Swamped Chapter 5 Page 1

You soon find the spectacle at the center of the lounge; two knights are arguing. Looking a bit more closely, you recognize one of them as Lisa’s rival from yesterday, Grey. Whoever he’s arguing with has a swamp chicken perched on their head.

“It’s not going to rain, Stewart,” Grey snarls. “We’re not even three weeks out from the last storm. It never rains that soon after a storm. You probably just saw some swampwater dripping off a tree branch or something.”

“I know rain when I see it. I was raised on a swamp, Grey. And the rain may not have been as bad there, but I sure learned to tell the difference between a raindrop and a drip. The big thing is, rain’s clean, least until it hits the ground. These drops were clear as day, clearer even. That means rain.”

“In just one place, though? Since when does the rain work like that?”

“I don’t know why it was just raining lightly there. I just know that it’s starting.”

“We can’t just hole up in here because it might be raining! There’s too much work to be done!”

“You know as well as I do that nothing’s getting done outside until the rain stops. And you know I wouldn’t lie about the rain to get out of work. You of all people must know how much pride I put into getting things done.”

“But it can’t be raining! It’s too soon!”

“Doesn’t matter what you think,” Stewart shrugs, pulling down the chicken and petting it. “I already reported it in, and that means we assume the rain’s coming. Unless the scouting team comes back and says I was wrong, we’re stuck here, so we may as well make the most of it.”

“And what about that thing?” Grey shouts, pointing at the chicken. “We can’t have wild creatures running around in the base, and I’m not going to make an exception for you.”

“Well, I can’t leave her out in the rain, can I? That’d just be cruel. Besides, the worst she’s going to do is lay eggs. Swampcocks may be territorial little bastards, but the hens are docile. And, because I know you’re gonna ask, I already checked her for fly eggs. She’s clean.”

Grey puts a hand to his forehead and groans.

“I hate it when you’re right,” he sighs. “But the moment that teams comes back and says there’s no rain, you’re putting that hen back where you found her. Understood?”

“Fair. I’ll let her out once the rain stops.”

As the argument calms down, you suddenly realize that Riley is standing next to you and looking very embarrassed.

“Is everything all right?” you ask.

“Other than my brother bringing a wild swamphen into the base and getting into an argument with his boyfriend in front of absolutely everyone, just fine,” Riley sighs. “Oh, and he’s probably right about the rain, so there’s that too.”

“Oh.” You don’t really know how else to respond.

In fact, you’re not sure if this is the best time to talk to anyone. The whole idea that it might rain has everyone on edge, and you’re prone to saying things you’ll regret. At a time like this, it’s probably best to stay quiet.

But you’ve got no idea how long it will be before the scouts report back about the rain. What are you supposed to do while you wait?

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Suggestions:

Ask sergeant greenwoods about the rain. as a superior officer, it’s her duty educate you on rain and not get immediately upset about the rain like everyone else does, even if there’s apparently plenty of reason to be immediately upset.

Is it true that swamp chickens have teeth?

Author’s Note:

I’d been looking forward to making the rain happen, but hadn’t really planned out how I was going to get there.

So when I got a suggestion about it raining, of course I was going to make use of that.