The sky opened up like a mouth and swallowed me whole. I passed through its throat, a black-shadowed and flexible tube that smelled of esters and monomers, and fell into a room as wide as all the sky, suffused with misty pink light.

I wasn’t alone. If only! But there were three others that I could see, and countless others that I could sense.

The thing nearest me – I hesitate to call it a person, though of course it was – sibilated and grunted in my direction. I didn’t understand its tongue, of course. But I understood it nonetheless, via some eldritch technology that our hosts had instilled in the room. Where are you from?

“Earth, of course,” I said.

Indeed. Did you know that in my tongue, my world’s name is Earth too?

I considered. “Sol three, then.”

Ah. It waved a tentacle, and a small window appeared. A yellow sun appeared therein, receding. Sol, I trust?

“Yes,” I said, and choked back a sob as I watched my sun dwindle and finally disappear.

You get used to it, it said. Eventually.

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