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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 20: Breaking Off a Piece of History

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 20: Breaking Off a Piece of History 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:

Thanks for listening! You’re exactly what the world needs right now, as exactly you. Good work. We’re all proud of you.

And if you’re in the mood for things that the world doesn’t need, but might find quite entertaining, check out our Patreon, where you can choose to support us and in turn, get access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 20: Breaking Off a Piece of History. 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] Alli (as Renn): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, [pause] I have to be quiet - Phera's taking an angry nap. The Patina arrived safe and sound - well, mostly, mostly safe. Mostly sound. They figured out what was going on in the town with the mercs and uh bandits. I guess they were just bandits really, and they put the Abyss back to sleep. [pause] Which I didn't even know was awake but I was real worried about it. Like Phera just didn't understand that I couldn't have told her. I can't. What good would it have done? What good would it have done? I don't know. Maybe I shoulda. [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: We open on a campfire crackling merrily next to Renn and Ciphera's trailer. Servo, the robotic tractor creature that Renn and Ciphera use as their mode of transportation, is rumbling happily to itself as it chews through something in the shadows outside the fire. Crickets are chirping merrily in the background and the gentle glow of the shattered moon rests high in the sky as, after reporting on your mission, haggling over additional upgrades, and talking through various sticking points, Renn and Ciphera had lured you back to the fire with the promise of more sausages and another potential job offer.

Alli (as Renn): Thank god we had so many sausages.

Penn (as Marathon): Mhmm. I'm super enjoying round two.

Alli (as Renn): Sorry, they're all the same flavor but

Penn (as Marathon): The best flavor?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Sausage flavor?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, you know.

Kira (as Ciphera): They're good protein and it replenishes your fat stores. We're going to be moving around a lot.

Alli (as Renn): Gotta get them calories. Get them gains. That's the thing I've heard people say, right?

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean you gain fat when you eat red meat so,

Alli (as Renn): Meat makes you fat?

Sydney (as Cassidy): I think anything makes you fat if you eat enough of it.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm. So you guys have like a money job for us right? Something to make some some dollah? Some chain?

Kit (as Birdie): What's a dollar?

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] What?!

Penn (as Marathon): Eh - no, dollah.

Kit (as Birdie): What's that?

Penn (as Marathon): I dunno it's something my grandma used to say, my Nana.

Kira (as Ciphera): Like a dollop? Like an amount of something? Like an amount of money?

Penn (as Marathon): No she specifically did not use a P. She said dollah.

Alli (as Renn): Dollah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well we did get paid for the job.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mhm.

Penn (as Marathon): That job but you said there was something else? Or or was there something else? Or [awkward laugh]

Alli (as Renn): There is

Penn (as Marathon): We need - do we need money? Are we I mean I love hanging around, but

Kit (as Birdie): Someone here needs money.

Penn (as Marathon): [clear throat loudly]

Penn: Marathon definitely adjusts sitting. She had her foot up on the stump she was on and her arm over her knee and now stumbles and knocks Birdie with her elbow.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy looks suspicious but doesn't look over. [laugh]

Kit: Birdie is just grinning.

Kira (as Ciphera): Um~.

Kira: Ciphera looks over to Renn and they exchange a silent look. Ciphera arches and eyebrow but then says,

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, there is a lead that we've been following for a little while and we just need to dig up some more information and follow it to its source. So I've exhausted some of my options and it seems like you guys are good about getting around in certain circles, so if you're able to assist us to that end, we could probably come to some other sort of arrangement.

Cameron (as Emma): What circles?

Kira (as Ciphera): You know, average people.

Kit (as Birdie): [insulted] Thanks.

Kira (as Ciphera): Townsfolk. Normal conversations. It's a little harder for me to walk around. You might not have noticed that I have a metal fin on the side of my head.

Penn (as Marathon): Pretty rad.

Kira (as Ciphera): Thank you.

Alli (as Renn): [proud of craftsmanship] Thanks.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Uh it just sort of makes people act weird around me sometimes.

Alli (as Renn): Did you want it to be shaped like a regular ear? I could have done that.

Kira (as Ciphera): I like it.

Alli (as Renn): Oh okay.

Kira (as Ciphera): It just makes it difficult for me to talk to the average person who immediately identifies me as Advantia, and then gets all cagey because we're wizards. I can turn people into frogs or anything, I can only turn them into corpses, and that's not going to help.

Alli (as Renn): [startled laugh] Not usually.

Penn (as Marathon): Sorry, so you are wizard?

