Transcript: Season 2 Episode 16: Wild Tech Entry 74293
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 16: Wild Tech Entry 74293 Transcript by Cameron Robertson
Intro: [hurdy gurdy music begins]
Nick: Welcome, listeners, to A Knight of Shreds and Patches. An immersive actual play podcast. This episode features the talents of –
Penn: Penn Van Batavia as Marathon Messenger.
Kit: Kit Adames as Birdie Foundling.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.
Sydney: Sydney Whittington as Cassidy Shard.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Welcome to the 50th main feed episode of AKoSaP! Thanks for being here with us. We appreciate the time and energy you spend listening to our show, and hope you join us for the next 50. And if you can’t get enough of the main feed, consider backing our Patreon, which gives you access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards. There’s fresh weekly content, so it won’t be too long before there’s 50 pieces of content there too!
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 16: Wild Tech Entry 74293. And so...
Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[electronic beeping] [robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
[over radio] Sydney (as Cassidy): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, Emma had a heroic fight with the Knight on two fronts. It tried its best to murder her physically, which I found out halfway through, and she walked me through what I needed to do on the inside to fix the incursion and take back control. In the meantime, Birdie had an awkward confrontation with her "intelligence source", and Marathon somehow took control of the bunker from the last bandit holdouts. [radio static]
Nick: First thing we see is blood drying on cobblestone floors lit by torchlight. The next thing we see is Marathon, crouched over Jolene, who is unconscious and actively bleeding out. In the background we can see Ipa, the leader of the enclave, propped against a wall - his journeymen Advantia robes are soaked in blood and he's heavily bandaged but seems to be mostly stable having been treated by the other Advants. They had all the time in the world having refused to help Jolene, and the ground rumbles ominously beneath you.
Sydney: Cassidy comes in over the radio.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [spoiler alert - Cassidy is pissed] Something's waking up? Who told you that? Put them on radio.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] I uh, sorry um Cormorant. I - um. [stressed noises] Ipa!
Penn: And Marathon slides the radio over to Ipa as she continues to try and hold down the wound on Jolene.
Penn (as Marathon): It's gonna be okay. It's gonna be okay. You're you're all right. You're all right.
Nick: Ipa looks at the radio, slowly. His reactions are definitely affected by blood loss. The other Advants step back deferring to him. He picks up the pendant radio on a necklace that Emma had given to Marathon and intuitively knows how it works and holds it up.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Uh... Hello, this is journeyman Ipa-
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [yeah still pissed] All right you're going too slow! Something is waking up? Is this the earthquakes? Is there more Advantia secrets waiting for us underneath this castle that after we've rescued you, now we're gonna have to fight something else? [make that pissed and sarcastic]
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Yeah, that exactly.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Great! [pile on the sarcasm]
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] At best, you've got about seven minutes, give or take 10 seconds or so, and this settlement will be destroyed. Well, actually -
Nick: Marathon from where you're crouched, you can see that he is doing math rapidly in his head, which is interesting, because otherwise he does not seem to be able to think very quickly, but the math seems to come pretty naturally to him.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Really not just this settlement, it'd probably be about 50 square miles of countryside to start -
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] So it's time to go. [dump more sarcasm on the pile]
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] but the settlement's where we are.
Penn (as Marathon): [from across the room] Oh my god!
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Yeah, absolutely it is.
Penn (as Marathon): [from across the room] What -
Penn: [laughing] That's from far away.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Why is it waking up? You guys -
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] What is waking up?
Sydney (as Cassidy): - didn't have some kind of safeguard?
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] What is waking up?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] All right, look, I'm gonna give you the basics and then you can decide what to do. My people will do everything they can as well, but I'm assuming since you were able to deal with Cougar and all of them - magic voice in the radio, source of explosions, that that'll be something that you can handle or we all die. At this point, I'm -
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] [energy of someone trying to get a toddler to focus] Wh-what are we doing?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] - in shock. Right. So uh~, there's a massive piece of wild tech under this enclave, Wild Tech Entry 74293. It's a big giant machine that eats compressed carbon. We've been feeding it just enough to keep it functional but non-moving for I don't know, what is it tassel? Like 6-70 years or so. I think. But the bandits screwed up all of our ways of maintaining that, so they're going to - it's going to wake up and it's going to eat pretty much everything unless you can stop it.
Penn (as Marathon): [from across the room] Okay, we've got six minutes.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] How do we stop it?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Oh, okay, good. Yes.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] How~?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Good question. Yeah. That's a great question. Inquiring minds want to know, right?
