Episode 71: “Always, Something Sings”

Episode 71: “Always, Something Sings” The Sheridan Tapes

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of loss and grief, the aftermath of character betrayal, and familial separation01242020: Choices and farewells.Starring Sam Taylor as Ren Park, Airen Neeley Chaconas as Anna Sheridan, Lesley-Anne Hoxie as the waitress, Amitola Lomas as Maria Sol, Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, James Cain as Peter Slate, Chris Martin as Robert Quincy, and Kris Allison as Daniella Caldwell, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written and produced by Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing and sound design by Trevor Van Winkle. This episode was made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner, ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner, and our backers on Seed&Spark.For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit homesteadonthecorner.com/tst071Support 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: Depictions of loss and grief, the aftermath of character betrayal, and familial separation

01242020: Choices and farewells.

Starring Sam Taylor as Ren Park, Airen Neeley Chaconas as Anna Sheridan, Lesley-Anne Hoxie as the waitress, Amitola Lomas as Maria Sol, Jesse Steele as Bill Tyler, Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Virginia Spotts as Kate Sheridan, James Cain as Peter Slate, Chris Martin as Robert Quincy, and Kris Allison as Daniella Caldwell, with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written and produced by Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing and sound design by Trevor Van Winkle. This episode was made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner, ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner, and our backers on Seed&Spark.

For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit thesheridantapes.com

Script

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of loss and grief, the aftermath of character betrayal, and familial separation

[A quiet lunch rush at a diner: scattered laughter and conversation, clinking of utensils and plates]

Ren Park

Are you done eating?

Anna Sheridan

What? Oh… Yeah. I was just thinking about… I mean, what could possibly affect our readings that much? Something that powerful, that wide-ranging… I think we’re out of our depth, Ren.

Ren Park

Are you sure you’re okay to keep going, Anna?

Anna Sheridan

I… I have something for you.

[Anna pulls a manilla envelope out of her bag and hands it to Ren]

[He tucks it inside his jacket]

You’re not going to read it?

Ren Park

Not here. I still think there might be someone watching us. I’ll open it later.

Anna Sheridan

If you’re so worried about it, maybe you should just leave. I’m still finishing my coffee.

[She sips her coffee indignantly]

Ren Park

You can’t get rid of me that easy, Anna.

[The waitress approaches]

Waitress

Here’s some more coffee for you, darlin’.

[She pours more coffee]

Anna Sheridan

Thanks.

Waitress

No problem. Oh! Y’all see the news last night? Good god, all those poor crows fallin’ outta the sky? Makes ya feel like the world’s endin’.

Ren Park

We just need our check, if you could?

[The waitress pauses for a half second]

Waitress

Of course.

[She retreats]

Anna Sheridan

You’re right. She’s acting strange. Could you… at least look at the title? It’s right under the seal.

[Ren sighs]

Ren Park

If you insist… 

[Ren pulls out the envelope, opens the top, and thumbs over the pages inside]

“The Last Will and Testament of Anna…”

[The waitress approaches again]

Anna, why are you giving me this now—

Waitress

[oddly flat] Uh oh… who died?

[Anna ignores her, signs the check, and returns it]

Anna Sheridan

Thank you.

[The waitress retreats]

Just… hold onto that for me, would you?

[She gathers her things and prepares to leave]

Ren Park

Anna, please… just tell me what’s going on. Why do I need this?

Anna Sheridan

You don’t. Someone else will.

[Anna stands and walks to the exit door]

[Cassette noises]

[The bell on the door jangles as she exits]

[Click]

[Main Theme]

Recording Begins

[Keyboard tapping]

[Beep]

[Rough CCTV audio with lots of static]

[The static fades to a simple office, clock ticking on the wall]

[A significant pause, a chair creaks, and Ren sighs]

Ren Park

I’m sorry everyone. For my actions, for what I said… how I lied. You were right, Maria — I wasn’t… myself… before that last mission. Caldwell gave me an ultimatum. I folded. And I’m sorry.

[His chair creaks as he looks at all of them]

I hope you all understand that… this job didn’t start out this way. It was normal, at least for a while. But then I started getting more involved with experimental projects, and then we figured out about Anna’s visions, and well… it all kind of fell apart. The pressure, the need to figure this out before it all blew up, it just… 

I’m sorry for the pain I put you through. It wasn’t right. I knew it wasn’t right. I thought it was justified, but… after everything we heard, I don’t believe it is.

