Episode 25: Election Night

Axel goes fishing.

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

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 Eli Esdi and C.V.V.M., and directed by Tovah Brantner.

Today’s episode contained take selection by Eli Esdi, J.R. Steele, Tovah Brantner, and Logan-Alexis H, soundscaping by J.R. Steele, and music by Theo Goodwin. It was written by Tovah Brantner and J.R. Steele, with radio story by Pascale LaRivier and GN-5 news segments by Eli Esdi.

It featured Jade Virginia as Kass, Sam Lueke as the News Anchor, Rae Cameron as Axel Moore, Aakash S as Sorren, Caroline Hernandez as Hayyacynth, Tizzy Trusler as Z, CaraLee Rose Howe as Peaches, and Cory Repass as Charlie.

Subscribe to our Patreon for early access and bonus content!

Join us on twitter and tumblr, @stationarcadia, for more content. Join us on discord at https://discord.gg/Reb8UCw to chat with other fans.

!NOTICE: This episode's transcript is still being formatted, apologies for any inconveniences. The transcript can also be accessed through a PDF here

Transcript for Episode 25:

ELI ESDI. Hey, producer Eli Esdi here. Welcome to the final episode of season one! Following this episode, Station Arcadia will be on hiatus as we work to produce season two. However, we will be doing a post-season one Q&A with several members of the cast and crew. Follow the link in the description to submit questions until Friday, September 17th.

Thanks, and enjoy episode 25 - Election Night.

J.R. STEELE. On behalf of the Station Arcadia team, a big thank you to our patrons: Claws of Fenrir, Antigone Brickman, Natah the Ninja, Bronwyn, n13e86, CaraLee Rose, Azaana, Malik Strøm Hansen, HH, and Noel.

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INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Welcome, anyone. It’s election day in the Gannon Islands, and you’re listening to Station Arcadia.

[THEME MUSIC PLAYS]

KASS. I’ve been broadcasting from Station Arcadia for over half a year now, and I never have found out if anyone is listening aside from Marvin and the others here at the Station. I suppose Peaches and Charlie could be, now that they have a radio. I spent so much time wondering about it back when I started, but somewhere along the line this broadcast just became… something that I do. Something to do. It gives me a purpose, and I’m grateful for that.

I’ve been looking forward to this particular broadcast for weeks. Or well, maybe ‘looking forward’ isn’t quite right. I’m anxious to finally hear the results of Axel’s long election campaign, and happy to be able to report it live to anyone who might be out there, buuuut it’s a bit rough to know there’s nothing I can actually do to influence the results. Whatever happens... happens.

So to start off this election day broadcast, why don’t we see what’s going on currently in the Gannon Islands. Fingers crossed.

[TRANSITION]

INT. GANNON ISLAND TV STUDIO

NEWS ANCHOR. -which made his chances slim-to-none from the beginning. Olsen Darrow was somewhat more popular in early polling, especially among the southern isles, but it was clear even from the first press conference that he wouldn’t outshine the lead candidates. Polling this past January showed that over 90 percent of the Gannon population sided with either Russel or Moore. This clear two-woman race is a historic first, as there have typically been anywhere from three to eight strong candidates.

For those of you just joining us, my name is Ellis Ariosa, and I’m covering our national election live from GN-5 News on Island 7.

We have currently received ballot information from 21 out of 75 districts across the nine Gannon islands. Sorry, make that 22! I have just been informed that the last district on Island 4 has been counted.

Island 4 was initially quite neutral, but Axel Moore did some impressive campaigning there last November, and it has trended towards her ever since. The final results reveal a whopping 72% of island 4 residents voted for Moore, which is an 8% increase from the latest predictions. This most recent district brings Moore into an overall lead, with 52% of the total votes. The question is: can she hold it?

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

[A FEW BUTTON CLICKS, WITH NO EFFECT]

KASS. Well, it looks like that’s all we’re getting, at least for now, listeners. I suppose we’ll see if Arcadia has a story to share.

