Disclaimers: I do not own Torchwood, Red Dwarf or any of their characters. I am making no money from this. It is purely just
Notes: You don't have to know much about Red Dwarf. No main characters from the series appear in this. But if you haven't at
least watched the first few of episodes, this won't make much sense by the end.
"I think I've nearly got it," Toshiko declared.
She was bent over her workstation, fiddling with the newest piece of tech that had come through the rift. It was a square-ish
box of silver metal. It was burnt and dented in a couple of places, but it didn't seem to be in too bad a shape. There was a large
circular light dominating one side of the device. Tosh had pried it away and was fiddling with the internal circuitry.
"Do you even know what it does?" Owen snarked, idly tossing a ball up in the air and catching it, repeating the action over and
"What if it's a bomb, or a weapon or something?" Gwen added, sounding nervous. "Maybe we should wait for Jack to get back
before we poke around with it."
Ianto walked to each station, handing out coffees. When he placed Tosh's down, he remarked, "I've already told you what I
think it is."
Tosh rolled her eyes. Yet, there was a smirk on her face as she replied. "Yes, Ianto. We're all quite aware of your opinion."
Ianto tucked his tray under his arm and went back to the kitchenette. When he returned, he brought his own coffee with him.
He sat near to Tosh, peering at the device she was contentedly toying with. He slowly sipped at his coffee. "What do you think
it is?" he asked between swallows.
"I'm not sure," she answered almost distractedly. She turned and typed a string of commands into her workstation, paused to
read the results that scrawled across her display, then typed some more. "I think it has an artificial intelligence."
Owen kept tossing his ball. "That doesn't tell us much."
Tosh ignored him. She returned her attention to the device and prodded at the circuitry. She connected a pair of wires and
smiled. "There. I think that's done it." She fitted the casing back into place. "Now all we need to do is wait for it to start up."
At that moment, the cogwheel door rolled open and Captain Jack Harkness bounded into the Hub. He was all smiles as he
strolled over. Taking off his coat, he threw it over the nearest available surface, a random railing he passed on his way to his
team. He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. "So, what are we all working on?" he asked jovially.
Gwen, eager and enthusiastic, nearly bounced to her feet. But then, she was still so new. "There was a Rift opening this
morning. Owen and I went to check it out."
"Find anything interesting?"
"Just a ruddy box," Owen yawned. He leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes and propped his feet up on his desk. He stopped
tossing his ball and instead picked at it with his fingertips. "Nothing but rubbish."
"I think I've got it fixed," Tosh added. "We'll know in a minute anyway."
"What is-" he started, only to break off. His steps faltered and he staggered to a halt, his eyes widening a fraction as he
registered the item on Toshiko's workstation. "Oh, no. No, no, no. Rip out the wiring! Get rid of it!"
Owen swung his feet down. "Why, what is it?" He looked moderately interested now, perhaps a bit wary.
"It's a weapon isn't it?" Gwen squeaked, backing away as if it could blow up at any moment. "A bomb?"
"Worse," Jack growled. "Just dismantle it."
Tosh moved between it and Jack, almost as if to protect it from the man. "Not until you tell us what it is."
"Someone's idea of a ridiculous and cruel joke, I'd say," Jack stated. His eyes were fixated on the box. "They were developed in
the late twenty-second century for use on long-term mining vessels and out of reach outposts. I guess the inventors thought
that giving them artificial intelligence, that they could be used as a cheap replacement for actual human companionship. Instead,
they got a monomaniacal lunatic that only ever has one thing on its little artificial mind and always tries to steer every
conversation toward one subject."
"What subject?" Ianto asked.
Before anyone could answer, the device itself made a sound not unlike a throat clearing. As it spoke, the light on the front of it
illuminated in time with its words. "Good morning. Can I interest anyone in some yummy buttery toast?"
Jack groaned, threw his hands up and disappeared into his office. "Get rid of it!" he yelled, just before closing the door.
"See, I told you it was a toaster," Ianto said, smiling smugly. He rose from his seat and returned to the quiet of his kitchenette
as the talking toaster tried to coerce the others into consuming a variety of baked goods.