Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 68



< Chapter 67                                                                                               Chapter 69 >
Trogs pile into the bar where David hopes to find medical supplies!

            Wonderful, I was about to risk my life for rough voice and his gang of thugs!  Well, for their hoard of supplies, anyway.
            "Milo, stay hidden,"  I said.  "If I'm not out in fifteen minutes, go report to the princess."
            "Report?  That's it?" Milo asked.
            "That's enough.  The princess must be told what has happened," I said.  "Can I count on you?"
            Milo nodded as shouts rose from the bar.  I cast a smile at Milo, jumped to the street, and dashed across it into the bar.
            Chaos reigned inside.  Brawny Sarn kept four trogs at bay by swinging two big clubs wildly about.  Rough voice was behind the bar, cocking a crossbow, while the other two thugs stood on the other side of the bar swinging swords with great enthusiasm and little skill.  A trog lay within the door, a crossbow bolt through one eye.
            I couldn't risk Boosting again today, so stayed on the outskirts of the fight.  A trog lurched away from Sarn's clubs and I ran him through.  Rough voice fired his crossbow at the same time, hitting a trog in the chest.  In the confusion, I charged in and slashed deeply into a trog's leg.  Rough voice's eye went wide when he saw me and the wounded trog yelled warning to the others.  Two trogs came at me in a rush, driving me back toward the door.
            I sensed something behind me and jumped to the left.  The trog spear meant for my neck scraped across my shoulder.  Pain flared from the deep cut and my hand spasmed.  With a clatter, my sword fell to the floor.
            The trogs closed in for the kill!

Weaponless and surrounded by trogs, can our hero survive?  Find out in Chapter 69, coming Friday!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 67


< Chapter 66                                                                                               Chapter 68 >

Can the Desert Doctor save Milo's sister?

            I looked at Milo, giving an animated recount of my fight.  Callan smiled, laughed, and gasped in all the right places.  Her eyes betrayed her true emotions; worry for her kingdom and for Milo's sister, sympathy for the boy capering before her.
            "Now that we've got the medicine," Milo said, "the Desert Doctor will save Kim!"
            "Such faith the young man has in an old man," sighed Tristan.
            "As he should," said Nist.  "Though you are not an old man."
            "I'm not?"
            "No, Master.  You are a very old man!"
            Tristan's lips twitching upward, "I'm writing you out of my will, scamp!"
            Tristan turned to me, "I hate to send you out again, lad, but I need a few medical items for the girl's recovery.  I've made a list."
            "I can't read it, Tristan," I said.
            "Not surprising, given your story.  Take Milo.  He shouldn't be here during the surgery, anyway."
            Milo scanned the list, relieved to have something to do.
            "What do you need liquor for?" he asked.
            "It will help Kim with the pain," Tristan said.
            "It's not to calm your nerves?  Like my Uncle Torm?" Milo said, looking hard at Tristan.
            "Certainly not!" Tristan replied.
            Satisfied, Milo headed out.  We found a nearby apothecary already cleaned out.
            "It was probably Gort and his gang," Milo mused.
            "The thugs from the rooftop?"  At Milo's nod, I continued, "Any idea where to find him?"
            "A bar," Milo said, "and liquor's on the list."
            It was dusk before we spotted Sarn.   He sprinted from an alley and into a bar.  We weren't the only ones looking for him.
            A trog patrol, a dozen strong, charged after him!

Trogs and thugs stand between our hero and the supplies the Desert Doctor needs.  Can David get the supplies?  Find out in Chapter 68, coming Wednesday!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 66


< Chapter 65                                                                                               Chapter 67 >

Nist and Milo have been captured by a gang of human thugs!

            I couldn't reach Nist before the gang could kill him, but I wasn't going to let Nist die.
            "Kill him," I called, running down the roof, "and you'll answer to me!"
            Rough voice motioned to the biggest and strongest of the bunch, "Sarn, teach that guy a lesson."
            Sarn grinned and charged.  The others grinned, too.  At least Nist had a brief reprieve.
            Sarn was a brawler.  The way he moved revealed all.  He showed no subtlety, no grace.  He relied entirely on size and strength.  Boost wasn't needed.
            I tucked, rolled, and came up at him with fists together, driving with my legs.  Sarn folded, his breath whooshing out.  A spin kick and Sarn reeled, collapsing at rough voice's feet.  My sword was at Sarn's throat before the others could react.
            "Let.  Them.  Go."
            The other two released Nist and Milo.
            "Now the medicine kit," I said to rough voice, "or I'll take it from your corpse."
            "Don't think you've won," rough voice said, tossing the medicine kit to Nist.  "Once the trogs are gone, I'll report you to the guard.  Who do you think they'll believe, four citizens or a child and two foreigners?"
            "They'll believe a member of the Royal Guard -- me," I said.  "You deserve a sound thrashing, but I've got more important things to do now.  If I see you again, though..."
            Moments later we were back at Milo's hiding place.  Milo, with Callan's encouragement, launched into a breathless account of their exploits.  Nist gave the kit to Tristan.
            "I've asked her Highness to keep the boy distracted," Tristan murmured.  "His sister has a deep spear wound in her side.  She might not survive surgery!"

Will all our hero's efforts to save Milo's sister be for naught?  Find out in Chapter 67, coming Monday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scout's Honor - Chapter 65


< Chapter 64                                                                                               Chapter 66 >

Milo and Nist haven't returned with Tristan's medicine kit!

            "Where are the other two?" Tristan asked.
            "We had to split up," I said, dropping Raoul in a corner.  "I rescued the Spare Prince from trogs while Nist and Milo went after the medical kit."
            "The trogs did that to Raoul?" Callan asked.
            "No, I did."
            Callan's left eyebrow arched, so I added, "Raoul attacked me.  I hit him on the head."
            "Hard?" she asked.
            "Yes."
            "Good," she said.  "And now you're going back out to find Nist and Milo?"
            "That's the plan."
            Callan lifted her head and kissed me lightly.  "Be careful."
            "As you wish, Highness" I said.
            Soon, I was back on the rooftops, running back the way I had come.  Trog shouts and calls echoed through the city, but none were near.  Had the trogs been frightened off by me or were they stalking the area in silence?  Whatever the reason, the silence allowed other sounds to carry.  That's how I heard Milo's voice.
            "Give that back!" Milo cried.  "It's not yours!"
            A rough voice answered, "Anything I can take is mine, kid.  This bag of medicine will be worth a fortune."
            "But my sister will die without it!"
            "Sister, eh?" said the voice.  "Take us to her, boy.  I'm sure we'd all like to meet her!"
            Coarse laughter rose from several throats.
            "Leave the boy alone!" Nist said.  "You have what you want.  Take it and go!"
            I came over a rooftop and saw them on the next roof.  Four men surrounded Milo and Nist.  Nist held his head as blood seeped between his fingers.
            "I'm getting tired of his lip," the rough-voiced man said to his men.  "Kill him!"

Can David save Nist and Milo?  Can he recover the medicine kit?  Find out in Chapter 66, coming Friday!