11. The Necromon Thief (Part 2) Transcript

Transcript by Raina Harper
Kyle
Previously on Quest Friends! Hereafter…

[Music plays, ‘Quest Friends! Hereafter Theme’ by Miles Morkri.]

Rob (as Noir Quique)
That’s when it all began, with a clue.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Now listen, have you ever been to the Out of Thyme grocery store?

Tom (as Hilda)
I think so?

Hallie (as Sparky)
Do you have any rutabagas?

Kyle (as ???)
[Sinister giggle.] Do you have any rutabagas?

Hallie (as Sparky)
I didn’t like that laugh.

Kyle
Ding. You get a message on your phone. “We’re trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty!”

Hallie
Fuck. I put it away.

Kyle
“We’re trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty!”

Hallie
Hang up. Hang up.

Kyle
Quique, you notice that, with the exception of a fading signature, the card is blank.

Ari
As soon as he gets the first clue and after he realizes that it’s not just a mishap of the card, he’s going to be like:

Ari (as Quique)
At long last, my opportunity to solve a mystery has arrived, just like the fabled Les Detectstuff.

Kyle
But for that, we have to do a bit of a flashback.

[Theme music swells and carries into the episode.]

[Chill noir music begins.]

Bry (as Noir Irene)
It was Sunday. For most people, that means a day of rest, of relaxation. Heh, but I’m not most people. I’m Irene Hawthorne, the world’s greatest Necromon Trainer.
It had been a month since my last match and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Our battle had been against a haughty country girl and an impostor, but all I could see was a mirror. As it just so happened, The Dome had recently opened a Tsarvian exhibit. It was time to train my mind.

[Music ends.]

Kyle
So Irene, it’s about 12:50, something like that. You’ve just had lunch. You’re here at the Boidelrat Exhibit.

Hallie
[Giggles.]

Kyle
Boidelrat, the official Necromon of Tsarvia. No, it’s a nicer one, it’s like the nicer version of the Boidelrat. It’s like a ghost possum or something.

Ari
Can it have an ushanka?

Kyle
Yes.

Hallie
Please. Begging you.

Emily
Yes~

Kyle
It’s a ghost possum in an ushanka.

Hallie
[Breathy, delighted.] God…

Kyle
Actually, no, it’s a little orb, a little floating glass ball with an ushanka.

Hallie
Ha!

Kyle
That’s what you see. These are ice creatures that can link up to each other and make bigger features. Used for entertainment, for war, for battle… all those kinds of things.

Emily
They say “leer-ick, leer-ick, leer-ick.”

Hallie
[Chuckles.] It’s almost lyric.

-=Emily
That’s why Rasputin wants musical numbers.

Hallie
[Laughs.] We’ve done it! We’ve connected the dots! We’ve made a conspiracy!

Emily
He thinks they’re asking him to sing! By saying “leer-ick, leer-ick, leer-ick.”

Ari
We solved the mystery!

Kyle
They’re called Kyrul is what they would be called. “Leer-ick.” Keer… Yeah, they’re called Kyrul.

Ari
[Delighted.] Kyrul…

Kyle
What exactly are you doing here, Irene?

Emily
Well, you train your Necromon, right? You train your body, and you train your mind. Irene is here to train her mind. That’s what she calls researching, or homework, or things like that. She’s training her brain. She’s making her intellect buffer. Secretly, she also just kinda likes museums.

Kyle
So yeah, you are learning, and your Necromon are learning as well.

Hallie (as Pokeyo)
Oh-ee-kope. Oh-ee-kope.

Kyle
Any exhibits that particularly interest any of the Necromon?

Ari
I don't know. I mean, I don't know what exhibits there are here. But if there’s any about the fauna of Tsarvia, I think Mallea would be interested in seeing that.

[Intense Russian march music begins.]

Kyle
The Fighting Fauna of Tsarvia…

Ari
Yes!

Kyle
…was the 55th unit of plant soldiers. Called the Fighting Fauna.

Ari
Oh yes. The Fighting Fauna. Mallea is all about the Fighting Fauna.

Emily
There’s a little section about his cousins, the Dancing Mushrooms.

[Music turns into Russian dance music.]

Ari
Ooh! Yes! The Dancing Mushrooms! Ooh, like those in Fantasia!

Emily
[Grinning.] Yes.

Kyle
Amazing.

Ari
[Delighted.] Ah, the Dancing Mushrooms!

[Music ends.]

Kyle
Anything for Pokeyo?

Hallie
Pokeyo is interested in Tsarvian cuisine. Pokeyo has found a chef’s hat.

Emily
[Squeaks in delight.]

Hallie
They stole it from the museum.
[Laughs.] A Tsarvian chef’s hat. It looks just like an ushanka but pleated.

Kyle
Alright. Since Tom’s internet has shut off for a little while, I will describe what the Mossies do. The Mossies are kind of split all over the place. They’re usually a unit, but you’re in a Tsarvian exhibit. What could go wrong?
[00:05:00]
So Irene, you’re checking it out, you’re looking at the Kyrul. Next to you, this boy in very ragged rusty kind of—

Hallie
Like a newsboy cap? And like suspenders?

Kyle
Yeah.

Hallie
Yeah!

[Quirky ghostly music begins.]

Kyle
This skeleton in this newsboy cap and suspenders with a little nametag that says “hi, my name is Lexi.”

Ari
Oh my god! No!

Kyle (as Rasputin)
Boidelrat is better. Ras—Lexi not understand why Boidelrat not here.

Emily
Irene slooowly turns over.

Emily (as Irene)
Boidelrat?

Kyle (as Rasputin)
[Chuckles.] Yes. Boidelrat.

Emily (as Irene)
Boidelrat are literal trash. They are trash.

Kyle (as Rasputin)
Ha… yes. Is strongest element.

Emily (as Irene)
No one has ever thought that except one person, and I crushed him.

Kyle (as Rasputin)
Ah, yes, sister Annie told me all about it.

Hallie
[Under her breath, amused.] His sister.

Kyle
As you’re having this uncomfortable conversation, the clock strikes 1 and you hear the screams.

[Intense chase music begins.]

Kyle (as Mossies)
See-sawm! See-sawm!

Emily
Nooo~!

Hallie
Nooo!

Ari (as Mallea)
Uh-lay-um~!

Emily
Oh, I go to my babies.

Kyle
Roll me to Take Action.

Emily
Oh…
[Rolls.] I got two twos.

Ari
No.

Hallie
No!

Kyle
Wait, what is your Fierce?

Emily
My Fierce is 3.

Kyle
Mixed success then.

Emily
Oh yeah!

Kyle
So, Take Action. You react slightly too late.

Emily
I am not a fast child.

