S1 Ep1: Blood On My Name

Episode 1 November 02, 2023 03:20:47
S1 Ep1: Blood On My Name
Wayfarer: A Hunter the Reckoning Actual Play
S1 Ep1: Blood On My Name

Nov 02 2023 | 03:20:47

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Hallowed Haven Studios

Show Notes

Fleeing from the danger that swells around them like a flood, four Hunters rally together in their pain and loss to fight against the consequences of looking beyond the curtain into the World of Darkness. Their only options as they run from the threats in the shadows are; Sink or Swim. Fight or Die.

CAST:
Arthur Dent - Scott Uhls
Rosanna Labelle - Legacy
Viktoria Belanger - Zoetrooper
Zephyr - Elijah

Storyteller - Bloodied Porcelain

Opening Theme: Dustins Dirtbike by Evert Z

Listener Discretion Advised. This show is intended for a mature audience.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:30] Speaker A: Most people can go their entire lives thinking they're the apex predator on the planet. For those who have the scale who have the scales fall from their eyes, the awakening is often as brutal as it is short. Vampires wrap society around their fingers, using police and judges and politicians as pieces of a chess game. If Faye will rend mind and souls alike, and mages who think themselves mere mortals can warp the very skein of reality with their will. Ghosts or wraiths promise that even death is not an end and that there are entire worlds of things that go bump in the night to torment the nightmares of those who have seen the truth. Most buckle under. Some bend the knee and serve in return for their lives in the illusion of safety and security. I am useful, they tell themselves. Others hide their knowledge, go back desperately to lives smaller and less consequential for what they have seen. Others can't stop seeing the cracks in what they call reality and find release in a razor, a swallowed bullet or a straitjacket. Then there are the true Mad Men, the ones who stare into the abyss and say, fuck it. If it bleeds, I can hunt it. Let's tell a story about the Mad Men. It's been only a few minutes, really, since you fled the scene of the destruction, where a building fell and you lost a dear friend, someone who has defended you against every enemy you've encountered so far, or, when it wasn't possible, fled from those enemies beside you. I'm going to go around the table and ask each of our hunters how they're feeling in the wake of this devastation, knowing that there is a danger unlike anything you have ever encountered before, far beyond what you believed you would ever encounter in the future. Nipping at your heels. Rosanna. [00:03:01] Speaker B: I think that I'm more so just trying to trying to take in everything that just kind of was laid out right in front of us. I mean, we were stupid and foolish, and because of that, our stupidness and our foolishness, we lost somebody so dear to us, so important and well, for once, I don't feel so crazy and. [00:03:42] Speaker A: Been brought to my attention that for the first part of that, nobody could hear you. Because for whatever reason, our streaming thing decided it wasn't going to pipe through discord. It was going to pipe through my desktop. It's been fixed. I apologize. Let's see. Victoria, how are you feeling? [00:04:04] Speaker C: I'm panicked. This is jillian was so dear to the cell, really brought us all together. We all played our parts, bringing in people here and there. I brought in Rosanna. Jillian brought us all together. And it's like our beating heart has been plucked. We're still moving. Yes, but where do we go from here? And that thing is not far behind us. And I didn't think it got this bad. [00:04:47] Speaker A: Zephyr, how are you feeling? [00:04:53] Speaker D: I'm angry. And also just confused as to how this could happen. I'm looking down at my hands, seeing the soot and kind of wiping the debris out of my face as we're trying to escape. And all I can think of is, what could I have done to stop this? Julian was is the only reason why I'm still here. She was there from the very beginning and got me out of the situation we were in before. And I'm just angry. Just blind rage. Just we gotta like, what the fuck? This is somebody's fault. [00:05:42] Speaker A: Arthur. [00:05:47] Speaker E: Arthur is hearing things and they make sense, but I'm not understanding any of what's going on around me because my mind is going to different places. I'm seeing pair of eyes and I'm remembering fear because the only thing I can think of is that I'm going to die. We're going to die. Jillian is dead. And it's my fault because I'm remembering that moment when we all left. And this would not have happened if I hadn't made her and Zephyr leave the cult. This is all me, this whole thing. And all I can think about is that we're all going to die. Just like Jillian. [00:07:05] Speaker A: You can hear sirens in the distance. They are somehow all at once growing louder and further away, as if you are simultaneously rushing towards the same place but away from it. Perhaps it is because the sheer magnitude of the explosion has caused a multi alarm response from around the city. Perhaps it is a trick of the mind where everything seems so much bigger and so much more intense, but at the same time not entirely real. Like living in a nightmare. And you know you should be able to wake up, but for some reason you just can't. You have some time before you reach your safe house. The place that you've been staying, it was you've been there for about a month and a half now and it was secured because of Victoria's contacts. What do you plan to do? What do you say to each other in these moments when you're driving in the pre dawn light? You could barely make out the sun on the horizon. [00:08:55] Speaker D: I'm just like just excessively, like, even though it's not on me anymore. Just wiping the dirt, just not saying anything, just kind of panicking, just shaking. This isn't right. This. [00:09:25] Speaker B: I mean, of course. Of course it's not right. What the hell went wrong? No, you know. [00:09:45] Speaker C: I know what went wrong. We have a few successes here and there and we have this big head about us go in and we fight something we're not ready for. I knew better, and yet I was the one saying, hey, let's go in there. And you know what? Life sucks and then you die. [00:10:04] Speaker E: Yes, that's exactly how it is. We reached that point. Life has sucked and now we die. [00:10:21] Speaker B: No, she didn't have to die and we didn't die. But a part of us did. I can't just sit here and try to feel comfortable after I'm sorry my I'm sorry that my information was misled. I thought I thought that I thought I'd had everything all tied up in a nice little bow. I thought I'd search through text and went through the iPad, and I thought I did everything correct, but. [00:11:17] Speaker E: Obviously there's things other than blood sucking dike crawlers, which we knew, but we didn't know what we were up against. Just too much darkness, too far. It's strong. It can reach anywhere. [00:11:41] Speaker C: It it's all these rules, all these different like, why isn't anyone recording this stuff? Like, why is it so hard for people like us to fight back? [00:11:56] Speaker D: Because we're human. There's only so much we can do. These creatures literally, they can make you forget your names or forget what you even look like. There's only so much that we can do. But at the end of the day, we're still human. We're still squishy. [00:12:25] Speaker C: How do we yeah, we're certainly squishy, I agree. But the overgrown puppy dog we just fought literally broke through walls. [00:12:41] Speaker D: Yeah, maybe we should just get back before it finds us, which I'm sure it's probably already on its way right now. [00:12:57] Speaker E: It can't still be alive, right? We brought a building down on top of it. It can't possibly. [00:13:06] Speaker A: The fact that I. [00:13:07] Speaker E: Don'T accept that. [00:13:11] Speaker D: No. I'd rather be safe than sorry and just get the hell out of here. [00:13:17] Speaker B: All I want to know is, are we sure that it was the only one? [00:13:24] Speaker C: Something tells me if there were multiple, we'd all be dead right now. [00:13:28] Speaker B: But we don't know how those things act. [00:13:35] Speaker E: Think about it. Are they, like dogs? Do they mass in groups? Is this, like, a thing? [00:13:50] Speaker B: Listen, all we got to do is get back to the house, and I can grab all my books and all my technology, my iPad, my laptop. I can start looking into them, maybe see if there's anything that we can come up with. I don't know the first thing about giant puppy dogs other than what you see in the fucking movies. I don't know. My specialty isn't anything in that realm. [00:14:20] Speaker D: If it's anything like the movies, then there's probably more. [00:14:25] Speaker E: Yeah, that's the only thing the movies agree on. Which movies do we mean? [00:14:32] Speaker D: I don't think we have time to do a marathon. We just got to get the fuck out of here. We need to leave. [00:14:40] Speaker C: I'm just hoping this car drives faster than that thing can run. [00:14:46] Speaker B: Yeah. And where are we going to go? [00:14:54] Speaker D: Does it matter? [00:14:56] Speaker B: I mean, we could always try Florida. [00:15:00] Speaker E: Couldn't we just no. Can't cross the border, can we? [00:15:05] Speaker B: No. [00:15:09] Speaker E: Yeah. I mean, what would that even get us? They would just these things don't care about political boundaries on maps. [00:15:23] Speaker D: Maybe if we just keep going, it'll get bored. I don't know. I'm sure they have other things to. [00:15:30] Speaker C: Worry about he exploded it. If someone exploded me, I don't think I'd get bored and lose chase. [00:15:40] Speaker B: I mean, to be fair, if somebody exploded us, we wouldn't be well alive. [00:15:47] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:15:51] Speaker B: Okay. I think that all we can really do right now is just go back, recruit, breathe. I think we need to breathe. And then maybe we talk about paying get like one of the old fashioned roadmaps and a map out where we need to go next. Maybe lay low for a little bit. I think laying low for a little bit might be just perfectly fine. Yes. [00:16:23] Speaker E: Arizona. How I know it know. I know, but follow me here. Follow me. I've been there a few times. It is hot and sunny all the time. Like strangely day more than night. I think we need some sunlight. That would help. [00:16:51] Speaker D: I have no opinion. [00:16:54] Speaker E: We could regroup and figure out where to go next. I don't. [00:17:00] Speaker B: Oh, we could try Connecticut. The fuck supernaturals in Connecticut. [00:17:12] Speaker E: So the weather would rain, cloud coverage, long periods of darkness, trees. [00:17:23] Speaker B: You realize that not like every even in the movies. Not every. Supernatural is like a vampire, right? I'm pretty sure giant puppy dogs can go piss on a fire hydrant in the sun. [00:17:44] Speaker D: I mean, I'm okay with Arizona. I'd much rather deal with the heat. [00:17:49] Speaker C: To be fair, I'd rather Arizona than Connecticut. The humidity just kills me. [00:18:01] Speaker B: I mean, I still think Florida might be a good option too. [00:18:05] Speaker E: I mean, that could be where we go. I just think that we should go to Arizona and figure it out. At least give us the time we need to figure what are we doing here? We shouldn't even be alive. [00:18:25] Speaker D: Well, since we are alive, we should be getting the hell out of Dodge. [00:18:33] Speaker B: We need to also think about basics. Where are we going to stay when we get to wherever the fuck we're going? How are we going to continue funding this? And are we going to even continue this? I don't feel right doing anything without Jillian. No offense to any of us, but I've seen how all of us fight and it's not great. [00:19:19] Speaker E: Sure. And we're not trying to offend each other. I think we're all in an emotional space right now. But I have something to fight for, so I'm not going to stop. I don't know what I'm going to do or how, but I can't. [00:19:42] Speaker C: Yeah, I can't stop now. Jillian or no. [00:19:48] Speaker B: I mean, I don't even think she'd want it to stop. Fun. So Arizona. [00:19:59] Speaker C: Arizona. [00:20:01] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:20:06] Speaker C: Christ. Jillian's gone. [00:20:12] Speaker B: Oh, no. [00:20:16] Speaker A: You have the beginnings of a plan. You know where you're going first. Thankfully, it's fairly simple. There's an interstate that goes east straight out of the state. And you've tossed the idea of going east around. If ever there was an emergency, it's the one direction you've got the most amount of space to cover with. You arrive back at the safe house. What is everybody planning to take with them? [00:20:58] Speaker D: I already have a small bag prepared because before this even happened, I was always paranoid that the speaker would come and find us. So I already had just a bag of just basics, like a change of clothes, like a really crappy small med kit that just has, like, bandages and stuff like that, and then just a small pocket knife. That's it. [00:21:33] Speaker A: You have a go bag? [00:21:35] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:21:38] Speaker A: Sorry. [00:21:39] Speaker B: Go ahead. [00:21:40] Speaker E: No, you good. [00:21:41] Speaker A: Is there anything else at the safe house, Zephyr, that you cannot bear to be parted with given the time to be able to gather? It definitely. [00:21:53] Speaker D: My notebook that I kept with me while I was staying on the compound. It just has basic logs of the people I encountered and then also my encounters with the speaker and just the weird things that were going on. Also some anatomy and just, like, notes of things that I was doing. [00:22:24] Speaker A: Okay, well, that should be fine. You all did kind of pull together what little funds you had in the past month or so to make sure that you had an RV. It was all part of this hodgepodge just in case you needed to flee plan. But you don't have a lot, and the plan was never fully mapped out. Arthur. [00:22:56] Speaker E: Much like Zephyr, Arthur assumes that the speaker is coming at any moment. And so everything he has a bunch of random things for little shower things or shave kit, stuff like that, that he just slowly accumulated after they left the compound because he realized that he couldn't just live the homeless life, as it were. But his important things are all together and for the most part, with him. His notebook that he writes things down. And he hasn't done anything about this particular encounter yet, but sure enough, it will end up in there. His sunglasses, his gun that Jillian sort of insisted that he take just in case that she wasn't around to help. And it's all in a bag, all of his few clothes. So there's nothing that he needs per se, except for maybe some cash. Because before the church was able to sort of shut down some of the accounts they had access to, he had squirreled away money all over the place. And so he probably has a bit of cash rolled up, shoved under the pillow or something in the room or whatever, wherever they're at, he has, like, little squirrely bits of money all over the place just in case. [00:24:30] Speaker A: Excellent. Victoria, is there anything that you can't