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] [energy of someone who has run out of patience with toddler already] Yes, we do. How? Now.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Yeah quit the filler, tell us answers.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Right. So there are a myriad of sensors attached to this wild tech entity that is uh, strewn out along a bunch of labyrinthine tunnels beneath the enclave that it dug itself before it was ever discovered. We've been keeping carbon rich slurry near its sensors just enough for it to be harvesting, but not enough for it to go into full operation. That slurry got mostly sold off by the bandits and the pumps that kept it irrigated are offline - that'd be pretty hard to start up. So I guess meet up with some of my technicians and get the pumps running in 5 minutes -
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Okay where are the pumps?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] - and 45 seconds. They're in the facility down in the basement and then there's a couple further down in the mines, like uh, relay pumps.
Cameron: You start hearing really loud footfalls as Emma in her exosuit runs down the stairs into this main hall.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] The other option that you have, if that's not working, is this thing harvests compressed carbon. We have a large piece of compressed carbon that we made that might take it long enough to process that that's all it would be doing for long enough to get this under control. So that's an option too - issue with that as you have to get to the center of this thing to do that. That's going to be pretty difficult. Or I guess you could like try to blow it up. I...
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Which direction am I going?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Down?
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Okay~.
Nick: He very loosely wobbles his head in the direction of a staircase going further down. Emma you can see that there are multiple bodies in this room - multiple people have been shot. You're running past Marathon who's up to her elbows in blood standing over one of the bandits looking bereft, the Advantia all milling around like they're lost.
Penn (as Marathon): [kinda panicked] Emma! Emma! I don't know. - you got like five minutes or something, but somebody's dying here. I don't know if that's like a priority-
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] I can help.
Penn (as Marathon): [ever so slightly less panicked] Okay. Thank you.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): Birdie!
Kit (as Birdie): I'm on my way.
Penn (as Marathon): It's Jolene.
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] If you're a technician, you should be following me.
Penn (as Marathon): I'll follow you. I'm closer. I'm closer. I don't know if that helps. But -
Nick: Emma make a average Leadership check to rally these people who are in shock and get them moving because they've all basically frozen in place in this crisis.
Cameron: Can I have a blue die for this Leadership check because I am in a super cool, important looking exosuit?
Cameron: So I've got two greens, a blue, and two purples.
Cameron: One success, three advantages.
Nick: Great. You see two other Advants in simpler robes - one is a lean woman with dark brown skin and a faux hawk and the other is a pale woman with a blonde undercut that run towards you. Everyone else still seems lost, but you yelling over loudspeakers seems to have gotten their attention and they are following you as you take off down the stairs. Marathon do you follow or do you wait for Birdie?
Penn: Marathon shouts,
Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] I'll be right behind you, Emma. I'm just waiting for Birdie.
Kit: Birdie is gonna sprint over as fast as she can to where Marathon is or where she at least remembers Marathon being last.
Nick: So Birdie from where you were in the courtyard, you're able to sprint to the opening in the fortification that you and Marathon blew in the door and you run down the stairs. After all this excitement your body is probably beginning to protest pretty heavily at the treatment you're giving it, but there's not a lot of time to acknowledge that right now. And you find yourself in this large open space. There are bodies on the ground and on the far side past a group of stunned looking academics, you can see Marathon covered in blood, looking panicked.
Kit (as Birdie): Hey - Marathon. Okay. Oh okay.
Penn (as Marathon): She was shot. Shot.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): It's a bullet wound.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): You got this right?
Kit (as Birdie): No. [struggling to find words] Is there an exit wound?
Penn (as Marathon): [panicked yelling cause she doesn't know] Ah~!
Penn: Marathon just tries to rip Jolene's shirt real quick and then is like,
Penn (as Marathon): I gotta go. I'm sorry.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh. Okay, um...
Penn: [laughing] And leaves Jolene's body with this ripped shirt for Birdie after running down where Emma and the Advants went.
Kit: Birdie is immediately going into emergency mode and is trying to apply as much pressure as she can without hurting the gunshot wound even further and moving her free hand underneath Jolene's body to feel for an exit wound.
Nick: Yeah, so I'm going to give you a couple of different opportunities here for this. So to start out, make me an average difficulty Medicine check to assess the wound and start triage and how well you do here will determine if you get any advantages when you actually start treatment.
Kit: So just two greens, two purples.
Kit: That'll be two successes and two threats.
Nick: Great. So with two successes, you'll be able to upgrade your Medicine check when you're doing treatment. The threats are going to add a black die though, because you've jostled her. You realize that you're definitely on a time limit - you don't know when she was shot but you also, having done this assessment, realize that this is Jolene, somebody that you've met before and that spent time with Marathon, and that's distracting, but she is actively bleeding, you're on a time limit and it is not looking good.
Kit: Okay, is there an exit wound though?
Nick: There is not an exit wound.
Kit (as Birdie): [said on a long exhale] Oh fuck.
