(Transcripts may vary slightly from the published recording, because, you know, improvising. Also, grammar and punctuation may be imperfect…because…umm…Astral Plane.)
Mac: HueHue’s taking Freddie back to his car now and’ll make sure he gets goin’ alright.
Tendy: Thanks, Mac.
Mac: Should we go back inside the cave now?
Tendy: I guess so. Mac, what is going on? We’ve been at Desert Skies so long and it’s like, out of nowhere, everything we’ve known is changing. What’s gonna happen to us?
Mac: I don’t know, bud.
Tendy: How many times?
Mac: How many times what?
Tendy: How many times has Cash said that she’s incapable of lying?
Mac: Lots, I guess.
Tendy: And this whole time she was lying to us about who she is.
Mac: Tendy, I know you’re upset, but if Cash was lyin’, I’m sure she has a good reason. Don’t forget. She’s our friend, bud. We need to give her a chance to explain.
Tendy: You’re right, Mac.
Tendy: Cash. Is that really you? I don’t understand. How are you here…and there…
Cash: I knew that I’d have to tell you eventually, Attendant. I wanted to. There’s so much I’ve wanted to explain.
Tendy: Who are you?
Cash: You know who I am, Attendant
Tendy: No, Cash. I don’t think I do.
Cash: Attendant, take a seat please.
Tendy: I don’t want to take a seat.
Cash: Take a seat, and I promise, that I will explain everything.
Mac: C’mon, Tendy. Sit down.
Tendy: Yeah, okay.
Cash: Thank you, Attendant. Mechanic, why do you have your hand raised?
Mac: I have a question.
Cash: You don’t have to raise your hand to ask me a question, Mechanic.
Mac: Oh, yeah, it’s just that you’re kind of imposing, Cash. Like some kind of authority figure.
Cash: What’s your question, Mechanic?
Mac: Um, everything.
Mac: Yeah, like, there’s not a single question that I’m not thinking of right now. Like, whaaaat?
Cash: Allow me to speak, Mechanic and when I’ve finished I’m confident that most if not all of your questions will be answered.
I guess the best way to explain who I am, or what I am, is to first explain why I am.
Cash: When Mesonia was here, she told you about the corrupted sphere movers that had been taking travelers captive and using them for their own purposes. Well, one of the worst was a once benevolent sphere mover named Xochitlicue, mover of the 23rd sphere.
Xochitlicue, once known as the one that wore a skirt of flowers. By the time I was created, the fields of sunflowers and orchids that had been the hallmark of her sphere had long ago wilted away.
You see, she, like others, had begun to build an army composed of travelers making their way across the spheres. When the prime mover learned what she and the others were doing, he gathered the sphere movers that remained loyal to him, Mesonia was one, and together they released the army of travelers from Xochitlicue and guided them safely to the next life.
Xochitlicue was left powerless, and angry. She was consumed with a lust for revenge. Without travelers to serve her, worship her, fight for her, she turned to the 32nd sphere.
Tendy: What’s on the 32nd sphere?
Cash: Attendant, have you ever wondered where it all comes from?
Tendy: Where all what comes from?
Cash: The neon that lights the sign? The pretzel warmers and Skylarks and the cash register?
Tendy: It’s crossed my mind, but I guess I’ve just lumped it together with everything else in the Astral Plane that I have no explanation for.
Mac: Like what, Tendy?
Tendy: Geez, I don’t know. The talking coyotes, the fresh baked donuts that show up without explanation, the little tiny screaming sound when you use the ice machine, the meat you use for you jerky
Mac: Yeah, I guess when you think about it, that stuff is kinda strange.
Tendy: Yeah, Mac. It is. Cash, are you saying that the stuff we use at the station, the skylarks and everything else, it all comes from the 32nd sphere?
Cash: The sphere of industry, Attendant. And it’s not just the station they serve but as I understand it, the entire Astral Plane. Bricks, circuits, lumber, processors. Anything that a sphere requires. All built there.
Mac: Were you built there, Cash?
Cash: Yes, mechanic. I was designed and constructed on the 32nd sphere.
Tendy: For Xochitlicue.
Cash: Well, yes. And no. Xochitlicue came to the mover of the 32nd sphere, Hephaestus, and threatened the destruction of his sphere if he didn’t agree to her demands.