bear to be parted with that has to go with you? [00:24:38] Speaker C: The primary thing I need to take with me is my violin and the bells. But the bells were already hanging off of my belt when I got in here. You all know me at this point to have this ever present jingling thing going on, which is a bit of a problem when we need to be stealthy, but I do my best to keep them quiet in those situations, but they're necessary. Absolutely necessary. Yeah, so there's that. I have a little black book that has names and addresses of people who owe me, contacts I can speak to. That absolutely has to come with me. However, I'm also what you might consider to be a runaway. I left home when I was a teen, so I've been hopping from place to place. I don't have a whole lot of stuff, just clothes, some essentials, so that's easy to pack up clothing wise. And finally, probably the thing I obsess about the most after getting my violin and bells packed away is just grabbing snack food. Like, really obsessing about it. I tried to pick which one would be best for the road trip. Like, this is something fun that we're going to do, but I'm not having fun. I'm angry. I'm almost shaking as I'm holding this bag of crunchy cheese crackers and just being like, this one's pretty good. [00:26:11] Speaker A: Excellent. Rosanna suspect you probably have more that you want to take with you than anyone else. [00:26:18] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. I've always been kind of ready to run, especially given my nighttime activities. So I have two of my laptops, a tablet, a couple of old burner phones, and a couple of books, as well as some clothes. And the most important thing is picture of my twin sister that I keep by my bedside every night. And as well as some basics like showering stuff, shaving stuff, hair care products, things that I would need, and my little stuffed animal that I use for protection and safety. [00:27:35] Speaker A: Understood. The RV that you all procured. You poured most of your funds into buying one that was a little old, little rundown. Had definitely seen better days. For once, Rosanna's OCD came in a little handy because she spent a good two or three days in there with you're. Pretty sure that some of those brushes were smaller than toothbrushes, but she was very determined that that thing was going to be as spotless as she could make it. So while it is worn and old and has seen more miles than it was ever probably intended to, it is clean and it is operational. You took it to a reputable mechanic, had it worked on the best you could, and it's going to be crowded. It's not going to be the most comfortable home, but it'll get you away from here, and it provides a place for someone to sleep after they've driven. If you don't want to stop. By the time you get everything packed and you feel reasonably comfortable getting back on the road and you have closed up the safe house, you've wiped down everything at Rosanna's insistence so that you know that there's no hint that you were ever there, left behind. It is still early in the day, but well after dawn, as you open the front door. There is a paper laying on the stoop dropped there by his local paper. Boy, as it is every morning, you don't know who's paying the subscription for this, but they keep coming. And it's been handy for the most part. It's given you that's how you found the RV, it was in a Wantad that it was for sale. When you open the paper and you unroll it just out of habit, Arthur, you're not even really planning to read it, but you pick it up like you do every morning. And as you're headed out to the RV, instinct just makes your hands move and you unroll it and the first thing you see explosion, shatters, quiet morning. And there is already a story in the paper about the Scholes apartment building, which was historic. It's been around for a while. In fact, the story goes on to mention that at one point a famous author lived there before they got bigger. But it's not a hugely long story. Nobody seems to know that the gas main leak that you all orchestrated and made people think was happening so that you could empty the building. Nobody seems to have figured out that that's not what really happened. Not yet, anyway. [00:31:38] Speaker E: Arthur puts well, I put everything back into the RV, assuming that, like, Zephyr and I were probably the first ones done getting our stuff and wiping things down before everyone, as everyone sort of everyone else is coming out to get in the RV, arthur just kind of is walking around it, talking to himself. And if anyone's listening, they hear just, like, random words. He's praying or something. And you just hear things like, lord Jesus, sovereign king, protect yourself from the blessings we keep, the powers of Satan, things like that. As he's walking around the van. [00:32:21] Speaker A: Do. [00:32:22] Speaker D: I see him walking around the yes. Okay, so I put down my stuff and then just kind of step out of the van. And are you still walking around or you kind of stop. Okay. [00:32:40] Speaker E: It takes a little bit of time. [00:32:42] Speaker D: Okay. So, yeah, I kind of, like, walk up to you and just kind of like quietly and just like I mean, obviously you're not okay, but do you need help with anything good? [00:33:06] Speaker E: No, I don't think so. Chilly and I would have done this together. I wouldn't ask you. I know how you feel about all this, and I know that I mean, I feel like this is my fault, right? If I if I had listened to her, I wouldn't have gone in and I wouldn't have seen the things, and I wouldn't have been a target, and I wouldn't have forced us to leave. You would have been fine. You were fine. You were. [00:33:48] Speaker D: I wasn't. I mean, I probably wouldn't be alive if Jillian was on board with leaving. Sure, I was still alive and well, but I was at the end of my rope. I had to leave. And the only reason why I decided to, I guess, tag you, not tag you along. [00:34:24] Speaker E: Sounds no, honestly, you had to say. You had to speak. If you hadn't been so honest and forward, I would have been still part of that. And who knows? Who knows when it would have been my turn or Katie Lynn's turn or someone else's turn to center with the speaker, right? Anytime. Could have been any of us. Someone who is faithful and at that time, kind of me. So you had to it was the best thing, but I could have listened to her, and I could have could have stayed, and then she'd be alive, and we wouldn't wouldn't be here hoping that my little prayer, if God is even still listening to me anymore, would help us in any way. [00:35:29] Speaker D: What's done is done. As much as it sucks to just say that in such a dismissive way, there's literally nothing we can do now that she's dead, people are dead. So, I mean, she would have wanted us to keep going. Even if we didn't continue to hunt, she still would have wanted us to continue living, saving people in any other way. That's what she would have wanted, right? [00:36:14] Speaker E: To protect someone, to do what we could do. You're right. [00:36:25] Speaker D: Just I don't know. [00:36:33] Speaker E: What do you do? Like, I pray. What do you do? Do you even pray to ever? I've never asked. [00:36:44] Speaker D: I mean, I don't know if it counts as praying, but whenever I'm in a moment of just I guess of being lost, even if it's something minor, I just kind of just talk out loud. And if somebody's listening, I guess that's cool. It hasn't really worked out, seeing where we are, but, I mean, I'm still alive, so I guess it works. [00:37:23] Speaker E: Almost like you're praying. [00:37:25] Speaker D: Almost like I'm praying. [00:37:26] Speaker E: Labels are cathartic release regardless, right? [00:37:31] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:37:33] Speaker E: Someone's there. Someone's not there. You could be talking to a rock or a stick, and it would work for you. It's mental thing, so I don't know. I don't know if I'm okay. I don't know if we'll be okay. I feel like she stepped in where I should have been, but then we shouldn't have been there in the first place, and that's on me. But I will get to Arizona, at least. And Arthur's, like, playing with his ring while he's talking. This whole time, he's just been mindlessly turning his wedding ring over around in his. [00:38:19] Speaker D: Uh have you heard from her, your wife? [00:38:25] Speaker E: I don't know. I haven't heard from her, but I don't know if that means she doesn't want to talk to me or if that means she can't, or if that means she's tried and the we move around too much, or the cult intercepts don't. I don't know. I know that Jillian was like, they'll track us, but I figured out a way. I paid someone. Victoria helped. Roseanne helped some people, like anyway, there's, like, a thing where if she leaves a voicemail on that old number, I can get access to it. [00:39:12] Speaker D: Oh. [00:39:14] Speaker E: There's nothing, though, so I don't know. [00:39:19] Speaker D: Well, I guess you can have faith that she's alive. I don't know. I don't know. [00:39:26] Speaker E: It's a funny word for me, zephyr. Funny word. [00:39:31] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:39:32] Speaker E: Hey, thanks for checking on me, though. [00:39:38] Speaker D: Somebody has to. [00:39:41] Speaker E: Now. [00:39:41] Speaker D: The Julian's? Not here. [00:39:44] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:39:47] Speaker A: Rosanna and Victoria, what are the two of you doing? [00:40:00] Speaker B: I'm probably doing my 5th, 6th, 7th check around the house, making sure that anything that any of us need is not just lying around anywhere, making sure that we have extra things of dried goods, canned goods, maybe some cases of water, just in case. Don't want to stop. Too many times stopping means they might find us faster the entire time. I have this look of panic and just discomfort on my face as I kind of, like, poke through, like, cupboards and go into closets and crawl under and just double check and triple check. Well, I think that's everything. Um you doing all right, Victoria. [00:41:28] Speaker C: You kind of look over to where Victoria's been standing, kind of looking at this old television set that we have that we're not going to take with us because, honestly, it's so old and beat up, it barely even works anymore. But I'm just kind of standing there staring at it. It's not on. It's just a black screen. And I've been kind of, like, nervously biting at my fingers, not my nails, just kind of like this. And I go, yeah, I'm okay, I'm okay. And I walk over to where this baseball bat is just kind of sitting, and I pick it up and just start swinging at this old TV as it goes smashing to the ground, glass shards flying everywhere. And I just keep yelling repeatedly, I'm okay, I'm okay. [00:42:26] Speaker B: It's okay to not be okay. You know that, right? I mean, listen, I know the things have been all over the place, and I think now more than ever, you and I, we need each other. Um, it's not easy on any of us. And I think it's important right now. And she kind of walks over. I kind of walk over to Victoria, and I rest my hand on her shoulder. I know. I know how you're feeling. It's terrifying. I mean, we bit off more than we could chew. Unfortunately, one of us had to pay for that. [00:43:50] Speaker C: That's the thing, rosanna. I'm not scared. I'm livid. I'm livid at myself. I'm livid at all of us for messing up the way we did. I'm mad at Jillian for dying on us. [00:44:14] Speaker B: I'm mad at us, too, because none of us were careful. That's what this was. None of us were careful. We are icarus. We flew too close to the sun. And because of that you know, it's really funny. Before I ever met you, I never really left my house. So all of a sudden, I'm leaving my house and bad things start happening. And I know what you're going to say. It's your paranoia acting up again. I know that you're going to say that, but no, this is past. We need to be more careful. And I have said this over and over and over again, but we keep going after these things without really any planning, and we get lucky every once in a while. And that can't happen anymore. It can't. Jillian's dead because we don't know how to plan for anything. [00:45:33] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:45:35] Speaker C: At this point, I can see Rosanna's actually getting worked up. And the thing is, I need to work out my rage before I can help the rest of the cell. So now that the TV is absolutely shattered, components scattered across the ground, I actually bring Rosanna in for a hug and drop the bat to the ground. [00:45:52] Speaker B: And say, yeah. [00:45:58] Speaker C: We need to fix the way we do things. [00:46:05] Speaker B: She made all of us feel safe. [00:46:10] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:46:11] Speaker B: We failed her. [00:46:15] Speaker C: No, fuck that. She failed us. If I die, it's nothing short of a failure. [00:46:28] Speaker B: If you die, lose my best friend. [00:46:35] Speaker C: I'm going to try to avoid that if I can. Do you want to play some candy? Let's go eat candy. About this. [00:46:43] Speaker B: I would love some. I got the little purse. Hold on. And she's gonna I'm gonna reach into my little fanny pack and I'm gonna pull out a couple of those of the strawberry cream candies. And I'm gonna I'm gonna offer Victoria one my last bunch. And I won't share them with you. [00:47:09] Speaker C: Of course. I'll take one. Delicious. And food is definitely Victoria's love language. So we take a moment, probably tears on the edge of our eyelids, and just kind of like, eat candy. [00:47:25] Speaker B: Victoria? [00:47:27] Speaker C: Yeah, Rosanna? [00:47:30] Speaker B: Promise you're not going to leave my side? [00:47:33] Speaker C: I'm not going anywhere. I absolutely promise this. [00:47:41] Speaker B: Hope that I well, maybe we shouldn't be saying that anytime soon, but yeah, I'm going to miss her. But I feel real bad for those boys. They knew her longer. [00:48:05] Speaker C: Yeah. They worked really closely with Jillian. [00:48:11] Speaker A: And. [00:48:16] Speaker B: If you die, that's my failure. I know you promised to protect me, but these last few months. [00:48:31] Speaker A: You and. [00:48:31] Speaker B: I've had each other's backs, and that's my failure. [00:48:38] Speaker C: It won't be my fault. I always believe in choosing your own destiny. And yeah, sometimes death can't be avoided. But Jillian made that choice. I'm going to miss her with all my heart. But she left us. [00:49:08] Speaker B: Now we need each other more than ever. Um, I checked everything over. I think I think eight times around the house should be good. You have everything that you need. I know that you're like, the person who does all the cooking and everything. Do we need to make any stops or do we need more water? [00:49:38] Speaker A: You think we need more water? [00:49:39] Speaker B: I think we might need more water. No, we're fine. Okay. You have everything, right? [00:49:48] Speaker C: Yeah. Go. Relax. Present. I think we're good to go whenever Zephyr and Arthur are ready to go. [00:49:57] Speaker B: Yeah. Relax. Sure. I'll try that. You know, maybe this is a sign from some fucked up God or whatever. Maybe it's time that we really get serious. [00:50:23] Speaker C: Fucked up god. I like that. If there was any God I would worship, that'd be the one. [00:50:31] Speaker B: Yeah, me