Prologue: The Diary of Jonathan Flynn.
The easiest way to explain it to you is a faint. I don't know whether you've ever fainted before but it's kind of surreal. If you get the time to feel it, it gets warm and fuzzy about you, your temples throb and your eyes blink slower. Then one time you blink and in that space of time you go from standing up to on your back, from on your own to surrounded by people asking you if you're ok, and fanning you with anything they can fetch at the time. And far from warm and fuzzy; you ache, you're cold and shivery and you ache.
Well that's a faint at least. You're dehydrated, or you hate injections. Then this happens to you, what happened to us? What happened to me and four strangers I had never met, well we fainted. One second we were fine at work, at home, driving along the motorway and then suddenly we were far away, too far, further than you could move in a blink of an eye. And it was cold, very cold.
This diary, which if you are reading means I was not successful, is the only legacy of the true origin of the events that have shaped our recent history. How five people whose only common trait was to have fallen unconscious at the same time, were the instruments of all these changes.
Chapter One: Unexpected Arrivals
It was dark, which was odd because just a second ago the hospital lights had been so strong, the pallid green yellow reflecting off every surface. Now a small yellow flashing light above his head was Jonathan's only point of reference, he reached out for it, his arms were strangely slow, as if weighed down, was that the lack of blood? Jonathan had never given blood before, he'd warned them he was no good with needles but that didn't mean, "when I go under chuck me in the cupboard till i'm better", had he been out for hours?
It was the smell that worried him, or rather the lack of smell, where once there had been antiseptic and freshly opened vacuum packed equipment, all the odours of a mobile blood bank, there was nothing. In this dark room with its lone flashing light there was not a whiff of the hospitals familiar, if sickening, scent.
Jonathan rested his hand on the light, obscuring it and watching the orange glow through his fingers, on, off, on, off… off. The light had stopped flashing. He pulled his hand back and waited, suddenly there was a great hissing all about him as though a hundred hair-dryers had been pointed at him at once. He was suddenly aware of how little gravity was keeping him on the floor, he was tossed up and thrown against a wall, which in turn flew open and deposited him onto a cold metal deck. His mind whirled as it tried to come to terms with suddenly being thrown through a chute he hadn't expected to even be there. The sudden upturning of where he'd thought up even was left his head spinning.
The deck was narrow, little more than a walkway covering crowded with pipes, the metal gantry covered similar arrays of wiring and pipes below its roughly circular expanse. Jonathan crashed across this walkway into a similar hatch, just in time to catch the man flying out of it.
They crashed into a pile on the floor, Jonathan fought the confused man off, panting as much from the exertion as from the sheer mental effort of trying to process just where he was and what was happening. The nearest his brain was coming to understanding the corridor was to conjure images of submarines and sewer pipes. Varied images were flashing in front of his eyes so fast he could barely think. The man's loud complaints helped him focus, looking down he noticed the blood, the man's leg was clearly broken, his light tracksuit was soaked in blood. He hadn't done that had he?
The man was quickly quietening, his whitened fists clutched at his torn leg, as he moaned softly into his damp tracksuit. Grasping that there was a task here Jonathan could set himself to he rose and grabbing the man's arm hoisted him to his shoulder. Naturally a slight person, Jonathan was surprised how easily he accomplished this. Yet again he was aware of how strange the gravity in this place felt. Perhaps this was a side effect of being so deep under water.
The man's face was drenched in sweat, Jonathan examined the weathered skin beneath it, despite himself Jonathan could not guess the man's age, he pictured the man as a fisherman, or some kind of outdoors man, the weather doing the job advanced years normally would take care of.
The man noticing his sudden alteration of fortunes looked up at Jonathan, "who are you?"
"I'm Jonathan… sir, what's your name?"
"Well Earl there must be a medic on this boat, lets see if we can't get you some help."
Earl never finished his question, they had barely taken two steps when the hissing began again and the two hatches that had produced them earlier abruptly coughed out another pair, it was not these two that were of concern to Jonathan and Earl but the third hatch they had not seen, directly above them.
The young lady thrown from this tumbled into them, eliciting a pained scream from Earl and a muted umph from Jonathan. All about them were renewed shouts and bellows. Jonathan quickly picked himself up, hoisting up Earl and propping him against the wire laden wall of the narrow corridor. He extended a hand to the woman at his feet. She was younger than he was, barely a teenager, she was wearing what looked like pyjamas, but the speed she shot up from the ground confirmed she had definitely not been asleep when she, like the others Jonathan suddenly realised, had fallen unconscious. The girl looked warily at him then around at her new surroundings, "What the hell is this?!" Despite himself Jonathan laughed, "I wish I knew."