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4.7: The Guard

Our heroes recalculate.

Transcript is below the cut!

Downloadable PDF Transcript

Transcript provided by Ria Couoh.

**************

 

(00:00) INTRO:

 

HANNAH
Hi, everyone! Hannah, here!

 

TESSA
And Tessa as well.

 

HANNAH
And we’re here to thank a patron!

 

TESSA
Yes!
We would like to thank Colibri for their support. Thank you, Colibri. Your name sounds like a mage.

 

HANNAH
Tessa, we’ve talked about this.

 

TESSA
Well, I’m right. Just say the name.

 

HANNAH
Colibri.

 

TESSA
Colibri.

 

HANNAH
Colibri…. Yeah, okay.

 

TESSA
I told you.

 

HANNAH
If you would like to support the Inn, go to patreon.com/thegoblinshead!

 

TESSA
And now, let’s go to the Inn!

 

 

(00:28): PREVIOUSLY ON…

 

TESSA
Previously on Inn Between…

 

Inn Between theme plays in the background.

 

TODE
Finally, some goblin country we can depend on!

 

KNOWLES
I figure we’ll be ambushed before too long. Castor, why don’t you take point?

 

CASTOR
Me?

 

Goblin growls, a wordless hissing noise.

 

ZARA
No time like the present.

 

ROSIE
Here we go!

 

Inn Between theme fades.

 

(01:30) THE GUARD.

 

Background sounds of a tavern.

 

CASTOR
I feel like I’m getting pretty good at magic.

 

ZARA
You have more control! That’s obvious.

 

CASTOR
I wish I’d brought more of my books on warlocks. I feel like there’s more variation in what I can cast than I’m utilizing.

 

ROSIE
Wait, sorry… More of? How many books did you bring?

 

CASTOR
Oh, lots! Just one on warlocks, though, and it focuses on demonic patronage…. I know I read something about… psychic magic at some point—

 

ZARA
Why wouldn’t you use psychic attacks if you could?

 

CASTOR
They never really appealed to me before. I mean… magic was already hard; did I really need to be trying to mess with my brain? Or other people’s?

 

TODE
Hm, that seems sensible to me.

 

Footsteps coming closer.

 

CASTOR
I think it’s worth exploring now! Might be interesting.

 

Glass clinks as its set down.

 

SADIYAH
Glad you’re making good use of the magic.

 

CASTOR
(suddenly uncomfortable)
Uhm… Yeah.

 

A pause.

 

ROSIE
(slowly)
Could I… get another cider, Sadiyah?

 

SADIYAH
(pleasantly)
Of course, dear Rosie. Anything else?

 

A pause.

 

SADIYAH
I swear, it’s like a funeral whenever I’m around.

 

ZARA
(bitingly)
Forgive us for not being ourselves around a god.

 

SADIYAH
(sigh)
Most gods get worship and admiration. None of that for Lady Luck!

 

KNOWLES
Just prayers and curses?

 

SADIYAH
Exactly, Teric. Prayers and curses. Or… Excuse me, not Teric. Sergeant Knowles.
I’ll be back soon. It might be a little while. Rosie?

 

ROSIE
Uhm, that’s…
(with fake cheer)
That’s fine!

 

FOOTSTEPS FADING AWAY.

 

ZARA
Does she really expect us to be friendly after the deal she struck with us?

 

ROSIE
It’s… honestly? Not very professional.

 

KNOWLES
I keep trying to figure out a way to arrest her for extortion. It’s pretty close to the definition of the law.

 

ROSIE
No, wait. You can’t!

 

KNOWLES
Can’t what?

 

ROSIE
Arrest anyone.

 

KNOWLES
I mean, I wouldn’t. I’m on the job with you, but—

 

ROSIE
No, no! We left the kingdom yesterday.

 

ZARA
You’re out of your jurisdiction.

 

KNOWLES
(lost)
I’m… I…

 

ROSIE
This is wilderness! Above drow and dwarf territory. The towns out here are on their own.

 

TODE
Ah. Different laws and all that?

 

ROSIE
(humored)
When there are laws at all!

 

KNOWLES
What do you mean “when there are laws at all?”

 

ROSIE
Well, Drow law really only applies underground.

 

CASTOR
And dwarves live so close to… goblins and things, most of our laws are only applicable in the cities.
Keeps the peace that way.

 

KNOWLES
So, on the surface?

 

ROSIE
Wild country. Lawless.

 

KNOWLES
It’s not that wild. We’re literally in a village right now.

 

CASTOR
Sure, there are scattered roadside places like this, but otherwise it’s pretty barren.
Nomadic folks pass through sometimes. Orcs, humans…

 

ROSIE
And they kind of… take their law with them.

 

A pause.

 

TODE
Are you quite alright, Knowles?

