Kentucky Route Zero Act V Fulltext

Where are you flying to?
Flying? Ha!
I'm just checking to see if everything's working OK.
You could fly her somewhere if you wanted to though, right?
Of course!
So why don't you?
Here we go — keep your distance, now!

What's this?
[Curious meow.]
Aw, man, it's totally broken.
[Inquisitive meow.]
Waterlogged tapes. They might still play, who knows.
But all the VCRs are shot.
[Sad meow.]
I don't even know where to put all this ... I hate to call it trash.
I wonder if that garbage truck still works.

Some of these are really old.
Maybe ... we should open them.
[Scolding meow.]
Ha ha. He says not to open other people's mail, kid.
I know what he said ...
But if they're not even here to open it themselves ... ?
I won't tell a soul.

`(Reading an envelope.)` How about "Greg Rabbit?"
"Greg the Rabbit?"
No ... like Rabbit is his last name.
Well, there's no "Greg" or "Rabbit" here. Not anymore, at least!
`(EZRA opens the envelope.)`
"It is our priv ... priv ... ?"
"It is our privilege to inform you that your app ... apple ... ?"
"... has been accepted. Your studies can begin as soon as you arrive."
Good job.
Yeah, good job, Greg.
I hope he got the message eventually. I wonder what he studied.
What? Oh, no, "architecture."

Choppy seas today, captain.
Aye, captain. Let's reinforce the sails.

Seems to be working OK.
Julian's gonna love this.
[Excited meow.]

Yeah, it's amazing!

Hey, this book's in pretty good shape.
"The City of Ladies ..."
[Curious meow.]
No, I've never read it either.
[Inquisitive meow.]
Good question, let's take a look ...
Here we go — Minerva, Circe, Sappho ...
... and some ladies from the bible.
[Nosy meow.]
I think they all get together and build a city.
Sounds nice! I'll get us a bus ticket, eh?

Hey, don't run in the graveyard!
Why not?
It's ...
People are trying to rest!
[Annoyed meow.]

Does it work?
I dunno. I think you wind it here ... no, it doesn't work.
I could probably fix it.
Oh, you could definitely fix it, man.
And then you'd have a new robot friend.
... and then I'd have a new robot friend.

I really like this knife.
It has an ... aura ... know what I mean?
An "aura."
Yeah, like it wasn't exactly used to cut apples.
It's meant for greater things.
Yes, ma'am.

[Curious meow.]
Oh, I don't know. Just a bunch of old stuff.
It's hard to imagine someone ordering this.
Like ... these things, specifically. Why these things?
This folding rocking-chair ... it's nice, but it's so peculiar. Someone really wanted `this` chair.
Now we're setting it all up, trying to ... "reverse-engineer" this person we never met.
I kind of feel like we `are` that person. We're making that person, right now, together.
[Reassuring meow.]

Yeah. Thanks. That helps.

Hand me that rag, would you? The one with the embroidered bird on it.
This one?
Does it have a bird on it?
Um ... I think so.
Don't you know what a bird looks like?
Yeah but it's pretty small ... I thought it was some letters.
I guess that could be a bird on there.
Well it's a rag, ain't it? As long as it's a rag I guess it'll work for mopping sweat.
Yeah, it's a rag for sure.

[Greeting meow.]
Oh, hi kitty.
[Chatty meow.]
Yes, it's a beautiful day.
I guess the weather was pretty bad last night, though.
[Confident meow.]
You're a chatty one, aren't you?
[Fanciful meow.]
Sure, whatever you say ... ha ha.
[Curt meow.]
Alright, well ... take it easy.

Aw, damn, there he goes. Can we go in after him?
In the bushes?
After the raccoon?
But ...
It's probably full of thorns.
Yeah, but ... raccoon.
It's not happening.
OK, OK ...
Oh, don't pout. Tell you what — if that raccoon comes back into town, we'll leave some food out for him.
Yes ma'am.

Think it'll rain anymore?
I don't see any clouds.
Hell, it'll probably rain anyhow.
Just our luck!
[Assertive meow.]
Oh, really?
[Confident meow.]
He thinks it's going to rain again tomorrow. Ha ha.
I dunno, man. Animals have a sense for the weather.

[Alert meow.]

`(Something in the bushes stirs.)`

[Inquisitive meow.]

`(No response.)`

Yeah I'd be worried about that, too.
Well, and it isn't just the rodents. The floors are mostly rotted, I think.
You'd fall right through. I'm surprised they're still standing, after last night.
All the buildings?
No, no, most of them have good bones. It's just these ones the power company built that are rotten.
Oh, OK.
Yeah, the power company moved in here a while back and set it up like their own little town.
For the workers.
But they didn't build them too good, huh?
It's garbage. They couldn't be bothered.
I lived in that one over there, in fact. When I first came here to work at the power plant.
Oh yeah?
I wouldn't set foot in there now, though!
Ha ha.

Will it still fly?
Oh yes. She just got banged up a little in the storm.
I'll have her up and running again by this afternoon, I'm sure.
Can I fly it?
Well, how's your upper-body strength?
Uh, it's good. Really good.
This old girl is operated by pulleys — I mean one hundred percent mechanical!
Well, except for the throttle.
I could do that.
I admire your confidence, young man.
Yep, just a little bent metal.
I'll have her skyworthy again in a matter of hours.
I've been doing this a long time, kiddo.

[Alert meow.]

`(A family of small mice huddle beneath the debris.)`

[Predatory meow.]

`(The mice retreat into shadows.)`

Notes go here.
Hey cat, I'll race you.
From here to that pile of mail. OK?
[Affirmative meow.]

Come stand here. This is the starting line.
Ready ...
Get set ...

Wow. You're pretty fast! I'll get you next time.
Aw. It's no shame to lose — I'm a fast runner.
I guess cats play by their own rules, huh?

[Alert meow.]

`(A slithering sound from somewhere in the grass.)`

[Cautious meow.]


Wow, he is a deep sleeper.
Wow, she is a deep sleeper.
Yeah, listen to that.
It's making `me` a bit sleepy.
Oh yeah, the rhythm of his breathing. It's nice. Hypnotic.
Oh yeah, the rhythm of her breathing. It's nice. Hypnotic.

`(SHANNON breathes in slowly.)`
`(SHANNON breathes out slowly.)`
`(SHANNON breathes in slowly.)`

`(BLUE farts)`
`(HOMER farts)`
`(The dog farts)`
Oh well.

... so not `too` sad.
No, no, I think it should be ... `happy`?
It's a remembrance.
Like a monument.
So ... they should be represented with dignity and respect, of course —
— of course —
— but not to the point where it makes everyone feel they have to be serious when they're standing under it.
Does that make sense?
No, yeah, it definitely does. I think I have an idea.
I'll just dig in.
Thanks, Mary Ann.
Happy to help!

... until finally it just gave way.
But you did good work. It's not your fault.
They didn't let you finish, that's all.
If they let you finish, oh, forget about it —
— this place would be dry as a bone!
You always did good work.
[Inquisitive meow.]
It's a memorial.

[Greeting meow.]
Oh, hi, kitty.
Where did you come from, huh? Follow a bird up here?
These folks, the ones who built this thing, they chased birds too.
[Intrigued meow.]
Really! That's what they wrote.
They followed some migrating birds up here from Central America ...
... somewhere up to Florida ...
... and then here.
[Skeptical meow.]
Well, that's what they wrote, anyway.
I guess it might have been a metaphor ...

[Alert meow.]

`(A lizard darts out from beneath a rock.)`

[Cautious meow.]

`(No sign of the lizard now.)`

This shouldn't have happened. We should have prepared better.
All of us ...
But most of all that damn company who built this place — and left it only half built when they pulled out of town!
Damn shame.

That's a damn shame, that's what you call it.
[Distressed meow.]
`(To the cat.)` Well, what do you know, anyway?
Sorry, I'm just upset.
[Reassuring meow.]
You're right.

`(Warm coo.)`
[Greeting meow.]

`(Eager chittering.)`
[Affirmative meow.]

`(An agreeable caw.)`
[Friendly meow.]

`(A short coo.)`
[Negative meow.]

`(Chittering dismissively.)`
[Inquisitive meow.]

`(Confused coo.)`
[Doubtful meow.]

`(Soft chitters.)`
[Curious meow.]

`(Inquisitive caw.)`
[Confident meow.]

`(Curt chitters.)`

[Alert meow.]

`(A croak reverberates inside the smoker.)`

[Excited meow.]

`(A frog slips out into the grass, too quick to see.)`

[Curious meow.]

`(Something brown scurries up the side of the tree.)`

[Surprised meow.]

`(A squirrel? Too fast to tell.)`

`(WANDA snores softly.)`
[Cheerful meow.]
`(WANDA sleeps peacefully.)`

Alright, man. Let's see what you've got!
This one looks like it might still play.
Oh, Bill Monroe. Great!
Yeah, we had a few of his.
Man, this is a barnstormer. Popular?
They used to be, but then the jukebox started to wear down.
The longer it would run, the slower it would play.
And then these weird echoes would start to come in ...
... like the music was leaking and just pooling up in the bottom somewhere until everything was drowning.
After a few hours, no matter what you put in that jukebox, it'd come out strange. Wrong.
I dunno, that sounds pretty cool to me, man.

`(MARY ANN clears her throat.)`
[Inquisitive meow.]
Well, hello.
`(MARY ANN nudges WANDA gently.)`
`(Softly singing.)` Wanda ... time to wake up.
[Curious meow.]
Nope. Dead to the world.
[Probing meow.]
Just try again later, I guess!

Heavier than they look.
Sure, everyone's heavier after they've passed, it's only natural.
The spirit has no weight — in fact, it lifts us up a little.
[Greeting meow.]

Oh, it's you again.
[Friendly meow.]

Yeah, well, feel free to pitch in.
I'm sure this would go a lot quicker with two of us on it.
[Argumentative meow.]

Busy, huh? What, left a sunbeam unslept in?
[Parting meow.]

Suit yourself. I'll be here.

It's really cool. Where did you get it?
Oh it was just in my pocket, um, my jacket pocket.
Is it special?
It's exactly the one we need to play this game. Twenty sides.
You play board games?
I'm more into screens, I guess.
This was actually someone else's jacket ... I'm sure he doesn't need that anymore.
It's cool that it glows in the dark. Now we just need a dark place to play. Ha ha.
My friend's uncle said we could use his ... basement?
Perfect. I'll hold onto this.
Don't lose it.
I will guard it with my life.

`(Singing.)` Who did you say it was brother
`(Singing.)` Who was it fell by the way
`(Singing.)` When whiskey and blood run together
`(Singing.)` Did you hear anyone pray
`(Singing.)` I didn't hear nobody pray, dear brother
`(Singing.)` I didn't hear nobody pray
`(Singing.)` I heard the crash on the highway
`(Singing.)` But I didn't hear nobody pray
`(Singing.)` When I heard the crash on the highway
`(Singing.)` I knew what it was from the start
`(Singing.)` I went to the scene of destruction
`(Singing.)` And a picture was stamped on my heart
`(Singing.)` There was whiskey and blood all together
`(Singing.)` Mixed with glass where they lay
`(Singing.)` Death played her hand in destruction
`(Singing.)` But I didn't hear nobody pray
`(Singing.)` I wish I could change this sad story
`(Singing.)` That I am now telling you
`(Singing.)` But there is no way I can change it
`(Singing.)` For somebody's life is now through
`(Singing.)` Their soul has been called by the Master
`(Singing.)` They died in a crash on the way
`(Singing.)` And I heard the groans of the dying
`(Singing.)` But, I didn't hear nobody pray
`(Singing.)` I didn't hear nobody pray, dear brother
`(Singing.)` I didn't hear nobody pray
`(Singing.)` I heard the crash on the highway
`(Singing.)` But I didn't hear nobody pray

I even lived in there for a bit.
No way.
Yeah! Too drafty. I moved out one winter and never looked back.
It gets cold?
Sure, when the sun is down.
Nice old church, though.
Really nice. Could make a nice workshop.
There you go.