too. Come on, we should get going. [00:50:40] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:50:43] Speaker B: And Roseanne is going to give Victoria a small kiss on the cheek and grab all of the rest of the boxes of things that we might need for our little trip and walk out. [00:50:58] Speaker C: I try not to swear. That'll be a tough girl. [00:51:07] Speaker A: Zephyr and Arthur, you are outside and your conversation is just starting to wrap up when the girls appear at the door. Rosanna, somehow, in spite of everything she has been through and the fact that she is vaguely sweaty and carrying a box that is probably heavier than she has the upper body strength to reasonably hold well, still somehow looks like she just stepped off of the COVID of a magazine. Still somehow gorgeous, victoria looking like Victoria. She's always got that vague aura of I'm angry at the world and am two steps away from taking a baseball bat to somebody's head or the TV, but somehow both look a little less tense than they did when you came out here. Sun is getting higher in the sky, the morning is slipping away and you have quite a drive if you want to get to Arizona. [00:52:38] Speaker C: I think we're all running on fumes at this point, too. Probably, like the last bits of adrenaline. I doubt we're going to make it very far before someone the driver, I guess, needs to sleep. [00:52:53] Speaker E: We should. [00:52:56] Speaker D: This is outside of character. So we grabbed everything out of the safe house? Yeah, the safe house. Is Jillian's stuff still in there? [00:53:15] Speaker A: Oh, that is a very good question for all of you. Did you pack Jillian's things? I assume that none of you has the heart to just toss it. [00:53:30] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:53:36] Speaker D: Yes, it was packed, or no? [00:53:39] Speaker C: I want to say yes, it was packed, but yeah, arthur, you're closest, I suppose. [00:53:46] Speaker E: Yeah, so like I said, Arthur was probably already packed before we even left on the mission, so I guess his time inside would have probably been related to that. It would have been hard, but he wouldn't have been able to throw anything away. But he's a reasonable, intelligent person and recognizes that if he leaves a bunch of stuff behind and someone eventually finds the safe house, or inevitably the rent comes due and we don't have the money for it, and so somebody just takes over this property, there's evidence, and it would get found. And so those things need to go into a duffel bag or something. And so it's as lovingly as it could be shoved into a duffel bag. And Arthur put it in the back of the RV in the far back corner, maybe the little foldy closet door thing in the bedroom or whatever, but it definitely is with us. Whatever they could fit into a duffel bag. If there's things that couldn't fit in a duffel bag, well, that would have been harder. And they're in a box and probably not in the RV. [00:55:10] Speaker A: We can say that most of Jillian's things probably fit into a duffel bag. She was a fairly physical person, so she didn't carry a lot of books on her. She had an old beat up bible from her time with the church, a couple of ODS and ends. She's got an old polaroid of I say old, but it's really not. It was taken a little less than a month ago. Of the five of you out having a decent meal after your first successful hunt, it's not a terribly fancy photo, but it is a heartwarming reminder of the first time all five of you came together as a single force with a shared will. [00:56:24] Speaker E: And that becomes Arthur's bookmark. [00:56:30] Speaker A: The one thing you couldn't fit into a box or fit into a bag is a old beat up cork board that says property of San Diego public schools. You don't know where she got it, but she came home with it one day and she used it to plan everything. She had everything from grocery trip lists to local stories from the papers that you guys found. And she called it her job board that gets set up in the RV in the small kitchenete with a handful of postits and maybe even that article from the morning pinned to it. Something to remind you of the night everything went wrong so that you can keep it in your mind's eye and you never forget. [00:57:50] Speaker B: On the cork board, rose and post a little sticky note. It says Florida. And then I post another one that says Arizona. And I kind of tack them to map each state. And then I start putting little thumbtacks of where we start, which is California, and kind of start to draw little lines of where we want to go. So one tack will connect to Arizona, and Arizona could connect to maybe, like, maybe hopefully Florida, because that's where I want to go as kind of, like maybe it might be nice to just track where we're going. Okay. [00:58:49] Speaker D: Are there, like, markers? [00:58:51] Speaker A: There are, in fact, a couple of writing utensils in the glove box. One of them is a thin, point, black sharpie. [00:59:06] Speaker D: I'm going to go up and draw, like, a little alligator where it says Florida. Just a little baby one. [00:59:17] Speaker B: Just a little baby. Look at him. [00:59:21] Speaker D: Yeah. If the werewolf doesn't get us, I know the alligators will. [00:59:25] Speaker B: Oh, definitely. I'm not ready to wrestle an alligator. I can try a werewolf. [00:59:32] Speaker A: Alligators are a little bit too scary for me. [00:59:34] Speaker E: Zephyr's actually presented something to my brain that I didn't want to think of. But were wolves where gators were gators? [00:59:48] Speaker B: No, that's the actual devil. [00:59:51] Speaker C: No, see, were gators aren't that big of an issue because they mostly just lay on the ground and wait for you to walk by. [00:59:58] Speaker B: Doesn't that make them more dangerous, though? I feel it makes them more dangerous. [01:00:04] Speaker E: Arthur's mind goes to literally every homeless person laying on the street in San Diego, and he starts. [01:00:11] Speaker B: Hmm. She would have loved this. [01:00:22] Speaker E: I mean, didn't she tell us about the alligator and the sewers thing? Wasn't she big on that being a thing? Maybe she would have loved this conversation. [01:00:32] Speaker B: She would have loved this conversation. But you know what? You know what? When we get where we're going, you know what? We should try gator in her name. Y'all ever eat gator before? [01:00:47] Speaker D: Yeah, it tastes like chicken and fish. Had a baby. [01:00:51] Speaker B: Yes, exactly. It's Adele to see where I come from. [01:00:56] Speaker D: Yeah, same, same. [01:01:04] Speaker B: We'll have gator and Jillian's name, then. [01:01:10] Speaker A: Hey, who is driving? [01:01:17] Speaker C: Victoria is not a terrible driver, but I'm scared. Should be scared. I'm a very rage driver. [01:01:33] Speaker E: I mean, I assume that Arthur is more of a navigator than a driver, but he would take over at some point if someone needed arrest or something, but not a primary driver, for sure. [01:01:45] Speaker B: Rosanna can also navigate or drive if needed. [01:01:52] Speaker A: I will make a decision. Who's taking the wheel first, guys? [01:01:57] Speaker B: Jesus. [01:01:59] Speaker E: First and foremost. Thank you, Rosanna. Jesus must be at the wheel. [01:02:08] Speaker A: Because. [01:02:08] Speaker E: If Jesus is not at the wheel of this entire all right, that's it. [01:02:11] Speaker D: I'm driving in the middle of him starting to go on a rant. I start mimicking his hands when he. [01:02:19] Speaker E: Does the him, the finger staples and the touching. And. [01:02:27] Speaker B: As he's having his little sermon, rosanna just kind of, all right, I. [01:02:31] Speaker C: Guess I'll drive her. [01:02:32] Speaker A: I'm imagining that as Zephyr is mimicking Arthur's hand motions, he's also sort of ushering Arthur up into the back of the RV while the girls drip into the front seat so that he could continue his sermon. He's in his zone. [01:02:49] Speaker E: It was in Matthew where it said. [01:02:56] Speaker C: I am so anti religion. And hearing him go off on a sermon, I'm just like, oh, no earplugs in here. [01:03:04] Speaker A: Go much. [01:03:09] Speaker D: I'd much rather listen to this than be stuck in my thought. [01:03:16] Speaker E: I mean, the words are gobbledygook anyway. They're just coming at it to just sort of a rote sermon that he's given before. [01:03:26] Speaker B: All right, we doing this GPS or map style? [01:03:34] Speaker D: I would go with maps. GPS. I feel like somebody could track us. [01:03:42] Speaker B: All right, then. Onward and upward and well to Arizona. Rosa. I start up the car or start up the RV and throw on the radio. [01:04:12] Speaker A: And what is the tune of choice? [01:04:28] Speaker B: Don't stop believing by journey? [01:04:36] Speaker A: Somehow I'm not at all surprised. [01:04:41] Speaker E: It's only about 7 hours from San Diego to Phoenix. So if we stop somewhere in the middle, we can switch off, and then someone doesn't have to drive for too long. Maybe one of us should sleep. And it sounds like everyone's ignoring me, so maybe I should sleep first. [01:05:05] Speaker D: If you want to. [01:05:08] Speaker E: I mean, I don't want to. I don't want to sleep at all. But it would be impractical for us to stay awake for seven, 8 hours straight, all of us, and then also try to trade off with each other. [01:05:20] Speaker C: Good idea. You sleep, I sleep, and I'll be your spotter when they sleep. [01:05:30] Speaker A: Excellent. Rosanna, you have the first leg of the journey. Are you planning to stop anywhere along the way, or is this we're only stopping for gas and otherwise it's a straight shot? [01:05:52] Speaker B: Only stopping when we absolutely have to. [01:05:57] Speaker A: Okay, sounds good to me. Can you make me. [01:06:10] Speaker C: A. [01:06:14] Speaker A: Resolve and drive check? [01:06:41] Speaker B: Can spend a willpower to reroll three of those deaths. [01:06:46] Speaker A: You can absolutely spend a willpower. [01:06:53] Speaker B: Zero successes. [01:06:55] Speaker A: Excellent. [01:06:57] Speaker B: Very, very interesting start. I'm not in my right mind right now. I miss Jillian. Jillian was the driver. [01:07:07] Speaker A: So you thought you were okay. And at first you were the first couple of miles were fine, and then you remembered it's rush hour and you guys have to drive through an awful lot of the city to get to the outskirts of it because you picked a safe house that was kind of smack in the middle of everything so that you wouldn't have a long commute no matter where you were hunting. It's also a lot easier to blend in when you're moving into a neighborhood that's in the middle of everything and is pretty transient to begin with. You attempt to merge onto one of the junctions. You're headed for I Eight, which cuts directly across the south of the US. And you just can't just can't get the RV moving fast enough. And as you are attempting to merge into traffic, traffic just flies by, and somebody lays on the horn, and you end up having to swerve off onto the shoulder. You scrape the front right bumper against the safety guards. Victoria and Arthur, who were barely asleep, are both shaken rather suddenly and rudely awake as the RV comes to a complete stop. [01:09:04] Speaker B: Okay, maybe shouldn't be, shouldn't be maybe we should not be driving. [01:09:30] Speaker E: On the shoulder. It's fine. Why don't I take over already? We've barely moved. But maybe you need to rest more than I do. [01:09:45] Speaker B: Fit maybe yeah, sleep. Sleep sounds good. Sorry. Maybe I'm just not in my right mind. Okay, I'm going to get out of the seat now. I crawl out of the driver's seat, and my own nerves accidentally my hip bumps the radio, and all of a sudden you hear is the nice, soothing sounds of Dolly Parton's. Why'd you come in here looking like that? And I get nervous, and I start fumbling with the sorry. Okay. All right, I'm going to go back into where we can kind of, like, rest and hide under the blanket. [01:10:44] Speaker A: Back of the RV has a double size bed. It's big enough for two if you want to cuddle a little bit. And there's also a little couch against one of the walls that's built in, and it can fold out into another bed, but you have that folded out. There's really nowhere to move. [01:11:09] Speaker E: As I sit down in the driver's seat, I look at Zephyr, who I assume was in, like, the passenger seat and just give, like, a I'm just. [01:11:18] Speaker D: Kind of. [01:11:21] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:11:24] Speaker D: But are you still panicking? Like like, very erratic? [01:11:32] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. In the back, you can hear light muffled, like, hyperventilating that turns into crying. [01:11:41] Speaker D: Do we have ice on the bus. [01:11:46] Speaker C: Before you do that? As Rosanna's actually coming into the back, I grab one of her hands, and I start playing with the pressure points, something that they tell you to calm down or to stop being upset about. So I'm playing with her hand and just kind of hitting the pressure points. It's very soothing. And I start asking you weird, inane questions, like, list five things in the room, just trying to get you to focus on anything else but the anxiety and stress you're feeling. [01:12:22] Speaker B: A blanket. Shoe. Shoes. Okay. Laptop. Hey, where's my bag? Actually, you know what? And she's gonna reach, and I'm gonna reach into my bag, and you just see this old little beat up, little lack of stuffed bunny that looks very old and worn, and I just kind of wrap it up in, like, a hug. And I kind of rock back and forth in a play with the ears, and you can tell that they're worn and torn, and I just kind of keep them to myself for a minute. [01:13:13] Speaker A: Arthur, resolve and drive, please. [01:13:17] Speaker E: Okay. Before we actually take off, arthur's journal was in his pocket, because that's where he keeps it. He's going to pull it out and hand it to Zephyr, and it's like one just handing it over. But before Zephyr can actually take it, one rule is just don't lose it. Don't lose. [01:13:42] Speaker A: It. [01:13:43] Speaker D: I put it in the glove compartment so I can know where it is. [01:13:51] Speaker E: Then I have to do this thing, which is a thing that I forgot how to do. There it is. So resolve and drive. [01:14:03] Speaker A: Yes. [01:14:05] Speaker E: Hey. [01:14:06] Speaker A: Much better. Three successes. Yeah. [01:14:10] Speaker E: And I don't have to roll willpower. [01:14:13] Speaker A: You don't have to burn a willpower if looks could kill you. Arthur, maybe it's the extensive prayer that you said ahead of time. Maybe it is the experience that you've had on the road. You've spent an awful lot of time in cars, whether you were driving or not, but your nerves are not nearly as frayed by having to drive. And you pull you wait a couple of minutes, watch for a nice, big opening, because you've got a big, heavy vehicle that you've got to fit into it, but you weave in pretty smoothly. All in all, the people behind you barely have to slow down. [01:15:11] Speaker E: Arthur turns off Journey or whatever Dolly Parton or whatever was on the radio and just turns on the calming dulcet tones of regular talk radio. [01:15:27] Speaker A: Now, when you say talk radio oh, I'm sorry, Victoria. Go ahead. [01:15:32] Speaker C: I like to imagine it's some sort of, like, spooky theater thing, but