"Harry, wake up."
Harry opened his eyes, then groaned as pain attacked him from all directions: knees, hips, spine, shoulders, stomach, and - most prominently - his head. He looked around a shadowy room. The floor was bare concrete, as well as the walls. A single light bulb dangled from a concrete ceiling. A heavy- looking door darkened the corner to his right. Behind him, he could hear Crystal breathing.
"Normally I would do a neurological examination and ask whether you remember your name, location, and the date. I just said your name, however, and our present location is being withheld from us. So do you know what day it is?"
Harry swallowed. His mouth tasted like sand. He tried to bring up the last memories he could find, but his brain felt scrambled and still ached menacingly. "Um, Tuesday?"
A silence settled over the room like a cold wet blanket. The quiet made Harry's stomach churn. He tried to shift position to relieve the pressure on his aching hips, but was limited by the cords around his wrists, ankles, and torso, binding him solidly to a plastic chair whose legs were not all of equal length, so it kept wobbling back and forth. Or perhaps the floor was uneven.
"So you have no idea where we are," he said, keen to break the silence.
"The bare concrete walls, floor, and ceiling suggest a basement of a warehouse or some other generic location. They used diethyl ether to render me unconscious. What is this, the dark ages?"
"This is my fault," Harry said miserably. "If I had spent more time spying on Verell instead of babysitting your rats-"
"It is not your fault we are tied down here, it is the fault of our kidnappers. But it might have been avoided if I had simply scanned my landing area. I'm usually so cautious."
"Hey, there's no way either of us could have foreseen an ambush at the base of the CN tower. And blaming ourselves won't help us escape. You're a genius, don't you have a plan to get out?"
Crystal was quiet for a moment. "I was trying to fly a bit while you were unconscious, but the ether seems to have dulled my abilities."
"Did you know that could happen?"
"I had not done comprehensive experiments on medication effects, although I did note that alcohol also seemed to impair these new abilities. This may sound obvious, but I must ask and not assume: there's no chance your hands are tied really loosely, is there?"
Suddenly a banging began to resonate from one wall. The bang sounded eight times, getting louder each time. Then the knob on the door began to turn...