Episode 49: “I Will Show You Fear”

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CONTENT WARNING: Depictions and discussions of grief and loss, brief depictions of psychological torture, discussions of religiously motivated homophobia, strong language, and loud noises including screams.

11082019a: A series of recording from across Oslow County, regarding the fate of Bill Tyler.

Starring Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, Amitola Lomas as Maria Sol, Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Chris Martin as Robert Quincy, Maurice Cooper as Jerry Price, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, Mike Kennedy as Edgar Morrison, James Cain as Peter Slate, and Alejandra Cejudo as Amanita, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written and produced by Trevor Van Winkle and Virginia Spotts, and made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner and ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner

For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit homesteadonthecorner.com/tst049

Script

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of grief and loss, brief depictions of psychological torture, discussions of religiously motivated homophobia, strong language, and loud noises including screams

Cold Open

[A very early morning on the outskirts of Oslow at Jerry Price’s home — quiet but for an urgent and persistent knocking on the front door]

[Further inside the house, a door opens and Russel races out, collar jingling as he barks at the intrusive noise. Jerry follows, a little more slowly]

JERRY PRICE 

Keep it down, Russel, it’s three in the goddamn morning…

[Another door opens, and Sam peeks his head out]

SAM BAILEY 

What’s going on?

JERRY PRICE

I don’t know, someone’s —

[Another door opens — Kate glances around at the scene]

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Yawning]

Who is that? What time is it?

JERRY PRICE 

I was just going to check —

[Maria pokes her head out from another door]

MARIA SOL 

What the hell’s going on out here? Who’s Russel barking at?

JERRY PRICE 

What do you all think I’m trying to check? Everyone, get back in your rooms before whoever’s out there hears you!

SAM BAILEY 

Oh. Right. 

[Sam shuts his door]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Sorry Jerry. 

[She shuts her door]

MARIA SOL 

[Annoyed groan]

Just get him to be quiet, and…

JERRY PRICE

Maria.

MARIA SOL 

Fine, fine.

[She finally shuts her door. Jerry sighs, tired]

JERRY PRICE

How on earth did I end up babysitting, geez louise —

[Russel barks again, louder and more insistent. The knocking continues]

JERRY PRICE

Yeah, yeah, I’m coming…

[Jerry opens the door, cutting off when he sees who’s standing there — and the look on his face]

JERRY PRICE 

Rob? What’s… What’s going on?

ROBERT QUINCY

Sorry, I know it’s late, but — Is Bill here?

JERRY PRICE 

Bill? Uh, no, he… Why would he be here?

ROBERT QUINCY 

I’m sorry Jerry, but — He told me that Sam and Kate and Maria are here. Then he left the house, and I haven’t seen him in hours and I’m worried that he —

SAM BAILEY 

It’s okay, Jerry — you can let him in.

ROBERT QUINCY 

Sam?

JERRY PRICE 

Yeah, yeah, come in… Russel, be nice.

[Russel gives a friendly whine, then goes back down the hall towards Sam. Rob enters, and Jerry closes the door behind him]

JERRY PRICE 

It’s just Rob everyone — you can come on out now.

[Doors open and people creep out]

MARIA SOL

Wait… It’s who?

SAM BAILEY

Bill’s boyfriend. He’s — OOF!

[Before Sam can finish, Rob embraces him]

ROBERT QUINCY 

I’m so glad you’re okay, Sam.

SAM BAILEY 

[Tired, trying to get out of the hug]

Yeah — thanks Rob… You too. Look: What happened? Where’s Bill?

ROBERT QUINCY 

I don’t know. He came home upset, and then he… He told me everything. He finally decided he was going to quit the department, and then I asked him to go get some more tomato sauce, but after that he just…

SAM BAILEY 

Oh no…

KATE SHERIDAN

Sam? Is everything okay?

SAM BAILEY 

No. No it isn’t.

ROBERT QUINCY 

What is it? What are you saying?

JERRY PRICE 

Rob, you might want to sit down.

ROBERT QUINCY 

Just tell me, okay?! 

[There’s a heavy pause — then…]

SAM BAILEY

I think he went to confront Morrison. Alone.

MARIA SOL 

Holy shit…

KATE SHERIDAN 

No…

ROBERT QUINCY 

What does that mean? Is he… Did Morrison —

SAM BAILEY 

No, I… I don’t think so. But he wouldn’t let him go. Not if he realizes what Bill knows.

ROBERT QUINCY 

Then where is he?

SAM BAILEY

Best guess? Same place Morrison keeps everyone else he wants to hide.

MARIA SOL

We don’t know that Sam, he could’ve just found —

SAM BAILEY

No — I think we do. Morrison took Bill to the facility. [Cassette noises] And we have to get him back.

