Chapter 1

"Whoo-hoo!" Amy yelled jubilantly.

"Surfs up, dude!" Rory called out to the Doctor, grinning and giving him the 'hang ten' sign with his free hand.

Hanging on to dear life by a safety rail, Rory and Amy watched as the TARDIS swung and swayed through a multi-coloured star field. The Doctor had thrown the door open wide, and they all could see the shifting myriad of colours floating past them in shades of sapphire blue, tangerine, forest green and ruby red.

Surrounding the Doctor's faithful time ship was the yellow glow of a sonic star wave. The TARDIS rode it like a California surfer, bobbing and swaying in rhythm with the tide of cosmic star dust. The Beach Boys "Surfin' USA" was blaring out from the console room's tannoy. Laughing with utter delight, the Doctor was busy with what he'd come to love doing the most: experiencing the universe through the reactions of his human companions.

The central column churned away, its frenzied grinding noise competing with the music. The Doctor was racing around like a mad scientist waking his creation, all arms and legs waving about. He seemed to be everywhere at once. One moment he was on one side of the controls, the next he was on the other. Then, the Doctor seemed to be virtually hanging upside down from the console. All the while, he was busily pulling levers, pushing buttons and throwing switches.

As the wave slowed and gradually came to an end, the Doctor stilled his motions and became more precise and calm in his actions. With sparkling eyes and a wide smile plastered to his face, he was preparing to shut the door and take his ship back into the space-time vortex.

Without warning, the control room lights dimmed and the emergency lights kicked in. The klaxon bell began to sound its deep, ominous warning of impending doom.

There was a flash of white light outside the doors. Its brilliance lit up the control room, making them all cringe and shut their eyes against the painful glare. At the same time there was a tremendous boom which shook the TARDIS. The console simultaneously gave a bang, blowing up in a shower of sparks and white smoke. Rory dimly heard Amy scream, as he was flung violently to the floor. The TARDIS door slammed shut. He reached out to grab hold of his wife.

"What the hell was that?" The Doctor said to himself, as he too was driven to the floor. "That sounded exactly like a sub-transitory chronosonic boom. That could only mean..." His eyes went wide in panic as he lurched upwards to grab on to the console. "No! It can't be!"

"Doctor!" A worried Rory called out, as he vainly tried to stand while the TARDIS continued to careen out of control.

"Not now, Rory!" The Doctor answered back. "Major, major emergency here. No time to stop for a cuppa' and a chit-chat I'm afraid!"

"But, Amy..."

"Later, Rory! The whole of space and time is about to collapse. I think I'm just a bit busy at the moment." The Doctor shouted. His panicked hands scrambled amid the smoking console trying to re-gain control of his wildly bucking ship, while he did his best not to be thrown across the room.

"What's happening?" Rory shouted back.

"Two TARDIS' entering the vortex at the exact same point in precisely the same instant in time. That's not supposed to happen. Yet somehow it has, and if I can't stabilize this mess...sorry old girl...I mean, if I can't stabilize this ship and get us out of here..."

"We're all going to die. Right, I know." Rory said. "It's just that Amy has..."

"Yes, yes, Rory. I'm guessing that Amy has gone and done something very foolish. But there won't be an Amy any longer if you don't shut up and let me concentrate." The Doctor bit back at him, as a part of the console blew, nearly sending a shower sparks into the Doctor's eyes. Quickly averting his face, the Doctor's hand reached far up on the controls and tweaked a knob.

All of the sudden, everything stopped. Everything. Rory's mind kept working, but he couldn't speak or move. Could not even blink his eyes. The Doctor also seemed to be likewise frozen in place, as well as the TARDIS console.

Then, very gradually, Rory was able to blink one eye, then the other. He scrunched up his face. Felt his lips move in slow motion. "Dooooctooor-"

"S'rightRoryI'llfixit." And in a flash of a nano-second, time had suddenly sped up so much, that Rory could barely understand the Doctor's words. He gaped as the Doctor's body and hands tore around the console in quick-time. However, before Rory could say or do anything more, things abruptly returned to normal.

"What the...?" A confused Rory said, as he walked shakily over to stand beside the Doctor.

"Time recoil." The Doctor explained, "Happens when the inter-spacial gnomonitor accidentally loops temporal feedback around the mid-phase destabilizer circuits. Causes some unusual side effects, but it's essentially harmless. Think of it as a backfiring carburetor...well, not a carburetor. More like a hiccup. No, not a hiccup either. But think of it as a hiccup, if it helps you at all." He turned to face Rory. "What were you saying about Amy?"

"She's gone, Doctor." A breathless Rory answered. "There was that white light, the door slammed shut, and Amy was just...gone."

All the breath abruptly seemed to go out of the Doctor. He stood stock still. His face went quite pale. Startled at the Doctor's sudden change of expression, Rory felt his stomach turn to a block of ice.

When the Doctor finally spoke, it was only to whisper, "Oh, Amy." For a breif moment he silently regarded Rory with sorrowed and tired looking eyes. Then he managed to choke out the words, "I don't know how to tell you, Rory. I don't want to tell you. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."

"Doctor, please..." Rory pleaded, dreading to hear the words he knew in his heart the Doctor was about to say. Yet, knowing that he must.

"She's gone, Rory. And...there's nothing I can do to save her this time. Amy's been sucked out nto the time-space vortex. No one can survive that. Not even a Time Lord."

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