Episode 42 Transcript

42 - Subject #E-307
by Lauren Shippen

[sfx: Wadsworth and Green walking down hallway]

Wadsworth: Who brought him in?

Agent Green: Director, I told you, you didn’t need to come, okay? I have it under control. Please, enjoy your weekend.

Wadsworth: I promise you Agent Green, that was already impossible. Now, who brought him in?

Agent Green: It was an anonymous drop-off. 

Wadsworth: Green. 

Agent Green: He’s in medical now. 

Wadsworth: Alright, I want to talk to him once his physical is complete. 

Agent Green: I don't think that will be possible. 

Wadsworth: Excuse me?

Agent Green: He isn’t getting a standard physical, okay? He’s in triage. 

Wadsworth: What on- why?

Agent Green: He is in a bad state. 

Wadsworth: What do you mean?

Agent Green: Early evaluation shows three broken ribs, bruised jaw, broken nose, two broken fingers, and a moderate TBI. To start.

Wadsworth: What the hell happened? Take me to him now. 

[sfx: time passes]

[sfx: medical machines]

Wadsworth: Any change?

Agent Green: He’s stable. The medical staff wants to keep him in a coma until the brain swelling goes down. 

Wadsworth: I see. 

Agent Green: Do we have a better idea of what happened?

Wadsworth: Yes. And I would have gotten there faster if you’d given me the whole story from the start. 

Agent Green: They didn’t say anything when they brought him in. I didn’t think it was relevant.

Wadsworth: It was my family, Green, it- never mind. You know what, the situation is under control now. 

Agent Green: Is Adam alright?

Wadsworth: He’ll be fine. He’s strong, he’ll move past it eventually. My sister on the other hand- I don’t think you realize what a mess you created here, Green. 

Agent Green: Excuse me?

Wadsworth: You should have brought Damien: in the moment you became privy to the nature of his ability. But your feelings for Dr. Bright—

Agent Green: Don’t pretend like I’m the only one who’s been lenient with her—

Wadsworth: At least I’ve been keeping a close eye—

Agent Green: I told you, I told you we should have tracked Mark and Damien the moment they escaped, but you wanted to take the opportunity to repair your relationship with Joan—

Wadsworth: Don’t put this all on me, Green. You’re the one you told Damien about what Mark can do. 

Agent Green: And you’re the one in charge, Director Wadsworth. You wanted to be on top so badly, well, guess what? That means everything ultimately falls on you.

Wadsworth: Let me know when he wakes up. 

[sfx: time passes]

Wadsworth: Robert? Robert, can you hear me?

Damien: Huh? Wha- 

Wadsworth: Here, here have some water. 

Damien: Why are you here? Wait- where am I?

Wadsworth: You’re at The AM, Robert. 

Damien: No. No. There’s no way that he- there's no way that he could- what did you do?

Wadsworth: I didn't do anything, Robert. You were brought here, bloody, broken, and we patched you up. You’ve been unconscious for two weeks. 

Damien: What?

Wadsworth: It’s alright. We kept you unconscious so your body could focus on healing. 

Damien: Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that’s why. What have you been doing to me?

Wadsworth: Robert, so suspicious. We’ve been taking care of you. You were left for dead and we saved you. 

Damien: No. No, that’s not- what happened?

Wadsworth: Rest up, Robert. We have a lot of work to do. 

[sfx: time passes]

[sfx: door opening and closing]

Wadsworth: How are we doing today, Robert?

Damien: You can’t keep me here. 

Wadsworth: So dramatic. No one is keeping you here, Robert. 

Damien: Stop calling me that. 

Wadsworth: We are looking out for your best interests. You're not well enough to be back in the world. 

Damien: Yeah? How would you know? You’re not a doctor. 

Wadsworth: No, but I do employ them. 

Damien: Then where the hell are they? I’ve been sitting here for almost two weeks and the only person I’ve seen is you. 

Wadsworth: Don’t worry, they’ve been doing their jobs. 

Damien: How?

Wadsworth: Do you really think I’d let my employees in here when you’re conscious?

Damien: You’ve been knocking me out?

Wadsworth: Yes. 

Damien: How?

Wadsworth: You have an IV don’t you? Uh-uh, I wouldn't do that if I were you, Robert. You still need what’s in that little bag. Now, you seem well enough for some questions, so let’s get started. 

Damien: Excuse me?

Wadsworth: I want to ask you some questions about your ability. 

