Suppression. The Doctor was good at suppressing things; sad things, painful things, dark things and lonely things. That's why he'd been so spooked when he had encountered his alter ego, the Dream Lord. Everything he tried so hard to push down into deepest most unreachable recesses of his mind, staring him blatantly in the face and taunting him. The only person who completely and utterly despised The Doctor most in the universe was, in fact, himself.
Soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies, the most feared thing in the universe was The Doctor. How many lives had he destroyed? Too many. How many lives had he saved? Never enough.
So the only thing The Doctor could do was try to save more, eternal repentance. It looked like he was pushing forward, moving on, but really he was just running further away. Distancing himself from what he'd done, what he was. If he didn't keep moving the self-loathing would devour him from the inside out.
He was so alone in his thoughts, dark and twisted grievances about oneself did not make for the best company. He missed the psychic link all Time Lords had with each other, that was so powerful, and missed his family even more so. Now his head was empty, that's how he knew they were all gone and never coming back.
With no psychic connection to any more Time Lords, over time The Doctor had seemed to develop a better synchronisation with human minds. He'd put it down to spending a lot of time in their presence and that partly contributed to his deep need for a companion, or two. As well as how he chose them.
Right now it was the newlyweds, Amy and Rory. All the events that lead up to the Big Bang II, and how he had met Amy, technically never happened. That's time travel for you. From their first encounter The Doctor had formed a strong connection with Amy, maybe because she knew what it was like to be lonely in this big old universe. Then again with time being rewritten, Amy had gotten the family she'd always wanted. However, she also retained the memories of when she didn't, so really she knew what both worlds were like.
The problem with this strong mental bond he had with Amy was that he kept inadvertently crossing the boundary into her mind, especially on the rare occasion when he was asleep. He would fall asleep and end up seeing Amy's dreams. He recalled the Dream Lord saying to Amy "I've seen your dreams, some of them twice Amy, blimey I'd blush" and The Doctor had awoken many times to the sound of his hearts beating furiously. Thankfully, Amy hadn't put two and two together and worked out that he had been intruding on her fantasies.
He'd loved so many in his life yet lost them all. The most painful thing was he knew that soon he'd lose Amy, and as an afterthought; Rory, one day too. It was inevitable, his fate and his punishment.
The Doctor sighed and ran his hand along the TARDIS console. He heard the pairs of footsteps descending the stairs. Followed by a question "So Doctor, where're we headed today?"
Taking a breath and plastering a grin on his face he spun to face the lovebirds. Clapping his hands together he replied "I think it's time you two had your honeymoon!"
"You'll love it, best kept secret of the universe. Planet Cerenia, home of the Celesians. A lot like humans, except they're an incredibly peaceful species. Highly psychic too. They live in buildings made out of purple crystal... Oh! And the native flora produces light. It's amazing! Did I mention the planet orbits a blue star?" The Doctor rambled, leading the pair towards the TARDIS door.
Amy smiled as she listened to The Doctor's enthusiastic speech and stepped out the door after him. Rory followed right behind her.
"Oh. My. God." Amy breathed. She didn't know where to look. They had landed on a hill overlooking a vast city which was comprised of purple crystal that had a subtle glow emanating from it. She looked up to the dark blue starry sky and gasped, three huge planets were floating above them at different points in orbit as well as the blue ball of gas that she assumed was the sun, the planet they were currently standing on was bathed in a gentle blue light from it. Dragging her eyes away from the sky Amy noted the trees had white leaves that were faintly glowing. Amy knelt down on the fluffy white grass that was more like cottonwool to examine the exquisite bell shaped flowers growing there. She let out another gasp as she touched the pink petals of one and it started glowing.
The Doctor crouched down beside Amy "So what do think?" he asked her slightly smug.
"It's beautiful" she replied meeting his gaze. He returned it with a knowing sparkle in his eyes.
The moment was cut short by Rory sneezing. The Doctor jumped to his feet and clapped his hands together. "Right so, let get moving shall we?"
Rory offered Amy his hand to help her up and both went to follow The Doctor when suddenly he let out an agonising scream and collapsed.
"Doctor!" Amy and Rory both exclaimed rushing to his side.
"What's the matter? Are you hurt? How can I help?" Amy asked desperately.
"I'm fine" The Doctor panted while clutching at his head.
"You don't look fine" Rory pointed out.
"You don't look so hot yourself" The Doctor replied indignantly.
"You look half dead and you're still going to make fun of me?" An annoyed Rory asked.
"Of course not big nose" The Doctor replied still out of breath and clutching his head.
Rory brought his hand to his nose "my nose is no-"
"Now boys, settle down. It's not the best time to get all testosterone-y" Amy interceded.
"He started it." Amy shot Rory a look to shut him up, then turned to the Doctor.
"Doctor are you really okay?"
"Something's very wrong here..." The Doctor told them, wobbling a bit as he got to his feet.
"How do you know?" Amy asked as she steadied him.
Pointing to his head The Doctor stated "I can hear it."
"Hear what exactly?" Rory prodded.
"It's a psychic thing. Well, telepathic really. It's a message of despair."
"What does the message say" Amy asked quietly.
