Swamped Chapter 90 Page 6

“Yeah, well, I’m not quite ready to get to work yet either. Between the storm and the beast attack, I just don’t feel comfortable going outside yet. Plus, after the party, I’m not particularly feeling up for being around a lot of people.”

“So that’s why you came all the way down here?” Colleen asks. “Because you weren’t feeling very sociable? Well, I’m not going to blab on you to the officers about it, but I don’t think they’re going to appreciate that explanation when they find out you aren’t where you’re supposed to be.”

She stuffs the pamphlet in a pocket.

“So I take it the party didn’t go too well, then?”

You shrug.

“Not really sure how I was expecting it to go. The planning got away from me a little.”

“Sort of figured that from the pamphlet. Doesn’t seem like the sort of thing one normally hands out at birthday parties.” She laughs a little.

“That part was my idea, actually. It’s just that we invited more people than I expected.”

“Not enough, if you ask me,” she replies. “Not that I’m hurt that I only got door duty. Just, I feel like you’d need a lot more sailors for a strike to be effective.”

Well, it hadn’t been about striking until they decided they needed a cover story. Still, you have an idea for how to explain this away.

“It’s not like we’re planning to strike tomorrow. This was more about setting up for it, sharing the plan with people we trust. And giving Resk a heads-up about it so he can tell the officers we’re not planning a mutiny.”

“I can believe you’re not planning one,” she says. “Not so sure about some of your partygoers, though.”

“Yeah, the guest list got away from me a bit,” you say apologetically.

“Well, you’d best be getting back to work soon. I should, too. Figure I’ll be down here for a couple of hours, nobody likes to clean this place so it’s always real nasty when I get to it.”

Hmm. You need to go further this way, but if she’s around, she might catch you. And you implied you were going outside, which would make it strange if you went down any of the corridors leading deeper in.

How should you handle this?

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A gentle bonk on the ol’ noggin ought to put her to sleep.

Act like you’re just pacing and taking a different exit, but wait until she goes for her supplies before you go in deeper.