Kit: Birdie knows a little bit about gunshot wounds and gunshot wounds to the chest - she's seen a few - so she knows that the wound is probably pretty bad on the inside - she might have a collapsed lung. So I think she's going to try to attempt emergency surgery after slinging off her backpack and putting anything that isn't breathable fabric over this wound to make sure no more air gets in, if any has gotten in at all.
Nick: Okay. I do have the question of, as you're working on this, do you appeal to anybody to help you? They're all standing around. Some of them are holding obvious medical supplies.
Kit: Yeah, Birdie, who kind of ran in here and didn't quite take a good look at her surroundings, glances up at an Advantia member who is holding medical supplies and she stops rifling around in her bag with her free hand and she's just like
Kit (as Birdie): [voice filled with disgust at the inaction] Give me that! Don't just stand around!
Nick: Go ahead and make me a average Coercion check, but with three black die because this person is both shell shocked and really does not want to help your patient.
Kit: It's just two green. So two green, three black -
Nick: You can flip a story point if you really want it.
Kit: Yes, actually, I will flip a story point.
Sydney: So one yellow, one green, three black, two purple?
Kit: It's a full wash.
Nick: So no real result and that's a failure. This Advantia member is holding what looks like big rolls of gauze and bandages and maybe what looks like a coagulant - some of this stuff is very nice. And they pull their hood back to show the face of someone who's younger than you with a haunted look in their eye and they say
Nick (as Advantia Member): She shot Ipa! They've kept us prisoner here for weeks. Think it's best if she dies.
Nick: And she turns her back on you and starts to walk away carrying the medical supplies.
Kit: Birdie grabs something trivial, something small, out of her backpack and throws it at them.
Kit (as Birdie): [yelling] I hope you're ashamed of yourself!
Nick: The rifle casing that you throw bounces off the back of her head, and she pauses, her shoulders slump, but she doesn't look at you and she keeps walking.
Kit (as Birdie): She's a person who probably has a family!
Kit: And she continues to just grab things out of her bag and just curses a lot.
Nick: You have a basic first aid kit, so you're not doing this without equipment, but the stuff that the Advantia have access to is definitely nicer and would have been a huge help, but they're all either staring at you not comprehending what's going on or actively not looking, whether through shame or disgust it's hard to tell, and you realize that you're not getting any help but you have to act here or it'll be too late.
Kit: Birdie's digging through everything trying to thread a suture needle with one hand and her teeth is not really fun, but she's going to try and get this wound closed at least.
Nick: So go ahead and make me another Medicine check. Based on your triage before it will be upgraded, but you will also have a black die because she is bleeding out so much. You can have a blue die for basic medical supplies. Because of the severity of her injury with her bleeding out, in order to stop the bleeding, that's a daunting check to stop the bleeding and save her life.
Kit: I'm gonna get another story point. Okay. Two yellows, one blue, one black, four purple.
Kit: One success and three threats.
Nick: You are able somehow to stop the bleeding with the things that you just have in your bag ready to go.
Kit: Because of the Surgeon skill, Birdie is able to properly stabilize Jolene a little further than what she might have been able to otherwise, which is good. This is good.
Nick: Yeah. So because Birdie has Surgeon, not only will she heal an extra wound, which won't do her a ton of good in this current state - what you realize as you are trying to stop this bleeding and keep the lung from collapsing is that with those threats, this injury is one that would permanently impact Jolene's ability to be a mercenary. Her lung capacity is going to be nowhere near what it was. It's going to change the way that things work even though she's going to live. The benefit is that you are able to salvage a lot more of that than you thought you were going to be able to with your experience. She will get tired if she's able to heal from this without additional infection or anything like that. She will not be able to exercise the same way, she won't be as fast, but it's not going to keep her from functioning like you were worried. So you've definitely not only saved her life, but saved her way of living.
Kit: Birdie's going to grab some sort of rags, any sort of discarded something to wipe the blood off of her hands and she's kind of shaking from the adrenaline rush that this whole thing has provided her. It's re-upped to her adrenaline rush that she was running on earlier and she just turns and looks at all of the Advantia members and is glaring at them. And before running off, all she says is,
Kit (as Birdie): If anyone touches her, or fucks with whatever I just did, you are going to wish to have them back in this room and not me. [angry scary laugh] Have some fucking compassion.
Kit: And she's going to run off.
Nick: And the last thing we see is Birdie disappearing down the stairs, a few minutes behind Emma and Marathon who are attempting to appease this unimaginable wild tech beneath the town. So Cassidy, you are outside the keep still in the Knight. You've heard this exchange over the radio.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [still pissed] Well Ipa, I have a giant war machine and I can't fit in the door. What do you want me to do? What is there - should I stand out here and be ready to fight this mechanical god that you've stuck under your keep and forgot to tell us about?