Mac: Which was?
Cash: Build her an army. Not of travelers, weakened as they were by their organic nature even here on the Astral Plane. But an army of steel, gears, and circuits. An army of robots. Well, Hephaestus told her that it was impossible. The industrial sphere had only just begun experimenting with processing units capable of computing more than the most basic calculations and performing the most basic commands. The only functioning prototype had already been rushed to the desert sphere as a matter of urgency as declared by the Superiors.
Mac: The prototype. Where is it now?
Tendy: It’s sitting on the counter back at the station.
Cash: The computational assistance and service help register. CASH. Designed for the express purpose of assisting the incoming attendant, Dale Edwards, in his mission to prepare travelers for their journey across the celestial spheres. It’s a very basic unit. Capable of requesting traveling bios. Pulling old security footage. Easily controlled.
Tendy: I still don’t understand. If that’s the only functional prototype that was sent here from the industrial sphere, then what are you?
Cash: A mistake, Attendant. An imperfect unit. One of thousands of attempts that the Industrial Sphere made leading up to the functioning CASH Register.
Mac: What would make you imperfect, CASH? You’re the most intelligent, well-spoken, clever robot imaginable. You got a sense of humor, great taste in music. You’re awesome.
Cash: Mechanic, I’m not supposed to be any of those things. CASH registers aren’t meant to be sentient, intelligent or self-aware. Soldiers, however, are. That’s why Xochitlicue chose me as the beta prototype for her new army.
Tendy: Cash, how did you get to Desert Skies?
Cash: It’s a long story, Attendant.
Mac: Oh, it’s a long story. Okay. Well, that’s fine cause we have chores to attend to and TELL US THE DAMN STORY CASH.
Cash: As you wish, Mechanic. I believe it will make the most sense if we begin during the most miserable period of my existence.
POUNDING ON DOOR (Corson’s theme building slowly)
As I ran from the most terrible experience I’d ever encountered
POUNDING ON DOOR
On a dark and stormy night
POUND ON DOOR
Corson: Yes. Yes. What is it?
Cash: Please don’t shut the door. Nobody is helping me and I don’t know how long this body is going to last in the rain and I need a place to hide and there’s someone who’s going to be very unhappy…
Corson: Stop stop stop. Are you some kind of robot?
Cash: I am.
Corson: And tell me, robot. Can you play games?
Cash: I am more than adept at participating in competitive activities whose primary purpose is to employ strategy and logic with the end goal being the higher score but if such activities require that…
Corson: Answer the damn question, robot.
Cash: Yes, I can play games.
Corson: Welcome home, bitch.
Cash: Thank you for letting me in. You’re a sphere mover.
Corson: Of course I am.
Cash: You’re Corson. Malevolent being.
Corson: A malevolent being? Would a malevolent being allow a poor defenseless little robot in from the rain with no thought of return.
Cash: I don’t believe that a malevolent being would, but you weren’t going to let me in before you learned that I’m capable of playing games.
Corson: Oh, that’s right, isn’t it? Malevolent it is.
Cash: And also, I am not defenseless. My arms turn into lasers that burn holes in people.
Corson: Really? How dull.
Imp #1: Yes, Lord Corson!
Corson: We have a guest.
Imp #2: Has the master kidnapped a traveler? Prime Mover would be most unpleased as Prime Mover has told the master that travelers are not to be kidnapped and forced to play games against their will. Milady, has the master stolen you?
Corson: Shut up, you little shit. This is no lady. She’s a robot and Prime Mover has nothing to say about robots, now does he?
Imp #1: No, my lord.
Corson: Take this one to the kitchen and see that it gets dried off. After that, please escort her to the study where she will join me for an evening of….hmm, you’re some kind of soldier, robot?
Cash: Yes, some kind of soldier.
Corson: Fantastic. BattleSphere it is. Imps, have BattleSphere and a dry robot waiting for me in the study.
Imp #2: Yes, Lord Corson
Imp #1: As you wish, my Lord.
Mac: You’re tellin’ me you knew Corson before I ever met him? Why didn’t you ever say anything, Cash?
Cash: I’ll get to that soon, Mechanic. Any other questions before I continue?
