Swamped Chapter 6 Page 14

You try to focus. You feel a degree of pain everywhere, but there’s definitely one spot where it’s strongest, but with all the pain it’s hard to think straight.

“Everything hurts, but it’s worst here,” you say, trying your best to point to the spot.

It takes a moment before you realize you’re pointing at thin air, or more specifically the thin air where your right elbow would be.

“Maybe I hit my head harder than I thought.”

“I’ve heard a bit about this, people who lose a limb but feel like it’s still there. Haven’t heard about them feeling pain in the lost limb, but this isn’t really something I’ve studied much. Of course, considering how little we know about… about what injured you, it’s possible there might be something more going on.”

You see a slightly apologetic look in his eyes as he pointedly doesn’t mention the rainspawn by name, or even with a clear description. It’s probably as Captain Long told you – the official policy on not mentioning them in dry periods hasn’t changed.

“Well, for now, I’ll give you some general pain medication – you probably won’t need the stronger stuff that you did yesterday. And I suggest you stay in bed here for a while, and when you’re out, well, don’t climb ladders. I understand wanting to test your limitations, but you should probably start with something simpler.”

You nod, and follow John into the side room with the bed. At this point, you’re not sure if you’ve spent more time in this bed or in your own.

“Now, the good news is, you’ll probably be fine in a few hours.” John opens a pouch and pulls out some herbs. “So you should be able to sleep in your own bed by tonight, as long as you’re careful.” He hands you a leaf. “Just chew on that for a while, it’ll ease the pain.”

You start chewing, and he’s right – you do feel better. The sharp pain where your arm is missing remains, but that’s probably not so surprising if it’s all in your mind. Or if it’s something strange involving the rainspawn, for that matter. Either way, it’s more than an herb can help you with.

“Do you need any company this time?”

You shake your head. You don’t mind having people around, but the herb seems to have a calming effect. John leaves, promising to check in on you later.

You sit there for a while. It’s fairly quiet for the next hour or so, but you don’t really mind, even with the inexplicable pain.

Then you hear some footsteps. You can overhear a few snippets of conversation – it seems the two prisoners have made it back to base, and they’re talking to John about something. Probably just a checkup to make sure they didn’t get hurt while they were gone.

You don’t catch too much of the conversation, but you do try to make a point of listening for their names. Maybe you can talk to them about the Marsh Fortress later.

So what are their names?

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