Swamped Chapter 61 Page 6

Seems you do a lot of work for Sergeant Ash in particular,” you muse, sounding nonchalant. “Is he appreciative, at least?”

She frowns.

“Hard to say. He’s always telling me ‘good job Penelope,’ but it comes across as something he’s saying because he’s expected to say it. On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to be very personable in general, so maybe that’s just how he is when he’s making an effort. I know that’s hard for some people.”

She means herself. You barely even need to read her to see that.

And you’ve seen it yourself. She’s delivered instructions to your squad a few times, but she’s always so terse when she does it. Most other couriers make small talk, she clearly seems to just want to get it over with.

Funny. She seemed friendly enough back when Tom Third introduced you…

…and of course, as soon as you think back to that, the reason for her change in attitude becomes obvious. She misses Third, and hasn’t been able to come to terms with that yet. You can hardly blame her.

But you can damn well blame Ash for taking advantage of that grief. If only you could get her to see that’s what he’s doing.

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Get cold hard evidence and show it to her face.


Time for some honesty. Tell her what you suspect of Ash. Insinuate that it would only take a small amount of evidence to damn or exonerate him, and that would be a hell of a lot easier if you could get your hands on the orders he’s been sending all over, unbreakable ciphers notwithstanding.

Penelope: nod and smile and politely excuse yourself to report this to Ash ASAP.