Monday, March 10, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 67

< Chapter 66                                                                                                   Chapter 68 >
Our heroes enter the pirate docking bay!

A huge opening yawned in the large asteroid ahead of us.  Beyond the opening, we could see a well-lit, well-equipped docking bay.  Within, I counted six ships with a space for one more.

"It looks like all the pirates are at home right now," I said.
"Of course," Martin sighed.  "It would be too easy if half the ships were out prowling."

"Oh mighty pirate captain?" Nist sang out.  "The big hole in the bigger rock is glowing."

"Hm?  Oh, that.  Don't worry about it, Nist.  That's an atmospheric energy shield.  It keeps the air in the docking bay from leaking out.  We'll pass right through it."

I went to the communications console.  "Heidi, can you give me a ship-wide channel?"

Her fingers flew across the console.  "You're on, fearless leader!"

"All hands, this is David Rice.  We are entering the pirate base as I speak.  Everyone knows the plan and their part in it, but I want to remind you all of a few things.  All of you now speak galactic basic well enough to understand what's being said around you.  I cannot stress how important it is for us to hide that for as long as possible.  There's no telling what we can learn if the pirates believe we can't understand them.

"With that said, don't wander far from the ship, do not go out alone, and check your honor at the airlock.  Reacting to an insult will give away our language advantage and put the pirates on alert.

"Finally, all of the pirate ships using this base are docked.  The bad news is we're more heavily outnumbered than anticipated.  The good news is we can take out half a dozen of the galaxy's worst criminals all at once.  Keep a clear head, stick to the plan, and we can't fail.  Rice out."

"David?" Martin said.  "We may have to modify that plan a bit."

"What do you mean?"

Martin pointed at a dozen locations in the docking bay.  "Those are military-grade automated defense lasers.  If we take off without sending the proper pass code, the lasers will cut this ship to pieces!”

How will our heroes deal the lasers?  Find out more in Chapter 68, coming Wednesday!