Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Scout's Duty - Chapter 17

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Our hero’s identity has been exposed!

Orrons' armored head tilted down to look at me.  He must be reporting this revelation to Caudill.  What would happen when we got back to the spaceship?

I hid my consternation from the squadron commander.  He didn't know what Martin and I had been doing.  That was my fault.  I should have explained the plan to Callan and had her tell the officers.  I just hoped my oversight wouldn't end up costing lives!

"There are injured men aboard the spaceship, Captain Subing," I said.  "Please ask Tristan -- Dr. Agrilla -- if he would come down and tend to them."

As the airship returned to the squadron, a mechanical voice issued from the suit.  "Explain your deception."

The language was Mordanian, meaning the suit's translation system had been updated with Martin's translation files.  I also assumed Martin was being asked the same thing by Caudill.

"It was a precaution," I responded.  "I wanted to see your ship first-hand but also had to rely on Bane to translate for me.  I treated him as a superior so your captain wouldn't see me as a threat.  Which I'm not, now that I've seen your ship and this armor you wear."

Orrons said nothing more.  Fifteen minutes later, the command ship returned.  The crew lowered Tristan's medical kit, extra supplies, and then Tristan, himself, to the ground.  As the airship began to rise, there was a flurry of activity from the deck.  A figure swung over the railing and slid to the ground.

It was Megan.

"I'm sorry, Captain Rice," called Subing, "we didn't realize she had slipped onboard!"

I caught Megan by the arm.  "No harm done.  Send some men down to fetch her."

"Don't you dare-" Megan began.

"No," said Orrons.  "The woman will come with us!”

Will Megan end up a hostage to force our hero’s cooperation?  Find out more in Chapter 18, coming Friday!