So we can say with a great measure of confidence that they’re now aggressively targeting Aether, unless they magically have another hacker.

Also… it’s scary that even random passersby, like the cop, can be sucked into and affected by their mind wipe. Is it the driver? Someone else? Technology built into the shuttle? The only other option I can think of would be a bribe.

I think Whistler is under about as much pressure as he can tolerate at this point.

We need to come up with… something. Some way to get him out of there. What are our short-term goals working with him? Protect Aether from the immediate threat. Get to Kendrick, who possibly has most, or at least part, of the remaining fragments of Portencia… learn as much as we can about KS and the Chair.

I do not think we can keep feeding Whistler one-liners. He’s going to lose faith, or go crazy, or do something foolish if he does not feel that he has a lifeline on the outside.

Am I alone here? I don’t fully trust him, but if he’s serious and we’re basically using him while allowing him to suffer what must feel like a total mental breakdown… I won’t want to look at myself later.


I’m at a loss. I somehow don’t think telling him a magic teenager escaped into cyberspace is going to help him. He’s confused enough as it is. Heck, do we even know if he can help us at all?

Options as I see it. I’m sure someone will think of more so please chip in.

  1. We tell Whistler everything we know, maybe it triggers some real memory in his head. Maybe he really does know about Magiq but it’s supressed. Potential downside: We’re talking to someone who wants to harm Aether and is just mining us for info.

  2. We try to get him to meet Marty and we try the memory ritual on him. Maybe it triggers something. Potential downsides: Marty’s in danger, and Whistlers head could explode.

  3. We tell him to get all Mission Impossible up in here, and suggest he do something crazy like steal someone’s badge to get down the elevator. Potential downsides : Whistler gets caught and bad things happen.

Edit: Deyavi is faster. :slight_smile:


But you’re more thorough. So.

Weighing risk vs. reward at this point.


Let’s look at this from another angle. What the hell is Climber doing? According to Teddy “she knows more than all of us combined and is always ahead of us” and “There will be challenges of course. Keeping her here when at times she’s able to outthink our smartest”

Not to mention the fact she knew who they were went to ‘acquire’ her and all about them. So she probably went with them willingly.

Why is Climber still there, and why hasn’t she rescued Portencia yet?

Is it perhaps because having been a Mountaineer in every generation, she knows how this works? She knows that Portencia, Aether and even her is somehow involved in the Book of Briars opening and is just letting this happen? Heck she likely even knows the storm is coming, and has seen it many times before.

I doubt Climber would just sit in there on the assumption some random people on the internet would be her savior, But the Book of Briars. She might be sitting in there because she expects it to be doing something. In which case maybe the next fragment will give us what we need.

Or am I just telling myself a fairy tale?


I think my question here is, what do we have to lose by telling them stuff KS already knows? Assuming we’re very careful about what we share, what would happen? If they’re some kind of double agent or if they get captured, then KS wouldn’t gain anything if it’s just a rehash of what information they have. They already know about Aether and his powers, and that he escaped.

I don’t know, I think we need to share something with them or we risk losing them entirely. It’s just a matter of what we intend to share.


I see where you’re going, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered…

But we also don’t know what they’re doing to her. If they’re willing to subject a child to The Chair - whatever that implies - what are they doing to her? Have we ever gotten more information about what her status is?

Maybe she’s waiting for us, precisely because she knows that someone is working on the BoB.

Maybe she’s not in any shape to rescue herself. If she knew they were coming for her, it may not have been in her best interest to resist. We may very well have another set of hands on the inside.

Teddy did say she refused to tell them anything.

We’d all like to say we’d go down fighting if it came down to that, but if she really is as smart as Teddy says… her motives may have been to our benefit.

Ugh. It definitely makes things complicated. What do you think are the chances of Whistler getting access to her?


@Revenir On the whole, it’s probably not too risky to tell Whistler what they probably already know. The most likely downside is Whislter just assumes Marty is an insane conspiracy nut and stops talking to us altogether. The less likely potential downside is my backup nightmare.

