A Knight of Shreds and Patches
Transcript: Season 2 Episode 22: A Milk Run
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 22: A Milk Run 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:
Happy Thursday! But really, every day can be a happy day with you around, so manifesting that this is one of them. (I’m making a heart with my fingers but you’ll just have to imagine it.)
And if you want a further nudge toward a happy day, consider backing our Patreon, where you can get access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards, including a totally not concerning at all evolution of the book “Fun Activities To Do in a Car to Amuse Your Child”.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 22: A Milk Run. 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] Kira (as Ciphera): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, Renn and I managed to convince the Patina to help us. We're still trying to track down something that will let me decode this thing that I have tattooed on my arm now. I can't believe we're finally getting closer. There's no telling what we we might find there, but I don't think we'll have a better option. As much as I hate to admit it, we need their help to poke around the town. It's been a while since we were here, but I didn't leave a very good impression last time. [sigh] I went to the general store with Cassidy. She's always a barrel of sunshine. Tried really hard just to get her to open up to us or understand more about her, but she just seems really down on herself. I guess there's nothing we can do about that, but as long as she gets the job done, we can't be too picky out here. They seem all right, but some stuff feels off. I don't know. Just that whole paranoia creeping back in. And um, Renn asked for a fish. Again. I'm getting worried that if she keeps asking me I'm eventually going to give in.
Alli (as Renn): Phera, I just had a uh, little question before we leave this lake. Just one little question. Won't take long. [she's definitely asking for a fish again]
Nick: The entrance to the facility is about an hour outside the town of Glaishelf. The coordinates provided by Meyer lead you there easily and the drive along the lake shore is smooth going for both Servo and the rig. The facility is sunk into the side of a hill along the lake. A huge metal door, roughly the size of the rig, is partially covered in vines and overgrowth. You can see sections of plant life that have been pulled away by other people, but the door appears solid and untampered with. In fact, if you didn't know where to look, you might have missed it entirely. There are bits of letters set above the door in rusting chrome. There are spaces, but you can make out EAR DAT NC but the rest has been lost to time. And I'm going to need everybody to make me a average difficulty Perception check please.
Penn: I got a total wash.
Sydney: Cassidy has two successes.
Cameron: For Emma we have a success, a threat, and a triumph.
Kit: I got three successes and two threats.
Alli: I got one success, two advantages.
Kira: And I got four successes, one threat.
Nick: Okay. So everyone except for Marathon is particularly successful as you climb off of Servo and out of the rig in taking a good look at this door buried in a hillside. I think you all, except for Marathon apparently, have experience in assessing sealed ruins and are able to quickly see everything that you would possibly need to.
First of all, there is buried under some ivy to the right of the door covered in a little bit of dirt, Ciphera as you look, you're able to brush that away and you see that there is a panel with a nine key entry pad and what looks like maybe a fingerprint scanner. The others, you see that some of the hydraulics that must keep the door sealed are exposed on the far side of the door as well. As you are looking, it appears that the entire thing even though it's buried in a hill is behind very thick steel and concrete walls, so while the door is probably the most secure part of this facility, trying to dig around it may not work. Everyone is very successful and sets to work in a very methodical and intentional way. Marathon what are you up to that keeps you distracted?
Penn: Marathon doesn't do nature. A third of a mile away there was a little flock of jolly joggers that was maybe migrating somewhere, just moving in a pack - jogging in a pack even. And Marathon has crept not so far away that it's out of earshot, but as crept far enough away towards these jolly joggers that she is not in any sort of investigative capacity at the moment.
Nick: Just absorbed by the beauty of nature?
Penn: Well, the beauty of nature and maybe hatching a different sort of plan.
Nick: Okay. So Marathon is absorbed in the unnatural beauty that is the jolly joggers in the distance. You get the feeling as you see them moving back towards the town of Glaishelf that this was probably the absolute edge of their territory, because you have seen less and less of them during the travel. As for the rest of the group besides Marathon, you find yourself blocked by this massive door. But based on what you've seen, what is your plan to attempt to get in here?
Kit: Birdie considers blowing it up, but then stops considering it. [laugh]
Sydney: Cassidy considers getting the Knight and punching it down and then considers the empty fuel reserves and stops considering it.
Alli: Is there any way I could have Renn hook into the fingerprint reader and have it remember the last print scanned?
Nick: Yep, you could absolutely do that. Renn if you want to make me a Wild Tech roll at hard difficulty, you can try to interface with whatever remains of this operating system. You will have a black die though, because as far as you can tell, this keypad is not currently powered, so you're gonna have to figure out how to get enough energy to also turn it on.
Alli: Could I hook up Servo to it?
Nick: You absolutely could.
Kira: Don't fry that boy.
Alli: No, we're not gonna wo- we're just using some of the boy's energy.
