magicom: (tw fic cute)
[personal profile] magicom
Title: The Mourning Doll - Part 3
Author: [ profile] magicom
Rating: Maybe PG for canon m/m relationship and some spookiness.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or any of its characters. No money being made.
Paring/Characters: Jack/Ianto with some Gwen, Owen and Tosh.
Spoilers: Mild spoilers for TW S 1&2 and DW S3 finale.
Summary: As a whole: Torchwood find an alien artifact that leads to some spooky goings-on. This part: Jack knows what it is. Kinda.
Warnings: None to speak of.
Notes: Takes place sometime during the first half of series 2.

Ianto relaxed visibly when they emerged from the lower levels into the main area of the Hub. He walked ahead and threw his jacket over the back of a chair, then got the scanners at Tosh’s workstation set up for Jack. Once Jack set the box down and began working, Ianto stepped aside.

Jack knew that Ianto was standing close to him - he could see the rolled up cuff of a bright blue shirt sleeve against pin-striped waistcoat out of his peripheral vision as he examined the box – but the younger man’s presence was completely unobtrusive. It had unnerved Jack at first, when Ianto had begun working for him, how he could be in the room and, sometimes, it was almost like he wasn’t there at all… until a cup of coffee appeared on the corner of his desk. A perfect cup of coffee with a biscuit arranged precisely on the edge of the saucer. In time, he’d come to find Ianto’s calm, quiet presence a comfort; close and ready to work if he was needed, but never in the way. He knew what that presence felt like now, and he always noticed when it was there. Sometimes he admitted that he missed it when it wasn’t.

Jack aligned the equipment and set the computer to run a scan of the small figure nestled inside the box. He was looking for a specific energy signature and was already reasonably sure he wouldn’t find it. Not here. Not anymore. He stole a glance at Ianto, who was passively watching the computer’s progress as it took readings from the artifact. In fact, he thought the screen had Ianto’s full attention, until he spoke.

“Do you think it’s stuck down there?” he asked, his eyes still watching the progress bar make its slow and steady way across the screen. “It didn’t follow us up here?”

Jack shrugged. “Hard to say.” He glanced around. “No sign of it so far.”

They stood without speaking for a moment. Again it was Ianto that broke the silence.

“What is it, Jack?” He turned his eyes to Jack now, gazing at him expectantly.

Jack looked at him, but didn’t answer.

“You know, don’t you?”

Jack looked away from him, his eyes coming to rest on the box. “It’s called a Nashoo Dote,” Jack explained quietly. “I suppose the best translation would be ‘soul vessel’.”

Ianto’s brow furrowed in consternation. “Soul vessel? As in…” His voice trailed off as Jack nodded.

“There’s an ancient civilization on a planet called Prane that lies several galaxies away from here. Its people are very technologically advanced, but, somehow, managed to hold on to their superstitions. We’re talking superstitions that have remained virtually unchanged for millennia. That… that just doesn’t happen. Some technologically advanced races maintain their religions, but the religions evolve over time.” He shrugged. As much as he would normally find this kind of thing interesting, Ianto wasn’t looking for a lecture in intergalactic religious studies and seemed a little impatient. Jack skipped to the point. “Anyway, Prane orbits twin suns: a yellow dwarf and a white dwarf. Since beyond the beginning of their recorded history, they’ve always believed the white star was the seat of their gods’ power and the yellow star was… well, I guess it’s like their Heaven. It’s a paradise for the souls of the dead. It’s where they want to go when they die.”

“Okay,” Ianto said, nodding his understanding. “God lives on the white sun and dead people live on the yellow sun. Got it. What does it have to with that?” he asked, nodding towards the box.

Jack took a breath. “Like I said, they became extremely technologically advanced. They spread out across the galaxy. Across many galaxies, eventually, as they developed more efficient means of space travel… but those stars were still the centre of their belief system and they still wanted their souls to go to the yellow star when they died.”

Ianto looked slightly ill. “I don’t think I like where this is going.”

Jack nodded. “They developed technology to store a person’s life energy at the moment of death, and if they traveled or lived away from their home planet, they kept one close to them at all times, just in case.” He looked at the small figure in the box. It was vaguely humanoid. Jack recognized it as Prane. To Ianto, it probably just looked like some kind of stylized human. “It’s a tiny chip, essentially. They could put it in anything, if they wanted to… but they made these dolls… I don’t know how it started, but it became the tradition.”

