(Standalone but follows my story Plague)
The Assistant Director of Planetary Security was speaking to an elite group of special agents.
"Contact was lost with our off-world colony without any forewarning or indication of difficulty. Preliminary investigation has shown the colony to have vanished. The whereabouts of the colonists, or whether they are still alive, is unknown. A potential suspect has been identified as being in the vicinity at roughly the same time as contact was lost."
A fuzzy three-dimensional hologram appeared.
"We have been documenting this being for quite some time now. As you see, it appears to be a binary organism of some type; possibly mammalian in nature. Although its outward appearance occasionally changes, it is rarely encountered in singular form."
The hologram blinked out of existence.
"It has been noted by our research specialists to have been in close proximity to several large-scale planetary catastrophes, including the recent near-extermination of an entire space-fairing race, and appears as well to be responsible for the deaths of countless other beings."
The Assistant Director pointedly scrutinized the audience.
"Your assignment is to locate and surveil this potential menace. It should be considered dangerous. Do not approach or attempt to make contact with it. If you find it, report back and await further instructions. Take no action and do not threaten it. Again, this being should be considered armed and extremely dangerous…
"Good luck and be careful out there!"
The Doctor pulled his coat more tightly around his body and hugged himself as he shivered. Of all the places in the galaxy… in the entire universe that Rose would ask to visit, she'd chosen the Antarctic!
"Oh how I loathe being cold!" he mumbled under his frozen breath as he observed Rose, who was a few feet away happily observing a breeding colony of Emperor Penguins.
Rose chose not to hear him but instead giggled at a nearby group of adults and chicks as they waddled across the ice.
And it wasn't just the cold that bothered The Doctor.
"Blimey! They're loud!" had been his initial reaction to the incessant squawks made by the critters as they vocally tracked the whereabouts of their mates and babies.
He studied the penguins with envy as he stomped his feet. Apparently they were well-insulated against the minus 40 degree temperature. Beyond that, they seemed to have perfected a sort of group 'huddle' where they shared each other's warmth.
Rose giggled again and it irked him even more. "Rose! You could watch the same thing on 'David Attenborough'!"
"I warned you," answered Rose over the shoulder of her massive down parka. "You should've dressed more appropriately! Why you insisted on wearing only that coat of yours when you knew how cold it would be I'll never understand!"
"All right, all right, I'll go back to the TARDIS and dig out some gloves," he said resignedly as she squinted at him, "and a hat." Happier, Rose shot him a wink and a smile before she turned back to the colony.
As the Time Lord crunched his way over the snow, he suddenly had the strangest feeling that someone was watching him. He spun round and looked at Rose, who was once again fully engrossed by the birds. 'Hmmm…' he thought. 'Odd. My brain must be as frozen as my feet.'