Nick: Yeah, if you hook Servo up, you can remove that black die, but do know that threats or any despairs could result in damage to Servo, so you're taking a little bit of a risk there. This one is going to be Wild Tech trying to hook into it because you're trying to interface with computers from the before times. If you're messing with the hydraulics or anything mechanical, that would be Mechanics.
Alli: So I have two hexagons and two diamonds.
Kira: Two green, two yellow?
Alli: That is correct.
Kira: I have one yellow, one green. I don't know if there's like a support roll?
Nick: So you can assist on any roll. The way an assist works is you take the best stat and the best skill from the people involved, but since you're outpaced on both, you can add a blue die instead by assisting.
Alli: I do have a talent Knack For It for Wild Tech?
Nick: Yep, that'll remove that black die with Servo.
Alli: Yay, my boys protected. My sweet boy.
Nick: Yes, so Servo is safe because of your Knack For It.
Alli: Renn's like
Alli (as Renn): Don't worry, I have a knack for this.
Alli: So Renn shakes off the driving ache in her bones from sitting on Servo for so long, and gets over to that finger pad and looks very scrutinizingly at it like she's going through a Rolodex in her brain about what could be applicable and useful here. And she pulls out something that looks like a little data stick and looks for somewhere she can get it in but she realizes that she needs Servo to give it a little extra juice to get it going. So she Beep beep beep backs that up boy up, plugs in his tail.
Kira: And Ciphera moves with Renn, staying just behind her also taking the lay of the land and assists her with unraveling all of the necessary cords and components for the hookup, maybe fetches her a small tool here and there at her direction, only occasionally bumbling it and having to get a different thing.
Alli (as Renn): It's just an old fingerprint lock like it'll did should be okay. Usually they got something stored in there just redundancies to remember what's supposed to unlock it so if I can just crack into that should be good.
Cameron: Emma's just standing silently watching over wrench shoulder if she does this.
Sydney: Cassidy has her bow at the ready but not with an arrow knocked and drawn. Just on alert but more watching away than paying attention to what they're doing because they are professionals.
Kit: Birdie probably has her stick just thrown over her shoulder and is keeping a lookout while glancing over at Marathon every couple of minutes.
Penn: Every minute you look over she is closer and closer to this. It's not like she's actively moving when you look, but she is closer and closer to this group of jolly joggers.
Kit (as Birdie): [tired sigh]
Nick: So let's get that roll and see how it goes.
Cameron: Three successes.
Nick: Awesome. So you are completely able to get this door open powered by Servo and with your own understanding of technology. Something that does trip you up a little is there is not a port on the outside, so describe how you are able - between Ciphera and Renn - you're able to interface and get this door to pop open.
Alli: When Renn is having difficulty finding the correct thing to plug into she gestures for Ciphera to go bring her a tool, any tool, something toolish - she doesn't know what she's looking for, but she hopes Ciphera will bring her the correct thing.
Kira: Ciphera grabs a couple of items. One of them is a larger, heavier implement that there's no reason to bring this aside from perhaps smashing the panel open entirely, which is the subtext of why she brings it. Something is much smaller, almost closer to a scalpel, something that could be used to try to pry it open from the side. Maybe there's a small hand drill for trying to drill a hole to feed a wire through? Something closer to like a pick and chisel to try to crack the shell in a little bit more of a concise and controlled manner and holds them in her hands and just stands there watching Renn make her decision because this process never ceases to fascinate her because she doesn't understand the mental calculus that goes into it.
Alli: Renn doesn't even actually look at the tools, she just feels around the pile of tools and grabs the correct handle by feel and basically just pops off the panel with the chisel only like it's an avocado pit.
Nick: Yeah, that absolutely works. You're able to shuck the security measures of this panel interface. And much like you were saying, Renn, the system itself is not particularly secure. There's a database of people who were logged in. The dates don't make any sense to you, as far as the information you have, some of the data is corrupted and other parts of it you just don't have a point of reference for what it would mean. You don't think this place has been opened in a very long time though. And the rest of the group, you see some quiet moments of Renn and Ciphera bent over this panel. Ciphera going to get some tools and then there is a low hum. The center of the door rotates and starts to pull back and then there's a horrible shrieking, grinding noise and the door stops. Luckily, with a shower of dirt and vines, you see that there is a crack that you would all be able to shimmy through pretty easily that would allow you entrance into the facility.
Kira: So as the door opens after things settle in, it's clear that we're not about to be caved in upon, you know quite yet at least, Ciphera turns back to the others of the group with just this look of intense smugness as she looks between Renn and the others and maybe twirls one of the tools in her hands as she goes to return them.
Alli: Renn does unplugged Servo's tail as quickly as possible after it's open and they - she doesn't feel like they need the extra juice anymore. And she shakes her head and she says
Alli (as Renn): It-it was crispy looking in there. That was ba- I don't want that getting into Servo. I'm gonna - we gotta leave him out here. He's not gonna get in there anyway.
Kit (as Ciphera): Yeah, there's no way he'll fit.
Alli (as Renn): Oh boy.
