• Quest Friends!

Ep. 31: Questionable Measures, Part 13

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Heist, heist, heist, heist!

Listen as our heroes:

ASCEND a toilet!

RAP the crowd around their fingers!

DANCE with the devil!

Content Warning: Loud Sounds (1:14:50)

The Tenth World Blueprints: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UiCwnilbfTvTeux9PBViBUiZWxDN7lwf/view?usp=sharing


TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

Previously, on Quest Friends…

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

Kyle (as Q-BO)

My name is the Incalculable Quorum of Beneficial Outputs. But you can call me Q-BO.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

What we have heard is that somebody close to the auction plans on stealing Q-BO from the time the exhibit opens in a few hours to the time the auction starts.

Hallie (as Hopper)

What exactly are you promising?

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

If you can find me convincing evidence on who plans on stealing Q-BO, than I promise I will give you access to everything you have a coupon for.

Tom (as Xoc)

We need to save Q-BO.

Hallie (as Hopper)

I’m with you, Xoc.

Emily (as Elee)

Okay.

Hallie (as Hopper

I’m with you.

Tom (as Xoc)

And all Lorraine asked for was evidence of who was going to steal it. We can foil the heist, do our own heist, and still get our reward from Lorraine.

Hallie (as Hopper)

I’d like to add an addendum to this agreement: No one here—

Hallie

And he gestures to his party behind him.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Comes to any harm at any time during this.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

I promise that I personally will not bring your innocent friends to harm.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Or your underlings.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Them, too.

Kyle (as Regular Bob)

But don’t worry. Unless you’re too competent, you’ll be fine. Heh, heh, heh. Seriously though, if you appear too competent, I will hunt you down and kill you.

Ari

Misha is going to say:

Ari (as Misha)

I highly doubt that.

[Opening theme intensifies.]

Kyle

Roulettia is alight.

[Dramatic electronic music begins.]

Kyle

The sparks of its glittering walls and impending revolution reach high, high into your enclosed diamond elevator, Hop and Misha, as you make your way to the Tenth World Exhibit and Auction. Getting past the bouncers was easy. After all, only someone with an excess of wealth could waste so much on something so tasteless as Misha’s mask. But by getting past this one obstacle, you’ve placed a hundred more in your way. Because now, you’ve committed. Committed to saving Q-BO, committed to stopping the Jagged Dream, and committed to standing ground against the woman you have tried tirelessly to race away from. Are you going to say or do anything before the doors open? Otherwise I’m going to describe the doors opening.

Ari

Well, I guess just before that, uh, Misha is going to turn to Hop and say:

Ari (as Misha)

Simon Scotch, there is just one flaw that I did not see with this plan, and that is that I forgot to ask Soe to provide another one of these garments—

Ari

And point at the mask that they are having—

Ari (as Misha)

For you as well.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh, well, that’s alright. I don’t think I really need one.

Ari

Misha is going to look at Hop and they’re going to nod and be like:

Ari (as Misha)

Ah yes, I suppose you are already cool without the mask.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Sincerely, a little taken aback.] Well thanks, Misha. That--that was a nice thing to say. I think you’re really cool, too.

Ari

Misha’s going to nod and point at their mask and say:

Ari (as Misha)

Well now I do believe so, too.

Tom

Ohhh.

Hallie

Ohh, I just got it.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

Now let’s go and rescue Q-BO.

Kyle

Yeah, so with that, the doors open, and you notice it’s very easy to get out of your elevators, because everyone is just sitting there, mouths agape, staring at Misha. You’re not quite sure what they think of it, because they’re not quite sure what they think of it...yet. In front of you, you see a giant banner, bookended on both sides by a winking platinum bust of Tommy Funbuck.

[Synthy music, like the music that plays upon launching a video game system, plays.]

Kyle

The banner says: JET.CO’s Tenth World Exhibit and Auction, as sponsored by Tommy Funbuck. And the “As sponsored by Tommy Funbuck” is the only name you can see, because you notice one of these winking busts is absolutely blocking the word “JET.CO” in this banner.

Hallie

[Quiet laugh.]

Kyle

In front of you you see three doors of people are spilling through, and to your left you see a Q-BO stand, which seems to have a little bit of paper, like, Dact Taped to it. And in front of it, someone in the kind of bellhop costume that you saw in the hotel, you see someone wearing that costume standing in front of it, talking to folks and directing them.

Hallie

Can I ask the bellhop where the coat check is?

Kyle

You walk up and he’s like—

Kyle (as bellhop)

Oh, jeez, really? People really can’t do anything without this Q-BO. It’s right over there.

Kyle

And he points to his left, and you see, a foot away from him, another person standing behind the counter to the coat check.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh. Thanks.

Kyle

He turns over to this other person. He’s like:

Kyle (as bellhop)

No, I’m really sorry, the Q-BO machine is down and I’m not a robot, I don’t know what--what everything is. Yes, I know, please don’t have Mr. Funbuck fire me, please.

Kyle

And he starts kind of groveling a little bit more to these very frustrated patrons.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

But for a split second, give you a moment of déjà vu.

Hallie

Can I investigate that further? Can I roll like a--like a memory check? Like why they’re giving me déjà vu?

Kyle

Yeah, if you want.

[5:00]

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

Alright. A twelve.

Kyle

You notice that one of them is wearing an ivory white hat and a red dress, and the other one, arm-in-arm, is wearing a top hat as tall as her torso, and a blue peacock suit. And you have never seen these people before, but their outfits look remarkably similar—

Hallie

To Tommy Funbuck and Lorraine.

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

Do I notice anyone else wearing these outfits?

Kyle

You do. In fact, you notice that almost everybody is wearing some variation of what appears to be the “in” outfit, with of course the notable exception of you and Misha.

Hallie

[In dread and quiet rage.] So everyone is dressed as Lorraine or as Tommy Funbuck. This is what you’re telling me.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

That is 100%—I’m going to say they were inspired by the fashion, but yes, they’re all terrible copycats.

Hallie

It’s like Disney bounding. It’s like Disney bounding Lorraine and Tommy Funbuck.

Kyle

It’s a weird fusion between cosplay and trying to follow the cool fashion that’s in right now.

Hallie

At seeing all the Lorraines, Hopper kind of, like, moves back against the coat check a little bit.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie

But then doesn’t say anything. He’s visibly alarmed, but he’s not gonna talk about it.

Ari (as Misha)

I do believe that all of these people are dressed as Lorraine.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Yup. Looks that way. Did not expect this. Was prepared for one of them.

Kyle

And as you’re talking about that, both of you are covered in a little snow of glitter, as the person behind the coat check is fanning out a artificially glittered up copy of what seems to be Lorraine’s coat that she wears.

Hallie

God!

Kyle

And is putting it into a box, which they set on a conveyor belt that pushes itself back into a little coat closet room. And they turn over to you and they’re like:

Kyle (as coat check attendant)

Thank God, people I can remember. What are you checking in today? Or checking out, I don’t know. Please tell me you don’t have something to check out.

Hallie (as Hopper)

To check out? I do, actually. Is that--is that okay?

Kyle (as coat check attendant)

Depends. Is it another glitterbomb?

Hallie (as Hopper)

No.

Hallie

Do I have a coat check ticket? What is my information for getting things from the coat check?

Kyle

They’re going to turn and say:

Kyle (as coat check attendant)

Well, type it in the pad there—

Kyle

And you see that there is a flip—it looks like you know those little manual alarm clocks that would flip over to show the time?

Hallie

Mm-hmm.

Kyle

You see two of those, one of which where you can flip in your box number, and one where you can flip in the code.

Hallie

Okay. I definitely wrote down my box number in my extensive notes. Kyle, Hopper would have written down the box number in his extensive notes, so can I just have that?

Kyle

Yeah, you enter in the box number—let me double check what that is. It is—

Hallie

[Excitedly.] BTC!

Kyle

Yeah, check in box 2S, and you’re right; put in code BTC.

Hallie

I found it! World’s greatest detective.

Kyle

[Laughter.] And as you flip that over, you hear a little prize “ding, ding, ding!” A little box slides out of the conveyor belt, and the person working uses a couple of locks to open it up, like a couple of manual locks, and it poofs open, an explosion of glitter, and they just look at you—

Kyle (as coat check attendant)

[In utter, dull despair.] You lied. How...funny.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Ha, ha. Yes. That’s me, who knew what was in this coat check box and intentionally lied about it.

Kyle

He picks up the box, hands it to you, and you can see he’s visibly shaking with rage. He’s like:

Kyle (as coat check attendant)

No, no remorse? No regret?

Hallie

Oh, Hopper has to pretend to be like a 1% douchebag.

Tom

Ohhh.

Hallie

Hopper will shrug and say:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Not a lot.

Kyle

They look at you and look down, and you can see they’re holding a little crumpled piece of paper, which looks like it’s a handmade flyer for, uh, for an underground meeting of common workers. And they take that with new resolve and they leave the room.

Hallie

Okay. Good for them.

Kyle

And you take a look into the box, and you see that it is very glittery, ‘cause it has two things, one of which is a beautiful, elegant, overly glitzy dress and coat that looks--

Hallie

Oh no.

Kyle

Like a really poor imitation of Lorraine’s. It is conveniently exactly Elee’s size.

Hallie

[More vehemently than before.] Oh no!

Emily and Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You then see a very tall, peacock blue suit, and a top hat that is so tall, because it looks like it fits the size of your pal Xoc.

Hallie

Hop will take them, and then, as an aside to Misha, be like:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, they’ll have to deal with it.

Ari (as Misha)

I suppose so. I do wish that there were more of these masks for everybody.

Hallie

[Laughter.] Hopper will just say:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, we’ll have to live without them.

