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42: The Brains of the Future

Stranded in the desert, the party seek out the much-feared king of the zombies.

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: violence, gunfire, drunkenness, zombie horror and grossness, giant animal attacks.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I must say, Val old bean, I didn’t think we’d get away with it.

SEAN

This beast of a demon is looming over you…

MARISA

I transform into a were-squirrel, better known as a wirrel.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy, I don’t even want to know. Oh, you’re covered in gore!

SEAN

Narf slides into the doorway with a bazooka, smiles, and pulls the trigger.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So the good news is, I can create the weapon again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(excited chittering)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The bad news is, the enemy has it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(angry chittering)

SEAN (AS RACHEL)

How am I alive?

CARTER

Blat throws Rachel to safety.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I gotcha!

SEAN (AS CAPTAIN VAL)

And now you’re free!

SEAN (AS RACHEL)

I may want to go back to my village. Nope, no offense.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Are we heading towards an area referred to as “the Badlands”?

SEAN (AS GEORGE THE GNOME)

No, no, no, we never go to the Badlands, no, we don’t do that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve got a new batch of fairy cakes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you know what they do?

SEAN

Eggerton turns to stone.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re not rescued; we’ve actually been captured.

SEAN (AS CAPTAIN VAL)

I beg to differ. You are completely rescued. You’re free to go.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

To the captors that you’re delivering us to.

SEAN (AS CAPTAIN VAL)

He’s a really nice guy, all right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The head Winnebaygio?

SEAN (AS CAPTAIN VAL)

You’re gonna have a hero’s welcome!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

THE BADLANDS

SEAN

The airship is disappearing from view as the three adventurers find themselves in a desert, the Badlands, standing in front of a giant sign that reads, “The Badlands, home of the Winnebaygios.” And under it is written, “All hail the Zombie King Stan, future Supreme Ruler of the known universes.”

There is a trodden path leading up to what appears to be a trailer park in the distance. And there is nothing but desert in all directions, aside from the trailer park.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I have a question.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, sure, go ahead.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Isn’t it “universai”?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s your question.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Give that a read over. Ask me if you got anything else on your mind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(reads to himself)

…Winnebaygios… Stan…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The zombies makes me uncomfortable.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Let him get there, let him get there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

King… universes…

“Universities”, you’re right. Well, what do you say we go find a sandwich?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See, what I think is probably gonna be the ironic thing is that, you think by reading the sign that the Zombie King is the one to be afraid of, but I’ll bet you it’s the Winnebaygios.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s a good point.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or the Zombie King, it could go either way, really.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I think we have two options here. We either go into that trailer park, or we go in the opposite direction, which appears to just be vast desert as far as the eye can see.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So our options are: avoid danger, die; head towards danger, possibly die.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But look, the name is Stan. Does that sound like someone who could kill anyone? I don’t know, that just doesn’t sound that intimidating. Stan?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, do they have—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“Stan”.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do they have to have an intimidating name? They all can’t be Kravor the Magnificent. I mean, some of them are just gonna be, “Hi, I’m Bill and I’m here to kill you.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s true, maybe he’s more dangerous because he has a less dangerous name.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The ones you really have to watch out for are the ones with their really cutesy names. If you meet someone who calls himself Butterfly or Buttercup or something, they will tear your head off.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…“Stan”.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s going on there, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m pretty sure it’s “universities”.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, yeah, sure, gotcha. So, Winnebaygio, Zombie King—no questions there at all.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, I think those are pretty self-explanatory.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gotcha, gotcha, okay, so you’re good to go then.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now, the only thing we do need to discuss before we get in…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What gift are we gonna present this king? Like, we don’t wanna show up empty-handed, right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, why don’t you pick up some sand and maybe they haven’t run out of that yet.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, good idea, good idea. All right, who’s got a bucket?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Aren’t you wearing one on your head?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(laughing)

Oh, yeah. It’s a hat, Blat, come on.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s also a, it was originally a bucket.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It was originally a bucket, but it has been repurposed as a general hat. You would have me disrespect my station and office by putting sand in my hat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, okay, I think we’re missing a crucial question here. Why did Captain Val, who was supposed to rescue us, I thought, drop us in the middle of this forsaken place? Well, what’s the point? Are we being sacrificed here? Are we pawns in some kind of a big game that’s going on? What’s happening?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I felt that way my entire life. I do think I’m just a pawn in the big game that I don’t understand… I would imagine that either the Winnebaygios or Zombie King Stan knows that we’re here and wants us for some reason.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But why? Nobody knows anything about us here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…I got here at the same time as you. I obviously have no other information tha you have.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, wait, wait, wait, I’ve got it. Are you ready?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, but go ahead.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s “universals”.

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 players Marisa King, Michael Howie, and Carter Siddall.

Episode 42: The Brains of the Future!

EVENING

Lonesome guitar music.

SEAN

The light is fading, but slowly, dusk seems to last a very long time on the desert. And you can see so clearly the horizon in every direction in between the trailers that are growing more and more majestic.

And straight ahead of you on the path is a trailer. Like a beautiful, silver, everything-curved trailer. And outside of it is standing a very large, prod-shouldered gentleman, a hulk of a man, in a well-put-together charcoal grey suit. And seems to just be watching you as you approach.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you think that’s Stan?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, Stan would be Zombie King, so I don’t think this is Stan.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, it doesn’t mean he’s a zombie, it just means he’s king of the zombies. He could be the king of other zombies.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So the zombies have a ruler that’s not a zombie? Why don’t they just eat their ruler then?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, because he intimidates them, so they don’t wanna eat him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, both of you, calm down. All you have to do is look for his crown.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He has no crown.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Then he’s not a king.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, very good. So, I’m gonna say he’s either a guard, or he’s that fellow that tries to convince you to buy a Winnebaygio.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What if they have a used Winnebaygio for like 75% of the price of a normal one?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How much money do you have on you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… I don’t think I have any actual money per se.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t think you’re in the market then.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But, but, I didn’t have any money in Balgoria either, and they don’t need to know that, do they, Blat? Heh heh heh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What the heck does that even mean?

