112: Adapting

The Season 1 finale! Bob tries to save Beatrix, while Bartholomew negotiates with the enigmatic Nnhoh.

Civilized will return in January with Season 2. In the meantime, check out our interactive adventure, featuring 90 minutes of audio and eight unique endings! Set prior to the events of Season 1, this story puts you in control, playing a mysterious alien aboard the ship.

Starring Kristi Boulton, Michael Divinski, Mbula Enobong and Sean Howard, with special guest Katie Kotulak.
Sound design: Eli McIlveen
Cover art: David Demaret
Announcers: Marisa King and Michael Howie

Content warning: violence and death.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

SEAN

Hey everyone! It’s Sean, and I play Bob on the show, and I’m also one of the producers and creators of the show. And I want to come in with a quick message.

A super special thing launched and a lot of people may not know about it: there’s up to 90 minutes of Civilized in an interactive adventure that you can start playing today. It’s ready to go.

But first, before I tell you how to get to that, I just want to thank everyone for waiting for Episode 12. With everything going on, it took us a little while to get this one out. And there’s going to be a bit of a break. We’re back in January—we’re already meeting, we’ve got a new special member of the cast, all kinds of stuff happening.

But in the meantime, I want to let you all know that you can go to civilizedpod.com—that’s our website—and click on the red banner at the top. And you’re going to start off playing the interactive adventure. There are eight unique endings, and over 90 minutes of fully realized episode content for you. Super fun! Keep track of how many times you kill Bob and give us a shout on Twitter.

Once again, go to civilizedpod.com and click on the red banner, or go to civilizedpod.com/choose and start playing today.

And now, let’s get you into the show.

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.

AFTERMATH

Outside the hut, immediately following the events of last episode. Beatrix and Nnhoh lie on the ground, shaking and breathing heavily.

BARTHOLOMEW

Which of you is Beatrix?

BEATRIX

(weakly)

Bartholomew…

NNHOH

(weakly)

I’m not Beatrix. This behaviour is so erratic and strange!

BEATRIX

(pained breathing)

BARTHOLOMEW

Beatrix, are you okay?

BEATRIX

Bartholomew, I don’t think I’m okay. I don’t think I’m okay…

NNHOH

(suddenly normal)

Why is she behaving like this? It’s so strange.

BEATRIX

(shaky)

Ugh… There’s a lot of blood…

NNHOH

Oh, your species leaks!

Bob runs up.

BOB

(serious)

Barty, what’s going on? Oh my god. Beatrix… no, no, no, no, no. Pressure! Pressure!

He sits beside Beatrix.

BOB

Barty, go to the suit. Uh… bottom right hip pocket, first aid kit.

BARTHOLOMEW

(stammers)

But—

BOB

Now!

BARTHOLOMEW

Fine.

He leaves.

BOB

Okay. Hold. Pressure right here.

BEATRIX

(sobbing)

BOB

It’s okay, Beatrix. It’s okay. You are… this is Beatrix, right?

BEATRIX

It’s me.

Beatrix takes a shuddering breath. Nnhoh mimics her.

BEATRIX

Is Nnhoh okay?

NNHOH

(normal again)

I am fine. Your rudimentary tools could not have hurt me. I simply would have become a rock or something harder than your bomb.

BEATRIX

That would have been nice to know before I jumped in front of you.

Bartholomew returns.

BARTHOLOMEW

I have the first aid kit.

BOB

Good, gimme.

He tears open a package and applies a dressing.

BOB

Beatrix, this is gonna hurt.

Beatrix and Nnhoh both cry out.

BEATRIX

(sobs)

Bob starts to tape the dressing in place.

BOB

Do you—does she—do they need to react to everything I do?

Okay, here, I’m gonna put this on. It’s going to compress.

BEATRIX

Bob, I…

A hiss as Bob applies another tool from the first aid kit.

BOB

Yeah, it’s okay.

BEATRIX

Ugh…

She slumps back.

BOB

I just tranquilized her. Okay.

The Suit stomps into earshot.

SUIT

Bob. Do I need to reengage?

BOB

Suit. Stand down for now.

SUIT

Suit standing down.

NNHOH

(adopting Suit’s voice)

Would you prefer that I take on this—

BOB

No.

NNHOH

(in Beatrix’s voice again)

Okay!

(laughs)

BARTHOLOMEW

Sure, Bob. Now you tell the suit to stand down. What was that plan?!

Nnhoh is fine. Beatrix is the one that you hurt.

