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Authors: Phil Ford

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Skypoint

BOOK: Skypoint
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TORCHWOOD

SKYPOINT

Phil Ford

Contents

Cover

Title

Copyright

Dedication

The Torchwood series from BBC Books

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty One

Chapter Twenty Two

Chapter Twenty Three

Chapter Twenty Four

Chapter Twenty Five

Chapter Twenty Six

Chapter Twenty Seven

Chapter Twenty Eight

Chapter Twenty Nine

Chapter Thirty

Acknowledgements

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

Version 1.0

Epub ISBN 9781409073048

www.randomhouse.co.uk

2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1

Published in 2008 by BBC Books, an imprint of Ebury Publishing
A Random House Group company

© Phil Ford, 2008
Phil Ford has asserted his right to be identified as the author of this Work in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.

Torchwood is a BBC Wales production for BBC Television Executive Producers: Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner

Original series created by Russell T Davies and broadcast on BBC Television ‘Torchwood’ and the Torchwood logo are trademarks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009. Addresses for companies within the Random House Group can be found at
www.randomhouse.co.uk
.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978 1 846 07575 9

The Random House Group Limited supports The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the leading international forest certification organisation. All our titles that are printed on Greenpeace approved FSC certified paper carry the FSC logo. Our paper procurement policy can be found at
www.rbooks.co.uk/environment

Commissioning Editor: Albert DePetrillo
Series Editor: Steve Tribe
Production Controller: Phil Spencer

Cover design by Lee Binding @ Tea Lady © BBC 2008
Typeset in Albertina and Century Gothic
Printed and bound in Germany by GGP Media GmbH

Dedicated to Hayley

The
Torchwood
series from BBC Books:

1. ANOTHER LIFE
Peter Anghelides
2. BORDER PRINCES
Dan Abnett
3. SLOW DECAY
Andy Lane
4. SOMETHING IN THE WATER
Trevor Baxendale
5. TRACE MEMORY
David Llewellyn
6. THE TWILIGHT STREETS
Gary Russell
7. PACK ANIMALS
Peter Anghelides
8. SKYPOINT
Phil Ford
9. ALMOST PERFECT
James Goss

ONE

Gwen Williams.

That was going to take some getting used to.

It had been a little over two weeks now. They had been away. Ten days in Cuba. It was the rainy season, and it had rained every day, but not one drop had mattered. And she had been Gwen Williams all that time, but holidays – especially honeymoons – are not the real world. It was like a game out there.

But now she was back.

Cardiff, the real world. Or what passed for it these days.

Mrs
Williams.

Whoa! Some things you got used to, like living on a rift in time and space, aliens stalking the sewers that would tear your throat out as easily as look at you, others that got you pregnant on your hen night with a bite …

But some things she thought she’d just never get used to.

The estate agent had called her ‘Mrs Williams’ when he met them in the lobby.

Mr and Mrs Williams.

It felt strange, but nice.

But twenty minutes later, when that same estate agent vanished into thin air, that was something Gwen Williams née Cooper felt more than qualified to handle.

TWO

Rhys was glowing as she came through the door. He was standing behind the kitchen counter wearing a smile so wide he could’ve been modelling for a Warner Brothers cartoon. It had been their first day back at work, and the smile could have just been that newlywed joy of seeing her again after their first ten hours apart since the wedding ceremony. On the other hand, Rhys and Gwen might have shared the same name for only about a fortnight, but they had shared this one-bedroom flat and a lot more besides for the last four years. This wasn’t just Rhys’s glad-to-see-you smile, this was his I-can’t-wait-to-tell-you full beam.

‘Good day?’ he asked.

‘Not bad. Bit of a Weevil hunt out Splott-way, but it was just the one and it had a limp.’

The first time she had come across one of the sewer-dwelling aliens had been in a corridor of the Royal Cardiff Infirmary. She had thought it was some guy in a Halloween mask complete with five-centimetre fangs. It had then proceeded to use them to all but take the head off some poor bastard that had got in its way. But back then – little more than a year ago – she had just been a green police constable. These days the most remarkable thing about a Weevil was that
this one had a limp
? Yes, welcome back to the real world. Welcome back to Cardiff.

Then Rhys was kissing Gwen. And whatever it was that he was burning to tell her, he had also missed her.

‘At least you’re home on time. That’s a good start.’

‘I told Jack I had to get back to make sure I had my old man’s tea on,’ she joked.

Rhys didn’t notice. His excitement was taking over.

‘Never mind tea. We’ll eat out afterwards.’

‘After what?’

