6. Mr. Elmo's Mysterious Game Transcript

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

Kyle
Hello, guests and ghouls! Welcome to Quest Friends! Hereafter, an improvised fiction podcast using the Under the Neighborhood roleplaying system. I am Kyle, he/him, and today I, my four best friends, and some dice are going to tell you a story about how the DashCon ball pit could have been much, much worse. Before we get started with our adventures today, everyone should introduce themselves and say who they’re playing so people recognize your lovely voices and names.

Hallie
I think we should go in the same order that we typically do, and I’m last in that order.

Ari
I don't know what the order is.

Hallie
I also don’t know, except for my part.

Kyle
I know Ari usually goes first, but she made herself not go first last time out of spite for some reason.

Ari
No, it’s because I wanted to do a joke. I think it was once again the Doug Dimmadome, but I forget.

Hallie
[Losing it.] The fucking—

[Laughter.]

Emily
There she goes.

Hallie
Doug Dimmadome…

Ari
Anyways. I am Ari. My pronouns are she/her, and I play Aurelio Enrique Hueso Canaca, otherwise known as Quique, the opportunist who adapts, and his pronouns are he/him.

Emily
I’m Emily… My pronouns are they/them.
[Nervous gibberish.] I play Irene Hawthorne, the Necromon Trainer who overextends, whose pronouns are she/her.

Tom
Hi, my name is Tom. My pronouns are he/him. I am playing Hilda Miszkiewicz, the guardian who pulls pranks, and her pronouns are she/her.

Hallie
I’m Hallie, pronouns she/her, and I play Sparky Malarky, the intuition who investigates, also she/her.

Kyle
Okay! I’m gonna start doing, like, one of those games that they do at the beginning of college orientation. Like, “popcorn your name over to—”

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle
I’m not joking. That’s going in my notes.

Hallie
No, don’t do that. I can’t play popcorn again. You can’t make me.

Ari
This just sounds like a tragic backstory of yours or something.

Hallie
You can’t make me! Please.

Kyle
It’s in my notes. It’s cemented down. I’ve scribbled it. You can see it here.

Hallie
Easily burned. Just put it outside and the Arizona sun will do it.

Emily
[Smiling.] Hallie, do you want me to put it down the garbage disposal for you when Kyle’s asleep?

Hallie
Yes. I would like you to do that, please. That would make me very happy.

Kyle
As with usual, we are gonna start the session by going over Slice of Life Complications. In today’s session, you all could introduce a complication for anyone. So, the floor is yours again to present your hell for each other, or maybe yourself, or maybe all of you. Not none of you, that’s not allowed, it has to be bad for someone.

Ari
I have a complication for Sparky.

Hallie
Eh…

Ari
The complication is just that Sparky’s coffee machine is broken and she hasn’t had the chance to have coffee this morning or throughout the day.

Emily
I love that two in a row we have tried to make Sparky have a broken coffee machine.

[Laughter.]

Kyle
That was the complication we didn’t have for Adventure 2.

Ari
Oh, was it? I forgot.

Emily
[Delighted.] We’re just gonna keep proposing it until it happens.

Kyle
Adventure 2, Hilda’s Rival, Sparky’s coffee machine didn’t work. I remembered because that was the one complication we didn’t use.

Ari
Oh, I forgot about that because we didn’t use it.

Kyle
Alright, who’s next?

Tom
I can go next, but I’ll need to ask one question of Emily first.

Emily
Okay?

Tom
Does Irene use mechanical pencils or standard pencils?

Emily
She—

Kyle
My first thought was pens. She never makes mistakes.

Tom
I have a plan for that too.

Emily
Well, I guess it could also be the standard 2B pencil because that’s what you need to use on where you bubble in test answers.

Hallie
Like Scantron tests?

Emily
Yeah.

Tom
Alright. In that case, we’ll just go with the original plan so as not to be overly cruel.

Emily
[Chuckles.] Great.

Tom
All of Irene’s 2B pencils have been breaking lately. It’s unclear why this is happening.

Emily
It’s because she’s angry.

Tom
She doesn’t seem to be using them, or at least she doesn’t think she’s using them any more roughly than before, but they just continually snap. Multiple pencils have been worn down to nothing now from breaking, sharpening, breaking.

Hallie
Mine was also for Irene. Mine was that Irene got new sheets for what I assume is a twin size bed, but this can be adjusted to any size bed, really.
[00:05:00]
You got those full size slash twin size sheets, like the kind that supposedly work for both things. It’s not that it doesn’t fit, it’s that it’s too big, so you can’t make the corners all tight and fitted which is a thing I am assuming Irene likes to do but I could be wrong. But, the size is just slightly off and the bed looks rumpled because of it.

Emily
It’s Irene’s nightmare, a rumpled bed.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Emily
She can’t make it perfectly in the morning!

Hallie
No! The sheets are wrong.

Emily
My complication is for Quique.

Ari
Oh no.

Emily
He’s getting heckled by a child.

Hallie
[Laughs.] Just any child.

Emily
My instinct was Walnut, but I realized that I shouldn’t assume that Walnut would heckle an old man.

Tom
Ash Ketchum would heckle an old man in a heartbeat.

Hallie
I’m pretty sure he has. I’m sure we could YouTube “Ash Ketchum heckling an old man” and find some clip.

Kyle
Okay, so we’ve got: Sparky’s coffee machine is broken, she is very decaffeinated; Irene just got new bedsheets, but they don’t quite fit; alternatively, Irene’s 2B pencils have all been breaking for some mysterious reason; and then finally, Quique is being heckled by a child. What child? I don't know. I haven’t made a child who would heckle Quique, so I would check my notes and create a child from that.

Tom
Like a little skater boy.

Kyle
Okay, so which do we want?

Ari
I would like to see what you come up with upon the mystery of the broken pencils, Kyle. I would vote for that.

Hallie
I like broken pencils, myself.

Tom
I am very fond of the small child, but I’m good with whatever.

Emily
I’m interested in broken pencils.

Kyle
Okay. Let’s go… all of Irene’s 2B pencils have been breaking.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Ari
I also like the meme of the coffee thing not being picked and just being repeatedly suggested.

Tom
God, every time.

Kyle
I’m just thinking of a sad coffee pot. “I’m the coffee pot. No one ever picks me. Here’s my sad tap dance.”
[Hums a measured tapping tune.] “I’m Mr. Coffee Pot. No one ever picks me.”

Emily
The next time it’s Sparky’s coffee pot has started tap dancing instead of making coffee.

Hallie
I was gonna say, my coffee pot gained sentience.

Ari
But she can’t drink coffee because it keeps tapping and so she can’t grab it in time because it just taps.

Tom
The coffee pot got really obsessed with the musical Chicago.

Emily
“I shouldn’t have played anything on the TV in front of the coffee pot. It got ideas.”

