A Knight of Shreds and Patches
Transcript: Season 2 Episode 24: Action Archaeology
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 24: Action Archaeology Transcript by Cameron Robertson
Intro: [hurdy gurdy music begins]
Nick: Welcome, listeners, to A Knight of Shreds and Patches. An immersive actual play podcast. This episode features the talents of –
Penn: Penn Van Batavia as Marathon Messenger.
Kit: Kit Adames as Birdie Foundling.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.
Sydney: Sydney Whittington as Cassidy Shard.
Alli: Alli Nesbit as Renn Dare.
Kira: Kira Nesbit as Ciphera Vex.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Thanks for engaging your aural intake capabilities (or visual, if you’re a consumer of our made-with-love transcripts) and perceiving our show! As always, we’re happy to have you.
And, if you would like to expand the quantity of shreds and patches that your cognitive functions are processing, consider backing our Patreon, which gives you access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 24: Action Archaeology. And so...
“Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.”
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
[over radio] Cameron (as Emma): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we escaped the room that was trying to kill us, Marathon dropped the flashlight Birdie gave her, and we got to go on an adventure through a vent. After we escaped the vent and remembered to tell Cassidy we were alive, we discovered this huge room full of disgusting tanks that turned out to be the Power Plant for the facility - uh Marathon wants me to specify that this is funny because it runs on algae power and thus it truly is a power plant… - [sigh] anyway Birdie found the one tank that wasn’t full of dead gross gunk and we got the power supply back up and running by using Marathon’s fish to clean out the tubes so we could send the live algae over to the big main tank…I…never thought that I’d solve a mechanical problem with a fish. [radio static]
Nick: The first thing we see is the group of Cassidy, Renn, and Ciphera walking into the Networking Lab of this facility that they continue to delve for information on Ciphera's tattoo. The lab is dusty, but not water damaged like the passage nearby. The door had opened seemingly on its own and power is returning to the facility. This laboratory is mostly covered in computer panels and partially disassembled transmission dishes and wires. You also notice that there are small domes around the edge of the room sunk into the ceiling and some wild tech automation that has been disassembled on some work benches nearby.
Sydney: Cassidy, not knowing what to do with wild tech technology directly, starts looking around for like documents, stuff that she can take back for analysis later, instruction manuals or development manuals or anything, and then maybe if there's something cool and small looking, and then listens carefully to the Advantia while they're actually understanding what they're looking at.
Kira: Yeah, I think this is still mostly going to be Renn's show because she has the most mechanical and wild tech knowledge but Ciphera doesn't want to disturb anything before Renn gets a chance to take a look at it so she's getting the lay of the land. What did you say the dome like thing was?
Nick: There are small domes in the corners of the room and scattered across the ceiling. This laboratory is pretty large, it has a lot of open space and these seem to be set equidistantly. They are white enamel and besides being dusty appear to be in pretty good shape and have circular black openings on each dome set into one side but they all appear to be oriented about at random.
Alli: Renn makes a beeline for the workbench full of wild tech cause if this place has been shut down for lord knows how long this should not be here, so she's inquisitive but cautious.
Nick: Sure, go ahead and make me a Wild Tech roll at hard difficulty please.
Kira: Can I assist?
Nick: You absolutely can. So the way assisting works in this system is you take, of the people involved, the highest skill and the highest stat and combine them. If Renn has Ciphera outclassed in both, then you add a blue die for assisting.
Kira: You're going to get a blue die.
Alli: Wonderful. I have two green and two yellow for Wild Tech.
Alli: Alright, so I got two successes and a threat.
