• Quest Friends!

Ep. 39: Crime and Courtship, Part 4

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

Our heroes try to find their sea legs. Unfortunately, the Jagged Dream already found theirs.

Listen as they:

Pity a sad, strange little man!

Vomit (words)!

Find themselves all alone!

Content Warnings: Grating Sounds (28:10-29:05, 32:05-32:15)

Map of the Prodigious: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c3zoRZ4E9VbMc4fPJnAEbXGjM4dadc3g/view?usp=sharing


TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

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

Tom (as Xoc)

[Low, urgent music begins to play in the background.]

All right, then. So, we have a few things we need to do. We need to find the professor. She'll have...may be our best hope of learning more about the Apocrita and learning what Aegon knew before he went off and did his thing.

Tom

And Xoc sort of pauses and doesn't say a thing that was on his mind and says,

Tom (as Xoc)

She's just our best bet for getting more information about the heroes of Navarene and the Apocrita, and what we can do next to stop them.

[Laughing a little in a slightly frantic, stressed out way as he continues.] In addition to that, we have to stop The Jagged Dream, because they're going to drain energy from a whole lot of people so they can do something really powerful with Argent. We don't know what they're gonna do with their time powers, but they're going to do something bad, and a lot of people will die just from them activating it.

We know that at least two of their leaders are on board, and probably a third one, and we have no idea who they are. Vera Layeni. She's the leader of...the gear...part of The Jagged Dream. She controls machines.

Kyle

Patience is their…

Tom

Patience. Yes, that thing that Xoc probably knew.

Tom (as Xoc)

Uh, there's the Blue Fairy, who is in charge of the living things section of The Jagged Dream. She controls organic life. Then there's the third section of The Jagged Dream, which controls stratic life from the datasphere, which is also all around us. So every one of The Jagged Dream members has a lot of things they can just mind control to fight us.

We have to figure out what they're doing before they activate it, and somehow also get the information to beat the Apocrita.

[Music fades out.]

[Trying not to sound panicked and not necessarily succeeding.] It's fine. Everything's fine.

Kyle

And as you say everything is fine, you just see the large organic mechanical tentacles of a pair of Zhev—

[Loud, thumping mechanical noises start and end quickly.] Pounding past you and bounding down the halls of the Prodigious.

[Much more soothing music begins to play—gentle waiting room Muzak.]

So you are on board the Prodigious proper. This is the Semester at Sky program with the University of Qi. You are currently in the main courtyard of the Prodigious. It's this very expanse, uh, it almost looks like the inside of an arboretum or a jungle.

Emily

[Gasps.]

Kyle

If every plant were selectively, very carefully put in the right place, and they were all fake plastic plants because actual plants are just way too unpredictable.

Emily

[Very faintly.] No!

Kyle

In the center, you can see seven spheres, a giant statue of seven spheres in the center of the garden, and that is a statue of the Council of Spheres, the oligarchy that is not only the rulers of Qi but also the school board of the University of Qi and yes, as Xoc said, you have a lot on your mind.

[The urgent, mysterious music begins again.]

On a large scale you have to figure out what's going on with the Apocrita. Mauve and Mako are currently being chased by it, buying you time to get any information you can from their last teammate, the Professor, and you know nothing about her other than she is working on the ship.

You also have to contend with The Jagged Dream, a cult that is planning on using a device called Argent to pull something, something terrible out of time that will cause a global war...across the...globe.

Hallie

[Snickers.]

Kyle

It's going to cause a global war.

[Faint laugh from the party.]

Hallie

[Dryly.] Nice.

Kyle

They are planning to unleash it in four days. So, you are in the afternoon of day one, and then on Prom is going to be when our climax happens. Prom de Plume. What you know about The Jagged Dream is you know that the leaders Vera Layeni and the Blue Fairy are on board. Vera is the head of the Patience cell. She can exert limited control over mechanical life machines androids, etc. The Blue Fairy can exert limited control over organic life, so that's things like bugs, that she has these wings she can fly on, and then you have the mysterious Ezra who can control life from the datasphere itself called stratic life.

Which, since you're on a ship that automates everything, literally everything, from like the primary functions to the, like, timers in the kitchens uses the datasphere for that, is just fucking everywhere.

[The music begins to fade.]

So you got to find the professor. You got to figure out who Ezra is hiding under cover as, and you gotta find Argent, and you got four days to do it.

Emily

Great.

Kyle

[A more light-hearted song with a romance visual novel feeling begins to play.] So what are those days going to be like? Because so far all of our arcs have taken place over the course of one day, and since our last start was fifteen episodes long and we have four days, we cannot have a sixty episode arc.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari

I mean you set this up for yourself, Kyle!

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

[Laughter.] I did.

So every day is going to be split up into a morning segment, which is anything before noon and an afternoon segment, which is anything after noon. So for example today, we only have the afternoon setting.

[00:05:00]

During the morning, you're going to go to the class dictated by your school ID. There, you'll be able to learn more about a topic based on, you know, your education, you can maybe focus on getting a skill.

You can further bonds with an NPC, and you can just do good ol' in-classroom investigating. In the afternoon, you'll be free to go wherever you want on the Prodigious. There are a series of pre-existing rooms, and then there are also a lot of question marks on the map, which are just places where you can be like, hey, is there a Starbucks on the first floor? Because I want there to be a Starbucks on first deck.

So you'll get, you'll get to choose that. And for anyone listening, I will put that map in the show notes. It not only includes all the locations, it includes all of the suspects for who Ezra might be so far. Each round, you'll get to do one thing, every PC will. You can bring other PCs and NPCs with you. So like, if Xoc and Misha do a thing, Misha will still have a turn to do a thing, and then it's just kind of assumed that outside of that time you'll meet up in for meals and share information and such.

And then there are certain events that if you don't take care of them yourselves, they will automatically happen, just after one of the morning or afternoon turns.

For example...

Ari

[Crosstalking.] Yeah, like Danganronpa cutscenes.

Kyle

Yeah, like you're gonna—you have to see the Professor. You just have to, or the story doesn't work. So like, if you don't find—you can search for her, but you'll find her otherwise. Maybe not the most opportune time, but it'll happen. There are also opportunities, or our trademarked named,

Everyone

Hopportunities.

Kyle

Yeah, there are Hopportunities which are going to be time-sensitive events you can attend. Uh, for example, every afternoon session there will be a prom specific event you can do in order to try to appeal to multiple individuals and maybe make your ascent to the prom oligarchy. So for example, during this first afternoon session, there are two time-sensitive opportunities you can take.

