Swamped Chapter 18 Page 2

You figure you’ll call Rivers’ bluff. She’s probably not expecting you to actually help out.

You grab a net and start scooping out the droppings from the water. It’d probably be better to change the water entirely, but you know full well that’s not an option around here.

“What I heard is, Long challenged Rider to a duel in hopes of stopping the raid. But they both vanished without a trace.”

Rivers pauses for a moment, but doesn’t say anything.

“What? How?”

“Supposedly Long did some magic. I don’t buy that myself, but it’s what the rumors say.”

“But if Rider’s gone, where’d that enormous Fenguin come from?”

Starling points to a large creature off in a new pool, one with a thicker gate. It wasn’t here the last time you checked, but that was a while ago. On the other hand, the two of them would have noticed a new creature right away.

You head over and glance at a note on the wall.

do not feed yet. being preserved for examination. unsure of how diet compares to lesser fenguin. animal expert among prisoners, plan to consult.

“This looks like Mantis’ writing,” you say. “Guess he caught it. Seems he was going to ask one of the prisoners about it. But I don’t think he has yet, I was just questioning a prisoner and I didn’t see Mantis on the schedule…”

Well, you’ve raised the subject, and it doesn’t even seem like a stretch. Starling’s looking curious, while Rivers is looking like her usual unpleasant self.

Where should you try to take the conversation from here?

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“Actually, it says the prisoner is an expert on animals…”

Oh wait…doesn’t…Shrike have a pen pal he talks about at times?

Wait…is Dean the animal expert? Jackson mentioned he was on pest control and now that you think about it, it does sound familiar.

Starling has a way with animals, almost as good as that of Rider. She’s fascinated by swamp creatures which is part of the reason why she enjoys the cleaning duty. You know Rivers has had to put up with overhearing more than a few conversations between an excited Starling as she asks questions to Shrike about swamp creatures. More often than not though he doesn’t have the answer and says “I’ll have to ask my friend.”

“Maybe Mantis is talking about Dean?” See how she reacts when hearing the prisoner’s name. If it really is Shrike’s friend Starling will definitely want to talk to him.

“You know i just came from interrogating one of them…I bet I could get us a meeting with him.”

Rivers knows they can’t just walk up and talk to a key prisoner without good reason, and you would need permission from an officer, so they wouldn’t be permitted to visit…but if you can convince her that you could get Starling a few moments with Dean, she might acquiesce. Under some strict conditions: Dean is chained up good (no martial arts over here), Rivers waits outside the cell, and you finish helping shovel swamp animal poo.

As for actually letting Starling speak to Dean…that might be trickier…you’d need officer permission – Mudviper might help – but she’s under suspicion…Doc, however was apparently speaking to Dean earlier…ugh…this conversation might be coming sooner than you thought.

 

wait but we don’t even want starling to talk to dean, we want them to talk to johnson, right?

 

well yeah, but the ruse gets them in the interrogation room and well…we could probably have them swap out with Jackson midway through the interrogation.