Kazuki was not a a fearful man. In his line of work, he could not afford to be. He marched outside the regional home of the local governer, looking resplendent in his red-plated armour, sword holstered at his side. Watchful eyes scanned every hill, every treeline, every road for anything that did not belong there.
He nodded in deference to the General, whose bold gold armour distinguished him from the rest. They marched around the beautiful house, now lit from within by lanterns as the sun had fallen below the horizon some time before. Pale wooden beams supported the red-tinted roof and near-perfect golden ornaments of dragons, coiled and ready to strike. Inside the building the Governer slept, with yet more guards providing him round-the-clock protection. No one would dare penetrate these defences.
Yet more guards patrolled further out from the house, actually within the trees and down the paths. Kazuki could see their lanterns moving across his view, keeping a careful watch in case they should raise the alarm.
They did not get the chance.
One by one, those lanterns winked out. Kazuki could hear their screams and shouts, as they rallied to fight the foe Kazuki could not see.
"General, General, in the forest!" He exclaimed, pointing furiously.
Then they heard it. A deep, rumbling roar, and a shriek of something inhuman. For an instant, something black moved across the treeline, something big.
There was a crack of what sounded like thunder, and for an instant the entire forest lit up from within. More guards screamed- and then complete and utter silence fell. Not even the wind resumed.
The little blue box looked so unassuming. Yet it was intrIcately linked to some of the universe's most important events, having decided the fate of countless beings, good and bad, across all of time and space. It was also far bigger than it looked- and it tumbled through the vortex of space and time, whilst inside, two people, one impossibly ancient, the other woven into his life in ways she didn't yet know, sparred verbally.
"You know, this would be a lot easier if I could use both my hands." Remarked the Doctor, as he juggled his sonic screwdriver in one hand and held onto the control console with the other.
"Well, you did insist on breaking in the new circuits right this instant." Replied the beautiful, impossible girl, Clara Oswald, who was holding on for dear life at the other side of the console.
"The gold dials, turn each of them counter clockwise, then the red switch to your left, flick it for me." The Doctor ordered, without looking up from his own work.
"Aye aye skipper." Replied Clara, with just a trace of irony. "What will this do?"
"Hopefully reset the time circuits and bring out of this crazy trip in one piece. Or it will rip a hole in the fabric of the universe, most probably the former but could be the latter."
Clara stared at the Doctor, looking slightly incredulous. "You are joking."
The Doctor looked back, and grinned. "I never joke. Except when I do."
"I hate you." Clara said, but with a cheery voice.
"No you don't. Aha, there we go! Time circuits reset, bringing her in for landing..." The Doctor hit a few buttons and threw a couple of levers. The TARDIS began to make her familiar humming sound as she locked onto solid ground, and she stopping shuddering.
"There!" The Doctor exclaimed, gesturing wildly. "Safely on Terra Firma!"
"Safely where?" Enquired Clara, shooting the Doctor a quizzical look.
"Good question, lets go take a look!" The Doctor straightened his bowtie and wriggled his eyebrows.
"Aha!" He had already bounded to the doors, opened them, and stepped out...
... onto soft white sands.
"Oh this is beautiful..." A smile spread over his face. "Clara, you should take a look."
With a resigned sigh, Clara too made her way to the doors, and poked her head outside.
"Um, we're on a beach. And it's cold, so I' m guessing we're on a beach in winter?"
The clouds were indeed rolling in, and there was a definite chill in the air. The Doctor though, was pointing at a series of houses upon a nearby hill- houses that bore the classic, elegant designs of pre-industrial Japan.
"Welcome to Japan Clara. Welcome to Japan."