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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 26: Arbiters of Truth and Justice

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 26: Arbiters of Truth and Justice 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:

May the 4th be with you, and with your spirit, on this most Star Warsiest of days. Also, even though their timeline is nonlinear relative to our frame out here, it’s Emma’s birthday, so wish her a happy one in our Discord. And if you want to hear even more from the fictional birthday girl, 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 26: Arbiters of Truth and Justice. 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, Renn, Ciphera, and I were exploring the Networking lab in this old abandoned facility. Renn making sure the humanoid synthetic laid out on the table wasn't anything dangerous, Ciphera poking around on the computers and watching commercials, when something in the computers got tripped and something else started downloading. They freaked out, dumped some countermeasures into the system, and then that tripped the building security, so they fled the room, while I (who had not been poking at things) grabbed the head and torso of the robot to bring it back for Emma to look at.

They took issue with this, as it was obviously a world-ending weapon that only they could possibly diagnose and disarm. Emma, Birdie, and Marathon also found the data encoding lab, which was probably what we came here for, and Marathon I guess found a watch radio thing, if that's not also some kind of terrible wild tech threat.

I guess we'll find out... [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: We open in the data encoding Lab of the Erie Data Transformation Inc distribution laboratory. The expeditionary group of the Patina and Renn and Ciphera are reunited after having been divided by both technology and different objectives. You've made it to the room that you have all been hoping for. You can see different encoding technology and information scattered around like a treasure trove and no one yet knows of the impending threat in the form of the scraps of an automated humanoid that was left behind.

The room is filled with what looked like science fair projects with trifold boards explaining the various technology to display, you would assume based on some of the information you'd gotten earlier, in a attempt to sell things to investors. And a conversation is underway about whether or not the head and torso of a machine salvaged by Cassidy could indeed destroy the world.

Cameron (as Emma): Wh-what's the concern with it? Like it's got good cameras, it has good chips that I can reuse in the Knight. What is world ending about this?

Alli (as Renn): I mean, maybe inherently could be nothing could be something downloading an AI from the moon in the room we were just in. Could be that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, it's a good thing that you already dealt with that problem, then.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, we don't know what else is in here, Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's the idea. That's why we're here grabbing loot.

Alli (as Renn): So think you understand the implications of AIs from the fucking shattered moon. Why is it trying to get back down here? What kind of Murder House is this about to turn into?

Kira (as Ciphera): You see it as grabbing loot - this is, everything here is extremely delicate. We don't know what we're dealing with to just take it up there where it could potentially go off like a bomb and kill hundreds or thousands of people [Cassidy interrupts and overlaps] or do something more sinister.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [scathing] Yeah the Advantia would know a lot about giant machines that go off and kill hundreds of thousands of people if we don't stop them.

Alli (as Renn): [yelling] Yeah that's what do! [Cassidy overlapping] That's my job description!

Sydney (as Cassidy): We're - we, that's what we do is we stop them. This is fine. This is a body with nothing in it. It's got lenses, -

Kira (as Ciphera): [interrupting] Well apparently you start them too.

Sydney (as Cassidy): - and guts that we can salvage.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, maybe you should let us take a look at it first before -

Sydney (as Cassidy): You took a look at it and you left it in the other room. That means you didn't want it. There was nothing - you didn't have to smash it. There was nothing dangerous about it at that time.

Alli (as Renn): But you don't know that.

Kira (as Ciphera): We took a cursory examination while -

Sydney (as Cassidy): [slowly as if explaining to a child] That's why Emma's here to look at it.

Kira (as Ciphera): - we were looking over the other data.

Cameron: Emma is standing right where she was next to this torso and head of this robot and is just silently watching this conversation happen, determining that Cassidy's got it covered for the moment - she doesn't need to participate because nothing useful is actually being said that needs her input on it, and has taken out a screwdriver and is just unscrewing pieces off of this robot that she thinks would be useful and waves Birdie over and hands her another screwdriver to help. The one that Emma is using is from her mini lockpick toolkit, so it's very little - picture like an eyeglasses screwdriver, so she's going after like the very tiny little screws holding these very delicate mechanical pieces in place. The one she hands Birdie is a eight inch long Craftsman screwdriver.

Kit: Birdie sees that Emma is handing her the screwdriver and nods and is just listening in on the conversation with a little bit of an amused expression on her face. A little bit chuckling under her breath while she's fishing through the salvaged bits and trying to take out what she knows from slight experience to be important or anything that just looks cool really.

Sydney: Cassidy is standing in front, arms crossed in a stance to block the path from the table that this torso and head are sitting on.

Kira (as Ciphera): [obviously trying to sound reasonable] Please step away from it so that Renn can take a look. Everything you're saying is -

Sydney (as Cassidy): [has already seen reason] You already took a look.

Kira (as Ciphera): [suddenly screaming] Shut up! Shut up! Stop interrupting! Step away from it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [stubborn] No!

Kira (as Ciphera): [not quite screaming, but raised voice] Let her take a look at it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlapping] [sounds very calm contrasted with Ciphera] My mechanic is taking a look at it.

Kira (as Ciphera): [voice tight and borderline yelling] What you're saying is reasonable if it's determined - [overlap stops] if it's determined by us that it's safe for you to take away, you can! But your utter refusal to even god damn listen to what we're saying is infuriating and it proves that you don't come here in good faith. We brought you here as extra help. You keep bringing up world ending, I think you understand that that's hyperbole. That's the worst that it could possibly be, but there are gradients. It's not one or the other. It could be small things. Are you going to be okay if it goes on a killing rampage and it hurts three people? Are three people enough for it to be a big enough problem for you?

Cameron: Emma is just raising her hand waiting for Ciphera to be quiet so that she can talk.

Kira (as Ciphera): [kinda yelled] Yes!?

Cameron (as Emma): [as if talking to a toddler throwing a tantrum] Okay, so this is a gear - it's not attached to anything. I'm going to put it in my pocket. Uh. This is a wire - it's not attached to anything, gonna put it in my pocket. There are no bombs in this. There's no uplink thing. There is some power stuff still in here kind of, but this, it's not - like we're not taking this torso out of this room. I'm removing pieces of metal that do not have brains.

Alli: Renn takes a step forward, she still has her respirator up. It's definitely fogging more in the glass front, because she's breathing a bit more heavily with seeing the way the conversation is turning. And she steps to be parallel with Ciphera, and gestures at the things and she's like

Alli (as Renn): Did you ever - did your towns ever get sick grown up? Did you ever experience a plague like that? Because sometimes little things add up to a big thing where someone comes home feeling right as rain, super healthy. And next day, they're fucking gone. So that might be a gear or it might be a little bit of wiring, and I'm sure that's fine, but sometimes sickness comes in places and ways you wouldn't expect. And what we do, we quarantine until it's passed and we can't let stuff like this escape out into the world. You saw what happened at Iota. You saw how bad that could have been. We're fighting wars on [stressed laugh] an innumerable number of fronts because we don't really understand wild tech to the amount that we need to to make sure we as a people as as, as humans can be safe. Do- I don't - and I understand not everybody has seen experience we've had, but I cannot overstate the enormity of a facility like this and what it could mean if anything here got out. What if they were engineering viruses?

