Why is Jane being held at Mihara Energy Corp? What connects the late Mihara with Dr. Hendrix and Shiningstar?

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #11: Riddle
⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #10: Missing
Diogenes tells Locke to find a missing Branded woman who can walk through walls. Nothing strange about that at all.

The previous chapter


There was no time to think. Waiting until nightfall was not an option, not now. Before I could stop myself, I changed the suit's configuration back to the pitch-black Mimic coloring I used for sneaking around. And in another moment, I was inside the building.

Had Jane been shot? Was she bleeding out with every passing second? Probably not, considering her Branding. But maybe she was trying to keep it a secret. Regardless, the sooner I could rescue her, the better.

Knowing my luck, it was probably so much worse than I could have ever imagined.

// Undertake an Expedition

This shall be a Dangerous expedition since we know nothing about this place. And I love Arrays, so here's my loadout using these Derelict themes:

1: Operation

2: Engineering

3: Production

4-6: Research

+2 (shadow) +1 infiltrator = +3 => 8 vs 5,8. Grr. A weak hit. With Research as the theme.

27: Decontamination room. 55: Hazmat suit.

+1 progress [2/10]

And almost forgot the Infiltrator +1 momentum [6]

Buuuut going to take a hit to my momentum for this Weak Hit.

-2 momentum [4]

Does it look like he should go through the contamination room? 50/50: 63, no.

Also, I had a sneaking feeling that things were going to go very, very wrong, so I jotted down in my notes what all my current values were.

Health: 5/5
Integrity: 5/5
John (who's not here): 4/4
Lightning: 4/5 (did a punch on Shiningstar)
Momentum: 4/10
Spirit: 4/5 (lost 1 during the Risen fight after finding Dr. Hendrix)
Supply: 1/5
Watt: 4/4

Watt hovered close to the ground, his lights so dim it seemed like he was depowered. I crept low as well, blending in with the shadows.

The interior was deathly silent.

Hopefully Jane—or whoever was shot—was still alive and okay.

Dust and debris decorated the entrance. Hazmat suits sat atop hooks on the wall while more lay scattered about on the floor in front of what seemed to be a decontamination room. For a long moment, I stood motionless as I examined it all. That direction seemed as if it had been avoided for ages, so I did the same.

// Undertake an Expedition

+3 (same as before) => 5 vs 4, 9. Another Weak Hit.

Progress [4/10]

Infiltrator, +1 momentum [5]

4: Research. 9: Cold storage.

79, 57: Recorded research log. Inscrutable artifiact.

Iiinteresting. Two very interesting features.

Let's say getting to these things is dangerous, but possible. Face Danger +edge: on a strong hit, both; weak hit, 1. Miss, neither. 

An open room on my right caught my attention. A quick check showed it was clear, so I crept inside for a better look.

Packed shelves with moldy boxes lined the walls and paper littered the ground and other surfaces. A thick layer of grime and dust coated it all like a rancid over-indulgence of powdered sugar.

I was on a mission, but could not ignore the set of strange circumstances before me. Juro Mihara had owned this company—perhaps he still did. If I considered this the beginnings of a conspiracy—what wasn't nowadays?—then it was no coincidence that he'd been with Dr. Hendrix. What were his plans? What were their plans together? Why had he been on—


Sitting at the very top of the old metal shelving units, a box labeled with the name of that dreadful generation ship stood out. I silently thanked my gut and set forth to retrieve it. I carefully placed a stool on the ground and reached high to retrieve the box as silently as possible.

// Face Danger

+1 (edge, for precision) => 4 vs...

The box wasn't too heavy, but it was filled with papers—Why papers?—and something else by the sound of the shifting it was making. Something small. It rattled about the box a bit as I secured my grip on it.

I stepped off the stool and—

The stool slipped from under me and crashed into the shelves.

Which then came crashing down with a thunderous collision of metal and cardboard.

// Face Danger Result

4 vs 6, 8. Miss.

Of course. -sigh-

Let's start a 4-segment Clock to say the people inside are aware of his presence.


