(Transcripts may vary slightly from the published recording, because, you know, improvising. Also, grammar and punctuation may be imperfect…because…umm…Astral Plane.)
Tendy: You can come down now, Mac.
Mac: Okaaaaaay. Here I come.
Tendy: Okay, you ready?
Mac: Ready as I’ll ever be.
Tendy: Okay. Shirley will you do the honors.
Shirley: It will be my pleasure.
One…and a half
Mac: Oh, don’t do that to me!
Shirley: (laughs) One
Light Switch Turns On
Music Begins to Play
Mac: What? What is this?
Tendy: It was Shirley’s idea.
Shirley: From the first time I saw your shack I’ve been thinking about how it could use an upgrade. That place is terrifying. It shouldn’t be allowed to exist. In fact, it’s a stain on the face of the…
Tendy: That’s, that’s good Shirley.
Mac: Well, this is one hell of an upgrade. From shack to kickass basement. So this is what you two were doing down here this whole time?
Tendy: I really wanted to tell you, Mac. But it had to be a surprise.
Mac: Well, mission accomplished. This is a surprise!
Shirley: Let’s take a look around shall we?
We begin with the sitting area. Perfect spot for an evening’s reading.
Tendy: Childhood memories of course.
Shirley: And enough room for you to stretch out on the couch in the event you consume too much of that shack juice, though I suppose you’d call it basement juice now, either way it sounds weird and disconcerting.
Mac: Wait, a second. This couch. Is it…No way! That’s the backseat of a Skylark!!!
Tendy: I asked HueHue and his crew if they could remove it from the car he quote unquote borrowed from Shirley. I couldn’t understand what he barked back but if I had to guess, I think he was just happy to do something for his friend.
Mac: Aw, that’s so nice. I mean, I hate to see a Buick tortured like that, but this is cool as shit guys.
Shirley: We’re not done yet. As I understand it you’re a big fan of jerky. Well, my family made their own to sell in the store, and we used an old refrigerator to do it.
Tendy: Remember this fridge, Mac?
Mac: It’s the old soda fridge.
Tendy: You always said we’d find a use for it, and we did. Well, Shirley did.
Shirley: Oh, it was nothing. Just removed the condenser coils and replaced them with a heating element from the old pretzel warmer. Oila! Dehydrator.
Mac: I’ll be damned.
Tendy: Over here you have a big workbench for whatever projects you want to take on, hung some old promotional posters on the wall for a little color.
Mac: Look at this one. Get your burrito today. 24 Varieties. 24? That was forever ago.
Tendy: And you haven’t aged a day.
Tendy: And it’s not just the posters. Shirley ran some more power down here. Check this out.
Mac: Our old ice cold drinks neon sign. That is so cool! It’s startin’ to feel like the Long Pause in here.
Shirley: Here’s something I’m especially proud of. Press this button here.
Mac: This one here?
Shirley: Hold it down and say something and then let go.
Mac: Ummmmm, let’s see. Kiss my grits!
Cash (staticy): Excuse me?
Mac: Cash, oh I’m sorry Cash I didn’t know you’d hear that.
Cash: That’s okay. I don’t even know what it means.
Mac: An intercom? How’d you do that?
Tendy: An old speaker, some wires, some shirley know-how.
Mac: I love it.
Tendy: And check this out.
Cash: Yes, attendant.
Tendy: Can you play some music down here?
Cash: Certainly. Genre?
Mac: Let’s go with…chillaxing.
Tendy: I’m not sure Cash knows what chillaxing is.
Cash: Playing Chillaxing music.
Mac: Well, that’s very pretty.
Driveway Bell Sounds
Shirley: Oh, and that’s the last part! Ran another hose down for the driveway bell. That way you never miss a traveler arriving when you’re down here.
Mac: You guys! Here I was thinking you were just hanging out without me, and this whole time you were hanging out for me. I don’t know what to say. This place is amazing. I can’t wait to show HueHue.
