Episode 17: “Here is a Traitor”

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CONTENT WARNING: Disturbing elements, doppelgangers, familial conflict, child in peril

Tape 2-10-13-2-20: Following a stunning revelation in the Sheridan case, Sam Bailey and Maria Sol plan their next steps as they form an uneasy alliance, and investigate Anna’s long history with doppelgängers, duplicates, and deception.

Starring Airen Neeley Chaconas as Anna Sheridan, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, Amitola Lomas as Maria Sol, and Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Additional music from WikiMedia Commons and musopen.org. Written and produced by Trevor Van Winkle, and made possible by our supports at patreon.com/homesteadcorner

For more information and additional content, visit thesheridantapes.com

Script

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Outtake

Transcript

CONTENT WARNINGS: Disturbing elements, doppelgangers, familial conflict, child in peril

Cold Open

[Cassette player motor whirs, stops]

[Main Theme]

Recording Begins

[Cassette noises]

[Keyboard keys clacking]

[Beep]

[Quiet office environment]

Maria Sol

…Is this really necessary detective Bailey? I already told you, I didn’t have anything to do with…

Sam Bailey

That’s not why you’re here. Uh, please state your name for the recording.

Maria Sol

Jesus, you’re recording again? And I thought Anna was bad…

Sam Bailey

Miss Sol, I know must be difficult for you, but please – please, try to take this seriously.

Maria Sol

Am I being charged with anything?

Sam Bailey

What?

Maria Sol

Have you charged me with anything?

Sam Bailey

Um, well – no.

Maria Sol

Do you plan to charge me with anything? Or am I free to go?

Sam Bailey

Well, yes, I suppose you are but… Hey!

[Maria’s chair scrapes backwards]

Miss Sol, wait, I…

Maria Sol

If you’re not arresting me, then I’ll just be going, thanks.

[Footsteps]

Sam Bailey

Wait, Maria, please just – wait. Look, I… I know we got off on the wrong foot.

Maria Sol 

[Scoffs]

You mean pulling a gun on me? Yeah, that’s a bit of an understatement.

Sam Bailey

No, I mean – before that. On the phone. I… I made an ass of myself.

Maria Sol

Oh really? I didn’t notice.

Sam Bailey

And… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.

Maria Sol

Are you just saying that because I won’t talk otherwise?

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

Well… Kind of. Yes. And I hate myself for it, but – I think we both want the same thing. I think you’re holding a few pieces of this puzzle I don’t have yet. And I think that, just maybe I have a few you don’t.

Maria Sol

“Help me help you,” then? That’s the best you’ve got?

Sam Bailey

It’s either that, or try to get an arson charge to stick, and I don’t want to do that.

Maria Sol

[Sighs]

Maria Sol.

Sam Bailey

Sorry?

Maria Sol 

[Sighs]

[She walks back towards the recorder]

Maria Sol, freelance video editor and technical director, formerly employed by Poultice Press. 

[She pulls her chair out]

Is that enough for the recording?

Sam Bailey

You’re going to… Um, yes, that’s plenty. This is detective Sam Bailey, Oslow County Police Department, Homicide Division, recording on April 29th, 2019 at 9:41 PM. So…

Maria Sol

So…?

Sam Bailey

I think you have something you want to tell me about yourself and Miss… Yourself and Anna.

Maria Sol

Oh, um… Well, I mean, we didn’t talk about it much… We were both pretty private people, and her family’s super conservative, so she…

Sam Bailey

Hold on… What?

Maria Sol

You found out – You’re talking about… Well, me and Anna, right?

Sam Bailey

What about you and Anna?

Maria Sol

Oh god, you’re just talking about…

Sam Bailey

…What you were talking about in the parking lot. What did you think I was talking about?

Maria Sol

Anna and I were… close. For a long time before she… Yeah.

Sam Bailey

Well… Yes, obviously – You worked together since you graduated, and you were…

Maria Sol

No, that’s not what I mean.

Sam Bailey

I… sorry?

Maria Sol

God, do I need to spell it out for you? We were TO-GE-THER.

Sam Bailey

You were… Oh. OH. I am so sorry, I didn’t…

Maria Sol

No, of course you didn’t. Obviously.

Sam Bailey

I’m sorry, you just seemed kind of… Blasé about her disappearance.

Maria Sol 

[Slightly choked laugh]

Ha! Well, sorry if I’m not weeping openly over my dearly departed love. Don’t mistake this with being okay.

