• Quest Friends!

Ep. 8: The Clockwork City, Part 4

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bioweapon.

Listen as our heroes:

ASSIST tenuous allies!

STRIP AWAY all social etiquette!

DOOM yet another town!

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

Previously, on Quest Friends…

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

Kyle (as Sue)

Go to the Queen's Manor and request to see a Mr. Mako.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Why are there such stringent border security checks for...Chardonnay...?

Kyle (as Don)

We're not a wine, sir, we're a city. We do because -

Hallie (as Hopper)

Right!

Kyle (as Don)

- cause stupid-ass tourists like you and your good friend Dr. Mako always seem to be causing a trouble of things

Ari (as Misha)

I am, as I--as I mentioned, from foreign lands, therefore I have not really heard about this Mako incident. Could you illustrate me on such matters?

Kyle (as Queen Armalu)

He is a traitor and a thief and a murderer! And I--

Kyle

And she looks at Xoc--

Kyle (As Queen Armalu)

And I see so much of him in you now.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, uh...

Tom (as Xoc)

Can Xoc bow even lower?

[Laughter.]

[Opening theme intensifies.]

Kyle

[Music fades.] So after Vera lets you know that she has something to show you, she unlocks the door and she walks inside. As she walks inside, the light from the hallways cuts a beam into this darkened room, and in it you can see particles of soot and ash rising and falling together in an elegant dance. Vera reaches down and pulls out a small key-like shape with a glowing orb of light at its handle, and she places this key into a hole in the wall, and the light leaves the key and enters the wall, and it starts coursing through the halls and filling the room with this yellow criss-crossing light, like you saw on the hallways. Ah--it's a nice room! There's a painting of the Queen, of course, overhanging a fireplace, with multiple dressers and a canopy bed as well. In the center is a movable chalkboard, but instead of having like a chalkboard surface, there are just slats of wood covering where the surface presumably is. The room is a mess. Everything is overturned and haphazardly shredded, and the fireplace is overflowing with scorched parchment. Ash lines the floor, with tracks of feet and furniture telling a story of someone rushing desperately to hide their secrets--or uncover someone else's! Ah, so as you walk in, Vera turns over to you and says,

Kyle (as Vera)

Uh, yes, this is the room we had Mako in. As you can see it's--it's still in a bit of disrepair. Once he found out the Queen was coming for him, he... So I brought you here for a very specific reason, because Mr. Mako was working on some really important research. And I believe that if we're able to successfully complete his research and show it to the Queen, we can prove his innocence.

Kyle

And with that she is gonna take her hinge, she slides it down the side of the chalkboard, and the slats one by one start flipping upward into the top of the chalkboard, and you see an actual movable chalkboard with a bunch of writing on it.

Kyle (as Vera)

So this is the formula for what Mr. Mako was working on, called ANNEX. Mr. Mako had this--and, and, I--I know it's gonna be really hard to follow, but please follow along, and just believe me for a moment.

[Mysterious, thoughtful music begins.]

Mr. Mako had this crazy idea that diseases come from living things, these invisible small creatures are the things that make us sick and healthy. And these things in our bodies are always at war with one another. So what Mr. Mako was recruited to do was to create a gas that essentially gives the body a leg up, boosting our system while specifically telling the body what creatures to target in its attack. The idea he had was that it was easier to protect the Queen by making her body stronger than to just scrub off and clean everyone who was trying to visit her. Unfortunately, the Queen became convinced that this was some sort of poison, and despite my attempts to reassure her that he really was working on something great, about three days ago she had him taken away, but I believe that if we're able to fix this, we can clear his name. Will you help me?

[Mysterious music fades.]

Ari (as Misha)

Certainly.

Kyle

She, uh, sighs a--breathes a sigh of relief, she's like a--

Kyle (as Vera)

That’s, that’s really good to know. So the thing's almost completed, the one issue with it is that it, uh, it doesn’t bond. Essentially once it goes out into the air and it's exposed to whatever is inside the outside air, it basically dissipates, it disappears and it stops being effective. This formula--

Kyle

And she points to the board, and you see this really ornate big formula, super confusing--

Kyle (as Vera)

--yes, this formula was almost completely finished, but it's missing a one component. So I thought that someone who is as great at math as you could help me out with this situation.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, I’ll try, but math is a little bit different than science, so I’m not sure how much accounting is going to fill in this, uh, gaseous panacea healing thing.

