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51: Book Smart, Street Stupid

With their enemies one step ahead, the party aren’t sure who to trust. Blat strikes a deal.

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: (fake) death, bodily harm, explosions, mentions of torture and death, confinement, bugs.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

SEAN (AS TV ANNOUNCER ED)

Today we’re gonna show you the future!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What you’ve got there, Snowball, is a Projectatron 5000.

SEAN (AS ED)

There’s heat and energy to every home!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Many before me have held this role. We have passed it from one to the next.

SEAN (AS ED)

The forests and mountains are free of evil, dark beasts!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Always waiting for the day where we would be able to stop the Mother.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Eggerton, we need to talk. Now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa! Wha? Whaa!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you think Moira’s just using us as dragon fodder? She just keeps sending people back constantly in time?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Cyrus was looking for a demon, a human, and a fae.

SEAN (AS PERI)

Are we over?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Over what?

SEAN (AS PERI)

Goodbye, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Bye, Peri!

Peri vanishes with a pop.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

This book says it knows you all.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Cyrus delivered the training book.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Oh no, that was some strange gentleman with sticks and portals.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

(on a television)

Hi! I brought back several pianos.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

The annoying demon in that book is talking about a key every time he comes out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He can come out of the book?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I’m like the protector of all wild magic. I just bring him out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, I’m gonna try this.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, it’s the demonic plane—

SEAN

And Eggerton is sucked into the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wup!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

I’ll be back in a minute.

Blat vanishes into the book.

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

SEAN

The roar of the flames, the heat, the smoke billowing, rocks floating on magma. And on one of those rocks stands an eight-foot demon with a giant battle axe on his back. He’s standing there with his head cocked down at Eggerton as Blat pops into existence far above.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oopsie doodle!

Okay, so he’s not actually a demon, so he doesn’t need to go through any demon trials. He’s a fae, just a fae, just a fae.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s so hot!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s very hot, but as we like to call it here, balmy! But that’s fine, we’ll try to get you out of here as quickly as possible.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Draw your weapon, little one.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, no, no, we’re not doing that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t have a weapon. No one ever gave me a weapon.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He’s not a demon. Not a demon.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, good.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, no, no weapon here, so we’re just gonna do a weapon-free trial—

Do you still have that tea, Reginald? Maybe we can all just sit down and enjoy some tea. Good to see you again—

SEAN

Then he pulls the axe and slices Eggerton in two.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ah!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(laughs heartily)

SEAN

Eggerton, you pop into existence far above the flames, and are plummeting back down towards the rock.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaaaaa!

Whump.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, now… someone needs to explain what’s going on.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, you’ve been here before, this is just the Reginald demonic training book…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Admittedly, that was pretty funny. I have to admit, pretty funny, just like last time. But, it’s okay—this is just one of the many things that the portal salesman dropped off in our time.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is the book that I trained in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Oh, you’re Reginald!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, you’re all about tea, and I’ve heard so much about you, and it’s so friendly. But I’ve got this headache now, it’s kind of a splitting headache. Do you have any painkillers?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I’d offer you tea, but we don’t have a lot of time.

Are you coming down, oh great one?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, yes, I can stay a minute, yes, that’s fine.

Sorry, are you okay, Reginald? Have things been going okay?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Your book has been thrown back millennia in time. Does that affect you here inside the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, it does not affect me inside the book. But, being tortured for endless hours and ripped out of the book, that has not been pleasant.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That sounds bad.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Who’s ripping you out of the book? How is it even possible for you to get out of the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Are we still in the cave with the dragon?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Snowball!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Is that what they said their name was?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, Snowball.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Not a very frightening name, but then again, usually the really scary ones have not-so-frightening names.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Reginald!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Exactly, Point taken.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I don’t under—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then me—Eggerton. Can you hear the dripping terror on that one?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Eggerton. Try saying—no, squint when you say it, though.

Do it.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Do it. No, just do it once. Just one time. Please? Once? Once?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Is he going to stop?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He’s not. Just go with it.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that was so cool! Okay. Okay, I’m good.

SEAN

And he pulls the axe and slices Eggerton in half again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ack!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(laughing)

That doesn’t get old, I’m sorry.

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers: an improvised fantasy role-playing game set in the world of Alba Salix. Your Game Master is Sean Howard, with players Marisa King, Michael Howie, and Carter Siddall.

Episode 51: Book Smart, Street Stupid.

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

Eggerton rematerializes and plummets back to the ground.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa!

Whump.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

He can’t fly?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, he says he can. It’s just he can’t do it if literally anyone is watching him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I think there’s like some kind of wing shyness.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, performance anxiety.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I don’t want to call it performance anxiety.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I understand that. The stage was like that for me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The stage?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, every time I attempted to step out on stage, I would forget every line.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know what’s a good cure for that?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Improvisational theatre.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, no, no, no, no. Okay, I know this is supposed to be like a hell-like landscape, but let’s not go that dark.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s true, if it’s not done well, hoo boy is it tedious!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“What were you doing after work today? Ha ha, now I’ll make a joke about it.” It’s just—it’s not okay.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I’m familiar with what it is.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, I agree. It can be awful.

Look, are we still in the cave? You haven’t answered.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, we’re sort of in a cave off of the cave. This is where a collection of stuff from our future era has wound up.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay. We don’t have a lot of time. So this is the whole party? This is all that’s left?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, we’ve got Darcy, our human compatriot.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And there’s Snowball.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Snowball the dragon. We’re not 100% sure if Snowball’s on our side because Snowball hates Eggerton so much.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Moira.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(angrily)

Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oooh, there it is again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, all right.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, I’m not too fond of Snowball.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then there’s Moira.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay, look, where is Darcy?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, she’s just outside the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Like topside, outside the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s “topside”?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it nautical in here? Where are we relative to inside a book? Is it up? Is it out? How do we explain where Darcy is?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It’s sort of like when you say “downtown”. “Let’s go down to the city” or “downtown”. It’s not really down, right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So up… book? Out-book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I like topside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Topside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, we’re going to stick with the nautical thing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yup, yup, topside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Does that make me a captain?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, it just makes you down in a book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Wait, wait, you left her alone?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She’s with Snowball.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

With Snowball, yeah.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

In the cave?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Where they somehow knew you were coming?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, they brought us right there. There was like a whole, it seems like there was a plan, in fact, to get us there, if anything.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Like, “Here’s the book. Hey, you know this book. Go inside the book.”

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Are you saying we shouldn’t be inside the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why not?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Maybe if you’d all come inside the book… but you left her alone up there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, again, with Snowball, and Snowball doesn’t like Eggerton, but Snowball seems to really like Darcy the best out of all of us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

A lot of talk about smelling between the two of them. Kind of weird.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Could be good or bad, depending.

