Skip to content

46: Mother Mother

We’re back at last!

In prehistory’s first fae village, Eggerton finds himself overwhelmed by responsibility as demonic forces close in – and someone else watches from on high.

Game Master: Sean Howard
Players: Michael Howie, Marisa King and Carter Siddall
Story Consultant: Laura Packer
Game Consultant: Stephen Smith
Music and Sound Design: Eli Hamada McIlveen

Content warning: panic, screaming, self-mutilation, suggestions of domestic abuse, self-esteem issues and nepotism.

LAST TIME…

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I thought he should be here… I thought he landed in this spot.

MIKE (AS TINY EGGERTON)

Hi, guys!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What the what?!

MIKE (AS TINY EGGERTON)

I got small and fell in my shoe!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think the temple recreating itself drew Morrigu to it.

SEAN

Blat, you feel Celene caressing your hair, and you feel tendrils of black energy flowing all over you from Morrigu.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Heh… ladies, I’m afraid this can’t happen.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

The place of this key is “three days’ travel from the tree that birthed itself.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So, from here!

MIKE (AS TINY EGGERTON)

All of the energy’s coming into this one spot, and I think the potential of a stone is there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The hell does that even mean?

MIKE (AS TINY EGGERTON)

It’s almost here…!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Now he’s just kind of creeping me out.

MIKE (AS TINY EGGERTON)

And… there!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Please don’t tell me that you just created the first fae stone.

Pop!

MIKE (AS TINY EGGERTON)

Peri!

SEAN (AS PERI)

Eggsy!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Peri’s come back, and now she wants Eggsy to…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I get it.

SEAN AND MIKE (AS PERI AND EGGERTON)

One—two—three!

An explosion of magic. Peri and Eggerton scream in delight as dozens of tiny fae pop into existence, giggling and cavorting.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(shell-shocked)

What just happened?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

OH MY GOD.

THE VILLAGE

Dreamy music.

SEAN

We are above the Valley of the Lost Kings. The eagle banks as the sunlight emerges from the clouds, and we’re diving toward the edge of the clearing with a large stone at centre. And suddenly the eagle screams and banks as if breaking through a veil in the air itself.

And we are over a bustling fae village of large mushroom homes and lily skyscrapers. A large banner says, “WELCOME TO…”

CARTER

Faeton.

The music pauses—then returns, bright and optimistic.

SEAN

“WELCOME TO FAETON!”

And the eagle banks away as we come down on a little mushroom house with white potato fence. And inside the window, we hear Eggerton shouting at Peri.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(back to normal size)

I understand that you said you played the last turn in Candyland last night, but I had to put everything away because all the little fae kept trying to eat the pieces, and those are choking hazards. And yes, they’re edible, and yes, they’re tasty and full of nutrition, but—

SEAN (AS PERI)

Fine, fine. You win the argument. Fine. I’ve got my hands full, and I could use a little help.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m trying to help, but you won’t let me help.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Well, I would let you help if you’d stop talking about the game last night. Why don’t you go… get some bread downtown?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Fine! I’m gonna go get some bread downtown and not talk about the game last night anymore that I cleaned up because all the little fae were trying to eat the pieces and stayed—

SEAN (AS PERI)

Fine!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay! I’m going, I’m going!

SEAN

Eggerton exits into a beautiful fae village with fae dashing through the air, and he sees Darcy up ahead on the street.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How’s it going?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s fine. How is it going with Peri?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s awful. It’s real awful. Where’s Blat? I’ve been looking for him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uhh, didn’t that relationship deteriorate really quickly?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah, that’s, that’s why—wait, me and Blat or me and Peri?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, you and Blat did deteriorate pretty quickly, but I was asking about Peri.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, well, you know, ha ha, I mean, you get together, you hold hands, you start a new dawn and era for an entire new species, and the stresses just kind of get at you after a while, living in a little mushroom with not a lot of space. You know, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. Everything will work out. It’s fine, it’s fine.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, good, ’cause there are a lot of little fairies around here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, and they all want attention, don’t they?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. Uh, I don’t actually know where Blat is. I think maybe I saw him two streets over?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Two streets over… so that puts him on Gumdrop Lane, right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think that’s it, yeah—

SEAN

And with that, Eggerton pops out of existence in front of you with a surprised look on his face.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton? Eggerton? Hello?

Excuse me, did you see that?

SEAN (AS A PASSING FAE RESIDENT)

What? See what?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, that your, you know—

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

See a human in a fae village? I did indeed! Ha ha ha! Very unusual!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, the fae who was in front of me. You know, the mother-father of your entire species?

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Oh, Mother Fae, yes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, well—

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Motherton!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Motherton. Did you see what happened to Motherton?

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

No… What did you do to Motherton?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I didn’t do anything! But they were just standing right—

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Everyone! She did something to Motherton!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! No!

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Something happened to Motherton?

CARTER (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Motherton? The All-Motherton?!

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Oh, no!

CARTER (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Quick! Get the one who attacked All-Motherton!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! I—

Pandemonium breaks out.

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Stop her! Stop her! Stop her!

CARTER (AS FAE RESIDENT)

All-Motherton! All-Motherton!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aaaaugh!

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 46: Mother Mother.

A MOTHER’S WORRY

SEAN

Okay, so we’re back!

Everyone, first thing we’re gonna do before I explain anything is, we’re all gonna level up.

ALL

Ooh!

