Balance – Episode 44: The Eleventh Hour: Chapter Four/Transcript

Transcript by the lovely volunteers at TAZscripts.

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Griffin: Previously, on The Adventure Zone:

[theme music begins playing in the background]

Griffin: And you’re being crushed by the shattered earth. And you hear an anguished scream come from something massive and furious.

Old woman: Oh, you’ll have to do much better than that, loves.

Griffin: And then you wake up.

Paloma: [voice echoing] Imminent destruction comes from below. Turn your eyes to the quarry. You’re not ready to face what awaits you there, but you must know its face.

Griffin: And then the light comes back on.

Taako: Man, I was gonna go to the quarry anyway. What a rip-off.

Griffin: Cassidy is holding what looks like a giant cluster of green grapes that is attached to a long wire with a plunger. You are burned. And you are crushed. And you are dead. And you wake up again. The bad news is-

Travis: Shit!

Griffin: You do not have fifty diamonds.

Travis: Okay, well, that answers that, huh?

Justin: I’m gonna delete the YouTube video I was making about how to do an infinite diamond glitch in The Adventure Zone.


Announcer: Wow, this arc is going to wreck the boys’ K-D ratio. Let’s hope they can break the cycle and escape from The Adventure Zone!

[THEME MUSIC: "Déjà Vu" by Mort Garson]


Griffin: In the last loop, you did a bunch of dumb shit and learned that you can’t take things with you through the loops. You were told to go to the quarry. Merle, you spied on Cassidy and sort of found a way into the quarry. She had some sort of explosive stashed down there. And… yeah, I think that - anything else happen that I forgot? You made some new friends. A lot of fun memories were had.

Justin: Yeah. Yeah, I think everybody had a great time.

Travis: I wish I had pictures, but at least I have my memories.

Griffin: Yeah.

Justin: [singing] Look at this photograph, it’s me getting blown up again. I lost the photograph, this thing doesn’t work like that. [Travis laughs] Whoa, that song’s a paradox.

Griffin: Yeah, shit.

Clint: A song paradox.

Justin: Song paradox.

Griffin: And parody.

Justin: I love Weird Al Yankovic’s song paradoxes.

Griffin: So, yeah, you have woken up in front of Refuge again.

Travis: I know that we did the loop last time-

Griffin: Yeah, so you can-

Travis: -but I wanna try something different.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: [in a gruff voice] Alright fellas, I have - wait, that’s Merle’s voice.

Magnus: Fellas, I have an idea. Go with me on this one.

Travis: I charge right up to Roswell and I say,

Magnus: Your name is Roswell, we’re visitors from outside the dome, you haven’t had visitors in a long time, is that correct?
Roswell: Yeah, that’s right. Who-
Magnus: Okay. There’s a statue in the center of town of three people, the visitor, Jack, and June.
Roswell: Yeah.
Magnus: Jack and June died in the quarry.
Roswell: Yeah!
Magnus: The name of your sheriff is Isaak. He’s the elder, he lives in a big house in the middle of town.
Roswell: Who are you, how are you doing this?
Magnus: There’s a witch in the woods named Paloma. There’s a woman right now in your jail named Cassidy. And there’s a dwarf woman who works at the bank named Brogden, is that correct?
Roswell: Okay, yes, I get it. Who are you? What are you doing here? How do you know all this?
Magnus: This is not our first time here, we seem to be stuck in some kind of loop. At noon today, something terrible happens and the only way we can stop it from happening is if you come with us to the quarry.

Griffin: I think this is gonna take - everything that you’re saying to Roswell right now is absolutely true and they’re pretty freaked out, they seem. I need you to roll a… not bluff, because it’s certainly not bluff. Maybe diplomacy? I need to brush up on the skills, ‘cause I don’t really know the charisma skills very well. What would be the right sort of charisma roll here?

Clint: Is there a bullshit line?

Travis: It’s not bullshit!

Griffin: It’s not bullshit, is the thing. It’s true. It’s like you’re trying to convince-

Travis: Persuasion?

Griffin: Persuasion would be it, yeah.

Travis: [rolls dice] Well, that fell off the table. 19! Plus 1, that’s a 20. And I’m rustically hospitable!

Griffin: Yeah, I would’ve given you advantage on that, too, just because it’s a good play. But yeah, Roswell says,

Roswell: Okay. I don’t… what are your names?
Magnus: I’m Mag-
Taako: Taako!
Magnus: Magnus, yeah.
Merle: Merle!
Magnus: That’s… yeah.
Roswell: And you said something horrible happens at noon. Is there anything else you can tell me about the next hour?
Magnus: Yes. So-
Merle: Something horrible happens at 11:30 too.
Magnus: There’s going to be a bank robbery shortly before then. And you’re gonna go inside and you’re gonna fight the guys, but if you don’t come out, the whole bank is gonna collapse on you in fire. Fighting the guys is a fool’s errand, don’t do it. Cassidy escapes during an earthquake from the jail cell. She goes to the quarry and attempts to blow something up in the quarry, and that’s where the bad stuff happens.
Roswell: Okay, so what… wh…
Merle: And you’re hell on furniture.
Roswell: I knew that already. Okay, I believe you, obviously you know a lot about this town. Obviously you know a lot about what’s going on. But my duty is to protect the town, I can’t just go off with you if there’s about to be a bank robbery.
Taako: Okay. I mean, we can handle it.
Magnus: What can you tell us about the quarry?
Roswell: Nobody’s been in there in quite a while. There was a rockslide and it’s all closed off, operations slowed almost to a halt. There was a disaster down there about a few weeks ago, about six weeks ago, and a few miners died. Cassidy was the only one that made it out, and so from that point on nobody’s gone inside since then.
Merle: I have a question.
Roswell: What? What?
Merle: If the diamond mine dried up a while ago, why were there miners in the mine?
Roswell: You know, they’re thirsty. They think maybe there’s more secret diamonds, looking for a second vein.
Merle: Hmmm.
Magnus: Gotcha. All right, you go. You keep an eye out on the bank.
Roswell: Okay.
Magnus: Whatever you do, don’t stay in. Get everybody out. Don’t worry about fighting the guys, your safety is more important. The town needs you, remember that.
Roswell: Okay, thank you. Go, go. Just go, go, go, just go.

Griffin: And Roswell takes off running towards the center of town and takes up a defensive position. So I think you probably did that faster than you did the last sort of convincing of Roswell, so let’s say it’s, like, 11:05 right now and then any time in future loops, you can just do this.

Clint: That’s our checkpoint, right?

Griffin: Yeah, sure.

Clint: That’s our save point.

Griffin: Yeah. So you’re going to the quarry?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Okay, um.

Travis: Hold on, I won’t decide. Boys, do you feel good about that move?

Justin: It seems to be the best place for us to explore right now.

Travis: It’s what Paloma said, right? When we went and talked to her, that she said there was something.

Griffin: Yeah, Paloma said there was something you need to see in the quarry even though you’re not ready to face it.

Clint: And Carey was messing around with some blow-up juice.

Travis: Cassidy.

Griffin: Cassidy, yeah.

Clint: Yeah.

Griffin: Carey was messing with explosives, probably, wherever she is. Somewhere. Okay, yeah, you go to the quarry, you go to that same locked gate that you were at before, Merle. Even though Roswell’s kind of in the center of town and sees you get through it either by picking it or climbing it - Magnus, maybe you wanna pick it because it’ll be the first time that you pick a lock?

Travis: Yeah! You know what, I do!

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: That’ll be nice.

Griffin: Sure. Go ahead and roll… [Travis rolls dice] I think… what would that be? How do you-

Travis: Thieves’ tools.

Griffin: Thieves’ tools, yeah.

Travis: I rolled a 14 and I have proficiency.

Griffin: You get, like, plus ten, yeah. Okay, yeah, you pop that gate open, and Roswell sees you do this but just, like, gives you a thumbs up and waves you, just, go go go. And you make it down that same winding ramp that, Merle, you pursued Cassidy down in the last loop, and you are at the bottom of this quarry. If you look at the map it’s a pretty wide-open space.