Cameron (as Emma): I will say the plague metaphor is interesting, because you are the only one of us in a respirator.

Alli (as Renn): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): So like,

Alli (as Renn): Wonder why that is.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah -

Alli (as Renn): Last house I was in like this tried to gas me.

Cameron (as Emma): [calm but becoming frustrated with hypocrisy] Yeah, well, so that's what I'm saying. If there is if they were making viruses, not computer viruses, like human transmittable viruses, all the rest of us - including Ciphera - not wearing a respirator. That's not a concern though, this gear that I just put in my pocket is the concern.

Alli (as Renn): The plague -

Cameron (as Emma): For a virus.

Alli (as Renn): - was more of a metaphor.

Cameron (as Emma): I know, I'm just pointing out -

Alli (as Renn): Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): - that y'all are only considering the technological piece where that this has been closed for eons. Who knows how long. Anything could be down here. Why are you only concerned about the technology piece?

Alli (as Renn): Because that's my job.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's what we focus on.

Alli (as Renn): That's my life.

Kira (as Ciphera): There's little other, we can address some of the other stuff to some extent, but our job, our purpose, what we're doing here is trying to quarantine dangerous technology that we don't fully understand or getting into the hands of people who will be able to make that determination.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sounds like maybe she's not that fond of them] Oh, people like the Advantia.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. People like the Advantia.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes, known arbiters of truth and justice.

Cameron: Emma hasn't stopped unscrewdrivering things.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't pretend to defend everything the Advantia has done. I've done some things that I regret and I've done some things that I feel bad about, but were necessary. For the sake of this conversation and respect to this currently friendly dialogue, could you please stop dismantling that. It seems like this entire thing is you all just telling us to shut up and you're going to do whatever you want to and that is not why we brought you along.

Cameron (as Emma): [over the bullshit] I believe you are the only one who has said that, Ciphera.

Cameron: Emma doesn't stop and looks to Marathon for hopeful assistance in [laughing] backing that position up.

Penn: Marathon's head has been pinging back and forth between everybody in the conversation and she's standing kind of off to the side and in between the two opposing groups right now and has scooted this jolly jogger behind her with her foot and gives Emma a slightly unsure look. And her body language is seeming tense, but still uncertain.

Sydney (as Cassidy): If you think that everything here is infected by evil AI, how are you going to trust that whatever it gives you if you try to figure out how to decode your tattoo is even helpful? How do you know it's not to secret AI cache everything's corrupted, nothing is trustworthy.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't know that.

Alli (as Renn): That's why we're here to look.

Kit (as Birdie): If you're being so protective about all of this, and going on about world ending AIs and all of these sorts of, [laugh] forgive me, doomsday ideals - you trusted us alone with Iota, but won't trust us with dismantling a few robots?

Kira (as Ciphera): We knew what was in Iota, [sounding still not over that little betrayal] or somebody did.

Kit (as Birdie): And you trusted us with that.

Alli (as Renn): I didn't have a choice.

Sydney (as Cassidy): How do you think we figure out what's in this? Emma sits and looks at it.

Kira (as Ciphera): I trusted you with the information I had at that time. Right now the honestly the most concerning thing to me is that you're not even willing to stop and talk about it. You've already made your decision.

Cameron (as Emma): We are talking about it.

Alli (as Renn): But you're not so not stopping.

Kira (as Ciphera): You're not stopping, which is literally the only thing I've asked you to really do so far is to stop.

Kit (as Birdie): Emma hasn't told me to stop.

Cameron: Emma gives a smile to Birdie and keeps going. She's over it.

Penn: Marathon takes a step back towards the Advantia still in the middle and off to the side and begins to turn towards Emma and says,

Penn (as Marathon): Emma, maybe you maybe you should just like pause for a mo-

Nick: And Marathon as you begin to try to de escalate the situation, all of the lights in the lab cut out, plunging you all into darkness. After half a second, a single red emergency light illuminates in the ceiling, gently strobing as it spins slowly a beacon from a demonic lighthouse, illuminating parts of the room at a time. You hear a sound of whirring, and the gentle clink and scrape of metal along concrete, steel, and wiring.

Sydney: Cassidy flicks her headset flashlight on and her bow has appeared in her hand.

Kira: I love the image of everyone standing here on opposite sides of the room and just being briefly swept by the red light. As we move around and like stagger frames to change our positions. But yeah Ciphera has her staff in hand the entire time, but when the lights go out, one hand goes to Renn's shoulder and then she just starts to turn around and try to identify where the sound is coming from.

Alli (as Renn): [very scared] Don't lose me okay?

Kira (as Ciphera): I won't.

Penn: Marathon does a quick roll backwards and scoops up the fish into her belly as she's rolling and sets it off to the side and quickly slides her brass knuckles out of her pocket. So now that position is relatively close to Renn and Ciphera, but still a little distance away from them, maybe like a good dozen feet.

Cameron: Emma shifts her sword so that it's not on her back anymore and is next to her but there's still light to unscrew shit by, so she's doing it. [laugh]

Kit: Birdie grabs her flashlight out with her non dominant hand and is just continuing to unscrew because Emma hasn't stopped and she's trying to make a point. And she's shining where Emma needs to because she's doing finer work.

Nick: As you all look for the threat or prepare yourselves while continuing to disassemble your prize, from the doorway you hear the scraping noise accelerate, and you find yourself faced with a pile of mechanical limbs. Those of you who were in the room with the original automaton recognize these six sets of arms and the leg and wheel but you did not expect to see this stuck together at the joints. The pieces seem to shift and move in on themselves as it enters the room and with the sound of whirring servos ahead, begins to charge. I need Marathon and Birdie to both roll me a fortune die please.

[die rolling]

Kit: Got a black dot.

Penn: I got one misfortune as well.

Nick: Well, as a result of that threat counter that we've had running this entire adventure, Marathon and Birdie appear to be the main targets of this monstrosity as it lunges towards Marathon and several of the arms breakaway and shoot across the room in the direction of Emma and Birdie. And I'm going to need everyone to roll initiative, please.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: All right. Emma has three successes and a triumph.

Penn: Marathon got one success and one advantage.

Alli: I've got two advantages.

Kit: Birdie got one success.

Sydney: Cassidy got two successes, one advantage.

Kira: I got one success.

Nick: And could you please roll three yellow die and two blue die please.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Pile of arms has one success and five advantages.

Nick: So the way this initiative works is this has one initiative slot, but it also has the ability to react to actions against it after other people go. So just be aware that depending on what happens, it may like counter attack or change the room or things like that. So the initiative order is three player slots, this robot, and then three more player slots. That being said, as a group, you all have five advantages and a triumph that you can use to add things to this setting to make it more advantageous for you all.

Cameron: Is the robot pieces that Birdie and Emma are working with at all - is it behaving at all alive with the introduction of its other body parts?

