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49: Bad Trips

Eggerton and Darcy receive upsetting visions of the future. Blat discovers marshmallows.

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

Content warning: apocalypse, existential dread, jump scares, breakups, drug dealing and drug use.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS GERHARDT THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Is that you, friend?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s going on?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Hello, I have been experimenting with fae stone technology. Come on through!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, really?

Blat plummets from the sky and lands with a thud.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

THE GODDESS DEMANDS CAKE.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, déjà vu…

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

No loitering here at the tree in this park.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, who’s—

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

(into his radio)

Dispatch, I’m gonna need a truck—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, is that a communicator? I need it. I need it.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Hey, give me that!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(into the radio as he flees)

Moira! Moira!

SEAN

Snowball the ice dragon, explodes out of the clouds.

Shouts of panic.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Run away, run away!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I need your help, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait—I’m in my body?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So I’m off the hook?!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

No, you are still the First protector, but you and Blatman share the same body.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

The lieutenant is dead and Lady Veth, we don’t know where she is. Technically, I’m the ranking officer…

Aaaaa!

Thud.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Now I’m the ranking officer!

EVERYONE (AS FAE PARTYGOERS)

(singing)

Happy birthday, Evil Dark Thing in the Sky!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(sobbing)

This is the best party ever.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Could I stay this Blat?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

No.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

MARISA (AS JAILHOUSE GUARD)

Get up and we’re gonna transfer you to the next cell. No funny business, okay?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

None at all.

Oh, look over there, a distraction!

MARISA (AS JAILHOUSE GUARD)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

One, two, three, and whoa!

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE THE FAE)

(screaming with exhilaration)

There we go!

Twiddledee and Eggerton smash through the window and escape.

THE PARK

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

(winded)

I gotta put you down, Eggerton…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, just be gentle, be gentle, be gentle—

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay, I gotta let you go!

Eggerton lands on the ground with a thud.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I’m okay!

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay, okay!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now you come down.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And I’ll catch you.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay, well no, I can just come down lightly. You don’t have to—oh, okay… oh! This is a little awkward.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, I’ll put you down there.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, and here we are.

So it was Twiddledum, right?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

No, Twiddledum.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I’m so sorry.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

It’s okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Twiddledee.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

That’s my third cousin.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh really, you’re related to Twiddledum?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, I ran into Twiddledum in a cafe one time.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Oh, great. Awesome. I’m not a big fan of Twiddledum.

But aren’t we all sort of related since we all come from you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I guess so. I’m just still kind of getting that into my head though, that, you know, I’m everybody’s mother.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a lot.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

It is.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a lot.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I can understand.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

All right. What’s happening? You got out of jail.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Aaa! Eggerton! Run!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no! He’s with us.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He’s on our team, remember?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

What? No, I’ve never…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, this is the portal salesman. Gwunth, Gwinth, Gunth-er-snur.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I sell portals.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, well, we were… The name is Gunt…?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Gerhardt.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, that. Yeah.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Wowww.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, exactly! You got it.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, so where to now, portal salesman?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I thought we were going to the park with the fae stone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Let’s go to the park with the fae stone!

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I just came here to bail you out. The first thing, if someone threatens you with a ticket, you run! You run away.

You, you antagonize. You get brought to the jail, and then I sold my shoes to raise money for the bail, and now you’re out, and I have no shoes.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

But we’re not in a sinking ship.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

No, not bail out with the bucket. Bail out with the money because of the breaking of the law…

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Wouldn’t the money get soggy?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

No, there’s no money in the bucket. The money is used to pay—

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

There’s a hole in the bucket! I know that song.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just want to know where the bucket is. Because you say you were here to bail us out, but there’s no bucket. Is it because it has a hole in it?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I’m confused.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

So, the fae stone portal technology… Let’s go back to the park, all right?

SEAN AND MIKE (AS PEGGLESIS AND EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, okay, let’s go.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay, which way?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it… that way?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

No, it’s back this way.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Hold on, let me see if I can tune in to the fae stone and…

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Oh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I don’t know which way it is.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Well, I know I came this way because I sold my shoes secondhand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You sold your second hands for your… What?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

No, I sold my shoes secondhand to bail you out, but you don’t need the bailing.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

How much do you get for a second hand as a human?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And did you put your second hand and your first hand in the bucket?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I got ten dollars.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I’m on my third hand. I could have made money on these?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Apparently!

Okay, to the park. Let’s go.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

The little person has had three hands?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s sometimes best just to go with it.

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 49: Bad Trips.

THE BATTLEFIELD

The Faeton battle music.

SEAN

The sun is rising over bodies strewn across a field after the battle. A few giant mushrooms are still burning. And the destruction, it just stretches on and on.

And then a few of the bodies groan and roll over.

And at one of the mushrooms, it appears there’s a bunch of fae gathered around eating… it smells like marshmallow.

We come down on Darcy, who’s standing, shaking her head over the still sleeping body of Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(cartoonish snoring)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat.

Blat, wake up.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(startled)

Wah! Aah! I’m not evil!

Oh! Oh! Oh, what a night! Oh, I feel like I’ve had too much cider or something.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think you’ve had too much M‑word.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

M‑word?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You know, her…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Marzipan?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, not that one. The Big M, you know?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The big marzipan, when you get the really big tray and eat the whole thing and oh, you don’t feel well.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right. Let’s just call her Marzipan.

So, you seem… normal?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my lord, it’s coming back to me now.