Kyle
Okay. It has been about a month since your last adventure. Just a quick recap of what happened there:
[Previously bossa nova music plays.]
Sparky was visited by her old friend from her high school mystery-solving crew, PICLE, her good, good friend, Elliot. He tried to offer her a job and she said fuck you. Sparky and Hilda then went to a signing with the Aggressive Bandit who is Lucas Bang. He is someone from The Valley who won the Intermortal Necromon Championship when he was 17 years old, and he and Sparky dated, when they were 17 years old.

Hallie
[Sly.] And might again.

Kyle
[Laughs.] But, unfortunately, there might be other things in play. He seems to be in the pocket of ScubaCorp—which makes sense, they hire him—but also Maybelline, the #2 of ScubaCorp and maybe the winner of his heart?
Anyways. ScubaCorp tried to pull some shit and failed. The only notable thing is that Sparky was given a business card that may or may not do something malicious. Who knows? Also, ScubaCorp does in fact own all of her Necromon, but—

Hallie
They’re blank Necromon Cards. It doesn’t matter.

Kyle
So, it’s been a month since then. In the timeline of things, not a whole lot has changed. More and more businesses are adapting and changing to fit the Intermortal Necromon Championship. You’ve got ScubaCorp Spacescraper, construction for that can be heard at all hours of the day, and students like Hilda and Irene have been diligently training because we are now a month out from that championship actually starting, so things are really revving up on that front.
But, in all of your lives, has anything notable happened since we last saw our characters?

[Music ends.]

Hallie
Yes. … Oh, I’ll continue.
[Laughter.]
I… I am Sparky. There were rutabagas in that lunchbox from Maybelline, right? With all the beauty products that she sells or whatever.

Kyle
No, just food. It as lunch.

Hallie
Just a lunchbox. Whatever.

Kyle
Out of character, she probably just did not want to eat the roasted rutabagas and so gave them—

Hallie
Yeah, that’s fine. Who does?

Kyle
Sorry, the roasted “rutabaga,” and gave them to you instead.

Hallie
Among the research topics relating to “rutabagas” that Sparky has undertaken the last month are “plural form accepted!” She’s trying to find, like…
[00:10:00]
You know how sometimes there are two acceptable forms of pluralities? That’s like number one. She googles it all the time even though she knows the answer, which I will find out once I google it. But, other things that she’s googling are like “rutabaga health benefits,” “rutabaga beauty benefits,” “rutabaga world domination benefits.” She’s just fully spiraling down rutabagas.
They are still not at the grocery store because that grocery store never has rutabagas even though they have a very clearly marked rutabaga section. So, she’s just been hitting the rutabagas hard, which sounds like she’s doing drugs, but she literally can’t because there are no rutabagas.

Kyle
Alright. Perfect. You know what? I’ll give you a Mystery Tracker point for that, for your Mystery Tracker…

Hallie
Yes!

Kyle
…only because you have done a search so suspicious it might have you on a BITE tracker somewhere. Like, the Bureau of Intermortal Enforcement might be now tracking your internet browsing history based on your rutabaga searches. If it’s enough for them to pay attention, it’s enough for me to pay attention.

Tom
Sparky is now on the no-fly list.

Kyle
Tom, please, in this world it’s a no-die list.
[Laughter.]
So yeah, as part of Sparky’s “investigates” descriptor, Hallie gets to choose a mystery to solve. Every time she takes steps toward solving that mystery, she gets a point. Once she gets 7 points on this Investigation Tracker, Sparky will uncover a major revelation about the plot. Right now, Sparky is at 3 out of those 7 points.

Hallie
Excellent!

Kyle
But you’re not doing that investigation today, at least not on your home computer. I guess it is a laptop so I guess you could be doing it.

Hallie
It’s my SmackBook Pro.

Kyle
You and everyone else are at the Bring Your Job to School Fair.

Hallie
Yes.

[Nostalgic school rock music plays.]

Kyle
This fair is a job fair that is being held in the Bandit Gymnasium, that’s the big gymnasium in the center of the Valley Public Schools.

Ari
Is the school owned by the Aggressive Bandit or did they just name it after him?

Kyle
It is notably recently renamed. It used to be just the VPS Gymnasium, but since they’re like “oh man, we finally got to host the championships,” the whole town is really being like, oh yeah, we LOVE Necromon. There are new Necromon shops all over the place. The school has done the thing to try to suck up to ScubaCorp by being, like, “it’s the Bandit Gymnasium.”
And it’s worked, because ScubaCorp is here at this event. What this event is, this event is just… it’s a job fair, but it’s a mix of that and one of those fun rec days you would have for kids. You’ve got a bunch of stands with different business on them. Some of them are doing their own thing, but it’s really hard to hear because ScubaCorp just has an entire wall taken up by them.
There’s a big ScubaCorp banner and these speakers that are as tall as the gymnasium itself blasting, just “unce-unce,” just pumping out music, and a bunch of smaller-owned companies have their stands right in front of those speakers.
For example, there’s a stand for Out of Thyme, the grocery store that Sparky frequents. They’re like “oh, here’s what happens if you’re a grocery store manager. Pursue this career, kids.”

Hallie
You never have rutabagas, that’s what happens.

Kyle
The Undertakers from BITE have their own little truck outside. That one just says “free video games” on it. It just seems to be a way to get information from kids or something, but it’s not horribly out of place just because, again, there are other things. There’s ring toss, there’s a ball pit, and kids down below are running from stand to stand. Each of them is dressed up in their own unique costume.
Lots of them are dressed up in the Aggressive Bandit’s outfit, but others are scientists, athletes, a couple of Undertakers as well, because there are two prizes for this competition.
[Music ends.]
There is a prize for the best stand, and that prize is just basically free money, it’s a grand, and then there is a prize for the kid who has the best costume for what job they wanna be, and the prize for that is obviously what any kid at school wants, the unbreakable #2 pencil.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle
But, there’s one of these stands I particularly want to focus on, and that is… Sparky, you actually have a stand here at this event. So, tell me a bit about your stand, what you’re saying to the kids, all of those things.

Hallie
What I’m saying to the kids is, hey, the truth is hard to find sometimes because people will try to cover it up. You know how you find it? Investigative reporting. Of course she’s saying this in her voice, not mine, so it’s more like:

[School gym crowd ambience begins.]

Hallie (as Sparky)
When you’re an investigative reporter, every day is exciting. You never know what you’re going to find.
[00:15:00]
For instance, did you know, or do you know anything about rutabagas? No? See, that’s what it’s like. That’s what investigative reporting is like.

Tom
Hilda is taking notes.

Kyle
You see Hilda, and then you just see a bunch of kindergarteners with a teacher holding one of their hands.

Hallie
Good.

Kyle
And they’re like:

Kyle (as kindergartener)
What’s a wutabaga?

Hallie (as Sparky)
That’s a good question and exactly the kind you should be asking. Has anyone ever—

Kyle (as kindergartener)
Is that a kind of sucker? Teacher said that if we came here we would get suckers.

