• Quest Friends!

Ep. 35: Elee's Memory, Part 2

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

Elee wrecks some shit.

Listen as she:

TRAILS a murderous fiend!

ADOPTS a new future!

GIVES up.

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

[Mournful piano music begins to play with a violin eventually picking up the melody.]

[Heavy breathing. There's a thump and a gasp of surprise and pain.]

Kyle (as a bandit)

[Panicked and audibly scared.] Long way down.  Oh, I told you. I don't know nothing. I don't know nothing. All right? [Pained noise.] I don't know nothing, please, just let me go!

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained, angry, attempting to sound vaguely like Batman.] You know something, and you're gonna tell me what.

Kyle (as a bandit)

[Increasingly frantic.] I don't know nothin'. I don't know nothing! Please just let me go!

Emily (as Elee)

Gladly.

Kyle (as a bandit)

Nooooooo!

[The noise fades into the distance over several seconds as if it's getting farther away, falling, a long way down. There's a crash, then silence.]

Emily

[A base beat and a rising, shrill noise before a bass guitar picks up an insistent rhythm under Emily's voice.]

Karl was dead. And Elee? Elee was gonna wreck some shit. As the sun set over the Beyond, squishy, fragile little Elee pried the steel stakes from the walls and the ceiling of her home, and built a bunker from her body. By sunrise, the blood had dried, the ringing of an impromptu smithy had faded, and metal glinted from her knuckles and joints.

Back inside the half-torn house, outside the nursery door, Elee set the first everflame on her hat, bracing it with Karl's gifts and precious trinkets. Karl's traveling clothes weighed heavy on her shoulders. Then, with her house in her bones and her heart on her head, Elee set fire to anything that remained. Elee was going to find Karl's killer, and as far as she was concerned? They were as good as dead already.

[After several seconds, the music fades out into silence.]

Kyle

But you never did. Years and years went by, and you never found them. What...what, you know, do I ask, what was it like to go through that? Do I ask, what caused you to stop looking? I, I, I'm...all I can really ask in response to that is just, what, and when, and why.

Emily

Why Elee stopped?

Kyle

Yeah.

Emily

You know, I really...should have thought of this beforehand.

Kyle

[Chuckling.]

Emily

I don't know, I didn't think this was gonna like...didn't think about this, as a thing that was obviously gonna come up. Because she had to have a reason, or… [Hesitantly.] maybe she didn't have a reason she could describe? It just happened as time passed. She was running out of leads, and you can only trick yourself into thinking that this is where you're going to find something...you can only trick yourself into thinking that so many times.

Kyle

The everflame never went out. But this fire did.

Emily

[Softly.] Yeah.

[Soft, gentle harp music, Karl’s theme, begins to play in the background.]

So Elee lit the second candle. She had an altar of sorts this time, too. A hat piled with peonies and pearls and dust and wax. She never had a funeral, though. Just weighed down her hat with tucked away memories and squared her shoulders. She tried to date again, eventually. Karl would have wanted her to be loved, Elee knew that, but loving someone back was so much harder, because...no one was Karl.

There was a girl with bright eyes, but they weren't bright like Karl's. A man who played the guitar beautifully, but he didn't play like Karl did. One was endearingly clumsy, but didn't laugh enough about it. One was handsome, but his grin didn't have Karl's dimple. A famous singer, a terrible cook, an actress, a fire dancer, a duchess who was very into the sixth world's political intrigue, an ex-member of the Jagged Dream, polite sewer-dwelling Dave. All of them were, well, them, and there was nothing wrong with them being them, but because they were them, they weren't Karl. And because Elee loved Karl, she couldn't love them. And that's how things went.

And then Elee met her.

[The music hits one extended soft note and continues with a slightly more mysterious air, with more strings and a low humming voice.]

Kyle

The whipping of stick on skin echoes through the bar, as a woman clouded in smoke moves her hand back to the dice, obscuring her hopscotch score. Through the cloud, one can only make out the bright flames of two candles, and without a word, her dice rattle again as the man in front of her nervously picks up his pair of dice and gently rolls them on the table.

Snake eyes.

[00:05:00]

A small whimper lets out from the hopscotch player, and within the cloud of smoke, a bag of rocks starts to clack and clatter, and then ...

[The music stops with a sudden, sharp whistle, like a referee's whistle.]

Kyle

A whistle lets out, and a bright voice says,

Kyle (as Speed Dating Host)

Okay now! Wrap up your conversations. Everyone on the inside of the circle, move to the table on your right for the next speed date!

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So this is about, uh, sixteen years before the present day. You are in a community center, Elee, and, and you are, you are trying your hand at some speed dating.

Emily

[Sarcastically.] It's going real well.

Kyle

[Laughing.] It's going real well for you. I mean, you've been winning this game of hopscotch, but you can, like, like you can tell how many speed dates has happened because you can just count down, and like, just count how many people are just like, bleeding profusely. And that's the number of rounds that have happened in the speed dating.

Emily

[High, amused noise.]

Kyle

Well, I mean like, I'm assuming at this point Elee has been dating a while, and a lot like with the Karl thing, I feel like at this point part of her has just given up.

Emily

[Sheepishly.] Yeah, that's fair.

Kyle

And honestly, I would ask you what brings Elee here, but honestly, I don't think she knows. I think it's just routine at this point.

Emily

Yeah, it's just like, [With forced cheerfulness.] “look at me, moving on! Look at me, putting the past in the past! I don't have any emotional baggage here, just going on light-hearted speed dates.”

Kyle

After, what, probably dec--at least a decade of like, terrible dating.

Emily

[Strained.] Light-hearted speed dates!

Kyle

[Laughing.] Anyway, so you're not expecting really anything in particular when the next person comes for speed dating. He's a young, fuzzy, gray boy, and he sits down in front of you, and he's just really excited. Like, his mouth is open in like this big open smile. He has, he's wearing a steampunk cosplay, it looks like? So he's got like, leather belts criss-crossing his body, and each of them has dozens of pouches with miscellaneous antiques. He has two goggles that go over his snout and magnify his eyes, so that you can only really see the iris and the pupil of each. And he, and he sits down, and he lifts up his leg, and he scratches one of the floppy dog ears that he has.

[An upbeat song begins in the background with a mischievous, high melody.]

Emily

[Startled and amused.] I'm just dating a steampunk dog?!

Kyle

[Laughing.] Um. Yeah. Well, technically not a dog, dogs are --

Emily

Oh, yeah, dogs don't exist.

Kyle

Well it's not that dogs went extinct. It's that they evolved. So yes, you, you've got a dog boy in front--you've got a steampunk dog boy in front of you and he's very excited.

Emily (as Elee)

[Dry.] A little young.

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Fayz's speech is fast, breathless, and excited.] Hi! My name is Fayz.

Emily (as Elee)

[Uncertain.] Hi...

Kyle (as Fayz)

What is that?

Kyle

And he slams his paws on the table and he sniffs.

Kyle (as Fayz)

What is that?

Emily (as Elee)

[Suspicious.] What is what?

Kyle

And pokes his head into the the cloud a little bit and he sniffs one of the pearls.

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Sniffs and sounds excited.] Oh, that's so old! It smells like death!

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained, awkward.] That's what I'm going for.

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Gasps in delight.] Really? Really? That's what I'm going for too!

Kyle

And he shows all of his patches of stuff.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained but trying to be friendly.] Oh! Well...looks like we have...commonalities.

Kyle (as Fayz)

[More quietly, as if sharing a secret.] Are you part of the Dioshen too?

Emily

[Hesitantly.] Should Elee know what this is?

Kyle

Elee has no fucking idea what the Dioshen are.

