A normal day in Cardiff. Some Weevils to track down, a strange weather disturbance to clear up. Nothing too unusual.
Deep in the Torchwood Hub, Captain Jack Harkness sits at his desk, sipping coffee and lazily doing some paperwork. He's thinking about lunch, and about how boring normal days can be. He hasn't had too many boring days in his admittedly long life, and thankfully Cardiff keeps him busy. But the days where there are nothing to do leave him with too much time for thinking.
When you've lived as long as he has, and done and seen as much as he has, it's not always a good idea to let your thoughts wander.
Across the room, Gwen Cooper logs off of her computer. "That's it," she reports. Looking around the quiet area, she frowns a bit. "Now what do we do?" Gwen's not really one for quiet, either. Torchwood has corrupted her.
"Wait for another Weevil," Jack suggests.
Gwen smiles. "I'd rather not do that, thanks."
"Ianto's downstairs." Jack watches her carefully. Sometimes, even after all this time, Gwen gets quiet and sad if the Hub is empty and they're alone. The time after their coworkers were killed stays with her. Jack considered it a good day the first time Gwen willingly used Tosh's old workstation.
"Is he arranging his tourist brochures, then?"
Gwen glances at her watch. "I'll just go and see if he's hungry. I could do with some lunch. You?"
"Yeah, that sounds good."
Before lunch arrives Jack heads out for a routine alien disturbance. It turns out to be a false alarm. By the time he gets back to the Hub, lunch is already there.
"You could have waited for me," he complains.
"We could have," Gwen agrees.
"There's a slice of pizza left," Ianto offers, indicating the table.
Jack snorts. "Sausage." He picks up the slice, now stone cold, and bites into it.
Gwen giggles. "Remember how mad you were, Jack, when you realized Owen had been ordering pizza under the name Torchwood?"
Jack shakes his head. "Of all the -"
A screech from overhead makes them all look up.
Gwen starts. "Is that coming from in here?"
"The Rift," Ianto begins, but Jack holds up his hand.
They hear the screech again, and it's a lot closer.
"The pterodactyl," Ianto says almost under his breath. "What's gotten into her?"
"It's not her feeding time," Jack says, greatly concerned.
The screech fades away, signaling the dinosaur's flight back to the heights of the building.
"That was weird," Jack states. "Ianto, make sure you feed her soon. We don't need her paying us a visit."
Three days later the computers start to flash, turning off and on repeatedly.
"Some Rift action coming across," Gwen reports.
"Some?" Jack asks from his desk.
"Yeah. Minor stuff." Gwen pauses. "Or not."
Gwen is tracking the signals but everything returns back to normal before she can record any information. "Lost it," she reports.
"So was it the Rift or not?" Jack demands.
"That wasn't Rift activity, Jack," Gwen tells him.
"What was it?"
"Something strange is going on," Ianto states. He clearly does not like the prospect.
"Well, if it's not the Rift it's gotta be something else," Jack says, peering over Gwen's shoulder.
Gwen continues to gaze at her monitor. "These readings just don't make sense, Jack."
"This is Cardiff. A lot of stuff here doesn't make sense."
Ianto shakes his head. "You can say that again."
Later that day Gwen pauses while writing a report. "What is that?" she asks in alarm. This is becoming a disturbing trend.
An ominous sound is coming from somewhere above. They all look upwards.
Jack stands up. "What is that? It's not the pterodactyl again."
Ianto comes in downstairs. "Do you hear that?" he demands. "Whatever it is just scared away a group of students from Melbourne."
"The bird," Jack begins in extreme irritation. "Ianto, I thought I told you-"
"It's not the pterodactyl, I just fed her yesterday. And she wouldn't make this kind of noise."
A vibration passes beneath their feet, causing everything in the room to shake violently. Ianto pitches forward.
Gwen makes a grab for her chair, trying to track the activity. "Is this an earthquake?"
Jack is standing as still as he can with the room shaking all around him. "It doesn't feel like an earthquake."
"The Weevils are going crazy in the cells," Ianto reports, checking the cameras.
Gwen stands up. "I'll go-" She stops as the roaring gets closer.
"This can't be good," Ianto mutters.
"Look out!" Gwen exclaims.
A crack of light flashes into the room. They all shield their eyes and wait.
A beam of energy opens up right in front of them. Ianto involuntarily takes a step forward.
"Stay back!" Jack snaps. He's taken out his gun, though he has no idea what's happening.
Something drops to the floor, and the beam of light closes up as if it had never been there.
They move forward as one, cautious but quick, guns drawn.
There is a figure lying on the floor. Ianto stands above it, gun at the ready, as Gwen moves to it. Jack covers them both with his gun, just in case.
"It's -" Gwen crouches down beside it and then looks over her shoulder at Jack.
Jack blinks in surprise. "Huh."