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The first thought was that his head hurt. The second was that he was laying on something soft, cushy, and quite pleasing. But the third went stubbornly back to the ache in his skull that flared like a sunspot, unable to be fully ignored.

“He’s waking up. Sir, can you hear me?”

Sir? Why did that ring such a large bell? As he opened his eyes darkness met him, as did two figures leaning over his prone body. He tried to move, to find some way to get by them, but the pain in his head was too much as the two figures had no trouble holding onto him, easing him into a sitting position he noted as they maintained their firm but gentle hold.

“Where, where am I?” he asked, his voice groggy as he kept his eyes closed.

“You’re in the first sub-level sir,” one of the figures said, “We went to lockdown a few days ago and couldn’t figure out how to get the doors open. Sir, what happened up there?”

He tried to chuckle, failed, and only shook his head in response. His memory was suddenly coming back, making that flaring spot in his skull sear and burn all the worse.

Where to begin?

(to be continued)

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