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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 19: It Was Need To Know

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 19: It Was Need To Know 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.

Alli: Alli Nesbit as Renn Dare.

Kira: Kira Nesbit as Ciphera Vex.

Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.

Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:

We’ve got an extra special announcement today! If you’re a backlog listener, you may already know this, but we’re happy to introduce for the first (chronological) time, Kira Nesbit, now using she/her pronouns! Kira saw how much fun my coming out was back in Season 1, and decided to take the opportunity to do her own, so join me in congratulating her on achieving her more genuine self.

Also, we’ve got Alli and Kira Nesbit back again as guests! Make sure you stick around for the credits to hear all the fun and exciting things they’re involved in, and where to find them.

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 19: It Was Need To Know. 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]

Penn (as Marathon): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we rolled out of Iota exhausted but champions of the little town. We had some terrific scrumptious soup made by Miss Cassidy before she patched me up and we talked about the perils of mercenary life, and then I fessed up to Emma about my um current financial situation and she still wanted to be my friend, so that was, that was pretty cool. Um maybe there’s a chance Cassidy will - that’s besides the point, but now we’re headed to Renn and Ciphera’s to collect the reward due to us from the giant earth crushing monster that would’ve killed everyone in the area anyway, so I am just just so giddy to see Cassidy go off on these two. It’s gonna be great. Okay I’m so excited. [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: The rig bumps comfortably along through the sparse woods that the Patina is traveling. They have been following a tinny rendition of the song Moon River for a couple of days now, after you all swung through the clearing where you first met Renn and Ciphera. The camp had been broken and no one was to be found, but luckily you were able to pick up their trail and soon after the radio transmission followed as well. The trees have begun to bud and leaf in earnest and the sky is full of pollen as nature comes back alive after the long winter, and spring is well underway. The Patina finds the source of the transmission, of this song that has begun to mean so much more than its collection of notes, in a gentle waterfall glen. And what does the rest of this camp look like where Renn and Ciphera have been waiting for more news about Iota?

Alli: The oddest thing that catches the eye is the distortions from the campfire going through the trailer, which is mostly see through with its mirrored cloaking panels but you can see that the door is propped open so there's just sort of a portal to a room that shouldn't exist. But Renn is sitting in front of the campfire, she's cooking a sausage on a stick. She has a giant oversized sweater on in that fishermen knit, you know because it's still a little chilly in the springtime nights, and she's looking at the string lights they have - they're solar powered, she's very proud of them. So Renn is a shorter to medium height woman. One of her legs is a prosthetic, but not like a fancy runner's prosthetic or anything cause she does not care to do that. Her skin is sepia and her dark brown hair is up in a very flyaway bun but she has these oversized goggles that function is glasses but she needs the action strap just in case.

Kira: So yeah there is a cliff face with some flowing water that trickles down into a pond that then leads further downstream, so there's just the constant din of flowing water in the background. There's a number of these sawhorses or workbenches set up for where Renn works on her various projects and scraps. We see Ciphera who I think is hefting - she's just moving things around, probably per Renn's direction. Ciphera is a woman of medium height, probably about five foot six. She has dirty blond hair that is currently bound back in a segmented ponytail that just drapes down her back and she has some stringy flyaway bangs, a line of multicolored feathers that are interwoven into her ponytail. She has dusky freckles, a strong jaw, green eyes, she's missing her left ear, although she has sort of a large metal fin that can telescope and readjust to serve that purpose. She's missing three fingers on her left hand but has this mechanical fixture sort of an exoskeleton on it to replace them and some waxy burn scars along the left side of her face. She's also got two tattoos on her cheekbones right under her eyes that are angled checkmarks and she's currently dressed in just a sleeveless tank top and the same somewhat dirty culottes that we've seen her in before. And on her right forum, she has some sort of a black tattoo with just various dappling and dotting.

Nick: Renn and Ciphera - you hear over the sound of this small waterfall and rushing water the rumble of a large engine as the Patina's rig pulls into the clearing around some of the tree cover that shelters this area. The moon is just cresting over the beautiful wilderness waterfall that they are camped next to and the Patina disembarks.

Sydney: Cassidy jumps down out of the passenger seat, bow at the ready, looking spry and rested. Immediately scouting out the camp to see - yes this is the same piles of stuff that they saw at the previous camp even though we've moved quite a distance - and then looks back at the rig to see why there hasn't been another door open yet.

Cameron: Emma after having put the rig in park, seems to be centering herself slash psyching herself up to get out of the car and reaches over and throws the driver's side door open but then gently rotates herself 90 degrees. And then stretches her legs out in front of her and moves her ankles around a little bit and then, if you have ever slid down stairs on your butt, she does that but out of the seat. So not actually using her legs to bend to lower herself out, just dropping straight down. So after landing roughly on the ground, she takes a minute to breathe and kinda pushes herself away from the rig and starts stiffly walking over towards where Renn and Ciphera are at in this camp. She looks essentially the same as the last time you saw her, besides moving a lot slower and she is not swinging her sword around like a super cool person like she was last time. That is still in the truck. She looks like she's had a rough time and is still tired, but it is moving and doesn't look injured, just is still recovering.

Kira: When everyone pulls up and the rig comes to a halt, we see Ciphera just do a handless whistle to get Renn's attention.

Alli: She perks up. She has the sensors. She knew they were coming.

Kira: Ciphera will be the one who walks out a little bit. She's wiping your hands off with a rag and throws it over her shoulder and she raises a hand but keeps her distance a little bit and she says

Kira (as Ciphera): Looks like y'all made it. Found us okay.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We did.

Cameron (as Emma): [strained] Yep.

Alli (as Renn): Y'all all right?

Kira (as Ciphera): Wanna lay down a little bit?

Cameron (as Emma): [considering noise]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma are the other two not - why-why are they still on the rig?

Cameron (as Emma): O-okay so they're, they're asleep and I didn't I didn't want to wake them up. [sounding like someone who wishes she were asleep too]

Sydney (as Cassidy): We should probably - let me let me go.

Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy they're leaning on each other. It's really cute~.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh let them sleep. Let them sleep.

Alli (as Renn): That's very sweet.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, you got anything time sensitive that they have to be awake for?

Sydney: Cassidy turns around from having taken two steps back towards the rig and shrugs and walks back over. Cassidy looks the same as she has been. She's got fresh flowers woven into her crown braid. There's what looks like a couple of mild burns on her exposed skin but it's already it's like two days into a sunburn where, okay, it's kind of red. She looks fine.

Kira (as Ciphera): Um. Renn's cooking.

Alli (as Renn): One sausage at a time. Unless you find some good sticks.

Penn (as Marathon): [disturbed sleeping noise]

Alli (as Renn): Do you have sticks?