Kira (as Ciphera): [sigh] No, that's just what everybody thinks and says we're all -

Alli (as Renn): Wizards by association.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Well, cool.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mhm.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, the WBA and the wizard, the W, what kind of, I dunno, job you thinkin'? What kind of help can the Patina plus Marathon help you with? [awkward charming laugh]

Penn: Marathon kind of smirks over at Emma and Cassidy. Looks kind of coy.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well you're not - you're not part of the Patina?

Penn (as Marathon): I thought you were a passenger.

Cameron (as Emma): [sarcasm] As you can tell we're much better with normal people.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah I'm sorry. So are we - are you like two different group entities that like - do we need to pay you differently? Is that what you're saying?

Kit (as Birdie): Nah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay.

Penn: [laughing] Marathon gives Birdie an elbow.

Kit (as Birdie): What?!

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah all right. Um, yeah, so little reconnaissance, asking some people some questions, maybe lifting some information. I can do that pretty well, just depending on what we find out. But basically, I have what you might call a cipher, or some - [sigh]

[giggles start]

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Kira: She pauses to just let it happen.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Did you call it that just to trigger the joke so that we couldn't do it?

Kira (as Ciphera): No, I just, that's what it's called. So basically, I need the thing that will let me read it. So I have information and I know it leads to something important or valuable, and I don't have a way to decode it or decrypt it, so I'm looking for a device that will allow me to do that. And I've been chasing it for a while, and everything's pointed in this direction so far, so I need to ask a few more pointed questions, or have someone asked a little bit more politely, maybe not tip people off to what exactly it is we need while still finding what we need.

Kit (as Birdie): Do you need us to ask more politely or more forcefully?

Kira (as Ciphera): I've got the force handled. I need some polite well meaning mercenary townsfolk who can endear themselves and maybe get something I can't and then if that doesn't work, I can still ask forcefully.

Penn (as Marathon): I think you called the right people.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Penn (as Marathon): Right. Cassidy? We're very you're you're you've got a friendly townfolk talking.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I sure have a voice that will stay in the car while you guys go talk to people.

Kira: Imagine the camera panning over to Cassidy as Marathon says that and she's just sitting there like completely deadpan.

Cameron (as Emma): Some might describe her as charismatic. [picture sparkles around the word charismatic as it's said]

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay, well, maybe we can cut out some time here and you'll know already, probably not, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Kira: And Ciphera holds out her right arm, which is bare right now because she's wearing a tank top. And there's just on her forearm, a dappled black ink tattoo that's sort of in the shape of a square. And within the square are a series of smaller, randomly assorted black squares. And it's sort of a checker pattern, but it's completely asymmetrical. And that's all. So it's just black on normal Ciphera skin.

Kira (as Ciphera): Does this mean anything to any of you? Have you ever seen anything like this before? And additional question, do you know how to read it? Because that would sure save us a lot of time and I'll still pay you.

Kit: Would Birdie have seen something like this with Winifred before?

Sydney: Yeah, can we roll some checks?

Nick: Yeah, roll me a hard difficulty Wild Tech roll with three black die, because this is something that has fallen way out of favor as far as how to incorporate information.

Penn: [shaking dice] Too easy. [laugh] Right? Two green against all this?

Sydney: [laugh] Same.

Cameron: I mean, I've got two yellow and a green against all that.

Sydney: [dice rolling] Cassidy knows nothing. Two failures and three threats.

Cameron: Emma got three successes and four threats.

Penn: Three failures, two advantages.

Kit: I actually got a success and a bunch of threats. I got like four. [laugh]

Nick: All right. So for those of you that failed the check, it just looks like a strange kind of blotchy tattoo. It looks like someone took a tile floor and pried up about half of them seemingly at random. The first thing it makes you think of unavoidably is that whoever did this tattoo for Ciphera didn't get a chance to finish it. For Emma and Birdie who were successful, you do know what this is, but I think with those threats, you're aware that this is a code that can lead to information, but you've never seen it successfully used. You have seen these in the past. Feel free to explain in character why you would know what this is. But you don't have a way to read it with you and either it's led to things that didn't matter before or didn't work when you've seen them before.

Penn (as Marathon): Is it finished? Like the tattoo or?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, this is it. I had it copied over one for one.

Penn (as Marathon): Huh. Looks like you like missed some spots.

Kira (as Ciphera): No, this is what it's supposed to look like. But I don't know how to read it.

Cameron (as Emma): Where - where did you find it?

Kira (as Ciphera): I located the code while I was out on assignment a very long time ago. The original source became damaged and in order to ensure that it would not fall into the wrong hands or be lost or distorted, I had it tattooed.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy is looking thoughtfully at Emma.