So, should we forgo tea and try to go outside the book?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Topside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Top… topside the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Look, there’s only one way out of the book, you know this.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, so I’ve gotta… to you.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What do you have to do?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, this is gonna get messy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, Eggerton. Get behind me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See, I gotta defeat the demon.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Defeat him? Like at Candy World?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s a little bit more basic than that.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

That would release you from the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

But… what if you release me?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I thought you lived in the book.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

For a very long time, yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, if I defeat you, don’t you stay in the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, you want to stay in the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Look, they’ve been ahead of us every step of the way. Someone is a traitor. Someone is helping them.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who is “they”?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

We don’t know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who’s “we”?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

“We” is us.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

“We” is us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“We” is the three of us?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

What’s left of the Nexus. What’s left of the Academy. Moira is gone. She’s dead.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, I saw her recently.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, and when?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, technically it was moments before she died, but I did see her recently!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(sighs)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, so should you come out of the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I’m just thinking it’s the one thing they’re not expecting. But it would mean one of you has to become the guardian in the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The guardian of the book…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The guardian of the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Could we find someone else? Like, does it have to be the people? Could we post an ad?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Sure.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Down by the mushrooms? And be like, “WANTED”…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“ONE BOOK GUARDIAN.”

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

100 percent.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“APPLY WITHIN.” What are the prerequisites?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, let’s see. Wanting to stay in book potentially for all of existence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay. So, let me write that down. Stay in book…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Really? He’s writing it down?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He’s note-happy lately.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“Stay… in book… existence—” All of existence?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Look.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“All of existence.” Okay, what else?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I think snow candy or whatever—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

“There will be snow candy.”

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I think they’re working for the other side.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You think that’s part of the reason why he wants to eat Eggerton?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, I think that part’s real.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, okay. No, no, that also tracks. I think other people have—

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Like, the end of all dragons.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s this “end of all dragons” business?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you remember any dragons from our era?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, not locally.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, there are none. They’re gone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, we just haven’t seen any.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

They’re gone.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve used that logic. It doesn’t hold up.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

The future we harness all the energy from the phase delta. It’s how everything we’re doing works.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, what do you mean “harness”? Like, I brought up a—

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Harness. Steal. Take.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, because I brought up a saddle and that really offended Snowball, so I don’t think dragons would allow any harnessing.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Look, I don’t know what to do. If you want, I can release you if you defeat me. You both have to defeat me, though, for me to release you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Defeat…? But… Candy World. I left it topside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, all right. Here’s what we’re going to do.

The guardian of the book in a demonic realm should be a demon. Obviously, I should stay in the book since you are so much more powerful than I am.

So… you cleave me in two, you’ll leave the book.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, no, all you have to do is just sign this contract.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, well that’s a lot less bloody. Okay.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Wait, before you do it, you could be stuck here forever. If I die, I won’t be able to swap you back.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But you already maybe have a contract on the go, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What contract do I…?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Remember? There was some lightning at some point…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

So, it’s not exclusive, the contract?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s not exclusive.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s not like a goddess override?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I can have M‑word inside of me and be the guardian of the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s true.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Mustard?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, do you have mustard?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, he said “the M‑word”.

I’d love—I haven’t mustard in so long.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well I had some mustard.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is why you don’t want to be the guardian of the book. There’s no mustard in here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

There is endless tea and crumpets.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I like crumpets.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, if you go topside, I’ll stay here in the book. But, in order for Eggerton to get topside, he’s going to have to defeat me. Got it. Okay.

First, I’ll sign this contract. Blath—I’ll do the full name, that way it’s a bit more formal—thoxil. Great.

And, uh, okay, so I guess that releases you.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I feel different already.

Look, who do you think is helping them? Who is aware of everywhere you’ve been? Who is helping them?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who’s helping?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I mean, we didn’t trust Moira for a while, but then she seems to be on our side again.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, she’s dead.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You keep saying she’s dead, but I didn’t actually see her die. I just know she was… like, it was impending.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know where we’ve been!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I think the adults are trying to have a conversation.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s been a lot of fae, I know that. He created a lot of fae. He’s the mother of all fae.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That was kind of an accident.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It always is.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Really, the only other person that I can think of who has any idea that we’re here, and has been able to track our every…

It’s a ridiculous thought, though. This can’t possibly be someone who’s trying to screw us over.

THE PORTAL SALESMAN’S CAVE

SEAN

Darcy, you’re standing in this weird cave den with super sound system and lights and a screen that’s all static, and there’s a dragon nose pressed up against the door. And Eggerton and Blat just disappeared into the book.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So that’s it? They’re just gone?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Gone where?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Into the book?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

They went in the book?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that’s how it works, although—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I can’t see. Hold on, I’ll pull my nose back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This book, here. I think they’ve disappeared into it.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Oh, the Reginald.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, yeah, the Reginald book. But I thought only Blat could go in because I thought it was keyed to him and I didn’t think Eggerton could go in as well because he has another book, I think. So this is very strange that they could both go in there.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Huh. Well, I have been messing with it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, why are you messing with it?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

To get answers.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Answers about what?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Where that Mother was coming from.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You mean Eggerton?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, and did Reginald help you?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No… I may have done bad things to Reginald to get him to talk.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

What? Why are you doing this? Here, have you ever thought about this?

Even if Eggerton is the reason for everything going wrong, and even if you eat Eggerton, does that change anything? The magic’s already here. The stones are still there. I don’t think it changes anything what you do to Eggerton now.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You’re right. I’m too late. We’re doomed.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What… “Doom” is a strong word. I’ve seen a lot of doom. Are you sure there’s nothing we can do to maybe just work with the magic? Maybe reshape it? Maybe make sure your kinfolk are safe?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I’m gonna go watch the video again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What video?

SEAN

And the dragon starts to tromp away, and the screen suddenly changes colour behind you. And there’s movement on it. And you see someone moving, and it’s out of focus…. and then you see a very familiar figure. A wasted figure of a man. Derek von Frompton.

And they look like they’re laughing maniacally, and their face is too close so they’re going blurry, and they’re backing up, and they’re talking. And then they’re pointing, and then they’re looking confusedly, and they’re pushing things. And then they’re turning off screen and talking. And then you hear them say,

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Right. I can see you!

She’s alone, as you said. They can’t hear me, though. What button do I press? Is this on?

Can you hear me now, Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? You can see me?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

I hear her. It’s working, as you said!

(chortles)

Oh, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How are you in there? How are you reaching me?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, this is a beautiful piece of technology. This is amazing. It is everything you said it was!

