Friday, January 10, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 42

< Chapter 41                                                                                                   Chapter 43 >
Our hero, Prince Rupor, and Prince Rupor’s airmen have reached the pirate spaceship!

Rupor led the way into the pirate ship's airlock, his men crowding in behind him.  It was tight in the airlock, certainly tight enough I couldn't easily move forward to give observers a clear look at my face.  The men continued to be boisterous and the close confines of the airlock amplified the noise.  With a flourish, Rupor knocked on the airlock.

"Yeah, what is it?"  The voice spoke in galactic basic and could barely be heard over the din.  After a short delay, the computerized translation repeated the question in the language spoken by the men.

"Your captain has brought us to your ship to cement our alliance with you!" Rupor yelled over the ruckus.  "Open this door and let us in!"

There was a pause as the computer translated back to galactic basic then came the reply.  "The captain can open the door."

Time to see if the noise would help.  Without waiting for the translation, I deepened my voice and rasped, "Did you even bother to look at your view screen?  If I could reach the airlock, I would open it!"

The next few seconds felt like hours.  Then the voice replied, "Sorry, Captain!  Didn't see you back there.  I've sent someone to open the airlock!"  There was another brief pause, then the voice added, "Uh, what's in the bag?"

"The scout's head.  Turn off the translation for a minute," I said, sticking to the deep, rasping voice.

"It's off."

"Taking the head is some kind of local ritual.  Tell everyone to just smile and nod when the savages show it off."

"Will do, sir!"

Machinery hummed to life and the airlock door began slowly sliding open.  I thought our ruse was working, right up until I saw a squad of armed pirates waiting for us!

With Rupor’s men all around him, what can our hero do about the squad of pirates?  Find out in Chapter 43, coming Monday!