09: Decay

written by Julian Mundy
produced by Mischa Stanton
[pt-br]

[[SFX: tape recorder starts]]

SALLY GRISSOM (SG): Diary of Sally Grissom, December 23rd, 1946. This year, our Christmas miracle came in the form of some really... Is “weird biz” too unscientific? It’s some weird biz. Partridge and I have been working on a computing processor that utilizes the time-freezing properties of the CAGE to solve some optimization problems. Basically, a computer running inside the CAGE gives you effectively immediate results. In itself, pretty cool–but it gets cooler. Using Partridge’s predictive model running on a parallel processing unit, it predicts likely results and feeds those back into the initial process. Run a few thousand iterations and you get a result orders of magnitude more accurate than anything you get until... actually, I don’t even think 20█ had anything that precise. He’s been calling the whole thing the “Asynchronous Processor”–the APU. It’s a new level of hell to program for, but did I mention it’s basically instantaneous? There’s no codified operating system for it yet, but once there is, I’ve got the perfect name for it: NostradamOS. Man, I’m good.

Anyway. The thing works well enough when it relies on mechanical switches, but a digital system would work so much better–and wouldn’t require a warehouse full of vacuum tubes. Naturally my first thought was to upgrade the APU to use transistors. It should’ve been a straightforward issue, mechanically. With the new setup, we started to get results almost as soon as we put them in. But they’re a mess. The results come in jumbled, or degraded. Too few bits, or too many. We’ve all checked and re-checked the machine, and nobody can figure out what’s wrong. Roberts thinks that it’s totally random, but Wyatt is betting on a ghost in the machine. Like, the Ghost of Data Past, or something. Spooooooky! Either way, it’s pretty frustrating not even knowing how to start answering a question. Alas, such is science.                        

Speaking of spooky spooks, I’ve been seeing some new faces around town. They’ve all got this G-Man look to them. The high and tight haircut, the shirt collars just a little too crisp. Clerks, security, office staff. You name it. I’ve got a feeling that each one of them has a big “CLASSIFIED BY ORDER OF” stamped somewhere in their file. Our year is up; the CIA is here. They give me this awful sense of déjà vu, like I’m back in New Mexico. They all give me looks as I walk by them... Or maybe it’s just my paranoia. It’s gotten to me before.

[[SFX: radio tuning; Sally soldering, Anthony working on a problem set; Sally burns herself and drops the iron]]

SG: Ow! Dammit.                    

ANTHONY PARTRIDGE (AP): Sounded like it hurt. You all right? I can check the icebox–

SG: No, no, it’s fine. Just pass me that one over there. Over–

AP: This one?

SG: Yeah, that one. Thanks.

[[SFX: Sally searches for parts; Anthony stops working]]

AP: You and Helen talk, right? You’re friendly? Friends?

SG: Eh, friendly. I guess. Why?        

AP: Does she tell you much about herself, or... Us?

SG: I already don’t like where this is going.

AP: Helen and I, we’ve been having this... disagreement. Remember when we all went to Las Vegas last year, and we saw the Trinity test? She got it in her head that what we’re doing here is going to bring about the End of Days. Since then, things haven’t been the same between us... She refuses to understand how important this work is.

SG: How rude of her{.}

AP: We’re so close now, on the brink of really changing the world here. It’s incredible, but it’s also an enormous pressure. Can’t she see that?

SG: I think she knows exactly what sort of pressure you’re under. I think that’s the problem.

AP: What do you mean?

SG: I’ve seen your punch card. You’re pulling twenty-five-hour days. You’re sleeping on a cot you stash under your desk.

AP: You have an identical one under yours—

SG: Partridge, you’ve already got a bed! A real bed. And a woman at home who wants you in it beside her!

AP: When I’m there we... I don’t know. We float around each other. Two planets in orbit. I’d want to spend my time where I can be useful.

SG: When was the last time you took a day, just to be with her?