[Click]

Main Theme

Recording Begins

[Cassette noises]

[Static fades away]

[It’s early morning, birds are occasionally heard outside]

[Maria types notes and does research on her computer in the background]

[Jerry prepares coffee in the nearby kitchen]

SAM BAILEY 

[Formally]

Okay… This is Sam Bailey, recording on November 8th, 2019 at 8am, Maria Sol, Kate Sheridan, Jerry Price, and Robert Quincy in attendance. At approximately 6pm on November 7th, Bill Tyler left the residence he shares with Mr. Robert Quincy, presumably to confront Chief Edgar Morrison of the Oslow County Police department. He has now been missing for nearly 14 hours, and all attempts to make contact have failed. Does that sound about right, Rob?

ROBERT QUINCY 

What? Oh, yeah — It was more like 4:30 or… Maybe quarter to 5? I can’t remember now.

SAM BAILEY 

Uh… Right, right, uh… Do you… [clears throat] Is there anything else you can remember him saying before he left? Anything that might help us find him?

ROBERT QUINCY

Not really, it was… We were both having a bit of a fight, and then we both calmed down and… I can’t remember most of what we said.

[Beat]

He said he’d be right back.

SAM BAILEY 

Uh… Maria, have you been able to find anything online? Social media, phone calls, IMs, anything like that?

MARIA SOL

Not really… Looks like he has a pretty active twitter, but he stopped posting completely at the end of last week. Last post was about going out to Karaoke with…

KATE SHERIDAN

Yeah, that was, uh — that was us. He and I and Ned — Uh, De Witt.

MARIA SOL

Ohh.

SAM BAILEY 

Anything else you can find? What about his phone?

MARIA SOL 

What about it?

SAM BAILEY

Can you — I don’t know, track his location?

MARIA SOL

How the hell would I do that?

SAM BAILEY

I don’t know, I just thought…

MARIA SOL 

[Closing computer, shifting in seat]

Just because I know my way around a computer doesn’t mean I’m some kind of hacker. You may as well ask Kate.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Hey…

SAM BAILEY 

Okay, okay, sorry — Just thought I’d ask. So… In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we can assume that Morrison captured Bill and took him to the underground facility outside Oslow. Right?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Should we really jump to that conclusion? Maybe Morrison took him somewhere else? Or maybe he wasn’t captured at all? Oh! Could he be hiding at the cabin you stayed at, Sam?

SAM BAILEY 

He, uh… No, not really.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Why not?

MARIA SOL

We kind of, uh… Burned it to the ground when we left.

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Almost sounding impressed]

Really?

SAM BAILEY 

Trust me — no one’s going to miss that place. And I don’t think Bill would want to stay there, even if he could.

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Sighing]

Okay, is there anywhere else he might be hiding? Rob? Any ideas?

ROBERT QUINCY

I — I don’t think so.

SAM BAILEY 

Even if he does, we have to get inside that facility sooner or later, agreed?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I… I guess.

MARIA SOL 

I really don’t think that’s a good idea, Sam.

SAM BAILEY 

Well, yeah, it probably isn’t but… we don’t have much of a choice, do we? We have to get Bill out of there.

KATE SHERIDAN

If he’s even there.

JERRY PRICE 

[Entering room]

And if Morrison doesn’t already know you’re here.

[They all fall silent at that for a tense moment]

MARIA SOL 

Shit, he’s right. How do we know Bill didn’t tell him where we are?

ROBERT QUINCY 

He wouldn’t do that!

KATE SHERIDAN 

We know he wouldn’t normally, but — Well…

ROBERT QUINCY 

Well, what?

SAM BAILEY 

Morrison could threaten him for the information. Or you. Or he might just go straight to —

JERRY PRICE 

[warning him not to finish that sentence]

Sam.

SAM BAILEY 

Besides, the first time we ran into De Witt, he was able to manipulate our perceptions. Make us see things that weren’t there. He could find a way to trick Bill into telling him. Maybe even read his thoughts directly.

KATE SHERIDAN

Wait… He can do that?

SAM BAILEY

I — I don’t know. Maybe. I know that I can sense emotions, and I’ve just started to figure this stuff out. De Witt’s had more than a thousand years of practice. Who knows what he’s capable of?

But yes, Jerry’s right — we can’t assume we’re safe here anymore. Our best defense has to be a strong offense.

KATE SHERIDAN

What offense? All we can do is, what — get Bill out of there and then find somewhere else to hide?

SAM BAILEY 

We could blow the facility — rig a few charges, set a long timer, and then…

MARIA SOL

Uh, Sam… Last time you tried that, you had access to a police armory, remember? Where exactly are we supposed to get plastic explosives?

SAM BAILEY 

Oh. Right. Shit.

KATE SHERIDAN

Wait… that’s your problem with this plan?

SAM BAILEY 

Kate?

KATE SHERIDAN 

We can’t just go in there and start killing people!

MARIA SOL 

Not people… Just… Morrison.

KATE SHERIDAN 

What the hell are you even saying right now?

SAM BAILEY

Kate, it was just an idea. Let’s move on and…

KATE SHERIDAN 

No, let’s not move on! There are people trapped in those cages, right? People that Morrison is holding there against their will? What… what happens to them?

