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37: Departures

With defeat looming, the Nexus has hidden itself away from the Shattering. Moira, Ananka and Tekmar begin the desperate search, and Tekmar faces her destiny.

This week’s podcast recommendation is North By North Quest. Check out their latest episode, with Sean as guest DM!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: Emotionally heavy. War, death, violence, gunfire, unwanted advances and moonshine.

PREVIOUSLY…

Fast-paced music.

ANNOUNCER

Previously on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

We are at war. The Shattering has moved against us, as has my sister.

SEAN (AS GREG)

She wanted to win at all costs.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Who else can we trust? There’s no one but you and me and…

SEAN (AS GREG)

And your other sister.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Who are you?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Have you seen my sister Moira?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

She’s not behind the door I’m standing in front of at all!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

There’s a protocol, a way to keep the Nexus safe.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

There is a purpose that only Tekmar can fulfill.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

My name is Derek von Frompton.

The Nexus is done. Drop the keys.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I ran, I didn’t want any of this!

SEAN

The chicken hut comes screaming into a crash landing.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Tekmar, are you in there?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh my God, Ananka!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I’m so happy to see you.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

What’s wrong?

SEAN

And the world goes dark.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I had not had this dream since you were born.

I felt the heart of the Nexus beating, dying. You had the key and…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Say it.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

There has to be another way.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

There has to come a point when you stop running.

THE RUINS

Sombre acoustic guitar plays.

SEAN

The three sisters and Greg are standing at the edge of what used to be the Academy of the Fallen. There is a giant pit in the ground. And there’s still the scent of sulfur. And there are still broken pieces of wood and doors and armour littering what used to be the entrance to the Nexus.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

It can’t be too late. It can’t be.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m afraid it is. We’ve lost.

SEAN

And Moira turns and points to Mount Zirma that climbs up through the mist of the falls.

And you see the blackness of pre-dawn appears to not just be that the sun hasn’t risen. The darkness is moving, way above.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The shattering has won, and I can’t find the Nexus.

I’m sure it survived, but… it’s no longer attached to here.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I can still feel it. Faintly, but I can.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

That was always your gift.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It’s like a second heartbeat just out of rhythm with my own.

But it’s faint, and it’s… tired.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

But it is there.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It’s there. I mean, if it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

We’ve lost.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Moira, you have to admit this…

Had you not planned to make another bomb… Had you not let this place fall into the hands of three dim-witted fools—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Enough!

You were nowhere to be found. You were shirking the duties. And while I may have chosen a path different from what you both would have, I was trying.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, you’re not the one who’s responsible for what happens to the Nexus in the end, are you?

We all have a part to play, that’s true, but I wasn’t shirking my responsibilities! At least where I was, I’d isolated myself so no one could be hurt.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh really? And has that worked?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Up until now. It didn’t seem like I was harming anyone.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Stop it, both of you. This is no time for us to be fighting amongst ourselves. We were all only doing what we thought was right.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

At least what I thought was right didn’t murder, how many people? Didn’t almost kill me. Didn’t almost destroy the Nexus!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Tekmar, please.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

All will be destroyed. All. All of time. It is an unfathomable number.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You think I don’t know?

Please, please, why don’t the two of you tell me why the Nexus is more important to you than it is to me? Why don’t we talk about that for a minute, hm?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You are right. And Ananka, you are right. We are not here to fight.

And yes, I am not the only one, Tekmar, who put my faith in those three fools. I was following Ananka on that one.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Okay. Now you’re dragging me into this.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Is it not the truth? I am not blaming you. I am saying I listened.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I can’t help it. I couldn’t…

My vision, and I couldn’t admit it. And I’m sorry that…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Don’t you put this on her. She has been hopping around from timeline to timeline trying to discover a way to fix your mess.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What if she’s right, Tekmar? I’ve been to the Oracle. I’ve looked in the pool. And I saw what Ananka saw, even though she doubts her powers.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I just don’t understand how these three… What was so special about them? What were they, an accountant? Just a regular human doing a day job and a little fairy cake maker? I don’t understand. He’s not even very good at making those, apparently!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No. And horrible at paperwork. Though one of them, the demon, is… Well, you know my love for paperwork.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, God. What is it with you two and sex? My God. We’ve got bigger things to think about. First Ananka with Greg in his shirt off all the time. And the first time I see you in, you know, a millennium…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It was not a metaphor, Tekmar! He fills out good paperwork.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, then I get it. That’s legitimate for you. That’s a real thing. All right.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What if you were right, Ananka? What if they are our chance and we, we three, have failed them?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I hadn’t thought about that.

I don’t think… To be honest, I don’t think that it’s just circumstance that there’s three of them and three of us.

Who knows, maybe we were wrong. And maybe time sent them because the three of us hadn’t done our jobs.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Or one of us was doing it badly. Me.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

No.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I tried. I stepped forward. And took the reins. I should not have.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Moira, stop. No. No.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

She’s right, Moira.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The three of us were supposed to be there. And I made many mistakes.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

At least you didn’t run.

At least you didn’t hide from your responsibilities, from your destiny.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

But I didn’t listen to Ananka. And I’m not going to make that mistake again.

