It all starts with pain.
It is all that you are aware of. It is all you have ever been aware of. It is all that there is.
It lasts for what seems an eternity.
Eventually, there is a change. Something washes over you and you become aware that you are more than a bright spot of pain, but a body – hands, feet, legs, arms. The pain dissolves into a cold so deep, so pure, it feels like you’re on fire.
You’re not entirely sure if the cold is subsiding or if you’re simply adapting, but you find yourself slowly changing from an animal plagued by agony to a conscious being. Your first coherent thought is that you don’t know where you are, you don’t know how you got there…you simply don’t know.
You don’t even know your name. It’s all gone.
The realization causes a fear-release of adrenaline, that sends your fragile body into convulsions. For several minutes you can do nothing but shake uncontrollably – but then that, too subsides.
Another wave of change comes over your body and this you can identify as warmth spreading through your extremities, and with it, slowly, haltingly, comes sight.
You are naked, laying on a sheet of industrial film obviously there to prevent your flesh from sticking and binding to the metal container you’re laying in. At first you fear it’s a coffin, but then you realize that it’s much more makeshift, maybe pieces of a cargo container welded together. The interior is lit very dimly by a few tiny LEDs on a handmade logic board attached to the side of the container. It’s connected to a few empty IV bags and automated syringes which are, in turn, connected to you. There is a bundle at your feet – a small satchel.
A few more minutes pass before a magnetic seal releases and the top of the box opens a crack, letting in light from the outside.