Episode 4: The Man in Black, The Woman in a Rugby Polo

Bee:

It’s The Beacon.

Music: While Beasts Wander by Logan Nickelson.

Setting: Hallway.

Music: The Plans We Make by Logan Nickelson.

Bee:

Hello everyone, this is The Beacon, a podcast where I have superpowers or magic or something and I’m trying to find other people who have them too.  In this particular episode, I’m also trying to not look like a total weirdo who talks into a recorder in front of the cafeteria, even though that’s, um…y’know, totally what I’m doing right now.  Whoops.

Anyway, the show’s starting off a little different today because, after weeks of searching, I have finally made contact with two magic people who I’m like 90% sure are the real deal!  I’ve only talked to them online so far, but they seemed to know what they were talking about so, I think they’re good?  Maybe? Either way, I’m supposed to be meeting both of them today to talk about, like, everything.

I admit I’m a little nervous since they’re both total strangers.  But I literally can’t not be excited about it either!  I get to meet two actual other magic people, right here, on campus, after I was starting to think I was alone in all this.  I know I try to say it every week, that I’m not alone, but sheesh, that was starting to get a little nerve-racking.

I just hope this meeting goes well.  And I hope we find each other easily.  I mean, I do have their pictures from the school directory, but still, it must be kind of awkward to just walk up to a total stranger and be like—

Music: Stops.

Capy:

Hey, are you the girl with the magic show?

Bee:

I-I…yes?  That’s…me?

Capy:

Hey, it's cool if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m just supposed to be meeting someone here and I’m not quite sure what she looks like.

Bee:

Oh, no, tha-that’s definitely me.  I’m sorry, I just wasn’t expecting you to be so, um...so tall!  I mean, I mean, for a…for a—

Capy:

For a girl?  Yeah, I get that a lot.

Bee:

For a person, really.  Oh, um, I’m sorry if that sounded weird.  

Capy:

It’s no problem, man.  I’ve always thought it was pretty great to be this tall.  After all, you don’t get to be captain of the rugby team at 5 foot nothing.

Bee:

You…play rugby?  That’s cool! I didn’t know we had a rugby team.

Capy:

Hell yeah we do!  I mean, not officially, like the football team, but we’re still way more official than those posers on the disc golf team.

Bee:

Oh, uh, my…roommate is on the disc golf team.

Capy:

Really?  Sorry your roommate’s such a poser then.

Bee:

Uhhh…

Capy:

I’m just kidding, just kidding.  We’re all good.

Bee:

Oh, heh, okay then.  That’s, um…good to hear.  Um, hey, just to clarify, you are the person who messaged my podcast twitter, right?  About the…uh…the…

Capy:

The superpowers thing?  Yep, that’s me!

Bee:

Okay, good, good, good.  Sorry, I’ve just been totally frazzled about talking to the right people today.

Capy:

No way, really?  You seemed totally put together.

Bee:

Um, well um, well, heheh, so, we’re just waiting for one more person here and then we can go get the uh…food…meal...thing.

Capy:

Sweet.  I had lunch, like, three hours ago and I’m already starving.  Gotta stay pumped up for practice, you know? Oh, hey, is that the guy coming now?

Bee:

Ummm, him?  In the black?  All the black?

Capy:

Yeah, that guy.

Bee:

Um, I don’t think…so?  Our guy looked a lot different in his directory photo and, um…oh, he’s still coming.  He’s looking right at us. Oh, god.

Sound Effect: Clacking footsteps approach.

Bee:

Uhhh…

Capy:

Hey there!  Are you here for the magic meeting?

Newt:

What’s the codename?

Capy:

What?

Newt:

I said, what’s the codename that was used to sign the email I was contacted with?

Bee:

I, uh—Bee.  That was—that’s me.

Newt:

…Okay then.

Capy:

Cool!  We’re all here now.  So, hey there, my name’s—

Newt:

You know she has to bleep out all our real names, right?  So there’s not much point in introducing yourself now.

Capy:

Well, I figured at least we could know.

Newt:

I don’t see the point.  Let’s get into the caf and talk then.  Make sense, Bee?

Bee:

Uh, right.  Yeah. Let’s, uh, let’s go...food.

Setting Change: Cafeteria

Sound Effect: Tray on table.