Griffin: Coming off the ramp to the north you see that caved-in entrance, and otherwise you’re surrounded by flat earth. To your right the only thing of notice against the wall - the sheer wall that leads back up into town - you see a patch of bushes. And that’s pretty much all that you see down here. But the entrance is caved in. There’s a ton of rocks sort of in there, and that is where Cassidy deployed the explosives in the last loop.

Travis: Ditto, I’m gonna investigate the bushes.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: I guess, since you brought them up? [laughs]

Griffin: [laughs] Okay, yeah.

Travis: I mean, when people ask me what my apartment’s like, I’m not like, “Well, it’s great, but there’s these bushes out front.”

Griffin: It’s Chekhov’s bush.

Travis: [laughs] Can we please not talk about Chekhov’s bush? He’s very self-conscious about it.

Griffin: I’m just saying.

Justin: [in Russian accent] Listen, I do my best. Is untameable. [Travis laughs] Wildlands.

Griffin: I just don’t think you’re putting in enough.

Justin: [in Russian accent] All the shaving, all the trimming. [Russian-sounding gibberish] These are the names of my pubic hairs. [everyone laughs] Come, Ruska! Little Pitor. Sneaky Dave.

Griffin: Roll that investigation check before I die.

Travis: Uh, 15 - uh, yeah, 15 plus nothing.

Griffin: Okay. Taako, Merle, you wanna check it out too? Just scope this bush?

Travis: [Justin rolls dice] That’s my favorite 80’s comedy.

Clint: Scope That Bush!

Justin: I got a 19. [Clint rolls dice] Well, Pop, that’s a 4 for you.

Clint: That’s a 4!

Griffin: That’s a stinker. Um, okay.

Magnus: You’re looking the wrong way, Merle! Over here!

Griffin: Magnus, with that 15 you see a few instruments tucked away inside of Chekhov’s bush. You find a shovel, presumably the one that Cassidy used on Merle in the last episode. There is a mattock, like a pickaxe with a broad side to it, and a headlamp tucked away inside of this bush. And Taako, with your 19, you see those items, but you also notice that the dirt immediately underneath that bush has - it’s been disrupted. It looks like somebody has buried something here.

Travis: I grab the headlamp. This seems useful.

Griffin: Yeah, ‘cause I don’t think you have special magic eyes.

Travis: I don’t.

Justin: [whispering] I’ve got magic eyes. I can see in the dark.

Travis: Should I write down temporary headlamp?

Griffin: Yeah. I mean, that headlamp. Yeah.

Travis: What’s there again?

Griffin: There’s like a pickaxe situation, there’s a shovel, and then the dirt has been disrupted underneath the bush.

Justin: I’ll grab the shovel.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: I’ll take the pickaxe.

Griffin: Okay, everybody gets a little treat!

Justin: [giggles] A little bonus.

Travis: Guys, check out that dirt, or our listeners are gonna go insane!

Griffin: I’m gonna die.

Justin: Yeah, I’m gonna dig in there with my shovel, my new shovel.

Griffin: How hard would you say you bury that bad boy in there?

Justin: Like, an inch and a half. And I’m like-

Taako: [strangled moans] Oh! Oh, the labor! Oh, the pain!

Griffin: Oh, I see. You’re having a hard time with it just because you don’t want to work very hard.

Taako: Yes, these beautiful hands. My beautiful hands-
Magnus: Okay, I can take a hint, I’ve got it.
Taako: Oh, thank god--

Travis: I sit down and start digging with my hands.

Taako: What a relief.

Clint: I cast Healing on poor Taako.

Taako: Thank you, oh, what a relief. [Griffin laughs]

Griffin: Um, okay, by avoiding digging with much pressure and digging with your hands, you safely exhume a cluster bomb, which is that thing that you saw Cassidy carrying in the last episode. There’s probably about fifteen of these things, they’re about tennis ball-sized and they’re all sort of connected and wired into a central wire, which connects to a plunger. And now you have that in your possession as well.

Justin: Sweet.

Travis: Okay, so we weren’t with Merle, so I’m gonna ask this of Griffin, which you can handle however you want to, describing it through Merle’s perspective. When he saw Cassidy setting everything off, did that seem connected to the world tearing apart?

Griffin: No, no.

Travis: Or were they separate events?

Griffin: They were separate events. Before she detonated it, the rocks got blown outward by some sort of force inside the quarry.

Travis: Got it.

Magnus: You guys wanna, like, blow this up?
Taako: No. What?
Magnus: No, like, where the cave-in is. We have nowhere else to go if we don’t, you know, blow it up and get in there.
Merle: So we’re done investigating the dirt?

Griffin: Yeah, there’s nothing left in the dirt.

Travis: Yeah. [crosstalk]

Griffin: Oh, I’m sorry, no, you keep digging and you find the magic rod of-- [stammering]

Travis: Of Todd.

Clint: If you say it, it’s canon.

Griffin: No, you don’t find anything in there.

Travis: The Rod of Todd.

Griffin: The magic rod of eternal Todd.

Taako: You know what, let’s play it safe. I’m just gonna go in.

Justin: I pull out the hole-thrower.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Ooh!

Justin: I will tell you what kind of size hole we’ve got going on here. let me get my d10 popping. [rolls dice] Okay, it’s a 5-foot deep and wide hole.

Griffin: Okay. I’m trying to imagine - so this is many rocks, right, that are all kind of piled up. So…

Justin: Mini-rocks are actually called pebbles, Griffin.

Travis: Good job.

Griffin: Okay. We’ll say you pointed this at the biggest rock in the bunch and you launched this five-foot deep and wide hole, and you basically pierced right through this big rock. But you can’t really see much of anything in there except - well, I guess you have that headlamp.

Travis: I click it on.

Griffin: Yeah, looking in there you just see a cavern moving inwards.

Justin: And I can see in the dark, so.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, you just see a cavern moving inwards.

Travis: Let’s go!

Griffin: You’ve managed to find, I would say, maybe a safer way into it.

Travis: We’ve solved your stone puzzle!

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Plus we kept the bomb.

Griffin: Yeah, you’re gonna keep that bomb with you?

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: It is - I will say this, it is a bomb. So be careful.

Justin: Okay.

Travis: No, I put it in a different pocket than Steven.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, no, that - yeah. You have thick lead pants that will contain the blast to a single leg. [Travis laughs] Okay, yeah, you move into this quarry through the hole - a five-foot hole is easily big enough for you to move through - and climb in. As you move in, the cavern that you opened up is fairly short before it opens up into a room.

[“Into the Quarry” starts playing in the background]

Griffin: And this room essentially looks like the entry room or it maybe doubles as the break room for this diamond mine. There is, in one corner, there is a sink and an ice box. There are three or four tables, round tables with some chairs around them. A few of the chairs are upended. Right next to the entrance that you just walked in through is a little timecard station. You can punch your card. And there’s about fifteen cards tucked away in there.

Griffin: On the far side of the room, opposite you, is a big, heavy metal door, almost like a vault-like door. And it is kind of similar to the doors that were in the Wave Echo Cave mine. Like, these are industrial-strength big doors. To your right, past the tables and chairs, are twenty-six lockers, and these lockers are stacked up in two rows of three - or two rows of thirteen, and each of them has a little piece of tape that has crudely marked down whose lockers they are. You assume that these are former mine employees, and if you will refer to Skype, I will now send you the list of names that are on these lockers.

Travis: Griffin, this just says “butts butts butts butts butts.”

Griffin: No, Travis, it doesn’t. Please stop lying to try and embarrass me.

Justin: Mine says butt, just butts over and over again. Okay, I’m gonna try to figure out how to get Dad to - hold on.

Griffin: I’ll read the names real quick, just burn them right down for our listeners. There’s Lawrence, Abernathy, Cassidy, Ulrich, Farnsworth, Xavier, Vanessa, Randall, Perkins, Williams, Galding, Yael, Harlan, Dana, Jerry, Barnes, Emerick, Zelda, Morrison, Isaak, Osha, Keith, Quincy, one label that has been kind of scratched off and is unreadable, Terrence, and Niall.

