As a young girl growing up in Cardiff, Suzita Naidoo was a happy child. Too young to sense the ever-growing tension between her parents, she relished the attention she reaped from both of them. As she grew older though, her mother’s growing depression after a miscarriage, her father’s increasing temper and bad moods, the both of them paying her less attention, and the ongoing prejudices over her parents’ interracial marriage coming from both sets of grandparents, led Suzie to the conclusion that maybe things were not as good as they seemed.
One night she woke to an argument between her parents. She didn’t quite understand all the words they were yelling at each other but she eventually worked out that Mrs Pallister, a family friend who lived down the road, was somehow the cause of the argument. She didn’t understand the words her mother was saying, like “hussy” and “floozy”, any more than she knew what her father meant by calling her mother an “ice maiden”, but she knew a line had been crossed that night. The argument ended when her father broke her mother’s most cherished vase, a gift given to her by her much beloved great-grandmother shortly before her death.
A light went on in Suzie’s head. All those thumps and bumps she would hear at night, all the times she thought she heard crying when she was supposed to be asleep in bed, they all suddenly made sense. And so, when a few weeks later, her mother had packed them a bag each and they left their house while her father was at work, she wasn’t too surprised to realise that they would never be going back.
For nearly six months they moved around to avoid her father finding them. Her mother eventually decided they would adopt her great-grandmother’s maiden name and change their surname to Costello, and once that was done they took their new identities to London and stayed there while Suzie grew up.
Not long after her mother’s death, Suzie was accidentally caught up in a retrieval mission of UNIT’s. She was walking down the road one night when a strange looking creature ran past her, quickly followed by a group of men in black uniforms and red caps. The creature stopped and grabbed her, putting her between it and the pursuing men. The stand off was eventually resolved by sniper fire from one of the black uniformed men who had climbed onto a nearby roof.
Suzie remained remarkably calm during the whole episode and didn’t even flinch at the realisation that the creature was an alien. Her calmness under fire was admired greatly by those around her, and instead of the standard retconning they decided to offer her a job instead. At first her job was very low level, mainly filing and other types of admin work. Suzie, however, was very ambitious and keen to succeed and it wasn’t long before she was being trained for fieldwork.
The increase in her security clearance meant she was able to adjust her own personal records. She erased her past addresses and history, and changed the records so that her surname always appeared to have been Costello. She knew her father was still alive, and her mother’s paranoia about him one day finding them had slowly rubbed off on to Suzie. Now that she had changed the records, no one would ever be able to match her to him. Still, she longed to return to Cardiff. It still felt like her home, and London still felt like a temporary bolt hole, so when the opportunity came up to fill in at Torchwood Cardiff she jumped at the chance.
Everything went well at first; she had new levels of responsibilities, she had a new team to lead and get to know and she was back in Cardiff. She wasn’t sure about the whole deal with Jack, and having temporary custody of him. She knew there was a lot more to it than she was being told, but as long as it didn’t interfere with her job too much she was happy to let it go. She was, for the first time in a very long time, genuinely happy.
Then one day they found a glove and matching knife in the bay.
Jack wandered up from the lower levels of the Hub expecting it to be empty, given it was late at night and the others had long gone home. Instead he saw Ianto standing by the desk with the artefacts that Suzie was working on. He was about to continue on quietly down to his bunker, hoping that Ianto wouldn’t see him, when he realised something was wrong. Ianto was standing there, as if frozen, looking down the glove. As he watched, Ianto tentatively reached out a hand and picked up the glove. The effects were instantaneous.
Ianto felt a shock run through him and the glove started to get very warm in his hands. Images of creatures being killed violently by something wearing the glove and wielding a knife ran through his head. The killings grew bloodier and bloodier and soon it was as if all he could see was blood. With a great effort he threw the glove down.
Ianto’s knees buckled and he would have fallen to the floor had it not been for Jack’s lightning fast reflexes. He had started running when he saw Ianto’s reaction to the glove and he grabbed hold of Ianto and held him upright. Jack was shocked to feel Ianto shaking violently in his arms.
Ianto looked up at Jack, but Jack could see that his eyes weren’t really focussed on him. Jack was shocked by the terror he could see reflected in Ianto’s eyes. Jack reached out with a foot to roll one of the office chairs closer to them and gently sat Ianto down. He knelt in front of Ianto and spoke his name again, trying once more to get Ianto to focus on him, and finally, with a series of blinks Ianto finally managed to focus on the man in front of him.
“Ianto, what happened? What are you doing here?”
