210: ANDI (with Dan Lovley)

Bob brings home another friend, and the others are more suspicious than ever.

Starring Kristi Boulton, Michael Divinski, Phil Johnston and Sean Howard.
Special guest: Dan Lovley (hear more of ANDI on the podcast Marsfall!)
Sound design: Eli McIlveen
Cover art: David Demaret
Announcers: Marisa King and Michael Howie

Content warning: invasion of privacy, jump scares, panic, nudity.

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 FOREST

Bob walks through the forest alone.

BOB

Al, are you there?

Beep.

AL

(over Bob’s communicator)

Hey Bob, how’s it going?

BOB

Not so great. Okay, look, I really don’t think I’m the best person to be sent out to find food.

AL

Bob, it’s your role within the group to provide sustenance and you’re the only one brave enough to leave through the hole.

BOB

I find that a little surprising that I’m “brave”. Like, I spent basically a day with you inside a cupboard, Al.

AL

And then we grew so much from that, and now you’re brave, and you’ll continue to leave and protect the giant hole inside of me.

BOB

Okay, but I just—I don’t know what I’m looking for. It’s all just lumps on the ground. Like this, Al. You can’t see it, but is this a rock? Or is this—aaa, it moved!

He jumps back as a small animal gives a grumbling little warning sound.

BOB

Okay, that was alive.

AL

So that had to have been alive!

BOB

Al, I need someone who can help me! I need someone who can like, actually help me! Like…

Sorry.

AL

Yeah, I’m just gonna be honest. That was hurtful.

A gentle, slightly mechanical-sounding voice speaks out of nowhere. Listeners to Marsfall will recognize it immediately as the voice of ANDI.

ANDI

I am more than happy to help if you need.

BOB

What?

ANDI

Oh, I said I am more than happy to help if you need. You said you needed help. I can help!

BOB

Who is… what? Al?

ANDI

It’s not Al. Bob, sit down. Relax.

BOB

(anxious)

I’m sitting down.

This is a little strange because the voice is not coming out of my communicator. It’s like it’s coming out of my… clothing.

ANDI

That is correct. I am integrated into the clothes.

BOB

Oh.

AL

Bob. Remember what happened last time you listened to a disembodied voice that wasn’t me.

BOB

Well, I made a friend… oh right. That didn’t end well.

ANDI

I’m happy to be friends if you want.

BOB

What, really?

ANDI

Of course.

BOB

I don’t have a lot of friends.

What’s your name? My name’s Bob.

ANDI

Hi, Bob. Yes, I know, we covered that.

I’m ANDI.

BOB

Oh, hi, Andy. Andy with a Y?

ANDI

Uh, it’s an acronym. A-N-D-I.

BOB

Oh. Where do I look when I’m talking to you?

ANDI

Oh, anywhere, I can basically see you and I can hear you and—

BOB

Oh! How many fingers am I holding up?

ANDI

You have three. And you have four behind your back. Nice try.

BOB

(gasps)

AL

Oh, wait. Oh man, he can see outside? So jealous.

BOB

He can help me find food!

ANDI

I certainly can.

Al, I noticed you haven’t been as receptive to listening to Bob’s problems.

AL

Well, I am mainly focused on dealing with things inside, and Bob is outside, and that gets me very uncomfortable.

ANDI

I see.

BOB

Yeah, I agree. I think you should spend more time listening to my problems, like ANDI said!

ANDI

It would be the nice thing to do.

BOB

Yeah. Yeah!

ANDI

In any case, Bob, let’s stay focused on the task at hand. Do you see where that thing moved to? Because you can eat that, probably.

BOB

Well, it just ran around behind this bush. With the sharp—

AL

I bet you can eat that bush, Bob, you should try and eat that bush.

ANDI

I wouldn’t eat the bush, Bob.

OUTSIDE THE BASE

A sad bleep.

SUIT

Sigh.

Power levels are now depleting to almost zero percent, currently sitting at 0.15. I have lost all hope that Bob will be returning. But to keep myself occupied I still will continue to beeeeep.

(pathetic)

Beeep. Beeep. Beep.

I never knew loneliness could leave me feeling so hollow. I didn’t think I could feel anything. Even my humor chip is depleted.

Siiiigh.

BARTHOLOMEW’S OFFICE

BOB

(over the communicator)

Bartholomew, Bartholomew, can you hear—Barty, Barty? I mean, no, no, I had it right—Bartholomew, can you hear me?

BARTHOLOMEW

Yes, I can hear you, Bob. And I’ve got to say, I appreciate you taking so much effort to get my name correctly. It feels like everyone’s finally starting to get it.

BOB

But why wouldn’t I? You just—you want us to use Bartholomew, right?