Kyle (as Vera)

I--I completely understand, but from--from what Jesse has told me, multiple times, there isn't a better person to have with us right now.

[5:00.]

Hallie

Hopper will look simultaneously embarrassed and pleased, and then shrug a little bit, and say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, I will certainly do my best.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, I--I appreciate that. The rest of you, feel free to make yourselves feel comfortable.

Kyle

And then she stops for a moment and says,

Kyle (as Vera)

[Sighs.] This happens every time it gets covered up!

Kyle

And, uh, she takes off one of her long gloves and she starts cleaning up the chalkboard a little bit, while you look at it. Cause, you know how like chalk dust kind of gets around a little bit?

Hallie

Yeah

Kyle

She's just cleaning that up a little bit, she took off a little bit -

Hallie

Is she erasing anything, though?

Kyle

No, she's not erasing anything, she's just doing that.

Ari

Okay. Can I like scan the formula and see if I find anything?

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Ari

--that I like--

Hallie

Just google it!

Kyle

Yeah! Okay, try to google it!

Ari

Okay, if I roll the dice…

[Dice rolling.]

I get a 2, so...

Kyle

Ari, have you ever done the thing where you take something absurdly long and put it in Google?

Ari

Shit!

Kyle

What do you get?

Ari

Er, really random pages that are not -

Kyle

Yeah, or 'Sorry, we couldn't find any results'! So essentially, you have one result, and it's for a pizza place, whatever the fuck that is, somewhere in the town of Lowrick, which you’re like 'What the fuck is Lowrick, what the fuck is a pizza -

Ari

So I’m gonna turn to Hop and be like -

Ari (as Misha)

Well, uh, I believe that the answer to this problem might be similar to that thing you offered Xoc earlier, it appears to be like a calzune-type thing. That seems to be the answer to the--to the formula.

Hallie (as Hopper)

This is not a calzune recipe. I've seen calzune recipes, and this is not a calzune recipe. That would be really great though.

Hallie

[Laughter.] He says sadly to himself

Tom

Alright, I have two things to do then. First, I’m wondering if my Numenera book would give me an asset on an intellect roll to puzzle out this formula.

Kyle

Yeah, I would say that would give you an asset, which puts you back to neutral, since all intellect tasks are one step harder for you. [Laughter.]

Tom

I know, I know. But Xoc will pull out his book and start flipping through it, looking for relevant chemical pages. They do know about microbes in the machine lands in the east. But then, as he's joined us, he's just going to, as casually as he can, say to Vera,

Tom (as Xoc)

So how do you know Mr. Mako?

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, he does research for the Queen, and I work for the Queen, so that’s how we were able to get acquainted. I didn’t talk with him that much, he mostly kept in his study, and his wife kept us busy enough. I don’t think she quite approved of his research.

Tom (as Xoc)

If that’s true though, why do you think he's innocent?

Kyle (as Vera)

Because I saw how hard he was working on it, and I saw how determined he was, and about 40 years ago...

[Mysterious, tinkling music begins to play.]

The Queen would say it was an attack from Qi, our rival city to the south. But about 40 years ago, there was an army, black storms and rains of spiders. Through all this struggle and conflict, so many people ran away and chose to hide, and Mr. Mako was one of the few that chose to stand and grow and fight it. And it's hard not to respect someone like that.

[Mysterious music ends.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Okay. You said he had a wife?

Kyle (as Vera)

Oh yes, Mauve. Age has not gone so well with her. That’s--she's a good fighter, she's just sometimes doesn’t know when to stop.

Emily (as Elee)

I like it.

Kyle

Um, so Xoc and Hop, you’re gonna try to roll the formula.

Hallie

Yep!

Kyle

Okay, can each of you give me a roll.

Tom

Let’s do this thing.

Hallie

Uh, can I put a level of effort, please?

[Dice rolling.]

Uh, mm, that's a 5

Tom

Let's spend a level of effort

[Dice rolling.]

and get a 16

Kyle

Ooh!

