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5: The Academy of the Fallen, Part 4

Our three adventurers try out their new skills around the Academy. Meanwhile, a new threat is rising…

Download MP3 (59 MB)

Game Master: Sean Howard
Players: Marisa King, Michael Howie and Carter Siddall
Ananka: Maggie Makar
Story Consultant: Laura Packer
Game Consultant: Stephen Smith
Dialogue Editing and Transcription: Michael Howie
Sound Design and Music: Eli McIlveen

Content Warning: Drug references; overeating; exploding plants.


Episode Transcript

LAST TIME…

Fast‐paced music.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I FOUGHT A BIG DEMON!

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

You’re in my book, so I must be your teacher. The name is Davinn.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m Darcy.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Yeah, I know.

SEAN

You see the most unbelievably stupendous kitchen you have ever seen in your life.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I WAS LITERALLY IN HELL!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Come have a cup of tea.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Your name’s Reginald?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe I’ll… make some fairy cakes.

SEAN (AS CHRYSANTHEYUM)

Yeahhh, dude!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I thought perhaps I was going to meet the all‐holy, all‐knowing, all‐seeing Loxsyn, and all would be revealed to me.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Yeah, no.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

This school’s gone to hell. They used to explain this stuff.

SEAN

The bowl is talking to you, like,

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

Mix me, baby, mix me…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it possible I had some bad fairy cakes…?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I need to know what’s going on and who Loxsyn is, and I need to know what you know!

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

And don’t forget what you learned.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I will… never forget what I learned here today, let me be certain of that in my telling you things.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

CALL YOUR WEAPON!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

BAZOOKA!

The sound of Blat’s bazooka assembling itself out of metal pieces. The rocket hisses away and explodes.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

So no one will ever answer all your questions, Darcy. It’s about belief. And there’s something in you that believes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

OH GOD I CAN’T STOP SCREAMING.

The music ends.

TARGET PRACTICE

SEAN

So a few days go by. And we pop in on our favorite adventurers from time to time.

And so the camera’s going to start by searching, moving from room to room, past an empty classroom, another empty classroom, to the dormitory… and every once in awhile we hear this dull boom! and the building shakes a little. And it’s searching and searching for Blat.

And then we go out a window, behind the school, behind the Academy of the Fallen, and down and down into the back gardens… and we find Blat, hard at work.

Birdsong, and the distant rush of a waterfall.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(putting on various voices)

“Hello, I’m here to destroy time.”

Oh, you’re here to destroy time, eh? Well eat… bazooka!

His bazooka materializes with a clatter of metal parts. He fires a rocket, which hisses away and explodes with a huge boom.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eh heh heh heh… doesn’t get old at all.

“Well, how about if I came to stop time?”

“I also would like to stop time!”

Well, how about stopping… a bazooka shell!

Another rocket and another explosion.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah ha haaa… I gotcha.

A window creaks open.

SEAN (AS ACADEMY NEIGHBOUR)

Excuse me! Is somebody blowing things up out here?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, everything’s just fine, it’s just the occasional… flowers are exploding because of… too much, uh, sunlight.

Laughter.

SEAN (AS ACADEMY NEIGHBOUR)

Oh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Go back into your… window.

SEAN (AS ACADEMY NEIGHBOUR)

OK, just ask the flowers to keep it down a little. We’re sleeping up here!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh yes. Very good. Sorry to disturb you. Keeping the flowers down!

The neighbour shuts the window again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

“Hello, I’m a flower. I would like to explode.”

Not before I explode you first! Bazooka!

A third rocket zooms off and explodes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah ha ha… you lousy flower.

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers: an improvised fantasy roleplaying game set in the world of Alba Salix. Your Game Master is Sean Howard, with players Marisa King, Michael Howie and Carter Siddall.

Episode 5: The Academy of The Fallen, Part 4.

COOKING

SEAN

We’re going to enter through the back door of the kitchen, where we’re going to find Eggerton, hard at work.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You think you can talk to me that way, flower? Well, let me show you what happens to a flower who talks back. Hozzah! Fairy cake! Ha ha ha!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Can I help?

SEAN

So Snegal comes running up around the corner and he dumps down the things you asked for, he’s like—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Now Snegal do what? Snegal help!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, Snegal, perfect timing! Could you perchance fetch me the fairy dust from the third drawer to the left on the second side of the upside up there.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Uhhh… OK!

