Prompt/Inspiration: D.E.B.S. (2004)
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Rhys Williams, Toshiko Sato, Yvonne Hartman, John Hart, Lisa Hallett
Summary: There is a secret test hidden within university entrance exams. This test doesn’t measure a student’s aptitude at reading, writing, and arithmetic; it measures their innate ability to lie, cheat, fight, and kill. Those with high scores are recruited into the world's top secret paramilitary academies, with only the best being chosen for Torchwood. Some call them scoundrels and seductresses; some call them spies, the naive call them innocent. They call themselves T.I.E.S.
A/N: Sorry this is a little late. Real life and stroppy internet connections thwarted my posting attempts.
Alpha Squad House
“Incoming message, incoming message, priority level 8,” announced the central command kiosk as warning lights flashed throughout the house.
The alert message faded as the face of Commander Rhys Williams, Deputy Director of the Torchwood Institute for Extraterrestrial Surveillance or T.I.E.S. appeared on screen.
“Good morning Alpha Squad,” he greeted, smiling pleasantly. Seeing that no one was there to greet him, he scowled in annoyance. “Attention!” he shouted, adjusting his tie before hitting a button to set off the klaxon alarm for Alpha Squad House. “Attention!” he called again. “Emergency alert you ingrates! That means report in right now!”
Suzie Costello, weapon’s expert and Alpha Squad Leader, jumped up out of bed, landing in a crouch with gun in hand, searching for an intruder before rolling her eyes and heading to her wardrobe to don her uniform.
Ianto Jones, Alpha Squad’s strategist and second, groaned and sat up, holding a stun gun in one hand as he rubbed his eyes with the palm of his hand.
Toshiko Sato, the team’s intelligence technician, threw back her covers and snatched up her PDA to check the alert before scrambling to get dressed.
“Right this second!” Williams continued, his irritation growing by the moment. “We have a level eight incursion in process, people! This is not time to sleep! Go, go, go!”
Suzie pulled her hair back into a ponytail as she made her way across the hall to the room of Gwen Cooper, the team’s liaison and part-time medic.
“Gwen,” she called out opening the door. The mound of blankets on the bed didn’t move. “Come on Gwen,” she tried again. “Williams is freaking out.” A tousled mess of dark brown hair emerged from the bed nest and Gwen turned to glare at her. “Five minutes, Cooper,” Suzie said before turning to go, only to stop on the threshold as the duvet behind Gwen moved. “And keep your shags out of the squad house,” she scolded before closing the door.
“Out,” Gwen said as she pulled the covers off of the man who had been her playmate the night before.
“What?” he asked blearily.
“Are ya daft?” Gwen replied as she wrapped the duvet around herself and shuffled towards her dresser, pulling out the white short sleeved shirt, striped tie, and plaid skirt that made up her uniform. “Get out now!” she ordered pointing to the window.
“You can’t be serious?” he asked, ducking as she threw his clothes at him.
“I said now!” she screeched back. “And take your clothes with you. I don’t do laundry!”
Suzie made her way down the hall to Tosh’s room and found the technician in uniform, but frantically searching her room.
“Tosh, five minutes,” Suzie said as Tosh threw clothes out of her laundry bin.
“Have you seen my gun?” Tosh asked, panicking that she couldn’t find it. "I was so busy upgrading that new scope last night that I set it down somewhere..." she trailed off before crawling under her bed.
Suzie just rolled her eyes and made her way downstairs.
“I said let’s go!” Williams continued to drone on. “I do not have all day!”
Ianto, thankful that he was the only member of the team that could wear a suit, was adjusting his gun holster and straightening his striped Torchwood tie when his mobile rang.
“Hello?” he answered, cringing as he realized who was on the line. "No, no, I’m not talking about this anymore,” he sighed into the phone, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. “Look, I’ve gotta go,” he added, cutting them off and hanging up.
“Time’s up!” Williams called out. “Ten,” he began to count as Ianto’s phone rang again.
“Lisa…seriously, it’s not a good time,” he said before hanging up again.
Ianto hurried towards the stairs as Tosh emerged from her bedroom smiling and holding up her gun.
“Found it!” she called out stuffing it into her bag as she ran past.
Ianto’s phone rang again.
“When? When is a good time?” Lisa asked, clearly irritated. "I'm not hanging up until we talk about this."
“Stop calling,” Ianto replied, hanging up once more.
Ianto's wrist comm. beeped as Lisa attempted to put through a video call. “After all that we have been through?” she asked causing him to slow his descent and roll his eyes.
“Five, Four, Three,” Williams continued.
