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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 34: A Premium Mercenary Company

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 34: A Premium Mercenary Company 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.

Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.

Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:

Thanks for tuning in! Don’t forget to drink some water, and take a moment for yourself outside of the bustle of the world today. You could try and smell the roses without stopping, but you might get a mouth full of petals, and those thorns can hurt your fingers (or your face) if you’re not careful. And another option if we’re considering things that don’t hurt your face is 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 34: A Premium Mercenary Company. And so...

[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] Kit (as Birdie): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we sat down to talk to the Rust and got properly introduced to all their members, including Kelsey. Considering the size of their group, it's kind of funny that we had to save them from a couple bandits. But the best part is that I found out that one of my friends from Perrito is traveling with them and Teno's great. Teno is wonderful, but maybe not the best person to leave your stuff with for long periods of time, so the prospect of traveling with them just got a bit more interesting. [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: We open on a small smokeless campfire. The camp in which the Patina finds themselves is different from their normal setup. For one, there are many more people here. The Patina and the Rust have camped together in a shallow basin between three hills. The spot was picked to limit visibility even if the tactical position isn't the strongest, but even with an air of hiding from danger permeating the camp, the atmosphere is surprisingly festive. The Rust seems used to desperate combat and have relaxed quickly after their day. The group is scattered around the camp eating a depressing mix of trail rations and energy bars. The Patina is seated closest to the fire with Kelsey, the leader of the Rust. The fire light flickers on her face as the night gets darker, causing her to look otherworldly and skeletal. The snake tattoo curled around her ear looks to move in the shifting shadows of her face as she leans forward to the group and says,

Nick (as Kelsey): Well, I suppose it's time to talk business. We're somewhere a little bit safer now. I believe Felix, and hopefully Juliana, gave you some of the basics of what we're hoping for here, but I propose a little bit of mutual protection and profit sharing if that's something that would be agreeable to you.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] And then I assume they already told you we're heading southwest?

Sydney: Cassidy is sitting on a stump the furthest away from the fire with a dishrag cleaning out their cook pot because they have higher food standards than trail rations and energy bars.

Nick (as Kelsey): You know, we hadn't really had a chance to discuss it, but that happens to be the same direction we're going in. What a coincidence. It's like it was meant to be.

Nick: She winks at you rakishly, Cassidy.

Sydney: Cassidy shakes her head, disinterestedly.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So you're being pursued by bandits, and there's potentially money available for our protection for you.

Nick: Kelsey looks at the rest of the group a little surprised and reaches down into a pocket and picks out a stub of a cigar, holds it into the fire until it starts to smoke and tucks it into the corner of her mouth.

Nick (as Kelsey): [said around cigar] She's not particularly uh~, tactful, is she?

Penn (as Marathon): And that's how we like her.

Penn: Marathon is sitting leaning forward, a necklace dangling into a low buttoned shirt,a and she's just been squinting at Kelsey since they all sat down together.

Nick: She smiles around the cigar, takes a drag on it.

Nick (as Kelsey): [inhale][exhale]

Nick: Taps the ash.

Nick (as Kelsey): I'm not against it either. Look, you're in the same business we are. There's always bandits or robbers or some piece of wild tech hunting you down or some job that sends you somewhere dangerous. That's part of the gig. But we lost somebody today, we'll probably lose more at this rate, and there's safety in numbers. Right? You can see that looking at a herd of bison, just looking to add a few more bison to the herd for a while. That's all.

Penn (as Marathon): For squares? Or spheres? What is it here?

Kit (as Birdie): [quietly] Spheres right now, I think.

Kit: Birdie is sitting the closest to the fire slightly closer towards Kelsey and was not privy to the conversation that happened previously between Felix, Juliana, and the other members of the Patina, so she's mostly taking the back seat during this conversation to help with negotiation if needed, but not right now.

Sydney: Cassidy, while they're discussing, looks over at Emma with an eyebrow raised.

Cameron: Emma has been quieter than normal since the fight ended and they actually started interacting with the members of the Rust and has currently seated herself down near the stump that Cassidy is sitting on. Is sitting cross legged on the ground and has gotten one of her little mechanics projects that she can work on just in her lap whenever she needs something to keep her focus or distract her. And when Kelsey mentions that they lost somebody today and it's likely they're going to lose someone else, Cassidy notices Emma look up for the first time in a while and she looks out at the rest of the Rust and the kind of jovial atmosphere that's happening and looks really uncomfortable, but doesn't say anything still.

Penn (as Marathon): But it's it's squares or spheres, right? Spheres?

Nick (as Kelsey): Do you have a preference? We travel quite a bit. I got several options as far as currency. We could even probably put together your fee and stitch if that's really what you want. Although I suppose if you're headed south and west, that's not going to be the easiest exchange.

Penn (as Marathon): What do they take in Sasnak again, Birdie?

Kit (as Birdie): Triangles.

Penn (as Marathon): How about triangles?

Nick: Kelsey frowns to herself and looks up like she's doing some mental algebra.

