Angelic Paranoia

Paranoidangel's Fanfic

Doctor Who

UNIT Recruitment

Rating: General
Spoilers: For The Power of the Doctor
Summary: Kate goes on a recruitment drive.
Notes: Written for Merfilly

When Kate was shown into the director's office she was both impressed and unsurprised. "Kate Stewart, head of UNIT. Nice view."

The woman whose office it was came out from behind her desk to shake Kate's hand. "Dorothy McShane, director of A Charitable Earth." She turned to take in the view. "I used to be able to see everything that was going on with you lot. Until you got shut down."

That much Kate had guessed. She also used to know a lot about everything that was going on, rather than having to resort to guesswork. Now UNIT had a recruiting problem and a knowledge gap. "So I gathered. We, on the other hand, knew very little about you. Most of what we do know was in Brigadier Bambera's report."

Dorothy made a face and appeared to be studying Tower Bridge very intently. "I was only a kid. I've changed since then."

Given what Kate had read in the press she didn't think Dorothy hadn't changed that much. Certainly not enough that she wouldn't be an asset to UNIT now.

"I had an idea," she said, peering out at the Tower of London and feeling nostalgic for the place. Although less so the cold. Heating such an old building was expensive. "Our intelligence network is not what it once was. I need people who understand the sort of problems Earth faces from aliens."

"I already have a job. Dealing with the problems people on Earth face." But was there some interest in Dorothy's expression or was Kate imagining it?

She'd known enough about the other woman that she'd anticipated that objection. "Which will help us with some deniability on that front. You do your job as usual and report back to us about unusual activities. We would, of course, pay expenses if that involved any travel."

"I'm not interested in money."

Which Kate already knew, although she suspected Dorothy would warm to the idea of travelling for her charity paid for by UNIT, rather than the charity. Or out of her own pocket.

"And all that alien stuff I was involved with was years ago. What makes you think I'd be interested now?"

Kate smiled. "What about that time you foiled an alien invasion from your hotel room?"

Dorothy frowned. "Are you getting notes from Torchwood?"

"I might have a spy."

Now she smiled. "Perhaps I do come across alien activity occasionally. And maybe I am addicted to saving the planet."

Kate knew Dorothy was hooked and all she needed a reason to say yes. "And we could donate your pay to A Charitable Earth."

Now Dorothy turned. "Why didn't you say so sooner?"

Kate smiled and held out a hand. "Welcome to UNIT, Ms McShane."

The other woman shook it. "Call me Ace."

The bar was busy, but not so busy Kate couldn't find the woman everyone was here for. She'd just been handed a drink and Kate edged in next to her. "Happy Divorce," she said uncertainly. She wasn't sure what sort of thing you said in this situation.

"Thanks." Tegan held up her glass. "You celebrate getting married, why not celebrate getting divorced too?"

"Because it's admitting you made a mistake." Kate's divorce had merely been paperwork; just another day.

Tegan sighed. "Yeah. You divorced?"

She nodded. "Yes. A few years ago."

"Any plans to remarry?"

"No," she said firmly. She didn't mention that she didn't have time to meet men even if she wanted to. Unless they were invading the planet. And those weren't the sort of men she wanted to meet.

"Good idea." Tegan swallowed her drink. "I don't know why I thought the second time would be any different."

She smiled. "I'm sorry, we haven't met. I'm Kate Stewart, head of UNIT."

Tegan gave her a suspicious look. "And you decided to come to my party because you wanted to meet me?"

"No." Kate glanced at the floor for a moment. "I came with a job offer. Something to take your mind off the divorce, maybe."

Tegan sighed. "There's always an ulterior motive."

Kate ignored that. Not least because Tegan was right. "I'm looking for people who know the sort of threats Earth faces, who can help with our intelligence network. Keep track of the aliens, that sort of thing."

"I'm not a soldier." Tegan's face had shut down and left her expressionless. "I'm not interested."

