Friday, May 17, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 32

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Raoul's men are firing on our hero, even though Rupor is in the line of fire!

The air hummed as a quarrel flew past me, driving into the deck with a thunk.  Other quarrels missed the airship entirely, their passage marked by sound alone.

"Your Majesties, Your Highnesses," I said, "into the cabin, now!  You too, Tristan."

Tristan shepherded Callan and her parents, but Rupor stepped to my side.

"I will not cower below while the ship is under attack!" he said in a low voice.

"If we get boarded, you're welcome to join the fight," I said.  "But right now we're running away.  The only people who will stay on deck will be those setting shields for our pilot." 

Martin and the soldiers were already putting supply crates up to protect Nist.  One of the soldiers cried out as a quarrel buried itself in his chest.

"Help carry that man below deck," I told Rupor, "and then stay there!"

Rupor hesitated, nodded, and ran to help carry the wounded soldier to our doctor.

Raoul's crossbowmen were getting organized, firing in rotation and keeping us under a near constant barrage.  Another soldier went down with a quarrel through his leg.  The other two soldiers carried him below deck, just ahead of another rain of quarrels.

Martin and I rushed to build a shield before the next volley of quarrels hit.  One of those quarrels hit the crate I was placing on the stack.  Next to me, Martin grunted in pain as a quarrel buried itself in his shoulder.  I pulled him down behind the crate wall.  With a sigh, Nist collapsed next to us.  A quarrel was buried between his shoulder blades.

With no one to man the controls, the Pauline slowed and Raoul's airship rushed toward us!

With our hero's allies dropping like flies, how can the Pauline hope to escape from the larger airship?  Find out in Chapter 33, coming Monday!