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5.9: The High Road

The Lowlifes discuss the ethics of murder.

Transcript is below the cut!

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Transcript provided by Ria Couoh.
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(00:00) INTRO:
PREVIOUSLY ON…
TESSA
Previously on Inn Between…

Inn Between theme plays in the background.

YAK
Ambush point ahead!

MAX
Bandits! Six of them!

LARKIN
(panicked)
Ah—R-R-Rukes! Rukes! Look out!

Thunderous boom of a massive electric current.
Inn Between theme fades.

(01:01) THE HIGH ROAD.
Background sounds of a tavern.

MAX
(whispering)
What do you think?

PHOEBE
(softly)
He’s… Is pale the right word?

RUKES
(whispering)
Washed out, maybe?

YAK
(whispering seriously)
He’s not panicking, though. I think we’re in the clear.

LARKIN
(loudly, annoyed)
I can hear you, you know.

MAX
Well, are we in the clear?

LARKIN
It’s fine. There wasn’t any blood.
(quietly)
It’s fine.

PHOEBE
A clean electrocution!
LARKIN
(stiffly)
Yeah.

RUKES
(dubious noise)
You still have your crisis face on.

LARKIN
(taken aback)
I have—I have a crisis face?

RUKES
Nearly every day!

YAK
(flatly)
What’s wrong and will it lead to an explosion?

LARKIN
It won’t! I—I…
(small sigh)
Look, I just…
(bigger sigh)
I’ve never killed anybody before.

MAX
Seriously?

YAK
(incredulous, almost laughing)
You’ve got to be kidding.

LARKIN
Why is that so surprising?

YAK
I mean… You’re a merc.

LARKIN
(nervously)
Not really!

MAX
What?

RUKES
Come on.

LARKIN
(sharply)
What? I’m not!

MAX
You definitely are.

LARKIN
I… I think I would know whether or not I’m a mercenary.

MAX
(amused)
Oh, alright.
Do you or do you not provide a service for money?

LARKIN
I do, but—

MAX
What do you call that service?

LARKIN
Magic consultation, I suppose.

RUKES
What a pretty term that means absolutely nothing.

YAK
(pointedly)
You do errands for rich idiots who can’t lift a sword.

LARKIN
(short sigh)
I suppose.

MAX
Ever taken something of dubious provenance for a job?

LARKIN
Not often, but—

YAK
And you don’t just talk about magic, you use it to fight.

MAX
(emphatically)
For money.

LARKIN
Well, yes, but that’s self-defense! It—

RUKES
And me-defense. That bandit would have run me through.

LARKIN
(voice wavering slightly)
You could heal yourself!

RUKES
Not if I was dead.

LARKIN
Well, still!

MAX
(exasperated)
You’re delusional.

LARKIN
I— That’s not true.

YAK
So, you’re not a merc because…?

LARKIN
(haltingly)
Mercenary doesn’t… have a very flattering connotation, does it?

RUKES
Flattering.

MAX
Oh, do go on.

LARKIN
(increasingly agitated)
Look, mercenaries— Mercenaries are boorish and greedy, and they destroy things for money and—

MAX
And kill people?

Pause.

MAX
Do you think you’re better than us, Larkin?

LARKIN
No, I didn’t say that.

MAX
I didn’t ask what you said, I asked what you think.

LARKIN
I think that there’s just some key differences between what I do and what a mercenary does, okay?

YAK
(lightly)
I don’t know, I run a lot of errands for rich idiots.

MAX
I wouldn’t call you boorish and greedy.

YAK
Ah, it’s been said before. Usually when I take things of dubious provenance for a job. Once in a while, I’ll even destroy things for money.

MAX
And that scimitar of yours that you use to kill people?

YAK
(sardonic)
Well, that’s mostly self-defense.

MAX
What was this about differences, Larkin?

LARKIN
But I don’t kill people!

MAX
(pointedly, calmly)
You did today.
(pause)
Yak, how many people have you killed?

YAK
(mumbling)
Twen… thir…
(aloud)
Do goblins count as people?

MAX
They’re sentient.
(hesitant)
I think.

YAK
Lots, then. Lots even without goblins. You?

MAX
I think I’m up to… eight? No! Nine. Not that you need to kill people to be a merc. Right, Rukes?

RUKES
(laughs)
Sure. Alright for some.

YAK
I’ve never seen you kill anyone.

RUKES
Nevertheless!

MAX
(chidingly)
Now, would your goddess approve of that?

RUKES
Sometimes service of the goddess leads you through some… dark places.

MAX
Why does that make me like you more?

RUKES
(matter-of-factly)
Because you have absolutely no sense.

MAX
The point is: even our cleric admits to being a merc.

RUKES
Mercs need healers too.

MAX
You should feel right at home.

Pause.

LARKIN
(distressed)
Phoebe? Surely you see what I’m trying to say, right? You and I are not—

PHOEBE
No.

LARKIN
No, what?

PHOEBE
I really don’t have any ground to stand on in this conversation.

MAX
(surprised)
Phoebe.
(softer)
Have you killed people?

PHOEBE
One.

YAK
Who was it?

PHOEBE
(faintly)
I don’t want to talk about it.

YAK
That’s fair.

MAX
There you have it, Larkin. All you did today was join an illustrious club.

RUKES
(dryly)
Congratulations.

Pause.

LARKIN
I can’t believe you. Any of you.

MAX
So you do think you’re better than us!

LARKIN
Maybe I am!