Kit (as Ciphera): He'll be okay.
Alli: She puts her sun hat on Servo's head, ties it with a little ribbon underneath.
Kit (as Ciphera): We'll be back buddy.
Nick: Servo, having interfaced for power and then being disconnected as quickly as he is, when you unplugged him you noticed a quick little blue arc like when you unplug an appliance without turning it off first, and he seems fine. That happens fairly often because of the amount of voltage that he can supply, but as you prepare to go in, Servo crouches down on his haunches and folds his little front arms under him and does a loaf as he goes into sleep mode.
Alli (as Renn): Oh, there you go, buddy. We'll be right back
Nick: Wearing a beautiful son hat. And as you all prepare to go into the facility, Marathon - are you attempting to sneak up and grab one of these jolly joggers? Is that what's on your mind?
Penn: So Marathon, we see that she's been focusing on a Jogger at the back of this little pack, actually, one whose legs are a little more wobbly and can't necessarily keep up with the rest of the pack. And she is kind of rummaging in her pocket for like a snack or something to try and feed the jolly joggers because that was her original plan.
Nick: If you flip me a Story Point, you can both have the correct food to draw one's interest and it can be a smaller, slower or more interestingly covered one. This seems important to you. I want this to happen for you.
Penn: I'll flip a story point. So um, what kind of food do jolly joggers eat?
Nick: They eat pond sludge, bugs, tiny fish. They're like most fish, they'll eat kind of whatever they can get their hands on.
Penn: Are nuts something or like maybe sesame sticks? There we go.
Nick: Yeah, probably.
Penn: Marathon just pulls some sesame sticks from out of her flannel pocket and just drops some at the jelly legged Jolly Jogger that looks a little puffy as it comes over to have this little snack and she has an idea and starts slowly dropping more sesame sticks and backing her way back to where our puzzle solvers are solving the grand scheme.
Nick: Yeah, so this is happening as the group is cracking open this door. So roll me a hard Charm check but you can have a blue die because you are bribing it with food.
Penn: A hard one. Okay? So three purples.
Penn: I've got two advantages.
Nick: Huhh. Okay, so this Jolly Jogger, it has a little bit more bow legs, it seems to be a little bit slower, a little less sure. As you got closer, even with delicious sesame sticks, most of the school wandered away, sort of like when you walk too close to a flock of ducks - they just moved as a group but this one kept your eye and walked a little bit closer. With those advantages, you think you might be able to get close enough to it to grab it, but this has taken quite a while. You hear a high shrill shriek as the door gets stuck and the rest of the group is packing up and getting ready to go in. And so you are now stuck with the decision of trying to grab this thing but the rest of the team seeing how not focused on the mission you were or giving up and going with them.
Penn (as Marathon): Dirt. Dirt. Um~.
Kit: Birdie, who has kind of been splitting her attention, has been looking at Marathon a little more frequently until now she's just kind of staring at whatever Marathon is doing with just this look of confusion, awe, and I don't even know what else on her face. And she's just backs up a little bit towards marathon and is like
Kit (as Birdie): [raised voice to get attention] Marathon!
Penn: Marathon's face and body suddenly gets very tight.
Nick: So does the jolly jogger in front of you. It perks up, gets very still, and is looking over your shoulder at where Birdie called your name.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, come on little doggie. [exhale] Ah,
Penn: Marathon tries to say slowly and not to surprise this jogger sort of escalating in volume.
Penn (as Marathon): I'll be over, I'll be over soon. Come on, little doggie. Come on.
Kit (as Birdie): Leave the leg fish alone!
Penn (as Marathon): Come on. Come on, little doggie.
Nick: All right, Marathon. So are you trying to Charm it into becoming your friend? Which side note is going to be really freaking hard because this is a weird, mutated wild animal. Or are you trying to grab it and make a new struggly football friend?
Penn: It's time to go, so I'm going to try to gently scoop it up and bring it with her carrying it under this flannel. Giving it a little warmth I guess maybe? [laugh]
Nick: Okay, we've proven they like sweaters. I'm giving you two choices here. You can roll Coordination to try to scoop it up gently and not shock it too much or you can roll Brawl to just snatch it. Either way it's going to be a hard difficulty check.
Penn: I have much better Brawl, but I'll take Coordination because I have some talent in that. So I have two yellows, one green, three purples.
Penn: We've got one success, one threat.
Nick: Cool. You're able to grab this thing. What does that look like? And are you trying to hide your new best friend from the rest of the group going forward? Or -
Penn: Maybe temporarily. I think Birdie because Birdie is watching from the back of the group Marathon as she scoops this jolly jogger up into the pocket of her arm, she lifts a finger up to Birdie as she kind of crouch runs over to the group. She's like.
Penn (as Marathon): Shh shh shh!
Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [panicking fish noises]
Penn (as Marathon): It's okay. It's okay.
