A start. Hopefully I can keep the momentum. Also hope i can finish this story by the end of the week. Don't want it in my head.

While the escort to Bassil's airfield went smoothly the long tense cruise there ended when more airships were sighted. Jack frowned at the report and went to the nearest observation window to look for himself. Indeed there were several dirigibles, each capable of stowing additional aircraft. To say that he was irritated would be a gross understatement. In fact he stormed the radio room and demanded Admiral Yost explain himself, in person and without any intermediary.

"I'm at a complete loss for words." Yost's voice was unsteady and weary. "However my word is givin and I will see that they honor it. However just in case I ask that you bring your craft closer to mine. Perhaps my nearness will keep some overeager ladder climber from acting with undue haste."

"Right." Jack's flat monotone did little to hide his feelings. However he had his craft brought closer, Yost's ship slightly ahead and to the left so it was quite clear that the two ships stood together.

Another meeting was called. One that jack had attended with reluctance. When the three parties were seated he stood and glowered at them both. "It seems you both have a bit of a communications problem." He gestured to Yost. "This man has promised me and my crew safe conduct while my ship is taken apart so you can have your toys back. No harm, no foul."

The third party of men looked somewhat taken aback by this. Yost nodded slowly. "Mister Karrde speaks truth. I was assured by command that my actions were sanctioned and would be followed." He then glowered. "So I ask, what is the meaning of this?" His voice never raised nor did his tone change. However between these two men the commanders of the Bassil taskforce cowered.

"I'm sorry sir." The lead representative looked young, and the insignia on his jacket painted him as a junior officer. "We were ordered by Air Marshal Clover."

Yost's face grew troubled at this. "Tell me son," His words calm, "What were the exact words to this order?"

The young man shuddered. "We were ordered to bring you in for questioning Sir. I don't know the exact order, only what was passed to me."

"Tch," Yost's tongue clicked against his teeth. "No matter your position on ship you are always to get the exact order as given from command." Lecturing tone, almost a grandfather teaching a loved, if not quite bright, grandchild one of life’s basic lessons.

Jack's face darkened. "So you think we've been set up?"

A nod from the graying admiral. "Perhaps. Perhaps it could just be someone with more ambition than decency looking to secure themselves." Or someone could just want to be done with this old war-bird for good.

"Uh Sir's?" Junior Officer looked at both men. "I don't feel comfortable with where this is going." in spite of the edge in his voice he remained calm, hands in lap, and kept a steady eye on both of the other major parties there. "You're a living legend. Hero of-" He cut himself short and made a small whiping motion with his left hand. "They wouldn't just throw you away would they?"

None moved to try getting back to their ships. If it was a trap then they were already caught, and all they could do is wait, see where things went, and react accordingly. Jack glanced about and said, softly, "Fire teams waiting by transportation."

Yost shook his head and added, as if talking of last week's Rounders game, "Cook coming in looks a little too purposeful." He stood and waited for the white dressed 'cook' carrying a serving tray.

"Thank you." He waited till the man sat the tray down before grabbing him. Yost was old, but he was in superb condition for his age and was a regular in on ship hand to hand combat drills. Of course it helped that the cook was starring at Jack's party the whole time, apparently believing they would be the ones to start trouble.
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