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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.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Yeah, you guys went through a lot of stuff together, didn't you?

Alli (as Renn): [uncomfortable high voice] A fair amount.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I'm sorry. I don't mean to like dig into anything. I just, how do you keep going?

Alli (as Renn): What do you mean? Like physically or emotionally? [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): No, no.

Kit: Birdie glances away. Her demeanor shifts from being relaxed and comfortable to more, she kind of looks as if she's almost getting ready to just run away. She's specifically is just looking at the floor.

Kit (as Birdie): I guess. Um, you have these sort of massive changes and events thrown at you. And sometimes it could be enough to make you think why continue with this kind of job - with this life? You know?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, um. [pause] I like it. I like doing it. I like finding new stuff. I like helping people. I like making things and I like doing those things alongside Phera. I think we're a good match in that way temperament wise.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Alli (as Renn): We're good at handling different stuff, so together we're basically like one functional person half the time.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. And I'm glad that you guys have each other then.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, it was a it was a rocky start. But you know, what isn't?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. [laugh to fading sigh] Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): Are you okay?

Kit (as Birdie): [high pitch Birdie is lying voice] What? No, yeah, I'm, I'm fine. You know, [awkward laugh]

Alli (as Renn): The way the thing your voice just did made me very sure that you're fine.

Kit (as Birdie): [more high pitch words that human ears cannot comprehend] I don't know what you're talking about. But, you know, it's, um, I, I don't know. I kind of went through like a weird thing where it's like, you know, like how I was talking about like, I had like this like weird experience with explosions too haha, like that uh - it was a while ago, like a long while ago. And I kind of recently found out that because of it back home on Sasnak, there was a really big shift in my family. It's the kind of shift that makes you wonder if it's just worth putting it all down.

Alli (as Renn): I mean, it's person to person. But if there's folks or things about your home that you're missing, or wishing you could get back to, -

Kit (as Birdie): [sigh]

Alli (as Renn): - you're young enough that it doesn't seem like that would be too much of a problem aside from like, if you left in a real bad sort of way might be tougher, but I've seen people do more with worse. Not that I know, you know, what's going on. Pardon me.

Kit (as Birdie): No, no, it's okay. I mean, like, I, it was an accident, why I left. Well, it was the explosion thing that kind of made me leave. For a while, I thought that it was worse than it was with everything. You know, when you lose contact with a bunch of people very suddenly and a lot of things change for you even more suddenly, it gets a little hard to navigate. But you just kind of - I think it's I think it's admirable that you just keep going because you, you love it.

Alli (as Renn): Well, I mean, that's just my reason, you know, I just derive great satisfaction from it. So it makes sense to keep doing it. But like, if you want to change up your stuff, there's always time. People think time is so linear, and you're locked into one thing, but you're not. Not at all.

Kit (as Birdie): Well yeah. I mean, if anything, I've I've had a lot of really, really big changes. I mean, I don't really stay in one place for a very long time. But I don't know.

Kit: Birdie will glance over her shoulder at Cassidy and Emma sitting by the fire and Marathon doing what Marathon does with Ciphera and she just shrugs and relaxes back a little bit into the demeanor that she was in.

Kit (as Birdie): You're right. It could be time to, you know, do something different. Thank you, Renn.

Alli (as Renn): If I might be so bold as to pry, you could leave your secrets with me a totally, you know,

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Alli (as Renn): separate person that you wouldn't have to share with your more intimate buddies. But maybe I'd be able to give you a bit better, more personal advice. And if you don't want to share, that's fine and I totally understand.

Kit (as Birdie): Well, you know, it's like, which, which secrets? I mean,

Alli (as Renn): The other big one that you mentioned, you know, how about this? You share yours, I'll share mine.

Kit (as Birdie): You're talking- the accident you mean?

Alli (as Renn): Oh my yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, well, yeah. Um, so my family and I were uh, kind of a hodgepodge. We all came from different backgrounds. But they all took me in when I was 8 and I spent like, you know, 10 years with them, and we did little jobs around Sasnak for money, so we could make ends meet. And one day, the Drain Boys, this faction within Sasnak, asked us to go into the quote unquote, guts of the city and uh do a job that no one else really wanted to do. And so we went, and it turns out that it was a really dangerous situation that they were putting a bunch of kids into. They're kind of known for that though, I won't lie. [awkward sad laugh] But there was something - I don't even know what happened really, it was, I was in one room with the equipmenta and two of my family members were in another room and one off a bit further down. And the next thing I know I'm getting literally blown out of the city. I just sort of remember waking up on the road where Sasnak had just been and not seeing it. I was 17 and you know what, what other choice do you have but to just go? Um. Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): Stars and shards I'm so sorry.

