The gentle shake that awoken me became a loud bang and turned into a cascade of light and sound. I did not feel any pain but my head was spinning and I could see my glasses vibrating to a quarter note beat. The tremor became a staccato as I watched my glasses slide off the desk toward the floor. I did not see it hit the floor because the ringing in my left ear was so distracting. As I cupped my ear I could feel my heartbeat in my head. I could not think, but I was sure I was dreaming.
I tended to have vivid dreams but had gotten really good at directing them into something more pleasant. This time all my attempts at direction fell short without any effect on the trajectory of events. I was supposed to be in the safest city in the world and there was no earthquake threat, so I was confused as to what I was experiencing. I felt alone with my thoughts, but out my right ear I could hear a faint whine. The whine was unmistakable, it was the sound of a helicopter starting up.
The whine cracked the code. I was in a hotel on the waterfront next to the largest heliport in the city. At anytime there would be thirty to forty aircraft and it sounded as if they were all starting up. The ringing in my ear was deafening and made it hard to concentrate. I just tried to breathe. It seemed as if time stood still, then I found myself on the floor. The ringing in my ear had disappeared, but all around me was a blur. I could not feel my glasses and I felt some relief. I called out and someone answered. It was a nurse and she informed me that I was in the safe house and that my op was a bust. I was disappointed.