Q. Who am I, where am I, and how do I get out of the Secondary Alchemy Lab?
A. That first part of the question can be answered quite easily:

> x table
> take instructions

It appears that you are Ensign Forsyth, and one of your superior officers is Sergeant Brooks. We've also come upon our first alchemical ritual:

"FOR THE CLEANSING OF BRASS TARNISH: Prepare an atmosphere of fiery principles. Place a
brass token within the bound, and seal it. Speak a word of essential nature, so that the
properties of brass may be evoked. Compound the atmosphere with a resinous note. Then intone
the Lesser Phlogistical Saturation to complete the token's investment. Place token directly on
tarnished item."

The syllables of the Saturation formula are spelled out below. And scrawled beneath that:
"Resinous note - wave the rosemary, swabbie."

Looks like we belong to some kind of military-styled organisation with a naval theme, too. As for 'where am I', well... we got a hint of that in the introduction, when we first awoke here:

"The lamps shouldn't be flickering like that. And His Majesty's Marcher The Unanswerable Retort
really, really shouldn't be this quiet."

Hmm. I have no idea what a 'marcher' is, do you? Perhaps we'll gain some clarity about that later on. But whatever it is, this one is called The Unanswerable Retort. While we're mulling that over, let's have a look at that strange artefact in the middle of the room:

> x crystal

OK, so it's not really crystal as such. From here on in, we'll call it a 'fracture'. The game recognises that, and it's more like what it actually is:

> x fracture

In any case, it's blocking access to the supply closet on the east side of the room. Next, let's check out the lab door:

> open door

Whoa! Didn't expect that. Another fracture, this time saving us from a deadly environment. But that's the only way out of the lab... or is it?

> x iron panel

It seems we need to find a way to open that iron panel. But let's perform our first ritual, and maybe we'll get some ideas from that. First, we take a look at where we are going to perform the ritual:

> x workbench

There's a steel bolt on the floor under the workbench. Aha. I'm getting some ideas already, are you? Anyway, let's get on with it. Seeing as it is our first ritual, we're going to go through all the steps meticulously:

"Prepare an atmosphere of fiery principles."

Well that's a show-stopper right away, isn't it? What the heck does that even mean?

> recall facts
> recall lecture on aromas

Realisation strikes:

> open impet of ginger

"Place a brass token within the bound"

> put brass pin in bound

"...and seal it."

"seal it"? Oh:

> recall formulas
> recite simple sealing

"Speak a word of essential nature, so that the properties of brass may be evoked."

> recite essential nature

"Compound the atmosphere with a resinous note."

> wave rosemary

"Then intone the Lesser Phlogistical Saturation to complete the token's investment."

> recite lesser phlogistical saturation

Hey, looks like that worked! It's good practice, by the way, to remove everything from the ritual environment that wasn't consumed by the ritual, lest you accidentally muck up the next ritual you perform there by tainting the environment with contaminating influences. Also, if the end-product of the ritual isn't a vial of some magical substance that you brewed in a retort or such (and our inscribed brass pin isn't), then you have to remember to take it with you:

> take brass pin
> close impet of ginger
> i

The brass pin now appears in your inventory as: a brass pin (inscribed with the basic saturation symbol). And finally:

"Place token directly on tarnished item."

> touch calipers with brass pin

I like to use 'recite' in my rituals, because it makes me feel like I'm really doing alchemy :-) But you can shorten this to 'say' if you like. You'll be typing this sort of thing a lot. As for how to make our exit from the Secondary Alchemy Lab, you probably already figured that out. If not, this analogy might help:

Tarnish is to brass as rust is to... what?

But, as the game's author often says: "Just in case": Click here to show/hide ritual steps

See how we shortened the names of some of the items there? If there's only one of something present, and it's unambiguous what you're referring to, you can nearly always go with the bare minimum. That applies to a lot of the formulas you'll be using too. For instance, 'recite simple', 'recite essential', and 'recite lesser' would have worked above. And now we can finally make our exit 'down the hatch', as it were:

> touch panel with bolt
> d

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