As you look around you, you can see this poster, and it has words on it but there's also just like, a million stamps of like, authorizations and yes, we have the permit to do this, we can put this in the right space, and it is for toe drop, or football for aneens.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Next to it, you can see a crudely made poster. It looks handmade in, like, crayon or marker, for The Great Vespari Show, which is tonight in the band room.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

On your turns, you can do whatever, but you can also—if you want to attend toe drop, which is football for aneens, or you can see what the Great Vespari, air quotes, and his assistant the Blue Fairy, not air quotes because it's a pretty accurate representation of what she is, you can see what they've been up to.

All right. [Decisive clap.] So let's have our first afternoon session.

[An upbeat chime, like one that might come before morning announcements in school.]

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

Afternoon, day one!

Tom

So Xoc will see that, that poster for the Great Vespari, and we get the, the eye zoom blocks.

[Laughter from the party.]

Like, like the bars would zoom in on his eyes and he's just like...

[Whistles the "Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" theme — the classic Western shoot-out jingle.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Misha Jarvis, I think we should go to the show. We need to keep an eye on the Blue Fairy and also Vespari, because I'm not sure we can trust him either,

Ari

You know out of character, I was thinking the same thing, so I'm glad that we are literally mind-connected. In response to what Xoc said, Misha will say,

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, I was thinking the same thing actually, Xoc. I do not trust Vespari or the Blue Fairy, and I think that it is on our best interest to keep a close eye on them, and make sure that they are not doing anything out of order during their...show.

Ari

And Misha is gonna try and make like, air quotes, but instead of doing air quotes, they are gonna do the whole hand.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

I love them!

Hallie

So pure.

Kyle

And I guess let's figure out, let's just figure out what Elee and Hop are doing, and then we'll do all the scenes. So Elee, what is your plan of attack?

Emily

All right. Can I safely let the children...the children-children, not the Xoc and Misha children. Are they gonna go off and do their own thing, is...

Kyle

Yeah, you'll see Soe, Everett, Jesse walking off and then Q-BO rolling behind them.

Emily

Okay. Just checking. I don't want to abandon my babies.

Kyle

You're, the NPCs will be fine. Probably.

Emily

[Slightly startled.] What?

I kind of want to try to look for the Professor, or maybe just hide in the deepest darkest corner and pretend I'm not on a boat in the sky.

Kyle

Okay, and then Hop, what will you be doing?

Hallie

Hopper, ever since Roulettia, has just been really hankering for some alone time, but the spiders came right after they left, and then the Mauve and Mako thing happened, and then they had the trip in the Ladybug to Qi in like, really close quarters, so he hasn't got the chance to like, disappear for a while. He just wants to find like, an abandoned classroom or somewhere that is that

[00:10:00]

is clearly not going to be used in the space of the next few hours.

Kyle

Okay!

Hallie

He was gonna read but our books are in the, are in the cloud now, so he can't.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

In that case, let's, let's get started.

[The driving drumbeat of a song that definitely isn't Alexander Hamilton begins to play. Kyle begins to rap/talk-sing.]

Well the word got around,

he put all others to shame,

and found the Zhev

and figured out a way to make them tame

and told the council, they gave him unprecedented fame,

so the world's gonna know your name.

What's your name man?

I'm the guy who found the Zhev.

It's me, yeah I'm the guy who found the Zhev.

And one day I'll become the Amber Pope

but in a while, yes in a while!

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So you're sitting in the show...

Ari

[Strained.] We made a mistake.

[Stifled laughter from the party.]

Kyle

Calaval! The story of High Father Calaval, this is a student performance occurring before the Great Vespari is going on. You're sitting in here in this band room and you're seeing all these students sing it very off-key, the story of this guy as, as they try to rap, but they mostly just say words in rhythm.

You uh, you, you hear the story of this guy High Father Calaval, who is the one who originally found the Zhev, in uh, Zhev Garden, and brought them to the Council of Spheres, and his ascendance as he tamed these creatures and he brought them in and, uh, and kind of made them the, the face, the defensive face of the city of Qi. And like he just acts like he's the coolest, and you're just like wow, he's so cool, and it's just a little weird.

And at one point, actually, you see this person with pressed silver hair and a sweater vest lean over to Misha, and they say,

Kyle (as fellow show-goer)

I really like the show. I really, I really preferred they would have left in the deleted song that they had where they were discussing about just how horrifically they were treating the Zhev. It's really a whole lot of nuance that's being missed here.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, um, salutations sudden, uh...

Ari

Just clarification. Is it a person or is it, uh, what is…

Kyle

They are a person, and you can use he or they pronouns for them, either one works.

Ari

Okay.

Ari (as Misha)

Salutations, unidentified person to my right. It seems like you know quite a bit of this show. My nomenclature is Misha Jarvis, and I would be pleased to hear more about your thoughts on it.

Kyle (as fellow show-goer/L'Adrien)

Of course.

[Slightly haunting, but very fancy and upscale music begins to play.]

My name is L'Adrien, with the apostrophe. It is a pleasure to meet you. Misha Jarvis.

Ari (as Misha)

Pleasure to meet you, Adrien with the apostrophe.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as L’Adrien)

I am just very, ah, fascinated by the tales of villains and how heroically they can be treated. I think it's just a fascinating thing. Don't you think?

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, you like stories about villains?

Kyle (as L’Adrien)

I think they're much more, ah, colorful, yes.

[The music stops.]

Ari (as Misha)

Yes. That is very interesting. I do not see a lot of color in this specific performance, but I will keep that in mind.

Kyle (as L’Adrien)

Well, they don't know how to show it, but you know, maybe next year they'll let me be part of the show.

Hallie

[Through snickers.] What a salty theater kid.

Kyle

And L'Adrien with an apostrophe leans back in their chair. And, uh, yeah, you keep watching the show. What do you, what do you think of, uh, of Calaval.

Ari

Out of character? I hate it. I hate you.

[Laughter from the party.]

And I regret ever showing you this musical.

Kyle

All right, so Ari has regrets. How about Misha and Xoc?

Ari

Misha, Misha is just curious to learn about this story, like, they like stories, and they are actually kind of intrigued by it, but they are gonna make a mental note, because the fact that Adrien with an apostrophe is interested about villains makes it a little bit suspicious in their mind. So.