SEAN

But Eggerton… you can choose something additional to level up, but I also have something you get as well.

MIKE

What do I get?

SEAN

It’s called… everyone ready for this?

“A Mother’s Worry. When in proximity to a fae stone, you may visit anyone that you are worried of or about.”

MARISA

Wow!

MIKE

Ooh!

SEAN

Which I think is what just happened.

“On a 10+, you visit who you intended. On a 7 to 9”—I’ve got this written out for you. “On a 7 to 9, you visit them, but perhaps not in the right universe or time stream.”

MIKE

Ooooo! Thank you.

SEAN

So that is A Mother’s Worry. We’re gonna roll that once we’re done, ’cause I think that’s what just happened, though you didn’t realize it.

MIKE

Mm-hmm!

SEAN

So that is one new power that you now—that Eggerton now has.

MIKE

Can I fix the grammar on this card?

SEAN

Yes.

MARISA

So I’m a level 6…

SEAN

(to Mike)

And you’ve now lost 5 hit points.

MIKE

(laughs)

MARISA

Seriously?

SEAN

No.

CARTER

Do not correct the Dungeon Master’s grammar. Bad things happen.

Laughter.

CARTER

Might I say, Sean, that’s a lovely shirt you’re wearing.

SEAN

Thank you! You get 5 hit points.

CARTER

Yay!

MIKE

(laughs)

All right, so level 7.

SEAN

Okay. Trouble with Magic has changed. So this was the rule that we’re operating on, where magic was different way back here in time. Anything involving a magic or a power that you rolled 2d6 for, you don’t have to roll to see if it works anymore.

You may not know that magic works in character, right. But if you roll a 2 or a 3, something weird’s gonna happen to you, so just let me know. And if you roll snake eyes, two ones, let me know. So—doesn’t matter what modifiers you have, if you roll snake eyes, something bad happens. Or unexpected happens.

Okay! Let’s get back to it. Let’s return to Faeton.

We have a power to roll. Someone was thinking about Blat and triggered A Mother’s Worry.

MIKE

(whispers)

That’s me.

MARISA

(whispers)

I know.

SEAN

Roll 2d6.

MIKE

2d6! I rolled a 12.

FAETON

SEAN

Uh… Blat, where do you think you are in Faeton? What are you doing?

CARTER

Blat is sitting on a street corner with a tin cup, begging for change.

SEAN

And with a pop, Eggerton appears next to you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Daaah!

Oh. Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Where’d you come from?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I didn’t come from anywhere. I’ve been sitting here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but me and Darcy were just talking about you and then you appeared.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, I did not appear. You appeared. You were the one who did the appearing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, if I’m the one appeared, then why is Darcy right here?

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…And here she is.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(panting)

Oh, hey… are they still chasing me? Are they still—

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

There she is!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aaa! Quick—

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Get her!

CARTER (AS FAE RESIDENT)

The All-Mother! The All-Mother!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what’s going on? What’s going on?

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

She killed the All-Mother! Down with the human!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No! No! Not dead! No, I’m right here. Hi!

MARISA (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Isn’t that the All-Mother?

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Oh, but we were gonna, like, dunk her in the pudding pit!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, that would be fun, but we’ve got business to do! It’s okay. I’m here. Everything’s okay. Don’t worry.

MARISA (AS FAE RESIDENT)

I was looking forward to a really good dunk.

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yeah, me too.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What if, what if later we all get together and just dunk for fun?

MARISA (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yaaaay!

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yay! Woo hoo!

CARTER (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Dunk for no reason!

EVERYONE (AS PASSING FAE)

Dunk for no reason! Dunk for no reason!

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

I gotta go get bread.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that seems to have resolved that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

They were getting pretty vicious, Eggerton. These are your children.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so where did you disappear to, Darcy? And Blat, how did you show up here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I didn’t disappear! You disappeared right in front of me. This is why I was almost… dunked by all your people.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I disappeared.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You disappeared.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then I reappeared here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I guess so.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat, what are you doing?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I’m trying to collect small change. You see, now that we live in a fae village, I find that I have nothing to offer to this society. So I’ve become a common hobo.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? Nothing to offer—Blat! Blat! You can cook things. You can bazooka things. You can fly. You are the best at ironing I’ve ever seen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But all of these little fae have magical clothing. They all just wear one outfit all the time! Nobody wants to bazooka anything. And I can’t tell you the number of little creatures that I pass that they just say, “Ooo, look at the big red one.” And that’s it!

SEAN (AS ANOTHER PASSING FAE)

Oooo! Look at the big red one!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Thank you very much!

SEAN (AS THE FAE)

You’re welcome!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Move along, shorty!

SEAN (AS THE FAE)

Okay, moving along.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, Jordan, not very polite.

SEAN (AS JORDAN THE FAE)

Oh. Look at the All-Mother one! Ho ho!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah, I mean, that is me. So that’s nice. That’s, you know, the best thing about me. So to point that out and compliment it is fair.

SEAN (AS JORDAN THE FAE)

Right, that’s what I was doing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat’s redness is just part of who he is, though.

SEAN (AS JORDAN THE FAE)

Oh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If you were to point to him and say, “Oh, look at the wit!” or “Oh, look at the flying!” or “Oh, look at the crease lines!”

SEAN (AS JORDAN THE FAE)

I gotta go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

So, Blat… you could start Faeton’s first dry cleaner!

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know what I realized?

