• Quest Friends!

Ep. 23: Questionable Measures, Part 5

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

She's here.

Listen as our heroes:

EVALUATE their kidnapped status!

DOUSE a non-existent flame!

MAKE a deal with the devil!

Content Warning: Robot slavery

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

Previously, on Quest Friends


[Opening theme, “Friends” by Miracle of Sound, begins.]


Ari (as Misha)

What is hopscotch?


Kyle

Very, very faintly, you hear something about an accountant who had some terrible incident in the icy desert to the south.


Tom (as Xoc)

We’ve all done terrible things. Well, maybe not Hopper Scotch.


Hallie (as Hopper)

This is called a pinky promise. When you connect your pinkies like this and shake them, it’s more important than a regular promise.


Kyle (Lorraine)

I promise you that once you get out there, if you ever need a partner, I’ll be there. And remember, I never break my promises. So the next time we see each other, and trust me, I promise, we will see each other again, you can call me … Lorraine.


[Opening theme intensifies.]


Kyle (as Various Advertisers)

[Gruffly] Come one, come all, to the Magnificent Steven’s Fortune Telling!

[Sleepily] Take it slow with Charlie’s Sleepy Flapjack Blackjack.

[Whimsically] Madame Citrine pulls your fate from all possibilities!

[Aggressively] And in every possibility you’ll lose! In Gordon’s Gambling Games.


[Chaotic music begins.]


Kyle

The voices of future seers and high stakes gamblers just assault your ears from the moment you step into the Land of Tomorrow, Roulettia’s destination for making it, and then immediately breaking it. Let me ask you a question: What’s your favorite color? Just kidding, it doesn’t matter! Because you’ve seen all of them on this trip. Billboards, posters, flailing men with processed skin—Roulettia is abuzz with excitement for...something. But despite the world crumbling around you and in energized glee, Xoc and Misha, you continue to follow Mac towards a wide, wooden structure covered by a ring-shaped rippling dome. With each step you take, the violence of the vibrations in the ground beneath you grow. This is a pretty lengthy walk. You’re basically going from all the way from Piper’s Pit, which is on the western side of Roulettia, to the eastern side, which is where the Land of Tomorrow is. So because we’re not one of those shows where someone’s like, let me tell you something, and then you fast forward to 20 minutes later and they start telling you, have you done anything? Have you talked to Mac at all or talked to yourselves or done anything during this trip?


Ari

I guess while we walk, Misha is going to ask Mac:


Ari (as Misha)

So, how much do you know about this city, Beacon of the Law?


Kyle

[Exhales smoke.] Mac takes another cigarette, pulls it out, throws it to the ground, and pulls another one out of their mouth and says:


Kyle (as Mac)

Well I can tell you one thing, kid: Nobody’s going to pick up that cigarette. [Exhales smoke]. Roulettia might look nice and glamorous, but it’s got a seedy underbelly. But unlike most seedy underbellies, these seeds have already sprouted into beautiful flowers that have then taken over the whole city. [Exhales smoke.]


Ari (as Misha)

Misha is going to lean and pick the cigarette that Mac threw—


Kyle

[Laughter].


Ari

And say:


Ari (as Misha)

Well, you don’t seem to know too much about this city, as someone picked up this cigarette after all.


Tom (as Xoc)

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!


Tom

Xoc does that in character by the way.


Everyone

[Laughter]


Kyle (as Mac)

You two got spirit, I can see why the boss wants to talk to you. But, don’t get any bright ideas. [Exhales smoke]. Too many good-seekers have found themselves dead. But not Roulettia dead—permanent dead.


Ari

Misha is just going to nod and proceed to take the rest of the things that Mac says with a grain of salt, as they have lost their trust in their abilities to know things.


Kyle

[Laughs] Which is incredible, because I don’t think Misha had any trust in Mac to begin with.


Ari

That is true. So they have even less now, like, negative five.


Kyle

It’s was almost like, Mac, you were like nah, but then the giant neon sign behind Mac with flashing arrows saying “The plot is here” is what, you’re like, oh, okay, we can trust that.


Tom

Well, you know.


Ari (as Misha)

I believe maybe their boss knows something about the Jagged Dream. I don’t know if they personally know anything about it.


Tom (as Xoc)

That’s a good point, Misha Jarvis


Tom

I’m just retconning that to be like, in our heads, with our mental connection.


