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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 3: Not for Entertaining Children

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 3: Not for Entertaining Children Transcript by Cameron Robertson

Intro: [hurdy gurdy music begins]

Nick: Welcome, listeners, to A Knight of Shreds and Patches. An immersive actual play podcast. This episode features the talents of –

Penn: Penn Van Batavia as Marathon Messenger.

Kit: Kit Adames as Birdie Foundling.

Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.

Sydney: Sydney Whittington as Cassidy Shard.

Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.

Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:

Hey! Welcome! Glad you’re here and listening to our show, where today we’re happy to highlight an extra-special contribution by one of our discord members. Fern.gulley has given us a lovely excerpt of erotic fiction that we’re highlighting in today’s episode, so go join our Discord and heap praise onto her for her wonderful literary contribution. The link to join can be found in the show notes. Also found in the show notes is the link to our Patreon, where we have bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards, if you want to further support the show.

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 3: Not for Entertaining Children. And so...

Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.

[hurdy gurdy music ends]

[electronic beeping] [robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]

[over radio] Kit (as Birdie): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, I got chased by Derek the goose. Cassidy and Emma got a little chess in before Marathon completely knocked this rather suspicious guy out - wonder what’s that about. After some more negotiation, we headed out with Marathon in tow which Cassidy and Emma seemed pretty wary about. I don’t know, I’m excited to learn about her. It’s nice to have another new person around. [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: The first thing we see is the rig rolling along a broad afternoon road. The sun dapples ahead and behind. It's beginning to warm up; there is almost no snow left anywhere, trees are budding, grass is sprouting, and mud is beginning to dry. The windows are cracked so that you can hear the bird song even over the rumble of the truck and fresh air creeps in as you work your way west, having decided that that's as good a direction to go as any. And we see the four passengers of the Patina's rig relaxed in the truck. Where is everyone sitting in the truck? And what are they doing?

Kit: Birdie is sitting in the back, and she's been messing with her deck of cards that she usually does when they go on drives. And she was playing solitaire I think for a bit, but she has since piled everything up and is fiddling with the top couple of cards and after a few seconds she will turn to Marathon and offer a card and say

Kit (as Birdie): Go Fish?

Penn: Marathon turns back from puffing a cigarette out the window as they've been driving. And she's like,

Penn (as Marathon): Go Fish seriously? Not like Hold'em, not Blackjack - Go fish?

Kit (as Birdie): Yep.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, I I can't say I've played go fish in maybe years. I can't remember. But if you refresh me on the rules, I'm - sure. Why not? What are we putting down?

Kit (as Birdie): Putting down?

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, like what are the stakes? There's got to be stakes in a card game right?

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, I just do it for fun.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, okay. Let's see um, well, how's whoever wins has more fun. How's that?

Kit (as Birdie): I don't think that's how fun works, but we can definitely take a stab at that.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, okay. Cool. Deal me in. [hands rubbing together]

Kit: She's gonna deal the cards.

Sydney: Cassidy gives a quick sidelong glance over to Emma from where she's driving, and then puts her eyes back on the road.

Cameron: Emma is studiously working on the radio that she's fixing up for Birdie, and is very much not struggling to hold in laughter at this conversation happening behind her.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay, do you have any sevens?

Penn (as Marathon): So - No, I don't have any sevens. Go fish.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, you got it.

Kit: Birdie draws a card.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I got you. [laugh] I had a seven. So what do I get there for bluffing? and whatnot?

Kit (as Birdie): I um - maybe we should go over the rules. I don't think I explained it quite in detail enough.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Third time's the charm.

Kit (as Birdie): Yes. So you kind of have to give over the card that I asked if you had any, that's just how you play the game. Otherwise, we're going to be at a stalemate where both of us are just lying.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Okay. So where's the gambling or skill element to it?

Kit (as Birdie): It's just pure luck.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, okay. So it is kind of like a gambling game. Okay. Okay. I can get into this.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, it's just what you draw.

Penn (as Marathon): So I'll take um, any tense. You got any tens?

Kit: Birdie hands over one ten.

Penn (as Marathon): Hells yeah! [laugh] Eat dirt! I got you this time. Okay. Five more to go.

Cameron: Emma has lost it in the front seat. [laughing] She was doing so well. It is all shattered apart now.

Penn (as Marathon): Y'all ever played go fish? This game kind of rocks.

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] Yes, I have actually,

Sydney (as Cassidy): We've typically called it Go Fisher. Because we -

Cameron (as Emma): Aw, that's adorable. [laughing still]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Penn (as Marathon): Is there any reason to that or it's like a regional thing? You from Allium or something or?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ooh not Allium, no. No, the uh crew members we had till fairly recently were from the Fisher family.