Cameron: Emma is looking at it thoughtfully as if it is jogging a memory and then goes to try to stand up and push herself up and falls back and then takes the deeper breath and more steadily pushes herself up to standing and walks slowly over to where the rig is parked and start digging in one of the containers along the side.

Kit (as Birdie): Uh. I think I have seen something like it before. It was when I was pretty young. One of my guardians, I used to work a lot with computers, and she did a job once for one of the higher ups in Sasnak and he had one of those on like a tablet or something like that. I don't know he didn't really want me around because he thought that kids were a liability or whatever. But as far as I know it didn't really do much.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mm. Worth knowing regardless, thank you for sharing.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Kira: Ciphera is watching Emma very interested while chewing on her sausage. Eyes narrow slightly in the campfire light.

Alli (as Renn): Don't forget about the potato salad.

Kira (as Ciphera): There's potato salad? Where?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah it's potatoes on lettuce.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh, yeah. Yeah, I don't know exactly what it's going to link back to, but I have reason to believe that it's something valuable or dangerous or both, which is often the case for the things that I was sent to find.

Alli (as Renn): [laugh] I'm valuable and dangerous. That's so sweet.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, so are actually. Both on very much so on both of those counts.

Alli (as Renn): Pshhah.

Kit (as Birdie): Aww.

Kira (as Ciphera): I got the proof.

Alli (as Renn): Well.

Kira (as Ciphera): So do you.

Alli (as Renn): What do they say it's in the pudding? You know?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Is there pudding as well?

Kira (as Ciphera): Is there pudding?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, wait, is there pudding?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, I didn't I can if you give me like, I don't know an hour.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen.

Alli (as Renn): I'm not a very good cook.

Kira (as Ciphera): Potatoes are basically starch pudding already so

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yeah. Actually, could you pass potato salad?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah yeah.

Kira: A folded up leaf like a taco shell with a whole potato in it.

Penn (as Marathon): Thank you, thank you.

Penn: Marathon slips the lettuce behind her a little bit and just nibbles on the potato.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy had made a face at this culinary slander and then decided it wasn't worth it.

Cameron: Emma has apparently completed her search of this container and is slowly walking back towards the fire holding a small black leather notebook that she's flipping through, as if searching for a particular page. And as she reaches the edge of the fire light where everyone's sitting, pauses and continues flipping through, and then finds a page grabs the book and turns it so that it's facing Ciphera, and says

Cameron (as Emma): We have one of those too.

Cameron: And on the page, there is another one of these square ciphers drawn out with miscellaneous notes surrounding it that you can't really read from the distance. But there is another code that does not match yours.

Kira: Yeah, the first thing Ciphera does is shove the rest of her sausage in her mouth, and then stands up just to put her forearm right next to the book, and then immediately starts tracing the forearm and comparing it with what's in the book just seeing if it's the same or if it's different. And when it's clearly different, she sighs a little bit, but nods and says,

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay. Um. Did you ever figure out how to use it? Or how to read it? Or did you find out what that one was for? Maybe that'll give us a clue.

Cameron (as Emma): So, yes and no. Um. My predecessor found this one somewhere within the Knight.

Alli: Renn perks up.

Cameron (as Emma): I haven't found the panel or piece it's under - I don't know if it's on an internal piece or what.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): But she found it in there, so ours is whatever it is, is likely related to the Knight. She does have some notes in here.

Cameron: And Emma flips the book back so that's facing her so she can read it.

Cameron (as Emma): She'd figured out that there's there's a particular type of scanner that she had seen before, that she knew could be used to, I don't know, translate the meaning of it, but she never had one. So

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, that's what we need. We need one of those. It was supposed to be a box or [mumble] for other codes and codebreaking these to make these um,

Alli (as Renn): I heard they're like wands.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't - maybe, but for for other code breaker stuff, they would have these boxes with dials, and you would turn them and the the numbers and the letters would change together and you'd use the box to read the coded message, so maybe this is similar to that. Maybe it's a wand, maybe it's wild tech magic. Who knows.

Alli (as Renn): Mhm.

Kira (as Ciphera): But that's what we need. We need that. So maybe that's what the people were talking about.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma, how helpful would it be for us to get our thing scanned too?

Cameron (as Emma): Uh, you know, I honestly have no idea. It all depends on what it's coded for. Like it could just be, it could just be like a serial number or something or it could potentially be some sort of mechanical diagram or specs that would be incredibly useful. But I, I get tell that from these boxes.

Kira (as Ciphera): Nobody would go through the trouble of making it this and why wouldn't they just put that somewhere else? There has to be a reason for this. It's too if they have to code it, then it's either something that's too important or too powerful for the average person to find, or it needs to be hidden so that it takes more effort and it's harder to obtain. So

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I guess.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I mean, if we can read yours, that's all the better but just -

Alli (as Renn): That sounds like some cool payment. Doesn't it?