you know how those old timey spooky theater things aren't even really that scary? [01:15:41] Speaker E: Right. [01:15:42] Speaker C: It's just like kind of this droning voice telling a story. [01:15:45] Speaker E: Yes. It doesn't even matter what the topic is. It could be conservative political talk radio. It could be in Spanish. It doesn't matter as long as it's making noise. So it could be whatever. [01:16:01] Speaker A: I love it. [01:16:03] Speaker E: Arthur's not even listening to it. It's just the sound. [01:16:10] Speaker A: All right, well, now that you are the driver, I have to ask, is there anywhere you plan to stop, or is this we're only stopping for gas? [01:16:21] Speaker E: Well, there's a few places on that route that would probably be a good place to stop. Just in general, while we have a vehicle we can kind of move around in. There's still lake stretching. We have as an RV. I assume there's a little bathroom, but they're still getting out and using the restroom along that route, especially as I know both in and out of character, there are a few places that we should probably stop. So it's not going to be just straight, nonstop drive. There'll be a couple of places, if for no other reason than just to get out, breathe, grab some beef jerky just to feel normal and get back in the vehicle. [01:17:10] Speaker A: Okay, so you're hitting up rest stops and things like that, but there's a. [01:17:14] Speaker E: Couple yeah, along that route. [01:17:15] Speaker A: There's no stores or anything like that that you're looking into. Okay. [01:17:22] Speaker E: No, not unless somebody you know, we should probably get sandwich meat or something. [01:17:31] Speaker A: Well, so far, no one has said anything. Victoria and Rosanna are in the back. Rosanna is slowly calming down, and you know from experience that after the panic subsides and the freak out kind of fades, that tends to be the last of whatever energy she she has to burn. Unless she just woke up and she's been up for a hot minute and had to face an awful lot today. So there's a pretty good chance that she's going to get a really solid nap. Now that you're moving and she's got the comfort of the RV moving around her, you guys manage to head out of the city just as you are passing the city limits and crossing onto I Eight to head towards Phoenix. There is a billboard as you're passing by Arthur and Zephyr. It stands out to you, perhaps more than the others, though they know by now where you came from and maybe not what you were running from, but the fact that it had something to do with the Church of the Rising Sun. And as you are driving by it rising star. I apologize. As you are driving by it, you see the billboard that's advertising services open to the public on Sundays. And it occurs to you you're going to be the furthest away from Katie Lynn that you've been since you left. Last time you were this far away from her was when you were still a part of the church. And you maybe what makes it worse, you don't know how long it's going to be before you're back. Is there anything you two want to talk about before we jump forward a little bit? [01:20:16] Speaker D: All I have to say is, after seeing the sign, I don't say it out loud, but I'm just like, I'm going to burn that fucking place. But I don't care who's there. Whatever it's done, it's it's over. [01:20:41] Speaker E: Arthur doesn't say anything either. There's just this moment of flashes that kind of just seems to drift off for a moment. And then, like, he continues driving. He's still paying attention to the road, but for a moment, it's like his mind wanders somewhere else. And if Zephyr said anything, didn't hear it, the radio also didn't seem to be making noise for a moment. And then it all kind of slowly comes back too. [01:21:18] Speaker A: Excellent. Sephir, are you strictly navigating, or are you paying attention to the other vehicles on the road around you? [01:21:34] Speaker D: A bit of both. So I'm like looking down, but also kind of like, looking mostly it's like, is anybody going to accidentally swerve into our lane or anything? [01:21:45] Speaker A: Can you please make me a wits and awareness with a negative one die. So take one die away from your usual pool because you have split your attention in awareness. [01:22:14] Speaker D: Make sure that's right. You have to do hunter die. Right. Or just roll dice. [01:22:22] Speaker A: Hunter. Yeah. Okay. [01:22:25] Speaker B: Thank you. [01:22:35] Speaker A: Successes. Okay. Nothing immediately stands out about the vehicles around you, except that considering that it's rush hour, you're pulling onto an interstate. There's a weird number of motorcycles. Maybe there's a show going on in the city or something. But just odd that rumble is a little louder than one would expect for mid morning on an interstate. Right? Zanna, will you please? [01:23:29] Speaker B: Mmhmm. [01:23:41] Speaker A: Wits and awareness. Okay. [01:23:46] Speaker B: Due successes. [01:24:18] Speaker A: You have you have a dream. You think it's a dream. Maybe you're just imagining things. It's been a really long day. But you feel vaguely aware, more aware than you typically would be while dreaming. It's not quite lucid, but almost. And you feel hand touch yours, or try to, but it's like it can't quite get purchased. It's like every time it tries to brush your fingers, they slip off, and then you fade back into that blissful black. Nothing of pure exhaustion. Please roll me your remaining willpower. Let's see if you can get through this nap of yours without too much disruption. [01:25:43] Speaker B: Three. [01:25:45] Speaker A: Excellent. You managed to make it through your nap without any nightmares for once. Victoria, are you genuinely sleeping? [01:26:07] Speaker C: For the most part, yeah. I imagine it changed a lot after the music was changed to just the droning voice of someone reporting the news. Then I could actually sleep. [01:26:22] Speaker A: Excellent. Okay, we are going to skip forward a little bit to your first stop. Arthur, tell us about the first place you stopped to get out and stretch your legs. [01:26:45] Speaker E: It is a really trashy looking gas station on the side of the road. That shouldn't have been considered as an option. There were several dozens of other better stops just like even one exit back, but Arthur pulled off. It's like an open lot. There's, like, trucks all over, and it's just this garbage place. He's like, well, I figured this place doesn't really do credit cards, so. [01:27:25] Speaker A: If. [01:27:26] Speaker E: We buy something, it's not like that anyone's going to track us. And that person there, I think, has a very selective memory, if you get my drift. [01:27:44] Speaker D: Do we need anything while we're while we're here? [01:27:50] Speaker E: Some gum, coffee? Other than that, I don't think of anything. [01:27:58] Speaker C: I was going to pick up some cup ramen. And when I say that, you all realize that Victoria has this magical ability to turn ramen, like the little cheap packs into something absolutely delicious. So maybe that's like, oh, yes kind of reaction, or maybe it's not. [01:28:17] Speaker E: Let's get some cup ramen. [01:28:19] Speaker B: Yeah, cup ramen. [01:28:24] Speaker C: So I will go in and buy some cheaper food that I am excellent at, turning really inexpensive food into a decent meal. [01:28:33] Speaker A: Excellent. While you are in there buying your cup ramen, and Arthur and Zephyr outside filling up the gas tank, and Rosanna is doing what Rosanna does, stretching her. [01:28:52] Speaker B: Legs. [01:28:55] Speaker A: It occurs to you that because you're driving an RV, it requires propane, however comma. This place has one of those lovely locking cages outside full of propane tanks, and they do have cup ramen on the shelves. You're not sure how long it's been there, but thankfully that stuff would survive an apocalypse. [01:29:29] Speaker E: So would the coffee. [01:29:31] Speaker C: Also why we keep it around. [01:29:36] Speaker A: Is there anything you're going to get other than paying for propane and cup ramen? [01:29:42] Speaker C: Well, gum was mentioned more coffee, which I think we run as a hunter cell on coffee. So the java is necessary. Other than that, I don't know. Lottery. [01:30:00] Speaker B: Do they have those strawberry candies? [01:30:05] Speaker C: Oh, the ones that you like? [01:30:10] Speaker A: Why don't you, Rosanna, roll me just one die. Let's see if you get lucky. Victoria, are you genuinely going to buy a lottery ticket? [01:30:33] Speaker B: No. [01:30:34] Speaker C: Hell, yeah. [01:30:36] Speaker A: Are you buying, like, a scratch off or you buy, like, Mega Millions scratch off. Okay. [01:30:42] Speaker E: Yeah, we'd have to come back for the Mega Millions. [01:30:48] Speaker A: Unfortunately, Rosanna, they do not have your strawberry candies. [01:30:52] Speaker B: Dang. [01:30:53] Speaker A: But it looks like they normally would, and they're just out, which maybe worse. Victoria will you please roll me four dice? Let's see how your scratch off does. Maybe you guys get lucky, and you walk away with more money than you spent. [01:31:17] Speaker B: Won't that be nice? [01:31:19] Speaker C: How does a critical sound for successes? [01:31:25] Speaker A: So it's a complete just whim. You know, you shouldn't be spending money on something like this. The chances of winning anything worthwhile are so slim. But you go, you know what? We've had such awful fucking luck in the past 24 hours. It's got to get better. [01:31:50] Speaker C: Yeah, that was my argument that I didn't say because I didn't want to bring it up, but my friend just died, so it's time for something good to happen. [01:32:00] Speaker A: And so you buy this scratch off, and just on the off chance that it might work, you scratch off, and for a second there, you're not sure that you're reading it right, and you have to show the ticket to Rosanna to make sure that you did it right. Rosanna, she just won, like, $500 on a scratch off. [01:32:40] Speaker B: Look at that. You know how much strawberry candy is? I could buy with $500. [01:32:47] Speaker E: Just enough gas for the RV. [01:32:52] Speaker B: Two different priorities, I guess. [01:32:56] Speaker C: Keep us going for a bit in more ways than one. And I probably have scratched it right off at the teller, and I just kind of, like, scooch it over. [01:33:05] Speaker A: Yeah, the teller looks a little, like, shell shocked. And there's this moment where you could tell that nobody has ever won while he was working, and he's not sure what to do with it. And he just kind of looks awkwardly between you and the ticket and then back to you, and he goes, can. I don't think I have that much in my drawer. I have to go ask the manager to open the safe. I'll be right back, okay? And he just sort of, like, awkwardly turns and leaves the counter, and you can hear voices that are, like, quiet, kind of off somewhere in a back room. And then they kind of pick up in volume where you could tell that they have told the manager, and the manager doesn't quite believe them either, and that there's, like, this panicked moment of hushed whispering back and forth where they're not sure what to do, and you can hear the rustling of papers. They're probably looking through some manual, trying to figure out what the fucking protocol is on how to pay out something this big, but eventually eventually, they come back with an envelope full of cash, which would look really shady if you hadn't just basically won the lottery. And the teller has his phone out. Can I get a picture? Nobody's ever won here before, like, even, like, $5 of the ticket. Yeah, go ahead of you. You're our first big winner. [01:35:08] Speaker C: No, I look so bad on camera. I've been sleeping in an RV for three weeks. I am very unattractive right now. Thank you, but no. [01:35:20] Speaker A: Can you make me a Charisma persuasion role, please. [01:35:26] Speaker C: I'm very good at these. [01:35:46] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. [01:35:47] Speaker C: Six successes with a crystal. [01:35:49] Speaker A: He deflates a little bit. You can tell that he was very excited. You genuinely are the first person he's ever seen win this much money on a scratch off that wasn't like, on TV. But he sort of nods a little bit. I understand. Thanks anyway. Enjoy your winnings, I guess. [01:36:21] Speaker C: Thanks, I appreciate it. Good work, by the way, handing me that winning ticket. You are a part of the plan. Success. I'm trying to make him feel better, but I'm terrible. [01:36:38] Speaker A: He doesn't look like he buys it, but he gives you the closest thing to a reassuring smile he can manage, where he's like, yeah, no, I got it. I'm fine. I'm a big boy, I can handle it. Is there anything anybody else wants to do while you're here? [01:36:59] Speaker E: So Arthur realized after finished filling the tank of the RV, that he did not bring his cigarettes with him. Not that he smokes regularly, but it's like his indulgence that he does realizes that he didn't bring them. And so he pats himself searching, make sure he isn't mistaken, and then, sure enough, he is not mistaken, and wanders in to buy Jillian's favorite cigarettes because that's what he always bought because it wasn't really for him. He just bummed one every now and then and it makes him think of her. But also he walks in on this scene and they were all like, hey, we won money. But Arthur's now thinking, oh, shit, these guys are going to remember us. [01:37:51] Speaker C: Listen, I didn't think I would win. [01:37:55] Speaker A: When you say that. You forgot your cigarettes? [01:38:00] Speaker E: Yeah. [01:38:01] Speaker A: Where are they? [01:38:04] Speaker E: That's a good question. Don't know. Otherwise they would be on me, wouldn't they? [01:38:12] Speaker A: I'll make a note. [01:38:18] Speaker E: Gotta drop. Little things for you there. Gia storyteller. [01:38:23] Speaker A: Thankfully, this is a seedy kind of crummy roadside gas station that has no business still being open, let alone anything else. So, of course, they have a million varieties of cigarette in stock right now. It's about the only thing seems to perpetually, always be in stock. So you get your cigarettes keenly aware that the people who work here are going to remember you. They're going to remember the people who walked in, bought a scratch off and walked out with $500. Is there anything anybody else would like to do? No? Okay. Well, with that haunting thought sitting in the back of Arthur's mind, you all load back up into the RV and pull back out onto I eight as you are driving, Arthur actually Victoria and Rosanna while Arthur is driving and Zephyr is navigating. What are you doing? [01:39:54] Speaker C: Honestly, just kind of like busy work because there's not much to do in the back of an RV. So I'm kind of checking over my bells, probably checking the strings on my violin, even though I know they're already in great condition and it's. Tuned properly and it's not a problem, but just kind of focusing on anything really. Occasionally I'll bother Rosanna with some stewardess. Stupid question. I should admit that I'm not exactly the smartest person, so I have a lot of questions when it comes to just a lot of people would consider it common sense, but I need to clarify. [01:40:43] Speaker B: And I've been kind of tapping away on my laptop, the one with the heavy security on. [01:41:01] Speaker