Chandra didn’t see them coming, but she felt them, those sharp knives plunging into the front and back of her right shoulder. Clammy, living leather rubbed against the side of her face. She wanted to scream, but something heavy collided with her head and her breath escaped with a sigh. A cable as thick as a barrel coiled around her and squeezed. Squeezed! She struggled to break free, but in vain. A dry snap, like the bones under her feet. Only closer, muffled. The writhing muscle wrapped around her body, slow and languid like a malicious lover. The fine scales scraped across her skin like blunt razor blades, tearing cloth and drawing blood. Another snap. She gulped, desperate for air, but her lungs refused to draw in as little as a mouthful. Against her will, her body began to go limp.