Email: [email protected] TOMB HUNTER The Adventures of Larra Court Episode 3 Larra’s Mongolian Adventure Chapter 8 Jia Li’s Ordeal Jia Li rode behind her men. As their leader she felt it was her responsibility to draw fire. As she rode she twisted in her saddle, firing her rifle at her pursuers. Several times she saw an enemy horse or rider fall, but doubted that she had hit the target. She was simply not a very good a shot from the back of a moving horse. Without warning her horse jerked and then stumbled. It collapsed frontward and rolled completely over on its back. As the horse dropped Jia Li was catapulted from the saddle. Flipping in mid air she used the momentum to fall clear of the dead animal, landing on her feet and then rolling forward. Her tremendous athletic and martial arts skills enabled her to bounce to her feet. But all about her were Russian soldiers, most of whom were reining in their mounts. There was no doubt that they had seen her fall. They spurred their mounts toward her, apparently far more interested in capturing her than in going after the rest of her command. For a few seconds she hesitated, unsure of what to do. Then she saw the unmistakable figure of Ivanov riding toward her. His huge form barely seemed to fit his horse. She knew that she could expect no mercy at his hands. Spotting a slight seam in the mass of riders milling about her she headed for it. Just ahead was a deep coulee, heavily lined with bushes and trees. If she could make it there perhaps she would have a slight chance of escape. For a few seconds the gap in the Russian line remained open and then it closed as Ivanov swerved his horse directly into her path. He then rode right at her in a seeming attempt to run her down. Jia Li darted to one side as Ivanov rode at her, timing her move so that he was unable to change direction. Had Ivanov been alone Jia Li might have been able to jump on to him as he galloped past, but two other horsemen flanked him, forcing her to dart out of their way as well. Ivanov yelled some command in Russian that Jia Li did not understand. The Russian horsemen formed a semicircle around her, effectively cutting off her chosen avenue of escape. She looked behind her and noticed a small draw. It offered some sort of protection from cavalry as it was lined with bush and trees. Scrambling on her hands and knees she drove toward it as hard as she could. Once again Russian horsemen cut her off. She was simply not fast enough on foot to beat the mounted men to any objective. Jia Li changed direction again, this time angling off to her right in an attempt to get around the horsemen before they completely surrounded her. In her desperate attempts to escape, it never occurred to her to ask why the Russians did not simply shoot her. She was too preoccupied with trying to stay out from under the horses’ hooves. She made it past the first horses and raced up a small hill. Here she found herself among scattered trees where the cavalry could not run her down. If she could just get a few feet farther she would be amongst heavier vegetation and even though it was devoid of leaves, it would make it more difficult for the horsemen to follow her. But now several Russians rode directly across her path. There was no escape that way. She looked around. The few trees served to break up the closing Russians just enough to provide one more escape route. She took it, this time plunging recklessly down the hill heedless of the danger of falling. She burst into the opening in the Russian ranks and scrambled into a narrow coulee strewn with large boulders. The horsemen would not be able to maneuver here. Ivanov and his men followed, forced to a walk by the rough terrain. Jia Li found that she could actually outdistance them, but she was getting tired. Her frenzied scurrying at top speed had left her near the end of her endurance. But she could not afford to slow down lest she be overtaken by the pursuing riders. She looked ahead of her. Perhaps there was somewhere she could hide. She could hear Ivanov and his men close behind her. She had to find someplace to escape them quickly. To her left was the bed of a frozen stream. It was mostly dry now, but if she ran up it she might discover rougher ground where she could find a hiding place. She glanced around. The leading Russians were partly screened off by a leafless grove of willows. Now was her best chance. Her chest heaving from the exertion, she darted up the streambed. Disappointingly, the streambed turned out to offer less shelter than the coulee she had just left. But it was too late to correct her error; Ivanov and his men were already turning into it, hot on her trail. The streambed was now acting as a trap, channeling her in before the advancing horsemen. She