“Ianto!” Suzie yelled from the base of the stairs.
“Goodbye Lisa,” Ianto said ignoring her protests as he terminated the call and raced to the bottom.
“Two, one,” Williams finished as Alpha Squad ran out the door and hopped into their SUV.
As Suzie drove them through the streets of London towards Torchwood Headquarters, she demanded an explanation for why it had taken Ianto so long to get ready.
“I broke up with Lisa,” he said quietly.
“Oh my god! Why?” Gwen demanded. “You were so cute together.”
“She was just so boring,” Ianto shrugged in reply.
“She's an annoying bitch anyway,” Suzie replied as she made a sharp turn and cut off a school bus, oblivious to the irate parents behind her.
“I never saw what was so great about her either,” Tosh added, not looking up from her PDA.
“I like her,” said Gwen. “I think she’s sweet,”
Ianto rolled his eyes. Of course she would, she set them up.
“She’s just so robotic and cold,” Ianto answered as they reached headquarters. “And I’m not in love with her.”
“Whatever,” Suzie replied as she put on the emergency brake. “Just block her calls from now on. I don’t want her messing up our missions.”
Ianto nodded and the four of them headed inside.
Torchwood Institute for Extraterrestrial Surveillance
Alpha Squad made their way inside to the briefing room where Commander Williams was waiting.
“Good morning,” he greeted as they filed in and sat down. “If you could, Agent Jones?” he asked pointing towards the coffee machine in the corner.
Ianto shook his head as the entire squad turned to him with puppy dog eyes.
"Addicts," he muttered fondly before quickly made a round of coffee for the team.
“Make sure you add one more,” Williams advised. “Director Hartman will be down in a few minutes.”
“Director Hartman is coming here?” Suzie asked, excited. “She never comes to briefings.”
“She does now,” said a voice as a beam of light flared and Torchwood’s Director Yvonne Hartman stepped into the room. “Morning,” she greeted as plucking a cup of coffee from Ianto's hand and taking her seat.
“Director,” Suzie gushed. “I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to meet you.”
“No time for pleasantries,” Hartman replied holding up her hand. “Williams, a matter of some urgency has come to my attention," she said as she set down her coffee. "Diamond Jack is back in town.”
“Oh my God,” Suzie gasped.
“You’re kidding,” replied Ianto, intrigued. “I’m writing my thesis on him.”
“I expect to be kept in the loop on this one,” Hartman added as she downed the rest of her coffee and stood up. “Now let’s see some hustle. I expect him to be apprehended before the end of the month,” she added and with a nod to Williams, stepped back as another beam of light filled the room, teleporting her away.
“I can’t believe he’s back,” Ianto mused.
“Who’s Diamond Jack?” Gwen asked.
“Diamond Jack,” answered Williams, as the digital display above the table brought up excerpts from Torchwood's files on the notorious criminal. “He’s the last surviving member of the time-hopping Boeshane crime syndicate," he explained as an image of Jack dominated the screen. "His family entered a blood feud with the Schaffers after they sold his younger brother Gray to a group of alien slavers," he added a images of a young man with a scar on his cheek and haunted eyes came into view. "By the time Jack tracked him down, Gray was clinically insane and blamed Jack for his ordeal. When the two families met to discuss a truce, Gray infiltrated the meeting wearing enough C-4 to wipe out the entire building. Only Jack survived." He paused as an image of a man standing alone before a line of caskets flew past. "Diamond inherited the keys to the Schaffer/Boeshane kingdom: illegal alien tech, gambling, inter-dimensional travel, smuggling, links to Torchwood enemy Number one, and his specialty: Arcadian diamond theft.”
“He’s a bit fit isn’t he?” Gwen asked eyeballing Jack's photos as Suzie elbowed her to be quiet.
“He’s protected by a loyal band of mercenaries,” Williams continued, ignoring Gwen as photos of Blowfish, Ascidians, human thugs, and other unsavory persons flew across the display. “They are led by this man,” he said as the image of a slender man with dark eyes and a smirk on his face crossed the screen, “Dr. Owen Harper, otherwise known as ‘Dr. Snark’.”
Tosh looked up from her PDA and contemplated the newcomer with interest.
“It is believed that Diamond was behind the plot to sink Australia in ’03 and played a part in the invasion of London last Christmas,” he added. “Three attempts have been made to apprehend him. All failed. Two years ago, he went underground and has not been seen or heard from since.”
“Yikes,” said Gwen after he finished.
“And that’s not even the bad part,” said Ianto as he sipped his coffee.
“What’s the bad part?” Suzie asked with concern.
