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34: Sugar High

The Other Bothers crew are back with a new Solstice episode!

As the Blatavan’s weary crew travel further into the endless night brought on by the Shattering, they struggle to cope with their gaggle of new passengers.

This episode is brought to you by Respawn, Book One of the Killstreak series, an epic fantasy by Stuart Thaman!

And a reminder that until January 2, 2020, we’re running a special tiered offer on Patreon: the more patrons sign up at the $5 level or higher, the more goodies all $5+ patrons will receive!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: Drug use, child abandonment and endangerment, brief gruesome descriptions, utter nonsense.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They’re gathering people together to help fight the giant cloud of Shattering on top of the mountain.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But they would leave all their children alone in the village?

SEAN (AS BREE)

Anyone who turns of age, they get dragged away by the knights!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But our friend Blat has been there. He told us everything is fine!

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Well done, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Thank you, Your Eminence!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you have three boards out for Candy World?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well you see, this is Advanced Candy World…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Candy World is a little different from the real world. We’ve talked about this before, remember?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. In Candy World things sometimes make sense.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

It’s a trap! Darcy, it’s a trap!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Spill it, Blat! What’s going on?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s a hugging contest!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasping for breath)

…the power of a hug…

SEAN

Jacklyn jams a piece of their bucket into one of the joints.

SEAN (AS THE KNIGHT)

I knew you such a short time…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Noooo!

A slap.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gaaaah! Why are people hitting me?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where are the townspeople being kept?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

There’s no people here in the barracks!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN

You see a charred body just hit face forward in the dirt.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Quick! Down to the kiddies! We might have to take them with us!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Kiddies in the Blatavan!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, Loxsyn!

ON THE ROAD

SEAN

The Blatavan creeps along in the darkness.

As they get closer to Mount Zirma, the dark clouds have obliterated all light, making it impossible to know what time of day it is, or how long has passed since they last spoke to each other, or did anything. It’s as if they’ve been travelling forever, hoping to find the ferry crossing.

Huddled in robes against the cold that is growing stronger, we find Blat driving the Blatavan.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(singing wearily)

Driving the Blatavan!

Can’t believe I’m still driving the Blatavan!

Don’t know what time it is, or what day or where we are.

I’m still driving this ol’ Blatavan.

(sighs)

Oh, sweet lord, this is boring! Are we still on the mountain? We could be driving up a giant’s elbow for all I know.

MARISA (AS A YOUNG GIRL)

Hey, hey Blat, I just thought I’d crawl out here with you to see what you’re doing in the front of the Blatavan! What’s that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! Well, uh, that’s the road.

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

No, can I touch this?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, no, that’s a button. No, no, no, we mustn’t touch that, we mustn’t touch that. Hey, you know what? You know what?

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

Yes?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Look at how dark it is outside.

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

It’s very scary.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now, don’t you think, because it’s dark, that perhaps you should be tootling off to bed?

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

I was scared and had a nightmare, so I wanted to come and be with you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I see. How touching. And that’s supposed to affect how I think about—

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

Now pressing the button!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, please, no!

SEAN

What colour is the button?

MARISA

It is red.

SEAN

We have that.

So, water flushes out of the sides of the Blatavan as the used plutonium core ejects out of the top. The whole thing stutters for a second and then re-engages and continues driving along.

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

Ooh, that was cool.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, all right, all right, all right, what’s your name? What’s your name?

MARISA (AS YOUNG GIRL)

Mildred.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mildred, you never were up here, you never saw that happen. This never happened. I… oh, Lord, I think we just poisoned a countryside.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Oh, no.

But aren’t you lonely up here?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, there’s lonely, and then there’s decimating the wilderness, which I believe we just did.

The door opens and Snegal climbs out to join Blat.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, Blat! Hey Blat, what happened? We’re running out of plutonium!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, no, no, no! Uh, we were just cleaning the plutonium chamber out here, me and this small child.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, okay! Oh, hi Mildred.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Hello!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Well, I guess I’m out here, I can stay with you two now. What are you talking about?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, we were just discussing how because it was so dark that perhaps this small child should be sleeping or unconscious or something.

Silence.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Do you want me to knock her out, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What? No! Don’t knock her out!. Do you know what time it is? Do you know what day it is?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I don’t understand, all you people talk in code about these children.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We don’t talk in code about the…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You’re always spelling things, like don’t say D‑E-S-E-R‑T and stuff.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

D‑E-S-E-R‑T?

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Ooh, dessert! That sounds yummy!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, right, that is what you were spell—okay, how about this. Why don’t you take Shortstack over here to the, um, three-walled kitchen, maybe you could whip something up for her. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, I think Eggerton’s in there trying to cook something!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No! Wait! No! No, we can’t let Eggerton give a small child a dessert item. She’ll wind up thinking that she’s, I don’t know, some sort of historical figure, or just be permanently drunk or stupid or something. Just—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

That explains what’s happened to all the rest of the children.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What? What?!

While I’m out here driving, actually doing my job, Eggerton’s in the back drugging kids?!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

He was making dinner, I thought.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, all right, we’re stopping this right now.

CARTER

And Blat takes his feet off of the pedals.

Blat opens the door and pushes Mildred inside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, all right. Mildred! Come back here with me, we’re just gonna—oh lord, it’s so dark.

All right, Eggerton! Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh hey, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, what are you doing to the kids back here? What are the kids eating? What are you making for the kids?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, well, I started out with some regular fairy cakes, and they ate most of those pretty quick. So then I decided to try, you know, like, double layering the fairy cakes with icing in the middle, and then I tried some that were frozen, and then I tried ones that were not frozen and melty in the middle, and they just kept eating them all, so I just kept making more.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay. Has anything happened to the kids? Have any of them gone suddenly a bit weird? And I don’t mean small child eating sugar weird, I mean is anyone crawling on the ceiling or speaking in tongues or anything?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well this one over here is doing some accounting.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Counting?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Accounting.

SEAN (AS A YOUNG CHILD)

(rapid whispering)

37 plus 42 plus 17…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They’re working on our taxes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, again, I need to just express to you… Who are you sending our accounting to exactly?! We’re in the past. People—I don’t even know if accounting has been invented yet. Who are you sending our paperwork to?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The lawyers!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What lawyers?! Your lawyers from the future time?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So what I do, I get all of the forms from Anthony, and I pile them up and I put them in an envelope, and every time we pass a mailbox I just stick them in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But to go where, Eggsy? To go where?

