Swamped Chapter 45 Page 10

All of a sudden, you find your thoughts wandering, back to the swamp, back to the people you were just starting to know.

You find yourself idly imagining what everyone’s doing. Did Tom Eighth ever finish his mystery invention? How’s the rest of Corvus’ squad getting along without him? What would Lisa think if she heard you had vanished into the desert?

Rivers can’t help but notice the look on your face, it seems.

“Are you even listening, Marshall?”

“Um. Sorry. I think I’m actually getting a little homesick for the swamp, of all things.”

All of a sudden, Rivers starts to smile.

“You’re embarrassed about that? How do you think I’ve felt since I got dragged here yesterday? I’ve lived in that swamp for somewhere around three years now. And you feel silly about that?”

“Well, I’ve only been there about a week,” you mutter. “Plus, um, it’s where I lost my arm.”

Rivers suddenly glances at your shoulders.

“What. The. Hells,” she says. It sounds like it’s more to herself than to you. “I knew I was a mess, but I barely even noticed you lost your arm. I mean, I know I looked at it, I think I heard people talking about it, but I didn’t even think it was worth giving another thought. The hell is wrong with me?”

She shakes her head for a bit.

“Guess there’s not much to do except try to make up for it now. So. What happened to your arm?” She pauses. “If you don’t mind saying.”

“Um.” You try to think about how to word this. “I lost it in… in the rain.”

She stares at you.

“Wait. In the swamp. You were out in the rain?”

You nod.

“Just outside the door to the base, thankfully. It’s still a miracle I survived.” You pause for a moment. “Though, Captain Long said it might have been something more than a miracle… I’m still not sure what to think about that.”

“The hell are you talking about?”

You feel really awkward explaining this, but, well, you trust her. She’s not the person she once was, but it’s close enough for your trust to carry over.

“Today I found out I’m a wizard,” you start to explain. “Somehow, I cast a spell that cured Captain Long. And he said, well, more like he just guessed, that maybe I did something, um, when I was attacked.”

“So… what? Either you were really lucky and survived due to sheer chance, or you were really lucky and survived because you turned out to have magic. Can’t say I see how it matters from your side of things. Either way, you were lucky as hell.”

“I suppose I can’t argue with that,” you mutter.

You’re now Corvus.

You didn’t get much more information out of the prisoners, though maybe Long had better luck after he took over that task. If he did, he’s not saying anything.

Regardless, you’ve gotten all the info you’re going to, because it’s time to head out for the prisoner exchange. You, Rudolph, and Long are handling this, along with Yvonne to supervise. Rider’s staying back in camp, just in case something happens there.

You’re taking them over to Pubert’s wagon, as it’s the only vehicle around here that humans can fit in comfortably. Apparently there’s some other arrangements being made for Pubert, you didn’t really catch what they were. And for the moment, you’re not really worrying about that.

Instead, you think you just noticed the woman you’re escorting cock her head slightly, as though she was straining to hear something. You think you can hear some faint voices, too… and now that you’re thinking about it, you can see Marshall and Rivers talking some distance away.

Huh. Is she listening in? She’s got better hearing than you if that’s the case.

You wonder if you should do anything about it, or just focus on the task at hand. It’s not as if those two are likely to be discussing anything too important, after all.

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Suggestions:

There’s only one interrogation technique you haven’t tried yet…turning on that ole Corvus charm…

Wait why is Long loosening her ropes? What does he mean he’s “going with her”??

 

Singing a classic swamp shanty ought to drown out the distraction and attract her attention.