Back in the hotel, she called around and found a slightly shady nurse agency who didn’t ask too many questions. While we waited for the nurse, we read the paper.
Voresc Monster Kills Woman In Dorday
One of the winged lizards from the Khamrou Voresc, or another of its kind, raped, tortured, and killed an unidentified woman in the Boulevard of the Orange Pine Trees yesterday!
“Oh, clawrasps! How can I get them to correct that? It’s not rape! I paid for sex with you!” I hissed.
She giggled, and said “Haven’t gotten it. That makes it larceny too, on my part.” She put the paper down to move her useless right arm into a more comfortable position, then resumed reading.
The horrible monster, like the one in the Kyongsy Temple, made its wicked way to our fair city undetected by military surveillance! In an editorial we urge the consuls to increase patrols of our nation’s borders, even if this requires withdrawal of some troops from Ghemelia!
“So far I can’t argue. Not only didn’t they detect me, I looted them a bit,” I said.
“You’re a horrible monster? ”
It was first sighted at approximately 10:15 in the morning, by Poure Drallinet, the proprietor of a cafe on the Boulevard. He — the monster, not Poure! — had grabbed a woman and ripped off her upper garments! It may seem the stuff of puppet shows, but it is reality! Reality, in our own fair city, just as it was in the Kyongsy Temple!
“They’re remarkably accurate. I did rip off your upper garments.”
Then the wicked beast ripped her fair udder with its massive claws!
“Hmph! They were very delicate claws.”
Poure called the constabulary. Five gendarmes were nearby, wire circles polished and shining, ready and waiting for just such an emergency as this! They ran up and fired their pistols into the air to scare the beast off! And — it ran! It fled! It dared not confront the might of Dorday’s Finest!
“Well, I didn’t want to do major surgery while they were shooting at me,” I mumbled. It did look like I had run off.
“I’m not calling you coward! You’re as brave as anything as far as I’m concerned.”
“Focussed, maybe. Devoted.”
But when it fled, it snatched up its poor victim’s hopefully-senseless and probably-moribund body! It flew to the top of the First Dorday Bank, where it landed and perched and resumed its grisly and protracted torture! By this time the alarm had been sounded in Querbico Air Force Base. Two wings of fighter planes scrambled — they were in the air almost before the word went out! They zoomed towards Dorday, where the monster’s tormentations continued out of reach of the gendarmes. But the terrible beast showed unexpected forms of viciousness! Just as if in a puppet-show, just like the Kyongsy Temple monster, it blasted one of our brave fighter planes out of the sky, exploding it in a terrible burst of flame! Three skymen were slain instantly! A huge ball of burning jet fuel spilled upon the Narwalla Noodle Works, igniting the building!
“Is that true?” Tarcuna asked me shakily.
“Probably, they’ve been pretty good so far,” I said.
“You blasted a fighter plane?”
“Yes, of course.”
“You killed three soldiers?”
“That’s what the paper says. I was more trying to keep you from dying than paying much attention.”
“You killed three people to save my life?” She didn’t sound very happy.
“Yes. They were going to be shooting at me. I didn’t think I could finish the surgery while they were shooting. It was hard enough as it was.”
“You killed three brave soldiers who were trying to rescue me, a wormridden whore.”
I hissed at her. “Exactly. You understand. Could you be a proper hireable biddable whore and do your job and read me the rest of the article?” That at least reminded her of her position, and she went back to reading. Her voice was terrible, between the leftover brain damage and the considerable distress.
The surviving eleven jets performed an encircling maneuver. As they closed on the leviathan, it turned tail and ran! It gobbled down the woman! It leapt off the roof the bank, and vanished into the trees!
“Did you kill anyone else?”
“I don’t know! Finish reading the thing!”
“There’s not much more.”
Beware! The monster is still at large! Seven wings of the Air Force have been patrolling over Dorday, but at press time there has been no sign of it! Patrols of gendarmes have been searching sewers and basements, but it has not been located!
“Why would I hide in a sewer? I can’t feel, but I can sure smell!”
We call upon all loyal citizens of Dorday to report menacing incidents and possible sightings of the monster to the proper authorities! We call upon them to drive the monster forth! We of Trest need no assistance from any noble blue-green monster — we are brave and mighty, and wholly capable of defending ourselves!
“They’ll get their noble blue-green monster when he’s good and ready to fetch me,” I said.
Tarcuna wasn’t listening. She climbed into the bed and was crying into a pillow, mumbling about how her life wasn’t worth that price. I told her that I didn’t kill them because of her, just because they were going to attack me, and besides I didn’t mean to kill them, just cripple the plane, it’s their stupid for keeping explosives in the wings of their jet. That turned out not to be a very comforting thing to say to a hoven. I was quite tired of comforting her by then, so I read more of the paper, all the editorials urging better defense against me.
After a while the nurse came, a tall shaggy red-furred sort of hoven man, and I rather snappishly explained a bit and handed him a couple thousand thurnies. I left him to take care of Tarcuna, and went stomping around in the city. Well, walking around trying to enjoy some of the sights. And watching the fighter planes zoom around overhead looking for the real me. And being cross. It wasn’t nearly as much fun to do it alone.
When I got back to the hotel, the tall shaggy nurse had arranged a sling for Tarcuna, and was working on voice exercises. She didn’t sound much better to me, but the nurse said that she’d made some progress in just a few hours and would probably recover most of her speech. Tarcuna was back to being cheerful and optimistic for her own reasons. Or, maybe, she was being cheerful and optimistic for the first time since she had been taken by the worm.