• Quest Friends!

Ep. 58: Tales from the Beyond

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

SPRING BREAAAAAKKK!!!

Listen as our heroes:

TAKE a road trip!

GO fetch!

LEARN about the birds and the bees!

Content Warnings: Discussion of Sex (4:00-9:35), Food (33:40-36:35, 46:25-47:00), Memory Loss (37:00-51:00)

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TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

Kyle

The Ninth World is an odd place; college airships manned by walruses, underground theme parks powered by death, the cities of The Steadfast are all rather strange. The Beyond is stranger.


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


If you’re able to make your way east of the Black Riage, you’ll find The Beyond filled with an assortment of roadside attractions that will amaze and perplex in equal measure. Here, the dozens of skittering legs powering the Ladybug feel right at home. After all, in a land where the Iron Wind can reassemble your very molecules nothing can really be considered out of place. But as the weeks go on and the landscape continues to change at a dizzying pace, one thing in our view stays clear, a freakishly insectoid-like car carrying one small family as they try to find an artifact like nothing else. Unfortunately, in The Beyond, that’s like finding a needle in a haystack.


[Opening theme plays out and shifts to a radio version.]


Kyle

So you are all on a road trip! Woo! You’re on your college break. Break ended early for you after college and now you all are going on a road trip to stop the apoc-rid-alypse.


Tom

[Uneasily.] Yeah…


Kyle

The apocalypse-rita…


Ari

Apocrilips. There we go.


Kyle

So, what this is gonna happen, this is gonna happen very similar to your episode in Fasten. Getting from Zhev Gardens to the eastern edge of the Ba-Adenu Forest is not a small task. As much as the little legs of the Ladybug are going step-step-step as hard as they can, it’s gonna take you a few weeks to get there, and during that time you’re going to go through The Beyond. The Beyond is where Elee’s Memory largely took place. It is a strange place. It’s basically the wilderness. It’s the tundra! Before the session started I described it to everyone as driving through rural Iowa. It’s a lot of emptiness, a few small towns that each have their own quirks, and then occasionally just the world’s biggest ball of yarn, except in the Ninth World that yarn is probably snakes and will eat you.


Tom

[Chuckles.]


Kyle

So, as I said—


Emily

The world’s biggest wheel of eels.


Hallie

[Giggling.] Wheeeels!


Tom

Well, we’re off to a good start.


Kyle

So, as I said, the way this is gonna run is similar to Tales from Fasten. Each of you is gonna have a small scene that you can do basically what you’ve been up to, a noticeable thing that’s taken place between now and when you get there in a few weeks. Now for those people who like drama, we can imagine the drama’s happening in the background, we’re not gonna get too into it this episode, because we’ve kind of had a tough memory episode behind us—


Tom

Let me brood, dad.


Kyle

And then a tough present arc coming before us.


Ari

I want to say for the audience that even though you have heard this episode, I as a player have not played this episode yet so I am very scared of whatever you guys just know that I don’t know.


Tom

Ooh boy.


Kyle

And I’ve talked to you a little bit about what you wanna be doing during this trip, and Elee, I hear you’ve been worrying.


Emily (as Elee)

[Stressed] Hopper! Hopper?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah?


Emily

Um. Elee is in the back of the Ladybug gesturing for Hopper to come out of earshot of Xoc and Misha.


Kyle

And also out of earshot of the giant, mountainous ears. You’ve just made it on the other end of the Black Riage and some of the mountains you can see have a giant ear-like shape and funnel in a lot of sounds.


Ari

[Laughter.] Oh my fucking god.


Kyle

So you can hear them twitch a little bit.


Ari

That’s so disgusting.


Emily

[Grossed out wavering noise.] Always have to have body horror, I guess.


Tom

Yeah, gotta get it out early. It’s for the best.


Hallie

Hopper was reading a book. He will put it down and join Elee.


[Quirky music begins.]


Emily (as Elee)

[Growing progressively more nervous.] So, um, you know sometimes, um, I don’t always 100% know how to, um… “parent.” Xoc and Misha, um, you… they… Do we need to talk to them? Do they need like a curfew, or do we need to split up the, split up the Ladybug for sleeping purposes? I’m really not sure how to handle this and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.


