Skip to content

43: Some Like It Hot

Sent on a desert journey by the Zombie King, the party run into some eye-watering perils.

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: death, violence, zombie horror, lockdown anxiety, spicy food.

LAST TIME…

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Let’s go into the trailer where obviously something very important is going to happen.

SEAN (AS STAN THE ZOMBIE KING)

I paid a lot of money to get you here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aha!

SEAN (AS STAN)

They say, “You’re not a normal zombie, Stan.” I’m like, “No, I got vision!”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He wants the temple! We can’t give the dome away!

SEAN (AS STAN)

I meet this young man. He looks very much like this man here, but he was wearing armour.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Other Eggerton.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Other Eggerton.

SEAN (AS STAN)

And we did a small deal.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Isn’t it possible then that, owning the Temple Idris, he then allows it to continue into the future?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Look at all these little Slaad faces looking up at us! We can’t just betray them!

SEAN (AS STAN)

I was going to tell you the location of one of the keys.

SEAN

A hulk of a man in a well put together charcoal grey suit.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Tony’s going to go with you. He’s going to show you where to put the temple.

SEAN (AS TONY)

That’s probably an entire squadron of demons. We’re going to have to go through the real Badlands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The real Badlands.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s this?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Get down!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my God, there are tentacles coming out of the sand!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If you want to be a giant, snaky, tentacley thing that eats some people, you can be that too.

SEAN (AS DRAXOR THE TENTACLEY THING)

All right, all right.

SEAN

And he spits out Tony.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Bye, Draxor!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What did I miss?

THE DESERT

SEAN

The sun is setting on a long day, worn into the sand are footsteps of each of the individuals plodding along, slowly falling further and further behind the person in front of them.

In the lead are two zombies, and then we find each of our adventurers, with Eggerton bringing up the rear with what’s left of the empty canteens. And in the distance behind him is Tony, who keeps checking over his shoulder.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(weakly)

Yes?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, we’ve been doing all this walking, and getting attacked by tentacle monsters… This is just for one of the keys?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I guess so.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How many keys do we need?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think she said three.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do we have a lead on the other two?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, no.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(pained gasping)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s going on, Eggerton? Are you, are you suffering from thirst because you drank all the water? Is that what’s happening?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just need a little more. Just a little bit, because it’s hot and far.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is the last time we take you on a desert trip.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I would like that.

SEAN

The zombies at the front have stopped. You realize you’re about to walk into one of them, wearing the backpack, and you realize that they have come to a complete stop.

In front of them is no longer sand. There’s just like—the sand has become sort of watery and vaporizing off of it, and sort of moving, almost like liquid. Thus, watery.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, dead face. That seems to be the—oh, it’s a different climate.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait, is that quicksand?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, right, sure. That could very possibly be quicksand, yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s moving pretty slow. For quicksand.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, I just assumed that quicksand did move slow. It’s not actually quick sand. It doesn’t just gobble you up all of a sudden.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So it’s like how we’ve been calling Tony “Little”?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure, okay, buddy.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Why have we stopped? The demons are gaining on us.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The demons are gaining on us? I thought we lost the demons a long time ago!

SEAN (AS TONY)

I think they picked us up after the last run-in with the tentacles.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh lord. Uh, well, um…

SEAN (AS TONY)

And I’m still not happy that you married me to one of them.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t marry you, just… bonds of eternal friendship.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Whatever. Why are all the canteens empty?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That would be Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I get thirsty real quick.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He gets stupid even quicker!

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 Carter Siddall, Marisa King, and Michael Howie.

Episode 43: Some Like It Hot.

THE DESERT

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, hey, maybe this isn’t so bad. We’re supposed to plant the building in a place that isn’t sand. This is officially not sand anymore. I know it’s not quite where we wanted to go, but maybe this is close enough?

SEAN (AS TONY)

You think a tree will grow in this?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s not gonna grow in sand.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Exactly. I didn’t think we’d come so far across to the bogs. We’re gonna have to get across.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Across the bogs?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yes. There’s footholds, areas where you can stand usually that won’t sink you into it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, Blat can fly.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Okay, well that’s one of us.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But the others, though. How do you know where to step?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, everyone starts searching for rocks.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, can’t Blat carry us across? One by one?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Could Blat fly across and drop things down to mark safe passage for us?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, how far is the bog? How far does it go?

SEAN (AS TONY)

It’s not really mapped. We need to cross it. We’re not far now from where we need to plant the tree, if I haven’t completely lost our way.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I need you to do me a favour if we get through this. Remind me.. to bring my cardiography tools. Next time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ah, okay…

SEAN (AS TONY)

Look, we don’t have a lot of time. The demons are gonna be here.

SEAN

And I need someone to roll a seven-sided die to find out what this…

MIKE

Just one of those obvious seven-sided die…

SEAN

What this liquid is made of.

CARTER

Today I shall roll, for I feel lucky.

SEAN

So probably… no, that’s a six-sided die, so you’re gonna have to roll something higher than 6, so maybe the eight.

CARTER

Oh, I see.

