Swamped

Swamped
RE: Swamped
Use clothes in the laundry room to disguise yourself.
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RE: Swamped
Spill the beans.
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RE: Swamped
At this point, it doesn't seem worth hiding things any more. You're all on the same side, really.

So when you arrive, you decide to tell her what's going on.

"There's knights trying to stop Ash, sir. I ran into some of them earlier."

Burgundy sighs.

"Figured it might have gotten that far already. But whatever they're doing, if I get involved it'll become a much bigger deal. Can't just go wielding my tenuous authority as acting commander against an officer I don't like, after all."

You suppose she has a point there.

"I, er, might have a meeting with them planned."

"Not in the state you're in. You need to see the medic. Fast."

"They, er, might be very close by."

Burgundy groans.

"Close enough to hear me?" she says, slightly louder than normal.

After a few moments, there's a light rapping on the laundry room door.

"I see. Well. You're clearly delirious from how exhausted you must be. I can't trust a word you say, obviously."

You think you see where this is going.

"So we're going to stick with what we were going to do, which was give you a chance to use that chamber pot. Behind a closed door, in a small closet with wiping-paper in it."

"Sounds... sensible," you agree.

"So get to it."

You go into the closet, and take a bit of paper. It seems all you can do right now is leave a note.

So what should you say on it?
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RE: Swamped
Write a codephrase and obtuse directions to the nearest safely hidden location. Spy stuff yeah.
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RE: Swamped
First things first, you should note that you didn't find any evidence.

After that, you opt to write Ash's password out. Not directly; in a simple cipher that Grey can figure out promptly, so he can decide whether to trust the others with it. It's useful information.

You put down some notes that you used it as a diversion against some of Ash's knights, but Tom Second is currently keeping them detained.

Finally, you add directions to a meeting place near the infirmary in case they need to contact you.

When you're done, you leave it on the floor and open the door.

"Hope you're feeling better now," Burgundy says. "Now come on, let's make sure you're all right."

You follow her down the hall. You do risk a small glance back to confirm that it's Grey checking the closet for your message.

"Sir, are you sure it's a good idea to escort me yourself?" you ask. "You should probably be looking for Ash to get a report on what's going on."

"Somebody's got to be around in case you collapse, Tom Second was busy, and we haven't seen anybody else."

Ah. Right. Still covering for the others.

"Fair enough," you sigh. "But I really don't think I'm going to collapse."

"Got to be sure. Sometimes injuries like that just sneak up on you."

Before you can respond, you catch a glimpse of something - a slicer? - striking the hall moss-lamp.

What little light there was here is gone now. And whatever you saw, somebody had to throw it.

What do you do?
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RE: Swamped
Press back aganist wall so you won't be an obvious target and hustle out cuz you're in real danger.
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RE: Swamped
The first thing you do is find the wall. If your attackers are flinging anything else at you, well, at least you're limiting the directions they can hit you from.

Most likely, they're after Burgundy. You've got no idea where she is, and if you call out to her then you might draw attention from the attackers. Then again, that could distract them and give her a chance to get away. And it also might get the attention of nearby knights who can help.

You're just about to try it when you feel someone's hand on your arm. It's a gentle grip; Burgundy seems to have found you. You feel a gentle tug, and follow her silently, keeping a hand on the wall.

You think you hear something hitting the wall behind you. You'd rather not think about what it is.

A few minutes later, you see a working moss-lamp. Now you can confirm who's found you...

Wait. That's not Burgundy. That's Elize.

"What are you..."

"Shh! They'll find us."

"But where's..."

"Save it. The infirmary's not far, we can talk there."

You suppose you can. You certainly aren't feeling much better after that mess. Elize leads you to the infirmary without much incident, other than motioning to you to duck at one point. As if you needed the cue.

When you arrive, she closes the door.

"Tom Sixth, back again?" Eve asks. "Gotten yourself into trouble again, have you?"

"Maybe a little," you admit. "Um, someone went for my throat. I think they were only trying to knock me out, but you know. Can't take chances. My arms and legs aren't doing so great either. Oh, and Burgundy..."

"Is being chased by some of Ash's knights," Elize interjects. "He's desperate to keep her from ruining what he sees as his moment of glory. My friend and I tried to throw them off the trail by taking out a hall light, I need to go check in with her."

"Um," you say. "Would that be your friend Erin, and if so, did she mention how she knew about this?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, she seems to be working for Ash. And now she's alone with Burgundy. It would be very nice for us if she'd turned on him, but if she didn't say that..."

Eve groans.

"This isn't your business right now, Sixth. Your business is lying down while I have a look at you. Especially if you've been choked."