Hallie (as Sparky)
That’s another thing you have to watch out for, incentives. Sometimes people who give you incentives don’t have your best interest at heart. You need to be able to provide your own incentive. A rutabaga is not a sucker, it is supposedly a vegetable, but can we confirm that? No, we can’t, because they’re never at the grocery store. Do you see what I’m saying?

Emily (as Irene)
Do you know that plants don’t come from the grocery store?

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Exasperated.] Oh my god.

Kyle
Irene—As the rest of the kids shuffle off with their teacher being like…

Kyle (as teacher)
We’ll go back to Mr. Elmo. He has all the candy. He’s fun, we’ll go back to him.

Kyle
…Irene walks up, and Irene, what are you wearing?

[Irene’s theme begins.]

Emily
Irene is wearing a fairly formal dark green dress with a high collar and puffy sleeves and some Mary Jane flats. She’s dressed as herself.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Emily (as Irene)
Rutabaga are a root vegetable. You can grow them from seeds if you want. You don’t have to go to the grocery store if you want a rutabaga. That’s not the only place that has them.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Honey, honey, when you’re a working adult you don’t have a lot of time for things anymore.

Tom (as Hilda)
The Boss has a lot on her plate. She’s… She’s doing a lot to investigate this.

Emily (as Irene)
She has an unpaid assistant. Why don’t you grow her some rutabaga?

Tom (as Hilda)
I gladly would if the Boss had me on that, but I have more important jobs like collecting all of these receipts for tax deductions.

Hallie (as Sparky)
That’s true.

Tom (as Hilda)
The other day I cleaned the yard. That was a very useful task.

Hallie (as Sparky)
And, um…

Kyle
I just realized, Hilda was just picking up garbage and moving it on top of other garbage.

[Music ends.]

Tom
Please. Hilda would actually get rid of it.

Emily
Where would she put it?! It’s already in the junkyard!

Kyle
It’s where it’s supposed to be! The junkyard is where it’s supposed to be!

Tom
Is the junkyard a literal landfill?

Kyle
Yes!

Ari
That’s what I thought.

Tom
Jesus. I thought it was just—

Kyle
Sparky lives in a literal landfill.

Hallie
Yeah.

Ari
Did you think it was—

Tom
I thought it was like a car junkyard. I thought it was like a place where broken cars go.

Hallie
Oh no. Oh honey, no, my car is just in the junkyard because I like it aesthetically.

Tom
Oh… Oh…

Hallie
All my stuff is there.

Tom
Alright, so yes, Hilda… Oh.

Ari
She’s just a possum.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Tom
Hilda cleared trash to other trash piles. Oh…

Hallie
[Delighted.] Just a possum! Oh no.

Emily (as Irene)
And what are you dressed as? It doesn’t look like you’re dressed as my rival. You need to take this more seriously.

Tom (as Hilda)
Oh, um…!

Tom
To that note, Hilda is kind of dressed as several things at once.
[Hilda’s silly theme begins.]
She’s got the notepad, of course. A physical notepad is very important because Sparky has impressed upon her that a proper investigative journalist uses notepads and pencils. A 2B pencil, if anyone was counting, that’s unbroken. She has got what’s supposed to be that little news fedora with the little feather in it, however it’s also a park ranger hat so it’s wide-brimmed and one of the things is folded up. It still has the feather in it so it now looks more like a swashbuckler’s hat, but to Hilda’s brain this is a fusion of a park ranger hat and an investigative reporter hat.

Emily
Aww.

Tom
Hilda is also wearing a dramatic cape with the official Necromon League emblem on it. She is wearing hiking boots and bits of ranger khakis but then is also wearing this formal shirt vest and tie, like an event planner at a fancy thing. It is chaotic to say the least. Booker is also here, just chilling on Hilda’s shoulder I would assume.

Emily (as Booker)
Rekoob!

Tom
Rekoob did not get dressed up, but Rekoob might have made—

Kyle
Booker.

[Music ends abruptly.]

Tom

[Laughter.]
It’s too early for this shit.
[Music resumes.]
Booker is not dressed up.

Kyle
He’s dressed like a book.

Tom
But he may have made himself a tiny hat.

[00:20:00]

Hallie
Aww.

Emily
I was thinking that he’s got the little sailboat origami hat.

Ari
I was thinking the same thing!

Hallie
Yes! Oh!

Tom
[Extremely excited crosstalk] -said that! It’s that, it’s that.

Ari
That’s what I was thinking!

Emily
But he’s got two of them, one on each little eyestalk.

Several
Aww!

Ari
If it could be made from his own pages somehow.

Emily
Either that or just bits of the books that he’s torn up from…

Tom
Hilda’s homework.

Hallie
That he’s eaten.

[Music ends.]

Emily
He kicks his little origami legs at Irene and her aggressive approach.

Emily (as Booker)
[Grumbly.] Rekoob.

Tom (as Hilda)
Uh, well, it’s really a lot of things. You know, I didn’t really pick a job, so I’ve got a lot of things… Over here at this table I’m obviously an apprentice journalist.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Yes, and as my apprentice journalist, Hilda is very busy doing all of those important tasks that she mentioned earlier. However, if you are looking for a position where you could plant rutabaga seeds, you could always try investigative reporting.

Emily (as Irene)
That doesn’t sound like the type of job that I want.

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Sighs.] So you don’t have the moxie for it. That’s what I thought.

Emily (as Irene)
No. Actually, I just don’t like to settle.

Tom
[Gasps.]

Hallie
Sparky is too astounded at the spunk of this 12-year-old. She’s upset at being dunked on by a 12-year-old…

Emily
[Laughing.] She’s being dunked on by an 11-year-old.

Hallie
She’s being dunked on by an 11-year-old and being defended by a 12-year-old, so she’s kind of sputtering a little bit.

Emily (as Irene)
I can write down somewhere where you can get seedlings. You don’t even have to start it from seed that way.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Well actually, since I’m an investigative reporter, I have the wherewithal to find out myself.

Hallie
Then she goes back behind her booth, picks out her SmackBook Pro, slams it on the table, opens it up and starts—

Kyle
Take a GM Intrusion.

Hallie
What?! No!

Kyle
Take a GM Intrusion, Hallie.

Hallie
No. Me? No!

Kyle
Who do you wanna give your other point to?

Hallie
No! Not Irene, because she’s being mean to me. Hilda, because she defended me.

Tom
God damn it. I have too much AP.

Kyle
You go to grab your SmackBook Pro, right Sparky?

Hallie
Yeah. That’s my SmackBook Pro.

Kyle
When you pull it out, or specifically when you pull your arm up to get it, you stop partway through. You realize that a series of tiny magnets have connected your arm to the table.

Hallie (as Sparky)
What the fuck?

Hallie
She says, in a school.

Kyle (as ???)
[Gasps.] Sparky Malarky! You can’t say that when there are children around!

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Under her breath.] Oh for god’s sake.

[Extremely energetic, clownish music begins.]