Ianto stepped forward and took his first studied look at the doll over Jack’s shoulder. “Like Victorian mourning dolls,” he noted.

Jack looked at him in surprise. Jack had lived in Victorian times and the concept hadn’t entered his mind in a hundred years. “How do you know about those?” he asked.

“Saw one in a museum once,” Ianto replied mildly. He looked at Jack. “Except those ones didn’t have people’s actual souls in them,” he added. He frowned. “At least not according to the display.”

Jack chuckled. “No, they wouldn’t have.” He nodded towards the box. “These ones had a very specific purpose,” he explained. “When someone died, their doll was sent back to Prane.” He paused. “Well, not to the planet. They programmed a probe to fly the whole thing right into the sun.”

“So the thing in the archives is a ghost,” Ianto concluded.

“It’s a disembodied life force,” Jack corrected.

“Which is a ghost,” Ianto maintained. “By definition. An angry alien poltergeist, in this case, judging by how it got on in the archives.”

Jack was about to say something when a cold wind blew into the room from the stairs that led to the lower levels. It swooped through the room, blowing papers everywhere.

Ianto rolled his eyes. “It’s here,” he said flatly.

“It’s fine,” Jack told him. “It doesn’t mean us any harm.”

Just then, Tosh’s monitor exploded and Ianto jumped back, looking at Jack anxiously.

“Not intentionally,” Jack corrected himself. He caught the slightly disbelieving look in Ianto’s eye. “It’s scared, it’s lost and it doesn’t know what’s happening to it. It wasn’t supposed to wake up.” Jack looked around, then turned to Ianto. “Take Owen’s monitor and hook it up here,” he said, pushing Tosh’s broken monitor off her desk and onto the floor with a crash.

“What for?” Ianto asked. When Ianto questioned Jack’s orders, it was generally out of curiosity and while he was already doing what he was told. He had quickly gotten Owen’s monitor unhooked and was setting it on Tosh’s desk.

“I want to see if we can get it to run through the scanner,” Jack told him. Ianto looked dubious, but Jack pressed on, lining up the scanner to face along the length of the room. “We can’t talk to it. We need to find out everything we can about it.” He looked up as items flew off a nearby table. “It seems to be drawn to the doll. If we can get it to swoop around this way,” he said, drawing a path through the air with his hand, “then it will pass right along here and I can get a reading.” He watched the trail of displaced paperwork and pizza boxes until it was behind them. He handed the box to Ianto. “Run over there,” he said firmly, pointing to the other side of the room. Ianto gave him a look that promised future retribution, but did as he was told. There was a mournful howl as the life force swirled around and followed him, twisting straight through Jack’s scanner, as he’d predicted. Ianto kept checking over his shoulder. When Jack gave him the thumbs up, Ianto dropped the box and backed away from it. Jack returned his attention to the readings that were coming up on the screen.

“Oh my God,” Jack whispered, furiously checking the findings again.

He felt Ianto approach him and knew he was looking over his shoulder, but wouldn’t understand what he was looking at. “What is it?” he asked.

“It’s not Prane,” Jack said gravely, turning to look at Ianto.

“What?” Ianto asked. There was consternation on his face. Jack’s somber expression must have made him uneasy. “What is it?”

“It’s human.”


Would love to know what you think!

"Part Four - Final Part"

Date: 9 Sep 2008 04:09 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

They must have been a depressing culture, carrying around little effigies of their dead bodies...

Date: 9 Sep 2008 04:11 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know, right? Thanks for reading! The final part is finished and will go up tomorrow night.

Date: 9 Sep 2008 08:35 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So it's someone's soul (so to speak), and it's not happy that it's in the wrong place. Except it's a human's soul, not an alien one.

Be interested in find out how THAT happened...

Date: 9 Sep 2008 10:48 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep! And so you shall... :)

Date: 9 Sep 2008 10:04 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just read chapters 2 and 3. Love it so far..

Date: 9 Sep 2008 10:48 (UTC)

Date: 9 Sep 2008 10:23 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The backstory was excellent and so was the humor

"It's here," reminded me of Poltergeist

Nice twist

Date: 9 Sep 2008 10:51 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks so much!

Very Poltergeist, now with added Ianto!snark :)

Date: 9 Sep 2008 13:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oooh, I love this, can't wait for the next part :)

Date: 10 Sep 2008 04:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks so much! The last part is up. Hope you enjoy it!

Date: 10 Sep 2008 04:05 (UTC)


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