You suppose you can't really argue with that.

"I'm going to have to check in with Erin now," Elize grumbles. "Good luck to you."

You're now Elize Sunflower, and you need to find your best friend and make sure she hasn't played you for a sucker. You're pretty sure she wouldn't take part in an outright mutiny, but come to think of it, she didn't tell you how she'd found out about this planned attack.

Well. The first step is to go to your agreed-upon meeting place, and see if she shows up. You just need a moment to remember where that was.
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RE: Swamped
By a certain memorial in the auditorium.
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RE: Swamped
Normally, when you meet up it's by your old pal's memorial. But with the auditorium off-limits after the greatrat attack, you can't get there so easily.

Instead, you've taken to meeting at the workshop, where you're assembling a new memorial because half of it was bitten off. Damned rats.

The workshop's in one of the least patrolled areas of the base, fortunately. Mostly because anybody who actually tried to use it at night would give themselves away with all the noise. You don't have much trouble slipping over there.

When you arrive, you find Erin, looking terrified.

"Where's Burgundy?" you ask.

"She wouldn't go with me. Which is probably just as well, because I think I'm being followed."

"Followed? By who?"

"Um. I didn't really get to telling you this, and I'm very sorry, but... I found out about this whole plan because I was supposed to help with it. And I think some of the other knights realized I spilled it to you."

"I didn't see anyone on my way in."

"I lost them, then? That's a relief." She pauses. "But wait, they might be chasing after Burgundy instead... Damn, I guess we're not done yet. We'll have to find her before they do."

Hmm. On the one hand, Erin's owned up, without you even accusing her yet.

On the other hand... well, she did hide it from you before now. And the whole situation seems pretty sketchy. She claims to have been followed, but you didn't see anyone nearby?

But maybe she just panicked. If she's sincere, she might well have overreacted to just seeing one of Ash's knights around.

Well. Before you do anything else, you've got to figure out if you can still trust your oldest friend on the base.
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RE: Swamped
You trust her too much. Say that you can both help each other in making this right.
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RE: Swamped
It only takes you a few seconds of considering the question to see how ridiculous it is.

Of course you trust her. She's the one who helped you get out of Kandria without raising suspicion, after all. You don't know how she got into the mess she's in right now, and you can't say for sure she's not hiding something about what happened to Burgundy.

But you know she'll have your back. And you'll have hers.

"I wish you'd told me sooner that you were mixed up in Ash's business," you say, a little annoyed. "But no point dwelling on that now. Any idea where Burgundy went?"

"Not really. She wanted to make sure the other knight got to the infirmary. I told her you'd take care of that. Not that I mentioned you by name, of course, wouldn't want you getting in trouble needlessly."

"And she was satisfied with that, despite not knowing exactly who was guiding him there?"

Erin thinks about this for a moment.

"Good point. I guess we should check near the infirmary, for a start?"

"It's our main lead," you say with a shrug. "If she didn't go there, or she got there and left... well, we can worry about that after we know for sure."

"Yeah," Erin agrees. "Then let's go. But we've also got to be careful."

"Just one second," you say. "Got to say my respects first."

"Oh! Right, I was so worried, I hadn't gotten to that yet. Well, we might as well both do it, then."

You turn to the incomplete plaque on the table, and put a hand over your heart. Erin does the same.

A moment later, you both leave for the infirmary. There isn't a lot of hiding to do along the way; Erin tells you it's because Ash has been diverting patrols tonight for the sake of his plans.

And it seems you've just found one of the places he diverted them to. There's a group of six knights standing outside the infirmary door, and they don't look like they're waiting for treatment.

How are you going to deal with this?
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RE: Swamped
Circumvent them. Go around the back and find a room or hallway that abuts the infirmary; you can communicate with those inside by knocking on the wall or whispering through the ductwork.
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RE: Swamped
"Let's not bother with the front door," you whisper.

"But there's only one door. Where else would we go?"

"Just follow me."

You lead Erin down a hall. There's no doors here, but you start knocking on the wall.

"We're right by one of the sickbeds. I'm pretty sure it's the one Tom Sixth was in."

You hear some knocking back. Since you don't have a formal code established between the two of you, you'll have to use the generic one, which means you're a bit limited in terms. Well, you'll just have to work with it.

"Commander present?" you knock.

"Unsure," comes the reply. "No chance to scout."

So he doesn't know if Burgundy's there. Well. What should you ask next, then?
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RE: Swamped
What are our current clues.
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RE: Swamped
You feel like it would be best to review what you and Tom know, though this isn't the best way to do it.