Damien: I’m not your damn lab rat. 

Wadsworth: No, but you are my patient and the more I know about you, the better I can help you. Now, I have Joan’s notes, so I know most of the basics - your ability presented when you were young, grew stronger during puberty, then your parents abandoned you-

Damien: What? How do you know about that?

Wadsworth: Excuse me?

Damien: I never told Dr. B. about that. 

Wadsworth: It’s a recent note…Perhaps Mark told her. Did he know?

Damien: He wouldn’t. 

Wadsworth: I rather think he would, Robert. He brought you here, after all. 

Damien: No. There’s no way he would do that. Not after all the sick and twisted stuff you did to him. 

Wadsworth: And yet here you are. You should count yourself very lucky that someone got to you before I did. You threatened someone that I love. That's not something that I forgive. 

Damien: I didn’t think you were capable of that. 

Wadsworth: Forgiveness? I wouldn’t count on it. 

Damien: No, no. Love. 

Wadsworth: I’m not a monster, Robert.

Damien: That’s not what I hear. 

Wadsworth: Ah, yes, dear beloved Mark. He’s not exactly an angel either. Some of the things he did while he was here, Robert- well, they would chill even you, I’m sure. 

Damien: I know what you did to him. 

Wadsworth: Do you? Are you sure that you got the full story from him?

Damien: Mind control, remember?

Wadsworth: Mm, but that’s not exactly what it is, is it? These notes suggest that you’re not all that good at what you do. 

Damien: I get by.

Wadsworth: Well, we’ll find out soon enough. Don’t worry, you’ll have another face to look at soon. But first: what’s your range?

Damien: My what?

Wadsworth: How close do you need to be to someone to manipulate them?

Damien: Why would I tell you that?

Wadsworth: Can you use it on multiple people at once?

Damien: I’m not telling you anything. 

Wadsworth: Fine. We’ll continue this another time. 

[sfx: door opening and closing]

[sfx: time passes]

[sfx: door opening and closing]

Wadsworth: And how are we today, Robert?

Damien: Oh, I don’t know, how would you be after spending weeks looking at four blank walls with no one to talk to except you?

Wadsworth: I’m delightful. 

Damien: Let me go. 

Wadsworth: As I told you, you’re not being held prisoner. 

Damien: Then these are just for decoration?

[sfx: handcuffs rattle against bed]

Damien: Unless, of course, you’re into that sort of thing, in which case, all you needed to do was ask. 

Wadsworth: It’s just a precaution. Your ribs are healing nicely but we don’t want you running off the moment you feel well enough. We still need to keep an eye on that brain of yours. 

Damien: You got plans for it or something?

Wadsworth: I think we could have a very fruitful partnership, yes. 

Damien: Fat chance. 

Wadsworth:  Damien. Don’t you want to be better? Be more in control? More powerful? I can teach you that. 

Damien: I thought you didn’t forgive and forget. 

Wadsworth: I don’t. But I’m not going to pass up a valuable research opportunity simply because I don’t like the subject. 

Damien: I thought I was your patient. 

Wadsworth: Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Damien: What are you going to do to me?

Wadsworth: I’m going to help you. But in order to do so, you need to answer my questions. 

Damien: Fine. But I want to know something first. 

Wadsworth: What.

Damien: Who really brought me here?

Wadsworth: Dr. Bright and Samantha Barnes. 

Damien: And what did they tell you?

Wadsworth: That you’d had an accident. 

Damien: An accident?

Wadsworth: I got the whole story later. 

Damien: From your nephew?

Wadsworth: If you’d like to maintain the civility of this conversation, Robert, don’t mention my nephew again. 

Damien: I wouldn’t worry about him if I were you. His boyfriend seems to have him pretty well protected. 

Wadsworth: Hm. 

Damien: He's pissed at you, isn’t he?

Wadsworth: Excuse me?

Damien: Ah, c’mon Annabelle, just because I can’t use my ability on you doesn’t mean that I can’t read you. Something’s ticking you off. 

Wadsworth: It’s none of your business. 

Damien: You know, I’ve had a lot of time to think about that night, what with all the nothing to do around here, and I wasn’t totally out of it. I remember bits and pieces. And I distinctly remember little nephew dearest being fairly confident that the sun shone out of your ass. Did someone find out the truth about their sweet Auntie Annie?

Wadsworth: How old were you when your parents abandoned you? We had an agreement, Damien. I told you who brought you here. Now you answer my questions. 