Kyle

And with that, you make your way into the main exhibit hall.

[Up-tempo, jazzy music begins.]

Kyle

So you walk through these doors, and the massive domed space in front of you pulses in tune to bouncy, electronic jazz, as the technicolor lights of Roulettia shine through floor to ceiling windows, spotlighting your entrance. A few steps down is a circular space full of sleek, ceramic inventions and overly enthusiastic presenters, gesturing and projecting, as if yelling for help from a far away plane. Starstruck tourists aimlessly meander from exhibit to exhibit, bumping into little floating pails filled with ice and bottled wine. These exhibits surround a massive platform, on top of which hums the massive, droning Tommy Funbuck robot float.

[Music stops briefly and transitions to mysterious, somber flute music.]

And as you get in, you get your first complication, because whatever plans you had, Hop, whatever your motivation was coming in, it immediately drops alongside your stomach, as you see the spitting image of Cartesian’s Dotwave.

[10:38]

[Music transitions to something more somber.]

Kyle

And we’re going to move over to Hop and Elee.

Tom and Hallie

Xoc and Elee?

Kyle

We’re going to move over to Xoc and Elee. Hop is everywhere.

Tom

Hop is everyone.

Hallie

He’s Hopniscient.

Everyone

[Laughter.]

Ari

[Gleefully] Hopniscient!

Kyle

Xoc and Elee—

[Elevator music begins.]

Kyle

You’re standing in a back room of the Fancy Tom’s Fancy Hats and JET.CO Combination Store. In front of you, a hotel employee with the nametag Fuzz Fuzz has just outfitted you with two hastily retrieved vests, neither of which fit you very well, and they both require improvised patches of dact tape to ensure that they actually stay on. You were able to quickly find folks to aid you, and a revolution is on its way to Tommy Funbuck’s front door. But you don’t have time to wait. By the time Roulettia falls, you’ll be long gone. I mean, that’s..the plan at least.

Tom (as Xoc)

Thank you again for helping us. We know it’s dangerous, if you’re caught, you know?

Kyle (as Fuzz Fuzz)

Meh.

Tom (as Xoc)

Okay then. How are we going to get in to the tower, then?

Kyle

They point to a little crappy elevator behind them—

[Elevator arrival noise sounds.]

Kyle

That you can see, as it opens up, isn’t actually an elevator, it’s just a staircase that’s been decorated to look like an elevator.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And it looks like the staircase at bits is just ladders.

Kyle (as Fuzz Fuzz)

I mentioned this like two minutes ago; were you not paying attention?

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Oh.

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, Xoc, were you not paying attention?

Tom (as Xoc)

Uhhh….

Kyle (as Fuzz Fuzz)

That’s okay, I’m used to it.

Tom

Ahhhh…

Kyle (as Fuzz Fuzz)

Just earlier today, someone didn’t remember the mega deluxe awesome super fantastic package, and I had to repeat it multiple times. Please do not ask what it is, for even though I am a revolutionary, I am still contractually obligated to repeat all of the wonderful things you can get with that package.

Ari

Oh no.

Emily (as Elee)

So not to make this really dark, but I heard something about how Tommy Funbuck makes people eat some kind of non-disclosure agreement, and I was just wondering like, if you all are betraying him...are you going to end up getting—

Kyle (as Fuzz Fuzz)

Potentially. We’ve made a pact not to mention his name. Which is kind of a downer when you think about it, ‘cause he still has, like, control over us. But I think it’s worth it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m still going to scrape the last few morsels of scratch I can before this whole place falls apart.

Kyle

And with that, they very slowly walk back. It’s a revolution, but Fuzz Fuzz is still used to the practice of, “if I’m technically walking back to work, it doesn’t matter how fast I’m walking.”

Tom

Got to punch in that last time card before, you know, overthrowing the place.

Emily (as Elee)

Umm, should we just go then?

Tom (as Xoc)

Y-I-eh-yeah, let’s...climb.

Kyle

Give me a might roll! No, I’m not going to make you do that.

Tom

Oh, Xoc is—

Everyone

[Laughter.]

Tom

Xoc’s body is not prepared for a long climb, but that’s fine.

Hallie and Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie

His stamina wheel is not very high yet.

Emily

I was considering asking Xoc if he needed to be carried.

Tom

No.

Kyle

Alright, so you make your way up this long, damp, moist, musky—what are some other terrible words I can use?

[The droning, ambient sound of wind or an empty chasm can be heard.]

Emily

Sopping? [Laughter.]

Kyle

This sopping—this just—it’s a--

Tom

It’s just like Kyle’s bathroom.

Emily and Tom

[Laughter.]

Emily

Yes!

Kyle

It’s more bathroom than elevator, and more swamp than bathroom. And when you get up, you find yourself in a little back room, actual bathroom space. And you see a sign that says “Employees must wash hands” above a sink, except the knobs on the sink are both missing and the soap is very empty.

Emily

Did we just come up a toilet? [Laughing.] I’m so confused as to what’s going on.

Tom

Did we really climb up a toilet, Kyle? Would you do that?

Kyle

No, it’s right in a bathroom. I’m trying to think of a justifiable place. Because they have to go up the elevator, but because it’s so gross they’ve got to wash their hands. So it’s next to the toilet, alright?

Tom

Okay.

Emily

I’m not going to wash my hands.

Kyle

I’m not guaranteeing nobody has used it as a toilet though. Like that is entirely possible.

Emily and Ari

[Distressed noises.]

Kyle

But there is a toilet, alright?

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I’m not that gross. This isn’t the mid-2000s and I’m not South Park.

Tom

Alright, alright. We’ve been in sewe--we’ve been in sewers before. This is nothing to us.

[15:01]

Kyle

Ehh.

Emily

New canon: Elee once lived in a sewer for three weeks.

Kyle

It’s true. You lived with a non-binary individual. Their name was Dave. That’s all that needs to be said about Dave, moving on.

Emily and Tom

[Laughter.]

Tom

Alright. I guess Xoc will step through the door.

Kyle

Alright. So you both step through the door through an entranceway that was not marked on the map, and I need you both to roll speed defense.

Tom

Woah-ho!

Emily

[Distressed exhalation.] It’s fine, everything’s fine.

[Dice rolling.]

Tom

Yeah, how does an eight do for me?

Emily

Speed defense. [Voice high and full of dread.] How’s a three do for me?

Hallie

Oh no.

Kyle

Elee goes out first and is swarmed by, like, a pack of gazelles.

Hallie

What?

Kyle

A dozen of these little, ice filled robots, just brushing all over her. You take no damage, but they all whirr with extreme alarm, and you look around and you find yourself in this very elaborately put together kitchen.

[Uptempo piano-driven music begins.]

Kyle

In the middle, you see this giant, multi-armed robot. Out of this core, it looks like there are 16 arms, like a double octopus, reaching around and grabbing things, picking up tables and reversing them. For example, yeah, instead of like, when it makes pancakes, instead of flipping over the thing itself, it just picks up the table the pancakes are on and flips the table above a different table on which pancakes can be cooked so that it can flip over like 50 pancakes at a time.

Hallie

I love it.

Kyle

So this whole room is becoming a mess as this machine is just moving and making exquisite things, and immediately the smell of the bathroom gives way to just the most beautiful and expensive smells you’ve ever smelled...related to food...specific—it’s a very specific smell the more I talk about it. I wanted it to be like a cosmic thing, but you just smell really fancy but also good food. So you are in the kitchen in the basement.

Tom

Alright. Are there any people in the kitchen, or is it just that double octopus robot and then the treadmills?

Kyle

Yeah, these mini pails—which, you’re right, they look like the picture of the baby treadmill that you saw in--that you saw in the photo of the Heroes of Navarene. So these mini-treadmills are flying around—

Emily

How big are they?

Kyle

They’re the size of a little garbage pail. They’re not big. They’re little cute buckets.

Emily

Oh okay, if they were tiny, I was going to spend an experience to have one nest in my hat.

Kyle

I mean, no, do you want to spend that experience?

[Whimsical, staccato string music begins.]

Emily

Yes. I have something to announce. Um, you know how I gave you all crap for hoarding experience?

Kyle

Goddamn it...Janet!

Emily

I didn’t realize that I—

Ari

[Laugh.]

Hallie

Wow.

Emily

Had like five XP.

Kyle

[Head in hands.] What the fuck?!

Hallie

The hypocrisy.

Emily

I didn’t realize!

Hallie

The sheer hypocrisy!

Emily

I know!

Hallie

Joke’s on you, Kyle—we’re all XP hoarders.

Tom

Except me!

Hallie

Except for Tom!

Kyle

It’s fine! Tom forgets his items. Literally doesn’t have them on his sheet. So.

Tom

It--it was on my sheet, and then that version of the sheet was deleted!

Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

And I’ve now added it to my sheet!

Hallie

Whatever. Excuses. Just now?

Tom

No, earlier!

Ari

What?

Tom

When I was booting up my computer. It’s been off and restarting all day.

Hallie

Oh.

Ari

Oh, man.

Hallie

Whatever.

Hallie, Ari and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So you see these robots that have the TR8 model on them, and you see another one that, the T is the only thing visible, because [Voice gets higher, as if struck by something unbearably cute.] it’s just a tiny little thimble--

Tom

Awww...

Kyle

--That’s used for shots, and this little thimble just, like, hits you and gets stuck in your hat and seems to be wanting to go away, but eventually finds it comfortable and just kind of nests there.

Tom

Awwwwww.

Hallie

I love it.

Emily

[Unintelligible gleeful noise.]

Kyle

And because the other ones are called treadmill, they have the TR8. This one only has a T. So presumably, it could realistically be named Thimble.

