• Quest Friends!

Ep. 38: Crime and Courtship, Part 3

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

A shopping episode with no shopping.

Listen as our heroes:

Find their way to new pals!

Discuss dancing!

Pick a fight with the globe itself!

Content Warning: Loud Sounds (10:35-10:50)

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

Previously on Quest Friends...

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

Kyle (as Mauve)

Qi must be really on edge after everything that's happened in Charmonde. They really need to show that they're powerful and that? Is dangerous. If you can get on that boat, you can find the professor.

Tom (as Xoc)

Well, then...

Emily (as Elee)

[Stubbornly.] I don't like boats.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, it's really more of an airship. A boat is kind of just a general term.

Emily (as Elee)

Worse.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Khaki pants or whatever in his...

Kyle

Can I as the GM flavor that the reason you don't wear it normally is that there's a little tag on the side that says "Cool Kids Come From Qi."

Hallie

[Laughing.] No! Why would I have that? Is that--

Kyle

‘Cause it’s just something you got on your adventures!

Hallie

[Amused and resigned.] I just like, picked it up.

Kyle (as the scanner)

Contraband! Contraband detected! Contraband! Dozens of books. Young adult books. The worst contraband!

Tom

[Groans.] No.

Hallie

Hopper groans out loud. Just like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Extended pained groan.]

Kyle

You realize, oh! All books are outlawed here. In place of books, you can purchase your Qi-approved brick by any approved vendor, such as...

Penny in Pocket.

[Opening theme intensifies.]

Kyle (as Haymish)

Hi! Welcome to Penny in Pocket, the very best gear for the very best of...college students!

[An upbeat, peppy pop song begins to play, giving Penny in Pocket a very fruit-themed tech store ambiance.]

Kyle

For the first time since you've known of it, Penny in Pocket is bustling, and these boys cannot handle it.

When you first enter, Haymish briefly waves before disappearing underneath the cavernous crowd of patrons and reappearing on the other side of the store. The light from Ignatius's workstation is dimmed by rows upon rows of Prodigious-based merchandise, most of which are just common objects with the University of Qi logo stamped onto them.

And while this tense guests seem to be giving Tattertop a wide berth, he's still flanked on all sides by towering walls of every type of brick imaginable. Sandstone, marble, pumice, all highly overpriced, but claiming to provide the highest of education.

Uh, and then after a few seconds, just out of the crowd, you see Haymish's like, vested body pop up and he says,

Kyle (as Haymish)

Hi! [Gasping to catch his breath. He lets out a tired sigh.] Ha-h-hi, hi. Welcome to Penny in Pocket.

[The music fades. His voice is quavery and strained from exhaustion.]

It's great to see y'all. How can I help you today?

Tom (as Xoc)

[Slowly, attempting not to sound suspicious but landing on very suspicious.]

Oh, hello. We are looking to get some student IDs and bricks because we are going to be students on board the Prodigious!

Kyle (as Haymish)

Oh, that’s, that's cool. You, all of you are going, going back to school? Don't worry. We'll, we have lots of school supplies too, so just because you're retiring from adventuring doesn't mean you have to worry about not...shopping with us again.

Ari (as Misha)

[Matter-of-factly.] I have never been to the school, so I am not going back to it. I will be going to it for the first time.

Kyle (as Haymish)

[Still frazzled.] Of course, of course! So, yeah. So you said you need, uh, you need bricks.

Tom (as Xoc)

[High, strained.] Yes.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Through clenched teeth.] We need bricks.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

Hopper looks extremely upset. He's like, biting his lip a little bit, almost as if he's trying to like, keep himself from getting angrier.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Annoyed.] We need bricks.

Kyle

All right, so Haymish walks over to one of the walls of bricks. He pushes himself through a couple of novelty shirts, which you can see read "Cool Kids Come From Qi," except it's spelled with Qs, because Cs and Ks were considered redundant. So they're just not in Qi's alphabet. And he starts patting down the walls.

Kyle (as Haymish)

Okay. What, what subject are you, are you focusing on? Music, puzzles, poetry?

Hallie (as Hopper)

[A little reluctantly.] Uh, you know, isn't that information on the student IDs?

Kyle (as Haymish)

Well, yeah. So what did your student ID say?

Emily (as Elee)

We need some of those too.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

We lost ours.

Tom (as Xoc)

Yes, all of us. At the same time.

Kyle

And then Tattertop pops in and says...

[Eerie carnival music begins to play; it's more mischievous than malicious but with an unsettling undercurrent.]

Kyle (as Tattertop)

They mean to steal their way onto the ship.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Tattertop)

I know a friend who can help you with that, my friends.

Kyle

And Haymish is like,

Kyle (as Haymish)

[With a little dismissive laugh.] Tattertop, no, these are, these are good folks, they're not...aiming to do that!

Tom

So Xoc is going to do the thing from that one, like, Steven Universe clip, where he just like, shakes his head like... [Makes a noise of disagreement.]

Shakes a little bit more, and then just like, nods. [Makes an mm-hmm noise of agreement.]

Tom (as Xoc)

[In an increasingly low whisper.] Yeah, we're not retiring from adventuring, really. Not really.

Kyle (as Haymish)

[Reluctantly at first.] Oh, well.

[Whispering in return, with more enthusiasm.] Oh, that's exciting.

Tom

[Faint laughter.]

Kyle (as Haymish)

[Still whispering.] Oh my God. Have you told friends about us? Because I really want to get out of this business. [Anxiously.] They're suffocating me.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] What business do you want to go into?

Kyle (as Haymish)

I want to go into the adventurer business! You think they'd be, you think they'd be scarier than the bunch, a horde of college students, but you haven't met people away from home for the first time. It's horrifying!

Tom (as Xoc)

[Strained, uncertain.] A-and

[00:05:00]

do you...

Emily

[Laughing in the background.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Do you need help escaping this place? Because we can try to get you out of the city.

Kyle (as Haymish)

[Trying to stay upbeat, but clearly resigned to his fate.] It's, it's fine. I have my corner. I'll be go crying in it if you need anything from me.