Nick: All right. As you look at this thing, it originally looked like a pile of just parts. As you get closer and you start to sort through the various components, you see that this is some sort of automation, but unlike some drones or even the small piece of wild tech that exploded at you earlier, this looks almost humanoid. It is mostly a black carbon fiber matting with white enamel paneling on parts of it. If you lay it out in the way you think it would connect, like if you were assembling a skeleton, it looks very graceful but also extremely utilitarian. There are six different sets of arms - you're not sure if it's interchangeable or if it is expected to attach all of them at once. The head is incomplete, the back is open and just taking a glance at it, the computer processing on the inside is not finished. You can see a lot of slots that are still open. And overall this looks like it was in progress when the lab was sealed.
Alli: Does it look like humanoid-y? Like if it would stand up?
Alli: Ooh, Renn don't like that.
Nick: So it does look humanoid. It has a torso, those multiple arms, and a head - where the legs would be there is, this would look familiar to you Renn as something that was being assembled and the parts desired aren't available. There is a leg that appears to be in about the same style as the arms but where the other leg would be is a large wheel that appears to have been jury rigged to fit into a hip joint. It's laying on its side but this thing is not as symmetrical and finished as you would expect.
Alli (as Renn): Well someone's building some kind of form over here, which is not something you'd like to see in abandoned facilities that have been sealed up by time and water and fire. So I'm gonna take this apart.
Sydney: Cassidy casually walks over. How much does this look like Zee-o?
Kira: Supplementary - have we seen anything like this before?
Nick: As the three of you come together and look at this chassis, Cassidy, this does remind you of Zee-o's form, but more like a distant cousin. While it does do its best to replicate the shape of a human and human functionality, the attention seems to have been drawn much more to adding things beyond what a human form could do, rather than imitating the best of a human form. You also, at a glance, notice that some of the ways that the joints interact in the visible parts are, are very much a different design philosophy. It's almost as though whoever was building this had the same end goal as whoever designed Zee-o, but started from a different place and a different mentality.
Renn and Ciphera, as you look at this, you have never seen something this complicated in an autonomous drone or creature. The amount of processing power that would be needed to balance this and make it run and work would use up any level of processing power that you've seen in wild tech that wasn't already assembled. Essentially, balancing a bipedal creature and interacting with the world takes a huge amount of processing power, which is why most drones are on wheels, or have a lot of different legs. Whatever was running this would either need to be directly human controlled through a very complicated interface or run by a control system that is more powerful than anything that you've interacted with before.
Kira: Is there a way that we can determine based on the state of the room or any other factors how long it has been since somebody was in here? Like does it appear as though this has been locked since the before times, or has someone been in here since then?
Nick: So your best bet for that would be looking around with your tracking skills and your experience doing action archaeology in the past, this place has been completely covered in dust, you don't see anything fresher than that. But getting an actual timeline is difficult. Your best bet might be to look through the computer records and see if there's any other entries there. Basically, it has been long enough that any natural indicator, like the growth of the mildew, or the dust is just a positive sign it has been a long time.
Kira: Ciphera just stands next to Renn and takes long moments examining this thing, and trying to process all of this information and not really understanding what the different pieces mean, or what the greater piece to the puzzle here is, but it's clearly wild tech, and it's clearly different than anything that she's ever seen before. But she looks to Renn, just with quizzical eyes.
Kira (as Ciphera): Do know what this is?
Alli (as Renn): It's a whole heap of should not exist.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It kinda looks like the secretary thing for the Parliamentarian in Eagle Hill. I don't know if you guys ever went over there.
Alli (as Renn): Did it have legs?
Sydney (as Cassidy): No. Well, that one only has one anyway.
Alli (as Renn): It's clearly in the process of trying to make more. Do you know how hard it is to walk without like a human's mental neural links?
Sydney (as Cassidy): I can't say I do.
Alli (as Renn): I'll tell you it's fucking difficult. And I'm going to take this apart right now.
Kira (as Ciphera): Does it mean you need to pilot it? Like a mech? Like the
Alli (as Renn): I mean, look, look at it. There's nowhere for a person to fit unless they're cramming a chipmunk in there. I don't think it's got the brain capacity to run it.
