"Abort!" said Lupus, with more urgency. Then: "Abort! Abort! Abort!"
The ground went soggy underfoot and he began to sink into the vermillion sands, which were warm, then hot, then hotter. He struggled to free himself. He could not. He was drowning down in the sands, and the ants were advancing on him with anthropophagous intent. Lupus shot the nearest ant. But there were a million others behind it.
"Blood of a bitch!" said Lupus.
Then turned the gun on himself. He pressed the barrel hard against his head.
And then he pulled the trigger.
The world buckled like a display screen infected with a touch of the drunks. The ants faded to shadow. A high-pitched giggle tittered through the backspaces of infinity. Then Lupus Lon Oliver found himself back in the Combat College and free from the word of illusion.
"Nice trip?" said Paraban Senk, the unembodied Teacher of Control whose chosen aspect was featured on a communications screen located inside the combat bay.
Original title: The Worshippers and the Way
Genre: Fiction→ Fantasy→ Sword and Sorcery