Monday, November 18, 2013

Scout's Duty - Chapter 19

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Captain Caudill holds a fully charged blaster to Martin Bane’s head!

"I do not perform well under duress!" Tristan said.

Caudill listened as the computer translated.  "I do not threaten Captain Bane in the vain hope it will make you perform miracles.  I trust professional pride will make you do your best."

Tristan gave a start as the computer translated Caudill's words into Mordanian.  "Then why do you hold a...I assume that's a weapon?"

"Yes, doctor, it's a weapon.  It dawned on me that you and your deceitful friend here," Caudill pointed at me with his free hand, "might take this opportunity to drug my crew and me.  Unconscious men are so much easier to capture than conscious ones."  Caudill turned a smile on Megan.  "Wouldn't you agree, young lady?"

Megan paled and squeaked, "Me?"

"It's the oldest trick in the book.  The bumbling but beautiful young assistant -- that's you, my dear -- distracts the crew, who are starved for female companionship.  Meanwhile, the doctor administers incapacitating drugs to said crew.  Didn't they tell you the plan before asking you to accompany them?"

Megan looked back and forth between Tristan and me.

"Megan," I said, "not only did I not ask you to accompany us, I told you to stay on the airship!"

Caudill shook his head as if in admiration.  "Masterful manipulators always make you believe it was your idea, Megan."

"Enough with the semantics," Tristan said.  "Where are your wounded men?"

"Morrison," Caudill pointed to a crewman, "will take you and the good captain to them.  The lovely Megan will keep Captain Bane and myself company."

Megan fidgeted as we gathered the medical equipment, eyes darting around the bridge.

"I hear you're a musician, Megan" Caudill said.  "How about a song?"

In a quavering voice, Megan began to sing.  With horror, I realized the song was Rupor's Lament!

Is Megan about to give away our hero’s true identity?  Find out in Chapter 20, coming Wednesday!