Eternal gratitude for Angela, the cleverest beta reader in the history of the world!

Warnings: I will not pretend to be good, only to be writing. Therefore, feel free to make me better by pointing out flaws :)


Darkness; nothing else. Darkness everywhere. The dark swallowed everything, claiming ownership of all matter that dared encounter its path.

He lay on his back, a hand close to his face, middle finger resting on his nose. He couldn't see it, only feel it. He could smell his skin, the familiar blend of sweetness from hand lotion and bitterness of his own sweat, his own human scent.

His vision rendered useless he turned to his other senses. Turning his hands so his palm would establish a direct contact with the ground beneath him he felt the cold, hard surface the muscles of his back had told him was there. He felt to his sides, as far as he could reach. He ran his fingers over the surface that stood a few inches away from the top of his head. It was smooth, cold and hard. He brought his hands back to rest on his stomach, his fingers fidgeting.

"So…I'm in a cold, hard, smooth, dark place. That narrows it down." The sound in a too quiet environment was eerie, yet he found comfort in speaking aloud. The irritation he heard himself voice told him that all was not lost. He could get out of wherever he was and he would definitely spend hours yelling at someone when he did!

Turning to his side slowly he winced as pain shot up his spinal column causing his stomach to rebel. After a moment it settled and he turned over completely. Inhaling deeply he smelled metal. The acrid scent of mineral accompanied his own.

"Metal and McKay, a new fragrance available on all good deranged planets". Trying to laugh at the vague humour, he emitted a sound closer to a sob. He felt light-headed, his limbs were heavy, his breathing shallow. Each difficultly, drawn out breath brought pain; an intense ache that spread to every part of him. Pain, everywhere, his entire body throbbing, being consumed by it. He didn't feel wounded, wasn't bleeding but thought he might have been at some point.

Bringing his hands to lay palms flat on the surface his nose pressed against, he pushed upwards slowly. He tried to raise himself to his hands and knees his body momentarily denying him the strength to move any further. He waited for it to comply with the planned sequence of movements. He pushed himself to his knees and hit his head when he rose higher, to stand. He felt the surface with which his head had collided.

"What a surprise, it's cold, it's hard and it's smooth! Well people, you get an A plus for box engineering! This is a perfectly constructed…"

A sharp intake of breath cut off the rest of the thought. No, he could not think of such a possibility.

He moved forward on his knees, feeling his way to one end of the enclosure then the other wanting to get a proper dimensional sense of the space. It barely took a minute for weakness from the exertion to overwhelm him. He bent forward and rested his head against the floor.

Only then did his brain go through endless possibilities, avoiding the image that wanted to take shape, to overwhelm him. An image, an idea he didn't want to consider. Sometimes, his brain was a horrifying burden. The effectiveness of it, the speed with which it would reach the most likely conclusions was as much a blessing as a curse. Still, he fought, refused the image and thought on, thought back, retraced his steps.