Friday, March 7, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 66

< Chapter 65                                                                                                   Chapter 67 >
Our heroes are on their final approach to the pirate docking bay!

Heading back to the bridge, Martin spoke quietly.  "That was a very inspiring little speech you gave at the end of the meeting, but you know it's complete bunk.  It's a big galaxy and news of our raid against the pirates -- no matter how daring -- won't hold the public's attention for more than a few hours."

"I don't know, Martin, you're the one who talked about the pervasive mythology surrounding pirates.  There's something about piracy that sparks our imagination," I said.  "Let's test it.  How many pirates can you name from Earth's ancient days of salt water sailing ships?"

Without thinking, Martin replied, "Blackbeard, Long John Silver, and Captain Jack Sparrow.  I could name a few more if I gave it some thought."

"I'm pretty sure Blackbeard wasn't real," I said, "but you've still proved my point.  It's been thousands of years since any of those men lived, but you know their names because humans find piracy fascinating.  A thousand years from now, someone will probably still tell stories of the infamous pirate Captains Caudill and Quint and how they were brought low by a bunch of Lost Colonists flying a captured pirate ship and led by a reformed air pirate."

"Well, when you put it that way, there is something rather mythical about this whole venture," Martin mused.  "If you want to take it far enough, the tale even has overtones of the Trojan Horse."

The hatch opened before us and we strode onto the bridge.

"Nist, report."

"We're just about to round the last buoy, Martin."

"Good."  Martin turned toward me.  "David, has the course through the asteroid field been uploaded into your old messenger drone?"

I'd begun verifying that right after we entered the bridge.  The old drone I'd fired off when I first exited the wormhole over Aashla was our insurance policy.  The drone had led Caudill right to our planet and had caused me some problems when Caudill's crew had cracked the encryption and figured out who I was, but now it might save our lives.

"Yes, this course is recorded, another course is set for the nearest naval base,  and our cry for help is intact.  The thruster burn timer is set to thirty minutes," I said.

"Good.  Release the drone."

The drone drifted free, then we rounded the last buoy and entered the pirates' docking bay!

Our heroes are inside the pirate docking bay!  Find out what happens next in Chapter 67, coming Monday.