Tom

Uh, Xoc, Xoc has his doubts about this High Father Calaval type. The guy who found the Zhev? Mm, ah, seems like the Zhev didn't really need to be found. Xoc doesn't quite understand all of the nuance behind systems of oppression and domestication, but like, it feels weird to him that these animals were turned into an army.

Kyle

And so the play continues, and finally it ends and you, you hear lots of applause and L'Adrien just stands up and just like, gives a very like, you know that like, threatening villain clap where it's like, very loud but very slow?

Hallie

[Under her breath.] God.

Kyle

It's like...

[Kyle begins to do an unsettling intense clap. It's not loud but is very insistent.]

Ari

Misha is going to imitate that.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

And uh, finally silence, and then you hear,

Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

[A drumroll begins to play.]

There once was a world without magic, and then magic became part of the world, ingrained, and functional, and…

[00:15:00]

dull. Today you will witness a magician who does not need magic to be magic! You shall witness I, the Great Vespari!

[Trumpet fanfare.]

Kyle

[Eerie, unsettling accordion music begins to play. It's carnival music, but not the fun kind.]

And suddenly, like, you just see a little, [Pfft noise.] Little tiny smoke bomb, and you see the Great Vespari in his cape pop onto the stage, not wearing his plague doctor mask. Instead, you just see his waxy stretched face and it's in this terrible grimacing smile. And he's like,

Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

It is I, the great Great Vespari, and today I shall show you wonders that you will not need to wonder from whence they came. And I will be bringing alongside me my wonderful assistant.

[The music stops. A heavy pause.]

[More insistently.] I said my wonderful assistant.

Tom

[Full of dread.] Oh, no.

Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

I said—one second, please.

Kyle

And he quickly walks backstage and starts rummaging around.

Tom (as Xoc)

Misha Jarvis—

Ari

[Crosstalking.] Misha will reach—

Tom

Oh, sorry you go.

Ari

[Faint laugh.] Oh. Misha will reach to Xoc in their mental link capacity and say,

Ari (as Misha)

I believe that this show seems to be starting it off worse than the last time we saw it.

[Laughter from the party.]

If it's even possible. I am a little bit surprised, because I didn't think it would be able to happen.

Tom (as Xoc)

I agree, Misha Jarvis, but I also think we made a mistake in believing that the Blue Fairy would be constrained by a schedule. I think we should try to sneak back and see what we can find out.

Tom

And Xoc will, like, get out of his seat and start...

Ari

What if he just farsteps? I guess Misha—

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

Oh, no, he's not farstepping yet! Like, Xoc, Xoc isn't trying to, like, make a spectacle before the audience. This isn't, this isn't a, no, magic is cool thing. This is a, we should go backstage and like, try to find the Blue Fairy.

Ari

No I know, but you can make it less, less obvious that you're sneaking out of the performance.

Emily

[Trying not to laugh.] It's, it's in the music--it's in the band room, Tom! You're just standing up in front of everybody and waddling sideways through the chairs.

Tom

[A little indignant.] Well, like, I'm acting like—

Ari

[A little strained, also trying not to laugh.] People will notice that you're leaving.

Tom

[Defensively.] Yeah, I'm acting like I'm leaving because the show is bad! It's— [Also trying not to laugh.] This a reasonable plan!

Hallie

Just loudly be like, I need to go to the bathroom.

Kyle

I think for added realism Xoc needs to do some sort of, aw, this show is—come up with some sort of bullshit reason why the show is bad and you're leaving.

Ari

Because I guess Misha can even reach and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

I agree with you, but I think that leaving like that might be a little bit obvious, especially if there are other people that may be watching us. I think we should have a better excuse to, to leave the show.

Tom

Well Xoc has been put on the spot, because I don't—I feel like farstep will be significantly more flashy, and my only other idea was like, just calling out Vespari as a distraction, but he's also off the stage now, so...

Kyle

Also I imagine Xoc is like, he's like, half up, like you're starting to get up, your hands are on the back of your seat. And then Misha just says, I don't know if this is the best idea! And you're just like, do I awkwardly sit back down? Do I keep moving?

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

What do I do now?

Tom

Xoc freezes in that mid-stand up.

Ari (as Misha)

[A little sheepish.] Oh, you can keep going if this makes it more suspicious! I think I should have spoken earlier.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Strained, clearly not fine.] It's fine!

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

And his voice cracks through the mental link, and then Xoc will just announced to the people standing nearby.

Tom (as Xoc)

Uh, this show is, as I have heard them say among the youths of the Beyond, not especially good.

Tom

And then will just walk out as if it is the most natural thing in the world.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You turn to walk around. Who do you want to give your, uh, GM intrusion other point to?

Hallie

[Chuckles.]

Tom

Going to give it to Misha Jarvis, because we are committed to us getting through this.

Kyle

[The ominous, haunting string music of the Jagged Dream begins to play.]

You turn around and you feel what feels like a dozen fingers pressing on your shoulder.

[Unhappy noises from the party.]

And you see further away on the pathway, you see the Blue Fairy looking at you and one of her wings has just kind of set itself on your arm.

Emily

[Distressed noise.]

Kyle

No, no, don't go.

And you just see her lips, uh, which have been sewn shut, just—

Ari

Oh, god.

Kyle

Just do a warm smile as her eyebrows raise, and then she flutters off onto the stage and taps on the ground. And Vespari comes out as you're just standing there like "what the fuck just happened," and he's like,

[The music ends.]

Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

Oh my wonderful assistant, so I didn't even have to be in the room to bring her here, how impressive is that?

[Heavy pause.]

Please clap.

[Laughter from the party.]

Ari (as Misha)

That sounded desperate.

[More laughter from the party.]

Tom

Xoc will sit down but...

[Begins to do a slow, slightly threatening clap.] Will do a slow villain clap.

[00:20:00]

Emily

[Laughter.]

Ari

Misha will imitate him.

Kyle

And you just gained one heart point with L'Adrien, both of you.

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

Ohhhh! Where, where—should we be recording heart points on our character sheet?

Kyle

Uh, if you want to.

Tom

Or, or like are you keeping track of it as well?

Kyle

You think I want to—you think I give a shit about this web of lies? No, I'm just throwing them out like fucking cotton candy.

Tom

Alright, alright, alright.

Ari

And so only Xoc won--won the heart?

Kyle

No, you both, you both did the clap. L'Adrien is very impressed by your villainous clap.

Ari

[Brightly.] Okay!

Kyle

And then as you clap Vespari looks at you.

Kyle (as The Great Vespari)

Alright, let us [Voice cracks.] continue the show!

