Jack raised his club, ready for one last, futile strike as the monstrous scorpion closed in on him. Just before the snapping pincers could reach him, a black blur shot across the creature’s back. If he had blinked, he would have missed the panther-woman as she pounced and slashed at one of the scorpion’s protruding eye-stalks.
The creature emitted a high-pitched keening noise and flailed its claws and tail into the air while bucking like a horse. But the panther woman had already leapt free and was dashing towards Trotsky.
She would have been too late, except the giant did not need her help quite as desperately as Jack had. Trotsky now sat on the ground, his bleeding lower legs anchored in place by the monstrous claws, but when that whip-quick tail came down at him, he caught it in one meaty hand. The tail jerked in an attempt to pull away, but the giant’s anger had awoken, and he clamped his other hand down on top of it, squeezing until a visible crack snaked out along the tail’s chitin segment.
While the giant squeezed, the panther-woman bounded up onto the backside of the tail, wrapped her arms around it, and began kicking downwards violently, the claws on her feet tearing great chunks out of the scorpion’s tail.
Jack could see from the way the panther-woman’s bodyweight pinned the tail in place that the scorpion’s tail, like an alligator’s jaw, was capable of slamming down with tremendous force but was not so strong on the return trip. He decided he could use this information, and dashed around the other scorpion’s claws to seize its tail. He jammed his stick under the stinger and used it as a bridle to cling to the hairy appendage. At the moment of his contact, the tail reflexively shot downwards with such force that it almost flipped him over and off, but Jack clung to the beast with the tenacity of a bulldog. Once down, he could feel the tail surging against him, but it lacked the strength to lift his body. The tail remained flattened against the beasts back.