AP: Well I mean... Not since... I.... I guess it has been a while.

SG: I remember that night in the desert. There was more than just the bomb. Do you remember? The campfire? The story about your first date, that bottle of wine?

AP: Yeah...

SG: There. That face. That’s the face you had on that night. You love her, man. Plain and simple. But you know when else you made that face? After the bomb went off.

AP: It’s not that simple, Sally. I’ve devoted five years of my life to this project because the stakes are being measured in real lives! We’re on the brink of changing the world!

SG: You’re not a quitter, Partridge, anyone can see that. But I think the once you get over the sound and spectacle of your newest toy, you’re afraid of what happens next.

AP: You think I’m scared? That’s your brilliant theory?

SG: How about it? Come on, you were commissioned for two years to create a model for predicting the future. You know more about prognostication than anyone. Can you divine what happens to you if you keep going on like this?

AP: Back off, Sally. Right now.

[[SFX: Esther and Jack enter the lab]]                        

SG: So yeah! I think you’re scared! So scared, in fact, that you can’t even listen to the advice that you asked me for!

JACK WYATT (JW): Family squabble? Hey, can I join in? Since we don’t get to go home for Christmas, I kinda missed it this year.

SG: Partridge and I were having a lively debate about the... data entropy problem with the APU. But he’s refused to hear my sage advice.

AP: [scoffs]

SG: Maybe you two will have better luck.

ESTHER ROBERTS (ER): ...So?

AP: What?

ER: What’s the question? Must be a doozy if it set Sally frothing like that.

SG: Hey! I do not froth!

JW: Sometimes you do. Just a little.

AP: What I was going to say was, the asynchronous processor still encounters fatal errors in 3% of its calculations. It has to do with the new electronic switching system. The memory system doesn’t seem to parse bits correctly along the predicted pathways, and that 3% is enough to scuttle anything else it tries.

JW: What did you call it Sally? A ghost in the machine? I wonder if it’s friendly like that Casper...

ER: Shut up, Jack.

AP: I appear to be left with two possible issues. One: there’s a fault in how power is being distributed and confuses the processor and interrupts its sequencing. Two: the asynchronous processor simply doesn’t—

SG: Partridge, you’re killing me. If you don’t like APU, at least come up with something catchy.

AP: What? Fine. What about the....Extra-Temporal... Or... The Recursive Antitele[phone]-... no... Oh! The SuperLuminal Recursive Processor! SLURP!

SG/ER/JW: [laughs]

ER: Really Dr. Partridge? SLURP?

AP: Wha— Okay! I don’t have Sally’s gift for naming. Fine. But without a fix, we’re dead in the water.

SG: It is gonna be a challenge to refit the CAGE for the bigger computer when this one doesn’t even work.                        

JW: This thing already takes up half the lab with all its hardware. Any more and Dr. Grissom is gonna have to work on the Timepiece in between databanks C7 and C8.

SG: Not exactly cost effective. Or even very practical.

AP: Come on, guys. I need something here! I’m missing something crucial.

ER: We spit in the face of practicality all the time, Dr. Partridge, it usually works out. Fringe benefit of knowing Dr. Grissom.

AP: She does usually have some kind of insight right about now...

SG: ...Oh, so now you want my help?

[[SFX: radio tuning; Christmas music in breakroom]]

JW: So Esther... Are you and Chet doing anything for the holiday? Eh? You and Chet? Going out maybe?

ER: What? What are you talking about?

JW: Come on. You guys’ve been seeing each other, right? Since a few months ago, the CAGE fiasco?

ER: No! Why would you ever, ever think that?

JW: Well you’ve been so tight-lipped about what went on in there... In a dark, enclosed space... Nothing to occupy yourselves but some well-thumbed comic books...

ER: Hmmph. “Well-thumbed.” This is what’s become of all my hard work? You’re a pig.

