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First Day

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This story is No. 17 in the series "The Child of Balime". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: When it's your first day as an intern at Torchwood Cardiff, anything can happen. Even this.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > GeneralShoshiFR7711,4860153,54025 Sep 132 Oct 13Yes

Chapter One

Author's Notes: I hold no rights over copyrighted material. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, and Torchwood characters are the property of their respective owners. Alison's mine, though.

That being said, here's an Alison story for you.

When I introduced Alison as a character, people seemed to really like her. I got a lot of requests for more Alison. I was actually going to phase her out, this Season, but... since people wanted more Alison... I'm giving it to them.

Hence this story.

And a few others, besides, which will also involve Alison.

Enjoy!



So.

An internship at Torchwood. Top secret organization. All that.

Problem was… what was Alison supposed to tell her parents, when they asked her about her summer job?

"Just say you're working for… 'special ops'," Gwen told Alison. "That works for me."

Tosh had given a half-shrug. "I tell people I do contract work for the government."

Ianto had shot her a small grin. "I just lie. Make something up."

Owen? "It's none of their damn business!"

And Jack, far as Alison could see, just flirted with the people asking him until they quit with the pestering and got down to the snogging.

Lots of options.

But Alison's parents wouldn't care about the police, the 'government job' might be an issue after the Harold Saxon debacle, they'd see through any lie she told them, and… as for the snog…

Right.

Time for a different tactic, then.

"But what does this 'Torchwood' of yours actually do?" Mum asked her for only about the 40,000th time.

Alison clasped her hands on the dining room table. Looked straight into her parents' eyes. Completely straight-faced. And told them:

"Torchwood's outside the government, beyond the police. And what they do, basically, is find and chase down aliens. Which is what I've decided I want my career to be, after I'm done at uni. A career of chasing off aliens and protecting Great Britain from their threat."

For a few seconds, her parents said nothing. Just stared at her.

"Well, good for you!" Dad shouted, slamming his fist down on the table, to make a point. "Those good-for-nothing aliens. 'Bout time they got what they deserved!"

Mum seemed a little perplexed. "I thought you were a liberal."

"Liberal nothing, Kirsten!" Dad cut in. "The point is, I've had it up to here with all these aliens rushing in and taking people's jobs. This is Britain, not Czechoslovakia!"

Alison nodded, slowly. "Right. Aliens…"

"And then there are the Americans!" Dad continued. "Don't get me started on the Americans. You've had too much exposure already, with that Summers family. All crass and brutish and loud, without the first idea how to…"

Which was right around the time that Alison tuned Dad out.

Better he think Seo was the normal kind of alien.



"…worker migration due to the European Union," Alison explained to Gwen, on the first day of her internship, as they entered the Torchwood Hub, "although, actually, it also has a lot to do with the fall of the Iron Curtain, which makes this immigration issue really just the fault of all those bloody Americans, if you ask Dad, because they keep…"

"Sorry, what does this have to do with Torchwood, again?" asked Gwen.

Alison shrugged. "No idea. But I'm pretty sure that alien that crashed into Big Ben is actually George Washington's fault." She glanced at the rest of the team, who were all rushing around, busy as could be, worried expressions on their faces. "What's going on?"

"Missing people, around Cardiff," said Gwen. "For the last week. All kidnapped by the same van, same two thugs, every time."

"Doesn't seem very extra terrestrial," Alison said.

"Thing is, every time someone goes missing," said Gwen, "exactly one hour later, there's a massive rift spike, and all the lights across the city flicker." She shrugged. "And the people never turn up, again."

There.

That was more like it.

"So it's a supernatural mystery," said Alison. "Brilliant. Just call me Nancy Drew, and I'll…!"

"Make the tea," said Owen, thrusting a tea cup into her face, clipboard tucked under his arm. He grinned. "Welcome to Torchwood, intern."



"Jack," Tosh called, her eyes fixed on the computer. "I… think we might have a problem."

The entirety of team Torchwood raced over. Leaned over, to squint at Tosh's computer screen.

"Couldn't you hack into their databases, with that wireless gizmo we hooked up to the van?" asked Ianto.

