Click for Content Warnings
- Background sounds and music
- Panning audio (audio will sound different in right and left speakers/headphones)
- References to death and dying
- Sounds of pain
- Moments of disorientation (brief, explicit)
- Loss of consciousness (non-violent, spontaneous)
- Implied threats of violence
- Manipulation (of a magical nature)
- Major Character Death (not resolved in episode)
- Moments of mild panic/hysteria (rapid speech and heavy breathing)
Sometimes we get so caught up looking for answers that we forget to see the world right in front of us, to breathe the air, feel the sun on our skin. Welcome back to Spirit Box Radio.
Hello, faithful listeners! I hope you’ve all had more productive weeks than I have. I’ve been sort of stuck waiting around. I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I know something is going to happen, I find myself to do anything other than just… wait. Ugh, it’s weird. Anna doesn’t get it, to her waiting is passive but for me it takes so much concentration. Even Oliver hasn’t been able to be much of a distraction, and that’s saying something. He’s usually very good at distracting me. Mm.
Kitty managed to send an email on Friday last week saying she’d be back sooner than she thought, but that she wasn’t sure when exactly, except that it would probably be in the next few days, and this is in the next few days, isn’t it? I’m so excited to see her. Dread the Sins, of course, even they’re our captives! But excited to see Kitty. I want to know everything about using the sigil, what it was like. I can sort of… feel it? Almost? It’s weird! Much more present than the weird abstract connectedness to the Inconvenient Sins I’d been feeling before. I suppose it’s because this sigil was so intentional, you know, it’s more connected to me, somehow? I don’t know. It’s interesting.
I’d love to know, you know, if other people have ever had spells and stuff go wrong, do they have that similar disconnected connectedness to them, or is that specific to these things that I do by accident? Like when I banished the Sins. Does a mistake feel the same way, in arcane terms, as an accident does? It’s fascinating, don’t you think?
Anyway. Um. Yes. What else has been happening? Oh! Yeah! We’ve had a letter, actually, it’s not that interesting, but—
[A CAT HISSES]
SAM: What was that?!
INDI: That was a bin, could you avoid walking me into bins!?
RHYTIDIA: If you’d all stop fidgeting you’d make this a whole lot easier.
INGRA: Imagine how I feel. We’ve not seen daylight since Gibraltar.
BLISS: Do you even like daylight?
INDI: She doesn’t like anything, Bliss, she’s the embodiment of Ingratitude.
[KNOCKING ON THE DOOR]
KITTY: Sam could you let me in before I KILL EVERYONE.
[SAM HURRIES TO THE DOOR]
[THERE IS A KERFUFFLE AS THEY ENTER]
SAM: Kitty, Rhytidia! You look… terrible.
RHYTIDIA: Have you ever ridden a commercial shipping vessel in a crate filled with plastic toys and the embodiments of three of the most annoying traits you can think of? Trust me. You’d look terrible, too.
SAM: Right, sorry. Of course.
KITTY: I hope this is worth it. Gods, this place is a mess. What have you been doing in here?
KITTY: Wait, don’t answer that.
SAM: I’m glad you’re back safe.
KITTY: Me too. I’m going to put on the kettle.
[FOOTSTEPS. A KETTLE BEGINS TO BOIL]
SAM: Right, um.
INDI: What is this, Heir Apparent? You banished us. Now what? You drag us all the way here?
INDI: Why didn’t you just summon us? You can do that with the Unrelenting.
SAM: I don’t know how I do that, though. And I tried to invoke you and it didn’t work.
INDI: Suppose we do lack a certain connection you and the Unrelenting share. We are a lot less known to one another.
INGRA: Please tell me you didn’t drag us all the way from Patagonia for that.
BLISS: I have a knife, you know.
INGRA: Yes, Bliss, we all know you have a knife.
BLISS: I just think it’s good to remind people about it, from time to time. Just in case. The Heir Apparent remembers though, don’t you?
SAM: Yes. I remember.
INDI: Now, now, Ghost Maker. Don’t be angry. She was just following orders.
SAM: That’s a good place to start, actually. Why do they do as you say?
INDI: I don’t care. They just do.
INGRA: There’s nobody better available.
BLISS: I don’t know. I just do it.
SAM: I have a theory. Ingratitude and Ignorance have to have a little bit of Indifference to really work, don’t they?
INDI: That’s pretty clever, I’ll admit, but it doesn’t matter why. It only matters that they do. And even then, what interest is it really? In the grand scheme of things?
SAM: Well, that’s it, isn’t it? You don’t care, because you can’t care. On your own. You’d do nothing, because you don’t care about anything. But Bliss, on her own, she’d just stab people without a thought. And Ingra would find some way out of the deal because they don’t want to be here, because they’re ungrateful, so what would the point be? Your functionality is predicated upon each others’ presence.
INDI: Somebody has learned some big words since we last spoke, hasn’t he? There’s a problem with your theory; I’m hundreds of years older than Ingra and Bliss.
SAM: Were you alone, before? Speak.
