On the sixth day of the campaign, Airwynn told Grip about what happened the night she had seen him, three years before the start of the adventure:
They always told us that Dr. Trice went back to his family, and that’s why he left. That there was some sort of emergency. And he retired. Well, that was a shite excuse. He didn’t give a lick about his family. He never went back to Rozenport once, all the time I knew him.
We all knew he and the count weren’t getting along. I mean, they were cordial, but it was a show. Things were tense.
And then in Pharast:
I worked the overnight shift. I did the cleaning left over from the day shift, the messes that the nurses hadn’t gotten to. And my routine was always the same. It had to be. Dr. Trice was a stickler for routine. He liked things just so.
But I’m not machine, and that night was a hard one. I needed a break. And when I supposed to be all the way on the south side of the building, on the third floor, I stepped out back for a smoke overlooking the northern cliffs. I wanted to look at the moon.
And that’s when I saw something creeping over the top of the cliff. “That cliff’s a hundred feet tall!” I thought to myself. “What could climb that?” I gasped, and dropped my smoke. And then without warning, the creature was on me. It happened so fast. I was held so tightly I couldn’t breathe, and everything started blacking out.
But then the moon came out from a cloud, and I saw a man—or what looked like a man—small, thin, wrapped in a black cloak, come climbing over the cliff. And he whispered, “Stop, Grip!”
And the monster stopped squeezing me. It was Grip.
And the little one said, “No evidence of foul play. That’s the rule of engagement, my friend. If we kill her, people will start asking questions.”
And the mountain holding me—Grip—he said, “She’s not supposed to be here now.”
Those are my mum, and my sister, and her son.
“Airwynn’s not going to tell a soul,” the little one said. “She’s not even going to think about telling a soul what she’s seen tonight. Right, Grip?”
And then Grip took me by the neck. With one hand. And he walked me over to the cliff’s edge. And he held me over the drop, over the hundred foot drop. And he said:
“Listen to me, and hear me when I say this. I swear to you. On my soul…”
And then the little fella chuckled. And Grip snickered, too. But he went on:
“If you say one word about what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard here, I’ll tear you apart with my bare hands. I’ll find your mother and I’ll kill her. I’ll find everyone you or your mother ever loved, at any point in your shit stain of a life, and I’ll gut them. And I’ll make it wet. And messy. And slow. Do you hear me?”
I knew I had to nod. So I nodded. And he threw me on the ground.
As I was catching my breath, the little fella came over. He picked up my smoke and took it in his mouth. “Go back to work, Airwynn.”
And then he smiled. And the moonlight glinted off his metal teeth.
“And stay away from the second floor.”
But Grip said, “Wait. This dumbfuck just got an idea. ‘Into each plan,’ right? Wanna have a little fun?”
“You know I do.”
Grip came over to me. “You’re the cleaning lady, right? Well, in two hours—exactly two hours—go to the Administrator’s room. And you’d better work quickly. Tick, tick, tick.”
And they both laughed. And then went into the building.
And in two hours I did as Grip said. And there was so much blood. And not a trace of Dr. Trice. Not a speck of blood on any of the fabric in there. Only on the floor. Only where I could clean it. And I cleaned it. And I kept my mouth shut.
First Reference: Chapter 9
Other Notable References: Chapter 18, Chapter 20, Chapter 38