Read Almost Perfect Online

Authors: James Goss

Tags: #Fiction - Science Fiction, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Space Opera, #General, #Science Fiction, #Fiction, #Harkness; Jack (Fictitious character), #Science Fiction - Space Opera, #Sagas, #Human-alien encounters - Wales - Cardiff, #Cardiff (Wales), #Intelligence officers - Wales - Cardiff, #Radio and television novels

Almost Perfect

TORCHWOOD

ALMOST
PERFECT

James Goss

Contents

Cover

Title

Copyright

Torchwood series from BBC Books

Five Rare Times That Ianto Jones Swears

Rhys is Sunday shopping with the missus

1. Status Updates

Emma Webster is…
Emma Webster has a Plan for a Brand New Me
Gwen is Late for Work
Emma is Having her Last Bad Day at Work
Ianto is More Important Than Static Cling
Captain Jack is Feeling Buoyant
Dorice is her Usual Red
Gwen is Wearing Corpse
Patrick Matthews is Not Dead
Emma Webster is Attending Speed-Dating in the Bay
Tombola’s is the Ideal Venue for Your Next Party
Bren is Very Precise
Gwen is Awake First
Ianto is Staying in Bed
Emma Webster is Plotting Revenge
Ianto Tries Beige
Emma Webster is Having It Medium
Jack is Puzzled
Emma Webster is on a Date
Joe Sterling is Listed As Being in a Relationship With Emma Webster
Gwen and Ianto Get a Shopping Montage
Captain Jack is Available for Children’s Parties
Emma Webster is With her Perfect Man
Rhys Williams is Cooking Up a Storm
Joe Sterling is Dumped
Sergeant Pepper is a Lonely Heart’s Club Band
Emma Webster is Selecting her Next Victim
Gwen is Losing the Argument
Helena Carter is Making Money from the Misery of Others
Patrick Matthews is Very Much Still Alive
Gwen has Had Better Nights
Emma Webster is a Marked Woman
Emma Webster is About to Be Off the Market Again
Rhys Williams is a Changed Man
Ianto Misses Pockets
Gwen is the Green-Eyed Monster
Emma Webster is Determined
Owen Harper is Still Dead
Ianto Can Ride a Horse Across a Beach Without Fear Or Shame

2. Lucky Debbie’s Duty-Free Pursuit of Love

Ianto is Having a Flashback
Jack is Making a Breakthrough
The Strange Alien Device is Plotting to take Over from Jeremy Kyle After this
Ross Kielty is Mistaken in Happiness
Rhys is in So Much Trouble
Jack is Softly, Softly Catchee Monkey
Ianto is Explaining How Coffee is Like Life
Gwen is Nowhere, and It’s for Bloody Ever
Captain Jack, Captain Jack, Get Off Your Back, go into Town, Don’t Let us Down. Oh No, No.
Mozart is Sponsored By Cholestria
Yvonne is Now Living in a Fish Restaurant
The Perfection are Ruthless, Tireless and have a High Thread Count

3. Damaged Gods

God is Dead (Bored)
Jack is Remembering An Agreement
Captain Jack has Killed the Wabbit, Killed the Wabbit
The Perfection Dances in Mysterious Ways
Jack is in for a Treat When He Checks the Cctv
Captain Jack Goes to the Wall
Ianto Knows the True Value of a Nugget
Eric Doesn’t Feel Like Dancing, No Sir, No Dancing Today
Gwen Welcomes Careful Drivers
Cardiff is a One-Way City
Bouncer Ben is Wondering Why His Nose Got Broken
Ianto is Just Murder on the Dance Floor
Captain Jack is Bargaining
Rudyard is Sadly All Mouth
Ianto Jones Could Teach You, But He’d have to Charge
Ianto is Civilisation. End Of.
Emma Webster is Starting Afresh
Madonna is a Gay Icon for Beginners

Epilogue: What the Strange Alien Device actually said to Captain Jack

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 9781409072980

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

© James Goss, 2008
James Goss 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 Two 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 07573 5