SEAN

And Snegal sort of scurries off.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And while I wait for you I’m going to go look out his window and… Hey, what happened to that flower that was there earlier? Huh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(indistinct shouting in the distance)

Yeah, that’s right! You’re gonna take this, you lousy flower!

A distant boom.

SEAN

Snegal comes scurrying back and drops a bunch of like, peppercorns across the counter.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal got the fairy… stuff.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent, Snegal! That is… not at all what I asked for but will work just fine. We will do a spicy fairy cake! And perhaps this one will also help clear the sinuses, while bringing love to others.

Now Snegal, would you like to see the magical step of infusing it with love?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Uhhh…. No.

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m glad that we are in a world where we all agree and add on to the last thought to help build the story, Snegal!

MARISA

(uncontrollable laughter)

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Does Blat like fairy cake?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat has not yet experienced a fairy cake. Though I imagine that Blat would like one should his bazooka, uh, happen to backfire.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Make fairy cake! Let’s make fairy cake! Snegal ready!

A familiar jazz drumbeat starts up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OK, well, if we’re making one for Blat, let’s get the chili flakes down from the second shelf on the left in the inside of the cupboard to the right.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh yeah. Got it!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent. And Mr. Sugar Cup! How are you today?

The music stops. Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent, Mr. Sugar Cup!

The drums start up once again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know why all of you stopped talking to me after I spent those days in the book. But it’s just as well, I prefer to be the one talking sometimes.

SEAN

Snegal comes back with a thing of butter.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you for the… chili flakes.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh yes! Snegal get… make a fairy cake for Blat!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This pleather butter will do quite well for the treats for Blat. And we will put it in the bowl—how are you Mr. Bowl? I haven’t heard from you in a few days either…

Silence.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Am I Mr. Bowl?

The drums start once again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No Mr. Bowl is my friend here who once talked to me quite extensively, and he sounded like he had had a few fairy cakes but when I tried to show people that Mr. Bowl would talk to me he stopped talking to me. And I think maybe I offended him when I called him Mr. Bowl, because maybe he’s a Mrs. Bowl or a “they” Bowl. I don’t know, I…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Are we making fairy cake for Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes. We’re making the fairy cake for Blat. So what we do is we put all of these ingredients—the pleather butter, which looks sort of like chili flakes in some way, and we put that in with the cracked corn, which looks sort of like the fairy dust…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Uh huh…

There’s another muffled boom.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We add the flour. And what was that sound from outside?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Make fairy cake for Blat!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent. Right. So we will go back to making the fairy cake. And we add flour, and then—close your eyes. Close your eyes.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

OK. Snegal close eyes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now we say: “We love everyone and want everyone to be happy.”

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal loves Blat, wants Blat be happy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And we stick it in the oven for 43 minutes and 72 seconds.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Too long! Snegal need fairy cake now!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s kind of a fairy—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

NOW!

SEAN

And before you can say or do anything, Eggerton, you catch Snegal out of the corner of your eye, leaping onto the counter, scooping his fist down into the bowl, grabbing a bunch of the batter, laughs at you—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Hee ha ha ha!

SEAN

—and then zips out the back door.

The door opens. We hear the birds in the garden.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(running off)

Thank you Eggles! Got to find His Evilship!

MEDITATION

SEAN

So the camera leaves Eggerton in the kitchen. And we go down the hall to the large stairwell, and we begin spiraling our way up, past the second floor and up to the top of the third floor, where we find Darcy Kimble standing, and staring up at the stairs that go past the third floor of a third floor building.

MARISA

So, Darcy has been wandering around trying to find a place of peace and quiet, but it seems pretty difficult because outside she keeps hearing these loud booms.

Yet another distant explosion.

MARISA

And… so she sees the stairs that she hasn’t been up yet, and she thinks, well, there’s got to be somewhere quiet up there. So she starts up these stairs, wherever they may lead.

SEAN

So, as you go up the stairs, Darcy, you go basically another turn and a half of the stairs and there’s just a little door, and it’s about three and a half feet high and has a little handle on it.

MARISA

OK. So, I lift the handle and I open the door and I bend down to go through.