Capy:

Hey Gothika, that really all you’re getting?  A small mug of leaf juice?

Sound Effect: Mug on table.

Newt:

You can just call it tea and save yourself the breath, you know.  Besides, who gets a full lunch at 3 p.m.?

Capy:

What, am I just supposed to not eat if I’m hungry?

Bee:

Um, hey, so uh, do you guys think we could discuss this whole magic…powers…thing?

Capy:

I mean, sure.  Where d’you wanna start?

Bee:

Uhh, first? Hoo, that’s a lot to…hmm…oh, right!  Codenames! I asked both of you to come up with codenames so I don’t have to bleep your real names all the time.  What did you come up with? And remember, they have to be animal themed.

Newt:

Why?

Bee:

Well, I mean, we don’t want anyone figuring out our real identities, right?

Newt:

No, I meant, why do they have to be animal themed?

Bee:

Well, I…I thought it’d be cute.

Capy:

I already got mine picked out.  I wanna be Captain Capybara.

Newt:

Captain?

Bee:

…Capybara?

Capy:

You know, those giant things that look like someone bred a beaver with a horse?  Those guys are chill as fuck. Everybody loves those guys. So I wanna be Capybara.

Bee:

Well, I guess they are kind of…charming, in their own way.  Do you mind though if we just call you Capy for short?

Capy:

Go for it, man!

Newt:

You know we’re also not superheroes, right?

Bee:

So, what do you want your name to be, um, uh, you?

Newt:

…Newt.

Bee:

O...okay.  Just…Newt?

Newt:

Yeah.  Newt.

Bee:

Well, okay then.  Capy and Newt and Bee.  Quite the little band we have here.

Actor Sound: Bee laughs nervously.

Bee:

Um, uh, um...So, um, I think we all know why we’re here today, and that is to discuss the fact that we are all in possession of some strange…seemingly inexplicable…kind of......magic.

Capy:

Wait, you guys have magi—nah, I’m just kidding.  Go on.

Bee:

Ah...ha.  Right, so, I guess my question for you guys would be…how did you find me?  I’ve been trying to figure out what works in attracting attention.

Capy:

Well, I listen to a lot of podcasts to help keep the workouts interesting.  Like, I give everything I see with a half-decent cover a listen, and yours was like, a recommendation under a recommendation of something recommended under Wolf-359.  Or something.

Bee:

Okay, so…algorithms and marketing and more wolves.  Neat.  What about you, Newt?

Newt:

I spend a lot of time on odd corners of the internet looking for new and different creators.  I saw your posts pleading for new listeners on one of my regular sites. I was willing to at least give you a review to help you improve your craft until I realized what you were discussing was not only real, but similar to something I had experienced as well.

Bee:

Well, then, I guess, that’s the next question—how did you guys figure out you had powers?  And when?

Capy:

So, funny story—

Newt:

I’ve had my powers for eight months.

Bee:

What?  Eight months?

Capy:

Dude, what gives?  I was talking.

Newt:

You take too long.

Capy:

Doesn’t mean you can just cut me off.

Bee:

I’m sorry, but eight months?  What—how have you not found any more of us?  Did you just have really bad luck?

Newt:

It didn’t seem important at the time.

Bee:

No, no, hold on there, but why—

Capy:

So funny story!  I was at an away game with my girls, score tied, down to the wire on time, and I had the ball.  I ran down the field, totally determined to score, I blew off like six tackles like they were paper dolls, and then I ran straight into the goalpost and knocked it over.

Bee:

Oh my god.  Really?

Capy:

Yeah-hah!  And at the time, I just played it off like it was just some really bad, outdated equipment, because honestly I didn’t think it could be anything else and anyway, that was at [BLEEP] University’s field and their fields suck.  But after that, I was able to make myself lift more and push harder, for like no other reason. And I just figured, well, I must have superpowers now.

Newt:

Sure.  That’s the logical conclusion anyone would make.  I can bench a little more, so obviously, I’m a superhero.

Capy:

Dude, you have magic powers too, so what are you even talking about?  Besides, it wasn’t just a few extra pounds.  It was hundreds more.  No sweat.  My spotter couldn’t believe it.  She thought they must have been trick weights or something, but when I tried it on my own, I couldn’t even fit enough weights on the bar to keep me from lifting them.