Nick: So you all locked down the rig, Servo has gone into rest mode in his sun hat, and you all are prepared to enter into the facility without too much trouble as Marathon makes her way back to the group. Her flannel vest with no sleeves does look a little bit more lumpy, but nobody thinks about that too much right now, I would imagine, because you've got a job to do. Who enters the facility first? Just out of curiosity.
Kira: I think Ciphera probably does both because this is her passion and mission, but she's also probably equipped maybe the best in order to handle that.
Nick: Okay, that makes sense.
Sydney: Cassidy is probably second.
Kit: Birdie will actually stay by Marathon so she can keep an eye on this fish.
Penn: And I think because Marathon is a little late to the party, she's coming up in the rear.
Alli: Renn did wait for everybody to get to the gate proper before following along but goes in front of Marathon but she has a look of incredible concern walking over the threshold when that does happen.
Nick: As you all get in this room is quiet. It has the still musty air that would be familiar to some of you is a place that has been sealed for a long time. There isn't a smell of decay, it seems like water hasn't really been able to get in, but the facility itself is very dark and dusty. There are a couple of flickering emergency LEDs, but mostly you realize you're going to need to bring your own light sources to see anything.
This appears to be the reception area of a facility and there's a large round desk in the center of the room. There are dead plants in decaying pots scattered by the walls and moldering chairs throughout. There are two bulkhead doors similar to the massive one that let you into the facility set in each corner of the room opposite of the entrance. Without the doors being covered in plantlife, you can see that they have a large circular section that must rotate to allow them to unlock and open - like a vault. There appears to be a indistinct map of the facility on the wall above the desk. And that's really what you can see without investigating further - that there's this map, this desk, and these two doors.
Sydney: Cassidy has hit the flashlight on her wild tech radio headset to give that bright characterless light, does a once over the room, sees the map and immediately goes towards the map after not seeing anything that looks like it's going to jump out at them.
Nick: Yeah, the group - you all spread out to look around. Renn and Ciphera, you have practice with this and the Patina has worked together long enough that they know to put eyes in as many directions as possible as Cassidy heads over to this map. You're very easily able to blow some of the dust away and the map isn't super detailed - it's more of a public relations graphic, but it does give you an idea of how the facility works and how it's laid out. It appears that the facility itself is a large ring with some sort of generator in the center that isn't part of the easily traveled sections. There is a hallway leading to all of the labs in the ring. The map isn't entirely legible, but you can see some of the labs are notated as General Research, Automation, Data Encoding, Networking, and Power and they're set out along the ring.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well there's a Data Encoding lab. I suspect that's what we're here for. There's also a bunch of other stuff.
Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat] Sounds uh,
Penn: Marathon's shuffling with something under her shirt.
Penn (as Marathon): Sounds really complicated you guys but y'all are really smart, right? Ciphera data anti-cryption is like your thing, right?
Kira (as Ciphera): Somewhat. I think Renn is more practiced with that, but I deal more with physicality, you know, locking mechanisms, safes, doors, that type of thing.
Kira: She's also currently examining both of the blast doors, the vault doors that are closed, just to make sure they are actually firmly latched, or if they open easily while this conversation is happening.
Nick: Yeah, as you're having that conversation. Looking at those doors, you notice that the door on the right is actually jammed open a little bit more than the exterior door currently is letting in a thin beam of light from the exterior of the facility. But it's very similar in that you could shimmy through and go deeper into the facility. Beyond it with a quick inspection, all you can see is dusty darkness of a hallway. And then if you move on from that door to the other door, you can see that it appears to be completely sealed. It has a similar touch panel to the one from outside. But instead of the fingerprint reader it has a swipe slot for a key card of some kind.
Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I mean, I think the Data Encryption center is probably the best place to start. But it never hurts to keep our eyes open on the way there. You never know where you're going to find especially in sealed ruins like these. Very unlikely that anyone's really been here before us, so this is like a treasure trove. [happy sigh] I live for this.
Cameron: Can I use my triumph to find a key card?
Nick: Yeah, so with your triumph, Emma, you are able to look around and in one of the dusty forgotten corners of this waiting room, there is a chair that has fallen into a pile and seated on that chair you see the remains of someone who must have been in here since before the facility was sealed. They are completely skeletonized with rags of clothes clinging to what remains of them and besides the dust you notice that stuck to the front pocket of their barely held together shirt is a plastic rectangle that looks very familiar to you.
Cameron: This has been the particular corner that Emma had wandered off to as everyone headed in different directions and she crouches down next to the skeleton and reaches out and unclips the card from, I guess the front jacket pocket.
Nick: The slight brush of your hand detaching the card causes the skeleton and the clothes to fall into a pile of dust, but the key card appears to be intact.
Cameron: Emma winces and says very quietly,
Cameron (as Emma): Sorry.
Cameron: And stands up and walks over to the fully closed door and swipes it.