BOB

I was following protocol, Bartholomew.

BARTHOLOMEW

Protocol’s out the window now.

BOB

Yeah, it’s been like that for a while for you, hasn’t it, Bartholomew?

BARTHOLOMEW

This isn’t the time. And you don’t get to play righteous now.

BOB

I’m sensing hostility between the two of you. Is this how your species fights?

BARTHOLOMEW

You’re damn right it is.

NNHOH

Oooo! Fascinating. Noting!

The little shimmering sound of Nnhoh taking a note.

BOB

Okay. What do you want?

NNHOH

To study!

BOB

Yeah.

NNHOH

And exterminate!

Silence.

BOB

We have a problem with the second one.

NNHOH

Oh! Well, you see, my main function is to transcribe your languages, your behaviours, your communications… your species does this hilarious thing where you’re fighting where your blood pressure goes up to indicate your anger? Very fascinating.

So I’ll take note of all that—noted!—and then I exterminate you because there’s no more purpose for you to be on this planet. We’ve learned all we need to learn!

BOB

What percentage of this planet have you captured?

NNHOH

Hmm, let me check.

Another shimmer.

NNHOH

85?

BOB

What happens when it’s done?

NNHOH

We will exterminate everything!

BOB

And then what?

NNHOH

Well, then we move on to the next planet.

(laughs)

BARTHOLOMEW

What’s the point of gathering all this information about creatures that aren’t going to be there after you’re done studying them anyway?

NNHOH

I don’t understand your question. We gather the knowledge.

BOB

Yeah. Well, what I saw was, Beatrix leapt in front of you to stop you from being hit by the suit.

NNHOH

It was irrational. I could not have been hurt.

BOB

Yeah.

BARTHOLOMEW

She did it anyway.

NNHOH

Huh!

BOB

Alright, well, I think she’s stabilized… so how long do we have until you have learned everything you can from us?

NNHOH

Oh, it should take me at least another… maybe 52 hours now. I wasn’t expecting so many erratic behaviours from your species.

BARTHOLOMEW

All right.

Nnhoh?

NNHOH

Nnhoh.

BARTHOLOMEW

Nnhoh.

NNHOH

You’re very bad at this.

BARTHOLOMEW

That’s fine.

Let me put it this way. We’re here on a mission. Our mission started out one way. And it has… it has changed. There have been some surprises.

BOB

(humourless laugh)

BARTHOLOMEW

Some things that were meant to happen, aren’t going to anymore. And we’ve had to adapt.

NNHOH

I see! Your species can adapt? That’s fascinating. Noting!

BARTHOLOMEW

And here’s the thing about adapting. It changes us. It makes us want new things and do new things. You know… a little while ago, I played in the mud.

NNHOH

You played? In the mud.

BARTHOLOMEW

I played in the mud.

I have watched my colleagues—my friends—go through thousands of iterations and throughout all of those… I never wanted to play in the mud.

NNHOH

You said a word… “friends”. I’m having trouble matching that to one in my language.

Music sting.

THE HUT

Beatrix stirs in her bed.

BEATRIX

(groans)

Ow…

BOB

Don’t move too quickly. I think you’re going to be okay, the compression bandage has taken.

BEATRIX

Where’s my… where’s my pod?

BOB

Beatrix, we don’t have pods. And… you’ve been out for a while. We’re down to I think about 30 hours, unless Bartholomew’s managed to add a couple more with the creature.

BEATRIX

Um… So, wait. I’m still me?

BOB

Yeah, there there are no pods, Beatrix.

BEATRIX

Oh…

BOB

Ship is…

BEATRIX

I remember, I remember, Ship is gone. I brought Nnhoh to the house and then the suit fired at them.

BOB

Yeah, that was me.

BEATRIX

Why would you do that?

BOB

Because it’s protocol, Beatrix.

Silence.

BEATRIX

When did you become this way?

BOB

Look.

Barty’s down at the lake playing in the mud with the creature right now. I could carry one person on the suit. I could get you away.

BEATRIX

Get me away? What do you mean?

BOB

We could try and escape this.

OUTSIDE

NNHOH

So you say this funny dance and moving of your hips is a form of communication as well?

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s fun! It’s not communication, exactly, but… Beatrix taught me. You know, we had some some time alone and we just wanted to have fun and let loose! So this is what we do.

NNHOH

But what social function does it serve? Does it indicate that you are ready to mate, perhaps?