Nick (as Kelsey): Yeah, I think probably the old nest egg has enough to pay in triangles, we could make that work. What'd you want - you said four, five triangles, exchange rates not so good these days, because you can't spend it as far when the city keeps moving. Right? I could do, I don't know, seven triangles and half of whatever we make on jobs while we're traveling together.

Nick: Anybody who's keeping track on an exchange rate knows that she just almost doubled what you asked for as your initial part of bargaining. And you can see her smile flickering in the fire light as she looks at the four of you like she knows that that's an offer that's extremely difficult to turn down.

Kit (as Birdie): You sweetening the deal for any specific reason?

Nick (as Kelsey): Just want to promote goodwill amongst our groups, right? Like if we're going to be traveling together, you've already saved our lives once - consider it a thank you.

Nick: Takes a drag on her cigar.

Nick (as Kelsey): I don't have much of a head for negotiation, so I'd rather not. Consider part of that fee a premium so that we don't have to do this round and about this whole time. I've got my dinner to eat and my crew to check on.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well we're mercenaries and money talks.

Cameron (as Emma): I assume that includes the money for the tank repair?

Nick (as Kelsey): I'll toss in another triangle for that. That's a good point.

Cameron: Emma nods and continues working on her project.

Nick (as Kelsey): I don't want your uh, your skills to feel unappreciated. This is something that I'm hoping to maybe build a professional relationship with. You never know when you might end up on the other side of a battlefield from somebody and I would like to be on the same side of the battlefield from y'all.

Sydney (as Cassidy): How far are you expecting us to be accompanying you for that?

Nick (as Kelsey): Well, you said you were heading south and west - we could honestly use a resupply, maybe recruit a few more people. What do you say you stay with us as long as say San Archie? That's south and west and about two weeks from here. Seems like seven triangles plus another one thrown in for labor already delivered for two weeks work must be the going rate for a premium mercenary company such as yourselves.

Penn (as Marathon): So eight triangles and half of whatever jobs we do on the way.

Nick (as Kelsey): Yep, absolutely.

Penn (as Marathon): It's a good offer.

Nick (as Kelsey): And I will tell you the reason that these people sign up with me is that our jobs are always very profitable. You'll make some good money if you stick with us, is what I'm saying.

Kit (as Birdie): Just know how to pick them?

Nick (as Kelsey): Yeah, and I'm the type of person that puts a lot of stock on continued relationships. People know us along the way and they are willing to pay extra to help their favorite people out.

Kit (as Birdie): Hmm.

Nick (as Kelsey): And they know if they need help that will be back. All of that leads to a higher level of business relationship.

Nick: The fire has burned down slightly and shadows are cast over Kelsey is eyes so that you can only see shadowy holes where they would be.

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy? Emma?

Sydney: Cassidy shrugs and looks at the rest of them.

Kit (as Birdie): I don't have any qualms with this deal.

Cameron: Emma nods, still looking into her project. She is disassembling some of the pieces of the fridge parts that she took from the gas station. Whatever this piece is that she's taken, she's opening it all up and cleaning pieces out from any smoke residue from fires and replacing any faulty wiring or anything she finds along the way, but it's basically just doing a check an overhaul of it before she plugs it into anything that is currently working. [laugh]

Penn (as Marathon): Well Kelsey - Miss Kelsey? Mx Kelsey? Mr. Kelsey?

Nick (as Kelsey): Generally miss, but I do like the sound of the other ones too.

Penn (as Marathon): Well Mx Kelsey, think you gotta, got a deal from the Patina.

Penn: Marathon stands up and holds out her hand.

Nick: Kelsey slaps both of her thighs, stands up and reaches in a friendly way across to grab Marathon's hand and shake on the deal.

Penn: And at least a Marathon is trying to maintain just a slightly firmer handshake than whatever Kelsey is putting forth.

Nick: Hmm! Go ahead and make me an Athletics check against four reds and a purple.

Penn: Against Kelsey's four reds and a purple, I am rolling three yellows and a green. I'm going to go ahead and - because this is very important to Marathon - I'm going to flip a Story Point and turn my final green into a yellow.

[dice rolling]

Penn: I've got two successes, two triumphs and one threat.

Nick: Nice. So you squeeze Kelsey's hand and you can feel that she is about as strong as anyone you've ever fought before, but you are able to overpower her. How does that look - like are you trying to embarrass her or just make sure that she knows that you're strong? And then those triumphs can be related to anything going on this evening here or anyone else in the crew seeing, it's up to you. But this was extremely successful.

Penn: In the moment with this handshake, they both trade slight squeezes back and forth, trying not to make it so obvious that they're both testing each other's machismo. They ended up shaking just slightly too long, so that the Patina at least the other people at the campfire, can pick up on it and Kelsey ends up pulling away first. Marathon and Kelsey have maintained eye contact throughout.

Sydney: Cassidy stands up to put another log of wood on the fire, ignoring [laugh] this show of force.

Penn (as Marathon): I think we understand each other's terms.