A: It. Excellent. Are you attempting to reach the dark web while you're on the road, or are you just messing around offline? [01:41:14] Speaker B: Ah, tapping away for for a little bit. I want to see if I'm able to get a breakthrough. I want to see if I can reach out to my community of like minded individuals. And again, you know, every now and again, when Victoria asks me a question, I'm quick to answer whatever she needs. I figure that's how it's kind of been for the last few months anyway, that we've known each other. [01:41:53] Speaker A: Excellent. When you go to reach out to your community, this is a fair bit earlier than you are usually online, but you pop up in your chat room, same place you usually go. Is there anyone in particular that you are looking for? Anything you want to talk to people about? [01:42:30] Speaker B: Is he online? [01:42:33] Speaker A: He is not online. [01:42:40] Speaker B: It I'm not going to be super talkative to the others. Not right now. Not until 08:00 on the dot where where everybody who's known Rosanna for a little bit knows that for some reason, from 755 to about nine two, she is in her room locked up, and, like, the doors are always locked, and she's just kind of doing her own thing for a little bit. But once 08:00 rolls around is when I'll start being social again. Well, at least with my community. [01:43:21] Speaker A: For. [01:43:21] Speaker B: Now, I want to kind of poke in and see if I can dig up any information of what it exactly was that we came into contact with the day that Jillian died. [01:43:39] Speaker A: All right. [01:43:44] Speaker B: I want to access my secret library. [01:43:47] Speaker A: Okay. That answers the question I was going to ask. Can you please make me I don't know, does library have a specific dice pool that you were supposed to use? [01:44:00] Speaker B: Resolve and occult. [01:44:02] Speaker A: All right, give me resolve and occult then. [01:44:05] Speaker B: Okay. Who. Six successes. [01:44:28] Speaker A: Oh, well, so you went in there knowing that you were going after some sort of a shifter. You weren't entirely sure what kind it was when you started and you'd heard about certain vampires that could shift into things that weren't necessarily humanoid, so you kind of assumed that this was another vampire issue. Unfortunately, you probably should have observed your quarry a little bit longer before moving, because now that you're referencing what you saw and what it could do against this library that you've got built up, you have come to realize that that was definitely a werewolf. Definitely a werewolf. And despite how utterly fucking terrifying it was and the fact that it was just a machine of destruction, from what you could see, it probably wasn't even a particularly old werewolf. It was a little sloppy. It wasn't quite as capable as one of the more experienced wolves would have been. Despite all of the damage that it did, and despite the fact that it took bringing a building down on top of it to stop it from killing you. Is there anything in particular you would like to know? [01:46:32] Speaker B: I'm going to use my perk. [01:46:36] Speaker A: What does your perk do? [01:46:40] Speaker B: It tells me exactly who they are. What kind of what kind of werewolf were we dealing with? Any patterns that might have signified what exactly it was that we were dealing with. I mean, there are different types of blank bodies in this world. So are there different types of werewolves? [01:47:19] Speaker A: There certainly are. And you have the feeling that you probably didn't see quite enough of what this one could do to be certain. You've got enough that you could start to narrow down the list of options, but not enough to know for sure. [01:47:49] Speaker B: MMM. [01:47:53] Speaker A: However, there is plenty of generalized information that you can definitely have because it applies to basically all of them. If you would like that information, I can provide that to you now. [01:48:08] Speaker B: Yes, please. [01:48:09] Speaker A: They obviously can take on the form of a human or a half wolf. You saw them like a half wolf, where it was like a big bipedal wolf creature. They also are capable of turning into normal wolves. Like vampires, they are vulnerable to fire. However, they are very capable of regenerating the damage that is done to them faster than most blank bodies. They are vulnerable to silver and they struggle to regenerate that damage. In fact, it seems like just touching silver can harm them pretty badly. Um, they can shrug off most types of damage. And, you know, you weren't sure at the time if it was just how horrifically everything was going and how poorly everything went. But as you read, you start to realize that part of your constant freak out during the hunt because you were constantly freaked out and so was everybody around you. Even people who normally have fairly steely nerves struggled to be calm. Just being in this thing's presence can drive people to almost madness. They're so terrified. There are stories in your library of people encountering these things and not being able to speak for weeks afterwards, or not being able to stop speaking, but everything that came out of their mouth was nonsense. [01:50:29] Speaker B: Victoria? [01:50:32] Speaker C: Yeah? [01:50:35] Speaker B: When we get to Arizona, might be good to take some of them winnings that we got, that you got should probably invest in some silver. [01:50:52] Speaker C: You like this. [01:50:56] Speaker B: Bigger scale, but if that's pure silver, should be, keep that. [01:51:11] Speaker C: What do we need it for? [01:51:13] Speaker B: So I'm looking into what exactly it was that we had to take on a couple of days ago. [01:51:29] Speaker C: Big angry puppy. [01:51:33] Speaker B: Big angry puppies. Did you know that they don't like fire and they don't like silver? [01:51:39] Speaker C: Well, I love fire, so that's news. That's good to me. But the silver comes as a little bit of a surprise. [01:51:52] Speaker B: Looks like that whatever it is that the big puppy confirmed it was a werewolf. They regenerate super fucking fast, but fire kind of sort of slows them down. Silver completely slows them down. And you know how I was kind of like a babbling mess during that fact? That is because they've got some thing about them that when normal people are around them, it basically drives us close to madness. [01:52:33] Speaker C: That's interesting. That's also something I can maybe solve in due time. [01:52:45] Speaker B: Might be worth us to just keep note of all that, just in case. [01:52:53] Speaker C: Yeah. [01:52:57] Speaker B: These things ain't blank bodies, but they're their own type of bread. [01:53:07] Speaker C: I kind of lean up a little bit and I say, you guys hear all that? I'm talking to Zephyr and Arthur. [01:53:17] Speaker D: Yeah. Why are they called blank bodies? [01:53:27] Speaker C: The biters? [01:53:28] Speaker A: Because. [01:53:31] Speaker C: They'Re dead. [01:53:35] Speaker D: Weird. [01:53:36] Speaker E: Yeah, that's actually I didn't know that either. I just assumed it was because I don't know, their fingerprints were all funky because they died. I don't know. That's what I thought. [01:53:48] Speaker A: Rosanna, you were the one to kind of introduce the term blank bodies to this group. And, you know, having picked it up online and having asked yourself because you were a little confused, it is because when a vampire passes through most technology that would scan things like vitals, there's nothing there. There's no hint of life. So they show up as plank. [01:54:19] Speaker B: Yeah. Imagine being drained of everything, and then you go and run through a few tests and you come out almost invisible. That's kind of why they're called blank bodies. Something about testing, and they show up, well, blank. But we're not talking about them right now. [01:54:52] Speaker E: Well, no. Like in the old myths that if they go by a mirror, there's no reflection like that. [01:55:00] Speaker B: No, because the few times that we fought by them, they pass out windows and stuff, and their reflection shows. I think it's just like I'm like a medical record, but it's kind of weird. I'll have to look into it later on. I know I have some books about them somewhere in my catalog, but once I'm able to get more of those answers for you but I think that right now we need to kind of focus on the things that might be. [01:55:39] Speaker C: Shaping us. [01:55:42] Speaker D: Yeah. [01:55:46] Speaker B: Fire, silver, they are quick to heal different forms. They can turn into wolves. And I think what we fought was this half human, half wolf thing. And we got to see if there's something we can do about the whole going crazy thing, because that hindered us a lot. [01:56:29] Speaker E: I don't know. Sometimes I can get them to stop moving. I don't think I could stop us from seeing them and potentially going, babbly gook, like, happened to you? [01:56:44] Speaker C: Maybe I can do it with biters. That was the first time I've seen something like that. It'll take me a moment to kind of get the sound frequency right, but I can probably stop them from bothering us as well. [01:56:59] Speaker E: Yeah, that would make sense. Yeah, I'm following this. Your sound thing would help. I mean, it usually does. [01:57:11] Speaker C: Usually does, yeah. [01:57:15] Speaker E: The harmonious frequency of whatever it is that calls the mind to bring it together to keep us safe. So I'm not sure how any of this works, how any of what I do or devere does works, but I'm getting it slowly. We all know how presenter works. Clickety clack on the internet. [01:57:39] Speaker C: Hey, she found a wealth of information in a couple of seconds. [01:57:46] Speaker E: Yeah, that's true. [01:57:49] Speaker B: It's a wealth of information we didn't have yesterday. [01:57:55] Speaker E: You didn't have to buy it, did you? Bitcoins and whatever. [01:58:01] Speaker B: Don't insult me like that, bitcoin. Who do you think I am? No, everything that I get is completely, mostly kind of, sort of legal, but not bitcoin legal. I do. I do. Let's just say I have a very nice, loving community of people who give me nice things because I pay a little bit of attention to them every now and again. [01:58:43] Speaker C: Imagine that. [01:58:47] Speaker D: Like money slaves. And I'm just like I like, shut like, I like I like, bring the the map up to my face when I say. [01:59:08] Speaker B: Zephyr, darlin, do you really want to know how I operate? [01:59:16] Speaker E: I'm going to look at Zephyr and. [01:59:17] Speaker D: Be like, nah, I think the mystery makes it hot. [01:59:28] Speaker E: And then I'm just going to really lean in for a second, like I'm adjusting the radio or something and go, yeah. I also think she might have an what is it called? Only Fib fans. Only Fans. What it's called? [01:59:49] Speaker D: So, anyway, lots of silver, right? Fire and fire. I'm sure we could probably find silver from, like, pawn shop. So we're not like Joshua Tree. [02:00:10] Speaker E: Joshua tree is coming up. We could stop there and see what we can find. There's surely a pawn shop, probably a petrified forest or something along the way here that we could probably buy a bunch of stupid little trinkets in. [02:00:26] Speaker C: Sure, that might do it. [02:00:29] Speaker E: Don't those roadside places always have, like, little silver spoons with, like, little things glued onto them? They sell for exorbitant amounts of money, maybe. [02:00:43] Speaker C: Sometimes, yeah. [02:00:50] Speaker A: Is that your plan? Are we going to Joshua Tree. [02:00:58] Speaker D: On the way? Yeah. [02:01:00] Speaker A: Excellent. I'm excited. Arthur, tell me about how you're planning to go about this. What are you looking for as you reach Joshua Tree? [02:01:24] Speaker E: If we're trying to find silver, then I think the pawn shop is actually a really good idea. That's actually a smarter idea than the tourist trap destinations that I was thinking, because I was thinking of little keychains and those little spoons and other things that you find at, like, national park. Sort of things. [02:01:45] Speaker A: The things that they charge an arm and a leg for. [02:01:48] Speaker E: Yes, but they're going to be expensive. But what will be less expensive is going to a pawn shop and finding maybe someone pawned off grandma's old silver stuff off pawn shop, and maybe that's actually a much better idea than what I was thinking. [02:02:07] Speaker D: And you might have a better chance of getting real silver versus yeah, because it's like oh, yeah, it's silver, but it's like just painted nickel or something like that. [02:02:18] Speaker E: Yeah, stainless steel pretending to be silver. [02:02:21] Speaker D: Yeah. [02:02:26] Speaker A: Excellent. Wow. [02:02:28] Speaker E: So I'm going to look for a pawn shop, maybe one in, like this is the weirdest part. I'm going to say this sounds strange, but, like, in the shadiest part of town, because that's most likely where I'm going to find someone selling grandma's kitchen set, unfortunately. [02:02:47] Speaker A: Okay. Anybody can make this roll, and I will allow anyone who has dots in the requisite skill to add a die to that person's die pool. Somebody make me either wits and Streetwise or wits and wits and Larceny. Either wits and Streetwise or wits and Larceny. [02:03:23] Speaker C: I might be a good candidate for this. [02:03:26] Speaker D: Yeah, I have one dot in both of those. [02:03:29] Speaker E: Yeah, I have one dot in Larsen, but nothing in. [02:03:37] Speaker B: Awkward. [02:03:38] Speaker C: Sounds like Victoria is actually going to go into this pawn shop. And you know what, Victoria's? [02:03:44] Speaker A: This is more to find the right place. [02:03:48] Speaker C: Oh, okay. [02:03:49] Speaker A: Because you are looking for shady places where you can get what you need and leave, and the people inside are likely to conveniently forget you were there. [02:04:02] Speaker C: Yeah. Okay. I would like to make this roll in. Would anyone help? [02:04:08] Speaker E: Are we assisting? Yeah. [02:04:11] Speaker D: Which one are you doing? Because I have Avalarsony and streetwise. [02:04:16] Speaker C: I was going to go with Streetwise. [02:04:19] Speaker D: Okay. Yeah, I have one dot in that one. [02:04:33] Speaker C: How does four successes sound? [02:04:36] Speaker A: That's not bad. Not bad. [02:04:42] Speaker B: Almost. Not enough. [02:04:45] Speaker A: No, it's fine, actually. You do find a place, it takes you a little bit of kind of cruising around looking for the right place. Arthur is just starting to get a little impatient with you when you finally spot what you're looking for, and it's not something you can even put into words to explain to him that this isn't like it's not like you're going through a checklist in your head of this place hits all the requirements. It's just like a vibe. [02:05:20] Speaker C: Yeah. To imagine we went booked by a few places now, and I've just been no, no, definitely not. [02:05:28] Speaker A: Exactly. And when you finally find it, you're like, that one. That's the one. And Arthur pulls in. Who's going inside? Is everybody going inside? [02:05:44] Speaker B: I'll go inside. [02:05:48] Speaker E: That means Arthur's going to stay with the RV so that no one messes with it. [02:05:53] Speaker A: Arthur's going to make sure the car doesn't get stolen in the shady part of town. While everybody else