The light came from everywhere, but illuminated nothing. There was nothing to illuminate, just a vast and unending greyness. He was running through it, though towards what he did not know. He had no way of knowing how long he had been running or how far, but it seemed that he had been running for days. For the first time he notices something on his feet- a powder- and then...nothing. There was no more surface and he fell. The surface wasn't the only thing he had run out of, the light was gone now too. He fleetingly thought it was just as well, afterall, what's the difference between darkness and light that doesn't show you anything? A tingling began in his right eye. It became a fire.
And then splash. The burning in his eye stopped. It was quickly replaced as his whole body was consumed by pain. He didn't know how, but he managed to swim. All he could do was hope it was towards a way out. The light returned, this time it was green and he saw that he was no longer alone. He swam towards the figure in the distance and after some time- there was no telling how long- he saw that it was a woman. As he came closer he was able to see something else. The surface. He forgot the woman and kicked desperately towards what he hoped was escape. He forgot running. He forgot falling. All that remained was kicking. And the pain. The pain should have been overwhelming. He couldn't explain why he hadn't succumbed to it. But the surface seemed close now. So close. Just a few more kicks and at least his face would be clear; some part of him would be free of the pain. Almost there he reached up- only to brush up against a smooth hard surface. Mad with frustration he pounded against it and tried to scream. Now his lungs burned too. He didn't know why he wasn't drowning, only that he wasn't surprised. Something soft moved against him and he looked down.
The woman he had seen earlier. An eternity of pain later she looked up and again he tried to scream. Her face had been eaten away, leaving only scraps of muscle and her perfect eyes. He tried to push away, but she grabbed him. Then her hands were at his throat- he thought she was trying to kill him. She kissed him and suddenly the pain stopped. He managed to shove her away and kicked down in panicked desperation. The pain was back, and the further down he went the worse it became. But it was better- anything was better- than the horror waiting- he hoped- at the not-surface. The thought of it following after him made him kick faster yet. The pain was terrible and he wondered if his face now looked like the woman's. Still he kicked. There was something down there. He couldn't make it out yet, but it was moving- maybe alive. As he got further down he was able to see it was another woman. He remembered the horror above him and fearing that what was below him was only another horror, he picked a direction neither up nor down and swam.
The woman- or he feared- thing below had seen him though and began to follow. He turned his head and saw this and tried to kicked faster and harder, but he was at the limit of his ability. What was worse, the woman/thing swam faster than him. It would be on him soon. Panic tore at him. He had to go faster, had to get away. Something grabbed his ankle. He looked down to see a hand not terrible looking at all. His gaze followed it to its owner and her face. There was no horror there either. He wanted to relax, but forced himself to look further and the horror welled up again. She had no legs, but a tail in the same degraded condition as the face of the abomination on the surface. He screamed. The light.
Blinding white light assailed him. A searing pain ripped through his skull and he noticed that he was breathing. Not green liquid, but water. He could hear his screams resounding off of walls. There were things holding him down. And then there was a voice, "Jesus, this is always the worst part."
Another voice, "The worst part for us, you mean. I hear that after they come to it's like two months of hell that make the chem-junkies' dt's look like a walk through the friggin park."
The first voice again, "It's gotta be some damn ride to go through all this."
A new voice, "You know, some of the poor bastards go back."