Nick: You swipe the card. There is a cheerful beep and the door begins to retract. It gets about half open. There isn't the grinding of rusted gears or blocked mechanics that you heard from the previous door, but it is still very loud. You can hear that this door is heavy and the bass sound of large mechanics retracting fills this once silent space in a way that makes you flinch. As the door gets about halfway open, the green light that had lit up on the panel that you swiped with the key dies and the door stops but you got it open.
Kira: Ciphera turns around at the noise and I think at first flinches at the not the grinding but just the noise of the door opening and then it peters and dies. And she nods to Emma and just says
Kira (as Ciphera): Good find. Make sure you check pockets if they have any, even if they don't have any more keycards there's usually some old defunct tech that we can salvage.
Cameron: Emma pockets the key card and walks back over to her skeleton friend.
Kira (as Ciphera): Think of it like this. You're recycling what they used. They would have wanted you to have it.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhm.
Kira (as Ciphera): You know, probably.
Cameron (as Emma): Probably not that weirdly, I don't feel nearly as weird looting skeletons as I do like bandits that we just killed.
Kira (as Ciphera): I can see how that might be a little bit more complicated.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Skeletons are a lot drier.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh I wasn't even thinking for that - yeah that's a very valid point. I was just thinking I don't think this guy cares.
Sydney: Cassidy is looking around the edge of the door that just opened into the next room with her headlamp.
Kira (as Ciphera): Does he have a watch?
Cameron (as Emma): I loot the corpse. Does it have anything fun?
Nick: So you didn't notice anything on the skeleton when you were first looking except for the keycard. If you sift through the dust of powderized bone,
Nick: You see that some of this person's personal effects had fallen to the ground during the process of decaying, you find a very small computer screen that appears to be self contained, the screen itself is smashed, but whatever's behind it seems to be in one piece. And you find a wristwatch that appears to have been fused into one corroded hunk of metal and you find some keys that appear to have fused into one corroded hunk of metal.
Kira (as Ciphera): [sigh] Damn. The tiny gears are so hard to find.
Cameron (as Emma): The metal could be useful.
Cameron: Emma puts all of it into her backpack.
Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, that's scrap. That's true.
Alli: Almost immediately after entering this room Renn put on a little rebreather kind of thing where you can still see their mouth through them, but it's lit up with some lights. And she's just following Ciphera mostly, but she's definitely interested in what Emma's doing and says,
Alli (as Renn): We should probably try to do more of a physical tools type opening for doors in the meantime, because we don't know what these systems are hooked up to and maybe potentially triggering security systems that we do not as of yet know about. But good job on that door.
Cameron (as Emma): Seems like it'd be really weird to swipe the card that actually opens the door and have that set off security systems.
Alli (as Renn): It wouldn't be weird, wouldn't it?
Cameron (as Emma): People are dumb though, so
Alli (as Renn): People are dumb. Machines tend not to be.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we were here after hours or something.
Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, it's a miracle that they're still in operation at all. It's possible they've degraded in some way or that some of the logic could be missing or that there's wild tech in here that's done something we're not aware of.
Penn (as Marathon): [from across the room] Y'all need me to punch it?
Alli (as Renn): Maybe later!
Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, not yet. But that's a good backup always. Thank you.
Penn (as Marathon): Cool.
Penn: Marathon holds a thumb up awkwardly cover- like folding an arm over her chest.
Kit: Birdie steps in front of Marathon's torso.
Nick: Cassidy, as you look through the door into the next room, can you make me a hard Perception check please?
Nick: With a black die because of the lack of lighting in this hallway.
Sydney: So I'm rolling two yellows and a green against three purples and a black.
Sydney: Two successes.
Nick: So as you're looking ahead, this isn't another room, it appears to be a hallway. It was once decorated with posters and diagrams on the walls you can see from outlines and what remains of hangers sunk into the shattered and dusty tile on the walls. But you notice that this room is a lot less dirty than the reception area was. There's still some lines of dust on the ground, but there are thick tracks that appeared to have been disturbed where there's no dust on the ground at all and the walls themselves appear to be clean up to about a foot off the ground. You're used to seeing ruins and you're used to seeing places that don't have people or movement in them for a long time, so that's something that jumps out to you. There's either some sort of air current that's been clearing the dust or there's something in here.
Sydney: Cassidy squints at this unexpected cleanliness, and then looks back to the others.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I think something might still be active here. It might only be cleaning.
Kit (as Birdie): OooOOhh - sorry. Nevermind.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's a ghost cleaner.
Kit (as Birdie): Um [laugh]
Kira (as Ciphera): Well, hopefully it's not going to try to clean organic matter.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, and it doesn't seem huge. It's not that high up the walls, but you know, be on your guard, I guess.
Kira (as Ciphera): Always.
Nick: So do you go through the door that Emma unlocked or do you shimmy through the door that was jammed open? You can see from the map that the Data Encoding lab is the furthest one from the reception area either way.
Sydney: What are the two the we would be going through?
Nick: So there are more labs than the labs that I listed. Those are just the ones that are marked on the map. If you go to the left you would see General Research and Power if you went to the right you would see Networking.