Nick: Kelsey keeps a forced smile on her face and you can see, Marathon, that she's flexing her fingers out a little bit trying to take the cramp out of her hand where you crushed it in. And she looks at the whole group and says

Nick (as Kelsey): Quite a grip you've got there -

Penn (as Marathon): Ms Messenger. Thank you.

Nick (as Kelsey): Ms. Messenger. Quite a grip and looking forward to working with you.

Nick: And she stands up and walks away. And I think with your other triumph, Marathon, you see that she is rapidly recalculating the pecking order both in the Patina and in the Rust with you around having demonstrated that level of strength. She's not used to being overpowered. The threat is that she doesn't like that very much.

Penn: Marathon turns and scratches her head.

Penn (as Marathon): [bashful laugh] Sorry y'all.

Kit (as Birdie): No, I am not complaining. What? Who said somethi- it's I'm gonna go. [mumble] Glad we got it sorted.

Kit: And she's gonna get up and start walking away from the fire.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh! Okay.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Good work Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): [bashful for a different reason laugh] Thank you. Should we be socializing with them?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I mean, do whatever.

Cameron (as Emma): [sigh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Don't tell them about the Knight.

Penn (as Marathon): Obviously. Gotcha. Kerchow. Finger guns.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Also, one of us should probably make sure we're sleeping very close to the truck.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. I'm planning on sleeping in the truck.

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's a lot of money to be throwing around.

Penn (as Marathon): We want to do watch shifts on our stuff?

Kit (as Birdie): I don't know if they'll try anything, but maybe if we wanted to take shifts, waking up through the night, and just like periodically - to just check if everything's okay. I don't think we we should lose too much sleep over it.

Penn (as Marathon): That's right you have a friend here, don't you?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. Yeah. Like a like a ah, a... past [deep breath] coworker. They're cool.

Cameron (as Emma): [morose] level of trust are you putting this friend at?

Kit (as Birdie): Like a scale of 1 to 10? An 8.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh 8? You did say coworker instead of friend.

Kit (as Birdie): Well, now we are - we are friends.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay.

Kit (as Birdie): And I was, you know, I was around them for a year and they never really pulled anything with me. But that was also because they we're around a group of people that kind of scared them. So I don't know what -

Cameron (as Emma): You were also a member of their group.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I was also a member of their group. So it's -

Sydney (as Cassidy): So is that a conditional 8?

Kit (as Birdie): There's a lot of things that have changed and so I did trust them at around an 8, you know, I can - there are a couple instances where I could see 'em pulling something but I'd say situationally until they've proved themselves otherwise - 4. I love 'em.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, I don't think I - I don't think I like this Kelsey or much of them but they pay well.

Kit (as Birdie): [mumbles in she's hot!]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, there's a lot of money to mm - not make complaints go away but to keep from voicing them.

Kit (as Birdie): I think she's uh, interesting.

Nick: Birdie, as you say that Kelsey is interesting, you look away from the fire and you can see a small glowing ember from Kelsey's cigar and you realize as your eyes adjust that she is doing pull ups off of the main gun barrel of the tank.

Kit: Birdie chokes on her spit - just a little. Just a little to not be as smooth with the moment as she wanted to be. Just

Kit (as Birdie): [choking] Yeah, interesting. In very - [cough and throat clearing] Interesting person. [sniff] Forgive me.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, don't don't choke.

Penn (as Marathon): She's not as strong as Sasha, just so you know. [clears throat]

Sydney: Cassidy follows Birdie's gaze.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah yeah. Okay, well, go socialize. [laugh] Or stay back here and enjoy the show. Just don't relax entirely.

Kit (as Birdie): Never.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Perfect.

Kit (as Birdie): [kid in a candy store levels of excitement] Okay!

Kit: And she's gonna go off somewhere - who knows what she's doing.

Penn: Marathon gives a little salute to Emma and Cassidy and picks up a couple of packs of things to go finish setting up camp close to the truck for the Patina.

Sydney: Cassidy scoops up the cleaned dishes from dinner.

Cameron: Emma is still sitting there silently staring down into the project in her lap.

Sydney (as Cassidy): How's progress going?

Sydney: Cassidy says she stands up and goes to put the dishes away.

Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] I'm, I'm making some. I think I'll be able to beef up the cooling system in the cooler with this once I get it cleaned up and bad wires replaced and whatnot.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Do you think we can do the uh, Renn and Ciphera style ice machine on the side of the rig?

Cameron (as Emma): Ah~ [short laugh]. I don't know if~ with just this I could accomplish that. That may require a bit more additions to have a place to put the water to make the ice freeze, but I could potentially - we could potentially get it to freezer levels, depending on how powerful this is when I turn it on.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well. Could be fun. Not super important. Obviously we've gotten this far without it, but the ice can stay up on top of the mountains.

Cameron (as Emma): Yep. And it's not the most important project I could be working on right now, but it's the only one I'm gonna do here.

Sydney: Cassidy plops back down on her stump next to Emma, and drops the volume of her voice a little bit.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Not feeling it?

