Awake and Alive
Ray had been thinking. He wasn’t sure for how long, he just noticed he was doing it. Not so much thinking, really, as watching random thoughts skitter through. He wondered if he had fallen asleep during meditation. It was either pitch black or his eyes were closed, he wasn’t certain. It was silent, save for the low, steady pulse in his ears. He couldn’t determine whether the buzzing was in his head or in the rhythmic oscillations of a starship drive. He settled into the comforting idea that he was aboard a Parthi vessel that had finally come to retrieve him. He stretched his neck and discovered the focs of the dull ache throbbing through his forehead. He wanted to rub the pain, but found his arm unable to move. He jerked his arm again to confirm it wasn’t sleep paralysis lingering long after its welcome. He decided his arm was working fine, and the pressure against his wrist suggested he was restrained. He tried his other arm, then his legs to no avail. There was no doubt he was restrained. He cracked his eyes and blackness gave way to a grey cloud, like he was trying to peer through fog. Multicolored hues began flooding the fog, now obscuring, swirling, blinking, creating a garish scene. His breath quickened and his fists clenched. Dagon had found him; Ray was a captive.
“Abby?” he said, but no words came out, just an undefined moan.
He gazed into the florid lights as he struggled against his restraints. Shapes began to emerge from the vivid technicolor blobs. A face began to resolve. An ecstatic face, crowned by wild hair gushing from his top chakra like a raging fountain of thick black water curling over on itself in discrete waves.
“Yaldabaoth,” he squeaked out in an inaudible wheeze.
He bore into his enemy’s visage with his narrowed eyes. But the face wasn’t Yalda’s, it was human. And it was static, just an image. An image of unnatural brightness. Ray surmised that the colors were being stimulated by a nearby, electromagnetic radiation in the low ultraviolet range. Stabbing hot yellows and reds, deep greens and blues he wasn’t sure he could even see. The face belonged to a man who appeared to be a monk in the throws of nirvana, standing before a vibrating mandala. He was holding what appeared to be an elaborate boat oar. He was gazing down at the oar as if it was his direct connection to his Dharmic ecstasy. There was script at the bottom, but it was difficult read, in bulbous, exaggerated lettering that bent and swelled. It was dripping with ornamentation that favored aesthetic joy over comprehensibility.
“Jigh my hen dry x?” he mouthed as he read.