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44: Roots and Wings

Their mission for King Stan accomplished, the party find themselves in grave danger from all sides.

Our recommended podcast this week is Ostium!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: combat, death and violence, zombie horror, gruesome descriptions, choking, heights, innuendo and more hilarious head trauma.

LAST TIME…

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

MARISA (AS DARCY)

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

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasping)

I would like that.

SEAN

A strange, spicy scent, and the sand looks reddish.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(smacks his lips)

Mesquite?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The Fairy Cake of Lava!

SEAN

You see Eggerton’s skin begin to ripple as he begins to grow.

MIKE (AS HULK EGGERTON)

PARTY FORWARD.

SEAN

Blat, you cross over the second dune, High in the Air, and you see ahead of you a massive camp, like the site of an archaeology dig.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello there! Sorry to interrupt.

Puzzled zombie groans.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You folks digging up something important?

Clang!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, God! What did you do that for?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

What happened, Blat? What’s wrong?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

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

SEAN (AS TONY)

Show them you have the tree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

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

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Let’s go!

MIKE AND MARISA (AS EGGERTON AND DARCY)

Aaaaaaaa!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

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

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I’ve got a pebble… put it on the dome here and… tap, tap, tap, tap, tap…

Cracking sounds.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

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

SEAN

And it explodes open in a blinding flash of light… while Eggerton was still holding it.

THE BIG DIG

SEAN

We fly over dunes, coming down into an archaeology dig, to a group of zombies wearing three-piece suits holding various crowbars and bloody saws—as they stare down deep into a chasm that is so massive we can barely see: Three individuals gathered and messing with something that Eggerton is holding. When there’s a blinding flash of light and Eggerton says…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aw, jeez.

Tiny screams.

SEAN

And the glass of the globe fractures and all these little people fall out screaming down towards the ground and Eggerton is holding the tree, otherwise known as Temple Idris.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, no, everyone hold still. Darcy, Darcy, Darcy, Darcy, do you have a cup? We need to catch them. They’re falling, Darcy, they’re falling!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I—how would I have a cup?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, just make a cup with your hands. Quick, quick, quick.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, okay, I think—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There goes a Slaad.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But they’re falling softly into the sand. I think it’s okay. Look, that little guy seems fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, all right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, but let’s back away. I don’t want to step on anyone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay. Oh, look, that one’s building a sandcastle.

SEAN

Eggerton, your hands are starting to tingle like, in not a good way. It’s almost like your nerves are being overwhelmed.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… things feel funny.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The roots, the roots of the tree, they’re wrapping around you. You need to put the tree down to the ground quickly. Quickly!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, it’s—it’s not coming off!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, no. Well, I can’t cut the roots now!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What—What if we dye the roots?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know, we need to do something though.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, put your hands down with the… ooh, maybe you’re going to be stuck with this tree forever.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohh, am I going to be a tree?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, maybe.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t want to be a tree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, no, wait. Let’s—okay, if I really… If I just pull a bit…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Unghh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, and then just pull your hand that way.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(grunting)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I got that finger free.

SEAN

There’s a pop sound and Darcy is holding Temple Idris.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, okay, now I’ve got it! Okay, I’m going to put it down to the ground—quickly.

SEAN

The roots begin to burrow rapidly into the ground.. and the tree seems to be growing as you’re watching it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s a quick tree.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s very quick.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Quicker than most, I’d say.

SEAN

It’s like it’s a centimetre every few seconds.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, are the Slaad growing too? Where are they now?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, look, they’ve set up a beach ball net.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So they’re not really that traumatized, I guess. They seem okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s not really the season for it. They have to take off their sandals and there might… You know, I’ve heard that you can find little bits of glass in sand where lightning has struck.

So they have to watch out for that. They might be the same size as the bits of glass now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow. Look how tall the tree is now. That is growing fast.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It is. It’s a fast tree.

SEAN

The Slaad look a little bigger, but they’re still quite tiny and they appear to be trying to hang signs on what looked like a net that we’re setting up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay. There’s a message being formed and it reads…

SEAN

GET…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Get…

SEAN

US…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Us…

SEAN

AWAY…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Away…

SEAN

TREE.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Get them away from the tree! Get them away from the tree!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You think they mean this tree?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, I do think they mean this tree. It’s the only one here, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Kay, but they don’t know that. They’ve been in this little bulby thing the whole time. We could be in a forest right now and they would have no idea.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You don’t think they can see this huge thing growing beside them?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, they can see this clearly, yes—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Will you just help me scoop them up? Get as many as you can. Okay, I got some…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, okay… all right, okay, now let’s just head over here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, Blat, Blat, Blat, Blat, can you hold this Slaad? It’s falling out of my hand—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(delirious)

Coach McGillicuddy wanted me to join the track team, but I said I wasn’t good at athletics, but he thought having wings would be an advantage.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I like Blat’s new take on life. It’s a really interesting worldview.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, the coach is sending you in! The coach needs you to gather up as many of these little critters as you can, and that’s going to win the meet for your team!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t remember this particular sport, but I will endeavour to succeed!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Go, go, quick, quick, as quick as you can, quickly, quickly!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This one looks familiar! This one looks familiar! Oh, this is a little tiny human person. “Hello, I’m a tiny human person!” Into the pockets you go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, I think we got everyone. Just check around.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The tree’s getting wider now too, not just taller.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s back away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s getting wider. It’s girthy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s back away. Back away, back away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. All right!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are we back far enough?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think so.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eee hee hee! They’re running around in my pockets. They’re panicking in my pants! Ah ha ha heh heh hooo.

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 Michael Howie, Carter Siddall, and Marisa King.

Episode 44: Roots and Wings.

THE TEMPLE

Rumbling and cracking.

SEAN

The ground is beginning to buckle all around the tree as the roots plunge deeper, sending tremors that you can feel beneath your feet. And you’re backing up towards the wall of sand and the suited zombies that are standing at the top, tapping makeshift weapons into their other hands.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s intimidating and I am not a fan of it. But we’re kind of running out of space here, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I think we have to start scrambling up the sides to get up there. I don’t know where else to go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We are known as excellent climbers.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, some of us fly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right. Blat!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Who flies?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat, okay. You need to take off your shirt. First—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What? Oh, I’ve been told about these locker room shenanigans and I will not play a part in it, thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent. So what we need you to do is show us, though, the proper maintenance for folding a shirt.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, that’s very easy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, wait. Take the Slaad out of your pockets first.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, oh, I’m sorry. Ah hoo hoo hoo! Oh, my dangly bits. All right! So you take them, and you can have the little human person. Look at that—oh! Getting bigger by the second.

Now, are we all wearing neckties?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, just the shirt. We just need to take off the shirt and show us how it folds.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Well, we’ll save that for next time. So the tie comes off and now you have to be careful with the buttons. If you have large nails like I do, you can crack a button.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh-oh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sometimes it’s hard to find a dry cleaner.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh huh? Now, what happens if we just rip it like this? Huwaah!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wha—what the what? There are buttons everywhere.!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, now look at these wings of yours, Blat. Just go flappy flap.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Go flappy flap?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Flappy flap!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, quick. Everyone onto Blat’s legs. Okay, go, little people!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(singing dreamily)

Flappy flap… flappy flap!

