Meanwhile, aboard the Dalrymle’s Dream, two of Henry T’s crew enter via the main airlock. Waiting for them is the Captain.
“Welcome aboard the Dalrymple’s Dream, and I must thank you for coming to our aid. I’m Captain March and I’ll take you down to Engineering now where my Engineering Chief will fill you in on the problem. I haven’t managed to speak to him myself yet, no doubt he’s up to his elbows in grease and oil, as it were. But I’m sure I can extricate him from whatever nook or cranny he’s crawled into while hunting down the problem – at least long enough to explain the situation and see if you can help.”
“Thank you Captain, I’m Elsie Walker, Engineer aboard the Henry T, and this is Mike Kellar. Lead on and we’ll see what we can do.”
“Engineering is through the Mess and beyond the small cargo bay, so if you would go through that door behind you into the Mess, we’ll be on our way.”
Elsie and Mike head through the door into the Mess, they bunch up momentarily as Elsie turns to look back at the Captain, who was half turned away from her, apparently talking to someone who had just approached.
That gave the Astrogator the opening he’d been hoping for and he triggerd his stun gun from his position flat against the bulkhead through which the two pirates had emerged. Elsie and Mike slumped into an ungainly heap in the middle of the Mess. The Captain came into the Mess and between them, he and the Astrogator, tied up the intruders.
‘That was the easy bit" exclaimed the captain "now let’s head to the lower cargo deck to see if we can help round up the other two."
Down in the lower cargo bay, the cargoman has opened the rear cargo bay doors, in anticipation of the arrival of the pirates. He gestured to them to come aboard and turned his back on them, heading for a cargo container. The two vacc suited figures follow him, keen to secure their prize and get back to the Henry T. So far, it seems, everything is going according to plan – they may even get far away before the crew of the Dalrymple’s Dream realises that some of them were drugged.
The Chief Engineer peers out from behind a container after he feels the vibrations of the pirates passing him by, rippling along the deck plates. He’s in luck, from this angle, he could target the rearmost pirate. He triggers his stunner and his prey drops. Waiting, all senses straining for just such a moment, the cargoman spins round, uncovering his own stunner, drawn surreptitiously while his back was to the pirates. The last pirate has also turned at the commotion, and slumps forward over his comrade, stunned, while a grin of delight and relief spreads across the cargomans face.
The cargo bay doors closed, the pirates were trussed up, and carried up to the crew quarters to join their comrades.
Connell March returned to the bridge, where he finally responded to Will Bison’s increasingly frantic calls for an update on the situation. Will Bison is appraised of the real state of affairs and is advised to sit tight while everyone waits for the security forces to arrive. After checking through his own systems, determining that the manouvre drive was off-line for at least another seven hours, and studying the scanner to confirmn a patrol craft was heading for them, Will knew the game was up. He did not leave the bridge until the security forces arrived, which was just as well because following further judicious use of the laser cutter, Dirk was sat on the floor covering the door to the bridge with both his stunner and laser pistol !
With the pirates and mutineers in custody, and both manouvre drives back on line, the Dalrymple’s Dream and the Henry T are escorted into parking orbits around Iderati III.