Would the heart of the Nexus allow us to reset the timeline? To send the three somewhere where there might still be hope.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I mean, that’s… That’s the hope, isn’t it?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Well… Time is like river. Always flowing.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

We can… We can try to go back. We can reset. We can give ourselves another chance. Another… One more shot.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes. Except, assuming we find the Nexus, one of us needs to be inside the heart. And one of us needs to channel that energy and open the gateway.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I think we know which one of us that is.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I do.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

(sadly)

I do too.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Ananka, you need to go with your three. You need to not make the mistakes I made.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who can calm the inside of the Nexus. We’ve been bound since… Since the moment I was born. There’s really nothing more to say.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Ananka’s visions are often wrong of late.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Come on, sisters.

Ananka, you know that that last vision… We all know what it means.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

First we must find the Nexus.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

First we must find the Nexus. And who knows? Who knows what could happen, right? I think we just need to… We need to pick up our bootstraps and just work together for… God, who knows, the first time?

INSIDE THE HUT

The soft, tinkling bells of Ananka’s chicken hut, Kura.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Grishka. Come sit beside me. There’s something I have to talk to you about.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I sort of want to stand.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

(sighs)

SEAN (AS GREG)

I know.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

So maybe your visions are better than mine now.

SEAN (AS GREG)

How long will you be gone?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I can’t say. It would take however long it takes and…

SEAN (AS GREG)

Ananka, the hut and I will run. We will run till there’s nowhere left. And we will wait.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Thank you for everything you’ve done.

SEAN (AS GREG)

My life is only here because of you.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I love you.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I love you too. And we will wait for you.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I’ll see you upstream.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I know.

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 special guests Maggie Makar and Kristi Boulton.

Episode 37: Departures.

THE SETUP

SEAN

Okay! so we’re gonna be playing a game. I have a piece of card. I have a piece of paper.

KRISTI

(singing)

I have a piece of card!

SEAN

We’re gonna number it and we’re gonna… Does everyone have a pen or pencil? Okay.

So what we’re gonna do is… So the Nexus is somewhere in space and time, fleeing or we don’t know where. So we are gonna pop into realities and we’re gonna do little montages in each reality. These are endless time streams, endless variations on the world. They could be in the future. They could be in another planet. They could be hanging in the void.

ELI

We’ve had like jet fighters, fighting giant monsters from another plane…

SEAN

So we’re just gonna spout a silly idea, write it down and pass the card. I have no idea what to write right now because I am brain dead from three days of 13, 14-hour shifts. So I am just gonna write Duck World.

KRISTI

(sings)

Woo-hoo!

SEAN

And I’m gonna pass it to Kristi.

MAGGIE

That’s the national anthem of Duck World.

SEAN

We’re just gonna trade a bunch of them. We don’t have to do them all because then we’re just gonna like go around. Or do one of us want to write? Why don’t you write? And we’ll just call them out.

KRISTI

Sure.

SEAN

We’ll call them out. What else we got?

MAGGIE

Okay. Um. The land of silver snails.

SEAN

World War One, France. And you can call them out too, Kristi.

MAGGIE

Mars-a-roni.

Laughter.

KRISTI

It’s Mars but pepperoni?

SEAN

Yeah, Mars-a-roni. I love that.

(squeaky voice)

It’s my pepperoni! It’s mine. I’m a Martian!

KRISTI

I would say the world of businessmen.

SEAN

Yes. Capitalist America.

KRISTI

Should we do like…

SEAN

It’s basically WWF but it’s real world. They’re not just on stage acting. It’s just all wrestlers—

ELI

Everyone is like that all the time.

SEAN

Everyone’s like a wrestler all the time. You’re like, “Hey, Bob, do you have the…” “ROOOAAAR!”

KRISTI

Yeah. WWF universe.

MAGGIE

Um… An entire land that is just made up of pool tables. Like you’re literally walking on giant pool tables with giant balls.

KRISTI

Pooltopia?

MAGGIE

Pooltopia!

SEAN

Yeah.

ELI

Ikea.

KRISTI

Ikea!

SEAN

Yeah, it’s just—the world is a giant Ikea that you can never find your way back to the beginning.

KRISTI

And like, you’re always fighting with someone about whether or not you want this lamp.

Laughter.

ELI

I think we’ve all had the same nightmare then.

KRISTI

There’s a 30 Rock sketch about how you know you’re a real couple if you can come out of Ikea still loving each other.

SEAN

Yes.

ELI

I mean, it came close.

KRISTI

I’m going to call one of the worlds Seduction Junction.

MAGGIE

Seduction Junction!

SEAN

“Seduction Junction!” I can’t do that song…

ELI

Just trying to get a little action in there for Tekmar.

SEAN

Candy World.

KRISTI

Candy World.

ELI

Oh, God.

SEAN

Okay. Okay. All right. The waste. It’s the far future wasteland. But like post-apocalypse. There’s just nothing but a couple burning fires.

KRISTI

So far future, post-apocalyptic.

SEAN

Yeah.

KRISTI

We’re at 12.

MAGGIE

Okay. The land of business cats.

KRISTI

Business cats?

SEAN

God, I love that.

MAGGIE

They all wear suits…

KRISTI

Oh my God. How funny would it be if we went there right after businessmen?

MAGGIE

Yes.

