VALENCE – Season 3, Episode 1: “Pacific

The team isn’t in New Candler anymore. Liam isn’t fully himself anymore. And none of them are safe anymore.

VALENCE is a serialized fiction podcast meant for adult listeners. You can find more information, including our full cast list and transcripts, at VALENCEpod.com.

If you’d like to listen to the next two episodes in advance of their public release, you can purchase access to them now in the free Apollo Podcasts app.

Credits:

VALENCE was created by Wil Williams. This episode was written by Wil Williams and Katie Youmans, and edited and sound designed by Wil Williams. This episode was directed by Anne Baird and Katie Youmans, transcribed by Katie Youmans, and produced by Anne Baird. The VALENCE Season 3 theme was composed by Travis Reaves.

Performances by:

  • Josh Rubino as Liam Alden and Liam’s Inner Voice,
  • Naomi McMillan as Morgan Reilley,
  • John Westover as Nico Salvai,
  • Caleb Del Rio as Flynn Velasco,
  • Jordan Cobb as Sarah Harris,
  • Katie Chin as Grace Chen,
  • Ishani Kanetkar as Mahira Varma,
  • Alex Welch as Noel Alden,
  • Elena Fernández Collins as Soledad Marquez,
  • Madison Dabbs-Petty as Elisha Dawes,
  • Miracle Fonmanu as Zoe Kafoa,
  • and Rama Cruz as the Reporter.

Transcript:

[[A door handle turns and clicks open. Soft wind chimes tinkle.]]

WIL: Brought to you by Hug House Productions.

WIL (PUBLIC FEED): Before we begin the episode, we want to let you know that VALENCE is participating in the new Apollo Partners Program created by Apollo Podcasts, an app dedicated to audio dramas! If you’d like to listen to the next TWO episodes of VALENCE Season 3 in advance of their public release, you can purchase access to them now in the free Apollo Podcasts app.

WIL (APOLLO FEED): Before we begin the episode, we want to thank you for supporting us and the Apollo Partners Program! Your contributions go directly to the creators to help fund projects like VALENCE so that everyone involved in the production can be paid a fair wage! Here’s a free tip for you, as a thanks for doing that thing that I said just then, is, if you wanna make somebody a birthday cake, take the eggs and beat them first for a long time on high until they’re really frothy, which will make the crumb in your cake way more delicate and lovely! I don’t know why this isn’t part of the instructions on a box cake’s instructions. So weird. There’s your free tip! Come back every episode here on Apollo for, I guess, another free tip? Yeah. I’ll commit to that. Free tips all around. Enjoy!

Intro

WIL: VALENCE is a serialized fiction podcast with discussions and depictions of struggles with mental health. You can check our show notes, or the transcripts on valencepod dot com for a full list of content warnings. It’s important to take care of yourself — especially as you make your way back home to New Candler.

[Season 3 theme music starts, gentle and driving acoustic guitar that builds, bringing in electric instruments and feeling like the beginning of what you always wanted a road trip to be when you imagined it]

[begin episode]

Scene 1

FADE IN: Waves crash on the shore. In the background, the TEAm’s cheering slowly fades in from the end of s2.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Something’s not right . . . 

Liam’s magic sound, but it fizzles out. Again, fizzling out sooner. And again, until-

LIAM: Oh.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Well. Here we are. You’ve gotten your wish. Shouldn’t you be so happy?

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN + LIAM’S INNER VOICE: [Liam’s voice fading out and Morgan’s voice taking over] This is what you’ve always wanted. Normal. No magic. Just a normal human body, a normal human spirit. Normal.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Oh, wonderful. Now you’re here too. Thanks for this lovely new way of making me feel terrible, brain. Deeply appreciated.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: You would have a normal life, too–if you hadn’t just committed such a visible crime. Didn’t think of that when you let Nico take the reins, did you?

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Fuck.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: (Chuckles) That’s what I thought.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Don’t listen to her. You. That part of yourself. Just–just don’t think about the magic. Don’t think about it. Just think about how you all survived.

