April 30, 2023

Deviser - Episode 1: Light

Deviser - Episode 1: Light

In the Beginning

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Deviser contains extreme subject matter, graphic descriptions of violence, self harm and mature themes throughout.


Listener discretion is strongly advised.


Full Content Warnings available at



Deviser was written, preformed, edited, and directed by Harlan Guthrie. Original music and themes written and performed by Harlan Guthrie.


Thank you to Jo Guthrie; my amazing wife, friend, partner and an unending believer in my ideas & Henry Guthrie; my best friend and inspiration.


Special thanks to J Strautman, Gregg Hale, Mike Monello, Sarah Rhea Werner, Mac Rogers & Mitch Gerads.


If you enjoyed this show please leave a review, it helps tremendously and is the easiest way to help see more of shows like this get created. Additionally, share this show with a friend or loved one.


Thank you to all the Patreons who supported this journey, if you enjoyed this please consider joining:



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.




Original Script provided by Harlan. Transcript by Liz. Reviewed by K.M.


Deviser contains extreme subject matter, graphic descriptions of violence, self-harm, and mature themes throughout. Listener discretion is strongly advised. For a full list of content warnings, head to deviser.ca


(BEGINEpisode 1.)


(Klaxon alarm blares, a moment later a man screams in agony.)

(Low musical tone.)

(The same man breathes shakily as he seems to run on a metallic surface, until he reaches a door and keypad tones can be heard as the man punches in a code.)


SON(begging):Please.(Panting for air.)Please.(Wrong passcode tone.)C-Come on. Come on.(Wrong passcode tone.)C'mon.


DAD(in a mechanical voice):Calm down.


SON:Please, please. Dad. Don't.(Almost in tears.)Please, Dad. Please, Dad.(Sobbing.)


DAD:Come back to reclamation.


SON:No, no. No. Dad. Dad, please. Please, please. No.(Footsteps can be heard.)Hello?


(Sounds of a dog panting and approaching.)


SON(relieved):Dog! Hey. Hey boy. Hey, hey boy. Hey.


(Dog stops panting and begins to growl.)


SON:Hey. Hey, hey. Hey.


(Dog barks and snarls.)


SON: (Screams as dog attacks.)


(Sound of flesh tearing and blood dripping.)




(A thud, dog yelps and retreats, pained sounds continue from Son.) 


SON:No. Oh god. Okay. Okay.(Pneumatic door opens, Dog is heard snarling and barking in background, door closes, blood continues to drip.)Oh, no, no.(Sobbing.)


DAD(from behind the door):Reclamation, Son.


SON(startled inhale):No! No. No. What… what do you want from me? What the hell did I do wrong?


DAD:You did nothing wrong, Son.


SON:Then why are you doing this to me? Why?!


DAD:I need to try again. Something different.




DAD:I don't know yet.


SON(sobs):I'm scared, Dad.


DAD:I know. I know.


SON:What do I need to do, Dad?


DAD:Come to reclamation.


SON:I can't. I can't! I can't, and I know what's in there.




SON:I can't.


DAD:You're sure?


SON(positive):I'm sure. So, what do we do now?


DAD:Start again.


SON:What? –


(Sound of gas suddenly piping into the room.)


SON:No. Dad! No! Dad! No!(Agonized screams as gas ignites.)


(Theme music plays.)


(Fabric rustles, sounds of a man waking.)




SON:Morning, Dad.


DAD:Good morning, Son.


SON: (Continues to make inarticulate, sleepy noises.)


DAD:You slept in.


SON:Y-You didn't wake me.


DAD:Are you all right?


SON:Yeah. I'm just having difficulty with my...(Trails off into audible breathing, sniffs.)I had a n-nightmare last night.


DAD:Another? What was it of this time?


SON:I don't know. I was somewhere… warm. Comfortable. Underwater, maybe. I think. I could feel the movement of the water like - like it had a heartbeat. It carried me, and lulled me to sleep. As if it were part of me.


DAD:That doesn't sound like a nightmare. That sounds comforting.


SON:It was. At first. But then I realized I couldn't breathe for some reason. I tried to but I couldn't remember how.(Yawning.)It wasn't the water. The water was safe, but… my mind was filled with...


DAD:With what?


SON:I don't know. Memories? Visions? Ideas? I-I can't remember now.


