Flight Link

User Error is soaring through the sky, uplinked to something else, something apart from him, detached from his body, he doesn’t have the sensation of it, although he does know that he is who he is. He’s seeing things he’s never seen before in real life. He’s seeing the sky, an icy blue drifting into black the higher it goes, white-gray clouds floating pendulous like mounds of something unimaginably huge. He can look around, full 360 degrees, instantly, but when he looks down, he has no hands or feet or any of that jazz. He is flying.

He’s got the distinct impression that he’s being transfigured into something else. His consciousness is slipping away, but not into sleep. It’s changing into something–or someone–else. He can make out the land beneath the clouds, but he has no concept of what any of it means. He’s seen pictures and vids of rolling hills, but how are you supposed to jive that with a tee-tiny version of the thing all the way down there?

The farther he goes, the more he loses himself. He starts to forget the people and things down there in his subterranean home, his effed-up life in the tunnels. It’s groovy, but it’s also mondo scary. He’d pee if he could, but he can’t, because he doesn’t have a body right this second.

All of a sudden, he’s totally untethered from his identity of User Error. His best friend Sanford no longer exists in his mind. He has no concept of tunnels or fanny packs or Windows 95. He’s just a being of pure consciousness flying through the air.

He can’t think, necessarily. Instead, ideas and concepts and feelings seem to roll right by him, floating away when they want and sticking when they want to too.

A thought sticks: He could, if he wanted to, attach himself to another body. Not just any body, it’d have to be like The Chosen One or whatever, but if he found it, and focused in real strong like when you stare at something for a crazy long time and your vision starts to tunnel, then he could attach to this Chosen body and just basically Be Connected To The Real World Again.

He thinks about it for like 2.5 seconds and says Sure. I’ll do it. So User-Error-Who-Is-Not-Technically-User-Error-Any-Longer-But-Was-Once-User-Error flies straight ahead, right into storm clouds, without a destination in sight. He can just feel it, you dig? The farther in he goes, the more he can feel it. He can smell the salt of the rain as he passes through the clouds, feel the condensation on his being, even though he still doesn’t have a body. He gets the impression that there’s a lot of people out here just like him, invisible people that aren’t quite people but who could be again if they wanted to be. He thinks about–

Cold. Ice cold. Colder than anything he’s ever experienced before, cold he didn’t even know existed. He’s no longer in the sky, but inside a plane that’s currently flying through it, slowly floating down corridors that are larger than many tunnels he’s seen, this plane is absolutely massive, more like a small city than a plane, and he can see hundreds of people in this place, some of them awake but many of them sleeping in weird little chambers. He can float through doors and walls and all that ish. It’s pretty nifty.

He can, if he wants to, fly out of the plane again, but it’d be super cold and uncomfortable, so he doesn’t. He does want to see what the view is like from inside the plane, so he finds this big old window, like we’re talking tunnel crocodile big. He looks through, and he can see one of the plane’s wings out the window. The whole thing’s covered with this black material that has individual cells on it, and he remembers reading about how above ground they used to use the power of the sun to make things work. Looks like the same mollynoggin here.

He can tell the Other Body is super duper close, and so he starts doing this like Spidey Sense Thing to find it. He does that tunnel vision thing, and stops thinking, and lets himself go, and he suddenly zooms over to the body at an incredible speed, clipping through walls and doors, flying past entire congregations of people, to the back of the plane, where he gets the impression there’s some shady stuff going down. He zooms so fast that he can barely see any details, but he’s honed in on this Other Body Jazz.

And then he’s there, in the room, looking down at this person, this kid that’s him even though it isn’t him. The boy is sleeping in some Mister Freeze icebox-looking thing, and he has no consciousness or awareness at the moment. There are sciencey-looking dudes prowling the area, making observations and checking off things on clipboards.

More than anything, he wants to wake this kid up, to bring him back to life. He would give anything, do anything, to save this kid’s life.

So it happens. As soon as he thinks it, a critical component of the icebox dealie shorts out, shooting sparks into the air and everything. The icebox warms up and becomes not-so-icy, and the airlock opens. The kid’s heart monitor gets faster and faster, and as it does, User starts fading away from this existence he’s in. He leaves by degrees, like eyes that are slowly closing to the darkness.

When he opens them, he’s the kid. He doesn’t know his name yet, but that doesn’t matter now. What matters is that the door is open, and it’s time for him to escape.

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