Kira (as Ciphera): - so we're clear, if it only works once we're using it on my arm.

Alli (as Renn): She did literally get it tattooed.

Kira (as Ciphera): [weirdly aggressive] Yeah do you have a tattoo of your code?

Cameron (as Emma): [confused at tone of question] No.

Kira (as Ciphera): [satisfied] Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): [still confused] Why I would I get it tattooed? It's in this book.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well maybe you lose the book. What happens if it gets knocked in the fire that's like two feet away from you?

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I've got the Knight, so that's a bigger fire.

Kira (as Ciphera): But you just said you don't know where it is.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, but I got screwdrivers.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [haunted] So many screwdrivers.

Cameron (as Emma): So you'll, you'll dismantle your high tech machinery to try to locate this again?

Cameron (as Emma): Welp, Cassidy broke it anyway.

Alli (as Renn): Oh.

Kira (as Ciphera): Cassidy broke it?!

Alli (as Renn): What~?

Kira (as Ciphera): [quite upset] You broke. The. Knight?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yep, you caught me.

Alli (as Renn): [said quietly] Can I help you fix it?

Sydney (as Cassidy): I you know, I just I just tried to do a really big jump, and I didn't quite land it.

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing and obviously not blaming Cassidy] And you forgot that you fall when that happens?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, you know I was just under the impression that the Knight was just invincible and you know, sometimes when you hit the ground from like, 15 seconds up in the air, it does some damage and I just somehow I forgot that.

Alli (as Renn): That's a lot of seconds.

Penn (as Marathon): She was saving that Iota town. I don't want to I don't want to get her started, but

Cameron (as Emma): I was being facetious. That is,

Penn (as Marathon): I will root her on.

Cameron (as Emma): I am aware of the fact that Cassidy didn't purposefully break it, she got thrown.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I got launched by the abyss. So

Alli (as Renn): I was just impressed. Like that's a long time.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I hope, you know, like, 15 seconds, it was long enough for me to make a throw before I started coming back down.

Alli (as Renn): Oh my God.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Now I'm fast. So like, you know, a few seconds I was really high up.

Kira (as Ciphera): I'm glad you made it.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. But like I said, I'm gonna have to be doing repairs. So maybe I would find it. Who knows?

Cameron: Emma walks back over to the stump that she'd been sitting on and gently lowers herself back down.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay, so what we're looking for then is either one of these devices, one of these boxes, or wands or whatever, or somebody who knows where one is located or has another method of reading it.

Cameron (as Emma): So if y'all don't know what device we're looking for, exactly, how likely is it that someone else outside of the Advantia has one?

Alli (as Renn): I mean, that's kind of what we do is going around finding people have stuff they shouldn't, making sure that if they are not uh - of a good sort to be having such powerful technology, we scoop it up and take it home.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, that's literally my entire job.

Alli (as Renn): It's what we do.

Kira (as Ciphera): This just happens to be one that I've been chasing for much longer and the the breadcrumb trail is a lot crumblier now. The last person I spoke to seemed relatively convinced that this is the right direction to go to and this town is where we might find a final direction. I asked him very nicely.

Alli (as Renn): Then we can get that tattoo removed and I can make you a new one.

Kira (as Ciphera): Sure.

Kit (as Birdie): You do tattoos?

Alli (as Renn): [laugh] Not well.

Kira (as Ciphera): So we have a deal?

Cameron: Emma has started reading all of the notes on the surrounding pages that is now distracted.

Alli (as Renn): But yeah, if y'all want to help...

Sydney (as Cassidy): So we already uh, cleaned you out of squares.

Penn (as Marathon): Hey, wait, yeah, what's what's in it for us?

Penn: Marathon does a very good mercenary impression while she points at them, and then darts her eyes over to Birdie and Cassidy.

Kit (as Birdie): I'm always very happy to renegotiate our terms.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well this is a new deal. So

Kira (as Ciphera): This is - these are new terms. Well, the chances are if we find this piece of tech, there's probably going to be other tech there as well. Maybe something you can use, maybe something that we can help you fix up or reappropriate. There bound to be supplies.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, so we got dibs. That's on the table, dibs on whatever we find. First dibs.

Alli (as Renn): Well I -

Kira (as Ciphera): I didn't say dibs on whatever we find.

Alli (as Renn): Not whatever.

Kira (as Ciphera): I said there will likely be some things that you can use.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [annoyed sigh] That sounds frustratingly non defined.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah~.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, as I've already explained, we don't know what we're going to find, so how can I be more specific than that? I'm not going to allow you to take a weapon that could wipe out half the continent if it explodes in the wrong hands.

