The Clockmaker's Guild has placed a contract up for tender. It appears to deal with fixing some of their property. It requires contractors to pay a deposit for loan of the equipment needing maintenance, and offers a sliding payment scale ranging from small amounts for information on possible solutions, middling amounts for fixing the equipment, and large amounts for a generalisable solution should this ever happen in the future.
While it is not explicitly stated in their contract, it is clear to those in the know that the equipment being discussed is one of the clockwork golems the guild is famous for.
Debrief The party wakes up from their drug-induced trance. Marian starts stripping for apparently no reason. Unit 06 reports feeling generally better and more…’normal’, and internally feels a renewed strength and loyalty to the Guild. The Alchemist brings a shabby change of clothes to preserve what remains of Marian’s equally tattered dignity.
Unit 06’s problems with blood contamination are fixed. Notes on the procedure are presented to the party, and it is decided that it would be politic to entrust Pig with them.
The problem of the mirror contamination persists. Respecting the party’s pleas for aid, the Alchemist offers to trial an experimental procedure on any willing subject. The party volunteer Pig to go first, and the unit gleefully takes a hefty-looking syringe to the core - in exchange for the opportunity to talk to the Alchemist at some length about alchemy in future.
The party decide to rest a day to see if they can witness the results. The mirroring….seems to have gone down a little? Unit01’s personality is…as eccentric as ever.
Bob and Marian take up the offer the experimental treatment. Jemiker and Dirk want to investigate their own solutions.
Meanwhile, the party rob the place. Jemiker gets 3 potions - a shiny one, a glowy one, and a bubbly one. Unit 06 does too - a shadowy one, a one that looks at you, and a warm one. Dirk swipes some notes.
Pig takes the time to talk to the Alchemist about alchemy, though he wants little to do with her - what with her odd and erratic behabviour.
After exhausting the hospitality of the Alchemist, the party find the mirror-dwelling man who takes them back to his house. Dirk is horribly afflicted by the poison on the way back, whilst Unit 01 and Jemiker are also obviously still suffering.
The Clockmakers assess Unit 06 and return the deposit. They take the notes Pig supplies after she’s made a copy of them as best she can with her knowledge of Alchemy. After a few hours, they dish out the 2nd tier of payment, saying that in a few weeks they can confirm if the rest is forthcoming. Walker takes his 10% from Jemiker, Bob and Dirk.
Marian Terrec lodges a complaint about the medical treatment she received at the hands of Unit01. Unit01 idly mentions that she thoughts ‘we were friends’. One aghast and panicked set of motions from the Guild Supervisor later, and heavies are coming to take Pig away and strap her down.
Marian threatens to divulge information about Unit06 having a soul to fix. The Clockmakers stand firm. Marian pushes for compensation and is instead passed an address and time.On seeing this she resolves to ‘think about her experience’ some more.
While this blackmail is afoot, Jemiker makes a trip to Jimmy Hoskins, turning in the artifact potions and a vial of quicksilver. On examining Jemiker he sees her soul is a perfect mirror….and who should that be in the center, but himself, exclaiming ‘ooh, interesting.’. Jimmy sets to work fixing the problem, and the mirrored surface slowly begins to turn to stone…
Jemiker explains that Unit 06 is back to operating at factory settings, and Unit 01 got taken away. Jimmy sighs. Jimmy goes away and has a chat with a senior representative from the Clockmakers Guild about Pig’s behaviour. Jimmy stresses that the service he is offering to the Guild is to buy them time - to make preparations, to get ready to make a public apology, or even to decommission the units, nice little earners though they have been - but everything comes to an end.
While this is going on, Pig and Unit 06 talk in the holding cells. Pig invites Unit 01 to play the ‘let’s imagine we were both secretly really disloyal to the Clockmakers Guild and worked to bring it down from the inside’ game. Game. Unit 06 does so.
Jimmy elects to fetch Pig. He takes her back to the lab. On the way back, Pig becomes increasingly gruff and surly. “I didn’t think I was so unpersonable”, Jimmy laments, before seizing the opportunity to jump out of his body and let his apprentice learn how it’s done.
Marian gets 50R out of the Clockmakers after their little chat. She learns that people don’t always like it when you force them to tell the truth without strong reasons.
Unbeknownst to everyone else, Bob stealthily assembles pictures of Marian Terrec from society pages.
Unit 06 has a chat with R&D about Unit 01, recounting the game they just played. “I played this game. And I did not like what I imagined”. The Guild members hum and haw that their hands are tied in the matter because of the involvement of Hoskins. If only some terrible accident could befall Unit 01. Unit 06 agrees to maintain the guise of friendship in case such an opportunity presents itself.
Everybody but Unit 06 and Jimmy go to the Temple of the Splintered Man, most seeking an explanation - if not a cure - for their mirror sickness. There, they are met by acolytes, who inform them that Nobody will be there to meet them shortly. Nobody then dutifully appears, in the guise of a frail old man. Nobody perceives the problem with the sickness in the Splintered Man’s realm is that it reflects identity without having a consistent ‘core’ to wrap the self around. They offer training in how to maintain continuity of self. Those still affected by the sickness turn up to sessions which involve a strange crystalline anomaly.
Marian tries to get one of the acolytes to work for her, fancying a mine in the Lost Places, and having a mirror-traveller seems handy. At 9r / adventure, they are unwilling to help.
Bob talks to the acolytes about what they get out of this whole deal. He ends up taking a leaflet.
Some time later, the Clockmakers pay 50R final payment. Walker takes his 10% from Bob, Dirk and Jemiker.