A Knight of Shreds and Patches
Transcript: Season 2 Episode 4: Partners in Crime
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 4: Partners in Crime 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:
In a brief prologue to your biweekly escapism, the cast of AKOSAP would like to vehemently denounce the recent legal decisions being made in this “lovely” country where we live. Fuck the patriarchy and fuck the political machinery they use. Abortion is healthcare. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right. Stay safe out there everyone. We love you, and hope you enjoy this very gay episode as we conclude this year’s Pride. Our treat.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 4: Partners in Crime. 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] Penn (as Marathon): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, I crushed Birdie in Go Fish, we read a riveting romance novel, Miss Cassidy helped me set up my tent very graciously, and we sat around the fire and enjoyed my first roadside dinner and chat until we were approached by someone real fun looking. [radio static]
Nick: We open on the members of the Patina around a comfortable fire next to the rig. They have been eating dinner and made a new acquaintance in Marty, the strange drunk woman who wandered into the fire light. And she had just asked the group if you're interested in some work.
Cameron (as Emma): What kind of work?
Nick (as Marty): Oh uh- nothing much. Nothing that would be particularly concerning, I guess? It's just there's a there's a fight later. Whenever we get kind of close to a town, we do these fights and there's a lot of gambling and uh you all...
Penn (as Marathon): Say less. I'm in.
Nick (as Marty): Oh, I will say less. Okay. We've got Marathon - I'm gonna be honest that's the one I really wanted to fight.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, hey, well I -
Penn: And Marathon turns towards the rest of the group.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma's pretty strong too. I'm pretty sure - right? Right? Yeah?
Nick (as Marty): Hey, the more the merrier. If Emma wants to go in I just got kind of distracted by the the big strong, pretty lady.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay, so say more. What kind of fight? What are the terms? What are the weapons? When is it?
Nick (as Marty): No weapons.
Cameron (as Emma): [lots of concern] Mmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [lots of concern] Hmm.
Nick (as Marty): It's at about 3am. So like, a little before, you know, before everybody falls asleep, all drunk and stuff. That's when they gamble the most. And uh it's sort of like a bracket tournament, bare knuckle - pretty straightforward. You just punch the person till they fall down and give up. That's it.
Nick: And Marty stands up and starts to walk away.
Nick (as Marty): You'll find there's like a ring of wagons - just come find me right before the fights start, you two, and I don't know - you all can join if you want, but you don't have to. Mostly just want strong people.
Nick: And Marty starts to walk off into the dark.
Cameron (as Emma): I don't remember agreeing to fight.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh well, Emma, you don't have to agree. I just - you seem like the kind of person that could do a fight. Right?
Cameron (as Emma): [disbelieving] I just I just seem like the type of person to get in a fistfight?
Penn (as Marathon): You know what I was wrong. You're totally right. Um. But obviously, I'd be honored if uh somebody were to join me out here. I don't want to take any steam from the from the Patina.
Cameron (as Emma): So are they just fighting because they're gambling?
Penn (as Marathon): Sounds like a great reason to fight to me. I've been in fights for much less.
Sydney: Cassidy looks disappointedly at the bottom of the empty food with the amount that had been taken away by Marty.
Nick: You hear a burp echo in the shadows.
Cameron (as Emma): Gross.
Penn (as Marathon): And it sounds like a chance to make some money.
Cameron (as Emma): I've never been in a fistfight before.
Penn (as Marathon): Are you willing to be in a fist fight?
Sydney (as Cassidy): See, typically I try not to let it - people get that close.
Penn (as Marathon): I see. You know, I was a team captain, back in the day.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I thought you were MVP.
Penn (as Marathon): [sputtering] I was an MVP. I was team captain. I was a lot of things, Miss Cassidy.
Sydney (as Cassidy): But not anymore.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, a lot of those skills you know, carry over to today and such but uh well- Emma! If you wanted to fight, of course, I could show you a few things. Nothing more exhilarating.
Cameron (as Emma): Uhmm.
Penn: Marathon is slowly pumping her fist like Say yes. Say yes. Say yes.
Cameron (as Emma): [slowly] I suppose learning an additional way to fight and defend myself and what not wouldn't be the worst idea.
Penn (as Marathon): [very excited] I'm gonna go get our face paint.
Cameron (as Emma): Why?
Penn: A Marathon runs back to her tent to get face paint.
Sydney: Cassidy scowls and looks at Birdie.
Cameron: Emma looks towards Cassidy and Birdie with just this look of bewilderment on her face.
Cameron (as Emma): What just happened?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Birdie are you going to go off and go fistfight too?
Kit: Birdie has just been very peacefully eating this whole time. She looks between them as they look at her and finishes her food as fast as she can and then goes
Kit (as Birdie): Well, people fight all the time for no reason everywhere you go, so it's not the worst idea. [laugh] I'm not gonna do it. I don't get into fistfights. It's - I am guaranteed to lose pretty much so I just don't take that risk. Normally the hockey stick scares people away anyways. [laugh]
Cameron (as Emma): That's fair. You've got good reach with that.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): But Emma, you're gonna go get punched a few times?
Cameron (as Emma): [long sigh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Because Marathon made it sound fun?
Cameron (as Emma): I-I do not think it sounds fun, Cassidy.
Penn (as Marathon): [breathing hard] Emma!
Penn: And Marathon has sprinted back to the little circle of folks here.
Penn (as Marathon): I've got extreme black, I've got extreme green - also, I have an arena just for you. Here. It's purple.
