• Quest Friends!

Ep. 16: Hop's Memory, Part 1

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Cries of crime howl through a sleepy town. A hero grabs his stetson.

Listen as he:

BECOMES royalty!

CALCULATES beautiful music!

DISCOVERS a sinister lie!

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

[Calming, thoughtful, piano song plays.]

Kyle

Imagine your most important memory. It's not an easy task, for sure, and at first your mind might wander to weddings and funerals and graduations and all those other external checkpoints we use to measure our progress through life. But memories aren't just landmarks that we point to to showcase how far we've come. They're the foundation, the earthen rock upon which we build ourselves and our futures. And so it is, that our most important memory often isn't our most monumental date or the act that will cement us into history. It's instead the formative moment, the humble soil we used to nurture the seeds of our very being.

[Calming music continues with the addition of cello.]

Kyle

No ordinary man would face the Iron Wind.

[Horse neighs, hoofbeats, drum beats.]

[Whistled “Wild West” music plays.]

A screaming whirlwind of nanomachines from all nine worlds, the Iron Wind is the natural representation of the beyond, a tameless, relentless force that lays waste to anything foolish enough to stand in its way. As you make your way through this wind, the desert land around you convulsing into a wild patchwork of shapes, colors, and textures, your entire being protected only by a flickering bubble extending from a small piece of Numenera on your outstretched hand, you know one thing to be true for certain, Hopper: you are no ordinary man. For hours, your worn feet carry you through the storm before your hawk-like eyes spot an oasis, [An eagle screeches.] a rusted bar with worn paint spelling out "The Sleazy Seskii." Your weary hands press against the door, and your nervous ears twitch as the crowded masses of cowards and criminals inside turn silent. In front of you at the desk, the bartender turns with a start to you and says:

Kyle (as Bartender)

[Surprised.] Oh, well, hello there, uh, sir, how can I help you this fine evening?

Hallie (as Hopper)

One scotch. On the rocks.

Kyle

He grabs a moldy mug from from up top, drops in a large, large amount of Scotch, slides it over to you, and says:

Kyle (as Bartender)

You know I'm gonna be honest, sir, not a whole lotta folks come out in the Iron Wind. Gotta be something real special bringing ya out here.

Hallie

Before answering, Hopper takes the mug and downs the entire shot in one gulp, and then he slams the cup back on the counter and says:

Hallie (as Hopper)

I go where the Wind calls me.

Kyle (as Bartender)

A man who follows the wind's gotta be awfully dangerous himself. You wouldn't happen to be here for trouble, would you, Mister...?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hopper. Jameson Hopper. And I don't go lookin' for trouble. Trouble usually finds me.

Hallie

And then in one smooth motion, he's gonna slide the cup back to the bartender across the counter.

Kyle

You pick up the cup to slide over and as you do you hear a sharp ringing pierce your ears and your face gets a small slit as a shattered p—oh, I forgot to do my voice—as a shattered piece of the mug slides past your cheek, and the mug inside your hand explodes, and to your right, you see him, One-Eyed Joe.

[Dangerous, strumming music plays, then ends with a rattlesnake’s rattle.]

Kyle

Who actually has three eyes. The "one eye" is referring to the extra one on the top of his head. And he says:

Kyle (as One-Eyed Joe)

Hello, Hopper. Funny to be seeing you around here.

Hallie (as Hopper)

I wasn't done drinking yet, One-Eyed Joe. You want to pay for that drink?

Kyle (as One-Eyed Joe)

Aww, I'd say let's put it on your tab. You have enough on there already. Five men, last I heard.

Hallie

And then Hopper will say:

Hallie (as Hopper)

My tab's not closed yet.

Hallie

[Getting really excited.] And then he'll whip out his pistol and take a shot!

Kyle

[Laughter.] Gimme a roll.

Hallie

[Laughter.] Okay. I gotta get my dice out.

[Dice rolls.]

Ten.

[4:55.]

Kyle

Well, One-Eyed Joe has three eyes, so he's able to see a lot, and normally, he would be able to dodge anything, but since you are specialized in light weapons—

Hallie

Sure am.

Kyle

—your gun hits him square in the shoulder. And what does this gun look like?

Hallie

Um, this gun looks like a classic Western pistol—uh, revolver, sorry, not pistol—revolver, um, with the six barrels, but there's a seventh one in the middle and that's the special bullet hole that he shot the bullet out of, his lucky, his lucky seventh.

Kyle

Your lucky seven is pretty unlucky for Three-Eyed...I forgot his last name already.

Hallie

Joe. It's just Joe. [Laughter.] It's One-Eyed Joe.

Kyle

It's unlucky for One-Eyed Joe. [Laughter.]

Hallie

[Laughter.] You idiot.

Kyle

Your special shot is pretty unlucky for One-Eyed Joe as it tears through him, breaking off the ligaments, and his arm falls to the ground leaving just a stump behind. You both sit there panting for a moment. You know what happens next. You've collected nine of his arms by this point. And from the stump you see the ligaments start to bend themselves together and a new, more powerful man take its place. And he reaches forward and lifts you up by the throat as everyone in the room around you drops over their tables and lifts up their pistols.

Kyle (as One-Eyed Joe)

Looks like you're at the end of the line, Jameson Hopper. Any last words?

Hallie

Uh, Hopper will just smile from under the brim of his hat, which is currently aesthetically covering his eyes in shadow, and he'll say:

Hallie (as Hopper)

I was about to ask the same of you.

Hallie

And then he's gonna kick One-Eyed Joe straight in the nuts! ...Does he have those? [Laughter.] I hope so.