Nick: That's such an interesting question. With your particular perspective being elbow deep in this torso, yes, you do notice that some parts are beginning to move and there's a low hum of power, and the lenses on the face are lighting up - you can't really tell the color because of the red light.

Cameron: So then, I would like for my triumph for it to move enough and wake up enough that everyone else in the room realizes that it's coming to life, and then have it immediately power down as Emma reaches the whatever power connection it's using in its body because she's been unscrewdriving things the whole time and it's finally made it to the power source to fully disconnect it.

Nick: Yeah, that absolutely works. You are looking as it starts to judder and rattle on the table, that noise of porcelain and metal rattling on a workbench definitely draws everyone's eye even in this moment. And as you're disassembling it, you've been looking for any secondary power source, especially since it is starting to turn on and you aren't seeing any sort of generator or power pack, but what you do see is a long coiled wire that is sunk into the torso in concentric circles, like some sort of antenna or receiver. You grab that and rip it out and the torso and head go completely dead as though that was a connection to some sort of external power source.

Cameron: My goal for this is to have it be that both sides of this argument have a good point, because yes it did wake up, but also it was immediately turned off because Emma had ignored them and continued to work on it. I am muddying the waters on this argument. [laughing]

Sydney: Let's spend the advantages that we have to cancel out everything that the robot got.

Nick: [sad DM noise] Okay. So that really shows itself in the fact that this thing has the jump on you all and is very surprising looking but through all of your training and the frankly adrenaline running from your conversations, you are all prepared, so while it is moving quickly, you are not off balance and that negates each other. So jumping into the combat here, the tangle of limbs and wheel are heading past Ciphera in the doorway towards Marathon and Renn. Three of the arms have been jettisoned from this metal hedgehog straight towards Birdie and Emma, like finger missiles and it is a player slot first.

Kira: So the lights have gone out, the red strobe is on - what can we already see of this creature as it's coming through the hallway? Like when Ciphera hears the scrabbling behind her and turns around what exactly does she see in this flashing light?

Nick: So, in the red light you see what looks like a wheel dragging a leg with a joint bending in the wrong direction, covered in sets of arms with different tools. It's hard to make out the colors, but it is light colored paneling with dark metal interiors. And the way that this thing was moving, when you hear the noise, you turn around and it's already in the doorway. It doesn't move in any way organically or logically. It jutters and shifts and is very difficult to predict because of its both morphology and whatever logic it is using to decide its actions. It looks like if you disassembled a person and tried to build a caltrop out of it.

Kira: When she sees that her first instinct is to go and cover Renn and if it's already upon Ciphera, she's just going to take a quick horizontal swipe as she turns to roll out of the way and come up in front of Renn. It's just a reflectionary, a reactive, get the first blow in and reposition.

Nick: All right, so roll me that attack.

Kira: Okay, so I have two yellow and one green. And then I also have the Quick Strike talent. I get one blue for each rank that I make against targets that have not yet taken their turn in the encounter which would be one so I have one rank in it.

Cameron: And that's two purples because it's Melee.

[dice rolling]

Kira: Two successes and two advantages.

Nick: Great. So that would be 7 total damage. And you have two advantages.

Kira: I would either want to spend them on bonuses to protecting Renn if it went into attack Renn or penalties to it when it's trying to attack Renn. Otherwise, if it wants to hurt one of them - that would be more illustrative, so

Nick: I would let you spend your two advantages to direct that thing away from Renn so that you know it's not going to attack Renn.

Kira: Ideally, yeah, she does not want this thing near Renn and at the moment Marathon is the only other person who's shown any sense here - or who's shown during the conversation that she's willing to talk and be reasonable, so like the other three need some fear of tech put in them like this is a pretty good situation for it to happen.

Nick: We'll translate that mechanically as if this thing attacks Marathon or Renn it will have two black die on its next check.

Kira: She sees this pile of flailing limbs rolling forward and just does a quick pivot, swings the staff horizontally, maybe it cracks into the elbow joint of one of the limbs which just breaks and flies back down the dark hallway. And she twists and rolls into a defensive posture in front of Renn and maybe kind of in front of Marathon but more off to the side.

Kira (as Ciphera): [annoyed yelling] Oh well look at this.

Cameron: Ciphera yells that and looks to where Emma, Birdie, and Cassidy are who were the ones that were in most opposition. And then the robot that Emma and Birdie are working on starts to wake up and Emma just deadpan stares at Ciphera and removes the wire and it dies.

Nick: So in reaction to this attack by Ciphera, the robot is going to go and those arms that are flying through the air in Emma and Birdie's direction, as they get closer in that split second of projectile motion, you realize that they are all aimed straight at Birdie - hands grasping as though already choking the life out of her. And I need you to roll two yellows and a green at average difficulty please.

Kit: I'm going to use my Dodge talent to make it a little harder on them to hit Birdie.

Nick: So it'll be rolling against a red and a purple instead of two purples.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: A success, one advantage, and a despair.

Nick: Huh. So with that success and advantage Birdie, these three arms are flying at you - you're able to spin out of the way very gracefully from two of them, but realize at the last minute that you have spun into one of the arms, which impacts with your throat and reflexively tightens down and you take 5 damage as it grabs you around the neck.

Kit: I have 3 soak so I take 2 damage.

Nick: That advantage is going to be spent on the fact that this doesn't let go. It's got a chokehold on you that will be difficult to remove. With that despair, I think that Birdie in your adrenaline fueled combat state, you do see that towards the joint of that arm is a line of wire that looks very, very similar to the thing that Emma just tore out of the torso disabling it. And you're able to put together from your adventures and your experience with wild tech that these items without a main power source seem to be drawing electricity out of the air and that wire is how it's doing it. So you know how to pretty easily disable these pieces now, but you are being choked.

Kit: Birdie will do something about on her turn unless her turn is now.

Cameron: It could be now. It's a PC slot, isn't it?

Kit: Yeah, I think so. It can be Birdie's turn then yeah. The only thing that Birdie can do now, just

Kit (as Birdie): [choked off] Ah!

Kit: And that's all anyone hears from her while she's wrestling with this disembodied arm. But she is going to use the fact that she knows how to disable its way to absorb power and is just going to start ripping at it with her hands.

Nick: So go ahead and roll me a Brawl check at average difficulty. I'm going to flip my GM Story Point to upgrade the difficulty and add a black die because you're currently being choked.

Kit: Okay, so I am rolling two green, one purple, one red, and one black. One success and two threats.

Nick: Okay. So with those threats, you take 5 Strain as the oxygen is choked out of your brain. That isn't affected by soak - your soak isn't going to put up well with that. But with that success, you're able to pull this wire free and disable the arm.

Kit: So Birdie is wrestling with this arm in a quasi feral manner, just pulling on it so hard that she's pulling herself up in a way. It's a little funny, but it's not really that funny because she's still getting the life choked out of her, but she manages to yank this wire free just as she's reaching the point of not being able to move as quickly. And as soon as the hand snaps open, she's just yanking it off of herself and bashing it on the ground once and being like,

Kit (as Birdie): [winded] Okay. [coughing] Doing good.

