“If you're a medic, how the fuck did you kill it?”
Long after the vice like jaw had released its grip on his leg and I'd bound the wound and turned my attention to an older injury on his upper arm, the trainee couldn't keep his eyes off the wolf's corpse. One side of its head was crumpled in. Otherwise it was free of external blemish.
“Because medic doesn't necessarily equate to helpless pussy,” I said evenly, tugging on his bandages.
He was in his late teens, skin tanned and smooth over the rounded muscles his training had built up. His hair was cropped short in the usual military style. Obviously aiming to look tough. Even more apparent that he'd never killed before, even though he'd never admit it. It was the way he couldn't keep his eyes off that wolf. Morbid fascination. Probably embarrassment that a woman in a dress had done the deed when he couldn't.
Didn't help that simple linen still made him scream.
“Fuck! Fuck me, that hurts!”
I'd purposefully chosen to stand behind him before I'd even started my work, well clear of kicking legs, and I watched him flail as I removed the bandage altogether and poured searing ethanol onto the wound. A better person would have questioned the satisfaction I gained listening to that high-pitched wail but I was a medic. I fixed people, I wasn't some outstanding example of moral perfection. War fucked morality over as much for those in charge of saving lives at those in charge of taking them. Killing a savage wolf with a staff, clubbing the life out of its sinewy limbs, hadn't been hard or anything like it, regardless of the injured kid's ignorant presumptions. I killed people all the time, just by focusing my attention on the guy next to them. Just by prioritising. Murder was not hard.
“Fucking hurts!” he yelled again, maybe in case I hadn't realised.
“You don't say,” I replied nonchalantly.
I bound the wound again, then checked the dressing that covered the wolf's handiwork. Both clean. Simple procedure. I told him he was fine and merely walked away. He made a lot of noise – I could hear him even after the turn in the road that hid his hobbling form from sight – but he should have been grateful. I’d taken the time. I hadn’t murdered him.