Hallie

Xoc might solve it!

Kyle

So Xoc, you just know the formula right away. Also the answer, by the way, is 17.

Tom

Alright, well then, Xoc will just flip to the correct page, and go,

Tom (as Xoc)

Ah! Here it is! Right here!

Tom

And just point it out in the book, and then just write it in the missing bit on the chalkboard.

Tom (as Xoc)

Found it!

Hallie

Hopper looks a little bit dumbfounded, because he's been studying this being like alright, it's my time, math [Laughter.] he'll be like

Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh!

Tom (as Xoc)

It's all in Sir Arthour's Guide to the Numenera!

Hallie

Ah! You know that thing that guys do when they like elbow each other for like a job well done? He's going to like gently elbow Xoc a little bit and be like ,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey! Good job!

Tom

Xoc will jump at the elbow and like skitter back a little bit.

Kyle

Vera looks a little dumbfounded, and looks back at the chalkboard to Xoc, and you can tell she's real--trying real hard to hide her excitement and maintain that professional composure.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well! That was quick!

Kyle

Er, she puts the glove back on her hand, and then rubs her hand down the side of the chalkboard and the slats go down again.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, I really do appreciate the help that you’ve given already, that’s an incredible generosity of you. I'll--I’ll show you to your room now.

Kyle

And then she's gonna walk you out of the room.

[Creeping, sneaking sort of music begins to play.]

Emily

That was...uncomfortably easy.

Hallie

[Laughing.] Just wait till we go to Mr Mako like 'Oh no, it was on page 10 of this book!' Like, Goddamnit!

[Creeping music ends.]

Kyle

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the announcement break for episode 8 of Quest Friends! I am Kyle, your GM, and I've just got a couple of things to tell you about right now. The first is that, as always, our intro and outro songs are Friends and Hitoshio, both by Miracle of Sound. You can also find all the other songs and sound effects we use below. The second thing I wanted to mention was just to bring up that yes, I- I know that Ari's audio sounds a little bit weird this episode, and it's gonna sound a little bit weird next session. There was just some stuff up with the recording. Think of it as Ari is playing a robot, so her audio is just more robotic. Finally, I had a call to action this week. Check out RPG Casts, that’s with an S, dot com [RPGcasts.com.]. It's a really cool database that catalogues a variety of roleplaying podcasts, including actual plays like us, podcasts that just kind of talk about roleplaying, and anything in between. Each podcast has multiple tags, so you can search things like Numenera and find Numenera podcasts. It also has specific categories for players and hosts who are women, non-binary, LGBTQ+ and/or people of color, which is really freaking awesome, and I mean if you are like us, then you’re probably going to find at least one other thing you'll like on that website, so give it a look. Alright, so since we are weekly, with this episode, instead of waiting two weeks for our next episode we're going to have a brand new episode, episode 9 of Quest Friends coming out in a week on Monday, February 12th. See you then.

[Creeping music begins again and fades out.]

Kyle

We're gonna jump back a little bit for a second. We're gonna like zoom back in time, ‘cause there was actually something that happened, I just didn’t want to interrupt the flow. Because Elee is the only person who didn’t look at the formula, so she was the only person who was able to see this. As Vera pulled off her long glove and used it to wipe the board, on the back of Vera's hand, taking up the whole thing, Elee saw an image that looks less like a tattoo and more like an imprint, with the lines being made by skin that just digs in deeper into the hand than the rest. This imprint that she saw was of a clock, with faint gears and cogs buried beneath two hands. There are no time markers on this clock, but if there were, the hands would be pointing to 5 minutes before midnight.

Emily

Would there be any way I would know that that relates to something?

Kyle

I mean you can give me a roll and see if it relates to something if you want to check knowledge.

Emily

Yeah, I didn’t roll to identify, cause my intellect's not very high, but I am trained in identification recall.

[Dice rolling.]

17!

Kyle

Yeah. You know it's a symbol that you haven’t seen in a long time. But there is somebody you remember very distinctly, when you were a little young'un, when you were a young sprite and you were having crazy good times and having lots of boyfriends, uh, boyfriends and girlfriends and other romantic partners of a, of a non-binary nature,

Emily

Thank you.