Justin: Are those all listeners?

Griffin: No, that’d be crazy. Maybe, though.

Travis: We don’t have that many listeners. I’m checking out that scratched-off label one.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, it just looks like all the other ones. The lockers are in fine shape, it’s just the label is-

Travis: No, like, I’m opening it.

Griffin: Oh, okay.

Travis: I’m not just looking at it like a dummy.

Griffin: Yeah, these lockers don’t have any kind of a padlock or dial on them or anything like that. They’re just labeled and then there’s a little lever that pops them open.

Travis: I’m doing that-

Clint: Do a check.

Travis: I’m doing that kind of thing where I open it but I lean away from the opening, you know what I mean? In case bugs fly out or something.

Griffin: You pull on the lever to this locker and all three of you hear a horrible sound that lasts, like, a split second. And the sound is like, [explosion noise] and it was actually the sound of this room more or less exploding.

Travis: What?

Griffin: And all three of you have died.

Justin: Oh, son of a bitch!

Clint: Aw, damn!

Griffin: And you’re back in that white space. The old woman in this white space-

Justin: She’s like, [in a high-pitched voice] “Good job, fartknockers!”

Griffin: She just looks - she doesn’t actually say anything to you this time. When you actually come into the white space this time, she looks like she’s catching her breath. She looks kind of tired. And then you’re back in front of Roswell.

Travis: Okay, so - can we just jump back to where we were?

Griffin: Yeah, in the interest of time we can just fast-forward because you’ve done a lot of things to get you where you needed to be. You’re back in this room and I just described it again.

Travis: My concern, Justin and Dad, is that this woman is through effort allowing us to loop, and it’s possible we may have finite attempts or we need to space some time between attempts.

Taako: Well, let’s find out.
Magnus: No, hold on-
Merle: How about if you don’t blow the shit out of us?

Travis: To be fair, I said I leaned away. I don’t know what Griffin wants from me.


Griffin: Can I ask a question that I’ve literally never asked the three of you in the whole time that we’ve been running this game?

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: How do you- how does your- how do Taako, Merle, and Magnus, like, feel? Because we’re having a lot of fun here with our Groundhogs Day shenanigans, but now they’ve died three times, and it probably hasn’t been great.

Travis: You know, Griffin, I’m glad you asked. I think for Magnus it’s a matter of like, this is how he would live his life anyways.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: And so I will say he feels emboldened.

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: By being able to rush in, fuck up, and then rush in again.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, that’s fair.

Clint: Okay, Merle’s not a fan.

Griffin: Okay, yeah, I figured as much.

Clint: Not a fan! A little chafed and a little gassy from the whole thing.

Travis: How does Taako feel? I very much want to know.

Griffin: How do you feel?

Taako: Uhh, just another day at the office, baby.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: I would assume it would be very disorienting, I feel like.

Griffin: Yeah.

Justin: Dying like that and then not dying.

Griffin: Okay. What do you guys want to do here? You got some pu- I’ll tell it to you straight, you’ve got some puzzles coming up.

Clint: I have Detect Traps.

Justin: Oh, that’s good!

Travis: Yeah, what the fuck! Just, can you constantly do that?

Justin: I mean, it probably won’t be as good as Travis’s method of detecting traps, which is to say leaning away from them.

Travis: I leaned away! I don’t know! What do you want from me?

Taako: Go ahead and do your magic.
Merle: Okay!

Clint: Now I can’t find it! [Travis laughs]

Justin: Detect Traps. Do you have a card called Detect Traps?

Clint: I thought I did! I just saw a card that said Detect Traps and now-

Justin: I cast-

Clint: I can’t find- I cast Detect Traps!

Griffin: Okay, that’s not a spell.

Clint: It is!

Griffin: You just shout “detect traps” into the void.

Clint: No, it is a spell. It is a spell.

Justin: What did you think you saw?

Clint: I saw Detect Traps!

Griffin: There’s Detect Magic.

Clint: Oh, there’s something about traps. Find Traps!

Justin: Find Traps!

Clint: Thank you!

Justin: There we go.

Clint: Find Traps. You sense the presence of any trap within range that is within line of sight. These cards, the print is so small.

Griffin: Here’s what I can tell you about that. First of all, with detect traps, you can tell that the door is trapped. If you try to open it before you do something else, it will activate the trap. You can also tell that, and you can’t tell specifically which ones, but you can tell that sixteen of these lockers have mechanisms in them that will just set off the trap instantly; the others are still kind of trapped [laughs], but in a different way, where they have to be set off in sequence.

Clint: Could I look at the rack of timecards and see if there’s one with Cassidy’s name on it?

Griffin: Yeah, sure. There is. Cassidy has one in there. How many did I say there were?

Justin: What was the last time that Cassidy checked in?

Griffin: The last time that Cassidy checked in was six weeks ago.

Clint: When she brained me with a shovel.

Griffin: No, it was six weeks ago.

Justin: Wait, is it six weeks - okay. Is the date on her timecard six weeks prior to what we understand today’s date to be?

Griffin: Yes.

Justin: Okay.

Griffin: It was the date of this accident that Roswell mentioned earlier, and sure enough, I forget how many people I said died in the thing but there are four other timecards with the same punch-in date, and none of them including Cassidy have a punch-out date. The rest of the cards kind of just taper off

Griffin: Aha. going back through the months where people just quit working here. Emerick stopped working here a few months ago. Morrison was in here a few months ago, quit working here. Isaak is in there, quit working here even much, much longer ago, hasn’t worked here for a while but their timecard is still in the machine.

Travis: Griffin.

Griffin: Yo.

Travis: You clever bastard. All of these names - there’s 26 of them. They all start with a [different] letter of the alphabet.

Clint: Right.

Travis: So there’s something about the puzzle. I don’t know if it’s that we need to trip the vowels in order or we need to spell out a word, but if sixteen of them are trapped that means there’s ten that need opened in a certain order.

Clint: Well, what are the four names on the cards that were the most recent ones?

Griffin: Let’s say Vanessa, let’s say Williams, let’s say Jerry, and Quincy. I’m picking those completely at random now.

Clint: And also Cassidy?

Griffin: And Cassidy, yeah.

Clint: Those are the highest-scoring tiles in Scrabble.

Justin: Can we spell “kwyjibo”?

Griffin: I literally just picked those names at random, that has nothing to do with the solution.

Clint: Or you’re telling us you just picked those names.

Griffin: No, I promise. I’m just also putting that fact into the universe so if I forget who the specific people were that died in the future it’s because I don’t - it doesn’t matter.

Clint: I like Travis’s theory, I think we have to enter the cards in a certain order.

Travis: No, I think it’s that we need to open the lockers in a certain order.

Justin: Open the lockers?

Griffin: Yeah.

Clint: I was thinking in the timeclock, but we’ll go lockers.

Travis: Does it - okay, in Dad’s spell, does there seem to be any connection to the trap, to the timecards?

Griffin: No, the timecards are not trapped at all. There’s nothing there.

Travis: Okay.

Justin: [sighs] You know what we need are diamonds.

Travis: What?

Justin: If we had some diamonds then we might be able to buy some information from the witch in the forest because it seems like, barring other clues, that would be a fine - I mean, we can’t have repeating letters, I guess? That wouldn’t really make much sense.

Travis: What timecard begins with the letter S?

Griffin: Yeah, there is one that starts with the letter S in the machine, and it’s Susanna.

Travis: Okay. That’s the name that’s scratched out.

Clint: Oh! Susanna. [Justin laughs]

Travis: That is the name that’s scratched out. That’s the S name that we’re missing. Is there anything written on that card other than her name?

Griffin: Nope, it’s just one of the miners that quit working here a few  months ago.

Justin: And everybody hated her.

Griffin: That’s why they scratched her name out, yeah. The only hint I’ll give you is think about what you want to do in this situation.

Travis: Open door. No. Enter. [crosstalk] You know what? What if we just blow up the whole room?

