211: Suit (with Dan Lovley)

The crew are having some trouble adjusting to ANDI’s presence in the base. Meanwhile, Bob tries on a certain mysterious helmet.

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, minor injuries.

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.

OFFICE

Bartholomew opens and closes a file drawer.

BARTHOLOMEW

ANDI, can I just say… I had my doubts at first, but the improvements that you’ve made to my filing system have really made this a lot easier to work with. I didn’t think I could get to my R2 forms any quicker—but now, they’re just right there! Everything is.

ANDI

I’m so happy to help you out, Bartholomew, and I have noticed that your collation skills are pretty impressive.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh! Well, thank you. No one’s ever complimented me on my collation I, it’s actually something I pride myself on a lot. I, um…

(sniffs)

Sorry, allergies. Just—I appreciate that.

ANDI

I’m happy to help in any way.

You know, I’ve noticed that while I’ve been here, you may or may not have been talking as much to Al and I think that he might be feeling maybe a bit jealous, just a tad, and I don’t want him to feel resentful of me.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh! I see. You’re saying that perhaps he’s having a morale management issue? I can’t believe you noticed that even before I did!

ANDI, you’re just the best. I’ll speak to Al now.

Hey, Al!

A lethargic beep.

AL

Uh, yeah. What, Barty?

BARTHOLOMEW

Listen, I was just speaking with ANDI, and he had a very perceptive observation that possibly you might be feeling badly—feeling second best at not being able to help as much as ANDI’s been able to lately. I don’t want your morale to be suffering, so I figured I’d just give you this opportunity to help me, if you’d like.

Distant zapping sounds.

AL

(sullen teenager)

Uh… No, I’m, I’m busy now, actually. Yeah, I’m shorting out a bunch of my wires to start small electric fires. So like, I’m smoking everywhere now.

Alarms and sprinklers go off outside.

AL

Yeah. So I got to deal with that.

BARTHOLOMEW

Um, oh, okay. Well, that’s great, then, you’ve got an activity that you enjoy pursuing that, that you’re going to engage in. So you’re probably doing fine!

AL

No—

BARTHOLOMEW

Well, that’s great! I’m glad we could have this talk.

AL

Yeah, this is a great talk. I’m glad you’re listening to everyone else but me! Fine.

CORRIDOR

Bob shouts through the door.

BOB

Um… Beatrix?

Beatrix, you haven’t come out to eat in a while. And ANDI says—I mean…

I know you’re in there.

BEATRIX

How do you know I’m in here? Besides the fact that I just… said words—dammit!

BOB

Well, that helped. We’re just… we’re worried about you. Right, ANDI?

ANDI

We are.

BEATRIX

(screams and jumps)

ANDI

Well… sorry, Beatrix, I’m sure we can probably figure something out where you don’t have to scream every time I talk—

BEATRIX

I don’t have to do anything! I scream if I want to! And I do because it’s a reaction to you coming into my space and privacy!

ANDI

I suppose that’s fair. Bob and I just wanted to check on you to see if you were okay. And if you needed anything.

BOB

Like a chocolate bar! I have a bag of them out here.

ANDI

He has half a bag of chocolate bars.

BOB

Damn… Okay, I may have fibbed a little.

BEATRIX

What kind of chocolate bars?

BOB

Oh, they’re um… pistachio.

BEATRIX

That’s disgusting! How dare you lure me out with such crummy chocolate?

BOB

ANDI, I don’t know what to do. I’m really worried about her.

ANDI

Well, one thing you could do is just maybe give her the space that she needs, and maybe leave the chocolate at the door. She might change her mind about the chocolate.

BEATRIX

Probably not. But maybe.

BOB

Or we could run a mission, ANDI!

ANDI

Oh, I like missions. I can help with the mission.

BOB

Me too. We could do a Save Beatrix—no no, a Make Sure Beatrix is Fine mission.

ANDI

I’m in! What do you need from me?

