Episode 1.04 transcript - “Test your luck”

ADAM RAYMONDA: Windfall is intended for a mature audience. See our show notes for more information. Listener discretion is advised.

[MUSIC - Windfall Theme plays.]

[SFX - Shaima types at a keyboard, whistling to himself. Argus approaches.]

ARGUS: Hey Shaima, could you spot me some credits?

SHAIMA: How many?

ARGUS: Only 50.

SHAIMA: 50? Argus, you know now's not the best time...

ARGUS: I... a few of us have been talking about trying to get an elevator pass to the upper markets.

SHAIMA: Are you high? 50 credits is not enough for that.

ARGUS: No, I'm not an idiot. But it's enough to buy into a hand at Swift's.

SHAIMA: We're barely scraping by. Do you think we'd be eating sewer meat if we had 50 extra credits lying around?

ARGUS: I promise I'll give it back tomorrow.

SHAIMA: Have I not been clear?

ARGUS: You're such a tight-ass, Shaima. This isn't even your money, I should've went to Vern.

[SFX - A door opens and Vern approaches, yawning.]

VERNON: Did I hear my name?

ARGUS: Uncle Vern, can I borrow 50 credits?

SHAIMA: Wanda dammit, Argus, I already told you no.

VERNON: What for, kid?

ARGUS: I'm going to Swift's, I want to try and win enough in the games for an elevator pass.

VERNON: Sure thing. Let me grab my wallet.

[SFX - Vern walks away, opens a cupboard. Argus laughs.]

[MUSIC - Keyboard music starts.]

SHAIMA: You sure you wanna get him started on your gambling habits this early?

VERNON: Ah, let the kid have some fun.

SHAIMA: Have you forgotten that it costs money to keep the lights on?

ARGUS: Easy, Shaima. It's only 50 credits.
(Someone rustles with paper bills)
Thanks Uncle Vernon!

VERNON: Don't mention my name down there. My presence isn't welcome anymore, Swift didn't love how often I kept winning.

ARGUS: (CHUCKLING) Noted. Catch ya later.

[SFX - Argus’ footsteps walk away as the bell dings and the door opens.]

SHAIMA: That was a stupid thing you did.

VERNON: Oh, whatever. I'm going back to bed.

SHAIMA: Yeah, you do that...

[MUSIC - The keyboard music vamps and additional electronic instruments enter the score, ending the scene.]

[MUSIC - String music starts playing the Windfall theme.]

THERAPIST: (CLEARING HIS THROAT) Well? 

HELINA: I just still can't stop thinking about that day.

THERAPIST: That is to be expected.

HELINA: I try to remind myself that I have a good job, a piece of my family history that allows me to hold onto who I am...

THERAPIST: That's a good thing, right?

HELINA: It's not good enough.

THERAPIST: What isn't good enough?

HELINA: Living a good life, in a place as hypocritical as this. Besides, how am I supposed to forget everything those bastards did to bring me here.

THERAPIST: You may want to watch what you say here, but please continue.

HELINA: Look, I'm not saying that I'm ungrateful. I, I listened to my captors...

THERAPIST: We don't call them that. You know better.

HELINA: (SCOFFING) I listened to my liberators and kept my mouth shut. Hell, I even became friends with one of them. I turned a blind eye to the destruction of my village. I even accepted my parents' deaths… Well, as much as I could.

THERAPIST: Death is a simple fact of life, Helina.

HELINA: I'm well aware of that. I shed no tears that the Wolves could see, and I was rewarded for it. But is that something to be proud of?

THERAPIST: Of course it is. You're a survivor. 

HELINA: That's rich.

THERAPIST: You were given a second chance. Your family members were past the point of saving, but you were special enough for Her to take notice.

HELINA: Now you're being ridiculous.

THERAPIST: Speak your regrets and your grief, Helina, not your aggression.

HELINA: I'm sorry, I don't mean any offense. I just can't buy into the idea that one woman has the answer to all of the world's problems. Especially when many of those problems were caused by her very presence.

THERAPIST: It's okay. It took me quite a few years to see Wanda's plan. You'll get it when you've been here a bit longer.

