VALENCE – Season 3, Episode 2: “Neon”

Liam avoids himself. Nico acts against himself. And Noel meets themself.

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

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 Apollo Podcasts app.


VALENCE was created by Wil Williams. This episode was written by Wil Williams and Katie Youmans with story consulting by Anne Baird, 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,
  • Giancarlo Herrera as Luis Acebo,
  • Raul Vega as Raul,
  • Travis Reaves as Travis,
  • Ross Papa as Tomasso Salvai,
  • and Wil Williams as Adele.


[[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 Partners Program created by Apollo Podcasts! If you’d like to listen to the next episodes of VALENCE Season 3 in advance of their public release, you can purchase access to them now in the 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! Your Apollo bonus treat tip this episode is, um, to, ok. Sure! – is to go get a thing of bubbles. And to blow bubbles, if you can, specifically at a puppy. It’s good.  That’s the tip! [laugh] Enjoy!!


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 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


LIAM: Christ.

FLYNN: (Laughing) Come on. It’s fun!

MAHIRA: It’s pretty fun.

LIAM and NOEL: No.

GRACE: I bet this place has mojitos by the pitcher, and I bet they’re so sweet and strong they’ll wreck you for three days straight.

SARAH: Okay. I could admittedly get behind that.

GRACE: Right?

NICO: No, this part blows. It’ll be fun soon. Where the fuck–there she is. Okay. Follow me and shut up.

The group approaches the front desk.

LIAM: Can do.

NICO: Yeah you say that now–Heyyyyy, Adele. How’s it going?

ADELE: [in the most New Jersey accent humanly possible] I saw you on the list today and did a fucking double take. What do you have to say for yourself?

NICO: Della, come on

ADELE: Oh, don’t you fucking “Della” me, Nicolo—

NICO: –after all we’ve been through together—

ADELE: Oh that’s fucking rich

NICO: (Getting more intimidating) And with some customers right over there?

ADELE: As if they can hear us over this fucking caCAPHONY. Elephants!! Elephants in my fucking nightmares, Nicolo. I’ve got primate tinnitus!

NICO: You know I was against putting you here. I know you hate birds.

ADELE: Yeah and I know you hate loyalty and family and taking responsibility for your own fucking messes.

NICO: Fair.

LIAM: (Stifles a laugh)

MAHIRA: Hi. Nico told us not to talk, but hi, I’m Mahira, I was wondering if you were doing anything—


ADELE: Whatever WHATever WHATEVER you and your merry team of chucklefucks get the room but only because I double checked with Tonia.

NICO: You’re the queen, Adele. Anything I should keep an eye out for?

(To Liam, quieter) Vamps, you know that thing you used to do to make shit shut up a little?

LIAM’S INNER VOICE (BITCHY): Back when you used to be useful.

LIAM’S INNER REILLEY: Back when you used to be a monster.

LIAM: Yes, but I–I obviously can’t—

NICO: No I know Vamps, I know. Just give me a little crash course here, yeah? I do the opposite of shutting up, school me a little on the theory here.

LIAM’S INNER LUIS: Think back to the book, Liam. If you could write a passage on this spell I taught you, what would it say?

LIAM: Right. What does quiet look like to you?

NICO: Boring.

LIAM: Be more specific.

NICO: Beige. Like beige . . . velvet. Velvet looks quiet. What? That’s nothing.

LIAM: No, that’s something. Keep that image. And then think of it wrapping around the area you want to be quiet.

NICO: I’m not wrapping anything in fucking beige velvet.

LIAM: You are if you want the area to be quiet.

NICO: Fuck. Ugh. Fine.

Nico magic, but quiet-making. The unholy jungle ruckus softens, dulls, fades to just a whisper in the background.

ADELE: Oh great, he’s learning new tricks.

NICO: Yeah and here’s another for you, an old favorite.

Nico taps on his phone, and Adele’s phone gets an alert.

NICO: Go on. Check it.

ADELE: That’s–huh. Yeah, okay, that’s pretty convincing. Wait, how did you get this account information? This isn’t on our books. This is the quiet shit. Nicolo, I swear to god—

SARAH: That was me, actually. Hi. Sarah Harris. Did you know that this casino is like, dripping with insecurities? It’s a hacker’s playground.

ADELE: Ay, I just work at the front desk. You stay away from my fuckin Kohl’s card.

SARAH: Wouldn’t dream of it. Here’s my card, in case—

GRACE: Sarah.

SARAH: Well someone‘s gotta be keeping us afloat!


