spock: logic is sexy

Torchwood Fic: One Chrysalis at a Time (Tosh, gen)

Title: One Chrysalis at a Time
Rating: PG
Characters: Toshiko, Jack, cameo by the Doctor
Summary: Postcards are not a substitute for a relationship
Notes: Ending features events from the Dr. Who episode "Aliens of London." Written for the prompt "Toshiko's postcards for her mother" at tw_femficfest
Word count: 5300



When the gates of Unit vanish in the rearview mirror, Tosh releases a breath she didn't know she'd been holding, and says to Jack, “I'd like that postcard now.”

She braces herself for an argument. He will try to put her off somehow, tell her that she can get a postcard later, after she's seen her flat and had a shower and a bite to eat.

Instead he says, "okay" in the level, reassuring tone someone might use on a frightened animal. The corners of his mouth turn up just a little bit, like he thinks her eagerness is funny.

It's too easy, she thinks. Six months of being denied every human comfort, and now suddenly she can have the thing she desires most, just as soon as she wants it. She shouldn't trust him. He could be anyone; he could even work for Unit.

The landscape outside the car is so open and bare it makes her feel dizzy, and the blue of the sky makes her eyes ache. She watches anyway, as best she can, making sure the highway markers really point to Cardiff. Each time a building appears on the horizon, she sucks in a breath and doesn't let it go until she sees it is too small to be a prison and too crowded or too quaint to be an execution site.

She forgets the postcard until he pulls into a petrol station by the side of the road. Her fingers scrabble uncertainly at the door handle, but she finds that she cannot get out of the car because she cannot remember how ordinary people do ordinary things like buy postcards. So she sits still, looking down at her hands because looking at the vast, normal world outside hurts in a way she can't articulate, and she doesn't know how to say that she's forgotten how to buy postcards.

"You have to learn to go out there again," he says. "It's hard. I know. But you have to do it."

She wonders if he really does know. She can't tell from his voice, and she doesn't look at his face. But if he says she has to do it, she has to. She shoves the door open harder than she means to and almost falls out, then dashes across the car park, glancing over her shoulder now and again just in case this is a trick and Jack plans to shoot her in the back.

Even though she feels a bit safer in the petrol station, she buys the postcard as quickly as she can and hurries back to the car. Best to write her mother as soon as possible, just in case.

When she comes back, he hands her a pen from a pocket inside his great coat. It's gold and old-fashioned, but she doesn't think about it much because her fingers are moving it across the postcard almost of their own accord, as if she had been starving for this pen for months without even knowing it.

"I love you," she writes. "I'm safe."

And then she stops. What else can she say? She can't tell them about Unit, or Jack, or Torchwood. She doesn't even know what Torchwood is, not really. All those months, surviving for the dim hope of seeing her mother again, and this is all she can say. She hands the finished postcard to Jack for inspection, proof that she will follow his orders without even being asked.

"I want to see you post it," she says, and feels very brave when her voice doesn't waver.

***


In the beginning, she doesn't do much.

"Mostly, I stick to the office," she writes to her mother, even though the term is hardly appropriate for a place like the Hub. "It's a converted rail station," she adds, hoping to give her mother a slightly better mental picture.

She and Jack work out a system for the postcards. She gives him one each week; he reads it to make sure that she's not revealing Torchwood secrets. Afterward, he tucks it into the front pocket of his shirt, and the next time they are out together, he shows it to her to prove he hasn't tampered with it. Then they find a post box and drop it in together.

Every once in awhile, when the rest of the team goes out for missions, Suzie looks at her a bit apologetically, but the truth is, Tosh doesn't mind. It's impossible to feel trapped here with limitless knowledge at her fingertips. She has a never-ending pile of research for the team, and when she gets tired of that, she loses herself watching CCTV feeds and staring at the hand trapped beneath a dome of glass. She thinks she might be willing to stay here forever.

Until one day Jack drops a gun on her desk. It lands with a hollow thud, and she scoots away from it instinctively. She's used to the guns by now, of course, but up close...well, they're not for her.

"What's this for?" she asks, looking up at Jack questioningly.

"You need to learn to shoot." Seeing the uncertainty on her face, he adds, "If you want to go out with us, that is."

