Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 7476
Author's Summary: What is a naturally chilly space alien to do when a blast from his past comes down with heat exhaustion? Jo and the Sixth Doctor find out.
Characters/Pairings: Jo Grant, Three, Four, and Six
Recced because: The short answer is, it's brilliant and a joy to read. The long answer is, it is a wonderful mix of world-building, adventure, peril, humor and affection. Singe has a fantastic Jo Grant voice; it makes me want to go watch more of her serials and learn more about her. For a comparatively simple plot, Singe builds us a whole alien world and species painted in vivid prose and dialogue. Her Third Doctor is industrious and heroic, of course, but to the point of being ever so slightly absent-minded about things like, oh, heat tolerance in his human assistants. And if we see an almost Six-ish tone in Three's ego and oversight, we also get to see a side of the Sixth Doctor that more echoes the protective, intimate side of Three that we might glimpse in the uncertain stretch of time spent locked up in a cell somewhere. In this case, the closeness is a bit more physical and necessary (it's NOT 'aliens made them do it', I promise), but Singe plays it for some laughs and ultimately, amazingly, a satisfying sense of friendship and comfort. And I haven't even mentioned the third act yet, have I? Well, you'll just have to read it then.
She looked behind her and was relieved to see that hers was the last group of colonists to be gotten in. Then, ahhhh, the sun was blocked by the ship and she squeaked with something very close to joy. It would all be over soon: the terrible heat, the worry, the earthquakes, everything.
"I can't see a thing," her new friend groused.
"This way. Here's the gangplank." Jo paused to check for stragglers. There were none and she grinned.
"Can you see in the dark?" he asked, blinking.
"This isn't dark at all under here. My eyes have barely adjusted, it's still so bright."
"I bet your people developed in caves," he sniffed. "Didn't they?"
Jo laughed. "I think they did! In water, then in burrows, then in nice, cold caves." He hissed and his tail stuck straight out from his body, horrified at the very thought. "What's your name, by the way?" Jo asked. She was so pleased to see her entire group slowly disappear into the ship. She did it.
She really did it! She threw her head back and answered with pride. "I'm Jo. Pleased to meet you, Hask."
"Szo, I like that name. Er, I'm also thoroughly pleased to meet you." She noticed they were the only people left on the gangplank. Hask noticed it, too. "Care to fight for the honor of being last off the planet?"
She glanced at his raptor-like claws and sharp, sharp teeth. “I don't wanna hurt you so the honor is all yours,” she answered and started up ahead of him. He chortled again as he swaggered up the gangplank behind her. And so old Hask was the last S'rllsk to leave the trembling planet. A fact Jo was sure he'd never let his descendants forget.