[door creaks open. Sound of footsteps trying to be quiet.]
JENNA: Going somewhere?
ELLIE: Just… uh… getting a glass of water?
JENNA: Pem told me, Ellie.
ELLIE: Yeah? And what are you gonna do? Report us?
JENNA: Ellie, just… stop and think about this for a minute, okay? What’s your best case scenario here? You manage to hunt down this creature. Who’s gonna get the credit for it? A bunch of popular, powerful upperclassmen or you? And the worst case scenario is you die, and the most likely case is you get caught. And let’s face it, if they catch a bunch of valuable, high-powered mages and you, who's going to get expelled?
ELLIE: Glad to know even you don’t think I’m valuable.
JENNA: That’s not what I meant, Ellie.
ELLIE: Just shut up, Jenna, okay. You want to report us to Ms. Harper fine. Otherwise, get out of my way.
[ELLIE pushes JENNA out of her way. JENNA follows her out the door.]
JENNA: Ellie, please!
LUCAS: Shhh! Jenna, you want to get us all caught?
JENNA: Maybe that wouldn’t be the worst thing!
LUCAS: *sigh* I really wanted you on our side for this, Jenna.
[JENNA starts to scream but it’s muffled by Lucas’s hand. We hear her struggle and lightning magic charging. Then we hear SUSAN giggling, followed by a new magical sound, as vines wrap around Jenna, constricting her.]
LUCAS: Thanks Susan. Not too tight, we don’t want to hurt her.
SUSAN: Don’t worry about that. The spores should put her to sleep pretty quickly, then the rest of the vines will shrivel up. By the time she wakes up, we’ll be long gone. But Mr. McCray is going to wake up a lot sooner, cause obviously I couldn’t dose him so invasively, and the screaming and the zapping probably didn’t help matters, so we have to get moving now.
LUCAS: Ellie, you coming?
ELLIE: (a little shocked by the violence) Yeah, I’m in.
[Electromancy theme plays]
NARRATOR: Episode 9- Practical Applications of Extraplanar Zoology, Part II. Be advised: This episode contains fantasy violence and electrocution.
DEVON: *telepathically* This is weird.
BRYNN: *telepathically* Which part?
DEVON: *telepathically* The part where we’re wandering through the forbidden tunnels monster hunting with my history teacher.
BRYNN: *telepathically* Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball.
DEVON: So, do we have a way of tracking this thing, or are we just wandering until we run into it?
LEONARD: I have theories about where it might go. And I know these tunnels fairly well.
BRYNN: Want to share those theories with the rest of us?
LEONARD: There’s got to be a reason it fled down here. Is it afraid of the concentration of mages above ground? Does it know it could take any one of us on its own terms, but fear facing all of us at once? Or is there, simply, something it wants down here?
DEVON: I thought these were maintenance tunnels.
LEONARD: They are now. Originally built as escape tunnels. Back when the mages were less powerful and still feared an uprising from the townspeople.
BRYNN: Mages were afraid of mundanes?
LEONARD: Oh yes. When the school was just a handful of wizards and their apprentices. They knew they’d be blamed for every little unusual thing. And they knew their magic could kill many, but not enough to stop a mob. So they built these tunnels in case they needed to run. And some believe they hid supply caches to further prepare for such an eventuality.
DEVON: I’m guessing you don’t mean canned food?
LEONARD: Close. Canned magic. Mana batteries. Of course it's always been just a rumor, but if the creature took down the wards by just absorbing their magic- maybe it can sense where the motherload is.
BRYNN: If these batteries are just a rumor, how do you know where you’re going?
LEONARD: Well, I am a history teacher. I make it a point to be well-versed in the history of this school, up to and including… rumors.
DEVON: If this thing absorbs magic, how am I supposed to hold it off with ice?
LEONARD: The creature isn’t immune to magic. It can only absorb magic in its transitional form. So if you’re careful, you should be fine.