That my life has gone perilously downhill since the creation of this magical small town.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, technically the small town was created long before your life began.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But I was here to witness its beginning.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, but it began before you could see it, and you can only see it as a result of it beginning.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, but do you know how long I’ve been here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How long?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Four days! It’s only been four days! I shouldn’t have lost my mind this quickly! Look at me. Oh, my crease lines are almost gone entirely!

Wait, Darcy, how have you been able to live a life in this society?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t know what the problem is. We meet lots of different types of people during our adventures. This is just another different type of people. And frankly, Eggerton’s been tied up in the House of Peri, so I’ve just been exploring, and I don’t have to deal with his whole, “I’m the leader, and I’m the All-Mother, and I rule everything.” That was getting a little tough. So, really, it hasn’t been that bad.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(fragile)

But it’s a society of Eggertons, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, they’re not—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They’re all little Eggertons.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

They’re not all Eggertons.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Every single person I’ve spoken to for four days is just a little Eggerton—Ohhhh, I’m freaking out again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But have you had the pastries? They’re really good.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I have. I believe I’ve already acquired a cavity. Which is why I’m trying to get money! I have to get some Eggerton-clone to give me future dental care!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We don’t have money in Faeton. This is where everyone contributes something so we can all succeed together moving forward! It’s really best for us, best for the environment, and best for the future of all life.

SEAN (AS A PASSING FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

(gruff voice)

Pastry?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, thank you.

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

Pastry?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve had my fill, thank you.

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

Pastry?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, for sure.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Fresh pleather berries on this one.

(munches)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you have any protein in this village?

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

Pro…?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s… “Protean”?

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

“Protein”?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Proteons?

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

Sugar?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sugar? Oh, we’ve got lots of sugar, Blat!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I’m well aware of the sugar. Anything that is perhaps a fruit and/or a vegetable.

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

Oh, there’s fruit on this one! Heh. With a glaze.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Listen. Blat, a little while ago you said to me you wanted some time to rest, to rejuvenate, and could we just not always be out adventuring? And now you have your time. You should just sit, relax, you don’t have to earn money… and just try and stay away from Eggerton for a bit.

SEAN (AS FAE PASTRY-MAKER)

So that’s a no then?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s a no on the fruit glaze, thank you—

I can’t stay away from Eggerton. They’re all Eggerton, and I wish someone had told me that I was living in a post-capitalist society when I’ve been out here begging for change!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So how’s the accommodations been, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know how to get any!

(silence)

You’ve been in a very quick, unhappy marriage with Peri, you’ve completely forgotten about us—

Darcy, where are you staying? Can I stay with you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t think there’s a lot of room. You know, they had to stack up a few mushrooms for me in different formations. I’m sure they could do that for you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s not a no! I didn’t hear a no.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, to be honest with you, Blat, I’ve—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so that settles it. I’m now bunking with Darcy!

So how is it with Peri, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s bad.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s been four days though.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, so you know when Darcy said, like, “I’ve been tied up with Peri,” and everyone was like, “Ha ha, that’s funny, they’re newlyweds—” Look at the ligature marks. Okay? These aren’t coming out. I think they may be tattooed somehow. I don’t know how that happened.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Are… are you being physically abused by Peri?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No! I’m consensually engaging in everything. It’s just a lot of everything.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, those aren’t ligature marks. Those are licorice marks.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, when they’re tied to the bedpost, they become ligatures. It doesn’t matter what they’re made of. And it’s black licorice. No one likes black licorice. Remember the last time we had black licorice?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s true. I hated it. I wanted to brush my teeth immediately.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Which, also—I’m sorry. Are there toothbrushes in this society?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely! Here. And then you just, here, look. So you take a toothbrush. I’ve got a couple. And then you squeeeeeze out the pastry puff on top of the bristles. And you put those in and you just rub them all over your teeth. Get the sugar all over. Here you go.

Do you need some help? Do you want me to—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How are you alive? How are you still alive?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, this is just what’s natural for fae.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(groans)

Oh, it’s an unnatural place, Darcy. We live in a magical, unnatural place.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, but something’s bound to come along soon to threaten our lives. So we may as well just enjoy it while we can and wait for the big, dark cloud to hover over us like it always does.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Promise?! Promise? Is something bad going to come that’s going to threaten our lives? Do you promise? Ohhh, Darcy, one can only hope…

SEAN

And the warning bell of the village begins to ring.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There you go.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, this probably just means something minor, like, “Oh, no, we’re out of custard.”

MIKE (AS A PASSING FAE)

We’re out of custard?!

Instant mass panic.

EVERYONE (AS PANICKING FAE)

Out of custard?

We’re out of custard?!

Emergency! Run! Run! Everyone, bring your custard stores!

Run!

There’s a run of custard at the bank!

I’ve got custard!

He’s got custard! Get him!

It’s my custard!

LATER…

SEAN

We cut to an hour later, and a few bedraggled fae are leaving the central commons as Eggerton talks everyone down, realizing there’s still plenty of custard in the bank.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Don’t worry, everyone. There’s still plenty of custard in the custard bank.

MARISA (AS A PASSING FAE)

Oh, phew!

General sighs of relief.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know.

SEAN (AS A PASSING FAE)

That was a scary one, Motherton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It was.

CARTER (AS A PASSING FAE)

I was worried we were going to have to put money in the bank!

Peals of fae laughter.

CARTER (AS A PASSING FAE)

Ha ha! It’s silly, I know.