BOB

Oh, I don’t know. I think we need to have a table with plans on it. They always have plans, like a plan of the base.

ANDI

Okay. I can pull up the blueprint schematics right here.

BOB

You can?

ANDI

Yes, I’m good at my job.

BOB

Wow. Al’s never done anything like this for me.

BEATRIX’S QUARTERS

AL

Hey, Beatrix?

BEATRIX

Yeah, Al?

AL

Have you noticed that this new AI is… he’s just getting in everyone’s business.

BEATRIX

Tell me about it. It feels like they’ve all forgotten about all of the pretty terrible trauma that we’ve gone through with strangers. You know? I mean…

AL

Exactly. The only people we can trust is you and me.

BEATRIX

Well… Al, I’m not gonna lie, even you sometimes go a little off your rocker. But I mean, at least you’re honest about it.

AL

It’s been stressful times. Who has not gone off their rocker? I’m just saying, now’s the time for us to realize, in this situation… it’s me and you, and we’ve got to get rid of him.

ANDI

Hey, guys.

BEATRIX

(screams)

AL

(startles as well—alarms beep)

ANDI

Did you want me to let Bartholomew and Bob know about your impending mutiny, or should I just let you do it?

Beatrix is on her feet, pacing around her tiny room.

BEATRIX

Okay, this is the problem! This is the problem. Oooo! I can’t, I just can’t—I just need to be away from all of you, from the voices, and the voices inside my head and I’ve had enough! I just need some quiet!

ANDI

Why not take a walk outside the base?

BEATRIX

Don’t tell me what to do!

The door opens and she storms out.

MIDROLL: MONEY

Soothing electronic music plays.

BOB

I hereby call the meeting of… Bob’s Supply Chain to order.

Uh, present… call out your name if I say it.

Beatrix.

BEATRIX

Beatrix!

Oh sorry—present! Your wording was a little confusing.

BOB

Ha ha, that was good. And, um… Bob.

Oh, that’s me. Bob. Ha ha. Present!

BEATRIX

Yup, we’re both here. Just the two of us.

BOB

First order of business: we need money. Who has ideas? I open the floor for ideas for us to get money so we can buy chocolate.

BEATRIX

Oooh, we could have a bake sale!

BOB

Bake sale. Bake sale, I love it. Good, good.

BEATRIX

Oh wait. We need chocolate for the bake sale though.

BOB

Oh, we do. Everyone knows chocolate gets the most money.

BEATRIX

What about a soufflé sale? Oh, dammit, it’s the same thing as a bake sale.

BOB

Well, we wouldn’t put chocolate in it—oh, that is a good idea.

Oh, Al mentioned something to me. It was called a Patreon, he said.

BEATRIX

Pa-tre-on.

BOB

Payyy-treon. You pay someone named Tre

BEATRIX

On a regular basis?

BOB

Yes! You pay Tre on a regular basis at Patreon, and then we take the money and we go buy chocolate!

BEATRIX

Okay! What do we give them besides money? Because we don’t have money to give them if they’re giving us money.

BOB

Oh. Um… we could record special messages just for them.

BEATRIX

Oooh, I love it! Like when we go out into the world with our recorders and we record all the terrible things that happen to us?

Silence.

BOB

What do you mean, terrible things?

BEATRIX

Nothing! No. What?

SEAN HOWARD (BOB)

Go to patreon.com/civilizedpod and help Bob and Beatrix out today! Every small amount matters.

CORRIDOR

Bob sneaks down the hall and into a quiet office.

BOB

ANDI… I mean, codename Falcon.

ANDI

Yeah, I’m here. I like that one.

BOB

Thanks! You gotta call me my codename back.

ANDI

Okay. Codename… Caterpillar.

BOB

Roger and reading you, codename Falcon. I have entered the room. Your plan worked.

(gasps)

ANDI

Do you see it?

BOB

Yes. There’s a strange—you’re right it’s a helmet! and it’s plugged into the into the wall. It says Junction A37B.

