Friday, July 4, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 117

< Chapter 116                                                                                                   Chapter 118 >
Finally, the navy arrives at the pirate base.

The navy's medical ship was fully staffed and supplied.  The med team swarmed over our wounded, injecting swarms of medical nanites into those with the worst wounds.  Tristan could only watch in awe as wounds beyond his ability to heal closed as if by magic.  Once those on the brink of death had been dealt with, the doctor in charge of the medical team sought out our doctor.

"Are you Doctor Agrilla?"

"Yes, though after watching you at work, I'm not so sure I should call myself 'doctor' any more."  Tristan's gaze swept the organized chaos in his makeshift hospital.  "Thank you for saving those I am too unskilled to save."

"It's not skill, sir, it's superior technology.  Without the nanites, I doubt my team could have done anything more than you did."

Tristan's eyebrows rose.  "Really?"

"Yes.  In fact, I wanted to ask you about some of the procedures you used."

Gesturing to some of the wounded men, Tristan and the naval doctor fell into a technical discussion well beyond my capability to follow.

Once the initial rush to help the wounded and establish naval control of the docking bay was over, the navy reverted to its thorough, though tedious, routine.  Armored marines swept the rest of the base section by section, rounding up the last of the pirates.  The records of the pirate captains were secured and unsold plunder recovered.  Naval repair crews even fixed the landing struts on the Aashla's Hope.

Thirty-five hours after they arrived, naval demolitions crews rigged the base with explosives and we finally got underway to the wormhole.  All who were onboard our ship watched the sensor display as the pirate base was blasted into a thousand pieces.

The only thing worth noting during the trip to the navy base occurred when Rupor, Heidi, and Megan approached Callan.

"Your Highness?"

Something in Heidi's tone caused Callan to go into princess mode.  She stood straighter.  Her shoulders drew back.  Her gaze sharpened.

"Yes, Heidi?"

"I have a problem I hope you can solve, Princess Callan."  Heidi continued with the formal tone.  "In the Federation, divorces can be complicated, even if both parties agree to the divorce.  I doubt Erwin will cooperate."

Heidi stopped and met Callan's eyes for a moment.  Callan nodded for her to continue.

"Megan told me that you can issue a royal proclamation of divorce."

"I can, but only for Mordanian citizens."

"Megan also told me you could grant Mordanian citizenship by royal proclamation."

"I can do that, also, but Rupor can do likewise for Tartegian citizens."

Rupor cleared his throat.  "As I have an interest in this outcome, I felt it would be more seemly if the proclamations came from someone other than me."  A bright smile crossed Rupor's face.  "Besides, Callan, at one time my subjects expected me to marry a Mordanian citizen."

Callan smiled in return.  "Heidi, I don't have the oath of citizenship memorized, but I've accepted nontraditional oaths in the past.  Do you swear to uphold the laws of Mordan, obey the monarch, and support Mordan in peace and in war?"

"I so swear."

"Then by the powers granted to me as a princess of the realm and heir to the throne, I accept your pledge and welcome you as a subject of the kingdom of Mordan."

Applause broke out around the bridge and Callan raised a hand to request quiet.

"It has come to my attention that you are unhappy in your marriage to one Erwin Chapman and wish to terminate the bond of matrimony between you.  Is that correct?"

"Damn right it is!"  Heidi blushed when she realized what she had said.  "I beg your pardon, Your Highness.  Yes, that is correct."

"Again, by the powers granted to me as a princess of the realm and heir to the throne, I hereby dissolve your marriage to Erwin Chapman."

Applause broke out again, louder than before.

Callan looked at Rupor, who wore the widest grin I'd ever seen on his face.

"Rupor, stop grinning like an idiot and kiss her!"

He did and we all cheered.

Thirty minutes later, we docked and emerged into a madhouse.

What kind of madhouse must our heroes face?  Find out in Chapter 118, coming Monday!