Friday, November 29, 2013

Scout's Duty - Chapter 24

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Our hero believes Caudill cannot recharge his powered armor!

Once I was clear of the debris the crashing spaceship had thrown about the countryside, I waved to the airships floating in the distance.  Shortly, one of the of the Mordanian ships broke formation and descended.

When the airship was close enough, I called, "Captain Subing, drop a line so I can come aboard.  I must speak with Their Highnesses."

Ten minutes later, Captain Subing maneuvered his ship alongside the Pauline.  Callan and Rupor leaned against the airship's railing, chatting and trying to hide their apprehension over any news I was bringing.

"Callan," I said as the sailors tied the airships together, "greet me as you would any other naval officer.  Megan has already given Caudill leverage over Martin.  He's bound to be watching this meeting and I don't want him thinking he can do the same with us!"

I crossed to the Pauline and bowed respectfully to Callan and Rupor, just as any officer would do.  Callan wore what I'd taken to calling her court face, which she adopted whenever she sat in royal court.  It must be a royalty thing, as Rupor wore a nearly identical expression.  I outlined what I'd seen inside the spaceship as well as the situation with Megan, Martin, and Tristan.  I spent at least as much time explaining the destructive power of Caudill's weapons and what it would mean if he couldn't recharge the powered armor.

"If I follow you," Callan mused, "it's like tossing the last of your fuel into a boiler while your airship is flying in the middle of a desert."

"That's a fair description of the situation, Callan."  I watched Rupor's furrowed brow clear after hearing Callan's analogy.

"Then our course is obvious," Rupor said.  "Callan and I must convince this pirate to burn what fuel he has left!”

How will Their Highnesses do that and can they do it without risking the lives of the heirs to two thrones?  Find out in Chapter 25, coming Monday!