She opens the door. Birdsong and soft, tranquil music.

SEAN

You step out into the most unbelievably beautiful garden you’ve ever seen.

Now, the gardens in Balgomar were perfect. Everything, every blade had been manicured and touched. This is the exact opposite. It is so wild and chaos and yet there’s this strange beauty, like everything works and fits together. And it is basically from the door forward all the way to the end of the building. The gardens cover the entire top of the Academy of the Fallen.

MARISA

So… Darcy finds this remarkable because the idea of vegetation on roofs is something that never would have occurred to her living in Balgomar. And she wanders through it. She’s looking at all the different flowers—

SEAN

There’s little paths that break off and weave, and there’s little places where there’ll just be a bench to sit. And while you can still hear the roar of a bazooka in the distance, it’s somehow muffled up here. And you could easily get lost, and yet it doesn’t feel like a labyrinth, it’s just this series of turns and paths and seating places.

MARISA

So she wanders down one of the winding paths, and she comes to a place where there’s a little pond that has a little mini waterfall going into it…

A small, gentle waterfall.

MARISA

And she feels strangely at peace, which she hasn’t felt for a long time now. And she thinks back to what the strange teacher told her about meditating, which she isn’t all that comfortable with, but she thinks, well, this is as good a time as any…

And she sits down by the water and she… traces one of her fingers into it and it’s pleasantly warm. And her eyes just start to close a bit.

A haunting melody on a flute‐like instrument.

MARISA

And the stone that she’s got on a cord around her neck starts to glow this faint blue, and it keeps getting stronger as her breathing slows… and suddenly it’s like she can hear the water trickling, but really clearly, and there’s grasses waving in the wind and she can hear that…

The flute is joined by a wordless female voice. The other sounds fade, with the waterfall lingering until last.

MARISA

And the sound of the loud booming just recedes into nothingness, so she can’t hear that at all. All she can hear is her own breathing… and she just starts to meditate.

SEAN

And the camera slowly pulls back through the brush. And yet we can always see Darcy, there by the pond on the top of the roof… and it’s as if time has stopped for a second for Darcy.

And that’s when we see Darcy’s eyes open suddenly—

A soft chime and the music stops.

SEAN

Because she just heard one word spoken in her mind.

A long, expectant silence, broken finally by:

CARTER

Cheesecake.

Laughter.

The music returns and swells, led by the wordless singing.

SEAN

Your eyes fly open. And you heard this most beautiful voice in the world, say…

SEAN (AS THE VOICE)

Cheesecake.

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN

And it is a beautiful feminine voice. And as you open your eyes with that word, you see that the necklace you’re wearing is glowing so brightly that it’s like a sun on your neck, lighting everything up… and slowing dimming.

The music fades as well, and the sound of the birds returns.

MARISA

And she just can’t believe it. She’s never experienced anything like it, and… she’s just amazed. But also now has a craving for cheesecake, and so gets up and heads down toward the kitchen—a little disappointed that the first words she heard in her meditation was a baked good… but just going with it.

FAIRY CAKE

SEAN

The camera pulls away from the roof and slowly comes down to the back as we see a fireball roar up past us…

Boom.

SEAN

And we see Snegal running out of the back door the kitchen, and searching around hectically, trying to find Blat.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(impish grunts and mumbles)

Oh… got to give the cake to Blat… Where is the Blat? Are you Blat? Nooo…

Oh hi, flower. Who are you? Do you know where Blat is, flower? No? OK. Hide you? Snegal hide you.

SEAN

And so Snegal picks the flower and tucks it under his arm, and continues to run around looking for Blat.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Blat? Blat? Blat, are you out here?

(gasps as he hears:)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, my friend, but only one of us is going to be able to… save time!

Bazooka!

A rocket hisses and detonates with a huge boom.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(screams)

Aaaaaaa!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(screams)

Oh! Oh no!

Pandemonium. Fire crackles as they both scream madly.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’m on fire!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh no! I’m sorry!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’m on fire!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m so sorry!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(abruptly stops screaming)

Oh no, I like it. Hahaha! I haven’t been on fire in a long time!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(nervous, relieved laughter)

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Woooo! Look at it go! Look at my tail! I can make—watch it when I spin it.

A fiery whooshing sound.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s… great…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I can make trails. Wooo!

