Friday, February 14, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 57

< Chapter 56                                                                                                   Chapter 58 >
Laura admits to sabotaging the pirate spaceship.

"You women sabotaged the ship?" I asked.

Laura nodded, her grin growing wider.

"Is that why the pirates didn't just blast our airships out of the sky with their lasers?"

"Yep.  The external lasers were second on our list."

I thought for a moment.  "The aft inertial dampener was first, right?"

"Got it in one," Laura said.  "Most of Caudill's best officers were killed when the dampener failed."

"What is an inertial dampener?" Callan asked.

"You know how you sway back when a vehicle speeds up and sway forward-" Laura began.

"I know what inertia is, Laura," Callan interrupted with a smile.

Laura reddened.  "Oh, right.  Um, so anyway, inertia is the big problem entering and exiting wormholes.  A spaceship instantly accelerates to well over the speed of light and does just the opposite exiting."

"Ah," Callan nodded.  "So these dampeners keep everything inside the ship from being crushed against the ship's walls."

"More like disintegrated, but that's the gist of it," I said, then turned to Laura.  "So I'm guessing you and your husbands weren't a random bunch of tourists?"

"Right.  We were supposed to be part of a second colonist wave."  At Callan's quizzical expression, Laura added, "The first wave is agriculture.  The second wave is infrastructure."

“So,you're all engineers and technicians?  And Caudill kept your husbands at the base to repair ships.  And you women..."  I trailed off, more appalled than before.

Laura was less squeamish.  "We repaired the ship, served as hostages against our husbands' behavior, and our spare time."

Staying well away from that last 'duty,' I said, "So you had plenty of opportunity to insert backup controls into ship's systems and then bided your time.  But why did you choose this wormhole for your sabotage?"

Laura smiled.  "Because we knew we'd find you at the other end!”

What will Laura’s next revelation be?  Find out in Chapter 58, coming Monday!