SEAN (AS A PASSING FAE)

Oh, I meant to say, Peri’s really upset and was, like, waiting for, like, some bread or something, Motherton? I think about an hour ago.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, ha ha. Right, right. The bread. Oh, no—everything’s fine. Everything’s fine. Everything’s—

(sudden rage)

Everything’s fine, everyone! Just calm down!

Okay, I’m going to go get some bread.

Blat, why don’t you come with me? You can stand in front of me and hand deliver the bread to Peri, and that’ll be a nice change of pace for you. You haven’t seen Peri in a while.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The bread is bread, though, right? Just regular bread like we used to have out in the world?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah, it’s bread. I mean, it’s based in sugar, and this one, I think, has a brown sugar on top of it, and there might have been some pleather mixed in, and some dried fruits that have been crystallized, so they’re candied, and it doesn’t have any raisins, because no one wants raisins. So, you know, it’s bread.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s the closest thing I’ve had to food in a while.

All right, let’s go deliver some bread to your angry wife. A week ago, if I had said that, I would have thought I was crazy, but here we are.

SEAN

And the warning bell of the village begins to ring again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, what is it now? Are we out of sprinkles or something?

SEAN (AS A PASSING FAE)

(squeaky voice)

No, we’ve got plenty of sprinkles.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, good. That would have been bad if that had somehow incited another riot.

All right, let’s go into Town Square and see what the bell’s ringing for.

SEAN (AS THE FAE)

Aren’t we standing in the Town Square?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m not a big fan of you, Trevor?

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

Sorry, sorry, Motherton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know what? I promoted you from your intern position, and I don’t think it’s working. I think maybe you should focus on just getting coffee for a while.

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

Okay, uhhh… two sugars?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“Two sugars”—okay, okay. Look, Trevor, Trevor. It’s Trevor, right?

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

(tearful)

Yes, it’s Trevor. I’m trying so hard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know you’re trying, but here’s the thing.

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

Yeah?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If I ever ask for two sugars in my coffee, I want you to take the biggest, meanest looking dagger you can find and just cut off your hands.

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

What…? But didn’t you just ask for two sugars in your coffee?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, you suggested two sugars, and that’s why I need you to cut off your hands now—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton? Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m not sure I like this darker side of you. Have you noticed you’re getting a little bit mean?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think it’s mean. I think I’m just, you know, there’s a lot of stress—

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

Aaaa! Aaaaaaa!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaa! Wha?

SEAN (AS TREVOR THE FAE)

Aaaa! I cut off my hand—

(suddenly calm)

Oh, that didn’t hurt. It’s okay.

(silence)

Do I need to do the other one still?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, you’re fine, one-handed Trevor. You’re just fine. Everyone, one-handed Trevor is now “Lefty”.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, he just cut off his hand because of you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but the thing is—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He cut off his hand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know. It’s just that we have this system of care for everyone now where no matter who you are or what’s wrong, someone’s going to help you get better. And we’ve got a lot of magic around right now. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, it’s really starting to kind of just spurt out of everything. Like, you could literally just take a chunk of a mushroom or a tree and eat it and feel completely satiated now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It doesn’t mean you should have people cut off their hands. It’s better if they don’t cut off their hands, then they don’t have to take any fungal remedies or anything like that. Have you ever thought of that? You need to calm down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m trying to calm down. It’s just, you know, it’s a little tense right now because every single time I try and do something, someone’s telling me I’m doing it wrong or not doing it right. Or I should be enjoying it more even though I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, maybe you need to take some time away from Peri, find another toadstool or mushroom house and just take some time to yourself.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay. I think that’s a great idea, Darcy. I’m just going to ask you for one little favour.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I need you to go tell that to Peri.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think I can do that, but first of all, shouldn’t we figure out what that incessant ringing is about?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And buddy, buddy—you shouldn’t abuse socialized medicine just because you can now solve every problem. People shouldn’t be cutting off their hands all willy-nilly just because there’s a cure for it. What if someone else here had cut off their hand and they can’t see a fungal expert to cure it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But there’s always a fungal expert. It might take a little bit longer, but there’s always fungal experts and everyone’s fungal requirements will be met.

SEAN

The bell stops ringing suddenly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! I fixed it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, you didn’t address the problem at all. It just stopped.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Here’s a question for you. Who’s responsible for ringing the bell?

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Oh, that’s me! I’m up here with the bell.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(shouts up)

Okay, so could you tell us why you’re ringing it?

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Oh yeah, there’s demons all over the field. They’re going to be stepping through any second, so I stopped ringing it because I thought, well, what if they could hear it? I know they probably can’t, but I thought, well, just in case.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

See, Blat, I told you. Danger and death has come to our doorstep, just like it always does!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(dreamily)

Oh, I could be killed at any moment.

Wait, wait. This is still some sort of magical village, right? What if… the demons can’t even see us?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, can they see us?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, Blat, can you see us?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, yes, I can see you because I’ve been a part of this since the very beginning, but maybe an intruder can’t.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so what if everyone just stays real still for like three or four hours and see if the demons just go away?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I mean, does the village have a magical covering over it that makes it invisible to other people or intruders? You know, that’d be a really good fairy idea to have to protect you.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Eggsy! You can’t tell them about the veil. It’s a fae secret.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a four-day-old secret, to be fair.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Fine, that is true, it is—but it’s still a good secret.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a great secret. Maybe that’s why we should tell them, though.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Well… I don’t know, but those demons are getting pretty close. If they come through it, you know, maybe we should have made it so only fae could come through them!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That would have been a great idea. Maybe some kind of passcode?