Cameron (as Emma): Uhh
Penn: And she tosses it to you.
Cameron: It bounces off of Emma's chest and it just lands in her lap next to her plate of food.
Penn (as Marathon): [very excited] So your call - I've got extreme green and extreme black. Oh, also I've got blood red in case you're interested in that at all. It's for special occasions, I keep in the bottom of my bag, but you know what? This is a special occasion. I can't wait to fight with you Emma!
Cameron (as Emma): M-Marathon, why are we painting our faces?
Penn (as Marathon): Are are you not familiar with pregame rituals or pregame hype or -? It's all about the hype!
Sydney (as Cassidy): Isn't the fight seven hours from now?
Penn (as Marathon): Well, obviously you don't do it now. You pick out your paints, you make it a whole thing. Yeah, we'll do it five hours from now.
Cameron (as Emma): But if I get punched in the face, isn't that just going to mess up my face paint?
Penn (as Marathon): And it's going to look really awesome.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay...green, I guess.
Penn (as Marathon): Extreme green. No worries. I got you.
Cameron (as Emma): Sorry. Extreme green.
Penn (as Marathon): Perfect.
Sydney: Cassidy looks over at Birdie with a 'what is going on' face.
Kit: Birdie is enjoying everything that's happening so much. She just is nodding very enthusiastically and goes
Kit (as Birdie): It really brings out your eyes.
Cameron (as Emma): Um. Thank you. I guess?
Kit: She sees nothing wrong with this.
Cameron (as Emma): Uhh mm.
Penn (as Marathon): And you'll probably want to get cracking on that arena juice. Um it's not gonna be good for too much longer and I've got three more in the bag.
Penn: And Marathon cracks open her own arena juice and just starts chugging.
Cameron (as Emma): Uh so I heard a lot of advertisements for arena juice while we were listening to Going the Distance on our way into Tree All Mountain.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh of course.
Cameron (as Emma): What exactly is this?
Cameron: And Emma's holding it in her hand, turning it around and looking at it.
Penn: Now that it's dark and you're examining the bottle, you can see that there's a slight glow to it.
Penn (as Marathon): It's called PED - performance enhancing drink. We used them all the time in AID.
Cameron (as Emma): Um~ uh, okay...
Penn (as Marathon): You know, it'll really help Emma, uh it kind of dulls the pain, makes it a little more um, excited. But it's all about the hype though.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay, so it's like a hardcore coffee with the energy but also some radioactive properties and uh
Penn (as Marathon): I wouldn't say I know that much about it.
Cameron (as Emma): Hmm.
Penn (as Marathon): But you know what? Yeah, why don't we call it just that, uh an extreme coffee.
Nick: Emma, you take a look at this bottle that Marathon has tossed you and in the fire light, it does glow ever so slightly. But you can tell on the surface, there's a little bit of an oil sheen to it. And the bottle says 'now with 20% more bioluminescent algae' on the side, you would assume that hopefully the glow is from that and not that it's radioactive, but you don't have a lot of experience with pre-packaged food and drink - that's not something that they did in Thunder Bay. Mostly you just had water or someone would brew tea or coffee or something. Maybe on a really good day, you'd get some juice, but you didn't can it.
Penn (as Marathon): I have been saving this stuff for the last two years.
Cameron (as Emma): It's two years old?
Penn (as Marathon): And it's great. It's still great. Um, you know, I'm feeling that high pi.
Cameron: Emma is turning it back and forth in her hand and it looks uncomfortably close to a lava lamp.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Is it gonna do anything bad to you after you come down off of it?
Penn (as Marathon): Well, obviously there's the crash, but that's not until after the fights.
Kit (as Birdie): But won't that just make everything hurt worse in the end? Like all of your injuries?
Penn (as Marathon): But but the end is not when you're fighting you know, you're you're fighting when you're fighting and that's when you're on the hype, you know?
Cameron (as Emma): Uh huh...
Penn (as Marathon): You know, after you're done, you could have won and sure you crash but then you won.
Kit (as Birdie): What is the hype?
Penn (as Marathon): The hype is a mindset, Birdie.
Sydney: Cassidy rolls her eyes and starts putting the dishes away.
Penn: She puts one of her hands on Birdie shoulder. She says,
Penn (as Marathon): You know, I hope someday you'll understand it. It's It's hard to describe you know, I'm sure one day you'll see it. You know, you'll you'll see the hype, I mean. Emma, in the meantime, it's time for you to see the hype, you know, it's time for a little exposure therapy.
Cameron (as Emma): All right...
Penn (as Marathon): But -
Kit (as Birdie): [quietly] Seems very extreme.
Penn (as Marathon): - we have few hours for that. You know, why don't you start sipping on that arena juice and we'll just get started here.
Cameron: Emma is giving the most concerned look at the arena juice.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma don't get peer pressured. You don't have to do it if you don't want to.
Cameron (as Emma): I'm kind of morbidly curious at this point.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That's fair.
Penn (as Marathon): You don't have to, but you'll want to.
Cameron (as Emma): Mmm makes me more uncomfortable.
Sydney (as Cassidy): In a dangerous way of you'll want to again later?
Penn (as Marathon): Oh well, you know, the the surveys about arena juice being addictive are inconclusive as of this moment.
Cameron (as Emma): Mmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Let's not compromise the performance of the mercenary company that you're paying.
Penn (as Marathon): Very true. Very true. You know um, but I haven't been addicted. As you can see I've had these things stashed for two years.
