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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 21: Oilier Than I Thought It Would Be

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 21: Oilier Than I Thought It Would Be 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 again to fern.gulley for supplying the spicy literature highlighted in this episode! The Patina is always so excited to get a chance to read them.

We’d also like to give a warm welcome to our newest Patron, John Michael! We’re very happy to have you join us around our cozy campfire. Backing our Patreon gives you access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards, and also just brightens all our moods.

Also, news from our current guests! Alli and Kira's podcast RPG for You and Me has several shows under its umbrella, but their main show Neon Heat is just starting its 4th season now! Conspiracy, slice of life, and food abound. Check out the link in the show notes.

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 21: Oilier Than I Thought It Would Be. And so...

Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.

[hurdy gurdy music ends]

[electronic beeping] [robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]

[over radio] Sydney (as Cassidy): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches,we got given another job opportunity from our Advantia contacts, chasing decoding tools and a potential wild tech cache following Ciphera's... cipher and with rather nebulous promises of payment and favors. [sigh] But Emma said I needed to be more polite so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, I guess. Marathon also made friends with Ciphera and announced it loudly to the night sky, and I imagine Birdie and Renn were doing the same thing but more quietly. Maybe this job will finally be the one that doesn't end in tripping on yet more Advantia knowledge hoarding... [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: We open on the clearing next to a peaceful glen and a gentle waterfall. We can see that both the Patina's rig and Renn and Ciphera's velocitractor and trailer are parked. Camp is being broken as they prepare to move on, headed towards their new job, their new mystery to unearth. How is everyone preparing to leave?

Kira: Ciphera is being directed by Renn because Ciphera can more easily move their things to where they need to be and pack things up properly. And there's probably some back and forth in terms of like,

Kira (as Ciphera): Where does this go?

Alli (as Renn): A little more left.

Kira (as Ciphera): Which - that's not -

Alli (as Renn): More left. You're - not mine. Yours.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay, here?

Alli (as Renn): No.

Kira (as Ciphera): Here?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay.

Alli: But she's, you know, not listening very well, because she's also moving Servo into his docking port at the front of the trailer, trying to get them all hooked up.

Nick: There's a lot of grinding sounds and Servo keeps making kind of lackluster beeping sounds as it tries to back up.

Cameron: Emma is preparing to get back in the car by doing some more stretches after she finishes packing up her tent. So she's sitting on the ground in the clearing next to the rig with her legs spread out in a triangle and is reaching, trying to fully grab her left foot and hold that stretch to just try to loosen up the muscles a little bit before they then go and sit in the same position for a long time.

Kit: Birdie got done pretty early and is sitting in the back of the rig and is currently sorting through all of the books that they have and is trying to decide which one they're going to read on the trip up to their next location. And is just flicking through them while going

Kit (as Birdie): Hmm. Already read that. Hmm, no.

Kit: And you just hear her through out adjective of

Kit (as Birdie): No, boring. No, not smutty enough. Mm. Too smutty.

Sydney: Cassidy is sitting in the front seat of the rig listening to Birdie make these observations and being slightly amused to herself while she is elaborating on the map that they're going to be using for travel that day with the location of the city described by Renn and Ciphera and the terrain and stuff that they've seen while they were here.

Penn: Marathon had packed up early in the morning, had been doing push ups and got frustrated with this flannel that was hanging around her waist because she kept having to slip it on and slip it off because it got too warm and then it was too cold just wearing a tank top. And so she's disappeared around one of the rig corners for a little bit and we just hear a little bit of fabric ripping and then Marathon comes back around the corner and she's got over her tank top now this flannel without sleeves and the collar popped up. She looks around and slicks back her hair is anybody is watching and then gives herself a little flex looks down at her bicep and starts picking up some of the books Birdie tossed. The sleeves are stuffed into Marathon's back pocket, we see a spare cloth.

Nick: And as the group finishes packing up camp, it goes very quickly. People woke up in their own time, did their routines in their own time. There is definitely a mission that still needs to be achieved but no pressing disaster as far as anyone knows, so people are able to go their own pace as the velocitractor and the rig rumble away from this peaceful clearing. We cut to an open field a couple of hours later, it is very flat and smooth terrain but unpaved. The two groups are cutting north towards their intended destination as designated by Cassidy's wayfaring and Ciphera's instructions and Ciphera and Renn - how do you ride in that trailer contraption of yours?

Alli: I always imagined it was on Servo's back in a big sort of saddle, because he's large. He's a large boy, so he can accommodate two people surely.

Kira: Yeah. Ciphera will ride there but there will probably be times when she actually leaps onto the main rig maybe even just sitting on top of it to stretch her legs out a little bit or recline and just be out on the roof I guess.

Nick: So the rig and the trailer pulled by Servo is rolling northward over this flat plain, they are driving parallel to each other at a relatively slow pace to avoid potholes. The windows of the rig are rolled down to allow for conversation between people seated in the driver's compartment and Renn and Ciphera. Renn is seated on Servo on a large saddle with enough room for two. She appears to have a directional radio focused towards the rolled down windows of the rig and Ciphera is on top of the roof of the rig using her magnetic bo staff as an anchor while she leans over to here, as you all are engaging in some literature.

Sydney: Cassidy is braced diagonally, her back to the front corner of the rig so that she's able to project both into the rig and out of the rig for all accompanying people because apparently, the Advantia are curious as to [laughing] what the Patina get up to when they're traveling.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Felicity couldn't believe her luck. The tons diamond of the season laid out in all her glory for her eyes only. She trailed her gaze over Jane's smooth, tender skin, her faintly wet chest.

Cameron (as Emma): [disgusted and annoyed groan]

Kit (as Birdie): [giggle]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Jane smiled back at her the faintest flush painting her maidenly cheek - or perhaps not so maidenly anymore, for a tutor has many, many things to teach a young lady and Felicity had only just begun with her lessons.

Penn (as Marathon): [clearing throat in gay panic] Is there is there? Is there more, Cassid-?

Cameron (as Emma): [almost yelling] Why is her chest wet?!

Alli (as Renn): When did it get wet? Did I miss that?

Cameron (as Emma): It didn't say!

Penn (as Marathon): [overlapping] It’s good! What’s wrong?!

Cameron (as Emma): Exactly! It doesn't explain it!

Penn (as Marathon): [overlapping] I think she's just-

Kit (as Birdie): [overlapping] I think she was just sweating.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, if you're nervous, you know?

Kit (as Birdie): No, I mean-

Cameron (as Emma): No.

Alli (as Renn): That's a lot to make a whole chest wet. No judgment.

Kit (as Birdie): It's like a warm room.

Kira (as Ciphera): Maidenly?

Penn (as Marathon): [Uncomfortably clears throat]

Alli (as Renn): Maidenly.

Kit (as Birdie): Aren't you glad I chose this one, guys?

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, I like it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Thank you Birdie.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, I like it. keep reading.

Penn (as Marathon): [gay panic] Cassidy you're an excellent reader, so.

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing turning into coughing]

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing] I mean, what that's

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh the next part starts getting a little bit too much I think for right now. We're gonna have to save that for the after lunch session.

Alli (as Renn): [sad] Oh.

Penn (as Marathon): [devastated] Oh. Okay.

Kira (as Ciphera): Smart thinking when we're all full, you know, it'll make sure we don't fall asleep.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, exactly.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. Mhm.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah,

Alli (as Renn): Or we'll be too sleepy from food focus, I mean.

Sydney (as Cassidy): This this this specific book, I think appeals to some needs of some people in this group. So better than straight romance. [laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): I just don't understand why everyone's chests are wet.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Author appeal.

Kira (as Ciphera): Would it be better if they use the term perhaps sopping?

Cameron (as Emma): No!

[groans from everyone else]

Cameron (as Emma): No~.

Penn (as Marathon): Wet chest is a great motif. It's for passion!

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): Just why is there moisture? I don't egguh.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean - have you ever, have you ever been naked?

Cameron (as Emma): Uh, yes...

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing]

Alli (as Renn): I think everybody has been naked, Ciphera.

Kira (as Ciphera): [overlapping] Around another person, Renn?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, my God~.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I was actually, I was born wearing clothes.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): [long sigh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): And I never took them off.

Penn (as Marathon): Classic roast. Got her!

Alli (as Renn): [laugh] Got her!

Kira (as Ciphera): [another sigh] Well done. Can't even cook a roast right.

Alli (as Renn): Damn.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. I'm just saying if if y'all are completely dry during encounters of such a type, I feel like you're doing something wrong.

Penn (as Marathon): [laughing]

Kit (as Birdie): I mean like,

Penn (as Marathon): I can tell you I am not dry. [laughing]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Then you're doing it right. Congratulations.

Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat awkwardly]

Cameron (as Emma): I have just not having these encounters.

Kit (as Birdie): I mean, nevermind. I don't -[laughing] I don't even want to say it anymore...

Alli (as Renn): Hey, Birdie?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well I could always -

Cameron (as Emma): No what were you gonna say Birdie? Go ahead.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, do you need me to read the next line?