I brought you—oh, it’s a little overcooked now… I brought you fairy cake.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A fairy…

Again… I think that perhaps that you think because of my appearance that I’m some sort of demonic overlord here in—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

LORD!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no!

SEAN

He grabs your feet.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You… wait! You no Snegal’s Evilship?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, I’m just making an assumption that you, with your limited form of education, believes that I’m some sort of superior being. The era that I come from we do not have…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal not good enough?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, that’s not quite what I’m saying… it’s—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Snegal improve! You watch! Me get you many more cakes. Me get you less cooked cake!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eh… Wait a moment. Is this one of the cakes Eggerton keeps talking about?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Uh… No?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(disappointed)

Oh, it isn’t.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It is, then!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

No?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, just give me the cake.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes, sir.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ahhh… I’ve always wanted to try one of these. He keeps going on and on about how magical the fairy cakes are…

SEAN

Snegal is just watching you with utter, rapt attention.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And I have been wanting to try one of these for quite some time.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You have?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So… I don’t expect you to be my servant, but I do thank you for bringing this to me.

And now, the so‐called ambrosia of the fairy gods… the fairy cake!

Silence as he tries it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(spits it out violently)

PFAH! Oh my—ugh!

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, that is terrible! What is in this?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Uh… Snegal help!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Are these peppers?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Maybe? No!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What kind of a fairy cake is this?!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Uh… Snegal get you better cake!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I should hope so! I was raised on half‐demonic food but even I think this is a bit too spicy for my liking!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal sorry! Snegal fix!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh, I—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal fix! Snegal fix!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, here! Take it! Go away!

SEAN

Snegal dashes off.

And literally it’s like the Road Runner—he’s like back, shoom!

A whoosh and a cartoonish twang!

SEAN

And he’s holding Eggerton’s whole pouch, the fairy pouch, and it’s not even undone. It’s just the entire pouch that he had around his waist, and he’s opening it and he holds up—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Many fairy cake here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m not going to ask how this happened.

All right. Let’s try one of—

(instantly in rapture)

—ohhhh, my goodness me.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Huh?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhh, that’s a good time. What is happening to my taste buds? My tongue is dancing within my mouth and my tonsils are here to greet it. Ohhh!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Is it good?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Good is an understatement, my small uneducated friend. This… is the finest foodstuff that I have ever tasted.

SEAN

Roll Fairy Cakes, Michael…

MIKE

That is a 6 + Wisdom… That is a 7.

MARISA

(laughs)

MIKE

So, they heal for d8 but with a cost.

SEAN

Yep. So roll a d8, Carter.

Carter rolls.

SEAN

So you get 4+…

CARTER

Well, that’s pretty good.

SEAN

OK, so you get 5 hit points back.

CARTER

Cool.

SEAN

And you are high as a kite.

Laughter.

SEAN

With a bazooka…

MARISA

Oh no…

SEAN

In the backyard.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal, uh—would you like keep all pouch?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(slurring his words)

I would like to keep the pouch.

SEAN

Okay, so Snegal hands you the pouch.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Good. Now!

CARTER

Yes, sir?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m gonna show you something really special.

I have found out from a demonic overlord that I have the power to create future weaponry.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Huh?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Would you like to see more future weaponry?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(clapping excitedly)

Snegal yes! Snegal yes!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Excellent! So, which of these trees do you like the least?

Laughter.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! The one on the left is mean. Very mean to Snegal.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, the one on my left will feel my rage! Bazooka!

A hiss and a boom.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(ecstatic)

Woooo! It’s on fire! Wooo!

Snegal on fire too!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(panicking)

Oh! Oh!

(realizes)

Oh. Wait… Is this another one of those tricks that you’re actually okay with fire because you’re actually…?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah! Hahaha!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Ha ha…

All right. Now, if you don’t mind, Blat’s just going to lie down here for a moment…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You put head on Snegal. Snegal keep soft… soft belly!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Seems a little forward, but, uh… well… whatever you feel is the best thing to do—

Snegal, have Looked at your hands? I mean, really looked at your hands, and wonder that everyone’s got hands, but everyone’s hands are different than everyone else’s. We’re all the same, yet we’re all different.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

S… Snegal confused!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Snegal… don’t be confused.