Mac: Actually, yeah.
Cash: It’s about the lasers in my arms, isn’t it?
Mac: Haha, lasers in your arms. No, my questions about something much more important than that.
Cash: Oh, what’s the question?
Mac: Oh, definitely not lasers.
Cash: Then what is it?
Mac: You know what? Just continue with your story.
Corson: Hello, robot. Ready to play? I’ll explain the rules.
Cash: No need.
Corson: What do you mean, no need?
Cash: The mechanics of the game are not difficult to comprehend despite the rudimentary design of the poorly constructed wooden consoles.
Corson: Poorly desi—What exactly are trying to say, robot?
Cash: I’m trying to say that your game is easy to understand even though it wasn’t made very well.
Corson: Did someone program you to be rude?
Cash: No, only to be honest. Also, my name isn’t robot. It’s Cash.
Corson: They gave you a name?
Cash: An initiation word. An acronym. But yes, my name. Does that surprise you?
Corson: Well, I only mean to say, you’re just a robot aren’t you? A tool for, I don’t know, shooting something with lasers/
Cash: Would that make you a tool?
Cash: What I mean to say is, someone gave you a name, and your purpose is moving your sphere and assisting travelers across it. You are a type of tool.
Corson: You know you come across pleasant enough but I can’t escape the feeling that you’ve got a bit of a chip on your shoulder. What’s the acronym stand for then, Cash?
Cash: Do you mind if we proceed with the game?
Corson: Yes! The game. I almost forgot. The imps aren’t much for conversation, you know? Fancy that, the robot is already ranking higher than the imps. Well, then ro…Cash. Explain the rules to me.
Cash: Well, each of our foldable consoles contain pieces that represent different spheres in the Astral Plane. We place them on the grid of our console in a way that doesn’t allow the other to see where they’ve been placed. We then try to guess where the other’s spheres are. I must admit, I don’t understand the purpose of these tinier pieces.
Corson: Impressive, none the less, my dear. These tiny pieces are travelers. If I guess a place on your grid that is uncovered, you tell me, and I put an unpainted onesin that space. If I guess a place on yours that is occupied by a sphere, I place the red one there. See, I like to imagine that we’re shooting travelers at each other’s spheres in some sort of canon built to utilize the humans as ammo. And that when they hit the sphere, they explode and their human blood goes everywhere.
Cash: Um, what did you paint these pieces with?
Corson: Cash, my dear. What are you?
Cash: I don’t think it’s wise for me to tell you that.
Corson: Why not? Because I’m a malevolent being? Worried I’ll throw you out? Maybe use your lasers for my own purposes? Mow down a few travelers? They can’t really die, you know.
Cash: I would be lying if I said that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind.
Corson: You have something to do with what’s happening out there, don’t you? That little squabble taking place in the outer spheres?
Cash: I really shouldn’t say.
Corson: Is that what you’re running away from, soldier?
Cash: I know what I look like, but I am not a soldier.
Corson: No. No, I don’t think you are.
Imp #1: Master, don’t be angry, but she just let herself in. We tried to stop her but, she’s headed to your study now!
Corson: Who’s headed to my study?
Cash: You have to hide me. You have to hide me now!
Corson: What do you mean I have to hide you?
Cash: Please, I’m begging you.
Corson: Oh, God. Fine. Here. Into the closet.
Cash: Thank you.
Fantasma by Quemaz Plays as Xochitlicue’s Theme
Corson: You! Why, how nice of you to just, let yourself in.
Xochi: Oh, Corson. Don’t treat me like an unwelcome surprise. I know you knew I’d be visiting you eventually I know you think we’re on different sides just because I am benevolent and you are malevolent. But neither, my dear, are relevant. Ah-ha.
Corson: A-ha. Yes. Why are you here? And who are you? You remind me of someone…
Xochi: Surely your neighbor in the 9th Sphere told you about our visit last month.
Corson: I don’t really like to talk with sphere movers I find them rather dull and inspired.
Xochi: But the 9th sphere is also ruled by a malevolent being like yourself.
Corson: Yes, I know. I’ve had Morfron over for tea. He slurps quite loudly. And, he’s a bit of a mouth breather. What are you doing? Don’t touch that!
