Whatever it was that was now coursing through Gustavus's bloodstream took effect almost immediately, making him feel very, very warm--not uncomfortable, just warm, as if he were basking under the sun on a beautiful beach. The very thought of resisting seemed preposterous--who in his right mind would fight a sensation this intense, this ... wonderful?
He thought about the numbness in his legs and arms and realized it was now spreading to his mind, his spirit, his consciousness. He felt like he was floating -- on a cloud, perhaps, or in a pool of bright blue water, the sun still caressing his skin with gentle insistence.
He sensed his shaft growing stiff and jutting out of his pants, but that did not alarm him. It made him smile--laugh, even--to think about it. And his mind wandered elsewhere.
That's it, said the voice. You're doing a great job. Just relax and let it all sink in. You will want to be as comfortable as possible in order to make it through the next stage.
You are a lucky man, Carl. You have been chosen to assume a very special role. Few men get the opportunity to discover their life's work quite so clearly as you are about to. Are you ready, Carl? Are you ready to learn the future?
Gustavus stared straight ahead, his expression blank but for the trace of a grin.
"Yes," he answered softly. "Yes, I am."
Very good. I want you to close your eyes. Close them tightly, and take a deep breath. That's it. Now let it out. Yes, you're doing great ... And another ... Excellent, Carl, excellent. And let it out ... That's right ...
Now, Carl--when you're ready ...
Open your eyes.