turned at right angles to its course and scrambled up the bank. To her dismay she found that there were Russian soldiers already there, awaiting her arrival. Suddenly it dawned upon her. She had not been escaping at all. Ivanov and his men were playing with her, herding her in the direction that they chose. There never had been any chance of escape. She turned to face her pursuers. Better to challenge them on open ground and die an honorable death than to be caught scrambling to escape. She prepared to fight her last battle. Ivanov’s men completely encircled her. She turned slowly, trying to anticipate the direction of the attack. When it came, it caught her off guard. A rope thrown from behind settled over her and before she could duck out of it the rope was drawn tight around her legs. Almost immediately, a second rope dropped over her and was pulled tight around her waist. Then a third and fourth rope was looped about her. As the ropes were drawn tight, she was pulled in four different directions, effectively eliminating her mobility. She was essentially helpless. Ivanov dismounted and approached her, dangling a set of handcuffs. But she was not yet ready to concede defeat. As he reached for her left wrist she lashed out at him with all the strength she could muster. Fortunately for Ivanov the ropes that prevented her escape also prevented her from planting her feet well enough to strike hard, but he received a rude shock, being knocked unceremoniously on his rear end by a series of blows to his face. As Ivanov fell two men seized Jia Li from behind, each one restraining one of her arms. She struggled, but was unable to break free. Ivanov struggled to his feet, wiping blood from his bleeding nose. His face was a mask of rage. Jia Li expected him to hit her, but he merely handcuffed her wrists behind her. “You will pay for that and for your treachery, comrade,” Ivanov said. The remark was wasted on Jia Li as she spoke very little Russian, but she could guess from his tone that it was menacing. Turning to the men holding her he commanded them to tie her ankles. Then picking her up as if she weighed almost nothing, he slung her across his horse’s neck and mounted behind her. For about ten minutes Ivanov and his troop rode on. Jia Li had no idea where she was being taken, but she was certain that she would not like what was about to happen no matter where they went. Ivanov reined in his horse. Picking Jia Li up he slung her across one massive shoulder. From her upside down position Jia Li was able to determine that she was being taken to a small wooden hut. It was not of Mongol design, so she could only assume that it was a building the Russians had constructed. Ivanov kicked open the door of the hut. Inside it was almost completely bare except for an iron stove, a crude table, and a bed made out of planks. Against one wall was a pile of neatly stacked firewood. The hut was lit by a single small window. Ivanov booted the door shut and dumped Jia Li roughly onto the plank bed. Forcing her face down on the crude cot he untied her feet and retied them so that each of her ankles was lashed to one of the legs of the bed, spreading her legs slightly and holding her in a face down position. Having insured that she was not going anywhere Ivanov then turned his attention to the small stove. Within a few minutes he had a roaring fire going. “That should make us a little more comfortable,” he said. Jia Li’s blank look finally got through to Ivanov that she did not understand any Russian, and so he switched to Mandarin, which he spoke only poorly. He knew enough of the language, however, to communicate his meaning. “You have caused me a great deal of trouble, comrade,” he said. “I mean to make you pay for it and have a little fun at the same time.” Jia Li shivered. The man’s menacing tone was unmistakable. She tested her bonds, but the handcuffs had been cinched tightly about her wrists. There was no chance of getting them off without a key. Similarly, each ankle was tightly secured to the bottom legs of the bed. She could move them only slightly. Ivanov was watching her intently. “Struggle all you like, Tigerlily,” he said, inventing a name for her. “There is no chance of escape.” From corner of the room Ivanov picked up a moth-eaten pillow. Crossing over to the bed he lifted Jia Li at the waist and placed the pillow under her pelvis so that her pert derriere was slightly elevated. Jia Li felt her gut clenching in fear. “Now let’s see what that shapely ass looks like,” said Ivanov. As he spoke he pulled down her quilted pants. The cold air hit her buttocks. Involuntarily Jia Li tightened her tiny backside. “Very nice. Very nice,” the Russian gloated. Jia Li looked up at Ivanov. He was slowly removing his heavy leather