Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 65

< Chapter 64                                                                                                   Chapter 66 >
Our heroes are on course to the pirate base!

As Nist wove the ship through the asteroids, following the course laid out by the buoys, Martin and I called a final meeting of our command staff.  Callan and Rupor, along with their respective marine commanders, represented the Aashlans.  Laura and Heidi represented the women whose husbands were held in the base.

Tristan invited himself.  "Someone has to be around to speak common sense and rein in you impetuous young people!"

"In a few minutes, we'll be docking at the pirate base," Martin said.  "We've had to work around a lot of unknowns formulating our plan.  We don't know how many pirate ships are docked at the base nor the crew compliment carried by the ships."

"One of those unknowns turned out to be your story of buried treasure!" Rupor said.

"An inspired bit of improvisation, don't you think?" Martin grinned.

"Perhaps you could explain why that is so, Martin?" Tristan asked.

"First, it got us access to the base.  Quint looked more like he was ready to have the base defenses open fire than allow us to dock," Martin said.  "But the story will also sow discord among the captains.  They'll debate and argue and discuss who will come with me to fetch the treasure.  In the end, all of the captains will come with me.  That will create a power vacuum at the top, hampering the pirates' response when you make your move."

"What if they return in time to lead their men?" Laura asked.

"I'm not planning on bringing any of them back with me," Martin replied.

Laura gasped and Heidi's hand flew to her mouth.  In contrast, the Aashlans just nodded.

The intercom buzzed and Nist reported, "We're on our final approach to the base."

I looked around the table.  "Everything we've done for the last six months has led to this point.  Our success will not only free those held by the pirates, it will save countless thousands of lives which, in the future, would have been lost to these pirates.  Today, Aashla emerges from galactic obscurity.  Today, we write her name into galactic history!”

Will our heroes go down in history or will they die in obscurity?  Find out what happens next in Chapter 66, coming Friday!