Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 53



< Chapter 52                                                                                               Chapter 54 >
Fire engulfs the city our hero left shortly before sunset!

            Flames climbed into the night, raging across Beloren.  Dark specks moved against the flames, airships fleeing from the conflagration.  Smoke stung our eyes and noses.  An ash floated down onto the deck of the Airship.  A minute later, another ash followed it.
            "The city must have been burning for hours if ash has drifted this far," Tristan observed.
            "Is Beloren at war?" I asked.
            "Trade wars, perhaps," Tristan said, "but nothing to provoke something like this."
            "What could-"
            "Master!" called Nist.  "We've got a ship bearing down on us.  A big one!"
            "Hold course, Nist, but see if you can get above it," Tristan turned to me, "Do you recognize the airship?"
            "Should I?"
            "It's a common configuration for Tartegian naval vessels," Tristan said.
            "You think it's Bane?" I asked.
            "I suspect so."
            "Only one way to find out," I said, cupping my hands.  "Bane?"
            "Thought that was you, Rice!" came the reply.  "Permission to come aboard?"
            "Why?" I asked, then remembered Princess Callan's plans.  "Never mind.  Permission granted, though for you only.  If any others in your crew board, we'll kill your employer's only son!"
            A few seconds passed, then, "I don't know what-"
            "Just drop it, Bane!  We know the whole story."
            "From what I've heard of the Tartegian court," Tristan murmured, "I wouldn't count on that."
            Bane called, "Only I board.  Agreed."
            I kept my sword at Raoul's throat as Bane came aboard.  True to his word, his airship moved away.
            "What do you want, Bane?" I asked.
            "To keep you out of a Beloren dungeon," Bane said.  "The city government blames you for the fire!"

How can our hero be blamed when he wasn't even in the city when the blaze began?  Find out in Chapter 54, coming Friday!