• Quest Friends!

Ep. 42: Crime and Courtship, Part 7

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

Hop's past comes back to bite him with a very bad prospector accent.

Listen as our heroes:

REQUEST detention!

IGNORE family!

CONTINUE to dodge exposition!

Content Warning: Volume (25:50-26:25)

Learn more about our comic: https://www.questfriendspodcast.com/post/quest-friends-is-kickstarting-a-comic


View the Quest Friends! Kickstarter profile: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/questfriends


Map of the Prodigious: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h81DsGIYEd_xuFkXDhxVa1MemWZ_55fE/view?usp=sharing


TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

Previously on Quest Friends…

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

Kyle (as Mauve)

Yeah, so that's the Professor. Uh, she...[Faint laughter.] Didn't really have a spot on our team, she was just kind of the general insider connection. But not only is she supposed to be having a professorship on the Prodigious, she's also been studying the ruins of the Apocrita. If there's anyone who knows what our next steps are going to be, it's gonna be her.

Tom (as Xoc)

Well, then.

Emily (as Elee)

[Flatly.] Don't like boats.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, it's really more of an airship. Uh, boat is kind of just a general term I'm using, it's more of a like a flying boat.

Emily (as Elee)

[Flatly.] Worse.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Oh, are you alright?

Emily (as Elee)

[Glumly.] I'm on a boat.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

[Confused.] Yes. Yes, you're on a boat. Is that code or something?

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

A long time ago...feels like yesterday!

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Sarcastically.] Does it?

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

That I caught the no-good book-thieving nemesis of the University of Qi, Hopper Scotch!

[Intro music intensifies.]

Hallie (as Shannon Iggins)

[Intro music fades.]

Charlotte, I, um, just wanted to um, I'm a little worried about how reckless you're being.

Hallie (as Charlotte N.)

Shannon, Shannon, for the last time. I'm not gonna be expelled. I know the battle I'm fighting.

[An intense zooming noise — think Sliders — begins to play, intensifying as Charlotte talks.]

I know what I'm doing. Only losers get expelled.

[The noise abruptly stops. A bell chimes.]

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

Afternoon! I don't know, like a dozen or so years ago.

[Soothing but cold xylophone music plays.]

Kyle

The University of Qi's library is in many ways an oxymoron. Its bookshelves are angled just so, so that you can see the edges of each additional shelf past the one in front of it, giving the impression not of an actual three dimensional layout, but instead of a confusing 3D painting. It's quiet, but because it's so quiet, all of the micro sounds in the background, the whispers, the paper shuffling, the stapler, the woosh of the ladders with wheels, are all amplified into a cacophonous hush. And while this safely guarded well of knowledge was supposed to be your freedom, Hopper, the garbled muttering of a pair of Zhev hall monitors behind you reminds you that it is anything but.

So it's been a few years since Hop first left the small town of Dunshire to go to college! The end of the school year is still a few months away, but today will be your last day as a student at the University of Qi.

How is Hop spending his last couple moments before the Zhev appear?

Hallie

[Laughter.] Trying to distribute as many pamphlets as he can. He printed out so many pamphlets about how—

Kyle

[Crosstalking.] Nooo!

Hallie

--unfair this book policy at the University of Qi is. You can't just lock away books after promising books to people, it's ridiculous. He is talking to anyone who will listen, because he has tried to stage [Laughing slightly.] so many protests. And other associates of his have just taken to smuggling in books, but Hop wants to change the system, not just beat it.

Kyle

And since Hopper was so devoted to not worrying about beating the system, he's lost against it.

Hallie

He absolutely has. The Zhev are, the implication is that they're coming for him, right? That's a thing?

Kyle

Oh, they've come.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

And, and, there's, there's no running. There's—

Hallie

[Crosstalking.] No, Hopper knows that he's, and he's fine with this. It's like, I mean...no, he didn't think that far ahead. He's younger. He's ten years younger. He's kind of a hot-headed dumbass at this age.

Kyle

He's probably like nineteen at this point—

Hallie

[Crosstalking.] Yeah.

Kyle

I would guess?

Hallie

Nineteen, twenty. So he's just, he's trying to make just any lasting impact he possibly can by trying to convince the library.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Insistently.] No, like, I think that you would see a surplus of circulation in the library if you let things circulate! Just imagine! People coming in and taking out the books they want and keeping them for a reasonable period of time and then returning them responsibly! And if they don't, you can have fines, you know, that's how we keep books in circulation. That's how we keep—

[A quick, shwooping mechanical Zhev noise.]

Kyle

[Slightly mournful music begins to play.]