Damien: Thirteen. Do Adam’s parents know that you put him in danger?

Wadsworth: Leave it alone. 

Damien: A question for a question. 

Wadsworth: This isn’t a negotiation, Robert. 

Damien: Then I’m not saying anything more. 

Wadsworth: What exactly do you think is going to happen here? You’ll pout and complain until you get your way? You don’t have the upper hand anymore, Robert. I would like to learn from you, yes, but I don’t need you. It would be dangerous for you to labor under the assumption that I do. 

Damien: Then what? You just leave me here to rot? I thought I wasn’t a prisoner. 

Wadsworth: You’re not. Yet. You are currently in our intensive care unit, but we do have more…high security areas. Approved and funded by the government of course. After all, we can’t exactly put atypicals in regular prisons. 

Damien: I’m not a criminal. 

Wadsworth: Aren’t you? Let’s see, off the top of my head: attempted kidnapping, actual kidnapping, breaking into a private facility, stalking, harassment, credit card fraud, and, oh yes, you haven’t paid your taxes in, well, ever. 

Damien: You can't prove the credit card fraud. They were legitimate cards. It’s the cashiers who look the other way when they’re declined. 

Wadsworth: Of course, lets pass the buck to the minimum wage workers, why should the mind manipulator take responsibility? And really? That’s your defense? The credit cards were legit?

Damien: Well, they were. 

Wadsworth: You’re a real brat when you don’t get your way, you know that?

Damien: Can I expect more stimulating insights into my personality?

Wadsworth: Let’s find out, shall we? Have you had any contact with your parents since they abandoned you?

Damien: As long as I'm in the same room, I’m good. 

Wadsworth: I’m sorry?

Damien: My “range”. You asked me a little while ago. You want me to answer your questions, don’t you?

Wadsworth: Fine. So, 10, 20 feet you’d say?

Damien: Sure.

Wadsworth: And does it work on multiple people at once?

Damien: It sure does. 

Wadsworth: Accurately?

Damien: Gets the job done. 

Wadsworth: This only works if you answer my questions honestly. 

Damien: Fine, it’s a little harder to maintain, but I know what I’m doing. 

Wadsworth: And what exactly are you doing? What does it feel like?

Damien: What does it feel like?

Wadsworth: Joan never asked you that?

Damien: She never put it that way, no. 

Wadsworth: Sometimes I think I don’t understand that woman at all. So: what does it feel like to manipulate someone’s emotions?

Damien: It’s the greatest feeling in the world. 

Wadsworth: Care to elaborate?

Damien: It’s like...it's like stepping outside every day into ideal weather. Like having every piece of clothing you try on be a perfect fit. Like- like going two hundred down an open road. 

Wadsworth: And you’d know that, wouldn’t you? You’ve been ticketed for speeding 11 times. 

Damien: Yeah, well, I wasn’t always the magnificent creature who sits before you now, it took a little practice. 

Wadsworth: I’m sure.

Damien: Did you memorize my rap sheet?  I had no idea you were that interested in me, Director. You know, you might give a fella the wrong idea. 

Wadsworth: It was very illuminating. I see why you felt the need for an identity change.  

Damien: Yeah, well, “Robert Gorham” didn’t exactly know what he was doing. Kid had to go. 

Wadsworth: Regardless, a very impressive juvenile record. I shudder to think what you’ve done since turning eighteen. 

Damien: I don’t know, Wadsworth, I think you could give me a run for my money. 

Wadsworth: I’m curious, Damien, do you ever feel remorse? For the things you’ve done that is. 

Damien: Do you?

Wadsworth: What I do is within the bounds of my profession and the law. 

Damien: Oh, my, my, what an interesting interpretation we have of the law. 

Wadsworth: Takes one to know one. 

Damien: I don’t torture people. 

Wadsworth: Neither do I. 

Damien: Not how Mark tells it. 

Wadsworth: As I said, takes one to know one. So, do you? Feel remorse?

Damien: I’ve never used my ability to hurt anyone. 

Wadsworth: You tried to kidnap a seventeen year-old boy. 

Damien: I wouldn’t have hurt him. 

Wadsworth: You threatened to make a woman kill herself. 

Damien: What?

Wadsworth: Samantha Barnes. You implied to Dr. Bright that you would use your ability to make Samantha Barnes harm herself. 

Damien: How in the-?

