“You gotta wonder how that feels,” the awe in the man’s voice is irksome. He is dirty and stinks like stale malt liquor and grease. Decker doesn’t want to tell him what it feels like but finds himself leaning on the cold metal railing anyway half way through doing it anyway as if he couldn’t wait. As if if he were begging someone to ask. As if he was standing in that very spot just so the moment would arrive.
“…like a knee bent back to far the wrong way, a shoulder popped out of joint. A head smooshed like a rotten grape. But the worst part is when you get there and it’s like none of it ever happened and you stand just like you were when the trip started with all this memory of intense pain, a month worth, a week, a day, all this agony floating around in your head, your crew mates screaming and then remembering, shit, I’m okay and walking off to do what whatever it was they were doing before you reached the portal in the first place.”
Decker takes a big pull off the yellow etherhol can and tries to pass it over to the grease monkey next him.
He doesn’t even try to hide his intake anymore.
“Are you fucking kidding me mate.”
And Decker, through a brutal cough, watches the man walk off eyeing him over his shoulder with a look filled with disgust.
Decker shakes it off and downs another mouthful of the vile industrial cleaner and manages to hold it in as another racking cough fit hits him just long enough to get the liquid into his gut.
He leans against the railing watching the aft section of the cruiser hit the portal remembering the agony, thankful he is here and not there going where ever those poor fools are going and then suddenly bursting into sobbing tears.