Wednesday, August 20, 2008


With my eyes shut I am more acutely aware of my temples, the staccato
throbbing, pummelling, pounding, punishing, patterns of light painted in
scathing patterns, punctually pulsing, pounding, always pounding.

When I venture to open them as slits, I feel a stabbing lance of light
cutting clear into the mushy substance behind my eyes I hope is still a
functional brain. The head ache doesn’t subside but my attention is divided
between the two agonies.

I draw my arms up from the ground, my side burns, needles piece me as I
feel the area where my ribs are broken, I push gently, one, two, three and
for shit’s sake that is excruciating! But it is another distraction, I am
now aware that I am damp, another surge of adrenaline prompts me to do a
wet check. My hands are covered in blood, some of it mine, some of it
theirs. So that’s what vat juice looks like, funny, I would have though it
purple? Colour hurts too; it gives the light inflection, variation in the
pain that elevate it from background noise to harmonic symphony.

I dry my hands on my cloak and scrutinize them again, my lids a bit more
open, a bit more pain, like a valve I let it trickle in, so close to the
edge every drop threatens to spill over. I’m not bleeding anywhere
important, I’m sitting in my own vomit. I disgorged the contents of my
stomach after the adrenaline ran out, than I collapsed in the same spot.

Another sense unfortunately decides to return, smell. Instinctively I
grimace as the acrid odour pricks at my nostrils, I’ve always hated that
smell but now in addition to indignity it hurts because my face can’t
articulate any expression without conveying more sensory stimulus to my
pain receptors.

he ringing in my ears is subsiding. A crescendo rises with the return of
my hearing bringing with it more cause for suffering; white noise is
replaced with a colour filled pallet of clamour, each distinct, each a
small pressure. Another fraction of a turn on the vice which is testing the
structural limits of my cranium. I hear my breath; I hear pearls of blood
and stomach juices dripping as well as sweat from my brow: drop, drop,
throb, throb. I’m so pleased my body is working in unison to drive me mad
with misery. Shuffle, scratch, Growl. Those sounds add to the cacophony but
primordial anguish gives way momentarily to some reasonable impulse: those
sounds are coming from outside my microcosm of suffering. I roll my eyes to
the side, like cinderblocks dragged across the ground, they lumbar towards
the disturbance. I do so wish they hadn’t been able to.

One of those things is up, clutching at its side and staring at me with
purposeful eyes. Has he no respect for my privacy, this is a deeply
intimate moment of inner discovery and self pity, can’t he just die
politely like his more affable vat brother?

He is hulking towards me now, I can’t move, or I don’t want to. This
reality likes me not, I am betrayed by the thousand natural shocks that
flesh is heir to. To die, to sleep, I close my eyes like the curtain on a
stage which I no longer wish to examine. One by one I let go of the
sounds, the smell, the feeling then sight and all I am left with is the
drumming in the dark recesses of my skull; soon that will be gone too.


I am mildly surprised when I find I am looking at the endless horizon,
clouds are sailing past as I rush skyward. I had not believed, ‘till now,
that ascension to heaven would be quite so literal! Come to think of it, I
had not believed in heaven period. As the image comes more into focus, I am
relived to find that my incredulity may yet live to see another death as I
am quite certain that the path to heaven, existent or not, is unlikely to
be lined with metal deck plating. Reality rushes in like a warm wave,
lapping at my weakened consciousness. The overfilled cistern of misery is
emptying itself and I am gratified to find my former universe is being
flushed away. In its place I find a hopper door and motion and, I believe,
a cot. I hazard turning my head and am rewarded with a very lovely face
smiling down on me. “I know you” I croak, she smiles some more, I am
further pleased with this change of events. “Lucky you do Ronald, or that
GREL would have finished the job he started” The mention of the vat face
brings a backwash of that former scene to mind and I obviously wince at the
mental aftertaste because she continues “Yeah, you did pretty well there, a
little too well for a trinket salesman from Timmins…” She smiles, I
rejoice. “ that is what you said you did right Ron, on our flight in here?”
An eon ago I flew in to that vivid nightmare or a camp with this angel
“Isobel” I manage, recollecting her name, a prospector or something. “My
name isn’t Ronald, its Tom…” I catch my breath “…and if I was pleased with
your acquaintance before, I am now thrilled with it” She takes pity on me
and doesn’t speak. She saved me from the second GREL, she must be pretty
skilled, this pretty prospector. “I am going to pass out now, will you be
here when I wake up” She says something to me but I don’t make it out, I
drift off, carried to Elysium shores of nothingness, but for some reason
before I unravel into blissful unconsciousness I hear my voice again.
“Thanks for coming back for me…Julie”


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.