"Can I ask why not?" The Doctor's former travelling companions tended to be the sort of people who continued to get caught up in anything alien after they returned to Earth. Kate thought that getting paid to do what you did anyway would be hard to turn down. And yet her recruitment drive was proving to be trickier than she thought.

"Do you know why I left the Doctor?"

Kate shook her head.

"Everywhere we went, people died. Ordinary people, bystanders. Friends." She sighed. "I don't want to get involved with that."

"I understand." Her voice contained not only empathy but the feeling of actually having been through the same thing. "But it's exactly why we need people like you. With more information we can prevent that sort of thing happening."

Tegan studied her glass. "I know you're right, it's just... It's just hard."

This one was more difficult than Kate had expected, but she wasn't giving up yet. "It'll be on a freelance basis. You can choose which jobs to take. And walk away at any time."

"I do need something else in my life," Tegan admitted. Finally, she met Kate's eyes. "All right. But the first hint of trouble and I'm out, okay?"

Kate nodded, relieved. "Okay."

"Good job," Kate said, watching Sarah Jane attempt to brush the purple snot from her sleeve. Any alien Sarah Jane dealt with was one less for her over-stretched team. Especially when it was messy aliens.

Sarah Jane made a face. "You could have helped."

Kate shrugged. "You looked like you were doing all right on your own."

Sarah Jane stood up straighter. "I've been doing all right on my own for a decade now, Kate Stewart, head of UNIT."

She should have expected that Sarah Jane would know who she was. She was known for her investigative journalism, after all.

"But I'm sure it would be nice to have someone else to help. Someone else to deal with the snot." She gestured at Sarah Jane's sleeve as it dripped onto her shoe.

Sarah Jane sighed and held her arm up, turning it to prevent any more dripping. "I don't work with soldiers."

Fortunately that was something she already knew. And had been banking on. "UNIT has changed after the Shansheeth incident. I changed it. Science leads now, not the military."

Sarah Jane was looking interested, if disbelieving.

Kate ploughed on. "I think you'd be a good person to show some of our new, young recruits how to deal with aliens without using force. Some of them seem to think that everything can be solved by shooting at it."

Kate saw a small smile on the other woman's lips, but only for a moment.

"It would be nice to have troops to send in first," Sarah Jane said slowly.

"And send to the dry cleaners afterwards. We have our own branch. It's amazing what manner of alien goo they can remove." They were, technically speaking, a branch of the science department. But a much needed one. Which Kate had learnt first hand when she joined UNIT and spent her first month there as a cleaner.

Sarah Jane considered it for a moment, then removed her coat carefully, turning it inside out as she did so. "Send two soldiers back with this coat. Make sure they aren't carrying guns."

Kate took the coat gingerly and held it with one finger and thumb away from her body. The alien snot had travelled. "I know exactly who to send." She grinned and Sarah Jane smiled back.

There was a loud crowd of protestors in Parliament Square. A debate on fracking meant Kate knew exactly where to find the woman she was searching for. When she eventually managed to get to the front, she found her quarry handcuffing someone to a railing.

"You must be Jo Jones," she had to shout to be heard over the chants of the crowd. "I'm Kate Stewart, head of UNIT."

"Oh, it's so lovely to meet you." Jo had turned at the sound of her name. She started to put a hand out to shake, then frowned at all the handcuffs she was holding and reconsidered. "Are UNIT interested in fracking? Are there aliens down there?"

"No." Kate shook her head. At least not as far as they were aware. They probably didn't have all of the Siluarian locations mapped. "I'm looking for freelancers. The sort of people who understand the threats Earth faces."

"You don't mean from humans, do you?" Jo asked thoughtfully.

"No," Kate confirmed.

"Then I'm in." Jo grinned. "When do I start? Oh, it will have to be after this protest, I'm the only one with the key." She frowned. "Although did I remember to pick it up?" She passed the handcuffs to Kate, who fumbled the unexpected offering, although somehow managed not to drop any.

Jo started searching her pockets and Kate smiled. At least one recruit had been much easier than she'd expected.

Notes: The incident where Ace saved the world from her hotel room is in Big Finish's Torchwood: The Red List.

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