The Zhev lead you out of the library and upstairs to one of those indoor connector bridges you see at exposition halls and criss-crossing Qi's skyline. This bridge connects to a brightly lit hallway with a dim perpendicular outcropping. You pray you'll turn down that outcropping. You know nothing about this dark side passage, but you don't have to, because you know everything about the staircase at the end of the bright main one. 57 steps. Two bridges. Four doorways.

All leading to the seven spheres that make up the oligarchy that rules both Qi and its university.

The Council of Spheres.

[The music stops abruptly.]

Except it's not actually seven. It's five. Two of them just couldn't make it in, they had business stuff to do.

Hallie

[Snorts.] This isn't important enough for them.

Kyle

In fact, as soon as you come in, you hear a humming, you hear,

Kyle (as Council Member)

[In a monotonous, low tone.] This better be quick. I have to pick up my son from basebül

[00:05:00]

Practice.

Kyle

And that hums throughout this giant room. It almost looks like an observatory with giant windows going from the floor to the ceiling. Uh, and I, yeah. You are brought forward in front of the school board, and next to them, you see a very upset man with a bushy golden beard. And the sphere that started talking continues.

Kyle (as Council Member)

Alright, just make your case.

Kyle

And the bushy man says,

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

[Bagpipes begin to play a jaunty tune.]

What kind of case is there make! This is the most outrageous, most ridiculous criminal the University of Qi has ever had!

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Crosstalking.] Look, look—

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

[Steamrolling over Hopper.] We just kick him out right now.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Stammering.] Uh, look, I—truly, all I have done, actually, is distribute pamphlets and tell people they should be able to get books from the library. I don't think that is an unreasonable thing to want. And, um. [Clears throat.] I'm sorry about the thumb tacks that I left on your chair those several times.

[More insistently.] But you know, if you listened to your student body when they said we want this thing to be changed, you know, then, then we wouldn't be driven to such extreme consequences!

Kyle (as Council Member)

[Humming.] We have listened to the student body. We have introduced the "rent out two books, it only takes five weeks to wait" policy in an attempt for students—

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Interrupting.] Okay--

Kyle (as Council Member)

[Sharply.] We're not done yet. Who is the adult here?

[A pause.]

It turns out we are done.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

Hopper furrows his eyebrows, he didn't like that. Hopper does a look to the camera, and then he continues.

Hallie (as Hopper)

So I think that maybe you were trying to make an effort to meet us in the middle there, but five weeks is a really long waiting period. And the thing is, that a lot of homework assignments are due before the five weeks are up. So the system just isn't working the way that it is! But look, look if we just, if we just double down our efforts to try to make it work, you know, then I—I think that we could legitimately make it work, you know, if you just listened to people!

Kyle (as Council Member)

[Humming.] We have been listening; we've listened to you whinge for a good thirty seconds now. We are the adults here. You'll understand when you're older.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay. Well, I've also written out a lot of email—of memos—

Hallie

Emails are probably not a thing in the Ninth World,

[Laughter from the party.]

so I had to double back on that.

Kyle

It's a literal electronic mail, you just zap somebody and it gives them the message.

Hallie (as Hopper)

I've written a lot of electronic mails about it, you know, and I have gotten like at least six signatures and one of them, so there are people who agree with me!

[The low humming of the council starts again in the background.]

And I think that you can't...you can't just ban all books!

Kyle

Give me a roll for persuasion.

Hallie

[Dice roll.]

[Snorts.] It's a one. It didn't matter because I know what happens, but it's a one.

Kyle

I'm gonna treat this like a GM intrusion, since that's what one nat—a nat one usually is. And the sphere says,

Kyle (as Council Member)

[Humming loudly.] We suppose Eggbert was the one who introduced the book policy.

Kyle

And you can see the spheres all turn, and you're assuming they're turning towards the empty seat.

Kyle (as Council Member)

Egbert's kind of the worst.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Council Member)

Maybe we should rethink--

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

What, what, what now! No, hold on. You're gonna tell me this rapscallion is gonna get away with his nonsense?!

Kyle (as Council Member)

Hmm. Simon N. Simon makes a reasonable point.

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

Well, now, if it was a reasonable point then we wouldn't have to worry about secrecy. Alright? But Simon N. Simon, you can say whatever you want about that student. I'm not here about the frankly disappointing student Simon N. Simon. I'm here to talk about the expulsion of the terrible criminal, Hopper Scotch!

Hallie (as Hopper)

[The melancholy, slightly ominous music begins again.]

[Taken aback.] Expulsion?

Hallie

Hopper kind of expected like a slap on the wrist. He knew that he would get in trouble, but expulsion is like a step past what he thought, so, he's...

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Stammering.] Ex-expulsion?

Kyle (as Council Member)

Simon N. Simon. Is it true that you used a name that deviated from your original purpose?

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Uncertain.] My—my original purpose? I mean, no.

