Swamped Chapter 9 Page 1

You’re Marshall again, and someone’s pounding on your door. You hear a bell in the distance, too.

With a little effort, you manage to pull yourself out of bed. Seems your regular bed’s not as easy to escape one-handed as the one in the infirmary; maybe you should have a talk with John Medic about that.

But something’s clearly wrong. It’s the middle of the night. You wonder what the noise is all about, and open your door.

You find yourself face-to-face with Stewart, and he looks guilty.

“Shit. Didn’t know this was your room,” he says, trying his best not to look at your absent arm. “Look, just wake up anyone you can, and get in uniform as soon as possible. It’s an emergency.”

“Emergency?” you mutter. “Are we under attack?”

“No – well, you could say that, but not from the usual enemy. We’ve got an infestation of greatrats. Don’t know where they managed to nest, but we can’t let them run loose.”

Greatrats. You had to deal with one back on the farm once, and it took a combined effort from you, Father, Henry, and two of the neighbors to trap it. A whole nest of the things… And they might be even nastier out here in the swamp, with fiercer predators to fight off.

“Do we have an idea how many?” you ask, heading for your armor and suiting up. You don’t have a registered weapon yet, you recall, so you’ll probably have to head to the armory and get a glove and skyslicer there.

“Don’t know. First witness said a dozen. I’ve seen three myself. We’re expecting the worst. Come on, help me wake up the rest of this block.”

You do, groggily knocking on doors and alerting everyone to the threat. When the whole block is awake, you move to another set. Before long, the whole base is on alert.

Sergeant Greenwoods arrives soon to deliver orders and hand out weapons.

“Right. Pest Control is hunting for the nest, to wipe it out. The rest of us are going to have to scour this whole base for the stragglers. Stay in groups, even with armor a single greatrat is extremely dangerous. We’re not going to be able to say for sure they’re gone until we’ve checked every single room.”

“Well, none of you are checking mine unless I’m there too,” Tom Eighth scowls. “I don’t want anyone carelessly breaking my project, not when it’s almost done. Hopefully no greatrats have gotten into it.”

“Ah, yes. You all want your privacy, so here’s what we’re doing. I want you organizing into groups of six based around whose rooms are near each other, so you don’t have to have too many strangers rummaging around in your rooms and don’t have to go too far. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best option we have. As for engagement, if you see one greatrat, try to kill it. More than that, or if you see a big hole, call for backup. Pest control will take care of the bodies. Group up, everyone.”

Your group consists of some faces you’ve seen before: Tom Eighth, Tom Ninth, Stacey, Mark Conchway, and Juliet Corser. Whose room will you investigate first?

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Suggestions:

Let’s check out Mark’s room first

Let’s see if we can get a glimpse at tom eighth’s project

Tom Eighths room, so he can be not worried about it asap