[Everyone falls silent. After a moment…]

JERRY PRICE

Kate’s right. Besides, it’s just the three of you. You can’t go in guns blazing and expect to win. You need to be smart about this… Smarter than Morrison.

SAM BAILEY 

Just the three of us? What about you and…

JERRY PRICE

I said that I’d let you stay here, not that I’d help you fight Morrison. And Rob is… Well, he’s in no shape to deal with this right now.

ROBERT QUINCY 

[Weakly]

I want to help…

SAM BAILEY

No, Jerry’s right…. You’ll help everyone most by just keeping yourself safe.

KATE SHERIDAN 

And you’ve already done more than enough letting us stay in your home, Jerry. We can’t ask you for any more than that.

JERRY PRICE

Thank you, Kate.

MARIA SOL 

Well, that’s just great. So now we’re down to a CPA, an ex- detective with superpowers that may or may not work, and a film school grad. How the hell are we supposed to pull this off?

SAM BAILEY

Well… Let’s, uh, let’s think it through. What do we know about this place?

KATE SHERIDAN

Bill said it was all underground, right? And there was a tunnel running to the central chamber, and a couple of passages connected to it?

SAM BAILEY 

Okay, good. What else? Jerry?

JERRY PRICE

He said the tunnel looked like it used to be some kind of vehicle access. Two-lane, so about 20 feet wide — 18 if it was a tight squeeze. There must be records of when and how it was built somewhere.

SAM BAILEY

Good call, Jerry. He said there were electronics down there too… Lights at least, and most likely the cages as well. We should be able to figure out where that power’s coming from, right?

ROBERT QUINCY

Not… Not necessarily. Morrison could have a power source down there… A diesel generator, most likely. Old bunkers like that were usually designed to be self- sufficient.

SAM BAILEY 

Okay… Scratch that idea, then. But we’ve got a good start here. Maria — you were the only one besides Bill who’s been out there. Do you remember anything else about the tunnels?

MARIA SOL 

No. I didn’t go down there with Anna. That’s how I managed to get away from Morrison in the first place.

SAM BAILEY

Uh… Okay. Did Anna say anything about it that you can remember? Anything that might help?

MARIA SOL 

Of course she didn’t. She didn’t even tell me she was going into the tunnels.

SAM BAILEY 

Well is there anything you do know about this place?

MARIA SOL 

The only thing I know is that Anna was killed the moment she set foot down there. That’s it. So forgive me if I don’t feel terribly optimistic about our chances.

[Silence. The weight of her words sinks in, and after a moment, Rob stands]

ROBERT QUINCY 

Excuse me for a minute.

[Rob exits the room as calmly as he can. A moment later…]

JERRY PRICE 

Shit, I’d better check if he’s okay.

[Jerry walks away, Kate’s chair scrapes as she stands]

KATE SHERIDAN

I… I should go call Peter.

MARIA SOL 

[Standing and leaving]

And I need some fresh air.

SAM BAILEY 

Uh… Okay, I guess we’re taking a break now… We’ll come back to this in a few min–

[Shuffling as he handles the recorder. It turns off with a…]

[Click]

[Silence]

[Typing as someone accesses a recording from a cellphone’s mic]

[Dial tone rings]

[Kate whispers to herself, practicing what she’s going to say]

[Someone picks up]

PETER SLATE 

Hey there, Katey!

KATE SHERIDAN

[Stammering slightly, caught off guard]

H–Hi Peter! Good morning!

PETER SLATE 

Uh… Good morning to you too?

KATE SHERIDAN

It’s not too early is it? No, no, it’s later there, I forgot… Sorry. Is, uh… Is Andrew up yet?

PETER SLATE

Uh. Yeah — he’s off to preschool already. They had a field trip today, so I had to get him there early.

Listen, is everything okay? You sound a little… I don’t know.

KATE SHERIDAN

Who, me? No, no no, I’m fine, it’s just… I just wanted to check in. See how you’re doing. Uh. Really just… Wanted to hear your voice again.

PETER SLATE

[Genuine]

Um… Good to hear your voice too.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Listen, I was calling to say that I might be gone a little longer than I thought I would, so I wanted to make sure that you and Andrew are okay —

PETER SLATE 

Wait… What do you mean, longer? You didn’t say how long you planned to be gone.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Oh? Didn’t I? No, I guess I didn’t. Well, whatever it was going to be — it might be a little longer. It might not, but just in case, I wanted to, uh… I wanted to…

PETER SLATE

Kate — What exactly are you saying right now?

[Kate doesn’t answer for a long moment — then…]

KATE SHERIDAN 

I — I have to go, I just realized I left the stove on and I need to go switch it off before it —

PETER SLATE 

Kate? Kate, talk to me: are you okay? Is something wrong?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I’ve gotta go, bye!

PETER SLATE

Kate –?

[Beep beep. The call ends. The phone mic is still being accessed. Kate lets a breath out in a sob]

KATE SHERIDAN 

“I love you.” You couldn’t even say that? God… What the hell is wrong with me?