ADELE: (A sigh, and then, suddenly very sweet and maternal) Well yeah of course. But I got your things in their usual places. The Haven in there is a fake, don’t worry. Loyalty goes both ways, honey. You know I’m not gonna let those loyalties die even if the other loyalties want you dead right now. And I’m sending up that tartare you like. 

LIAM: (Quietly, to Grace) What the fuck?

GRACE: (Quietly, to Liam) They’re Italians, Liam.

ADELE: Don’t you go making a mess up there. You know how hard the housekeeping’s got it. Lenny still won’t let me give them another raise, but we’ve got a union meeting coming up and I’m gonna help them organize another strike. You leave them a fucking good tip, Nicolo!

NICO: You think I wouldn’t?

ADELE: I know you would honey but you know I gotta say it.

NICO: I know, I know.

ADELE: Ok, don’t get killed up there baby. Make a good deal. You’re a sweet thing even though you’re dumb as a brick.

NICO: True words as always.

LIAM: Absolutely not? If anything the opposite is true?

[haltingly, as he does the mental word math] Sweet as a brick, and . . . dumb as a thing?

NICO: Shut up, Vamps.

ADELE: Obviously, you chucklefucks need anything else? I’m also, you know, a concierge.

FLYNN: Actually yeah. There’s a band playing here tonight—Star Heck–and I need somewhere to interview them. I’ve already contacted them, I just—

ADELE: [teasingly] Nico, the kid’s cute! He, uh – he thinks the room is gonna be too small. To have a band there. [cackle] Yeah there’s gonna be plenty of room in your room don’t worry.

FLYNN: Tight.

NICO: I think that’s it Della. Thanks for always being the best.

ADELE: Mmm! Never “always” people, Nicolo. You know that. Okay. Room number is typical, you need, what, nineteen thousand keys?

NICO: Yeah, nineteen thousand, thanks.

Adele gives Nico however many keys they actually need and then immediately nudges past.

ADELE: You step to the side. Step to the side a li’l. [to Mahira, pointedly ignoring Nico] Hey, uh . . .hey, Mahira, was it? I’m actually free after—

MAHIRA: Oh, I’m so sorry, I–I actually have a girlfriend, I was trying to fuck with Nico. But . . . have you met Noel?


LIAM’S INNER VOICE (NICE ONE): Oh! Right, that tracks. That makes a lot of sense actually.

LIAM’S INNER REILLEY: (Halo *ding* data noise)


Scene 2


LIAM’S INNER VOICE: [like a cat out of their mind on catnip] Luxury! LUXury! LUXURY!!

NOEL: (Impressed) Oh, you got this suite.

NICO: You thought I wouldn’t?

NOEL: I didn’t think you had the taste, frankly. I mean, it is at this hotel, so—

NICO: Only because we own it! I’ve stayed in classier suites! I stay in classier suites all the time!

NOEL: Okay, Pagliacci.


SARAH: This place is . . .

FLYNN: Fucking bonkers.

Walking around the suite. Flynn opens some drawers. Grace opens the minibar fridge.

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: [like a needlessly seductive perfume commercial] Luxury! LUXURYYYY.

SARAH: Yeah. That. Grace, do we get to have like one chill, fun night?

GRACE: You planning on going out on the town?

SARAH: What? Pfff. No. I’m going to find the biggest tub in this place and make a bubble bath and read a book.

GRACE: Ooh. I call the second biggest bath. After I’m back from drinking and gambling.

MAHIRA: Noel, wanna hit up a gay bar?

NOEL: If, um. If. That. If you would be. If. It would be okay.

MAHIRA: Yeah. I mean, we’re closer to being almost dead all the time. You have to go to your first before we all get killed.

NOEL: Yes.

FLYNN: Hey Graaaace? Is it okay if I come with you? I want to fuck around in the casino but I don’t really know what I’m doing or if I’m being scammed.

NICO: You are being scammed.

GRACE: I am happy to show you the ropes, Flynn.

LIAM: Hmm. Maybe I’ll just stay here and—

LIAM’S INNER VOICE: [like a long-dead ghost haunting this fancy room] Luuuuxury! Luxuryyy!

NICO: Nope. Got plans.

LIAM: Hmm? 

NICO: Got plans.

LIAM: (uwu voice) Oh. Okay.

NICO: But before any of you scamper off, we gotta get this fucking thing off of Noel.

Knocks on the door. Everyone goes silent.

NICO: (Quietly, seriously) Let me check.

Nico walks over to the door and checks the peephole.

