Kruzz opened his eyes. He was in a shaman's hut. Herbs were burning next to him. His vision blurred as he moved his head. He wanted to get up, but he didn't know how to tell his body to do so. Someone sat next to him on his right. "Hey there little grunt." Dax's voice was strong and reassuring, but also worried.
"What happened? Why am I here?" Kruzz tried to lift this head and focus on Dax, but he didn't have the strength for it. His right hand pressed against the slab of rock he was lying on. He didn't even feel his left hand and thus couldn't manage to push himself up into a sitting position..
"Calm down, Kruzz. You need to rest. Just lay still. Try to sleep some more."
He gave up and lay down. He didn't have the strength he needed. "I feel like I've been sleeping for too long. What happened?" Kruzz slowly lifted his right hand to rub at his eyes. He still couldn't move his left.
"You killed a big creature on your Hunt." Dax smiled.
Memories slowly started to resurface. He remembered the fight. He could feel the pain in his left arm, where the creature had cut a deep gash... Kruzz turned his head to look down at where his left arm should be. All he could see was the shoulder and a bit of his arm ending in a stump.
Now he remembered the screaming as they cut into him. He wanted to shout out in horror as the realization set in. Dax put a hand on Kruzz's right shoulder and squeezed.
"I know, my friend. I know it is hard to take."
Kruzz shifted to get the older Orc's hand off of him. "How could you know? Did you lose a limb?" Tears came to his eyes unbidden. He wanted to get up and scream, throw a tantrum, but he didn't have the energy for it.
Dax lowered his gaze and let his hand drop away. "No. I haven't experienced what you are going through, but I hoped I could help you gather strength in this hard time."
Kruzz turned his head to his left, away from Dax. His lips pressed together in an act of silence. He didn't want to see anyone at the moment, but now all he saw was his stump, so he shut his eyes.
A rustling came from behind him as someone entered the hut.
"Hey there, Kruzz. You're awake!" Grim's rumbling voice awoke something within him. Lately, Kruzz had been telling himself how he wanted to be just as good a fighter as Grim. As strong and as fearless. That could never be now.
Why did this happen? What would they be able to do about it? Nothing!
Kruzz opened his eyes and turned to the two of them. "Go away! I want to be alone." Tears leaked down his cheeks as he snarled at his friends. They couldn't help him. No one could.
"Now look here, Kruzz." Grim grabbed a hold of his shoulder. The one that still had an arm attached to it. "Things may look bad now, but as soon as you've recovered and the shaman says you can get up. You and me, we can spar and work on fighting with one arm. I'll teach you all I know. You're a grunt now and you should learn to fight like one." His tusks rose up hopefully.
Kruzz sniffed and turned his head away from his friends, looking straight at the ceiling. Under his breath he said, "what's the point."
"Maybe we should let him rest some more. Give him some time." Dax sighed and got up from his seat.
"You said that he needs to know that..." Grim turned on Dax.
"Yes, but he needs some time to digest this first. Let him rest and we'll come back soon." Dax started to move toward the hut's flap.
Grim smiled down at him. "You'll see. Once you have your strength back we'll still make a warrior out of you. It'll just take some more training."
"What's the point!" Kruzz yelled. "Stop wasting your time with me and leave."
"But..." Grim's tusks sank and his shoulders fell.
"Get out!" Kruzz's throat burned and all the energy he had was drained out of him. He just wanted to be alone. Be alone and sleep. Forever.
"We better go." He could see Dax out of the corner of his eye, coming back to lead Grim out of the hut.
"I tried. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I thought I could make him look forward to training. You know? Now though, I don't know if I'll be able to get through to him. What if he never lets us help him?" Grim's voice trailed off as they walked further away, leaving Kruzz alone.
Broken and alone.