Kyle
Irene, you run, faster than you should. Everything is blurring around you. The lights are stronger, the sounds are louder, but you can’t notice because you’re tunnelvisioned. As you go, you see one of the Mossies trying to bite at this figure wearing a robe and a Phantom of the Opera mask covering their face.

Emily
I… I would like to use Elemental Blast.

Kyle
With who?

Emily
With Pokeyo. Pokeyo is Barreling In, heh-heh, because that’s the move.

Hallie
Yeah, that’s the move.

Kyle
Okay, so you’re running in. Pokeyo is running as well, with the little chef’s hat.

Hallie
Little chef’s hat. Here comes this tiny little cactus. This works perfectly, because regardless of whether Irene told Pokeyo to do this, Pokeyo’s actually a loose cannon and was gonna pull out ‘I’m A Healer, But—‘ and just attack.

Emily
[Laughs.]

Kyle
So, you charge, and Pokeyo charges with you. An Elemental Blast. Tell me what Elemental Blast does.

Emily
Roll your Necromon’s signature stat to harness their element. Based on what the signature stat is, the effect may change. So, for Pokeyo, his signature stat is Slick, and the effect is a circumstantially unique ability.

Kyle
What circumstantially unique thing happens when Pokeyo does their Elemental Blast?

[Music ends.]

Emily
I think it would be fun if they could, instead of draining, like amplify the others’ ability. So like, the Mossies grow these huge sharp teeth or something.

Hallie
Cactus spikes spontaneously… but it’s not as horrifying. Never mind. X-Card that. They do not grow cactus spikes.

Emily
I mean, maybe they do make other Necromon spiky.

Hallie
The power of cactus.

Emily
Hallie or Ari, if you think of any good cactus attack puns…

Hallie
Cact-Attack.

Ari
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

Hallie
Attack-tus.

Ari
[Amused.] Attack-tus.

Hallie
Attack-tus!

Ari
Attack-tus!

Hallie
Cactus Attack-tus.

Ari
Cactus Attack-tus!

Hallie
It sounds like a Russian or Roman general. Cactus Attack-tus.

Emily
[Grinning.] Okay. Cactus Attack-tus. That’s what it is now.

Hallie
I imagine Cactus Attack-tus looks like Sonic the Hedgehog’s spin-dash but it’s a cactus.

Emily
She yells.

[Over-dramatic tragic noir music begins.]

Emily (as Irene)
Cactus Attack-tus!

Hallie (as Pokeyo)
Oh-ee-kooope!

Kyle
As you yell, the figure turns back and looks towards you, and Pokeyo fucking bolts, and that blue electricity shoots between all their spines and it shoots towards one of the Mossies which reaches out to grab it. But, because you rolled a mixed success on Take Action, which means you arrive slightly too late, the Mossie is blocked by the phantom figure’s hand which latches onto it. You hear an…

Kyle (as phantom)
Ow!

Kyle
…as Pokeyo’s Cactus Attack-tus zaps the thief’s hand instead of the Mossie that it was targeting.
[00:10:00]
Before you, Mallea, Pokeyo, or the other two Mossies can respond, the figure whisks their coat and, like a phantom, vanishes.

Emily
No~!

[Music ends.]

Ari
I will say that Mallea was so distressed that he forgot he could get bigger to reach the place faster.

Emily
Aww.

Ari
So he has been running to save the friend, but very small, so it takes it a long time and that’s why he didn’t reach it.

Emily
[Laugh-sobs.] Aww, Mallea~

Hallie
He’s been mush-vrooming. Mush-vrooming across the museum.

Emily
[Delighted, emotional.] Mush-vrooming… My baby.

[Sad ambient music begins.]

Hallie (as Pokeyo)
Oh-ee-kope…

Ari (as Mallea)
Uh-lay-um…

Emily
Irene is just holding the remaining Necromon.

Hallie
Aww.

Emily (as Irene)
You tried.

Hallie (as Pokeyo)
[Disappointed.] Oh-ee-kope… oh-ee-kope!

Ari (as Mallea)
[Small, concerned.] Uh-lay-um…

Kyle
So, you pick up Mallea, pick up Pokeyo, pick up one of the Mossies, and another Mossie appears with something in its mouth. I forgot to mention that, when we start investigations, the first clue should have been free. Ari shouldn’t have had to roll. So, we’re gonna give that clue to you free right now.
Four of Diamonds. Diamonds provide physical evidence related to the victim’s body or possessions. There is evidence of an injury. So, in fact, the other moss ball doesn’t come with anything of the other Mossie. Instead, as you pick it up, you feel almost as if your soul itself is hurting.

[Music ends. Whooshing sound signaling a scene change.]

Tom
[Musically.] In the car. Going to the grocery store.
What music do we put on?

Hallie
I imagine that Sparky has tapes like in that Phineas and Ferb episode where they had Best Trucker Hits from 1986 to 1986. Something weird like that. It’s all cassette tapes. Mixtapes! I have a lot of mixtapes.

Tom
Who made the mixtapes for you?

Hallie
I made most. Sparky made most of them. She would throw away any Elliot gave her. If Lucas gave her a mixtape, man, oh, that would be amazing. I’m sure they made one together in high school, because that’s what you do when you’re young and in love at that age. You make mixtapes.

Tom
[Chuckles.]

Kyle
There are a couple of mixtapes. There’s the one that you made with Lucas which is clearly just your taste because he’s a doormat.

Hallie
Yeah. That’s why I like it so much.

Kyle
Then there’s one that he made for you that is clearly just Chazz Casey’s taste because he asked your friend Chazz Casey for help on making a perfect mixtape.

Hallie
[Laughs.] That’s adorable.

Kyle
If Lucas Bang made one of his own, it would just be the Pokémon theme over and over again.

Hallie
Ha! What a good mixtape. Sparky’s gonna put one of her own mixtapes on this time, though. I imagine Hilda and Sparky cruising down in her van with sunglasses like the Blues Brothers…

Tom
Yes!

Hallie
…going to the grocery store to look for rutabagas.

Tom
I’m also imagining the vibe of the When Mom Isn’t Home video.

Hallie
[Laughs.] Yes, exactly.

Tom
Just both of them bobbing their heads.

Hallie
But I changed my mind. Instead of that, it’s just Eurobeat. We’re just gonna blast Eurobeat going down the highway.

Kyle
[Hums a Eurobeat tune.]

Tom
[Hums a Eurobeat tune.]

Hallie
In this ancient van, going to the grocery store.

