Amy has always wanted to travel on the Orient Express. The fact that the restored Pullman carriages, with their iconic livery, are presently forging their way through the stars is sort of a bonus. Less Venice-Simplon, and more Venus-Serpens, as the Doctor puts it.
They are in the luggage car, where Exhibit THX1138, in transit to the Langford Museum on New Luxor, has started causing trouble. The sarcophagus is a dull dark metal, and the top of it is vaguely humanoid. The stylized face is not human, though, but distinctly feline. There are hieroglyphs on the surface.
"Sekhmet, Mistress of Dread, Lady of Slaughter, Avenger of Wrongs...sounds friendly." The Doctor's eyes narrow slightly, and he starts scanning the joints. "Now, they can't possibly have known what they were doing here, but this metal didn't originate on Earth...probably a meteorite, but oddly enough, it's the perfect thing for making a stasis chamber...moving the sarcophagus broke the field..."
"Is it still in there?"
"Ha! Thing with a cat in a box is, it might be alive or it might be dead...we won't know until we look."
"If she is alive in there, she's probably furious." Rory says, sensibly. The Doctor, about to throw open the lid, pauses.
"Ah. Good point." Clears his throat, and taps gently on the lid. "Hello, can you hear me in there? I'm going to open this, now, and I'd prefer it if you didn't try and claw my face off. Thank you."
Flips open the lid, and skips back.
The box is empty. But the inside of the lid is heavily gouged.
"So what do we do now, wander round the carriages with a can of tuna?" Amy asks.
They decide that the best thing to do is to have dinner first. Hunting vengeful goddesses is best done on a full stomach. And because this is the Orient Express, Amy insists that they dress up.
Rory is trying to fix his bow-tie when the door bangs open, and the Doctor half-falls through it. His elbow jogged, the tie falls to pieces.
"Aren't you ready yet?"
"I would be if..." Rory tries to gather the ends of the tie again. The Doctor tuts and spins him round by the shoulders.
"Here, let me have a look at that."
The door opens again, and sends the Doctor stumbling into Rory. They both fall over onto one of the seats.
"Shall I leave you two alone?" Amy asks, cheerfully.
Somewhere in the TARDIS wardrobe, she's found the perfect dress. Just the right amount of slink.
The Doctor scrambles off Rory (for a skinny guy, he's surprisingly heavy) and straightens his own dinner jacket. Rory coughs, and sits up, and Amy takes over the task of the tie.
All is going well, and Amy and Rory are happily chatting to a couple from the Forest of Cheem (who appear to be drinking their soup through their fingers) when the doors to the dining carriage burst in under the weight of flying Doctor.
The creature that bounds through the opening after him is tall and menacing, a slender humanoid figure, a tufted tail lashing angrily behind her. The bare feet are clawed, and so are the flexing hands. And the snarling face is that of an angry lion, topaz eyes and white fangs.
"Little bit of help here?" The Doctor pants, jabbing with a chair. A swipe of a claw narrowly misses his face.
A dull, flat report, and something glances off the Doctor's shoulder. Then the gush of champagne hits the creature full in the face. It yowls.
"Bad Kitty!" Amy crows.
The Doctor takes the opportunity to ram the chair forward, trapping the creature as the legs punch into the wall. It hisses and struggles, and then hangs limply.
The Doctor examines it, head tilted, then suddenly steps back.
"Oh, you're a Tharil. Goodness, haven't seen one of you for a long time."
"You..." The cat-lady's eyes widen. Suddenly, she is no longer a raging fury, but a person.
There is a shard of chair-leg embedded in her arm. She pulls it free with a hiss.
"Where am I?" Eyes narrow. "When am I?"
Rory may not know much about alien physiology, but he is of the opinion that anything that looks like blood should probably stay on the inside. He doesn't really think about it, dragging his tie off.
Amy watches Rory carefully bandaging Sekhmet's arm. Take him halfway across time and space, and he's still the one looking after people. The Tharil blinks slowly up at him.
"You carry the weight of years in you, I can sense it. But not as he does."
"No, well, I'm just a human."
"So was Imhotep." The smile is perhaps less reassuring than it is meant to be, with those teeth. "But you are not like the ones who sealed me away."
Amy purses her lips.
"She's purring at him." She mutters crossly.
"Well, he's a very likeable man, your husband."
Sekhmet eyes Amy's red hair.
"The daughter of Set is your mate?" She asks.
"Er, yes. We just got married, this is our honeymoon..." Rory looks around at the wreckage of the dining-car.
"Yes, about that..." The Doctor coughs, scratches his neck. "I imagine they might want us to get off the train soon, since we don't have actual tickets..."
The orange eyes flare with fear and anger.
"I will not return to that living death."
"No reason why you should."
"So take these chains from me."
Around each wrist, heavy bracelets, the same dark pitted metal as the sarcophagus. The Doctor points his screwdriver. The heavy bracelets snap free, and fall to the ground.
She stands tall and proud and golden. And then...
"She walked through the wall!" Amy squeaks.
"Time-shift." The Doctor says, cheerfully. "Is there any of that champagne left?"
"...Of course, she wasn't actually a real goddess, she was a time-traveller. Got herself stranded while she was trying to steal jewellery from some Pharaoh."
"You mean..." Rory blinks, "we actually arrested...Catwoman?"
"Well, technically, in a sense..." The Doctor says.
"I'm Batman." Amy rasps, and goes off into a fit of the giggles.