DEVON: Translation for those of us who haven’t studied thaumaturgy?
LEONARD: You use magic to chill the air, pull the water vapor out of it, and create ice. The ice itself isn’t magical though. Once you’ve shaped it, it’s normal ice. No magic to absorb. You see?
DEVON: I don’t.
LEONARD: You just need to slow it down, Devon. Throw up walls between us and it. Work quickly, and try to have the magic done by the time it gets there.
BRYNN: Don’t you need line of sight to perform the banishing spell?
DEVON: It’s ice, it's translucent. I can try and leave a window.
LEONARD: Very good. Just focus on slowing it down, Devon. I shouldn’t need much time.
BRYNN: You ever done this before?
LEONARD: Done what?
BRYNN: Banished a creature from another realm?
LEONARD: Not precisely.
BRYNN: Then how do you know it won’t take long?
LEONARD: I’ve done a lot of reading on the subject.
DEVON: We’re going to die. We’re going to actually die tonight. Why did I let you talk me into this?
EZER: You made it.
LUCAS: We ran into a little trouble. But don’t worry, we took care of it.
DIALA: That’s not Donovan.
LUCAS: Jenna… wasn’t up for it.
EZER: So you brought this little girl?
LUCAS: I thought we could use a lookout. What about Galen?
EZER: Galen said he did his part organizing us and the creature probably doesn’t have enough of a brain for a telepath to mess with it. I think he’s just scared.
LUCAS: Ellie, you’ve met Ezer and Mel, I assume?
MEL: Hey, this is the girl who tried to fight me yesterday. I like her. She’s got spunk.
ELLIE: I didn’t try to-
[ice magic, plant magic, and kissing sounds]
SUSAN: Hey. Did you miss me?
DIALA: It’s been twelve hours, Susan.
SUSAN: That’s not an answer.
SUSAN: Ellie, you know my girlfriend?
ELLIE: I’ve, uh, seen her. I wouldn’t say I know-
DIALA: Nice to meet you. I didn’t catch your name.
ELLIE: It’s Ellie. I don’t think anyone ever actually, uh- said it-
SUSAN: I know she seems cold, but she’s actually a big teddy bear when you get to know her.
DIALA: Don’t listen to her. I’m terrifying.
EZER: Hey can we cool it with the cutesy stuff? We got a job to do.
DIALA: Oh we can “cool” any number of things hothead.
LUCAS: Everybody simmer down. I know we don’t all get along. But Ezer’s right. We’ve got a job to do. We find this thing, and we kick its ass. For Ari.
SUSAN: For Ari.
DIALA: Of course, first we have to find it. This tunnel network isn’t small.
SUSAN: No. But fortunately, it is overgrown with moss. Let’s see what that moss has to say for itself.
[The moss whispers ominously to Susan over the next two lines.]
MEL: (whispering) Is she actually talking to the moss?
LUCAS: (whispering) She’s an eleven. You get that many stripes, some weird stuff happens.
SUSAN: This way. Let’s go.
ELLIE: Wait! Do we have, like a strategy? Or a plan?
LUCAS: I already told you the plan, Ellie. We find it, and we kick its ass. We hit it with everything we’ve got before it can even register we’re there. You in, or you want to go home?
ELLIE: I’m in. 100 percent.
LUCAS: Good. Let’s go.
[another silent scene transition]
BRUCE: Uh.. ugh. Donovan. Wake up.
JENNA: Uh… what… Bruce?
BRUCE: Any idea what happened here? I think I dozed off and… I don’t doze off.
JENNA: Floramancer. Used some kinda sleep spores.
BRUCE: Tall? Very skinny arms? Constantly giggling?
BRUCE: Susan Lynn. Probably the most powerful student at this school who isn’t you. What’s she doing knocking us out?
JENNA: Lucas got a bunch of heavy hitters together to go after the creature.
BRUCE: That’s not good. That’s very… not good. I have to go.
