Swamped Chapter 42 Page 7

The times you thought you might crack were when your squadmates got caught, too. You were pretty sure the Bogknights wouldn’t mess them up to get at you – not after the treaty, anyways – but you were always worried about it in the back of your mind.

You could try to bluff about that, but unfortunately, you’ve got limited space here. This camp wasn’t really designed to hold captives, so you’ve had to keep both of them tied up in the same tent.

So if you were to make threats, you’d have to actually carry them out right there.

Still, it’s something. You start glancing at the one who’s still unconscious.

“You’re a stubborn one. Unfortunately for you, I am too. Your friend here’s still out cold. The medic’s been worried, actually. Couldn’t tell if her head injuries were serious, because we couldn’t get the mask off.”

Without any further prompting, Rudolph stands over her, and nonchalantly pulls a club out of his belt. He doesn’t do anything in particular with it, just holds it.

“And, well. Who knows how much worse it might get if we try to get her mask off again? We could hurt her real bad without realizing it. So if you know how to remove it, that would be really helpful.”

The prisoner suddenly laughs. Well, that’s more of a reaction than you’ve gotten so far.

“Let her suffer if you like,” he says, in Common. “It is you who will face the consequences.”

He’s probably bluffing. If he really didn’t care, he’d do nothing at all. You must have hit a nerve.

But that’s all in the back of your mind. Your main focus right now is trying not to show surprise at the fact that you recognize his accent.

It’s the same as Stinger’s. You can’t mistake it. There must have been at least a dozen times now when Rider sent him as a messenger.

“Rider would like to meet with you. He is not happy about your last mission, and wishes to discuss the consequences of what you have done.”

Stinger really liked that word, even though he had trouble with it. Now you’re hearing it again, pronounced the exact same way, with the exact same stumbling points. He must be from Stinger’s homeland, far across the sea.

So now that you know that, what are you going to do?

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Suggestions:

There was one time…you were recently off the juice and were sent on a mission with Blue-eyes squad, sort of a command internship. It was a successful raid, plundered a small storehouse and even got a captive (though she escaped easily afterwards). You spoke with Blue-eyes about it later. How did they keep their cool that far into enemy territory?

Blue-eyes [I think that was their name?] shot you a grin…and a hand symbol. One you saw them use a lot during their mission. “Trust, ‘ they said. You thought it was just something their squad did but…Stinger took some time to get used to the swamp…he was easily the most displaced in the group. Maybe the symbols came from him.

Repeat your offer to help their partner if they tell them how to take off the mask. Then show them the same symbol.