Nick: There's a long pause and you have a brief moment of worry that Ipa has turned off the radio and then he responds.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Wild Tech Entry 74293 wouldn't come out to fight - not for a while, it would destroy everything beneath us first. The good news is there access tunnels back behind the keep in the cranberry bogs, the second one east of the facility. It's under a bit of dried mud, but you should be able to punch through there. I hope to Croos that you don't have to fight it - doesn't matter how big your war machine is, this isn't something that you go after willingly. Trust me.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Well, great! The more info you can give us then the less likely we're going to be to fight it.
Sydney: And Cassidy starts climbing out of the fort directly up the walls towards the cranberry bogs. We get a shot of the inside of the cockpit where panels are still open and wires are out and spliced but it's messy. And the intuitiveness of the Knight in some ways is compromised by how many breaks from the reality that the Knight projects [laugh] from the fixes that Cassidy and Emma had to do to get it back under her control.
Nick: Emma and Marathon - you've made your way down a spiraling staircase and you find yourself in an engine room not quite like anything you've seen before. There are multiple pumps with glass windows showing nothing but darkness within. You can't tell if it's that they're too dirty to see or that the material itself seems to absorb light. None of the pumps seem to be running. There are two large pumps that are the size of a large wagon each with pipes spiraling off in various directions and down through the floor. Various butterfly valves and primers are part of this system. It looks both very finely tuned and cobbled together. And unlike any engine room you've seen before, it is completely silent as the two Advantia that came with you also walk into the room looking extremely worried.
Penn (as Marathon): Kestral? Plan?
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] What are we doing?
Nick: The Advantia remember with the faux hawk bites her lip and looks around and she says,
Nick (as Cal): Look, this is my specialty but I'm just an apprentice.
Penn (as Marathon): But yeah, it doesn't matter what you just are - I just need to know what we're what we have to do, okay? Just say it. You are what we have.
Nick (as Cal): Right.
Nick: She makes eye contact with her companion who shrugs, jogs over to a wall that seems to be made entirely out of fuses and breaker switches and starts throwing switches haphazardly.Onet of the pumps starts to prime and then goes dead and the Advantia apprentice that you're talking to doesn't look surprised and says
Nick (as Cal): Okay, we need to prime the pumps. We need to find wherever there's any of the slurry left to get it down over this things sensors as quickly as possible. Ipa always insists on calling it Wild Tech Entry 74293, but that's way too long for the -
Nick: She also appears to be doing math in her head and says,
Nick (as Cal): I don't know five minutes we probably have left. We call it the Abyss, and the Abyss is hungry. If there was some way to extend the time, maybe it would be easier to do but we need fuel.
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] Okay yeah, pretend we have all the time in the world right now, okay? What do we need to do to get the slurry back? How would we do that? Also, is it useful to have me in this robot suit at all?
Nick: She glances pointedly at some very, very large valves with huge handles.
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] Do I need to turn those?
Nick (as Cal): Yeah, we - I don't know the exact process but we need to get the liquid flowing into these pumps and then flip the switches at the right time. And the fuel tanks are almost empty so if we can't find more to put in there this isn't gonna work at all.
Penn (as Marathon): Uh is like a bio-alcohol-y fuel, does that work?
Nick (as Cal): No, that's it that's not gonna work at all. This thing is hunting carbon there's -
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] [trying to get the process started] Do I turn those now? Do you need me to start turning those now?
Nick: She looks at you, holds up a hand asking for just a second, looks at Marathon and says,
Nick (as Cal): Look, if the mechanical lady here and I can get things primed, we're gonna need more of the slurry. I think there might be some barrels of it further down.
Penn (as Marathon): Copy. I'll roll some barrels over.
Nick (as Cal): Okay, good luck. If you see metal, stay away from it, trust me.
Nick: And she starts pointing to things, Emma. She doesn't look very sure of herself, though, like she's maybe been shown how to do this once. So to start with - Marathon, are you sprinting down into the tunnels?
Penn: Yeah, I just immediately after I say copy, I'm just sprinting.
Nick: Okay, so go ahead and roll me a hard Athletics check.
Penn: I've got three purples, two yellows, and two greens.
Penn: Just one failure.
Nick: Oh, so Marathon you run off. There is a metal ladder that slides from finished building into what's clearly dug out stone and dirt beneath this facility and the narrow corridors spiral off into the darkness, as you hope that whatever you're looking for is really obvious and run into the dark. Question one, do you have any source of light with you?
Penn: I can't think of any reason Marathon [laughing] would have a light on her, except for maybe a lighter.
Nick: Yeah. Okay. So you are running, you are able to light your way, just barely with your lighter out of your pocket, but it burns very, very low because of the speed that you're running into the dark and towards the Abyss. Cutting back to the pump room. Emma, I need you to make me a hard Mechanics check to see if you're able to work quickly with this Advantia apprentice and also to see if her instructions are correct, because it's not going to be difficult to turn the levers with your suit, but
Cameron: Can I have a blue die for my Inventor talent for just intuitively understanding how things work?