Think it'll rain anymore?
I don't `see` any clouds.
Hell, it'll probably rain anyhow.
Just our luck!


ezra: There you are. I think this other cat was looking for you. Will you be a family now? (will-these-cats-be-a-family)
ezra: Funny how you stick together and you still act like you're alone. That's the cat way, huh? Always alone together. (are-cats-alone)


ezra: Miss Shannon's like that, I think. (ezra-considers-shannon)
ezra: Just like that old man we were traveling with. (ezra-considers-conway)


ezra: You can change your mind later, it's OK. (chosen-families)
ezra: You seem pretty different, but that's good. You can teach each other. (heterogeneous-family)


ezra: But I don't think she wants to be. She's trying to get out of it. It's like a habit. (end)
ezra: I guess she likes it that way. Maybe she should spend some more time alone together with you two. Pick up some tips. (end)


ezra: He can't help it though. I think he forgot how to do anything else. (end)
ezra: It seemed like it made him unhappy. But he thought he deserved it, I guess. (end)


ezra: It's your choice. (end)
ezra: Nothing lasts forever anyway. (end)


ezra: I wonder if I'll ever learn to fly. (end)
ezra: I should learn to play the drums. (end)


emily: Hey y'all. Thanks for sticking around for this. I know we've all got places to ... well, if anybody still needs somewhere to go, be sure and speak up, OK? I think Ron's heading through the woods tonight, back to the road, if you want to caravan.

ron: You staying, Em?

emily: Yeah, sure, I'll stay. (emily-staying)
emily: Naw, I'm heading out too. (emily-leaving)


emily: At least for a while. I just want to make sure everyone has somewhere to go. (people-speaking-setup)
emily: I think we can build something here again. This place has good bones. (people-speaking-setup)


emily: Now that the station is gone, there's nothing here for me. Sorry to say. (people-speaking-setup)
emily: We're gonna help James move the Image Processor to a safe place on the river somewhere. (people-speaking-setup)


emily: For right now, though, we've got some friends to bury.

emily: The Neighbors.

emily: Nikki has a poem, and I have a song.

emily: If anyone wants to say anything, though, um ... I'll go first ...


emily: The Neighbors were kind, gentle, beautiful horses. I used to go on walks with the silver one, out in the woods, by ...

emily: Why didn't anybody ever give them names?

emily: "The Silver One," well, I guess he was gray but his coat looks silver in the light. So I always called him that in my head. And the other one is "the other one." And I loved these horses! But you'd never know it if you heard me talk about them like that.

emily: So I'm sorry, Silver One and Other One. Sorry I don't have better names for you. You deserved better names.

emily: Also sorry I'm so bad at this.

emily: Anybody else have anything to say?


rita: The horses were here before us, you know? They came with the people from Central America. You know, the utopians — the "People of Nothing."

rita: The "People of Nothing" arrived by horseback in October, and their first experiment was to free the horses.

rita: That was generations ago — of people and horses. I don't know when we started calling them the "Neighbors." We should have called them the "People," I think. They were the only consistent residents of this place for over a hundred years. And now they're all gone — who are the "People" now?


ron: I just wanna say these horses used to crap on my floors. But it never bothered me too much. I never mentioned it to anyone, I didn't want to make a thing out of it. But if we're clearing the air, well, that happened and it's OK.

ron: I mean recently, too — I was cleaning up horse crap just a couple days ago. But I'm saying it was OK.

ron: It would've been OK if `any` of you wanted to crap on my floors. I just wanna say that. I would've cleaned up after any of you. If you crapped on my floor.

emily: Thanks, Ron.


elmo: You all remember that? Somebody was calling around with some canned carrots they wanted to be rid of, and I guess Consolidated Power got word of it.

elmo: So these cans of carrots showed up in the mail, and we didn't know where they came from at first. I tried some out; no flavor to 'em. Some of them were gray. Just awful. Rita said that's still OK to eat — like, sometimes carrots just lose their color if they sit in a can too long — but nobody wanted them, really.

elmo: Well, Aunt Connie came on TV with a message like "hope the horses are enjoying their treat!" And we thought "OK, these are for the Neighbors, sure, horses love carrots, right?"

elmo: But the Neighbors wouldn't touch 'em. Wouldn't even look at 'em. You'd think they were canned rocks. We opened a couple dozen and set them all out by the water trough, and they were still there a day later. Even the raccoons steered clear!

elmo: And then of course Consolidated sent us an invoice for every can we'd opened, already made out in company scrip. How do you like that?


goto done-with-speeches [if done-with-speeches]

ron: I've got something to say. (ron-speak) [if !heard-remembrance-ron]
elmo: I was thinking about when all those canned carrots showed up in the mail. (elmo-speak) [if !heard-remembrance-elmo]
rita: We didn't give them names because their names weren't ours to give. (rita-speak) [if !heard-remembrance-rita]


emily: OK, I guess we'd better move on. Nikki, you ready?

goto end


ron: This weather makes you kinda wish it never stopped raining. (weather)
ron: Six feet? That's the standard. Standard for people, anyway, but ... (how-deep-to-bury)


ron: You think after a big storm like that, the humidity oughta break. No such luck. (humidity)
ron: It's that damn heat, got it in my bones now and feels like I won't ever get it out. (heat)


ron: Moisture is good for the dirt, though, right? Seems like I'm getting to the real good stuff now. (dirt-quality)
ron: How much further down should I go, anyway? (how-deep-to-bury)


ron: You could throw my bones in a pot of water and it'd boil. Bet they'd hate that back at the old job ... alternative energy! (consolidated-power)
ron: Maybe I oughta keep digging til I get to the cold earth so they can rest. (how-deep-to-bury)


ron: They were all muddy when I pulled them out. I had to clean them; it wasn't dignified. (remember-trying-to-save-horses)
ron: Good dirt. Good gardens. When the old company found our vegetables, they took half of what we picked and sold it out of town. (consolidated-power)


ron: Six feet's the rule for a person, and let's say the average person is five-foot-nine ... (burial-math)
ron: Maybe I oughta stick to the traditional depth, out of respect. (same-as-a-man)


ron: The Neighbors were about fifteen hands, so that's pretty close. (burial-math-done)
ron: Now what I can't figure is — for purposes of burial, do you measure from the front legs or the back? (burial-math-done)


ron: Well, at least I'm putting the math in. If this were still company property, they'd be off to a landfill. Cold sons of bitches. (consolidated-power)
ron: Must have been four hours dragging them out of the water, I got their measurements down now. Carved into my muscles. Permanent. (remember-trying-to-save-horses)


ron: Is that respect? To treat them like us? Or is it more respectful to treat them like what they were ... (respect)
ron: Just what are we burying here, anyway? Is it them, or us? Or some mix of both. (centaur)


ron: God knows they weigh more than any person. (remember-trying-to-save-horses)
ron: I bet the old company had a whole chapter full of regulations on it — that'd be handy about now. Well, at least as a starting point or a what-not-to-do. (consolidated-power)


ron: Well, I knew damn sure what I was pulling out of the water ... (remember-trying-to-save-horses)
ron: I wonder what would've been company policy on hiring centaurs. Strong and smart but probably union ... (consolidated-power)


ron: So heavy. Waterlogged. God, that's not how I want to remember them. (horses-were-important-to-town)
ron: Just got so deep so fast. It shouldn't have been that deep there, and I know who to blame, I tell you what. (consolidated-power)


ron: If those greedy sons of bitches had finished that drainage ditch when they were supposed to ... (angry-at-power-company)
ron: They built so much here. They oughta be here still, cleaning up. (perversely-miss-power-company)


ron: The Neighbors were the soul of this shitty town. Now it's empty, even before we left. (end)
ron: It's good to bury them here. Lucky I was still around to do it. (end)


ron: I oughta hike through the woods and give them a piece of my mind. (end)
ron: Well, I should put some of that bile into digging these holes. (end)


ron: I guess they left a vacuum, the power company. (end)
ron: Hell, not that I miss them. (end)


shannon: Well, the mailbox says "5 Dogwood Drive." (inspect-mailbox)
shannon: Do you hear music? (hear-music)


ezra: Is there any mail in there? (house-reminds-ezra-of-something)
clara: Is there a doormat? Sometimes a key is under a doormat. What am I saying? (house-reminds-clara-of-something)


ezra: Just birds singing. (emily-approaches)


ezra: Like if someone wrote them a letter, maybe their name is on it. (emily-approaches)
ezra: Just don't open any that say "FINAL NOTICE," those are a secret. (emily-approaches)


clara: Strange to say, but I feel like I've been here before. Anyone else? (emily-approaches)
clara: I think it's lovely. (emily-approaches)


emily: It just showed up. The house. (emily-house-just-appeared)
emily: Oh, is this your place? Weird time for new construction, but what do I know ... (emily-distracted)


shannon: When? (house-when)
shannon: Where did it come from? (house-where)
shannon: Who lives here? (house-who)


emily: Some time last night, I think. I've never noticed it before. (end)
: `(EMILY shrugs.)` (end)


emily: Maybe it blew in with the storm ... (end)
: `(EMILY shrugs.)` (end)


emily: I haven't seen anyone. (end)
: `(EMILY shrugs.)` (end)


shannon: This house is new? (house-when)
shannon: No, this isn't our place. You don't know who lives here? (house-who)



goto gather-a [if gather-a]

shannon: It feels warmer in here, somehow ... right? (shannon-reacts-to-space)
ezra: Nobody lives here? (ezra-reacts-to-space)
clara: It's actually quite spacious. (clara-reacts-to-space) [if temp:interior-reaction-count[gt]0]
junebug: Nice. (junebug-reacts-to-space) [if temp:interior-reaction-count[gt]1]
ezra: Do we still have to carry all that stuff over here? (still-carry) [if temp:interior-reaction-count[gt]2]


junebug: Warmer and brighter. (character-reactions-to-interior)
clara: Strangely comfortable. (character-reactions-to-interior)


shannon: Well, somebody ordered some furniture. (character-reactions-to-interior)
junebug: If someone does live here, they keep it pretty tidy. (character-reactions-to-interior)


ezra: Yeah you could fly a plane in here. (character-reactions-to-interior)
shannon: Bigger than it looks. (character-reactions-to-interior)


ezra: Real nice. (character-reactions-to-interior)
junebug: I could see myself in a place like this. (character-reactions-to-interior)


junebug: That's the deal, kid. (gather-a)
shannon: But where do we put it all? (gather-a)


shannon: The light in here is pretty great, actually. (good-light)
clara: What this town needs is a kitchen. (needs-kitchen)


clara: Yes, a good space to read a book. (read-a-book)
shannon: I could set up a new workshop here. (shannon-new-shop)


ezra: Oh yeah, somewhere to cook all the beans. (beans)
junebug: There's so much room, though, we could set up a whole studio. (studio)


shannon: You eat a lot of beans? (ezra-eats-beans)
clara: We could rebuild the garden, grow some vegetables. (vegetables)


ezra: Yep, I could eat beans every day. I wouldn't mind if all the other foods just disappeared and all that was left was beans. (bean-only-world)
clara: I'm sure we could find a few other ingredients ... (vegetables)


ezra: Like a bean-only world. Sounds alright to me! (will-shannon-stay)
clara: So ... (vegetables)


shannon: How about tomatoes? I think I saw some downed tomato plants out there. (will-shannon-stay)
ezra: Mushrooms won't grow here because there's too much light. (too-much-light)


shannon: How about tomatoes? I think I saw some downed tomato plants out there. (will-shannon-stay)
clara: It's good light for reading, though. (read-a-book)


