Swamped Chapter 77 Page 11

You suddenly realize you’re getting too used to Rider’s way of doing things. You barely even remembered he was struck.

Well, that’s one awkward negotiation you can skip, at least. Rider’s likely to be cooperative, but you don’t want to make too much of a show of things. So you just walk up to him when he finishes asking a question.

“You should probably get rid of those bolts you were hit by,” you say, quietly. “Hand them to me and I’ll take care of them.”

“Ah, good thinking, Corvus,” Rider says. “Now, as for you, I’d like to know if you’ve ever worked directly for anyone…”

He hands them over as he keeps talking. Probably for the best. You take one of the bolts and, standing behind Rider, touch the device to it and give it a mild squeeze.

The bolt starts glowing. But it doesn’t stop when you pull the tube away.

You don’t waste time. You run over to Ember and don’t even complain about the knowing-what-you’re-going-to-ask thing this time.

“It’s not directly dangerous,” he says. “But I wouldn’t recommend holding onto it for long.”

“Why not? What’s the glowing actually mean?”

Ember barely stifles a groan.

“It’s complicated to explain, and doesn’t make much of a difference. The important thing is you should get it away from you.”

“Okay, what bad thing might happen if I hold onto it. That can’t be that complicated to explain.”

“I suppose I can explain that without getting into the details of the ether involved,” Ember agrees. “Just give me a moment while I think of exactly where to start.”

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Increased risk of developing tumors, plus you might go sterile.