Kyle
Yeah. You are now at Out of Thyme.
[Restaurant door SFX leads into grocery store ambience.]
Out of Thyme looks pretty similar to how it looked in that kind of vision you had, Sparky, because it was just the same grocery store. It’s a grocery store. It’s a slightly nicer grocery store. And yeah, you go in, you’re in Out of Thyme.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Okay Hilda, I think our best bet is to either pretend to be someone who needs to see the books for official authoritative purposes, in which case it will be me taking on the brunt of the work and you doing distraction.

Tom (as Hilda)
Mm-hmm.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Or, a child asking for help with an after-school project of some kind, in which case, of course, you would take the lead. Which are you feeling today, kiddo?

Tom (as Hilda)
Um… I have bribe money.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Tom
She pulls out a small allowance.

Tom (as Hilda)
I can be very distracting, I have been told.

Hallie (as Sparky)
With bribe? Like, you’re gonna bribe people to be distracted and not pay attention? Or, you’re going to use the money—?

Tom (as Hilda)
Well, I thought that might help, but I can also just cause a distraction myself if we need.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Okay. Okay.

Kyle
This is the second time in the show a child has suggested bribes.

[Laughter.]

Emily
I’m gonna be mad if Hilda bribing someone works and Irene bribing someone didn’t.

Kyle
You tried to bribe Ariel! They knew you. Steve from Out of Thyme does not know Hilda.

Hallie
You know how really big grocery stores… This is a small one, but whatever. You know how really big ones will have bathrooms behind the warehouse they let people go in sometimes?

Tom
Yeah, it’s like right next to the door that goes back into the back room.

[00:15:00]

Hallie
Yeah. There’s a grocery store in Wisconsin where it’s all the way in the back room, and I would like this to be like that grocery store in Wisconsin that I have gone to several times. I just wanna do the classic ‘I’m gonna use the bathroom’ but actually I’m gonna snoop. I’m completely switching tacts from what I told Hilda because Sparky is all over the place in every facet of her life.

Tom
Hilda was gonna try to approach Steve and cause a distraction.

Hallie
Yeah. I think probably splitting up is the best.

Tom
Hilda will join her back there if she thinks she can but is going to start by following the plan.

Kyle
I think the way we’ll play this out is we’re gonna play Hilda talking with Steve…

Hallie
Definitely.

Kyle
…and then, assuming Tom does a ‘decent’ enough job of lying, the way we’ll flavor it is we’ll actually do one of our moves, Help A Friend, where someone is trying to help someone else succeed at their goal. If Hilda is convincing enough to distract Steve, then we’ll say that Hilda successfully helps Sparky and you’ll get a bonus to your roll. I think that’s the easiest way to do that. Does that work for everyone?

Hallie
Mm-hmm.

Tom
Yeah.

Kyle
Alright. Let’s start with Hilda. Hilda, you walk up, you see Steve. He’s in an apron, he’s got a ball cap, he’s cute. He’s a cutie. He’s a solid… give me a number out of 10, Hallie.

Emily
[Chuckles.]

Hallie
Eight.

Kyle
He’s a solid 8 out of 10. He’s a nice guy.

Tom
Hilda cares nothing for this.

Kyle
No. He’s the kind of guy that, I don't know, a single woman in her 30s might find cute.

Hallie
Fuck you! You know, if we ever… I can never be like “I’m Hallie, I have a podcast.” Like, I can’t do that now.

Kyle
You brought Steve back! I was ready to let Steve die.

Hallie
I, I, I…

Tom
Admittedly, I kind of angled for it here.

Kyle
Anyways. Yeah, you walk up to Steve.

[Quirky “smooth” spy music begins.]

Tom
Hilda sidles up. You know how early on in Breaking Bad everything Walter White does is something he saw in a movie once? He’s like, oh yes, gonna act like we’re looking at magazines at the stand and talk about our business deals. This is Hilda’s affect. Hilda is gonna slide up so that she’s got her back to him, looking kind of away, seems to be staring at this peanut butter shelf. She’s just gonna take out a five and slowly slide it along the counter toward Steve.

Emily
[Laughs.] Booker’s eyestalks stare at him over Hilda’s shoulder.

Tom
[Chuckles.] Without removing her hand from it, she’s just gonna say:

Tom (as Hilda)
Hey. Wanna make some easy money?

Kyle (as Steve)
[Amused.] Oh, hello small child. What smoothie would you like?

[Laughter.]

Emily
Is he Russian?

Kyle
“No, I am just gentle. This is the gentle accent.”

Tom
Hilda, attempting to mimic all of the cool people in her life, is going to lean an elbow on the counter, one hand on her hip.

Tom (as Hilda)
I want the mother of all smoothies. I want a smoothie so good that, indeed, everyone has to come see how good it is over here. And, there’s a little extra involved.

Tom
She pulls out a ten dollar bill, slides that onto the counter as well.

Emily
[Laughs and claps.]

Tom (as Hilda)
There’s a little extra involved if you, uh… happen to call in that maybe there has been a spill in a few aisles here and a couple of your fellow employees need to come over and leave their posts in the stock room. That would be real cool. Not for anything sinister, I just… you know, it’s important to me personally, as a person.

[Music ends.]

Kyle
Roll me Convince Somebody.

Tom
Fifteen dollars! I can go higher.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle
I’m gonna give you a +1 because it turns out that Alexander Hamilton is Steve’s favorite president.

Tom
Oh god.
[Laughs.] Oh well… So that’s a 5. I’m rolling so low.

Emily
Can I… Can I assist? I look so cool with my little eyestalks.

Tom
I think there’s no way to salvage this unless Booker wants to do something entirely different.

Kyle
Steve is gonna be like:

Kyle (as Steve)
Oh… Well, um, I don’t really have that authority. I’m just in the smoothie place. But I understand. I get lonely too. Here, how about, to make it feel like we have more company, we listen to some episodes of my podcast while I make your smoothie.

Tom (as Hilda)
Uh… I mean I guess so.

Emily (as Booker)
[Hushed, assertive.] Rekoob.

Emily
Booker shakes his whole body as if he’s shaking his head.

Emily (as Booker)
[Hushed.] Rekoob.

Kyle (as Steve)
I’m so glad, because this smoothie will take a while to make.

[Laughter.]

Tom
Hilda continues nodding and listening. She sees no way out other than to listen to this podcast.

[00:20:00]

Kyle
Nope. So you don’t get—

Tom
What’s the name of the podcast?

Kyle
Uh… fuck.

Hallie
[Giggles.]

Tom
Which, let me ask it in character.

Tom (as Hilda)
What’s the name of the podcast?

Kyle (as Steve)
Oh, the name of the podcast is a very interesting one. It’s called…

Hallie
I was about to say Catching Up Steve.

Tom
I’ve got you one better, That’s Smooth Steve.

Kyle (as Steve)
It’s called That’s Smooth Steve. It’s a little bit about smoothies and a little bit about Steve, and…

Tom
And a little bit about life.