 

KNOWLES
(unsure)
Yes. I’m… fine.

 

CASTOR
You don’t look fine.

 

ZARA
(disbelieving)
Are you that scared about a lack of rules?

 

KNOWLES
(firmly)
I am not scared. I am recalculating.

 

ZARA
Whatever you want to call it.

 

ROSIE
You aren’t going to lose it like you did before Sadiyah stopped helping our luck, are you?

 

KNOWLES
I’m fine, Rosie. Gods! It’s just…

 

CASTOR
Just… what?

 

KNOWLES
If we want to know our odds, we have to know the framework in which we’re working —who we can ask for backup, what we can depend on being enforced or allowed…
So… working in a different jurisdiction… changes that! That’s all. Recalculating. It’s all… right!

 

TODE
I would have more confidence if you sounded just a tad more convincing.

 

KNOWLES
(shakily)
Thanks, Tode.

 

TODE
You know, I used to believe you were an easygoing sort of person, but I believe I was mistaken.

 

ZARA
(laughs)
You thought they were easygoing?

 

ROSIE
They were ready to arrest me for like… that whole first week!

 

KNOWLES
It’s easy to take things in stride when you know what to expect next!

 

TODE
Ah! Why fear what you can control?

 

ZARA
So, wait, that’s why you care about rules? That’s about control, too?

 

KNOWLES
(dubiously)
Ah… Well!
(sheepishly)
That’s not a flattering thing to admit, is it?

 

ZARA
So, it is.

 

KNOWLES
(defensive)
What’s wrong with wanting to have a little security about what’s going to happen next?

 

ZARA
Besides the fact that that’s impossible?

 

CASTOR
I mean, are you sure about that?

 

ZARA
What?

 

CASTOR
Because Knowles is usually right about what’s going to happen next.

 

ROSIE
Yeah, like… as far as certainty goes, they’ve pretty much got us covered.

 

KNOWLES
(warmly)
Aw, I’m touched!

 

ZARA
(matter-of-factly)
Something unexpected is always going to happen. Something always goes wrong.

 

KNOWLES
Oh, I know. After the life I’ve had, Zara? I know.
(beat)
(solemnly)
I just… decided at one point that I wanted to be able to see it coming.

 

ROSIE
That’s why you got good at odds?

 

KNOWLES
Sort of.
It was an obsession for a while. And I’ve always had a knack for math! It was just asking some different questions.

 

CASTOR
What kind of questions?

 

KNOWLES
Ah! Well…
(beat)
(impersonal, reciting each sentence as if practiced)
Twins both catch a fever. These twins are exactly alike in almost every way. They start to get sick on the same day… neither one worse off than the other. Both very ill.
One gets better, the other gets worse and dies.
(pause)
(dryly)
What are the odds?

 

CASTOR
(awkwardly)
Oh. Those kinds of questions.

 

ROSIE
What were they like? Bailey?

 

KNOWLES
Bailey was…
(fondly)
They had a million ideas. They always knew what we should do for fun. And I knew how to do it.
(chuckles)
We were never bored.

 

ROSIE
So, you were the ones giving everyone ideas about twin shenanigans?

 

KNOWLES
Oh, yes! We were… troublemakers.

 

CASTOR
(disbelieving)
You?

 

ROSIE
(delighted)
Really?

 

KNOWLES
(amused)
The guard weren’t always my coworkers.

 

ROSIE
I’m… kind of in love with this idea! Little Knowles and Bailey, running amok around the capitol!

 

KNOWLES
Little Teric and Bailey.

 

ROSIE
Oh! Oh, right.

 

KNOWLES
Bailey never changed their name, you know. Even when I did. So, I had to make sure mine sounded good with theirs.

It felt like… we belonged as much to each other as we did to ourselves.

 

CASTOR
That’s interesting. Pollux and I kind of felt the same way when we chose ours.
(pleased)
That’s why they match!

 

ROSIE
Oh! Do… do dwarves choose their own names?

 

CASTOR
Uh… only when they don’t like their deadnames.

 

ROSIE
Oh…
(with dawning realization)
Oh!

 

KNOWLES
Hey, one of us!

 

ROSIE
(overlapping)
One of us!
You never said!

 

CASTOR
I don’t know. It never came up.

 

ZARA
(considering)
Matching names.

 

CASTOR
Yeah. Our sister thought it was a little cutesy.

 

ZARA
(honestly)
I was going to say it’s kind of satisfying.

 

CASTOR
That’s what we thought too!

 

TODE
I don’t understand. Why do Castor and Pollux match?

 

ROSIE
Oh! It’s from this old story!

 

KNOWLES
You want to tell it, Castor?

 

CASTOR
Oh, I’m not much of a storyteller.

 

ROSIE
You have to at least explain the reference.

