|sam_storyteller (sam_storyteller) wrote,|
@ 2005-07-17 11:00 am UTC
|Entry tags:||alternate universe, doctor who, imglink, rpf, torchwood, twusa|
Rating: PG-13 for language
Summary: When Mayor Daley's special investigation unit, Torchwood, steals Chicago PD Officer Gwen Cooper's crime scene, she decides to find out everything she can about them. But she may get more than she bargained for when Captain Harkness -- who isn't even American! -- sends his errand boy Ian to scare her off.
Author's Notes: This universe is predicated on the idea that neither the original Torchwood nor Doctor Who exist in this universe; it is speculation about how Torchwood would be handled by an American network, albeit an American network with a reasonably intelligent producer at the helm.
Credit: A lot of the credit for this belongs to technosage, who cooked up the original concept with me. I totally stole your twins idea. :D hija_paloma and juniper200 and bluejeans07 all helped me bat ideas around as well. Thanks to aunty_marion for post-production beta.
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Second City Torchwood
David Tennant To Star In New American SciFi Drama
David Tennant has confirmed that he has been cast for a 20-episode season of the new television sci-fi drama, "Torchwood". He is said to play a time-traveling immortal trapped in 21st-century Chicago, who protects the Earth from alien threats with the help of several human companions.
"Torchwood" is set to air in America starting in the fall of 2007, under the executive production of Edgar van Scyoc, best known for taking the helm of American drama Studio Sixty after its disastrous first season and steering it back to success. The show's head writer is Great Britain's own Ellis Graveworthy, a mainstay of European television drama writing for the past ten years.
More casting announcements are expected later this week.
THREE THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW
"Have you any idea what this is?" John asked, circling the tall blue box warily.
"Sure," Jack replied, watching him move. John reached out to touch it, and Jack watched his hand slide across the smooth painted surface. "It's a Police Public Call Box. Says so on the sign."
"What the hell's that, then?"
Jack shook his head. "You should have stayed awake in history class, Hart."
"Yeah, well, I'm not the one who got thrown out of the Time Agency, am I?"
"You will be, if they find out you're helping me."
John rolled his eyes. "Yes, you're public enemy number one. It's not really whatever a Police Public Call Box is, though. I mean these energy readings are just strange, Jack."
"That's why I got the best analytic mind in four galaxies to help me," Jack said, standing behind John, well in his personal space, as John fiddled with the archaic locking mechanism on the front. "Can you break in?" he whispered in his ear.
"Can I -- what do you take me for?" John asked, just as the lock popped. "There you are, there's probably a bomb insi...."
They both stopped breathing for a moment as the door swung open. Inside was an entire room, dome-shaped with a central column surrounded by the most peculiar consoles Jack had ever seen. Strange sinuous...growths, there was no other word for them, rose up from the floor. It looked incredibly organic, and...well...
"Much bigger on the inside, isn't it?" John said, stepping through the door. "Mate, I think you've found yourself a spaceship. With a chameleon circuit, no less."
"Working order?" Jack asked, touching the doorframe. "If it's in working order do you know what I could sell this for?"
"And you wouldn't even be conning anyone this time, either," John replied drily.
"Well, that's less fun, but I'm pretty sure with the haul I got from this I could have a lot of fun. A lot of fun," Jack repeated.
"Let's christen it," John said, eyes lighting up. He practically bounced on his toes.
"Later, gorgeous," Jack answered, skimming his hands over the consoles. "I want to see what she can do."
"Well, considering it's powered down, probably not a whole lot -- what are you doing?" John asked, as Jack dropped to the floor and scooted under the console.
"Power plug's always near the floor," Jack replied.
"Where'd you find this hot mess, anyway?"
"Floating derelict. Took me two weeks to get my forcebeams on long enough to tow her to dry-dock. Ah, maybe this is why," Jack said, as a panel fell loose. "In here. Looks like everything's fried. The wires are all fused..."
He tugged at one and it came loose, creaking oddly between his fingers. It was more like a twig than a wire, really.
Jack grasped the bundle of cords and pulled; he found a second loose one, closed his eyes, and crossed the wires.
And then the world went gold.
And then the world went black.
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS BEFORE NOW (GIVE OR TAKE)
June 8, 1887
He was brought into the ward raving and screaming, demanding to be freed. His clothing was unusual, but we see all kinds in this immigrant town and that wasn't so remarkable. He would not be silent until we returned his strange watchmaker's device to him; a strap with several dials and interlocking rings, which he furiously set to work on before giving up on it in despair. We believed him to be some kind of watchmaker at the time, because of the device, from which he would not be parted even after declaring it broken.
He gave his name as Captain Jack Harkness, which I have no reason to disbelieve; I can't see quite why anyone would lie or hallucinate such a banal name. That was the one thing I was willing to believe; the rest of his ravings, even after he began to speak in a rational tone of voice, concerned his past, which he claims to be our future. He gave his address only as the stars, and claimed that he came from the year 5008. We disbelieved this thoroughly, as his accent seemed to indicate a perfectly contemporary middle-class English upbringing. How he arrived in Chicago is a mystery.