ezra: A music studio? Cool! (studio-detail)
clara: And at night, we look at the stars. (will-shannon-stay)


junebug: What would you read? (what-would-clara-read)
junebug: There's so much room, though, we could set up a whole studio. (studio)


clara: Science fiction. I like to read anything at all about the planet Mars. (will-shannon-stay)
clara: There is so much history here. Maybe some books from the old town library could be salvaged. (will-shannon-stay)


johnny: Oh yeah, lots of room. Plus everything we recorded would have bird sounds on it; that's kind of a cool signature, right? (will-shannon-stay)
clara: And at night, we look at the stars. (will-shannon-stay)


shannon: I could set up a new workshop here. (shannon-new-shop)
shannon: I'd like to get out of town before dark. (shannon-hurry)


junebug: What's the hurry? (shannon-hurry-clarify)
clara: Ah ... somehow, I thought you might stay here now. To live. (shannon-stay-clara-suggestion)


shannon: Hm. That's a nice thought, actually. I could set up right here, start over. (shannon-new-shop)
shannon: I guess I'm heading back to the distillery and ... see if there's anything I can do. (back-to-conway)
shannon: I've got some stuff to take care of — try to get my old shop back. (gather-b)


shannon: You're right. I've got nowhere else to go. (gather-b)
shannon: I guess back to the distillery ... see if there's anything I can do. (back-to-conway)
shannon: I'll try to get my old shop back. (gather-b)


shannon: I could fix TVs again. Or whatever people need — hell, I could fix toasters. (gather-b)
shannon: Maybe work on that, um ... that big video synthesizer thing. Fix that up. (gather-b)


clara: He seemed to know what he was getting into. (shannon-conway-doubt)
johnny: That old man is lucky you look after him. (shannon-conway-confirm) [if !three:lower-depths-junebug-took-iou]
junebug: About that, listen — Harry gave us this "I.O.U." from the distillery ... (shannon-conway-iou) [if three:lower-depths-junebug-took-iou]


shannon: Ha ha ... is he, though? Sometimes I'm afraid I worry about him as a distraction from my own problems. (gather-b)
shannon: Yeah, well, he'd do the same for me. Right? (gather-b)


shannon: No, you're right. I need to figure out what's next for `me`, right? (shannon-new-shop)
shannon: I'm not so sure ... (gather-b)


shannon: Hey, it's worth a shot. (gather-b)
shannon: Thanks, but I have a feeling it's not enough ... (gather-b)


ezra: You know what this place is? It's a big dog house. (dog-house) [if hound-in-town]
clara: One could really fit a lot of books in here ... (gather-c)
clara: I'd love to perform in a place like this. At sunset? (gather-c)


shannon: That's a lot of house for one old dog. (too-big-for-dog-house)
johnny: Oh yeah, how'd you like that, Blue? (dog-house-johnny-approves) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
johnny: Oh yeah, how'd you like that, Homer? (dog-house-johnny-approves) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
johnny: Oh yeah, how'd you like that, old man? (dog-house-johnny-approves) [if one:dog-name=Dog]


clara: So we keep it mostly empty? More room for the dog? (too-big-for-dog-house)
junebug: Sure, that's a thought, but what else could we do here? (gather-c)


ezra: They like to spread out on the floor. You get more sun that way. (gather-c)
shannon: Surely we can find a use for all this furniture, though ... (gather-c)


shannon: There's so much stuff just spread all over the place, from the storm. (detritus)
johnny: I kind of feel like I'm on stage right now, actually. Know what I mean ma'am? (johnny-on-stage)


shannon: Maybe we could put some of the town's old stuff here, like on display. Like a museum. Or a memorial? (memorial)
junebug: We'll get that all cleared out in no time. (echoes)


junebug: Yeah, but who's the audience? Everybody's leaving. (new-people)
junebug: Weird acoustics ... like you get little echoes before the sounds themselves ... I like it. (echoes)


shannon: Feels like it's time to move forward. (new-people)
shannon: We need to make sure and preserve some of this stuff. Before the next big storm. (memorial)


clara: Hm. So whoever lives here next will know who came before. (new-people)
clara: It may only be a show for the raccoons. (animals)


shannon: You think more people will come? After these people leave? (will-people-come)
ezra: We could put on a play for all the animals. (animals)


junebug: People will come. There's something about this place. (end)
shannon: Even if nobody else sets foot in this place, it's already crowded with ghosts. (end) [if !shannon-will-stay]
shannon: I guess we'll be the first. (end) [if shannon-will-stay]


ezra: At least there'll always be bugs. That's what I like about bugs. (end)
johnny: I'd like to see that. Ha ha. (end)


elmo: ... and ever since then I've just been treating it like a little cafe for the town. (cafe)
elmo: ... but before that, it was the "Company Store." (company-store)


johnny: Oh yeah? You like to cook? (elmo-cooking)
johnny: Everybody pitches in? (communal-cooking)


elmo: Yeah, it's a community thing. But `I` make the waffles. (waffle-recipe)
elmo: People have to look out for each other here. It's always been that way. (demonstration)


elmo: Sure. I'd make you some waffles that'd blow your mind ... if the power was back on. (waffle-recipe)
elmo: I'm about as good at cooking as I am at predicting the weather ... (weather)


elmo: ... and I sure as hell didn't see this storm coming until it was too late. Well, we've been through worse. (demonstration)
elmo: But I make a mean damn waffle. (waffle-recipe)


johnny: Oh, sure. I worked in a mine for a bit. (johnny-mine)
johnny: What kind of stuff did they stock? (company-store-stock)


elmo: Never enough of what you wanted! Eventually we had to start a garden. (garden)
elmo: I remember they sold these little paper flowers ... (paper-flowers)


elmo: Then you know all about it. Never enough! We had to start a garden. (garden)
elmo: Yeah? Did they sell little paper flowers down there? (paper-flowers)


johnny: Oh yeah, I saw that. I wonder if we could get it started again. (johnny-gardening)
elmo: But some things you just can't grow! (waffle-recipe)


elmo: Yeah, it's in rough shape. Well, this place has been through worse. (demonstration)
elmo: You may have to start from scratch with the vanilla ... that's a delicate flower. (waffle-recipe)


johnny: Paper flowers? That sounds kind of nice. (nice-paper-flowers)
johnny: Not even real flowers? (not-real-flowers)


elmo: Yeah, they were real nice. I still make them sometimes, I don't know why ... (demonstration)
elmo: I had to make my own vanilla extract, though. They never stocked that. (waffle-recipe)


elmo: Why bother? Real flowers grow wild. (demonstration)
elmo: No way. They didn't even stock vanilla extract. I had to make my own! (waffle-recipe)


elmo: If you want — and you promise to keep it secret — I'll pass on my waffle recipe before I head out. (pass-on-recipe)
elmo: I will take my waffle recipe to the grave. (pass-on-recipe)


johnny: Why so secretive? (secret-recipe)
johnny: That's OK, I don't really ... eat. (johnny-doesnt-eat)


elmo: The mystery adds to the flavor. (cafe-new-use)
elmo: I just can't bear the thought of any son of a bitch from that power company eating one of my waffles. (demonstration)


elmo: I once led a demonstration march right down this main strip, here, back in the bad old days. (march)
elmo: Back before the power company pulled out, I was in fear of my life half the time. (cafe-new-use)


elmo: Of course, we had no formal union. They watched everyone — and they had the cops on their side! (no-formal-union)
elmo: I won't lie — it was harrowing, but I'm proud to say I marched in full view of God and the Company and Everyone on that day. (cafe-new-use)


elmo: We had a thousand strategies to hide our numbers. We rotated leadership on the hour. We had so many secret passwords I never knew if I was speaking in code or shooting the breeze ... (cafe-new-use)
elmo: In the end we extracted a few minor concessions, and the company pulled out of town before any real bloodshed could get underway ... mostly. (cafe-new-use)


elmo: Not even for fun? (johnny-eat-for-fun)
elmo: No, I guess you don't. (cafe-new-use)


johnny: Well, if you teach me that waffle recipe ... (secret-recipe)
johnny: It's not fun for me — it's a mess. Ha ha. (cafe-new-use)


elmo: Well, I know I'm not sticking around. You think you'll do anything with this place? (cafe-ideas)
elmo: We oughta just set this place on fire. (burn-cafe)


johnny: Hey, people gotta eat right? Well, some people ... (end)
johnny: We'll think of something. What are the acoustics like? (end)


johnny: No way! I'd like to see the cafe re-open. (end)
johnny: I'd like to see that! But I think if we take out the tables and knock a couple walls down, this place would make a good concert venue. (end)


clara: This headstone has no name on it. (unmarked)
clara: Who's this here? All I can read is "better days ..." (better-days)


clara: Maybe it belongs to a wild animal. (wild-animal-grave)
clara: Maybe it was his choice. (chose-unmarked-grave)


clara: No, it would be wrong to bury a wild animal. This is the grave of a man. (chose-unmarked-grave)
clara: Maybe one animal buried another. That's why it's blank — animals can't write. (hound-check)


clara: Some stubborn old man, not wanting the town to fuss over him, even in death. (andrius)
clara: It's good they honored his wishes. (andrius)


clara: I'm sure this is what uncle Andrius wants. Well, then, we should give it to him. (hound-check)
clara: Still ... a burial is not only for the dead. (hound-check)


clara: Better days ahead? (better-days-ahead)
clara: They put their better days to rest here? (better-days-behind)


clara: Better days, for whom, though? The one who died or the rest of the town? (hound-check)
clara: Or maybe dreaming of better days once more, before going into the ground. (hound-check)


clara: I wonder whose "better days" we're talking about, anyway ... (hound-check)
clara: And uncle Andrius? Is he looking ahead or behind him now? (hound-check)


goto hound [if hound]
goto end [if end]


clara: `(To Blue.)` And you, my friend? Are you looking for a place to rest? (hound-rest) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
clara: `(To Homer.)` And you, my friend? Are you looking for a place to rest? (hound-rest) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
clara: `(To the dog.)` And you, my friend? Are you looking for a place to rest? (hound-rest) [if one:dog-name=Dog]
clara: `(To Blue.)` You disapprove? I'm being too morbid? (hound-morbid) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
clara: `(To Homer.)` You disapprove? I'm being too morbid? (hound-morbid) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
clara: `(To the dog.)` You disapprove? I'm being too morbid? (hound-morbid) [if one:dog-name=Dog]


clara: This is as good a place as you will find, I think. (end)
clara: I think there is no rest here, for a dog. (end)


clara: No, you understand me. The animals, too, fear death. (end)
clara: You're right of course. Back to the road, hm? (end)


junebug: Nice little setup you've got. (clydes-lounge-area)
clyde: It ain't like it used to be around here, I'll tell you that. (town-changes)


junebug: It never is. (change-is-constant)
junebug: What changed? (town-what-changed)


clyde: Ha! You're right about that. Cass always used to say ... (cass)
clyde: Sure, everything changes. Especially here. (town-what-changed)


clyde: The runway's got some cracks in it, for one. (town-runway-cracks)
clyde: Cass is gone. That's a big change. (cass)


junebug: Is that a runway? I thought it was a road. (no-roads)
clyde: Cass never would've let that happen. (cass)


clyde: Yeah, it's alright! Many afternoons have come and gone right here, listening to the radio, taking a break from some maintenance work. (gearhead-life)
junebug: I wish I had a space like this to work on the bike. (planes-vs-motorcycles)


junebug: How's she looking, anyway? (plane-status)
clyde: What kinda bike you got? (planes-vs-motorcycles)


junebug: It's a custom job. `[variable: three:motorcycle-name]`. (cafe-racer)
junebug: What do you know about motorcycles? (clyde-motorcycle-knowledge)