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

This package is ready.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, thank you very much, Anthony. And here you go, a little mini cube—woah!

With a feral snarl, Anthony lunges and devours the fairy cake.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, all right, he should not be eating stuff like he’s some sort of rabid wolverine! What are you feeding these kids?

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

(hisses)

Give me something to count!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, all right, here, here’s some pocket change, okay? Make sure that this is filled out in triplicate.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

(wild, hissing laughter)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Protein! Kids need protein! Don’t you have any vegetables in here or anything?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Veg… ve…?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Vegetables. Vege-tables.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Some kind of table?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s a table that—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Anthony likes tables. Look, he’s been adding things up and sorting them—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How are you alive?! How are you alive? Are those your teeth? Are those actually your real teeth? Let me see. Let me see.

Blat wrestles Eggerton’s mouth open.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh yeah, it’s been at least a year since you’ve seen a dentist. All right, all right. Okay, okay, fine…

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Excuse me, Mr. Blat, could you stop yelling? It’s like being back at home.

(awkward silence.)

Also, I ate all the batter in your bowl, Mr. Edgington.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, you… the uncooked batter?

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Ha ha. Ha. It’s fine. Everything’s fine. Blat? Blat? Can I have a word with you for a moment?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, would you like to have a word with me about what the children have been eating?

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

(still feral)

13.47. What’s next?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, all righty, here is my shoe. Tell me how many different ways I can tie the laces on this.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

On it!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, great.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, one of the parts of the processing of a fairy cake is the cooking, because it helps to solidify all of the ingredients with the love, and it can sometimes bring down the effects. But if it’s raw, uncooked batter, then sometimes things can go a little sideways.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Woah!

ANOTHER ROOM IN THE BLATAVAN

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Darcy, I think at some point we should probably check in on, see how they’re doing with the kids.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m hiding from them.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I know, me too. It’s just, I don’t know if it’s fair we lock ourselves in this room for the whole time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, Jacklyn, those are children out there. I don’t do well with children. I think it’s best that we leave that to Eggerton, who really likes kids, and we just hunker down in here and wait till it’s all over.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Okay. You sure? Okay.

I just worry, you know? Eggerton doesn’t always make the best choices.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, what do you think he would do wrong? Isn’t he just gonna play Candy World with them till they all pass out and go to sleep?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Yeah, you’re right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Nothing to worry about. He really, you know, he takes to kids.

MEANWHILE

Pandemonium. The sound of a dozen screaming, sugar-fuelled children wreaking havoc.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh my Loxsyn, they’re escaping! Oh! Oh no! Quick! Everyone, all hands on deck!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Repeat after me! Repeat after me! I, Eggerton, have drugged children!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I, Eggerton, have helped the children find their inner—ow, this one’s biting me again!

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

I trapped Mildred in your sneaker. I wrapped her up.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

(muffled shouting)

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

It was the 17th use I came up with!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT!

Hey! Okay! I’ve got it!

All the kids have to come back because today is, uh, Solstice! Winter Solstice!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it Solstice?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure! Yes! Today is Solstice! Today is Winter Solstice!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Today is Solstice!

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

It’s present day?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… Yes! So all the kids have to get back together to make sure that we’re all here to celebrate Winter Solstice.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

(muffled shouting)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Watch, she’s breaking through the bonds!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, don’t do that, ’cause that was your gift! That was your gift, um, that shoe is yours, and, um, here, here’s the other one. You have the complete set, congratulations.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

(excited noises)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What have you done to her? She is freaking out!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s the Solstice!

Theme music plays—a jazz variation inspired by Vince Guaraldi’s music for A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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 players Michael Howie, Marisa King, and Carter Siddall.

Episode 34: Sugar High.

THE BLATAVAN

SEAN

The caravan is moving slowly through the deep darkness. A hunched figure is driving, and inside, it is quiet… when Jacklyn and Darcy emerge.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Okay, I really expected to come out to chaos.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I heard a lot of screaming. There was screaming, right?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Hi Mildred.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

(softly)

H‑hello.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

You’re, you’re just sitting there.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

I know.

Do you like my shoe? It’s my Solstice gift.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Oh.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

I ate the other one.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Sigh

Well good, I’m glad you didn’t eat that shoe.

Um, Fiona, is that a mace you’re holding?

CARTER (AS FIONA)

I AM CAPTAIN OF THE UNIVERSE!

(sings)

Captain of the Universe, Captain of the Universe…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, hey, kid, that’s, that’s my mace.

CARTER (AS FIONA)

Oh, is it though? Because I’ve been told that whoever wields the mace is Captain of the Universe. Just listen as I wave it around!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey kid, do you know what happens to Captains of the Universe?

They usually get killed first because they’re the captains. So I think you better give me the mace.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Maybe you should give her a replacement gift.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? This kid? I have to give them a replacement gift?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Well who said they all have gifts?

CARTER (AS FIONA)

(singing)

Captain of the Universe, making the mace talk! Waving the mace and the mace will talk!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey Fiona! I could… I could give you something better than a mace.

CARTER (AS FIONA)

But the mace talks though.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Um, does it? I think you’re just imagining that.

CARTER (AS FIONA)

Oh, no, I imagine all sorts of things because I was tripping out on fairy stuff for quite some time. But this mace totally talks and that’s how I know I’m the Captain of the Univerrrse!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, first of all we have to talk to Eggerton. Secondly, how about this bucket?

(to Jacklyn)

Give me your bucket!

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

No, it’s my bucket!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey! This bucket is a lot nicer than that mace. Why don’t you give me the mace in exchange for the bucket, which you can wear on your head like a helmet?

CARTER (AS FIONA)

Make the bucket talk.

Silence.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(squeaky voice)

Hello, I’m a bucket and I can only be worn by Captains of the Universe!

CARTER (AS FIONA)

AHA! So I am Captain of the Universe.

(singing)

Captain of the Universe, Captain of the Universe…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But I really hate—

CARTER (AS FIONA)

(singing)

I have a mace! You’re talking, I can see your lips move. I have a mace and the mace can talk!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Give me the mace, kid.

