Swamped Chapter 51 Page 4

It’s an odd gesture, as Ringer alternates between cupping their hands to their mouth and making slight flapping motions. But you think you get the gist of it.

“You heard bird noises?”

One ring.

Followed by a second, slightly less confident ring.

“You heard noises that sounded like a bird, but you think they weren’t a bird.”

One ring.

“Well, you’ve got my permission to go and look into it. But I can’t go with you, got too much else on my plate. If you think you need backup, just grab whoever’s available.”

One ring, and then Ringer runs off. Ugh, this meeting’s a pain, you keep having to manage everyone because there’s nobody else around to do it. This is probably what things would be like if you’d actually gotten that Council seat.

Maybe you should have dragged Rider back to do his damn job here when he resurfaced. Would’ve simplified a lot of things, frankly.

Anyhow, without any humans to slow you down, you slip under the floorboards and make your way back to the meeting.

Just in time, it seems. Bigfoot walks through the door, with Dean in hand.

“Here’s the prisoner you wanted to talk to, Razor,” she grumbles. “Don’t know why it had to be done now of all times, but he’s here.”

“Mostly to save time,” Razor says. “Bring him up here.”

Bigfoot drags Dean to the front of the room wordlessly.

“What do you want with me?”

“I would like you to explain why you were at the fly breeding grounds a few nights ago. To clarify it for everyone at once.”

Oh. Figures. He’s showboating.

“I’ve said this every time someone’s asked. We had a greatrat infestation that night. Got caught off guard by it. I gathered up the fly eggs so we could poison them cleanly.”

“You’ve all heard his story now,” Razor says. “So. Before we move on, does anyone care to dispute it?”

So that’s his game. Razor knows people are still whispering about fly poison, even after the desert fever was discovered. And he suspects some of the officers are letting those rumors continue to fly.

Now he’s putting every last one of them on the spot. Trying to see who takes this opportunity to stir up trouble. Or, if no one does, using that to pressure them to quell the rumors.

You still don’t think that’s what this meeting is really about, but you have to admit it’s a good chance to see who steps forward to challenge the official story.

So who does?

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Dean himself interrupts, shouting with horror when he notices the eggs in your sample container.