Maria Sol

If you don’t like what they’re making you do here, Ren… have you thought about leaving?

[Ren scoffs, full of pain]

Ren Park

Only every day since Babia Góra. 

I decided a long time ago I was needed here, to keep Dana in check if nothing else. Maybe I was wrong, but… that’s not a conversation I’m ready for.

Bill Tyler

You’re gonna have to have it eventually.

[Ren’s chair creaks as he looks over at Bill]

Ren Park

I know. But today… today I can only handle other people leaving. I can’t leave my work behind too. And as much as I wish I could say differently… the requirements for staying on are still the same. You all know what ISPHA does now… why we hired you in the first place. I can’t hold you to the same promises you made before — but the timetables haven’t changed. We’re against a ticking clock, and no one knows when it’s going to go off.

So… I need an answer from each of you before you leave this room. Whether you’re staying or going.

[Long moment of silence]

[Maria’s chair creaks as she sits up]

Maria Sol

I… I guess I’ll go first. I’m leaving. 

I just can’t… I can’t do this anymore. Not with ISPHA, at least. And beyond that… 

If finding Anna is really possible, then I need time. At least a little. I need… space, to process — to feel this out. And I need to see my family again. I’ve been away from them for way too long. I need to reconnect with… who I am, I guess.

Everything that’s happened in the last year has kinda… mangled me up inside. When I met most of you, I was… well, Sam knows best. [Sam scoffs, amused] I was… bitter. Reactive. And I know you’re not doing it on purpose, but that’s what you’ve all expected from me since we got here. Maria the shiv-carver, Maria the hammer-wielder. Maria with the clapbacks and teasing and… I mean, that’s part of me, but… 

I need some space to remember who I am. Because if we find Anna, then… I want to be ready to meet her again. There was already a lot of pain we needed to sort through when she disappeared, and… I want to be ready to do that.

[Brief pause]

Sam Bailey

Wow.

Maria Sol

You’re not the only one who can go on about your feelings.

[Bill clears his throat]

Bill Tyler

Rob and I are leaving too.

Kate Sheridan

You’re not going back to Oslow, are you…?

Bill Tyler

It’s our home, Kate. It might be risky, but… so is staying here. Look… Ned promised us his protection, which… call me crazy, but I actually believe him this time. I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him, but… you know, I… I think he’s genuinely sorry. And we won’t need to leave the house much. Rob talked Caldwell into paying me to do my daily logs from home, since I’m, you know… still having the nightmares.

Maria Sol

So you’re still going to be a lab rat?

Bill Tyler

A lab rat who decides how the experiments are run, Maria. And besides… we need the money. At least until we figure out our next move.

[Brief pause]

[Ren shifts]

Ren Park

Alright — Sam, Kate… what’s your decision?

Kate Sheridan

Peter’s moving in with family in Toronto. Uh… With Andrew. They’ll be safe there. I’m… I’m staying here. I don’t like how ISPHA operates, but… I need to keep looking for Anna. And my gut says I need to stay here if I’m going to do that.

Bill Tyler

Are you sure that’s what you want—

Kate Sheridan

It’s done. Peter and I decided before the last mission. It’s what I want.

Ren Park

Then it’s decided. Sam? What about you?

[Brief pause, Sam sighs]

Sam Bailey

Ren… what happens if ISPHA decides I’m more useful as a test subject than a consultant? I know what you did to Paul. I’ve seen what Bill’s been through, and you’ve already been… 

If I stay here, how long will it be before I’m not allowed to leave?

Ren Park

That was never my intention, Sam. But at this point… I’m afraid I can’t speak for the whole institute.

Sam Bailey

I didn’t think so.

Kate Sheridan

I’m staying if you’re staying, Sam — but I still think we need ISPHA if we’re going to find Anna. Am I wrong?

[Heavy pause; Sam sighs]

Sam Bailey

I’m staying too. [Ren and Kate breathe sighs of relief] For now.

Ren Park

Thank you both… the team here will be thrilled to know you two are staying. Right… we already had a transport prepared for Rob and Peter leaving in a few hours, so if you’re ready to go, that would probably be your best option. I believe Maria’s van is still in Oslow, so if you want we can drop you off with Bill before you… 

[Ren notices no one is paying attention, he trails off, he clears his throat]

Right. I’ll just… you’ll get an email with the details.