Kyle (as Council Member)

So the name Hopper Scotch means nothing to you.

Hallie (as Hopper)

No, no, it—it does! That's...how I...how I go. But I also go by Simon sometimes. I mean, my...my purpose was to come here and to learn, and to... both, both of those, both names allow me to do that.

Kyle (as Council Members)

[Loud, indistinct humming.]

Kyle

And they all converse with each other, and then they turn back around.

Kyle (as Council Member)

Hmm. We have come to an agreement. Discard the moniker Hopper Scotch, and all will be forgiven.

[00:10:00]

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Uncertain.] B-but why?

Kyle (as Council Member)

Because you were not designed to be some grand book thief. Your given purpose was Simon N. Simon, and that is all you shall be.

[The music fades.]

Kyle (as VIRGULE)

[A bell chimes.]

Lunch! Day two.

[Upbeat horn music begins to play, with lots of tuba.]

Kyle

The Prodigious' library isn't nearly as quiet as its landlocked counterpart. All around you, exhausted students gently bang their heads against bricks placed on their desks, hoping that at least some of the knowledge within will seep into the newly forming cracks in their skulls.

And while you're not participating in this, Hopper, it feels all too familiar. Long and short of it is, it's a little bit after your class when Professor Garry Goldstone, this very same man who caught you all those years ago trying to protest for real actual books...

[The music fades.]

And got you expelled—

Hallie

[Crosstalking.] Books.

Kyle

Was revealed to be your teacher again. And I mean, a lot of stuff happened since then, but the long and short of it is you got detention.

Hallie

[Dejected.] Oh, okay.

Kyle

And so I have two questions.

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

One, how did you get detention? And two, is Misha also here?

Hallie

I—Hopper got detention because he said something snarky under his breath. Like if Goldstone was like, “ah, the worst thing to happen to this school” and Hopper was like, bold of you to assume I'm the worst thing that happened to this school.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

Detention! Detention!

Kyle

Alright, so you immediately got detention.

Hallie

[Sheepishly.] Yeah, yeah.

Kyle

We're going to say that, like, you left within thirty seconds after that. You said that, he yelled detention, and then you've been sitting here for like the past hour.

Hallie

His arms are folded and he is glowering.

Kyle

Alright. And then the other question is, is Misha here?

Ari

Well, Misha doesn't know what detention is.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Ari

But once they saw that Hopper left, they kind of were like,

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

Oh why, why does Simon Scotch get to leave? I would like to do that as well.

Ari

And then go and like, directly talk with Professor Nothing.

Kyle

[Through laughter.] Give me a roll.

Ari

[Dice roll.] Fourteen.

Kyle

Yeah, I'm gonna say it works, but not because you convince him. But the second you walk up, you say nothing, he's like,

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

[Bagpipes begin to play once more.]

I'm not, I'm, I'm a professor. And did you use the underground illegal moniker of Mr. Hopper Scotch? Well, now you got me saying it! You're in detention too!

Ari (as Misha)

Thank you! I appreciate this very much. I believe you are a reasonable professor.

Ari

And they are gonna follow Hopper.

Kyle (as Garry Goldstone)

You're damned right I am! Wait...wait a second.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

Just, no!

Kyle

[The bagpipes fade.]

Alright. So you've both been in detention. You can't say much, or uh, the professor on duty will, uh, politely remind you,

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Q-BO pings.]

[In an upbeat, gentle tone.] I have been informed that you should be quiet while in detention. Please, be quiet.

Tom

Q-BO!

Kyle

So, uh, you, you do anything fun to pass the time?

Hallie

Do we have any um, notebook paper or anything?

Emily

It's...

Tom

In Qi?

Kyle

It's Qi..

Hallie

Oh, right. Well in the library though?

Everyone

[Flatly.] It's Qi.

Hallie

No. Fuck Qi. Alright Hopper will then instead whisper,

Hallie (as Hopper)

[In a whisper.] I'm sorry you got detention too.

Ari

Misha is going to say, in their normal voice,

Hallie

[Trying not to laugh.] No!

Ari (as Misha)

Well, I just don't think that I should be in this class. So I don't know why you should be sorry about it. This is something I wanted to do. I really like Professor Nothing.

Hallie (as Hopper)

No—

Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Whispering.] You have to whisper because we're supposed to be quiet.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh. Why, what?

[Starting to lower their voice.] Why do we have to whisper?

Hallie (as Hopper)

I don't, it's—because it's—I don't, you just, I don't really know! It's just a detention thing, where people—we're being punished.

Ari (as Misha)

[Quieter, but still not really whispering.] Oh. Why are we being punished?

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Whispering.] Because I was rude to the professor.

Ari (as Misha)

[Quieter.] But I was not rude.

