2×05: Bearing (transcript)

June 15, 2022

Cold open

V: (still staticky but much clearer) I can’t believe it either. You have no idea how long I’ve been just… yelling into the void. I thought I was the only one left. 

N: Me too. I mean… I’ve been out here, I don’t even know how long, in the dark, wandering around with nothing—

V: Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean, in the dark?

N: It’s not dark where you—No. (partially to self) no, every time I’ve been outside when this has happened, it’s been daylight. 

V: What was that?

N: Look, I… This is going to sound crazy, but I think the world I’m from, the world I’ve been in… It’s not the same world as yours. It’s somewhere else. 

[long pause]

N: (panicky) Hello?

V: I’m still here. (Shorter pause) It doesn’t sound as crazy as you’d think. It… actually it makes perfect sense. 

N: Why? …Wait, do you understand what’s going on? Who are you? 

V: I do understand. I understand at least some of it. Who I am… that’s a longer story. Probably a lot longer than we have time for now. You need to listen very, very carefully and do exactly as I say.

N: Why?

V: Because what I’m going to tell you… It’s going to save your life. It might save everything. 



Scene 1

V: Do you know where you are right now?

N: Right now? Yeah. I’m in Ohio, near Akron. When it flips back over to the other world, I’m not sure, shit’s weird there, but I’m assuming it’s the same place. 

V: Akron. Akron. (Seeming to think or maybe to look something up) Okay, listen. I need you to travel west. 

N: West? Why, why west?

[sound of cycling back up, static increasing)

N: Shit. Can you still hear me? Why do you need me to go west? What’s west?

V: (staticky) —‘ll find—installation—can’t—

[shadow world snaps back in]

N: (long silence) Fuck. 


[sounds of things breaking, sound cuts out]


Scene 2

N: Well, I didn’t break the radio. 

N: Broke a ton of other shit, though. Looks like the proverbial bomb went off in here. I mean, I assume it’ll all go back to normal after the next reset… but I dunno. Maybe that’s not the kind of thing I can assume anymore. 

N: Maybe I should stop assuming anything right fucking now. 

N: It’s… Y’know, it’s ironic. First time in I can’t even begin to say how long that I’ve had an actual direction, like someplace clear to go… and I can’t decide if I want to do it. Can’t decide what to do. 

N: West. Okay, I take back what I said about clear. In terms of a destination, a direction isn’t clear. 

N: I think they were about to tell me what I was shooting for. Before…

N: I don’t know. It’s never easy, is it? Never simple. Like not one goddamn time. 

N: They said… it would save my life. So… that implies my life is in danger, which is a great big honking twist given that I’ve died like twenty or thirty times since I started this. But things have been changing. And it seems like they know a lot more than I do. Some more, anyway. 

N: So my life is in danger. And there’s maybe something I can do to save it.

N: Save everything. 

N: I… Okay. Okay, I need to just… think. 


Scene 3

N: I went for a walk in the woods. 

N: Long time since I’ve done this. Lot of that is it’s way too easy to get lost in the woods now, to the extent that getting lost even means anything anymore, but it’s also just… Why? What’s the point? 

N: I’m not scared of it. Would have been once, but I’m not. 

N: But it’s… unsettling, how quiet it is. Somehow it’s way more quiet in here than it is out among… human things. It feels wrong. Like, wrong

N: That other world, everyone is dead there, or that’s what it seems like… but this world is dead too, is the thing. There’s no bodies, but the entire fucking thing is dead. I’ve been on a road trip to nowhere through a corpse. 

N: I mean… there’s animals over there, so actually it’s even more alive than this place is. Animals and sun. 

N: What would I even do with all that light? 

N: I’ve been here for so long. The really scary thing is… thinking I’ve been here long enough that now I belong here. Now here is actually where I’m comfortable. I just didn’t notice when it happened. 

N: Seeing that dog. My god. 

N: Seeing anything else alive, but especially that dog. It looked like…

N: It couldn’t be, that would be just too literally insane a coincidence, but I swear to God, it did look like him. The one friend I had left in the world for like twelve fucking hours. 

N: Really did love that dog. 

N: I’ve been alone for so long, I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t anymore. I don’t even know how to process what it’s like having someone else to talk to. Which… I’m not counting them, because they don’t fucking count. They’re crap at conversation, just to start with, and that’s before you even get to…

N: I don’t know if they’re actually out to get me, but I don’t think they wish me well. 

