Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 17

< Chapter 16                                                                                            Chapter 18 >

The airship their and the pirates behind them, David thought the worst was behind them -- until he spotted the sandstorm!

            The sandstorm grew closer in the few seconds I watched through the binoculars.  We needed a new course and more speed or the storm would have us!
            "Rob!"
            Turning from the princess, he grimaced at the interruption, "Not now-"
            "Sandstorm!  Closing fast!"
            Rob was standing next to me seconds later.  I handed him the binoculars as I turned the ship away from the sandstorm.
            "Look through-" I began.
            "We have similar devices," Rob said, lifting the binoculars to his eyes.  "Though none so sharp or powerful."
            Studying the storm, he said, "It appears you can fly this ship."
            "Yes."
            "Can we outrun the storm?" he asked.
            "Probably not, but..." I turned to the princess, "Highness, take the wheel and hold it steady."
            She took the wheel without a question.  I led Rob below.
            "Have you ever worked a steam engine?" I asked.
            "Yes, years ago," he replied.
            "I need as much steam as you can get me," I told him.  "Even if the storm catches us, having our own power may help."
            As Rob began feeding wood to the fire, I added, "I'll send the princess below.  It will be safer for her down here, out of the storm."
            The wind had risen considerably in the short time I'd been below.  Taking the wheel, I sent the princess below.  Even as the steam built and the two propellers spun ever faster, I doubted we could outrun the storm.
            I fought the buffeting wind, scanning the desert for any place where we could land and take cover.  Then the storm blotted out the sun and sand scoured the deck.
            The storm was upon us!

Far above the ground and deep within the sandstorm, David fights for survival!  Can he save the princess yet again?  Find out in Chapter 18, coming Friday!