Chapter 1

It was a narrow brick-walled alley, just like a million other alleys in a billion other cities in the universe. Bits of paper lay scattered about, with odd pieces of discarded rubbish here and there and faded graffiti on the two opposing walls. It was just a quiet deserted space that seldom saw the light of the sun, sandwiched between two small shops on a quaint city street. Essentially, it was nothing special. It wasn't even used much, anymore.

Out of nowhere, the wind kicked up the papers and sent them twirling, transforming them into miniature tornados. A wheezing and groaning noise rent the air, and a blue police box materialized, fitting nicely between the two walls. The door opened and a man in a blue suit and maroon tie stood gazing about him. Overhead, twin suns shone distantly in a powder blue sky. On the street, humanoid beings with violet skin and sapphire blue hair, dressed in a variety of coloured togas, were bustling about on their daily business.

The Doctor's new friend, Martha, had gone off to visit a sick friend in Kent and the Doctor decided to take himself on a little holiday to the New New Club Med on the planet Sdnanem–which the locals called "Snod" for short.

After spending the early part of the day on the beach, he'd decided to visit the small but charming city of Ynabla. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses, the Doctor stuck his hands in his pockets, strolling along with the crowd. He made an afternoon of it, larking about and gazing in each of the shop windows.

In one window was a golden mechanical animal the size of a small dog, which looked like a cross between a giraffe and a Drashig.

In another shop display, a live model was busy showing off a neon orange toga and a pair of purple platform shoes to passersby. She gave the Doctor a beguiling smile. Slipping his glasses up on his forehead, the Doctor grinned. She blew him a kiss.

"Hello!" The Doctor called to her, giving her a cheerful wave. Noticing him, the gave him her sexiest smile and began removing her toga.

"Oops!" He blushed, "Sorry! Places to go, things to…er…see." Sliding his sunglasses back on, the Doctor decided to check out the shops across the street. "Blimey! They do take their friendliness rather seriously here." He muttered to himself.

Strolling along, he passed what appeared to be a pet shop. There was a man in the window, brushing a long-haired animal that seemed to be some sort of cat. The man looked up at the Doctor and gave a start. The Doctor merely frowned at the cat-creature, waved casually at the man, and strolled on.

The next window boasted a 3-D game. It seemed to be a cross between chess and an old fashioned sword fight. The Doctor wanted to surprise Martha with a little gift, when she got back, but was unsure of what his new human companion would like. Occupied by this thought, the Doctor didn't notice the man from the pet shop following him.

Just then, he spied a little shop around the corner that looked interesting. The store windows were small round panes of glass, and each pane held a different trinket. The gifts ranged from a comic statue of a fat man on a toilet, to spun glass swan-like creatures, to miniature dragons that moved their wings and roared, to souvenir beverage beakers.

What caught the Doctor's eye though, was an elaborately enameled box. It could almost have come out of Earth's Tsarist Russia, but for the holographic ballerina on the lid. Opening the door, he entered the shop.

The man who'd been shadowing the Doctor, a thin male in a somewhat soiled gold toga, reached into the pouch cinched to his waist and pulled out a communication device.