Kira (as Ciphera): It'd be a really smart chipmunk. I mean, is it worth preserving to take back to - I'll do whatever you want. I don't I've never seen anything like this before. I don't suppose this could be used in -
Kira: And she holds out her arm with a tattoo on it.
Alli: Is there a way to tell?
Nick: So you could try to wave your arm at it. This thing looks pretty disassembled, you're not seeing a lot of decryption functionality, but that's essentially like pointing at the motherboard of a computer and saying can this read a QR code? You're gonna need to turn some stuff on and look around to really interact with it if that's the way you want to go. It's also worth noting, this is very big, dangerous and scary and it's off. And this isn't what your stated goal is, so you could just be like, let's not touch this and leave. You're not going to learn a lot. You'll leave a lot on the table, but that is an option.
Alli: No Renn's gotta - this is this is Renn's job. She's got to look into this, this potentially scary murder machine. She's gonna start noodling around with the neck - see if there are any connector cables that might be an optical feed, seeing how if it's partially unfinished and looks like it's being constructed or was abandoned in the process of being constructed, if there's anything that clearly looks like it's anticipated but still missing besides you know the leg.
Nick: Make me another Wild Tech roll at hard difficulty this time with two black die because you haven't seen this before and you're starting to panic a little bit.
Alli: Yep. Does my Knack negate any of those black die?
Nick: Yes, it would negate both of them, actually.
Alli: She's a professional. She's panicked, but a professional. That's two yellow and two green.
Alli: One failure and three advantages.
Nick: All right, so you begin to really attempt to analyze what the capabilities of this machine is. It is still disassembled and you can't quite bring yourself to try to connect the various parts. You do notice that it has some sort of enclosed power source, it looks to be a battery, you would imagine the cabling looks like power cables, not like data cables. It's embedded in the chest, but it's otherwise featureless.
As you're looking at the head, the head of this thing is human shaped. It looks like a mannequin, it is blank with little indentations where the eyes would be and a small slash where a mouth would be. And as you begin to look at the exposed back part of the brain, you press a little latch and the face snaps open like a crab's mouth with the various little helper fingers that a crab uses to chew.
Alli (as Renn): Oh no.
Nick: Snapping back and revealing a wide array of dead optic sensors. Five large camera lenses and five smaller ones scattered around seemingly at random. It reminds you of a giant mechanical spider. None of them are on, nothing's moving, but having done that, you find yourself very disinclined to continue down this path. It is extremely unsettling.
Kira (as Ciphera): I don't like this.
Alli (as Renn): Uhhhh~.
Alli: Renn acting on memories of you know, the murder house she was once in, grabs into her satchel and gets out some grease and just start smearing the optical inputs with the grease. Can't see ya, it maybe will take longer to kill you.
Sydney: In the meantime, Cassidy is quickly sketching what this robot and the pile of gear looks like in a way that theoretically Emma could draw conclusions from without words having to be spoken to decide if this is something that we may want to exercise our dibs on.
Nick: Yeah you don't have to roll for that. Based on your understanding, you're not necessarily going to get the intricacies of the wiring or the mechanics, but it'll give Emma a pretty good idea of what y'all are seeing.
Sydney: Especially not the amount of time that Cassidy is willing to spend getting detailed sketches while the Advantia people are looking quite unsettled. Cassidy is somewhere between "well, this looks like Zee-o so I know what to expect" and "oh, this looks like Zee-o. I don't want them to look any closer" and "this isn't Zee-o" and "if it keeps doing weird things I don't want to have to fight it."
Kira: Ciphera has definitely snapped out her staff if it was in a storage position, that she is she is poised and ready maybe not like completely on edge, but wild tech is inherently unpredictable. You don't know what something is until it activates and in a facility this old where there have clearly been things activating and operating on their own and exploding, doing things that they shouldn't presumably be doing - this is just a wildcard and Ciphera is not prepared to let that slide, so she is ready to smash this thing's head as soon as possible if it starts moving,
Nick: And as this face snaps open and Renn begins to attempt to blind the unmoving mechanical parts, we're going to jump over to the power plant that Emma, Marathon, and Birdie managed to get back online.
