Rude Awakenings

He awoke to pain.

He didn't know where it was, he just knew that there was pain. It felt like it was everywhere. He gasped a breath, unprepared for the onslaught of sensation that would accompany his coming to.

He heard the shuffle of footsteps nearby, then a series of beeps.

"Can you hear me, sir?" a disembodied voice asked.

He groaned in reply.

"Good. Now don't try to move. You've sustained some serious injuries, and we need to take care of them. Okay?"

He groaned again. This time his lips started to curl around the sound a bit. It sounded a bit like "Yuunnhh."

"Okay. Good. Now, are you in any pain?"

He groaned emphatically. He was trying to say "Oh, yeah!" but it came out "uunnhh-yuunnhh."

It was only then he realized there was a tube in his mouth.

"I can increase your painkiller dosage a bit, I think," the voice said.

The shuffling feet sounded again, then a few clicking sounds he couldn't identify.

"That should help take the edge off," the voice said.

So he was in a hospital. And the voice—female, he now realized—was that of a nurse.

"I'm going to give you a bit of water," she said.

That was when it hit him—He couldn't see.

"Just open your mouth. I'm going to tip a little bit of water in."

He felt a cup touch his lips. He opened them, and a small amount of cool liquid drizzled into his mouth. He swallowed—painfully—and moved his tongue around. His mouth felt a little better now.

"I ... can't ... see," he rasped.

"There was ... a lot of shrapnel in the explosion," the voice said, somewhat apologetically, he thought. "Both your eyes were affected."

His stomach clenched, and his heart began to race. "Both?" he asked.

"One worse than the other. The doctor can tell you more when he comes in."

The pain medication must have started to kick in, he thought, because he was getting lightheaded and a bit woozy.

He passed out again fairly quickly.

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He slipped in and out of consciousness several times over the next twenty-four hours. During that time, he learned he was in The Ottawa Hospital, that the bomb had destroyed gates eighteen through twenty-two and badly damaged twenty-three through twenty-six, that twenty-four people had been killed—including six LitPol officers—and seriously injured another nineteen, and that all air traffic in and out of Ottawa had been put on indefinite hold.

He also learned that he'd been unconscious for four days, and that the hospital staff had absolutely no idea who he was. They'd found no personal belongings, no identification, no nothing. All he'd had on him was his clothes.

And that had been exactly the way he'd planned it. All his papers had been in his luggage, and his luggage had been rigged to self-incinerate if it was exposed to any extreme conditions. Considering the size of the bomb, the self-incineration was probably unneccesary, but then, no one could have predicted it would be an explosive that would create the "extreme conditions."

So he was forced to play the amnesia card. It wasn't too much of a stretch for the hospital staff to believe he couldn't remember anything. His injuries were severe: Second-degree burns over much of the front of his arms, legs, and torso, along with a few third-degree burns on his chest; lacerations over much of the front of his body; severed nerves in his right arm and leg; and lacerations to both eyes.

His left eye was recovering; his right eye was pretty much toast.

So much for getting to Vancouver.

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He awoke the next day feeling only marginally better. His head was not pounding quite so vehemently, his mouth was not quite so dry, and his left eye was actually allowing him to see a little bit. They'd taken the dressing off it the previous day and had decided that it could stay off, at least for the time being.

He'd take what he could get; some vision was better than none.

As he scanned the room, trying to recognize objects of varying sizes, his gaze came to rest upon a large, dark shape near the door. He realized, to his great surprise, that it was a person, and that the person was simply standing there, looking at him.

"These Anarchists are going to cause us a lot of trouble, I think," the person-shape said.

He squinted, trying to focus more clearly. The voice was familiar.

The man stepped closer. He had brown skin, black hair, and glasses. He smiled, the whiteness of his teeth contrasting starkly against the rest of his face.

"It is good to see you, my old friend," the man said.

He blinked, squinting harder. The face was blurry, but unmistakable.

"Ganga!?" he exclaimed.

The man smiled again.

"We have a lot of work to do, you and I."

The End

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