Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 74

< Chapter 73                                                                                                   Chapter 75 >
Heidi’s husband has been challenged to a duel with Heidi as the prize!

As if our situation weren't complicated enough, Heidi's husband had found a way to make things more precarious.  If it were just Chapman, I'd have left him on his own.  But I couldn't just stand by and let Heidi suffer through this.

Over the excited talk from the pirates, I called out in Mordanian, "Megan, tell them Heidi is a member of our crew and not a prize to be fought over."

The chatter around the two men died down as attention turned our way.  Megan took advantage and said in gal base, "Commander Rice says you can do what you want with the spy but the woman is ours!"

"Um, Megan, that's not exactly what I said."

"I know, David, but if I repeat what you say exactly won't that make it easier for the machines to translate our language?"

She had a good point.  “That's a smart move but it puts you in charge of these negotiations.  I'll try to offer advice and, if the situation really goes downhill, we'll need to risk direct translation."

By now the pirate arguing with Chapman had gotten over his surprise.  "How did an elsie learn gal base?"

"I speak five languages native to my planet.  Learning your soulless language wasn't much of a challenge," Megan replied.  "Now, let Heidi go and-"

The pirate suddenly remembered the original discussion.  "Wait, what do you mean the woman is yours?"

I muttered a bunch of unassociated Mordanian strung together, then Megan said, "She is a full member of our crew.  Our captain is a member of this Brotherhood.  You can challenge her, but you can't win her in a duel -- especially a duel with a hostage who's wormed his way into Quint's good graces by spying on his fellow hostages!"

The pirates exchanged glances.  "What makes you think he's a spy?"

Megan switched to Mordanian.  "Blah blather pretend to translate."

I suppressed the urge to laugh.  "Don't do that!  It wouldn't do for me to start laughing in the middle of this."

Megan turned back to the pirate.  "All of the men other than Chapman were terrified when Quint spoke.  He just smirked.  It wasn't hard to figure out the rest."

"Erwin, that's not true, is it?" Heidi asked, her eyes wide and pleading.

"It's...complicated," Chapman said.

The pirate laughed.  "Yeah, it's complicated.  But I'm going to uncomplicate it for you, honey.  Chapman, the challenge still stands, only now I'm going to kill you just for the fun of it!”

With Heidi safe, will our hero sit back and let the pirates take care of the spy?  Find out in Chapter 75, coming Friday!