FLYNN notices Liam not celebrating and makes eye contact with NICO, who has been watching since he arrived. The two’s voices slowly fade in, as if underwater, under LIAM’S INNER VOICE.

FLYNN: Liam? Are–are you okay? Are you hurt?

NICO: He’s just been looking at his hands like a fuckin weirdo. Something is wrong bigtime but I kinda think he should just—

FLYNN: Is he okay?

NICO: I mean, like, it’s Liam. So. Probably super not, but also probably kinda yeah.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: You can’t keep running from your problems, you know. I’ll find you. I always do.

FLYNN: Yeah, that tracks. Liam? You good?

LIAM: What?

FLYNN: You okay? Are you hurt?

LIAM: Oh. I. No. No, I’m. I’m not hurt.

FLYNN: [deeply suspicious] Uh-huh. Hey, is everything okay?

LIAM: I. N-no? I don’t . . .

NICO: Give us something here, Vamps.

LIAM: My . . . I— (Hard swallow) I think my . . .

NOEL, SARAH, GRACE, and MAHIRA join

NOEL: What’s wrong?

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Too afraid saying it will make it real. It’s already real, Liam.

LIAM: I–I think the Harmony got me. I didn’t . . .

NOEL: No

MAHIRA: What?

GRACE: Hmm.

LIAM: [faltering as the horrible truth sinks in] I—I don’t think I. Have it. Anymore. Magic. I don’t think I have. My magic anymore. I think the Harmony took it all out of me. I didn’t think it did at first. But I think I used the last of whatever I had to get us here.

GRACE: Where is here?

LIAM: Oh. I . . . I don’t know. I didn’t get that far in processing. I, ah . . . hmm.

NICO: We’re in Santa Barbara. I took Liam here when he told me he’d never been to the beach and I just like couldn’t handle that.

LIAM: Right.

SARAH: Um–I’m really, really sorry to interrupt this–and Liam, I’m so sorry about your magic, I don’t know what to say, but–I think we need to get out of here. Like, now.

MAHIRA: What? Why?

SARAH: Here, let me just . . .

SARAH turns the audio up on her phone. She plays a YouTube video of a NEWS REPORT

REPORTER: –an explosion in the New Candler Reilley Industries corporate building. No casualties have been confirmed, and luckily, the company’s door data doesn’t show any entries or departures to the building after 7:00PM, meaning no employees should have been in the building when the explosion occurred. The suspects are still being identified; however, wanted felon Nico Salvai and former employee Noel Alden have been confirmed as some of the suspects so far, in a crime Mayor Boyd is calling an act of domestic terrorism. The NCPD are currently investigating the crime scene for more evidence-

ALL: (Sounds of alarm)

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: (Chuckles)

SARAH: So. Um. We need to–we need to get out of here. Now. Noel, Nico, can either of you—

NOEL: She has me marked. We can’t. She’ll know where we’re going.

LIAM: Does she know where you are right now?

NOEL: I–I don’t know. Probably. She–she might know no matter where I am? But I think using magic makes it worse.

NICO: Ugh. UGH. I know a place. We’re by Elisha’s.

MAHIRA: Oh thank god. Elisha’s great. Do you think she—

LIAM’S PHONE starts ringing. Then, FLYNN’S (transcriptionist’s note: all other ringtones are pretty standard, but Flynn’s is a novelty ringtone of midi cats and dogs) . Then, MAHIRA’S. Then, GRACE’s.

SARAH: Do NOT pick any of those up. Do NOT.

GRACE: Mine’s Sol.

LIAM: Mine’s Zoe.

SARAH: They just look like them. We don’t know if these calls are real.

GRACE: I have to tell them we’re okay.

SARAH: Not with that phone you don’t! Everyone phones, NOW.

Everyone hands over their phone.

SARAH: Nico, give me your other burners. I know you have some.

NICO: UGH FINE

Nico hands over his remaining phones. Sarah runs to the ocean and throws them into the sea. She returns to the group.