MIKE

I’m not sure.

Laughter.

SEAN

The large man is approaching you. You notice a very raw scar coming down from their fedora, and they walk up to Eggerton and begin to pat Eggerton down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooh, okay! We’re having tickles today. I did not expect—ow, okay, that was a hard tickle.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He’s looking for the money you don’t have.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t have any of the money today, sir!

SEAN

And does he find a weapon? I do have a weapon to hide.

MIKE

Uh, I have some fairy cakes.

SEAN

I don’t believe he would assume that those are a weapon. I think those are safe. Okay, nothing else?

MIKE

I don’t have anything else written down.

SEAN

Okay, he then approaches Blat and goes to pat Blat down.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, not even a handshake first or anything like—nope, all right, this is happening. No, those are wings, those are part of me, that’s not anything, and those are horns, that’s not really a weapon either—

SEAN

And he pulls out the mace.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, now that’s a weapon, obviously.

SEAN

And he tucks that behind his belt.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

SEAN

And approaches Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, back off, I don’t have anything.

SEAN

He looks Darcy over and sort of nods and walks back towards the silver trailer and opens the door, making a gesture that you may enter.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I guess we’re in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, can we get the mace back at some point?

SEAN

He shrugs.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, well that’s a definitive answer. Okay! Let’s go into the trailer where obviously something very important is going to happen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You should go first Blat, just to make sure.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re a heck of a general there, Lord Captain Buckethead.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m not a lord.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh Lord.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Still not a lord.

CARTER

Blat enters the trailer.

SEAN

You step into a beautifully decorated trailer and there’s just too much in here. There are statues and ferns and rugs and yet even amongst all that, what you can only assume is stands, stands out. Only about five and a half feet tall, but wearing a brightly-coloured three-piece suit made out of a bright orange and white floral pattern that matches all the way down even the shoes. Quite put together, but you notice as he steps forward, he shuffles a little when he walks and the top left side of his skull is jagged and exposed to the elements.

SEAN (AS STAN)

(New Jersey mobster voice)

Tony! Tony, make our guests comfortable, don’t just stand there.

SEAN

He gestures at the large man, who’s entering behind you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa, okay, threw me off balance a little bit. I’m just gonna lean up here against Blat.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Everyone get on the opposite side of the trailer where Tony is standing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Tony, make them comfortable. I got some business to take care of. It’d just be a moment. Tony, get ’em drinks.

SEAN

And he opens a door at the back of the trailer and stands, steps out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What kind of beverages are we going to have today?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well… what do you have, Tony?

SEAN

Tony looks a little awkward, gestures at his throat, shakes his head and points at a fully stocked bar along the far wall.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, you’re thirsty and need a drink. Okay, what kind of drink do you want, Tony?

Okay, Tony, you want a drink. You motion that you want a drink, which drink do you want? You have a select—what’s your preference? If you had to choose one of these above the others in a hierarchical order of choice, which one would be at the top? And then from ascending to descending, what order would they fall in?

SEAN

He shoves a bottle into your hands.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooh, what’s this? Okay, I’ll try this one and I’ll let you know how it is.

MIKE

And I uncork it with my mouth and take a swig.

SEAN

Okay, roll 2d6.

MIKE

2d6… It’s a 6.

SEAN

Okay, it hits you hard.

MIKE

It hits me hard. What am I rolling for?

SEAN

That would be Con.

MIKE

Okay.

SEAN

Yeah, it hits you hard. You are a little drunk.

MIKE

(slurring)

You’re a little—you’re, you’re… druuunk.

SEAN

And Tony gestures at the bar and looks to each of you two.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So I guess we should have told him that the pointing at the throat motion was sort of an, “I can’t talk,” rather than, “Please give me a drink.”

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(slurring)

He can talk when he wants to! But you don’t get to say when he wants to. Only Tony, me and Tony, we get each other. You don’t know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ll just have some water, please. Do you have some water?

SEAN

He nods and he goes to a pitcher and pours you something in a glass and hands it to you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

See, Eggerton, I’m not drinking anything out of a mysterious bottle.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s not a mysterious bottle, it’s right here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, did you even read the label before you swigged it down?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s it… it’s got letters.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right, what if it had a skull and a crossbones? Would that have meant anything to you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Pirate drink.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, pirate drink. Anyway, okay, I’m just gonna have my water.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, Anthony, do you expect your boss—Stan, I guess—to come back anytime soon?

SEAN

You hear the sound of what is very reminiscent of a toilet.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, so that should just be a moment longer then. Very good, very good. Didn’t realize what the important meeting was about.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What is the meeting?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s a bathroom meeting, Eggerton. It’s a bathroom meeting.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What does he mean in the bathroom?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Means in the bathroom. That he’s dropping some clients off at the pool.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is there a pool in there?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, there’s—oh, no, Lord.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can we go for a swim? It’s so high here and a swim would be nice.

SEAN

So the door opens and Stan walks out, drying his hands on a towel, which he holds out daintily, and Tony takes it and exits the trailer, the whole trailer rocking back to level.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Hey, how are you all doing? Now have a seat. I’ve got some business to discuss.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Business to discuss, very good! All right, so I will sit here, Darcy will sit there, and Eggerton’s already unconscious. Okay, very good!

SEAN (AS STAN)

So I’m an investor and I’ve been making some investments and the investments are starting to pay back and I’m happy to have you here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You make investments.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, I’m a businessman. You know, I’m a businessman. I just make investments and you know, you might say I trade in the futures.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t wanna be rude, but… you’re a zombie, right?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah. Eh, zombie. Eh, businessman. It’s sort of the same thing, you know?

Laughter.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

In my experience, zombies only invest in brain eating. So I’m confused as to what you’re investing in, why you’re out here in the middle of a desert, why we’re out here in the middle of a desert, why you have some kind of secret negotiation going on with Captain Val. Do you know anything about them? What’s going on? Tell us right now why we’re here!

SEAN (AS STAN)

She’s a feisty one, huh? Heh heh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See, she is feisty. I was going to get to the point a bit slower than that, but she likes to really dig in immediately and just assumes the worst.

