I struggle futilely, catching only a glimpse of dark, crew-cut hair and the by-now-iconic combat suit. White and dark blue. "It's here. And it's now."
"Me? Why me?"
Exasperation. "We don't know."
I feel a needle going into my arm, right through the shirt. "This is anaesthetic. We're going to put you into the deepest coma it's biologically possible to wake from. Your brain functions will be slowed to a crawl and you'll be more or less paralysed from the neck down. It'll wear off in about fifteen minutes."
"There're nothing but sand out here for two hundred miles, what harm could--"
Then it starts to feel like layers of insulating foam are being placed in front of all my senses.
"Please just trust me. Even this might not work."
An insane white light wobbles out of my peripheral vision and stops dead in front of my eyes. That is the Sun. I have fallen on the sand.
A different voice, crackly: "Brent's into his dive. Thirty and counting. Go."
There's a distant sonic boom. And a seemingly eternal windy silence.
My eyes are burning out. They won't close. My head hurts, but I feel detached from the pain, like someone's bringing messages from the next room: "We've got a report here saying you have a splitting headache..."
It takes him minutes to reach me. I see every detail on his face, on his fists. His eyes are brown, like mine. My fingers twitch. "Hnnnnnnnnn--"
I wake up groggy, clotted to the ground.
Over the course of minutes I stagger upright, barely noticing the shreds of white and dark blue here and there on the blackened sand. Climb the nearest dune. Climb, jump, leap and fly.
It's a beautiful day.
Next: Crushed Underground
This was created as part of Raz de Equites, an Everything2 quest. The title was selected from a set list and there was a limit of 300 words. However, as only one entry is allowed per person, I chose Film Maker as my entry instead.