Kyle

[Sound of clock ticking.] When you were romantically involved with whoever the fuck you felt like, there was one person who said they ran away from a gang. And they didn’t give you details about the gang, but they ran away from a gang that they called the Jagged Dream. And they had an imprint of a clock on their skin that looked just like that-- [The ticking clock tolls, then is silent.]

Kyle

Alright! Vera walks you back to your room. So after all that, you walk through the hallways and Vera walks with you, and if you want to shoot the shit you can, otherwise you just kind of walk, and she's, you know, constantly praising you, being like,

Kyle (as Vera)

Jesse, you really did keep good company!

Kyle

They’re blushing and they’re super excited, cause you know, they’re--they’re, they get approval from Vera.

Tom

Can Xoc butt in during the walk back?

Kyle

Uh, yes.

Tom (as Xoc)

I thought we were setting Mr. Mako free.

Kyle (as Vera)

We are!

Tom (as Xoc)

Well, how are we going to go about doing that?

Kyle (as Vera)

Oh, of course. Now that we’ve gotten the formula figured out, we need to have a proof of concept, which will take a little bit of time to get together. But I’d say probably later this evening we'll be making a proof of concept, that we can then take to the Queen tomorrow and show that it is effective, and that he should be set free. Obviously you’re guests of this palace, so if you want to stay, I can obviously pick you up later tonight and I, I can bring you to this proof of concept.

Tom (as Xoc)

We?

Ari (as Misha)

I would like to be present in this concept of proof of yours. And I was wondering if there are individual persons that have been exposed to this gas and that have been cured of whatever disease they had, as they would be also useful to convince the Queen of Mako's innocence.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well obviously we don’t have anyone to use it on, we aren't gonna to keep people against their will -

Ari (as Misha)

Of course, but if there is somebody that is--has some sort of disease, and this can be used or that might need it -

[15:00.]

Kyle (as Vera)

Well absolutely, if you know anyone that has a disease that needs to be cured, we absolutely would be feel free to use them as a proof on concept.

Kyle

And she points to Xoc

Kyle (as Vera)

I just--you know--I--I’m not gonna volunteer any of you for something you don’t want to do.

Hallie

Hopper will side-eye Xoc.

Ari

Misha is also going to side-eye Xoc.

Tom (as Xoc)

Why did you say we?

Kyle (as Vera)

When did I say we?

Tom (as Xoc)

Just a few moments ago. You said 'where we are manufacturing it'. Who is we? I thought we were doing this without the knowledge of the Queen, because she would imprison or kill anyone who defied her.

Kyle

Vera looks very shocked for a moment, and then she kind of gives you a knowing wink and says,

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, there are some things that the Queen doesn’t need to know about

Tom (as Xoc)

It would be a shame, wouldn't it, if the Queen did know something.

Kyle

She's gonna give you a dead look.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, things don’t always work out the way they’re expected to. Alright, let's keep going to your room.

Emily

Uh--no no no no. I--I want to know what you’re talking about. Why are you so--why are you being--

Kyle (as Jesse)

Well, well, I mean, Vera does have a point. You know, I’ve gone adventuring a lot, and one of the things Miss Mauve always says is, you know, you gotta be prepared for the unpreparable! Or something like that. Because I--I will say, you know, when you go out, things don’t go the way you want. Like every time I use my shock boomerang, well, I--I think it's gonna hit everyone around me, but usually I just end up being the one getting hit. But that works out! Like the one time I threw it, and it fell on me, and I shocked, but then I fell on top of the guy I was fighting, so then he got shocked, more than me, and so I ended up getting away, cause I--I was used to it by that point, but--but he wasn’t!

All

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Oh my god, I love it!

Tom (as Xoc)

First of all, bless you, Jesse. Uh, second of all, uh, where is Miss Mauve? Was she arrested too?

Kyle

Jesse is gonna look with horror at Vera. Before Vera says,

Kyle (as Vera)

Oh, of course not. No, no, Mako was the, ah, the only one, despite again my best efforts, he was the only one convicted of treason. Mauve's likely hanging out where she always does.

Ari (as Misha)

Where is that?