Needless to say, he was given the usual treatments; after his initial outburst, he accepted the reality of his situation calmly, but with a slight smile that informed me he felt he was humoring us. He had begun by asserting that his companion, one John Hart, also a Captain (though of what he would not say) would come to rescue him. So far this has not occurred, but many stranger things have.
Captain Harkness was not popular with some of our less savory medical staff, and his inability to stand down from a fight led him to a brutal beating one night which I am certain was not the first, but I hope will be the last. He was found wholly dead in his cell this morning. I took his pulse and held a mirror to his mouth myself.
And yet, when I returned to arrange for proper transport, I saw him inhale and sit up.
I have been drinking steadily for the past two hours, and so perhaps my account is not as calmly written as I could hope. One sees all manner of things in Chicago, but this is beyond even my experience.
I begin to believe that Captain Harkness is not of this world, in more ways than one, though he seemed as surprised as I was by the occurrence. I do not believe he belongs in this asylum, but my superiors have certain views on my own sanity at this stage.
Tonight I intend to test my hypothesis. If he survives, I think it would be prudent to allow him to go free, and hopefully to send him far from this place.
It was snowing in Chicago, and Officer Gwen Cooper was annoyed.
"Hey, can we get a tarp over here? This guy's dead, he's not Frosty the Snowman," she called, trying to urge the crime-scene security teams to move faster. The body on the ground was dusted lightly with snow, and she couldn't even brush it off for fear of disturbing the scene. CSI was running late, and she didn't have any coffee.
Great start to the night.
"Yes, that would be nice," said a voice at her elbow, and she started, whirling to kick whoever it was the hell out of her crime scene. Instead she found a hand shoved at her, and a blinding smile flashed in her direction. "Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood. It's all right, officer -- " he checked her namebadge, " -- Cooper, we'll take it from here."
"What are you, a reporter?" she asked, taking his hand and shoving him backwards with it. "Get out of my crime scene."
"Temper, temper," said another voice, a New York twang swallowing the r's. A small man brushed past her, dropping to kneel next to the body. He put up a hand to forestall her. "Relax, babe, I'm a doctor."
"And yet I'm not a babe," she retorted, grabbing him by the shoulder.
"Sexy," said Captain Jack Harkness, watching with obvious appreciation as she marched the self-proclaimed doctor away from the body.
"Cooper, what on god's earth do you think you're doing?" asked yet another voice, this one belonging to her sergeant. She turned to him.
"I'm sorry, sir, they must've gotten past the guards -- "
"Cooper, this is Torchwood," the Sergeant said patiently. "They're taking over our crime scene."
"Fuckin' Torchwood," added Andy, jogging up to join them.
"Kiss your boyfriend with that mouth?" Captain Harkness asked, and Andy turned red. "Sorry, Cooper. It's ours now. Thanks though," he added. "We won't be long."
"ALL RIGHT," the Sergeant called, as three more people appeared on the periphery. Gwen cataloged them automatically; a young man and woman, both of whom looked like they'd just stepped out of a downtown nightclub, Asian, strong sibling resemblance -- and a Hispanic woman with long curly hair, carrying what looked like a large toolbox. "Everybody, clear the scene!"
"This means us, Gwen," Andy said in her ear, pulling her away.
"Who the hell is Torchwood?" she asked. Andy sighed.
"Special investigators. One of Mayor Daley's bright ideas, I think," he said. "They get all the weird shit."
Gwen looked back at the scene, but from here all she could see was Captain Harkness looking up at the snow -- was he holding his tongue out...?
"Methamphetamines," Jack said, looking up at the flakes dropping gently downwards. "I can definitely taste methamphetamines. Junkie shoots up, smokes out, takes a piss, flushes his stash, it gets out into the water supply, hops up the fish, evaporates, and falls back down on us. Keeps us alert, I suppose."
"Has anyone ever mentioned you're weird?" Suzie asked, flicking the latches on the box.
"Do you know, in the 19th century, everything got dumped in the lake? At one end, anyway, but it all floated down to where the water intake pipes were. They used to find dead horses floating in the drinking water supply."
"Jack, we've all read Devil In The White City," Suzie sighed.
"That's why I drink exclusively beer," Owen said, hooking up the portable vital-signs kit. "About ready, Suzie?"
"Gimme a minute, gimme a minute," Tamaki said.
"Gimme two," Toshiko added.
"He's cooling off," Owen said pointedly.
"Okay -- Tosh -- pass the cord -- "
"Got it, Tommy."
"And, we're good," Tamaki announced, as his laptop lit up. "Any time, Suzie."
"Okay, I'm working on it," Suzie answered, flexing her hand inside the glove. "Just got to..."
She sucked in a breath; Owen's monitors started to bleat regularly, and the man on the ground inhaled as well.
Jack very carefully didn't look up at where Officer Cooper was spying on them from the parking garage above them.
