Awaiting the impact, I got ― millisecond by millisecond ― more horrified about the height of my drop. There is no way for me to survive this.
But... but... surely two, three seconds had elapsed! Four? I must have crashed against the rocks by now. Darkness. Am I dead, is this being dead? Can I move? It was still dark around me, but now ― it was really pitch black. Not even a cleft at night can be so unnaturally black. And... I don't feel the air streaming around me anymore. I must be dead. I must. Yet why am I conscious? This was somehow even more terrifying than "only" dying.
And then ― from that complete silence, I heard a quiet yet distinctive clearing of throat. Suddenly I realized the answer to all these panicked questions.
"Sorry to prejudice, Dr Ferryman, but I would expect this was not a sudden suicide attempt?", said the well known slow and hissy voice, unmistakably belonging to the E-Man. "Any worthy scientist would surely prefer to know the outcome of his experiments."
I noticed him standing to the right ― as always, in his tidy suit, with a briefcase, and watching me with his striking eyes.
"Just as well we met, Dr Ferryman, because I needed to talk to you. My employers and I... appreciate your scientific endeavors. Yet, I need to emphasize that you may be risking tapping forces your current peers are not yet fully ready to understand. I was allowed, therefore, in these unusual circumstances, to connect ― or rather, reconnect ― you to an individual you can help and be helped by."
He began fading away, but still had time for one last sentence. "But making the right decision will remain your job, when the time comes, Dr Ferryman."
As usual, not only was I completely paralysed during his talk, but I also had no feeling of my body, as if only being a tiny, blurry cloud of consciousness floating through this horrible void. What was the E-Man warning me of? And why did he not just intervene himself ― as he had already shown to be capable of ― into the matter he refers to? And who was the individual he had so vaguely mentioned?
Everything went dark, my consciousness included.