Kyle (as Jesse)

Well, she--so she has a school in the Seskii district, which I--I--I like the Tanager one a little bit more, but Seskii district is really cool, there’s a lot of cool stuff there, and so she has her school there, and--and that’s where she usually spends most of her time.

Kyle

So you’re gonna keep walking--she’s gonna keep walking you around the hallways, and she turns over and opens one of the rooms that wasn’t locked.

Kyle (as Vera)

So unfortunately I wasn’t able to prepare a perfect guest room in time, but this should do.

Kyle

And she--you step in and you see a guest room. It's basically the same, you’ve got the Queen’s painting, you’ve got two--you’ve got two beds instead of one, which is nice, you’ve still got five people to split it with. You’ve got a like--a couple of dressers, you’ve got a little table with some cards -

Tom

Before Vera leaves--before she leaves,

Kyle

Oh, she’s going to do a lot of stuff before she leaves, so what do you want?

Tom

[Laughing.] Uh... Xoc wants to quickly do a little telepathic message to Misha and say,

Tom (as Xoc)

Misha, could you please scan Vera, see if there’s anything anomalous?

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, uh, certainly. I--I can, so I’m going to do that

Kyle

Before we continue, I want you to verify--why is Xoc suspicious of her?

Emily

Vera-fy!

All

[Laughter and various “eyy” noises.]

[Mystical, bouncing detective music begins.]

Tom

Er, Xoc has not trusted her since she first introduced this problem, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to him. Basically, this is a situation where, you know, disloyalty is very dangerous, and Vera is taking a lot of risks to help someone she doesn’t know very well by her own words, and is employing perfect strangers to do so. If she is really as powerful as she claims, being able to, um, show the Queen the formula is harmless, she could have easily just smuggled Mako out some other way. Her story doesn’t make a lot of sense. Uh, and then on the walk back, she said a couple of more things that seemed weird. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to Xoc that just showing off this formula will prove that Mako is innocent, because that’s not really exactly what the Queen accused him of. Yes, poison as well, but also spying to lead an invasion in. Xoc thinks she's lying.

Kyle

Alright, Misha, give me that scan!

Ari (as Misha)

Alright, hang on.

[Dice rolling.]

Kyle

Definitely putting detective music behind Tom's explanation. And this final thing! And he slows down--I see her thumbprints on the murderer's glove!

[Detective music ends.]

Ari (as Misha)

I have rolled an 8 in my scanning abilities.

Kyle

What your scan has gone up is that she is definitely, 100%--

Ari

A person?

Kyle

--a human being!

Ari

Good! [Laughter.] Misha is quite excited to learn this, and they is going to tell Xoc

Hallie

Facts, yay!

Ari (as Misha)

Yes. uh, Xoc, I learned a quite important revelation, uh [Laughter.] about this, this person, uh, about this lady.

Tom (as Xoc)

Oh?

Ari (as Misha)

I have learnt that this is indeed a human being and not a robot.

[20:02.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Oh, I suppose that’s good news. We should still be careful though. I think she might be lying to us.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, really? I was not able to detect that, but I--I’m not too familiar with the lies and truths of human beings or robots.

Kyle (as Vera)

Alright. I know there aren’t that many beds, but I’ll be sure to get you in a few hours. It shouldn't be that long, to start synthesizing the substance so that we can try it out. I do have one weird request--the Queen demands that every guest in her palace wear the royal garb.

Kyle

And she pulls out these long--like they’re like the robes that are also dresses and go down your whole body, and they’re all like--they’re very green. They’re like green-screen green, [Laughter.] and they’re really ugly, um, the font is in, uh, I’m gonna say a reddish brown, which if you combine that with green is super ugly! But they’re the Queen’s favorite colors.

Ari

Is it Comic Sans?

Kyle

Yeah!

Hallie

God, the Queen is awful! Um, question--is Vera wearing one of these?

Kyle

Vera is wearing an outfit similar to it.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

She is wearing a--it's more like kind of--she’s wearing a suit top and then more like grey pants.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

And she has that logo, but--and she has these long, white gl--white? Yeah, these long, greyish white gloves. And these super--super big heels, so she's dressed like a professional woman.