He smiles at her like he's giving her the best present in the world, and suddenly her heart flutters at the thought of going out with them, even though she'd never minded staying at the Hub before. However much knowledge is inside the Hub, there must be even more outside it, going out on missions, seeing things first hand. And if she can learn it, she wants to. There is absolutely nothing in the world that she does not want to know. And Jack realizes that; it was why he had offered her this job, and that had been a good thing, hadn't it?

"All right. Teach me to shoot," she says, smiling and feeling a bit reckless. But she trusts Jack; if he says she should go out with them, she should.

She had thought she might be afraid of shooting, but she's not. Firing the gun makes her feel like another person -- not a socially awkward computer scientist, but someone capable and brave and strong, and maybe even a little sexy. Even so, she doesn’t use the gun often; she can never quite stop asking herself about the person at the other end of the barrel, whether they had a family, a conscience, a story that she doesn’t know. But she never can suppress the little thrill of excitement she feels on the rare occasion that she stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Jack and Suzie, all three of their guns drawn and pointed at the same target. At those moments, she feels like a member of their team, and perhaps even someday their friend.

"I've learned to use a gun now," she writes her mother. Her pen pauses for just a second while she thinks of a suitable lie. It’s beginning to unnerve her, how quickly she can lie to her mother.

"Of course, it's only a precaution,” she finishes. “ I doubt I'll ever really need it, but I'm out in the field now, doing anti-terrorism work, and all the field agents have to carry one."

At the bottom, she signs her name in Japanese, spelling it out in hiragana rather than kanji so that Jack can look it up in case he doesn't trust her. A day later, it's off in the mail, and she pictures her mother reading it. Would she be worried about her daughter doing mysterious anti-terrorism work and carrying a gun? Perhaps she shouldn't have told her but then, her life is her work; if she doesn't write about it, she'll have nothing to say. If she could just talk to her mother, just for a minute, to let her know that she's really all right, happy even...

But no, best not to think that way. Hadn't Jack just invited her out into the field? He would let her speak to her mother when the time was right. She would just have to show him she deserved the trust.

***


She doesn’t mind waiting for Jack to trust her until they hire the new medic. Owen keeps erratic hours, doesn’t answer his mobile, and sleeps off hangovers on their couch when he ought to be working. She tries to remind herself that she doesn’t know where he might have come from; perhaps it was some place even worse than Unit. But she doubts it. He carries himself as if he’s entitled to everything, and he’s never known a hard day in his life. When she hears him on the phone with his mother, something inside her snaps.

But still, she has to wait. It’s true that she’s been out in the field with Jack and Suzie for a few weeks now, but she can’t say she’s done anything to distinguish herself. Perhaps if she were in Jack’s position, she would be slow to trust herself too; maybe her respect, her willingness to follow orders had been interpreted as passivity, or worse, a cover for spying. Someday soon, she will have to take the lead. It scares her, but she’s done a lot of things that frightened her since her mother was taken. She can do this one too.

And she does, in her own way. When there’s a spike in the rift that no one else thinks significant, she stays up late tracking it. That’s why she’s the only one to notice the strange energy emissions from the home of an obscure government minister, and she works late the next night, comparing them against their archives till she finds something that matches: an obscure alien weapon.

She can't quite keep the pride out of her voice when she says, “I've found something,” at the end of their next meeting. She passes Jack, Suzie, and Owen manila folders with all the information photocopied and labeled.

“The weapon is hidden here,” she says, pointing at a small, secret chamber located near the minister's bedroom. “Obviously, he's been planning something like this for awhile, otherwise he wouldn't have this much security.”

“Right,” Jack says, and his look of approval almost makes up for Suzie's shocked face. “We need to know if he has any co-conspirators. Suzie, pull his phone records. Tosh, can you hack into his email?”

But Tosh shakes her head.

“I've been listening in on his phone calls for the past thirty-six hours, and there's been no mention of the device. He's working alone.” She doesn't wait for Jack to give more orders. “Now, I've taken the liberty of examining his security systems, and if you three can get into his house, I can disable the alarms as you go. But it's probably best to move tonight, before he has a chance to build up more security or use the weapon.”

“If that's alright with you, of course, Jack,” she adds. He nods once, standing up from the table.

“Let's go,” he says. She can tell from the way he looks at her that she no longer simply has his faith; she has earned his respect.

