"Thank you so much for joining us." The lead alien said from the opposite side of the large dining table. It showed me what I assumed to be a smile but was far too high up his face to look normal.
I nodded politely. "Well, I didn't have a great deal of choice now did I?" I entered into a brief staring match with the alien, showing it how to smile properly.
"So, the question still stands. What are you doing here?"
I laughed. "I suppose I could as you the same question. You don't belong here."
"No more than you do."
"At least I haven't built myself a holiday villa on someone else's planet in a random time period. At least not one that interferes with the established course of history!" I stood up, slamming my hands down onto the table. "Though I must say, it does look very good. Who did the work?"
The alien watched me suspiciously, slowly getting up and backing away. "Are you police?"
All of the other guests looked at me and judged me; I could feel their eyes all over my body. "Do I look like a policeman? I don't have the hat. Maybe I should get one." I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small notepad. I flicked over a few pages and was about to write that down when I saw someone had already written something there some time ago:
'Sorry but you've got more than enough hats, sweetie. You're more than welcome to borrow some of mine if you really want, even some of my private ones. xxx'
I felt myself blush slightly but my mind couldn't quite figure out if that was from River's message or the fact that I had only just remembered the others around me. "Where I come from, you can spot a policeman out of a crowd of millions. They just look wrong."
The alien spat the final word out, the high pitched voice suddenly becoming a lot slower and more venomous. It blinked slowly.
"And where exactly are you from?" The alien laughed as he circumnavigated the table and approached me. He surveyed me up close, wrapping his fingers around my bow tie and pulling gently. I swatted his hands away protectively.
"The future." The alien said, picking up some food from the table and eating it in large gulps. "We're here for some sightseeing."
I looked over the other guests again and suddenly realised how they did look relatively innocent. Two yellow giants were holding each others hands - clearly a young couple. One short and scaly being was cradling what I first assumed was a weapon but now I could see was a young child. They were just holidaymakers, not evil villains.
"Let me assure you, we are not interfering with time. This was judged to be the safest time and place on this planet after months of testing." The alien in charge put his hands on my shoulders and sat me down. "So sit back, relax and enjoy."
Was it possible that I could have been wrong, that these wasn't anything wrong going on here? "The cell! Why lock me up if you aren't doing anything wrong?"
"We thought you were a spy from one of our rival companies. We appear to have a different idea of justice, my friend." Oh. So this really was just a nice little getaway.
"Sorry." I muttered, lowering my head slightly. The alien sat down again and they began to eat. "Want to hear a funny story? When I was teleported here, I was on holiday and now here I am, on holiday again!"
But as I looked up, I saw that they were all aiming weapons at me. My arms and body were locked in place by metallic braces on the chair. "I didn't think you'd actually buy that." The alien said, smirking. "There's something very special here and we want you to help us get it."
"What?" was all I could manage out of sheer shock.
"There is something hidden in a cave down there. Something guarded by a giant monster. We want it." The alien licked his lips.
"So what do you want me to do?"
"Kill the beast or die trying. And don't refuse - we'll simply kill you." And the aliens and the whole room was gone in a flash.