Because I love you, Snegal. I love you so—you’re my good friend, Snegal. And I don’t want to hear you argue the point.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(too overcome to speak; tiny, incoherent sounds of elation)

CARTER (AS BLAT )

That’s right. Here—for you, Snegal.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Me?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Here is my dry cleaner coupon.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Wha?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

If you go—

SEAN

He takes it—like, he’s caressing it in between his hands as he takes it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Another two trips and you can have a shirt done for free… which you don’t appear to wear. Maybe you should start.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Shirt. Snegal get shirt. OK.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal pillow.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(losing consciousness)

Great.

SEAN

He’s like, caressing your hair.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal pillow…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just gonna… lie down and… not freak out.

Carter’s head hits the table with a thud.

Laughter.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(singing softly)

Oh, Blat… Snegal friend, first friend… sleep, first friend, Snegal only friend…

(mutters, suddenly distracted)

Tasty ear—leave ear alone…

(singing)

Snegal friend…

The scene fades out.

TRANSMISSIONS

COMPUTERIZED VOICE

Field transmission archive. Nexus Time: 3:31. Agent: Greg Lorenz.

A short beep, like a walkie‐talkie.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Timestream A 37–31-47. Subject Alpha is missing. I have verified residence and place of work. Subject has not shown up for three days. I’m aborting this timestream and moving on to Subject Bravo.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Field log 7.1. Minimal corruption in this timestream. Mission success. I located Subject Bravo, tracked him to his place of work. At initiation of early onset of event, subject fled to the top floor of his building, where I was able to apprehend, subdue, and bag‐and‐tag using a beetle.

I’m moving on to Subject Delta.

Beep.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Field log 8.2. As previously stated, I entered this timestream at an earlier point. It is the 22nd day of the 32nd year of Boltius.

All beetles report temporal lock, but fluctuations are increasing. I located Subject Delta and have tracked.

Last night there was an altercation. She was accosted by three individuals who may be under the influence of corruption. I was unable to ascertain their status, as they were… taken care of on my arrival. It happened at an alley, and as I moved to approach the alley I heard sounds of battle. On my arrival, Subject Delta was not present and the three individuals were… no longer breathing.

I have since lost track of Subject Delta, and while I want to continue tracking, the fluctuations give me pause. So I am jumping time streams to Subject Echo and will update shortly.

Beep.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Field log 9.0. I located Subject Echo easily, however, the corruption is rampant in this timestream. Multiple agents were encountered. A few were in the final feet of trying to reach Subject Echo. He appeared oblivious to me even as I eliminated two agents, stepped into his room, tranquilized and bag‐and‐tagged him.

The Grissom beetle took over 30 seconds to get temporal lock. It’s not a good sign. I’m going to attempt to return immediately to Subject Delta, if I’m able.

My injuries are minor. I am able to proceed.

Beep.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Field log 10.1, local time approximately 11 AM, the 23rd day of the 32nd year of Boltius in this timestream.

Fluctuations are increasing, signs of corruption abound. Multiple agents spotted at the workplace of Subject Delta. Subject Delta has recently arrived. I am tracking. Very little time. Further update to follow.

Beep.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Field log 14.1. I was able to return to the timestream for Subject Charlie. The Grissom beetle is now losing local temporal sync completely. Transport likely to be no longer possible. Repeat: transport likely to be no longer possible.

Unable to find Subject Charlie. No appearances at residence or work. Widening my search.

Beep.

A rumble, like rolling thunder under Greg’s voice. The signal cuts out more frequently.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I’m not sure why I’m continuing to leave these. The beetles haven’t had sync in days, so it’s likely this will never be received.

I am still in timestream of Subject Charlie. Agents swarm the streets, eyes as black as night.

I’ve managed to secure access to a rooftop and bar entry from below. The temporal inconsistencies are almost visible.

The end is approaching. This is where I will make my final stand.

I pray the three I reached made it back.

Give my love to Ananka and… may the Nexus prevail.

Beep.

MIDROLL: HELLO THE TWITTER

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER (ELI)

(hums the bassline)

It’s the beginning of middle of The End of Time… and Other Bothers.

MIKE

(off mic)

Didn’t Marisa know we’re recording a midroll? Where is she?

SNEGAL

Hello…

MIKE

(sighs)

You’re not Marisa.