Cameron: Emma pops the top of it and sniffs it.
Nick: It smells like a low tide by the ocean, but if you dumped a bunch of sugar into it, so sort of a sweet and swampy smell. It's not pleasant, but it somehow isn't off putting either. Definitively it's not a smell you should enjoy but you don't get a visceral negative reaction. The sweetness seems to somehow counteract the blended kelp smell that's mixed in.
Cameron: Emma while still looking very concerned is going to take a small sip.
Nick: You are surprised at how carbonated this is after being multiple years old in a bottle. The bubbles are caustic, the flavor is sweet and salty at the same time, but you don't really notice that because as you swallow, you start to sweat ever so slightly and you just feel really energetic. You start to understand Marathon's excitement a little bit more and suddenly a fight doesn't sound so bad. Maybe that's something you could try.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma. Are you feeling the hype?
Cameron (as Emma): I may be entering the hype.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yeah, baby. All right.
Cameron: Emma hands the rest of the bottle to Birdie.
Kit: Birdie looks at it, swirls it around a little bit, and then will look at Cassidy.
Sydney: Cassidy shrugs in a -
Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure may as well. We're not doing anything else super important tonight, I don't think.
Kit: Birdie is going to take a deep breath, plug her nose and take a sip.
Nick: And you feel those caustic bubbles. If someone asked you to describe the flavor, you would have nothing positive to say. It's swampy. It's overly sweet. It's overly salty. The bubbles are physically uncomfortable, but somehow the combination - you could see yourself drinking a whole bottle of this, in fact, you find yourself about to take another swig of it before you even realize what you're doing.
Kit: Birdie unplugs her nose, winces a little at the aftertaste, and she sort of feels this shiver. Ewouh - that was kind of gross, but not bad. And she doesn't have very much of a physical reaction. I think she's had caffeinated drinks to the point where it feels like this. [laugh] Birdie on stimulants is just Birdie but more in motion. She's moving a little faster and probably a little less cleanly.
Penn: Marathon is sitting just across the fire from Birdie and is making very intense eye contact and she audibly whispers
Penn (as Marathon): You feeling the hype?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. [giggling] Just this is weird stuff. Cassidy you should try this.
Sydney: Cassidy gives the head shake of 'this is probably a bad idea, but I'm in the mood to make a bad choice' and takes it and looks at Marathon and takes a solid swig of this.
Nick: And it almost tastes familiar to you. I think you've had something similar in your travels before. What bad situation does it remind you of? When were you in a situation where falling asleep could be deadly and someone gave you something to keep you moving?
Sydney: It tastes like being awake for 48 hours on watch outside of where they were holed up in Allium before they were able to get out of the city.
Nick: And you have that thought and you feel yourself start to sweat just a little even though the night is cool. And it takes you a second to realize that's you reacting to the drink and it's not sweat from stress. And you're holding a bottle that's now half empty, having been passed around the fire and Marathon is looking at you eagerly to see if you are feeling the hype.
Sydney: Cassidy rolls her shoulders and then passes it back over to Emma. And just looks back to Marathon and goes
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I mean, it's it's fine. It tastes like stress.
Penn (as Marathon): You know what, I'll take it. Cassidy is feeling the hype!
Sydney (as Cassidy): Ehhh.
Nick: From somewhere the distance of this merchant camp you hear WOOOOOOOO from some people that had another fire.
Penn (as Marathon): I don't know if there's anything else you guys wanted to do here. Um uh Emma, if there's anything you want to do before training, maybe you want to take care of it now. I don't know. I'm probably going to keep you pretty busy up until it's time to fight. So yeah, we can take care of that. Otherwise, anybody anybody got a little bit more food? You know, I know we just ate but you know that arena juice, you can never have enough if you catch me. Yeah.
Nick: Marathon appears to be vibrating slightly and you all notice that her arena juice is now down to the dregs. It sticks viscously to the side of the bottle, you notice.
Penn (as Marathon): So Emma, what is your fight experience?
Cameron (as Emma): Um, you know normally I have either a blunt beating object or a sharp pointy stabby object.
Penn (as Marathon): I see.
Cameron (as Emma): So not a lot of hand to hand, but uh melee training and baseball.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Okay. I think I can come up with some good analogies there.
Penn: Marathon stands up, walks maybe about 20 feet away from the campfire for safety and makes a little dirt patch with her feet, rubbing them on the ground.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, okay. You want to come over here to our diamond Emma? Maybe I could start you off with some basics.
Cameron (as Emma): Sure.
Cameron: Emma takes another sip of arena juice and grimaces and then stands up.
Nick: The tips of your fingers are now slightly numb and also more sensitive at the same time.
Cameron: Beautiful. Great. Love it.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, so have you ever done like a Russian Leg Sweep?
Cameron (as Emma): Like kicking someone's leg out from under them?
Penn (as Marathon): Basically, except for a little closer to this.
Penn: And Marathon quickly shifts around Emma so that she's behind her and pulls her through the Russian Leg Sweep to the point where she's just about to hit the ground but Marathons holding her up.
Sydney: Cassidy has her eyebrows raised and is looking over it Birdie and then back at the thing like really?
Penn (as Marathon): Have you ever used somebody else's momentum like that? Like uh with your bat? Do you just use that for hitting or do you use it as momentum tool?
Cameron (as Emma): Some with the momentum but more in the getting me out of the way rather than doing damage to them as I'm...
Penn: And I'm still imagining Emma saying this while half over the ground.