Emily

Ohhh!

Kyle

Alright. And then you also see some human folks. Occasionally they’ll walk in and, like, duck their head as five plates get thrown to them and stack up perfectly. And then they’ll walk out of the front door. There’s a set of double doors. There’s also, you see a freight elevator to your right. When these doors open, you see a horde of the treadmill models and a couple of thimbles fly through. And then you also see some employees pick up nicer alcohol. So, uh, one set of double doors leads to some catering, and then the treadmills and thimbles and a couple of folks gravitate toward this freight elevator that leads to the bar in the exhibit hall.

Tom

Alright. Xoc—like Xoc is a little overwhelmed by all of the action and people. Like, granted he’s been in the city awhile now, so he’s gotten used to the masses of people, but just the intensity of the action here is a bit bewildering. But he’s going to remind himself why he’s there and start moving towards the doors that will lead out into, like, the larger area of the basement floor, to await Misha and Hopper.

Emily

I’m going to follow him and just briefly clap a hand on his shoulder.

Emily (as Elee)

Chill. It’s fine. I’ve got your back.

Tom (as Xoc)

Thank you, Elee Badge. I’m very glad you’re here with me.

Emily (as Elee)

[Uncomfortably.] Okay.

Emily

She can’t do any more emotion.

Hallie

[Laughter]

Emily

She’s just going to nod and not address that.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Emily

But there’s, like, there’s a nod.

[20:00]

Kyle

Very emotional nod, like the nod for—not--the Oscar nod.

[Dramatic piano music begins.]

Kyle

It’s in slow motion, dramatic music plays.

Tom

Oh no. No, not slow mo.

Kyle

Over it, like, the screen gets black and white and you hear Elee’s life story start to play out: When I was a young girl, I loved pony—I don’t know.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

But while this Oscar moment scene is happening, we’re going to get back to Hop and Misha. So you just stepped out onto the exhibit hall, you can see where everything is. So on your right, you see the doors to the auction house. To your left, you see the bar. In front of you are all the exhibits, and one of the big ones facing you is something that looks a lot like the Dotwave, which you can assume is Argent. And it looks like there’s a presenter and a lot of folks starting to flock around it.

Hallie

Okay. Hop will kind of nudge Misha a little bit and be like:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey, let’s give Xoc and Elee a couple more minutes to get in. Uh, I kind of want to see what Argent is like.

Ari (as Misha)

I am curious about this too.

Hallie

Alright, and then he’ll start moving towards the presentation.

[Fun, beachy guitar music begins.]

Kyle

You see one of those fountain projectors playing what looks like one of those family friendly ‘90s ads for Time Crisps. And you see these little kids eating the crisp and then going back in time and eating it more. And a line just says: “Time Crisps—so good you could eat them forever. Literally.”

Ari

Oh boy.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And with that it falls down and there’s some tepid clappling. And suddenly, pfft, a very fancily dressed individual just appears on the stage, and they lean onto their pedestal and they say:

Kyle (as presenter)

Well good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much to Time Crisps for partnering with us today. Nanos, what have they done? A whole lot. Mastered the elements—

[Stirring piano music begins.]

Kyle (as presenter)

Mastered technology, mastered moving from place to place!

Kyle

And as he says that, you can see him pop over to a different part of the stand and take a different flashy pose.

Kyle (as presenter)

But as much as Nanos have been able to go from—

Kyle

And he pops back and you see his arms are around both of your shoulders—

Kyle (as presenter)

Going from place to place, one place they haven’t gone—

Kyle

And he’s back on stage.

Kyle (as presenter)

Is time itself. At least...not yet. We here at JET.CO with Time Crisps proudly introduce: Argent.

[Music transitions into a more futuristic, synthy jam.]

Kyle (as presenter)

Argent is your number way of getting things inside and outside of time, absolutely 100% guaranteed paradox free. Did you drop a piece of ice cream on the ground? Sure you could use a Time Crisp to go back in time and get it. What if you just flat out stole a copy of the ice cream stand itself from yesterday?

Hallie

[Unhappily.] Mmm.

Kyle (as presenter)

It’s like our tagline says: Argent pulls things out of its time and into yours. Now a little bit more on the specs here—

Kyle

And with that he’s going to keep on talking, but that kind of fades a little bit, because I want both of you to roll perception again.

[Die rolls.]

Ari

Four.

Hallie

Okay, wait, I’ve got to find my good die.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

Another 12.

Kyle

Uh, Misha, you are not noticing anything. Why is nothing sticking out to you?

Ari

Because they are really confused as to how the things that they’re saying are not paradoxical. They are just in a loop of thinking, like

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, but if they stole the ice cream from the ice cream stand from yesterday, then how did they get the ice cream in the first place for it to fall down?

Tom

[Laughter.]

Ari

So they are just in a spiral loop of thinking about paradoxes too long.

Tom

[Laughs harder.]

Kyle

Hop—

[Dramatic, menacing music begins.]

Kyle

You notice that the crowd around you is getting thicker and thicker, and you see a lot of guests, but you also see a lot of folks wearing the Manny Mantle costumes, which is the costume of the guard, and that’s weird because you know that guards only appear around workers. Like, they don’t want to spook the guests. But you notice, since some of these costumes are pretty ratty and junky, on shoulders, hands, legs, dozens of indented tattoos. You see some of raptors swooping downwards. Some of clocks. Some of serrated blades.

Tom

Oh my God.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

And as you’re looking around, you see all these hands raise up.

Hallie

They’re all raising their hands?

Kyle

Yes.

Hallie

Has the--has the--the presenter asked anything that the audience would raise their hands for?

Kyle (as presenter)

That’s right everybody, I’m having one lucky person come up and test this with me, right here and right now.

Hallie

Hopper also raises his hand.

Ari

Oh, if that’s the case than Misha also does that.

Kyle (as presenter)

Wow, we have a lot of interesting folks here tonight. But I’m interested in—

Kyle

And he looks at Misha and does a lot of mental math.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And then is like, so overwhelmed with emotion that he doesn’t know how to respond, so he just turns over to person left of Misha and says:

Kyle (as presenter)

You, sir! Do you want to come up here and, uh, and--and--uh, test this out with me?

Hallie

I don’t know, Hopper nods and starts making his way through the crowd.

Kyle

You make your way up to the crowd, and he’s like

Kyle (as presenter)

Alright, sir. What is your name?

Kyle

And as he does this, by the way, he poofs over and he’s learning on your arm. He’s like

Kyle (as presenter)

What is your name, friend?

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Strained.] It’s … Peter …

Tom and Ari

[Laughter]

Hallie (as Hopper)

... Jones.

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So Peter Jones?

Hallie

[Laughing inhalation.] Yup.

Kyle (as presenter)

Alright Mr. Jones. As you can see here, we’ve got three platforms—

Kyle

And you can see three humming baseball base sized platforms that are kind of suction cupped to the ground.

Kyle (as presenter)

These three platforms have set up a grid.

Kyle

And you can see this kind of crackling lines of light line between them, and you can see the ground between them is starting to shimmer.

[25:12]

Kyle (as presenter)

Now unfortunately we can’t move this and test this just anywhere in Roulettia, but I’ve been assured that this location is pretty safe and has had some pretty cool stuff put on it. So, is there any time you want me to pull from?

Hallie

Uh, oh no.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Um, how about, uh, two hours ago?

Kyle (as presenter)

Sounds good to me. Hopefully they weren’t setting up at this time, because trying to pull Argent? One paradox you might get. Heheheheh. Anyways—

Hallie

That’s kind of what I want it to do.

Kyle (as presenter)

Let’s kick it!

Hallie

Damn it!

Kyle

And he slides in a block on this giant Jenga tower that looks identical to the Dotwave, and it starts to crackle with more and more light, and the room hums and the lights inside of the space start to fade a little bit. And even you can see the lights on the walls of Roulettia themselves are flickering in and out—

[Futuristic, mechanical whirring as the Argent device comes to life.]

Kyle

They’re dimming, until eventually you hear a pop, and all the lights go out. And I need you to roll speed defense, five times.

Tom

Oh no!

Emily

Nooooo!

Hallie

[Horrified.] Five times? No! That’s what I was trying to avoid. I was like, oh I could get Q-BO, and I was like, no, we are very outnumbered, I don’t want that.

Emily

[Anguished crying.]

Hallie

Alright.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

The first one was eleven.

Kyle

Okay.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

Second was eight.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

A twelve.

Kyle

Okay.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

A nineteen.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

And a 20.

Tom

Ohh!

Kyle

You succeeded twice. But you succeeded so exceptionally I’m going to say you succeeded four times.

Hallie

Yes!

Kyle

So during this complication, as the lights go out, you feel winds and rushing, as a handful of hands brush past and on top of you. And you hear them bumping into each other as you’re deftly moving around and colliding, some of them so clumsy that they’re hitting each other. But you do hear a rip, and when the lights go on, you see a handful of the Manny Mates rushing down a hallway to your left. That’s going to be one of your bonuses. But besides that, the audience is severely thinned, and there is not a guard, besides the ones running away, in sight. And the guy next to you is just like—

Kyle (as presenter)

Well heheh, you know, something this powerful still takes a lot of energy. It’s a work in progress. But still, pretty neat, right? Alright, thanks so much, Peter. That’s going to be the rest of our demonstration for today. Remember, buy Time Crisps.

Hallie

Um, um, yeah, okay. Hopper, he’s going to go in the direction of—he’s going to signal to Misha and then go in the direction of the people. I’m not trying to catch them, I just want to, like, sneak up on them.

Ari

Misha is going to follow.

Hallie

Or not trying to chase them down—I want to get within eavesdrop range.

