BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, BECAUSE IT PROBABLY WON'T COME TRUE AND LIFE IS MOSTLY ABOUT EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT.

In a place like this, a vat of darkness that stretched far and wide with nothing to it but an endless void of black, it was hard to find himself grounded. Even when there seemed to be some semblance of ground beneath his feet, even when it felt solid to the touch and cold to his bare feet, there was still the sensation that he had been falling; that with the right step in the wrong place, this invisible flooring would drop right out from under him and send him plummeting into the perilous abyss he imagined was below him. If he ran too far in one direction, would he have come to an equally invisible wall that didn’t allow him to pass through? Or was it likely that up was down and down was up, and directions were nothing as they should have seemed, making any direction a problematic one? Whatever the case or orientation - or lack thereof that he could have found - Connor knew this was no place where he wanted to be, not physically or mentally.

Still, there were things that supposedly existed somewhere in the great abyss that surrounded him like a lost boat at sea, sounds that filtered through the darkness as if they were far, far away - perhaps just a number of feet or even miles, nothing to the tune of physical structure - no buildings or cars or people regularly found in San Francisco - to soak up the sound as it traveled. It allowed him to easily hear the sound of monitors beeping underneath the veil of sirens that had ultimately made up his ride to the hospital, muffled shouting through medical masks as the trauma department attempted to stabilize him, and the loud ringing of the paddle charge he had ultimately felt with a jerk in his chest - they made up the empty environment around him, small signs that there was something going on that he, for the moment, hadn’t yet recognized.

On one end of existence, he was in the hospital, being wheeled from one department to another to address a gunshot wound that had come rather unexpectedly while on patrol, drilling through the bullet-resistant - not bulletproof - fabric of the batsuit with ease given the close combat.

On this one, he was trapped.

How long he had walked through this place, looking for a sign that things were going well, was anyone’ guess, still not yet running into any invisible walls or falling through the crystal clear ground beneath his feet - still assuming there was even ground there for him to walk on - but he knew well enough that as he did, as time passed on a hidden clock, that the sounds had died down, simmering and calming down into the quiet of this phantom zone save for the beeping that had remained constant - a small sign to those who might have been found on the outside of such an incident that it wasn’t time to count him out. He was alive, if only just, and there was a chance he could survive if all the cards dealt played the right way - not that he knew what those cards were and least of all compared to the unknown dealer called fate.

Eventually, it was all he could do to sit down, to stay put, to try not to let the bleak environment around him - if it could be called that - drive him crazy, some peace found in soothing gestures from beyond that had been nothing more than a mother’s love, a touch of her hand against his and a press of her lips against his forehead, all carried like silent prayers.

“I’ve been shot before, but I think this is quite different from getting sniped by Superman,” came a voice from somewhere in the darkness, the most visual features being the bright white bat and a pair of white eyes that pierced the darkness. It seemed to move around as if Cheshire in nature, an invisible cat with a set of teeth or visible eyes which danced around the deep, dark woods with riddles of sure insanity though, coming out of Terry’s mouth, he felt it far more reasonable than not. There was a world where Terry had gotten ‘sniped by Superman’ though it hadn’t been his reality so much as an alternate one, found through portals left destroyed when he had found some resolution over his father’s death, existing in one place and lost in another.

“And that was just a holograph anyway,” Terry said, tapping on the suit which was far more solid, far more durable, than the one he had so foolishly gone out in, base model and nothing of particular durability like future models - models he had in his possession - had been; but there had been the notion that in the relative crime-free quiet that San Francisco had beyond a few snatch n’ grab robberies along the BART stations, he wouldn’t need the full mass of armaments at this fingertips.

Boy, was he wrong.

The memory triggered with a loud bang from parts unknown, Connor trying not to jump out of his skin though he did shift his gaze around for any other signs of what had happened between Point A, the station, and Point B, the hospital - not that he needed any real clarification of what was going on. He had been shot. He was struggling because, super suit be damned, he was human, and humans…

Well, he wasn’t going to say he wouldn’t survive though there were plenty of instances where it had been determined 'unlikely' and expectation wasn't often sitting in the positive of gunshot wound victims of a certain severity. If he had to consider it anything, it was just actively out of his hands and put into those medical professionals who had found themselves on call that night and the doctors and nurses that would provided the follow through once emergency departments and trauma surgeons were done with their facets of treatment.

“Is this where you tell me ‘I told you so’?” Connor asked, sighing as he looked around for any sign of the bat once he had disappeared again, casting his gaze in seemingly dark corners where he could have been leaning or walls where, pressed flat against, he could have disappeared, building up a world that didn’t exist in this place of no definition and no form, manipulated by a mind addled with medications meant to aid his survival by giving him the best chance he could have to pull him out of it; but as immediate as he would have wanted to come to, as quickly as he wanted to wake up and assure his mother and his uncle, and all of his friends, that he was fine, it didn’t seem the right time, expressed so readily as a slap across his face from a bat who, just as he had before, appeared out of nowhere as fatigue started to overtake him, eyelids heaving in short order.

“I don’t know about you, Connor,” Terry said, all but pointing at Connor where he sat as if he would do it again when - because it would be a when, not an if - he started to slip off into deeper unconsciousness again, an ebb and flow of consciousness from one circumstance or another, “but I have no intention on dying today, so you need to stay awake.”