[Laughter from the party.]

I—I think, I thought this was a prize!

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Still whispering.] Look. Professor Goldstone isn't a good person.

[Laughter from the party.]

When he decides that he doesn't like you, then he just doesn't like you.

Ari (as Misha)

[A little louder.] Hmm. As long as he doesn't tell me to go back to class, I think that this is a good situation.

[Laughter from the party.]

I think there are more things to be learned here than in that cooking class. I am going to explore around this classroom to see if I find something interesting to learn.

Hallie

Hopper is going to be like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Insistently.] No, we can't move, it's detention!

Hallie

And then he thinks better of it and says, nah, fuck it. Um, he's like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Go for it.

Ari (as Misha)

[Normal volume.] Well, you can also do it.

Kyle (as Q-BO)

I don't know! The professor on call, as you, as Tom correctly mentioned, Professor Q-BO is pretty green. He really wants to impress the—

Hallie

Oh my god, I forgot that fact said fourteen seconds ago. I'm going to get out and explore with Misha.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

[00:15:00]

Ari (as Misha)

Sibling Q-Bo. Would you like to also explore this classroom with us?

Hallie

Sibling Q-BO!

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Q-BO pings.]

Fellow J.A.R.V.I.S., I would be very interested in doing so. However, I must do so after I've fulfilled my professional duties, as you should do so after you've been punished for whatever misdeed you have committed.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, that is very well. After you fulfill your, your job, I will explore this classroom will—with you. I can take you here and tell you what I find.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

This is the best detention I've ever had.

Kyle

As much as I want to stay in here for the next, like, three hours, I think let's let's call it there and let's move on to the next thing. So you explore a little bit. Q-BO protests. He says things like,

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Ping.]

I might have to give you more detention.

[Ping.]

I'll have to see what the employee handbook says!

Kyle

And you hear,

Kyle (as Q-BO)

[Processing noise.]

Kyle

And then he's consulting his databases, so it's going to be a while. He's distracted now. I'm assuming you kind of get lost exploring the library a little bit? Not like lost-lost, but like lost in time?

Hallie

That's reasonable, yeah.

Ari

Yeah.

Kyle

Alright. So after a few moments, in through the doorway walk in a boy in a blue wizard robe, and next to him, a small little robot boy with little tube pipe arms and the backpack.

Tom

And boots.

Ari

They come in and Misha sees them, Misha is going to be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, I assume you are the small machine that Xoc told me about in the morning. My nomenclature is Misha Jarvis. What is your nomenclature?

Hallie (as Ness)

I'm Ness.

Hallie

And then he turns to Xoc and ges--and then gestures to Hop and Misha and goes,

Hallie (as Ness)

Is this, is this your gang? Are we here to get your gang?

Tom (as Xoc)

I, uh, yeah, I guess you could call it that. They're my friends. We, we adventure together.

Hallie (as Ness)

Oh, so you do have friends!

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom (as Xoc)

[Defensively.] Of course I do! Why wouldn't you think I have friends?

Hallie (as Ness)

Well, I don't know, you picked up with stray robot on the streets of Qi, you know.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Crosstalking unhappily.] You were in trouble!

Hallie (as Ness)

It's not exactly what someone who has other avenues of social stimulation does.

Tom

Xoc is gonna pout a little bit and pull the hood down a little bit further over his face.

Hallie

Uh, Hop will introduce himself to Ness and be like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, I'm Simon.

Hallie

And he will offer his hand for a handshake and Ness will, like, cautiously take it, and then he's like,

Hallie (as Ness)

So what's your deal? You look like a deflated balloon.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

Camera look.

Hallie

He does a camera look and is like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

[A pause.]

[Flatly.] Okay.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie

He doesn't have a response to that.

Tom

We've reached peak Quest Friends because now Hallie is dunking on herself in character.

Hallie

[Through laughter.] I've had to do it twice.

Kyle

The best part is the confidence with which you said that makes me know that you've had that insult for months now.

Hallie

I thought...because I was nervous about making two, a PC and a like half a PC interact, and I was and I tried to think about what the first thing Ness would say, and I knew in my heart that was it. And I have been saddled with this information for months now.

Ari

For months now!

Hallie

My life is sad.

[Quietly.] Noo.

[Normal voice.]

And then he's going to turn back to Misha, Ness is going to turn back to Misha and say,

Hallie (as Ness)

So what did, what did you get detention for? That's cool. That's exciting.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, yes! Uh, I told Professor Nothing who is our professor for the cooking class that I did not want to be in cooking class and I would very much like to be in detention because I do not understand the concept of human food. So I am now in this very interesting place! You can join me if you want.

[Laughter from the party.]

Hallie (as Ness)

You're a real go-getter. I like you. Xoc, your friends are much better than you were at first.