Hallie

Okay. Hopper's gonna ask -

Hallie (as Hopper)

Everyone has to wear these?

Kyle (as Vera)

I'm sorry, the Queen demands that, that you do.

Hallie

I'm going to look at Jesse to see if this is a true thing.

Kyle

Uh, Jesse's already--

Hallie

No!

Kyle

you can see there’s a kind of like [Laughter.] wall, cause I’m not going to have naked people,

Hallie

Like a changing screen, right? Like -

Kyle

There’s like a changing screen.

Hallie

Yeah

Kyle

Jesse's already coming out from behind it holding their clothes neatly folded together.

Hallie

Hop will go 'Ah!'

Kyle (as Vera)

Thank you, Jesse. You can just put that in your--in your drawer and hold on to that here.

Hallie

Yeah, do we ever get our weapons back? No--Hopper's gonna ask Vera--he just remembered.

Hallie (as Hopper)

All of our weapons are gone, all of our stuff is gone.

Kyle (as Vera)

Oh, of course, absolutely! All of your weapons are being kept safe and sound in the same facility that we house the gifts that we give to the Queen. Don’t worry, we’ll be able to distinguish which one are the gifts and which one are your weapons [Laughter.], but that’s just in the--that’s just the same facility in which we keep it. So they’re kept safe and sound there. That being said, I--I was able to get out your things, Jesse.

Kyle

And she smiles at Jesse and hands him two objects, one of which is a sphere of sand, and all the sand on the inside seems to be pointing north. The second one is the shock weapon that they mentioned, which is -

Hallie

The taser boomerang?

Kyle

Is a boomerang with a bunch of tasers just dact-taped onto it!

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So you've got a very clear idea about why the tasers hit Jesse.

Tom

I don’t like sand.

Kyle

It's coarse and gets everywhere.

Tom

But, you know, can we just take Jesse with us when we leave? This is an important question.

Hallie

Jesse is wonderful.

Kyle

So she gives it to Miss Vera, uh, she gives it to Jesse, and Jesse's like,

Kyle (as Jesse)

Wow, this is super great! Thank you so much!

Kyle

And Vera says,

Kyle (as Vera)

You can just change behind that, uh, that area, there are some bags you can put your clothes in, which we'll keep safe and sound, and then you--you'll have the run of the place.

Tom

Okay! Xoc will go get changed.

Ari

Same for Misha.

Hallie

Hopper really doesn’t want to, but he will. He hates these outfits, they’re terrible! Can he still wear his hat?

Kyle (as Vera)

The Queen requests conformity.

Hallie

Ugh! Fine.

Emily

Elee glares, and pulls on the robes as well as she can over all of her clothes.

All

[Laughter.]

Emily

All the like bulky scarves and shawls and stuff, just pulls them right over, kind of stands there.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Which is a good idea! I want to do that, I want to put it on over my clothes.

Kyle

Okay. Are you two being very blatant about it?

Hallie

Yes.

Emily

Oh, Elee's -

Hallie

Hopper's probably not as aggressive as Elee is.

Emily

She's staring Vera -

Kyle

Alright, so,

Emily

She's staring Vera in the face.

Kyle

Alright, so, uh, I need both of you to give me a roll quick.

[Dice rolling.]

Hallie

Oh, hang on, there we go. uh, 18.

Kyle

And what did you get, Emily?

Emily

4!

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Um, so Vera's going to turn over to you, Hop, and say,

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, I--I really appreciate the hat, and your clothes are very basic and easy to hide, so,

Tom

[Quietly.] Oh shit! [Suppressed laughter.]

Kyle (as Vera)

You absolutely, so long as I have the hat, I’m absolutely fine with that. Unfortunately, ma'am, I am going to have to ask you to do a com--to completely change.

Emily (as Elee)

No.

Kyle (as Vera)

That--I -

Emily (as Elee)

No.

Kyle (as Vera)

That wasn’t a question, ma'am.

Emily (as Elee)

Neither was my answer.

Kyle (as Vera)

I mean if--can--can somebody please just convince, just let her know that she has to?

Tom

Xoc gives her, like, a blank stare

Hallie

What if she just wears the robe over her clothes but takes the hat off? Would that be a good compromise? Can I use persuasion there?