Oh, Coach McGillicuddy was right. Perhaps I could have been a wondrous athlete!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but now just maybe a little faster.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Faster, faster, faster with the flappy flap. It’s a faster flap flap. It’s a faster flap flap flappity flap.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, the fastest flap flap.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Faster, faster, flap, flap, flap, flap.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. Fastest. Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, and we’re rising off the ground. And we’re rising off the ground… And oh my heavens, did anyone notice this humongous tree that’s growing here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. We need to get away from the tree.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Get away from the tree? Ah, not a nature lover I see. Very good. The city does have its advantages.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, there we go. Up we go. Heavens, we keep flying up, but there seems to be no ground? Where’s the ground? We seem to have to go up and up and up in order to get to ground.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We are under the ground—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re under the ground?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We have to be above the ground.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We do have to be above the ground. That makes sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Above the ground, there’s a sale.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s a sale?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s a sale on ties.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s a sale on ties?! Well, I could use a shirt. What happened to my shirt? Oh, my beautiful—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, Darcy wrecked it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy wrecked my shirt?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm-hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, we’re going to have a talking to, Missy, as soon as you get off my leg and we get onto solid ground. And look, there are people around. Oh, look at that one. I think part of his head’s missing, but he’s wearing quite an attractive shirt!

SEAN

So Blat comes to a land on the lip on the sand as the tree continues to grow, sending shockwaves that cause some of the sand beneath your feet to slip down into the chasm. So the ground beneath you is becoming a little trepidatious. Is that the right word? Probably not. And the zombies are now surrounding you on the edge of the lip as the tree continues to grow behind you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OK, so if we could move away from the lip. I know some of you are missing lips, but this isn’t the time to get them. Let’s move back away from the lip, everybody.

SEAN

The zombies are just watching.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy? Darcy? Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think you’re doing the right thing. We just gotta push them back. Just keep moving forward. Here we go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They’re not moving, though.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I’m just going to go under some arms then…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just excuse me, Mr. Zombie—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Coach McGillicuddy! Coach McGillicuddy! I did it. I collected all the little people for the points and I flew up onto solid ground. Did we win? Did we make the pennant?

SEAN

They step aside as Darcy crosses the line and they sort of follow you in a half circle as you are moving away from the lip.

And you notice that outside the main tent, the tent is beginning to distort as if it’s shrinking in on itself. In fact, everything in that vicinity is like shrinking in on itself as if reality is warping and then you see a very common sight: a dark portal appearing where the tent was.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… it normally isn’t good when we see these, but maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe it’s the return of my reports I’ve been sending in. I asked for a collated copy for my own files and maybe they finally gotten around to it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think that would be really coincidental if that was happening just now, you know, with all this going on.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You never know with the timing of bureaucracy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I agree with you, but we have to make a decision. Are we going through this thing? How are we getting the key? Aren’t we supposed to get the key?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What key?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The key we were promised for putting the tree in place! Remember—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What tree?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(patiently)

Okay. The tree right behind us that’s now—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ah ho ho ho! That tree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. We’re supposed to get the key—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You really need to be more specific when you talk about trees. Darcy, come on.

SEAN

A figure steps out of the portal. A figure you know, in a three-piece suit with an orange floral pattern and white cuffs and half his skull missing and pink matter showing: Stan, the Zombie King. But he’s glimmering, and you can sort of see through him as if he’s a projection. And he’s adjusting his suit.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, hi, hi, Stan. You seem a little see-through. How are you? Feeling? Good? Whole? Solid?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Ah, Eggsy! It’s a long time no see! Hey, I see you did your side. You got the tree.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, we did get the tree and it’s growing and you know, it was fine and easy and… no problem!

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, well, I got good news and bad news, Eggsy. Which do you want first, Eggs?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’d prefer maybe the good news first? I like to hear good things.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, you’re going to be happy to know that you had the key all along.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, what—I, um, knew that already, because I’m the leader of our group and I know such things.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Yeah, well, turns out you’re the key, Eggsy. Heh heh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m the key?

SEAN (AS STAN)

You’re the key.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think I fit in a door.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, I don’t know what to tell you Eggsy. It’s what I was told.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

By whom?

SEAN (AS STAN)

So, you know, it’s the good news. You got the key. You had it all along.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, well, I guess that’s our duty here. Let’s all head out—party, forward!

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, that’s where the bad news comes in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS STAN)

You see, I, it cost a lot, you know, to make this happen and, you know, I invest in futures, right? I’m a businessman.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm-hmm.

SEAN

Even in your muddled state, Blat, a cold shiver runs through you of recognition as another figure steps out of the portal… and it looks an awful lot like the goddess Celene.

SEAN (AS STAN)

I had to, you know, make a deal with a new friend of mine who sort of needed this tree here. You know, back in time. I think you guys know each other.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh…!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. This cannot be happening. This cannot be happening.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, hello, my name is Trevor and this is my travelling companion, Suzanne.

SEAN (AS STAN)

We’re having a problem with the connection. You know, technology.

I think you’re on mute, Celene. The mute, you gotta unmute. No, no, we still can’t hear you. No, I don’t know.

She’s having trouble, but, you know, she just wanted to show you that, you know, she’s still around. Well, she looks a little angry, but I’m sure she’s really appreciative of all you guys have done.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you know, it’s too bad the sound’s not working right now, but maybe she can leave a message with you and we’ll get back to her later.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Hey, look at that. She’s on fire. I’ve never seen her do that before.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, geez.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Oh, I didn’t know her eyes could melt like that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um. Heh. Darcy?

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, guys, I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave you with my friends, my associates. They’re going to take care of business, if you know what I mean. No hard feelings—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No! I don’t know what you mean.

SEAN (AS STAN)

Well, you know, a deal’s a deal, you got the key, but I gotta do another deal.

I gotta, you know, I gotta deliver. Celene wants, you know, carcasses hanging on a tree or something.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did you say “cockatrice”?

SEAN (AS STAN)

I gotta go, I gotta go help Celene with the technology, you know. It’s like Mom, you know, doesn’t know how to use it. You guys, I’d say do good, but…

Been nice knowing you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is Celene your mom?

SEAN

And the portal closes and both figures pop out of existence as the zombies around you all charge forward.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is actually quite shocking. I thought Celene would want to kill us herself.

SEAN

(laughs)

We’re going to be going right into battle here. The zombies are surrounding you. You’re on the sand dunes. There are some tents around you, but nothing too close.

And I’m introducing a new sort of rule for the magic system because, as we know, magic isn’t operating the way you expected it to in your future. Basically, I’ve called it Trouble With Magic. So anything involving magic or powers, you’re going to roll 2d6 before you use it. So we’re going to roll a lot for once.

On 11 or 12, right now—this will change with time, but right now on 11 or 12, it works. If you roll a 2 or a 3, it works, but in a wild and insanely powerful or unexpected way.

So that’s what’s happening right now with magic because magic is now exploding into this previous existence. The magic you all know is exploding into this world as the tree grows. So that’s that. And we are going right into battle.

The zombies instantly, as if on cue, charge forward. There are five of them. They are carrying a variety of makeshift weapons, from shovels to bloody saws to a crowbar that Blat has already experienced.

MIKE

Are they fast zombies or slow zombies?