Alli (as Renn): [overlapping] What were you going to say Birdie~?

Penn (as Marathon): No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt your thought.

Kit (as Birdie): What? No... [weird noises of distraction] what were you gonna ask, um Renn? [voice steadily increasing in pitch]

Alli (as Renn): What?

Kit (as Birdie): Were you gonna say something? Oh I thought you said 'hey Birdie'.

Alli (as Renn): I was gonna asking you what you were gonna say?

Kit (as Birdie): [so very high pitch] No! I don't know what you're saying...

Alli (as Renn): Yeah I was.

Kit (as Birdie): No! [awkward laughing]

Alli (as Renn): All right.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen, if this was someone's first exposure to intimate situations like this, then I feel like the message is they're going to feel like they have to perhaps dab themselves with water beforehand to sort of like

Alli (as Renn): Set the mood~.

Kira (as Ciphera): - moisturize. Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): You should moisturize so I mean, you know, you don't want dry skin.

Cameron (as Emma): Not with water though.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): I mean lotions like what? Most percent water.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, what is more moist than water?

Penn (as Marathon): Now it's not something we do in Tree All, but do people proposition themselves by wetting their chests or something or,

Cameron (as Emma): Wut?

Alli (as Renn): I never considered that.

Kira (as Ciphera): Like a regional ritual type thing? I don't know.

Penn (as Marathon): Is that a regional thing?

Kit (as Birdie): I mean, I've been to almost every major city. Yeah actually, I have been to every major city,

Kira (as Ciphera): Which is the most erotic?

Penn (as Marathon): Which has the most wet chests?

Kit (as Birdie): Mellowtone -

Kira (as Ciphera): I feel like that's the same thing but,

Kit (as Birdie): Um, probably Mellowtone. There's just something about it, I guess. A lot, a lot of jazz.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I would agree with Mellowtone. Yeah, there's a lot of uh, passion.

Penn (as Marathon): [interested] Oh~.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, there's a guy there named Lenny B or whatever. [awkward laugh] Yeah, Cassidy such a great reader right Marathon?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, actually, yes. [stammering and throat clearing begins]

Penn: Marathon looks at Birdie, gives a little squint. And it's like,

Penn (as Marathon): Actually, yes. Um.

Kit (as Birdie): Mhm?

Penn (as Marathon): I am uh, [struggles to find words] confident and your reading ability is very good. And I'm confident in your reading ability.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Thank you.

Kit (as Birdie): Mhm.

Penn: Marathon holds a fist out to Birdie.

Kit: [laughing] Birdie just grins so delightfully and will give Marathon a fist bump.

Cameron: Emma is watching this interaction in the rearview mirror, just slowly shaking her head as she drives.

Nick: You continue for most of the day driving without any incident. This area has some sparse population, some small towns, but no real landmarks to speak of before you make it to the town that you were directed to. On the shore of the Glaishelf Sea is the town of Glaishelf itself. It is late spring, so none of the sharp ice is evident on the massive lake that gives Glaishelf its name, but the water is placid and the town lies before you. So everybody gives me a detail about this town of Glaishelf on the Glaishelf Sea.

Alli: There's this sturdy steel and glass building that is just a spear into the sky, eight or ten stories up maybe from the actual compound below. And you can just look out and see lake so maybe they turned that into a lighthouse.

Kira: Maybe along the coast of the town, there's just all these dilapidated ships, all the boats that used to be out on the lake that have since fallen into disrepair or else sunk.

Kit: There's a lot of fish themed architecture kind of on the way in. Not in the way that they're like buildings that look like fish, but in the way that like the streets on the way into town are lined with street lamps that look almost like there are fish swimming alongside the vehicles that come in. They have little bubbles and water details and the street lamps are made to also seem almost water themed in this little campy way that I think is just very charming.

Cameron: There are currently crews going across the town, putting up banners and stuff for the annual Walleye Festival that's coming up in a few weeks.

Penn: Almost in the center of town going down the town is one long street that looks freshly paved, but also that it's been paved over many times. And at the same time, it's as if there's been digs chunked out of this road, and on either side of the road, we see graffiti on buildings. And on one side you see things like 'CAN Feds' or 'CAN is another word for toilet' or 'Respect Tradition'. And then on the other side of the road there is just as much graffiti saying like 'CAN is the Future' and 'Yes, we CAN', one that says 'CAN it, losers' and one more that says 'We CAN feed the world'.

Sydney: I think they've got some kind of water filtration thing set up where they can skim all of the oil and all the byproducts of all of the shipwrecks like washing out, they can grab that and then harvest it. So not only are they keeping the pollution under control, they're able to make use of the most intact of the wrecks and then also just using the raw materials of the metal and everything to machine new stuff. So it's somewhat sustainable as long as there's a supply of destroyed materials to work from.

Nick: Cool. Yeah, those are all great facts. I have a very clear picture of Glaishelf in my mind. Your impromptu caravan rolls into the town of Glaishelf along the central Main Street. The road appears to have been paved over and over again, which is interesting considering that it also appears to be damaged on either side seemingly at random. The street lights are pieces of art in themselves that look like bubbles and waves. Bits of the architecture looks like schools of fish. Everything is beautiful and yet vandalized in a way that mars the beauty of the town. You see graffiti with indecipherable phrases on it that make no sense to you as you drive down this main street. You get to the end right up against a lagoon that looks out over some sort of fish nursery and beyond that the Glaishelf Sea itself - it looks like as good a place to park your vehicles as any.

There is a small, hunched old woman with deep, deep wrinkles that seem to almost hide her eyes and she is knitting and rocking in a chair back and forth on the edge of the lagoon. You can see two small groups of people on either side of the street that are emanating dissatisfaction but don't appear to be looking for a fight with the other group at this time. So yeah, you're at the end of this road, you're in the town. You all know that you are looking for clues as to how to decipher Ciphera's tattoo and Ciphera had a lead that someone in this town knows how. You're also, both groups, fairly low on supplies, but you have enough money that if you needed to restock this would be a good town to do it.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, gang, should we split up and look for clues, or...

Kira: Ciphera turns the group and says,

Kira (as Ciphera): All right, listen, this town's kind of full of a bunch of weirdos and there's this ongoing sort of argument over the future of their town. Pretty standard stuff. You can see it's pretty clearly divided down the middle here.

Penn (as Marathon): Does it have something to do with cans?

Kira (as Ciphera): I think so. Something to do with fish and cans and food and

Penn (as Marathon): [quietly] Guessed it! Yeah. [proud :) ]

Alli (as Renn): I would have liked a heads up about the oppressive smell.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, who can remember

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's not great.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah it's pretty bad.

Nick: From one side of the road you hear someone who must have been within earshot shout

Nick (as townsperson 1): The stink is because of the canary!

Nick: And then someone from the other side says

Nick (as townsperson 2): Shut up you old timer!

Nick: And throws a tin can with a hollow clank across. There is oily clouds of black smoke coming from one side of the town and you can feel the general tension of these two groups go up a couple of notches.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen, all I'm saying is anyone who's ever worked hard knows that you gotta - if you're working hard, then you start to smell.

Penn (as Marathon): Truly I don't mind it.

Alli (as Renn): Ehh.

Kit (as Birdie): Mmm.

Penn (as Marathon): Better than the locker room. [laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): It didn't smell all that bad.

Alli (as Renn): Y'all might need to see a doctor if that's true.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathon do you smell like burning piles of fish? I don't know what they're burning that's making so much black smoke.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh no - it was, it was just a joke about the old team that's all, you know.

Kira (as Ciphera): Funny sweat joke based on my comment about sweat.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): Speak- talking about wet chests huh? [laugh]

Penn (as Marathon): [laugh]

[both start clearing throats]

Penn: [laughing] Marathon goes for a shaky fist bump with Ciphera.

Cameron (as Emma): If your wet chest is smelling like fish, I don't think that you're going to get any company.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, make sure you're showering.

Penn: Marathon continues to commit with the fist bump.

Kira: Ciphera will bump back while also still,

Kira (as Ciphera): [awkward laughing]

Nick: We see Ciphera and Marathon, at least, adjust the collars of their shirts uncomfortably.

Kira: So the whole time the group is in the town here, Ciphera has a cloak on with the hood pulled up specifically to cover her fin ear and she also has a glove on over her hand with the three mechanical finger attachment and is really just trying to cover up any sign of technology on her person. So her staff is folded up, tucked in the folds of her cloak probably slung over one shoulder with a strap but covered in the back of the cloak. And she has very wary eyes, trying to scope things out as much as possible.

Cameron (as Emma): Welp. Do~ we want to go wandering?

Penn (as Marathon): Should probably team up.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I need to go get more supplies, so

Kira (as Ciphera): We need to resupply too.

Sydney (as Cassidy): If that's the direction that we think people will know things or

Penn (as Marathon): If you two are going together you'll need a talker.

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing that turns into coughing]

Penn (as Marathon): Not to insult either of your charismatic ability or

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh we can easily stand in silence it would be great.