(lowers his voice)

I think I’m evil again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, what do you mean you think you’re evil? You either are evil or you aren’t.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t feel presently evil and I…

Wait, wait, oh! Good! A lovely red complexion. No black smokiness coming off me at all.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I’m not seeing any of those weird tendrils around you. But what does that mean? I mean, did you have a talk with her? What happened?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I find that when you spend a lot of time with higher beings, deities, demigods, that sort of thing, the old brain box can’t quite handle it. You don’t really retain all of the big details afterwards.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, so you don’t think this is going to be a problem this time? You’re not going to try and kill everyone?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, more than likely it’s going to be some sort of problem, yes. There will be some to-do afterwards about this, but at present, no, I don’t think so. Maybe we should be more concerned that the town that we were living in is completely devastated.

And, um.. the shorter, dumber fella, have you seen him around anywhere?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I haven’t seen him, but what I think we should be worried about is over there.

SEAN

There’s a rumble in the crater where Darcy is gesturing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you see? Okay, I may—I don’t know if this was a vision given to me by Marzipan or something, or something evil going on, but—

(whispers)

I think there’s a dragon over there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How would we have missed a dragon over there?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know, the party was kind of crazy and the fungal fumes overwhelmed me pretty early.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, what, do we poke them with a stick or something?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, you can’t poke them with a stick! I just think that… I’ve never seen a creature like that. I presume it’s a dragon. Did Marzipan send it? Are we about to be killed?

SEAN

Blat you see, very silently, a head the size of a wagon rising up behind Darcy, as Darcy is continuing to talk.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So anyway, I think we should be really quiet and not antagonize anyone, and maybe just get out of here after we can figure out what happened to Eggerton.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(measured)

Uh huh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat? Blat, are you, are you—oh no, are you going evil again?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Not going evil.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s happening? What are you looking at?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Actually, um…

SEAN

There’s a warmth flowing over your shoulders, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He’s right behind me, isn’t he?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m in a state of shock, or else I would have screamed before this, but yes, yes, yes, he’s right behind you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I’m turning around really slowly, and I’m looking, and—ohhhh, Loxsyn.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See, now you’re going to soil yourself, just like I think I have.

SEAN

The head is coming close to you, Darcy, coming down, and the nostrils are flaring.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Heh… hello?

SEAN

And the head bumps you just lightly.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL THE DRAGON)

You smell like wild.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

But… wrong.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wrong? I… I smell wrong?

SEAN

And Snowball takes that giant snuff in with his nostrils and he almost like pulls you forward into the…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oof! Okay, gently please, gently.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You are wild magic.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know what that means.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I, I think it’s referring to your, um—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No. Don’t.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

—slightly witchy—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Nope. No, nothing weird here. Nothing strange here. In fact, I think if you’re looking for magic, um, we know who could help you with that.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

And who is that?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, he’s not here right now, but he’s very powerful. He is the All-Mother of this region—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(a sudden, massive roar)

SEAN

And ice shoots up into the sky as the head raises up.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I very much would like to meet this one. Now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okie doke, we’re just gonna confer for a minute. Just one second.

(whispers)

Blat, I think—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, what I was saying to the dragon was inappropriate, but what you’re saying, oh, that’s gonna be totally fine.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m just trying to buy us some time, but I might have sold Eggerton up the creek.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You have totally sold Eggerton up the creek. I mean, if he comes back, all of a sudden now he’s got some fight after school, you know, by the lockers with the dragon.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, he was getting a bit big for his britches with the whole All-Motherton thing. I don’t know, maybe this would be good for him.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, I think getting eaten would cure him of his pomposity. Yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think he’s gonna get eaten. We would have already been eaten. I mean, we’re pretty annoying.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s true. Sometimes I just cannot handle myself.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, exactly. So, listen, we’ll just… Eggerton’s not even here. So we just need to stall for some time, and maybe we can figure out what this dragon wants.

(aloud, to Snowball)

Uh, excuse me.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Mm-hmm.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It seems that the All-Motherton has a very busy schedule, and I think he’s out right now, scouring the countryside for more supporters. So, we’re not sure when he’ll be back, so is there anything we could help you with?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Hmm.

Nah, I’ll wait.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, that’s good. That’s great. Waiting is always… what we hope for. Um…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Because I smell him.

SEAN

And the head comes in close to Blat now. A head the size of a wagon, snuffling over Blat.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I smell him. Or them. Or whatever this thing is on both of you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, we don’t have a waiting room per se. Like, we don’t have any magazines to rifle through or anything like that. So maybe come back a little later. We don’t want to have to ask you to keep sleeping in our crater hole.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Oh, I’m not sleeping. I’m just watching both of you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, uh, what you’re gonna be watching us do is clean up after a party and try to rebuild a mushroom village—which doesn’t sound very entertaining. Heaven knows I don’t want to have to do it, so to ask you to have to watch us do that just seems tedious at best.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And we’re incredibly incompetent at clean-ups, so you’re really not going to enjoy watching this. I mean, pfft, building a mushroom house? I don’t know how to do that. Do you, Blat?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, Lord in heaven, no. It’s a miracle I can even put pants on. So, uh, maybe leave your contact information with one of the fae eating marshmallow fluff over there. And, uh, we can reconnect later?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Mm-hmm. Or I can just wait here so I’m ready to eat this thing when it arrives.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey… nobody said anything about eating. This is the first I’m hearing of this. What do you mean, eat?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Swallow, destroy…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Kill, ingest, end…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, but why do you… Why? I just think that that’s, um, impetuous, don’t you?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Why would you, wild one, not wish to do the same?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I just think you shouldn’t eat anyone or anything who you don’t know if they would agree with your digestive system, right? You must have a very complex digestive system.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You’re right. I’ll just destroy and spit it out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. We’ve got off on the wrong paw. Um…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(whispers)