Kyle

Alright. You go through a hallway. On your right is the bathrooms, on the left is the auction hall, and around the corner you see a semi-spiraling staircase that walks down to the bottom floor. And on top of it, you see two guards trying to look professional, but like,

Kyle (as first guard)

[Satisfied.] Pfft we totally got it. We got it! ...D-did you get it?

Kyle

And the other person is like:

Kyle (as second guard)

[Even more satisfied.] Yeah, I got it. I got it.

Kyle

And they take out—they hold out a piece of ripped paper, and they stick it in their breast pocket and they’re like—we got it. We got it!

Hallie

Okay. And he’s got a piece of paper and he just sticks it in his breast pocket?

Kyle

Yeah, a piece of ripped paper.

Hallie

Ripped paper. Okay.

Kyle

Pretty--pretty wide. Pretty thick.

Hallie

Alright. Hold up a second. My character sheet is on my other computer, I just remembered, so I have to pull that up.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Ari

Oh no.

Hallie

Okay, what Hopper wants to do, I want to bump into the guy and then casually pickpocket him.

Kyle

Okay.

Hallie

I’m double-checking if I have literally anything that will help me do that.

Ari

I could distract him while you pickpocket him.

Hallie

Oh yes! Let’s do that. Actually, Hopper is going to whisper to Misha:

Hallie (as Hopper)

We should see whatever he got. Can you distract them, and then I’ll try to see if I can’t sneak it out?

Ari (as Misha)

I do believe I will try to do so, yes.

Ari

And then Misha is going to try and look for that Datasphere for some sort of way to be able to entertain humans. Like how to entertain humans is what they’re going to look up--

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari

--but I want to twist this into integrating my storytelling technique.

Hallie

I love it!

Kyle

So you access the Datasphere and you pull in these things, and it starts with the sound of a crackling fire—

[Sounds mirroring Kyle’s narration play.]

Kyle

And you hear people telling stories in this echoey, cave-like space, and eventually it changes to music—

[Disney-esque music begins.]

Kyle

And you see people moving and dancing on stage, and then images start to pop up. You see these images, these images of like a wolf and these three houses popping up as if on cardboard and then sliding back down again. You see pictures moving in sequential order. And you see a fusion of all of these and you see languages and words spoken. Some are slow and steady, some are to the rhythm of music. Some are fast and rhythmic and--and passionate. And as all of that fades away, you’re now really good at all kinds of storytelling.

Ari

Excellent.

Kyle

Basically, you could run this podcast. Fuck it, Misha, go!

[30:00]

Ari

Oh boy! Misha can, but I can’t. So, um, okay, so Misha is going to turn to Hop and say—

Ari (as Misha)

I believe I got this.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari

And then they are going to approach the guards and say:

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, excuse me, humans, but have you heard of the girl that encountered a wolf earlier this evening?

Kyle (as first guard)

Yeah well, I ain’t afraid of no wolf!

Kyle (as second guard)

Yeah, we’re not afraid of any—we’re--we’re tough!

Kyle (as first guard)

I am a wolf!

Kyle

And you realize that person who is wearing the Mantle costume, they probably have no idea what the fuck a wolf is. Because a wolf is like a dog, and we have it as canon that dogs no longer exist.

Ari

It is true.

Kyle

But no, they--they--they think it’s terrifying. They know a wolf is scary.

Ari

Okay. Alright. So by that, Misha is going to, a story is going to pop into their mind and they’re going to be like:

Ari (as Misha)

Well, I do believe you should be, because I happen to know of a tale of a boy that kept not being afraid of a wolf and ended up in very unfortunate circumstances. I will, if you wish, tell it to you.

Kyle (as first guard)

No, you know, I--I don’t really need to hear that story. That’s not important.

Kyle (as second guard)

Hey--hey, hey man, listen—we don’t want to be like this kid, alright?

Ari (as Misha)

Yes, I do believe you need to listen to all of it, because otherwise the wolf that ate the girl earlier this evening—or last evening—whatever I mentioned the date was—will get you as well.

Kyle (as first guard)

Well shit, I’m not no girl!

Kyle (as second guard)

Well no man, but Carol is! We’ve got to keep Carol safe.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And then they are in rapt attention. I’m going to say since you’re helping out Hop, you don’t have to roll to succeed on this, because this is—you’re essentially aiding with his roll. So you have their rapt attention, and their backs are—you’re at the top of the stairs, and so their backs are actually—their backs are to--their backs are facing you, Hop. That was the words I was thinking of and couldn’t make with my mouth.

Hallie

Okay.

Ari

So Misha is going to start basically telling the story of the boy who cried wolf. And as they start saying that, they’re going to motion to Hop.

Hallie

So it’s in his front breast pocket, or it was in his back pocket?

Kyle

It’s in one of their pockets—I—jus--fu--[Laughter.]

Ari

I hope it’s a back pocket, because—

Hallie

Let’s have it be a back pocket.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Okay, cool! It’s in a back pocket. Yeah, it’s in one of their back pockets.

Hallie

Okay. Hopper’s not trained in pickpocketing and everything, but he is trained in stealth. Can I?

Kyle

Okay, I’ll let that pass. I’ll let that pass.

[Mysterious music, the kind of tune that indicates someone is sneaking about, begins.]

Hallie

Woo! Alright.

Kyle

You better succeed with this.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie

He’s just going to Skyrim sneak up behind him now and—[Devolves into laughter.]

Kyle

Don’t invoke video games like Skyrim because that means if you fail, literally everyone will try to kill you.

Hallie

Kyle, no! Alright, okay.

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

Natural 20.

Tom

Woah!

Ari

Damn.

Kyle

So you’re going to get the thing, but is there any bonus you want, like anything else you might want to get, or anything you want to have happen?

Hallie

Uh, I wasn’t prepared for actually succeeding at this.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

I would like—if there’s anything else useful that could fall out of his pockets when I’m doing this, could I get an extra thing?

Kyle

Yeah, I’m asking you what thing do you want?

Hallie

Oh, I don’t know.

Kyle

Give me a thing!

Hallie

I don’t know what the mystery is!

Kyle

You are part of this story!

Hallie

I want—I want another checklist of things that they’re doing, or, like, names. Can I have a list of names of the other Jagged Dream members who are here tonight, just in case we need to know?

Kyle

Yeah. So you get—so it comes out, you get two things. The first thing you get is a page from your Atlas, and it is a page chronicling the important events in Qi’s history.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

The other thing that you get out of it is you get that list, and it seems to almost be a shipping chart.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Like there are quadrants and theories and lines between people.

Hallie

Yesss.

Kyle

And there’s a bunch of names—you get to choose what name you want to adopt. But all of them seem to converge around one name: Chris Prevansworth-Pine.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Yess. And then I’m just going to sneak away back to where I was before, so that Misha can see that he did--he did his thing.

Kyle

Cool. I think it’s time to move back to Hop and Elee since we’ve been around with—

Everyone But Kyle

Xoc and Elee!

Kyle

Fuck!

Ari

Why do you keep messing our names?!

Kyle

I don’t know!

Hallie

Hop’s just hopping everywhere tonight!

[Fast-paced electronic music begins.]

Kyle

Hello, and welcome to the announcement break for episode 31 of Quest Friends: Questionable Measures Part 13! I am Kyle, your GM, and we’re just going to talk for like a minute or so about just some random announcements. Some announcement stuff. So, as usual, our intro song is “Friends” by Miracle of Sound. You can find a link to that and some of the other songs below. Three quick announcements for you today. The first announcement is that our players actually used a map for this heist. They actually were working off of a map, which I think I cut all the references to it, but there might be a couple of references in there. If you want to see the map they were looking at and kind of play along at home, the link to that map can be found below. It can also be found at questfriendspodcast.com, our website, which about a few weeks ago got a massive overhaul and renovation. It’s now cleaner, it’s easier to go places. For example, our episode summaries page has been condensed down into one page, so now it’s just super easy to see what you need to see. And our about page has been really renovated and focused on explaining what is our show, what are we about, and also providing suggested first episodes. So if you know someone and you’re like hey, I want you to start this show and you don’t know where to start them, I have some recommendations based on their preferences there. So that was the second announcement. And finally, the last announcement is just announcing that our schedule is now going to be every other week starting today. This was, as you can see, a particularly long episode for us, so it took a little bit more time editing, and because of that I was a week late. I’m just going to start with this week moving on with my goal of being able to kind of get ahead of the game. So with that said, we’ve got a lot of heist left to go. But as for our episode after the heist, our next episode will be released on Monday, February 25th. I will see you then.

[36:10]

[Fast-paced electronic music resumes.]

Kyle

Xoc and Elee, you walk through a pretty nice, elegantly put together hallway, like one that would be attached to the ballroom because it’s attached to the ballroom. On your left, there are a couple of rooms, there is a green room, and then you see a room for Ms. Stiles, and you see a room for Mr. ? ? ?, and then just in smaller font, “We know his first name is Vespari, but that’s it.”

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You see some doors leading into a ballroom in front of you, and then on your right you see a doors that lead to a kind of buffet area. You actually see a couple of Jagged Dream members as you come out, walk out of the ballroom and then down near the buffet area, being like:

Kyle (as first Jagged Dream member)

Uh, I didn’t get it. But we totally got it!

Kyle (as second Jagged Dream member)

Yeah, we got it!

Kyle

And they keep walking.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

As the carts go through, you see in addition to the buffet area, there’s just a very thin, very spooky looking hallway. You know the one spooky hallway everyone had in their public high school?

Hallie and Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

That had that flickering light, and you were never sure if anyone went down there, or if it’s been used in the past 60 years? You do see that as well.

