I could end the story where I did last time. Crew lives to fight another day by a heroic sacrifice by their captain which would act as a send-up for the next story in line. However No. The title is exactly what this story revolves around. I'm not leaving a major character bound.

    Jack smiled as he saw his ship sail away. "Good. They got the hint."
    Yost head-tilted. "There's still a chance they'll throw me in the stocks before executing me for treason."  
    Jack snorted and waved a hand dismissively. "You got out alive and took an enemy ship's captain hostage." He looked from their ballooon to the waiting fleet. "How's that not a victory?"
    Yost shrugged. "The die's cast." The rest of their ascent to his ship was in silence.
    Once there Jack was shackled, placed in the brig and had triple the normal number of guards placed around his cell. When the were shackles removed Jack sat on his uncomfortable bunk rubbing his wrists. "Well," He addressed his guards. "I'm not sure if i should be insulted or flattered. Would it help if I swore I wouldn't attempt an escape?"
    No response.
    "Guess not." He grumbled, pacing his cell, tapping here and there. Eventually, growing bored of having nothing to do but wait, he decided to start doing a tap dancing routine. Only reward he got was his door opening long enough for four very unamused men to enter and beat him senseless.

    Elsewhere in the sky Edward paced. The ship's modifications held up well, but he had to wonder why the Dakotans knew where to find them. Oh sure they had an artillery mecha on their tail. However he heard no radio broadcasts from there, and they were in more or less neutral territory. So this narrowed the field a bit.
    His pacing took him to the engineering section of the ship where he idly, almost lazily, looked everything over. No obvious tracking signals, and the only noise he heard was the distinctive hum of the power crystals at the marriage point to the more conventional propulsion systems. He tilted his head this way and that, pacing through a very crowded busy labyrinth.
    "Curious...." He tapped a blackened and cracked crystal and turned it over in his hands, carefully mind you. He wasn't sure if it still held a charge and didn't want to risk it exploding. Gently he tapped it and held it to his nose before gently setting it aside. This process he repeated several other times before he decided enough was learned and it was best to be out of everyone's way.

    "You're sure they aren't tracking us by our engine?" Deets looked up at Edward. "I'm not sure how they could, but it's not like we've been advertis'n ourselves."
    Edward crouched down a little so Deets wouldn't have to crane his neck so much. "That's just it. They shouldn't have. Not without having dozens of spies through out the region and all with radio equipment capable of relaying all the way into the midwest. I heard nothing!"
    Deets remained calm. "You were, as I recall, a mite busy trying to keep the new engine from turnin us into a giant flash bang in tha sky. Maybe you were too occupied to hear 'em."
    after a moment of thought Edwards grunted. "Possible I suppose. Are we being followed now?"
    "Nah. They have Jack. If they been payin attention to us long enough to be worried they'd know we wouldn't leave him behind." A grim smile flashed across his face, "Besides, we headed somewhere they ain't welcome.

    Onward their ship flew. Demoralized and without their proper leader to be sure. However they had not been sullied by combat and now had a reason to head into the Dakota's back yard. Actually with the sort of experience i have with the characters involved I'm fairly sure they'll not bother with the back door and instead kick the front door down while having several dozen of their friends drive by to make enough noise and fuss to keep them disorganized. Trust me. They won't leave Jack in an enemy's hands long. Besides, even if they did it isn't as if Jack is completely helpless on his own.
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