But Rhys was already grabbing his coat. ‘We’ll go to one of the restaurants on the Bay. It won’t be far.’

‘Far from where?’

‘You’ll see. We’ve got an appointment at half-six.’

Gwen shook her head and followed him out through the door. Rhys loved delivering surprises. It was one of the things she loved about him. The biggest surprise of all had been how he had put up with everything she had brought to their relationship since she’d seen that Weevil in the hospital corridor and run into Jack Harkness for the first time. And that was why she loved Rhys most of all. Because he loved her, would do anything for her, and accepted so much that no other man ever could.

Rhys didn’t put his life on the line every day to save the world from savage alien creatures washed onto Cardiff’s inter-dimensional shoreline by a rift in time and space. He managed trucks and drivers for Harwood’s Haulage. Oh, he knew about the aliens – he’d run into one or two in recent months – but he left the Men in Black routine to Jack, Owen, Toshiko, Ianto – and, of course, Gwen herself. They were Torchwood. Nevertheless, it was Rhys that was her hero.

All the same, when he was pulling up in the car park of a steel-and-glass apartment building fifteen minutes later, Gwen thought that her hero had finally cracked under the pressure.

‘You are joking,’ she said.

The sun was setting across the Bay, a sinking ball of fire that burned like napalm on the flat water and turned the dimmed glass panels of the apartment building into planes of molten Aztec gold.

The hoarding alongside the apartment building called it SkyPoint.
An exclusive development of two- and three-bedroom apartments for state-of-the-art living.

Gwen wondered what on Earth constituted state-of-the-art living.

If you’re going to be anyone in Cardiff, you’re going to be at SkyPoint!

And that might be true, but she wondered how the hell Rhys thought they could possibly afford to be one of them.

But Rhys was already out of the car, looking up at the building.

‘Just look at it, Gwen. Isn’t it beautiful?’

Over the last ten years, the face of Cardiff had changed so much that, if it had been a kid, its own mother would have passed it by on the street without a second glance. If you took a look out of any high-rise window across the city, you would see almost as many cranes hanging over the place as you would skyscrapers shouldering for prominence. But Gwen had never considered any of the lean sun-flaring steel and glass giants
beautiful
. Impressive, for sure. Dynamic, no doubt. Welcome, too – Gwen could just remember the drab, emasculated town that had been left by the closure of the valley mines, and the loss of the docks that had distributed that black Welsh gold around the world. When the docks had gone, what had been left had been a bitter and dark spectre of what Cardiff had once been. But that now lay buried beneath these shiny new buildings and Cardiff’s spirit had been resurrected. It was once again a boom town. Perhaps that did make SkyPoint beautiful.

On the other hand, Rhys was the kind of bloke that applied the word to a blood-red six-wheel Freightliner tractor unit kitted out with so much dazzling chrome it had to be a danger to other road users.

‘There’s no way we can afford this, Rhys,’ she said. But she said it with a smile, not wanting to puncture his enthusiasm, not wanting to spoil their first proper week as newlyweds with an argument over money.

‘I’m not talking about the penthouse, love. Just a little two-bedroom apartment. Sixth floor. Doesn’t even have to have a Bay view.’

‘I like where we live now. What’s wrong with it?’

‘Nothing’s wrong with it. Except that was the old you and me. PM. Pre-Marriage. This is us AM—’

‘After Marriage. Yes I get it, Rhys. I still don’t see the point.’

‘It’s like a statement, isn’t it? Moving on. We’re going forward.’ Then he looked at her, held her hands. ‘Two bedrooms.’

Gwen raised an eyebrow and kinked one corner of her mouth. ‘You’re not talking about when you snore and I kick you out of bed, are you?’

Rhys said nothing, just raised his eyebrows a fraction, and returned her smile.

They were talking in eyebrow semaphore, and they’d only tied the knot two weeks ago. God, they were like an old married couple already. Maybe Rhys was right – they needed a new start.

‘Come on, then,’ she said, tugging him towards the building’s glass doors. ‘But we’re just looking. Maybe get some decorating ideas for our place.’

‘Whatever you say,’ he smiled.

Glass doors the colour of bonfire smoke parted before them, and they stepped into a large reception area that Gwen was surprised to find quite comfortable. She had expected to find more cold steel and glass, somewhere as sterile as Owen’s Autopsy Room back at the Hub. But the SkyPoint reception was furnished with white, greys and blacks that were at once modern and comforting. They crossed a short-pile carpet that muffled their steps and Rhys gave their name to a blonde girl in a short black skirt who sat at a low table in one corner of the reception area decorated with a sweep of colour brochures.

BOOK: Skypoint
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