Torchwood | False Gods

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Cardiffboyoboy Blog

March 12: Dumped & Dashing

So, Justin dumped me. Right in front of all me friends. He even did it on the dancefloor. To the Sugababes!

There we all were dancing, giggling as Amy had got us all more shooters (she's a wicked cow), and then I was seeing if we'd do a bit of naughty dancing with Justin, and it all went belly up.

I've always been rubbish at dancing with other people. Great by myself, but it's like, you learn the routines and you practice them in the mirror, but you never learn them with other people, and they're always dancing a bit different and it's all a bit wrong and I can never get the hang of it (ho hum. Perhaps Amy and I should join a dance class - not Salsa, maybe Streetdance).

So anyway, there was I, pig's earing my way round Justin, and he just turns and smiles and leans in and I think he's gonna kiss me (he never really did PDA). But he doesn't. He just says. "Look mate, sorry. Let's just stop."

And then, as I freeze, he dances out of my arms (which are suddenly all elbows) and across to where there's some blonde mulleted thing who, of course, dances with him 'perfectly'.

Amy told me later she would have thrown her drink over him, there and then. Only, well, she'd drunk her drink. And last time she threw someone else's cider, she got barred for like months.

I left there and then. Well, I did stop and take Justin's coat. I'd got the cloakroom ticket, and it had his keys in it. Plus it smelt of him and it was raining. So. You know. Vengeful but practical. That's me :-)

Anyway, there was I, standing on Charles Street in the rain, with all the dodgy cab drivers going slowly by, and a woman sat next to me, holding a shoe up to the light and crying.

And over there was a man, good-looking-ish, nipping down to the Car Park. And you know, I thought, it's been ages since I've gone cruising, but hey, it's not tacky when you're in a state of Serious Emotional Turmoil. Plus, I really needed a leak.

It's an stretch of wasteland in between old buildings. It's only real asset is that it has a lot of dark corners. Dark corners which, if you look closely, are moving.

Generally the only kind of men you find here are the kind of men you'd expect to find looking for action in a car park - oldy, fatty, anoraky, beardy - you know. But occasionally there's someone worth talking to.

I reached into Justin's jacket and found his spare fags. They're always granny fags and they're always menthol, but hey. It gives me something to do while I survey the scene.

And tonight there seemed to be loads of scene - the place was heaving! All kinds of blokes were wandering around, in an aimless fashion, pointedly not looking at each other, but all kind of heading for the shadows behind an old corrugated iron shed. Something was clearly up.

I started to head that way, when HE entered my life.

He swept past me, striding towards that shed. And god, he was handsome. Really, stunning. Tall, cheekbones, and a great coat (I love army surplus stuff!).

Without thinking, I patted him on the shoulder. What an odd thing to do. He spun round, alert, and then he grinned (great teeth!), and then we stood there. A bit awkward, really.

"Hi," I said. "Do you come here often?"

He raised an eyebrow (god, so neat - did he pluck?). "Hi," he said, "Bit of advice, friend. Don't go over there."

I wasn't listening. "You're an American. Wow! What brings you to Cardiff?"

"Not the same thing as you." His smile didn't move, but his voice was cold and firm.

"Oh." I paused. "I only came in cos I was caught short and I was just leaving and-"

"Yeah, right," The smile twitched, "Friend, it's not the right night. Go home. Get some sleep."

"What? Are you the police? Or those safe sex people?"

He laughed. "No. I'm Captain Jack Harkness and I'm just a concerned citizen who is asking you to go home. For your own good. Now, what's your name?"

"Peter."

He stuck out his hand, and I shook it. What an odd thing to do. And what a great handshake. "Good to meet you Peter. Now, go home. That fried breakfast is only a few hours away."

I hate it when someone is more mature than me. He even seemed sober, damn him.

I turned around, and walked away. I looked back - he was watching me go. He waved, and then turned back, watching all the people staggering around. What, I thought, was going on?


March 17th: Him Again

Miserable week. Well, imagine. I mean, apart from all the Justin stuff, and Amy being all over the place (she's got fired again, so it's all about her this week).

I went clubbing, cos it was student night, and that's always great. Only, I lasted about 10 minutes. I walked in and there was Justin. On the dancefloor. With the blonde mullet thing from the other night. And they were kissing. Justin never kissed me on the dancefloor.

There's some things that really hurt. Boys and mobile phone bills.

So, a quarter of an hour and a few stiff silly drinks later, I'm back in the Car Park. And guess who's there?

Jack smiles (I still love those USA dentists). "I guess there's no telling some people," he says.

He's not really looking at me. His attention is on the corner with the shed. I notice that people are wandering over there again. I'm guessing there's a fair bit of action going on. And the guys out seem a lot better than normal.

"I know what you're thinking." says Jack, "And the answer is, don't go over there."