Cameron (as Emma): [clears throat]

Alli: Renn pokes her head around Servo after getting him properly settled and turns around and just gravitates back towards Ciphera anyhow.

Sydney: Okay, I guess we'll go get supplies then.

Kit (as Birdie): That sounds good.

Sydney (as Cassidy): You guys go gather information.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): Good idea. Come on Marathon and Emma!

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, okay.

Cameron (as Emma): All right.

Kit: [laughing] She's gonna start steering Marathon specifically away.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh I- Okay, yep.

Sydney: Cassidy puts a hand on her face and wipes it over her head before turning back to face the Advantia.

Cameron: Emma gives the other group an awkward wave as she walks away. [laughing]

Alli: Renn waved. [laugh]

Nick: Is Birdie pushing Marathon and tugging -?

Kit: I don't think Birdie could physically do anything to move Marathon in the direction she did not want to go, so right now she's just kind of leading her and it's a little comical.

Penn (as Marathon): But didn't you see I - No, I was sitting. I was - [frustrated noises] I gotta show my game. I, you guys told me -

Kit (as Birdie): What game?!

Penn (as Marathon): [surprised stopping noise]

Kit (as Birdie): No - I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I just meant like,

Penn (as Marathon): No, I got it.

Kit (as Birdie): You were - I was. Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): Wait, what were you trying to do?

Penn (as Marathon): Emma, what direction are we going?

Nick: And we see the three of them turn around the corner. Did you all head towards the canary side or the we'll say traditional side?

Penn: It made more sense to me that like people looking for supplies would go towards the cannery side and then people looking for information would go to the traditional side.

Nick: Yeah, that makes sense. Birdie, you've started to lead them away and your path crosses this little old lady. Basically, she looks like a cable knit sweater in a rocking chair, knitting another cable knit sweater and she looks up. You assume she smiles at you but you can't really tell because the wrinkles just kind of shift around.

Kit: Birdie is going to go up to this woman and smile her biggest plucky, charming smile and go

Kit (as Birdie): Hi, um, it's very - sorry to bother you. Could I ask you a question?

Nick (as Old Woman): Of course.

Nick: Her bushy eyebrows raise up into her sparse white hair and you can see a glimmer of sharp intelligence back in those wrinkles where her beady eyes rest and the knitting needles click faster.

Kit: Birdie smiles a little bit more genuinely because this woman kind of reminds her of someone that she had that was very close to her back on Sasnak and she even visibly relaxes. And she'll point behind her and be like,

Kit (as Birdie): Well, these are my friends, and I was just wondering if we could ask you a question about a symbol and see if you've just seen it around anywhere. Oh uh, Emma, could you show her please?

Cameron (as Emma): Yep.

Cameron: Emma takes the journal out from her belt and opens it to the page where Pallie had drawn the square dot code.

Nick: The old lady squints and then huffs impatiently and puts her knitting needles down and reaches out to try to grab Emma's wrist. Do you let her?

Cameron: Oh yes. Emma is very respectful to her elders and comes and will bring the journal as close to her face as she needs it.

Nick: She pulls the journal to within like two inches of her face and squints one eye and holds the other one open real wide and glares at it and says

Nick (as Old Woman): Looks like you've got some sort of square there. Kind of patchy, though, you may want to color that in.

Cameron (as Emma): Yes, ma'am. [sounds tired]

Nick: She smiles. She has five teeth. They're very well taken care of, but there are five.

Kit (as Birdie): Yes. Um. So for the symbol, it's sort of supposed to be these dots making a pattern. And so if you've seen anything similar in the area, we were just wondering because we're just curious.

Nick (as Old Woman): Uh~ you know, there's a certain amount of interest in strange patterns - cryptography, I believe it is. My grandson has some interest in those things. He's single, you know.

Nick: And she wiggles her eyebrows widely. That knitting needles have been picked back up and Emma you find your wrist released.

Nick (as Old Woman): He's over on the traditional side of town name of Meyer, you might want to go and ask him. It's all a bit outside of my interest though. I mostly just try to make sweaters for the jolly joggers of the town, our resident fishies. They get cold, you know?

Cameron: Emma is kind of kneeling next to the rocking chair from where she was pulled down so that the journal could be at eye level for this lady.

Nick: Yeah the pull wasn't much strength wise, but her grip was iron strong. Like all the strength is in her hands.

Cameron: Well, yeah and it didn't take a lot. Emma wasn't going to resist [laugh], but she stands up and closes the journal.

Cameron (as Emma): Which side should we go to?

Nick (as Old Woman): Oh, you're new in town. I I often forget that not everybody is aware of Glaishelf's troubles. There's the cannery side where they operate the cannery and are trying to industrialize production. And then there's the traditional side where they fish in the old fashion just what we need to survive and set aside for the winter when it's dangerous. The traditional side is where Meyer lives.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay, so the non smoking side? [laugh]

Nick (as Old Woman): Yeah, the non smoking section of town you might say.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Nick (as Old Woman): Just a word of advice, though. If anybody asks you your opinions on canning over there, you don't like it.

Kit (as Birdie): We don't like canning.

Cameron (as Emma): Yep.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Penn (as Marathon): Easy.

Cameron (as Emma): Only fresh fish for me.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm so used to changing my opinions.

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing]

Cameron (as Emma): Do you have a more specific direction for finding your grandson?

Nick: She gives you directions.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay, thank you.

Nick: Apparently, Meyer is a apprentice of a net craftsman - somebody who makes nets for the boats. He is the one who ends up doing a lot of the tying in the fetching, but he doesn't own his own place yet. And she gives you directions deeper into that side of town. It's a few turns, nothing difficult to follow or anything like that. You should be able to find Meyer pretty easily.

Kit: Birdie is going to start backing up and starting in the direction that she led them in and will say,

Kit (as Birdie): Well, thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it and I hope your sweater turns out great.

Nick (as Old Woman): You just tell Meyer that I sent you and that whoever of y'all is single and has good prospects, I approve.

Nick: And she smiles really widely.

Penn: Marathon looks at her, flexes and says,

Penn (as Marathon): They always do.

Nick: She fans at her face a little bit with a hand.

Cameron (as Emma): Alright, have a good day.

Nick: And as you're walking away, she says,

Nick (as Old Woman): Oh, and don't worry about anybody messing with your stuff. I'm not going anywhere till well after nightfall.

Nick: And she lifts the partially knitted sweater and under it is a double barrel shotgun.

Nick (as Old Woman): I'll make sure nobody messes with it. They all know that I'm packing.

Penn (as Marathon): Hell yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): Thank you.

Penn (as Marathon): This old lady got so cool so quick.

Nick (as Old Woman): Yeah, I don't trade off with the next one on watch for another six, seven hours so you got time.

Kit (as Birdie): Thank you so much.

Nick (as Old Woman): You're welcome.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm sorry, ma'am. What was your name?

Nick (as Old Woman): Oh, um, Gretchen. Gretchen Fisher. Been in this town a long time.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, Ms. Fisher, it's been a pleasure.

Penn: And Marathon reaches out for her hand.

Nick: She shakes it and Marathon you are suddenly aware of the amount of strength in those knobbly bony hands. It's surprising. She doesn't crush your hand or anything. She may not even be able to, but you feel power in those knitting digits.

Penn (as Marathon): I trust this woman with my life.

Nick (as Old Woman): Well, you are essentially trusting me with all your possessions so that's good. Get out of here ya, whippersnapper. Single lady, pretty - pretty lady. Go away.

Penn (as Marathon): Thank you. Thank you. Where are we off to Birdie?

Cameron: [laughing] Emma and Birdie have already turned the corner and are following the instructions.

Penn: Yeah, exactly. Marathon is running off to catch up.

Kit: Birdie's just like

Kit (as Birdie): I miss Nona.

Cameron (as Emma): Who's Nona?

Kit (as Birdie): She's a neighbor I had back on Sasnak. She too had a double barrel shotgun that she was very willing to use.

Cameron (as Emma): Use in a good way?

Kit (as Birdie): [shrug noise]

Cameron (as Emma): I'm guessing from the fondness in your voice, that it was at least a way that you would approve of?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, in a way that I would approve of.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Penn: Marathon's caught up,

Penn (as Marathon): You know, Birdie. [laugh] I definitely approve of you know, you meeting up with this Meyer kid. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Well um. I can already tell you, he's not my type.

Penn (as Marathon): [low kinda scary laughter]

Cameron (as Emma): Why are you laughing like that?

Penn (as Marathon): [more slightly evil laughter] We'll see. We'll see. We'll see. No worries.

Kit (as Birdie): What are the jolly joggers?

Cameron (as Emma): I don't know, but that was a really small sweater.

Nick: In the lagoon as you walk away, we see in the background, a single dorsal fin break the oily waves, continue in your direction for a minute and then sink back into the depths. And as you go to try to find Meyer, where do we find Renn, Ciphera, and Cassidy?