HELINA: I've been here five years now, and what I've learned is the best place to get a strong drink in this city is on the ground level, as far away from your Queen as possible.

THERAPIST: So you've been drinking again?

HELINA: There's not a day I don't.

THERAPIST: Does that have anything to do with your dreams?

HELINA: (LAUGHING) No. It's the only thing that helps me forget them long enough to pass out, period.

THERAPIST: I understand that, but you're not doing yourself any favors.

HELINA: I don't see any reason to stop.

THERAPIST: I think that tonight, when you're considering going down to the ground, you should give your friend, Sylvie, a call instead. What do you think?

[MUSIC - Acoustic guitar music starts to play.]

HELINA: (SIGHING) It couldn't hurt.

THERAPIST: Good, well, I think that's all for today. 

HELINA: Please, just a little bit longer. I need this...

[MUSIC - Strings are layered over the guitar, taking us out of the scene.]

[SFX - There’s the sound of a busy restaurant as Kendall’s footsteps approach, smooth instrumental jazz plays in the background.]

PAV: Ah, I was beginning to think you stood me up.

KENDALL: Sorry about that. Training went a little longer than usual today.

PAV: Knowing Root, I'm sure it did. You can relax now, though. Sit down. I ordered us a round. 

KENDALL: (SLURPS A FOAMY BEER) Ahh, thanks. I appreciate this. It's been a day.

PAV: (CLINKING KENDALL'S GLASS) Cheers to that.

[SFX - Pav let’s out a deep breath.]

PAV: I will warn you. The beer up here is a lot stronger than what you're used to. It's one of the many perks, but I've known more than a few grounders who had a hard time uh...adjusting.

KENDALL: (LAUGHS) I've already learned that lesson the hard way. Wish you'd been there to warn me the first night all the new recruits went out. 

PAV: Wish I had been too. 
(PAUSE)
I'm starved. Mind if we order some food?

KENDALL: I hate to be that person, but I'm on kind of a tight budget at the moment. Paychecks haven't come through yet. I'll stick to the beer. 

PAV: Oh, no, no, no. I've got the bill tonight. This is my treat.

KENDALL: Pav, thank you, but it's fine. I don't need help. I'm just being careful with my money. I'm happy to just have a drink or two and eat at home. 

PAV: Kendall, I would love nothing more than to treat you to dinner. I'm the one who invited you out.

KENDALL: And, as I said, I appreciate the offer, but I'm fine. 

PAV: How about this. I'm going to order appetizers, and you're welcome to have some. Deal?

KENDALL: Okay, okay. I can live with that.

PAV: Perfect.

KENDALL: Thanks.

PAV: So tell me what's your... thing?

[MUSIC - A new instrumental song begins on a piano.]

KENDALL: What's that supposed to mean?

PAV: I mean, who're you running away from?

KENDALL: (GULPING) Look. I'm not running away from anyone. I'm running towards a much better life than the one I left behind.

PAV: I'm sorry if I sound judgmental. I'm always curious when a new grounder shows up at the Wolfpac's doors. Why abandon your friends for Wanda and her cronies? I know there's gotta be a story there. 

KENDALL: Not much of one, to be honest. My folks are both gone. I have one friend if you could even call him that. It's really just me. 

PAV: I'm, I’m sorry.
(PAUSE)
Believe it or not, I understand what you mean. I don't have a lot of time for friends or anything outside of work. In fact, I'm cheating a little bit by being out with you now. I should be working, but...

KENDALL: It'll help you concentrate to take a break. At least it does for me. 

PAV: Right. Everyone deserves a night off once in a while. 

[SFX - They clink their glasses and take a sip.]

KENDALL: So, you knew Isaac, huh? What was that like?

PAV: Oh, nothing special. I'm afraid I exaggerated a bit about knowing him. We weren't friends or anything. We knew of each other, that's all. 

KENDALL: That's definitely for the best. He's a son-of-a-bitch. 

PAV: I'll bet.
(CHUCKLING)
So, is Isaac the reason you joined up with the Wolfpac?