Bee:

That—that’s so cool, Capy!  But how exactly did you do it?

Capy:

How do you think?  Superpowers, duh!

Bee:

No, I mean, how’d you get your power to work like that?  I’ve only been able to get my power to work through fire consistently, but I did make an energy blast once, so I feel like there might be more range to them.  Like maybe an elemental assortment of powers? I’m guessing with the goalpost, you accidentally moved the earth at the base to knock it over, but I don’t get how you were able to levitate the metal in your weights.  Is that just a more advanced skill, do you think?

Capy:

Uh, slow your roll there.  What’re you talking about? I’m not levitating shit.  I’m just lifting it. You know, with my super muscles?

Actor Sound: Capy makes two smooching noises at her flexed biceps.

Newt:

Oh, wonderful.  And now we’re being treated to the gun show.

Bee:

Wait...wait, so do you have like…super strength?

Capy:

Yep!

Bee:

You don’t control the elements?

Capy:

Elements?  What, like, helium?  No, I cannot control helium.

Newt:

She means the classical elements—earth, water, air, fire.  And energy, in some traditions.

Bee:

Newt, do you have them too then—any of the elements?  Or do you have something like Capy?

Newt:

Neither.  My power is more complex than either of yours.

Capy:

Yeah, says you.

Newt:

You can lift big things.  I can-

Bee:

Wait, so we all have different powers here?  Our powers come in different flavors?

Capy:

I mean, sounds like it.

Newt:

If you want to phrase it like that.

Bee:

Okay.  Okay, okay.  Change of plans.  We are having a power practice session right now.  

Setting Change: Archery Field of Dreams.

Bee:

Power practice recording session number five.  Super new and cool stuff going on today. We’ve got two—count ‘em—two brand new forms of powers here to test out from my two new test subjects, Capy and Newt.  I’m, um, I’m not exactly sure where this session is going to go. I think we might just mess around a little and, um—

Capy:

Hey Bee!  Can I pick up this thing yet?

Bee:

Wha—uh—hold on a bit!  We need an intro segment so the listeners know what’s going on!

Capy:

They can figure it out!  Just get over here so the sound’s good!

Bee:

Um, okay.  Just, um—Newt, are you coming?

Newt:

I’m good over here.

Sound Effect: Rushing through grass.

Bee:

Okay, um, just to set the scene a bit, I am here with Capy, beyond the archery field of dreams, and we are both here standing beside this, uh, large boulder.  It’s about, uh, four feet tall, and, uh, how much would you guess it weighs, Capy?

Capy:

I dunno.  Maybe…five or six hundred pounds?

Bee:

Hear that listeners?  Five or six hundred pounds.  And what are you going to do with this five to six hundred pound rock?

Sound Effect: Knuckles cracking.

Capy:

I’m gonna pick it up and throw it.

Bee:

Excellent!  Fantastic! Please, go ahead!

Capy:

Heheh, alright.  Watch yourself now, Bee.

Distance/Volume: Bee gets close up on the mic, golf commentator style.

Actor Sound: Capy begins to grunt and strain.

Sound Effect: Slight sounds of moving earth.

Bee:

Okay, Capy is now crouching by the boulder.  She’s got her hands on it. She’s beginning to lift and…still lifting…She’s, um….pretty red in the face and...still trying to lift it...and, um...

Distance/Volume: Bee calls out loudly.

Bee:

Capy, do you, um, need a little help?

Actor Sound: Capy grunts and strains in addition to her lines.

Capy:

No…I got this…it’s just…Phew!  It is really stuck in there!  Don’t worry though, I can get it!  Hnnngh!

Bee:

Well, okay.  I’ll just leave it to you and, uh, go talk to Newt for a bit.

Sound Effect: Hurrying away through grass.

Actor Sound: Capy continues to provide sporadic grunts and straining noises.

Distance/Volume: Capy strains from afar.

Bee:

Um, hey, Newwwwt?  Do you, um…do you think Capy actually has powers?

Newt:

How would I know?  I don’t know her any more than you do.

Bee:

Okay, but…you think she does, right?  You think that we haven’t just made a terrible mistake by telling her all this and revealing ourselves to a non-powered person and…um, hey, Newt?  You definitely have powers too, right?

