“Captain,” said Harry, for once totally awake despite not being in the pilot’s seat, “I think the entire crew needs some time-off for respite and recuperation. None of us, including you, have had any holiday since I don’t know when.”
Captain Willie grunted assent. He was not surprised that the crew was becoming restless from lack of recreation. Even before the strange events in the mountains they had been on a stressful schedule of courier assignations. He was taken unawares though when Tira, the silent member of the crew, spoke up.
“Captain, you know we need to return to homebase for maintenance! I’ve been on you about that for a while now.”
Willie James grimaced. “Yep, you have at that.”
“And you did say that the events up in the mountains were making you nervous even if you aren’t quite sure why.” Kennia looked pointedly at the Captain as she spoke.
“Yeah, I was thinkin’ that way myself. Sooner we get home to Charleston, the sooner we can breathe out. Kennia, you got any dispatches to give to the Tuscarora?”
“No sir, not today. All messages and packages have been delivered. Got nothin’ to relay either.”
“Well then. I guess we head southeast from now on. ‘Bout time I got some of my mama’s homecookin’ and all.”
Harry perked up at that thought. “Fresh food instead of tinned! Jambalaya made with chicken and shrimp! I can hardly wait!"
Indeed just the prospect of being homeward bound enlivened the entire crew. Months of travel, spying and covert missions had taken their toll on everyone’s nerves. Some time spent enjoying the sun’s warmth and the fresh sea breeze would be good for them all!