JENNA: I’m coming with you!
BRUCE: The last thing we need is more students in the line of fire.
JENNA: You think you can stop them by yourself?
BRUCE: They won’t openly attack a teacher.
JENNA: They sort of already did.
BRUCE: That was different. Subtle, you know? Deniable. No way to know it was her.
JENNA: Well now you know.
BRUCE: I can’t be responsible if you get hurt.
JENNA: I can’t be responsible if Ellie gets hurt.
BRUCE: [beat] Ok. But you do exactly what I tell you to do and that includes running if I tell you to run. You understand?
JENNA: Got it.
BRUCE: Good. Now c’mon.
[back in the tunnels]
BRYNN: You sure you know where you’re going?
LEONARD: Relatively sure?
BRYNN: Okay, cause this junction is looking really familiar.
DEVON: There’s not a lot of variety in the scenery.
BRYNN: Yeah, but we passed that pile of crumbled bricks like half an hour ago.
LEONARD: I’m quite sure we didn’t.
BRYNN: *mocking his tone* I’m quite sure we did.
[the monster growls]
DEVON: Did you guys-
LEONARD: Yes, I think we all heard that. This way. Everyone know what you’re doing?
DEVON: Let’s hope.
[They run in the direction of the sound. The creature roars again.]
DEVON: Uh oh.
BRYNN: Devon, ice walls, now! Leonard, do the thing!
[Devon puts up ice walls and Leonard is struggling with the scroll. Tense music begins.]
DEVON: How’s that?
[The creature roars- ice shatters.]
DEVON: Not great I guess. Uh.
[More ice magic sounds as Leonard starts chanting in ancient language.]
DEVON: I can’t hold it for long!
BRYNN: You’re doing great! Uh, just for the sake of argument, let’s try… this!
DEVON: I don’t think it can see that Brynn.
BRYNN: Well, I didn’t think it would be able to but I had to try something! I feel so useless!
DEVON: Wait, look over there! Brynn are you making that!
BRYNN: That’s not me! It must be the gate to the other realm. Just hold it off a few more-
[footsteps as the upperclassmen arrive]
LUCAS: Gotcha. Everyone, full power now!
[Lightning magic, ice magic, fire magic, and plant magic]
BRYNN and DEVON: No, stop! You can’t! etc. (ad lib)
[Creature roars, and the roar modulates and increases in volume, kinda like the THX sound]
MEL: That’s not good.
EZER: Is it just me, or did it just get a lot bigger?
[Leonard is chanting frantically now but his chanting is interrupted as the creature lunges at him.]
SUSAN: Hey, you want magic? Get a load of this!
[Floramancy sounds - a huge vine whipping back and forth. The creature roars and turns.]
DIALA: Susan, no!
[She tries to form an ice wall to protect her girlfriend, but the creature just shatters it.]
MEL: We gotta get out of here!
LUCAS: Ellie, run.
ELLIE: I’m staying. I’m fight-
LUCAS: Ellie. Run!
[LUCAS screams a battle cry and runs at the creature, shooting little bolts of lightning.]
LUCAS: Pure magic. C’mon. Come and get it!
[He runs off shooting lightning bolts and the creature runs after him. Ellie runs to Leonard.]
ELLIE: Is he okay?
BRYNN: He’s breathing. How’s Susan?
DIALA: Alive. But she’s not waking up.
DEVON: It tried to drain both of them of their magic, like it did to Ari. He must have been trying to cast when it- [pause] look I have a plan okay. To stop it. Stop it for real.
DIALA: You want to tell us about it?
DEVON: I can’t. But, look, someone needs to go up to the school and get a healer.
ELLIE: I can do that.
DEVON: Okay, hurry. Diala, you have to stay here with them in case that thing comes back.
DIALA: What do I do if it comes back?
BRYNN: You’re a level nine ice mage Diala. Devon’s only a four and he was able to hold it for a while.