YAK
(slowly, coarse)
Wow.

LARKIN
(angrily)
What kind of person treats life as disposable?

YAK
Hang on, now. That’s not what I do.

LARKIN
(hotly)
Oh, yeah? How many people have you killed since we’ve met?

YAK
(with increasing ire and offense)
Yeah, bandits, gnolls, goblins! People who’ve ambushed us with the intent of killing us!
What, would you rather I not fight at all? How long do you think we’d last then?

LARKIN
Morally, I just think—

YAK
(scoffing)
Oh!
(derisively)
It’s easy to judge the morals of the dead, they can’t protest, after all.

LARKIN
You can’t claim that you’re a good person with the amount of lives that you’ve taken!

YAK
(slowly)
I never claimed any such thing, but you did.
(venomous)
Killer.

LARKIN
(voice shaking with upset)
I didn’t…
(brokenly)
I didn’t mean to kill him.

YAK
Yeah, see how far intent gets you, Larkin.

Beat.
Chair scrapes against wooden floor. Footsteps rush away.

RUKES
(aggravated sigh)
Ah, okay. I’ll… go make sure he doesn’t run off.

Chair scrapes against wooden floor. Footsteps head away.

YAK
(low growl)

MAX
You can’t let him get to you.

YAK
(irritated breath)
He’s not entirely wrong.
You know, this wasn’t what I had in mind for my life.

MAX
(cheekily)
You’re very good at it, though.

YAK
Yeah, that’s me. First class lowlife.

MAX
(seriously)
Look, you’re not a bad person.

YAK
(self-deprecating, ironic laughter)
Sure.

MAX
If I’m not, neither are you!

YAK
You think you’re a good person?

MAX
Obviously.

YAK
Huh.

Chair scrapes against wooden floor.

YAK
(through a tired sigh)
I… need a drink.
You two want one?

PHOEBE
(quickly)
Yes.

MAX
(overlapping)
Yes, please.

YAK
Alright, then.

Slow, heavy footsteps fading away.

MAX
(slightly awkward)
Hey, Phoebe?
I don’t want you thinking you’re a bad person either.

PHOEBE
I am, though.

MAX
I just don’t see how that’s possible.

PHOEBE
I…

MAX
You don’t have to tell me, it’s not my business, but it can’t be that bad.

PHOEBE
(perturbed)
It is.

MAX
Are you sure?

Pause.

PHOEBE
The mine accident, at Agglomeraccion?

MAX
(with amused disbelief)
What? Did you cause it?

PHOEBE
No, but…
(anxiously)
The two people inside. One was the foreman at the center of the explosion, and the other was…
(solemnly)
My husband, Miles.

MAX
Oh. You’re married? Really?

PHOEBE
I… was.

MAX
You can’t blame yourself for an accident—

PHOEBE
(rushed)
I sabotaged his safety equipment.

MAX
Oh.

PHOEBE
I killed him.

MAX
(gravely)
Did he deserve it?

PHOEBE
What?

MAX
People don’t usually kill their husbands for no reason.

PHOEBE
(slowly, pained)
He… was… cuta tafilo.

MAX
Woah.
Now, I don’t speak much dwarfish but… that’s about the worst a person can’t be.

PHOEBE
Maybe.

MAX
(grimly)
Sounds like he deserved it to me.

PHOEBE
(troubled)
Does that matter, though?
(beat)
(fearful)
You can’t tell anyone. I’ll get arrested!

MAX
No, of course not. I won’t tell a soul.
(speaking through their teeth)
Even if he did deserve it.

PHOEBE
Please!

MAX
See? What kind of a bad person is this afraid of the law?
(earnestly)
You are not a bad person.

PHOEBE
I’m serious!

MAX
So am I! Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me.

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

(09:54) OUTRO:
NEXT TIME ON…

Inn Between theme plays in the background.

TESSA
Next time, on Inn Between…

LARKIN
Things are getting a little sparsely populated up here.

YAK
We’re going to need more supplies if we want to make it to the dragon.

MAX
Leave it to me.

(10:10) CREDITS:
HANNAH
This episode, “The High Road”, was written and directed by Hannah Wright with assistant director William Wright. The show is produced and edited by Katherine Ayers.
The voice of Larkin is Mason Amadeus. The voice of Max is Malcolm Jay. The voice of Phoebe is Soulara Jane Joslin. The voice of Yak is Emma Laslett. The voice of Rukes is CJ Tanuan.
Our theme song is by Eli Hamada McIlveen, and our artwork is by Gabrielle Buxman. Our transcriber is Ria Couoh. Special thanks to Emma Wright for foley assistance.
Transcripts for this and every episode can be found on our website, thegoblinshead.com.
If you like the show, you take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in the Faerun before you. Or leave us a review.
Thanks for listening!

Music ends.

HANNAH
This story was created in the traditional territory of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples, and edited in the unceded territory of the Salish, Kootenai, and Kalispel peoples.

(11:27) POST-CREDITS:
Quill scraping against a heavy wooden table.

TESSA
Dear Klara:
(increasingly annoyed and loud)
Oh, you wouldn’t believe the month I’ve had! People nearly bleeding out in the Inn, a frog-related curse, this unbearably vain adventurer the Inn is following—
(offended)
Don’t get me started on who the Inn is following! They all admitted to being murderers! Today! Right in front of me!
(sigh)
Anyway, the chickens are doing well.

Quill scribbles fade away.

EPISODE ENDS.

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