The Kraken and The Dark Sea, Chapter 81-82

Sorry about skipping. I got involved in editing. Here’s chapters 81 and 82

Commander Ironforge makes a mistake. Terrel sets up contracting in Crowburg.

Chapter 81.

RNS Progress

Looking through his binoculars, Vince could see the ships of the convoy in the distance. Leaving Eribelle one day after Diligent had departed, Progress had made rendezvous with the convoy that had assembled off the Hidden city. The dirigible Vigilant was on air guard over head and Imperial navy subchasers would rendevous off Eryding. At least the potential for real combat had taken some of the tension out of things. Vince was sure that Ironforge thought that the submarine was a figment of the backward Imperials’ imaginations even though Brownlow had shown pictures of the sub to the officers and had found references to similar boats in the Sanctuary Library and even the Sanctum Library. He almost had enough for an article in the Naval Journal. Sweeping his binoculars across the convoy one more time, he turned to Lieutenant Greinder and said, “You have the watch, Lieutenant. Hold course with the convoy. I will be in my office.”

 “Aye aye, sir.”

 As he was heading to his office, a rating from the radio room saw him in the hall and said, “Message from fleet, sir.”

The rating handed Vince the message and he looked at it. Folding it again,he said, “Send to fleet that the message was received and acknowledged.”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

Vince proceeded to his office and put the message on his desk. With a first officer he trusted, he would have taken it to him, read him the message and then involved him in deciding what needed to be done. For something like this, Ironforge might as well have not existed. Vince was going to be on his own. On the face of it, his orders were clear. He was to stay near the convoy and provide escort. On the other hand, the danger to the convoy was the submarine and he would better off hunting the submarine long before it reached the convoy. Especially since he was sure that the convoy was not a target. Pulling a sheet of paper, he started to write the sailing instructions for the next fiveday.

Commander Ironforge came onto the bridge to relieve Lieutenant Greinder and take his turn at watch. He looked at the sailing instructions and frowned. He turned to Greinder and said, “The instructions are to hold course?”

“With the convoy, yes sir.”

“Very well, I relieve you.”

“I stand relieved.”

Ironforge looked at the distant lights of the convoy and then looked at the chart. The captain had the ship stationed on the shoreside of the convoy. That was against the book and good tactics. On the other hand, holding the current course would put the ship on the outside of the convoy as it turned to Eryding. He turned to the helmsman and said, “Hold this course, petty officer.”
“Stay on current course, aye.”

Chapter 82.

Desert Howl

Bill had gotten held up when he Jumped home because his mother, sister and the Great Captain all wanted to know about him being taken, the sub, his escape and especially Rod and Lady Virstina. Then he had to go to Starfish’s house and arrange to rent the camera from her father, since he didn’t want to let Bill just have it, as he had been renting the camera and the two more he had made after Starfish’s coral picures had appeared in the Geographic. Bill made some arrangements through Beinan’s and then using a Faery lantern, Jumped back to Rosehollow and then to Diligent.

Murty turned to Dillon as Bill got out of a Jalopy and went into the hardware store and said, “Look who’s home.”

“He wasn’t on the train down and wasn’t here yesterday.”

“We could tail him.”
“Not here. Tom and Mack were made yesterday and booted out.”

“We have cover.”

“Only if no one checks us with Navy JAG. We don’t want another screwup like that sergeant at the jail.”

“It wasn’t our fault that the prosecutor’s office came and got the guy. The Stewards got him anyway.”

“We heard that the Stewards got him. All we know was that he died in the Scourge and nobody seems to be too upset that the Stewards knew where he was. In any case, we have what we came for and we need to get out before somebody starts asking questions. Let’s go.”

Terrel looked at the various men gathered in the Shack, pointed at the bulletin board and said, “What do you think?”

“Harl Lizardchaser looked at the others and said, “Who’s covering this?”

“The navy, Mrs. Harper and some others who don’t want the fact that they are involved known.”

“The Lions?”

“They are already there and were making inprovements. That’s where I got these pictures. Things got bigger in a hurry.”

“I’m in. If we pull this off, we will have made our careers. That Jomney character in Luggergate showed us up a bit. Is he involved?”

“Not as far as I know. He’s busy in Vestia and a project in the northern Empire for the dragon council. Are the rest of you in?”

Heads nodded around the table. Terrel said, “The Great Captain is personally interested in this and is keeping an eye on things, so I would watch padding the work too much.”

“Why is he involved.”

“Because the people who torched Crowburg and took everybody, did it under his banner and in process, wrecked a seafolk bower. He feels as if it was a personal affront and wants to make things right, anonymously. Another thing, if any of your boys run into anything fishy, let Bladloc Flamespitter and Sally Lion know. They are looking into that.”

“The fishy stuff they aren’t doing?”

“I wouldn’t know, but they work for the Great Captain.”

“So, a dragonkin with a Lion, working for the Great Captain. We’ll be good.”

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