Swamped Chapter 64 Page 2

There’s always some officer awake. Eve is, of course, but she’s not a combat officer… still, you know where to find her, so that’s a plus…

You start rushing to the infirmary when you run into Ash talking to some patrollers. It’s been a while since you last saw him, but you definitely recognize his face.

He looks at you as you approach.

“I don’t believe you’re on patrol tonight,” he says.

You don’t have time to consider all the rumors you’ve heard.

“There’s some kind of attack happening down that hall!” you shout, pointing back the way you came. “Some kind of machine coming up through the floor!”

“What?”

There’s something off about Ash’s reaction. You can’t quite put your finger on it. Still, he’s quick to act on it.

“You three, go check it out and help if necessary. If there’s nothing there, come back here right away and tell me. If there’s one thing we don’t need around here, it’s pranksters starting false alarms.”

That’s what feels off. He doesn’t seem nearly as skeptical as his words suggest. Does he know something about this?

The knights rush off, and before long you hear the sounds of clashing.

“It’s for real, sir!” you hear someone shout back. “What in the hells are these things?”

“Whatever they are, they’re a threat,” Ash says. He sounds strangely collected. “Right. The rest of you, spread out and see if there are any more. And pass the word along to anyone else you see!”

“Should we wake everyone, sir?” a patroller asks.

“Hmm. Not until we find out how widespread they are. Or if we actually find one in a room. We need to assess this threat first.”

He’s remarkably calm. You can actually imagine him commanding the base. No wonder he’s got fans among the officers.

But you also know what you heard. And this would be a prime opportunity to talk to him and see his true character for yourself. Then again, maybe you should wait until this business with the strange machines is taken care of, so as not to distract from it.

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Suggestions:

He knows a lot about you already. How did he know the postmaster asked you to investigate him? Did he just deduce that?

He has a reassignment offer that… actually doesn’t sound too bad.