silkendreammaid: (Default)
[personal profile] silkendreammaid

Title:  Star
Author: silkendreammaid  

Disclaimer: I do not and never will own Torchwood or the characters within.
Rating: PG13 
Warning: Language
Characters:  Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness

Note: Written for the 2011 Advent Challenge. Prompt #24 taken from the 2010 prompt list. 

Author’s Note: Fifteenth in the series that started in Cold…  
These were supposed to all be finished by today but its pretty obvious i have failed, so i am trying to get as many posted as i can today...

Summary:   December is starting off unseasonably cold. Torchwood has one dead alien and another one missing. There’s also the sudden disappearance of Cardiff’s rats.  

In this chapter Mainframe is a star

 


 

Star

 

Mainframe was housed in a room several levels under the Archives and one of Ianto’s favourite places in the Hub. 

The room was dimly lit and the lights brightened automatically when Ianto entered. In the nineteen thirties the first computer banks - looking like complicated telephone exchanges - had been installed. Ten years before anyone else had had the technology.  And every new generation of computer had been added and installed to meet Mainframe’s ever growing needs. 

The room was quiet except for the low hum of machinery. Reeled tape sat unmoving in the large machines and the cables that ran between the cabinets pulsed silently. LED lights flashed equally silently in precise sequences around the room. 

Ianto ran a gentle hand over the cabinets as he made his way to the operator’s console at the back of the room sensing the warmth and life of Torchwood’s Mainframe. 

Seren bach,” he murmured as he sat down and a screen lit up. Ianto liked the look of the old card punching unit mixed with the newer technology. A history of computing contained in one console echoing the progression he had just walked through. And inhabited and controlled by a being that was well on her way to full sentience. 

“I need you to help us, lovely one,” he told her. “Tosh is giving you some new programming but I need you to extend your sensors.” The cursor on the monitor flickered into double speed and then settled back into its usual pace. Ianto typed rapidly on the keyboard, bringing up the thermal imaging. “We need you to help us track this heat.” 

Ianto didn’t know how to explain his interaction with Mainframe. She was alive, she was not quite sentient, her consciousness followed the programs but Ianto knew she could feel. It was her subconscious that he was aware of. He could sense emotions that weren’t his and she was always a gentle presence around his heart more noticeable whenever he was in her room. He never told her how to do anything. He pictured it as clearly as he could, sending the images as wants and needs and let her find the programming that made the imagined outcome possible. 

He sat there for a long moment before the sound of loud clicking and spooling tape let him know she had found a way. Cabling glowed and twitched as the screen changed. Ianto blinked and studied the images. She was extending her sensors downward and he watched with awe as he followed her through the smallest cracks and tiniest crevasses. It was almost like sliding through solid rock. 

“Ahh Seren bach, you are brilliant,” he praised her as he watched several other monitors come to life. Temperatures, rock composition, water and trace elements found. A continual stream of data appeared and Ianto tapped his com. 

‘Tosh, information is on its way to you now,” he told her quietly. 

I see it. I’ll synch the databases and analysers and run them together over it rather than wait,” she replied. “Tell Mainframe she’s wonderful,” and Ianto could hear the smile. 

“That she is,” Ianto smiled in return and closed the link. “You are indeed wonderful, my little star, and Tosh knows it, just like I do,” he told Mainframe, projecting all his pride in her along with his genuine pleasure and affection for her. 

And it was not his imagination that he saw the images and results coming clearer and more detailed in reply. The biological components responded to him and he lightly stroked the cable that crossed one corner of the console. The single point of contact she allowed. 

Seren,” he whispered as he ran his hand gently over the warm cable it split slightly and smooth glowing warmth surrounded his fingers. The alien entity that stayed within the hardware rarely let her actual being be touched. Blackness surrounded his hand with small sparkles flickering against his skin. It was like holding a handful of starlit sky. 

He was suddenly aware of heat in his mind as he felt the link harden between them. He looked at the screen and saw a shifting line of heat pooling under the bedrock. Mainframe’s tendrils withdrew slightly, skimming the top of the heat and following it through the rock. Ianto felt as if he was floating on a slow current but he looked at the screen and felt the tugging of a deeper current flowing in the other direction under the slow morass of heat. 

Heading away from the Hub, heading towards Jack.

 



 

 Continued in Black Ice

 

.


(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-25 09:59 am (UTC)
reddevilpoes: he cheats (Default)
From: [personal profile] reddevilpoes
owowowow...

hanging from this cliff-like structure like baubles from a Christmas tree..

Merry Christmas, Silken!
Thank you for all your wonderfull stories.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-25 04:47 pm (UTC)
milady_dragon: Dragon Myfanwy (Default)
From: [personal profile] milady_dragon
Yay! Another update! And I'm really looking forward to seeing what's causing the heat.

I love how you portrayed Mainframe in this, too. :)

Merry Christmas!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-25 10:33 pm (UTC)
badly_knitted: (I've Been A Very Good Girl)
From: [personal profile] badly_knitted
Wow! Ianto's empathy gives him a connection to mainframe in ways the rest of the team couldn't begin to imagine. No wonder she likes him best! She truly is brilliant, and with her help maybe they can start to figure out exactly what is going on and how to stop it.

I hope Jack is alright! He's so isolated beyond communication range.

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