All around her, it was black. Blacker than night. Blacker than paint. Blacker than the rich soil of her family's potato farm. Where was she? She tried to open her eyes, but nothing happened. She tried to lift her hand to her face to figure out why and discovered that didn't work either. Her hand was frozen. No, not frozen; paralyzed. Panic raced through her and she tried to move her body. Nothing happened. She couldn't feel anything. She didn't even feel hot or cold. She tried to open her mouth to call for help, but it too, had failed her. The scream ripped through her brain, banging against the tissue in a futile attempt to get free. She expected to feel hot tears of overwhelming frustration roll down her cheeks at any moment, but they never came. She was trapped inside herself in a bleak, void tunnel. She couldn't hear anything. Not even the steady ticking of her bedroom clock. Her bedroom. She remembered being there. What had happened next? Was she sick? Dead?
The word resounded clearly in her mind. She must be dead. No, of course not, she wouldn't be able to think if she were dead. Would she? Concentrate; she told herself, You are not dead. What happened last… Day? Night? Which was it? What month was it? What year was it? Maybe she was in a coma.
Her bedroom. Yes. Her bedroom. She clearly remembered being there. What else? Todd. He had snuck in, persuaded her to go for a ride on his motorcycle. Blinding lights, crunching metal. Where was she now? How were they going to explain to her if she couldn't hear or see? She might as well be dead.
Dr. Harper studied a glass case. The brain of a motorcycle accident victim, recently harvested two weeks ago, floated placidly in fluid. Blips on the machines attached to it sensed that it was waking up and having normal thought patterns. Dr. Harper wondered what it would be like to be just a brain in a jar. Probably pretty peaceful.