Kyle
All of you notice as a bright woman in her 40s wearing a multicolored formal vest and a bowtie walks up to Sparky. In addition to her formal vest and bowtie, she’s wearing tailored slacks and colorful wide shoes. She’s also adorned with bubblegum lipstick, a flower on her lapel with a little string connected to it to some sort of squeezer someplace else, and a large bowler hat with two black pigtails poking out of it. But most notably, you see that this woman has a big bright red clown nose.

Tom
Hilda is pulling the hat as far down over her head as she can and is just trying to inch to the side.

[Music ends.]

Emily (as Booker)
[Irritated.] Rekoob, rekoob, rekoob!

Emily
Booker says, getting poked in the face by the brim of her hat.

Tom
No~ Hilda will make space for Booker but is continuing to hide and inch.

Emily (as Irene)
Hilda, a new lesson about being a Necromon Trainer is you cannot hide from things. You have to take everything head-on. Why are you putting your hat on your face?

Tom (as Hilda)
Uh… no reason.

Emily (as Irene)
It is unbecoming of a rival!

Tom (as Hilda)
[Groans.]

Kyle (as clown)
Oh!

Kyle
She immediately pivots around and looks at you, Irene.

Tom
No…

Kyle (as clown)
Oh! You must be Irene! Hilda’s mentioned so much about you.

Emily
Irene slowly looks back over at Hilda.

Emily (as Irene)
Really? What has Hilda mentioned about me?

Kyle (as clown)
Oh, well you know…

Kyle
She taps her little clown nose and you hear (honk, honk).

Kyle (as clown)
…mother-daughter confidentiality.

Emily (as Irene)
If it wasn’t that I’m the best Necromon Trainer, that’s what you should know.

Kyle (as Hilda’s mom)
Ha! See, Sparky? Now that’s the kind of spirit that I knew you would inspire these kids to have.

Hallie
Sparky is still wrestling with the magnets.

Hallie (as Sparky)
They have to learn from somewhere, don’t they? That one didn’t get it from me. She’s got that all on her own.

[00:25:00]

Emily (as Irene)
I’m a very independent person.

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Exasperated, under her breath.] Yes, a very independent person.

Emily
[Giggles.]

Kyle (as Hilda’s mom)
Well, then let me tell you all about my good friend, Sparky Malarky.

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Under her breath.] Oh, for god’s sake…

Kyle (as Hilda’s mom)
Oh, by the way Hilda, your friends wanted to see you someplace over there.

Kyle
And your mom motions to someplace else in the gymnasium.

Tom (as Hilda)
Uh… okay. Thanks, mom.

Tom
Hilda will just zoom off.

[Rambling guitar and accordion music plays.]

Kyle (as Hilda’s mom)
Did you know that Sparky Malarky has solved more cases than anyone else in The Valley? Even more than Mr. Elmo. Now, Mr. Elmo, he has his own kind of thing going on. He has solved many, many cases, but his are about 23. Sparky, last we checked, was somewhere about 24. Although! It’s been a while since I’ve heard about your mystery, so maybe that number is a bit higher.
You should tell me, what have you been up to in the past couple years? What kind of mysteries have you been solving? For the kid, for the kid… but also for me a little bit. I am kinda curious. But for the kid, for the kid, for the kid.

Hallie
Sparky is still wrestling with those magnets.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Well, I am working on a very important, um… undercover mystery related to grocery store supply chains. Before that, I was on the street, I was on the ground for the big Necromouse-bird fiasco, so I had that going for me. You know, that was first ground coverage. Uh… Mrs. Flebbershposter, she asked me to find her glasses. They were on her face. Solved that one very fast. So you know, I’m still… I’m still ahead of Mr. Elmo.

Kyle
You hear a little ding-ding from across the thing and a deep voice goes:

[Music ends.]

Kyle (as Mr. Elmo)
And just like that, with my young companions, another two mysteries solved!

Hallie (as Sparky)
He’s soft-balling the kindergarteners. He’s been doing that all day.

Kyle (as Hilda’s mom)
Haha! Sparky, you are a gas. I don’t think there’s anyone else in here who is quite as funny as you.

[School gym crowd ambience begins.]

Kyle
And now is when we hear those sounds again. We hear the loud “another two cases solved.”

[The ding-ding and “another two mysteries solved replays.]

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Breathy.] I swear to god.

Kyle
And we see the person next to that stand. … Quique.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

[Overworked ghostly music begins.]

Kyle
You are stuck between the ScubaCorp speakers on one end and this very loud presentation on the other. We’ll get to what that one looks like in a little bit. Before I do that, I wanna know… what does your stand look like?

Ari
His stand has a big sign on the back with the name of his company, which is called Quimica—well, it’s called Quimicard, but it’s mostly… he has it as Quimica and then he has a lot of shit covering the last two letters so that it just says Quimica which means chemistry in Spanish.
He has a table with a bunch of different objects so that he can tell people about the different things that you can do with chemistry. So, he has a little glass bottle with his ship in one side, he has some wood stuff, and then kinda shoved to the very corner of it he has some cards, but he doesn’t want to draw too much attention to that part.
He’s trying to get… I mean, if there’s kids, he has a spiel that he’s trying to get kids excited about.

Kyle
Yeah. Tell us your spiel. The kindergarteners have just gotten their fix from Mr. Elmo and have come back to your stand.

[Music ends.]

Ari (as Quique)
Alright, kiddos! Do you want to know what wonderful things you can do with chemistry? Oh, spoiler here, there are things that will leave you [Spanish**], eh? Yeah, yeah?

Kyle
There’s a long pause… and then one of the kids slowly raises their hand.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah! You would get it. It’s funnier in Spanish. But anyways—

Kyle (as kindergartener)
Is that a kind of candy?!

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Quique)
Uh, it is—

Kyle (as kindergartener)
Can you make candy?! I want CANDY!

Ari (as Quique)
Well, in fact—

Kyle
You can see their mouths are covered with this glittery sugary paste. Keep going, though.

Ari (as Quique)
Well, you can in fact make candy with chemistry, yes.

Kyle (as kindergartener)
[Screams.]

Ari (as Quique)
How are you louder than the speaker? That’s kind of impressive. Okay, anyways…

Kyle
You hear from the stand next to you:

Kyle (as Mr. Elmo)
Because nothing is louder than an excited child. Another mystery solved!

Kyle
And the ding sound effect goes off again.

Hallie
Oh what the fuck? I’m gonna kill him.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah. That guy over there might have candy. You can go over there. The rest of you that may want to know what you can do with chemistry—

Kyle
They’re all gone.

Ari (as Quique)
—stick around…
[00:30:00]
Well, that’s fine too. I had another half of my speech here.

Tom
There is one person left.