[TWO CLICKS AS AXEL PLUGS IN]

Hettie’s parents ran a tailor’s shop in Barshore, a dead-end seaside town in Hardizan, just a train stop away from Belvale. There was never much to do in town and Hettie didn’t see any other kids during the day. That was because, like everyone else her age, she’d been working in the family business since before she turned ten.

Every weekend for years, the rich folk would come to Barshore for the sea air and “quaint” atmosphere. Treadway’s Tailoring provided a brief respite from the fish-stink for the upturned noses of the upper-class. The more enthusiastic customers might buy a dress or embroidered necktie, while their bored partners would mill about outside. Hettie’s mother could embroider so fine you could scarcely see the stitches until the light hit it just right. Hettie’s sister hand-wove intricate florals and botanicals into lace trims; Mrs. Treadway would have her sit near the front window to be watched in awe by passersby. Hettie’s father was a menswear tailor so skilled you’d think he’d be sewing suits for the senators in Vanfell. He lived in wool and tweed and could always be found with a pincushion tied to his wrist and a measuring tape around his neck. Hettie didn’t make anything; she cut fabric and marked patterns and always had chalk dust on her hands. She couldn’t sew well enough to make clothes and her parents would never put anything she made up for sale. Quality clothes and customer service were the Treadway guarantee, so Hettie fetched tea and stale biscuits whenever the rich folk came to town and sat for a fitting. She didn’t like them much, nobody did, but her ‘ma said they’re good business and so Hettie had kept her mouth shut and smiled politely at them.

KASS. Let’s just take a quick break here and tune back into the election, I wouldn’t want to miss anything.

[TRANSITION]

INT. GANNON ISLAND TV STUDIO

NEWS ANCHOR. Island 8 has been consistently biased towards Moore since the press conference where limnologist Caden Acer revealed the negative side effects of Russel’s proposed dam. This is reflected in the votes coming through from island 8 now. Rural areas are voting overwhelmingly for Moore, where metropolitan areas are split closer to 60-40. It is evident that some island 8 residents still believe Russel’s promises that the dam will do more good than harm.

Historically, island 6 has also suffered from ill-advised dams, but it is clear as the votes come rolling in that this fact is not doing

Axel Moore any good. Since the Empire’s attack on Island 6 soil, they have not looked favourably on Moore’s pro-immigration policies. Hayyacynth Russel has promised them safety, and this clearly overweighs any environmental concerns.

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Arcadia, come ON, that was nothing! I wanted to hear what the current vote total was!

...Fine. I’ll get back to the story.

KASS. Hettie wasn’t torn up about it when the rich folk stopped coming. Her mom explained that the train to Belvale didn’t stop in town anymore. Something about not enough riders at the Barshore station and budget cuts. So the rich folk had no reason to spend a dreary afternoon in the “quaint” town while waiting for the next train, probably off to catch some opera in the big city. The rich folk had no reason to wander into Treadway’s Tailoring and buy up all their pretty things anymore, either. Hettie wasn’t torn up about it, but her parents were. Fine clothes didn’t sell among the townsfolk. Most of the townsfolk worked dreary factory jobs and wore their dreary factory-made clothes. Their clothes were horrid, cheaply made things that fell apart in weeks.

But since the train stopped bringing the rich folk to Barshore, most of her father’s business now came from repairing them. Even though the clothes were cheap enough to use as rags, the townsfolk couldn’t afford to buy more. Hettie thought he might’ve once turned up his nose at being asked to fix such shoddy work, but he had no choice. With the old stock going unsold, Hettie’s mother didn’t need to embroider anymore, and her sister’s lace bobbins sat untouched in the chair by the front window. Her father taught them all how to repair the clothing that was pouring in from the townsfolk now that word had spread that Treadway’s was finally open to the common man. Their new clientele were overjoyed they could now get clothes repaired, instead of spending a week’s pay on replacements. So Hettie and her family took turns at her father’s fancy industrial sewing machine while he used one with a hand-crank and manual foot pedal. When the townsfolk start paying her father in favours rather than coin, her mother suggested that Hettie and her sister go work at one of the industrial clothing mills.