DEVON: Yeah before it ate a huge burst of magic and got big!
BRYNN: Make some barricades, protect them until the healer gets here. Apparently Devon has a plan.
DIALA: Got it.
[Devon and Brynn walk away]
BRYNN: *telepathically* Plan?
DEVON: *telepathically* I reached into Leonard’s mind while he was doing the banishing spell. Like you said.
DEVON: And I know where the mana battery is. It should have enough juice to recharge this scroll.
BRYNN: Do you know how to cast from a scroll?
DEVON: How hard can it be? Anyway I won’t be the one casting it. You will. I’m gonna use the mana battery to supercharge my ice magic and maybe hold it.
BRYNN: You really think that’ll work?
DEVON: You have a better idea?
[Elsewhere in the tunnels]
INVESTIGATOR: Mr. McCray. I thought I assigned you to guard the lightning mages, not bring one with you.
BRUCE: Look, we got a problem.
INVESTIGATOR: I assume you’re not referring to your insubordination?
BRUCE: I’m referring to the students who have decided to take matters into their own hands and go on a vigilante monster hunt. They knocked out me and Donovan here.
JENNA: Please, my friend is with them, she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she-
INVESTIGATOR: Thank you for alerting us. We’ll take it from here.
JENNA: No, wait!
BRUCE: You don’t understand. If they unleash a magical barrage against that thing and it is what I think it is, it will-
[footsteps overlap the last line]
MEL: Get really big and really scary?
EZER: Well it's a little late for that warning.
INVESTIGATOR: *sigh* How many students are down there?
MEL: Well, hmm, I dunno it’s kind hard to say-
EZER: It's not really you know a definite number you know? Um-
MEL: What makes you think I would know? You should be telling me that.
EZER: Who’s to really say? I mean, I guess there could be some. But I don’t know - what was the question?
INVESTIGATOR: [chanting] Veticar Mutica Jelessees. De Ua eh vego senoc. De Ua eh vego senac. How. Many?
INVESTIGATOR: Okay. **You three, go back to your dorms.** *regular voice* Mr. McCray. Katya. Our new priority is to get the students out of harm’s way. Then we will figure out what to do about the creature.
BRUCE: I’m gonna go hound form for this. I know most of these kids scents pretty well I think. Regular troublemakers.
INVESTIGATOR: Do what you need to do.
[BRUCE growls and sniffles, as he is now a large dog, like a bloodhound or a mastiff.]
DEVON: So, Leonard didn’t just want you to mask his movements from the other teachers.
BRYNN: Of course he didn’t. Umbramancy hides, photomancy reveals. That’s why it had to be me.
DEVON: There should be something on the other side of this wall.
BRYNN: I think we found our mana battery.
DEVON: Smaller than I expected.
BRYNN: I don’t suppose you also found how to recharge a scroll from a mana battery in his head?
DEVON: Nope. We’re on our own for that one.
BRYNN: Dammit, where’s Pem when you need them? They're good at this nerd stuff. Okay let's just pick it up and-
[lightning sound, followed by clanking from two sources.]
AUTOMATA: You are not authorized.
DEVON: Uh… there definitely wasn’t anything in Mr. Sumner’s mind about this.
AUTOMATA: You are not authorized. Return the battery. You are not authorized. Return the battery.
JENNA: *sing-songy* Going back to my dorm, going back to my dorm, gotta to go back to my- wait, why am I going back to my dorm? Ellie’s still down there. I have to. I have to go back.
[fast walking. other footsteps]
ELLIE: It’s just a little farther, I remember exactly how to get there even though the tunnels are really confusing and Susan only found it by talking to moss which, by the way, super weird, but also kind of cool- anyway, we’re almost- Jenna? What are you doing here?
JENNA: Ellie, thank the gods you’re safe.
ELLIE: I’m sorry I-
JENNA: Let’s worry about that later.
ELLIE: Yes. We have to get this healer to Susan and Professor Sumner.