(laughs)

ELI

It’s exactly the same.

SEAN

Did you buy the cream futures? Purrrr…

KRISTI

World of business cats.

MAGGIE

Kibble stocks are up again.

KRISTI

What are they not up? We all need kibble.

All laugh in hoity-toity voices.

KRISTI

Milk is the one that’s fun.

SEAN

You’re doing that, what is it, catnip again, are you George?

THE RUINS

Acoustic guitar music and the whooshing sound of a portal.

SEAN

The three sisters are standing in the centre of the giant still smoking pit at the edge of downtown Paradox. There is a door that is glowing in the ground half sticking out, but it still can open. And they’re readying themselves to step through in their journey to try and find the Nexus in whatever time stream it is hiding.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Wait, just before we go.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Are you sure you’ve set the door?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I’m mostly confident it’s going to take us at least somewhere close to the Nexus. It might take a couple of tries, but…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

A couple?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

A couple. I mean, the heartbeat’s so weak it’s hard to find that connection.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Maybe if we had… No, I’m—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Don’t even—

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Not the time. Not the time.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We just got to the place of being okay with each other…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, you know what? Actually, just before we go though…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, it’s just in all the calamity of us finally coming back together when you found us just outside of the Academy of the Fallen…

I just never really understood. How did you find us? We came from my island in Kura.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The chicken hut does stand out, you know, in downtown Paradox.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yes, but sister, how was it that you ended up where we were at the same time?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, actually, I may have done something.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Was it to that little weird Snake… Snay-gle?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Snegal?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yes, that’s the sound he made. Um, what did you… The last time I saw you, you were tied up and he was pretending like you weren’t tied up. It was very confusing. Did you do something to him?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I… I may have taken another form. It’s… it’s not that dark of an art. It’s… what remains tied up is… you might call a doppelganger.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You created a doppelganger?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I may have transferred myself to another form. Yes.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Moira! That’s forbidden.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The Nexus was gone, and I knew I had to find you two. So I followed the keys, and then I sensed them moving to Paradox. So I waited, but I was captured. I had to reach you.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

So… what became of the doppelganger?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The last I saw it was in the caravan, driving away.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We’re gonna have to revisit this?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

We’ll discuss this. When the pressing matter of having to jump across several timelines and realities is not so important.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, but I’m… I am no more. This is my end. I will be here with you, Tekmar. I am staying on this side. It ends here.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

All right. Anyway, best we go through while the door remains charged.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Fine. Great.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It’s fine.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

How did you find her, sister? We’re sharing.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Well, you’ll be happy to know that Greg is also a very excellent navigator, and Kura happens to be quite intuitive, and I was able to sense her location.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Fine. Sure.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I feel like both of you aren’t really telling me the whole truths here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I told you I practiced the dark art of—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Irregardless, we have things that we need to do. I don’t know, like fix the end of time.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, well, those three aren’t going to.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

That’s another bother that we have to get through.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Right, so shall we open the door that Tekmar has set?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Why not? Who wants to go first?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

After you, sister.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It’s always after me being the youngest I should get the break.

SEAN

Roll the die. What do we got?

KRISTI

14! We are going to Blue Mountain.

BLUE MOUNTAIN

Cold, whistling wind.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh my goodness, what are these insane things on my feet?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Why is it so cold?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh! Oh, salty snow! Of course, salty snow!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Salty snow?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Yes!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Quick, before we die of exposure, Tekmar, how close are we?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Can you even feel your toes, let alone a heartbeat?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I have to attune, just a moment, okay?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Take your time.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It doesn’t help when you push me like this!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Maybe we should have outfitted properly for…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, I didn’t expect to come to a snow planet. I’ve got a cape, but it’s not really helpful. It’s only a three-quarter.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Focus, Tekmar. Focus.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Okay, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Let me just listen. Let me just listen.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What is that moving? It’s…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Shh. I’m trying to listen.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Is that a Yeti, Ananka?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

No, it’s my friend David the Yeti, of course! We go back long, long time. David!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, he’s… he’s coming closer.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I didn’t know he could jump across different…

Oh. Oh, that’s not David.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, okay, Tekmar, hurry!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I need a moment!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, what do we got? I can throw some of this white stuff at him.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Can someone quiet that growling? My god, which one of you is…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Is there blood running down its face, Ananka?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I saw this one time in a movie, Potter of Harry. Excelsior prunum!

Nothing, okay.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Maybe your sword, Ananka, might be a good time to draw your sword and scare it away.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Actually, I don’t think the Nexus is here. I don’t think the Nexus is here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Quick! Next world, next world, jump!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Okay, jump!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Jumping through the door!

SEAN

Roll the die.

KRISTI

3. World War One France.

THE TRENCHES

Gunfire and explosions.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Aaaah!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

That was really close! Quick, in here, ladies! Down, down these stairs!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Why is it so loud? Oh my god!

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

All right, what are you doing? Get inside, what are you doing out here? You could be dead, you see the Gerries’ planes!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

One of them has my accent.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You seem like a nice fellow. Where are we?

