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I scream, you scream, we all scream for eye screams! [-Sense]

Lucien's not a stoic. Why should he be? Not like he's trying to sneak up on the crab monster. And it's not like it's a small target, either. This is more of an agonized battlecry situation.

Rip some pages out of the Cricketer's Cup and use it as butcher's-paper oven mitts. At least it'll buy a few seconds.

The faster he can get the pie into the Wreck, the faster we can get these bloody fumes away from him. He can bandage his hands in his wet socks the second this thing's launched.

He charges back down the stairs into the fight, screaming a battlecry, half-blind and searing pain.

This is where the problems start.

[Finish Them - Kill them with Pie - 2, 2, +0 - 4 - Lose the Pie, Coleman is no longer Keeping them Busy, face retaliation]

First of all - Lucien has never, in his life, thrown a pie. He's seen it done though. The best way to do it is to hold your palm flat on the base of the pie tin, and cricket bowl it forwards. He holds the motion in his head clearly. He cocks his hand back.

The paper ovenmitt hits its smoke point, catching fire in his hand. He flubs the throw, the pie lands at the Wreck's pointy legs and smoulders almost harmlessly. It's the worst possible amount of harm to do.

It doesn't do enough to hurt the thing. But it definitely did enough to piss it off, and give it a new target. And now there's a fire between the Train and the Wreck, and stinging acrid smoke seperating the two.

The wreck turns to him. Lucien's legs won't move - he's done flight, he's done fight, and now he's up to freeze. He slips his scorched hands into his pockets and wears the soaking-wet socks as gloves. Standing there, hands in his pockets, he almost looks casual. He's just buying time. In his experience, things only know to chase you if you start running. They get confused when you don't.

He's eyeing the cannons through stinging, watery eyes.

"Please tell me none of you saw it reload?"

Woops. That twigged it. Might be time to run again.
So, frankly, all of this is terrible. But there's three things Lucien just learned from the book, if the book is true:

1) There are traps here that can be set off, at least one of them on the staircase involving a "holy pie".
2) The other person in the Spire would have assisted in his funeral. At the very least, that means they would be a friend.
3) That would make Jackdaw the "Drowned Seeker" - Implying she'd survive this.

"IF"; Lucien's suitably paranoid to wonder if the book itself is the trap. There's one way to test it, at least: Find the trap it predicted would have killed him, and don't get killed by it.

If it's as the book says, he can infer the "Grail Questor" is probably going to be a friend, and that there's a chance to save at least a part of Jackdaw. Also, whatever a 'holy pie' is, it sounds like the sort of thing that'd be a lot more effective against the undead(?) crab monster downstairs than his waterlogged revolver.

Find the trap = don't die to the trap = aim the trap at big crab monster = trust the book = trust the other person here is an ally, not another enemy = save Jackdaw.

Terrible as things are, that's still a hell of a lot to be hopeful for.

[Look Closely - 3, 4, +2 = 9]

"Is there something hidden or out of place" - Looking for hidden traps
"What will happen if I try to set the trap against the Wreck?"
Tell me more about the scenery here - the squid statues, the gigantic and overstuffed shelves of books. How could they help me? How could they hurt me? Essentially - If the trap idea's a bust, is there an even bigger bust that I'd be able to drop on the Wreck? A spire implies a lot of height, and everything you've been describing sounds tippable and heavy.

I find one of these things out the hard way.
Lucien twitches towards Jackdaw to drag her out, but he stops.

Sharp and fast, he talks as he rips off his soaked socks and shoves them into his sodden pockets; "This is just a body; Jackdaw might not be in it anymore. If we need to negotiate for the rest of her, grabbing the body might kill that chance very quick, and probably us, for nothing. Work it out, I'll give up almost anything. If I'm not back in sixty seconds, go a different direction than I did."

Ailee can look after herself and everyone else. Coleman's the best suited to negotiate with the watery tart. Lucien's off to be a professional coward for a hot moment.

[Roll: 4, 5 +2 = 11 for Look Closely. I'm expecting to use the whole minute, unless something else cuts it short.]

Lucien runs up the stairs barefoot, checking every avenue he can, for danger, for escape, for pathways to take that will slow the Flood down. We just landed here, and if we're snatching Jackdaw, we can not afford running into a blind alley. There are people here. Would they help us, or would they fight us back to the Flood to keep themselves safe?

What is going on here? What do my senses tell me?
Is something hidden or out of place? If so, what looks suspicious?
The Tyrian Spire isn't abandoned, there's smoke. Tell me about the signs of life I see here. What are they doing? What will they do next?

Might be nice to talk to the locals before they meet Ailee this time.
"You look like I kicked your stupid beetle," observed Ailee. There's no followup. No comforting words, no condolences. She just drops you unceremoniously on the deck, ended her conflagration of arcane energies, and immediately started doing cooldown stretches and breathing exercises. Urgh! People are heavy!