Hallie (as Hopper)

I don’t know if you need to handle it. I don’t think there’s anything to handle. I mean, they--


Hallie

Looks back at Xoc and Misha. What are they doing?


Ari

I wanted to say that on the background… I mean, I think it would be better if Xoc was doing it, but if not, Misha has their head on Xoc shoulder.


Tom

I was thinking the same thing, that Misha’s driving and Xoc has fallen asleep on Misha’s shoulder.


[0:05:00]


Ari

[Gleefully..] yes. Oh my god.


Emily

Elee gestures with both hands out, like, see?!


Hallie

Hopper gives a soft smile at seeing them cuddling together.


Hallie (as Hopper)

I think they’ll figure out whatever they need to figure out when the time is right. I mean, I don’t—


Emily (as Elee)

But they kissed! And last time I kissed a man…I got him pregnant!


Kyle

[Bursts into laughter.]


Emily

[Giggles.]


Hallie

Hopper thinks about this… looks back at Xoc and Misha, looks back at Elee… keeps thinking about it, and says,


[Others continue laughing throughout.]


Hallie (as Hopper)

I know that was a surprise to you, and I think they should be, um, [strangled] safe in… whatever they do, but—


Emily (as Elee)

Do they know things?! Do I need to tell them things?!


Hallie (as Hopper)

I, I--No. They don’t know things, I can say that for pretty certain.


Emily (as Elee)

[Flustered.] I didn’t know things either, and I’m just not sure if maybe we should, um, if we need to tell them things before they need to know things.


Hallie (as Hopper)

What would you tell them?


Emily (as Elee)

I don't know!


Hallie (as Hopper)

I, I…


Hallie

Hang on. Let me check an inventory that I have.


Tom

[Coughs laughing.]


Hallie (as Hopper)

Look, if you’d like, I can check out a new book from Library Access tomorrow. Maybe there’s one on how to talk to androids about… things, and also humans about things.


Emily

[Laughter.]


Hallie (as Hopper)

There’s gotta be a book that has both of that, right? If you really want to. I mean, again, I don’t think it’s any of—


Emily (as Elee)

Maybe we should just check out the book and then, like, put it where they’ll find it.


Hallie (as Hopper)

They’re going to ask you questions, though.


Emily (as Elee)

Well, I just don’t, um, want to be aggressive about it. I just want to make sure that I don’t end up as a grandmother.


Ari

Oh my god. This is how fan fiction… Bring in the fan art I guess.


Emily

Elee has spiraled. You need to understand.


Hallie

Hopper, sensing Elee just completely spiraling, will put two hands on her shoulders and say,


Hallie (as Hopper)

Listen, listen, everything will be fine. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue, but we can do some research and figure out if it is, and if it will make you feel better we can talk to them.


Emily (as Elee)

[Nervously.] Okay.


Hallie (as Hopper)

But I really don’t think it’s--I don’t think you need to be worrying.


Emily (as Elee)

Okay. Um. Let me just hype myself up and then I’ll get it all out. Um… Xoc, Misha.


Tom (as Xoc)

Hmm?


[Comical piano music begins.]


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Frantically] Oh, it’s happening now! I didn’t mean it’s happening now. I meant let’s read a book and then talk to—


Hallie

You could keep talking, but Hopper’s gonna keep talking over you.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh! It’s happening now. I didn’t think that it would ever… happen… but it’s happening now.


Kyle

[Laughter.]


Ari (as Misha)

Did you say something, Elee B?


Emily (as Elee)

[Flatly.] Yes. I said… your names.


Ari (as Misha)

Oh.


Tom (as Xoc)

What’s wrong?


Emily (as Elee)

Um. Sometimes when people love- or like each other very much, or sometimes just meet and think that they look nice… they do things, and then, um, don’t have babies. Don’t. Hopper’s gonna give you a book!


Ari (as Misha)

Uh…


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh my god.


Hallie

That’s in character. [Into her hands.] Hopper’s face is in his hands now.


Emily

And then she’s gonna, like, squish up her shoulders into kind of her hat and just sidle behind Hopper.


Tom (as Xoc)

If you’re talking about sex, I know what that is.


Emily (as Elee)

What?!


Hallie

Hopper looks up from in between his hands and just stares at Xoc.


Ari (as Misha)

Is, is it the same as kissing? Is it the same as what we did back in the Prodigious?


