All-encompassing, mind-blowing, incapacitating agony. Unbearable, but bear it he must - because he knew how this worked. Every time. Every single time. Suspended animation, surgery, resurrection; when ever he came back to his senses, it meant only one thing: pain. As though he had to pass, from the depths of death or unconsciousness, through the lower levels of his mind, through nightmare and memory and emotion, before he could emerge once more into the precision of his intellect, sharp and harsh and clear and cold; like ice.
It was no different this time. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t see and, worst of all, he couldn’t think. He couldn’t even scream. Nothing existed but the incomparable agony of that moment, so long ago, sawing and twisting up through his body as it was nigh on ripped in two; the sharp crack of bone, the sickening writhing of torn flesh, the gush and lightheadedness of pints of lost blood, pouring hot and red, the terror, because he was going to die, they couldn't get to him in time to save him, and even if they did, what could they do? Every time, he knew he was going to succumb; that this was the end; that he didn’t want any more and he didn’t care. And every time came the knowledge that he was stronger than it, that he would rise above all of it, the pain and the despair and the betrayal; that he would never, never surrender again.
After that, that certainty, the pain faded; slowly, slowly, he came back to the present, until he could hear nothing except the thud of his artificial heartbeat, feel nothing except cold metal against his skin. And he could breathe again.
Of course he never said anything about it - those responsible for his resurrections were almost always Daleks, and, naturally, they couldn’t understand. How lucky they were. But after all, it passed. If it was a choice between agony and ceasing to be, it didn't hurt too much to ever make him regret the choice.
He was used to it by now. It still took him a while to recover, but he didn’t let it open old wounds. He was stronger than that, after all. But sometimes, for a moment - just a moment - he would think of Nyder, and miss him, or remember the joy of being young and strong, of being able to run for miles and draw in the cold morning air, with the whole world before him. And he would shake off these thoughts with a sudden burst of fiery anger. And he would get back to work. And he wouldn’t think of it again.
Because it hurt too much.