Kit (as Birdie): What and No, no, it's nothing to be sorry for it was - [deep breath] it was it was no one's fault really. Um. I guess I there's there's no really real reason to be sorry. I'm okay. You know, I deal with some, some issues because of wounds that never really healed right. You know, I didn't really have access to a lot of things but um

Alli (as Renn): I mean, I'm a surgeon.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, if it's [sad laughing] if it was something that surgery could fix at this point, I would appreciate it but I think I'm a little far past. Um, I the thing is that I that I found out was that my, one of the people I was the closest to in my family um died in the incident. They were, I guess just standing closest to it.

Kit: Birdie kind of tries a smile and her eyes are shiny but she's not doing anything to make it seem like she's sad.

Alli: Oh, but Renn is going to offer a hug because that's an incredibly sad thing to hear.

Kit: Her smile will just shake a little bit and then she'll hug Renn and she's a little tense, but she hugs her and pulls away and tries to discreetly wipe under her eyes and is like,

Kit (as Birdie): [obviously tearing up and fighting it] [sniff] Uh yeah, so [clears throat] what about you?

Alli (as Renn): Um, well, it's funny story I actually used to develop [thinking noises], for lack of a better word landmines to keep certain Advantia safe houses truly safe. But after a while, I just, I didn't like what the Advantia was doing in my enclave, so I stole a bunch of stuff and tried to leave. And they found out -

Kit (as Birdie): Oh [laugh]

Alli (as Renn): - and I wasn't even out of the building yet.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh~.

Alli (as Renn): So what happened was they actually sent Phera after me. We didn't know each other too well yet, or almost at all. But as she was chasing me, I tripped onto one of the mines that I forgot where I buried it. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): Ooh.

Alli (as Renn): And I got I got real blown up and Phera did too, but I think at that point, she felt sort of, I don't know, duty bound to help me, so we just kind of huddled up and licked our wounds as it were. I made some prosthetics and they've been holding up like charms, easily upgradable, but yeah, I sort of don't do too many explosions nowadays.

Kit: Birdie nods and she just searches Renn's face and it's like,

Kit (as Birdie): That's uh, yeah that's really horrible Renn. I'm really so sorry for that. That you - it's - that was really hard on you guys.

Alli (as Renn): Nah. Naht it's fine. It is why Susan kicked me out of the enclave though. So you know, screw her, but.

Kit (as Birdie): Yes. Fuck Susan.

Alli (as Renn): I like what I'm doing a lot more now. Yeah, fuck Susan! She's the worst. In her little suits. Ugh.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Really, if you're not okay, with doing the explosive thing, I get it. I've I've had moments where I think it's gonna be okay and it's really not. Or I say it is and it's not.

Alli (as Renn): It's why I pulled Phera and me out of the out of Iota. There was a lot of bad stuff happening. I was, uh, you know, feeling a little bit antsy and I didn't want to be around some stuff. So I really appreciate the help. But, you know, if, if, if it's within my own two hands to build and control and it'd be an awful shame to you know, get rusty on that set of knowledge that I still have, you never know when you're going to need it and if I keep it sharp and fresh, then there's less chance it'll go wrong later if I really need it and can't remember.

Kit: Birdie will nod again, but she's making that face like I know exactly what you're doing and I'm gonna let you get away with it because I do it too and it's not fun to be called out on it.

Alli: Renn will be happy in her not called out state.

Kit (as Birdie): All right. And I appreciate you doing this. And thank you for listening to me. You're actually one of the few people I've told about the whole guardian thing, so congratulations. I guess? [laughing probably to keep from crying]

Alli (as Renn): Not only am I honored, but you'll find that I can keep a secret exceedingly well, I am a wizard after all.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, the Advantia, you know, you have your reputations, and I trust you on this front.

Alli (as Renn): Thank you.

Kit (as Birdie): On most fronts really.

Alli (as Renn): I really appreciate that.

Kit (as Birdie): Well. I'll let you get to it.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, I gotta get sketching.

Kit: Birdie is going to pat servos big head again a couple of times and then dart back off over to where her tent is setup.

Nick: And Renn as you see Birdie walk off into the night to prepare for bedding down. How are you feeling? Are you actually okay with this?

