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   Chapter 62 No.62

Free-Wrench By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5097

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02

"Cap'n! Nita's still down there. We've got to do something, " she cried, pointing.

Captain Mack's sharp mind clicked away, his eyes sweeping across his own ship's deck. Finally they came to rest on the cowering and just recently recovered creature at his feet, Wink.

"Give me the longest lifeline we have, and make sure one side is secured, " he ordered. He pulled some levers and set the Wind Breaker to descending, though the damaged fore end of the dreadnought was moving swiftly away. He plucked up Wink and set him on the control harness. "Do you want to prove your loyalties to me once and for all? To stay on this ship, as a part of this crew?"

Wink gave a very deliberate and very emphatic tap.

Captain Mack took the end of the presented lifeline. He tied a large loop into it, then attached it to Wink's harness. "You see that greenhorn?"

Wink looked to Nita's rapidly retreating form on the deck below. He again tapped.

"Bring her home."

With that, he picked up the creature and hurled him off the edge of the ship.

Wink plummeted to the deflating envelope, where his deft claws quickly found a grip. He looked up, his one eye wild with fear and confusion, then looked down. With a vocal sound that could only have been frustration, the beast scampered down the deflating envelope and into the rigging.

The wind was catching the falling ship now, drawing it under the Wind Breaker where no one could see what was happening. Captain Mack guided the ship down and away, doing his best to follow

inside the ship, and down came the gig.

When it was low enough, Linus and Drew were able to see that it held not one person but two. The first was Lil, wearing a mildly ill-fitting dress of elegant Calderan design. The other was Nita, outfitted in her standard work clothes.

"Drew! I'm so glad to find you here! I was afraid I would have to wait until after your shift!" Nita called down as the gig continued to lower down to the water.

"I traded shifts. I wanted to get you away from these people as soon as possible, " Drew said. He looked to Lil. "No offense."

"Aw heck. I'm pretty sure the bad influence went both ways, Mister, " Lil replied.

Nita leapt from the gig a few feet before it reached the water and landed in the skiff. "How has everything been since I've been gone?"

"Well, the foreman is pretty sore you took your relief time for the whole year at once without notice, but no one seems to think anything much of your sudden trip otherwise. You've always been a little impulsive."

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