Kyle

And he walks away and Tattertop is like,

Kyle (as Tattertop)

[Sleazy, more ominous music plays.]

Yes, student IDs you seek?

[Laughter from the party.]

Well them you shall find in Ignatius's workstation, for within the heat and amassed underneath the smoke, a hefty game of...

[Tattertop pauses for dramatic effect.] Hopscotch is being played with...

Hallie

[Resigned sigh.]

Kyle

And he tries to count all of you, and all the NPCs you're with.

Tom

[Faint exasperated groan.]

Kyle (as Tattertop)

With the correct amount—

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Tattertop)

[Crosstalking.] Of ID badges in the pot, if one of you were so inclined to get it.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Reluctantly.] Y-y-yes, we do. We do want this.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Um--

Emily (as Elee)

[Resigned but not displeased.] Alright Hopper. Do you want to redeem yourself with hopscotch, or do you want me to do it? I lost one kneecap to it a couple of years ago.

Hallie (as Hopper)

How did you lose a kneecap?

Emily (as Elee)

[Flatly.] I bet it.

Tom

[Laughter in the background.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Incredulous.] You bet your kneecap?

Emily (as Elee)

It's a really long story. [Increasingly awkward.] It was a great way to weed out who not to date?

[More laughter from the party.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Flatly.] I'm sure it was.

Hallie

Out of character, I have already had the chance to play hopscotch, so Emily, do you want to play hopscotch?

Emily

Um, I'll do it, unless you wanted to Hallie.

Hallie

[Wryly.] Well Hopper, Hopper doesn't know what he fucking wants. So when he heard hopscotch, he was like, ‘ah, yes a chance to redeem myself,’ but he also wasn't sure it would work.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

[Pained.] Oh, no.

Kyle

I mean you can both play hopscotch.

Emily

I was just gonna say.

Emily (as Elee)

Hey Hopper. Come on. Let's go play hopscotch.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright, let's do it.

Kyle

Alright, you two go off into the flaming cauldron that is Ignatius' workstation. And after they leave, Tattertop just leans into you, Xoc and Misha says,

Kyle (as Tattertop)

You know, if you need a healing cypher you can always exchange it. I have a feeling one might need to fall into your pocket soon.

Emily

[Very quietly.] Oh, no.

Tom (as Xoc)

I mean, I'm fairly certain I have a healing cypher.

Tom

And Xoc roots around in his pockets. Definitely not me rooting around.

Tom (as Xoc)

Yeah, yeah. I've got a healing cypher here, but actually, while we're here, I do want to exchange a cypher.

Kyle (as Tattertop)

You want to engage in the exchange? How exciting!

Ari (as Misha)

I would also like to exchange one of my cypher objects into something else.

Kyle (as Tattertop)

Exciting! Exciting! Let us begin the Wheel of Fortunes!

Kyle

[Carnival midway music begins to play.]

All right. So what you're going to do is Tattertop's going to give you this big, like, music box with a funnel at the end of it, and you're gonna drop your cyphers in there. And then he's gonna wheel around, he's going to pop out some new ones. It's a gambling game. You're gonna gamble.

Tom

Gambling!

Kyle

Tom. What cypher are you giving up?

Tom

Xoc pulls out the static shock helmet and offers it up as a sacrifice.

Kyle

Alright, and then Misha, what are you giving up?

Ari

I give the wheel that I got at the pit, and I have no idea what to do with it.

Kyle

The eternally spinning wheel.

Hallie

I love that thing.

Emily

[Amused.] I forgot you still had that!

Kyle

Alright, so what—

Hallie

You could put eels on it!

Kyle and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

What each of you need to do...those are cyphers, so your odds are going to be better, but they're not going to be great. I need you to roll me a 1D100.

Ari

Yes.

Tom

I'm just gonna grab my dice rolling thing, because I forgot to grab it beforehand.

Ari

78!

Kyle

78. Oooh! So Ari, you are going to get an artifact.

Tom

[Incredulous noise.]

Ari

[Excited.] Ooh!

Kyle

Um, where the fuck is my Numenera book?

Emily

On the bed, question mark? Oh, no, it's on your chair.

Kyle

Can you get it Emily?

Emily

Yeah, lemme—

Kyle

[Crosstalking.] Thank you!

Emily

—Unplug my headphones. This is not a very, like, maneuverable set up.

Tom

Also, for rolling a 1D100 without dice that are explicitly for that, how did we rule the, um. Oh no, it was 90 plus 10 on the other dice. Okay. I remember, never mind.

Ari

[Laughing a little.] I'm just using a random number generator between one and one hundred.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

Okay, so I have 70 on my 1D100 roll.

Kyle

Okay, so you get an artifact as well. You both gets artifacts! Whoo-hoo!

[Trumpet fanfare.]

Roll me another 1D100 to figure out what the fuck you get.

Ari

Alright.

Tom

Absolutely.

Ari

I get a 59. Luckily.

Tom

It's 68.

Ari

Oh my God.

Kyle

So close to being nice.

Ari

See I almost said that for mine too, because it's like, 59. But I didn't know.

Tom

That feels really fitting for Xoc and Misha though.

[Laughter from the party.]

Like, they get the 69 meme wrong and high-five each other. Everyone else is like no, no, guys, no, guys.

Ari

[Laughing.] Yes! I love it.

Kyle

Okay. So Ari, you get a needler.

Ari

What is that?

Kyle

[A percussive beat picks up quietly in the background.]

A three-foot-tall collapsible metal tra...

[The music stops.]

No, that's the murder globe. Sorry.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

[The beat picks up again.]

It projects a single needle, no damage; a spray of needles, one point of damage; or a wide spray of needles, no damage, but affects everyone in an immediate area.

Ari

[Frustrated.] God that sucks!

Hallie

[More enthusiastically.] That's amazing!

Kyle

They can affect anyone within long range, and they can be poisoned!