SEAN (AS BRITISH SOLDIER)

You don’t know where you are! Lady, you’re gonna die! Get inside!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

All right, let’s go inside, let’s go inside. I need a quiet place to try and attune.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, see if you can attune over the explosions, sister.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, I’m sorry that I keep jumping. I’m sorry that I’m trying to find the thing that tethers me to this world! I’m a little bit stressed and the gunfire doesn’t help, exactly.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well. What are these? Tea cups?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Ooh, very pretty. Ooh, this pattern is just beautiful. Reminds me of the red, red blood.

Uh, that’s another story for another time.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, we have time. Tekmar is trying to concentrate, Ananka.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You know what would help me concentrate? Maybe a nice cup of tea. Did anyone think to ask me if I wanted some tea? Hmm? Hmm?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh yes, would you like some cold tea that’s been sitting in this underground lair for who knows how long?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, I’d just appreciate it if you would have asked, that’s all.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Gee, I wonder why I picked up the mantle and worked without you two.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Wait, what’s that sound?

The whistling of a falling bomb.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It sounds like…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

No, no, no, it’s a bomb! It’s a bomb! Get to the door! Get to the door!

SEAN

Roll the die.

KRISTI

7. Pooltopia.

POOLTOPIA

Soothing ambient music.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(sighs)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, finally. This is lovely. Have you seen this water? Ah, it’s just the perfect temperature.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

This ground or this floor, it’s like grass, but it’s not grass. But it’s soft and it feels good.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Come to the edge where the pool is. Right here.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Um…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, it’s a pool table and a pool. Everything is a pool here.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Um. Yes, it appears…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Is that a car? Four people going past?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, a carpool. Ha ha ha ha. This world is funny.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well, I’m going to take a moment, you know, now that my feet are drenched.

I already had enough trench foot from the last place we were, but why don’t we just make it better by giving me more wet feet?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Let’s hope that the last world wasn’t the one with the Nexus, sisters.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It wasn’t the one with the Nexus.

I’m sorry, would you rather have died in a bomb? Would you rather have died in a bomb? I’m sorry, you know a lot about bombs, so maybe you would have preferred to die in a bomb.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Sisters, I think if you’ll indulge me for a moment, we should really just… pool our resources.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(disgusted)

Oh my god, it’s not here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

God, let’s move.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Get in the door.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I haven’t tried yet.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Get in the door!

SEAN

Roll the die.

KRISTI

10. We’re going to Candy World, baby.

SEAN

Candy World!

CANDY WORLD

Familiar Nintendo-esque music.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You know, I think Fairy Boy would really like this place.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Everything is made of sugar. Do they know how bad that is for you?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

The grass seems to be made of pixie sticks.

Just tear one up. Look at that. The root just comes away. It’s just a thing of sugar.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Look, the cobblestones are jelly beans.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I mean, I am a bit hungry. Do you think it’s okay?

Oh, is this that candy like that witch with Hansel and Gretel? Remember when we went to that world once?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, I don’t like her.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Mom and Dad thought it would be such a great vacation. “Take them to Candy World. It would be such a good time! And then, oh, let them wander off because the resort is only going to, you know, let them explore.”

But what if we find one witch, the one witch who wanted to feed us, who wanted to eat us all?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

But at least mom and dad took you two! I was left at home, shall we remember?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Not this again. Oh my god. “Who’s the favourite? Who’s the favourite?”

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It’s been thousands of years. Get over it.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, sometimes some of us would like to be left in the woods for a change.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Do you want to go live in isolation because you think you’re the reason the world’s going to end? By all means, go. I remember the days of enjoying candy lands and things like that. But no, no, for the past thousand years I’ve been sitting on an island trying to keep the peace of all of the universe.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Better yet, make a doppelganger. Send a doppelganger out.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yes, send a doppelganger on vacation.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Don’t tell us about it. No, why don’t you just go send you and your doppelganger—

You know, we are just, let me just listen. Let me just listen.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, why don’t you do that?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(mutters)

Gonna take this lollipop and just suck on it while I just take a bite.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

There’s a jujube bush there, Ananka. I know you—

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Those are my favourite.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I know.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I haven’t in years.

(munches)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Do you know what this is going to do to your teeth?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

When you have this little teeth, it doesn’t matter.

KRISTI (AS A JELLYBEAN)

(squeaky voice)

Oh god! Who killed our jellybean brethren?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, I’m sorry, but did—

KRISTI (AS JELLYBEAN)

Oh no, Herbert!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, look at that. There’s more coming.

KRISTI (AS JELLYBEAN)

Oh no! Everyone! Herbert’s been murdered!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

We’ll just be leaving. I’m sorry.

KRISTI (AS JELLYBEAN)

Load the chocolate cannon!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It’s a very large chocolate cannon.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

That sounds dangerous and delicious.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, we’re very sorry. We didn’t mean to kill your—

KRISTI (AS JELLYBEAN)

Fire!

SEAN

Roll the die.

KRISTI

15. We are… going to the Void.

THE VOID

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh no. Where are we?

Sisters, reach out your arms.

