Swamped Chapter 55 Page 17

You’re actually a little tempted to go down and see what this thing has been up to. But getting past the thing would be risky, and you’re not inclined to look without telling anyone where you are.

So, a warning it is. If it does burst through, you’ve probably got enough people up there to take care of it. You head up through the floorboards.

“The hell’s going on, Crosswinds?” Bigfoot asks. She’s clearly not pleased.

“There’s some kind of digging machine underneath. It’s going to pop up here any moment. I’ve got no idea what it’ll do after that.”

Bigfoot frowns.

“And this doesn’t have anything to do with your friend here casting?”

“Not unless the machine’s tracking her somehow. I don’t know enough to rule that out.”

“A machine?” Mantis asks, puzzled. “But machines shouldn’t have auras.”

“You can wonder about that later. I can’t fight that thing too well under the floor, not enough space. But once it pops up – should be about there – we may be able to stop it. And when you do, maybe you can figure out where its aura is coming from or whatever.”

You turn to Ringer.

“Get that prisoner in the cells already. Don’t need ’em slipping away again.”

Ringer nods, picks up their bell, and drags the prisoner away.

Elmin’s still chanting. And the shaking’s getting worse. You wouldn’t think those two drills could cause this much of a ruckus…

Wait. How do you know that’s the only one?

“One second. I’ve got to check underground,” you say.

And just as you’re about to head through the floorboard, you see another drill lifting it up.

Great. So there are more. Now what?

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Suggestions:

Better get some real leadership involved in this one. If Mantis has no suggestions, go to the council.