Monday, March 24, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 73

< Chapter 72                                                                                                   Chapter 74 >
Heidi and her possible-turncoat husband have disappeared!

"Check with the guards at the forward airlock," I said.  "Have them seal the exit if Heidi and her husband didn't go out that way."

The guard who'd reported the couple missing saluted and ran off.  I strode off toward the bridge.  Callan, Megan, and Rupor fell in behind me.

"Does anyone have any idea why Heidi's husband would even bother boarding the ship if he was only going to stay for a few minutes?" Callan asked.

"It could be any number of things," Rupor said.  "Heidi could have told her husband of our plan -- that is an integral part of the plan, after all.  If he's working for the pirates, he would want to report our plan as soon as possible.  He may also simply want to show off his beautiful wife, especially if the pirates have a severe shortage of women here."

As we approached the bridge, the guard I'd sent to the forward airlock returned.

"The woman and her husband left the ship no more than a minute before I reached the airlock," he reported.  "The guards say the woman appeared reluctant but left voluntarily."

Nodding to the guard, I strode onto the bridge.  "Give me a video sweep of the docking bay.  Stop and zoom in if you see Heidi out there."

Seconds later, Heidi and her husband filled our view screen.  The pair were less than a hundred yards from our ship.  A gang of grinning pirates had them surrounded and one of their number was laughing and talking with Heidi's husband.  Heidi pressed close beside her husband, fear written on her face.  Her husband, fear building on his face, argued vehemently with the pirate.

"The man may be working with the pirates, but they sure don't seem to like him much," I said.  "I've got to get out there and defuse this situation!"

"I'll come with you!" Rupor said.

"You're our military commander, Rupor.  You need to stay here with your command," Callan said.  "Megan, do you mind going with David?  You can be his translator."

"Why would she speak gal base and not the ship’s second in command?" I asked.

"Captain Bane taught me," Megan answered.  "He would want his woman to speak his language, wouldn't he?"

"That works for me," I said.  "Let's go!"

A moment later, we approached the outer edge of the pirates surrounding Heidi and her husband.

"I'm tired of arguing with you, Chapman," the pirate said.  "If you won't share your woman, there's only one thing I can do.  Erwin Chapman, I challenge you to a duel.  If you win, you get my rights within the Brotherhood.  If I win, I get your woman!”

Can our hero stand by and allow Chapman, a probable turncoat, to duel the pirate?  Find out in Chapter 74, coming Wednesday!