Then, the crowd cheered, and the dancers dispersed. The girl whom Piper was watching began walking towards her. When she stopped in front of her, Piper was nervous.
“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare” she apologized, “I really enjoyed your performance!” Then, realizing the word ‘performance’ might be too advanced of a word, she quickly stuttered, “-er, dance!”
The girl stared at her for a moment, then grinned.
“Thank you, malihini! I don’t always get attention during dances. I’m glad you enjoyed it!”
Suddenly, before she knew it, a row of flowers suddenly went over her head. Piper was surprised, but soon was in awe of the soft, pink and yellow flowers, gently stringed together. It was a le’i.
“What’s this for?” Piper chuckled, shyly.
“To welcome you” the girl replied.
Piper turned to her uncle, whom she forgot for a moment was still standing there. He too received a le’i, but he reacted completely nonchalantly to it, as if he already expected it.
“My name is Nani,” the girl introduced, “ʻO wai kou inoa, What’s yours?”
“My name is Piper.”
Nani grinned again. “Welcome Piper, to Molokai.”
Piper beamed. “Thank you!”
Just then, the man in bright red and yellow whom was observing the strangers earlier, came forward. Nani suddenly backed away to make way for him.
“Aloha ‘oe, malihini” the man spoke in a strong, booming voice, “Welcome to my village.”
The Doctor nodded respectively. “Aloha ahiahi” He said.
Piper was slightly offended that he made a weird look at her when she spoke Hawaiian, but just spoke it himself. Piper presumed the man speaking to them was the chief of the tribe. She was unsure whether or not to be intimidated by him. The man sounded strong, and his face was slightly firm, but it wasn’t entirely unwelcoming.
“What are your names, and where do you come from, strangers?” the chief asked.
“I’m the Doctor and this is Piper” The Doctor responded, “We are…learned people from far away. We come to explore and learn about other peoples.”
The chief smiled. “Welcome Doctor and Piper. My people welcome you as well. You are just in time for the ʻahaʻaina. Come and sit with them, and you will learn from us.”
The Doctor nodded. “Mahalo” he responded.
Then, the people dispersed from the circle and went in different directions. Piper was surprised by how simple that was.
She was fearing that their presence would stir trouble. But the natives seemed completely comfortable with them ‘invading’ their celebration.
Once they no longer had attention of any Hawaiians, Piper turned to the Doctor.
“You speak Hawaiian?” she asked.
“Oh, I know many languages!” The Doctor announced, “I just haven’t taught you all of them! Besides, the Tardis translates every language to ever exist. No need to really learn anything.”
Piper frowned. “Then how come she translates some sentences but not others?”
The Doctor was quiet for a moment and scratched the back of his head. “I…don’t know actually. Maybe it’s a hiccup in the Tardis’ language processing unit.”
Nani reappeared by Piper, this time, with a woman whom Nani closely resembled, with a purple pa’u skirt, rather than pink (Piper later found out this was called a “Pa’u skirt”).
“My name is Puani. I am Nani’s mother. Welcome to our tribe!” said the woman.
“Aloha Puani” Piper greeted.
“Come Piper, the feast is about to begin!” exclaimed Nani, “You are to join us, and my mother and I will teach you all there is to know!”
Piper nodded and stammered, “Okay!”
Nani held out her hand to Piper, and she was about to take it, but paused. She glanced over her shoulder, seeking the approval of her uncle. The Doctor seemed to be observing the surroundings, seemingly looking for something. Then, he noticed Piper was staring at her. He seemed to snap back to reality and gestured his niece to continue. Piper nodded, and continued with Nani. The Doctor soon followed behind.
The Doctor and Piper quietly sat down with their new friends at a long, spread out fabric sheet, covered with dishes of all different kinds of food. Piper noticed many consisted of pork, but there was also chicken, and of course, coconut. Nani was kind enough to explain to Piper what many of the food was. Piper ate with joy and gratitude. Normally she would have restraint with her portions. But this was Hawaii, at an ancient luau, she was treating this as if it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The inhabitants began chattering amongst each other. The sun had almost fully dimmed over the horizon, and the lights of the tiki torches shone vibrantly. Piper observed the horizon closely, along with the untouched nature around them.
“So what is it that we possibly do to warrant tiki totems made after us?” She wondered.
Piper snapped back to reality. It was Nani. “Yes?” She asked.
Piper looked around and saw that the other Hawaiians had already dove into the dishes, grabbing food with their bare hands. Piper at first hesitated.
“Is something wrong, iki kekehai?” Puani inquired.
Piper sighed and shook her head.
“No, no! Everything looks wonderful!” She replied.
Then, she slowly reached for a platter of pig meat and put some in her bowl, as well as grabbed some of the pudding.
“Do you have any napkins?” Piper asked.
Nani was puzzled. “What’s a ‘napkin’?” She inquired.
“Ah, nothing. It’s not important.”
Piper grabbed a bar of something white and not into it. Her senses were peaked.
“This is coconut!” She announced.
“That’s haupia” said Nani, “It’s made out of the insides of the coconut.” Then she added shortly later, “Have you not had these things before?”
In between that lull of silence, Piper had bit into the haupia. She covered her mouth as she spoke, “I have, just not…in this particular way.”
Puani and Nani smiled. “We’re glad it’s to your liking.”
“My mum and dad would love all this!”
Puani was perplexed. “The man you came with is not your father?” She asked.
“No, he’s my uncle” Piper replied with a certain amount of pride puffing out, “We’ve been traveling for a little while. We like to see…other peoples and other places.”
“Where do you come from?” Nani inquired.
Piper swallowed a piece of pig before responding, “Far away” she responded, trying to avoid the question without making anyone suspicious, “From across the ocean.”
“What’s it like where you live? Is it like here?”
Piper scoffed. “I wish! Where I live it’s cold and always rains! Although the red fields in Gallifrey were very pleasant and-!”
Piper suddenly caught herself. She said too much.
Piper looked down at her bowl, now nearly empty.
“Nothing. It’s nowhere” she mumbled.
All of the sudden, her appetite was gone. She squirmed slightly in her seat. She missed the Doctor. She wanted the feast to be over so she could find him. Piper started looking around, again examining her surroundings and looking for anything out of place. The environment around the table, both the jungle behind them and the beach in front of them, were completely quiet and calm.
Meanwhile, the Doctor managed to slip away from the luau and look around. He took out his sonic screwdriver and briefly scanned around the area. When he found nothing, he let out a big sigh and put it back in his pocket.
“I’ve never seen a tool like that before-”
The Doctor whirled around. The boy that had been observing him back at the dance stood stiffly behind him.
“-What does it do?”
“It…helps me…look…for things” the Doctor replied, stammering, rapidly blinking his eyes.
“Odd things. Things that aren’t supposed to be” said the Doctor.
He took a step forward. “What’s your name?”
“Keonu have you noticed anything strange on the beach lately?”
Keonu shook his head. “No, the gods have been good to us. We have received much food in our harvest. That is why we are having a luau.”
“The waves have also been good. Kanaloa has certainly answered my call for entertaining surfing.”
“Kanaloa? The god of the sea?”
Keonu nodded. “I pride myself on being the best surfer of my tribe, and I haven’t been able to do much practice.” He then raised an eyebrow with a mischievous glint in his eye. “Do you surf, Doctor?”
“Oh, no!” The Doctor exclaimed, “Well, I did, once upon a time, when I was younger.”
“What made you stop?”
“Got older. Priorities changed…as well as hobbies.”