Fireman's Lift

Kris didn't leave me alone for long. Within about ten minutes I could hear her splashing back through the pipes, muttering the occasional curse along the way. I looked up as she drew close, my vision blurred and swimming. Evidently the adrenaline was wearing off and my exhaustion was beginning to take it's toll on my already weary body. Perhaps letting Vengeance shred my innards wasn't such a great idea after all. Kris waved a hand in front of my eyes, peering at me concernedly.

"Okay," she muttered. "We need to get you some help."

"Tell me something I don't know." I replied wryly, wincing as another bolt of pain lanced through my midriff.

Kris furrowed her brows; "Can you walk?"

I shook my head. My legs felt like a pair of concrete pillars strapped to my hips, too heavy and sore to move. Kris groaned and sat back on her haunches, chewing her lip and hissing to herself under her breath. Finally, she got to her feet and grabbed my arm.

"This is going to hurt." she said. Before I could so much as open my mouth to reply, she had flung me over her shoulder, looped an arm behind my leg and hoisted me up in a fireman's lift. I yelped as my wound set up a protest.

"Sorry." Kris muttered. I shook my head, gritting my teeth against the pain. She snorted and set off along the tunnel, back the way she had gone before. I closed my eyes and put all my energy into suppressing the desperate urge to scream in pain. The sooner I got medical help the better, I thought. With the adrenaline fast leaving my system, I doubted I would last much longer. Evidently getting out was only going to be half the challenge.

After what felt like an eternity of bumpy, agonising walking, Kris finally put me down. We had reached the bottom of a ladder, at the top of which was a large circle of plain, rusted metal. A manhole cover. Agile as ever, Kris clambered up the ladder and, after a short battle with a rusted lock, pulled the manhole cover aside.

"Right," she said, "now for the hard part."

Once again pulling me across her shoulders, holding my left wrist with one hand and gripping the rungs of the ladder with the other, Kris began to climb the ladder. I held as still as I could, desperate not to throw her off balance. If she fell now, it would probably kill me. It was slow, difficult progress, I could feel Kris' shoulders straining as she heaved our combined weight up the ladder. By the time we reached the top, she was breathing hard and sweat ran off the back of her neck in rivulets. Depositing me at the top of the hole, she scrambled out behind me and we both looked around.

We had ended up in some sort of backalley, littered with overturned rubbish bins and broken bottles. Thankfully for us it was deserted, save for the occasional stray alley cat roaming through the streets hunting for rats. Kris stretched and looked back at me:

"Alright," she said. "Let's go find you a doctor."

The End

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