[25:02.]

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

[Dice rolls.] Oh, that’s a 3, so that didn’t go well for me.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, her hat and her clothes are both very bulky. So, ma’am, I’m afraid you’re going to have to take off the robes, you’re going to have to take off your hat. I promise you -

Kyle

And she holds onto that, the hat, and Misha's clothes, including Misha's scarf.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh no! What?

Hallie

Yoooo!

Kyle

That’s clothing!

Ari

No no no no no, no no!

Kyle

And, uh, all of Xoc's clothes, and she has them all in like these little tupperware containers, and she says

Kyle (as Vera)

I'm holding on to these very safe and sound, I’ll--I’ll hold on to yours, I’ll make sure they’re safe.

Tom (as Xoc)

Hold on to them? I thought they were put in drawers?

Kyle

She's getting really frustrated with you, cause like,

Kyle (as Vera)

It's semantics, Xoc. I will keep them stored--oh, you're referring to Jesse. Jesse is a returning member, so they’re able to keep their stuff in the room.

Ari

Uh, Misha's going to say

Ari (as Misha)

Well, uh, excuse me, but it just occurs to me, as you saw by the clothing I came wearing here, that I am actually a member of the royalty, as the Queen said recently, and therefore wouldn't that acquire me some privileges for me and my companions to keep their clothing?

Kyle

She raises her eyebrow and says

Kyle (as Vera)

I'm not so easily fooled as the Queen, Misha.

Hallie

Hoo hoo.

Tom

Xoc was definitely recording that.

Emily

Elee rolls her eyes and starts stripping.

Hallie

Just like in the room?

Tom

In the middle of the room?

Emily

Yup! Still staring at Vera.

Kyle

And Vera’s staring back at you.

Hallie

Hopper's not staring at anyone, he's distinctly looking away.

Tom

Xoc does not know what to look at. He has no social norms to govern this.

Emily

If anyone does catch a glimpse, quite a few of her ribs may be showing, but they’re not bone. They’re metal.

Tom

Oh!

Emily

And they’re kind of bumpy, like they’re--like there’s just kind of spikes shoved in there.

Kyle

You know, I wanted to get to that point of popularity where we had fan art--I don’t any more! [Laughter.] I very distinctly don’t.

Tom

It's already ruined.

Hallie

All of it!

Kyle

Alright, you strip -

Emily

Elee -

Kyle

And you put on the robe -

Emily

Butt naked, puts on the robe, leaves the hat on.

Kyle

Give me a roll

Emily

[Dice rolls.]

6.

Kyle

6 -

Tom

This is the perfect strategy, because if we just annoy Kyle long enough, he'll give in anyway.

Hallie

We've spent like 20 minutes just not wanting to change!

Emily

I've stripped, which means I’ve taken off my chair. I have to.

Kyle

Okay, so I’m going to say that show of nakedness, and the chair, and the fact that this just feels like the right thing to do, is giving you 3 assets to this task. And she puts the chair and the clothing in the bag and says,

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, I appreciate your willingness to compromise. [Laughter.] So as I said, I’ll be back in a few hours, I’ll get you when we're ready. As of that time you have the run of the place. You'll have someone who can request food for you, uh, you can also go into town, and go explore Charmonde, you really get to know the city, it's a good city, so thank you so much, and if you ever need anything, right outside the door is your attendant. He's not perfect, but he--he was the only person who was available, so I apologize for that.

Ari

So Misha's still going to try to bargain, and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Excuse me, but is there any way that I could at least keep my scarf? You understand, my scarf gets pretty lonely --

Hallie, Ari and Emily

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

--if it is not next to me, and it needs company as much as I need it as well.

Kyle

Vera has already left the room. [Laughter.]

Tom

Oh no!

Kyle

Character motivation! Now you have a reason -

Tom

Vengeance!

Ari (as Misha)

They took my weapons, and they took my scarf! I'm naked!

Kyle

You sit there with the scarf, it's part, it's like ripped just a little bit, and you're like crying on the ground with it in your arms -

Ari

Yes. I imagine Misha saying it -

Kyle

VERAAA!!!