clyde: Oh, OK — I think I've seen those. Nice and light? Not light enough to fly, of course ... (bike-criticism)
clyde: No, I can't say that means anything to me. I get bored quick with anything that can't get me closer to heaven. (bike-criticism)


clyde: Yeah I've been on one or two, but I never got too excited about them. (bike-criticism)
clyde: I've always admired them from afar. No, above! (bike-criticism)


junebug: I guess you don't have much use for a bike in a town with no roads. (no-roads)
junebug: How's the plane looking anyway? (plane-status)


clyde: Oh, I'll have her up and running again this afternoon, no problem. (damage-summary)
clyde: It hurts to look at, doesn't it? You hate to see such a beautiful creature in pain. (plane-status-change-topic)


clyde: Just a couple bends in the wrong places. (plane-status-change-topic)
clyde: I need to tune some of the pulleys. It's a delicate ballet of engineering, miss — you might be surprised! (plane-status-change-topic)


clyde: Well, it's just lucky I have all the parts here. Difficult to mail order, with no roads. (no-roads)
clyde: Cass never would have let it get this bad, I'll tell you that. (cass)


junebug: Tell me about Cass. (about-cass)
junebug: You miss her, huh? (miss-cass)


clyde: Oh, what can I tell you ... She loved her nephew and nieces, the "brothers" who started our little community of pilots. (dervish-brothers)
clyde: She was a smart lady. No, she was a `wise` lady. Knowing her, I came to see the difference. (cass-wisdom)


clyde: Her favorite was Macy. Quiet, thoughtful kid, but a demon in the saddle — in the cockpit, I mean! (dervish-detail)
clyde: She doted on Beth, the wild one. (dervish-detail)


clyde: One time, she had the extraordinary idea to do a trick landing on a moving truck! We all know how that ended ... (no-roads)
clyde: Cass was the one who got us to finally pave that landing strip. Had a premonition it'd be useful. But then she made us break all our paving tools as soon as it was done! (no-roads)


clyde: She had a sense of things to come. I don't know if it was clairvoyance or just good eyes. (no-roads)
clyde: We relied on her cards for every major decision. (no-roads)


clyde: She was a kind woman, that's for sure. I try to keep her alive in my day-to-day. (no-roads)
clyde: I feel like she's still here, in the hangar, the runway, her old cards. (no-roads)


clyde: There was one thing Cass always insisted on about this place — no roads leading in or out. Hell, we can always fly! (end)
clyde: To tell you the truth, I've long suspected the reason Cass never wanted any roads here was just to keep the horses safe. And now ... (end)


ezra: Wow, how'd you get out of there? (escape)
ezra: They must have been pretty nice pigs if they let you ride them like that. (pigs)


flora: I slipped into a stream and held my breath, as it carried me deep underground. (adventure-start)
flora: I was able to climb a tree, and from there I spotted a secret path. (adventure-start)


flora: They were perfect gentlemen. (adventure-start)
flora: I made myself as light as a feather and they didn't even know I was there. (adventure-start)


ezra: Then what happened? (adventure-1-route)
ezra: You're lucky! (flora-lucky)


flora: That was only the beginning ... (adventure-start)
flora: I am always lucky. It's one of my qualities. (adventure-start)


flora: Then I found the Library of Television. (library-of-television-start)
flora: Later, I had to cross the Desert of Broken Glass (glass-desert-start)


flora: There were TVs everywhere, as soon as you walked in the door. Every channel was playing at once! (every-channel)
flora: The sound was deafening (tv-sound)


flora: I had one eyeball pointed at a cooking show, and the other at a crime show. (split-attention)
flora: Each tiny hair in my ear canal was listening to a different TV. (tv-sound)


flora: There were so many voices. I kept hearing my name, but I couldn't figure out which TV set it was coming from. (tv-ezra-reaction)
flora: On one of the TVs, I saw the most terrible vision. I won't even describe it to you. It would give you nightmares. (tv-ezra-reaction)


flora: If I had stayed any longer, I would have split into a thousand different people. (tv-ezra-reaction)
flora: For a while I was completely hypnotized. But then a fly buzzed in my ear, and it woke me up. (tv-ezra-reaction)


ezra: Wow, I'm glad you got out of there. (tv-escape)
ezra: Sounds scary. But also kind of cool. (tv-scary-cool)


flora: Yeah. But now I kind of miss it ... (adventure-2-route)
flora: And my night was only beginning! (adventure-2-route)


flora: Exactly. I'll take you there sometime if you want. (adventure-2-route)
flora: I'll never go there again. But you should check it out. (adventure-2-route)


flora: My shoes were ruined almost immediately. (shoes-ruined)
flora: The desert was strangely beautiful. (beautiful-desert)


ezra: They look OK to me? (shoes-ok)
ezra: Wow, did you cut your feet at all? (cut-feet)


flora: Yes, I repaired them myself. (beautiful-desert)
flora: Well, you should have seen them before — they were exquisite. (beautiful-desert)


flora: Terribly. But I persevered. (beautiful-desert)
flora: I stepped very carefully around the sharp bits. But the sharp bits were everywhere! (beautiful-desert)


flora: The desert was every different color, all at once, I was overwhelmed. (overwhelmed)
flora: At first I could barely see anything, but then a bit of moonlight broke through the clouds. (moonlight)


flora: In a rapturous trance, I glided to the far end of the desert, where I continued my journey ... (adventure-2-route)
flora: I'll take you there if you want to see it. Maybe on Saturday. (saturday)


ezra: OK. (adventure-2-route)
ezra: I'm pretty busy. How about today? (adventure-2-route)


flora: It was intoxicating. I was swept away by its beauty. Just remembering it now, I might start crying ... No, I'm OK. (adventure-2-route)
ezra: I spent a lot of time looking at the moon tonight, too. (adventure-2-route)


flora: Did I tell you, I discovered the place where all the garbage goes? (garbage-start)
flora: I was traveling with some strange companions for a while, too — but not as strange as yours! (companions-start)


ezra: I've always wondered ... (ezra-wonders-about-garbage)
ezra: You mean the dump? (garbage-secret-lead-in)


ezra: Do they just let it pile up somewhere forever? (garbage-secret-lead-in)
ezra: Does it get turned into dirt somehow? (garbage-secret-lead-in)


flora: Oh, no. It's much more exciting than that. (garbage-secret)
flora: You're on the right track, but ... (garbage-secret)


flora: What they do is they take some water out of the ocean and replace it with garbage. (garbage-water)
flora: There's a big fire at the center of the earth. It's been burning basically forever. (garbage-fire)


flora: Some day, the ocean will be nothing but garbage. The fish will learn to breathe garbage, and we will learn to drink it. (ezra-describes-night)
flora: But the fish are getting very angry. Between us — I think a war is coming. We'll have to choose a side. (ezra-describes-night)


flora: The fire grows bigger and bigger as we pile on more garbage. Some day, it will burn out of control, and all will be lost. (ezra-describes-night)
flora: The fire is maintained by ancient dinosaurs. They've burned themselves so many times, there's nothing left but oily bones. (ezra-describes-night)


flora: There was a strange woman who I think was a witch. (witch)
flora: A white rabbit followed me for a while. (rabbit)


flora: She talked a lot about herbs and rituals. I'll try to remember some later ... (companion-2)
flora: She gave me a magical amulet for protection, but I lost it. (companion-2)


flora: He had a collar with a name tag, like a cat or dog. But it was written in a language I'd never seen before. (companion-2)
flora: The rabbit only stuck around for a few hours. He must have had other things to do. (companion-2)


flora: I spent most of the night in the company of a bus driver. (bus-driver)
flora: By far my most memorable companions were the martians. (martians)


flora: Her name was Marge. She had a lot of good disco tapes, too. (ezra-describes-night)
flora: She told me all the secret spots to wait for the bus. In fact, she gave me a thorough tour. I'll share the secrets with you ... but `only` with you. (ezra-describes-night)


flora: They were silly, and lazy, and I think a little drunk ... but I found them charming in their own way, in the end. (ezra-describes-night)
flora: I had to lose them in a hedge maze — they were friendly but very demanding. (ezra-describes-night)


ezra: I got to ride in a big truck, and a tugboat. (flora-reaction)
ezra: I hung out with an old dog and some musicians. (flora-reaction)


flora: Then we both had quite an adventure! (next-step-decision)
flora: Wow, I'm jealous. But I won't let it ruin our friendship. (next-step-decision)


ezra: We should stick together. (stick-together)
ezra: Well ... maybe I'll see you at the museum sometime. (part-ways)


flora: I agree completely. (end)
flora: It's a nice idea, but you should stay with your friends. I think they still need your help. (end)


flora: I bet you'll see me sooner than that. (end)
flora: Hm. Maybe, someday. (end)


rita: Look at this place. "The Library." Ah, what a mess. (about-building)
rita: Do you know how long you have to be asleep before you can start dreaming? (sleep-question)


ezra: A couple hours. (sleep-couple-hours)
ezra: Sometimes I think I'm dreaming even when I'm awake. (dreaming-awake)


rita: Yeah, just about. How'd you get so smart? (rita-talks-about-experiments)
rita: It's kind of a trick question, sorry. Even if you never go to sleep, you'll start dreaming on your feet. (rita-talks-about-experiments)


rita: Entirely possible. Even if you never go to sleep, you'll start dreaming on your feet. (rita-talks-about-experiments)
rita: Hm. Maybe we should test that in a lab some day. (rita-talks-about-experiments)


rita: The people who built this library were always experimenting. They took nothing for granted, even sleep. (updn-were-fearless-experimenters)
rita: We used to pull some pretty long hours at the TV station, really pushing our limits. Sometimes it bled into the work. (wevp-was-experimental-once)


rita: I'm basically like this building's only next-of-kin. (next-of-kin)
rita: I feel like I should give you a tour. But let's skip to the good part — any questions? (tour-question)


rita: I don't think anyone else — nobody living — has spent as much time exploring it. (exploring)
rita: Because I've chosen to be the one to remember it. I'm the designated rememberer. (designated-rememberer)


rita: There was a pantry in here somewhere, stacked full of canned papaya. (rita-talks-about-history)
rita: Once I found a door hidden behind a bookshelf, but it was locked and I never found the key. (rita-talks-about-history)


rita: Whenever I have a quiet moment to myself, I close my eyes and picture this building — the floor, the ceiling, the arc of the hallways. (rita-talks-about-history)
rita: I have a gallery of obscure corners I revisit in my head each night. It helps me fall asleep. (rita-talks-about-history)


ezra: Did they ever cook food here? (library-question-cook)
ezra: Was it for people or animals? (library-question-people-or-animals)
ezra: Did it have a secret name or just a regular one? (library-question-secret-name)
ezra: What kind of parties did they have here? (library-question-parties)


rita: Absolutely. There was a whole kitchen. They weren't too precious about the books, I guess. Well, what are books for except reading and accumulating stains? (rita-talks-about-history)
rita: They had a barbecue pit out back, but I think most of them were vegetarian. (rita-talks-about-history)


rita: People, at first. A group of utopian social experimenters. They kept their books here, and I think it was kind of the heart of their community. (rita-talks-about-history)
rita: Mostly animals, for years now. We used to keep our video tapes here, but the raccoons ... (rita-talks-about-history)


rita: I don't know if it was secret, or if they just couldn't decide on a name. I think they just called it "The Library." (rita-talks-about-history)
rita: Oh, I try not to learn any secrets if I can help it — keep the mystery alive. (rita-talks-about-history)


rita: Big feasts, with lots of people. They'd eat and drink outside, and then wander drunkenly through the hallways until they were disoriented and lost in their own library. (rita-talks-about-history)
rita: Small, intimate gatherings. Usually just two or three people. They liked to swap, uh ... I mean some of them weren't big on "marriage." (rita-talks-about-history)