He'd have to have Ian take care of her tomorrow, he supposed.
"Excuse me, Officer Gwen Cooper?"
Gwen looked up from the report she was working on and found herself, momentarily, in a noir film.
The young man standing in front of the desk wore a three-piece suit with tie and was holding a newsboy's cap in one hand. His other was offered to her, as was a smile she didn't trust in the slightest.
"I'm Ian," he said.
"Gwen Cooper. Are you lost?" she asked, shaking his hand, not bothering to stand up.
"No, I don't think so," he replied. "I've come to speak to you about Torchwood."
She gaped, and he tilted his head. "Take a walk with me?"
Outside the snow had stopped but the air was bitter, and she wrapped her arms around her body, envying the thick black wool coat he wore. He gave her a slight smile and aimed them gently towards a coffee shop.
"I don't want to intimidate you," he said, "and I doubt I could. I'm sorry about the way you were treated last night; they usually know us around here and I'm sure nobody thought to tell you."
"I'm sorry, what's this all about?" she asked, and he shook his head.
"That's exactly what I can't say. What I'm charged with doing is explaining to you that Torchwood is a special investigative unit -- "
"Organized by Mayor Daley, I got that memo."
He chuckled. "Approved by Mayor Daley, Officer Cooper. Torchwood's a lot higher up on the ladder than the mayor of Chicago. Espresso, please," he added to the barista. "Officer?"
"I'm not supposed to let civilians buy me things," she retorted.
"Think of me as a brother in arms."
"No, thank you."
He shrugged. "Just the espresso, then -- for here. Anyway, the mayor may approve us, but we operate on a more...independent level than city government. That's why I hope you'll take my advice when I tell you this: whatever you saw last night, Officer Cooper, you did not see."
"Excuse me?" she asked, as he accepted his coffee.
"What you saw last night, what Captain Harkness allowed you to see, you did not see," he repeated, sipping it and sighing. "They never get it right. I'm telling you this for your own good, and that's not a threat, it's a warning. What you saw last night you did not see."
"Who the hell are you, the Men In Black?" she asked. He glanced down at the dark suit he wore and smiled.
"Just a messenger boy," he replied. "You're a Chicago native, aren't you?"
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"Sox or Cubs?"
"Sox," she answered, before even giving it any thought.
"Ah. I'm a Cubs man myself. I know how territorial people can be," he added. "But I swear, this is not a territory war you want to get into. Now -- I've gotta run, and I don't think I need to tell you that this little conversation didn't happen either."
He smiled at her as if she were in on a big joke, tapped the side of his nose, set down his cup, and left the cafe. By the time she gathered her wits and given chase, he'd vanished from the street. As if he'd never been there.
She ran back inside and flashed her badge. "Police business. Mind if I steal your cup?"
The barista looked at her wide-eyed and shook her head; Gwen carefully picked it up with a tissue, dumped the dregs into the trash, and carried it back to the station house.
Gianni Leone, she thought, when the prints came back a few hours later. Gotcha.
Courtesy of the Torchwood Extras page:
"Well, crap," Suzie said, staring at the TV monitor over her desk. "Everyone's favorite cop is sniffing around."
"Told you it wouldn't work," Owen said, as Ian offered Jack a cup of coffee.
"Who said it didn't work?" Jack asked.
"Don't tell me you wanted her to follow Ian home, tail him to the Hub, and wander around looking snoopy," Tommy said, a jeweler's screwdriver clenched between his teeth as he worked a delicate chip out of an old computer. "Actually, on second thought..."
"I am a grand master," Jack announced. "That's exactly what I wanted."
"So what do we do with her now?" Suzie asked.
"Let her stew for a bit. If she's smart enough to find a way in, she deserves to get an eyeful before I retcon her," Jack replied.
"This is all just a game to you," Owen said, climbing up out of his medical grotto and joining them in front of the screen. "You're playing with her like a toy. Before you wipe her memory for two days."
"It's not just a game," Jack protested. "Think of it as a dry run for the next time our cover is blown. Plus, it got Ian out and about for a bit, does him good to take in some fresh air."
Thirty minutes later, Jack was less than amused. One of the Lower Wacker traffic cameras clearly showed Gwen Cooper, a Pizzeria Uno pizza box in her hand, making her way along the Lower Wacker pedway towards Ian's poky, shabby tourist booth.
"She's good," Suzie said. "Can we play with her a little more, Jack?"
"Anything for you, Suzie mine," he answered. "Okay. Here's what we're going to do..."
Gwen realized when she arrived at the tourist booth that she was maybe a little out of her league.
She swore that a second before she'd seen Ian Leone manning the booth, but now it was dark; a single door stood behind the counter, and there was a buzzer next to it marked "DELIVERIES".
"Yeah?" said a voice, which she thought might belong to the New Yorker -- Owen something?
"Pizza delivery?" she said hesitantly. "For, ah...Jack Harkness?"
"Come down," the voice replied, and the door swung open.
