is believed to be an electromagnetic disruptor canon that fell through the rift about two weeks ago. From information received, it is believed to be a one of a kind; a prototype... Though its planet of origin is unknown its place on the timeline is believed to be somewhere in the fifty-first century." He rattles off.

"Did Barry get you to do something?" Yvonne asks... She hopes... She does not want to loss this young man, a very valuable commodity but she feels she already knows the outcome... She can only hope her contacts in The Time Agency can protect him.

"Barry got me to look over all the paperwork we have on the canon already... All the blueprints that came through the rift about six months ago." Ianto replies. "Can you tell me what is going on? I take it I can expect some sort of trouble? For armed and all that." He says.

Time for Yvonne to be honest... Not something that is often done at Torchwood, a need to know policy but this is a dangerous situation, a breach in their security. They have already lost a few of their agents over the last couple of years doing a simple collection of alien artifacts, her agents have been considered a soft target out in the field. "I fear you are walking into danger, a trap even... By you having access to the paperwork that goes with the canon, which I have on good authority is the only paperwork in existence like the canon now or at anytime and because of your special talents Barry has made you the second part of the package." She says.

"Oh." Ianto says, his mind starts working overtime; analyzing... Playing out the scene when Barry had come to him, all nervous... Ianto had absorbed all the information about the item, filed it away in his mind exactly as he had seen it... He can recall anything he has seen or heard exactly. He cannot unlearn it. "Sooo...?"

"This is top secret... Only a few know of this breach but over the last two years we have lost agents either killed or totally disappeared who have gone to collect items or deliver them... When it first happened we were at a loss as to what was happening... Then we were contacted by another agency... The Time Agency." Explains Yvonne.

Ianto takes a sharp intact of breath... Did he just hear right? "What? No! I read about them in connection with certain aliens and an agent who has helped in the past but... but they don't exist yet, they are from the future." He says surprised... Working in the archives, he cannot help but absorb all information.

"The very same." Replies Ms. Hartman, she is not surprised he knows this information... It is part of his job to know everything, to absorb all information that is held in the archives... He is one of their back-up databases in a way.

Ianto can feel a hint of panic with a dash of excitement rising...

"You must understand that you cannot communicate with anyone from down stairs... We do not know how far this breach in our security has spread... You can only communicate with Miss. Costello or myself... Then if it goes wrong your contacts from The Time Agency. We will be pulling Barry and a couple more of his team once we know he has informed his contact you are on your way." Yvonne says... Yes honest... This young man must know what he is walking into. "We believe they are working with a criminal gang from the future... A gang that The Time Agency have been trying to bring down. The gang travel back and forth in time using the rift energy and alien technology, stealing, murdering and coursing chaos with the timelines. They are lead by an ex-time agent name of Hart... Captain John Hart, dark blonde hair, blue eyes, cruel chiseled features, a rather nasty piece of work by all accounts... The Time Agency tried to recondition him, even went as far sending him to rehab, as it seems he is addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex and murder. A very dangerous and unbalanced creature."

"Sounds a lovely fellow." Says Ianto dryly. "Lovely combination of vices."

"We have already lost some good agents to them... I do not want to loss you but if something happens... If you get separated from this time, your contacts will be agents from The Time Agency... A Captain Jack Harkness and his superior, a Colonel Jade Maelstrom... They will find you." Yvonne watches the young man in front of her as he pales even more than he is as he digests the information.

Ianto shifts in his chair slightly... This mission is going to be highly dangerous... He is trained to deal with dangerous situations; he is not just a pencil pusher, a glorified filing clerk... He is an academic with a sting in his tail; trained to kill if the need arises. "How will they find me? How will I know them?" He asks.

Yvonne smiles, Barry and gang might have chosen Ianto because of his eidetic memory but they overlooked his other abilities. He is an elite Torchwood field agent with several years experience behind him unlike Barry, a pure stuffy book academic who would not know how to even fire a gun, never done half the training that Mr. Jones has done.

Just then there is a knock at the door.

"Come!" Yvonne calls out.

The door opens and a man in his forties enters dressed in a white lab coat, carrying a black case. "Director." He says in greeting.

"Ianto, this is Ken from the med-lab... We are going to inject a tracker into you that has been given to us by Colonel Maelstrom." Explains Yvonne. "It is linked to Captain Harkness's Vortex Manipulator... A gadget that all Time Agents wear that helps them travel through time. The tracker is only calibrated to Captain Harkness's... Whatever happens he will find you." She says. "Wherever you end up."

"Not much good if I am dead though." Says Ianto logically. He is under no illusions... This is one mission he may not return from.

"As it seems you are the second part of the package, they will want you alive. They will want the information you hold in your head." Says Yvonne.

