The last of the orcs’ screams were silenced as Derek made his way through the ruined entrance of the fort. The twenty foot tall solid oak doors had been smashed into nothing larger than kindling. He surveyed the surroundings. Most of the buildings inside the fort were destroyed. The survivors were gathering up the orc corpses and throwing them in the last of the fires. That’s when he saw Vlad standing triumphantly over a corpse much larger than the rest.
“I say, get your hands off it,” Vlad said, shooing away several of the soldiers. “I killed this beast single handedly, and I want my trophy.” He bent down, and cut off a digit from the ogre’s hand. The one finger was nearly as large as Vlad’s forearm. “There, you may now remove this foul creature from my presence.”
Derek saw Caim and Emerick approaching.“What’s going on?” he asked the pair, motioning towards Vlad.
“Oh, you shoulda seen it,” Emerick replied sarcastically. “Vlad got all fancy on the ogre and it nearly killed itself, swingin’its club like it was. All he had to do was poke it a couple times.”
“Derek, we need your healing,” Caim said. “One of their officers… Gali and Arily are doing what they can for him, but it doesn’t look good.”
“Show me,” Derek said immediatley.
They moved quickly towards what was once the infirmary. When they entered, Derek saw a dozen men laying on cots with wounds ranging from life threatening to mortal. He would help them as best he could as soon as he finished with this officer.
“Derek, is it?” the voice greeted him. It was Ike’s. He was standing in front of a cot, gray faced and grim. “A healer shouldn’t be on the front line like that. It’s good you made it out alive, but I fear my officer may not. If there is anything you can do for him, please, I would be in your debt.” He stepped aside.
Having seen a thousand wounds, Derek was in no way new to the visceral aspects of war. But this was different. he had to stop himself from grimacing. Half of the man’s face had been shorn off, showing more bone than not. His eye lolled uselessly in its socket. He knew immediatley what he must do. “If I attempt to heal him, it would mean excrutiating pain, and it would only serve to prolong his suffering. There is little chance this man will live.”
The men around the cot just stood there. It seemed for a brief moment that the entire infirmary had gone silent, the suffering from the other soldiers squelched in comparison to this man’s.
“Do…,” the silence shattered. The man on the cot turned his head slightly, his one good eye fixed on Derek. His voice betrayed how much pain he was already in. “Do… it. Much… to tell.”