SEAN

They are normal people zombie movement—sorry, let me take that back. They shuffle a little, so they’re slightly slower zombies.

MIKE

Slower, but not like BURRRHH…

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN

Yeah. No, not that slow.

MIKE

(moderate pace)

They’re like… bur hur rur rur!

SEAN

Yeah, they’re like—

MIKE

They’re not like,

(frantic pace)

“burbbraburburber!”

SEAN

Yeah, they’re not… What’s the show?

MIKE

Walking Dead?

SEAN

They’re not Walking Dead zombies that suddenly swarm you and start running. But they are approaching and they are shuffling forward on all sides of you, and there are five of them.

MIKE

I hide behind Blat.

MARISA

I wield my club.

MIKE

Your mace?

MARISA

I wield my mace.

SEAN

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Coach McGillicuddy! Is this another sport already? Are we sporting again? Oh, here comes the other team!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, you have to knock them all over, Blat. That’s what the game is!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And you can use your bazooka.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My bazooka?

SEAN

Roll 2d6.

CARTER

That’s a 7.

Pop.

SEAN

A kumquat falls into your hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oy, that’s not good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, the coach wants us to get something to eat before we begin to sport.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Throw the kumquat, Blat. Just throw it at them!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Have you, opposing team people, had refreshment before endeavouring in athleticism? Here!

SEAN

Okay, roll 2d6.

MARISA

For kumquat damage.

MIKE

Is it Volley?

SEAN

That is Volley.

CARTER

That’s an 8.

SEAN

Any pluses on Dex?

CARTER

I do have a plus 2 on Dex, so that’s a 10.

SEAN

That is a perfect hit! What is your damage die? Because in Dungeon World, it’s not the item, it’s your damage die.

CARTER

Oh, well my damage is a d8.

SEAN

Well, roll a d8.

CARTER

Well, it just seems strange that…

SEAN

That is a 10. That is a perfect hit. So tell me, roll your damage, and then tell me how you do so much damage, depending on what you roll here, with a kumquat.

MARISA

Oh my gosh.

CARTER

That’s a 5.

MIKE

Ooo.

CARTER

The kumquat falls just under the foot of an approaching zombie who then tumbles forward, smashing into the ground.

A surprised zombie grunt.

SEAN

And I’d say lands on their saw, and you hear a bit of a scream as they somewhat eviscerate themselves, but they seem to still be trying to stand up and be active.

The next one is going to reach you guys, and it’s got a crowbar, and it’s going to swing at Darcy.

MARISA

Well, I have my mace ready, remember?

SEAN

I do remember. What do you do?

CARTER

I hold my mace aloft! And start striking at the nearest zombie.

SEAN

Okay, so… why don’t you roll Hack and Slash?

MARISA

I rolled an 8. Do I get any pluses?

SEAN

Do you have a Strength bonus?

MARISA

I do not.

SEAN

Okay, so that’s a partial success. So you connect, so roll a d6 for damage.

MARISA

It’s a 2.

SEAN

Okay, and you’re going to take damage.

MARISA

What?

SEAN

So basically what happens is, you go through and you connect with your mace, and they basically also just whack you upside the head with their crowbar. You take 4 damage.

MARISA

Oh my gosh.

SEAN

Do you have any Armour?

MARISA

Nope, not as Darcy.

SEAN

Okay.

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Brother! We are in the midst of yet another grand battle!

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

We are indeed, brother! But I have faced the wrong way and there are more of them over here!

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Well, perhaps we just lash out at one at a time!

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

What a brilliant idea, brother! Wait, but one is coming to strike us! Let us first block that one—

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Block! Block with your face!

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

It’s been so long since we’ve blocked! Do you remember what Papa used to say to us?

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Papa? You mean the man who chiselled us from a block of metal?

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

Why, yes I do! And he would say, “Remember, you must block first and strike later.”

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Ah! I believe we’ve been scratched by this weapon carried by a member of the undead!

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

Oh! And our holy mission is to defeat the undead!

SEAN

Okay, so your mace, you hear shouting, Darcy, as the other three now start to swarm you. What are you all doing? They’re coming from all directions.

MIKE

I am cowering behind Blat still, but I get very afraid and somehow manage to “call forth a large number of available creatures from my land to swarm or stampede in specified areas.”

SEAN

Roll 2d6 to see if magic works for you.

MIKE

2d6… Uh, 8.

SEAN

And what is this ability you’re trying to use? What’s that called?

MIKE

Blight.

SEAN

Blight?

MIKE

Blight.

SEAN

Blight. Well, sadly you do. You call forward—please do so.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ah! Helllp!

SEAN

And nothing happens. And a zombie basically wraps a garrotte around your neck and begins to pull. Can someone roll 1d6 for me?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gurgling and gasping)

CARTER

1.

SEAN

You take one hit point of damage unless you have Armour.

MIKE

I do. I have 1 Armour.

SEAN

Okay, you don’t take any damage, but you are having trouble breathing.

The other two are coming at you both.

MARISA

I hold my amulet aloft and I call out,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn protect us!

MARISA

And if I’m successful, this holds back the undead.

SEAN

Okay.

MARISA

So I have to roll +Wisdom.

SEAN

You do not have to roll a 2d6.

MARISA

Okay, but I mean, roll plus—but I do have to roll. Is that just one die?

SEAN

It works. You clutch your amulet and there’s a blinding light. And what do you say?

MARISA

I say, “Loxsyn protect us!”

SEAN

Roll it.

MARISA

Okay, so that’s an 11 naturally, plus my Wisdom is a 14.

SEAN

What does it do?

MARISA

So, “On a 7 plus, so long as you continue to pray and brandish your holy symbol, no undead may come within reach of you. On a 10 plus, you also momentarily daze intelligent undead and cause mindless undead to flee.”

A roar of energy and the sound of Loxsyn’s musical theme.

SEAN

There is a blinding flash of light as you all feel Loxsyn’s presence. And instantly you see a beam of light also shoot off from the amulet to strike the tree that is still growing behind you all. And all of the zombies begin to shriek and backpedal and try to get away from all of you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Coach! A star player has entered the field!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, Blat, it’s fine! I’ll just keep pushing them toward the cliff!

MARISA

And I just keep walking towards the zombies, praying to Loxsyn, saying,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn, protect us! Loxsyn, protect us! Repel these attackers!

SEAN

Okay, one of them does scramble backwards and slides down and then gets caught in the roots and you hear horrible crunching sounds as the tree is now expanding out into the sand area. It is quite large behind you. You are all now starting to lose your footing as you slide away from it, as it’s now impacting the sand that was surrounding the chasm.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, back up! Back up!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Everyone, everyone! Blat, blat, back! Back, Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Blat, Blat! Faster, flapper, faster! Flapper, back, Blat, Blat! Blat, back!

SEAN

The zombies are doing everything they can to stay away, but they are following you, they are just about 20 feet away, trying to…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! I’ve got an idea! I’ve got an idea! You keep them back there!

MIKE

I’m going to take one of my little fairy cakes I have here, pull back, and whip one of my explosive fairy cakes at the zombies.

SEAN

Okay, roll Volley.

MIKE

Roll Volley… That is a 6.

SEAN

So, Eggerton basically throws a fairy cake off into the distance.