Newt:

That’s why I’m spending my afternoon in a field with you and—

Distance/Volume: Capy calls out from a distance.

Capy:

Almost got it!

Newt:

…Yeah.  I don’t do that for nothing.

Bee:

Um, okay, do you think you could show me a little of it, like, um...now?  Just so I can be suuuure?

Actor Sound: Newt sighs in resignation.

Newt:

Do you have a pen and paper?

Bee:

What?

Newt:

In that bag of yours.  You seem like the over-prepared type with three notebooks, 12 pens, snacks, tissues, and painkillers on hand at all times.

Sound Effect: Rustling through over-stuffed bag.

Bee:

Well, um, yes, but—

Newt:

Get back to me in a minute.

Bee:

O…kay?  Well, listeners, just to clarify, Newt is now sitting on the grass, um, drawing in my notebook.  For some reason. And meanwhile, Capy is—Capy! How’re you—

Capy:

Hiiiyaagh!

Sound Effect: Boulder pulled out of earth.

Bee:

Ho…ly…CRAP.  She—! Capy!

Actor Sound: Capy has a few heavy breaths.

Capy:

Ahh, there we go.  Phew! That was really stuck in there!

Bee:

Oh my…Listeners, Capy has successfully lifted the boulder and it is even more massive that it looked.  There must have been another two or three feet of rock in the ground and she’s just clutching it to her chest now like it’s nothing.

Capy:

Well, heh, not nothing.  More like a big dog. But still pretty cool, right?

Bee:

That is ridiculously cool!  I can hardly believe it!  You really can do the magic thing!  I’m really not alone in this!

Capy:

What?

Bee:

Nothing!  Um, is there anything else big around here you can, uh, pick up?

Capy:

Sure!  Just let me get rid of this—

Actor Sound: Capy grunts with the effort of tossing something heavy.

Sound Effect: Boulder landing heavily on ground.

Bee:

A-and she has just thrown the boulder like, twenty feet away!  And now she’s heading toward the treeline, probably for a fallen tree and—Newt, this is incredible!  Are you…Oh.

Sound Effect: Art crinkle tinkles.

Bee:

Listeners, Newt is…I’m not exactly sure how to describe what he’s doing.  He’s still drawing, but there’s…something coming out of the paper. It looks like the lines he must be sketching, but in 3D, and it’s coming out much bigger than the paper itself.  It’s—it’s almost-it looks like…hooved feet? Capy, are you seeing this? Whoa!

Sound Effect: Heavy object tossed from hand to hand.

Capy:

Check it out, Bee!  Juggling!

Actor Sound: Bee laughs joyfully.

Bee:

Oh my god.  Capy has found more rocks—head-sized this time, but no doubt still impressively heavy—and is juggling them flawlessly as if they were mere wiffle balls!  Capy, that’s awesome!

Capy:

I know, right?

Bee:

And Newt—oh!  Newt now has what appears to be a full-sized sketch of a deer standing beside him.  It’s like, the outline and the idea of a deer, like—like a wire sculpture that’s been animated, but the wire is just the sketch lines.  It’s—it’s beautiful and strange and—and Newt, how did you do this?

Newt:

It’s just my power.  I can make the things I create come to life.  Temporarily.

Bee:

That’s—that’s amazing.

Newt:

Well…thanks.  It's a shame the drawings always disappear when they leave the page though.  Lost a lot of good sketches this way.

Bee:

But this has to be worth so much more than sketches!  This is all stuff that shouldn’t be possible! You both have such incredible powers.

Capy:

How about you, Bee?  Your stuff sounded pretty cool when you talked about it on the show.

Bee:

Oh, my fire stuff?  

Sound Effect: Flame on.  

Bee:

It’s  okay, I guess, but I still feel like I don’t own it very well.  

Sound Effect: Flame off.

Bee:

I’ve been trying to master the fire and learn to do more with it, but it always seems so dangerous that I don’t ever want to—

Capy:

Hey!  Think fast!

Bee:

Ahhh!

Sound Effect: Object whipped forward quickly.

Sound Effect: Loud, brittle crunch.

Newt:

What the hell?

Capy:

Whoops.  Sorry, dude.

