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   Chapter 53 No.53

Free-Wrench By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 6073

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02

He shoved the sleeping and lightly soiled patrolman with his boot, sending him tumbling through a hatch and into the ship. With him safely out of sight, he took the controls and began massaging the levers. In a maneuver that had taken several years to master, he managed to dislodge the anchor from the ground with nothing more than some fancy winch work and an engine-assisted swing of the gondola. The groaning anchor winch was still rumbling inside the ship when Butch pointed and bellowed something. He turned to see the sky light up with an orange-green flare that drifted slowly downward. Instantly the approaching ships' engines roared as they shifted toward the warehouse.

"Figures my crew would have the worst possible timing."

He pushed his own engines to the limit, nodding in appreciation as the repairs Nita had made didn't blast to bits under the strain. The Wind Breaker surged forward, but it became clear quite quickly that the fug folk saved the best ships for themselves. Captain Mack's craft was never known for its speed. Its turbines were selected for good maneuvering and long journeys. Even the tow ship was gaining on them. Fortunately, the Wind Breaker was much closer to the warehouse… but not nearly as close as the patrol ship that was now becoming visible directly below the flare. He glanced back at the other ships. At this rate they would reach the warehouse at the same time he did, leaving the Wind Breaker outnumbered three ships to one.

"Figures…" he repeated.

Chapter 14

"Okay, boys and girls!" Lil cried out in combined exhilaration and fear. "I think we got their attention!"

She huddled behind the stout masonry of the warehouse's roof access. It was a brick enclosure that sheltered a staircase leading down into the building from the roof, or at least it had be

mite difficult, seeing as how I don't know where they are, and, without a distraction, these patrol ships on either side of me aren't going to give me the time to find them, " he replied.

"I don't think you'll have to worry about that. Just get the ship moving down that there street, and don't stop for nothing."

At that moment a deafening crack of thunder split the air from below as a large section of the warehouse wall exploded outward. The enemy ships pulled back, their crew shouting and scanning the area for artillery. Shattered bits of masonry were still raining down to the ground when a wheel-squealing, piston-pumping contraption came roaring through the hole in the wall. It was the steam cart, mounded with all manner of stolen goods. Nita sat at the controls on the front end, her goggles firmly in place. She was wrestling to keep the vehicle from plowing into the buildings on either side of the street while the rest of the crew clung desperately to the mound of loot. It rattled along the road at a speed that clearly came as a surprise to its passengers. A brilliant beam of light projected from a curved reflector above the over-stoked firebox, lighting up the street ahead of them.

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