Emily (as Elee)

[Despairing.] Kissing leads to the dark times!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright, you know what, just- [Clears throat.] Misha, do you remember when we were in that Roulettia hotel room and you asked why there would only be one bed for two people?


Ari (as Misha)

Oh. Yes, I am still a little bit confused about it.


Hallie (as Hopper)

It’s for human reproduction purposes.


[Group descends into laughter and coughing.]


Ari (as Misha)

I will make sure to look extensively into this in the Datasphere.


Hallie (as Hopper)

You can if you’d like, but also, if you have any questions about anything at any time, you can ask—


[Quirky music ends.]


Emily (as Elee)

You can ask Hopper!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Me.


[Laughter.]


Emily (as Elee)

Speaking of which, Hopper Scotch.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Why are you looking at me like that?


Emily (as Elee)

You sit five feet apart from Sera, you understand me?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Well Sera’s not here.


Emily (as Elee)

No. later on, when you go back to see her, because I know you will.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, but why… What?


Emily (as Elee)

Just, you were talking, and then I started thinking about that, and, and, and honestly I don't know whether I should talk to you about not hurting her or her not hurting you. And…


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Earnestly.] I would never hurt Sera.


Ari, Kyle and Emily

Aww~!


Emily

Elee having finished spiraling and then just hearing that, will just like flump onto him and then like pretend

[0:10:00]

that she wasn’t hugging, pat his back, and go sit a little bit scrunched up back to where she was.


[Typewriter noises.]


Kyle (as **Q-BO)

Calculations finished. I have 13,469 articles related to the topic of sex.


[Party fights to resist laughing.]


I will list them in alphabetical order so you know which one is the most beneficial one for you.


Emily (as Elee)

Q-BO, no!


Tom

[Laughter.]


Ari (as Misha)

[Innocently.] Please proceed.


[Laughter.]


Kyle

And we move on.


Ari

Yes.


Kyle

We move on. We’re further out in The Beyond. It’s a few days later. If we’re looking through the car we can see that Elee is now reading a book on robot adolescence, ‘Your Static Body and You.’ We’re tiering up. We are now level 5, the second-to-last tier. So what new skills and new abilities, abilities being unique things you can do, does Elee now have?


Emily

So, the only one that I cared about was the special one that I picked that you told me I couldn’t pick last time, which was Experienced Defender, because it gives me +1 to Armor.


Hallie and Tom

[Chanting.] Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it!


Emily

[Fighting giggles.] And I did it just because I knew it would make you mad. I didn’t even need it!


Tom

[Whispering coercively.] Do it.


Kyle

… So, we move on from Elee. [Chuckles.] We can see in the center of the Ladybug, potentially even on the top of the vehicle, Ness triumphantly slaps two cards on the ground in front of Xoc.


Hallie (as Ness)

I’ve got a pair.


Tom (as Xoc)

I don’t know if I actually have anything. Do you have any fives?


Hallie (as Ness)

Any fives… Go fetch.


Tom (as Xoc)

[Disappointed.] Ohh.


Tom

And Xoc gets up slightly to go draw another card from the deck. So, I imagine what happened was Xoc was just sort of absent-mindedly staring off into the distance and playing with his cards that he uses for magic tricks, just messing around with them, not actually doing anything specific, when Ness came up and suggested they do something more interesting with the cards.


Hallie (as Ness)

This is boring.


Tom (as Xoc)

Well—


Hallie (as Ness)

Is it a game?


Tom (as Xoc)

No. I use these to train my magical abilities.


Hallie (as Ness)

Wow. That sounds really, really, really not interesting. What if we played a game?!


Tom (as Xoc)

[Nonchalantly.] Okay.


Hallie

[Laughter.] And that was how it went, just okay!


Tom (as Xoc)

What games do you know?


Hallie (as Ness)

All of them. I know Wickersnackers, and Mama Knows, and…


[Laughter.]


Tom

Cutting back I guess to their round of Go Fetch, Xoc says,


Tom (as Xoc)

You know, I, thank you for coming with us. It means a lot to me.


Hallie (as Ness)

[Flatly.] Why?


Tom (as Xoc)

Because we’re on a dangerous journey. We left behind most of the people we know and love.