Kit: She's giving a thumbs up.

Nick: So as Birdie attempts to breathe, we're up to another PC slot.

Sydney: Cassidy, who has been standing in the middle of the room with her headlamp on, with her

bow out, has been getting a bead on the big rolling thing that got smacked by Ciphera first. The arm shot past over her shoulder and she followed it with her head and then saw Birdie take care of it, so she's going for the largest threat still in the room. And I'm going to spend a maneuver to aim, and then I'm going to take 2 Strain to do a second maneuver to take 2 Strain to trigger my Rapid Archery talent. And then I'm going to aim for the big pile of limbs, in a stance that would imply she's about to shoot a lot of times.

Nick: Yeah, it'll be average difficulty. You are going to have a black die because of the lighting situation in this room. It is kind of hard to make it out because it's normally in the dark - you're having to predict its movements.

Sydney: Even with my headlamp?

Nick: Yeah, that's why it's just one black die [laugh] and it didn't apply to anyone else because they've been Melee attacking it, which is a little bit easier.

Sydney: So I am going to spend a Story Die to upgrade this check which leaves me with four yellows, and then it has not yet gone this encounter, because it's spot has not come up in initiative?

Nick: Yeah~, we'll count that.

Sydney: So I'm gonna use my Quick Strike talent to get another blue die on that. And then we're gonna roll the two purples and a black.

[dice rolling]

Sydney: Unfortunately, I don't have the advantages I need to actually activate the linked talent, but I do have a triumph, five successes, and one advantage.

Nick: Wow, yeah.

Sydney: I'm also gonna speed a second Story Point to add my Agility on to that for another 4 damage, which brings it to 17. And then I'm going to just take it as a Crit, assuming this thing isn't done.

Nick: It is not dead, yes.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: A 14. That's Sudden Jolt: the target drops whatever is in its hand.

Nick: I choose to interpret that as about half of the arms fall off of this thing with the hit, it drops its hands. So describe how you hit this. This thing has 3 armor, so 17 damage is a whole freakin’ bunch. You hit something very important. It's not down, but it is suddenly a lot less scary looking - like still deserves respect, but you did a good hit here.

Sydney: Cassidy had pulled out two arrows trying to see if she could time it such that she could hit two different weak points on it - hitting it the first time which would hopefully make it vulnerable to hit it a second time. So she shoots two arrows rapidly in sequence, but it ends up that the second arrow, the automaton flinches in an inhuman way after getting hit by the first one and the second arrow only hits a palm of an arm as it drops to the floor. But she hits it through the middle of some of the joints where these things are joined together in a way that's confusing to Cassidy considering she has the other half of all of these ball and socket joints sitting on the table behind her. But the first arrow is labeled 'Fuck You' in nice pretty calligraphy as the camera watches it fly into the target and then the one that hits the arm as it collapses into pieces with a clatters labeled 'Fuck This.'

Nick: And the main body of this thing looks a lot less intimidating as a majority of the arms fall to the ground. There are two still attached to the wheel and the leg and this thing is quickly acquiring targets. And now the robot is up in initiative. This thing is casting around it's about equidistant between Renn and Marathon and it faces what you can only assume is front towards Marathon and leaps forward and Marathon you have just enough time to register that the fingers of the remaining hands are all drills as they speed up to whining life lunging towards you. You do notice that the machine does appear to be off balance from both taking this damage and the hit that Ciphera put in on it.

Penn: As it spears towards Marathon she just looks straight at it.

Penn (as Marathon): Dirt.

Nick: And it'll be four yellows and two blacks at average difficulty

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Two successes, two threats.

Nick: Okay, so that's 7 damage coming at you Marathon, as this thing rolls into you and plunges these drill bits into your torso. How do you mitigate that damage to stay standing and stay fighting?

Penn: Marathon has 5 soak so that ends up only being 2 damage. I think as it comes towards Marathon, she closes her hands around this machine as it is coming towards her in the air so the drills are only a couple inches away from her chest as it spearing towards her and she moves backwards as the force from it pushes her backwards. So she's sliding on her feet holding this thing with both her hands, and it slams her up against the wall next to Renn, so it doesn't actually spear into her, but it's enough force that it knocks the wind out of her temporarily.

Nick: And so as this red spotlight slowly spins, we see illuminated Birdie standing over a disabled arm, Ciphera still near the doorway, Renn off to the side, Marathon slammed into a wall, Cassidy with her bow raised after a successful shot, and Emma standing over the disabled torso of this machine as the light continues to spin. And I need everybody to make a Perception check for me, please. This one's going to be hard unfortunately.

[dice rolling]

Kit: I rolled two yellow, one green and three purple and I got one triumph out of it.

Cameron: Emma rolled the same thing as Birdie, and got a success and a triumph.

Penn: Marathon rolls three green and three purple for that one and got two failures and two advantages.

Sydney: Cassidy rolled two yellows and a green and got a wash.

Alli: I got two failures and a threat.

Kira: Ciphera on three green got a failure and an advantage.

Nick: Okay. Emma, as the successful one, something that you notice in this light as the machine is moving - it's strange to you that this thing doesn't have any way to be figuring out what its targets are and you realize that the bulbous cameras in this room hanging from the ceiling are tracking specific targets. So it appears that this thing is networked into the room and using the room itself to operate in more ways than one. But you and Birdie have triumphs.

Cameron: Within the head of this robot that I have been slowly dismantling because I want all the lenses that were in it, I find a full body control kill switch. So now I know if I can hook the power back up, then I can flip the switch.

Nick: Okay, yeah, that would involve you doing some pretty intricate mechanics potentially under fire, and it would use both triumphs, but if you're able to do it... So we are up to another player slot.

Penn: We cut to Marathon who is pinned against the wall with this drill machine, and it's taking a bit of effort to keep it from pushing forward into her since she's pinned back. But in a swift motion, she looks and sees that the Patina is a little busy with their own monstrosity, and that Ciphera is mostly focused on Renn, and so she bears down, shakes her head and pushes hard back on the drill to give just a little bit of space and then once her hand is free, she swings it up into an upper cut through the bottom of this amalgamation of human like parts.

Nick: So roll me a Brawl check average difficulty with a black die due to the fact that this thing sort of has a head start in this fight.

Penn: So I've got two purple, I've got this black die, and I've got four yellows, and a green.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Five successes and three threats.

Nick: Wow. So with plus 1 from your brass knuckles, five successes, so that's 10 damage. That is a very good hit. I think with those three threats, you were able to strike this thing and damage it very badly - it's not functioning well, but the weight of it pulls you down to the ground. It lands on top of you and you are now prone under this thing.

Penn: So Marathon just with a devastating hit with these knuckles gets the full follow through and punches up and into the machine and her hand comes through the top - it's just the knuckles that you can see through the top, and as she tries to pull it out she realizes it's stuck in her eyes go wide as this machine continues its momentum forward and kind of bowls her over in her surprise. And now she's lying prone under this drilling machine with her arm stuck in it.

