Friday, November 1, 2013

Scout's Duty - Chapter 12

< Chapter 11                                                                                                   Chapter 13 >
An armored figure emerges from the spaceship to tower over Martin Bane!

Ignoring Martin at his feet, the armored figure scanned the area.  I pulled Rupor down behind a mound of dirt and broken trees.  If we were lucky the heat from the crash would mask us from infrared.  I put a finger to my lips and Rupor nodded.

"Hey!  Put me down!" Martin shouted in Terran Basic.  "I can walk on my own, if you give me a chance!"

Footsteps clanged from the air lock.  I risked a peek over our hiding place.  There was no sign of the armored figure -- or of Martin!

Ducking down again, I whispered, "Martin has been taken inside."

"What was that thing?"  It was only then that I realized Rupor's face had gone deathly pale.

"It was a man wearing...you don't really have a word for it," I replied.  "The closest I can get is armor with an engine."

"But there was no smoke and no place for a boiler!"

"I'll try to explain," I said, "but not until we're away from the spaceship."

Keeping low, Rupor and I scrambled around and over debris from the crash.  Ten minutes later, we reached the waiting airships.

Milo was the first one to spot us returning.  He was also the first one to realize Martin wasn't with us.   By the time we reached the Pauline, everyone else had realized it, too.

Impatient Megan spoke first.  "What have you done with Martin?"

"We haven't done anything with him," I said.

"He was captured," Rupor added.

Megan's hand flew to her mouth and everyone else looked grim.

"What now?" Callan asked.

"You fly several miles away and wait for my signal," I said.

"And what are you planning on doing, David?" Callan asked.

I gave her my most confident smile.  "I'm going back for Martin!”

How can our hero hope to succeed against people with modern weapons and armor?  Find out in Chapter 13, coming Monday!