Newt:

What were you thinking, throwing that?  You could’ve seriously hurt us. You were lucky Bee ducked and you hit the deer instead, but that alone’s got me pissed off!

Bee:

Wha—where’d the deer go?

Newt:

It got hit with the rock and broke.  Crumbled and blew away. That’s what they do when I tell them to disappear or when idiots like her throw giant rocks at them!

Capy:

Hey, don’t blame me if your sketchy-ass deer can’t take it!  Besides, I thought Bee could block it or blast it. I just thought we were all messing around with our powers here!

Newt:

That doesn’t mean she can stop a boulder speeding at her head on the fly, you dunce.

Capy:

Oh, it was hardly a boulder.  And stop calling me stupid, I am not—

Bee:

Guys, guys, please don’t fight over this!  I’m fine. I’m fine. No harm, no foul. Right?

Actor Sound: Capy snorts in disbelief.

Newt:

Yeah.  Right.

Bee:

So maybe Capy was a little too gung-ho, but maybe she has a point too!  I mean, we all should be ready for a sudden attack, right?

Newt:

...Why would we need to be ready for that?

Bee:

So…so we’ll be ready to fight the—the wolf-lizard thing?

Capy:

Scuse me, huh?

Bee:

The—the monster thing that attacked me?  That attacked—did you hear about that wild animal attack on campus?  I think that was the same monster.

Newt:

Yeah, I got that part.  But did you say you expect us to fight this thing?

Bee:

I…I mean…I was hoping—

Newt:

Bee, what chance do you think some inexperienced college students have in a real fight against a monster?  And why should we have to risk our lives to fight it in the first place?

Capy:

Yeah, like, seriously.  Just because I’m strong enough to wrestle a lion doesn’t mean I’m gonna go stick my hand down one’s throat.

Bee:

No, but, we’re the only ones who really know what it is!  And we have the powers. And there’s three of us now! Surely—there must be a reason for us all being together like this!  There has to be a connection!

Newt:

There really doesn’t.  Not everything is connected.

Capy:

Yeaaahhhh…I don’t know about y’all, but I’m pretty sure the only reason I have my power is to have it.  So, if you guys wanna hang out sometime, that’s cool, but fighting monsters is pretty squarely off the table for me.

Bee:

Capy—

Newt:

I hate to agree, but I think she’s right.  We are not obligated to fight this monster simply because we have these powers.

Bee:

Newt—

Capy:

Ah, shoot.  I’ve gotta run.  I’ve got practice soon, and it doesn’t look good if the captain’s late.  But hey, hit me up later if you wanna hang out, okay?

Sound Effect: Hurrying away through grass.

Newt:

I’m…leaving, too.  Today, has certainly been an…experience, but not one I’m sure I want to repeat.  Good-bye, Bee.

Sound Effect: Walking away through grass slowly.

Distance/Volume: Bee speaks quietly.

Bee:

Please don’t leave...

Setting Change: Dorm room.

Bee:

So, as you probably heard this episode, I had my first contact with other people with powers in real life, and it…it did not go well!  They, apparently, were not interested in the same things as me, when it comes to these powers. They hardly even seemed to want to know each other, even though, as far as we know, we could be some of the only of our kind in the world!

So, on one hand, I finally got irrefutable proof for myself that there really are other people out there like me.  But I also learned that...apparently that’s not enough to make us come together.

Actor Sound: Bee sighs.

Bee:

I don’t know what I’m going to do about Newt and Capy.  For now, I’m just going to try to take my mind off them.  I actually have a few more submissions to the email account now, so I think I’ll just start going through those and—

Silent beat.

Music: While Beasts Wander by Logan Nickelson.

Bee:

There’s a chat window open here, and some messages that say, “I’m sorry I ran…please forgive me…I really want to talk to you again…please, bee?”

Silent beat.

Bee:

…Fox?

Credits, read by Claudia Elvidge:

The Beacon is written and produced by Claudia Elvidge.  The voice of Capy is Alicia Atkins. The voice of Newt is Robert Baulderstone.  For more information, visit thebeaconpodcast.com or follow us on Twitter @thebeaconpod.

Want another audio drama to hold you over till our next episode?  Try Duggan Hill. It’s a slow-burn horror that explores just how far someone will go to protect the people and places they love.  We think you’ll like it.