Nick: And it is going to react to your attack and attempt to - especially with its advantage of being on top to you - try to gut you with what remains of its mechanics as the wheel splits apart into a series of metal spokes and those drive towards your abdomen.

Penn (as Marathon): Dirt! Dirt! Renn! Dirt!

Nick: So that will be four yellows and two blues at average difficulty.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Three successes and an advantage.

Nick: So that is 8 damage coming at you Marathon minus your soak, but you've probably gotten a little impaled at this point. What is this look like as you continue to struggle with this machine?

Penn: Now that the machine is on top of me and this machine has manipulated itself into a new horrifying shape. And it starts to pierce into right where Marathon's shoulder meets her arm where the arm is stuck into the robot as if it's trying to start cutting off the arm by the source. And we see a little bit of Marathon spray as it starts to get deeper and she's like

Penn (as Marathon): [in pain] Ah! Di-dirt.

Penn: Meanwhile, this jogger is off to the side making worried little noises just out of reach of both Marathon, the machine, and Renn and Ciphera.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [scared fish noises]

Penn: Its dorsal fins are up like a cat with its hackles up.

Nick: And we're up to another player slot. Who would like to go next?

Alli: Could I use my Knack for It: Wild Tech to perhaps immobilize some of its joints that are given Marathon troubles?

Nick: You absolutely could. That'll be a Mechanic's roll with two black die because it's currently trying to kill one of your friends. I think with your Knack for It: Wild Tech, you can remove those and it will be at hard difficulty because doing this in real time while not getting stabbed or letting your friend get stabbed is difficult.

Alli: I have two green and two yellow.

[dice rolling]

Alli: Got a success and a triumph.

Nick: So you aren't able to disable it, but I think you are able to help Marathon break free and you have something related ish that is very good that you could do, besides kill it.

Alli: So hearing Marathon's cries for help sort of snaps Renn out of the fugue state she's been in, having everything she's terribly afraid of going wrong seemingly almost at once. And she starts quickly rummaging around in her satchel and pulling on these rubber gloves. And she has this filament between her hands - it looks like a fishing line made out of diamond. And she runs over to this flailing crawling monstrosity and it almost looks like she's trying to garrote wire this thing basically with slight electrical impulses running through it and you can see it stutter maybe just long enough to let go of Marathon.

Nick: And Marathon you're able to scramble out of immediate drill range.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, oh god. Ah! [pained]

Penn: She holds her shoulder.

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

Alli (as Renn): [terrified noise of acknowledgement]

Penn: And positions herself once again to face this machine bending down as if she's ready to try and swat it down as it comes at her.

Nick: And we've got one more PC slot to finish up the round.

Cameron: I'm going to try and put this robot back together so I can kill switch it. I'm going to use my talent How Convenient. How Convenient is once per session make a hard Mechanics check, if successful, one device involved in current encounter - subject to GM approval - spontaneously fails either because of something I do or just lucky timing.

Nick: And you want to do this machine that is trying to kill all of your friends?

Cameron: Yes.

Nick: Yes~ I think with the hard Mechanics check and assembling this thing to use the kill switch you've established, you would potentially be able to shut this thing entirely down.

Cameron: Because I literally just took this robot apart, can I have a blue die for my Inventor talent that I know how to put it back together? [laugh]

Nick: Yes, I think that is fair.

Cameron: Cool. And I'm also going to flip a Story Point to upgrade to add another dice.

Nick: Are you attempting to rewire the wireless power are you using the power source that you pocketed earlier? That being said because you pulled the wireless power source out so destructively that'll add a black die, but if you use the power source, it's easier to plug in.

Cameron: So we're going to reattach the Wi Fi power and keep my secret power source hidden.

Nick: Okay, so there'll be a black die added to that. The wire isn't damaged, but it was fused with the chassis in a bunch of different places in a delicate way, so that's going to take some finagling to make it work.

Cameron: So I am then going to remove that black die because I have a Knack for Mechanics. So I have three yellow, a green, three purple and a blue.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Four successes and a threat.

Nick: So you're successful assembling this enough to kill switch it. With that threat, you do take a point of Strain damage just from how quickly you're working and you do take a couple of small electrical shocks working unshielded with a power source. But what does that look like as you kill this machine?

Cameron: So Emma had moved on from the torso to the head, removing all of the ocular pieces, saw the kill switch, realized what it was and that it was a full system switch not just for the head portion, and quickly shifts back over to the torso, and starts reassembling the bits in the way back and bottom of this torso laying on the table where she had unplugged, or ripped out really, the Wi Fi power and is reinserting the cable and Jerry rigging it a little bit having to use some wires to fuse the connection that she'd broken so that she can get to go across and then has one last piece she needs to touch to complete the circuit and then sets her other hand down on top of the kill switch, completes the circuit, make sure that something lights up to say that it is awake and then flips the switch.

Nick: And as you flip the switch the awakened pieces of robot on the table in front of you die again and all of these moving mechanical parts around the room collapse into so much rubble on the ground. There is a moment of shocked silence broken only by the gentle hum of the power in the room around you. The red light fades and then the darkness is broken by the suddenly uncomfortably bright light of the power returning to this room.

Cameron: The whole fight scene kind of looked like in a TV show or a movie where they're trying to show that the smart person is thinking really hard about something and they're moving normal speed working at their table and everyone else is moving fast around them to show that time is passing. It's like that because Emma's just been mechanicing this whole time.

Nick: And Emma how does it feel to have basically stopped a violent conflict through your own skill and understanding?

Cameron: Emma's pretty proud of herself. She she she turned it off and she wouldn't have known how to if she'd listened to [laughing] Renn and Ciphera. Now that the lights are on she's has her eyes closed so she can readjust and focus again in on the tiny mechanics she's doing. Re-removes the power source and continues deconstructing and just says like,

Cameron (as Emma): You're welcome.

Penn (as Marathon): It's over. Is it over?

Cameron (as Emma): Marathon - Are you okay?

Penn (as Marathon): Um.

Penn: Marathon's bleeding a little bit out of her shoulder.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yeah, I not a- and this is - I think so. Just a, just a little wound.

Kit (as Birdie): [sounds like she just had her throat crushed] I can give you some help with that in a second.

Penn (as Marathon): No.

Alli (as Renn): [shellshocked] Marathon you're bleeding a lot.

Penn (as Marathon): No rush.

Cameron: Emma stops mechanics-ing and good turns to help Birdie.

Kit (as Birdie): [throat still very crushed] No, I'm okay.

Cameron: And get the rest of these arms off of her.

Kit (as Birdie): [slightly pained noise]

Penn (as Marathon): Well, I don't I don't think I fully grasped what our argument was about. But um ro- the robots did seem dangerous, so

Kit (as Birdie): [recovering but crushed] Well that's like a really basic way to look at the entire conversation happening but it's okay.