Penn (as Marathon): [tired yelling] Is that -?

Alli (as Renn): Bring your own stick.

Penn (as Marathon): [tired yelling] Is that sausage? I smell sausage.

Alli (as Renn): Come and get it.

Kit (as Birdie): Marathon stop yelling.

Penn (as Marathon): [not all that quieter] Sorry. Sorry, Birdie.

Kit (as Birdie): We're still in the rig. [laughing]

Penn (as Marathon): [tired groan]

Kit: It is at this point that the rig door opens and Birdie, who has bedhead but carseat bedhead, she sort of does a weird maneuver where she unbuckles her seat belt and then turns onto her stomach and pushes herself backwards out of the rig so that she doesn't have to bend her knees either. And it is a little funny because she is just kind of hanging out of the rig because her legs are too short to hit the ground.

Penn (as Marathon): [grunt of slight effort] I got you.

Kit (as Birdie): Thank you. Thank you.

Penn: Marathon lowers Birdie to the ground. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [noise of settling after landing]

Kit: And Birdie is wearing a weird amalgamation of clothes that she does not normally wear. She's wearing her sturdy boots from what she normally wears to do on jobs for more ankle support and she's wearing two proper knee braces rather than the hodgepodge ones she normally has and they're over loose pants, so she looks really tired and half in her pajamas. And she's like,

Kit (as Birdie): [bit groggy] Hey, guys.

Alli (as Renn): Hey!

Kit (as Birdie): Nice to see you guys again.

Alli (as Renn): Glad you made it back. Alright.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, mostly.

Alli (as Renn): Pull up a stump.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, on that note, um. I'm glad everyone's in one piece.

Alli (as Renn): How'd everything go~?

Kira (as Ciphera): Did ya - did you bring anything back -

Kit (as Birdie): [whisper] Marathon!

Kira (as Ciphera): - aside from stories?

Penn (as Marathon): [quiet] Uh-

Sydney (as Cassidy): What do you want some bandit heads or?

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't know. Just something to let us know that we actually followed through with it.

Cameron (as Emma): Can you not like make radio contact? I thought that the issue was you'd lost contact with them. That should be reestablished.

Penn (as Marathon): How about the whole thing didn't like explode or like get eaten? Or like, you know, fall into whatever sort of pit or something?

Kira (as Ciphera): Pit?

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy do your thing! Go off on 'em.

Penn: Marathon grumpily slides out of the car after helping Birdie down and she's just wearing a greasy white tank top over a ripped flannel that she just found in the rig over some work jeans. The flannel is tied around her waist and she's looking greasier and more scratched up than ever with her fiery red hair matching her tired but fiery temper.

Alli (as Renn): Well the beacon went from all, you know, 'oh shit' to 'all good', so we assumed something positive had happened or the bandits figured out how to flip that one switch.

Sydney: Cassidy raises an eyebrow at Renn and goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): [voice growing in intensity throughout] Yeah did you - Did you know, a fun fact about that outpost? There's a giant world ending machine under it.

Penn (as Marathon): Get 'em!

Cameron: Emma walks over to the fire where Renn is and slumps down on one of the stumps and says

Cameron (as Emma): [tired and quiet] This is going to take a while.

Penn (as Marathon): Go Cassidy!

Kira (as Ciphera): [much disbelief] World ending machine?

Alli: Renn looks extremely guilty.

Kira (as Ciphera): [surprise] What?!

Sydney (as Cassidy): [annoyance dump] Yeah, did apparently the whole purpose of this outpost was yeah, okay, there's research going on but it's also trying to keep imprisoned this giant mechanical monster thing that's gonna stick its face out of the ground and destroy everything and -

Penn (as Marathon): Get her ass!

Sydney (as Cassidy): [annoyance dump growing in sarcasm] - you would have thought that, you know, the people who were going in there to go save this place from the bandits, from the bandits who were not maintaining any of this imprisonment hardware, who from the bandits who were probably looting it all because it's valuable, you know, compressed carbon that makes gemstones that are nice and valuable? That might have been good for us to know.

Alli: Renn has somewhat turtled into her giant oversized sweater.

Alli (as Renn): [sounding uncomfortable] It was need to know.

Penn: Marathon is just standing behind Cassidy nodding her head with her arms crossed.

Kira: Ciphera had been standing next to Renn and had initially taken a step in front of her, kind of protective, but as the talking continues she sort of stands back to be the third point in the T intersection and is just looking between them.

Kira (as Ciphera): Am I the only one here who has no idea what's going on right now?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathon go grab your tentacle.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah!

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, go grab the tentacle Marathon.

Kit (as Birdie): [quiet] Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): Oh, did you get one of those?

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, did I get one of those?

Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlap] Yeah it was our, it was our souvenir for –

Kit (as Birdie): [overlap] Did we… yeah!

Penn (as Marathon): Did I get one…

Alli (as Renn): I thought they were bigger.

Penn: Marathon runs back to the rig very excitedly.

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling from slight distance] Did I get one?!?

Kira (as Ciphera): [disbelieving] Tentacles?

Penn: Brings it over and flops it down in front of everybody.

Penn (as Marathon): This thing nearly killed us.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [how high can the sarcasm meter go] Yeah, as it turns out, when we cleared out all these bandits that we were hired to go clear out, that was only half the job because then this giant monster tried to wake up and eat the town. And us and everyone else.

Alli (as Renn): [defensive] Alright, well, A - when we left it was still being fed. B - It went great it seems, so... [unintelligible]

Sydney (as Cassidy): [oh look it went higher] Yeah how - imagine how nice it would have been to know that maybe we should go down there and make sure things were under control instead of 'Oh, well. It looks like we've saved the day. Why is there an earthquake? Why is there a giant thing poking its head up out of the ground?'

Alli (as Renn): I mean,

Penn (as Marathon): I think this deserves extra compensation.

Sydney: Cassidy throws the thumb towards Marathon.

Alli (as Renn): You will have it. Um. But you gotta understand my position, I can't exactly go around telling every every person walks up offering help that oh, there's a giant fucking monster -

Sydney (as Cassidy): [it's amazing the levels of sarcasm Cassidy can reach] Yes, every person -

Alli (as Renn): - roaming around.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [it just keeps going up] - that was specifically selected by Susan, your boss, and told that we could help with this specific problem. And I'm sure she knew about the giant thing living under the ground.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, fuck Susan.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, fuck her. This is her fault.

Penn (as Marathon): Wait.

Alli: She attempts to pass the buck.

Kit (as Birdie): Not quite.

Cameron (as Emma): [tired and confused] Wait. Why is it Susan's fault?

Kit (as Birdie): It's not really Susan's fault.

