A hot sharp pain in his shoulder startled him awake abruptly. The damn gunshot wound started to throb agonizingly again. Every morning following his return, Arthur woke in agony.
A muffled cry escaped his lips before he knew it. Today, was no different, he slipped from his cot carefully. He didn't want his wound to reopen, and cause him anymore pain than necessary. Everyone in the camp was sleeping peacefully, so he decided to take a walk in the alluring scenery. He taught it was best for him to take a walk, not ride with his horse, because he could feel every single move his horse made, in his bones.
It was very early in the morning and the forest was so still and quiet, it sent a shiver down Arthur's spine. It looked like there's not a single soul alive. After walking in steady pace for a few minutes, he left the camp behind.
Everyone in the camp was looking after him, making sure he was comfy and in good shape, following his return from O'Driscoll's wrath. He still couldn't join Dutch and the others with their plans and missions. When he tried to act naturally and hopped into his horse one day, he was warned by Dutch with a firm hand on his bad shoulder, squeezing his shoulder with a force more than necessary: "You better stay where you are, my dear boy." And then, he patted his back and disappeared from his sight. Arthur remembered how worthless he felt that day, not being able to do anything was something he wasn't used to. Dutch cared for him dearly and he knew that much for sure.
A woman's cry helped him return to reality. "Help me, please!" was all he heard before he thrust for the miserable voice.
Arthur Morgan always had a soft spot for women, he saw so many being killed or raped just before his eyes and he promised himself to do whatever he can to reduce these horrible acts towards women. He was sure, the direction he headed was correct but there was no one in sight. His green eyes scanned the whole area quickly, he could feel his heart pounding rapidly in his chest craving for action.
There seemed to be some movement. He saw someone out of the corner of his eye, approaching him with an inhuman speed. Before he could register, he was welcomed with an anguish in his temple. Shattered glass pooled around his feet. Seeing the bloody glass pieces, he understood that he had been hit with a bottle on the head. He blamed blood loss for his lack of reflexes, but he knew deep down that, these were the side effects of his excessive recovery session. Arthur analyzed his assaulter straightaway. The man's hair was groomed neatly and combed back in a great fashion. His face was also clean shaved. His posture held the arrogance and majesty of a high ranked military officer.
Keeping his observations to himself, Arthur took a quick glance around. There was nothing for him to use as a weapon and he cursed under his breath when he realized it was going to be a hand in hand combat.
His shoulder was already throbbing dreadfully, he lifted his left arm up and probbed it to his chest tightly. It was pretty clear that he won't be using it this time. And at that moment, Arthur could swear, he saw a glistening in the eyes of his opponent, like he's just won the battle before it even started.
He quickly changed his posture to the lower stance, limiting the areas his opponent may target. With his legs bent, he was more preprared to block and counter. The man made the first move and threw a punch towards Arthur's ribs which he easily dodged. Arthur used his good arm to deliver his first blow, but his attacker recoiled rapidly. The man was looking directly in his eyes and Arthur felt like he was being read by this man.
Normally Arthur Morgan never feels shy or so uneasy of himself but today in this fight, there was something awfully wrong about this man, made him feel sick. Being distracted with these thoghts, Arthur couldn't manage to react on time and he was hit by the throat with a strong closed fist. It knocked the wind right out of him and he stumbled a few steps, backing away from his assailant. He took huge gulps of air and rubbed his throat while groaning in pain.
Arthur could swear, the drugs he was taking were taking their tool on his body, making him dizzy and his movements extremely slow. He hated every second of it. He wasn't used to be the weak one, his mind was screaming at him to do something, anything at all, but his body, his own damn body, wasn't obeying him.
He blocked a few more attempts with difficulty and he could admit, the man was a great fighter. He knew where to hit in order to cause more misery.
Cold blooded maniac…
Arthur realized all these times he was just trying to tire him out. He could literally feel his energy draining away. At that moment his assailant spoke:
"Why are you still resisting?"
A real hard blow to Arthur's ribs.
Ouch, that hurt. Probably something's been broken inside.
Dazed, Arthur attempted a wild hay maker, which the man blocked his blind jab with elbow. A second later, the man striked with a knife hand to Arthur's neck.
At that moment, everything felt so unreal as if time was slowing down.
Arthur blinked a few times, ringing in his ears started and continued for what felt like hours to him, followed by muted sound.
A whole forrest, tons of souls living in it, but there was no sound. No sound at all.
At least not for Arthur.
Just as he was gaining his hearing ability back, the man spoke again:
"See? I'm a doctor. An army doctor, to be precise. I know what I'm doing."
Argh, that explained why everywhere he touched hurt like hell and he was feeling extremely dizzy after the hit to his neck. He groggily stepped back and let himself fall to the ground with a thud.
There were black dots forming in his vision when he spotted doctor approaching him with careful steps. The man wasn't letting his guard down for a second, even though Arthur was pretty sure that he was no longer a threat to this machine. That man can't be human after all.
Blinking to get his vision back was the only thing that Arthur was capable of but it wasn't quite working. The whole scenery was blurry in his eyes and the former black spots were appearing and disappearing in their own accords which was making him feel both uncomfortable and dizzy.
His own irregular breathing which he couldn't seem to control after the fight was the only sound filling the environment. From the place he was laying down, all he could see was the silhouettes of the huge trees looming over him. Pained grunts were escaping his lips while he was trying to sit up. The moment he twisted his torso, the pain in his ribs became unbearable. Quiet whines left their place to quickening exhalations.
It was pretty clear even to him, there were a few broken ribs on his rib cage. The blood was dripping from his temple down to his jaw. The area around the gash was covered with dried blood which was sticking his hair. Arthur prayed to God, there was no glass piece in his temple. And of course, his oldest wound was making itself known. Now, the damn doctor or martial arts master, Arthur didn't really know which one was the better fitting, was probing sore parts of his body checking for anomalities. Arthur's pained gasps were lullaby to his expert ears.
"So, you wanna know the extent of your injuries?"
Arthur hardly lifted his head and answered with a defeated:
"Oh, yes please doctor."
The man eyed him one last time and started listing his observations:
"A large gash on the head, but don'tcha worry, you're not going to bleed to dead, at least not on my watch. I believe there are…"
He paused for a moment and pressed a callous hand to Arthur's ribs and with that a sharp intake of air filled the space.
"…there are probably three or more ribs broken."
With the sudden contact to his over sensitive area, Arthur grabbed the doctor's neck desperately. In the eyes of the doctor, it was perfectly clear to Arthur that, a move by him wasn't anticipated. Doctor's both hands were struggling to release Arthur's dead grip on his neck. At that moment, medical man's right hand lowered and applied a careful pressure to Arthur's shoulder joint.
At first, he didn't feel a thing and kept his arms around doctor's throat, but then the feeling in his arm started to go away, a blissful numbing started in his lef shoulder.
The doctor was staring intensely at him with a question in his eyes.
"There was no need for that. Now, you'll be needing my help for this, to recover. Because your brachial plexus nerves are damaged and sadly they don't recover on their own. You feel this?"
With that, doctor grabbed and pinched one of Arthur's fingers. From the deadly glare he was receiving, he deduced he didn't.
"Leave the man alone!" a confident and determined voice echoed in the silent forest. Arthur's eyes shot up to see the man he trusted with his life, standing a few meters away with a gun pointed directly at his attacker.
Dutch was here to get him out of this nightmare.
Author's Note: Thanks for reading. I hope you liked it! I'd love to hear from you :)