Swamped Chapter 18 Page 24

“I don’t think we should bother with her, Boss,” Shorty says, interjecting. “She looks like nothing but trouble.”

Funny. That’s what he said about Bigfoot, back on your first squad years ago.

Though this time, he’s not whispering it. You can tell Rotmouth’s bothered by the suggestion.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right,” you muse. “She wasn’t much of a fighter, and not particularly bright either. Maybe I’ll see if Stinger’s up to joining us.”

“Hey!” Rotmouth shouts. “You had me outnumbered. One-on-one, I could have taken you just fine.”

“It’s not just that you lost, it’s how fast. All it took was a basic three-way flanking maneuver.”

She sits up and glares at you.

“I don’t have to take this. You know what my sisters and me did before coming here?”

“Doesn’t matter. The swamp’s not like the outside world. If you pick fights with everyone who rubs you the wrong way, it’ll eat you up. If you can’t even learn that basic lesson, we’ve got no use for you. You’ll never amount to anything.”

She starts pulling on her chains.

“Let me out, Doc! I gotta show this bastard what-for!”

“Much as I’d enjoy watching that, I have to agree with the bastard. Your attitude is nothing but trouble.”

“Screw this, we’ve wasted enough time,” you say. “Let’s grab Stinger and then go hunting for that prisoner. I thought I’d be gracious, but nah, this useless newmuck’s just going to slow us down.”

You hear the chains shake.

“Oh, that’s it. I’ll make you eat those words.”

“Not while you’re chained to that bed,” you say.

“And I’m not unlocking her unless she’s under supervision,” Doc replies, turning her attention to Mudviper. “Can’t imagine a lot of squad leaders would consider that risk worth it.”

“Urgh. Fine. Let me on your stupid squad.”

“No way!” Legs shouts suddenly. “You just want out of the chains!”

Ugh. Of course Legs would bark out orders. He’s always had trouble accepting that he’s not in charge of the squad.

And in a sensitive negotiation like this, he could blow everything. So how should you handle this?

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Easy. Give Legs charge of keeping an eye on her. Everyone can do something and you can delegate. Not to mention he’d appreciate the responsibility. Unless he’d prefer to stay on guard duty to help make sure no one else escapes.