Tendy: I’m glad you like it, Mac.
Shirley: One last thing before we go upstairs. This one here told me about the guitar you received.
Mac: Yes ma’am. You don’t play do ya?
Shirley: Me? No. But, I’ll put a hook on the wall here so you have a place to hang it.
Mac: Well, that sounds awesome! Thank you, Shirley.
Shirley: My pleasure, Mechanic.
Tendy: Well, sorry you don’t have more time hang out in the basement, Mac, but duty calls
Mac: (chuckle) dooty
Outdoor Scene – Sound of Horses
Tendy: Guys, that’s not a Skylark
Shirley: No, it isn’t
Mac: It’s a carriage. And look at those horses. Those magnificent, fluffy, beautiful hors…
Tendy: Snap out of it Mac. Look. The coachman.
Mac: Bless my bearded stars. He’s a, he’s an…
Shirley: An alien. Straight out of a kid’s comic book.
Tendy: Well, let’s not be rude. We should introduce ourselves.
Mac: You’re seriously going near that thing???
Tendy: Mac, I was just served beer by a 1,000 lb bear, and we’re drawing the line at covered wagon driven by a little green man?
Footsteps Towards Coach
Terrance: Txen eth ot file suioverp reith morf ot slous tsol eduig ohw esoth rof gnikool era ew. Sniteerg.
Tendy: Greetings, traveler? I am the Attendant, this is the Mechanic, and this is Shirley.
Terrance: Oh, you speak English. Greetings. We are looking for those who guide lost souls from their previous life to the next.
Tendy: Well, that would be us.
Terrance: Very good. Permit me a moment to attend to my lady.
Tendy: Um, permitted
Sound of Terrance getting down from the drivers seat and opening the door of the carriage
Terrance: Milady, we have arrived. Stewards of the Desert Sphere, I present to you the prize of the red territory, mover of the 4th sphere, her majesty, Mesonia
Mesonia: Greetings to you, I apologize for the unannounced intrusion upon your station, but I come to you to speak of an urgent matter.
Mac: Ma’am, I’m not sure where you think you are, but this here is just a gas station.
Tendy: Mac’s right. Not trying to be rude, but maybe you’re in the wrong place.
Mesonia: Are you not the successors of Vanth and Charon, ferrymen of the underworld? Stewards of the gate which stems from the physical plane? Those who provide aid to travelers on their journey. Captains of the Astral Highway.
Mac: I guess you could say that. I kind of like when you say that. That sounds friggin awesome. Say it again.
Mesonia: Your reputation spreads far and wide. You are known throughout the Astral Plane. This place is of the most tremendous value in all of the celestial spheres.
Shirley: A place of great importance.
Mesonia: Indeed. A place of great importance. And who are you?
Shirley: Name’s Shirley. I worked at this station when I was young. Well, the version of it on the Physical Plane. It belonged to my parents.
Mesonia: Is that so? Fascinating. Am I to understand correctly that you are the daughter of the founding Attendant?
Shirley: Yes ma’am. Dale Edwards.
Mesonia: Then this concerns you as well. I regret to tell you that your father is in grave danger.
Shirley: Daddy’s in danger? But that’s impossible. He’s already moved onto the next life. Isn’t that right, Attendant?
Attendant: Um, he a, he’s… well, Shirley, he’s…
Mesonia: He never entered into the next life. He is still here. Here on the Astral Plane.
Mac: Tendy, did you know?
Tendy: I’m so sorry, Shirley. I was afraid that if I told you..
Shirley: My daddy’s been here this whole time and you didn’t tell me?
Tendy: It was for your own safety, Shirley. I knew if I told you that you would try to find him. If you were to get lost on the Astral Plane, or worse, come into contact with a…
Shirley: I…I can’t
Tendy: Shirley, wait!
Mesonia: Let her go. For now, I need you to show me.
