EPISODE 62: high seas.
[The sound of a wooden door flung open.]
Michael: Ahoy, Matey! If it isn’t the scurvy cur, Mike Walters. [A long pause.] Arr, avast ye! What leaves ye below deck, scallywag? Come above board and feel the salty air. [another long pause.] We have been spared from the inky depths, from Davey Jones’ Locker! [pause.] C’mon man. Aren’t you even gonna tell me to shut the fuck up? [another pause.] You’re… you’re okay, right? You seemed fine yesterday when they checked us for injuries, but adrenaline’s a hell of a drug. You hear stories all the time about how someone gets in a car wreck and thinks they’re fine, then they go home, go to bed, and never wake up again. You gotta at least tell me if you’re okay.
Mike: [after some time] We were supposed to die yesterday, Michael. I was so disoriented from the time travel when we hit the water that I immediately breathed in a shitload of it. I remember you grabbing me and dragging me up and all I could remember thinking was that you were wasting your energy. You could keep me above water for a couple minutes, but it was the middle of the ocean. I couldn’t see land in any direction. I couldn’t tell if it was a cosmic coincidence, karma for what we did to Edgar or if we told Ty about it and he thought it would be a fitting end for us, a contrapasso to match how we lived. I remember fading out and knowing for sure that there was no returning from it. Then I remember sputtering up water on the deck of a ship while you were giving me CPR. Then you and someone else carrying me down here.
Michael: Yeah, that’s Paul. Great guy.
Mike: And now I’ve woken up and you’re a pirate. I don’t really feel like talking right now.
Michael: You left out the part where you threw up all over me while I was resuscitating you.
Mike: I didn’t remember. Sorry.
Michael: And lucky I thought it worth the effort ‘cause we only needed a few minutes to get rescued. We landed right by this ship. I don’t know if anyone saw us fall in. If they did, no one has said anything. Paul did say that it was a miracle that we didn’t freeze to death before we could even drown. Do you know where we are, Mike?
Mike: How the hell would I know that?
Michael: We are in the Gulf Of Alaska. You’ll never guess what ocean that’s in.
Mike: [groaning] So, what? Is it a coincidence that we were saved? Or is this all going according to Ty’s plan? What are the odds that we would run into a ship to rescue us in the Gulf of Alaska?
Michael: Hard to tell. There’s a lot of ships out here, but the gulf is huge. I do think that Ty was trying to kill us, though. Dump us somewhere that no one would be able to find us or any clue as to where to start looking. I don’t think we got lucky, though. We’re not exactly the lucky type.
Mike: Then what happened? Someone else planned this?
Michael: This is speculation, but I think someone issued a subtle correction, so as not to alert anyone to the fact that a correction had been made. I told Edgar where we were and where the Flinchite compound was. That information could propagate.
Mike: Edgar could do what, exactly, to issue this kind of correction? It’s not like he moved the boat right in front of us. The crew would probably remember traveling unexpectedly through spacetime.
Michael: I don’t know. It didn’t have to be Edgar or anyone from a time that we know about. It could be from 100 years in the future with someone who knows the technology inside and out. There’s too many people involved to rule anything out.
Mike: You’re saying we don’t know anything. I already knew that.
Michael: Be happy that we are still able to wonder.
Mike: I haven’t worked up to being happy yet. I don’t understand how you can manage it.
Michael: I’ve pouted enough times to learn that pouting isn’t worth it.
Mike: Today is not the day that I become like you. So, when are we getting out of here? I’m sure that the ship navigates via GPS, so all we would need to do is change the coordinates on the calculator to somewhere we know by heart. O.V.E.R., I guess? Until we can figure out if it’s safe to go back to Riga.
Michael: Calculator’s busted, Mike.
Michael: [throws calculator on table with a thud.] Not exactly waterproof, that thing. I tried it again after letting it dry out all night and still nothing. It’s completely cooked. No calculator. No cell reception, either, even if our phones worked. But it gets worse.
Mike: How could it possibly get worse?
Michael: Lost my hat in the water. Now no one can tell I’m a cowboy.
Mike: Michael, you’re wearing a deerskin jacket with the fringe and cowboy boots. I think everyone on the ship understands that you’re a cowboy.
Michael: I sure hope so.
Mike: [impatient] How are we getting back, then?
Michael: It’s 2 weeks back to shore.
Mike: We’re fucking stuck out here?