And now, Darcy, you are alone. It is time for you to decide. This is your last chance.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you talking about?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

We have everything we need. We know where you are. We can reach you right now. We can strike your friends down. We can trap them in that book forever.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who’s “we”?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

The Shattering. The Beast. My master.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, what do you want?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

You. You deserve to join us. We have tried so many times. Or we will eliminate you finally.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And how are you going to do that?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

With Snowball.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snowball?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snowball isn’t working for you. Snowball has his own thing going on.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, really? Snowball lured you here. Snowball got you alone. Snowball got you right where we needed you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t believe that. Why would Snowball do that? Why would Snowball have anything to do with you?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Because Snowball knows that the end is coming for their people because of your party, because of what you are doing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We are trying to save everything! We’re trying to work against you!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, right. Yes.

Well, we are an equal destroyer. We destroy everyone equally. We don’t eliminate certain groups because they’re not liked or they’re magical or wild. We treat everyone the same.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

If you treat everyone the same, then why would Snowball ally with you? You’re just going to destroy his people too.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, but only when we destroy all. When we destroy all of creation.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait. This makes no sense. Why do you even want me? I have nothing to offer you.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

You still don’t understand, do you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I don’t.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

All this time. Good. Good. This is perfect! Make your decision. You have exactly five minutes.

(to someone offscreen)

How do I turn this—do I press this button? How do I cut the—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snowball!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I’m watching the video.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean you’re watching—

SEAN

You hear the music and you hear Ed talking.

Canned music.

SEAN (AS ED)

(on the smaller television)

In the future, we bring heat and power to…

MARISA

So I go into the other room.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snowball, do you know what I just saw?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I saw Derek von Evil, as I like to call him, on that screen there. Do you know anyone like that?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean, yeah? You know him?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I believe them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Believe them? What are you talking about? Will you turn that off? That guy is so annoying.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Okay.

Snowball stops the videotape.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

It’s so much better now that I know about the tracking.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, okay. Just… will you please tell me what’s going on?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You’re right. It’s too late. I trusted them. I did everything they said.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What did they tell you?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

That they would bring Mother to me. That I could stop it. I could save my kind.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You believed the Shattering? Do you see that guy? Does he look like a trustworthy person?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, exactly. Well, now we’re in quite the pickle, Snowball. We have to get them out of the book. You said you could draw Reginald out of the book. Well, you need to draw all of them out of the book right now.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We have about, I think, three minutes. Work fast.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Okay. Where’s the book?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Here. I have it. Here. Do your thing.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Okay.

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. So Reginald can get out of the book…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Right.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Because I signed the contract.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Wait, I want to put my Bermuda shorts on if I’m going out. Hold on.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay. Going more for a vacation‑y, beach‑y look, that’s fine.

So now, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm-hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m now the guardian of the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

For you to leave, you have to defeat me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So here’s what we’re going to do.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Wait. I have to defeat you, too, to leave now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But I thought that’s what signing the contract was for, that you didn’t have to defeat me if I signed the contract.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, no. It’s that you didn’t have to get out that way.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I feel like it was a transfer of ownership of the realm that we are currently in. So both of you are capable of leaving—

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, no, he’s right. It says right here in the contract. Sorry, I’ve never done a transfer before. You’re right, actually.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s all good. You’re all fine. You’re all fine.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, Eggerton.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

So I can just leave.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You can just leave. Eggerton, I’m just gonna call a bazooka.

SEAN

And a bazooka appears.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooh!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now, you’re going to take this…

SEAN

And that is when Blat screams and disappears.

A magical shimmering noise.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Aaaugh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What the what?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, that was unexpected.

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

Shimmering sounds.

SEAN

Snowball has a giant paw… claw… foot over the book and is incanting,

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Ixnay, aznay, oov…

SEAN

…and with a pop, Blat is standing there.

The shimmering magic continues in the background, swirling and distorted.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ahh! Guh!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

That’s… not Reginald.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Aggh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that’s fine. Can you get the other one? Eggerton?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, I think that’s the only person I can bring out that’s attached to the book.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s it?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, we’re in big trouble! I just saw Derek Von Evil on the screen in there, and he says that Snowball allied with them and this is a trap and we’re all in big trouble. They’re gonna kill you and we have to do something!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I called up a weapon so that Eggerton could kill me so that he could escape the book. But now if I’m here and Reginald’s still there, then all Eggerton needs to do is fire the bazooka at Reginald and then he’ll get out of the book!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You are making no sense. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know why you’re trying to kill Eggerton in the book!

Will you just help me figure this out? We have to get out of here. Maybe we just take… We gotta take the book and run. We gotta go, Snowball. We gotta get on your back and go and take the book and then we’ll figure it out later.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

If I stop focusing, Blat is gonna go back into the book.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He’s gonna go back into the book?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well technically I’m now the guardian of the book because I signed a contract saying that I’m the guardian of the book because I thought I was gonna see the book—

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(straining)

It’s not easy to keep him out here!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And bring Reginald out so that the Reginald could defeat whatever evil there was and then bring Eggerton with him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine. Can you still fly, Snowball, while focusing on keeping Blat? Maybe we don’t even have to keep Blat out of the book as long as we get out of here.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, I can’t do anything while I’m doing this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(groans)

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Do you know how hard this is? I’m bending reality.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, uh… give me the book!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just give me the book! I’ve got wings! I’m just gonna fly out of here! Give me the book!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Wait, no, no, don’t give him the book.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why shouldn’t I give him the book?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, because he’s in the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I’m obviously not in the book. I’m here out of the book. I’m talking to you outside the book!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I’m already bending reality.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Should we all get in the book?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Should we all get in the book?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I don’t know! I’m bending reality to get him out of the book. I don’t know what happens if you give him the book!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, this is all too much. I don’t know what’s going on.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Someone should make a movie about this one day.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, okay, um, can you get Reginald out of the book?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I don’t know. I can barely keep this one out of the book right now. I don’t sense anyone else attached to the book.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, this is just making no sense.

Okay, uh… put Blat back in the book!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But… daaaaah!

The shimmering stops abruptly as Blat is sucked back into the book.

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 don’t want to give any spoilers away, but there’s some big reveals coming. We are so excited to be back, and yeah, I’m not going to give anything away.

But I do want to give some shout-outs to some amazing supporters. We couldn’t be doing any of this without you.

So a giant shout of love, and I hope I get these names right, to: Aurora Martinez del Rio, and Alicia Willette-Cook, Sergio A. Valenzuela, Sharon Grafton, Liam Belson, Jennifer Cardwell, Mallory Vance and Alexey Gladilovich. I hope I got all those names right. And once again, I want to thank each and every one of you for reaching out to friends, for sharing the show, and for supporting us on Patreon. It means the world to us.