Tom

Uh, in that case, Xoc might just hang around in the hallway, like—

Kyle

We’re off to a rip-roaring adventure, everybody.

Tom

[Stuttering sounds of protest.]

Kyle

Standing in hallways.

Tom

Th--this is a place we said we were going to meet up, we’re at the--at the location, we’re in position.

Emily

I’m going to glance over at Xoc and say:

Emily (as Elee)

What if we just went for it?

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

What if we just went for the dressing room now?

Tom (as Xoc)

Ugh. Mm. The only thing—oh! I don’t have to worry about that.

Tom

Xoc—

Emily (as Elee)

Xoc, were you thinking that we couldn’t tell them?

Tom

N-no--shh--Tom, Tom definitely didn’t forget that he has a constant mental link.

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

Xoc.

Ari

What?

Tom

Xoc will just send a message Misha’s way and say:

Tom (as Xoc)

Misha Jarvis, we’re in position in the--in the basement floor between the kitchen and the ballroom. Elee is suggesting that maybe we should just go for Lorraine’s dressing room and try to start our climb. Do you and--do you and Hopper think that’s a good idea?

Ari

Question: At what time point did Misha receive this?

Kyle

You’re telling the story.

Ari

So I was--I was mid-telling the story.

Kyle

You are mid telling the story.

Tom

Oh dear.

Ari

Okay. Um.

Kyle

If you want to respond, we can say that Misha just pauses for a second, and the folks you’re talking to are like:

Kyle (as first guard)

No, but then what--but then what happened to the girl? What happened to the girl? We need to know!

Kyle

So they’re just thinking that you’re being super dramatic as you respond to Xoc.

Ari

Okay. So, okay, when Misha receives that, they are going to stutter a bit, but then they’re going to be like:

Ari (as Misha)

And I would like you to think, what did you think happened to this--to this boy? Just think for a second.

Ari

And then they’re going to like, keep that dramatic pause. And then they’re going to reply to Xoc:

Ari (as Misha)

I trust you and Elee B. So if you think that’s for the best, then you should do it.

Tom (as Xoc, telepathically to Misha)

Okay … s-seuh-see you soon!

Tom

And then Xoc will say:

Tom (as Xoc)

Alright then, Elee, I guess we can go in.

Kyle

So you walk down the hallway, you walk past the green room, you see Vespari’s room, you can see him just talking to it sounds like nobody on the other hand. He’s like:

Kyle (as the Great Vespari)

Well I did that sketch earlier today! Yes, I know the boy ruined it, but that’s why I need to reclaim it! It needs to be my trick!

Tom

Xoc will stick out his tongue as he walks by and proceed to Lorraine’s room.

Kyle

Sounds good. The room’s so nice, you guys. It’s so nice. There are like, half a dozen of the lipstick kisses. The room is literally overflowing with bouquets that fans have sent her. You see a couple of dresses in a closet, and this big, long, wide mirror. You actually see—

[Wistful piano music begins.]

Kyle

Some look like our newspaper clippings, some are a bit more interactive, some are for kids—you see basically reports from all around the Steadfast chronicling all the times she was supposedly humiliated by Hopper Scotch. Hero Saves Town! Hero Stops Dastardly Villain! Lorraine Stiles On the Run Again! And then to your left you see a spiral staircase.

[40:27]

Tom

Xoc just looks around at the various stories, and he just looks a little sad and says, like:

Tom (as Xoc)

Hopper Scotch deserves better.

Emily (as Elee)

I’d almost feel...kind of sorry for her, but also I hate her.

[Wistful music stops abruptly.]

Emily

And then I want to drool on her lipstick.

Kyle

You do it! You successfully drool. It’s very gross.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

There’s no roll to make it less gross, because it just is.

Emily

[Laughs harder.] No, I want it to be very gross.

Kyle

Cool. Does anyone want to do like, something, anything else? Literally anything else?

Emily

[Still laughing.]

Kyle

I’m up to suggestions here.

Emily

I just felt like being spiteful.

Kyle

Um, so you make your way up the spiral staircase, there’s a curtain in front of you, one of those big curtains. You’re on the back of the stage. And you are going to get your first complication.

Emily

[Small distressed noise.]

[Dance music dramatically begins behind Kyle.]

Kyle

And you hear a very loud lady’s voice say:

Kyle (as choreographer)

No! The dancers must dance perfectly! They are programmed to do so, they will do so! Now again, everyone! One, two, three, four!

Kyle

And you just hear this pounding of feet on the stage, of dancing. And you hear like the cheap—you know how they use cheap little boomboxes when practicing dress rehearsals for performances because the doors aren’t open yet? So you hear this boombox playing a song, and you see the dancing figures in shimmering spandex, Misha Jarvises.

Ari

What?

Emily

What?

Tom

The fuck?

Emily

What?

Ari

Ex-excuse--excuse me? Excuse me?

Hallie

I be confused!

Tom

To clarify what we’re seeing—

Ari, Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Ari

What the fuck?

Tom

Just to clarify what I’m seeing here.

Kyle

At one point they do lean to the right, and you can definitely see, in shimmering spandex, a grey-eyed Misha Jarvis before it pops back up again and continues its little jimmy.

Ari

[Breathless laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

What the hell is this? What the hell is this hell?

Tom

Xoc is just flabbergasted. He’s just stunned. I mean, he recovers because he knows that this sort of thing sometimes happens with machines, but he’s never seen so many identical models. And to see so many of--of dear Misha--

Ari

[Laughter.]

Tom

--is quite a shock.

Emily

Quite a...Xocccc!

Tom

Yes.

Ari

[Laughing.] I feel like it’s gotta elicit some feelings too.

Everyone except Tom

[Laughter.]

Tom

Yeah. Xoc isn’t entirely certain what he feels about this.

Everyone except Tom

[Laughs harder.]

Tom

Yeah, you share that digital high five, go ahead.

Everyone except Tom

[Continues to laugh.]

Emily

I would like to--I would like to roll perception on Xoc’s demeanor!

[Dice rolls.]

19!

Kyle

Alright, Xoc. What’s your demeanor? And not what demeanor Xoc thinks he has. What is Xoc’s demeanor?

Tom

Xoc has a little bit of a deer in the headlights look right now. He’s done, like, a full stop, arms up a little bit like, what? You can see the gears turning in his head as he looks around, like wanting to go around the curtain and actually see what’s happening, but afraid to do so.

Emily

So I’m going to describe the motion that Elee does. So she’s kind of a little bit behind Xoc. She’s going to, like, reach her hand around and put it in front of his eyes, sort of on the side of his head.

Ari

Like a--like a parent—

Emily

And just like, turn his head away and start guiding him in the other direction.

Emily (as Elee)

Ignore...spandex...Mishas. I know it’s going to be really hard.

Tom (as Xoc)

Uhh…

Emily (as Elee)

But we’ve got to go get Q-BO.

Tom (as Xoc)

How do we get around them?

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Alright. I think that’s a good point to cut back to Hop and Misha. Misha, you just sent your message, Hop has stolen the thing, and do you see—the figures in front of you are shaking.

Kyle (as first guard)

[Sobbing breathlessly between words.] No! It’s--it’s cause she didn’t trust her friends, and she didn’t admit she was scared! And because of that, she—she got eaten by the wolf! I’m so scared all the time!

Ari

I guess as soon as they finish the story, Misha’s going to kind of look very surprised at their reactions and say:

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, I--I do--I do apologize if I made you feel this way, humans. It was not my intent. But I suppose whatever lesson I had said in the story I have just said should be learned.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari

So I hope you follow it.

Kyle (as first guard)

[Sobbing harder.] We will! Thank you so much.

Ari

I just want to say that the way I want Misha’s storytelling thing to work, since storytelling relies on a bunch of different concepts and stuff that they really wouldn’t understand as much, is that as soon as they finish telling it, they would virtually just forget what they said. It’s kind of like--like--like reading from a prompt, like an internal prompt.

Kyle

I love it.

[45:16]

Ari

So they really have no idea what they just said, but they’re like, [Satisfied sound.] I guess it worked.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I love it. Yeah, so what are you--what are you going to do? I’d say it’s about five minutes before the doors open.

Ari

Yeah, so they’re going to turn to Hop and say:

Ari (as Misha)

Scotch Scotch Simon—while you were stealing the—

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Proudly.] It’s a piece of paper.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

It was ripped from my atlas.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, intriguing. Why do they have that?

Hallie

Kyle, for clarification, that wasn’t missing from my Atlas before we—

Kyle

I cannot say whether or not it was the thing that was stolen during Argent, cause you never checked. You never checked your stuff.

Hallie

What do you mean I never—

Kyle

You never checked your stuff.

Tom

[Starting to laugh.]

Hallie

Fuck me! Okay.

Tom and Ari

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So it might have been what was stolen, it might not have. Maybe you should check your gear sometime.

Hallie

I say:

Hallie (as Hopper)

I don’t know!

Hallie

And then I check my gear.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

I’d like to check all my shit, please.

Kyle

Cool. N-nothing except for—it’s going to take a few minutes.

Hallie

Misha can keep talking to--to Si--uh, Hopper.

Hallie (as Hopper)

What were you saying, Misha?

Hallie

While he’s frantically patting himself down.

Ari

Misha’s going to say:

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, yes, while I was distracting the guards, I got a signal from Xoc. He said that he and Elee decided to go into Lorraine’s dressing room. And since I couldn’t really interrupt what you were doing without drawing suspicions, I told him that I trusted them. I hope this was okay.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh yeah, perfect. If they can get in, they should go in. And they dodged a bullet on the outfits.

Hallie

Can I drop them in a nearby trash can?