Kyle

And Vespari continues the show, frozen by your icy cold gaze, and it is not a good performance. Like, this already wasn't the crowd for this kind of fake magic. And also in Qi, everybody has a role, so somebody who's not a nano trying to do esotaries is not filling their role.

Why is he on this ship, is the question running through everybody's name—mind. Why is he here?

And I certainly assure you, Vespari seems to be thinking the same thing as he stumbles through a terrible performance.

Ari

I guess—Misha, at this point, will be like, to Xoc,

Ari (as Misha)

Well, I believe that we cannot be as subtle anymore. But I am a little bit pleased that he is not getting the respect that he gained in Roulettia because he does not deserve it. I like this crowd.

Tom

Xoc says back,

Tom (as Xoc)

[Pensive, slightly moody piano music begins to play.]

I should be happier, but somehow I'm not. I think I'm just sad. I don't really understand why he does what he does. Seeing people angry at him doesn't necessarily make it better.

Ari (as Misha)

[Thoughtful.] I suppose I have a lot to learn still.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Warmly.] We both do.

Kyle

[The music turns brighter, and fades out.]

Alright, Elee. You're sick as shit. You just feel terrible.

Emily

Elee is full of sheer horror at the situation that she's in, and as soon as Soe is out of sight she just kind of melts a little bit.

Kyle

[Chuckles.] Alright, and then when, when you regain your bearings, where are you going in the Prodigious?

Emily

Did they give us any information about where the Professor might be? Because there's no classes going on.

Kyle

Um, there is a teacher's lounge on the top floor.

[Mellow but cheery elevator music begins to play.]

There are five main areas of the Prodigious, well, six. There's the gondola, where we started, there's the courtyard, but in addition to the main floor, there are three decks. Now, most people would be like, oh, first, year, second year third year, right? That's how we're going to organize, uh, our years, and the longer you been at the school is the number, your number of years. So like, if I've been here one year, you're a first year, if it's your second year, you're a second year.

The Prodigious recognizes that no, no, no. Seniors rule the school. So they don't, they don't rank their decks by year. They rank by superiority. So on the bottom you have the third deck, that's like the third class. These are oftentimes the freshman and maybe some of the students who aren't liked or favored as much.

Second years will be on the second deck, and then the seniors or the most favorable students, and the teachers, are on the first deck. And third deck, it's like the Titanic. Third deck is on the bottom. Then you have the main floor. Then you have second deck, and then first deck is at the top and that's where the teachers' lounge is if you want to go there.

Emily

Yeah. I'd like to make my way up to the teachers' lounge, on slightly shaky legs.

Kyle

[The music stops.]

So you slowly make your way up the steps, and I need you to roll to see how well you make it up the, uh. There are like slanted walkways and elevators, but I'm assuming you take the stairs.

Emily

[Coyly.] Elee-vators.

I'm going to take the stairs. I'm gonna, I'm gonna try it. [Dice roll.] A three.

Kyle

So...

Emily

I don't like the look on your face, Kyle.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Take nine points of intellect damage.

Hallie

[Taken aback.] Oh my God.

Emily

[Mischievous music begins to play.]

[Indignant.] I'm sorry, what?!

Kyle

[Pleased.] Take nine points of intellect damage. Oh, by the way, armor doesn't protect against intellect damage.

Emily

Nine points?! Why do I take nine points of intellect damage?

Kyle

[Very amused.] 'cause you're feeling real sick?

Ari

Oh, no.

Emily

Alright. [A little sarcastically.] Cool. Minus nine int...out of the twelve that I have.

Hallie

Oh no!

Emily

[Pained.] Wonderful. Keep going.

Kyle

Alright, so describe this terrible, horrific ascent up the stairs, and how Elee feels when she realizes halfway up that if she needs to get to dinner, she's going to have to go all the way down again.

Emily

Elee is feeling okay confidence-wise the first couple steps, but by the time she reaches like the fifth, that's when it starts to just...were the stairs always curved?

Ari

[Sympathetic noise.]

[00:25:00]

Emily

Were some of them uneven? As she goes up steps, it slowly gets worse and worse with her coordination. She stops at one point—does not throw up. That pride gets her up the rest of the steps.

Hallie

Nice.

Kyle

And at one point when Elee just is buckling over, you swear you can hear a coarse voice go—

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

Hah!

Kyle

And when you look up you can see one of the security cameras, if you look up, just looks away from you as soon as you look up towards it.

Emily (as Elee)

[Strained.] Shut up, VIRGULE.

Kyle

And so you make your way up, you make your way to the teachers' lounge. And you see this top floor. It's very, it's like sci-fi. It's like chic, it's chrome. It's—uh, everything is like, reflecting and like, it, you look up, and you swear you can see the stars, even though it's just a cheap imitation, because like there's...boat there. But—

Emily (as Elee)

[Crosstalking. A frustrated groan.] Ah!

Emily

Everything kind of spins a little more. She just, like, squints at the shiny.

Kyle

And you make your way to this door, I guess. It's just part of the wall, but there's a little sign that says "Teachers' Lounge," and there's a place for an ID badge. And then you realize, fuck, you need a teacher's ID to get in.

Emily

I'm gonna poke it a little bit.

Kyle

[Slightly incredulous.] With your...with what?

Emily

[Strained, trying not to laugh.] With my hand.

Kyle

[Disbelieving.] Alright, you just kind of poke at it with your hand.

Emily

Yeah.

Kyle

Nothing. Nothing.

Emily

So I got a, I got an ID, right?

Kyle

Yeah.

Emily

I want to take it out and put it in on the scan, whatever.

Kyle

Alright, you go and you move your ID, and very dramatically it slowly goes towards the panel, and it hits it and we hear...

[Shwooping noise—an automatic door opening quickly.] As the door goes up.

[Bagpipes begin to play.]

But then we also hear some very loud bagpipe music as this, just, angry man with a massive beard barrels into you and keeps walking. So you don't know if it was your ID or him, but if you want, you can enter in through the door.

Emily

I like to think that because he hit into me, I just kind of fall over--

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Emily

--and lay face down halfway through the door for a second and drag myself up and enter the teachers' lounge.

Kyle

[Chuckles.] And as you walk in, you feel this woman put her hand on your back and she says,

Kyle (as mysterious woman)

[In a gentle, soothing voice.] Oh, are--are you alright?

Emily (as Elee)

[Groaning.] I'm on a boat.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as mysterious woman)

Yes, uh, yes, you're on a boat. Is that code or something?