Kira: Through the door that was already open does that also appear to have the same level of cleanliness that the one that we opened with a keycard did?
Nick: Yep. Now that you know what to look for, you can see that the dust on the other side has the same level of cleanliness, but it seems to stop at that doorway.
Kira (as Ciphera): Hmm. Networking could be useful if there's enough power to go through it. So maybe we should check the power source first. What do you guys think?
Sydney (as Cassidy): If we think power is gonna enable more functionality and not turn on Renn's security system.
Kira (as Ciphera): That's the worry, yeah.
Sydney: Cassidy shrugs and looks at the people who know technology - [laugh] Emma and the Advantia.
Kira (as Ciphera): What do you think, Renn?
Alli (as Renn): Why was that door jammed open? I can think of a couple reasons. One, we're not the first people who got here. Two people were trying to get away from something. I was wrong. I have two theories. Only.
Kira: Is it possible that we could examine that door to determine maybe how long it's been stuck in that fashion? Or why it stuck, like if it's due to broken mechanics, or - ?
Nick: Yeah, and that doesn't really take a check to see. Giving it the once over, it doesn't appear to have been jammed opened by people, it appears to have been jammed over by mechanical failure. If you wanted to know why it was in the process of opening and closing and what jammed that would probably take a Mechanics roll to get some more information, but it doesn't appear like it was barricaded by people. You can roll if you want to try to figure out more, but
Kira: Mmm I hm.
Kira (as Ciphera): Hey, Renn, can you can you take a look at this? It's definitely looks like malfunction, but I can't tell why.
Alli (as Renn): Let me take a peek at this.
Alli: She cracks are back and leans on down.
Nick: So looking at this door, you can either check Renn with Mechanics to try to figure out what part of the door broke so to speak. Or you could try to interface with some of the system nearby to run a diagnostic - bearing in mind that power is a little touchy and you're not sure what you might wake up doing that.
Alli: I think she's very inclined to do Mechanics in this instance.
Nick: All right. It's going to be an average Mechanics check.
Alli: I have two yellow and two green.
Cameron: Four successes and two threats.
Nick: So with those successes Renn taking a look at this door, are you looking at both sides or are you staying in the room where you have an established foothold? Just out of curiosity.
Alli: Definitely in the room.
Nick: So peeking around through the gap in the door, much like Ciphera noted, the door has not been jammed by someone sticking something into it or anything like that. It looks like it was in the process of closing and didn't close all the way. You would guess from what you can see externally that some of the hydraulics either popped because you can see some dark streaks on the wall, or that the sliding mechanism fell off of true and caused it to grind to a halt. You do notice, you've seen in the past looking through ruins like this that some of these automated doors responded to fires, and that there are some scorch marks down that hallway that might have led to the door either trying to close or open automatically when it got jammed open like this.
Alli: After seeing and making her little series she actively shimmies through the doorway to grab some of the soot off the wall on her fingers and says
Alli (as Renn): [talking very fast as if nervous] Well, there's a fire for sure. I don't know how long ago probably a really long time ago but I think that's why the door was jammed open. You know our automated responses on that kind of stuff. Why was there fire? Oh, who knows?
Kira (as Ciphera): Based on what you know about these old systems, do you think it's smarter to go and check the power source and try to give the place more juice? Or do you think we should just proceed with what we have?
Alli (as Renn): Um. I'm inclined to think that the most resistance, if any, we'll find will be around the power. So it's dicey. We we probably should go look and I would personally like to shut this place down if I'm able.
Kira (as Ciphera): Mhm.
Alli (as Renn): So I can send a good fucking report back to Susan.
Kira: Ciphera rolls her eyes.
Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Okay. Well, it makes sense to go towards potentially the most dangerous things so that hopefully something doesn't sneak up on us while we're doing what we actually came here to do.
Nick: It sounds like y'all were thinking going for the power source first.
Kira: Yeah. Unless anybody in the Patina has or takes objection with that. I think that's the direction that we'll start to move in.
Nick: So that's the question is with that knowledge and having overheard this conversation so far, do you stick together and go towards the power lab or do you split up?
Penn: I think Marathon definitely feels a little out of her element. This is a lot of smart people conjecture and talking and such, and she's realizing that she is just along for the ride and is trying not to express her technological and logical weakness here. She has been nodding her head whenever somebody says something smart and has been like,
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.
Penn: Just in the background. And so she's just been going along and it's kind of floating behind everyone. Now that the jolly jogger has calmed down into her grasp momentarily. And it's all warm now.
Nick: Great. So you all go down this corridor. As you go, you get the disorienting feeling that you're walking down the same stretch of hallway over and over again, it looks almost identical as you continue on. There are doors periodically, some of them labeled, most of them not, most of them appear to have collapsed in over time. There's nothing that looks salvageable beyond them. You do see printed on the wall at some point in the same font as the rusted chrome letters that you saw above the entryway, a phrase RE T FORM NC, it appears to be a different combination of letters than the ones that had survived earlier. As you continue on, you hear a quiet whirring noise that appears to be approaching you from out of the darkness. There are some small thumps as though of wheels rolling over imperfections in the ground but something is coming towards you out of the darkness.
