Something hit him in the back.
Curt started awake, his mind already alive with possibilities as to what had startled him. Someone wanted to hurt him. It was Petersen with a gun. It was a knife. It was a fist. It was-
Curt opened his eyes.
His mouth tasted like cotton, and all of his limbs felt sleep-dead, like he’d been asleep for-
‘Doc?’ he said, his voice dry, his mouth begging for water. ‘Doc, what the fuck?
Parker-2 sat on the bed, a hospital-issue plastic cup in his hand, a long straw slowly swaying as he held the cup. ‘Drink.’
Curt took the cup, but plucked the straw from the cup, and drank normally – embarrassment flaring as he felt the water slosh against his throat as he drank messily.
‘How long have I been asleep?’ he asked, knowing the answer was going to be far more than a night’s standard eight hours.
‘A few days,’ Parker-2 said. ‘I’ve been monitoring your fluids and feeding you via an IV line. You needed the time off, Recruit.’