Alli: [laugh] No. Oh my god, it's gonna be so hard. She's feeling nervous. She's got big ol' phantom pains in her leg. Her hands feel heavy, very sweaty.

Nick: So we cut away from Renn fighting with her memories to help a new acquaintance. Who else do we see?

Penn: Marathon finally feels competent and confident putting up a tent completely, she feels like she has enough practice at this point. And after she puts it up, she takes a step back and puts her hands into fists and onto her hips in a proud motion. And she nods at her tent.

Penn (as Marathon): [quietly to self] Yeah. Finally.

Kira: Shift the camera slightly and we see Ciphera standing behind her with one hand on her hip, she says

Kira (as Ciphera): Nice tent. Looks good.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, thank you. Yes. I've been practicing. So

Kira (as Ciphera): Hm. Not used to setting up tents?

Penn (as Marathon): I mean, I wasn't before. No. I was living in Tree All. You said you'd heard of me, right?

Penn: Marathon immediately goes into smooth Marathon mode.

Kira: Ciphera gets a little smile.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I remember. You um, so you haven't been on the road with them for very long, huh?

Penn (as Marathon): No, I don't know. It's been about a month now. Actually.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh. That's a pretty short time, but you guys seem - you seem kind of close.

Penn (as Marathon): I dunno, just just happy to have some friends, you know?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I do. It's hard sometimes.

Penn (as Marathon): Definitely.

Kira (as Ciphera): But you used to, used to be in Derby, right?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. Yeah. Pretty big, you know. The Tree All Chainsaws - I was the MVP. So uh, a couple years actually. Yeah. Team captain for a couple as well.

Penn: And Marathon brushes off her shoulder.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. I was only passing through the area sometimes, but I caught a game here and there. I was always a little jealous I couldn't get in there.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yeah. I mean, it's a lot of fun. If there's ever a derby around, ya know, It'd be pretty cool to play. I could show you some moves, you know? Uh di-did you see me? Do you see me out there? What'd ya think?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I think so. I mean, I'm pretty sure I saw you hit somebody so hard they lost a tooth, but

Penn (as Marathon): [fond remembering laughter]

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, as kind of our way, so maybe I just imagined that happened because it looked like such a solid hit.

Penn (as Marathon): No, there's a lot of people that lost teeth. You don't want to discount that. It was very likely.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well you still got all yours, so that must mean you're pretty good, right?

Penn: Marathon gives a winning smile.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. Yeah. Let's just say I had a couple replacements in there.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well. I knew something about replacement parts. Looks good. I can't even tell them. At least at night.

Penn (as Marathon): Mhm. You know, Ciphera I was, I was wondering. You know, [awkward laugh] obviously I could give you an autograph if that if you wanted one. Did you want one?

Kira (as Ciphera): Sure. I'd take one.

Penn: Marathon goes back into her tent pulls out a piece of paper that's one of the posters from one of the like, last matches she was in she's like,

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I'll just sign this out to Ciphera, right? [obviously concerned about spelling]

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, it's C I P H E R A. Put a little flair on the either of its that's good. Little extra mustard.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, I'll put little heart on the i for you, so

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh my. [laugh] Scandal.

Penn (as Marathon): Always [laugh] love the fans, you know?

Kira (as Ciphera): Sure. Yeah.

Penn: And Marathon folds it up and gives it back to her.

Penn (as Marathon): But yeah, I don't know. Thanks for the job and everything. Um, do you know - do you know any of the bandits by the way? That that took over Iota?

Kira (as Ciphera): No. I didn't know any of the bandits. I don't I don't make a habit of interacting with them and generally speaking, when I cross their path, or they cross mine, I either stay out of their way or it's complicated, but bandits are bandits. Sometimes people are in a hard position and they don't have choices, but most times they do. And I don't think innocent people deserve to suffer for that.

Penn (as Marathon): So do you think like, I don't know, like is a bandits life like because it - do you think they're like justified killing bandits? Is it like good to spare them? Or what's your call there? As you know? Yeah. Would they just go back to banditing? Do you think?

Kira: Ciphera starts to pick up on some of the subtext here. And she shifts a little bit looking back towards the campfire. And she's silent for a few moments collecting her thoughts.