Couple announcements! We have a holiday special coming up, and… no patting myself on the back, but it’s in theme with the episode. I can’t explain it anymore.

Then there’s going to be a brief break, but we have more Nexus Files on the way.

And also, if you’re looking to start running your own game, well, come and join me and Russ from Dumbgeons and Dragons over on DM To GM. If you’re thinking about launching a game over the holidays with family, we got you covered.

And with that, I think we have a sketch to run.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: QUICK ‘N’ SNACK

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Thank you for coming in here, Ms. Uhh…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It’s just Moira, actually.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Just Moira. Well, all right. Well, thank you for coming in, Moira, to the Quick ‘n’ Snack.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

We are looking for some overnight register cashiers.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh, great, great. Overnight meaning…?

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Well, it’s through the evening hours, you know, the 11 p.m. through 7 a.m.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay, yeah, no, okay.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Is that a problem?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

No, no, no, no. Yeah, no, that’s great.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

All right, so let’s take a look.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Am I supposed to sit in this grimy chair?

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

We would prefer that, yes, you can choose to stand, I suppose.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, I’ll just… Oh, here, can I just borrow… I’ll just borrow this Kleenex, is that okay? I’m just gonna wipe this chair down.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Sure.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Cleanliness, really important with food, right?

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

No. That’s good. Yeah, yeah, so you know, lots of hand washing…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes?

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Things like that. Anyway, let’s take a look here at your past exp…

Knocking at the door.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Yeah, yeah, come on in.

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Mr. Smithson!

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Yes?

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

The slop bucket’s full again!

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Well, just dump it out in the river behind the store!

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Okay, I’ll try not to let anyone see!

Sorry—good luck with the interview, old woman!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I don’t think you’re supposed to…

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Oh, it’s fine, it’s fine.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay…

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

So we are looking at your past experience. Is the Nexus a sandwich shop?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, we do feed 320 knights every day.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Oh wow. So you’re used to evening work?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, yes.

We do a lot of dark missions—yeah, nighttime.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

“Missions”?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Like feeding, you know, making sure everyone’s fed.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Oh, yeah, yeah.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

On mission, on vision, on mission. Now we’re also… I’m really up on all the health codes.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Oh, good, good.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You know, like—

Another knock.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

What is it?

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Mr. Smithson! The customers watched me pour out the bucket into the river and now they’re upset and threatening litigation!

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Just tell them it’s the hot dog slop. It belongs in the creek.

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Hot dog slop belongs in the creek. We’ll call it Hot Dog Creek!

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

There you go.

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Ha ha! Okay, good luck with the interview.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Chedoke Creek was kind of a long name anyway.

Um. So yeah, so we don’t do a lot of feed. It’s mostly just taking the sausages off the rotisserie and putting them in a bun, passing them to the customer, taking the money.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Right. Okay.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

So that’s what “feeding” is around here mostly.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah, no, that’s okay—I’ve got a lot of bills, ha ha.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

A lot of bills.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah, I’ve got a lot of bills back to pay and I’m just looking for a little extra cash.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Oh.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You know, I’m a hard worker.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

But you want to work overnights because you need to make up some money.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

And are you familiar with our security system we have here at the Quick ‘n’ Snack?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, I am. I’m very familiar with security protocols, security systems. I’m very familiar with HR policies.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

No, don’t, no, no, no. No, no HR. I’m HR here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Right. Cool. Maybe I could see the cash registers and, you know, your workflow and how…

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

You seem very interested in our security and cash register. I don’t want to be rude or anything, but are you planning on robbing us? Is that why you’re here?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

What? No! What?

(tense laugh)

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Why are you laughing so much at that?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Ha ha, what?

Knocking at the door.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, Jimmy, what is it?

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Mr. Smithson! I accidentally put the hot dogs into the slop bucket and served what was in the slop bucket.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Did anyone see you do that?

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Only the one person who ate the order and they’ve now blacked out.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Oh, just drag them into the creek. It’s fine.

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Excellent! Off to Hot Dog Creek!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yeah, next time I might suggest not dragging them into the creek because if someone sees them, you’re just going to escalate the issue—

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Okay, you know what? Mo… Mora? Is it Mora?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Moira.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Mora. Look, you seem real great. You’ve got an impressive resume here—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m just going to stop you there. Is it Gary?

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Uh—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Here, let me just grab your tie, Gary.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Ulgk!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

And let me start again.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

(gurgling)

Bye, bye.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You’re going to—wait, let me just loosen you up a little by pulling you down to the desk.

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

Ungh!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

And let me just explain this again, Gary.

I am going to work the cash registers. I’m going to fix your security systems. And then I’m going to one day within weeks have your job. Are we clear? Or would you like to take a visit to the creek, Gary?

MIKE (AS MR. SMITHSON)

(shaken)

All of this could have been avoided if you just went to patreon.com/albasalix or otherbothers.com and chose to support the Quick ‘n’ Snack that way.

SEAN

(laughing)

Scene.

Knocking at the door.

MARISA

No! Shut it off!

CARTER (AS JUNIOR EMPLOYEE)

Mr. Smithson! I think the scene went on too long!

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Um. Well, this is awkward.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I mean, like, how many times does one of your best friends be like, hey, I want you to use this weapon to murder me and then just disappear?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, I was talking about who’s going to reach for the bazooka first.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, well, it was a little bit closer to me.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

But I’m pretty fast.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, you’re pretty fast, but it’s right there.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So if I were to just kind of…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Are you going to go for it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m not going to go for it. Are you going to go for it?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I’m trying to decide if I cut you in half, but then you may not reappear because I’m not the guardian. You might die permanently.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That wouldn’t be very nice. And if I like cut you in half.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I’m not the guardian, so I might die permanently.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Plus, how do I cut you in half?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, I think you would just use the bazooka on me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can a bazooka cut you in half?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(sighs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I saw it blow a hole through a creature once. Once I blew up a wall. Then for a long while it didn’t work at all.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

You’re trying to distract me, aren’t you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no. I’m just thinking out loud.

And then there was the time that I ate fairy cakes and I turned into a stone. And there’s the time that we took the lava from the desert and put it in a vial…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

If you keep talking, I’m just going to get the bazooka and shoot myself.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And I drank it and turned into a giant red Eggerton and jumped everywhere. Then we met a skeleton who was in charge of the zombies.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(sighs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was a key and there was a giant plant, but it was in a wee little orb. And we put the orb in the bottom and then it exploded and there was Slaad everywhere. Then I thought I died, but I didn’t, I was just…

Blat reappears with a magical shimmer.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Thank every heaven!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Blat! Blat, how are you doing?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(winded)

Ugh… They’re working on something topside. All right, so I’m the guardian of the book. I signed something. Reginald can go topside…

Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Pick up the bazooka and fire it at me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay!