The operation goes off without a hitch, with Jack and Suzie breaking into the house while Owen waits outside in case of injuries -- of which there are none, because Tosh has done her job well, and there are no surprises.

Jack tells her to go home early, but she shakes her head, brushing aside the unpleasant realization that she's got nothing to do and no one to call.

“I'll just finish up a few things here,” she says, and she stays at her desk until Owen and Suzie have gone home. She wants to talk to Jack alone.

"You did good, Tosh," Jack says, appearing by her chair with her coat in his hands. He intends to force her to leave, she knows, and for a fleeting second, she imagines letting him putting the coat on her and escorting her out the door. She hasn't got a crush on Jack – she knows he's trouble – but being cared for feels nice, especially when she hasn't got anyone to come home to.

She brushes the coat away, and he raises his eyebrows questioningly.

“I need to ask you something, Jack.” She won't call it a favor.

He nods, his face still questioning.

“I'd like to call my mother. Not often, maybe once a month, but I need to speak to her. And if I can't do that, I'd like to get an address where she could write to me. Not my flat or the tourist office, somewhere far away, so it wouldn't be traceable.”

He's looking away from her now; he had been since she'd mentioned her mother. She sees his face harden into one of its masks. Whether he's trying to conceal his empathy, or hide his complete lack of it, she doesn't know.

"That's not possible, Tosh."

His voice is flat, steady, and firm. The same way he'd spoken to her when he'd ordered her to get out of the car and buy that first postcard so long ago.

She shakes her head, looking down at the empty medbay. She will not give this up without a fight.

"But Owen -- "

"Has never built weapons for international terrorists, and I didn't have to spring him from a Unit prison."

"And he has also never come to work on time, doesn't answer his mobile, and spends half his time here sleeping off hangovers."

"And I will talk to him about that.”

He pauses, staring at her with the look he uses to tell people they must obey.

“Someone took your mother once, and you built them a weapon. If they or anyone else knows you're still alive and still in contact with your mother, they will use her to get to you. To us. I cannot take that risk.”

He hands her the coat, dismissing her without looking her in the eye.

The next morning, there's an unlabeled DVD on her desk. It's filled with CCTV footage of her mother from the past several months, and she wonders if Jack had stayed up all night to make it. She watches her mother buy groceries, fill the car with petrol, walk in and out of a hundred different shops, all in ten or fifteen second clips. When she's done, she zooms in on her mother's face, studying it for clues to the past year of her life, but it's grainy and pixelated and makes her feel further away than ever.

"See? She's alright," Jack says, and she jumps. She hadn't heard him come up from behind her.

Tosh shakes her head.

"She's not alright."

She can't be. The videos prove that her mother buys groceries and goes to the dentist and gets her hair cut, but Tosh had known that she would. Her mother had survived a war and the poverty and discrimination that had come after it; she wouldn't have stopped living her life, even now. But that's not the same as alright. That's not the same as not having nightmares about terrorist kidnappings. It doesn't mean there are no scars -- physical or otherwise -- from torture and captivity. And it doesn't mean she doesn't wonder every day what really happened to her little girl. Because if Tosh cannot accept that her mother is safe and healthy and whole, her mother surely cannot believe the same about her, not without seeing her. Tosh isn't arrogant; she doesn't imagine she matters very much to anyone in this world. But her mother would not be alright without her.

"Tosh, if we can get this, they can too. They're out there, watching her, waiting for you to show up and prove that you still exist. And when you do, if they can't get you, they'll take her."

She shudders a little at the thought, but it's not right to do it like this, to vanish without a trace and force her mother to sacrifice a daughter without asking her first. She is about to say that to Jack, but then all their alarms whoop at once, and she pulls up the right newsfeed just in time to watch a UFO lop off the top of Big Ben.

As always, Tosh hacks into government databases and listens to encrypted phone calls, but their best efforts tell them nothing more than they hear on the news: that the ship is not from Earth, and that an alien body has been recovered from the wreckage for government examination.

“We have to see it,” Tosh says, forgetting to let Jack take the lead. That's when they realize that Owen isn't here. They ring his mobile, but to no avail.

“Want me to go pound on his door?” Suzie asks, but Jack shakes his head.

“There's no time. We have to get down there before they mangle the body beyond repair.”

"I'll go," Tosh says, surprisingly herself a little.

