So, anyway, the whitecoats flip the switch and fry the hell out of my brain. A little more painful than I would have liked, especially considering what I was told, but it was just about bearable. It didn’t last too long anyway so that’s something. It blinded me though, I’ll tell you that for free.
Ever slammed your hand in a car door, or maybe stubbed your little toe within a minute of waking up? You know how the pain just shoots straight into your eyes and brings those nasty little blotches with it? That’s pretty much what happened to me, except worse. It was like someone just unplugged my eyes for a few moments, it went all static and white like an out of tune television. Of course, just to add to the pain, it was so bright that it joined in with the electric torture going on.
Still, it was over pretty quick. The blindness hung around a little longer than the pain, but that’s only to be expected really. As my sight came back I caught a glimpse of my surroundings as best I could. You’ve got to understand, my eyesight didn’t come back perfectly at first, for a while it was like staring through tissue paper or something, all fuzzy and weird. That was probably for the best really, seeing as I’d materialised in the middle of a crowded mall.
I could see the blotchy shapes that I assumed were people, all crowded around me as you would expect if you fell out of the sky, and somehow got the notion that they were a little too afraid of me. I would have expected some fear, the sort you would get if you tripped over in the street and landed with your face right next to a dog’s “business”, a healthy fear born of being startled. They’d gone way past that, they were in Frankenstein’s monster fear.
My eyes streaming, I decided it would be best to get the hell out of this situation before I did or said something that would set them off. I’m a damn good fighter when I can see but I never really learned the whole “discipline” and “let your other senses be your eyes” thing that celluloid martial artists all seem to have, so I probably wouldn’t have done too well if I caused a fight.
The thing is, even knowing this, I came dangerously close a number of times. What I didn’t know (because the whitecoats hadn’t told me) was that timetravel supercharges your nerves, something like that anyway. As a result it takes a bit of time for the charges to dissipate, which means that when you try and move your muscles short circuit and your jerk around spectacularly, like a epileptic frog or something. I bumped into a couple of rather large men, at least one androgynous character and a couple of rather well endowed chicks before I was ejected into the street.
It was while I was lying in the street, on the apparently wet tarmac, that my eyesight returned to more or less normal. I blinked a few times and took stock of my situation. At least the whitecoats had done something right. I was back to the right year, I could tell that much instantly. The people on the street (and there were people on the street, which was the first good sign) were all carrying around the Lantyne Systems GrooveTab, a music player that no-one would have been seen carrying for a long time where I came from. It had gone out of fashion in the time it took for society to actually realise it had come into fashion. People were fickle back here.
I stood up, muscles still occasionally short circuiting, and checked that I was still in possession of my important parts. A quick check of my clothes revealed something that might have explained the Mary Shelley levels of fear coming from the people inside the mall, my clothes were torn. It wasn’t just simple wear and tear, nor was it even hobo level disrepair, it was full-blown explosion damage. In all honesty, my clothes were gone, replaced by a collection of scorched holes held together by particularly stubborn strains of ash. And my cock was hanging out. Crap.