6.8 Awaken

by Matt P.

There is only one darkness that never ends, when the eyes close forever and the soul goes to whatever awaits it. All other darknesses must break, even the one that Walter found himself swimming through. He didn’t know how long he had been swimming in it, only that it was dark and the only thing that hurt more than all of the rest of him was his head. It wasn’t quiet, either; a tinnitus like ringing lurked in the background, worrisome.

After some time he heard voices, and he started to swim toward it. Or move toward it. He would have to think philosophically about what he was doing, but that seemed like something that he could worry about later. Now he worried about trying to wake up, get out, just keep swimming…whatever.

We need answers. The thought floated through his brain, or whatever was doing his thinking now—he was pretty sure it wasn’t his spleen, but that was only a hunch.

“He doesn’t have a concussion, I don’t think—although I don’t know how he doesn’t have a concussion.” An outside voice said. Feminine, alto, warm. He knew the name but he couldn’t think of it. He thought it was a season.

Someone knows more then they’re saying, his own voice said as it continued its internal monologue. Walter considered that thought for a moment, before he agreed with it. The little voice, that constant watchman inside of him that worked behind his eyes and beyond his brain and filled his gut with instinct, continued. Because there is some freaky shit going on here.

Word, the currently unconscious but nevertheless conscious part of his brain agreed.

“We can’t know for sure until he wakes up and we can see about dizziness, memory loss, and sensitivity.” The outside voice continued

“Did he see him?” A second voice, also female and similar, but slightly higher asked. “Did he see the face so we can know for sure?” It said, more quietly, as if she didn’t want others to hear or someone had walked by.

“I don’t know.” The first voice said in reply. “I’m a little more concerned about the little bit of blood in his ear, but…”

“We need to find what he stole, not tend to this one mortal. I told you the defenses should be better!” The second voice hissed a little bit.

“If you save one life you save the world entire…” The first voice offered back, which only drew a snort.

I need to wake up. I know who these people are, and I need to talk to them… Walter thought consciously.

“We are actually trying to save our world, sister, not put on a morality play.” The second voice snorted. “If he saw something then he might be able to help us end this idiotic war. If that’s even what this is.”

“Be quiet, sister, I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t have brain damage.” The first voice said, her voice cold as an unexpected frost.

He didn’t know what they were talking about, but he desperately wanted to. If for no other reason than to avoid being beaten up or knocked out anymore. He felt something warm flooding his body, quite unexpectedly, and the darkness grew a little less intense. He still couldn’t pull himself out of it, but…

“DAD!” Two voices cried out at once, panicked and fearful. Those voices he recognized, and those tones cut through the darkness like the rising sun burns away the fog. His heart raced, his mind burned with the sudden firing of waking neurons all at once, and he gasped and sputtered as his eyes opened to the fiery light of the medical station of the Border Police HQ.

“Fuck!” Just about everyone cried out at the same time.