SEAN

I came up with a list of seven things ahead of this that this might be.

MIKE

Come on, seven.

CARTER

I thought we were just gonna ignore the…

MIKE

Nope, I want it to be seven.

CARTER

Okay, well, we’re gonna try. That’s a 6!

MIKE

Aww!

SEAN

Oh, great. All right. So you have a strange spicy scent that’s also somewhat vinegary, and the sand looks reddish.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You smell that? That actually doesn’t smell so bad.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it doesn’t seem to be that dangerous.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You get a sense of tang?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A tang… Yeah, yeah, I would call that a tang. There is a certain tang in the air. It’s bubbling red.

SEAN (AS TONY)

It’s also 320 degrees.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, well, that’s not a problem for me. Just a moment. And we dip the old fingy in… bring it out… Oh, yeah, it’s smoking, everyone. It’s smoking. Better watch out, those of you that aren’t demons.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Your finger’s on fire.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(smacks his lips)

Mesquite? And a slight smokiness… Yeah, everyone, this is basically barbecue sauce. And oh, no—ahem. Got a little bit of an aftertaste afterwards. No, hot sauce, hot sauce. Not sure where this is on the Kelvin scale, but yeah, definitely a tasty, dangerous treat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Could you just put a little bit in this vial for me for later, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re literally dying of thirst. You want me to give you a vial of hot sauce?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

For later.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, hand it over.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Here you go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why is there a bog of hot sauce in your desert?

SEAN (AS TONY)

This is the Badlands, I’m not sure. Maybe some creature cooks its meals here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you’re saying that if we fall in, we’ll basically be marinated right there and cooked?

SEAN (AS TONY)

I didn’t realize it was a hot sauce, but yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are you saying that this is a creature’s giant kitchen?

SEAN (AS TONY)

I never thought of it that way. We just need to find a way through.

Jazzy drums start. It’s a variation on Eggerton’s kitchen music.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If it’s a kitchen, I’ll find a way.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, this is very good. This is quite exciting. He lives for this. Okay, Eggsy, here’s your vial of… hot sauce, I guess. There might be things in it, I don’t know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you. All right, so the key is to figure out where the sugar is, because kitchens tend to be centred around sugar.

Montage!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Cilantro? Nope, we’re going the wrong way.

SEAN (AS TONY)

What about this? I found this in a cave with a bunch of bats.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hmm, interesting sweetness. Put that aside for later.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This plant! It’s just growing chopped onions!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Chopped onions?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is that a thing? It’s just little diced onions!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Perfect. I’ll throw that into the pot, too.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think these are five dead bodies.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, we should walk around those, they look diseased.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But they’re cooking nicely. Have you ever smelled a dead body that smelled this good?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Keep moving, keep moving.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now I did not expect mosquitoes to get that big, but I’m glad we got away from them.

SEAN

Eggerton is bent over the fiery hot sauce pit of moving sand, and everyone is looking really tired and haggard as he turns back and raises up, Zelda style…

The music ends.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The Fairy Cake of Lava!

SEAN

And I need you to roll a d20.

MIKE

A d20! We don’t get to roll those very often.

SEAN

So far we’ve rolled a 10 and a 12. So most of these came from our fans. These are what happens when Eggerton tries to make fairy cakes in this world without magic.

MIKE

15.

SEAN

Okay, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo! Whatever that Zelda song is.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right. Well, these look tasty.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait, you’re just going to eat it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that’s how you find out how they taste.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You have no idea what you’ve made?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, maybe we could ask Tony to try it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, that just seems kind of cruel, or I don’t know if…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but he’s the one who will tell us if it’s great.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, it’s just we’re used to you behaving like an idiot because you’re small and easy to handle if you get out of control. If we give it to Tony, who knows what will happen?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s a fair point. Would everyone prefer me to eat the fairy cake?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I think we need Tony to get us out of this.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tony, I’m doing this for you, buddy.

SEAN (AS TONY)

I don’t know what we’re talking about.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Chomp!

SEAN

You see Eggerton’s skin begin to ripple and change colour and his muscles begin to explode out on his body as he begins to grow, not in stature, but in bulk. But he’s turning red, fiery hot sauce red as he becomes an Eggerton Hulk-like creature.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, this is great. Finally, a fairy cake that does something good—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

FAIRY CAKE.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s ironic. See, I didn’t want to give it to Tony because I was worried he’d be too powerful for us to handle. So we give it to the small one, but now ultimately he’s too powerful for us to handle.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

HANDLE.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we should move forward in case this Eggerton can help us get through any further obstacles.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OBSTACLES.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, very good. We’ll put Eggsy first. Eggsy, you move on first!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

MOVE FIRST.

SEAN

And Eggerton turns and just does what?

MIKE

He kind of waddles because he’s low and wide and full of muscle, and just kind of starts marching.

SEAN

Okay, you put one foot forward and it’s really hot. As your foot touches this fiery hot sauce, liquid, sand—smoke starts to come up as your foot almost catches on fire. Doesn’t hurt you horribly, but it’s not pleasant.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

UNCOMFORTABLE.

