Episode 18 Transcript

18 - Patient #12-D-10 (Sam)
By Lauren Shippen

[sfx: click of a recorder]

[sfx: cat meows]

Sam: Oh, sorry, he’s getting fur all over you - he just wants you to pet him. He’s the neediest cat in existence, I swear. But he’s good company.

Dr. Bright: He’s sweet. What’s his name?

Sam: Darwin. I got him after my first trip to the Galapagos so…

Dr. Bright: I assume you’re not talking about physically visiting the islands yourself?

Sam: No. I’ve never even been on an airplane, actually. Always seemed like too much of a risk. 

Dr. Bright: I’m sure. Was Darwin actually there when you went? The scientist, not the cat.

Sam: Yeah, he was. Very nerdy guy. 

Dr. Bright: Thank you for opening your home, Sam. It’s very kind of you. 

Sam: It’s no problem. It’s actually kind of nice having someone over. I haven’t had a guest in my apartment since, well, ever, actually. And you can stop thanking me, Dr. Bright. I told you, I’m in this for the long haul.

Dr. Bright: I know. It’s just- I’m not used to having a partner in this. 

Sam: Yeah, you and me both. 

Dr. Bright: Mind if I record all this?

Sam: Again, we’ve been over this - I’m okay with being recorded, as long as I know about it. 

Dr. Bright: Right. But, seeing as I’m in your space, I wanted to make sure. 

Sam: Oh, well. Thanks. That’s very thoughtful of you. 

Dr. Bright: You’re welcome. 

Sam: I still don’t really get why you need to record everything. I mean, you’re the only one who ever listens to them. 

Dr. Bright: I know. But it eases my mind to know that there’s evidence out there. If something were to happen, well, it’s all up in the cloud and backed up on drives. There would be proof that I was here. Proof of the work that I’ve been doing. Proof of the work they’ve been doing. 

Sam: You are the most paranoid person I’ve ever met. 

Dr. Bright: I have reason to be. Speaking of which, how have things been going? Any new trips?

Sam: Um, yes, actually. I- I went back. Not on purpose. But I saw him again. 

Dr. Bright: What? Why didn’t you call me?

Sam: It only happened last night. And, well, I kind of needed some time to process it. It’s- it’s a big adjustment - having someone with me in the other times. 

Dr. Bright: You spoke to him?

Sam: Yeah. Yeah, I did. We talked for hours- I was there for nearly three days.  

Dr. Bright: Really? How is he? Is, uh- is he okay? Being isolated for that long can’t have been good for him-

Sam: He’s okay. He’s, well, he’s very charming, isn’t he? I wasn’t expecting that for some reason. 

Dr. Bright: I told you we were very different. 

Sam: No, no, I didn’t mean that. Although, well, yes, you are very different. It’s just- well even despite being, you know, a little unraveled, he was still disarming. I don’t know it was- it was nice. 

Dr. Bright: Unraveled? What do you mean?

Sam: Just that it was pretty obvious that he hadn’t spoken to another person in a long, long time. We spent almost the whole three days together, except for when I needed to sleep, and sometimes he would be talking away, barely taking time to breathe, and other times he would go very quiet. Kind of, I don’t know, retreat into himself a bit. But I understand that. I think I get like that sometimes too. 

Dr. Bright: But he’s- he’s still intact? 

Sam: As intact as I am. So, you know, mostly. His mood swings a lot. Has he always been like that?

Dr. Bright: Um, no, not particularly. He had his bad moods the same as everyone, but he was mostly pretty even-keeled if a bit optimistic. 

Sam: Yeah, that was clear. I’m not sure I’d even be able to smile anymore if I’d been trapped for that long. Actually, I’m not sure I would survive at all. 

Dr. Bright: Don’t sell yourself short, Sam. You’re very resilient. 

Sam: It’s not that, it’s- well, our circumstances are very different, aren’t they? His body is still in a lab somewhere, unconscious, probably hooked up to IVs and monitored by doctors. 

