Swamped Chapter 10 Page 2

You decide to pay a visit to the night medic. Might as well meet someone new, after all, and you can probably help with treating the wounded more easily than moving heavy things around.

You go over to the infirmary, which you’re quite familiar with at this point, and it’s clear enough who the night medic is. She looks harried, which is understandable considering she’s up late by her schedule. At the moment she’s talking to Tom Eighth. You’re a bit surprised to see him here, you thought he’d be cleaning his room.

“Good to hear that mess in the holding cells is cleaned up,” she says. “We have enough problems with the Marshguards without sending one back with rat sickness. I’ll have John check when he finally wakes up. No way I’m dragging myself over there.”

“I could wake him up, ma’am.”

Now you wonder if you’re dreaming. You’ve never seen Tom Eighth be that polite.

“No need. I’ve got a few decent hours left in me. Not in any shape to do surgery, but Cindy’s well-rested and she’s got the training to do anything short of that. And the worst injury we’ve seen is Greenbags’ sprained ankle, thankfully. Anyhow, that’s the high-priority repairs taken care of. Start on the bedrooms now, though I wouldn’t exactly blame you for saving Corser’s for last.”

“Yeah, I heard it was really bad there.”

Heard? He was there. You’re really confused now.

“I believe that’s all for the moment, Eighth. Dismissed.”

“I’m Fifth, ma’am. Eighth’s my older cousin. People get us mixed up all the time.”

“Older cousin?”

“He’s older, but he signed up a year and a half after I did. So I got a lower number. Doesn’t help with the mixups.”

“So, wait, are you the one working on the loud project, or…”

“He is. And I keep getting complaints about it. I used to pass them along, but he didn’t really listen.”

“I see. I’ll try to keep you two straight, at least when I’m more awake than this. Now get those rat holes patched up.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

Things are clearer to you now. Tom Fifth runs off, and the medic turns to you.

“Ah, the new recruit. I hear you were having a rough start, even before the arm.” She yawns heavily. “I don’t believe we’ve met when you were awake before.”

“No, ma’am.”

“Well. I’m Eve, the night medic, and I’ve heard every joke you’re thinking of a hundred times before so don’t bring it up.” She groans. “Hoping John wakes up in the next hour or so, but I’ll hold out until then. So, are you here for medical help, or…”

“I want to help out,” you say.

“Right. There is a lot of work to be done. Now, you’re too new to be on any formal squad, so I don’t think I want you on repairs… the injured are taken care of… and cleaning might be a bit much, since I doubt you’re used to using one arm for a lot of tasks yet.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Right, then I suppose the simplest thing for the moment is courier duty. That is, passing along orders to the other knights so they don’t have to keep running back here in between jobs. Not the most glamorous of work, but it speeds things up a bit. Now, let me think…” She glances down at a notebook. “Getting harder to remember who I sent where. I’ll be glad when I can finally get some shut-eye. Now, let’s see, who did I have new orders for…”

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The watchmen out out in a hunting blind/ watchtower a little ways off base. It should be easy to find if you just head straight on the walkways. Just watch your step

Author’s Note:

Somewhere around this point, I’d noticed I’d said “Tom Fifth” was working on the noisy project a few times before actually introducing Eighth. So I settled the issue by bringing in a Tom Fifth who looks identical to Tom Eighth, because that was more entertaining than ignoring it.