Emily (as Elee)

[Painfully awkwardly.] No, but this is a really great segue into get-to-know-you conversation!

Emily

As she says this, she's going to push forward the dice.

Kyle

He sniffs it and is like,

Kyle (as Fayz)

No, no, much too new, much too new. No, no, no, no, no, we we we, um, [Sniffs.]

[A slow song, full of mystery and wonder, begins to play.]

We speak...to the dead.

[Music stops abruptly.]

Isn't that so cool?! We speak to the dead! We use, we use these things, and, and we, and we, uh, we use some, some Numenera, some--

[In a drawn out tone, like he's trying to convey mystery.] Maaagic.

[In Fayz's normal, more enthusiastic voice.] And we're able to speak with them. Talk about them. Ha, ha! I remember one guy, he came back and all I could remember was the guy who killed him! It was, it was a pack of squirrels. That's, that's why it was funny. It doesn't make sense without that--

Kyle

He scratches his ear again.

Kyle (as Fayz)

--without that part.

[The song begins to play again. It has a sense of mystery but isn't ominous--it has a hopeful tone.]

Emily

Elee's gonna put her hand back over the dice and pull them back to her.

Emily (as Elee)

[Cautiously.] Speak to the dead?

Kyle (as Fayz)

Yes. Speak to the dead! Well, uh, you, I mean, they scream a lot. They scream a lot. So.

Emily (as Elee)

[Slowly.] Can I...speak to the dead?

Kyle (as Fayz)

Uh... um. Uh. Um, um, um, um. Trick question? I don't know if you can speak to the dead! You haven't told me that yet.

Emily (as Elee)

[Crosstalking.] Oh, it wasn't a --

Kyle (as Fayz)

Can you speak to the dead?

Emily (as Elee)

It wasn't a trick question. I was just...let me rephrase that. Uh, I want to talk to the dead. Can you help me do that?

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Gasps, excited.] Help? Help? Help? Yeah, I can help, I can help, I can help!

Kyle

And he scratches off a little like, flake of leather from his hat, and it just falls down and it's a little, a little card. A little map. [Excited.] It's a business card! He has a business card in his hat.

Kyle (as Fayz)

He's like, yeah, yeah, yeah, just, just come to Hanrenheid Castle. It's in Legrash.

Emily (as Elee)

[Karl's song picks up softly on the guitar.]

[00:10:00]

[Slowly.] I...

[A long pause.] I think I will.

[The sharp whistle blows again. As Kyle begins to speak it crossfades into the sound of howling wind, a whistling gust.]

Kyle

With that, a whistle lets out, indicating the end of this round of speed dating. And that whistle, instead of ending, transforms and lengthens into a long deep howl that kind of courses through the mountain side of the Black Riage, where the town of Legrosh is. La-grosh? Le-grash? I like La-grosh. Or Leg-rash.

Emily

[Crosstalking.] I like--

Kyle

[Jokingly.] I like Leg-rash. 'cause it's a shitty place.

Emily

[Disbelievingly.] Leg-rash?

Kyle

Leg-rash!

Emily

[Trying not to laugh.] Is it just full of nettles?

Kyle

It's a really shitty place. It's a really shitty place. Um, but you're not going to the town proper, although, and trust me on this, it's absolutely your jam. No, instead...

[The sound of pouring rain and the sharp crack of a lightning bolt.]

A flash of lightning strikes the ground behind Hanrenheid Castle, letting out a thunderous shout that cracks the sky.

[Toccata and Fugue in D minor plays--the scary organ riff.]

Small droplets of sand let loose by the storm fall from above like light rain, and Elee Badge walks into view, stopping for a second to view the castle at the end of her winding upward climb. And then --

[The music stops. Three abrupt, firm knocks.]

We see her fist collide with the twenty-foot tall door at the castle's entrance, dust gently falling from the vibrating door on to her hat. And then after a few moments, a little hatch slides open, and you just see a skull and it says, expressionless,

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

[In a low, gravelly voice.] Password.

Emily

[Whispering.] Kyle, do I know the password?

Kyle

[Whispering.] No, you don't know the password.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] Oh. There's a password.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

Was that your password response?

Emily (as Elee)

[Questioningly, unsure.] Yes?

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

You are incorrect.

Kyle

And the door slams shut.

Emily

I'm gonna knock on it again!

Kyle

And it slides open.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

Password?

Emily (as Elee)

Please.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

No.

Emily (as Elee)

Thank you.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

Also no.

Emily (as Elee)

[More insistently.] Death.

Kyle

And, uh, you saw the thing was starting slide shut, and it opens up.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

Yes, death. Death comes for us all.

[A pause.]

Shit! I just said the password, that doesn't count.

Emily (as Elee)

[Exasperated.] Death comes for us all.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

[Angry.] God damn it.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And with that, the thing shuts and the door opens, and you just see this tall figure in a black robe with a with a skull mask open it and just kind of poutily sit down.

Kyle (as doorkeeper)

[Low, annoyed, wordless grousing.]

Kyle

After a few seconds, you see, um Fayz like, just kind of pounce into view.

Kyle (as Fayz)

Oh, who was that Gabby? Who was that? Was there someone new, did they know the password?

[Pause.]

[Chastising.] Did you tell them the password again?

Kyle (as Gabby)

[Low, wordless, annoyed grousing.]

Emily

[Laughing.] How many times have they done that?

Kyle

Gabby has done it a lot, Gabby really likes exposition.

Emily

[With some pity.] Oh, Gabby.

Kyle

Gaby really, really likes her monologues.

Emily

Oh, Gabby.

Kyle (as Fayz)

Hey, you came, you came!

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah. I did. Just to clarify, you know, this, this isn't like, a second date or anything, from the speed dating.

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Disappointed.] Ohh...

Kyle

And you see he lets down one of his paws, which has, which has a bunch of flowers in them.

Emily

Awww!

Kyle (as Fayz)

He says, oh, that's okay, come with me!

Kyle

And he starts bounding off.

Emily (as Elee)

[Wryly.] Happy kid.

Kyle

[Laughs.]

[High, eerie but still lively music begins in the background.]

Kyle

As a door slams shut behind you, your nose curls at the clinical lack of smell, besides that of singed clothing and hair. Electricity snakes along the banisters of spiraling staircases, settling inside of glass orbs connected to benches, bags, bolts, positioned on rooms adjacent to you and platforms connected to the ceiling like chandeliers above you.

[A mad scientist's cackles in the background.]

Exuberant laughter lets up from scientists scurrying from experiment to experiment, and occasionally, you'll see an uncertain widow, or a disguised grave robber, desperately trying to fit in.

And something I didn't have here on my pre-written thing, all them absolutely, you know, Fayz has gray fur, but all of them are like, have gray hair, but with like the lightning bolt white strike in them, and Fayz has it down each ear.

And yeah, they're all really excited. They're just very excited, morally ambiguous scientist types. Like, if you want to place a practice your evil laugh, this would be where to do it.

Uh, and so yeah, you see all of them. You see a few widows. One of them, one of them catches your eye.

[Calm, soothing guitar music begins to play.]

Just because you're looking around, and you just see this absolutely gorgeous, beautiful woman in her early fifties, with a cleft lip, and long curls, soberly looking down at one of the items there.

Emily

Elee trips over her feet just a little bit. Not like enough to fall, but just like...

Kyle

I saw that, but no one heard.

Emily

[Frustrated but mostly amused.] I know, I don't know how to, like--

Kyle

[Laughing.] Emily's...

Emily

Just staring as she turns her head, she's walking by. You know that thing that allo people do? I'm trying--that's what, that's what allo people do!

[00:15:00]

[The music fades out.]