KASS. Alright, that’s probably enough of that for the moment.

[BUTTON CLICKS]

Arcadia, if we could just check in on the election quickly?

[BUTTON CLICKS]

[TRANSITION]

INT. GANNON ISLAND TV STUDIO

NEWS ANCHOR. -live from GN-5 News on Island 7.

Numbers are now in from 36 out of 75 districts, and the lead mayoral candidate is Hayyacynth Russel, with 55 percent of the current votes. Russel currently holds an elected position on the island 7 council, and is generally well regarded by the people of our capital Gannon island. As results begin to come in from island 7, it is likely that her lead will grow.

Despite Russel’s political experience, political scientists were unsure how she’d fare when she announced her candidacy for Premier last July. Her isolationist policies are more alike with those of the first Premier post reclamation than any of the more recent people to hold that office. This, in addition to her plans for elaborate energy-generating projects and increased funding for public defense, paint a picture of an independent nation, equal to the currently more powerful Talsoria, Hardizan and The Empire. However, critics say that these changes may come at the cost of our culture, and the natural environments we’ve worked to protect. Her plans to divert funding from environmental restoration, for instance, generated concerns...

[FADE TO TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Damnit! Hayyacynth can’t win. She can’t. I don’t understand why anyone is voting for her! I don’t even know much about the Gannon Islands or their politics, but all of her policies sound… terrible. Not to mention she’s a manipulative, lying, self-serving person who shouldn’t have power over a chatroom let alone a nation.

But she hasn’t won yet. Not even half the votes have been counted. There’s still time.

I wish we could hear from Axel herself, and not just this news anchor. I hope she’s doing alright.

But I’m sure Arcadia has her reasons. Whatever those may be.

KASS. Hettie’s sister railed against her mother’s suggestion that she and Hettie work at a factory. She tossed around words like “unskilled labour”, and whispered ones like “exploitation”. Her mother acquiesced to her sister’s arguments and the girls were allowed to remain at home. It saddened Hettie that her brilliant, fiery sister would never see the inside of a lecture hall, or debate with scholars. Instead, her sister ended up taking over most of her father’s sewing at seventeen. She claimed she did it out of spite, but Hettie thinks her sister is loath to admit that it was out of pity for their father. Years of stitching had toughened his hands and made his finger-bones ache to move. Now he only sewed what Hettie’s sister could not, and dealt with the customers.

Still, sometimes when their wallets were especially empty, Hettie would catch him working late at night on repair projects that weren’t his. Mouths to feed mattered more than swollen and sore hands, in his eyes.

Hettie was thirteen when she realized she didn’t want to sew for a living. She’d been lucky compared to the other children: she had to work, but she’d gotten to work with her family. She’d never had to wear an ugly factory uniform instead of her father’s handmade dresses and smocks, nor did she have to leave home early in the morning to work until sun-down. Hettie had only ever hurt herself with the industrial sewing machines a handful of times, and even then her father was there to tut at her while bandaging her wounds. She was one of the lucky ones and yet she didn’t want to work for her family anymore. Hettie didn’t want her parents to think she was ungrateful, but the thought of spending the rest of her life repairing factory clothes for pennies made her feel sick to her stomach. Unsure what else she could even do other than factory work, she went to her older sister.

After spending several long nights scrounging up flyers and searching for answers, her sister came up with lists of suggestions. Hettie entertained her ideas; even the more implausible ones. She suspected her sister was trying to live vicariously through her.

Hettie was fifteen when her sister presented her with an ad for a governess position in Belvale. She’d make closer to a living wage and be lucky to live in a manor; her finer clothes and sense of decorum would make any rich parents trust her. Hettie’s sister promised to tell their parents gently as she packed Hettie’s clothes and all the books they owned in a heavy trunk. She made Hettie promise to phone if she was able, and to write every week. Hettie promised to send half her paycheques home with her letters. Her sister slipped a beautiful lace handkerchief into her coat pocket. It had “Hettienne Treadway” embroidered across it in her mother’s looping cursive.

