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Issue Three Synopsis


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Rua and Miriam travel through the wilds, where there is nothing they can eat or drink without being ill (with the exception of rainwater that has not touched earth). Rain, following, doesn't know this, with predictable results after drinking from a stream. Miriam is still shaken up about her arrest and subsequent abrupt departure from her home, reminding Rua of when he left Tsien.
In the new city, Triaden, Rua finds a room for them in a guesthouse. The population of Triaden is more varied than that of Ember, so he fits in better. He leaves Miriam to get clean while he goes out to look for a job so they can get some money.
Two thieves in an alley argue over selling something they stole or fulfilling their agreement with the person who commissioned them. The thief in favour of breaking the agreement and selling the stolen item knifes the other and makes off with said item.
Rua finds someone to ask about jobs, although he seems more interested in trying to sell something. In the items he mentions, one thing catches Rua's attention - a description remarkably like that given him by Miriam when she hired him to find her stolen artifact.
Miriam returns to her room from the shower to find Rain sneaking in. Recognising the little thief, she promptly assumes Rain has the artifact and angrily demands it back. Rain, who has entered with the intention of stealing the artifact from the supposed thieves, returns the accusation, starting an argument. Rua enters in the middle but can't get a word in edgeways until he tells them both that he knows where the artifact is.
The police in Triaden are investigating the corpse of the murdered thief when a message is brought concerning two thieves plus some stolen goods - from Ember. It gives a description and a request to be on the alert for the pair.
Miriam changes into the clothes Rua brought her, and returns to the room to find Rain and Rua both sulking. Rain accuses Rua of being a traitor, and Rua flatly refuses to explain, stating that he doesn't understand the mind of a thief. Miriam, annoyed, storms out of the door, leaving Rain and Rua to chase after her, both still in a snit.
The three go to the shop Rua was told about. On the way in, a dark-skinned man in a heavy coat barges past them. Inside the shop, Miriam charms the shopkeeper into revealing that he does in fact carry, mm, 'suspicious' items, but on hearing her description he tells them that the previous customer bought that device. Balked, the three leave the shop, and Miriam argues with Rua about what has the greater priority, finding the artifact (which she originally hired him to do), or getting to the safe place he knows about. In the middle of the argument, Rain spots the customer from the shop and chases after him, and Miriam and Rua have no choice but to follow. The man gets on a tram, and while chasing, a policeman spots them. Recognising them from the descriptions, he gives chase. Rain, wary of police, slips away and Rua tells Miriam to go back to the guesthouse while he chases the tram with a clockwork rickshaw. Rain grabs Miriam and pulls her out of the way of the pursuing policeman, who carries on chasing Rua.
Miriam wants to return to the guesthouse, but Rain points out logically that it would be crawling with police by now. Miriam asks Rain about the evident dislike of Rua, and Rain says it's because Rua was on the streets in Ember, but made a living out of delivering up others in the same situation to the police. Rua, who has lost the tram, crashed the rickshaw and evaded the policeman, shows up at this point. He tells Miriam that the thief looked like he was headed for the walls - perhaps to go Outside again. They agree to continue south, since that is the way the artifact is travelling and also the way to Rua's safe place, and Rain insists on coming with them.
Miriam waits, feeling somewhat useless, while Rua fetches provisions for the journey and Rain rescues her coat and Rua's swords from the police-infested guesthouse. They then leave Triaden.



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