I shrug. Suddenly I think - he may be stunning, but he's not exactly putting himself on the menu, but he's stopping me from getting anything else. Which isn't fair.

"Why - you got anything better to offer?" I put on my Sultry Pout which I learnt off the too-thin girl on Hollyoaks.

He just looks bored. Yeah. Bored! "Normally, yes. A whole lot better. Look, I'm asking you really nicely. Go home. For your own safety. You don't want any of what's on offer tonight. And I'm working."

"So, you're either a cop or a hooker."

He grins at that. "Not for a long time. Now, get out of here." And he pats me on the shoulder. And I walk home just a little bit in love.


March 20th: Blind Date

So, I've been chatting to this bloke online. And it's been going rather well. No pictures (well, not of his face), but he seems really charming. And he just suggests we meet up for a drink. I'm always up for a drink. If he's ugly, I'll get some drinks free. If he's boring - well, the drink will help.

I get to the bar early - just to do a check for Justin and Blonde Mullet (according to Amy, they're everywhere - like they're on some mission to snog everywhere in Cardiff). I settle down in the window and wait. I've not brought a book, so I stare out of the window, a bit bored. Across the road, there's the entrance to that Car Park. And I can see people edging in there. Even though it's early. Like, cruising in daylight.

Blimey, I think. And there's some serious totty heading off there tonight. It's like cruising's had a Trinny & Susannah Makeover ("No darling, throw away the kagoul, try something slimming, and let's get rid of the combover...").

Suddenly, my date turns up, and it's Him!

"Hi," says Jack, sitting down.

"..." I say.

"This seemed the only way of keeping you out of trouble." He explained, opening a pack of peanuts. "Now, we're going to sit down, and you're going to learn the art of conversation. It's time to stop behaving like a caveman."

And, you know, we have a really pleasant evening. Well, with two exceptions. I realise that he's learning more about me than I am about him. And I notice that he's also glancing occasionally at the Car Park.

"So, what do you do?" I ask him. I've told him all about the bank, about my friends (well, mostly about Amy), and even about Justin. And all I've heard from him is that he travels widely. And a few salty details that don't make that much sense when I think about them later.

"In Cardiff?" He sips his water (yeah, water - I know!), "I don't know how you'd describe it. But I'm good at it. I guess I look out for unusual things, and check that they're not harmful."

I do my best wicked grin. "And is that what I am, an unusual thing?"

Jack shakes his head. "No, Pete. You're very ordinary. And that's why you're special."

Bitch! I don't know how to take this.

"So, what's been going on the last couple of weeks? You've not told me why you're hanging around the Car Park of Broken Dreams, or why you keep sending me home."

Jack considers for a bit, and fetches me another alcopop. "You're so ordinary, you won't believe me. But imagine that there are creatures who grew up in a place where they thrived on being worshipped. People treated them as gods, and these creatures ate that belief. It's what powers them. And, you know how it is - gods come in and out of fashion, so eventually, these creatures moved on - from place to place, from time to time, convincing people to worship them. And eventually one came here.

"And what did it find? A people who weren't really that into gods. But were very interested in beauty and appearance. And this creature - let's call it an Attention Seeker - created itself in their ideal image. You may have seen it out - standing on the dancefloor, looking a bit perfect, demanding your attention. And the more you give it, the more powerful it becomes. Every hungry look, every glance makes it more powerful, and you weaker."

I'm not really listening at this point. I'm wondering if I've seen him out. I'm watching Jack as he talks, and wondering how he kisses. But Jack's still talking.

"So, the Car Park is where it ends up. After all, why go home with just one man, when you can get the serious devotion of a crowd. And that's what it's doing - it's there right now. Odd how people still get on their knees to worship, isn't it?" Jack's smile looks cold. Like a shark.

"It's working its way through the masses. It's not killing, so I've let it do its thing. It's just taking their strength. I don't really care about that - a few extra bad hangovers, a few more lines on the face. We don't care about that. But it's getting hungrier. It'll start to take too much. And so I'm stopping it. And that's why I invited you along. To watch."

Jack fiddled with his watch. And I heard car alarms go off And then the place lit up like it was day.

"That's my warning. I want the people clear. They should wander off. Some loud noise and a bit too much light should get rid of them."

I watched people saunter out into the street, trying to look like they'd been nowhere in particular. Gradually the stream of people slipping into bars thinned and stopped.

Jack smiled and offered me his wrist. His watch was actually a very complicated thing indeed, with lots of buttons, but all set into a very neat leather strap. It looked like he had a bondage phone. How cool is that?

He pointed to one button in particular. "You get the honours," he said.

There was a bang, and the flames shot up in a neat, straight pillar. Like really serious fireworks. Burning brightly for ten seconds. And then they stopped. Equally neatly. Along with the car alarms.

"One less God," sighed Jack. "Shall we go?"

[Intercept ends]


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