LET’S GO.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well maybe you should find some rocks, Eggerton, to put your feet on and we could follow you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

ROCK SANDALS, GOOD IDEA.

MIKE

And I walk around in the hot stuff finding lava stones.

SEAN

Okay, so you’re testing and testing…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OUCHY FOOT.

PARTY FORWARD.

SEAN

And Eggerton begins to feel out. Now I will say that, Eggsy, as you start to march across, finding the stones through setting yourself on fire, you do reach about a halfway point when it just feels like the far side of where you see the sand rising up again in a dune just seems so close. Like such a small, tiny leap away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

WE CLOSE. I JUMP REST.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, you’re going to jump?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

JUMP. YOU COME WITH.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

SKINNY RED COME WITH.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, okay. Skinny Red will come with. You folks stay here just in case, um, fire bad and all that.

CARTER

And Blat unbuttons his shirt, spreads his wings.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, uh, leap, Muscley, and I’ll follow behind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OKAY.

MIKE

And I leap forward.

SEAN

You see a tiny, bulky, red Eggerton go many dunes off into the distance until it becomes a tiny speck and you hear a BOOMF as he lands far, far away.

CARTER

And Blat flies off after him.

SEAN

Which leaves Darcy standing at the front of the line in the centre of a boiling pit of hot sauce, as the zombies sort of stand confusedly behind you, and you just see, don’t know where the touchstones are now, you just see boiling sand ahead of you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know where the rocks are anymore. Tony?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Huh?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, do you have any suggestions?

SEAN (AS TONY)

(nervous)

Uh, no, I don’t even remember where the ones were behind us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, does this kind of thing really affect zombies? I mean, can’t you guys lose pieces of flesh?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, let’s find out.

SEAN

And he grabs the backpack and just stiff arms one of the zombies off into it and you just hear screams as it bursts into flames and slowly sinks below.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yep, yep, definitely affects zombies.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, there goes some of our food rations. Great. Now what?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Uh, I think we’re waiting.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blaaaaaatt!

THE CAMP IN THE DUNES

SEAN

Blat, you are flying over a few dunes when you see by the, you cross over the second dune high in the air and you see ahead of you a massive camp. Not a lot of people, but an entire world. Like the site of an archaeology dig where everything has been dug up. And you see ground, like as if someone’s dug down, sometimes hundreds of feet beneath these sand dunes to find the soil, and you see it’s all been cleared. And you do see a few people moving between tents. And on the next dune, past the camp, you see Eggsy slowly diminishing in size.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, finally we’ve found some intellectuals! Nothing to worry about here.

Unfortunately I’ve also got Eggsy here who’s stupider than he’s ever been. Maybe the fairy cake’s worn off by now, but… I know! I’ll land, make sure everything’s okay with these book-learning types, hopefully Eggsy will then reunite with me and once I establish it safe, I’ll fly back and collect Darcy and our undead compatriots.

Oh, to have a pleasant conversation for once!

SEAN

You land and you see coming out of one of the tents with a shovel and dragging a rake, a zombie with half of its arm gone and it is slowly dragging and almost doesn’t see you, just diverts around you slightly as it continues on its path.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Zombies are definitely different in the far past than I was used to. All right, maybe there’s a more intelligent zombie that’s in charge of this, perhaps a zombie with a PhD, something like that.

SEAN

You do catch a glimpse as the flap is closing up the tent of someone in a three-piece charcoal suit inside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah well, at least there are certain individuals that know how to maintain a decent look.

CARTER

So Blat once again buttons up his shirt, puts on his tie, and strides forward towards the tent.

SEAN

Okay, you open the flap of the tent.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hi-diddly-ho! Hello there! Sorry to interrupt. You folks digging up something important?

Grunts.

SEAN

You see two zombies in full charcoal suits. They look very familiar. They look very much like Tony and the other guards that you saw back in the village with Stan. And neither of them speak.

They turn to look at you and then they sort of look behind you and then one of them steps behind you to open the flap and look out the side behind you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah no, I’m actually here by myself. I just landed to see if it was safe. We’re trying to get past the swamp, the hot sauce swamp.

(slowly and loudly)

Do you know about the hot sauce swamp?

SEAN

One of them kneels down and starts to draw what looks like a tree and then looks at you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh yes, oh, you communicate very well! You’ve already got the heads up.

Yes, we’re bringing the tree. We haven’t reached the X where the tree goes. We’re trying to get there now.

SEAN

The other one steps up behind you and starts to pat you down as if looking for weapons or the tree.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, I’m sorry my overly enthusiastic undead friend. I don’t have the tree. The tree is coming. I’m the scout. Scouting ahead! Avoiding danger!

SEAN

The one kneeling points at the tree so hard that his finger goes into the dirt and looks a little angry now and taps it again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh I’m sorry. Is this where the tree goes? Are you digging hole for tree?

SEAN

Shakes his head, shakes his head and then opens the flap and waits for you to come outside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh All right, well I’ll follow you then. Okay, how far are we from X where tree goes?

