Monday, December 2, 2013

Scout's Duty - Chapter 25

< Chapter 24                                                                                                   Chapter 26 >
Our heroes conspire to get Caudill to waste his stored power.

"How do you plan on doing that?" I asked.

"No prince -- or princess -- worthy of the title would ever purchase someone's services without observing said capabilities," Rupor answered.  "Waving a tree trunk around, while quite impressive, is hardly a sufficient demonstration."

"Excellent point," Callan responded.  "Tell Caudill we will only consider bidding after we've seen what he can do."

"Well, I know what he can do," I said.  "For safety, the two of you must watch Caudill's show from afar."

"But how will we relay our requests to Caudill?" Rupor asked.

"Leave that to me," I said, hopping across to Captain Subing's ship.  "Take me down, Captain."

When I was back inside Caudill's crashed spaceship, I presented Their Highnesses' demand to Caudill.  For some reason, the idea didn't appeal to him.

"They've seen the powered armor at work!"  Caudill stood inches from me, shouting.  "How dare these ignorant, inbred savages demand more!  I could squash them and their pathetic kingdoms, if I so desired!"

I kept my face impassive and waited for the translation to complete.  "If you are so powerful, Captain Caudill, why even bother offering your services to the highest bidder?"

Martin chuckled, "The lad has you there, Caudill.  These people may be technologically primitive, but they're not stupid.  They may want your services, but they do not need them.  Alas, you are in the exact opposite situation."

"I hold four of you hostage!" Caudill shot back.  "That should give them pause."

"Sorry, old chap, but we're all Mordanian," Martin said.  "The Tartegians don't even like us."

Caudill ranted and raged for another ten minutes, but he saw reason in the end.  He even granted my request for radios -- though I didn't use that word.

We had achieved step one in the beginning of Caudill's end!

Will our heroes’ plan succeed in blunting Caudill’s threat?  Find out more in Chapter 26, coming Wednesday!