Unceremoniously tossed into a cell together, Jack and Ianto picked themselves up off the cold stone floor and dusted themselves off as the heavy metal door was slammed shut and locked behind them.
“Boy, the laws on this planet are really strict!” Jack sounded as surprised as he looked.
“I tried to warn you, but as usual you weren’t listening to me,” Ianto grumbled gloomily, studying their accommodations.
The small room was bare except for a stone bench built into each of the two side walls, and a sort of commode set into the wall opposite the door. It wasn’t the worst cell they’d ever found themselves in, but the lack of a window made it dim, lit only by a single glow pad in the ceiling, and somewhat stuffy.
“It wasn’t like this the last time I was here,” Jack insisted. “I remember it being a really friendly and laid back kind of place, with some of the best resorts in the quadrant.”
“And when was it that you last visited?”
“While I was travelling with the Doctor and Rose.” Jack consulted his wrist strap. “Somewhere around two hundred years from now.”
“So what you’re saying is that we dropped in during the planet’s most repressive era?” Ianto sat on the nearest stone bench and buried his head in his hands. “That’s just wonderful.”
“Hey, this is a big disappointment to me too! I was expecting festivals, music, bright colours and happy people!”
“All of which are conspicuous by their absence. I would have thought even you’d have noticed that.”
They’d arrived on Kaifoose less than three hours earlier; this surely had to be a record for Jack’s ability to offend people. Not that Ianto could consider himself entirely blameless on this occasion. He probably should have restrained Jack and dragged him bodily back into their TARDIS the moment he saw the ultra-conservative clothing the locals were wearing.
Everyone was dressed the same in shapeless grey robes that covered them from neck to ankle, and they walked silently with their heads bowed, never looking directly at each other. Even in their casual clothes, he and Jack had stood out like sore thumbs.
Jack had seemed oblivious, taking deep breaths of the fresh, clean air before bursting into song in the middle of the street, at which point they were grabbed by several hefty looking men in darker grey robes, hustled before the local magistrates, and charged with indecent behaviour. Apparently the authorities considered music and singing to be obscene, and as for wearing trousers… Suffice to say that people were as shocked as if they’d been standing there completely naked.
“What now?” Jack asked, sitting down beside Ianto.
“Depends. How long do you think they’ll hold us here?”
“Hard to say. The Magistrate said something about setting a date for our tribunal.”
“Which means they’ll either rush things through with all possible haste so they can have a fast and probably public execution, or they’ll take their time getting around to it while we rot in here. Either way, it’s not a pleasant prospect.”
“Do you have to work at being so pessimistic or does it come naturally?”
“Who’s being pessimistic? I was just laying out the possibilities based on what little we know. Personally, I think we should just get out of here and leave everyone scratching their collective heads wondering how we escaped from this impregnable cell.”
“Oh no. Here we go,” Ianto groaned.
“You’ve got that look again.”
“Which look is that?”
“The one you get when you’re about to do something certifiable.”
“Who, me?” Jack asked, all wide-eyed innocence. “I just think we should give them something nice to remember us by, a little thank you for making us feel so welcome.” He started fiddling with his wrist strap again.
“What exactly are you doing?”
“Oh, nothing much; it’s just a little too quiet here for my tastes, the people need livening up. Ah, that should do it.” Jack pressed one last button and smiled. “I don’t know if you noticed, but they have quite a sophisticated communications network around here, no doubt used for public announcements.”
Ianto nodded; he’d seen dozens of loudspeakers throughout the city, both on poles and under the eaves of buildings.
“Well, I just hacked into it, downloaded all my favourite music as a self-replicating virus, put it on shuffle, and pressed play. That should keep them busy for a while. It’s probably going to take them a few months to figure out a way to shut it off, and clear the virus from the entire network, but who knows? By then they might not want to.”
“So now the whole planet is listening to Glen Miller?”
“Plus Gershwin, the Cole Porter songbook, the collected works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Jones, and Shirley Bassey. Everything from Big Bands and show tunes, to classical. I think there’s about a thousand hours of music in all; should be something to please everybody. Wouldn’t want them getting bored, would we?”
“Perish the thought,” Ianto chuckled.
“I think our work here is done. Shall we go?”
“That might be a good idea.” Ianto leaned in to kiss Jack as their TARDIS materialised around them. “I knew there must be a reason why I love you,” he said with a smile as he pulled away. “You’re fiendishly brilliant! You do realise you’ve probably started a revolution, don’t you?”
Jack smirked back at him. “Oops?”
The TARDIS faded out, and they were gone.