Cameron: At this Emma does actually set her hands down in her lap and stop fiddling with the parts and puts her hands down on the ground and shifts her self around so that she's now sitting cross legged facing Cassidy.

Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy, one of their crew members died today. What are - what are they doing?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh~ well. Kelsey is doing pull ups on the main turret of the tank.

Cameron (as Emma): [disgusted sigh] Yes, they -

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah they're not - they don't look especially broken up about it, do they?

Cameron (as Emma): No they - I think this was before you came down once the fight was over, but they just pulled - he apparently got hit while in the tank and they just pulled his body out of the tank and the the guy that Marathon was talking to just kind of carried him off into the woods without anyone besides Kelsey saying anything about the fact that this man was dead. And then a little while later he just returned carrying all the dude's stuff. And like that it that is that is all that has happened. Like

Sydney: Cassidy's lips have flattened into a straight line.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, this is a kind of mercenary company that the Patina is not. But there's always people in towns that want money. You go into town, you offer - sounds like they have a bunch - offer money, pick up the local talented villagers. If you're not invested in them, when they die you get their stuff. And if your number of people is big enough, you can go take on jobs.

Cameron (as Emma): I get I - [focusing sigh] so I guess in in theory, yes. I - we had mercenary companies come through Thunder Bay and pick up folks who wanted to go adventure and it was incredibly obvious that their safety was not going to be the priority of that group who came through it all and it [fond laugh] when when y'all came through and picked me up I had a lot of family members warning me about it because it's something that we've seen a lot. But I don't... How - how can, how can it impact someone so little? I guess that that's that's what I can't wrap my head around. I'm I'm not - [sad laugh] I'm also not doing great because I killed several men today. I know that all of the ones that I killed were either trying to kill me or were [sigh] so messed up by by the bomb that Birdie threw that it was a favor.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): But I still feel awful about that and I didn't know any of them. And [emotional sigh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): They're out there, almost celebrating? I mean, I don't think they're celebrating their death, but they're - yeah, they just don't care.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, and I [sigh], I could if I tried to put myself [sigh] in in their position, and we were the mercenary company who were trapped within an ambush like that. I can see having mixed emotions afterwards, if one of us was killed, even if we weren't as close as we were like, even if I we just met each other like I could see feeling happy that I didn't die and that some of the other people didn't die, but I - that doesn't - that couldn't outweigh the fact that I know that someone who I was fighting with or fighting alongside, didn't survive. I guess I am just, I am finding myself more understanding why Wyatt put so much importance on recognizing that all of the bandits we fought, they are all people and

Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlapping] Everyone deserves a goodbye.

Cameron (as Emma): [overlapping] deserves a - like they they've - the remembrance [sigh]. Everyone deserves someone to at least acknowledge that, like this is - [emotional chest noise] Kelsey should have given a speech or something like - I don't know if that seems cool enough for her.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh I don't know maybe her speech is uh 'Hey, turns out our shares getting split only seven ways now. Go work everyone.'

Cameron (as Emma): 'Plus hey look at this nice vest I got.'

Sydney (as Cassidy): [soft laugh] Well.

Cameron (as Emma): I don't know. It's it's throwing me off.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Sydney: There's the noise of footsteps from the other side of the fire and Cassidy and Emma both look up to see a tall incongruously sharply dressed man with a pork pie hat and a three piece suit and the guy clears his throat and goes,

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): [infomercial voice] I hope it's not a bad time. I'm Mr. Tobias Fitzgerald. You can call me Mr. Fitzgerald. I haven't gotten a chance to meet you yet and I wanted to come by and say hello.

Cameron: Emma is staring at this new man that just appeared out of the darkness slightly slack jawed. [laugh]

Sydney: Cassidy has closed her eyes under the barrage of this amount of energy. [laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): It [clears throat] - [obviously forcing cheery politeness] is lovely to meet you, Mr. Fitzgerald.

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): [infomercial voice] Yes, I'm the scout and the pathfinder for the Rust here. I'm an independent contractor. You're welcome to hire me as needed to do any of your pathfinding between San Archie and Metro and anywhere in between. I've got all the maps right up here.

Sydney: He taps the side of his head.

Cameron: Emma's jaw has not fully closed yet even though she did talk and she's nodding as he continues to talk.

Cameron (as Emma): We we will definitely keep you in mind if we ever find ourselves along this way and in need of a map. Um. I'm I'm Emma. This is Cassidy. I think we're gonna be traveling with you for a few weeks.

Sydney: Cassidy gives a weak sideways head nod.

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): [infomercial voice] Well lovely to have you with us.I'm glad you'll be joining us. It's a shame about Gerald and the events of today but you know we're all trying to get past it here.

Cameron (as Emma): Eh-

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): [infomercial voice] Or was his name Steven? Was it Mikey? We're really feeling sorry about his death today.

Cameron (as Emma): [slightly heartbroken sigh]

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): And well, I'm just trying to spread some good cheer and help everyone feel a little bit better. And if you need any pharmaceutical aid to that end, I'd be happy to impart you with some of my snake oil.