Oh, there. Oh, that’s your ankle.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Okay.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I feel a bony ankle, Ananka. That must be you.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

That is me. Also, is it just me, or can anyone else only hear The Cure?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Wait. Where’s Tekmar? Tekmar?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Tekmar? Tekmar?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Tekmar, you’re—

This is not the time to play a game.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(chuckles)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I knew it.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Are you floating in the void, sucking on a lollipop?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yes, I’m floating and it’s lovely.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I found her hair. Let me just yank—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Ow! Ow! Okay, all right!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Mm hmm. Yes.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I thought, why don’t we just stay here?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Floating?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Why don’t we just stay here?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

In the void.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yes.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The Endless Void, sister, really.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

It’s like ultimate sensory deprivation tank.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I know, I love it. What’s so—Seriously, what’s so wrong about leaving?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Do we really have to go back?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Who are we harming if we just stay here? Just floating and quiet and… No responsibility except to just be?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

From the one who ran.

Silence.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Right, well, let’s get to the door. The Nexus isn’t here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Wait, is—You sure?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I can feel its heartbeat, but it’s not here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, swim. Make a swimming motion, sisters. We’ll get to the door this way.

The whooshing of the portal.

BLUE MOUNTAIN

Whistling wind.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Um…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeti!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh god, it’s a Yeti! No, it’s not here! Let’s go!

All three shout in panic and dash through the portal.

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANNOUNCER

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

SEAN

Hello friends, Sean here, and thank you so much for being with us on this journey, as crazy as it has been and continues to be. And now as we’re approaching a new arc, we’re super excited here.

And I realize that I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon somehow of shouting out all the amazing names of all of you who are supporting us. So I am going to start that back up again. We’re a little behind, so I’m going to do ten at a time of new supporters until we’re back up and running. There’s been so many. And thanks to each of you.

But let’s give a shout out right now to Rob Lasell. Marsfall—an amazing podcast, you should all go listen right now. ANinja, we now have a ninja as a supporter on Patreon. How cool is that? Don’t upset them. China Doll, Erin Anderson and Teela, her amazing wonder daughter. Hello to both of you! Welcome! Craig Kozeluh, I hope I said your name right. Michael Armes, Peter Bielen, Jonathan Wager, Vanessa M. Stewart.

Thank you, all of you from the bottom of our hearts. It allows us to just keep creating content and devote more and more effort and time to this. And it just means everything.

And I want to give a shout out to the oldies, but the goodies, the people who have been with us for so long. It’s insane! So let’s give a shout right now and a warm round of applause, everyone, slap your knees—to Katrina O, Forrest Demman, Elizabeth Xyr, Mary Ann Moss, and Sabine S. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And before I get you back to the show, I had a really cool opportunity come up. North by North Quest reached out to ask me to be, I guess, their first guest GM on a mini adventure. I had no idea it was the first. They just reached out and I was so excited because I loved their show.

North by North Quest is a Dungeons and Dragons 5E live play, but they call it a “story play” adventure, and I love it. If you like fungi, I’m not going to give any more away. You will also adore a A BRITISH SOLDIER in the show. It’s so much fun.

And so we ran a one shot, which you can hear on their feed. And there’s some really special guests in there that sort of surprised me. It was super fun. We’ll put a link into the show notes to that episode. It was super fun to play with a different table.

And so with that, I want to thank all of you. And let’s get you back to the show.

THE SHATTERING B&B

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Welcome, all unexpected guests. That’s very unusual here. We usually know everyone is arriving down to the millisecond!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Did you happen to see two other women? They look kind of like me, but not quite like me. Like, they look related. Did they happen to pass through here? It’s very strange that they’re not here.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Are they as striking as you?

(chuckles)

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Ugh. Very nice. Very kind.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

The name is Derek von Frompton. Welcome to the Shattering’s B&B. How can I—oh, no.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, no?

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

You reek of Nexus. What’s your name, young lass?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

My name is… Aknanna.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Aknanna?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Aknanna.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Aknanna.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

It’s like the syllables are all there, but in a strange configuration.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, yes. Sounds like a spell or a song, wouldn’t you say? Ha ha.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Yes, I would, ha ha. It sounds like “Ananka” misspelled.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Never heard of him.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Ah, good. Because if I were to happen upon one of the three sisters still loose, I would get a very wonderful prize!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh. I’ll just take the pancakes to go, ha ha.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Let me get the container. Don’t move. I’ll be right back.

Ananka escapes through the portal.

SEDUCTION JUNCTION

Soft rock music.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Ooof!

Right. Note to self. Don’t jump through the doors.

MAGGIE (AS SLEAZY HUSBAND)

Oh. You’re all right. You’re all right.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Hello.

MAGGIE (AS SLEAZY HUSBAND)

Oh, thank you. Thank you for helping me up.

SEAN (AS SLEAZY WIFE)

Gerald, what’s going on? Why’d you leave the pool, honey?

MAGGIE (AS SLEAZY HUSBAND)

Well, I got this lovely lass here. Looks a little bit out of sorts.

SEAN (AS SLEAZY WIFE)

Oh, she is lovely, Gerald.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, wow. You are both just nakeder than naked. Wow. Wow. Is it just me or is the air here very damp and moist?

MAGGIE (AS SLEAZY HUSBAND)

Oh, it’s very moist temperature. Very moist.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

That’s a little gross.

SEAN (AS SLEAZY WIFE)

She’s your type, Gerald, but I don’t mind!

MAGGIE (AS SLEAZY HUSBAND)

Oh, she’s your type too, love. I know. You can have a go.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well. This is getting predatorial. So if you’ll just excuse me.

