Title: All bound for Mumuland- Part 1 of 3
Warning/Spoilers: swearing, /None
Characters: Jack, Owen, Toshiko, Suzie, Basil & Sybil Fawlty
Summary: Jack needs to get the team out of Cardiff and some technology needs testing. Set just before the events of Boom Town.
Prompt: written for the Fic exchange unused prompts challenge.
Prompt #133- Fawlty Towers: When the team break down in Torquay on the way to investigate a case, they are forced to stop at the first hotel they can find. Bonus points if Basil finds out the Jack fought in WWII and has to remind everyone yet again “Dont mention the war”.
Comments: The title comes from a song by KLF (Justified and ancient) and idea was provided by the actor who played Owen Harper- in one of the featurettes on the dvd for series one he mentioned reading the script and what he thought the Torchwood vehicle was going to be like before the SUV was born. Sorry it got a bit out of hand so had to split it into 3.
Disclaimer:I have no ownership of these or any other character connected with Torchwood I just borrow them for a while
Jack paused, leaning over the counter of the Tourist Information centre, he grabbed a newspaper that lay discarded, its front page folded over clearly showing a photo of Cardiff's new mayor.
Glancing briefly towards the doorway that led towards the lift, he listened, checking to make sure that no one had followed him. Finally satisfied that he wasn't going to be disturbed, Jack ripped the page he was interested in from the newspaper, dropped the rest into a waste paper bin, then moved quickly towards the outer door.
Holding up the page he pressed it against the glass of the small window of the door, then ripped a short length of tape from a roll, he carefully stuck the page to the glass so that the photo was clearly visible from the outside.
He wasn't really expecting that his other self would come here, he knew they hadn't before, but as the Doctor was so fond of pointing out, time wasn't a straight line and if they did turn up, the least he could do would be to warn them that an old 'friend' was alive and well and a lot closer than they would have expected!
Satisfied that he had done as much as he dared without 'interfering' with events, Jack turned back towards the access corridor, and headed for the lift.
Time to put part two of his plan into action.
* * *
Owen Harper slouched against the back of the settee, sighed, then glanced towards Toshiko and Suzie, who were enthusiastically peering at one of the screens, discussing readouts and options.
“Okay, I give up, I know I'm going to regret this, but, what the hell!” He paused, waiting for them to turn away from the screen, neither moved.
Jack arrived, noisily yelling from the doorway, then striding up the steps, Owen blinked lazily and waited, if the girls weren't terribly interested in telling him anything, then he was just going to have to wait for Jack to spill the beans.
Rubbing his hands together rapidly, Jack leaned towards Tosh and Suzie, so he could get a closer look at the screen, “All ready then ladies?” He asked, cheerfully.
The two turned towards him, grinning happily.
“Much as I hate to complain about not being told about some techie crap that probably won't work anyway,” Owen tried again, “You might as well tell me, at least then I'll know what it's not done that it should have.”
“No need to tell you Owen,” Jack responded, “You can come and see, better still, you can drive it.”
Owen cheered up noticeably, at the prospect of driving something, any excuse to get away from the growing pile of paperwork that he had been trying to think of a suitable excuse to avoid sorting out.
Leading the way across the hub, Toshiko and Suzie close behind him, chattering excitedly, Jack headed for the garage. Owen stood up slowly, grabbed his coat and bag and ambled sedately after them.
* * *
“Right, let the dog see the rabbit,” Owen murmured, trying to push past everyone and get a clear view of what all the fuss was about, “Bloody hell!”
Jack grinned enthusiastically back at him, “Well? What do you think?”
“What do I think?” Owen parroted back, “What do I think about the prospect of having to drive that around?” he said, his voice getting noticeably louder, as he glared towards the new vehicle.
“It's wonderful!” Toshiko crooned happily, her hands pressing together as if she was praying.
“Wonderful?” Owen almost exploded, “Tosh it's a bloody ice cream van!”
Toshiko winced as Owen's voice echoed around them, “No it's not!” she murmured, defensively.
Owen glared back at her, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck,” he paused, pointing accusingly towards the offending vehicle, “It's a bloody ice cream van,” he yelled.
Toshiko scowled at him, “It's a chameleon, it can morph to look like anything you tell it to.”
Owen's eyes narrowed, “Really? So you're telling me that you told it to look like that, just for me?”
“Actually, Owen,” Jack said, smiling cheerfully towards him, “It was my idea.”
“Really?” Owen murmured, then paused, “Why?”
“Because,” Jack announced, “We are going undercover.”
Owen sniffed, looked straight at Jack but said nothing, then blinking slowly he waited. Jack smiled winningly back and raised his eyebrows enquiringly, clearly expecting more questions. Owen stubbornly refused to rise to the bait, instead he slowly folded his arms across his chest and said nothing.
