I honestly thought I'd have more than just a placeholder here, folks.
But after the busy week I've had, a little progress in this is better than none, I guess.
What I thought I'd do here is sort of a “World Tour” thing, where I'd just sail around on the boat, stopping at whatever towns I needed to until I got back to Shaia's Lab #3, since I was pretty sure of where that was in relation to Herat, and I'm probably need some extra levels soon anyway.
As it turns out, when I finally got there, our good professor has gone running off again. It seems his good buddy Lou, who we met in Marse, wound up getting caught by pirates even after we saved him, so Shaia took matters into his own hands. This puts a few ideas into my head, and it could well be any of them, if not a combination thereof.
The first thought is that I may have screwed this puppy up somehow. I've been known to do that, after all. If that's the case, I may have to quit the game as of next issue, regardless of equipment issues.
Another idea is that I didn't get all the Alumina I needed before, and this is just the game's way of telling me that. Somehow, though, I kind of doubt that, for the next reason.
The last reason is that maybe this is just how the plot advances when I've got all the Alumina I need to progress. That is, after all, how games like this had worked for a long time, both before and after this game. I'm really hoping that this is what it turns out to be, and that I'm just being paranoid.
But since this is a good place to stop for now, I think that's what I'll do, and pick this up next time, in Issue #30: North By Northwest, since that's where the lab assistant said Shaia and Lou are, trying to escape from the pirates in the Marse area.