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom (as Xoc)

[Resigned.] Okay.

Ari (as Misha)

I think Xoc is also really, a really good friend.

Tom

[A sweet, romantic song begins to play. It's definitely not a song about love and the weather.]

Cue anime blushing.

Ari

Cue, cue concerned look from Misha.

Tom

[The music stops abruptly.]

And I guess Xoc, cutting the scene short, Xoc will, um, say,

Tom (as Xoc)

We should hurry up and see what Elee wanted to tell us when we met up, and introduce Ness to her.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright, let's go.

Kyle

[Slightly ominous, thrumming music begins to play.]

Hello and welcome to the announcement break for Quest Friends episode 42, Crime and Courtship part 7. I'm Kyle, your GM, and I am...

[Coughing.]

I am very sick. So today's episode is a bit short, that's the reason why. That's also going to be the reason why I'm not going to be doing any Patreon shoutouts today. But never fear, I will be doing the Patreon shoutouts that I missed this week during next episode, which will be extra long to compensate, assuming this one does end up running short. Some quick things before we get into our two very, very big announcements today. The first thing is, as always, our intro and outro song are "Friends" and "Hitoshio," both by Miracle of Sound.

If you are a listener

[00:20:00]

who was confused and intrigued by the two characters that Hallie voiced at the very, very beginning of this episode, I would highly encourage you to check out The Cookie Two. This is our all-women miniseries, which is wrapping up with its final episode next week. So if you want to listen to the whole thing at once, now is a great time to get caught up on that backlog of episodes.

But, with those things aside, I really want to focus the next minute or so on two very, very, very, very, very, very, very big announcements, both of which will be happening on September 20th of this year. The first one is, to celebrate our second anniversary, we're going to be having another Q&A stream. I'll be providing more specifics about when exactly the stream is going to be, like what time that day, and also how you can submit questions. Uh, feel free to use our contact page on our website to reach out to us with questions already, but I'll be giving more information about how you can actually, I guess, formally submit things over the next couple of weeks. The stream is going to be a lot of fun, we loved it last year and it will be just the five of us hanging out and talking with you about the show!

We'll also be talking about our Kickstarter, which we'll be releasing that Friday, September 20th.

[Drumroll.]

And that Kickstarter is: a comic!

[Upbeat rock music begins to play.]

We at Quest Friends have been working over the past month with comics artist Mandy Robertson, who you might know from her work on Dont Cry Witch, Star-Crossed, and our own icon, to put together a 30-page comic called Quest Friends: The Red Hat Syndicate. Quest Friends: The Red Hat Syndicate takes place on the party's drive to Qi at very beginning of this arc, and it will feature our heroes running across a delightful spa that hides not only dark secrets, but perhaps even a previously unseen foe from their past.

[The music fades.]

I couldn't help but do a dramatic voice there. Anyways, we're really excited about the comic. I guess it's good I'm sick, otherwise, I'd just keep talking about this. But if you want to know more, linked below is a blog post on our website that has kind of a longer explanation of the Kickstarter. We've also linked our Kickstarter profile in case you want to keep tabs on that as well.

Finally, if you're not following us on Twitter, this would be a time I would highly encourage you to do that, because while the Kickstarter won't be releasing until September 20th, I'm going to be talking about it a lot on our Twitter the next couple of months. Specifically, I'll be posting new information about it every Saturday using the hashtag Kickstarter Saturday.

Alright, that's all I've got for you today! I know that's actually a fair amount. Anyways, the final episode of The Cookie Two will be releasing next Monday, August 12th.

[The eerie, low, thrumming music begins again.]

And then our next main series episode will be releasing Monday, August 19th. I will see you then.

[The music intensifies.]

Kyle

[The music fades.]

Alright, yeah! So a bit of little information that I told all of you, but I have not told our listeners yet, is that something Elee told you during breakfast before you all split was she gave you a room number, a classroom number, to meet up at. The classroom is on the, I'm going to say second deck, not in the third deck in the doldrums, but not in the sci-fi top floor. Middle-of-the-road, middle-of-the-road classroom.

Uh, Elee. Did you tell them anything at—what, what, did you tell them anything else about why they were meeting up?

Hallie

[Slightly suspicious.] Yeah, Elee.

Emily

I...I told them that a very nice professor lady said that she could help us find the professor. I didn't think it was a trap. Um, and probably then just went off on to how like cool I was, beating Vera at her own mind games.

Kyle

Cool. Uh, I'll leave it up to everyone else to whether or not they believe Elee.

Tom

Why would, why would Elee lie to us?

Kyle

That's true, Xoc's the liar.

Ari

Yeah.

Hallie

It is true.

Emily

[Accusatory but amused.] Wait, what are you—you can't say that Hallie!