CARTER (AS FIONA)

No!

(bursts into tears)

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Make it stop, Darcy.

MARISA

And I put the bucket on their head.

CARTER (AS FIONA)

(screaming)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(bucket voice)

I’m on your head now. I’m making you Captain of the Galaxy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(unintelligible sobbing)

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Darcy? I was going to ask for Eggerton, but why has the cart stopped moving?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know, maybe we should go find out.

THE DOCK

SEAN

Outside in the darkness, Blat is climbing down from the driver’s seat, and Eggerton is staring out what used to be the side of the kitchen.

And it looks like there’s a ferry dock. You can’t see the water and no one can make out the mountain in the darkness, but something looks very strange about the ferry dock.

Eerie music.

SEAN

There are three lit-up circles and there’s a giant arch right before where you would approach it. And on the arch it says CANDY WORLD.

And it looks just like the starting space on the deluxe edition of Candy World.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(hushed)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Tell me you gave me a fairy cake.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Did you give me a fairy cake?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Am I freaking out like the kids have been freaking out?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They’re not freaking out. They’re just experiencing their truest selves.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They’re freaking the heck out! They’re children who are tripping out on whatever you’ve been giving them.

I want you to know—and I’m not gonna get angry—that you gave me some fairy cake batter or pixie sugar or some sort of…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, wait. Did you say pixie sugar?

Did you really just look in my general direction and say the word “pixie”?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, am I suddenly in the wrong, children-poisoner?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, let’s… everything, hold on a second.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh yes, let’s all get full outraged about this. Oh god! Pixie wixie tricksy!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s right, I’m now rhyming and I don’t know why that upsets you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispers to himself)

“Pixie wixie tricksy.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton! Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hi, Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I knew I would find you out here. Listen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look! It’s Candy World.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Candy World.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you talking about?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

By the way, did you know that we have a pixie lover among us?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat likes to rhyme with pixies.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, that’s fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m sure it’s a game he’s playing with the kids to keep them entertained so they don’t drive us insane.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Actually, no, it’s just a game I play to upset Eggerton. I don’t know why this is so concerning to him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it’s true.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(scoffs)

You will have to sit down later and fill out a proper HR form and send it in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s no HR. I don’t know where you’re sending it. Where are you even finding mailboxes?! I don’t understand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s one right over there.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

I just dropped the forms in it, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, thank you so very much, Anthony.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

You’re welcome.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Son of a Loxsyn, there’s a mailbox right here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So should we just take the package and stick it in the mailbox and put up the little flag and it’ll go where it’s supposed to go.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Good. Now I’ve also promised a gift to every child in the Blatavan, so that’s going to be pretty much everything in this kitchen.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you two doing? I found one of the kids playing with my mace. The other one, I think she ate a shoe. What have you two been giving them? You were supposed to be in charge. You were supposed to be responsible, Eggerton. You like kids.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and I know not to give them talking weaponry, Darcy. Why would you do that?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I didn’t give them my mace!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, so I gave the children the mace. Look, they think it’s Solstice Day and I don’t know it’s not Solstice Day, so I’ve just been giving them everything we own in order to shut them up.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Am I the only one noticing that it looks like Eggerton’s game?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, it’s Candy World! Look, there’s the starting arch of goldenness with the three coloured circles.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Isn’t that a little strange?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a Solstice Day miracle.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Again, we’re not 100% sure that it’s actually Solstice Day, and if any of the kids see this, they’re going to want to play, and then heaven knows what’s going to happen.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

What? What are we supposed to see?

(gasps)

Oh my god!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh god, Loxsyn.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so we need to go and scope out the Candy World playing field to figure out which version it is before we allow the children to play.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

But…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But—no.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Aww.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, because if we think that it’s Version 2 and not Version 3, and then it turns out to be Version 3, do you know what happens when we go left at the Jujube Hill instead of right?

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

I remember.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, you do remember, and that’s why you only have six fingers now.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, it’s very important that we go ahead first, but you stay here, Anthony, and keep a running tally of all of the kids.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Okay, I’ll go count all the kids!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, and put them in order from tallest to shortest.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Done.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And… uh…

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

By age subset.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, sure. And then do descending order, right? And same thing—

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Got it!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…He’s real quick, isn’t he?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You had this kid hooked on accountancy, and it seems to actually be working out… Eggerton, do you know how to raise children?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Let’s go play Candy World!

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music.

ELI

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

SEAN

Hey everyone, Sean here. I hope you’re enjoying this Solstice special. We put a lot of crazy into it. It went a little sideways. And there’s more to come.

First, though, I want to thank everyone for being with us at this time of year, and for laughing and escaping the insanity with us. Thank you. I also want, to thank everyone that’s been supporting us on our special offer on Patreon. We are almost to the next tier as I record this. We are two supporters away from me adding another item into the special offer. So I’m super excited about that and super thankful. And you can find out about that at patreon.com/albasalix. And it’s in the show notes.

And I’m super excited that we have our first sponsor, international best-selling author Stuart Thayman and his Killstreak series. The first book is called Respawn. I gotta say, I can’t stop reading it.

I was a little unsure at first because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever picked up before. It is like reading a role-playing game. The character has stat sheets and spells. And if you like massively multiplayer online role-playing games or you like live play games, this is that in a book. But then there’s a moment where the character, I don’t want to give too much away, but the main character respawns. And he’s from Earth and he’s sort of trapped in this world that’s a game—it is so cool.

Now, for the more sensitive listeners out there, this is a dark book. There is a lot of violence. But I could not stop reading. Super fun. I highly recommend it.

Now, you can find out more about Stuart Thayman by going to stuartthaymanbooks.com. But we’ve created a special link which will take you right to the first book, which right now is only on Amazon. And you can get to that by going to otherbothers.com/killstreak. That’s all one word.

A big shout out and thank you to Stuart Thayman. And you can get that book today at otherbothers.com/killstreak. And again, the Kindle version is only .

MIDROLL: JUJUBEE

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay, it says here your name’s Alan, but you’re saying your name is actually…?

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Jujubee.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Jujubee.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

That’s your middle name.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Well, yeah. Alan’s a family name. Jujubee was the name that my parents really wanted to give me. It was a whole thing with my grandma.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

So why not just call you Jujubee then?