Justin: I don’t think-

Clint: Well, we tried that once.

Justin: Yeah, and it killed us.

Travis: No no no, we go back through, we close your hole, we set it off.

Justin: Uh…

Travis: We reopen said hole. No? Okay, that’s fine.

Justin: Gotta be a way to cheat with magic. [Clint laughs] If there’s something that makes better podcast audio than us trying to solve the puzzle-

Griffin: I would recommend that you guys just try shit. [crosstalk] And if you die, then you die. You’ll just start right back here.

Justin: Yeah, but it seemed to kind of bum that lady out pretty bad that we died again.

Clint: So fast.

Justin: Yeah, so fast.

Clint: By the way, what time is it?

Griffin: Right now it’s probably about 11:15.

Travis: Okay, I’m gonna put on the Lens of Straight Creeping and see if I can see any patterns of steps from locker to locker.

Griffin: Oh, interesting. Okay, yeah, here - how about this? The steps are all over this room, like this was a highly trafficked room, but there is one pair that is slightly fresher than the rest.

Travis: Uh-huh.

Griffin: And even this pair walks back and forth around these lockers so much so that you can’t tell the exact path that they walked, but you can see that they started at the name Dana. That is where the footprints, this was the first name that these fresh prints of Bel-Airs walked to.

Travis: Dana. Dana. And I can’t see where it ended?

Griffin: Yeah, how about that? You can also see that it ends at Niall and then it walks to the door.

Justin: Okay, you know what? I’m gonna go open D.

Griffin: Yeah, you pull the lever for Dana and you open it up and it’s empty, and you hear a click.

Justin: That’s great. That’s a great start. Very good.

Griffin: One down.

Justin: One down.

Travis: I mean, demolition has ten letters, but it has I and O in it twice.

Justin: Are there any other Jake Gyllenhaal movies?

Travis: Detonation, no.

Justin: So it’s D - [eight repeated noises] - N.

Clint: We’re good so far.

Travis: You know what? I’m gonna open E next.

Griffin: Boom! The room explodes.

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: And you wake up in the white space. And the woman-

Clint: What does she look like?

Griffin: I mean, the same as the last time you were here. It has not been that long since your last visit.

Magnus: We’re working on it, sorry.

Griffin: Okay. And you’re back in the room. [crosstalk]

Clint: What if you’re trying to - don’t blow up. [Griffin laughs]

Justin: So the last letter is N.

Clint: Don’t blow up, that’s ten letters!

Justin: That’s D-O-N, that’s the N in the third place. You can’t - the set. Do blow up would work, I guess.

Travis: Disarm… disarm…

Justin: Disarm…

Clint: Entrance.

Justin: Okay, it has to end with an N. You’ve gotta hang with me here, Clint.

Travis: And it’s only got ten letters, Clinton.

Griffin: Yep.

Justin: Hey, look, this is what we’re working with. And some - there’s…

Clint: Destruction…

Travis: I open I.

Clint: I’m really good at this in Fallout 4, really.

Griffin: I’m assuming you popped open D first. Please, God.

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Yeah, you pop open D, it is empty, you hear a click. You pop open I, it’s empty, you hear a click.

Justin: Whoa, okay. D-I… diamond?

Griffin: By the way, you didn’t pop open - these lockers don’t just have letters on them. You popped open Isaak’s locker.

Travis: I don’t care about Isaak.

Justin: Should we go S? Dis…

Travis: Disarm… distract.

Justin: Dad, why don’t you try S and I’m gonna stand back a little bit.

Travis: Yeah, I lean away.

Griffin: So this is the unreadable scratched-off label that you figured out was Susanna.

Clint: Susanna.

Griffin: Yeah. You pop that one open and there’s a click and it’s empty.

Travis: Whoo!

Justin: You wanna go A?

Travis: You know what, let’s keep these bones a-rolling, let’s go for it.

Clint: Yeah!

Justin: I’ll pull A.

Griffin: Okay, you pull open Abernathy’s locker, and it clicks and it’s empty.

Justin: Okay.

Clint: [cut off noise]

Justin: Go ahead, Dad.

Clint: R, I’ll pull R.

Griffin: Oh, I love that. You guys are adorable right now. Yeah, you open it up and it clicks and it’s empty.

Travis: Okay. M?

Justin: N. Q. [Griffin laughs]

Travis: No, no, we pull Morrison.

Griffin: Okay, Morrison clicks and it’s empty.

Travis: Okay, that’s as far as I’ve got.

Griffin: And when that happens, you hear the vault door - you hear something click behind it, but it does not open up.

Travis: OSHA.

Justin: No.

Clint: I got it. “Open.”

Justin: Say it-

Travis: It’s two words. We think it’s a phrase. I think it’s “disarm” and “open,” are the two-

Clint: That’s what I just said.

Justin: Dad said “open” before you did. Dad, you have to speak up. I’m doing my best here to try to highlight your brilliance.

Griffin: All right, do the thing.

Clint: O!

Griffin: Click, opens.

Clint: P!

Griffin: Click, it opens, it’s empty.

Clint: E!

Griffin: Click, it opens.

Travis: We win the trip to the Bahamas!

Clint: N!

Griffin: It opens and is empty, and when it opens the vault door starts to swing open and 16 of the lockers all swing open to reveal cluster bombs wired to the insides of them.

Travis: We don’t touch them.

Clint: Don’t touch the bombs.

Justin: We don’t touch the bombs this time.

Griffin: But they very slowly swing open alongside the vault door, revealing an entry into the next room. And I just wanna say I’m very, very proud of all three of you.

Justin: Yeah, we did a good job. [indecipherable]

Clint: Yeah, but we got listeners right now that knew it twenty minutes ago.

Justin: Yeah, that’s fine, guys. Keep it to yourselves. [Clint laughs] So the door opens, can we just stroll on through?

Griffin: Yeah, sure.

Justin: Okay.

Clint: [gibberish]

Griffin: It explodes and you die. No, I’m just kidding.

Clint: Can we look first?

Justin: [hemming and hawing] Okay, you can look.

Travis: That’s a good question, are the cluster bombs the only things in the lockers?

Griffin: Yep, that’s it.

Travis: Okay.

Justin: Hey, guys, bad lockers.

Travis: Don’t you feel bad for the people who aren’t D-I-S-A-- who are like, “don’t keep anything in your lockers you like”?

Justin: “Hey, boss, listen, I want to bring my lunch to the office mine. I’d really like to be able to-”

Justin [“bad boss voice”]: “I told you once, I told you a thousand times. Only one thing goes in your locker and that’s cluster bombs.” [crosstalk]

Travis: Is there anything in the icebox?

Griffin: Two things of note. First of all, this trap seems like it was rigged together…

Justin: Don’t say hastily, because that would be madness! [crosstalk]

Griffin: Not hastily, this obviously took a while, but this is not standard mine procedure. This is a trap that was laid here…

Justin: Right, I’m with you.

Griffin: ...for people coming in here. Travis, to answer your question, yeah, there’s some meat in the icebox. The icebox is perplexingly still kind of cold, it’s not a refrigerator, there’s actual ice in it keeping things cool and that ice is still going strong. It’s kind of chilly in here, so maybe that has something to do with it, but there’s meat. Just raw steaks in the icebox.

Magnus: Hey, Taako? Is this magic, this icebox? Is it magic in any way?

Justin: Let me run an arcana check.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Arcana [pronounced ar-can-uh]… sorry. Arcana. [pronounced ar-cane-uh] I’ve been listening to too much...

Clint: Arkham Asylum.

Justin: Too much Patrick Rothfuss. Okay. [rolls dice] 15 plus...

Griffin: That’s enough. I’ll say that the ice-

Justin: 19!

Griffin: The ice in this box-

Justin: 18, 18, 18.

Griffin: The ice in this box, and I hadn’t planned on talking about the specific type of ice that was in this box, but let’s just say it is kind of a magic ice that stays colder for longer, and I’m gonna call it Good Ice. [Clint laughs]

Justin: Hold on, I’m being swept away by this fantasy tapestry you’re weaving!

