Episode 1: By the Wayside

A look into the life of a Talsorian scavenger, and a glimpse into Memorie's strange day

The transcript of this trailer can be found below or as a PDF here

TW: brief mention of police/arrest.

Station Arcadia is a podcast by Metal Steve Productions, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

It is produced by Eliana Esdi and C.V.V.M., and directed by Tovah Brantner. It is edited by Eliana Esdi and J. R. Steele, with soundscaping by Becker Hoang and music by Theo Goodwin.

Today’s episode was written by Shay Topaz and featured Jade Virginia as Kass, Ellison Cardenas as Memorie, Laurent JL Hall as Nikki, F. A. Calkins as Soma, J. R. Steele as ERIS, Haley Willis as the Mailman, Becker Hoang as a Talsorian Advertiser, and credits by C.V.V.M.

Join us on Twitter and Tumblr, @stationarcadia, for more content.

Transcript for Episode 1:

BRONWYN. Hey. Bronwyn here, one of the voice actors for Station Arcadia. Welcome to our pilot episode. If you enjoy this episode, please consider sharing our show with a friend, or talking about it on social media using the hashtag arcpod, spelt A R C P O D. As a young podcast, word of mouth is vital, and we’d really appreciate your help in getting our show off the ground. Thanks, and enjoy the episode.

[CASSETTE CLICK]

KASS. Welcome... anyone? (sigh) Is anyone actually listening to this? I mean is there anyone really out there? Well, if you are, thanks for tuning in. You're listening to Station Arcadia.

[THEME MUSIC.]

So. My original plan was to have some music to play. I mean, that’s what you do with radio right? You… you play music and stuff? Yeah, that makes sense, right? I mean that (laugh) that makes sense to me at least. Unfortunately, we have no music to play. Lyssel still can’t get any music off my old SynthTech X, so that’s off the table. And Jo wouldn’t let me sing since, apparently, “singing doesn’t count as music-” which it does! It totally does! Thanks, Jo.

Ah, sorry I’m… I’m getting off track. Where was I? Right, anyway, I apologize for the lack of music. I do have something else planned for tonight’s broadcast though:

A story.

Cause you see, the station can… show me things? And I figured I could share them with you. All I have to do is connect to Arcadia.

[TWO CLICKS AS KASS PLUGS INTO ARCADIA.]

There is a saying in Talsoria, whispered in dark alleyways; blared on neon signs: Keep up with the times, or be left behind.

Talsoria is overrun with technology; bathed in bright lights and evolving tech woven into every nook and cranny. Corporations preside over everything, even the government. People live in the intoxicating mix of aesthetics, bright lights, fashion, enhancement, trends, tech- they want it all… and they want more. They always want more.

On the surface, it’s all high tech; high life. You see, most people thrive there, in their bubbles, and if you go along with that, like they want you too-- like you’re expected to-- you wouldn’t know anything different. Below the surface, however, is a dark truth. Those who dare to step outside the illusion that everyone else lives in will find themselves swept under and left behind in the bygone era of yesterday. They fail to upgrade. They fall between the cracks of this place, and are left to rot with the rest of the things the consumers throw away as they move on to the next new product.

And yet, even in the dark corners of the streets, there are people who won’t accept that. Those at the lowest of the low will find ways to keep living.

Take Lux, for example. A young lady who lives in The Nexus, one of Talsoria’s cities; she scrapes by each day scavenging and reselling old tech, selling her finds to smugglers. When every day brings some new piece of technology, the current ones will inevitably be tossed in the trash. And that’s where Lux comes in; taking these washed out devices and products for her own purposes. For her, the value and use outweighs the aesthetics.

Now, this kind of thing is classified as illegal in Talsoria, but Lux doesn’t care about that. Above all else, she only cares about survival and getting from one day to the next.

Um, hang on a moment. Arcadia, what is it you want me to-

BEGINNING OF SEGMENT

[A CITY STREET IN TALSORIA.]

ADVERTISEMENT. Children are the seeds of the future! Plant them in a place where they will grow. Plant them into the arms of the Pomegranate Society.

MAILMAN. Afternoon Nikki! You camping here now?

NIKKI. Not for long. You know I like to move around.

MAILMAN. (laugh) Don’t I ever. I suppose I’ll be seeing you on the East Side come two days?

NIKKI. Only if you’re working the East Side, Mel.

MAILMAN. I’ll see what I can do.

[]

MEMORIE. I’m telling you, she’s a legend! The Prince can’t have just died, she always had something up her sleeve. I mean, think about it. Stitch told us that he saw a story a couple months after she disappeared that someone had seen her. And after that sure, people might have hopped on the conspiracy train, but when he showed us that picture? It looked exactly like The Prince!