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Well, because my grandma was married to an Alan and that meant a lot to her that her grandson would be named Alan. So my parents said, “Okay, well, we’ll name him Alan, but we’ll call him Jujubee.”

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay. And the purpose of this interview is that you didn’t actually want a job—you’re here to tell me about your favourite gaming podcast? What is that exactly?

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

So here’s the premise. It’s about four people sitting around the table.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

They play this game that doesn’t really have any rules.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Uh-huh.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Sometimes they make stuff up.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Right.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Sometimes it’s kind of crazy.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Uh-huh.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

And the thing that I really like about it, though, if I’m totally honest, and I don’t tell this to everyone.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

I’m telling this to you because I can feel a vibe going on. They sometimes talk about Jujubees, but call them Jujubes. And that just blows my mind every time.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

And this is called The End of Time and Other Bothers?

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Yeah. So they play a game within the game. Uh, it’s very meta.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

And people listen to this.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

Oh yeah. A whole bunch. I heard like, eight people.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Eight people listen to this?

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

At least.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Huh.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

You know what’s great though? Those eight people, if they support the show through patreon.com/albasalix or they go to otherbothers.com if it’s easier, they get access to like a Discord chat server where they can talk to each other about the show and other things.

SEAN (AS SECRETARY)

(over intercom)

Sir, should I send in your next applicant? Sarah Twizzler is here.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Uh, hold on Ms. Twizzler, but if you can get security in here, this person is just rambling random nonsense.

SEAN (AS SECRETARY)

Roger that. I’m on it, sir.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

So as I was saying, uh, they play this game around a table together and it’s kind of an improvised thing and role playing game. Then sometimes within that game they’ll play other games—

The door opens.

SEAN (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Okay, come with us. Stand up.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

No, but it’s—

SEAN (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Let’s go.

MIKE (AS JUJUBEE)

I don’t even need you twist me that way, sir. It’s just, it’s otherbothers.com and you can get all kinds of cool content and get access to—

The door slams. Silence.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Ms. Twizzler, do you listen to role playing podcasts at all?

MARISA (AS TWIZZLER)

That’s stupid.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Oh, thank God.

CANDY WORLD

Crickets and the sound of rushing water. Shimmering music.

SEAN

Darcy, Eggerton, Blat, and Jacklyn are approaching the arch, the golden Candy World arch. And there is a shimmering translucent curtain of energy running beneath it all the way to the ground as if it’s something you would cross or step through.

And there are three blue circles and one of them has the words FIRST PLAYER written on it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I want to be first. I want to be first. I want to be first.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, calm down.

Do you really think there’s a real Candy World in the real world like this? This doesn’t make any sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It does make sense because that’s the beginning of Candy World and they based it on something.

So clearly they have been to this region before many, many centuries ago when Candy World was first developed and this was the inspiration for it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Let me ask you something in Candy World Version 1, 2 or 3, is there a huge dark cloud looming over it, threatening to kill everyone?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think so, but there are a lot of home brew expansions.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Exactly. So there’s no way that this… threatening, menacing cloud above us would create this lovely little Candy World game. Don’t you think that maybe it’s some sort of trick or trap because that’s always what we seem to run into?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, Darcy, I don’t think you understand.

This is Candy World and there happens to be a big black cloud with tendrils and evilness above it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, help me out here. Do you see what I’m saying?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m saying that this is Candy World and we’re all just living in it.

Look. Who’s the best player at Candy World that we know?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Me! It’s me. It’s me.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, yeah. I was getting to that.

(lowers his voice)

Look, I don’t even understand the rules to Candy World. I’ve just been pretending to play all this time. So we’re going to let Eggerton try to play Candy World and then maybe we can figure out all we need to do for now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat, nobody understands the rules to Candy World except Eggerton. But if we let him go through that curtain, maybe he’s going to be sliced in half and we’re never going to see him again!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just a moment.

Eggerton, what’s your win-lose status on Candy World? I see that you’ve been keeping track, keeping copious notes after every game. What’s the win percentage here for you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well… against the kids or in general?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m going to say in total. In totality.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

82.3 percent!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wow, that’s actually more accurate than what I have in my notes.

Thanks, Anthony!

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Welcome!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re doing a bang up job with Anthony, I have to say.

I mean, another kid has eaten a shoe, but Anthony—just 100 percent raising there. I think he’s ready for college.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Two shoes—

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Candy World! Aaaaa!

MARISA

And Mildred just comes running out of the Blatavan and just goes right through the shimmering curtain.

MARISA (AS MILDRED)

Yee-hee-ha!

SEAN

And disappears with a pop.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so you’re good at raising Anthony, but I think with Mildred you’re going to have to be a little bit more hands-on.

So you’re Player One! Congratulations. Go save a small child and figure out the end of Candy World.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think she’s Player One now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’ll be Player One and a half.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think that’s actually Player Two… So you see, Blat—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It was a height joke. Get moving!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay.

MIKE

And Eggerton steps through the shimmering.

SEAN

Does he step through, or does he step onto the starting point that he would normally start the game with? One of the three starting spaces.

MIKE

Are the three starting spaces within the shimmering?

SEAN

No, they are on this side of the shimmering.

MIKE

Now then he goes up to Player One’s circle.

SEAN

Okay, when he steps on it, it lights up and three player tokens, gummy tokens appear in Eggerton’s hand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aha! I have the starting tokens.

So I guess I’ll start… the way I start every Candy World game…

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure, yes. I fully understand what you are saying. The tokens that you get when you start the game! Absolutely.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right, so one of them is blue, one of them is yellow, one of them is red.

Perfect.

Okay, so I happen to have a couple of dice here in my fairy cake pouch.

SEAN

There are no dice in your fairy cake pouch.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Welp, I left those behind!

At least there’s nothing blocking me from playing this game.

SEAN

You do see just on the other side of the shimmering, like what might look like large dice hanging in the air.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, look, up there! Hanging dice.

Well, maybe if I just say… roll!

SEAN

And you hear a bzzzt! and the two other Start spaces beside you flash.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I see what’s happening. Okay, the two of you need to come and take your position before to let us start.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gotcha, I’ll go get Anthony.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, Blat, I think it should be you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Anthony seems more mathematically inclined.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Yes please! Yes please!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, get on the starting space.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, Lord.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Anthony, you’re in charge of the Blatavan.

