Monday, December 30, 2013
Scout's Duty - Chapter 37
The hardened pirate recoiled from the severed head of one of his crewmen. Caudill uttered a cry of mingled horror and disgust as he stumbled back a step. The head splattered blood where it hit Caudill's chest and Caudill wiped at it out of reflex. In that split second, the laser pistol swung down to point at the ground and his attention wasn't on any of us!
And nothing happened. Time didn't slow and my body wasn't flooded with adrenaline. I had no time to wonder why, still having to act while Caudill was distracted!
I launched myself into a somersault toward Caudill, grabbing my sword as I came out of the roll. Caudill still backed away but the laser was tracking back toward me. I swung my sword and felt it hit the pistol. The force of the blow sent the gun flying from Caudill's hand!
Grinning in triumph, I pulled my sword back to thrust and stepped toward Caudill. "Surrender or die!"
Caudill's shoulders slumped and he started to raise his hands. Then he leapt forward, a vibroblade humming to life in his left hand! I leapt back, hearing the buzz of the blade as it passed.
I thrust wildly with my sword but Caudill dove toward the fallen laser pistol. He rolled up onto his knees, the gun once again trained on me!
And then a crossbow bolt ripped through Caudill's throat and another buried itself in his back! Caudill dropped the laser pistol as both of his hands flew to his throat in a useless attempt to staunch the spurting blood. As he thrashed and gurgled, I picked up the laser pistol and turned toward my wife and men.
With no one watching, the most feared pirate in the galaxy breathed his last.
Caudill is dead, but now what will be the fate of the three hostages on board the crashed spaceship? And what happened to our hero’s Boost? Find out more in Chapter 38, coming Wednesday!