Whatever the case, Sakai sustained serious wounds from the bombers' return fire. He was hit in the head by a .30 caliber bullet, which injured his skull and temporarily paralyzed the left side of his body. The wound is described elsewhere as having destroyed the metal frame of his goggles and "creased" his skull, a glancing blow that broke the skin and made a furrow it or even cracked the skull but did not actually penetrate it. Shattered glass from the canopy temporarily blinded him in his right eye and reduced vision in his left eye severely. The Zero rolled inverted and descended towards the sea. Unable to see out of his left eye because of the glass and the blood from his serious head wound, Sakai's vision started to clear somewhat as tears cleared the blood from his eyes, and he pulled his plane out of the dive. He considered ramming an American warship: "If I must die, at least I could go out as a samurai. My death would take several of the enemy with me. A ship. I needed a ship." Finally, the cold air blasting into the cockpit revived him enough to check his instruments, and he decided that by leaning the fuel mixture, he might be able to return to the airfield at Rabaul.
Eos stepped through the smashed doorway and slowly made her way through the wrecked interior, avoiding debris and cracked and broken walls. I stayed close behind her, stepping carefully across the damaged floor. Eos reached the window and jumped through the shattered glass, landing softly on the grass below. I followed her, quickly leaping out the window and landing next to her. We moved forward towards an adjacent building, which had collapsed onto a hill overlooking a plaza. Eos and I climbed onto the ruins of the building, making our way to the edge to look down over the plaza. Eos motioned for me to stop, and we both began to watch the scene unfold beneath us. Lights, unlike the rest of the city, adorned the street as waves of civilians moved through the area. Large armored vehicles poured through the roads, accompanied by aircraft dominating the darkened skies overhead. 2b1af7f3a8