KENDALL: Uh, no. No, I joined for myself. I saw an opportunity to elevate my status, and I took it. You know, my friend, he has brothers, a family, he can't be selfish, he has to stay down there for them, but me? I can do whatever I want. It's lonely, but I'm free as a bird. When I thought about it like that, it made the decision easier. 

PAV: Aren't you worried about having to, I don't know, cuff someone you know?

KENDALL: I'm more concerned about not being able to cuff a few people I know deserve it. 

PAV: Fair, fair. And Isaac?

KENDALL: (CAUTIOUSLY) What about him?

PAV: Does he know what you're doing now?

KENDALL: I hope not.

PAV: It's like that? Wow, so why risk it? It's not like the Wolves make a ton even.

[SFX - Kendall pushes her chair out from the table angrily.]

KENDALL: Look, I don't know what your thing is, but I came out to have a drink and relax after a fuck of a week. Not to sit here and defend my decisions for the sake of someone I've only just met.

PAV: I'm sorry, Kendall. You're right, that was so rude of me. Sometimes I open my dumb mouth and just say the wrong thing and I'm sorry. Please, don't leave. 

KENDALL: I don't know. 

PAV: Come on, stay for another drink. I'll order some food, and I won't bring it up again. Please, forget I even mentioned it. 

[MUSIC - Energetic music creeps in, changing scenes.]

[SFX - Argus walks through a casino, coughing through the smoke as the music gets louder and quieter. He knocks on a door and a viewport in it opens.]

BENNY: Argus? What're you doing here?

ARGUS: Here for a hand, Benny.

BENNY: You sure about that?

ARGUS: Positive.

SWIFT: (FROM ACROSS THE DOOR) Benny, what's holding you up? Deal him in.

[SFX - The door opens and closes as Benny returns to his chair and Argus finds his own.]

BENNY: The game is three hand rook. You need me to go over the rules?

SWIFT: He's buyin' in, he better damn well know how to play.

ARGUS: I know the game.

SWIFT: Hey, you look familiar. You Vernon's kid?

GAMBLER: That ol' limp dick doesn't have the goods to be a father, and Wanda bless this kid for that.

ARGUS: Naw, my folks died. Vern's my uncle.

SWIFT: Mmm. My condolences.

[SFX - Swift shuffles the cards, dealing them.]

BENNY: I fold.

GAMBLER: You always fold.

SWIFT: I raise.

GAMBLER: (PUTTING CHIPS IN THE PILE) I'll call that bluff...

SWIFT: Kid?

ARGUS: Call.

[SFX - Argus drops chips on the table and the cards are laid down. There are groans all around, it’s unclear who wins.]

[MUSIC - Foreboding music vamps, light keyboard underneath.]

THERAPIST: I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but I'm also originally from the Reaches. I was brought here, just like you were, and just like you, I was angry too. But I realized that if I'd stayed back home in my village, I would still be poor, I'd never have met my wife, and I certainly wouldn't have the view I'm afforded every day, at work and at home, here in Windfall City.

HELINA: And maybe your village never would have been bombed...

THERAPIST: The Queen had nothing to do with that. She wasn't even in power back then.

HELINA: No, but the Wolfpac was busy procuring the slaves necessary to build this city up to reach her.

THERAPIST: How can you believe that we're slaves? Look at the incredible life we're living here. 

[MUSIC - There’s a light vamp underneath.]

HELINA: What else would you call us?

THERAPIST: Her subjects. Her people.

HELINA: More like her captives. Her servants!

THERAPIST: Your anger is only holding you back. If you only agreed to practice gratitude more often, like I've been asking, you'd be so much happier. Why not try, for one second, to feel blessed? Blessed for your life? Blessed for the accomplishments you've made. All in Her name. 

[MUSIC - A happy sounding melody plays over the Therapist’s lines, while a foreboding inversion of the same melody plays over Helina's for the rest of the scene.]

HELINA: Do you even believe what you're saying? What has she ever done other than move us around like chess pieces? She watched from above as our families and traditions were ripped away from us bit by bit.

THERAPIST: That's reductive. Our culture is celebrated here. There are whole floors dedicated to the preservation of art and literature from both the East and West. Why else would we be able to practice our crafts if not to preserve them?