So you do a quick knock for "situation report", followed by "Commander". It's the best you can manage with the generic code.

Sixth seems to be struggling on his end, too. All he can manage is the color grey, followed by "soldier" and then, after a pause, "report to".

So he's suggesting you find someone named Grey? But where? You tap again, "location".

"Laundry", followed by "en route", then "jail". So he's somewhere between the laundry room and the brig.

Erin is just staring at you.

"What's all of that mean?"

"He wants us to go see someone named Grey, or something like that. Who's going from the laundry room to the brig, apparently. Hope he's not in trouble."

"Why would someone be going to the brig when there's a mutiny going on? He's not planning to get help from the prisoners, is he?"

You shrug.

"We'll just have to ask him when we get there. Come on."

You start leading Erin towards the brig, but about three hallways away, you stop in your tracks as you spot Ash in the middle of the hall, accompanied by Sergeant Roxley.

You don't think they've spotted you yet, but you're going to have to handle this very carefully.
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RE: Swamped
Hide behind something and wait till they pass.
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RE: Swamped
You need to hide. Unfortunately, the hallways tend to be rather lacking in things to hide behind, and this particular hall is where the interrogation rooms are. And they're locked.

Your best bet is to slip around the nearest corner, and hope they don't come this way. If they do... well, you can always try knocking out the light again, you suppose.

As they approach, you hear them talking.

"I told you the whole deal stank to begin with. Maybe next time, you'll listen to me before it goes sour."

Suddenly, you hear their footsteps stop. Seems they've decided to stay and talk.

"They haven't launched another attack. I think they might just be making a heavyhanded play for my attention."

"And that kind of grandstanding alone isn't reason enough to tell them to get lost? Or are you just too worried about the leverage they have over you?"

"You should be worried, too. You're in this as deep as I am."

"A year ago, that was true. But you just keep digging yourself deeper. I'm not even sure you can get me my shot at the grebling."

"You'll get your revenge, Roxley. I'll see to it. If we can just keep Burgundy out of the way tonight, and negotiate a little show with our partner, I'll have the vote locked down."

"And if any of the other officers finds out what you've done, even that bootlicker Dominick, we'll both get kicked out of the Bogknights entirely. And then you go back to having nightmares about the swamp, and I'm back to having no way to cover my Guild debts."

Nightmares? Wait, does she mean the call of the swamp? You've heard some knights who resisted the call for years started to suffer for it. Is Ash one of them?

"All the more reason to make the most of our resources. Yes, it's risky, but if all goes well, this could mean the end of our troubles."

There's a long pause before Roxley speaks again.

"Hells, I guess I'm in. We're screwed anyways if they really have turned on us, so may as well chance it. Not like they can screw us even worse if we talk."

"I wish you'd be more positive, but I suppose I'll take what I can get. Now, let's move."

They move on, thankfully not taking any notice of you as they pass the intersection. When they're gone, you turn to Erin.

"Do you know what that was about?"

"Not really. Ash doesn't tell us that much, only gives us orders and that's about it. I didn't even know Roxley was involved until just now."

"It sounds like he's trying to contact someone. Someone really sketchy. Maybe we should go after him."

Erin looks skeptical.

"Wherever he's going, he's probably going to get a very loyal squad to stand guard. And they probably won't accept a password at all. Maybe if we had more backup, but I wouldn't chance it myself."

"We could still see where he's going."

"Hmm. Well, your call. But don't we still have to meet with this Grey or whoever? Well, not that I know why we are."

She's got a point, you suppose. It's time to think about what you should do next.
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RE: Swamped
Research, obviously.
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RE: Swamped
"I think we tail them, find out what we can about this whole mess. If nothing else, Ash is sure to be alerted if anything happens to Sergeant Burgundy."

"Private," Erin mutters.

"Whatever. Point is, if his flunkies find her, we'll know about it. Right now, we wouldn't have much to offer at a meeting, especially one where we aren't really expected."

Erin doesn't look so sure.

"El, you haven't dealt with Ash. I have. He's dangerous when things don't go his way. I wouldn't want you to be caught in his mess. Let me go on my own. I probably can't convince him I'm still loyal, but at least I know what I'm up against."

"We're in this together, aren't we?"

Erin pauses for a while before nodding her head.

"I guess we are. All right, but don't try to play hero, okay? If it looks like we might get caught, you run and I'll stall them."

"You can't be serious!"

"We aren't going to have time to argue about this if it happens. So we're going to settle it now. If there's big trouble, you run, I stall. If I can run too, I will, but let's not risk everything over it."

"I'd be abandoning you."