Penn (as Marathon): I see I see.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That's why there's the big fish on the outside.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, that kind of make sense. Well, y'all - I've tried not to pry too much, but what's this big cargo you got going on? It's your turn Birdie, by the way.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, do you have any Queens?

Penn: Marathon gives that crestfallen look and she's like,

Penn (as Marathon): Unfortunately, I have a queen. Um here. Here we go.

Kit (as Birdie): Thank you.

Penn: We see from over Marathon's shoulder, as she still has an extra queen that she did not give over. [laughing]

Kit: Birdie is just so proud of her for are giving her a card. This is the first card that Marathon has actually given over.

Nick: We get a shot over Marathon's shoulder and she is carefully looking into the reflection in the window behind Birdie and can see Birdie's cards.

Kit: Birdie is also terrible at playing cards because she doesn't hide her cards.

Penn: We can also see a literal ace card tucked in under Marathon's jacket sleeve that she slips back in just in case.

Nick: There's a awkward silence Marathon, as you see Cassidy and Emma make eye contact and you can tell they're struggling to figure out how to answer that.

Cameron: Emma also makes eye contact with Birdie in the rearview mirror.

Kit: Birdie is just minding her own business. This is not her thing to tell.

Nick: Birdie is very focused on trying to organize her cards and hold them up in a way that they can't be seen. And they keep slipping and Birdie just as moving one card back and forth.

Kit: She's dropped a four three times.

Sydney: Cassidy looks back in the cab mirror and looks at Marathon and just goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well see because we were Fishers with all the things so that the cargoes it's just a lot of fish. Like we're, you know, we're mercenaries guarding our uh

Penn: Marathon gives a big

Penn (as Marathon): [loud sniff]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it's pretty fishy in it?

Penn: and narrows her eyes a little bit.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, yeah.

Sydney: And Cassidy looks back at the road.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, it's very interesting that you have such large fishing equipment and fish.

Cameron (as Emma): It is also my mechanics workshop.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, okay.

Cameron: Emma has determined that that is a better cover story than fish. [laughing]

Penn (as Marathon): I see. I see. So I assume you're working on something pretty top secret in there.

Cameron (as Emma): Well, right now it's this radio.

Penn (as Marathon): Cool. If I can say, there is decidedly nothing smelling fishy back there. So which is does smell fishy in itself.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, isn't that weird?

Cameron (as Emma): Technically, that would be good, though, right? Because that would mean that the fish was being kept cold enough that it was good? You really don't want to be able to smell the fish.

Penn (as Marathon): You know what? You're right. You're right. Birdie, you got any sixes?

Kit (as Birdie): Go fish.

Penn (as Marathon): Shoot.

Penn: Marathon squints over at the back cab of the truck and makes note of it in her mind, but is not going to push far because she's still thinking she's maybe on the ropes with these fine adventures, so

Penn (as Marathon): Y'all do anything fun besides Go fish?

Kit (as Birdie): Go Fish is fun.

Penn (as Marathon): I mean, of course. Of course. Birdie it is. Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Like in general or recently?

Penn (as Marathon): Just - I dunno fun things to do, maybe? Something that could entertain even a child. [laughing]

Sydney (as Cassidy): No, not really.

Cameron (as Emma): Well I mean we do listen to a fair amount of radio.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, cool. We could check in to what Tree All's got on the waves or it's not me. [awkward laugh]

Sydney: Cassidy shrugs and hits the radio.

Nick (as Radio Announcer): [over radio] If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Marathon Messenger,

Penn (as Marathon): Why don't we just turn it off?

Nick (as Radio Announcer): [over radio] She has been missing since yesterday evening.

Penn (as Marathon): We don't need to hear any more of this.

Nick (as Radio Announcer): [over radio] It's imperative that she face justice for her crimes.

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy?

Nick (as Radio Announcer): [over radio] We are all very concerned for both her well -

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy? Uh

Nick (as Radio Announcer): [over radio] - being and the well being of anyone who may be with her.

Sydney: Cassidy hits the button. [laughing]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, isn't that interesting?

Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat] Quite.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hmm. Fishy, even.

Cameron: Emma rolls her eyes.

Penn (as Marathon): I think is Fisher, right? Yeah? [stammering] Birdie it's your turn I think.

Kit (as Birdie): Um, do you have any threes?

Penn (as Marathon): I do not have any threes.

Kit (as Birdie): Darn.

Penn (as Marathon): Go fish.

Kit (as Birdie): [sigh]

Penn (as Marathon): Go Fisher.

Kit (as Birdie): [giggling]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah, there you go.

Kit (as Birdie): You know, it's not really to entertain a kid, but I mean, we do the romance novels sometimes.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh?! Romance novel?

Cameron (as Emma): We have a rather substantial collection, but um yes, not for entertaining children.

Penn (as Marathon): I would hope not. But do tell of these romance novels. It's been a while since I've partaken in such erotic fiction.

