Characters: Kathy Swanson, Ianto, Jack, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, OCs.
Summary: The Cardiff branch of heddlu is having an infestation problem.
Word Count: 1292
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Team, imps without teeth,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
A whole horde of tiny little imps had been swept up by the Rift and dumped on Cardiff, just one more thing Team Torchwood had to deal with, preferably without the general public finding out. Luckily, the Rift had opened in a secure location, so the little blighters were at least contained until they could be rounded up.
Jack would long cherish the phone call he’d received from Detective Inspector Swanson in which she’d had to say the immortal words, “I need Torchwood’s help; dozens of tiny blue people just appeared in the locker room at HQ, and they’re chewing on my officers!”
“We’re on our way, Kathy. Try to keep them contained, and don’t let any of your officers leave; my medic will want to check them over.”
“I’ll do my best. Just hurry it up, Harkness.”
“We’re already in the car, be with you in about eight minutes, less if the lights are in our favour.”
Tosh saw to it that they were, and the Torchwood SUV pulled into one of the police station’s parking spaces a mere six and a half minutes later. Torchwood didn’t waste time, just strode through the front door, Jack in the lead, and asked where they might find Detective Swanson.
“She’s down in the locker room,” the desk sergeant grudgingly told them. “Suppose I could page her for you.”
“She called us, said it was an emergency.” Ianto held up a net and carrying case, forestalling any argument. “Nasty vermin infestation, escaped from a research facility and got into your locker room through the drains. They could be infected with any one of a dozen diseases, so anybody who’s been bitten will need to be inoculated immediately by our medic.”
“That would be me,” Owen put in, tapping his black medical bag.
“So, if you’ll just be so good as to point us in the direction of your locker room, we’ll get the situation dealt with as quickly as possible.”
The desk sergeant looked them up and down dubiously. “If they’re so dangerous, how come you’re not even wearing protective gear?”
“We have these,” Ianto showed off standard Torchwood gauntlets, “and we’ve already been inoculated. Time is of the essence; it’s my understanding that several of your colleagues have already been bitten and urgently require treatment.”
“Right. Take that corridor to the end, turn left, then take the staircase down to basement level, the locker rooms are signposted.”
“Thank you.” Ianto smiled genially, and once again Jack blessed the young Welshman’s ability to think on his feet.
Hustling down to the basement, they immediately saw D.I. Swanson standing outside a door, two shaken, half-dressed people sitting on the floor nearby, leaning against the wall. Owen went to work immediately, crouching beside them and opening his bag, preparing to treat their wounds and dole out low doses of Retcon, just enough to make them forget the last hour or so.
“Detective Inspector, good to see you again,” Jack greeted. “How many still inside?”
“People or… things?”
“Four, maybe five. We’re at the tail end of shift change, most people had already changed and left when… they appeared.”
“Okay, we’ll go in there and round them up. You wait here; we’ll send the rest of your officers out for treatment.”
“No way in Hell, Harness! I’m coming in there with you!”
“Jack, I know the people in there, I can help. This is why I chose to keep my memory.”
Jack nodded. “Fine, but if I tell you to do something, you do it. I don’t know what we’re dealing with yet; ‘little blue things’ isn’t much to go on, so I have no idea just how dangerous they are.”
“Fair enough. Let’s do this.”
One at a time, Team Torchwood slipped through the outer door of the locker room, then the inner one, taking care than none of the mini menaces managed to sneak past them. They needn’t have worried though, because the imps were too busy having the time of their lives terrorising the remaining police officers to give any thought to finding a way out of the room they were in.
No more than three inches tall, they were humanoid, blue-skinned, and naked aside from a light covering of fur all over their bodies. They had little forked tails, and blunt horns on their heads, and their behaviour was decidedly hostile, but they weren’t able to cause much damage to their victims due to their complete absence of teeth. They were giving everyone they came into contact with a vigorous gumming though.
Jack, Ianto, Gwen, and Kathy wielded nets, catching the little creatures and dropping them into containment boxes. They squawked and squeaked indignantly, but were no match for the concerted efforts of four people many times their size and determined to capture every last one of them.
Tosh busied herself taking and analysing saliva samples from the imps and from the skin of their victims, making sure nothing toxic or harmful was being transmitted. She examined horns, tail, and fingers to make sure the imps had nothing with which to inject venom, then she sent the remaining police officers out into the hallway one at a time for Owen to check and Retcon.
Twenty minutes later, after one final scan of the area, Tosh declared that all the vermin were now captured. “We can take them back to the Hub now.”
“What will you do to them?” Kathy asked.
“Send them back where they belong if possible, otherwise we’ll have to keep them captive,” Jack explained.
“Lovely,” Ianto muttered, “forty-three more mouths to feed and we don’t even know what they eat, although they do seem to like gnawing on toes.”
Kathy stared at Ianto in bemusement, then started to laugh. “This is the most bizarre experience of my entire life, and yet you all act like it’s an everyday occurrence!”
“That’s Torchwood for you. Forty-three toothless imps aren’t a big deal; you should have been there when I was attacked by evil socks, or when my new rug turned out to be an alien shape-shifter and tried to mate with my bed.”
“Or when Owen’s stethoscope took on a life of it’s own and tried to strangle him,” Gwen giggled.
“Or when Gwen and Owen were turned into dolls, Jack was a dog, and I was a cat,” Tosh added.
“Oh God yes,” Gwen agreed. “Jack kept burying me in the greenhouse. Really made a mess of my hair and I’d only just had it done.”
“You’re making all that up… aren’t you?” Kathy looked from one to another of them uncertainly.
“Swear to God, it’s all true,” Gwen said earnestly. “Working for Torchwood is weirder than anything you can imagine.”
“You could always join us,” Jack added. “Another pair of hands wouldn’t go amiss, although having you remain as police liaison has definite advantages.”
“Oh, no thank you, I’ll stick with what I know; it makes more sense.”
“We’ll be off then. Thanks for your help, Kathy.”
“I think I’m the one who should be thanking you.”
“That would be a first.” Jack winked at Kathy and ushered his team, along with the boxes of imps, out of the locker room. “You have any more problems like this, don’t hesitate to call. It’s what we’re there for.”
“Trust me, anything like this happens again, you’ll be the first to know.” Kathy followed them out, thinking that really, Torchwood weren’t such a bad bunch of people. Weird, but with their job it was hardly surprising. They knew what they were doing though, and despite their jokes, they took their job seriously. When it came to alien threats, she could be sure the people of Cardiff were in safe hands.