Inside there was a dimly-lit tunnel leading to a stairwell; next to the stairwell was an elevator, but she decided she didn't really trust elevators in the secret lairs of top-clearance special investigative forces. She took the stairs.
At the bottom was a circular metal door, which rolled aside as she entered; inside that was a barred cage, which opened, lights flashing.
They were beneath Daley Plaza, she realized; the far side of the enormous room she found herself in would be directly under the Picasso sculpture. And, as she looked up, she could see Daley Plaza -- as if the pavement was actually glass. Just a dozen square feet, perhaps, right in front of the sculpture.
Someone was using a metal-grinder, off to her right; the Hispanic woman stood at a cluttered workbench, a welding mask in front of her face and a leather apron protecting her arms and body. To her left, the brother-and-sister -- twins, maybe? -- were both entranced by a strange dancing pattern on one of half a dozen viewscreens. Beyond that, the annoying small New Yorker was sorting test tubes in front of yet another computer.
No sign of Ian Leone, at least, though footsteps above made her look up...
Captain Jack Harkness. Strolling easily along a catwalk, down a spiral staircase to an oddly ordinary-looking office, where he sat down and ignored her completely.
She squared her shoulders. She'd faced down hoodlums and pimps and drug-dealers -- she could handle one white boy with too many toys and a goodfella for an assistant. She climbed the half-flight of steps up to their level and began the long march, the seemingly endless march, towards the desk Captain Jack Harkness was sitting at.
As she passed the New Yorker, she heard a snort. Then, from behind her, a giggle.
"Aw, shit," the New Yorker said, tossing a test-tube into a box. "I'm really bad at this, you guys."
The brother and sister burst into laughter.
"Well, that lasted like two seconds," the other woman said, taking off her welding mask.
"He set me off!" the sister said, pointing at the brother.
"She was giggling!" the brother protested.
"Check it out, she's carrying deep dish," the New Yorker observed. "She's actually got a pizza."
"Well, yes," Harkness answered. "She was going to say, here's your pizza, and I was going to say, how much -- and then she'd say, oh, whatever, twenty bucks -- which is highway robbery if you ask me -- and I'd say, oh, I don't have any money...I was working on a punchline. Hadn't quite got there yet, but it would have been brilliant when I did."
Gwen felt her face grow hot. "Here's your pizza. I better go."
There was a clang behind her and she turned to see Ian, the goodfella, leaning against the metal bars of her only exit.
"I think we've got rather beyond that point," said Harkness. "And by the way, who here orders pizza under the name Torchwood?"
"Oh, uh, yeah," the New Yorker said, raising a hand. "Guilty. Sorry, I'm a shithead."
Captain Harkness came forward and took the box out of her fingers gently, setting it on a nearby table. "Welcome to Torchwood, Officer Cooper. I believe I've already introduced myself."
"Captain Jack Harkness," she said.
"Very good." He gestured to the woman still wearing the welding apron. "This is Suzie Costello, my second-in-command."
"Hiya," Suzie said.
"Tosh and Tommy Sato, resident computer geniuses -- " the pair waved, " -- and terrifyingly well-synced."
"We practice," they said in unison. The New Yorker shivered dramatically.
"Owen Harper, team medic, ignore him, he's a bit of a twat. And you've met Ian Leone, I think. Dogsbody, general support, and he looks wonderful in a suit."
"Warned you about the harassment, sir," Ian said easily.
"Why don't I show you around?" Harkness said, and led her into the strangest freak show she'd ever encountered.
Courtesy of the Torchwood Extras official website:
[press clipping -- graphic missing]
University of Chicago Press Release, May 6, 2001
BROTHER AND SISTER TEAM WIN BISHOP GRANT
Photo: Twin siblings Toshiko and Tamaki Sato accept the coveted Bishop Grant, a two-year fully-funded research endowment, for their continuing work in the fields of sonic resonance and theoretical physics. Both will be receiving their U of C undergraduate diplomas next week and are expected to continue at the University of Chicago as they work towards their Master's degrees.
"Chicago sits on a rift in space and time," he'd said. "Things fall through, from other places, other dimensions even. It's our job to scavenge them, to find use for them."
"What for?" she'd asked.
"Well, this is the twenty-first century," he'd said. "When everything changes. And you must be ready."
Gwen was detemined not to be charmed by the admittedly very charming Jack Harkness, and she was determined to leave herself a note to remember the evening by when he charmed her anyway and then drugged her drink. After the memories came back, she recalled those two things very clearly. She also realized, when Ian began training her on the Torchwood mainframe computers, that he must have been the one to hack in and erase the note she'd left herself on her computer.
But none of that really seemed to matter, after seeing Jack Harkness get shot in the head and stand back up afterwards and then offer her a job.
"Are you going to take it?" Ryan said, chopping up something to add to something else on the stove. Gwen didn't really cook; she had Ryan for cooking.
"I don't know," she said. "It'd be more money, and probably way more interesting."
"Then you should take it."