“I have these dreams from time to time,” Ianto explained. “More like nightmares about events that could possibly occur. Something about that glove must have stuck in my mind. I had a nightmare… I saw three people being murdered. Sarah, Rani and a John Tucker. They were stabbed with an unusually shaped knife. It wasn’t until I woke up that I realised it was the same knife that I saw here, the one that Suzie was working on. Also there was something there about a glove, something I couldn’t quite grasp. It wasn’t until after I woke up that I could put the two together. They were found together, weren’t they?”
Jack nodded but didn’t say anything.
“There’s something about that glove, and the knife too.” Ianto paused. “Jack, the knife isn’t here. Where is it? I couldn’t see who the murderer was. All I saw was a flash of red and blue.”
They were both silent a moment. Ianto lowered his head, still shaken by the visions the glove had caused. He looked up at Jack suddenly and as they looked at each other they both simultaneously realised exactly who had worn a red and blue top that day.
Springing out of the chair Ianto grabbed his phone and dialled Suzie’s number. There was no answer.
“Ianto, what was the name of the first victim again?”
“It’s Sarah, Sarah Pallister.”
“And did you see where she was killed?”
“It was a house.” Ianto shrugged and shook his head slightly. “But I don’t know where.”
Jack logged on to a terminal and brought up her file. Downloading her details into a PDA he tossed it over to Ianto and they ran for the garage.
On the drive to Sarah Pallister’s house Jack thought about what Ianto had said about his dreams.
“Ianto, your Torchwood personnel file. It doesn’t mention anything about psychic training. I thought all Torchwood One staff had to undergo at least a basic level of psychic training?”
Ianto was quiet for a moment, thinking about how he wanted to answer that. “I did. I scored pretty high in both the psychic abilities test and the empath test. Torchwood just didn’t like to record anything for people who score too highly, in case the information ever got used against them.”
Jack nodded. It made sense to him. “Guess that explains how you knew how to make our coffees then, hey?”
Ianto smiled slightly.
They drove a bit further before Ianto spoke again. “Jack, you should probably know I have a meeting with the committee tomorrow. They want to go through the full details of your contract and officially putting you into my custody.”
Jack didn’t say anything. It was only the barely perceptible tightening of his grip on the steering wheel that gave away the fact that he had even heard what Ianto said. Ianto sighed and turned back to face the road in front of them. He wasn’t entirely comfortable himself about having custody of another adult, but he really didn’t have a choice. He knew full well what happened to people who didn’t cooperate with the committee.
When they arrived at Sarah Pallister’s house they saw Suzie on the footpath, just standing there calmly looking at the house. Her hand was resting just inside her handbag. Getting out of the SUV Jack stood on one side of her and Ianto the other.
Suzie didn’t acknowledge either of them but reached into her handbag and pulled out the missing knife.
Suzie turned to Ianto. “I thought you saw it. There was something in your face that told me you made the connection. It’s not much good now, I can’t really… But you’re gonna put up a fight. So I’ve got…”
She put the knife back in her bag and scrabbled around for something else. She looked up nervously. “Um. Hold on. Sorry…” She eventually found her gun, pulled it out, put down her handbag and pointed the gun at Ianto.
“There. That’s better.”
“Put it down.” Ianto warned her.
“You had to come,” Suzie complained.
“Put down the gun,” Jack said firmly from behind her.
Suzie continued, not paying any attention to what they were saying. “You’re the only one who would have made the link.” By now Suzie was struggling to hold back her tears.
“What am I gonna do? I loved this job. I really loved it. And now I’ve got to run. Oh, Christ. How can you do any other job after this one?”
“Please. Put down the gun.” Ianto tried again and was ignored once again as Suzie continued with her speech.
“Cos it gets inside you. You do this job for long enough, and you end up thinking, ‘How come we get all the Weevils and bollocks and shit?’ Is that what alien life is? Filth? But maybe there’s better stuff out there, brilliant stuff, beautiful stuff. Just… they don’t come here. This planet’s so dirty, that’s all we get – the shit.”
“Why were you going to kill those people?”
Suzie finally stopped and answered Ianto. “For the glove. I need the bodies. I think that’s how it works. Violent death. And it would be so easy. To bring them back, I’d position myself behind the head, so they would never see me twice.”
“You were going to kill three people,” Ianto was horrified.
“It was the only way. The more I use the glove, the more I can control it. If I can get enough practice, then think what that glove could do. If I could get it work all the time, on anything, beyond the two minutes, if it could work permanently, it could resurrect!”
Noticing Suzie was distracted by Ianto, Jack moved slowly closer. Ianto didn’t look at him, trying to keep Suzie concentrating on him.
“Resurrection on demand for the whole world, isn’t that good? Isn’t it though? Well, that’s what I’ve been working for, all day and all night. The rest of them go swanning about, but I’m working.