Nick: Yes, you absolutely can.
Cameron: So I understand and sympathize with this poor apprentice who has been put in a very stressful situation and she hasn't been in charge of it before and it's kind of freaking her out, so I am doing exactly what she's telling me to and treating her word as gospel, as long as I don't know that it's actively wrong, to try to build up her confidence as we're going, so hopefully she's right.
Cameron: Three successes and a threat.
Nick: Great. So between the two apprentices throwing power switches and your understanding of how this should work, there's a couple of levers that right before you throw the valve based on your instructions, you realize is going to force a vacuum the wrong direction, potentially damaging these pumps and you reverse the order. The Apprentice that has been talking with you looks apologetic, but you don't have time to really talk through what's happening and you keep going. The pumps begin to prime but it becomes apparent quickly that without more fluid to pump, this isn't going to work and we are going to cut away to Cassidy.
Cassidy you have made it to the cranberry bog that Ipa instructed you to go to and as you are running across it in the Knight you can immediately hear the sound of your footfalls change as you land on something hollow.
Sydney: Cassidy checks out her array of instruments looking to see if there's anything that would be capable of subterranean mapping.
Nick: As you look at the array of sensors, you don't see anything that looks like it would be sonar. There are a lot of readings that aren't going off. It looks like the Knight may have had more sensor capabilities when it was first built, but not all of its functioning right now.
Sydney: Cassidy starts stomping on the ground where this texture had changed. Figuring that well there's a door then rather than trying to feel around and find the edge - they don't have time for that. And at the same time, she hits the button on a radio.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [so much less sarcasm] Kestrel does this thing have ground seeing capabilities or something? I have a bunch of dead monitors.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Uh~ eh. No, I don't think so.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Okay.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Not beyond just like the general motion sensors.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Cool.
Sydney: Stomp, stomp, stomp, [crashing noise].
Nick: Emma, would you have turned off the broadcast while talking to Cassidy? Like the external loudspeaker?
Cameron: Oh, I don't think so. I'm doing a manual job I don't have time to be messing with switches. I just have everything turned on.
Nick: We see Emma with her hands full holding down one pump switch and moving another valve and the apprentice says
Nick (as Cal): Try that one there.
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] All right.
Cameron: Emma reaches over and tries whatever she just indicated.
Nick: So Cassidy to force your way through and into the mines make me a Brawl check at average difficulty.
Sydney: The Knight has five Brawn because it's a big giant fighting robot and Cassidy has no experience punching, so I am rolling five greens against two purples.
Sydney: Three successes and three advantages.
Nick: How does it look as you fight your way down into these mines?
Sydney: So Cassidy in the course of being frustrated that the Knight isn't omniscient, stomps and feels the foot of the Knight go through the covering on this hole and feels it hit empty air and then stands up on the other leg takes a couple of steps back and then reaches down with both Knight hands inside that hole that had just been opened and rips the covers of the door off to make wet splashing sounds in the Cranberry Bog nearby and then looks down to see a narrow, dark hole, but one that's big enough to fit the Knight comfortably, but it also looks like a fairly rough material on the walls - like maybe it's rock but it's a soft rock or a clay and the Knight crouches down and hooks a hand into it watching that it molds a little bit, especially with the amount of force that the Knight can put on it and then turns, puts Knight hands down on the sides of the Knight next to the torso and throws the legs off and then starts descending the wall like a ladder making indentations all the way down.
Nick: Perfect. And you begin your descent. Luckily, the depth of this mineshaft is only three or four times the height of the Knight so it shouldn't take too long but you find yourself needing to move carefully to prevent any damage that could be caused from a slip. Go ahead and make me a Perception check please at hard difficulty with a black die because it is dark and you are climbing.
Sydney: The Knight has nothing to help me, but Cassidy does have two yellows and a green, so I'm rolling two yellows and a green against three purples and a black.
Sydney: Two successes and three threats.
Nick: As you're climbing down you notice a dull orange glow coming from a part of this mineshaft opposite you and you realize that part of the wall of the mineshaft isn't stone but is actually metal and parts of the metal have glowing port holes embedded in it. You have just enough time to realize that as bits of this metal band break away from the surface making whipping cables lined in rotating teeth like they might be used to grind up stone or other metal and they lash out at you.
Emma you have gotten this machine mostly primed. It is taking a lot of effort to keep it in ready status without actually running - this is not the type of machine that is designed to be on standby, it is designed to run constantly forever with minimal shutdown. You take a moment to realize that these two large pumps are actually not the exact same size, one is slightly smaller than the other and while you are maintaining the pressure to keep them ready to function, you realize that most of the time, they probably run one at full capacity and another at a partial capacity to fill in any gaps and that they swap them occasionally so that they can do preventative maintenance. It's pretty elegant considering that it also has been seemingly put together from whatever technology was laying around at the time. You are helping these apprentices to maintain the ready status as Birdie makes her way down the stairs. Looking over your shoulder, you can see that she is covered in blood.