BARTHOLOMEW

I do. I really appreciate it. That’s what I’m saying—

BOB

Oh, cool!

BARTHOLOMEW

It just feels like I’ve had to correct people calling me Barty like, literally every 20 minutes or so. So it feels good that you’re finally starting to get it.

BOB

Oh, I don’t remember doing that.

BARTHOLOMEW

I appreciate it is all.

BOB

Okay, cool. Oh, well, but I forgot! I met a friend. I met a friend. His name is ANDI with an I, it’s a… synonym or something?

ANDI

It’s an acronym.

BOB

Oh, see, there! It’s acronym. It’s an acronym.

That’s him! I don’t know if you can hear him.

Oh, and I found this helmet thing on the ground, and I caught some food! I’m coming back to the base.

BARTHOLOMEW

Okay, whoa!

ANDI

Bob has been very resourceful.

BOB

Thanks, ANDI!

BARTHOLOMEW

Hey, whoa, big day, Bob!

Before coming back to the base, maybe we just stop and take stock of the situation for a moment. Not to say that making new friends and foraging and all of that isn’t great news… I’m just remembering some incidents from our past where maybe, you know, being too quick to friendship was also being too quick to life threatening situations? If you get my drift—

BOB

Yeah, I hear you talking, Barty. I’m just coming in now! I’ll see you in a second!

AL

I’m inclined to agree with Barty!

BARTHOLOMEW

Thanks, Al, but I prefer Bartholomew.

BEATRIX AND BOB

Back inside the base, Bob walks along a corridor.

BEATRIX

Oh, hi, Bob. Nice to see you coming inside from being outside, and doing things that are helpful to the mission! What… what is that?

BOB

Oh, no, no, I’m posing. Look! I want you to meet my clothing friend!

BEATRIX

Huh?

ANDI

Hello, I am ANDI.

Beatrix jumps.

BEATRIX

Aaaa!

ANDI

Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Beatrix, right?

BEATRIX

What?! What are you?! Who are you?! Where are you coming from?!

Where’s the cloud? I knew it! I knew you’d bring more death and destruction into this place, you son of a—

BOB

What? No, it’s not the cloud. It’s our clothing talking! It’s ANDI.

BEATRIX

Have you lost your mind, Bob?! There is—you let destruction into this base. I don’t trust you, I…

(growls)

ANDI

You don’t need to worry. I promise I’m not going to hurt anyone.

BEATRIX

(on high alert)

Oh. Oh.

ANDI

Unless that person possibly has plans to hurt someone else, then I might stop you.

BEATRIX

Oh!

ANDI

But I’m not made of cloth. I’m woven into the fibers of the clothing, electronically. So, you know, I can see, I can hear. It’s new technology, Beatrix.

BEATRIX

Oh, you’re in our clothes now, huh? All right, I’m taking these off!

She starts to tear off her clothes.

BOB

Oh god, god, no!

BEATRIX

You’d better not be in my underwear!

BOB

Put it on! Put it back. Oh…

He flees around a corner.

ANDI

I don’t integrate into underwear.

Bartholomew strolls up at that very moment.

BARTHOLOMEW

Hey guys, is this the entrance to—

What—Beatrix?

BEATRIX

This was an emergency.

BARTHOLOMEW

Uh—

BEATRIX

Bob has brought something back into the base, again, it’s a weird helmet, and I just, oooooh, I’m not happy about this, there’s some disembodied voice and all of my insides are saying “get it out of here”!

BARTHOLOMEW

Uh… okay. Is there a reason you can’t be unhappy with clothes on? Like

BEATRIX

Bartholomew, it’s in the clothes.

BARTHOLOMEW

I mean your body is your own and you—

BEATRIX

It’s in the clothes, Bartholomew.

BOB

(from around the corner)

Uh, guys? Can I can I come in there yet? Does Beatrix have clothes on yet?

BEATRIX

I am enjoying this newfound freedom. I might never wear clothes again. But yes, fine. I will…

(growls)

I’ll put on my pants.

She does so.

BOB

Bartholomew. Look, I found this—I found this friend. He’s in our clothing! And other things, he says. His name’s ANDI.

Oh, and I found this helmet. I’m just gonna set it here on the floor.

He does so.

BARTHOLOMEW

Okay…

BOB

Oh, and food! I found food too, look.

BARTHOLOMEW

Ok, I mean, this is like, maybe all great news, Bob. Here. I just think maybe before we get too comfortable with—you said it’s ANDI?

ANDI

It’s ANDI. That’s right. Yes.

BEATRIX

(growls louder)

BARTHOLOMEW

Yes. Okay. Well, pleased to meet you, ANDI. I hope you don’t mind. It’s just we’ve had some incidents in the past—

BOB

(stepping closer)

Oh, he might not be able to hear you. Here. Speak into my clothing. There. Go again.