"Course I did," Tosh said, typing at the keyboard. "And broke the encryption codes and everything. That's not the problem." She typed a few more things, and then hit the enter key. "Problem is… when I tried to access the files on their 'Project Savior'… I got this."

Everyone leaned down, and read the message on the screen.

Nice try, Toshiko Sato.

"They… know your name," said Gwen.

"They must… have…" Tosh began, but stopped. As more words appeared on the screen.

We know all of you, Gwen Cooper.

"Okay, that's a little creepy," Jack muttered, crossing his arms.

"Are they hacking the Torchwood security cameras?" Ianto proposed.

Tosh tried fiddling around with the Torchwood mainframe. Shook her head. "Not that I can see."

Then, popping up onto the screen, in its own little black box:

We know you.

Jack Harkness. Gwen Cooper. Ianto Jones. Toshiko Sato. Owen Harper. You are Torchwood, and you can't stop us. What we do will happen, has happened, must happen. No end.

For a few moments, silence reigned across the Hub.

"What… is that supposed to mean?" asked Gwen.

Jack shook his head. He had no idea.

"All right," said Alison, charging into the Hub, her arms laid down with tea and coffee items. "Two teas, three coffees… and, actually, yes, I would like a tip, thank you very much for offering."

Alison paused. As she noticed everyone in the Torchwood team looking between the computer screen, and her. Their jaws dropping.

"Course, if you're willing to let me fight aliens or do something interesting, that might work even better," said Alison.

They still didn't stop staring.

Alison frowned, came over behind them, and peaked at the computer. The display was covered with rapidly scrolling symbols and numbers and letters that meant nothing. As if the computer were malfunctioning, entirely.

"Need some help with your computer?" Alison offered.

The computer screen snapped off. Going completely blank.

Then, printed on the screen: "Who are you?"

And, in an instant, the desktop returned, and the computer was restored to normal. As if nothing odd had ever happened.

"They don't know Alison," said Gwen. "They know all the rest of us. But not Alison."

Alison crossed her arms. Gave everyone there a pointed look. "Is anyone going to tell me what's going on?"



Well.

This was more like it.

Gwen had protested, of course. Had said it was Alison's first day, and they shouldn't send her into the middle of danger right away — she barely knew the ropes, yet. Adding, when the rest of the team didn't seem to mind, that if anything happened to Alison, Buffy would decapitate them.

But… well… what did Alison care?

It was about time she actually did something around here!

Alison dropped to the ground, on the other side of the fence surrounding the building complex. Glanced around, fearing guard dogs or armed men or anything. But… nope. Nothing.

Suspiciously quiet.

She readjusted the mini-cam attached to her shirt, and rushed forwards. Time to do what she always did. Infiltrate, investigate, work out what was going on, and…

Well, she figured Torchwood probably wouldn't let her blow it up. Which was also standard Seo procedure.

But here's to trying!



"No, that's just the trouble," said Dr. Pauline Hinkle, in the main area of the complex. "I've been trying to dig around for her, but… the records keep shutting me out." She studied the security footage of the girl breaking into their complex. "Whoever she is… she must have very powerful friends."

"We can trace the camera signal she's emitting," said Felix Maport, typing away at a computer. He showed the displays to the others. "Definitely Torchwood."

"Do we stop her, then?" asked Pauline.

All eyes turned to Professor Norm Feldman, standing in the center of the room. Stroking his beard, eyes fixed on the swirling vortex of rift energy just in front of him, mouth a thin line.

"Sir?" asked Felix, a little hesitantly.

Professor Feldman gave a small smile. Pointed at the vortex swirling just in front of him, his eyes shifting to the footage of the girl breaking into their complex.

"Fascinating," said Professor Feldman. "You see? A reaction. A response, from the rift itself, to her mere presence."

They could see.

How the rift seemed to grow just that much brighter, as the girl approached. Fluctuated, spun round and round and round with greater intensity.

"It's obvious, isn't it?" said Professor Feldman. "She's going to be our next subject." He gave a grin. "Bring her in."



