Swamped Chapter 1 Page 3

“Marshall,” you say. “Just Marshall. No surname.”

“Ah, you must be from one of the outer villages then.”

You nod quietly. You don’t see a need to explain that you chose not to take your missing father’s surname; what difference would it even make?

“Not a problem. We don’t have any other Marshalls, and even if we did we’ve got a system for that sort of thing. Still, probably just as well you’re not another Tom.”

She points to the boat.

“There’s a bench there. Not the most comfortable of places, but you take what you can get in the swamp. We’ll handle the loading while you rest up. You’re going to need your strength for training tomorrow.”

You thank her, and climb up the ramp. As soon as you see the bench, you sit down. It’s not very comfortable, but after four days sitting in that carriage, you’re just glad for the change.

You sit quietly as the knights finish packing up the supplies. You consider napping, but the sound of jaws snapping shut in the distance persuades you against it. Instead, you just sit and watch as the barge finally departs.

The voyage doesn’t last long before you hear a loud bump, a bell chiming, and a few choice curses from the sergeant. It seems the boat’s hit something.

“Enemy’s set up a blockade. We’ll have to change routes, and hope we can get away before the raiding party arrives.” The sergeant glances at you. “Marshall. Get below deck and hide. You’re in no shape to fight.”

Are you following that order? Or is there something else you think you can do?

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you’re just gonna freeze in place and stand there with a dumb look on your face

Go below deck and hide in that mysterious glowing box that no one has had time to warn you about yet

Yep. Hiding equals not dying and not dying is a great thing right now.

Go find a nice quiet corner to cry in, you loser

follow orders! also don’t pull the big lever that says DO NOT PULL

Get below all the decks as you’re so startled by the order that you fall off the boat.

grab a weapon and start attacking anything & everybody in a blind panic

Get in a shape more suited to fighting

Do a barrel roll! Well, find a barrel first

do 200 push-ups

Author’s Note:

Sometimes there are two clear choices and I go with whichever one gets suggested more. Pretty clear what the winner is in this case.