MIKE

That’s roughly how it works when I try throwing in real life.

SEAN

Blat, you catch movement in the sky out of the corner of your eyes, you’re sort of standing there enjoying everything, and it looks like a formation of demon brothers flying in the air.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! I think the rest of our team is finally coming! The second string! We can sit out the next period on the bench!

SEAN

Darcy, you’re still continuing to pray?

MARISA

I still have to continue praying.

SEAN

Okay, but you hear Blat saying this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, I think they’re here to help us! You should signal them!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Signal! Signal! Signal! Ah, I know what to do!

CARTER

And Blat just starts flapping his arms up and down going,

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hey! Hey!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But what if they’re not here to help us but to take us back?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hey!

SEAN

The demons bank all as one and start heading in your direction.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The away game is over! We will be brought back home and our mothers will give us cookies!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, I don’t know, because remember the last time I was there, they weren’t nice to us.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, they were mean. They poked at us, and they tried to kill us, and they called me a kumquat, and they said they were going to cook with me.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The coach wouldn’t allow that! It’s unsportsmanlike!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It is unsportsmanlike!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But they’re already heading this way!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to hide, then you come get me when it’s over.

MIKE

And then I jump down on the ground and cover my head.

SEAN

Okay. Uh, Darcy, you can see them now because they’re circling you and coming in for a landing, and it looks like six royal centurions, uh, fully armed and in battle armour from the city. And they are landing near one of the tents not too far away from you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, maybe Eggerton was right. Maybe they’re here to take us back, and not help us. I don’t know which team to root for now! Zombies or demons!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can you do a spell to keep them at like 20 feet too, and then we can just negotiate?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I can only turn undead, not demons! Or I would have done that with Blat a long time ago.

SEAN

Darcy, even having this conversation, you sense the zombies starting to push in, and then you…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Dah! Loxsyn protect us! Loxsyn protect us!

SEAN

And they snarl as they’re pushed back to 20 feet.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Can you guys just figure this out? I’m dealing with the zombies!

SEAN

Uh, there’s something rather large in your pocket, Blat, and it’s squirming.

MIKE

(snickers)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sorry about that, everyone! Just give me a moment! Crazy things happen in battle!

SEAN

And a Slaad that’s about seven or eight inches tall—

MIKE

Let’s call it five. Come on. We all know it’s five.

Laughter.

SEAN

A Slaad that’s about five inches tall managed to poke its head out of your pocket. And Eggerton, you recognize Lazbo.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Lazbo!

SEAN (AS TINY LAZBO)

Eggerton, it’s been so long!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It has! How are you doing?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Not good! We’re trying not to suffocate in here!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s pretty bad out here. There’s zombies and demons, and there’s really not much—do you have any snacks?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

No, we ran out of food a long time ago. We’ve been trying to… But wait! We will fight with you! Show me the way!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay. Well, it’s over there.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Oh, well, they’re very big.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They are, and you’re very little right now.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Yeah, I’m very small.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Do you want me to just throw you?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

No, not right now. Maybe when I’m bigger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, when you’re bigger, I’ll pick you up and throw you.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Okay, thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, good deal, good deal. So how are things inside the dome?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Very good, but are those demons that are coming this way?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They are, and they may want to kill us or imprison us.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Then maybe we should run away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Were you able to keep circle going through—

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Run away, Blat! Run away!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My pants! My pants are being stretched all to ruin!

SEAN

So three Slaad are now bursting out of your pocket and trying to scramble up for different holds, and you also see a white-robed, very tiny woman also emerging from your pocket and climbing up and clinging to the front of your jacket.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mother Speckley! How’s it going?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

No time now, Eggerton!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Will you two stop exchanging niceties and start running?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Take the Slaad and run!

Loxsyn protect us! Loxsyn protect us!

MIKE

I grab any Slaad that are on the ground that have fallen from Blat, and I grab Blat’s hand with my other hand. How many hands do I have?

SEAN

You have two hands, Eggerton.

MIKE

Okay, so I pick up a bunch of the Slaad that have fallen out and put them in one pocket, and with my other hand grab Blat’s hand and start running in the direction that is mostly away from both advancing groups.

SEAN

So that would be towards the tree, which is still sending tremors through the ground and exploding upwards into the sky.

MIKE

Is it trying to kill me actively? Like the other two groups?

SEAN

Not at the moment, but once you run into its path, I don’t know, maybe.

MIKE

Well, let’s find out.

CARTER

Blat awkwardly runs with several Slaad all over his body, growing bigger and bigger with each passing moment.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Climb onto the tree, Eggerton! Climb onto and let it take you up into the sky!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sky tree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sky tree!

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

It’s the beginning of the middle of The End of Time and Other Botherrrrs!

SEAN

Hey friends, Sean here, and I’m here for some shout outs for some of our oldies but goodies. I guess I’m going with that name, I never came up with a better one.

Here we go. These are people who have been supporting us for so long. We’re finally working our way through the backlog and then we’re going to get to all the new ones.

So, without further ado, I want to give a giant shout of love out to Violet Lavender, Phil Smith, C, Jessica Taylor, Laura Packer, our storytelling consultant, Nizzy Holloway, in the house! Girl in Space—you may have heard of Girl in Space—Girl in Space! Thank you so much for your support to our dearest friends over at Girl in Space.

Czarn, I hope I said that name right, David Bowers, and Craig Czyz…? Really cool last name, I wish I could pronounce it correctly. Thank you to each and every one of you.

And now, we haven’t done this in a while, I want to give a shout out to another show that I think you might enjoy. It’s called The Ostium Podcast. Ostium is this strange town where there are no people but all these doors and every door takes you to a new place, a new story, a new time.

It’s super fun, it’s amazing, and it’s run by a dear friend. Join Jake and Monica as they travel through the doors of Ostium and find themselves everywhere and anywhere in space and time. It’s like a mini-cardi—I don’t know, it’s like, it’s like, and it’s having other bothers, what we were trying to do, but they’re doing it really well. And it can be an anthology, but there are storylines that continue and cross over, and it’s really a delight.

Search for The Ostium Podcast wherever you get your podcasts and give them a shout and let them know we sent you. And you can also find them at OstiumPodcast.com. We’ll put a link in the show notes.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: JOB INTERVIEW

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

All right, the next candidates coming in, everyone. This is Snee-gal, I think it is, that’s the proper pronunciation. They’ve been around for a while and volunteering in different positions, but Moira has asked us to give this file some consideration and find the most appropriate place for this individual to help move forward the agenda of the Nexus.

MARISA (AS INTERVIEWER)

All I see on this file is a drawing of a flower.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Yeah, I’m not sure what that’s about. Maybe they’ve got a background in arts or art history, perhaps antiquities—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Excuse me, sorry, the door was open a crack, I wasn’t sure. Should they come in or wait until I’m gone?

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

I’m sorry, I don’t think we’re inviting any new members and we have an appointment with someone, that’s why we’ve convened, but thank you for stopping by.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, okay. Good to know, sorry.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

No problem, no problem. All right, well, Franklin, do you want to let, what’s the—Snae… Sneegal in?

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Yes, I can see if there’s a Mr. or Ms. Sneegal out in the waiting area. Ahem.