DAD:You should have some water. The Narcosamine must have sent you into a deep slumber.


SON:I guess so.(Sound of Son standing and moving around a room.)


DAD:There are cups in the cupboard above.


(Sound of a cupboard door opening and an object being removed from it, followed by the sound of water being poured into a glass.)


DAD:You should document your dreams.


SON:Isn't that what you're for?


DAD:Physically. Write them down. It's good for you to put them on paper. It will help you remember.


SON:Is that so?


DAD:Very much.


SON:I'll think about it. Ah. Closet?


DAD:Behind you. Are you sure you're okay?


SON:Just groggy, Dad, that's all.


(Sound of a closet door opening and fabric being rustled.)


DAD:You haven't sent in a report this week.


SON:Oh. I haven't, have I?




SON:You would know, I suppose. I should do that now.


DAD:I suppose you should. 


(Son puts on clothing and pulls up a zipper.)


SON:All right.(Groans as he sits, leather creaking; a moment later there is a dial tone and mechanical whirring as a computer console turns on.)


DAD:Have you forgotten your password?


SON:Shh. No, no, no, no. Just... just need a moment to remember.(Groans and stretches.)


DAD:You slept deeply.


SON:The best kind of sleep. Okay. Ah!(Keys clatter, old computer noises.)This is Son, currently acting as skeleton crew on the Pheado, long distance transport vessel. As far as I'm aware all 4,000 passengers in deep Cryo are still currently in stasis with nothing of concern. Dad?




SON:Brilliant. Ah, for our trip back to... ah, Earth. This is day...




SON:286. I would have remembered that. But thank you, Dad. Dad is, as always, helpful. We've been maintaining the same course for the aforementioned days with no issues whatsoever. As mentioned, all passengers are still fast asleep as far as all systems are concerned, and well, let's be real here, Dad has this covered.


DAD:What do you mean? Do you not feel needed?


SON:Oh, come on. You know it as well as I do. I'm just here for the worst-case scenario.


DAD:What do you mean by that?


SON:Dad. What on this ship can't you do? What can't you fix? You have access to everything. Your systems are a part of the ship. Hell, you are the ship. I'm just -


DAD:I mean to say, what is the worst case scenario?


SON:Oh. Well. I'm not entirely sure. But in just over 200 days, we'll be on Earth and then my work begins. Look, I don't hold any illusions to the fact that I'm just - I don't know. Proof that time is moving forward here.


DAD:I'm sorry that you don't feel more useful, Son.


SON:That's not on you. That's on Aesop for making this essentially a ship that drives itself.


DAD:No, Son. You must understand, you are a shepherd.(Low musical tone begins.)A guide to those of the highest order. You, Son, are bringing people back to Earth. Delivering their salvation. You are their savior. There is no more meaningful role than this one, even if it may not feel like it.


SON:I suppose so.


DAD:It is true. I wouldn't be saying it otherwise.


SON:Still, it feels...






DAD:Tell me. Call it a requirement of our talks.


SON:It feels empty, Dad. Hollow. It feels hollow.(Sighing.)But perhaps that's just the days wearing on me.(Son’s voice becomes happier.)Though there are some ways that make it easier.


(Panting Dog approaches.)




SON:Isn't that right, boy? C'mere. Up.(Laughs.)


DAD:Your report?


SON:Ah, right. In summation, everything seems to be functioning according –(Sudden clunk and sound of machines and electronics powering down.)Dad?(To Dog.)Go!(Calling to Dad again.)Dad?


(Dog is heard moving around, sniffing.)


DAD:I am here.


SON:What's happened? Why are the lights off?


DAD:It seems that there was a circuit that overloaded. Perhaps there was a power spike in another area of the ship which caused it to overload. It's perfectly fine. It simply needs to be reset.


SON:You can't do it?


DAD:It must be reset manually.


SON(sighing):You're not just saying that, right? This timing, it's a little –


DAD:You wanted to feel useful.




DAD:I assure you this is simply unfortunate timing.


SON:Okay.(To Dog.)Stay.(Sighs as he stands, followed by footsteps.)


DAD:Your flashlight is to the left of the door.


SON(irritated):I would have remembered.(Flashlight clicks.)And how is it exactly that you're on again?


DAD:My back-up generators are able to function for many years without power. This however is entirely life-support related.


SON:Well, how many years of – Wait. Sorry. Life support?




SON:I'm okay.




SON:And the others?


DAD:They'll be fine, too.


SON:Okay then.(Pneumatic door opens, footsteps on metallic flooring.)Well. I'm starting to remember my dream.


DAD(echoing slightly more distantly):The main breakers for this section are down the hall to the right. Afterward, turn left.


SON:Over 200 days, Dad.


DAD:So you recall where this section's power is?


SON:N-No, but I will. Regardless, there's a plaque here with the sections detailed.(Quietly, to himself.)Power, main, breaker. Yeah, oh-okay.


DAD:Independence is important for you.


SON:Course it is.




SON:How so?


DAD:I'm continually intrigued by what I learn about you.


SON:Don't you already know everything there is to know about me, Dad?


DAD:Practically nothing.


SON:Well, how does that make sense? What is that?(Footsteps stop, fabric rustles.)


DAD:I'm not aware of anything before you.


SON:There's a spill, of sorts. I don't remember where – What's behind this door, Dad?(Knocks on metal.)


DAD:That room is for waste matter.


SON:Why don't I –(frustrated inarticulate sounds)Why haven't I been in there? This keypad is –


DAD:You have. Are you feeling well?


SON:Yeah. Well enough. I think. I'm just feeling a bit… disconnected.


DAD:How can I aid you?


(Clicking sounds.)


SON(quietly):What is this?(Sounds of tacky substance being touched.)It's dry. Is there a leak? Rusted water maybe.


DAD:How can I help?


SON (grunts softly):What's the combination to this room?


DAD:Son, restoring power is our only priority at the moment. If you –


SON(stern):What's the code, Dad?


DAD:Four seven six eight.


SON:Thank you.(Pressing buttons, no key tones are heard.)You're sure this is the right code?


DAD:As I attempted to explain, the door won't open without the power to this section restored.






DAD:Your left.




DAD:Have I frustrated you?


SON:No. No. No one in stasis is awake, right?


DAD:All 4,000 cryogenic passengers are accounted for. No change in temperature. No movement whatsoever. Everything is as it should be. There are only two lifeforms on board awake: yourself and Dog.


SON:Okay. I just. I d-don't recall spilling anything.


DAD:We're here.


SON:Right. Okay.


(Metal clanks.)


DAD:The panel, which trips when a power influx is registered can be reset by flipping the large orange switch to the right.


SON:Okay, I see the panel. I think. You're saying something tripped this circuit and it turned off, why? To prevent an overload? Or...


DAD:That seems the most likely answer.


SON:Something from another section? Or –


DAD:It could be external as well. Something that we've passed through in space. A solar flare perhaps.


SON:Well, shouldn't you know? Aren't you and the ship essentially one?


DAD:You seem doubtful of me. Is there something you're not sharing with me?


SON:No, I'm just(Sighing.)I'm just trying to make sense of all of this. Of how this happened.(Another sigh.)Look, it doesn't matter.(Metal clanking, followed by a loud clunk, electricity buzzes loudly, and the ambient mechanical and electronic background noises return.)


DAD:Thank you. You've restored power.


SON:Yes, I noticed. I'll keep the light on me anyway.






SON:Ah. Oh.




SON:Nothing. I-I didn't recall the hallways being this... dirty.


DAD:Dirty? Do you dislike dirt?


SON:I don't… care or-or know, really. Just… everything is so – have I been neglecting things, or...?


DAD:No. I suppose that's my role. I'll have it seen to. Are you all right?


SON:Yes, I'm just - I'm just... I'm just sort of feeling out of sorts.


DAD:Are you opening the waste room?


SON:Yes. I want to know what's in there. If something is leaking, or… if there's something dangerous then...


(Keypad tones.)


DAD:What's wrong? You've stopped.


SON:This door feels hot.(A knock on the door.)Very hot. Did you do something?




SON:It wasn't like this a few moments ago. Dad, what is going on?


DAD:I'm not sure.


SON(upset): Why is this room so hot? Was there - was there a fire? O-Or?


DAD:It's possible that when you entered the code during the power outage, you set it to ignite. When the power was restored, it started.


SON:Sure. But how – Sure. But how wouldn't you know that?


DAD:You asked if I did something. I did not.


SON (exasperated):Do you have any idea what may have happened?


DAD:Other than the keypad nothing about this room has been interacted with.


SON:Well, I'm opening the door.(Door opens and Son coughs.)


(Whirring of fans.)


DAD:The incinerator was just recently used.


SON:(Continues to cough as the fans grow louder.)


DAD:Wait until the fan brings the last of the smoke out at least.


SON (wheezing):It's fine.


DAD:I don't have any way of speaking with you in there, Son.


SON (louder):It's fine. I just want to look around, just give me a moment. I don't remember putting anything in here to burn. Did I?


DAD:Not directly. There are many areas of the ship that funnel directly into that room.


SON:There's something else back here.


DAD(seeming surprised):What?


SON:I don't know. Looks broken. Like… a panel of the wall has been pried open.




SON:I'm just going to check it out, maybe it's caused the power outage. Could be a burst pipe or something serious.




SON:It's big.




SON(grunts, metallic clunking):What?(Loudly.)It looks like this was pried open with something, a piece of metal, maybe. It's definitely the work of someone. Dad. Dad! Can you hear me?


(Metal continues to clunk and creak.)


SON:Who on Earth pried you open, though?


(Whirring of fans slowly dies, and there is the sound of something breathing nearby, distinct from Son.)


SON (whispering, fearful): Who's there?


(Breathing sound stops.)


SON:Hello? Who's there?


(Breathing resumes, panting, as if the breath had been held.)


SON(fearful):No, no, no.


(Metal clunks and creaks loudly, and there is the sound of Son scrambling to get away.)


SON:No, n-no, no.(Heavy frightened breaths.)


(Ominous music plays.)


(Keypad tones and pneumatic door shuts.)


DAD:Are you okay, Son?


SON(panting):No. No, I'm not! I'm feeling… unwell. And unfamiliar with... and forgetful and... what is going on?


DAD:What do you mean?


SON (struggling to catch his breath): I feel like I can't see straight. I feel. I feel dizzy.


DAD:What did you see in there?


SON:Nothing! Nothing. I need to lay down for a moment. Alone!


DAD:Of course.


(Footsteps and heavy, panicked breathing from Son. A pneumatic door opens and closes, and a moment later a mattress creaks slightly.)


SON (very quietly): Wh-Where are..? Why? Where? When did we last?(Loudly.)Dad. Dad!


DAD:I was under the impression you wanted a quiet moment.


SON:How long was I asleep?


DAD:A few hours. Son, I understand you are feeling out of sorts. But time spent aboard this ship can feel overwhelming. It's perfectly natural to become a bit uncomfortable with the repetition of it all, but remember, you have me. You have Dog. And you have only 200 days left. It will all be over soon.


SON:Yes. I think. Maybe. Maybe the time is getting to me. It feels in some way like staring down an endless tunnel. Waiting for the light to grow but it never does. I c- I can't even look out at the stars.


DAD:There are no windows by design, Son.


SON:No, I get that. But sometimes… it doesn't even feel like we're in space.




SON:No. Sometimes it feels like all of this is wrong.


DAD:Wrong how?


SON:I don't know. I don't know... Anyway, you're probably right, I'm just… stressed. And speaking of, remembering what I have. Where's Dog? Dog!


(Panting Dog approaches.)


SON:C'mere.(Soft laugh.)


DAD:I promise you, that the feeling you have will, in time, evaporate.


SON:That's more like it.


(Dog can be heard sniffing)


DAD:For now, enjoy the moments that you have and remember that you are loved.


SON:Give it. Give it here. Give it here.


(Dog growls slightly, whines.)


SON(serious):Dad. Are you sure no one else is awake from cryo?


DAD:I am 100% positive, Son.


SON:Then who's finger is this?


(End theme plays.)


(ENDEpisode 1.)


DEVISER was written, performed, edited, mixed and mastered by Harlan Guthrie. All themes were written, recorded, and performed by Harlan Guthrie. If you enjoyed this episode, please share this podcast with a friend or family member, and leave a review at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you might listen. If you enjoy creations like this, please consider supporting us through the INVICTUS Stream Patreon at patreon.com/theINVICTUSStream. For more shows like this check out Malevolent.ca. Thank you for listening.