Nick: Yeah, you are having this piece of conversation holding Emma to keep her from falling.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, we can work with that. Why don't you imagine that your fist is the bat that you're working all your momentum through that. Here, why don't we -
Penn: And Marathon is gonna pull Emma up to her feet and very jerkily position her sideways.
Penn (as Marathon): Why don't you put your feet kind of sideways like this?
Cameron (as Emma): All righty.
Penn (as Marathon): So you're kind of in a batting stance here except instead of swinging, you're going to jab your fist out.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay?
Penn (as Marathon): Little more power. Little more power.
Nick: Hey go ahead and roll me a Brawl attack and average difficulty please.
Nick: You can have a blue die because you're being coached by Marathon right now.
Cameron: All right, so I got three greens, a blue, and two purples.
Cameron: Two successes and a threat.
Nick: So I think the threat is that it's still pretty sloppy, but with Marathon's coaching, you manage to actually land a blow in her stomach while she's teaching you and you hit a little harder than you mean to and knock the air out of her.
Penn (as Marathon): [slightly pained gasp and cough] Oh, well Emma. Yeah. That was pretty good. You're you're pretty natural at this. Wow.
Cameron (as Emma): Are you all right?
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, yeah, I'm totally - [cough] Am I alright? [laugh] Of course I'm all right. I'm one arena juice in.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah. All right. Yup.
Penn (as Marathon): But yeah, I'm very surprised. You know, you're a lot stronger than you look.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you?
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah I guess we're just gonna have to see what you're packing under this sweater.
Cameron: At this point with some of the physical exertion of throwing the punches and already sweating from drinking the arena juice, Emma walks back towards the fire a few steps and reaches down and lifts up her big bulky sweater up over her head and pulls it off and is wearing a black tank top underneath it. Tosses the sweater down onto the stump where she was sitting and reaches into her pocket and grabs a hair elastic and messily puts her hair up into a ponytail which greatly shows off her shoulders and arms as she's doing that. She's bulked up a fair amount.
Sydney: Cassidy scratches the back of her head and looks a little bit away.
Kit: Birdie is looking - kind of is a little frozen where she is and she's just got her head cocked and is wide eyed staring. No shame.
Kit (as Birdie): Wow.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You definitely got those baseball muscles when we were in Eagle Hill.
Cameron (as Emma): Huh?
Cameron: Emma finishes putting her hair up and brings her arms down.
Cameron (as Emma): What?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah... Uh.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma! You look great! Look at your body. Oh my god.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you. Yeah, I mean, I my -
Cameron: Emma has her arms out in front of her and is rotating them looking at how her muscles are flexing as she's moving them around.
Cameron (as Emma): The exercises that Shawn gave me to do have been working pretty well and I've been keeping up with my push up regimen. So yeah?
Penn (as Marathon): [laughing] You know, I think you actually have a chance now that I'm looking
at you. Wow.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You also always wear a jacket.
Cameron (as Emma): Well yeah cause it's normally cold.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I suppose.
Penn (as Marathon): I'm always wearing a jacket and I kind of try to make sure you can always see my muscles.
Nick: So, Emma, it's at this point, you realize that all three of these women are just kind of staring at you sort of shocked and confused. How does that attention feel?
Cameron: Emma is also confused. The only comments that have really made sense to Emma was Cassidy's comment of like, 'okay, baseball did something' and she's like, 'yeah, it did. That was good exercise that helped me build muscle.' And then Marathon's comments on how it will help her with the fight, she's like, 'well, yeah, cause I have enough strength to throw a solid punch, but like, I still don't know what I'm doing.' But is missing the fact that she's being ogled slightly. Is not aware of the effect that she's having on anybody else.
Nick: It's a respectful ogling, and it is okay to be unaware of it.
Penn: Well, after Emma's whole jacket situation, Marathon is feeling like 'well, I gotta step it up' and so she starts to take off her own radio jacket, it's just a button up underneath. She rolls up for button up sleeves.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, okay. Emma I - obviously you can punch pretty well. But, you know, I'll start teaching some chokeholds, some vise grips, um do you want to learn how to take punch at all?
Cameron (as Emma): I-I have been punched before. I think I'm good.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Okay, cool. Okay. Well, you know, we might as well get started. I'll just show you a couple of things for when people get close to you and when you get close to people, yeah? Couple of holds and stuff.
Penn: And Marathon just starts drilling Emma and some dirt is getting tussled about.
Sydney: Cassidy is bouncing between watching attentively and feeling like she should not be watching so closely. Now there's two of them.
Kit: Birdie breaks from the sort of stupor that she's in and has to shake her head once and just
Kit (as Birdie): Um so do -
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes. Let's go do a thing.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. Elsewhere.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Good.
Kit (as Birdie): Yep. Mhmm.
Nick: And we cut away from the fireside training. We see from an aerial view, Birdie and Cassidy wandering through this merchant camp. There are lots of cook fires with people sitting comfortably around. The area feel safe. There are guards in the distance, but no one is worried about being attacked. There's good views in every direction, no chance of an ambush. And there's a festive atmosphere in the air, whether it's for the fights planned at the end of the night, or it's always like this, it's hard to tell. And Cassidy and Birdie step out of the way of people carrying heavy crates by and step over some muddy puddles where the last of the spring snow has been melting. And where do they find themselves? What have they been looking for?
