You are on a ship. It is a kinda weird type of vessel. It resembles a galleon, but you wouldn’t label it a such, as there is a crucial difference between galleons and this ship. This ship does not have any sails; nor does it have any masts at all. Its entire deck is an empty, wide, flat area.
You are standing amidships. You look around. You are utterly alone. It is a rather large vessel. You can see all the way to both its bow and its stern. This fact perplexes you, as there aren’t any lights on the ship, and there is only an immaculate darkness enveloping it. But even more perplexing is the very fact that you are there: someplace outright unknown. And you have no clue as of how you’ve wound up over there. Where can you possibly be?
You start walking towards the gunwale. The freaky sound of the deck boards creaking under your weight disrupts the deathly silence for the while it takes you to reach there. It is upon this instant you realize that the silence has been absolute. There is no wind blowing. There is no sound of waves splashing against the ship’s side. There is no saltiness permeating the air. “Could it be that the ship is out of water?”, you wonder. You reach the starboard gunwale and you look out. Indeed, it is not on water. But it is not on land, either. It is way above land! The ship is flying!
All this was eerie enough, already. But now… a flying ship… this goes way beyond the grasp of your reason. And it gets even weirder than that. You soon notice that the ship does not only hover, but it moves, too, steadily and rapidly ahead. You can register its motion only by noticing the change in its relative position to the ground. A while ago, you thought that the sky was as dark as anything could ever be; that there could never be anything darker than that. But now you see that the earth is actually a tint darker. Just enough to let you tell it apart from the sky and, by observing the silhouette of the desolate mountainous landscape beneath you moving apart, register the ship’s motion. The truth is, for all you know, that it could well be the ground moving and the ship standing still above it. But even though there is no wind and sails, nor any engine sound, nor any other clue explaining how the ship moves, you decide to believe that it does move because the reverse wouldn’t be any more explainable.
You turn around. Aghast you witness that you are not alone anymore. The deck is now full of people! They start rambling around the deck in incoherent routes. Strangely, the deck boards do not creak this time. The silence remains absolute. You suspect they might be some sort of spirits lacking physical substance and, themselves, hovering over the hovering ship. You stay still and start observing them, as more and more of them keep passing in front of you. Though their faces are somewhat distorted, you clearly recognize a great many of them. It seems like all the people you’ve ever known are there. Among them, there also is a large number of people you cannot remember where but you know with certainty you’ve seen before. And all of them are mingled with this large mob of completely unknown to you people.
A deafening, acute hissing sound breaks the silence for something like half a second it lasted. Upon the very instance of hearing that, all the people stop and turn facing towards the ship’s bow, as if excitedly waiting for something big to happen. A thunderous thud followed by an array of clinks, as of bells and breaking glasses, and a sharp shriek released consistently by all the people sounds this time and leaves the ship vibrating as it fades out to silence again. A sequence of four hollow claps gives a tempo and a pandemonium of booming bass and psychedelic melodies takes over the silence for good this time. All the people start shaking their bodies rhythmically along with the electronic music, demonstrating great enthusiasm. And you do the same.
You are in a deep trance. You give every bit of your energy to keep swaying every part of your body as powerfully as you can. You sweat buckets and you feel dehydrated. You are afraid your body is going to languish. Your heart beats like a compressor and you are surprised it doesn’t burn and stop altogether. But you cannot stop dancing. It feels like a long time has elapsed since the music started. For all you know at this very moment, it may have been an eternity; it may have never started; it was always playing. This makes perfect sense, as there is nothing you can remember having happened at any time prior to it. You are experiencing the apogee of joy; total rapture. You wish it will never stop.
But then it stops. As suddenly as it started, the music dies out and the absolute silence becomes dominant again. You observe the space around you. All the people have stopped dancing and remain still as statues. You come back to reality – not that a flying ship and the magical appearance of a crowd of people on it agree with your reason on what a reality should be like, but that’s still the only thing your senses can perceive, now that your reason is back in place. You, once again, look out of the gunwale. And you instantly get overwhelmed by panic. The ship is falling down!