[Dramatic “Wild West” music begins again.]

Kyle

Your foot flies forward with the fury not seen by many ordinary men, but as we said in the introduction to this entire thing, you are no ordinary man. You get the picture. You hit him in the balls real hard, and he yells out in screeching horrible pain, and he turns to you and he says:

Kyle (as One-Eyed Joe)

Really? How dare you do that to me. I swear on all that is in the Beyond that I will destroy you. Men!

Kyle

[Snaps.] And he snaps his fingers.

Kyle (as One-Eyed Joe)

Kill that man. Kill Jameson—

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Simon?

Hallie (as Simon)

Ah!

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Simon are you still in there?

Kyle

So you look up from the book that you've been reading, young Simon. How old are you?

Hallie

I'm 12.

Kyle

And what are you reading?

Hallie

I am reading The Adventures of Jameson Hopper: Legendary Hero of the Beyond.

Kyle

You're jump-startled and you look from the book on your glass bed through the semi-opaque glass door, and you can see the fit shape of Dad Alvin standing outside, and terror shoots down your spine as you realize you've been reading this book for minutes, for hours, for days, you don't know how long, but you know that, um, while Dad Alvin will sit there 'til the end of time, your other dad, Dad Theo, probably won't be as patient.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Simon, are you in there? We gotta get ready for today.

Hallie (as Simon)

Uh, yeah, yeah, Dad, uh uh uh uh.

Hallie

And Simon was so engrossed in this legendary book that when his name was called he kinda dropped it a little bit and lost his page, so he's stuck between trying to hide the book, like, "no I wasn't goofing off," and trying to bookmark the page he was one, but he can't find it, so he's flipping though to make sure he can re-find the page.

Kyle

You keep flipping a lot. Your book has fallen from your glass bed, uh, kinda bounced off one of the glass walls and hit the glass carpeting— Do you get it? The entire building is made out of glass. That's--that's the gimmick. Did you get it?

Hallie

I get it.

Kyle

Okay. So you're on this, uh, cool glass floor flipping through your book as Dad Alvin keeps on banging on the walls.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

[Talking over Simon.] Simon, you can find—

Hallie (as Simon)

[Talking over Dad Alvin.] No, Dad, I just need to find, I just need to—

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

[Talking over Simon.] —the correct page of the book when you get downstairs.

Hallie (as Simon)

[Talking over Dad Alvin.] —oh there it is, there it is, uh, uh.

Hallie

And then I'll grab, like, a scrap of paper, or whatever I have around, to use as a bookmark, and I'll put the bookmark in, and then Simon will run out the door to greet his dad.

Kyle

You jump out the door, and you see the smiling face of Dad Alvin staring down at you, and he gives you a big hug, and he says:

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Come on, breakfast is almost done. You wanna catch it while it's hot, right?

Hallie (as Simon)

Uh, yeah, yeah.

Kyle

Uh, you walk arm in arm with Dad Alvin down the glass steps into the glass living room of this glass house—I will say "glass" as many times as I need to to get this idea across—and you see, wearing a big "Don't Kiss the Cook" apron, the larger, mustached figure of Dad Theo, who seems to be cooking grits. Again. It's a bit repetitive, but they are, as the normally humble Theo would say himself, "the best damn grits on the whole goddamn planet." Dad Theo's head turns down a little bit as you, uh, run down the stairs, and you just hear him kinda muffle to himself:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Was he reading the book again?

Hallie (as Simon)

Uhhh y—yeah, but Dad, Dad, it's real, I—It's really good. I mean, I, I didn't know—I can't tell if he, I mean—

Hallie

And then Simon will kinda collect himself. He's just--he's just so jazzed about this book he's reading, um.

Hallie (as Simon)

Do you know if Jameson Hopper was real?

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Well, I mean of course he—I mean he probably, uh, I mean he— We found it in the nonfiction section of the bookstore right? Right, Theo?

[9:58.]

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Yeah, that's also how we saw How to Raise a Dog. What the fuck is a dog?

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Theo play along, all right? He's very excited about this.

Kyle

Theo turns around, and you can see him kinda force a smile beneath his mustache.

Hallie

[Giggling.]

Kyle

He's trying really hard to look genuine, but he's a very, very bad liar.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Of course, Son. Of course...Jimmy Hooper was a real man.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Now who wants grits?

Kyle

He slides four great plates of grits onto the table. One for you, one for him, and two for Dad Alvin, who has already devoured one of the plates whole.

Hallie

Uh, Simon will take a bite of grit and then keep excitedly talking.

Hallie (as Simon)

[Mouth full.] Did you know that Jameson Hopper shot One-Eyed Joe in the shoulder, and it was really cool!

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Simon, you know it's not polite to call people by their physical features.

Hallie (as Simon)

The book did.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

I—the book did?

Kyle

Dad Alvin, you can see, gets this horrified look on his face, and he turns over to Dad Theo like:

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

What box of horrors have we opened?

Hallie

[Laughter.] Oh no.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

What does it say about women in that book? Oh no!

Kyle

Dad Theo doesn't really respond that much, he just takes another bite of grits, and he just coarsely says:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Aren't you supposed to be practicing for the performance today?

Hallie

Simon had completely forgotten about that, and at that he will freeze mid-bite of grit and then put the bite back down on his plate and go:

Hallie (as Simon)

Oh, do I--do I really have to?

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Well you signed up to help that girl's performance, and a man always keeps his word, and can always be dependable.