Ari

[Reluctantly.] Okay, I like that.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

In which case, those who don't take damage

[00:10:00]

need to take a might roll to avoid being poisoned.

Ari

[More enthusiastically.] Alright! I like that better.

Kyle

It says it's rapid fire. So essentially, what I'm just going to do is, I'm gonna, I'm gonna house rule it as, it's just a thing you can shoot, either as a light weapon for two points of damage, or you can be like, I want to apply a paralytic poison. Or you can, like, choose a status effect to apply to it.

Ari and Tom

[Contemplative noises.]

Xoc, you get, and can I have a drum roll, please?

[The party provides slightly out of sync drum rolls.]

Xoc, the thing pops up. [Kyle begins to sing the traditional song a jack-in-the-box plays, increasingly more ominous.] Bamp-bamp-ba-da-domp!

And out pops…

[A dramatic pause.]

A second recorder headband.

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

[Shocked.] You are shitting me.

Kyle

[Trying desperately not to laugh.] You got a second one.

Emily

[Delighted shriek.]

[Continued laughter from the party.]

Tom

No!

Ari

[Through laughter.] Put it on top of your other one!

Tom

No! No!

Kyle

And Tattertop just looks at you and says,

Kyle (as Tattertop)

[Gleefully.] No take-backsies, now.

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

[Frantically.] Wait, wait, no, I can roll it. I could roll again, right? I could roll again!

Kyle

[A little smug.] Nope. Nope.

Tom

[Pained.] No!

Kyle

You can exchange the artifact for one XP, if you would rather just take the experience point.

Tom

No, I, I don't fucking want another XP!

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

I burned all of my XP for this bullshit. Can I at least exchange it for item?

Kyle

[Quickly, crosstalking a little.] No.

Tom

Alright. Let me...in character, Xoc is just sort of perplexed, just like,

Tom (as Xoc)

[Strained.] But I already have this? What do I do with two?

Tom

He like, briefly tries to fit one over each eye, because it, it has that, like, one screen that plops out over an eye. So he just has, like, two pieces of like, red synth like covering over his eyes like Adam Jensen sunglasses.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

And it's the most disorienting thing. Each eye is seeing the recording from the other eye.

Tom

Nope. Nope.

[Continued laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

[Hesitantly, trying to be encouraging.] I do believe it looks very fashionable, Xoc. I do not know much about fashion, but I think it looks good on you.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Shyly.] Oh, well, thank you, Misha Jarvis. I'm not sure it will be of very practical use...it might be better if I give this to another member of the party, but I do appreciate that.

Tom

And out of character, I'll just continue to fume and rage.

Emily and Kyle

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Okay, so as Xoc is almost vomiting, he's kind of like reeling, and then trying to stand straight again.

Ari

Misha looks with concern.

Kyle

Misha you turn over you look with concern, but then you see the most perplexing thing.

[Slow, relaxing, cheery music begins to play.]

It's a cardboard stand covered in plastic and holding twenty-four kitschy toys inside of them. It kind of looks like, you know, that like "collect them all" toy things that they have at, like, Burger King and McDonald's?

Ari

Yeah.

Kyle

It looks like that, and it says the Prom de Plume gift-giving challenge! Collect all your friends!

Ari (as Misha)

How does one collect all of these friends?

Kyle

And as you say that, almost to answer your question, down at the, a slot at the bottom right opens up, and this electronic device comes out. It's a bulky, kind of brick-like gray electronic with a handful of buttons, a faint screen, and a thin slot on the top. Essentially, it's a Game Boy. And you can see where it would say Game Boy, it says Wing Pal! Sponsored by JET.CO.

Tom

[Groans.] Noo.

Kyle

And suddenly you hear Q-BO say,

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Q-BO beeps on.]

Wing Pal! A device made by JET.CO in an attempt to commodify and gamify relationships. Highly successful in educational institutions. With a Wing Pal, you get to keep track of how many hearts you have with somebody else. If you establish five hearts with someone, not only will it be easier to talk to them, but you can go with them to Prom de Plume, the most important event of your entire life. It's a dance!

Kyle

And you can see actually, it's, you can see a date for Prom de Plume on the, on the cardboard stand. It looks like Prom de Plume is going to be happening on the Prodigious in three days. So if today is day one, it will be happening on the night of day four. And Q-BO says,

Kyle (as Q-BO)

Is there anyone you want to win the hearts of? Better get going, and find their perfect gift with Wing Pal!

[A cheery beep.]

Sorry. Sorry. They tried Wing Pal in Roulettia, and I just haven't done the delivery in a while. So it was exciting to deliver that information again, to somebody who might actually use it!

Tom

Ohhh.

Ari (as Misha)

Hello, sibling Q-BO.

[The music begins to fade out.]

Tom

[Chuckles.]

Ari (as Misha)

[Thoughtfully.] I cannot say I understand most of what you said, but I will still try to collect this...hearts, I suppose. In case this is beneficial. However, I do need to investigate more as to what is a prom.

Kyle (as Everett)

[Exasperated.] Ugh.

Kyle

You just hear Everett behind you, because remember, you have a million NPCs with you.

Kyle (as Everett)

It's just a silly dance. And people act like it's so important, and, like, I don't know. You ask someone you love or whatever. It's like going to this dance, and then you're like, with them forever, or for you know, as long as you got.

Ari (as Misha)

[Thoughtful.] Huh.

Hallie

[In reaction to Everett's glum words.] Ohh.

Kyle

And then Jesse pipes in,

Kyle (as Jesse)

[Much more enthused by the idea of Prom de Plume.] Yeah, and then um, and then you can also use that, like, if you get enough heart points with somebody, you could get voted to be on the proligarchy.

[00:15:00]

It's like the oligarchy that rules Qi, but they, like, rule the dance. It's a little unequal but it's kind of cool, because anyone can be it!

Tom (as Xoc)

[Intrigued.] Tell us more about this dance and this proligarchy?

Kyle

[Laughing.] So you hear about prom kings and prom queens, and how they rule the school.