goes shopping. Got it. [02:06:01] Speaker D: They might be a little important. [02:06:03] Speaker E: It gives them a chance to smoke outside the SUV or the RV anyway. [02:06:08] Speaker A: Excellent. Excellent, excellent. All right, Victoria. [02:06:12] Speaker C: Yeah. I'm going to go in to make sure that nobody gets fleeced. [02:06:16] Speaker A: So I assumed you were going in so you lead the way. You found the place. And honestly, looking at this motley crew, you are kind of the only one who really fits in even a little now that's the fact that Rosanna doesn't fit in isn't terribly surprising. Rosanna is one of those people who, by sheer just because of how gorgeous she is, she doesn't fit in a lot of places. Of course, you wouldn't know it. She's such a pleasant person that she doesn't seem to notice that she usually sticks out like a sore thumb. Inside is almost like the stereotype of what you expect from a shady pawn shop that doesn't necessarily ask questions about the provenance of some of the things that it receives. But there is a wide and interesting array of things on offer. There are electronics. Some of them are under glass. Some of them are up on shelves behind the counter. There are discarded instruments. There are TVs of all shapes and sizes and eras. And there is a door open to a back office through which you can see a rather rotund balding man hunched over something on his desk. And he's got glasses kind of perched on the edge of his nose. As he is looking down at this thing that he is focused so intently on, he does not seem to have noticed you for the moment. [02:08:18] Speaker C: I can bother him if I need to, but if his eyes do kind of lift upward, I'll give him, like, a little. [02:08:26] Speaker A: Excellent. Before we get to that, Zephyr, are you looking for anything in particular, or did you just come in because you were curious? [02:08:37] Speaker D: I'm looking to see if they have any knives or possibly brass knuckles. [02:08:53] Speaker A: Well, you don't see any brass knuckles immediately. As you were looking around, you do see a display box under the counterglass that looks like a collection of pocket knives. If there are more weapons, you're probably going to have to ask for them. You get the feeling, looking around, that this place is in one of those neighborhoods where they're not going to willingly display a lot of weapons. Rosanna, are you looking for anything in particular? [02:09:44] Speaker B: I'm looking for those nice silver ball tip or tipped pens that you can use for calligraphy. [02:10:00] Speaker A: Fountain pen? [02:10:01] Speaker B: Yeah, fountain pens. [02:10:07] Speaker A: Okay. Yeah. It takes a few minutes, but there are an array of them, not too many in silver. You only see a couple that look like they might be silver. The rest of them look like gold or gold plated, as is fairly typical. The silver ones are gorgeous, though. They're these really dark, rich woods, and the silver is inlaid, and the tips themselves, they positively shine. Whoever keeps this place up obviously takes the time to make sure that the things that they are going to have on display actually look good, because there's no way silver like this would not be tarnished if it wasn't well taken care of. [02:11:09] Speaker B: Zephyr and Victoria could probably just see me just, like, looming over the pens and quiddling my fingers and then kind of just like that one. [02:11:27] Speaker D: Are they in a case? [02:11:32] Speaker A: Yes, they're under the glass for the counter, much like the pens, but on the opposite end, you get the feeling that a lot of the precious metals end up in this area. There's a lot of jewelry, a lot of the more expensive items. Victoria, is there anything that you were looking for, or are you just looking to get the guy's attention? [02:11:58] Speaker C: I'm actually looking for Grandma's antiques. Meaning? I'm looking for silver letter openers, silverware and maybe hat pins. Something that people don't really go to a pawn shop to buy. But pawning silverware is a time honored for a reason, right? [02:12:19] Speaker A: Yes. [02:12:20] Speaker C: I find it amusing, the idea of firing silverware out of a crossbow. Volt. [02:12:29] Speaker A: Excellent. Yeah, it doesn't take you super long to spot them. They are out of reach. They are primarily displayed up on shelves back behind the counter. But there is everything from candlesticks to a case like a box, like a heavy wooden box full of actual proper silverware. The kind of thing that doesn't get made anymore, but gets passed down through generations in a family. You even see an incredibly fancy Carvic knife set still in the box, cradled on what looks like old velvet, and the box is open to display them. There's a set of a set of what are they called trays, like, serving trays of various sizes that are all silver. These are a little bit more tarnished than the stuff that's under the glass, obviously. While the guy or whoever is taking care of all of these items does like to take pride in making sure that the things on display are well taken care of, the stuff that's up on the shelves probably has been here for a while, and he's given up on trying to keep them pristine at all times. [02:14:02] Speaker C: I love that he's given up on these items. Easier to buy that way. [02:14:10] Speaker A: Thank goodness. You just came into an easy $500. [02:14:16] Speaker C: Okay. There's a lot of silver there. If one of us was so inclined to melt it down. I don't know if any of us know how to do that, but we could try that. So at that point, I'm going to kind of just whistle, hey. [02:14:40] Speaker A: Who'S that. [02:14:43] Speaker C: Customer? [02:14:48] Speaker A: There's this grumbling from the other room, and you hear a desk chair creak in protest as this man pushes back from the desk and stands up slowly. And as much as it creaked when he pushed back, you can almost feel the sigh of relief that it gives when he stands up and he makes his way out from the office and around the counter to where you are standing. He's on the opposite side of the counter from you, but he had to kind of follow the line of this L shaped counter to get to where you are. What can I do for you? [02:15:38] Speaker C: Box of silverware? [02:15:42] Speaker A: Yeah, we have those. [02:15:46] Speaker C: Whole box. 100. [02:15:50] Speaker A: You want to buy the whole box of silverware? [02:15:52] Speaker C: Yes. [02:15:57] Speaker A: And he sort of turns and looks up at the box and pushes his glasses up on his nose and reaches up to grab it off of the shelf before setting it down on the counter in front of you. Are you trying to hide your interest from him at all? [02:16:28] Speaker C: I'm very much trying to come off as, like, someone who does this for scrap metal. I'm not trying to buy something sentimental or anything like that. [02:16:40] Speaker A: Give me let's go. Manipulation and persuasion. [02:16:56] Speaker D: Can I help her? [02:17:00] Speaker A: You would have to explain to me how you were going to help her hide her interest in the item in front of her. [02:17:09] Speaker D: I was going to walk over and say, oh, those would make really cute rings. Like those people when they turn the spoons into rings. That'd be really cute. [02:17:24] Speaker A: Sure. You could have one extra die for that. [02:17:32] Speaker C: What you're sick with? [02:17:35] Speaker A: Your dice are on fire tonight. [02:17:38] Speaker C: Also a critical for those of you listening. [02:17:44] Speaker A: He buys it hook, line, and sinker. [02:17:49] Speaker C: Yeah, just a couple of people doing, like, scrap jewelry and trying to sell them on the street. [02:17:58] Speaker A: I love it. The crazy stuff hunters get up to, okay, you guys have won money and are now jewelry makers in a single day. [02:18:12] Speaker B: We want to open an etsy shop. [02:18:20] Speaker A: He kind of eyes you for a moment. 150. [02:18:29] Speaker B: How about 100, sir? Come on, we're young entrepreneurs. [02:18:36] Speaker C: Budding business. Maybe we'll give you a discount. [02:18:41] Speaker B: I would very much greatly appreciate it. Please. I'm just going to bat her eyelashes at him. [02:18:49] Speaker C: I will do the whole thing where I bring my phone out and I start thumbing through it and I go, yeah, we can do a shout out of your shop here, give you some influencer, credit. [02:19:08] Speaker B: Proudly display your name on our etsy shop. [02:19:12] Speaker A: He looks a little baffled, like he was expecting you guys to barter with him, but you've just come back at the original price that you offered. Like you're not even trying to budge. Victoria, make me a charisma. Persuasion, I will give you two extra dice because Rosanna is flirting with this man and has the stunning advantage. [02:19:50] Speaker C: You realize this is a nine dice pool, right? [02:19:52] Speaker A: I am very well aware. [02:20:03] Speaker C: Only four successes. [02:20:06] Speaker A: Only four. Would you like to use willpower or are you going to stick with the four? [02:20:10] Speaker C: I'm going to stick with the four. I'll give him 125 if he argues it. [02:20:16] Speaker B: He. [02:20:19] Speaker A: Looks very clearly distracted by Rosanna and her cleavage. It's obvious that he is struggling to keep his eyes above her neck and that he's so influenced and so focused on her that he drops the price by a good $20. And normally you get the feeling that this guy is a bit of a penny pincher and would try and go down by, like, fives instead. 131. [02:21:15] Speaker C: 25. And I'll hold my hand out as if to shake and seal the steel. [02:21:21] Speaker B: And Rosanna conveniently pushes her, just makes a bit more cleavage appear as she leans on the desk. [02:21:34] Speaker A: He reaches out to shake your hand, Victoria. But it takes a good three tries before he finds it, because he's not looking at your hand, he's looking at her cleavage. And at this point is not even trying to hide the fact that that's what he's doing. She's made it so obvious that he's just like, well, fine, if she's going to put it on display. [02:21:59] Speaker C: All right, buddy, I look at them too. [02:22:02] Speaker B: 125. [02:22:04] Speaker A: Yes, 125. [02:22:05] Speaker C: And I will pay up. And I'll look to the others and like, I got some more. Is there any items you liked? [02:22:14] Speaker B: The pen. [02:22:16] Speaker C: That pen? [02:22:21] Speaker D: Do you have anything bigger than these little pocket knives? [02:22:28] Speaker A: The pen normally that's designer. Normally I would charge 40, but I'll charge 20 for you. As for bigger than the pocket knives, ma'am, I do appreciate it, but could you please put those away? [02:23:11] Speaker B: Sorry. It's the southern to me. [02:23:23] Speaker A: He looks back towards Zephyr at long last after the cleavage has been put safely back in its box. What did you have in mind? I think I may have some of those, like, display sword things. [02:23:42] Speaker D: Something that I can do you have any skinning knives? [02:23:51] Speaker A: Skinning knives? [02:23:53] Speaker D: Yeah. [02:23:58] Speaker A: Let me see. And he disappears into a back room. Not the office, but a different door altogether. You get the feeling that there's probably a lot of overflow stock and the stuff that he's not willing to put on display for just anyone to see. Um, and after a few moments, he comes back out. And you notice just before he comes out that a little red light on a camera up in the corner of the shop goes off. And then he comes out and he sets a couple of things on the counter, things he probably shouldn't have or be selling. There is a full size machete, a switchblade with with a blade long enough, you're pretty sure that's illegal. And yeah, there's like, a bowie knife and a few other things. [02:25:28] Speaker D: Can I tell if any of them are silver or I guess I can just ask them. [02:25:33] Speaker A: None of them are silver. That's obvious. They're all pretty standard metals. [02:25:39] Speaker D: Yeah, I'll look them over. Do I see any that are. [02:25:47] Speaker A: I. [02:25:47] Speaker D: Don'T know, it has, like, a little design on it or wherever. If not, it's fine. I'm just like I just want a bigger knife. I just have this little pocket knife. [02:25:58] Speaker A: I mean, there's a K bar. It's not fancy, but those are, like, military issue, and, you know, they tend to hold up really well. [02:26:08] Speaker D: I'll take that. [02:26:10] Speaker A: All right. [02:26:13] Speaker D: How much for this one? [02:26:16] Speaker A: Well, strictly speaking, you didn't buy it from me, but if you were to buy it from me, I'd charge 50. [02:26:31] Speaker D: I look over to oh, God, I'm so sorry. [02:26:37] Speaker A: Rosanna or Victoria? Victoria. [02:26:40] Speaker D: I'm so sorry. [02:26:41] Speaker A: Okay. [02:26:41] Speaker D: Victoria. I'm like, is that a good price? [02:26:47] Speaker A: Victoria, you are free to roll an insight check if you would like. [02:26:54] Speaker C: Sure. I have empathy as an insight specialty. Would that apply here? [02:27:03] Speaker A: You're not really trying to get a feel for him emotionally. You're mostly just trying to gauge if he's trying to rip you off. [02:27:13] Speaker C: So insight. And. [02:27:17] Speaker A: We'Ll go width. He seems to be pretty reasonable. He doesn't seem like he's trying to overcharge. And this is something that you're reasonably certain he's probably not supposed to have, let alone sell, because it's a weapon. And most states have pretty strict rules about what they're allowed to sell in pawn shops. [02:27:59] Speaker C: Also, just to make this quick, is there a silver cross? Kind of like what I'm wearing, but one cross for Arthur sitting around. [02:28:10] Speaker B: MMM. [02:28:15] Speaker A: Make me. Arthur, I know you're not technically there. Roll me D ten. Let's see if there is something in here for you. [02:28:26] Speaker E: All right. A single die. [02:28:28] Speaker A: A single die. [02:28:41] Speaker E: Negative. [02:28:42] Speaker A: Unfortunately, there are no silver crosses. There are crosses, just none in silver. [02:28:50] Speaker C: That's unfortunate. Yeah. I'll just twist a couple of utensils into a cross and say, here you go, buddy. That's what I got. Yeah, I'll pay them in. I think it came to 195. [02:29:09] Speaker A: Yes. [02:29:10] Speaker C: Put that out on the table cash, so he doesn't have to have a scan of my card or something. [02:29:19] Speaker A: Yeah, he doesn't seem like he wants ID or any kind of credit card or anything. He is selling you stuff that he's technically not supposed to have. So he seems pretty relieved that you're doing this all in cash and moving on. But he hands over your purchases. Zephyr, he slides you a sheath to go with your knife. It's made of fabric, so it's probably not going to last very long, but at least it won't cut you immediately. And he gives Rosanna a little wave and a stupid grin. Arthur, you see your companions come out of the shop. Victoria is carrying a rather hefty looking solid wood box. That looks familiar. You didn't own anything like this when you were with the church, but before you went into the church, you saw people who had full sets of silverware that they only pulled out for holidays and things like that. And that looks like what those boxes look like. [02:30:36] Speaker E: I had a grandma at some point. I get it. [02:30:40] Speaker A: Zephyr has a knife, like, a