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah, but what if he never wanted to do it in the first place?

Kyle

Alvin lets out like a, uh, a laugh like--

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

[Horrified.] UH HEH!

Kyle

--of, like, just not being able to believe it, and then he sees your, your kinda sad face.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

You know it's always good to head out of our comfort zone. Isn't she a friend of yours?

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah. But I've--I've never played anything in front of anyone before.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Well, there's no better time to do it than the Sonnati Solstice.

Hallie (as Simon)

I think there's a lot of better times to do it than the Sonnati Solstice.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

I will have to agree with the boy on this one, but you signed up to do it, Son.

Hallie

Simon will groan--

Hallie (as Simon)

[Pouty, groaning whine.]

Hallie

--and, like, sit down in his chair a little bit and keep pushing the grits around.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Son.

Hallie

And then—

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Son.

Hallie

At that tone of voice, he'll sit up straight again.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Thank you, Son.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Oh come on, Simon, you know you're going to be great.

Kyle

Uh, and Dad Theo kinda gives a "meh" face at that.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

You've been practicing this harmonica--ca—you've been practicing your harmon—you've been practicing on your harmo—you've been practicing on your—thing—ever since, you know, your dad got it for you.

Hallie (as Simon)

Harmonicalculator.

Hallie

Then I'll look up at Theo and say:

Hallie (as Simon)

Thanks again, Dad. I do really like it. I'm just real nervous to play, is all.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Well, Son, I guess I have one question for you, then. If you fail, if you embarrass yourself in front of everyone and become a social pariah for the rest of your life, will it physically kill ya?

Hallie

At every addition to that, like “if you embarrass yourself and then become a social pariah,” Simon's cheeks will get a little bit redder, and now he looks, like, more afraid than he did before, and he'll squeak out:

Hallie (as Simon)

[In utter fear.] Probably not.

Kyle

He takes another bite of grits, and while chewing it points his fork to you and says:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

[Mouth full.] Exactly.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

And, hey, if it makes you feel better, your dad and I are going to be at the performance later today. We're gonna be checking out the sculpture gardens.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

[Protracted disgusted noise.]

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Oh come on, Your Majesty, you know you like it.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

[Disgusted noise.]

Hallie (as Simon)

"Your Majesty"?

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Your father got voted Sonnati King this year. He's gonna be standing out next to Miss Miller.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

But we hate Miss Miller.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Oh, she hates us.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

But this is our opportunity to fix that.

Hallie

Uh, Simon is looking at Theo and giggling into his juice.

Kyle

He's going to look at you. He's gonna glare, you know, like, those dad eyes?

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

He's gonna, like, glare at you with those for a second before realizing it's his issue, softening up a little bit, and turning over to Dad Alvin.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

I still don't get why they waste Sonnati on this. Our city is on an entire bed of unthawable ice, and instead of using it to, I don't know, create refrigeration, we use it to make sculptures once a year.

Kyle

Does Simon do anything?

Hallie

He looks deep in thought. This is the first time he's kinda thought about that. So he will say, um:

Hallie (as Simon)

We really only use it for the sculptures?

Kyle

Dad Alvin is gonna slap Dad Theo's shoulder, and he's gonna look over to you and say:

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Of course not, Son. We also use it for, uh, the winter portraits? Remember the caricature we got done last year?

Kyle

And he points up to this icy caricature on the wall of all of you as Angulan Knights.

Hallie

[Snort of laughter.]

Kyle

You and Theo both kind of shudder at this memory.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You see Dad Alvin just kind of like trying to number on his fingers the other thing that they use the Sonnati ice for.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

And...that's it. But that's a whole two things on top of cooling our town.

Hallie

Simon looks thoughtful again.

Hallie (as Simon)

I read a story about--about Jameson Hopper and how he took water to a town that didn't have any. Is there enough ice to share with other towns?

[14:54.]

Kyle

Dad Theo and Dad Alvin share a look. Dad Alvin tries to consolingly grab your arm, and you can see Dad Theo in the other corner, just, like, his mouth is curled up, and he's kinda giggling to himself a little bit at the idea of wasting this ice on other towns.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Like, who shares things outside of Dunshire? So he's just madly giggling to himself, and as Dad Alvin sees you turn your head to Dad Theo, who's just giggling to himself, he looks at you, and he looks up at the sun, and he says:

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Oh, well, look at the time. You're going to be late for the rehearsal if you don't head out soon.

Hallie (as Simon)

Ah!

Hallie

And Simon will shovel the rest of the grits in his mouth and then run out the door collecting his harmonicalculator, which is somewhere down there on the way out.

Hallie (as Simon)

Uh, bye, Dad!

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Son!

Hallie (as Simon)

Bye, Dad!

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Son!

Hallie (as Simon)

What?

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Your hat!

Hallie (as Simon)

Oh my ha—uh uh ohh ohhh [Disappointed.].

Hallie

And then he'll begrudgingly go get the stocking cap required of all children to wear in Dunshire.

Kyle

Which that would be up in your room, so you run upstairs, and you get this horrible, gaudy hat, and you see lying on the floor the Jameson Hopper book, and you know just how terrible today is gonna be and how boring it's gonna be—

Hallie

So I'm gonna take the book.

Kyle

All right, you run downstairs with the book, probably hiding it from your fathers.

Hallie

I'm trying to hide it, and I'm trying to move quickly to just get out of there.

Kyle

And you hear Dad Theo shout out:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Have a good day, son!

