110: Mud

Bartholomew and Beatrix keep themselves busy building a shelter, while Bob tries to locate them with the help of his newly discovered power armour.

We’ve got a secret Civilized project on the way in mid-October! Be the first to hear about it by joining our mailing list.

And Sean and Eli will be at PodTales in Boston on October 20th. Come and say hello!

Starring Kristi Boulton, Michael Divinski, Mbula Enobong and Sean Howard

Sound design: Eli McIlveen
Cover art: David Demaret
Announcers: Marisa King and Michael Howie

Content warning: heights, gunfire and existential dread.

Full transcript coming soon!

Music sting.

ELI

Hi everyone! It’s Eli here, your sound designer and producer, and I’ve got a couple of announcements before this week’s episode.

You’re about to hear Episode 10 of our first season. After that there’s going to be two more episodes with a very special guest, and that’s going to round out Season One. We’re on hiatus for a few weeks after that, but we’re back over the winter.

In the meantime, we’ve got a really cool Civilized project in the works for mid-October. I can’t tell you what it is yet, but if you sign up for our mailing list you will be the first to hear about it. Head on over to civilizedpod.com and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.

The other thing I wanted to tell you is PodTales on October 20. This is a brand-new one-day festival of audio drama and audio fiction taking place in Boston—or Cambridge, to be precise.

Sean and I (Sean, the voice of Bob, of course)—Sean and I are going to be on some of the panels. Sean’s going to be talking about improv and actual-play podcasting and I’m going to be talking about sound design and music. And there’s going to be folks there from a ton of amazing shows. We are so excited to be going. So if you’re on the East Coast, or can get there, we would love to see you and say hi—and you can wish Sean a happy birthday, ’cause October 20th just happens to be his birthday too. Find out all the details about PodTales at podtales.org.

All right! That’s it from me. Let’s see what our crew are up to planetside.

Theme music plays.

NARRATOR

Humanity’s last hope to find and settle a new world. A small terraforming fleet sets out to prepare a lifeless planet for the colony ships sure to follow in their wake.

ANNOUNCER

Civilized.

THE WOODS

Beatrix approaches with a huge armload of sticks.

BEATRIX

Okay, I found sticks! I’ll just drop them right here. It’s just a little pile.

BARTHOLOMEW

Yeah, just a little one. Wow, Beatrix, you got those that fast?

BEATRIX

Well, when I have a lot of energy from nerves, I tend to work very quickly.

(laughs anxiously)

BARTHOLOMEW

Well, okay. I’m here to help. Tell me! What do I do? Do I string them together, or…?

BEATRIX

Well, did you get the mud from the little mud pile I told you to…?

Your hands are very clean.

BARTHOLOMEW

I didn’t want to get them muddy. I was working on the problem.

BEATRIX

Okay, Bartholomew. No. All right, come with me.

She leads him a little distance away.

BEATRIX

All right. Give me your hand, and—into the mud.

BARTHOLOMEW

(noises of protest)

BEATRIX

Don’t complain. Just take a second and squish it between your fingers.

Squishing sounds.

BARTHOLOMEW

(uncomfortable groan)

BEATRIX

Come on, you can do it. Come on. It’s fine. I am here to guide you.

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s—it’s not hygienic. It’s…

BEATRIX

No, but it’s squishy and warm!

I don’t know why it’s warm.

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s a weird consistency, I’m not familiar with it…

BEATRIX

Just massage a little bit.

BARTHOLOMEW

I mean, it’s kind of fun.

BEATRIX

Right? Right?

BARTHOLOMEW

I… I mean, it’s, it’s sort of whimsical.

BEATRIX

Okay! So now grab a pile of it. Just get your hands under there.

BARTHOLOMEW

No, wait, I’m playing with it.

BEATRIX

Bartholomew. C’mon.

BARTHOLOMEW

No, just a moment or two.

BEATRIX

(chuckles)

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s sort of you know… it sort of makes me feel fun.

BEATRIX

Okay. That’s new for you.

All right. So take some… a little pile of it.

BARTHOLOMEW

Yeah. Okay. Okay.

BEATRIX

Lift it in your hands and feel it. It’s squishy.

BARTHOLOMEW

Ooh, I can make a mud ball.

BEATRIX

Yeah!

(serious)

Don’t throw it at me though, please.

Silence.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh, I could throw it at you.