Ari (as Misha)

[Curious, but still confused.] That is certainly interesting. Are humans not allowed to dance in this manner with people that they love? Do they have to do it only in this prom context? My apologies. All of this is very confusing to me. It's a lot of human customs I have not encountered before.

Kyle (as Haymish)

You're considering to be part of the proligarchy? That's great!

[Mischievous music begins to play in the background.]

Kyle

[Laughing a little.] And suddenly you just realize Haymish has popped up behind you again.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh! Hello. Could you explain us more about what is a "prom," and what would you define as a person you love? And why would you need to invite it to a dance?

Emily

[Trying not to laugh.] Poor Haymish.

Kyle (as Haymish)

[Stammering.] Well, it's just um, I don't uh...

Kyle

And suddenly Haymish just gives a thousand-yard stare, as just like, a romantic comedy starts to play in his brain, except it was his life one day.

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

[A little gasp.] Oh!

Kyle

He eventually snaps out and he just says,

Kyle (as Haymish)

Well, you don't need to be part of the proligarchy in order to dance with somebody, but it is a point of high esteem and there's a lot of exclusive things people can do if they become part of the proligarchy. And of course, prom isn't the most important thing in the world, but if you don't get all five hearts then...

Kyle

And he just looks down, and he looks really sad and he says,

Kyle (as Haymish)

Well, then you might not get his.

[The music fades out. Distraught noises from the party.]

Kyle (as Haymish)

I'm going to go back into my corner now.

Tom

Snort of laughter.]

Emily

Oh no!

Hallie

Haymish, no!

Kyle

And as he leaves, and he starts to tear up, he says,

Kyle (as Haymish)

[Holding back tears.] You can actually, you can get one of the gifts for free.

Kyle

[The more peaceful guitar music begins to play again.]

Um, so we're going to have dating sim mechanics. Essentially, there's a five heart system that this thing called the Wing Pal, which each of you will get a copy of. The Wing Pal keeps track of your hearts with somebody else. And Qi only lets people who mutually share a full five heart points with each other, only lets them go to prom as a couple. If they haven't maxed out each other's relationships and heart points, then they can't go.

You can increase heart points with somebody by talking to them, befriending them, you can also give them one of twenty-four gifts. Each person has a gift specifically matched to them that they will love. It will automatically increase their heart points. Anything that's not that? You'll have to roll. And depending on how inclined they are to like it, they might like it and they might not.

It's also a prom, so you can become prom king and prom queen, but it's an oligarchy, because that's the government in Qi. The government is ruled by the school board called the Council of Spheres. So, they don't have kings and queens, they have an oligarchy.

Ari

One thing I am confused, and feel free to delete this if it's like, too out of character. But like, how does this work for like, PCs? Because like, you know that, you know, Misha's gonna try and, you know, invite Xoc to the prom eventually.

Kyle

Um, you can default, if you manually sync up your units, you can default to 3 heart points.

Ari

But I would still need to gain two more. But I don't know, because like, what if like, I want to gain trust on another NPC but I still want to invite Xoc to the prom.

Kyle

I don't know!

Tom

Gotta manage our time.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom

Xoc though, having overheard most of this, will pipe in and say,

Tom (as Xoc)

I don't really understand the structure and rituals surrounding this custom. But I don't know, I'm kind of excited about dancing. I've never, never danced before. I never really had a chance to try it. There was nobody who knew how to dance in the Weal. So I never learned. It would be a fun thing to do while we're here!

Ari (as Misha)

I agree. I have seen, oddly enough, myself dance, and I suppose I have sort of danced, in the past, but not in a situation that involves a ritualized social custom such as this one.

[The music fades out.]

So I am certainly interested to attend it.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Awkwardly.] Uh, good!

Tom

And Xoc, not, not entirely sure what to say, will actually turn back to his shopping list.

Kyle

Alright. But before that, Emily and Hallie, I need you to roll a D20 to see how you did with hopscotch.

Emily

I'm terrified. I really want to do well guys.

Ari

I want to see Hallie's rolling debut! What will it be?

Hallie

[Dice roll.] I got an eight.

Emily

[Laughs faintly.]

Ari

That's an improvement. I guess

Emily

I got a thirteen.

Kyle

Cool. Emily.

Emily

[A little uncertain.] Yeah.

Kyle

Pick a pool, gain three points in it. Hallie.

Hallie

[A little frantic.] Just give me my might point back!

Kyle

Pick a pool...lose two points from it.

Emily

What?

Hallie

Noooo!

Tom

Wait. Wait, is this permanent? Is this keepsies?

Kyle

No, this is the, I'm assuming they didn't do keepsies.

Tom

Okay.

Emily

[A little gleefully.] I was playing for keepsies!

Hallie

[Less excited.] Hopper may have.

Emily

[Distressed laugh.]

Tom

[Strained.] Hopper no!

Kyle

Okay, in that case. Grab two points, add them permanently, Elee. Hop, grab two points lose them permanently.

Tom

No!

Hallie

Here's the thing, like as a player,

[00:20:00]

I don't want to, but Hopper, yeah, probably would have.

Tom

[Half under his breath.] God. Oh God. No.

Kyle

Anyways.

[Strangely sleazy electropop music begins to play.]

So you turn around to your shopping list and you are just confronted by Elee, who looks you know, a little more refreshed than usual.

[The music abruptly turns into a very sad, weak "Taps" on the trumpet.]

And Hop, who just looks even more tired. And they are holding a series of IDs.

Emily

Elee's like, patting Hop on the back as gently as possible as they walk.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

Hopper is barely even registering, because in his head he's just thinking like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Glumly.] I don't really need it, it's fine.

Tom

No.

Kyle

Alright. So you have your IDs. If you slip them into that small slot in the Wing Pal, it'll be basically synced to you. So each of you has your own Wing Pal, as do all the NPCs—Q-BO's a little bit tough. With some help...he actually he rolls down to Ignatius to get it just installed inside of him, because he is but a small basketball boy and he cannot hold onto an electronic device.