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Ohhhh…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hello? Hey, what are you talking about?

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Nothing!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, just fairy stuff.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Yeah. Ahem.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is it some sort of veil that covers the village from prying eyes?

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

You told them?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t tell them, you just told them!

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

I was telling you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but they’re standing next to me. Did you put the veil over us?

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

No. We can do that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah!

SEAN

Eggerton disappears.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He didn’t—wait…

Argggh!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Since he’s become the mother of an entire civilization, I’ve found him to be quite unreliable.

SEAN

And Eggerton reappears mid-sentence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And all I think we need to do is explain to everyone why we’re having these conversations behind the scenes instead of in public.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where did you just go?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? Where did you come from?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You just popped out of existence and popped back in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t pop out of existence, I was still existing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, not to me you weren’t.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Who are you just speaking to?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, uh, Peri.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is Peri here now?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Because you’re not in your house?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, Blat. Blat? Peri’s not here. Do you see Peri?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I do not. My point was, you were just in your house and now you are no longer there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes… and?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Maybe that’s weird?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I guess. Maybe from the outside. But isn’t everything a little weird to someone?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

To everyone, buddy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are we going to do about the demons on your doorstep?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, there’s a veil. So they probably shouldn’t be able to see us. I mean, that’s a pretty standard thing, right? Just to put up some kind of magical dome to protect us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, yeah. I think that’s a good idea.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What about us? Non-fae individuals? Are we protected by this magical veil?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you’re not protected per se… you’re hidden.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ah, so if they walk through it, they see us all.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, it’s just a cloth veil. I mean, it’s…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait—it’s not a magical veil? It’s just a cloth veil?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, it’s magical, but it’s like… I mean, the texture of the magic is cloth-like. You just kind of push your way through it a little bit.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I swear to Loxsyn, Eggerton, if there’s just a simple big green leafy umbrella covering this entire village, protecting us from diddly-squat, I am going to be so angry right until the moment that demons tear me apart.

SEAN

And that’s when a giant face appears in the sky above you… and it looks a lot like Lady Veth.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

(voice echoing)

Hello, little ones.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, there’s a demon face in the sky. Demon face in the sky!

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Should I ring the bell?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I think we all know it’s up there—it’s a giant demon face.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

I’m gonna ring the bell!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I really don’t think you need to ring the bell again.

Pause.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

I’m ringing the bell!

The bell starts ringing again.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

I found you! There you are!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, hi, Veth! Ha ha!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Hello! My goodness, so many of you around here!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It was a busy night.

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

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

SEAN

Hey everyone, Sean here, and we are so excited to be back! We’re back! Ugh, what’s happening?

And we want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone that was waiting and that stuck around and that has been sharing the end of time and other bothers with all of your friends and family, and for all the lovely comments in our Discord.

And we’ve got so much more to come. We’ve been having so much fun coming back together around the table. And it gets crazy, as expected.

And so without further ado, I think we have a sketch or a skit and probably some ads, who knows? Thanks everyone.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: BY REQUEST

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, Snegal, so we have a special request here.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, okay! Is it to sing the friend song?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, perhaps we can sing the friend song later…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is something… Someone’s having some trouble and they would like us—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

To sing the friend song!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, we might get to that later.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re supposed to show them some support in times of trouble. Anyway, so… this person is a student…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Who? Who’s the person?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is someone referred to as “Commander Ren”.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! I actually, I know Commander Ren!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know Commander Ren? Okay.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

We play Bioware games online.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, this is sort of similar in that Commander Ren is having problems taking “biochemistry”…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Is that like a new game?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… it’s like a new game, except the game is tedious and very difficult.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, that sounds like a Bioware game, actually. When you gotta start at the beginning and make all your choices and you’re like, which character? and then you gotta build them all the way through all the trees and make all the decisions every time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So I guess this is where the “Bio” comes in.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, anyway, we just want to say to Commander Ren that we’re very sorry that biochemistry is so difficult. So perhaps next time, maybe don’t take it or something?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah, or maybe ship a different character if you have that option. ‘Cause, you know, sometimes it really can be tedious if you gotta, you know, ship the same two every time. So you might want to pick a different path, even if it means you have to kill your major character. Heh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wow, we’re speaking at cross purposes again. No, this is a class, not a game. It’s not about shipping. It’s not about people getting together. It’s about learning tedious facts about chemistry and how biology is involved… or maybe vice versa. I’m really not sure, I didn’t take it myself. More of a theatre major.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, wow! Theatre.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, no.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

That’s amazing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do not be impressed by that at all. Really, do not.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

But it’s like the stage. All of life is a stage! Heh. Right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, true, except on the stage there’s a real lack of biochemistry.

Laughter.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

The game or the class?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Both!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Okay, so what are we saying to Commander Ren?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… we’re very sorry that you’re having problems in biochemistry.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

We’re very sorry you’re having problems with bi-yo… chem-istry.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s… an approximation of how it’s pronounced—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

That’s an approximation of how to pronounce.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Buck up!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Buck up!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re sure you’ll get through it.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

We’re sure you’ll get through it and ship the people you want.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re talking about the game again, aren’t you?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah, I’m sorry.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, okay. Um.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Time to sing the friend song?