Kyle (as Steve)
…and a little bit about life.

Tom
I’m very glad I failed this roll.

[Whooshing sound signaling a scene change. Silly sneaky music begins.]

Kyle
So Sparky, you look and you see that Steve is very intently talking to Hilda.

Hallie
Yeah.

Kyle
But there are still people around you, milling in and out.

Hallie
Okay.

Kyle
There’s someone waiting in line for the bathroom, probably.

Hallie
And I’m right next to where it goes into the back of the grocery store, like the swinging doors that go into the stock room or warehouse or whatever.

Kyle
Yep.

Hallie
Hmm. Ha, you know what? I’m just gonna go. This is just a random person. I’m just gonna walk in the back there.

Kyle
Just walk like you own the place?

Hallie
Yeah, exactly. Fuck this rando.

Kyle
Yeah. Roll… let’s do Sneak. Yeah, you’re just walking in.

Hallie
I’m minding my own business.
[Rolls.] Ugh! Damn it. I was so close. It’s a 10 with my -1. I was really close to a Malaita. I got a 6 and a 5, so I got a 10.

Kyle
Yeah, you successfully sneak.

Hallie
Yeah!

Kyle
You walk in, and the back of the store is small. It was gonna feel small regardless, because last time you were in the back of the store it was extending out into infinity. You had all the Steves, all of the different stocks, and now it’s just a back store room. There are people milling about. Nothing much.

Hallie
Yeah.

Kyle
You can see someone on a forklift in front of you who’s a smaller figure in overalls, doing a forklift, working their job.

Hallie
So, I would like to use an AP to add something useful to the environment that wouldn’t necessarily be there otherwise.

[Music ends.]

Kyle
Yeah.

Hallie
I would like an apron, an Out of Thyme apron to be there, and I wanna put it on. I’m just an employee in the back of the warehouse.

Kyle
Yep, you got an apron. It will act as a signature item, so it will give you advantage.

Hallie
Woop-woop!

Kyle
So yeah, you stick on an apron. You got an Out of Thyme apron.

Hallie
Cool, I got my little apron. Alright, I’m just gonna go searching. First, I wanna just see if there are any rutabagas back there, and then second, if I don’t, I wanna see if there’s like an office I could sneak into to see rutabaga order reports.

Kyle
Give me an Understand roll, and the general Books roll… Understand essentially lets you ask a question. I think the question you want to ask is where is the information on the rutabaga?

Emily
[Emphasizing the plural.] –s.

Hallie
Exactly. Yeah. I have a skill, Investigation, and I got a +2 in Books, so that’s gonna be a +3 overall, right? Or is skill advantage?

Kyle
Skill is advantage.

Hallie
Skill is advantage. Okay. So that’s three dice.

Kyle
Three dice, take the results of the top two.

Hallie
[Rolls.] Ha-ha! Alright, that is a 12 with my bonus.

Tom
Good god.

Hallie
It’s not a natural Malaita, but it is a 12.

Kyle
So, you ask me a simple question. You’ll find information about the rutabaga, but what do you want to know about the rutabaga?

Hallie
I want to know why they lie about how many rutabagas they have? Like, why do they even have a display if they never fucking have any rutabagas? Because, I mean… ‘where are the rutabagas’ would be great, but Sparky cares less about the rutabagas themselves and more about why bother hiding them. Why bother with the charade that I have seen through? Why not just take them off the display? So, where is the answer to that question lurking, where can I find that?

[Quirky mystery music begins.]

Kyle
Yeah. You look around. You see a couple of other folks—occasionally people in the apron, but again, usually figures wearing overalls and boots. They also seem to be wearing bright red, so it’s kind of bright red around their face and arms, and then overalls and boots.

Hallie
Okay, so they’re Mario.

Kyle
[Chuckles.] Kind of. You—

Hallie
[Silly Italian/Mario accent.] I’m in the Mario House. Look at all the Marios at the Out of Thyme store.

Kyle
You don’t really pay enough attention to know for sure. I know you have an inability on Perception if you’re investigating.

Hallie
I sure fucking do. You remembered.

Kyle
So, you just kinda see overalls, boots, red.

Hallie
Yeah. Not rutabagas. Not papers.

Kyle
You don't know if there’s a mustache. You haven’t seen any green.

Hallie
Alright. No purple?

Kyle
No purple. No purple. And, you go and you do some investigations. They alphabetize everything, so you look through. You see ramen. You see resto, which is instant pesto, even though pesto is already instant.

[Music ends.]

Tom
[Quietly.] What?

Hallie
[Giggles.] I was gonna ask, what is resto?!

Tom
What is…
[Stammers.] Instant pesto? What?!

[Laughter and stammering.]

Hallie
You buy pesto in a jar.

Tom
Like premade pesto?! Like, you could make fresh pesto, if you wanna be authentic.

[00:25:00]

Kyle
No, you have to… Unlike pesto in our world that you can just buy premade, like most instant things, you do have to microwave it for it to work.

Tom
[Uncomfortable.] I—Oh…

Hallie
[Sighs.] Resto Scuba is spinning in his grave.

Tom
Ugh.

Ari
Resto…

Emily
Resto pesto…

Tom
Pesto has reached his eternal resto.
[Laughter.]
Resto in pesto, Mr. Scuba.

Kyle
It was designed by Oset’s grandfather, Pesto Scuba. It’s his retirement business.

Hallie
[Pinched, delighted.] One of the many things owned by ScubaCorp, the Resto Conglomerate. They’re like Campbell’s but for instant pesto. You know… resto.

Kyle
You get down to the rutabaga…

Hallie
[Emphasizing the plural.] –s. Rutabagas.

[Tense mystery music begins.]

Kyle
…and you see a note that says “reminder, all rutabaga(s?) will be automatically sold to [redacted.].”

Hallie
[Gasps.]

Kyle
“However, since this is only a temporary thing…” because you notice, Sparky, it started about a month before the campaign started. It says, “because this is a temporary thing, don’t bother rearranging the sign out front.”

Hallie
Intriguing.

Kyle
And your marker, your tracker goes up from 4 to 5.

Hallie
Oh yeah! One point!

[Music ends.]

Kyle
You gain new information that they’re selling to an unknown buyer and this agreement is going to seemingly be temporary.

Hallie
Okie-dokie. Alright. I have found that thing that I want, but the second thing is… is there an office back there that is visible and accessible to me?

Kyle
Yes.

Hallie
Okay. I just want to walk in. I belong there. I have an apron!

Kyle
Okay. You walk in, and you notice the room is hot.

Hallie
Weird.

