Monday, August 6, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 31

< Chapter 30                                                                                               Chapter 32 >
Chasing Martin Bane's raiders and slavers in a sand schooner, our heroes crest a huge dune and discover a cliff on the other side!

            Flying was fun for about a second, then my brain remembered we were falling.  Neither Boosting nor training would get us out of this alive.  Rob and I shared a helpless look.  And then the sand schooner hit something soft -- an airship's gasbag!
            "Jump!" we both said as the schooner began to slide down the gasbag's side.
            Rob caught a line but my hands found only smooth fabric.  I scrabbled to find something to grab -- and found it when Rob swung his leg to me.  I found a line of my own and we began to climb down to the airship.  Several harrowing seconds later, our feet were firmly planted on the airship's deck.
            Moonlight illuminated a utilitarian, but still stylish, deck.
            "This airship seems a bit small," I said.
            Rob said.  "A rich man's toy, nothing more."
            "Oh, it's much more than that!" protested a voice.  "But a bit of a toy, as well."
            A large man, rounded with rich living and slowed by advancing age, stepped into view.  His voice carried the tone of command, but with an undertone of humor.
            "Now, how did you two board an airborne ship?" he asked.  Before either of us could answer, he said, "Come below.  I expect this is a long story."
            He walked aft.  Rob and I followed.  A second afterward, we stepped on lines lying across the deck.  My brain raised the alarm too late.  A net rose up around us and a smaller man shoved the boom holding the net over the airship's side railing.
            The old man spoke, "Forgive my manners.  I'll have my manservant release you immediately.  Do enjoy your fall!"

Can anything save our heroes from plunging to their deaths?  Find out in Chapter 32, coming Wednesday.