Cameron (as Emma): I'm -

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): It's known for being able to cure muscle pains, brain pains! It helps you stretch your legs even further. You can read the stars easier. It makes your vision even sharper. It does anything you'll ever need. Just come by me and my horse, Mr. Anderson, and we can get you hooked up.

Cameron: Emma looks towards Cassidy and her eyes are now super wide.

Sydney: Cassidy has her face in one hand with their hand over her eye and looks up.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I think we're good. Um. We will let you know if we ever require any of your goods or services.

Sydney: And Mr. Fitzgerald nods, rolls his hat down his arm, catches it, gives a jaunty wave of it, puts it back on his head.

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): All right. Well, I'll leave you to it and I'll go meet the rest of your crew. Have a nice night.

Cameron (as Emma): [shellshocked] Yeah, you too.

Sydney: And walks off very jauntily.

Cameron (as Emma): The guy's name was definitely Mikey.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [groan]

Cameron (as Emma): I remember that and I was just standing next to the tank when they said he was dead.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean, I guess he wasn't in the fight. Maybe he's, I don't know. This is - at least they're paying as well.

Cameron (as Emma): Uh huh. [sigh] I guess I'll - I'll go set up my my sleeping bag and stuff at the entry to the back of the rig. That's - [stressed laughter] I don't know how much more I can interact with people today.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That is fair. Let me know um, if you want any crew morale building to help with all of the uh, events we witnessed today. I can take you out climbing.

Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] I think after some, [sigh] some just quiet time by myself I think it'll be alright again but after we hang out with this many people for a few days I - I may take you up on that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): No yep. I understand and I will join you in quiet time.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay, yeah. I I will be the excuse for you to go be antisocial. I'm -

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh yeah,

Cameron (as Emma): - that will be very useful.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I gotta make sure Emma's doing all right and -

Cameron (as Emma): Mhm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): - she's taken care of.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, okay. [sad laugh]

Sydney: Cassidy reaches out and squeezes Emma's shoulder before standing up to go do setup.

Cameron: Emma remains sitting by the fire for a little bit and had reached up during the end of that conversation and was rubbing her forehead with one hand and I think she keeps doing that for a little while before she manages to gather up the energy to put the mechanics pieces she was working on back into a small pouch and stand up and make her way over to the back of the rig and start setting up for the night.

Nick: And as Emma and Cassidy split up to face the rest of the evening, we cut over to Marathon. Marathon, what are you looking for in this camp and what do you find?

Penn: Marathon has finished setting up the Patina's tents and gives a satisfied clapping like there's dirt on her hands, puts her hands on her hips and starts surveying the little area and watches this guy - this fancily dressed gentleman roll his hat onto his hand and thinks to herself, I don't have the energy for that right now and finds the more bookish woman who Birdie had saved earlier pretty nearby to the tents and sits down close to her just to make sure - trying to make herself seem occupied with this conversation so he doesn't jump to Marathon.

Nick: As you sit down next to the bookish person, she has unzipped the jumpsuit that she was wearing during the combat situation. You can see that the sleeves are dangling down by her knees and that she is wearing a tight black T shirt. Her hair is loose and hanging around her face as she appears to be sketching something in charcoal in a notebook. She has large round glasses pushed up on her nose so that her dark eyes can see better by the dim light of the camp and she seems mostly absorbed in what she's doing, barely acknowledging your presence.

Penn(as Marathon): [quietly] Mi-mind if I sit here?

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Oh! Uh.

Nick: The charcoal falls out of her hand as she jumps in surprise. And she closes the book really quickly before you're able to see what she's drawing.

Penn(as Marathon): Oh, I got you.

Penn: Marathon picks up the charcoal.

Nick: She leans down at the same time and you bump heads as she is also trying to get the charcoal and

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): [noise of pain]

Penn: And Marathon -

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Ow.

Penn: - as she's tipping up her head tries to make eye contact with her when they both are touching the charcoal.

Nick: Yeah. You see that she's holding her forehead with her other head and her eyes are screwed shut with the pain of the impact and the moment is wasted.

Penn(as Marathon): [annoyed pain noise] Sorry.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): No, that's, that's fine. Thank you.

Penn(as Marathon): It's uh, Miranda, right?

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Yeah, that's my name. They also call me Deathstalker.

Nick: She raises her eyebrows and moves her head from side to side like she's making fun of it, but you can tell from her voice that she is kind of partial to the nickname.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): But either is fine. What- I'm sorry. I'm sure you were introduced, but I don't remember. What was - what was your name?

Penn(as Marathon): No. Yeah, I'm a Marathon. Just just Marathon. Yeah, I don't know. I saw you were over here and not with the fancy gentleman over there who seems to be leaving my friends and looking for someone to approach and I decided I didn't want to talk to him right now because -

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Oh.