Sydney: Cassidy struggles to keep a straight face and points down below behind her to where there's a pile of books peeking out from underneath the bunk that they're sitting on.

Penn (as Marathon): Got any fours?

Kit (as Birdie): [long sigh] Yeah.

Kit: She hands over three fours.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, it seems like you only got one, two cards left there, Birdie.

Penn: We see Marathon slip a ten and a six up under one of each of the other fours.

Kit: Birdie has two sets of the cards put down already, Marathon has eight. [laughing] Birdie just goes

Kit (as Birdie): You're really good at this Marathon. For someone who hasn't played for so long, it's really impressive. Considering that this is you know, based in luck.

Penn (as Marathon): Thank you. I like to think of myself as pretty good at card games. Winner reads the romance novel? Does that sound like good stakes?

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I could start it right now while y'all are still playing. We're in a short story anthology right now, so it's a fresh story.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh is this the beginning of a new one?

Cameron (as Emma): Yes.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Wonderful.

Cameron (as Emma): The last one just kind of faded to black and just ended abruptly.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, that's troubling.

Cameron (as Emma): It was not a healthy relationship.

Sydney (as Cassidy): They do all that work to build it up and then just, [pptt].

Penn (as Marathon): Well, I would not be opposed to listening to some erotic fiction while playing some Go fish.

Cameron (as Emma): Um. Based on the stories we've read so far in this book, I think if you are expecting erotic fiction, you are going to be disappointed.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay. That's all right. I'll take regular fiction.

Sydney (as Cassidy): You might be disappointed in that one, too.

Cameron (as Emma): I will describe it as awkward fiction, I think. But yeah, I can start the next story.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Please, Emma.

Penn (as Marathon): What a good sell.

Cameron (as Emma): Thank You.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah we didn't say high literature. And this is for when the radio was running ads looking for your location, Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Fair enough. Fair enough.

Cameron: Emma takes the book out from underneath the middle of the driver and passenger seat and opens it up to the first page of the next story.

Cameron (as Emma): All right. Um. 'Bertrand had always believed Daniel to be out of his league. But as Daniel I'd him hungrily from across the ballroom, he began to suspect that he may be mistaken. Suddenly a bawdy dowager tripped drunkenly spilling claret' - is that a wine? Claire-a? Claire- et? Eh! We'll say wine whatever 'across Daniel's shirtwaist.' So so so shirt?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Shirt- [pause] - waist.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay. 'Bertrand could only imagine his wet chest beneath his clothes.'

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, is this that same author again?

Penn (as Marathon): Well keep going keep going. I love this.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh.

Penn (as Marathon): This is wonderful writing.

Cameron (as Emma): They're - they're almost all of them are that same author Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh~. Did Pallie like meet this author and just take her box of books from her? Like how...

Cameron (as Emma): I have no idea, but okay! 'Bertrand could only imagine his wet chest beneath his clothes. The sumptuous wine -' oh, it is a wine - 'spreading across it. Or maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't only have to imagine it.' Hmm. 'Bertrand steeled his nerves and boldly strode over to Daniel. "Excuse me, my lord. I see that there has been an accident. May escort you back to your rooms to see that it is remedied?"' Wow. Okay. 'Daniel eyed Bertrand, a smoldering smile spreading slowly across his features. "Yes, my good man. I would be delighted to take full advantage of your hospitality."'

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, well.

Cameron (as Emma): Wow. [laughing]

Penn: Marathon has set down her cards and is listening very intently.

Cameron (as Emma): Wow.

Penn (as Marathon): Well. Wow.

Cameron: It is obvious that Emma has kept reading silently a little bit to the next paragraph. [laughing] And then she just closes the book and sets it back down next to her.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh is that all we're getting?

Cameron (as Emma): Yep. That was the best part of the story.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Wow.

Cameron (as Emma): Well see, yeah, so okay, I'll summarize to spare y'all. They get up to Daniel's room and then the next like, at least paragraph and a half which is where I stopped is just describing Daniel's chest and how wet it is.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): And I just can't right now. I just can't.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm pretty big sucker for a wet chest, if I'm being honest.

Cameron (as Emma): Well, here you go.

Cameron: Emma passes the novel back behind her to Marathon.

Kit (as Birdie): You are just gonna love this collection.

Nick: And we pull back from the truck as it rumbles further to the west taking Marathon away from the city that wants to know her whereabouts and into a unknown future with a group that she's hired to try and find a radio signal. And the rest of the drive is fairly uneventful but as it gets on towards evening and you are thinking about camping, you find that you've been driving through a break in the forest that's lasted several miles. Tall grasses wave in the early spring breeze. About half a mile off the road, you see large multicolored tents. Even from this distance, you can see that there's a lot of activity. It looks like the camp for a group of traders. They scattered along the roads often clustered together for protection and to save money on hiring guards. Merchants can be good for finding work or they can be suspicious and insular. There's really only one way to find out.

