Swamped Chapter 143 Page 15

“Lamp oil’s the big thing,” she says. “And a few blankets wouldn’t hurt – we’ve got enough now, but we might not if things get worse. If you could swing a stepladder, that’d make things easier, too.”

“Sure, we’ll get right on it,” you say. Bert just follows you.

“It’s funny, she thought she was being careful,” you say when you’re sure you won’t be overheard. “But we mainly wanted information, and she gave us plenty.”

“You’re reminding me of Mina,” Bert mutters. “She’s always doing this kind of thing. What, exactly, did we find out?”

“Well, the first thing’s simple. Why would they be out of lamp oil after a fire?”

Bert pauses.

“It wouldn’t be any use for dousing the fire. So it must have either been used to start it, or it was caught in the flames.”

“Exactly. Which really narrows down where the fire could have happened.” You smirk a little behind the mask. “Second, the blankets. What do you think those are for?”

Bert just shrugs. You suppose you’ll have to spell it out.

“For the injured,” you explain. “If they aren’t ready to get back to work, you need to keep them somewhere, and at the very least keep them warm. And if they’re worried there might be more injured…”

“Then they haven’t caught your friend yet,” Bert realizes. “Well, probably haven’t, anyways. And the ladder… maybe they want to put the curtain back up?”

“Which would suggest they haven’t given up on retrieving the priests,” you conclude. “But they’re probably still getting themselves organized, between the fire and the alarm.”

“Well, your whole plan was to stop them, so how are we going to do that?” Bert asks.

“I think our big edge is that the whole group isn’t fully informed of exactly what they’re doing,” you reply. “We’ll need to make use of that, but first, we’re going to find Drip.”

“And where exactly are we going to do that?”

“The first step is checking the scene of the fire,” you reply. “And because of the lamp oil, I think I know where that is.”

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The lighting nexus, adjacent to the lobby