Chapter 2

Amy heard herself, but it seemed like it was coming from someone else. It was a single, gut-wrenching scream which lingered in the pit of her stomach, then slowly worked its its way upwards from her lungs to her throat. Her mind was on fire, burning as if her naked brain had been heaped with hot coals. Amy's body felt like it was being ripped apart, torn asunder while she was still fully conscious.

Still, there was a majesty and a beauty surrounding her which seemed utterly impossible. She saw the whole of time and space. Everything and anything which had ever been and which could yet be. It was beautiful and terrible, sweeping and epic, heart-rending and joyous, all at the same time.

"Oh, I do beg your pardon." Came a polite, surprised voice, drifting distantly from somewhere out of the clouds of her confused, hurting mind. "I didn't see you there."

'What?' Amy thought. Then realized that the pain had gone. So had the visions of Time. She slowly cranked open one eye. She stared muzzily at the ceiling. Ceiling? It was white and seemed far, far above her. All around her she had the impression of white walls, as well. Was this heaven? Amy turned her head to one side and instantly regretted it.

"Don't try to move. You'll be alright. At least, I think you'll be alright. Truth is, I really don't know for sure. How did you get in here? That should be impossible, you know. Though I suppose in a universe where anything is possible, nothing is impossible." Said the gentle male voice.

Amy suddenly realized that it had a wee bit of a Scottish burr to it. Was she in hospital in Scotland, then? She moaned and shut her eyes again. Her stomach was queasy and her head was pounding. Did she have a hangover? Food poisoning? Stomach flu?

"I've no idea how you got into my TARDIS, young lady. But, it must have been one doozy of a party." The man said with a trace of good humour in his voice.

"TARDIS?" Amy's eyes flew open. She tried to lift up her head, the room began to spin crazily around, as vertigo took hold of her.

"Yes, well, I suppose introductions are in order." The man said. "I'm the Doctor. And you're in my ship. It's called the TARDIS. That stands for..."

"Time And Relative Dimensions In Space." Amy muttered. "Yes, yes, I know. You've explained that to me already, I don't have amnesia, apparently. But what's with the accent? Are you mocking me?"

"I'm sorry. Have we met? You'll have to forgive my manners. I try to remember everyone, but sometimes the old mind slips a bit. Not getting any younger, I'm afraid." The Doctor told her with a kind smile.

Amy opened her eyes again. Leaning over her was a man. He wasn't the Doctor, though. This man had a small, genial face. His blue eyes, though showing concern, also twinkled with a trace of humour.

"Who are you?" She whispered, confused. "You're not the Doctor."

"Actually, I am. Now relax. This won't hurt a bit." Kneeling down beside Amy, he took her pulse, gazing at her thoughtfully. She suddenly had the feeling like he was seeing right into her mind. "However, I have the sudden feeling that I'm not you're Doctor. Tell me, which regeneration are you with?"

"Regena-what?" Amy shut her eyes, confused. Her headache was getting worse.

The 'Doctor' sat back and thoughtfully speculated, "Two TARDIS' accidentally collide inside the Space-Time Vortex. And I suddenly find myself with a visitor whose popped in out of nowhere. Logic says you had to come from somewhere. And the only somewhere that could be, is the other TARDIS. Another version of myself. Well, I assume another version. Unless I that was the future me...I mean this me in my own future, and I simply haven't met you yet. I do hope I'm not confusing you."

"Eróno. I think I get it...Doctor. I'm..." her befuddled mind had to think about that for a second, "Amy. Amy Pond. I think. I'm with...let me see...what did River tell me? Oh, yeah. Your eleventh regeneration. And you're...?"

"I see!" He frowned, "Then I must be getting on a bit, mustn't I?"

"Actually," Amy said, smiling despite the pain, "you're eleventh self is"

"This is me in my seventh regeneration. Pleasure to meet you Miss Pond." The little man said, tipping his little white hat to her politely.

"It's Mrs. Pond. Or, Williams. Or...whichever." She informed him, "But you can call me Amy."

"Ah. Getting domestic in my old age, am I? Hmmónot sure how I feel about that. Still, you seem quite nice, so I guess I must know what I'm doing."

"Erm-thanks." Amy sighed. Then she heard him get up and move away.

"Where are you going?" She asked.

"Be back in a tick, don't worry." He answered reassuringly.

"How did I get here?"

"Not sure." he called out from somewhere nearby. "Possibly something to do with the TARDIS' safety protocols. I'm afraid I haven't glanced at the manual in quite some time."

Moments later he was back, and Amy felt a warm, soft blanket being thrown over her. Her head was gently raised and then lowered onto a small pillow. She felt her head raised again, and a glass put to her lips. She gratefully took a sip of water. Until then, Amy didn't realize how terribly thirsty she'd been. The water was so cold and pure tasting, it was like drinking right from a glacier in the middle of the wilderness.

"Don't want to move you. Your pulse is a little fast. I should wait to get up for a while if I were you. Rest is a great healer, I think you'll find." The little man told her, as he settled her back on her pillow. She still couldn't think of him yet as the Doctor.

"Now that we have you resting more comfortably, I'm going to go and see if I can find a way to get you back to your own time." he said softly. "I'll only be a few feet away at the console if you need anything, alright?"

"I'll be fine, don't worry about me-arrrgh!"

Amy's body spasmed without warning. She curled into a ball and cried out as a fiery pain wracked her body. Amy managed to crank open her eyes a little. To her astonishment, the tips of her fingers seemed to be glowing.

"What's happening?" She managed to call out.

Looking very grave, the Doctor well knew what was happening. What was going to happen.

"I'm sorry, but you were exposed, however briefly, to Vortex energy. Not a good thing, I'm afraid. Especially for a human. But don't worry. I've got a plan."

"What's that?" She asked, unsure if she really wanted to know. The Doctor's plans could get a bit complicated, sometimes. If not downright screwy.

"I'm going to activate Emergency Protocol Number 378." He said, moving over to the small, white octagonal console in the centre of the room.

"And what's that when it's at home?" Amy wondered aloud.

"I'm going to summon the help of all of my past a future selves. The only way to get you back to your own time, is for every single one of us to pitch in and operate this particular TARDIS at the same exact time."

"What! Isn't that dangerous? What about the whole not crossing your own time line thing?" Amy exclaimed.

"Yes, but I have no choice." He said grimly. "If I don't do this Amy Pond, you're going to burn and die."

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