SEAN (AS STAN)

See, some zombies, they’re so shortsighted. They just get so focused on brains today. I invest in the future, you know? Plenty of time for brains, plenty of time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The brains of tomorrow, I see. Do you know who we are?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Do I?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking the question.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, I hope I do, ’cause I paid a lot of money to get you here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aha! There was some kind of backroom deal, is that it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

With who?! Who did you pay money to for us to be here right now?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Captain Val.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, we’re not from here. I mean, sure, we were on Captain Val’s ship, but we’re really not from here. So how did you know about us to get us here?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Some people, they got so shortsighted. They say, “We don’t want you around, you’re a zombie.” So I come out here, I create this town, and then I meet this young man. Looks very much like this man here, passed out on the sofa, but he was wearing armour. And we did a small deal.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, my lord.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Other Eggerton.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Other Eggerton.

SEAN (AS STAN)

(snorts himself awake)

Snufflesaur! It’s okay. What, here? Okay.

Um…

I’m gonna take a nap, guys.

SEAN (AS STAN)

And he said he’d be back, and it’ll all pay back, and he’ll have something with him that maybe I have a small investment in in the, you know, futures market.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait, wait, what exact interaction did you have?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Oh, we had a good time, didn’t we? I guess you wouldn’t remember, would you, Eggsy? Can I call you Eggsy? I called the other of you Eggsy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m a little sleepy, so you can call me Eggsy. Who… what?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, we had a good time. It was a good time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So you know that the other Eggerton that you spoke to and had a business arrangement with isn’t exactly the same Eggerton as this fellow who’s, yes, he’s vomiting into his hat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hurk!

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, you know, he behaves about the same as the other one, but yeah, no, I have an interesting relationship with time. See, it’s not my first time investing in the future.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So when you say you’re into future investments, you’re into future investments.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay.

SEAN (AS STAN)

That’s what I said. What’d I say? What do you think I said? What, am I speaking a different language?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no no no, there’s obviously no other way to interpret what you just said.

(whispering to Darcy)

Okay, look, think about this. If he is involved in future investments, perhaps there’s a way that we could get back to our time period through whatever he’s got going on in what I assume is a magical trailer park? I don’t know exactly.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Does he always talk to someone like he’s not here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I think he’s talking to me actually. I’m here.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Okay, I’ll give you some privacy. I’m gonna go do some business.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I just assumed you couldn’t quite hear me because you’re… missing an ear.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, you know, I’m missing half my head to be exact, but you know, I make do.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my Lord, there’s a centipede crawling out of the hole.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Oh, it’s Franklin? Heh heh, I should probably put him back.

Squishing sounds.

SEAN (AS STAN)

So, you know, I just need to finish the deal that I made—oh, he’s passed out again—with Eggsy here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I can speak for—

SEAN (AS STAN)

There’s not gonna be trouble, is there?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, no, no, no, no trouble. No, no, no, no trouble, Stan.

SEAN (AS STAN)

I gave a lot in this bargain.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, sure, sure. Now, what exactly do you need from us? We’re acting as representatives for Eggerton.

SEAN (AS STAN)

No, I don’t like changing who I’m doing the deal with. You know, this is not—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So you would rather speak to the dumbest person at our party, is what you’re saying?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, yeah, that’s how you’re gonna put it. Yeah, I’d rather complete the deal that I had a good deal going with this, this very strange man, wearing a bucket full of vomit now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh, okay. Just to move this along, I’m gonna take a look in your drink cabinet here. Maybe we can find some wake up juice just to get him up and around and we can—

SEAN (AS STAN)

Or I could just, you know… Hey Eggsy. Hey, hey.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What, what?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Give me the temple. You said you were gonna bring me a temple.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

A dimple?

SEAN (AS STAN)

A temple. You said you were gonna give me the temple. What am I talking, Greek?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s Greek?

SEAN (AS STAN)

(sighs)

Look, we had a deal. You said you were gonna bring me the temple if I take care of things.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Look, look, if you could just give us a few minutes alone, we could sober up our friend. We can talk about this deal. We can get this going, right? You want this to progress forward, right?

SEAN (AS STAN)

He told me to not negotiate with the woman and the demon. He said they’re gonna mess it up and clearly that’s what you’re trying to get me to do.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He has vomit running down his face. I think we should clean him up before you wanna do some more negotiations. Think of us as his assistants.

SEAN (AS STAN)

All right, all right. But if you cross me…

You don’t wanna cross me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t wanna cross you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I think that’s implied, yes, yes. Don’t cross the man negotiating with half his face missing. Okay! Literally just a few minutes. Just give us a few minutes, it’s fine.

SEAN (AS STAN)

All right.

SEAN

And he opens the door and steps up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(weakly)

Blat? Blat? Blat?

MARISA

And I streak across the room. I grab Eggerton up, I shake him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wughhh…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He wants the temple! He wants the dome! We can’t give the dome away! God, get this—

MARISA

And I grab some kind of cloth that I see by the bar and I rub your face.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(mumbles)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, wake up! Wake up!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, there’s a problem, there’s a problem.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What’s the problem?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The hat turned into a bucket.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It was always a bucket!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Now listen, are you listening? Do you understand what’s happening here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m listening, maybe I should just have one of these fairy cakes first.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think that’s a good idea. Do not have a fairy cake.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s just this one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, don’t, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ll just—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, don’t. I said no—argh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(munches)

SEAN

Which fairy cake are you eating?

MIKE

Stoner.

SEAN

(sighs)

Okay, roll 2d6.

MIKE

9… 10!

SEAN

Okay, so it succeeds. What does that mean with the stoner cakes, do we think? What does success mean?

MIKE

Well, failure means turning into stone…

MARISA

Oh, it’s a “stoner” cake, okay. Well, so you’re not stone, right?

SEAN

Well, you’re not stone, but you’re now stoned and high.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy?

(quiet paranoia)

When did Darcy turn into a squirrel again? But this time a little cute one, not a bloody gory one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just sit down, Eggerton, sit down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look, she’s bristling her fur.