"You sure about that?" Jack asks. She knows what he's asking. With a record like hers, getting caught snooping into a national security crisis will send her straight back to Unit. But she has to do it.

"It has to be me," she says. "They know you at Whitehall. Suzie too. But they won't associate me with Torchwood."

Besides, if they lose a team member in this, it ought to be her. If an alien invasion is coming, the world needs Jack and Suzie more than it needs her. She takes a fake ID and a lab coat and leaves for London, stopping only to buy a postcard along the way.

“On my way to London for a bit of investigation,” she writes to her mother. “I'm on my own this time, so it's quite a bit more responsibility than I've had before. I'll drop by the British Museum and see our favorite painting if there's time left over at the end.”

For the first time, she mails a postcard without showing it to Jack.

Six checkpoints separate her from the alien body, and her knees shake a little at time she surrenders her ID for inspection. She smiles at each of the soldiers and security guards though; she doesn't need Jack to tell her that the best way to sneak into a place is to act like you belong there. The guards let her in without comment, and she holds her head up high as she walks through long white corridors that reek of bleach and formaldehyde, giving out as many bright, confident smiles as she can. If she's caught, being liked will be better protection than being feared, and she doesn't know how to make anyone afraid of her in any case.

Two orderlies wheel a stretcher covered with a white sheet toward her, and she gestures at what she fervently hopes is a suitable room for an autopsy. When they don't leave, she stares at them questioningly for a moment before she realizes that she'll have to order them out or risk blowing her cover.

"If you wouldn't mind -- " she starts, and then she stops. It's too polite; she's not used to giving orders, only following them. She clears her throat and says more firmly, "I'm afraid you'll have to leave."

They look up at her hopefully, but she shakes her head.

"Orders are orders. I'm to examine the body alone."

She watches them till they vanish around the corner, then sets about covering the windows with bedsheets. She yearns to inspect the body beneath the white sheet, but she can't take the chance that someone will see her examination and realize she's no doctor. When she's finally done, her fingers hover expectantly over the gurney in the middle of the room. She closes her eyes, fixing the moment in her mind: the first time she's seen an alien all by herself. She jerks back the sheet.

It couldn't be, she thinks, but it is. She runs her fingers over its pink snout and bristly hairs. It is unmistakably a pig. Biting back her disappointment, she sets to work.

She gasps when the results of the first scan appear on her computer screen. Circuits and wires criss-cross the pig's brain, forming a computer a thousand times more compact and complex than she could have ever dreamed. She would give almost anything to dissect it and examine the circuitry herself; with just a little time to experiment, she's sure that she could figure out how it works, even replicate it. The intelligence applications alone... But no, she can't give into that temptation; her orders were to leave the body alone. Someone from the military ought to be coming for her report, so she sits at the desk in the back of the room, tapping her feet, and memorizing medical vocabulary until he arrives. Best to sound as much like a doctor as she can.

The general arrives without announcement or warning, and she jumps when he walks through the door. There's barely time to hide her medical flashcards beneath the calendar on the desk, and her heart is hammering, but she manages to walk toward him with slow, even steps and offer a polite “sir” as she pulls the sheet away from the pig.

"I've x-rayed the skull," she tells him. "It's wired up inside like nothing I've ever seen before. No one could make this up."

She looks up at him, watching for any sign of uncertainty or distrust. She'd been lying, of course; she hadn't x-rayed the skull, only scanned it with some obscure piece of alien technology Jack had shown her how to use before she left. If he asked to see the x-ray films, she was done for. They'd find her fake ID card and her bag stuffed with alien medical instruments, and then...well, it didn't bear thinking about.

But the general only nods grimly, telling her to cover up the body until the real experts arrive. She sinks into her chair when he goes only to leap up again when she sees the message from Jack waiting on her phone.

"PM missing, no information on his whereabouts in any government computer. Ask the general," it says.

She chases him down the corridor, hair flying in her face and high heels clattering indecorously on the tile floor.

"Sir?" she calls out. "Sir!"

He'll have to look at her; he'll think she has information about the alien pig.

"Is it true what they're saying about the Prime Minister?" she calls after him. "That he's missing and no one knows where he is?"

He says nothing, just holds her eyes for a moment before he walks out the door. He can only mean yes. She lays a hand against the smooth tiled wall for a moment to steady herself. She's been afraid for herself many times since she took this job, but never like this. Never for the whole country, or the whole world.