Kit: What direction is it coming at us from?
Nick: So this is the one way hallway so it is coming from further in the facility towards you. It's dark enough that you can't really see it yet. Just wondering if y'all are going to do anything or wait until it gets within view of your light sources.
Kira: Ciphera will snap out her staff in preparation.
Sydney: Cassidy gets into cover with an arrow knocked, if there's cover. Is there cover?
Nick: Not really. There are a couple of piles of little bits of driftwood from what used to be benches and a plastic plant, but otherwise this hallway is pretty bare.
Sydney: Well then Cassidy just takes up station on the opposite side of the hall from Ciphera looking similarly armed.
Alli: Renn got shuffled into Birdie's immediate radius and they're hunkered down together and Renn's like
Alli (as Renn): [whispered] Does your backpack smell like bacon?
Kit (as Birdie): [whispered] Um, it's probably like a residual thing from all the bacon grease I had in it.
Alli (as Renn): [whispered] That checks out. Sorry.
Kit (as Birdie): [whispered] No it's okay. Don't worry about it.
Alli (as Renn): [whispered] [sounds like she's worried about something even if it's not bacon] Uh huh.
Kit (as Birdie): [whispered] You're doing great.
Nick: And as you're having that conversation, entering the ring of light from your flashlights and spotlighted by Cassidy's headset, you see what appears to be a small drone. It's about a foot and a half wide. It's round, maybe about eight inches tall. It looks like a cylinder on wheels. And it is trundling towards you you can hear the whisking sound of brushes underneath it and this appears to be what has been cleaning the dust off the ground for who knows how many years.
Kit (as Birdie): Aww~! It's a baby.
Nick: As it gets closer to you all, a green light lights up on the front of it and it stops. You hear the brushes turn off.
Penn (as Marathon): [gasp] Is it gonna kill us?
Nick: A slightly distorted voice comes out of it saying
Nick (as Drone): [robotic voice] Visitors detected. Welcome to the facility. Please allow me to scan your identity.
Nick: And it begins to roll again, rolling closer to you. And as it begins to get closer you hear in a more urgent, less friendly voice as though from an internal speaker this time,
Nick (as Drone): [robotic voice] Error overheating. Error processor overheating.
Nick: And I need you all to roll Coordination checks as this thing explodes under the strain of trying to welcome you. This is going to be an average Coordination check to get the heck away from it as it stops, begins to arc a little bit warning you that something bad is about to happen and then burst into flames.
Penn: Can I get a black die for carrying a fish? A jolly jogger?
Nick: Yes, you absolutely can have a black die for carrying a fish.
Kit: A solid three successes.
Sydney: Cassidy has three successes and an advantage.
Cameron: Emma has two successes.
Penn: Two successes, two advantages.
Kira: Three successes, one triumph and two threats.
Alli: One success.
Nick: So this little cleaning robot short circuits, begins to overheat, you smell ozone and melting plastic and then explodes into a burst of flame. You all are either far enough away or quick enough to respond to what you see going wrong to get out of the blast radius. Some of you all are peppered with a little bit of melting plastic, but you hear the voice of this robot say
Nick (as Drone): [robotic voice that starts to fail and slows to a stop] Welcoming function disabled.
Nick: And then it stops. And you are now in this hallway with roughly a wastepaper basket sized fire in the middle of the hallway,
Penn: Marathon rushes over to start stamping it out.
Kit: Birdie moved at the same time. I was actually about to say that she doesn't think exact same thing. [laughing]
Alli: Renn's opinion of Marathon increases.
Kira: Ciphera has not approached. She she did a pretty spry dodge roll away from the explosion and is still sitting there with an arm raised up over her eyes just surveying the scene.
Nick: After Marathon and Birdie stomp out the robot, everything descends into quiet again. Now that you are listening very carefully, you think you might be able to hear echoing more of the same soft brushing noises from deeper down the hallway, but that could just be air running through the facility for the first time in decades. Centuries. You're not sure.
Penn: Did we all hear the air or just Ciphera?
Nick: It's the kind of thing you all have potentially heard it but it's very vague and you can't help but second guess whether you're just imagining it or not.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well that was surprising.
Kit (as Birdie): Is everyone okay?
Alli (as Renn): Mhm.
Penn (as Marathon): Easy.
Cameron (as Emma): Yep.
Kira: Ciphera immediately turns to check on Renn and see if she's okay and we get a close up of Ciphera's left hand as she clenches and unclenches his her flesh and metal fingers, and probably subconsciously runs a hand along the burns on her cheek.
Kira (as Ciphera): You okay?
Alli: Renn does not answer but gives too shaky double guns.