MIKE

And Eggerton picks up the bazooka and fires at Reginald.

SEAN

Reginald disappears.

A distant explosion.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did I do it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay. You see the little crosshairs thing on the end?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, back over my shoulder?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, no, you’re going to flip that around to the front.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohhh. Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, line that up with me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, and over… Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so you’re just going to aim it at me. Now as the guardian of the book, I cannot be killed. I’m simply going to reappear after you blow me to bits and pieces. Okay?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You’ll reappear…

SEAN

You feel this unstoppable urge to strike him down the second that points at you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so… I’m closing my eyes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m closing my eyes because the M‑goddess doesn’t actually want me to get blown up, but this is… just do it quick!

SEAN

And suddenly you say the word “bazooka”.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So just pull the trigger on the bazooka—uh oh.

SEAN

And the bazooka is in your hand and it is perfectly aimed—and you know it is even without looking.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, you got a matching one!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, I can’t…

CARTER

And Blat points…

SEAN

Your hand will not point up. It is locked on him and you can’t move it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, Lord in heaven. There’s too many demons inside my body.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, what?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, I…

SEAN

And you hear a whisper in your ear.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Oh, protector. Oh, protector. I can break this for you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Marzipan wants to come out and play.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re having cake?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, Loxsyn. We’re at a bit of a stalemate right now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But we weren’t playing chess.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You signed a contract. You have to strike him down first, but not if I help you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

If you help me, you’re just going to strike him down before he has a chance to strike me down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I already struck down Reginald.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Reginald just left because I signed a contract, buddy. You didn’t strike him down at all.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Oh, no. I’m doing this just to see how far he’ll go. I can break this and you can have full will right now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so break it so I can have full will right now.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

All you have to do is say my name.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But I thought you had full will. Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve sort of got my will on loan, buddy. Circumstances outside of my control while you were off partying with the girlfriend.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

The contract is really sloppily written.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A lot of loopholes.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Oh, yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A lot of room for interpretation and misinterpretation and whatnot.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Tricksy, tricksy. Well, uh…

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Oh, clause 13.c is just juvenile.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What could I do here…

Eggerton, duck!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay!

CARTER

And Blat fires the weapon.

SEAN

Okay. So you’re going to roll to hit… You’re going to roll Defy Danger, actually, Eggsy.

MIKE

A roll. How about that? What am I rolling?

SEAN

Defy Danger. Dex.

MIKE

Dex.

SEAN

We’re actually rolling.

MIKE

9!

SEAN

Do you have any bonuses?

MIKE

No bonus! Just a 9.

SEAN

So there is an awful explosion and you see Eggerton tumbling head over heels, off—like, it missed him, but the explosion sent him tumbling head over heels, and he’s arcing up through the air and down towards lava. And there’s a horrible screech…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaa!

SEAN

…and a pop sound and Eggerton is falling down from the sky towards where you are.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaa!

Thud.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait. Wha… no. Wait. Who?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You died. You died and came back.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s what happens here. You keep dying, you keep coming back until you defeat the guardian and then you can go topside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But why did you defeat me? Why did you blow me up?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I didn’t want to blow you up! You fell into the lava!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, because you blew me up and I went flying in the air.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I told you to duck so that I wouldn’t hit you. I didn’t know you were going to fall into lava!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s an explosion. You think the explosion just by like me moving three inches is not going to happen?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve got a goddess screaming in the back of my head that she wants to take over my body! There’s very little give and take that I can give you here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is there not just like a button I can push to leave?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A button that you can push to leave…? Yes, yes, yes. Press the button on my bazooka. I’m going to aim it at myself. Go.

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

SEAN

So Darcy, Blat disappears and there’s a silence. And you sense Snowball just letting out their breath. And then you see Snowball cock their head, and be like,

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Do you hear that?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t hear anything.

SEAN

You start to sort of, like a buzzing sound in the distance.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You mean like a buzzing?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. It’s getting louder.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, this is your home. You should know what that is.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

A swarm?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A swarm of what? What would be out here in the cold?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I don’t know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, you’re a large dragon. Go look!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Okay.

SEAN

And faster than you can think Snowball can move, they’re lumbering past you and they launch out of the opening of the cave.

Shimmering magic.

SEAN

And an eight foot demon that you’ve met before is now standing in front of you wearing Bermuda shorts and a very large battle axe over their shoulder.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hello?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Ohhh, yes. Finally.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who are you?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh. D… Darvin?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, that was the wrong name.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Darcy.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you must be Reginald.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yes. We’ve met actually.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

When did we meet?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

No, you stopped by once.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh yeah. I vaguely remember that. It seems like a very long time ago.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, much longer for me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you—what? No, you have to be in the book. Why are you out here?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, wow. Got to say, there’s part of me that’s like, stay out of the book. Heh.

Sorry. Um, Blat and I traded places.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So now Blat’s stuck in the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Technically yes, forever.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. We don’t really have time to talk about this because I’ve just been threatened by the Shattering and we’ve all been threatened by the Shattering. So maybe you can help because you’re some long-lived demon who probably has a whole lot of wisdom stored up and you knew all Moira’s plans and things. So you could just tell us how to get out of this. Because I think the dragon is betraying us, but I’m not really sure. He could be now back on our side. So tell us what to do so I can get Eggerton and Blat to safety and we can figure this out.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, we have to figure out who’s working against us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we know who’s working against us. The Shattering is working against us and they have a lot of agents on the ground. I think there’s some demons sometimes and—

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Do you hear that buzzing?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, Snowball just went to check it out.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Snowball, the dragon?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Don’t trust them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But the dragon! They… I think they’re coming around to my point of view.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, well they’ve spent many hours torturing me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, that—the T word, that’s very strong. Really?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I don’t know how else to put it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, you cleaved Blat in two, from what I hear, many, many times. That doesn’t seem so great.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

That is true. Yeah, no, that’s…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, anyway, why don’t we just go to the entrance to the cave and we’ll see what Snowball sees.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay, but where… Where is the one?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who’s the one?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Blat says that it’s…

THE ONE

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

All right, so I’m finally going to give them enough stuff that they’re going to be convinced that they have the thing to figure out how to stop the end of time. But there’s so much stuff that they can’t go through it all the time and then by that time the Shattering will—

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Okay, all right, I get it, I get it, I get it. But really must we go to all this trouble? Why don’t we just… We know where they are, why don’t we just send the minions there?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

I don’t need them to die some sort of violent, awful death, with the picking and ripping apart and like that. We just run out the clock and then they’re like, “We don’t know how to figure out the end of time!” And the end of time happens and they’re like, “Oh! Sorry!”