Hallie (as Ness)

I didn’t really know them.


Kyle

[Laughter.]


Tom (as Xoc)

That’s true. I just… I appreciate that you are willing to stick with us even though we’re driving off into The Beyond and I have already failed to help you out once when you were on your own.


Hallie (as Ness)

Why did you take me from Qi?


Tom (as Xoc)

You mean off the street?


Hallie (as Ness)

Yeah.


Tom (as Xoc)

You were hurt. You needed help.


Hallie (as Ness)

Yeah, but like, what does it matter to you?


Tom (as Xoc)

I mean, you were hurt. I didn’t wanna leave someone, just, alone. I, uh...


[Nostalgic string music begins.]


I know it’s kind of, kind of awful to be left on your own, so I wanted to help you.


Hallie (as Ness)

Do you have any nines?


Tom (as Xoc)

Yeah, I got two of them here.


Hallie (as Ness)

If you have two of them you have a pair. Why isn’t it down on the table?


[Laughter.]


Tom (as Xoc)

I feel like I misunderstood the rules of this game.


Hallie (as Ness)

[Aggressively.] The rules are if you have two of something you put them down on the table! They’re very simple, Xoc. You would not last in the Qi underground playing Go Fetch for your livelihood, like I have done.


Kyle

And so, they continue to play through the night and through the morning, Xoc not really understanding and Ness, despite being the kind of person who would claim he would take that to his advantage, always actually helping Xoc out with the rules.


[Nostalgic music ends.]


And during this time, Xoc, I don't know, a screen pops up, something tells us what your new abilities are. Tell me about your new abilities.


Tom

So Xoc, in between, you know, the riveting rounds of Go Fetch and staring out the window definitely not brooding, he’s actually been busy working. Two things specifically.


[Mystical choral music begins.]


Ever trying to increase his spellbook, he grabbed a bit of Argent from the wreckage and has been trying to extract some of its properties. The full abilities of Argent are something probably well-beyond Xoc at this point, but he did manage to sort of extrapolate a rather interesting space ability even though the time powers aren’t quite working out just yet. So Xoc has gained the ability Teleportation. I now have the ability to instantaneously transmit myself to any location that I have seen or been to, no matter the distance.

[0:15:00]

Instead of applying Effort to decrease the difficulty I can instead apply Effort to bring other people with me, with each level of Effort bringing up to three additional targets, which is quite handy for our party size. I think that out of character we had ruled that this takes time to build up, say ten minutes or so.


[Mystical music ends.]


Kyle

Yeah, so the changes are, it doesn’t cost a whole lot more to bring more people, because you have four other people with you. Don’t forget about Ness.


Hallie (as Ness)

I exist!


Tom

If he hides in my pocket we get in free.


Kyle

[Laughs.] And then, yeah, we argued that it takes about ten minutes.


Tom

Yes. We’ve unlocked fast travel.


Kyle

Basically, yeah.


Tom

We can go back anywhere we’ve been. As Xoc works on this, he’ll probably have mentioned at some point to the rest of the party,


Tom (as Xoc)

Teleportation, that way, if we really need to, we can get back to some place we’ve been, really fast.


Hallie

Hopper would be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

You extracted that from Argent?


Tom (as Xoc)

Yes and no. I took pieces of it and used it with the connection I already have with my Nano Spirits and we took something of that, made a new chip for my spellbook.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Huh.


Hallie

He will get out his little atlas book and he’s gonna scribble that down and mutter to himself, something like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Quiet, inwardly.] Maybe Sera could fix it.


Tom

Then my other main ability, coming from my focus, is that he vaguely remembers, distantly as a child, having something like this before where when he spoke it was to a lot of people all at once, but he was eventually taught to be quieter--


Ari

Aww.


Tom

--and not bother everyone all the time.


Tom

But now Xoc can send out a lot more feelers at once. Specifically, this is the ability Information Gathering. He can speak telepathically with any or all machines within one mile, or 1.6 kilometers, and can ask one basic question about themselves or anything happening near them and receive a simple answer. Like, say, if you were looking for someone or something specifically you could ask “where is this” and if a creature is near, one or more machines probably have the answer.


Emily

That’s fun.


Hallie

Neato.


Kyle

And also during this time, a skill is building. Each night, each pass of the Go Fetch cards, Xoc is learning something else.