SNEGAL

Hello?

MIKE

OK.

(resigned)

So once again we’d like to thank you for listening to the End of Time and Other Bothers.

SNEGAL

I not Marisa!

MIKE

Yeah, I’m… painfully aware of that, Snegal.

SNEGAL

Me Snegal!

MIKE

Right. So, just a reminder that you can review this episode and any future episodes on iTunes. This is a brand new show, and we really need to get the word out.

SNEGAL

Hello iTune!

MIKE

Yeah, sure. Hi, iTunes. You can also spread the word with our hashtag #OtherBothers to let everyone following you on Twitter know about us and the hardships that we go through working on this show.

SNEGAL

Hello the Twitter!

MIKE

Eli, I don’t know that I can do this.

ELI

(off mic)

You’re doing great.

SNEGAL

Michael, why the Twitter not say hello back?

MIKE

$2 Patreon supporters get early access to episodes along with other perks.

SNEGAL

(in the background)

Twitter! Twitter!

MIKE

Click on over to Patreon.com/AlbaSalix and maybe there will be an explanation on why I have to record these spots with a deranged non‐player character.

SNEGAL

Wait, the Twitter! Hello, Twitter! Are you under here? Twitter? Hello!

MIKE

Twitter isn’t a person.

SNEGAL

It’s not?

MIKE

It’s a social media website where people can talk about our show and… I don’t know, a billion other things. Do you understand that?

SNEGAL

Ohh. Twitter not here because… Snegal here.

MIKE

Yeah, sure. You’re recording with me instead of Twitter.

SNEGAL

(gasps)

Snegal better than Twitter?

MIKE

Well… actually, you know what, most days that’s not necessarily wrong.

Music sting.

THE LIBRARY

SEAN

We open in the center of the Nexus, in the library, which is a very large well‐lit room with rows and rows of shelving and books that actually branch off in innumerable corridors in every direction you look.

Moira is standing in the center of the room in front of a large table, and she is speaking as if to the air.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Ananka. I know you can hear me. I think it’s time we had a talk.

Silence.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Maybe we could do that in person, Ananka?

A magical flutter and boom.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Finally.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

(sighs)

What is it, Moira?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What are you doing?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I know what I am doing. Sometimes I am not quite sure where I am in time. You know this about me. So maybe my calculation was little bit off. But ultimately my instincts are never wrong.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

A little a bit off? Ananka, we’re 60 years off!

SEAN

And she throws the papers off the table.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

60 years, Ananka! We’re behind now!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

But a drop. Time it flows like the water. This is just a few drops—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Don’t give me the drops, Ananka. You don’t believe that either. I know about Greg.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

(inhales sharply)

Do not talk about Greg.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

That was supposed to be a one‐way trip. We agreed.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

No, we did not agree. That was your plan. That was never my plan.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

They’re not ready, Ananka. These three you believe so much in, they’re plebes. They’re not even in proper training and we’re now behind.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Moira, I have faith in these three. Do you remember? Us three sisters—you myself and Tekmor? Nobody believed we could handle this. We could handle being at the Nexus. Yet here we are.

Silence.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What if we’re not ready either, Ananka? We’re making this up as we go. All I have is… is your visions.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You have to trust in that. If there’s nothing else you can trust in, you must trust in my vision.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(deep breath)

We have to start them. We’re too far behind now. Find me a story, a story that’s going to be… safe. Something simple.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I have just the one.

CHEESECAKE

SEAN

We arrive back into the kitchen just at the moment that Eggerton realizes that he no longer is wearing pants or a pouch… and Darcy enters, looking for a very specific cheesecake.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton… What are you doing?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I appear to not be wearing pants… But more concerning, my pouch is missing. I don’t remember taking my—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Could you please get some pants? Put something on.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I—OK, I had a pouch and I don’t have the pouch now, but the pouch has my fairy cakes. And I think there’s a special connection now, because the fairy cakes always—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think there’s a hygiene issue here with you being in a kitchen like this. Seriously.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I… I do imbue my fairy cakes with love and—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton. Please go and get yourself pants now, or find your own pants.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, I can see the pants over there by the doorway, so… I’m gonna go over there, could you—I’m going to bend down and pick them up. Could you turn around, please? I mean, I’m—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. Yeah. OK. No problem.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are you turned around?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m turned around.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are you turned around?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m turned around.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m going to bend over and pick them up. Don’t look over.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Don’t look over.

