Monday, January 13, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 43

< Chapter 42                                                                                                   Chapter 44 >
Packed into the airlock with Rupor and his airmen, our hero looks in dismay at the squad of armed pirates just inside the spaceship!

I was afraid the entire squad would be armed with laser pistols.  We would be in serious trouble if they were.  Fortunately, old shipboard habits die hard.  Either the pirates never considered arming everyone with lasers or many of them had been destroyed in the crash.  Whatever the reason, only the leader held a laser while the rest were armed with swords.  The leader could still burn us all down where we stood unless he could be distracted.

Gambling that the translator was still turned off, I said, "Rupor, give them a disapproving look, then shrug and pull the head out of the bag.  Men, if the leader looks distracted, I want all of you to duck."

Rupor straightened, his back radiating royal disapproval of this breach of protocol.  The squad leader, irritated that he couldn't understand what I was saying, called out to the intercom, "Turn the translator back on!"

That's when Rupor pulled Orrons' head from the bag and thrust it toward the leader.  Every one of the pirates recoiled at the gruesome sight before them.  Rupor then added to their horror by tossing the head to the leader.  All pirate eyes locked on the head as the leader instinctively fended it off with his hands.

With the laser pistol pointed away from the airlock, I called, "Duck!"

The airmen before me dropped into a squat as I raised my laser pistol and fired.  The bright beam flashed over the airmen's heads and I burned the leader's gun hand off at the wrist!  The gun and hand dropped to the floor.  The leader screamed in pain and stumbled backward into his squad.

Scooping up the laser pistol, Rupor shouted, "Up and at them, men!"

With a roar, the Tartegian airmen charged from the airlock and into the squad of pirates!

Can a mere dozen men take an entire pirate ship by force?  Find out in Chapter 44, coming Wednesday!