Tom

Yes. So, in those last few minutes before the party left Zhev Garden, Xoc spoke to Mayra and Sunny because they specialized in the mind, asking them if they knew any techniques that he could use to defend his mind against forcible control by Loell so that could never happen again. And while they couldn’t obviously give him a lot of direct instruction they told him how he could practice.


Kyle

They had mentioned specifically that, Sunny had said she can never get a read on Goldstone.


[Others start suppressing giggles.]


It always felt like he was thinking about some sort of inane nonsense, like running through Powerball numbers in his head at all times.


Ari

Oh my god.


Kyle

Trying to calculate probabilities that did not exist, that sort of thing.


Tom

And so, the technique that Xoc is building is a technique essentially of counting his Go Fetch cards, keeping this mundane routine in the back of his head to serve as a sort of shield and help him better resist Loell’s control in the future. That’s my skill. I’m trained in “resisting telepathic intrusion” I think is the wording we decided on.


Kyle

And Ness has no idea when after the last round he turns to Xoc and says,


Hallie (as Ness)

Look, I can’t really say I’ve hit the lottery with weird wizard kid, confused android, sad cowboy, and metal old lady… actually she’s pretty cool, I’ll give metal old lady a pass. You have one cool friend, two cool friends, because Misha is nice.


[Peaceful acoustic guitar music begins.]


But, if these are the cards that I have, then I don’t mind playing them. I have a pair.


[Music continues for a few more seconds with finger snapping along.]


Kyle

[Hums a percussive jingle.] Hello, and welcome to the announcement break for Quest Friends, Episode 58! Whoa, I just almost said Crime and Courtship. We’re not doing that anymore. Episode 58, Tales from The Beyond. No parts, this is a single-parter, it’s a transition episode. I am Kyle, your GM, and our intro song is ‘Friends’ by Miracle of Sound.


Jumping straight into things today, we’ve got a Patreon shout-out from an NPC, so without any further ado I will let the NPC do the shout-out.


[0:20:00]


Kyle (as Vespari)

This is The Great Vespari’s time to shine! You see, I, The Great Vespari was requested by Patreon backer Bee who you can find at @ilgakasa on Twitter and Tumblr. That’s spelled I-L-G-A-K-A-S-A. And Bee wants me to remind everyone that in these hazardous times it’s important to stay safe, check up on your loved ones, and if you do have some extra time that you’re just not sure what to do with, trying a new hobby or skill such as magic tricks – or pyromancy – is a fantastic way to help use some of that time. But of course, it’s important to remember that these kinds of things should be only done for yourself, and if you find yourself unable to be “productive” that is no way a failing on yourself. Do what is best for you, which includes most importantly of all to wash your hands for 20 seconds after being outside.

Oh, and I’m supposed to say ace and aro rights. Of course! Ace and aro rights!


Kyle

Emily, uh… Well, okay, thank you Vespari, but also importantly, I could hear Emily “woo” at that last comment from across the, like, entire apartment which makes me realize just how loud I am now at 11:55 at night, two hours after our quiet times at the apartment. Hope the neighbors—The neighbors are definitely used to it at this point.


Thanks again so much, Bee, for supporting us on Patreon. Again, these NPC shout-outs go to any subscriber on Patreon.com/QuestFriends who subscribes at a $5 level or above. But you know all about our Patreon, we had a special episode about it last week, we mention it a few times in this episode, and so while I always would absolutely love it if you could support us on Patreon, and I think we have the content to really justify those subscriptions, I know that’s not an option for everyone. So I would also encourage you to take a look at the links below and if you can’t follow us on Patreon take a look at our social media, specifically our Facebook, our Twitter, and our Tumblr, and if you use any of those social medias, just follow along.


For the upcoming arc, actually for a session that we’re recording on the 13th, I’m gonna be doing something pretty special, and to make sure I don’t just limit it to one social media like I did for the NPC Showdown I’m gonna have this be open on all social medias, so it will be available on Facebook, on Twitter, on Tumblr. There might be a non-social media option, but if you follow us on one of our social media handles – again, that’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr – you’ll be able to learn about this listener input thing I’m doing pretty much as soon as possible.


Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Our next episode, One Neon Night, Part 1, will be releasing in two weeks on Monday, June 8th. I’ll see you then.