“No one has ever fought him and lived to tell about it,” Williams stated as Gwen’s eyes went wide at the answer.
“So why do you think he’s back in town?” Tosh asked.
“Intel suggests he’s in town to meet with this man: Captain John Hart aka Heartless John,” replied Williams as a picture of a blonde man with a sassy wink and a Napoleon-period jacket filled the display. “Clams to be an ex-special agent, though no agency will claim him. Been through just about every rehab there is, and currently a freelance assassin. They are scheduled to meet tonight at 20:00 hours. Find out what Diamond Jack is up to, strictly surveillance,” he ordered.
“But-“ Suzie tried to protest.
“I mean it,” Williams commanded. “Do NOT try and apprehend him yourselves. Suzie, you are in charge here. I expect you to be careful.” Finished, Williams stood up and teleported away, leaving the images of Jack and John up on the digital display.
What does a reclusive criminal mastermind want with a rehab happy assassin? Ianto pondered to himself, staring at the images.
“Alright team, here’s the plan,” Suzie announced as she laid out the mission.
Pulling his gaze away from the display Ianto focused on the mission, trying to ignore the tiny voice in the back of his mind that wondered if Diamond Jack was as handsome in person as in his surveillance photos.
The HUB – Hidden Base of Diamond Jack
Satisfied after snapping up a wandering sheep, Myfanwy, resident Pterodactyl and personal pet to Diamond Jack, flew back inside her hidden entrance to the HUB. As she made her way through the massive open space, she passed by a metal sign stating 'The only good T.I.E.S. are DEAD T.I.E.S'. and spit out the bones of the sheep she had just devoured, hitting the sign and squawking in satisfaction as a sharp clang echoed through the base.
“That’s my girl,” cooed a warm baritone voice as she landed beside Jack himself. After feeding her a bit of dark chocolate, he made his way over to his desk and brought up the display, watching as a series of images, and video, all of John Hart flickered across the screen.
“You’re scheduled to meet at 20:00 hours,” said his henchmen and best friend, Dr. Owen Harper, as he came up the stairs to join him.
“Where’d you find him?” Jack asked leaning back in his chair.
“Zeda tipped us,” Owen answered. “Said he’s available. He’s in Delaxi 7 at the moment, looking to relocate to Sol 3 permanently.”
“Where’s the meet?” Jack asked.
“Les Deux Amours,” Owen replied, bringing up the restaurant’s website. “Trendy, yet discreet.”
Jack looked back at the surveillance video came to a decision.
“Cancel it,” he ordered shutting down the display before heading deeper into the HUB towards his personal quarters.
“Why?” Owen demanded as he chased after him. “It’s all set up.”
“I don’t do blind dates,” replied Jack in disgust.
“Well it’s not a blind date if you know what they look like,” Owen rationalized.
“Just tell him I’m not coming,” Jack ordered avoiding his gaze. “Say I came down with something.”
“Jack, it’s been two years,” Owen pleaded. “You have to get out there.”
“I’m out there,” he answered spinning around to face him. “I went out with that Mickey guy – the one who talked really loud.”
“No, you didn’t go out with him,” Owen chastised. “We all went out with him to a concert together, and then you lied and said you had food poisoning and went home early.”
“Yeah well he talked really loud about aliens and vinegar, even when you were right next to him,” complained Jack. “I heard he ended up with Martha Jones anyway.”
Owen sighed as they reached Jack’s hideaway and Jack threw himself down on the couch in a huff.
“Look, Jack,” he began as he sat next to him. “I know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to drown in your little schemes to destroy the world so that you can avoid everything, but you need to get over it. You were dumped.”
“I was not dumped,” Jack protested. “Diamond Jack does not get dumped.”
“Oh, you were dumped by the Doctor and dumped hard,” Owen clarified. “And that sucks. You took your time off to go to the Reykavi, Planet of Tranquility, but now it’s time to get back in the game, Jack.”
Jack got up and started to pace and Owen stood up to stop him. “It’s time, Jack,” he said not backing down. “You have a date tonight, with a handsome assassin and you’re gonna show up.”
“Jack,” Owen prodded. “I never thought I would say this, but not having you flirting with everything that moves is just weird. It’s like a piece of you is missing, like someone stole a bit of what makes you, well you, and frankly you are right pissy git when you aren’t getting any.”
Seeing that Owen was not going to let up Jack sighed. “Fine,” he conceded. “I’ll be go.”
“Thank the gods,” Owen said with a grin. “Now go get your arse ready. I’ve got better things to do then play agony aunt to the only sexed-up celibate in six galaxies.”