JW: No, Esther, come on, I’m happy for you! Isn’t it nice, being with someone? It’s exactly what you need. I mean, how long has it been since you had some poor sap wrapped around your finger? What, grad school?

ER: I’m sorry, you’ll have to repeat yourself, I couldn’t catch it through all the oinking and grunting.

JW: Uh, as I recall, you were all over the “clumsily set Jack up with a beautiful sweet waitress” bandwagon.

ER: Yeah, you’re welcome, by the way. How is Penny?

JW: Wonderful. The diner’s closed this week so we spent most of the weekend together at her pl—...we… uh… We spent it together.

ER: Why Mr. Wyatt, I never thought a gentleman like yourself would kiss-and-tell{!}

JW: Don’t change the subject. How many times has Chet Whickman whispered sweet classified nothings in your ear?

[[Esther remains silent]]

JW: ...Did....Oh, he did, didn’t he? He told you something in there—

[[SFX: Jack turns off the radio]]

ER: Nothing happened, alright? I tried!

JW: Oh, come on, what’s the dirt? Spit it out.

ER: I... I can’t tell you.

JW: ...Really?

ER: It’s not because I don’t want to! I mean, Jack, come on. I would tell you. But Whickman, he... You know what I mean! Double dog-dare top secret material, man with a gun, lockable doors! It doesn’t work out well for people who make him upset.

JW: ... I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there have been a lot of staffing changes upstairs, and you know as well as I do they’re not locals. They’re from Washington, or wherever the factory is that churns ‘em out by the truckload. Intelligence types.

ER: I haven’t seen anything.

JW: Yes you have! Don’t do that. You’ve seen them too, I know you have.

ER: Jack, I’ve heard of paranoia, but this is just—

JW: It’s not paranoia, dammit! I know Whickman is scary, but don’t play into their games, Esther! You’re better than that. Take a long hard look around, and tell me you haven’t been getting a feeling just like after… after what happened... The Christmas party. Last year.

ER: So what if I have?

JW: Look, Penny and I have been talking. And she... We’re catching the next train out of here, Esther. Next stop anyplace else.

ER: So... you’re leaving us, then.

JW: Our year is up, the G-men are here, and they’re like sharks, Esther. Sharks that caught a whiff of blooding the water. And I’m not sticking around until dinnertime.

ER: So just like that? The government gets here and you get gone?

JW: Yes! Right now, A-S-A-P! Most riki-tik, like the jarheads say! Before Donovan or Whickman or we can do any more damage, Esther! Have you forgotten about Victor Lambert, last Christmas? Or Quentin Barlowe before that? Those men are broken. They were good men, and the US government used them up until there was nothing left.

ER: I remember, but you can’t put that on... we’re still in the dark about what happened to him.

JW: “In the dark?” Funny you should mention that, because that’s right where I feel like I am right now! You spent a day “in the dark” with Chet Whickman, and now you’re playing into their game. True or false?

ER: ...What we do is complicated. Knowing every detail doesn’t make what we have to do any easier.

JW: You sound like them, Esther. You sound like Whickman and Donovan and all the other faceless grey suits that will say anything as long as we keep our heads down and keep the progress coming. You... I thought we wanted to help people. Who was the last person the Timepiece helped? You can’t name one, because there aren’t any! It’s ruined lives, Esther, in the most horrible ways! And Dr. Grissom...

[[SFX: Esther stands, goes to the sink]]                        

ER: She ever doesn’t talk about her family. You notice that? Doesn’t feel right that nobody’s thought to ask after her.    

JW: She would just deflect the question. What are you getting at?

ER: You really want to leave?

JW: I want to leave. I want all of us to leave! Why is it so important to you to go down with this ship?

ER: Because if there is still the chance that I– that we could get it right. If we walk away, no one ever gets that chance again.

JW: So if the ship is sinking, you’d rather be the one at the wheel. That’s a very specific kind of crazy.