[Recording fades out]

[Silence]

[Cassette noises]

[Static fades out]

[Sam starts up the recorder again, setting it down on the kitchen table]

SAM BAILEY

[Pacing slightly]

Okay, I’ve been going over what we were able to gather this morning, and… I have a few ideas. One: we know there must be a secondary entrance to the bunker. Morrison was already down below when Bill found him, and his car wasn’t anywhere near the hatch, so he must have his own way in. Likely locations are: an access point somewhere inside OCPD, possibly in his office — a passage that leads directly from his house — a connection to the sewer system somewhere below town, which we may be able to find if —

ROBERT QUINCY

Sam?

[As Sam jumps, dropping the recorder and rattling some dishware on the table]

SAM BAILEY 

Ah! Rob! Uh, hi, how are you? Are you feeling any better?

ROBERT QUINCY 

Um… Kind of? Jerry said I should probably eat something… I haven’t had anything since lunch yesterday, and I thought…

SAM BAILEY

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, of course! Refrigerator’s just back there, [he stands, his chair scraping] what do you, uh… What do you want?

[Sam walks to the kitchen, Rob sits down]

ROBERT QUINCY 

I — I don’t know. 

[A moment’s pause, then…]

SAM BAILEY

You know what? I’m going to make you a caramel macchiato.

[A cabinet door creaks open as he finds a pot and lid and sets them down on the stove]

ROBERT QUINCY

Huh? Jerry has an espresso machine?

SAM BAILEY 

Well… No, but — I mean, he does have a coffee pot, and some caramel syrup, and some — Well, I think it’s coconut milk, let me look.

[Sam walks over and opens the refrigerator]

ROBERT QUINCY 

I don’t think that’s —

SAM BAILEY 

No, it’s almond milk. [He closes the fridge] Are you okay with that?

ROBERT QUINCY 

Yeah, but I don’t think you can make it with —

SAM BAILEY

It’ll be fine — how hard can it be?

ROBERT QUINCY

Sam, I really don’t need you to…

SAM BAILEY

No, no, just sit tight — I’ve had lots of practice making my own food over the last six months. I’ve got this.

[Sam turns and pulls out a mug, then pours milk into it and puts it in the microwave to warm up]

SAM BAILEY 

So, uh… How did you and Bill meet?

ROBERT QUINCY 

He didn’t tell you?

SAM BAILEY

I, uh… I never asked.

ROBERT QUINCY 

We, uh… We met in high school. I knew I was gay by then, but I wasn’t out to… Well, anyone, really. I had a crush on Bill, but [the microwave beeps as it ends] I didn’t tell him for nearly… God, three years. [Sam closes the microwave door] I didn’t even think he knew I existed until we ended up working on an English project together. [Sam puts the milk away] We had to give a presentation on Lord Byron, of all people. I think the teacher just picked his name out of a hat, because she turned [he closes the fridge] bright red the moment we mentioned he was bi. But, uh… Let’s just say Bill did more than mention it [Sam pours the coffee in the mug] when we were in the library after school —

SAM BAILEY 

Oh, shoot — the coffee’s cold. Someone must have unplugged the pot. Give me a second.

[Sam tries to fit the entire coffee pot into the microwave, fails, and then pulls out a pot and pours the coffee into it, turning the stove on]

ROBERT QUINCY 

Uh. Yeah, uh… anyway… We didn’t tell anyone, but — we started dating after that. Stayed together all of senior year, which mostly meant catching [Sam turns the gas on] little moments alone when we could. But then Bill’s sister saw us kissing behind the gym, and she told his parents, and… [Sam stirs the coffee] Well, there was barely any discussion, the way Bill tells it — just a lot of screaming before they threw him out and disowned him. My folks let him stay at our house for a while… In separate rooms, of course.

They weren’t quite as backwards as Bill’s folks, but they still didn’t approve. Bill and I left Utah right after graduation and never looked back. We’ve been together ever…

[Sam, not paying attention, spills the pot with hot coffee on the floor]

SAM BAILEY 

Ah! Shit!

ROBERT QUINCY 

What — Are you okay?

SAM BAILEY 

Fine! Just… Spilled the coffee. I think I still have enough to finish this…

ROBERT QUINCY 

Do you need some help?

[Sam pours what’s left into the mug]

SAM BAILEY

No, I’ve got it, I’ve got — oh great, now the milk’s gone cold.

ROBERT QUINCY 

Couldn’t you just… Put it in the pot?

SAM BAILEY 

Oh — yeah. Good idea.

[Sam dumps everything back in the pot and starts to stir]

ROBERT QUINCY

Do you need me to get a mop or something?

SAM BAILEY

No, I’ll get it later… Now how am I going to get this to froth…

ROBERT QUINCY

Um. I think you can just whisk it like that? I’ve seen people do that online.

SAM BAILEY

Oh. Okay, I’ll try that. Where does Jerry keep the — [he jostles some utensils] Ah! There it is!

[Sam begins to whisk the mix of lukewarm milk and coffee, clattering it loudly around on the stovetop]

SAM BAILEY 

[Half-focused]

So how long have you and Bill been together, then?