SAM: Who were you with?
INDI: Your boo, the Unrelenting. I’m sure you can imagine how that went as we get along so famously. Annoying bastard. Cares too much, that’s his problem.
SAM: You were– Never mind. […] When are you from, Indi?
INDI: It doesn’t matter.
SAM: It does. Tell me!
INDI: I don’t remember!
INDI: I don’t know who or what I was before this. None of us do.
SAM: Is that true? But. Oliver knows.
INDI: Haven’t you been paying attention? Dear Unrelenting has a special little twist. He has to remember. It’s all part of the deal.
SAM: So you just… don’t know?
INDI: I get… flashes. Now and then. But it doesn’t matter.
SAM: Ugh, I’m getting sidetracked, that’s not why you’re here, but. I’ll get to it. You. You tracked down Madame Marie because you heard a prophecy, right?
SAM: What, exactly, did you hear?
INDI: Well. We heard that the One Who Walks Here and There will ascend when his match has been chosen. That’s the gist of it.
SAM: That’s all you had to go on? So why Madame Marie?
INDI: She was nobody and then she was the most powerful Arcanist in the Northern Hemisphere, that’s not the kind of thing that escapes notice, even mine.
SAM: But there had to be more than that? A reason why that was the theory you ran with?
INGRA: Indi has a tendency to be… impulsive. Nothing matters, so why bother thinking it through? We’d probably get in a lot less trouble if someone else was in charge. And we certainly wouldn’t deal with such colossal mistakes as overlooking you.
INDI: So what are you suggesting, then? Bliss takes over?
INGRA: Of course not.
BLISS: So you think it should be you? I’d like to see you in charge, Ingra. I’m sure you’d do horribly.
INDI: Thanks Bliss.
BLISS: You don’t really do that much better. But what to I know? Nothing.
RHYTIDIA: You see why I’ve gone half-mad? Weeks I’ve had to put up with this.
SAM: I’m sorry. And. Thank you.
KITTY: Here. Tea.
KITTY: Why are there fourteen jars of honey on the kitchen counter?
SAM: Oh. Oliver gets through it, so I bought a load online and I couldn’t fit it all in the cupboard.
KITTY: There’s MORE?
KITTY: Gods, right. After we’re done here I’m going into town. There’s a couple of places still open, I reckon I can hustle enough pool to scrape together enough to rent a flat and then you and Oliver can do what you like.
RHYTIDIA: I’m just glad he’s finally loosening up a bit. I’ve known him decades and decades and not once has he ever had the slightest bit of chill.
SAM: I’m glad I’m a good influence?
RHYTIDIA: I never said it was a good thing. Oh, plllugh, this tea is terrible, Ekaterina, do you have any fresh thyme?
SAM: On the windowsill. [PAUSE] Oh. Do you guys want tea?
BLISS: Us? Did you just offer us tea?
SAM: Yes? You know what, though. Forget it. Just. I don’t know. You were messing with Madame Marie before, weren’t you? You sent her that letter, threatening her. You went to see her.
INDI: Yeah, we thought she was the Heir Apparent. We wanted to make it known we weren’t ready to be let go.
SAM: What makes you think that when the Man in the Flat Cap ascends, your deal is ended?
INDI: We serve him.
SAM: Have there been other deals that he’s ended? Oliver said you can feel it when new Major Arcana are made. So you’d know if any were got rid of too, right?
INDI: Yes. And it does happen. He holds their deals fulfilled.
SAM: You don’t remember your life before. What do you remember? Do you remember the deal you made?
INDI: Yes. Every word.
SAM: Tell me.
INDI: I don’t know what happened before, but he came to me. I asked never to care again. That was what I wanted. He said he could give that to me if I agreed to be his. And that was it.
SAM: The exact wording?
INDI: He said ‘as long as you act on my behalf and claim others for my cause, you will embody the indifference you desire’.
SAM: Bliss, do you remember your deal?
BLISS: I don’t know.
SAM: Right. Ridiculous question. Ingra, what about you?
INGRA: The exact wording of Indi’s deal, but with ‘ingratitude’ in exchange for ‘indifference’.
SAM: Why don’t you want to end your deals? Do you want to serve him, is that what it’s about?
INDI: You’re asking us if it’s out of loyalty? Of course it isn’t.
SAM: And there are things you know, that you can’t talk about, because they are taboo?
SAM: That taboo… Would it hold if your deal wasn’t with the Man in the Flat Cap?
INDI: Oh, Heir Apparent. Think I can guess what you’re suggesting. I don’t know if that theory will work in practice, but–
SAM: It’s possible, isn’t it? Can you feel that?
INDI: Yes. I can feel it.
SAM: Would you do it?
INDI: Oh, absolutely. You guarantee I won’t go gently into that good night, and I’d turn coat in a heart beat.
BLISS: I’d follow.
INGRA: I go where Bliss goes.
RHYTIDIA: I feel like I’m missing something, here?
KITTY: I– I think. I think Sam’s offering to… employ them?
