The question floated in my head, where a connection was made between "he" and myself.
My mouth tried to move. Nothing. Eyes? Not even a blink. Fingers, toes? Nary a wiggle.
Not much to do but sit and wait for developments.
"He seems pretty unresponsive," replied a woman. The first questioner had been a man, sounded middle-aged and apprehensive. She, on the other hand, sounded young, assertive, ambitious.
"Where did he come from?" the man said, again sounding troubled.
"You tell me," the woman replied. "Nobody came in or out of this room while I was on duty."
"So, what are you saying, that he just materialized out of thin air?"
My breathing seemed to be working. Would it be possible to alter it enough to get their attention? Would that be a good idea? Perhaps it would be better to let them talk, find out more information.
The man seemed to come to a decision.
"Look," he said. "It really doesn't matter how he got in here. We don't know who he is or what he may have heard. He has no identification -- heck, he has no clothes! Let's just kill him and dispose of the body later tonight, when everyone is gone."
Silence. Perhaps the woman was weighing the options. Then the dreaded words, "I agree."
Helplessness set in. There was no way out. Even my breathing seemed beyond my control.
There was nothing to do. Except pray.
Long forgotten avenues to the Father opened up and a sense of peace began to descend. There would be no solitary snuffing out of life, not with Jesus by my side.
"Jeez, did you turn down the AC or something?" the man's voice broke in. "It's like 40 degrees in here!"
"Dunno, maybe some kind of time-cycled thermostat," the woman said. "It is almost 5 o'clock. Maybe they cool things off at night. How would I know?"
Something, a pillow probably, touching my face lightly, then with force.
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," the silent prayer continued.
Then a sound like a whirlwind around me, growing stronger. The thing on my face falling away.
Eyes open now, my mind coming to grips with unexpected surroundings -- a dingy apartment strewn with fast-food wrappers, coils of wire, blocks of what I somehow knew was plastic explosive. A man and a woman, camouflage clad, pallid yet peaceful in death.
Through a grimy window, Washington D.C. traffic wound towards the U.S. Capitol two blocks away -- no longer a target.
Minutes later, a cab driver helps me into a taxi, eying my ill-fitting clothing and asking for payment in advance.
"Where to, bud?" he asks.
Where indeed? Where will the Father call me next?
"Just drive," the words come automatically. This scenario has been repeated before. When the taxi reaches its destination, the back seat will be empty.