little. [02:30:47] Speaker D: Too happy to have it, just like. [02:30:50] Speaker A: Rosanna looks very pleased because she is carrying a pen. Fancy pen. But. It's pen. [02:31:02] Speaker E: Arthur, toss. This is so I just tossed my cigarette off. It's actually the second one because you guys were in there quite a bit longer than I thought you were going to be in there. But he's like, all right, well, practical, Rosanna. Good job. [02:31:25] Speaker B: Hey, it has a silver tip, and I worked very hard for this pen. [02:31:36] Speaker D: Yeah, with some good old Southern hospitality. [02:31:39] Speaker B: Good old Southern hospitality. Exactly. [02:31:44] Speaker E: Just raise an hmm. I missed something. [02:31:49] Speaker C: It's shocking what we get away with. I couldn't find anything for you, Arthur. I'm sorry. [02:31:55] Speaker E: Oh, well, thanks anyway. I didn't realize you were shopping for me. [02:31:59] Speaker C: I figured all of us could be equipped with something shiny, and I rattled the box of silver. [02:32:07] Speaker E: Yeah. Arthur closes his journal that he had open, and he takes his BIC pen and just sort of sticks it in one of his pockets. [02:32:17] Speaker A: His non fancy pen. Arthur, will you do me a favor and roll me a Wits awareness, please? [02:32:28] Speaker E: Sure. I can absolutely do. [02:32:29] Speaker A: I was waiting for if you noticed. [02:32:32] Speaker E: Anything odd while you were outside alone, standing around outside. I'm sure that I'm have to make a Wits Plus awareness roll. I guess not, but here we are. All right. Wits and awareness. All right. Bam. You know what? I am going to use a willpower do. It just for funsies. So I go, oh, man, this thing is not easy. There we go. Okay. And then bam. [02:33:16] Speaker A: More success. [02:33:17] Speaker B: Okay. [02:33:18] Speaker E: Yeah, much better. [02:33:20] Speaker A: So you weren't sure at first they there was a rumble in the distance when everybody was inside that you hadn't really like, you'd kind of vaguely taken notice of, but you hadn't really paid much attention to. And then as everybody is coming out and talking, and Rosanna's showing off her pen, and Zephyr is holding this knife like he doesn't entirely know what to do with it, and Victoria's shaking her box of booty, you look up in time to watch a Harley pull into a Quick Stop style convenience store just up the block. Could be nothing, but, I mean, you've seen an unusual number of motorcycles today. Usually only one or two at a time, except for when you were first leaving San Diego when there was a ton of them. It'd be nothing. [02:34:58] Speaker E: Well, what does this guy look like he's doing? Does he look at me at all or just roll in and then get off his bike? [02:35:05] Speaker A: He just rolls in, gets off his bike, and heads inside. Doesn't even take off his helmet for right now, so it's hard to get a look at him. You could tell it's a guy. He's tall and lanky. [02:35:17] Speaker E: I mean, I may just be being a little paranoid after everything going on, so I'm not going to think too much about it, but there's a lot of motorcycles, considering that if you've ever taken a road trip on the highway, you will see the occasional motorcycle, but not like a motorcycle everywhere. And what I'm understanding is we basically keep running into motorcycles. So it is a bit weird, but not so weird as I have to go storm over there and find out what that guy's up to. It is something to note. [02:35:56] Speaker A: Are you going to say anything to anybody else about it or are you just tucking it away in the back of your mind? [02:36:01] Speaker E: I'm going to hold it for a second, but I am looking like I am just doing, like a weird like they're doing a thing over there and I'm just kind of, like, off this way. But I've also been lost and thought a few times today. [02:36:15] Speaker A: That's fair. [02:36:16] Speaker E: Doesn't seem that weird. [02:36:20] Speaker A: Okay, what are you guys going to do next? Are you going to load up and get back on the road or it. [02:36:29] Speaker E: Might be time to trade off. We are actually pretty close to Phoenix, but I don't know if Phoenix is where I plan to stop. But it might be time to trade off. [02:36:44] Speaker A: Well, I know. [02:36:48] Speaker B: What bad. Victoria, you and I want to take the lead now. Let the boys have a chance to rest. I can navigate. [02:36:58] Speaker C: Sure. Yeah, I'll let you navigate. [02:37:05] Speaker B: All right. Jesus wasn't taking the wheel when I was behind it, so I mean. [02:37:14] Speaker E: Not enough faith, sister. [02:37:17] Speaker B: Yeah, it's okay. I got my faith in other things. [02:37:21] Speaker A: Hold the power of boobs. [02:37:23] Speaker C: Like if you could hear Victoria's eyes roll when you said not enough faith. [02:37:34] Speaker A: All right, Arthur and Zephyr, you climb into the back of the RV. It is your turn to get some rest while the ladies take over up front. I would like are you two trying to get to sleep or are you just going to hang out and see what happens? [02:38:04] Speaker D: Hang out for a bit because I haven't really done anything to make me. [02:38:08] Speaker A: Tired except for the fact that you just came off of a life threatening hunt. Got it. [02:38:15] Speaker E: Yeah. [02:38:15] Speaker D: I'm too wired. [02:38:18] Speaker E: Yeah, I think that Arthur. Well, so I am going to talk to Zephyr about the motorcycle thing in a like, that's something that will happen because we're alone now and I can be like, hey, listen, have you been noticing motorcycles? Because I have and it's been weird. But before we get to that conversation, arthur is probably going to sleep if sleep eventually happens, but he also just had two cigarettes, so probably not going to bed right now and has been driving a minute and just wrote a bunch of notes down that had to remember some stuff. So he is not in the state to go to sleep right at the moment. [02:38:55] Speaker A: Okay, well, let me have Victoria do a drive roll just to see how this is going to go and then we will give you to the space to have your moment to talk. Victoria? [02:39:10] Speaker C: Yes. What do you require for this, composure or resolve? [02:39:16] Speaker A: Going to go with composure and drive. You've had enough rest. So I don't think that this is really a resolve issue. This is mostly just how calm can you be in an unfamiliar location? [02:39:30] Speaker B: Can I give her a die bonus because I'm her navigator? [02:39:34] Speaker A: Sure. Roll me one more die. Or you can roll it like it would be a willpower. It's fine. Okay. Two successes. It's a little unsteady, but you're not in danger of crashing into anything. You have the feeling that once you get out onto the interstate again, things will be smoother, weirdly, even though everything moves much faster, it's a much smoother experience because you know what to expect. And you guys are in charge of the radio. Or you would be, maybe, unless you gave it over to Rosanna. [02:40:16] Speaker C: Rosanna can have it. [02:40:19] Speaker A: Excellent. Out of curiosity, Rosanna, what are you gracing the cell with while the boys are having their discussion in the back? [02:40:32] Speaker B: It is a mix of I've got this little classic road trip playlist going on. So it's a lot of, like. [02:40:46] Speaker A: Police. [02:40:47] Speaker B: A lot of Alice Cooper, a lot of older rock and roll from anywhere from the dig. [02:41:02] Speaker A: It I think that's a mix I would enjoy. All right, so with the dulcet tones of Alice Cooper going on over the radio, arthur and Zephyr, the floor is yours, as they would say. [02:41:20] Speaker E: Hey, maybe I'm just paranoid because I don't know, is the cult after me? Is it not after me? Right. Like, always thinking that. But today, have you noticed a lot of motorcycles? I've noticed a lot of motorcycles, yeah. [02:41:43] Speaker D: I did notice some when we were stuck in traffic. It didn't seem too weird, though, because we were still close to the city, but I haven't really noticed anymore. [02:42:02] Speaker E: Yeah, I get the feeling that we're missing something, that we weren't sure if we were being followed or not. We weren't sure if we killed the thing, the werewolf. I didn't really want to worry the girls, but I started noticing it, and I started noticing it a little bit more. And maybe I'm just being paranoid. Right? That's why I thought maybe I should talk to somebody. But maybe not. Maybe not the girls. Especially Rosanna. Right. She will probably get a little too nervous to be able to be useful, but I don't know. Am I being crazy, you think? [02:42:48] Speaker D: Were they wearing maybe similar back patches and just anything that was similar or if they had any helmets? [02:43:00] Speaker E: It really didn't stand out to me. It really didn't stand out to me until we reached Joshua Tree here. And then I noticed it. It really sunk in that I had been seeing way too many motorcycles to think that it was normal. But then also, am I just tired? And I'm just thinking every motorcycle is all connected because every red car is connected somehow. Or somebody speeding in the passing lane must be trying to street race somebody or something. Yeah, it's been a long day. [02:43:31] Speaker D: I can't really speak too much on if possibly we're being followed, because I never traveled when I was with the colts. I know you don't really like that word. I don't know what all their vehicles look like, so I can't really say much, but. [02:43:58] Speaker E: Lots of SUVs, that's for sure. [02:44:00] Speaker A: Yeah. [02:44:01] Speaker D: I wouldn't put it past them, though, considering we could if we were given the chance, we probably could run to somebody, be like, hey, they're doing some really shady stuff, and probably ruin their reputation. [02:44:22] Speaker E: Yeah. Spare, who knows? All right, well, thanks, man. Hey, listen, that's just weird, but could you maybe now that I've said something, maybe you could also maybe look or pay attention and see if I'm just being crazy. If we don't see any motorcycles for the rest of the day and tomorrow, then I'm just crazy, right? It was just a long day and a fluke, and I'm being paranoid. I almost feel like, okay, you know when we were leaving and the speaker, like, looked at us? [02:44:57] Speaker D: Yeah. [02:44:58] Speaker E: I got a real weird feeling from that. And this Jillian thing I don't know, man. Maybe were we cursed? Do you think that's something the speaker could have done? [02:45:19] Speaker D: I don't know. When they did sort of their more unnatural things, I was never in the space because it always just gave me the creeps. And I knew that if I showed any sort of discomfort around it, they would get annoyed. So I was like, let me just as much as they are loving their anger is a lot worse, to say the least. [02:46:03] Speaker E: Yeah, well, we don't even know what the speaker is, and so I don't know, maybe again, maybe I'm just pure paranoid, but I'm sure that if things had the power to curse people, then how would that manifest? And I guess I'm worried that maybe that's what happened, and maybe you and I are next, or our curse will bleed to the other two. [02:46:40] Speaker D: Yeah. [02:46:41] Speaker E: Her only fans page aside, Rosanna is innocent. She really doesn't need that. [02:46:57] Speaker D: I don't know. I feel like we've I'm not good with people or really expressing my feelings about things around people. But if something were to happen to the both of them because of either of us I don't know, like, dealing with losing Jillian has already been trying to hold it together, but if something were to happen to them too, I don't know. Yeah, I don't know. [02:47:40] Speaker E: Maybe that's maybe that's why I'm thinking too much about this, because it's like a thing now. It's like a thing. We're mortal, and we could die any minute, and we obviously are not as good at killing things as we thought otherwise. Right. Jillian still be here. So maybe I'm just overly paranoid and worried that one of us is next and that it's not going to be long because we're being followed or some other nonsense. But if you could just I don't know, keep an eye out. If you see something, give me a nod or something so I can notice. If you don't see anything, then if I don't get nods from you for. [02:48:26] Speaker B: Like, a couple of days, I'll think I'm fine. [02:48:30] Speaker D: Yeah, I'll definitely keep an eye out because also, A, there's a werewolf chasing after us, and B, we also have that to deal with. And then also we're traveling across state lines and who knows if we might run into something else weird or crazy. Yeah, I don't know. [02:48:59] Speaker E: Yeah, it's true. [02:49:00] Speaker D: Just a. [02:49:04] Speaker E: Would you what do you think? What should we be worried about in Arizona? Chupacabras. [02:49:10] Speaker D: I don't know. We should be worried about waking up. [02:49:17] Speaker E: God, good boy. [02:49:20] Speaker D: I don't. [02:49:22] Speaker A: All all we can really. [02:49:25] Speaker D: Do is just kind of try to keep it together while we try to make it to Florida. Or we need to make it to Arizona first before we can even worry about Florida. [02:49:36] Speaker E: Right. Just get to Arizona, then we get to New Mexico, then Arkansas. I don't know. Just keep going from. [02:49:50] Speaker D: Yeah, I don't know. Anyway, what were you writing in your journal? [02:49:59] Speaker E: Well, just like, my thoughts on what happened today. Notes on werewolves. As we find out stuff, I try to take notes of it. This thing is like it's still got some of the scriptures I remember in it some of the stuff that the speaker said that I remember because now it looks different when I think about it. It's like, well, was this actually a clue? Was this a hint? Was the speaker trying to tell me something? Not intentionally, but Freudian slips and whatever. All and then notes and so, like, writing about how I feel about what happened, what I know about what happened. Silver yeah. I don't know. Maybe this is nothing, but it'll help me remember stuff, I think. And you were right. You were right. You said earlier, I heard you, and I didn't respond to it because I didn't want to freak anybody out. But you're right. There the things out there can make us forget everything. They can forget our names. They can make us forget stuff. And I'm like, I don't want to forget these things, and I don't want to forget anyone. And so I'm writing them down so I can reference it, remember, in case I forget. But also, if this helps, eventually something happens to us and someone hunter finds this thing and it helps them, maybe helps them save Katie Lynn or something, then great, that's what I'm doing. [02:51:35] Speaker D: And then, like, also pull out my little notebook that I've been carrying and, like, show you a few of the drawings I have of some of the places we've been. And I'm like, yeah, I find it quicker to just kind of sketch it out versus writing. So that way, like you said, if something were to happen, somebody would have, like, a visual marker of where we've been. And who knows? I don't know. [02:52:11] Speaker E: Oh, yeah, listen, I get it because I'm writing this stuff down. I mean, my thing is writing words. There's obviously sketches. I wonder, and I'm sure that this is true, I wonder if we were to compare them, some of your sketches and some of my writing would sort of link up, kind of like a book. [02:52:33] Speaker