Jasper convinced Dak and Ixion that coming to Riverside would be a profitable and interesting venture. They arrived in town late in the afternoon, admired the perfectly transparent half-a-bridge upon which the village had been built, and had a bite at the local watering hole charmingly called the “Long Way Down.” The jack conned the tavernkeeper’s daughter into letting them eat for free, and the travelers left about the time that her father apparently caught wind of the arrangement.
They spoke with Jonnas, the man in charge of the lift that would take them to the base of the ravine, and he charged them a shin to ride down. The return trip would be another shin, and Ixion could not convince the man otherwise. The nano grudgingly parted with the fee, and they made the descent. He noted that Jonnas touched a particular point of the control cable to activate the device and made a mental note for future experimentation.
Fishermen were ending their day and paid the travelers little mind as they finished their daily labors. Jasper led her companions up a short incline to an apparent door. Ixion could make neither heads nor tails of the portal, although his prodding apparently locked it down further. Dak suggested that Jasper use her powers of magnetism to simply move the door aside. She exerted herself and an iris opened in the portal, as though the metal had become liquid.
This development caused the fishermen to take notice, and Ixion snidely said the “show” would cost them each a shin. Clearly, he was still bitter about the cost of the lift.
Entering the ruin caused lights to activate, and they discovered a terminal with cryptic symbols. The nano referred to his book on the Numenera, and managed to get a display that seemed to be a welcome screen.
With only one viable exit from this “lobby” – others having been buried in some long ago collapse, the travelers progressed farther into the structure. The automatic lights were not all functioning, but it was enough to traverse the tall, narrow hall, so they proceeded through the dim.
The corridor curved down, and eventually deposited them in another chamber, filled with a number of mechanical devices including a central “box”. Cables similar to the one that controlled the lift hung down from a number of places, and Ixion reached out to attempt to manipulate it as he’d seen Jonnas do. He was gratified when the lights came up and the room seemed to activate. He got the distinct impression that it was some manner of research or control room.
The central box opened, and a small construct emerged, chittering unintelligibly. They got the impression that the robot was expecting some sort of reply, but Ixion was only just scratching the surface of understanding the chamber, so he had no notion of how to do so. After a third such inquiry, the creature became hostile and attacked. The nano was injured and staggered back as Dak stepped up and brought his massive sword to bear. The automaton fought back against the glaive, scoring a hit even through his thick armor, but it was overmatched by the unnaturally strong warrior.
With the construct lying in pieces on the floor and leaking some manner of fluid, the room began to shut down again, leaving the travelers in the dark. Dak sparked a glowglobe to provide them with some light, and they moved to inspect the box from which the sentinel had emerged.
“I think I have a power cell that should work,” opined the nano.