Swamped Chapter 18 Page 1

You can’t think of anything else in particular, other than putting on an extra pair of boots. Your normal ones might be good enough for swimming around in swamp muck, but Rider’s menagerie is more than a little messy.

And that’s likely to have gotten worse with his disappearance. Even before you heard about it, you knew something was off when you saw the beast flailing around on your way back to base; the rest of Rider’s pets are likely to be agitated as well.

Too bad you’ve only got spare boots. You wouldn’t mind having some additional protection for the rest of your body as well, just in case.

You head over to the zoo, where Rivers and Starling are already at work cleaning the pens.

It’s odd. Most Marshguards would probably be more irritable while doing this kind of work, but it always seems to put Rivers in a better mood than usual.

Not that you expect that to be enough. Still, here’s your best chance.

“Afternoon,” you say, walking over to them. Rivers shoots you a glare. “How goes the cleaning?”

“Just fine until you showed up,” Rivers grumbles.

“We’ve had to use the grooming brush a lot more than usual to calm them down,” Starling says with a smile. “They seem upset today.”

Oh hell. Does she not know Rider’s gone missing? You should probably explain that before moving on to the rougher topics.

“That’s probably because Rider disappeared in last night’s operation,” you say.

“Oh! What happened?”

“Who cares,” Rivers mutters. “Look, Boss, is there a reason you’re here? You’re not dragging us to another debriefing, are you?”

“Of course not. I’ve just been busy for a while. Thought it would be good to check in with the squad members.”

“Well, we’re fine. So get lost. Or at least make yourself useful and grab a net.”

You need to think about this. From her tone of voice, you can tell she doesn’t really want you sticking around. But maybe it would be good to help her out anyhow; it’s not as if you have any other idea how to improve your standing in her eyes.

And you still have to figure out how you want to steer this conversation towards the prisoners.

What should you do?

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okay, rank is pretty flexible in the marshguard, but it still feels kinda rank for them to be pulling rank on you, especially when you’re trying to weasel your way ahead!

or that’s what you would think, if you weren’t the most humble, results-oriented motherfucker on earth. nope, you’re just getting to work, and asserting yourself only by doing a really good job


Yep lets help out. Starling’s still in disbelief about Rider’s dissaperance. “But if Rider is gone then who put that huge Fenguin over there?”