Friday, May 24, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 35

< Chapter 34                                                                                                   Chapter 36 >
What, oh what, can Callan's parents wish to talk to our hero about?

Martin gave me the thumbs up signal as the soldiers helped him below.  He had confidence in me, it seemed.  I hoped it was not misplaced.

The king crossed his arms but said nothing, apparently content to watch me handle the Pauline.  The queen clasped her hands and did the same.  Silence never bothered me.  A Scout First Class might spend months alone in his spaceship.  I could wait them out.

Five minutes later, King Edwar said to the queen, "Elaina, I don't see what Callie sees in him."

"Oh, I do," Queen Elaina said, a ghost of a smile on her lips.  "Besides, you haven't watched him in action, dear."

"Humph."  To me he said, "Why don't you tell me what you see in my daughter?"

"She's feisty," I said without hesitation.

Neither of them were expecting that answer.  After a bit more silence, Queen Elaina said, "What do you mean by that?"

I smiled, "Callan is intelligent, courageous, strong-willed, and compassionate.  She can even be practical, if you yell at her loud enough."

The king said, "You left 'beautiful' off your list."

"Your Majesty, I rather thought 'beautiful' was a given."

"Yet it's the first -- usually the only -- thing most men notice," the king said.

"Possessing beauty simply makes one beautiful," I said.  "Callan's other qualities make her compelling."

"Did Callie give you those responses?" King Edwar asked.  "Never mind.  Callan has told me a bit of your adventures together.  I would hear the full story from you."

So, I told our tale as I piloted the airship.  Callan came on deck near the end.

At my questioning look, she said, "Nist and Martin will recover."

Callan wrapped her arms around me and I completed the story.

"So father, mother," Callan said, "do we have your blessing?"

Does the crash-landed Scout get the girl?  Find out in Chapter 36, coming Monday!