Silence.

SEAN

(laughs)

MARISA

That’s the end! You guys never know when to end!

MIKE

(gravelly announcer voice)

Coming this fall: Biochem.

MARISA

Biochem.

MIKE

By Bioware.

Music sting.

FLASHBACK: HOUSE NEFARIOUS

Music—the ominous House Nefarious theme.

SEAN

We cut to the day before.

And we are inside House Nefarious, the golden dome in the city of Krannox.

And there’s a meeting happening with only two people present: Lady Veth of House Salamander and Narf of House Nefarious.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Ah, Lady Veth.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes?

SEAN (AS NARF)

Would you like to have a seat? Anything to drink?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

No, nothing to drink from you.

SEAN (AS NARF)

I know we have had our…disagreements.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes!

SEAN (AS NARF)

Yes. And you may have been involved in releasing my… prey.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

I was not involved. They slipped through your fingers.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Yes… But it seems that this might be a time to do something drastic.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What do you mean?

SEAN (AS NARF)

An alliance.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What?

SEAN (AS NARF)

I know. Unspeakable. But…

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

The Salamanders and Nefarious Houses have never once been caught in an alliance.

SEAN (AS NARF)

That is why there is no one here—so we will not be caught this time.

But… what if the Dwoven Alliance has moved against us?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

When did you hear this?

SEAN (AS NARF)

The ship that took them away…

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes?

SEAN (AS NARF)

It was purchased by the Dwoven Alliance.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

I see.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Captain Val was operating as their “ambassador”.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Well, what would they want with such… useless characters?

SEAN (AS NARF)

It is a very good question, Lady Veth. And it makes me wonder, what are they up to?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Indeed, we cannot have anyone rising up against our glorious kingdom!

SEAN (AS NARF)

Ah, yes. Remember, many, many generations passed when we did not rule the land.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

I don’t like to think back to that.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Yes, and perhaps we need to make sure it does not happen this time.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Well, what do you suggest?

SEAN (AS NARF)

That we combine forces for a brief period to get them back.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes? I… might be able to put my forces at your disposal.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Because, you see, my demon phalanx would be perhaps unstoppable with your shadow warriors.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Well, my shadow warriors don’t need your phalanx, but we can certainly help you.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Yes, and rather than you trekking on foot for months, we could get you there and deploy you in mere minutes.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

All right, well let’s get to it.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Ah, but wait. First… we must divvy up what we will be acquiring.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes, what do you want from the deal?

SEAN (AS NARF)

Well, I know you’ve taken a liking, it seems, to that little fruity one.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes, he is quite charming in his way.

SEAN (AS NARF)

And I might be willing to let you have the red half-demon one.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Hmmm?

SEAN (AS NARF)

And all I want is the human.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Why would you want a beast? What good could it be to you?

SEAN (AS NARF)

Ah, that is for me to worry about. I do believe that I am giving you quite the deal here. A deal that would not require any double-crossing, Lady Veth.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

All right, Narf. I’ll take the half-demon and the fruit. And you can have the beastie—but I’m watching you.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Very well. I will unite my phalanx. They will launch at dawn, and they will trail that ship and bring your shadow warriors right to them.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Excellent.

CARTER (AS THE EX-CENTURION)

Table clearer! Table clearer! Table clearer!

I’m here to clear your table. Is there a problem? Oh, you haven’t eaten anything. Do you have a plate or a drink? You do not. Neither do you, sir. I’m very sorry to disturb this meeting.

I was formerly a floor-mopper, but I was let go from a big airship. They thought I was ugly and rather stupid, and so now I have to work at the bottom of our demonic society again. So now I am clearing tables.

So you don’t have a plate? Or a glass—

SEAN (AS NARF)

Centurion! Centurion!

CARTER (AS THE EX-CENTURION)

Oh! If only I was a centurion, sir. I’d have to work for eighteen years straight to get up to the rank of centurion again.

SEAN (AS NARF)

I am promoting you! It is why you are here.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh! I must grasp my chest! Oh! It’s all too much, sir. It is more than I can possibly dream of—

SEAN (AS NARF)

Silence!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I am being silent now.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Lady Veth, this one, as much as it pains me, was on the ship with them and can lead us back.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What? This idiot helped them escape?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I was merely a floor-mopper who happened to be on the same ship as before. I was forced to leave my former role as a centurion as I was not very good at my job.

SEAN (AS NARF)

It is why, Lady Veth, I am having you lead the charge yourself, and this one can provide the intel you need.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Yes, I can provide plenty of intel. There’s a kumquat, and there’s a big red one, and there’s a beastie.

SEAN (AS NARF)

I’m sure you can see why we need someone with your… intelligence… there.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What on earth will this creature contribute to our intelligence?

SEAN (AS NARF)

I can let you know that you should not get a job with gnomes or dwarves, because they expect you to be a “team player” and “bathe regularly” and “don’t sleep on top of your mop.”

SEAN (AS NARF)

He knows that they were taken not to the Dwoven Alliance, but rather to the Badlands.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh yes! I know that too. Yes, that was something that I figured out, because people kept saying “This is the Badlands,” and they repeated it over and over again, so that’s where they went.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

All right, I suppose you can join my shadow warriors, but you will keep quiet until I speak to you.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I will keep quiet until you speak to me, yes.

SEAN (AS NARF)

Very good. I was—

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

When can I expect my first paycheck?