Alli (as Renn): It could be though.

Cameron (as Emma): We haven't talked to her at all, though.

Penn (as Marathon): [not quite yelling but close] You were supposed to tell us! Don't get my, don't get us confused.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, don't get them confused.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't think we're confused.

Kit (as Birdie): [overlapping] No.

Penn (as Marathon): [overlapping] I'm confused.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlapping and continuing] No I think we know exactly who needed to tell us more because it's the Advantia's way -

Penn (as Marathon): True.

Sydney (as Cassidy): - to never share any information that could be useful ever if you can get away with hiding it.

Alli (as Renn): [mumbling] I mean, we shared a lot of information.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah and how interesting that the thing you didn't share was a huge problem we had to deal with to protect all your friends.

Kit (as Birdie): [still has a lot of pent up anger] Who are mean!

Penn (as Marathon): True.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): And vastly useless.

Kit (as Birdie): Very.

Cameron (as Emma): Uh majority of them.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): [more sarcastic than she has a right to be in this situation] Our friends who had been imprisoned and possibly tortured, were mean to you? Wow, that's very surprising to me.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh no I'm just saying that none of them really knew how it worked either and that's probably something you need to look into.

Kit (as Birdie): [grumpy] Well, we saved them so maybe they shouldn't be being mean to us. I'm just saying.

Kira: Ciphera, at this point, starts to move back towards Renn's side and steps in the middle a little bit and says,

Kira (as Ciphera): All right. All right. Let's all sit down and get a little bit more information about what the state of things is and you can tell me about this big friggin monster that apparently is a machine and eats things. And we can go from there. Also, Susan's probably at least partially responsible for this.

Alli (as Renn): [trying to pass blame again] Or like 99%.

Kira (as Ciphera): [having none of it] Go make sausage, Renn.

Alli (as Renn): [chastised] All right.

Sydney: Cassidy takes a deep breath and still has her arms crossed but does not continue yelling.


Alli: In the background of the shot we see Renn walking around the low hanging branch trees and just swatting, trying to grab branches out to cook more sausages with but very far away. She's not a good jumper.

Kira: Ciphera starts to pace, and puts her hands on her head and walks over towards the stream. Kicks the biggest rock she can find into the stream and then circles back around after a minute or so.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So how did you not get told about this thing? Apparently Renn knew. Apparently everyone there knew.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, listen, I'm not I'm not in research and development. I know some about wild tech but I'm - I get my hands dirty. You know, I'm boots on the ground. I go and I find things, I make people talk, but I can't talk to machines or anything like that. So yeah, clearly you know how the Advantia works. They don't tell people unless they need to know something and apparently I didn't need to know this. So join the club. Sorry that you got stuck in a bad spot, but you're goddamn mercenary so act like one.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sarcasm increases] Oh we are.

Cameron (as Emma): [overlapping] [not awake enough to deal with bullshit] I mean we did. We did save the town.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlapping] That's why you're gonna pay us more.

Cameron (as Emma): So.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we completed our mission and the next mission.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh, I don't know about a next mission. Guess that's more than I'm out of the loop on but we can sure talk to Susan about that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, we could have killed the bandits and then just left the town because that was what we were hired for.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, maybe you should have I don't know. You're already working with more information than I got sister. So again, I -

Kit (as Birdie): [voice of quiet reason] Maybe you shouldn't take it out on us though.

Cameron (as Emma): [voice of tired reason] I really don't think we should have left.

Kira (as Ciphera): [defensive much?] Well you're taking it out on me, so

Penn (as Marathon): [voice of hungry reason] I think she needs help with the sausages.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah let's go eat some friggin sausages. How about that?

Penn (as Marathon): I'm hungry.

Kira (as Ciphera): [sigh] Come on.

Kit: [laughing] Birdie walks over to Emma and will offer a hand in solidarity to help her get up.

Kira: During this whole next section Ciphera does not sit down. She's just pacing around and she has her magnetic three section staff that she just plays with like double sticks.

Cameron: Emma reaches up to take Birdie's hand and then realizes that she's already sitting next to the fire and just gently pulls Birdie down to sit next to her.

Kit (as Birdie): [quiet] Yeah, you're right. You're right.

Cameron (as Emma): [quiet] Yeah. Everyone is really angry.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah~.

Alli: Renn informs everyone that she has made potato salad, but it turns out that it's just potatoes on top of like leafy greens.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, good. I hate potato salad.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, you guys. You guys enjoy the potato salad. Renn, can I talk to you for a second, please?

Alli (as Renn): [dreading the conversation] Yeah...

Kira (as Ciphera): We'll be right back.

Penn (as Marathon): [obviously trying to break tension] Mmm, sausages. You guys, this is the best flavor I've ever had. [laughing]

Kira: Ciphera will lead them away.

Alli (as Renn): Hello, dear.

Kira: Immediately purses her lips with wide eyes like don't even

Kira (as Ciphera): Don't you dare.

Alli (as Renn): Sorry.

Kira (as Ciphera): So, um, what the hell? What's - you want to fill me in here now that I'm backing you against something that I don't know anything about?

Alli (as Renn): Eh so um, under the settlement, there was wild tech that we couldn't shut down because it was just too big. And it's been going on for years. They've only been feeding it for like I don't know like sixty-something, but if we stop feeding it, it'll break out the ground and eat everything within a 50 to 100 mile radius.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay.

Alli (as Renn): [forced cheer to make it seem like not a big deal] Yeah, that's it.

Kira (as Ciphera): [insulted] Great. So given that we have been living in that radius this entire time, and the compound went dark, you didn't think this was maybe something you should tell me about? That maybe I would like to know? Am I just a stupid person to keep in the dark? Like it was for my own good? Was - help me out here.

Alli (as Renn): I didn't want you to be worried. Like, let's be real. There's no way we could have escaped that blast radius regardless. I just want us to be out of bullet reach.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, were you - did Susan tell you to keep this quiet? Like

Alli (as Renn): Susan tells me a lot of things. I don't always listen to them, but this one seemed prudent.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hm. Alright, so it was for my own good.

Alli (as Renn): It was strictly wizards only.

Kira (as Ciphera): God damn it.

Alli (as Renn): I keep telling you we could get you promoted.

Kira (as Ciphera): You know, I don't care about that.

Alli (as Renn): I know.

Kira (as Ciphera): I care about you trusting me. And if your goddamn secrets are more important than I guess I already know. Just okay. What are we going to do about these people? They're not wrong, Renn.

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling from campfire] Fucking great sausage, you guys. That's great sausage.

Cameron (as Emma): [quieter] Marathon. Marathon. Shut up.