MARISA

And I push Eggerton down back onto the couch.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hulp!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! What are we gonna do? Obvi—Is other Eggerton evil? Why would other Eggerton wager the Temple of Idris to this zombie when that would mean all of the Slaad would go with it, I guess? I don’t know what that means.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, basically, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. So we know that the other Eggerton can’t be evil because he saved our lives.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We got taken into this time period to meet up with this zombie who we did business with.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He will help us if we give him one of the few things that we actually have on our person, which is the dome with the Temple Idris in it. The zombie says he makes future investments. So is it not possible then that owning the Temple Idris, he then allows it to continue into the future and then becomes the Temple Idris that we eventually come to?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I think he wants to kill everyone and destroy the Temple Idris.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Why would he want that?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

‘Cause he has half a face! Did you not fight zombies along with me back in the other timeline?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!

SEAN

The door opens.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Just checking that you’re getting a little heated, making sure everything’s okay.

Blat and Darcy break into nervous laughter. Everyone is talking at once:

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You’re a zombie?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s fine!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’re fine!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Everything’s okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s a zombie in the trailer?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re just gonna need a couple of more minutes!

SEAN (AS STAN)

Okay.

The door shuts again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, very good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why are we just staying still?! Everybody run!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Shut up! Shut up, you idiot!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Quick, everyone in this little temple I found! Hide! Hide!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Look, we’re trying to decide whether the zombie is evil or not.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He’s a zombie! He doesn’t have—!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Shut up, shut up, shut up!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(in the background)

Oh no, there’s a worm coming out of his ear!

CARTER

(laughing)

Blat takes the rag and tries to put it in Eggerton’s mouth.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh no, oh geez. Okay, everyone stop freaking out, we’re gonna be fine.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Listen, listen, it’s possible that all he wants to do as an investment is to own the land that the Temple Idris was on. Do you know how much that real estate must be worth? Especially if you stay invested for thousands of years! This zombie is gonna make a killing. This is why Stan is king of the zombies.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Listen, I think we have to tell the Zombie King that we don’t have the temple so we can find out more about the plan before we make any rash decisions. Remember—look at all these little Slaad faces looking up at us! We can’t just betray them!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s so many little faces! Oh my, oh—no, we’re okay. Everyone stay still. We are their galaxy. Have you ever thought about that, Blat?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Put the rag in his mouth. Put the rag in his mouth.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uph muh mmph.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See now, the problem is also, we don’t know how to get all these little Slaad out of the magical dome. It’s possible that if we give them to Stan, Stan could get them out of the magical dome, put them back into the future where we’re from and it’ll all work out! Time loop!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I have one question for you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you think a zombie who says, “You don’t wanna cross me” is someone who—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ha ha ha ha! That was a good impression.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You have a rag in your mouth!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I swallowed it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, of course you did. Listen, do you really think a zombie like that is someone who’s going to do good for the world in the future?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but can we all just agree that everyone who invests in real estate tends to be an okay person?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Listen, as a Darcy, do you know what I wanna see? I wanna see a world full of Darcies. So as a zombie, what do you think they wanna see? A world full of zombies!

SEAN

The door opens.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(cheery)

Hello!

SEAN (AS STAN)

Hey, just checking how it’s going. You know, everything okay? You know, Tony thinks you trying to scheme, and I was like, “No, I don’t think—Eggsy wouldn’t scheme!”

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No! I wouldn’t scheme with a zombie! Ha ha ha!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Trust me, Eggsy would never scheme.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Eyyy! You got the dome! You said you’d have the dome.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, it’s a dome, and look, there’s lots of little faces in it…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(groans)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Showing the faces. He’s showing off the faces already.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, and it’s got a tree in it too.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Listen, Stan, Stan, can I have—

SEAN (AS STAN)

The temple!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excuse me, excuse me.

SEAN (AS STAN)

The temple.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it’s a temple.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Eggsy, you’re brilliant.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s what I tell everybody, and not many people will listen—

SEAN (AS STAN)

You know, that’s what a lot of people don’t get. They say, “You’re not a normal zombie, Stan.” I’m like, “No, I got vision. I take a risk.” And I saw something in you, Eggsy, when we were partying back there, and you know, the old time. Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. Mm hmm. How long ago was the old time?

SEAN (AS STAN)

It’s been a while, Eggsy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I mean, if you were gonna guess, just for the sake of us having a little, you know, well, when we write our reports that we have to submit later, I wanna be able to fill out the paperwork right…

SEAN (AS STAN)

It’s been weeks, Eggsy. It’s been weeks sincle you left me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It was weeks since I was here last. Just weeks!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Exactly! Yes, yes, weeks. Just mere weeks.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Eggsy, come on out, and we do the deal. We have a conversation. We got these guys that have what they’re doing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I’m gonna leave you two here. I’m gonna go have a talk with this gentleman whose face I’m no longer going to look at. Um, you two hold the temple. Here you go, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And we will be back in a moment to let you know what we decide.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Very good. I’m going to assume that everything will go swimmingly.

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

(zombie voice)

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

SEAN

Others. Hi, everyone, Sean here, and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you, and I hope that you are all taking time to take care of yourselves. And hopefully listening to this show is part of that.

We have a backlog of people to shout out, and so I’ve decided I’m gonna focus on the oldies and the goodies—I still need a good name for all you people who have been with us, supporting us, for so long on Patreon. But let’s go with that. So I’m gonna work through all of these names until we’re caught up, and then we’re gonna start working on the new names. I think I’m just forever gonna be working through a backlog.

But let’s go, without further ado, a giant shout of love and thank you to John Rogers, thank you so much, and Kim Bellinger. You may have heard that name, ’cause we may shout it out at the end of every episode. And Kit Reed, thank you, thank you, thank you. And Jennifer Sugden from Victoriocity. If you don’t listen to Victoriocity, you’ve really got to. It’s an amazing show and we adore it. And, drum roll please, a giant shout of love to Allexia. Thank you, Allexia, for all you do and how active you are in our Discord and everyone you share the show with. And let’s also give some love out to Mait Uus, I hope I pronounced your name right, uh-oh, and Siennatail, hope I got that right. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And also some love to Weston Rainer. And let’s give a shout out to Alexander Danner from Greater Boston and the co-creator of PodTales! Thank you, Alexander, so much for all your support and love. And you’re gonna hear my dogs in the background as I hit the last name: Hugh MacLeod, a friend and amazing fellow improviser. Thank you, Hugh.