Cameron (as Emma): Ooh look, tents!

Penn (as Marathon): Neato. Do you guys usually just camp next to some other tents? They're like roadside stops or -

Cameron (as Emma): Nope.

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's either a campsite or a circus or a trading convoy.

Nick: Even from this distance Cassidy, you can tell based on some of the figures that appear to be marching a perimeter and the amount of vehicles that this is probably a trading convoy. It doesn't really look like it would be much of a setup for entertaining the populace, especially out here where there is very little populace.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ehh well based on the guards, it's probably trading, which actually is maybe a good place to spend the night if we are looking for stuff because the pile of guards means our stuff should be safe too. Anyone want to buy anything?

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I'm always down to look.

Kit (as Birdie): Maybe we could find some sort of job to do and then we could have money and then we could buy things.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That is a fair point. We currently have our square for the first week of our journey here from Miss Marathon and we'll continue to be paid as we go, I'm sure. So we've got a little bit to go mess with and if nothing else, we can take a look see if there's jobs to support us while we're signal hunting.

Sydney: Cassidy starts guiding the rig over towards the parking area.

Nick: The landscape leading to where these tents have been set up is smooth, the truck is able to move fairly quickly. As you get closer to the tents you are challenged by several people with firearms that are wearing comfortable warm gear, the kind of clothes that you would wear if you knew you would be standing outside in the cold for a long time, maybe on guard duty, and after a quick conversation they let you in. Merchants in general are pretty likely to share their camps with people who come in and promise not to be violent or disruptive because they're customers and the larger the group, the safer you are. So you're able to find a spot to park and set up camp near the outskirts. We see the rig park on an empty stretch of space behind one of the larger tents. It's fairly private, but you can hear the hubbub of a large group of people settling down and Birdie, Cassidy, and Emma you pile out of the rig and begin to set up camp - pulling out tents and preparing a campfire. Marathon you find yourself feeling a little lost. You're not really sure exactly what to do in this situation.

Penn (as Marathon): Uh. He-hey team - is there anything I can help with? Is there like a tent for me I can set up? I can set up my own tent or something or

Penn: I guess everybody's rushing around, she's reached out just asking into the void of rushing seteruppers.

Sydney: Cassidy points over her shoulder without looking at from where she's setting up her own tent to a crate on the size of the rig and says

Sydney (as Cassidy): There's an extra one in there.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, thank you.

Penn: And Marathon looks at the various crates and begins trying to peek into them, fiddling with the strap and obviously even more lost if anyone were to look but eventually she pulls a crate down.

Nick: Marathon the first crate that you pull down has some freeze dried meat and some fresh vegetables and what looks like a strange dented metal pot with a pull string on top with the lid held on by clamps - it's very weird. You haven't seen anything like that before.

Penn: Another crate that Marathon pulls down just has scraps of circuit boards and different electrical gear, maybe just some loose wires and is digging through it just a little bit like maybe there's a tent in the bottom or,

Sydney: While Marathon is doing this, Cassidy has finished setting up her tent because this is such a practiced ritual like it's done really quick and stands up and turns around and sees Marathon not even in the right box and sighs and walks over up behind her, puts a hand on her shoulder and then points at the box that has the tents in it.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh! Oh, hey, thank you, Cassidy. I appreciate it. I will get right on setting this up, of course.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I'm sure as a seasoned adventurer, you definitely know how to do it, right?

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I'm not a seasoned adventurer - I will be honest about that. I've uh never really set up a tent but I'm sure it's pretty easy. I'll just you know all figure out right? Are tents easy?

Cameron: Emma snorts from the back of the rig.

Sydney: Cassidy sees the not feigned discomfort at this and reaches out, grabs the tent and starts walking away looking

Penn (as Marathon): Oh hey!

Sydney: - takes a couple steps looks back at Marathon and then keeps walking to the open spot.

Penn (as Marathon): I can help you! Here, Here!

Penn: And she's stuntedly walking behind Cassidy, almost jogging a little bit to keep up and try and help out with the tent.

Nick: It ends with Cassidy quickly putting together the spare tent for Marathon while Marathon stands there with very much a facial expression and posture of what do I do with my hands? Because there's no way to help without getting in the way but you clearly want to. You don't like the idea of people waiting on you hand and foot.

Penn (as Marathon): I appreciate that, Cassidy. Um. Thank you so much for setting up my tent. Yeah, I - thanks team. If there's anything I can help y'all with, I mean, I'm not a seasoned, you know, traveler or anything, but I've seen some roads in my ice derby days.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, we just got off the road. So.

Penn (as Marathon): Very true. Very true. Well, enjoy the Square.

Penn: [laughing] And Marathon is going to slip into her tent and just sigh and put her head into her hands.

