Characters: Ianto, Jack, OC.
Summary: Cardiff is a city plagued by weird phenomena, but even so, this strikes Jack and Ianto as a bit odd.
Word Count: 500
Written For: Prompt 4: Hump at anythingdrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
There was a hump in the road ahead of them. Not a hump-backed bridge, or even one of the ubiquitous speed bumps everyone who spent time in urban or suburban areas had grown used to in recent years, but just a hump. The problem was that it hadn’t been there a few hours ago. Ianto applied the brakes, coming to a stop a short distance away from it.
“What is it?” he asked Jack, without taking his eyes off it.
“A hump?” Jack suggested.
“That’s all you’ve got? You come from the future, you’ve travelled all over the universe, met countless aliens, and probably shagged most of them, but we come across something peculiar and all you can say is that it’s a hump?”
“Hey, I never claimed to know everything!” Jack retorted. “That’s your department. Don’t you know?”
Ianto threw Jack a disgusted look. “Wouldn’t have asked if I did. It’s nothing Torchwood’s ever come across before, but it’s not natural.”
“How can you be certain?” Jack wanted to know.
“Because one, it wasn’t there this morning, and two, roads don’t just spontaneously develop humps in them for no reason.” Ianto stopped speaking for a moment, staring straight ahead. After a couple of minutes, he continued, “And three, it’s getting bigger.”
It was. Noticeably. “How does tarmac stretch like that?” Jack asked.
“It’s designed to have a certain amount of flexibility to prevent it cracking due to temperature fluctuations and general wear and tear, but…” Ianto frowned as the hump expanded, the top stretching upwards several more inches before their very eyes. “That’s just wrong.”
“Maybe it’s a bubble,” Jack suggested. “Could be a burst water main under there, or a gas pipe.”
“This is Cardiff, Jack. How often are weird occurrences here down to something as prosaic as a burst pipe?”
“Besides, I doubt water or gas could do that.” The hump was now undulating back and forth, and side to side. It was oddly hypnotic. Ianto tore his gaze away with difficulty. “It looks more like there’s something under there trying to get out.”
“I was just thinking that,” Jack admitted.
Ianto shoved the SUV in reverse and hurriedly backed up, deciding that perhaps they were a bit too close. Unfortunately, anything peculiar fell under Torchwood’s jurisdiction. Halting fifty metres or so away from the hump, Ianto parked the SUV, turned off the engine, checked his gun, and slid from the driver’s seat, cautiously approaching the hump on foot. Jack joined him and they skirted around it at what they deemed a reasonably safe distance; it was still undulating, and now fine cracks were beginning to develop in its surface.
“Almost looks like an egg hatching,” Ianto commented.
No sooner had the words left his mouth than the top of the hump suddenly split open and a large, greenish reptilian head appeared. The creature’s eyes fell on Jack and Ianto.
“Mama? Papa?” it trilled.
Ianto groaned. Something told him their problems were only just beginning.