Wadsworth: Oh come on, Robert, you’re a smart man. You’ve met me - are you honestly surprised that I’m tapping my former employee’s phones?

Damien: You’re unhinged. 

Wadsworth: No, I’m not, Robert. I’m efficient. You wouldn’t have done it, would you?

Damien: What?

Wadsworth: Harmed Ms. Barnes?

Damien: She would have had it coming. 

Wadsworth: Why? Because she took your favorite toy? And that doesn’t answer my question.

Damien: I have hurt people, you know. 

Wadsworth: Oh? Do tell. 

Damien: You wouldn’t find it in those little files of yours. Not everything’s as cut-and-dry as speeding or breaking and entering. 

Wadsworth: How do you mean?

Damien: I do what I need to survive. Sometimes that has a ripple effect. 

Wadsworth: A “physical harm to other people” kind of ripple effect?

Damien: Sometimes. 

Wadsworth: How?

Damien: I learned that it's easier to run from the law if you've convinced the law it was someone else. Same logic works in bar fights too. 

Wadsworth: You create fall guys.

Damien: Or girls. I’m not picky. 

Wadsworth: Has anyone ever died?

Damien: Well that is quite a personal question, Annabelle. Buy a guy dinner first. 

Wadsworth: Damien.

Damien: Not that I know of. But I don’t exactly stick around to find out. 

Wadsworth: You don’t sound particularly broken up about it. 

Damien: Should I be? I admit, it’s not ideal. The best cons are the ones that don’t have any fall guys - convincing my landlord that I’ve already paid rent for the month, making waiters think I’ve already paid, stuff like that. With those I can just slip away before anyone wises up. Things get messy when you have to create a diversion with another person. 

Wadsworth: And how does that work? You manipulate a person into thinking someone else stole their car or whatever it may be?

Damien: Exactly. And, hey, I can’t control how that person chooses to react.  It’s- well, it's not my fault if they decide to take more direct action. 

Wadsworth: Do you really believe that?

Damien: Like I said, it’s messy. But it’s survival of the fittest. I’m not going to apologize for that. 

Wadsworth: Nor should you. See? Sharing wasn’t all that hard after all. It’s amazing what you’ll open up about when avoiding a difficult personal question. 

Damien: What do you- huh. Alright. Alright, you’re pretty good, I’ll give you that. 

Wadsworth: I am. But you’re also very easy. All you really want is for someone to listen - actually listen. I'm sorry Joan couldn’t be that for you. Though I’m sure she tried her best. 

Damien: You give her too much credit. She never actually tried with me. 

Wadsworth: Did you try with her?

Damien: I’m not the professional in our relationship. 

Wadsworth: Oh, is that how you think it works? You go to a specialist and they give you everything you need to be better? Stronger?

Damien: She was supposed to do her job. 

Wadsworth: Therapy isn’t my specialty but I’ve dabbled enough to know it has to be a two-way street. Even in my own work, I have to acknowledge that things are much easier if the patient is there voluntarily. 

Damien: And is that why you’re trying to make nice with me?

Wadsworth: Is that what you think I’m doing here?

Damien: Well, we’ve been talking for more than five minutes and you haven’t tried to kill me, so that’s already an improvement over my last social interaction. 

Wadsworth: What was your aim with that disastrous plan of yours? To get at me?

Damien: Looks like it wasn’t too disastrous then. 

Wadsworth: I’m sure these were exactly the circumstances you were hoping for. 

Damien: I’m good at adapting. You have something I want and here you are.

Wadsworth: The immunity. 

Damien: Bingo. 

Wadsworth: So Mark can’t overpower you again?

Damien: So no one can. 

Wadsworth: Oh, Robert, I think the fact that you’re currently chained to a bed is pretty solid proof that you can be overpowered, atypical or no. Did you really expect threatening Adam to work?

Damien: I thought it was worth a try. 

Wadsworth: You don’t think things through, do you?

Damien: I don’t have to. I can fix anything by just wanting someone to believe something. I make a point to be smart but I don’t have to be careful. 

Wadsworth: I knew there was a reason I liked you. Well, this has been very educational, thank you. I think you’re ready for the next stage.

Damien: That doesn’t sound very promising.

Wadsworth: Oh, on the contrary, Robert. You get to do the thing you love most.

[sfx: time passes]

Agent Green: Are you sure this is wise, Director?