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Aww.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Fine, I’m Player Dos.

SEAN

The second Blat steps forward onto the starting, it lights up, and three starting player tokens appear in your hand, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, now if I give these tokens to you, does that mean you win and that we can end this?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, these are starter tokens. You have to get all the way to the end of the game and have the most tokens then.

But you don’t count tokens until then. These are just the ones that you use to get going and they help you with the initial trades and you can use them to get around certain obstacles.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now, wasn’t there a square that in certain editions of the game people agree that you can put all the extra money on and if you land on that you get the money just to make the game go a little bit faster?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but that’s one of those homebrew rules that really just gives advantage to whomever happens to go third.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, just throw the tokens on the ground or something.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And… token!

No, that didn’t do anything. I guess I have to keep these on me for the duration.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This game is so frustrating, I’ve never understood it. I’m only doing this because we have to save Mildred now.

SEAN

Are you getting onto the third?

MARISA

Yes, so I step onto the THIRD PLAYER.

SEAN

It lights up and you only get two tokens in your hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What the…?

Okay, Eggerton, what am I supposed to do with these?

SEAN

And the dice fall to the ground and begin to roll on the other side of the shimmering.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, look at that! Fortunately, I don’t have to answer your technical question because the dice are rolling.

SEAN

And they land on a certain number and the shimmering disappears and lights, lanterns flash on all the way out, between two buildings, all the way out onto a little pier where there’s a ferry in the water.

Tinkly Nintendo-esque music plays.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, I seem to remember this now. And if you land on a snake, you go up, but if there’s a chute, you go down?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Excellent.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, uh, I guess we may as well just take our turn.

I can’t really see the top of the dice from here, but I can see that the blue side is down, which means the pink side is up and those are worth three each. So if we all just take six steps forward…

MIKE

And I take six steps forward.

SEAN

Okay.

CARTER

And Blat follows taking four steps forward as his strides are larger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no Blat, it’s pink sides up.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. The pink side is up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So you take six strides.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But my strides are larger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. That’s your advantage. So you, you get advantage for being taller, but I get advantage in other circumstances for being shorter and going under things.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay then, absolutely. I don’t know how this would make sense in a board game. And… two additional steps.

MARISA

I take six steps.

SEAN

Okay. And the dice appear right beside you. They’re quite large.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right. Well, let’s give this a little kick and see what happens.

MIKE

And I kick the dice.

SEAN

Okay. They roll and tumble like, as if you kick them really hard.

MIKE

I’m really strong.

SEAN

And then they come up green.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohhh, okay! Greensies! Okay. So this means we take three steps forward, one step back and trade one token for a gummy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who has the gummies?

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, my pockets are all of a sudden overflowing with gummies!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow. That’s crazy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, it is. Wait a moment…

(tastes one)

Cherry, but also a medicinal quality to it? I’ve never much cared for gummies.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Kay. You probably shouldn’t be eating those though, Blat. We need those for when we get to the Island of Tradesies and we need to swap some of our gummies for other gummies that we get jujubes and we use those as snowshoes to climb up the side of the mountain.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, my Lord. I feel like I’m having an aneurysm.

Gummies for gummies?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, no, no.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Gummies for jujubes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy gets it. Thank you, Darcy, for listening.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re welcome. Now I give you a token, Blat, and you give me a gummy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Here you are.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I don’t want the cherry one.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You don’t—what? That’s most of what I’ve got!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I want the purple one.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Purple… Why am I the banker? Fine. Here’s a purple one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. And I’m going to take a swirly yellow, please.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A swirly… oh, Lord. Where is that? Yellow, yellow, yellow…

All right. Well, there’s only one of these, so I don’t know why you would get it. Here you go…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ha ha! I can’t believe you gave me the swirly yellow.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know how this works. I’m loaded down with candy. I feel like I’m you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, it’s a good feeling, isn’t it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I feel a bit bloated.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That comes and goes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So now we are going to kick the dice one more time and see what happens.

SEAN

And they come up double blank.

The music turns sinister.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh-oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What is that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I think it’s fine! It’s fine! There’s no traps!

SEAN

The ground begins to tremble.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Traps? This is a game for four-year-olds! How are there traps?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, because you have to learn about consequences in life.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Consequences?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, because, you know, sometimes if you make bad decisions and—woah! Oh no.

SEAN

A hand breaks through the ground ahead of you and then another hand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Someone, someone’s…

Did someone say “giant” earlier and I didn’t hear?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Maybe quite a while earlier. Why?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because sometimes double blanks kind of take on personas of things that they’ve heard around the table, and it seems like if someone said the word “giant” and then we rolled double blanks, then they’re going to be super powerful and a giant might come.

SEAN

And out of the ground, a figure begins to pull themselves up, just… like, pouring dirt off of their back. And it’s about 12 feet tall, very gangly-armed. And then as it stands and begins to brush itself off, you realize it looks familiar though larger.

And you’re looking at what looks to be the Chancellor, though half of their face is sort of gone, skull showing through.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, geez, it’s a nightmare on Solstice.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, sure, Eggerton, this is just an innocent game of Candy World. Nothing about the big black cloud and everything we’ve gone through to get here.

SEAN

And their voice clacks a little from the bones contacting on one side.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Ah, I see you’re playing the game.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I knew this was a bad idea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, rolling double blanks is a bad idea. This is just the consequence of that action. I’m trying to tell you, Candy World is a game of lifelike kind of things where you try and somehow get a monopoly on turns.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Are you going to use the yellow swirly or not, little one?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I didn’t want to use it just yet. I was going to hang on to it for later in case I needed it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What possible purpose would you need to be saving this for?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well…

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Choices, choices, little one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Fine, I will use it now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Smash it on the ground or eat it or give it to someone, whatever you have to do to use it!

MIKE

And I pop the yellow swirly in my mouth and close my eyes tight as I start to grow.