Emily (as Elee)

[Frustrated.] No, everything just sucks when I'm on a boat.

Emily

And then I'm gonna turn to look at her.

Kyle

[Gentle, soothing piano music begins to play. It feels nostalgic.]

You turn over and you see this woman with orange hair, freckles, and acne. She's wearing a large, heavy trench coat, and she looks a lot like the Professor in the image you had seen, if she was maybe twenty years younger.

Emily (as Elee)

[Stammering.] Uh...oh, a-anyway...I'm Elee.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Oh, hi Elee.

[The music fades.] My name is, you know, let's, let's get you seated first.

Kyle

And she turns over and she says,

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Hey, Miss Vera, could you pull up a seat for her?

Kyle

And you hear just the scraping of a metal chair. [The sound of metal dragging on metal.]

As Vera takes whatever her Doomfist hand is and just, like, indents into it, and she just gently move the folding chair over for you, for you to sit down on, not letting go of the chair.

Emily

I would like—

Kyle

[Crosstalking.] And the woman says,

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Miss Vera is new too so we're all kind of new to...

Ari

[Crosstalking.] [Slightly full of dread.] Oh no.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

—Our situation right now.

Emily

I'm going to meet Vera's eyes.

Kyle

Vera is going to meet yours. And then she's going to remember the time that you would rather, you rather stripped a naked in front of everybody than just fucking be polite.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

You can see her try to like, control her anger so she doesn't just Doomfist on you.

Emily

I would like to take my chair off my back and set it down next to the chair she pulled up, and sit in it.

Kyle

And Vera will just—

[The sound of metal on metal.] Unclench the chair, which you can see has indents in it, and she just sets it back. And the orange-haired woman says,

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Oh, that's, that's a great idea. I didn't, I didn't think about that. Yeah, that's, that's a great chair. You have a chair. She has a chair. That's Vera and that's Elee, and...

Emily (as Elee)

Yup.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman)

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm not good at introducing people. I'm, I'm...

Emily (as Elee)

Well, maybe you could introduce yourself to me.

Kyle (as the mysterious woman/Professor Myra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Oh, right, but I've already introduced myself to, oh, right. I just introduced myself to her. Sorry. Um, sorry. Sorry, I'm Professor Myra Frankmanning the Fourth. A fun fact. I'm actually the first person in my family name Myra. My dad just didn't understand how name works. I don't know why I always introduce that like it's a fun fact...anyways, I teach dungeon delving here, and then Vera teaches...what--what was it that you taught again?

Emily (as Elee)

[Pointedly.] Yeah Vera. What do you teach, Vera?

Kyle (as Vera Layeni)

[00:30:00]

[The music of the Jagged Dream begins again, slightly threatening.]

Physical education. What do you teach...ma'am?

Emily (as Elee)

[Slightly caught off-guard.] Well, that's a great get-to-know-you question. Hey, I'm feeling really, um, I'm on a boat. Can someone get me water please?

Kyle

And Myra looks at you and she's like,

Kyle (as Myra)

Yes. I guess I can get, yeah, I can get you water.

Kyle

And she scurries off to get some.

Emily

I'm gonna lean in closer to Vera, but I'm not gonna stand up because I don't know if I could stay standing well enough.

Emily (as Elee)

I'm watching you Vera. I know why you're here.

Kyle

And she leans into you.

Kyle (as Vera Layeni)

[Smug.] Miss Badge. It's flattering to know that you're so concerned with watching me, but you might want to catch your legs before you do.

Kyle

And I need you to roll a speed defense.

Hallie

Oh no.

Tom

Oh, Jesus Christ. Is this just for the part of the chapter where the villains dunk on us to remind us that they're threatening?

Hallie

[Wryly.] Elee pisses off every villain at the beginning of the chapter.

Emily

[Dice roll.] [Delighted.] I rolled a nineteen!

Kyle

She goes to move the chair and it just doesn't budge.

Emily

I want to plant my foot next to—if she was trying to move the chair, where her foot is.

Emily (as Elee)

[More confident than Elee has been so far.] Miss Layeni. I seem to remember our last encounter ending with a clear winner, and I seem to remember that winner being me. You got hit in the face with a chair.

Kyle

She's gonna stare at you for a second and stand up, and she's gonna set her hand on the other folding chair.

Kyle (as Vera Layeni)

Miss Badge, you know the purpose of our organization.

[A clock begins to tick low and ominous in the background.]

Violence and struggle enacts change, and enacts growth. And if all you have to throw at me this time is more chairs...I'm afraid to let you know that while my capacity for growth is infinite...

Kyle

[The sound of crumpling metal.] And she just crushes the folding chair in her hand.

Kyle (as Vera Layeni)

Your chairs are not.

[The music—and the ticking—intensify.]

Kyle

[The music fades to just ticking, and finally into silence.]

Hello and welcome to the announcement break for Quest Friends, Episode 39, Crime and Courtship Part 4. I am Kyle , your GM, and our intro and outro song are "Friends" and "Hitoshio," both by Miracle of Sound. So today, our announcing break is going to be comprised entirely of Patreon shoutouts. If you subscribe to our Patreon on Patreon.com/QuestFriends, if you subscribe at the five dollar level or above, you get among a bunch of other cool things such as monthly short stories, gameplay clips and HD wallpapers, you get a one-time shout out from a non-player character of your choice. So we have two Patreon shoutouts for me to do today, and both of them are going to kill my voice.

So the first NPC shout out comes from Geri, the PiPod Teenager.

Kyle (as Geri)

And mine, my, my one is for Kent, or at Sir_Kent_M, at, uh, on the, uh, on Twitter. Sir? This person won't leave. And keeps saying something about a party on, or something like that? At least he paid full price for his PiPod though...

Alright, is that, is that, is that the line? Did I do it good? He's still here! He's still listening! Oh, I'm just gonna go in back, okay?

[The sound of running, and then a slamming door.]

Kyle

Alright, so that was our first shout-out. Thank you so much Kent for, uh, subscribing, and thank you for picking Geri the PiPod Teen, whose voice I only did once, and so I have no idea if it's accurate. Even though he rarely appears and he doesn't want to be there, I still love him, and Geri the PiPod Teen will certainly come back.

He's not gonna come back. He might come back. I haven't decided yet.

Alright, our second NPC shout-out comes—

Kyle (as Jesse)

From me! It comes from Jesse.