Griffin: This is Good Ice, and it’s kept this Old Meat--which is how it would show up in your inventory--fresh for longer than you thought it would last.

Travis: Why would a mine keep raw meat?

Justin: This is by all means the highest priority mystery. [Griffin laughing] Let’s ruminate on this meat question.

Travis: Okay- I just wanna say that we’re gonna walk into a room with like a huge slathering beast in it and be like, “Ohhh! It was for- Ohhh!”

Justin: Take it or don’t, but we don’t have to run an Unsolved Mysteries episode about what kind of meat and why we have meat.

Clint: I take the meat and the ice.

Justin: Thank god.

Travis: It explodes!

[everyone laughs]

Griffin: Yeah, it was on a weighted trap. And a voice comes out of the box, “Not my meat and ice!” Boom!

Justin: I make a bag of sand that looks like it weighs as much as the meat and the ice. And then I swap them out.

Clint: We’re gonna have to go running down this tunnel while a big-ass rock chases us!

Griffin: The door that you opened up opens up into an elevator, which, of course it does.

Justin: Oh, fuck me.

Griffin: And it’s not Upsy Your Lifting Friend, it’s sort of an industrial elevator. It has sort of exposed walls. There’s no ceiling on it whatsoever, it’s like a freight elevator.

Justin: There’s gotta be a company logo on it though, right? They have to have made it.

Griffin: Yeah, I guess it’s part of the... Miller family of products. And yeah, there is a minecart on the side of it with some boxes and then a panel that has an up-and-down button on it. As you open the elevator lattice you see two small shapes run out from under the minecart full of boxes, and they look like little furry bugs. And they have big, adorable ears and a couple little black furry wings with white spots - or no white spots, just all black fur. They scurry out from under the minecart and run up to your party to inspect.

Magnus: Well, hey there!
Merle: Hi, little fur bugs!

Griffin: They make a little-

Fur Bugs: [high-pitched tzz buzz-like noise]

Griffin: -noise as they come up close to you.

Magnus: Oh yeah? Is there trouble down in the mines?
Fur Bugs: [repeated noise]

[Clint fucking dies from laughter]

Magnus: There is?
Fur Bugs: [repeated noise]

Travis: Now, Griffin, with my animal proficiency-

Clint: Oh, God.

Travis: Can I understand what they’re saying?

Griffin: Um, no.

Justin: They can appreciate his folksy charm.

Griffin: No, but they offer you a-

Clint: He carves something for them.

Griffin: They offer you a free night at the Furry Bug Inn.

Travis: I take it!

Griffin: No, you can’t understand what they’re saying, this is-

Travis: If I’ve learned one thing in Los Angeles it’s that when you’re offered something free, you take it.

Griffin: You take it, yeah. No, they’re just kind of...

Fur Bugs: [repeated noise]

Griffin: you.

Magnus: Do you guys wanna come with us? Is there anything we need to know? Can you show us anything important?

Griffin: Okay, you’re talking to bugs. You are talking to bugs.

Justin: He’s talking to bugs.

Griffin: They just-

Fur Bugs: [repeated noise]

Travis: Can I just, real quick, point of order because it just struck me, did we take Taako’s hole with us?

Griffin: No, that’s not how any of this works. [laughs]

Travis: Okay, I wasn’t sure if it was a Roger Rabbit, like, you peel the hole back off the wall.

Griffin: No. That’d be incredible though.

Magnus: Okay, well you boys scurry along, and we’re gonna adventure on. Have a great day!
Merle: Good seeing you.
Magnus: Thanks for everything.

Griffin: Merle, one scurries up onto your boot.

Justin and Clint: Aww!

Griffin: And starts climbing up your boot a little bit towards your jortpurs. [Jodhpur-shorts, which Merle got from Fantasy Costco in Episode 41.]

Travis: What’s in your jortpurs?

Clint: Which has meat in it, which has the raw meat in it.

Griffin: Yeah, the other one follows, starts scurrying up the same leg.

Clint: I hold out the raw meat and let them have a little nibble.

Griffin: Okay, they almost completely devour it faster than you could ever imagine. They jump up onto it and it kind of disappears, and they run off outside through the hole that Taako made. Just-

Fur Bugs: [repeated noise]

Griffin: -the whole time. But they seem very contented and very happy, and if there was a thing like karma points in this game, you would get those. That may be the first selfless-

Clint: Well, give them to me.

Griffin: Okay, you get karma points. I don’t know what they’re gonna be used for, but…

Travis: No, they’re inspiration, inspiration.

Griffin: Okay, yeah, I’ll give you inspiration. Just for being kind to animals which is very Pan. Very Pan.

Travis: I talked to them! Ugh!

[“Into the Quarry” starts playing in the background]

Clint: They didn’t understand you, though.

Travis: Let’s go down.

Griffin: Okay. I had a puzzle here, but I think it’d probably take too long to get past it.

Travis: Cool.

Griffin: So you did it.

Travis: Thanks, thanks.

Justin: What was it? [Travis laughs]

Clint: Tell us so you can’t ever use it again.

Griffin: You had to hit the elevator button in a certain way or else it explodes. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. [Clint laughs, others join in]

[interlude music continues]


[commercial break]

[interlude music returns]


Griffin: You make your way down, and actually, horrifyingly, on your way down, this is when the earthquake happens. Because this is the loop in which you solved the puzzle and it took you a very long time - well, not a very long time, but - yeah, so you hit that 11:30 point. There’s an earthquake. And so while you’re going down, and this descent takes quite a while, this descent takes probably about five minutes of going down, everything starts shaking and this freight elevator bangs off the walls a little bit. At one point it actually drops a few feet but it doesn’t fall all the way, like there’s probably some sort of emergency brake on it that catches it, and after a few seconds of not moving it continues its descent after the earthquake stops.

Justin: Another fine Miller product.

Griffin: You open up and as the door opens you get a blast of cold air on your face - the exterior door, not the lattice door to the elevator. You are in a humongous cavern. The only light being provided is - well, I guess Magnus has his headlamp on. There’s an orange light above the elevator door that’s also kind of illuminating things a little bit. You can see in front of you is another cart, like a tram that is on a track that is going down into the cavern.

Griffin: And this cavern is going pretty steadily, constantly down, and the cart actually has a broken wheel, so it’s not exactly on the track. But this is not a minecart for moving minerals, this is a personnel cart for getting people, like, deeper into the mine much faster, but it is currently broken. You can see, actually, some cracks in the ceiling that some dust is falling from, like these cracks were just hewn into the stone with the earthquake. There is sort of a faint constant buzzing noise happening in this room, which, despite the fact that you have these two lights in it, is still very, very dark.

Travis: How broken is it? Is it like a wooden wheel, something I could fix?

Griffin: No, it is a metal wheel that is broken. That’s not to say you can’t fix it, but it’s like, the metal is broken.

Travis: Is the buzzing - sound like insects?

Griffin: Maybe a nature check would reveal that to those who want to roll a nature check.

Travis: I’m going to do a nature check.

Griffin: You know who’d probably be very good at a nature check?

Travis: Not me, I got an 8.

Griffin: You really can’t tell.

Clint: [rolls dice] 7.

Travis: But you have plus-es.

Justin: You’ve gotta have a plus! Dad is always looking at his cards.

Clint: Planning ahead.

Justin: For what? You have no fucking clue what’s happening.

Clint: I have a great idea!

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: Nature check. Okay, so it’s 11.

Griffin: Okay, yeah, with an 11 you can tell that just by the fluctuations in the noise that whatever’s making it is alive.

Clint: I have a spell called Mending.

Griffin: Oh!

Clint: That allows you to fix things. Metal, stone, and I know you’re looking it up right now.

Griffin: No, I trust you. Here’s a fun fact, that spell is actually baked into the Arclight Spanner, your weapon that you got from Hurley during the battlewagon races. [This wrench was called the Adamant Spanner when Merle received it.]

Merle: Why don’t you two go investigate, and I’ll fix the wheel on the cart?

