Swamped Chapter 51 Page 10

You take another glance over the list, reminding yourself who’s who.

That’s when you notice that about two-thirds of the names are officers who usually report to Rider.

Now. If you were someone who didn’t regularly get orders from everyone on the Council, you might well have the impression that Razor and Rider don’t like each other. They’re always arguing at the meetings, after all.

But you know full well that the two of them have a deep-seated mutual respect, despite their disagreements, and that Rider’s not naive. There couldn’t be a conspiracy this widespread among his officers without him knowing about it. One or two might be able to sneak around without catching his attention, but for there to be this much suspicious behavior… he’d have to be part of it.

You almost wonder if the list is faked… but no, Mudviper’s name isn’t on it. Razor’s been keeping his opinion on her real quiet, just to throw off the spies.

So why are there all these Rider officers… oh, wait.

The one-armed kid.

There’s something up between Rider and that new Bogknight, and you don’t really know or care what it is. But there’s been plenty of not-to-be-shared-with-the-Council stuff that Rider’s been scheming involving that whole mess.

So Razor must be having trouble separating “acting suspicious because they want to help Rider” from “acting suspicious because they’re spies”.

Which means it’s up to you to narrow that particular category down. Well. Where are you going to start?

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Author’s Note:

I had a lot of trouble figuring out what I was going to do with this update. The one suggestion I had basically posited a conspiracy where the list had been replaced by a fake, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to work in the particular complications that would involve.

That made it hard to figure out what to do next, since the main avenue for investigation in the suggestion was based on the list being faked. I guess I could have come up with some other excuse to go looking for Quill, but I couldn’t think of anything at the time.

So what I opted to do was take another part of the suggestion – that the list was mostly made up of officers who report to Rider. I realized that I could do that without making the list a fake, and I even had an explanation for how it ended up that way. And rather than Crosswinds’ name being on the list as a tip-off that it’s fake, instead Mudviper’s is absent as a tip-off that it’s real. This is different from what the suggestion said, but it’s clearly inspired by it.