Swamped Chapter 41 Page 4

You think about what you’ve learned.

The only practical reason you can see for bolting everything down is if the room moves. Say, if you’re on a ship.

But you can’t feel any motion. That’s unusual for a ship; it should rock noticeably even if you’re in harbor. Perhaps it’s hasn’t been moved into the water yet?

Alternatively, it might be a wagon. It would have to be a much bigger wagon than the one Yvonne arrived in – and damn, you need to get out of here so she doesn’t worry too much about you – but you have no idea how large humans can build them. Maybe it would be feasible to fit a room of this size in one.

You feel a sudden headache coming on. Perhaps you were knocked out by whoever brought you here. You decide to lie down and try to work out what you can.

As you do, you notice that there’s a faint impression on the pillowcases. It looks like it might be a symbol, but it’s hard to notice unless you look very closely. It resembles a flame, though without seeing the entire symbol you’d have trouble saying for sure.

Come to think of it, you have a faint memory of seeing a flame symbol much like this. But unless you saw it again, you’d have trouble saying for sure if they matched.

Just as you try to think about what to do next, a mechanical servant walks in through the door, this one carrying a note. The note is in your home colony’s language, oddly enough, but the handwriting has a distinctly human style to it.


You no doubt have many questions. Unfortunately, I do not have time to answer them all, so I will focus on the most straightforward one.

What do I want from you?

It is simple. You have no doubt seen my mechanical servants, and have likely noticed that they do not speak. This is due to the limits of my own ability.

I have been trying to construct a voice box, and I have a successful prototype. Unfortunately, it is far too large to fit into the design. My efforts to shrink it down have only served to diminish the sound too low for human use.

By the time you finish reading this note, another servant should have arrived with the functional prototype, and a nonfunctioning model of the desired size. It is my hope that your particular expertise can solve this problem for me.

You may feel free to work whenever you are well enough to. You may also request tools from the servants, though I will, of course, forbid certain items if I feel you may be planning something undesirable with them.

I wish you the best of luck,
Your Host”

More specifically, it’s the male term for host. You assume that to be intentional; the letter as a whole is too well-crafted for its author to be likely to overlook that detail.

So. It seems you’ve been kidnapped by some human engineer with a knack for languages, and he wants you to finish a project. You can’t help but notice he didn’t say anything about letting you go once you were done.

As the note said, the items have already arrived by the time you finish reading. There’s also a toolbox, with not much in it. Beside the toolbox is a set of blueprints for the larger device, labeled in your home colony’s language again.

What are you going to do?

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Well yeah this is totally within your skillset. Its all prototypes, but your wiring skill has been invaluable in designing the many devices used by Greblings. When life gives you sand, make silicon.