Sam Bailey

Maria – Anna isn’t dead. She’s in a halfway house just outside town. We’ve confirmed it’s her. She has the right ID, her fingerprints match, and – well, she looks and sounds exactly like Anna Sheridan. Because she is.

Maria Sol

How many tapes have you listened to now?

Sam Bailey

Excuse me?

Maria Sol

How many of Anna’s tapes have you listened to? I mean, they shouldn’t be here, but how many of them have you played?

Sam Bailey

Well… probably about 50 by now, though only about a dozen of them were actual recordings of… you know.

Maria Sol

And what about this? Abstract art? It’s good, but I’d recommend cutting back on the red-string: it really overpowers the rest of the composition…

Sam Bailey

Okay, okay, fine. What’s your point?

Maria Sol

My point is, you’ve been listening in on Anna’s life. It’s honestly kind of creepy, but you know the kinds of things she dealt with, right?

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

Miss Sol, I know that you worked on these recordings with her. Whatever can’t be explained by her being high was added in by you later, correct?

Maria Sol

What are you talking about?

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

The Donner Pass tape? The Anna Sheridan Files? I know all about the podcast you were working on, and it’s…

Maria Sol

We only made that one episode. Poultice didn’t think it worked. I’m kind of glad, honestly: it was a pain in the ass to edit to and from tape like that…

Sam Bailey

No, wait. What about the one with the Wild Hunt?”

Maria Sol

Huh?

Sam Bailey

The… The Beechwood Monster?

Maria Sol

Who?

Sam Bailey

So… If you didn’t edit those…

Maria Sol

And the lightbulb goes on. Ding!

Sam Bailey

No. No, there’s no way that this is all… That she…

Maria Sol

Listen to me, detective. I hate to rain on your skeptics parade, but it’s real. Maybe not all of it, but most of it. And it’s knocking on your front door.

Sam Bailey

How… How did you know about that?

Maria Sol

Sorry?

Sam Bailey

Someone knocked on the door of my apartment just before I got a call from Anna. There was no one there when I went to check, but…

Maria Sol

I think you’d better get used to things not adding up if you’re going to stick with this, detective. Once things like this get started, they tend to keep coming. Especially around Anna.

But I think you’ve already started to notice that, haven’t you? I mean, I didn’t want to listen in, but…

Sam Bailey

The fire at the bar. It’s way too similar to the fire in Langlois to be a coincidence.

Maria Sol

And what about… De Witt? Was that his name?

Sam Bailey

A police officer I had a run in with last week – well, someone pretending to be a police officer, at least.

Maria Sol

Or something.

Sam Bailey

You clearly have a point you’re trying to make here, Miss Sol. Please find it.

Maria Sol

[Sighs]

And I thought I was blunt. Okay, fine. You want another story to put up on your conspiracy board? Two years ago, Anna called me from somewhere in Iowa.

She was going home for the holidays for the first time in years, even though I told her it was a bad idea. Ever since her dad died her mother’s been absolutely unbearable, and her sister isn’t much better. She still hadn’t come out to them, despite the fact that we’d been off and on for nearly a decade at that point. I think they were about the only people who didn’t know.

Anyway, she thought spending the holidays with them would be better than having to listen to her mother complain about her not being there for another year, so she took off cross-country once she wrapped up an investigation in Boise. When she was a few miles out, she pulled off to call and let them know she was almost there. There was no cell service, but she knew that there was an old pay phone at the gas station, so she got some quarters from the mini-mart and dialed up the house. It was a bad connection, and when Kate picked up, she could barely understand her. Kate sounded almost… Confused when she heard Anna’s voice. It seemed like, for some reason, she didn’t actually believe it was Anna. She kept demanding to know who this was, what they wanted, and eventually Anna started to get a little worried. She had her recorder with her as usual, so she started taping the call about halfway through.

Come to think of it, you probably have that tape in there. Mind if I…

Sam Bailey

[Scoffs]

Good luck finding it.

[Maria flips through a paperback]

Sam Bailey 

What’s that?

Maria Sol

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. Anna’s old copy.

Sam Bailey

Why are you… Oh. That’s the key text? For the tapes?