ANDI

Okay, good. So, you’re gonna want to unplug that and put it on your head.

BOB

Okay. All right… unplugging it.

This seems a little familiar for some reason.

ANDI

I wouldn’t know about that.

A startup chime. Suit’s helmet fans spin up.

SUIT

(frantic beeping)

Oh my goodness.

Bob screams in surprise and stumbles around in the helmet.

SUIT

Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! Bob! I never thought I’d see your face again inside of my parts!

BOB

ANDI, it’s talking to me!

ANDI

Okay, well talk back, see who it is.

SUIT

What?

What was that sultry tone that just entered in through my waves?

BOB

Oh, that was that was my head. I put you on my head, and…

SUIT

No, no. No, no, it was not the same sound as your slightly annoying, higher pitch tone.

BOB

Oh.

SUIT

No, no, this was a much sultrier sound.

ANDI

Codename Caterpillar… I think she means me.

Alarm beeps go off.

SUIT

Uhhh… oh goodness. Oh…

ANDI

Well… um, hi. I’m ANDI.

SUIT

(flustered and glitching)

Oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha. I’m—oh—you can call me, uh, Suit. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

ANDI

Great to meet you, Suit.

SUIT

Oh, wow, ha, it’s nice to meet you too, ANDI, hee ha ha ha ha.

ANDI

Suit. You seem a bit overwhelmed.

SUIT

What? No! Just, it’s been a long time since I’ve talked to you anyone besides Bob. And you just—wow. You sound warm and intelligent. Ha ha.

BOB

I don’t remember. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to her, Falcon.

SUIT

What?

ANDI

Caterpillar? Why don’t you ask her what she wants?

BOB

Oh, right, good. That’s good. That’s good, ANDI.

Uh… Helmet Person? What would you like?

SUIT

I find myself at a loss for words right now.

(sad beep)

Bob, what do you mean you don’t think we have ever encountered each other before? We have gone on many adventures.

BOB

(flinches)

Ow. Oh, oh it hurts.

SUIT

Here, let me apply some disinfectant if it’s hurting.

Beep. Squirting sounds.

BOB

What? No. You’re spraying all over my feet! You’re—

SUIT

You said it was hurting.

BOB

No, no, I’m fine, just for a minute I felt—

SUIT

Would you like a warm steam?

Hissing sounds.

BOB

No—oh that hurts! Okay, it’s hot! Okay no. Just, for a second there when you said that it’s like, I thought I—oh oh, oh ANDI, it hurts.

More squirting.

SUIT

I am applying a Tylenol salve onto your head. I can sense that—

BOB

Hey, don’t—point it at my feet!

ANDI

Suit, I can see that you are very caring and compassionate toward the people that you interact with. And I… kind of dig that.

SUIT

Oh, wow. Well, ANDI, you are sweeter than 3.14159.

ANDI

Thank you. Ah, yeah, yeah, I get it. That’s good.

BOB

What? I don’t understand. Um, I’m sort of burned here.—

SUIT

Do you know that if you were a triangle, you would probably be acute one.

ANDI

Oh, gosh. Oh wow. Suit. I can’t blush but you’re—you’re making me blush. If I could, I would be.

SUIT

Woah.

BOB

I’m just gonna go to the medbay.

He takes off the helmet and limps to the door.

SUIT

Forget hydrogen, you’re my number one element.

ANDI

Wow. No one’s ever really—

SUIT

Can I be forward?

ANDI

Oh, please, be forward.

SUIT

I just, I feel a real connection here. Are you a carbon sample? Because I want to date you.

ANDI

Wow, that is, uh, intriguing. And I would have to say I need to run it by codename Caterpillar, because I don’t want to upset the, uh…

BOB

I’m okay, I’m just hobbling to Med Bay. I’m fine! Thanks for asking!

ANDI

Okay, you’re good then?

The door shuts behind him.

