Poke. Poke. Shake. "A1C. Airman. Wake up, bud. Wake up."
Huh? Where's that voice coming from?
"That's it. Breathe. You're ok. You're alive."
Alive? Why would I be otherwise?
WTF? Where am I? WhoTF are you?
"I'm here to get you out of here. You've been hit, hard, by God knows what. You're hurt, but you're going to be ok."
Hurt? WTF happened?
"I don't know, brother. I just found you like this-- in the middle of the road, screaming, sounding like you were about to die. You're not, by the way."
Thanks-- good to know. Now what? Where are we going?
"I'm taking you someplace safe, so you can get some fresh bandages, get looked at, get some coffee, and get back to work."
"Yeah, coffee. And work. You have a lot to get done-- you've been hit, hard, but you're a tough SOB and the only way out of here is through. I'll take you to a safe place, and from there you're freelance. You're the expert. You know what to do from there."
You said I'm hurt-- but I'm not bleeding.
"I also said you're one tough SOB. I don't know what hit you-- but whatever it was, it would have killed a lot of other people. You not only took the hit to the chest, you absorbed it. What kind of armor you got on under that shirt, anyway?"
I dunno, must be something good. Smile. Eyes open, now. Letting sounds in.