Title: A Dotty Problem
Characters: Ianto, Owen, Team Torchwood.
Summary: Cardiff is suffering from a strange malady. It’s up to Torchwood to deal with the situation.
Word Count: 423
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
It had ended up being one of Torchwood’s stranger weeks.
On the Tuesday, Cardiff had come down with a strange alien infection. Not the people, but the buildings, pavements, walls… Anything made of concrete came out in red spots and dots, each one several inches across, like a weird kind of rash.
Ianto checked Torchwood’s records, including those he’d managed to download from Torchwood One’s server before UNIT could get their greedy mitts on them, but he came up blank.
Owen went into Doctor mode, examining his weirdest patient ever and trying to work out what was causing the unsightly problem. He scraped samples from various parts of the city, studying them under the microscope, and when he found the microscopic organisms responsible, ran tests trying to find something that would kill them without destroying half of Cardiff.
Tosh and Ianto put out a story about a student prank and advised people to avoid the dots where possible, as it was believed they had been made with potentially toxic old paint. They also requested the public to log details of the locations of any dots they spotted on a website set up for that purpose. It would save the team having to search the whole city for dots by themselves. For once they welcomed outside help.
It took Owen three days to develop a cure, and that’s where Torchwood’s work really began. Each dot had to be sprayed with the treatment to kill the infestation. The public thought they were neutralising toxic chemicals; Ianto thought it amounted to more or less the same thing.
For four days in a row, the team went out at first light in protective suits, carrying spray pumps, squirting liquid on each red dot then scraping up the residue. It was slow and painstaking work, dawn until dusk, and they had to return to the Hub to refill their sprays several times a day, but they kept at it. They couldn’t risk the infestation spreading further afield.
Day by day, there were fewer dots to be found and at last they gathered around the final spot, watching as Ianto sprayed it thoroughly, waited a few moments for the treatment to work and then carefully scraped up the shrivelled up dot, dropping it into a plastic bucket for safe disposal. One last squirt over the area to kill off any remaining spores and at last the job was finished.
Ianto took off the hood of his suit and turned to the rest of the team, smirking.
“Dot’s all, folks!”