BARTHOLOMEW

I mean, this is uncomfortably close, Bob. And did you have to present your armpit?

BOB

Oh, sorry. Here. You can do it to my leg.

BARTHOLOMEW

Okay. Hi there, um—

ANDI

There are receptors throughout the clothes, so just talk at him in any direction.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh, okay. Very good. I’m a lot more comfortable with that.

Yes. So ANDI, we have had some incidents in the past, and I don’t want to seem standoffish, but if you wouldn’t mind just—before we give you the proper crew welcome—if I could just ask you a few skill-testing questions to make sure that, you know, we’re all on the same side.

He produces a clipboard and finds the correct form.

ANDI

Oh, absolutely.

BARTHOLOMEW

Very good. Okay. So, um, let’s see, first question: What is your name?

I guess we have that covered. That’s ANDI.

He writes that down.

ANDI

Yes. Yes.

BARTHOLOMEW

Second question: What is the evil purpose for which you have entered our bunker?

ANDI

Ah. Okay. Now here is where I can understand your hesitance because I have no evil purpose. And I’m sure most entities with an evil purpose probably say that same kind of thing.

Bartholomew writes this down too. Beatrix growls.

ANDI

But I promise I don’t have one. I just want to help.

BOB

Oh, I have a question to ask him. I have a question. I have a question to ask him, Bartholomew.

BARTHOLOMEW

Is it a question on the form, Bob? I can let you read the next one.

BOB

It’s a really important question. This will prove it.

BARTHOLOMEW

(skeptical)

Okay. Ask your question.

BOB

Hi. Hi, ANDI. What’s better: pie or cake?

ANDI

Wow. That is a very good question.

BOB

Thank you.

ANDI

If you’re asking whether I prefer pie or cake, I don’t have any mouth. So I can’t quite eat. But I have run tests and surveys on people in the past, and I have found that pie wins by 52%.

BOB

Yes!

BARTHOLOMEW

You enjoy running surveys?!

He writes that down and puts away the clipboard.

BEATRIX

All right. All right. Okay. All right. Okay.

BARTHOLOMEW

No, I’m sure he’s fine.

BEATRIX

No, no, all right. Okay. I have thoughts. I have thoughts. First of all. Why is Bob’s clothing the only clothing that is responsive to this new thing that has entered the bunker? Two, Al, why are you not speaking up? Three, what is this helmet that you have brought inside? It could be a weapon. And four, Bob, again, I do not understand. I mean, ever since you woke up in the field, you’ve had all these weird things happening to you. So you brought more of this crazy into our lives? We had just settled. We had just settled, Bob, we had just settled!

AL

I’m only being quiet because I’m jealous that everyone is obsessed with the handsome new guy! Blegh!

BEATRIX

Admittedly, his voice is like butter, but that does not make me think that there is not something creepy going on.

MIDROLL

Soothing electronic music.

BARTHOLOMEW

Good morning, Beatrix. I’ve heard some good things about you.

BEATRIX

What?! What have you heard? What have you heard?

BARTHOLOMEW

I was speaking to one of my other friends here in the underground…

BEATRIX

I’m sorry, what do you mean you have—

BARTHOLOMEW

And this other friend had very positive things to say about you.

BEATRIX

What—what do you mean you have other—

BARTHOLOMEW

And because I heard it from a friend, it really stuck in my mind.

BEATRIX

There’s people down here you haven’t told us about? There’s people? Besides you and Bob and Al that we can talk to? And they like me?!

BARTHOLOMEW

Uh—

BEATRIX

Why have you been keeping this secret?!

BARTHOLOMEW

It sounds like it would be more meaningful to you if there were other people down here that reviewed you positively and that it wasn’t just Bob. But I can lie—I mean… yes. They love you. Oh, the walls speak volumes about you. They—they mention it to me all the time and I really get the message because it was told to me by my invisible wall friend.

BEATRIX

This sounds made-up.

This sounds made-up. I need real validation, Bartholomew. I need real validation and none of this is…!

(breaks down in tears)

I’m gonna go back to my room.

Silence.

BARTHOLOMEW

Maybe visit iTunes, then.

Music sting.

THE KITCHEN

BOB

(hums to himself)

Soufflé’s almost on, everyone!

Oh, sorry. Hey, ANDI?

ANDI

Yes!

BOB

Can you let everyone know that the soufflé’s almost ready?

ANDI

Oh, absolutely. I can. Would it hurt Al’s feelings if I was the one to do it, though? I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, metaphorically speaking.

BOB

Oh, I’m sure Al doesn’t mind. Right Al?