BEATRIX

Barty, don’t throw the mud at me.

BARTHOLOMEW

It could be fun.

BEATRIX

Barthlomew, don’t. Don’t! Don’t! Put your hand down.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh!

He throws it with a splat.

BEATRIX

(screams)

IN THE AIR

Wind whistles. Bob is wearing the powered suit he discovered in Episode 109.

BOB

10,000 feet. Systems… uh…

Suit, activate. Suit, power. Uh…

Switch! Switch it on.

He stabs at a button several times. The suit beeps as it begins its startup sequence.

BOB

8000 feet. Come on, suit! Come on, suit! Here we go. Booting, booting, booting… Come on, come on, come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. 7000 feet!

A chime sounds.

SUIT

(mechanical yet soothing)

Activated.

BOB

Oh, suit! You’re here. Begin fall protocol!

SUIT

Fall protocol engaged.

Servos whir. A thump of air as the suit’s engines kick in.

BOB

WHOA!

(whoops in delight)

THAT IS AWESOME!

Whoo! Wow. Oh my god. We’re hovering.

The engines begin to falter, and a warning beep sounds.

SUIT

Landing gear malfunctioning.

BOB

What?

Oh, my god, we’re falling again! Okay! Suit! Suit! Suit! Uh… Emergency protocol override!

SUIT

Override complete.

The suit corrects its trajectory.

BOB

I need to land. Land and not die. Not die.

SUIT

Landing protocol engaged.

More whirring and clicking.

BOB

Okay, here we go. We’re coming in pretty fast, Suit! We’re coming in pretty fast…!

MUD

BEATRIX

(laughing)

Oh my god, we are covered in mud!

Bartholomew, god!

BARTHOLOMEW

(laughing)

I cannot see my hands at all. They’re just mud hands.

BEATRIX

(laughing)

They’re just mud. We are no longer people. We are mud monsters!

BARTHOLOMEW

We are mud thiiings!

They both begin stomping around.

BEATRIX

We are mud thiiings!

(laughs)

Come on.

BARTHOLOMEW

All right.

BEATRIX

Okay. So when you’re trying to build a shelter, you want to make sure that you put enough mud between the sticks with the leaves so that air can’t get through easily.

BARTHOLOMEW

Okay, I’m on mud duty. I can do the mud. I got it.

BEATRIX

All right, give me your hand. We’re just gonna put the mud in between the sticks, and just smooth it out. Smooth it out.

Soft squishing sounds. After a moment, Beatrix and Bartholomew regard their work and sigh in satisfaction.

BEATRIX

Nice work! It’s really smooth.

Okay, then take some leaves and just push them on a little bit.

BARTHOLOMEW

And they just stick!

BEATRIX

They stick!

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s actually working really well.

BEATRIX

Mmm hmm! You’re really good at this.

BARTHOLOMEW

Thanks. It’s, you know, it’s sort of fun to actually do something.

BEATRIX

That’s what I was trying to tell you the other day when we were in my special place. Sometimes it’s nice just to let go.

More squishing noises.

BARTHOLOMEW

You know, you’re right, Beatrix.

I don’t always think about that. I’m always keeping track of everything that everyone’s doing. I don’t always think that actually doing things has value independent of what they achieve.

This is fun.

BEATRIX

You’ve used that word a lot.

BARTHOLOMEW

Well, it’s because I’m having fun!

He lobs more mud at Beatrix.

BEATRIX

(laughing)

Stop throwing mud at me!

COOLDOWN

The suit has landed in the woods. The engines are slowly spinning down and cooling off.

BOB

Suit, run diagnostics.

Bleeping sounds.

SUIT

Diagnostics check: suit at 67%.

BOB

Suit. What do I call you?

SUIT

You may call me Suit.

Or, if you’re feeling frisky, Sweet Cheeks.

(mechanical laughter)

Ha ha ha ha.

Silence.

BOB

Yeah, we’ll stick with Suit.

SUIT

Oh, all right.

BOB

Suit, can you triangulate to coordinates, uh… 37 dot 33 dot 104 and 22—

SUIT

Hold on there sailor. So many coordinates!

Just kidding. Ha ha ha ha.

BOB

Please disengage the humour.

SUIT

Fine. Be that way.

A sad bleep.

SUIT

Humour disengaged.

Triangulating.

BOB

Thank you.

SUIT

Triangulating.

BOB

Okay.