SEAN (AS SLEAZY WIFE)

But we’re here for fun! Really!

Tekmar escapes through the portal.

THE TRENCHES

Bombs and gunfire.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, sisters. Sisters!

KRISTI (AS A FRENCH SOLDIER)

Eh, bonjour.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, is that? Oh—

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

(French accent)

This one is English. She is just pretending!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

But I am not a combatant. I am a civilian.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

How did you get on this side of the trench?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(suddenly French accent)

Well, my husband is… General Jacques.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

General Jacques? That’s Jacques. That’s General Jacques.

Does that look like your wife?

MAGGIE (AS GENERAL JACQUES)

This look like no wife of mine.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

You couldn’t come up with another French name?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It’s the only name I know.

Look, I’m sorry. I…

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

I think she is a spy.

MAGGIE (AS GENERAL JACQUES)

(simultaneously)

Maybe she’s a spy. Spy!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You are right.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

You are a spy.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You are right! I am a spy.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

Why would you admit that so easily?!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You got me.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

What is this?

MAGGIE (AS GENERAL JACQUES)

I cock my gun at you!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, you do.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

Yes, let me cock my gun as well!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(laughs nervously)

WASTELAND

Ananka comes through a portal.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh! Oh my God.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh my God, sister. Thank God, Ananka, you’re back.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I think I was almost recognized. But it was like a breakfast place. But it wasn’t only breakfast. It was a breakfast with beds.

Tekmar comes through another portal and lands awkwardly.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Aaaaa!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What did we tell you about jumping, Tekmar?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Ugh…

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

This is why you shouldn’t travel with lollipop in your mouth.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Urgh. I just had to get out of that last storyverse.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Let me help you up.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, thank you. Oh, no! Don’t help me up! Oh. Sorry.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You’re all… Okay, you’re clothed.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I ended up back in the war. And I may have… done something again.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You made another doppelganger?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Moira…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

And left them in a war zone?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I panicked. They had guns!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

What about your doppelganger?!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I don’t know French!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Where is your compassion?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You can’t just keep making these people and leaving them in terrible situations.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, I know.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Moira.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Couldn’t have been worse than where I was though.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Where were you, sister?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, God, it was horrible.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Wait, what—why is there only nothing as far I can see except fires burning?

Sorry, you were saying?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

No, it’s just… I’m caught back up in the memories of the sound of flesh hitting flesh and… and people just writhing on the ground. There were so many of them in such a small space. You could just smell the sweat and the heat and…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Were you in Dante’s seven Hells?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Probably.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Ah, yes.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

So much grinding…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, right.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Back and forth and back and forth…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, yes.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Evil.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Right, um, yes. So Ananka, what…?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

So many positions.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Uh, how do you even wheelbarrow? I didn’t even know that was a thing.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I’m so sorry, sister. It sounds terrible.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

How did you even get your leg up behind your head?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, so Tekmar, why don’t we see if the Nexus is nearby?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

There’s a thing called yoga, if you ever want to talk about it.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(suddenly back to normal)

No, no, no, okay, you got me out of it, thank God. All right. I don’t want to talk about anything.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The Nexus would be good to look for.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Right, sorry. Let me attune, let me attune. Just give me a moment.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Would you like a pancake while you attune? I had some to go.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I’m fine, thank you. I’ve lost my appetite.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Wait, does that say “The End of Time B&B” on it?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

That sure is what the stamp says, yes.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You were on Mount Zirma?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

In a manner of speaking, yes.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

But you didn’t… speak to anyone from the Shattering, did you, sister?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Ah, there was someone there, but I threw him off the scent. I said my name is Aknanna.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, God. Tekmar, we have to move fast. The Shattering now knows what we’re doing.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Listen, we are far, far, far away from the Nexus. I can barely feel it. This is the farthest we’ve been yet.

SEAN (AS A HUMAN)

(weakly)

Water…

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

What—

SEAN (AS LOST HUMAN)

Water.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh my God, do you see that?

SEAN (AS LOST HUMAN)

(gasping)

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Are you okay? What is—aaah!

The stranger lunges with a grunt.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh my God! Ananka!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I could kick you with my staff!

Sounds of struggling.

SEAN (AS LOST HUMAN)

Aargh! Agh!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

(grunting)

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Ananka, stop! Stop, he’s just hungry! Give him your pancakes!

SEAN (AS LOST HUMAN)

Hungry!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

No water and pancakes! Only rage!

SEAN (AS LOST HUMAN)

(sobbing)

I just wanna…

Oh, you dropped… a pancake.

(eats noisily)

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, just let him have it.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We’re just going to leave.

SEAN

Rolling the die.

MAGGIE

Rolling the die.

KRISTI

19. Prohibition! As I drink my wine. Ha, this isn’t method acting.

SEAN

This is meant for Maggie. Okay.

JOHNNY’S ALEHOUSE

Jazz piano and a lively crowd.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, my.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I feel underdressed.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yeah, everyone looks so classy.

MAGGIE (AS SALLY)

Well, hi there, ladies. Welcome to Johnny’s Alehouse, but it’s not an alehouse. It’s a mail house, M‑A-I‑L. Don’t worry, nothing shady about this place. Just, we call it that for the polic—you’re not a cop, are you?