HELINA: So that we can serve the city's wealthy tourists, impress them with the great diversity of Windfall City! Fuck that.

THERAPIST: Helina, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down or leave.

HELINA: I can't believe how much of a pushover you are. You have a comfortable apartment and a decent salary, so you've forgotten who you are. The very parts of your past that define you. It makes me sick.

THERAPIST: You can hate this place all you want, that's your Wanda-given right, but don't you dare challenge my way of life.

HELINA: (SHOUTING) The people we left behind died brutally in the name of a woman who cares not one thought for any of us. You go home every night to your wife and your round-faced children, and you look up at your picture of your precious Wanda and you never bother to consider that millions died so that you could waste your talents here. Indoctrinating those of us who haven't fallen for all the brainwashing. 

THERAPIST: I'm going to have to ask you to leave. Now. 

[SFX - Helina gets up, starts to walk away, and stops.]

HELINA: You know what? I don't need this anyway. Alcohol works better anyways. 

[SFX - Helina storms out of the door, taking deep drags on her cigarette as she walks away.]

[MUSIC - Smooth jazz reenters the scene.]

PAV: (LAUGHING) You're joking. You're telling me you really didn't know what that did?

KENDALL: Listen, the toilet has four different buttons. I was looking for the flush, and I thought, you know, I'd just press until I found it.

PAV: Oh honey, I forgot what it was like.

KENDALL: What?

PAV: Adjusting. Culture shock. The whole thing. 

KENDALL: Yeah... it's different here. How long has it been since you left ground level?

PAV: I haven't been even one floor below my apartment since the day I moved in.

KENDALL: Not even to visit? Don't you have anyone down there still?

PAV: No. My story is pretty similar to yours, actually. I came from nothing, but I discovered I had a knack for sewing and thread work and understanding materials. I pulled myself out of the gutters, and I don't plan on going back. 

KENDALL: But you have to go back once in a while.

PAV: Never. 

KENDALL: But how do you get to the other towers?

PAV: Walkways.

KENDALL: Those are off-limits. Unless you live on, like, floor fifty or higher.

PAV: Nothing's off-limits for me.

KENDALL: Of course.
(BEAT)
You know, for someone who doesn't have time for friends, you seem to know an awful lot of people.

PAV: I like to do favors for people. It means one day I'll get to collect one from them. That's never a bad thing to have in your back pocket. 

KENDALL: That's how I know you really were a grounder.

PAV: (LAUGHING) Have you ever been to the top, though? To see it?

KENDALL: See what?

PAV: The sky!

KENDALL: It would cost me three years' salary just for the pass. If I was assigned to a post up there, maybe, but even that would take years. They don't put rookies on the top floor. 

PAV: Don't be silly. It's not gonna take years. I'll bring you.

KENDALL: Pavlima, I so appreciate your kindness, really, but I don't need you doing me any favors.

PAV: Oh, no, it's not like that. I mean, you wouldn't owe me a thing.

KENDALL: And I don't need any help, either. Just having an apartment above ground level - soon - is enough for me. I don't want to push my luck. 

PAV: What? You don't have an apartment yet?

KENDALL: Yeah, I need to log a certain amount of hours, hit my quota for at least two consecutive quarters, etcetera etcetera. But the captain said I'm next on the list. There's a shortage of apartments, but he said soon. After the festival. 

PAV: That rat-bastard. He expects you to wait how long to move up?

KENDALL: It's better than nothing.

PAV: No, that's ridiculous. I’ll pull some strings. Make sure you're really at the top of the list. 

KENDALL: No. Thank you, but it's fine. 

PAV: Kendall, relax. It's not a favor like that. I, I genuinely want to help.

KENDALL: No, you want to get in my pants. That's what you want. 

PAV: Can't I want both?

KENDALL: I have to go. 

[SFX - Kendall pushes her seat back and stands.]

PAV: Sorry, bad joke.

KENDALL: Forget this.

PAV: Kendall, wait!

[SFX - Kendall walks away, ending the scene.]

[MUSIC - The loud, busy electronic music plays on the other side of the door.]

