There was a shuddering in the distance, deep and heavy like a bomb exploding beyond the horizon. When he heard it he became aware that he was aware. Even so, the all consuming blackness continued to envelope him. He felt the gears in his mind turning over, humming with delayed effort and re-booting his body’s basic functions.

Another shuddering boom shook the foundations of his black world, and this time a flash of dull gray followed before the darkness crashed in again. His mind strained to establish connection with his body, but it wasn’t moving quickly enough. Something was trying to pull him out before he was ready.

The third explosive shudder was unbelievably massive, and he could no longer tell whether it was coming from outside or from within. The dull gray spread out before him in spidery filaments. From the center, hot white light began to melt through like iridescent lava. He wasn’t ready. His mind fought against it, tried to turn away but there was no direction in which to turn. He saw a blurry figure towering over him. The voice was strange. He didn’t recognize the inflection and the words were garbled into meaningless nonsense. It began to clear, but his sight didn’t. He was looking out through a hole, a blurred and unfocused window lodged in the space-time of his black universe. He felt motion.

“… 1400 hours, give me the specs and call it in! Jim, get it charged and hit him again if you have to!”

“Wait! Look at his eyes.”

“Shit, hold on... sir? Sir, can you hear me? Jim, go ahead and stick him. Sir, if you can hear me we need--…”

The window snapped shut and his mind relaxed once again, powering down and readjusting to the blackness.