The three of you are standing in a suddenly very well lit room. You can see around the edge of this algae generator facility that the smaller storage tanks that you know were now for algae are filled with black gunk except for one that is very cleanly empty. The large main tank in the middle of the room is now glowing slightly green, giving off heat and humidity. The room is starting to feel almost tropical now. But the facility is now lit and even though you entered in through a small utility vent in the wall, you see that what was once in the shadows is now opening as on either edge of the room large sealed bulkhead doors slide open on their own, showing multiple directions that you could go to leave and presumably make it back to the rest of the facility. You remember from the map at the entrance that what you can only assume now is the main power source of this facility was nestled in the middle of an otherwise round distribution of laboratories.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, well. Was that a nice snack little doggie?
Cameron (as Emma): Gosh, that's bright.
Cameron: Emma's blinking her eyes adjusting to lights being on now after having been in the mostly dark for so long.
Kit (as Birdie): Well, bunch of doors open, which means we can get out but also a lot of things can get in.
Cameron (as Emma): [affirmative] Mm.
Penn (as Marathon): Nothing we can't handle.
Penn: Marathon, with one arm around the jolly jogger, thumps her chest with the other hand.
Nick: The jolly jogger gives a tiny little burp.
Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [fish burp]
Cameron (as Emma): All right. Uh well, before we go anywhere - Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): Mhm?
Cameron (as Emma): We need to make sure that that fish is -
Penn (as Marathon): Jogger.
Cameron (as Emma): - completely clean of algae.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, okay, what do you what do you suggest? Yes, I am well aware of the invasive species.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): We're trying to avoid.
Cameron (as Emma): I think it would be fine because the fish here never came in contact with any of the still living algae but it - I would still rather [laughs in environmental concern] be safe here rather than ruin this entire ecosystem when we go back outside. So I guess as we don't have like a tub of water, I guess just like scrub down the fish?
Penn (as Marathon): Sure.
Penn: Marathon takes off her [laugh] ripped sleeve flannel and sets down the jogger and then starts with gently wiping it down.
Kit (as Birdie): Egh.
Nick: You're able to do that pretty easily. The jogger struggles a little, it's just not a fan of being rubbed down like this, but you're able to remove the current layer of slime that it has on it and you think any algae particles would have been trapped in that so you're feeling pretty good about the fish being decontaminated.
Penn (as Marathon): Well it served its purpose. I'm just gonna leave the flannel here.
Kit (as Birdie): We'll get you a new one.
Penn (as Marathon): So I guess you all just have to see my back muscles a little bit too with my tank top.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah, dang.
Penn: [laughing] Marathon brushes off her shoulder.
Kit (as Birdie): [over exaggerated joking] Oh, god my eyes! [laugh] Um okay.
Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat]
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, no, it's fine.
Penn (as Marathon): No, it's all right. I'm,
Kit (as Birdie): [oh no Marathon didn’t get the joke and thinks Birdie is mean again] No, no!
Cameron (as Emma): We appreciate your sacrifice. We'll get you a new shirt.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, we'll get you a new one.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, anyway.
Kit (as Birdie): Too bad.
Penn (as Marathon): Um, forward march?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, forward march in what direction?
Cameron (as Emma): Which direction though?
Penn (as Marathon): Forward. [laugh]
Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]
Cameron (as Emma): Marathon. There are numerous doors we don't have - what is forward?
Penn (as Marathon): Uhh.
Nick: There are two doors on either side of this big room that have slid open. Both hallways are well lit. As you look around trying to decide which way to go, make me a Perception check at hard difficulty please with one black die because you all are currently talking.
Cameron: Alright, I've got two yellows, a green a black and three purples.