Alli (as Renn): Although y'all did a dynamite job take care of that last one, you know? [awkward laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [voice of someone more prepared to deal with explosives than anyone else] Mhmm.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay, well, if we don't have material resources or items that we find there's always information. Pull, push, favors, and you did us some fine work back there, but we are members of the Advantia and we can put in a good word.

Penn (as Marathon): What no offense, but you are kind of stationed out far - how much real sway power do you have, because like you guys, don't talk very well with about Susan and it's my impression that Susan's like in charge?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, I don't know how that happened, but it shouldn't have.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah Susan's important, but she's not the only person. And as you've correctly pointed out, we're out here. That means there are other Advantia enclaves and places that are also located very far away either slightly out of immediate communication distance or so far away that no one could do anything about it. So

Alli (as Renn): Can you imagine a world where nobody knows Susan? What a dream.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well give it a few decades.

Alli (as Renn): [forlorn sigh]

Penn (as Marathon): I can't wait to meet her now.

Alli (as Renn): Ugh.

Kira (as Ciphera): Anyway, so, as we've just discussed, you have a very high tech piece of broken, defunct machinery that your extremely talented engineer could probably make some work on, but who knows how badly it's damaged. Now, I'm not, you know, a genius about economics, but it seems that you're a mercenary company, and that you rely on getting jobs and your force and power in order to complete those jobs to survive and continue moving around, so it seems that that might be very difficult if you don't have your key piece of tech in working order?

Alli (as Renn): Might be difficult.

Kira (as Ciphera): Could be pretty hard.

Penn (as Marathon): But that's not a threat?

Sydney (as Cassidy): [bout to punch Ciphera] Fortunately, we know how to fight without the Knight.

Penn (as Marathon): [happy whenever Cassidy gets annoyed at the Advantia] Yeah!

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah but how useful is that really?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. How useful is fighting? [watch out she's about to show you]

Kira (as Ciphera): No how useful is three and maybe a fourth that clearly is not part of the the Pa-Patina that sorry, it's been a day. So three Patina and one additional mercenary, it's, you just don't have as much to offer as a giant mech. Like we would not have hired you for the last job if you didn't have that. It's not me punching down on your abilities. I'm asking you to help with this that doesn't require a mech because I need the help. So if you want to get offended about it, that's fine. But that's not the case here.

Alli: Renn leans over to Ciphera and says,

Alli (as Renn): [quietly] Maybe dial it back, like one step.

Penn: The Patina is gritting their teeth.

Alli (as Renn): Ciphera puffs a little strand of hair.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy picks up and starts chewing on a second potato.

Cameron (as Emma): Emma is smiling down into her notebook, because she thinks it's funny when Cassidy gets in these conversations. [laughing]

Penn (as Marathon): So bringing peace into the talks here, uh on the table is I guess, second dibs and a favor from the Advantia, so

Kira (as Ciphera): That sounds appropriate.

Alli (as Renn): Seems I mean, if you've never seen an old world cache, like you never know what's gonna be in there. Sometimes it would blow your mind.

Penn (as Marathon): Like second dibs is still good?

Alli (as Renn): Second dibs is still real good.

Kira: Ciphera's eyes shine and she says,

Kira (as Ciphera): I this is literally my my job. This is what I've been doing for the majority of my life. It's it takes a lot of work and it takes some luck and not everything pans out, but when you find it when you get one of these caches, it's like it's like breaking off a piece of history. It's a treasure trove literally. There's stuff in there, you can't even imagine. I mean, just look at what you've seen already. Sure some of it's very dangerous and shouldn't be taken away, but some of its dead useful. You never know what you're gonna find. And isn't that part of the fun? Little mystery.

Penn (as Marathon): That was very cute.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Sometimes it's a miracle. Sometimes it's a monster.

Alli (as Renn): Both start with M. Good to go.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hey, you're a mercenary. Part of that's playing your odds right?

Penn (as Marathon): And that's another M. [laugh]

Alli (as Renn): Renn taps her nose and points at Marathon.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen, those are the numbers. Those are the stakes. You don't want the job, you don't have to take it but it's there. And I don't think it's going to be nearly what you just went through. So, you know, maybe it'd be nice for a change of pace, or don't whatever.

Penn: Marathon turns to Birdie and Cassidy.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, what do we think?

Kit: Birdie has just been being quiet because she tends to get heated in moments of negotiating. But she glances at Renn and Ciphera and then looks back at Marathon and goes,

Kit (as Birdie): As much as I have had interesting experiences with Advantia members before, a favor from the Advantia can really go a long way. It's up to you guys, too. And of course, you Emma too.