NIKKI. Hey, what are you yappin about over there?

MEMORIE. Oh! Uhh… (to faer comm) hold on, I gotta go.

[THERE’S A BEEP WHEN FAE TURN IT OFF.]

NIKKI. Get over here. You shouldn’t be talking about that stuff out in the open, do you know how dangerous that is?

MEMORIE. Yeah! Yeah of course I do.

NIKKI. Then you’d better have a good reason for shouting about dead revolutionaries.

MEMORIE. I wasn’t shouting. But I’m looking for someone!

NIKKI. Looking for trouble, more like.

MEMORIE. That too, but later. I’m trying to find… hey, what do you know about the revolution? I hear it’s still up an running even though it kinda took a hit after The Prince and Ka--

NIKKI. (interrupting) Everyone knows things about the revolution. It’s dead. So you’d best be keeping your nose out of where it doesn’t belong.

MEMORIE. That sounds like something a revolutionary would say.

NIKKI. I’m no revolutionary. I’m a homeless old woman, and you’re either a brave kid or an incredibly stupid one.

MEMORIE. (sarcastic) Haven’t heard that before.

NIKKI. Well get it in your mind. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes forward, is my advice.

MEMORIE. Fine. Don’t need your advice anyway. You’re clearly not who I’m looking for.

[FAER FOOTSTEPS FADE OFF.]

NIKKI. Remember what I said! Keep out of it! (quieter) It’s not a place for a kid.

END OF SEGMENT

KASS. Wait. The revolution? And… Nikki why… (clears throat) Ah, sorry. Sometimes Arcadia will show me things out of the blue, when she wants me to… see something. I’m not sure what they were talking about, but that just happens. Now where was I…?

Today, Lux is at it again; conducting another harvest of parts, rooting through tossed away items deemed as “worthless” and “out of touch.” She travels the dark and dirty backstreets she knows all too well, the places the neon lights won’t bother to touch, in order to reach her destination.

She travels to the Wastebin; one of the city’s trash heaps where old discarded technology is thrown away. But these places are gold mines to her, despite scavenging being illegal on all fronts. The Wastebin has what she needs, and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. She’s used to stealing, used to working alone. Not like there’s a choice when the city leaves you behind.

Arriving at the Wastebin, Lux sets about scouting the area. She has a routine for these jobs. First: scout the area for possible complications. Second: take down any security cameras around the perimeter. Third: make sure there are available escape routes. And fourth: cut the chain-link fence.

She cuts through with ease and descends into the heaps of the thrown away items. She grabs as much as she can, however much can be shoved into her backpack and still carry. Phones, electronic watches, A.I. and cybernetic parts. Headphones, a SynthTech- anything that exists as part of Talsoria’s empire of technology and high life.

Lux makes to leave, but as she does, she accidentally sets off a perimeter alarm. She swears under her breath- she could have sworn she checked. They must have beefed up security after her last run. Lux hurries her pace along, hearing the sound of alarms and shouts of people behind her. She throws down a handmade smoke bomb to confuse her pursuers, and have cover. As much as she would love to argue about how stupid it is that re-purposing technology is labeled as a crime, she can’t afford let them catch her.

In the end, Lux manages to get away with her finds, lifting a manhole cover and slipping into the tunnels to make her getaway. Sewer tunnels can be quite… messy, but they’re useful if you need a quick escape. Using a map, she follows an old trail until finally feeling like she’s put a good distance between herself and the Wastebin. Lux goes above ground once more, still sticking to the back alleys, ignoring whatever passerby crosses her path.

Oh, one moment. I think Arcadia wants to show me something again-

BEGINNING OF SEGMENT

[MEMORIE IS WALKING DOWN A SUBURBAN SIDEWALK ON FAER WAY HOME, TALKING INTO FAER COMM.]

MEMORIE. --this old lady? I dunno she seemed fine, just mad at me for talking about The Prince out loud. I think she’s involved though. (pause, someone is responding but we can’t hear them) Yeah, I mean, she didn’t report me to anyone and she seemed more like a tough love type than a condescending type. (pause) I dunno. We can talk about it later, I just got home. (pause) You too! See ya.

[A BEEP AS THE COMM TURNS OFF. THE DOOR SLIDES OPEN WITH A HISS AS FAE WALK IN, AND WE HEAR SOMA AND E.R.I.S. IN THE MIDDLE OF A ‘CONVERSATION.’]