[00:35:00]

It's Jesse. I'm the one who does it. So this one comes—

[Coughing.] Alright, so this one, this one goes for Lee Cope, and Lee said, Lee said it would mean a lot to me—lot to them. Not to me. Not to Jesse. It would mean a lot to Lee if I just wish them good luck. Well, good luck Lee! Oh, so it looks like Lee has things like conventions and job applications and could use a little more luck. Well, I don't mean to disagree, but I don't think you need any luck at all, ‘cause you're great! And I think you're going to do a fantastic job, but good luck all the same. You've got my support and Everett's support!

Kyle (as Everett)

[Disgusted noise.]

Kyle (as Jesse)

He, he doesn't want to say it out loud, but he wishes you good luck too.

Kyle

Alright, thanks so much Lee. And again, thanks so much Kent, for subscribing at a five dollar level or above on Patreon. Again. That's Patreon.com/QuestFriends. That's all I've got for you today. These past few episodes have been a bit late because my sister had the audacity to get married, but now that that's over with, we'll hopefully be getting on a pretty regular schedule.

[Upbeat electropop music begins.]

So expect our next episode Crime and Courtship, Part 5, sometime the week of Monday, June 24th. I will see you then!

[The music intensifies.]

Kyle

[The music fades.]

So Hop.

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

You want to go into a mope corner?

Hallie

I do.

Kyle

Where is your mope corner?

Hallie

[Laughs a little.] Um, I'm thinking I want it somewhere that is empty, first of all, that is the number one requirement. So actually, I'm thinking of looking at the stargazing balcony because it's like mid-afternoon, right? So no one's going to be up there during the day.

Kyle

Okay, you're kind of at the top. You can look down and you can see the many fake plants and the big statue of the seven spheres beneath you, since the balcony is at the top of the courtyard.

Emily

[Grumbling quietly.] Arboretum of fake plants, I'm so mad.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Um, yeah, you go out and you just take a look at the sky. And, uh, kind of, what's Hop, what is Hop thinking about? What is Hop feeling?

Hallie

Um, Hop would...

[Heavy pause.] Just kind of, like, lean against the wall and look up at the sky, and then slowly slide down until he's on the floor leaning against the wall. And he was going to read his Jameson Hopper book, maybe, to see if anything could be saved from that, but it is currently in the cloud. So he only has the Lorraine letter.

Tom

[Distressed laugh.]

Emily

[Pained.] Nooo.

Hallie

[Dryly.] So he pulls that sucker out I guess.

Emily

[Louder.] Noooo, don't do it. Don't do it Hopper. Hopper no!

Hallie

[Laughter.] Making in-character choices is the bane of my existence.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

But he pulls out the letter, and he's, it's not even that he's reading it, really, he's just staring at it and remembering it, and he's just thinking about how like...he really budged this one up. The best thing that ever happened to him--

Tom

[Long, upset exhalation.]

Hallie

--he lost it, and it was explicitly his fault because he never deserved her in the first place. So where does that leave him? Just as Simon N. Simon.

Kyle

I want you to roll a perception check.

Hallie

[Suspicious.] No.

Emily and Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie

[Dice roll.] Ohh, a sixteen. Whoop!

Emily

[Gasps.] Yay!

Kyle

Hop, you look at the stars, and for a second...

[The softer piano version of Hop’s western theme plays.] You can feel what feels like mist around you, like some warm, and you can like, hear this flowing air. Uh, and if you look out at the stars, you can see what looks for just a split second like the sun, and then when you do a double take it's gone.

[A final, plaintive note, then a beat of silence.]

Hopper Scotch is alone.

[A bell chimes.]

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

[Tinny and faint, through a speaker.] Night! Day one.

Kyle

Xoc and Misha are not alone though, uh. You have just left your performance, L'Adrien is very impressed with you, and you can hear VIRGULE say,

[A harsh school bell rings.]

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

Alright, time for dinner, get your food in your traps!

Kyle

And so everyone's making their way to dinner where you'll see your companions again, but you have the opportunity to do one thing before then.

[00:40:00]

So what are you going to do?

Ari

Okay, so we're leaving Misha will say,

Ari (as Misha)

Ah, L'Adrien with an...

Ari

What was it?

Ari (as Misha)

L'Adrien with an apostrophe, I have found your comments on plays and villains deeply interesting, and I think that we should talk more in the future. I would like to learn more in your company, if you're fine with this.

Kyle (as L’Adrien)

Yes, that sounds very interesting. You and your company are quite colorful, and I just don't know! There's just something about you that feels like we're just operating on the same level.

Ari (as Misha)

Uh...yeah.

Kyle

And suddenly Misha can--and suddenly we as a cosmic audience, remembers that Misha, in Roulettia, got the ability to automatically impress members of the upper class.

Emily

[Gasps.]

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Members of the 1% who are not familiar with them.

Ari

Okay, I guess I'm, I guess I'm wearing the mask?

Kyle

No, you aren't wearing the mask. You just automatically exude that, you just got that natural ability.

Ari

Oh! I didn't know I like, had that internalized, that's legit.

Emily

[Teasingly.] How's Xoc feeling about that?

Kyle

Oh also, you have two hearts with L'Adrien now, but just Misha, since Misha asked L'Adrien to go out sometime.

Tom

Xoc isn't the jealous type, [Stammers briefly.] Xoc is fine with this, like…

Ari

I do want Misha to have a mental link with Xoc after that, and basically they say,

Ari (as Misha)

As much as I do enjoy your company, and I truly do, I am not being deceitful. I do think that we will be able to learn more sometimes by exploring by ourselves. But luckily we have this link and can still keep communicated on what we find.

Tom (as Xoc)

I look forward to exploring this place separately, but also together with you.

[Laughter from the party.]

Ari (as Misha)

Yes, that will be more...most delightful.

Ari

And then Misha is going to be,

Ari (as Misha)

[A sweet, gentle electronic tune begins to play.]

Oh I suppose, related to being together even if we are separated, I had the chance at the store to buy something that I think you might enjoy. So I would like to give this gift to you.

Ari

And then Misha will give the skipping stone to Xoc, which is a stone that skips even if it's not in, like, a water thing, and they're going to say,

Ari (as Misha)

I got this because I, I remember you talking about how you like looking at the ocean back at your place, and I have yet to experience this, but I believe it is a human custom to throw stones sometimes and see them skip in the water. And, well, I know there's no water here, but maybe if you throw it sometimes and watch it skip, it can remind you of home.

Emily

[Faintly.] Aw!

Tom

Ohh. [Huffs, trying to find words.] Fuckin' heart, heart up! Heart up! You swooned this wizard boy.

