This week of Into the West brings yet another daytrip to the sewers for our heroes, minus Ember who’s apparently either allergic to sewage or addicted to hardware.
Thankfully avoiding rats and animated sludge piles this time, our group meets a door. The door is shortly after met with dynamite and kicking, revealing a hallway with another door. And in front of that door: a terrifying mechanical guardthing with gattling guns and pincers. Spells and rocks are hurled at it while Toby displays new heights of recklessness and glory by catching all of the bullets with his body.
Unscathed by the encounter (yes, be amazed) a mysterious lab is discovered. One terrified Doctor Lawrence later, both Clover and Vivienne are found in cells! A short history of the lab’s workings can be found here .
While Toby smashes the brainwashing equipment, the rest of the group applies the pressure to the Doctor and gathers details about the Knowledge Injection and Inferential Control projects. The fate of former-director-turned-mechanical-guardthing Doctor Hutchens is learned, along with Clover’s failed painter beginnings. With shaken morality and new grudges against Hellstromme, the decision is made to wake Vivienne against the doctor’s will.
It turns out she is a homicidal sociopathic maniac after all! Vivienne sprays venom at everyone in earshot and dares Toby to kill her. He won’t, and instead they lock her up to be reprogrammed as a hopefully less murdery contributor to society.
Our heroes walk away from another (mostly) successful mission feeling a little dirtier for the experience.