SEAN

(laughs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OK. You can look now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why aren’t you wearing pants?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know. I was wearing pants before. I was also wearing my pouch before. Now I don’t have my pouch and my pouch is very important to me because it has all the fairy cakes—

SEAN

You hear the voice again in your head. It rings out. You see the necklace that Darcy is wearing glow—the brightest light you’ve ever seen. Very mesmerizing and beautiful. You hear the voice again—

SEAN (AS THE VOICE)

Cheesecake.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I would help you look for your pouch, Eggerton… and I will help you look for your pouch, but…

I have a real strong craving for some cheesecake. Which—do you make that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I make the best pleather cheesecake in all of Balgoria!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well that’s perfect. That’s the best kind. That’s the kind I want.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right. Now, you may see some dancing sugar, so I don’t want you to be alarmed when that happens.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sure. Sure, Eggerton, I won’t be alarmed by the dancing sugar.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OK. OK.

The jazzy drums return.

MIKE

So Eggerton walks over to the the cupboards… and in his head the music starts up—

MARISA

(cheerful singing)

MIKE

—and he starts bopping around and pulling things out of drawers, and tossing things in the mixing bowl, and spinning it, and throws it into a stone oven and… you know, the sun kind of skips forward a little bit while we wait.

SEAN

Yup. And you start to smell you something really good, Darcy.

MARISA

And Darcy is actually quite impressed with the agility and dexterity that Eggerton moves around the kitchen and creates these wondrous things.

SEAN

It is a little strange the way he has conversations with the mixing bowl.

MARISA

Yes, she’s ignoring that at this point.

MIKE

He does have reasonably average dexterity, it should be pointed out.

MARISA

But maybe above average in the kitchen.

MIKE

(softly)

Hey. I feel ya.

SEAN

(laughs)

MIKE

So, a little ding goes off.

Ding! The drums stop.

MIKE

And he walks over to the oven and with quick hands, patting it back and forth, he pulls out a pan and plops it down and says—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Pleather cheesecake!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh… that smells so good, Eggerton.

(gasps)

And you put in chili flakes and peppercorns! I loved that back home!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I had a few leftover from an earlier recipe.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, that just… OK, OK…

MARISA

And I get out a knife and I cut myself a slice. And I just—which is not usually how Darcy eats—but she just picks it up with her hands and she just, as her necklace glows even brighter, she just shoves it into her mouth in one big piece.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(undignified gulping sounds)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s… that’s impressive in itself.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(in delight)

Oh, it’s so good Eggerton.

The soft music from Darcy’s meditation returns, growing more intense by the second.

SEAN

The amulet that Darcy is wearing just gets brighter and brighter—it’s painfully bright, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(shouting)

I don’t know if you know this, but your necklace has gotten kind of bright and it is starting to cause sunburns on my skin… my rosy cheeks are turning a little dark, and it’s hurting and cracking now…

SEAN

And Darcy, you barely hear any of this that’s going on in the room, Darcy, because before you… you see Loxsyn.

The haunting melody plays.

SEAN

Gleaming beams of white light flying all around the room, and you just know that it’s her.

And she’s finishing pushing cheesecake into her mouth, and she smiles at you. And your brain… it’s like lightning going through your brain… and then she’s gone.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

Sweet Loxsyn.

SEAN

And you now have—and you don’t know how you know it—but you know you’ve been granted magical spells and powers.

MARISA

And then the amulet slowly fades down to nothing… and Darcy looks down at the floor where Eggerton is passed out from blinding light.

The music fades.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton? Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(a frightened, half‐asleep mumble)

Aaaaa it’s a bright light…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you… did you see that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You shove a huge piece of pleather cheesecake into your mouth and swallow it without chewing? Yes, I saw that…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you see the other woman who did that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, you did that and I’m pretty sure I remember another woman doing that at the same time because it was, you know… I think you may have unhinged your jaw a little bit…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it does feel a little sore.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s clicking a bit as you talk.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I… I’m just going to go back to my room now…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But we need—we need to get my fairy pouch.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(in a daze)

Oh yeah. I did say I’d help with that…

OK, why don’t you lead the way, Eggerton, and I’ll help you with that.