ROBERT QUINCY 

Oh, uh… God, it was going to be… 12 years this January. We were going to go to Fiji.

I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.

[Sam freezes mid-stir at the familiar words, then coughs. He pours what sounds like far less than a full cup into a mug]

SAM BAILEY 

Okay, uh… Here you go — one caramel macchiato a’la Bail — Wait, hold on, I forgot the carmel.

ROBERT QUINCY

This is fine, I really don’t need…

[Sam ignores him and squeezes a dollop of cold caramel syrup into the middle of the (somewhat) frothed milk. It’s not a pleasant sound]

SAM BAILEY 

Uh… Enjoy?

ROBERT QUINCY 

Ah… Thanks. I think I’m going to… [he scoots out of his chair] I think I’m going to lie down.

SAM BAILEY 

Oh, uh… Yeah, sure.

[Robert takes the mug and walks out of the kitchen. He nearly bumps straight into Jerry on the way out]

ROBERT QUINCY

Oh! Sorry Jerry, I didn’t see you there.

JERRY PRICE 

That’s fine — No harm done.

[Robert continues down the hall, and Jerry steps into the kitchen]

SAM BAILEY 

I’m sorry, Jerry, [he puts the pot in the sink] I’ll get this all cleaned up in a second and…

JERRY PRICE 

You heard all that, right?

SAM BAILEY 

I… What?

JERRY PRICE

What Rob was saying. You weren’t just pretending to listen, right?

SAM BAILEY 

No, I… [he adds the whisk to the pot] Of course I was listening. I just… I didn’t know what to say.

JERRY PRICE

Hm. Well, that’s fair I guess. You know what I heard?

SAM BAILEY

Uh… no? Wait, were you eavesdropping?

JERRY PRICE

I was making sure Rob would be okay. You have a tendency to be a little… Indelicate, when it comes to other people’s feelings.

SAM BAILEY 

That’s a nice way of putting it. How did I do this time?

JERRY PRICE

Eh… Not too bad. Considering the circumstances.

SAM BAILEY

What circumstances?

JERRY PRICE 

Don’t make me spell it out for you, Sam.

[Sam freezes, then sighs, shifting his body weight]

SAM BAILEY 

I don’t know what to do, Jerry. If… If he loses Bill, then…

JERRY PRICE 

Then make sure it doesn’t happen.

SAM BAILEY

What?

JERRY PRICE 

Get. Bill. Back.

SAM BAILEY

How?

JERRY PRICE

I don’t know. But I don’t want to see someone I care about lose the person they love like that. [He sighs] Not again. Get your shit together. Save Bill. Stop Morrison.

SAM BAILEY

I… I don’t know if I can. Kate and Maria —

JERRY PRICE

— Will make the right choice for themselves. But right now, their options are leaving Bill to die, or joining a suicide mission. You need to make sure it’s a choice they can actually live with.

[A moment’s pause — then…]

SAM BAILEY 

Okay… okay.

[Click]

[Silence]

[Work lights flick on in an echoing chamber]

[A computer comes to life as someone accesses a recording, tapping a command on their keyboard]

[Beep]

[The recording shifts to a digital, slightly grainy source — the built-in microphone from one of the cages in the MKCTS complex. After a moment, Bill stirs in his sleep, waking up]

BILL TYLER 

What the hell… Aw, oh, my back–

[Ned’s voice comes through, tinny, from the other side of the cage]

NED LEROUX

Morning, Bill.

[Bill freezes, looking up through the glass at Ned]

BILL TYLER

Oh… shit.

NED LEROUX 

Well that’s no way to greet your partner now, is it?

BILL TYLER 

You’re not my partner. You’re — You’re not even human.

NED LEROUX

Try not to be so narrow minded, Bill… It’s not a good look for you.

[Bill attempts to sit up]

BILL TYLER 

Where am I?

EDGAR MORRISON 

I think you know exactly where you are. After all… You’ve been here before.

BILL TYLER

Chief? [Thump as he hits the glass] Chief, listen, I don’t know what De Witt told you, but you don’t have to —

EDGAR MORRISON 

Save your strength Tyler. You’re going to need it. Keep an eye on him. I’m going to check the generators.

NED LEROUX 

Roger that.

[Morrison’s footsteps are heard retreating on the speaker. Bill scoffs]

NED LEROUX 

What?

BILL TYLER

So you went from terrorizing Sam to following Morrison’s orders, huh? How did that happen?

NED LEROUX 

Well, soon after I saved Sam, I had a bit of a… an argument, with the Echo. Ended with me short a couple of legs, dragging myself down the highway. Morrison found me and gave me a choice — take Sam’s place, or go in the deep freezer again. Permanently. Not a difficult choice.

BILL TYLER 

Take Sam’s place… What, as my partner, or…?

NED LEROUX 

[He scoffs] Not at all. Morrison just paired us up at the last minute to try and keep me in check. Guess he thought you’d be a good influence or something.

BILL TYLER 

So then Sam was supposed to… What, be part of this thing?

