Swamped Chapter 64 Page 7

“If they’re attacking us, they might be going for the Marshguards on their own,” you muse. “Deciding they don’t need Ash’s help after all. We should probably warn them.”

“That’s going to get us in a lot of trouble,” Grey says. “Under normal circumstances, whether to warn them about an outside attack or not is the sort of decision that would be left to the base commander. But, Burgundy’s not exactly commanding under normal circumstances and if she made that kind of call now, who knows what the other officers would do.”

“Good point. So we can’t involve her.”

Grey sighs.

“You’re pretty much right on that point. Which means whoever does send the warning is going to be in a world of trouble. And Burgundy is going to have to decide what to do about that, which brings us back to the same problem.”

“Not to mention, who’s to say they’ll believe it,” Lisa points out. “It’s one thing if it’s backed by the authority of our commander, but if it’s just some private? They’ll think it’s a trick.”

A thought strikes you.

“But they’d believe one of their own, wouldn’t they? If we could persuade one of the prisoners… no, there’s no way we’d be able to let them loose and get away with it. But maybe we could convince them to give a sign of approval to a message we sent by crow?”

“I don’t like it, but I don’t see a better option,” Grey says. “And if whoever does it gets caught, well. That’s going to be a real big mess. So I’ll take on that, because you can all trust me not to blab on who’s involved in this.”

You feel a bit bad about that.

“The other thing is, we should probably work out how Ash’s ‘friends’ are getting their machines in here. Maybe we can disrupt their supply line.”

“And how do you plan to do that? Just ask Ash?” Lisa says.

“I might be able to help with that,” Eighth interjects. “Not asking Ash, but I do know people in his circle. Problem is, it’ll be hard to get back here and make a plan based on what I find out.”

“So that means we’ll need something to disrupt the machines in the meantime,” Lisa says. “Don’t suppose anyone has any ideas on that?”

“Rats,” Grey says. “Just regular swamprats. Get enough of them crawling through the tunnels and they’re sure to keep the machines busy.”

“In that case, maybe I should handle the prisoners,” Lisa says. “Since you know more about dealing with rats than I do.”

“But I also know more about negotiating with Marshguards than you do, which is a lot more sensitive.” Grey points out. “And we don’t have much time to argue about this.”

“All right, I’ll handle the rats then. Everyone, you know what we’re doing now, so pick someone to help out.”

Well, you suppose that includes you. So who are you going to provide support for?

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