Cameron (as Emma): Emma is 100% paying attention to what is going on and is pretending to read at this point.

Kit (as Birdie): I just - as long as if we find things after the job and there is this cache or whatever - if it's split up fairly, then I don't have a problem with doing it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): And if this cache is like halfway across the world and we're stuck with the Advantia for another 17 months?

Kira (as Ciphera): [offended] Stuck with us? I don't think we're that bad, we're just

Penn (as Marathon): [talking loudly over Ciphera] Private conversation. Thank you.

Alli: Renn leans to Ciphera

Alli (as Renn): Is it obvious we don't entertain that much? Oh my god.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mm.

Kit (as Birdie): [annoyed sigh]

Penn (as Marathon): Sorry, Miss Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Thank you Marathon.

Cameron: Emma looks up from her book.

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] Y'all can have a private conversation at the same camp fire as them.

Penn (as Marathon): We can have some semblance of civilization here.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, you called us [mumble]

Cameron (as Emma): Whatever - Ciphera you said that that there was a town. How far away is this town?

Kira (as Ciphera): A couple miles. Close enough that we can get there easily, far enough that nobody's going to stumble into our campsite. You know the drill.

Cameron (as Emma): Are you anticipating finding a person who knows where we then need to go to get this thing or finding the thing in the town that's a few miles away?

Kira (as Ciphera): It could be either. The last "resource" that I extracted information from pointed us to this town and they said that we'd either find it there or we'd find somebody who knows more.

Penn (as Marathon): Do we know how they will feel - the town's people - about us asking about, you know, mystery gadget things?

Alli (as Renn): Depends if they're scared of it or not.

Cameron (as Emma): Probably depends on who's asking too. [has learned a lot about the social skills of the group while listening]

Kira (as Ciphera): So we've been here before in the past, and we've been here a couple of days. I've scoped the town out. They're a little wary of solitary people moving through, so it's better if there's more people poking around. If you know, we blend in with your mercenary company, for the time being, that would be helpful. They don't exactly trust the Advantia, whether or not that's reasonable.

Kit (as Birdie): Hm.

Kira (as Ciphera): And as I pointed out earlier, I'm visually compromised in certain ways. So I can keep myself cloaked but then a, a cloaked figure wandering around the town by herself asking strange questions is usually an ill omen to some.

Alli (as Renn): Couple of red flags to others.

Kira (as Ciphera): Maybe it would just, it would be cleaner this way.

Kit (as Birdie): You said that you've been here before?

Kira (as Ciphera): In the past. Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): Do they know you? Or

Kira (as Ciphera): Know is such a wobbly question. If you're asking, have they seen me before? Possibly. If you're asking if they could connect me to any -

Alli (as Renn): Wrong doings.

Kira (as Ciphera): I was gonna say illicit doings, but sure, probably not me, but they would have maybe seen a cloaked figure and I would have been in town as a solitary person recently and anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have put it together themselves, but you know how people can be. I just don't want to take any chances. Because this is my best final lead and I don't want to blow it. I need this to pan out.

Kit (as Birdie): And you're sure this isn't some wild goose chase?

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, like I said, that's, this is what I do for my life. Some of them are yeah, but I have every reason to believe that this is going to pan out.

Alli (as Renn): And have you ever met a goose? They're terrifying.

Penn (as Marathon): So if it doesn't pan out, do we still get that favor?

Kira (as Ciphera): If you help me complete the job satisfactorily, and there's nothing more to be done, then yeah. I'm not going to stiff you on it just because it doesn't go the way I want it to

Penn: Marathon gives a self satisfied look to ready else.

Kira (as Ciphera): If you botch the job, that's a different story, because I could botch it by myself just fine, thank you.

Cameron (as Emma): I was going to request like a two part job where collecting or assisting and collecting the information within this town was part one and would gain us the favor. That way if we get the answer, and it is the this cache where this thing is located is super far away and it's not in a direction we want to be traveling we can part ways at that point, but still have received something.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, I think you're getting the better end of the deal there for a favor for asking some questions, but sure, since that's how it's shaking out.

Cameron (as Emma): Well, you can't give us the cache if you don't have it yet, so

Kira (as Ciphera): That's why I said sure.

Alli (as Renn): How about this, we get to the cache and worst case scenario, it's nothing useful for you. Maybe I could tune up your Exosuit to make it move easier. Maybe a little bit more agile. I know those things are bulky, could be beneficial.

Kira (as Ciphera): Renn's got the magic touch.

Alli: She wiggles her fingers.

Kira (as Ciphera): Got gold in them there fingers.