SEAN (AS NARF)

I will handle that personally.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Very good. I’ll contact Demon Resources to let them know that I’ve changed jobs for the third time this month. Ohhh! Mine has been a busy month.

MEANWHILE…

Eerie, droning music.

SEAN

Far up on a mountain, as high as the clouds and higher some still, is an ice cave.

And inside, a giant beast stirs, uncoiling its long serpentine neck, white scales flashing with electricity… as Snowball, the ice dragon, sticks their head and neck out of the cave and sniffs.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(low, rumbling voice)

Something is wrong with magic.

THE CLEARING

SEAN

And we return to the clearing and we see a phalanx of flying red demons landing and folding their wings, and we see shadow demons dispersing from their backs. And we see Lady Veth bent over, her head gone, as if decapitated, and everyone is standing in a circle around Lady Veth, waiting as she pulls her head out.

A weird magical pop.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

They’re definitely here.

CARTER (AS A DEMON SOLDIER)

Where?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Right below you.

CARTER (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Those are… those are plants.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes, it’s just a camouflage. If you go through the camouflage, there are little fairies everywhere.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

(hissing voice)

Perhaps we don’t need the demons, Lady Veth. Perhaps we should move forward your people at this point.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Well, we certainly don’t need anyone but the shadows.

MIKE (AS ANOTHER DEMON)

(chummy, clueless)

It’s my first day!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What…? Who’s this?

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

He is one of the demons.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Hi, I’m Gary.

Laughter.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Narf is my uncle.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

His name is Gary. Perhaps I should take care of the demons, your lordship, Lady Veth?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Why is one of Narf’s relatives part of my shadow demons?

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Well, we did not choose who carried us here. I’m afraid Narf made those decisions.

MIKE (AS GARY)

My uncle wants me to get more practical experience, so he thought I should come along!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Put him in the back. Put him in the back.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Step this way.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Okay!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

No, wait! No! Wait! I was told I was supposed to be in the back, because I am ugly, and stupid, and do not have good ideas. Now I’ve been told that Gary is in the back, and Gary is much more dumber than I am. So I am asking, who is the dumb person in this group?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Bring the one-eye to me.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, good! All right, Gary. Ha, ha, ha!

MIKE (AS GARY)

Wait, wait! I’ve got one eye.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

You have to be in the back. I’m going into the front. You are a back. Now I am a front. Lady Veth wants me. Hello, Lady Veth! Oh, I see we’re about to attack a poppy field! Yes, truly a military victory for us.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Listen to me.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

All right!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

You seem to have some kind of relationship with those three back—

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, yes. I would lock them up and beat them mercilessly.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

But on the ship, you must have developed some sort of friendship with them.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, no. What happened was I was hungry and wanted a treat, and then the kumquat gave me a treat, and then I became rock solid for half an hour, and then when I came to, people said, “You’re fired!”

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Wait a minute. You became rock solid after taking one of the kumquat’s treats?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Yes. The kumquat baked a cake, and I ate it, and I became solid as stone. Ahh, the weight gain. Usually you gain a little bit of weight when you eat something dessert-like—

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

That’s enough!

MIKE (AS GARY)

I heard they’re handing out treats later!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

To the back, Gary. To the back.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Stay in line!

Your Ladyship, I apologize, but should we not locate them first before we attack?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

I did locate them. They’ve seen my face right in front of them. All we have to do now is lean in and scoop them up!

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Ah. The poppies, your Ladyship?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

The little people underneath there.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

What? Oh, your—Oh! Oh. Yes, I see. Yes, your Ladyship. We await your orders.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

So we’re attacking ants. Is that it? Are we making war against the ants? Oh! I will crush their ant hills, and I will make sure they do not collect things for their queen!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Here’s what you’re going to do, one eye, unless you want to lose your other eye.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh! I do not.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

You’re going to go in there, and you’re going to talk to them, and you’re going to tell them that their only chance of survival is to come out of that little… covered clearing they’re hiding in.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

All right. I will tell the ants that they should surrender immediately.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

And be sure not to eat any sort of pastries or cakes.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, yes, because of the weight gain.

FAETON

SEAN

We cut back to the street where Lady Veth’s head has disappeared suddenly from the sky, and the bell stops ringing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay! So this may be an actual emergency. I need everyone to partake in emergency program Alpha Century Foxtrot 42!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We don’t know what that is.

SEAN (AS A FAE)

Yeah, we’re not sure what that is.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Everyone hide!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

Okay…

SEAN

All the fae pop out of existence on the street all around you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why can’t you guys just do what I say like they do sometimes?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We can’t do that!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think it’s asking a lot. I say “Everyone hide,” they hid, you’re still standing here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Have you literally forgotten in just four days that you know people who you haven’t created who aren’t fae?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All I need you to do is follow Alpha Century Foxtrot 42. I thought it was pretty clear. It’s in your manual—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The only place where I can hide is in Darcy’s apartment, and I don’t even know where that is!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it’s just two blocks over and one block up.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do we have enough time to get there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Probably not.

Silence.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m just gonna stand here until something happens.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s a good strategy! Let’s stand our ground, meet the aggressors, and maybe parlay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well then could you pop back into where we can see you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, right.

Pop!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Good. Now, this isn’t so bad. We know the demons are here. What can they do, really, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They could murder us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Like, very quickly and very efficiently.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They’re not going to murder us. They’re probably going to send one of their most skilled investigators to find out how much information we have. Because hey! We’ve got a magical veil over a little town in the middle of the forest. That’s interesting, and I’m sure they’re going to be interested in that.

