VII: Pain, Gain, and Things in Vain

Dave and Adz spun through time and space at blinding and nauseating speeds previously unknown to man. Suddenly the ground came up with a rush and Dave cried “Oh crap- this is gonna-“

Whump! The pair hit the ground and Dave felt a stabbing pain in his side. Rolling over to check on Adz, he saw that his second in command was sprawled in a pile of something that could only be described as crap.

“Uh, hey… Adz… You might wanna get out of-“ Dave began. Adz glanced down and spewed out whatever he had had for their paltry prison lunch two days previously. Jumping out of the pile, he plugged his nose with a handful of wax and motioned for Dave to do the same. As he reached over to grab a piece of the pliable substance, Dave’s arm gave and went limp at his side and he grunted in pain.

“You okay there Dave?” Adz asked him.

“Yeah, I just did something to my shoulder and now it hurts like- well really bad.” He replied.

Adz came over and inspected Dave’s side and shoulder. “Hmm… Looks like you might’ve cracked your collar bone. Ouch.” Looking up abruptly, Dave asked him “Are you a doctor or something too? How bad is it? Will it hea-“

His words came out in a rush and Adz motioned for him to slow down before saying “Hush Dave. C’mon, let’s get our bearings first. Here- you take this sword I found and stay put. I’m gonna go explore around… wherever this is.” He pointed around at the clearing they were in.

Protesting at first, eventually Dave relaxed and relented, letting Adz go off alone and leaving him with one cautionary piece of advice: “Just be careful Adz. I don’t want to lose you as well as Cameron- Martin would never understand.” With this, Dave lay back down and Adz set off into the cloven dawn of the jungle…

*****

Three hours later, Adz reached the edge of some sort of bluff and glanced down. ‘Boy… That is a VERY long way down…’ He thought. ‘Now how am I supposed to get down there?’

Just then he saw a rickety bridge swing by in the gale-force winds. ‘Well, here goes nothing…’ he thought just before he dove for the edge.

‘Crap! Misjudged it!’ He thought as the edge went skidding out from his fingertips and he spiraled out of control, yelling all the way down into a cluster of rocks thirty feet below.

*****

‘Wonder what’s taking Adz so long…?’ Dave thought to himself as he sat beside the makeshift fire that he’d created when he was finally able to stumble around to find tidbits of wood and tinder in the small clearing. Just then, he heard a snap of a twig and turned around.

‘Too late!’ His mind screamed as a heavy wooden club descended on his head and he fell like a limp piece of seaweed before the coming tide. A giant hand bent down to scoop him up and then stormed off stealthily but at a relatively brisk pace into the dark…

*****

Adz awoke with an immense pain in his forehead and groggily looked about at his disconcerting surroundings.

‘Holy-‘ He inhaled sharply. His whole upper body was wedged into a small root cluster that he hadn’t been able to see from his vantage spot above earlier, while his lower half was dangling precariously over the bluff’s edge. Any moment now- if dislodged by the winds at the wrong time, he could go tumbling over to certain doom.

‘I’ve gotta do this slowly and carefully.’ He thought as he began extracting himself from the uncomfortable, yet undoubtedly lifesaving spot. Moments later, he was free and leaped to a previously unseen ledge-lining trail beside the rocks. As he continued on his perilous descent, he passed an old demolished sign with the faintly scratched out words N Ki L ff being the only semi-discernible letters left.

‘Hmm… I wonder where I could be?’ Adz thought to himself as he shrugged and continued on his way carefully down the cliffside.

Revised Edition 7/1/13

Further Revisions as of 5/1/17

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