NICO: Phew, okay, take a breath. Flynn, your guys are early.

FLYNN: Shit! I didn’t even have a time to get them drinks or anything—

NICO: Yeah I’ll put in an order.

FLYNN: Be honest, do I look okay?

SARAH: You look great.

FLYNN: Ugh they’re so cool, what if I—

SARAH: Shh. You’re gonna be great.

LIAM: You’ve got this. You’re good at this, and you know it.

FLYNN: Right. Right. Okay. Okay okay okay. (Deep breath in, deep breath out)

Flynn opens the door.

FLYNN: Hey! Raul, Travis! Come in, come in.

RAUL: Yo, what up, Flynn. You all doing okay?

TRAVIS: Wait, why didn’t we get this room?

RAUL: Too expensive!

FLYNN: Yeah, we’re okay. Thanks for meeting to talk with me, especially with . . . everything going on.

TRAVIS: No, of course. We know propaganda when we see it, and we know when muses are being shittalked for doing something right.

RAUL: And Noel, you used to work there, right? That must have been horrible. I’d love to hear about it if you want to talk about it.

NOEL: I can’t. I literally, physically can’t.

FLYNN: We’re working on it.

RAUL: Wha-?

TRAVIS: Oh, shit, is this one of those magic NDAs? I know some industry people who have had this shit done to them.

RAUL: Can we help at all?

SARAH: Oh! Huh! Liam?


LIAM: I–if–if you’re willing, I think that might work.

TRAVIS: I mean, we can’t just let her go on like that. That’s torture! Especially when she’s obviously not working there anymore.


LIAM: How does your magic work? What do you need?

TRAVIS: A guitar.

RAUL: My computer.

FLYNN: Well . . . can you . . . work in Garageband?

TRAVIS: Oh god, Garage Band.

RAUL: I mean, it’s not ProTools, but yeah I can work with that!

SARAH: Liam, can you connect—


SARAH: Right. Sorry.

MAHIRA: Walk me through it?

LIAM: Right.

NOEL: What do I need to do?

NICO: Let’s get you set up in a circle. I’ll grab some shit from my stashes here, Adele’s got us covered.

NOEL: Okay.

LIAM: You gonna be okay?

NOEL: I–I think so. I don’t know. It’ll just be strange. I’m going to become extremely intoxicated after.

LIAM: Okay. I’m here for you.

NOEL: I know.

MAGIC MUSIC INTERLUDE. Travis’s guitar and Raul’s computer and man what are music words even. 

NOEL: Is–is it gone?

LIAM: Try to say something.

NOEL: Okay. Um. Okay.


Fuck Morgan Reilley.

Oh my god.

Oh my god?

Oh my god.

SARAH. Morgan Reilley is keeping the—

NICO: Woah woah woah, this is great, but let’s not implicate our new pals here with knowledge they don’t really need to know for like, their own safety. Say “Fuck Morgan Reilley” again.


EVERYONE: (Applauds in their way)

NOEL: Thank you. Oh my god! Oh my god. Thank you.

Scene 3

CWs: General conflict, self-loathing


LIAM: Should I . . . put something out for them? Ahead of time?

NICO: [clipped] No.

LIAM: You don’t think that might help get them on our side?


LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: Nothing Nico can do will get anyone on your side.

NICO: Just . . . I get it. I get it. But these guys are – [laughs] I don’t even know where to start to explain the fucked up rat maze that is how their brains work.

LIAM: I will do my best to — to offer support?

NICO: [vague affirmative noise]

One quick, sharp knock on the door and then it opens – no waiting for a response – and a man in expensive leather shoes walks into the room like he owns it.

NICO: Tomasso. Wouldn’t have figured you’d be the one they sent.

TOMASSO SALVAI: [in the tone of a man who learned long ago that speaking softly to force others to shut up and listen was more effective than strutting] Good to see you too, Nicolo.

NICO: Is it?

TOMASSO: [clearly already bored] Eh. Not really.

LIAM: Hello, I’m-

TOMASSO: Liam Alden, major magic user, electricity focus, dubious influence on our Nico over here.

NICO: [snort laugh]

LIAM: Oh. I — dubious influence?

TOMASSO: Did I stutter? Anyway. You asked for this meeting, Nico. I came, graciously. So talk.

NICO: Right. Ok. I wanted to talk to — hey actually before I go saying anything and maybe wasting my time, are you in a position to make any guarantees? Is the family going to care what you think or did they send me somebody who is gonna smile and nod and do fuck-all?