A flash drive tumbled out of the box onto the floor, and papers scattered about. I froze. In the distance, movement. I dove onto the floor as I cursed my luck.

A saner me would have fled the scene immediately.

But there had to be something here that was important. All I needed was a few seconds. I hastily shuffled through all of the paperwork from the box.

// Gather Information

Screw it. We're gonna do this anyway.

+2 (wits) => 5 vs 3,6. Weak hit. (In hindsight, this could've been a Sleuth roll, but oh well)

+1 momentum [6]

What does he uncover? Hmmmmmmmm. Let's say, 1-3: Action+Theme, for plans. 4-6: Descriptor+Focus, for the motives.

(I actually didn't jot down the number I rolled, but it landed on the Action+Theme table.)

... Well, this has gotta be a sign, right? 

I rolled two 41s. Escort Hate.

I'm not going to flesh this out fully yet, but I have an idea of what this means.

I shoved the flash drive into my pocket for later as I furiously scanned documents. My nerves were—once again—in shambles and my heart was doing its best to escape my chest, the pounding like distant thunder in my ears. There had to be something, anything!

There. I gripped a sheet of paper and reread its contents twice. Something about using the Branded on Avam for tests.

Commotion nearby made me stand at attention. Everything would get the full scrutiny of my detective's eye in more detail later. For now, I shoved a few random papers into a compartment that Watt opened up for me and slunk out of the room as quickly and quietly as possible.

// Undertake an Expedition

+3 (same) => 6 vs 6, 7. Miss. Aaaaaand my momentum is useless here.

Let's knock off 2 segments of the clock we just started.

I instantly regretted not making sure everything was secured, as the second I stepped back into the hallway more things fell to the floor.

If they hadn't known where I was before, they would know exactly where I was now.

// Undertake an Expedition

+3 (same) => ...


6 vs 6, 6. MISS AND A MATCH.

Clock is now filled. And let's do a story complication. 69: Trusted information is shown to be false.


What trusted information do we even have right now?

Okay, okay. Big question: is this a trap? Could be that Diogenes set him up. Unlikely, 25-: 53, no. Okay, that's good. Removes a lot of things from the equation.

Does Jane really need rescuing? Likely, 75-: 56, yes.

That's both good and bad, as that further eliminates more possibilities for what this could be.


I have an idea.

Which, ya know, sucks. Typically whenever I "have an idea," it's because I had thought up a thing to potentially use later, if I found the right time.

The time seems to be right.

Using that prompt not so literally, there's something that Locke is sure is true. This was an idea I had that I couldn't decide whether to use or not, as it may or may not complicate things big time for Locke.

But, it looks like I'm going for it.

On a related note, let's tick the John and Lestrade clock up to 4/4.

You'll see why. Eventually.

As I extended my staff, bracing myself for the cavalry within to deal with me, my wrist began to vibrate—thank the stars it was on vibrate. I didn't check to see who was trying to contact me. They would have to wait.

I was currently about to fight for my life.

Two people in non-descript clothing appeared down the hall. What little light the building or our lights provided glinted off the guns in their hands. Watt turned off his lights and slipped away to hide as I dealt with the people before me.

They opened fire without warning—though, technically, their presence was warning enough.

// Enter the Fray

Let’s say… Dangerous. And I never rolled for this waypoint: 

2: Engineering. 36: Fuel or coolant tanks. 75: Unfinished project.

+2 (wits, cause even though it's not a trap, it might as well have been) => 4 vs 3, 9. A weak hit.

Let's take the +2 momentum [8]

And I'm going to roll the next move into this toggle as well cause I can't add enough fluff to warrant one single sentence and another toggle.

React Under Fire

+1 (edge) => 4 vs 1, 6. Weak hit.

-1 harm [4]

Endure Harm

+4 => 9 vs 3, 2. Strong hit!

Got to shake it off for +1 health [5], making the shot useless AND giving us control.

I was too slow to dodge them fully, but luckily my new Mimic suit absorbed the impact of their bullets.

I slid my way to a patch of deep, dark shadows as they continued to fire and approach.

