He wakes from unconsciousness to find himself seriously wounded and in a dangerous situation. They want information and they'll do anything to get it. They have the ammunition, the muscle, and the technology no one else does. But he is their biggest problem, because what he possesses could destroy them. He has the knowledge they want, but won't tell no matter how hard they force him. He can't. That information may stay locked inside his broken mind forever.
The ascension to awareness was forever slow coming as his mind slowly drifted up from the dark abyss of the unconscious. Someone was talking nearby and moving things around, a woman, her words as if under water. Soreness was abound in his entire body, clenching his hands and twitching his feet bringing on sharp stings that left a burning sensation. Even attempting to breathe deeply caused a sharp pain. What had happened to him to put him in this state? Attempting to open his eyes, he realized he was blindfolded tightly.
This put a sudden unsettling feeling in his stomach that he didn’t understand, but before he could even begin to wonder why, something cold and wet touched his skin and awoke his previously numb nerves with blinding clarity. Unexpected pain shot through him, but as he spasmed in pain, that only made it all the more agonizing. It tore into his legs and raked up his torso, but came to a climax at his face, particularly his eyes as he clenched them shut.
There was a gasp to his right and then footsteps hurrying away to give urgent whisperings to someone else in the distance. The footsteps then came back and he felt someone sit beside him on the bed. “Hello? Can you hear me?” she said softly. “I’m Nurse Barillas and I’ve been taking care of you. Tell me if you can hear me.”
Opening his mouth, he tried to make a sound, but his throat felt dry as dust. He swallowed and tried again, but to no avail. “Here, sweetie, drink.” she said and suddenly lifted his head a little, which made him gasp in pain. “I’m so sorry, I know it’s painful.” She pressed something hard to his lips and tipped it, releasing a tide of cold liquid into his leather-like mouth. As it cascaded down his throat, he realized he was crazy with thirst and started gulping furiously until he almost choked. “Slow down now, there’s plenty where that came from. Now, I’m gonna ask you some questions and ask you to do some things for me, okay? Gotta make sure everything’s working right.”
He nodded and she stood, telling him to wiggle his toes, touch each finger to his thumbs, and move his arms. He managed to do all of this, though with difficulty as it was painful. “Now,” she said as she reseated herself next to him again, “I’m going to ask you some questions and I want you to answer them as best you can. How do you feel right now? How bad is the pain, and where does it hurt?”
His voice was raspy, like he hadn’t used it in a long time. “It hurts bad all over, especially my face and my eyes. What’s wrong with me? What happened?”
“You were extremely wounded when they brought you here, but you’ve gotten much better.” she said as way of an answer. “Do you know where you are?”
He thought for a moment and then guessed, “A hospital?”
“Do you remember what was happening before the explosion? What you were doing, where you were?” she asked, but he nearly cut her off.
“Explosion?” he said, shock and confusion whirling in his head. Why would he be in an explosion? He tried to think back, but all he was met with was a wall of blackness.
It was quiet for a second and then her voice was apprehensive as she said, “Sweetie, do you know your name?”
It was such an absurd question he forced his voice box to produce a laugh. Of course he knew his own name. It was ridiculous to think he’d forgotten who he was. His name was…. nothing came to him. He searched his mind for something, anything, any sort of information he could grasp, but it was as if they’d all been lost in the dark waters while he was unconscious. He tried harder, but still nothing came.
His silence was answer enough for Nurse Barillas. She sighed, and when she spoke next her voice was sad and sympathetic. “When the grenade exploded, it threw you about five feet and you hit your head pretty hard on a rock. I’m sorry sweetie, but I think you have amnesia.”
“What? Amnesia?” he said in utter horror and confusion. There had to be a mistake. He couldn’t have amnesia, he just couldn’t. It had to be something else, like the medicine they were giving him. If they were giving him any, he corrected himself. Maybe that was it; he was still loopy because of the medicine.
“Yes, but don’t worry. It may only last a short time.” she said, then added, “Now I’m going to put some medicine on your wounds, okay? It might hurt a little, so brace yourself.”
He thought again of the medicine he may be getting, but as she cleaned and administered medicines over most of his body, he couldn’t help but sense a heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach. He completely refused to accept amnesia. It was in there, he knew it, all he had to do was find it.
Who was he?