At first, there is nothing.
You have awoken but you don’t know why. You blink rapidly as if that will clear the darkness away from your vision. Slowly, you raise your hands and press them against the surface above you. It is cold – the first sensation you have felt in so long that it sends shockwaves through you.
Outside, you can hear muffled voices. Your brain feels as if it is filled with a fog, making each thought sluggish and slow to complete. You can’t remember how you got here. You can’t remember anything at all. You open your mouth to scream but no noise comes out. There is just a dry rasping noise.
Suddenly, the top of the case you are in moves slowly. It grinds open, making your ears hurt. There is light shining in your eyes and you cover your face, letting out another wheeze.
Someone says something. You don’t understand it. Someone else replies. There is a chorus of voices. None of them make sense. The last time you were awake, you had understood everything. Now, you understand not a word.
But your brain adjusts rapidly to the words being spoken. That attribute has apparently not been lost. Your mind registers each word, clicking it together, linking them all until you begin to make sense of what the creatures are saying.
“What – possible –” A female voice is saying as you try to understand more words.
“Ridiculous. Move – way.” Someone else…a man, his tone incredibly hostile.
Your hands are still covering your eyes. Whatever lights they are shining in your face are making your eyes water. It is too much. How long have you been asleep for? The conversation about you is going so quickly that you can’t make it out anymore. Your head is spinning.
Finally, someone speaks and everyone falls silent. There are footsteps and then the light fades from the cracks in between your fingers and against your eyelids. Carefully, you lower your hands and look upwards.
Looking down at you is a man. His hair is slicked back and his eyes are in shadows from the way the light is angled. His expression is blank as he stares down at you. His lips part and he is asking you something but you don’t understand. This language is brand new. He repeats himself but his tone sounds slightly clipped. You wish your brain would mash it all together faster. Normally, you’d only have to hear a few words of a language for it to click and for you to be fluent. This time it is taking longer than ever.
Someone else appears over you. This is an older man. His hair is longer and he smells like smoke. He is saying something to the other man who snaps back at him. Then he turns back to you and, finally, says something you understand.
“What are you?”
Even though you understand him, you don’t know what he is asking. What are you? You’re you. You look down at your body, draped in fabric that sparks no memories. ‘What’ are you? Not ‘who’ are you. The verbiage leaves you slightly shaken. Something about it bothers you.
You try to reply but it is as if your vocal chords are ash from years upon years of disuse. The man who smells like smoke holds his hand out to you.
“I’ll help you up.” He goes.
Gingerly, you extend your hand, hesitating to touch.
“She doesn’t want to touch you, Sam,” The man with the slicked back hair says, “She thinks you’re a –” You don’t understand the rest of what tumbles out of his mouth.
The man, Sam, scowls, “Rafe, do you have to be such a –” Once again, the words are unknown to you.
But Rafe is holding out his hand to you. Sam shrugs and moves away from you. His shoulders are hunched and he looks irritated. Both men look jumpy. Are they jumpy because of you? Slowly, you reach out for Rafe’s hand.
The touch is electric, sending waves of sparks through you. After thousands of years of nothing to now touching a human being, it is almost sensory overload. Rafe doesn’t seem to notice as he helps you stand up. Your legs feel as if they are creaking underneath you. For a split second, you are afraid that you are going to topple over but you manage to remain steady.
You are in a chamber. It seems vaguely familiar but no memories float back to you. Rafe lets go of your hand and steps back. In front of you is Sam, another man who looks vaguely like Sam, and a blonde-haired woman.
“Holy –” The man in the center goes.
“Told you, Nathan. It was true. Just like the legend of Amazona.”
“Don’t mention her,” The woman went, “That was –”
The group begins to bicker and you are lost again. As they fight, you look around the chamber. It is covered in paintings and carvings in a language you completely understand – the language of your past. Ignoring the rest of them, you climb out where you had been sleeping and walk over to the wall, making sure your legs remain steady.
As you walk, they stop fighting. You can feel their eyes on you. You don’t know these people. You don’t even know what they want with you. But these carvings…this is something you do know.
You run your fingers along the wall. The story on the wall is nothing more than an old bedtime story from your youth. It is coming back to you now. You can remember someone telling you it when you were small before you would drift off to sleep.
But there must be others. Surely, there cannot be just you down here in this chamber. You turn around. Sam, Nathan and the woman are quietly looking at you. It is Rafe who takes a step towards you. Your gaze flicks to him.
“It’s just you.” He says and you painfully understand what he is telling you.
You lower your eyes and that is when you noticed that Rafe is different from everyone else. Unlike the others, and yourself, he is missing a hand. He notices that you are staring at it and shifts so that you can’t see it any longer.
For some reason, the fact that this man is wounded makes you soften to him. You still can’t trust the others. But the vulnerable look in his eyes when you saw his wound makes you want to trust him.
“Can she understand us?” The woman asks.
“I don’t think so.” Sam goes.
At the same time, Rafe replies, “I think she can, Elena – Sam, shut up, you have no idea what you’re –”
You press your back against the wall as they all resume fighting. Your memories are blank. You can’t remember how you got here and how there is no one left. The people in front of you are dressed differently than you. The way they speak is completely different as well. What time period are you in?
“Uh, guys?” Nathan’s voice, “Can we just all stop and focus on what we are going to do with…this woman? We can’t exactly leave her here.”
“There was supposed to be treasure in here,” Sam grumbles, “Not another Amazona.”
“She isn’t a witch.” Elena argues.
“Enough! We can’t leave her here,” Rafe snaps, “And we can’t exactly call a hospital and go ‘wow, hi, we found an ancient being locked in a temple that we didn’t have permission to go into and now she’s awake and we don’t know what to do with her’!”
“Well, what do you suggest then?”
“Someone has to take her home,” Elena goes, “We can’t leave her here. We’re the ones who woke her up…she doesn’t understand this world or anything going on.”
“We don’t even know if she’s human,” Sam argues, “She could have laser eyes or something.”
“So, now she’s Supergirl?” Rafe deadpans.
“Guys, we’ve been here for too long,” Elena remarks, “We have to go. If we linger too long, we’re going to have led them right to this chamber. She can’t stay here. Come on.”
She takes a step towards you but you flinch. Everything going on - it is too much for you. You are still trying to accept what Rafe has told you: that you are the last one. Elena hesitates at your expression. Rafe pushes past her and comes up closer to you – closer than anyone else has in thousands of years.
“Listen, you have to come with us, okay? We’ll explain everything later but it isn’t safe here. Will you come with me?”
“Where is she going to stay?” Sam calls out as he backs up towards the exit.
And Rafe is looking directly at you – the first person you saw when you awoken, the man missing a hand and is ashamed by it, the man who seems hostile but also makes you feel a tad bit okay in your current unknown situation – and he goes:
“She’ll stay with me.”