Kira (as Ciphera): You know, I don't think there's a good answer to that. I've been with the Advantia, basically my whole life. So I've, I've enjoyed privileges that other people haven't and I've had to experience and endure things that a lot of people haven't either. So it's easy for me to pass judgment on the average person who has to do things they might not like to survive. But I've done a lot of things that I don't like to people in the name of my job and the Advantia, and sometimes to survive. So sometimes it works out. People can change. I'd like to think that I'm proof of that. Sometimes people get caught in the crossfire, and sometimes you don't have a better option and you have to choose you or them. But one thing you can't do a second guess yourself. You can't go back and change anything that's already happened. You can only keep your eyes open for next time. But sounds like you had a rough time of it.

Penn (as Marathon): Me? [deflecting and laughing] No~. [clears throat] Uh.

Penn: Marathon was very invested in Ciphera's redemption talk and buffers at the thought that she was.

Penn (as Marathon): No. But uh, okay, I appreciate you telling me that. Yeah, I don't know. I'm just I'm just working through some things. But what I mean, with our busi- our transactional relationship, would you say, would you say we're friends?

Kira: I think that gets a smile out of Ciphera, and she says,

Kira (as Ciphera): [sigh] You know, to be honest, in my line of work, it's hard to have friends. The only friends I ever had were in the Advantia and now I don't really have them either, so it's pretty much just Renn and me out here and a bunch of strangers who are scared of us. So I'll tell you something if you don't get weird about it.

Penn (as Marathon): Uh sure. Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): It's kind of a trip meeting you like this. Just to know that I watched you back in Derby and then we listened to you on the radio. It's just me and Renn out here, you know, traveling and we have the radio and that's our one link to other people when we don't have to talk to them face to face, so there were a lot of nights where you were the third person. So I don't know, that was comforting for me to just hear somebody else talk about something, anything, derby, the news of somewhere that I can't be, living life that I can never have. So

Penn: Marathon scratching the back of her head like in a aw shucks moment.

Kira (as Ciphera): Do I think we're friends? I mean, I'd like to be friends, yeah. I know I'm a little prickly in my job kind of demands that but

Penn (as Marathon): No more prickly than Cassidy.

Kira (as Ciphera): [laugh] See she seems okay.

Penn (as Marathon): But I'm glad to hear that. You want to solidify friendship with the Tree All Trip Up?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Is that a handshake?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, definitely. I wasn't kidding.

Kira (as Ciphera): Does Birdie know it?

Penn (as Marathon): No, not yet.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh, yeah. Let's do.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yes. Yes. Okay. [pumping self up] Okay, here first step, first step.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay.

Penn: And I think we pan up,

Nick: The camera zooms away from the two of them as they do a physically demanding and intricate choreographed dance under the pretense of a handshake.

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] I have a new friend!

Nick: Cassidy and Emma - where are you when you hear Marathon shout into the darkness?

Cameron (as Emma): I think we're sitting next to the fire as it dies out.

Sydney: So Cassidy and Emma are sitting near the fire, just the low energy of its bedtime, but I don't have the energy to get into bed yet so I'm kind of just vegetating. Cassidy had done dishes because it kept her hands busy.

Cameron: Emma is just sitting there staring into the fire. She's got the notebook still in her hand and just brushing her fingers along the pages. So it does the quick fan out thing on the side. Just over and over.

Sydney: They hear Marathon yell into the night and Cassidy jumps.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, I didn't expect to have people yelling when we weren't by a camp full of fighting pits. One fighting pit.

Cameron (as Emma): Mmmm. I've I've given up having expectations, I think, when it comes to Marathon.

Sydney (as Cassidy): She is some kind of character.

Cameron (as Emma): Most definitely.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] You know, if we're doing negotiations and two of us are just yelling at each other, you are welcome to be a voice of reason.

Cameron (as Emma): I did! But you'll never get better at not yelling if you don't practice. [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): This is why we have a team, Emma.

Cameron: [laughing] Yes, but also, come on.

Sydney (as Cassidy): She started it.

Cameron (as Emma): Y'all both started it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): She started at more.

Cameron (as Emma): No.This was an even starting. Y'all were doing a great job antagonizing each other.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh]

Cameron (as Emma): So, I don't know Ciphera's background that causes her to get super defensive over it, but I know you're not a big fan of the Advantia. But they're- if we treat every single member the Advantia of with hostility like that, that's a very good way to get ourselves in trouble too.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [groan of I don't want to agree but know you're right] You don't think just like, I don't know, let our guard down and then the next one is gonna walk into the rig and take the Knight?