Kyle

Before turning over to Alvin and saying:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

At least tell me I don't have to talk to Joan. I really do not wanna talk to Joan.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Oh, it'll be fine.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

She tried to stab me once.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And with that, you run outside into the city of Dunshire.

[Playful music starts.]

A stone's throw from the Castle of Neverlost lies a small town seure in the shadow of its better-known neighbor. Its townsfolk care little for the trouble of the outside world, sleeping through the coup Ancuan, and responding to the marauding masses of the Pyranthion Empire by simply locking their doors at night, a good practice for any self-respecting citizen out on a regular evening. Jumper sweaters and jumper jeans carry playful children as they roam the wide streets and their parents watch from the doors, trading whispers of parental pride for details on the latest non-scandal.

This is Dunshire. It's your home, Simon, a secure, if sheltered, town that you've only left in your dreams. And today is the Sonnati Solstice. The biggest day of the year. The area Dunshire lives around is a surprisingly inhospitable one. Specifically, its winters are colder than most, and its summers are hotter than almost anywhere else in the Ninth World, but it happens to be built on Sonnati ice, a type of ice that, to our knowledge, cannot be thawed. It keeps Dunshire cool and habitable during the summer. It's very difficult to mine; you need specific Numenera and experience. So whatever is mined, needs to be kept very precious. It could be used to make lots of money, but the folks of Dunshire don't need that. They have everything they need, so they keep most of it in the ground and use what exists left for special purposes, the biggest one being the Sonnati Solstice, a way of basically saying "fuck you" to nature, but politely.

Children from around the town perform feats of considerable exertion and labor to demonstrate the town's resilience against the summer sun, and there's also a sculpture garden devoted to those considered significant to the people of Dunshire. It's...mostly pets, but in an attempt to kind of at least add a few people, each year, a king and queen from the town are crowned. This year, the Queen is Joan Miller, your horrendous next door neighbor, but the King—the King is the greatest man you've ever known. Well, one of the two. He's your dad.

[Playful music ends.]

You don't have a whole lot of time to savor the sights, though, because you have to run to the performance stage. Ironically it's the only thing in town not made out of ice or glass. Instead, it's made out of wood that's debating whether it wants to split in half along the many termite-ridden holes or, alternatively, catch on fire from the burning summer sun. It does get a new coat of paint each year, though, which is...nice. As you run forward you can see a crowd of identical uniforms kind of muddled around the short, squat Mayor, Julius Barnaby, who has his large pet rabbit, Amber, stretched across his entire shoulders and kind of laying like a very, very large cat, and he seems to be flipping through his notes calling off names.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Gene Roddenderry.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Gene)

Here.

Hallie

Why.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Rosemary Violet.

Kyle (as Rosemary)

Here.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Simon N. Simon.

Hallie (as Simon)

Here.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Hmm.

Kyle

He looks up from his clipboard and, uh, sees you kind of running, panting a little bit, sweating profusely 'cuz you had to run as fast as you could to get here.

Hallie

Great.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

[Judgmentally.] I expected better from royalty.

Kyle

And he looks down and he, uh, says:

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Beatrice Stillwater. Beatrice Stillwater. BEATRICE STI—Well, I don't know what else you would expect from outsiders.

Kyle

And he raises a pen to cross off the name as you hear a fair voice call out:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Just one second, I'm here!

Kyle

And as that voice calls out, you turn around and watch a familiar swirl of dust glide effortlessly towards your group before coming to a smooth stop. As the dirt settles into the ground, you make out the shape of a girl a few years older than you standing confidently in flashy rollerblades and openly facing Mayor Barnaby. She sneaks a glance at you and smiles.

[20:11.]

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Well, hello there, Miss Stillwater. I thought you were going to abandon us for good, just like all the other towns.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Oh, Julius, you know I wouldn't miss this for the world.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Riiight.

Hallie

Uh, Simon physically blanches at the fact that she just referred to the Mayor by his first name. Like, wow, that is some—I wanna say "balls," but I don't wanna say "balls," 'cuz that's gender coded.

Kyle

"Cojones" are—no, "cojones" just mean "balls."

Hallie

Cojones? Well, they do, but they could apply.

Kyle

Guts. That's some guts.

Hallie

That's some guts, there you go. That is, like, he is impressed by the guts. It should also be noted that when the Mayor was calling her name all those times, he was looking around expectantly, hoping that she was there, and then he was disappointed when it seemed like she wasn't, and then he visibly brightened when she showed up.

Kyle

Mm hmm. Mayor Barnaby goes down and continues shouting out names. Beatrice just kind of subtly slides over to you and whispers:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Sorry I kept you waiting.

Hallie (as Simon)

I thought you weren't coming.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Aw, c'mon, dude, I promised. I never break my promises.

Hallie

Ah, he'll just shrug.

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah.

[Pleasant, emotional music starts.]

Kyle

This is Beatrice Stillwater. She's a bit of an anomaly in your town, which is usually secluded and off to herself, but she is an adventurer a couple years older than you. About 15. She's been exploring towns since she can remember, first with her family and then off by herself. She's kind of an open book, so basically everyone in the town knows this, whether they want to or not. Mostly because anyone she didn't tell, Joan Miller went out of the way to tell for her, and Beatrice was your freedom. When told the he had to commit an act of extreme exhau—exertion or labor, Hop really didn't have anything on hand, but Beatrice just around that time rolled into town and said—she pointed out that she was a performer who needed musical accompaniment. Why did you agree to do that, if you're so nervous about performing?

