RWOOOOW RWOOOOW RWOOOOR.
Think of the shrillest, loudest, most piercing noise you can imagine. Now add another 50 decibels. That was the sound of the fire alarm in our hotel the other night. It startles one into a state of awakeness that forces the brain to go from rational to whoa. In this case, the alarm started at 2:54am. It continued until 3:06am. That 12 minutes of constant alarm felt like 48 minutes.
Now, over the past few weeks, I have been reading "The Hunger Games" series. Semi-futuristic, the plot essentially rests on the foundation of The Capitol (government) against The Districts (tribal groups) through the eyes of 17-year old Katniss. Katniss is fierce. Katniss is awesome. The books are good. I usually avoid all things super popular culture, but stumbled in to these. You should read them.
Anyways. I am in the midst of reading these and may have fallen asleep while reading one. No big deal. In fact, I fall asleep reading a lot (a product of graduate school). So when that alarm went off the first thought that popped into my mind was:
OH NO. THE CAPITOL IS HERE AND THEY WILL CRUSH THE REBELLIOUS DISTRICTS.
Immediate follow up thoughts included the violent death of Katniss and the horrible victory of the Capitol. It only took another half a minute for me to remember: This is not my bed. This is not a book. I am in a hotel and in charge of a group of people.
The shrill alarm distracted me from thinking clearly (although, it being 3am did not help) and I found the items I thought I would need in the event of an emergency: my wallet, my room key card, shoes. I left my room with the intent of finding stairs and walking down, when I realized I had no idea what direction would take me to a stair well. I was about to return to my room to find my map when the announcer came across the loudspeaker that the alarm was a false alarm.
Aw, thanks, guys. Turns out the whole thing started because somebody left their shower running with hot water and the steam activated the alarm. Our lesson? False fire alarms are not enough to overpower the strength of The Rebellion. Or something like that.