“So, ah. Just what is it he’s working on?”
She just shrugs.
“Don’t know. I tried asking him, but he just said ‘you’ll see when it’s ready.’ Doubt he’d tell you, either. Tom Fifth tends to keep to himself.”
You try to think of something else to ask, and settle on a simple question.
“How long have you been here?”
She does some quick counting on her fingers.
“Three and a half years out of training now, give or take a bit. Don’t see a lot of combat, thankfully; we don’t get assigned specifically to combat missions until five years out.”
“What is it you’re doing, then?”
“Repairs, mostly. Those walkways are sturdy, but as wet as it gets out here, there’s always some boards rotting. So we spend most of the day looking for boards that need replacing, or ropes that have frayed too much, that sort of thing. Of course, since it’s just rained we’re mostly focused on making sure the base is ready for the next storm.”
“Oh, right, I heard you had a month of rain before I got here.”
She lets out a loud groan.
“Once a year. You can never be quite sure just when it’s going to start, but it’s regular enough that we can start preparing in advance. I dread to think what it would be like without that extra time, it’s bad enough when a one-day rain takes you by surprise.”
She seems a little bothered thinking about it. You remember another knight getting upset when you brought up the rain. Flooding must be a big problem here, one that it’s probably best not to talk about.
So you change the subject.
“Er. So, what exactly is going on around here? I don’t really know anyone, or much about what’s happening… I heard about a prisoner exchange but that’s about it.”
“Well, it’s how we usually handle these things. Sergeant Burgundy’s been sent to handle the negotiations; usually they want some of our supplies as well. But apparently they stole a lifeboat so they’ll just bargain over keeping that.”
“Any news besides that?”
“If you’re that new, you likely wouldn’t know the people involved. I mean, if I tell you that Tom Seventh and Elize Sunflower broke up, that wouldn’t mean much to you, would it?”
“Well, as far as I know they never dated, so likely not. Still, I suppose if you do want to know about someone in particular, I can tell you if I’ve heard anything. On one condition.”
She pulls a deck of cards out of her bag.
“Nobody plays Swamprats with me any more. Certainly not these two. So I’ll deal out a few hands and you can ask me about anyone you like as we play. Doesn’t matter if I win or lose, I just need someone to play with. I doubt you know the rules, but they’re fairly quick to learn.”
Seems straightforward enough. But is there anyone you really want to ask her about?
Ask about Sergeant Greenwoods.
John Medic, perhaps? He’s the only one that’s been really nice to you, it’d be good if you know how not to get on his bad side.
Wait, do you know how to play Swamprats? D:
LETS PLAY SWAMPRATS!!!!
“Tell me about yourself! :D”
Quickly learn that the reason no one plays Swamprats with her anymore is she doesn’t know the meaning of a friendly match and keeps raising the stakes.