"See, but my hours would be all screwed up, and I'm not sure I trust these guys."
Ryan shrugged. "You've worked long shifts before. I'm trying to be a sensitive, supporting male here."
"You're doing great," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him. "And I love you. You're really okay with this?"
"Sure, if you want to take the job you should take it."
"Okay then," she said, as he offered her a spoonful of...something...to taste. It tasted great. "I'll take it."
THE OFFICIAL TORCHWOOD EPISODE GUIDE, SEASON 1
1X01 Everything Changes
1X02 Day One
1X03 Ghost Machine
1X05 Wendigo (Original Title: Small Worlds)
1X07 In Your Head (Original Title: Greeks Bearing Gifts)
1X09 They Keep Killing Suzie
1X10 Out of Time
1X15 From Out of the Rain
1X16 Captain Jack Harkness
1X17 The Empty Child
1X18 Origins (original title: Fragments)
1X19 End of Days
Gwen quickly realized that Torchwood was not the cool, slick operation that she had thought they were, that Andy believed them to be -- they were misfits, assembled carefully by the biggest misfit of all, and as such they welcomed her easily. They didn't taunt her -- or at least not as much as her old stationmates would have -- about her first-day jitters and her screwups. When it came time for dinner they had a communal meal, sharing out of the various Thai cartons and swapping stories about past cases, like veterans did on the force.
And, when Jack excused himself to use the necessary, as he called it, Tosh and Tommy immediately leaned forward in unison.
"So what's he told you?" Tosh asked.
"About himself," Tommy added.
"Anything interesting?" Tosh said.
"Who?" she asked.
"Jack!" Owen said.
"You've been here way longer than me," Gwen said.
"Yeah, but -- " " -- we were banking on you!" the twins chorused.
"You're a cop, you're trained to ask questions," Owen said.
"Don't listen to them if you don't want to," Ian said, around a mouthful of food.
"You don't know anything?" Gwen asked.
"Not who he is -- " " -- or where he's from." "Nothing!" "Except him being gay."
Gwen suspected the twins would take some getting used to.
"Gay?" she asked, glancing over her shoulder. "Really?"
"Owen thinks so," Tommy said. "So does Tosh. I don't."
"And I don't care," Ian added. "Except I did see him on Halsted once."
"And what were you doing on Halsted, kiddo?" Owen asked, waggling his eyebrows.
"I was on a bus," Ian replied coolly. "Coming home from Steppenwolf."
"On a bus in Boy's Town after seeing a play?" Tommy smirked. "Ian, time to stop playing the Straight, No Really card."
"I thought we were talking about Jack," Gwen said, and Ian gave her a faintly grateful look.
"Yeah, well, period military is not the dress code of a straight man. And he's English," Owen added.
"What does English have to do with anything?"
"We don't know if he's English," Tommy said.
"No British citizen by the name of Jack Harkness born in the last fifty years," Tosh added.
"I think he used to be something big in MI5, like James Bond," Ian said. "Top-secret name-classified."
"Then he has a reason, right?" Gwen asked.
"Sure he does," Tommy said. "Doesn't stop us -- "
" -- wanting to know what it is," Tosh finished.
"Just to clarify," said Jack's voice, and everyone winced, "I'll shag anything if it's gorgeous enough."
Gwen caught him winking at Ian as he said it.
So, you know. First day on the job, unleashed crazy alien sex killer. Also made out with him. Not Gwen's finest moment, maybe. Still, she got better as time passed; by the time they encountered the alien artifact that made you see the future, she was a well-oiled part of the machine (not that you could say phrases like "well oiled" around Jack, she found) and she pulled her own weight even when she was trying desperately to catch up to the rest of them.
In a way, Ian's total meltdown two months into her new job was something of a relief. If nothing else it did take the pressure off her. Not that she was supposed to think that, because of course it was tragic and ugly. Nor was she thinking it at the time.
Mostly, during the horrible night when the half-metal woman strapped her into a conversion chair and generally terrorized them all, she was just incredibly confused.
"Explain this to me," she said, sitting on the steps of the medical grotto. She was looking at her hands, or at the wall; anywhere to avoid looking at Owen as he systematically removed the metal from the cyberwoman's -- from Lisa's -- body. She could have gone home, but she didn't want to go back to Ryan with blood on her hands from scrubbing the floor (Jack was still at it, cold and hard and wordless; the twins had taken Ian home).
"Explain what?" Owen asked, and there was a clanking noise. She went back to scrubbing her hands with alcohol wipes, a pile of pink used ones forming to her left.
"This. All this. What was that -- that chair thing? And Ian said she was Torchwood, but none of you knew her..."
"Oh," Owen said. "That."
"If you can."
"I'm the best one to ask, I guess," Owen continued. Another clank. "He was at Torchwood New York."
"There's a rift in New York, too?" she asked, and then, on consideration, "That explains a lot."