[Laughter from the party.]

Like, when you first bought that I was like yeah, that'd be a good gift for Xoc, Xoc would enjoy the novelty of this thing. But then it's like oh, I remembered that story you told about looking out over the ocean.

[The music fades.]

I was like, oh my God, oh.

Kyle

Ahh!

Ari

[Pleased.] I done good. But I guess Misha, ah, one thing I want to include, is that we are, when they're heading to dinner will be like,

Ari (as Misha)

I do not really need to eat. But I enjoy just recounting stories with my friends. So I will go to this dinner and watch you eat.

Emily

And watch you eat!

Tom

I was, I had a feeling that was coming.

Kyle

This cafeteria is a scramble.

[Comical, quick player-piano style music begins to play.]

Where every other place is very finely put and everyone is supposed to be in their proper place, the second food gets on the table, the societal structure breaks down and everyone just kind of runs to get the best food they can. And somehow, like you, and people are like, elbowing each other, and like shifting in, and like, you see the Zhev are just shrugging their shoulders like, yeah, well, this is how it works.

So you basically have to get through a brawl to get to your food, but you're able to find and sit down at a table next to each other, and then all four of you are able to reconvene and sit down at a table together. And normally we'll just automatically go through this thing, we'll assume, you know, breakfast, lunch, dinner you all go and get it together, and you kind of like reconvene and talk about your stuff. But I just figured you know, since this is going to be the first time in this grimy cafeteria, just, what's it like, what are you eating?

Ari

Nothing.

Kyle

Like, how, how do you kind of talk about your adventures?

Emily

Is this how you're getting around not knowing what food the cafeteria was gonna have?

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

Do you want it to just serve chackin wings each night

Hallie

Chackin wings!

Kyle

Because it can just be chackin wings.

Ari

I mean, it can be pretty tacky ship. Like there's some cafeterias that just have like three things all the time.

Kyle

Alright, it has these three things, which I better edit this episode before we have the next thing. For dinner, it has chackin wings. It has putza on the ritz, and then it has salat.

[00:45:00]

Hallie

Salat?

Ari

Salat.

Kyle

Make your own salat.

Tom

What about—do they serve smashed topatoes?

Kyle

They do serve smashed potatoes.

Tom

Topatoes, dammit!

Ari

That is wrong Kyle!

Kyle

They do serve sma—what the fuck were they? Smash...

Tom

Smashed topatoes.

Kyle

They do serve smashed topatoes.

Tom

[Triumphant.] Yes!

Kyle

But you're gonna have to rush to get to it.

Tom

I will.

Kyle

Xoc just farsteps on top of the smashed topa--.

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

Actually, yeah. Yeah, I'll just far step to the front of the line for that.

Kyle

Okay, Xoc has farstepped and he has, uh, smashed topot—topatoes. What is everyone else having?

Hallie

Hopper doesn't feel like putting forth the effort to, like, get, he's just taking whatever he can find. He does not feel like going through the effort.

Kyle

All right, so uh, Hop has a bucket of chackin wings.

Hallie

Yeah. He just grabbed whatever.

Kyle

And Elee, what are you having?

Emily

Um, I started getting some of everything but everything was still just like a little warpy. So I managed to get to the table with just like this jumble. All the food is jumbled together. Then I just slide it over to Hopper and stick my face on the table and groan.

Hallie

Hopper will like...he's still, he's really, he's being kind of quiet and out of it. But at that, at Elee just sliding this momentous—I hit my mic— Elee just sliding this momentous pile of food over to him, he's going to actually look at her. And I'm assuming because your head is on the table, it's pretty obvious you don't feel well. So he's gonna go,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Elee, are you okay?

Emily (as Elee)

[Nearly angry crying.] I am on a boat.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Slightly panicked.] Is that a problem? I didn't know that was going to be a problem.

Emily (as Elee)

[Reluctantly.] It's not a problem if anyone asks. Only when I complain about it.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay, do you not want me to ask?

Emily (as Elee)

Opening my mouth might make the vomit come out?

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Reluctantly.] Okay.

Emily (as Elee)

Look I just, I don't like boats, and I don't like flying, and my feet belong on the ground and the ground alone.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Elee, I didn't know you had a thing about airships. I'm...I'm...I'm sorry. I mean there's nothing I can do about it, but I'm sure there's like a nurse's office?

Emily (as Elee)

Don't—you don't need to apologize. [A little sternly.] I'm not the one who just got dumped.

[Slightly incredulous laughter from the party.]

Hallie

Hopper...

Emily (as Elee)

Look, man...

Hallie

The first thought that occurs to Hopper is, is it that obvious?

[Laughter from the party.]

So he just kind of like, sits there stunned for a second, trying to think of how to backpedal out of this. But then if Elee will speak...he takes a couple seconds to respond, so if Elee wants to add anything.

Emily

Her, like, hands and arms are on either side of her hat on the table as well. And so she'll just kind of like pat around with one of her hands, not picking her head up, to see if she can find your hand or your shoulder or something. She's just kind of patting around.

Hallie

Hopper will extend his hand to where she's patting so that she can find it.

Emily (as Elee)

[Crosstalking over faint laughter from the party. Encouraging, hopeful music begins to swell.]

Look, I've dumped a lot of people, and a lot of people have dumped me. It happens, Hopper, and it sucks, but you know what, at least you're not constantly about to puke. At least you...you are...are...at least you seem to be okay on boats, and, and, and you're better off without her anyway. That's where I was going with this, and then I started getting sick again, but you're better off without her. You're a good kid. Let out the dump sadness. It's okay.

Hallie

[The music slowly fades.]

Because Elee can't see Hopper's face because she's under her hat on the table, Hopper will allow himself to do a really sad smile at "you're better off without her," the kind of sad smile you do when you're like, you're trying, but no.

[Laughter from the party.]

So he does kind of a sad smile and then just sort of looks on this food, and then he says,

Hallie (as Hopper)

I wasn't dumped because we were never a thing. But thank you.

Kyle

And you eat in silence for a while. Eventually, I'd imagine you start talking a little bit about what you saw, what's going on with clues, figuring out Ezra, all that kind of stuff, right? And then you have dinner and you hear VIRGULE.

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

[A loud bell rings. VIRGULE's voice comes through the speaker again.] Okay, it's time for sleep. Sleep time. Go to bed!

