Swamped Chapter 7 Page 3

The first people you ask are the two tallest knights you see. It turns out they’re brothers. Apparently the rest of their family is also quite tall, but you don’t really have time to get into details. What matters is that you’ve got two more players, so it’s just a matter of finding one.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look far, as someone soon bumps into you. She introduces herself as Darlene Kitey, who holds the distinction of being captured by the Marshguards thirteen times, more than anyone else on the base. She also says she’s escaped every time. So she’s up for a challenge.

You’re not sure if she’s serious about that whole story, but you can worry about that later. You’ve got sixteen players, at last.

“Darlene’s the last,” Lisa groans. “Of course she is. Well, at least we can draw up the bracket now. Unfortunately, we won’t have time to do a full round before dinner, so we’ll just have the first four matches.”

Grey doesn’t say anything, and just puts some slips of paper in an old dented helmet, then shakes them around a bit. Then he holds it in front of you.

“Pick names two at a time, that’s who’s playing,” he says.

You draw names out until the brackets are filled. Lisa takes the first four pairs.

“Stacy and Darlene playing each other,” she mutters. “Now that’s going to be a game.” She starts calling out names for the first four matches, which will be played at once.

“Wait, there’s three of us,” you say. “Can we really keep track of four separate games between us?”

“Grey and I are used to this, plus it’s not usually a fast-paced game. Don’t worry, even if you have trouble, you just have to step in when we disagree, shouldn’t need to pay too much attention for that. Just, you know, make sure nobody’s slipping cards up their sleeves or anything.”

You sit and watch. The games actually move at a rather calm pace; you don’t have much trouble keeping up. Especially with Stacy and Darlene’s game, as neither of them really seems to be taking it all that seriously.

But after a while, you think you notice something odd with one of the matches. What’s wrong, and who’s involved?

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Suggestions:

Jared Stilts, who is not playing, is helping his brother Roger by peeking at his opponent’s hand. (the opponent is Riley)