Swamped Chapter 10 Page 13

You don’t like the idea of hiding the details. Honestly, from what they’ve told you, you can’t even see a reason why they need to hide it. If it was genuinely an accident, there shouldn’t be much of a problem…

…unless, perhaps, the barrel wasn’t where it was supposed to be in the first place.

“Why’s the barrel a problem?” you ask, trying to sound curious more than suspicious. At least for the moment. “The rats broke lots of stuff. And if one got too close to the other barrels, well, I think there’s way more trouble coming your way if they don’t hear about it.”

“Nah, they’re checking the water anyhow,” Clancy says. “Just in case. The problem with the barrel is, uh…” He looks at Squib, probably for permission to continue. “Well, we kind of baited the rat in there in the first place. Not the best idea, but we, um. We’ve got enough minor disputes with the officers that we can’t risk another one.”

You definitely get the sense that there’s something he’s not telling you.

“If they’re checking the water, won’t they find the broken barrel? Or at least notice there’s one missing.”

Judging by the dirty looks the squad is giving you, you get the distinct impression there’s something more going on.

You also get the feeling that you may have asked more questions than they were willing to answer. Squib, in particular, is clenching his fists and you don’t think it’s going to take much to set him off.

“Well, uh, yeah,” Clancy says hurriedly. “But they’d be poking around trying to find out what happened, and, um, it’s better for us if they don’t do that. So just say you found something out about how it broke and it’s all good. You’d be doing us a big favor. And Squib Squad always keeps track of who does them favors.”

“And who doesn’t,” Squib adds.

The decision suddenly seems more pressing. You could back off and just do what they want. Or, you could confront them… but in that case, you should probably have a plan for what you’re doing next.

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Suggestions:

“Alright, got it. Do you think it would work if I said that the barrel broke while you were getting the greatrat OUT of the barrel room?”

“what’s in it for me?” and dont let them pull any threats, it’s not like they can do worse to you than what you’ve been through, what with losing an arm and all.

 

These guys are scared.

What would they stuff in a tarp, tie up with a rope, and shove into a barrel?

Maybe they were trying to catch the greatrat instead of kill it. Not sure why they’d want a live greatrat though. You heard stories of some circus performers keeping live greatrats for shows, like a more feral lion taming…maybe Squib wanted to ride it?

It’s just a hunch, but this could be interesting.

“I’ll cover for ya.”

and then

“You know there’s still some greatrats around here that pest control hasn’t got to yet. I saw one just earlier today actually. Apparently you can subdue them easier while swimming, but you have to know the right location.”

If Squib seems interested continue with details, otherwise just leave and tell John Recordkeeper that it looks like one of the rats chewed through a support rope and toppled over a loose barrel.