Kyle

[Laughing.] Anyways, but Fayz quickly leads you into the room, and he kind of like perches on top of a fountain of a woman wearing a top hat and holding an umbrella, which looks like it's been unrooted. Uh, not the like, umbrella, like the fountain itself looks just been picked up and moved.

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Almost panting in excitement.] Alright. Alright. Alright. You ready? You ready? You ready?

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah...I guess.

Kyle (as Fayz)

Alright. So, um, all we need to do is take something that's been in the past...

Kyle

And he, um, he picks up a coin that has been like, thrown into the fountain, you know, for luck, and he puts it underneath what looks like this big microscope.

Kyle (as Fayz)

And then, and then, and then-- [With gleeful intensity.] We crush it!

Kyle

[The gentle click-clack of machinery runs under Kyle's voice. It's punctuated by a sharp zap of electricity.]

And he pulls a lever and just, like, the thing gets diced into a million pieces, it gets crushed down upon, it gets zapped, and it explodes, and then a ghost just like flies out of it. And it's like,

Kyle (as a ghost)

[Floaty, as if barely there.] I have nothing of particular to sayyyyy.

Kyle

And then suddenly, the ghost kind of bursts into dust, which falls down to where the thing got zapped--the coin got zapped--then Fayz just sniffs that and brushes it away. And he’s like,

Kyle (as Fayz)

Teah, that, so you just gotta, gotta blow stuff up, and then, and then you can… [He slows down a little, more thoughtful and curious.] You know, I don't really even know why you are here.

Kyle

Why is Elee here? I guess specifically what I want to ask is that I can see Elee being here for one of two reasons. She could be here to talk to Karl, or she could be here to get clues, and I'm curious what her priorities now like forty years after his death, what her priorities are now?

Emily

[Slow, melancholic string music begins to play.]

[Slowly, thoughtfully.] If she...if she got a clue, it wouldn't be unwelcome but if she's...if she's stopped looking decades before this, I think at this point, she just wants him back. She's not as much angry anymore, and without the anger that was so much of what she felt, it's got to be kind of empty.

Kyle

I understand.

[The music stops abruptly.]

Fayz doesn't. As Elee's thinking about this, she notices that he is kind of scrambling, like he is on top of you at this point. Mind you, he normally walks like, you know, on two feet, but he's just perched on top of you and he's kind of just sniffing.

Kyle (as Fayz)

He's like, so what do you want? What do you want to get, what you want to put into it? What you want to-- [Intense sniffing.]

Kyle

Like you can just hear clamoring as like, you hear a cat. [Imitates a shrill, annoyed cat's meow.] Meow! As like, things are just being thrown out of the hat and strewn across the place.

Emily (as Elee)

[Crosstalking.] Get off!

Kyle

Fayz is just sniffing.

Kyle (as Fayz)

Oh, what about this? What about this? Oohhhh, bright candles... [Sniffing continues.]

Emily (as Elee)

[Sharply.] Don't touch that!

Emily

Elee is going to grab him by the scruff of his neck and yank him off of the hat, and forcefully shove him.

Kyle

And you just hear a little--

Kyle (as Fayz)

[Pained yelping whimper.]

Kyle

--little yelp as he hits the wall and like, scurries back.

Emily (as Elee)

I told you not to touch them. [Reluctantly.] I'm sorry...or whatever. Can I just blow up one of these flowers?

Emily

And she plucks one of the peonies off of her hat.

Kyle

He just shakes his head.

Emily

Shakes his head?

Kyle

Like yes, shakes his head like yes.

Emily

[Flatly.] That's nodding. Shaking your head is no.

Kyle

[Sarcastically.] Fine, he fucking nods.

Emily

[Laughing.]

Kyle

He nods!

Emily

I'm sorry. I'm a little on edge.

[The mysterious, hopeful music begins again.]

Kyle

Yeah, so anyways, you've plucked out the flower. You turn over, and you see this big, threatening, crackling machine, and you look and you just see a few flakes of ash from where the coin inside the fountain was completely removed. What do you do?

Emily

[Thoughtfully.] Elee stops, and watches the little flakes of ash for a second, and she thinks about the ghost being there and then immediately being gone. [More quietly, a little surprised.] I don't know what she would do. She's gonna look down at the flower, and consider pinching off just a tiny bit of one of the petals. Maybe that'll work? And then she'll still have all of them, because at least those things aren't ghosts. She can feel the familiar weight of them with every step she takes and it's comforting. And she'll pull off one of the petals and put it in the machine.

[The music fades out.]

Kyle

[Slowly, methodically.] Slices, slams, ignites, explodes.

Emily

She flinches every time.

Kyle

And you start to see a little trail come up, and then it disappears into ash.

Emily

Elee's not gonna acknowledge this thought. She's not gonna let herself think any more deeply about it than this passing flash of understanding. She wasn't sure that she could have watched Karl's ghost. She wasn't sure that she wouldn't have left, or covered her ears, or done something else very un-Elee-like.

[00:20:00]

And she's not gonna acknowledge how scared she was when that little plume of smoke started. And without another word, she's going to put the rest of the flower back into her hat and leave.

Kyle

And so Elee Badge leaves behind her last chance at seeing Karl again, except...

[Intense, driving rock music begins to play.]

As you make it down to the very bottom of the castle, you feel like your hat is a bit lighter, and then you'll remember that that fucking ...hing--don't know what the fuck a dog is--that fucking Fayz, in his excitement, had knocked out half of the contents of your hat, and now they're kept captive in the middle of Hanrenheid Castle.

Emily

Elee will freeze, curse, loudly, and she turns on her heel and rages back inside.

Emily (as Elee)

[Pounding on the door.] Gabby!

Kyle (as

I'll have you know, my name is S--

Emily (as Elee)

[Talking over Gabby.] Death comes for us all!

Kyle (as Gabby)

[Annoyed growling.] I didn't even get to say my cool name. It's S--

Emily (as Elee)

[Angrily.] Screw you Gabby, open the door!

Kyle

[Laughing.] The door opens up!

Emily (as Elee)

[Insistent.] Where is Fayz?

Kyle (as Gabby)

What do I look like, his girlfriend? No.

Kyle

And you can see the mask turns down, a little bit sad. [Trying not to laugh.]

Emily

Elee's just gonna commence with ignoring Gabby, and her boyfriend...friend issues, and storm back towards the room.

[The music begins to fade out.]

Kyle

So you walk through, and you're on your way to the room, and then suddenly you smell the familiar rustic smell of that bead of, uh, silk pearls, which were very rusty and gross, and you just see a scientist talking to that woman you'd seen earlier with the curls. He's like,

Kyle (as the scientist)

[With increasing intensity each time he repeats something.] Are, are, are you sure that this belonged to you? Are you sure that this belonged to you? Are you sure?!

Kyle

And the woman just says,

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Yes, I am sure it belonged to me, but I'm, I’m, I’m going to need a moment with it alone to think.

Emily

[Confused.] Those are my pearls?

Kyle

Yeah.

Emily

[Laughing.] Well, this is gonna go well.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Emily

Elee's going to go up them, and...okay, she's gonna look at the scientist and say,

Emily (as Elee)

Scram.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Please. I just need a moment here.

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, have a moment to yourself, without my pearls.

Kyle (as the scientist)

[Emphatic, excited.] Ooohh! These are your pearls? [Exaggerated.] Whaaat?!

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Oh, I'm sorry. No, these are my pearls. I'm not quite sure what she's talking about.

Emily (as Elee)

Really? 'cause they were on my hat until someone...

Emily

She's gonna look around just in case Fayz is here.

Emily (as Elee)

Tore up my hat.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Well, I am most sorry about that.

