As blasts thundered so loud to be of gods warring, rather than men, Sergeant Myk Torrel resealed the brass bonnet over the right rudder valve. He kicked up, and opened the main rotor valve gingerly – but with no angry hiss, he turned with gusto. He shouted up to the chief, but his words were drowned by another volley.
He shouted again. “Sir, rudder is back in line!”
The chief opened the switch to notify the bridge. Torrel quietly counted to three.
Left full. The steamsloop’s three minutes stuck turning right had given a breath of relief. But now it was back to fire and blackshot.
Torrel stepped to the deck ladder, but the pipes above unexpectedly howled a low wail of fatigue. He barely deployed his steamshield before they burst – and sticky tan ooze burst out, pasting all with thick glaze. Updeck, Torrel heard a few screams.
He knew this trick. They’d find sugar packs in the engine, he knew. He didn’t know, however, who the saboteur was – or if he was still on board.