Kyle
There are in fact three people left, because there is—as they all leave…
[Ambling tuba music begins.]
You see three children. You see this child that’s dressed up in every kind of thing imaginable, that’s Hilda. On Hilda’s left is Walnut, and dae is dressed up in daer Necromon dueling outfit. You know the kind of gym outfit with the fake ScubaCorp trench coat? The one that’s worn officially for competitions. Then, on Hilda’s right, you see a small zombie boy. His outfit is filled with just a million different balls from the ball pit because he is dressed up as a laundry basket.

Ari
Aww!

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Tom
Exquisite.

Ari
Okay, so Quique, at seeing the three kids left, first he’s gonna be like:

[Music ends.]

Ari (as Quique)
Eh, you know, those other kids did not deserve to learn all of the chemistry secrets that you three will learn in this stand.

Ari
Then he’ll look at Hilda.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah. Hey, I know you. Okay, so, look at all of these things you can make. You can make glass that is more resistant to breaking than other glass. You can make wood with more nutrients than regular wood in case you have little critters that like to eat wood, not that I would know anything about that.

Ari
Then he’s going to glance at the cards.

Ari (as Quique)
Eh, you can also have cards with more resistance or more colors or whatever, but you also can have pens and pencils that do not break, which is usually a complication. And you know what? All of those things are things that I and you can make if you are interested in joining the company, Quimica…rd.
Obviously you have to pass your chemistry classes, Organic Chemistry, all of those things, but it’s a really fun journey and a really fun reward. If you have any questions, there’s technically no limit… but there is a limit.

Kyle (as Walnut)
Did you say cards, like Necromon Cards? Maybe if we combine those with… we could make equip items or something like that.

Kyle
And dae runs up and just starts looking at some of the cards there. While dae mutters to daemself, Freddie goes:

Kyle (as Freddie)
Uh, so… chemistry. Is one of the applications for that the creation of more and enhanced kinds of dish soap and detergent? I like to wash.

Ari (as Quique)
Oh. Well, you actually have to wash a lot in chemistry, you have to keep a clean workspace, but it’s true. Actually, in my early days in this company, I designed a shampoo that cleans hair more efficiently than regular shampoo. I sadly wasn’t able to test it myself, for… reasons.

Kyle (as Walnut)
Oh wait! You’re Quimicard! Freddie, Hilda, this is Quimicard. They’re the ones that were bought out by ScubaCorp. They make all the Necromon Cards!

Ari (as Quique)
[Drained exhale.]

Ari
When Walnut was like oh cards, Quique’s expression from a really excited smile is going to slowly go down to, you know like cartoonishly, it just goes down to a frown.

Kyle (as Freddie)
Oh… Oh, so you wouldn’t really know about making dish soap then. I retract my question.

Ari (as Quique)
No, no, no! Si! The card thing, as your friend mentioned here, it’s a new addition to the company. It’s true, I guess we do that a lot nowadays… a whole lot, but we also do other things like dish soap and this bottle and wood. That’s why I have all of these things on the table.

Kyle (as Walnut)
Wait. Are those equip cards? I’ve heard that there’s a new thing called equip cards that make Necromon stronger.

Ari (as Quique)
Does this look like an equip card?

Kyle (as Walnut)
At least that’s what I heard from a friend of a friend of a friend… of someone’s uncle who works at Quimicard.

Ari (as Quique)
Oh… my god.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Ari (as Quique)
I need to talk to that… Ugh, I need to talk with that kid again.[Spanish?**]. No… no.

Kyle
Somewhere far off, a smile curls up the edge of Ariel’s lips.

Tom
Hilda does have a question, though.

Ari (as Quique)
Ah!

Tom
She’ll step up close and say:

Ari (as Quique)
Is it a card question, kid?

[Laughter.]

Ari
He’s going to drop an octave when he asks.

Tom (as Hilda)
How did you know you wanted to be a chemist, Mr. Quique?

Ari
He’s going to, like, “oh!” The only thing I can think of is the little gasp pop-up from Amphibia does.
[Gasps.] Like, really excited.
[00:35:00]
Quique’s just going to describe his whole journey through, you know… his academic endeavors and all of his, like…

Kyle
Give us a taste. Just give us a monologue, and what I’ll do is I’ll fade in and out from bit to bit as we’re just like… “and then in 1937 I—”

Ari
[Laughs.] Okay.

[Triumphant historical documentary music begins.]

Ari (as Quique)
Ah yes, well it all started back in the days when it was called alchemy, you see? And back then people were thinking—

[Laughter.]

Kyle
“There was a taboo among alchemists that you could not reanimate a human body, for what equals the cost of a human soul?” Anyways, keep going.

Ari (as Quique)
Yes, where everybody thought maybe you could turn this thing into gold. Of course, that was just, uh… that was [Spanish**], that wasn’t anything that you could actually do. But, then I was like, but what things can I do… Did I do that when I was alive or was I already…? Hmm. You know, those details are a bit fuzzy. But regardless, at some point in my life or non-life, I went to university.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Ari (as Quique)
And there, I… and do applied chemistry which is a thing that I do now and is a thing that I’ve been doing at this company for—

Ari
And he’s gonna try to think of how many years it has been and he actually cannot remember how long he has been working at this company.

Ari (as Quique)
A while. Definitely before you were born, probably before your parents were born. I actually don’t know. But regardless… If you wanna join, I can hook you up for an internship or something. There’s always places, and I always need somebody to work on the non-card parts of this business, which is minimal at this point but there’s some possibilities.

[Music ends.]

Tom (as Hilda)
Yeah. I mean, I don’t start Chemistry for a few grades, but I’d like to learn. There aren’t really any investigative journalism classes either, so that’s kind of why I started hanging around with the Boss, but yeah, I would be happy to be a apprenticed alchemist chemist… -ist person.

Ari (as Quique)
Just remember, the first rule is that you cannot make gold. That is [Spanish**]. Alright? No matter what other alchemists tell you. You also can’t bring people back from life. That’s a rule that everybody knows about alchemy. But yeah, if you want, I can give you a head-start in Chemistry. I’m always really excited about that.

Tom
Hilda has written down in the notepad: “first rule, cannot turn things into gold, second rule, cannot bring back dead.”

Tom (as Hilda)
Yeah. I’ll ask my moms. I don’t think I ever got a chance to thank you for helping us out when we fell into that cave a while back, so uh… thank you.

Ari
Quique’s actually taken aback by this a little bit. At that point he was mostly doing it selfishly and it wasn’t really like “I’m gonna save these people.”

Tom
I don't know that Hilda ever found out that Quique actually tied her to the tree.

[Chuckling.]

Kyle
She did not.

Ari
But, after being a bit surprised, he’ll be like:

Ari (as Quique)
Eh, you don’t have anything to thank me for. I guess I’ll accept them, but I really… there’s really no need.
[Triumphant historical documentary music begins.]
Thank you for your interest in chemistry. That does mean a lot, kid, and I do hope to see you around.

Tom (as Hilda)
Mm-hmm!

[Music swells and carries into the announcements.]