Dr. Bright: As far as we know, yes. 

Sam: But my body comes with me. That’s why I had to sleep and he didn’t. He said he never gets tired or hungry - he can’t smell things like I can. And that’s why he was wearing old clothes - era clothes. He’s able to kind of imagine it. It’s what the other time traveler used to do when they would go on trips. Part of the mental deal I guess. The clothes faded after she died, but he was able to get them back after a year or so of trying. He said he was really relieved. He was getting sick of looking down at hospital scrubs all the time. 

Dr. Bright: So he has some measure of control over it? Just when I think I have a handle on how Class D powers work-

Sam: I know, you and me both. 

Dr. Bright: Why have you not mentioned these physical needs before?

Sam: I don’t know, it’s not something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. I’ve never had to think about how my ability works because I've never been able to control it. 

Dr. Bright: But how have you survived? Some of your trips have been far longer than a human should go without food or water.

Sam: Yeah, I know. You’re clearly rubbing off on me, because I actually have a theory, for once. I do get hungry - and thirsty - but I think my body enters a sort of stasis when I travel. I don’t get tired as quickly - I only need sleep every few days - and I don’t get really hungry until about a week or so has gone by. 

Dr. Bright: The traveling slows down your metabolism. 

Sam: I think so. 

Dr. Bright: But what about water? Surely your system doesn’t slow down so much that you can go a month without water.

Sam: Precipitation.

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry?

Sam: In the trenches - my longest trip - it rained all the time. I can’t pick things up, but sometimes things directed at me still has an effect. Not much of one, but I can usually feel a little something. 

Dr. Bright: So when it rains or snows…

Sam: I just stick out my tongue. And my body also absorbs a lot of moisture I think. 

Dr. Bright: But what if it doesn’t rain?

Sam: I find a lake or river or a big fountain in a pinch. Anything that I can submerge myself in. I’ve never been on a trip where I couldn’t find some source of water, thankfully. 

Dr. Bright: And other things that are directed at you?

Sam: What do you mean?

Dr. Bright: Well, if someone, say, threw a frisbee towards you - or fired a gun - what would happen?

Sam: It goes straight through me. 

Dr. Bright: But can you feel it?

Sam: Well, I don’t know about a frisbee but a bullet, yeah, I can feel it. It doesn’t seem to have a real affect on me, but I can feel it.

Dr. Bright: See what I mean? You are incredibly resilient. 

Sam: Sure, but I would never survive two years on a trip. 

Dr. Bright: I suppose it’s a blessing that Mark was working with a mental time traveler then. 

Sam: I guess so. Though if he’d been working with someone like me, The AM wouldn’t have been able to kill the atypical in the present and leave him there. 

Dr. Bright: Very true. Sam - are you afraid of The AM? You can walk away at any time if you feel the risk is too large.

Sam: I’ve spent my whole life afraid, it’s nothing new. I’m not going to walk away. Even before talking to him, I could have never lived with myself if I let someone rot in the past like that. Now that I have talked to him, well, I want to get him out as much as you do. 

Dr. Bright: He really made an impression on you, didn’t he?

Sam: Um, yeah. Yeah, he did. 

Dr. Bright: What did you two talk about?

Sam: I don’t know, lots of things. It’s funny, he was sort of stuck in an 1810 mode of speaking for a bit - very stiff, very formal. I get that - after the trench trip, everything sounded like German to me. I kept saying “danke” to people who were bringing me grief casseroles. But, anyway, the more we talked, the more he started to speak like he was actually from the 21st century. It was really cute- his eyes would light up every time I used slang or an abbreviation or something. So I spent some time just catching him up on all the new terms and shorthands. He was not pleased that “YOLO” was a thing, but he seemed to like “bae” quite a bit. 

Dr. Bright: You too talked about internet slang? You both were defying the known laws of the universe by existing 200 years ago and you were talking about the merits of the word “bae”?