I’ve been thinking on the idea Searcher and Wanderer aren’t programs, but are people. Searcher is an adept who could find people like Aether, Portentica and others. Wanderer, well I’m not sure if that’s the person Teddy hints ‘died for a good cause’ or an adept who can ‘unplug’ people. But maybe these people might be testing Marty to see if he really knows anything, or is just making it up before showing up to his house to wipe him. :tinfoilhat:

@Deyavi Well I keep thinking on the fact Climber specifically asked Aether to contact us. Not the navy seals, not MI-6, and not experts in corporate espionage. She could have asked Aether to contact the Low or the new Cagliostro even. sighs at dreamy Laureen thoughts If Climber wanted us contacted she had to know the only real ace we have up our sleeves is the Book of Briars and our ability to figure stuff out.

I don’t know. @Revenir might have talked me into just giving Whislter an info dump, or at least the first half of one, and see what happens. Maybe that’s what we need to do to jog the 12th fragment into being.


I still don’t trust him completely…but I do agree we need to tell him everything we know about KS…and even a bit about the Book of Briars and the picture of Portencia’s…the phrases at least might jog his memory…

I also agree that we need more info about Climber. Compared to everyone else we really don’t have as much info.

The thing that gets me about his story about the bus is the blinker…if everyone on the bus was under the spell of whatever they seem to be under the spell of then a mistake like that wouldn’t have been made right? It seems to me KS leave nothing to chance…so it makes me think the bus driver must be a part of whatever makes people forget…


We have no conceivable route to Climber regardless of her motives for staying within KS - this leaves us with Whistler again as our only source within KS. I would say in the interest of having him stay on as our mole and gather as much Intel as possible, we disclose as much as we can about what we know. Maybe change magiq references to technological ones so that he doesn’t think we’re a cult or just a pack of​ nutters. We could portray ourselves as human rights activists trying to stop KS human experimentation. This would possibly give Whistler a mission/purpose to help him cope with literally leading a double life. Given what he’s already seen, though, he may be accepting of magiq/paranormal explainations.

@Marty.60 - can you get a feel for what he thinks might be behind all of these weird goings-on at work? If he lends a paranormal explanation, it will make our options broader in terms of what we can share.


I’ve been pretty set on the idea that Sweeper and Wanderer were, or are still, adepts whose powers have been harnessed by KS. Somehow. Probably not pleasantly, like asking first or paid employment with insurance.

I agree with @Revenir. Talking about what KS already knows for sure also confirms what we told him that we have an additional informant on the inside. Support for our semi-bogus cover story.

If Climber, and all her ancestors, were Mountaineers… then she has to have some kind of faith, some kind of knowledge that goes beyond just some cool badges and funny names. I wouldn’t put it outside the realm of possibility that she’s spurring things along, moving things. Her gift strikes me as the type to make a person naturally behave in a strategically big-picture type of way, thinking about more than themselves.

The last fragment of the third key is in KS, I’m sure of it. In making moves toward saving them, or as many of them as we can.

(The Book’s spell, if Augie was right and it’s truly a spell, had better be picking up on all this save-the-day-through-teamwork that we’re putting down.)


Actually, that raises a good question. Why haven’t they wiped Marty? (Uh, sorry to scare you there Marty) Apparently KS had spies when he went to go see Augernon, and he’s apparently something of a persona non grata in The Low which is being silenced by KS. Heck, the man showed up on KS’s doorstep a few weeks ago. His name has to be known to some capacity, so it makes me wonder, what are they waiting for? Are they being prevented from doing so? Or is there some kind of protocol for mind wiping? I don’t know, but I don’t think Whistler would be the final nail in the coffin in this scenario.


Whistler mentioned he had access to the “invisible” elevators at some point. He also mentioned a lady who he tried to follow but couldn’t due to a locked door that required swiping a badge…he was worried that if he swiped and it failed it would be logged and then his cover would be blown. I feel like now he might be more prone to seeing if his badge works…I also feel more inclined for him to try it…though I’m not sure what we might gain if anything and I definitely am uneasy about what we and he would lose even if it did prove successful…I just keep jumping back to him saying previously how he felt he and Kendrick had been close and how that one lady he talked to made it sound like he was still in the building as opposed to a hospital.