Cameron: Three successes and two threats.
Kit: Okay, so I rolled the same as Emma - two yellows, a green, three purple and a black and I got three threats and a triumph. [laugh]
Penn: I've got three purples, three green, and a black.
Penn: Three successes, two threats.
Nick: Okay, so Marathon and Emma both passed and Birdie did not but has a triumph. So as you all are talking, you have been adventuring together long enough that you're able to have a conversation and also look around and see where you want to go next. I will be hanging on to those threats for you, don't worry, but Emma and Marathon you notice a familiar low brushing noise coming from one of the doorways. The thing about it that's a little off putting is that while it's still faint, it sounds like a lot more brushing than the last little drone that you saw in this facility.
Penn (as Marathon): [panic] Bomb bots. Bomb bots again, everybody.
Kit (as Birdie): Huh?
Cameron (as Emma): Okay, it does sound like there's an army of brushing robots coming from that direction.
Penn (as Marathon): Other door.
Cameron (as Emma): I don't think they were meant to be bombs -
Penn (as Marathon): Other door.
Cameron (as Emma): - but I am in agreement. Yes. Let's go the other way.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay.
Penn: Marathon starts helping scoop Birdie a little bit.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay, okay. [laughing]
Nick: And as you start to head the other direction, everything is now very well lit so you look around the large fuel tank now filled with algae in the middle and you can see - actually all of you would know what this is - you see what looks to be a large, automated Zamboni that is cleaning the walls, ceiling, and floor at the same time filling the whole corridor. And then in front of that, you see six of these smaller cylindrical drones that you saw earlier and they are driving towards the power source room.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, it's a Zimbi!
Kit (as Birdie): A what?
Penn (as Marathon): It's just like Zimbi back home.
Kit (as Birdie): That's a lot that's that's a lot of things.
Cameron (as Emma): Did you name the Zamboni for your ice rink Zimbi?
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): What is with Tree All and naming all of the big cleaning robots?
Penn (as Marathon): [overlapping robots] Everything? I dunno they're all cute! I don't know.
Kit (as Birdie): [overlap] Guys we don't really have a lot of time to discuss this -
Penn (as Marathon): Oh are these - wait are these aggressive?
Nick: You hear a multiplied chorus of voices coming from these cleaning bots as they roll closer.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, oh God.
Nick (as Drone): [chorus of robotic voices] Visitors detected. Initiate Greeting Protocol.
Nick: And they begin to roll faster towards you all. So you still have that triumph, Birdie.
Kit: I would like the triumph if I can to be that Birdie has an explosive prepared in her backpack. [laughing]
Kit: Birdie is going to whip off her backpack and start rifling through it. And the smell of bacon grease gets a little stronger, I guess.
Nick: So since you have a triumph, you can throw a Molotov if you would like. But I would like to offer you something a little bit higher grade here. As you dig through your bag, the smell of bacon grease is pervasive. You do have some of your Molotovs that you have assembled since the last time you use them up. But you do notice down towards the bottom of your backpack that there is one of the leftover artillery shells from Iota that you had disassembled most of to make it much smaller, but you have hooked it up to some jury rigged levers that once you attach them basically you could throw it and it would be on a contact detonation. So you have legitimate explosives if you would like to use them.
Kit: Birdie just is digging around in her bag and she holds up the jury rigged artillery shell and she's like,
Kit (as Birdie): Huh, that'll work. I'm just gonna, just gonna - yeah. Yeah, right? That's a good idea, right guys?
Penn (as Marathon): [panicking] Huh? Oh, yeah, I didn't realize this [stammering for words] Not Zimbi was going to explode too. Um.
Kit (as Birdie): Probably, I wouldn't like to risk it. Even if he isn't this, you know, this is a precaution.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah just go ahead and throw it before they get near the power source.
Kit: And she's gonna just wind up and throw it.
Penn (as Marathon): What - should I duck?