Maria Sol

Someone get the man a prize. Let’s see… that was… no… 2017, mid- December… Ah! December 20th, 2017 – Keyword “Deceit,” 2-10-13-2-20. Can you…

Sam Bailey

Yes, I – I think I might have seen that one already… Hold on…

[The two rummage through the case together, pulling out a few tapes]

Maria Sol 

2-10-12… No…

Sam Bailey 

Got it! 2-10-13-1-21…

Maria Sol

No, that’s “Ensue…” May 24, 2010. I don’t think we’ll need that one.

Sam Bailey

Damn… Couldn’t she think of an easier way to…

Maria Sol

Got it!

[Maria opens the player and slips the cassette in]

[Click]

Tape 2-10-13-2-20

[Hiss of static, then fades]

Kate Sheridan

…listen, whoever this is, we’re really not interested, so just…

Anna Sheridan

Kate, just listen to my voice. It’s me. It’s Anna. I’m just outside Cedar Rapids, and…

Kate Sheridan

Look, just stop, okay? I know you’re not Anna, so just cut the bullshit.

Anna Sheridan

Jesus Christ… Kate, I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s ME.

Kate Sheridan

No, it isn’t!

Anna Sheridan

How the hell do you know that?

Kate Sheridan

Because I’m looking at Anna right now!

Anna Sheridan

Wh – What?

Kate Sheridan

She’s outside, playing with her nephew. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to hang up and…

Anna Sheridan

Kate, please, for the love of god listen to me: get whoever that is away from Andrew, it’s… it’s not me.

Kate Sheridan

What did you just say?

Anna Sheridan

Get them away from Andrew, he’s not safe. Please Kate, you need to…

Kate Sheridan

How do you know my son’s name? Who is this!?

Anna Sheridan

For the last time Kate, it’s me! The person in your garden right now isn’t!

Kate Sheridan

I… uh…

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Who’s on the phone, Kate?

Kate Sheridan

It’s… uh, It’s just… It’s for you.

Anna Sheridan

Kate! Kate, don’t give them the phone, I…!

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Hello, Anna Sheridan speaking?

[Anna stammers]

Must be a bad connection. Listen, please call my agent if you need to get in touch for work, okay? My cell’s broken. Okay? Okay great, thanks.

Do you know who that was?

Anna Sheridan 

Wait, please don’t hurt…

[Click. The phone hangs up and the dial tone rings]

No. No, no, no, no….

[Footsteps as she runs back to her van]

[Click]

Tape Paused

Sam Bailey

That was… Did that…

Maria Sol

Yes and yes. It was one of the entities Anna and I encountered. Several times, actually. She called it, “The Echo.” The first time she found it was…

Sam Bailey

Spirit Mountain Cave. She thought she let it loose, and was trying to hunt it down. Trying being the operative word.

Maria Sol

So you have been paying attention? Good.

Sam Bailey

What… what happened? To Kate and the kid, I mean?

Maria Sol

Well… there’s quite a bit of tape left. Are you sure you…

Sam Bailey

Yes. Play it.

[Click]

Tape Resumes

[Anna opens her glove box, pulls out a pistol, cocks it, and tucks it into her jacket]

Anna Sheridan

Okay… Not the most well concealed, but I guess it will have to do.

[Anna exits her van, closes the door, and walks up the driveway]

[She knocks on the door]

[The door opens]

Kate Sheridan

Anna? What, did you forget the key or something…

Anna Sheridan

Kate, shut up and listen to me. How long do you think I’ve been here?

Kate Sheridan

Oh ha ha. Very funny Anna. I knew I shouldn’t have told you about that call…

Anna Sheridan

Kate. Look me in the eye. Do I look like I’m joking right now?

Kate Sheridan

Um… No, not really.

Anna Sheridan

How long do you think I’ve been here.

Kate Sheridan

Three days. Your flight came in on Sunday night, and… Whose van is that?

Anna Sheridan

You know exactly whose it is. Kate – I didn’t fly here, I drove. I told you I was going to drive when we planned this.

Kate Sheridan

You… you said you were probably going to drive – you hadn’t made up your mind yet…

Anna Sheridan

I drove. I’m here. I only just got here.

Kate Sheridan

Then who… Oh god.

Anna Sheridan

The Echo. West Virginia. This is why I had to stop it there. I knew something like this would happen if I didn’t.

Kate Sheridan

Oh god oh god oh god… If you’re messing with me, it really isn’t funny…

Anna Sheridan

I’m not. Where is the… the other me right now?

