Prologue He awoke to pain and the sound of screaming. “It’s not working! He’s rejecting it!” rang out a panicked female voice somewhere nearby. It took half a moment for him to realize the screaming was coming from his own throat, on account of the pain and all. He could feel it as it burned through his every fibre and yet also felt oddly disconnected from everything going on, as if he was both experiencing and spectating simultaneously. “It’s working,” replied an older male in a calm but authoritative tone “He’s just causing us grief as usual. He won’t break from this. Complete the insertion.” Another moment of hazy duality and then suddenly everything snapped together. The presence inside and the presence outside reached each other and the pain radiated to the ‘spectator’ part of him with a renewed vigour. The screaming stopped as every muscle in his body seized up in agony, incapable of relaxing and drawing in the breath needed so as to continue yelling. Then, as quickly as it came, the pain stopped and everything returned to the black from which he had been pulled.