Swamped Chapter 24 Page 1

You just about faint. It’s Rider, hunched over, covered in dirt, and with his uniform badly torn. And are those teeth marks?

“Where the hell have you been,” you start to ask, but he just shoves you aside.

“Viper. I don’t have a lot of time. Where’s my…”

He pauses as he takes in the scene.

“Marshall. I have a lot to explain, but unfortunately I can’t right now. I have to get back before Long succumbs to the fever. Viper, is that my book?”

“Er. It’s my father’s romance novel,” Marshall says.

“Yes, that’s the one. I’m going to need it.”

“Now just a second here,” you start to say. “You can’t just come back as if nothing’s happened and leave us all hanging without explanation!”

“It’s not really in my hands,” says Rider, grabbing the book. “The gateway I used is going to fade soon, and I’ve got no idea when another one will emerge. And there’s no way Long’s going to make it through.”

“What the hell are you…”

But before you can finish asking, Rider’s already rushed out.

What the hell do you do now?

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Suggestions:

give chase, posthaste

Author’s Note:

It might seem strange to have Rider return in response to a suggestion, even with a lack of other options. But as it turns out, I had already been thinking about having him re-emerge suddenly, so the suggestion just served as a reason to go with that idea.

Of course, it would resolve a lot of problems very easily if Rider just returned, so naturally I needed an excuse for him not to stick around.