Here is the thing about good shoes, proper dress shoes. Your feet will blister for the first few days you wear them. They are merciless. But it's like raising a puppy into a loyal dog. Your bond with them forms during the teething period. Nothing else quite like them after that. Twice a week, a proper polishing. You labour and fuss over them, because you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. You look after your shoes, and they'll look after you. You can't invest so much into something without having some pretty powerful emotional attachments to them.

Here's the thing about Lucien's shoes; They were probably the last pair of good, proper dress shoes he'll own in his life.

He is very mopey right now. He is pouting. There is an ache in his very sole.
What is the benediction of the faithful accessory, gone for good?

"For want of a sail, the shoe was lost... Chin up, old horse."
Kickboarding? If I might draw our humble narrator's attention back in time;

[Lucien starts knotting a rescue line to the raft, looking for some driftwood for the other end of it.]

[This may or may not have been the reason I volunteered to be the one that took the job that risked falling into the drink in the first place. Meant to double-confirm being tied to it in the last post, but it got cut for brevity.]

"Love the enthusiasm, Ailee, but you could just pull the bloody rope!"

[A reminder that one must pay a price to act against the Flood directly. Yes, even to escape her. She will not be content with anything less.]

Lucien kicks his shoes off, if the Flood's so eager to take them. They're very nice shoes, that came paired with the shirt and a jacket long since shredded by owls. They will be impossible to replace. This is a Huge Bummer.
[Get Away - 3 + 4 + 1 = 8]
[I get there quietly, without drawing attention]

Lucien skulks to the jammed propulsion, leaving the lashing and feats of strength to the one lugging a train egg everywhere.

How much good can he do without having to go for a dip?
"Alright. I think it's safe to talk now. Now, I used to be a dab hand at sailing, but I'm not sure there's any wind or current. We're going to be at the mercy of the Flood, and we don't know they'll keep their bargain. Two things to worry about..." Lucien starts knotting a rescue line to the raft, looking for some driftwood for the other end of it. "Does anyone not know how to swim?"


"Hate" (Rook, H8) was dead, shot in the back of the head through the chair... and Lucien hadn't thought twice about locking the door behind him, thought the old agent was just sleeping, and now the guards were breaking in. Had this been a setup? Had they known? Hate was still warm. Maybe-

The sealed brass tube is under the crackling logs in the fireplace. Who'd look for paper documents in a fireplace? Lucien's wearing gloves, thank God. He grabs it, then bolts for the one way out.

The door cracks. Guards are taking aim, but Lucien's already got shards of window against his arms. He's falling. Wasn't a chance to look if this was definitely the wall that was flush to the moat. He doesn't open his eyes to make sure.

Bullets crack the surface of the water behind him, then sink like pebbles. He rips the dead-weight jacket off, and swims for the drawbridge. There's air under here. At least it's summer. If he breaks for it now, he's got a minute headstart.

... he dropped the brass tube with his jacket, didn't he?

"Oh for fu-"

Down again into the black. Gloves, a riverbed, and only a vague idea of where to feel around...


That was a memory he might do without.

"It might also be a good idea to write down what we're willing to sacrifice, just in case." He mutters. "Thoughts, memories. You don't have to show anyone, but we'll write it down and put it somewhere waterproof. We'll open them again at the other side, and if there's anything written we don't remember... we'll know what we gave up, at least."

Hesitation. Thoughtful frown.

"Actually. We probably should share them, too. I think. Between ourselves. Unless we give up our memories of each other, I think that's... that'd probably for the best." Seasick smile. "Might be fun?"
Do I even need to say that the second Ailee's finger has started glowing he's already put his entire, much taller body, between Ailee and the trash god? Hopefully the Flood can't read backwards letters easily.

"I'm going to have to shoot her, you know," Lucien sighs to Jackdaw, "One day, I mean. There's going to come a point where shooting her is either going to be the nicest thing we can do for her, or the only way we can get out of something alive." Grimace.

It's not a threat. The thing that Lucien is imagining right this moment is what would happen if the Flood saw decided it was in a bad mood, and just held Ailee's head and stuck an arm down her throat. Could they stop it?

Against his will, he's remembering a dinner party, back when he was only another one of His Majesty's Pawns (A8), that ended with silk cord and a change in supervisor. It had lasted longer than two minutes.

He doesn't say that out loud, though. It'll probably be fine. He's just worried.
You, of course, have never regretted anything in your life, except possibly belated realizations of even snappier comebacks hours after the fact.

We are blessed to remember our mistakes, because it means we survived them.

Also: Lucien hates garbage. He hates owls. And, at this exact moment he hates Ailee, but he'll get over it.

"I'm just going to assume that can kill us all easily, and very horribly. Ailee? Jackdaw? I love you both dearly, if you could write down for me what you're going to say, before you say it...?" Pause. "Then, when I say something stupid, I'll start having Coleman sign off on it. We can take turns trying to talk to God, but Ailee left her last three back in the broom cupboard."
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