badly_knitted (badly_knitted) wrote,

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Ficlet: Mysterious Device

Title: Mysterious Device
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: Tosh, Jack.
Rating: G
Spoilers: Nada.
Summary: Whenever unknown technology comes through the Rift, it’s Tosh’s job to figure it out.
Word Count: 500
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Prompt 78: Elimination at anythingdrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.

The Rift loved dumping mysterious objects on Cardiff. Almost every day something new showed up and while some things were easily identifiable, either because they were of earth origin to begin with or because Jack or Torchwood had seen something similar before, the majority were a complete mystery.

Figuring out what an object was and what it did, especially if it looked like it might be technology of some description, was often a process of elimination, and the task usually fell to Tosh. She was the acknowledged expert in all things technological, and always enjoyed a challenge. Sometimes she’d call on Jack or Ianto for assistance, an extra pair of hands or eyes, but she was just as happy to work on her own, studying the latest find, carefully scanning it to make sure it wasn’t a explosive device of some kind and didn’t contain any harmful biological agents, and then carefully dismantling it, tracing circuits, examining components, unravelling mysteries.

This one looked unprepossessing, a grey block about the size and shape of a house brick, not to mention just as heavy, and made of a synthetic polymer unknown on earth. Its outer coating resembled Teflon, but was harder and appeared to be scratch resistant; at least, there were no marks on it from its trip through the Rift.

On what Tosh had designated the top, since that seemed the most logical arrangement, here were rows of buttons in the same matt grey colour, each bearing its own so far unidentified symbol. No race she’d ever met or read about would put such things on the underside of a device; there’d be no point having them somewhere that wasn’t readily accessible, so she was sure she had it the right way up. That was a good start; with some things it was difficult to determine which way up they should go, or even if it mattered.

Her scans revealed circuitry and wires inside that weren’t too dissimilar to what you might expect to find in many contemporary earth devises, although these were bigger, clunkier, less refined. It made her think of earth’s first mobile phones and laptops, so much bigger and weightier than their modern-day counterparts. Either this was a fairly primitive piece of technology or it was designed by and for a race with large hands and fingers, or the alien equivalent. Could be both, but the efficiency of its power source suggested the latter. Primitive technology would most likely be less efficient.

It took Tosh a while, and the help of a high-powered magnifier, to figure out how to open it, but eventually she was able to remove the bottom panel by pressing and sliding it towards one end of the block. Once that was off she was free to poke around inside.

“Any ideas?” Jack asked some time later, coming to lean against her workstation.

Tosh smiled wryly. “It’s nothing exciting, just a remote control for someone with very big hands.”

“Oh well; better luck next time!”

The End

Tags: anythingdrabble, fic, fic: g, fic: one-shot, ficlet, jack harkness, torchwood fic, toshiko sato

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