[SFX - Someone drops something on the table.]

BENNY: You win another hand, kid, and I might start wondering if you're a cheat like Vernon.

ARGUS: (LAUGHING NERVOUSLY) Me? A cheat? Never, it's dumb luck.

SWIFT: Now, Benny, calm down. You know we don't allow violence in here.
(ARGUS SIGHS WITH RELIEF)
Make sure you take him outside if you're gonna do anything rash.

ARGUS: I think I'm gonna go ahead and fold this round, I'll be taking my winnings and...

GAMBLER: Aw, they're busting your balls, kid. Stick around.

[SFX - Benny, Swift, and the Gambler laugh menacingly.]

SWIFT: So Vernon's your Uncle... I think I knew your pops.

ARGUS: Oh yeah?

SWIFT: Sure, he and I worked on the foundation together before the protests.

ARGUS: You helped build the South Tower? I didn't think anyone from back then was still around... can you tell me about him?

SWIFT: Oh yeah, great guy. Strong as a nether-beast and twice as pretty. You look a little like him.

ARGUS: Thanks. Did you know him when he tried starting the labor union?

BENNY: I see your five, and I raise you two.

GAMBLER: Fold.

SWIFT: (DROPPING CHIPS ON THE TABLE) I'll call that. Sure did, but I didn't want any part of it.

ARGUS: Why not?

SWIFT: I knew my place, with all those newcomers showing up and pouring money into the city's ascension. Collected my paycheck and kept working, even if it meant a little overtime.

ARGUS: Way my Uncle says it, a little overtime meant working day and night without time to rest your head.

GAMBLER: Your uncle says a lot of shit.

BENNY: Argus, you in?

ARGUS: Naw, I'm out. I've gotta go take a piss anyway.

SWIFT: (AMUSED) Smart choice. 

[SFX - Argus pushes his chair back and walks out of the room. Loud slot machines start to play as he walks down a hallway, and enters a bathroom. Someone is using a hand dryer while he unbuckles his pants and takes a piss. After buckling them back up, he walks back down the hallway. You can hear Swift being beaten from beyond the door before it opens and you can hear it louder.]

SWIFT: (GRUNTING BETWEEN PUNCHES) I... have... an... advance...

CAS: That's not good enough, Swift. The whole balance was due last week. We've been over this a hundred times.

ARGUS: What the fuck?

BENNY: You may wanna run along now, kid.

CAS: Argus? What the fuck are you doing here?

ARGUS: Cas, get your hands off him. We were playing a game, he knew Dad.

CAS: It's not that simple. This piece of garbage owes me a lot of money.

ARGUS: I've never seen him at Vern's.

[SFX - Cas kicks Swift again.]

CAS: This isn't for Vern. Look, take whatever's on the table, cash out, and keep this whole thing between you and me, okay?

BENNY: Now, wait a minute, I didn't have nothing to do with this. Can't I keep my credits? This was an honest to goodness game.

CAS: Benny, you really wanna test me right now?

BENNY: (SIGHING) Nevermind.

ARGUS: But, Cas...

CAS: Argus, now!

[SFX - Argus takes handfuls of chips from the table and slowly backs away.]

SWIFT: (SPITTING OUT BLOOD) Tell Isaac to come collect himself. He owes an old friend that much.

[SFX - The door opens and closes as Argus leaves.]

CAS: I'm not sure you grasp what that'd look like, boss coming by here, old man. But hey, it's your funeral.

[SFX - Cas kicks Swift, who grunts one final time.]

[SFX - Slight feedback enters as we can hear Wanda’s voice over the radio.]

WANDA: A well rested citizen is a productive citizen, and a productive citizen remains in my favor.

[SFX - Kendall walks around her apartment, rustling through cabinets.]

NEWSCASTER: Keep her words close to your hearts and minds, all of our hard work leading up to this spectacular day…

[SFX - A communicator rings and Kendall shuts the radio off before answering.]

KENDALL: Hello.

PAV: Hey. Kendall?

KENDALL: Yeah, hi Pav.

PAV: You left so suddenly. I wanted to apologize. I'm sorry if it came off like I was trying to push all these favors on you. I don't expect anything from you. I want to help. I like you. 

