Foetal in shape he dropped like a stone through the planet's atmosphere.
Staring wide-eyed through the fingers of his hands, he could see the globe beneath him spinning slowly in its celestial rhythm. He was sure that his eyes should not see this movement, in fact he was sure his eyes should not see the staggering view that he could see. Vaguely his dizzy head recalled rough panicking hands pushing him, a deafening noise and a gut wrenching jolt as he catapulted away from the Liberator like a slingshot from a twisted strip of cloth.
Orac too had been with him, but now nothing surrounded him as his tired, worn and above all naked body streaked across the night sky.
He should be on fire, he mused, a single spark visible for an instant from the ground hundreds of miles below him. But instead, he put out a hand palm forward, kept falling.
Peering closer at the expanse he could easily make out land masses, large areas of deep blue seas encircled the yellow-green shapes littering the surface. It wasn't Earth, he could see that. Even if he were staring at the side of the planet's map unfamiliar to him the land masses were too small and too many to be the rolling continents of his home.
Instead he could see unusual colourings. Amid the yellow and green, red marks ran across the land like gashes, wounds baring the surface open as if needing stitches or some greater universal medicine.
Clouds scudded over the scene, swirling patterns disguising small corners here and there, and he noticed, as he opened his arms and legs into the shape of a star, that he was falling toward one such white mask covering a coastline. He pondered for an instant whether he would fall into water or onto land and dismissed the thought immediately. Both would shatter his body.
But then would he die? By every law known to the confused figure, he should not be in the position he was in. He filled his lungs as far as he could ™ he was breathing. Admittedly the air was cold, and rushed past him with a ferocity that burned his ears and stung his eyes, but he could breathe easily. Impossibly easily.
The action made him suddenly aware of the wind, distorting his face and whipping his skin, his hair pulled straight back from his forehead. It was clean, pure... free. It whistled through every crook in his spread-eagled body, flattening the hair on his chest and howling around his genitals. He stretched his limbs further, he had never felt as exposed as this before and he smiled at the godlike sensation it brought. He was showing himself to the world but it couldn't see him, although he felt it searching. No human had seen this before he was sure, his analytical mind beaten into submission and replaced by a sense of pure wonder. He was literally alone with a planet at his feet, in one perspective slowly coming closer to his greatness, and in another lumbering on through its orbit, ignoring his insignificant attentions.
Avon looked above himself and he could see the stars gleam vigorously and brightly, he could see the sun his planet served and suddenly felt able to challenge it in its ownership, as if he could claim the world for his own. His arms felt able to encircle it and pluck it from its ancient path, to deny the distant star its servant.
Avon the God, but why?
Why was he seeing this wonder?
The wind grew stronger and wetter around him and he placed his gaze once more beneath his feet just as he entered the cloud. For a second he could still make out the coastlines before being plunged into a thick, blinding fog and he braced himself for the revelation that would come as he fell out of the cloud, the sight of the whole planet exploding into his vision.
He felt the cloud's moisture wet his face and his hair, he shook drops of condensing water from his forelock and wiped the back of his hand across his brow only noticing that the raging wind had died away when his mind questioned the presence of the water.
He was no longer falling, he was floating. He rolled his body around by twisting his arms and although some momentum remained he could see nothing around him but the grey white mist. Quickly he lost his sense of direction and had no option other than to let himself tumble directionless into the gloom, unable to stop himself. He spun slowly for a while and had almost reached the point of boredom in his new environment when his feet gently touched down onto a surface, his knees bending slightly as his body delicately impacted with the invisible ground.
Testing his footing around him, he turned and walked a few paces in what he considered to be each direction, following compass points as well as he could but finding nothing to affect any of his five senses. He stopped and simply wondered what to do next.
He spun quickly, regaining himself from the entrancing illusion of the mist, but the voice had come from all around. He felt at his side instinctively for his weapon but found only his skin within his grasp. Considering his options for a response he opened his mouth to speak, when the voice came again.
It was clearer this second time. He recognised it as Blake's, and also a vague direction.
Standing to face it, he straightened and watched as the mist slowly began to draw into itself, thickening and swirling about him, forming a tumbling white carpet that peaked around his waist hiding his legs, and thankfully his penis. Above him the stars returned and as eddies frothed his delicate surrounds, he could again sketch the planet below.
Blake walked toward him on something and nothing, the booted echoing in Avon's ears at odds with what his eyes showed him.
"Am I dead, Blake?" he started, his voice coughing into use after what has seemed to him like an age. "Are we dead?"
The figure before him smiled and shook his head.
"Neither of us are dead, Avon." Blake stopped and looked down, stroking the stubble on his chin with the back of his hand. "Nothing so dramatic, although I can see that you may think that. We're just at a fork in the road."
His voice was slow and thoughtful, as if considering carefully each cryptic word and the connotation it would bring. "A divergence if you like."
Avon looked at Blake, and his mind raced for a solution to the statement, he was not usually one to talk in riddles.
"Who won the war?"
"We did. That's the reason I'm here now."
"And the others?"
"They're fine. Or at least they will be eventually with you to guide them."
Avon showed no immediate recognition of Blake's statement, instead he stared blankly at the man's arm, hanging freely by his side. He pointed.
"What happened to the sling? I didn't realise you could shrug off Travis's laseron destroyer so lightly. What's going on here Blake, am I dreaming?"
"Perhaps." Blake stepped closer.
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