Kit: Birdie is looking around in this fond way of it reminds her of back on Sasnak Traveling - it's the sort of community that a bunch of people who aren't from the same place have and find within one another and I think that makes her feel a little more at ease. So she's just enjoying the atmosphere.
Sydney: The two of them just wander for a little bit, smelling the stuff that they've got cooking in the stands, the new and also the familiar scents of food stuff sizzling and hanging from the edges of the fabric tents in display, wandering through the different knickknacks and also, there's equipment, there's occasional weapons. This is a bizarre of a lot of things that you could find, but in addition to the goods that are being sold and bartered for, there's also because it's such a centralized location of people, there's also services. So there's bars, there's open restaurants that you can sit down in, strike up a conversation, play some cards. There's tinkerer's tents where you can bring in your gadgets and have someone who hopefully knows more what they're doing try and put it back together for you. But as they wander Cassidy starts looking for something specifically, just skimming over the merchandise but looking for tents that the crowd moves less. Looking for a place that people spend a little bit more time at, and eventually the two of them find themselves in front of a tattoo parlor set up under a big canopy with a couple of staff members and a cork board full of designs.
Nick: There are a couple of chairs set up with bright lanterns hanging from a tent that's open on all sides. One of the tattoo artists appears to be the one in charge and she is working on somebody on something pretty intricate. The other chairs have people in them and appear to be being prepped or getting simple things done by what look like maybe apprentice tattoo artists are someone who does it more as a hobby. There's definitely one expert here and you get friendly nods from everyone in the tent. There's nobody waiting, but you get the feeling that if you wait a little bit and know what you want, they will help you as soon as they're done.
Sydney: Cassidy looks over at Birdie.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Did you ever get any tattoos?
Kit (as Birdie): You know, I'm kind of surprised that I never got one with all the traveling I did. I'm sure that I had plenty of opportunities to it just never happened I guess.
Sydney: And Cassidy unzips her jacket and rolls one shoulder down exposing the top of her tattoo sleeve that's vines and flowers.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I try to get something marking every place I've been. So that flower is Allium, that flower is Eagle Hill, that flower was fall in Allium. That one is Sasnak or at least the land outside it.
Kit: That's - I think that's really beautiful. [laugh] I think that it's a really good way to keep track of places and jog memories from all the places you've been.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it's a good way to remember things, where you've been and the stuff that happened there. I have a lot of stories I guess. But I'm gonna get one while we're here cause got to commemorate Tree All Mountain before we get too far away and the flowers shift.
Sydney: And she points to the small purple one that she's got currently woven through her crown bread.
Sydney (as Cassidy): This is today's.
Kit (as Birdie): Did you just pick that now?
Sydney (as Cassidy): No, I picked it this morning.
Kit (as Birdie): I think that's a really great idea.
Kit: Birdie turns her head to look at the corkboard. And I think she pulls down one. It's a portrait of a cat's head and its mouth is down as if it's hissing at someone or something. She fiddles with the design a bit and nods.
Kit (as Birdie): Then I guess we both have one now. [laugh]
Sydney: Now we just got to hang out and wait our turn.
Nick: We cut back to the fight training that Marathon and Emma are doing. I feel like one of you has just been hip tossed and hits the ground - who threw who?
Cameron: I feel like it's Emma who tossed Marathon, but both are surprised at how this occurred and we're not really sure how that just happened. [laugh]
Nick: So Marathon you're in the dust you sit up. Your ears ringing slightly, although that's probably more of the arena juice than the impact of the throw. And you both take a little bit of a breather.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma, you're such a quick learner at this kind of thing. I'm so surprised. Look at you go.
Cameron (as Emma): Um, I'm not really sure what I'm doing. I'm mostly just trying to not get punched.
Penn (as Marathon): Hey and that, that's the goal.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, it seemed like a good main concept to go with.
Penn (as Marathon): [laugh] Yeah I mean you're doing great work. It's pretty impressive, honestly. I mean, are you sure nobody else has like, taught you anything any moves on how to fight? Maybe Cassidy taught you some uh, some of those cool moves of hers and stuff?
Cameron (as Emma): Uhh Cassidy tried to teach me how to use a bow.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm.
Cameron (as Emma): But my distance vision isn't the best, so that quickly became unsafe and we stopped since we were in Eagle Hill when we were doing it.
Penn (as Marathon): I see uhh - Think fast!
Penn: And Marathon is going to charge at Emma and slide tackle into her leg to pull her down and then is sitting over her with her elbow on her throat.
Penn (as Marathon): So she knows the bow? That's pretty cool. Pretty rad. So she’s in charge around here?
Cameron (as Emma): Yes. I don't think she's particularly pleased about it.
Cameron: Emma starts trying to get out of the hold.
Penn: Emma slides out from under Marathon and while Marathon is prone plants a foot on her back.
Cameron (as Emma): But uh yeah, she's been in the Patina the longest, so she's kind of de facto leader since she's got the most experience being a mercenary.
Penn (as Marathon): Cool, that's really cool.
Penn: And Marathon, grabs Emma's foot from behind her back and twists around so that Emma falls to the ground and Marathon pops back up jumping a little with her fists raised.
Penn (as Marathon): No, I'm just I'm very appreciative of Cassidy's help with my campsite troubles today, you know? She's um - She's pretty cool. And um yeah, you know it's, it's pretty cool to have you know, tough, cool mercenary like that to help me out if I'm ever leaving around.
Cameron (as Emma): Well, I mean, you're here and Cassidy's here, so I think you kind of do -
Penn (as Marathon): Hmm.