Kyle

And she makes eye contact with you.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

But I don't think accusing others of pearls is the right option.

Emily (as Elee)

[Frustrated.] I--why are you saying they're yours?

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

[Slowly, confused.] Because they are mine?

Emily (as Elee)

Well, if they're yours, then why do you have them here talking to dead people? [Upset noise.]

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

[Confused.] That's...what we're here to do? If I could just have a moment to myself, please.

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, give us a moment to ourselves.

Emily

Elee's gonna take one step closer and try to puff up and be really threatening.

Kyle (as the scientist)

Whoo-hoo-hoo! I will go and leave you two to sort this out.

Kyle

And the scientist, uh, leaves. As soon as it does, the woman kind of like adjust her hair a little bit, and she says,

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

I am most dreadfully sorry for that lying about your pearls. I just needed them as cover, see.

Emily (as Elee)

[Confused and annoyed.] What?

Kyle

And she extends --

Emily

[Crosstallking, laughing.] Elee's very much in rage mode, so…

Kyle

She extends a hand and she says,

[Calm, soothing guitar music begins to play.]

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Ramya Naomi Gabriella Brackleberry. I'm looking for something from my family's ancestral garden, but from what I've heard, they're not keen on giving things back that they've stolen.

Emily

Elee's just going to stare at the hand and then look back up to her face, and then look back down at the hand, and then look back up at her face.

[Soothing guitar music ends abruptly.]

Emily (as Elee)

[Flatly.] Hi. Can have them back now?

Kyle (as Ramya)

I would prefer if you would wait until the ruse is completed.

Emily (as Elee)

[Sighs.] You know, what I have a butt-load of other things I need to go find. If you're just gonna be here the whole time, I'll come back on my way out?

Kyle (as Ramya)

That sounds like a wonderful option. Thank you so much ...

Emily (as Elee)

Elee, and, uh, if you try to run off without returning these.

Kyle (as Ramya)

[Crosstalking.] Ah--

Emily (as Elee)

I will find you.

Kyle (as Ramya)

But—

Emily (as Elee)

However far you try to run.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Uh--

Emily (as Elee)

Wherever you try to hide.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Um--

Kyle (as the scientist)

Whaaaat?!

Kyle

You hear a voice behind you say,

Kyle (as the scientist)

They were yours the whole time, but she was lying about it? Scandal! Scandal!

[00:25:00]

Kyle

And the scientist runs off screaming.

Kyle (as the scientist)

Scandal, scandal!

[Upbeat, intense electric guitar music starts to play.]

Kyle

And you start to hear, uh, some alarms start blaring, like-- [Kyle makes a noise like a police car siren.] As like-- [Kyle makes a slamming noise.] Doors start slamming down all over the place.

Emily (as Elee)

[Annoyed.] I have shit to find!

Kyle

[Laughs.] And as you say that, you feel the beads press against your chest.

Kyle (as Ramya)

And I can help you find them, presuming those threats you made towards me were an accurate assessment of your abilities?

Emily (as Elee)

You know, uh, pretty accurate.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Excellent!

Kyle

And with that, you get to fucking work! You clear out room to room, Elee's just like, decking scientists as they come by, and during this time--every time you get into a room, you struggle find something, but Ramya's able to find it with relative ease. Like you have no idea. She just starts pulling them out of nowhere. And at this point you've recovered basically everything on the hat and there is only one door left.

Emily

I'm gonna kick it down.

Kyle

You kick it down, and this is the door that you were in. As you enter into this room, you stand for a few seconds. You see the ash in the corner, where take--where you had evaporated some of the flower, you see the fountain in the center, and after a few moments, for the first time, Ramya is sitting there, and she is paying no attention to what you're doing, because she's sitting there with her hand on her chin, staring at the base of this fountain.

Emily (as Elee)

[Curious.] What?

Kyle (as Ramya)

Well, this is quite the puzzle.

Emily

Elee, having found everything, is much calmer now, and has sort of begun to re-notice Ramya?

Kyle and Emily

[Laughing.]

Emily (as Elee)

What's so interesting about it?

Kyle (as Ramya)

Well, isn't it obvious? Haven't you wondered why I was lying earlier about your things, what I was here for?

Emily (as Elee)

I mean, I'ma be honest, I was real pissed. Um...

Kyle (as Ramya)

Come look.

[Mysterious music box tune begins to play.]

Kyle

And she points the bottom of the fountain, and you can see an inscription.

Kyle (as Ramya)

I am the bringer of life. But while I'm around, most living things shy away. To look through me is to see less, yet when light is cast through me, you'll see more. Plus, I'm just a delightful addition to romantic proclamations. What am I?

[Music box tune ends.]

Emily (as Elee)

That's like a really long quote.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Well, that's not a quote, it is…it is a riddle. Hmm.

Kyle

And she goes back into deep thought for a few more seconds.

Emily

Elee will like glance over and then stroke her chin and stare at it too. She has no idea what this is means, like...

Kyle

[Laughing.]

Emily

No clue, but she's at least gonna [Laughing.] pretend to be trying.

Kyle (as Ramya)

I've got it!

Kyle

And she pulls a canteen out, and she sticks it into the water part of the fountain, and she motions to right above the umbrella.

Kyle (as Ramya)

If I could borrow your hands, please?

Emily (as Elee)

[Slightly suspicious, questioning.] Sure?

Kyle

She's gonna grab one of your hands with her index finger and her thumb, and she'll move it above, and she'll lightly splay it out. And she'll do the other one on top of that, so it makes kind of a grid.

Emily (as Elee)

These aren't going to get burned off, are they?

Kyle

And she doesn't answer, because she's too deep in thought for the puzzle. And she starts pouring out the water, which pools into your hand and starts dripping down from the first hand to the second hand. And as a few of the drops go from your second hand and start hitting the top of the umbrella, she repeats the puzzle.

[Mysterious music box tune begins to play again.]

Kyle (as Ramya)

I am the bringer of life, but when I'm around most living things shy away. To look straight through me is to see less, but when light is cast through me, you'll see more. And while I'm not that familiar with romantic proclamations, this does make sense to be delightful on that occurrence.

Kyle

And then, uh, she looks down beneath your hands as more drop start to trickle off on the umbrella and fall off.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Just...like...rain.

[Music box tune ends.]

Kyle

And after a few moments, the umbrella shifts downwards, and the top hat of the woman in the statue twists, and slides, and falls off. And Ramya reaches in, and she pulls out a small copper and glass orb with a wind-up toy key on the side, and segmented sheets of puzzle inside. And she gingerly pockets it, and she looks to you and nods her head in affirmation that she is ready to go.

Emily

Elee will follow.

Kyle

[Laughing.]

Emily

And she, again, doesn't necessarily want to think about why.

[Cheerful, upbeat pop-punk music begins to play in the background.]

Emily

Ramya, fiddling with the copper and glass wind up orb she'd taken from the fountain, asked Elee to escort her back to camp that night. Elee, curious and at a loss for what to do next, said yes. Elee realized fairly quickly that Ramya noticed and assessed every little thing. By the time it dawned on her, though, she'd already been awkwardly trying to flirt on and off for a few hours, and Ramya had definitely noticed.

[00:30:00]

Ramya ignored it and asked Elee to call her Rei.

When Rei was lost in thought, and Rei was often lost in thought, she would set her chin in the palm of her hand and fiddle with the button of her coat sleeve. Once in a while, she'd even let her shoulders slump a little out of their usual perfect posture.

She had three thinking chairs. Her tall chair meant she didn't want to be disturbed. She wanted company if she was in the rocker. If Rei was in her painted wood chair by the door, Elee would stand behind her and run her fingers through Rei's long hair. Elee would tease Rei for putting curlers in every night, but they both knew Elee thought her hair was beautiful.