NICO: You — you didn’t have-! YEAH JUST TOSS THEM IN THE SEA, IT’S NOT LIKE THEY COST ANYTHING.

FLYNN: Shit—all of my transition stuff is back at the apartment. Fuck. It’s fine, it’s fine, I’ll just {manage without it}–

Noel shifts

SARAH: (Gasps)

FLYNN: Ummm?

LIAM’S INNER VOICE (BITCHY): They’re already picking you off one by one.

Noel shifts back, crystals in hand

NOEL: Here.

MAHIRA: Noel! Didn’t you JUST say you shouldn’t shift?!

NOEL: Oh. I—he needed them. I’m sorry. Shit. I wasn’t thinking.

FLYNN: Thank you, Noel.

LIAM: Very kind of you.

GRACE: And very rash.

SARAH: Okay. Okay. Nico, is Elisha’s in walking distance?

NICO: Yeah. We can get there in—

In the distance, police sirens sound, approaching.

NICO: Okay DON’T run! Follow me, and BE CHILL. Do you understand? Be CHILL. Don’t look suspicious and you will not be. And hopefully Elisha doesn’t just sock me in the face when we get to her place, but, y’know, if she does, just LET HER. That’s just how the cookie fucks you. Hates you. Crumbles. That’s how the cookie crumbles. Let’s go.

Scene 2

FADE IN: Music plays, loud, behind a closed door. Nico knocks three times, quietly.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: No magic anymore. Zero magic.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Stop. We have things to focus on.

GRACE: She’s not going to hear that over the music.

NICO: I KNOW. I know. Okay okay okay okay okay okay okay okay okay okay okAY.

Nico knocks harder. The person in the room scrambles to the door.

NICO: LET HER DO WHATEVER SHE’S GONNA DO, GOT IT?

LIAM: No?

NICO: NOT THE TIME FOR CHIVALRY, VAMPS—

The door opens and up-tempo pop-punk spills out of the apartment

ELISHA: Oh my god. Oh my god, you’re okay. You’re–you’re all okay! Get in, get in!

The group scurries into the tiny apartment, and Elisha closes and locks the door with several locks before pausing the music

LIAM: Hello, Elisha. Thank you for—

ELISHA: One sec, Liam.

YOU.

NICO: Shit

Elisha advances towards Nico, but hugs him.

NICO: Christ I wish you’d punched me instead of hugging me, this is so much worse

ELISHA: Shut the fuck UP you have to stop doing this to me. You have to stop doing this to me, do you understand?

NICO: Yeah, not sure that’s gonna be in the cards anytime soon.

ELISHA: I know. I just— (Deep sigh) Okay. Okay. Are you all okay right now? Does anyone need any first aid?

MAHIRA: Don’t you want to know what happened?

ELISHA: Yeah, of course, but I want to make sure you’re all okay first.

NOEL: You might not be safe—

ELISHA: You don’t get to speak to me. You’re only allowed here because you’re with the rest of them. I don’t buy your little remorse gambit. Got it?

NOEL: Yes. I–I’m sorry.

ELISHA: Don’t speak to me unless you need something. [pause] Do any of you need any first aid?

FLYNN: We’re all okay–physically, at least. Thanks, Elisha.

ELISHA: Yeah. Of course. I know whatever is going on, it’s for a good reason–like, fuck Reilley. I don’t have a lot of places to sit or anything, let me go get some spare comforters, I guess. There’s water in the fridge and glasses, um, you’ll–you might have to wash some cups. Or, uh, I can wash some cups while you tell me what’s going on.

SARAH: While you do that, can I check your internet and any, like, smart devices you have?

ELISHA: Just my phone, and I turned it off the second I got the notification about the news. And I hid it between my mattresses.

SARAH: God, finally someone who gets it!

ELISHA: Knock yourself out on the internet.

ELISHA goes to gather comforters; SARAH gets out a laptop to fiddle with the internet.

NOEL: Liam, I . . . I’m so sorry.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: No she isn’t. She’d be nothing without her magic.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Don’t say that about her.