N: A while ago—everything is a while ago, it’s like the only reliable temporal unit I have anymore—I stopped trying to get my hands around what they even are. Whether they’re the same as the shadows or something different… I asked them once, and they didn’t even get evasive about it. They didn’t answer at all. But regardless, I don’t know what they are and I don’t know what they want, and I’ve never gotten a straight answer about that either. They’re not human, not remotely, and that’s only part of why they don’t count as company. 

N: Though once or twice… I dunno. They’ve been quiet for a long time and I’ve almost ended up… missing them. 

N: Just any voice that isn’t my own. 

N: I mean, I guess I could stop talking to myself. Talking to… you. But it’s kind of a habit at this point. Plus I do think it helps. Now and then. 

N: I do wonder, though, if someone else can hear me. Hear but not talk back. If somehow I’m reaching someone. If something like this can… drift across worlds and end up in someone else’s ear. 

N: Too easy, in the silent dark, to start feeling like these thin membranes are all that separate us. Delicate. And if someone found something sharp… 

N: Wouldn’t take a whole lot of force to tear a big fucking hole through the entire thing. 

N: I need to sleep. 

Scene 4

[radio static and crackle]

V: We don’t have a lot of time. Not if the pattern holds. Although… you’ve probably noticed that it’s change—

N: It’s changing. Yeah. Why is that? Why is any of this happening in the first place?

V: I can basically promise you we don’t have time for me to even scratch the surface of that. Might be easier if you just tell me what you know. 

N: What I know? Fucking Jack shit, is what I know. 

V: Tell me anything you can. Even if you don’t understand it. 

N: Okay, I—(sigh) Okay. Some time ago, I don’t know how long, I woke up and everyone was gone. No sign of why or where they went to, no trace whatsoever. Then I noticed every night at around midnight everything would sort of… reset. Only it also changed a little every time. All the animals disappeared. The day started getting shorter. Soon night was all there was. I tried to drive out, but I couldn’t, it was like… no matter what direction I went in, I ended up back where I started. Like the world itself was smaller. 

N: So eventually I found my way to this… facility where my wife worked, and I met—

V: Hold up. You say your wife worked there?

N: Yeah. She was working on whatever it was did this. I think. I was never sure what she actually did, she never explained any of it to me. There’s a fuck of a lot she didn’t tell me, turns out. 

V: Yeah, I know. (Pause) I know your wife. So I also know who you are, now.

N: (very quietly) What the fuck.

V: And I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am. 

N: How do you know who I’m talking about? I never even gave you a name.

V: You gave me enough. The rest I’m picking up on my end. 

N: You aren’t making any sense.

V: I know, I’m sorry. Like I said, I’m sorry about everything. Look, all of that… We can go into it later, if there’s time, but right now I need you to get ready to do some traveling. I need you to head—

N: West, right. Which isn’t a hell of a lot to go on, where am I actually supposed to be going?

V: I’ll give you more detailed directions. I’m sending you to our main research facility. The center of…. everything. 

N: The center.

V: Where your wife worked was just a satellite facility. This is where it all really went down. Once you get there, we might be able to get you to me. 

N: You aren’t there?

V: I’m not… It’s hard to explain. 

N: Yeah, I’m starting to pick up on that. (Pause) Why are you giving me a direction? Why aren’t you giving me actual directions

V: I will, but you can’t depend on them. You already know space isn’t the shape it used to be. 

N: I don’t know how the fuck I’m even supposed to know which way is west. Compasses don’t work where I am and there’s no sun. And you can forget GPS.

V: I think you’ll find that compasses at least still work when your… reset snaps you into the world you’re in now. 

N: Yeah, but that’s a few minutes at most. (Pause) How long have we even been talking? How much more time do we have? 

V: Not long. Look, even a few minutes at intervals with a compass combined with a map is better than nothing, and it might be enough. 

N: I also… (checks) I forgot. I also have GPS when I’m here. I don’t know how dependable it is, but—

V: Good. That’s good. That’s way better than I expected, actually. We can use that. Orient yourself when you’re… here. Check the maps. Plan ahead. Then travel, stop, rest and wait. If we’re lucky you’ll get to the facility in a couple of… cycles, I guess you’d say. 

N: Fine. Just tell me where I’m going. 

V: The address is—(increasing static)—95—drive—take exit—

W: (heavy static, gradually clearing) Hello? Is anyone there? Answer—(static)

N: Oh. Oh my god. 

N: (quiet but slightly wild laughter) It’s you. 

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