You attend in agony as the ship skydives rapidly through the air. The imminent impact with the steadily approaching, pitch-dark ground causes you profound fear. Is this going to be the end? Am I going to die? You turn around to look at the others – maybe someone can do something about it. But no one seems to care about the ship falling. Maybe no one even has noticed what’s going on. Everybody still stands still and quiet, facing towards the bow. You shout but no one seems to hear. You turn your head out again. It’s close. A hard collision with the ground is going to take place any moment now. You do not want to die. But there is nothing you can do. You are totally helpless. You close your eyes and struggle to compromise with the idea of death.
You are not dead. You can tell that positively because you opened your eyes and you can see around you. The sky is not black anymore. It is green. And everything else is green, too. You can clearly discern all shapes of all things around you as if looking through night vision goggles. You are sitting on the ground. The ship is beside you: standing upright with its bowsprit pegged in the earth. All the people are scattered around it – flat, dead. Your whole body gets overrun by waves of chills upon witnessing this spectacle. You are the only survivor. “Now what?”, you ask yourself and you stand up, bound to find it out.
You are in a weird sort of place. All around, you see ruins of mountain-sized constructions. You keep wandering around, and you constantly have to overcome many obstacles in order to do so; clambering over and crawling under debris. “This must have once been a city; a colossal city, indeed!”, you think. But now it’s utterly abandoned and decayed. There is no one you can find to help you out there.
But then someone appears coming towards you through an open area. Instinctively, you hide behind some debris, trying to guess the guy’s disposition before you do anything. As he comes closer, in spite of his walking on two legs and having two arms, you see that he is no human. He has an external tube connecting his stomach with his mouth and various other mechanical parts attached to his body. He keeps walking clumsily and slowly, directly towards your part. Whether he is a robot, or a hybrid of a robot and a human, or some sort of zombie, or whatever else… you judge it’s wiser to not let him become aware of your presence.
You stealthily move through the debris for some time; trying to get out of his route. But then you look back for him and you see that he’s changed his direction, coming straight towards you again. You give it another try, nimbly meandering through the debris to a new direction. But still, you look and he’s coming behind you. There is no doubt, he’s coming for you.
There is no point hiding anymore. You urgently need to get away from him by any means possible. You get up and start running. You look behind you as you run, and relieved you see that he’s not running after you. He’s still following you, but in the same slow pace as before. You’ve left him way behind. Feeling quite safe, you halt to catch your breath, keeping a steady eye on him in the meanwhile. You are ready to go again. But when you turn your head… there is another one coming straight against you. One is coming from your left, too. And one from your right.
You start running like hell. But anywhere you get to, there are more and more of them coming after you. They swarm out from everywhere like ants. You are running out of breath. You cannot get away. It’s hopeless. You finally fall on your knees in the middle of an open field. You look at the monstrous towers rising high up in the green sky, wondering if this is the last thing you are going to see. The throng has surrounded you from every direction and it slowly gets closer. You are desperate.
But then a hope turns up when you realize you are holding some sort of machine gun in your hands. This sudden appearance of the gun out of nowhere strikes you as a strange event, but you don’t have time to think it over. You raise the weapon and start shooting at them maniacally. No one dies or gets harmed anyhow, though. They are now a breath away. To let them catch you is the last thing you can fancy of. You put the barrel under your jaw, and without a second thought, you pull the trigger.
Your vision turns black for a fraction of a second, but it then returns. You cannot move your eyes. Your gaze is fixed, looking, from a low angle, vertically – as if your head was lying sideways on the ground – at a small portion of space occupied by the boots of two or three of your persecutors, who are now standing motionless in front of you. Nothing moves. You cannot close your eyes, either. There is nothing you can do with your body. You do not feel like having something as a body. There is nothing you can feel or think. There is only that same, still, dull image you have to stare at. And there is no hint that anything is going to ever change for as long as there is an eternity.