“We’ve got a live one!”

I lifted my eyelids. A blurry figure screaming.

“You ok, buddy? You speak English, buddy? Get a torch in here!”

I let my head fall back. I’d been out for I don’t know how long.

“Stay with me, buddy!”

The figure shook me and I moaned in protest.

“Hang in there, we’re gonna get you out. What’s your name, buddy?”

I moaned again.

“Rah? Wayne Robertson? Are you Wayne Robertson?”

I moved my head a little, then settled back into the darkness.

“C’mon! Stay with me!”

Fireworks crackled in my ears. I begged them to stop. I remember batting away their hands, and flashes of light tormenting my eyes, but at that moment I only wanted to sleep. The cage doors creaked in my ears as the fiery blade bit through the weld. Just stop. Go away and let me pass. The hunger and thirst had subsided long before they arrived and I had made my peace with infinity. Go away, leave me to my end. I pleaded with them, with the warped little shadow figures beckoning me from the other side of that great chasm. I waved to them and smiled. It’s ok.

“Pull him out!”

The floor thumped under my body. Hands were slapping me. No! Drops of water swirled on my lips.

“You’re going to make it Wayne. Wake up!”

They lifted my head and I moaned in agony as the light screamed into my eyes.