So, I’m still trying to figure out this magic thing. I still have that one spell buzzing around in my brain, but now its crowded with a bunch of others. I…I don’t think I get it, but I’ll just go with it for now. After a short rest, they don’t give us any food, so I’m famished- or, I would be, if Berman hadn’t given us some food before last night’s mission. The Warden tells us to get back to work, which is just us mining platinum. Suits me, I was pretty good at it.
Back to the cavern with us, to mine platinum. I use this time to perfect my pickaxe technique, which still is pretty lacking. Our agent friend talks to Berman and leaves, looking a bit dismayed. Gwyn comes up with a plan to get our Kapyip friend off the cross. Berman wants to implicate some guards and some prisoners in a smuggling operation, and needs us to cover for him. We all have to work a little bit harder, though, but it doesn’t bother me so much.
Berman comes back with some platinum for Gwyn to plant on someone. I really hope this works. Berman points out the gang, and needs a distraction.
I walk up to them, drop my pants, and pee on them, shouting, “I peed! I peed!” in my biggest, loudest dumbass voice. They jump back, and Berman runs up and apologizes, pulling my pants up and dragging me off while I laugh out loud in my stupid voice. I hope this works. My deed done, I go back to work, and maybe I’ll even be able to cover for those other jokers. We don’t really get supper, on account of the half-rations and all that. But, I think our scheme could be successful. We’ll have to wait and see.
Gwyn and me spend our time anxiously waiting for Berman’s results by carving a happy face into the wall. It makes me nervous, the waiting. The Warden storms down with a bunch of guards, wondering about a guy named Vann, and storms away. About twenty minutes later, Halsea comes scampering in, and I sweep her up in a hug. We’re successful! We do have to get her back to work, though, sadly.
At the end of our shift, The Warden tells us that our production will go back up, and there’s something about platinum smuggling and if anyone knew about it, he’d break our legs. Gee, I have no idea what he’s talking about…!
Later that night, Berman comes for us, and gives us his lotion. I completely screw up my circle trying to be stealthy- which I’m not good at- and Gwyn helps me put my salt circle back together. The three of us (Halsea in tow) go to our hidden headquarters, and the tree lady accosts Nihm, happy that she’s alive. I feel the same way.
Berman lays out our plan, which was to have this new contraption- Alphie is its name?- doctor the records, and have Alphie work this odd machine for Kaldan currency. More to the point, I’ve never seen the sort of machine that Alphie is! Or is it a real person? I think a part of our plan goes over my head, because I’m weirded out by the machine guy. He says that his consciousness resides all over.
We sit around and talk about the plan for a while, and it seems like it could be a good one. For my part, I think I can help out with my gunsmithing by improvising part. All we need is access to the smithy..
I have an idea…we can fake a new monster running around! I can do silent images, while Gwyn can do ghost sounds and Nihm can mimic sounds. Coryn (I think that’s the agent’s name), comes up with an idea that we could use a Rust Monster to fake.
After that, we turn to Berman and ask him, “Well, what do you think?” He looks at us like we’re nuts and thinks that it could, just maybe, work. He’ll have Nihm rejoin us in the population, and we also need to have Alphie gain access to the Warden. Berman has a plan, but we can also try to make something up as well. It involves getting Alphie into the Warden’s office as a piece of equipment- being some sort of robot man, it could work- and then tampering with the files after the Warden leaves.
It’s a good plan.
Over the next week, we do make a box for Alphie to put himself into. And we have Coryn deliver him while I practice with Halsea with mimicking the Rust Monster. I think we’ve got this, but we’ll need some more practice. We find a couple of iron spikes for her to use, and I think we’ll be somewhat convincing. Coryn goes off to deliver Alphie, while we practice (and Nihm does our work for us). We do try to hide some platinum for Alphie’s forgeries, and we need to find some copper to help us out.
As our production increases, our rations go back to normal, and the atmosphere lightens. We all don’t have to pretend like we’re starving. Though I don’t know how Alphie is faring, I hope it (he?) is doing well.
After a couple of weeks, it’s our time to act. Hopefully, Halsea and I have perfected our Rust Monster bit. We try it out, and both prisoners and guards scream and run away. One of them, however, points a crossbow at it and fires, and I think it hits Halsea! To compensate, I know she’s bleeding green, and I have the fake monster run away. The guard calls people in, and me and Halsea make a run for it after I tie my shirt around her. We get the hell out of there as the guards come rushing in, back to the store room with us. I yank the crossbow bolt out and we part ways- I’m supposed to be able to get to the smithy to help.
However, I do have to get by some people.
I use my last Silent Image spell to turn myself into a Kald, and I run past them shouting…something. I’m not sure since I don’t speak Kald at all, but they seem to be fooled. We get into the the smithy, and I have to frighten the bellows boy away. Coryn chastises me for being stupid- specifically, how such a smart person like me can be so stupid. I almost decide to show him how stupid I am by blindsiding him and dropping him into the forge. The Kalds treat us badly enough without getting it from someone who’s supposed to be on my side. I blow it off for the time being- there are more important things to do here- but I’m beginning to wonder if we can truly trust him. So far, he’s proven loyal to myself and the others, but can I really put my trust in someone who has no faith in me or the others…?
Fortunately for me, it all goes incredibly smoothly, and I’m able to make the parts effortlessly, despite being for a completely different machine than I’m used to- I fabricate guns, after all!- it all comes together quite wonderfully. After the parts are made, I’m off to get back to the hidey-hole before I’m terribly missed.
Although, I can’t get back!
I find myself stuck in the smithy, and I ask Coryn if he can get me a uniform. It’ll be a long shot, but I think I can do this- I am a soldier, after all! I hide in the closet while he does his thing, and it’s pretty tense. However, I am a soldier…I might be able to fake it long enough to get back down into the tunnels…and then be naked.
I shed my uniform, put on my other clothes, and then the uniform. I have Coryn point me at the slave barracks, and I hope this works. So far, so good. I manage to fit in with the other humans. I’ll stay here until nightfall, and then go back into the tunnels under the cover as myself.
I do keep the uniform though. Who knows? It could come in handy. And I have the machined parts to boot. When I get the chance, I deliver the machined parts to the machine. All told, I think I was personally very successful. I got the parts, I got a uniform.
At night, we go back to our headquarters, and I show Berman and the others the parts. The popular opinion is that they’ll work, and Alphie seconds it.
All told, I’m pretty happy with myself, trust issues and all.