ER: People used to think of visionaries that way. Hindsight told us they were brave. You could be that for Penny, Jack. You could be that for us, too.

JW: ...I should invite Sally over for Christmas, huh?

[[SFX: radio tuning; the Timepiece spools up; Sally types on a keyboard]]

AP: This time for sure. This time for sure. This time. For sure.

SG: CAGE cycling up in 3-2-1.

[[SFX: CAGE powering up, leveling off; printout]]

SG: Cycling. How’re my babies?

AP: Getting something, but... No, dammit!

SG: Same result?

AP: Just, look at this. Each result is broken in its own unique way. A beautiful, incomprehensible snowflake. None of these data correspond to anything we entered. One more time, then?

SG: Partridge, I don’t know who’s more fried: the electrical grid, or my brain. It’s only 5:30, you should have plenty of time for dinner–with your wife.

AP: This again? Sally, I can’t go home yet!

SG: It’s Christmas, buddy, that’s kind of a big deal around here.

AP: This system has got to be greenlit by New Years.

SG: Has got to?

AP: Yes. And I’d rather not get into why–

SG: Dammit Partridge, this isn’t healthy! I don’t know how much clearer I can make it! You’re going to waste away or go crazy down here if you keep this up! Go home to what’s left of your family!

AP: That’s almost funny, coming from you.

SG: Beg your pardon?            

AP: Why won’t you just let this go? At first I appreciated the concern, but now I’m starting to lose patience with this–this obsession you have! Am I taking up too much space? Cramping your style? You’re the last person to lecture me about taking a break from work!                

SG: Have a Merry goddamn Christmas, Partridge{.}

[[SFX: Sally leaves; radio tuning]]    

SG: Diary of Sally Grissom, December 24, 1946. You know, I never really got Christmas. As a thing. I don’t. It only reminds me of being a moody teenager again, awkwardly crammed in the corner of a room full of adults who have no idea what to say to you, or whether they even should say anything to you at all? A time that is supposed to bring people together, but it just makes you feel even more alone? I used to roll my eyes at Christmastime, as soon as people started swapping out spooky lawn ornaments for candy-colored lights. It’s just another excuse for Americans to flood every store in the nation to spread some Christmas cheer with their hard-earned dollars! The most wonderful time of the year–fiscally speaking!

But I walk around this quiet little mountain town, and… it’s like all my naysaying falls apart. Because you know what? They believe in it. There’s no plastic trees, or department stores, their Christmas cheer isn’t bought and paid for. Their cheer is real. These people huddle around their warm fireplaces, and they actually care about each other. You know? Like, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t see something so... [sniffs] It’s just, it’s hard, you know? Look at Partridge, he’s so happy to piss it all away when he doesn’t even make a... It doesn’t even make sense.

He’s gotta know, right? He has to know what she’s ready to do.

[[SFX: knock at the door]]                    

ER: (through the door) Hello?

JW: (through the door) Hey Dr. Grissom! Sally, are you in there?

SG: Oh shit. [sniffs]

[[SFX: radio tuning]]

AP: Beginning 20-variable phase of tests, Asynchronous Processor with CAGE umbilicus feeding into modified Grissom transistors. Input variables are regarding outcomes in the event of the death of William Donovan.

[[SFX: the Timepiece spools up; Anthony types in variables; the CAGE activates; results print out]]

AP: Results of test 44-C determined with speed thus far characteristic of current specs, with... characteristically incomprehensible results.

[[SFX: Anthony crumples the result]]

AP: ...Christmas. Christmas now, evil machine tomorrow. I’m coming, Helen.

[[SFX: Anthony stands, knocking over his recorder]]

AGENT MARSH (AM): Oh, good evening, doctor.

AP: Uh, good evening. Can I help you with something?

AM: No sir, just closing up for the night, making sure everyone gets back home for a piece of Christmas Eve.

AP: Well, er, I was just getting ready to do that, if you’ll give me a moment.

