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I woke up with a splitting headache, my mouth tasted like copper, and the only light was a warm glow from the outside. I groaned lifting myself up and feeling my ears pop removing the pressure induced whooshing noise I heard. Unfortunately, that wishing became the laboured whine of a large engine struggling. My visions was still a little blurry from the sleep and I tried to remember where I was. It finally cleared just in time to duck as a large burly man being thrown in my direction. He smashed into a large wooden crate that I had been leaning against. “What the…?” I exclaimed still getting my bearings. I really wished I was still unconscious, as I looked around I took in the spectacle before me. A four and a half foot tall woman in some nondescript-military style uniform was dodging knife jabs from someone dressed as pilot, almost twice her size, in the long tubular innards of a plane flying over the ocean. I use the term flying generously as the whole thing bounced and bobbed in the air. I glanced out the window thinking, ‘Well this couldn’t be any worse’ before I remembered why you should never think that. The glowing from outside was in fact the plane’s engine which was engulfed in flames.

I glanced back to see the petite woman snap the man’s arm like a belligerent tree branch sending an excruciate cry from the now unarmed pilot. I stumbled to my feet and began backing toward the rear of the plane which only served to grab the attention of the military dwarf who was now staring in my direction.

“Phylo Pasteur?” she screamed the question over the roaring plane around us.

“I…” it had just occurred to me that I didn’t know who I was. “I don’t know?” I said with the horrific realization filling my eyes.

This made her smile reasuringly, “Their drugs must not have fully worn off yet, you can call me Raccoon.”

The name seemed familiar but if I couldn’t remember who I was I wasn’t expecting much help from my still aching brain. “What’s going on? Why did you hurt these people? Why are we in a plane? Why is it on fire?!?” I panicked.

“Relax I’ll explain everything,” she said as she locked the plane’s steering. “Now,” she said placing her hands on my arms and moving me to the back of the plane, “I need you to stand here for a second.” she then pulled back a sleeve and mouthed numbers as she watched the time tick on her timepiece.

“What is going on…” I asked but was cut off by her raised hand while she counted.

She then looked me in the eyes and spread her arms wide, “I think you need a hug.” I stared in confusion as she smiled. “Come on! Bring it in!” she said motioning with her outstretched arms. I slowly returned the hug, “There, now isn’t that better?” she asked.

“A bit I guess.” I said still confused.

“Okay now hold on!” She said and I heard a click behind me.

“What was that…?” again I was cut off as we were sucked out of the plane as she popped the back door. I sceamed as the world spun but hung on tight to Raccoon as we fell.

Then with a yank we were stopped and began floating, hanging from the underside of a large black parachute. She smiled at me, while I was still hugging her, “See, sometimes a simple hug can save your life.” I frowned at the smartass comment but I was grateful for the strange hug.

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