Kit: Birdie comes down the stairs, she looks rather frustrated. She's kind of red in the face and her facial expressions all pinched up and she goes up to Emma and she's like,
Kit (as Birdie): Where's Marathon? What's going on?
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] Um we pumps primed, but we need slurry and she ran that way -
Cameron: And Emma does a full body tilt because she can't remove her hands from where she's currently holding things on the machine, but also doesn't really have a head in this exosuit.
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] She went that way. Apparently there's barrels of it. She's gonna bring him back and she's~ gone a while - how far were those barrels?
Nick (as Cal): Not that far. She should have been back by now or I wouldn't have sent her because we can't keep this running for much longer.
Kit (as Birdie): Ugh. I'll call her.
Kit: And Birdie pulls her headphones up from where they are around her neck for the Walkman radio situation she has on and she goes
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Ga-rathon? Man- [frustrated sigh] Marathon where are you?
Nick: There's a long pause and then you hear the voice of Ipa come over the radio.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Uh, this is Ipa.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] You are not Marathon! I don't want to talk to you.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] I have her radio. She gave it to me before she -
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] [groan of epic proportions]
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] - went downstairs.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Dirt.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] How's the pumping going? Are we all going to die? I feel like we're all gonna die.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Yeah why don't you just focus on being negative, okay? You just stay up there quietly.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] It's pretty easy to do I've lost a lot of blood.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [sarcasm x 1000] Wow you're so helpful. Thank you, Ipa.
Kit: Birdie takes off the headphones and is just mumbling things, just
Kit (as Birdie): [angry noises] fuckin' [angry noises] keep doing [angry noises]
Kit: And just pulls out a flashlight. She's like,
Kit (as Birdie): [frustrated x 50] I'll go after Marathon because apparently what I'm doing is I'm helping Marathon right now.
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] Oh okay, call if you need anything. Since you have a radio.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay.
Kit: Birdie, still just muttering as she runs off with this flashlight that she has.
Nick: Birdie you grab your flashlight and you head down this metal ladder into what is clearly a carved tunnel that broadens out into a mine and I'm going to need a hard Athletics check from you to see how quickly you can find Marathon.
Kit: Okay, so I'm rolling one yellow, two green, and three purples. Okay, I got three successes and one threat.
Nick: Great. You have been running quite a bit but you're able to move quickly into the mine and you feel confident that you will find Marathon soon.
Kit (as Birdie): [tired] Okay. [long exhale]
Kit: Birdie is pretty winded at this point. She's experienced multiple adrenaline rushes today and she's really starting to feel the exhaustion. Her body is in quite a bit of pain but not enough to stop her right now because she knows how important all of this is so that they don't die.
Nick: You're able to make your way into the mine. There's some branching tunnels but the main pathway has dust kicked up more consistently in a way that makes you pretty confident this is the way Marathon went. Marathon - what does Birdie hear that leads her to you?
Penn: Birdie hears Marathon shouting off in the distance
Penn (as Marathon): [panicked yelling] Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!
Penn: And as she comes closer, you can see Marathon trying to punch at one of these cable-y arms that are coming out of the mine walls that's attached to her left wrist and she's just punching at this metal and her fist is getting a little bloody. She's like
Penn (as Marathon): [panicked yelling] Dirt! Dirt! Oh god!
Nick: Birdie as you get close enough, the light of your flashlight reveals that one of the walls of this tunnel is entirely made of burnished metal pockmarked and scratched from plunging through stone. There are glowing orange portholes scattered haphazardly around it and even though they're clear panels, revealing the glow beneath it feels like whatever is within that metal wall is watching you. The cable wrapped around Marathon is springing out of that wall and is dragging her slowly towards it.
Penn (as Marathon): [panicked yelling] Oh my god. Oh my god, it's a light! Oh my god. Ah~.
Kit (as Birdie): [annoyed yelling] Why do you keep getting yourself into trouble?
Penn (as Marathon): [panicked yelling] Eagle! Birdie! Help!
Kit: Birdie is trying to put her flashlight into one of her pockets or do something so she can try and help Marathon while also trying to run alongside her. Birdie doesn't really know what to do. She's trying to pull at this metal tendril but she can't do much.
Penn (as Marathon): Just get the coal! Go back I can I can I can take care of this.
Kit (as Birdie): Get the coal?
Penn (as Marathon): The slurry? Whatever it is it's in the barrels.
Penn: And Marathon kicks at one of the barrels and then is jerked towards the metal wall once again by this cable arm.