I would venture that they’re probably keeping Kendrick close to minimize spillage and for study.


I agree with you, the shuttle has me wondering.

Before, Whistler talked about how everything you did during the work day seemed meaningless and was forgotten. If that happened throughout the day, wouldn’t all these employees be useless? Would they not be useless from one day to the next if they forgot the project they’ve been working on for weeks?

Perhaps the shuttles are the answer. They have an out of the way facility - for lots of reasons - but that allows KS to force everyone to take a shuttle. Maybe there’s a spell in place on the shuttle. Maybe the driver performs it, or at least is the source of the magiq, which would explain a humanly error of no signal light, and they could easily spread it to encompass the police officer.
On the way home, there’s a spell to make you forget everything you saw so nothing gets leaked, or even implant false memories. On the way there, there’s a spell to help jog your memory so you can do your job. It doesn’t happen all at once so you wouldn’t notice it, rather a trickle throughout the drive.

At some point, Whistler became immune to it. I want to say because of the head injury, or maybe there was magiq involved when that incident happened. That would explain the two sets of memories: the real ones, and the false ones implanted. Now, he isn’t affected by any newer attempts to help him forget, but he still has what … years? Of memories to sift through and figure out which are real and which are fake. That has to be incredibly difficult to say the least, nevermind make you question everything around you - including yourself.

Lots of maybes for my shuttle theory there, but I also think we should open up to Whistler, because like others have mentioned he probably feels completely alone and afraid. If not for ‘the cause’ then just to be decent human beings.


I suspect the spell or source of magiq must come from the bus driver…the shuttle itself is just that, a shuttle. I think for the spell or whatever it is that wipes/distorts/masks the memories of the employees/made that cop change his demeanor has to be initially activated by someone (in this case most likely the bus driver) and that once it has been activated there is no need for upkeep or to continuously and repeatedly administer it to each person. I think perhaps they keep the bus driver as the bus driver solely for new employees but I suspect they did so partially at first as a safety precaution, in case the spell or whatever wore off. I suspect Whistler hasn’t been found because he’s careful but also that so much time has passed without incidence that no one has thought to “inspect” the quality/integrity of the spell in place.


Well, their complacency could be our advantage. Either way, there’s a hole in their defense. If they don’t find Whistler out in the meantime.


Agreed…they’ve already realized they have a hole as shown by their searching/lock down of their system…Whistler happens to be one they haven’t noticed yet…there must be more right? If only we could find them…

Lol I just had an awful thought that we should figure out where the shuttle drops everyone off and sneak up behind them once the shuttles gone and just give everyone a good smack to the head kind of like in a “should have had a V8” tv commercial style, only harder…seemed to work for Whistler…of course I’m only joking! But I can’t get the image of all of us bopping people on the forehead and that being the magical solution out of my head :joy::joy:


Your genius should be bottled! Traumatic head wounds for all! :joy:

But… it makes me wonder if there are others like Whistler on the inside who, perhaps, are experiencing a weakening of their brain drain.


There very well could be!! Though how would we ferret them out?


I hate this time zone difference! Apologies for the rambling post that follows:
I agree with pretty much everything that’s been said. I’m wondering if they haven’t targeted Marty because they’ve been so busy trying to find Aether. Or maybe they’re just not worried about him because they know they can mind wipe anyone they like…
Whistler needs to be given some direction before he does something crazy. There is the risk that all of this is a trap but otherwise we’re just flying around in a holding pattern not getting anywhere. Let’s tell him some more… What’s happened to him is so weird that he might not be too surprised at anything we share with him. Should we meet with him?
Knowing where the shuttle picks up and drops off would be good as well. I’m not for bashing everyone on the head but what about the driver?
Kidding - not into violence really - but I keep wondering if the driver is also zombiefied or one of the bad guys.
As for Climber. She went willingly but that might just mean that she knew she would lose if she resisted. She may not have any freedom to do anything. Maybe if Whistler could find and free her/Portencia they could help themselves?