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Crucible

They have been wandering the subterranean tunnels for two days now, scrawling crude grid-maps that always turn out wrong. Black Dougal complains about the iron rations, and Silverleaf is gaunt from lack of daylight. Slagjor’s body lies under a crude cairn two levels up. Even Crucible is beginning to tire.

“Let us click the key fob again,” intones Silverleaf.

“I already tried it in this area,” says Black Dougal. “And what if its battery runs out?”

“It shall not be.”

“It might!”

Crucible scans the empty rows of parking spaces, clockwork heart sinking, wishing he’d just written the damn number down.

Crucible

Crucible and the other dungeonbots burst into a room, surprising eight kobolds. They attack first, their hammers and flamethrowers damaging four of the kobolds. Then the kobolds attack and damage them. Then the dungeonbots kill two kobolds. Then the remaining kobolds attack. Then the dungeonbots kill four kobolds. Then the last two kobolds attack but don’t do very much. The dungeonbots kill them.

“Healing?” says the clericbot, holding up a steel plate and some rivets.

“I’m fine,” says the thiefbot, picking through kobold brains for pennies.

“Ah,” says Crucible, as tiny rubber blades wipe the blood from his optical sensors. “Adventure!”

Crucible

The receptionist fell quickly to Crucible’s hammer, and they beat back building security, but the enchanted cold of the server room made them easy prey for sysadmins: they lost Elfstar to a razored backup disc. Black Dougal’s eyes were cold with vengeance when they burned HR to the beams.

Now they stand in another reception room, eerily recalling the start of their adventure, but glass-walled and empty. Beyond waits the chief execulich officer. Crucible hefts what they hope is his phylactery and offers one last prayer to Machina.

Behind them descend the chicks from Sales, blueteeth glinting in the shadows.

Crucible

Crucible hasn’t been wound in a while but since his squadron got eaten in Greymarsh he hasn’t had anyone to do it. That’s all right. He just needs his warhammer, his faith, and the next room in the catacombs.

He kicks in a door on yet more goblins. The goblins squeak.

“Prepare to be smitten–” he begins, and his heartspring clicks one final time, then stops.

The goblins wait, glance around, and then walk backwards out of the room, very slowly.

A few millennia later somebody gets curious and cranks his key.

“–in the name of Machina!” Crucible roars, spitting dust.

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