Kyle
Very hot. You see these boots on the desk… again, grimy boots like everything else, and these overalls, but something’s different as you’re able to take in more focus.
[Friendly ambling music begins.]
You notice that, unlike the other figures which were rather small, these boots are large, from a figure probably twice your size. About as large as Lucas Bang, actually.

Hallie
Yeah, that was my follow-up. Are these Lucas Bang’s boots? He’s not philosophical enough for those.

Kyle
He’s not, actually. He also doesn’t have a pointy red tail.

Hallie
[Laughs.] Okay.

Kyle
Or bright red skin, which you can see this figure is wearing instead of a shirt.

Hallie
Okay, so this is a figure in these clothes. Or appearing in these clothes?

Kyle
Yes. This man, this devil, who is sitting leaned back.

Kyle (as devil)
Well, well, well… Sparky Malarky.

Kyle
This demon turns around and you can see he’s got a little nametag that says Big Jake Hell.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle (as Big Jake Hell)
We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.

[Music swells and carries into the announcements.]

Kyle
[Slightly noir voice.] It was a regular day, or so I thought. I knew she was trouble from the moment she entered my office because she carried with her… the announcement break.
Hi. Welcome to The Necromon Thief, Part 2 out of 3, announcement break. Just like with last time, I want to give a big thank you to Rob from Totalus Rankium for doing the Quique noir monologues, but I’d also like to include a thank you to Bry from PONTIFACTS for doing the Irene monologues. If you like any of their dramatic voices or you just want a light-hearted look into history, be it American Presidents, Roman Emperors or the Popes, you can find links to both of their shows in the description.
In addition to those two new voices, you might have noticed that a voice has changed. Specifically, for the rest of this specific arc, I will be voicing the Mossies instead of Tom. That’s just because Tom’s internet cut out when we were recording the Irene and Quique segments. Instead of waiting, we decided to move on with it anyway, so I ended up having to voice the Mossies for that. We can just say that… I don't know, they got a cold, they got a moss cold. I don't know what that looks like, but it’s what they got.
Next month is September which means that we are coming up on the five-year anniversary of Quest Friends. Just like with every other year, we want to do an anniversary stream. Now, in previous years we did a Q&A stream, but we actually wanna wait until in-between arcs to do those for Hereafter, so instead we’re gonna do something else.
[00:30:00]
Probably something simple like we play Jackbox or Channel A! or just do something lighthearted and fun to ring in the beginning of the fifth year of Quest Friends.
So, that right now is scheduled for September 25 at 7 PM Central Time, although if that changes, I will let you know. I’ll also let you know more details about what we’re doing as well as fun other stuff we might do for our anniversary in future announcement breaks. Or, you can always follow us on social media where we’ll be mentioning these things as well.
Alright, I have got another promo for you today, and this one is a very good one. Today’s promo is going to be for Sidequesting. Sidequesting is a fantasy podcast about avoiding the main plot. It’s just fun and lighthearted and delightful… and heartfelt, and all those words that mean heart and good and not the main story. But, don’t take my word for it, listen to a promo from the creator themself.

[Promo begins.]

Miller
Aren’t adventurers supposed to have a specific purpose? What are you doing on this quest, just meeting strangers?

Rion
Yep. My purpose is to have no purpose. Though, I sort of find purpose as I go.

Oliver
My basket! It’s missing!

Jefferson
I have tried many means of defense, but none have yet proven successful.

Willow
I just wish someone would succeed in getting that darn sword.

Lord
I am under attack by this ruffian!

Rowan
I wanna be big and strong and fight evil!

Iris
I have hope that, if you show up at her door, she might listen.

Sam
Wanna help me yell at them? With your sword. In a threatening manner.

Tal
Sidequesting is a fantasy podcast about avoiding the main plot. It follows Rion, an adventurer who’s willing to help just about anyone out, as long as they’re not being asked to deal with that scary wizard everyone keeps talking about. Subscribe today on your favorite podcast app.

[Promo ends.]

Kyle
If that strikes your fancy, you can check out Sidequesting at sidequestingpod.com or in the description below.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Our next episode, The Necromon Thief, Part 3, will be releasing on Monday, September 5. If you’d like additional stories, chat logs, or behind the scenes videos, you can find them at Patreon.com/QuestFriends. For example, since last episode, select Patreon backers have gotten access to more in-depth rules for the Investigate move that we introduced this arc. I hope to see you there.

[Tragic noir music carries out of the announcements.]

Bry (as Noir Irene)
Stolen. Purloined. Moss-napped. One of my partners had been taken against their will, and I could feel a deep yawning ache in the core of my soul itself. But I definitely didn’t cry, because I was tough, and it wasn’t the time for tears. I was gonna find this phantom thief that had stolen my precious Mossie, and I was gonna make them wish they had never died.

[Music ends.]

Kyle
It’s been a couple of hours, six actually. It is now 7 o’clock. What have you been doing to investigate since then?

Emily
I’m guessing Irene would be trying to follow leads that go nowhere because she doesn’t actually have leads.

Hallie
Aww.

Emily
[Chuckling.] And is a small child. And doesn’t have a car to go places. She’s just stuck at the museum.

Kyle
So you’ve been just going around in circles for hours at the museum.

Ari
Oh no.

Emily
She’s carrying all of her Necromon around.

Kyle
It’s been hard. The pain hasn’t been there since the attack happened, the pain in your soul almost, but it’s been six hours. Your body aches, your mind aches, sights and sounds are more sensitive. It’s just been a lot. By this point, pretty much everyone has left except for Lexi, the skeleton in suspenders.

Hallie
[Laughs.] Just still staring at the {leer-ick}.

Ari
[Smiling.] She’s still there.

Kyle
As you go back to the scene of the crime, you notice someone standing there.

Emily (as Irene)
You! Have you seen anything suspicious here?

Ari (as Quique)
Ah-ha, a suspect!

[Snickering. Silly music begins.]

Ari
He’s going to say that before knowing who that person is, just hearing that voice.

Kyle
He has no reason to think this is a poor child hunting for a Necromon. This is a suspect.

Ari
Yeah, you know.

Hallie
They’re there, that’s enough.

[00:35:00]

Emily (as Irene)
I am not a suspect. You are MY suspect!

Ari (as Quique)
Ah-ha, the suspect is trying to do the classic maneuver from Novel 12 of Les Detectstuff Saga which is the reverse blame. Ah-ha, trying to make the detective feel like the victim. This is not going to work in this case.

Emily (as Irene)
Well, you’re doing the reverse blame on me.

Ari (as Quique)
Hmm… Clever. Clever stuff. Clever reverse psychology there.
[Music ends abruptly.]
Wait! Wait. Wait… You’re just a child!

Emily (as Irene)
I am not a child! But I am also not a suspect, thank you very much.
[Music resumes.]
I am looking for my Necromon. Have you seen any moss balls?