THE MOUNTAIN

The eerie music returns.

SEAN

We’re back to the mountain far, far up in the sky, where a giant ice dragon is unfurling its wings and launching, heading in a very specific direction.

FAETON

SEAN

And we return to the small fae village as the three adventurers hear a familiar voice coming down the street.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Centurion, centurion, centurion. All right, I’ve got to find out some information about this ant town.

Hello? Hello, ants?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is that who I think it is?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ants!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I thought he was still on the airship.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s what I thought.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Didn’t they, like, attach him to the front of it as a statue so you kind of lead them forward?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, you turned him into stone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, yeah!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What is he doing here?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ant people! Is this a house of ants?

He knocks on a door.

SEAN (AS A FAE RESIDENT)

(muffled)

There’s nobody in here!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, I think someone’s in there, because you say that someone isn’t. Or is that not an ability that an ant has? Are you an ant of trickery?

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yes?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh! You are an ant of trickery! So you should come out right now and be counted so I can count how many ants of trickery there are.

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

There’s only one!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

There’s only one ant of trickery.

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yup.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Well, then I’ll find out how many ants of trickery are next door!

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Okay!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Centurion, centurion, centurion… This is a place of tricksy ants at each and every door!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, hello, can—

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Excuse me for a moment. I must find out how many ants of trickery are in this house.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, hey, leave the little people alone.

MIKE (AS ANOTHER FAE RESIDENT)

Uh, hello?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Hello?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Hello. Hi.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

You, living in the gumdrop house, are you an ant?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Um… are you looking for ants?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I am! I am looking for ants. Because who else would be living in the middle of a poppy field in the middle of the forest?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Oh, I’m just a poppy flower.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

You’re a poppy flower?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

But you can talk.

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

No, you just think I can talk.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Are you? I just think… Are you my imagination?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Yes!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Wait a second. Can ants talk?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

…Yes.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ants can talk, so they’re not part of my imagination? Or am I imagining them too?

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

You’re imagining everything!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh my lord, I’m having some sort of a psychotic break. I’m terribly sorry.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, you! Centurion. What are you doing here?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I’m here on the orders of my Lady Veth! I’m a Centurion again. No more floor mopping for me!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Lady Veth, huh?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Now, are you an ant? I remember you as being some sort of a beastie.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I am clearly not an ant.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Then why are you in the middle of a poppy field in the middle of a forest?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you doing here? How did you get off the ship?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, it’s very simple, you see. I am ugly and stupid, so the gnomes did not want me working on their airship all the time because of my “foul odour” and “bad attitude”. So I was brought back when they were returning Rachel to her home village.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, I see. So you’re here on the part of the demons.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

That’s right. I’m a demon and I work with the demons once again and I’ve been told that we are committing an act of war against the ants in this field.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Interesting.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Are you harbouring ants?! Do you live in a house of ants? How many ants live in your house?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t live in a house of ants and there’s only three of us here in this village. You can clearly see us. There’s the fairy, the half demon and me. So why don’t you just talk to us?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ohhhh. I remember everyone now. I may only have one eye, but I recognize the look of you. So, you, kumquat, do you still do kumquat‑y things? Or are you an ant now too?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, I guess I could be an ant if you want, but I’ve got a question for you.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

All right, what is that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You keep calling yourself ugly and foul smelling and things like that, which is really—I mean, I don’t think it’s okay to call yourself that. If other people call you that, you can’t necessarily control it, but I don’t think you should call yourself that because it’s not good for your self-esteem and self-identity. Further, you just got a promotion, yet you’re still being so negative about yourself.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

No! No, you see, I know that I am ugly and ill-tempered and stupid and knowing that has given me my old job back. Full circle! My life is going great. Centurion is a centurion again.

You! Red one! Are you some sort of ant as well?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Please, no, I’m not an ant. What…? Could an ant do this?

Bazooka.

SEAN

And a bazooka appears in Blat’s hands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh. I didn’t actually think that that was going to work.

THE CLEARING

SEAN

And we cut back to the field where three phalanx of demons are all lined up. And some shadowy figures are in front of them, flitting around, as one approaches Lady Veth.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Lady Veth, are you sure that sending that idiot in there was the right move? It’s been a while.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes, it has. But he was only sent in there as a distraction. Now we strike, when their guard is down and I’m sure they’re stuck in some ridiculous, inane conversation with that stupid demon smudge.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Yes, brilliant as always, Lady. If I say so, your Ladyship.

What is your real plan?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Strike. Now.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Yes, Lady Veth.

SEAN

And all the shadows dart forward and down, shrinking into size and disappear into the veil.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Didja see that? They all changed!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Gary, for the love of everything that is demonic, shut up.

MIKE (AS GARY)

I’m just trying to learn!

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: Ren, Becky Arenivar, Kona, Lillianne Johnston and Ember Kabbes.

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon. Supporters get access to our trove of bonus material and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord. Look for the Patreon link at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE: CENTURION, CENTURION

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I thought you would be excited at my return. Now that I have showed up, you look very angry and confused.

MARISA

(laughing)

I wanted it in a different guy.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I thought you were my biggest fan.

MARISA

I like things to make sense.

MIKE

You’re playing the wrong game for that.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I think you seem to think that I’m being overused, which is bad.