She opened her eyes once again, blinking deliriously to fix her eyes against the darkness the room had been cast into since the lights had blown from the excess power flowing through everything in her. Her head was aching something fierce but all her memories seemed to be in their correct place at first glance so she could only slump slightly in relief. The glass screen that had been between her and the Master had shattered, the machines he’d sat at to control the memory wipe had blown and were still sparking lightly every few seconds. The Master himself was on the ground, unconscious after the machines malfunctioning blast had hit him.
At the back of the room she spotted her past self, the one in the bowtie who’d been teleported with her, unconscious as well on the ground. The Matrix port he’d been stuck inside of was caput after the overflow of a whole lifetime of information that it had been fed from multiple sources.
The two Cybermasters that had put her in the chair were both stood in their dark corner of the room, unmoving and both unaffected by the chaos around them. She stared at them as she pulled on her restraints, her body weak and her mind protesting her every movement, every grunt of pain. She didn’t know what orders the Master may have given them should she manage to escape. She pulled and pulled but it proved rather fruitless and she had to give up a hard tug when her mind and body began screaming at her in unison to stop before she strained herself too much and she slumped back in the chair defeatedly, chest heaving as she tried to breathe through the pain. Then an idea occurred to her and her gaze slid back to the Master’s prone figure on the floor.
“I think I’ve proven I’m the stronger of the two of us.” She didn’t speak to him. She spoke to the self-aware A.I currently at home inside his body, slithering through his brain. “You could stay with him, or you could come with someone who actually wins when they say they’re gonna do something. You’ve been inside my head already; you know I’ve stopped the Cybermen countless times. Think of what you could learn.’ There was a moment where she thought it hadn’t worked, that she’d be stuck here until she was found, but then the Cyberium began to float liquidlike away from the Master’s form and up into the air above him. The Doctor took in a deep breath and tensed herself, preparing for how much this would simply add to the agony on top of what she already felt.
“Bad Idea! Bad Idea! Bad Idea!” she screeched out as the Cyberium clawed itself into her brain, seeping and drowning itself into every nook and cranny until all she could feel was pain and hurt and fear. It was too much. She’d made a bad idea with this. When she finally was able to relax from the squirming and thrashing that the Cyberium had caused, she was shaking, her whole body shuddering as she looked towards the Cybermen. “Let me out of this chair.” She ordered, her voice hoarse from the screams and she was all but slumped over in the chair as the two Cybermen marched their way over and undid the straps that had been keeping her in place.
She reached first for the band around her head, hissing in pain as she pulled it off with shaking hands and it scraped across the burn marks that it had seared into her skin. She tossed it to the ground, uncaring if it got broken in the process and tried to push herself to her feet only to stumble onto her hands and knees with another cry of pain. She was struggling for breath as the Cyberium dug its figurative claws in and her eyes widened as she realised what it was doing in response to it realising that she was faking it. Her chest began to heave as she lifted one hand up as it began to glow gold. Her eyes widened in panic as she realised what was happening and she quickly squeezed her eyes shut and clenched her fist and willed the energy back right as the door to the room burst open.
“Doctor?!” she lifted her head, eyes flickering open at Yaz’s voice calling out for her and she caught sight of the woman right as she bolted towards her, stumbling to a stop as the Cybermen still in the little offside room with the Doctor turned to her.
“It’s fine.” She told her hoarsely, “I’ve got the Cyberium. It’s okay. They’re under my control.” She struggled to pull herself to her feet, trying to avoid glass on the floor as she did so.
“Yeah, got that. There’s a whole bunch standing guard outside that didn’t care when we walked past them.” Yaz instantly hurried to her side to assist her to her feet and the Doctor ended up leaning heavily against her, another small figure at her other side as Nardole moved her other arm over his shoulders.
“Hello, ma’am.” She huffed out a short noise of amusement at gentle greeting and looked out into the main room where her two other selves, the one in pinstripes and the one with the eyebrows were stood over the still prone figure of the Master.
“Nardole,” she greeted him softly.
“Oh my god.” She looked to the doorway where Amy Pond had just appeared, Rory following closely behind, and she watched the redhead hurry over to her bowtie wearing self who was just beginning to stir back into consciousness. “Doctor? Doctor! Are you okay?” Amy and Rory both dropped to their knees in front of him. Amy reached out for his shoulders to help him steady himself as he sat upright, visibly unsteady.
“Amy? Rory?” he asked, voice weak and wobbly, as he stared intensely at the both of them, visibly relieved as he threw his arms around them both and tugged them into him. They held him back, both glancing to one another in concern.
“Is he alright?” A voice spoke up over them and the Doctor in a bowtie lifted his head from the embrace and froze at the sight of Bill Potts looking down at him worriedly. He all but rocketed to his feet, nearly throwing the Ponds off balance as he did so and shifted nervously in front of the young woman as he stared at her, tears gathering in his eyes. “You alright, mate?” she asked again. He swallowed something down, emotions welling up in his throat and his jaw quivered as he reached up shaking hands to cup her face gently for a moment as he stared at her. She stared up at him, confused over his reaction to her, especially since she knew he didn’t know her. The grief on his face had silenced her, though, from asking anything else.
“Doctor?” Amy’s questioning voice seemed to knock him out of it and he practically leaped backwards from Bill and looked around the room with wide eyes, panic across his entire being, then was quick to begin ushering the Ponds from the room, his voice tense and leaving no room for arguments.
“Shouldn’t we stay and help?” Amy tried to protest as he all but shoved her out the door.
“No, it’s fine.” The door closed behind them and Bill turned to her version of the Doctor, the one with the eyebrows, her expression confused and worried as she jabbed a thumb towards the door.
“What was that about?” Her version looked… not nervous? But he didn’t look happy. He swallowed thickly and shrugged to her.
“We don’t know what he got shown in there. Best to just leave him be. The sooner he gets off this planet and back into the normal time stream the quicker he gets to forget it all.”
“But why react like that with me?” she frowned, slightly distressed over what he could have seen to do with her that would have made him react so strongly.
“Best put it out of your head Bill. We won’t know.” She relented, reluctantly.
“What do you plan to do with him?” the Doctor in pinstripes asked the one in rainbows who’d been helped to walk into the main room with them by Nardole and Yaz. She pulled her arm from Nardole and shifted herself to stand more on her own. Yaz didn’t move from her side, though. The Doctor in rainbows looked down to the Master and took in a heavy breath, her mind already made up and she thought her command to the Cybermasters who stood to attention and moved to lift his prone body.
“I have it handled.” She started to stagger towards the door only to pause, something catching her eye on the desk the Master had been sat at. She walked over to it and after staring at it for a few seconds she picked it up and sat it in her pocket before turning on her heel and staggering from the room, refusing the help Yaz offered without another word.