SOMA. --fae probably just got sidetracked on faer way back home.

E.R.I.S. -.-- . ...

SOMA. I’m sure--

MEMORIE. Soma, E.R.I.S. I’m home!

SOMA. Memorie! What took you so long?

E.R.I.S. (at the same time) .... . .-.. .-.. ---

MEMORIE. Sorry, I got stopped by some old lady. Nothing too eventful.

SOMA. Oh, was she nice?

MEMORIE. Hardly. She heard me talking about the revolution and told me to keep my nose out of it.

SOMA. Do you think she’s a part of it?

[MAKING SOMETHING IN THE KITCHEN.]

MEMORIE. (hums) Maybe? But she wasn’t very helpful.

[A CHAIR SCOOTS OUT AS SOMA SITS DOWN. THE SINK RUNS.]

SOMA. Well, it’s a start right?

MEMORIE. (caring) Yeah bud, it’s a start. (pause) Hey E.R.I.S?

E.R.I.S. ..--..

MEMORIE. Can you put my comm in my room for me? I’m gonna make dinner.

E.R.I.S. --- -.-

MEMORIE. Thanks. Soma, what do you want to eat?

END OF SEGMENT

KASS. Okay, now that that’s done with...

Lux returns to her home, a dull and dreary looking apartment on the 5th floor of a building, and begins to look over what she managed to pull; evaluating and cleaning as she goes. She then starts to build a few items with what she gathered to fill a couple requests from clients. This is as much of an important part of her work as the actual scavenging. Anything she didn’t deem worthy to sell, or didn’t use for crafting, she could always use for herself at least.

An alert on a worn pager pulls Lux from her cleaning and she looks at the message. After gathering up some things she had set aside and packs them up to take them to the waypoint. Unfortunately for Lux, her usual client she’s set out to meet won’t be there today, but Prometheus said xey would be sending someone in xeir stead. Lux wishes this wasn’t the case, but whatever; as long as whoever xe sent would still pay. She doesn’t mind working with smugglers, since the pay is good, but snags like this could be… annoying.

She arrives at the drop point by motorbike, a truck stop near the edge of the city, and begins to look for her contact. Easier said than done since it’s not Prometheus, but xey sent her a photo of who would be meeting her. Basic looking guy; they’ll be taking this stuff off to Hardizan. As long as this person doesn’t try anything, this should be a relatively easy transaction.

However, sounds of some commotion catches Lux’s attention as she wanders near some transport trucks. Keeping close to the vehicle, she peeks down between the trucks and sees the source.

From what she can tell it looks like a few of the so-called “authorities” have arrested someone- and oh. Not just anyone. Lux recognizes the person as the same one in the photo. Either this person was a novice at smuggling, or an idiot, but that doesn’t matter, because her contact has been arrested. The transaction has been compromised. She has to leave now.

Lux backs away as quickly and as carefully as she can, before she can be noticed, or worse; before her contact sees her and tries to sell her out. She falls back into the shadows and retreats to her waiting motorbike.

Someone calls out as she starts up the engine, but by the time anyone could really notice, Lux is off and into the night. She needs to lay low for now… and see about getting a new smuggler to deal with.

Well, that’s it. That’s the story. (quieter) That wasn’t too bad. Sometimes you gotta make do with what you’ve got, like Lux does, I guess. And maybe she’s still out there somewhere, doing just that; scavenging and gathering the forgotten… and discarded.

It’s too bad we still can’t get the SynthTechX to work, or at least pull music from it. Maybe next time, if Lyssel can get it to work.

Well um, until then. Stay safe, stay moving, and stick close.

You've been listening to Station Arcadia.

[THEME MUSIC.]

C.V.V.M. Station Arcadia is a podcast by Metal Steve Productions, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It is produced by Eliana Esdi and C.V.V.M., and directed by Tovah Brantner. It is edited by Eliana Esdi and J. R. Steele, with soundscaping by Becker Hoang and music by Theo Goodwin. Today’s episode was written by Shay Topaz and featured Jade Virginia as Kass, Ellison Cardenas as Memorie, Laurent JL Hall as Nikki, F. A. Calkins as Soma, J. R. Steele as ERIS, Haley Willis as the Mailman, and Becker Hoang as a Talsorian Advertiser.

Join us on twitter and tumblr, @stationarcadia, for more content. Check out our website, stationarcadia.com for a transcript of this episode as well as information on the cast and crew.

Today’s fun history fact of the week: Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror of the Ottoman Empire once formed a battle strategy that involved getting around a naval barrier by pulling all of his ships over land - and it worked.

Season 1