SUIT

Triangulating.

BOB

Right.

SUIT

Triangulating.

BOB

(sighs)

SUIT

Annoying, isn’t it? Ha ha ha ha.

BOB

(strangled noise of frustration)

HOME

BARTHOLOMEW

Wow, this place is really coming along!

BEATRIX

Yeah, who knew we could build a two storey home in such little time?

BARTHOLOMEW

That is impressive, Beatrix.

BEATRIX

Well, I mean… who knew that we’d work well together?

BARTHOLOMEW

Hey, maybe we can start doing a bit of the inside, some interior decorating?

BEATRIX

Oh, yeah! Okay! I mean, it’s not like we’re running out of sticks.

BARTHOLOMEW

No. Maybe like a couple of end tables, and we could make like a wicker chair.

BEATRIX

Ooo, I like that! And then we could make like a big bed and…

(she trails off awkwardly)

Umm… maybe some couches?

Silence.

BARTHOLOMEW

Yeah, we could make a big bed.

BEATRIX

(hastily covering her awkwardness)

And a pod, maybe a pod, like a pretend pod, just to make us feel at home. We should probably make multiple beds, though, right?

(laughs)

That’s a… um.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh, you were saying just one—that’s why you got all awkward.

BEATRIX

The kitchen would be a good place to also explore! So Bob would feel comfortable at home too. Because there’ll be so many of us in this two-storey home that we’ve made.

(laughs nervously)

BARTHOLOMEW

Okay, well, let’s get to work! Uh, shall we start with the bed?

In the distance, a whirring, stomping sound, growing steadily closer.

BEATRIX

Do you hear that?

Bob powers up his gun.

BOB

(through a speaker on the suit)

Mud people! Don’t move! Creatures… I’ve got you in my sights.

BARTHOLOMEW

Creatures?

BOB

Put the sticks down. Slowly.

BEATRIX

What the hell is that?

Bob fires with a resounding boom. Beatrix screams.

BOB

The next shot won’t miss.

BEATRIX

Oh, my god!

BARTHOLOMEW

He thinks we’re Creatures—you know, those tree things we encountered on that picnic? Oh, you probably don’t remember…

BEATRIX

What?

BARTHOLOMEW

Hello! We… we mean you no harm!

BOB

Then put the sticks down.

BEATRIX

(whispers urgently)

Drop the sticks. Drop the sticks!

BARTHOLOMEW

Right. Sticks are down.

Bob turns with a whir.

BOB

Wait, what is that on your…? What did you do to Beatrix?! You’re wearing her shoes!

BEATRIX

What, no, I am Beatrix.

Bob powers up his gun again.

BOB

Don’t move. You ate Beatrix.

BEATRIX

What? No!

BARTHOLOMEW

How do you know who Beatrix is?

Pause.

BOB

Wait a minute…

Is that Barty?

He powers down.

BARTHOLOMEW

I prefer Bartholomew.

How do you know…

BOB

It’s Bob.

Bob’s helmet retracts.

BEATRIX

Bob!

BARTHOLOMEW

Bob?

BEATRIX

(frantic)

Bob! Oh my god! Bob!

Bob takes a step or two back as Beatrix runs at him.

BOB

No, what are you doing?

BEATRIX

Bob! It’s me! Put the gun—

BOB

Show me.

BEATRIX

Okay. Let me just rub my face a little bit. Um, you can see, right?

BOB

Oh my god, Beatrix!

BEATRIX

Bob!

She throws her arms around him.

BEATRIX

Okay, no, I can’t hug you in the power armor. Sorry.

BEATRIX

I can hug the power armor though!

It’s kind of cold and… not giving, but it’s fine.

Oh my god. It’s so good to see you!

BOB

Yeah.

BEATRIX

Where’s Ship?

BOB

Ship has left.

Silence.

BARTHOLOMEW

Bob, how did you get here?

BOB

It’s a long story. Maybe I should get out of this armour.

BEATRIX

Yes, get out of the suit! Get out of the suit. I want to see you!

The suit opens and Bob steps out.

BOB

Why are you guys all covered in mud?

BEATRIX

Oh, um, we built a house.

BARTHOLOMEW

It needed mud.

BOB

You built that?

BARTHOLOMEW

Yeah. I helped!

BEATRIX

He did!

Silence.

BOB

Who are you?