 

CASTOR
Well, that’s part of the problem, you know.
Castor and Pollux are in dozens of stories and some of them are good, and some are terrible, but… we chose their names because they were… always ready for an adventure.
(a little embarrassed)
Which is… probably more than I can say about me and Pollux, but it was kind of… aspirational, I guess?

 

ROSIE
Oh, you aspired to twin shenanigans.

 

CASTOR
(chuckles)
Yeah… Most of ours weren’t very impressive. They mostly involved kitchen disasters and cookbooks.
Oh, Pollux is a chef.

 

KNOWLES
(delighted)
Kitchen disasters?

 

CASTOR
(sheepish)
Some recipes worked better than others.

 

ROSIE
(laughing)
Amazing!

 

KNOWLES
Bailey and I had kitchen adventures.

 

CASTOR
Yeah?

 

KNOWLES
(nostalgic)
One time, the two of us stole four crates of food from the market. Mostly from the cheese monger. Narrowly escaped being caught! But we feasted like lords that week!

 

A pause.

 

KNOWLES
(self-conscious)
Ah… I guess you had to be there?

 

ROSIE
You… weren’t joking… about the guard not always being friends of yours.

 

KNOWLES
Why would I joke about that?

 

ZARA
You… were a thief.

 

KNOWLES
It was just kid stuff!

 

CASTOR
What if a guard caught you?

 

KNOWLES
That… would have been a problem, yes.

 

ZARA
They would have chucked you in jail with the other urchins.

 

KNOWLES
Luckily, I’m not a mischievous urchin anymore.

 

TODE
If you don’t mind the question, was it the death of your sibling that changed your ways?

 

KNOWLES
(confused)
Changed my… ways?

 

TODE
You are rather… derisive of the unlawful behaviors of other people.

 

ROSIE
Myself, for example?

 

CASTOR
And Max, too.

 

KNOWLES
Oh, no. Tode, it wasn’t Bailey… Not exactly.
I… actually got worse after Bailey died, trying to act like nothing had changed. I kept getting in trouble, but without them… I had a hard time caring if I got out of it.
(beat)
(slowly)
I’ve always been a gambler, but I haven’t always been a good one. Caring about consequences is… hard when it feels like you’re alone for the first time in your life.
(softly)
When you feel like maybe… you won’t survive long either.

 

ROSIE
(rattled)
I don’t even recognize the Knowles you’re describing.

 

ZARA
(disdainful)
What could possibly make you change into… this?

 

KNOWLES
You’re acting like it’s all so… complicated. I was tired, alright?

After my mother died, when I was really alone, I was fed up fighting a system of odds stacked against me! I went with a safer bet.

 

A pause.

 

ZARA
(venomously)
You joined the guard because it was a safe bet?

 

KNOWLES
Yes?

 

ZARA
And all that talk about “law is law?”

 

KNOWLES
What about it?

 

ZARA
It’s not a moral code?

 

KNOWLES
I mean, it is.
Look, it’s a system that works, but… it’s also a system designed for justice. That’s a morally good thing.

 

ZARA
Designed by whom?

 

ROSIE
(quietly)
Rich people, mostly, trying to protect what’s… theirs.

 

CASTOR
It’s kings and lords who make the laws.

 

KNOWLES
But in the grand scheme of things—

 

ZARA
(cuttingly)
It doesn’t matter if a few people get the short end of the stick?

 

TODE
You were rather ready to arrest Rosie.

 

KNOWLES
(offended, hurt)
I—I… I pour my heart out about my dead sibling, and you all repay me by calling… into question my whole life?

 

ROSIE
Are you trying to change the subject?

 

KNOWLES
I’m saying you don’t know what it was like.

 

TODE
Then, Zara is wrong. The law acting as your moral code leaves no one behind.

 

A pause.

 

KNOWLES
(pained groan)
If you look at the odds…

 

ZARA
(furious)
Oh, my gods! You single-minded, inflexible—

 

KNOWLES
Whoa!

 

ZARA
It’s like you’re so smart, but you’re not smart enough to see what’s right in front of you!

 

KNOWLES
What is it you think is right in front of me?

 

ZARA
(disbelieving anger)
Do you have any idea how miserable you could make life for people by just… blindly following the numbers?

 

KNOWLES
But I don’t make life miserable for people!

 

ZARA
Oh, you know that for sure? You’re certain of that? Because you could! And so could any one of your guard friends!

And you don’t see that! Because as long as your system is working for you, you’re just fine not thinking about the rest!

 

KNOWLES
What…? You…
(angrily)
You act like anything I come up with is going to be better! Like any mortal, moral code could possibly be perfect!

 

ZARA
So, you’re just fine using one made up by the rich and powerful, who don’t care about you at all?
(sharply, demanding)
Have you forgotten what it’s like to be poor?