And thank you to all ten of you and thank you to everyone who’s listening. And now, I think we’re gonna get back to the show.

MIDROLL: FLOOR MOPPER

Music sting.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION FLOOR MOPPER)

Floor mopper, floor mopper, floor mopper. Hey there, kids! Do you want to have your parents take you on a very entertaining vacation this year? Well, have you tried the Dwoven Alliance? Kids like it because they’re the size of the crew ’cause everybody’s short, shorter than me. That’s why I’m looked at as a symbol of authority. You can come on my special cheap tour! I will teach you how to mop floors, scrub things, de-lint clothing, and get the crumbs off, what? What’s that?

SEAN (AS A RANDOM PERSON PERHAPS A CO-WORKER)

Sorry, can you get out of the bathroom stall?

CARTER (AS THE FLOOR MOPPER)

No, I’m recording the very important message so that we can get some tourists on this airship.

SEAN (AS A CO-WORKER)

It’s just awkward ’cause I’m, you know, going.

CARTER (AS THE FLOOR MOPPER)

Ah, the turtle’s about to come out, huh? Well, just give us one more second. All right, so our bathroom accommodations are apparently limited, but if you want to take to the air, you can come and tell your parents that it’s a good way to learn how to buccaneer and to steal things.

SEAN (AS A CO-WORKER)

(sustained grunting)

CARTER (AS THE FLOOR MOPPER)

We kidnap people for profit and deposit them in other areas of this fine land of ours. Think of it as a geography lesson in the sky. All right, something very upsetting is happening over here now. Signing off, floor mopper, floor mopper, floor mopper.

SEAN (AS A CO-WORKER)

(grunting)

Oh, I thought he’d never leave. Go to patreon.com/civilizedpod today.

MIKE (AS A SECOND RANDOM PERSON)

(grunting)

Wrong show.

SEAN (AS A CO-WORKER)

(grunting)

Go to patreon.com/albasalix today!

MIKE (AS A SECOND RANDOM PERSON)

(grunting)

It’s one of those poops that makes you forget what dimension you’re in!

Music sting.

MORNING

SEAN

It’s morning in the trailer park as the door opens and the three adventurers step out into the centre area. Quite chilly, as the desert gets quite cold at night.

And Tony is packing up two zombies with very large backpacks and putting food in. And the door opens as Stan, the Zombie King, also steps out into the centre area.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Hey, Eggsy!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hey, Stan, how you doing? That was a rough night. Are you doing okay?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, yeah, I’m okay. It hurts a little if I get a little loud, you know? Good fairy cakes, I must say.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. You are welcome. I did not believe that was the impact of the desert sand in them!

SEAN (AS STAN)

Unbelievable.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Really unusual.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Get out of here, I say, just get out of here. High five.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Woo! All right. So I guess we’re off now.

SEAN (AS STAN)

So you got Tony. Tony’s gonna go with you. He’s got the map. He’s gonna show you where to put the temple, right? A new home for the temple, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

A new home. Yes.

SEAN (AS STAN)

‘Cause I’m a good guy. I wanna make sure the temple gets a home, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

SEAN (AS STAN)

And I’ll be on land that I own, right? No big deal, right? No big deal.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No big deal, no big deal. It’s a future investment.

Blat and Stan laugh heartily.

SEAN (AS STAN)

I’m not sure I trust that demon guy, Eggsy, but you know, we got a good deal going.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We got a good deal going.

SEAN (AS STAN)

You know, you pay back in spades. Yeah, you get the tree planted and Tony’ll take you there and then I’ll give you what I promised.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But what was it that you promised us? I mean, you and I had these conversations, but there was some fairy cakes. Last time I was wearing that armour and you know, it makes it hard to remember things. So if you could just detail, maybe on this yellow paper I found—

SEAN (AS STAN)

A lesser zombie might take advantage of this situation, realizing that you don’t quite remember what the deal was.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I remember. I remember. I would always remember that deal.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Maybe you could just write it down on this yellow paper you found.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, see, what I want though, is how you perceive the deal for my friends, because the way you perceive it was so good. And I don’t want to take away from that. I want Stan in the plan. I want Stan to be the plan still. And I feel like if I write it down, Stan won’t be the plan.

SEAN (AS STAN)

I’m just pulling your chain. Of course, I’m not gonna neg out of a deal. I’m Stan, Zombie King Stan. Right? My word’s all I got, you know. I was gonna tell you the location of one of the keys. That’s it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The keys, yeah. You keep talking about those, but are they sour? I don’t understand why we want one of these keys. I mean, I’ve got keys. We can just walk down the street to the key store.

SEAN (AS STAN)

I don’t know, you seem really intent that your future old you said the new you is gonna want one of these keys.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I guess we should get going! These zombies look tired already!

SEAN (AS STAN)

There you go. She’s ready to go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know why she’s so excited. They’re just sour keys. It’s like, why don’t we just get some breakfast cereal?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s get out into that desert! We want to make a lot of trekking before noontime!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We want to make a lot of trekking, that’s true. So I guess we better go, Stan, but look—hugs.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Hey, watch the head, watch the head.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, don’t want to pat that part. It’s a little gooey, made that mistake last night.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Just remember.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Plant that tree. Don’t want to cross me, Eggsy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t want to cross—and that’s why I’ll plant the tree.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Trees grow so well in the desert.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now is this, do we just put this in the sand?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Hey, Tony’s gonna show you. Got it all taken care of.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Glad Tony’s coming. He’s a very easy to remember person.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, he’s gonna take you all the way there. He doesn’t talk much, you know? I may have done something to him. Yeah, you know.