Michael: Captain says we have this cabin to ourselves for the entire return journey, free of charge. Said we don’t gotta work either, but that we can help cook and clean if we want to. Said people go stir crazy if they sit around out here too long. I already talked to the cook and he said he’d give us a shot.
Mike: How did you already have time to talk to all of these people?
Michael: It’s high noon, Mike. I got up at 6.
Mike: Does this really not faze you?
Michael: Yep, it does.
Mike: Then how are you able to act like this? Like nothing’s wrong? Like everything’s on track?
Michael: I forced myself to do it for awhile and liked how it felt. Now it comes natural. You should try it.
Mike: I really should. I don’t want to be a cowboy, though.
Micheal: Well now’s your chance to be a pirate, bucko. Buccaneer. Arr!
Mike: Pass. What are we going to do when we get back? I don’t think that it’s safe to go back to Riga.
Michael: We’ll be in Alaska, which means we’ve got our work cut out for us getting home. There’s no way that we can get back to the contiguous 48 without some proper identification.
Mike: Matt’s in Canada.
Michael: He sure is.
Mike: And his house would be a great place to hide out while we try and figure out what’s going on. If we could get there and if he would have us, I mean.
Michael: Keep going.
Mike: Are we still in the same time as before?
Michael: The very same.
Mike: Then Matt hasn’t heard from us since we vanished from his kitchen. He thinks we’re dead. We can give him an explanation.
Michael: He’ll be surprised to learn there’s 2 of us.
Mike: …should we tell him what we did?
Mike: …I agree but it…
Michael: Eats ya up inside?
Michael: Good. Give it something to eat so it don’t eat him.
Mike: Yeah… So, about “proper identification”–
Michael: That’s not what I sound like.
Mike: How are we going to go about getting that when we reach Alaska?
Michael: Gotta call up Boris and ask if he can find us our passports in our old apartment.
Mike: How are you going to find Boris?
Michael: I have his number memorized.
Michael: Boris’s, Anne’s, Edgar’s, Matt’s, Yours…
Mike: Why would you memorize phone numbers?
Michael: In case I ever got dropped off somewhere without a phone and needed to find my way back.
Mike: And it took this long for all of that preparation to pay off.
Michael: No, it’s paid off a couple times. Times you wouldn’t remember. Times rougher than this.
Mike: Do you wanna talk about it?
Michael: Nope! I wanna change the subject. We’re having a get-together with the whole crew tonight after supper. They wanna get to know us and hear the story of what we been through. I haven’t told em much. Wanted to get our story straight.
Mike: What did you tell them?
Michael: We were on a 3 man recreational fishing vessel. Turbulent waters came through and knocked us off the boat while it was moving like a buncha greenhorns. Boat took off and left us in the water to drown. We’ve never been so happy to see a factory fishing ship in our entire lives.
Mike: Okay…? Three people because we bit off more than we could chew trying to handle it on our own… or?
Michael: Kasimiera Burzina was with us. They didn’t get to him in time.
Mike: So Ty didn’t want Burzina at all?
Michael: We don’t know what happened. Ty could have interrogated him and then sent him off with us when he was done. I don’t even know if he was alive in the water.
Mike: We’ll never know what happened.
Michael: Be prepared to talk about how he was a friend of a friend that we didn’t know that well.
Mike: Personally, I say we throw him under the bus. He was supposed to be in control of the ship when it knocked us all off.
Michael: Sounds good to me.
Mike: Rest in peace, Kasimieras Burzina. We hardly knew you.
Michael: I watched you die twice. Can’t say that about too many people. Now, get up, Mike. Rise and shine. Come breathe the salty air. There’s some people I want you to meet.
Mike: …we’re brothers, right?
Michael: Well, I always thought of you that way. But you always told me to knock it off with that.
Mike: No, I mean, that’s what you told the crew?
Mike: Two brothers named Mike and Michael?
Michael: Half-brothers on our dad’s side, 5 years apart. I hardly ever saw the man after he ran off with your mom. Left us in a shack in the country and moved to the city. It’s like your family replaced my family. I still get worked up about it. We found each other a few years ago and are trying to make things right.
Mike: That’s quite a story.
Michael: And we both love fishing.
Michael: We were in the middle of the ocean fishing when we fell off the boat. We bonded over our love of fishing.
Mike: Great. As long as they don’t ask us anything about fishing.
Michael: I know a couple things.
Mike: Of course you do.