Hallie

To Simon, Beatrice represents the outside that he has been wondering about his entire life, 'cuz he grew up in Dunshire, and he really likes to read, ergo the Jameson Hopper book, so when she came rolling in on these roller skates that he had never seen before, he was...enamored, and he really likes talking to her and hearing about where she's been and what she's done, and he wants to be as cool as her one day--

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

--so if he has to perform a task that forces him to exert himself in a way he doesn't want to, it may as well be for Beatrice.

Kyle

Yeah, and you have a little cute smile—

Hallie

Mm hmm.

Kyle

—thinking about that.

Hallie

Sure do.

Kyle

And then were going to flash forward a little bit. You're now on the back of the stage. The person in front of you is practicing her performance, and you and Beatrice are kind of getting ready for your portion of the performance. What—what is the, like, song and little, like, rollerblade dance that she's gonna do alongside the song. What's that called?

Hallie

"The Pythagorean Rhythm."

Kyle

What—explain "The Pythagorean Rhythm."

Hallie

[Laughter.] All right, so, Simon has an instrument. It is one-of-a-kind. It's called a harmonicalculator, which you play like a harmonica, sideways, blowing into the air holes, um, but you also play it like a calculator where you press the buttons to make the tunes go. And he was just messing around with it, and he happened to enter in the numbers that add to the Pythagorean Theorem, a squared plus b squared equals c squared, and it made kind of a cool tune, so he wrote a song based on the Pythagorean Theorem that he calls "The Pythagorean Rhythm" only because "Pythagorhythm" just sounds too short, but he did consider that name as well.

Kyle

It, uh, it's also very appropriate because the Pythagorean Theorem talks about right triangles, which have right angles. Right angles are also used...to make squares.

All

Ohhhhhhhh.

Kyle

[Laughter.] I'm mocking a 12-year-old.

Hallie

[Laughter.] Good for you.

Kyle

Fictional 12-year-old.

Hallie

Feel real good about yourself?

Kyle

It, it took—it took Beatrice a while to wrap her way around it, but she was able to make a way to make this very static, frankly boring song--

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

--turn into an actually, like, fluid and exciting-looking dance. You two have been practicing along. It's been a little awkward, but she's been very flexible in working with you, so this is right before your essentially practice performance. Uh, what are you going to be doing during this time?

Hallie

This is before the practice or before the performance?

Kyle

Uh, this is before the practice performance. The, like, dress rehearsal.

Hallie

Okay, so, I'm gonna be tuning my harmonicalculator and then gonna turn to Beatrice.

Hallie (as Simon)

Are you nervous?

Kyle

She turns over and smiles and seems to look right through you and says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well, it seems like you are. What's up?

Hallie

Uh, Simon is torn between considering Beatrice a good enough friend to be like, "I'm nervous," but also not wanting to appear nervous in front of Beatrice, world-renowned traveler at age 15 who glides everywhere on sick-ass roller skates, so he's gonna take a second to think about what he wants to say, and then he's gonna squeak out:

Hallie (as Simon)

[Awkwardly.] No?

Hallie

And then he'll, like, sag a little bit and say:

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah, I've, I've, I've never really played in front of anyone. Just my dads. And you.

[25:00.]

Kyle (as Beatrice)

It's all right to be scared, dude. I'm scared all the time, and hey, three people isn't nothing. That's three people, and I mean, you can't perform on anyone more strange than I am.

Hallie (as Simon)

I guess, but I think I'd rather perform on someone as strange as you. Everyone's just kind of so judgy here. I always feel like I'm doing something wrong.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well, someone makes you feel like you're always doing wrong, the only person who's wrong is them. Hey, what's that?

Kyle

And you see that she has pointed to your book, which you have carelessly set to your side.

Hallie

[Raspberry laughing noise.] Stupid Simon. He will visibly brighten that she has noticed the book and then say:

Hallie (as Simon)

Oh, well, you know, a while ago I went to the library, and, and there was this book, and it was a history book, and um, there was this guy, and his name was Jameson Hopper, and I'm already on chapter 12, and he's just really cool, you know. He, he kinda reminds me of you.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

You don't say? I remind you of the great Jameson Hopper?

Hallie (as Simon)

Do you know him?

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Absolutely not.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Beatrice)

But if he's anything like you describe him, he sounds awesome.

Hallie (as Simon)

Oh, he is. He's, he travels around, you know, everywhere, like you do, and, and, and he stops and he helps people in towns and I, I, I mean, I dunno if you've ever, like, stopped and helped people in a town, but, but I'm sure happy you're here, so you kinda helped me, so yeah, he, he kinda reminds me of you, and I dunno, I wanna be like that someday, I think.

Kyle

She gives you a smile but still looks a little weird. She's admired by your enthusiasm, but there also seems to be a little bit of this almost pity, which doesn't really make a whole lot of sense

Hallie

I mean…

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You hear Mayor Barnaby curtly say out:

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

The stranger Beatrice Stillwater and Prince--

Hallie

[Raspberry laughing noise.]

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

--Simon Simon.

Hallie

Did not realize I got that title. [Laughing.] I hate it so much.

Kyle

He, he, he's looking at these note cards which he seems to be writing in as he does it—

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Tonight the stranger and the prince will be performing the "Pythagorhythm," whatever that is, a "song"—

Kyle

And you can see him put up his hands for finger quotes.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

—and "dance"—

Kyle

More finger no—quotes.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

—that will be sure to stimulate your senses and make you feel nice and cool. And certainly make you forget the sculpture gardens, which are not remarkable at all, and you have no reason to be there. I mean why make some two people king and queen, you got a perfectly good king and perfectly good queen here.