belt from his pants. Even though she knew it was hopeless Jia Li attempted to pull her ankles free of the ropes that held them. “This is repayment for striking me. I will get around to punishing you for your betrayal later.” Ivanov doubled up his belt. Swinging it high over his head he brought it down on Jia Li’s raised backside with a tremendous crack. Thwack! The sound resounded through the tiny hut. “AAHHH!!” The blow was so surprisingly painful that the young Chinese girl cried out without thinking. Thwack! The leather came down again. “AAAHHH!! NO!!” Jia Li cried. “Save your breath, you’ll need it,” taunted Ivanov. “I’m just warming up.” Thwack! The belt delivered a third blow, and then a fourth, and then a fifth. Each time Jia Li’s protests became louder and more prolonged. “AAHHH!! OOOHHHH!! STOP!! STOP!!” She cried and pleaded with him, but the merciless beating continued for another 15 strokes. By the time Ivanov had finished Jia Li was shrieking almost continually. The pain of each blow lasted long after each impact. Her tender rear was crisscrossed with raised welts. In several places her skin had been broken and small rivulets of blood ran across her blistered backside and onto the bed. Ivanov tossed the belt onto the floor. Jia Li’s cries subsided into weeping. Taking out his knife, he cut through the quilting of her pants and jacket, and tore the ruined garment from her shaking body. She was now completely nude and wide-open to any further violations he might want to commit. Ivanov pulled off her boots and untied her ankles from the bed legs. Grasping her left ankle he bent her leg upward so that he could fasten it to her handcuffed wrists. He then repeated the operation with her right leg. This arched Jia Li’s back, accentuating her perfect breasts. It was considerably warmer in the hut now. The heat from the stove had steadily warmed it during her beating and Ivanov stripped down, removing all of his clothes. Upon seeing Ivanov’s huge phallus, Jia Li could not suppress a whimper of fear. Ivanov laughed. “If you think it is scary now, wait until it gets angry.” Jia Li blanched as she saw the huge member begin to rise as he salivated over her gorgeous body. Ivanov grabbed Jia Li’s flowing hair, and pulled her to her knees. She let out a howl at the pain in her scalp. “I’ll hurt you more than you can imagine if you don’t cooperate,” Ivanov said. “Do you understand?” He punctuated his question by slapping Jia Li hard across her face. She let out another scream and rapidly nodded her head. “Just make sure that you remember who is in control,” he said, grabbing one of her firm breasts in each hand. Then he gave her bosom a savage massage, squeezing down brutally on each breast until she howled with pain. “AAGGHH,” she cried. “PLEASE STOP, I UNDERSTAND!” Ivanov reached up to her hair again and parted her fine silky tresses, taking a hank of hair in each hand. He then pulled her head back hard, further arching her back and stretching her neck back. As he did so he stepped so close to her that his now erect penis bumped against her chin. “Now, little one, I want you to take me in your mouth.” “NO! NO!” Jia Li protested. She had never even seen an erect penis before and the thought of having one in her mouth filled her with revulsion. “Have it your way,” said Ivanov. He released her hair and picked up his belt again. “NO! NOT AGAIN,” Jia Li begged. Ivanov slapped the belt into the palm of his hand. “Then what’s it to be?” he asked. “The belt or your mouth?” Jia Li was almost nauseated at the thought of taking Ivanov’s huge phallus into her mouth, but the choice presented to her forced her compliance. “I…I’ll do it,” she said with a sob. “That’s more like it, cooperation!” exulted Ivanov. He dropped his belt again and pulled her head back once more. Jia Li reluctantly opened her mouth. “You don’t just swallow it, Tigerlily, you give it a kiss first.” “I… I… can’t,” Jia Li wailed. Ivanov slapped her face hard giving her both a forehand backhand smack. “I’m getting tired of fooling around,” he said. “It’s time you did as you were told.” Jia Li swallowed blood. The blows had torn the inside of her mouth. Hesitatingly, she formed her bruised lips into the shape of a kiss. Ivanov shoved his massive phallus against her unwilling lips and rubbed it back and forth across her mouth. “Kiss it harder,” he commanded. Thoroughly cowed, Jia Li complied, fighting back her nausea at the disgusting act. “Now wrap your lips around it,” Ivanov instructed. Jia Li took the tip of the huge penis into her mouth. “Now lick it.” Jia Li almost gagged. She could hardly believe what she was being forced to do. She was completely humiliated. But she dared not resist. Her reddened backside still throbbed painfully from her