But while the Wing Pal is just a fun silly thing, it's also mandatory. Also, you have to figure out what the fuck to do with those books. You have a bunch of books that are contraband.

Hallie

[Frustrated groan.]

Tom

The, um, the Ladybug, was that going on to the Prodigious as well?

Kyle

Your vehicle, the Ladybug. You had tried to put it on the Prodigious. Are you going to put it on the Prodigious now?

Tom

I wasn't sure if we really wanted to put it on the Prodigious, knowing that things are not maybe going well on this airship. It might not be wise to store our vehicle here, which we might need later.

Kyle

Counterpoint out of character. How the fuck you gonna get back to it?

Hallie

That's what I was thinking.

Tom

Okay. Alright, alright.

Hallie

Counter-counterpoint, driving a car on an airship sounds metal as fuck, and we should do it.

Tom

[Sing-songing.] Legs on the bus go step-step-step.

Emily

I know I immediately want to pull Soe, and I want to go back over to Tattertop.

Emily (as Elee)

So, you knew where we could get these IDs.

Kyle (as Tattertop)

[Eerie, slightly sinister carnival music begins to play once more.]

Yes. I did.

Emily (as Elee)

You know where we could...

Kyle (as Tattertop)

[Crosstalking.] I deed.

Emily (as Elee)

You know where we could hide some books?

Kyle (as Tattertop)

Books? Why that's the highest of contraband.

Kyle

And he smiles to Soe, who kind of looks a little confused. He says,

Kyle (as Tattertop)

What books might you be bringing onto the Prodigious?

Kyle (as Soe)

[Reluctantly.] Um, well not, not that big a stuff, just, you know, The Sleepy Games. The Sudoku Runner. There's one called The Book Thief.

Kyle

That's an actual book. Um...

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

[Laughing.] I was gonna say, don't do that one.

Kyle

Because the number nine, sudoku was made for the 9th World.

Hallie

Eyyy!

Emily

It's been biding its time.

Kyle

So he says,

Kyle (as Tattertop)

[Gleefully.] Young adult. You wouldn't mind parting with any of that, would you?

Kyle

Soe's like,

Kyle (as Soe)

[Excitedly.] Oh, oh, is there anything you really want to read? I love to—

Kyle

He's like,

Kyle (as Tattertop)

I'm more interested in selling.

[The music stops.]

Except for The Book Thief. I've heard that one's really good. I am interested in reading that one.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

And she happily hands it over to him.

Kyle (as Tattertop)

Yes. Well, with this payment, I believe I can be of assistance. You've heard of my brother's library, have you not?

Emily (as Elee)

[More mechanical music begins to play, with an air of subterfuge.]

Yeah, that one that he made a lot of coins for that, uh, never got bought.

Kyle (as Tattertop)

Exactly. My brother has the key to a magical library you can access from any place, and nobody wants it, not a single soul. So...

Kyle

And he just sneaks out a key.

Kyle (as Tattertop)

I think if you use the back door, no one would notice.

Tom

Doesn't Hopper have a library card for this though.

Hallie

I absolutely do, but I, in my defense, it's just, it just is about, like, taking books.

Tom

Oh, that's true.

Hallie

And it has rules about how many books I can take per day. It doesn't say anything about being able to store them, but I was going to ask.

Kyle

Yeah, if you had asked Haymish, he would have helped you out. But now that you asked Tattertop, Tattertop's gonna give you basically the back door key. But yeah, you can use that to store Soe's immense library.

[The music begins to fade.]

I'm assuming we're going to store any other books you have, like, Xoc has Sir Arthur's Guide to the Numenera.

Tom

Mm-hmm.

Kyle

Hop. Are you going to store your atlas page there?

Hallie

Hopper? Oh, no Hopper's going to store...well, he has the book from Soe. He's going to store that, still reading that. He's going to store the atlas there for now. However, he also has the Adventures of Jameson Hopper—

[A simple, melancholic piano melody, a subdued version of Hopper’s theme, begins to play.]

--on his person at all times, which is where he has a letter from Lorraine as a bookmark. So before putting that in, he's gonna put that back in his pocket.

Kyle

The letter.

Hallie

Yeah. He takes it out of the book before putting it into the into the library access thing.

Kyle

Okay.

Hallie

Just real casually, don't worry about it.

Kyle

And then— [Laughter. The music fades.] Tom was just shaking his head.

Hallie

[Sheepishly.] I am playing in character, guys.

Kyle

And then, what was the last thing. Oh, so who has the back door that you can use to access all these things. Tattertop has given one key, who wants it?

Emily

Well, I'm gonna take it from him because we had that conversation, to give it to Soe?

Tom

I was going to vote that as well.

Hallie

Yeah.

Emily (as Elee)

And I'm gonna mention if

[00:25:00]

you ever want someone else to hold on to it, I think you should ask Hop.

Tom

I genuinely thought you were going to say Xoc.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

I was just very startled that Hopper was being trusted with a thing.

Hallie

[Taken aback but amused.] Wow.

Kyle

[More surprised.] Wow, what the fuck Tom?

Hallie

[Crosstalking with Kyle, increasingly bemused.] Wow. Wow!

Tom

[Frantically backpedaling.] No, no, no. No, I'm not saying that Xoc wouldn't trust Hopper with the thing. I was just surprised other people were.

Hallie

[Sarcastically.] Oh that's so much better!

Emily

I'm trying to give him a win here!

Hallie

Hopper doesn't want it. I mean, he does. He really wants it, but he's trying to convince himself he doesn't.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

So you've got your, you've got your IDs. You've got your Wing Pals. You've got your back door, and you have Lorraine's letter in your pocket.

[Triumphant orchestral music begins to play.]

And after a few more minutes of shopping, you have everything you need to board the Prodigious and start your next adventure.

[The music intensifies.]

Kyle

Hello, and welcome to the announcement break for Quest Friends Episode 38, Crime and Courtship Part 3. I'm Kyle, your GM, and our intro and outro song are "Friends" and "Hitoshio," both by Miracle of Sound. And today for our announcement break, we have our first-ever Patreon NPC shout out!