 

KNOWLES
(matching her anger)
And how could I forget?
(growing progressively more and more incensed)
How could I forget when there are still days that I wake up hungry and wonder if we’re going to eat today before I remember? How could I forget what it’s like to be so desperate to tip the odds even slightly in our favor? When everything is stacked against us?

 

ZARA
So, instead you join the side that keeps doing the stacking?
(reproachful)
Because it’s easy? Because you were tired?

 

KNOWLES
Yes! Because I was tired! What do you expect me to do?

 

ZARA
I expect you to think!
Gods! Even for a second about what you’re doing!

 

KNOWLES
I—

 

ZARA
Bailey isn’t here to think about consequences for you, Knowles!
(darkly)
You have to do that yourself.

 

KNOWLES
Leave them out of this!

 

ZARA
Why should I? You won’t!

 

Chair scoots abruptly.

 

ROSIE
(worried)
No, Knowles! Don’t storm off.

 

KNOWLES
I’m not storming off! I’m just…!
(defeated)
I… just…

 

Heavy footsteps walking away before coming back.

 

KNOWLES
You expect me to hammer out every individual aspect of my moral compass? Like Castor?

 

ZARA
Ideally.

 

CASTOR
Uhm, I wouldn’t recommend the overthinking part.

 

ZARA
(acidly)
That’d be better than the current state of things!

 

KNOWLES
Fine, then. Fine.

 

Chair scoots as they sit down.

 

KNOWLES
(carefully)
I’ll think about it. I’ll… recalculate.

 

ZARA
Why?

 

KNOWLES
Why? What do you mean “why?”

 

ZARA
If you’re doing it to shut me up, that’s not a good reason.

 

KNOWLES
I’m doing it because…
Because…
(pause)
(somber, each word spoken with great caution)
Because you’re right. I’ve… been… complacent. And being a good guard is… easy. But, if I’m actually using my head about this, it’s… more important to me to be a good person… than to be a good guard.

 

ZARA
Good.

 

KNOWLES
(sigh)

 

ROSIE
So… That sounded… like a consensus. Right?

 

CASTOR
I think it was.

 

ROSIE
Right! So…
Are we friends again?

 

KNOWLES
(fondly)
Beacon of sunshine.

 

TODE
(earnestly)
I don’t believe we ever stopped being friends today.

 

ZARA
(scoffs)
Speak for yourself! Some of us never started.

 

KNOWLES
(overlapping)
Oh, come on.

 

ROSIE
(overlapping)
(snorts)
Zara, stop lying!

 

CASTOR
(overlapping)
Okay.

 

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

 

 

(17:42) OUTRO:

 

(17:42) NEXT TIME ON…

Inn Between theme plays in the background.

 

TESSA
Next time, on Inn Between…

 

ADVENTURER
Oh no! Not a freak hailstorm!

 

ZARA
There goes some of our competition.

 

ADVENTURER 2
Not direwolves!
(screams)

 

KNOWLES
I’ve got a feeling we haven’t faced our toughest challenge quite yet.

 

ADVENTURER 3
(groans)
No gem is worth this!

 

ROSIE
(with forced cheer)
But we’re great! We’re going to be fine, right guys?

 

CREDITS:

 

HANNAH
This episode, “The Guard”, was written and directed by Hannah Wright with assistant director William Wright. The show is produced and edited by Katherine Ayers.

The voice of Castor is Caleb Del Rio. The voice of Zara is Quin Leigh. The voice of Tode is Anthony Morales. The voice of Rosie is Lucille Valentine. The voice of Knowles is JV Hampton-VanSant. The voice of Tessa is Hannah Wright. The voice of Sadiyah is Arrianna Abraham.

The voices of the adventurers are Maksim Avdeev, Haden Ezekiel Felix and Vic Hawley.

Our theme song is by Eli Hamada McIlveen and our artwork is by Gabrielle Buxman. Our transcriber is Ria Couoh.

Special thanks to ItMe Productions who provided script editing for this episode. Check out their show, InCo.

Transcripts for this and every episode can be found on our website, thegoblinshead.com.

Find and follow us on Twitter, @inn_between_. Or support us on Patreon, at patreon.com/thegoblinshead.

 

Music ends.

 

HANNAH
If you like the show, deconstruct a power structure or two. Or leave us a review.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

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.

 

(19:06) POST-CREDITS:

Background sounds of tavern.

 

TESSA
Well, I don’t know. I can’t say I know many gamblers.

 

SADIYAH
I know too many. It’s funny how people get so obsessed with luck, only to try and control it.

 

TESSA
(thoughtfully)
Mm, there is a lot of satisfaction in thinking you can control something that no one else can. And nothing’s less controllable than luck.

 

SADIYAH
Very true.

 

TESSA
What’s got you thinking about this?

 

SADIYAH
Oh… nothing.

 

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

 

EPISODE ENDS.

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