Elee liked how smart Rei was. The smarter of the two of them, more calculating and more logical, but she never made it feel like it was a bad thing. When Elee decided that she didn't need the setup instructions for her new tent, and tossed them into the fire for dramatic effect, Rei let her pile and re-pile the rods and nodded patiently every time Elee insisted that she was almost there this time. And somehow, when Rei finally stepped in and in seconds found the painted numbers indicating what to put where, Elee didn't feel judged or patronized.

Rei had a way of making her feel like she was good just the way she was, and the reason Elee didn't feel judged by Rei was because she wasn't. Rei liked the way Elee threw herself into things with a single-minded passion, how she was always moving at least a little, how she was stubborn, and blunt, and laughed at herself. How she cared. And Elee liked how Rei cared too. How kind and thoughtful she was, how certain she seemed in her own skin. It was nice.

[The music fades.]

Kyle (as Ramya)

Get up, Elee, get up!

[Playful, comedic song begins to play.]

Kyle

Elee, your eyes open, and for a brief moment you see like what looks to be almost the fog of a very old face on a very young man, but it dissipates and you notice that it is just a deathly serious Rei, her hair spilling down above you as she just stands above you and looks down.

Emily

Elee's gonna like, flail and like, sit up really quick.

Emily (as Elee)

[Confused, alarmed, and half asleep.] What--where’s the--where do I punch?

Kyle

[Chuckles.]

Kyle (as Ramya)

Oh, nothing to punch today, but something very important that I think you'll want to attend to.

Kyle

And as Rei is saying that, you can see she is moving with the deliberance and elegance that she always does, but with a lot more speed this time as she slips a long professional coat over her comfortable magenta dress.

Emily

Elee has no idea what's going on. She's half-asleep, and she like throws a shawl over her pajamas, then throws another one on, then pauses for a second. Like, when you're trying to keep your eyes open, so you open them really, really wide, and just like sways little bit and put another one on.

Kyle

So you're bundled in like five layers of clothing?

Emily

She then realizes that it is...what is the weather like?

Kyle

[Amused.] Let's say it's the middle of fucking summer.

Emily

Yeah. She then realizes that it's hot, and like, as she walks she'll drop a couple of the shawls. Just, she's just very messy. It's like...

Kyle

So as you make your way out of the tent and you start walking down this pathway next to a lake. And Rei says to you,

Kyle (as Ramya)

You know, I'll be honest. I'm not sure if it's your thing. But if I will admit there was a bit of an ulterior motive for inviting you.

Kyle

And a bit of fear hits Elee in the heart, because you realize that Rei gets down to like, there's a little cliffside she's at the bottom of. And you see, next to the water, the only thing Rei would have needed your strength for. You see a beached boat. And you assume that she intends to push it into the water.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] Oh, a boat.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Yes, and a [Voice strained, as if trying to move something heavy.] heavy one at that.

Kyle

And you can see Rei has pressed herself, her back against the boat, and is pushing against it. And she uh, stops, and she starts looking for a beat, a piece of wood that she can use to leverage it.

Emily (as Elee)

I got it, Rei.

Emily

And she's gonna haul it, haul it out towards the water. Is that where she was trying to push it?

Kyle

Yes, you push it in the water, and Rei's delighted. You know how someone will, they'll put their hands up and they'll do a little clap?

Emily

Yeah.

Kyle

She just does a very, very delighted-- [Short, quick clap.] Very delighted double clap, and she gets into the boat and starts just like...it's horrifying to you, with the speed with which she just stands in the boat as it's rocking, and then just starts making herself, uh, getting ready to sit down.

Emily

Elee's gonna have like, a hand outstretched like, “euh, don't do it”. She's not gonna say that, but just like a look of kind of horror. She's not saying anything.

Kyle

Okay.

Emily

She's just watching.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Alright, we um, we can make the meteor shower, but we do have to move quickly.

Emily (as Elee)

[With dawning comprehension and horror.] I'm getting on the boat.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Well, yes, I'm assuming you're getting on the...oh. Oh, I, I, I understand.

[The soothing, calm guitar music, Rei’s theme, begins to play.]

Kyle (as Ramya)

Well, you obviously don't have to come with me. But--

Kyle

And she extends a hand.

Kyle (as Ramya)

I've got you if you do.

Emily

[Delighted, surprised noise.]

[00:35:00]

That's not what Elee says but, awww! Okay, ah. Um.

Emily (as Elee)

Me and boats don't have...a good...relationship. I'll sink it.

Kyle

She laughs a little.

Kyle (as Ramya)

I assure you, you won't.

Emily (as Elee)

But it's--it's an abomination. The-th-this...people aren't supposed to float!

Kyle (as Ramya)

Elee. It's all right.

Kyle

And she grabs your hand as if she's gonna take you into the boat, and then she steps out, and probably up to the very bottom of her dress gets wet as you realize it was just in like, two feet of water. And she says,

Kyle (as Ramya)

We'll walk.

Kyle

You, again, you don't hear much besides the creaking of the boat in the distance back at shore, and the rippling of the water as it goes probably about to like, your shoulders? And about to Rei's, like, I would probably say the top of her thighs? As you stand out in the water. And as you're there she uh, she fiddles with the orb in her hands that she reclaimed.

Emily (as Elee)

[Softly.] Whatcha doing?

Kyle (as Ramya)

Oh, um well looking for the allies of the Brackleberrys, of course.

Emily (as Elee)

In a...ball? I don't think I understand what that thing does.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Oh, oh, right. I, I'm so sorry. No, this, this is an heirloom of my family that if you wind it up, it will show you someone who wants to be found. I was hoping to assemble it to find whatever allies the Brackleberrys have left, although right now I'm searching for someone in particular.

Kyle

And she looks at the orb, and you can see inside of it is the figure of--it looks like a, uh, small humanoid in a wheelchair.

Emily (as Elee)

Who's that?

Kyle

Her look of almost, like, gentle pride when looking at that orb turns to kind of surprise, and she says:

Kyle (as Ramya)

You don't...you don't know about the Brackleberrys, do you?

Emily (as Elee)

I've lived in the Beyond my whole life. I don't…

Kyle

And she just goes

Kyle (as Ramya)

Oh, of, of course, how foolish of me. My family has been at the highest level of public service for, ah, the country of Ancuan for some years now. You would call us royalty.

[Slow, calm, slightly melancholic piano music begins to play.]

Emily (as Elee)

[Surprised.] Oh!

Kyle (as Ramya)

Yeah. I was first in line for the throne, but it was...as I'm sure you can tell by the way that I worked around the word royalty, it isn't necessarily the kind of thing I'm interested in. I passed it on to my sister Petra and my niece Anastasia, but a short while ago our youngest brother kicked us out by force. And while I don't think Vincent has any intentions of following us, it's just very important to make sure that we're safe. Oh!

Kyle

She turns up in the sky and your eyes follow her, and in the sky you see lights. One, then two, then thousands of lights filling up the sky. Flames crossing beyond the world. And in that light of passage, you see the woman before you: articulate and intelligent and kind. And you wonder...

Emily

[Slowly.] What someone like Rei...is doing standing waist-deep in a pond...with someone like her.

Kyle

And your answer comes as her hand reaches down and dips into the water. And between all the minnows and the fish, you can feel her pinky wrap around your index finger.

Kyle (as Ramya)

We're probably going to make it to camp tomorrow, but I think it would be great if you could stay around a bit longer.

Emily (as Elee)

I wouldn't mind.

[The music fades out.]

Kyle

She looks back at you and your eyes lock, and it's just for the first time in forever, it's the perfect romantic moment. Until…your gaze moves from our eyes down to her mouth as it says:

Kyle (as Ramya)

I can't wait to introduce you to my daughter.