Ari

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Kyle

I just assume that everything you two say is between your fuckin’ heads. I assume like, you’re the two who are at dinner together. The two kids who are just texting each other on their phones even though everyone is literally around them.


Ari

Basically.


Tom

Look, we are the two kids who are sitting right next to each other texting each other because there are people around who may or may not be trying to kidnap us. And we don’t want to say things like “where’s the nearest exit” out loud.


Kyle

Hey, if Mac is trying to kidnap you, I think you can consider yourselves already kidnapped.


Hallie

That’s true.


Tom

Oh, alright.


Ari

But to be fair, we also sometimes speak like that in front of non-dangerous contexts. But--


Tom

[Whispering] Shh, shh, it’s fine.


[4:58]


Ari

In any case, Misha is going to tell Xoc:


Ari (as Misha)

Uhh, yeah. I am also curious if the boss of the Beacon of the Law knows something about me and my role in this city.


Tom (as Xoc)

That’s a good point. We may find something there. I’m not sure what, but ehh, if they’re evil, we can escape.


Ari (as Misha)

We are more than capable of taking them down.


Ari

And they’re going to look at Xoc confidently.


Kyle

What could possibly go wrong? Alright, do you say anything else?


Tom

Xoc is good for now, he’s still processing things.


Ari

Misha is going to store the cigarette that they picked kind of to like, show it to Mac if they say anything cocky.


Kyle

Okay, can you roll a D—roll me a D20.


[Dice roll.]


Ari

Six.


Kyle

Okay, so during the journey from that conversation to your destination, you pick up a total of six cigarettes.


Ari

Amazing.


Kyle

So you continue the walk and eventually you make your way to this wide structure which you can now see is open to the public via a large archway simply labeled “Aneen Races.” However, instead of entering the race track, Mac instead leads you around the outside wall of the structure. And they end up placing their hand on the wooden boards above a modest plaque engraved with the words “Questionable Measures.”


[Noirish music begins.]


As their hand rests against the wall, a door sized plank rotates upwards, and then that allows entrance into a small room. Mac motions for you to go inside.


Tom

And Xoc will.


Ari

Yeah, same.


Kyle

Just instantly Xoc, instantly water starts to stream down your stinging eyes, because you struggle to see through the smog that’s just filling Questionable Measures’ main lobby. Misha, you also feel some soot sneaking through the few small cracks in your exterior and settling on your wires, but for the most part, slits of light from the badly put together wooden walls cut through the smoke so that you can get a basic idea of the room. And it is small … very, very small. The vibrations from the race track echo through the quaking walls, and it sounds like you’re in the middle of a stampede you just can’t see. Behind a desk in front of you sits a seaweed colored visitant with muscular skin dotted with a patchwork quilt of blood-stained weapons and clothing. His face is completely blank, with the notable exception of a large mouth that splits into four sharply-fanged mandibles. And despite this very blank face, you can easily tell his excitement as he stands up and says:


Kyle (as Visitant)

Oh, hey, uhhh, welcome to Questionable Measures! My, uhh, my name is Regular Bob, how can I help you today?


Tom

Silence is a valid option.


Ari

Misha is going to ask:


Ari (as Misha)

Are you their boss?


Ari

And point at Mac.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Oh, me? Ah, haha.


Kyle

He looks at Mac.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Ah, Mx. Aroni, you compliment me way too much. No, uhhhh, I’m just the uhh, secretary here.


Ari (as Misha)

Where is their boss?


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Oh, Ms. Stiles? Uhh, she’s, uhh, upstairs. Hey, Mx. Aroni, are these uhh two kids the ones Ms. Stiles wanted to see?


Kyle

And Mac is going to blow another puff and say:


Kyle (as Mac)

C’mon, Bob, you know we don’t have anyone in here unless they need something or we need something from them. Although to be honest in Roulettia [exhales smoke] is there really a difference?


Kyle (As Regular Bob)

Well, uhh, I mean, I would say so. On this form, we’ve got two columns. One, uhh, says “People Who Need Stuff,” and then one says, uhh, “Volunteers.”


Tom (as Xoc)

Volunteers for what?


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Well, you know, Questionable Measures. We’re, uhh, law and order in this lawless town. We kind of uhh, you know, we just take care of the little guy, stuff like that, get into big scraps. Of course, ehh, none big enough for me.


Tom (as Xoc)

Those sound like euphemisms for fighting.


Kyle

[Laughter].


