They had been on the road for nearly an hour when the truck began to flash its lights. This was an agreed signal to stop and Jack came to a halt as the truck drew alongside. Mickey was waving the CB radio mic and Ianto turned theirs on with a frown.
It would be at least another hour before they were within range of Flat Holm to signal Gwen and the others. The crackling made Jack shrug at Mickey who motioned for him to wind down his window.
"I thought we agreed we'd save the battery until we were closer. What's the point of the bloody light signals then?" Jack yelled then felt the thump from Ianto as he realised he'd cussed in front of Angel.
He swung around to apologise and Angel was giggling into the rabbit.
"Turn it to 63 ya bloody muppet!" Leo roared back and Ianto turned the knob.
"Please … anyone … we need … is there …help"
"Shit. That sounds like a kid" Jack growled looking back across at the rig.
"Are you there? Can you hear me?" Ianto was still fiddling around as he spoke into their mic.
"Oh god, you …. Where …. Cold"
"Turn to 65, I repeat turn to 65" Ianto demanded before turning the dial.
"Are you there?" a female voice came through loud and clear.
"Yes, we are an hour from the outskirts of Cardiff. Where are you?" Ianto asked.
"Who are you?" she demanded.
"With all due respect love, you called us!" Mickey shouted down the line.
"I'm Cindy. My brother and two of our friends are with me. Please, I'm not sure how long we'll last" she begged and Ianto frowned at Jack.
"Where are you?" Ianto repeated.
"The millennium Centre. We thought we might find Torchwood but they are just a bloody myth" a male voice came across the airwaves and Ianto snorted.
Weren't they in for a surprise?
A white Kombi Van was parked on the plas and it was surrounded by Larggettes. They weren't attacking, just circling calmly waiting for a chance to get in.
The kids had sounded calm but did confirm that they were out of food, water and fuel. This was the end of the line for them and they had all but given up.
As the SUV rolled to a stop a face appeared at the windscreen. Jack could read the boy's lips as he mouthed 'Torchwood' then disappeared.
As agreed, the rig had continued to the dock. Bringing the livestock to Flat Holm was priority one.
Ianto looked back at Angel one more time and Angel nodded, clasping his seatbelt to show he was still clipped in.
"We only get one shot." Jack warned and Ianto nodded.
Three sharp bursts from the SUV horn angered the Larggettes who began to move towards them. Ianto changed the setting on the radio and spoke calmly into the speakers set behind the grill.
"Move to the roof through your skylight now." He demanded and a blonde head appeared with a spear gun, then disappeared and another blonde head with long wavy hair appeared as the girl was lifted by the boys out onto the roof.
"Jack" Ianto warned softly as a Larggette paused and looked back.
Jack touched the button for the window the casually leaned out and aimed at the creature. With one shot he felled it and attracted the others. With screeches like fingernails and a blackboard they swarmed the SUV.
Angel had his eyes closed as he hugged Babbit and Ianto sang along with him "Hushaby Mountain" as Jack slowly moved the SUV forward.
"Mr Copperbadge engage Sato.5 ." Ianto said calmly and the SUV shuddered, then Tosh's voice came on line.
"Yes Ianto. What do you need?"
"Please scan for lifeforms not inside vehicles" Ianto asked and Jack leaned over the steering wheel to watch the blue light that filled the plas in the grid pattern.
"I detect twelve lifeforms not of human form Ianto" Tosh informed him.
"Thank you. Please disregard any lifeforms that are human in nature" Ianto asked and Jack was shocked when Tosh's familiar snort sounded through the SUV.
"Sorry love, had to ask" Ianto said absently as he turned to check on Angel again.
"Angel, duck and cover"
Angel curled up and buried his face in Babbit, hands over his ears.
"Engage safety measures!"
Gun fire erupted from the front of the SUV and although Ianto had warned him about the gun, Jack still jumped with surprise.
The SUV rolled forward and as they neared the Kombi the SUV's roof opened. The teenagers eagerly clambered down into the SUV and the girl burst into tears as she saw Angel in the back. She cuddled him and they all waited patiently as the roof slid closed.
"Thank you Tosh" Ianto smiled as the SUV began to disengage its safety measures.
"Anytime Ianto. My fuel reserves are low, no more than 20 more k's I'm afraid"
"Yes love. Thank you" Ianto nodded then turned to Jack who quickly gunned the engine and they surged forward towards the dock.