Chapter 1- The exchange
Lester looked up from the report he was reading to see Connor Temple peering around the door to his office, looking nervous. Usually, he just barged in without bothering to wait for an invitation, they all did, so this time he must really want something. He beckoned Connor to come inside. The young man sat in the chair opposite, fidgeting.
“Well? Out with it, I don’t have all day.”
“OK, you know that anomaly in Cardiff? That one that opened near the Torchwood base?” Looking up to make sure Lester did remember, Connor carried on. “Well, Captain Jack called and he invited me to go and visit, you know, to learn more about the rift and the aliens that come through and it’d be really good to find out more about it ‘cos it’s really interesting and-”
Lester sighed. “Connor, stop rambling. Or at least take a breath before you pass out.”
He had already received a call from Jack Harkness about this, a kind of personnel exchange so they could learn about what each other did. It appeared that they were as curious about the ARC as Connor and Abby had been about Torchwood. It had been all he’d heard for days since they returned- rift this, pterodactyl that. He had noticed that a great deal of the stories and speculations seemed to revolve around the aforementioned Captain Jack and one Ianto Jones.
“And what do you propose we do in the meantime?” he asked Connor. “I can’t let half of my team go gallivanting off; what if we have an incident here?”
Connor sat forward in the chair, hope shining in his eyes. “Well there’ll be one of Torchwood’s people here. They’re used to tracking and catching aliens and things that come through the rift so they’ll be here to help.”
“And I assume that you expect to be the one I choose to participate in this exchange?” He almost laughed at the sudden drop in Connor’s enthusiasm. Oh, well, time to put him out of his misery. “For your information, Connor, I have already spoken to Captain Harkness regarding this and you leave on Saturday.” He saw Connor open his mouth to speak and cut in. “Captain Becker will be accompanying you, before you even ask. Someone needs to keep you out of trouble; it’s still me who has to fill out the paperwork should you manage to get yourself injured.”
Connor jumped to his feet, beaming happily. “Thank you! Oh, wow, this is so cool! I’ve got to tell him.”
Lester tapped his pen on the desk pointedly and Connor fell silent. “Whilst I tolerate your relationship with Captain Becker, I know that I don’t need to remind you what will happen should I hear that there was any inappropriate behaviour. You are representing the ARC.”
“I promise I won’t disappoint you,” Connor assured him before bouncing out of the room to find Becker and tell him the news.