SEAN

Okay, and Eggerton begins to grow and grow and grow, until he’s about 10 feet tall and a lot wider. Sort of… the two of you having to move out of the way lest you be crushed.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(deeper voice)

Okay, so now I’m taller and bigger. I took the yellow swirly. I wanted to save this for climbing the mountain because it would make that part faster. But now I’m big.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

And yet… I had a choice for you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But you didn’t say that there was a choice for me. You said… Yeah, I thought we were going to like wrestle.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Consequences. It’s part of the game.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I see what you did there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What consequences? We just rolled something! There’s no life decision happening there. What drugged-out sociopath created this game?

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

I am here merely to say, do you wish to pilot the vessel yourself and pay three jujubes? Or do you wish to have a pilot and pay six jujubes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I feel like I probably should have asked what the choice was before I ate my jujube.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

I don’t know if you’re going to fit very easily, but…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, what do you think? We could get a pilot for the vessel… I can’t remember the choice.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

You may pilot yourself for three jujubes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Or get a pilot for six jujubes.

Listen, you’re big. Why can’t you just lift the boat and we can all just get in and you can take us over to where we need to go?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s… that’s actually a good idea.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, three it is then. Here’s my three. Who do I give the three to?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, technically you’d put them in your other pocket.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Put them in my other pocket. All right.

SEAN

A hand grabs them.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Aa! Aaa! Hand in my pocket! There’s a hand in my pocket!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It helps keep things sorted.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What… the banker is in my pants?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…Yes.

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Very well. Good luck.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, now let’s talk about how weird this is. Darcy, there’s a banker in my pants.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know. That seems to be the least crazy thing about this game.

Hey, you! Chancellor Weirdo!

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Yes?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What did you do with Mildred? Where’s the little girl that ran through here a few minutes ago?

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

(laughs)

Ah, yes. I guess, hmm, I guess you get an extra gem for that.

SEAN

And he reaches into his pouch, pulls out a gem, puts it in his left pocket, and Carter, you feel something appear in your other pocket.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh no, it’s okay everybody. It’s just a hand is offering me a gem. It’s fine. It’s just a hand in my pants is operating as the banker for the game.

It’s fine. It’s totally fine. I’m not freaking out at all. It’s just a hand in my pants in the pocket.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Well, there you go. You have Mildred now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You better hang on to that gem. I think it’s Mildred.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Can I cash this in now?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! It’s a child!

SEAN

You pull it out and you see a face of a child screaming and yelling and pounding, but you can’t hear anything.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, that’s disturbing. I’m just going to put that—oh, thank you, Magic Hand! Just keep that in my pocket, thank you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, Eggerton, how do we get Mildred out of the gem? Does that happen at the mountain?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

At the peak of the mountain, you trade your gems for more jujubes, which then count against your low score.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And that will release Mildred from the gem?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I hope so.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

And depending how many gems you find is how many of the children’s parents you find.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh yeah, I was wondering what happened to them.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So maybe the black cloud evil tendrilly thing is affecting the game a bit.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Ha ha ha ha!

SEAN

And the Chancellor disappears into the ground in reverse, the earth filling in over him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I do not like that gentleman.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, well the good news is we only have to spend three each in order to get on the boat, which we don’t need to pilot because you will carry us to the next level… world? sector? parsec? I don’t know what the terms are.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

To the other side of the water.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, if you’re gonna get technical.

MIKE

So… Eggerton walks down and grabs the boat.

SEAN

Which doesn’t have anybody on it right now.

MARISA

Well, we get in the boat.

MIKE

And gives it a shove and then jumps in the water behind it.

SEAN

Okay. So you are shoved violently forward, the two of you.

CARTER AND MARISA (AS BLAT AND DARCY)

Aaaaa!

SEAN

And then a giant tidal wave comes and washes over both of you.

CARTER AND MARISA (AS BLAT AND DARCY)

Aaugh.

SEAN

And you are then unsteadily rocking back and forth as you begin to move into the dark water, unable to see anything behind or in front. But you hear the laboured sound of a very large Eggerton splashing behind you in the boat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(panting)

I should have learned to do more than the doggy paddle.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just keep going Eggerton, as fast as you can.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m going as fast as I can, but I… it’s starting to get harder to push.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait, do you need to doggy paddle? Can your feet reach the bottom?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh yeah. Okay. I’ll just give you another push.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, wait, you don’t need to push—aaaaaa!

SEAN

And in a flash, all three of you are standing on the deck of the ferry boat as if you’d always been standing there.

And in front of you are three vials: a shiny one, a dull one, and a multicoloured one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What is this? Why are there vials now?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(normal voice)

Why am I dry?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Why is there drinking in this game for children?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it’s about choices and understanding that there’s consequences to those choices.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know what? I am going to write something to the future. I’m going to complain about this game and then I’m going to get Anthony to stamp it up and then I’m going to put it into the nearest mailbox I see.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, now—just you have to make sure that Anthony knows this one’s going reverse. So this is going back because this is hundreds of years old. Although if we’re from the future and there was hundreds of years old in the future, that would only be a few years older from now—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do we have to pick a vial?

SEAN (AS A VIAL)

No, you don’t have to drink me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, you talk?

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Yep.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Of course you do.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

We all talk.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mm hmm. So which of you should we pick? Just tell us.

MIKE (AS THE SECOND VIAL)

(slurred)

You should drink me!

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Don’t listen to him. I’ll give you three gems if you drink me!

MIKE (AS THE SECOND VIAL)

If you drink me, I’ll give you 14 jujubes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, apparently that’s a lot of points.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

But I have gems.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I think we want gems. Don’t we want gems?

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Yes, you want gems!

MIKE (AS THE SECOND VIAL)

Jujubes are the power.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Shhh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What about this third vial? What does it say?

CARTER (AS THE THIRD VIAL)

Ha ha! I’m a player pacing the game for players.

Silence.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Nobody ever drinks that one.

CARTER (AS THE THIRD VIAL)

‘Cause I’m for the players. I can’t have an NPC consumin’ me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I can see why they don’t choose him.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS THE THIRD VIAL)

You like to win? Then maybe you shouldn’t pick me. Or maybe you should! I must keep my points a secret.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VIAL)

Give it a rest, Jerry!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I feel like, Eggerton, you probably know best which one we should pick. So which one is it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it’s actually a randomizer algorithm that you have to fill out on paper to figure out the best one. And I forgot—

SEAN

A piece of paper appears with a pencil.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! There it is. Okay. So, if we just do the simple arithmetic here, and I cross that over that and divide by colour spectrum and multiply…

Uhhh… I’m gonna drink all three.