SEAN

He steps forward a couple hundred yards, keeps looking back for you to follow and then comes to an edge and you see a giant hole like massive that could potentially fit what you knew to be the ancient giant tree of Temple Idris.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is where tree goes.

SEAN

He nods and then points.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, okay, again, I am presently without tree.

SEAN

Shakes head and points.

CARTER

Turns his pockets inside out.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No tree, me scout, bring tree lady, plant tree.

SEAN

Does not look happy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you know way through swamp?

SEAN

Just cocks his head and points for the hole.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh lord, it’s like talking to Eggsy. Um… did you see red dot fly through sky, land on other side of camp?

SEAN

Points at the hole.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, okay, um, okay, here’s how this is going to go. I’m going to fly back and bring tree lady—

SEAN

You sense somebody coming up behind you quite quickly.

CARTER

And Blat turns around thinking it might be Eggerton.

SEAN

Somebody pulls a canvas over your head and you are encapsulated in some kind of…

CARTER

Sack.

SEAN

Sack, thank you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(muffled)

Now wait a second! I’m the scout! You can’t treat the scout this way!

SEAN

And you’re being picked up in the air and carried away.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, how am I supposed to go back to get the tree if you captured me?! I thought you were intellectuals!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(back to normal)

That sack being carried away sounds an awful lot like Blat. Well, maybe these nice zombies will know where he went off to.

Excuse me, kind zombies! I am looking for my friend Blat!

SEAN

One of the zombies steps away and the other ones continue to carry forward as the sack continues to talk as it moves off into the distance.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(muffled)

Now I’m sorry, I thought the book learning would have made you a bit different than average ruffians but you’re really just undead rubes. You know that don’t you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He’s a little bit taller than me, kind of red. Sounds a little bit like that sack…

SEAN

So the zombie in the charcoal three-piece suit kneels down and draws a picture of like a person that’s skinny with wings.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, that’s him!

SEAN

Shakes his head as if he hasn’t seen him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay, well do you mind if I just hang out here and wait and see if he shows up?

SEAN

And that’s when you feel a sack going over your head and you’re being lifted up into the air and carried away.

MIDROLL ANNOUNCMENTS

ELI

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

Yeah it is!

ELI

Hey! It’s Eli doing the announcements this week. Hope you’re all well. I hope you’re all getting to take a breath this week. It’s been a time.

We’ve been really glad to hear your comments and posts about the show being back now. So happy that so many of you are finding it entertaining and delightful. We’ve got the next few episodes recorded now. I’m trying to get ahead of the game again—and oh boy does this story go places. I cannot wait to get these episodes out to you.

As always, thank you to everyone who’s been funding us over on Patreon. You folks keep us running, seriously. We’re still going through our ridiculously long backlog of awesome people who have been Patreon backers since forever, TM.

So huge, huge thanks to Amy Reddecliffe, Colton Chapin—as always, I hope we’re getting these pronunciations at least close, my apologies if not. TinTin Kalaw, hooray! AudioDramaRama—hey Alex, how you doing? Kyle Bergeron, thank you; Nick; Jeff Goldman; Sylvia Bae; the unstoppable Rachel Rauch, writer and mainstay of our Discord; and Amelia Cates.

Thank you so much. Thank you all of you. You keep the gas in our tank, or I don’t know, the milliamp-hours in our battery? I’m sorry. You all rock, and we are so grateful.

And let’s move on before I try to make another terrible metaphor. Bye for now.

MIDROLL: GERHARDT IN LOCKDOWN

MIKE (AS RADIO ANNOUNCER)

This is the Emergency Broadcast System. Please stay inside. The Shattering is here.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

The Shattering?

MIKE (AS RADIO ANNOUNCER)

Until further notice, you will need to remain in place.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

In place?

MIKE (AS RADIO ANNOUNCER)

This is an Emergency Broadcast Service. Thank you.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

In place? I’m not allowed to leave my house, see anyone that I am related to, or have constant dealings with? I’m just going to look out the window—

Ach, the Shattering, everywhere! How did the Shattering get so bad?

SEAN (AS RADIO ANNOUNCER)

You may have looked outside your window, in which case you’ve noticed there’s a bit of darkness, but really it’s nothing to worry about. This has been a message from your government.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Ah, you can’t fool me, it’s eleven o’clock in the morning, it’s not the nighttime, it should not look like that. And usually night isn’t quite so swirly about and evil looking. Urgh, I’ve got to stay inside.

I can stay inside, I do not need anything, I can entertain myself. First of all, I can make myself a nice hot—I don’t have any food! The cabinets are bare! Ach… I’m so hungry.

Well, I don’t think it would be too wrong if maybe I just opened one little portal, go somewhere and get some little food.