Alli (as Renn): That's why they're so heavy.

Cameron: Emma's nodding her head back and forth considering.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, well. I'm real tired. So what'd you guys think?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy shrugs and looks at Emma.

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I'm down.

Kira (as Ciphera): Seems like a good idea.

Alli (as Renn): I think it'd be really cool.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh, who said that?

Alli (as Renn): That's wild.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, a favor for a favor right?

Alli (as Renn): Favor for favor.

Penn (as Marathon): Do we seal it? Is there a handshake thing? Is there a special Advantia little like head bonk or something?

Cameron (as Emma): I saw I saw Birdie and Ciphera have a handshake.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): We do. I was gonna do with Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): Don't bring it up! Don't bring it up!

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen, I yeah, I'd do that with you, but you're not a member of the Patina, so I guess uh Birdie. If

Kit (as Birdie): Wait hold on. None of us ever said that Marathon wasn't a member of the Patina.

Kira (as Ciphera): Marathon said it.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, y'all clearly introduced yourselves as Patina plus one passenger first time we met and I don't-

Kira (as Ciphera): And then like 10 minutes ago Marathon was like me and the Patina.

Kit (as Birdie): Marathon is a very very good friend of ours.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay but is she a member -

Alli (as Renn): [overlap] - of the Patina?

Kit (as Birdie): [overlap] Honorary Patina.

Penn (as Marathon): Honorary!

Kit (as Birdie): Honorary Patina.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah! I'm in the reserves, baby. Okay.

Kit (as Birdie): Was that okay for me to say?

Cameron: Emma is watching Cassidy to see how her face reacts to this.

Sydney: Cassidy has her eyes closed and shaking her head.

Kit (as Birdie): [urgent whisper] Cassidy!

Penn (as Marathon): So you could do your little like head bonk with Birdie or something or I don't know how Advantia deals really work.

Kira (as Ciphera): We just say some magic wizard words.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [dripping sarcasm and disgust] Some magic wizard words.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hocus Pocus, it's time to focus.

Penn (as Marathon): Ugh.

Kira (as Ciphera): Um. Knick Knack time to...

Cameron (as Emma): Look it is too late for you to be trying to come up with fun things to say.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen. Okay, so clearly there's a reason that I'm asking you to help talk to people.

Kit (as Birdie): That's fair.

Kira (as Ciphera): Let's slap it. Come on.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay, okay,

Kit: Birdie is gonna stick her hand out in some form for Ciphera to just do something with.

Kit (as Birdie): [whisper] Sorry marathon.

Kit: And then she's gonna do the handshake.

Penn (as Marathon): Again, this is such a betrayal!!!

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, I'll do it with you afterwards you just -

Penn (as Marathon): [despairing]

Kit (as Birdie): Our handshake and have more than -

Alli (as Renn): Y'all know the Sassnak Slap?

Kit (as Birdie): I'm from Sasnak!

Penn (as Marathon): [so sad] It won't be the same. It's your guys' handshake now.

Kit (as Birdie): No!

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, we can make up our own handshake. You know, probably.

Penn (as Marathon): It's not the same.

Alli (as Renn): The eagle Hill...

Kit (as Birdie): The Tree All...

Kira (as Ciphera): The radio roundabout. The derby d-

Alli (as Renn): The Turn Table.

Penn (as Marathon): It's called Tree All Trip Up, okay?

Alli (as Renn): Ooh~.

Kira (as Ciphera): Ooh.

Kira: So yeah, Ciphera and Birdie do the Sasnak Slap with great gusto.

[handshake noises]

Nick: And with the deal sealed, there is some awkward silence as people finish their meals and wash up their camp bowls, and the group scatters into the night to prepare to bed down after having agreed that they will leave at the same time tomorrow heading into town.

Alli: One of the battening down the hatches in the camp that Renn is very used to doing is tucking Servo in for the night, which really just means tucking in his appendages to his main body so he can power down appropriately and not expend his coal resources. So she's just easing them into place. He loafs like a cat. [laugh] Except for his long neck which still swivels around. He needs a little help. He's a good boy, but he's getting up there you know? Gotta take care of them. Pats is sweet face, his sweet, giant face.

Kit: Birdie does her part to help out with getting what they have broken down in their camp setup. And after doing a pretty quick job of just setting up her tent and her bed roll, she pauses and glances at Renn and then will walk over and try not to be super disruptive but be like,

Kit (as Birdie): He's really cute. It's really cute.

Alli (as Renn): Oh my god.

Kit (as Birdie): That's so sweet.

Alli (as Renn): You can pet him if you want.