Cameron: Emma is kneeling, setting up the firepit and is surprised to realize that she seems rather worldly now compared to Marathon. [laughing] And that's strange. She hadn't thought about the fact that she's been to two of the major cities now and has traveled a lot. And it's like, Oh, that's weird. That was me not that long ago and feels a little bit of sympathy there - understands what that's like.

Sydney: With the fire started, Cassidy starts digging in the food container looking slightly bemused that the latch was not closed correctly as she gets food out, but load stuff up into their wild tech pot and starts prepping vegetables and stuff, while the other two are finishing setting up.

Nick: Birdie and Emma, you have settled into that comfortable rhythm of people who do routines together regularly. Emma, you noticed that Birdie was able to adapt to how you all do things very quickly, faster than you were when you were still learning. And you see that Marathon has retreated to her tent, and Cassidy is cooking dinner and you have a moment of quiet.

Cameron: Emma finishes up rolling over several larger pieces of wood to serve as makeshift seating around the firepit just because they were close by and it saves her from having to get the chairs out, so she's rolled him over and then goes over and picks up a carrot from Cassidy and starts peeling it.

Kit: Birdie joins them after a couple of seconds because she has her own routine that she follows after helping the group of setting up her own tent, and making sure that all of her things are in order. She saw the interaction between Cassidy and Marathon and then sees Cassidy and Emma and is like, I wonder if we're talking about Marathon and goes over. [laughing]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well she's obviously on the run from something bad.

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, yeah. I kind of figured that from the giant guy in the park who

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Cameron (as Emma): she had to knock out in order to get away from but yeah, the radio definitely backed that up.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it's a good thing we're already out of town, I think.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Our faces aren't really known unless that suit remembers us, but I suspect he was more concerned with Marathon.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, well, and realistically, if you look at us,

Cameron: And Emma gestures her arm to encompass the three of them standing there.

Cameron (as Emma): We don't really stand out in a crowd if we're not with our giant robot and our truck. So

Sydney (as Cassidy): True.

Sydney: Cassidy hands a potato over to Birdie.

Kit: Yeah, Birdies gonna start helping to peel things and she sort of just listens to the conversation between Cassidy and Emma. And just as like,

Kit (as Birdie): Well, when you think of it isn't everybody just running away from something? I figure as long as it doesn't chase us, you know?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): And if we're getting paid...

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, the money makes it you know, we're mercenaries. It's a job. [sigh] She's not honest about things, but hopefully that won't bite us.

Kit (as Birdie): I mean, she seems nice.

Cameron: Emma's making faces like she's trying to think of the wording that she wants to use.

Sydney: Cassidy shrugs.

Cameron (as Emma): I would say definite charisma.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, and she can fight. I am suspicious of her claim that she can shoot. We will see on that. I dunno. I, I don't see a reason to, you know, we're getting paid.

Cameron (as Emma): I would say at this point, I am not concerned about anything. I am highly suspicious and cautious still, but I don't think she's gonna like kill us while we're sleeping.

Sydney (as Cassidy): No, hopefully not.

Cameron (as Emma): Like I don't have - that's not the vibe I'm getting at all.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it's not danger sense it's just, I don't know, untrustworthy sense?

Cameron (as Emma): It's a trying too hard to be liked sense?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Maybe.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Kit (as Birdie): Hmm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): The uh, I have a pretty face and you'll pay too much attention to that and not attention to me.

Cameron: And cocks her head slightly, having not had that observation.

Penn: You hear rustling from the tent Marathon's in as she steps out to tries to creep over back to the rig without being noticed to grab her go bag.

Cameron: And we are all staring at her. [laughing]

Penn: As she's walking back to the tent with her go bag, she's like,

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, hey, y'all. How's supper?

Cameron (as Emma): It's coming along.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yep still working on it.

Penn (as Marathon): Cool. Cool. Well, no worries. I packed a couple uh, meal bars, so should be good for the night. And so that's not a big deal.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We'll have food for four.

Penn (as Marathon): Is that - is that an invitation?

Sydney (as Cassidy): No, we're - I'm just really hungry. Yes.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh okay. Thank you. Thank you. Cool. I'll toss in my

Penn: Marathon walks over to the fire and tosses not too close to the fire, but as a contribution.

Penn (as Marathon): I've got to meet bars to contribute.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't know how well the meal bars will pair with the beef stew we're having. But you know, I appreciate the effort.

Penn (as Marathon): So what y'all talk about? I don't mean to distract from the convo - just pretend I'm not here or something, you know.

Nick: There's a long moment where the three women around the cook fire stare at Marathon blinking at her.

Cameron (as Emma): We were talking -

Sydney (as Cassidy): Future plans.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, talking about what all supplies we wanted to see if the merchants had.

Penn (as Marathon): Cool. Cool. What y'all looking for?

Cameron (as Emma): Hadn't really figured that part out yet.