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, yes, yes. Brilliant, ha ha, This is why you’re the general.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Nooo, I’m not the general. I’m just finally someone who is getting recognition for having portal technology.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, the leader of the armies. Sorry—the Place Maker and Time Maker, as you like to be called.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

That is pretty good. I like the title quite a bit. Before, I was homeless and people were like, “You’re a crazy person,” but now I am someone who is very respected and looked well upon by others.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

And you have thousands of shoes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ha ha! So many shoes now! It is very good.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

In fact, I got you a new pair.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

I’ve got a thousand and one pairs of shoes?!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, look here. They’re red!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Red? Oh, so bright and colourful.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

They’re this new thing called “Bikey” with this little swoosh on them, ha ha.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Oh, a swoosh! It’s very stylish. I bet you in the store the little swoosh would probably cost extra.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, yes, it would!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

It’s most attractive. I’m going to put them on now.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Okay. But what about the three? What do we do now that they are in the cave? Do we let Snowball eat them? Ha ha ha!

Silence.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

The dragon. The dragon.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

No, I know what the dragon is. No, I just, I’ve given them so much stuff. So much stuff. Just random bits of stuff from all the future times.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

So they’re just going to have to dig through all of it for a clue. But there are no clues! They’re like, “We need to find the two keys.” And I told them, “Oh, this stuff can help you.” I don’t even know what the two keys are, so how can I help them?!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

(chortling)

Ah! Okay.

Just a small note. Yes. We may have sent the swarm, just in case.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

What is this swarm?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, you know, the flying scorpions. We may have sent a swarm of them, just in case, ha ha, as a backup plan.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

No, there’s no backup. Again, just run out the clock. I don’t want anything to happen to them. They’ve been very good to me in the past. The little one is Eggerton, I’ve hung out with him a couple of times, and he’s good fun.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Why don’t you come with me and let’s go shoe shopping?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ohh! For more shoes!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ahhh, so good. But again—I feel like maybe we should, in all fairness, just send a little message to say, “Hello. The swarm is coming,” just to let them know that maybe they should run for their lives.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Ah! You’re right. I did.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Oh, you sent the message!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, yes, yes! I used your machine to speak to Darcy.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Oh, you sent the machine to speak to Dar… wait a minute. So you both sent the swarm and then sent a message about the swarm?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes! Yes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

This just cancels each other out.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, well, you know, give them a fighting chance, right?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ah! Give them a fighting chance. That’s pretty good. Okay.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes! You know, I hear that there’s a new line of shoes coming that has never been sold at a store.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Never sold at a store?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

In fact, we can travel in time to meet the creator on his way to the store with the first batch.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ah… are these the flippy flops I’ve heard so much about?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Well, I thought we would be the ones with the—they’re part skate and part sneaker. Snates!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ah, they light up! It is very colourful and all that. Ahhh, it is most tempting. I would very much like to meet the person who has created this type of special shoe.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes! Yes. We could introduce you and your new title.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Oh, yeah, it’s most impressive—an impressive person meeting another impressive person. We would both be impressive together.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

So why don’t we go now?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Yeah, okay, let’s go now. Just so as I know, they have a fighting chance to survive the swarm and that way I don’t feel bad.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Of course! Ha ha ha ha… Didn’t mean that to sound evil.

Let’s go!

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

Another rocket zooms off from the bazooka and explodes in the distance.

SEAN

Eggerton is disheveled. There are craters all around and Blat looks at wits’ end. There are many empty bazooka cartridges and bazookas lying all across the plane.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, okay. So what you’re saying is that I look through this thing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I point it at you and put you in the middle of it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Then I push this button.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh-huh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And see, it shot off backwards again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, exactly. So you just have to pay close attention. I think maybe Marzipan is still trying to prevent this from happening.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but where’s the cake?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I’m not doing anything. This is your contract.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, this is something that you’re doing!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

No.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re messing with this somehow.

(to Eggerton)

All right, all right, all right. I’m talking to her right now. I got distracted. So just line me up in the crosshair and pull the trigger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. In the crosshair…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Blow me to kingdom come.

SEAN

And Blat dodges, calls a bazooka, fires, destroys Eggerton, who pops into existence and starts falling.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaa!

Whump.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Son of a monkey! I’m sorry. I keep doing that. I don’t know why I keep doing that.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Just say my word. I will break this contract.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It feels like it’s counterproductive.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

I’m just worried that the other idea that’s being offered to me is going to create an even bigger problem.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Right, because this is working so well for you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just don’t know why we can’t press a button.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You are pressing a button. You’re pressing a button on that weapon in order to kill me!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But like an exit button. Like isn’t there a button for the doors?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I can make an exit button too.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, she’s claiming now she can make an exit button. You wouldn’t have to blow me up at all.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But still, this is the imaginary Marzipam.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It would involve me going over to the, uh, side of darkness.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

How about this… Let me show you what’s possible if you would just say my name.

SEAN

And a jar of mustard appears.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

There’s mustard.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, do not be tempted by the Evil One’s mustard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Unscrew it and… hand in the mustard jar.

SEAN

It has sparkles.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh… it’s sparkly.

(slurps)

Oh, it’s so good.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I could do so much more if you would just give me the power.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The part I ate just filled itself in again. And now it’s swirly in that part and sparkly on the outside. How is that even possible?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, I just I can’t quite look at you head on while you’re eating directly from a jar of mustard. Ugh, that’s that’s hard to watch.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(slurping)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhh, and there are the sounds. Oh, oh, Eggerton, you’re not making this easy.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I could end that too.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You can add that too, huh?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Yes. I’m not enjoying it either.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I should not have made it an endless jar.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, that was a mistake on your part.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s so much. And now it’s alternating colours with every layer! Watch—

(grotesque slurping)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How many jars are you gonna eat, buddy? You’ve eaten at least two jars of mustard now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now it’s pink! Why does it keep changing when I eat it?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, Loxsyn help me, I can’t take this—

Thunder crashes.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You’ll say that name? You will say that name?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, I’ve got a name for you…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(slurping)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Morrigu!

A thunderous explosion.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Finally.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…It tastes kind of bitter now.

SEAN

A giant red button appears on the floor.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aw, sweet button!

Eggerton pushes it.

