The story so far:
As I looked across the flames and rubble, I began to remember things. Little snippets of my past. My past? But it didn't feel like mine. My head filled with static images. So many that I could no longer see the wreckage. I closed my eyes and felt myself falling. As the last sounds of tragedy faded, new sounds entered my ears. There was faint music, and a mingling of voices all around me. I couldn't make out any of the words, but the tones were all pleasant and happy. I suddenly felt completely at ease.
I opened my eyes to find a round, bearded face staring back at me. His worried expression quickly turned to relief and he smiled. "He's all right, everyone!" He shouted across the room, then offered a hand to help me up from a hard, wooden floor.
I got to my feet and brushed myself off, having a good look around. A room full of people glared back at me. They were all smiling and nodding their heads. They all seemed very glad to see me. The bearded man led me to a cot. "You just lie here." He said. "I want to get a read before too much time passes." I lay down and the man strapped a strange looking machine to my head, and as he did, he spoke to me.
"You're very lucky, you know? You got back just in time. Do you know what tonight is? No, no probably not. Tonight is when we do the Autumn Dance. It's not often we have something as important as this happen on such a special day. You, my good friend, will surely be a part of history!"
I could feel my body tense up. All of the others stood around the cot, waiting anxiously. I felt as though they wanted me to say something.
"What happened?" I asked, but my voice sounded strangely different to me. I could hear some of the people chickling. What was so funny? The bearded man, seeming to sense my agitation, took the responsibility of filling me in.
"You've been in for two days. It makes sense that you would have some feelings of confusion. Don't worry, though, it'll all come back to you. You'll probably feel right at home, again, by nightfall. Perhaps you'll do the dance with us."
"Just relax, now." Another man said, calmly, as he walked towards the cot. He took out some cuffs and bound my wrists to the metal edges.
Yet another man approached and put a small block in my mouth. "Bite down on this... and try not to move around too much. It effects the read. We only want to have to do this once."
I could feel something cold on the back of my neck and a panic spread over me. I tried to wiggle my way out of the cuffs, but it was of no use. I looked at all of the people crowded around me, my eyes pleading with them to not do whatever it was they were about to do. Finally, I let myself go limp as the bearded man flicked the switch on the machine.
Seering pain rushed through my body like nothing I'd ever felt before. I could feel myself convulsing, and though I tried, I could do nothing to stop it. My eyes felt as though they were glued shut, and quick flashes, photos like projection slides, showed themselves on the backs of my lids. All of a sudden, I realized what those images were. It was the wreckage. The explosion. I remembered. I remembered the whole thing. Each second became a lifetime of agony as wave after wave pulsed through me. I could feel myself slipping back into unconsciousness, until the pain stopped and everything went dark.