It was choking.
So much smoke, so much to intoxicate with. And we took it in, lungfull after lungfull, hit after hit.
It's a great feeling, passing the paranoias of the the first experiences, when you learn to control the trip, when you learn to USE it.
But this night was different.
We walked into the room, cold & white it was. To the left, a television & game console, to the right, an untidy bed.
We each grabbed our controls & the screen flickered to life... Our breathing, MY breathing was loud. Heavy. Or so I thought.
Passing the in-game menus we finally came to the firefight. It was a city scape, buildings towering on all sides of our little players in the big screen.
One by one, our enemies dropped dead before our onslaught, it was so beautiful. No casualties, no wounds, a massacre of novel proportions.
& then slowly, eerily, the screen's edges began to creep around me, enclosing me in the world of the game.
I no longer saw my character, but I saw the weapon in my hand. SHHHHH.The enemies are approaching...
Adrenaline kicked in, i hid behind cover, a few bushes of virtual green, and as i jumped out to surprise my attacker and keep the advantage, i saw the fear inits eyes.
One shot echoed in my ears, the pop was deafening, but the shot was true, and the attacker dropped in stride.
I looked to my hands, and for a moment, just a flash, i saw my weapon replaced with a controller, but there was no time to think.
Even my mind was telling me, yelling in all force, YOU'RE OUT OF COVER!!!
Then the great bass of the brute's voice came rolling through the city walls, FIND HIM.
My heart stopped for a moment, & then i remembered to breath, EVERYTHINGS FINE, ALL YOU NEED IS THE ADVANTAGE.
I scanned my surroundings. To my left, a building that stretched as far as the skyline upwards, to my right, a dumpster. Filthy. Rotten. PERFECT.
Providing enough cover and more for my small frame & well enough protection from oncoming enemy projectiles, i ran towards it with all speed.
I could hear the enemy growling, his little minions, some chasing along behind him, & others out in front, grunting as they hobbled along.
But a soldier's worst nightmare was about to become reality to me.
Not far off, a shadow crept into the city, flying over it to our position, the humming & buzzing of its strange technology all too familiar to me.
THIS is when i realized i was alone, for i looked to my sides & my squad was out of sight& hearing. My heart was trying to pound its way out of my chest.
I peeked over the trash above the dumpster, & confirmed my own dread, as i saw the enemy reinforcements drop out of the ship through its center bay, light guiding their fall.
But this was my mistake.
I lost the advantage, finally hiding back behind the dump my eyes met a massive figure, hairy & powerful, staring at me, snarling, his minion's about to fire off in my direction.
I jumped off to myleft side, taking a shot of green plasma, i could see red, & it was everywhere.
I brought my pistol up & fired off in quick succession. One dead, a shot to the face must be painful. Two dead, their heads were popping like confetti. The third i missed, my shot hitting his right shoulder, then his collar.
As the two little ones dropped the massive brute aimed his clanky weapon at me & began to sound off.
I could hear the spikes break upon the floor, cement cracking beneath my feet.
Landing in a roll, i aimed again, & finally put the third minion to rest. Now it was time for their master.
Shot after shot, i hit his face, bullets resounding off of some kind of forcefield around him, until it finally whithered and died, & i realized my clip was empty.
The last shot i sent towards the great beast killed his shield & sent his helmet flying through the air, revealling such a bloodlust in his eyes i had never seen in my life.
He hunched, his muscles flexing, his towering frame balling up before me as i reached for another clip. But it felt... light.
One bullet left, another nightmare, as even without their shields these creatures take an army of bullets to fall.
I loaded the clip just as he came rushing to me, screaming a warcry of lands far in the stars, of places distant & strange to me. 15 meters.
I took aim at the beast, & he began to sidestep huge paces as he came towards me, incredibly agile, incredibly deadly, & my time was running short. 10 meters.
I tried to steady my aim, realizing how close i was to death already.I was a good marksman, but a one shot life or death situation doesnt ease a mind already troubled.
5 meters. I could see the white in his eyes. I could smell his stench. & i could feel my finger pullagainst the triggeras i jumped backwards to ease the force of the crash.
There was light, & a smell of gun powder in the air. Then a pain on my back. I was laying next to a worthy foe. A dead foe.
& just as i started to feel hope, my eyes rose to find the reinforcements already in formation, creeping towards me in that little alley.
My mind was reeling. It was so loud. It was so real.
I stared at the useless gun in my hand, and threw it to the floor, suddenly back in the white room, i could see the controller on the mattress in front of me.
It was the sound of war lingering in my head that made me sick.
I walked outside to a cloudless night sky, a great field of untilled earth before me.
I took a breath.
I held the thought.
& i let it go.
It was only a trip...