[Ren stands and walks to the door]

Kate Sheridan

Thank you, Ren.

[Ren unlocks the electric door lock and walks off]

[Bill lets out an emotional scoff]

Sam Bailey

What?

Bill Tyler

Nothing, just… I don’t know why I feel like crying. [he laughs] I mean… the four of us have only been together since what — November?

Kate Sheridan

End of an era.

[Maria turns to look at Sam]

Maria Sol

Sam?

Sam Bailey

Yeah?

Maria Sol

I’m gonna miss you.

Sam Bailey

[wheezy scoff] Ha!

Maria Sol

You need to stop doing that.

Sam Bailey

Doing what?

Maria Sol

Not believing your friends when they tell you you’re loved.

[Brief pause]

Bill Tyler

Thank you… all of you. I don’t know where I’d be if you didn’t… [he sighs] and Sam… I’m going to miss you too. Kate… I’m glad we met.

Kate Sheridan

Me too, Bill.

Bill Tyler

Don’t be a stranger?

Kate Sheridan

Promise.

[Brief pause, she exhales and tries to stand]

I need to go see Peter.

Sam Bailey

—wait.

Maria Sol

What is it?

Sam Bailey

It’s just… we probably won’t all be in the same room together again.

Bill Tyler

I mean… I’m sure we’ll all see each other again. After this is all over?

Kate Sheridan

I guess it depends on how it ends. I hope so, though.

Sam Bailey

I hope so too.

[They sit in silence, letting the moment last]

[Kate eventually sighs, stands, and walks towards the door]

Maria Sol

See you in a bit, Kate.

Kate Sheridan

Yeah. See ya.

[Kate continues walking]

[Beep]

[Silence]

[Keyboard tapping]

[Beep]

[Rough CCTV audio fades away from heavy static]

[A quiet dorm; the sound of distantly-booming machinery]

[Kate rummages through a backpack]

Peter Slate

Come back to bed, Katey.

Kate Sheridan

Just grabbing something… 

[She finds what she was looking for, zips the backpack up, walks back to bed]

[The bed creaks as she lays down]

[She sighs and hands something to Peter]

Here.

[Peter sits up slightly]

Peter Slate

What’s this?

Kate Sheridan

It’s… one of my tapes. The one where I… where I talk about what happened in Iowa. I want you to have it.

Peter Slate

This is going to give me nightmares, isn’t it?

Kate Sheridan

It might.

Peter Slate

…thank you.

[They settle in and Kate sighs]

Kate Sheridan

I’m not ready for you to go.

Peter Slate

Then don’t be ready. I’m not gone yet.

[She laughs lightly]

Kate Sheridan

I worry too much, don’t I?

Peter Slate

Sometimes.

Kate Sheridan

I wish I could stop doing it.

[Peter adjusts himself, getting a good look at her]

Peter Slate

Try something with me.

Kate Sheridan

What is it?

Peter Slate

Take a deep breath in. [Kate does] And hold it. [She holds for several seconds] Then let it out, slowly. [She exhales]

Here, I’ll do it with you this time.

[They breathe in together]

[They hold their breath together]

[They exhale together]

Kate Sheridan

That helped a little.

Peter Slate

Helped me, too.

Kate Sheridan

Still feels like the calm before the storm.

Peter Slate

…Maybe it is.

[Kate laughs dryly]

Kate Sheridan

That’s not very reassuring.

Peter Slate

Well… maybe it shouldn’t be.

Kate Sheridan

Good point.

Peter Slate

I imagine the winds are gonna blow pretty hard.

Kate Sheridan

Kick up a bunch of dust, too.

Peter Slate

Oh yeah. It might be a pretty nasty storm after all.

Kate Sheridan

But storms always end, don’t they?

Peter Slate

If history’s anything to go on.

Kate Sheridan

And worlds have been known to grow out of dust.

Peter Slate

That they have, Katey. 

[Brief pause; Kate sighs]

Kate Sheridan

I should probably go check on Andrew [she gets out of bed] — he’ll be waking up from his nap any minute—

[A knock at the door]

[Kate goes to it and opens the door, electronic lock whirring]

Kate Sheridan

Maria? Oh Andrew, Honey, you got up from your nap?