[Upbeat, whimsical music begins to play.]

Kyle

Hello, and welcome to the announcement break for episode 35, Elee's memory part two. I am Kyle, your GM, and today I want to let you know--did you know? Our outro song for this episode, which is, are, normally our intro song, is "Friends" by Miracle of Sound. That's pretty nifty! Something that's also pretty nifty is that if you tweet or Tumblr out about the show using the hashtag QuestFriends, you could be added to a name pool which is used to name characters, items, places.

Our name pool member today is Fayz, named for Fayz, from WhatFayz on Twitter or JustFayzArt on Tumblr. Thanks so much for tweeting out about the show, and making really cool art of our characters that I just, I really like.

So we're coming up on the end of our mini arc. This is the last episode of Elee's memories, which means we're making our way towards the next big arc, and so the schedule's a little funky until then.

[00:40:00]

So the first thing is, you are going to receive not one, but two bonus episodes this Wednesday, April...17th, where we are going to release "What If?", a crossover with The Amber Clave, where we basically take characters from their universe and we plop them into our story. So you'll get to see the characters from that other Numenera podcast interact with some of the world and some of the characters from our show.

But in addition to that, on their stream, we're going to be doing a "What If?" scenario with our characters where we're going to take Hop, Misha, Xoc, and Elee, and we're going to throw them into the underwater ocean, which is...just the ocean, because it's all water. They're going to be doing an adventure in the ocean.

I actually was able to listen in to it while trying to beat the first level of Kingdom Hearts. Don't worry about it. And it was a lot of fun to listen to, I'm very excited to listen to, like, the new edited version of that. So be sure to check out The Amber Clave on whatever your favorite podcasting service is, in order to see our episode with them, and then be sure to check out our stream on this Wednesday, which again will be split into two episodes.

Following that, we're going to have a brief story summary releasing next Monday. It's going to cover all the important events of the story so far. While you don't need to listen to it to understand the rest of the story, it's a great place to kind of get a refresher on all the important names and world-building bits and stuff that's happened. And it's also a great way to get, ah, prospective new listeners. Let them just be like, hey, listen to this, you're caught up, and then you can start with the newest episodes and they don't have to worry about the 35 episode backlog.

And then finally, on Monday, April 29th, we will be starting the first episode of our next arc, Crime and Courtship. I'll see you then.

[The whimsical music begins again, fading as Elee begins to speak.]

Emily (as Elee)

And the best thing about a bee is that it can provoke an allergic reaction and kill!

Kyle (as a young girl)

[Impressed gasp.] Ohh!

Emily (as Elee)

Too strong? Not strong enough?

Kyle (as a young girl)

No, it was perfect, Beekeeper Elee!

Emily

[Delighted.] Beekeeper!

Kyle (as a young girl)

After all, bees make honeycombs, and honeycombs never fly from friends in need, because sweetness is when we stick together!

[Upbeat, lively, slightly comedic music begins to play.]

Kyle

In front of you, Elee, you see a bright six-year-old girl with chestnut hair. She is named, as she says every time she introduced herself, Anastasia Margot Maria Brackleberry. She and you are both wearing an orange sash with yellow honeycombs pinned to it. Each honeycomb has an imprinted name on it: foraging, archery, friend to animals, the silent game--

Emily

[Chuckles.]

Kyle

--and you can tell which of these were handwritten by her aunt and mother, and which of these imprints Anastasia was allowed to write herself.

Anastasia is part of the two girl group of the Honeycomb: fearless, braveless explorers who never fly from friends because sweetness is when we stick together. And somehow, in the months with which you went back to the Brackleberry camp, you have gotten enlisted with the role of leading this troop.

[Lively music ends.]

What are what do you out doing today? What is the honeycomb? What is the badge you're going for today?

Emily

So this badge is one that was approved by Rei but suggested by Elee.

Kyle

Okay.

Emily

This is the...slightly blunted axe throwing badge. [Laughter.]

Kyle

Alright. Slightly blunted axe throwing badge.

Emily

We can switch to archery.

Kyle

No! She already has archery. Alright, continue with, continue with the plan.

Emily (as Elee)

All right, you both have your axes--

Kyle (as a young girl/Anastasia)

Sure do!

Kyle

And you see one hand and one axe raised, because there is only one child in front of you.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] Do you both have your axes?

Emily

She says in a strained voice, hoping that another axe will be raised.

Kyle

Um, another axe raises into the air, and a voice says,

Kyle (as Anastasia)

Yep. Both hands have their axes.

Kyle

And you look down and you see this little bright-eyed girl staring at you.

Emily (as Elee)

I love your enthusiasm, Anastasia, but where is your cousin?

[A fast, swingy, mischievous song begins to play.]

Kyle

[Makes crashing noises.] Your question is answered as, in the distance, you can see the treetops start to waver, and parts of them start to disappear.

[00:45:00]

It's a, it's a proverb that if a tree falls in a forest with no one else to listen to it, does it make a sound, but that's not relevant here because that sound is heard by everybody.

Emily

Elee will gently pry both of the axes from Anastasia's hands, bury them in the dirt, just like whack them down into there.

Emily (as Elee)

[Clearly stressed out.] Anastasia, stay here. Shit. [Whispering.] Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

Kyle

[Chuckles.] And deeper into the trees, uh, we hear those vibrations, and we see a tree, and then from out of the corner of our eye we see a very blunt axe, it looks like a hammer, come in and slam against the tree, which reverberates.

And then five more axes come in and hit it, and the thing just falls over and uproots itself.

And we follow the axes back to this large catapult arm, which grabs axes from a pile, lifts them up, and throws them. It is shaky and made out of plywood, it vibrates, and it extends from a wheelchair that is similarly dact-taped together at the points in which inventive use and homemade enhancements have, uh, damaged this wheelchair's structural integrity.

Piloting this device is a girl slightly older than Anastasia, about eleven years old. Her brown eyes are narrowed in fierce concentration beneath scraggly caramel hair, but an exuberant smile accentuates two adorable dimples.

[Fast swing music ends.]

Anastasia is not Rei's daughter. This is Sera. She's tenacious. She's transgender. And she's a whole heap of trouble.

Emily

She built a death machine throwing axes. [Strained sigh.] It's not just Elee being stressed about this. Elee will sprint, panting and gasping, to come upon this scene.

Emily (as Elee)

[Panicked.] Sera, what are you doing?

Kyle (as Sera)

What?

Emily (as Elee)

Sera?

Kyle (as Sera)

[Louder.] What?

Emily (as Elee)

Turn off the death machine!

Kyle

The machine powers down, and she looks over to you, just like really annoyed. And she like [Blowing noise.] blows some hair out of the side of her face.

Kyle (as Sera)

[Exasperated.] It's not a death machine!

Emily (as Elee)

Blunt axes can still kill when they're being flung one after the other willy-nilly into the forest!

Kyle (as Sera)

But I thought we were throwing things willy-nilly!

Emily (as Elee)

I-i-it's a little more controlled. Look. I know that in a lot of other situations, I would be all for this death machine, but your mother--

Kyle (as Sera)

[Frustrated.] Oh, Mom.

Kyle

And she like rolls on over to you.

Kyle (as Sera)

Mom gets worried about everything. I mean, that's what you told me to do. Do you not want me to throw axes?

Emily (as Elee)

You just--that was so--where did you get that many axes?

Kyle

You see her like, hair whip to the side as she looks back at the axes, and she puzzles for the first time where she got them all from.

Emily

[Laughs.]

Kyle

And as she does, you hear a large [Makes crackling noise.] creaking and you realize that one of the wide tree she had been hitting is slowly tipping down towards you.