Ari (as Quique)
Hmm… The plot thickens here. Now there appear to be not one but two childs that are missing different types of Necromon creatures. I have not seen these “moss balls.” Have you seen a little chinchilla thing? It’s a little, uh…

Ari
He’s having a hard time describing it without saying animal names that are no longer existent.

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Quique)
Small and fluffy and little legs. Have you seen that?

Emily (as Irene)
Uh… no?

Ari (as Quique)
Okay. It appears that now there’s two people missing… Listen. I am detective on the case. I am looking for a missing chinchilla—Oh! That’s right. It’s a Pik Pik. That’s right. I am on the case of the disappearing Pik Pik, but now you can also be on the case, so we are on the case of the disappearing Pik Pik and moss balls. Do you want to join on this investigation?

[Music ends.]

Emily (as Irene)
[Stammers.] I… Yes, I would. I am glad you volunteered to be my assistant.

Ari (as Quique)
I did no such thing. The reverse psychology is once again at play. I see what is happening here. Very clever stuff. Let’s exchange clues.

Emily (as Irene)
I saw someone in a mask and a cape steal my Mossie.

Ari (as Quique)
Meanwhile, I saw some sort of bite marks by the exhibit over there.

Emily (as Irene)
Yes, that was my moss ball.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah, well that is a clue that is leading nowhere, then, because it’s just another disappearance. You’re saying you saw a guy in a mask?

Emily (as Irene)
Yes. Do you have any clues to tell me, or are our only clues my clues? Because I have not gotten anywhere with those clues YET, and it has been several hours, unfortunately.

Ari (as Quique)
Yes, it appears we are at an impasse at this moment. But, together we can solve the mystery.
[Sci-fi investigation music begins.]
I do not have any other clues, but if you can tell me everything you can about this mask, I can try and figure out where this culprit went, because I have some inner sense, some natural hunter sense.

Ari
And I want to use my new move, natural Hunter.

Emily
[Delighted.] What?!

Ari
That Quique took from spending time and bonding with Tucán. If you want to find a particular character or creature, roll +Fierce. If you have access to an item related to the creature you’re hunting, roll with advantage.

Hallie
God!

Ari
So I want to say he has the card, and that’s related to the Pik Pik.

Kyle
And you wanna find the Pik Pik?

Ari
Yes, I want to.

Ari (as Quique)
Perhaps this is related, and if I find this chinchilla it will lead to where your moss balls are.

Emily (as Irene)
I concur.

Kyle
Yeah, roll with advantage. What stat is it?

Ari
Fierce.

Kyle
Okay. Roll +Fierce with advantage.

Ari
Okay, with advantage, hang on. Thank god it’s with advantage to let me roll another die. [Rolls.]

Emily
I also really love that Quique has said “I have not seen any moss balls” with Irene’s arms full of moss balls, standing in front of him.

Ari
He doesn’t know what a moss ball is.
[Music ends.]
Anyways. Even with advantage, I got 6.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Ari
So I want to use my Loaded Die to make it a 7. I’m rolling shit this session.

Kyle
Quique, describe how you try and fail to get a scent.

Ari
I mean, he’s just going to stare directly at the card.

Kyle
[Laughing.] Just staring?!

Ari
At the card, and then up, then at the card, and then up.

Ari (as Quique)
Hmm. Hmm… Mm-hmm.

Kyle
And you hear a… (“woodpecker” sounds).

[00:40:00]

Ari (as Quique)
Ah, it seems it’s my assistant, Pinguino Rodriguez. He’s also on the case.

Kyle (as Tucán)
[Squawks loudly.]

Kyle
Tucán makes the big sound, and the subtitles here would say “you are my assistants.”

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Ari
Oh my god. Nobody thinks Quique’s the lead.

Emily (as Irene)
Ah, my assistant has an assistant.

Emily
Irene says, putting her hand to her chin.

Kyle
So what’s a mixed success? Tell me what the results of that are.

Ari
It just says you know approximately where your target is.

Kyle
Well Tucán knows, Tucán knows approximately. So, Tucán flaps his wings next to the newly-done hole in The Dome and he flutters for you to follow him into the next area in order to find where the Pik Pik is.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah. Come on, kid. It seems like my assistant, Pinguino, has a scent for both the chinchilla and the moss balls.

Emily (as Irene)
I see.

Emily
Irene says, not fully understanding, but she’s starting to get a little bit into the mystery-solving noir aura.

[Upbeat noir music begins.]

Ari
I just imagine the actual noir environment starts to extend to Irene too.

Hallie
She’s in color until now, but now she’s black and white.

Emily
[Laughs.]

Bry (as Noir Irene)
In my lengthy 11 years of life, I’ve learned many things. Above all else, trust the Necromon. I wasn’t sure what this Kingpecker was saying or why he wanted to go the way he did, but somehow that deep ache in my soul was pulling me the same way. The three of us—me, my assistant, and his assistant—made our way to the Ragtime District, an old place for old people who liked old people things.

Ari (as Quique)
I love this place!

[Laughter.]

Rob (as Noir Quique)
It really was the best part of the Valley though; a classic cultural district that—

Bry (as Noir Irene)
Um, excuse me? This is my monologue. I’m speaking right now.
So we made our way to the boring old person district…

Rob (as Noir Quique)
The cool, hip district!

Bry (as Noir Irene)
…which was so archaic that all but the most vibrant colors were washed out into nothing but black and white.

Rob (as Noir Quique)
That was the kind of morality that we were dealing with, black and white, hero and villain, Necrocat and Necromouse. There was no room for shades of gray.

[Music ends.]

Kyle
So, you follow Tucán and that little feeling in your soul, and you find yourselves in the Ragtime District. The Ragtime District… it’s a cultural district, not really a big thing anymore. It’s seen more popularity recently as visitors have come from the Hereafter to live out some of their fun days, “back in the olden days.” It’s so caught in the past it feels like everything is black and white, and it’s all outdated places. You got your Brick Busters…

Ari
[Amused.] Brick Busters.

Kyle
…you got your diners, you can see there’s a mime on the street. People going “hey, pal!” The hustlers are talking like:

Kyle (as hustler)
Hey pal, you wanna be a star? Can I get a star back on the Broadway walk?!

Ari
[Chuckles.] Oh my god. What the fuck?

Emily (as Irene)
Please don’t speak to me. I’m not supposed to speak to strangers.

[Ragtime music begins.]

Kyle (as hustler)
I’m not a stranger. I’m your new best friend. You can call me—

[Music ends abruptly.]

Emily (as Irene)
You are not.

Ari (as Quique)
The kid is right. You are not our friend at all. But what you are is a suspect.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

[Music returns.]

