“I’ve been calling it the Mycelium Network. A few things: it will only eat non-living organic material. And be careful when stressing it – its self-defence mechanism is, ah. Well, it’s to explode.”
The Benthic Engineering Club, ‘The Deadly Dapperlings’, need an advisor to help with the upcoming Inventors Competition. Their work-in-progress – a fungal network that they hope will revolutionise long-distance communication – is brilliant, revolutionary, and only occasionally explodes.
Guide some of London’s finest young minds as they chart the frontiers of modern science, and use your profound wisdom and vast experience to help them secure a lucrative prize.
This is a somewhat awkward review. I love the concept of aiding and abetting a cutting edge science project of the Neath.
But I also feel like the story lacked…bite? Grit? Consequences? It’s hard to put a finger on one specific thing, but there were numerous junctures where I expected severe consequences-and there just…weren’t any. Like the intruder turning out to be well-meaning, or the moral issue of sending the team off to work for Mr. Iron being resolved with them seeming happy with their lot for one reason or another; yes you can say it’s a little ambiguous because their letters are scrutinised but educated FL characters are generally pretty good at writing bad news between the lines, and there’s none gleaned in the epilogue.
I also feel like it could have benefited from spending a little more time with the characters. I would have been more invested in my team if we had more than like, two dedicated interactions total with each member. ESPECIALLY more detail on the Summerset captain’s issues with the Stolid Mathematician. I don’t know if something more interesting would’ve happened if I convinced her to sell the ring, but it felt like large parts of the story went untold to get to the climax.
But the thing that bothers me most is you telling the Summerset captain you’re sabotaging her machine because, allegedly, you’ve figured out it risks annihilating her from existence. Maybe I was reading too quickly but I…didn’t get that at all from my successful Red Science checks. Is it meant to be a bluff? It doesn’t FEEL like a bluff in the context of the story, there was no Persuasion check for one. When she asked why I’d care for her the response felt scripted, because I don’t feel I got to know the Stolid Mathematician well enough to infer the complexity of that relationship.
It was a fun project to engage in, but one that also felt truncated and railroaded in places.
Oh, and I do appreciate never having to harm the Mycelium Network by just feeding it my Hesperidean Cider over and over. Other people can go ahead and discover the other options, as far as I’m concerned the d*mn thing is bloody close to immortal after I poured what had to be a whole teacup’s worth of Cider for it.
Just wondered if anyone has the echo for the action where the Shy Devil finds saboutage? I somehow managed to miss the action by pressing ‘perhaps not’. Now I’m locked in an entirely different set of options.
(Edit: Also did anyone happen to speak to the inventor or the Revolutionary at the end?)
This story felt like it was missing the very obvious option of "let the team win but warn them not to take the internship. Why is the only option to manipulate the students by sabotaging their device, rather than just… not taking the internship?
I figured I’d leave the students to make their own choices. They could decline the internship if they wanted and take it if they wanted, I would have given them my opinion if they’d asked me (but they never did) and it didn’t right to sabotage their cool fungus thing just instead of just telling them not to go.
Yeah, I didn’t see that as an to tell people that the internship is bad news - I read that as an option to slander the students so they wouldn’t get offered it. I didn’t want to lie about the students - they were all pretty awesome! I just wanted to warn them about the dangers.