People and creatures disappear from a far-flug "arribal", and the Doctor is intent on finding out why.

Darkness brings a certain stillness to a landscape, but a landscape of concrete, glass, and steel can only stand to be so still. Along a battered side street, what looks like a suspended light begins to blink, and a distinct revving pulses with the light, but both are lost to anyone further than a half a block away. Lights are never in short supply, even in the slums, and the rev is drowned out by the hum of traffic out on the main drag, and by the dull roars of more conventional spacecraft entering or leaving the spaceport not two kliks off. Below the blinking light, and in time with the revs, a tall blue box begins to materialize in the middle of the sidewalk. Luckily the sidewalk, and indeed the whole side street, might as well be the surface of the barren planet Magrathea, which is just as well. The box's occupant isn't necessarily looking for attention at the moment.

This occupant emerges onto the sidewalk shortly after his box stopped revving and the light stops pulsing. After securing the box's door, he sticks his hands in the pockets of his long brown trench coat and looks up at the boarded up shells of old low rises. Under the coat he wears a smart dark blue suit pinstriped so subtly you'd have to look for them; below the hem of the coat he sports red canvas, white rubber soled sneakers. An unusual mix, the suit and the sneakers, but "unusual" is a subjective term in the city, this or any; besides, even if it was unusual he wouldn't have minded.

He gives a satisfied nod to the buildings and he returns his gaze back to the street level. The one end of the street looks more barren than his present location, which can be nice if you're looking for that sort of thing, but he decides he's not at the moment, so he opts for going towards the other end of the street, which leads out to a significantly more populated pedestrian street. This is more like it, he thinks, and merges with the flow.

The masses of people wandering with varying levels of purpose reminds him quite a bit of humanity, but they can hardly collectively be called "humanity"; in fact you couldn't really collectively call this array of beings any one thing. There are certainly humans present, or at the very least outwardly humanoid beings, but there're clumps of Betelgeusians and Jaglanis here, handfuls of Lamuellans and Geestellik there, lesser Dentrassis shuffling between various shady restaurants, some Foamasi, clouds of Hooloovoo, even a few sapling denizens of the Forest of Cheem, not to mention all the other races he couldn't quite identify, all milling about together! How fantastic!


Just as he turns toward the source of the cry, someone half-runs and half-falls into him, limply struggling to maintain anything resembling balance. He does his best to help the stranger to his feet. The stranger, who's at the very least humanoid and barely able to keep his eyes open, looks up in fogged distress at the newcomer and tries to say something, but his mouth refuses to cooperate and all he can manage is a negative grousing moan. Out of the crowd emerge three black-clad bipeds, who had been scanning the street, and now approach him and this stranger.

"Thanks for finding our friend," says one of the bipeds, this one mantis-like in his face. "He's had a bit of a rough night, we're trying to take him home." There's an air of urgency in his voice and punctuating clicks.

"Is your friend alright?" he asks. "Does he need any help? I am a doctor--"

"That won't be necessary," the second of the trio, extremely reptilian in his features, cuts in, already easing the stranger from the newcomer's arms to his compatriots.

"He's just a little confused, he'll be fine."

"Are you sure?"

The third, this one feline, nods, despite a weak groan of complaint from the stranger.

"Positive," seconds the mantis. He makes some gesture behind his back to his companions, who take the visibly-struggling stranger between them and start back down the street in a sort of frog march. He looks around the mantis' shoulder, then back to the mantis quizzically. "He's just a little addled," the mantis explains, clicking a little before continuing. "He got some bad news earlier, took it really hard, now we're just trying to get him home."

"I see…"

"Have a good night, sir." With a nod the mantis turns and follows his companions and the stranger, who, the pinstriped Conversed newcomer notices, has since stopped struggling.


He watches them turn down another side street, but he doesn't follow. Suspicious as the exchange struck him, it wasn't too terribly unusual. It was probably nothing.

There's always the chance it was something, but if there was any trouble, he would certainly find it.

With a shrug he turns back to continue the way he had been walking before, and it isn't long until the street opens into a bustling square. Most of the shops and stands are closed, and many of the open bars and restaurants have some business or other, but the most popular establishment sits on the far corner; it doesn't look like much, it's a simple dark brick low-rise, with its most notable feature being a velvet-red neon sign sultrily spelling out "Bajofondo".

He shrugs to himself. Wouldn't hurt to see what all the fuss is about, he figures.

The End

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