"No, I'd be helping you get away. If only one of us escapes, I'd rather it be the one who isn't knee-deep in this mess to begin with."

You sigh. There really isn't time to press the point.

"Fine. Now, let's get moving."

You follow Ash and Roxley for a while, keeping your distance and watching for patrollers. They seem to be finished their conversation, for now, but after a while Ash stops someone on patrol.

"Fetch your squad and stand guard outside the abandoned storeroom," he says.

Wait. The one with the boarded-up door? How would you even get in there, except from the outside? You suppose it's remote enough, but it would be strange to be asked to guard it.

The knight Ash is speaking to, however, asks no such questions. She simply salutes and runs off. Either she already knows something about what they're doing, or she's just that loyal to Ash.

You turn to Erin.

"Do you know anything about this?"

She shakes her head.

"Never heard of him going there. Makes sense, though, if he's got some way of getting in. Nobody goes there normally, and there's a gaping hole in the wall, so whoever he's meeting with could come in from the outside."

Well. Now you know where he's headed. So what are you going to do about it?
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RE: Swamped
Head brigward and find this Grey
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RE: Swamped
"I think that's all we're going to get for now. Seems we can only get those two to talk if they're arguing or giving orders."

"Yeah, and we're getting uncomfortably close," Erin agrees. "I'd rather not face him without more backup."

"Guess we'll go see this Grey, then. Maybe he can help us out."

You head back towards the brig. But as you get close, you hear an argument breaking out.

"I can't believe you'd try to make a move on her! We've been friends how long?"

"Get over it, man. You're not her type. I am."

"Don't give me that! You told her lies about me! You tried to push her away from me, you damn mudleech!"

"I told her you were a coward. That's no lie as far as I'm concerned!"

"You've got some nerve! And after all I've done for you!"

After that, you hear some noises. It sounds like a fight.

"What do you make of that?" you ask Erin.

"This close to the brig? It might be a distraction. The knights on guard come out to break up the fighting, then the rivals cooperate and knock out the guards. Now that I'm listening for it, some of those noises do sound fake."

"What could they want in the brig, though?"

Erin shrugs.

"Beats me. You could go ask them if you want to know that badly. But I'm inclined to think we should just wait and see how this plays out."

Well, that's her opinion. But you can make up your own mind.
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RE: Swamped
go check it out. you can get on good terms with them if you break up the fighting
[Image: Iv0bTLS.png]
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RE: Swamped
"I'm going to check it out. If it's real, maybe I can break it up; if it's a ruse, I can probably help with it."

"If you say so," Erin shrugs. "I'll keep watch here, because I don't want to get involved in that."

As you approach, you can see the two knights clearly, and two more rush out of the brig.

"Whoever's making all that racket, cut it out! It's hard enough getting the prisoners to sleep without all that noise!"

"At least have the decency to argue somewhere else," the other guard grumbles. "In fact, what are you doing up past curfew?"

"We have a score to settle," one of the bickering knights shoots back. "And this is where we're settling it!"

"Great. There's two of 'em, and I've got no idea how close the nearest night patrol is. Meaning, if one of us goes looking for backup, the other's outnumbered in the meantime."

"Well, that's no big problem. We've got empty cells, after all. We just gotta toss 'em in there and then we can fetch a patrol to take 'em back to their rooms. Or maybe to see an officer, either way, all we gotta do is subdue 'em."

The guards start walking towards the quarreling pair. None of them seems to have seen you yet.

So what do you do?
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RE: Swamped
Wait and see how it plays it out. Do you recognize the bickering knights? Are they good people or renowned trouble-makers?
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RE: Swamped
It's a bit hard to follow what's going on, since you don't recognize anyone here. Well, you've seen all the faces at one time or another, but you can't put names to them readily. You think the taller of the two brig guards is a John, but good luck remembering his number.

So without really knowing who's involved, you can't be entirely sure who to trust. For the moment, you stay where you are, waiting to see what happens.

You do take your slicer out, though. Just in case.

As you watch the ensuing scuffle, it becomes clear: the two quarreling knights really are working together. They're clearly cooperating, to a degree that wouldn't make sense if their tempers were driving them. You're not sure if the guards have realized it yet.

Well. Make that Guard. Probably-a-John just fell flat on his face, and he doesn't look like he's getting up for a while.

Suddenly, you feel a tap at your shoulder. You turn to see Erin.

"There's a big patrol heading this way," she says. "Don't know why. Doesn't seem to be Ash's work, though, I didn't recognize anyone on it."

Well. That's trouble, for both you and these two. Which could be bad if one of them is the Grey you're looking for.

What should you do?
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