VI – Heal or Heel?

I woke up flat on my back in bed with two old fossils probing my carcass and muttering to themselves in a language I couldn’t understand. Then I realized why. They were the court physicians. I never had been very good at understanding doctorese, but then I never had much to say about doctors anyway. I was primarily familiar with the battle surgeons, butchers that they were.

Anyway, there I was, bruises over half my body and barely conscious. The last thing I remembered was the free for all downstairs and the panicky look on Caesar’s face. As my eyes focused I saw, bending over me, that same face with a look of pure rage.

Yup. I was in real trouble this time.

I smiled weakly and tried to put my best face on, hoping to dodge the real nasty chewing out I knew was on the way. Didn’t work. I never could ignore one of big brother’s tirades. As he opened his mouth to speak, I knew for sure this chewing out would be one of his finest. It went something like this.

Caesar: “What in the @#@$% were you thinking taking on that thing single handed like that!?”

I opened my yap to answer. Didn’t get the chance.

Caesar: “Oh,right! You weren’t thinking at all! Like usual, you just dive in and expect to come out untouched and every inch the hero!”

I tried one more time. Still no luck.

Caesar: “I have half a mind to lock you up and toss the key! At least until we can get this expedition on it’s way! Well . . . what have you to say for yourself?”

One more time. Nope.

Caesar: “Well..don’t just lie there. Say something!”

At this point I had had enough . I sat up and, pinning Caesar with my best glare, finally got my say in.


Caesar must had jumped back at least three feet. The doctors had scampered to a nearby corner while the rest of the room (yeah, everyone was there) flinched and retreated to safety. Court etiquette not withstanding, I finally had the chance to say my say.

“Thanks bro’. Yeah I’m just fine. So good of you to be worried. I’m fairly overwelmed with your brotherly concern.”

Caeasar stood there making faces like a fish out of water. He, after a few moments, answered. He was a lot quieter and more in control of himself by then.

“Uh…sorry about that Varus. I just get driven to distraction every time you pull one of your stunts. Playing hero could get you killed y’know. Then who would I have to yell at? Seriously, how are you feeling?”

I grinned and gave him my best shark smile.

“I’m all right. Definitely better than the thing whose back I broke down below. By the way, did it get the chance to smell up the place before I sent it to hell?”

Caesar smiled and let out with a dry chuckle.

“No. You managed to kill it before it got the chance. There is a lot of that green stuff on the floor however. It doesn’t clean up easily. We had a devil of a time getting the stuff off you. Took a couple of hours and several scrub brushes.”

While this had been going on, I had been testing my limbes to see if any of my strength had returned. I felt pretty good, so I decided to rise and shine. Hated beds anyway. Swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I started to stand up.

Dumb, dumb, dumb idea.

One of the doctors tried to warn me.

“Bad idea sir! You’ve just woken up and we don’t yet know how much you’ve recovered!”

Legs were down and I was ready to face the world. I said so.

“Sheesh what a bunch of worrywarts! I’ll be just fine!”

And so I made to stand on my own two feet. Down I slid to the cold, cold floor.

“Uh . . . could use some help here.”

I was quickly hoisted back on my feet and into bed. Face down.

“Thanks ever so much.” I mumbled into my sheets.

Days later I was back on my feet and stuck with a doosy of a problem. Normal men wouldn’t stand a chance against those things. I was going to have to recruit guys my size and strength level. Problem was, there weren’t too many my size in the empire. I’d have to solve that problem, and many others, fast, as time was running out.

Chapter VII

Published in: on April 4, 2010 at 12:25 PM  Leave a Comment  

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