AWAKENING

SEAN

So, we follow Darcy and Eggerton as they look around the kitchen for a while. Darcy just waiting while Eggerton checks every cupboard.

The sound of birds and the distant waterfall in the backyard.

SEAN

And then we follow them outside as they invariably find themselves standing in front of a passed‐out Blat, whose head is resting on Snegal’s belly while Snegal slowly runs his hands through Blat’s hair.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(whispers)

Oh… Blat sleeping.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(with barely‐contained fury)

Blat.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

No! Blat sleeping!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wake him up, you little imp.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(worried)

Oh…

SEAN

And you see that Blat is currently holding, in one hand, your fairy pouch.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

He’s got it! He’s got it! OK, I’m gonna…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(softly)

Sir? Sir? Sir…

SEAN

So Snegal starts, like, tapping your eyelid.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Sir? Sir—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(awakening with a start, blurts)

Aa! Football practice!

SEAN

(laughs)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! What—what are you doing?!

MARISA

And you start to see these… that Darcy’s hair is getting really straight up now, and the spikes are actually standing straight up from her head, which isn’t normal for her.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sober again)

I was just practicing the bazooka… and that’s really all I—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat. That tree is destroyed! This was a beautiful garden and you destroyed that tree. Look at all these flowers! How could you just do that?!

SEAN

And that’s when you start to notice that Darcy’s eyes have changed color. They are a gleaming, animal‐like yellow.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(cowed)

I’m… I’m very sorry; I didn’t realize that the tree and the flowers were so important. I tried to pick an area without too many people around, since I wanted to test the bazooka power that—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You don’t just use this Centurion weapon to take out nature and everything that’s around you! You have to be more careful with it!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I feel that I’m all… practiced up, so I shan’t be doing that again, that’s—not to worry—and maybe now your hair will lie down and your eyes will return to its original color… Eggerton! Might I speak to you just over here for a moment?

MARISA

And as soon as Blat makes those comments, Darcy subconsciously puts her hand to her amulet… and the eyes start to fade back to her green, and the hair does come down a bit. And she stumbles away a bit, away from the two of them as if she’s embarrassed.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why are these bunnies over here saying “What are we going to have for dinner now,” Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Um… Perhaps we can, um, give them a fairy cake from this pouch that I… seem to have on my person.

Goose goose! Hello! Here you go. Fairy cakes all around…

MARISA

(laughs)

“Goose goose.”

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(excited noises)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No no, not you!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Fairy cake! Snegal like fairy cake! I share with rabbit—come back rabbit! Come back, rabbit!

His voice fades into the distance.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think I’ll hold on to that pouch for now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, I am terribly sorry. I’m not sure how I got a hold of this, so here you are; I return that to you… and I just want to tell you that I’m not quite sure what happened, but I think I may have had sex with Snegal.

Laughter.

SEAN

SCENE!

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers: an improvised fantasy role‐playing game set in the world of Alba Salix.

Your Game Master is Sean Howard, with Carter Siddall as Blat, Michael Howie as Eggerton and Marisa King as Darcy. You also heard Maggie Makar as Ananka.

Dialogue editing and transcription by Michael Howie.

Additional material and sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Story consultant: Laura Packer.

Game consultant: Stephen Smith.

Join us on Patreon for early access to episodes, behind‐the‐scenes information and lots more. Find out how at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE: SNEGAL HAS IT ALL

Mike and Sean perform a dance track a cappella.

MIKE

(beatboxing)

Oontz oontz oontz oontz…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(singing)

Snegal is doin’ it

Snegal is a happy man

Snegal has it all now

Go go go go go impy!

Imp imp imp, imp imp imp…

Laughter.

MIKE

That is a ringtone available to $20 patrons, folks.

MARISA

(laughing)

You just gave it all to Snegal too fast!

SEAN

(giggles uncontrollably)

CARTER

Well, I didn’t actually have sex with Snegal, I just don’t—I just suspect that I might have!

So now Snegal’s going to act the way he usually does around me, “Ooo, my lord, my saviour,” and I’m gonna be like, “Heh, hey… how you doing? Uh… Let’s not talk about that thing that happened.” “What happened?” “I don’t know…”