Sydney: Does Ciphera know where we should be heading if you've resupplied here before?

Kira: Yeah, I'm sure Ciphera would be able to lead the group towards a local general store or place where they could pick up basic supplies.

Nick: It is farther from the center of town than you remember. The town itself just seems bigger, but a lot of that is because there's less people on the streets, the people that you do see on your way there look guarded against strangers, it's just less friendly. You can tell that this rivalry between districts of the town has gotten a lot more overt than the last time you were here. And you do make it to a general store. This is a place that you could get food supplies and cooking supplies from pretty much anywhere. You could knock on someone's door and ask to buy a surplus catch and they would be able to help you out, but you can also get longer lasting rations and things like that at an actual general store. What is the name of the store that you arrive at before you go in?

Kira: The Recycling Bin.

Nick: So it's the Recycling Bin. Cassidy or Renn - what is one detail on the outside about the store that stands out?

Alli: I think they have strings of proper buoys from the lake but worked in with some string lights so it kind of looks festive and it's like a little beacon like hey, come give us your money. Maybe some net decor, you know, classic oceany stuff.

Nick: It says The Recycling Bin: Beer, Bait, and also Beer on the outside. So you go past these nets and the buoys and the lights and Cassidy what first catches your eye as you go into this store to resupply? What about the interior stands out to you?

Sydney: There's a pyramid of cans in the corner that look like probably products from the cannery. But there's a big section of it missing. And one of the shops staff hits a button on a wall and sliding down outside from the cannery on almost like an aqua duct shoot falls 12 more cans which are used to replenish that stack just coming out of the wall in the shop.

Nick: And so you walk into this shop, you have a long list of supplies needed for both Renn and Ciphera's operation and the Patina, but the good news is you're all well funded. So what do they see as they approach the counter?

Kit: At first, there's seemingly no one behind this pretty tall counter, it probably comes up to waist height. And then they hear

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): [noises of great effort as if pushing something] Hold on a second.

Kit: And then all of a sudden they see this child probably around seven or eight climbing up the stool behind this counter. And he seems to be a young boy with dirty blond hair that's cut into a bowl cut. Both of his two front teeth are missing. And you kind of see like his tongue poking out of his lips while he's pushing himself up on the chair. And he's wearing probably a hand me down shirt, but he's a very, very cute kid. And he takes a second to gather himself and then just beams at the three of them. And it's like,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Welcome to The Recycling Bin! How can I help you?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, well, hello, tiny shopkeeper.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): [shy] Hi~.

Alli (as Renn): We're gonna need a lot of supplies. Do you have them? Are you sure? Do you got them? For us?

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Uh, well, um, I'm sure. I'm sure that I have most of them. Because I can't tell you if I have everything because my dad's out back and he knows everything, but um, um, what do you guys need uh, 'pacifically?

Alli (as Renn): [to self] God it's so sweet. [to tiny shopkeeper] Well, we need stuff it'll keep for a while on the road. I see got a lot of cans over there. What are they running?

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Uhhh, well, money, uhh - All of them should have prices marked on them. I don't know much about money. I haven't gotten to the math part of my lessons yet.

Alli (as Renn): Aw that's all right. Maths overrated.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Do you know how to read?

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yep. I'm the quickest reader in my class.

Sydney: Cassidy unfurls a small note that's just the shopping list and hands to this kid.

Kit: He's gonna take it with both hands and then hold it and he looks very, very concentrated while going down each thing going.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Ah, yeah, yeah, we have all this. Do you guys need help getting all this stuff? Because I can, I can go and get it. I just gotta get my wagon.

Alli (as Renn): That would be so helpful.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay.

Alli (as Renn): All right.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay, thank you.

Alli (as Renn): You got this.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yep! Thank you for shopping at The Recycling Bin.

Kit: And he's gonna

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): [climbing down the stool nosies] Okay, I'll be right back.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Thanks.

Kira (as Ciphera): Take your time.

Kit: And he's gonna run off.

Alli: Renn leans over to her group and whispers,

Alli (as Renn): I used to have a hair cut like that. It did not look good on me.

Kira: Cassidy you can see Ciphera standing behind Renn and she just gives a slight shake of her head in agreement.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mm. Mm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's not the most flattering of haircuts.

Kira (as Ciphera): That was good thinking though. While the kid is busy, we can snoop around a little bit maybe.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah let's snoop! Let's take a peek.

Alli: She says a little too loud.

Kit: And you do hear the squeaking of old wagon wheels and clattering as this kid is presumably climbing up shelves to get to things.

Sydney: Cassidy is watching with slight amusement and then sees the kid teeter and almost fall off and then feels a little bit bad.

Alli (as Renn): This is how kids learn.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen, I was climbing on stuff at that age. It's very doable.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh I was too. Yeah, I fell down a lot of the same mountain. [laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, seems like it. We've tumbled down similar hills you and I, you know, maybe.

Sydney (as Cassidy): At least one or two.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mhm.

Alli (as Renn): Did y'all come from the same town or -

Kira (as Ciphera): No.

Alli (as Renn): Oh it's not, it's not the literal same hill?

Kira (as Ciphera): Not the -

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, figurative.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah yeah yeah.

Alli: She's looking at it can she's trying to read the nutrition information, it just says Omega three.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I wonder if they got their marketing from Arena Juice.

Kira (as Ciphera): They know what they're doing.

Alli (as Renn): Now in purple.

Kira (as Ciphera): It's always very impressive.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Purple fish seems concerning.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh god.

Alli (as Renn): Naw some fish come in purple.

Kira (as Ciphera): It's the meat that you don't want to be purple.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): So just the scales?

Kira (as Ciphera): Scales are fine.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, like if I open the can and it's like purple floating in it, that's

Alli (as Renn): Oh, no, thank you.

Kira (as Ciphera): Listen I'll make make somebody else try it first. See if the kids tongue is purple.

Alli (as Renn): I'm not gonna ask. That seems rude.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, so I mean, just in walking in here. People look really suspicious. I'm used to seeing that look, because that's how they looked at me the last time I was here, but that isn't how they looked at everyone. So I don't know, seems a little worse maybe?

Alli (as Renn): Did you deserve the looks? Or was it like just what -

Kira (as Ciphera): Well -

Alli (as Renn): - was happening when you rolled into town?

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, in what does deserve really mean?

Alli (as Renn): Should I know you by name here?

Kira (as Ciphera): No. Nobody knows me by name.

Alli (as Renn): All right.

Kira (as Ciphera): But I am kind of distinct. If I do say so myself.

Alli (as Renn): This town is di-stinct.

Kira (as Ciphera): Nice one.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. Fair.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, at least Cassidy has these pretty flowers on her head.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, those are nice. Where do you keep getting flowers?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh I- I wake up before other people do and go find them?

Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm. Can you show me how to do the, the crown thingy?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure. How long is your hair? [laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): Very long.

Alli (as Renn): [laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): Longer than yours.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Then yes.

Kira: She pulls it out and is tugging it at its length.

Kira (as Ciphera): It's long, I suppose you could say. I just I meant more just like the technique of how you weave this stuff together. Because, you know, sort of hard with my hand, but maybe it would give me more practice and help me refine my control [quieter reason] and then I could make pretty flower crowns.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, like that is the thing I can do.

Kira (as Ciphera): Good. Good.

Kira: And, and while this is happening, maybe Ciphera is just wandering around looking behind the counter waiting for the kid to face away to see if there's any overt fancy looking technology and probably being disappointed in the process.

Kira (as Ciphera): So how long have you guys - what's the deal with Marathon? She's not part of your crew, but she kind of is, but you guys all clearly seem to get along really well.

Alli (as Renn): Did you know about the ice murder?

Kira (as Ciphera): Ice murder? What?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh we were generally aware, but also were mercenaries, so murdering people is one uncharitable way to think of our work.

Alli (as Renn): Okay, but like there's a difference between like going to a small enclave of Advantia and killing some bandits than killing somebody literally at a sporting event with a, with a skate.

Kira (as Ciphera): What?

Alli (as Renn): That's what I heard

Kira (as Ciphera): Marathon? No.

Alli (as Renn): That's what I heard.

Kira: Looks to Cassidy for confirmation.

Alli: So does Renn but her shoulders are up by her ears and she's making very choppy motions with her hands.

Kira (as Ciphera): Is that true?

Sydney: Cassidy kind of shrugs and goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): I- we didn't you know, perceive the actual event. All we heard is discussions on the radio and all the upset fans by the time that we knew where she was radio hosts so

Kira (as Ciphera): Well people say a lot of stuff. It's usually never that simple.

Alli (as Renn): I was just a little worried.

Kira (as Ciphera): She seems all right.

Alli (as Renn): That's the thing she does,

Sydney (as Cassidy): I suspect it was extenuating circumstances.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. [sigh] You just you got to get by.

Alli (as Renn): [intense whisper] What if it was like a paid assassination?

Sydney (as Cassidy): I think you're overthinking it.

Alli (as Renn): I don't know that I am.