Cameron (as Emma): Right?
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. Hey yeah, they that's pretty cool. You think - do you think she'd mind if, you know, I asked her to teach me some cool mercenary things?
Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] Oh, no. Cassidy is very used to me asking how to do things.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. It's not gonna be weird if I - I'm asking is it? Cause I know you two seem to have a very close relationship. How close is your relationship, by the way? How close... would you say?
Cameron (as Emma): Uh
Cameron: We're just circling each other as this conversation - as we are talking more, both of us realize that okay, maybe we should halt the physical exertion for a moment because we're saying too many words.
Cameron (as Emma): Uh, I mean, we've been traveling together almost like a year, and we're with the rest of our crew leaving, before we picked up Birdie we got kind of used to it just being the two of us, but she - Cassidy is great. She's a really good mentor and is very patient and -
Penn (as Marathon): Cool.
Cameron (as Emma): Kind of reminds me of my older sister?
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. I see.
Cameron (as Emma): But much more interested in helping me than my older sister ever was.
Penn (as Marathon): Cool. Well, that's so rad. You know, I imagine a similar situation with Birdie, an older sister type relationship?
Cameron (as Emma): I honestly couldn't give you a good read on that at the moment. It seems kinda like that. Partners in crime, maybe more than sisters? I don't know.
Penn (as Marathon): No. Yeah, of course. But, you know, are they partners in crime partners in crime or partners [pause] in crime, or, anyway, uh - think fast!
Penn: And Marathon charges once again at Emma, but I think this time Emma's able to sidestep out of the way and shove Marathon into the dirt before she reaches her.
Nick: Has Emma picked up on any of the points of these questions from Marathon?
Cameron: The very last question - the partners in crime but not partners... and then the awkward transition away from that particular conversation point, Emma has started to realize what was happening, but she had no idea up until this point. She was just like yeah, it makes sense Marathon's asking about the people in the Patina because you know she's traveling with us and la de da de da fighting.
Cameron (as Emma): But I-I don't think they're partners.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm.
Penn: And Marathon starts brushing dust off her shoulders.
Penn (as Marathon): Well uh, you know [chuckle] Uh well Emma so how's training going for you, you think so far? Feeling pretty up to task? You know obviously I'm holding back a little bit, but coming along real well.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I mean I think as long as I stay focused on just not getting hit um
Penn (as Marathon): And don't forget your arena juice.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah...
Penn: Marathon wanders to the edge of their diamond, stoops down and picks up another arena juice to toss to Emma.
Cameron: Emma catches it and then walks over to the fire and sets it down and picks up a water bottle and starts drinking water.
Penn (as Marathon): Mmmmm you know sometimes water will negate the effects. You got to watch out. You don't want to get that crash to come too soon, Emma. You want to feel hype!
Nick: And we cut away from the training by the fire side and back to the tattoo booth. We see the final touches being put on Cassidy's tattoo. Where were you having this flower added and what does it look like now that it's been completed?
Sydney: The flowers and vines that have been sprawling up Cassidy's arm have basically filled her sleeves up now up to the shoulders. so this is the first outgrowth across the top back of her right shoulder. So there's another fresh couple of vines and then there's a smallish purple flower but as it gets closer to the inside of the petals, it goes to a blue and then to a yellow. So it's a very vivid color, but there's only a few petals. It's not something as dense as a rose. There are individual petals, the darkest blue ish Indigo on most inside veins of the petal as it goes into that yellow is maybe slightly metallic? An onlooker could be inspired by the same type of glow that's in arena juice if they were so inclined.
Nick: And the artist pats you on the shoulder having completed her work and motions for Birdie to swing into the chair.
Kit: Birdie while Cassidy was getting her tattoo was pretty quiet, which is uncharacteristic for Birdie. The Birdie in motion due to the arena juice has sort of ceased into this Birdie that's almost disjointed as she tries to clear whatever she was thinking about and get into position on the chair in front of the artist. She's just very lost in thought right now.
Nick: And Birdie as you sit down in the chair and the artist takes a look at the art of the cat from the corkboard that you hand her you barely notice as she begins to ink this tattoo freehand.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So why the cat?
Kit: Birdie takes a second to even acknowledge that someone just spoke to her. So her head kinda snaps up and she goes
Kit (as Birdie): Huh? Oh, um it's it's for one of my guardians that I had growing up. They used to compete in um the Xikes tournament - so like extreme cycling tournaments. And their their racing name was - I was gave them shit for it - It's it was Hellcat. And so I -
Sydney (as Cassidy): Make sense.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. Um...sorry. I feel like I'm not here right now. Um they - I found out they passed away recently.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh. That... sucks.
Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Yeah, yeah. It's weird. Because I mean, it happened a long time ago but I didn't know until oh, a day or two before I met you guys.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Makes sense why you'd be on the road again.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh yeah, it's easier than just stewing in it. Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. [long sigh] We lost a couple of people in the last two years, year and a half maybe before you joined.
Kit (as Birdie): It, that's, that's awful. I'm sorry for your guys's loss.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's not a fun time. I don't have tattoos to remember them. You saw Pallie's arm.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I've I've never lost anyone before. I only had one family and after that I just kept moving so much that you know, it all just sort of blurred together. No, no one ever stayed that long.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I am familiar with the wandering. Yes.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I managed to stick with the same group for a little while, but it's hard when you lose someone.