MARISA (AS RADIO ANNOUNCER)

This is another message from your government. No portals are allowed during the Shattering lockdown. I repeat, no portals are allowed. Please do not enter, create, or come through a portal during this time, not even to get food or other essential supplies. Thank you for your cooperation.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

This is a problem when you elect a socialist government, they always impose limitations upon you. Just because most people don’t have portal technology doesn’t mean that the few who have portal technology should not be allowed to use it, just because I was smart enough to sell portals.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

I think you should use it.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Oh no, that sounds familiar.

Hey! I’m still not allowed to let you in, I have to stay in place because there’s so much Shattering about.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Oh, just open the window.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Open the window?

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Just a little bit, just a crack, just imagine feeling air across your skin again.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I could maybe turn on my portable fan to do that, I’m not supposed to do anything—

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Oh is that a knock at the door? Is that the pizza man?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Oh, it’s the pizza man! I didn’t order but he knew I didn’t have any food. Just a minute, you stay here and you don’t come in, okay?

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Okay.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

All right, just a minute, I have to find my wallet.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Oh, I think he’s leaving, you’d better move fast.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

This is my folding money, okay, that’s the uh… All right, am I wearing pants? Yeah, I have pants on.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Open the door!

The door opens.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Yeah, hello?

An ominous whooshing sound.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Thank you.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

There’s no pizza then?

SEAN

Help the portal salesman out before he’s eaten by the Shattering, you can contribute by going to patreon.com/albasalix.

We could really use your help.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

So I get the pizza money from the Patreon, is that what I do? Maybe I could just sell you a portal…

Music sting.

HOT SAUCE

SEAN

We return to the centre of the bubbling pit of hot sauce as you start to realize it’s been a long time.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Um, you’re sure Blat’s coming back?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, I’m not sure of anything Tony, this is all your gig, maybe you could tell me why Blat and Eggerton aren’t coming back to get us. Obviously they wouldn’t abandon us here.

SEAN (AS TONY)

We’re—if I’m right, we’re very close to the site, I don’t understand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, can’t you send up a flare or something? I mean this site we’re going to, is there anyone there already?

SEAN

Tony turns and looks at the pool.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Ralph had the flares on him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aha, okay.

Well I may not look like it, but I’m a very fragile creature when it comes to boiling hot sauce-like stuff. I won’t do well in this. You’re bigger than me, so maybe you should try finding the rocks and if your feet get a little burnt that shouldn’t be so bad.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Okay, let’s try and switch positions. Um, hold on, I’m just standing on a precarious one, you’re gonna have to put your foot over here, I gotta get in front where you are. Just—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, yep.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Oh god…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Nngh!

SEAN

Okay, roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

Nooo! Okay, and what can I use here, Dex?

SEAN

Yep.

MARISA

Which is plus 7! No, it’s not. All right, I rolled a 6, which plus 1 is 7.

SEAN

Partial success.

Uh, okay so, you’re gonna succeed. Who do you want this to work badly for, you or Tony?

MARISA

I want it to go badly for Tony rather than me.

SEAN

Okay, so you you manage to jump over and get onto Tony’s perch but he has a second where he starts to fall and you reach out and steady him and it looks like it’s all gonna be okay and then he topples over into the lava pit. Can someone roll a d6 for me?

CARTER

1!

SEAN

Nice. Uh, and he lets out a scream and rolls over as he’s catching on fire and he’s trying to clamber back up onto the stone but he’s having trouble finding it. Can someone roll Defy Danger for me for Tony? 2d6?

MIKE

8.

SEAN

Plus 1. Uh, and he manages to do it but he takes another round of damage, roll that d6, Carter.

CARTER

3!

SEAN

Uh, so he’s clambered up and he’s this massive hulking guy just, like, trying to not touch the sand. He’s just perched there, he’s still on fire, his hair—one side of his hair, the other side of his fedora has fallen off and so half his brain is hanging out—and he’s sort of just gasping for breath as he’s perched now where you were.

SEAN (AS TONY)

I meant to do that!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, surely you did. Uh… was it hot?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Oh yeah. It’s a little hot.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So we have a problem, neither of us are very resilient against this stuff.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah. Um, I’m gonna try feeling my way.

SEAN

Roll 2d6 for me?

MIKE

He’s gonna try feeling his way through the hot…?

SEAN

Yeah. Try and find the…

MIKE

7… 8.

SEAN

8. So his foot catches on fire and he’s like, “AGH AGH AGHHH” and then he manages to put it down and he’s like,

SEAN (AS TONY)

Oh! I found the next stone.

SEAN

And he’s like trying to put the fire out with like patting at it with his hand.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Oh, okay, we’re ahead one, come on, let’s go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay!

MARISA

So I climb up the back of the other zombie and I sort of urge them forward to follow Tony as I ride on the back of that zombie.

MIKE

Use their ears to steer?

MARISA

No, I wouldn’t be that cruel, Michael.

THE CAMP

SEAN

We’re back in camp as Eggerton, the sack containing Eggerton is carried away into the distance and one of the zombies stops, letting the others proceed as he turns back, looking over the dune as you see little flashes of fire going up into the air and some yelling and then some relieved talking. And then there’s a pause and another flash of fire and yelling and it’s a few minutes later when over the dune comes a somewhat singed Tony and, riding a zombie, is Darcy behind him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, that was actually really impressive! We made it.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Most of me did.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, well, you know, maybe it’ll come back?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Yeah, that’s how zombies work.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I guess not.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, look! The camp, we’ve made it to the camp—I mean, I knew we’d make it to the camp.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, where do you suppose…? I mean Blat would have seen this, right?