Ask him if he likes mushrooms. There’s plenty to go around.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How do you feel about fungus?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Fungus?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We have much of it here. That’s good for your stomach… no?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No. No, I’m here to put an end.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

To?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I thought it was clear.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

The one who is going to destroy beings like you and I.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I didn’t say anything about anyone destroying anyone. I just said, uh, someone was an All-Mother and that’s usually a good thing, right? Creation, babies…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

The All-Mother has begun the process that I have sworn to defend… that will destroy all magic creatures of our type. I’m amazed you are not also against this All-Mother.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Based on our track record, I’m sure that’s probably true. We create a lot of problems.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I think maybe in some weird way it’s the reason we were thrown back in time? The universe has a sense of humour, you gotta admit.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, here’s the thing. Maybe the dragon has a point. Maybe we should be destroyed. Did you ever think of that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No! I’ve never thought of that!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, you’ve just become half evil, half not. I think probably he has a point.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So you think that we’ve been thrown back in time twice so that we could be eaten by a dragon thousands of years before we were born?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think Moira has a sick sense of humour, yes. I think that could absolutely be happening. But here’s what we have to do. We have to warn Eggerton before he gets back here because I sent for him with, you know, one of his children.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Oh good. I’ll wait.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

I guess he can hear what we’re saying.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

His ears are literally the same size as I am. Yes, he can hear me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hello!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Hi.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ha ha. So we’re just gonna go over here and clean up a bit.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Sure. I’ll just be here watching.

CAMPFIRE

Blat approaches a crackling fire.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, how are you guys doing over here?

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

(tripping out)

Ha ha! It’s really good marshmallows, hoo hoo hoo! Oh, I think the two mushrooms have mingled. It’s like the, you know, the fun mushroom with the marshmallow yummy mushroom, ha ha, I can’t stop! I can’t stop!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s great. Um, you—

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

You want some?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Here, look.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So you might as well keep on eating—oh, this is actually quite interesting, yes.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Isn’t it good?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The thing is—

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Wait for it. It kicks in in a second. Three…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t think you should keep the village here—

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Two… one…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

—because ohhhhh, there’s a dragon in the crater.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Ha ha, where? Where is the dragon?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right behind you.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Oh ho ho ho there’s a dragon in the crater. Ohhhh…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So that’s why I’m thinking—ohh. Maybe we gotta move the village. Somewhere else.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Oh yeah. The village is great. Oh, wait, you’re gonna get, you’re gonna get snackies really fast. Here’s another handful.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(slurring)

Okay, give me some of the marshmallow fluff.

(muffled eating sounds)

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Move it more. Okay. We can—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We gotta move the village.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Yeah. Right after I take a nap.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Somewhere…

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Okay. Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Else.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Sure thing. Right after the nap.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Don’t call for the All-Mother because the All-Mother is gonna get eaten.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Okay, right. No, All-Mother. Ha ha. The dragon.

Protracted silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mmmph.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It starts to repeat on you. Just give me a second—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, didn’t you think this would be a good time to keep your head straight?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhh…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

To not become an Eggerton? I thought I could trust you not to eat something that’s gonna mess with your brain.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(more lucid)

It’s all right, Mother, because I didn’t have any ideas as to how to get out of this situation. We’re homeless. The fae are homeless. We have no idea how to contact Eggerton, wherever the heck he is, and if he comes back, he gets eaten. Frankly, we’re at a stalemate. I might as well just sleep here in the crater, ’cause there’s nothing else for us to do.

Could be worse—I could be evil right now, but I’m not.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m still not sure about that. I have my eye on you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Go ahead and put your eye on me. I’m high on marshmallow goo!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

And I’m watching both of you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, gosh. Have some marshmallow goo, will ya?

THE PARK

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

So, uh, we’ve asked 13 people, and we’ve been to five parks. Um, you sure you can’t feel the fae stone?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

My feet are getting a little sore from all the walking, so maybe that’s distracting me.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay. What about you, uh, the Peter… Butter salesman?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I do not sell peanut butter!

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Oh, right.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

You think I can travel through space and time with the power of peanut butter?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Well, I just know that the only things I can travel through space and time are, like, gods and fae. Ha ha! Ha ha ha. Oh, nobody’s laughing.

But do you remember the way to, um, the park?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Well, I remember the way… to a newspaper box.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Yes, we’ve been there three times.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I think if we head back there again this time…

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I think then we’ll be close to the newsstand where we can get more newspapers that I can cover my feet with.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Um, Motherton, I know it’s a sore subject, but I just think maybe you should just ask Peri. ‘Cause remember you said you met Peri near the park in the…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sighs)

But…

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

It’s like you tell the story all the time at the campfire, and you had your first date. And I think Peri might be able to help you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Things with Peri got a little awkward. Um, and then there was a battle, and I don’t know what happened to Peri!

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

We could be stuck here a really long time.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s fine. We’ll find our way. We don’t need to call for Peri.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay.

Wait, are you saying I should call for Peri?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I’m saying don’t call for Peri.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Under any circumstances?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No circumstances in which you should call for Peri.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Right, in a way that wouldn’t say that you don’t need help, but I do.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I never need help.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Right. Got it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I certainly don’t need Peri’s help.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay, I’m not gonna do it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay, so we’re heading to the stand then? Again?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

No, it’s all right. I realized I had the money from the bailing out, so I simply bought this much cheaper pair of shoes.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Huh. Okay.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

He’s not very stylish, but then again, I’ve never found a way to monetize my abilities.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I think those are called flip-flops.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Flip-flops! It would explain why the top symptoms seem to be missing. Still, I can now step on sharp objects and not feel any direct pain.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Oh, okay. Um…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, why don’t we just go in this direction? I’ve got a good gut feeling about this direction.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And we’ll see if we can find the park. I think that’ll work.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I like this. It is a lesson in patience. Usually when I get lost I go, ah, the heck with it, and then I make a portal and I just run through and then I’m somewhere else.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, could you make a portal to the fae stone?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

…Yeah, I suppose I could.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why don’t we just do that?