JENNA: Well, can’t you just tell them where to go?
ELLIE: It’s confusing. I have to lead the way.
JENNA: Well then I’m going with you.
[Ice magic. Clanking sounds. Exciting music.]
DEVON: Brynn, you need to figure that out really quickly!
BRYNN: Sorry, no one left an instruction manual. We haven’t even covered scrolls yet in Thaumaturgy.
[more magic fighting sounds]
DEVON: I really can’t hold them off for long. I’m still pretty spent from earlier.
[lightning sound. The ice magic stops.]
AUTOMATON: Error. Error.
[clanking as one golem beats up the other.]
LUCAS: *out of breath* Hey guys. What’s going on?
BRYNN: How did you get away from that thing?
LUCAS: Found a hole it couldn’t squeeze through. No idea where it is now. What are you two doing down here?
BRYNN: Do you know anything about scrolls or mana batteries?
LUCAS: You know who’s good at that nerd stuff? Pem.
BRYNN: Yeah we know. Hindsight is 20/20. Look, we-
[We hear a dog running,then a bark followed by Bruce’s transformation sound.]
BRUCE: Tessek. Why am I not surprised to find you at the center of this… insurrection.
BRYNN: Believe it or not, Mr. McCray, I’m extremely peripheral to this insurrection. I’m only here on the instructions of Dr. Sumner.
BRUCE: Leonard? Really?
LUCAS: I did see Dr. Sumner down here a little while ago.
BRUCE: I didn’t ask you, Burns.
DEVON: Look, Mr. McCray, please give us detention or whatever once we’ve taken care of the creature, but for now we really need your help.
BRUCE: My help with what?
BRYNN: What do you know about mana batteries?
[The investigator’s ominous theme music starts.]
INVESTIGATOR: A giant ice wall.
MS HARPER: I can burn through it, but it will take a while.
INVESTIGATOR: Hmm. Should have kept one of those pyromancers with us. Well, get started.
INVESTIGATOR: Ms. Donovan. You broke my compulsion very quickly. Impressively quickly I might say. I wonder where you learned that.
ELLIE: DIALA! I’m here! I uh, I brought a healer!
HEALER: This young lady tells me there’s injured people beyond these walls?
[ice starts to melts away]
ELLIE: Tunnel, opening up! Let’s go!
INVESTIGATOR: Healer Tomas, go ahead. The rest of you stay here. This is getting entirely out of hand.
KATYA: Jenna was clearly deputized by Mr. McCray, and as for Ellie I think it’s obvious that-
INVESTIGATOR: Please don’t make excuses for the students, Katya. The fact is, they’re here now, and I can’t send them back without risking their lives even further. So-
[Ice shatters. Creature roars]
JENNA: Everyone through the tunnel. We have to protect those injured people.
INVESTIGATOR: I am the one in charge here. I will not allow more students to-
[lightning noise. The investigator cries out.]
JENNA: Oh shit. I’m in so much trouble.
KATYA Worry about it later. Let’s go!
[Footsteps running, over ice magic sounds and creature sounds.]
KATYA: Jenna, Ellie. We’ll hit the creature with a coordinated-
LEONARD: *raspy* No. You can’t use lightning magic against it. It’s too ephemeral. The magic stays in the charge. It will just make it stronger.
JENNA: I shot a magecorps soldier for no reason?
ELLIE: What do we do?
DIALA: You help Susan and professor Sumner out of here while I hold it off.
[Ice wall rises then immediately shatters. The creature roars again.]
JENNA: I don’t think you’re going to be able to hold it for long.
ELLIE: Oh no. This is it.
KATYA: I don’t see a lot of other options.
[We hear the sound of an elephant trumpeting and the trampling of enormous feet. The creature screams as it's thrown by a pair of massive tusks.]
JENNA: Where did a wooly mammoth come from?
DEVON: It’s what happens when you give a faunamancer a mana battery.