NED LEROUX 

Oh, very good Tyler. Gold star. Yeah, Sam was supposed to be part of this thing. Or, to be more precise, he was supposed to be the central axis of this little psychic wheel, and I was supposed to be where you are right now — locked in a faraday cage, burning up my brain for fuel.

BILL TYLER 

But… Won’t this thing… You know, [he gestures] kill you?

NED LEROUX 

If I was in your seat… yeah. Probably. But if I’m in that chair when the veil closes, then I’ll ride it out in the eye of the storm — last man standing. You… Well, the last person in your seat didn’t make it, and they had magic mushroom in their veins. Still —

BILL TYLER 

Wait… Amanita’s dead?

NED LEROUX

What? No, no, she’s fine… A little worse for wear, but still alive. You’re actually cellmates with her now. Say hi, Amanita.

[Ned switches the source on the speaker, and Amanita’s voice comes through]

AMANITA 

[whispered, fearful]

…The source of all that was and was not and will be again is within me and without me and beyond me and below me and before me, forever —

[Ned switches her mic off]

NED LEROUX

And that’s definitely enough of that. She hasn’t been the same since Hyde kicked the bucket. Should’ve seen it coming, but — I hoped they’d last longer.

BILL TYLER 

Who else do you have down here? How many people have you and Morrison killed to — !?

NED LEROUX

Don’t get hysterical on me now, Bill. Like Morrison said — you’re going to need your strength. And besides — you wouldn’t recognize most of what we’ve got down here as people anyway. One or two of them even tried to kill you.

BILL TYLER 

And what about… Ned Leroux, huh? Was he ever real?

NED LEROUX 

Bits and pieces of him. I used to work in Houston, once upon a time. Well, I say work… [he laughs]

And I took this face off an old buddy of mine from a coup d’état back in Serbia, but his name wasn’t Leroux… I just made that up.

BILL TYLER 

[He scoffs] And what about that girlfriend in Paris? You know, I didn’t believe that for a second.

NED LEROUX 

Hey now, that part was actually true. Though to be fair, I was the cosmetics executive at the time, not the police officer. And it was New York, not Houston.

BILL TYLER 

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ…

NED LEROUX 

[Chuckling darkly]

You know the best part of immortality, Bill? You live long enough, every story ends up being true. Makes lying a hell of a lot easier.

[Morrison rounds the corner on Ned’s last word]

EDGAR MORRISON 

Alright, we’re ready to go.

NED LEROUX 

Are the generators up to capacity?

EDGAR MORRISON 

Of course they are. Stop stalling and get in the chair.

NED LEROUX

I’m not stalling, I’m just — we should probably start at a lower power level with Bill… make sure we don’t burn him out on the first go.

EDGAR MORRISON 

We run at 100 percent.

NED LEROUX 

Don’t you want to interrogate him about Sam?

EDGAR MORRISON

What I want is for you to stop talking and give me something other than dead bodies and excuses. You manage that… Well, then Sam stops being a problem. 

[Edgar turns to Bill, smiling]

Comfortable, Tyler?

BILL TYLER 

[Blithely]

Yeah, it’s a really nice space in here, I really love what you’ve done with the pl — [Angry, flipping the bird] Fuck you, Morrison.

EDGAR MORRISON 

Good, good. This thing feeds on emotions… [In the background, a strong mechanical hum, like a growing wind, starts up] the stronger, the better. Yours might not be totally compatible, but… Well. Beggars can’t be choosers.

[To Ned] Start the cycle.

[A heavy switch is thrown, and a low, pulsing tone begins to play through the speakers, growing lower and lower as the recording begins to distort. In the background, faint voices and the crackling of fire can be heard, growing louder and louder as reality warps]

[As this fragment of Bill’s memory is drawn out of him, he begins breathing heavily and moaning, in physical and mental pain]

SAM BAILEY

[faint and distant]

Did you know what I — What I am? Before tonight?

BILL TYLER 

[faint and distant]

No.

SAM BAILEY

[faint and distant]

Would you have done anything different if you had?

[Bill groans, then whimpers slightly, then screams. The cry is lost in the static]

[Beep]

[Silence]

[Cassette noises]

[Click]

[Static fades out]

[Just inside Maria’s van, another recorder starts running. Faint sounds of the desert are heard through the open door]

MARIA SOL

Oh, good… You still work.

[Maria turns and starts picking up and opening bags, rummaging through the contents]

Well, since you didn’t hear what happened in there — we’re fucked. Morrison has Bill, and Bill knows we’re all here. It’s only a matter of time before he talks, so I need to be ready to —

KATE SHERIDAN 

[muffled]

Maria? Are you out there?

MARIA SOL

God, can’t catch a break these days… [calling out] Yeah, I’m here!

[Kate crosses the yard, then steps into the van, closing the door behind her]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Everything, uh… Everything okay, Maria?

MARIA SOL 

Fine, just… Checking that I’ve got everything I need in here.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Everything you need for what?