Kit (as Birdie): They um, my guardian, their name was Zan. They were a hard ass on me. [laugh] On everyone, I guess, you know, they worked harder than anyone else to keep us safe and fed.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Thats a noble pursuit.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You said you were an orphan?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. My family was sort of a bunch of orphans. We all just stayed together because we didn't trust anyone else to take care of us. Sasnak moves fast and it's hard for one kid to make it on their own, you know? So [laughing]
Sydney (as Cassidy): [laughing] I know how hard it is. Yeah. Not on Sasnak, but
Kit (as Birdie): I'm glad that I had the people that I did. Just makes me wish I would have thanked Zan more for what they did.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I think the tattoo speaks to that.
Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Yeah, I'm sure they're somewhere right now just probably insulting my choice in tattoos and said that I could have gotten something much cooler from what they'd said. They had a lot of inspirational speeches.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You have a lot more skin.
Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] I think I want to save that for more memories. Hopefully no more memorials.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. The um, the other one that we lost besides Pallie... [deep sigh] Marathon kind of reminds me of her actually.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh?
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's probably good that Marathon will be gone after this job.
Kit (as Birdie): What was their name?
Sydney: Cassidy looks off into the distance and runs a finger over the scar on her cheek.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] Owyn. I think her parents officially called her Owynalina. That's, that's too much of a mouthful.
Kit (as Birdie): You were close?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Something like that.
Nick: And as you're having this conversation, the tattoo artist without looking up from her work, snaps her fingers above her head with her free hand and one of the assistants comes around with a tray of drinks and offers them to Birdie and Cassidy as they're having this conversation.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy grabs a dark beer and drains half of it immediately.
Kit: Birdie takes a drink but sets it down on the little table that's next to the chair so that she can have it afterward and it's saved for her. She just takes a deep breath and one of her eyes closes because she's trying to focus on anything but the scratching feeling of getting a tattoo, and she just says
Kit (as Birdie): Zan always said this one thing. I always thought that it was stupid and dramatic. [fond chuckle] They always said 'today flesh, tomorrow maggots' sort of to appreciate our time with the people we have
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] Everything ends.
Kit (as Birdie): Really morbid to tell an 11 year old. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): [laugh] You gotta grow up fast, I guess.
Kit (as Birdie): Yep. [laugh] That was all Zan said, 'world is unfair and you gotta be unfair too. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, hopefully it's, you know, unfair in our favor.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't know if it has been, but hope for it, I guess. Maybe next time.
Kit (as Birdie): Maybe next time.
Nick: And the tattoo artist finishes up what she's been working on. Based on the conversation you've had she added a little flourish to the design you requested. And based on your memories of Zan what extra thing is part of this snarling Hellcat?
Kit: The traditional styled cat's head has the words 'today flesh,' and 'tomorrow maggots' over and under it.
Nick: And you take a look at this permanent memory etched into your skin, thank the artist and hand her the small amount of money that she requests, grab your drinks and head out into the night. We find ourselves back with Emma and Marathon. They're seated by the fire both of them with the sweat of a fresh workout. Emma drinking water, Marathon nursing and arena juice. How's it going?
Cameron: I think it's going good. Emma's not sweating as much now, we probably reached the point in the training where it was as much as Marathon could do to prep Emma without actually throwing punches at her that would hurt if they made a connection.
Penn: Marathon is starting to get a little jittery and while Emma's taking a breather she's pulling out the extreme green battle paint and she's brought it over to Emma and she's starting to paint just a little design on her face. What kind of design has already been established that Emma might want on her face? Because I imagine Marathon's pretty good face paint.
Cameron: Even though we're using green, we're doing the traditional two lines underneath the eyes, even though it's going to be 4am and it's dark, and there's no need for that. It's just the aesthetic at this point. The design that Marathon is doing is kind of a merging of baseball and mechanical gears. So there's coming down from one side of her forehead down to one of Emma's ears is doing a big gear that's covering up that portion. And then across her face on the opposite end, is the stitching on a baseball, but since they're both curves, it blends well with the mechanical gear-ness of it all.
Penn: Marathon is finishing a very tight part of the gear on Emma's face before she pulls away and does the camera angle symbol with her fingers.
Penn (as Marathon): All right, you're pretty good. I think you're all trained up. You sure you don't want another arena juice? You got to feel the hype Emma. That water's gonna make you crash.
Cameron (as Emma): I'm feeling the hype.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. [laugh]
Cameron (as Emma): I'm feeling solid right now. I'm scared that if I drink any more of that, I am going to explode.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, well, that's fair enough. Just about over that hype hump, about to hit that high P and I'm feeling ready to do my own battle makeup.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Penn: She sits down next to the fire to start on her face paint.
Penn (as Marathon): I don't even need a mirror. I've been waiting to do this for so long.
Penn: And she starts a big straight horizontal stripe across her eye line.
Cameron (as Emma): Pretty impressive that you don't need a mirror.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, I've done this hundreds if not thousands of times.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah so speaking of Tree All Mountain. Do you have any family there?
Penn (as Marathon): A family? Uh, no, none in Tree All Mountain.
Cameron (as Emma): How about like, you know, friends?
Penn (as Marathon): Um I mean, I've got lots of friends in Tree All Mountain. Oh, I've got Humphrey, of course. And some of my co workers at the radio station will um, talk to me. But um yeah, I've got a certain sort of endearing notoriety in Tree All Mountain.
Cameron (as Emma): So no one that you'd be super anxious to get back to after we're done with this mission?
