The caravan set off as soon as they could be ready. It was two days to the capital, and the journey was mostly uneventful.
Around noon on the second day, the scout heard something. It sounded like a gasp of pain. He looked around, but nobody seemed to be hurt – and then he realized it had been in his head.
“Is something wrong?” he asked the belt.I… don’t know. It feels as if I’ve been cut.
“Is someone messing around with the colossus, maybe?” he offered.
I’m not sensing anything of the sort.
Gareth bit his lip. This did not bode well.
Eventually, the caravan arrived at the city of Aut’moyen, capital of the country. The royal guard met them immediately, and directed them to the castle. Within the castle, they met with the captain of the guard, and at his word, Dr. Galvan began his explanation.
“Until recently,” he said, “I worked for an organization called Sin Nomine Laboratory.”
“I’ve heard of it,” said the captain. “They conduct medical research – new types of healing potions, and the like?”
“That’s what they claim,” Galvan replied. “They are, however, merely a front for a different organization, one with much less noble goals. They mean to create an army of alchemically-enhanced soldiers, with which they will seize power. This boy,” he continued, gesturing to the man who Jaden had taken note of in Wermut, “is one of their test subjects. A failed subject, of no use for conquest though I’m sure they’d like him back, if only to study him.”
A troubled look crossed the captain’s face. “What, then, is the name of this secret organization?” he asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Your cooperation on this matter is appreciated,” said the guard, “and now we must act. We will develop a plan to infiltrate this organization and learn more about their research…”
“I may be able to help you with that,” Galvan added. “You see, Sin Nomine is going to give a tour of its research facility in one week… you know, to divert public suspicion. If members of the royal guard were on that tour, they could use the opportunity to take a closer look and find what you need.”
“If that’s what’s going to happen,” Jaden interrupted, “I think we should go as well.”
“Yes, I was thinking the same thing,” said the captain. “You will, of course, be compensated.”
“One week, you said? And where is it?” Jaden asked, turning to the doctor.
“It’s about a day to the east of this city,” Galvan replied. “They would recognize me, but I can send Tik-Tak with you. I’m sure he will be some help.”
So the plan was made. The next four days were used to make preparations, mostly consisting of maintenance of the gear the adventurers used. On the morning of the fifth day, they departed with a unit of the royal guard.