Penn(as Marathon): - I would love to but he has very high energy right now. And I dunno y'all had somebody die [awkward noise] It's kind of weird. [laugh]

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Yeah. Um. It is always a little weird for a couple of days after somebody dies. I'm mostly just glad it wasn't me.

Nick: And she gestures down to the bandages that you can see just under the hem of her t shirt where it has ridden up a little bit. They look pretty clean.

Penn(as Marathon): Oh, that's right. Birdie saved you, huh?

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Yeah. Yeah, she did.

Nick: And Miranda looks up towards the sky a little bit obviously distracted. Marathon she looks like she might be a little overheated or something. Her face is a little rosy in the light of the lantern.

Penn(as Marathon): Uh. Do you need some water there?

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): What? No, no, it's it. I'm fine. I'm fine. Look, Marathon, you - you are very nice to come over, but

Nick: She's looks around like she's looking for an excuse and her eyes fall on her sketchbook and then she looks back to you and says,

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Look um, I've got a thing for Birdie. I -

Penn(as Marathon): Oh!

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): - might as well just tell you now.

Penn(as Marathon): Yeah, no -

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): She's beautiful. She saved my life. She's obviously very capable. She's got that kind of like I don't know like mysterious air, somebody with a dark past and like

Penn(as Marathon): Yup.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): yeah, you seem strong, but I just,

Penn(as Marathon): [said on an exhale] Yeah.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): I want to know what she can do with that hockey stick and -

Penn(as Marathon): [said quietly almost to self] Yeah, and you know strength seems to be all I got going for me, you know Birdie's got - [flipped the wingwoman switch] Birdie's got it all, you know, a very storied past so yep. It was pretty -

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Wow really? Do you know any of it? Is there-?

Penn(as Marathon): Oh it's - I think I think it'll be better if you tease it out of her yourself, so

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): I'll do I'll do some teasing huh? Yeah, yeah, we'll try it. Anyway it's it's been nice of you to stop by. Uh -

Penn(as Marathon): Yeah, of course.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): But I really should get back to -

Penn(as Marathon): Yup.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): - what I'm what I'm doing.

Penn(as Marathon): No I -

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): It's very important research.

Penn(as Marathon): Completely, completely understand. So

Nick: And she flips the notebook open before you even had a chance to stand up and you can see that she's doing a detailed silhouette of Birdie, clearly. She's drawing it looks partially based on memory, very romanticized. But some of it appears to have been taken from reference of where Birdie is standing across the camp as Miranda peers through the fire light towards where she's standing.

Penn(as Marathon): Well, um, if you need any help doing that, you just let me know.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Mhm. Thanks. Yeah. All right. Thanks.

Penn(as Marathon): [self conscious laugh] Have a nice night.

Nick: And she is sketching away. You can hear her murmuring to herself about cheekbones and mysterious pasts as you head back towards the camp.

Penn: [laughing] Marathon dejectedly comes back to Emma and Cassidy.

Sydney: And before Marathon is able to make it back to the relative solitude of the Patina side of the camp, a tall figure in a very fancy suit jumps jauntily right squarely into Marathon's path and goes

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): [infomercial voice] Hey, I'm Mr. Tobias Fitzgerald.

Penn(as Marathon): Whoa god!

Nick: And as Marathon jumps out of her skin, we cut over to Birdie who is looking to socialize. Birdie, where have you found yourself?

Kit: Birdie has found herself sitting next to Teno and they're passing a flask back and forth but Birdie is taking very, very small sips due to the fact that she hasn't quite recovered from the last time that she had any significant amount of alcohol. [laughing] They're probably sitting shoulder to shoulder and Birdie has got her legs kicked out and crossed at the ankles and she's like,

Kit (as Birdie): And you remember that time - [clears throat] Palace just nearly - you remember the when when they nearly lost a leg in that one run that we did? Man!

Cameron: Teno is laughing as Birdie tells this remembrance and tries to pause laughing to take a sip of their beverage and doesn't quite stop laughing enough and starts choking ever so slightly.

Cameron (as Teno): [choking]

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, don't die! [laughing]

Cameron (as Teno): [coughing] No. [clears throat & deep breath] No.

Kit (as Birdie): God, they're such an idiot. [laugh]

Cameron (as Teno): It's fine. It's fine. [clears throat]

Kit (as Birdie): God, we did the stupidest shit. [laugh]

Cameron (as Teno): We - [prim laugh] I think that all of our plans were very well laid out and um thought through actually. [cough]

Kit (as Birdie): Well you think that! You came up with most of them. [laugh]

Cameron (as Teno): Yeah they were brilliant, baby bird. I don't know what you're talking about. It's not my fault that other people failed to execute them to my standards.

Kit (as Birdie): No, I mean, that's fair. You are a genius.

Cameron (as Teno): [continues to clear throat] Indeed. Here you need, you need to take this away from me now.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay. Yes, I think that would be smart.

Cameron: Teno hands it back.

Kit: She'll take it.

Cameron (as Teno): I promise I know how - I know how to drink. I do.

Kit (as Birdie): I know I believe you. Don't worry.