flogging, and so she submitted to each of Ivanov’s demands. Before long she was sucking mightily on the end of his engorged member while he groaned in ecstasy. Holding her head so that she could not pull away he slowly forced more and more of his penis into her mouth. Eventually she was forced to stretch her small jaw to the maximum to accommodate his bulk. Then, Ivanov began to thrust slowly in and out of her mouth, as if he was engaging in an act of intercourse. Tears streaming down her face, Jia Li had no choice but to endure this complete degradation. As he penetrated deeper and deeper she found it more and more difficult to breathe. Ivanov himself seemed to be experiencing breathing difficulty. His breath came in gasps as his sexual excitement increased. Finally he could stand it no more. He withdrew from Jia Li’s mouth just before he reached orgasm, allowing his ardor to cool. He did not want to ejaculate just yet. “That was fantastic, Tigerlily,” he exclaimed, “but now I want to sample your cunt.” As he spoke, he pushed Jia Li down on the hard bed and forced himself between her knees. “NO! NO! NOOO!” Jia Li cried. Ignoring her protests, Ivanov mounted her. There were no preliminaries to the rape, he just spread her legs apart and shoved his dripping phallus into her open vagina. It was a very tight fit. Jia Li had never had a man before and her virgin vagina was incredibly tight. It took all of Ivanov’s weight and strength to penetrate even a short distance. “AAAAAGGHHH!!” Jia Li shrieked. The pain of the rape was unbelievable. It felt as if she was being torn open. Ivanov grunted with the effort. The Chinese bitch was much tighter than the English slut he had taken in his torture chamber. He thrust with all his might and penetrated a few more inches. “Incredible!” he thought. He had never had a woman like her. Maybe he would keep her after his men had had a little fun with her. In the meantime… He thrust in again. He was rewarded by another scream from the writhing Chinese girl. “God, she was tight!” It was going to take a lot of work to take this bitch. But it was going to be a lot of fun. Jia Li did everything in her limited power to fight off the huge Russian. The pain of his penetration was so great that she almost fainted. It felt like a small tree was being pushed into her. With a cry of relief, she felt Ivanov withdraw, but her relief was short lived as the massive Russian began to assault her using short sharp strokes, penetrating her a few millimeters at a time. “Ohh, Tigerlily,” Ivanov groaned, “you are wonderful,” His tightly held shaft was throbbing with pleasure. His excitement rose as he buried it deeper and deeper into the thrashing girl. He had now invaded her to a depth of six inches and her screams rang in his ears. “I should have gagged you, you noisy bitch,” he said. But he was too busy to attend to that now. Placing his huge hand over her mouth, he stifled her screams as he pushed still deeper into her. He looked into Jia Li’s dark, beautiful eyes as he ravished her. She stared back helplessly, her eyes flooding with tears as she struggled to survive the ordeal of forced sex. He had been raping her for at least fifteen minutes now, and did not seem close to finished. Each time she thought that Ivanov was about to peak, he slowed his pace, drawing out the experience. He intended to bury all of his massive rod within her. And slowly but surely he was achieving that end. He was now almost fully into her and had penetrated to her cervix. Jia Li’s tight vagina had been forced open as far as it would go without tearing. “UNNNGGGHHH!!” A muffled cry came from under Ulanov’s hand as he drove in another inch. Ulanov felt her body tense incredibly under him as he tried to push home his enormous rod, and then suddenly she went completely limp. Jia Li had fainted. “Damn Bitch!” Ulanov swore. Now she wouldn’t feel a thing. Cursing again he finished her anyway, entering even further before ejaculating into her. Lifting himself from her inert body, he dressed himself and went outside. “Bring her out here,” he said gesturing toward the cabin Three men went into the cabin and emerged with Jia Li’s limp form, carrying her face down. Ulanov tossed one of the men a key. “Cuff her hands in front.” Jia Li’s body was tossed onto the snowy ground as the men readjusted her handcuffs. The cold snow revived her, but she was too exhausted to fight back. Ulanov tied a rope to the handcuffs and then ordered one of his men to toss the rope over the branch of a nearly by tree. She was then hoisted up by the rope so that she was suspended about a foot off the ground. Next Ulanov tied a rope to each of her ankles and fastened the ropes to small trees on either side of her, so that her legs were spread apart. “Alright,” Ulanov