Michael: Now, let’s show you around. There’s 24 grizzled sailors for you to meet. A lot of ‘em are your type, Mike, so don’t forget you’re a married man.
Mike: Michael, what the fuck?
Michael: Paul’s my best friend out here so far. Great guy. He’s an outdoorsman in his free time. If I did this year round, I’d stay inside and warm the rest of the year…
[Door opening and shutting.]
Michael: [Laughing boisterously] Whoo! Well, what did you think of that, pilgrim?
Mike: That was horrifying.
Michael: I thought they were a lot of fun.
Mike: You kept blowing our cover story.
Michael: Our story is fine.
Mike: Kasimieras is our… cousin’s son-in-law?
Michael: They won’t remember.
Mike: I hope not, because I don’t.
Michael: C’mon, man. They had fun, we had fun. They were excited. It’s not every day that they get to rescue someone out here.
Mike: I’ve had a bad feeling about this ever since we got here.
Michael: That’s because our being here was the result of an attempt to murder us.
Mike: No, that’s not what I meant. I don’t think we got corrected. We were the end of the line as far as corrections go. After that, it’s Base, who knew where we were before we traveled. They could have moved us to safety. They could have put us back in our times if things were really dangerous. But we’re here. I think it’s just dumb luck that we got saved. I don’t know if there is anyone out there who can save us.
Michael: That’s why you were so quiet all night?
Michael: And you’re going to stew on that for 2 weeks while we make it back to shore?
Mike: That’s the plan.
Michael: Get over yourself, Mike. I agree, something’s fishy and it’s not the tons of fish onboard this ship. We should prepare for the absolute worst in any way we can. From experience, there’s nothing we can do right now. We might show up and everyone’s dead. It wouldn’t be the first time that it’s happened.
Mike: Not the first time that it’s happened to you.
Michael: And won’t be the last, hopefully. But if you start panicking now, before you even know anything, you’re going to be exhausted when the time comes to get shit done. Understand?
Mike: I feel like you keep having this same conversation with me.
Michael: It takes awhile for a lesson like that to stick. …Ya like my new hat?
Mike: I can’t believe one of them made you a cowboy hat.
Michael: I hadn’t even talked to the guy. Patrick, I think his name was. He saw us walking around and heard from someone else that I was a cowboy, then fashioned a cowboy hat our of cardboard.
Mike: Sounds like he was extremely bored and found an excuse to make something.
Michael: Can’t be the first time he’s made one. It’s damn sturdy. [Thumps hat with finger.]
Mike: Maybe he can retire from being a sailor and make boutique papercrafts for a living. Would be a lot safer.
Michael: Nah, these guys make good money and get reliable work even though most of em never went to school. They’ve accepted the danger. They think it’s just part of the life. And one day death will come and it won’t exactly be a surprise. That’s worth something, right? That fear right before death is so cold, so brittle. It snaps you in two and then there’s nothing left. You’re gone. So they can take comfort in knowing that they’ve seen it from a distance.
Mike: They can? Or you can?
Michael: Enough questions! I told Paul I’d have a few drinks with him before heading off to bed. You coming?
Mike: No, I’m tired.
Michael: You should get that looked at.
Michael: Your hypersomnia. Could be a symptom of something.
Mike: Thanks, doc.
Michael: I’ll have you know that in the wild west, men just like me would come to your house, give you some whiskey, cut off your gangrenous leg, and tell your crying spouse we’re sorry we did everything we could.
Mike: Cool story. I’m going to bed.
Michael: Night, Mike.
Mike: [Yawning.] Night.
Michael: Mike… Mike… wake up. Wake up. Wake up wake up wake up.
Mike: Huh? Did I sleep in again? Fuck, Michael. I set an alarm. Did I turn it off in my sleep?
Michael: No, it’s 3am. We’ve got trouble.
Mike: Got trouble? Michael, I can smell your breath. You made trouble.
Michael: It wasn’t me. I fucked up, but I didn’t start it.
Mike: Do we need to make a run for it?
Michael: Mike, we’re on a fucking commercial shipping vessel in the fucking ocean. Where would we run to?
Mike: Just tell me what happened.
Michael: I was drinking with Paul on the deck. Everything was going fine. We were swapping stories. Most of the crew fly in when there’s a job but Paul’s from Kenai, so he’s from around here, basically. His dad was also a commercial fisherman and–
Mike: Skip to the part you thought was worth waking me up over.
