Swamped Chapter 79 Page 3

You still need information, so your best bet is to make use of the fact that someone’s probably coming. You hide behind the desk and lie in wait.

A few minutes later, someone walks in. It’s that person who looked like they were wearing a guard’s uniform of some sort. Now that they’re standing up, though, you can see that they look quite young.

They also seem very worried when they don’t see you. They start rushing around wildly. You barely have to try to sneak up on them and tackle them to the ground.

On the other hand, when you start asking questions, they don’t say anything at all. They just seem terrified. And barely able to fight back. The hell is going on here?

“I figured the poor kid wouldn’t be able to handle you alone,” someone says. You immediately recognize Ash’s voice, and turn to see him standing in the doorway.

“Who’s this, Ash? Who’s this kid you dragged into whatever you’ve got going on here?”

“I barely understand myself,” Ash says. “They’re a sort of stowaway. Best guess I have is, one of Carma’s former associates also went rogue, got this kid a guard disguise, and had some sort of plan for him. Then things went wrong when he ran into us. He doesn’t talk, so I assume he’s a Silent One – well, not that you’d know what those are.”

“You’re awfully talkative all of a sudden,” you say warily.

“Well, I don’t see much harm in it. I know full well I can close and lock this door before you can close the distance to me. And I suppose I just haven’t really had anyone I can talk to in a good while. The kid here isn’t much of a conversationalist, and Carma’s all work, work, work. It’s been hard for me to gather my thoughts at all.”

You know Ash too well for this. He’s always got some sort of angle.

“You want something from me, don’t you,” you say.

“More like I’ve had an idea,” Ash says. “I’ve been through hell this last day, Martin -”

“Corvus.”

“Corvus, whatever. I’ve barely had time to think, so much has happened. I made an enemy of a man who wants to be a god – which means I’ve basically made a bet against him and I need to win it or I’m finished.”

“And what’s that got to do with me? What’s this idea of yours?”

Ash smiles back at you as he prepares to explain. Gods, you want to punch him in the face. But you might as well listen to his offer first.

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Suggestions:

Tell him that once he’s finished, you’re going to punch him in the face. Tell him that you’ll punch him as hard as you can regardless of what he says. Catch him off guard. You’re the one in control.

edit: Note that you don’t actually have to do that once finished. You can be bluffing and the effect will be somewhat similar