// Gain Ground

+2 (shadow) => 4 vs... 8, 9. Miss. UGH.

My price will be him coming out of hiding and being fully open to whatever they plan to do.

Their bullets soared past. I held my breath, preparing to surprise them as they neared, and—

A loud POP! rang out as one of the bullets pierced the rusty hull of a nearby coolant tank I had figured inert. From it, a fog of some chemical sprayed forth and consumed the area.


I couldn't risk sitting idle now that the fog obscured my assailants' locations. I stood, trying to pinpoint exactly where they could be. They had the advantage now.

I didn't have to wait long: they emerged from the fog, with me directly in their sights. They wasted no time in opening fire once more.

// React Under Fire

Hmm... Are they close enough for me to use iron? 50/50: 41, yes!

Sooo, +3 (iron) => 7 vs 4, 10. Weak hit. WHY!?

-1 health again.

Endure Harm

+4 => 8 vs 4, 8. Weak hit. UGH.

I spun my staff, hoping to knock a few of the bullets off of their path. Some found their marks, though. My suit could only take so much abuse, but it was better than being riddled with holes. I could deal with a little bruising.

Despite hating the circumstances, they were finally close enough that I could do actual damage to them. I pushed through the pain. Lightning coursed from within, my internal battery more than ready to let it all loose. It arced up my arm and through my fingers, through the suit's conductors on each hand, and into the staff. There was a crackle, followed by an electrically-charged assault on those before me.

// Clash

+3 (iron) + 2 (⚡) => 7 vs 1, 3. Oh, that was a bit much then. lol Oh well. Strong hit!

-1 Lightning [3]

And progress twice [4/10]

In seconds, both of them found themselves knocked on their asses. They wore protective gear, but I could imagine the shock on their faces—and the one coursing through them still. Without further delay, I brought the staff down on one of their legs, hoping to debilitate them enough to proceed with my mission.

// Strike

+3 (iron) => 9 vs 5, 6. Strong hit!

Progress twice [8/10]

The man screamed in pain. I shot a glance to the other.

They had to know what was next, right?

// Take Decisive Action

8 vs... 5, 6! Strong hit!

+1 momentum [9]

// Mark Progress

Conflict is progress! Let's mark progress on the Jane vow [2/10]

The one with the good legs flinched and quickly scrambled to their feet, dragging the other along with them. They didn't go the way they came. Good. That meant they were no longer a threat to me.

// Undertake an Expedition

+2 (wits, no need to be secretive anymore) => ... 3 vs 3, 10. Miss.


There's not much I can do about this and I need to make progress. So... -sigh- Against my better judgement, I will burn my momentum to get a measly weak hit.

9 vs 3, 10. Weak hit.

Progress [6/10]

Waypoint is 3: Production.

38,38—why all the matches!?!?!?!?!—Exosuit bay, Environment suits.

I... I feel like I need to get my health and other things as high as possible right now—I'm not 100% sure what I'll find at the end of this. And the knobs I have left to pull are very slim.


I'm so, so sorry reader.

I motioned for Watt to come out of hiding and continued forward.

Exosuits lined the walls and signs pointed towards some sort of production area. Unlike the area by the entrance, this one had seen some activity recently. Vague footprints, areas of disturbed dust, and an empty food wrapper served as proof.

Just what was Jura Mihara up to here? I couldn't place it. I didn't want to miss an obvious clue so I motioned for Watt to scan the room. I could dive into it all later, as well as any public records. That feeling of dread bubbled up inside.

What was going on?

"Watt?" I hadn't seen him fly around me, so I turned around.

He was floating slowly about twenty feet back, still trying to catch up.

Sparks flew from the bullet holes that riddled his body.


// Companion Takes a Hit

Yeah. So, the Weak Hit result demands a -2, so Watt suffered -2 Health. [2]

 +2 => 5 vs... 3, 10. A Weak Hit. Ugh.

Locke’s taunting inner voice returns as everything crumbles around him. And suddenly, all eyes are on him.
This work is based on Ironsworn: Starforged (found at www.ironswornrpg.com), created by Shawn Tomkin,
and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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