Kyle

And he points to himself and points to Amber.

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

But regardless, please welcome the kids.

Kyle

From behind stage, you hear the other kids reluctantly clapping 'cuz they were told to.

Hallie

Right. [Laughter.]

Kyle

You can tell which ones are reluctantly clapping for you and which ones are a little less reluctantly clapping for Beatrice, and Beatrice turns around to you and says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

All right, dude, are you ready?

Hallie (as Simon)

Uh, yeah.

Hallie

Can I, like, raise my hand to try to get Mayor Barnaby's attention?

Kyle

Uh, you are behind the curtain, so—

Hallie

Oh, I didn't realize it wasn't open yet. Well, then, never mind. I just won't do that.

Kyle

You see your eyes start to, like, become less clear as, just, beads of sweat are, like, clogging up your eyes, and it's less from the sun and more from nerves.

Hallie

Right.

Kyle

And Beatrice looks at you and says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Hey, dude, you--you feeling all right? I don't need you to die on me out there.

Hallie

Simon will nod. He's a little embar— He feels like he overshared a little bit when he was just so excited about, about the book and he wanted to know that Jameson reminded him of Beatrice. So he is going to try to appear more stoic than he feels, and he'll just nod and give her a thumbs-up.

Kyle

She gives you a thumbs-up, and she says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

All right, before we go out there, I want you drink this.

Kyle

And she pulls from the ground a, uh, glass of water and from her, I'm gonna say from her hair, 'cuz that's silly, she pulls out two ice cubes, and she, uh, drops them into the water, like:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

We gotta make sure to keep cool.

Kyle

And she hands the water to you and I, I should explain that having ice is not irregular. Like, there's Sonnati ice, and then there's regular ice in Dunshire. Dunshire does have both. That's what makes it extremely infuriating that it uses Sonnati ice only for the sculptures, because it has to import actual ice--

Hallie

[Laughter.] God.

Kyle

--from other areas for its other purposes.

Hallie

What a waste of resources.

Kyle

So she drops two perfect cubes of ice inside this glass of water and she hands it to you.

Hallie (as Simon)

Uh, thanks.

Hallie

He'll drink it. He's thirsty. It's hot.

Kyle

You take a big gulp. What do you do with the glass when you're done with it?

Hallie

Oh God, um, put it, like, out of the way, where there's no way I could trip on it, or she could trip on it, or anything bad could happen, like, like, to the side, like, by, like, the steps that would come up from backstage to the stage.

Kyle

Okay. As you walk out on stage, I have a GM Intrusion for you.

Hallie

No.

Kyle

You only get one point. It doesn't go to anyone else. Wanna give the other point to Beatrice?

Hallie

Sure, why not.

Kyle

As you go— Yeah, and you are very—you are very smart of putting the cup of glass to the side. You saw right through me. What you didn't anticipate was my need to embarrass poor young Simon. So as you walk, some of the water that you had been drinking kind of pooled on the ground beneath you, and you start to slip on it, and you fall into Beatrice.

Hallie

Nooooo.

Kyle

And I need you to roll Speed Defense to not just flop on outside of there.

[30:03.]

Hallie

Speed Defense! I don't know what my stats are, 'cuz I'm 12.

[Dice rolling.]

Eh, 8.

Kyle

You slip, and you flop. You and Beatrice flop right on over. You grab on to her shoulders.

Hallie

Nooooo.

Kyle

And you both come careening downwards, but suddenly you're still moving horizontally, but you're not on the ground, yet. Instead, you're spinning clockwise, and you see Beatrice basically take the momentum—

Hallie

Right.

Kyle

—and spin you around like when you lift up a kid by the arms and just start spinning—

Hallie

Right.

Kyle

—them around in, like, a little helicopter—

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

—elegantly spin you around before setting you to the ground and finishing this very classy, uh, spin and like, having a little bow.

Hallie

Are the curtains open yet?

Kyle

You did this while coming out.

Hallie

God damn it.

Kyle

So you basically tripped on top of her—

Hallie

All right.

Kyle

—while you were coming out through the curtains, and then she spun around and, like, kinda set you down, and you're trying to keep your footing.

Hallie

Simon is gonna pretend that was planned. He's kinda wobbling, having been set down by Beatrice, and he'll just stand there for a second, as if that was choreographed, and then he'll, like, collect himself and just take his harmonicalculator out of his pocket and just start going for it.

Kyle

Before you start playing, Mayor Barnaby looks back to you and says:

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Each student is given three minutes for performance. You have used up five of those seconds. Everyone, enjoy.

Kyle

And Beatrice says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

We are the Prince and the Stranger, and we will be performing "The Pythagorean Rhythm."

Kyle

She looks back at you as, as a kind of, like, "that's the, that's the name, right?"

Hallie

He nods.

Kyle

She gives you a smile and wink.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Mister Prince, please?

Hallie

And then he will blow the first note of "The Pythagorean Rhythm."

Kyle

You blow the first note, and the second—

Hallie

No.

Kyle

—you blow it, a loud crying howl screeches out from the gardens and continues to wail, and all the kids and Mayor Barnaby jump up and look towards it, and there's a beat, and they all bolt.

[Menacing, dramatic mystery music plays.]

Kyle

Hi, and welcome to the episode break for episode 16 of Quest Friends!, the first of a two-parter mini-arc called "Hop's Memory." I'm Kyle, your GM, and I've got a thing or two to talk to you about.