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Oh, well yeah, no, I didn’t mean that. Uh, yeah, we fight. We, uhh, we fight those who are up to no good, you know? That kind of stuff. But uhh, again, nothing too exciting.


Kyle

Uh, and as he says that, both of you realize something about him that is very alarming, because he’s been alluding a couple of times to how there are fights not big enough. And it hits you that this man who calls himself Regular Bob is a species of visitant, which is what we call alien, called a Rorathik.


[Dramatic choral music begins.]


Not much is known about the Rorathik. You know, they’re kind of scattered about. But one thing that they’re infamous for is that they have a very unhealthy addiction to kills of glory. And what that essentially means is that every person they kill needs to be a bigger threat than the last. So they’ll start by, you know, animals, then maybe more aggressive animals, then eventually they start upgrading to humans and visitants. Eventually to the point where the only way to satiate this is by defeating legendary heroes. And Bob, I mean, depending on what you think of Roulettia, he seems to think that he’s kind of exceeded what Roulettia can offer.


[Dramatic choral music fades out.]


Oh, it’s just a bit of knowledge, just hits you, just casually, as this guy is just like smiling, he’s got his hands on his hips, you know, in that super unintimidating way.


[9:53]


Ari

Misha is going to look at him and say:


Ari (as Misha)

Look, I will go straight to the matter: I heard that your boss has something to say to us. Is your boss willing to come and say it to us? Otherwise I do not see the point of us staying in such a bizarre and non-welcoming place.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Well, you know, I figured we’d wait for the rest of you.


[Dramatic music begins.]


Kyle

And as he says that, the flap behind you opens, and you see walk in a man with dark, brown sunglasses and a faint birthmark that slowly drips down from beneath one of the lenses. And in his hands, he’s like casually but like kind of show-offingly rotating two faintly humming pearls around his fingertips.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Ah, looks like they should be here right now.


Kyle

And at that the man just shakes his head. And Mac turns over and is like:


Kyle (as Mac)

[Exhales smoke.] Are you honestly telling me, Ashen, that you weren’t able to get the easiest target in Roulettia?


Kyle (as Ashen)

Listen, I tried to get him to come, but he just didn’t want to play the game. Alright, it’s not my fault he can’t take clear, obvious bait.


Kyle (as Mac)

[Exhales smoke.]


Kyle

Uh, and Mac’s going to look back to Regular Bob and say:


Kyle (as Mac)

Alright. Ugh. Looks like it might be awhile. You can uh, you can take the kids up to see the boss.


Kyle

And from a nearby shelf, they grab a letter with an icy seal on it, and they leave the room. And Bob is like:


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Oh, well, uh, looks like you can see her right now if you wanna.


Tom (as Xoc)

Which door then?


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Oh, it’s right—uhh, right upstairs.


Kyle

And you can see, to your left, to his right, there is a wooden staircase that leads to a room upstairs.


Ari

Misha is going to say:


Ari (as Misha)

Why doesn’t the boss come down and meet us here? I think it would be more of a neutral ground if we met here.


Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Oh, uh, no, I totally get what you’re talking about, but uhh, don’t worry. If you were worth killing, I, uh, I would have done it already. But don’t worry—unless you’re too competent, you’ll be fine. Ha ha ha. [Becomes serious] Seriously though, if you appear too competent, I will hunt you down and kill you.


Ari

Misha’s going to say:


Ari (as Misha)

I highly doubt that.


Ari

And then, telepathically, they are going to tell Xoc:


Ari (as Misha)

I do not like the feeling of this. I do not know if we should go to where this boss is, if there is even a boss.


Tom (as Xoc)

I’m also starting to feel like this is a mistake, but it sounds like they’re hunting the others.


Tom

And Xoc will like, hold on to Misha’s sleeve a little bit, and just start like, walking towards the stairs. Like a grab for comfort, like trying to be a reassuring squeeze, but really awkward, because...machines.


Ari

Misha is going to walk alongside with Xoc, but I want them to also kind of rest their hand near their—I assume that they are carrying some sort of weapons with them? So—


Kyle

Well yeah, you’ve got your gear. You’ve got your bat. You’ve got your fucking bat on you.


Ari

We do, right? Okay, so Misha is going to rest their hand on the hilt of their bat that’s just hanging by their waist.


