It was dark, very dark.  And cold; he couldn't help but feel cold to his core, as he had been for what felt like days.  That was almost as bad as the dark, but not quite.  Cold he could sense; cold he could cope with; cold he could understand and fight, with the added benefit of it numbing his numerous bruises and cuts.  But darkness, a yawning gloom of uncertainty, where time no longer existed, where he no longer existed...  It was ethereal, and yet an almost tangible menace; its borders where indefinable, and yet always seemed to encroach on him, robbing him of his most trusted sense, leaving him in a limbo that was both disorientating and disquieting.  And so the irrational part of his mind whispered insistently of the dangers that lurked in the blackness, where he couldn't see them, where they waited hungrily for him.

Darkness can be treacherous.

He'd volunteered for the mission--and gotten caught, that was the frustrating part--and now he found himself in this precarious and unsettling situation.  It was a technique centuries old, he knew, but that didn't help him feel any better.  They would leave him in the dark for a few days, alone, cut off from food and contact with others, with nothing but torture and interrogation to look forward to.  And they would wait for him to crack.  Well, not this prisoner, he silently pledged.  But the words sounded hollow, even in the privacy of his own thoughts.  And the blackness seemed to vibrate with laughter.  Could the darkness hear him?

Darkness can be a torment.

He shivered, but only partially from the numbing cold that infested his tattered flightsuit and made his bones ache.  Was it possible that darkness and cold were conspiring against him?  They never missed an opportunity to belittle his optimism, always snickering at his stubborn determination to win freedom.  But now he knew, with a certainty that was just as deadening as the cold, that it was only a matter of time until the darkness would win.  It would smother him, consume him, until all that was left was an anonymous shadow of his self, nothing worth rescuing.

Darkness can be patient.

He hugged his knees to his chest, rocking gently, needing desperately to feel a body that he couldn't see, could barely discern from the deathly chill of his cell.  He shivered, from cold, from fear, from the dreadful realization that the dark would devour him whole.  He would die, terrified and nameless, overpowered and overwhelmed by the dark.

Darkness can be lethal.

He fell onto his side, curling into a ball, sobbing silently against the freezing floor that he couldn't sense.  Just kill me now...why make me suffer?  Why torture me like this?!  "Why?!" he screamed aloud, the sound reverberating off the darkness and returning to him in a splintered ricochet.

Darkness can be silent.

He pushed up onto his hands and knees, staring wide-eyed into nothingness, swiping at his sniffling nose as the echoes of his exclamation faded.  That was his voice.  He had shattered the darkness for that one moment; he'd experienced something other than just the suffocating stillness of the darkness. There was an existence outside the confines of the darkness--he could exist outside the darkness!  He smiled through tears; a restrained, understanding smile.  He took a deep breath.

"I am Tycho Celchu!" he shouted at the emptiness above his head, reclaiming his identity, defying the darkness.  "And you can't have me!"

Darkness can be beaten.