[Peter laughs]

Peter Slate

Impeccable Mom instincts, Katey.

Maria Sol

He left his room all on his own and curled up in my lap in the atrium. I think he knows something’s up.

[Kate voices a sympathetic “Ohh”]

Andrew Sheridan-Slate

Tía, why are you going? I don’t want you to go.

Maria Sol

I need to go back home to see my parents. And even if I stayed, you and your dad are leaving too.

[Andrew reaches out for Kate]

Kate Sheridan

Aww, come here little caterpillar. [She steps forward and takes him into her arms] Oh god, not so little anymore.

Andrew Sheridan-Slate

I’m not a little caterpillar, I’m a tall caterpillar!

Kate Sheridan

That’s right, you absolutely are. Hey… I’ll be right here until the moment you leave, okay?

Peter Slate

Hey Maria… just so you know, you’ve got a standing invitation to our house once this is all over. Anytime you want to stop by and see the sights of Iowa.

[to Andrew] Would you like that, bud? If Tía Maria came by sometime?

Andrew Sheridan-Slate

Uh huh!!

[The adults all laugh at how cute his excitement is]

[Footsteps in the hallway come to a quick stop]

Robert Quincy

Oh good, you’re all here? I think they’re just about ready for us at the loading bay.

Kate Sheridan

Oh god, already?

Peter Slate

Where does the time go?

[Creaking as Peter stands from the bed and approaches the door]

I’m gonna miss cooking with you, buddy. We managed to make some palatable things in that kitchen, didn’t we?

Robert Quincy

That’s about the only thing I’ll miss about this place.

Peter Slate

Hey, while we’re all here — you and Bill are welcome at our place anytime.

Robert Quincy

Hm. How’s the antiquing scene around there?

Peter Slate

Oh it’s awful, more shops than you can stand.

[Robert laughs]

Robert Quincy

I’ll be there.

Peter Slate

You know, if things are settled by then… what say we re-do our big Thanksgiving next year?

[Beep]

[Silence]

[Keyboard taps]

[Beep]

[Rough CCTV audio, static fades]

[The beep of a forklift in the background, which later turns to the general sound of labor and hydraulics]

Dana Caldwell

Your transports should be arriving soon. Can I get anyone something to drink before you go? Water, coffee?

Maria Sol

Uh… I think we’re fine, Doctor Caldwell. Thanks.

Dana Caldwell

Right. Well… we’ve certainly had an interesting time working together, haven’t we?

Bill Tyler

Sure… interesting.

[Muffled announcements can be heard echoing in the high-ceilinged bay]

Dana Caldwell

We appreciate the work you’ve done for us, at any rate. I know it’s been difficult, but… you’ve all made a contribution to ISPHA, in your own ways.

Robert Quincy

Doctor?

Dana Caldwell

Yes, Robert?

Robert Quincy

I think you should probably stop. We all know you’re happy to see us go.

Dana Caldwell

Happy isn’t… the right word for it. I understand your decisions. I’ve accepted them. And I know how… difficult… it can be to work here. To be away from home.

Bill Tyler

Not for much longer, though.

Robert Quincy

Can’t wait.

Kate Sheridan

Oh god, I can’t do this… 

Peter Slate

Hey, hey — you’ve got this… 

[Sam approaches Caldwell and clears his throat]

Sam Bailey

Uh… excuse me, Doctor Caldwell? Could I pick your brain for a second?

Dana Caldwell

Certainly.

[They walk away slightly, closer to the hall]

Sam Bailey

Do you think that… after things get settled around here again… you could make some time to review a few of Anna’s tapes with me? The ones about her work with ISPHA? I feel like I’m missing something.

Dana Caldwell

Such as?

Sam Bailey

It’s just… I feel like there’s something I’m just not getting about why she was doing this. I mean… start of 2018, she’s on Babia Góra trying to figure out if her visions are true. Then by October, she’s in Oslow County, hunting down Morrison’s bunker.

Dana Caldwell

…and?

Sam Bailey

Is there something tucked away in ISPHA’s records that explains why?

Dana Caldwell

You can’t work with what we’ve already given you?

Sam Bailey

I’ve been… trying. And I’ve made some progress, but… I can’t work with what I don’t know. And what I don’t know could put us all in danger.