BARTHOLOMEW

What? No. Not necessarily…

NNHOH

I encountered a species once—I believe you call it a “bee”. They also shook their butt in a similar way to indicate they were ready to mate!

BARTHOLOMEW

No, it can be a platonic thing. I mean, granted, some some couples do dance together, that’s a common—but no, that’s not what it was in our case!

NNHOH

So I am unclear; does it indicate you are ready to mate or does it not indicate you are ready to mate?

BARTHOLOMEW

(stammers)

Those sorts of questions can be complicated! Sometimes a person has feelings but they’re not sure if they’re reciprocated, so… they keep it platonic. It can be just friend fun, you know? Or not. It depends on what everyone wants.

NNHOH

You keep using this word “friend” and I’m having a very difficult time finding an equivalent in my language.

BARTHOLOMEW

Or something more! We could be… friend. Yeah, friend!

NNHOH

But what does a friend do?

THE HUT

BEATRIX

Bob, what are you saying?

BOB

I launched everything Suit had at that creature. And I can’t believe you got in the way. We can’t defeat it. It’s going to exterminate us.

BEATRIX

We don’t know that, Bob.

BOB

It said!

(in a stilted, robotic voice)

“I am going to assimilate your knowledge and exterminate you. He he he!”

BEATRIX

You’re terrible at impressions.

BOB

(sighs)

BEATRIX

That’s one thing that’s stayed with you every iteration.

(laughs)

Ow…

BOB

I don’t remember the iterations, Beatrix.

Any of them.

BEATRIX

What?

BOB

It’s like… I just woke up on Ship.

BEATRIX

You don’t…? You don’t remember any of the times we went to my Special Spot or…

BOB

No.

BEATRIX

But… Bob.

BOB

And Bartholomew’s been lying to us. I have proof in the logs of my suit.

BEATRIX

I know he’s been lying. But he’s changed! Bob, he’s changed. I mean, we’ve all changed, haven’t we?

OUTSIDE

BARTHOLOMEW

What I’m saying is our relationships can change, you know?

People can be friends, so like, supportive… creatures that deal with each other, but not—not to mate, just to be supportive. And then that can evolve. You know?

We change, we develop, there’s always something new to study in us!

NNHOH

Wow, this is fascinating. I’m going to need to make notes and I might need another 12 hours to study your species!

BARTHOLOMEW

About that…

NNHOH

Yes?

BARTHOLOMEW

You give us 12 hours, who knows how things could develop then. You give us 12 years… just think how much we could change!

NNHOH

(softly)

Ohhh.

This could be interesting!

THE HUT

Bob unzips an equipment bag.

BOB

Look, I’m just gonna pack these bags.

BEATRIX

Bob, stop.

BOB

We’re going to need food.

BEATRIX

Stop!

BOB

(sighs)

BEATRIX

Listen, I… I don’t know this new version of you. I don’t. But I know the Bob that I spent so many trips with and had so many laughs with and shared so many failed soufflés with and I know he’s in there.

So please… don’t do this yet. Okay? Not yet. Let’s just set aside all of this thought of the mission and all of this thought of protocol, and just… just try to come back a little.

BOB

I’ve been out there while you’ve been out, running computations in Suit. There’s a 98% risk this is not going to end favourably and we are all going to be dead.

BEATRIX

There’s a 2% risk that it might all work out.

BOB

We’re gonna die, all of us, if we stay here.

BEATRIX

I’m willing to take that risk.

BOB

I’m not.

BEATRIX

Then maybe it’s time that you go.

BOB

I’m getting that impression.

OUTSIDE

BARTHOLOMEW

So you’re willing to give us some time?

NNHOH

This could be a very interesting endeavour. Yeah, I will study you! Should I build a shelter to make you more comfortable? To assimilate?

BARTHOLOMEW

Well… I think, you know, with an extra person here, we could use the extra space. Sure.

NNHOH

Excellent!

The shimmering sound of Nnhoh’s technology. A rumbling sound of the ground shifting and something massive assembling itself in front of Bartholomew and Nnhoh.

BARTHOLOMEW

Whoa!

Bob steps out of the hut.

BOB

Hey, what was that sound?

What the…?

BEATRIX

(from inside)

What’s going on?

BOB

Beatrix, you’ve got to see this.

BEATRIX

I can’t move right now!

BOB

There’s a mansion out here.

BEATRIX

What?

Bartholomew steps closer.

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s not just a mansion.

I remember this place.