Nick: So make me a Ranged Attack to huck this thing to where it's going to do the most damage and hopefully be far away from the power supply for this facility.
Kit: It is at what level of difficulty?
Nick: This will be average.
Kit: Okay, I've got two yellows, one green and two purple. A success and two advantages.
Nick: Okay, so you throw this thing it lands and rolls, which is not how it was designed - it was supposed to explode on contact - and rolls right in front of the largest of these cleaning drones as they are just outside of the doorway to the power source. There is a moment of quiet silence, Marathon yells should I duck, and then there is a very large explosion much like the landing of the shell from an artillery cannon and these things are reduced to twisted metal and roiling smoke.
Penn (as Marathon): God! Ahh!
Kit: Birdie turns around before it explodes and it's like,
Kit (as Birdie): No, I don't think you need -
Kit: So it's just the explosion happening behind her and she doesn't flinch at all. She's like,
Kit (as Birdie): [cool as a cucumber] I think you're good.
Penn (as Marathon): [confused panicked noises] Oh, my God, that was oh, okay. Okay, Not Zimbi is dead. Oh,
Kit (as Birdie): You just don't have to worry about it anymore. Right?
Penn: Marathon is feeling herself to make sure she hasn't been hit with anything.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Um.
Kit (as Birdie): You'll be fine Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): I'm sorry. I'm just explosions are still kind of scary.
Nick: As you all are talking a voice comes over the loudspeaker for the facility that says
Nick (as Facility): [robotic voice over speakers] Unable to activate fire suppression system. Recommending evacuation.
Nick: As the bulkhead door between the fire and the power generator starts to close and then rolls back open because the protocol has been disabled. And we're going to cut back to the Networking Lab. You all are looking at this automated body. The tension in the room has increased as you learn more about its capabilities and then there is a large boom from a distance as though you are hearing it through the walls and a low rumble and you hear an automated voice come over the PA system saying
Nick (as Facility): [robotic voice over speakers] Fire suppression system disabled. Unable to activate fire suppression system.
Alli (as Renn): Oh good. Nobody make any fires.
Sydney: Cassidy hits her radio immediately and goes,
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Emma what the hell was that?
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Um hello Cassidy. A Zamboni exploded.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio from a distance] Sowwy.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] You're - okay, Was it - did it like go towards you and explode?
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Yeah, it had six little robot friends too. Um, yep.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio from a distance and muffled] Nice! Nice cover.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] And they're on fire. [laugh]
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio from a distance] Got rid of them!
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] [sigh of tired babysitter]
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [obviously feeling more concerned that the other group is without supervision] Okay~.
Nick: I think we see as this conversation is happening Emma, Birdie, and Marathon are jogging in the opposite direction down the other open hallway to get away from the smoke and move on to whatever else they can find.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Giant explosions tend to make the stuff that we're trying to find not be intact.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio from a distance] I'll keep it in mind!
Kira: Does it feel like the facility is coming apart or anything? Like is dust coming from the ceiling
and shit like that?
Nick: Dust was shaken down from the ceiling with the initial explosion but you've been in collapsing environments before, this one is still very stable. It's built almost entirely of solid steel. The explosion shook things but it is not collapsing.
Kira: Ciphera looks very grumpily at Cassidy.
Sydney: Cassidy is holding her face in her hands again.
Kira (as Ciphera): Well...
Sydney: Okay Cassidy stops holding push to talk and goes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] I need -there, there's too much inexperience [short laugh] on the other side of wherever they are.
Kira: Ciphera's teeth are gritted, but she purses her lips and seemingly bites back a more acidic comment but says
Kira (as Ciphera): [still pretty acidic] Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have. But I'm glad someone is level headed.
Alli (as Renn): Doubly glad they're here.
Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. What a relief. If this facility comes out, It's understood that that's coming out of your end, I hope. This is literally the only thing I have.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well the good news is the decoding is the only thing you claimed, so.