AM: Afraid I have to ask you to clear out now, doctor, if you could just leave everything as is.

AP: Why, Mr...?

AM: Marsh, sir. Agent Nicolas Marsh.

AP: Agent... I see.

AM: I have to lock up, sir, if you don’t mind.

AP: No, certainly. Of course. Merry Christmas, Agent Marsh.

AM: And you, Doctor Partridge. God bless.

[[SFX: radio tuning]]                

JW: (through the door) Sally, open up! We have a question!

ER: (through the door) There’s a doorbell, Jack, maybe she can’t hear us–

SG: Hang on a second!            

[[SFX: door opens]]

JW: Sally! You’re still here, that’s great!

SG: What’s up, guys?            

ER: We were afraid Dr. Partridge had already asked – wait, have you–

SG: Just get inside, it’s freezing!

[[SFX: Esther and Jack enter; door shuts]]

SG: What is it?

ER: Have you been crying?

SG: What? No! Why are you even here? I have a phone.

JW: We tried calling. More than once, even. It went straight your Answermatic, I had to leave messages.

SG: Answertron. Again: you, here, why?

JW: Alone in your house on Christmas Eve, sobbing into a tape recorder, [sniffs] sober as a judge, with the phone disconnected? Oh my God, if there’s a frozen dinner on your kitchen counter Sally, I might lose the will to live.

ER: Jack, please. Sally, I hate to agree with... any of that, but come on. We came here for you, y’know.

JW: Isn’t there some Grissom family homestead you should be going to?

SG: [deep breath] Okay. Okay fine. You know... I might be committing treason or something, but fine. I’m not just a genius scientist who invented a time machine. I’m from the twenty-first century. I built the prototype Timepiece by accident. I showed up on the deck of a battleship and puked all over a sailor’s blouse when he helped me to my feet. Then Donovan Shanghai’d me to Polvo. Then... Then Donovan Shanghai’d me to Polvo–Nothing? Really?

ER: I don’t think we’re really surprised by this job anymore, Sally.

JW: And we did already popped the cork on time traveling last Christmas.

ER: Wait, we what now?

JW: –I’ll tell you later.

SG: You’re both serious.

ER: We are. Face it, you’re just different, always have been. People notice, but they aren’t us. They wouldn’t know what they’re looking for.

JW: And nobody I ever met speaks the way you do. Or eats the way you do. Or stares blankly into her coffee when she’s mulling a problem the way you do.

ER: He’s right about your diet. It’s truly frightening.

SG: I... Thanks? Thank you? I think? Why are you guys being so nice about this?

ER: (doing her best Whickman) That information is classified, Dr. Grissom.

JW: Wait, did you really lose your lunch all over a sailor when you got here?

SG: Actually... it was Whickman.

[[Sally, Esther, and Jack all burst out laughing, freeze frame end-of-70s-sitcom-style; Esther and Jack trail off well before Sally does, who starts to sound slightly manic.]]

SG: (still fighting for breath) Okay, okay, so what was so important you dragged yourself through hell froze over to tell me?

JW: Well, we’ll be cutting it close, but I had already invited Roberts, who already did her… her weird candle thing–

ER: It’s a menorah!

JW: –And Penny did say I should bring my friends, so... You want to spend Christmas with us?

[[Sally starts crying]]

ER: Jack!

JW: Omigod what did I say what did I say Sally omigod please Esther fix this Esther fix this right now–

ER: Honey, what’s wrong?

SG: (tearful) It’s not his fault. I’m just kind of a mess right now. Thanks Wyatt, I’d love to come. Yes, definitely.

JW: Ok, but does this mean we can plug your phone back in? So we can laugh at the terrible messages and actually call you if we need to?

SG: What is your deal with my phone? How many messages did you guys – [leave?]

[[SFX: Sally plugs the Answertron back in and hits play; the tape is distorted]]

SG: Wait a minute...