LIAM: It . . . it is what it is. You have nothing to be sorry about, Noel.

NOEL: Of course I do. You did it to save me.

LIAM: And I’d do it again. I didn’t give you a chance or a say in it, and I still wouldn’t.

You have enough you already guilt yourself for, Noel. Don’t let this be another.

FLYNN: Hey, are you okay?

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Yes, Liam. Are you?

LIAM: (Slowly starting to tear up) No. I–I’m not. I know this is what I wanted but it’s–no. It’s what I used to want. And I didn’t want it like this. I don’t know. I still can’t really fully process it. I–I’m so sorry I won’t be able to help as much now. I might just wind up weighing us down. I know I will. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck, everyone, I’m so sorry. I—

MAHIRA: Hey, hey, Liam hey. It’s gonna be okay. We’re gonna be okay. We’re gonna figure this out.

NICO: And we’re gonna find a way to get back at her for this.

LIAM: No–that’s not. That’s not what I want.

NICO: Not even a little?

LIAM: Well. I. Yes. It is what I want. A lot. It’s just — it’s not what I really want.

GRACE: What do you really want?

A beat.

LIAM: I don’t know.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: (Laughs)

LIAM: But I’m going to find out. And–and what I want doesn’t really matter. We have to . . . I don’t know. I’m just sorry. And I just. I’ll try my best to help and not get in the way.

FLYNN: You’re not in the way, Liam.

ELISHA returns with some BLANKETS. She starts laying them out on the ground.

ELISHA: Okay. So. Get comfy, everyone. What the fuck happened?

Liam sits down and almost immediately starts falling asleep.

SARAH: Internet’s all good.

GRACE: It started with a call from Noel. She said she had something to show us at the Halo building, [gradually fading out in the mix] and from there Liam called the rest of us into action. It turns out Reilley has been building something . . . big.

Scene 3

FADE IN: Different music plays, quietly. Birds are chirping outside. Liam wakes up slowly, still exhausted.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Good morning, Liam.

You still have no magic.

You are still a wanted criminal.

And you are still in the way.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: Shut up.

MAHIRA: Liam! You’re awake. Thank god.

(Calling to the others) He’s awake!

NOEL: Oh thank god

NICO: Christ, Vamps, I’d make some sort of joke about beauty sleep but you actually scared me shitless so, uh, just imagine I said something funny.

LIAM: How long was I out?

FLYNN: Like, sixteen hours.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Already in the way.

LIAM: What time is it?

FLYNN: I dunno, 2PM.

LIAM: Shit. Shit. We need to leave. Elisha isn’t safe.

ELISHA: I’m fine! I’m safe here.

SARAH: No, you’re definitely not safe, and we definitely do need to go.

ELISHA: I’ve dealt with shit like this before, I’ve already told you all!

MAHIRA: Not like Reilley you haven’t. Well–except for that time that . . . they . . . came and . . . took you.

ELISHA: And now I’m prepared!

GRACE: We appreciate it, Elisha. We really do. But this isn’t sustainable for any of us. We need to figure out a plan, and then we need to leave. And I still need to call Sol. And Liam probably still needs to call Zoe.

LIAM: (Liam whine)

ELISHA: I can agree with that, at least.

SARAH: Okay. Okay. Here’s what I think we should do. Grace, I’m sorry, but it’s going to involve a lot of crime and that’s just where we’re at.

GRACE: Eh. I had a feeling we’d get to this point as soon as I left the T.E.A. to work with you all independently.

SARAH: Good.

So, first: we need to move. I think we should get out of the state, so maybe–maybe Nevada? Oregon? We’ll need some place to stay, because once we’re there, we need to figure out a way to get Noel’s mark off of her.

LIAM: And Nico’s.

SARAH: Hmm?

LIAM: Nico still has a mark on him, and his family’s going to be after him.

NICO: [scoff] “Family.” Big air quotes there. And–yeah. Liam’s right. We should probably get that taken care of.

SARAH: Okay, well, maybe we can two-birds-one-stone, I guess. And then once we’re somewhere safe, we can call Sol and Zoe.