“Right!” Jack clapped his hands together, “Now that's all settled lets get going,” he said, turning towards their new transport.
“I know I'm going to regret asking this,” mumbled Owen, moving reluctantly forward, “But where are we going exactly?”
Jack banged on the side of the van with the flat of his hand then pulled open the back door, “To take a closer look at someone, who's been taking rather too much interest in us- hopefully without them noticing... in Torquay,” he announced, climbing up into the van.
“Oh yippee! The seaside,” Owen grumbled, moving closer.
“You're going to love this Owen,”Toshiko said, grinning at him as she pushed past him, “It's fantastic inside!”
Suzie patted him on the back and whispered, “It's amazing... really it is.”
“If you make any comments about stopping me to buy one, I'll back it into the nearest bloody bollard.”Owen hissed back at her.
Owen climbed up behind Suzie, sighed and then stopped, staring around him in disbelief.
He was surrounded by banks of high tech equipment, covering both sides of the van and stretching from the floor to the roof. Fixed seating poked out wherever the narrow desk area curved, giving the operator a limited but usable place to sit down.
Toshiko turned towards him, grinning, “I told you it's fantastic,” she said, pressing a button and watching as the desk seating slipped out of sight and something rather more substantial, complete with seatbelts took its place, “And as far as anyone out there is concerned, it's a bog standard ice cream van.”
“And what's even better,”Suzie said, joining in, “They don't see the driver either, well they do see a driver but not you.”
The engine growled into life, Owen lurched forward, then moved quickly into the cab and sat down in the passenger seat. The equipment in here was no less impressive than what he'd seen in the other section.
“Well?” Jack grinned, waving his hand around, “The ultimate in alien tech and what's more,” he paused for effect, “We have satnav that works!”
Owen whistled, clearly impressed, “Now that is amazing!”
“All aboard for Torquay,” Jack yelled, “Everybody strapped in?”
A chorus of “Yes!” answered him, Jack grinned, “It even has chimes!”
“If it plays Volare or Blue is the colour, I'm getting out now,” Owen grumbled under his breath.
* * *
“Well on the plus side,” Owen commented, peering through the windscreen at the dark and stormy sky, “No one is going to want an ice cream.”
Jack sighed, “I was hoping to schedule in some sunbathing.”
“Hope springs eternal,” murmured Toshiko, who was standing behind them, leaning against the side of the doorway that linked up the back of the van to the drivers cab, folding her arms across her chest she sighed glancing at the side window, she couldn't see outside, the raindrops raced down the glass made it impossible.
Suzie was standing huddled over slightly, peering at a display of multicoloured icons and numbers, “Lets hope none of this stuff objects to the damp,” she said, straightening up and glancing towards Toshiko's back.
Toshiko turned back, staring at her in alarm, “You think it will?” she queried.
“Might do, wouldn't be the first time would it?” she replied, shrugging her shoulders and then glancing across at a small black box with lights strobing back and forth across its face.
A strange grinding noise suddenly started up, then all the electrical displays flashed ominously several times as if they were about to fail completely.
“Oh, shit!” then glancing across at Jack, Owen asked him, “What happens if all this lot fails?"
“Well,” Jack paused, “It'll keep the outside image, but....”
Before Jack had time to finish what he was saying, the lights all went out and the computer displays failed and they sat in silence, the only sound the rain as it hurtled against the windscreen and the wind as it howled around the van.
The silence was broken by Owen, announcing, “And if you think for one minute that I'm going to push this bloody thing to a garage, you can forget it”
Jack sighed and attempted to start up the engine, after turning over reluctantly several times, it finally struggled into life.
“I think perhaps we should look for somewhere to stay,” Jack said, hitting reverse and then trying to stay hopefully optimistic as it struggled reluctantly backwards.
The van crept up the main street, Jack had decided against heading for one of the larger hotels on the seafront, instead he drove towards what he hoped was a quieter part of Torquay. As he stood on the accelerator as heavily as he dared, he silently prayed that the engine wouldn't die.
Owen leaned back in his seat and yawned, “Any chance of getting it to morph into a hearse? We might attract a bit less attention then.”
“Yeah, thank you Owen, if you could keep the comments to something that might be actually useful?”
Owen shrugged, “Maybe it goes down better than up?” he suggested pointing right, “That should get up back on the quay, maybe going downhill will get it firing properly?”
“Best idea you've had all day,” Murmured Jack, making a right turn, then spotting a sign to his left swerved suddenly through a set of gates and pulled into a large car park, “This will have to do.”
“Where are we?” enquired Suzie vaguely, trying to get the nearest display to work.
“Haven't the foggiest, sign when we came in looked like it said Fatty Owls,” Owen said, looking out towards a set of steps that led up to the main entrance, “Lets hope it's a hotel.”
“Yes lets,” grumbled Jack, turning off the engine and leaning back in his seat.
To be continued....