Blat, Blat, we’re here!

Where do you think they went, Tony? I mean, it’s just this one camp.

SEAN (AS TONY)

I dunno. I see Johnson down there, I’ll go talk to him.

SEAN

And he walks forward to speak to Johnson and they seem to be in some kind of conversation and then he returns to you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So?

SEAN (AS TONY)

I think the long skinny one is here as is the little one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, great, where are they?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, they have them in the main tent, they’re a little confused and upset. They seem to think that… they were trying to renege on the deal.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why?

SEAN (AS TONY)

I don’t know. I think we need to get to the main tent.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, just as long as they haven’t been hurt, because that was definitely not part of the deal.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, if they renege on the deal, the instructions are pretty severe and immediate.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, so you have instructions, do you, Tony?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, yeah, he said don’t cross him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, well, do you do everything he says?

SEAN (AS TONY)

Um… yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because I just want to remind you that a while back you were almost dead and my friend Eggerton saved your life. So maybe there should be some shifting of allegiances here. Did you ever think of that?

SEAN (AS TONY)

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, maybe that’s because half of your brain has leaked.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Oh, sorry, I need to get a new fedora. I’ll try and push that back in.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Helps to keep it in, yeah.

SEAN (AS TONY)

Well, let’s get to the main tent before they’re, you know, gone.

SEAN

Okay, Blat, you’ve been unceremoniously dropped, and hit the ground—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gahh!

SEAN

And you hear another muffled sack coming in as you spill out of yours and see you’re in a large, sort of, it’s a large tent, very just industrial, but there’s lots of tools everywhere and there are five fully charcoal-suited zombies who do not look happy and they are dropping another small bag at your feet, which when they drop it says…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hurgh!

Blat? Blat, are you here?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, Eggsy, I’m here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, we’re in a dark cavern. I can’t see you, but I can hear you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re in a sack.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is that what they call a cavern here? It’s very, very dark.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They call sacks “sacks”. You’re in a bag. You’re in a canvas bag.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I think if we start running together, we’ll be able to get our way out of here, okay? Ready? Just follow my voice.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Are you running to get out of the sack or are you running to get out of the—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

One, two, three!

Eggerton runs straight into something solid.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ow.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re in a sack, in a tent.

SEAN

And from outside, you hear a familiar voice approaching.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat? Eggerton, are you in there?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, you see? You see? Our compatriots have caught up with us. We’ve done nothing wrong. We bring tree. We are tree bringers. You are sack gatherers!

SEAN

The zombies seem to be picking up what you thought were tools, but there are things like a rusty saw, pliers, crowbar…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, now I see the problem here. You’re using a crowbar to dig a massive hole? You zombies don’t know the slightest thing what you’re doing! You’re a terrible archaeologist and an even worse gardener!

SEAN

And one of them swings the crowbar for your head, Blat.

CARTER

Blat ducks.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

CARTER

3. With my Dexterity—that’s a 2, so that’s a 5.

MARISA

(laughing)

Oh my god.

SEAN

Eli, sound of a crowbar hitting a skull.

Clang!

SEAN

Would you please roll 1d6 for me?

CARTER

Certainly.

6!

SEAN

Okay, Blat. You take 6 damage. You see stars.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Holy dear Loxsyn, what did you do that for?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What happened, Blat? What’s wrong?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m being beaten with a crowbar by an idjit!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How do you know it’s a crowbar? It’s so dark in here.

SEAN

The tent flap opens and in steps Tony, followed by Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! Eggerton, what’s going on here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy, you’re in the cave too?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, where are you?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m over here! Follow my voice and come to me!

SEAN

You see a sack sort of shuffling around.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, you’re in a—

MARISA

I run over to the sack and I pull it open.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa! Blat, I was in a sack the whole time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I know, I’ve been hit in the head and I still know you’re in a sack.

SEAN

Tony is raising both hands and trying to step between you and the other zombies, but they are walking around him and he turns. He’s like,

SEAN (AS TONY)

Show them you have the tree! Someone!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I do! I have the tree!

MARISA

And I hold up the dome and show the zombies.

SEAN

They all stop.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got the tree. You want the tree, you leave my friend alone.

SEAN

And one of them steps to the flap and opens it, gesturing you to proceed.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, but you leave that crowbar here. Okay?

MARISA

And I slowly walk out of the tent.

SEAN

They follow, all carrying their weapons. And you are led to a very large, it’s like pit. You come to the edge, it’s almost like being at the edge of a cliff. It is so deep and you see raw soil way down there. And it is maybe half a click across and it’s basically the size that that giant Temple Idris tree would have been back in the world you knew.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What—you want me to drop this in there?

SEAN

Tony steps behind you.