For anyone who's unfamiliar with that, as of a few weeks ago, we released our Quest Friends Patreon, and anyone who backs us at the five dollar level or higher gets a one-time shout out from an NPC of their choice.

Our NPC shout-out today goes to Winter, or @DMAllisonWyles on Twitter. And Winter's NPC that they want a shout out from today is the... [Trails off.] A...poc...is...it's the Apoc...it's the Apocrita.

I don't think we can get the Apocrita to say any—

[Kyle is cut off as an ominous, thundering drumbeat sounds. The eerie theme of the Apocrita intensifies.]

The winter snow curls in the wind. Across the skyline, hundreds of thousands of flakes rise in a cyclone, circling up towards the all-too-familiar scraping and scuttling of black spiders and glass. This rising frozen water quickly bonds to the Apocrita’s shell, and together, they reflect to the bright winter's sun in just the right way to form five colored bands.

At the top and the bottom, a bright blue, matching the sky itself. Further inward, an equivalent pink, and in the center, where the snow is most congealed, a vibrant line of white.

And after creating these lines, the spherical storm extends outwards into four points, forming a rectangular plane that blows gently in the wind. For the first time ever, the Apocrita waves. It cannot speak, yet it still extends forth a profound message that the English language can only summarize in two words.

Trans Rights.

[The music abruptly stops.]

Well, that's actually really sweet of you, the Apocrita! Anyways, if you'd like to hear a shout out from an NPC of your choice, check out Patreon.com/QuestFriends. This is just one of the many, many cool things we have for anyone who backs our show. And thanks so much for supporting us Winter, and giving me this very fun challenge of trying to get the Apocrita to say trans rights. I hope it did your imagination justice.

Alright, that's all I've got for us today. Our next episode Crime and Courtship, Part 4, will be releasing on Monday, June 10. I'll see you then.

[The triumphant, inspiring orchestral music swells again.]

Kyle (as Captain Jebediah Ishmael)

Welcome to the Prodigious. My name is Captain Jebediah Ishmael. I am the captain of this vessel.

Ari (as Misha)

[Coyly.] Can I call you Ishmael?

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

[Laughing.] Fuck you!

Kyle (as Captain Ishmael)

I would prefer Captain, please.

Kyle

So you've all made it onto the Prodigious.

You are in the kind of gondola space, which is also the Captain's

[00:30:00]

quarters.

[Intense, slightly militaristic and nautical music begins to play.]

In front of you, you see this large walrus with very finely polished tusks. And then just a small Captain's cap on top of his head, and a blinking ear tag on one of his small ears. He is Captain Jebediah Ishmael, and surrounding him are all the prospective students of the Prodigious.

The noon light casts in through these large floor-to-ceiling windows around the entire area. This gondola's just, it's very sparse, with the exceptions of a globe in the corner and then a few consoles, and like, a captain's wheel. Everyone is murmuring with excitement, getting ready for the ship to set sail, and Captain Jebediah Ishmael is just introducing the rules .

So you are all kind of just waiting for the ship to take off. There's this this nervous energy. How do you all feel about the Prodigious setting sail?

Emily

Nauseous.

Tom

Xoc is feeling so conflicted, because on the one hand Xoc is keeping at the forefront of his mind the, the importance of the task ahead of them. But also, also it's just, it's just really cool being on an airship.

Ari

Yeah.

Tom

Looking around, with his close friends.

Tom

Just, it's like mixture of like, apprehension at their grave task, and just like, being really swept up in the dramatic moment of this take off with the people he cares about most in the world.

Kyle

Alright. So you're sitting there with this, with this energy. And actually, Misha, you can almost feel like, you feel like this external energy around you, like the datasphere. And you to a lesser degree, Xoc. The datasphere is just so strong in this place. Because, as you remember, this whole device is a giant Numenera thing that speaks with the datasphere, and you can just like, feel its energy coursing with you.

And you can't tell if it's nerves about, like, prom or your task, or flying, or the datasphere, or the fact that the crowd is so close that you're forced to be so close together.

Tom

Mm-hm.

Kyle

But something is, uh, is electrifying.

Ari

[Wryly.] I'm gonna pull out my psychology degree and say that there's some misattribution of arousal going on, because Misha can't really place that it's the datasphere. And so they just feel really excited, mostly about being so close to Xoc, but they don't really understand it.

Kyle

And we hear Jebediah Ishmael, we hear Captain Ishmael continue his speech.

Kyle (as Captain Ishmael)

On the main floor of the Prodigious, you will find a series of escape pods in the case of danger. They use hematium crystals to keep energy, and are connected to our considerable datasphere relays. So there is nothing to worry about concerning this ship and its capacity to sink.

Kyle

And you hear some kind of nervous murmurs as people, as he talks about that, and we look over and we see all of your faces, and we see Everett, who's just really shut down. Like he's kind of tightened himself up a little bit. He has his arms crossed, and he kind of tightens up a little bit at hearing about like, oh, there's no chance of the ship sinking, because now he's like, fuck the ship is gonna sink.

Hallie

[Laughs.]

Kyle

You see Jesse who is decked out in a gift they got from Elee, a vintage "Qool Qids Qome From Qi" t-shirt, which they absolutely loved, and then you see next to next to them, you see Soe with just, like, tiny model airships and like a mug and all that kitschy Prodigious gear, which was another gift. So, Elee, your relationship with both of them is now up to four hearts.

Tom

[Pouting a little.] Exploiting the time system I see.

Hallie

Man.

Kyle

Oh, we continue looking over as Soe excitedly starts talking to another student and she's like,

Kyle (as Soe)

I'm so excited!

Kyle

And she's just started talking about the first thing she can think about, which considering with what she was just told with the dirigibles like, oh, it won't crash. She just starts relaying to this poor student next to her all, like, the disastrous things that have happened upon airships, and all the horrible dirigible crashes that have happened, and beneath her we can, uh, we can hear Q-BO piping in, correcting her information, often making it more horrific than it was before.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And that's got you accounted for, and all your NPCs accounted for. But if I recall correctly...