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Well, I thought this was a lesson in patience. We were going to figure it out with our brains, where it is we were supposed to go—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m the most patient person throughout history.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Throughout history?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

History!

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

History?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

History!

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

All of history!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All of it.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I’m starting to understand Peri’s comments about—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What was that?

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

Nothing!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So let’s just go through a portal, all right? Then we don’t have any more conversations about Peri’s involvement in all of this.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

We need the fae stone to create the portal, Mother.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, we…

(groans)

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Plus, I feel that you’re cheating yourself. I never thought that I would be around the most patient person in all of history and then to just give that person a boom, very fast answer to a problem just feels, you know… like cheating.

SEAN (AS TWIDDLEDEE)

I’ll be right back.

Pop!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now you’ve scared off Twiddledee.

So we have to figure out where Twiddledee went and we have to find the fae stone and you can do both with just one portal!

Pop!

SEAN (AS PERI)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(groans)

SEAN (AS PERI)

Really?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Peri, I don’t think—

SEAN (AS PERI)

No! No! No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just—

SEAN (AS PERI)

No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just—

SEAN (AS PERI)

You couldn’t even ask me yourself!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I actually didn’t even want Twiddledee to ask you.

SEAN (AS PERI)

What? Oh! So you were even opposed to bringing me in at all?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You don’t need to be here. We have it under our hand. We’re all good.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Oh good!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, everything’s fine!

SEAN (AS PERI)

Okay, so Twiddledee said you’ve been a week looking for a park.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so, time is relative. And if, yes, we go by all of the clocks and time measurement tools around here, it’s been roughly seven days. However, I feel like we’re really close this time.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes?

SEAN (AS PERI)

Close your eyes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS PERI)

And now…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Just…

SEAN (AS PERI)

Envision the park.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm-hmm.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Because you’re in range of the fae stone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I am.

SEAN (AS PERI)

It’s how I could pop in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh.

SEAN (AS PERI)

And just go there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s right over there.

SEAN (AS PERI)

(sighs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I found it!

When I close my eyes, I can see a little line. It was bright and colourful and there was singing.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Do you have something you want to say to me, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Umm… I really don’t think we needed your help—

SEAN (AS PERI)

That’s it!

Pop!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But I get…

Oh, there she goes.

Well, you know…

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

I feel like I was in the middle of something there, so I didn’t want to interrupt, but that was a whole lot.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It is a lot with Peri.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Should we have included Peri in our party?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I mean, maybe we should have asked Peri and included, you know, maybe Peri’s feelings.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Peri seems to know what Peri is doing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s what Peri always says. And maybe that’s one of the reasons why things didn’t work out.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

Because Peri knows what Peri is doing and you do not?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know what Peri’s doing, you’re right.

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

You do not know what you are doing?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know exactly what I’m doing!

CARTER (AS GERHARDT)

What are you doing?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m not talking about Peri anymore, because the park’s right there!

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

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

SEAN

Hi friends, Sean here, and I was recently listening to today’s episode that you’re listening to and I could not stop laughing. And also just… I was amazed, because I was like, I forgot about that! It wasn’t that long ago. Super hope you’re enjoying it.

And I know it’s been a long time since we shouted out patrons. I’m not sure what happened. I don’t know how that dropped off our radar, but I’m back doing it and I just opened the database and… It’s been literally 11 months since we’ve done this, so we’ve got a bunch to catch up on, but we’re going to start working through it.

So, as always, thank you to each and every one of you that are supporting and telling friends. But, let’s call out some names.

Let’s give a super shout of love out to Isaiah Wall—I hope I pronounced that right—Wina Anderson, Richard Mitchell, BJ Bee, Claire Voss in the house! and Beth Greenwood.

I’m going to do more next time, but thank you so much to each and every one of you. It means so much, and super honoured to have you supporting us.

And now, let’s come back to the episode.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: MISTREATING THE PRISONERS

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so… The cell, I’ve walked it a few times and it’s 8x8. Now, if we can find some chalk and lay down a grid…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There’s no chalk.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But if there were chalk…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There isn’t chalk.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. What if we take uh, a long fingernail and scratch lines in the floor into a grid shape, because then we can play gum-dropper hop?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You bit your fingernails to the quick.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh yeah, ha ha…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You did that trying to think up things we could do in this cell.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, because it’s only 8x8. I don’t know if I told you that, but I think if we were able to find some chalk and make it into a grid…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There’s no chalk.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but what if we had chalk?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But we don’t.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So, what we need to do is come up with something to do. Okay, well…

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Centurion, centurion, centurion!