Nick: So from over by the fire with the food, you all can see Renn and Ciphera, but they're far enough away you can't hear them. What is the body language that the two are projecting? Like if they were to look at you all having this conversation.

Alli: Ren has her arms crossed. Her sleeves are a little too long anyway, so it's just floppy hands tucked up in her armpits, sorta so she's looking very defensive. But behind them it's that little beautiful pond where the moonlight sparkles between their silhouettes.

Kira: Contrarily Ciphera is very animated. She's having trouble standing still, her shoulders are very tense, she gesticulates when she talks. She's not raising her voice or anything, but she's also not really great at concealing her body language. And that's apparent even from that distance.

Sydney: Cassidy's just sitting with her elbows on her knees, looking into the fire like she does after every day, but apparently, this was her three minutes of energy. She is now back to sitting and listening mode.

Penn (as Marathon): Y'all gotta get in on this sausage.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Just quit yelling about it. [laugh]

Penn (as Marathon): I'm covering for those guys!

Cameron (as Emma): Marathon they are obviously having an awkward conversation over there. [laughing]

Penn (as Marathon): I know! [laughing]

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] Please stop yelling about sausages.

Penn (as Marathon): [laughing] I'm trying to fix it the best I know. I'm sorry.

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's not your job to fix it.

Penn (as Marathon): That's true. Okay, you know what? It's good their fighting.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Just just eat the sausage.

Cameron (as Emma): It's it's not good they're fighting, but it - no, gosh, just - [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [quieting noises]

Cameron (as Emma): [quietly to self] It'll be fine. It'll be fine.

Kit: Birdie is trying to make it seem like she's not listening to Renn and Ciphera. It is so obvious that she's leaning as far as she can without hurting her back again, to try and strain and hear what they're saying. She's nosy.

Cameron: Emma's just like, wow, okay, everyone's really angry and awkward and I'm just sore, and is just waiting for Renn and Ciphera to come back and will try to guide the conversation in a more calm and productive manner. Now that Cassidy seems to have calmed down a little bit. [laughing]

Penn: Marathon is just making eye contact with everybody else at their plates, giving a -

Penn (as Marathon): Mmm.

Penn: - signal to try and get people to eat, but I don't think it's working because everybody is too tired.

Sydney: Cassidy eventually reaches down and takes a bite of sausage and then puts it down and then chews it and then reaches down and takes another bite.

Penn: Marathon nods her head like yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): So what are we going to do about them, for them? They're not wrong. Also, there's four of them and two of us so,

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, well, we only ever needed two right?

Kira (as Ciphera): What?

Alli (as Renn): You know us against the world?

Kira (as Ciphera): [sigh] Renn. I don't always have the best leg to stand on, especially given what I've caused in the past and how I've hurt you, but - I don't know. I thought I'd earned some of that trust back.

Alli (as Renn): [slightly laughing] One leg to stand on huh?

Kira (as Ciphera): Shut up.

Alli (as Renn): I'm goofin'.

Kira (as Ciphera): [long sigh]

Alli: And she pats her cheek very gently.

Kira (as Ciphera): No don't. Let's, we'll figure it out. But seriously, what are we going to do about them?

Alli (as Renn): Uhhh

Kira (as Ciphera): What do we have that they want?

Alli (as Renn): I can upgrade their tech.

Kira (as Ciphera): Is that going to be enough? Didn't you already offer to do that?

Alli (as Renn): I can do more of that. Maybe we could offer another, you know, mission?

Kira (as Ciphera): We do you need help with, stuff.

Alli (as Renn): And things.

Kira (as Ciphera): All right. All right. All right. Let's go.

Alli (as Renn): I'm gonna bring Servo. I think he'll cut the tension.

Alli: She goes around to the other side of the camper and brings him into eye line just chugs them over in front of the water so we can have a nice view.

Penn: As soon as either of them begins to move, everybody's body language immediately shifts from listening. So everybody is now super involved in the food, rather than the conversation. [laughing]

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, this is really good sausage Marathon. [laughing] You were right.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. [quiet to not be overheard by Renn & Ciphera] Wait, are we talking about the sausage now or?

Kit (as Birdie): Yes, Marathon!

Cameron (as Emma): [slightly out of side of mouth] Yeah just don't yell about it.

Penn (as Marathon): [overly loud] Mm hmm. I've never had potato salad like this. And it's good. It's a good version of it. Yum.

Sydney: Cassidy is just shaking her head.

Kira: Ciphera makes her way back pinching the bridge of her nose. What that is in response to you might not be sure but she makes her way back and then just - it looks like she's about to flop next to the campfire, but then she just keeps pacing.

Kira (as Ciphera): Good sausage? [sigh]

Penn (as Marathon): Excellent sausage!

Kit (as Birdie): Really great!

Kira (as Ciphera): All right. All right, dial it back.

Penn (as Marathon): [laugh] Okay, but for real. It's like really good sausage. Very good cook, Renn.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Alli: Renn returns to the campfire and says

Alli (as Renn): It's apple-wood smoked.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, fancy.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, we lit the campfire with apples and wood.

Alli (as Renn): That's how it works, right?

Cameron (as Emma): [snort] Yup. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [giggle] Definitely.

Penn (as Marathon): I've never heard of that before, so sounds delicious. It is delicious.

Alli (as Renn): Chef was my undergraduate degree for wizard.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm.

Alli (as Renn): Mhmm.

Penn (as Marathon): What was yours Ciphera? Are you, are you - Advantias are all wizards, right?

Kira (as Ciphera): I didn't go to wizard school, no.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't - I'm not privy to wizard secrets.

Alli (as Renn): [clears throat] You just need a bigger hat.

Kira (as Ciphera): [sigh]

Penn (as Marathon): So potato salad is also very original idea. I loved it a lot. Oh my.

Kira (as Ciphera): Alright. [sigh] Well, sorry to uh, make you come all this way and then spew out a bunch of stuff you might not want to talk about, but let's hear it. What have you got for us?

Penn (as Marathon): What do you mean?

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean,

Alli (as Renn): What happened?

Kira (as Ciphera): What what happened?

Cameron (as Emma): So

Kira (as Ciphera): What's the status on things? Who's alive? Who's dead? Is the giant monster in the ground gonna blow up or eat things or whatever the hell it's supposed to do?

Alli (as Renn): Oh no, we'd know about that.

Kit (as Birdie): No we're professionals.

Cameron (as Emma): No. Yeah. It's not.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah we cleaned up after y'all.

Penn (as Marathon): [childish laughter of someone else getting in trouble]

Kit (as Birdie): [underbreath warning] Cassidy.

Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy it wasn't them specifically we cleaned up after.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Collective y'all Advantia.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy we're feeling bad for them right now.

Alli (as Renn): I like that sentiment.