Hettie left on the lone weekly train one cold, quiet evening. She hauled her trunk up into the compartment and scrambled on before the train could leave without her. She’d made her choice, and she was getting out. She dozed on the few hours’ ride to Belvale, completely alone in the economy-class car. If she thought too hard about what she was doing, she thought she’d start crying. Hettie would hate to get snot and tears on her precious handkerchief.

KASS. (Nervous energy:) Maybe more votes are in now. Let’s take a listen and see.

[TRANSITION]

INT. GANNON ISLAND TV STUDIO

NEWS ANCHOR. Rural areas, especially on Islands 3, 5, and 8, have typically favoured Moore, despite a slight sway towards Russel last October. Areas such as these typically value their individual island’s culture and customs, and oppose Russel’s unification plan. Russel proposes that decreasing the power of each individual island’s mayors and council, and increasing the responsibility of the premier, would create a more unified Gannon Islands. She posits that this would allow for bigger projects that would benefit all 9 islands, and result in increased national spirit and patriotism. While this may be true, not everyone is convinced. Increasing the power of the Premier and their team would also allow for more drastic errors to be made, erode individual cultures, and require fewer checks and balances for large-scale…

[FADE TO TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Well that’s bad! That seems very bad. Of course, it’s only a problem if Hayyacynth Russel gets elected, which I have no clue about, because Arcadia won’t let me keep listening to the election night news report!

Maybe if I just finish the story we’ll be able to actually hear from Axel and Sorren.

[BEAT]

KASS. No. I can’t do it. Can we just- please, I know that every story is supposed to be important, but I just can’t focus on this right now. All I can think about is Axel and Sorren, and the election. Just let me hear what happens.

[BUTTON CLICKS]

[FADE TO BUG]

INT. GANNON ISLAND TV STUDIO

NEWS ANCHOR. -and Russel’s immediate response to the crisis brought her into the spotlight. Moore attempted to reclaim her lead, but since the attack on Island 6 she has been doing almost nothing except responding to Hayyacynth Russel’s narrative. She hasn’t been able to spend time on her own policies and plans, except as they relate to Russel’s.

We have just received the news here on GN-5 that results are now in from every district in Islands 1 and 2. This brings us to a total of 56 out of 75 districts. Russel leads with 64%, and this total is likely to climb as districts from Islands 6, 7 and 9 finish their counts.

For Axel Moore to pull ahead at this point would require an unprecedented upset, and a drastic shift in the projected voting of several districts. Stranger things have happened, but if I was Axel Moore I would not be feeling great right now.

To touch back on the race for the national minister of education, we’re seeing a shift towards…

[FADE TO TRANSITION]

EXT. FISHING BOAT ON OCEAN

[WIND, OCEAN PERHAPS SOME BIRD NOISES]

[FUN LITTLE RINGTONE FOR SORREN]

AXEL. (Answering:) Hello, Axel Moore speaking.

SORREN. Oh, stars, there you are! I’ve been trying to reach you for the past forty minutes!

AXEL. Mhm.

SORREN. Are you watching the results? Forget that, are you okay?

AXEL. Y’know what Sorren, I’m doing pretty good right now.

SORREN. That doesn’t- Where are you?

AXEL. Boat.

SORREN. Boat? Like, you’re on a boat?

AXEL. Yyyyyyyyyup.

[WINDING OF A FISHING ROD]

It’s a lovely night, you know. I haven’t been able to do this in a while, because of the whole campaign thing. Had to dust off the tackle box and everything.

SORREN. You’re fishing right now?

[THE WIND AND WATER STARTS SLOWLY PICKING UP THROUGHOUT THE NEXT PART]

AXEL. Uh, yea? I know I’m supposed to be concerned about the results, blah, blah, blah, but whatever happens happens, you know? I had a very enlightening conversation with Asphodel that reminded me of what I could do.