Kira (as Ciphera): If Marathon is a paid assassin, then she is the best actress I've ever met in my life.

Alli (as Renn): What how do you know she isn't?

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't but I mean, I - Hello Avantia. I kind of thrive on the whole cloak and dagger thing. I'm not very good at the whole mask of 1000 faces personally.

Alli (as Renn): Well, not yet. Not till I make you the mask.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well - you can do that?

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's gonna be a really big mask if it can fit 1000 faces on it.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's a lot of faces. Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): Click in, click out interface. And don't worry about it.

Kira (as Ciphera): I like mine. I know. It's kind of beat up.

Alli (as Renn): I like yours.

Kira (as Ciphera): Um. Thank you.

Sydney: Cassidy is shaking a snow globe with a small fish figurine in it.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm. I don't know how much this child is gonna be able to help us. There's what do you think? You're -Renn you're good at talking to people.

Alli (as Renn): Oh, yeah. I was just like distracting them so you can look around?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Kit: You here clattering noises from the back and a distinct

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Whup!

Kit: and presumably a child hitting the floor and then he goes,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): I'm okay!

Kira (as Ciphera): [soft laugh]

Alli (as Renn): You sure?

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yeah.

Kira (as Ciphera): You're doing great.

Alli (as Renn): I trust you.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Almost done!

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, you just gotta get back up and try again. You're doing great.

Alli (as Renn): You're a champ.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Thanks. You guys are nice.

Sydney: Cassidy is shaking her head, but she's like,

Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean, my stuff is getting shopped for so,

Kira: As the child says that they're very nice, Ciphera is literally behind the counter going through a drawer. [laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): Nothing.

Alli (as Renn): Really nothing at all?

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean nothing worth our while. I'm not here to steal from a bunch of poor fish people.

Alli (as Renn): Of course not.

Kira (as Ciphera): Although they seem to be doing better than last time, if I'm being honest.

Kit: You're having this conversation when all of a sudden you hear

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Nahh Rufus wait!

Kit: And this little fish comes waddling out towards you. And it's just with this little wet pitter patter of [insert squishy fish walking noises here] and he's wearing a blue and green striped sweater, and he's just kind of looking at you. And he goes,

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): Mep.

Kira (as Ciphera): What the fuck is that?!

Alli (as Renn): [squeaky yell] Phera that's a kid!

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah that's a kid but, what - what is that?

Sydney: Cassidy has her head tilted with a look of utter bafflement on her face.

Alli: Renn leans down, she swoops down and her hands are around the - like hovering around this fish but not touching and she's just like

Alli (as Renn): [almost difficult to understand] Phera it has a little sweater. Phera [giggles start] it has a little sweater on. [laughing] Look at it! It's so cute!

Kira (as Ciphera): I'm less concerned about the sweater and more that it's it has feet and it's walking on land.

Kit: Rufus leans his damp little head into Renn's hands. He wants pets.

Alli (as Renn): Oilier than I thought it would be.

Alli: But she pets its little face.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): Meep.

Alli: Renn's used to oil. She doesn't care.

Kit: The kid comes out with things in both of his hands and he's like,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Rufus! Sorry, guys. Um. This is Rufus. He's my pet. Rufus come back. You got to, you got to um, leave them alone. They're trying to talk.

Alli (as Renn): What kind of fish is this?

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Uh. A walkin' one.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah~.

Sydney (as Cassidy): He's just here?

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yeah, they're all over the place over by the shore. I just kind of got one one day, and I brought him home.

Alli (as Renn): That was very nice of you.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yeah he looked cold.

Alli (as Renn): He looks very dapper in his little sweater.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): I know. My grandma made him a sweater. [cute small child laugh]

Alli (as Renn): Well, If anyone deserves a sweater, it's this little boy. [sounds like she's crying from cuteness overload]

Kit: He's gonna lean down and wrap both arms around this fish and just be like

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Ok. Sorry to bug you guys. I'm almost done. I just gotta get the stuff from the top shelves with my dad's help.

Alli (as Renn): Oh, if you - you can point I'll grab them. It's all right.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): No, no, it's okay. You are the customer.

Alli (as Renn): Oh, that is true.

Kira (as Ciphera): So~ Cassidy on the other - just talking about Marathon, you know, totally organically. What's um, what's what's going on there?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, she -

Kira (as Ciphera): Something's brewing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, she paid to be passenger to go a long way for a job. And that's what she's doing.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mm hmm. Mhm.

Sydney: Cassidy looks openly straightforward, knows she's missing the point and does not care.

Kira (as Ciphera): So what about like, on a scale of how damp is your shirt from dry to moist? Because it seems like there's been some steam.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah it's wet is the top end of the scale there.

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh so you're even further on the scale than I thought. That's actually probably a good a good answer.

Alli (as Renn): [just heard some juicy gossip] Oh my god~.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I didn't say I was. I was just saying I'm specifying the scale for you.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mm.

Alli (as Renn): You provided the cap.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We've read a lot of those romance novels.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay.

Alli (as Renn): Together? Like alone? Like just the two of you?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Just like we did today.

Alli (as Renn): All right.

Kira (as Ciphera): Did you ever find yourselves stranded in a situation where you were alone and there was only one bed?

Sydney (as Cassidy): No, because we have cots and tents.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's a damn shame.

Alli (as Renn): Have one of you ever been injured and the other one tends to your wounds?

Kira (as Ciphera): Perhaps in some sort of skating accident?

Alli (as Renn): Perhaps.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh I mean, wounds yes, skating no.

Kira (as Ciphera): Do you find yourself attracted to her large muscles and sleeveless flannel shirt itself?

Sydney (as Cassidy): The flannel shirt is new actually.

Alli (as Renn): That seems like a question dodge.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mhm. Mhm. Reading between the lines here. I'm good at that. I'm good at that.

Alli (as Renn): She is.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So you guys. Are you guys a couple of then?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, like for sure. We live together, Cassidy, in a very small trailer with a pet.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, and the four of us all live in a rig.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah but like there's just two of us.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, there's four of you. That could work out too.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, not my plate.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't know these things. Yeah. That's why I'm asking.

Alli (as Renn): We just love love, you know?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh huh.

Kira (as Ciphera): So um, so back to the shirt question. Answer it. Listen, you can be all tough lady but you got flowers in your hair and that's really sweet. So I know you're not all cool, tough as nails.

Alli (as Renn): Although your tattoos are very cool.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mhm. Obviously. Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, thank you.

Sydney: Cassidy crosses her arms and smiles broadly.

Kira (as Ciphera): Mhmm. Man. I'm going to have to get you a laundry line, you know, for drying your clothes.

Alli (as Renn): On account of,

Kira (as Ciphera): how wet they are from all the ice skating.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah yes, that's

Alli (as Renn): See, I was gonna say, maybe you should, you know, try to like, open up a little bit before she ice skates at your life. [still apparently quite concerned about ice skate murder]

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, we know that this is a pretty shitty world most of the time. So when you find somebody that makes a difference, or makes you feel different, good, just makes you smile. Even if it goes against what you think you should show other people gotta be tough. It's worth letting them know that in your own way. You never know what's going to happen.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well what's gonna happen is either we're gonna finish this job, or she's gonna get killed on line of duty. And that's how it goes. So

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. It is. You're right,

Alli (as Renn): But till then there's a whole middle swath of time that people, I dunno, people tend to forget about.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah you're focusing on the end of the story, but you don't know how long it is. Are you really going to be satisfied if you let it stay? You don't change it. Life's for living Cassidy. Don't let it pass you by. Trust me.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Once you know how the story ends, you've seen it a few times it doesn't - you can only remix the middle so many ways.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't believe that. Life's partly luck, but you can change things too. You can push it in different directions. You can control the chaos or create a little bit of your own.

Alli (as Renn): Exert your will.

Kira (as Ciphera): Be chaotic. Do something unexpected. Change the order a little bit.

Alli (as Renn): Cry.

Kira (as Ciphera): Might find you like the new order a little better. That's all I'm sayin' you know, big burly professional ice skating athlete with a smooth as silk voice radio personality.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, let me let me just go out and change the way the world works. Just just rewrite all of it single handedly.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't think anyone said that. I'm talking about your life, sister. But do what you want. You will. I know. But I'm making you hear at so that you remember it later. And you can hate me all you want and have a smile on your face while you do it. But you're still gonna show me how to make the fuc-friggin flower crown thingy.

Alli: Did Ciphera censor herself when the kid walked back around the corner? [laughing]

Kira: Yeah, let's go with that.

Sydney: Cassidy looks towards where this kid is.

Kit: The fish is trailing behind him as he puts the last couple of things from the top shelf into the wagon.

Alli (as Renn): [desperate] Phera can we get one? Phera I don't ask for anything.

Kira: How are we going to be able to take care of it on the road? It's a fish, Rennie.

Alli (as Renn): [crying]

Kira (as Ciphera): I know. I know. I know. But it's a fish. We don't - we're not always near water.