Nick: So you are now aware as a group that this isn't going to be a milk run exactly.
Penn: Marathon turns to Ciphera.
Penn (as Marathon): We're all still getting paid if we keep going, right?
Kira (as Ciphera): I mean, you're not getting paid if you turn back.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay~ I'm going.
Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, I -
Penn: Marathon starts marching ahead.
Kira (as Ciphera): Hol- be careful.
Penn (as Marathon): Don't worry. I'll trigger the traps. I'm pretty good at dodging.
Kira (as Ciphera): Right. So just so you're aware, I'm not going to pay you if you die. Like that's that's sort of a deal breaker for a number of reasons.
Penn (as Marathon): But I won't. No way. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna die.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathon. Careful.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, yep. Yes, Cassidy.
Cameron: Emma jogs up to keep up with Marathon with her sword drawn to serve as protector. [laugh]
Penn (as Marathon): Hey, no. I, you know what I'm, I'm fine Emma. You really, you really don't, you don't, [fades off]
Cameron (as Emma): [said lovingly] Someone just needs to be here to make sure you don't make too many bad decisions.
Nick: Now, I have a question for you as a group, which you're going to take as a leading question, and I don't want it to be but I can't really think of another way to phrase it. And that question would be, are you trying to be quiet as you walk down?
Penn: No. [laugh]
Penn: I think Marathon is loudly talking still.
Kit: Birdie will realize that Emma and Marathon are moving on and glance back at Renn knowing what she knows and then go back towards Emma and Marathon and sort of jog to catch up because both of them are much taller than her.
Kit (as Birdie): You know I can uh, I can take the lead on it maybe you know - explosives kinda, you know?
Cameron (as Emma): Kinda your thing?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): Sure. Yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): Let's just keep, I don't know, let's keep moving. It's kind of like scary in here and it's bor- bor- well Birdie it's kind of boring for me specifically.
Kit (as Birdie): I'm sorry Marathon. I'm really sorry.
Penn (as Marathon): No, no and it's not an issue. I just - you guys are all so smart. Like I just you know, obviously I want to help but like me hel-, this, this is - you - You got it. Go first.
Kit (as Birdie): I mean this is not really my area of expertise either, Marathon. You can hold the flashlight.
Penn: [laughing] Marathon gets the most dejected look and have grabs the flashlight and is like
Penn (as Marathon): [crushed] Yes, Birdie.
Kit (as Birdie): [was legitimately just trying to give her a job] No Mara- I'm sorry!
Penn (as Marathon): Nope.
Nick: So from the perspective of Renn, Ciphera, and Cassidy who are walking to catch back up, you see Emma, Birdie, and Marathon clustered in conversation. You hear Marathon say that this is kind of boring. You see her handed a flashlight and Birdie scrambling to make that okay. And then the next thing you see is a bulkhead descend from the ceiling at bone shattering speed, slam to the ground dividing you from the rest of the group. Emma, Birdie, and Marathon - there are doors on either side of you that have slammed closed. You are now essentially in a metal box and you hear the hissing of something being pumped into the room and a mechanical voice overhead says
Nick (as Facility): [mechanical and over speakers] Fire suppression system activated.
Nick: And you begin to feel short of breath as oxygen appears to be being sucked out of this room to deal with the fire.
Kit: Cassidy, Renn, and Ciphera just hear,
Kit (as Birdie): [muffled through wall] Aw fuck.
[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 rpgforyouandme.com 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 patreon.com/rpgforyouandme.
Kit Adames as Birdie. Kit can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ venusvultures. Kit is also a voice actor for Elevator Pitch Podcast, a queer genre-hopping anthology podcast that can be accessed on Spotify and YouTube.
Penn Van Batavia as Marathon. She can be found on Twitter @ acquiredchaste. Penn is an indie TTRPG designer whose most recent work includes Wasmannian, a prompt game about gender and wasps. Check out faer other work at pennharper.itch.io.
Sydney Whittington as Cassidy. Sydney can be found on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes, and on Twitter @ sydney_whitt. She’s also a contributing editor for the Orpheus Protocol, a cosmic horror espionage actual play podcast..
Cameron Robertson as Emma. Cameron can be found on Twitter @ midnightmusic13 and on Instagram @ reading_and_dreaming. Cameron is also a player on Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars Edge of the Empire actual play podcast.
And Nick Robertson as narrator. Nick can be found on Twitter @ alias58. Nick is also the GM for Tabletop Squadron, which you can support @ Patreon.com/TabletopSquadron. Nick can also be found as a player on the Orpheus Protocol.
This podcast features the musical talents of Dora Violet and Arne Parrott. You can find Dora at facebook.com/doraviolett. You can find Arne at atptunes.com.
The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @ rashedjrs.
You can follow the Patina on Twitter @ akosap_podcast or visit the website: www.akosap.com. To further support the show, consider joining the Patreon at www.patreon.com/AKoSaP, where we’ll be bringing you weekly content including bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.
Until next time…