"No rift. Torchwood New York was our research facility. Where I used to work, until Jack recruited me out here; that was before Ian even joined up. He came out to the city from Chicago; guess he thought New York was more glamorous. Maybe it was. Until Times Square, anyway," Owen said.
"Times -- but they said that was terrorist bombings again," Gwen said.
"They said that, yeah. Truth is, someone fucked with something they shouldn't," Owen sighed. "And Torchwood New York fell down. What, two years ago now. Six hundred dead. I had friends there. Twenty-seven survivors."
"Yeah. He's one of the lucky ones; a couple died of complications, a couple more killed themselves."
"And Lisa. She'd make twenty-eight."
"You heard Ian. She was dying, probably from being trapped under the rubble. He cyberized her -- we had a couple of those conversion chairs -- to save her life."
"Not really, though."
"No," Owen said, and his voice was as cold as Jack's eyes had been when Ian called him a monster. "No, not really. I guess he brought her here to try and fix her."
There was a wet sort of noise, and Gwen fought the urge to look because she knew, she knew she didn't want to.
"What I figure is this: they knew she was dying. They thought they could get the conversion chair to fix her, and stop it when the metal fixed up her broken parts. She wasn't totally converted. But it got to her brain, I guess."
"Poor Ian," she said softly.
"Poor Ian? His ex-girlfriend just tried to kill us. I think poor us is kinda more what you're looking for."
"Yeah, we got one night of it," Gwen replied angrily. "Ian had months of it."
"Months of kissing a metal girl strapped into a chair. Excuse me if I don't cry bitter tears for Ian," Owen replied.
There was another wet noise, but this one came from behind them; Jack stood over the railing of the grotto, a damp rag in one hand. His eyes burned.
"If you ever say that again," he said to Owen, visibly shaking with rage, "If you say a word about this to Ian, I'll kill you myself, Owen."
Gwen glanced at Owen -- eyes wide, lips frozen in an 'o' of surprise.
"This was my fault," Jack continued. He sounded like the words were being ripped out of him. "My fault and my responsibility. I brought him on board, I made him do our dirty work, I ignored him. I knew where he'd come from; I ignored the signs. I'm to blame."
Then he was gone.
Owen looked down at the body on the table, and Gwen tried not to.
"I should finish up here," he said. "Go home, Gwen."
"Yeah," she agreed. "See you tomorrow."
"Hey Gwen," Owen said, stopping her.
"Yeah?" she asked.
"Great kiss. Totally. Top ten material."
Gwen rolled her eyes. "Goodnight, Owen."
From UKTalksTV.com, an entertainment site dedicated to the discussion of UK and US-syndicated television shows:
|In the fourth episode of Torchwood, the interracial kiss between Gwen Cooper and Owen Harper sent mild ripples through the American media -- it was discussed in weblogs and on weekend political shows as an example of New Generation television. The much more controversial "gay kiss" between Captain Jack and the unconscious Ian Leone, when it leaked to YouTube later that week, spurred things on: Torchwood was villainized simultaneously by conservative and liberal groups, the former for promoting a gay lifestyle, the latter because it was cut from the final airing (at NBC's request). |
It also inspired a flurry of discussion and fanfiction among the show's most devoted followers, who had already noticed the chemistry between the inscrutable Englishman and the quiet, conservative errand-boy. In the Season One DVD release, much to the delight of many, the kiss was re-edited into the episode. The director and producers, in commentary, said it only made sense; without the establishing kiss in the fourth episode, the impact of Ian's proposition to Jack later in the season would have been vastly reduced.
AT RIGHT: Edgar van Scyoc, charismatic executive producer of Torchwood for NBC.
Excerpt from the shooting script for Episode 1x06: CountryCide.
Story by: Edgar van Scyoc
Teleplay by: Ellis Graveworthy
Directed by: Edgar van Scyoc
SUV - DAY - COUNTRY ROAD
IAN is studying a PDA, sandwiched between TOSH and GWEN. TOMMY can be seen in the rear "cage", working on a laptop. JACK is driving with OWEN riding shotgun.
I hate the countryside. It's dirty, it's unhygienic. And what is that smell?
That would be grass.
[almost malevolently] You know, a third of the population of Illinois lives in Chicago. Sixty-five percent if you count the outlying suburbs.
They pass a barn with a giant American flag painted on it.
And the rest of them live in places like that.
That's unkind to say of your fellow Americans.
These are not my fellow Americans. My fellow Americans don't even go to Central Park.
[shouting from the back] I don't know what you're bitching about, you're not the one who's going to spend a whole weekend without wireless.
Don't make me make Jack turn this car around.
Oh please make Jack turn this car around.
I like camping.
She likes camping!
Thanks Tommy, I'm pretty sure the words left my mouth.
Just making sure they all know you're the crazy one!
Seriously, there's a paramilitary compound three miles from the road where the last disappearance happened.
Maybe they'll have wifi.
I love a man in uniform.
You love anything in uniform.
Depends on the uniform.