Ah! I’ve come to make your lives miserable again, you lousy prisoners! Look! I’ve been going through your luggage, and now I’m going to put your underpants on my head. Look! I am wearing your underpants! Oh, no, wait. Is this your underpants?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, my—

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

It’s got hearts on it! Who has hearts on their underpants?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s mine.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ah, centurion, centurion! Look what I’m doing to your underpants now!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, no!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ah! Now you are humiliated, because my head has been where your privates go! Ha! You take that, you lousy prisoner!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy. Darcy. That’s the dirty laundry bag.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Centurion, centurion…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that is our dirty laundry bag, actually.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ah! You don’t like this! Ah, well, now I’m going to put your socks on the end of my nose! Ha! You like that, hey?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy, I’ve got it, I’ve got it.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ha!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Let’s guess what he’s going to put on next and see who’s right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, that could be fun.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I think he’s going to go for your extra pair of coveralls.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, I think that bandana you always try and wear around your head so that when you put the helmet on that’s usually a pot, it doesn’t hurt as much when you’re the general.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, that’s a good bandana.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, because you have about three in there, actually, I think.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, let’s see what he does.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

No, look! This is a bit hard to get into, but now I’ve made a shirt into a lovely skirt, and I will prance about in front of you. Oh, look at me! I claim to be from a different time period, centurion, centurion, centurion!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so my guess was closer to shirt, so I get that point.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, fine. Too bad we didn’t have some chalk to note it.

SEAN

Help save the crew and send them a fun game by supporting us on Patreon.

Go to patreon.com/albasalix. Every amount matters. Please have a heart.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so it’s eight feet across by eight feet wide, and if we just get a piece of chalk…

Music sting.

THE CRATER

Eerie, shrill electric guitar and organ.

SEAN

The ground is trembling as the dragon is moving, and you get the sense, like, the hairs on the back of your neck go up, as if someone has their attention on you, and the the tremblings are getting louder, and something large is approaching, probably a dragon.

Laughter.

The music spins down and stops awkwardly.

MARISA

(laughing)

I’m sorry, what are you saying? Is the dragon approaching?

SEAN

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, hey! It’s been a while now, hasn’t it? You’re a very patient dragon.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yes, it’s been a week.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, it has, and we’ve… look, we’ve really cleaned up this clearing. Um, I really don’t think there’s any more work to be done here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I am absolutely hammered on marshmallow fluff.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Isn’t that stuff done yet?! I don’t know where you keep finding it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, they keep making it somehow, and I keep turning them down, but other than… burnt mushroom, there’s really not much else to eat. Will you excuse me for a moment?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Anyway, uh, you’re probably ready to go now. I’m sure you have things you have to do back at your home?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

What are you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m a human?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, you’re not.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, I am.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, you’re not.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes I am!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, you’re not.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. I am.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Really?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, what do you think I am?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Something wild.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, humans can be wild. I mean, we come from the wild.

SEAN

The head bumps you hard.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey! Ouch!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Something tells me if I push you, I will learn what you are.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, what does it matter? What if you did know what I was? Does that matter?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You do understand that what makes you you will end because of what has started here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, that was very confusing. I don’t understand at all. Have you had some of the marshmallow?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

This.

SEAN

And the tail lashes out at crazy speed and slams into the fae stone and nothing happens. Like, you hear the impact but the fae stone doesn’t even budge.

SEAN

This.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

That will end me, it will end my kin, and it will end you. And…

SEAN

There’s a deep breath.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

And your future kin.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So, this stone is going to do all that?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why do you have to talk in riddles? Why don’t you just say what you’re talking about? You mentioned magic. Are you magic? What’s the problem with magic?

SEAN

The body just like, slams down into the ground and the head lowers.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I am not speaking in riddles. But perhaps you don’t know what you are.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I mean, I think I know what I am. But maybe when you tell someone that everything’s going to end and everyone they love isn’t going to be here anymore, maybe that’s hard to absorb. Ever thought of that?

Silence.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I didn’t think so. I don’t even know who you are. Why don’t you tell me who you are? I mean, you look like what I would call a dragon but I don’t actually know that. Where do you come from? Why are you even here? What were you doing at the party last week? Don’t you want to tell me anything about that?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I did get a little distracted at the party. It was a good time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mm hmm. Yep.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

When I couldn’t find the One, I thought I’d enjoy myself a little bit. I don’t get out of my cave much.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, so it’s a cave you come from.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

A network of caves. I am the protector, until I pass on that title. We’ve waited a long time for this and it seems I am the one who is here when it happens.

The eerie music returns.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

There is a future coming where magic is organized and then harnessed one day and then turned into something awful and metallic and deadly. And then after that, there is just blackness and nothing. And all of the wild creatures don’t exist in that future.

And it all starts here, with this fae stone. My job is to stop that. Maybe it’s too late.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Maybe it is. I don’t know anything about you, and I don’t know anything about what’s happening here. But all I know is, I’m a protector too… and we might end up protecting opposite things.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Hm. Something tells me I’d enjoy that.

But why do you smell different? You are… off.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because there is something different about me. But it’s not who I am. It’s just part of me.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You don’t smell like any other werefolk I’ve ever met.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What… So you do know!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That I’m werefolk.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I know you are of were, but something is different. You smell… of… different. A little metallic but still wild.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t know anything about what I smell like. Okay? Yeah, I’m werefolk and I turn into someone else when I get angry and that’s all there is…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Close your eyes and smell me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…What.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Use your wild and smell me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s a bit weird. But…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Is it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay… and I step up to the dragon and I take a deep breath.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Not as you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

As the other you. Smell me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well I… can’t change, I don’t think?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Why not?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I can’t change just like that.

SEAN

The head cocks at you.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

This gets more and more interesting.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, like I said, it’s not me, it’s a part of me, so it just happens sometimes when I get angry. When I’m trying to help people.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Interesting. Close your eyes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

Fine.

MARISA

And I close my eyes.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Now let go. Let it loose. The thing you never let loose. Give it control. Just a little.

Yes. Now smell me.