BEATRIX

No, no, Bob. Bob! Calm down. It’s Bartholomew.

BOB

Bartholomew doesn’t do things.

BARTHOLOMEW

I… I was expanding my horizons. I was having… fun.

BEATRIX

Fun!

(laughs)

BOB

Okay.

BARTHOLOMEW

I even let Beatrix call me Barty a couple of times!

BEATRIX

He did!

BOB

Okay. I guess it’s normal you would be changed. So much has happened.

BEATRIX

Bob, why are you talking that way?

BARTHOLOMEW

Yeah.

BOB

What do you mean?

BARTHOLOMEW

You just seem very put together and business-like and…

BEATRIX

You’re wearing a suit.

BOB

Yeah. It doesn’t quite fit, you’ll notice, right here but… I had to make do.

BARTHOLOMEW

Is that one of mine?

BOB

Yeah.

I may have had to blow the doors on your quarters.

BARTHOLOMEW

What?!

BEATRIX

Oh my god, that’s how he got the communicator!

BOB

Yeah.

BEATRIX

That’s weird, it looks different from mine.

BOB

At some point, Bartholomew, I’d like to talk about what’s behind that door… at the back of your quarters.

BEATRIX

What?

BOB

Nothing, Beatrix.

BARTHOLOMEW

At a different time.

BOB

Yeah. The house looks safe.

BEATRIX

It is. I mean, we don’t have any furniture yet. But come on in!

BOB

Great. Why don’t you show me around?

BEATRIX

Yeah, okay! I guess a lot has happened.

They enter the house.

BARTHOLOMEW

This—we were thinking like a living room area.

BEATRIX

Yeah. Wouldn’t that be nice?

BOB

Okay, I think we could do some better defences on the windows. I mean, it’s lovely. I think it’s amazing.

BEATRIX

Defences?

BARTHOLOMEW

Defences?

BOB

Guys. Ship is gone. Like, Ship was heading towards orbit.

I didn’t realize. I didn’t have time to read all the emergency protocol manual. I do have a copy here. I shoved it in my suit.

I’m afraid that I was trapped in Ship, something was wrong and… I chose to blow the doors and Ship may have reacted as if it was under attack, I guess? And it initiated protocol B79.

BARTHOLOMEW

When Captain’s under control of the Ship it can’t enter orbit. B79 can’t be engaged.

BOB

I couldn’t reach Captain. I came up in my pod. And Captain I think was talking to you. And then… something happened.

BARTHOLOMEW

So Ship is gone gone.

BEATRIX

What do you mean?

BARTHOLOMEW

Gone. Oh. Okay. Okay. We need shelter. Beatrix, this isn’t fun anymore.

BEATRIX

What are you talking about?

BOB

I’m sorry, Beatrix. I had to make a call when ship was leaving orbit.

BEATRIX

What does this mean?

BOB

I chose to not stay with Ship and come down and get you two… but all I have is one power suit, and—

BEATRIX

What even is this power suit? Like, why do you have guns? Where did all this come from?

BOB

I don’t understand the question. It’s part of my role.

BEATRIX

Who—what is going on with you?

BOB

Part of my role is ancillary services.

BEATRIX

Bob…

BARTHOLOMEW

She was right, it worked.

BEATRIX

What?

BOB

Look I can help keep you safe. I crammed as much ammo as I could into the compartment on the power armour. I have two power rifles and two handguns.

BEATRIX

(softly)

We don’t use guns… we don’t… We’re here on a peaceful mission.

BOB

Beatrix, we’ve been attacked before.

BARTHOLOMEW

And now we don’t have a ship to go back to.

BOB

Beatrix if you die… that might be it.

BARTHOLOMEW

Would making a pod out of sticks in the corner make you feel better?

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Civilized.

Starring Kristi Boulton, Michael Divinski, Mbula Enobong and Sean Howard.

Sound design and music by Eli McIlveen.

Cover art by David Demaret.

Join us on Patreon for bonus episodes and lots more. Look for the Support Us link at civilizedpod.com.

TAG: LOG ENTRY

BARTHOLOMEW

Log entry 2684:

OMGOMGWTFOMG. What has happened?

Bob found my suit room. His new iteration is the success that Captain was hoping it would be.

And Captain has gone, Ship is gone. We don’t know whether Ship is coming back. If we die… that might be it.

I might have to tell them.

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER

A Fable and Folly Production.

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