The first thing that she came to be aware of was the fact that she was alive. This would not have been such a bad discovery (indeed, under different circumstances it would have been quite a good one), were it not for the second thing she became aware of: the fact that she was in utter, abject pain. She was breathing, yes, but each breath was a laborious struggle, her windpipe feeling as if it was flattened and her lungs as if they had been scorched raw. Nevertheless, she gulped greedily at the air in an attempt to oxygenate herself.
Her eyes fluttered open, staring into an inky black darker than the insides of her eyelids. She attempted to make her body move upward and immediately regretted it as white-hot pain shot through her entire being. She lay on the cold ground as the agony throbbed through her, her mouth agape and gasping for air. Only when the pain had subsided to a dull ache could she think straight again.
Her right shoulder was dislocated, at the very least, since any attempt she made at moving it was instantly met with sharp stingers of pain. She tried moving her legs and was mildly surprised that they seemed to respond well enough, albeit with quite a lot of discomfort. She inhaled deeply as she attempted to very slowly work her body into a sitting position. The air passing through her nose smelled musty, damp and somehow very old.
She had just managed to prop herself up with her left arm when another of her senses decided to kick in.
"Ss-sss-stay back! D-don-don't..."
The voice came from in front of her, just to the left of her position. She froze, not knowing what to do or expect as she tried focusing her eyes in the direction the voice came from.