Cameron (as Teno): [clears throat]

Kit (as Birdie): New crew of yours any fun?

Cameron (as Teno): What - what definition of fun are we, are we using here?

Kit (as Birdie): I don't know! Do you guys get up to any shenanigans like we used to, I guess?

Cameron (as Teno): Uh. Different, different flavor of shenanigans. Um. Kelsey is a bit of a hard ass.

Kit (as Birdie): [dreaming of Kelsey's ass] Hmm.

Cameron (as Teno): I don't I don't know if he picked up on that. It's very subtle. Um.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, yeah.

Cameron (as Teno): Mhm. And [sigh], I don't know, we don't we don't - we don't mesh the same way that our crew did. It's, we we all have we all have our skill sets and we know things and um everyone kind of does their thing that they know.

Kit (as Birdie): Aw.

Cameron (as Teno): Besides Jorb. Jorb - Jorb's there to support everybody. Everybody else kind of looking out for number one. I understand it, but it's a different vibe. You know?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. No, I I get it. That's how it is, you know, sometimes. I've been with groups like that before. But yeah, it's not as fun. You don't get to really let your guard down, I guess.

Cameron (as Teno): No. How about this new group of yours though?

Kit (as Birdie): They're great.

Cameron (as Teno): You all seem very chummy.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, yeah. You know, it's it's, they're all really sweet and I was lucky to find them.

Cameron (as Teno): Oh, that's adorable.

Kit (as Birdie): [giggle] I know. I know. It's terrible. And I'm so sappy.

Cameron (as Teno): No, no, that is not what I said at all.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh I'm saying it.

Cameron (as Teno): No~! You know, I love that you're so sweet.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. Yeah I know.

Cameron (as Teno): It is, it is something that I hope that you manage to hold on to for forever.

Kit (as Birdie): [giggle] I mean, you're pretty sweet, too. So

Cameron (as Teno): Oh well, thank you.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Cameron (as Teno): I do try.

Kit (as Birdie): [sigh] Yeah.

Cameron (as Teno): Y'all seem, y'all seem to mesh real well, though.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, we got a good dynamic. They've got a lot of really great experience under their belt I think and we keep to being pretty level. You know, I enjoy it. I feel like I can trust them.

Cameron (as Teno): Always important.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. I think uh, yeah. I was glad to find them. I don't think I'd be going back to Sasnak anytime soon if I hadn't.

Cameron (as Teno): Well it's sweet that you're going back to Sasnak. That'll be real nice to see your family again, huh?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. Yeah, we'll see.

Cameron (as Teno): How many how many years has it been since you saw them last?

Kit (as Birdie): Uh seven.

Cameron (as Teno): Wow.

Kit (as Birdie): Seven. Yep.

Cameron (as Teno): Oh, you must have grown up so much. [said like an old teacher you run into at a grocery store]

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Yeah, yeah. Well, it's probably changed by a lot, you know, Sasnaks pretty fast moving, in some ways, slow moving, and others. But yeah, you know. I'm excited to work with another mercenary group. That's the one thing I'll say about this new group, they uh, they operate on different measures than most people do.

Cameron (as Teno): They're not as fun as - is that what you're saying?

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing] No, they're just as fun. Maybe not as freewheeling, I guess.

Cameron (as Teno): All right I think we're defining fun different again.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. You know, I got to, you know, there are some habits that I developed from other groups that I try to act against when I'm around the Patina because, you know, they're very leaving the place better than you found it or, you know, honor - very focused on being kind.

Cameron (as Teno): Well how noble.

Kit (as Birdie): They are.

Cameron (as Teno): If you're going to keep talking like that, I'm gonna need you to hand me the flask back.

Kit (as Birdie): I know, I look - I know.

Cameron (as Teno): Thank you. Yes. I -

Kit (as Birdie): Okay.

Cameron (as Teno): Yes. Thank you.

Cameron: Teno drinks more.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Yeah, I mean, you know, you can say I've gone soft and whatnot. But I mean, it's it's a little refreshing on the mind. I mean you guys get that war machine over there.

Cameron (as Teno): It is rather impressive, isn't it? You should see it when it shoots like wow~.

Kit (as Birdie): I know, I'd think I'd find it pretty impressive.

Cameron (as Teno): It is incredibly loud. But wow is it an effective tool, you know?

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. I guess I let them get to me a little bit. I'm not really much to the um, intimidating sort anymore.

Cameron (as Teno): [snort] I saw your explosives. [laughing]

Kit (as Birdie): Look - that's part of my

Cameron (as Teno): That that's not intimidating?

Kit (as Birdie): No, I'm less of the uh, you know, in the way of threatening and

Cameron (as Teno): Bird you blew up half that entire fucking forest.

Kit (as Birdie): But they were trying to kill you guys. And us.

Cameron (as Teno): And I appreciate it, but damn. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. I mean-

Cameron (as Teno): That's not, that's not soft, I'd say.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah~.

Cameron (as Teno): That's still spicy.