Cameron (as Emma): I didn't say let her guard down.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh okay. Just be polite?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah! [laugh] There's a difference. If they deserve it, we kick their ass. And if they're offering us a job that could get us a favor with the Advantia who have vast amounts of knowledge that I don't have that might be useful in repairing our giant war machine - I feel like that's not something to antagonize.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I don't like being involved with the Advantia. You know, the Aranibus people are related to the Advantia, right?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, they're the weird creepy section.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, the ones that our former crew members had a run in with.

Cameron (as Emma): Multiple, apparently.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, well.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, like I - so I kind of the whole time I've - well basically the whole time I've been with the Patina, we've had at least one Advant around. So like I don't have nearly as much experience dealing with them as you do and I haven't had necessarily the same bad experiences.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean you've heard me and Ciphera talk. Ciphera has been involved with them for basically her whole life and she knows as much as I do, how much they hide.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, yeah. But I feel like there's probably like with any group, there are levels of the sneaky stuff happening in the shadows and the secrets and the the bad stuff. Like

Sydney (as Cassidy): No that's the b-advantia actually,

Cameron (as Emma): I I - mm. Stop. I know you didn't like Modem. And honestly, that's understandable. [laughing]

Sydney: Cassidy has a big grin on her face.

Cameron (as Emma): I think he was fine, but I do see how he could be, annoying we'll say, but Renn and Ciphera have been nice. Yes Renn didn't tell us about the Abyss, but Ciphera didn't know about it and she's the one you're fighting with.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh]

Cameron (as Emma): So it seems like if it is the main issue you have is the secrecy of the Advantia, it shouldn't be against Ciphera.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's fair. Hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): So [sigh] look, I'm not saying that we should in any way inherently trust anyone really, but

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): especially members of the Advantia. Like we we do have, as you mentioned, a big scary war machine that we do know that they're interested in and would probably love to get their hands on, but at some point, you have to when initially meeting someone give them the benefit of the doubt. Until they prove you wrong and then and then punch them. I don't know. Or shoot them. I guess you don't punch.

Sydney (as Cassidy): This is our second time meeting them actually.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I know which makes less sense. [laughing] I feel like you were much more civil the first time, Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I know the first time she jumped down onto the rig behind us.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah? So yes, she snuck up on us, but also we were a group of heavily armed mercenaries coming up on the two of them. You would have done the same thing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't have the fancy launch-y stick.

Cameron (as Emma): No, you didn't need it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's true. I could just climb up all the rig.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. So just saying. You don't have to embrace them as much as Marathon is. [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathons, Marathons newest best friend. Yes.

Cameron (as Emma): Mhm.

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] This chick rocks.

Cameron (as Emma): [laugh] [sigh] [yelling] Marathon go to bed.

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] No, you!

Cameron (as Emma): [yelling] Stop yelling!

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] It's - look, just keep it in mind, okay?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure.

Cameron (as Emma): I'll I'll step in more. I'll stop watching even though I find it amusing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): See maybe I'm just doing it for your amusement then, Emma.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, I doubt that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): But you don't know that.

Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay you might know that. [laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): Yes I do. [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Fine!

Cameron (as Emma): I don't think this is being done for my benefit.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Maybe it's being done - maybe it's all negotiating tactics. The more that they think that we don't like them, the higher they have to pay us.

Cameron (as Emma): So I think your logics faulty there. [laughing] The more they don't like us, the more they won't hire us.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay, I don't have any more dis~ uh~ - what word am I looking for Emma? It's too late.

Cameron (as Emma): Arguments?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure.

Cameron (as Emma): Points? [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Deflections. I have no more deflections.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't have any of the other things either.

Cameron (as Emma): [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh]

Cameron (as Emma): I will step in sooner, though. I'll commit to that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay, I'll try not to yell first. I don't know I didn't really yell. I only raised my voice.

Cameron (as Emma): You didn't really yell. You were pretty just like bitingly stabbing-ly sarcastic in like your normal voice.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, that's normal, though.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, but it's like a sharper edge to the stabbing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): More antagonistic rather than just coy? I don't know. That's not the right word. But normally it's more like friendly banter. I'm less concerned about a fight breaking out.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Then I will try and keep it to friendly banter. I will keep it to banter.

Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] You just keep backing up. [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): I will keep it to not blows? I will keep it to banter.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay. Sure. [sigh] And, you know, if you find yourself needing to banter and we're not in the middle of a negotiation session with Advantia, you can always practice with Marathon.

Sydney (as Cassidy): What an interesting idea.

Cameron (as Emma): Hmm. Isn't it?

Sydney: Cassidy's face is as carefully neutral as she can compose it

[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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