[MUSIC - Romantic score undercuts the conversation.]

KENDALL: You don't even know me.

PAV: Will it sound corny if I say that I feel like I do? 

KENDALL: I guess I'm not used to this kind of attention. Everything's so new right now. You know?

PAV: Can I bring you anything?

KENDALL: No, thank you. I think I need to be alone. That's all.  

PAV: Can I see you again?

KENDALL: I'll call you tomorrow.

PAV: Alright...

[SFX - Kendall hangs up the communicator and sighs as the score takes us out of the scene.]

[SFX - The bell on Vern’s door as Argus enters.]

SHAIMA: Wanda, kid, you alright? You look like you've seen a ghost.

ARGUS: Huh? Oh, hey Shaim... everything's fine.

SHAIMA: I've been around long enough to know that phrase is never an honest one.

ARGUS: Swift's was... different than I expected.

SHAIMA: Someone lay their hands on you? Swear to Wanda, I'll kill 'em.

ARGUS: No, no, no. I'm alright. Here, take the fifty credits Vern gave me for the shop.

SHAIMA: Aren't you trying to save up for a trip?

ARGUS: I have plenty to get there and back. Please, take it.

SHAIMA: What?

ARGUS: I won.

SHAIMA: Are you kidding me? Vernon's been going to that joint for ten years and it's never brought us a lick of good fortune.

ARGUS: (CHUCKLING) I'm not Vernon.

SHAIMA: You certainly aren't.

[SFX - Vernon lumbers in.]

VERNON: I hear my name?

SHAIMA: Little Argus here beat Swift in a game of cards.

VERNON: No chance, on your first night? 

ARGUS: Not only my first night, my first hand.

VERNON: (LAUGHING) Ha! Well, boy, that's a reason to celebrate. Wanna head over and get a drink at Gert's?

ARGUS: Naw... I'm turning in for the night.

VERNON: Hey, suit yourself.

[SFX - Argus walks away, Vern yawns.]

SHAIMA: You realize you've done nothing useful around here today?

VERNON: Been hard at work on a side-project.

SHAIMA: It'd be nice if you saved some of that energy for the unfinished shit around here.

VERNON: I appreciate what you've been doing, but don't act so high and mighty.

SHAIMA: I'm just saying, you could help is all. We're pretty backed up.

VERNON: (OPENING THE DOOR) Like I didn't run this shop alone for years. You're resourceful enough to figure it out.

SHAIMA: Vern, if you don't want to be around here, you should just retire.

VERNON: Oh, stop telling me how to live my life, Shaima. Last time I checked it was me who raised you, not the other way around.

SHAIMA: That's right, Vern. Go drink away your feelings again. Piss away the few customers we have left.

VERNON: Ah, fuck off.

[SFX - Vern walks away slamming the door. Shaima returns to his typing.]

SHAIMA: (MUTTERING) You fuck off.

[MUSIC - Foreboding score takes us away from the junk shop. A bell dings.]

ROOT: This is Captain Root, reminding you that you don’t have see something to say something. Reports of suspicious activity almost always result in a conviction, so keep your eyes open. And, as always, Queen Wanda thanks you for your diligence.

ADAM RAYMONDA: Windfall is a Rouge Dialogue Production. It was written and directed by Bob Raymonda and Christie Donato.

Sound design, mix, and score by Adam Raymonda.

Here’s our cast in order of appearance:

Mu-Shaka Benson…SHAIMA
Marcus Stewart…ARGUS
Bob Frame…VERNON
Tanner Efinger…THERAPIST
Emily Battles…HELINA
Clare Lopez…PAVLIMA
Mallory Roach…KENDALL
JP Miller…BENNY
Matthew Gordon…SWIFT
Stephen Paunovski…GAMBLER
Cornelius Mohr…CAS
Jess Clark…WANDA JUNE
Judlyne Lilly…NEWSCASTER
Josh Rubino…ROOT

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Episode five of Windfall will be released in two weeks on April 10, 2019.

And listeners, don't forget to ask yourselves: What Would Wanda Do?