Penn (as Marathon): Sounds good. Don't let me get in the way. Shop Talk. Yep.

Cameron: Emma has finished peeling the carrot and handed it over to Cassidy and stands up and lightly jogs over to the cab of the truck and steps up onto the step and leans in and grabs the radio she was working on out of her seat and hops down and on her way back to the fire stops at the crate that Marathon had been digging through that had all the wires and circuit boards and stuff in it and digs around a little bit because things are now not where she left them, so she has to find them again, because they were on top of the pile but they're not anymore, and pulls out a couple of wires and boards and closes it back up and heads over to the fire and starts finishing up the radio.

Nick: So there's some uncomfortable silence as dinner is prepared. Marathon you're not, I would assume, probably not much of a cook but seeing the pieces of dried beef being tossed and some bullion and various ingredients into this pot and while you don't have a lot of experience with cooking, you would imagine that it's going to be at least an hour before dinner is ready and you steel yourself for more of this awkward silence without even a plate of food in front of you as a distraction. But once the pot is placed on top of the fire, Cassidy reaches forward, grabs the cord hanging from the top of this thing and pulls on it real hard. There's a whirring noise and an additional sound that reminds you of throwing a really big rock into a pond and only a few minutes later, the group is pulling the lid off of this pot to a wonderful smell of beef stew and food is being passed around. The sun hasn't quite set yet. You can hear crickets in the distance there's a gentle breeze and this may be the least noise that you've heard in a long time. Tree All always had some hubbub around it, but out here away from everything even with the mumble of the camp behind you, it's peaceful and you find yourself surprised as you're handed a plate of stew.

Penn (as Marathon): How do you guys get used to the silence out here? It's so quiet. It's kinda, I don't know, it's kind of creepy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): This is how it's supposed to sound.

Penn (as Marathon): Supposed to soun- like

Sydney (as Cassidy): Like cities are unnatural and this is nature, yes.

Cameron (as Emma): It took me a while to get used to it. When we get into nighttime, and you're sitting real still even though it is so quiet all of the night time noises are really loud. Just in comparison. They stand out more. I can't tell you how many times I jumped when I heard an Owl hoot the first few weeks I was out here.

Penn (as Marathon): I don't look forward to that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well and there's the wild tech too, but here there's people. You can hear voices over there.

Sydney: And Cassidy gestures with her head towards the traders.

Penn (as Marathon): Do y'all encounter wild tech a lot? Is that something you find a lot out here?

Nick: As you ask that question, there is a sound like screeching and ancient hydraulics far in the distance. And you can't help but jump Marathon, but the rest of the group barely registers it and you feel like you're probably safe just by their lack of reaction and the fact that no one in the camp reacted either.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean they're around.

Penn (as Marathon): N-n-noted.

Cameron (as Emma): I'd say fairly regularly you hear noises like that.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, I appreciate the beef stew. It's wonderful little machine you got there too, is it wild tech?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yep.

Penn (as Marathon): Cool.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Of course, it's my recipe. But

Kit (as Birdie): [quiet laugh]

Cameron (as Emma): The wild tech helps speed up the cook time a little bit.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, the wild tech makes it take not, you know, six hours to make a good stew - or more.

Penn (as Marathon): Well Miss Cassidy, if I can say so, very good cook. Thank you very much.

Sydney: Cassidy does a regal head nod.

Penn: The silence is a little crushing for Marathon, you can tell that she really wants to keep talking but as holding back.

Kit: Birdie has been just eating this whole time sort of observing. She really likes observing Cassidy and Emma in their natural habitat because she's still getting used to being around them. And she looks at Marathon and goes,

Kit (as Birdie): Well, you kind of get used to the noises after a while though, but don't you think you might want to get used to them?

Penn (as Marathon): What do you mean? Like be like a cool tough adventure like y'all are? I mean, I'm already pretty tough. But -

Kit (as Birdie): Well, I don't want to pry, but it kind of seems like you're not really going to be able to go back to Tree All Mountain.

Penn: And Marathon turns away and is not looking.

Penn (as Marathon): Well. Yeah, I mean, I had I've just been there a long time, you know. I have I hadn't really thought about that too much yet. But yeah, I guess so. I guess -

Penn: She claps her hands together.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay.

Penn: And rubs them.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Yeah, I will get used to it. It'll be great. We'll do good out here. Yeah, I got an all star team here next to me, right? You would call yourselves all stars?

Sydney: Cassidy slightly jumped at the clap, because her group is not loud. There's not been yelling at anyone lately, in the last couple of weeks - last few months, actually, outside of one moment, one night. So,

Cameron: Emma, surprisingly, did not jump at the clap because she previously had been focused very hard on not reacting to the super loud noises every time Wyatt screamed at her, so that same training carries over to the clap.