said to his men, “take her.” The Russian soldiers, already excited by the spectacle of Jia Li’s naked body, surged around her, jostling for position. It was, of course, the largest and strongest men that managed to have the first shot at her. Shivering in the frigid air, and still dazed by her experience with Ulanov, Jia Li slowly came to realize the she faced a situation that was every bit as bad if not worse than her session with Ulanov. This time she faced a gang rape by at least seventy men. Although the ropes around her ankles had drawn her legs apart, there was some slack in them so that her body could be raised and lowered a few inches. Ulanov had planned it that way, and the first Russian soldier took Jia Li exactly the way he had intended. Dropping his pants the soldier, a huge man, standing well over six feet tall, lifted her and lowered her quivering body onto to his erect phallus. He did not try to penetrate her using his own muscles, but instead let Jia Li’s own body weight slowly impale her upon his huge organ. “NO!” Jia Li cried out. Exerting her remaining strength, she used her arms to raise her body so that she was suspended just above the Russian’s engorged shaft. The Russian did not try to pull her down, but rather placed his arms about her, so that when she was forced through sheer exhaustion to relax her arms she would lower herself right onto his expectant penis. Jia Li strained to hold her body weight. She was not shivering any more, but perspiring profusely from the strain and fear of her impending rape. Slowly, she felt her overstrained muscles relaxing. A millimeter at a time she was gradually lowering herself onto his rigid rod. A low cry escaped her lips as she felt the glans of the waiting penis begin to penetrate her vagina. With renewed strength, she managed to raise her exhausted body once again, only to find her overstrained muscles giving out. “AAHHHAA!!” With a cry of rage and frustration, she felt the massive erection impale her ravaged vagina. Already torn and sore from Ulanov’s rape, her swollen flesh found the experience excruciatingly painful. Once again, she found the temporary strength to raise herself, but it was the last time. With a shriek of agony, she gave up and impaled herself fully upon the Russian soldier’s penis. Ignoring her screams the Russian soldier gripped her tightly, and raped her thoroughly. Again and again he pumped into her before finally ejaculating. Then it was the turn of the next man. This time Jia Li was too worn out to offer any resistance; she just hung there while he took her. And so it went, as the entire company began to work its way through her. Jia Li screamed herself hoarse, and waited for the end. When it finally came, she was almost unconscious. Ulanov ordered her to be taken down, but he was not through with her yet. He wanted to give her one final lesson. Larra wheeled her horse around. “We must go back!” she shouted at Jia Li’s men. “Jia Li is not here!” The remaining members of Jia Li’s command simply looked at her. “We must go back,” Larra repeated. “We can’t leave Jia Li to the Russians. She might still be alive.” This time the men simply shook their heads. Several of them turned their horses and made as if to ride off. Spurring her horse, Larra rode after them. “At least give us a few weapons so we can make the attempt,” she said. “You don’t have to come, but please let us try.” For a few long seconds the men just looked at her, and then one of them nodded. He handed his rifle to Larra, Another man rode up and gave Tabin his rifle, and a bandoleer of cartridges. “You try then,” said the first man, “ and good luck.” With that he spurred his horse and rode off rapidly followed by the rest of what had been Jia Li’s escort. Larra watched them go and shook her head slowly. She couldn’t really blame them. The odds were certainly not in their favor. She glanced at Tabin. He smiled. “Let’s go,” he said, “we might be lucky.” They rode back the way they had come, but did not follow a direct path to the place where they had last seen the Russians. Instead they rode in an arc so as to skirt any Russians who might still be on their trail. They stuck to the ravines and valleys avoiding hilltops as much as possible. Jia Li was most likely dead, but if she was a prisoner, they certainly did not want to join her. Jia Li’s high-pitched screams helped them zero in on her location. Larra wept when she heard the sound, she knew exactly what was happening. But although the tears flowed, she kept her composure. By the time they were very close, she was in complete control. Tabin took command. He had organized many an ambush. “I will approach from this direction,” he said, indicating the way they had been going. “You circle round to the