Kit (as Birdie): Thank you. I try. [laugh] Yeah, maybe I'm a little bit different from them in that way, I think.

Cameron (as Teno): Well, while you're with us for the next two weeks, you are welcome to come be spicy with me.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] I might take you up on that. Depends on what kind of trouble we run into.

Cameron (as Teno): Oh, I'm sure it'll be all the best kinds of trouble.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh]

Cameron (as Teno): That's normally the kind that finds things like our tank. You know, it's normally the fun stuff.

Kit (as Birdie): Well. You know, I'm all about fun.

Cameron (as Teno): I still don't - I'm not sure how we're defining it, but yes, I do. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): You know, can I ask you something?

Cameron (as Teno): Sure.

Kit (as Birdie): How safe would it be to - [sigh] knowing your group and stuff - would it be safe to leave our truck and our stuff unlocked and all ready and stuff? I don't want to have troubles or anything.

Cameron: Teno purses their lips and looks around squinting slightly to make out the rest of the figures of the Rust in the dark.

Cameron (as Teno): Um, I think I'd say that anything that you find particularly valuable, Birdie, you should probably hold on to. I don't think that you're gonna wake up and your truck’s gonna be gone. But it's not - it's not the same family feeling, if you know what I mean.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah no, I get it. That's fair.

Cameron (as Teno): You'd probably be fine. Maybe don't leave your explosives laying around.

Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] No, I know better than that.

Cameron (as Teno): Yeah, it's it's unlikely Kelsey would pull anything.

Kit (as Birdie): I don't know if I trust Felix yet though.

Cameron (as Teno): Oh, Felix is harmless and mostly useless.

Kit (as Birdie): [high laugh] Yeah. Yeah, he's just a little too, uh, side-eye worthy I guess.

Cameron (as Teno): Yeah, he's um - whatever'll make Kelsey happy, he'll do.

Kit (as Birdie): Interesting. But yeah. Well I appreciate you humoring me and the drinks.

Cameron (as Teno): Mhm. Yeah, of course. I guess I should actually add to my, my assessment of trustworthiness that we have a tank and [laughing] it's unlikely that you have a more fun tool for us. So that's -

Kit: Birdie raises an eyebrow a little bit.

Cameron: Teno was definitely judging Birdie's face as they said that.

Kit: Gives a half smile, trying to keep it to herself, but she's had about a drink so far and is a little tipsy. And just,

Kit (as Birdie): Meh you know, I have mine, you have yours.

Cameron (as Teno): Mhm. I mean you do seem pretty, pretty damn equipped for a group of four.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah [sigh]. Yeah, we all got our own little play things I guess. You know, you saw the exosuit. It's pretty useful. We got a bike.

Cameron (as Teno): Mhm. Got a nice big truck.

Kit (as Birdie): Yep. Real cozy.

Cameron (as Teno): Yep. What's the tall ones toy?

Kit (as Birdie): Her fists.

Cameron (as Teno): That does not count. [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing] [overlapping] I wouldn't say anything else.

Cameron (as Teno): [laughing] [overlapping] You can't -

Kit (as Birdie): But it's uh, it's kind of true. She's, you know, she's real resourceful when it comes to punching things. She punches things in a very special way. You could say maybe her her arms are also pretty nice. Not in that way. No, but you know,

Cameron (as Teno): I mean, you could say her nice - or her arms are pretty nice.

Kit (as Birdie): [mumbled] Her arms are pretty nice. [normal voice] From an objective standpoint.

Cameron (as Teno): From an objective standpoint, you have a lot of very nice arms in your group, baby bird.

Kit (as Birdie): No, I know. I know. [laughs]

Cameron (as Teno): And you're not - you're not interested in any of that?

Kit (as Birdie): Nah. No, god.

Cameron (as Teno): Really?

Kit (as Birdie): [giggle] No, they're all too uh, [mumbles] they're my family now. I don't want to - you know what always kind of messes it up a little bit when I feel like it's hard for me because you know, I don't stay places very long.

Cameron (as Teno): Mhm.

Kit (as Birdie): Can't get attached.

Cameron (as Teno): Leaving a trail of broken hearts behind you.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, I must. [laugh] Well. You know, I'd better help them pack up for the night and get everything locked up. So

Cameron (as Teno): Yep. Well have a good rest of your evening.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. You too. See you in the morning.

Cameron (as Teno): Yeah uh, you'll probably be seeing me again - I'm I'm on first watch. So

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, maybe we should -

Cameron (as Teno): I'll see around.

Kit (as Birdie): Sounds good. [laugh]

Kit: Birdie realizes that she may have said even just a little too much to incriminate herself of anything and is thus going to leave pretty fast and go back to join the Patina's side.

Sydney: She's taken four steps away from Teno and a tree russels and then suddenly, there is a tall man and a fancy suit standing right in front of her.

Kit (as Birdie): [shriek]

Sydney (as Mr. Fitzgerald): [infomercial voice] Hey, I'm Mr. Tobias Fitzgerald.

[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:

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. 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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