Alli (as Renn): But it's so oily, I could use it to fix Servo.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Gross.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well why don't we ask some people about it, okay?

Alli (as Renn): All right.

Kira: As Ciphera turns away, she has a very dubious expression on her face.

Alli: This fish is gonna haunt Renn for the rest of her life.

Sydney: Cassidy takes the opportunity of their gaze being broken by the fish to go out and stand on the front porch of the store and just look out at the town for a little bit. Letting the door close behind her because she's had enough conversation.

Kit: The kid is gonna poke his head back into view and start pulling the wagon towards the counter and be like,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Uh, she knows she's got a pay still, right?

Alli (as Renn): Oh, we got this.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Oh, you got it?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah we got this.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay.

Kira (as Ciphera): We do?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, right that's for us?

Kira (as Ciphera): Oh, sure. Well, I mean, that was her list. But

Alli (as Renn): Oh was it? Shit. Sorry. No.

Kit: The kid reacts by covering Rufus' ears.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Oh, ah, can you go get her something? I'm done. I have all of your stuff. Are you guys not paying together?

Kira (as Ciphera): We're not. Here tell you what, she'll help you out with what we need and I'll go get Miss Grumpy Pants to pay you.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay.

Alli (as Renn): And my list is itemized.

Alli: She like unfurls a scroll.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Oh, okay. Okay, I can I can get started on on this one. Well, I gotta go get my other wagon now.

Alli (as Renn): You got this.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay. [fortifying breath]

Alli: She turns to Phera and is like,

Alli (as Renn): I've never seen someone so stuck in the mud about another person. That was wild.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well she's stuck in the mud right now, might be stuck in something else later.

Alli (as Renn): [shocked laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): Anyway.

Kira: Ciphera goes to poke her head outside and says,

Kira (as Ciphera): Hey, love machine, you gotta pay.

Sydney: Cassidy ignores this.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I'm sure you're talking about someone else.

Kira: She comes outside and leans wherever she is and looks in the same direction and just waits.

Sydney: There's a giant black plume of smoke in the direction that she's looking as she's watching the smokestacks at the cannery.

Kira (as Ciphera): You don't get lonely, just being all cool all the time? That doesn't tire you out?

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's what climbing is for.

Kira (as Ciphera): To be even lonelier when you're high up away from everyone?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Exactly.

Kira (as Ciphera): Is that just your fuel? That's, that's your brooding thing?

Sydney (as Cassidy): No I just like the solitude.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's fair. I'm not trying to push you into doing anything you don't want to. I get it. I used to feel more comfortable by myself working for the Advantia, doing what I was told, picking jobs, feeling like I was doing something, making a difference.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [false fairytale slightly sing songy voice] And then you met Renn and it all came tumbling down.

Kira (as Ciphera): Um. [small laugh to self] Sort of, I mean, not probably not in the way thing. But yeah, she, she stole some tech from the compound where we were both stationed, and she escaped with it. I think she was trying to help some towns people, but they rejected the order. So she decided she wanted to do it anyway. And it was my job to go get the tech and bring her back or make sure she wouldn't be a problem anymore. And it's funny how things work out, huh?

Sydney (as Cassidy): You brought her back, but with a ring on it instead of in chains?

Kira (as Ciphera): No, actually, I didn't bring her back. I went after her. And I apprehended her. And in the process, I set off some of the tech that she had procured. It was my fault. I didn't listen to her warnings. I thought she was trying to weasel out of it or get away. And I blew us both up. And then person that she is, she dragged me away from the wreckage when she had one fucking leg and put us both back together just cause. I don't know that kind of thing makes you see somebody different or makes you question whether what you're doing was so bright. I don't know. We couldn't do it anymore. So I lied, said I found her and got this stuff back and she was under observation. Never took her back and Susan was content to leave it that way I guess. She probably knows, but it's been okay so far.

Sydney (as Cassidy): And that's all I mean, I guess there wasn't a choice. It was a choice to continue. The choices made for you.

Kira (as Ciphera): What do you mean?

Sydney (as Cassidy): There wasn't a point where you decided to just go for it because you were - circumstances thrust you together.

Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, we didn't just magically fall in love. It was time and attention and traveling together and learning more about each other and surviving, going through stuff. I'm sure you know a little bit about that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I am familiar.

Kira (as Ciphera): I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I don't have a lot of experience with it. It's just how it shook out for me, but I know I'm better for it. I'm, I lost a few things.

Kira: She says wiggling her fingers.

Kira (as Ciphera): But I got a lot too.

Sydney (as Cassidy): See I got a lot last time and then I lost more, so

Kira (as Ciphera): Fair enough. I'm sorry for what you did lose. It's never easy. But you never know how the maths gonna work out. Something I learned being around Renn for sure.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Wacky science makes the math wacky too? [laugh]

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Wacky science makes the world wacky and chaotic. [sigh] I don't know. Don't live with regrets. That's what I'm trying to do, cause maybe I'll blow up again tomorrow, who the hell knows? I'm just trying to do a little bit more good while we're here. Be selfish. Make yourself happy too. Now come inside and pay this fucking kid so we can get out of here.

Sydney: Cassidy shrugs, gets off the railings she's leaning on and walks back inside.

Alli: As they come back inside, Renn is actively kneeling making the fish dance like you know when cats dance but they are not in a mood to dance, so they look very dour. Imagine that but on a fish face but more of a wet slap sound when it's weird little legs hit its body.

Kit: The kid is back up on the stool and is just kicking his legs and being like,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): And then, and then uh my, uh my - my dad and my pops, they promised to take me up to Tree All for my birthday this year. And so we're gonna do that and we're gonna um, um we're gonna go see um some some really cool ice derby games, because my pops really likes ice derby. But my dad doesn't really like ice derby because he says it's too violent for me to watch. [kid whisper] Well, I kinda like it. Because I think it's super fun.

Alli (as Renn): [conspiratorial whisper] It is exciting in it.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Mhmm. Oh uh, hi grumpy lady.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Thats~ me. I'm grumpy lady.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's real.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Sorry that was rude. Um.

Kira (as Ciphera): No, it's - your right. It was correct.

Kit: This kid is just kind of look between the two of them, and then go,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Oh, I have all of your stuff. It's in. It's in my wagon.

Sydney: Cool. How much do I owe you?

Alli: Renn whispers to Ciphera

Alli (as Renn): I bribed him to say that.

Kira (as Ciphera): [quiet laughter]

Kit: The kid is going to hand a slip of paper back to Cassidy and just be like,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): That's how much my dad said it was. He he counted up everything for me.

Sydney: And Cassidy reaches into her bag and sorts through to get the amount required, knowing that they're reasonably topped off from the payment from the last job, money that was most recently Renn and Ciphera's.

Kit: He'll lean forward and take the payment and he just stashes it in a box underneath the counter. And then he'll get up and continue getting everything for Renn and Ciphera's list. It doesn't take him as long because it is so specific and pretty well organized and so he comes back in about five or so minutes with a second, slightly smaller wagon. And he'll be like,

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay, I got my dad to tally this one up too, so here you go.

Kit: And he's gonna hand Renn the slip of paper.

Alli (as Renn): Thank you very much.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Yeah.

Alli: She slides the appropriate amount onto the table.

Kit: It just goes straight in the box.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Well, um, if you guys don't mind, leaving the wagons out in front of the store when you're done with it would be nice because they're my wagons.

Kira (as Ciphera): You got it kid. No problem.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we'll bring him back.

Alli (as Renn): Safe and sound.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Thank you.

Sydney: Thanks for your help. You're doing good work.

Kira (as Ciphera): You're doing good. Hey, good luck with your lessons.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Thank you.

Alli (as Renn): Don't stress about math. Tell Rufus I love him.

Kit (as Tiny Shopkeeper): Okay. Thank you for shopping at The Recycling Bin.

Alli (as Renn): It's been [bin joke] a pleasure.

Nick: So we cut back to Emma, Marathon and Birdie as they have worked their way through the non cannery side of the town and are in the process of deciphering these instructions and find themselves in front of a net makers shop. Seated outside you can see a very, very tall man - wildly tall, long limbs, maybe six foot eight, six foot nine. He's seated on a stool that is much too low to where his knees are almost up by his ears. He looks to be about 26-27 years old, gaunt cheeks, long black hair brushed back and down to his shoulders, and is squinting and deeply into the fine work of knitting these nets together and repairing them. He looks like a spider in the middle of a web as he is trying to build this net back out and you can hear rustling from inside the shop. There is no marker on it, really the only indicator that it's a store is that it's covered in nets.

Kit (as Birdie): Damn.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, I'm very surprised that Meyer has not caught a girlfriend with all these nets. Am I right? Got it? [laugh]

Nick: Meyer looks up at this joke and just makes eye contact with Marathon from across the street.

Kit (as Birdie): [concerned admonishment] Marathon!

Nick: You're not sure if he heard you, but maybe he did. And you just feel this moment of awkwardness and then he goes back to working on the nets because you can't keep eye contact with him.

