B-Side 05: “Human”

B-Side 05: "Human" The Sheridan Tapes

CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of character betrayal, deception, existential dread, grief, and lossB-Side 05: A series of voicemails between Bill Tyler and Ned Leroux.Starring Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, and Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Ezra J. Wayne and produced by Trevor Van Winkle and Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing by Robin Gabrielli. Directed by Trevor Van Winkle and made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner and ko-fi.com/homesteadcornerFor more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit homesteadonthecorner.com/tstB05Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/sheridantapes. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/SheridanTapes. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of character betrayal, deception, existential dread, grief, and loss

B-Side 05: A series of voicemails between Bill Tyler and Ned Leroux.

Starring Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, and Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Ezra J. Wayne and produced by Trevor Van Winkle and Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing by Robin Gabrielli. Directed by Trevor Van Winkle 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/tstB05

Script

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of character betrayal, deception, existential dread, grief, and loss

Recording Begins

[Someone taps at a keyboard]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

Bill Tyler

Hi, this is Lieutenant Bill Tyler from Oslow County Police Department calling for Lieutenant, uh…

[Flips pages]

Ned Leroux. Sorry I didn’t call you sooner, but things at the station have been… A bit hectic lately.

Anyway, you’re probably on your way up from Houston by now, I figured I’d drop you a line before you got here! I know we’re not officially starting until Monday, but if there’s anything you need over the weekend, just let me know, alright? Anyway – I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[Footsteps as Ned Leroux wanders through the station, clearly lost]

Ned Leroux

Hey Lieutenant, it’s uhh… about 5 ‘til, and I still can’t find where I was supposed to meet you. Stopped by your office, but you weren’t there, and I got a bit turned around on the way out. Don’t know how – this place really isn’t all that big. Probably would’ve made more sense to meet you at the squad car in the first place, but y’know the chief – he says jump…

Uh, anyway – I’m just gonna head outside and see if I can find –

[Ding]

What the… Oh. It’s you. Yep, I see you waving. Enthusiastically. Right – disregard all that, I’ll be right out.

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[A mostly quiet, echoing space]

Ned Leroux

Hey Tyler, “Big City Leroux” here.

[Chuckles]

Listen, I already told the chief, but I’m gonna be running a little behind this morning, so I won’t make it to the briefing. If you’d take some notes and catch me up after, that’d be great. Maybe we can go get donuts, or – y’know whatever it is small-town cops do around here. Right… See you when I get in.

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[Faint sounds of lunchtime traffic as Ned rolls his window down]

Ned Leroux

Hey Bill… Just got your text, figured calling back was faster. What do you mean you want a salad? It’s called Del Taco – do they even have stuff that isn’t tacos? And how do you get those little salad emojis? I only have the ones with faces.

[The car behind Ned honks impatiently]

Go around! Damn!

[The car gives one last long honk, then swerves around him]

Asshole. Anyway, I’m just sitting in the drive-through, so let me know what you want when you got a chance. No rush.

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[The clattering of dishes and hum of conversation]

Ned Leroux

-gotta be here somewhere, right?

Bill Tyler

Yeah, I’m 100% sure I had it when we came in here… I must have dropped it in the booth.

Kate Sheridan (slightly slurred)

That’s right – because if it’s in the last place you saw it, then it’s always in the place you check.

[Pause]

[Ned and Kate crack, giggling wildly]

Ned Leroux

I don’t think that’s how it goes.

Kate Sheridan

No, absolutely not.

Bill Tyler

You two are no help at all! 

[Kate laughs drunkenly]

Ned Leroux

Now come on, that’s not fair. We’re calling your phone, aren’t we? You’re the one who’s supposed to be listening for it!

Kate Sheridan

Hey, wait, Bill… Your ringer’s on, right?

Bill Tyler

What?

Kate Sheridan

Your phone’s not on silent?

[There’s another pause, and Kate struggles to stifle another giggle]

Ned Leroux

You’ve got us listening for a ringer that isn’t even turned on?

Bill Tyler

Listen… It’s been a long week.

[Kate laughs again, followed by Ned, then finally Bill]

Ned Leroux

Yeah, I s’pose you can get a pass on that one. Ah shit – my bad, Bill.

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[The same silent, echoing space]

Ned Leroux

Hey Bill – just wanted to check in and see how it’s going back at the station. Sorry I didn’t call sooner – whatever this bug is, it’s kicking my ass. Ain’t been feeling right all week… I think that’s why things got so heated at the bar last night. Wasn’t thinkin’ straight… y’know how it is. Soon as I got home I was like, “Man, what’s your fucking deal, Ned?” And come to think of it, I’d been feeling real tired and achey all night.

[Pause]

Anyway, I went to the doctor’s and they gave me something for it… Uh, Artha… Eartha…

[Holds up a bottle of pills, rattling it loudly]

Azithromycin! That’s it. Yeah, they said I gotta take ‘em for two weeks even if I start feeling better, so… Yeah, guess it’s pretty serious. Might not be back to work for a while.