Cameron (as Emma): Sure? All star whats? I was on a pretty good baseball team.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, hey. A fellow sports woman, huh?

Cameron (as Emma): Yep.

Penn (as Marathon): Well, what team did you play for?

Cameron (as Emma): The Maroon Sox down in Eagle Hill.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, Eagle Hill. So dang. Hey, big baseball. Is that a big team down there or?

Cameron (as Emma): It's not one of the pros - It's one of the - I don't know what level, actually.

Penn (as Marathon): I've followed the Argyle Sox for a little bit, kind of a fan of them. But their games were just so fun to watch back, you know, when we were able to visit.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah the Argyle Sox games were always interesting. I learned a lot about all of the rules of baseball watching their games. They brought them up a lot more frequently in Argyle Sox games than they did in the other ones.

Penn (as Marathon): As any good game should. Do you ever get stats Emma?

Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] No - I was with the team for less than a season before we got kicked out of Eagle Hill.

Penn (as Marathon): You got kicked out at Eagle Hill?

Cameron (as Emma): Well, politely asked to leave within a timeframe.

Sydney (as Cassidy): It wasn't our fault. We helped the city and in return, they kicked us out.

Penn (as Marathon): Who kicked y'all out? So you saved the city, the mob kicked you out or one of the families?

Sydney (as Cassidy): The Parliamentarian herself.

Penn (as Marathon): Really?

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, we luckily did not get to the bit where the mob families were involved.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we left before that threat came to fruition.

Penn (as Marathon): Hmm, Birdie - were you there for any that?

Kit (as Birdie): Oh no. I've only been traveling with Cassidy and Emma for a few weeks now.

Penn (as Marathon): How - Where were you before that? Are you also a sports player?

Kit (as Birdie): Oh no, I don't do very much involving sports or athletics. I'm decent but I don't think I'd ever survive on a team. [laughing]

Sydney (as Cassidy): You've got a hockey stick.

Kit (as Birdie): That's for funsies.

Cameron (as Emma): [laugh] I don't know if you noticed, Cassidy, but Birdie is not using the hockey stick correctly.

Kit (as Birdie): [laughing]

Cameron (as Emma): It has barbed wire on it.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, but it came from somewhere. You use a baseball bat in combat - it's the same.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah...

Kit (as Birdie): Well, to be fair, I didn't have any training with the hockey stick. I just found it when I needed something to defend myself.

Penn (as Marathon): I was wondering about that stick. What is hockey? We never had it up in Tree All Mountain.

Penn: Marathon's got a smile on her face as hockey is very common in Tree All Mountain.

Cameron: Emma looks at Marathon and squints her eyes a little bit.

Cameron (as Emma): I refuse to explain hockey to you.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, it's it's a joke anyway, it's a joke.

Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.

Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy with all that tone on your arms and such - your baseball player, right?

Cameron: Emma smirks and looks at Birdie kind of side eye.

Kit: Birdie covers her mouth. She is giggling.

Sydney: Cassidy looks surprised for like two beats too long and then goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, I'm a, I'm a climber.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, climber. Okay, is that like something you've done competitively?

Sydney (as Cassidy): No, I'm not much of an organized sports person.

Penn (as Marathon): I see. I see. I'm sure you would do well in a competition like that. Ya know, got the arms for it, you know? Anyway. Uh. Pretty good... soup, Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, if they ever do a climbing competition, maybe I'll enter but it's not a common competition, not like sports, fighting.

Penn (as Marathon): I mean, I've done a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Obviously, pretty good at ice derby - one might say one of the best players, but that one would not just be me, by the way.

Cameron (as Emma): Mm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh wow - Congratulations.

Penn (as Marathon): Thank you. Thank you. There are multiple trophies and plaques that - well, I I no longer own but are out there somewhere. Hopefully not smelted or anything.

Kit (as Birdie): Oh - did you get them taken away?

Penn (as Marathon): Um, no, no, I didn't get taken away or anything I just um, moved on from such physical things due to forces beyond my financial control. So,

Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hmm.

Kit (as Birdie): I can't blame you.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, and they're heavy anyway, who needs to lug around a bunch of trophies and plaques, right?

Cameron (as Emma): Probably would not be the best thing to pack your adventuring backpack with.

Sydney (as Cassidy): No.

Penn: [laughing] We cut to the two plaques in Marathon's go bag.

Penn (as Marathon): Uh yeah. [clears throat] Mhmm. So Emma and Cassidy y'all been mercenaries for years - just a couple, few, ten?

Cameron (as Emma): Ten? No. How? How old do you think I am?

Penn (as Marathon): Um not not twelve.

Sydney: Cassidy has her eyebrows raised.

Cameron (as Emma): Very astute.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, no, I would uh, I'm I'm gonna guesstimate. [deep breath and thinking sigh] twenty-one years old.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So she's been a mercenary since she was eleven?