Cameron (as Emma): All right, so uh

Sydney: Cassidy takes another bite of sausage.

Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] So we got to town, the compound was indeed taken over by a group of bandits. We got the town evacuated and then busted in.

Kit (as Birdie): Yep.

Cameron (as Emma): All bandits are either dead or on the run.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Mostly dead.

Cameron (as Emma): Mostly dead. Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Good.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't- on the Advantia side I don't know all of them. Ipa, Cal, and Videa are fine.

Alli (as Renn): Oh, good.

Cameron (as Emma): Those are the ones I know the name of.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I got the rundown from Ipa before we left. [sigh] So we saved 25 of y'all. The downside is, Ipa is now the highest ranking person on premises.

Alli (as Renn): No shit.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well those are all Renn's friends. I hope that's good news.

Alli: [laughing] The silence from Renn is worrying.

Cameron (as Emma): I think all the Advantia team members who were still alive when we arrived are still alive.

Kit (as Birdie): Mhm.

Cameron (as Emma): I didn't see I didn't see any Advantia go down while we were there.

Penn (as Marathon): I don't think I realized there was any dead.

Cameron (as Emma): Yes. So um like like, like I said stormed the compound bandits are gone. Throughout that effort of taking it back over there were numerous earthquakes that just kept getting more extreme. And then when we were finally done, retaking the compound, Ipa informed us of wild tech entry 74293 and how it was awakening. The bandits apparently sold off a lot of the slurry uh and all the pumps had turned off and uh [thinking exhale] some of the town's buildings fell into the hole, but um

Kira (as Ciphera): Wait - how how big was this thing?

Alli (as Renn): It's pretty big.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay, that's very helpful.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Buildings?

Cameron (as Emma): Buildings. Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Did the bandits know about it?

Cameron (as Emma): I have no idea. I assume someone tried to tell them that they shouldn't shut stuff off, but that that might explain why the people in charge weren't there anymore, either.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, diamonds are a hard thing to pass up when you're there looting. Also the giant diamond that was the safeguard, I fed it to the monster so

Alli (as Renn): That's a good nutritious meal right there.

Kira (as Ciphera): Does that by time or something? What's, what does that mean?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it put it to sleep long enough while it was processing that for Emma to finish getting the pumps back on so,

Cameron (as Emma): It got distracted by a shiny object.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): Don't we all?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, so we got the pumps back up and running. I think the compound itself was fine beyond some aesthetic damage. So I don't think we're gonna fall into the giant hole of the Abyss, uh that should be taken care of. But um, [laugh] all the technicians who I was working with were apprentices, and I now that I think of it, yeah that does make sense that there should have been someone higher ranking than them there who knew what they were doing. I just figured that they just hadn't volunteered to assist, which

Alli (as Renn): Well I was helping train some of them so I think they're gonna be alright.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, they've had a trial through fire, I guess.

Penn (as Marathon): Slurry? Trial through slurry?

Cameron (as Emma): That that sounds gross, Marathon. [laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): What is slurry?

Cameron (as Emma): Um,

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's it's monster porridge.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh~.

Cameron (as Emma): It's the fuel that they run through the pumps like a slow drip to keep the thing sleepy and processing some stuff but not out roaming.

Kira (as Ciphera): You said that's diamonds?

Cameron (as Emma): No, it kind of looks like mud with rocks in it.

Penn (as Marathon): It's like carbon-y right? I heard a lot of the word carbon.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, but like rocks and mud.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): It's um, barrels of stuff.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. What I fed it was basically a diamond almost as big as that trailer.

Sydney: And Cassidy points to the shiny trailer.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's a big diamond.

Cameron (as Emma): Wow, that's huge.

Kit (as Birdie): That is a really big diamond.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. Would have been really hard to move if I wasn't in the Knight.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): How'd the fuel work by the way?

Sydney (as Cassidy): It was great.

Alli (as Renn): Treat you well? Saved the day?

Sydney (as Cassidy): And then we ran out.

Alli (as Renn): Well, you can make more.

Sydney (as Cassidy): But we ran out after the event, thankfully.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's lucky.

Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.

Kira (as Ciphera): Um, it sounds like things went really about as well as we could have hoped, given that you all made it out alive and it sounds like there weren't really any casualties.

Penn (as Marathon): [quietly] I mean my clothes.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We saved as much of the townfolk as we could, but not Marathon's clothes.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah,

Kira (as Ciphera): Well.

Kit (as Birdie): We had a wall tentacle. That sounds bad. Um, yeah, wall tentacle.

Penn (as Marathon): They were arms.

Kit (as Birdie): Wall arms.

Penn (as Marathon): Wall arms.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's like a walleye, right?

Penn (as Marathon): Ripped my my nice radio suit, but whatever.

Alli (as Renn): Phera you've been to Sasanak.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): Hmm?

Alli (as Renn): So you know all the little octopus, right? Little guys?

Kira (as Ciphera): Sure.

Alli (as Renn): Cute little guys.

Kit (as Birdie): [audible shudder] No.

Alli (as Renn): Imagine a Sasnak underground that is somewhat able bodied and just enough just enough sentience to decide where it wants to go to eat more made of octopus arms the size of that truck.

Kit (as Birdie): I don't know what octopi you've visited on Sasnak, but they're not very nice there either.

Alli (as Renn): I mean, I've d- my sample size was smaller.

Penn (as Marathon): Dang you guys have seen octopuses?

Alli (as Renn): Is that how you say it? I've heard both ways.

Kit (as Birdie): I don't know. They're just mean.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I ate one.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh wow~. Cassidy.

Kira (as Ciphera): How was it?

Alli (as Renn): Was it good?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ehh.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm.

Kit (as Birdie): Rubbery?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. Rubbery.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Shame.

Penn (as Marathon): Not like these sausages though! Mmm!

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): Way to bring it back around, Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): Thanks. Thank you.

Kira: Ciphera does smile at that.

Alli (as Renn): I'm sorry about the misdirection. I truly did not think this would be - I thought there were enough safeguards in place. I didn't think they would find out about the slurry. I didn't - That's on me. But thank you for doing what you did, because that would have been a bad a bad bad time if that had gotten out.

Kira (as Ciphera): It sounds like you saved a lot of people.

Kit (as Birdie): Well, thank you for apologizing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): See you made a good choice in hiring us.

Kira (as Ciphera): I'm not apologizing. I didn't do anything wrong.

Alli (as Renn): No, you did not.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, no. I was - Renn's apology.

Kira (as Ciphera): I just wanted that to be clear

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Penn (as Marathon): I mean, apology made to me when I took a bite of this sausage, so. [laugh]

[Birdie or Emma does a long suffering sigh]

Kira (as Ciphera): So it's not good, is that what you're saying?