other side. I believe the Russians are too occupied to be keeping careful watch. I will give you ten minutes and then I will begin shooting.” Larra nodded. There was no need for her to say anything. Hunching low over her horse’s neck, she rode around the back of a hill separating her from the sound of Jia Li’s screams. “Poor Jia Li,” she thought. “It’s my fault she got caught. She was only trying to help me.” Reaching the other side of the hill, she dismounted and ran through a small wooded ravine. She was very close now to the sound of the screaming girl. Getting on her hands and knees, she crawled up the slope of the ravine and wormed her way through a stand of willows. Pushing her way carefully through the bare branches she raised her head enough to see what was going on. What she saw filled her with disgust and rage. The young Asian girl was being bent face down over a fallen tree. Her hands were held by one man and her lithe strong legs were being spread by two more. Behind her stood Ulanov. He had dropped his pants and was preparing to perform anal rape. Larra was a little too far away to hear any words, but she could distinctly hear Jia Li’s anguished sobs. Carefully she flicked off the safety on her rifle and waited for Tabin to start. Ulanov stood over his helpless victim. He was fully erect once again. “All right, Tigerlily,” he jibed, “time to loosen up that tight little ass of yours.” Jia Li was too drained to struggle. She knew that she faced a third ordeal that would be every bit as painful and degrading as the first two, but there was absolutely nothing she could do to stop it. Ulanov stepped up to Jia Li’s defenseless backside. He began to lean forward so that he could part her buttocks when he experienced a rending, paralyzing pain. With a horrible scream, he lurched backwards, clutching at his penis. To his horror he found himself holding the severed half of it in his hands. The sound of a shot resounded in his ears and he came to the frightening realization that he had been shot. Blood spurted in a wide arc from the terrible wound. Struggling to his feet, he attempted to seek shelter, but the same bullet that had torn his sex organ apart had penetrated his abdomen and shattered his lower spine. A terrible paralysis prevented his legs from moving, and he collapsed on the ground, writhing in anguish. Larra readied herself for her first shot, training her sights on Ulanov. She would not allow him to molest Jia Li any further. The sound of Tabin’s first shot rang out and she saw Ulanov fall to the ground. He had taken her revenge for her. Disappointed, Larra held her fire. She and Tabin were not in a competition. She would have plenty of targets later. Tabin shot quickly and accurately. So quickly and accurately that the panicky Russian soldiers believed that they were being fired upon by several marksmen. Tabin was a master at staging an ambush. He shot and then moved, and then shot again, constantly changing his position. It gave his victims the illusion that they were being attacked by a much larger force. Larra continued to hold her fire. It was not yet time. By now, the Russian soldiers had recovered from their shock and were beginning to return fire. But without Ulanov’s leadership, their fire was sporadic and uncoordinated. They sprayed the countryside in Tabin’s general direction without having any real effect. He continued to change his position and shoot at any exposed target. His shots seldom missed if he was given anything to shoot at. Tabin’s deadly shooting forced the Russians to ground. They threw themselves behind any solid object that provided cover. Directly in front of Larra a dozen men lay hidden behind a slight rise in the ground. They were safe from Tabin, but totally exposed to Larra. Remembering Tabin’s teaching Larra drew a bead on the Russian soldier farthest to the rear of the others. She did not have to worry about timing her shots, the Russians were throwing so much lead back at Tabin that there was no chance that Larra’s single shot would be heard. Larra squeezed off her shot and hit the first Russian in the back of the head. She then switched to the Russian who was next closest to her. By picking her targets in this way she could shoot each Russian without alerting the others that they were under fire. It was a trick that she had learned from Tabin, and it was highly effective. One after the other Larra took out each of the Russians. Not a single one of the soldiers realized that he was under fire until her bullet tore through his skull. Larra had no more targets in front of her. Squirming forward on her belly, she moved out of the willow grove to the spot that was occupied by the dead bodies of the soldiers she had killed. She was still uphill of most of the