Swamped Chapter 78 Page 16

Right. You’re not in the mood to waste time here.

“I suppose taking the captain prisoner would be bad for your career in the Bogknights,” you say. “What’d you do with him and Marshall? Where are they?”

“If it were up to me, I’d be happy to let you take them off our hands, but my associate has other ideas. And with all the bridges I’ve burned, if she kicks me out, I’ve got nowhere else to go. So pardon me if I don’t answer.”

You aren’t exactly feeling sympathetic. He’s made his own damn bed, after all.

“As if you couldn’t just ask your friends in the Guild for a nice desk job somewhere.”

“Unfortunately, that only works if I don’t have any enemies powerful enough to ask the Guild to track me down. That might have been true yesterday, but today is another matter.”

Well, he seems to be regaining himself. At the same time, he’s betraying a level of vulnerability that you haven’t seen since you first met him. He’s terrified – not of you, but of what happens next. He’s used to being in control, and now he isn’t.

You feel like you should wrap up this conversation fast, preferably by knocking Ash out. You know there are others on this ship, and you have no idea when they’ll go poking around over here. But you don’t have the info you need yet.

So how should you play this?

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Sounds like he’s less than committed to his current comrades. He might jump at a chance to hedge his bets against some other party coming out the victor…

Offer a way out. Carma (or whoever) is going down, the master is going down, and the gods will have their vengeance. He doesn’t need to compromise his position in any way that his employer can discover, but if he can point you in the right direction and keep quiet about your presence here, you can see to it that he’s granted some leniency in the coming reprisal. He’s relatively young, he could still have a chance to recover his future, even with his crimes. Your experience in the Marshguard has driven home that point.

But yeah, definitely knock him out when you get what you want. Not only does it give him plausible deniability if his betrayal of his current colleagues is discovered, but it gives you a longer window before he gets a chance to betray you.