Penn (as Marathon): I mean I'll, I'll miss Humphrey's drinks, I guess. But um no, no, I don't, I don't think - well, there's Todd at the radio station, we kind of have a running work joke that's just gonna be left hanging now.
Cameron (as Emma): Unfortunate.
Penn: Marathon moves her brush from the horizontal line over her eyes to a vertical line that creates a gap just over her left brow.
Cameron: While Emma hasn't been getting the answers to the questions that she was expecting - the friends answer was a little concerning - she also feels like if Marathon had had a partner that probably should have come up in the friends section as someone who you know, maybe did more than just talk to her sometimes, [laugh] like her friends do. But we're not quite along the path that she was intending for this conversation to take, so she changes tactics.
Cameron (as Emma): So did you have - I'll preface this by saying we read a lot of romance novels, so that that's why I'm asking. Um.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Have I read a lot of books?
Cameron (as Emma): Uh no. Not that. Uh
Penn (as Marathon): Oh okay.
Cameron (as Emma): I was going to ask, while you were still active in the ice derby league, did you have any like, either romantic relationships with teammates or maybe like, you know, the sexual tension rivals on other teams?
Penn (as Marathon): Well it's ice Derby. Well, you know what, you folks probably don't know too much about ice derby.
Cameron (as Emma): I don't know what that - I've seen ice derby in high school and it sounds very different.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, there are - let me tell you, there's a lot of tension between everybody playing ice derby - uh especially on the arena juice, but um yeah I would, I would say there was a few consistent flings. There was, you know um, there was [sigh] you know, there was one consistent consistent one as well. That relationship has terminated. You know, you know, I don't like that, I don't like that phrasing. But no uh no I, you know, haven't had a whole lot of friends in a while and not so many companions either. But uh, Luna - Luna was her name. We had like a rivalry fling thing in ice derby... you know, I don't really want to talk about Luna. Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah sure. Whatever you're comfortable with - but no, no active partner?
Penn (as Marathon): No. [laugh] No, it's, it's been a little while since my partner days. But um Emma I uh - sorry if you know everything, you know if things, I, I'm very flattered. I think you're very cool. But um, you know I think you're a little - I, you know, it'd be really cool, we're just getting to know each other um and I just, I'm really sorry, I don't think we can pursue a relationship. I think you're a little young and we're just -
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, yeah, no, you're a little old.
Penn (as Marathon): Wel-okay. Now, my thing was about life experience, and your thing was just a little offensive to me, is all.
Cameron (as Emma): You-it - that wasn't my intention. I meant no offense, the your, your age has literally nothing to do with why I wouldn't be interested, it's just you made the comment about my age, and thus I retaliated.
Penn (as Marathon): I see. No, yeah, I understand. But, you know, I am pretty, pretty cool. You know, right? Yeah?
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, yeah. You seem like a great person and you know, we can be friends, but
Penn (as Marathon): That's - yes. And I hope this little social snafu, this little cultural mess up can kind of just poof?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah no, see, I was much more getting that you had a thing for Cassidy.
Penn (as Marathon): [gay panic] What?! [awkward laughter] You know, Emma, that's, you know, Cassidy is just like, rad. Wonderful. Wonderful. Really cool. You know, she's a really cool mercenary. Really cool to be around and stuff, you know, but um, uh you know, Emma, I just think it's very interesting that you would think that and uh, you know Emma - you know, you know Emma, you know, you know?
Cameron: Emma has just leaned back and has her arms crossed across her chest and just looks like she accomplished her goal of confirming that that was indeed what that last conversation was about.
Penn (as Marathon): [gay panic] You know what I was, you know, it's very um, you know, your line of reasoning. You know, I would love to know how you got there, and um [mumbling] do you happen to know what uh, Miss Cassidy would think of a situation like that?
Cameron (as Emma): I mean you'd have to ask her.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah you'd have to ask me.
Sydney: Cassidy says she's walking into camp with Birdie.
Sydney (as Cassidy): What are you looking to know?
Penn: Marathon stands up very quickly and turns around and the face paint she was finishing streaks across the rest of her left eye.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh fuck. I mean, uh dirt. Uh
Sydney (as Cassidy): Looks like you're done practicing.
Penn (as Marathon): Yep. So hey, Cassidy. What do you think of that situation? How much you heard...
Sydney (as Cassidy): You're gonna have to provide more context than that.
Penn (as Marathon): Um that Emma is fighting.
Penn: [laughing] And Marathon looks at Emma, with big pleading, begging eyes.
Cameron: Emma is smiling and very much enjoying this, but also gives a kinder smile to Marathon and looks over to Cassidy and says,
Cameron (as Emma): We're just discussing since you know betting is on the table for this fight, whether or not you would think that I was a sound investment for betting on for a fight.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That is a good question.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, we were disagreeing on it.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): You know Marathon's positive that you think I could do it and I just I don't think so.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathon thinks that I would think that you think that you can do it?
Cameron (as Emma): No. Marathon thinks that you would think that I could do it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): But you don't think that I think that you can do it.
Cameron (as Emma): I just don't think I'm a smart person to bet on for this. I would bet on Marathon if we're doing one of the two of us.
Penn (as Marathon): Marathon has turned away.
Cameron (as Emma): Marathon just looks so much stronger and has done this before and knows what she's doing.
Penn: Marathons doing that thing where you tug at your shirt collar to release a little heat and she's nervously sipping an arena juice.
Sydney: Cassidy looks over at Birdie.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Do you think that I think that Marathon thinks that Emma thinks that Birdie that you think that Emma would be any good?