Kyle
Hello and welcome to the announcement break. I don’t have anything clever to introduce at this time, so let’s just get into it.
I don’t actually have any announcements for you today. If I did, I will always put them before the promo, but since I don’t have any announcements today, let’s get straight to the promo section. Today’s promo is for a podcast called Worst Movies Ever Played, and let’s give it a listen.

[Promo begins.]

Announcer
These movies are HOT.

Rodrigo
My name is T-2656. Would you like to have sex with me now for money?

Blazen
You know what? Honestly? Cool.

Announcer
These movies are BLOODY.

Paramnesia
I was feeling a lot braver before I knew there was going to be murder and then threats of murder.

Faxmachine
Oh yeah. I mean, you didn’t think you could go to Texas Instruments without murdering someone, did you?

Soldier
[Screams.]

Announcer
These movies are AUDIO ONLY. Worst Movies Ever Played is back with three new VHS movies for your ears. Anything can happen in this actual play RPG podcast. And we mean anything.

Patrick
What did you build that went so poorly a while back?

Brent
Oh, I tried to build a girlfriend. Unfortunately, it also became a libertarian.

Annedroid
Those worthy of freedom do not beg for it. They simply take it.

Blazen
Aww, this is a super bummer.

[00:40:00]

Announcer
Subscribe to Worst Movies Ever Played wherever you get your podcasts.

[Promo ends.]

Kyle
If that show sounds interesting to you, you can check out Worst Movies Ever Played at WorstMoviesEverPlayed.com. Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Our next episode, Mr. Elmo’s Mysterious Game, Part 2, will release at its originally scheduled date, so next Monday, June 27, but if you’d like additional stories, podcasts, or behind the scenes videos, you can find them at Patreon.com/QuestFriends. I’ll see you there.

[Nostalgic school rock music carries out of the announcements.]

Kyle (as Hilda’s mom)
Sparky Malarky!

Hallie (as Sparky)
Ugh.

Kyle
Did you know? I just do “Sparky Malarky.” That’s how I get into voices for both Elliot and Alina.

Hallie
I know, and it bugs the shit out of me.

Kyle (as Alina)
Sparky Malarky!

Kyle
You hear a tapping of a mic.

Kyle (as Alina)
Alright, everybody. Alright! It is time to start another game!

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Under her breath.] I swear to god…

Kyle
You all notice that the music has stopped. Quique, if he had eardrums, would still be blown out because they’re coming from the giant ScubaCorp speakers.

Ari
Well he’s lucky because he has no ears, so it’s just a reverberating headache through his bone cranium or whatever.

[Silly music begins.]

Kyle (as Alina)
So, before we begin, I wanted to thank ScubaCorp for so graciously letting us host this event anywhere other than the ScubaCorp Spacescraper, since that has many, many GHOSHA violations.

[Laughter.]

Kyle
You can see over in the corner, Maybelline, who has her own stand for a multi-level marketing company…

Hallie
No. God’s sake.

Kyle
…is just sitting there nodding, nodding, and when the Ghost-OSHA violations are mentioned you can see her eyes turn deadly furious. Hilda’s mom, Alina, just kinda:

Kyle (as Alina)
[Nervous chuckle.] So anyways. Before we get to the next part of the event, we’ve got a fun little quiz for you all.

Kyle
You can hear all the kids groan. Just a series of “ugh…”

Kyle (as Alina)
But the winner gets candy~

Kyle
And they all just start screaming for it again.

Ari
Can I have Quique just look at Hilda and say?:

Ari (as Quique)
If it’s a chemistry-based quiz, I gotcha.

Tom (as Hilda)
Thanks.

Kyle
All the venders get shut down for a little bit and everybody gets into a nice orderly line and gets themselves a little Scantron sheet with a series of basic questions.

[Music ends.]

Hallie
[Delighted giggle.]

Kyle
They’re fun questions. They’re questions like: What’s your favorite of these? You realize pretty quickly it’s a personality quiz.

Hallie
God.

Kyle
What’s your favorite Necromon Element? What’s your favorite color? You recently died. What form would you take as one of the dead? So on and so forth.

Ari
Quique will roll his eyes at that question.

Kyle
Skeleton is not one of the options.

[Laughter.]

Ari
God damn it.

Emily
“A dead person,” Irene writes in the line.

Ari
A corpse.

Kyle (as proctor)
Yes, but what kind of dead person, young miss?

Emily (as Irene)
You know you’re not supposed to look over someone’s shoulder when they’re taking a test.

Kyle (as proctor)
[Chuckles.] I am so sorry. Please, accept my apologies.

Emily (as Irene)
Maybe.

[Fun sneaky music begins.]

Kyle
You look up and—

Ari
Well, I was gonna say, if Mallea could try and block that person from looking above Irene’s shoulders since it is sitting in her lap.

Kyle
I would say that’s gonna be Help Somebody. You want to help out Irene in hiding. You’re gonna roll and you’re gonna apply Mallea’s stat to it, which by default is +0.

Ari
Okay. Alright.
[Rolls.] That is a 4, so no, that’s not… I tried.

Kyle
Despite your help, or perhaps due to it, your target fails. Take an AP for that failure, Ari.

Ari
Oh!

Kyle
Since you were the Necromon, since you were the player who did the action.

Ari
Okay.

Kyle
So Mallea, you try blocking this guy, but what ends up happening instead?

Ari
Well, I just think that, because it is in a small form, Mallea is in this form thinks it is bigger than it actually is currently, so he just extends his little arms and thinks that’s enough.

Emily
Aww.

Ari
Like, “ah yeah, I did it.”
[Music ends.]
And maybe ends up miscalculating things. When realizing it’s not working maybe, maybe it falls a little from Irene’s shoulder.

[00:45:00]

Tom
Wobbly.

Emily
Irene cups him in her hands and realizes that her pencil is broken.

Ari
Oh no!

[Whooshing sound signaling a scene change.]

Kyle
Meanwhile, everyone else… How is everyone else’s quizzes going? What kind of answers are you giving?

Tom
Hilda is giving very extreme answers. I know these are mostly framed as multiple choice, but do you know the type of Scantrons where it’s like “do you strongly agree, agree, slightly agree, neutral, slightly disagree, disagree, strongly disagree?”

Kyle
Yeah.

Tom
Only strongly disagree and strongly agree answers from Hilda, or neutral answers. Only the three extremes. Hilda’s answers are wildly all over the place currently.
She is also deeply overanalyzing all of the text in the questions. If they’re asking whether or not I agree with the statement that this is important to me, does that mean that it’s more important than other things? If they say I can’t enjoy a meal unless ‘this,’ do I say that I sort of agree with it if I don’t like it but I can enjoy the meal? Or, if because I can, it’s not a deal breaker for the meal, I have to say that I disagree with it because it’s a false statement?
What is the intent behind the test? Because it’s very unclear, and she is deep into overanalyzing the intent and doesn’t know what the test-takers want from this personality test.

