Ruhtra followed him with his eyes.
“Eeew!” exclaimed Arthur, “do you have to follow him with your eyes like that?” He was perturbed because Ruhtra’s eyes had physically left his head and were bouncing down the steps after the guard.
The shape changer did a small whistle and the eyes bounded back to him like two puppies who had just been called to eat their dinner. They slurped back into Ruhtra’s face.
Arthur was squinting and looking at his double sideways to try to lessen the shock. Now if it was lesson the shock then it would have something to do with being taught in school about the dangers of electricity. He whisper shouted to Ruhtra, “Is he back in his den?”
“It’s about ten o’clock so he’s back in his den at ten then.”
The colonel looked above back at the ship to see Sid, Gunby and the others all sliding down the ropes towards his position, “At last,” he quipped, “now I don’t have to listen to your prattling banter.”
Now Arthur realised that he should either be giving orders from the front or leading them somewhere so he said, “Right, let’s be off,” and set off in the direction of the guard room.
“Er, excuse me your Colonelness,” whined Ruhtra, “but do we want to be captured so early on in the operation?”
“Um, operation,” blustered Arthur, “that’s a game for kids isn’t it?”
Sid looked at him disparagingly, “The Author never increased your intelligence when he got you cloned on Reema V did he? If we walk through the guardroom we’ll be captured. We need to go another way.”
“Oh,” replied Arthur, quite curtly, “I suppose I’d better ask for ideas then, seeing as I don’t know what to do next.”
“He might have had your humility improved though. I think we should pick the lock on the door at the end of the wall and go down to the next floor.”
“Right,” said Arthur as he looked around at the others, “any more ideas?”
“I can get in easily, as a flea, or a fly or even a friendly dog,” explained Ruhtra.
Chatteris hovered over to them in the Talent (he had been left aboard to guard it). “Why don’t you all get back aboard and I’ll drop you off in the courtyard instead?” he shouted down.
“Why didn’t we do that in the first place?” asked Arthur.
Sid interjected, “You ordered us all out of the airship as soon as we got over the walls!”