There was a sense of self. Where there had only been images, random emotions, now there was an understanding. Thoughts, not just impressions. There was a sense of existing. But the sense was dislocated, confused, scattered. The sensation that time had passed, and was passing, still existed. But there was the notion that it didn’t matter. It didn’t affect the self. It didn’t affect anything at all.
They could feel, after a fashion. Or at least they thought they could feel. But there was nothing to feel. The same was true of sight, smell, taste. They had senses. The senses worked, but there was nothing to sense. They could detect no pressure, or gravity. Balance was working, there was no disorientation, but the sense of upright was just that, a sense. There was no confirmation of this being right, or for that matter, of anything being wrong.
They could be floating in a deprivation device. Body rendered null by the extraction of anything to detect. But they didn’t think so. There was nothing to support this conclusion. The realisation came that they had no sense of their body, but they had no fear that it wasn’t there. They still existed. The mind still existed. The body was absent. This should have been terrifying, but they felt almost oblivious to the matter. There were enough sensations. Maybe phantom feelings.
A name floated into their mind. Their name. The name they used before. It seemed unimportant at this moment. They still had a notion of self, but it didn’t wholly match the memories of the self from before. Was it the loss of body? Were they insane? Or just seriously high on some pain medication? Hell they could be a brain in a jar. They would have liked to laugh at that. But they didn’t think they had the physical ability.
“You are aware now?” the voice didn’t come from anywhere. Yet, they felt it with the part of their brain that said it was spoken to them. It was a neutral voice with no strong tone indicating any gender.
How do I speak? A sudden moment of panic and fear ran across their mind. Then they knew they could feel fear, there was a knot in their stomach, the sense of heightened pulse, shortness of breath. Sensations carried from nerve endings to the appropriate parts of the conscious.
“I sense your tension and disquiet. If you merely attempt to speak as normal it will be acceptable.” The voice was gentle but insistent. “The same technique can be used to ease the sensations from your body.”
“How is this possible?” they felt the shout leave their body. The feeling of pain in their throat from the near scream, the breath hissing and tickling the upper mouth and teeth.
“You do not need to distress yourself,” there was a pause. “Perhaps I should give you a little more adjustment. Rest for now.”
Then all sensation ended.