Laundry Day
A Round Robin Collaboration/Battle between Zakiyah and DNash

Round 8 - DNash


This time when Malone came to, he was no longer in the cell. He blinked several times as his eyes adjusted to the bright light streaming in through the window.

What little there was to remember came flooding back. A healer had been brought to the cell. He'd made a quick examination of Malone's injured arm then dosed the reporter with a foul tasting liquid. Malone was actually glad when he'd felt the anesthetic in the concoction take effect. This time when he'd slipped into unconsciousness, it had been an easy, comforting thing.

He turned his head to one side then the other, trying to figure out where he was. To his left, a number of empty cots were lined up along the wall parallel to his own. To the right he saw a door, closed and presumably locked from the outside. In the corner were shelves filled with boxes and bottles of all shapes and sizes.

"Infirmary," Ned muttered as realization struck him. He tried to sit up, but a weight held him down. His arm had been treated…somehow. He hadn't a clue what the lizardman healer had done, but his arm was wrapped tightly and secured to his body in much the same manner Marguerite had done. This time, however, it was managed with a bit more finesse. Best of all, the pain was no longer overwhelming. It was little more than a dull throb that traveled from his shoulder to his fingers. It wasn't pleasant, but it was certainly an improvement.

Carefully, he used his undamaged arm to lever himself up. He swung his legs over the side of the low cot. Another glance around found his shirt-worse for wear but intact-on a nearby chair. He reached for it and had to use that arm to keep from falling over.

Whatever they gave me must still be in my system, he thought as the dizziness passed. Slowly, he reached again for his shirt and this time managed to pick it up without mishap.

That was when the door to the infirmary opened.


Tribune chuckled condescendingly. "Do you really expect me to believe you used that…contraption to defeat the zombies? Absurd."

"We never said that," argued Challenger. He was mildly annoyed at having to explain all this to the lizardman. First, he simply didn't trust Tribune. Second, the inventor didn't like the lizardman's tone. Third, he still didn't really believe this whole nonsense about Cantus being able to raise the dead-and through science, no less. "We're simply providing you with facts."

"Which is more than you usually share with us," put in Veronica impatiently.

"My dear child," Tribune said, barely sparing the blonde a glance, "it's rude to interrupt." He returned his attention to Challenger. "I never claimed to be a scientist, but I find your assertion…difficult to support."

"We aren't asserting anything," the inventor reiterated. "The machine was turned on and the zombies stopped. That is a fact. Whether there is a correlation between the two has yet to be determined."

"And while you two talk about it, Malone and Marguerite are God knows where!" snapped Veronica. "And we know Ned was hurt."

This time Tribune gave her his full attention. His expression made the young woman uncomfortable, but she fought the feeling and faced down his gaze. "I know where they are."

Roxton beat Veronica to the punch. "Then why the hell didn't you say so?" he demanded.

"We haven't yet agreed to any terms," the lizardman said, and smiled.

"We don't have time for this," said Roxton. The packs and weapons were ready. He was ready. The longer they waited, the more danger their friends were in. He drew his pistol and pointed it directly at the lizardman's smiling face.

Tribune clicked his tongue. "Come now, John. I thought you were more sensible than that. I have information; you have information. This is the foundation of something I like to call an exchange of said information." He was patronizing the hunter, and Roxton knew it. He cocked the weapon.

"We can find them without your help."

"Perhaps. But how will you get to them? They're undoubtedly being guarded. By living or dead, I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine on that point. Either way, you'll need help getting them out."

"And you need our help getting to Cantus."

"Much better, John. You do learn quickly."

Continued in Round 9
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