[[SFX: a corrupted message from Jack]]

SG: Did this whole spool get corrupted?

JW: Power surge?

ER: It’s entirely possible, given the power draw from the APU. I’ve never heard of a surge causing signal decay like this though.

SG: But listen to it, it sounds like... Like a pattern. Like a pulse. Signal decay… I need to get to the lab!

ER: We just came from there though!

JW: Ughhh, you’re ruining Christmas! This is just like that time my dad fell off the roof dressed like Santa Claus.

SG: It’s a tachyon pulse! From the Timepiece. Like the signal tracking we cooked up in March! Or the power surge in Polvo? It’s the pulse! Of course it’s the pulse! I need to get to the lab!

JW: Are we really going back to work right now?

SG: Think of it as a Christmas present for Partridge.

[[SFX: phone rings]]

JW: See? Someone wants to talk to you. A Christmas miracle.

ER: Could be a Hanukkah miracle.

JW: Hanukkah’s made up, Esther–

SG: Go warm up the car, I’ll be out in a sec.

JW: All right.

[[SFX: Jack and Esther leave; Sally picks up the phone]]

SG: Hello?

[[SFX: radio tuning; voices heard through phone]]

SG: Hello?

HELEN PARTRIDGE (HP): Hello, Sally.

SG: Helen? Um, hi, merry Christmas—

HP: I hope you’re satisfied. You know, with your progress. Your happy little hive.

SG: I don’t understand. Helen, is everything ok?

HP: I think you have a pretty good idea of how “everything” is. You’re not deaf or blind, unlike some of us!

SG: Helen if this is about Anthony, I—

HP: Shut up! Just. Shut. Up. For once in your life, you don’t get to wriggle out of something by talking about it until it’s alphabet soup!

SG: Helen, please just tell me what’s wrong–

HP: NO! No! Anthony and I – we had a life! Then he took a government job and things got hard, but we were strong! He loved me! I trekked out to the middle of the desert, and never did I once doubt we would be together forever. He was going to save the humanity and made me believe he could do it. And who should appear one day but the great enigma that is Sally Grissom? The cherry on top of a sundae of secrets we’ll all take to our graves, like it or not! You know, the last time I got up on stage, I just wanted to just replace the words of a song with every secret I have ever had to keep for you, or Anthony, or Bill Donovan. Belt them out for this whole benighted little town to hear, with a double encore!

SG: I feel the same way.

HP: Don’t speak to me like you’re just the same as any normal person, Sally Grissom! I don’t know what you think is acceptable behavior where you’re from. Who you were before you fell into our world like a boot to an anthill.

[[SFX: truck horn in background]]

SG: Helen, where are you calling from?

HP: I’m gone, Sally. I’m leaving! I’ve found a manager, for the singing. They’re going to help me move away, set me up somewhere new.

SG: Where is that?

HP: That’s not important. I have some things to put in order before I go, so I’ll keep this brief, but I want you to promise something to me. If you ever considered me a friend, do this one thing for me.

SG: Helen, what do you want me to do?

HP: Just... Don’t say anything. Don’t tell him.

SG: Then why tell me?

HP: Because now you have to look him in the eye and lie to him. Lie to him about something he loves. Just like you made him do to me.

SG: ...That’s harsh, Helen. That’s... Cruel.

HP: Sally Grissom, you are the worst thing that ever happened to me.

[[SFX: Helen hangs up; radio tuning; a grandfather clock ticks; footsteps approach through the snow outside; the door opens and Anthony enters, removes his coat]]

AP: Honey! Merry Christmas! Why are all the lights off? Did we blow a fuse? Helen?

[[SFX: Anthony wanders through the empty house; he turns on a lamp]]

AP: Helen? I’m sorry. I know I was out late, I... I’ve been out late for too long. Helen! Sweetheart, are you here?

