I blinked. The world was black around me.

“—twelve ccs of—”

“—son of a—”

Voices swam in and out of focus. I blinked again. The blackness receded just a little. Night sky above me. No stars, like I was in the city. The fronds of a palm tree leaned into the edge of my vision. Details filtered back in. Cairo. Zahur. I drew in a gasping breathing and choked on the thick scent of diesel in the air.

“Doc, he’s—”

The world dimmed again. I swam through a nothing space, almost a dream, but it didn’t have any shape. The blackness threatened to swallow me. I fought, not like the man I thought I was when I last opened my eyes, but like the boy I used to be. Kicking, scratching, fighting dirty. No holds barred.

When the world grew bright once more, Carp leaned over me. Oh, shit, I was in the middle of a raid. I needed to get up.

My legs didn’t react when I moved them. Tied down, then.

“Hey, Tommaso, there you are,” Carp said.

More pieces clicked into place. The woman with the knife. Killia
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