“I gotchu, battle!”
That was Richards’ voice. Was it? Perhaps it was only a dream, a stinging hot dream.
That was hardly a sentence.
Barker tried to speak, tried to make light of something, of whatever it was that Richards was about.
Thoughts refused to come, fled to recesses of memory. Washes of needle pain came and went, waves of distorted perception. Still, no sense emerged in the midst of it all, no order or reason.
As if remembering a forgotten song lyric Barker smiled inwardly at the recollection. Yes, there was a battle. It was horrible. People were shooting. A half of a mountain exploded. The world went quiet, for a second. The world itself exploded, came apart at the seams. Then it really was quiet, entirely quiet, except for one thin voice raging against the silence.
“I got you, battle. I got you. Goddammit, Medic!!”
Profanities lit the way, a trail of familiar vocabulary. Barker could only smile, a grin for a night come in the midst of day.