Swamped Chapter 50 Page 7

All right.

You weren’t expecting a sinkhole, but you were prepared for the chance that the anomaly would be in the middle of a sandstorm. Which means you do have some of Simone’s sonar tools for taking remote readings.

You’re not sure what you’re checking just yet, but you might as well gather the data.

“First things first, we check what we can from up here,” you say. You reach into your pack and hand out the sound scanners. “Just go to different points around the edge and point these in. I know enough of Simone’s work that I can probably interpret the results. And if you’ve got tools that can pick up other readings, use them. We’ll figure out our next move after that, Corvus will probably be here by then.”

There’s some grumbling, mostly from Stefan, but everyone takes a scanner and wanders off.

You start glancing at the readings, trying to make sense of what you’re seeing. There’s a lot of rock, of course… a few living creatures, though you’d be hard-pressed to name exactly what they are based on this… but what’s that? Is it water?

Your train of thought is interrupted as you hear something a few feet away. You turn to see Rudolph holding Stefan’s arm.

“This troublemaker was trying to grab a rope. I expect he was planning to slip down there himself,” Rudolph says. “Which I assume you don’t want. What should I do with him?”

“Director, please! I wasn’t going to go all the way down. Just wanted to get a little bit closer for better readings. I was just going one ledge down!”

“Without asking me?” you say, more than a little suspicious.

“I didn’t want to interrupt you.”

“Let me be clear, Stefan. I’m in charge of this expedition. You do not move closer without informing me, no matter how ‘safe’ you think it is.”

“Yes, Director,” he mutters. “Permission to climb down one ledge for clearer readings?”

What’s your answer?

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Put the rope on him, that way if he tries anything, just have him hauled back up.