Kit (as Birdie): Really?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, he doesn't - well I mean, don't put your hand in the tiller or anything, but like, yeah, he's a friendly boy.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay.

Kit: And Birdie will pet him like she would pet any very friendly animal and will even just scratch behind where his ears would be.

Alli: Oh, that gets you a dial up tone.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh!

Alli (as Renn): That's the good spot. Loves that.

Kit (as Birdie): I see. I see. What a nice young man. [laugh]

Alli (as Renn): He's a nice young man.

Alli: She says with one tear in her eye.

Kit (as Birdie): So uh, Renn I had a question for you. Really quick?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): It's kind of about something I know that you might be a bit sensitive about and so I don't want to just like jump this on you or anything.

Alli (as Renn): [slight concern] Oh.

Kit (as Birdie): But it's just about something that I was thinking about instead of the plasma cutter sort of thing you had for?

Alli (as Renn): Mhmm.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah so instead of doing that, we've already discussed only doing the boomerang part. What would you feel - how would you feel if I asked you to do a sort of um, fuel related thing like a containers that could self ignite?

Alli (as Renn): Like a grenade?

Kit (as Birdie): Sort of. I - I do demolitions and slash explosives work for the team. I don't have any any with me right now. I used it all up on the job. But I don't know how comfortable you would be with that. It was just a thought really. So what do you think?

Kit: She's grimacing.

Alli: Renn is listening and she's definitely biting her bottom lip a little bit and her brows are a little bit furrowed and she nods towards Birdie and says

Alli (as Renn): I mean it's definitely something I can do. It's actually what I used to do at the Advantia, it was my my spec. And I was I was I was good. And it only really takes one bad explosion to sort of turn you off to it.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): But if this is what you want, I've agreed to this. Sort of why I change focus to magnets because damn hard to blow up in a shockwave. [uncomfortable laugh] You I mean, you can but it takes a lot more.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Kit: Birdie glances off and nods and she just says,

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, you know, I understand. I had a pretty uh, shitty experience with explosives when I was younger. I guess it kind of did the exact opposite of what it did to you though. I just started to want to work with them more. [shared discomfort laugh] Maybe it's like a control thing or something, whatever. But if you would be comfortable with it, and you don't have to say yes. I don't want to trap you in this if you are not okay with this, because, you know, you said that you make us something cool.

Alli (as Renn): No, yeah, like, I'll - I'm glad that you're experience turned out to snowball into something a bit more positive, because sometimes we we find ourselves in these big moments. [laugh] And I guess I did, too. I just realized I don't want to do that anymore. But yeah, I can I can put this together for you. I'm going to sit by the pond, so if something is going wrong, I can toss it in there.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay.

Alli (as Renn): So that's where I'll be. What what exactly, so you just want something that will ignite itself, and then you, you throw it?

Kit (as Birdie): Yes because with this sort of scarcity of fuel around, I make a lot of homemade explosives with not very efficient fuel.

Alli (as Renn): Mm.

Kit (as Birdie): And it's probably one safer and two way easier for me to use something like this.

Alli (as Renn): So do you just want like in concept, a stick of dynamite with a timer on a ignition strip?

Kit: Birdie, squints her eyes because tactical stuff is not really her forte. And as she pieces everything that Renn just said together, slowly nods and is like,

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, sort of. Something that I can -

Alli (as Renn): But you make your own.

Kit (as Birdie): I mean, I make my own because it's what I have to do, if I'm going to use them, you know?

Alli (as Renn): Hmm. So you need a reusable, or at least easy to put together. Hmm. Yeah, I can do that.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay. Well, thank you.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, no problem. I promised.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. I mean, yeah, I just was worried that I was gonna make you like super uncomfortable or something like that.

Alli (as Renn): [small laugh] Nah, takes more than that to make me uncomfortable.

Kit (as Birdie): [giggle] Yeah. Well, thank you again. It's

Alli (as Renn): Uh sorry, Phera, it was a little spicy at the campfire earlier. She just gets a little defensive.

Kit (as Birdie): Nah it's - I'm not bothered by it. You know, I've traveled a lot alone and so you know, unfriendliness, or any sort of tension is not really a foreign to me. I think it's kind of fun sometimes. [laugh]

Alli (as Renn): [laugh] I think it's kind of fun too.

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing] It's definitely fun watching Cassidy's face. [laugh] No, it's It's really okay. I think it's kind of sweet actually, that Ciphera is cautious, I guess? I think it just it means that she really cares a lot about you.

Alli (as Renn): I'd like to think so. But she's a little a little tough to read sometimes and I don't always say the right thing.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. It's hard to know, right?

Alli (as Renn): Tough to know. At least with Servo I can hear the modem sounds.