[[SFX: Anthony ascends the stairs, then runs back down]]

AP: No, no, no, no, she can’t have done something so damn…

[[SFX: Anthony shoves the phone to the ground; the clock strikes the hour; Anthony throws a chair into the clock; he cries; radio tuning]]

SG: Diary of Sally Grissom, December 24, 1946. Part two, I guess. I just came down to the lab to check on the progress Partridge made with the APU, and he’s not here. I couldn’t get through when I called the house, so… I guess I’ll just leave him a note? I could be overthinking this. I want to be. But really, I just want to stop thinking about them. About the whole Partridge Family Circus. I’m gonna leave a note with my radiation pulse theory on his desk, and I’m gonna spend Christmas Eve with friends. I think I get to have that, this time.    

[[SFX: radio tuning; Bill in the late stages of sickness]]            

BILL DONOVAN (BD): ...And, and we did- we will do- we did- Whickman will- are you? Are you? [etc]

HANK CORNISH (HC): Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. When did he get this bad?

CHET WHICKMAN (CW): You fellows certainly took your time putting this together.

HC: I don’t much appreciate your tone, son. I told Bill it would be about a year, one year ago, almost to the day. You ever think that you just might be too close to this?

CW: I can’t say that the question ever kept me up at night, sir. Too much else to do. And if I may speak frankly, sir?        

HC: Go on.                

CW: I would doubt the objectivity of anyone with this job, but it’s been mine for years now. You wanna scrub this mission? That’s within your rights. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.

HC: What makes you so sure?

CW: Because you’re a practical man, who works for practical men. I know this operation top-to-bottom, and more importantly...

[[SFX: Chet places a box on the desk]]

CW: –I know where all the bodies are buried.

HC: What is this supposed to be?

[[SFX: Hank sifts through the box]]    

CW: I can do one of two things, Agent Cornish: I can tear this whole thing down with a wrecking ball, or I can save it. Only one of those gets you a world you’d want to live in. The world he dreamed of.

HC: Goodness, look at the pair on you! Is that all?

[[SFX: Bill’s coughing fit worsens; static distortion; Bill faints]]

HC: Bill!

CW: Son of a bitch.                    

HC: Agent Wells! Wells, get a medic in here, now!

CW: No! Agent Cornish, that won’t help.

HC: The hell you mean?

CW: We know what we need to do now. We’ve always known.

[[SFX: radio tuning; a stretcher wheels Bill away; Anthony enters]]

AP: Officer Whickman! Was that the director? What the hell happened?

CW: What are you doing here, Doctor?

AP: Well, I was... I just came from the lab. Sally’s left a note about the CAGE, about how information decays along the pattern of a tachyon pulse, whenever the Timepiece or any of its derivative tech is used. And it made me think— information decay is exactly what’s happened to Bill! The information in his head is decaying! I think, well, if we can put him in the CAGE, I think it’s highly likely that we can halt, if not outright reverse, his symptoms. This is the best shot we’ve had so far!

CW: I’ll take that under advisement and... schedule a demonstration as soon as possible. Excuse me Anthony, I’ve got to go.

[[SFX: Chet exits; Anthony peeks into the box]]

AP: What is this? “Donovan: October 28th, 1943.” “Donovan/Grissom, January 44.” “Donovan/Partridge–”... What the hell?

[[SFX: tape recorder stops]]


ars PARADOXICA is created by Daniel Manning and Mischa Stanton.
Episode 09: Decay features – 

Kristen DiMercurio (Sally Grissom)
Reyn Beeler (Chet Whickman)
Rob Slotnick (Bill Donovan)
Robin Gabrielli (Anthony Partridge)
Susanna Kavee (Helen Partridge)
Katie Speed (Esther Roberts)

Zach Ehrlich (Jack Wyatt)
Dan Anderson (Hank Cornish)
Billy Finn (Agent Nicholas Marsh)
with special thanks to Isabel Atkinson

Production help from Bryan Williams/Ark B. Original music by Mischa Stanton. 
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WEATHER: showers