KRISTI (AS WAITRESS)

Sally, are you going and trying to tell these two that they’re not in an alehouse again?

MAGGIE (AS SALLY)

Oh, you know me.

KRISTI (AS WAITRESS)

Why don’t we just get them situated and get them some water? You know what I’m saying?

MAGGIE (AS SALLY)

Water, wink, wink, water.

KRISTI (AS WAITRESS)

Wink, wink, water.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Your outfits, I just want to say, are stunning.

KRISTI (AS WAITRESS)

Oh, my gosh, who’s this? You’re not a cop, are you? Because if you’re a cop, you’ve got to tell us. Are you a cop?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m not a cop, no.

KRISTI (AS WAITRESS)

All right. Why don’t you get them situated and I’ll go get them some water.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Water, wink wink.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

That would be lovely. A glass of water would be so… oh! That was fast, actually.

MAGGIE (AS SALLY)

I made it in the bathtub.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It’s…

(sips and starts choking)

Whoa!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Moira, this is not the time. We have to keep moving!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Here, why don’t you taste…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I’m not…

Okay, I’ll have—

(sips and starts coughing)

Oh, God!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You two are lightweights. Let me try some.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah, you go on.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I could use a drink.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Hoo! This is like 98% proof moonshine we used to make, like when I was a little girl. When we were little girls, you remember Mom and Dad’s recipe?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, some of us weren’t included in your moonshine drinking.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, this again.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Let it go.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I had to study, but you could have snuck me something.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You were Mom and Dad’s favourite.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I was not their favourite. They ruled me with an iron—

Oh, hi. Yes. No, no, no. No, I’m not dancing. Oh, okay!

Moira is pulled away onto the dance floor.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m dancing, sisters! Okay! Tekmar, Tekmar, check for the Nexus!

MAGGIE (AS SALLY)

All right, we’re gonna do jitterbug now. Jitterbug now. Jitterbug, everybody.

Sirens approach. The music stops as the door bursts open. Patrons scream in panic.

KRISTI (AS A COP)

Everybody get down on the ground! This is a sting!

MAGGIE (AS SALLY)

Cheese it! It’s the feds!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, that was fast.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Why is everyone running?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I don’t understand.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Quick, Tekmar, is it here? Is the—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

No, it’s not here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Argh. Where’s the door? Look, they’re coming. They’ve got guns!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I’m taking the water with me. I’m taking the water!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, here! I think it’s this door. Nope, that’s a closet.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Maybe it’s this one.

Tekmar opens a door. From inside comes more soft rock music.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, too many moist people! Lots of moist people.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Sorry, sorry.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh, God, no! I’m back at the Junction!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, no, you’re still here. Okay, this door! Oh, that’s it. Here we go!

The portal whooshes.

WRESTLING RING

Raucous music and a wild crowd.

KRISTI (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

And in this corner, we have three new arrivals! Looks like they’re dressed and ready for a fight. We’ll call them the Three Sisters!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

What is this springy rope?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I don’t know. The floor is very springy, and these ropes—oh, look! Someone’s coming over to say hi. Oh, wow.

KRISTI (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

And in this corner, we’ve got Jezebel Punchyerface!

SEAN (AS JEZEBEL PUNCHYERFACE)

(bellowing laughter)

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

She doesn’t look very friendly.

KRISTI (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

Jezebel is about to take on the Three Sisters. This is going to be one hell of a fight, ladies and gentlemen.

SEAN (AS A BRITISH SOLDIER)

I’m going to mop the floors with you! Ha ha ha! Bleah!

A bell rings.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Screw this.

KRISTI

And Tekmar just touches her chest and casts… um… Magic Missile.

(laughs)

She’s going to cast Magic Missile. So what do I have to roll?

SEAN

2d6.

KRISTI

2d6?

MAGGIE

Ope.

KRISTI

Snake eyes!

SEAN

Snake eyes. So Tekmar reaches out, puts her hand on the wrestler’s chest and says…?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Go back to hell!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, look at her. She’s lifting her.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Oh!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, that had to hurt. Oh! Now she’s piledriving—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I’ve made a huge mistake!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, she’s spinning her around. Oh, no, don’t throw her! She’s our sister!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Aaaaugh!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, no, no, you always were more of a lover, not a fighter.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Tekmar, check if the Nexus is here!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(being spun around violently)

Aaaaa! It’s not here!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Should we tag in or—?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

We should really go. Someone’s coming at with a chair.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Aaaa—ugh!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I got you—aaaagh!

INSIDE

Bubbling liquid and the sound of a heartbeat.

All three sisters groan in pain.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What is—why are we breathing—is this liquid?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Wait. Wait. The Nexus.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

The Nexus is close. The Nexus is so close. Where are we?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, no, why am I hearing a heartbeat? Are you hearing a heartbeat?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

It definitely sounds like a heartbeat. But you’re only supposed to hear the Nexus heartbeat.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, sister, we’re all hearing a very—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

That’s not the Nexus’s heartbeat.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Wait.

Distant, echoing sounds of speech.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(huge, booming voice, somewhat muffled)

Look! Look in my pouch.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I know that voice.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve got these delicious treats!

