Monday, September 9, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 81

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Martin dangles from a rope as King Rat orders his crossbowmen to open fire!


So much for using the pulley to gently and easily lift Martin!  King Rat's command meant speed and brute strength were called for.


Hand over hand, I began pulling on the rope.  The first crossbow twanged, drawn out by accelerated perceptions, and a quarrel flashed just beneath Martin's feet.

"Faster would be better, David!"

Boost should have stretched Martin's words into a drawl and robbed them of their urgency.  Martin must have Boosted, too, but what could he hope to gain?

Martin leaned out from the rope as a quarrel flew through the space he'd just cleared.  Then he ducked and a second quarrel missed his head by inches!  That answered my question.  His Boost was buying me the extra couple of seconds I needed to pull Martin to safety!

Martin dodged two more quarrels and even kicked one aside with his free foot.

"Stop dodging or you won't come through this hole!" I called.

Martin spun out of the way of one last quarrel then went still.  I yanked hard on the rope.  Martin flew up through the jagged hole I'd created and stepped onto the floor.

We both dropped Boost as King Rat roared, "Imbeciles!  How could all of you miss a man dangling right in front of you!  If Rice and Bane escape, I'll feed you all to my tammars!"

King Rat must have been really focused on us not to have noticed the three dead tammars in the pit.

"Hey rat man," Martin yelled, "check the pit floor and stop using the plural form of tammar!"

An inarticulate roar echoed through the pit below.

"It's the little pleasures that make life worth living," Martin grinned.

Then we heard massed footsteps running toward our room.  King Rat must have sent guards to block our escape!

Surrounded, how can our heroes hope to escape?  Find out in Chapter 82, coming Wednesday!