It’s nice to do something right.

SORREN. Axel, shut up for a second.

AXEL. I’m sorry, why are you talking to me like that?

SORREN. You’re still in Corax, right, in the western bay?

AXEL. Yes? If this is about getting me to come into the office for even more grasping at straws, I’m not going to do it. I’m sitting right here and you’ll have to drag me away yourself.

SORREN. You need to get back inland fast.

AXEL. What did I just say?

SORREN. Not the office, inland! The southwest side of the island is about to get hit with a huge storm!

AXEL. … what?

[THE WIND AND WATER GETS MORE INTENSE]

[SORREN’S NEXT LINES SOUND DISTANT, LIKE A PHONE BEING HELD AT YOUR SIDE]

SORREN. They’re closing the beaches right now. Look, I know it’s a lot, but you don’t have to cut yourself off like this. Please just get somewhere safe and we can talk about everything in the morning.

[AXEL TAKES ONE STEP BACK]

AXEL. (Panicked:) Sorren, Sorren, I can’t make it back to shore.

[SORREN IS BACK TO NORMAL VOLUME]

SORREN. No, you’re going to be alright! Everything’ll be fine!

AXEL. I’m too far out and I didn’t pay attention to the winds and… Crow, I’m so, so sorry!

SORREN. You don’t need to apologize, just-!

[WAVE CRASHES OVER THE BOAT, AND THE CALL CUTS OUT]

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. AXEL! Axel-- Arcadia, go back! Is Axel okay??

(beat)

Oh. Hold on. Arcadia is telling me to send someone down to the beach.

[A WHIRR]

Y-yeah! Yeah I’ll send someone! Okay. Listeners, I’m going to go get one of the others. In the meantime, we’ll cut back over to the election feed.

[TRANSITION]

INT. GANNON ISLAND TV STUDIO

NEWS ANCHOR. I have Madame Hayyacynth Russel herself on call with me now - Madame Russel, what would you like to say to the Gannon Island population, as we approach the end of this election?

HAYYACYNTH. Good evening, everyone. I am honored that you have been so supportive of me during this election process. It’s been a very close race, these past months, but I know you all have been getting your votes in and making every one of them count! When I ensure the security of our nation, when I boost our economy by investing in energy generating projects, when I help fund development and growth in small towns and communities, you can be assured that it is YOUR vote that made it possible. It is only thanks to YOUR help that I will be able to transform the Gannon islands from what they are now, into what they could be.

The Gannon Islands today are a place of relative luxury, and I will ensure they remain that way, and that our quality of life will only improve. By centralizing our production of goods and exports into larger city centers, industrializing our means of production, and staying vigilant against the forces at our doorstep, I will ensure our nation is not a force to be trifled with.

Of course, I could not have come this far without the help of my wonderful staff and assistants. In particular I would like to thank my campaign manager, Garrick Leeson, for his invaluable advice, and my daughter Asphodel for her loyalty and loving support.

I’d also like to thank Axel Moore for giving me a good challenge. It has been my pleasure to debate her throughout this campaign trail. I’m sure I have learned a lot from her outsider perspectives on politics, and her interesting ideas.

Though the results haven’t been finalized, the current numbers give me enough confidence to say that I am so excited to be your Premier, and your friend, as we move forward into a brighter future.

[TRANSITION]

EXT. FISHING BOAT IN A STORM

[IMMEDIATELY THE AUDIO IS OVERTAKEN WITH THE SOUND OF WIND AND WAVES]

[AND AXEL PANIC NOISES]

AXEL. Come on, you stupid hunk of wood! Cooperate!

[NOISES OF TRYING TO GET THE BOAT TO COOPERATE]

Stars, I’m so stupid. Going out on the water without checking the weather so I could just stop thinking about this stupid election and my stupid ex friend and that stupid little island over there-

Wait.

[AXEL SCRAMBLES ACROSS THE BOAT]

Okay. Okay, I don’t have to die tonight if I can just get over there. I can do this.