The first is a bit of a clarification that I realize might be unclear in the episode itself. So, early in the episode, Simon's dads were talking about the performance that was going on today. The performance Simon's dads were referring to was the dress rehearsal, so present day in-story is the dress rehearsal, and then tomorrow in-story will be the actual performance performance, and the entire Sonnati Solstice festival.

As usual, I've got a call to action for you this week. This is another one to just tell your friends to tell a look at Quest Friends! We don't really have the money to do a lot of advertising, and because we're gonna have about a month before we really get into the next arc, now is the perfect time for your friends to get caught up on that backlog of 15 and now 16 episodes that we have.

One last thing I almost forgot about. Our intro song is "One Way Home" by White Sand, and our outro song is "Hitoshio" by Miracle of Sound. That's really all I got for you, though. Our next episode will release on Monday, June 11th, and I will see you, as always, then.

[Dramatic mysterious music starts again and then ends.]

Hallie

The wail will surprise Simon enough that the note turns into like a [Screeching sound.] and then he’'l just stop. Like, it was a good note, and then it wasn't.

Kyle

All right, so everyone gets up and runs. Mayor Barnaby for the gardens, and the kids for everywhere else, 'cuz they realize Mayor Barnaby is preoccupied--

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

--and they can get out of here early.

Hallie

No one wants to do this.

Kyle

What does Simon do?

Hallie

He's really curious about the scream. He's gonna run towards it. Well, he's gonna, um, breathe a sigh of relief that he doesn't have to play his harmonicalculator, and he'll put it back in his pocket, and then look towards Beatrice, actually, to see what she's gonna do.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well c'mon. A prince has to keep care—take care of his kingdom right?

Kyle

And she starts rollerblading off.

Hallie

All right, I'm gonna follow her.

[34:53.]

Kyle

You go through this really, really gaudy sculpture garden. You run past probably five of the same aneen, and then six of a different aneen, and you eventually make it to this main kind of gazebo performance area.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

And you see a couple of people there. In the back, you see Joan Miller, this, like, spindly, spidery woman with a large smile on her face. You see Mayor Barnaby kind of looking frantically at everyone, and you see Alvin screaming and crying, clutching on to the headless corpse of the ice statue of King Theo, and he just yells out:

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

My husband! My husband!

Kyle

And as he does that, actual real Theo is just patting Alvin on the shoulder.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

How could this have happened. They can't melt.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

I don't know. Maybe his heart was so pure it melted through the sheen.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And he turns over to you. He says:

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Simon, what are you doing here? You can't see this. This is too horrific to watch.

Hallie

Simon's just going to ignore that parental command and say:

Hallie (as Simon)

What happened?

Kyle

Theo's going to turn over to you and very calmly say:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

My head melted off.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And sure enough, you can see that there is a stump where the Sonnati sculpture of King Theo should have been, and you can see that stump is starting to drip a little bit, and there's just a pool of water beneath it.

Hallie

And the head is nowhere to be found.

Kyle

The head is nowhere to be found, because as non-King Theo said about King Theo, "my head melted off." [Laughter.]

Hallie

Right.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Well, what are we going to do? The Solstice is tomorrow.

Hallie (as Simon)

Could we just not have a sculpture?

Kyle

Everyone turns over to you and you hear, "That is a—" And you hear three voices say, "Brilliant," and one voice say "Horrific idea,"--

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

--and I think you can guess which is which. And then Theo just turns over:

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Honey, I'm right here. I'll be fine.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

How can you be fine...when you're dead?

Hallie

Simon's gonna go up to his dads and— How much would Simon know about, like, the process of harvesting Sonnati ice, because—

Kyle

He's 12. He's 12. He's 12 goddamn years old.

Hallie

Right, but, the— He lives in a town that's— Well, he also didn't know that that was the only use, so I guess it makes sense he would ask this very dumb question that is sure to get him yelled at, which is:

Hallie (as Simon)

Can't we just make another sculpture before tomorrow, if its so important?

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

[Scoffs.] Make another? In a day?

Kyle

Joan pipes in:

Kyle (as Joan Miller)

I adhere to only the highest of standards, and if I have to be seen next to him, it should be a proper rendition of his disgusting face.

Kyle (as Dad Theo)

Quality over quantity, Son.

Hallie (as Simon)

Well, we could just not have sculptures of the King and Queen this year.

Kyle

Joan gasps.

Joan

Who do you think you are? You Simons are all the same.

Kyle

And Dad Alvin turns over:

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Joan? I want you to take that back right now.

Kyle (as Joan Miller)

I'm just saying what I think.

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Joan, I want you to listen to me. You can say that about me, I can handle it. You can say that about my husband, because he doesn't give a shit.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

You stay away from our son.

Hallie

[Happily.] Aww, Daddos!

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

Well, come on, Alvin, just because you're jealous you're not up there as royalty—

Kyle (as Dad Alvin)

Oh, come on, Julius, you know you're the one that's jealous here—

Kyle

And the adults start bickering amongst each other, and Beatrice finally pipes in, says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Oh, uh, excuse me.

Kyle

And they all just hush up, and she says:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well, I mean, we still have the performance tomorrow, and Dunshire is a great town. So, like, like, if I've learned anything about this town is that it's, it's resilient and has a good community, and I think if we just bond together around the performance, everyone will be fine.

Kyle

And they all say in unison— No, that's too mean.

Hallie

What were they going to say?

Kyle

They were gonna say, "Fuck you."

Hallie

[Laughter.] To a child.

Kyle

They all say in unison, "No it isn't." And the Mayor says:

Kyle (as Mayor Barnaby)

But, but, as, as wrong as the girl is, she's right. We should calm down, and come back to this later, okay? Okay.