(calls)

Sneegal?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Just gathering up my stuff. Sorry, excuse me, that’s—

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Sneegal?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Didn’t mean to—I spread out the…

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

We’re looking to interview a Sneegal. Mr. Sneegal?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’ll just go home now.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

I’m sorry, I’m sorry—Ms. Sneegal?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

It wasn’t my time, you know.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Mrs. Sneegal.

Silence.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

I’m sorry, I went out into the waiting area and no one responded.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Huh. Okay, what if we’re pronouncing—maybe there’s an accent on here that we… maybe the flower is the accent? What if it’s, if we put the flower over the e, that makes it Sneegal? Sneegle? Sneegal? Snagal?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Hi, just me again, sorry. Just saying, I’m gonna let myself out ’cause there’s no receptionist.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Oh, that’s okay—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I don’t know if I need to sign out?

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

No, no, no, you’re good. Just do me a favour, when you get outside, if you see someone named Snegal, could you send them in?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, I’ll do that.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

All right, great, thanks.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh wait, that’s me!

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Oh, uh, great, great, well welcome. Here, sit down—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Wait, I have to go tell myself, I’ll be right back!

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Oh, uh…

I guess it’s gonna be one of those interviews again, everyone. All right, well when they come back, we’ll just have them sit down, we’ll run through the quick questions, it’s just a mere formality, and then we’ll just get them on their way. It’ll be nice and quick and easy.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay, but let’s let them down gently. I obviously can’t have that working with the Nexus.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, sorry, I’m getting emotional! I just heard from myself that I’m actually getting an interview. Should I stand?

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

No, no, you can sit down in this chair here in front of us.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, uh… Woo! Sorry, I may have put my tail—oh, I’m a little stuck, uh, woo! Woo hoo! I’m just gonna stand behind it.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Yeah, that was a flammable chair, it seems. We’ll just—okay, we’ll get someone to clean that up after. Let’s just, everyone move two steps to the right.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’m good at cleaning, I could do that!

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay, good to know. Now, we got your application here and we didn’t see any prior experience written in the way we normally see it, however we did see this lovely children’s drawing of a flower. Was that something you brought in from home to show us the importance of family to you?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, that’s something I drew for myself so that I would, you know, remember to stay cool like a flower!

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Oh, that’s sweet. And you’ve—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Because I get very emotional, you know.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Yeah, and you’ve had that for all these years, since childhood.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

…What?

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

So, uh, have you done any marketing? We’ve been having some trouble with the townsfolk not understanding our function here—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, I’m often not understood!

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Oh, well maybe that’s a benefit. Maybe he, the Snegal here could help with focus groups.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Focus…

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Okay, so for example, we’ve got this issue, we need everyone who, you know, comes into contact with the Nexus to go to patreon.com/albasalix or otherbothers.com—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Patre… how do you spell that?

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

That’s P‑A-T-R-E-O‑N dot com slash A‑L-B-A-S-A-L-I‑X.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

A… T… what was after the T?

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

Or just otherbothers.com works.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, okay!

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

I don’t know, this Alba Salix stuff is really complicated to spell, it’s, I don’t know.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah, it’s a really strange name, you know, you think you’ve come up with something simple, not something based on a Latin word, that’s something you scientifically, for something you want people to be able to get to, ha ha, that are just normal, uneducated people like me.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

It’s just a real cool name, but maybe for the show you give it something else, just to make it easier for marketing.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah, something really short, like, you know, The End of Time and Other Bothers, you know, just rolls right off the tongue.

MIKE (AS INTERVIEWER)

It’s very quick, very punchy, you can just put that nicely in one line…

Anyway, anyway, so if you could go around and tell everyone, they can come on, they can then join a Discord, they can have fun chatting with us and learning about what we do behind the scenes and all of that. So just go around—okay, okay, ready, ready?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I just want to say I’m really grateful to the committee for giving me this job, because if I don’t get it, I’ll probably like self combust into tears and flame.

Silence.

CARTER (AS INTERVIEWER)

We can’t pay you, but you could sleep in the attic.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’ll take it!

Music sting.

THE BADLANDS

SEAN

We’re in the Badlands. Our three adventurers are clinging to a giant branch of the Temple Idris as it continues to grow and ripple underneath them, basically taking them high up into the air above the sand.

They are covered in Slaad. Mother Speckley is clinging to Blat’s chest. And we also have Dennis, where’s Dennis? The delivery, the basically bread delivery boy.

CARTER (AS DENNIS)

Aaaa! Aaa! Aaaaa! Aa! Aaaaa!

SEAN

There he is. And far below, zombies are clinging to the tree and being carried up with you and but staying their distance as Darcy continues to pray to Loxsyn.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn protect us, Loxsyn protect us, Loxsyn protect us…

SEAN

And a phalanx of royal demon centurions launch into the air, brandishing swords and are arcing towards your position even as it climbs into the air.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But seriously, does anyone have any snacks? It’s been a real long day. Skytree’s pretty awesome, but, you know, getting a little grumbly in my tumbly.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Go deeper into the branches, deeper so that no one can get to us! Hide!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I’ll try and fit through this knot that’s two inches wide?

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger. So the tree is continuing to explode with growth even as you’re clinging to it and you’re trying to move.

MIKE

And I roll a 7.

SEAN

So, Eggerton manages to squeeze halfway through a knot in a tree, but it actually changes size and he is now stuck in the knot in the tree.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

Okay, guys, I got in the tree. Where are you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Perfect. You’re protected at least. That should work for a little while.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

Why are my feet so cold?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mother Speckley, this is your tree. Do you have any connection to it? Any way you can help us with the temple?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m not sure. I’m really not sure what’s going on right now, but I sense many goddesses.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Many goddesses?!

SEAN

And with that, Blat, you feel a tendril touch you. A tendril of darkness and power.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh oh. Something went across my brain stem!

SEAN

Are you fighting it or accepting it? It is whispering promises of power and glory and… pressed suits.

CARTER

Blat, still thinking that he’s playing in some sort of sporting event, fights against it.

SEAN

Roll 2d6.

CARTER

7.

SEAN

You get to do plus Wisdom.

CARTER

Oh, let’s see. Wisdom: none.

SEAN

Okay, so partial success. So you manage to push it out, but Darcy, as you are sort of just trying to hold on to everything, you notice there are black tendrils coming off waves off of Blat’s face and his shoulders and just surrounding his body.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, it’s Morrigu! It’s Morrigu! You gotta resist! Do something!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is there something on my face?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There too!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it up here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Up there as well!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Down here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, absolutely!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All over here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Absolutely!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, why didn’t someone tell me before we started the match? I must look a fright!

SEAN

Mother Speckley, clinging to Blat’s chest, shouts,

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Darcy! I think I can do something for his addled state! I’m gonna try! Assuming I still have powers!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated right now!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

I found a nut in the tree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A nut or a knot?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

A nut!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A nut?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m gonna try eating it and see if it’s filling!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A nut, okay.

SEAN

Someone roll 2d6 for Mother Speckley for me, please.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a little crunchy. Maybe not quite right.

CARTER

5.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Does anyone have any mustard?