Penn (as Marathon): No, no, I'm saying eating the sausage was an apology in itself because the sausage is so good.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh, I see you. That's very good.

Cameron (as Emma): So not so much in the apology as you forgave them when you ate the sausage?

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't know Marathon seems like the wisest one here.

Alli (as Renn): And I'm well pleased with that.

Cameron (as Emma): Um

Penn: Marathon leans back and pats her belly like,

Penn (as Marathon): I like the sound of that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We can consider maybe being - thinking about accepting your apology after we get paid.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, of course. Do you want me to start working on that now or in the morning?

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I guess we can wait till tomorrow if we need light, which can assume we do.

Kit (as Birdie): We can always talk about them tonight, so you can kind of plan maybe?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, I'll percolate on it. What specifically do you have for upgrading? Because, you know, idle hands?

Kit (as Birdie): Well,

Penn: Marathon holds up her fists.

Alli (as Renn): Oh~.

Penn: And is like,

Penn (as Marathon): I got my two best tools right here.

Kit: Birdie gestures by flapping her hand back toward the rig.

Kit (as Birdie): Um, we kind of talked about upgrading my stick to be a bit more high tech, because right now it is just a hockey stick. And we were thinking, actually, Marathon might have use for some tech options, right Marathon?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, I have found recently that I cannot punch everything in my way. The encounter with the um, wall octopuses kind of brought that into perspective for me.

Alli (as Renn): So you can't punch everything.

Penn (as Marathon): But I would like to.

Alli (as Renn): All right, so we'll put that on the docket. How do you feel about magnets?

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, wow. Oh. I mean, I had some ideas, but magnet sounds promising to me or Birdie? I don't know.

Alli (as Renn): All right. Well, Birdie, I had two ideas for you.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh? Mhm?

Alli (as Renn): We can do something like - your hockey stick is sort of like a lazy L right? That's how they're shaped?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): So I could attach some kind of wire that's conductive to the arc, and then it turns into sort of a plasma cutter that is much sharper and will go through a lot of stuff easier. Or I can make the tip of it detachable into sort of a boomerang arc that gets summoned on back by [dramatic whisper] magnets.

Kit: Birdie's face is of pure delight right now. Her jaw is completely dropping. She's like,

Kit (as Birdie): [childlike wonder and excitement] I love that. Okay, let me go get the stick.

Kit: And she's going to awkwardly get up from the log.

Kit (as Birdie): [noises of exertion mixed in] Okay. Okay. Yep, yep. I - yeah. Yeah. Amazing.

Kit: And run back to the rig. [laugh]

Alli: Renn looks around.

Alli (as Renn): Which one was amazing? Which idea? Which idea? What should I be thinking about?

Penn (as Marathon): I think she wants them all.

Alli (as Renn): Oh, that's gonna be tough. I'll try.

Alli: So Renn leans over to Marathon is like

Alli (as Renn): Can I see your hands?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. Okay, here we go. But I know the hand size trick. So

Alli: Renn starts taking visual measurements and making sure she has the right kind of components for a hand that size. And she's like,

Alli (as Renn): Alright, so I had an idea where I can make you a little glove gauntlet thing for both hands. And what happens is, right as you're about to punch the magnets reverse polarity in your knuckles and creates a little sonic [small explosion noise] [laughing] That will really fuck somebody up.

Penn (as Marathon): That sounds intense and amazing. I still don't understand how it worked based on your description, but

Alli (as Renn): You'll feel it, you know, in your bones a little bit. You don't have to worry about that. That's fine. That's normal.

Penn (as Marathon): [unintelligible noises] my bones can take enough.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah. Gotta drink that milk.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm.

Penn: As Renn inspects Marathon's hand it brushes over calluses on the grip where her brass knuckles would be. So she's a little rough, but she's got these long, slender fingers with a gentle strength to them. And as she's inspecting Marathon's like

Penn (as Marathon): Actually, I think my my punch, my punching is doing pretty good actually. I was hoping uh, I don't know, maybe something helped me get more mobile. It seems like I'm doing a lot of running around, I guess.

Alli (as Renn): Hmm.

Penn (as Marathon): Because, I mean, I don't always need to punch the metal. I just need to punch what else needs to be punched, you know?

Alli (as Renn): I could make a friction reducing system maybe for like - are those new boots or are you keep them a while or are they garbage?

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, no, no, I don't need these boots.

Penn: [laughing] Marathon starts taking off her boots. She's like

Penn (as Marathon): I don't need these boots. I - did I ever tell you I was in ice derby?

Alli (as Renn): I heard about it.

Penn (as Marathon): What do you think about skates?

Alli (as Renn): Is that a threat?

Penn (as Marathon): What?

Alli (as Renn): Nothing. No, it's fine. Um, so yeah, I can make skates.

Penn (as Marathon): No, I -

Alli (as Renn): Like roller skates?

Penn (as Marathon): I don't know, something cool and techie right?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, yeah, but I think I can make you a pair of skates that'll make get over terrain a little easier. What kind of terrain specifically? Are you like -

Penn (as Marathon): All terrain.

Alli (as Renn): [laughing] Like I can't make you walk on water or anything. Not yet.

Penn (as Marathon): Awh. I don't know. Maybe can do walls? Maybe I can just move really fast over ground.

Alli (as Renn): Okay. Okay.

Penn (as Marathon): You know, I don't know it's it's a weird idea. I'm just like, kicking around thing. [laugh] Get it?

Alli (as Renn): No, I like it. I'm glad you asked me tonight so I have time to think over it. But I think I can make you something you'll be well happy with this.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Cool.

Alli (as Renn): Very worth the good good work y'all did for the good of mankind.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, thanks. Hey and I was the one who did uh, who uh saved all those all your friends from the bandits. I uh, took them all out. I took out like - I'm not even exaggerating - I think it was like eight people.

Alli (as Renn): [sounding a bit scared] Holy shit.

Penn (as Marathon): Something like that. Six people. I don't know. They had guns.

Alli (as Renn): And you just punched them?

Penn (as Marathon): I punch some of them. I scared some others.

Alli (as Renn): Did you bring your skates?

Penn (as Marathon): What's that?

Alli (as Renn): Nothin'.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh. None of them add skates unfortunately.

Alli (as Renn): Damn.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm sure they would have been formidable. But uh yeah, I don't know. I just something cool like that. I don't know. You know, you know? You know?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah. Yeah, yout know.

Penn: Marathon gives a little punch to Renn's shoulder.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, you get me. [laughing]

Alli (as Renn): [nervous fake laugh]

Alli: She laughs nervously.