Kyle (as Sera)

Anyways, you and Mom are so worried about everything.

[Comedic ragtime piano tune begins.]

Emily

I see this tree coming towards us?

Kyle

You start to hear it. Yeah.

Emily (as Elee)

[Increasingly stressed and strained.] I think that maybe we should move and talk about this in a slightly more stable part of the forest, and I could tell you why that's actually--it's a good machine, it's...axes are good. You did...good axes.

Emily

I'm gonna, like--

Kyle

And she looks up really excited.

Kyle (as Sera)

Really? Yeah, because it took a it took a [Laughs.] lot of tries. You should have seen the other woods.

Kyle

And she goes back and she starts like, starting to talk about like, oh, well, this was the machine. This is how I built the arm, starts talking about all those things as the thing continues to fall down.

Emily

I'm trying to usher her, is she not noticing that I'm trying to usher her?

Kyle

No.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] Sera, we can talk about this when there's--the tree's gonna fall! Can we move?!

Kyle (as Sera)

What, no! We can talk about this now-- [Sera's voice trails off into a yell.]

Kyle

And she like, pushes the wheelchair back, and she like, slides back as I'm assuming you jump the other direction?

Emily

Yeah.

[Piano music ends.]

Kyle

And the tree slams onto the ground, and it quakes, and the dust rises up a little bit.

Kyle (as Sera)

[Enthusiastically.] That was so cool!

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah. [She laughs for a moment, then, abruptly, turns serious.] Don't tell your mother.

[A cheery, youthful song begins to play on a ukelele. Eventually the ukelele turns into a whistling melody.]

Emily

Sera was wild, brave and way too smart for her own good, and Sera loved Elee. Elee was what she wanted to be. Sera brute forced mechanics the way Elee brute forced just about everything. Elee learn to braid, sweeping Sera's hair out of her way before she got it caught in her cobbled up machines. It was their little moment of quiet before the mayhem they'd inevitably cause. The “don't tell Mom” type of havoc that made Elee Sera's idol.

Dancing with Rei was different than dancing with Karl. It was rarely so chaotic and clumsy, and when it was, it was Elee's doing, pulling Rei out of her elegant waltzes to swing around wildly to no particular rhythm.

[00:50:00]

They shared little kisses sometimes and cuddled by the fire. Rei was tall, was graceful, was sharp and analytical, like Karl had never been, and it wasn't bad. Just different.

The camp grew over the next year and a half as Rei gathered allies. Some were tenuous at best, they all knew it, but the orb she'd taken from the fountain led her to them, which was enough assurance to try. Elee helped where she could, where the people who knew what was going on wanted her to go. She didn't understand the intricacies of why Rei was gathering a makeshift army, but she could chop wood, carry barrels, guard travelers, and bend rings for chain mail as well as the next person. Preferably better. She liked to show off a little.

Elee thought she could see Karl sometimes. Never for long, never where she was sure it wasn't a dream or a trick of the light, but she could see him. And it wasn't that she was unhappy with Rei and Sera, but her candles remains lit.

[The upbeat music fades.]

Kyle

So we're going to flash forward about like a year and a half. It's been a while. You've really thrived as the Beekeeper of the, of the Honeycombs. Every so often you leave Sera in charge of Anastasia and they love it, they both fucking love it. But those are always kept secret from their mothers. And in the meanwhile, you've been helping Rei on her, on her missions to recover some folks. And in this time, the camp has really blossomed from something small into this very big thing. Who did you just recover, and what was, what was like the last mission that you did?

Emily

The last mission that we did...was to recover...three Brackleberry allies. They were lost in a...bog.

Kyle

Alright. So you recovered Larry, Curly, and Moe from a bog.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

[Chuckling.] It was almost like they were trying to die, like every time one would get up, they would push the other one down. It just became like a recurring effect. You eventually got them out and they've been, I don't want to say silent, they haven't said a word since then, but there's been a lot of like—[Kyle honks and beeps.] sound effects since you came back, but Rei hasn't been noticing.

She's been fidgeting with her wind up orb, already ready for the next project, while Elee is carrying armfuls of things that Sera requested for her next project.

This next upcoming project was going to be rocket skates with which she could rocket skate around the lake, which her previous invention had figured out how to freeze. And when you ask like, how would this work? Sera just kept smiling at you before eventually saying,

Kyle (as Sera)

Oh, yeah, don't forget the olives.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You're making your way back with this armfull of enticing olives, as well as some other things, and you here Rei's voice kind of kicks you out of this memory. She doesn't usually mope, but she's just been laughing uproariously about the, the Three Stooges incident, just like how silly it was and, um.

Kyle (as Ramya)

I uh, I appreciate how, how you've been with, with Sera.

Emily (as Elee)

She's is a good kid.

Kyle (as Ramya)

[Knowingly.]She is. A little too good, if you ask me. It's quite puzzling how soon as you two got close, I stopped hearing about any mischief that she's been doing.

Kyle

She kind of like, looks at you with a playful expression.

Emily (as Elee)

[Wryly.] Guess I was a real good influence on her.

Kyle (as Ramya)

You know, there's something actually coming up that I wanted to talk to you about. Every Brackleberry princess goes through a rite of passage where we find our companion. Mine was Seskii. He was, as one might expect, a seskii who was just good and loyal and, and straightforward and predictable.

Emily (as Elee)

Hmm.

Kyle (as Ramya)

He even got us a fruit basket right before he died, full of our favorite stuff that he knew we would, we would need to cope. Normally, it happens at a specific age. But we, uh, Petra and I have been thinking about having Anastasia and Sera do it at the same time. Just as, you know, they've been bonding. And [A single laugh.] I was gonna say that we wanted you to do it, because you're the head of the Honeycombs, but really, well...

Kyle

And she like, just looks at you, and she looks over at the camp. And at Sera who is just bounding towards you.

Kyle (as Sera)

Oh Elee, Elee! Did you get the components?

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, and this ridiculous number of olives. Sera, I still don't understand that part.

Kyle (as Sera)

Oh, that's--

Kyle

And she pops one in her mouth.

Kyle (as Sera)

That's brain juice.

Emily (as Elee)

Oh! Have fun with your brain juice!

Kyle (as Sera)

Oh, I had something, I, I, I have something for you!

Kyle

And she starts to wheel off into the woods, and you hear like, a [Makes buzzing, whirring, and crashing noises.] and she comes back and you see that she has distilled the tree into this, uh, into two tiny Honeycombs.

Kyle (as Sera)

I was finally able to get the blunt axe thing to work. I realized...you shouldn't make ‘em blunt.

Kyle

And she sucks on one of her fingers, but you can see it has a cut on it.

Emily (as Elee)

[A little chastising.] Sera.

Kyle (as

it's fiiiiine. You sound like Mom!

[00:55:00]

Kyle

And she smiles a little bit at that before presenting one of the two Honeycombs to you.

Emily (as Elee)

Thanks.

Emily

And I don't know if Sera notices in her excitement, but Elee…

[Slow, sweet, slightly melancholic piano music begins to play, Karl’s theme.]

Shrinks into herself a little bit. Her posture changes. And for once, Elee's not trying to make herself look bigger than she is. She's trying to make herself small.

Kyle

And that slumping continues, as Elee slumps smaller and smaller, and she falls down, but onto the bed.

[The music fades out.]

It's a few hours later, and you're finally in your nighttime routine and Elee's still looking at this little wooden honeycomb, while Rei, not paying any attention, just fidgeting with the orb, says,

Kyle (as Ramya)

Yes, so, it's uh, first daylight tomorrow morning is when we'll be heading out and finding the companion creatures. I'm very curious to see what kind of thing Sera finds. Dreadfully hope it isn't it a bee. Those things...adapted hard to whatever the previous worlds did to them.