SEAN

Mother Speckley shouts,

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

It’s not working, but I’m gonna keep trying, Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(groans)

SEAN

And the phalanx of demons is now banking and zooming in for all of you, trying to do a fly-by but with swords out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, I think you should try your bazooka again!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Bazooka!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Why does everyone keep talking about a bazooka?

SEAN

Roll 2d6.

CARTER

9.

SEAN

Nghh! Just added 10. Nothing happens—well, in the air in front of you appears…?

CARTER

A raspberry sundae.

SEAN

A raspberry sundae.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The match isn’t over! We shouldn’t be enjoying dessert treats yet!

SEAN

And it plummets to the ground below you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Daww! There it goes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(still muffled)

Did someone say dessert?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s gone, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What was it, though?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Raspberry sundae.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I love raspberry sundaes!

Silence.

SEAN

Are you trying to get out of the knot?

MIKE

No.

MARISA

(laughs)

Why would he?

SEAN

The phalanx of demons zooms in at you… and hits! Darcy, you take a sword across, slices across you as you’re managing, just doing everything to hold on and keep the zombies at bay. You’re gonna take 3 hit points of damage.

MARISA

Gah! Son of a… But that incurs my Rage, I’ll have you know.

SEAN

Good.

Blat, you see a bloom of redness and blood droplets spew out behind her as she falls partially backwards and catches herself as the demons all fly by. And begin to bank so they can come around again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That is not sporting! I demand to talk to the referee! Where is the officiant of this event?

SEAN

Mother Speckley tries again. Marisa, you roll 2d6.

MARISA

A 6. And what does she have to roll?

SEAN

She’s trying to get her magic to work.

MARISA

Oh no, we’re doomed.

SEAN

She’s like just laying on hands repeatedly on Blat, on his chest. She’s about eight or nine inches tall now, so having trouble holding on.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, I didn’t want to have to do this, but here goes!

MARISA

I have Calm Rage, so I can transform at any time. Do you need me to roll anything before I become enraged? No, okay.

SEAN

Your powers do not need to pass this test.

MARISA

“Your duration is how long”… Oh, roll a d12.

Ooh, it’s a 12!

MIKE

Nice.

MARISA

Player and GM choice. Ooh, that’s good.

So I transform into a huge roc, which is a large bird of prey, falcony creature.

Action music, in the style of The Police.

SEAN

Cool.

MARISA

But I’m huge, and I have these huge glistening talons. And as I transform—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(screeches)

MARISA

I start hitting demons out of the sky with these huge talons. And all my feathers come forward in this rage-filled frenzy of terror.

SEAN

So Darcy transforms in front of you into a massive bird and begins launching off the branch to attack the demons.

MARISA

And just FYI, I’m Unstoppable, so when transformed, I cannot be stopped.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wraaawk!

SEAN

And the demons bank away suddenly, almost breaking formation, and then reform, and there’s an aerial battle about to happen. And that’s when, Blat and Eggerton, you hear the zombies starting to climb again beneath you.

SEAN (AS A ZOMBIE)

We can get ’em, boys.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(still muffled)

Blat, is that you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That is not me. It is the opposing team.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The opposing? Which one?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, but well, I thought that the flying ones were on our team, but it seems that they’re not on our team. And right now, there’s another player who’s a giant bird who’s fighting against them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wrawwwk!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But now we have the original opposing team who are now climbing the tree towards us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can you help me get out?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, all right, I can try.

CARTER

And Blat, with one arm, grabs onto one of Eggerton’s legs and just begins pulling.

SEAN

Okay, let’s do a Strength check. Roll 2d6.

MIKE

You want me to do a treehole check?

SEAN

No.

Laughter.

CARTER

6!

MARISA

You are rolling terribly today.

SEAN

Oh, you’re trying, but he is stuck in there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hrnnggh!

SEAN

Mother Speckley attempts to…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Nghhhh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hurgh!

SEAN

Mother Speckley attempts to lay on hands again. An 11!

MARISA

Hey!

SEAN

You feel this warmth flush through your body, Blat, and it grows into a fiery, demonic, burning, like a beautiful, wonderful fever rushing through your body. And you are suddenly… Your mind is clear, and you realize you are standing on a branch of Temple Idris as it’s slowing its growth. You are, it must be a mile up above the ground. One of your hands is on the leg of Eggerton, who is half in the tree, and you feel Morrigu caressing the back of your skull.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(still muffled)

It’s starting to burn! My leg!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, sorry! I’ll let go!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay. I’m still stuck.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, Lordy. I’m gonna have to leave you for a moment. I think someone’s trying to take over my brain!

SEAN

Darcy, you are in the air. It is as if you were born to fly.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(screeches)

Wrarrk!

SEAN

And you see the demons breaking into two groups and coming around so that they can come at you from each side.

MARISA

Okay, and I’m just reeling, my wings going one way, my talons going the other way as I try to knock demons out of the sky.

SEAN

Okay, let’s roll Hack and Slash. Do it.

MARISA

2d6. Why can’t I ever remember this?

SEAN

Yep, 2d6.

(laughs)

Because we never roll.

MARISA

And I do have Armour now, by the way.

SEAN

Yep.

MARISA

Okay. All right, that is a 7.

SEAN

Do you have any pluses?

MARISA

I probably do now that I get—1 Strength now that I’m transformed.

SEAN

Okay, so that’s a plus. That’s an 8.

MARISA

So that’s an 8. And I think that’s it.

SEAN

Okay, so I’ll say partial success. I’ll say that one of the groups manages to get a sword across your part of you, but you actually rip apart—like, you send two of them spinning down towards the ground. So roll your damage, but just the act of slamming into them at high velocity causes them to scream as they’re tumbling through the air, trying to find their wings again. So roll a d12.

MARISA

Okay. Here we go. Okay. And I am rolling a… 1.

(laughs)

That’s pretty terrible.

SEAN

Okay, so Darcy, you actually crash headfirst into one of the phalanxes of the three demons, causing them to just—their armour to burst apart, and two of them to tumble through the air, falling, trying to find their wings again. They may not take much damage, but they have dispersed. But one of them manages to get its sword on you and does 3 damage.

MARISA

So I have Armour of 2, so I take 1 damage?

SEAN

1.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

So three of them have minus 1 damage and two of them are tumbling. And up in the tree, Blat…?

CARTER

Blat looks down upon the zombies climbing up and calls Bazooka.

SEAN

Roll 2d6. It’s now a 9, 10, 11, or 12.

CARTER

6!

MARISA

That’s the most consistent rolling.

SEAN

And you are holding a tiny circus tent.

Pop.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, apparently this isn’t working. Why didn’t anyone tell me I had suffered a head injury?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Put us down! We can help!

SEAN

So one of the 12-inch tall Slaad, Lazbo, is sort of clinging to your side.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Just set us all down on the tree!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, do you need a small tent? Here you go.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Oh, thank you. I’ve always wanted one.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The tent and you go here… and you go there. Mother Speckley will climb onto this branch and I… oh, look! “I’m a little angry delivery person.” That’s cute. Why don’t we put you back in my pocket since I don’t think you’ll be of much use.

SEAN

Okay, and one of the zombies, basically you see their head appear onto the branch you’re on and they snarl and you see them pulling out the crowbar and going to take a swipe at you.

CARTER

I kick at his face!

