I won’t offer setup on this, other to say that the good guys are in a bad spot, with their most powerful warship and its crew possibly in the hands of the enemy.
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Hawkspar, © Holly Lisle, All Rights Reserved
"If we go on, we could find ourselves running into a trap," av Messyn of the Muus Zir Ip said. He stood, leaning over the table before him with his hands planted on it as if he could no longer bear his own weight, glaring down the table’s length at the rest of them. "Without Haakvar, I don’t see how we can keep going."
Belkraag of the Dark Fire, an independent ship like Aaran’s, said, "We keep going because if we don’t, the Tonk will be wiped from the face of the world like a stain."
"I second going on," Dyur av Derstaag said. "The Vinik Han is Haakvar’s, just like the Muus, but if Haakvar’s dead, are we to give up the fight because of it? Better we should fight in his memory, I say."
They’d been at each other for some time, and no one had faced what Aaran saw as the real issue. "I don’t think we should go on, and I don’t think we should go home," he said at last.
"You want to sit here until every hostile ship in the region figures out this is where we’re sitting and comes to destroy us?"
"No," Aaran said. "I think we need to go to Greton. Not all of us. Just one ship, secretly, though with as many marines as we can squeeze aboard. I say we go back to Gerstaggen, get the Ker Nagile and her crew at dead of night, and kill anyone who is holding them."
"A raid? You want to raid Gerstaggen?" Dyur, who had been staunchly supporting what he saw as the true Tonk way, turned to stare at Aaran as if he’d lost his mind. "Gerstaggen Harbor. The largest and most heavily guarded of the harbors of Greton, wherein, I’ll note, Port Authority is already well armed with catapults filled with Greton fire and massive winching crossbows bolted with Greton fire, and soldiers with swords and spears and archers with an unlimited supply of … Greton fire. You don’t raid Greton. It’s nearly as much a law of nature as that things tossed up do come back down."
"Laws of nature are made to be broken."
"Tell me that after you’ve flown around the room, lad."