SEAN (AS TONY)

You have to plan it or whatever you need to do.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean whatever I need to do? Do you not see it’s in a dome? How do I get it out of the dome?

SEAN (AS TONY)

I’m just a zombie, I don’t know!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are there instructions on the bottom? Sometimes they put instructions on the bottom.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wha—

MARISA

And I actually turn it over just because I’m so desperate.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I don’t see anything on the bottom.

SEAN

It says “MADE IN BALGOMAR”.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It says nothing except where was made.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Where was it made?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Balgomar, what do you think?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Long live Boltius!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(mutters)

Long live Boltius.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Long live—oh, my head hurts!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What did they do to Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He says they hit him with a crowbar, but it was so dark in that cave I don’t know how you could tell.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

Okay, listen, this is just a very little tree. You can see that. And you want me to go all the way down there and plant this?

SEAN

Tony’s just sort of looking confused.

SEAN (AS TONY)

You don’t know how to plant it? Eggsy, when he struck the deal, he told Stan he knew how to plant the tree.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Gee Eggsy, do you know how to plant a tree?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…I remember reading in a book when I was little that you plant a tree and you sow it with love and that’s what grows.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Well…

SEAN

You see all the Slaad up against the glass waving at you. They’re so excited that someone has pulled the snow globe out and they’re all running around and one of them’s running inside to get Mother Speckley.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, hey guys, I’m hoping everything’s gonna be just fine!

SEAN

One of them’s running up with a sign and it’s so tiny it’s hard to read it but you think it says…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN

SAVE US.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I’m trying! Hello! Hi there! Guys, how are we gonna get this out of the dome?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, here’s what I think has to happen—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Shh, quiet or the zombies will hear.

(whispers)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed… but I think these are zombie gangsters. I think it’s very possible that if we give the zombies what they want they will not give us the key but instead beat us with crowbars. Trust me, I have first-hand experience with this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, so you mean you’re saying to me, Darcy, who said this to you days ago, “Don’t trust the zombies”?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(furtive)

No! Shut up!

SEAN (AS TONY)

I’m right here and I feel like I’m being treated like a stereotype.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, it’s really not appropriate to talk about zombies in front of the zombies.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(whispers)

Eggsy! Get over here! Get over here with the two of us!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispers)

Okay, okay, okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Here’s what I think has to happen. I think we have to go down there. I think we do have to plant the tree. It’ll grow to the size it was that we remember, and then the Slaad will get released and then the Slaad can help us if the zombies try something.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Um, but what if it takes the tree eight thousand millennia or whatever to grow to the normal size it is when we saw it because we’re way back in the past, bazillions of years ago?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe it’s just a Shrinky Dink.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Or it could be a Shrinky Dink but I don’t know.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So instead we’re gonna say, “Oh, gotta tell ya, don’t know anything about gardening. And then they’re gonna kill us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I don’t—okay, I don’t like that option. All right, fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

I have an idea.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no. Have you been hit on the head with a crowbar?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Probably.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s the idea?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We plant it and then put the hot sauce on it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That is not how you plant a tree!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s not how we would plant a tree in Balgomar but that doesn’t mean it won’t work here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t see any reason why it would work here—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because the hot sauce was a river.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t want to kill this tree!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re not gonna kill, we’re gonna grow it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay you know what we’re gonna do? We’re just gonna ask the Slaad. That’s what we’re gonna do.

MARISA

And I hold the dome up to my face.

SEAN

As you lift it you see all the Slaad flying into the air and they’re all scrambling around.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sorry, sorry!

MARISA

And I look very closely and I say to the Slaad,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Slaad, do you know if your tree was planted in a desert?

Yeah, yeah—no, go and write the answer. Can you hear me?

Go and write the answer on something. Yeah, ask, can you get Mother Speckley?

SEAN

They nod.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, get Mother Speckley.

SEAN

Okay. You see a figure and a hood come rushing out with a bunch of Slaad leading them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mother Sp—yes, hello, nice to see you. I’m wondering if you know—

SEAN

She starts writing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, okay, yeah, right.

SEAN

Holds up a sign. It takes a bunch of them to hold up, it’s so big.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh huh?

SEAN

“PLEASE LET US OUT.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

I don’t think they really know. I think Blat’s right, I think we have to go down into the crater.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are there stairs or… a mover?

SEAN

They point and there’s like these rickety ladders that go way down to one level and then you move over and there’s another ladder that rickety goes down to a next level. It keeps going all the way down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But do you have an elevator?

SEAN

They all move a little closer with all their weapons held.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, once again I must take off my shirt.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where are you getting all these shirts?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s the same shirt as—oh, lord does this need to be laundered.

Okay, putting that shirt down, putting the tie down.

CARTER

Blat unfurls his wings, he’s stumbling about.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, we can do this one of two ways. Either you give me the tree and I go down to try to plant it, or I bring you down one at a time with the tree and then we try to plant it.

Eerie music.

SEAN

You start to notice that the hand that you’re holding this globe with basically the Temple Idris inside it, your hand’s starting to feel strange.

