Swamped Chapter 75 Page 17

Seems all you can do now is wait, so you stand back a bit, fix your eyes on the Protector, and occupy yourself by whistling one of the few songs you can remember.

Not that you know the name. You can’t even remember if you picked it up during your courier years or if it’s something you overheard after you got to the swamp. You just know the tune’s catchy.

Catchier than you thought. The Protector seems to be humming along. Well, considering how things have been going with them so far, that’s an improvement.

About five minutes of whistling and humming later, Dominique finally gets back, along with Rudolph and two other greblings you don’t immediately recognize.

“Right. I’ve still got to keep an eye on these two, apparently,” Dominique says, handing you a bag. “The sphere’s in here, along with some notes. My assistant, Sally, can answer any questions you might have about them, and Emilio here is our fastest runner, so you can send him back if you need anything else. Rudolph’s here in case you run into trouble, of course.”

Rudolph gives the Protector a glance. Neither of them says a word, but you get the sense they recognize each other.

“Thanks,” you say. “Um, what about getting Andre down?”

In response, Andre simply jumps down from the outhouse roof. Guess he’s done there.

“Getting down is easier than getting up, apparently,” Dominique shrugs. “Anyhow, good luck to you out there.”

“Well, let’s get going,” Rudolph says. “We don’t have all night.”

You nod, and start walking off.

Just as you’re out of sight of the Protectors, Rudolph turns to you.

“So where’d you learn the Ballad of the Lone Survivor, anyhow?”

“Is that what that is? I don’t remember too well, I just picked up the tune somewhere.”

“Well, you’re lucky you’re a good whistler or I’d have to slap you. That song’s real important to some of us.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” you say.

You make your way towards the edge of the camp, but as you’re going between two large tents, a group of five Protectors suddenly pops out in front of you.

“What do you want?” Rudolph grumbles. “We’re busy here.”

As usual, there’s no answer.

“Guess we might as well find another way,” you say, but then you turn around and see another group has blocked the other passage.

Now what?

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Invite them to accompany you.

Author’s Note:

It’s worth noting that Max said Dominique tends to work alone, but she apparently has an assistant. This raises the question of what exactly Sally does most of the time.