[SOME NOISES OF STRUGGLE]

[SOUNDS OF THE STORM SLOWLY FADE AWAY, BUT THERE IS A DRIZZLE]

[BOAT IS HAULED ASHORE AND AXEL COLLAPSES ON THE SAND]

AXEL. (Exhausted:) I didn’t think that there were any islands in the bay.

Z. There aren’t.

AXEL. AH!

[SHE JUMPS BACK OR… KINDA ROLLS AWAY. SAND NOISE.]

Geez, you almost gave me a heart attack… What do you mean there aren’t any islands? There’s no way that I was blown more than a few miles from where I was.

Z. You weren’t. Welcome to Arcadia. My name is Z.

AXEL. Axel.

Z. Oh, I know.

AXEL. You really aren’t making me feel better about this situation.

Z. Sorry. In any case, Arcadia isn’t your typical island. You can only come here when you need to. Or, I guess, you will come here when you need to.

AXEL. I don’t think I understand.

Z. That’s okay, you don’t need to.

[Z. TAKES SOMETHING FROM HER POCKET AND HANDS IT OUT]

Take this.

AXEL. Um. What is it?

Z. A kind of technology that has been forgotten outside of these shores. You can call it a radio.

AXEL. I needed to wash up on this island to get a “radio”?

Z. Maybe. Or maybe it was for some other reason.

AXEL. … I don’t suppose your magic island could do anything about the election back home?

Z. (Her facade is almost breaking:) She… Arcadia isn’t magic. She just gives people things that they need.

AXEL. So Hayyacynth becoming premier isn’t pressing enough?

Z. I-

AXEL. No, I get it. I do, I mean, if it was that important I should have done something more myself. I shouldn’t try to dump that responsibility on a land mass and its weird keeper, which I may or may not be hallucinating.

Z. … Look, go back home. I think you’ll find that the storm won’t cause you any problems.

[AXEL PUSHES THE BOAT BACK INTO THE WATER]

AXEL. Thanks for the ‘radio’. I’m guessing you’re not going to tell me what it does?

Z. You’ll figure it out.

AXEL. Right. By the way, you should really set up an irrigation system for that rice.

Z. What rice?

AXEL. The patch over there. I think it's doing okay because we're in monsoon season, but we're about to move on to drier times and you need to keep it moist.

… I mean, I only know a little bit about rice anyways, and maybe you grow weird, magic rice here.

Z. Oh, no, thank you. I appreciate it. We didn't know that's what it was.

AXEL. Right, then, I'll just leave you to your rice and your… whatever you were doing before.

Z. Yeah, have a good day. And Axel?

AXEL. (Preparing for Z. to say something cryptic:) Uh-huh?

Z. Stay safe.

[TRANSITION]

INT. CHARLIE’S OFFICE

[RADIO STATIC AS THE DIALS TURN.]

PEACHES. We’re never going to find the right frequency.

CHARLIE. We just have to keep trying, I don’t know how to speed this up any more than you do.

PEACHES. What can someone from the Gannon Islands do for us anyway?

CHARLIE. I don’t know exactly. Maybe she knows something about our situation that we don’t. (sigh) I don’t even know if Axel can be trusted. Or that Kassandra person.

PEACHES. They were watching us.

CHARLIE. Listening in, more like. Speaking of.

[RUSTLES.]

PEACHES. What are you doing?

CHARLIE. Looking for something. I don’t know. Maybe the room is bugged. It has to be, how else would Kass be able to hear us?

PEACHES. Maybe they’re just omniscient or something. (in a spooky voice) Ooh, maybe they’re a prophet.

CHARLIE. This could be a really dangerous security breach. We’ve talked about too many classified things in this room.

PEACHES. Then we’ll have to be more careful in the future. Let’s just get in contact with this politician. Then we can contact Kass again.

CHARLIE. Maybe they’ll be able to investigate this more than we can right now.

PEACHES. I mean, they are the one who can hear us. Maybe they can figure out where it is by how close our voices are or something.