Russians, and once she had gained the rise in the ground she was presented with several more targets. She took these out in the same way. By now, the Russians realized that fire was coming at them from more than one direction. Leaderless, and with many of their number dead, the Russians collapsed, scattering in all directions. Larra and Tabin blazed away, taking down a few more of the Russians as they broke from their cover. They had achieved a complete route. Those soldiers that could mounted their horses and rode off as fast as possible. The others fled on foot, throwing away their weapons in order to run faster. Within a few seconds there were no more targets, leaving Tabin and Larra masters of the battlefield. Larra and Tabin rose from their hiding places. Carefully they closed in on Ivanov’s moaning form. He was the only one of the Russians that had been wounded. As they approached, Ivanov began to beg for mercy. “Please don’t kill me! Please! No!” He tried to struggle to his feet, but with part of his backbone shot through, he was unable to move his legs. One hand still clutched his ruined penis and the other attempted to stop the flow of blood from his abdominal wound. “Give us the key to the handcuffs,” ordered Larra, “and we will think about it.” Weeping in agony and fear, Ivanov groped in his jacket pocket and produced the key. Quickly, Larra unlocked the handcuffs and lay Jia Li on the ground. The girl did not seem to be conscious and her body was very cold. She had been hanging in the frigid below freezing air for some two hours. “We have to get her warm quickly,” said Larra. Tabin picked the unconscious girl up and carried her over to the hut where Ivanov had raped her. Inside the heat from the stove had not yet completely dissipated and it still contained a few hot coals. Within seconds, Tabin had blown these to life and fed more wood into the stove. In the meantime Larra had dressed Jia Li in some warm clothing taken from one of the dead Russian soldiers. She also covered her with blankets taken from the bedrolls that were fastened to the saddles of the Russian horses that had not run away during the battle. While Larra tended to Jia Li, Tabin went outside to keep watch. There was always the chance that some of the Russians might return. Outside Tabin found that Ivanov had attempted to crawl away, but he had not gotten far before his injured body had given out. He lay in a pool of blood, moaning in pain. Tabin crossed over to him. “Don’t shoot me!” Ivanov begged. Tabin considered for a few seconds and then decided that if Ivanov lived, he would be punished worse than if he was put to death. A quick sweep of the horizon located no Russian soldiers. By now the sun was low in the sky and it was getting colder. The frigid temperatures of night were not long off. Any soldiers out in the wilds without shelter would be in severe difficulty. Still, if they stayed in the hut, they would be vulnerable to attack by any soldiers who did come back. It would be much better if they left the area as soon as Jia Li was able to travel. Tabin kept watch until Larra came out. “She is sleeping, but I don’t think it would be wise to stay here long,” said Larra echoing Tabin’s thoughts. He nodded. “I’ll keep watch, you look after the girl.” Larra went back inside. The temperature in the hut was now quite high. Larra had piled a huge supply of fuel onto the fire. She checked Jia Li’s temperature. The girl seemed quite warm now. In a short time it would be safe to move her. She went outside. “What about him?” she said looking at Ivanov. “His spine is severed, he has an abdominal wound, and he is missing half his penis. I think we should just leave him.” Larra nodded. They had had their revenge. She went back to Jia Li. Inside the hut, the girl was stirring. As she awoke, she moaned, reliving some of her unfortunate experience. Larra sat on the cot next to her. Jia Li opened her eyes. At first she just stared around, uncomprehendingly, but then she saw Larra. “It’s all right,” said Larra, “the Russians have gone.” Jia Li started to weep. Larra held her tight. “You saved me and I saved you. But now we have to leave. There may be Russians still around. Can you move?” Jia Li struggled up. “I…I think so,” she said faintly. Larra helped Jia Li dress. In a few minutes the young woman was ready, if still a little unsteady. Outside, Tabin had the horses ready. They mounted quickly and were off. They did not ride very far. Larra was quite worn out from her experiences from the last few days, and Jia Li was in no shape to ride at all. They simply put a few miles between themselves and the site of the battle and then camped for the night. The next day they would try to put more distance between themselves and the Russian base.