Monday, March 25, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 9

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Martin Bane's badly damaged airship limps towards Pingor, Lord Garrett's capital city!

"What's a damaged Tartegian warship doing here?" Garrett asked.

"That's not a Tartegian ship," I said.  "It belongs to Martin Bane."

"Bane?" Garrett asked.  He pointed toward three patrol craft moving to intercept Martin's ship.  "Then you'll enjoy this.  Since the kidnapping, my men have orders shoot Bane down on sight!  Provided they're sure Callie isn't onboard, of course."

"No!" Callan cried.

"Nist!" I yelled.  "Is the Pauline ready to fly?"

At Nist's nod, Callan sprinted toward the airship.  I grabbed Garrett by the arm, "Come on!"

"Release me!" Garrett ordered.

I pulled him toward the Pauline, "We'll explain on the way."

"Explain now or I'll have you arrested!"

"Shooting down Bane's airship could doom the king and queen!" I snarled.  "Now run!"

Garrett ran.  Nist cast off once we were aboard, bringing the engines to full power.  Nist worked the ailerons and put the ship into a steep ascent.  Over the roar of the engine, Callan repeated our story.  Only one part of it drew more than a nod from her uncle.

"Marry your bodyguard?"

"David is much more than that, uncle," Callan smiled at me.

Garrett's eyes slipped to Callan's stomach, just as Lady Michelle's had.

Callan cried, "I'm not pregnant, uncle!"

Nist called, "The ships are in firing range!"

Martin tried talking to the patrol ship captains, but they stuck to their orders and attacked!  His ship too damaged to maneuver, Martin began a rapid, controlled descent.  We had almost reached the battle when a ballista bolt hit the airship's envelope just right.  Instead of punching straight in, it ripped a gaping hole along the envelope.

Gas poured through the hole and the envelope began to crumple!

Will our hero's friends plummet to their deaths aboard the dying airship?  Find out in Chapter 10, coming Wednesday!