Flashes of insanity, followed by all-to-sober awareness, shuddered through Kyle in asynchronous rhythm. Beyond the survival-rush of last night’s maneuvering lay the edges at which acceptance lurked, the idea that death was not the worst fate possible. To die on his own, given time to make peace with whatever lay beyond. Not operating on anyone else’s schedule. That was freedom of sorts and he felt it most when he looked into the sun - there was nothing really to avoid. No chance of survival on this parchment bake… through the dizzying haze we fall. Moments of coherence, purpose. The jumble of rocks somehow drawing nearer, that hint of--if not water--shade at least, merciful cover from the sun.
As he stumbled, half crawled toward the jumble of rocks that presaged elevation, Kyle heard, then saw as a tiny streak and a high-pitched, reverberating rumble, sign of human life in its most inhuman form, a photon burst of shrieking titanium and advanced composites. He waved, a little kid hoping against hope - surely these sleek military planes could identify him, though buzzing at accelerated pace, with technologies designed to identify Bin Laden on a similarly desolate moonscape––the UFO technologies that had created Isis and the thousand-headed hydra of humans not wanting to be controlled from above––adhering to the fundamental belief that camel routes through the desert pointed the best pathway to survival. It was all incoherence now, reality a cosmic shrug. And yet as life ebbed, the pulse in his heart had never been more insistent. Carry on, carry on. Drumroll of inertia, calibrated signals like a remote beacon, the body’s will to live insistent when coherence is lost. Lizard brain awareness in those last moments. The wormhole….