Kit: Birdie's gonna come back over now with her hockey stick in tow. It's the same six foot long hockey stick, it's got caution tape on it, bunch of stickers and stuff and the tip is wrapped with barbed wire. So Birdie will present it to Renn and be like

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, this is it. It's not really fancy, you know? [small laugh]

Alli (as Renn): Well, I'll do my best to salvage all these stickers for you. I shouldn't need to cut in too far to get the you know stuff installed.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, it's not you know too big of a deal if you can't, I mean get I'm getting a pretty good stick out of the deal. Boomerang stick?

Alli (as Renn): I might need to like weight the front with some metal to make sure it flies in the right sort of arc,

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): but if that's aesthetically pleasing to you, we can you know doctor it up whatever color you want it to be for style.

Kit (as Birdie): Ooh! Okay! [laugh]

Penn (as Marathon): Oh my gosh, that's so cool.

Kit: Birdie is having fun playing customize stick.

Alli (as Renn): So you want the boomerang and how are we feel about that plasma cutter?

Kit (as Birdie): I would be worried about possibly messing with that because I'm still pretty a pretty low tech person.

Alli (as Renn): Mhm.

Kit (as Birdie): And I think I think the Boomerang is probably the route I'd like to go. I think I'd have too much power with like a plasma. I'd go like a little crazy with it or something.

Alli (as Renn): Only as crazy as you let yourself be.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. [awkward laugh]

Alli (as Renn): [laugh] I get it.

Penn (as Marathon): Birdie I'd trust you with a sharp object.

Alli (as Renn): Absolutely.

Kit (as Birdie): I'm very glad that you would trust me with one.

Kit: Birdie is like a little wide eyed because she knows she does not carry knives for reasons. She's had incidents. That's okay,

Kit (as Birdie): Anyways! [nervous giggle]

Alli (as Renn): Well, you can leave the stick with me and we can test stuff out in the morning. Marathon what - so I will need some kind of boot to attach this to unless you want me to make like an ankle kind of thing that attaches to so you can meet any footwear really can be accessorized.

Penn: Marathons like

Penn (as Marathon): Oh my god! I've got my skates. I've got my old skates. Oh, this is gonna be so rad. Okay.

Alli (as Renn): [nervous quiver to voice] Rad..

Penn: And she runs off to get the skates.

Nick: And let's jump over to by the campfire where Cassidy, Emma, and Ciphera are seated. From where you are sitting, you can see the eager negotiation between the three - you can see where they have worked their way over to a workbench and are negotiating and they all look very excited. But the three of you have some time to yourselves.

Kira: Ciphera has finally come to a place of rest where she flops down at the campfire. And as everybody else goes to have their side conversation, and she's taking a page out of Cassidy's book and silently staring into the fire.

Cameron (as Emma): [hesitant] Do you want a sausage stick?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, sure. Thanks.

Cameron: Emma is holding one out as an offering. [laugh]

Kira: Yeah, she will take a stick.

Kira (as Ciphera): Thank you.

Cameron (as Emma): Mhm. So how have things been?

Kira: Ciphera blinks once and then just looks over at her with squinty eyes like really? This is the direction we're going in?

Kira (as Ciphera): Um, well they were fine until a couple of minutes ago, nothing new to report. Not really.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Speaking of uh, Advantia being so forthcoming with things um, hey Ciphera, did you have a uh, great trial involved with your implant?

Kira: Ciphera turns and gives Cassidy just a long look, considering maybe, but then she says,

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't think so. It was I don't know, I had to prove my worth first. Been around for a long time, so it probably went easier for me than some people. But I happened to know a few important people at the time and that helped him sure. What about you? How'd you even get a hold of it? How do you even have it installed?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, I found, I don't know the one Advantia member with common sense, maybe two - sorry, you had to get caught in the crossfire. But they just don't no one talks, no one shares anything until you have to directly confront them about it. So like maybe it would have been some, [slightly helpless laugh] if I had known the questions to ask, but I had to find the one person who was like, oh, you know, the things you're talking about sure sound like they could be helped by this implant. And then, you know, insert Advantia sleight of hand.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I think maybe I just lucked into it. Not there's much lucky about it, but you're right. [sigh] It's getting any kind of straight answers or information can be like pulling teeth, or having to punch the teeth out of somebody's mouth first.

Sydney (as Cassidy): You have so much information.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. No I used to believe in a lot more. I didn't really ask any questions that I wasn't supposed to, because they had been good to me and everything went okay for a long time. And then, you know, there's just those times that you finally see the world for what it is and maybe it's not as pretty as you thought it was. You can't really go back to before. I thought I knew a little bit more but maybe I don't. Stupid kid stumbling through the wilderness in the dark.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't know if that's what their goal is - your goal is? Their goal is? I don't know. I mean, it's well meaning, but it sucks when the relevant information isn't available. But what is relevant information anyway?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Might be well meaning but it feels like a parent restricting their child.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Right.

Kira (as Ciphera): You know, who gets to make the final determination of who knows what - it's, it feels so arbitrary.

Sydney (as Cassidy): And when we had Modem with us, he talked about how he invented automatic weapons and uh apparently that was a bad time.

Kira (as Ciphera): Slimy Mo?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Slimy Mo.

Kira (as Ciphera): If he invented automatic weapons I'll eat one with a fork and knife.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, so goes the tale he told but with all the stuff that you guys get into I can't imagine that people don't get into dangerous things.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, they do. The they really do Cassidy. There's a lot of bad stuff out there. I've seen some of it firsthand, but nothing like what you guys saw. And I'm - for what it's worth. I'm genuinely sorry that you went in there blind because it's, it's just not fair.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Eh. Nothing you could have helped with.

Kira (as Ciphera): No. Unfortunately, that seems to be true in this case. Sorry, I don't really have anybody else to talk to, so not to dump all my garbage on you. I mean, you do have the big truck and everything. It's a lot of space but

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, we filled that up with a lot of garbage. Not garbage - Sorry, Emma.

Cameron (as Emma): I was about to say.

Kira (as Ciphera): I'm glad I'm putting in the right place then.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Assorted tools -

Cameron (as Emma): Treasures?

Sydney (as Cassidy): - of the -

Cameron (as Emma): Treasures

Sydney (as Cassidy): - trade.

Kira (as Ciphera): - is what you're meaning.

Sydney (as Cassidy): and 17 screwdrivers.

Kira: That's a lot of screwdrivers.

Cameron (as Emma): I think - I think I got rid of more than that.

Kira (as Ciphera): Emma, that's - that's a lot of screwdrivers, Emma.

Cameron (as Emma): They weren't mine!

Kira (as Ciphera): Did you make them yours by taking them?

Cameron (as Emma): No, I inherited them. And then I gifted a lot of people screwdrivers.