Kyle

Okay, so you walk up this very rickety staircase, and you enter into the boss’ main office. And, Xoc, immediately, I don’t know how your mind feels, but your body thanks you, because that horrible smoke seems to be pushed out of this room, which is a lot cleaner, a lot well put together. It’s still relatively modest, but it’s actually a—let’s call it a workable space. It is something that you can actually have a conversation in without feeling like you’re choking on secondhand smoke. And in fact, there’s not a whole lot of decoration. There’s just a long desk on it, and you see on the desk you see a plaque that says Ms. Stiles.


[Jazzy, bass-driven music begins.]


And all you see is kind of leaning back on the chair, you see an ivory white hat that’s pushed down on the boss’ face, and she has these glamorous, ruby-red rollerskates, just casually leaning up on top of it. And she just like, casually waves her hand and addresses you and says:


Kyle (as Ms. Stiles)

Oh, Xoc. Oh, Misha. It’s a pleasure to see both of you. Uh, please, please take a seat. Is there anything you’d like to drink?


Ari

Misha’s going to frown and say:


Ari (as Misha)

How do you know my nomenclature, and that of Xoc?


Kyle

The woman stands up, and you can see this beautiful, short, platinum blonde hair kind of unfurl from under this hat. And she says:


Kyle (as Ms. Stiles)

Misha, darling, it’s my job to know things. Are you sure you don’t want a drink?


Kyle

And she pulls out a glass of scotch from the nearby fridge, and she takes two perfect cubes of ice and she drops them in.


Kyle (as Ms. Stiles)

Oh, I love this stuff. Never goes bad. Please though, take a seat.


Ari

Misha’s going to—


Tom

Xoc remains standing.


Ari

Misha also remains standing, and they’re going to telepathically warn Xoc not to drink anything.


Tom (as Xoc)

Thank you Misha, I will not.


Tom

And then Xoc will say:


Tom (as Xoc)

Would you like to tell us, Ms. Stiles, why you are hunting for us and our friends?


Kyle

A devious look runs across her face, and she says:


Kyle (as Ms. Stiles)

Xoc, darling. Please, call me Lorraine.


[Funky, bass-driven music starts again.]


[15:00]


Kyle

Hello, and welcome to the announcement break for Episode 23: Questionable Measures Part Five. Our announcement break is a little bit early in the episode today, first because we got just a lot of really good stuff in the second half that I just want to have all have by itself, uninterrupted, and also because we’ve got a pretty exciting announcement for you today. And in fact, I’m so excited about that announcement that I just want to let you know right away, so let’s not wait any longer and give it a listen.


[Dramatic music begins.]


Hallie (as Announcer)

In a world, cowering in the shadow of a power-hungry empire ready to strike … you’d better hope they’re hungry for something else.


Hallie (as Unknown)

We don’t have that much to offer the empire. The only thing we have that they don’t have...is cookies.


Hallie

And she’ll gesture at the cookies in front of her.


Olivia (as Unknown)

That’s absolutely it.


[Upbeat rock music begins.]


Emily (as Unknown)

Oh…


Hallie (as Unknown)

Incredible Igneous—


Emily (as Unknown)

I would like to interrupt.


Cassidy (as Unknown)

And her cape is slowly billowing behind her, inside.


Olivia (as Unknown)

That’s my car over there. If something happens to her, you, personally, will be held responsible.


Emily (as Unknown)

Effort is worth it if you get attention.


Olivia (as Unknown)

It didn’t have to be so complicated. If you were just going to steal our memory, we don’t have to have this whole cookie narrative.


Hallie (as Announcer)

Roulettia is not the only dangerous place in the Ninth World. Anastasia Brackleberry’s used to being underestimated, but now that she’s reclaimed her rightful throne as Queen of Ancuan, it’s time to put away the sword and pick up the pen. Or, in this case, turn on the oven. If cookies can be used to restore order within a kingdom, they can surely be used to negotiate diplomacy.

Join Hannelore Dunn, Eraf Xindal, and The Incredible Igneous Artiste of Astaria, in the first episode of a special, women-only Quest Friends mini-series, airing September 10.


Cassidy (as Unknown)

We can have a break and have cookies, right?


Kyle

That’s right. We got a miniseries. Originally as part of International Women’s Month, back in June, we were going to run an all-women episode of Quest Friends. However, these characters in this story just could not compact themselves into one concise episode, so instead of trying to force that one episode through, we decided to instead wait and release it as a small mini-series. The series is called The Cookie Crew, and it follows three agents of Queen Anastasia Brackleberry, who has been mentioned a few times in the podcast, in kind of easter egg style, as they attempt to use cookies to broker a peace treaty to prevent the incoming war from the nearby Pyranthion Empire.

