Swamped Chapter 58 Page 14

“Who reports to him, then?”

“As far as we can tell, it’s not an official arrangement, but there’s about five or six squads he keeps in close contact with,” Greenbags says. “What’s odd is that most of the knights on them had serious disciplinary problems.”

“Maybe he’s just trying to keep them in line?”

“Then he’s doing a piss-poor job of it,” Grey grumbles. “Squib Squad, in particular, seems to get into much more trouble as a squad than they ever did individually. And you know what happens every single time? Ash gives them a talking-to, and they’re right back at it after a couple of days. Sometimes I wonder if he’s giving them orders to make a ruckus.”

“Squib Squad? I can’t say I’m familiar.”

“They’re fairly new,” says whichever Mary it is. “They’re a reserve squad, one year out from graduating to full squads now. They wouldn’t have much involvement with your repair squad, especially considering they have a tendency to break things they’re supposed to fix.”

Now this is interesting. You might want to have a word with this Squib Squad later, just to get another point of view on Ash. Then again, if they’re as bad as Grey suggests, you might need to tread very carefully in that conversation.

You think you’ve got enough to work with now. Could just leave, even though you don’t have Grey’s secret yet.

Hang on a moment. That actually gives you an idea for taking the subject back where you want it.

“I had no idea that Ash was involved in that kind of shady business,” you say. “Well. Maybe I shouldn’t bother checking with him again after all. I’ll just talk to another officer about what I saw earlier.”

Now you’ve got Grey’s attention.

“Hang on. If you saw an animal, why can’t you just tell us now? We’d just go and report it, and ask for permission to investigate. I mean, okay, we’re not the senior pest control squad, but this is our job. I can’t see why there’s any need to be secretive about this.”

You’re going to have to be careful here. If Grey thinks your story’s off, he’ll probably figure out you’re up to something.

So what are you going to tell him?

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Suggestions:

If I saw an animal, sure. And if I saw damage, I’d report it to repair squads. But when I see something that requires an important decision, I need to report it to an officer who has the base’s best interests at heart.