Alli (as Renn): Eh well
Kira (as Ciphera): We put an asterisk on that. I think you remember.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah and we get second dibs of everything else.
Kira (as Ciphera): Provided it's -
Alli (as Renn): Safe.
Kira (as Ciphera): - safe enough to be removed. Yes, as I explicitly outlined during our business deal.
Alli (as Renn): Cassidy do you not understand how dangerous some of the stuff in here might be? Like it's like oh, I got a cool gun that does more gun things than usual or like I got some, I don't know, some gunk I can put on what do you have there but I on your arrows. This is that. This? No.
Kira (as Ciphera): This is trap us in this facility and everyone dies. That's what we're up against right now. So I hope your friends realize how serious it is on their end too.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I sure hope they do too. But we're not strangers to danger. [#professionalMercenaries]
Kira (as Ciphera): What was that you were saying about inexperience like five seconds ago?
Sydney (as Cassidy): They're -
Alli (as Renn): There are different tiers of danger.
Sydney (as Cassidy): - strangers to not blowing fucking everything up.
Kira (as Ciphera): That sounds pretty dangerous to me, Cassidy.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Then we better go faster.
Alli (as Renn): I'm not going to go faster and potentially trip something that turns on, I don't know, like ancient fucking automated turrets because that's happened before. Do you want to see the bullet hole that I had stitched up? You wouldn't know it's from a turret but it hurt the same.
Alli: She gets back to trying to disconnect this thing's fucking leg.
Kira (as Ciphera): What do you need me to do to speed this along?
Alli (as Renn): Go look at the computers.
Kira (as Ciphera): Done.
Alli (as Renn): Use my dongle.
Kira (as Ciphera): Yup.
Kira: Ciphera will take the proffered dongle and go to see what she can try to do on the computer.
Alli: It's basically just a USB stick on a chain.
Nick: Renn as you are attempting to disassemble this body, you see that very little of it is actually assembled. It had been almost in a pile and you had laid it out to try to get a better picture of what it was. The legs are attached by a couple of power cables that are very easy to unplug. They're quick connect plastic clips. One thing that you do notice is all of the joints appear to be magnetic, which is really interesting.
Alli: Huh? She loves magnets. [laugh]
Nick: You think they're electromagnets because they don't currently have a charge, but to limit friction maybe or allow for quick assembly. You're looking at the leg specifically but where the ball joint on the hip would be, it is a cupped magnet and a spherical magnet. And Ciphera at Renn's request to look at the computers, you head over to the biggest bank of terminals, and you have Renn's dongle. So what would be your approach to working through wild tech data centers?
Kira: So Ciphera is not as practiced with Renn is doing that. She has no specific ability with computers, just her baseline core attributes. At this point, I think it's with caution to do things step by step as methodically but quickly as possible given that who knows what else will be exploded and come down around them. So yeah, it's gonna be one step at a time moving efficiently, trying to identify threats and issues as soon as they pop up.
Nick: Go ahead and make me a easy Wild Tech roll and you can have two blue die because of Renn's technology that is assisting you.
Kira: I have one green, one yellow.
Kira: One success, one triumph, and four advantages.
Nick: Wow, very good. This computer system is not particularly secure.
Kira (as Ciphera): I'm in.
Nick: Especially now with power on to the facility, you are able to find a power button to start to bring these data centers back online pretty easily. You're very careful to make sure you don't activate anything by accident and while this is more Renn's realm of expertise, you've watched her do it enough and had to do it enough on your own that you're able very quickly to navigate through this. There appears to be two different partitions on this hard drive and the entire laboratory is one big computer. So you're able to access basically all the data in this section of the lab in one go without having to move around. The two different partitions, there appears to be a research side of things that as you glance through it has a lot more technical documentation and day to day lab notes.