TOMASSO: [sigh] I’d forgotten how exhausting you are. Yes, I can make guarantees. But only if I like what I hear. And so far I’m hearing a whole lot of nothing.

NICO: Fine. I wanted to — ugh — I wanted to propose a truce. Or a ceasefire. Y’know, whatever. I wanted to propose you stop fucking up my shit and trying to do a whole murder on me and my people.

TOMASSO: Your “people”? Your people? Like this dreary stringbean? [nods dismissively at Liam] 

In exchange for what, Nico? Your actions caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people. And then you tried to vanish. Those people you caused trouble for are very unhappy with you. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to make an example out of you?

NICO: I — fuck — because we’re family, Tomasso.

TOMASSO: [scoff] I think you’ll find the bonds of family matter much less when you try and run away from said family. Try again.

NICO: Fine. But sending people after me has got to be a waste of your resources.  I think I’ve shown I’m not going to do anything to put you all in jeopardy — it’s not like I’m gonna snitch. Wouldn’t leaving me alone be good business sense?

TOMASSO: Oh Nico. An operation as big as ours? Keeping track of one lost little soldier is nothing. You see, unlike you, I’m actually involved in this family, and there are people who want me to lead it. People who will do anything to make that happen. And as long as you’re running around, doing whatever you like, you’re a threat to that.


TOMASSO: You – you really thought this was a personal grudge?

[laugh] Let me make one thing crystal clear. I do not give one single fuck if you live or die. I really, really don’t. The only reason, the only reason you’re not completely irrelevant to me is because there are people who think you should be the one leading the Salvai family, and that annoys me. There’s a reason sons of deposed kings got murdered after coups, Nico. You’re lucky your sisters are, well, sisters. People like a clear line of succession, and you complicate that for me.

LIAM’S INNER MORGAN: It’s no wonder you care so little about family, Liam. Look at the company you keep. You could have had a real family, you know, if you had just behaved and listened a little. You could have had that love you always craved. And now you never will.

NICO: But I don’t want to lead the family!

TOMASSO: [as if explaining to a small, ignorant child] That has no bearing on what other people want.

NICO: [grasping at straws now] What if — what if I found a way to be more useful alive than dead? I can get you info on Reilley.

TOMASSO: [bored laugh] Why on earth would that interest me? Or anyone in the Salvai family, for that matter?

NICO: Because our family is full of muses-

TOMASSO: We don’t bother with corporate sector. Which you would know if you were ever even remotely interested in family business.

LIAM: If you were even remotely paying attention to Halo, you would be concerned! Reilley is coming for all muses and she won’t stop just because we blew up her New York office!

NICO: [through gritted teeth, mortified] Liam.

[scraping together his composure] Then . . . fine, I’ll just vanish. I’ll disappear and you’ll never find me again. No more mark, no more way to track me. Funny thing about being raised by a bunch of criminals — I know how to hide real fuckin good.

TOMASSO: [full belly laugh] You think we need the mark to track you?

[still laughing] Nico, Nico! Were you always this dense? Did I just miss it when we were children?

NICO: You-

TOMASSO: The mark just made it convenient. It saved us some effort, but you know that’s not the only way we keep tabs on you. 

[long-suffering sigh] You were worried about me wasting your time, but instead, this conversation is shaping up to be a waste of mine. Either you give me something useful or I’ll leave and I’ll put an end to this pitiful showing.

LIAM: [tightly coiled anger] How dare you.

TOMASSO: Excuse me?

LIAM: How dare you.

LIAM: You haven’t taken a single word out of Nico’s mouth seriously.

NICO: [overlapping] Oh fuck Liam no-

LIAM: You’ve treated this like a game, but there are lives on the line here. You chasing him is hindering us and we’re actually trying to accomplish something good, trying to help people, and all you want is your fucking line of succession? Like this is some royal dynasty? Who the fuck are you? What gives you the right to-

NICO: [panicking, cutting Liam off before he says something even worse] A favor!

LIAM: What?

TOMASSO: [instantly interested] Oh?

NICO: [realizing he’s fucked up but it’s too late now] A . . . a favor.

TOMASSO: What kind of favor?

NICO: Open ended.

TOMASSO: What stipulations?

NICO: Nothing that’ll fuck over my people.

TOMASSO: And “your people” would be defined as?

NICO: These idiots. And . . . 

TOMASSO: And your little friends from art school?

NICO: [defeated] Yes.

TOMASSO: Anything else?


TOMASSO: Finally. Finally, Nico. A serious offer.

NICO: And you can’t do anything that’ll fuck them over either.

