Swamped Chapter 40 Page 2

You do a few quick mental calculations about momentum and velocity, and reason you can probably launch yourself with enough force to knock down the intruder. You opt to go for it, without really thinking about what you’ll do afterwards.

But you wind up overshooting, because someone else has the same idea. You wind up leaping over your quarry and landing face-first in the sand. Of course, your suit’s more than up to the task of protecting you from that.

You pick yourself up, and turn around to see what’s going on.

Wait. Starling tackled the raider? She’s sick! And certainly in no shape for the struggle afterwards once the raider gets up.

You help out by lunging at the raider’s legs, but they kick you away.

“Damn greblings,” the raider snarls in a female voice. “They never learn their place until you lock ’em up for a good week.”

The fact that she’s speaking Common suggests these aren’t the Dune Wanderers after all. More worryingly, she’s talking like a slaver. You’re angry, but also confused. The slavers haven’t attacked the camp since your crew drove them off three years ago. Why would they be striking now?

And… why does her voice sound so familiar?

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You recognize this voice! It sounds just like someone who is about to get a big ‘ole grebling claw mark across the face.

Wow. Starling is looking really proud of herself for someone who is also vomiting.


Oh right we still don’t know who this is.

It’s Pubert, he has a Sandy Mocker stuck in his robes. Probably for food. Not a good sign that the mocker overheard that phrase though, they can live up to 10 years but this one is young.


Wait, these might be Pubert’s accomplices/employers trying to recoup their wagon and whatever they thought they were getting from the Dune Wanderers, if anything.

Is it time to try using civilized words with the rude intruder, as long as they’re (sort of) in talking mood, or is it claws-to-the-face o’clock?