NNHOH

I have created a structure that resembles the one from Bartholomew’s home planet.

BOB

But wait, that means… that means you’re in his thoughts…

(hastily)

I have to go check on Suit. I’ll be right back. Don’t, don’t… yeah.

He runs off.

BARTHOLOMEW

It’s just the same. The red door, the gables…

Nnhoh shimmers and changes shape, taking on a different woman’s voice.

NNHOH

Perhaps it would make you feel more comfortable if I took on this shape. I find she has quite positive annotations in your brain.

BARTHOLOMEW

No, that’s not fair. No, not positive. Not anymore.

NNHOH

But every time that you think of her, your amygdala lights up.

BARTHOLOMEW

No! Stop!

Beatrix slowly emerges from the hut.

BEATRIX

Bartholomew. What’s happening? Who’s that?

Silence.

BARTHOLOMEW

Nnhoh… please change. I don’t want to deal with her right now.

Nnhoh shifts back.

NNHOH

(as Beatrix)

Okay, sorry! I mean, I keep trying different shapes, but it seems like you’re the biggest fan of this one. I mean, she’s pretty nice!

(laughs)

BEATRIX

What’s happening?

Silence.

BARTHOLOMEW

We all have a past. Some of us remember it better than others.

That’s one person I’m trying to forget.

BEATRIX

(serious)

Nnhoh, maybe you should go.

NNHOH

Oh! should I not study your linguistic evolution over the next 10 years? We can go back to the original plan!

BARTHOLOMEW

The 10 year plan was great.

Nnhoh and I had a conversation. Instead of extermination, we’re going to delay that and do a longitudinal study. A 10-year period, perhaps longer depending on how it develops. We’re good. For now.

NNHOH

I’m very excited about the publication credits.

BEATRIX

Okay. But maybe you don’t have to be here the whole time.

NNHOH

But what would I study?

BEATRIX

Study us from a distance.

NNHOH

Interesting. Okay.

ELSEWHERE IN THE WOODS

Bob reaches the Suit and punches a button.

BOB

Suit. Emergency boot up.

SUIT

I’m sorry, Bob. My energy reserves were depleted in the last attack against the alien species.

BOB

No, no, no, no. There’s gotta be…

Scan for energy sources.

SUIT

I’m sorry, Bob. There’s no more energy available. I do not even have the capacity to be humorous with you. All that is left is power up for one more iteration.

BOB

Iteration?

OUTSIDE THE HUT

BEATRIX

Bartholomew… who was that woman?

BARTHOLOMEW

I don’t want to talk about Jennifer.

BEATRIX

Well, you’re gonna have to sometime.

BARTHOLOMEW

I don’t… totally remember. I know she meant a lot to me. And that one day that ended.

BEATRIX

I only ask because… right now, I can’t remember anything before we got here. But sometimes I have dreams. And I’m wondering if there’s… if there’s something more I’m forgetting too?

Bob returns.

BOB

Hey, guys.

Oh, sorry. Am I interrupting something?

BARTHOLOMEW

No, it’s fine.

BEATRIX

It’s fine.

BOB

Where’s Nnhoh?

BEATRIX

They left?

BARTHOLOMEW

Yeah, it’s good news. They’re going to observe us for the next 10 to 12 years, from a distance. So, probably won’t be that involved in our existence here… but we get to live! It’s all going to be fine.

Nnhoh approaches.

NNHOH

Hello. I was observing you from afar, and I’ve made a decision.

BOB

What?

NNHOH

Commence termination!

A shimmering sound.

BARTHOLOMEW

Wait! Beatrix—!

He disappears with a bang.

BOB

I knew it—!

Another bang.

BEATRIX

Bob! Bartholomew!

Silence.

NNHOH

We’re friends, right?

BEATRIX

Um…

NNHOH

(mimicking her)

Um…

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: WAKING

Bartholomew yawns and stretches. His voice echoes inside what sounds like a reiteration pod.

BARTHOLOMEW

I’m back on Ship…

Not back on Ship. What…?

The pod opens and he steps out slowly into a large, silent room.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh.

This means we failed. But…

Lights?

Lights blink on throughout the room.

BARTHOLOMEW

Support systems engage.

Electronic chimes and beeping in response. A deep whirring sound as fans start up.

BARTHOLOMEW

But it’s still intact.

More systems beep as they come to life.

BARTHOLOMEW

Now the real mission begins.

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER

A Fable and Folly Production.