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

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

FIVE RARE TIMES THAT IANTO
JONES SWEARS*

1. The woman is looking at her burning hands. And she’s screaming. And Ianto sees what she sees.
2. It’s like being inside a giant washing machine. The back of the ferry is wide open and water is pouring in. And the water’s cold and filthy and the loading bay is turning, and Ianto is suddenly looking at a lorry. One of them is upside down. And then suddenly, it doesn’t matter.
3. The man is sat at a table in the restaurant. It’s got a lovely view of Cardiff Bay. The food is laid out before him. The champagne is fizzing in the glass. He sits there, immaculately dressed. He is a skeleton.
4. Ianto thought he wouldn’t see anything more disturbing at the club. But then – who paints their walls the colour of blood? And then he leans against it and realises the wall is breathing.
5. It’s Monday morning. The alarm goes off. Ianto wanders into the bathroom, switches on the light and…

* in no particular order

RHYS IS SUNDAY SHOPPING
WITH THE MISSUS

Rhys was delighted. ‘Look, Gwen, I’ve found you an alien!’

Gwen looked up from a crap jewellery stand. Towering over them was a street performer, covered in metal plate and body armour. Silver tendrils spilled out of the top of his head. ‘Yes, love,’ she said. ‘If only it was that easy.’

A crowd was watching the alien, who must have been almost three metres tall. There was a grim nobility about the performance – a stern refusal to move or even acknowledge the shoppers. The alien had a pitch on Queen Street, just away from a man singing into a traffic cone, a cluster of mobile phone shops and some students handing out free samples of a new cereal bar.

A man rolled up next to the alien and opened up his stall of ties, watches and sunglasses. The crowd’s attention wandered slightly. Ever professional, the alien shifted its weight subtly, a mass of heaving tendrils drifting across from behind its head. A small child shrieked, which aroused some ‘oohs’.

Rhys was entranced. Gwen giggled. ‘What are you like?’

Rhys shrugged. ‘Well, yeah – but he’s very good isn’t he? Way better than the Chaplin that used to be here. I know he’s made those flappy things out of an old mop, but he’s done it well, hasn’t he?’

‘Suppose,’ Gwen’s eye was caught by one of the suited children working at a mobile shop. He was edging closer with leaflets and a smile. She shuddered and started to steer Rhys away by the elbow.

‘Funny, isn’t it?’ said Rhys, not quite moving with her. This was the start of a little routine with him, as ritual as the way he licked his knife after buttering toast. ‘If he were a real alien, we’d all run screaming. But here he is, and we’re all… you know… interested… but a bit bored. Not scared.’

‘Yeah yeah – it’s an integration scheme run by the Tourist Board. Now let’s go stretch a pound.’

Rhys finally moved away. And as they went, Gwen glanced back at the alien.

It winked.

1. STATUS UPDATES

EMMA WEBSTER IS…

Emma Webster is still looking for love.
Emma Webster is watching Desperate Housewives (again!!!!)
Emma Webster is looking forward to Friday.
Emma Webster is going out again!!!
Emma Webster is recovering.
Emma Webster is hating Monday.
Emma Webster is fancying the new boy.
Emma Webster is flirting.
Emma Webster is getting somewhere.
Emma Webster is going for a drink with the new boy!
Emma Webster isn’t the type to kiss and tell.
Emma Webster is going for a long walk in the sunshine.
Emma Webster is all excited.
Emma Webster is seeing him again.
Emma Webster is unable to remember what the film was about.
Emma Webster is going out for a drink with the girls.
Emma Webster is buying a little black dress.
Emma Webster isn’t sure what happened there.
Emma Webster is forgetting about the diet.
Emma Webster is avoiding him.
Emma Webster is grateful for the calls.
Emma Webster is not going to text him.
Emma Webster is thinking of getting a cat.
Emma Webster is staying in.
Emma Webster is home to the folks.
Emma Webster is bored out of her mind.
Emma Webster is sick of ‘why can’t you settle down like your sister?’
Emma Webster isn’t afraid of the big three-oh.
Emma Webster is making a change.

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