Transcript of DVD Commentary by Ellis Graveworthy, on the concept of CountryCide:
|Essentially, Edgar walked into my office and said, let's do a show about militant cannibals. And I said, as opposed to all those hippie cannibals we get round these parts? |
In seriousness, he thought it was a good metaphor for the way cult mindsets destroy themselves from the inside out, and how they often destroy anything in the immediate vicinity as well.
When Ian leaned over to Tosh and told her to get ready to run, she assumed he had a plan; she saw Tommy nodding, out of the corner of her eye, and knew he'd heard Ian as well. It wasn't as though they had a lot to lose; the horror of their situation, about to be bled and hung for meat, was still washing over her in slow waves. Tommy was trembling.
Long ago, when Jack first recruited Tosh to Torchwood and she refused to go without her brother, the pair of them sat in a coffeehouse in downtown Chicago, within view of the plaza, and made a deal: only one of them was allowed to freak out at a time. It had worked pretty well for them so far.
So she decided to let Tommy freak out, because she knew he wasn't going anywhere without her and he knew she wouldn't leave him behind. She clung to the idea that Ian had a plan, which two months ago would have been no consolation whatsoever. On the other hand, two months ago nobody had known that Ian was hiding his girlfriend in the basement and had not only been smoothly lying to them but actually outmaneuvering Jack. She had a renewed faith in Ian's ability to plan.
As it turned out, perhaps her faith had been slightly overzealous, because Ian's plan was to -- admittedly, impressively -- head-butt the leader of the militia that was about to kill them all, and then shout for her and Tommy to run. On the other hand, while Tommy led them on a merry chase across the compound, she made it far enough to rendezvous with Jack at the militia armory, and watched from the cab of the militia's armored SUV as Jack picked off each member in turn after crashing it through the wall of their assembly room.
"How's your head?" she asked, sitting down on the fender of their own SUV next to Ian.
"It's fine," he said, gesturing to the purpling bruise above his left eye. "Genetically hard-headed."
"Stubborn," she said with a smile, rubbing his shoulder. He winced. "Sorry."
"I've never been tenderized before," he replied. "Where's Tommy?"
"Still getting checked out, Owen's got him. I think they want to take Gwen back to Chicago in an ambulance."
"God, we have to drive back..." Ian drew one knee up against his chest and rested his forehead on it. "I smell like a barnyard."
"That's okay, I look like one." She touched his arm, making sure this time to find somewhere that wasn't bruised. "Thanks for what you did."
"Well, someone had to get away. You two are faster than me. Besides, I never..."
"I never said thank you, to you, when you looked after me, after...everything I did."
"Ian, you know you didn't have to -- "
Tosh leaned around the side of the car and waved when she heard Jack's voice. "OVER HERE!"
"Thought you'd wandered off. Don't go straying away," Jack said, jogging up to them. "You're both all right?"
Ian nodded against his knee. Tosh gave Jack a smile.
"They have some neat guns," she said, curling a little against Ian's side. "Maybe we can get the police to confiscate a few for us?"
"Be my guest," Jack answered. "Ian?"
"Yes?" Ian asked, not moving his head.
"Hey, Cubs fan, you want to look me in the eye for a minute?"
Ian reluctantly lifted his head, and Tosh watched as he focused on a point six inches to the left of Jack's face. Jack frowned, but apparently decided close-enough counted.
"Good job today," he said. Tosh watched Ian's eyes slowly refocus on Jack's, just as Tommy approached and slung an arm around her shoulders, ruffling her hair.
"Let's go home, huh?" Jack continued. "Tommy, take shotgun, Ian and Tosh in the back; Owen and Gwen are riding back to civilisation in the ambulance."
"I'll call Ryan," Ian replied. "Think she'll be back before tomorrow morning?"
Jack looked over to where Owen was helping Gwen into the back of the ambulance, and a strange look crossed his face -- part nostalgia, part knowing exhaustion.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "Come along. Home for us."
From the DVD Extras, "Tis Of Thee":
This mini-story by Edgar van Scyoc has been called "the ultimate Torchwood fanfic"; not made public until the DVDs were released, it finally confirms what fans had long suspected, that Ian and Jack's relationship, severely damaged after Cyberwoman, began to heal as a direct result of CountryCide.
"Can I come back to the Hub for a while?" Ian asked, after they'd dropped Tosh and Tommy off at Tommy's apartment, Tosh promising to look after him and not come in for the next two days.
Jack leaned on the steering wheel and looked up at the second-floor window, satisfied when he saw Tosh opening the blinds. She waved at him and smiled.
"Are you sure you want to do that?" he asked, not looking at Ian. "You should go home, get a shower, get some sleep."
"Yeah," Ian agreed. "I know I smell."
"I was thinking more about your health, believe it or not," Jack replied, starting the car and easing it out into traffic.
"Maybe, but I've got adrenaline on my side right now, and there are some loose ends I want to tie up. I don't think I'm going to be moving much tomorrow," Ian answered. "There's a shower at the Hub, and I can steal some scrubs from Owen."