SEAN

And Eggerton disappears.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Was that so hard?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

(low, gruff voice)

I suppose not. But here’s something that you didn’t consider.

I may now be a minion of the dark side. But you can’t do anything with me. I’m trapped in a book.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Are you?

SEAN

And you see the contract catch on fire.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I’m… trapped in a book!

CARTER

And Blat starts stomping on the contract trying to put it out.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Stop! Trapped in a book. I’m trapped in a book! I’m trapped in a…

(tries to blow out the flames)

You can see part of my name at the bottom here.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You may go where you want.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

All right. I’ll just stay in the book.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Very well.

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

SEAN

Okay, so Darcy, you hear a roar. You hear ice crystals in the air. The dragon is clearly fighting something in the distance and the sound of this buzzing is growing. And you are standing in the mouth of the cave when… and this has been happening for a couple minutes, when all of a sudden behind you, you hear…

Fump!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so there was a jar that was here, Reginald, and now it’s gone.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And I… hold on, Darcy. And I’d like to find that jar because it seemed kind of magical.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where did you come from?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, Darcy—

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

He just appeared in front of me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I had a jar. It had mustard in it. And every time I would eat the mustard, more mustard of a different variety would appear.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t care about your mustard. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. What’s Blat doing?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Darcy, have you seen all this stuff from the future? There’s boxes of it and it’s all marked with the word “CLUE”.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, we should check those for clues!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, not right now! We have to figure out what that noise is and where Snowball is.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

The noise does not sound good. It sounds like, I don’t know, a swarm of something.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, what… what… What do you see? I can…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It’s night. I can’t see anything.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snowball! Are you out there?!

SEAN

You hear a roar in the distance and the sound of ice and crystals and more roaring.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That doesn’t sound good. That sounds like someone who needs help.

You can fly, Reginald! Go see what’s going on.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay.

SEAN

And he takes off.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so now can we check the clues? Maybe we’ll find my mustard in the clues. Maybe my mustard was a clue.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What is happening to Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, he was talking about Marzipam…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What… Marzipam?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then we were shooting the bazooka off. And then he was gonna have more cake, but he couldn’t find it or it was in his head or something. Anyways, I hit a red button and now I’m here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why do I ever let you two go anywhere together by yourselves? I feel like I have to rope you to my waist so that I know where you are at all times and you can’t keep screwing things up. What did you do to him?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t do anything. I tried. I tried to kill him a whole bunch, but he was just faster.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why were you killing him?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because he told me to!

SEAN

You hear the TV turn on in the room down the hall from you and you hear a voice.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, hello! Derek von Frompton here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

UGH.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes. Just wanted to leave you a note because I promised, but I put it on a delay.

The swarm is coming. And I’ve also activated some Centurion friends for you.

A burst of static. The transmission ends.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s a swarm?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you hear that? There’s a swarm coming!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There is a swarm coming. A swarm of what though?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Probably what Snowball’s fighting.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Snowball’s fighting a swarm?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m pretty sure now!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s it a swarm of, Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know, but something bad because von Frampton sent them.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Von Frampton?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes! Didn’t you hear that voice?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That was him?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh no.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, we’re in trouble.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Where’s Blat?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

In the book…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ha ha, right, right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

From whence you just came.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. Yeah. Good old Blat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Reginald!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You just told him to leave.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I need to know if he’s seen anything.

SEAN

You hear shouting from him and grunts and fighting in the distance, but he’s getting farther and farther away. And the buzzing is getting much louder.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We have to do something. We have to get out of here! We have to help. We have to get Blat back.

From nearby, a robotic whirring and clanking.

SEAN

And you hear the sound, like, I don’t know, very large Centurions coming to life from the room with the TV in it, like stepping forward away from the wall and activating.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That sounds suspiciously down the hall and around the corner, like Centurions from the future coming to life and preparing to battle us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why would there be Centurions from the future?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know. I’m just saying that’s what it sounds like.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It was a room full of chairs, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you maybe leave the leg rest up and maybe it just came down again?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You’re probably right. That’s what it is.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Exactly. And if you were doing it in every chair, which I know you were, then it would make a sound like a bunch of Centurions.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

One of them is too hard, one of them is too soft, and you’ve got to find the one that’s just right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Maybe we should focus on the real threat, which sounds like this swarm—not something happening in a back room where there’s a closed door and no one could get in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Let’s look out into the vast darkness and see what we can… Oh, there’s Reginald. Looks like he’s battling something.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How can you see that?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can’t you see it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve got fae eyesight.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s right. You can. Well, what do you see? What kind of swarm is it?

SEAN

You see just thousands of these things zipping in and around and around the dragon and Reginald’s and, I don’t know—it’s like a scorpion was the size of a dog, and had wings.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well. Do you know what a dog is.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I do.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So if you were to picture one of those.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That sort of general size.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But then take a scorpion and make it that size of the dog, not the other way around. You don’t want a scorpion-sized dog. It’s a dog-sized scorpion.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There are dog-sized scorpions out there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That are flying.

Heavy mechanical footsteps approach.

SEAN (AS BALGOMARIAN ROBOT CENTURION)

CITIZEN, STAND DOWN. PUT YOUR ARMS IN THE AIR.

CARTER (AS SECOND ROBOT CENTURION)

CITIZEN, WE HAVE BEEN TOLD TO TELL YOU WE ARE CLUES.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Oh, there’s clues! The clues are coming to life.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

SEAN (AS FIRST ROBOT CENTURION)

CENTURION, I BELIEVE YOU ARE IN ERROR. OUR ORDERS WERE UPDATED. WE ARE TO TERMINATE ALL LIFE FORMS.

CARTER (AS SECOND ROBOT CENTURION)

I’VE BEEN TOLD I’M A CLUE. INVESTIGATE ME. I AM A CLUE. I MAY BE THE SECRET TO SOLVING THE END OF TIME!

SEAN (AS FIRST ROBOT CENTURION)

WE DO HAVE THE WORD CLUE WRITTEN ON OUR CHEST, CENTURION.

CARTER (AS SECOND ROBOT CENTURION)

CLUE! I AM A CLUE. SEARCH ME FOR CLUES!

SEAN (AS FIRST ROBOT CENTURION)

CONTRARY ORDER. WE HAVE TWO ORDERS! TERMINATE LIFE AND ANNOUNCE WE ARE CLUES!

CARTER (AS SECOND ROBOT CENTURION)

CLUES! OPEN MY PANEL. PERHAPS THERE IS A CLUE INSIDE.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I guess we should do what they… I mean, I’ve got my hands up. We might as well do what they say.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sure, open a panel.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, but why are there Centurions here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, well, okay, I’ll just sort of walk around and just get a… I’ve got a screwdriver and I’ll turn that… Oh, that’s a squeaky screw. Weird sounding squeaky screw. Very, very, very distinct sound. Unique. Like it was hand recorded. Anyway.