Justin: [singing] Daddy, fix the wheel. [speaking] That sounds pretty good, I think we’re in okay shape right now, and if we die, no big whoop.

Griffin: Okay, Merle, you get to-

Justin: And what would happen if one of us died?

Griffin: Um, I don’t know.

Justin: I guess everybody would just…

Clint: [loudly, yelling] That’s the key to the mystery!

Justin: [whispering] Dad, please.

Clint: [stage-whispering] That’s the key to the mystery.

Justin: Already our microphones are broken, exploded into a million pieces like fucking Gizmoduck.

Clint: I mend it with my spanner!

Justin: Blathering, blatherskite, Dad. You exploded my mic.

Magnus: We’re gonna move forward, Merle. Keep your stone of far speech on.

Griffin: Yeah, Merle’s working on the wheel, it’s gonna take him a couple minutes, but the pieces of the wheel shattered into four pieces start to float through the air and start to fuse together. It’s almost like some sort of invisible force is welding it as sparks come flying out of your wrench. Magnus and Taako, what are you guys doing? You’ve got about - the light from the elevator gives you about a 20-foot radius circle into this cavern and you’ve got the tracks going right in front of you and Merle’s behind you working on the cart.

Clint: What time is it?

Griffin: By now it’s probably about 11:35.

Clint: All right.

Travis: Okay. I’m going to go to look down the path, I guess? Look down the tracks, see if there’s been any damage, any cave-in, anything like that.

Griffin: Investigation?

Travis: Yeah, sure.

Justin: Sounds good, I’ll run one too. [rolls dice] Oh, I didn’t find shit.

Travis: I’ve got a 13… nothing. So 13.

Griffin: Okay. No, it seems like the tracks are pretty clear. Taako, what’d you roll?

Justin: Uh, a three. I’ll be lucky to find my own asshole. [Clint laughs]

Griffin: Yeah, you move around your cheeks for a bit and you’re like, “No- no, no, no!”

Justin: “Not again!”

Griffin: You done transmuted it shut again, damn it. Merle- Magnus, with that check, actually, and because you have the headlamp, you can tell there’s no big rocks or anything blocking the path, but as you move your light around this tunnel and specifically around the floor checking to make sure that the tracks are okay, it almost looks like there’s smoke on the ground and all around. And as you shine your headlamp into the smoke it kind of parts for you a little bit, revealing the track underneath.

Travis: Cool.

Magnus: Hey, Taako?
Taako: Yes?
Magnus: [not in character voice] See this - I know you’re looking for your butthole.
Taako: I don’t understand your voice, why you sound like a person like Travis McElroy.
Magnus: [in character voice] Sorry. I know you’re looking for your butthole. What is this- Is this- Uhh.. Th-this smoke seems unnatural.
Taako: Yeah. For sure.
Magnus: Uhh– touch it.
Taako: Uh… okay.

Justin: I’ll cast Detect Magic, see what we’ve got going on here.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: [fart noise]

Travis: And he does!

Griffin: There doesn’t seem to be any magic.

Justin: Dad just handed me Detect Magic while I was searching for it as if to reinforce that his card-sorting system is better than mine, which it most certainly is.

Clint: Yes, it is.

Griffin: I mean, I’ll simplify, there’s no magic that you can - except for the mending spell that’s happening right behind you, you don’t pick up on anything.

Merle: Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.

Justin: Okay. Sounds good.

Griffin: At this point the cart has been fixed.

Justin: Oh, great. Another great adventure, Magnus.

Travis: Yeah, we did it. I think we solved the weird smoke puzzle. I have a- okay, this is an interesting D&D conundrum. I, Travis McElroy, have a suspicion and something I would test out, but I don’t think Magnus would. So, like, I’m just gonna move forward and not do it.

Griffin: Yes. ‘Spect the fiction, bro.

Travis: Yeah. So let’s get in the cart and let’s go.

Clint: Yeah.

Justin: Let’s do it!

Griffin: Merle, you down?

Clint: Yeah, do we know how to operate the cart?

Griffin: There’s a lever that seems to have three settings, right now it’s in the middle. There’s one to go back and one to go forward.

Clint: Okay, I’ll come catch up to you guys, aren’t you a little bit ahead of me?

Griffin: Okay, yeah.

Clint: I get in, I pull that lever.

Griffin: Yeah, sure!

Clint: Toot-toot! Ting-ting! Chugga-chugga-chugga-- [repeated]

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: I stop.

Travis: I will say that when Magnus gets in he holds his shield kind of over his head, kinda like an umbrella a lil bit.

Griffin: Okay. And you’re just moving on down the cave?

Clint: I’m gonna call this my magic trolley.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: I wanna open the Umbra Staff and put it above my head too. Let Merle really wonder what’s going on.

Griffin: Okay, you move away from the entrance, away from that orange light above the elevator door, and this is going to be a fun Dragon’s Lair-style death where in a cartoon, something happens to you and then all of a sudden it’s just skeletons standing there holding the umbrella and the shield and somebody whistling while they move a lever, because all three of you are almost instantly devoured by something as soon as you leave the light.

Travis: Got it. By the Vashta Nerada.

Griffin: And you’re back in the white space and same deal, just kind of exhausted and you’re back in front of Roswell.

Justin: Hole-thrower, done. We get in.

Travis: We know the code.

Justin: We know the code.

Griffin: You do the puzzle, and to further ‘spect that fiction, you pop that code in pretty quickly this time, right? And you go down, you have your little interaction with the dark bugs, and then you go down the elevator.

Justin: Well, not necessarily, because I don’t know that we want to… I wonder if the meat would be more useful if we didn’t offer it to them. Like, do we need to do that?

Griffin: I guess not.

Travis: But Dad got inspiration out of it, and it seemed to make him happy.

Justin: That’s true.

Clint: I did get karma out of it.

Griffin: My point was, you did that so much faster that you probably made it down the elevator before this earthquake happened. Right before 11:30. And now when you get to the bottom the scene’s the same, the cart is broken, but you don’t hear buzzing, and there aren’t no cracks in the ceiling. You do hear - [the same noise that the fur bugs made earlier] so you can hear some stuff in there but it doesn’t sound like, whatever it is, there’s not billions of them.

Travis: Is there still smoke covering the tracks?

Griffin: Yeah, when you investigate you don’t see smoke, you just see a handful of those little bugs, and they run away from the light as soon as you shine it on them.

Clint: Griffin?

Griffin: Yo.

Clint: Do our spell slots reset every time?

Griffin: They do. Yeah.

Clint: Okay. [more strangled-sounding] Okay.

Griffin: What do you want to do? Let’s say, at this point, the fastest you can get down here is, like, 11:15.

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: Oh, that’s actually 11:20. Yeah, that’ll be good.

Travis: You guys got spells that do light, right? That make things glow?

Justin: That’s actually what I was looking for. I thought I did. I mean, my magic eyes can see in the dark.

[Griffin laughs.]

Travis: Yeah, but what I’m saying is if light seems to drive these things away, why not make the cart glow?

Justin: That’s not a bad…

Clint: I have a spell called Light.

Griffin: That’s a fucking really efficiently named spell.

Clint: Yeah. And the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius.

Justin: Cast it on the cart.

Clint: I cast it on the cart. Skadoosh!

Griffin: And are you repairing it as well?

Clint: Yeah, it’s not gonna go anywhere until I fix it.

Griffin: Yeah. Okay, you repair this cart and you make it super-duper shiny. You have repaired the cart and it’s about 11:25.

Travis: Let’s move.

Justin: Let’s go.

Griffin: All right.

Clint: Let’s bust ass.

Griffin: Yeah, you hop in the cart and begin moving down the track. [Clint makes chugga-chugga noises] And sure enough you can see these little bugs scattering as you move down the path. They are giving your cart a wide berth. You are curving around to the left a ways. There’s kind of - after you’ve been going for a few minutes, there’s a hairpin turn. Not exactly a hairpin turn but you are turning almost 180 degrees to the left and then you’re going down and down and down this path for a super long time.