[Whimsical accordion music begins to play.]

There was this lil robot who you had saved from last episode, and who you know, even if you got him an ID, couldn't really unless you like Weekend at Bernie's—

[Laughter from the party.]

Like, couldn't appear to like, use it. So what the hell did you do with this robot boy?

[The music fades.]

Tom

So, question. What, like, like what was, what was the security like here? Is it like some kind of, like, is it like an airport scanner where we're going to have to like, stick all of our items through like, a machine?

Kyle

You, yeah, you've already used somehow already circumvented it, we've skipped that.

Tom

[Crosstalking.] Right, right.

Kyle

That was like last episode. There was a TSA, but TSA was lazy cats.

Tom

Okay. I was just asking like, what it was like, so I can formulate my retroactive plan.

Kyle

It's just TSA.

Tom

Okay. Just TSA.

[00:35:00]

Kyle

It's, it's...Qi-S-A.

Tom

[Quietly, amused.] Qi-S-A. [Long, extended "uhhhh."] Okay. This is, this is what, this is what my plan is. Do I own a backpack as well.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

I do have a pack of tools and spare parts. Perfect. Okay, so I'm going to like, in the past, Xoc gently placed the small robot child into the pack of tools, just like gently so it would like, tools weren't going to like scuff him or anything. And just piled more metal things on top of them just like, the spray metal, maybe some artifacts just to like confuse everything. Then it's just like, when it goes through the sensors, it's like,

Tom (as Xoc)

Oh, yeah, that's full of just repair equipment, and also canisters of spray flesh and spray metal, perfectly normal school supplies needed for my classes in...

Tom

[Trying not to laugh.] Checks notes.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Now if you'll excuse me— [Pained groan.] And you just hear the pain of like, Xoc, as he tries to lift up this bag, but he literally does not have the might to do it. While, just like, [Strained.] I'm gonna continue on my way.

Tom (as Xoc)

This is a normal thing to do with school bags anyway. That's like, that's honestly the, the most convincing part of the whole act.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So are you just me in high school with like, this giant turtle backpack that you have to, like, lean down on to?

Tom

I have at times put too many books in my backpack.

Kyle

Yeah did you all buy any bricks, by the way? For school?

Hallie

Absolutely not.

Emily

No.

Tom

I didn't spend the money on it. Was it on the list?

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

Was it on the list? I genuinely didn't see it.

Kyle

All right. So we, we see the view, we see this electric energy. We see Misha misattributing their arousal. You see Jesse excited, Everett pouting, Hop and Elee there.

Emily

Elee's like a cat. Like, when they grab on with their claws, her hands and feet are just digging into the floor.

Hallie

Hopper feels absolutely nothing right now.

[Laughter from the party.]

Emily

[Pained noise.]

Hallie

[Crosstalking.] So he's just staring off into the distance as we take off.

Ari

He's just dead inside.

Hallie

He's just there.

Kyle

And so we see Elee kind of just perched, like, leaning on the edge, trying to make herself a small as possible. And Soe pops up,

Kyle (as Soe)

[A maraca picks up in the background, shaking out a steady rhythm for a few moments before chimes pick in, a lively version of Soe’s theme.]

Mom, Mom, isn't this so exciting? It's gonna be so cool!

Kyle

And you can see that she's kind of just like, perched, leaning over one of the consoles, looking out at kind of the pier. You haven't moved at all, but she's just still, and getting ready.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] It's great. Ah...it's...an airboat.

Kyle

She's like,

Kyle (as Soe)

[Talking quickly, too enthusiastic to take her time.] Yeah. It's an airboat! It's so high and it's just so exciting!

Kyle

And as she says that, she puts her hands together and she shoots them out to the side, and she like, whacks into this globe that’s on runners.

Emily

[Faintly.] Oh no.

Kyle

And it just kind of spins around and she's like,

Kyle (as Soe)

Oops!

Kyle

And then you hear...

[The music stops.]

Kyle (as mysterious angry voice)

Oops, what the fuck you mean? Oops? Ya smacked me right up the head, you little brat.

Kyle

[Very sleazy electro music begins to play again.]

And as the globe continues to move, you can see two of the continents, the like, uh, fault lines have furrowed down like angry brows, and you see that it has this, like, one arm with a glove on it connected to the globe that's just gesturing furiously.

Kyle (as mysterious angry globe)

Ya smacked me on the head you piece of shit!

Emily (as Elee)

[Intensely angry.] Do not call my daughter a piece of shit, you piece of shit.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as mysterious angry globe)

Aw, whatever granny, at least I know what I am and I embrace it.

Emily

I'm gonna pull Soe by the hand, away, and like, glare at it, and then go back to my digging into the floor.

Kyle

As you leave he's like,

Kyle (as mysterious angry globe)

Yeah, get the fuck out of here you piece of shit. I don't need anything of you!

Kyle

Um...

Emily (as Elee)

Screw you!

Kyle (as mysterious angry globe)

No, fuck off!

Emily (as Elee)

[Angry noise.]

Kyle (as mysterious angry globe)

You know what, I drive this fucking ship. You watch your tongue or I'll drive you straight to goddamn hell!

Emily

[Trying not to laugh.] Elee shuts up.

Kyle

And as you walk by, you hear Q-BO say,

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Q-BO beeps cheerfully.]

Who was that, Elee Badge?

Emily (as Elee)

[The music fades out. Elee's voice is weak.] Ahh...I don't...he...

[Elee pauses.]

I think I'm gonna puke.

Kyle

And Soe says,

Kyle (as Soe)

I don't think we got his name, oh no, how rude of us!

Emily (as Elee)

No, Soe, he was rude, he was rude!

Kyle (as Soe)

[Crosstalking.] No we never got his—

Emily (as Elee)

You were very polite. You were good. You did good.

Kyle (as Soe)

[Anxious.] No, we never got his name. That's so rude. Um, um, um, should I go back and ask it?

