Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 31

< Chapter 30                                                                                                   Chapter 32 >
With a dozen crossbowmen on Stubb's airship, Raoul prepares to fire upon our hero!

I tensed, ready to risk Boost again.  I couldn't block a dozen quarrels, but I could protect the queen.  Raoul raised his arm.  No doubt, dropping it would be the signal to fire.

"Get behind me, Your Majesty!" I said, stepping in front of her.

Our pursuers had come to a stop.  Windslow grinned, nodding in approval.  Rupor's head swung between his brother and me, his eyes wide in apprehension.

"No, Raoul!" he yelled.

With a roar, the Pauline crested the outer wall and smashed into the larger airship.  Raoul and his crossbowmen staggered.  Ragged twangs sounded as the crossbowmen fired involuntarily.  Quarrels flew unaimed, one of them slamming into the shoulder of a pursuer.  The other men dove to the ground, leaving Rupor the only one of them standing.

Nist worked the Pauline's controls and flew straight along the wall toward us.  Martin and the soldiers lined the rail, ready to toss ropes to us.

Without conscious thought, I shouted, "Rupor, come with us!"

Rupor broke into a run, sheathing his sword.

On the Pauline, Martin yelled, "You're kidding, right?"

"No," I shouted, wrapping an arm around the queen.  "Throw him a rope!"

Ruper grabbed his rope with ease and began pulling himself up.

"Hold on," I told the queen, pulling her close against me with one arm and catching our rope with my free hand.  We were yanked into the air.

To avoid the tower ahead of the airship, Nist steered over the edge of the Aerie's walls.  A thousand foot drop yawned beneath us.  The queen buried her head against my chest as we were pulled up.  Those few seconds seemed an hour long.

As we were pulled to safety, a crossbow quarrel struck the airship.  Raoul was giving chase!

Will the Pauline's speed be sufficient to get away from the much more powerful airship?  Find out in Chapter 32, coming Friday!