rita: I like that kind of history — the lived-in details. (lived-in-details)
rita: My friend Bert says the work of history is to find a pattern in the unasked questions. (brecht-history-questions)


rita: They called themselves "The People of Nothing." Fearless experimenters. (ezra-considers-living-experimentally)
rita: They were a scientific community. "Everything is an Experiment." (ezra-considers-living-experimentally)


rita: Yeah, we were pretty experimental. It's just how we lived, for a while there. (ezra-considers-living-experimentally)
rita: We drew inspiration from another group who lived here before us. They built this. (updn-were-fearless-experimenters)


ezra: For me, every day is very different. Do I live experimentally? (experimenting-is-making-changes)
ezra: Whenever I make a decision, I never know what's going to happen next. Is that an experiment? (experimenting-is-abandoning-expectation)


rita: Yeah, sounds about right. Experimenting is constantly making changes. (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)
rita: I could also say you're living "playfully." (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)


rita: Sure. Experimenting is ... abandoning expectation. (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)
rita: I guess you could also call that "playing," right? (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)


rita: "In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished, where did the masons go?" (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)
rita: "Caesar beat the Gauls. Was there not even a cook in his army?" (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)


rita: That's how you know people have always been people, always made choices, and nothing was inevitable. (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)
rita: I can feel the pressure building in those details. I hope I'm still around when it all finally explodes. (rita-feels-bad-for-leaving-the-site)


rita: Yeah, this is a special place. I feel a little guilty. (rita-is-ready-to-move-on)
rita: You'd fit right in here. Sure, it's a mess right now, but there's some residual energy from those fearless experimenters that I don't think will ever dissipate. (maybe-ezra-will-stay)


rita: But it's time to move on. You know? For me, anyway. (junebug-and-johnny-arrive)
rita: Maybe some new community will grow up out of the rubble. It's happened before. I hope they have an easier time! (junebug-and-johnny-arrive)


ezra: I could stay here. (junebug-and-johnny-arrive)
ezra: I don't think I'd want to live in a place like this. (junebug-and-johnny-arrive)


`(JUNEBUG and JOHNNY walk up)`

rita: Oh, hi ... Hey, aren't you ... ? (night-noise)
johnny: `(To EZRA)` What's good, little dude? (ezra-recaps-conversation)


junebug: Yes, I am. (ezra-recaps-conversation)
rita: Did you come on Night Noise once? Or maybe I saw you play somewhere ... (dont-remember-night-noise)


junebug: Oh, yeah, we play all over. (ezra-recaps-conversation)
johnny: Sorry, I think I got water in my memory banks. But I'm sure we were great friends! (ezra-recaps-conversation)


ezra: We were talking about the library. (relationship-question)
ezra: We were talking about history. (relationship-question) [if rita-ezra-library-topic=history]
ezra: We were talking about experiments. (relationship-question) [if rita-ezra-library-topic=experiments]
ezra: We were talking about the people who built this. (relationship-question)


rita: `(To EZRA.)` Is this your family? (family)
rita: `(To EZRA.)` Oh, are you in the band? (band)
rita: `(To EZRA.)` Friends of yours? (friends)


: `(EZRA looks at JOHNNY)` (family-johnny-answer)
: `(JOHNNY looks at JUNEBUG)` (family-junebug-answer)
: `(JUNEBUG looks at EZRA)` (family-ezra-answer)


johnny: Sure we are. Right, ma'am? (family-junebug-confirm)
johnny: What do you say, kid? (family-ezra-answer)
johnny: Just travel companions. (end)


junebug: Whatever you say, cricket. (end)
junebug: Hm. To be continued. (end)


junebug: That's right. We're family. (end)
junebug: What do you say, kid? (family-ezra-answer)


ezra: Yeah, that's right. This is my family now. (end)
ezra: Just some friends. We met on the road but I guess now we'll split up, probably ... (end)


junebug: What do you think, kid? We've got room for a drummer. (ezra-band-choice)
ezra: Naw. I've got my own project. (end)


ezra: I'm great at drums. I know where all the buttons are. (end)
ezra: I should probably get back to Julian. (end)


ezra: Yep. We travel together. (end)
ezra: We hung out last night, but I guess I have to go back now. (end)


clara: And now you'll return to Chicago? (chicago)
maya: Just taking one last look. (last-look)
maya: He really is a beautiful dog. (dog) [if hound-in-town+dog-pronoun=he]
maya: She really is a beautiful dog. (dog) [if hound-in-town+dog-pronoun=she]


shannon: She seems to like you. (shannon-dog-decision) [if dog-pronoun=she]
shannon: He seems to like you. (shannon-dog-decision) [if dog-pronoun=he]
clara: Beautiful? (dog-really-beautiful)


maya: Of course! He just needs a bath and a back seat to nap on. Don't you, boy? (dog-bath) [if dog-pronoun=he]
maya: Of course! She just needs a bath and a back seat to nap on. Don't you, girl? (dog-bath) [if dog-pronoun=she]
shannon: He's a charmer. Ha ha. (shannon-dog-decision) [if dog-pronoun=he]
shannon: She's a charmer. Ha ha. (shannon-dog-decision) [if dog-pronoun=she]


shannon: That dog is beyond bathing. Ha ha. (shannon-dog-decision)
shannon: Yeah I'm sure he cleans up alright. (shannon-dog-decision) [if dog-pronoun=he]
shannon: Yeah I'm sure she cleans up alright. (shannon-dog-decision) [if dog-pronoun=she]


shannon: Well, I sure don't know what to do with him. He's probably better off with you. (dog-go-with-maya) [if dog-pronoun=he]
shannon: Well, I sure don't know what to do with her. She's probably better off with you. (dog-go-with-maya) [if dog-pronoun=she]
shannon: I'm still hoping to get him back to the old man ... somehow. (dog-stay) [if dog-pronoun=he]
shannon: I'm still hoping to get her back to the old man ... somehow. (dog-stay) [if dog-pronoun=she]
shannon: What do you think, Homer? You want to go ride with this nice lady for a while? (dog-decides) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
shannon: What do you think, Blue? You want to go ride with this nice lady for a while? (dog-decides) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
shannon: `(To the dog.)` What do you think? You want to go ride with this nice lady for a while? (dog-decides) [if one:dog-nameless]


: `(BLUE lays down next to SHANNON.)` (dog-stay) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
: `(BLUE lays down next to MAYA.)` (dog-go-with-maya) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
: `(HOMER lays down next to SHANNON.)` (dog-stay) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
: `(HOMER lays down next to MAYA.)` (dog-go-with-maya) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
: `(The dog lays down next to SHANNON.)` (dog-stay) [if one:dog-nameless]
: `(The dog lays down next to MAYA.)` (dog-go-with-maya) [if one:dog-nameless]


maya: That's OK. I'm just taking one last look and then I'm back on the road. (last-look)
clara: Did you say you'll return to Chicago now? (chicago)


maya: Yeah, we'll have a great time. A great adventure. I'm just gonna take one last look around here ... (last-look)
maya: Alright, Homer, you're my new assistant. We'll make great art together! (maya-art) [if one:dog-name=Homer]
maya: Alright, Blue, you're my new assistant. We'll make great art together! (maya-art) [if one:dog-name=Blue]
maya: Alright, pup, you're my new assistant. We'll make great art together! (maya-art) [if one:dog-nameless]


shannon: You said you were ... sketching? Researching? (sketching)
shannon: Not much left to look at, is there? (storm-ruins)


maya: It's true, that was a hell of a storm. But this ancient earthwork is still solid! (earthwork)
maya: Yeah that was a bad one, but look what it washed up out of the mud ... (object)


maya: Yeah, I just came down to see this ancient earthwork. (earthwork)
maya: I make stuff like this ... kind of. (maya-art)


clara: Where do you exhibit it? (maya-venue)
clara: With what materials? (maya-materials)


maya: Outside! Out in the fields, forests ... away from the roads. (earthwork)
maya: I have one in the grass by an office park in Indiana. I think people sit on it and eat their lunch. (earthwork)


maya: Oh, you know ... dirt. (earthwork)
maya: For the really big ones I build a frame out of wood, and then basically bury it. (earthwork)


maya: Oh, no, I'm heading to Ohio next. They have a few great burial mounds I want to revisit. (revisit-ohio)
maya: Eventually. I was thinking I'd just drive for a while. (just-drive)


shannon: I've had enough driving. (shannon-done-driving)
shannon: I guess I'll be getting back on the road myself before long. (shannon-back-on-the-road)


maya: Yeah, all night you said, right? ... Hey, look what I found. (object)
maya: I hear you. It'll be a long road to Ohio, for me. (revisit-ohio)


maya: Hey, take your time ... Oh, look what I found. (object)
maya: Yeah, it's about that time, huh? I'm headed toward Ohio, myself. (revisit-ohio)


maya: There are a few burial mounds out there by Dayton I always love to see. Really special. (earthwork)
maya: This is kind of a research trip for me. I'm an artist — I make stuff like this. (maya-art)


shannon: What is that? An animal bone? (identify-object)
clara: Is it a toy? (identify-object)


maya: It's a pipe, I think. Super ancient. It's probably a thousand years old. (object-is-pipe)
maya: I actually don't know ... (unknown-object)


maya: I don't even smoke. Ha ha. Oh well. I'm just an observer, anyway. (earthwork)
maya: The people who made these mounds — they used to carve these. (earthwork)


maya: It looks hand-made. I wonder what it was for. (earthwork)
maya: None of my business, anyway, right? I'll just put it back in the ground. (earthwork)


maya: It's beautiful, right? This big mound. (earthwork-purpose)
shannon: Why did they build this huge, um ... dirt spiral? (earthwork-purpose)


maya: Most of these ancient earthworks are thought to be burial mounds. But this one definitely isn't. To be honest, I don't know what it was for. (end)
maya: Eh, it's just art. It's all just art. (end)


wanda: `(Into tape recorder.)` Part four, subsection G., notes on inhabitants. (inhabitants)
wanda: `(Into tape recorder.)` Part five, addendum, notes on soil. (soil)


wanda: Most have relocated already, prior to the transitional event. (shannon-approach)
wanda: Small group, mixed duration of residence. (shannon-approach)


wanda: Good crumb. (soil-b)
wanda: Fragrant loam. (soil-b)


wanda: Reminds me of ... (soil-memory)
wanda: Tastes like ... (soil-flavor)


wanda: that community vegetable garden we converted into a scrapyard. (shannon-approach)
wanda: the potted fern Mary Ann used to keep on the front desk. Where did she get the soil? (shannon-approach)


wanda: coffee? (shannon-approach)
wanda: worms. (shannon-approach)


wanda: `(To SHANNON)` Resident or visitor? (resident-or-visitor)
shannon: Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces, right? I can spot you easy now. Ha ha. (bureau)


shannon: I haven't decided yet. (shannon-undecided)
shannon: Just making a delivery. (shannon-delivery)


wanda: Hm, I see ... well, you may not have much time. (bureau)
wanda: What would you do here? It's in ruins. (ruins)


wanda: Excellent. I'll make a note of that. (bureau)
wanda: To whom? There's nothing left here. (remains)


shannon: No, I wouldn't say that. (remains)
shannon: Maybe you're right. (bureau)


shannon: There's the house on Dogwood. (not-a-ruin)
shannon: I don't know; it still feels alive to me. (not-a-ruin)
shannon: As long as there are still people here, it's not a ruin yet. (not-a-ruin)
shannon: Maybe you're right. (bureau)


wanda: If you say so. (bureau)
wanda: But surely there are more productive uses of the site? (bye)


wanda: I'm making a survey of the site for potential Reclamation. (bye)
wanda: We've had our eyes on this site for years. (bye)


wanda: Initial results are promising. I think this may be the moment we finally reclaim this ghost town. (end)
shannon: Alright, well ... don't set up shop just yet, huh? (end)


nikki: Thanks for sticking around, like Emily said. It's so good to have you all here for this. (small-talk-crowd)
nikki: Well. The weather turned out OK today, didn't it? (small-talk-weather)


nikki: I know some people had to leave already, I don't judge anyone for that. (poem-intro)
nikki: I think the Neighbors would have liked this, all of us gathered here. They liked to be around people. (poem-intro)


nikki: Yeah this is a real nice place, when the weather cooperates. Which is most of the time. But not all the time I guess. (poem-intro)
nikki: I hope it holds out so we can all get to wherever we're going next. (poem-intro)


nikki: Maya — you and our other visitors might not know about the Out-of-Towner. He came here to work for the company, to dig a ditch. And the company worked him good and hard, and for less than he was worth, but it wasn't enough. They had to use him up completely.

