Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 80

< Chapter 79                                                                                                   Chapter 81 >
The Pirate officer of the watch has drawn his laser pistol on our hero!

Staring down the muzzle of a laser pistol, I half raised my hands.  Once the pirate understood I wasn't planning to do anything stupid, I mimed pointing the gun at Chapman.

The pirate shook his head.  "I got no idea what Chapman wanted ta tell me, but I figger you clobbered him to shut him up.  Suddenly, I'm right curious what he aimed to say."

I shrugged as if I didn't understand what the pirate had said.  Inspiration struck and I continued with my pantomime.  I pointed to Chapman then wove my hands in the curving motion which has meant "woman" to men since before recorded history.

The pirate leered.  "Yeah, Chapman's got a hot wife.  Wish I knew how that gutless wonder got himself a babe like her!"

Keeping a hand held out, as if on the shoulder of the woman, I threw a fist at what would have been the woman's head.

"Chapman punched the babe, huh?" the pirate said.  "That ain't against the rules 'round here."

"And to think you call us uncivilized!" Megan's voice sounded behind me.  She strode up beside me, five marines trailing in her wake.  The marines carried lasers but kept them pointed at the floor.

"I heard one of ya spoke gal base," the pirate said.  "That'll make this easier.  We're gonna hold yer boy here till Captain Quint gets back."

"No, I'm taking David and Chapman back to our ship.  You're going to stand aside and not interfere."

"And why would I do that?"

"Because David didn't break any of your rules but Chapman broke one of our rules."

"Okay, we don't got rules against a bit of fightin' as long as the work gets done.  So you can take yer boy, but yer rules don't count on the base.  Chapman stays here."

"Chapman hit Heidi while aboard our ship," Megan countered.  "Our ship, our rules."

The pirate shrugged.  "Seems like a lotta trouble just 'cause he punched his wife."

"Oh, it does?  Let me tell you something about our planet."  Megan's voice dropped an octave and she leaned forward.  "One of our great heroes is a man who spent his life challenging abusive men to duels.  When he left a town, he left behind a fresh grave and a more polite population.  We uncivilized lost colonists take this kind of behavior very seriously!"

Megan ordered one of the marines to carry Chapman, spun on her heel, and led us out of the room.  The pirates in the hallway gave us a wide berth as we marched back toward the ship.

Keeping my voice low, I said, "Nice timing, Megan.  How did you come up with that story about the duelist so quickly?"

Megan gave me a look.

"Wait, you didn't make that up?" I asked.

"I'll sing the song for you when you've got a couple of hours to spare," she smiled.  "The full version has eighty-six verses."

Moments later, we returned to the docking bay -- just in time to see Milo landing our pinnace next to the ship!

Why are the pirate captains back so soon and will they question why Chapman is unconscious?  Find out what happens next in Chapter 81, coming Friday!