Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 76

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His hand mangled by a tammar's claw, Martin lies atop the cage-tunnel as the tammar prepares to strike again!


Martin rolled, bringing his sword arm down against the bars.  I thought he must be crazy trapping his sword at his side!  Then Martin pushed off from the bars with his good arm.  He had just enough leverage to push himself a few inches up from the bars.  The tammar's claw slashed beneath him, tearing his shirt but missing the arm!

Martin swung his sword arm between the bars of the cage-tunnel and across the tammar's eyes.  With a yowl, the tammar rolled away, its paws batting futilely at the sword which was already pulling back.

Cradling his wounded hand, Martin gathered his legs under himself and jumped down next to the  tammar pulling itself past the two dead tammars and into the full sized cage.  Martin stumbled on the landing, a cry of pain escaping his lips as he steadied himself with his wounded hand.  Rising, he drove his sword again and again into the body of the squirming tammar.  By the time I reached his side, the cage-tunnel was completely blocked by three dead tammars.

"Sit down before you fall down," I said, catching his left arm at the elbow and helping him down.

"Does my hand look as bad as it feels?"

"I'll let you know when I can stop the bleeding and get a good look."

I tore my shirt off and pressed it hard against the shredded palm.  Martin hissed but held his hand steady.  I worked fast, following my training and the information fed to me from my implant.  In the wider galaxy, medical nanites would repair the worst of the damage in minutes.  Here...

"I hate to say it, Martin, but I think you're going to lose the hand!"

As if the odds against our heroes aren't bad enough, now Martin is badly wounded!  How can they hope to prevail against King Rat and his subjects?  Find out what happens next in Chapter 77, coming Friday!