Kyle

And everybody walks out, and you start making your way down the hallways. And at one point you turn around the corner,

[00:50:00]

and it's this quiet empty corridor and you're tired. You've seen a lot. You know, you have a lot to think about. Elee has a lot to try to keep down, and suddenly out of the shadows you hear a voice say,

Kyle (as the shadowy figure)

[Jazzy music begins to play—it's mysterious but more playful than ominous.]

So I heard that you also thought there was going to be a crime in this space!

Ari

What?

Kyle

You turn over and out of the shadows, you see the man with black hair and the blond mustache.

Ari

No, no, no! Kyle, no! Don't do this! No!

Kyle

And he walks out to you and he says,

Kyle (as the shadowy figure)

Often times in confined spaces like this, they are prone breeding grounds for crime.

Ari

Fucking disrespect.

[Laughter from the party.]

[Groaning slightly.] No

Kyle (as the shadowy figure)

And I thought I was originally alone in the search for crime, but I heard that you are also looking for some devious activities .

Kyle

And he rips off the blond mustache. He says,

[Sputtering laughter from the party.]

Kyle (as the shadowy figure/Inspector Cecilos)

I apologize if that is alarming to you, to see my disguise go away. But I just thought it was important that we start off on an honest foot. Well, my name is Inspector Cecilos, although that is not my real name. No, that is a fake name that I use while on a ship. It is my...ship name.

Hallie (as Hopper)

I thought you were starting off on being honest.

[The music stops.]

Kyle (as Cecilos)

Well, I can't completely give my full name away. I have to be honest about the fact that I have to be using a fake name just for protection purposes. What are your ship names?

Hallie (as Hopper)

I'm Simon.

Tom (as Xoc)

I am Xoc.

Ari (as Misha)

My nomenclature is Misha.

Emily (as Elee)

[Annoyed.] I'm sick as shit, and I want to go to bed.

Hallie (as Hopper)

That's Elee.

Kyle (as Cecilos)

Well, it is a pleasure to meet you Simon, Xoc, Misha, and Elee. I--

Ari

[Crosstalking, slightly frantic.] Holy fuck I just got the name.

[Laughter from the party.]

Ari

Oh, Kyle, no! [Frustrated noise.] Okay, it's fine.

Kyle (as Cecilos)

Anyways, I do not want to keep, I don't not want to prevent you from getting to sleep. I personally am not a fan of sleep. I just have too much I have to think about at any point in time, but I wanted to let you know that I am also on the case, and while I have a perfect record with solving these crimes, if you have any information, send it my way and I will...

Kyle

And he just slinks into the shadows, and you just see these two big eyes.

Kyle (as Cecilos)

I will keep in touch.

[A long pause.]

Ari

Is he a suspect?

Kyle

[Amused.] Inspector Cecilos is a suspect, yes.

Hallie

[Firmly.] He's at the top of my suspect list.

Ari

Yeah, fine.

Kyle

Okay, and I think, I think that really covers, that kind of covers everything for the first, for the first night before you get to bed, and I think it hits everything for this episode. But as everyone kind of goes off their separate ways, Elee to first deck, Hop to third deck.

Hallie

Yeah that feels right.

Kyle

And everyone else to second deck. Everyone is going off, and I think Hop just kind of stands in place for a second. Like we just see him kind of standing there, not, not...knowing where his room is but, not knowing where he needs to go. And then we hear a second pair of footsteps, and we see Misha Jarvis approach.

Ari

Um, So Misha had noticed throughout the day, and throughout the past time since we left Roulettia, that I mean everybody has been a little bit shaken by what happened, but they have specifically seen Hop really off. Which is weird that they noticed that, because they usually don't pick up on these cues, but they just kind of have been with wanting to help somehow to lift up Hopper's spirits up, even though they kind of haven't known how to. And as they kind of glanced at him during this dinner with Elee, they kind of decided this might be a good time to give him something they have planned to, and so they're going to approach Hop and say,

Ari (as Misha)

Simon Scotch. Would you have a moment?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, what's up?

Ari (as Misha)

Um, well, I have noticed that, you know, you have been different since we left. And I know we all have. I know we all have had hard times, but I, I think that you left part of you back there. And even though I know that this won't really replace it, and I know that this won't signify that things will get better right away, I want you to know that whatever was left in our past should not be the past. So I want to give you this, and I truly hope that it will help.

[A slow version of the opening theme, "Friends" by Miracle of Sound, plays.]

And I want you to know that I don't think that whatever you left there is truly you. I think there is more to you than what you left there.

Ari

And they are going to give a gift that's wrapped, but really like, Misha just like wrapped it really haphazardly.

Hallie

Oh my God.

Ari

But if you were to get to the shape, it, you could see that it kind of looks—if you have an active imagination—like a snake eating a, eating an elephant kind of shape.

Emily

[Short gleeful holler.]

Ari

And Misha's gonna give that wrapped gift to Hop.

Ari (as Misha)

I know that sometimes humans are cheered up by surprises,

[00:55:00]

so I wrapped this gift to see if you would be surprised by opening it, and cheer your spirits a little bit.

Hallie

Hopper is so taken aback by this. So then he like, slowly looks down at the gift that Misha thrust into his hands and like slowly rips back the wrapping paper. And what does he see?

[The music fades.]

Kyle

[Closing theme, "Hitoshio" by Miracle of Sound, begins.]

Well, I'm going to answer your question with a question, and this is something I want you to ponder for next episode. And so Ari's and my question to you is...

[A heavy pause.]

What does Hopper Scotch's new hat look like?

[Music intensifies.]

Hallie

[Music ends.]

Oh my God. Oh my God. He got a new hat! He needed it.

Ari

I did. I kind of tried to hint at it like, you know, you left something there.

Hallie

Oh my god. I didn't even think about my hat though.

Kyle

I really like the snake and the, like, elephant thing.

Hallie

I know, it's The Little Prince! It's so good.

Ari

It's from The Little Prince!

Hallie

My first thought when you said snake and an elephant was, [Hallie sings.] There's a snake in my boot.

And I didn't know what to make of that!

Tom

That was also my first thought. It took me, even knowing what it was, it took me several seconds to be like whaaaat? No, it does not sound like the Ricola ad.

Hallie

[Sings.] Ricola!

Tom

No! No, Hallie, it's Persona!

Hallie

[To the Ricola ad song.] Persona!

Kyle

Nooo.

Tom

L'Adrien with an apostrophe.

Ari

Just a little.

Kyle

L'Adrien, with an apostrophe.

Ari

L'Adrien with an apostrophe!

Kyle

L'Adrien!

[Episode ends - 00:57:07]

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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)