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Okay! She walks out the room, and the door is closed, and you’ve got the place to yourself, what are you gonna do?

Hallie

Alright, well -

Tom

Before we do anything, since I solved that formula, do I actually like have any idea of what it does for my own scientific knowledge?

Kyle

That was a really good roll, so I would say you know for certain that it is a gaseous substance, it gives the body specific small cells -

Hallie

It's like a giant antibody.

Tom

Potentially.

Kyle

It boosts the body's defenses and it gives them specific instructions on what to attack.

Tom

But I couldn't tell exactly which cells--or is it just so interchangeable that it could be targeted against any cells?

Kyle

No. The idea is that like it would target, you know, all bacteria, or it would target, you know, all viruses

Ari

I’m going to suspend my disbelief about this.

Kyle

I know. It's not magic.

Hallie or Emily?

Sci-fi!

Kyle

Uh, it's magic. I don’t know how to get something to target specific, you know, viruses, so it just attacks all the bad ones, it attacks all bad bacteria, that’s the idea that’s presented. The part of the formula that you were fixing was the part that was the actual like, sustainability, and like keeping it together when it was released into the atmosphere, so that was the part you were focused on.

[30:04.]

Tom

Okay. Out of character, we've definitely--I should say I have definitely helped create a bio-weapon, so we need to fix that.

Hallie

Absolutely.

Tom

In character, Xoc isn’t certain yet. But he has a feeling.

Hallie

Hopper wants to ask Xoc--

Hallie (as Hopper)

Do you think that formula thing will actually work?

Tom (as Xoc)

I don’t know exactly, because I’m not certain we are being--

Tom

And he'll, like, just sort of glance at Jesse--

Tom (as Xoc)

I don’t know if Miss Vera actually wants to save Mr. Mako or not, or if she just wanted the formula for herself.

Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, what are you talking about? Miss Vera's super trustworthy! She's been super nice every time I’ve come in here.

Tom (as Xoc)

Maybe so. But her story doesn’t seem to add up.

Hallie

I know that we asked Vera this, and she implied she didn’t know Mr. Mako very well, but is that true? How close were she and Mr. Mako?

Kyle (as Jesse)

I mean I’ve been gone for a couple of years, I don’t know, but something Miss Mauve always said is that Mr. Mako doesn’t make friends easily, but when he makes friends they’re best friends. If Mr. Mako has a friend in Vera then he has a really good friend, and yeah, there isn’t someone I’d rather have on my side. But--except for you and Miss Lorraine, of course.

Hallie

Ah ha! Hopper will smile at the mention of his name but then frown at the mention of Miss Lorraine's name.

Tom (as Xoc)

I think maybe there are two things we should do with our time. We need to find this Miss Mauve and learn the truth, and I think some of us should also explore the palace and try to find clues.

Ari

Misha is going to volunteer to explore the palace, ‘cause Misha wants their scarf back.

Tom (as Xoc)

Oh, I know! If I go with the other group, we can stay in contact, and that way we’ll know if something bad happens to one of the other groups.

Ari (as Misha)

That sounds like a very logical idea, so I’ll agree with it.

Hallie

Er, Hopper would like to explore the palace, unless Elee really wants to. He'll go anywhere.

Tom

So Xoc and Elee go to find Miss Mauve, while Hopper and Misha explore the palace for clues?

Hallie

That works, cause that’s the opposite pairing we had at the bar in, er, Turingtown.

Ari

Yes.

Tom

Perfect.

Emily

It's also probably not a good idea to leave Elee in the palace.

Hallie

Yeah, that’s also true!

Kyle (as Jesse)

What, you guys are gonna go see Miss Mauve?

Tom (as Xoc)

Could you lead us to her, Jesse? We don’t know where the school is.

Kyle

Jesse's really excited at that.

Kyle (as Jesse)

Of course! I--I can lead the way!

[Outro music begins.]

Kyle

And Jesse opens the door to head out, and as they do, you see in the doorway the person who's supposed to be assisting you, dressed in a really nice royal garb, and sporting a very large mustache, and a very large frown, and he says

Kyle (as Don)

Ugh! You again!

[Outro music intensifies.]

[Episode ends - 33:05.]

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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)