SEAN

You smell earth, you smell everything, you smell so much detail, you sense magic, this wild live magic that seems familiar, almost memories come rushing back from your past, but yet different. A little like an incense, like something, you know, a little alien, a little unusual. Different from what you’re used to.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so you… you smell like that. What does that mean?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

That is wild.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, it doesn’t matter, so we’re kind of the same.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yes, but all wild things smell like that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I’m sure that Blat and Eggerton and others smell like that. Aren’t we all a bit wild?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean, no?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, they are not wild. They are ordered.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well Blat is, that’s for sure. He likes ironing. A lot. But… I don’t even know why we’re having this discussion! Wild, ordered, we’re all just here, we’re all living the best we can, and we gotta try and work together and figure things out, right?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Hm. I’ll think about that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. Why don’t you?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

And I’m still gonna eat that mother one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, Loxsyn.

MEANWHILE…

MIKE (AS GARY)

Anybody looking to buy some mushrooms?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hey Gary. Oh Lord, you’ve been exactly who I’ve been looking for.

MIKE (AS GARY)

I got some good stuff here!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You gotta hit me up with some of it. The other guys, they say they’re not holding anymore. Come on, give to papa.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Okay. Wait, wait, wait. Did you pay last time?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure!

MIKE (AS GARY)

I don’t think you did.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I did. I paid the other guy.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

I saw him pay!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, see, see! He said.

MIKE (AS GARY)

All right, okay. Well I’m just gonna give you a half a piece for now. But I—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay…

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Wait, wait, wait. I got some, I have some, I have some… oh! I can give you three rockstones, but I need you to give me two back and three pebbles. No, sorry—

MIKE (AS GARY)

Are you a narc?

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

No. Just—

MIKE (AS GARY)

You gotta tell me if you’re a narc, little fae.

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

No, I’m not! Just give me two back and 20 pebbles. No, no, no. Keep the one.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Wait! No. You’re trying to—

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Give me 10 pebbles… okay? And then we’re even.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Okay. What if—wait, I give you five pebbles?

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I keep 20. You take the two big rocks…

MIKE (AS GARY)

And you give… How many do you…? I take… oh!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know what’s happening here, but can I have my half?

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Here we go, we’re clean. We’re good!

MIKE (AS GARY)

All right, okay. Here you guys go! Have a good afternoon!

SEAN (AS STONER FAE)

Thanks, man.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait, my half! My half! You son of a…!

LATER…

SEAN

Blat, you’re at the stream. You bend down. You’re splashing water in your face. You look at your reflection, and you look haggard.

It’s been a day without any marshmallow and your head is throbbing when all of a sudden you hear a portal pop sound and across the stream you see the park, and you hear police whistles… and you see Eggerton running towards the portal.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(panting)

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

There he is! Get him, man!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(running and panting)

And jump!

SEAN

You see him leaping toward the portal… and then he disappears and the portal closes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Holy mother of Loxsyn.

(shakes himself)

I gotta get off the marshmallow goo.

Hooo! Why didn’t those little guys tell me about the aftereffects? I am seeing nonsense.

Wash the ol’ face…

Okay. You’re a grown man. You can get off the marshmallow fluff. What you saw did not happen. You’re just gonna open your eyes. You’re gonna look to the other end of the stream and you’re just gonna see water and trees and other streamy stuff like that.

SEAN

And that’s what you see.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

You control the marshmallow fluff. The marshmallow fluff does not control you.

A DIVERSION

Pop! Grinding, whirring machinery.

SEAN

Eggerton, you appear, and you are surrounded by bars of light arcing all around you, and there are all these open doors—and suddenly you realize you’re inside the wagon that’s been half torn apart and reassembled and there’s all these conduits and equipment. And you see Moira running from machine to machine and then looking up and going,

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, I caught something!

SEAN

And running over towards you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, hi Moira!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh no. No, no, no!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s fine! It’s fine! It’s fine! It’s fine! It’s good! It’s fine. No, no, no.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, no, no, no, no, no! No, I don’t… no!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, we gotta undo it!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Undo what?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, no, no, no, no. I did not want to catch you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why, what’s wrong with me?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh god, it’s been weeks.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s been weeks? Where are we? Is this the Blatavan?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You’re just outside Paradox.

SEAN

And you look and you now start to hear the roar of the waterfall. You see the waterfall that was as high up as you can see… but the mountain beyond it is just tendrils of black.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I thought maybe we fixed that…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You fixed what?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The smokey, gross stuff.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh no, you did not fix anything, Eggerton. You did not. In fact, it’s worse.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s worse?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Since the destruction of the Nexus, it is here. The Shattering is eating this world right now. That roar you hear is not the sound of the waterfall. It is the oxygen pouring into the void.

We don’t have much time left. I… ugh! I’ve been trying to catch one of you or someone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you got me. What can we do to help? How can I help you today, Moira?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Don’t make me want to hit you, please.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I would not like you to hit me.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, I need you to remember a message.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, got it. I’m gonna get it locked in.

SEAN

She looks up and it sort of feels, when you look, that the blackness is like moving pretty fast, down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It feels like it’s descending.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, well that’s not descending. It’s actually reality, just disappearing. Eggerton, this is the end. This is it. Right here. It’s here. It’s now back in time.