Kate Sheridan

At the store. We were wrapping presents and she went to get some more eggnog.

Anna Sheridan

Alone?

Kate Sheridan

No, she took… Oh god.

Anna Sheridan

Who?

Kate Sheridan

[Sighs]

She took Andrew with her.

Anna Sheridan

Get in the van.

Kate Sheridan

What? She’s coming back here, we can just wait…

Anna Sheridan

I’m not taking any chances with my nephew, Kate. And I’m not dragging mom into this. We need to handle this, now.

Kate Sheridan

Is… is Andrew in danger?

Anna Sheridan

More than you know.

Kate Sheridan

And do you still have… you know, that, um…

Anna Sheridan

Yes. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

Kate Sheridan

Good. Let’s go.

Anna Sheridan

Wait, really?

Kate Sheridan

This thing has my son, Anna. Don’t give it an inch.

[The front door closes, they march towards the van]

[The van doors open and close, the van screeches off]

[Click]

[Silence]

[Click]

[The sounds of a chaotic supermarket. A general hubbub and cacophony of voices, carts, and scanners]

Kate Sheridan

How are we supposed to find her in here?

Anna Sheridan

I’ve got my scanner. If we can’t just find her, then we’ll…

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Kate? Kate, is that you?

Anna Sheridan

Oh shit – hold this.

[A shuffle as Anna forces the recorder into Kate’s hands]

[Anna’s receding footsteps]

Kate Sheridan

Wait, what am I supposed to do with this? Anna? Anna?

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Right here Kate! What are you… Jeez, are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.

[“Anna” laughs at her joke, Kate forces herself to laugh along]

Kate Sheridan

I’m… I’m fine, I just realized I, um, I forgot to tell you that we needed eggs as well.

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

No you didn’t. See: Eggs.

Kate Sheridan

Oh. Right. Guess I just – forgot. 

[Soft baby babbling in the background]

How’s Andrew?

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Oh just – the sweetest little angel! Who’s Auntie Anna’s baby boy? Who is it? Who is it?

[A toddler burbles happily. “Anna” laughs as well]

Kate Sheridan

Well I’m – Glad you two are having fun. I guess I’d… Better get going then…

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Hold on… How did you get here? I took the car.

Kate Sheridan

I, um, drove mom’s!

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Really? I thought she didn’t let anyone touch that thing.

Kate Sheridan

Well, you know, normally not, but, uh, she really wanted to make sure we got everything… You know it’s going to be crazy in here the rest of the week, and…

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Okay, okay, got it. Jesus Kate, you’ve got to chill out a bit. Go ahead: I’ll finish up in here.

Kate Sheridan

Oh good. I’ll just… Mind if I take Andrew home with me?

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Why?

Kate Sheridan

Well, I think it’s getting to be past his nap-time, and he doesn’t really like crowds, so…

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

What are you talking about? You took him to Disneyland last month.

Kate Sheridan

I… Uh…

[A loud and obnoxious fire alarm goes off. Annoyed groans go up around the store]

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Oh come on… Hey!

[Kate grabs the cart and runs with it towards the door, panting]

Cashier

Ma’am? Ma’am, you need to leave your shopping here while…

Kate Sheridan

Here! Take it!

[Kate shoves the cart in their direction, pulling Andrew out of the baby seat] 

[Andrew starts crying]

Kate Sheridan

Shhh shhh shhh shhhh…

Anna Sheridan (OTHER)

Hey! Stop her!

[Kate gets through the automatic doors and out into the parking lot]

[Kate is running]

Kate Sheridan 

Where’s the van… Where did Anna park the… there!

[Someone’s brakes squeal next to her. They honk]

Kate Sheridan 

Sorry! Sorry!

[She continues to the van, then grabs the handle, but it’s locked]

Kate Sheridan 

No no no, not now, not now…

Anna Sheridan

Kate…

Kate Sheridan

Ah!

Anna Sheridan

Careful with Andrew, Kate! Did you get out safe? Did it follow you?

Kate Sheridan

Stay away from me!

Anna Sheridan

Kate! It’s me!

Kate Sheridan

No, you’re not. I know what you are, and you’re not going to fool me again!

Anna Sheridan

Kate…

Kate Sheridan

No! You are not my sister!

[Anna pulls out her key-fob, and unlocks the van]

Anna Sheridan

Remind me – Did I bring my van, or was that the Echo? I can’t quite keep it straight.

