The Trapper Takes Charge
With the soft clink-clink of conch shells, a lone figure rose in the corner shadows. His manner was slovenly, his face like an ancient wood carving. He approached the glauver with heavy steps.
“Horace,” he breathed. His voice had lost the clarity it once had, but there was no mistaking the agony in his tone.
The creature swung around and looked him over cautiously. “Hail, Trapper.”
“Is it true?”
“Do you think I’d be here with this wretch if it were not?” Horace gestured toward the old man.
Trapper looked, and looked again. His face furrowed with bewilderment. “Is that…”
The old man, still hunched over, grunted. ”’Tis I, lad.”
“General Fysch!” Trapper knelt reverently. “What happened to you, sire?”
“Parasites,” said Horace. “Crab spawn. Got him after the swarm in ‘43. Took his spine, took his mind, took his dignity.” Fysch stared at the floor, mumbling to himself. “He a loon and a drunk, but he’s our only hope.”
“You say the crabs are back?”
“Then we flee. This will be their first stop.”