Emily

At least the bees didn't die out! [Laughs a little.]

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, pretty awesome, huh.

Emily

But there's not her usual level of excitement, and she looks up at Rei who is elegant as always, and then she's going to tuck the honeycomb into her hat.

Emily (as Elee)

It's a big day tomorrow. Don't wait up.

Emily

And she's gonna head for the door.

Kyle

As you are walk away, you're halted not by Rei's voice, but by Sera's, as she says from the other room.

Kyle (as Sera)

Good night! Love you, Mom. Love you, Elee.

Emily

[A pause.]

Elee shuts the door.

[The melancholic song begins to play once more.]

She didn't have a route in mind or a place in mind. So she just goes, and when she's tired she finds an inn with a bar and stops, at least for an hour or two. The important part is that Rei and Sera are not there.

[The song fades.]

Kyle

So you sit there for a few hours pounding your drinks. What do you drink?

Emily

Something gross. Something cheap and strong.

Kyle

And after a few hours of drinking, you hear a familiar creak to the left of you, and a voice says,

Kyle (as Karl)

Now, what's a lady like you doing some place so nasty at night?

[A soft, strumming guitar song, Karl and Elee’s song, begins to play in the background.]

Emily

She's gonna whip her head around.

Kyle

Ah, you whip over, and where you thought you heard Karl's voice you...

[A long pause. The music fades.]

Don't.

Emily (as Elee)

Now I'm hearing things on top of being an asshole.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Well, at least you can accept that part.

Kyle

And to your right you can see Rei has set there. She just raises her fingers for an order of their fanciest, shittiest alcohol.

Emily (as Elee)

[Subdued.] Hey.

Kyle (as Ramya)

Hey. Or, hello.

Emily (as Elee)

What are you doing here?

Kyle (as Ramya)

You know, I've been puzzled by that hat of yours for a while. I wasn't bothered that you didn't tell me about your past, because I had no obligation to know it. But if that mystery is going to cloud my daughter's future, it might have to be something I know about.

[Long pause.]

Kyle

And after a few moments of silence she gets up. And she's like,

Kyle (as Ramya)

I have to properly wash up before attending to my drink. So, I will be back hopefully for a thorough conversation.

Kyle

And she walks into the bathroom.

[The mysterious, hopeful music from Elee's time in Legrash begins to play.]

And you turn back to your drink and you start thinking about what you're gonna say. Are you going to tell her the whole story? Are you going to tell her any part of the story? And then you see the copper orb that she has been winding up in, for someone that wants to be found. And you see that the metallic figures have taken the bundled up old man young man's face, with a million different instruments and components attached to it on this giant, monstrous backpack.

Emily

Elee reaches back up into her hat and she pulls two things off of it. She plucks off a pearl from the chain of pearls, and the honeycomb, and she sets it next to Rei's glass, and [Distressed sigh, voice grows hesitant.] she takes the copper orb and leaves.

[The mysterious music fades out.]

Kyle

And you walk for hours, following its every direction. And you've watched Rei use it, and it seems to work.

[The soft, melancholic piano music, Karl’s theme, begins again.]

Because right before, as the first beams of sunlight start to shoot through the trees, you see the shadow of this short man with the heavy backpack thing with a million instruments. What are you feeling? What are you preparing to do?

Emily

[Softly.] I just run towards it.

Kyle

You run, and you push through the trees, and suddenly you hear--

[A surprised yell.]

[01:00:00]

As this terrified elderly woman...

[The music stops.]

Falls on her back and turtles, and you see that this is a backpack filled with a bunch of different like, dentistry instruments.

Kyle (as the dentist)

[Frightened.] Oh, I'm sorry. Don't hurt me. I'll help fix your molars.

Emily (as Elee)

[Frustrated, slightly panicked.] I thought you were someone else. Why did this thing tell me to find you?

Kyle (as the dentist)

Well, I don't know. I'm just I'm just a dentist, please, again. Don't hurt me. Look, I'm royalty. I'm actually fifth cousin to the Brackleberrys. I'm so very lost. Please. Don't hurt me.

Emily (as Elee)

[Resigned.] What are you looking for.

Kyle (as the dentist)

[Still slightly panicked.] Food, shelter, that would be nice.

Emily (as Elee)

There's an inn over there.

Kyle (as the dentist)

Oh, cool.

Kyle

And she looks and she's like,

Kyle (as the dentist)

I don't see one?

Kyle

Because you've been walking for hours.

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, just in that direction. It's not like right behind me.

Kyle (as the dentist)

Oh, okay!

Kyle

And she picks up the bag and she just trots off.

Emily

I'm gonna glance after her, and then...is this just showing me Brackleberrys? Is that what this is?

[Karl and Elee’s guitar song begins to play again.]

Kyle

You were told that this is a device that finds someone who wants to be found. Specifically, someone who wants to be found by the device's user. You thought that was Karl, but Karl can't be found.

[The music stops.]

Karl's dead, Elee. The best thing you can hope for is someone who wants to be found because they need to find an inn, or they could be a tenuous ally for the Brackleberrys.

[The soft sound of crickets chirping in the background.]

Emily

One night, weeks from then, somewhere along the edge of the camp, when someone woke up and walked by, they might find the orb. But...Elee didn't...go back.

[The crickets fade into tense music-box-esque music filled with quiet drama.]

It was almost a decade later that Elee heard whispered rumors of the coming coup. The forces Rei had gathered were finally moving in on the Tyrant King of Ancuan. In the sense of the world, this was the coup of Ancuan, where the young Queen Anastasia Brackleberry regained her throne, but to Elee the only thing that mattered was that Sera and Rei were in danger.

Elee had wanted to reach out, to ask them how they'd been, to see them again, but she never did. The closest she came was in the form of mysteriously cleared out enemy camps and a few disoriented his soldiers telling tales of a deadly chair and a figure with fire on its head. After the coup was over and the Brackleberrys had won...Elee gave up. She wasn't going to reach out. She'd waited too long already.

[The music fades.]

That dream was dead.

So Elee lit the third candle.

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

And then Elee headed out to do what she knew she could do well. Wander, hit things, and wreck some shit.

[Closing theme intensifies, plays, and fades out.]

Kyle

[In a Humphrey Bogart voice.]

Yer nerse curls as the clinical lack of shmell, beshides that of shinged cloting and herr. Electricity shnakes along the banishters of shpiraling shtaircases, settling inshide of glassh orbs connected to benche, bags, bolts, poised on rooms adjacent to your own. Platforms connect to the ceiling like chandeliers above you.

Emily

[Snorting, biting back laughter.]

Kyle

[In a Humphrey Bogart voice.] I do not have a character who shpoke like thish and I am very dishappointed ‘cause I really like dish voish.

Emily

[Laughing.] I'm sorry, I was trying not--I was trying to just let you finish this-- [Dissolves into laughter.]

Kyle (as Henry Hanrenheid)

This is my narrator. Welcome to Hanrenheid Cashle. I am Henry...Hen-henrenheid. Hairnrenheid. I can't pronounsh the name of my own cashle.

Emily

Or your own name! It's just your name!

Kyle (as Henry Hanrenheid)

Yesh, my name is Henry Hanrenheid. Hen-ran-heid? Hanrenheid. Ish German.

Emily

I feel like you should know this! [Laughing.]

Kyle (as Henry Hanrenheid)​

I shh--I shhhhhh. Henry Hanrenheid will come back for Quesht Friends sheashon two.

Emily

[Laughs.]

[Episode ends - 01:04:32]

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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)