Kit (as Birdie): [confused noises]
Nick: It is a blue plastic barrel. Several of them are knocked over and appear empty but the one that Marathon kicked at is full. It looks heavy but like you might be able to carry it.
Kit: Is it toppled over?
Nick: It's standing up on its end currently but you could push it over if you wanted to.
Kit: Yeah Birdie is going to do her best to keep her eyes on everything around her while cautiously approaching this barrel because she knows that they need it and will push it over so that she can start rolling it back down the passageway.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay they need it now. I don't know how many minutes they got, but I got - I can I can I can take care of this.
Kit (as Birdie): Just -
Penn (as Marathon): Can you leave the light?
Kit (as Birdie): Ugh!
Kit: [laughing] Birdie pulls a second smaller keychain flashlight out of her backpack in the moment before she goes off to push over the barrel and she hands it to Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): [panicked almost crying] Oh god. Dirt.
Nick: As you get close enough to hand the light to Marathon, additional cables lash out of the wall and branch off of the cable that has Marathon's wrist and lunge at you but you're able to jump out of the way before they also grab you.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh come on. Why does everything have to be difficult today?
Kit: She's gonna continue going about getting at least this one barrel and if she can get the barrel rolling down the hallway enough to where she can push it back toward where she came from and then help Marathon she's going to do that.
Nick: You roll the barrel around the bend in the tunnel that Marathon must have come around and been surprised by this metal wall and as you break line of sight,
Penn (as Marathon): [yelling from slightly far away] Dirt! Dirt~!
Nick: - you hear Marathon's screams fade just ever so slightly into the distance and we are going to cut back to Cassidy.
Cassidy you are being lashed at by piles of metal cables seeming to come out of the walls of this mineshaft itself. Make me a hard Coordination check to get out of the way while continuing your descent.
Sydney: So the Knight has the same Agility that I do which is four, so I'm rolling two yellows and two greens against three purples.
Sydney: Two successes, a threat, and a triumph.
Nick: Huh. Okay, you are able to get out of the way of this attack, continue your descent. The effort put some strain on the Knight itself and it takes a system Strain. But what do you think happens with that triumph?
Sydney: So from the position that Cassidy is in, unaware of the plights of any of the other members of her crew, I'm gonna say that the triumph is that down at the bottom of the shaft is immediately obvious the chunk of compressed carbon that the Advantia were talking about.
Nick: Yeah, that works. That is a triumphant turn of events to be sure. You are able to continue down through this mineshaft the range of the piece of this wild tech is not far enough to reach where you are and you find a well lit corridor, weirdly. It's large clearly used for industrial equipment but moving your way deeper into the mine you find a facility with what looks like a fabrication forge of some kind and set on a pedestal surrounded by what appears to be a disassembled heat and pressure apparatus is the largest uncut diamond you've ever seen. It's roughly the size of two wagons stacked on top of each other. It isn't shiny or pretty. It hasn't been cut or polished. But the sensors identify what you already suspect, that the Advants here have figured out how to synthesize diamond. And as you look at it, the radio crackles to life and you hear the voice of Ipa saying
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Hey uh, we're down to what, two minutes? How -
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Great. This giant crystal thing? Is this your compressed carbon?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Yeah that -
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Where do I put it?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] You're going to need to stick it right in the middle of the wild tech, it -
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Which direction?
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Okay, if you're with if you're at the fabrication facility, you're gonna want to pick that up. Hopefully, your war machine can pick it up, you're gonna want to go through the room and go straight. After about -
Sydney: Cassidy punches an empty wall of the mech waiting for Ipa to get to the point but tries not to do it too loud on the radio.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] After 60 meters, take a 90 degree turn to the left and you want to go through the wall. There isn't an access tunnel, but it'll be pretty obvious from there. Good luck.
Sydney: Cassidy grabs this diamond with mech sized arms and starts following these overly detailed and not at all time sensitive directions.
Nick: Yeah, so you head down the corridor and once again, you're thankful that this part of the mine is big enough for the Knight. When you pick up this fabricated diamond a myriad of indicators around the cockpit light up. Earlier you had noticed that many of the sensors were dead or non functional or maybe hadn't been installed in the first place. The Knight is indicating actively all the various pieces and attachments that could be upgraded or repaired with this kind of material.
Sydney: Cassidy makes a quick mental note while running down the hallway of what screens turned on.
Nick: And Emma over the radio you hear this conversation. You can sense Cassidy's impatience as Ipa says
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Pump crew we have about two minutes. Hopefully she's gonna be able to get that to the wild tech entry point quickly because there's no way we keep this thing from waking up and killing everybody.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Loving the positivity.
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] Are the pumps functioning? Put Apprentice Cal on the radio. Cal where where are we? What is the progress? How are we functioning?
Nick: How would you put Cal on the radio?