Sam: Well, yeah. He wanted to know what he’d missed. We did talk about time travel though - I mean, it was the natural ice-breaker. We swapped stories, he told me a little bit about his partner - the other time traveler. Her name was Camille. He misses her a lot. 

Dr. Bright: He does?

Sam: Why does that surprise you?

Dr. Bright: I wouldn’t think he would be fond of anyone in The AM. 

Sam: Well, no, he’s definitely not. But she was in the same boat as him. They were both prisoners. You know, comrades in arms. I think he looked up to her as a kind of mentor.

Dr. Bright: I see. 

Sam: Don’t worry, he hasn’t replaced his big sister. 

Dr. Bright: Did he- did he talk about me at all?

Sam: A little. I mean, we went through all the basic bio stuff, where we grew up, went to school, and he mentioned he had an older sister. That you were the one who first figured out what his power was. 

Dr. Bright: Was he surprised when you told him you knew me?

Sam: Um, I didn’t actually get around to that. 

Dr. Bright: What? Why not?

Sam: I don’t know, it never seemed like the right moment. He clearly didn’t want to talk about his family and I didn’t really didn't want to talk about mine, so I just let the conversation move on. 

Dr. Bright: Sam, you need to tell him you’re working with me. He needs to know that I’m doing everything I can to get him back.  

Sam: I know, I know, I will. But I don’t want to get his hopes up. What if I can’t figure it out? What if I can go back and visit him and nothing else?

Dr. Bright: I understand that fear, Sam, I do. But I believe in you. I would never have approached you about helping me if I didn’t think you could do it. 

Sam: That’s not true. 

Dr. Bright: What do you mean?

Sam: I think we both know you would try anything at least once. You’ve been working on this for years and you’ve never been close. You said that yourself. You were willing to tell me everything - to tell that other patient of yours, the mind reader, everything - without knowing either of us for very long. I think you would have brought me in on this even if there was only a one in one hundred chance that I could help. 

Dr. Bright: You’re right. Though to be fair, it wasn’t entirely my choice to tell my other patient everything. She is a mind reader after all. 

Sam: Okay, fair enough. She sounds awesome. 

Dr. Bright: Would you like to meet her?

Sam: What? Really?

Dr. Bright: I can ask her about it. She has become curious about other atypicals after running into one at my office. I know she’d be interested in meeting other people like her. And I think it would be good for you as well. 

Sam: Yeah, that would be great actually. Probably, I don't know, a little weird, probably. But good. 

Dr. Bright: If you’ll allow me a therapist moment, you’ve been isolated for very long. I know it’s likely you never would have come back to see me if you had someone else in your life who knew your secret-

Sam: Dr. Bright-

Dr. Bright: Well, it’s true, isn’t it?

Sam: Yeah, I guess so. But I don’t feel that way now. These past few weeks - well, ever since you filled me in, it’s been, fun? Okay, so that’s not the right word, but I don’t know, I don't feel so tense being around another person anymore. Talking to you, trying to figure it all out, it’s been- it's been a nice change. I mean, yes, I would like more friends. Any friends. But talking to Mark was- well it was fun, the most fun I’ve had in my entire life, maybe. I mean, I’ve never met anyone who actually understood what it was like to be me. 

Dr. Bright: And I can’t ever understand it. Despite all my knowledge and research, I’ll never truly understand what it’s like to be an atypical. Even though your powers are very different, you and Chloe would be able to relate, I think. 

Sam: Chloe - that’s the mind reader?

Dr. Bright: Yes. She’s very easy to get along with actually - she uses her power to understand people, empathize with them. It’s very nice. 

Sam: Not how you would use it, I’m guessing?

Dr. Bright: Um, no. Probably not. 

Sam: See, this is what I mean. Now that you’re more honest with me I’m actually starting to like you. I guess I have a soft spot for the Brights. 

Dr. Bright: I appreciate the sentiment, Sam. But as we’ve established, I am not like my brother. I’ve made a lot of mistakes that he would not be proud of. Working for the organization that kidnapped him would be a big one.