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

What is this sprinkled in—are we floating in… stomach acid?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What? But there’s sparkles in it.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Why are there sparkles? Why does everything look like mustard?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Oh, I’ve only ever been able to jump into something like this once before. I’m afraid we’re inside someone’s body, and I’m pretty sure that someone is… Fairy Boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look, these have blue on them like ice.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You put us inside Eggerton.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I didn’t put us inside—I mean, technically, I suppose I did, but I’m just trying to get close to the Nexus! He must be close!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, swim for that aortal valve. Maybe it’s the door.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

These are a lot of fairy cakes, guys. I think he has a real problem.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yeah, this doesn’t look good.

Portal sound.

THE NEXUS

Soft, haunting music.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Wait.

(gasps)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Sisters? We are never doing this again.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Shh. We’re here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We’re here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You feel it.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Don’t play jokes with us, Tekmar.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We’re here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You’re serious?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I can feel it.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Check your keys. Are your keys lighting up?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Ananka, give me your key.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I—I don’t want to, but—

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Ananka, please. Give me the key.

MAGGIE

And Ananka had Tekmar the key, sadly.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(grunts)

Distant, echoing voices. It’s Darcy and Blat, in the midst of the great confrontation from Episode 36.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How are we supposed to take that on? It’s a huge giant!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I hear them.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Hear what?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

They’re above us.

All this time, the Nexus was inside Mount Zirma? In this cave. It stayed.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

It stayed.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It knew.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I should have guessed. I should have known it would wait.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Tekmar, you—you and I were never close, let’s just say it.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We weren’t, were we?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I… was jealous of you.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

What?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

My parents took you on all those things because you two were special.

I had to work because I had no powers.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Moira…

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

And so I was jealous and angry.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

And it wasn’t your fault or Ananka’s, but Ananka was always strong and aloof. You tried to reach out to me and I was angry.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I was jealous of you too.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I would have done anything to not have this. I would have done anything to have your ability to just acknowledge your—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I know.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

—your perseverance.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

My parents were not good people.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

No.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

We—we’ve made mistakes, but we’ve fought for what’s right. And I’m proud to know both of you.

(awkward)

Um. That’s—yes, that’s enough—

I have to go to the surface. I’ll find my way and I’ll be there ready to channel the energy.

Ananka, you have to jump through. They’re going to need help. Dear lord, those three are going to need help.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

And I can finally actually help them.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You’ll do better than I did.

Be well, sisters.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Moira.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I love you.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m not sure I know what love is, but I care about you so much.

I’m sorry.

Moira leaves.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

So. Here we are.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

In a moment that I wasn’t—I really didn’t ever want to happen.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We both tried so hard to avoid it as best we could, didn’t we?

Oh, the keys are quite heavy.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

If I could do it for you, I would. Tekmar, I would.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I don’t want you to. You’ve got so much still left to do. You’ve got to guide those three. Help them try again. Fix their mistakes.

And don’t be so hard on yourself.

Moira returns.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Sorry, does anybody have a staff I can borrow?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I have just the thing, Moira.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Thanks.

I hate goodbyes. Um. Yeah, okay.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

She couldn’t have made it weirder, could she?

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

No.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Do you think that was actually really her?

Ananka and Tekmar laugh.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(in the distance)

That was me!

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Not the doppelganger. Okay.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

You really should follow up on that.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

There’s going to be a reckoning.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I have a feeling Moira’s not done yet either.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I think you’re right, Tekmar.

(sighs)

I can’t leave you.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Yes, you can.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

We haven’t seen each other in so long. You’d think that it wouldn’t be this difficult.

Listen. You have to go. You have to get there. You have to get there at least in time to jump. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen once I merge with the Nexus. I don’t know. But I just know you need to be there. So you’d better go.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I know. I know.

MAGGIE

And Ananka embraces Tekmar. And they share a really, really, really strong hug. And she finds it really difficult to let go, but knows she has to.

They nod at each other. And Ananka walks away.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

(braces herself, whispers)

Okay.

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

(a soft whisper)

You came.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I came.

I’m sorry it took so long.

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

I waited.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I know.

I didn’t think it would be this heavy.

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

It’s the end.

KRISTI (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

Will you…

Will you whisper to me until it’s done? Just be here?

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

Of course.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

Well… Thank you. And um…

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

What is this in your mind?

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

I’ve had this destiny branded on my skin since I was born.

And I’m here now to give my life so that you can be anew.

And we can make all of this go away.

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

You are me already.

KRISTI (AS TEKMAR)

And you are me.

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE NEXUS)

Let it be, then.

Tekmar lets out a final breath.

CREDITS

Theme music plays: an acoustic version for cello and guitar.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers, with your Game Master Sean Howard, and special guests Kristi Boulton and Maggie Makar.

Music and sound design by Eli McIlveen. Transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Stephen Smith. Supporting producers: Kona and Kim Bellinger.

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.

OUTTAKE: DOPPELGANGER

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oops!

(raspberry)

There’s two of me now. So sorry.

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

I genuinely just thought she farted, but now there are two of them!

MAGGIE (AS GENERAL JACQUES)

Ohhh! C’est une sorcière!

KRISTI (AS FRENCH SOLDIER)

Ahh! We don’t want nothing to do with magic!