Cameron: Emma just tosses her HUD up since the speaker for her radio is within her cockpit setup in the middle where her head is raising the HUD then the speaker is not blocked. Since I have the speakers on - since the radio is being played into the interior it is also coming across the speakers, so everyone in the room heard the question just Emma quickly releases one of the valves, tosses the HUD up and then grabs it again so that Cal can respond.
Nick: Cal's head whips around to where Ipa is asking for a status report and she is streaming sweat at this point. She somewhere found a water barrel and has been using a bucket to pour that into an entry point to try to keep the pumps primed but the water is being sucked away faster than she can pour it in and she says
Nick (as Cal): [over radio] The pumps are working but we don't - I - we can't keep this up for long if we don't get some of the fuel it's over. We might as well just hope the Abyss crashes before everyone within any reaching distance is dead.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] If it comes to that I'm gonna go fight it myself.
Sydney: Cassidy says while running down this hallway.
Kit: It is at this moment when Emma and Cassidy and I guess Ipa can hear Birdie's voice a very frantically say while panting,
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] [out of breath] Um. We're having some trouble down here with the, with the slurry. Uh. Marathon is in trouble [frustration x 75] again.
Nick: Have you gone back to get Marathon or are you pushing the barrel and leaving Marathon in the mine?
Kit: Birdie went back, of course Birdie went back.
Nick: So we see Birdie having left the barrel somewhere out of range of the machine, standing near Marathon but out of range of these cables as Marathon is being dragged. Her feet are being dragged across the ground towards this wall and more and more of the metal wall are becoming those rotating chewing grinding teeth that top the ends of these cables.
Penn: Marathon is maybe about three feet away from the wall at this point. She's like
Penn (as Marathon): Birdie Birdie! Did you get the-the slurry down there?
Kit (as Birdie): I can't - ugh no! I came back to help you!
Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] Mission first! Mission first!
Kit (as Birdie): [yelling] No!
Nick: And we'll cut away from that. Cassidy your sensors and your innate sense of direction show that you've gone the correct distance based on Ipa's instructions. You turn 90 degrees to the left and you're faced with a blank stone wall.
Sydney: Cassidy kicks up with arms full of big rock.
Nick: You kick at the wall and it doesn't quite give away and you realize you're going to have to put a lot of the Knight's weight and strength into this to get through however thick it is. Make me another Brawl check at average difficulty.
Sydney: All right, I'm again rolling five greens and two purples.
Sydney: A success and three advantages.
Nick: Perfect. Those advantages mean that when you kick through the wall, you are able to maintain the Knight's balance and rather than fall through into this gap, you are given a view of the lair of the Abyss - Wild Tech Entry 74293. This is a massive geode settled in the middle of a dome of stone and crystal and dripping oil is a tangle of limbs as big around as train cars. They join in the center like a sea star covered in spikes and grinding teeth and the entire area is lit with an innate orange glow scattered sporadically across the Abyss. This thing is bigger than some cities that you have seen in the past. It is moving and it knows you were there.
[hurdy gurdy music swells]
Penn (as Marathon): Welcome back to MTR 1153, that was just the end of today’s broadcast and we’ll be right back to the music after this little break. The particulars of the subsequent can be found in the show notes.
This has been A Knight of Shreds and Patches, an actual play podcast using the Genesys game system from Fantasy Flight Games. The show is edited by Sydney Whittington, and features the talents of:
Kit Adames as Birdie. Kit can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ venusvultures. Kit is also a voice actor for Elevator Pitch Podcast, a queer genre-hopping anthology podcast that can be accessed on Spotify and YouTube.
Penn Van Batavia as Marathon. She can be found on Twitter @ acquiredchaste. Penn is an indie TTRPG designer whose most recent work includes Wasmannian, a prompt game about gender and wasps. Check out faer other work at pennharper.itch.io.
Sydney Whittington as Cassidy. Sydney can be found on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes, and on Twitter @ sydney_whitt. She’s also a contributing editor for the Orpheus Protocol, a cosmic horror espionage actual play podcast..
Cameron Robertson as Emma. Cameron can be found on Twitter @ midnightmusic13 and on Instagram @ reading_and_dreaming. Cameron is also a player on Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars Edge of the Empire actual play podcast.
And Nick Robertson as narrator. Nick can be found on Twitter @ alias58. Nick is also the GM for Tabletop Squadron, which you can support @ Patreon.com/TabletopSquadron. Nick can also be found as a player on the Orpheus Protocol.
This podcast features the musical talents of Dora Violet and Arne Parrott. You can find Dora at facebook.com/doraviolett. You can find Arne at atptunes.com.
The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @ rashedjrs.
You can follow the Patina on Twitter @ akosap_podcast or visit the website: www.akosap.com. To further support the show, consider joining the Patreon at www.patreon.com/AKoSaP, where we’ll be bringing you weekly content including bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.
Until next time…