Sam: Sure, but he seems like the forgiving sort. 

Dr. Bright: I hope so. Either way, I’m glad he’s met you now. He’ll have a friend when he’s back in the world. I know he may not want to talk to me- 

Sam: I’m sure that’s not-

Dr. Bright: No, trust me. He saw me at The AM. He will be very angry. If there’s one thing we do share, it’s our stubbornness. I know I’ve already asked a lot of you.

Sam: It’s okay. 

Dr. Bright: If he doesn’t want to see me when he comes back, will you keep an eye on him? I’m not asking you to spy for me or anything, you don’t have to ever speak to me again either if you don’t want, but just make sure that he’s okay. I know you’ll be able to ease him back into things. Help him readjust.

Sam: I think you’d be able to help him too. You know, you’re not a bad therapist when you don’t have an ulterior motive. 

Dr. Bright: Just promise me, Sam. 

Sam: OK. I promise. So what next?

Dr. Bright: We keep working on your ability. You’ve been able to go on a fair number of trips on purpose, now it’s just about hitting the target. 

Sam: But even if I manage to go to where he is on purpose, and stay there, how do I get him back? We can’t touch. He tried to shake my hand and it just went right through.

Dr. Bright: I think I have a theory. Relating to the water exception that seems to exist. 

Sam: God, that was fast. 

Dr. Bright: I’m going to have to do some more research on dimensions, I think. Maybe call in a favor at The AM…

Sam: What? Is that a good idea?

Dr. Bright: Don’t worry, I won’t mention you. But I need more information. The AM has conducted a lot of research on Class D abilities and we may be able to apply some of it to you even if you are a unique case. 

Sam: Okay. If you’re sure. 

Dr. Bright: Anything is worth a try. 

Sam: I think we’ll agree to disagree on that. 

Dr. Bright: Fair enough. But should we try working on your target practice?

Sam: Yeah, okay. 

Dr. Bright: Alright, so I think there’s a connection between your current mental state...

[sfx: time passing, rain]

[sfx: time travel sound]

Sam: Ooh, that was interesting. 

Dr. Bright: Where did you go?

Sam: The French Revolution. Well, one of them anyway. Definitely the late 1700s. 

Dr. Bright: That’s good. That’s not too far off, geographically or temporally. 

Sam: Yeah, I guess. I’ll keep trying. 

Dr. Bright: You should be very proud Sam. Think about all the progress you’ve made in the past few months. Did you ever think this was possible?

Sam: No, I didn’t. I think it’s been good to have a purpose - something to work towards. 

Dr. Bright: I think so too. Alright, I should probably go. Alright, Darwin, you need to get up now. 

Sam: He’s fallen asleep on you, hasn’t he?

Dr. Bright: Yes, he seems to have done. He just jumped up on my lap - I think he got a little scared by you popping in and out. 

Sam: You think he’d be used to by now. Silly cat.  

[sfx: cat meows]

Dr. Bright: I’ll see what I can figure out in the next week - keep practicing and call me with any major updates. And I’ll come by if I get anywhere with my research?

Sam: That sounds good. And, um, let me know if Chloe would be interested in meeting me. 

Dr. Bright:  Right, yes I will. 

Sam: Oh, here’s you notebook. 

Dr. Bright: Thank you. 

Sam: You have everything?

Dr. Bright: Notebook, bag, recorder- oh it’s still on-

[sfx: click of recorder]

[music & credits]

Lauren Shippen: Thank you for listening to The Bright Sessions. Today's episode was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. The voice of Dr. Bright is Julia Morizawa. The voice of Sam is Lauren Shippen. All our graphic design is by Anna Lore. Have you reviewed the show on iTunes yet? If you haven't, it would be really cool if you did. And if you want to express your love even more, you can become a patron of The Bright Sessions by visiting patreon.com/thebrightsessions. And then you can come find us on our website thebrightsessions.com, on tumblr, or on twitter @brightpodcast. And as always, thanks for listening and stay strange.