Dana Caldwell

Bailey — given what happened, I think you can understand why I’m hesitant to give you access to privileged information. You have an… unfortunate tendency to chase leads and ask questions later.

Sam Bailey

That’s… [gives up] That’s… actually kind of fair.

Fine. But if you’re not going to give me the whole picture… then you don’t get to ask the same from Kate and I. Not anymore.

Dana Caldwell

I hardly think that’s your decision to make—

Sam Bailey

“If you don’t hold anything back, then neither will we.” That deal goes both ways, Caldwell — at least, if you want any of us to stay.

Dana Caldwell

Have you discussed this with Kate?

Sam Bailey

She’s staying because I’m staying. And I’m only staying if ISPHA helps us find Anna.

[Brief pause]

Dana Caldwell

We’ll discuss this later. Right now… there’s a lot of adjustments I need to make. If you’ll excuse me… 

Sam Bailey

Right… sure.

[Caldwell steps closer to the group and addresses them]

Dana Caldwell

Well… safe travels, everyone.

Peter Slate

I hope it works out, Doc.

Dana Caldwell

I’m sorry?

Peter Slate

Saving the world. That can’t be an easy load to bear. I just hope it works.

Dana Caldwell

I… thank you, Peter. Thank you all.

[Caldwell hurries away through a plastic strip door and down the hall]

[The echo disappears as she enters the smaller space]

[Footsteps from the other end]

Ren Park

Oh… hello, Doctor Caldwell.

[They stop walking]

Dana Caldwell

Doctor Park. Going to say your goodbyes?

Ren Park

I was hoping to.

Dana Caldwell

You’d better do it now, then — transports are nearly here. 

[Caldwell tries to walk away]

Ren Park

Dana?

[She stops and turns around]

Dana Caldwell

Something on your mind, Ren?

Ren Park

Do you still think we’re… is this still the right thing to do?

[Caldwell steps closer slightly]

Dana Caldwell

Nothing’s changed, Ren. You knew about operation Quicksilver before, and about all our other tests—

Ren Park

You didn’t see Paul, Dana. You didn’t see how much he’s hurting. How much… all of them are hurting.

[Brief pause]

Dana Caldwell

It’s… it’s hard to say sometimes. I tend to believe that there’s no such thing as a free ride to a better future, but… I have my doubts, too.

Ren Park

You do?

Dana Caldwell

Of course I do. Ren. God, is that — is that what you think of me?

Ren Park

Honestly, Doctor — it kind of is.

Dana Caldwell

Well… confidence can be faked. Peace cannot.

[She exhales heavily, emotional]

I’m sorry, Ren — I just… I can’t… I can’t give you an answer right now. I don’t think we’ll know whether it was worth it until it’s all over. Maybe not even then.

[She sighs and clears her throat]

Anyway — you’d better go say your goodbyes.

[Caldwell rushes off]

[After a moment, he turns and presses some buttons on an intercom panel]

[Back in the loading bay, “Salut d’amour” begins playing on the speakers, it can be heard faintly]

[Ren walks into the large space through the plastic strip door; the music growing louder]

Andrew Sheridan-Slate

Uncle Ren!

Ren Park

Hey, it’s my little spaceman! [Andrew giggles; to everyone else] I thought some music might be fitting.

Maria Sol

Thanks for stopping by, Ren.

Ren Park

Of course. I wouldn’t want any of you to leave without saying goodbye.

[brief pause; they all listen to the music]

Sam Bailey

What song is this?

Ren Park

“Salut d’amour” by Edward Elgar. It’s an old favorite of mine.

Kate Sheridan

It’s beautiful.

Bill Tyler

[clears throat; affected proper British accent] May I have this dance?

Robert Quincy

I thought you hated classical.

[They hold each other and sway]

Ren Park

The transports will be here soon, but I just wanted to say that… I admire all of you. Deeply. And… and I just wanted to tell you that… 

Kate Sheridan

Thank you, Ren.

Ren Park

The music says it better than I can, anyways. Adam likes to say that sculptures decorate rooms and paintings decorate walls, but music… music decorates time.

[The moment lingers as the music plays out]

[The static of the CCTV audio fades out and the piece continues the rest of the way]

Recording Ends

End Theme & Credits


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