Kate Sheridan

Oh god Anna, I’m so sorry. It… It was right behind me when I got out, and I just thought…

Anna Sheridan

It’s fine, no hurt feelings. Is Andrew okay?

Kate Sheridan

What? Oh, yeah, he’s fine… A little scared, but he’s okay. She… what are you doing?

[Anna has pulled out her scanner and switched it on]

Anna Sheridan

Just checking to make sure… 

[Sighs]

No. It’s him.

Kate Sheridan

Who else would it be?

Anna Sheridan

I’m not really sure, but… that thing pretending to be me – the Echo – it can imitate more than one voice at a time. And… Well, I’m not really sure, but I’d bet that it can imitate more than one person at a time too.

Kate Sheridan

You don’t think it was…

Anna Sheridan

I don’t know – but why else would it want to spend so much time alone with Andrew, if that’s not what it was doing?

Kate Sheridan

[She gulps]

Oh god.

Anna Sheridan

Are you okay?

Kate Sheridan

No. I think I’m going to throw up.

Anna Sheridan

Do you need me to hold Andrew?

Kate Sheridan

What? No, I… Actually, yes, please…

[Shuffling as Anna helps Kate]

[Clack and clatter as the tape ejects]

Tape Ends

Sam Bailey

[Sighs]

Shit.

Maria Sol

Yeah.

Sam Bailey

So you think that the person we found in that halfway house – that it’s not Anna, but… some kind of copy of her. Something pretending to be her.

Maria Sol

Not just pretending. For all intents and purposes, it is her: it looks like her, it sounds like her, and after all this time following her around and learning about her, it probably thinks like her too.

But trust me, it isn’t.

Sam Bailey

Look… even if I believed that this “Echo” exists… What am I supposed to do about this?

Maria Sol

You? Nothing. You’re not even supposed to know about this.

Sam Bailey

I… sorry – what?

Maria Sol

I didn’t come to you for help, detective… I didn’t come to you at all. I’m here to figure out what it’s doing and how to stop it. I don’t need your help, and I certainly didn’t show up expecting it.

Sam Bailey

Miss Sol… What exactly are you planning to do here?

Maria Sol

I don’t know yet. Whatever I have to.

Sam Bailey

And what if you’re wrong?

Maria Sol

Excuse me?

Sam Bailey

What if – just hypothetically – it isn’t the Echo. What if it is actually Anna, and she’s really just trying to get sober. What happens if you do something… drastic, and it turns out it was actually her all along?

Maria Sol

It isn’t.

Sam Bailey

I’m just working with hypotheticals here. Say that it is Anna, but you don’t realize that until you’ve already put a gun in her face and pulled the trigger.

Maria Sol

I wouldn’t…

Sam Bailey

I’m not saying you would, but Anna definitely seemed to think that was the way to deal with this thing. What if you only figure out then? What happens to you? What happens to me, for that matter?

Maria Sol

You?

Sam Bailey

You told me you were going after her, going to do whatever it takes to stop her, and I did nothing about it. In that case, you’ve pretty much made me an accomplice to murder. What’s your plan to get out of that?

Maria Sol

I… I don’t have one. Maybe…

Sam Bailey

Maybe nothing. We both go to prison for a very long time, and your…

partner is dead by your hand.

Maria Sol

Jesus, detective…

Sam Bailey

Sorry, that was… I’m sorry. But my point still stands: this can spiral out of control real quickly if either one of us goes in there guns blazing.

Maria Sol

So what do you suggest we do?

Sam Bailey

Exactly what Anna told us to.

[He pulls a sheet of paper from inside his desk]

“Listen.” Together.

Maria Sol

What is this?

“The last will and testament of Anna Sheridan, concerning the future?” Where did you get this?

Sam Bailey

They found it in the glove box of her van when they brought it to impound. It was the only piece of evidence besides the van itself and the tapes.

Maria Sol

Which still make no sense.

Sam Bailey

Which still make no sense. But since I do have them, here’s what I propose: we stop arguing, we sit down, and we keep listening until we find some way to prove whether this Anna’s the real McCoy or not. You know Anna, you know – the things she dealt with. And I know how to build a case. We do this carefully, methodically, and, if we figure out she isn’t who she says she is, we arrest her. Deal?

Maria Sol

Deal.

[Beep]

Recording Ends


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