Grounding the team had been difficult, but not impossible.
Dr. Hansrik assured them there would be no danger, once the patient was unconscious. Prior to sedation, the patient was capable of anything. (Just ask the good folk of Peoria, Illinois, who’d made the terrible mistake of not taking the patient’s demands for “unlimited chicken wings and non-stop trivia” seriously.)
Everyone held their breath while Dr. Hansrik opened up the patient’s thoracic cavity. The crackle of static was deafening, and electricity played over everyone and everything in the room. The air smelled of ozone and hot sauce.
Dr. Hansrik said, “I think I see something. Forceps, please.” He latched onto … It was impossible to tell in the arcs of snapping light. He gently loosened and pulled.
The light pulsed once and disappeared — the static electricity, the overhead lights, even the ambient sunshine coming through the windows. There was total darkness, silence. The entire surgical team was plunged into what could only be described as a void of sight and sound.
And then a voice boomed, either in their heads, or so loud it consumed all the senses in the world. In either case, everyone was still, suspended in the essence of nothing.
“For the game, correctly answer the following question: what is real?”