Okay, so inside… Oh, what’s… There’s a package. It’s like a present. It’s like a harvest present! In a box!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s wrapped up just, here—urgh, it’s too heavy for me. Darcy… Here, take it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, okay. Okay, here, let’s just put it down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s heavy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This can’t be good, right? I mean, this is a Centurion.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but it… it says “KEY” on the tag.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I… no. No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look, I don’t know what’s going on. What I do know is, following the clues always works out for us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, because that’s happened in the famous story from Balgomar with the three different packages where they’re clearly labelled. That never worked out. Don’t you remember?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah, I mean…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Prize one, prize number two, prize number three. None of them were prizes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but if you guess one of them, then you know that the chances of guessing the right one is now 50%.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, stop it. You’re Eggertoning me. This makes no sense. This is not right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, you’re going to say it’s one in three still, even though you’ve opened one of them.

SEAN (AS FIRST ROBOT CENTURION)

YOU’RE ONLY LOOKING AT PACKAGE FROM CENTURION 1793. WHAT ABOUT MY PACKAGE?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s another package, Darcy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…Fine, open it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I’m going to open this one. And it’s a very nice ribbon. Want to keep that and set it aside for later use. And open the lid and it’s a…?

SEAN

You see a note.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, there’s just a note.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Does it say “key”?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Let’s see, I’ll unfold it. And it says, “I hope you enjoy this gift card for a free basket of French fries.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I dunno.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That makes no sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I guess—

SEAN (AS FIRST ROBOT CENTURION)

EVERY BOX IS A WINNER!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, did you hear that? Every box is a winner.

Okay, you get the next one. I got this one. I’ll hang on to the fries.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I’m not opening any more boxes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s an IOU. Those are valuable.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is obviously a distraction. This is something that’s been sent.

I mean, why were they just in the back room there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, they’ve got “CLUE” written on them. And I don’t know why you would do that unless you wanted people to know they were clues.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, exactly. Except they aren’t clues. That’s why you want them to think they’re clues. Follow me?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. We’re just going to ignore these Centurions right now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think they’re clues!

No! They’re not clues, they’re sent here to distract us. Who sent all this stuff anyway?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know. But all I do know is you’re not going to share my French fries.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine. We’re never finding the French fry shop where we can use the gift certificate anyway, because we’re millennia back in time where there are no French fry shops.

SEAN

Reginald drops down to the ground at the entrance and stumbles over to you and collapses to one knee.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(panting)

There are too many.

I’ll be fine, but they’re coming.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do we do?!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I don’t know. It’s like thousands of flying giant scorpions.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are they roughly dog size?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wow. Nailed it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We need Blat! We need his bazooka!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Okay. How do we get Blat out of the book?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Someone has to go in the book and trade places with him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Trade places with him? Well, I guess Darcy, that’s going to be you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Enough people have been in the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well no, because I’m the general.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, I’ll do it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Reginald..

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It was nice to come out, even if it was awful. I can’t believe I helped that damn dragon.

Wait a minute, where’s the book?

A STREET

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

You see, you just open a small portal and that way you grab the book. You just grab the book!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Ha ha!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Now we have the special book and we have the new shoes and meeting that man was quite a thrill. At the beginning it was a little—

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Wasn’t he? Yes, I know, I know, he didn’t have a lot of good personal skills…

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

A little touch and go with the “Oh! Who are you? What are you doing to me?”

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

“Why are you taking my shoes?!” Ha ha!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ha ha. Still pretty good though.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

But he calmed down once you explained how much you loved his work. “We’re big fans!”

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

“I have portals, I’m a big fan.” Ahh, it is good.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

I wish he hadn’t said, “Oh, like you can make portals.” That upset you a little bit, I noticed.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ah, yes.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Another person that doesn’t believe or see your brilliance.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

But you do!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, yes! Yes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

That’s all I need really. That’s all I need.

So you said to take the book.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, yes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

What do we do with the book?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

We have a very special thing to do with this book, ha ha. Can I have it, please?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Yeah, okay. What do I care? Yeah, here take the book.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, yes. Another pair of shoes?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Yes, please! Another pair of shoes!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Okay, okay! Let’s go shopping.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Okay!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

I’m going to drop this in the post box.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Are you going to mail the book to someone?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, because there’s no better way to hide something or get rid of it forever than to put it into the Balgomarian postal system. Hoo hoo!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

It does not sound like you are a fan of the civil service.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, no, a mislabelled package going into here… oop! Goodbye, Blat!

Derek drops the book into a rusty mailbox.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Let’s go buy some shoes, shall we?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

You said “Blat”.

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

It is a book.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Oh, yes, I meant “book”. Ha ha! Oh, book… “Goodbye, Blat,” “Book”—I just get so confused.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

I thought maybe we are taking one of my friends and sticking him inside the mailbox, never to be seen again.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

What? No, that would be crazy. I put a book in there, not a person.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Oh, you’re just getting rid of a book!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes!

Well, that’s okay then.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Because knowledge is dangerous!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ja, ja! It’s true!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes. Yes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

It’s true. I gained the knowledge about to make portals and my life was so hard for so long!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

You know, I hear there’s a new kind of footwear company that’s called a “Crocodile” or something?

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Crocodile? That doesn’t sound good. I don’t want to put crocodiles on my feet.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

No, no, it’s like a shortened version of that. “Dile”? “Croc”! They’re “Crocs”. They’re made from plastic, but they last forever.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

It sounds like the type of shoe that would be both very comfortable but also at the same time extremely unattractive.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes, but you could wear it going anywhere. When you have to go outside and take out the trash, you could just slip it on. It’s easy. But then when friends come over, you can quickly throw them off and go, “Oh, those aren’t mine, ha ha!”

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

“Someone else must have left them here when they were visiting!” It is the perfect crime!

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Yes!

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Crocs for everyone!

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

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

Dialogue editing by Michael Howie. Transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King. Music and sound design by Eli Hamada McIlveen. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Stephen Smith. Supporting producers: Becky Arenivar, Lillianne Johnston, and Ren.

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: CROCS?

MIKE (AS SAMANTHA)

(lackadaisical teenage voice)

Oh my gawd. Are those crocs?

CARTER

(laughing)

So stupid.

MARISA

(laughing)

Yeah, Samantha comes in.

There’s a lot of stupidity in that one.

MIKE (AS SAMANTHA)

Even here in the negative Nexus, crocs are kind of gross?