Monday, November 19, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 76

< Chapter 75                                                                                               Chapter 77 >

Our hero has challenged the trog leader to a hand-to-hand fight, with leadership of the trog army at stake!

            "Why fight no weapons?"
            It was the first thing the trog leader had said since I arrived, but I recognized his voice.  It was the same voice which had spoken when we were trapped in the trading post cellar; deep, rasping, inhuman.
            "I must win as you won, or your people might not obey me."
            The Great One chuffed once -- a short laugh, I guessed -- but his human gave me a hard stare.
            "Who are you?" he asked.
            "Is there more to issuing challenge than giving my name?"  I asked.  "Must I beat my breast and tell of men I have slain and the women I have wooed?"
            "No breast-beating required," the man said.  "Just fight and die."
            The man leaned close, speaking quietly and with an authority absent from his proclamations, "Please be quick about it.  I have a lot to do today and this spectacle has taken up too much of my time already."
            There was more going on with the trog leader than met the eye.  Who was this man?  I had though he was a trog captive, kept alive to serve the Great One as a language teacher and translator.  But the man's tone held no subservience.  Was the Great One just a necessary figurehead for the man? What complications awaited me if I defeated the Great One?
            Was every conspiracy on this planet Gordian in complexity?
            "A challenge has been issued!" called the man, all authority gone from his tone.  "Is the challenge accepted?"
            "Yes," said the Great One.
            I wrenched my attention back to challenge.
            The man backed away from me and said, "Fight!"
            The Great One spread his arms wide and charged!

Can David defeat the trog leader, a scarred veteran of many fights, in hand-to-hand combat?  And what is the story behind the man who works with the trogs?  Find out in Chapter 77, coming Wednesday!