“You’ve got to get inside this stuff. Surrender yourself to it. I did, with the knife, and the glove, and it tells you things, and I know you’re there Jack.”
Before either of them had time to react Suzie spun around and shot Jack in the centre of his forehead. He collapsed to the ground dying instantly. Suzie turned back around and aimed the gun at Ianto again.
Ianto shook his head. “Please don’t.”
“I can’t let you go,” she replied.
Despite himself, Ianto couldn’t help looking behind Suzie as Jack came back to life and stood up. Suzie’s mouth opened in shock as she saw Jack standing there. She and Ianto watched in awe as the bullet hole healed itself in front of their eyes.
“Suzie, it’s over. Now, come with me,” Jack held a hand out to her. Suzie raised her gun and was about to point it at her chin but Jack, expecting her to do something, quickly grabbed her arm and wrestled the gun out of her hand. He looked at her in pity. “I’m so sorry,” he said quietly and knocked her out with a stun gun he’d had hidden in a coat pocket.
Ianto caught hold of her as she started to slump and they quickly bundled her in to the back seat of the SUV. Lights had come on in a number of houses when Suzie had shot Jack so they got out of there as quickly as possible, before someone started to investigate too closely. They drove off, heading back to the Hub. Ianto called Owen asking him to meet them there.
On the drive back Ianto leant his back and closed his eyes. He stayed that way for the entire trip, not wanting to say anything. He was just drifting off to sleep when they arrived. Jack looked over him. Ianto had had one hell of an introduction to Torchwood Cardiff he thought. What with seeing the Hub and meeting the team for the first time, the nightmare where he saw the murders Suzie was potentially going to commit, seeing the visions from the glove, Suzie nearly committing suicide in front of him and seeing Jack shot and coming back to life, it was no wonder the man was exhausted. Jack almost felt sorry for him. Until he remembered he had nearly lost yet another team mate himself; and still might, depending on what Ianto decided to do with Suzie.
Once they got back Jack carried the still-sleeping Suzie into the Hub and placed her on the couch. Ianto followed behind slowly, carrying Suzie’s handbag and the knife. He walked over and placed the knife and an archiving container on Suzie’s table. He looked over at Jack.
“We ought to get these two locked away, I don’t want anyone using them ever again.”
Jack came over and put the two items inside the container, knowing that Ianto wouldn’t want to touch the glove again. Once they were in the container Ianto locked it with a seal that said ‘Not for use’ and locked it away in the secure archives in his office.
The blare of the cogwheel door alarms signified that Owen had arrived and they left the office only to see that Suzie was no longer on the couch. After a brief moment of panic they saw that she was at her computer terminal.
“I was just making a recording for myself, telling myself not to try and break through the retcon.” She paused uncertainly and looked over at Owen. “I assume that is what you’re going to do. Retcon me?”
Owen looked between the three of them in confusion. Ianto looked at Jack. “I don’t want her moving anywhere while we discuss this. Get her back to the couch and make sure she doesn’t go anywhere.”
Ianto and Owen went into his office while they discussed the night’s events.
“Holy fuck!” was Owen’s succinct response to the tale.
The two of them discussed the amount of retcon needed to remove all of Suzie’s memories of the glove, the knife and what she had planned to do with them, and whether that amount of it would be safe for her. Owen prepared the necessary dose and went and administered it to her.
While they waited for her to fall asleep Ianto told her the three of them would be going to her house and searching it for anything there that might spark a memory of the glove or knife there. She would be left a note advising her to stay home for the rest of the week.
Ianto smiled down at her as she fell asleep. “We’ll see you next week for a brand new start. OK?”
Suzie just managed to nod slightly before she fell asleep.
“Right then,” Ianto said. “Let’s do this.”
The next morning Suzie woke up feeling like she had slept for a week. She frowned as she saw a note in Jack’s handwriting. The note said “Hi Suzie, don’t worry about coming in to work for the rest of the week. Watch this disk. Jack.” Underneath his name Jack had written a date, a date that was several months into the future. Her frown deepened. Not knowing what else to do, she watched the disk. After she watched the disk and saw the message from herself, she realised the date Jack had written down was actually yesterday’s date, not one that was months into the future.
Suzie grabbed her jacket from the back of the door and putting her hands into her pockets she found something there. It was a sealed envelope with a note on the front in her writing telling herself not to open this envelope for at least six months. It also had yesterday’s date on it. She thought back to the message she had left herself on the disk and thought she better do what it said. She filed it away in a drawer and promptly forgot about it.
She went downstairs and looked around the lounge and kitchen areas. Whatever had gone on in the last couple of months, it sure looked like it hadn’t involved cleaning or taking care of her flat. With a sigh she pulled on some rubber cleaning gloves and settled in for a massive spring clean.