The tough part for me was choosing a story to share: my dad's active life despite a childhood disability and a prosthetic leg, or my friends' daughter who sang a solo at her school recital recently even though she is in a halo and a full body brace, or my sister-in-law's husband who leads Bible Studies although he has MS and is unable to move from the neck down. There are days when I feel surrounded by amazing heroes and heroines who overcome adversity daily.
I couldn't decide, and life got crazy, and when life gets crazy I seem to end up thinking about Captain Wrath, aka Doug Cranton. So I don't know if it fits or not and I wrote it at the last minute between grading papers, but here is a story from Captain Wrath:
Doug woke in an instant, remembering the fight. Restraints on his wrists and ankles kept him from leaping out of his chair, but it toppled forward.
He hit knees first, and then forehead.
Husky laughter greeted him, and a pair of stiletto heels sauntered past his side view. “Get him up,” said an oddly familiar voice.
A bulky figure hauled his chair upright and he faced the woman from the spaceport bar.
She leaned in close to him and whispered, “Now, Dougie, be a good boy and tell me why a cruise ship captain would be interested in my cargo.”
Doug looked at the single light bulb hanging above her head.
She drew back, and placed her long fingernails against his cheek. “Whoever’s paying you isn’t paying you enough to go against us, trust me.”
“No one’s paying me,” he said angrily.
“What? That’s ridiculous.” Her eyes narrowed. “Unless you think you can make a profit from trafficking on your own . . .which you can’t unless you have the right contacts.” She dug her sharp nails into the side of his face. “Who are your contacts?”
Doug gasped, surprised by the pain. How in the world did this woman get her nails that sharp? He had to get out of here, but he couldn’t see much of the room. He didn’t think she had more than one bodyguard with her, because he hadn’t heard anyone else.
“Who are your contacts?” she asked again, digging her nails in deeper.
Doug tried to ignore the pain.
“Pay attention, Doug. You don’t know who you’re dealing with here.” As she spoke, her voice changed in pitch, and he could see the pupils of her eyes narrow to oval slits. Her cheekbones enlarged and fangs sprouted along her upper teeth.
Doug shuddered. Out of all the races from the Faerland Galaxy, those that could change form were the only ones that truly frightened him. “I don’t need payment to free slaves,” he said.
She drew back with a roar, her face morphing oddly between the form of a woman and a cat.
Doug felt himself break into a shivering sweat, terrified.
Finally, she stopped, and said, “Tell me how you knew about the cargo, and you might not have to die.”
“If I die today, I die knowing that I saved people from the misery you intended.” Doug tried to shrug nonchalantly. “Go ahead.”
Suddenly, a huge crashing noise from behind Doug interrupted the interrogation. Weapons fire filled the air, and Doug threw himself to the side, knocking his chair over on purpose.
The woman changed the rest of the way into a tigress, but bullets cut her down in mid-leap.
Strong fingers freed Doug’s hands, and Doug twisted to see Telli behind him.
“Good to see you alive and whole, Captain Wrath.”
“Good to be alive,” Doug said.
“Let’s not tell the crew that I had to save your hide this time, Captain, or your reputation will be ruined.”