The Doctor locked his eyes on Amy. He wasn't sure whether to do this or not, but Amy was strong so he decided it was alright.
Amy stared at the Doctor as he gently placed his hands to either side of her head and closed his eyes. "I think you can handle this" he muttered.
Amy knew the contact had only lasted an instant but it felt an eternity had just past. In her head she had heard the most sorrowful sound. It was a song, sung by hauntingly beautiful voices, sad beyond despair and hope. It wasn't just the sound that filled her head but emotions too. Pain, fear, sorrow and hopelessness hit her like a wave crashing over her. Amy physically buckled over.
"What did you do to her?" Rory accused.
The Doctor ignored him and bent down grabbing Amy's shoulders. "Amy. Look at me." Amy's tear stained face looked to him. "I'm sorry that was too much for you. I did tune it down quite a bit..." The Doctor apologised to the distraught girl.
"W-what... what was that?" Amy whispered.
"Like I said. A message of despair." The two straightened up and The Doctor's hands dropped from Amy's shoulders. "Something is definitely not right and we're going to find out what" he said determinedly.
"That's where we should head" the Doctor pointed to the giant crystal tower that stood elegantly above the rest of the city.
"Let's get moving then" Amy said.
"Wait a minute, just need to grab something!" and with that The Doctor dashed back into the TARDIS. He returned a few moments later. "Let us proceed" The Doctor proclaimed leading the trio down the hill.
They reached the outskirts of the city and Amy couldn't repress her awe. The architecture was like nothing she'd seen before. She noted that a variety of plants had been incorporated into the building's structure which was what made the crystal glow. Amy stared at the slightly distorted purple reflection of her face in the building wall. The Doctor must have noticed her awestruck expression because he smiled at her and said "come along Pond. Investigate first, admire the scenery later."
Making their way through the deserted alleyways they began to hear the faint lull of what sounded like a marketplace. As the noise grew louder The Doctor motioned for them to stop.
Suddenly he whipped out his sonic screwdriver and pointed it ahead of them. Amy had no clue what he was doing, so she crossed her arms impatiently and waited for him to explain.
"That's strange..." The Doctor said, still fiddling with his screwdriver.
"What is..?" Rory asked.
"I did a scan of the area up ahead. There are people there. Well, not people. Aliens. But not the aliens who are supposed to be here... Not the ones native to this planet." He paused with a calculating look on his face. "They're not Celesians. They're Ronyx."
"And that means...?" Amy prompted.
"It means we're all in great danger..."
"Danger? Some honeymoon this turned out to be!" Rory whined.
"Oh quiet you" Amy chided her sulky husband. "So should we go back to the TARDIS Doctor?" Amy asked hurriedly.
"No. Too dangerous. We were lucky we weren't spotted on our way in." The Doctor reached into his pocket and pulled out three devices that looked like bizarre watches. "Luckily I brought these. Here. Quickly put them on." Amy fastened the watch to her wrist. The Doctor grabbed her arm and soniced the device, proceeding to do the same to Rory and himself. "Perception filters." The Doctor explained. "Usually, I avoid using them because most species can work out something's not quite right. The Ronyx however, are exceptionally thick, well, except in their military planning. So now with the perception filters activated we look like Ronyx too."
"Like the fish from space we met in Venice?" Amy asked.
"Yes, exactly like the fish from space. Just stay away from mirrors and reflective surfaces and you'll be right. Oh and try to act like a Ronyx too. They're big, gruff, arrogant and a have a tendency to be violent." The Doctor explained.
"Amy shouldn't have a problem with that" Rory joked. "Ow! I was joking!" Rory exclaimed when Amy punched him in the arm.
"Well, you were right about the violent bit" The Doctor smirked and dashed off towards the main street before Amy could attack him too.
"Don't act as if you've never seen one before. That's how we look now too." The Doctor whispered as the trio entered the marketplace.
Amy fought hard to keep a normal expression on her face. The Ronyx were definitely the kind of aliens that looked alien. An embodiment of how the Doctor had described them. They were tall; all the adults were at least eight feet. Their skin looked as if it were made out of polished pewter, reminding her of living statues. They had four limbs, two arms and two legs that slightly resembled a human's but with huge claws protruding from their hands and feet. Their heads were between the cross of a lizard and a horse with eerie orange eyes. They all wore armoured clothing that was different shades of orange and yellow, contrasting starkly with their environment. Amy had a strange feeling in her stomach. Maybe it was something about these warrior-like aliens that were so out of place in this delicate and beautiful city.
"Doctor what happened to the people who are supposed to be living here? You said they were called, uh, Celesians?" Amy whispered to the Doctor.
"I don't know. That's why we're going to infiltrate the tower up there. That's supposed to be the Celesian royal palace." The Doctor replied.
Amy nodded in understanding and then turned her head to make sure Rory was keeping up with them. Rory smiled at her and she returned it. Then Amy brought her gaze back to her surroundings, they were nearing the tower. Then it clicked.
"Uh Doctor..?" she whispered nervously.
"What is it Amy?"
"You said to stay away from reflective surfaces right?"
"Yes I did." He affirmed.
Amy fidgeted and then stated "the entire city is made of crystal."
To Be Continued...