TOMASSO: They’re of even less interest to me than you are. If they don’t bother me, I don’t care.

NICO: I want a guarantee.

TOMASSO: Predictable. And boring. But fine. A guarantee.

NICO: Shake on it.

TOMASSO: I know what you mean by “a guarantee,” Nicolo.

TOMASSO and NICO stand and shake on it. As soon as their hands clasp, both of their magics sound, along with another sound at the very end. A heavy padlock snapping shut, sealing their agreement.

TOMASSO: A pleasure doing business with you, Nicolo. Oh, I’ll give your regards to your sisters. And your niece too — she’s gotten so big since the last time you saw her.

NICO: You leave them alone.

TOMASSO: [scoff] You should have asked for that before we shook on it. Have a good day.

TOMASSO leaves, shutting the door behind him. NICO sinks back down into his seat.

LIAM: You did everything you could-

NICO: Nope, fuck that. No. I need to be. Somewhere else. Somewhere that isn’t here. The aquarium. Liam we need to get very fucked up and go look at fish or some shit. Now.

Scene 4

CWs: Drug use, vague discussions of suicide, familial trauma

Slow fade in on splashing noises and city commotion. LIAM and NICO are sitting at the edge of the suite’s infinity pool looking over the Strip. LIAM is high as fuck. NICO is sober. FADE IN on LIAM being actual real Elizabeth Holmes texts that you, the reader, can google.

LIAM: You are the breeze in the desert for me. My water. And ocean. Meant only to be together tiger.

NICO: [sounding a million miles away through Liam’s weed haze] …Okay. (Sighs) Okay, Vamps.

LIAM: What?

NICO: You gotta listen to me.

LIAM: No 🙂

NICO: No, you really do have to.

LIAM: I don’t think I do. Goodbye! 🙂

LIAM swims away. NICO huffs, follows him into the pool, and catches him by the arm.

NICO: Come on Vamps, you really have to listen to me. You gotta take me seriously here.

LIAM: (Laughs at that ridiculous concept)

NICO: I know! I know. But just. Shut it up, you. Shut it up—

LIAM: You must understand my plight. You have given me an impossible task.

NICO: [fading back into normal as Liam attempt to focus] Shut upppppp! You gotta work with me here, I didn’t just get you this fucked up for nothing. Well, I mean–kinda, but–listen. Okay. Listen. We gotta talk about some stuff.

LIAM: Mmm. Mmhm. Certainly.

NICO: Okay. So. Pay attention here. Liam—

LIAM: Yyyes?

NICO: –a lot of shit has happened to you, and you haven’t processed like, any of it. I know that you haven’t.

LIAM: (pouty teasing brat voice) No, certainly I have! That’s why I’m so moody all of the time.

NICO: Pfffffft. Nu-uh. You’re just avoiding your problems and not thinking about them.

LIAM: Some choice words coming from Nico “Bye, Bitch” Salvai!

NICO: [becoming distant in the mix again] Hey now, I’m learning from my mistakes—

LIAM: Oh, nono. Let’s be clear: I taught you.

NICO: Taught me what?

LIAM: Not to run from your problems.

A beat.

LIAM: Ah . . . I see . . . yes . . . did walk right into that one.

NICO: Yeah, dummy.

LIAM: Okay but. But. What if what if what if I engage with that and I feel my feelings. And then and then and then I’m stuck in them forever and it ruins everything even more?

NICO: Well, you won’t be stuck in them forever. Because you have all of us.

LIAM: Ugh. 

NICO: [sounding normal again] Yeah, I know.


NICO: This isn’t a bargain.

A long beat.

LIAM: Please?

NICO: (Laughs) No! You’re gonna listen, and you’re gonna feel your feelings, and then you’re gonna slowly get over them so you’re not a mess and so you don’t get all tangled up in yourself and fuck things up. The stakes are too high. Also I give a shit about you or whatever.

LIAM: Hahahahaha . . . gross <3

NICO: Shut upppppp. Okay. You ready? Don’t answer that I don’t care. Okay. First thing:

Liiiam. Liam.

Your magic is gone.

It isn’t coming back.

[so gently] Do you understand?

LIAM: . . . Yes.

NICO: Okay. Next. Your dad? 

LIAM: Yes.

NICO: He abused you. And he was killed by the person who’s trying to kill us right now. So you’re probably not going to get any closure on that. And there’s nothing really else we could do about it.

LIAM: (Pained) Mmhm.

NICO: Ready for the next one?

