Season 1, Episode 2 – The Machine

Sometimes the machines at ETC3 don’t do what you think.

Mick Donald: Altay Akgun (instagram)
Opal Fellings: Anju Kanumalla (website)
Brodie: Alex Abdoulaev (website) (instagram)

Written and produced by Anju Kanumalla and Altay Akgun
Show art: Megan Rhodes.

Opening theme: Amazing Plan, by Kevin MacLeod
Closing theme: Whisky, by Crowander

The Script

This script is presented as written, not as recorded. Minor deviations between this script and the final podcast may exist. Corrections can be posted in the comments.

OPENING THEME

ETC3 AI
Eastern Tennessee Clown Car Company Archive. Accessing surveillance file number 184 for May 26, 9:47 am.

SFX
Mechanical “winding down” sound, possibly accompanied with some ominous clanking. A mechanical device has failed.

Mick
Dammit! The RLT 500 is down AGAIN. How am I sposed to analyze this sample here?

SFX
Footsteps and a loud sigh announce OPAL’s entrance

Opal
Hey Mick.

Mick
Hey.

Opal
There’s a machine down the hall you could probably use for your, uh—

Mick
Oh I’m sure there’s another RLT 500. Pssssh. You know how much these things cost?

SFX
Loud slap as Mick pats the “hood” of the RLT 500

[happen while he’s speaking]

Opal
I do know, and it’s about $1200. Anyway, this machine…It’s not… exactly an RLT 500, but it should do the trick.

Mick
Pffft yeah right. This is inferential chronometry, Opal. It’s an extremely approximate science!

Opal
I’ve been meaning to ask you — what the heck is inferential chronometry, anyway?

Mick
[snorts out a laugh] Inferential chronometry is cutting edge stuff. Thanks to my efforts, all my peeps know roughly what time it is. Now we’re pondering the deep questions—

Opal
Oh really?

Mick
Yeah, like “Why does everything take longer than you think?”

Opal
Right. Well, if you want to get that sample done today, this is your best bet. Just head down the hall, make a right at the T intersection, you’ll pass a series of large, glowing jars; pay no mind to them—(indistinct)

SFX
OPAL continues speaking as MICK quickly loses interest in what she’s saying… maybe Charlie Brown “adult” voice effect or something similar.

Opal
…and then you’re there. Just be careful, because it’s right next to the coffee machine. And it looks like a coffee machine. Got it?

Mick
(Snapping to)… Yeah! Got it, head down past the things there and go to the whatchacallit. Don’t put the dangerous sample in the coffee.

Opal
OR vice versa. That coffee is… destabilizing.

SFX
We hear footprints, and doors open and close… some are motorized; some sound like the Star Trek doors. Throughout, MICK mutters.

Mick
OK, there’s them jars… ewww… where’s this stupid jawn at…

MICK finally arrives at the end of the hallway where two similar machines hulk, all gleaming pipes and strange levers. They look like ornate espresso machines.

Mick
Aha! Oh wow they do both look like coffee machines… which one… Oh cool, here’s a sign-up sheet… this must be it.

SFX
MICK pats the machine and then scribbles his name on the list, reading it out loud as he does so:

Mick
Micholas Donald. Alright!

ETC3 AI
Eastern Tennessee Clown Car Company Archive. Accessing surveillance file number 185 for May 26, 11:13 am.

Computer Voice
URGENT MESSAGE FOR MICHOLAS DONALD.

Mick
Eh, looks like it’s my turn on the machine.

Computer Voice
MICHOLAS, YOUR DOUBLE ESPRESSO IS READY.

Mick
WHAT? I didn’t axe for an expresso. I thought I was signing up for—

Computer Voice
YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE SIGNING UP FOR THE SCIENCE MACHINE DIDN’T YOU.

Mick
Yeah- why do you put two machines that look identical and they’re right next to each other and one makes coffee and one makes science?

Computer Voice
DO YOU WANT THE ESPRESSO OR NOT?

Mick
Yes, I want the expresso. Can you sign me up for the science machine, computer?

Computer Voice
1. DON’T CALL ME COMPUTER, MY NAME IS BECKY; 2. NO, YOU HAVE TO GO SIGN UP FOR IT YOURSELF.

Mick
Man, how am I supposed to get any science done up in here?

SFX
MICK takes the long walk to the machine again… reprise of earlier audio with some variations? Finally he arrives…

Mick
(sipping/slurping) Got to say, that is a good expresso…

Brodie
That’s ESPRESSO, pal.

Mick
Hey Brodie! What are you doin’ here little guy?

Brodie
Uh, i work here?

Mick
But you’re just a pomeranian!

Brodie
Kewpie doll for this guy here… lots of dogs have jobs, genius.

Mick
But I thought you were like a mascot or some such.

Brodie
Maybe a little less thinking, a little more science from you. Speaking of which, you want to see how to work this machine? To do science with?

Mick
You know I do! Science is my jam, pal.

Brodie
OK, so tell ya what. Say you slide that delicious looking expresso over here, and I’ll tell you how to work the Science Machine.

Mick
(sighing audibly) Fine.


SFX
container/cup scraping/ sliding across a floor

SFX
Dog lapping (drinking) sounds

Brodie
Ooh that hits the spot. Alright, first thing you do is open the Primary Ingress Port, or PIP for short.

(Pregnant pause as MICK waits for additional instruction/clarification)

Brodie
That’s you Einstein. I’m 8 inches high with no hands, open the damn PIP already.

Mick
OK, OK, I’ll just, uh…

Computer Voice
URGENT MESSAGE FOR BRODIE BARKLEY. MESSAGE IS AS FOLLOWS

SFX
Dogs barking, howling, whining, etc. [would love to end with something like “I love you” dog talking. Or maybe a cat?]

Brodie
Crap! Hey I gotta go. Good luck with the thing there, professor.

SFX
Dog paws rapidly ticking away on tile floor

Mick
Alright, so one of these tubes is probably the PIP. Just gonna lift up this cover, and—

SFX
Loud siren

Computer Voice
Warning. Warning. Warning.

Mick
Crap! Umm maybe I should go too.

SFX
Footsteps clatter as MICK beats a hasty retreat from the Science Machine. Possibly heavy breathing/panting sounds too.

Opal
Oh hey Mick, where’s the fire? Hah that’s just a joke, there’s no fire. Right? Tell me there’s no fire. OH GOD NOT THIS AGAIN!

Mick
Hey, no, all good, just getting a li’l workout in.

Opal
(sounding relieved) Oh good. Thank goodness. We’re gonna make it. Anyway, I heard the confirmation Klaxon, I guess you figured out the machine, eh?

Mick
Confirmation… klaxon?

Opal
Yeah, you know: WARNING. WARNING. Wee-ooh weee-ooh. That.

Mick
Aw crap. You know, even for the Eastern Tennessee Clown Car Company that’s a little confusing. Well back to the machine I go.

Opal
I don’t know how he ever manages to get anything done.

CLOSING THEME

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