“Gene! Answer me, Gene! How bad are you hit?”
The plane shook and sometimes the tail dipped. Gene clung to the controls while he listened to Phil's voice shouting at him over the radio. He tried to focus, tried to clear his muddled mind and answer, but couldn't. Something had gone horribly wrong, he just couldn't remember what, no more than he could register the pain.
“Come on, idiot! Hang in there.” Phil said. Gene wanted to tell him to shut up.
“Stay with me. Talk to me, Gene!”
Gene struggled to form words. He tried to take stock of his surroundings. Everything blurred. His head didn't feel right, and there were black spots closing in on him.
“Tell me about your mom. About all the kids you beat up...”
Something flashed in front of Gene's eyes and for a few seconds he couldn't hear Phil's voice. When it passed, Gene realized he could no longer see his controls – or anything else. Panic hit him at the same time he found his voice.
“Phil,” he said heavily, “I'm flying blind.”