Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 38

< Chapter 37                                                                                                   Chapter 39 >
The pirate Caudill is dead, but our hero’s Boost failed and they still have friends held hostage by the pirates!

Callan, Nist, and the guards rose to their feet as I approached.  Before I could sweep Callan into my arms, she turned to her guards and Nist, thanking them for their quick action in dire circumstances.  It was the proper thing for a princess to do.

I smiled and nodded and offered words of my own, all the while querying my implant to find out why Boost had failed.

"What does your implant have to say for itself?" Callan asked a moment later.  I must have looked surprised, because she added, "You get an introspective look when you're talking to that machine in your head.  I assume you were asking why Boost didn't work?"

"You knew I tried to Boost?" I asked.

"Of course."

"Another look of mine?"  Callan nodded and I continued, "The implant has a safety override I didn't know about.  Apparently, Boosting several times close together -- even for just a few seconds -- can be as dangerous as one long Boost.  That would have been my third Boost in just a few minutes, so the implant blocked it.  I'm pretty sure I can turn the override off."

"Don't you dare, David Rice!"  Callan's green eyes flashed with anger and...fear?  "Boosting is dangerous!  Why else would those overrides be there?"

"But Boosting has saved our-"

"No, David, you have saved our lives!  Boosting is like your sword -- it's not the blade but the man who wields it that truly matters.  Tristan can heal most wounds, but Boost burnout is beyond him."  Callan flashed her sweet, dangerous, husband-pay-attention smile.  "So leave those safety overrides alone or you'll spend the next month sleeping in the guardhouse."

"As you wish," I said.  "But now we've got to figure out how to rescue our friends from the remaining pirates!”

How can our hero hope to rescue Megan, Tristan, and Martin from pirates armed with high tech weapons?  Find out in Chapter 39, coming Friday!