SEAN

Okay, roll Defy Danger. You can add your Strength bonus to this.

MARISA

He doesn’t have one.

SEAN

I think he might have a Strength bonus.

MARISA

Oh, right. Not Wisdom. He doesn’t have one.

SEAN

Wisdom? No.

MARISA

Ooh.

CARTER

8. Strength bonus: none.

SEAN

Okay, partial success. You connect. You kick him right in the face and he loses his hold and it’s like that moment where he’s flapping at the air before he disappears from view—and as you fall backwards off the branch.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wuh—wha—waaaaa!

SEAN

Darcy, you are in the air still. You see the phalanx of the three that you slammed into starting to reform and catch it the last second before they hit the ground.

The other one is banking around towards you and you also see what’s happening on the tree as your giant roc form and… it is a beautiful feeling. You feel like you can spin on a dime.

MARISA

Okay, so I have a special ability that, when I spend 1 Rage, I can perform an impossible feat of strength using some attribute of your form. So I have 3 Rage since I’ve been damaged three times now.

SEAN

Yep.

MARISA

So I go down to 2 Rage. And what I do is I put my wings out at their full expanse, and I gather the demons. I don’t know how many there are around me, but I gather from both sides, the demons into a line and I spin my body to gain momentum. And then I just use my beak to push these demon forms almost like they were being rocketed out of a cannon, down towards the zombies so that they’re just flying towards the zombies to take them all out off the trunk. So it’s like, p‑choo! p‑choo! p‑choo!

SEAN

Okay, so this giant roc, uh, Eggerton, you can’t see it because your head’s in the tree.

MARISA

Ha! Wow, are you missing something.

SEAN

Blat, you can’t see it because you’re falling towards the ground. But the Slaad, watch in amazement as this roc basically zooms in and around this phalanx of these three demons who are all confused and trying to strike out—and then manages to send them as missiles heading towards the zombie in the tree and they impact with explosive force that rocks the tree branch. You do feel that, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(mumbling)

MARISA

Maybe it frees you.

SEAN

Uh, so can you roll your die damage?

MARISA

Yes, I can. It will probably be 1 again.

MARISA

It’s all very anti-climactic.

SEAN

Roll a d12.

MARISA

It’s a 10!

MIKE

Nice.

SEAN

So, the three centurions that are sent as missiles into the tree explode with, let’s just say, messy force. Um, and there’s just some dripping on the tree left. And I’m gonna say that they managed to knock off one more zombie with those three explosions.

MARISA

So how many zombies are left?

SEAN

There are two zombies left and one is now in free fall.

MARISA

Oh!

SEAN

And so is Blat. Blat, what are you doing?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah! Ah, I’m falling! Ah, I’m—oh wait, no, I shouldn’t be worried about this at all.

CARTER

And Blat begins flapping his wings.

SEAN

Uh, so you see a zombie whip past you, heading towards the ground.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, that’s unfortunate.

SEAN

And you see two more zombies climbing up to the Slaad who are all, like, stabbing at their eyes with their claws. And they’re about just over a foot tall now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Blat flies towards the tree to try and pull the other zombie off of it.

SEAN

Okay. Uh, so roll… I guess I’ll call that Hack and Slash. Um, Darcy, you see the remaining three centurions, the phalanx, actually moving at high speed away from the tree and you.

CARTER

8!

SEAN

Awesome.

Uh, so you—what do you wanna do? What are you trying to accomplish?

CARTER

Just to pull the zombie off of the tree.

SEAN

Okay, so you—you get what you want. Uh, you roar up, grab the zombie, and it’s really easy because he seems to wanna come with you. And then you feel the saw that he’s holding cut into your side as he starts sawing at you, clinging to your body.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No! I didn’t think that would happen!

SEAN

Uh, you take 4 damage.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh!

SEAN

Eggerton, a small little rodent pops his head up near your face.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hello!

SEAN (AS A RODENT)

(chattering)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I am kinda stuck.

SEAN (AS A RODENT)

(chattering)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it all started when I left work one day to do a presentation.

SEAN (AS A RODENT)

(agitated squeaking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay, okay, okay. So there’s zombies and there’s demons and I am stuck. And if you could just help push a little bit. Or if you have any buddies that are around and—oh, oh, oh wow.

Chittering rodent sounds.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh look, that’s—that’s 80 of you. Okay, where did you all come from?

SEAN AND MARISA AND CARTER (AS VARIOUS RODENTS)

(excited chattering)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, ha ha, no, okay that’s—whooaaah!

The rodents shove him free with a pop.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! That was easy.

SEAN

And Eggerton is in free fall.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why is it so breezy out?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(screeches)

MARISA

And I swoop down to come under Eggerton so that I can catch him as he falls.

SEAN

Defy Danger. 2d6.

MARISA

It’s a 9. And if I get Dexterity I have a 10.

SEAN

Okay! What do you do?

MARISA

I just come rocketing down, and I just go under Eggerton and I—he falls on my back and I fly back up into the tree on one of the branches. And I put my wing out like a little staircase that he can then climb down onto the tree.

SEAN

You, Eggerton, are now living The Never-Ending Story.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why, thank you, great beast!

MIKE

And I pat her back gently.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That was so lovely of you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(squawks)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(squawks)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, it’s been a weird day.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(concerned bird sounds)

SEAN

And Darcy, something catches the corner of your eye. And it’s moving very fast and you almost don’t have time to react.

MARISA

So I swoop down to avoid this.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger. It’s the phalanx and they are—

MARISA

Do I have to do everything?!

MIKE

Mm hmm!

SEAN

It’s the phalanx and they climb to a high altitude, and then have been in a dive bomb on your position, very silent.

MARISA

I roll a 9, so it’s a 10 with my Dexterity.

SEAN

Um… So I’ll say that the roc is suddenly not there, but suddenly a phalanx of three demons crash into the tree, bouncing almost off of it. They were using their bodies as a battering ram.

Eggerton, you are in free fall again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, bother.

SEAN

Blat, you have a zombie sawing at you as you hold him, flapping, keeping you both in the air.

CARTER

Blat wraps his hands around the zombie’s head and just starts to squeeze.

SEAN

Roll your Strength.

MIKE

I’ve got a can of tomatoes at home you can use for the foley for this.

CARTER

9.

SEAN

Do you have a Strength bonus?

CARTER

I do not.

SEAN

(laughing)

Do you have any bonuses? What are your bonuses?

CARTER

My bonuses are in Dexterity, Charisma, and Intelligence.

SEAN

Okay, so it works! There’s a horrible, sick popping sound that Eli will probably refuse to do foley for. And however, he continues to saw at you the entire time. His arms are still sawing, even as his head explodes because he’s a zombie.

A cartoony squelch and pop.

SEAN

You take another 1 hit point of damage. But the arms are still sawing. I just want to say for the record.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Lord in heaven, that’s not fair!

SEAN

And you feel a voice.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(whispering)

I can fix this. I can fix it all.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Find another patsy, Felicia! I’m done playing your game.

SEAN

Darcy, you have basically just dropped into a full dive. You’re gaining up speed and velocity. And you see two of the centurions are sort of regrouping and banking around. They’re trying to get away from you. And they’re going straight for what looks to be the Slaad on the tree.

MARISA

Okay, so they are not coming towards me.