Penn (as Marathon): [much quieter] Did did he hear me?

Cameron (as Emma): I have no idea. How tall do you think he is?

Kit (as Birdie): He's real tall.

Penn (as Marathon): Not taller than me.

Kit (as Birdie): No,

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): I think a lot taller than you.

Cameron (as Emma): So much taller. Look, look at how long his legs are, Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): No way. No way.

Kit (as Birdie): My god.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay. I'll walk up. You'll see. I'm tall.

Kit (as Birdie): I thought we were gonna get like a,

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, you might be taller if he's sitting down.

Penn (as Marathon): [back to yelling] Oh, Meyer? Mr. Mr. Fisher, I assume? Maybe?

Nick: Meyer looks up as you call his name and goes to stand up, stops, sets the nets down and does sort of a crab side walk out from under the overhang of this shop and stands up to his full height. And it is like watching a praying mantis unfold as he gets all the way up and stretches and you all can hear his shoulders and back popping at his full length. With his arms stretched all the way out, it must be a trick of perspective, but it looks like he could touch both corners of this shop with both arms - just very very tall. And as you see him stretch also very well muscled. And as he finishes his stretch, he says

Nick (as Meyer): [clears throat] Yup that's me. I'm Meyer. This is not - well I was gonna say this is my net store workshop,

Nick: From inside you hear,

Nick (as townsperson 1): [muffled yell] Production facility!

Nick (as Meyer): All right. Production facility this week. It's kind of weird you're here looking for me by name, what can I do for you?

Nick: And he smiles real big. And you notice he has glorious pearly white teeth and his eyes crinkle up with his genuine smile and for just a second, you can see his grandmother reflected there.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, you look you look just like, uh

Kit (as Birdie): Gretchen.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah you look,

Kit (as Birdie): Hi. Um, do you want - you can you can introduce us if you want.

Penn (as Marathon): Ah,

Penn: Marathon is trying to posture herself. She's not used to being shorter in a conversation and so she's figuring out what to do with her hands in order to It seem like she still has a physical power in this situation.

Penn (as Marathon): Ah Mr. Meyer Fisher, Gretchen sent us. We're looking for someone with crypt cryptology, cryptology crypto pic to ology skills.

Nick (as Meyer): Cryptography maybe?

Penn (as Marathon): Cryptography. Yeah.

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah crypto in general - that's a weird science. It's pretty much extinct. Nobody deals with that anymore. But yeah, that's me. I'm glad you're not here for nets, you'd have to talk to my what is an apprentice's leader called? I'm not sure -

Cameron (as Emma): Mentor?

Nick: And from inside the facility hear

Nick (as townsperson 1): [muffled yell] Production leader.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Nick (as Meyer): Production leader, I guess. [laugh] Yeah. So cryptography, you say? Got a code need breaking?

Nick: He leans on to a railing around the shop, bringing him down closer to your height, but managing to make it look fairly natural. And as he's closer to your all height, says,

Nick (as Meyer): You got a secret love letter you're trying to decipher?

Nick: And winks.

Penn (as Marathon): [dry heave]

Kit (as Birdie): [awkward laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): No.

Penn (as Marathon): No.

Cameron: Emma appears unaffected by this and pulls out the journal.

Cameron (as Emma): We have one of these or two of these actually, and trying to find someone who knows how we could decipher it.

Nick: And he looks at that. And he squints at it just a little, you get the feeling that maybe being nearsighted runs in the family a little bit. And as he leans in towards it, he clearly recognizes it. His face goes slack, he straightens up to his full height and bumps his head on the overhang that he was leaning under again, grimaces and rubs at the top of his head and leans back down.

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah. Uh...

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, my gosh, are you okay?

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah, I'm fine. Doesn't - that's never happened before. Uh...

Cameron (as Emma): Uh huh.

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah, so going to be honest, really wish you hadn't showed me that. There's been a few of those floating around the area the last, I don't know, couple of years? Sometimes people find them when they're looking around ruins or find some wild tech and those are on there and I gotta tell you, for the life of me, I haven't been able to decipher it. I think it's got something to do with like a binary placement, but I need some sort of cipher to reference what each piece means and what it allocates to and I don't have it. Nothing, nothing really works. It's not like a normal written code, I'd assume it's, I don't know, something to do with computers, right?

Nick: And he shrugs. A shrug on this man is something to behold, both because of muscles and because of the total amount of mass that gets moved.

Kit: Birdie is still just looking up at him because she is an astounding, roughly five foot two, and is just trying not to seem like she's rocking up onto the tips of her toes, but it's definitely doing that.

Penn (as Marathon): Where can we find a cipher for you, sir? [sounds weirdly sexual]

Cameron (as Emma): Or can you point us to any of the other people who found one over the past few years?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.

Nick (as townsperson 1): [muffled yell] Next approved vacation is two months.

Nick (as Meyer): I don't think I'm gonna be able to help you much with this. Apparently, next approved vacation is two months. [mimicking production leader]

Nick: He says shaking his head and looking back towards the shop.

Penn (as Marathon): Your production leader sounds like he sucks.

Nick (as Meyer): He doe- well, he's okay. The problem is that he keeps finding Old World files on what he calls leadership guides, and he keeps changing the way we do business. And all we're doing is making nets and it's just the two of us, like, there's no reason for it to be like this. But it's, it's fine.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't think we need you to go on vacation. Can you just point us to somebody else who's looked into it already maybe?

Nick (as Meyer): See, that's the thing, right? I don't think a lot of people have done anything with these in general. So I have an idea.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay~.

Nick (as Meyer): Because like I said, these are normally on pieces of wild tech or referenced, but they don't ever seem to be necessary for operation. My guess is that they reference operation or something like that, like they point to something else, because they're all the same size. So the amount of data they store can't vary that much, right? Theoretically? Maybe?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. And because all the squares and dots are in different locations.

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah. So it's like a code, right?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Nick (as Meyer): Um, you know, here's what I'm gonna do. A couple of days from here, along the coast of the Glaishelf Sea, there's an old building, an old lab, an old something that might have the technology that you're looking for. References that I've found looking through old records and stuff say that it did something with deciphering or something with data repositories? I don't know. You all look, now pardon me for making an assumption here, but you all look like mercenaries. Like capable women, partially because you're all armed, but would that be safe to say?

Cameron: Emma shifts so that the giant sword that's on her back moves a little.

Cameron (as Emma): Yes, that'd be accurate.

Nick (as Meyer): Okay, okay.

Penn (as Marathon): And we're good at it.

Penn: Marathon flexes.

Nick: Meyer leans way down to stage whisper to Birdie and says,

Nick (as Meyer): Hey, she knows that saying that out loud immediately makes you question that that's true, right?

Kit (as Birdie): I try not to question the things that she does.

Nick (as Meyer): Well, with arms like that, I can understand that. If you you don't want to argue with someone who's that strong, right?

Kit (as Birdie): Meh.

Nick (as Meyer): Like, just in general? Okay, well, anyway, what do I know, I work on nets. Long story short, let's, let's work out a deal here. I'll give you the location of that lab.

Cameron (as Emma): Uh huh~.

Nick (as Meyer): And in exchange, you can use whatever's in there to decipher your little whatsiwhosit, but you bring me back however you did it. Either, like what the cipher is, or some files, bring me back something to make it a fair trade. Would you do that? Then I don't have to leave. My production numbers can stay where they need to be.

Nick: The workshop just seems to emanate satisfaction at that statement, as he called it back over his shoulder.

Nick (as Meyer): And you all can figure out what your little square code does.

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I, since we don't know how we're going to decrypt it, I don't want to commit to physically bringing something back in case it's a giant massive thing that we can't move, but I can definitely tell you about it.

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah. Or find out a way to let me in or bring back some files, like something, whatever you think is fair, like, I'm not gonna fight you over it.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, we can tell you if it's interesting and when you get your vacation in two months, you could head out there yourself.

Nick (as Meyer): I have a feeling we're gonna cycle back around to the one that says that a four day workweek is the most efficient. I don't know, well, I'll probably get some time before that. We'll see.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Nick (as Meyer): Either way. Here, give me that notebook and a pencil real quick. Let me write this down.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Nick: And he starts writing furiously. And you see that it's detailed instructions. So there's no coordinates, but it's very much like Wayfarer instructions of going north for this long and then south and these are the landmarks and he even does some quick sketches of some rock formations and some fallen trees and things like he knows exactly where this is. And after a couple of minutes of silence, he's got his tongue stuck out of one corner of his mouth as he does all the drawings. He hands the book back and says,

Nick (as Meyer): If that can't get you there, then you're not going to be able to help me anyway.

Cameron (as Emma): Have you been there before?

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Nick (as Meyer): You'll understand when you get there. There's no getting past that front door. Unless maybe you have some secrets that I don't.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh! Okay. All right. That that makes sense. If you weren't able to get into the building, okay, sorry.

Nick (as Meyer): Oh, yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): I was like those are incredibly detailed instructions.