"No doubt they have some imaginative ways of extracting that information from me." Says Ianto... Definitely under no illusions.

Yvonne nods... Agent Jones is a realist and calculating even when it comes down to himself, a perfect Torchwood agent.

Ken places the case on the desk and opens it. In the case is a surgical steel gun shaped instrument. Also inside the case is a smaller case held in place on the inside of the lid by a strap. Ken takes the small case from the strap and opens it.

Ianto watches as Ken takes a vial out of the small case and attaches it to the gun like instrument.

"Ken is going to inject the tracker into your right wrist, in line with your thumb." Says Yvonne. "It will pulse a blue light under your skin when your contact nears you. When he is right by you it will show a static blue glow."

"Is there a back up? How will my contact be sure it's me?" Ianto asks. "I... I realise dealing with someone who seems so criminally insane as Hart, he might try and remove the tracker by force..." He knows things can go fatally wrong.

"Ianto, I took the liberty of giving your contact a sample of your DNA for his Vortex Manipulator that is how it is calibrated to you." Explains Yvonne, she makes no apologies... All agents belong to Torchwood!

"Ok, that makes me feel better." Ianto says dryly.

Yvonne looks hard at the young man in front of her... Yes an agent that will go far.

Ken stands there watching the seated young man; waiting.

Ianto carefully pushes his jacket sleeve up and folds his white shirtsleeve back from his wrist. No point in him kicking against something that can aid him in the field. He holds his arm out to Ken... No point delaying it.

Ken takes hold of Ianto's arm. "Mr. Jones can you bend your hand back against the joint and hold it while I do this... I don't fancy hitting an artery, vein or bone for that matter." He says as he sees how slender Ianto's wrists are.

Ianto does as he is instructed, holding his wrist at a right angle.

"This will sting." Says Ken as he holds Ianto's arm and places the trackers transfer tube or barrel to Ianto's wrist.

There is a soft click then Ianto feels a stinging sensation in his wrist...

Ken places the delivery system for the tracker back in the case...

Ianto looks at the entrance point; he is not surprised to see a red mark and a small black bruise developing.

Yvonne looks across her desk at the young mans wrist, more to satisfy her need to know that the job of planting the tracker is done.

Ken runs a scanner over Ianto's wrist. "Tracker is active." He says.

Yvonne gives Ken a nod.

Ken takes that as is dismissal, collects up his things and leaves without another word.

"I don't need to remind you how volatile and deadly the weapon is." Says Yvonne as a statement.

"No, you don't... It can incapacitate any living creature or kill. It can bring down any vehicle or disrupt any electrical equipment." Says Ianto.

"Yes." Says Yvonne. "Neither you or it can fall into enemy hands. If you fall into enemy hands I would imagine it will not be to pleasant for you."

"So I take it I have a final solution order?" Says Ianto, ever practical, ever Torchwood. His stormy ice blue eyes boring into Yvonne.

She forces herself to hold his gaze; she has not got to being the Director of Torchwood without having the balls to send a man to his death, any man... "Yes, as a very, very last resort there is a device built into the case that Miss. Costello has packed the item in. All it will need is for either you to give the command for a count down or immediate destruction but please only if you can see no other solution... Captain Harkness is very resourceful." She says.

"And as a back up I can always take retcon to safe guard what I know." Says Ianto.

"Yes but I have a feeling a man like you, an intelligent man, it would not take much to trigger your memories." Yvonne says honestly.

"If I take enough of the stuff I will suffer a neuron storm, a total collapses of the higher functions to the point I would need help eating never mind anything else." Replies Ianto.

"That's as maybe but I have faith in you and Captain Harkness to not have to do anything so drastic." Says Yvonne.

As Ianto had sat there studying Yvonne as they talked he had noticed every time Yvonne mentions Captain Harkness her pulse in her neck seems to pulse that much harder, her pupils flare ever so slightly and he gets a wave of emotions from her. "Is there something I should be aware about concerning Captain Harkness?" He asks.

Yvonne is not surprised by the young mans observations; his empathic abilities. She cannot hide her dislike for the Time Agent... Ianto Jones has been trained to the point he is one of their highest graded empaths in the psy department. "Captain Harkness is loud, arrogant, has trouble following orders, rude, has a dislike of authority figures. Colonel Maelstrom seems to be the only one to control him and on top of that, he is a big flirt, the story is he will try to bed anything... In the future, it seems gender and species are irrelevant, jumping into bed is just another way of saying hello. Also by all accounts, the man is friends with our number one enemy... The Doctor." She says... Oh, this is new, being honest again.

"So there is a slight conflict of interest in a way." Says Ianto. "But this Captain is definitely a good guy?"