You remember how I brought you back in time to stop it? Well, now it’s here and it’s eating. And you know how I sent you back in time again?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You have one last chance.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, one last chance… Is that the message? Okay, wait, let me write it down.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, Eggerton, that is not the…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

One…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

That is not the… Stop writing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, fine. Okay, I won’t write it down.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Find the three keys.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Find the three keys—Oh, you know what? I’m a key.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Don’t make me scream.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, seriously, I’m a key.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Just write it down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but I met this guy named Stan and I’m a key.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You’re a lovely key. You’re an amazing key.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you, I thought so too.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Just write down…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Find the three keys.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(writing)

Find… the…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

We probably have sixty seconds and then I’m gone. I’m dead. This is the end.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sixty… keys… dead end.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No! “Find the three keys” is the message.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Find…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…the…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Three.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…three…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Keys.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…keys…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

And.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…and…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

The Nexus!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…the…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Nexus!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…Nexus.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Read it back.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Read…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No! Read—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…it… back…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Stop writing!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Stop…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m sending you back!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…writing…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I hope this works!

SEAN

And she punches the button as the blackness hits.

A final roar of destruction—then silence.

THE RIVER

SEAN

Blat, you’re just about to stand up when there’s a pop sound on the far side of the river.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I wrote all of that down, but it’s kind of confusing. “Find the sixty keys dead end find the three keys and the Nexus read it back stop writing I’m”… And then you kind of cut off and… Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Where’s Moira?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Where’s Moira? We haven’t seen Moira in thousands of years.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I was just in the Blatavan with her and she gave me this really weird message about sixty keys.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sixty keys?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think she’s talking about a piano.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Moira wants you to take up the piano?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe. I don’t know.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How is that important to going back in time on our mission and all that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Apparently it doesn’t matter anymore because time ends.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Time ends?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I was watching it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You watched time end.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, not actually. It was ending. It was in the process of ending. And then I was here again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You watched time come close to ending…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, it’s on the way.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And you feel that Moira, who we haven’t seen in heaven knows how long, told you in her last moments…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yup. Mm hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…to take piano lessons.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, the message was, “Find the sixty keys dead end find the three keys and the Nexus read it back stop writing I’m.” So I’m taking from that that the first part’s the important part, so clearly it’s about the sixty keys.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What about the three keys?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I figure that’s maybe, you know, like for the song that she wants me to play. Right? Like, know all sixty keys, but then pick three good ones and just kind of repeat them over and over and over.

(a little like the opening riff of the Other Bothers theme music)

Doo, doo doo—like that.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Doo, doo doo.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Doo, doo doo…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s not even a song. You can’t make a song out of just three keys.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, it’s not the song. It’s the hook to the song.

Doo, doo doo…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See, there would have to be more after that. I mean, that’s a nice beginning, but you need to have more keys in order to make a song.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah. There’s another 57 keys to play with… but maybe that’s, you know, “find the sixty keys”. So find the piano, then use these three keys to get everyone drawn in with a riff. Then, you know, just tell them the rest of the song.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So you’re saying that there’s a special piano.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, that’s probably right.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So we have to find a special piano and that’s why you were brought back. It’s in a dead end, so like it’s in an alley somewhere.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think that’s probably the most logical way to take this.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, buddy. Now before we start with that, I’m happy to see you, but now that you’re back, a dragon’s going to eat you.

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So you’ve been doing marshmallow?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, yes. I’ve been doing marshmallow, but that’s besides the point.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, it’s fine because I used to see dragons all the time. I mean, we all kind of go through that phase where we try marshmallow just to see what’ll happen and then there’s a dragon—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No. No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

—and you’re like, oh no, the dragon’s gonna get me! And you’ve got to just keep running away from the dragon.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, because I’ve been here with Darcy and she’s all, “I’m morally against doing marshmallow.” And she has totally seen the dragon as well.

We’ve been trying to clean up after the village exploded and for the last week, we’ve had a dragon sitting in the big crater just waiting for you to show up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, well why don’t we go say hi?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, it’s—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A dragon is going to eat you. He’s made it very clear he’s waiting on you to eat, because he’s angry about what you’re going to do in the future, which I imagine has something to do with finding a magic piano in an alley somewhere.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I’m going to write this down. Start over.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right.

SEAN

(laughing)

Cut.

DARCY

SEAN

All of a sudden, the dragon snaps awake, head up. Darcy, I don’t know what you were doing at this moment, but you just sense the dragon is just utterly still and staring off towards the forest.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so I’ll take a little bit of bread and a little… What else have you got there?

CARTER (AS CHARACTER)

I don’t have much left.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t want any of the marshmallow, please.

CARTER (AS CHARACTER)

I got a lot of the marshmallow!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just a little bit of bread and maybe are those plums or something like that—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

They’re here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

CARTER (AS CHARACTER)

The plums are here! We just got them. We’ve been picking them from the forest…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Shh! Hey, what’s going on there, Draggy?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Snowball.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh. Snowball? Okay, great! Snowball.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

The mother is back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? When did you—what—why… When did you figure that out?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Just smell.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, I will go and check on that for you and I’ll be right back—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I can take you there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no. You should wait here, don’t you think? Just wait. I mean, remember what we talked about? Maybe just working together? Maybe slowing things down a bit?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah, I’m all for that, but I can take you there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You could just tell me where—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Get on my back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, fine, but I’ll have you know I could stab you in the back, because I’m on it, so watch what you do.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Can you just come down a little lower?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah, I’m sorry. How about this? I’ll bring my neck down.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that would be… Okay, thanks. I’m Darcy, by the way.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

It’s nice to meet you, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Nice to meet you, Snowball. Okay, just… oh, this is uncomf—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Maybe someday we’ll know each other’s real names.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay…

SEAN

And Snowball launches into the air.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, all right, just… Whoa, not so fast!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Hold on to one of the scales, you’ll be fine.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy, okay, all right…

THE RIVER

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, so how did you get here? You used a portal of some kind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Use the portal again to get out of here!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, what? No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because the municipal constables got the portal salesman.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The municipal constables got the portal salesman? Well, what about using your fae stone witchery-do?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I guess I could do that too. I just kind of feel bad about it because you can’t.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m not the one who’s going to be eaten by a giant flying lizard!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, like that one?