nikki: After that, we became ungovernable. First out of shame, then grief, then anger.

nikki: I wanted to write this poem because the Neighbors led me through that time. (personal-story-about-neighbors)
nikki: This is a poem for the Neighbors, but it's also for this town. (personal-story-about-town)


nikki: I used to sit with them, out in the woods. There's a clearing out there, it's about 20 minutes' walk, directly away from everything — I mean there's no reason to walk that direction unless you're going to this clearing. The Neighbors liked to graze there.

nikki: There's a certain grass they like the best. It only grows in partial shade, deep in the woods.

nikki: I'd go out to that clearing and just watch them, in my shame, grief, and anger. And they knew — any of you who spent some time with these horses will remember — they `knew` just what I was feeling. I could tell. It radiated off them like sweat evaporating. Creatures of pure compassion ...

nikki: ... and forgiveness! That kind of forgiveness Frost meant when he wrote "something we somehow haven't to deserve."

nikki: When I go, I want to be buried out there in that clearing, and feed that grass they loved.

goto poem


nikki: Yeah, we're gonna bury this town today, when we bury these horses. It's the same thing.

nikki: We're gonna bury these horses, and what do you think will happen next? We'll all walk out in to the woods and leave this place empty. No, I guess some of us might stay and build again? That's alright — it couldn't be me, but to try is your birthright.

nikki: If you do stay, you'll be building on top of a grave. But that's true anywhere. The whole world is built on top of graves.

goto poem


nikki: "Look for me under your bootsoles!" As the fella says.

`(NIKKI clears her throat, and begins reading from the paper she's holding)`

goto poem-one


nikki: `I think the grass will never grow again ...` (poem-one-a)
nikki: `We all leave town, and call that town a ghost ...` (poem-one-b)
nikki: `For we who stayed, in shame, to penance pay ...` (poem-one-c)


nikki: `I think the grass will never grow again here where it grew so sweet, now only clay will rise to meet the morning air — who would eat grass now, when our Neighbors sleeping lay?`

goto poem-two


nikki: `We all leave town, and call that town a ghost. What ghosts gave this town breath, and made it home? And now that breath has gone — we buried it here! What's left is not a ghost; it's just the bones.`

goto poem-two


nikki: `For we who stayed, in shame, to penance pay and hoped to mercy find right where we sinned, those hopes are withered. No mercy left. Who could forgive us now we've buried our merciful friends.`

goto poem-two


: `(NIKKI closes her eyes for a moment before continuing.)` (poem-two-text)
: `(NIKKI directs her attention at SHANNON.)` (poem-two-text)
: `(NIKKI's hands tremble a bit as she reads from the paper.)` (poem-two-text)


nikki: `Our Neighbors were the best of us — of course! It's always so. Our better selves, clear of our selves, where we can see their glory glow. They glow now underground, our friends, with love.`


nikki: `I have no will now left to comfort you,` (poem-three-b)
nikki: `Our Neighbors left us here, though not alone,` (poem-three-b)
nikki: `"To greener pastures" we might say, but lie;` (poem-three-b)


nikki: `so let me try instead to share your woe.` (poem-three-c)
nikki: `but, staring at the clouds, my vision showed:` (poem-three-c)
nikki: `where friends have gone, we hope one day to go.` (poem-three-c)


nikki: `Here, where we lay our town and friends to rest` (poem-three-d)
nikki: `In distant valleys, home to better friends,` (poem-three-d)
nikki: `Below the earth, in damp and torchlit caves` (poem-three-d)


nikki: `may yet some day a new and hale grass grow."` (end)
nikki: `return their souls in peace and gently roam."` (end)
nikki: `some other cherished fools will build their home."` (end)


`(JUNEBUG and JOHNNY strain to hear the noises coming from the well.)`

johnny: There's that weird, sleepy singing again. (singing)
johnny: It's like two people talking, but ... not to each other. (talking)


johnny: It's kind of reverent. A choir, maybe? (truck-option)
johnny: Two songs overlapping, but the same singers in each group ... (truck-option)


johnny: Talking to themselves maybe? They're each alone ... (truck-option)
johnny: Maybe they're on the phone? (truck-option)


: `(JOHNNY shades his eyes with his hand.)` (eyes)
johnny: You think the truck's OK down there? (truck-ok)


junebug: Sure, I doubt any thief could get it started. (end)
junebug: Eh, it's lost. But they don't seem to mind. (end)


junebug: Ugh, my eyes aren't adjusting to this light. (junebug-eyes)
junebug: How are your eyes, cricket? (johnny-eyes)


johnny: Should we head back underground? (underground)
johnny: Want to borrow mine? (johnny-eyes)


johnny: They're kind of flickery, but OK. Want to see? (junebug-concern)
johnny: I just need to swap lenses, and they'll be fine. You? (junebug-concern)


junebug: I'm OK for now. (end)
johnny: Should we head back underground? (underground)


junebug: Naw. Let's see this through. Could be fun. (end)
junebug: Yeah, probably, soon. (end)


ezra: What kind of fish are those? (goldfish)
nikki: `(To herself.)` They were beautiful animals ... no, I should say ... (horses)


nikki: `(To EZRA.)` They're goldfish. They eat algae and mosquito eggs. Very helpful. (fish-helpful)
nikki: `(To herself.)` Should I say they were free? (horses-free)


ezra: Sounds like a good job. (fish-work)
nikki: I'm surprised they survived the storm, actually. (storm)


nikki: Yes it does. My job today is to write this poem. (elegy)
nikki: Beats working for the power company. Ha ha. What brings you to town? (ezra-visitor)


nikki: It was pretty bad, as you can see ... devastating, I should say. (ezra-visitor)
nikki: Some weren't so lucky. And now I'm writing this poem. (elegy-tone)


nikki: ... they were beautiful souls. (horses-followup)
nikki: ... simply that they were our neighbors. (horses-followup)


nikki: And they're free. I should say that they are free. (horses-free)
nikki: I should focus on their character. (horses-character)


nikki: Only, what do I mean by "free" ... unburdened? (notice-ezra)
nikki: Only, what do I mean by "free" ... empowered? (notice-ezra)
nikki: Only, what do I mean by "free" ... ? (notice-ezra)


nikki: Gentle. (notice-ezra)
nikki: Noble. (notice-ezra)
nikki: Unpredictable. (notice-ezra)


nikki: `(To EZRA.)` Sorry, I didn't see you there. New in town? You picked a hell of a day. (ezra-visitor)
nikki: `(To EZRA.)` Oh, hello. Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud. I'm writing something, a ... sort of a poem. (elegy)


ezra: We're just dropping something off here. (delivery)
ezra: Do you think I should stay here? (should-ezra-stay)


nikki: No, you'll be lonely. Most everyone is leaving now. (end)
nikki: If you want to. I'd be happy to know someone was still living here. (end)


nikki: Oh? Well you better hurry up, they might already be gone. (end)
nikki: Good luck. I'm off to work on my poem. (elegy)


ezra: Who's it for? (elegy-subject)
ezra: Is it happy or sad? (elegy-tone)


nikki: It's for the Neighbors. (end)
nikki: It's for the town. (end)
nikki: For me, I think. (end)


nikki: I'd like it to be hopeful, somehow, but it just keeps coming out sad. Ha ha. (end)
nikki: Come by this evening and hear it for yourself. (end)


shannon: Give me just a minute. (thats-everything)
shannon: That's everything, right? (thats-everything)


clara: How did this all fit in that truck? (how-did-delivery-fit)
clara: I'm afraid you carried more than your share. (shannon-carried-too-much)


shannon: It's bigger on the inside. (sun)
shannon: It's so ... bright! (check-in)


shannon: Naw, I'm used to it. TVs are pretty heavy, too. (check-in)
shannon: It's so ... bright! (check-in)


shannon: How are you holding up? (clara-feel)
shannon: I almost forgot about daylight. Ha ha. (sun)


clara: It's a beautiful morning. (sun)
clara: Tired, but ... (sun)


clara: The sun is shining. (sun-2)
shannon: I think it rained. (rain)


clara: The birds are singing. (sun-3)
shannon: I think it rained. (rain)


clara: The flowers are opening. (sun-4)
shannon: I think it rained. (rain)


clara: Dew glistens on the grass. (ezra-interjection)
shannon: I think it rained. (rain)


clara: So we hear. (ezra-interjection)
shannon: Rained a lot, I mean. (ezra-interjection)


ezra: The worms are gonna be out for sure. (ezra-worms)
ezra: May I use your phone, Miss Shannon? (shannon-phone)


shannon: Planning a fishing trip? (fishing)
clara: Have you ever heard a worm sing? (worm-song)


ezra: Maybe tomorrow. (where-is-dogwood)
ezra: Naw, that's a waste of good worms. (where-is-dogwood)


clara: You must hold your ear to the ground, it's very soft. (worm-song-2)
clara: They only sing if they trust you without reservation. (worm-song-2)


clara: The worm song is completely unique. (where-is-dogwood)
clara: What do you think they sing about? (worm-song-subject)


ezra: Probably just dirt. (clara-worm-song-appraisal)
ezra: Sing about ... their friends? Other worms they like? (clara-worm-song-appraisal)


clara: Precisely. (where-is-dogwood)
clara: You may be right. I don't understand them. (where-is-dogwood)


shannon: Oh yeah, um ... shit, the battery's dead. (phone-dead-battery)
shannon: Aw, who are you calling? (who-ezra-calling)


shannon: So are we ready to go? (where-is-dogwood)
shannon: Anyway, who would you have called? (who-ezra-calling)


ezra: I was gonna call Julian. (julian)
ezra: No, I thought you might have some games on there. (games)


clara: Who is Julian? (who-is-julian)
shannon: He has a phone? (julian-has-phone)


shannon: Long story. (where-is-dogwood)
ezra: My brother. (where-is-dogwood)


ezra: Uh ... yeah, obviously. (where-is-dogwood)
clara: Who is Julian? (who-is-julian)


shannon: No, it's a little too old for that. (where-is-dogwood)
shannon: Just "guess the number." Ha ha. (guess-the-number)


ezra: That's not a game, it's just something you don't know yet. (where-is-dogwood)
ezra: Oh, I already beat that one. (where-is-dogwood)


clara: So, where is "5 Dogwood Drive"? (looking-around)
shannon: I don't want to haul this stuff any further until we know exactly where we're going. (shannon-haul-plan)


shannon: Right, no idea ... Maybe we should split up? (split-up)
ezra: I'll go scout ahead. (split-up)


ezra: I'll go scout ahead. (split-up)
shannon: I think I see some houses over there ... (split-up)


shannon: OK. Holler if you find anything! (end)
clara: It's a nice morning for a walk. But a bit muddy. (end)


ron: No, miss, they don't scare me at all. If you met them, you'd feel the same way, I'm sure. (ghosts-unafraid)
ron: I'm just curious, I guess. I know them pretty well by now, but I'd like to have known them better. (ghosts-curious)