Kyle
Meanwhile, next to you, you just hear…

Kyle (as Walnut)
Agree! Disagree! Agree, agree, agree! Disagree! Agree! Disagree!

Kyle
…as Walnut is just going between the two extremes on daer form. Freddie… you hear nothing, because he’s just sitting there playing with the balls in his little bin, because he answered all the questions like five minutes ago. So he’s just like:

Kyle (as Freddie)
So I can’t turn this to gold… but could I turn this blue ball into a—

Kyle
He looks around.

Kyle (as Freddie)
I thought I had a red ball around here.

Kyle
He starts rummaging through his little laundry basket. But Quique and Sparky, how are your questions going too? Because this is, as the adults were reminded, mandatory.

Hallie
Oh. No.

Ari
Oh, I thought it was only for the kids.

Hallie
Fuck that. Sparky’s not taking it.

Kyle
Nope. Every person has to do it. It looks like the only people who aren’t taking the quiz are Alina and then that guy that Irene was talking to.

Ari
I think Quique at first thought that it was only meant for kids, and when he realized that it wasn’t he’s just gonna pretend that he didn’t realize that it wasn’t only meant for the kids.

Ari (as Quique)
Oops! Oh no! Everybody turned it in? What? I was supposed to turn it in? Oops! Well, I gave it to a kid because I didn’t think it was for me.

Ari
So that’s his plan currently. He’s not answering this thing.

Kyle
Okay. So you got your name on there and nothing else.

Ari
He doesn’t even have his name.

Kyle
Okay, a blank hole of nothing.

Ari
Yeah.

Kyle
How about you, Sparky?

Hallie
Sparky’s just not doing it.

Ari
Oh my god. We’re both not doing it.

Hallie
Quique has a plan to be like “oops, my B, what are you gonna do now?” Sparky’s just like, “nah.”

Kyle (as Alina)
Sparky~ Come on.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Alina~ Come on.

Kyle (as Alina)
Come on. Don’t be such a sourpuss. Just put on the questions. There are so many, and they’re fun questions. I asked Yulia about all of them and Yulia agreed they’re very fun, and Yulia knows about fun.

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Uninterested.] Uh-huh.

Tom
Hilda in her head is thinking these are very bad questions. This is not fun. I’m not enjoying myself.

Hallie
[Laughs.] Sparky will smile and say:

Hallie (as Sparky)
The thing is, I don’t need a personality test to tell me who I am. I’m a grown woman. I already know things.

Kyle (as Alina)
Well, tell us then. Come on, it’s been almost 25 years. I wanna know everything and anything about my good friend, Sparky Malarky.

Hallie (as Sparky)
We’ve been through this. I’ve—

Kyle (as Alina)
You know, Hilda only tells me so much.

Tom
[Laughs.]

Kyle (as Alina)
She’s at that age that she’s very, very secretive.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Yes. Yes, we all hit that age. Being secretive is actually a very good trait for an investigative reporter, which is why I can’t go into too much detail about my life, because it’s full of very important dangerous things. Not with Hilda, obviously. No, no, no. She makes the coffee and cleans the yard and comes with me for interviews and things. No-no, the kid—

Kyle (as Alina)
Absolutely, Sparky, but I don't think some villain is gonna be concerned about what you would do on the perfect playdate.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Well no, I don’t go on playdates.

Kyle (as Alina)
Well, think of it as a regular date. What would you and Mr. Bang do?

Hallie (as Sparky)
Lucas and I, you know, we saw each other recently. He’s in town. He was in town.
[00:50:00]
[Stammers.] I don't know if you heard. They did the movie—

Kyle (as Alina)
Oh, I’ve heard. It was mentioned during the planning process… multiple times.

Kyle
She gives the stink-eye to Maybelline.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Hallie (as Sparky)
Okay, good. Then, um, everything was thorough. We haven’t gotten together. We haven’t met up for coffee to catch up or anything, but you know, I wouldn’t even be able to tell him that much about my life for all the reasons I just listed for you.

Kyle (as Alina)
What if “I” set that up? How about this. How about this. You fill this out—

Hallie (as Sparky)
Oh, no, Alina… No. NO! That is okay. Alina, no.

Kyle
Roll me Convince Somebody. You’re gonna have to roll me to Convince Somebody.

Hallie
[Laughing.] No~

Kyle
What means do you want to do to convince Alina that no, she should not set up a meet-cute with you and Lucas Bang?

Hallie
Because I don’t need one. I have so many meet-cutes to plan around that it would just be a hassle if somebody planned one for me. I have to do this myself because of the thousands of other meet-cutes.

Kyle
You’re gonna roll me Convince Somebody with Slick which is what you do when you’re trying to disguise, mislead or lie when trying to Convince Somebody.

Hallie
Okay. Thanks to my Wildcard, I have a +1 in Slick today.
[Rolls.] Eight!

Tom
Hey! Mixed success.

Kyle
Your target is convinced, mostly. You get to choose one drawback. Some examples are: Alina agrees with you, but something is preventing her from stopping setting up the meet-cute; Alina asks for something in return; they make an inconvenient misunderstanding about what you mean, and not like misunderstand the whole thing, but they misunderstand a small point; or she is temporarily upset with you.

Hallie
So, I’m stuck between the first one, in that she thinks… she’s an event planner. This is what she does. She plans for busy people. This only means that she should do it more. Or, if she’s just pissed because Sparky’s pulling her old bullshit of not letting anybody from her old life do anything for her or with her. Which one do you like?

Kyle
I like something is preventing her from doing what you want.

Hallie
Okay. Let’s do that one then.

Kyle (as Alina)
Alright. Alright, Sparky, I get it. I get it. You wanna play hard to get.

Hallie (as Sparky)
Well I am hard to get. It’s not really playing.

Kyle (as Alina)
I’m just saying, he already asked me about it, so…

Hallie (as Sparky)
[Stammers.] Lucas Bang? Lucas Bang asked you about organizing and meeting with me?

Kyle
She winks and taps her nose.

Kyle (as Alina)
If you wanna know more, you’ll have to finish the sheet.

Hallie
Sparky bites her lip so hard it starts bleeding and pulls the god-forsaken little Scantron sheet towards her and starts filling it in completely randomly. She is not actually taking it, she’s just dot-dot-dot.-dot.

Kyle
Alright. You all fill out… I can’t believe we got so much character work out of a god damn Scantron.

Hallie
I can’t believe I got played so fucking hard. I am furious.

Tom
Ooh, you played yourself, Hallie. That’s what we call it in the GM-ing business.

Hallie
Agh!

Kyle
You all fill out your Scantrons.

Ari
Not me!

Kyle
But not Quique.

Hallie
[Resentful.] Oh, not Quique! [Grumbles.]

Kyle
You all continue with your things. Quique, you continue presentations. The kids continue going around and seeing things. Is there anything notable that you do during this event?

Tom
I have a critical question.

Kyle
Yeah.

