Swamped Chapter 58 Page 11

Something strikes you. Greenbags said the ambush was Viper and two others.

But Sergeant Dominic said you had two Marshguards in custody. Of course, that was a conversation you weren’t supposed to hear.

“So, hold on. Does this mean Viper’s still in our holding cells?”

“She escaped,” Nina says. “Wasn’t even there a whole night.”

“Same night the Marshguards attacked, too,” Greenbags says. “So we didn’t have much chance to look into how. The other two are still locked up, though.”

Hmm. A high-ranking Marshguard sneaks onto the barge, gets captured, escapes, and there’s a major offensive that very night? It’s odd, to say the least. You’d expect Viper to be involved in the assault, considering she’s one of their better commanders.

“You don’t suppose she was trying to steal the barge to prepare for the assault?” you muse.

Grey shakes his head.

“No, I don’t think so. See, we’re the ones who took the barge out the night before. It was an emergency run for fly eggs, so we could poison the greatrats. Greenbags here stayed behind after drawing the attention of the rats on the ship, and Dean and Nina went off in a lifeboat to get the eggs. So there were just three of us.”

“And on top of that, there was another group of Marshguards nearby,” Nina adds. “That’s why we took the lifeboat. We’re pretty sure that’s when they slipped aboard, though we don’t know how yet. If they just wanted the barge, though, I’m pretty sure they could have taken us right then and there.”

This sounds stranger and stranger the more you hear about it. It also doesn’t seem to be leading Grey back towards his secret, but it’s juicy all on its own, so you’re good for now. Although, you thought you noticed him getting a little bit tense when he mentioned Dean – that could be something.

Still, for the moment, work with what you’ve got. At the least it could get you a good story if you need to bend someone’s ear before they open up to you.

“So why do you think they snuck aboard, then?” you ask. “If they could have taken the barge, they probably would have done just that. It’d only make sense if they wanted something in the base, and saw the barge as a chance to get closer to it.”

It should be interesting to hear their guesses.

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Suggestions:

Sounds like…a decoy! They wanted to get caught, so it would be easier to take something that was on the barge – attacking from within! And the other two…uhhh, scapegoats? Focus on them so the leader got away. Not seeing the trees for the forest, or something.