Clint: So we passed the point where we got devoured?

Griffin: Well, it’s at 11:30 just past that hairpin turn, there is that earthquake. And then sure enough cracks in the ceiling start opening up and some shapes - thousands and thousands of those little bugs start crawling out of it. I’m gonna say maybe a few of them land - let’s see maybe like-

Travis: I’ve got my shield over my head, thank you very much.

Griffin: Okay, so you’re protecting your dome. I guess you did establish that in the last…

Clint: And you’re protecting yourself. Okay, go ahead.

Travis: What do you want me to do, grow my shield bigger?

Clint: Protect us!

Travis: How?

Griffin: Let’s just say that some bugs are about to fall into your cart. How would you deal with that?

Travis: I can only speak for myself. I’m holding my shield over my head.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: I say we try to, like, kill ‘em?

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: We haven’t killed anything, like, for five episodes.

Griffin: That’s a good point.

Justin: The bugs? Kill the bugs? Are the bugs eating us?

Clint: Well, obviously my good karma isn’t working.

Justin: Yeah, that’s a good point. I’m having a hard time thinking of any other way to defend us. I’m sure there’s some magic that I could…

Travis: Well, you’ve got your umbrella. We could just like keep them off us, you know?

Griffin: The bugs are - I don’t know if I described them accurately enough. They’re very cute. [everyone “aww”s]

Justin: But they did eat us.

Griffin: They did, yeah, yeah.

Justin: Yeah, but they’re cute. Okay, hold on.

Griffin: You guys have spent five minutes trying to figure out how to kill some bugs.

Justin: They’re gonna eat us!

Griffin: I’m just saying, real life-

Clint: And you said they’re cute!

Griffin: Real-life Griffin could’ve done this in like, ten seconds, man.

Travis: To be fair, Griffin, this is your fault because you put us in the mindset of solving puzzles and traps.

Griffin: That’s a good point. Fair enough.

Clint: How do we know they’ll bother us? I thought light chased them away, and aren’t we still surrounded by a nimbus of light in this trolley?

Griffin: Yeah, but there’s a few that are in the cart with you, and they don’t know how to get out, and they’re freaking out, and they’re starting to nip at your boots.

Travis: Oh, I thought they were falling.

Clint: I hit one with my war hammer.

Travis: Hold on. I thought they were falling from the ceiling. They’re already in the cart with us?

Griffin: Yeah, they fell from the ceiling into the cart.

Travis: Oh. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, you can just stomp them. That’s fair. It’s gross and it’s horrible.

Clint: [Clint laughs] Kinda anticlimactic, though, isn’t it?

Griffin: Maybe a bit, but sometimes the easiest solution’s the best one. The stompiest.

Clint: That’s true.

Griffin: Okay, you go down this path and it’s - again, a long cart ride. This mine - They had dug a lot out, and as you go down the path the bugs are still giving you a pretty wide berth, and you can see some other passageways that don’t have tracks coming out them, branching off to the left and right and then deep, deep holes going down from those. So this was the main vein of this mine. Not vein like motherlode, but where people would move down.

It was a pretty long journey, took you about fifteen minutes to go down. So you don’t have a ton of time, but you’ve made it to the end of this tramway, and you’ve pulled in front of another door with another orange light on top of it that is keeping all these bugs at bay. And this door has a button on it that says “open,” and that’s pretty much it.

Travis: Yeah?

Justin: Do you wanna - well, I mean…

Travis: All this time, Magnus is slowly just pushing his finger towards it.

Taako: Merle, do you wanna try searching for traps?

Clint: I cast Find Traps again.

Griffin: Okay, the door is not trapped, you can tell that.

Travis: [immediately] I push it!

Griffin: Okay. Um, there is something behind the door that is trapped?

Travis: Damn it.

Griffin: But you did not activate it. You press it and you hear the sound of machinery moving far beyond the door. Then you hear silence, like nothing happens for a while. And then after about a minute your door starts to slide open, and it takes it a real long time. It takes it, like, thirty seconds for it to completely open up.

And then inside is a very, very, very small room. It’s kind of reminiscent, actually, of the airlocks from the Crystal Kingdom stuff, and you see another door inside with an “open” button, and then on the backside of the door that you just came through is another “open” button. So there’s a button on either side of this door you come through, and then there’s another door on the opposite side that has an “open” button on it.

Travis: And are there windows or anything, any kind of porthole?

Griffin: No. There’s no windows, there’s no way to see through it.

Justin: Let’s go ahead and do it.

Griffin: Okay. You punch the open button on the other door and the one that you came through begins its slow cycle again of shutting. And once it does-

Justin: This is a bug thing. This is to keep the bugs out.

Griffin: The door shuts, you hear a [hiss noise], and then there’s a wall to your right when you came in. A panel on this wall opens up and you see a clock, and this clock is a sixty-second timer. And it’s counting down. Underneath the clock, immediately underneath the clock, is another small metal panel that has a slot in it, almost looks like a keycard slot at a hotel. And that’s what you see. The clock is counting down from sixty.

Clint: What’s it at right now? Oh, it just started, sixty?

Griffin: Yeah. We’re not gonna move it in real time.

Clint: This is the trap from the elevator, isn’t it?

Griffin: No, it’s a different one.

Clint: Oh okay.

Travis: There’s like a slot, you say?

Griffin: Yeah. Slot like a keycard slot.

Travis: Is it something I could use my thieves’ tools on and pick and disarm? Are there wires?

Griffin: If you want t- no, there’s no exposed wires. If you want to use your thieves’ tools to see what you can do, you can do that.

Justin: Well, bye, everybody. It’s been a good life.


Travis: I do that.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Whee!

Travis: [rolls dice] I mean, that’s a twelve plus ten, so twenty-two.

Justin: I put my hands up in the air like Superman because we’re getting ready to go to heaven. [Clint and Griffin laugh]

Travis: I mean, I rolled a 22.

Griffin: Okay, with a 22 you realize that there are some very, very, very small screws on the corners of this keycard panel. You screw them off and you have exposed, after removing this panel, you can still see this keycard slot right in the center of things but the center is surrounded by five wires. There’s a red, a yellow, [faint die roll] a blue, a green, and a black wire.

Travis: I cut the green wire.

Clint: Wait a minute!

Justin: Whee!

Travis: What do you know? Hold on, real quick, Dad, if you want to [laughing] share with me how you know-

Justin: Red, yellow, blue, green, what’s the other - red, yellow, blue, green, [at the same time as Griffin] black.

Griffin: Black. I’m gonna take - canonically, Magnus did say it, so you do have a trip to heaven- [someone makes a noise of disapproval]

Justin: Whee!

Griffin: And we can just hop right back into the room. Sixty seconds on the clock, what do you do?

Travis: I’ve eliminated one option.

Justin: I’m not gonna do it like this. Let’s think about what we know for sixty seconds.

Clint: Hmm. Red, yellow, blue, green…

Travis: Black.

Clint: Well, they always say cut the red wire. Isn’t that what it was in Speed? Wasn’t Speed the red wire?

Justin: The…

Clint: What is it in the M&Ms movie trailer?

Travis: I cut the black wire.

Griffin: [singing] To heaven we’re going on a trip together, me and my f-

Clint: Wait a minute– you just cut the same wire!

Travis: No.

Justin: You cut the same fucking wire!

Travis: No, I cut the green!

Griffin: He did green last time. But both have killed you.

Justin: Okay.

Clint: So are we back there with this timer at sixty? There’s gotta be a better way to figure this out.

Griffin: So it can be. So there’s a couple ways to solve this one, that’s all I’ll tell you.

Justin: Okay.

Griffin: But if you don’t want to be in this room and you want to be in an earlier place, you let me know.

Clint: Ah, ah!

Justin: What?

Clint: The timecards.

Justin: You really are into those, huh?

Clint: Well, he said there’s a slot, a small metal slot. He didn’t say what you’d insert was metal.

Justin: Ohhh, okay. So get… I don’t know, get Cassidy’s?