MIKE

(laughs)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, thanks for your hospitality, Mr. Stan, and we’ll be sure to keep in touch through Tony. I don’t know how that will work because he doesn’t talk, but I’m sure he sends you messages or something, right?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, my word is gold. Nobody crosses Stan, Zombie King, right? Nobody crosses me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Nobody crosses you.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Certainly not Tony.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And I know Eggerton has your deal sealed tight in that vault he calls a brain, right, Eggerton? ‘Cause that was your only job last night was just to talk to Stan and negotiate this deal and remember everything that was said.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And Stan is gonna write down everything I remember being said for us.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen, Eggsy, but you know, you have a good trip and remember, you know, I’ll get you the key.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Fine, I guess we’ll just do it for some lame key, whatever that is.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yep, yep, just a lame key. That’s all we need.

The pack zombies groan and growl.

LATER

SEAN

You’ve just gone far enough in the desert that you can’t quite see the trailer park any more behind you. The heat is really growing and Tony stops and hands out canteens down the line.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s nice. Yeah, you two carry those two for me. I’m gonna have this one now, and when I need to check in, I’ll just let you know and have the rest of the water.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You don’t need to drink water, just saying.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Everyone has to drink.

SEAN

…Tony says.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS TONY)

It’s the desert, you’ll die.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Tony can talk!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tony talks. When did Tony start talking?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah, I just don’t like talking in front of the boss, you know?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No. Why don’t you like talking in front of the boss?

SEAN (AS TONY)

You say the wrong thing, it’s…

(choking noise)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, yeah, yeah, then half your face just goes…

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, that already happened.

SEAN

And he pulls off his fedora.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh my god!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Dear lord!

SEAN

And he puts it back under, tucks it in the fedora.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Thank you, all right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, point made, point made.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now that’s a hat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Covers up a lot. Hat does a lot of work.

SEAN (AS TONY)

It’s a long journey, about two weeks.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Two weeks?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m gonna need more water.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah, well, stay close, it’s… The Badlands are dangerous.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispers)

Snufflesaurs.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, can we just sit down for a minute over here and drink our water? We won’t be long.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Okay, just stay close and don’t sit on anything poisonous.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I will try not to.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What are poisonous things look like?

SEAN (AS TONY)

They’re often red or spiky or anything scurrying or anything sharp-looking or… just don’t touch anything.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Anything that’s not sand, Eggerton.

Okay, well, thanks, Tony.

SEAN

And he starts, Tony starts readjusting the packs on the two zombies.

The zombies growl.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

Listen! The key! The key, I forgot to tell you that I was in communication with Moira back in that cell.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, that’s something you could have told us about!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A lot was happening!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How is Moira doing?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know what she’s doing! All I know is that she talked about three keys. And so when Stan said “key”, I remembered that. And I think we need that key.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So this is why you’ve changed your tune that we’re now allowed to give up the Temple Idris.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I didn’t say that. I just said that maybe we need to play this through to a certain point so we figure out how to get the key. It seemed to be the only way for us to get back to our own time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, what seems to happen is we have to walk for two weeks; we’ll then plant the temple somewhere, hopefully that’s not in the desert.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh huh. Mm hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Tony will watch us do this. Then Tony will walk with us another two weeks back to where we were…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. Right.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…confirm with Stan that we did indeed plant the temple somewhere that he owns, and then he’ll give us the key.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Or maybe Tony already has the key to give us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but is the key sour or not?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! It’s not—well, actually I don’t know. It might be, but as far as I know, it’s just a key.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re not playing for candy, buddy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s just… I don’t get the point.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So you think there’s some way during our trek to deposit a building somewhere that we’re going to get out of having to deposit the building?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know, Blat. All I know is we need a key and I don’t know what he wants with the Temple Idris, but we got to figure out something or we might be stuck in this desert for the rest of time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Look, I think we have more immediate problems. Like the pack animal that we’re using to carry our luggage is looking at me rather hungrily.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It is drooling a bit.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, well, break over. I don’t need to drink water. Would you care for my share, Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sure, I’ll have it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There we go. And let’s continue walking for another 14 days.

The zombies growl.

3 DAYS LATER

SEAN

So you set off again walking and time grows difficult to keep track of between the unbearable heat that almost can be heard. It’s just so pervasive and drilling into your bodies. And then the sudden cold at night, where you’re trying to stay warm enough to sleep curled up and what blankets have been brought along.

And it’s the third day when you are starting to notice that there is a bit of an undulation to the desert and the sand is getting looser and harder to walk on. And you’re coming over a rise when Tony comes to a sudden stop.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Quicksand? Is it quicksand, Tony? Quicksand. Do we have to worry about quicksand? This is quicksand territory, isn’t it?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Shh, down, everyone down.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Down, down, down, down!

SEAN

And he drops down into the sand and he starts scurrying forward in the sand, like a bug going up, towards the crest.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I can’t do that.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just… on your belly, just pretend you’re a snake. Just slither on your belly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

I can’t slither, my face is in the sand.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, up with the chin, down with the belly. Up with the chin, very good. Down with the belly, okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I’m trying now, but it hurts my neck a bit.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, you don’t have to stare directly into the sun. You’re going to blind yourself.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so—mphh mph mmmph.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, like split the difference between the two. Not staring at the sun, but not eating sand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And then sort of straight ahead and we’re moving.

(whispers)

Do it quietly, ’cause there may be danger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Quiet, quiet moving.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay. We’re just gonna get right up beside Tony…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right up beside Tony.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And we’re gonna see what the danger is.

SEAN

And Tony gestures with his hand, and there seems to be a couple of specks in the air in the distance. Not the direction you’re heading, but from off to the side of you. And it’s hard to tell what it is, like a bird maybe in the distance?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tony, why did we stop?

SEAN (AS TONY)

It’s… I don’t know. It might be demons.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat’s a demon.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah, I know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So there’s one right here too. You know that, right? Like, you seem really worried about the ones far away.

(whispers)

But Blat’s right here and he’s part demon.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah, thanks.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So were we not to meet anyone during our two-week trek? That seems a little unrealistic. Surely we would come across someone in the Badlands.

SEAN (AS TONY)

That’s the direction of Krannox, the city.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh yeah, we’ve been there. That’s not so great.