Penn (as Marathon): Like I said, I didn't totally understand it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Notice that the robot that we brought into the room is still sitting on the table here and

Kit (as Birdie): [quiet so not as crushed] Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): it didn't try to kill us all.

Alli (as Renn): Didn't try to get up?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, it definitely tried to get up.

Alli (as Renn): [overlapping] Yeah, don’t downplay that.

Kira (as Ciphera): [overlapping] So have fun with that facile argument.

Cameron (as Emma): [overlapping] Yeah, And then I removed the power source [overlap stops] so that it turned off, which I wouldn't have been able to do if I wasn't elbows deep in it.

Kit (as Birdie): [crushed but stronger] She did it both times too.

Kira (as Ciphera): And that's a -

Cameron (as Emma): And then I hit the kill switch -

Kira (as Ciphera): - perfect record that could never go wrong.

Cameron (as Emma): [quietly as if she knows Ciphera isn't listening anyway] - after turning it back on.

Kira (as Ciphera): And we definitely don't have people bleeding out right now. That's

Penn (as Marathon): I'm not bleeding out.

Kira (as Ciphera): That's totally fine.

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

Kit (as Birdie): [quietly with a bit of crush] Good lord. Okay.

Alli: Renn already has gauze out and just a fresh gauze roll from her bag trying to see how much she's going to need because Marathons very buff.

Penn (as Marathon): Hey jogger jogger. Hey, hey.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [scared fish noises]

Penn (as Marathon): come back. It's okay. It's over.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [concern fish]

Penn (as Marathon): Robots dead.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [fish beep]

Penn: Marathon knocks on the metal.

Nick: It shifts a little more than you're expecting in a startling way.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [scared fish noise]

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

Cameron: Emma rolls her eyes at the conversation and hands Birdie a water bottle from her bag.

Kit (as Birdie): [pretty crushed still] Thanks. I appreciate it.

Kira (as Ciphera): Birdie how's your throat?

Kit (as Birdie): [starting to gain strength but still rough] Oh, be fine. You know, had worse.

Sydney: Cassidy had been reaching for the first aid kit in her pack but seeing that everyone is already taken care of watches suspiciously and goes to start removing arrows from the corpse. Is it a corpse? The pile of parts.

Kira: Ciphera is standing over by Renn and Marathon, her staff still in her hands, and she is just watching Emma now. Emma's the only one that she's paying attention to.

Kit (as Birdie): [soft throat clear to talk louder] Marathon you think you'll need a couple stitches?

Penn (as Marathon): Renn?

Kit (as Birdie): [crushed in more ways than one] I mean, I can -

Alli (as Renn): Oh yeah, you're gonna need at least four.

Penn (as Marathon): [groan]

Kit (as Birdie): [voice starting to come back] And I got a kit, come here.

Penn (as Marathon): Make it two. I can -

Kit (as Birdie): [voice still weak] No I'm not gonna make it two.

Alli: We're not gonna make it two. You're gonna have some whiskey and it'll be fine.

Penn (as Marathon): [groan] I've done I've done something like this on one so,

Kit (as Birdie): [voice weaker probably for emotional reasons] Good for you.

Alli: Renn jams the disinfectant directly onto the wound.

Penn (as Marathon): Oo! [long exhale] Okay.

Alli (as Renn): Four stitches.

Penn (as Marathon): Yep.

Alli (as Renn): This isn't gonna get infected on my watch.

Penn (as Marathon): Um. Well, we beat the robots, so that means [slowly with hesitant spaces between words] we can take the robots?

Penn: [laughing] Marathon very cautiously says that as Renn is attending to her injuries.

Alli: Renn flicks the tip of her needle. It's not that kind of needle.

Penn (as Marathon): [panic] No!

Alli (as Renn): Come on.

Kira (as Ciphera): I don't think there's anything else for us to talk about. It's pretty clear that you're not willing to listen to us even in the light of what just happened, so do whatever you want to. I'm done. I'll go make sure there's nothing else rolling in the hallways.

Kit (as Birdie): [voice croaky, but no longer crushed] You're not even willing to see this side at all.

Cameron: Emma continues doing what she's doing, knowing that Ciphera also refuses to see the other side that just turned the robot off and knows that they're in the right so

Penn (as Marathon): [just wants everyone to be friends] Come on y'all!

Sydney: Cassidy starts wandering around the room looking for something that matches the pictures that Emma had in her journal and that Ciphera had on her arm.

Nick: As you look around the room, Cassidy, you can see a couple of different displays that appear to be mostly intact. One of them is what looks sort of like the fabricator that you saw in Eagle Hill, but smaller and designed for cutting rather than printing. And then one of the other things that draws your eye is there is a big display of like a technological database, but in all of the conflict and power surges and things that appears to be fried. And then you do see what looks like a small handheld screen sitting at a display and as you shift through some of the paperwork, you do see a couple of images that look similar to the pattern that was your original goal. Not identical, but definitely square diagrams with seemingly random tiles in them.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hey, Emma, can I borrow your journal for a second?

Cameron (as Emma): Um yeah.

Cameron: Emma I grabs it out of her backpack and holds it out, still probably holding onto something that she was just just disconnecting in the robot so not walking over.

Sydney: Cassidy takes it and on her way back to the thing flips through the journal looking for the cipher, and upon finding it holds it up to the thing. There's a thing hold up to right? Like a scan-y thing.

Nick: Yes. You can see that this screen on the back has some sort of camera lens. In the paperwork you can see something saying around those diagrams like scan this for more info, it's pretty obvious that that would be the best tool to use. It doesn't currently turn on.

Sydney: Cassidy squints at it and goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hey, Emma, I'll trade places with you if you want to accomplish our totally friendly Advantia's mission for them.

Cameron (as Emma): Hmm?

Sydney (as Cassidy): I can't - I don't know how to do this thing.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Cameron: Emma walks over.

Sydney: Cassidy trades and takes a guard stance by the robot torso and then watches Emma work.

Alli (as Renn): Cassidy actually have a question. Why do you choose to live the way you do? Because you've been nothing but sour with us since the instant we showed up just because of what our jobs are. I don't understand why you're [breaks off in exhale], I just, I don't get it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): You make the choice to do your job. I disagree with that choice.

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy you're kinda - like, I get that we all just had like a disagreement, but like you're being like, extra assholey.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, thank you. I'm trying to go for a new record.

Cameron: What does Emma need to do to power this on while this conversation is happening?

Nick: Looking at it, there doesn't appear to be anything wrong. It's very self contained. You're worried you'll break the screen if you try to take it apart. You're able to identify a power port, you would just need to hook it up to power to see if you can get it to boot. It would be an average Mechanics check to figure that out with the tools that you have.

Cameron: I'm gonna roll that then. So that Mechanics check is three yellows and two purples.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Two successes.

Nick: Great. So you're able to hook this up to either some batteries or power in the wall. It doesn't take that much voltage and after a few nervous seconds of waiting to see what will happen, this thing turns on, and you're able to begin to experiment with it and quickly find a program that lets you scan these codes.