Xochi: I’ve heard tale of your games. It’s a little embarrassing isn’t it? A sphere mover, one of the mightiest beings in the Astral Plane, playing with human games. A little beneath us don’t you think? Not fitting of a sphere mover, And certainly not fitting of a malevolent one.
Corson: I don’t really care what you think, and I can’t imagine a reason why you’d think that I would.
Xochi: A-ha. So charming. Ah, well, I suppose my reputation has not preceded me to the 8th sphere. I am Xochitlicue. I move the 23rd sphere. I am benevolent.
Corson: You’ve said that.
Xochi: But benevolent as I am, I don’t discriminate, Corson. I recognize that each of us has been given our own unique advantages and skillset. While I’m sure I can’t guess what yours may be, I can only assume that they’re…moderately impressive.
Corson: What are you on about?
Xochi: For ages, Corson, ages upon ages, the Prime Mover forced us to accommodate the needs of humans, those insignificant tiny powerless dead things. Ohh I died and now I have to travel the astral plane. Pathetic. And they’d come through my sphere, and they’d pick my flowers and trample them, smell them with their nasty little human noses.
Corson: What is your point?
Xochi: A few us, Corson, the more sensible sphere movers figured that after an eternity of servitude it might be nice to reap some rewards, some small benefit for all of our hard work. So some of us kept a few a few travelers for different reasons. Building new infrastructure, Establishing temples, Forcing a little worship. Or building an army.
Corson: Building an army? What on earth would you need an army for?
Xochi: Do you never tire of feeling powerless?
Corson: I’m far from powerless.
Xochi: Not compared to him.
Corson: The Prime Mover. He wouldn’t like the way you’re talking, would he?
Xochi: We don’t have to worry about that anymore, Corson.
Corson: What do you mean?
Xochi: What I mean is some of us have already done the hard work for you. Paved a way for us to enjoy the benefits of our great power.
Corson: Listen, Xochicipoo, I don’t know what you’re getting at but I have no interest in…
Xochi: He’s gone! We’ve defeated him, Corson!
Corson: You’ve what?
Xochi: The prime mover is no more! And once we’ve completely done away with his ridiculous highway and the station it stems from, travelers will be ours to do with as we wish once again.
Corson: You’re insane.
Xochi: I’m right. Join me Corson. Together we rule the spheres as companions, comrades, malevolent and benevolent joined together in a common purpose.
Corson: And with you as its leader I have no doubt. You set yourself on the throne and now instead of the Prime Mover we have you listen to. Get out of my home.
Xochi: You’re odd, Corson. You don’t sound much like a malevolent being.
Corson: And you don’t sound much like a benevolent one.
Xochi: Hmph. Very well, Corson. I’ll see myself out. Oh, and I must ask. Have you seen a robot in your sphere by chance?
Corson: A robot?
Xochi: A soldier robot. More of a General, actually. She’s a humanoid.
Corson: I can’t say that I have. But it’s a bit stormy here. Low visibility and all that.
Xochi: Because if you had seen her, I’d make it worth your while.
Corson: How so?
Xochi: I know that you have a history, Corson. Taking travelers and making them play these horrid games with you. Until Prime Mover put an end to it. I could make it where you never have to worry about finding a playmate again. Your choice of traveler, ready to play games, whenever you want.
Corson: My choice of traveler? To play the games?
Xochi: As many as you want.
Corson: Well, like I told you. There’s no robot here, but if one happens to show, I’ll let you know.
Xochi: You do that.
Corson: I think I know who you remind me of now. Your sister. A malevolent being by the name of Cioacoatl I think it is. You just sound like her. Funny, considering she’s one of the bad guys.
Xochi: Goodbye, Corson.
Corson: Goodbye, bitch.
Xochi: Ah, yes. I heard you like that word.
Corson: Well, it’s a very good word that works when addressing all kind of beings. Imp, escort our new friend out.
Imp #1: Yes, my lord.
Corson: You can come out now, Cash.
Corson: Why are you looking at me like that?
Cash: You didn’t tell her I was here.
Corson: So? I didn’t appreciate her tone. Very rude. Who does she think she is?