Penn (as Marathon): You know what? No, you're right - thirty-five years old.

Cameron (as Emma): Uh you know, the, you weren't far off with the twenty-one... the -

Penn (as Marathon): Oh okay, I know. I'm so sorry. I you know, that's what I meant. That's I'm at twenty years old.

Sydney: Cassidy looks over at Birdie.

Cameron (as Emma): I am approaching 25.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, well, and looking very heavenly.

Cameron (as Emma): And have not been a mercenary for 10 years. We're also approaching a year of that.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, congratulations on your merciversary.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So out of curiosity here then, how old would you say the other two of us are?

Sydney: And Cassidy looks very innocent.

Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat] Um. Well, based on my performance last time, I would say Birdie you look very youthful and spry and Cassidy you look very elegant and spry.

Sydney: Cassidy rests her hand on the back of her fist and looks interested in where this is going.

Penn (as Marathon): So those those are my guesses.

Cameron (as Emma): Those aren't numbers though.

Penn (as Marathon): Age is just a number.

Cameron (as Emma): Exactly. So guess.

Penn (as Marathon): [laugh] Okay um. Birdie is twenty years old.

Kit (as Birdie): And Cassidy?

Penn (as Marathon): And Cassidy is twenty years old.

Sydney: Cassidy nods.

Sydney (as Cassidy): That is certainly a guess.

Penn: Marathon's like,

Penn (as Marathon): [stammering] But I mean, of course I wouldn't ask you to disclose your ages, but it would be very satisfying to know if I was right or not.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

Penn (as Marathon): Of course. Okay. I am at the ripe age of twenty-eight. Just past the peak athletic years but still in my prime.

Sydney: Cassidy's eyebrows raise again.

Penn (as Marathon): And?

Penn: Also gestures to Birdie.

Kit: I think this is actually the first time that Birdie will ever say how old she is in front of Cassidy and Emma too, because they're just like you're over eighteen - we're gonna assume you're over eighteen. [laughing] Birdie just waves her hand back and forth in the so-so motion and goes,

Kit (as Birdie): I'm the same age as Emma, actually. But you know what? I get that I look younger than I am a lot. So it's okay.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm sorry if I um, lost you there at all. Cassidy?

Sydney (as Cassidy): I just turned 33.

Penn (as Marathon): And wow, may I say? You've got the youthful glow of a twenty year old?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah, yes. The elegance of a 20 year old.

Penn (as Marathon): Mhmm.

Cameron (as Emma): May I just say you are holding up surprisingly well for your age, Cassidy.

Sydney: Cassidy flexes.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I used to be the young one. [laughing] I know they always say that, but like there's been a lot of turnover. A year ago, Emma wasn't here and there were five of us and I'm the only one left of that whole group.

Penn (as Marathon): Dang. Do-do y'all go through a lot of turnover?

Sydney (as Cassidy): No.

Penn (as Marathon): Is that like a, I guess do people die a lot on mercenary crews? Is that an actual risk?

Sydney: Cassidy looks levelly at Marathon until she stops sputtering.

Penn (as Marathon): Well um, does nothing to console my fears, but I realize the serious-socity of my actions. So here we are.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We are a mercenary company, so if that's not something you can deal with.

Penn (as Marathon): Nah. I've I've faced death before. It's just it's kind of different when you're facing it out in the woods rather than in the city. But

Cameron (as Emma): How?

Penn (as Marathon): Well in the city you got all these people - you got all your friends if you die out there. And then if you die out here whomp, there's nothing -

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's still pretty likely to be a person.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, cool. Cool. So you all been traveling for a year? Besides Birdie - I assume you've been traveling too. You said you were traveler? Some sort?

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, yeah. I've been on my own since I was a teenager. So yeah, for a while now.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, wow. Okay. No, Nana? No...

Kit (as Birdie): Um, I, I had a family. I have a family. It's just that we were kind of a found family. And it was a loose interpretation of feeling trapped by everything there. I mean, I don't know. It's [awkward laughing]

Kit: Birdie does not like talking about this.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh [clears throat] Um well, is so uh, Emma. Well, how about you? Do you have any family?

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, so much. So much family? Yep, they are all in Thunder Bay.

Penn (as Marathon): Nice. I don't think I've heard a Thunder Bay, if I'm being honest.

Cameron (as Emma): It's on Lake Best - it's decent sized. But [sigh] yeah, I was in Thunder Bay until the Patina came through and picked me up to be the mechanic.

Penn (as Marathon): I guess so you're a mechanic first, then?

Cameron (as Emma): Yep.

Cameron: Emma raises the radio that she's now working on again, since she finished eating.

Penn (as Marathon): Not just a hobbyist - I can tell. Wow.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, she's very good.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We're all professionals.

Penn (as Marathon): Miss Cassidy have any family?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Probably.