It’s like you’ve been disconnected from something this whole time, that you’ve sort of forgotten what it feels like to be connected to magic and your god. And it’s like it’s all coming up through one hand right now, the one that’s been holding this globe as you’re watching. And Blat is talking.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh… What did you say, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(starting to slur his words)

I can take the tree, go down the flappity flap and plant the tree or I come up one at a time, bring you down and we plant the tree together. Togetherness!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I think we should stay together. Um, but I’m not—

SEAN

(laughing)

There’s a trickle of blood coming down Blat’s head as he speaks.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m not sure you’re safe to fly.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, I’m good to go. I can drive. Someone give me my keys.

Okay, Eggsy, you’re first. Come on, in the driver’s seat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, let’s go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No—I don’t know, Eggerton—

MIKE

And I sit down on Blat’s foot hugging his leg.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, that’s good. See? Now I’m a bit more upright. So okay, so who wants to go next? Do I bring the zombie down? Do you want to come down?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’re not bringing any zombies down. They just want us to go down.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, then we’re gonna go down. All right, so come here. If you get on my other leg, we can do this all at once. Hang on tight now and make sure that your arms stay inside during the ride.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think this is a very bad idea, but frankly, their rickety ladder setup doesn’t inspire much more confidence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Nothing but bad ideas for the last two years! Let’s go!

Wind whistles past the three.

SEAN

And Blat steps off the edge, like, straight as a board, slowly turning into a full on dive as you are racing down hundreds of meters.

MIKE AND MARISA (AS EGGERTON AND DARCY)

Aaaaaaaa!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s exciting, I know! It’s exciting! The gift of flight!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

My arm is outside the ride! My arm is outside the ride!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I told you not to do that!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Smile for the picture!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sobbing in panic)

SEAN

We cut to all three of you standing in the centre of this giant pit that is almost impossible to see all the edges from down where you are.

And you’re standing there and Darcy is still holding the globe.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so we’re gonna plant it here. I’m gonna go lie down over here for a while.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, okay, we still need to figure out how to get the dome open. Here, I’m gonna put them down on the ground here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

What if we don’t need to get the dome open?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I dunno, I just wondered what we would do if we don’t get the dome open. Like, we’re supposed to open the dome and plant the tree, right? But what if we can’t open the dome? What do we do?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t think the tree was ever meant to be in this dome. So I don’t think it’s as if it’s, you know, a seed and the tree is gonna come out of it. I think we gotta get it out of the dome. But I don’t want to break it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What if… we break it? Just a little bit though!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, hypothetically, if we were to break it, what would we break it with?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, we could probably find a pebble around here or something and just kind of like tap, tap, tap and get a little hole.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then slowly let all of it out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Gahh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Like a balloon. It’ll go meeeee-errrr-plthhpt.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s hard when the other good idea person has a concussion and I have to rely on you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What I think will be a good idea is we write on cue cards the answers to the test and then we read them over beforehand and then it’s not called cheating and studying and oh my head.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right. Uh—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I’m going to go get a pebble.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…And here’s a triangle one and here’s a square one and this is all lopsided.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think the triangular one will be fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You think? Okay. But, oh, there’s a big one over—that’s like a rock over there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But that one might be too much.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What if I use the rock to hit the pebble?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just get the pebble.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I’ve got a pebble and we’ll just, all right, put it on the dome here and I’m going to very gently just give a little tap, tap, tap, tap, tap…

SEAN

Okay. Nothing happens.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s not working yet.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, maybe a little harder.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right. Here we go. A little tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

SEAN

You think you hear a bit of a crack sound, but nothing happens.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Okay. So it’s like opening a canteen that’s been shaken up too much. You have to do it slow and let the hiss out slow. So it goes tssss because if you’d open it at once, it just goes PSHHHH—

SEAN

Darcy, You see like a bit of a like crack forming and like, cracking outward across the glass, like spidering out from the pebble.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Put it down. Put it down. I think it’s going to crack.

Okay, it’s, no, no, it’s okay—

SEAN

And it explodes open in a blinding flash of light.

While Eggerton was still holding it.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers with your Game Master, Sean Howard, and players Michael Howie, Marisa King, and Carter Siddall.

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: Kim Bellinger, Becky Arenivar. Kona and Lillianne Johnston.

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: RANDOM DESERT HAZARDS

MARISA

How about you stub your toe?

Laughter.

CARTER

You stub your toe?

SEAN

Yeah, that really escalates it.

MIKE

No, no, no. You keep stubbing your toe. Every three steps you stub your toe. Even if there’s nothing there.

MARISA

Oh no, I think that’ll get…

CARTER

Hot sauce.

SEAN

Hot sauce.

CARTER

(laughs)

MARISA

How…? What?

See, I’m being too logical, that’s my problem.

CARTER

Yeah, just come up with silly stuff!

SEAN

All right.

MARISA

Uh… Wolverine toad!

CARTER

Wolverine toad!

MIKE

Oh, put wolverines down. I want wolverines down.