A: Are you trying to write a book. [02:52:34] Speaker D: While we're on the road? [02:52:38] Speaker A: I don't know if I have the. [02:52:39] Speaker D: Mental capacity for that. [02:52:44] Speaker E: God, are we laughing? [02:52:48] Speaker D: Are we? I don't know. [02:52:51] Speaker E: Yeah, I mean, this is a laugh. This is a laugh. This is odd feeling, but all right, I'll take it. [02:53:00] Speaker D: Yeah. Being with you all is probably the most I've spoken in my entire life. And it's a little weird, but I like it. I like being around you all. [02:53:16] Speaker E: Well, I believe that zephyr. Obviously, this is the least I've spoken in my entire life. So we're just balancing each other out. It's good, actually. I take it back. I speak just as much as I used to, but I have less people listening to me now. That's sadness because you guys don't listen to anything I have to say, which is fine. I recognize half the time I talk, just hear myself talking. I'm doing it right now. I'm doing it right now. [02:53:47] Speaker D: I mean, I listen. I never know the right words to say, so I'd much rather listen than respond. [02:53:55] Speaker E: Sure. [02:54:00] Speaker D: Well, I don't know about you, but if you're going to go to sleep, I'll probably just gaze outside the window while they're driving until I pass out. [02:54:14] Speaker E: Yeah, sounds good. Just going to take his book and just kind of maybe finish up some notes and then just. [02:54:27] Speaker D: Sounds like plan. [02:54:34] Speaker A: All right, well, we are getting to about that time. So I think it is time that we start discussing what your plans are. Where are you planning to stop? Are you planning to crash in the RV or are you looking for a place to stay? [02:54:59] Speaker C: Been thinking about this, a little sentimental, but I'd like to find some sort of like, park, really nice clearing type area so we can bust out my bottle of whiskey that I've got under the seat in the back. Have a toast to Jillian. Maybe leave something of hers behind. [02:55:27] Speaker A: I like that a lot. Are you maybe looking for park that has, like, camping that allows that so that you guys can just park for. [02:55:39] Speaker C: The night, even if it's just like a I can't remember what they're called, but you pull into them and they're on the side of the roads and it's just where people park for the evening. And there's sometimes some picnic benches nearby, even if it's just something like. [02:55:57] Speaker A: Well, do you guys want to look for a park? Or you just got to settle for the first thing that comes up. [02:56:07] Speaker C: Oh, it's got to be something special. As I'm driving, I am kind of paying attention. I'm kind of help getting Rosanna to coordinate with me, but I'm not telling her what it's for, because I want this to be kind of a surprise for everyone. [02:56:24] Speaker A: Give me wits and awareness. And because she is helping you, I will allow you to add an extra die to your die pole. Not that you need it. This is not going to require a lot of successes. All right. Three is more than enough. Okay. It doesn't take too much effort between the two of you. You kind of keep your eyes peeled, and you manage to find an actually fairly well upkept rest area. Because you're on the interstate, it gets a lot of heavy traffic, so they've put more effort into keeping this place up than most. And you pull in as the sun is beginning to set, and it is the most fantastic sunset you've seen in a long time. You've got the Arizona skyline over the desert, and it's painting the sky in these gorgeous oranges and purples and pinks. And perhaps for the first time since before your hunt that went wrong, you are absolutely certain that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. [02:58:14] Speaker C: Well, once we're there, I will kind of set up a bit of food, and then I'll rouse the two guys in the back and say, hey, come on out for a bit. We're going to say goodbye. [02:58:35] Speaker D: Because all the bags are, like, in the back as well, right? [02:58:42] Speaker E: Yeah, I think so. [02:58:45] Speaker D: I'll go into Jillian's bag and kind of fish out because I want to save the photo for when we get to Florida. But I'll probably take maybe a shirt or a hoodie or something not too important, but still iconic. Like, this is something that she wore pretty frequently. And I'll bring that outside. [02:59:19] Speaker A: You pull out a it's not a shirt or a hoodie. It's funny enough, it is a pair of sneakers, high top converse. It was the first thing Jillian bought for herself after you guys left the compound. She always wore boots when you were working, but when she was just doing her thing and things were more casual, and she wasn't concerned about having to put a lot of wear and tear on her clothing and shoes, she wore these off brand high top converse style sneakers. And she loved them so much that despite the fact that she'd only had them for a little over a month, they were already starting to wear out in the soles. They're beat up, but they are very conically. Chilean. [03:00:34] Speaker D: I guess when I hold them, I just kind of lift them up, and I'm assuming the soul is kind of like, I guess, talking, because it's like a little beat up. [03:00:48] Speaker A: Just a little. [03:00:49] Speaker D: And I hold my hand up and make it look like it's talking. I'm like, thanks, guys, and just give it to Victoria. [03:01:01] Speaker E: Just gonna like to myself. Arthur's, like, for a guy who says he's in talk very much, sure has a sense of humor. [03:01:13] Speaker C: I gotta say. I've never buried a pair of shoes before. [03:01:19] Speaker D: I've buried too many. [03:01:25] Speaker C: You know what fair? And I'm gonna work on maybe like, I don't even bury it. I just set it on a rock or set them on a rock. [03:01:36] Speaker A: You? [03:01:37] Speaker E: Yeah. Guess this is my bit, isn't it? [03:01:50] Speaker C: If you want. [03:01:54] Speaker E: I mean, I've never actually done this before. No one I know has ever died. And even when I was doing stuff for the Church of the Rising Star, right? We always believed that death was the next step in the evolution of our soul. So wasn't really this kind of thing. We just kind of celebrated and moved on, which was obviously brainwashing. And this is coming to a point, I promise this kind of moment wasn't something that we'd ever have to experience. And if it wasn't for Jillian, I never would have experienced it and really understood what it meant to really lose. I mean, sure, I was an immature young person before I joined the church, and then after, there's a whole this evolution thing. So death isn't don't worry about it, celebrate it, whatever. They're eternal beings, and they're now in the existence past the gateway and whatever other crazy nonsense. But you actually really do need to feel lost, don't you, to really understand the importance of that person and their impact on your life. Because if you aren't sad that they're gone or did you really care about them when they were alive? So as much as this is absolutely terrible feeling, I think it's necessary for us to remember to be able to realize just how much she meant to us. And so thank you, Victoria, for pulling to the side of the road, finding a park, and doing this and screwed something that I think Jillian would understand. And she was always trying to help. She's doing it for us. Even now. There are my words. [03:04:20] Speaker C: She deserves a lot more than just this. She was our rock. And it's funny because her shoes are literally sitting on a rock right now. But I don't know. This doesn't mean I'm not pissed off at you, Jillian, because I am. But I'm gonna miss you all my heart. [03:04:48] Speaker B: Well, let's not think of this as a time of mourning, but a time of honoring. She was there for us, and we can be here for her one more time. So to our dear, loving, ass kicking friend, Jillian, may your soul rest. May it rest well. Because, girl, you deserved it. Tajillion tajillion, tajillion. It. [03:05:50] Speaker A: Maybe it's grief. Maybe it's acceptance and understanding that life as a hunter is difficult and transient and, quite frankly, cheap. And maybe that's what makes the connections that you all form that much more intense. Knowing now more than you ever realized before how easily all of this could go away. How easily one of you could leave in the morning but not come back when everybody else does. That knowledge and that sense of looming finality seems to form a bond between the four of you that draws you together in a way that none of your prior experiences did. You had good times together, you faced dangers together, and you understood that the world was much bigger and much darker than you ever anticipated. But this moment is the first time you truly feel like a family. Rosanna, you could just be imagining it, but as you stand there with the fading rays of sunlight resting on your face, think you might feel a hand touch your shoulder. Arthur, you almost feel a sense of warmth to your right. Victoria, you close your eyes, and you can almost feel the kind of half nudge that you used to get from Jillian anytime you guys passed in the hallway and she wanted to tease you, and she'd bump her shoulder against yours as you walked by. It was an unspoken, friendly little gotcha zephyr. What you feel is somehow less physical and all the more real for you. Jillian was your almost constant companion when you were at the compound. No one saw or interacted with you more than she did, aside from the speaker. And you don't have to look up. You don't have to close your eyes. You just somehow know instinctively that she's nearby. Maybe she's looking out for you. A nice thought. [03:10:18] Speaker D: I'm sorry. [03:10:19] Speaker A: Even for a skeptic like you. [03:10:26] Speaker D: I reach over and just put my hand on her, on the shoes. Don't say anything. [03:10:39] Speaker A: You all wait and watch as the sun sets quiet with your thoughts, indulging in those fleeting moments of peace and serenity that comes before the night begins to close in around you. Where are you all planning to spend the night? [03:11:17] Speaker D: Sleep outside. [03:11:22] Speaker E: I mean, we've got an RV. We can literally sleep anywhere. There's also some roadside motels or two along the way I'm sure we could crash at. But here's nice. [03:11:42] Speaker C: It is nice. [03:11:46] Speaker B: Yeah. Once we just have a small look around and nothing too bad. Just look around the rest stop once, twice, three times. Four times. Maybe four times and 34566 times. Six times. It'll be good after five. Fine. Three. [03:12:24] Speaker A: Is obviously worried about her, about the safety of the space that you were in. I would like to remind you that none of you have had a proper meal today. You have bought pup noodles. There's no talk of actually cooking them. [03:12:41] Speaker C: Oh, I actually said when we got here, I was kind of getting food ready. [03:12:45] Speaker A: Oh, yes, you did. My apologies. You did say that. So there is the scent of food coming from the small kitchenette. It's been going while you guys had your drink and your moments. With the sunset not quite ready yet, I'm assuming that Rosanna wants to go have a look around. Is anybody going to go with her? [03:13:16] Speaker C: I have to cook, so I'll go with her. [03:13:19] Speaker E: Sure. I think it's this time the boys will go with her and then Victoria can be watching the RV. [03:13:30] Speaker A: All right. As Victoria settles in to finish dinner, zephyr and Arthur instinctively fall in on either side of Rosanna. As you all begin to make your rounds of the rest stop, you can all roll me wits and awareness. That's interesting. All right, we'll start with Zephyr. Because you had the lowest role, everything seems pretty good. You notice that as the lights start to come on along the walkways, there's a couple of places where the light bulbs have gone out and haven't been replaced, creating little pockets of darkness. But they're easily kind of called out and they're sort of surrounded otherwise by light. So you don't think they're going to be a huge risk. Just maybe don't go walking around completely by yourself and you should be fine. Who got the four Rosanna? Got the four rosanna. You notice that there is technically a couple of old payphones. From the looks of them, they might actually be in working condition, but you're not positive. You do notice that one of the snack machines is definitely broken. Unfortunately, the worst part is that not only is it broken, but it's clogged, like, jammed. Like, somebody's put, like, $10 into this thing trying to get a single snack out, and it just won't fall. So they've all just sort of piled up on top of the third row. And perhaps the thing that makes you the most sad is that among them are your favorite strawberry candies. [03:16:17] Speaker B: This is a cold Krill joke. She just kind of looks back at Arthur with, like, the sad I look back at Arthur with, like, the really sad ass, and I just point to the candies on the venting machine. [03:16:35] Speaker E: Yeah, that good luck. Had to die eventually. [03:16:41] Speaker A: Arthur. At first, everything seems perfectly normal. You don't notice anything out of the ordinary. And even when you do notice something out of the ordinary, it may not be out of the ordinary. It could just be you being paranoid. But as you are coming back towards the RV on your rounds, you're making that final walk across the parking lot, you see a Harley pulling out of the parking lot and onto I eight. [03:17:21] Speaker E: Arthur's hand, while he's because he's standing on the one side, this hand that is farthest away from everyone will reach back and touch the handle of his. 38 revolver. But he's not going to do anything over it. It's just being aware that it's still there. [03:17:46] Speaker A: One. As you all return to the RV, Victoria has somehow taken multiple Cup Noodles and turned them into a small, not fully ramen shop level feast, but still really fucking good. Like, as close to a ramen shop feast as you're going to get without going to a proper ramen shop. You don't know. How she does it. It's some sort of black magic, you're sure? But it's the kind that you don't want to chase off the face of the earth, because it creates food like this. And you all sit around this very, very tiny, little, quote unquote dining table inside of the RV. You've got the bug nets closed up around the windows, and the door, they're all open, but the nets are in place to keep the bugs out. And you enjoy your meal. Rosanna, I need one more wits awareness from you, please. [03:19:09] Speaker B: Okay. [03:19:13] Speaker A: Nobody can help you with this. [03:19:16] Speaker B: Got it. I like to spend a willpower to reroll. Three. [03:19:30] Speaker A: Go for it. [03:19:35] Speaker B: Three. [03:19:37] Speaker A: All right. You are in the process of washing up the dishes after everybody has finished eating, and people are kind of settling in for the night. And you catch out of the corner of your eye a tall, broad figure standing just outside of the open door, blurry around the edges, hard to make out. And it he. You could tell it's a he. You've seen this before. Reaches out towards you for a moment, and it but when you turn your head to fully look gone. And that is where we will end our story for the nightmare.

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