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah, that building sealed up tighter than a jolly joggers butthole if you know what I'm saying.

Nick: And he smiles real wide.

Cameron (as Emma): Ah~.

Kit (as Birdie): [groan]

Cameron (as Emma): I do not know what you're saying, but I'm going to assume that that means tightly.

Kit (as Birdie): What?!

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah. Very.

Kit (as Birdie): What is a trolley jogger?

Nick (as Meyer): It's like a fish.

Kit (as Birdie): [voice going higher] What?!

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): [so high] How do you know what a fishes butthole is like?

Nick (as Meyer): Well, they have legs.

Cameron (as Emma): Wut?

Kit (as Birdie): [voice so very very high] What?

Penn (as Marathon): Huh?

Cameron (as Emma): Wait the fish? The fish have legs?

Kit (as Birdie): [still so high] You're joking.

Nick (as Meyer): Are you - you just got to town, huh?

Cameron (as Emma): We just got to town.

Nick (as Meyer): Eh don't worry about it. It's just a little like a piece of the local vernacular, you probably won't see one. Some people don't even think they exist.

Kit (as Birdie): [not as high, but just as intense] Then why did you know what a fishes butthole is like?

Nick (as Meyer): I could have said like,

Penn (as Marathon): I mean, you catch fish in nets, I would assume, you know...

Nick (as Meyer): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): [Birdie is making noises and saying things, but can't be comprehended by mere mortals]

Cameron (as Emma): What does that have to do with their buttholes? [laughing]

Penn (as Marathon): Well, you have to gut fish. I dunno - Y'all ever - ?

Nick (as Meyer): We're very - Hey, hey,

Cameron (as Emma): What is happening?

Nick: He does the calm down gesture.

Nick (as Meyer): You are very butthole focused right now. It was just a turn of phrase.

Cameron (as Emma): You brought it up.

Nick (as Meyer): I heard it from my grandma. Don't worry about it. It's fine.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh!

Penn (as Marathon): Gretchen!

Kit (as Birdie): Gretchen is doing some stuff in her spare time, I guess.

Nick (as Meyer): Fishes don't wear clothes - well, sometimes they wear sweaters, but

Cameron (as Emma): What?

Nick (as Meyer): Don't worry about it. Don't forget about it. Let's you've got the coordinates. Now. You can find out whatever you need to know. I would just say be careful. I would imagine if the front door is any indicator that there's a lot of security on the inside.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay. [sigh]

Nick (as Meyer): I would feel really bad if something happened to y'all because you look very capable, but you're also very pretty. And I would hate for you all to be removed from the world in your prettiness and I am talking too much.

Nick: And he's blushing at this point.

Nick (as Meyer): I gotta go back to my nets.

Cameron (as Emma): Plus, if something happens to us, then you don't get the information.

Nick (as Meyer): Well, yeah, but like, if something happens to you, and then the door is open, I - no! Yeah, you're right. I wouldn't get the information. I feel really bad about all that. You'll be fine. I'm sure it's not that bad. Like, if I could deal with some of the less secure stuff, I'm sure you could deal with whatever they have in there.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Cameron: Emma is doing the slow nod of someone who's like, oh, wow, okay, that you're getting really awkward.

Nick (as Meyer): I talked too much. I think I started cool. And it just kind of got out of hand. I

Penn (as Marathon): Meyer um, looks like the production line needs a little work.

Nick: From inside the building you hear,

Nick (as townsperson 1): [muffled yell] What!?

Nick: And he's like,

Nick (as Meyer): God damn, okay. Okay, fine. Nothing. I'm we are meeting our quarterly productivity requirements.

Nick: And he sits down back amongst the nets and starts putting them together again. And just waves you off impatiently.

Kit (as Birdie): [under breath] No wonder he's single.

Penn (as Marathon): Birdie you're not going to leave him like your your your name or your contact or anything?

Kit (as Birdie): Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): [evil laugher returns]

Kit: She just kind of looks at Marathon very blankly.

Penn: Marathon is very giggly teasing you.

Cameron (as Emma): All right. Uh see - See you later Meyer! Thanks for the info.

**Nick (as Meyer): Bye. Sorry. I was weird. I feel bad now.

Cameron (as Emma): It's okay, we're kind of used to it.

Penn (as Marathon): It's all right.

Kit (as Birdie): No, worries.

Penn (as Marathon): I am pretty.

**Nick (as Meyer): Yeah, you're pretty. I yeah,

Penn (as Marathon): Stop. No. I can say it.

Nick (as Meyer): Fuck.

Kit (as Birdie): [said quietly] What the fuck is jolly jogger?

Nick: And as you are walking back towards the rig, you see a squat very round fish with four stubby legs toddle across the road like if a baby doll was self propelled and Meyer points and goes

Nick (as Meyer): That that's a jolly jogger.

Cameron (as Emma): Ahh!

Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] Oh my gosh. Okay,

Kit (as Birdie): What are you?

Penn (as Marathon): now first thought - kick it?

Kit (as Birdie): No!

Penn (as Marathon): Bad idea? Yes. Definitely.

Cameron (as Emma): Marathon!

Kit (as Birdie): Don't kick it!

Penn (as Marathon): Sorry.

Kit (as Birdie): No!

Penn (as Marathon): It is cute though.

Cameron (as Emma): It has legs!

Kit (as Birdie): It's so ugly it's cute.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, it's terrifying.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm gonna kiss it!

Kit (as Birdie): No!

Cameron (as Emma): No~!

Kit (as Birdie): That's even worse!

Penn (as Marathon): Marathon runs to go kiss this jolly jogger. [laughing]

Kit (as Birdie): [yelling] Marathon!!

Nick: As you run towards it, it rotates slowly towards you. And as you get closer, goes

Nick: (as a Jolly Jogger): Mep.

Nick: And then it opens its mouth real wide and barfs its tongue out and there's this this giant big pink floppy thing in front of it jiggling around and it's really off putting and you suddenly don't want to go close to it at all.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh! Oh!

Kit (as Birdie): That's bad. That's bad.

Penn (as Marathon): Hey, backing up! Slowing down.

Kit (as Birdie): This is bad. This is bad.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, do we want to -?

Cameron (as Emma): I want to I want to go back to the rig now.

Kit (as Birdie): Let's go back to the rig.

Cameron (as Emma): Can we leave?

Penn (as Marathon): Guys. I'm going to try and get it come with us.

Kit (as Birdie): No!

Cameron (as Emma): No that's fine. Leave it leave it. Marathon you don't know where that's been.

Penn (as Marathon): Come on little dude.

Nick: It is slowly sucking its tongue back into its mouth very slowly dragging bits of dirt off the ground with it.

Penn (as Marathon): Aw, it's just eating.

Cameron: Emma is walking away.

Nick: As Emma is walking down the road presumably keeping its distance from this fish creature, it is slowly rotating so it can keep its eyes on everyone in front of it and backing slowly into an alley.

Penn (as Marathon): No, come on. Come on, come back.

Nick: And we see Cassidy and Renn and Ciphera walking back towards the rig with large piles of supplies wrapped up and neatly branded with block letters that say the recycle bin on all of the packaging. And as you all are approaching, you begin to load up and a few minutes later, you see Birdie and Emma walking towards the rig looking uncomfortable and then about 20 yards behind them you see Marathon with her arms wrapped around a fish that is weakly kicking its legs and going

Nick: (as a Jolly Jogger): Mep. Mp.

Nick: And just trying to struggle free. And you see that the fish has little shoulders because they're hunched up by its eyes where Marathon has her arms wrapped under its legs and it looks annoyed. Very annoyed.

Kit (as Birdie): [sounding slightly defeated] Marathon you really gotta let it go.

Cameron (as Emma): Marathon please put the fish down.

Penn (as Marathon): I want it to like me so bad.

Cameron (as Emma): No~.

Alli: Renn hustles over and is actively hopping a little bit up and down in front of Marathon like

Alli (as Renn): You got one? You found one?!

Penn (as Marathon): I caught it. I caught it. I don't know if it likes me but I - it can learn to love me.

Alli (as Renn): Maybe it's cold! Maybe it wants - [insert excited gibberish here] - gotta get a sweater.

Penn (as Marathon): True it's sweater time. Oh, Gretchen!

Nick: As you say that Gretchen latches on to you and says,

Nick (as Old Woman): Oh yeah, bring the little dear here would you? Quickly quickly.

Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy make her get rid of it.

Nick: And Gretchen has apparently finished the sweater she was working on when you first talked to her. She takes it, expertly crams the jolly jogger into it so that the sweater is covering it, nods satisfactorily to herself and throws it over her shoulder into the lagoon behind her.

Penn (as Marathon): No~!

Alli (as Renn): No~!

Kit (as Birdie): [something unclear under Marathon's distress]!

Penn (as Marathon): I didn't have a name yet but - Avery? Yeah, that was a good one.

Kit (as Birdie): No, I said "be free".

Alli (as Renn): Could have been Avery

Penn (as Marathon): Avery! Avery~!

[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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