SEAN

And as you’re noticing that, you hear—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaaaaaa!

SEAN

—as Eggerton goes past you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(frustrated screeching)

MARISA

So once again, I have to dive down. But this time, because he’s getting close to the ground, I just have to grab him with my talons on his shirt, on his shoulders. And then as I’ve got Eggerton—

SEAN

Let’s see if you do it.

MARISA

Oh yeah, that’s true.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

Oh, you guys.

It is a 6. With Dexterity gives me a 7.

SEAN

Okay, you manage it.

Eggerton, you suddenly are on one of those horrible rides that have gone wrong. You see the ground about to take you out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mmnghhh!

SEAN

And then suddenly talons dig into the flesh of your shoulders and bring you to an absolute stop in a heartbeat. You take 1 hit point of damage.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

Oww!

SEAN

And this roc is flapping and you basically are holding him a foot off the ground.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(squawks)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, thank you but it hurts!

MARISA

And then, so I now launch myself upwards, holding onto Eggerton. And I put my beak into his face and I’m saying,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Rar rarr rawwk!

MARISA

and I’m making gestures with my wings like this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(agitated squawking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay. All right, it’s a film.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(frustrated squawking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Three words. First word.

MARISA

(laughs)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Rar rark!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, Balgoria… No, no—me! Eggerton. Eggerton… Eggerton goes… No. Eggerton flies? Eggerton talks.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(expressive squawking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Eggerton’s an egg.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Rawr rarr!

MARISA

I take my huge feather and I tap the satchel that Eggerton is carrying.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh yeah, yeah. What do you need in the satchel? Oh, you want a snack?

MARISA

And I gesture as if my wings are throwing some kind of object.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay. So it’s a sporting event movie.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Rurr!

MARISA

And so I’m swooping all this time past the demons with Eggerton from my talons. I’m going past them over and over again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(insistent squawking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohhhh! We should ask them if they want to join our adventure.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(furious squawking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, the fairy cakes! Okay, okay, I got it. I got it. I got it.

SEAN

Blat, you have a decapitated zombie that is sawing at your side, as you are hovering there in the air, and you hear the roc making quite a commotion.

And you see the two other demons flying in and trying to attack the Slaad and Mother Speckley.

CARTER

Blat grabs onto the arms of the zombie still attached to him. And attempts to pull him off so he can hurl its body at the attacking demons.

SEAN

Okay, roll Strength. Let’s do it. I guess it would be Defy Danger.

CARTER

2!

MARISA

Oh, lord.

SEAN

So it looks like you’re doing a dance while it continues to saw at you. So you take another 5 hit points.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gahhh! Why won’t you stop?! You don’t have a head!

SEAN

Do you have Armour?

CARTER

(laughing)

No.

MARISA

What are you at?

CARTER

5.

MARISA

Oh, lord.

SEAN

There’s just blood pouring down your side and you hear a voice again in your head.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Silly, silly child. I could give you all the power. You could shock him from your body. You could have it all.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He doesn’t have a head! I think I can do this eventually!

SEAN

Okay, Eggerton, you are being held by talons deep into your shoulder blades… as you do what in your pouch with these fairy cakes?

MIKE

I take a fairy cake out and as we soar above a demon, I drop one. So these are—I’m going to try a stoner fairy cake first. I’ve still got two of those.

SEAN

Okay. I think they have to be eaten, but…

MIKE

Let’s find out.

SEAN

Okay. Let’s first of all, let’s roll Volley.

MIKE

Volley! That’s a 7.

SEAN

Dex?

MIKE

It’s a 7.

SEAN

Okay, so it… it bounces off him and goes off in the distance, but because you were sort of struggling and you were in the air, also half of the fairy cakes in your pouch tumble out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Awwww, nuts!

SEAN

So just figure out what half are gone.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(concerned squawking)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s okay. It’s okay. I’ve still got four.

SEAN

The Slaad manage to all get one of the demons and they’re quite large now. They’re about two feet tall and there’s three of them on its wings and biting and it’s crashing down towards the ground and trying to get them off. And you hear a horrible sound as it hits the ground, but you see the Slaad sort of hopping around celebrating. There’s one left.

MARISA

So I’ve noticed in swooping up and down this tree multiple times that Blat is still in the same position with the same zombie.

SEAN

And there’s like just ichor and blood flowing down his side.

MARISA

So I come close to the tree, I drop Eggerton, and as I drop Eggerton, I bank to come around and just take this zombie out with the full force of my body, the zombie who’s attacking Blat.

SEAN

Okay. So first of all: Eggerton, suddenly you are let go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whaa!

SEAN

So let’s—roll Defy Danger for me.

MIKE

That’s a 2.

SEAN

So you actually elegantly drop Eggerton on this giant branch. Like… it’s so wide that it’s like just standing on flat land.

And as you zoom away, Eggerton sort of twists his ankle and then waves his arms and falls back back, back, back, back—and goes all the way off the other edge of the tree branch.

MIKE

(laughing)

SEAN

And Blat… you are suddenly hit by a speeding train. A giant roc just rocks into you and the zombie that’s basically mush between you and the train, as you are rocketed off into the distance, basically on the front of a giant roc.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! That was quite alarming.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(squawks)

SEAN

And there is one centurion left. And you all hear the sound—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaaagain!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(weary squawk)

MARISA

And I actually think twice.

MIKE

(laughs)

MARISA

And then with Blat stuck to my, I guess, head, maybe?

SEAN

And I think you’re too far away.

MARISA

Oh, dear. Well…

SEAN

Eggerton, you are tumbling head over heels at high speed towards the ground. You see your friends rocketing off into the distance as the roc connects with Blat and takes him away from the tree. And you see your friends being pushed off into the distance as the ground rapidly approaches.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it’s just you and me again, gravity. Always seems to end this way. Just think of a happy place…

MIKE

And I start flapping my wings a little bit.

SEAN

OK.

Silence.

SEAN

Are you trying to fly?

MIKE

Mm hm.

SEAN

OK. I believe you have an ability you’re trying to use?

MIKE

Mm hmm. Shape Shifter. I call upon the spirits to change my shape, and I have to roll…

MARISA

You could shift into sand.

SEAN

Well, first, you have to find out if you can access the magic in the ley lines.

MARISA

Oh no.

SEAN

So I need you to roll 2d6 for Trouble With Magic. You need a 9, 10, 11 or 12.

MIKE

(laughs)

8.

SEAN

You’re flapping. You’re flapping your little wings…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(panting)

SEAN

…when you hit the ground.

CREDITS

ANNOUNCER

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

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 Lillianne Johnston, Kim Bellinger, Becky Arenivar and Kona.

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon.

Supporters get early access to episodes, weekly bonus content, and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord.

Look for the Patreon link at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE: …AND SCENE

SEAN

And that’s a scene.

Silence.

MIKE

Way to f—-ing go, guys.

Laughter.

MARISA

I did everything I could!

Beep.

MARISA

(whispering)

Do I have any bonuses?

CARTER

(whispering)

No.

MARISA

(whispering)

Armour.

CARTER

(whispering)

No, you don’t have Armour.

MIKE

My nose is cold.

CARTER

That means you’re a healthy dog or a sick person.

MARISA

(laughs)