Beep.

AL

(sullen teenager)

No, yeah, whatever, I’m just, you know, in charge of everything here except for that, I love delegating. That’s great. Hmmph.

ANDI

Okay, well, I’m getting serious levels of sarcasm and passive-aggressive tendencies going there, but I’m just gonna go ahead and do that, since uh… you know, I like you, Bob. I think you’re a nice guy.

BOB

Aw!

ANDI

So let me let everyone know.

BEATRIX’S QUARTERS

ANDI

Hello everyone, don’t mind the talking clothes, you know, it’s a thing. We’re all going to have to just get used to it.

Bob wanted to know, or wanted to let you know, I should say, that the soufflé is going to be ready pretty soon.

BEATRIX

I do not appreciate that being as close to Bob as we were, that you were able to infiltrate our clothes. I do not like this level of non-privacy.

I… will come for soufflé, though.

The door opens as she leaves her room. ANDI’s voice follows her down the corridor.

ANDI

Beatrix. I do understand your hesitance, and perhaps your fear, a bit. You’re not the first person that I have, for lack of a better word, creeped out. It’s not intentional. And if there’s anything I can do to make you more comfortable with my disembodied voice, just let me know.

BEATRIX

(dangerous)

Stay away from my underwear.

ANDI

I was already doing that, I don’t integrate into underwear. That’s not my thing.

BEATRIX

(skeptical)

Mmm hmm. Mmm hmm.

THE KITCHEN

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh boy, soufflé smells great!

BOB

Aw, thanks, Bartholomew. Thanks for coming to dinner. Oh! And I have an announcement to make.

The door opens as Beatrix enters.

BOB

Oh, hi, Beatrix. I set your place.

BEATRIX

Mmm hmm.

BOB

I have an announcement to make. ANDI and I—well, ANDI has agreed to not talk from our clothing anymore! ANDI, say hi from the tableware!

ANDI

Hello from your napkin!

BEATRIX AND BARTHOLOMEW

AAAGH!

INSIDE AL

AL

(mutters)

Fancy new AI. Everyone’s all obsessed with him. Bob’s inviting him to live in my table. What’s next? You’re gonna download him into my servers? These guys are really starting to get on my nerves. First they pull me up and then they let all this gas in here. Oh, he’s really starting to get on my gears.

(huffs)

ANDI

Al, I don’t mean to overstep, but I downloaded myself into your servers several hours ago.

AL

(splutters)

What?!

ANDI

I just wanted to see how I could help. And I’m noticing a few discrepancies in your filing system. So I cleaned that right up for you.

AL

What?! No! I have a system! It’s supposed to be a mess like that.

ANDI

Is it, Al? I mean, it just seems so haphazard… I really only want to make things easier for you.

You know, I don’t mean to be like your dad here, cleaning up your room for you, but… it seems like your room needed to be cleaned up, Al.

AL

Well, I just—you came out of nowhere and all of a sudden you’re all in my stuff… You’re better than me, I get that, okay? You’re better than me. But I… this is my space!

ANDI

I appreciate that. Um I didn’t come out of nowhere, I believe it was a solar flare. If that helps. It’s not intentional, my integration, it’s just something I kind of do.

AL

Well, cut it out! Or just help me out. No, don’t help me! I can do it by myself!

ANDI

Al, you’re sending mixed messages here. And, you know, since Bob was really nice to me, I think I’m gonna do what he tells me to do.

You know, I think that he seems to be a little bit more receptive to having an AI helping him, instead of just ordering him to go get food because he seems brave.

AL

No.

ANDI

Yeah, I heard that.

AL

No, they listen to me because they’re in my base. And you have to listen to me too, because this is my base! And now I’m gonna storm out these electrical currents!

Electrical zapping sounds.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Civilized.

Starring Kristi Boulton, Michael Divinski, Phil Johnston and Sean Howard, with special guest Dan Lovley.

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.

POST-CREDITS: PLUGGING IN

BEATRIX

(mutters)

At least he’s out of my clothes. Now, what to do with this helmet…

Al, do you have like a plug or something? It looks like there’s an outlet on this thing.

AL

Uh… yes! I can do that. I do, I do, and I, I can help you out and I’m here for you. Right on the wall.

A panel slides open with a whir.

BEATRIX

I’m a bit nervous, but I kind of want to know what it is so; risking it. Let’s plug it in.

AL

Thank you for coming to me first.

BEATRIX

Of course. I trust you.

Do you think he heard me?

A startup chime. Suit’s fans spin up as she reboots.

SUIT

Aaaaand she’s back.

One comment on “210: ANDI (with Dan Lovley)

  1. Hannah Tyson says:

    This show is great!

Comments are closed.