Garrett is paid a visit by the Keepers. Acting on information given to him by the Keepers, Garrett pays a nocturnal visit to the local mechanist seminary where he overhears a conversation between Sheriff Truart and Karras, the leader of The Mechanists. It seems Karras has developed a fiendish technology that can transform a living soul with a will of its own into a mindless “servant” completely subservient to its master.
But that is only a part of the story. The servants can emit a toxic gas that will reduce any living thing in the immediate area to a small mound of particles similar to rust. Karras needs people for his plan and that’s where Truart comes into play. For payment from Karras, Truart aggress to provide “vagabonds and street scum” and others who would not be missed by “persons of consequence.”
Content that their business is complete for the moment, Truart leaves the seminary. Unbeknownst to Truart, Karras has a machine that can record sound, and he used the device to capture their conversation. With the evidence of the sheriff’s complicity, Karras plans to blackmail Truart, thus ensuring his further cooperation. Karras has tasked one of his followers to secure the recording in the Mechanist safe deposit box at First City Bank & Trust first thing in the morning. Garrett has his own reasons for wanting something to hold over Truart, so he proceeds to find the safe deposit box key and make a mold of it for copying. He then returns the key so no one is the wiser. Garrett’s plan, of course, is to break into the bank vault the following evening.
Garrett also learns that the “builder’s children” can be incapacitated by putting out their boilers with water. So water arrows now have another handy use.