Kyle

Yeah, there’s not a trash can, but you do see there, just sitting there with its mouth open—you don’t see Cart, but you see a frogtaur, which is the name of Cart’s species.

Tom

Oh no! This is cruelty!

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Well if it’s a thing, I’m not going to—can I just put them by the plant in that case?

Tom and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You cannot put it behind a living plant, but a fake plastic plant, yes, there are plenty around.

Hallie

Yeah, that’s fine. J-ust anything that I can just like, kick it behind, like get out of here.

Tom

And welcome to another episode of Between Two Ferns.

Hallie and Kyle

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Yeah, you kick it behind there, and as you look through your stuff, nothing else is missing. Your blueprints weren’t stolen, your note from Lorraine, about the outfits, wasn’t stolen, the only thing that was stolen was this single sheet of paper out of probably a couple hundred in that atlas.

Hallie

Okay. Can I take a closer look at the sheet of paper?

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

What does it tell me?

Kyle

It just tells you important historical events in Qi.

Hallie

Huh. Hop will glance at it and be like—

Hallie (as Hopper)

I’ll look at this more closely later, but for now we’re running out of time, so we should get started on stalling for time as--as much as we can. Your story was really good. You should go keep telling people stories I think, to give Xoc and Elee time to get Q-BO from the auction house.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, thank you Scotch Simon Scotch. What was my story?

Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

It was about like a girl and a wolf, and how you shouldn’t trust wolves, I guess? Speaking of which, I’m going to go find Lorraine.

Ari (as Misha)

Well I-I-I believe Lorraine is kind of a wolf. That’s a good one, Scotch Simon Scotch.

Hallie

[Laughter.] Oh my god--

Ari and Hallie

[Laughter.]

Hallie

I don’t know. Hopper’s been told that he’s cool and that he said a good joke. by Misha now. [Laughter.] Hop is not used to being complimented this much. So he’ll kind of like—

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Bashfully] Aw, thanks.

Ari, Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

He’s proud of himself. And then to find Lorraine, can I turn on the pin so that I can hear her but she can’t hear me to see if I can like—I mean, I can just walk around to look for her also, but in case I need to do something to find her, that was my plan.

Kyle

Yeah, you turn on the pin. You just hear the most obnoxious—

[Chewing noises come in over the pin.]

Kyle

Lorraine is a very elegant woman, but apparently she’s a very sloppy eater. But it might be intentional, because you can hear Vespari, like, angrily ranting to her about his placement in the performance being like:

Kyle (as the Great Vespari)

I’m before the mid-intermission break. I’m practically nobody. I am the Great Vespari, why are you putting me in such a bad position? And could you please stop chewing like that?

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

[Chewing noises.] Oh, Vespari, listen [Chewing.] I’ll try my hardest, but [Chewing.] honestly, you’re like a little kid’s show. That’s not what I think, but that’s what Tommy thinks, and I mean, it would take a lot to change his mind.

Kyle

She’s fucking with Vespari because she can.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright. Okay. Uh, Misha, I’m going to head downstairs. I think that’s where Lorraine is, and I’ll try to stall her from starting the auction.

Ari (as Misha)

Yes. It is all going according to your plan. I will go and distract the main crowd so that Xoc and Elee can get Q-BO in the meantime.

Ari

To remind the audience what we’re doing.

Hallie

Eyyy!

Kyle

So a couple of things are happening right now.

[Dramatic music begins.]

Kyle

It is about 10 to 15 minutes before the auction begins. Inside the auction room, after being scolded by this artiste of a woman, the Misha Jarvises on the stage descend down into the green room below. As they do, this woman huffily takes a seat, scribbling in her notebook, allowing potentially Xoc and Elee a way into Q-BO. Unfortunately, this is the time the doors open. And as the doors open and the crowd starts walking towards the auction, blowing Xoc and Elee’s chance of getting in, a light—a beacon of fashion—appears before them.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And you see in this marvelous mask and hat, a figure unlike anything Roulettia or much less the Ninth World has ever seen: tall and elegant and so very retro—Misha Jarvis, the world stops and stares at you. What do you do to keep their attention?

[Dramatic music stops at just the right dramatic moment.]

[50:45]

Ari (as Misha)

[Rapping.] Um, if I can gather your attention for a bit, really quick, a bit of an intervention. See, I must confess that this event is a mess. I mean, it’s truly unruly, and the audience is getting drooly, but fear not, worry not, the solution here I’ve got. With a 100% human, non-suspicious, non-robot. I mean my name is M I S, yes, just M I S, nothing more nothing less. [Whispers.] I say, Misha Jarvis.

Kyle

And the crowd goes wild!

[Roaring applause.]

Kyle

You just hear hooting, hollering, people are, like, throwing off their hats and making impromptu masks—

[Dramatic music begins again.]

Kyle

Because you spent one XP to get a cane, a man in a very long purple and black outfit walks up to you and leans down in front of you and says:

Kyle (as elegant man)

Please, sign and take my cane!

Kyle

And you see him hold up a thin, black cane with a glass dome at its tip, and images drawn on the glass flutter like the wings of a butterfly. And he just gives this to you because he’s so excited, and he knows that someone other than him, someone greater needs to hold this greatness, so now you have this amazing cane that’s also a light weapon, and everyone is so, so very distracted, until the performance starts.

Ari

Misha is going to smile and they are going to be like:

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, now that I have your attention, I can also tell hundreds of new stories, with the sound of music.

Kyle

[Laughter.] That’s it. Fucking show’s over. Can’t go higher than that.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So, we had three goals of the heist. If you’re doing a checklist of the heist, Misha’s part? Done. Nailed it. We are now on to Xoc and Elee.

Emily

So we can get across like—

Tom

Yeah, we’re going to start climbing the room.

Kyle

Yeah, so you—climbing the room. Alright. So you walk out onto the stage. On th--

Emily

Wait, why are we climbing?

Kyle

That’s what I’m asking. Because like, Tom doesn’t know what the room looks like, how could you climb it? So you walk out--I’m just going to climb the walls, like Spiderman.

Hallie

Sperderman!

Tom

Well no, no, no, no. Go ahead and describe it, say words.

Kyle

[Sputters incoherently for a second.] S-eh-ye-yeah, okay. So you walk out on stage, and this woman is, uh, huffily—I almost gave her a mustache because everyone has a mustache—this woman, this perfectionist woman is scribbling in her notepad furiously, and then looking over at Misha and getting actually a little bit upset at just how good Misha is doing. And is like—

Kyle (as choreographer)

Why can’t my models do that?

Kyle

And then just scribbles a bit more. And um, so she’s not paying attention to you, the doors are wide open, and not an eye is pointed in your direction.

[Upbeat, swingy ukulele music begins.]

Kyle

So you see this auction house. There are rows of very fancy, very uncomfortable seats. A handful of chandeliers. But you see up at the top, you see a massive, multi-layered chandelier that’s hanging below an even bigger and wider, wonderful, colorful mosaic of Tommy Funbuck. Everything is of Tommy Funbuck. So you just see his terrible, jackass-y smile. It’s still a very pretty mosaic, and, like, even if the prettiest thing about it is that the massive chandelier is hiding most of it. Right above that chandelier, above that glass, is the room that has Q-BO.

[Music fades.]

Tom

Alright then. I guess we begin to climb. So like, there’s the chandelier above us, but are there little ledges? Like, imagine, if you will, a stealth game, and in this stealth game, the moldings of the room, rather than being small, ordinary moldings that you would expect, are, like, almost these little ledges at levels to the room. Or maybe there’s a little sconce. A little sconce for lighting that also just has inexplicably enough space for a human person to just also be there.

Kyle

Well this isn’t Thief, so no, but...

Tom

Fuck you!

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I mean, there are chandeliers all over the place, there’s a ladder behind stage that leads to a kind of space above the stage that has lighting and stuff, and then there’s also—there’s like ornate platinum carvings that, like, you can’t stand on them but you can climb up them, up the side of the room.

Emily

I have a question that just occurred to me.

Kyle

Hit me.

Emily

So, Q-BO is on a platform that goes up and down, right?

Kyle

Yeah. So like—

Emily

Like the one that Xoc controlled?

Kyle

Yeah, actually.

Emily

[Trying not to laugh.] Can we just have Xoc bring it down while everyone’s in the other place and run?

Tom

Do you tell that to Xoc in time? ‘Cause he’s going to start—I guess my question was, can I farstep directly to that chandelier or am I going to have to work my way up.

Kyle

Yes, you can.

[55:07]

Tom

Oh, well, alright. I was--I was looking for ways to work my way up the room all sneaky like, but I guess Xoc just farsteps immediately to the chandelier.

Kyle

Elee thinks, huh, maybe we could do this easier, turns over, sees Xoc up there doing things the hard way, and I don’t mean to speak to your character, is probably a little proud? [Short pause.] Yeah, she’s a little proud.

Emily

Yeah, she’s going to give Xoc a thumbs up, and you know that kind of whisper shout?

Emily (as Elee)

[Whisper-yelling.] This was so much better than my plan! This is why I don’t plan! Things like this happens! You should drop it! The chandelier I mean.

Tom

Oh no! Xoc looks aghast at that, because he looks down at the crowd of civilians.

Emily

Wait, they were under the chandelier?

Kyle

No, they’re outside. They’re outside the auction house.

Tom

Oh! Ohh!

Emily

[Horrified and indignant.] I don’t want to drop it on civilians, Tom!

Tom

Oh! Ohhh! Oh!

Emily

I’m not going to crush innocent people!

Kyle

But that woman who was—who is actually sitting in the auction house, definitely would fall on her.

Emily

[Disappointed.] Oh, never mind.