GRACE: We need to let Sol know we’re okay. Think about what they’ve been through.

A beat.

SARAH: (Sighs) Yeah. You’re right.

Okay. We get a couple burner phones with cash while we’re here. We send in whoever is the least implicated here.

ELISHA: On it. I’ll go grab some.

LIAM: Thank you, Elisha. You’re a godsend.

ELISHA: Nah. I’m just someone who wants to help. All we have is each other, you know?

MAHIRA: What, like, this group of us?

As ELISHA speaks, piano music swells, sweet and gentle and faintly mournful

ELISHA: What? No. People the State tries to oppress. Like, I mean, look at me. I’m a half-Black ace lesbian artist and I could probably get a PTSD diagnosis no problem if I could afford therapy, at this point. And I’m a muse, even now, even though I don’t have my magic anymore. It’s still part of who I am. I’ve seen a million different sides of how this works, and one huge one is that the only people who will ever protect us is us. Nothing about us without us, you know?

The music fades out as FLYNN responds

FLYNN: Yeah. She’s right.

ELISHA: So let me protect us, okay?

MAHIRA: Yeah. Thanks, Elisha.

ELISHA: I’ll be back in like, half an hour. If I’m not, you should probably run.

NICO: Nope.

ELISHA: Come on, Nico. We both know bailing is what you’re best at.

LIAM: (Holds back a laugh)

NICO: HARSH

ELISHA: Bye!

She leaves.

GRACE: I’m going to give Sol contact information for a pro bono therapist who focuses on muses in state. She’s too far away for Elisha right now, but I think she’d probably do phone appointments or something.

NICO: Yeah. Good call.

GRACE: Is that the first time you’ve said a nice thing to me?

NICO: Yeah and don’t get used to it, Suit.

GRACE: This is a cardigan. 

NICO: And anyway I have a place in Nevada that’ll be safe. My people own a ton of hotels on the Strip, and I’ve got one in mind managed by someone who probably still likes me?? She was always really good to me, even though, uhhhhhh, y’know, me being me. She probably still likes me. Probably.

MAHIRA: “Probably?”

NICO: Hey, if any of you have something better in mind, trust me, I’m made of fuckin’ ears over here. Besides, Wednesday and I can probably disguise everyone.

LIAM: And it might be good to speak to the people who still like you. See if you can mend any of those relationships.

NICO: Ew, why?

LIAM: Because it sounds like she’s someone you still care about too?

NICO: Ew!

NOEL: How are we supposed to get there? I really don’t think Nico or I should be using magic.

MAHIRA: Maybe . . . hmm. Maybe I can take everyone. Or maybe I can take some of us, and then come back, and then take . . . the rest of us? God, I don’t know, that—

FLYNN AND SARAH: (Laugh)

SARAH: God. Muses sometimes, I swear.

FLYNN: God, for real.

MAHIRA: What’s so funny?

SARAH: A car. We take a car.

GRACE: How are we supposed to get a car?

A beat.

GRACE: Ah. Crime.

Scene 4

FADE IN: Later in the day. Grace is pacing, talking to Sol on the burner phone, barely audible from the room where the others are sitting. Meanwhile, Elisha is showing Liam pictures of Nico from college.

ELISHA: Okay, look at this picture next.

NICO: This game is STUPID

LIAM: Okay, he’s not that one . . . he’s not that one . . . is he–oh my god, is he that one by the window? In the big sweater?

ELISHA: Ding ding ding!

LIAM: Nico, is that your natural hair color? I didn’t know you even had a natural hair color!

NICO: No! It isn’t!

ELISHA: Bullshit.

NICO: WHATEVER

LIAM: You look like such a… such a little art twink.

ELISHA: Yeah I mean, he super was

NICO: I HATE THIS GAME

GRACE: Does anyone else need to talk to Sol?

LIAM: Yes, please.

GRACE: (To Sol) Liam for you. Okay. Talk to you later. Be safe.

LIAM: Sol?

