Roaring, incoherent noises, settling into distinguishable patterns that he could recognise:
"He's awake! Hello, can you hear me?"
"Where am I? Who are you?"
"Don't worry. You're safe, and we're friends. You're gonna pull through, have no fear of that. What's your name?"
"It's...Nick, I think. What happened? The last thing I remember was seeing a big rock hurtling down and landing in my garden. There was an explosion...and I think the house fell down, but somehow the blast knocked me clear of it. I woke up afterwards...and tried to find people...who'd survived as well."
"You didn't quite manage that I'm afraid, we found you. Oh, and when you're recovered, the general would like to speak to you over lunch."
That was the last thing Nick heard before the darkness engulfed him again.