ron: There's one I think is called "Jorge." He left us some clues in books a while back. (ghost-jorge)
ron: The oldest one here is quite a mystery to us all ... but very particular. (ghost-seer)


ron: I don't believe old "Jorge" would ever hurt us. He's kind and a bit of a bookworm, as far as I can tell. (ghost-jorge)
ron: There's a very old one and nobody can quite figure her out, but I can't imagine she means any harm. (ghost-seer)


ron: I leave the radio on for him at night. He seems to like the AM call-in shows, but just out of tune. (leaves-on-radio)
ron: Sometimes Rita finds a book from the old library and we leave it out for him. I think he likes that. (reading-material)


ron: I've got to `imagine` he likes it, anyway. (ron-needs-to-leave)
ron: Well, wouldn't you? I guess you must keep pretty busy. (clara-next)


ron: I leave the radio on for her at night, somewhere between stations so it's just hissing. She likes the hissing, I think — though I can't say why. (leaves-on-radio)
ron: I do my best to keep the roof mended. She doesn't like the rain. (keeps-roof-mended)


ron: What is it about the radio they love? They all love it. (ron-needs-to-leave)
ron: So. Where to next, miss? (clara-next)


ron: Well, but who does? Right? (ron-needs-to-leave)
ron: You're probably headed off soon, huh? (clara-next)


ron: To tell you the truth, I feel a little bad I won't be here to care for them anymore. Isn't that something? (clara-next)
ron: I'm leaving at sunset. If you like, I'll help you find a bus back to ... Lithuania, you said? (clara-lithuania)
ron: So you're playing some music in Nashville later? That's a good place for it, I guess. (clara-tour-plans)


clara: For me, it's back on the road. A performance in Nashville. (clara-tour-plans)
clara: I should go home, to Lithuania. (clara-lithuania)
clara: I'm beginning to think I might stay here. Is that ridiculous? (clara-stay)


clara: My uncle is very ... dying. I should be there to see him through it. (clara-keep-traveling)
ron: Oh, sure, there's always so much to do at home. That seems to be the one place we're always needed. (clara-keep-traveling)


clara: I'll play music with a friend, in a small bar. We have performed together before. He sings beautifully, but sadly. (clara-keep-traveling)
clara: I have a gig at an art gallery. The idea is to play the theremin for twenty-four hours, uninterrupted. It will be difficult, but rewarding, I think. (clara-keep-traveling)


ron: I'm glad to know someone will be around after we're gone. (end)
clara: I will stay here and care for your ghosts. (end)


ron: But with everyone gone, who'll feed these ghosts? (end)
ron: Yeah, you're making the right move. There's nothing here anymore, for the living. (end)


mary ann: I saw the design on a barn somewhere. (barn)
mary ann: Would you believe it came to me in a dream? (dream)


mary ann: Out by Lexington, so it might have been a horse barn. I think? (lexington-barn)
mary ann: It really spoke to me. I had to pull over and sketch it right away. (sketch)


mary ann: Seemed appropriate. I don't know — what do you think? (shannon-painting-comment)
mary ann: Not really what I'm supposed to be doing here, but ... ha ha. (shannon-painting-comment)


mary ann: I don't usually work from sketches, but I keep this one with me. I don't even know why. Ha ha. (shannon-painting-comment)
mary ann: Do you think it works? For this? (shannon-painting-comment)


mary ann: One of those dreams where you're lost somewhere kind of familiar and anonymous, like a bus terminal. (dream-2)
mary ann: Anyway, you don't want to hear about that. (shannon-painting-comment)


mary ann: Everyone else knows where to go, but you're really confused. (dream-3)
: `(MARY ANN is quiet for a moment.)` (shannon-painting-comment)


mary ann: You're holding some instructions or a map or something, but you can't read it. (dream-4)
: `(MARY ANN is quiet for a moment.)` (shannon-painting-comment)


mary ann: And you look up, and there it is ... sorry, I don't know why I told you that. (shannon-painting-comment)
: `(MARY ANN is quiet for a moment.)` (shannon-painting-comment)


shannon: It's nice. What's it for? (painting-explanation)
shannon: Your day off? Or is the Bureau closed today? (bureau)


mary ann: They're gonna put this up on the old barn, as part of the ceremony. I'm honored, to tell you the truth. (end)
mary ann: Maybe it'll be kind of like a marker. I've never painted a grave marker before ... (end)


mary ann: Naw, I'm on the clock — they sent me up here to help Wanda "evaluate the site for reclamation." (wanda)
mary ann: I drew the short straw so I'm babysitting Wanda while she sleeps one off. Nobody at the Bureau really expects us to get anything done, so I'm painting. (painting-explanation)


mary ann: She's around here somewhere. Had a few too many at the party last night. I mean, who can blame her? Those tiki drinks go down smooth. (end)
mary ann: If it were up to me, we'd leave this place alone. Let it grow back on its own. You never know what will grow back after a place has been knocked down. (end)


emily: ... yeah, I'll miss them for sure. Beautiful creatures. And so thoughtful. (talking-about-horses)
emily: ... and Rita never got as many bands to come up here as she would have liked, I think — but it was always a blast. (talking-about-night-noise)


junebug: I bet. Where do you think you'll go? (where-will-emily-go)
emily: Whoa, look at this. (stuff-in-rubble)


junebug: Sure, how does anybody find this place without any roads coming in? (no-roads-followup)
emily: Whoa, look at this. (stuff-in-rubble)


emily: Oh, they come up through the well, from the river — like you did. If they can find it. (artistic-communities)
emily: They wander in from the trees. Sometimes they're following directions, and sometimes they just end up here. (artistic-communities)


emily: That's the hardest thing about keeping an artistic community alive — just getting people to show up. (redirect-ceremony-or-rubble)
junebug: Sometimes you only need a few people. (redirect-ceremony-or-rubble)


emily: I think the ceremony is around dusk. (ceremony)
emily: Whoa, look at this. (stuff-in-rubble)


goto done-looking-at-artifacts [if done-looking-at-artifacts]

: `(EMILY pulls a video tape out of the rubble.)` (artifact-tape) [if !temp:saw-artifact-tape]
: `(EMILY pulls a piece of slate adorned with a partial circuit diagram out of the rubble.)` (artifact-diagram) [if !temp:saw-artifact-diagram]
: `(EMILY pulls a broken projector out of the rubble.)` (artifact-projector) [if !temp:saw-artifact-projector]


emily: Very little I can salvage here. It wouldn't mean anything anyway — it's a kind of a package deal. (station-package-deal)
emily: I think the ceremony is around dusk. (ceremony)


emily: You need the tapes, and the station, and the people ... if one part is missing, the whole thing falls apart. (end)
junebug: Yeah, I've been there. Time to find a new package, honey. (new-package)


emily: More easily said than done ... (end)
emily: Yeah, it's true. I think it's been true for a while now. This flood just made it unavoidable. (end)


junebug: Home movies? (artifact-tape-home-movies)
emily: The label's all muddy. (artifact-tape-label)


emily: It could be! We showed a lot of them on the station. (stuff-in-rubble)
emily: Probably some weird art video, statistically speaking. (stuff-in-rubble)


emily: Looks like ... Oh, it's "Cave Art." Cool. Who knows if it'll play, though. (stuff-in-rubble)
emily: Oh this is Rita's tape. I should get this to her, maybe she can clean it up. (stuff-in-rubble)


junebug: Hey, I've got one of those. It's, um ... (junebug-diagram-part)
emily: This is part of James' schematic for the Sandin Image Processor. Damn, this was valuable information! (stuff-in-rubble)


emily: Elmo's projector! Aw, it's ruined. Poor Elmo, he'll be devastated ... naw, he'll be cool with it. Takes a lot to perturb that guy. (stuff-in-rubble)
emily: I saw a lot of dubious weather reports on this thing. (weather-reports)


junebug: They're all dubious; nobody knows the weather. (stuff-in-rubble)
emily: Well, he was right last night, at least. (stuff-in-rubble)


junebug: ... some kind of image filter. (stuff-in-rubble)
junebug: ... a voltage regulator. (stuff-in-rubble)
junebug: ... a Source of Uncertainty. (stuff-in-rubble)


emily: Oh, I don't know. For now I'm just poking around the rubble. (stuff-in-rubble)
emily: Yeah hard to say ... everybody's leaving, not that I blame them. (artistic-communities)


junebug: Ceremony? Oh, right — the horses ... Sorry — "The Neighbors." (end)
junebug: Yeah, we'll stick around. Nowhere to be. (end)


ezra: There's really never been a road to this place? Why not? (convo-start)
ezra: So how did you all get food out here? (convo-start)


slow moe crow: `(Gentle cooing.)` (convo-2)
slow moe crow: `(Anxious scraping noises.)` (convo-2)


ezra: That's what I figured. (convo-3)
ezra: How'd they manage that? (convo-3)


slow moe crow: `(An indignant caw.)` (convo-4)
slow moe crow: `(A few chitters.)` (convo-4)


ezra: Makes sense to me. (convo-5)
ezra: Ha ha. Why? (convo-5)


slow moe crow: `(A detailed series of chitters.)` (convo-6)
slow moe crow: `(An undulating coo.)` (convo-6)


ezra: I guess we could ... but it sounds like a lot of work. (convo-7)
ezra: Yeah, OK. Will you stick around to help? (convo-7)


slow moe crow: `(One confident caw.)` (convo-8)
slow moe crow: `(A few chitters, trailing off ...)` (convo-8)


ezra: You're right. I'll think about it. (end)
ezra: OK, then. Guess we better get started. (end)


Clyde and Cass sat cross-legged in the shade of a light aircraft, Cass shuffling cards and Clyde absently flipping through a stack of unopened letters.


They called themselves the "Dervish Brothers Flying Circus," a name that outlived the Dervish (née Dalton) Brothers themselves, who died within the first few years. So, run of the circus was left to their aunt Cassandra, who everyone called Cass.


Cass played cards, and told fortunes with the same deck. Sometimes she'd switch it up mid-game or mid-divination — until you never knew whether you were winning or losing, or if good luck in the game might mean bad luck in some other part of your life.


She'd predicted the decline of the circus, of course. And of course nobody had believed her.


There were three Dervish Brothers. Two were women. The oldest had flown a reconnaissance plane at the tail end of the war, then returned home to teach his younger sisters the art of trick flying. None of them were gifted pilots, but they were fearless.


Demand for aerial stunts having faded almost completely, and many of their company having died or aged out of the profession, Clyde and Cass found for their remaining pilots a steady flow of contract work delivering mail to remote rural areas. But this place was abandoned.


Cass's cards predicted they'd be here for quite a while.

goto end


Clyde lay on his back on the runway, hands folded behind his head, halfway between dreams and the afternoon sun. He entertained the momentary delusion that he'd survived a plane crash, and was vaguely unhappy when the dream faded.


Coming in to land, he'd slammed into a truck. The driver probably thought the runway was another road.


The roads were full of trucks coming and going, these days, filling the town with strangers, ever since ... But he couldn't remember any more of the dream; it was fading quickly and irretrievably, in that uniquely frustrating death of past dreams.


The runway smelled like oil; years of leaky light aircraft taking off and landing.


All the state said they wanted was to knock down some trees — many trees — and build a road tying this small town to the larger web of streets and highways that entombed the rest of the country.


It would bring in new goods, new people, maybe even some cash from tourism. Many of the residents supported the idea.


But Clyde and his inner circle of stunt pilots turned mail-carriers knew that a road would be the end of their secluded paradise.

goto end


Six or seven men stood in the sun about a dozen yards from the ditch, and he could hear them laughing. He tried not to hear them. Instead he listened to the shovel punching through the dirt as he shaped the trench. It was wet dirt — mud, really. It made a hungry sound as he shaped the trench walls.


One man was louder than the rest.