Travis: Well, if we’re already there, hold on. I’ll get us out of here. I use Railsplitter to cut all five wires at once. [Clint laughs]

Griffin: [giggling] You’re in heaven. Okay, no, you’re back in that entry room. I forget the exact names that I laid out for you that there are cards for. Cassidy’s was among them, the four people that died in the accident are among them. Niall [Griffin pronounces it “n’yall”], I think, is one of them. Terrence is one of them. Isaak is one of them. Quincy is one of them.

Justin: Hey, you know what? We should get Isaak’s. He’s the sheriff now, and it seems like maybe he would be a high-ranking person that would have access, right? Does that make sense?

Clint: Does indeed.

Justin: Okay, let’s grab all of them.

Clint: There we go. And we’ll think about them on our long trip down.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: If this is the case this time I want to use my shield to keep bugs from getting in our cart so I don’t have to squish any adorable bugs.

Griffin: Okay, you don’t kill any bugs this loop, and you make it to the end and you make it in the room. Sixty seconds on the clock.

Clint: And how much time all together? What time is it right now?

Griffin: I mean, the fastest you could probably get here is 11:50.

Travis: So someone’s been building traps and the only one who survived the cave-in - if the only one to survive the cave-in was Cassidy, maybe Cassidy put in the traps and we should use her card.

Justin: Does that stand to reason?

Clint: But Isaak survived.

Travis: Well, that’s assuming that it’s the same Isaak. There could be more than one Isaak in the world.

Griffin: Chris Isaak.

Clint: Griffin wouldn’t do that.

Justin: Let’s, uh… you agree with Travis or me? Isaak or Cassidy, Dad? I’ll let Dad pick.

Clint: [sighs, then scream-groans] Isaak.

Griffin: Okay. You put Isaak’s punch card in... and the clock stops. And you hear that [hissing noise] sound again, and the door in front of you slowly starts to open.

Justin: Nice.

Clint: You’re not mad at me, are you, Trav, that I picked Isaak over Cassidy?

Travis: Nope! Dad, I don’t give two shits.

Griffin: Well, you were right. The panel snaps shut as the door on the far end starts to open up, and after completing its long cycle of opening, you reach the largest room you’ve encountered in this mine so far. It’s a big, circular room, about 300 feet in diameter. The first thing that catches your eye is the hole in the floor. There is a guardrail around this hole. But beyond that rail is this gargantuan chasm that runs nearly the whole span of the room. There’s only about ten feet of walkway lined with cart tracks going around the room, and the rest of the room’s just all hole, baby.

There is a thick metal ring running along the exterior of the hole, and you can see some thick - really, really, really thick ridged metal poking out of either end of that ring, so it kind of looks like a really sturdy metal hatch that is currently open. There’s a sign hanging on the railing directly in front of you, and it’s labeled “Shaft A.” Next to that sign is some sort of control-

Travis: Are you sure it’s not “shafta”?

Griffin: It could be shafta. No, it’s Shaft A, and next to that sign is a control box with a long lever coming out of it. There’s another really important thing that you noticed about this hole, and that is that there is some kind of force field in it. It’s just below that heavy metal hatch and it looks kind of similar to the bubble that is surrounding Refuge. It’s more translucent, you can see through it. It’s not refracting light. But there’s this force field inside of the hole, it’s kind of wavy. And it pitches outward a bit, giving it a similar shape to the bubble around town, but you notice that there’s a total of three of these bubbles in this room.

Griffin: There’s this one inside the pit. There’s a much, much smaller bubble on the ceiling that a faint light is actually shining down from through a hole that is maybe only three feet wide, it’s a much, much, much smaller hole immediately on the ceiling. The ceiling is way high up, probably about twenty feet, twenty, thirty feet up. And there’s a small hole with another bubble around it, and there’s light coming down through this hole. There’s a bubble around that hole that’s just a bit wider than the diameter of the hole. And then there’s a third bubble, and it’s surrounding the only other door in this room on the opposite end of the pit that you’re currently standing over. That door looks identical to the one that you just came through except that it has this big bubble force field around it. Actually, from far above you, you can faintly hear the sounds of commotion and of distant screams.

Clint: Bye-bye. See ya!

Griffin: Nope. It’s only about 11:55 right now. Well, it’s late, but the world hasn’t exploded. You just hear some commotion and actually, because you’ve done this so many times now, it sounds like the commotion of people rushing to try to put out the bank.

Travis: Does it sound like we’re directly below it?

Griffin: Not directly below it, but you can hear it, and you’re below it.

Justin: I - listen, I know our impulse is usually to act, but I think we would be best served to just chill and see what happens.

Travis: Yeah, let’s watch.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: Can we see through the force field bubble?

Griffin: You can, yeah.

Clint: That heads down.

Griffin: Yes.

Travis: I suspect that this is a case of, like, they dug too deep and hit something they weren’t supposed to, and that kind of thing.

Clint: Or somebody.

Justin: Let’s find out. [someone (probably Clint) whistles]

Griffin: Okay, you wait around a couple minutes.

Clint: You guys want any of this ice?

Griffin: You’re just chewing on ice?

Travis: That ice is too good to waste.

Clint: I gave the meat to those bugs.

Griffin: Through that hole in the floor, I forget who asked if you could see through it and see down it.

Clint: Yes, it was me.

Griffin: Okay. Through that hole in the floor, you can see, shining through the darkness, teeth. You can see thousands of them arranged in countless rows that are pouring down a mouth that is easily two hundred feet wide. [Travis: Uh.] And emerging from that mouth are two big rectangular flaps that are also lined with teeth that are curling and dripping with malice. That mouth is lit ever so slightly from within with dozens of small flames that look kind of like pilot lights for a furnace that looks like it’s about to explode.

Griffin: And with the help of the light shining directly downward, you can see what owns that mouth. It is a gigantic body that has a thick skin, thick ridged purple skin. And this is a body that is halted mid-attack that is moving now, almost imperceptibly but it is moving a bit, and the fires inside of its mouth are starting to grow and become alive. It is pushing with enough force to give this force field apparently, like, a work-out, because waves are starting to ripple across the surface of it almost in a panic. And from above you, you hear the chime of a clock.

Travis: I throw the cluster bomb down.

Griffin: Okay, you throw the cluster bomb, I like that play. [rolls dice] All three of you, because you got a good chuck-in, you’re not right next to the blast, but all of you take, like, 24 damage and are knocked backwards. It doesn’t seem to have any effect on this thing.

Clint: Wait, did it go through the force field?

Griffin: It didn’t, no, it just kind of bounced off the top of it. This thing was just about to breach it, so it maybe hit it, but even if it did it didn’t seem to stop it at all because this thing is 200 feet wide and is essentially a weapon of mass destruction. And now that you work your way back towards the hole after being blown away back from it, the movement that this thing has is now no longer imperceptible. You can see it moving. It’s coming up through the hole. It’s moving upward a few inches and then a few feet, and the flames in its mouth are expanding and intensifying.

Clint: Can we hold hands, guys? Can we all hold hands?

Justin: Yeah, that’s fine.

Griffin: All of you hold hands as both the flame and the purple worm burst through the bubble, the force field ultimately giving up the ghost. The room is flooded with fire, and you are [laughing] destroyed by a blast of nearly supersonic force and the last thing you hear is a scream of unbridled fury. And you do not live long enough to hear the twelfth chime of the clock above you.

Clint: Well.

Travis: Okay, so I just want to throw this out because - Griffin’s probably already cut this, but just for Dad and Justin. Remember we fought some purple worms at the very beginning of the thing?

Clint: Yeah.

Travis: Before we entered the thing? This is probably connected, right?

Griffin: This one is much much much much much much much much much larger than those.

[End music fades in]

Justin: Yeah, but we beat them, so I like our odds.

Travis: Got it.

Clint: Actually, we just chased them off.

Justin: We chased them off. That’s right, Dad, thank you for the reminder. Okay, I feel less good about the odds.

[Griffin laughing]

[end music plays; MaxFun end card; ad for Adam Ruins Everything]