Wadsworth: He can’t harm you. If anything goes wrong, I will come in and remove you. But we need to confirm that his brain injury is recovered enough to use his ability. 

Agent Green: He seems very well recovered from where I’m standing.

Wadsworth: I know that, Green, but this isn’t a normal patient with a normal brain. 

Agent Green: Yeah, well, not according to the recent brain scans. 

Wadsworth: Exactly. And isn’t that suspicious. 

Agent Green: I’m sorry?

Wadsworth: His brain scans have been, as you say, completely normal. Now that the swelling has gone down he’s recovered like any other human. Albeit, much faster and more completely than usual, but normal nonetheless. 

Agent Green: You think something’s happened with his ability. 

Wadsworth: I think it’s a distinct possibility. And there’s one way to find out. 

Agent Green: Fine. 

[sfx: door opening and closing]

Agent Green: How are you today, Damien?

Damien: You’re not the person who usually asks me that. Where’s Wadsworth?

Agent Green: Otherwise occupied.

Damien: So she sent you? While I’m awake?

Agent Green: Yes.

Damien: So this is what she meant by next stage, isn’t it?

Agent Green: You seem to be recovering well, Damien. Are you feeling like yourself?

Damien: You mean, can I use my ability? Well, why don’t you take these cuffs off me, Agent, and we’ll find out?

Agent Green: I don’t think that’s a good idea. 

Damien: Sure you do. 

Agent Green: No, I don’t.

Damien: Huh. Has she dosed you with whatever she’s been taking?

Agent Green: No, Damien.

Damien: Then- no- what have you done to me? Why can’t I- what did you do?

Agent Green: Excuse me. 

[sfx: door opening]

Agent Green: Abilities can't be removed—

Wadsworth: No, I know—

Agent Green: Then what's happening—

Wadsworth: I’m not sure. It’s possible his brain tissue healed over it, or it’s been suppressed somehow? Perhaps a protective measure his neurology took in order to repair itself? We need more data. 

[sfx: time passes]

[sfx: door closing]

Wadsworth: Hello, Damien. 

Damien: Using my actual name, things must be bad. 

Wadsworth: Well, I’m certainly not here to tell you you’ve won a cruise. 

Damien: Does this have anything to do with the parade of people you’ve sent through here?

Wadsworth: The parade of people which you failed to manipulate. 

Damien: What did you do to me. 

Wadsworth: I didn’t do anything to you, Damien. And I've run out of ideas of how to fix you. You’re just powerless. 

Damien: No, not quite. 

Wadsworth: Excuse me?

Damien: Well, if you’d bothered to stop by in the past week or so, I could have told you. But, well, I guess you had more important things to do. 

Wadsworth: I’m here now. Tell me.  

Damien: I can still feel it. A bit. The edges of people’s minds. Their emotions. Just- justwaiting to be influenced. 

Wadsworth: But you can’t access them? Is it like what happened with Mark?

Damien: No. No, that was- that was like my brain caved in on itself. This is- this is like trying to grab something that keeps moving out of your reach. 

Wadsworth: Hm. That’s very disappointing. 

Damien: Aren’t you going to help me? Fix me?

Wadsworth: I don’t see how I could. You’re more or less fully recovered and, well, frankly, we can’t allocate any more resources to you. The boys upstairs are being difficult. We’ll have to release you and check in on you when we can. 

Damien: What? You’re just going to release me? Just like that?

Wadsworth: Isn’t that what you wanted? 

Damien: Not like this. 

Wadsworth: You wanted to get to a place where Mark couldn’t overpower your ability and now you don’t have an ability to overpower. It’s imperfect, but there you have it. 

Damien: No, I-

Wadsworth: I’m sorry, Damien. I’m running a very tight ship here and it has been a very bad 6 months for me so I really cannot afford to keep patients around who serve no value. Agent Green will be in shortly to walk you through the outpatient procedure. 

[sfx: door opening and closing]

[music & credits]

Lauren Shippen: Episode 42 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. In this episode, you heard Alex Marshall-Brown as Wadsworth, Ian McQuown as Agent Green, and Charlie Ian as Damien. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. If you’d like to meet some of the people who make this podcast, the original four-person cast, including myself, will be at Podcon in Seattle this December. Tickets are on sale now - it is a two day convention where you’ll get to hear panels, see live shows, and meet your favorite podcasters in person. Check that out at podcon.com and we hope to see you there! The Bright Sessions will return in two weeks, on November 15th with Episode 43. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.