Hallie

[Pleased.] I can and I have.

Kyle

Alright, so you all make your way through the the second deck, uh, hallways and eventually you make your way to a door that reads Professor Frankmanning the Fourth, Dungeon Delving. And after a second or two, Elee comes down the hallway to meet up with you.

Emily (as Elee)

[Unusually hesitant, for Elee.] So I know we've got, uh, a lot to talk to her about, but also

[00:25:00]

I need to ask her some personal questions about the other professors that you don't need to be privy to either before or after our meeting. Um, so if you have a preference...

Hallie

[Snorts in amusement.]

Emily (as Elee)

For where I could get that in...

Tom (as Xoc)

[Startled.] Uh...

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Uncertain.] Whenever is good with you? You can do it before we go in, you can kick us out early, it's...

Tom (as Xoc)

[Crosstalking as Hopper trails off.] Yeah, you...you can do whatever.

Hallie (as Ness)

[Bright, whimsical accordion music begins to play.]

[Accusatory.] Who are you?

Emily (as Elee)

Uh, Elee?

Hallie (as Ness)

[Satisfied.] Cool.

Tom (as Xoc)

Uh, this is, this is Ness, Elee.

Hallie (as Ness)

I'm Ness. I'm here now.

Tom (as Xoc)

He's that machine that we found on the streets.

Emily (as Elee)

Yeah, I stabbed a Zhev for you.

Hallie (as Ness)

[Slightly surprised.] You what?

Emily (as Elee)

I stabbed a Zhev.

Hallie (as Ness)

Well that's wicked! Xoc, you've never done anything for me. Why can't you do things for me?!

Tom

Xoc doesn't respond to that.

[Laughter from the party.]

Just a little crumpled inside. If he were a crueller person, he would think is this what Hopper Scotch feels like? But…

[Louder laughter from the party.]

But that's a thing that Tom thinks, rather than Xoc, because Tom is a cruel person.

Hallie

I had prepared for two dunks because I knew they would be my own. I didn't...I wasn't prepared for that one.

Tom

The rare and highly dangerous triple dunk.

[The music fades.]

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

[Resigned.] I'm sad. Alright, what...what did Elee, what was just said.

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

You just, you had just said, as Ness, why didn't you ever do anything for me Xoc?

Hallie

Okay, and Xoc just crumpled. Alright, Ness will leave it at that. He got a good blow in.

Emily (as Elee)

[Reluctantly.] Or actually, you can come in if you want? Just come...err, cover, cover your ears, maybe.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Uncertain.] I don't think that'll be effective.

Hallie

Hopper says, as Ness walks into the room with his hands over his ears.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

[Incredulous.] Does Ness even have ears?

Hallie

He's covering where his ears would be if he has 'em.

Kyle

Alright, so you make your way one by one through the fashionably thin doors of the Prodigious, and on the other end you see the room Hop always dreamed he would have seen when going to college.

[Tinkling, gentle nostalgic piano music begins to play.]

The walls are covered with paintings in glass cases, protecting visions of eight former worlds. Because she wasn't aware that you've entered yet, Mayra is neatly arranging chairs that have already left scrape marks on the ground from students eager to get up and share in combined discovery. You can smell the history in the air, itself accented by the sweetness of a bowl of strawnberries on Professor Frankmanning's desk. And absolutely best of all, the class's bricks are meticulously piled in a corner where no one can see, much less access them.

Hallie

Hopper really appreciates it.

[Laughter from the party.]

He followed, he ended up following everyone in because everyone was going in, and he is just busy admiring everything. He's very happy to see the bricks in the corner.

Kyle

And then, uh, the professor of this classroom, Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth, turns around. She has orange hair, freckles, and acne and she's wearing a long mix of like, a combination of a lab or a trench coat. And actually the weirdest thing about her, besides all these, you know, just random features, is that she actually really looks like a younger version of the professor, like ten years or so. It's a bit strange. And she says,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

[The music fades into something more upbeat and whimsical.]

Oh hello! Can I help you?

Emily (as Elee)

[Stumbling over her words.] Yeah. So, um, so I wasn't aware that Ramya Brackleberry was gonna be here. For no particular reason, is she, um, seeing anybody?

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Oh, well, I mean, uh, yeah, she sees lots of students every day. I don't know.

[A pause. Then, realization dawns about what Elee means.] Oh, uh, I don't uh...I don't really discuss that kind of stuff with the uh, with the other professors—

Emily (as Elee)

[Interrupting.] So you haven't seen anyone around?

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Well, I know she's been giving a lot of life advice to Professor Goldstone lately. Uh, but...

Kyle

And then as she sees your face pale she says,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Oh no, no, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't even check in on you first, are you still feeling okay? Are you feeling seasick? If you want I can get you a water or something. Please take a seat.

