Disclaimer: As ever, Torchwood and the characters therein do not belong to me. All I own is the plotline and any incidental people who appear in this. I am making no money from this (or indeed much else at the moment.)
Set: In mid season two, after Meat but before Reset. It'll make sense as you go through it I think.
Author's Note: This is the first time since I left school (in 2004) that I have embarked on a proper, all-out, multichapter fic. It is promising to be a bit of a beast at the moment and although it is largely drafted out there is still plenty of room for tweaking, shaping and incorporating requests. I have about 5 chapters in hand at the moment so updates should be regular. I wanted this to have the feel of a full Torchwood adventure with some "behind the scenes" fluff and team bonding. I really, really hope you like it.
Here goes nothing...
It was a cold, wet, night in Cardiff, which was hardly a surprise in a city that boasted an average annual rainfall of over one thousand millilitres. The temperature had tumbled to below zero as soon as the weak autumn sun had sunk below the horizon and now the bitter off shore wind blew fallen brown leaves around haphazardly like damp dishcloths. All in all, it was a thoroughly unpleasant night to be out for anyone, not least PC Andy Davidson of the Cardiff Police Force.
Miserably, he curled cold fingers around a lukewarm Styrofoam cup of what appeared to be hot water that had once had a passing introduction to a teabag, and stared mournfully at the rain. He wasn't even supposed to be here tonight, but the Blues were playing at home against the Newport Gwent Dragons, and despite the weather the City of Cardiff Stadium had been full of drunken Welshman from both towns, and in the interests of public safety they'd been asked to provide some extra cover. So far there had been arrests for affray, disturbing the peace, and drunk and disorderly behaviour, but these had been isolated incidents and on the whole the match had passed relatively calmly. Not that PC Davidson had seen any of this, no, instead he had spent a wet, miserable, muddy night in Leckwith Woods above Penarth, freezing cold and soaked to the skin. He sometimes wondered why he hadn't done as his mam had suggested all those years ago and gone to work in the Bank of Wales with Mrs Evans' son (ever such a nice boy, you could do worse than be like him). The Bank of Wales didn't exist anymore, but the point remained that there were probably easier, definitely drier, jobs in Cardiff.
He wondered what on earth anyone had been doing out on a night like this to see the flames illuminating the usually dark woods; walking their dog most likely, she had seemed that sort, a mid-fifties housewife doing her duty as a concerned citizen. Usually fires were the provision of the fire brigade, but those in public areas needed their presence to keep the inquisitive gossip mongers and have-a-go heroes to a minimum, not that there were any tonight, too busy sheltering from the weather or drowning their sorrows in the wake of watching Cardiff snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
He was glad of the lack of public interest tonight, he had the feeling there was something a bit, well, spooky about tonight's fire, he thought back to his appearance on the scene, the discovery that had left him standing here in the pissing rain for the best part of an hour.
On his arrival the firemen had been terse, their faces creased with confusion. That had immediately tipped Andy off, he knew the lads on Blue Watch, had been them at a variety of RTAs (road traffic accidents), CIRs (child stuck in railings) and WOTs (waste of times) to recognise most of them on sight, if not by name, and they were usually a good humoured, chirpy bunch.
"What's occurring?" he had asked, cursing inwardly for using a line from that new comedy set in Barry, if he wasn't careful he'd be turning into a racial stereotype.
"Dunno," Ioan, the watch leader answered gruffly, "Fire's up there, but we're having to crack out the Hazmat gear. Bloody weird it is, must be some kind of chemical, God knows how they've got into Leckwith Woods though, it's not like it's the industrial heart of Cardiff is it?"
"What do you mean?" Andy had queried, confused.
"The fire's bloody purple!" the fireman had shouted in exasperation, "same colour as Ribena for chrissakes!" he had sighed, rubbing a hand across his forehead, his face showing the strain of an odd night, "that's not the worst of it though..."
"Its burning cold. The flames... they aren't hot at all," the fireman had looked haunted by that fact, "I can think of chemicals that would maybe make it purple, but nothing that can burn with cold flames like that... its bloody unnatural is what it is."
It had been Andy's turn to sigh then, realisation settling in his stomach like a lead weight. He had turned to the fireman, his voice heavy with realisation.
"You know what this means don't you? We're going to have to call the Scooby Gang," he'd grumbled, using the nickname used throughout the emergency services for Gwen Cooper, her mate Mulder and the rest of the team that seemed to spend their lives swooping around in their long coats and sunglasses, disrupting crime scenes without so much of a backward glance.
Ioan had matched his heavy sigh with one of his own.
"You don't mean?"
"'Fraid so," Andy had confirmed as he fished out his phone trying his best to shield it from the torrential downpour, "Time to call bloody Torchwood."
Ok. That's the prologue out of the way!
Now a little game: I will post a fragment from the next chapter for you, you have to guess who is saying it/who/what it is about.
Those who guess correctly by review can leave a prompt at the end of the next chapter, and I will try and incorporate it into this fic or a related one-shot.
Sound like fun? Well, not hugely probably but still...An easy one to begin with.
Who says this and to whom are they speaking:
"I'm hurt, it's like you think I only call to..."
Answers on a postcard!