Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 98

Scout's Honorthe first book in the Scout series, is now available as an ebook from Amazon for the low price of $1.99!  Click the title to buy it.

< Chapter 97                                                                                                   Chapter 99 >
With the void of space on one side and pirates on the other, our heroes are trapped!

The pirates continued to crowd into the corridor fifty yards away.  Silence fell over them as each pirate took in the scene before the airlock.  Bodies and pieces of bodies lay scattered around us, with splashes of crimson breaking the monotonous beige of the rock from which the pirate base had been carved.  A couple of the pirates said something.  It was reduced to a murmur by the distance, but his fellow pirates heard him clearly enough -- including the one in charge.

"Shut yer trap, Benson," Quint ordered.  "This ain't no ball, crimson or t'otherwise.  Now git down there and take 'em, men!"

“Martin," I asked, "any bright ideas?"

"Maybe.  See if you can delay them for a minute or two."

Turning my attention back to the pirates, who were just starting to shuffle our way, I called, "Hey, Quint, if you want someone to 'git' us, why don't you step to the front and lead by example.  Bring my old pal Chapman with you."  I held up my blood-stained sword.  "I've got a few pointed remarks to make to him!"

Some of the pirates laughed.

"Stop laughin' and git moving!" Quint bellowed.

Once again, a few pirates took steps in my direction.

"I've got to say, Quint, you do seem to have a way with commanding men," I yelled.  "How do you manage to get them to go to their deaths while you stay in the rear, ready to run if the battle goes against you?"

The pirates who had started forward stopped and looked behind them.

"Did Quint tell you what he did just a few minutes ago, when we met in a different corridor?"

"Pay him no never mind and charge!" Quint commanded.

"Maybe you could ask Chapman about it.  He was right by Quint's side throughout the fight."  All the pirates were looking back at the pirate captain, now.  "Quint, they all know Chapman for the coward he is.  What's it say about you that you've been shoulder to shoulder with him every time we've met in battle?"

Quint's face had gone so red I thought he might be about to pop an artery.  Grabbing Chapman by the arm, he dragged the hapless turncoat through the crowd to the front.

"Ain't nobody gonna git away with callin' me no coward, Rice!" he yelled.  Turning to look back at his men, he shouted, "Let's git 'em!"

Sword in one hand and dragging Chapman with the other, Quint led the charge.  Their faith in their captain restored, the pirates roared and charged after him.

"Martin, how's that idea coming?"

"Surprisingly well, David," he said.  "You did such a good job distracting them, I don't think any of the pirates noticed me rummaging around in the storage locker at the end of the corridor.  It held more vacuum harnesses than we need.  Once you put on your harness, we can get out of here!"

I sprinted back to the airlock.  Martin tossed me a harness and started closing the inner door.  I slipped into it quickly and was ready by the time the door closed, cutting off the shouts of the pirates.  I grabbed the safety strap looped along the wall and wrapped an arm around Callan.

"Ready!"

Martin pressed the emergency release.  There was a brief rush of air escaping as the outer door opened.  Then I led the way out onto the airless surface of the pirate's asteroid base!


Can our heroes escape through the vacuum of space?  Find out in Chapter 99, coming Friday!