Cameron: So Emma plugs into a portable power source, it turns on, she looks excited that it turned on, and then looks to where the rest of the group is standing to get Ciphera's attention and sees that she's not there, and then picks up the screen and the battery and wanders out of the room looking for Ciphera.

Kira: She's out in the hallway somewhere. She's basically just been walking the length between this room and where they came from to make sure that there's nothing else lurking and waiting for them. So she probably just did a circuit, maybe she's heading back this way.

Cameron: So Emma is walking towards you holding a screen.

Kira (as Ciphera): What have you got there?

Cameron (as Emma): Ready to scan your arm?

Kira (as Ciphera): I'd prefer to be not in here when we do it.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay. It's a portable power pack, so we should be able to carry it.

Kira (as Ciphera): Okay.

Kira: She'll hold her hand out to accept it.

Cameron: Emma hands it off.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well. I guess that completes your contract.

Cameron: Emma nods and turns back around and heads back into the other room.

Kira: Actually, while Emma's walking away Ciphera says.

Kira (as Ciphera): So who's in charge? You were Cassidy? I'm not sure I'm clear on that.

Cameron (as Emma): Um.

Cameron: Emma looks puzzled, but not because of the question, because she started thinking of the answer.

Kira (as Ciphera): Is this how you guys just do business? Is this how you live your lives?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, we we're not - we don't really have anyone in charge. We're a group and everybody has their own skill sets and knowledge sets so there's normally a default person for a particular situation based on experience and expertise, but

Kira (as Ciphera): And you're you're clearly very talented. I'm not questioning that. How much experience do you really have with things like this? Not mechanics, not by the book things, just things like this?

Cameron: Emma calendars in her head.

Cameron (as Emma): Uh~. Actively encountering probably about a year but sporadic encountering since I was like six.

Kira (as Ciphera): I hope you don't hurt anyone you care about.

Cameron (as Emma): Ditto.

Cameron: Emma walks away.

Nick: And as Emma returns to the room, how's the conversation with the rest of the group going?

Alli: Renn's just walking in circles. She's just pacing in a circle, there might as well be a divot in the ground in her path.

Penn (as Marathon): Renn it's all- it's all right. I'm sure.

Alli (as Renn): Were you quite sure about the badness of the situation when it was sticking out of your chest?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, it was bad but it's over it's over now. It's over now. We're it was bad. It was bad.

Alli (as Renn): But we don't know that. We don't know it's it's over. It's it's that's the thing these - maybe one of them got a hold of a fabricator out there, right? Little AI just tippity tapping away on the code making new bodies. New new things to terrorize people with.

Penn (as Marathon): [clearly trying to keep everyone calm] Okay, and if that happens then we'll deal with that then. That's something that was gonna happen no matter what. It's it's all right.

Kit (as Birdie): I'm sorry. Is this how you do every job?

Alli (as Renn): This is non standard.

Kit (as Birdie): This is non standard even though your line of work is in the Advantia of dealing with AI and tech anomalies. You live in fear of the work that you do.

Alli (as Renn): I'd be an idiot not to, but it needs doing.

Kit (as Birdie): So we're doing it too.

Alli (as Renn): Are you though?

Kit (as Birdie): I'm sorry, who just solved our problem?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, to my knowledge here - I delivered this body to Emma, Emma took it apart and used it to shut down the rest of the machine.

Alli (as Renn): The machine that you dragged here.

Sydney (as Cassidy): No the machine that we didn't drag here. Notice that the only parts that attacked us weren't the ones that I grabbed.

Alli (as Renn): Not true. That fucker moved.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes, moving is attacking, you're right. And Emma was right there -

Alli (as Renn): So if I step towards you right now you wouldn't take that as aggressive would you?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Not with the context of how you're talking.

Penn (as Marathon): [she's trying so hard] Look guys the skill level of defense between us and Renn is different. Renn can be nervous. Renn doesn't have the weapons, the muscle that we have. That's why we're here. That's our job. We can handle those things. Not everybody can handle those things. I feel like Renn is is right to have a sense of fear.

Sydney (as Cassidy): If something like that strolls through the door we just deal with it.

Penn (as Marathon): That's us. That's not everybody.

Kit (as Birdie): And she's not everybody. How long has she been working in this field?

Alli (as Renn): [startled at being pulled back in] Me?

Kit (as Birdie): Yes.

Alli (as Renn): I've been with the Advantia my whole life.

Kit (as Birdie): [point proven] Mmm.

Alli (as Renn): This is what I this is what I've been doing.

Penn (as Marathon): But I assume the Advantia don't, you know, fight stray robots as a as a general -

Sydney (as Cassidy): I feel like the Advantia would have a hard time training you on how to deal with the stuff when [Modem impression] they can't touch it and they can't get near it.

Alli (as Renn): That's just my job. You don't think we had people take care of that? Why do you think Phera's here watching me? Making sure I'm okay, so I can defuse time bombs that might go off tomorrow, 20 years down the road.

Sydney (as Cassidy): You know one time,

Alli (as Renn): Maybe 200.

Sydney (as Cassidy): we had Emma literally defuse a time bomb and the team was there to help out.

Alli (as Renn): Well that's great!

Sydney (as Cassidy): We do the same thing.

Alli (as Renn): I'm super glad that that worked out.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We we can work together and solve these things. I'm sorry we don't do it in the way that you want us to.

Penn (as Marathon): Obviously -

Sydney (as Cassidy): We're not Advantia.

Penn: And Marathon gestures vaguely to Renn with the prosthetic and stuff.

Penn (as Marathon): Obviously it does not work out for everyone and Renn has been scarred because of that. Sorry, Renn. Yes.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Everyone's scarred from something.

Kira: Ciphera will walk back in the room.

Kira (as Ciphera): Hey, if you're done talking to the brick wall, can you come into the hallway, please?

Alli (as Renn): Yeah, I think I'm done here.

Penn (as Marathon): Sorry, guys.

Alli (as Renn): Nah Marathon, you're good.

Alli: Renn limps out into the hallway to see what Ciphera needs.

Kira: Ciphera is going to hold the tablet out and just do the scan of her arm when it's just the two of them - just didn't want to do it in the same room as the rest of them, given their current attitude and how they've handled the situation.

Cameron: Emma reentered the room and just saw the conversation was like, okay, it just walked back over to her technology and continued taking the things that she wanted.

Kit (as Birdie): [tired groan]

Penn (as Marathon): Well, it's finished.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma was it worth all of that, [tired laugh] to get you a look at the thing?

Cameron (as Emma): Uh yes~.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cool.

Kit (as Birdie): [voice is tired out again] That's good.

Cameron: Emma just has her backpack set next to her and it's almost reaching the point of overfilling with just random odds and ends that she's pulled from probably the torso and head and I think she probably moved on to the arms that attacked Birdie.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I had tried to sketch a bunch of it out to give you the opportunity to come back later and then they tripped a security system and a bunch of stuff went off, so I just grabbed it.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah no, this - there's a lot of stuff here that's gonna help in particularly repairing the cockpit area of the Knight. A lot of the more fine tune delicate things.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, glad it's worth it, then.

