Within the dense forests of a heavily vegetated Alien planet, a village of thatched wooden huts stood ablaze. Terrified cries and death screams filled the night sky. A short distance from the village, a small humanoid Alien child with pointed elf-like ears was racing through the underbrush, twigs and leaves tangled in her neon blue hair. She finally stopped running by a rushing river with a current strong enough to move boulders. There, she crouched by the water, gasping for breath. Looking back in the direction of the destroyed village, tears started falling from her solid steel blue eyes. At that moment, a strange sound made her turn rapidly, where she stared straight into an eyestalk. Letting out a small terrified whimper, she tried to scamper over a rotting log that formed a natural bridge over the river. However, when she was halfway over the log, she froze at the sight of another eyestalk looking back at her from the other side of the river. The Alien girl was trapped on the log, with her pursuers blocking her on both sides of the river. For a brief moment, there was absolute silence, broken by two electronic voices screeching into the night.
Fifteen Years Later
A blue sun shone down on a greatly industrialized Alien city. Monorails rumbled along suspended railings, and sky cars glided past the towering buildings. Within the center of the city, a humanoid Alien female in a dull brown waistcoat and torn trousers walked out of a bistro, pulling a haversack over her shoulder. A blood-red head band held her neon blue hair out of her face, where a tinted eye visor covered her eyes. As she started heading off, a second Alien, resembling an anteater, hurried out after her.
“Hey! Hold up, you!” He ordered. “You haven’t paid for your meal.”
“Okay, look.” The girl turned around, looking upset and annoyed at the same time. “I’m sorry, but it’s not me. It’s my brother. He always does this. We go out, and he insists he has the credits. We finish eating, and then says he’s heading to the lavatory, but he sneaks out. The check comes, and I’m left with no credits and a stupid look on my face. So, please. Just let me go this one time. I promise it won’t happen again.”
“You seriously expect me to believe that?” The maitre d' glared.
“I’m telling you, that’s the truth!” The girl insisted before pointing at something. “Look! There he is. My brother’s right over there. HEY, RIZON!” The maitre d’ turned to look where the girl was pointing. The girl made sure he was looking the other way, then turned and ran off.
“HEY!” Realizing he’d been tricked, the furious maitre d’ looked around, spotting a muscular reptilian Alien, dressed in the typical uniform of a City Patrolman. Pointing after the Alien female, the maitre d’ shouted. “Bill stiffer!” The City Patrolman turned to the culprit, his eyes narrowing as he recognized the retreating figure, and gave chase.
Elsewhere, in a secluded alleyway, a rat-like creature with red fur and spikes running down its back scurried around, searching for food. It found a slightly gnawed bone that had some remnants of meat still clinging to it, and began to make a meal of the meager portion. At that moment, a sudden wind swirled through the alleyway, accompanied by a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise. The sounds sent the rat creature scurrying for cover in a small crack in an abandoned crate, where it watched as a tall blue police box slowly materialized. After a moment, the doors opened, and three figures emerged.
“The illustrious city of Baniru. Located in the heart of the Triangulum Galaxy.” The leather-clad Doctor narrated. “It’s the most multi-racial metropolis in existence. Alien races from every corner of the universe all living in unity, right here.”
“Sounds exciting.” Jack commented, glancing around the alleyway with a roguish grin.
“Don’t you dare go off and get the whole populace coming after us.” The Doctor warned.
“Be nice, Doctor.” Rose scolded. The Doctor scowled, but listened to the young girl. It was just so hard to refuse her requests. When Jack started to make his way to the front of the alley, the Doctor turned to Rose.
“You do realize that I only brought him along because you asked.” He stated. “And he should remember that he wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t gotten him before his ship blew up. He’d do well to remember that, and be grateful.”
“And we would be dead too, if Jack hadn’t stopped that bomb from falling on us.” Rose reminded. “Guess that makes us even, then.” Satisfied at making her point, she turned to follow Jack out of the alley. In doing so, she missed the tender smile the Doctor had directed at her. The memories of them being trapped in the ward at Albion Hospital, trying to escape from the nanogene-altered patients, were still fresh in his mind, and he knew that, even if he lived for another nine hundred years, he’d never forget that night.
The Doctor’s thoughts were interrupted when he heard Jack’s shout and Rose’s startled cry. A humanoid Alien female had suddenly ran into the alley and collided with Rose, knocking them both to the ground. The Alien looked rapidly at the three travelers, with eyes that were hidden behind a tinted eye visor, pausing when she turned to face the Doctor. For a brief moment, the Alien simply stared at the Doctor, looking mystified.
“SOLARIS!” The moment was broken when the City Patrolman dashed into the alleyway. The Alien female quickly grabbed hold of the haversack she’d dropped when she had ran into Rose and darted further into the alley. Using a pile of crates for a boost, she leapt clean over the steel gate that stood in the back of the alley, throwing in an acrobatic flip to add some class to her escape. The City Patrolman furiously slammed a fist into the gate in frustration.
“Solaris! Worthless thief!” The Patrolman shouted after the escaped humanoid female. “One of these days, Solaris! Just you wait!” Grunting in anger, the Patrolman stormed off.
“Excuse me, is there a problem?” The Doctor inquired. The Patrolman glared at the Doctor.
“Nothing to concern you.” He snapped. “It’s nothing but that worthless pickpocket. She’s been a problem for years. But no one can evade us forever. One of these days, I will catch that one.” The Patrolman left the alley, fuming over Solaris’ successful escape.
“Yeah, I’ll say it again.” Jack smirked. “Exciting.”
“Doctor?” Rose turned to the Time Lord. “Have you met that Alien before?”
“I think I’d remember if I had.”
“But did you see the way she looked at you?” Rose asked. “It was like she recognized you or something.” The Doctor frowned slightly, but quickly shifted to his trademark cheerful grin.
“Ah, sure it’s nothing. Come on, then. Let’s go see Baniru.”