He’d taken his time over the food .. suspecting that priest knew better than he did that he’d need his strength. His pair of meaty body-guards stood hovering as he slugged back the water .. clubs in hand .. tapping impatiently against a muscled leg. Their dedication to the task of keeping an eye on Mzanka’s body-slave was intense. Any idea that Tarzan could beat them off .. any hope of making a run for it .. such seemed a remote hope. But get away he must.
They were building up his strength to keep him going .. to keep giving another turn of the screw. No kindness here .. Tarzan had to suffer more. Their precious Mzanka hadn’t put in an appearance yet. That chief was ambitious .. and single-minded. He’d not stop until he had achieved his goal. Attracted their overlord back. And handed Tarzan over to him .. as his slave. Tarzan could not afford to hang around.
The warrior-guards had helped him through a warren of corridors in their palace. Despite food and drink, Tarzan’s lack of strength was clear to him. Stamina drained away. He tried to disguise the weakness in his legs. But he doubted his captors were fooled. They had his arms around their muscular shoulders, he was leaning on them .. benefitting from their strength for support. But they knew. These were not men you could trick.
When he saw the wheel, Tarzan reacted. Back on that thing .. being stretched out on that wheel .. that had broken the back of his strength. More of that …..! Entering the cavernous chamber, seeing that glowering wheel awaiting him .. in desperation, Tarzan hit back. He surprised his escort .. wriggling himself out of their grip. An elbow caught one warrior on the nose .. his leg kicked out .. desperate. Sensing the warrior holding him by the arm go down.
Six of them, one of him. But maddening desperation was on his side. A punch smacked into the side of a warrior’s head, careening him into two more coming to intervene. Tarzan backed up against a wall. Taking on the attack.
Six onto him, one against six. And he had been tortured out of his skin for countless hours. The stamina to keep on battling .. it wilted under their ruthless attack. Desperate he fought .. the threat of hours on the wheel pumped up every reserve he still had. All he had he threw at them. But that was precious little .. in face of a brutal attack from seasoned warriors. Strong, muscled, committed. Dedicated to obeying orders. Ordered to get the offering back on the wheel.
He lashed out, his elbow hammered back. His fists landed on battling warrior strength. But Tarzan sensed something was missing .. the power to knock a fighter off his feet. The strength to crack a head back in shock. Six of them. They worked him forward .. he fought them back. Hands grabbed at him. Punches landed on him.
Six of them , one of him. His chest was thrown hard into the drum. A hand had him gripped by the back of his hair .. slammed his face into the hard wood surface. Stunning him, a rush of loud noise burst in his head. Fists smacked into his lower back .. punching his belly into the drum. A hard punch got him between the shoulder blades .. pounding the wind out of his chest.
Tarzan struggled. He was weak .. weakened by days of torture. But desperation still fuelled his fight. Memories of endless nights strung-out .. stretched to agonised breaking point. Fears of another night like that lit the fight in his veins.
But one against six. Tortured out of his skin. He jarred back with his hips. He twisted his shoulders out of a warrior’s clammy grip. But others had his wrists in a tight grip .. winning against his struggles. Raising Tarzan’s arms. Securing his wrists to the rings on the drum. A punch to his lower back, hard, back-breakingly hard. Tarzan gasped out. Those sessions .. first on this wheel .. then drained by a merciless sun .. the grinding aches between his legs dragging the fight out of him .. his stamina was not what it had been.
Tarzan kicked back determined at a warrior .. it almost weakened him more than his attacker. Strong-minded Tarzan kept on fighting .. but he feared that these supreme warriors, men in their physical prime .. he feared they would have their way with him. Binding Mzanka’s offering to their torture wheel.