These transcripts are for your enjoyment, but please do not reuse, readapt or reproduce without express written permission. ~ Ken
CAST & VOICE TALENT
KEN: I’m Kenneth Vigue. This episode and the others you’ll be listening to over the next few months are a bit of an experiment. So many of you have written in and have been hungry of more content to binge on. However, between personal commitments and whatnot, between writing and editing, it takes me 2 to 3 weeks to get stories out to you. So, we polled you all on Twitter and Facebook and the vast majority of you are all in on the idea of short minisodes in between our regular episodes. These are bonuses, one off stories that stand on their own with all of your favorite characters. Because of how simple they are from a production they are fast and easy to drop and don’t worry…doing this won’t impact the quality of our full episodes. That being said, I’d like to hear from you all. If you don’t like this added stories we can always drop the concept. However, I think you will. There are many of the original stories I’ve written that I’ve discarded because they don’t fit anywhere, however they all a fun ride and offer you a more in-depth look in out characters. This first one will see Simon lamenting the arrival of autumn, but a mysterious summons from a Supermutant named Graham will turn his world upside down. Join us now for Minisode #1: Graham’s Harvest Barbecue…
SCENE #1: EXT. FIRE CRACKLING. TAPE RECORDING NOISE.
SIMON: APPALACHIA, DAY 304: 52F, chilly. Summer is ending not with a flash and atomic hellfire, but with a chill that you can feel deep in your bones. Autumn is coming to Appalachia, the first I’ve experienced since Reclamation Day. While nuclear horror has eliminated the season traditionally known as winter, the nights do grow cold here nonetheless. I’m supposed to meet back up with Jake and Amata who scouted ahead weeks ago, but I’ve lost track of them. After almost a year of cat and mouse with Chad and his gang, I’ve relocated and made camp near Uncanny Caverns, a pre-war tourist trap. I’m watching the leaves dance and drift in the night breeze, flash crimson and dance away. I’ve found myself unusually melancholy this evening, the kind of sadness when you’re throwing a party and you say goodbye to the last guest. I miss the sense of community we had in Vault 76. You know what I miss the most? Rituals…the rituals of it all. Where months and seasons were festooned with special days and occasions like a sprinkling of confetti on the year calendar. 4th of July parades, Halloween trick or treaters, the holiday ball and tree lighting…I miss it all. But I miss the FOOD the most.
GETS UP AND STARTS WALKING AWAY INTO SWAMPY AREA.
SIMON: Before Dad overdosed on Sugar Bombs, every night when I’d get tucked into bed he'd sit on my bed...switch on my Nuka Cola nightlight and tell me tales of life before the Great War. As soon as the first blade of grass was cut until the first frost, out came the glittering sparkle of the backyard barbecues. Every weekend friends, neighbors and family would arrive in a caravan with Jello molds and inedible hard-boiled eggs filled with what was possibly last Thanksgiving leftovers...and meat. Lots and lots of meat. Juicy burgers made from real cow (mostly), sausages, barbecue chicken and kielbasa. His eyes would glitter as he told me of the sumptuousness of it all. Then Mom would call from the other room...with the sound of sliding her bed closer to his and he'd depart...saying something about loving a good pork pull and meat rub. Barbecuing post Reclamation Day has been challenging. For one thing, charcoal seems to be rarer than diamonds. I just…I’d love to have SOMETHING to mark the end of the season. Something special…some ritual. I met a peddler on the road the other day who was trading in some recipes and you know what he had? A donut recipe! He wanted an unreasonable and completely ridiculous price for it, but I caved in the end because I’ve never in my life had a proper donut. The recipe is fairly simple: 3 parts Brahmin Milk, 2 frog eggs some razorgrain flour, salt, spices and some cooking oil for the Dutch oven. I modified it slightly to add some Dandy Boy Apples and make a sort of cider donut. Only thing I’m missing are the 2 frog eggs, but there’s a swampy patch a little down the hill here.
SWAMP AMBIANCE GROWS LOUDER.
SIMON: Ah! Here we go….there’s a little clutch of eggs here. Just need 2, but might as well collect them all. Right back to camp before Momma frog comes looking.
WALKING BACK UP HILL.
SIMON: Traditionally this time of year all over the world would mark harvest festivals. In Britain, since the time where pagans worshipped trees and rock gremlins or some damned thing, they’d hold a harvest festival near the harvest moon, usually closest to the autumn equinox.
SOUNDS OF CRACKING EGGS AND MIXING.
SIMON: Let’s whip this up here…in go the apples. And in drop the donuts…
SOUND OF SIZZLING AND BUBBLING.
SIMON: Now where was I….ah yes….I just want a barbecue. A proper barbecue. Early attempts at my rigging some kind of plasma weapon as a sustained heat source were met with frustration. The Brahmin exploded...and its head is still stuck on my roof. A few weeks back I found barbecue shop called Big Fred’s and was momentarily thrilled. You know what I found there instead of juicy pulled pork? Some crazy ass wendigo that my entire fucking foot in its mouth while I was fumbling to grab a weapon and in my panic was just injecting myself with all sorts of chems.
SIMON: Now…let’s see how this apple donut came out. Ooo…hot. (Blows on hand). Oh…it’s warm….and…and…it tastes like shit.
LOUD CROAKING GETTING CLOSER.
SIMON: What the…oh shit! No…no…oh what is this goo shit?
SOUNDS OF GUNSHOTS. TAPE CUTS OFF.