[Acoustic guitar music and snapping returns for a few seconds with some humming.]


Kyle

Alright, so Hopper, we’re gonna talk about all the ways you lose Might points over these couple of weeks.


Hallie

Yeah.


Ari

Oh nooo!


Emily

[Distraught].] Hopper!


Tom

[Laughing.] Oh god, why?


Hallie

[Laughs.]


Kyle

An error when putting on the defibrillator accidentally just cuts you in the finger a little bit. It’s like a paper cut.


Hallie

Cool.


Kyle

There was the time you went through the desert and there were just the little mole snakes that started poking out of the ground. They got one of the tires. You volunteered to fix that.


Tom

T-Tires?


Kyle

Sorry. They got one of the legs. You volunteered to repair that and lost a boot in the process.


Hallie

Did I get it back?


Tom

No-no, I think we just expanded on the canon.


Hallie

[Laughs.]


Tom

There are rubber boots on the bottoms of these legs that we call “tires.”


[Laughter.]


Ari

Did you mean to say there was a snake in that boot?


Hallie

[Shrieks, laughs, and taps desk in excitement.] No!


Kyle

So we got snake boots, we got mechanical issues, and let’s not even get started on the sand sirens, but there’s been a different project during all this time, during all these weeks, that has been taking up most of Hop’s Might and most of his Intellect points. Before we get to that, I want to talk about what some of your level-ups are.


[Groovy elevator music begins.]


So, while working on this project, you have been able to use Mako’s defibrillator arm. It has a few benefits. Normal combat with your fists is one step easier.

[0:25:00]

Just punching someone with your fist is one step easier.


Hallie

Okay.


Kyle

It has the ability to shoot enemies at long range. This is a concise beam. This is like a sniper shot, basically.


Hallie

Okay.


Kyle

Additionally, when you put it on, it helps with small basically sleight of hand things that require maneuvering with your one hand. In addition to having things helping with getting rid of the spiders Mako has also put in the MO-S, the Mako OS, or MOS, and the MOS system, it’s like your Iron Man and he’s your Jarvis. Not as complicated, it’s not a full operating system, but it does have a fair amount of information in it. So you have that, that’s a new item that you have. I hope you wrote down all the rules because I did not.


Hallie

I just did.


Kyle

But what are the other skills and abilities you’ve been getting over this time?


[Elevator music fades out.]


Hallie

Well, my tier level-up gets me an ability called Punish All The Guilty!


Kyle

[Laughs.]


Hallie

Anyone that I designate as guilty, and I can designate multiple people—


Kyle

And now you can have the Mako visor yell at everyone being guilty.


Kyle (as The Defibrilimb)

You are all guilty, friends!


Hallie

Oh my god, I can! I could have the Mako visor!


Tom

Holy shit, like locking in a bunch of targets?


Hallie

God! Yes! Locking in a bunch of targets, because I can attack all foes within immediate range that I have designated as guilty.


Tom

Holy shit. That’s a lot of attacks if we get into a scrum.


Hallie

I’m so excited. Additionally, I have an ability called Snipe—


Ari

[Chuckles.]


Hallie

Where if I spend one action aiming and the next round I can make a precise ranged attack. The difficulty of the attack is decreased by one step and it inflicts 4 additional points of damage to whatever the weapon that I’m using is.


Ari

It’s hiiigh noon~


Hallie

[Thrilled.] It was meant to be! Yes.


Kyle

[Laughs.]


Hallie

I think that’s it for me.


Kyle

You get a skill as well.


Hallie

Oh right. I opted, instead of a new one, I made myself specialized in pleasant social interactions and persuasion.


Kyle

Okay, pleasant social interactions and combat, and neither of those have been very useful to you on this trip.


Hallie

[Disappointed.] No.


Kyle

Admittedly, when the things started to attack the Ladybug that was helpful. There were many, many guilty sand moles that day.


Hallie

So many.


Kyle

And also again, those sand sirens man, just a headache to deal with. [Laughs.] But what has Hop been doing in between all of these mini-adventures that he seems to be going on by himself?

[Trails into giggling at the end.]


Hallie

[Laughs.] Just like no one else is around. In addition to these adventures that he apparently experiences alone, mostly at night when they have some downtime he has been sort of sneaking off to do a thing. Relevant, I made my Flex Skill DIY Projects.


