The evening breeze brought charred leaves and the smell of burnt wood. And a flotilla of small boats with deadly cargoes.
Morn watched as each canoe edged toward the bulge of a turtled hull further around the shore. The hole that had sunk the boat in the first place served as an entrance. One by one the canoes entered, departing without their loads. “Near one in every four bombs they drop through the canopy is arrested and does not explode.” explained the XO (he had refused to give his name). “We recover them and reuse them. Some become mines in the river, it discourages patrols.”
“Do they ever bomb this ship?”
“We have them bluffed into thinking we are hiding in the forest, burning camp fires and attacking work camps. Who would hide in so visible a place as this? Particularly one that is already so damaged.”
The operations room was deep inside the ship, lit by candles and with charcoal burning stoves cooking up a stew. The stoves vented into dead spaces in the hull to hide any smoke.
Marra had returned to the boat for the charts and was now comparing intelligence with a one armed, eye patched officer. She looked around and nodded recognition as Morn and the XO entered. There was a piece of jewellery through her right eye brow, a crescent shape suggesting a third eye. The XO stared, then turned and left. Marra shook her head and motioned for Morn to join her at the table.