SOL: Liam. It’s so good to hear from you. How are you? Are you okay? Grace told me what happened. I’m so sorry.

LIAM: Oh. Yes. I–I don’t. Um. I’m sorry. I don’t actually know what to say to you. I think I just wanted to hear your–SOAP

SOL: Uh . . . que?

LIAM: SOAP. MY–MY GIRL. MY CAT. CAN YOU PLEASE BREAK INTO MY APARTMENT AND TELL MY CAT I LOVE HER AND I’M SORRY. AND THEN–CAN YOU MAYBE. CAN YOU MAYBE TAKE CARE OF HER.

SOL: Your cat?

LIAM: SHE IS VERY DEAR TO ME, YOU {UNDERSTAND, AND I—}

SOL: Yes, Liam. I can take care of your cat. I will bring her to Jessie’s. I will be staying there for a while with everything going on.

LIAM: THANK YOU. I love her. I just. I just love her very much.

SOL: I know you do, Liam. How are you doing, though?

LIAM: I—

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Yes, Liam. How are you doing?

Gentle, soft piano (Luis’s theme) fades in behind LIAM’s response

LIAM: I’m fine. No. I’m not. I don’t know, Sol. I still–it still doesn’t feel real to me yet. I feel . . . off. I don’t feel like myself. But I don’t really know what myself feels like. Just that it’s not this.

SOL: Mmm. I can understand that. I hope when the feeling does come, you let yourself actually feel it. Otherwise, you know it’ll just keep haunting you.

LIAM: I know.

SOL: And I hope you’re not beating yourself up. Well. Mmm. I hope you’re not beating yourself up more than usual.

LIAM: Right. I’ll try not to. I should–I have to call Zoe. Is there anyone else you want to talk to?

SOL: Flynn around?

LIAM: Of course. Let me go get him.

SOL: Thanks, Liam. Te quiero mucho.

LIAM: Love you too, Sol. (Calling out) Flynn? Sol wants to speak with you!

SOL: Liam! I want to say hello, not speak with him!

LIAM: Say hello, I mean!

FLYNN: Coming!

Flynn enters the room and takes the phone.

FLYNN: Sol! Hiiiii <3 I know. No I KNOW. Yeah. I KNOW. IT WAS WILD.

Liam dials Zoe. The phone hardly rings before she picks up.

ZOE: Liam?

LIAM: Zoe. Hi.

ZOE: Which game were Flynn and Sarah playing like the whole time we were at that barcade that one time?

LIAM: What?

ZOE: You get ten seconds before I hang up.

LIAM: Shit, I–some–some Sailor Moon fighting game?

ZOE: Okay. Okay. Cool. Can never be too careful, you know?

LIAM: Right. Wise.

ZOE: Yeah, duh. But oh my god Liam, you’re ALIVE. Not gonna lie, I figured Big Angel would have had your head by now.

LIAM: Big Angel?

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Halo, Liam, think. How flattering.

LIAM: Ah. Right.

ZOE: Don’t tell me what happened or why or where you are or where you’re going. This is a burner, right?

LIAM: Right. Zoe, you seem . . . different.

ZOE: Honestly Liam? I’m not. You just never really got this side of me before because you were just like, something fun, you know? Don’t take that as an insult or let it get to your head.

LIAM: I will . . . not think of it in any way at all, I suppose.

ZOE: Good. So: here’s the thing. The last couple of months I’ve been working with a group of activists here for muse rights. And we’ve got people nationally. And we’ve all seen your sister and your boyfriend on the news. And we all know shit’s fucked. Things are picking up. So, I guess, first off–can I tell people you’re all alive? The news is saying you are, but like, we’re not just gonna believe that. I could tell my people here, and they could tell people everywhere else.

LIAM: Let me ask the others–plausible deniability of being alive might actually be beneficial?

ZOE: For sure. Get me back on a new burner phone after you’ve talked to them. Next up: The Icarus is gonna take off. I have a bunch of people telling me they wanna submit, but we also know there’s more eyes on it, and more coming. I know Sarah already knows, but you should tell her anyway.