Emily (as Elee)

[Quickly.] Oh, I'm fine actually. I'll...pace.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Okay. Uh, well. Hello Elee's friends. I'm Professor Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth. Uh, fun fact. I...actually I've already used that fun fact with Elee before, so I think, uh...oh shoot. I'm so sorry. I've run out, I've run out of fun facts to say. Anyways, Elee's introduced me to all of you, uh, Elee's mentioned all of you.

[The music fades.] So you must be Xoc?

Tom

Xoc will take one hand off of his ears to like wave/hold out to shake, and oops, I bumped my mic.

Kyle

She shakes your hand.

Emily (as Elee)

[Resigned.] You can take your hands off your ears. It's fine, I'm just gonna go in the corner because I clearly can't handle this situation. Hopper, can you take the lead on this?

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

He gives a concerned look at Elee, and then turns back to the professor and goes,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, I'm, uh, Simon.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

So Simon, not Hopper?

Hallie (as Hopper)

That's correct.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

[Crosstalking.] And I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for asking.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Crosstalking.] Simon, not Hopper.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

I just want, I want to make sure

Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh no, it's...okay. Anyway, I—I guess you can help us find...we don't really know the person's name, we just know her as the Professor.

[00:30:00]

We, we met...

Hallie

And he has the picture of the, of the heroes of Navarene.

Hallie (as Hopper)

We are working with Mauve and Mako to fight a spider cloud that we may or may...we're responsible for it.

[Laughter from the party.]

We, we, uh, did something that we don't really understand what it was, and I guess the Professor can help us fight it.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Oh right. I'm so, again, I'm really sorry. Um, um...

Kyle

And she goes and she grabs a pitcher of water, and she says,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Do any of you want any water before we get started?

Tom

Xoc will accept the water. He's very thirsty. [Laughing slightly.] He's, he's been through a lot this morning.

Kyle

Okay, she pours it out, and a lot like the pitcher that Mauve had when you first met her, the water that pours out freezes and forms the shape of a glass, and then the rest of it pours in and actually fills it with water. And she hands it to you and says,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Okay. Um, I know I just rearranged all the seats, but you might want to to sit down for this next part.

Kyle

And a lot like I do as a person, she's got this very awkward smile on.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

So... [Sighs.] The Professor isn't...around...anymore.

Tom (as Xoc)

Hmm.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Carefully.] Did something happen?

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Uh, yes. I could sup...I suppose you could say, yeah, I suppose you could say something happened. Are any of you nanos?

Tom (as Xoc)

Yes! I'm a nano.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Okay, so you're, you're familiar with the idea of patrons, right?

Tom

At risk of, of getting into things I don't as a player understand Xoc will say,

Tom (as Xoc)

I think I've heard it covered under a different term, but I think I know what you mean.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Okay, well then you know, it's actually—

Kyle

[Upbeat xylophone music begins to play as Mayra slips into teaching mode.]

Then she perks up a bit now that she's talking about academics.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

It's actually a very interesting concept. So...

Kyle

And she just starts instinctively walking over to the chalkboard and starting to scribble things down.

Emily

She's so cute!

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Okay. So as we know the datasphere is an entirely different ecosystem of our own with its own kind of life. So here on the Ninth World, we have organic life, um, you know, people and, and the like and then we have mechanical life. We have machines.

Ari (as Misha)

[Pleased.] That is me!

Ari

Will Misha say.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Exactly! Even things like the Prodigious in, in its own way, is a very rudimentary form of mechanical life. So in the datasphere we have what's called a third kind of life, stratic life.

Now, the weird thing about the datasphere is it's kind of all around us at, at all times, almost like a universe layered on top of our own. The thing is, we aren't we aren't designed to access it. We we can't touch it. We can't feel it. That's not something that we have the power to do. But here's the weird thing! We can't access it, but it's academically verified in, in multiple peer-reviewed journals that nanos are believed to draw their power from this ecosystem!

[The music ends.]

So, so how does, how does that work? Well...

Kyle

And she circles stratic, and she circles organic, and she draws a line between the two.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

We connect with something from it.

[The haunting choral music that plays when Xoc uses his powers begins to play.]

It happens multiple ways. You could use Numenera, you can strive for a spiritual connection, or you could just be danged, uh, lucky. This is the idea behind the giant relay that the Prodigious uses.

Kyle

And if you'll remember, the Prodigious has a giant relay on the top, this big umbrella thing.

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Um, in order to access the datasphere, we need to create a link with a bit of stratic life from it. We have to form a bond. And the term hasn't been widely accepted yet, but the term that I've commonly heard used for it is a patron. So we don't actually access it directly. Instead, a patron, or patrons, will take an interest in somebody from our kind of layer and will form a link.

