Pseudopod 130: The Greatest Adventure of All

By Ian McHugh

Read by Alasdair Stuart

By the time I cleaned myself up, Arj had scrounged me a fresh t-shirt. I stopped outside the recovery room to pull it on.

“How is he?” I asked, rather indistinctly. My top lip had blown up like a balloon. My head ached, too, where I’d hit it on the cold bed.

“Awake. Calm,” he said. “Whole – we think. Physical responses are normal. He’s in mild shock. Hasn’t said anything yet.”


He shrugged. “Gone real quiet.”

Abby and Dole were a couple, the ringleaders of our little cabal. They were the kind of adrenalin addicts who see extreme sports as a mystical experience. Who’d mangle J.M. Barrie to tell you: “Death is the greatest adventure of all, man.”

Of course, the rest of us were fear junkies too, otherwise we wouldn’t be sneaking around the labs after hours like the cast of Flatliners.

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February 20th, 2009 9:33 pm

I felt that this was one of the best Pseudopod tales in quite a while. Deeply chilling and more unsettling to me, as a biologist and nonbeliever, than any sermon on hellfire and brimstone could ever be. A+

February 21st, 2009 6:04 am

…it is a thought… that the fear of death has more to do with the uncertainty of what comes after then of a loss of consciousness….

February 24th, 2009 8:06 pm

I agree TritonBlue; a real thriller.

Andy Collins
February 25th, 2009 7:05 pm

I’m with Triton blue also. I spent the rest of the day freaking out about the lack of choice in post life experiences. Briefly I toyed with some old school prayer, just to cover my bases, but a calming pint was really the only option. Great, scary. deeply disturbing – Pseudopod is on a roll!

February 27th, 2009 2:45 pm

Yikes. This one was a slow burn for me. I think part of it is the fact that I’m a scientist surrounded by scientist friends – I study disease, and my beloved is very interested in consciousness research.

Science is beautiful and wonderful and exciting, but there’s often (always?) this undercurrent of what will we do with some of this knowledge? Do we really need to have it? (answer: yes, though it is often scary and must be handled with care.) We already have the ability to destroy the world many times over without even using nuclear power. . . what if we decide to save the world and just get it all wrong?
(See also: my current obsession with the Freakangels web serial.)

March 5th, 2009 4:03 am

This was the single most disturbing story I have ever heard.

If I venture into madness later in my life, this story will be what I blame.

I find it ironic that this story was what the main characters swore to prevent.

March 10th, 2009 10:27 pm

Nice. I’m enjoying the recent nonsuckity of PP casts. Normally I get bored with the same narrators over and over, but both Ben and Alasdair have been doing a bang up job with the casts this month.

March 12th, 2009 8:01 pm

Great reading Alasdair !

March 22nd, 2009 2:02 am

Fantastic reading, Doctor Stuart.

I gotta say, if my voice was HALF as smooth as yours, I’d be wearing no pants right now.