Friday, February 28, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 63

< Chapter 62                                                                                                   Chapter 64 >
Martin claims to have found Captain Caudill’s treasure map!

I struggled to keep my face impassive.  Was Martin out of his mind?  There had been no heavily encrypted files on Caudill's computer.  We hadn't found any treasure maps.  And the myth of buried pirate treasure is millennia old, dating back to to the days of wind-powered ships plying the oceans of Earth.  How could Martin expect an actual pirate to fall for such a story?

Given my train of thought, I almost missed it when the glow of avarice lit the pirate's eyes.  The pirate blinked it away a second later, but I knew what I had seen.

"If Caudill had a hidden treasure trove, I never heard of it," the pirate spat.

"Yes, I'm sure you and Caudill were like brothers," Martin drawled.  "No doubt, you and Caudill shared all your deepest secrets.  I expect you can tell me all about Caudill's childhood, his first schoolboy crush, and what drew him into this piratical life.  Pirates are such trusting folk.  Just one big happy family."

Martin and pirate on the view screen stared at each other for several seconds.

"Not interested?  Very well."  Martin looked at Nist.  "Helmsman, plot a course for-"

"What do you offer, Bane?" the pirate growled.

"Equal shares of Caudill's treasure, split between me and all the captains who use this base.  In return, I will be allowed to join your brotherhood on an equal footing with the other captains."

"I'll present your petition to the captains.  Hold your position and await further contact."

The view screen cleared.

"Signal terminated," Heidi announced.

"What were you thinking, Martin?"  I wasn't yelling, but it was close.  "Buried pirate treasure is one of the oldest stories in the book!"

"It's old because people believe it, David," Martin replied calmly.  "Even pirates.  They're sure famous raiders have far more wealth than they display and have all the excess hidden away somewhere remote.  I know of three groups still searching the desert for my buried treasure.  All three are led by men who served under me."  Martin dazzled me with a smile.  "I know how pirates think.  Trust me!"

Thirty-eight minutes later, the pirate was back on the view screen.

"Docking permission granted.  Welcome to the brotherhood, Bane!”

Our heroes have gained access to the pirate base!  Find out what happens next in Chapter 64, coming Monday!