MARISA AND CARTER (AS DARCY AND BLAT)

What?!

MIKE

And I grab all three vials and throw ’em back.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m not supposed to reveal what my effects are gonna be.

Pop!

SEAN

And suddenly there are two Eggertons standing there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my Lord, I’m back in hell.

MIKE (AS BOTH EGGERTONS SIMULTANEOUSLY)

I don’t think you’re in hell.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, God, there’s two of them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, which one’s the real Eggerton?

MIKE (AS AN EGGERTON)

Not him. He’s not the real Eggerton.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait a minute.

MIKE (AS AN EGGERTON)

I’m the real Eggerton.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe for the purposes of Candy World, two Eggertons will be good. That’ll give us more chances of winning, right?

MIKE (AS AN EGGERTON)

Or—

MIKE (AS THE OTHER EGGERTON)

Or—

MIKE (AS THE FIRST EGGERTON)

Or you only get one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

One what?

MIKE (AS AN EGGERTON)

One of me!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I have to choose one of you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re not entirely sure of the rules of this game either. I can’t believe it. You’re supposed to be such an expert.

MIKE (AS AN EGGERTON)

No, no, no, no. He doesn’t know the rules. I know the rules.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, so you know the rules. But this fellow over here who looks exactly like you doesn’t know the rules.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, he’s lying. I know the rules.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. I feel like I need to pencil something out on a piece of paper to figure out some sort of algorithm.

All right, all right, all right. Okay, here we go! Life hack! We’re going to let the hand in my pants decide.

Banker hand! Who is the real Eggerton? And… point!

SEAN

It points at both of them.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, come on!

MIKE (AS THE EGGERTONS)

(rapid-fire)

I like that hand.

I like that hand too!

You know, I think it would look nice with a couple of rings on it.

Well, maybe some polish instead of that.

That’s a good point.

I thought it was a good point too!

No, no, no.

That wasn’t a good point.

No, I said it was a good point.

Nope, you’re wrong. It’s not a good point.

MARISA

(laughs)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know, I’m just going to go back to the Blatavan. We could just raise Mildred as a gem.

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is that such a bad existence? Huh? Gem Kid! We can open up a little stall on the side of the road. “Would you like to see the Gem Child?” We can actually make a bit of money off of her. Anthony could do the books. It’s not such a bad way to live.

Sean and Marisa have broken down in giggles.

MIKE (AS THE EGGERTONS)

Unfortunately, I think you have to choose one of us to go forward with or else the game won’t go forward!

No, he’s not telling the truth. The game will go forward.

Okay, so that should be all you need to know right there, friends!

No. They’re my friends, not your friends.

Okay, I’ve had enough out of you.

No, I’ve had enough out of—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, each of you go to a corner. You at the corner of the boat there and you at the other corner.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Boats don’t really have corners, but you know what I mean. That side and you over there on that side.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Starboard aft, starboard aft!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ooo, look at you. Very good.

Okay, Blat, we need to come up with a question only our Eggerton would know the answer to. Or do both Eggertons know the answer to everything? Does the one Eggerton know everything the other Eggerton knows? I don’t know, but we have to figure it out!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I’m pretty sure I have brain cancer at this point. I have no idea how to get through this.

All right! Which one of you has memories of the future? Show of hands?

SEAN

They both show hands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, Lord.

Okay, how many of you have a distinct memory of starting this game? Show of hands?

Both showing your hands. So… how many of you are willing to take responsibility for drugging children? Show of hands.

Aha! Okay! One of them put his hands up. We’re gonna take that one! At least that one’s willing to admit their mistakes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Take that, other Eggerton!

(raspberry)

SEAN

So the Eggerton you chose stays, and the other one disappears with a pop. And I’ll find out which Eggerton you chose at some point myself.

And… the boat begins to move, as if going through rapids.

The party shout in alarm.

SEAN

And you are quickly approaching what looks like the far bank.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So! Possibly alternate-Eggerton, how exactly are we to get the boat to stop before we crash into the opposite bank?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, there’s supposed to be another ferry dock. But I’m not really seeing that. So maybe, um, we, you know, we use our…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s all right. We’re about to crash.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I think we’re gonna crash.

SEAN

And that is when the boat crashes, sending everyone flying out onto the far bank.

More shouts.

SEAN

And when the three of you stand back up again, you see another arch glimmering.

And on the other side, you see a pile of gems, all with faces in them, yelling and, as if trying to get out, banging on the walls of the gems.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, great. So these are all the parents we need to rescue. How are we gonna get them out of there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you put them in the bankers pockets, and then we have to continue the adventure.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes. Put all of the kidnapped people into my pants.

I can’t believe what I’m saying. This is the weirdest Solstice that’s possibly not Solstice ever.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, put them in your pants.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And one for you, Banker, and here’s a screaming woman for you, Banker, and here’s an upset man for you, Banker, and here’s… oh, it looks like a little old lady for you, Banker. And—ohhhh, Lord, I’m tipping to one side. And I’m all crooked now because of the weight imbalance.

SEAN

So Blat loads up all the gems into his pocket. And nothing seems to happen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, onwards we go! Has anyone seen the dice?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I haven’t seen them for a while.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay. Well, then I guess maybe we just start walking and see what happens. Right? What’s the worst that can go on?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hmm. I wonder.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve literally run out of bad things that could possibly happen to us.

SEAN

Okay. And so you guys start to move forward.

And that’s when you notice that all the squares that you’re stepping on are all turning red.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, uh-oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Red. It’s the red squares.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s wrong with red squares?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, red generally is a bad colour.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is true.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, it means stop. No offense, Blat, but it sometimes has some evil connotations related to it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I know what it means to be demonic.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, maybe we should just stop moving.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. But if we stop, I think that these…

Okay, I’m going to try an experiment. It’s going to take this rock here, pick it up and put it down on one of the red squares and let’s see what happens…

SEAN

And it turns into a gummy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, don’t we want gummies?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. I kind of thought they would disappear and we’d fall through to our doom, but that’s a nice twist.

Okay. So let’s take some rocks and put them on the red squares and get some extra gummies while we’re here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MARISA

And I start picking up some rocks that I see and putting them on the red squares.