Tom
Would Hilda have been close enough to know anything about this potential Lucas Bang meetup or was this fully separate from her?

Kyle
Do you want Hilda to have been close enough to you, Sparky?

Hallie
Yeah, let’s do it.

Kyle
Okay. Then yeah.

Ari
How long are Booker’s little eyes? Can they extend? Because it would be kind of fun if Booker…

Kyle
[Laughs.] Just a little eye, just like…

Ari
Extending one eye.

Kyle
Poking out.

Ari
Yeah, like spying on that.

Tom
I feel like we should set a limit to it, but I want it to be a really funky limit, like 35 feet or something like that. Just to be as weird and cursed as possible.

Ari
Yeah. I don’t want it to break things later on, mechanically, I just thought it would be kind of fun.

Kyle
We’ll say, if Tom ever wants to use it outside of context, that might be use of an AP, but just as a flavor thing, absolutely, let’s go for it.

Hallie
For sure. Everybody…
[Stammers.] Ruin my life. Go for it. I want that.

Kyle
Also, Booker can read lips now, I guess.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle
Since it’s just an eye that extended.

Hallie
He is a book! He can read anything.

Tom
And somehow communicate that back to Hilda.

Ari
Yeah, somehow.

Hallie
He’s a book. He can spell anything.

Emily (as Booker)
Rekoob? Rekoob.

Tom
I’m going to say that Booker does a really impressive bit of charades, like using little origami figures of Alina, Sparky, and the Aggressive Bandit to communicate this to Hilda.

Emily
When he’s showing with the origami and stuff, whenever he’s trying to show that someone’s talking,
[00:55:00]
he gestures with his first two little legs and then goes back and forth.

Emily (as Booker)
Rekoob… Rekoob!

Emily
And does a higher one for Alina and a slightly lower one for Sparky.

Tom
[Smiling.] I love it.

Emily
And then Lucas Bang is like:

Emily (as Booker)
[Low and grumbly.] Rekoob…

Tom
I love it so much.

Ari
That’s so cute.

Emily
It’s masterful.

Tom
Hilda does nothing with this knowledge, for now, but her eyes narrow.

Emily
Irene also overheard but did not care.

Tom
This was completely irrelevant to her.

Emily
She’s completely aghast at her pencil.

Kyle
Yeah. You’ve pulled out so many pencils. At this point your sheet looks more like a Rorschach test because it just snaps and some of the graphite spills across it, and snap, spill, snap, spill. It is an amorphous blob at this point.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle
Alright. The event continues. You go on with your day. But, there’s one thing everyone’s waiting for. You hear a tap on the mic again.

Kyle (as Alina)
Alright, everyone. Thank you so much for coming to Bring Your Job to School Day. Now, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. It’s time for us to announce the winners of the costume con—

Kyle
Take a GM Intrusion, everyone.

Tom
Oh god.

Hallie
No!

Ari
So then, does this mean that me—

Kyle
You don’t share a point with other people. If more than one person gets a GM Intrusion, I’m not having you share a point.

Ari
God damn it.

Tom
That is how it goes. How long has it been since we’ve had a group intrusion? It’s been a long time.

[Monster theme begins.]

Kyle
The excited little screams from the kids, especially the kindergarteners, turn into a little more nervous little screams as we hear this bubbling. Blub, blub, blub. And the ball pit in the center of the gymnasium starts bubbling up, and up, and up… until like a geyser it explodes and a series of colorful balls shoot up into the sky and start covering the entirety of the gymnasium.

Tom
Hilda uses her cape to shelter both herself and Booker, because she just assumes this is deadly.

Emily (as Booker)
[Scared.] Rekoob…

Ari
Quique thinks it’s some weird new addition to this Bring Your Job to School Day, so he’s just like, eh.

Hallie
Sparky gets out her camera.

Kyle
What does Irene do?

Emily
Irene hasn’t looked up from her pencils. Nothing around her is registering as she just continues to break her pencils.

Kyle
Sparky, roll me to Take Action. I want to see how effectively you take those pictures.

Tom
Oh god. Is this going to be some Danganronpa bullshit? “In this exact frame is the clue to the culprit’s whereabouts. Can you see it? The flash was turned on in this picture.”

[Music ends.]

Hallie
[Rolls.] Okay, so that’s a 9, but my Fierce is -2, so actually it’s a 7. But, because of my Can’t Learn Unless You Try ability, I get an AP every time I roll a stat I have a negative value in.

Tom
God damn it.

Kyle
So it’s a mixed success.

Hallie
Cool.

Kyle
You react slightly too late.

Hallie
Damn it.

Kyle
You’re taking pictures. You’re taking pictures. As you’re taking pictures, you notice a figure that is mysteriously not responding to the action.
[Ghostly credits music begins.]
You take one picture of that figure before the camera is covered up by the ball pit balls that rise higher and higher until, from the outside of the gymnasium, you can see nothing but the inside of a ball pit.

Hallie
I hate it.

[Music swells and carries out to the bloopers.]

Kyle
We’re gonna start by all introducing yourselves since the idea is that anyone can join in at the start of any adventure, any episode. So, it’ll be typical for example, “I’m Emily, they/she, and I play Irene Hawthorne, the Necromon Trainer who overextends.”

Ari
That’s not true.

Tom
This is a lie. You’re impersonating Emily Strawn.

Hallie
Yeah, what the fuck? That’s called identity theft and it’s not a joke.

Tom
[Laughs.]

Kyle
Fun fact. An idea I considered having here was Quique gets his identity stolen.

Hallie
[Laughs.]

Kyle
Now Freddie, Freddie is an enigma.
[01:00:00]
I pointed out to Hallie the other day that Freddie is a lot like—when I think of Freddie, and “would Freddie do this,” I think would David from Catching Up David do this. If so… then yes.

Emily
So, would David heckle an old man?

Hallie
He would not heckle an old man.

Tom
I don’t feel so.

Ari
Would he heckle himself? Because David truly is an old man.

Hallie
Yeah, no…

Kyle
That’s a good point. That’s a good point.

Hallie
He heckles himself all the time.

Tom
Have you guys ever heard the Bible story of Elijah getting heckled by some children and summoning bears from God to harass—?

[laughter.]

Ari
No.

Hallie
No!

Emily
What?!

Tom
There’s an actual chunk of the Bible where the prophet Elijah is going on this walk and these unspecified young people just start yelling at him. “Get out of here, baldy,” or something like that. So, he prays to the lord and three she-bears are sent down to devour the kids.

Ari
Holy shit!

Hallie
That’s the god I want to worship.

Ari
What an Emperor Valentinian move this is.

Tom
I will find it.

Ari
Female bears! It is just like Valentinian. It’s two female bears!

Tom
I’m so sorry, Kyle.

Hallie
Then he also killed 42 children.

Tom
Forty-two of the lads.

Hallie
Even though only the two were mocking him.

Tom
Anyway. Sorry, go ahead, Kyle.

Ari
You can continue now.