Tom

Xoc glances down aghast at the...innocent?—maybe?—civilian who is below the chandelier, and just, like, gestures for Elee to climb.

Emily

Elee just notices--Elee just notices that she was there and is like:

Emily (as Elee)

[Whisper-yelling.] Cut the chandelier thing. Don’t do the chandelier thing!

Tom and Hallie

[Laughter.]

Emily

And I’m going to try to make my way, [Laughs.] I guess with my Wolverine claws?

Tom

Yeah.

Kyle

Okay. Give me a might roll. That’s going to have to be a roll for you.

Emily

[Distantly.] Per Tom’s suggestion—

Kyle

Hey Emily, Emily, how ‘bout you talk in the mic when you—

Emily

[Loudly] Per Tom’s suggestion—

Kyle

Thank you Emily.

Tom

Per my last e-mail.

Everyone

[Laughter.]

Emily

Um, no, but I was pulling out my character sheet, because I—oh no. I thought I was trained in climbing. I’m trained at balance, nevermind.

Kyle

You’re trained in fucking everything, alright?

Tom

[Laughter.]

Emily

[Sadly.] I’m not trained in climbing, though.

Kyle

Whoopity-fucking-doo, how sad for you.

Emily

I was going to try to make it easier for meeee.

Tom

Look we need every edge we can get, Kyle.

Emily

Exactly.

Hallie

It’s true.

Kyle

And I’m guessing that Elee has like three edge in might.

[Die rolls.]

Emily

S-seven.

Tom

So effort is cheaper?

Kyle

Did you use those three might to put in effort?

Emily

I didn’t, but I would like to re-roll with an XP.

Kyle

That’s probably a good idea.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Are you going to put in effort this time?

Emily

[Strained.] I am.

Kyle

Oh, I’m so proud of you. You’re learning.

Emily

Wow. Wow.

[Die rolls.]

Emily

Fifteen! And I put in one level of effort.

Kyle

Okay, you handily climb that, you are—are you on the chandelier, or are you hanging, like, next to the chandelier?

Emily

I would like to be hanging next to the chandelier, considering kicking it, but not kicking it.

Kyle

Okay, you’re next to the chandelier. You’re not on the glass itself because you would slide right fucking through. I mean, do you want to be hanging on the glass? Like the--the mosaic? Like that?

Emily

Yeah, I want to do that.

Kyle

Okay, you’re doing that. You’re just hanging next to Xoc being like, hey! I don’t know what the hell you’re doing. That--this is your job, I describe.

Emily

I’m hanging next to Xoc being like—hey!

Tom

And Xoc will just ignite his cutting light hand and just slice himself a liiittle circle of glass in the mosaic.

Kyle

Yeah, and this pretty thin piece of glass falls and just kind of—you hear like a little cute tinkling as it just slowly falls and gently lands into the chandelier itself, and just is snuggling there.

Tom

I’m just going to—can I just pick it up, like stick it in my inventory? My nebulous inventory?

Kyle

Xoc now has—Piece of Glass! [Kyle imitates the intro music from Mega Man.]

Emily

Elee briefly reaches out her hand with an odd look on her face, as if to stop him, and then just lets it happen.

Kyle

So you, uh, you climb up—I’m assuming you climb up through the mosaic?

Kyle and Emily

Yes.

Kyle

Okay. So.

[Mysterious music begins.]

Kyle

You get into this room, this wide, spacious dome. It is very plain. There are bits of metal on the walls that climb up to a point on the ceiling. To one side, you see--your only way you can view out of this room besides below you--you see the small hallway that leads to the outside of the room, and actually the outside of the building itself. And this is that hallway of death that you so deftly avoided. Wires criss cross around this room. You see little like birds with antennas perched around from their connectors. These are presumably antennae that are broadcasting what Q-BO was supposed to be saying across everywhere. But these ones are--are still. They look powered down. and in front of you, you see a few steps that lead up to a pedestal, and on it you see a plain, circular sphere. I want you all first to, uh, roll perception.

[Dice rolling.]

Emily

Thirteen.

Tom

I got a four.

[1:00:00]

Kyle

Elee, you notice a few more things. You notice that there are a couple of guards positioned at the end of the hallway. They’re kind of looking around, it looks like they’re waiting for the person to replace Q-BO, ‘cause remember V-Bo is replacing Q-BO. It looks like they’re waiting for that person. And you also hear no humming or sounds of electronics, which is supporting the idea that everything is kind of shut down right now. But you do hear--you do hear one other thing. Even though everything is shut down, you do hear this small, kind of percussive sound from where Q-BO is.

[Soft, mystical music box tune begins.]

Tom

Can Xoc reach out with his mental abilities and attempt to make contact with Q-BO?

Emily

That’s such a better idea. I was just going to go grab it.

Tom

We might still be doing that, but first Xoc is going to ask:

Tom (as Xoc)

[Cautiously.] Q-BO? Are you...awake?

Kyle

You don’t get anything. You just hear that sound a little bit louder. You hear a little tune. It’s kind of a little percussive, but also a little woodwind-y as well. It’s like a fusion between percussion and, um, what am I thinking, like a brass or woodwind instrument.

Tom

Xoc will turn to Elee and just sort of shake his head and be like:

Tom (as Xoc)

I think they’re asleep.

Emily

The guards are not looking at us, right?

Kyle

Nope!

Emily (as Elee)

I think we should just grab Q-BO!

Tom

Xoc will nod at that.

Emily

And I want to try and go grab Q-BO. And tuck him under my arm.

Kyle

Alright. This is like a minute or two. It’s been awhile. It’s about a minute or two before the auction begins. You’ve got here just in time. Elee, you walk up, and you hear the song a little bit more. It’s very cool and it’s, like, weird actually. You don’t like it because it’s too stiff and mathematical and you go in—

Tom

No!

Hallie

Emily!

Tom and Emily

Nooo!

Kyle

And you go and you—

Emily

No!

Tom

No! Oh my God.

Kyle

And now we’re going to go back in time about 15 minutes to Hop. Um, Hop?

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

It is now about 10 to 15 minutes before the scene we just saw. You have walked down the stairs, and you’re in this cute little lobby I’m assuming you walk through into the ballroom.

[Elegant music begins but is suddenly cutoff.]

Kyle

It’s a ballroom. You can tell I didn’t have a description written here, but it’s just a ballroom.

Hallie

It’s a ballroom.

[Different, slicker music begins.]

Kyle

There are a couple balconies up to your top left, you hear some smooth, like, jazz music playing, and folks are dancing along to it. It is a sea of top hats and Lorraine hats.

Hallie

[Exhales in disgust.] God.

Kyle

And it is just sickening.

Hallie

I hate it.

Kyle

And in front of you, you see, like, a band performing on the stage. And it’s funny because a lot of them are dressed like everyone else, although you do see one guy in a brown hat, and he is playing the drums. And the band says Ms. Lorraine’s Big Brass Band.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Disgusted sigh.]

Hallie

He makes that sound when he sees that and then continues to scan the crowd for the actual Lorraine in-between all these not-Lorraines.

Kyle

You don’t see her.

Hallie

Okay. Well, if he doesn’t just see her on the floor, then he’s going to use the pin its intended purpose, and he’s going to call Lorraine.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey Lorraine. I see your band is playing. You wanna dance?

[The music slows into soft, romantic piano music.]

Kyle

And with that, [Gleefully.] the music slows down a little bit, and one of the doors opens. The showy jazz notes give way to elegant piano as Lorraine Stiles walks onto the stage, across the room from you. And you know instantly that this is the Lorraine Stiles. She stands with a slouched confidence, an impressively understated red dress drawing a line up her side. Her platinum hair is neatly tucked into an extremely wide, tall white hat. And she makes her way down the spiraling side stairs of the stage. Every pair of eyes in the room is fixated on Roulettia’s darling. Except for one pair, as Lorraine’s eyes are focused on you.

Hallie

Hopper goes to the middle of the dance floor and holds out his hand.

Kyle

She takes it.

Hallie

Alright.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Well Hopper, how’ve things been going?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Can’t complain.

Hallie

And then he’ll start the dance. And the thing about Hopper Scotch is that he doesn’t really like to dance, but he’s really good at it because dad Alvin signed him up for so many dance classes when he was a kid.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Just so many dance classes. So then, after he pulls her into the dance, he’ll say:

[Inquisitive music, the kind that supports Hopper’s suspicions about Lorraine and the Argent device, begins.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

Couldn’t help but notice the Argent up there.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Oh, what about—well, it’s a pretty big invention. And I mean, you have been looking into it.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, it’s interesting that you have Dotwave technology and haven’t once thought about somehow getting it to Cartesian.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Hopper, you know the way things look don’t necessarily indicate what’s inside. I mean, after all—

Kyle

And she twirls you around.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Many years ago, I saw a doofy little boy in a stocking nightcap. But inside of him, I saw a hero.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well the hat was mandatory wear. I didn’t choose to wear that.

Kyle

Wow, sick burn, Hop!

All

[Laughter.]

Hallie

I know!

Kyle

I had to wear it!

All

[Laughing harder.]

Hallie

I had to wear the hat!

All

[Continued laughter.]

Kyle

I literally don’t have a response for that.

Hallie

No, no, that’s fine, because he’s going to continue.

