Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Summary: Cardiff is being hammered by a severe storm, putting the Hub in jeopardy.
Word Count: 911
Written For: m_findlow’s prompt ‘Any, any, when it rains it pours,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“You know, it’s days like these that I start to wonder about the sanity of the people who decided the best place to build the Hub was underground, not to mention right beside the bay, in a country where it rains more often than not,” Ianto said, staring upwards apprehensively. Water was dripping from the ceiling.
“Global warming wasn’t a thing back then; this kind of extreme weather was a rarity,” Jack pointed out.
“Wales was still Wales back in the late eighteen hundreds, Jack. It rained back then too.”
“Not this heavily and not for this long.” This might only be the tail end of a tropical hurricane, but it still had plenty of energy left in it, not to mention rain, and it was busy hammering the Welsh coast with eighty mile an hour winds and a torrential downpour that would have done monsoon season proud. The rainwater would have been more than enough to deal with on its own, but combined with the sea being churned up by the gale force winds, causing huge waves to break over the sea wall and flood across the Plas, the Hub was in a precarious situation.
Ianto had stacked sandbags across the tourist office door in advance, both outside and inside, making that entrance completely impassable. Not that anyone in their right mind would venture anywhere near Mermaid Quay in these conditions; they’d be swept to their death if they even tried. Using the invisible lift was also out of the question; he and Jack had done what they could to seal around the edges of the paving slab from the inside, but water was still leaking through, steadily trickling to the floor of the main Hub. They could only hope the industrial strength sealant would hold.
Aside from piling sandbags around it, which they’d already done, there was little they could do about the water tower and the Rift pool except keep the pumps running at high speed; the water level in the pool was already higher than even Jack had ever seen it, and the storm outside had only been raging for half a day. According to the forecast, it was going to be hanging around for at least the next two days, gradually moving northwards to batter at the rest of the British Isles; it was a grim prospect.
Working together, Jack and Ianto had put the lower levels into lockdown and isolated the ventilation systems; plenty of air was circulating in the cells and archives, but all the doors leading below were sealed, both air and watertight. It was the best they could do for the living creatures and the alien artefacts housed down there. They’d also secured the sewer access tunnel and the airlock leading to the underground dock where the mini sub was moored; thankfully those doors were designed to withstand high water levels.
The only way in and out of the Hub now was via the garage entrance that led into the lowest level of the underground car park beneath the Millennium Centre. The emergency services were already working tirelessly to keep the water out of there; if it flooded it could undermine the whole parking structure and damage the foundations of one of the most famous tourist attractions in Wales. It wouldn’t look good on anyone’s résumé if the entire building fell into a gigantic hole in the ground.
“We’ve done all we can to keep the water out,” Jack said with a sigh, wiping the sweat of exertion off his forehead with his shirtsleeve. “You should get out of here while you still can.”
“No, I’m not leaving you down here on your own,” Ianto said stubbornly. “We should be safe enough, but if anywhere springs a leak it might take both of us to repair it. You’ve only got one pair of hands.”
Jack wasn’t having that. “Ianto, if the Hub floods and I drown I’ll come back; you won’t.”
“I have no intention of either of us drowning; I’ve moved the scuba gear to your office and all the air tanks are full. If things look like getting that bad we can gear up and swim out through the garage, but it won’t come to that. We have plenty of coffee, food, and drinkable water, we can call the rest of the team if an alert of any kind comes up on the computers, and we can keep watch in shifts so we’ll know immediately if it becomes necessary to evacuate.”
“You think of everything, don’t you?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t be a very good General Support Officer if I didn’t; it’s what you pay me for. Now.” He pointed up at the dripping water. “I think we should get back up there with another couple of tubes of sealant; what we applied earlier isn’t holding as well as I’d hoped and we don’t want to wind up paddling, or have the autopsy bay resembling a swimming pool.”
“Alright, let’s get to it. Do you have the sealant?”
“What kind of question is that?” Ianto held up a backpack. “Everything we need is in here.”
“Then what’re we waiting for?” Jack gestured towards the lift platform. “After you.”
Ianto smiled and stepped up onto the slab. One way or another he intended to ensure that the Hub and everything in it, including the two of them, would come through this latest crisis with minimal damage. Anything less was simply unacceptable.