The worst part, she realizes, is that there's nothing she can do. She's run every scan as many times as she can and sent all the reports to Jack, but she still can't say where the pig had come from or who -- on Earth or elsewhere -- could have wired it up that way. She would give almost anything to be back in Cardiff now, working with the team, but her orders are clear: infiltrate the experts, find out everything they know. And until then, wait. So she settles herself in front of a stack of official-looking papers that mean nothing. It's too dangerous to try and go back through security in the morning, so she's stuck here for tonight. The best thing she can do is look busy and avoid talking to anyone.

Her desk is at the edge of the morgue, where she can keep an eye out for intruders interested in the alien body and avoid contact with anyone who could blow her cover story. When she's sure no one is coming, she switches the paperwork for a stack of neuroscience articles and a thick medical dictionary. Her plan is to talk as little as possible when the experts arrive tomorrow, but they’ll still expect her to present her preliminary findings, and she’d better sound competent.

The reading is so absorbing that she ignores the faint rustling from the back of the morgue where the bodies are kept. A mouse, she thinks, or, more likely, her nerves. When the sound grows louder, she peers out into the corridor, expecting to see an orderly dragging something heavy across the floor. But there’s no one. She settles back into the desk chair and pulls her books toward her, determined to ignore any remaining noises. But when the faint rustling becomes the sound of someone – something pounding from the inside of the freezer doors, she walks toward it without even thinking. Her first steps are slow and hesitant, but when she’s sure that the sound is coming from door number five, where she’d put the alien body, curiosity overwhelms caution and she hurries toward it, not even thinking to grab a weapon. Her fingers curl around the cold metal handle, and when she pulls it open, she peers inside, wanting nothing more than to know how something dead could now be alive.

It hits her with a force that has to be premeditated, right in her temple, and she falls against the wall, feeling blood trickle against her face. It’s on her, squealing and kicking, and she fumbles blindly for the cart by her side and seizes something heavy and metal. She hits it, over and over again, curiosity forgotten, until it’s gone.

Then she hears the sound of feet running toward her, so many that it must be a whole platoon of soldiers. They burst through the door, machine guns raised, and she cries out, “It's still alive!”

“Tell the perimeter it's a lock-down!” The man in front of them shouts, and she notices for the first time that he looks like a civilian. The soldiers don't move, and she wonders again if the man is really in command, but when he shouts, “Do it!” they all obey.

When the soldiers have gone, the man rushes toward her and clasps her shaking hands.

“I thought it was dead,” she whispers to him, somehow trusting him even though he doesn't look like he should be here. He reminds her a bit of Jack, so certain that he's in charge, and it's a relief to hand this off to him.

“Coma, hibernation, could be anything,” he offers, seeming as if he knows more about this than she does.

A metal bowl falls on the floor, and they both freeze, turning toward the sound even though they can't see its source.

“It's still here,” she whispers, caught between fear and awe. She wonders fleetingly if they will let her examine it again if they catch it.

“What does it look like?” he asks, but she doesn't need to answer because a pink snout suddenly peers around the edge of the table. The pig runs for the door, squealing, and the man runs after it, while she stays on the floor, catching her breath. When a shot rings out, she pulls herself up and picks up her pencil and her clipboard. If she's to examine it again, now's the time.

The pig is laid out on an autopsy table when she arrives, the man pacing in front of it. She wants to ask who he is, but thinks better of it; inevitably, he will want to know who she is, and now, is not the time to risk discovery. Better to keep acting as if she belongs here, and hope that he'll assume that she does.

“I just thought that's what aliens looked like,” she tells, even though she'd thought no such thing. She wasn't stupid; maybe she hadn't been out in the field long enough to see many aliens first hand, but she'd heard enough to Jack's stories by now to know they weren't pigs. But she mustn't blow her cover. Whoever he is, he knows more than her, and she needs to keep him talking even if deception isn't her strong point.

“You think it's a real pig?” she asks, looking over at him questioningly.

“Mermaid, more like,” he answers and launches into an odd explanation of carnival owners creating mermaids from the bodies of fish and cats. He reminds her again of Jack, somehow timeless and out of place, in spite of the stylish leather jacket and the strong Northern accent. However odd and long-winded, his explanation makes the pieces snap into place, and she turns from him to stare at the pig.