It’s a really fun, really silly, three-part series. Tom has been doing most of the editing, so I’m really excited to hear it myself. And it will be playing on our off-weeks. So since we have an episode releasing this week, the first episode of the Cookie Crew is going to be coming out next Monday, September 10. And then the week after that will be the main series, and then the Cookie Crew, and so on and so forth until the miniseries wraps up. Which should be about three to four episodes.

That’s all I’ve got for you. Our intro and outro music are “Friends” and “Hitoshio,” both by Miracle of Sound. And if you’re interested in joining our name pool that I use for items, characters, and locations I have not previously named, don’t forget to tweet or Tumblr out about us with the hashtag “#QuestFriends.” Our first use of the name pool actually came out this episode, the character of Ashen is named off of a Twitter user named Ashley, who, since I recorded this episode, has actually changed her Twitter user name, so I don’t want to specify anything other than her first name for risk of exposing personal information. So instead I will just say, Ashley, if you had a player who booped a snoot so hard it broke a man’s face, I am talking about you. Thank you so much for tweeting out about us using the hashtag #QuestFriends. Hope you enjoy the rest of the episode, and I will see you later.


[Funky, bass-driven music starts again. A cymbal splashes, and different, flute-heavy, mysterious music takes its place.]


Kyle

Far, far to the south of Roulettia lies a desert frozen not by temperature, but by time. Its mounds of sand stand as impenetrable fortresses for the ground below, creating a landscape uninhabitable to all but a few oases where time still marches onward. But in the village of Cartesian, time is not the only thing marching. As Hopper Scotch pushes himself through the loose double doors of the Cartesian Café. This is it, you are done. One way or another, today’s adventure will be the last.


[Music ends.]


Kyle

So what do you do when you enter this café?


Hallie

Uh, I would scan to see if she is there yet.


[20:00]


Kyle

Yeah, you look through this very modest café. Not a whole lot of people are here. And over at a booth, you see...her. And she just turns over to you and she just waves her hand in that kind of, you know when you like just flap, like kind of do a clap to yourself? She just raises her hand high and flaps it toward you.


Hallie

Hopper will like—


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Sighs.]


Hallie

And then go over to the booth that she’s in. Has she ordered yet?


Kyle

She’s going to motion over to the person. She’s like:


Kyle (as Unknown Woman)

Oh, thank you. He finally arrived, so we can order. I would like the double waffle sandwich, thank you very much. Have you tried waffles, darling? They’re just a wonderful invention.


Hallie

Is she talking to me?


Kyle

Yeah.


Hallie

Hop will open the menu. He won’t respond to that. He’ll look for a calzune, which is almost assuredly not on this menu.


Kyle

It is 100% not.


Hallie

Uh, are there grits?


Kyle

Um, there are crits. They’re called crits.


Hallie

He’ll give a skeptical look at that and ask the waiter:


Hallie (as Hopper)

What are crits? Are they significantly different than grits?


Kyle (as Waiter)

Well no, they, uh, they’re just grits, but you know, like everything in this café, they’re just not cooked. They’re cold grits. They’re crits!


Hallie

Alright. He’ll just order the crits, because everything else looks bad.


Kyle (as Waiter)

Well thank you very much, sir. Uh, Ms. Stiles, thank you so much for your patronage today.


Kyle

You see he writes the orders on what looks like just a hairy tablet. But you recognize it as related to the main artifact in Cartesian, which is called the Dotwave. And the Dotwave is kind of this like, large, spiraling tower in the center of town, and it’s kind of used as like a communications hub. They’ve been able to reverse engineer the technology to make a whole lot of communication, which for our purposes are like tablets and smartphones, but a lot harrier. So you kind of like, push your messages into this hairy tablet, which transfers over to a different Dotwave artifact. And so he takes down your order, and he’s like:


Kyle (as Waiter)

Alright. I’ll, um, I’ll see you when it’s done, which, because we don’t cook things, should be just a couple of seconds.


Kyle

And he walks away.


