The flames licked ever closer as Ianto worked steadily at the ropes binding his hands behind his back. He almost had them now, a few more seconds and he’d be free.
Jack, lying beside him, gasped back to life and sat bolt upright, breathing hard. At least that solved one problem.
“Ianto, what happened?”
“Never mind that right now, untie my feet, we need to get out of here.”
Jack looked at the approaching flames.
“To hell with that! I’m not waiting around to untie you.” Grabbing Ianto, Jack hoisted him over one shoulder and headed towards the door.
“They locked the door when they left,” Ianto tried to tell him, but Jack barely even broke stride, he just kicked the heavy wooden door right off its hinges, the fear of being burned alive proving a great motivator.
Ianto, whose hands had finally come free as Jack picked him up, grabbed on tightly to the back of Jack’s coat in an effort to keep from bouncing off as Jack raced along the smoke filled passageway towards the exit. It was getting hard to breathe, never mind see, but there was only one way to go so it hardly mattered.
Another door loomed in front of Jack and met the same fate as the first, smashed off its hinges by Jack’s booted foot. Then, with almost shocking suddenness, they were outside in the cool night air, heading away from the burning building, Jack stumbling slightly on the uneven surface beneath his feet.
At a safe distance, Jack dumped Ianto unceremoniously on the ground, dropping to hands and knees beside him, breathing heavily but already recovering.
Ianto drew deep breaths of fresh air, coughing a little and wiping soot from his face.
“That was way too close for comfort.”
Ianto patted his pockets and pulled out his phone.
“Amateurs. They probably figured we couldn’t get a signal out here.” He punched in a number. “Hello? Yes, I need to report a fire…”
As Ianto gave the dispatcher directions, Jack set to work on the ropes around his partner’s ankles. By the time the call ended, the feeling was returning to Ianto’s feet, making him wince at the sensation. He slid the phone back into his pocket.
“We should get out of here before the fire brigade arrives.”
Jack chuckled humourlessly.
“Right. We have some slave traders to round up!”
When Jack and Ianto caught up to them, the expressions on the slave traders’ faces were priceless!
“But… but we killed you!” the leader gasped in strangely accented English.
“Yeah, bad move that,” Jack told them, “it really pisses us off. And when we’re pissed off, we don’t exactly play nice.”
“What he’s saying is, if you don’t surrender, we’ll just start lopping bits off until you do.” Ianto waved a device at them. “Laser cutters are so handy, almost no mess. Think I’ll start with your ears.”
Ten aliens hurriedly dropped their weapons and raised their hands.