CHAPTER 1: Torchwood

Running up all the flights of stairs in the stairwell made the muscles in my legs burn, but I pushed it aside and focused on why we were running up stairs. All night we'd been tracking a Varvara throughout Cardiff. Varvaras are similar to giant chameleons running about on two legs. They have a sort of camouflage mechanism that lets them look like anyone on the streets, which made the job tricky. Jack and I were running up the stairs hoping that it would be quicker than the one elevator the complex had which Gwen and Ianto were taking. Running up all these stairs heading for the fifth floor was made easier by the thought that we were racing to try to save someone, not to mention the adrenaline that always pumps hard when we're on a chase.

Finally Jack and I reached the door with a large number five on it. Jack turned the handle and threw it open just enough for both of us to sneak through. We ran down the hallway towards door 53. The elevator doors chimed as it finally reached level five and Ianto and Gwen came out and joined us. Door 53 was cracked open, and its occupants had likely heard the elevator chime. Jack slammed the door in seconds after we heard a gun being fired. Laying on the floor in a big bloody mess was the majority of what was once a human body. I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye in the direction of the living room sliding door to the balcony and fire escape, I heard the Varvara smash the glass in an effort to escape our grasp. Jack didn't pause to take in the scene, but followed the blur out the broken door and down the fire escape. I could hear both Jack and the Varvara's clanging footsteps down the rusty fire escape. I turned my attention back to the scene before me.

I walked over to the body. I hadn't planned on working that night. That night I was just going to hit a club with some college buddies, and have a few laughs. I told myself that after that night, I was going to make sure there was a change of clothes in the hub. I felt ridiculous in a white summer dress. At least I wasn't wearing heels. I knelt down next to the woman. When she was alive just a few minutes ago, she was around my age and a brunette like me. There was a gaping hole in the front of her face; I realized that she probably didn't have a back to her skull anymore. The killer was definitely our alien, the blood splatter pattern was similar to the pattern at the other scenes, and the alien was using hollow tipped rounds, a bit of a calling card. All the victims tonight were young brunettes. I explored the victim's living room, looking for some bullet fragments that would give me a clue to the make of the gun. I was stepping carefully, trying not to leave any shoe prints in the blood splatter and skull fragments enclosing the room in an envelope of blood.

"Let's head out." Gwen said.

Gwen and I looked at Ianto, who nodded. He'd stay behind and clean up. I keep forgetting that my tiptoeing around the place is pointless, and only prevents huge globs of blood accumulating on the soles of my shoes.

Gwen and I headed for the elevator; we'd have to track Jack down once we got outside. The comms in our ear were on so whenever he told us his location, we'd hear him.

I was glad the dress I wore had a thick belt on it. It hid the barrel of the pistol I had been issued. The light jacket I had on concealed the rest of the gun.