Chapter Two

While the TARDIS was heading towards their destination, the Doctor told River to change into a costume for a Halloween party. He also advised Rory to change his costume.

"I suggest you change into something a bit less bulky, Rory," he said to him. "Otherwise, you'll be lumbering around all night in a hot panda costume."

The Doctor waited till everyone was gone before he made his way to the wardrobe room. While he walked, he smiled and glanced up at the ceiling.

"You thought of the Halloween room because you knew I'd be inspired to take the gang somewhere, didn't you, girl?"

The TARDIS rumbled affectionately and nudged the back of his brain. When he got to the wardrobe room, he looked over the outfits he'd collected over the centuries before selecting an ensemble that resembled the outfit Indiana Jones wore. He adjusted his fedora while he gazed at himself in the floor length mirror and then he headed back to the console room.

By the time he got back, Amy was waiting for him. She was still wearing the witch's outfit, except now she added long, fake, black fingernails to the costume. She stood up and looked the Doctor over.

"Very dashing, you s'posed to be Indiana Jones then?" she said as he walked up to her.

"I am indeed, I'm glad you guessed correctly," the Doctor said.

"Where's your whip then, Indy?" Amy said, pointing to his empty hands.

"I'm not taking one because I'm not going to carry it all day," the Doctor said, walking over to his monitor.

"So…where are we going?" Amy said, coming up beside him.

"It's a planet called Sssss."

"Sssss?" Amy said, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes. Sssss. The race there is reptilian, hence the name. But they're friendly and they love Earthlings. They visited your planet centuries ago and your kind made quite an impression on them. They like me in that they can see your potential so they promote Earth culture. And one of the ways they do that is sharing Earth holidays with the tourists. They have an enormous Halloween bash every year. It's their favorite holiday so they go all out. I thought you humans might enjoy seeing another planet celebrate your own."

"Sounds fun," Amy said. "Nice to know all aliens aren't like the Daleks."

"Uh…no race is like the Daleks," the Doctor said, making a face. "I doubt any species could even come close to being a Dalek, even if they tried. But yes, there are more aliens out there who are fond of humans. I…"

Amy had been staring at the monitor, listening while the Doctor spoke to her but when he trailed off, she turned around and froze. River was standing on the upper steps near the back door. She was dressed in an ankle length, strapless, purple gown and had a pair of purple and silver satin butterfly wings strapped to her back. Amy looked at the Doctor and she could tell he was speechless while he gazed at her.

"D'ya like it?" River said as she came down the steps. "I thought I'd dress up as a fairy."

"You look gorgeous," the Doctor said breathlessly.

River beamed, walked over to him and kissed his cheek.

"What's this supposed to be?" she said, fingering the battered leather jacket he was wearing.

The Doctor gave her a hurt look.

"You're an archaeologist and you've never heard of Indiana Jones?" he said.

"Yes, I have but I didn't think of that straight away so don't be offended, sweetie," River said. "I didn't get the opportunity to watch films when I was growing up."

Amy walked over to her and smiled while she adjusted the wings on her back.

"You look beautiful," she said.

"Thanks, mum, so do you," River said while the Doctor squeezed her hand.

Amy saw someone coming down the steps and looked up to see Rory coming into the room. He was dressed in his centurion outfit and it was Amy's turn to be speechless.

"I thought this would do nicely," Rory said as he walked down the steps. "It fits perfectly and I'm used to wearing it."

"I approve," Amy said, walking over to him and putting her arms around him.

"Ought-oh, we're gonna be here all day," the Doctor said to River while the Ponds gazed into each other's eyes.

The TARDIS landed and powered down.

"Well, have fun role-playing Witch and Roman, we're going to explore Sssss now," the Doctor said, taking River's hand.

"We're coming," Amy said after a long sigh hissed from her lips.

She took Rory's hand and followed the Doctor and River while they walked down the front steps to the front door.

"I'm sorry; did you say the place we're going to is called Sssss?" Rory said.

"Yes. I'll explain while we walk," the Doctor said.

He walked to the door, opened it and peeked out to make sure they were in the correct destination. While they waited on the Doctor, Amy could hear faint screams and moans coming from outside. The Doctor nodded and beckoned to everyone before opening the door wide. When they stepped outside, Amy continued to hear the screams and moans but she realized they were coming from speakers mounted on trees that were scattered around a large open area. There were several Halloween decorations hanging from the trees, some of them animatronic. Amy noticed a couple of animatronic vampire bats hanging from the limb of one of the trees. Both of the bats were flapping their wings and squeaking but when she got a closer look she realized that the bats had bird beaks. When she called the Doctor over and pointed it out, he shrugged.

"They tried their best," he said. "They're not from Earth so sometimes they make mistakes. Close enough."

They walked away from the tree and walked back to Rory and River. Amy looked around and noticed most of the people enjoying the decorations were tall, slim, humanoid lizards. They had purple skin that was streaked with yellow and yellow eyes. Some were naked while others wore long, black chiffon gowns. Amy guessed the ones wearing gowns were the females. Besides them, there were other aliens and humans, alone and in groups enjoying the festivities. Spaced out evenly in the open area were huge bonfires that were burning in the middle of a stone circle. There were booths scattered throughout the festival grounds and a few buildings were on the perimeter. The non-lizard aliens and humans were wearing costumes and laughing and talking while they walked around.

"Those lizard things, do they live here?" Amy asked the Doctor.

"Yes, they're known as the Sissshak. They're very nice people and very welcoming towards humans so you have nothing to worry about," the Doctor said.

As if on cue, an elderly Sissshak turned to look at them and with a warm smile headed their way, his purple tail swished behind him while he walked but he seemed to know how to move it so it didn't bang or trip into anyone else. Everyone stopped when he stopped a few feet from them.

"Are you humans?" he asked.

"Yes," Amy said.

"They are, I'm Gallifreyan," the Doctor said.

"Really? I thought they were extinct," the lizard said, cocking his head slightly while he looked at the Doctor.

"I am the last," the Doctor said.

The lizard fell silent for a moment while he studied the Doctor.

"Sssra-khan," he finally said.

"What does that mean?" Amy said.

"It is the name for him, if I'm guessing correctly at his identity. Among my people he is called Sssra-khan which means Benevolent Traveler. Are you he?" he said to the Doctor.

"I am," the Doctor said.

The lizard's face lit up with delight and he bowed before the Doctor.

"I am Khassstra; it is an honor to meet Sssra-khan in the flesh. And are these your traveling companions?" he said, gesturing to Amy, Rory and River.

"They are," the Doctor said.

"It is an honor and a privilege," Khassstra said, bowing to them.

Amy, Rory and River bowed back and Khassstra beamed.

"Are you enjoying our festival so far?" he said to the Doctor.

"We've only just arrived," the Doctor said.

"Then would you permit me the honor of accompanying you, great Sssra-khan?" he said.

"I would love that," the Doctor said.

Khassstra bowed again.

"Come, my friends, I will show you the festival," he said, beckoning to them to follow him.

Back                         Home                              Doctor Who Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted.