Aug. 1, 2022

Part 24: The Mine (2)

Footsteps

John: There’s a light up ahead, dim, with a greenish hue. 

Footsteps

John: Oh!  There’s light all over the walls of this part of the mine, though… [Gentle piano music] the wood pillars are gone. This area is cave-like. A green carpet of a plant covers everything.

Arthur: Okay. 

John: Are you sure we want to head this way?

Arthur: One hand, one wall. We may side track, but it’s the only way to make sure we find an exit! 

John: Alright. 

Footsteps

John: The walls are bizarre. I can’t tell if they’re naturally forming, or if they’re… Oh.

Arthur: What? 

John: There’s an image here, on the wall. Using the green plants. Someone’s carved it away to make an image.

Arthur: What is it? 

John: I don’t know! It looks… It looks like a group of figures surrounding a central… being, or object. It’s depicted in wavy lines, as if moving, constantly. 

Arthur: Let’s keep moving. 

Footsteps.

John: It looked like they were worshiping it. 

Footsteps

John: [Gasps] The light is fading, but the cavern seems to open up — wide, very wide. Arthur…!

John: What? 

John: There’s someone standing on the far wall! [Eerie violins] I can see their blackened outline against the green light. They’re staring at us, their arms slightly opened to either side of them, their fingers wide and apart. I can see their long hair hanging in wet strands. Their head slightly cocked to one side. Don’t move! 

John gasps sharply

John: Jesus Christ! Arthur, they’ve covered themselves in black as well! We’re not alone down here!

Hurried footsteps, receding. Violins fade.

John: It’s run off. We need to…

Footsteps

John: Yes, move. 

John: Wait, wait! There’s a hole here, leading down. It’s on a slight angle. It-It’s tight but I see light down there; orange light, and it’s flickering like that of a flame or a candle. 

Arthur: There could be an entrance down there.

John: Right. Okay. It’s…tight. Keep moving forward.

Arthur climbs into the hole, grunting with strain. Thunder rumbles.

Arthur: It’s so small in here. 

John: Arthur stay… just breathe

Arthur: God… I’m fine, I’m fine. 

John: I know, It’s…

Arthur: Are you okay? 

John: Yes, of course. 

Arthur: John? 

John: Arthur, I’m fine.

Arthur: Okay, okay.

Arthur squeezing through

Arthur: Fuck…

John: What? 

Arthur: I can’t… are we…?

John: Move forward. 

Arthur: Where’s the light?

John: I don’t know. Ahead, deeper. 

Arthur: Are we, tilted? I— I can’t. 

John: Can you move back? Head back out? 

Arthur: [Panicking] I can’t… I don’t… I can’t move back!

John: Just try

Arthur: I can’t, John!

John: Jesus Christ, we’ll be out of here—

Arthur: I can’t fucking breathe!

John: You just need to—

Arthur: I can’t—

John: RELAX, ARTHUR! 

Arthur: I can’t feel anything—

John: You can’t breathe when you—

Arthur: I feel it everywhere, tightening! There’s no fucking air!

John: [Calmly] Arthur, we’ve been here before. Just like this. Remember the island? 

Arthur calms

Arthur: Th-The Island? 

Modified main piano theme plays

John: Yes, remember? The caves beneath, the woman who followed. Beneath the lighthouse. 

Arthur: Right, right. Yes… 

John: We were in the same position. Almost identical. 

Arthur: Right. 

John: And we made it through. 

Arthur: We made it through, yeah… yes. 

John: Exactly. We’ll get through this. 

Arthur catches his breath. Thunder.

John: Okay, you’ll need to move your head sideways slightly, as if you’re looking over your right shoulder. 

Arthur: Like this? 

John: Yes. The rock makes it barely big enough to fit through. 

Arthur: My chest is against the rock, I… I can’t…

John: Just your chest? 

Arthur: Yes. I think so. John?

John: I’m thinking.

Music transitions to eerie.

Arthur: Remember that thing below the island, in the caves? You don’t think that…

John: The woman? 

Arthur: The thing; she wasn’t a woman, John, she was a cultist, remember? Deformed—

John: What do you mean? 

Arthur: She was duped by the cult — she tried to kill us, she was a monster by that point... she deserved…

John: Death? 

Arthur: Well, yes. What are you… 

John: Like Larson. 

Arthur: What? 

John: That’s what you said, that you’re going to head back up there and kill Larson. 

Arthur: Yes, what’s it to you? You don’t know what he did, John. What he… is capable of. 

John: No, I don’t. 

Arthur: He’s a monster! He… he’s held this town under his thumb, he’s killed… gods know how many… I heard a woman in the vents… she was… weeping, and then…

John: He killed her. 

Arthur: No, I think Jack Larson, did, but… but that’s what I’m saying! All these people, all these Larsons, they deserve—

John: What the hell is wrong with you? 

Violin stinger

Arthur: Nothing! How can you—

John: Arthur, listen to yourself! They deserve to die? 

Arthur: I’m just saying— 

John: You’re losing focus, Arthur. I don’t know what you’ve been through, but if—

Arthur: You DON”T know. You don’t know what it felt like to lose...

John: Don’t I? 

Arthur: Not the way I did. Alone, blind… dying

John: And that’s pushed you to what? To this? To killing as an easier— 

Arthur: No. 

John: Murdering? 

Arthur: What the fuck are you talking about? I’m not murdering anyone! 

John: Just the Larsons. 

Thunder

Arthur: You have no idea. You are so far removed from this. 

John: Not anymore. 

Arthur: Don’t pretend to have even the smallest understanding of what we’re up against, John. You weren’t here, you were off – wherever, back in your domain of dreams, while I was—

John: How dare you! 

Arthur: How dare I? You don’t even remember where you were — no time has passed. Right?  Right

John: Yes.

Faroe’s Waltz plays.

Arthur: So shut up and let me know what needs to be done for this town, for these people... [Softer] For us, John. These aren’t good people. Trust me. 

John: Trust you. 

Arthur: Yes, please! They need to… stop. I need to stop them. [Sigh] Let’s just focus. Let’s get out of here. 

John: I’m trying.  

Piano fades

Arthur: Okay. And look… Thank you. 

John: What? For what? 

Arthur: For saving me—for saving me, from— 

John: Saving you? 

Arthur: From Yellow. He wanted power, John, a ravenous desire to control me and take every ounce of my humanity with him. He was a villain!

John: A villain? 

Arthur: Yes, yes. I would’ve been truly lost, truly lost, had you not come back. 

John: Well I’m glad I did then, I suppose. 

Arthur: You suppose? 

John: Yes — Arthur, just like last time I’m gonna need you to breathe out. 

Arthur: Right, okay. Okay. 

John: It’s too tight. Let all the air out of your lungs and slide forward into the next cavern.

Arthur: I can do this — yes.

John: You can do this.

Thunder

John: On the count of three, breathe out and slide forward. One. Two. Three! 

Arthur wriggles forward. He tumbles out with a gasp

John: Well done, Arthur! 

Arthur: [Panting] Jesus Christ… As soon as we’re out of here I am done with caves. Properly done. 

John: Agreed. Stay down. 

Arthur: [Alarmed] What? What?

John: The light, it’s from up ahead — a flickering light. It’s filling just beyond. We’re in a tracked section again; the wooden supports frame the tunnels here. Stay low and move forward.  

Footsteps

John: Low.  

Footsteps

John: Oh. There’s a large, cavernous room ahead, Arthur, one with wooden walkways and struts that lead up

Arthur: The surface? 

John: Likely, yes. This seems to be a loading area from high above — a manual walkway that leads to the area at the cusp of this. Massive barrels are here, presumably where they transported the coal to the surface. But there are two problems. One: there are large parts of the walkway missing, including the start of the way up. The stairs don’t touch down.  

Arthur: What? 

John: The lower steps of the stairs leading up have broken, maybe ten feet off the ground. We need to find something to move over and climb onto in order to boost ourselves up to those steps. As far as I can see, it’s the only way up. 

Arthur: Okay. What’s the other problem?

John: We’re not alone. 

Thunder. Eerie violins

John: There’s a large fire in the center of the next room. There are close to thirty people sitting around it, all of them covered from head to toe with coal. They are sitting in a large circle, rocking forward and back, all facing the fire. Panting, in an animal-like way. I can see some of their faces, Arthur, their…  Their features are strange, almost...

Arthur: Ram-like? 

John: Yes! How did you—

Arthur: Addison. The people here, it-it’s not just the Larson influence, this town is cursed. These people must’ve splintered off to make… 

John: That image we saw… You don’t think they’re here for…?

Arthur: Worship. 

John: We can try to sneak around them, pressed up against the wall — hopefully go unnoticed. 

Arthur: Then when we get to the stairs? 

John: I don’t know. We’d need to move something over. 

Arthur: Right.

John: What do you suggest?

Arthur: I don’t know. We could wait. We don’t know anything yet. 

John: I suppose so, but if we wait too long we may miss our chance. 

Arthur: No, no, let’s, let’s wait.

John: You’re sure? 

Arthur: No, but, who knows. Look, moving past them, it’s sure to make noise or alert them. With my luck…

John: Our luck. 

Arthur: Right. Let’s just wait and see. 

John: Fair enough. 

Arthur: I feel like we never did that as much as we should’ve.

John: To your right there’s a number of wooden beams, ones used as structural support in the mines. They’re large enough to have some cover. 

Arthur: Okay. 

Footsteps 

John: Here.

Arthur: Yes, yes I feel, this side? 

John: Yes. 

Arthur crouches down

Arthur: Are they…?

John: They’re still around the fire. They’re quite far away now.

Arthur: They worship this… thing.

John: What is this thing?

Arthur: I told you! I said…

John: You said it was invisible.

Arthur: Yes, well…

John: Arthur, I’m completely in the dark here; you realize that, don’t you? 

Arthur: Yes, of course, yes. I’m just… We haven’t exactly had a minute to catch up, John. 

John: I know, but we do now. What has happened?

Main piano theme

Arthur: Well, like I said, Yellow was… monstrous. He wanted nothing but… 

John: Monstrous? 

Arthur: Well yes, just… he wasn’t you.

John: Yes, you said that. 

Arthur: Yes, well it’s true. You… he was the King, without any of…

John: Right. 

Arthur: I’m just trying to say that you’re better than— 

John: I get what you’re trying to say, Arthur, you’re glad I’m back. 

Arthur: Yes… I… I’m just trying to explain.

John: I’m no savior, Arthur. 

Arthur: What? That’s, That’s not…

John: I’m not innocent. 

Arthur: I know, I’m not saying you’re innocent, I’m just saying that… that you’re better…

John: Why? 

Arthur: Why what

John: Why am I better? 

Thunder

Arthur: I told you, the humanity.He had no desire to try to help, no-no part of him that yearned for more…

John: So?

Arthur: What are you talking about? 

John: So because I have humanity, because I am trying to learn what it means – that makes me better? Or at least not a monster. 

Arthur: What the fuck is your problem? I’m trying to compliment you. 

John: I don’t think you realize what you’re saying, or if you are, you just don’t care how it comes across. 

Arthur: Fuck, John. Fine, I’m sorry. I realize that you and he are the same, you want me to remind you of that? 

John: I want you to stop making it seem like I’m entirely different. 

Arthur: You are entirely different!

John: You…you…! [Calms himself]  I am aware. That’s it. 

Arthur: What? 

Melancholy piano plays

John: I am aware of what this world means to people, the ones who inhabit it, what you – and everyone else lucky enough to have what you did — feel every day. 

Arthur: Everyday? 

John: What you had, Arthur. You’ve lost a lot but you had everything. You have experienced the best of what life has to offer. 

Arthur: And the worst. 

John: Jesus, yes, and the worst! You had the run of it all. 

Thunder

Arthur: So what? What are you talking about? 

John: He wasn’t aware. 

Arthur: And? 

John: And… that’s the only difference. 

Arthur: Bullshit. 

John: How? What is fundamentally different about me? 

Arthur: I... I don’t know… 

John: You don’t know because there is nothing fundamentally different. I was just made aware. 

Arthur: By Lily, by your time in hospital. 

John: By you

Arthur: By me? 

John: By everything you showed me! Yes, my time while you were in the coma made it all click, but none of it would’ve without you. 

Arthur: Well… a-and what? So what, you’re saying that the reason Yellow wasn’t aware was my fault. 

John: I’m just saying…! I’m saying that I had an advantage that he didn’t.

Music fades

Arthur: Oh, fuck off! I gave him all the advantages I gave you. 

John: Did you? 

Arthur: Of course I did! I…I…I… Well… W-What is this?

John: It’s nothing, Arthur. I’m just telling you that every time you call him a monster, you’re forgetting that I am the same. 

Arthur: But you’re not! 

John: And you don’t understand. 

Arthur: I can’t believe you. This, I’m… I’m here telling you, congratulating you on everything that you are and everything you’ve chosen to become, and you’re telling me that I’m wrong in doing so. Fine, fine, maybe I wasn’t the most… patient with him, okay? [Sad piano] I was weak, I tried to… jump the queue and jog your memory, but he… just like you, did his fair share in trying to manipulate me, and trick me…Lying.

John: I’m sorry for that. 

Arthur: Don’t fucking high road me! God damn it! 

John: I’m not high roading you. 

Arthur: Then don’t pity me. 

John: I’m empathizing! 

Arthur: You are making me feel so fucking small. 

A long moment of silence.

Arthur: I died for you. For a fucking voice in my head that stole my eyesight. I fucking died for that. [Piano resumes] Do you know how mad that sounds? Do you have any idea what the average person on the street would think about me, about that? About me even saying that? I’m…I’m mad. I’ve lost the plot somewhere down here, somewhere back in Arkham, I’m sure. Parker and I... Jesus, Parker… It would’ve been, what, a Wednesday? The day after all this started? I don’t — I don’t even remember now — it feels like a lifetime ago. We probably would’ve grabbed a blue plate special at the Stray Bullet and talked about whatever case! I forget what that life was, John. What have I done?

John: You haven’t done anything. 

Arthur: I have! I’m in a mine, covered in coal, with more scars on my body in the last few months than a lifetime of mistakes. Talking to myself in the dark, while being scolded on my lost humanity by a disembodied god from the Dreamlands. 

John: Arthur…

Arthur sighs

John: Everything I am, I learned from you. [Piano turns hopeful] That is what I am trying to say. I don’t know why or how this relationship took form the way it did. I-I don’t know what happened to “Yellow” as you call him, or why he had trouble finding meaning the way I did… but I’m thankful you gave me the gift you did. I wish he was as lucky as I was. That’s all. 

Arthur: I wish I hadn’t have failed him, then. 

Thunder

Arthur: How loud was I? 

John: You’re fine. I think the fire is obfuscating a lot of the sounds beyond the firelight. 

Arthur: Anyway, this thing is invisible. I ran from it outside the mountain, nearly died, too, but… oh, fuck! The flute! 

John: Flute?

Arthur: Yes, I… when it attacked, it was, uh, pulled away by a flute. I saw one – perhaps the one used to control it —  in Larson estate. We grabbed it but I put it… 

John: In our bag. 

Arthur: Yeah. But if we could get it back…

John: You don’t think we have any chance otherwise? 

Arthur: I mean, it’s one thing to be outmatched in size and speed but another when you can’t even see the fucking thing. 

John: If they’re worshippers of this thing… would they mean us harm? 

Arthur: Larson felt comfortable enough to drop us down here without killing us first. Obviously he’s not remotely worried about us escaping. 

John: However, he could be unaware of this following. Did he strike you as the kind of man to come down here? 

Arthur: No, far from it. He seemed like the kind of man to have a mansion on the outskirts of New York City. 

John: Well, clearly he doesn’t come down here often. 

Arthur: If ever. So, wait, what are you saying? 

John: What if we… joined them? 

Eerie violin stinger

Arthur: What? 

John: I mean to say, in order to find a way out. Look, if these are people from the village, those who follow or believe in this monster… they don’t look too organized... 

Arthur: Okay. 

John: Additionally they ran past us earlier without much of an issue. 

Arthur: A peaceful cult? 

John: One that doesn’t give a shit if we leave this place, maybe? 

Arthur: That’s a big fucking gamble. 

John: Well what are our options? They’re not doing anything. If they’re waiting for this thing to return, we’re not doing ourselves any favours by staying here. I mean we could try again to leave, but… 

Arthur: So you think we just go over and sit with them? That is absolutely mad. 

John: You did say you were going mad. 

Arthur laughs incredulously

John: We don’t have to stay, just let them acknowledge that we’re here. Maybe even tell them we’re looking for a way out. 

Arthur: They seem the helpful type to you? 

John: It’s an option. 

Arthur: I… [Scoff] I think asking them for a way out is beyond any logic I can get behind.

John: Right.

Faroe’s waltz plays

Arthur: But… I suppose, letting them… see us, acknowledge we’re here, is akin to showing you mean no harm to a wild animal as well. So just… let’s let them know that we’re here. Let them see us. 

John: It could prevent some reactionary movements on their part. 

Arthur: Yes [laughs] I guess so. 

John: So?

Arthur: So, Jesus… Okay, yeah, w-we’ll sit by the fire. 

John: You’re sure? 

Footsteps

Arthur: If this thing is living down here, it’s not killing them. I don’t get a murderous vibe from them — It-It’s mad, but yeah. L-L-Let’s.

John: Alright. Slightly to the left. 

Arthur: Okay. 

John: A little more. There. Straight. 

Arthur approaches the fire. The people around are panting and gasping

John: Arthur. You’re just outside the circle of people. None of them seem to have noticed you yet. 

Thunder

John: Just keep going. There’s a space to your right a little bit. Here, yes! Yes. Sit down. 

Arthur sits - eerie stinger. The people are panting heavily.

John: None of them are looking at you.  There’s a woman beside you, covered in coal. Her clothes are rags, and… Jesus! Her eyes are black! Entirely black!

Arthur: What? 

John: Her head is tilted back, she’s looking up to the… oh… Arthur, I think the cavern above us opens to the night sky! The broken stairs and the path must lead directly out of here!

Panting

Arthur: Hello? 

John: She’s not reacting. 

Arthur: Are any of them? 

John: No. They’re only rocking back and forth.

Arthur: Hello? Are you… is anyone… awake, or…? They’re all moving in different poses. Some looking down at their hands, some staring at the fire, all with the blacks of their eyes full, obscuring any white. Their features more animal than human! 

Arthur: Okay… okay...

John: They’re all breathing, frantically, in different ways.

Arthur: Yes, I can hear. 

John: Maybe we should leave. I don’t think they’ll be much help. 

Arthur: Okay, okay. Let’s just—

A heavy thud, and the panting stops. Thunder in the distance.

John: Jesus, Arthur, they’ve all turned! All of them! 

Arthur: What? 

John: They’re all looking toward a tunnel. They’re all facing it.

Arthur: What is it? What are they—

John: It’s just a tunnel… an abyssal black cavern entrance. I don’t see anything.

Arthur: You don’t think…

Heavy footsteps. Arthur breathing hard. A creature growls as it approaches.

John: Arthur…

The creature thuds closer, snarling

John: A man on the far side of the fire, he’s standing up. His eyes, jet black, they reflect the embers of the fire. He’s stepping towards it. 

Everyone breathing heavily.

John: Arthur... he has a saw. A rough, metal saw, rusted and...

John gasps. The man cries out in pain amidst the sound of sawing meat

John: [Hushed] Oh my god! Jesus fucking Christ!

Arthur: What? What, John?

John: He’s sawing through his own neck! 

The man gurgles, something thumps on the ground

John: His head has fallen onto the ground by the fire!

The creature thuds closer, snarling

John: Something has grabbed it. 

Sounds of the creature feeding

John: Don’t move! I think we’re hidden, in a way. Just—just wait!

The creature’s footsteps and snarling move away. The panting resumes.

Arthur: Is it gone? 

John: I don’t know. I-I think…

Whispers 

John: What? 

Arthur: What? 

John: The man next to you is saying something. Move closer. 

Arthur moves closer.

Man’s voice: Help me. 

John: Jesus…

Man: I have seen and I cannot unsee. I have seen and I cannot unsee. I have seen and I cannot unsee. I have seen and I cannot unsee.

Arthur: God… 

John: Ask them what we can—

Arthur stands up

Man: Help me!

John: What are you doing? Where are you going? 

Arthur: We’re getting out of here!I don’t know what is going on, but they’re sacrificing themselves—

John: They’re trapped, Arthur! They just said help me

Arthur: Well, we can’t! We need to move something to the bottom of those stairs so we can climb up. Where are the…?

John: We can’t? 

Arthur: What do you want me to do, Yellow?

John: Yellow? 

Arthur: John — fuck! [Sigh] What do you want to do? We can’t get out ourselves let alone help other cultists who can’t even—

John: I don’t know. They seemed like they were in a daze, under a trance. You could at least try and snap them out of it.

Arthur: This isn’t our problem, John. We need—

John: This isn’t our problem?!

Arthur: No. 

John: What the fuck are you talking about? 

Arthur: We need to survive! 

John: Since when has that ever been your first concern? 

Arthur: Always!

John: Always? The car on the side of the road outside Arkham? The Wraith? The…

Arthur: We need to have a way out, John. Then, maybe, we can come back down and help. 

John: You don’t want to come back. 

Arthur: Of course I don’t! It’s another fucking cave, in another pit, and another fucking group of cultists.

John: You don’t know that. 

Arthur: Look, fine! 

Arthur re-approaches the group

Strangers: Help me!

Arthur: You want me to slap one? Snap them out of it? Fine, I will. 

John: No.

Slap!

Arthur: Wake up!

Slap!

John: Stop! 

Arthur: Wake up, 

Slap!

John: Stop it!

Arthur: I’m trying to help you!

John: STOP, ARTHUR!

Arthur: Well then what, John? It’s easy to sit there commenting on every little thing, but what the fuck are you doing to keep us alive? 

John: I...

Arthur: Exactly. We’re leaving this place. We’re moving a barrel over to the bottom of the stairs that are broken, and we are climbing them up to whatever surface there is above us. Where is one!?

John: [Deadpan] There’s a barrel to your left. 

Arthur: There?

John: Yes.

Arthur strains as he pushes the barrel

Arthur: Here?

Arthur pushes it further, breathing hard

Arthur: See?

Arthur climbs up. 

Arthur: [Chuckling] There! The stairs.

Arthur keeps climbing

Arthur: Look, look I’m sorry, okay, I-I took it too far, but… but you have to understand, I’m just trying to keep us alive. I’m just trying to make sure we have a tomorrow. You want a tomorrow, don’t you? 

John: Yes. 

Arthur: Then let me save us! Then maybe when we’re in town, we can... see if someone else can come down here, and… you know, help them.

John: And us? 

Arthur: We’re getting out of here. This too shall pass. This too shall pass…

Arthur climbs the stairs.

Static.

 __________________________________________________

Transcribed by the amazing Croik! My absolute appreciation to them for their effort and patience in making this.