And part of why you're so successful is the other section of this appears to have been designed specifically to do presentations. Everything is in very clear information, there are nice little diagrams to help explain what's going on, and you're even able to find some quick informational videos that play audio from a little speaker near the keyboard explaining a lot about what this lab does. This is like if you've ever seen a presentation from a professional consulting firm, where they try to make themselves look smart by doing shitty math, it's a lot of that. And at any point, if there's specific information that you feel like would be triumphant, for sure, let me know there. But are you more interested in the technical side of things or in the clear explanation of things?
Kira: Ciphera wants to understand, but she knows that Renn would understand more with the technical explanation. Ultimately, Ciphera's goal is to find a way to read this tattoo, so that's primarily what she's looking for, but any other data that can be scraped together that would be advantageous, or something that they might be able to utilize, would be useful. Anything that proves that this is not dangerous, or, you know, ways they can ensure that it does not become dangerous would be good. But she's sitting there typing and while she's typing, we see the her ear fin, the metallic one, sort of readjusting and fidgeting, as she's focusing and we hear the metallic clink of her three metal fingers on the keys, which creates sort of a weird staccato rhythm in the room.
Nick: So Ciphera, you activate one of these summary videos, they all have very long titles like Customer Client Data Evaluation, and then a long date code on them that appears to be internal and makes it very difficult to tell exactly when these were. You click one of the most recent ones and from this little speaker, you hear a voice go along with simplified graphics, and it fills up the screen in front of the terminal you're on and also flashes up on other monitors all around the laboratory.
Nick (as Video Host): [over speakers] Welcome to Eerie Data Transformation Inc, where we connect you to your clients and to their true hopes and dreams. Our laboratory is focused on true communication and pointing customers to you. This laboratory is an example of our companies spread across the country. We focus on being self reliant and providing a controlled environment for you to see our technology at work. Please feel free to stop by our general research lab or networking labs for any information about collecting data on your customers, improving sales, and bringing synergistic success.
We are also happy to introduce new data encoding technology. With our new customized tablets you can encode data and research quickly and allow it to be accessed by your customers at any time. We're also happy to bring our new technology hardware data encoding. Thanks to our physical environment, we're able to research and interpret data in a way that will never go away.
Nick: The video at this point has been showing lots of line graphs with the lines just pointing up. A lot of very generic pictures of diverse people giving smiles and thumbs up to the camera. People in business suits shaking hands together. And as this video goes on, the quality is degrading and getting worse and the video begins to corrupt a little and with that triumph, you also appear to have stumbled into some sort of glitch due to the degradation of the data into a much more encrypted piece of data that is further in the system. Basically, by opening this video, it allowed Renn's technology to get into some spaces that none of you may have noticed.
And the video immediately goes to a black screen with just green scrolling text over it - very simple, obviously, something much more internal. And you get what appears to be some sort of progress log on a project that is talking about the status of this company's Space Networking Initiative. The data says that this lab is only partially connected to the moon, but that the bandwidth of the network has been severely impacted. There's another glitch, and you get something that was clearly hand typed very quick. There's a lot of typos. And you see 'project status, Apoc restraint, and there's a very long program code.' And below that it says 'Apoc.ai is subsuming sections of the lunar data network' and then you see a another thing that says 'partial download of interface initiated' and a data bar starts to fill up.
Kira: Does it look like it's actively filling up right now like this is happening in real time? This is not a pre-recorded type thing?
Nick: Yes, it is a pop up that says data transfer. It's moving very slowly. The computer is doing what we may find very relatable of flashing the names of what bits of a program are downloading faster than you can read. But probably about 75% of the names flashing up on the screen are blinking red and then disappearing like it's not able to get all of it. The room is filling with a low hum as something appears to be being downloaded from whatever the lunar data network is.
Kira: As she puts all these pieces together, we just see her eyes widen and there's sort of a stutter in her jaw and she starts to partially turn back and then swallows and says,
Kira (as Ciphera): Renn, I need your help here, please right now.
[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. 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…