"Yes... Errm also you will be of interest to Harkness... You are just his type, if he has a type, young, good looking and breathing." Says Yvonne.

"Oh just great." Says Mr. Jones wondering just what troubles he has been dumped in.

"Also, and the worst of it for you, you will be on Harts menu. According to the Colonel, you have all the attributes for Harts favourite plaything... So it is possible Barry might have chosen you to keep Hart happy, to feed his sexual appetite, an added bonus on top of your other abilities." Warns Yvonne.

"This just keeps getting better." Says Ianto sarcastically. "Well they will be disappointed; I don't swing that way or any other way to be quite honest... Not interested." He says coldly, leaving unspoken... Not since Lisa... Lisa his fiancée who was a Tech Officer sent out with a retrieval team to collect several items from a private collector... A collector who had amongst his collection a dormant Cyberman... Only it was not that dormant, it annihilated the team, the collector and his staff before another team could stop it. That was nearly two years ago... Now Ianto Jones is not open to intimate relations of any kind... He has friends though but nothing sexual. "So let's get this right, Barry has turned me into an instruction manual and he has prostituted me to Hart?" He says.

"Basically... Yes." Replies Ms. Hartman, amazed that the young man is taking it so calmly. She wishes more of her agents were like Mr. Jones.

Ianto leans forward slightly in his seat. "Well you can tell Barry from me... I hope his next life is as a rent-boy to some twisted bastard or that his death is so terrible that there is nothing left of him." He says coldly, his soft Welsh accent even stronger than normal with what he wished for Barry.

Yvonne shivers slightly with... with excitement at the way Mr. Jones spoke and what he wanted as payback. "I am sure we can come up with something fitting." She says.

"Good." Ianto looks at his watch. "I better be going as I am due at Torchwood 3 for fourteen hundred hours." He says, standing, no point delaying whatever he might face on this mission.

"Wait." Says Yvonne. She opens a draw of her desk and takes out a mobile phone. "Take this." She says handing it to Ianto. "My number is already in it. Use it to keep in contact with me." It is a clean phone, no text or call can be intercepted from or to it. "Good luck Agent Jones... And remember do not be put off by my dislike of Harkness or The Time Agency... They are basically us in the future."

Ianto nods, excepting that little bombshell of information, turns and stride out Director Hartman's office, his head held high, his shoulder back, a cold barrier up around him... He walks with dignity towards his possible doom!

Director Hartman watches as Agent Jones walks from her office with a certain amount of pride in the young man... She will make Barry and friends pay... Ianto Jones is a very valuable agent; he excels in many specialised areas.

Ianto Jones stands back in the lift, the cold emotionless barrier firmly in place. He goes down to the entrance lobby to pick up the BMW keys. He goes to the security desk, signs for the keys and car. He then, with purpose walks across to another lift that will take him down to a basement level, a car park for the company vehicles. He goes to his designated car and gets in. He adjusts the car for his six foot height... He then pulls out a small hand held scanner from his inside jacket pocket. He switches it on, all company cars have a locator but now after his talk with Ms. Hartman and Barry Grahams behavior he is suspicious. The scanner picks up the Torchwood locator then it picks up a second signal, not Torchwood, not twenty first century, not even from Earth... Dam! They even knew which car he has been allocated. Just how far has this Captain Hart's gang infiltrated Torchwood? They have planted a type of tracking device near the radiator grill. He takes out the new phone Ms. Hartman has given him and sends a text message, to inform her of the alien tracking device. He shifts a little uncomfortably in the car seat... He removes his gun from under his jacket and places it in the gap between the front seats... Easy access if need be...

Ianto's phone beeps. He looks at the screen... 'Received... Leave tracking device in place. We do not want to alert anyone we are on to Mr. Jones.'

Ianto sends back... 'Confirmed.' He knows he will not be in any danger until the electromagnetic canon is in his possession but he is still on alert, they will probably have someone either follow him or pick him up when he gets to Cardiff as they are tracking him or they could do both just to be safe if he himself is part of the whole package... He looks out the windows of the car, looking around... Even now in Torchwood he feels uneasy.

Ianto places his hands on the steering wheel, he hisses slightly as his shirtsleeve catches the developing bruise on his right wrist. He looks at it and gingerly touches it... His survival is in part reliant on this tracker if things go wrong... IF! More like WHEN! Then he has to place his continuing survival in the hands of a man from the future... He has heard rumours of this man ... This man better be as good as his file says he is... So Torchwood now works with The Time Agency from the future... He wonders how many people within Torchwood are privy to that piece of information. He has only been given that information because the nature of this mission; a mission he might not come out of unscathed or may not return at all.