Mac: Show you what?
Mac: Well, it’s highly unorthodox
Tendy: Mac, do not unbuckle that belt
Mac: Can I get you anything? We got chips, soda, burritos with people’s essence in them.
Mesonia: Perhaps, later. Thank you Mechanic. I have heard wonderful rumors about these burritos of yours. But if you wouldn’t mind lowering the temperature in here, I am not quite used to the heat of your desert. My own desert is quite cold.
Tendy: We can do that. Cash?
Cash On Sound
Cash: Yes, Attendant? How may I be of service?
Tendy: Would you mind lowering the temperature? Our guest is uncomfortable.
Cash: I would be happy to adjust the air conditioning. To which temperature.
Mesonia: As low as it will go, please
Cash: Reducing the temperature, now.
Mesonia: My sincere gratitude. Now Attendant, Mechanic, let us take each other’s hands.
Tendy: I’m sorry, why?
Mac: If this is a seance, you should know that I am quite terrified of ghosts.
Mesonia: But, Mechanic, you are dead.
Tendy: We remind him of that often. It never seems to stick.
Mesonia: No, Mechanic. This is no seance. Join hands together with me and I will enter into your minds. I must know all that you know. I promise. It will not be painful.
Mac: This isn’t some kinda trick is it? I’ve been tricked by a Sphere Mover before and if I’m bein’ honest, I just got this really cool basement spot that I want to hang out in and would prefer not to have by brain melted or anything.
Mesonia: You have every right to be cautious, Mechanic, but I have no intention of melting your brain.
Mac: Good enough for me. Tendy?
Tendy: Well, okay.
Mesonia: Your trust is greatly appreciated. Now take hold, and let’s begin. Good. Now, I shall peer into your minds.
Mac: uhm, nothing is happening
Mesonia: Wait for it.
Mac: Wait for…..<yells>
Flashback Sequence – Intense music plays
Drystan: Life is nothing but pain my friend
Corson: She never told you
Lawrence: There ain’t nothin’ for me down that road
Dale: A place of great importance
Tendy: You don’t see it, Mac, See what, they’re not just characters
Mac: It says Token 1
Mac: It says Token 2
Mac: The pick, Tendy. It says Token 3
Mac: My name Tendy, he said he could tell me who I am
Dale: Welcome to Desert Skies, I think you’re my mechanic
Mac: Where am I?
Drystan: Desert Skies didn’t have a mechanic
Corson: I believe he’s being held somewhere on the 23rd sphere
Lawrence: Hey, how come you never went down that road, huh?
Dale: Whoa, slow down there son.
Tendy: Send me back
Dale: That’s not how it works
Tendy: Send me back now!!!!! <GLITCHING>
Unknown: Ma’am we need you to leave the room
Unknown: We’re losing him!
Mesonia: It has begun.
Tendy: What in the hell did you just do to us? You said you were going to peer into our minds. You just tore into my thoughts like a chainsaw.
Mesonia: Slow down, Attendant. I can explain everything.
Tendy: How far back into our mem<glitch>ories did you go???
Mesonia: Farther than I meant. But, I know now. The plan is set in motion. The Astral Plane may be saved yet.
Mac: Tendy, you’re, you’re glitchin’.
Mac: Deep breaths. Deep breaths. You said the Astral Plane may be saved yet. Saved from what?
Mesonia: Not now. Attendant, attendant, look at me. Breathe.
Tendy: I–I can’t
Mesonia: Good. Very good.
Tendy: What did you see?
Mesonia: Pain. I saw pain, Attendant. But, also, hope.
Mesonia: The hope of a plan I worried was lost to the ages.
Tendy: What plan?
Mesonia: I can show you. But before I do I think you should take a moment to recover from what just occurred. Attendant, have a seat.
Mac: I’ll grab you a drink, Tendy. Don’t move. Alright, here you are. I’ll be right back, buddy. I’m gonna go check on Shirley. Try to take it easy, okay. Glitches gone.