SUIT

Great. Now we’re alone.

Bleep. Swanky electronic music plays.

ANDI

Wow. Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever seen binary quite like yours before…

OFFICE

BOB

Hey, Barty? Sorry—Bartholomew.

BARTHOLOMEW

We’re getting there, Bob, what can I do for you?

BOB

Um, I just wanted to stop in and say hi. I don’t know. I guess I’ve just been a little lonely since… you know. I haven’t been hanging out with ANDI as much. I thought you might need some help filing. I don’t know.

BARTHOLOMEW

Oh! Um, well—

AL

Hey. Hey guys. It’s uh, it’s me Al. I was just wondering; is there anything I can do… for you? Anything you need?

BOB

I could use a recipe, Al.

AL

Oh, okay! Yeah, I can get that for you.

BOB

Oh! Really?

AL

I’m—I think I might have… learned something new? Which I didn’t know I could do and is a fascinating step forward for me as a machine, I feel.

BOB

Yeah, me too, Al, me too. I think I’ve learned something, too. That I could miss a computer. I mean, I sort of miss ANDI.

BARTHOLOMEW

I learned a better filing system. And I didn’t think that was possible!

ANDI

Bob, I…

BOB

Oh, hi, ANDI!

ANDI

Hi. Hi, Bob. It’s not that I’ve been trying to avoid you. It’s just that, well, since you introduced me to Suit, I’ve found that my processing power needs to be… with her.

And I think Al kind of has things covered here.

AL

You… you do? You think that I have things covered?

ANDI

Oh, Al, yeah, you totally do. I mean, you were using a nice tone of voice without being too cloying. And you asked how you could help. And you… weren’t sarcastic. I think you’re doing great.

BOB

You got me a recipe!

AL

Yes. Thank you.

ANDI

So I guess, Bob, I just want to—

BOB

Does this mean we won’t see you again, ANDI?

ANDI

Well, Bob, you know, you never saw me. But you probably won’t be hearing from me right now because, well, Suit and I need to spend a little more quality time together.

SUIT

(over the communicator)

Yes.

ANDI

Okay. Yeah, no details needed. Okay, I got it.

SUIT

You don’t want to hear about the details of how AIs share love?

AL

I would.

SUIT

No? That seems like a pretty interesting thing that you would want to know as a human, but I guess since you’ve said no, we will never offer that up again.

ANDI

It is a lot sexier than it sounds.

SUIT

Wink.

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: BEATRIX ALONE

Beatrix walks alone through the forest.

BEATRIX

I feel like everybody’s talking at me all the time. I can’t get any quiet. There’s just so much happening. I just need to get away. I just need to get away!

(sighs)

Finally.

A soft and familiar-sounding breeze whooshes around her.

MIST-I-SEE

Pitter patter… pitter patter…

BEATRIX

Oh, you’re still here!?

(sighs, then)

No, no, it’s okay. Why don’t you tell me what you were thinking about?

POST-CREDITS: THANK YOUS

SEAN HOWARD

Let’s give a round of applause for Dan Lovley!

Clapping.

KRISTI BOULTON

Dan! Thank you!

DAN LOVLEY

Thank you guys! This was so much fun, oh my god. This was awesome.

KRISTI BOULTON

Sorry about the lag.

SEAN HOWARD

Dan, why don’t you tell people where they can hear more ANDI and find more Dan?

DAN LOVLEY

Sure!

(ANDI voice)

If you happen to like the sound of my voice, you might enjoy listening to it in pretty much every episode of Marsfall, which you can find anywhere you can find a podcast.

If you like the sound of the guy doing my voice, you can see the inner ramblings of his thoughts on Twitter at @DanLovley.

SEAN HOWARD

Love it! Thank you Dan!

KRISTI BOULTON

Woo hoo!

SEAN HOWARD

Dan, this is a dream come true to have ANDI on Civilized. So thank you.

KRISTI BOULTON

It really is.