A dramatic music sting.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Dahhhh!

SEAN

A giant dragon—massive, like… five stories tall, is circling. And you notice that someone is riding their neck.

And they circle, circle, and then come in for a landing that is not really graceful. The ground shakes. And they land on the far side of the river away from Eggerton… And they just… stand there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, should we say hi?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, you should not say hi—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But it’s polite to say hi.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But one usually should not greet one’s killer.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, not with a hello.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Not with any sort of… I don’t have any other ideas in my head. Just run!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Run where?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Anywhere! Just go!

SEAN

The neck begins to drop.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(groans)

SEAN

A head the size of a wagon is lowering down onto the water.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh my.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

All right, Darcy. We’ll play this your way.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, great. Thanks. Just give me a minute.

Hey!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hey Darcy, how ya doin’?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m okay, how are you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m good. So where’d you get the dragon?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, not my dragon.

MARISA

And I get down awkwardly off the neck.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thanks, Snowball.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Snowball?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snowball, yes—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s a nice name, Snowball.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hello!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Very polite, isn’t he?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’m not supposed to say that. Um, ahoy!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

It is… thrilling to meet you and realize my purpose.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooh, that’s nice.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Isn’t it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm-hmm.

So Darcy, how ya been?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh. Fine, Eggerton.

Snowball has some thoughts about you, and they aren’t all positive. And maybe you should just keep your distance. Just back up a little. Maybe you two want to talk about the whole magic thing?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Darcy believes…

SEAN

—and the head comes down and gets very close to you.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Darcy believes that I should explain.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. What do you want to explain?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I was sort of hoping you would explain why you are making all of my kin extinct.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How would the magic piano do that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know! That’s really str—okay. Are your kin especially sensitive to three-chord riffs?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Maybe the alley’s the thing. The alley’s the problem.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooh, an evil alley.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you two idiots talking about?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I saw Moira. And Moira said that I’ve got to find the sixty keys.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? No, the three keys. You’re talking about the three keys.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but there’s sixty keys. Okay, wait, let me get me my notebook back out and I’ll read it to you. Um…

“Find the sixty keys dead end find the three keys and the Nexus read it back stop writing I’m.”

SEAN

The dragon does a big sniff and actually sucks Eggerton into their nostrils…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa!

Thoop.

MARISA

Ohh!

SEAN

…then opens their mouth distastefully and puts out their tongue with Eggerton on it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ewwww! Gross! But that was kind of fun.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Will you get down from there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m sorry, well, it’s not my fault.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just get out of there!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, here we go. And I kind of roll off.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

That was very hard to not swallow, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We appreciate that.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

He smells like the future. You were just there!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was! I was at the end.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. And how was magic there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think it was very good.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yes, because of you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What do you mean because of me? I think it’s probably, if anyone, it’s Moira’s fault.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I don’t know Moira. I know that it’s you. You created the fae stone that is the start.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I didn’t really create the fae stone. I just helped it exist.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

And it will be the end of magic in the future.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think it will.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Really?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

So there’s no future where magic is being adulterated and turned into machines that are causing war and destruction and there won’t be a future where there are no dragons.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know what, there was a lot of bad stuff, but then, out of nowhere, Boltius!—long live Boltius—comes in…

CARTER AND MARISA (AS BLAT AND DARCY)

(mumbling)

Long live Boltius.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you. And just kind of fixed everything.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Really? There were dragons and magic after that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I don’t know about that, but I was in the city. And I think if maybe you got out to the country, you’d see more of the wildlife.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I don’t think this talk is going well, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I think it’s not going well because we’re all very confused. I mean, you’re not going to believe this, just… but we’ve travelled through time.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I can smell it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so he knows we’ve travelled through time. And we’ve seen a lot of stuff, and a lot of people tell us different things about how we’re destroying their lives and we’ve made everything worse and that sort of thing. But we don’t actually know what’s true, you see. And Eggerton, as dumb as he is, is a very positive individual and only tries to do good things, right, Eggerton? So I can’t possibly see how something Eggerton’s done would cause the destruction of our universe and your people.

A long silence.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

But it does.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, how do you know? Are you a future-seeing dragon? I mean, do you have a crystal ball or something that you can see what’s going to happen?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yes, do you want to see it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I do!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…I kind of do.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can I see the crystal ball?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Get on my back. I’ll take all three of you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Awesome!

Snowball’s haunting theme turns more adventurous and exciting. Wind whistles

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, the three keys! Yes, that’s right! I remember when that was a thing.

You’re one of them!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I told Moira that and she said no.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(mutters)

I really need to think about things before I say them.

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

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: DWEEZIL’S NOT HERE

MIKE (AS GARY)

Anybody looking to buy some mushrooms?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah! Dweezil!

MARISA

Wait, no, wasn’t that Gary?

MIKE

Yeah!

MARISA

Well, he called you Dweezil. I just think it’ll get confusing, that’s all.

SEAN

So just say, “Hey, Gary.”

MARISA

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hey, Gary!

Laughter.

SEAN

Good luck, Eli.

MIKE

It’s gonna be…

SEAN

It might just be Dweezil.

MIKE

(completely un-Blat-like voice)

“Hey, Gary.”

MARISA

That’s your fairy name.

MIKE

Ah! The fae call me Dweezil.

MARISA

Yeah.