Kyle (as hustler)
Ouch, sounding like my ex-wife here. Ho-ho!

[Laughter.]

Ari
What the fuck?

Emily (as Irene)
This person is not wearing a mask or a cape.

Kyle (as hustler)
No, but I mask my feelings. That’s what she said in the divorce papers.

Hallie
[Losing it.] Who is this?!

Ari (as Quique)
If you masked your feelings, what kind of mask would you use? This is a technique used in the book, number three of Les Detectstuff’s novel series.

Kyle (as hustler)
Well, you know, the standard stuff. Saying I’m tired or I’m fine when really I’m very upset. Going out with the boys on events I didn’t really wanna go to but I was too afraid to go home. And just really pouring myself into my work, which as you can see here, as a street hustler.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah, ah, ah. If it was a physical type of mask, not an emotional mask. Oh no, I forgot, the same thing happened to Detectstuff in that book. He was confused for an emotional baggage and not the actual hint that I needed.

[Music ends.]

Kyle
First off, take an AP for that. I’m just giving you one. Why the fuck not? You deserve it.

Emily
You deserve it.

Kyle
Um… I don’t even know what to have you roll here.
[00:45:00]
Roll See Into His Heart. Sure, why the fuck not? Roll to see into this random street hustler’s heart to figure out what his baggage would be.

Hallie
I imagine this street hustler is literally just doing this the whole time he’s talking like a video game sprite.

Kyle
Oh yeah.

Emily
I’m picturing Mallea or one of the Necromon starting to imitate.

Hallie (as Pokeyo)
[As if tottering or dancing.] Oh-ee-kope. Oh-ee-kope. Oh-ee-kope.

Ari (as Mallea)
Uh-lay-um.

Ari
Well, I got 6.

Hallie
God damn it!

Kyle
Well, take another AP.

Ari
Oh!

Kyle
He gets insight into you.

Ari
No…

Kyle
So I can ask you one question.

Ari
Oh boy.

Kyle
What’s your emotional mask?

Ari
I knew you were going to ask that. God…
[Chuckles.] I was not prepared to answer this question about Quique today.
[Tragic noir music begins.]
Maybe just feeling that he’s too old? Like he fails to get with the new young’uns nowadays. He’s too caught up in the old ye past with the black and white sort of aesthetic, and sometimes that hurts him.

Kyle (as hustler)
But I guess I’m not the only one caught up in the past, am I, friend? The one hiding, not thinking that he can move on or progress in any way. I guess that’s why you’re here in the ragtime District.
[Musically.] Same as us. One of us. Oh, one of us. You’re one of us. Ra-ta-ta-ta!

[Music ends.]

Emily (as Irene)
Excuse me.

Kyle (as hustler)
Yes? What was that?!

Kyle
He’s doing tap-dancing to this “one of us” song while you ask him questions.

Emily
So, Irene was saying excuse me to Quique…

Ari
Oh!

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Emily
…as she scoots around him, stalks up to this person, and pokes them in the nose.

Ari
Oh boy.

Kyle
What do you want to do with poking them in the nose?

Emily
I would like to then poke them so that they start backing up into a corner or something to intimidate them.

Kyle
Roll me Convince Somebody with Fierce for intimidation.

Emily
With Fierce? Oh, okay. Okay.
[Rolls.] Okay, so it was a 5, but add 3, so really it’s 8.

Kyle
Okay, so a mixed success on Convince Somebody. Your target is convinced mostly. Choose one drawback.

Emily
I’m torn, because on one hand I would be upset if someone backed me into a corner angrily, but also, they made inconvenient understandings already, so maybe that’s the best, to keep in line with that.

Kyle
Alright. You poke this man who’s doing the tip-taps, and as he keeps dancing they get louder and louder, just ringing in your ears, Irene, and blurring the sides of your vision.

Emily
I would like to bully this man.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

[Upbeat swing music begins.]

Kyle (as hustler)
Hey, hey, hey! What’s the big idea? What’s the big idea?!

Kyle
As they’re tip-tapping back. What do you want to convince him with your Fierce?

Emily (as Irene)
I think that you actually do understand what this skeleton… whose name I never actually learned…
[Staggers.] I’m just walking around with a strange adult. No. What I was saying was that you know what he meant, and you should just tell us what physical mask. Is it a square mask? Is it a monster mask? What mask would you wear? Tell me or else.

Hallie (as Pokeyo)
[Concurring.] Oh-ee-kope.

Ari (as Mallea)
[Concurring.] Uh-lay-um.

Kyle (as Mossies)
See-sawm…!

Ari (as Mallea)
[Indignant.] Uh-lay-um!

Emily
[Giggles.]

Hallie
They’re backing Irene up.

[Music ends.]

Kyle (as hustler)
[Stammers.] W-Well, if you have to push… I wanted to keep this to myself, but I, uh… I guess I would, uh, I’d take this mask that I found on the street. Well, half of it at least.

Kyle
You can see he picks up the Phantom of the Opera mask, but only half of it.

Ari
Oh~

Kyle (as hustler)
Uh… I guess you could keep it. I’ll just be on my way, be on my way.

Kyle
Before he leaves, he makes the inconvenient misunderstanding.

Kyle (as hustler)
Hey, hey-hey…

Kyle
And he stops. He puts a hand on your shoulder, Quique, and he looks deep into your eyes.

Kyle (as hustler)
Don’t worry about it, bud. My kids call me a strange man, too.

Hallie
[Shouting in delight.] OHH!

Kyle
And he tip-taps away.

[Laughter.]

Ari
Oh my god. Quique will just be like:

Ari (as Quique)
Ugh. This is just like that book in the Detectstuff novels where he’s a grizzled man and he’s trying to get back in the business, but he can’t.
[00:50:00]
It’s the worst book of them all. Here I am, in the worst possible scenario.

Emily (as Irene)
I think we should keep walking.

Ari (as Quique)
I think listening to the youths nowadays is a better idea.
[Tragic noir music begins.]
I have lost the meaning of what truly is important.

Emily (as Irene)
Now is not the time for an after-life crisis.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Ari (as Quique)
Sure. So, wait, do you know where we are going, exactly? He gave you this mask, right? Is that the mask you saw earlier?

[Music changes to thoughtful mystery noir music.]

Emily (as Irene)
It is half of the mask that I saw, but perhaps, if we give it to your bird assistant…

Ari (as Quique)
His name is Tucán. You can call him Pinguino, but it truly is Tucán.

Kyle (as Tucán)
[Squawks loudly.]

Kyle
I prefer Pinguino.

Emily (as Irene)
Well, you said he caught a scent, so perhaps we can get him to smell this and show us the way.

Ari (as Quique)
Hmm. That’s a good idea. Yes.