Kyle

[Laughs.]


Ari

[Giggling.] What?


Hallie

But I can make that a real thing if you want, like—


Kyle

No, Flex Skill is fine. Flex Skill every day. Hop’s just gotten a new hobby for three weeks.


Hallie

Yeah basically, and he’s using the new defibrillator arm to help with the smaller, more precise tasks, and he has also been reading a book that he got from Library Access called ‘Building Safety Codes, In Miniature.’

[Laughter.]

And he consults it a lot, because he wants the ant farm that he is making for Misha to be safe for the ants.


Ari

[Excited squeaking through incoherent words..] –ant farm!


Emily

[Long gasp of wonderment.]


Hallie

And he does not have a lot of knowledge on building things, so he is really trying to make it good.


Kyle

[Speechless, impressed exhale.]


Ari

[Extended happy croon throughout.] Oh my god. Oh! You’re making a little house so that they’re not in a ball all the time. Aww.


Tom

[Breathy, deeply moved.] Oh my god…


Kyle

And I’d imagine in some of your more frustrated moments you’ll look to that object that Sera gave you when she said you could ask for help and be like—


Hallie

Absolutely.


Kyle

[Pitched high, unsure.] Should I?!


Hallie

He thinks about it. He reaches for it at one point and then… doesn’t, and he just kind of mutters to himself under his breath, trying to remember anything that Sera said to him at any point on the Prodigious that would help him with this specific project.


Kyle

And so, how is this project going?


Hallie

You know, not as bad as it could. Like, Hop, he’s been reading a lot during the day, and he’s got Mako’s MOS system to help him out. It only goes so far, but it helps him stabilize things and see like

[Slowly grasping for jargon.] ...force vectors… I don't know, things that you use in building things.


Tom

[Coughs laughing.]


Kyle

And so, it’s one night before dinner. You manage to sneak off and start working on this project. You are right by- What big The Beyond thing are people by? What’s a cool thing we are by?


Hallie

[With a silly inflection that changes how it sounds.] A water park.


Kyle

Okay. [Laughs.] You’re by the water perk.


Hallie

[Laughs.]


Kyle

[Grinning.] A water park exclusive to Patreon subscribers.


Hallie

[Laughs heavily into her hands.]


Tom

[Grinning.] God damn it.


[Upbeat commercial music begins.]


Which you can support us on Quest Friends at Patreon.com—


Hallie

You too can go to the water perk.


Emily

It’s one of the only places you can get a good old fashioned ballperk hatdag.


Kyle

[Laughs.] So, you’re right next to the water perk, and you finish it.


[Commercial music ends.]


At least you think you do.


Hallie

He’s not sure. So he studies it a lot, and he goes to maybe tweak a thing, and then doesn’t wanna tweak the thing in case he ruins the thing. So he took a while to think about it, but he was like no, I guess it’s done. So he’s holding it behind his back and he’s like,


[0:30:00]


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Clears throat.] Um, hey, Misha? Are you busy?


Ari (as Misha)

Oh! Hello Simon Scotch. No, I am never busy for a friend.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Um… I know that I thanked you for my hat, but—


Ari (as Misha)

It looks very good on you by the way.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Thank you. I really love it, and it really helped me out, even though it didn’t seem like it at the time. So, I um.

[Clears throat.] I know that you have these balls of ants, and I don't know if the balls are viable for long-term storage or how they work, so I thought, you know, maybe they’d like a different home.


[Sweet and gentle music begins.]


Hallie

He takes it out from behind his back and holds it, and before Misha can even respond he’s already like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Nervously rambling a little.] I made it myself without Sera’s help, or anybody knowledgeable, so I don’t actually know if it’s safe. You might wanna just keep the ants in the balls. I don't know. Maybe they’re happy there, maybe it is viable long-term storage, but maybe they want to shake things up. Maybe they want it to be different. I don't know!


Kyle

And, an ant is already inside of it.


Ari

[Smiling.] Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say. I was gonna say that Misha was going to like slightly push--off camera just put the balls inside the farm as Hop was talking and they were just going all at it, like they were all about that life in the farm.


[Giggling.]


Hallie

The woods.


Kyle