Hallie (as Hopper)

I’m not so sure what you saw that day. I can’t tell if you’re helping me or not.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Hopper, I’ve always been helping you. I am your biggest fan, and I know you don’t believe most things you say, but that is something I can absolutely promise, as much as that Jesse is fond of you. After all, who has--who would have pushed you the way I did? We made each other, Hopper, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

[1:05:11]

Hallie (as Hopper)

I would. You’re bored, Lorraine. This doesn’t interest you anymore. And I can’t--I don’t think I’m enough of a challenge for you. I don’t think you’re challenging yourself enough. What if you stopped devoting yourself to these schemes, these cons, all of this, and tried to benefit someone. I know that I asked you to stop in Cartesian, but stopping wouldn’t be enough of a challenge. Unequivocally helping us would.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Hopper, as great as that is, I haven’t seen a challenge like you before. I just want to pursue excitement. You know that about me. And you also know that, come on, I created Hopper Scotch. Besides the once, he’s gone around saving the world. I’d say by looking out for you, I’m really looking out for most folks.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Looking out for me?

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Hopper, you really think I would have made such a foolish mistake as I did back in Dunshire, even at that young of an age?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Maybe.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

No, Hop, I was so dreadfully bored. I was seeking for somebody who could do something, who could have a greatness I could attain to that had no limit, and well, you passed the test.

Hallie (as Hopper)

What kind of test are you setting now? Why are you working with the Jagged Dream?

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Have you ever played chessers, Hopper Scotch? Sometimes the way to win is to make sacrifices, and in order to get the information on the Jagged Dream that I needed to get you here to bring you back, I had to give them a little bit of information. It’s just an old book, I’m sure they don’t mind, and I’m sure that you’ll be more than capable of stopping their “world ending”—

Kyle

And she does pause from the dance for a second to do air finger quotes—

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Schemes.

Hallie (as Hopper)

What if I can’t stop them, Lorraine? What if you’ve set events into motion you don’t even understand?

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Well, then that would be awfully exciting, wouldn’t it?

Kyle

And I’m going to introduce a complication. You’re going to—as she says that, you’re going to notice that she’s going to kind of push you down a little bit. And you’re going to see, looking up from one of the balconies, an old man wearing a mask of Tommy Funbuck’s face, hiding his own sagging, wrinkled, almost melting face, and he’s scanning the room, looking intently for somebody. And there are about four Manny Mates that he is motioning to start checking the room.

Hallie

Okay. I am not going to move yet, but I want to keep an eye on the people that are searching. So what I want to do is, I’m going to keep talking with Lorraine for like a second more, but I want to be twirling her in such a way that Hopper is giving himself the best angles to keep looking around even while he’s moving dancing.

Kyle

Okay.

Hallie

There was a movie called Ice Princess where the skater uses math to skate real good.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie

I’m going to argue I want to use the Ice Princess skill to do this, and it’s mathematically related, so Hop—

Kyle

Alright, give me a roll.

Hallie

Alright.

Tom

Ice Town Costs Town Clown His Town Crown.

Everyone

[Laughter.]

[Die rolls.]

Hallie

Neverrrr—ohhhh, it’s a three.

Ari

Oh no!

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You do that spin and as you do, you become very clear to Tommy.

Hallie

Crap.

Kyle

But in that moment, you feel the hat off your head lift up, and a tall top hat land on it instead. And Lorraine, as she spins, lets go of the hat that she placed on her head, picks up the Tommy Funbuck coat from another dancer, and slides it around your shoulders, rendering you disguised. And she says:

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Hopper, I promised that if you ever needed me, I would always be there, always be there to help your back—help you grow in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. And--

Hallie (as Hopper)

What is the point of anything if you just set it up for me to solve?

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

The point is that something happens, Hopper. And when we deal with individuals like you and me, the only way to get anything worth anything is to manufacture it.

Kyle

And as she says that, you hear a little beeping coming from—

[A beeping noise sounds.]

Kyle

She’s got like a little—like you know how people have little holsters sometimes on their legs? There’s a little beeping on her leg and she taps it off, and she sighs and gets really forlorn. She’s like:

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Oh no. The thieves have gotten to Q-BO. Did you ever figure out who was going to steal Q-BO, Hopper?

Hallie (as Hopper)

The Jagged Dream.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Oh no! Oh no!

Kyle

She puts her hand up to your cheek.

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

Hop, you really are my shattered dream. I so hoped you would come back, but no, Simon, no. It’s not the Jagged Dream.

[Mysterious music box music begins.]

Kyle

Every heist begins and ends with a monologue. The heroes start by saying all the ideal things they want to happen, and then a series of misadventures makes it seem like there’s no way they can win, there’s no way they can succeed. But at the end, they have a monologue, and they point out the ways that everything went perfectly according to plan. And this might be confusing for all of you, because I told you to do a monologue at the beginning, but all of you—I didn’t give you a monologue to do at the end, and it doesn’t make sense for you to do a monologue now. But that’s because you’re not the protagonists of this heist. You never were. And Lorraine looks at you and she says:

Kyle (as Lorraine Stiles)

No, Hopper, no. The thieves were never the Jagged Dream. Blueprints found in a room signed under your name. Elee and Xoc breaking into Tommy Funbuck’s room and uncovering all his secrets. A box, 2S and BTC. Two Simons and a Beatrice. No, Hop. The Jagged Dream were never the thieves. You were. So long, Simon N. Simon.

[1:10:43]

Kyle

And finally Lorraine does what you always wanted her to do—she sets her hand down and walks out of the room and out of your life. And far, far above you, in Q-BO’s room, Elee lifts up Q-BO and turns him around, and just sees on the sphere some text that says “now playing: the Pythagorean Rhythm.”

[Intense music begins.]

And as that plays, you turn around and you hear a slam as a large board is slammed over the hole, and you see, holding your reward for bringing Lorraine evidence for who the thieves are, under his arm. Regular Bob. And he looks at you. He looks at Hop’s friends, no longer innocent, and no longer protected by that promise Lorraine made not to harm them. And he’s just like:

Kyle (as Regular Bob)

Uh, hey. Uh, pretty big, uh, good heist you all, uhhhhhhh…

Kyle

And his “uhh” turns into a ghastly, guttural sound as he leans down. And as you have Regular Bob standing in front of you, and the auction is about to begin, you hear one last thing this episode. You hear an announcer say—

[Music takes a sudden twist toward the electroswing.]

Kyle (as announcer)

Ladies and Gentlemen, proudly presenting the star of tonight’s show: Lorraine Stiles!

Kyle

And it’s time to roll initiative.

Lorraine

[Singing.]

INTRO

1 - Ooooo

6 - Wel-come to the end game.

[Spoken, disappointed]: Oh, Simon.

VERSE 1

A10 - My heart was hard-end, each fight was a fling.

A11 - Then I dis-cov-ered a bond ev-er-last-ing

A10 - My soul was rest-less, pulled a-long a string

A5 - I had found pur-pose

A5 - I had found my king

CHORUS 1

A4 - Of ev-ry-thing

A4 - fate thought to bring

A4 - on puppet strings

B7 - a new ex-hil-er-at-tion

A4 - No fore-warn-ing

A4 - Could mend the sting

C4 - When you be-came

A1 + 5 - So dis-a-poi-oin-ting

BREAK

1 - Mmmm

VERSE 2

A10 - Sec-ond chan-ces are reserved for the few

A11 - Who hold a cer-tain unique price-less val-ue

A10 - But af-ter see-ing the lim-its of you

A5 - Our part-ner-ship just-

A5 - It can’t con-tin-ue

CHORUS 2

A4 - I’m in a bind

A4 - My heart’s maligned

A4 - It’s not in-clined

B7 - To pull the trigger on you

A4 - No mas-ter-mind

A4 - Should e-ver find

C4 - That it could be

A1 + 4 - So hard to say good

CHORUS 3

A4 - I won-der why

A4 - You had to die

A4 - I tried to try

B7 - The hole you left is grow-ing

A4 - It’s all a-wry

A4 - No one im-plied

C4 - That it would be

A1 + 4 - So hard to say good

CHORUS 4

A4 - The end is nigh

A4 - It’s time to fly

A4 - No more re-tries

B7 - You are a failed ob-ses-sion.

A4 - But with a sigh

A4 - I can’t de-ny

C4 - That it will be

A1 + 5 - So hard to say good-bye

[Lorraine’s song fades.]

Emily

No!

Kyle

And then you’ll roll initiative, that’s the end of this session.

Emily

[Anguished garbled noise.]

Tom

I think me and Emily realized what was going to happen--

Hallie

[Voice shaking in rage.] The worst part—the worst fucking part of this whole goddamn heist is that when you were like, oh the thing is playing math--like a really kind of boring, steady mathematical rhythm, I thought to myself, ha! Sounds like something Hopper would write. But I didn’t say it! God! I’m so fucking angry with you!

Tom

Are you okay?

Hallie

[Screams.]

Kyle

Now you realize why I was so happy when you were like, we should steal Q-BO. Because I need to make one thing clear: you know how like the Jagged Dream plans never made sense.

[1:05:03]

Tom

Ohhh my God.

Ari

Yeah.

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

This was endgame from before you entered Roulettia.

Ari

Oh my God!

Kyle

This has been endgame for over half of a year now!

Hallie

We thought we were—we played ourselves! God! [Voice muffled by head in hands.] Oh my God! Oh my God, I’m so fucking mad.

Emily

Okay. I had like, a physical reaction when she said...“Simon.”

Hallie

Oh yeah, no, there’s--that was a punch to the gut, and I don’t want it to be. But it felt like I had been stabbed. Hopper feels like he’s been stabbed. Hop’s not going to perform very well this next--this next action initiative round. He’s just--he’s just--he’s gone. He’s not going to be very useful. God, fuck Lorraine! I hate her more than words can ever fucking say! I am so fuck-ing mad!

Kyle

So that was the session.

Hallie

[Rage continues.] I need to go make some calming jasmine tea or something! Fuck this game! I’m going to stop my recording, is that okay?

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

Ya got all of it!

[End – 1: 16:09]


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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)