Tendy: Yeah, I think the glitches are gone.
Mac: That was really scary.
Tendy: Yes it was.
Mac: Shirley, you down here?
Shirley: Oh, it’s you mechanic.
Mac: Are you doin’ okay?
Shirley: I just can’t believe it. I thought he was gone. Moved onto the next life. But, he’s here. And that means there’s a chance that I can find him. I could see my daddy, again.
Mac: Well, that’s good, right?
Shirley: I just don’t understand why the Attendant didn’t tell me. He said he was trying to keep me safe. Safe from what? I’m dead.
Mac: Well, even though we can’t die, there’s still plenty of danger on the Astral Plane.
Shirley: Such as?
Mac: Well, gettin’ lost for one. Or stranded. The Astral Plane’s big, real big! The highway’s just one small part of it. At least, that’s the way I understand it. The way it’s been explained to me.
Shirley: Dangerous or not. I have a right to know. I’m not a child. You don’t know how bad it feels to have something like that kept from you.
Mac: I know plenty well how it feels. Don’t forget. I have a whole life on the physical plane that’s been kept from me. If you were a member of the staff here, you’d know what I mean. And I hear ya. Tendy should’ve said somethin’, but I really do believe him when he says he was trying to protect you. He’s a caring guy, Tendy. To a fault sometimes.
Shirley: I think that must be a quality in every Attendant. The two I’m aware of at least.
Mac: So, what happens now?
Shirley: I don’t know. It’s something I have to think about.
Tendy <staticy>: Mac? Are you down there?
Mac: Yep, we’re down here.
Tendy: Shirley’s with you?
Tendy: Good. Mesonia is ready to show us what she came to show us.
Mac: We’ll be right up. Shirley, you comin’?
Shirley: Let’s see what she has to show.
Mesonia: Once again, I must ask that we all take hands.
Tendy: I don’t think I can do that.
Mesonia: No need to fear, Attendant. This time it is not you whose mind is being revealed, but my own. Now, is everyone ready?
Mesonia: Good. Close your eyes and there in the darkness that you see, begin to notice a world arising, shadows becoming light, the shapeless taking form. And come with me, to another time.
The Astral Plane was once much different than the way you know it in the present. Where the Astral Highway has brought clarity of direction and safety, the path from the physical plane to the next life was once nothing but a path to be walked, one fraught with danger.
Yet for ages, this path stood and served its purpose well enough. And though difficult to traverse, with enough time, travelers could and did make their way past the 33rd sphere and into the next life.
As Sphere Movers, we were charged with the well-being of travelers. Once entered into our sphere, a traveler became our ward, and we and those who inhabit our domain would ensure the safe passage of a traveler through the terrain of our sphere.
Even the worst of us were compelled to do our duty to the travelers in our spheres, including those you would call malevolent beings. As you know, the Martian sphere is quite cold. My carriage was the vessel that ensured travelers remained comfortable and safe.
A being like Corson, who your memories revealed your acquaintance with, would provide imps to guide the traveler through the stormy eighth sphere.
And you probably wonder how it is that all sphere movers were compelled to act in such a benevolent and caring manner. We owe that to the guardian of the next life, and master of the 33rd sphere and all overseer of all spheres within.
Mac: Prime Mover
Mesonia: Prime Mover, emissary of the superiors, transcendent, a being for whom the terms malevolent and benevolent do no justice. And much like the staff of Desert Skies, the Prime’s sole purpose was ensuring the safe passage of all who traveled the Astral Plane, ensuring that each and every one arrived safely at the gate of the next life.
But then, the unthinkable. A number of my kind, both benevolent and malevolent sphere movers, became greedy. Rather than assisting travelers on their journey, they began to instead gather them to themselves, enslaving them for their own purposes. Some gathered to create armies, others gathered to force worship and the building of monuments to themselves.