MARIA SOL

Just — everything I need. Look, I’ll be back in a minute, and —

KATE SHERIDAN 

[Gently]

You’re running away, aren’t you?

MARIA SOL

I’m…

[Half-beat]

Fine. Yes, I am. And you should be too.

KATE SHERIDAN

Maria…

MARIA SOL

You have a kid, Kate! A family to go back to! Sam’s plan is… Well, it’s not even a plan. He’s going to get us all killed if we follow him down there.

KATE SHERIDAN 

We can’t just leave Bill to die down there —

MARIA SOL 

Why not? You don’t really know him. Neither do I. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him, but he’s… [she pauses]

Chances are, he’s already dead. And if he isn’t, he will be long before we can get to him.

KATE SHERIDAN 

You don’t know that!

MARIA SOL 

Yes, I do! If Anna couldn’t get out of there alive, then there’s no way any of us can!

[Maria turns back to her bags, checking their contents]

God… It was a mistake coming back here. Morrison owns this town, and we need to get as far away from here as we can. There’s no other way out of this.

KATE SHERIDAN

[Very softly]

I can’t leave.

MARIA SOL 

What do you mean, you can’t leave? 

[There’s a long pause, and Kate sighs, sitting down]

KATE SHERIDAN 

Anna called me. Just before she left L.A. She didn’t tell me what she was doing. She didn’t ask for my help, but… I could tell she was in trouble. That she was in over her head. But I…

[Pained sigh] I didn’t say anything. I didn’t do anything. And I wasn’t there for her. Not when she needed me. She saved my son, Maria — did she ever tell you that? She saved Andrew from the Echo, and I couldn’t even bring myself to ask if she was okay. And the next thing I heard — she was gone.

I can’t do that again. I can’t leave Bill, knowing I could have done something to save him. I couldn’t live with myself if I

ran away now. And I don’t think you could either.

[A long, meaningful pause passes between the two. After a moment…]

MARIA SOL

You have no idea what I’ve already lost, Kate. I can’t stay here and lose all of you.

KATE SHERIDAN

No idea what you lost? She was my sister, Maria. Whether or not she’s dead… We both lost her. And we’ll both end up losing Bill if either of us runs away.

[Maria pauses, thinking]

MARIA SOL 

If it comes down to it…

KATE SHERIDAN

[Firm]

I won’t let it come to that. I promise.

[Maria sniffs back tears, wiping her eyes]

MARIA SOL 

Okay.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Okay?

[She breathes out] Okay, good. Come on, I’ll help you put this stuff back where it —

SAM BAILEY 

[from across the yard]

Maria! Kate! Get in here — I think I have something!

KATE SHERIDAN 

Are you good to go back inside? I can tell him to buzz off, or…

MARIA SOL 

No, I’m fine. The day I can’t face up to Sam Bailey is the day I stop being me.

[Kate opens the van door]

Oh shit, I guess that’s all on tape now —

[Maria fumbles with the recorder]

[Click]

[Silence]

[Click]

[Sam restarts the tape in Jerry’s living room, animated and clearly excited by something]

SAM BAILEY 

November 8th, supplemental. It’s about noon now, and I’ve been going through everything that’s happened in the past year. I think I might have have found something I missed before. Maria and Kate…

[The sliding glass door opens, and the two of them walk back inside]

…Are right there, good. We can get started.

KATE SHERIDAN 

What did you find?

SAM BAILEY

Well, I didn’t find anything, per-se… More like I remembered something. Hold on, let me find that tape…

[He rummages through tapes]

MARIA SOL

What [clears throat] — Uh, what tape?

SAM BAILEY

The one I made in Agate Shore last May… There’s something the Echo said that’s been nagging at me, but I just couldn’t figure out why until — ah, got it!

[Sam slips the tape into the player and fast forwards, then starts it]

THE ECHO (RECORDED)

— point. As usual. What am I, Bailey?

SAM BAILEY (RECORDED) 

You’re… The Echo.

THE ECHO (RECORDED) 

A stupid name. But it works, I guess. I’m a reflection — a refraction. I take the voices of the living and copy them back into the world… But for some reason–

[Sam stops the tape]

SAM BAILEY

See?

MARIA SOL 

Um… Not really.

SAM BAILEY

The voices of the living. That’s how the Echo described the way she copied people. She couldn’t copy my voice because I’m… Well, I’m not technically alive. So if she couldn’t copy my voice, then…

KATE SHERIDAN 

She shouldn’t have been able to copy Anna’s, either. Not if Morrison killed her.

MARIA SOL 

I — I don’t know about that. It copied her voice years ago, so maybe it wouldn’t need her —

SAM BAILEY

Wait, there’s something else on this tape… Hold on, let me find it.

[Sam rewinds, then presses play]

BILL TYLER (RECORDED) 

— got out ahead of the rest of the team. They’re not far behind–

SAM BAILEY 

Shit, not far enough…

[Rewinds. Plays]

SAM BAILEY (RECORDED) 

— don’t think you wanna hear this – I’ll restart the recording in a minute. I mean, if I’m not murdered before then…

ANNA SHERIDAN (RECORDED) 

Bailey…! Bailey…!