Kira (as Ciphera): That is a practical tool.

Cameron: Throughout this conversation, Emma has been sitting next to them and the fire kind of using the stick that her sausage was cooked on to poke around at the fire. Because initially when Cassidy asked the first question about the implant, her eyes were darting around all of Ciphera's prosthetics, and then Cassidy started talking about hers and she quickly realized that that was not what they were discussing. And so has just been absorbing information, but did not have anything to add to it. But now her treasures were insulted. So she is rejoined the conversation.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, I appreciate the conversation regardless.

Kira: And she up nods to Cassidy specifically.

Kira (as Ciphera): It's very, very rare to meet someone with a similar situation.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't think it's as rare as it would be if people knew they could make that change.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, yeah. You're you're very right. Just kind of stumbled into it. I wouldn't have known anything, but I'm glad I had access to that. Makes you wonder about all the other stuff. [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it's life changing. How much of the secret keeping could help people?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Kira: She says this time looking over at the other group, having a ball talking about schematics.

Alli: Renn talks with big arms.

Kira: And in spite of herself, Ciphera gets a small smile.

Kira (as Ciphera): You have a friend you care about just royally piss you off?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it's happened before.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't think so.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma have you been royally pissed off at things? I guess you've been pissed off at like, machines not working.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, it's definitely definitely that. I don't know. I mean, I've been like mad at cousins and family members, but um~ no one's popping to the front of my head. So

Kira (as Ciphera): Hm. That's a good thing, I suppose.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. You should be maybe thankful. Probably thankful.

Kira (as Ciphera): Maybe that's just a temperament thing. You seem pretty even keel.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I would never get mad at anything.

Cameron (as Emma): [holding back laughter]

Kira (as Ciphera): No, you seem very, very light hearted.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes.

Kira (as Ciphera): Very bubbly.

Cameron (as Emma): I can tell from you know, just conversations today that yeah, incredibly cool headed.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, yeah. I only get mad when it's justified.

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing]

Kira (as Ciphera): Point taken.

Cameron (as Emma): All right. Well um, speaking of getting mad because there's info that you don't know - this isn't actually a good segue into this question.

Kira (as Ciphera): That sounds like something I'm going to love talking about. So yeah.

Sydney: Cassidy takes the last bite of her sausage and is chewing with her mouth full.

Cameron (as Emma): Ciphera, I had a question for you. And I know you've you've said that you're not the real techy one, but based on conversations we had last time, I feel like it's best to bring up with you rather than Renn. And if you don't want to talk about it that's totally fine. You can just not answer.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Go ahead.

Cameron (as Emma): I was just wondering, because I noticed how y'all reacted when it came up last time, um - Why are y'all so scared of AI?

Kira: Ciphera gathers her thoughts for a moment before speaking, and she starts with a shrug.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, to be honest, I don't have a lot of first hand experience with it myself. Most of that comes from Renn and her research and the things that she's done. And I'm not wholly familiar with everything that she's been involved in, but some of the stuff she's told me is not something that I would freely tell most people or even be happy to relay to them. I'll tell you if you want to know - I think that's a small ask at this point, but why do you care? Why do you want to know?

Cameron (as Emma): We - we ran into a bit of a situation, uh while we were fighting the bandits, where some AI incursion software was somehow implanted into the Knight that we then had to fight against while we were fighting the bandits, and I've just never had much of a chance to interact with it at all. I, historically, I've been much more strictly mechanical functionality focused, but it apparently it's going to be something that I need to be more aware of because,

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I don't think letting any bandit controlled anything, have control of the Knight would be good. I th-that would be quite bad.

Kira (as Ciphera): So you're, you're saying there's AI in the Knight right now?

Cameron (as Emma): It's quarantined.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh boy.

Cameron (as Emma): But then the program, the programming is there.

Kira (as Ciphera): Sure.

Cameron (as Emma): I haven't had a chance to get it up with enough power that I can hook up to it and get that fully deleted.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, from what I know, AI is powerful, but it can be extremely dangerous. I mean, part of the unpredictability of it is it's so hard to quantify how intelligent it is or how powerful it is, or what its motivations are, what it would even want to do. It's, it's it is an alien entity, if you can't interface or if you don't know how to handle it. It's like playing with a live grenade, and you never know when it's gonna go off or if it will even go off, but you pull the pin and you wave it around. I can't tell you anything about the mechanics behind it. That's something you'd have to ask Renn, but if you do, just be careful. Be kind. And don't ask her if you don't actually need to.

I don't even know the full story, but I know there was house - a building - maybe a mansion, I don't I don't remember the dimensions. But it was a building with an AI interface from who knows how long ago. And Renn was there with an Advantia team and it was a huge find. Big. This was news. And they fired up the system and everything seemed okay for a little while and then the house just started doing things. Small things at first that didn't seem out of the ordinary - bugs, troubleshooting that type of thing, old technology that just needed to be corralled or wrangled.

Kira: And at this point, it's May-June - it's a warm night, they're sitting by the fire. Ciphera's in her tank top, she even has a glean of sweat on her forehead that she wipes her arm across.

Kira (as Ciphera): And then the house started being more proactive with the members of the Advantia inside, putting them into these situations that they couldn't escape from. Cutting them off one by one, isolating them, toying with their minds, doing things to them. I don't know all the details, but I know that Renn is the only one who made it out of that house. I don't know if it's still standing. I don't know where it is or if it was quarantined or if they burned it down. I hope they blew it to pieces but AI is unpredictable. You can't count on it the way you can a person - can you even count on people? Anyway, that's about all I know. Just be careful.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, uh, thank you for that info. I don't think that at this moment I need to know about it badly enough to bring that up. So I will find a way to gain that knowledge somewhere else later.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, you know what's a hell of a lot worse than a death mansion? Is a giant robot that can walk around on its own.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't know the death mansion kind of seems more, although I guess you if you just don't go in the building.

Kira (as Ciphera): Building can't chase you down. Or can it? Who knows?

[hurdy gurdy music swells]

Outro: 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:

Alli Nesbit & Kira Nesbit as Renn & Ciphera. Alli and Kira can be found on their show RPG for You and Me, a duet actual play podcast. Their website has tons of art from the show, character bios, custom setting rules, and more! You can also find Alli and Kira on Sounds Like Crowes: Terminus and The Night Shift podcast, not to mention Alli now helms Dark Matter Magazine podcast and Apex Magazine podcast. You can chat with Alli on twitter @ youseethehat and @rpgforyouandme, but Kira is accessible through the show's Patron exclusive discord, found at

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

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 @ 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 You can find Arne at

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: To further support the show, consider joining the Patreon at, where we’ll be bringing you weekly content including bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.

Until next time…

…Signing Off


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