SEAN

Okay. They turn into gummies.

MARISA

And I pick up the gummies.

SEAN

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think Blat can carry anything more.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, he’s kind of teetering a little bit.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. He’s pretty full of gems.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ll just shift about on one foot.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right. Well, let’s just proceed with caution and see what happens because the red squares sometimes do denote disaster.

SEAN

And that’s when Eggsy steps forward daintily onto a red square… and turns into a gummy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled mumbling)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s okay. It’s possible we have an emergency backup Eggerton somewhere here in the game.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. But if we don’t, now what do we do? The only person who knows how to play the game is a candy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled complaining)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I’m just going to have to pick him up, I guess, and carry him.

MARISA

And I pick the Eggerton gummy up, the Eggummy. And uh…

SEAN

It’s quite large and he’s moving.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know what to do. I mean, we can’t go forward. If we step on the red things, we’re going to turn into gummies.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait! Maybe it works in reverse. So I’m going to take out one of the parent little cubes, put it on the red square, and then maybe it’ll revert back to the person that it was before!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s some good thinking, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Here, we’ll start with the little old lady.

Hello, madam! We’re gonna try something! I pick you, because as an old person, you have the least amount to lose!

Okay! That gesture is not appropriate, but you have to make hard decisions in Candy World. And… down you go!

SEAN

There is now a little old lady gummy on the square.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

SEAN (AS THE OLD LADY GUMMY)

(muffled shouting)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, can you not talk or are you just missing your teeth?

SEAN (AS THE OLD LADY GUMMY)

(muffled shouting)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it a denture problem?

Oh lord. Um, okay, wait a second.

CARTER

And Blat, in his pocket, pulls out one of his gummies that was just created by the rocks.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you need to eat something? Here, just stick this into your craw. Come on! Come on!

SEAN (AS THE OLD LADY GUMMY)

(muffled protests)

CARTER

Blat holds the back of her head.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Come on! Just get it in! Just get it in there! Just shove it in real good! I’m sure this is a good idea!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! Stop it! That’s obviously not working.

Okay, let’s just think through this. We’ve got two gummy people.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’re surrounded in red.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So maybe if we exchange one of the gummies we already have…? That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, so the gummy here that I was trying to force feed the old woman—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that was horrible.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So we’re going to take the old woman off—excuse me, madam—and I’m now putting that gummy onto the red little square.

Here you go!

SEAN

And the square turns no colour.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And nothing happens except it’s no longer red.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well that might be good. Maybe we can step on it. All right, all right, wait.

MARISA

So I take off the gummy that Blat has just put on. I pick up a rock and I put the rock on the no colour.

SEAN

Nothing happens.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I think we can step on this! But first of all, let’s put gummy old lady back on the no-colour thing just to see if that would bring her back.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, so madam, we’re almost here—

SEAN (AS THE OLD LADY GUMMY)

(muffled screaming)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just put her on the square.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, and… no-colour square!

SEAN

Nothing happens.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, we have to take the gummy people with us. Okay, so…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So I’m supposed to carry this old woman around with me? Oh no, wait, wait.

CARTER

And Blat picks the old woman up by her waist and tries to get the hand in his pocket to grab her.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

C’mon, just take her leg or something! Can you pull her into my pants?

SEAN

(slurping noise)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my lord, that worked.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well here, take Eggerton too!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, okay then—

SEAN

(slurping noise)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s literally two adult people in my pants right now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, let’s just strew some gummies along the path and we’ll follow that path.

MARISA

So I take my gummies that I’ve collected and I put them along the red squares and then I start following along behind.

LATER

SEAN

The camera comes out of darkness. There’s a golden arch and a bunch of kids are milling about, keeping a safe distance. Some are back by the wagon with Snegal, others are keeping a watch… as a shout goes up.

Two figures are coming out of the pathway under the arch—and it is Blat and it is Darcy, and behind them in the distance is Eggerton. And then another shout goes up, and all the kids start to run when they catch sight of some of their parents walking as well, in the distance, towards them.

Jubilant shouts in the distance.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We did it! I can’t believe we did it! That was the craziest thing we’ve ever done!

But we got the parents out, look! Isn’t that great?

SEAN (AS ANTHONY)

Mommy, mommy, oh my god, mommy!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Everyone has seen the inside of my pants today.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I gotta say Blat, you keep a clean pocket.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Thank you Eggerton, I do appreciate it.

Oh, when we get inside, can we take an axe to Candy World?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But now that you have a better understanding of how the game works, don’t you feel closer to all of us and you know, see the beauty of Solstice?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No.

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes?

SEAN (AS CHILD)

Why is my grandma a gummy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that’s a long story, but… grandma gummies can be fun too?

SEAN (AS CHILD)

Okay. Thanks Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t you take Grandma Gummy to the kitchen and maybe… warm her up a little?

MIKE

(snickers)

SEAN (AS CHILD)

Okay!

CARTER (AS FIONA)

(singing)

Captain of the Universe! And I’m not gonna give this mace baaaaaack!

Fini!

SEAN

Scene!

The table breaks out in laughter.

MARISA

Oh my god.

MIKE

What the f—?

MARISA

I knew that was gonna come from Mike.

MIKE

I just, I genuinely need to know what the f—is going on.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers, with your Game Master Sean Howard and players Carter Siddall, Marisa King, and Michael Howie. Dialogue editing by Michael Howie. Transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King. Additional material and sound design by Eli McIlveen. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Stephen Smith. Supporting producers: Kim Bellinger, Ryan Cushman, and Kona.

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon. Supporters get early access to episodes, weekly bonus content, and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord.

Look for the Patreon link at OtherBothers.com. And incidentally, a very happy holiday to all of you at home.

Thanks for listening, we’ll see you in the new year.

OUTTAKE: THE DARKNESS

SEAN

The cart creaks along in darkness.

It’s impossible to know what time of day it is anymore, for the dark clouds moving out from Mount Zirma make the surrounding region… dark.

Laughter.

CARTER

…I’ll be downstairs.

Beep.

MARISA

I’m gonna sneeze, but I don’t know when.

SEAN

Okay.

Laughter.

ELI

I mean, aren’t we all?

CARTER

You’ve just described humanity. I’m Going to Sneeze, But I Don’t Know When: The Marisa King Story.