Hallie

Hopper turns to Lorraine, and he folds his hands in front of him. He says:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Not going to mince words: I don’t know what you’re doing here, but I am certain it has something to do with the Dotwave.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

Oh, Hopper. You’re always so suspicious. What if I just wanted you to buy me another wonderful meal? I miss our face-to-face talks. You’ve been so absent lately. I mean, after all, do you even remember Mulen? I barely even saw you!


Hallie (as Hopper)

I wonder why that is.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

I didn’t order those assassins.


Hallie (as Hopper)

You didn’t deal with them, either.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

Oh, why bother, when I knew my man would be there to help me?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Lorraine, I will stop you every time you try to do something like a con or a scheme. But last time, I nearly didn’t. It’s come too close a few times, and one of these days someone is going to actually get hurt. So I’m asking you to consider, whatever you’re here for, whatever you’re doing, to just not do it.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

I genuinely mean it. I know I have trouble sounding sincere, but I genuinely—I tried it, Hop. I tried the Dotwave, it can’t be replicated.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Tried to do what with it?


Kyle (as Lorraine)

I tried to replicate it. Made something similar, not nearly as good. Only a fool would be fooled by it, and let’s be honest, this town is full of the only people who even know about the Dotwave. Who would I sell it to? How would I use it? To be honest, I just knew you were going to come and I figured, why not catch up?


Hallie

Hopper will roll his eyes and say:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Based on every single interaction I have ever had with you, I think that’s a load of crap.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

Hopper. I promise, any scheme you think I might try here, I have already tried.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Have any succeeded?


Kyle (as Lorraine)

I just told you! They haven’t.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, but you—you lie! A lot, like, like a significant amount of the words that come out of your mouth are lies.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

I say things in a way that are flexible. But I’ve told you before, I’ll tell you again: I never break my promises. Unless something radically changes, I promise, I will not do anything related to Cartesian.


Kyle

Uh, and as you’ve had this conversation, your food has been slid in. So you see these very cold grits. In fact, there are little ice cubes on it. And then you see waffles, which is this weird kind of like, pastry, that just is shifting in and out of existence. A kind of waffling between dimensions, so to speak.


Hallie

Eyyyyy—


Kyle (as Lorraine)

Please, just—let’s just dig in for a moment. Relax. Enjoy each other’s company.


Hallie

Hopper will like, take a fork, and like poke the crit. Like, how hard is it, due to being cold?


Kyle

Um, you want the sad truth?


Hallie

I guess.


Kyle

It’s not, because it’s very moist.


[24:57]


Hallie

Hopper will just kind of like put his fork down and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

That’s fine.


Kyle

[Laughter.]


Hallie

[Laughter.] I had a follow-up, but I last it. He’s just:


Hallie (as Hopper)

That’s fine.


Kyle

She’s going to stand up and say:


Kyle (as Lorraine)

Well, I can see your mind is someplace else. But if you ever actually want to have a nice conversation, I will be happy to have one.


Kyle

And she skates out of the room. And about five seconds later, you realize she never paid.


Hallie

Hopper, as he realizes that, goes:


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Pounds fist on table.] Every damn time!


[Flute-heavy, mysterious music begins.]


Kyle

You walk outside, and before you, in the wind, in one of the few places of this frozen desert that actually moves and can live, you see the Dotwave. You see this large, spiraling tower made out of jutting blocks. It’s both intimidating, like the sides of a sharp cliffside, and brittle and fragile, as if pulling one could cause the whole thing to fall apart. And you just think about everything that happens and you think about what happened in Mulen. And what did happen? Why are you thinking so hard about that?


Hallie

Well, um, until this very moment, Hopper didn’t know that Lorraine knew about the several assassination attempts that he foiled, at the same time he was foiling her pyramid scheme that she was doing in Mulen. He didn’t know that she knew, and if she knew, that means she was just letting it happen. Which—


Kyle

What assassination attempts? Like, who are they trying to assassinate, though?


Hallie

Lorraine. They’re trying to assassinate Lorraine. Hopper stopped a lot of assassination attempts on Lorraine, while [Laughter] he was also stopping Lorraine. It was a very frustrating time for him. So he is furious that she knew about all those times. So Hopper’s mad. [Laughter.] And he’s looking at this, and he is certain that Lorraine is up to something, and he thinks:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Maybe if I just took away what she’s after, she’ll stop.