SIMON: Well…one pissed off frog and one disgusting swamp bath later…I’m calling it a day. I think tomorrow I’ll…
SOUNDS OF RADIO STATIC.
GRAHAM (VO): Dis Graham. Dis ting on? Found this tenna with this talking thing on it. Trying to talk to all meat bags. Graham and Chally Moo Moo was on road the other day and was thinking about last time Graham had good hot meat. Graham think…until it hurt and Graham couldn’t remember. So Graham make big party. Lots of hot meat. Everyone come, but everyone must bring Graham really good prime meat. Choice cuts. Graham use tenna to mark it on map. Graham and Chally Moo Moo get barbecue pit ready by 7 and 6. You come. Lots to eat.
RADIO STATIC CUTS OUT.
SIMON: I…that is…fortuitous. Choice cuts? Prime meat? Still…that’s amazing! I’ll set out tomorrow. Looks like there is a location to the north. I can practically taste that barbecue!
TAPE CUTS OFF.
SIMON: APPALACHIA, DAY 307: 58F. Days of walking later…I’m finally near where I’m supposed to find this meat Graham wants, near that old pre war ski resort Top of the World. Coming down a hill now to a small pond with some cows that keep shoeing me in the nuts everytime I try and milk them. More disconcertingly they drown themselves and then spontaneously come back to life. I’m going to make camp for the evening and see if anyone else shows up. There’s an oil drum and some kind of metal sculpture from hell…not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do.
TAPE CUTS OFF.
SIMON: APPALACHIA, DAY 308, 49F, cold. That was a fucking mess. In the morning just after breakfast, other Vault Dwellers showed up...some dressed as clowns, others stomping around in walking tanks preaching Democracy at a volume to shatter the eardrums. One of them with a skull mask just was chasing me around clawing at my ass with a glove with knives on it. He was yelling obscenities at me and saying he was going to get my junk. At first, I was flattered….as it’s been a year since anyone’s had my junk, but I realized he was trying to kill me. Interrupting this weird attempt to goad me into murder, the clown began rhythmically drumming on a rusted oil drum. In hindsight, making music on thing was a terrible idea. Every and I mean EVERY pissed off creatures from a 2-mile radius came a running. Hordes of pissed off Yao Gaios, fucking bees the size of cars and then some kind of gigantic crotch lobster creature with a VAN for a shell. A VAN. They all rushed us. Each time I slashed out with my knife the creature would explode before me before I could even land a killing hit by some asshole Vault Dweller who decided they may as well kill everything for us. One of them was running around…and I think he was having a stroke…every time he spoke all I could hear was potato chips. The walking tank took a moment off from bitching about communism to have an argument with an unseen person about his wife being a bitch. It was all surreal. By the time it was over I was covered in blood and honey and we were able to harvest only 5 choice cuts of meat (of varying color and animal source). After speaking with one of the more coherent Dwellers, we’re heading out tomorrow morning in a caravan to head back towards Vault 76 with our meat. Barbecue…here I come!
TAPE CUTS OFF.
SIMON: APPALACHIA, DAY 310, 57F, sunny. Well…it’s been quite a day, but my belly is full and I’m still trying to get barbecue sauce out of my beard. Not long after dawn we came upon a flat field not far from Vault 76 and a party setup that was pretty impressive. Music playing over loudspeakers, seating and grills with roaring fires and the smell…oh the delicious, unctuous smell of roasting meat! There were about 15 of us, more than enough for at least a proper barbecue. Graham announced that if we all did a good job, he’d award us with some kind of giant, bizarrely perfectly balanced beer keg weapon. As the music grew louder, I grabbed the crank of a roasting spit and prepared myself for his signal to start cooking. Tasty, delicious meat would be just minutes away. That giant beer keg weapon? I'd swing that fucker right into Chad's face...getting my revenge at last. Graham signaled and I started turning the spit with all my might. But then...something happened. I noticed 11 of us frozen...paralyzed. Some just standing on the stage, another perched on top of one of the grill frames, and another had sat down in an empty bathtub. They were frozen. I let go of the spit and slowly, cautiously approached a man in a Civil War dress. He was staring straight ahead...his eyes unblinking…just staring into the middle distance. The clown slowly walked up behind me and in a quivering voice filled with fear said that they had contracted AFK. Backpeddling, I staggered back. AFK, the horrifying plague that had struck many out of nowhere months back…stealing the mobility and consciousness of so many people I had encountered on my travels. These poor souls would become completely immobile, losing control of all motor function. They become the forgotten and the damned…sometimes I’d come upon one being slowly eaten by molerats while they just stood there. Stood there. Not paying attention to the time, Graham announced time was up and we had failed him. Frustrated, I sat down at an old battered picnic table and was served a whole roasted molerat that had a little hat on and smelled like burnt rubber. I ate it in silence, completely dejected. Behind me...in the gathering dark those poor lost souls stood like sentinels, slowing being bathed in the growing shadows. I miss Mom & Dad…Jack and Amata…these people aren’t family.
EXPLOSIVE FARTING AND FLAMES.
SIMON: Right...I don't know what that fucking guy served me, but they are literal flames coming out of my ass. Fuck summer and fuck barbecues. Oh god my stomach…
KEN: This concludes our first minisode. Our own Alexander Luthor will be dropping the next one in a few weeks. In it, Chad and Susie will be going Trick or Treating…and it goes about as well as you’d expect. I’d also love for all of you to join our Discord server. Find the link in the show notes, on our website and linked in our Twitter bio. We’d love to hang with you in Discord and in game sometime. Otherwise, I hope to see you in the Wasteland.