Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 71

< Chapter 70                                                                                                   Chapter 72 >
Now that Laura and the other women have been reunited with their husbands, Martin is ready to discuss the location of Caudill’s ‘treasure.’

Martin turned to me and spoke in Mordanian.  "I'm off to discuss treasure with these lovely gentlemen.  You're in charge until I return."

Martin's lines were for the recordings the pirates were bound to be making.  In the short time we expected to be with the pirates, it wasn't likely they would get a large enough sampling of Mordanian for their computers to complete a translation.  Even so, there was no reason to take chances.

"Yes, sir, Cap'n," I replied.

Martin turned back to Quint and switched back to galactic basic.  "Lead on."

Quint cocked an eyebrow as Laura and the man I assumed was her husband strolled, arm-in-arm, toward the boarding ramp to our ship.  "And where do you think you be goin', Mister Barrages?"

Laura's husband stiffened and there was a tremor in his voice when he replied.  "To spend time with my wife, Captain Quint, as you promised I could."

Other couples, who had been following Laura and her husband, stopped and watched.  Fear was written on the faces of the men, uncertainty on the faces of their wives.

"I know what I promised and what I didn't promise," Quint growled.  "You got a nice, big room where all of you sleep.  Go there."

Martin stepped between Quint and the couple.  "I told you, Quint, I take care of my crew.  That includes a little privacy for family reunions."  Martin turned to the couple.  "You may carry on, Laura."

Laura started toward the boarding ramp, pulling on her husband's arm.

Martin looked at the other couples.  "That applies to the rest of you, as well!"

Quint and the other captains scowled, but said nothing as the couples streamed past them.

"You made a bunch o' pleasure girls part o' your crew, Bane?" Quint asked after the last couple had entered our ship.

"No, I made skilled techs my engineering staff," Martin replied.  "If I hadn't done that, I'd still be on that lost colony and you wouldn't be about to discuss the division of Caudill's treasure."  Martin motioned toward the docking bay doors.  "Shall we have that discussion, gentlemen?"

Watching Martin and the captains walk away, Megan said, "Those men are not happy with Martin!"

"Tell me something I don't know!" I replied.

Typical of Megan, she took it as a challenge.

"Those husbands are all terrified of their captors," she said.  "All of them except Heidi's husband.”

Does this development bode ill for our heroes?  Find out in Chapter 72, coming Friday!