Smoke billowed from the console, choking and blinding the pilot.
"Come on... come on..." mumbled the figure as he shoved a lever, slammed a button, twisted a dial, his eyes dashing over the controls. His night-dark suit was stained with suit and dust. "Come ON!!" he roared, dealing out a savage kick, eliciting a harsh mechanical scream. The screens were dead, or swam with meaningless static, black and white. On the wall, a light exploded, throwing glass over the room, but the man ignored it; he flung open a panel and ducked underneath it, ripping out cables and putting others in their place, cursing the wretched machine to the depths of deep space. Grey-white ash had gathered in his salt-and-pepper goatee, and stained his face pale.
Clang! A sudden lurch smashed him into the wall of the cupboard, and the control room started spinning, hurling in a sickening meander; the floor became the roof, and then the floor again; and each of the six walls chased each other clockwise in a maddening sprint. A stream of scarlet blood gushed onto the black suit.
"NO! No, don't think it'll be so easy to get rid of me!"
In the corner of his eye, snow-white figures watched him impassionately, indifferent to his raving.
"I'm still here! I'm still here, come on, all of you come on! I'm sticking arou-"
A soft white light shone on a chessboard, a premium wooden set -- cherrywood and pine, Dubrovnik knights staring balefully at miniature forts and crowns.
"Really? You're going to play there, are you?"
The Doctor was decked in technicolour atire, an eruption of colour with all the subtlety of a mega pack of Starbusts, a mass of curly blond hair bursting from his head. Peri paused, counting three seconds in her head.
"That's right, Doctor. That's my move. Is that a problem?"
"Oh, no. Not at all," he said, leaning back into an ornate lawn chair of green-tarnished copper. "If you want to lose, that is. I mean look, look at this," he said, leaning back over the board and moving both colours without regard. "You see, as soon as you go there then I just advance up _here_," -- he pushed a rook to the eight row -- "and then-"
"Doctor," said Peri. "You said chess was _fun_."
"Oh." He paused. "Ah, well,", he said, shrugging with elaborate nonchalance. "I guess we can't all be intellectuals."
"Did you use any of that intelligence when you picked that coat?" she asked sweetly.
"I'll have you know," he replied, clutching his lapels indignantly, that this is the very _best_ that --"
"I know, I know..."
"Right," he said, crossing his arms. "I'm glad that's settled." He shoved his hands into his pockets, strode over to the console and feigned interest in the controls.
Peri sat back into the other chair. That coat the best? If he was a bird of paradise in a very dark jungle. The lurid pigment reminded her of the Doctor's candy room -- a whole room just for candy! -- Smarties, Skittles, M&Ms, jelly babies, all mounting an joint attack on her eyes. Her stomach rumbled.
"Shall I make us some supper?" she offered. The Doctor's cooking wasn't bad, but it could be very cosmopolitan, so from a star-crossing time traveller you never knew quite what to expect.
He turned sharply. "You're going to cook, what, some sort of banal stomach-filler? I mean here we are in a craft that puts up two fingers to the mundane bylaws of space and time and you're going to whip us up some ham and eggs? No, Peri! Sometimes you've got to _live_ a little! Tonight we shall sally forth, and dine on..." He ran his fingers through his golden locks. "On the _original_ fish and chips! How about that, eh? Authentic coal-fired cod and chips from its home in England! Come on, come on, let's go..."