LIAM: Yes. I am ready to encounter the information.

NICO: Okay weirdo. Your mom?

LIAM: (Panicked) MMHM?

NICO: Yeah, you don’t really talk about her a lot, huh? She’s still around and she could find us probably whenever the fuck she wants. You need to just face the fact that she’s a shit-tier parent too. She failed you like your dad did. Neglect isn’t not abuse.

LIAM: (Despondently) Mhmm. Wait–where’s Noel? Can she hear this?

NICO: No, she’s still out at the lesbian bar with Mahira.

LIAM: Okay good. Good good good.

NICO: Aaaaaaand that brings us to our next thing.

LIAM: Oh no.

NICO: Yyyup. You are not respons–you know, actually, no, you have to say it out loud with me.

LIAM: [petulant toddler voice] I don’t want to!

NICO: Say it with me: I am not responsible for what happened—


NICO: Liam. Come on. Repeat after me.

LIAM: Fine. Fine.

NICO: “I am not responsible . . .”

LIAM: (Knowing full well what he’s doing) I am not responsible. 🙂

NICO: (Laughs) Okay fuck fine, that one was on me, I walked into that one. Okay. Okay. Repeat after me: “I am not responsible for what my parents did to Noel.”

LIAM: Uuuuuugh

NICO: Vamps!

LIAM: I am not responsible for what happened to Noel.

NICO: Okay. Good. Thank you. Christ.  It’s not your fault that you were abused. And it’s not your fault that Noel was. And it’s not your fault that your magic was taken away. There are a lot of things that you are responsible for, but not those things.

LIAM: I am making an attempt perceiving the information, and an attempt will be made to believe it.

NICO: Okay whatever I’ll take it. Fine.

LIAM: Is that the list in full?

NICO: Ehhhhhh for now?

LIAM: Could you… repeat this information in bulleted list format?

NICO: Oh my god.

LIAM: I’m a Capricorn!

NICO: You’ve been talking to Flynn too much.

LIAM: Impossible.

NICO: Yeah, no, you’re right, I knew as soon as I said it. Okay. Here’s your list. But I’m doing it numbered, because youuu can fuck yourself.

  1. Your magic is gone, and it isn’t coming back.
  2. Your dad is dead and he abused you.
  3. Your mom is alive and she abused you too.
  4. You’re not responsible for what happened to Noel.

LIAM: Nico, can . . . can I ask you something?

NICO: Yeah, Liam.

LIAM: This is–this is like, bad, right? My life? Wait, you’re not going to be able to answer that.

NICO: Yeah, no, I think we’re probably about on equal ground when it comes to being through way, way more bullshit than someone should ever have to go through. So yeah, probably it’s pretty fucking bad.

LIAM: Well, that’s bad!

NICO: (Empathetically, and also becoming more distant in the mix) Yeah, Liam. I know.

LIAM: Am I even going to remember this all tomorrow?

NICO: I don’t know, Liam. I hope so.

LIAM: I don’t!

NICO: (Laughs)


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 Katie Youmans with story consulting by Anne Baird, 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,
  • Giancarlo Herrera as Luis Acebo,
  • Raul Vega as Raul,
  • Travis Reaves as Travis,
  • Ross Papa as Tomasso Salvai,
  • and Wil Williams as Adele.

WIL: We’d also like to thank Ross Papa 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: Looking for another great podcast to listen to? We recommend Afflicted! Afflicted is a new horror thriller audio drama brought to you by the creators of the award winning fiction podcast NIGHTLIGHT and will be premiering on Halloween 2022. We’re a fan of everything the team behind this podcast makes, and we’re sure you will be too. Here’s the trailer… And until next time… protect your magic.


[eerie, ghastly breathing and unintelligible whispers]

TONIA RANSOM: From the team behind the award winning best fiction horror podcast, NIGHTLIGHT. A new audio drama that brings the Southern folklore of Trueblood and the cosmic horror of Lovecraft Country to your ears.

CHARACTER 1: You don’t hear that, do you?

[breaking glass and rumbling over gravel]

TONIA: Afflicted is a tale of hoodoo, a demonic book bound in human flesh, and natural disasters that are anything but natural.

CHARACTER 2: Which grave did you get the dirt from? Which grave??

[terrified, distant screams, a low, bestial snarl, and then much closer screams cut off suddenly]

TONIA: Afflicted, a horror thriller audio drama coming this Halloween, thanks to our IndieGoGo supporters. Subscribe now to get notified the moment the first episode drops.
EERIE CHORUS VOICES: It’s happening.

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