"You know, a good leader would over-ride you when you get self-destructive," Jack sighed.
"Nobody's ever accused you of being a good leader," Ian said with dry mock-horror. Jack chuckled.
"No, perhaps not. Very well -- I'll humor you, because you're pretty. Two hours, no more. Besides, I doubt I want to be alone in the Hub any more than you want to be alone in your flat."
Jack looked sidelong at Ian, saw him smile. He hadn't smiled much lately; it was nice to see.
Jack rolled up his sleeves and mucked the mud and leaf-debris out of the SUV, carefully giving Ian time to wash and dig some clothing out of the medical grotto while he checked over their equipment. Tosh had done a pretty good job gathering it all up and at least making sure nothing would get bounced around too badly on the drive back. By the time he carried the packs into the Hub, Ian was sitting damp-haired and clean at his computer, peering at the screen and typing.
"Writing your report?" Jack asked, amiably dumping the electronics on the other side of the desk and beginning to sort them into piles. Rift tech for Tommy's desk, handhelds for Tosh's, portable scanner to medical, three iPods (recovered from the mess of their campsite) for the charging station.
"Just a timeline," Ian said, his voice oddly flat. Jack supposed they all had learned coping mechanisms for times like this; Ian's was most obvious, but then he was young. And looked younger, with his hair plastered against his scalp and one of Owen's long-sleeved scrub under-shirts on. The sleeves, made for a smaller man, edged up around his forearms, revealing hints of more bruising.
"I'll be interested to read it. Tosh said you gave them the opportunity to get away. I must say of the three of you I'd go for you first, as well," Jack said, and then inwardly winced. That was not perhaps the most tactful thing he could have said.
Ian just nodded. "Tosh and Tommy are faster, I thought they might stand a better chance."
"How did you distract them, Ian?"
"It was pretty awesome," Ian said absently, still tapping away. "I didn't know I had it in me. I jumped one of the militiamen when they had their guard down."
"You did what?" Jack asked, looking up sharply. Ian gestured to the bruise on his forehead, which Jack assumed had been evidence of rough treatment.
"Hit him with the hardest thing around," he said. It was obvious he was expecting a laugh; when he got silence, he looked over and met Jack's eyes.
"That can't have made them very happy," Jack said slowly.
"No, happy isn't what I'd call them. It's fine though. Owen checked me over."
Jack circled the desk, hitching his hip against it, getting deep into Ian's personal space.
"How about you let me check you over?" he said, watching Ian's face go from cold and blank to wary. "Not that I don't trust Owen, but he may have been a trifle distracted -- and I'm willing to bet you didn't give him this story either."
Ian looked like he was about to protest, but instead he pushed back from the desk, tapped a save-command into the computer, and stood up. "If you have to."
"I do," Jack said seriously, and lifted a hand to hover it over the bruise on his head.
He ran his fingers down the edge of it, to the hairline and behind Ian's ear, checking for bumps or broken cartilage. Around to his jaw, feeling for loose teeth through the skin of his cheek. He pressed briefly on his cheekbone and felt Ian's face move, a smile curving his lips under Jack's hand.
"I might be stupid, Jack, but I'm not the kind of guy to go running around with a broken zygomatic arch and not say anything."
"You're not stupid," Jack murmured, sliding his hand down to a scrape on the side of Ian's throat. "Do you think I think that of you?"
"It crossed my mind."
"No. Someone else might have said it was stupid to get your arse handed to you in order to let Tosh and Tommy escape, but not me. You did what you had to so that the rest of us could have a chance. It's what I would do. We're very alike in that respect."
"Don't want to be like the monster?" Jack asked, and when Ian winced he added, as a distraction, "Take off your shirt."
Ian frowned, eyes darting downwards.
"Your virtue's safe, Ian."
"It's not that -- I just..." Ian chewed his lower lip. "I'm not sure I can get my arms high enough to get it off again. My shoulders are stiffening up."
Jack ran his hand back up to Ian's cheek and was startled to feel him lean into it, see him close his eyes.
"I'm not afraid of you," Ian said. "I never have been. I think that's been pretty well proven."
"Are you afraid of anything anymore?" Jack asked.
"I don't know," Ian said, and then he opened his eyes, keeping them on Jack as he brushed his lips over his palm. "Why don't you try me?"
Jack was aware of the inappropriate responses people could have to nearly-dying, especially someone who'd never been in the field before. But Ian's eyes were clear, and the offer he was making was almost...passive in its simplicity: he wanted this, but the decision was Jack's. And Ian wasn't afraid of Jack, that much was a truth -- he hadn't been afraid of him when he'd practically strongarmed Jack into hiring him, and he hadn't been afraid of him when he was calling him a monster and fighting for Lisa's long-since-lost life.
"How about we wait until your bruises are healed," he said. "Right now, let me put you to bed."
Confusion flitted across Ian's face.
"Neither of us wants to be alone," Jack told him, and Ian nodded, and followed him away from the workroom, away from the reports and the mud-crusted equipment on his desk.
Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three