He had a nervous laugh that sucked up all the air around him.


Here at the bottom of the hollow there were patches of mud everywhere. Water pooled on the ground or just below the surface. That was the danger.


Glare from the noon sun made his sinuses tingle. The trench was a foot wide now. By the time he was done, he expected it to be about twice that, and run most of the way from the middle of town over to where it could drain off into the creek.


The Out-of-Towner stuck his shovel into the dirt and squeezed the bridge of his nose. He sneezed, took a swig from his thermos.


The laughter quieted into greedy chuckles, and he could feel the men approaching.

goto end


At first they only observed the truck from a distance. It was an alien carcass — something that made more sense in death than in life. The company had dropped it off in the middle of the day, when everyone was at the plant. They let it sit overnight, alone and strange.


Nikki thought it was ridiculous, but Ron approved. To Elmo, the truck was simply beautiful.


The town didn't produce much garbage anyway, she said. Who would drive it? And where?


The only "road" in town was the old airstrip.


The locals had turned to gardening when the company store stopped stocking canned vegetables, so there was very little garbage to be hauled off anymore.


The truck reminded him of New York City, which he'd visited once by bus and which had made a great impression on him, especially the mountains of garbage that dotted the sidewalks. The truck didn't smell yet, but it would — a glorious patina built up over decades of progress and labor.


In New York, he said, everyone put their garbage out on the sidewalks like they were proud of it, or proud of what it signified: "we have defeated another week, here is its corpse."


Of course, there was nowhere to drive it. Even Ron conceded that.


He thought it was elegant. He liked the idea of passing it every day, observing it from different angles and distances.


He liked boxy things, generally, and especially boxy machines.


He didn't care if they used it or not — anyway, there weren't any roads in town, unless you maybe counted the old airstrip.


Everyone had to agree this was money and attention that would have been better spent addressing the town's drainage problems. Maybe finally get started on that damned messianic ditch.


Still, they had a few things to dispose of — broken flowerpots, empty glass bottles, clothes that didn't fit anymore ... They gradually fell into the habit of collecting waste and carrying it to the truck. Once a month, some shadows would come in from the night woods and haul the garbage away on a cart.

goto end


`3A. Lay paper flat.` `3B. Bring bottom left corner up to top right corner.` `3C. Crease, with firm, steady pressure, along diagonal fold.`


Nikki applied only gentle pressure. Looser flowers felt more alive. She rolled her wrists. It was the sixth hour of her assigned company store shift, and she'd made dozens of flowers. Ron had bought a bouquet and cleaned out their stock that afternoon.


`11. Repeat steps 4A-7 for each petal, taking care not to rip the filaments from step 9.`


She imagined the insects that would pollinate paper flowers. Watercolor bees, or wasps that left ink stains when they stung.


`11. Repeat steps 4A-7 for each petal, taking care not to rip the filaments from step 9.`


The company store used to have a dedicated staff, until the Civic Responsibility Plan a few years back. Now everyone took one or two shifts a week, on a mandatory volunteer basis.


`11. Repeat steps 4A-7 for each petal, taking care not to rip the filaments from step 9.`


She put Ron's bouquet down in the sales ledger as "romantic bouquet," but really he was just buying in bulk at a small discount. Since the company started allowing resident workers to donate paper flowers to "Aunt Connie" for Civic Enthusiasm Points, exchangeable for sick days, they had become kind of a shadow currency for local trade.


A commotion outside caught Nikki's attention. Men yelling, blows landing. She put down her work and stepped out just in time to see the crowd disperse.

goto end


The Seer huddled in the small cave. The Deer Hunters ran by, shielding their eyes from the torrential rain. It must have looked like she was taking shelter, but she was waiting for the water to rise and envelop her.


She wedged her leg and shoulder into rocky corners, settling in. The floor was slick and muddy, and she had a feeling of drifting with the water, like the cave was a cramped boat. She closed her eyes.


The water was warm. It rose above her knees. It reminded her of the womb. She closed her eyes.


She wondered where The Diver was now, if he had found the end of the route. Was he on his way back? Or had he been lost underground? Either way, it was too late.


She thought back to the first flood, long before her birth, a flood she had only seen in dice rolls. She stayed there for a while, and then opened her eyes again. Now the water was crossing her heart. She took the game pieces from her bag and released them, gently, into the flood.

goto end


The Seer reclined high in a tree, carving fine details into a small wooden pipe.


She loved this spot — the height, the distance. She was `always` at a distance, watching everyone work.


She'd done the bulk of the carving over hazy mornings with The Stoneworker. He smoked constantly. She only smoked when she was happy, or very sad, or bored.


From this height, she could see The Earth Movers shaping the mounds under The Draftsman's supervision. She could see him inspecting his plan, the drawing he'd made from her game. The map.

goto end


She watched him.


She stood in her own shadow. A few Deer Hunters and Talkers walked past but said nothing to The Seer, didn't even look. She studied the path.


He walked deliberately, his eyes closed. He was already remembering the path.


This was the path The Seer had found in her scrying game, a series of private dice rolls and inscrutable diagrams.


The Community trusted this game — it had led them to fish-filled streams, intimate knowledge of the elements and the stars, even here to the cenote settlement. They trusted it without understanding it. And now the game had revealed to The Seer this vital route, which would lead them to safety before the next floods came.


At the end of the route, she'd seen a safe, quiet place — caverns of leathery black birds, a lake of eyeless fish, a towering flame.


Now The Diver walked the mounds, memorizing the route. He was almost ready.

goto end


Jorge scanned the shelf. He quickly found the book he was looking for. There were only a few dozen left. More shelves than books now — the result of an experiment called the "new selection." Privately, he called it the "purge."


"A Crystal Age." Anonymous. A fairly recent publication. Jorge flipped through the pages for a minute. The binding was stiff.


Frazier didn't trust anonymity — he had an almost pathological need to see everything clearly and plainly. "Transparency."


He hadn't read the book, but had discussed it with Isabelle, the community architect. It was the story of a man who sleeps for thousands of years and awakens into a world without hunger or strife. Isabelle had requested the book, part of a collection she was building called "ecological mysticism." And now it was to be the latest victim of Frazier's reckless experiment.


But only privately, in small groups of reliable complainers. The unspoken rule was to hold back criticism as long as possible. Experiments needed time to unfold naturally, without the interference of doubt. Jorge would have preferred to complain more freely.


Even the scheduled Feedback Circle sessions had been losing their teeth lately, he thought — a trend that coincided with Frazier's increasingly central role in the community.


Frazier proposed and executed experiments just like any other community member, but his experiments had a scorched earth quality. They were all destructive. He moved from one area of community life to the next in search of excess to cut back.


Lately he'd turned his scythe to the library. The "new selection" meant decimating their store of books according to Frazier's own inscrutable criteria. "Now, we are guaranteed something vital every time we take a book from the shelves. No more time lost to printed chaff."


Frazier's colorless voice echoed in Jorge's mind. He felt like spitting. Instead, he tucked the book under his arm and set off for the woods.

goto end


Paints and chalk in the small bag, diary in the large bag, stuffed dog in the small bag, photograph of Chris in the large bag ... no, in the small bag? Sandra couldn't decide — should she keep the photo of her husband, or should Alex keep the photo of his father?


She wrapped the diary in a towel before stuffing it into her bag, feeling slightly silly doing it.


Frazier had been on a tear collecting "all written material" as community property lately.


She was sure he couldn't possibly have meant even a personal diary, but ... was she sure?


Chris had been gone for three months. Everyone was saying he'd deserted the community.


"Deserted" ... before Frazier, people just left. When had it become a referendum on loyalty?


A heated disagreement in Feedback Circle — like the one Frazier and Chris had — was just a healthy argument, not a betrayal. But now ...


She dreaded the separation from her son.


Frazier insisted it was just to help Alex develop independence and community ethics. But she'd seen the same thing happen to Isabelle after criticizing Frazier's new flood control plans.


It was obviously a punishment.


It was obviously a punishment, even though Frazier insisted it was just to help Alex develop independence and community ethics. She knew she was being punished for her complaints in Feedback Circle — when she was the only one who dared to speak against butchering the community's goats. She'd seen the same thing happen to Isabelle.


Isabelle ... where was she now? She and her children just disappeared into the woods ...


She set everything down, closed her eyes, massaged her temples, and wondered, not for the first time, how Frazier had consolidated so much invisible power so quickly.


How had he done it? Had he in fact done anything at all to claim this incredible lattice of influence? Or had they simply, blindly, given it to him?

goto end


Rita tore up weeds. Elmo stood next to her with a bucket. She passed him the uprooted weeds, and he stuffed them in the bucket. They worked this way for a few hours. Dark clouds drifted slowly closer, but wouldn't arrive until evening.


Elmo left to get some tea. Rita pulled an apple from her bag and lay her head back onto the overturned dirt. She looked at the sky. For a moment, she looked directly at the sun. Then she closed her eyes and let the afterimage fade.


Elmo came back with a plastic jug of sweet tea. They sat and drank for a while, and then got back to work.


Rita left to get some tea. Elmo sat in the dirt. He pulled up a blade of grass and held it in the path of a ladybug. When it boarded the grass, and Elmo lifted them both into the air. He held the bug close in front of his face and tried to count its spots.


Rita came back with a plastic jug of sweet tea. They sat and drank for a while, and then got back to work.


Rita and Elmo left to get some tea. The bucket of weeds sat warming in the sun. The dandelions wilted and the clover dried. Some wayward insects continued to eat.


When Rita and Elmo returned, they assumed the same roles and continued working.


The garden was coming along as well as they could hope, given months of neglect. When the plant shut down, the company abruptly pulled out of the area and took a large part of the town's population with it. This included the Carver family, who had tended this garden — the largest and most productive in town — for years.


Now the garden would be cared for by a new family, and feed what was left of the town and whatever it became next. They didn't know much about gardening, but they were prepared to learn on the job. They knew for sure they would plant tomatoes. Those had grown well from this garden in the past.


Rita and Elmo worked until it started to rain. The rain washed their sweat into the dirt.

goto end


Elmo gave Rita a tour of the cameras and wiring. She'd just been through a certificate program on Public Broadcasting at the community college, so no surprises there. Nikki showed her the Video Databank. James demonstrated the Sandin Image Processor. And then Ron came barreling in with an urgent expression.


Rita had entered the Public Broadcasting program at Fishtrap Lake Community and Technical College with a vague desire to be a newscaster. One of her instructors got her excited about pirate television, and she followed threads through TV and activist communities until she found herself here, somehow, volunteering at WEVP-TV.


It wasn't quite the radical guerilla television crew she'd dreamed of joining. This group seemed more interested in sharing the town's home movies than culture jamming and interfering with corporate stations. But she liked that focus on local concerns.


The station had a great collection of video tapes made by local artists, along with a huge library of what looked like home movies. There were tapes about local politics, the weather, video dream diaries. Rita was eager to start contributing her own work.


The Image Processor was a beautiful machine. James had inherited its care from another artist, reverse-engineering it for maintenance with the help of a dusty, photocopied tome labeled "The Distribution Religion." Rita learned just enough to make throbbing, hypnotic rainbows appear on the screen, which seemed to be the machine's favorite trick. She wondered what they used it for, in practice.


Ron's news was clearly bad news. Rita's heart sank a little as they listened. She knew things were unraveling, knew from experience what that looked like.


Wouldn't it be nice to arrive at the beginning of something, for once?


But as she listened to Ron detail the power company's sudden withdrawal from town affairs, she heard other possibilities. She studied their faces and found concern, for sure ... but also something like relief, hope, an awakening of play. Nikki looked like she might have been daydreaming.


These were people, Rita decided, ready to step out of the company's shadow and build something of their own. Ron said the TV station would still be funded, by court order. Could that be their anchor?

goto end