SAM: I’ll take your deals. I can, I think? Ca–can’t you feel it? It’s like static.
INDI: I can. We can do this, if you agree it.
SAM: I agree. And you agree, yes?
SAM: So, what? What do we do?
INDI: I don’t know. Maybe we… shake on it?
SAM: That feels like it will do it for me, and you?
INDI: Worth a shot.
[RAIN STARTS TO HAMMER LOUDLY OUTSIDE]
[SAM LAUGHS GIDDILY]
KITTY: I think we can assume that means it’s done?
BLISS: I feel… different.
INGRA: So do I. I can’t explain it.
INDI: Yes, it’s really quite bizarre, I–
[TINY AMOUNT OF STATIC]
[LOW, DEEP RUMBLE]
[SAM’S VOICE ECHOES]
SAM: What? Kitty, Rhytidia? Why are you just— you’re not blinking. Or breathing. What’s happening?
SCOURGE: They can’t hear you, little bit.
[SCOURGE’S VOICE ECHOES]
SAM: You! I thought you’d gone. I haven’t seen you since the Impossible House.
SCOURGE: You haven’t seen me because everything has been going according to plan.
SAM: Whose plan?
SCOURGE: His plan. It’s supposed to be ineffable. But you’ve effed it.
SAM: I don’t think that means what you think it means.
SCOURGE: [DANGEROUSLY] I don’t have time for this. What have you done?
SAM: What do you mean?
SCOURGE: You weren’t supposed to take the Sins, you were supposed to take the soppy one.
SCOURGE: We practically gift wrapped him for you, with his puppy dog eyes! You’re swooning for him just as much as he’s swooning for you! So why haven’t you taken him?
SAM: What– like. His deal? Is that what you mean?
SCOURGE: Yes. That’s what I mean!
SAM: I didn’t even know I could do this until just now!
SCOURGE: LIAR. You’ve known. You’ve known for weeks.
SAM: No. I haven’t.
SCOURGE: I felt a shift in the arcane, after you went to see Scarcity’s little rabble. You know!
SAM: No I don’t. And, wait. You know? About the Scarce Mongers?
SCOURGE: Of course I know.
SAM: Is that how this works, then? Each Heir Apparent is randomly assigned some disembodied entity to lure them into a trap?
SCOURGE: Maria Gillespie isn’t the Heir Apparent, she’s a botched job. You are the Heir Apparent. And you’re supposed to be taking the Unrelenting.
SAM: I don’t want that! I don’t want his life in my hands, not like that.
SCOURGE: When are you going to realise who you are, little bit?
SAM: I know who I am.
SCOURGE: You have no idea.
SAM: What did you mean, about Marie Gillespie being a botched job? TELL ME.
SCOURGE: You’re the gift but you’re far from the first attempt.
SAM: The other Impossible Children! Are they Heir Apparents gone wrong?
SCOURGE: You shouldn’t know that. Not yet. It’s not time. This is ALL WRONG. Call the Unrelenting and make him yours.
SCOURGE: Do it!
SAM: I won’t! I won’t do that.
SCOURGE: He’d go willingly. He’d thank you.
SAM: I know. But I can’t. I can’t. I won’t be responsible for making him suffer.
SCOURGE: TAKE HIM.
[SAM’S MAGIC RUMBLES]
SCOURGE: You’re so powerful already, little bit. Don’t you want more?
SAM: Are you afraid?
SCOURGE: I don’t know fear, except what I’ve seen in the eyes of others.
SAM: What are you?
SCOURGE: A fragment. A piece.
SAM: Oliver says you’re an artefact of the arcane.
SCOURGE: He’s right. And wrong. Take him as your Arcana, little bit. You know you should.
SAM: No. What is this place. Tell me.
SCOURGE: It’s the time between now and then. It’s the space between here and there. It’s the unresolvable gap between every moment. It’s the crushing hollow inside of every atom.
SAM: The arcane.
SAM: It exist and doesn’t exist– I. oh. Double jump. It doesn’t matter.
SCOURGE: You’re right. It doesn’t. I can show you anything here. Your wildest fantasies. Your greatest fears. You can see it all. And it’s all yours, if you would take it. Have the Unrelenting, Heir Apparent. Make him one of yours. It’s right. Just take him. You won’t even have to pull the apple from the tree, little bit, just open your hands and he’d fall right in.
SAM: No. I won’t do it.
SCOURGE: Fine. In that case, it’s time you learned who you’re dealing with.
SAM: What? What’s happening, I— Kitty? Why is she shining like that? Kitty!
SCOURGE: Sorry. She’s with the One now. I would apologise, little bit, but I did tell you to do what you were told.
[A BRIEF FIZZ OF STATIC, THE WIND AND THE LOW RUMBLE ARE GONE]
SAM: Kitty. Come on! Come on, come on. Ah, ha. It’s not funny. It’s. Ha, very funny. Come on. Kitty, come on.
RHYTIDIA: She’s dead.
SAM: Come on, Kitty. Come on, Kitty. Please, Kitty. Kitty come on. Kitty.