Kyle

And what do you do as the adults scatter to the side?

Hallie

Once they started just straight up bickering with each other, I started ignoring them, and I'm studying the ice sculpture.

Kyle

So, the adults leave, and Beatrice slides up next to you.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

I dunno, something just doesn't feel...right about this. I mean, you said Sonnati couldn't be melted, right?

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah, it can't. Or I've always believed that.

Kyle

She kinda feels the stump a little bit. There's water dripping from where the head melted, and there's a puddle on the ground.

Hallie

Does the ice itself show any signs of some of it being missing? Like, 'cuz when it melts there's usually, like, kinda like candle wax, you know? Like, the shape starts to demorph because it's melting. Does the ice look like that?

Kyle

No.

[Jazzy, mysterious detective music starts.]

Kyle

It is a clean cut at the head.

Hallie

Simon will point this out. He'll say:

Hallie (as Simon)

You know, if the ice was melting, I'd kind of expect it to look—melty? It doesn't look like there's anything missing from the sculpture itself to make the water.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Hmm. What was that you said about heroes going into towns and helping people?

Hallie (as Simon)

That heroes go into towns, and they help people?

Kyle (as Beatrice)

How would you...like to be a hero?

Hallie

Simon is, is crouching by the ice sculpture at the moment and, like, looking up at her. He'll really think about it for a second.

Hallie (as Simon)

Me?

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well, yeah, you. I mean, come on, Simon, the adults aren't gonna do anything and you've already cracked the first clue.

[40:01.]

Hallie (as Simon)

I have?

Kyle (as Beatrice)

I got an idea. You and I spend the next couple of hours collecting evidence, then we meet back here, we find the culprit, we stop them, and we save the Sonnati Solstice.

Hallie

Simon will kinda, like, look back down at the ice sculpture.

Hallie (as Simon)

Do you think we could do it?

Kyle (as Beatrice)

I've been around to a lot of places, dude, and I know one thing. If there's anyone who can crack this case, I haven't met someone who can do it better than Simon N. Simon. Oh, I forgot, if we go around looking for clues, we can't use our real names. That'd be too obvious.

Kyle

She’s gonna like click her tongue a little bit.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

What if, what if, what if we use code names?

Hallie (as Simon)

Code names?

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Yeah, code names. Every hero has to have one. Like the Prince and the Stranger, except...everyone already knows those names. What if we use names from your book?

Hallie (as Simon)

Oh!

Hallie

And he'll open the book to the page that has been marked with the bookmark, and he'll say:

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah, that could work, 'cuz I don't think anybody really cares about this book besides me.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Oh, come on, dude, nobody cares about it except you...and me.

Kyle

And then she's gonna realize that was actually really offensive and be like:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Sorry, sorry, I didn't mean it like that.

Hallie

Simon will shrug and he'll say:

Hallie (as Simon)

It's just that I don't really know anyone else who likes history, so all I meant was that it's unfamiliar, you know?

Kyle

She's already picked up the book and is flipping through it a little bit. Or, actually, she's gonna sit down. She's gonna be like:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Tell me about it. Who's in it?

Hallie (as Simon)

Uh, well, there's Jameson Hopper, and, and then there's One-Eyed Joe, he's his arch nemesis. They've met in a, in a, in a few towns, and they really duked it out, but Jameson Hopper wins every time, but that, that, that's beside the point.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well, in that case, I think we've found your new name, Hopper.

Hallie

[Laughter.] Ohhh, Simon will blush again, and some of the blushing is because it's so damn hot out. It's, like, impossible to have a face that does not look like you're blushing.

Kyle

Okay.

Hallie

[Sheepish.] Shhhhhhhhyyyep. [Laughter.]

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah, I could be Hopper.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

And I'll grab this— You said his name was Joe?

[Outro music begins.]

Hallie (as Simon)

Yeah. Joe.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

You said he was a bad guy.

Hallie (as Simon)

Mmm hmm.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Nobody's gonna suspect I'm a bad guy, right?

Hallie (as Simon)

That's good thinking, Joe.

Kyle (as Beatrice)

No, wait, you're already ahead of me. All right, meet here in a couple hours?

Hallie

He nods.

Kyle

And she's gonna like stand up straight, right, and she's gonna do a little salute and be like:

Kyle (as Beatrice)

Well, it is an honor serving with you, Hopper.

Hallie

Simon will salute her back.

Hallie (as Simon)

See you soon, Joe.

[Outro music swells and fades.]

Hallie

Question. Has she worn the roller skates before? Is that a thing that Simon knew?

Kyle

Yes, she wears them all the time. Uh, but you could, you could still be surprised by it, and she'd be like, dude, I wear them all the time.

Hallie

No, no, it doesn't— I wanted to be like, "What are those?" Like the me—

Kyle

No. No.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Get out.

Hallie

[Laughing harder.]

Kyle

Get out.

Hallie

[Laughter.] Okay I can't—

Kyle

You're too White to make that joke.

Hallie

[Laughter.] What are those?

[Episode ends - 42:49.]

21 views

Follow Us!

  • Facebook Basic
  • Black Tumblr Icon
  • Twitter Basic

Numenera and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC. Content derived from Monte Cook Games publications is © 2013-2017 Monte Cook Games, LLC. Read the full disclaimer here.​

Intro/Outro music by MiracleOfSound

Intro: "Friends" (YouTube, Bandcamp)

Outro: "Hitoshio" (YouTube, Bandcamp)