SEAN (AS TONY)

So we’re gonna divert slightly.

SEAN

And he starts to crawl backwards now and he starts to go back down the hill.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, hold on. Okay, I’m gonna try and go backwards. Blat, the sand’s getting up in some places when I go backwards down this little.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, you don’t have to slide down on your back. Just because you’re going backwards doesn’t mean you can’t still be on your front.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, I’m gonna roll over. Oh yeah, now I’m just trying to—

(muffled mumbling)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Again, split the difference, you’re eating sand.

Okay, just look up a little and we’re crawling.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re crawling.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re crawling and we’re crawling.

SEAN

And you guys make it to the bottom where Tony’s sort of looking at you quizzically.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Didn’t wanna get spotted, just trying to be incognito.

SEAN (AS TONY)

We’re gonna have to go through the real Badlands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The “real Badlands”.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s this? This is the fantasy Badlands?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, you know, I don’t wanna say too much, I’ll get in trouble, but you know, Stan is trying to make, you know, like a place, like real estate and calling it the Badlands, but it’s not really the Badlands. It’s like, you know, the edge of the Badlands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I see, so your gangster boss is trying to create an area in the desert that it would be safe for people to go to eventually, perhaps tourists, people that want to have a good time, maybe engage in some fun amusement, like say, see a show.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Right! That was my idea, shows!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do some light gambling. Maybe there’ll be a lot of attractive women there. I see, I see.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah. Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, frankly, I don’t know how this idea could possibly work, but that idea sounds better than going into the really Badlands, which sounds very dangerous.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, we’ve got to, it’s the only way now we’re gonna have to—we won’t be seen by the air as easy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, but my question is, wouldn’t there be things in the really Badlands that are possibly more dangerous than just being spotted by two, whatever is off in the distance there coming from Krannox?

SEAN (AS TONY)

So if you can see them from this distance, that’s probably an entire squadron of demons.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, that would be quite large, yes, I see. Excellent point, excellent point. So—

SEAN (AS TONY)

We’ll just skirt the edge-edge of the real Badlands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Not go really far into the really Badlands. I see, just do a little dipsy doodle just around and we’re just sorta, kinda, sorta, just a little bit going into the really Badlands. Do we have any idea why they’re called the really Badlands?

SEAN

Cut to…

THE REALLY BADLANDS

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(shrieking)

Oh my God, why is everything so horrible here?!

The bellowing of a huge monster.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Get down, get down!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my God, there are tentacles coming out of the sand! What is happening?!

SEAN

Tony pulls up a double-barrelled piece of metal and screams at Blat,

SEAN (AS TONY)

Get down, get down!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m trying to get down, it’s got my shirt! I’ve lost another shirt, oh my Lord!

SEAN (AS TONY)

He pulls the trigger and there’s this horrific blast sound. The tentacles scream and disappear, sucked back under the sand.

A scream, a slurping sound, and the roaring of the monster suddenly stops.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m covered in blue goo! Is the blue goo dangerous? Oh my Lord!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now I gotta say, that’s the kinda show I would pay to see.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s in my eyes! Why is it in my eyes?!

SEAN (AS TONY)

Keep your lookout. Here!

SEAN

So from the backpack, he runs over and pulls out the mace and throws it to Blat.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Your weapon!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s my weapon.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Whatever, one of you use it, it’s gonna take me a while to reload this!

SEAN

And he starts tearing apart this metal and cracking it open and starting to pour stuff from a flask into it.

CARTER (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

My Lord, brother, this is a most terrifying area that we’re in!

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

Oho! Almost exhilarating, brother. This is what we were meant for!

CARTER (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

This is an area true evil, but where is our wielder?

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

We seem to be with the demon! Maybe he is the one we should strike!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, I, here, give me the mace.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I can’t see anything! Am I hitting something? Where is evil?! I can’t see!

Blat flails around, hitting things at random.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just really wanna know how they get the blue goo into the special effects monsters that Blat’s been fighting. I don’t understand how they—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, the monster is real! This is not special effects!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? No, but it’s part of the show that Blat was talking.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s not a show!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s…?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, you’re in danger for your life!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

For my…?

SEAN

There’s a tremor in the sand and all the sand starts to vibrate and move out in rings, away from Eggerton as if there’s a perfect circle he’s standing in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But see, this is a neat—this is a trick, right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s not the wave! No, it’s not! Come on, get—here!

MARISA

And I grab the mace and I hold it aloft against one of the tentacles.

CARTER (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

What ho, brother? Perhaps this is an evil about to come forth from the ground itself!

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

I don’t know, brother, I’m tired of being traded as if we are just a random extension that can be given away so easily!

CARTER (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

Perhaps we should fling ourselves from our wielder’s grasp, smacking evil as we go!

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

Ah, perhaps that little one in the circle is the source of the evil, brother!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Not the little one, the tentacle!

CARTER (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

The evil one! The little one is called the “Tentacle”, an evil term indeed!

SEAN (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

A good evil name if I say so myself, brother!

CARTER (AS THE VOICE OF THE MACE)

Attack the tentacle!

SEAN

Eggerton, you see Darcy holding up her mace as it suddenly leaps from her hand and coming flying, straight towards you.

MIKE

I duck.

SEAN

Okay, roll Defy Danger.

MIKE

Defy Danger! That’s a 7.

SEAN

Do you have a Dex bonus?

MIKE

I do not!

SEAN

Okay, so partial success. So you duck. You manage to bend over, the mace goes flying past and lodges in the sand, the handle sticking out…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aha!

SEAN

…as the creature that was beneath you erupts out of the sand, mouth closing over what once was Eggerton.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Daaah! Eggerton!

SEAN

It rises up and up and up. It is the head of a giant snake that was big enough to swallow Eggerton whole, and it is all tentacles, and it has a mouth—that is not what swallowed Eggerton. And it roars,

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Who comes into my lair?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(from inside the monster, muffled)

It’s Eggerton!

Silence.

MIKE

I have Spirit Tongue.

SEAN

And what does Spirit Tongue do?

MIKE

That allows me to speak to animals.