LIAM: Will do.

ZOE: Last thing, and then we should go: if you need backup, we can help out. But obviously I have to protect my people, and you all are like, the biggest moving target imaginable right now. If you’re in a tight spot, call me, and I’ll see what I can do. But I’m not giving any of you any of their information unless you absolutely need it. I’m here because I’m not a muse. I have to help keep everyone safe when I can.

LIAM: Who’s keeping you safe?

An uncertain pause

ZOE: I–hmm. I don’t think we’re like, there yet, you know? I’m not really doing this for you. I’m still pretty pissed at you and your little friends. I’m doing this because even though I think you’re kind of an asshole, I also think you’re doing what’s right. But we’re not friends or whatever.

LIAM: Of course. Sorry for overstepping, I just–I’m worried about you. You have to know what kind of danger you’re putting yourself in here.

ZOE: Yeah, I do. But that’s on me to worry about. I know what I’m getting into here, but it’s like I said, things are really picking up steam. If I don’t stay brave now, then what have these last few months even been for? And–okay. One more thing. Because of that. I think I should actually apologize a little bit too.

LIAM: What?

ZOE: I know I was . . . weird about you being a muse. I won’t lie and act like that isn’t part of why I was into you in the first place. And that’s kind of fucked up. That’s part of why I started working with this organization–I knew it was fucked up, and I wanted to take accountability for that.

LIAM: Zoe, I understand and appreciate this, but you have nothing to apologize for. You are . . . miles out of my league. I hope you wound up liking more things about me . . . until I um, fucked up entirely . . . but to some extent, being “weird” is the only reason I got to spend time with you in the first place.

ZOE: I’m not gonna unpack that with you, so, just. Sorry. And hit me up when you need to. I won’t confirm that you’re alive with the others until you give me the green light. And Liam?

LIAM: Mmm?

ZOE: I don’t know what Big Angel is working on, but I know if this was how you all responded, it’s something big and bad. So just . . . protect your magic.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: (Laughs)

LIAM: Thank you, Zoe. For everything.

ZOE: Yeah. Okay. We should stop before this looks fishy. Bye, Liam.

LIAM: Bye.

Liam hangs up.

Outro

WIL: VALENCE is a Hug House production. You can find more information at Hug House dot Productions.

WIL: VALENCE is created by me, Wil Williams. This episode was written by Wil Williams, and edited and sound designed by Wil Williams. This episode was directed by Anne Baird and Katie Youmans, transcribed by Katie Youmans, and produced by Anne Baird. The theme music was composed by Travis Reaves.

WIL: This episode was performed by:

  • Josh Rubino as Liam Alden and Liam’s Inner Voice,
  • Naomi McMillan as Morgan Reilley,
  • John Westover as Nico Salvai,
  • Caleb Del Rio as Flynn Velasco,
  • Jordan Cobb as Sarah Harris,
  • Katie Chin as Grace Chen,
  • Ishani Kanetkar as Mahira Varma,
  • Alex Welch as Noel Alden,
  • Elena Fernández Collins as Soledad Marquez,
  • Madison Dabbs-Petty as Elisha Dawes,
  • Miracle Fonmanu as Zoe Kafoa,
  • and Rama Cruz as the Reporter.

WIL: We’d also like to thank Aaron Mahnke for supporting Season 3 of VALENCE on Indiegogo.

WIL: You can find our full cast list and information on how you can support this indie podcast on valencepod dot com.

WIL: Until next time… protect your magic.

WIL: Looking for another great podcast to listen to? We recommend Desperado! Desperado is a fantasy audio drama set in a world almost like ours, but if myths and witchcraft were alive and thriving. The story follows three characters, each chosen by the god of Death of their respective cultures, as their powers awaken. Together they’ll unite forces under one objective: take down the Old Man In The Sky, the deity from which all crusaders draw their powers. And to survive, they’ll have to become God Killers. You can listen to the first two seasons of Desperado in full wherever you get your podcasts.

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