Monday, April 15, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 18

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Our heroes have caught up with the airship carrying Raoul, Rupor, and Windslow to the Aerie!

I looked in the direction Martin was pointing but could see nothing.  That's not surprising, since I don't have his experience.  A raider who couldn't spot an airship in the dark probably had a very short career.

"Can they see us?" Callan asked the question on everyone's mind.

"I doubt it," Martin said.  "We're well below them and, between the darkness and the camouflage netting over the envelope, should blend into the background.  I think we'll slip past them unobserved."

"But?" I asked.

"But we won't have much time to spare when we reach the Aerie," Martin said.  "I'd guess an hour at most, but we'll spend a lot of that sneaking up to and into the fortress."  He turned to me, "How goes the planning for the sneaking-in bit?"

"Great, except there are three likely places where king and queen could be held," I said.

Martin thought for a moment, "Is one of them on the north face of the fortress?"

"Yes."

"Plan for that one," Martin said.  "There's nothing north of the pass, so they can burn lights on that side without worrying about a passing airship spotting the light."

"Let me guess, that's what you'd do," I said.

Martin grinned in reply.

I went below and planned our entry from the north face.

Three hours later, the Aerie came into view.  It sat atop the tallest mountain in the region, commanding all that lay below it.  Nist stayed close to the ground, reduced speed, keeping our engine as quiet as possible, and piloted around the mountain.

When the north face came into view, I said, "It helps to have a reformed raider on our side."

Light flickered from four windows.

Can our heroes infiltrate the fortress and rescue the king and queen (if they're even here) before the other airship arrives?  Find out more in Chapter 19, coming Wednesday!