Kyle

The last movement in Cartesian was when the last brick of the Dotwave fell to the ground. And you realize too late that the Dotwave wasn’t just a communication device. It was the only thing keeping Cartesian habitable. Because the wind and the sound suddenly stop, and as the Dotwave crumbles in front of your feet, time in Cartesian ends. And the people slowly start to walk out of their town. And they’re just like:


Kyle (as Townspeople)

Oh, the wind stopped! It’s a nice, sunny day. I can go out and walk!

The ground’s pretty hard though, that’s weird.

Hey, Jimmy! You think you can shovel some of this dirt that’s in front of my house? It just stopped there, I don’t know what to do about it.


Kyle

And slowly, these small noticings start to get more and more alarming, as people just start to like, yell as the town starts to fall apart. And what does Hop do?


Hallie

Having now destroyed the Dotwave, and he’s got the like, remnants of it in his hand, he’ll kind of be looking at the landscape and then back at the Dotwave, thinking what? What? He’s just realizing that it’s all connected. He didn’t think it was that important.


Kyle (as townspeople)

Hey, the Dotwave is down, and that guy is by it! Maybe he knows what’s going on!


Hallie

Uhh!


Kyle

And the townsfolks start to go around you and they’re like:


Kyle (as Townspeople)

Oh yeah, it’s that hero that lady was talking about. Man, she was real nice.

Yeah, I really liked her.

Mr. Legendary Hero, what, uh, what happened here?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, w-what was this thing?


Kyle (as Townspeople)

I mean, that was the Dotwave. That was our communication device.

Well it looks like it also kept the town alive, too!

Aw, shucks! Do we have a replacement?

Not that I know of!


Hallie

All of the color is draining out of Hoppers face.


Kyle

And out of the town of Cartesian as well.


Hallie

Fuck you! And he is holding it, and he’ll look sadly up at them and say:


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Shocked] Ah, oh, I’m so sorry.


[Upbeat circusesque music begins.]


Kyle

And then suddenly, you start to hear this very loud, very happy, kind of like carnival ice cream truck music, as riding in on a snowloper, which is basically this like, horse-like thing that is on very tall, stilted legs, and just by its neck has these human hands—you see riding on top of it is a very proud and very smiling Lorraine. And she turns over and she’s like


Kyle (as Lorraine)

People of Cartesian. I’ve heard of your plight and your troubles, and might I tell you today, I have the next best thing to the Dotwave. I have—


Kyle

And she holds up a little artifact.


Kyle (as Lorraine)

The Hopwave. Sure it can’t help you communicate, and your town will still be slow and very bad, but it will be livable, and you won’t have to move from all the places you’re at!


Kyle

And suddenly, the crowd of people around you just flutters, and they rush towards Lorraine, and they just start getting super excited. And, uh, how is Hop feeling right now?


[29:57]


Hallie

Not good. Uh, he’s kind of looking at the shattered pieces, and everyone is flocking around Lorraine. And he’s like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh my God, she was telling the truth. Oh my God!


Hallie

And he realizes that he just destroyed the whole town because he got mad, so he will like—he’s going to just put it down and try to get out of there as quietly and subtly as he can.


Kyle

And as Hopper walks away from this town, you hear the townsfolk just clamoring, like:


Kyle (as townspeople)

Oh, how does it work?

Can I have one?

How much is it?


Kyle

And in response to that last one, you just hear the gloating in Lorraine’s voice as she just says:


Kyle (as Lorraine)

Well, how much do you have?


[Dramatic, guitar-driven music begins.]


Kyle

And some time later, far, far to the north, in the town of Roulettia, you see this ice statue of you in front crumble and crack, and with an icy seal on it, you see a letter fall to the ground. What are you doing? What are we doing now?


Hallie

We’re back in the trailer, right?


Kyle

Yeah, we’re back in the trailer. This is kind of where you and Elee left off.


Hallie

Uh, Hopper leans down to pick it up and then goes:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, I think things just got a whole lot worse.


Hallie

And then he’ll open it. Is it a narrated letter, or is it just a letter?


Kyle

It is, uh—[makes clucking noises with tongue]—no, actually. In a weird show for Lorraine, the letter is not narrated, probably because it doesn’t need to be. And it has a whole lot of stuff, a whole lot of like, conversations. A lot of eloquent words. But you get three things from it. You know where she is.


Hallie

Cool.


Kyle

She knows where you are.


Hallie

Yes.


Kyle

And she also knows where the kids are.


Hallie

Yeah, that was going to be my question. Okay.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey Elee?