CHARLIE. If they’re on our side.

PEACHES. Yeah. (beat) What if we don’t find her, Charlie?

CHARLIE. Sometimes we just have to have faith. Which should mean a lot, coming from me.

PEACHES. Alright. If you say so.

[RADIO STATIC.]

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Come on guys. You can do it.

[RUNNING FOOTSTEPS. THE DOOR BURSTS OPEN.]

Z. KASS!

KASS. (slightly overlapping) Ghosts, Z!

Z. Did you hear that? Was that on the radio? I was so cryptic! I was like (comedically dramatic voice) “Welcome to Arcadia” and she was like (comedically higher voice) “what?” and I was like (comedically dramatic voice) “you can only come here when you need to” and she was like--

KASS. (exasperated, but in a nice way) Yes! I heard the whole thing!

Z. But I met Axel, Kass! The actual Axel Moore! I mean, it’s not every day, right?

KASS. (more genuine) Yeah, it’s really exciting! I can’t wait to actually talk to her... Oh! Uh, Z? (a bit giddy) Stay in here. I think you’ll want to hear what Arcadia has for us next.

[TRANSITION]

EXT. FISHING BOAT ON THE OCEAN

[OCEAN SOUNDS. AXEL TURNS OVER THE RADIO IN HER HANDS.]

AXEL. What… is this thing?

[SHE TURNS IT OVER IN HER HANDS.]

AXEL. Buttons… dial… might be like an old phone?

[SHE CLICKS A BUTTON AND A LOUD STATIC SOUNDS.]

AXEL. Huh. Must not have a signal. Makes sense I guess…

[SHE SMACKS IT A COUPLE TIMES. VOICES START TO COME THROUGH. THEY SOUND LIKE THEY'RE COMING THROUGH A RADIO]

PEACHES. There’s just static.

CHARLIE. It sounds clearer, like water or something.

PEACHES. Oh, huh.

CHARLIE. I’m turning the volume up, hold on.

AXEL. Hello?

[SMACKS THE RADIO AGAIN.]

CHARLIE. Hello?

AXEL. Hello.

PEACHES. Hey! We got someone!

AXEL. Who is this? How did you call me? This thing looks ancient.

CHARLIE. So does ours, and it still works. Who am I speaking to?

AXEL. Uh...

PEACHES. We got someone else, Charlie.

CHARLIE. Peaches.

AXEL. Your name is Peaches?

CHARLIE. Cogs, we can't keep doing this.

PEACHES. Yeah? What of it?

AXEL. Nothing, it’s an interesting name. I’m Axel.

PEACHES. We found her!

CHARLIE. You’re Axel Moore?

AXEL. You were... trying to reach me?

CHARLIE. Yeah! Yes. Someone named Kass told us to get a hold of you.

AXEL. Well, you’ve got me. Who exactly are you guys again? Where are you from?

CHARLIE. I don’t know about this...

PEACHES. Come on, Charlie. Taking risks is part of the journey, right?

CHARLIE. Not unnecessary ones.

PEACHES. We haven’t had a lead in ages. Let’s pull this string.

AXEL. I mean, as far as I know? You can trust me. I’ve had a rough day and it sounds like you guys have too?

[PAUSE.]

CHARLIE. We’re from Hardizan, and we’re part of… a slightly illegal mutual aid group.

PEACHES. Kass said you had access to some resources that could be of use to us.

AXEL. Alright you two. I don’t know what brought us here, but I’m sure there was a reason. Lucky for you (more melancholy) I’ve got some extra time on my hands.

PEACHES. You’re going to help us?

AXEL. There’s nothing else for me to do now. Plus, you guys seem okay. (pause dramatically) Tell me everything.

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Listeners, the result of the Premiere election in the Gannon Islands has been finalized. The next Chief Executive will be… Hayyacynth Russel.

I… I knew. I knew the whole broadcast that she would win. Right from the beginning, with how hopeless Axel was, and yet… I thought that maybe, maybe it would be okay this time.