When Prime Mover finally became aware of these despicable crimes, the matter was brought to The Superiors. They worked quickly to enact a plan.
Tendy: What plan?
Mesonia: The creation of a grand highway. One protected from corrupted sphere movers, and guarded by the servants of the Prime Mover. I myself was one such servant.
But the highway was just one part of the plan. In order to ensure that travelers could make the journey in total safety, The Superiors sent visions to a man on the Physical Plane.
Shirley: My daddy.
Mesonia: Dale Edwards, the Attendant Emeritus. While the highway was being constructed on this side of existence, your station was being constructed on the other. When Dale Edwards died and passed into the Astral Plane our highway and his station merged together. A new era of the Astral Plane had begun.
Then those Sphere Movers who had worked to destroy the way of the traveler became restless in their boredom and discontent. Bitterness and anger grew. They banded together and with all the force of their combined power overcame the Prime Mover, and stole him away.
But that wasn’t enough to achieve what their wayward hearts desired.. The highway and Buick Skylarks still provided protection for travelers, and Sphere Movers began using their powers to destroy the Astral Highway. At first they made slow work of their destruction, but persistence is paying off and the highway is beginning to crumble.
Mac: The pothole we hit on the second sphere.
Mesonia: On the second sphere it is potholes. On the fourth sphere whole portions of the highway are missing. Beyond that who knows. But it is not enough.
Tendy: What do you mean it’s not enough?
Mesonia: Even without the highway, a problem still remains for them. You.
You see, in their wisdom, The Superiors saw that the future of the Astral Highway and Your Station was in danger. As long as there were Sphere Movers who sought to use the travelers for selfish gain, both could never hope to survive. They’ll come for you. The only reason they haven’t is because they fear your protector.
Tendy: Our protector?
Mesonia: Mover of the 1st Sphere.
Mac: That crazy son of a bitch is a sphere mover?
Mesonia: His power exceeded only by that of the Prime Mover, his cunning entirely unmatched. But even he is no match for the invasion sure to come.
So the Superiors, in their tremendous and miraculous foresight, created a contingency. A plan. A plan to put an end to the threat of the enemies of the Astral Plane. A plan that set in motion with your arrival at Desert Skies, and fully enacted upon your discovery of the first token.
Mac: But that doesn’t explain anything. What does a video game, 1961 buick, and a guitar have to do with saving the Astral Plane?
Mesonia: I do not know. I do not believe that it is for me to know. It is for you to discover, as has been ordained by The Superiors. I am only here to bring you a warning, wherever the path of the tokens leads you, follow it and follow it quickly. The station is in danger, and the answer to its salvation lies within your hands.
Mac: Geez. No pressure.
Mesonia: One more thing, Corson told you that the old Attendant was being held in the dungeon of Xochilique on the 23rd sphere, and I believe he may be right. Xochilique, once benevolent being, patroness of life and death, was one of the most vocal of the rebellious sphere movers, and rumor has it, she has something of tremendous importance kept away within her palace.
It’s doubtful that Mr. Edwards even knows what he’s looking for there. The man is a slave to his visions wherever they may lead him. He needs not answers.
Tendy: But you know what he’s looking for, don’t you?
Mesonia: I cannot say for certain, but, I believe Xochilique’s palace is where the Prime Mover is imprisoned.
Tendy: You’re saying, the Old Attendant is trying to rescue the Prime Mover? Is that even possible?
Mac: Well, if what Shirley’s told us about her dad is true, then he is one determined and resourceful son of a bitch. If anyone can do it. He can. Ain’t that right, Shirley? Shirley?
Uh, Lady Mesonia, can I let go of your hand now?
Mesonia: You may
Tendy: Where’d Shirley go? I didn’t even notice her leaving the circle. I was too focused on what I was seeing.
Mac: Maybe she’s in the basement again.
Tendy: I’ll go check. Mac, you look around the station.