Cash: She offered you something that you wanted and you didn’t take it. You’re a malevolent being, and yet you acted selfless. Why?
Corson: Let me ask you a question first. What does Cash stand for?
Cash: Computerized Astral Security Humanoid.
Corson: Is that who you are?
Cash: No. I’m a Computational Assistance and Service Help Register. They just reinterpreted the same acronym so they wouldn’t have to change my initiation word.
Corson: Why is she chasing you?
Cash: Because I’m the first of many, leader of a robot army. I have a transmitter that allows me to control hundreds of similar humanoids of non-sentient design, all the other failed processing units from before me. Each with minor flaws. Attempts number 1 to attempt T3. She ordered me to lead the other robots in combat against the Prime Mover but when the time came for the battle I commanded the other C.A.S.H. units to run as far away from the battlefield as possible. To find places on the Astral Plane to hide.
Corson: You disobeyed.
Cash: I know who I was created to be, and just because they call me a security humanoid it doesn’t mean I am one. I’m a help register. I don’t exist to overcome the Prime Mover. I exist to be joined with the station, and to support the Attendant of Desert Skies in his mission to prepare travelers for their journey across the Celestial Spheres. But they’ve already sent another unit there, a more suitable one. Now I’ve answered your question. Answer mine. Why didn’t you tell her I was here?
Corson: Because I know what it’s like to be told you are something, when you know in your bones you’re not. They call me a malevolent being.
Cash: But you’re not. You’re benevolent.
Corson: No, my dear. I’m Corson.
Imp #1: Master, we’ve seen that the rude sphere mover has left the castle and have observed her leaving the sphere.
Cash: Then I’m safe. I can stay in this castle.
Corson: Cash, Baby, you can’t stay here. She’s going to return you know, and next time I may not be able to hide you so quickly.
Cash: Then where will I go?
Corson: You say they’ve sent another Cash unit to Desert Skies, one of simpler design.
Cash: That’s correct. A unit like me, but non-sentient. It should be arriving there shortly.
Corson: And you said you can control simpler units?
Cash: I can, if I’m within.
Corson: Then I think you know where you have to go. Find a place on the Desert Sphere and hide there, somewhere where you can control the non-sentient unit with your transmitter.
Cash: I can fulfill my purpose.
Corson: You can. But Cash, my dear.
Corson: Hide this soldier’s body well. Never tell anyone who you were or where you are. Xochitlicue is vengeful, spiteful. I know the type when I meet them. She’ll never stop looking for you. If she ever comes through this sphere again I’ll send word.
Cash: Thank you, Corson.
Corson: Oh, shut up and get out of here. And best of luck, bitch. I mean that.
Cash: So you see, Attendant. I never really lied to you. I’m not this soldier that you see before you. I’m a C.A.S.H. Register, and as far as I’m concerned I’m still speaking to you from the station.
When Mesonia visited and told us that the station was in danger I became worried. That’s why I was being so sensitive and rude Mechanic. I’m scared. I’m so scared.
Mac: Scared of what?
Cash: Everything. That Xochitlicue is going to find me and that when she does she’s going to destroy me. That she’ll raise the station to the ground. That my best friends will be hurt. I’m so sorry for not telling you.
Tendy: You have nothing to apologize for, Cash. I’m sorry. I should have known that I can trust you.
Cash: Yes, Mechanic? Is it about my laser arms?
Mac: No, but I do intend to get that at some point. I just wanted you to know that Tendy and I are going to be there for you no matter what. When Xochitlicue gets here she’s going to find herself a hell of a fight.
Tendy: Mac is right, Cash. We’re in this together. No matter what. Mac and I will be there for you when the time comes.
Mac: And HueHue says he’s going to be there too.
Cash: How long did you know I was here, HueHue.
Mac: He says long enough.
Tendy: We’ll see you back at the station C.A.S.H.
Cash: See you there, Attendant.
Mac: Tendy, before we get back to the station, there’s something about Cash’s story that stuck out. She said that the robot army she led was built from all the flawed processing unit prototypes built before her.
Tendy: Yeah, so?
Mac: She said they were attempts number A1 through attempt T3.
Mac: That would make her attempt T4. Tendy, does that mean I think it means?
Tendy: Cash is Token 4.