A City on the Move

(These notes need some cleaning up, still in short-hand form.)

Laurent Strophe provides a cover story as appraisers of gems, to meet with his gem-cutter in Ambulon. He lends them his personal ornithopter, and urges Aenid to punish those responsible for the assault on his house and for his niece's disappearance. The flight takes about 5 hours but is very comfortable.

Ambulon looks like a gigantic beetle with dozens of legs, a city on its back, and an underhive swung under its belly. Anyone falling is trampled by the walking city. There are no streets on Ambulon, only buildings swaying with the movement. The nicer areas are towards the center, where the swaying is less pronounced, and the poorer areas towards the edges. Everyone is always working, even children.

After walking through town, they find themselves outside the establishment of Chronus Estrun, high-quality gem-cutter. A young woman, maybe 16 years old, is behind the counter along with a child and greets them, offering refreshments. Estrun comes to meet them, turns the shop sign to "Closed", and sends the young woman and the child out on an errand. He has augmented optics that whir and click a lot.

He asks the agents to trust him and offers his health. They ask him about the Joyous Choir presence here, and learn that they have a small temple here. He also says they can ask the Oracle Ocular, who is reputed to have the answer to all questions and has been answering queries for hundreds of years. On the off-chance that Ambulon and the Oracle might be related to the xenos tech that was found in the Harmony Meter and Aristarchus' tarot deck, the agents agree to the visit.

Estrun sends his nephew to guide the agents. Thousands of silver chains are hanging around the room, tinkling faintly in the walk of Ambulon; Calpurnia is almost sure they are playing a hymn, "Blessed is His Wrath," associated with the works of the Adeptus Titanicus. There is machinery everywhere. A man is sitting with eyes closed on a chair made of wire. He opens eyes entirely silver and speaks:

"You have arrived at last. Be welcome, Fingers of the Left Hand." He tells them that the price of the answers they get will be their ignorance.

“What is the Joyous Choir's true goal?” "The Joyous Choir is a front for the Questioning Mark That Cuts, nothing more."

“What is the Serrated Query?” "An ancient group of black marketeers, some say allied with the Ruinous Powers."

"Where are the captives being held?" "They are free."

Agrandi pre-Imperium civilization

Go to the Joyous Choir chapel on Ambulon

A door slams, cutting Aenid from her companions. A second door into the floor of the gigantic room blows open and Hernandez nimbly avoids it. Simultaneously, a group of agents materialize into the room. The servitors get up and begin attacking whoever is closest. Calpurnia and Rollando kill several servitors — Calpurnia cut Saia Strophes down.

Outside and on the other side of the door, Aenid hears someone running away upstairs — and recognizes the sound of skittering augmentics. She races to catch up with her nemesis! Kills him.

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