Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Hunt

The HuntOlion watched his men writhe at the greening inside of them that was infecting, growing, lumping long-ways up from their wrists and on past their elbows. The newer recruits were still not used to the treatment, and were shaking their arms or sucking frantically at the wounds in the back of their hands, biting down hard to keep from screaming. This would only speed up the process, Olion knew. So he said nothing. 

It was called Vimbremma, commonly known as blade-edging or simply "greening," and was something the High Lords had invented in the Gardens of Myet'Na more than a century ago. They had perfected it over the decades, and by now not as many men died from it as had once been the case. 

The plant fiber from the initial injection would continue charging up the canals between skin and muscle, breaking through knotted flesh like a vine, feeding on fat as it went. Once begun, its progress was inevitable. It would squirm into the soft armpit flesh and needle its way in every direction from there; deep into organs, brain, heart, through the groin and knees, straight through to the eyes and toes. The fibrous growth acted as an energy sink, reinforcing muscle and bone, and preventing fatigue by taking a beating in their stead. In effect, it made the men's bodies faster and stronger, able to run long distances at speeds that rivaled that of a pa'mat, and which did not slow after sunset. 

Vaardvir had administered it to them when they first set out from the city, three and a half days ago. It had sustained them until that afternoon, when their veins had gone black. Exhaustion followed, as always, so Olion had called for a halt so that they could be given a second dose. Treatment took about an hour. 

He scanned the men with dispassionate eyes. They were well-trained; even the new ones knew better than to groan or whine at the bite of pain. The old plant fiber in their bodies would eventually dissolve and pass, staining their stools and urine black, as well as the veins in their arms and legs and even faces. Olion signaled to Vaardvir, who nodded and barked at the men. It was time to go. The hunt was on. 

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