SAM BAILEY (RECORDED) 

Hello? Who’s there?

ANNA SHERIDAN (RECORDED) 

Bailey…! Bailey…! Run…! Hurry…!

SAM BAILEY (RECORDED) 

Sh… Sheridan?

[Sam stops the cassette player. Maria and Kate stand in stunned silence]

MARIA SOL

Are you sure that wasn’t just — y’know, the Echo?

SAM BAILEY

I thought that at first, but if it was — why would the Echo try to warn me about one of her own duplicates? Why would she tell me to run?

KATE SHERIDAN 

That sounded like her.

SAM BAILEY 

Like who?

KATE SHERIDAN

Anna — the Anna I saw in Lake Isabella. She sounded exactly like that… Like she was struggling to speak from — wherever she is now.

MARIA SOL

Wait… You’re not saying that…

KATE SHERIDAN

Anna isn’t dead. Morrison didn’t get her. Somehow — she’s still alive.

MARIA SOL 

But that’s… There’s nowhere she could have gone, and she was —

SAM BAILEY

You didn’t actually see her get shot, did you? You just heard the gunshots and Morrison’s voice?

MARIA SOL

I…

[beat]

No, I didn’t. 

SAM BAILEY

She must have survived somehow. Maybe she found another way out of the tunnels and went into hiding, or…

Or maybe Morrison still has her locked up down here.

[They all fall silent at that. After a moment…]

MARIA SOL

We have to go down there. Now.

SAM BAILEY

Agreed. We have no idea what kind of state she and Bill will be in, but —

KATE SHERIDAN

We’ll figure it out once we find them.

SAM BAILEY 

You’re sure about this? Both of you? No reservations?

MARIA SOL 

Plenty. But not enough to stop me. Not now. Kate?

KATE SHERIDAN 

Anna told me to find you two for a reason. I think this is it.

SAM BAILEY

Alright then. Let’s go get our people back.

[Click]

[Cassette ejects]

[Someone taps a command at a keyboard]

[Dial tone. It rings once, then someone answers quickly]

PETER SLATE 

Kate? Kate, honey, are you okay?

KATE SHERIDAN

I’m okay, Peter. I’m fine. Things were… A little shaky there for a minute, but I’m better now.

Is Andrew back from school yet?

PETER SLATE 

Yeah, I just picked him up. We’re going out for ice cream now.

Say hi to mommy, Andrew!

[Beep as he puts the phone on speaker]

ANDREW SHERIDAN-SLATE 

Hi Mommy!

KATE SHERIDAN 

Hi sweetie! Are you and daddy having fun?

ANDREW SHERIDAN-SLATE 

We’re gonna get ice cream!

PETER SLATE

That’s right, buddy!

[Beep as he switches off speaker]

We’ll be home in about an hour. What’s, uh… what’s happening with you?

KATE SHERIDAN

We — We got a new lead on Anna’s disappearance. It’s risky, but… We’ve got a plan. I just wanted you to know.

PETER SLATE 

How risky is risky?

KATE SHERIDAN 

I… Really don’t know. But I can’t walk away from it and be okay with myself. Not after everything that’s happened. I have to try.

[Beat]

PETER SLATE 

Okay.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Okay? Is that all you have to say?

PETER SLATE 

What more do you want, my permission? We both know that you don’t need it. If you think this is the right thing to do… Well, I wouldn’t want to be the person standing in your way. Just…

KATE SHERIDAN 

What is it?

PETER SLATE 

Do you think you’ll be able to come home, after this? Not permanently, but… we just miss you, that’s all. I miss you.

KATE SHERIDAN 

I miss you too.

[Beat]

And I will. Once this is over, I’ll come home. I need that too.

You know what, uh… Maybe, when I get back, we can all just… Go on a big road trip in the RV? Like we used to talk about?

PETER SLATE

What about your job? Aren’t you going to have to —

KATE SHERIDAN 

I’ll pick up some freelance clients. Work from the road. Honestly, I think I’d like that better than going back to the office now. What do you say?

PETER SLATE 

Just you, me, and Andrew on the open road?

KATE SHERIDAN

Just the three of us.

PETER SLATE 

I would like that, Katey. I would really, really like that.

Be safe out there.

KATE SHERIDAN 

I will. I promise. Give Andrew big kisses for me?

PETER SLATE 

Yes Ma’am. Love you lots.

KATE SHERIDAN 

Love you more.

[He switches to speaker phone]

PETER SLATE 

Say bye to mommy, Andrew!

ANDREW SHERIDAN-SLATE 

I love you mommy!

KATE SHERIDAN

Love you baby! Be nice to daddy!

ANDREW SHERIDAN-SLATE

Uh huh!

KATE SHERIDAN

I’ll see you both real soon, okay?

PETER SLATE

Bye, honey!

ANDREW SHERIDAN-SLATE

Bye!

[Beep Beep]

Recording Ends


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