Better not let things go to shit while I’m gone, Tyler!

[Ned laughs awkwardly]

[Coughs]

Anyway, uh… Call me when you a chance, alright? Thanks.

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[Almost-silent desert: wind, crickets, and the hum of distant traffic]

[Silence]

Ned Leroux

Hey Bill. 

I know I’m probably the last person you wanna hear from right now. I just… Feel like I need to explain. Try to, at least. To be honest… I’m not even sure if I can.

[Laughs darkly]

I mean… It’s complicated, Bill. Messy. If I explained it to you – even if I could – would you even understand? Could you?

Would you even want to, at this point?

[Silence]

But you know what? Who cares, right? The jig is up. The minute you found out what I am, it was all over. One second it’s all good time and karaoke, and the next, I’m out on my ass, alone with Morrison. You decided I’m a monster, and boy howdy, did you let me know what that meant. Never asked what I thought about it – never cared. Just went straight to accusations, to the worst possible conclusion. “Monster.” Such an ugly fuckin’ word.

That’s the problem with you lot. You get one look at a piece of the truth, and you can’t bear to look any closer. Soon as you think you’ve got it figured out, you run with it – right into the middle of something you don’t understand at all.

Shouldn’t be surprised, I guess. I knew you and Kate didn’t trust me. You tried to hide it, but I’m not an idiot. I heard the way you were talking at the bar. You two are exactly the same. She hears a story from her sister about some haunted old mine, and she goes out there all on her own. You think something’s up with me, you tail me into the middle of the desert all by yourself. And you both end up in over your heads so far it’s a goddamn miracle you’re still alive. I mean for godssake, you’re a cop! You didn’t call for backup – you didn’t even call Kate! You just rushed underground without telling anyone where you were, without thinking of the consequences, and it-

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[Ned resumes his message.]

Ned Leroux

Fuckin’ voicemail cut me off… 

[Sighs]

Look… I didn’t mean to blame you for what happened. That’s not fair. You didn’t know what you’d find if you followed me. You were probably just trying to make sure I was okay. You wanted it all to be a misunderstanding, because that’s who you thought I was. That’s who I let you see.

[Scoffs]

Honesty. It’s never been my strong suit… The truth just isn’t in my nature. You might even say it’s antithetical to what I am. I survive by lying, by pretending to be someone I’m not. And you know, maybe that’s why I don’t feel any remorse for it, because what else can I do? It’s like you said – I’m not even human.

But you know… Maybe there’s more to it than I thought. Hell, I’ve been watching humans do what it takes to survive for centuries, and they still manage to surprise me. Like that scientist who got me – Dr. Park, was it? Goddamn, they got me good. I don’t get blindsided too often, but man… I’m almost too impressed to be mad. Almost.

And you know, Sam – he’s got that too. That unpredictability. You can always count on me to lie, but him – he’s still close enough to humanity that he can reach out and touch it in ways that I never could. I used to feel sorry for him because of it, thought that made him weak… But there’s something there. A raw potential. The kind of thing that’s either an oasis in the desert… Or a powder keg waiting to go up in his face. You never know what it’s going to be until someone strikes a match.

That’s my favorite thing about you lot. You never really know what a human’s thinking… what they’re gonna do next.

I didn’t know you’d figure it out Bill, but you did, because you’re you. And maybe I should’ve done something different, but I honestly thought it was the end of the line for both of us. I’d just accepted that my life as Ned Leroux was over. You need to understand – when you don’t die, everything just feels so… Temporary.

Each lifetime just flies by, and all you can do is watch it play out, knowing that the ending doesn’t matter. They all end the same way.

I didn’t want you to suffer, Bill. And this is gonna sound fucked up, but… That’s something I’ve never felt before. I’m not used to things like… fear. Despair. Guilt. But somewhere along the line – that changed. I want you to understand that. I need you to believe me. It was something –

[Call ends]

[Dial tone]

[Beep]

[Messages continue.]

Ned Leroux

You know, if the mailbox isn’t full, there’s really no reason to cut me off like that.

[Sighs]

Anyway… I do like being Ned. I liked being your partner, spending time with you. And I like Kate Sheridan, of all people! What the fuck’s that about? That’s beside the point.

I don’t know… If Sam Bailey can do it, why the hell can’t I? I’m just as human as he is… Mostly. I gave it a shot, at least. I guess what I really wanted to say is that… Well…

I’m… Sorry. Apparently. 

I feel, uh… I feel terrible.

[Exhales, gathering thoughts]

Man, humans just live like this, don’t they?

[Clears throat]

Anyway… I guess that’s it. I don’t know if you’re ever going to hear this – I doubt Morrison let you keep your phone. But even if you don’t, I – uh…

I hope our paths cross again, Bill. I think I’d like that.

[Call ends]

Recording Ends


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