Chapter Two

I approached the door to the torture chamber with hesitation. Torture chamber wasn't a good thing and I was terrified of what I might find if I opened the door. I paused at the door and looked back down the passageway. Donna was watching me so I decided not to linger in case I arouse some suspicions about my identity. I slid the ident card down the scanner and I heard a click as the door unlocked. With my heart in my throat, I opened it and instantly recoiled from the smell of sweat and blood and burnt flesh. Swallowing hard, I forced myself to open the door and step inside. The room was semi dark with one lone fluorescent light in the ceiling. I could see racks with torture implement off to the left against the wall and I could see a wooden table off to the right along with a wooden scaffold. At the back of the room were concrete cells with iron bars over the entrances. There were four cells and in the first one I saw the dim outline of a naked man lying on the straw near the back of it. He didn't acknowledge me as I shut the door and moved towards him but I could see lash marks crisscrossing his back and it made me sick to my stomach. I walked over to the door and used my sonic to unlock it.

"Hello?" I said tentatively as I opened the door and stepped inside. "Are you the Doctor?"

He didn't answer and I slowly moved towards him. At first I wondered if this was the Doctor since he didn't speak or look my way. But I saw his hair and even though it was matted with dirty and straw, it was the hairdo I saw in his photo.

"Doctor?" I said when I reached his side.

I bent down to shake his shoulder when suddenly with lightning speed, the Doctor leapt up and before I could act, his arm was around my neck and he had me in a chokehold.

"Where are they?" he growled at me as he put his other hand to side of my head. "Where are my friends?"

My heart raced like mad. He was applying pressure and I was terrified that he was going to snap my neck at any moment.

"Doctor, it's me, it's Rose," I said frantically, hoping he knew me here. "Rose Tyler, please it's me!"

The Doctor froze and the pressure on my neck eased slightly.

"You're lying," he finally said. "This is a trick."

"No, I swear it isn't," I said. "I'm Rose, honestly. Take off my helmet and sunglasses."

The Doctor used his free hand to take off my helmet and sunglasses. His arm still around my neck, he forced me out of the cell and into the light. He stood there and I could see him bend his head forward to look at me. I took comfort in the fact that he knew me in this reality and I prayed he'd be convinced I was the real deal. I felt the pressure on my neck ease off and his arm slipped down off my neck. I turned to get a good look at him and flinched when I saw that someone had roughed him up. His left eye was swollen shut and there were bruises on his cheek. He had a split and swollen lip and a bit of dried blood made a line down to his chin. He looked at me in disbelief, his one good eye looking me up and down.

"No, this is a trick. It's a hallucination," he said, shaking his head slowly. "They did something to me during the torture and now I'm seeing Rose."

"It's not a trick. I came across the void to find you," I said. "Or…find my original Doctor. I don't think you're him since this isn't my world. At least I don't think it is, what's going on here?"

The Doctor still had a wary look on his face but he swallowed and spoke to me.

This Earth is controlled by someone from outer space. They call themselves the Argelion Regime but I haven't been able to suss out exactly who they are yet. The human thugs are all brainwashed slaves. The people responsible for this aren't human, that much I know."

"And Donna? Is she brainwashed as well?"

The Doctor grinned.

"No, I think Donna is just the temp. She's never been one for seeing the big picture. I doubt she realizes what's really going on here," he said. "I'm sure she thinks of this as just another job. But what about you then? Why are you risking all of reality and crossing the void. If you're not my Rose, did your Doctor warn you about that?"

"He did but we need you. Something's happening to make the stars go out and the walls of reality are collapsing. That's why I was able to go over the void safely," I said.

"And you've been searching for me all this time?" the Doctor said.

"Well, searching for the Doctor. I didn't realize there was more than one," I said.

"I didn't either. That's nice though, saves me having to look after all the realities," the Doctor said.

I touched his bare chest and the Doctor watched while I ran a finger down a lash mark that was nearly healed.

"Did you and I? Did we? Were we…lovers here?" I said, my eyes glancing up at him.

"Were we in your reality?" the Doctor said.

I nodded and my heart quickened when he moved closer to me and kissed the top of my head.

"I think that should answer that," he said with a boyish grin.

"How long have you been here though?" I said, carefully putting my arms around him. "And who are these friends you asked me about?"

"My current companions. Three of them. Amy, Rory and their daughter, River. They were separated from me when we were brought here and I haven't seen them since. As for how long I've been here…not sure, but maybe a week. There are no windows in here, at least not in the cells I've been in and I'm not sure of the passing of time."

I looked and noticed there was the slight beginnings of a beard. The Doctor put his face near mine and breathed in my scent.

"I can't believe it's you," he said. "I still keep thinking it's a trick and you're a hallucination. Jack is here, he's one of the guards."

"Our Jack?" I said, shocked.

The Doctor nodded.

"Yeah. He's one of them now. He's the one that did most of the torture on me and I thought when I saw you that he used his memories of you to make me hallucinate. We have to be careful because he might come back at any time."

I was sickened at the thought of one of my best friends torturing the Doctor. I wondered perhaps if he could be helped and possibly help us in return. I asked the Doctor that and he shrugged.

"Until I know for sure what we're dealing with, I can't say for certain if I can counteract the brainwashing," he said. "Even if I could, it would take time and time is definitely not on my side now."

"I won't let them hurt you anymore," I said, putting my hand on his chest.

He chuckled and his eye twinkled with mirth.

"I want you safe, my Doctor," he said. "Protected from the false god."

I knew what that meant, even though I don't remember saying it. But my Doctor told me what happened and told me what I said during one of our intimate moments.

"I mean every word of that," I said to him.

The Doctor smiled and nodded as he stroked my cheek.

"Well, now we have to find me some kit, rescue the others and find a way to bring down this Argelion Regime once and for all. Up to the challenge, Tyler?"

"Always," I said.

He leaned in and kissed me briefly. I felt like a dying woman being given a glass of water to drink since it'd been ages since his lips had touched mine. I wanted it to go on and on but the Doctor pulled away and I knew we didn't have time to stand here and snog.

"So, Lewis, ready to do a bit of investigating," he said, grinning.

"Lead the way," I said, glad that he was feeling well enough to do this and that he trusted me.

"I would but I am in the altogether, perhaps we can find some kit for me?" the Doctor said. "A guard's uniform would do nicely and…"

He shut up when he heard the front door unlock and quickly pulled me into the cell. He shut the door and told me to keep to the shadows as the door opened and Jack Harkness stepped inside the room.

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