“So it's a fake,” she says. “But the technology augmenting its brain is alien. Aliens faking aliens. What for?”

She turns back to him, expecting him to help her answer the question, but he's gone. She rushes out into the corridor, but she can't find a single trace of him. No matter, she thinks, she's gotten as many answers here as she can; now she just has to get the information to Jack and see what he can do with it.

The streets of London are quiet and subdued, and she wonders suddenly where her mother is, if she's frightened at home, if she's guessed somehow that her daughter will be investigating the UFO. Thoughts of her mother stay in the back of her mind on the long ride back to Cardiff, and through their endless, fruitless discussion of potential alien invasions. This isn't the first time that she's feared for her own life while working for Torchwood, but the prospect that her mother might die – or worse – without her suddenly seems real. When the news breaks that the alien is a hoax, she doesn't understand, but for once, she's content just to know that Jack believes it. She'll find the answers later; for now, she feels a relief greater than she's ever known, not for herself, but for her mother, who is – as far as she knows – still safe and alive.

She looks up at Jack, at work in his office over a pile of papers. Now would be a good time to tell him that she's proven herself, that she deserves to see her mother. But she doesn't leave her chair. He doesn't watch her anymore, not the way that he once had. In fact, she doubted that the surveillance had ever been as detailed as he claimed; there wouldn't have been time to watch her and watch all the aliens.

She reaches into her purse for her car keys, and her hand brushes against the cool metal surface of the alien scanner she'd used on the pig. More than a year has passed since her mother was taken, and she knows so much more now than she did then. She can impersonate doctors, infiltrate government intelligence agencies, fire a gun, hack into the most heavily encrypted data files. If she could take on those terrorists today, she would get her mother back. It would be terrifying, but she could do it.

And Jack? Jack knows exactly how much she can do. He'd taught her most of it himself. He trusted her, or he never would have let her volunteer for this mission. And she trusted him too. With her life, maybe even more than that. He really had saved her, not just by rescuing her from Unit, but by giving her a purpose and a place in a world that hadn't seemed to want her. But he is not infallible, and he is wrong to have denied her contact with her mother this long.

She knows two things absolutely: her mother is strong enough to face an army of terrorists, but she won't have to, because her daughter is strong enough to protect her from them.

She knows something else too. She'd learned it when she'd stolen the sonic weapon, but she'd reconfirmed today. If you act as if everything is completely ordinary, people will believe you. Whatever they know, or think they know about you, is strong enough to convince them that you would never violate their orders, never do anything unexpected.

She picks up her car keys. She is going to see her mother.

“Good night, Jack,” she calls as she walks out the door.
This was wonderful. I love how your Tosh grows through the story, how confidant she is by the end. And you did Space Pig! :D :D :D So much love for this story.
Space Pig! I love your Tosh, going from being frightened of just being outside to being confident enough to go against Jack's wishes to do what she knows is right.
Brava, Tosh! You go, girl!

Oh, everybody sheds tears for Ianto, boo-hoo (me too), but Tosh was the most wasted character on the series. Thanks for exploring this lovely character a bit more.

This right here:

She knows two things absolutely: her mother is strong enough to face an army of terrorists, but she won't have to, because her daughter is strong enough to protect her from them.

God, that made me cry.
I really enjoyed Tosh's progression in this, and especially her rediscovery of what we could legitimately call cunning. The thing about canon Tosh is that we never really doubt her inner moral compass, even when she acts deceptively, and you flesh that out in a complex and satisfying way. The interactions with Jack are especially rich and nicely drawn.

Also, I love the title. :)

Edited at 2010-11-04 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, especially for mentioning the interactions with Jack - I was so worried about those since I haven't written much of him before!
I took advantage of being home today to finally read this. It is, as expected, even better than I was expecting, and I *adore* it. I could and should list for you all the details you packed this with -- Owen's infuriating nature, Jack's charm and coldness, Nine's perfect description and so much more -- but I want this to fit in the comment box. :)

You did right by Toshiko. You did brilliantly by her.
Thank you so much! Tosh is a really important character for me; it means a lot that you think I did her justice.
This was a wonderful exploration of Tosh's character; thank you for sharing it!
A wonderful look at Tosh's gradual emergence from the scared and bewildered woman in the UNIT prison to the confident Torchwood agent she became.