Fighting for Life (Hollow Earth Expedition ssn1 ep.34a)

This post is part of an ongoing story set in the pulp-era world of Hollow Earth Expedition. If you are new to this series, I suggest starting at the beginning.

The pair of impossibly large scorpions scuttled out through their gate in a confusion of legs and claws. They moved rapidly for creatures of their size, their many limbs flashing dusky yellow beneath the bright Hollow Earth sun. In the spectator seats above, the Nazi soldiers and their chosen slaves cheered on the deadly creatures.

Jack darted across the arena floor, back towards his cage. The motion seemed to catch the attention of the scorpions, prompting both to pivot towards him and then rushed forward. For a brief, panicked second he wondered if he shouldn’t just crawl back into his cage, hold the door shut, and hope that the scorpions filled up their bellies by feasting on the other three unfortunates in the arena with him. But that wasn’t Jack’s style: he would rather become arachnid food than leave someone else to do his fighting for him.

The bars of Jack’s cage had been cut from a wood that felt as hard as iron, but Jack had been wearing away at the thin rope that tied it all together. He had been intending to use this weakness a means to escape, but now he had more pressing needs. With a swift kick to the corner of the cage, he burst the seams of the enclosure and scattered a small pile of deadly-hard sticks before him.

Jack scooped up several and tossed one to the Spartan, who caught it in one hand and whirled it expertly to face the beasts. He tossed a second stick to the giant called Trotsky. Trotsky was not nearly so deft: he watched it coming towards him and watched it bounce off his chest and settle to the sandy floor. At least the giant now had some kind of weapon within reach. Jack looked around for the third combatant, the panther-woman, but he didn’t have time to see where she had gone before he needed to parry the thrust of a claw with his own stick.

The crowd howled in anger from the stands. The games-makers had wanted a slaughter, but Jack had turned it into a fight.



About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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