Michael: I told him some tall tales about us. Little bits of stories, little bits of fact. We were a few drinks in and Paul looked me dead in the eyes and said “I saw you fall into the water.”
Mike: He saw us? Fuck.
Michael: It gets worse.
Mike: Of course it gets worse!
Michael: I tried to explain myself but my tongue got in the way. I tried saying that I didn’t know what happened, that I couldn’t remember. Then Paul told me that he knew we weren’t brothers. That we were the same person.
Mike: I told you that you blew our cover.
Michael: He figured it out way before that, Mike. That’s why he took such an interest in me to begin with. Paul’s only got his GED but it doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that 2 of the same person separated by a few years plus mysterious teleportation into the ocean equals…
Mike: Time travel. He figured out we’re fucking time travelers. Fuck. Are we that obvious?
Michael: And Paul wanted in.
Mike: Wanted in? As in, access to time travel?
Mike: Did you tell him that we couldn’t give him that right now even if we wanted to?
Michael: I tried. He called me a liar. I told him he didn’t really want what we had. Someone had just tried to kill us by dumping us in the ocean, after all.
Mike: Did you convince him?
Michael: He said that if I didn’t let him in on our time travel access that would go to the media, to the FBI, to the CIA, to O.V.E.R. Anywhere that would investigate what was going on.
Mike: O.V.E.R.? He knew about O.V.E.R.?
Michael: It hasn’t been too long since O.V.E.R. was all over the news. 357A wasn’t that long ago relative to this time period.
Mike: It was a bluff, right? On one hand, he’s right that we don’t want attention from any of those people. On the other hand, he has no way of knowing that.
Michael: Dunno. He sounded serious. He was pretty drunk. I don’t think he meant to put all of his cards on the table all at once like that.
Mike: So, what did you tell him?
Michael: I didn’t tell him anything. I pushed him overboard. That’s when I fucked up.
Mike: You fucking killed a crewmate? Jesus, Michael. We just got here. They’re going to tie us up and throw us in the brig. Holy fuck, Michael.
Michael: It’s worse, actually.
Mike: Stop saying “it’s worse!” Fuck. What do you mean?
Michael: I immediately tossed a life preserver down and ran to get help.
Mike: So, he’s not dead?
Michael: He is quite alive.
Mike: I hate to admit it, but you’re right, Michael. That is, in fact, worse.
Michael: I had a moment where I considered letting him die. Coming back here and sleeping until morning. I couldn’t do it. Not after Ravi. I don’t think I can do it anymore.
Mike: He’s going to be a big problem.
Michael: Captain saw that Paul was drunk and apparently he has a history of this sort of thing, so we lucked out. He told me to be more careful with who I make friends with out here. Hopefully Paul knows not to fuck with us now.
Mike: Maybe he won’t remember everything.
Michael: I can only hope.
Mike: I hate to say it, I really do, but I think–
Michael: Then don’t say it.
Mike: That you should have killed him.
Michael: You didn’t have to say it. I knew what you were going to say.
Mike: We don’t know what sort of world we are about to walk back into. We don’t need another liability. I say that, as soon as we get the tech back, we come back to Alaska and stop him before he can do anything.
Michael: Don’t be hasty.
Mike: I’m not being hasty. I’m preparing for the worst in every way that I can, just like you told me to.
Michael: I’m a shit teacher.
Mike: Think about it, at least. You are not my caretaker. We have to be strong for each other, remember? So, if you can’t be strong and take care of this, I’ll do it. It’s the least I could do.
Michael: And what do you propose we do in the meantime, oh strong one?
Mike: I propose that we go to sleep for starters. I have an alarm set for less than 3 hours from now.
Michael: You’re getting up at sunup with me?
Mike: I thought that maybe if I regulate my sleep schedule, I won’t need to sleep as much.
Michael: That’s a start, in my experience.
Mike: And we gotta make better friends with the crew. Who are they going to believe? That asshole Paul or that cool guy Mike and his cowboy brother?
Michael: You raise a valid point, partner.
Mike: More often that you give me credit for. I’m gonna roll over and go back to sleep. See you in the morning.
Michael: Turn off your alarm.
Michael: I’ll be up. I can just wake you up. I hate that shit first thing in the morning.
Mike: Oh. Okay. If you say so. Night, Michael.
Michael: Night, Mike. Sweet dreams.
[a pause. The sound of waves]
[OUTTRO THEME PLAYS]