And it's through that link with that patron that we're able to pull our powers from the datasphere.

Kyle

Does this make—does anyone have any questions right now?

[The music ends.]

Ari

No, it makes sense. I just want to say that in the background, while she was talking, if there's another marker Misha will also draw a line from the mechanic life to the stratic life.

[Laughter from the party.]

Because of that, I would just assume that it was just people, and Misha just in the background is drawing a small line.

Kyle

So Xoc, you said this was your term. So yeah, you heard this term the first time back at the Weal, when you first met the nano spirits. They were identified as this, this patron for you. They're why you get your powers, are those nano spirits that you talk with every so often. What was the term that you, uh, heard used for them.

Tom (as Xoc)

In the Weal, it was just called an uplink. The, the bond that you form with something out there in the datasphere.

Tom

I tried to think of a cooler term than uplink, but that was all I had, I'm sorry,

Kyle

That's fine. Um, and then so she turns around and says,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Alright. Do we have any questions related to that?

Emily (as Elee)

[The whimsical music begins to play again.]

No, but actually I thought of another question. Um…

[Laughter from the party.]

Tom

Yes!

Emily (as Elee)

So you...you said Goldstone?

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Yeah, I mean, I don't, I don't want to, I don't—I don't really want to gossip right now. But I mean, if it's important to you—no, fine, it's...

Kyle

Just you looking at her kind of puppy dog eyed, immediately she just broke, and she's like,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

If it's, if it's really important to you, I don't know. I just heard he's going through a rough patch right now. I mean, all of us are.

Kyle

And she kind of does a 500-yard stare

[00:35:00]

and just says,

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

All of us are kind of going through a rough patch right now, but um...

Hallie (as Hopper)

All of the professors?

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

I mean all of us as people.

Kyle

And just…

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

[Sighs.] Okay, I should...

Hallie

Okay! I...I thought...

Ari

Worst dunk of the night!

Hallie

[Through laughter.] I thought she just meant all of the professors!

Ari

You brought the dunk to yourself!

[Closing theme begins to play.]

Kyle

I mean Q-BO is doing fine.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

And she sighs.

Hallie

[Resigned.] Whatever!

Kyle (as Mayra Frankmanning the Fourth)

Okay, I have been dancing around the topic. So, I am the professor.

The professor is dead.

[Closing theme intensifies.]

Kyle

‘Cause this is...extremely important to the rest of the game's story.

Tom

Okay.

Kyle

This two-minute description I just gave.

Tom

It's very important.

Kyle

So I wanted to make sure it was clear.

Tom

You just described how magic works. I'm sure this will have no bearing on any further than this from here on out.

Kyle

I want to make sure it was clear, and not like the fucking J.K. Rowling, [Puts on a silly voice.] “if you steal a wand then you're its true owner! But you have to be the one to steal it, and sometimes it just defects to you. It's very unclear how it functions. “

Tom

Well, as long as you beat someone in any, like, arbitrary way that JK Rowling decides, it counts as winning the wand. It's very simple, very internally consistent.

Kyle

It turns out that the nano spirits were actually connected to Hop this whole time, so really Hop has the true nano powers and can defeat Xoc in a duel.

Tom

Hop defeated Xoc in a game of hopscotch seasons ago.

Kyle

You only have one piece of paper Hopper, and I don't think you want to write on it.

Hallie

[Quietly.] Fuck you.

[Laughter from the party.]

Kyle

I'm going to mute us super quick so Emily remembers. Do you remember what's going on?

[Kyle and Emily are talking faintly underneath Ari and Tom's conversation.]

Tom

I can still clear them.

Kyle

[Faintly, underneath Tom’s voice.] You talked to Mayra a little bit.

Ari

All according to keikaku.

Kyle

[Still in the background.] We explained...

Tom (as Light Yagami)

I've won, exactly as planned.

Ari

Oh, you do it so nat—

Kyle

[In the background.] Myra said...

Ari

Like, sounds so similar, Tom.

Emily

[In the background. Yes.

Kyle

[Still in the background.] And Tom...

Tom

So you're saying I should just have an NPC with a Light Yagami voice?

Tom (as Light Yagami)

Very well. I'll write equations.

Tom

No, no what was it?

Kyle

[Still in the background.] The professor...

Emily

[Underneath Tom's voice.] Yeah, so…

Tom (as Light Yagami)

I'll write equations with my right hand, and enter names into the Death Note with my left.

Ari

With my left hand!

Tom (as Light Yagami)

I'll take a potato chip.

Ari

I'll take a potato chip! And I'll eat it!

Tom

And eat it! I'm sorry, I'll stop.

[Episode end - 00:37:46]

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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)