SEAN

Okay. So I don’t know if this is an animal, but go ahead.

MIKE

You said it’s a giant snake and a snake’s an animal.

SEAN

Okay, it is a snake head, and it is a sentient creature, but go ahead, you may speak to it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

Hi, I’m Eggerton, I think you accidentally engulfed me?

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Hurf?

SEAN

And it sort of cracks open, the part that ate Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, that was a tight squeeze. Sorry about that! Uh… so what are you doing out here?

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

This is my land.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it? I’m sorry, we’re just passing through. We’re trying to get around some other bad guys. And I think we just maybe stumbled upon you, and you were a little freaked out, we’re a little freaked out, but we really mean no harm. We’re happy just to move along.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

You are strange.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think that, you know, that’s fair. I’m not from around here and you seem strange to me! But that’s just because I’m not from around here either.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

And that’s when Tony fires the shotgun again at the creature. Someone roll for the creature, Defy Danger.

MIKE

5.

MARISA

Come on, Michael!

(laughs)

SEAN

And the creature screams in rage. You fall from about 20 feet up, into the sand, Eggerton, as it reels backwards and spins around at Tony, who is now cocking the gun, wide-eyed as he’s trying to fumble and load it again. And you guys, Blat and Darcy, are standing near Tony as the creature redirects its attention on all of you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, I almost have the goo out of my eyes! Almost! Are we in danger? Has the danger passed?

MARISA

And I move to drag Blat. I grab Blat and I drag him towards where Eggerton is standing, away from the gaze of the monster, or the snake.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy! I don’t think this is the time for this, is it?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m trying to save your life!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s really nice to see you two getting together after all this time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(growls)

SEAN

And the creature goes to swallow Tony. Can someone roll Defy Danger for me?

MIKE

Am I the only one with dice? 3.

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN

And the creature swallows Tony, where it had swallowed Eggerton, closing him up, and it beams with glee as it stands up. And you hear Tony shouting from inside.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

(muffled sounds)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay, okay, now, I know he was being rude, but he was just really scared.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Who was scared?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The creature with the bangy stick.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Why would he be scared?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You’re kind of big.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Oh. I guess I am big.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I mean, from our perspective, you’re huge! Look how strong you are!

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Oh, I am pretty strong.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, and those tentacles? Whoa!

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Oh ho ho.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve seen tentacles up close, let me tell you, in space. And your tentacles—still among the best I’ve ever seen.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Space.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Space.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

As in just taking up space?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm-hmm.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

I don’t follow.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So you see, in the future—well, I guess now too, but it’s not until the future that we realize it, that this space we’re on right now is actually just a very small part of a much bigger space that we can’t even see or perceive all around us. And you see way up there, where there’s those twinkling bits? Look up. Those, those are other places.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Okay, I’m just gonna eat this guy. I’ll catch you guys later.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I… I’d prefer if you let him go.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, here’s the deal, here’s the deal, here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. You let him go. I’ll make a postcard featuring you, telling everyone to stay away. And then, like, we can just go on our ways.

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

How will I eat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll make two postcards, one for people like us who are cool, saying like… hey, what’s your name, by the way?

SEAN (AS THE MONSTER)

Draxor.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Draxor. One will say, “Hey, this is Draxor’s spot. Give him some space.” But then the other one will be like, “Come visit Draxor! Stay for ‘breakfast’!” And it’ll be “breakfast” in quotes, and you and I’ll know, the other people won’t know.

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

Ha hah!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right? So we’ll just send that out to some of the people, you know, that maybe there’s too many of them or whatever, or… you know, we need to control the population, and then we’ll just send them along this way….

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

My mom has been saying I need to work on my image.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you know, this is a good opportunity then! ‘Cause think about it this way. You’ll still be big and scary, right? And everyone’s gonna be like, “Oh no, oh no!” But at the same time, you’ll be doing something kind of nice for the world.

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

Huh. Never thought of doing anything nice.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, so it’s really having both things come together to work for you and for us. And you know what, I bet—

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

Are you sure I can do that? ‘Cause I’m from the Badlands, and we’re just supposed to be bad.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but you know what? You don’t let other people define you. You get to be who you wanna be. If you wanna be a giant, snakey, tentacley thing that eats everybody, you can be that. But if you wanna be a giant, snake, tentacley thing that eats some people with discerning tastes… you can be that too.

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

And this is not one of them?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I think you’ll notice there’s a little bit of a sulfury taste to him. There’s some chemicals.

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

Yeah, he’s a zombie.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I mean, formaldehyde’s really not good for you long-term.

SEAN (AS DRAXOR)

All right, all right.

SEAN

And he spits out Tony.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Now Tony, take a moment and breathe.

SEAN (AS TONY)

(breathing heavily)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay. So, I think we can all agree to—let’s just move along. We’ll get each other’s addresses and keep in touch. We’ll make sure things are going okay. And maybe we’ll stop by with a present for you on our way back from where we’re going!

SEAN

We cut to the three adventurers and Tony and the two zombies carrying all the gear, going over the next hill, and Eggerton stopping to turn and wave goodbye to Draxor.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Bye Draxor! We’ll bring you something nice.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay! Okay. It’s out of my eyes. What did I miss?

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers, with your Game Master, Sean Howard, and players Carter Siddall, Michael Howie and Marisa King. Dialogue editing by Michael Howie, transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King, music and sound design by Eli Hamada McIlveen. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Stephen Smith. Supporting producers: Becky Arenivar, Kona, Lillianne Johnston 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: I FORGOT

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you think a zombie who says, “You don’t wanna cross me” is someone who—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ha ha ha ha! That was a good impression.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You have a rag in your mouth! How did you—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I forgot.

Marisa and Mike burst out laughing.

MARISA

I’ll do that again. It’s okay.

CARTER

No, no, no, no, no.

SEAN

We’re keeping that! Keep going. We’re keeping that!

CARTER

No, no, no, no, no. “You have a rag in your mouth.” “I swallowed it.”

MARISA

(laughing)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You have a rag in your mouth!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I swallowed it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, of course you did.