Friday, September 28, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 54

< Chapter 53                                                                                               Chapter 55 >

Our hero is shocked to discover the Beloren city government blames him for their city's conflagration!

            "That's ridiculous!" I said.  "I discovered the city was aflame mere minutes ago!  I could not have started the fire."
            "They don't accuse you of setting the fire," Bane said.  "They blame you for it."
            "Tunnel rats started the fire," Bane said.  "Retribution for those killed by the tammar."
            "Saving people from these tunnel rats is a crime?" I asked.
            "There's no such law on the books," Bane said, "but there's an unspoken agreement.  The rats left respectable citizens alone.  In return, the city left the rats alone.  You broke the peace."
            Glaring at Raoul, Bane added, "And saved me the fate of breaking the peace."
            Turning back to me, Bane said, "The debt incurred for that is repaid with this warning.  Recall my ship and-"
            "Stay.  I have a proposition to discuss."
            Princess Callan strode from the cabin, face calm and eyes hard.
            "But first, Rob's body must-" Callan began.
            "I'm sorry, your Highness," Bane said, "but I escaped the flames with my ship and crew, nothing more."
            Bane continued, "An entire city burns in response to Rob's death, Highness.  It's a grand funeral pyre."
            Callan nodded, then said, "I have need of a fleet of fighting airships.  How quickly can you gather such a fleet and how much will it cost?"
            "That depends on what you wish to fight," Bane replied.
            "Ah, yes, the trog army was headed toward the Mordanian border.  And the navy is surely dispersed, searching for you."  Bane paused, "Standard mercenary wages for all ships.  I'll need one day to recruit the ships."
            "Agreed," Callan said.
            "And," Bane said, "your father will issue a full pardon to one Martin Bane!"

Can Princess Callan agree to pardon the man who led the attack which resulted in the deaths of so many of her guards?  Find out in Chapter 55, coming Monday!