Cameron (as Emma): Plus, I was able to turn it off, so [sounds a bit tired]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, see, you're the pro mechanic. You're even better than Renn is because Renn couldn't turn it off.

Kit (as Birdie): [tired sigh]

Cameron (as Emma): I-I don't know if I'm better than Renn, but me being uh, willing to actually look at it -

Penn (as Marathon): [patience snaps] Cassidy can you like turn it off? Like maybe just turn on a little empathy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Empathy for who?

Penn (as Marathon): [surprised laugh] For Renn and Ciphera? I don't that sure they're like Advantia, and I don't know what your whole beef is with the Advantia, but they have been nice so far. And they're a little scarred from past incidents. I don't know why you can't just acknowledge like, Oh, something bad happened, but this is what we want to do. It sounded like it's just, 'this is what we're doing no matter what!'

Cameron (as Emma): So to to be fair and

Penn (as Marathon): [harsh breathing]

Cameron (as Emma): to not fight amongst ourselves,

Penn (as Marathon): Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): And continue that.

Penn (as Marathon): Sorry. I'm sorry.

Cameron (as Emma): I will I - while I do agree, Cassidy is coming off a little aggressive, I don't think that that is out of line, because I did try to have the logical conversation with them and got yelled at for it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): They just don't consider other viewpoints.

Cameron (as Emma): So that was two brick walls talking to each other. We weren't ever going to make that,

Penn (as Marathon): Sure. Sure. Sure.

Cameron (as Emma): work.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, sorry. It's done. It's finished. It's finished. I'm sorry.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): [quiet] Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): And it's it's it's okay. That everybody's a little heated right now.

Kit (as Birdie): [quiet] Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): Um.

Kit (as Birdie): [voice rough] People don't like being told to shut up, you know?

Cameron (as Emma): Mhm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Turns out.

Cameron (as Emma): And being - I don't I particularly don't like being told that I'm not listening by someone who's not listening.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): So it's just kind of a cyclical mess, um but I did hand off the scanner to Ciphera, um so mission accomplished there.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean our - yeah, we're not here to try and thwart the Advantia. We're just not Advantia, so if they [laugh] if they're giving us part of the loot, then we can decide what that limit is.

Cameron (as Emma): I - I didn't even scan ours first. I handed it off without scanning after powering it up.

Penn (as Marathon): That's true. They still have to pay us, so

Cameron (as Emma): I'm acting in good faith. On that note, Cassidy and Birdie - do y'all mind heading up to the rig?

Kit (as Birdie): [still soft, but improving] Yeah, I can go.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't like that I can't see them right now.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That is fair.

Cameron (as Emma): And I want to take some more things apart.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): And Marathon, maybe you can help me lift stuff around?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, totally. By the way,

Cameron (as Emma): [in background] If you're not hurt too bad.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm keeping this fish. So

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [happy fish noise]

Penn (as Marathon): Yep! That's right little buddy.

Kit (as a Jolly Jogger): [fish noise]

Sydney: Cassidy shakes her head disgustedly but will not have this conversation right now.

Nick: As Cassidy and Birdie are packing and preparing to leave the room, Ciphera and Renn you have this moment in the hallway scanning this tattoo that Ciphera has had for so long. The app was already pulled up by Emma as she did the handoff and you notice that this scanner takes a clear picture, outlines this glyph in yellow, and a long string of text appears at the bottom. So from both or either of you, could I get a Knowledge Wild Tech roll at average difficulty please?

Alli: Oh hell yeah.

Kira: I am trained in that if I can give you a blue die or something.

Alli: Oh, that'd be cool.

Nick: Yeah, it can absolutely be collaborative on if this string of text makes any sense to you at first glance.

Alli: Well, I have that two green, two yellow.

Nick: And a blue because Ciphera is helping you.

[dice rolling]

Alli: A success and an advantage.

Nick: Great. So between the two of you, this long string of text and symbols appears to be an address to the old web - a rumoured technological database of the summation of all human knowledge from well before the moon was broken. It doesn't exist anymore in a way that's accessible. If you tap on the long string of text, you get an error message that there's no connection available. But you have heard rumors that there are repositories of bits, pieces, shards of the old web hidden even deeper than this facility was, and you have your next step. If you can find somewhere to plug in this text that has the information available, you can solve this riddle.

Alli (as Renn): Well, now we can get that tattoo removed.

Kira (as Ciphera): What? You don't like it?

Alli (as Renn): No, I love it. We got to make room for your next tattoo.

Kira (as Ciphera): I'm not getting this tattooed on me.

Alli (as Renn): It's a little long, but like if we wrapped it around like your your ribs could be pretty cute. I don't know.

Kira: Ciphera is writing this down on a separate piece of paper that she will store in a secure location, just to make sure that they always have access to it. Because she can't really tattoo it on herself right now.

Kira (as Ciphera): Well, at least it wasn't a total wash.

Alli (as Renn): No we got it.

Kira (as Ciphera): You ever wake up and just wonder why we're doing this?

Alli (as Renn): No. I remember.

Kira (as Ciphera): Trying to people who literally do not care and are just going to,

Alli (as Renn): I don't know. I'm going to keep trying to help people when I can, I guess. Maybe I need to figure out a couple things.

Kira (as Ciphera): People like this is who they used to send me after. I don't like feeling like I have to do that anymore.

Alli (as Renn): [sounding very pleased about that fact] Yeah, I'm your last quarry. Me.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. I can't count that as captured, can I?

Alli (as Renn): My heart?

Kira (as Ciphera): [long sigh] You okay?

Alli (as Renn): I am thriving. I have never had a better outlook towards the future. And marathon has a fish.

Kira (as Ciphera): [soft laugh] Yeah.

Alli (as Renn): So at least one of us does.

Kira (as Ciphera): I hope they don't get her killed.

Alli (as Renn): The fish?

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah, the fish. All right. There's only two of us. We can't physically stop them from doing anything and they're not going to listen to us at this point, so I think we just got to call it a wash and call it in.

Alli (as Renn): I just wanted to examine the parts before they shipped them out.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah I know.

Alli (as Renn): I -

Kira (as Ciphera): So we just asked them to stop. Like, if it's going to come to blows, we can't do it and like I'm not going to risk our safety over that. I'll just call it in and make sure that somebody down the road knows.

Alli (as Renn): I want to go check on Servo. he's been out there a long time and he kinda slurped a lot of water, you know, so.

Kira (as Ciphera): Yeah. Okay.

Alli (as Renn): And I want my hat back.

Kira (as Ciphera): [short laugh] I'm sure we can make that happen.

Sydney: Cassidy and Birdie walk up the stairs.

Nick: And we see the two separate pairs make eye contact and then as they try to decide who is going to go first or if they'll walk together, we cut over to Emma and Marathon still taking apart this torso at the location where they had just finished fighting for their lives.

[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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