Further along

Kesey's face swam hazily just above Milo. Beside him, Allan Ginsberg and Stewart Brand peered down with deep concern. A little behind and off-axis, Neal Cassady's unfocused foglight visage grinned and chugged, sotto voce.

Milo came to a glossy, fuzzy, disembodied awareness that he lay crumpled on the floor, moaning. Moaning, he realized, that was at least partly due to the acute angle at which his metal thermos dug into his kidneys. He drew a driplet of succor from the familiarity of the situation. Then, at a great distance, he felt more than heard The Dead's deep thrum vibrating through multiple walls. The knowledge that he was somewhere still inside the Longshoreman's Hall caused his first drip of comfort to well to something resembling a bare trickle.

All around the quieter room where they'd withdrawn with him after... something calamitous that Milo couldn't quite recall... the Trips Festival was in full bloom. But even here, the air was thick with powerful, otherworldly flashes of intense color, budding from nowhere, blooming, and fading back into everywhere.

From an echoing distance, muffled lyrics paddled upstream toward them.

"...Your constant battles are getting to be a bore...
So go somewhere else and continue your cream puff war...
Then Ken straightened and spoke to the others, quiet but used to command. "I've seen freakouts, and I've seen freakouts, but this one's past the peg. Get him on a mattress on The Bus, quick. We'll get him to La Honda and do what we can to bring him down easy."

Ken paused, his pupils wide and dark. Then he asked, "You guys getting colors as well? Jesus. I've had hallucinations before, too, but these..."

He trailed off, uncharacteristically lost for words.

Then a quizzical look of half-recall spidered twitchingly beneath the planes of his handsome face.

"And, oh... Hey. Al? Stu? Anybody see Sam Perry...?"