Emily (as Elee)

[More vehemently.] I wouldn't go back and ask it

Kyle

And then suddenly, we just see the globe, with like its arm kind of like...globes don't have hips, but it’s like, fist has closed on its hip and it's like, it's on one of the runners, and it's just next to you now.

Hallie

[Laughs.]

Kyle (as the mysterious globe)

You yell at me and don't fucking know my name. Fine! Fucking treat me like dirt! I'm used to it. No, you can call me the one goddamn guy keeping this whole fucking thing afloat.

Kyle

And Jebediah says,

Kyle (as Captain Ishmael)

Oh, VIRGULE, VIRGULE, please show some restraint.

Kyle (as Q-BO)

VIRGULE!

[A ding of success.]

I recognize that name! The Voyager of Irregular Geographical Undertakings and Lengthy Expeditions! V.I.R.G.U.L.E. J.A.R.V.I.S.!

Tom

God.

Kyle (as Q-BO)

Designed by Dr. Signus Collodi—

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Crosstalking.] And recreated by JET.CO for navigational purposes. He's the Q-BO

[00:40:00]

but for geography!

Kyle (as the mysterious angry globe/VIRGULE)

I ain't no fucking Q-BO, whatever the fuck you're talking about. Alright? And it's “Virgil.” Vir. Gull. Get it right!

Emily (as Elee)

[A little aggressively.] Be nice to your brother, “Virgil.”

Tom

[Distressed.] It's another Jarvis! No.

Kyle (as Q-BO)

I apologize. I must update my databases, but “Virgll” does not fit with the abbreviation that I had mentioned before.

[Q-BO beeps.] Misha Jarvis, is it not correct that "Virgil" does not fit the abbreviation Voyager of Irregular Geographical Undertakings and Lengthy Expeditions.

Ari (as Misha)

I do agree. I believe that this newly and unexpectedly found sibling is truly disrespectful, and it's not, its nomenclature is not accurate with the abbreviation of its name

Kyle

And you just hear— [Frustrated grumbling and groaning.] as the thing just poutily continues along the runners.

Ari (as Misha)

I, I believe you should be more respectful.

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

And I believe you should recognize that again, does no one understand? I am literally flying this shit.

Ari (as Misha)

And I do hope that you do a good job about that.

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

Yeah. Well, maybe I'll, maybe if I have a reason to. [More frustrated groaning.]

Hallie and Emily

[Stressed laughter.]

Kyle

And he just keeps on rumbling as he slides back to Jebediah Ishmael.

Kyle (as Captain Ishmael)

Thank you VIRGULE. Are the preparations made for the ship to fly?

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

Eh, yeah, whatever.

Kyle (as Captain Ishmael)

[A chiming melody begins. There's a low drumbeat beneath, and then triumphant orchestral music begins to swell.]

Perfect. Then let us start our airship adventure!

Kyle

And with that, you start to feel that energy, Misha and Xoc, starts to get greater and greater and almost overwhelming for a second as everyone can feel the ship rumbling, and can hear it humming and vibrating with this energy. You hear like— [Buzzing noises.] As like, a bunch of different components on the outside start flexing. And from up the staircase behind you, you can see on the main floor, a million different, like, tiny robots, led by the ship have like, sprung to life and are starting to, like, clean the space and get everything ready for flight.

[The music intensifies as horns join the melody.]

And you hear Soe say,

Kyle (as Soe)

[Excitedly, gasping slightly.] We're going up, we're going up! We're flying, we're flying!

Emily (as Elee)

[Quiet groan.]

Kyle

And sure enough, you start to see the spires, the shadows of the spires of Qi, move from the sunlight over the ship. And through the spires, through these shadows, we as the audience see a variety of different figures. We see you and your companions, yes.

[The music turns slower, deeper and more ominous.]

But in the shadow, we also see the blue Tinkerbell dress, and the fluttering wings of the Blue Fairy, as well as the reserved, stately figure of Vera Leyani. Two of the three figures of the Jagged Dream.

And then we don't see the third leader of the Jagged Dream, but every possible person that leader could be undercover as. We see a man with black hair and a frizzy blond mustache. We see a large walrus captain with polished tusks and a small cap. We see a young person with pressed hair, pressed lips, and a matching pressed silver sweater vest. We see a globe, angry, but too focused on making the ship not falling that he can really express his fury.

We see a fish person with an excited, wide, Muppet-like mouth and a giant tuba around her torso. We see a dude bro who has like a polo shirt, but he also has a monocle. We see just a giant horde of aneens, all with blinking ear tags.

And finally, for a brief second, through his stupor, Hop could swear he saw a man from his past he thought he'd never see again.

[The ominous music fades. Closing theme, “Hitoshio” by Miracle of Sound, begins.]

And the ship keeps rising, and finally these shadows disappear as it goes higher and higher into the sky, and suddenly burst through the clouds and the vibration stop. And Captain Jebediah Ishmael just looks to you all and says,

Kyle (as Captain Ishmael)

Welcome...to the Prodigious.

[Closing theme intensifies and fades.]

Kyle

Hop, what was your flex skill, by the way?

Hallie

Uh, grappling hooks? Because I don't know how to choose good flex skills.

Kyle

[Laughter.] What I love is that you can't even buy a grappling hook.

Hallie

I know! I thought of being like, Kyle, you should put a grappling hook in the shop list. And I was like, no, that's just cheating at that point.

Tom

Just build a grappling hook! Just attach a sharp pointy thing onto one of the ropes from like, our explorer packs or something.

Hallie

I'm...I'm looking into it. It's fine.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

I mean, I just wanted to mention Xoc dramatically, like, just

[00:45:00]

sweeping spray metal and spray flesh into, into his arms, like.

[Laughter from the party.]

Like, like, you briefly here a flashback to Haymish being like, oh, so you're retiring from being adventures! And then Xoc just stares at the healing items shelf and just... [Groans.]

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

[Episode ends - 00:45:21]

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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)