She laid there on the cold, hard pavement, a crumpled mass of fear and confusion. Her skin burned, though there were no flames. Rain drops fell out of the darkness and pelted her naked body, sizzling to mist on impact. In disbelief, she ran a hand over her head, again, but it was as bare as it had been the last time. Probing elsewhere told her it wasn’t just her scalp. She had no hair anywhere on her body.

But hair wasn’t the only thing she was missing.

She had come with a purpose, a mission, of that she was certain. But, even though she had spent years preparing for this, she had no idea what this was.

Worse, and this is what pushed her toward panic, she had no idea who she was.

Ozone and the stench of urine reached her nose through the rain, a pungent combination that might have set her to retching if she didn’t have other things demanding her attention.

Her safety, for one. She felt exposed, but not because she lacked clothing. She had no cover.

As she rolled to one side to push herself up, the rough pavement scraped her forearm. Like a sunburn absently scratched, her skin screamed from the abuse. She stifled a cry, but every touch, every bit of movement amplified the burn. With clenched fists and gritted teeth, she harnessed the pain to help her focus. She needed to figure out who and where she was.

A single artificial light above struggled to illuminate the darkness. In front of her — twelve feet, she calculated — a concrete building reached into the night sky. Two feet behind her stood one made of brick. A large metal container blocked her view to the left. She leaned forward to look beyond, where the walls faded into a dark nothingness. Slumping back, her head throbbed as she processed what she had learned.

She was in an alley. But neither of the buildings were crumbling ruins, and the dumpster had not been devoured by rust. These things struck her as wrong.
The rumble of an engine and the unsteady flickering of lights from the street to the right sent her heart racing.

A functional car? Where did they get that?

Someone was coming for her.