Ari
I want to say that, as Quique was having the old crisis, it was beginning to look more like color, and then once Irene was like ‘ah yeah, this clue,’ it just went back to noir.

[Chuckling.]

Ari (as Quique)
Ah yes, the scent. That is a good idea, my assistant. Pinguino, what do you see in this clue?

Kyle
We’re gonna do another basic investigation roll. Roll me an Investigate, Ari.

[Music ends.]

Ari
I want to spend an AP to roll with advantage.

Kyle
Okay, yeah, roll me three dice.

Ari
[Rolls.] Whoa! Oh! Oh! Malaita!

Hallie
Malaita! Malaita!

Emily
Woo!

Ari
Which is really a 13 because it’s +1 in Books and I got a nat-12 with advantage.

Hallie
What a night! Agh! I’m so mad and happy at the same time. God!

Kyle
Okay. So Ari, as a full success, instead of getting a clue from me, you will be able to ask a question and I’ll give you an answer, but in addition to that you get a critical effect. You could gain an AP. You could double the move’s effect, so I would say that as I will give you a second clue. That one will just come from me though, so you can get two clues for the price of one. Or you can get +1 ongoing whenever you use the information related to the question you’re about to ask.

Ari
[Exhales.] I don't know, because I don't know what… I don't know if I know enough to ask two things.

Kyle
I can give you the other one for free.

Ari
Oh, okay. Then yes, two clues I think.

Kyle
Okay. Ask me your first question.

Ari
I don't know. I want to ask something related to figuring out the specific owner of this mask, maybe. Like, is it made of a specific material or something that I could tell? Like, ah, it comes from the store… Fabrics and More Fabrics.

Hallie
And also this specific fabric.

Ari
Yeah. Or, I don't know, you know how, like, people do things where they go and look for the receipt of things and it’s like ‘I was bought in here.’

Kyle
Quique, you turn the mask over.
[Music begins to noir music.]
As you do, your mind wanders back to those good old days that you can’t help but cling to, like a life raft in the turbulent ever-changing waters of existence.

Rob (as Noir Quique)
When I was a younger skeleton than I am today, I would often frequent Chuck Beaver’s Emporium of Fun and Pizza. Amid all the games and grease there was a favored prize, that 10,000 ticket mask. It was rumored that this mask could hide your true intentions, that it could even disguise your identity entirely. That’s all they ever were though, rumors, for no being alive or dead was skilled enough to complete this sisyphean feat.
And yet, in my bony hands, I held a broken mask with a ripped receipt for 10,000 tickets. The phantom mask was real, I had it… but the back of this ripped receipt contained something even more valuable; the rest of the message writ by the mastermind.
“Once you’re done in The Dome, meet me at Chuck Beaver’s Emporium of Fun and Pizza where the fun never dies.” Signed, E.

Ari
Quique, at seeing that, is going to be like:

Ari (as Quique)
Ah-ha, I committed the classic mistake. Always read the fine print.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

[00:55:00]
[Music swells and carries out to the bloopers.]

Ari (as Quique)
Ah yes, the classic feeling in your bones and your soul that a mystery is about to be unfolded… I have this.

Kyle
I don't know if this is gonna be a monologue or me just saying this. Quique, in reality, you feel nothing.

Ari
[Smiling.] I know.

Kyle
You feel like you’re on the case, you’re excited, but you feel nothing.

Ari
I know.

Kyle
I know ‘you’ know, but it’s funny to say it. Also, I feel like, just to be clear to the audience, you’re bullshitting. You feel nothing.

Ari
Yes, I am absolutely bullshitting. That is absolutely correct.

Emily
Irene believes you. If she can feel it, why wouldn’t you be able to feel it?

Ari
Quique does believe you, but Quique believes that it’s also… like, he doesn’t necessarily know that it’s a literal feeling you’re having, but like, ‘ah yes, the thrill of the chase.’ But anyways. He will follow you.

Ari (as Quique)
Guide me where your feeling, your intuition guides you, my new assistant whose name I also haven’t quite caught.

Hallie
You’re getting your time in the sun. Don’t get sunburnt.

Tom
This is completely irrelevant, but I’m following the Dracula drama as Tumblr all learns about Dracula together, collectively.

Kyle
[Chuckling.] What?

Tom
Because remember, there’s that subscription service where they send you a synopsis of what happened on this date in the novel ‘Dracula,’ and because Dracula starts in early May, that’s been going on. Didn’t I tell everyone about this the other night?!

Hallie
Don’t you remember, Kyle? Don’t you remember, Ari?

Ari
I don’t know any of these things. What?

Tom
I talked about this on Thursday during Symphonia.

Ari
Did you? Oh! Was it when you were muted?

Hallie
Okay. Was it when your mic wasn’t working?

Tom
No. No! That can’t—You couldn’t have missed all of that!

Ari
[Laughs.]

Tom
No. No!

Hallie
Because when you told me about it, today or yesterday, I was like “oh, that sounds awesome,” but you did sound like I knew it. I was like, maybe I did at one point and just forgot.

Ari
I think you talked about it when everything—

Tom
No!

Hallie
Yeah, when your mic stopped functioning.

Tom
[Shouts.] Anyway. There’s a thing you can subscribe to that gives you synopses of what happens in the novel ‘Dracula’ on the date that it happened in Dracula, and since Dracula starts in early May…

Kyle
Incredible.

Tom
…that has been going on, and it’s a big thing on Tumblr now where a bunch of people are learning about Dracula for the first time through this.

Ari
Will there be a part—? Because, I mean, there’s a part where they travel to America, right? Correct. So then… like, the second half of the book, it’s super fucking boring because it’s just Dracula in a fucking stowaway casket.

Kyle
I love that Dracula stows away on a boat, though. Dracula and Titanic, together at last.

[Laughter.]

Tom
It’s very funny because everyone’s like “Jonathan, pay fucking attention, everyone’s trying to keep you alive.”

Ari
Oh no. Jonathan, fucking… he’s a very oblivious man. He basically has to be about to get beaten to be like “wait a second. What is happening here?”

Emily
This is gross, but I’m gonna say it anyway. I am so sweaty.

Ari
Oh no~

Emily
It’s so hot in here.

Ari
Is it really hot in Arizona right now?

Emily
It’s fairly warm. Kyle’s office doesn’t have good ventilation, and I’m in a tent.

Ari
Ah.

Hallie
Ugh.

Kyle
And we’ve got the AC on. The only thing we can do beyond this is put on the fan, and the fan would make my audio sound terrible.

Ari
Right.

Hallie
Yeah. Today, I was sweating on my walk because it was 66 degrees.

Ari
[Laughs.] Sixty-six!

Hallie
Sixty-six!