[SILENCE.]

… Will it ever be okay? This has happened hundreds of times before, and we’re still in the same damn place as we were.

Why am I even doing this?! No one can even hear me! There are exactly three working radios outside this station, and yet here I am talking to… to… ghosts and I’m-

(Kass breaks:) Arcadia, I’m so tired. Does it mean anything, the things you show me? I know you can’t say it with words but can you just tell me what all this is for?

[FOR A MOMENT THERE IS NO ANSWER]

[THEN, BARELY ABOVE A WHISPER;]

Please?

ARCADIA. (Lovingly:)

[CASSETTE CLICKS INTO PLACE]

[FOR A MOMENT THERE IS JUST THE SOUND OF SPINNING TAPES]

[THEN A SIMPLE VERSION OF THE MELODY FROM THE BRIDGE OF “THE TALSORIAN WORM” PLAYS]

[KASS STARTS SOBBING AND LAUGHING AT THE SAME TIME]

[THE MELODY PLAYS OUT, THEN SHE SPEAKS]

KASS. My fault for bringing up Ghosts in the Machine, huh?

[SHE SNIFFS, SWALLOWS HER TEARS, BUT THEY’RE STILL AUDIBLE IN THE NEXT WORDS]

Listeners- or, anyone who can hear me, I guess, I have something to ask you; go give someone you love a hug, and do it for as long as they’ll hold you. The next time you go outside, look up at the sky and take a second to really think about how big it all is. Sing a little louder than you think is necessary. Find a new way to tell someone “I love you” without saying the words.

Do something that spits in the face of a world that wants you to be cruel.

I don’t know where we’re going from here. But it has to be somewhere, and I’m going to have hope that I can make it a better place.

Stay safe, stay moving, and stick close.

For now, this has been Station Arcadia.

[CLOSING THEME - EXTENDED]

Eli. Station Arcadia is a podcast by Metal Steve Productions, and licensed under a creative commons attribution noncommercial share-alike 4.0 international license. It is produced by Eli Esdi and C.V.V.M., and directed by Tovah Brantner.

Today’s episode contained take selection by Eli Esdi, J.R. Steele, Tovah Brantner, and Logan-Alexis H, soundscaping by J.R. Steele, and music by Theo Goodwin. It was written by Tovah Brantner and J.R. Steele, with radio story by Pascale LaRivier and GN-5 news segments by Eli Esdi.

It featured Jade Virginia as Kass, Sam Lueke as the News Anchor, Rae Cameron as Axel Moore, Aakash S as Sorren, Caroline Hernandez as Hayyacynth, Tizzy Trusler as Z, CaraLee Rose Howe as Peaches, and Cory Repass as Charlie.

I’d like to personally congratulate the entire cast and crew of Station Arcadia for a successful first season. Everyone has put in so much work to create this show, and I’m proud of all of you. On behalf of the entire team, I’d also like to thank J.R. Steele and Eli Esdi for their work on social media, Emily Bennet for transcribing, Eli Esdi for editing scripts, Becker Hoang and Quinn O.A. Feinburg for work on the website, Sam Chauvin for managing merchandise, Tovah, Eli, J.R. Steele and Becker for work on the Patreon, Eli Esdi and C.V.V.M for recording credits, and Jade Virginia for saying over 45 000 words as Kass across season one.

An additional thank you goes out to crew members who stepped in to do miscellaneous tasks when necessary, every actor who has had to re-record lines, cast and crew who have contributed to patreon content, everyone who gave us podcasting advice as we found our feet, anyone who supported us financially in any capacity, and listeners who posted about arcpod on social media.

Join us on Twitter and Tumblr to keep up with us and receive updates during our between-seasons hiatus. Join us on Discord to chat with other fans and participate in events, using the link in the description. Check out our website, stationarcadia.com for a transcript of this episode as well as information on the cast and crew.

Today’s podcast of the week is Station Arcadia. Have a great day everyone, and see you in season two.

Season 1