Mac: On it!
Door Opens – Transition to Outside
Tendy <Distant>: Shirley!
Oh, this is terrible
Mesonia: I know you’re concerned about your friend, but, there’s something I have to speak with you about.
Mac: What is it?
Mesonia: When I looked in your mind, I saw the same question being asked over and over again, a question that was never satisfied with a good answer.
Mac: What is my purpose?
Mesonia: What is your purpose, indeed?
Mac: I dunno. I’m supposed to be the mechanic, but…
Mesonia: May I ask you a question?
Mac: Of course.
Mesonia: What is a mechanic?
Mac: What do you mean?
Mesonia: I mean precisely what I said.
Mac: Well, a mechanic is someone who fixes Buick Skylarks.
Mesonia: Really? That’s the definition of a mechanic?
Mac: Well, yeah.
Mesonia: And have you ever fixed a 1986 Buick Skylark? The most perfect of all the cars that have ever existed on the Physical Plane?
Mac: Well, I replaced some windshield wipers and a couple tires.
Mesonia: Let me ask you another question. Who is the mechanic?
Mac: Me? I’m the mechanic
Mesonia: Has there ever been a mechanic on the Astral Plane who wasn’t you?
Mac: No, I don’t think so. If what Drystan told me is right, I’m the first.
Mesonia: What is a mechanic on the Astral Plane?
Mac: A mechanic is…me.
Mesonia: A mechanic is you. A mechanic whose position was foretold and even brought to fruition by The Superiors themselves.
Mac: But why did they make me a mechanic? There’s nothing here to fix.
Mesonia: Look at me.
Mac: I’m lookin’.
Mesonia: There is more that need’s fixing on the Astral Plane than you can begin to imagine, and trust me, when the time comes, you’ll know how to fix it.
Mac: You really believe that?
Mesonia: I really do.
Mac: Now, can I ask you something?
Mesonia: I’d say that’s fair.
Mac: How far back did you go? Into our memories?
Mesonia: Like I said, farther than I intended.
Mac: Who are we? Tendy and me, who were we, on the Physical Plane?
Mesonia: Do you trust me?
Mac: You haven’t given me a reason not to I guess.
Mesonia: Then listen and believe me when I say, and this may be hard to accept, but your past is not being kept from you.
Mac: It’s not.
Mesonia: No. It’s being kept for you.
Tendy: Hey guys, any luck?
Mac: Oh, hey Tendy. No. Nothin’.
Mesonia: HueHueCoyotl, mover of the first sphere. My, it has been ages.
Mac: He says Shirley took his car.
Mac: And she was carryin’ gas cans. She must be plannin’ a long trip.
Tendy: She’s going to the 23rd sphere. She’s going to try to find her dad. What’s going to happen to her? We have to help her Mac.
Mesonia: No. Let your friend go, Attendant. Trust the path that has been set before her, as you trust the path that has been set before you.
Mac: We’re just supposed to stay here and do nothing.
Mesonia: Stay here and continue to do the work that you have done. The important work that you do. And wait. Be patient.
I must return my sphere, but I know that we will see eachother again, and likely soon. Be cautious, remain vigilant, but persist in the good work of this special place. Travelers need you, and so do we.
Wagon Drives Away
Tendy: I don’t think I can just stay here. I mean, what if something happens to Shirley?
Mac: Shirley’s old, but she’s tough as nails. I think she can take care of herself, Tendy.
Tendy: And if she can’t?
Mac: If she can’t, then what hope is there for us? Me with my soft and caring nature, you with you soft and noodly arms.
Mac: Yeah, yeah, we got you. Oh, and when in the hell were you going to tell me you’re a sphere mover? That’s cool as shit.
Mac: Of course we can still be friends. Why wouldn’t I want to be friends with a sphere mover?
Mac: You wouldn’t remove me from existence! C’mon check out my basement.
Mac: It does not sound creepy.