Snake tried to force himself awake as the images came back. Over and over they came. So many times he'd seen the images flash that he'd lost count what seemed like years ago. Still they came again and he tried to wake from them with every ounce of will. Nothing happened. He tried to sit up but nothing worked. His body refused to respond as he struggled.

The scream, high pitched and full of agony flooded his mind like a hurricane. His will cracked to it. The scream went on in blackness before images assaulted him. The flashes were too fast to comprehend but his vivid mind left the impressions for him to decipher as he could. Bloody hair stuck to an already bruising pale face. The flash of a knife pressed to a throat quivering from that unending scream. Tears dripping on the blade from the face he didn't need to see. He knew the voice. Seeing the face would have been too much to endure. The screaming went silent from strain but the throat still trembled with the need for creating sound. The knife moved the blade gleaming in the orange gas filled light and the purple mist. The images were wrong and not the memories. Her face had been covered by a black mask but here in his mind he could see it. Inner torment for his failure was all this was. Even then he couldn't separate this from reality.

The vision was on the blade slowly moving to the far side of the neck. He screamed for the voice that had gone dead. He thought he screamed. He tried to scream but like her, his voice was silent even as his lungs strained to push more air. The blade touched opening the skin, sinking farther, deeper. Air hissed and gurgled when the blade was in deep enough to hit the pipes in the throat. Red gore was rushing out around the blade that appeared to have been sinking in to flesh for weeks. Finally it stopped its decent toward the spine and turned to a sideways motion. More flesh split spilling more blood. Oceans of blood seemed to bubble out. The blood was forgotten when tears started to drip from the pale chin into the red mass. She still cried and again his voice shrieked to be heard.

She was alive when the blade pulled from gleaming silver to red. Her tears still trickled and breath came from the severed openings for a brief second, an eternity in his mind. The images had just faded when the scream pierced the blackness they had left. Again it was coming on the infinite loop he couldn't break. He struggled to move and break free of the horror. Futility never crossed his mind. Too great was the horror of watching her die over and over. There was no way he could succumb to the images and keep his sanity. If he let go he might never wake.

Taylor sat in the chair across the room from Plissken's hospital bed. Nurses and doctors were trying to hold him down as he started to have seizures for the third time this morning. The screaming got to Taylor faster than what he saw. Bill couldn't remember his friend ever screaming let alone one that sounded like the ones now. The seizure passed and they reconnected the IV Plissken had ripped free. As they positioned him on his bed another started, more screaming and the uncovered eye opened even if the doctors still claimed he was in a coma. Taylor didn't think people in a coma screamed like this.

Bill looked away watching the monitors. His friend's heartbeat spiked and the blood pressure was up to the point that the beeping started again. They were screaming for that medication Bill could never remember the name of after the screaming stopped but he knew it was to prevent his blood pressure from elevating farther. The screaming subsided but the twitching in Plissken's body never stopped. Taylor wished there was something he could do but there wasn't. There was no life support to pull. Snake was still alive, as alive as any coma patient.

The obvious question was what caused the seizures. Test after test came back with no reason for them or the coma he was trapped in. All he could do was wait. Another set of seizures started and the sedatives were administered didn't stop them even if it silenced the screaming. Finally they faded and Snake lay silent and still again. Everyone left the two men alone in the darkened room. Taylor pulled up his crutches and hopped to the bedside chair. Snake's pale skin was cold when he took his hand. Bill just sat there holding his best friend's hand and cried. There was nothing left to do.