Torchwood watched, from the van, as Alison was surrounded, and captured.

"Sound and camera still registering," Tosh said. She looked at the others. "We can send in a rescue party."

"…course I'm not with Torchwood!" Alison was telling the guards, as she was led into the complex. She sounded completely sure of herself, confident. "It's just my friend and I, see. We've got this hobby. It's called poking our noses into things we really shouldn't. Good fun."

Jack gestured at Owen and Gwen, and they all jumped out of the van, pulling out guns and weapons. They all looked at one another, then raced forwards, guns drawn.

Jack was the first one to find out the fence had been electrified.

As he screamed, and then collapsed onto the ground, dead.



"Very interesting," said Professor Feldman, as the girl stepped into the room. The vortex of rift energy pulsed, as the girl drew nearer. Almost seemed to reach out, with eagerness.

But dared not cross the threshold of their carefully assembled machine.

The girl stopped. Staring at the machine.

Then burst out laughing.

"Oh, you are kidding me!" she said. She pointed at the contraption. "What's that? A time machine?"

Dr. Pauline took off her glasses, staring at the girl in shock. "You… understand the theory?"

"Uh, no," said the girl. "But you're channeling energy from a time rift inside a super-sized model of a DeLorean." She shrugged. "What else would it be?"

Professor Feldman continued to stare at the energy inside the metallic mesh of the car frame. Watched as the energies of the rift reacted with the complex machinery he'd built inside.

Then snapped his head over to Dr. Pauline. "Got that carrier signal, yet?"

Dr. Pauline spun around, and began typing at the computer. "Carrier signal online."

"Carrier…?" the girl began, a little uneasily.

"Phase displacement 81%," said Felix, flipping switches and checking settings. "Rift power at 95%."

"Response from the receiver is coming through," said Dr. Pauline.

The girl tried to run, but their goons caught her easily, and dragged her back.

Professor Feldman grinning at her, his eyes glistening.

The rift energy inside the DeLorean seemed to explode, flooding across every single metallic surface of the contraption, making it crackle and hum with power. The machine whirred into full animation, and the girl shrieked, as the goons dragged her closer.

"Power at 100%," said Felix.

"Response acknowledged," said Dr. Pauline. "Carrier signal integrated."

"Put her in," Professor Feldman commanded the goons.

The girl tried to break free, as the goons threw her into the machine. "You can't…!" she screamed, stumbling.

And then… the room shook, the entire complex vibrating violently.

And the girl disappeared.

"Full phase shift initiated," said Felix, as the shaking died down. He leaned back in his chair, turned to Professor Feldman.

Professor Feldman gave Felix a pointed stare, as the rift energy powered down, and the machine went back to standby. "So?" he asked. "Did it work?"



Torchwood heard every word until the moment Alison had been thrown into the machine. At which point they'd watched, open-mouthed, as the entire complex faded from their sight. Fence, buildings, and everything. All disappearing the moment that machine had activated.

The complex had disappeared.

And so had Alison.

"We… we lost her," said Ianto.

"On her first bloody day!" snapped Owen, throwing his earpiece to the ground. "That's got to be a record. Even for us."

Jack just couldn't believe his eyes. Couldn't believe his ears.

Gone.

Alison was… just… gone.

"She knows a time traveler, though, right?" said Gwen. "Maybe… this isn't so bad. If Seo helps her, she can get back."

"If that DeLorean time machine actually works," said Jack. After all, most often, primitive time travel experiments led to nothing but tragedy. It was likely Alison hadn't gone back in time at all. Was just…

Dead.

The door to the Torchwood Van opened, and Tosh called out: "Jack! I found Alison."

Everyone looked at one another. Then sprinted for the Torchwood van. Clustering around Tosh, trying to see what she'd found.

But they didn't see CCTV footage.

Just a document.

"A police note, from an archived historical record," said Tosh. "Mentioning a girl looking almost exactly like Alison wandering about London, seeming suspicious, and carrying around what she described as an 'iPhone'." She paused. Cringed. "Who was then… taken out of police custody. Picked up."

"By whom?" asked Ianto.
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