[BRYNN starts chanting in the ancient language.]
KATYA: What in the ten realms-
HEALER: Leonard, sit down. You’re not in any condition to-
LEONARD: Brynn has one semester of ancient under her belt, there’s no way she’s up for scroll-casting-
[BRYNN begans chanting more loudly and forcefully as the fight continues.]
HEALER: Judging from that, I think it's working.
LEONARD: She must have been paying more attention than I thought.
[The creature screams as its sucked into the vortex and banished back to its realm.]
[Silence. Faunamancer transformation sound.]
BRUCE: What a rush.
DIALA: It’s okay, babe. I’m here. I’m here. I never left your side.
LEONARD: Impressive, Ms. Tessek. Well done. I didn’t think you had it in you.
JENNA: I shot a-
KATYA: No one knows exactly who zapped the investigator. There were three lightning mages present.
JENNA: But I-
KATYA: NO ONE KNOWS. And it could have been an accident. Magic just… misfires sometimes.
INVESTIGATOR: Bravo. Well done. We beat back the beast. Everyone should go back to their dorms and get some sleep. I’m going to recommend weekly detentions for the rest of the semester for every student who was out of bed tonight. And tomorrow, we find out who summoned that thing, and why.
NARRATOR: Electromancy is written, produced and directed by Nathan Comstock. This episode was sound designed by Aemyn Connolly with music by Thomas Dwyer. It starred Azul Nova as Jenna, Austin Hendricks as Ellie, Aubrey Poppleton as Lucas, Leslie Gideon as Brynn, Tuesday Orion Ibert as Devon, Joe Kearney as Bruce, Zachary Robb as Dr. Leonard Sumner, Kira Apple as Ms. Harper, Ivuoma Hall as the Magecorps Investigator, Binja Zilhallirwa as Diala, Sterling Rae as Susan, Tal Minear as Mel, Alex Lameroux as Ezer, and Nathan Comstock as the Tomas the healer and the Automatons. You can find out more about us at www.electromancypod.com. We’ll be back with our season finale in 2 weeks, and stay tuned at the end of this episode for a trailer for another show you’ll love!
DEVON: *telepathically* Brynn?
DEVON: *I got another look into Leonard’s mind while his wards were down.*
DEVON: I know why he knew so much about the creature, Brynn. He summoned it in the first place.
Blankets rustle as Eulalie climbs out of “bed” (Alicia’s couch) and walks across carpet and vinyl toward the kitchen sink. There’s a faint tapping and scratching sound in the background that gets louder and more insistent as she approaches the sink. It sounds like a tree branch on the window, but it’s ACTUALLY a ghost. Eulalie grabs a glass from the cupboard near the sink, turns on the water, fills the glass, tapping and scratching growing more insistent all the while. She takes a long drink, sighs…
(sleepily) What’s making that sound? Must be a tre–– (screams)
SFX: Eulalie drops her water glass and it splashes and shatters. From the other end of the room, Alicia scrambles out of bed and comes running.
Eulalie? Eulalie, are you okay?!!
(breathing hard) There. The window. Do you see?
The window… the… There’s nothing there, Eulalie. What do you see?
There was a ghost. It was… (makes small sound)... it… It was screaming and scratching against the glass like–– like it was trying to dig its way out of its own coffin or something. I… You’re sure you don’t see anything?
Maybe it was just the tree, afterall…
The tree outside the window?
There’s not a tree outside this window.
And if you say you saw a ghost, there was probably a ghost.
SFX: The Way We Haunt Now promoTheme Music fades in…
The Way We Haunt Now season two, coming Saturday, December 4th 2021.
SFX: The Way We Haunt Now Theme Music fades out…Ghost hisses very melodramatically.
(Getting angry) Isn't there some sort of cosmic statute of limitations on hauntings? I was just properly haunted a few weeks ago.
SFX: Ghost moans sarcastically. Like littlest violin style moan.