The Si and Jay Neocast (Episode 1)
Siyana, the first to rise (Si): Hello? Hello?
Si taps the top of Jerdana’s wooden magical staff, producing a muffled noise in the recording.
S: Is this thing on?
Jerdana, the protector (Jay): You’re going to break my magical staff if you keep fussing with it.
S: I was trying to create ambience, you know?
S: Aaaaaand we’re back, folks!
J: We were never here.
S: Oh! Spooky. Okay, okay, leading with a mysterious ambience. Maybe we should pretend we’re in the Haunted Woods? Oh man, that Coconut Shy … right guys? Right?
J: I love that you’re pretending to be relatable to Neopians visiting the Haunted Woods. We haven’t been there in at least 10 years.
S: More than that, right? We’re old. We’re –
J: OH-kay! Welcome everyone to the Si and Jay Neocast. This is a chatty audio segment, preserved via magic, where we interview some of Neopia’s most fascinating and intriguing guests (of our choice).
S: Today we’re going to interview none other than a treasured Neopian hero, loved by all, whom we have spent way too much time in this stone building with: King Altador!
A beat passes of silence.
J: Actually, he was too busy to join us. Which really means that he didn’t want to do the interview.
S: What! Do you think if we threatened to quit the Altador Council he would join us?
J: Probably not.
S: I think he’s just mad that we dressed up his Hall of Heroes statue for Valentine’s Day.
J: I don’t know what he expects to happen with those things. They’re extremely self-aggrandizing.
S: Also, he’s got a bow and arrows. So that basically means you’re Cupid on Valentine’s Day. No one can change my mind.
A shushing noise is heard, assumedly Jay shaking her head.
J: Well. I suppose we’ll need a new guest, then.
S: What, what! So we have nothing planned for our premiere?!
J: It appears so.
Shuffling is heard, then scuffing of chair legs on a stone floor, a door opening, and hurried footsteps.
S, whispering: Okay, the Neocast has gone mobile everyone … we’re on a top-secret mission. We’ve gone rogue. We’ve got to bust out of Altador … he’s keeping us here, hostage … what started as a beloved city ruled by justice and goodness has been turned upside down when the council of the city have begun to turn against the city they love, one by one …
A shuffling is heard, presumably Jay grabbing the magical staff from Si.
J: Okay. Too close to actual history. And we’re not a mystery Neocast, anyway. I was thinking more fluff pieces with a tinge of gossip. And Neopian interest stories.
S: Fine, fine. Oh! Maybe Florin is outside. We should see if he’ll join us.
Flurried footsteps are heard, the opening and closing of a wooden door, and then the rustling of grass as it’s being tread on.
S: Florin! FLORIN!!
Quicker footsteps are heard, then jogging that ceases, followed by panting. Silence is heard, then another pair of footsteps approaches.
J, panting: Florin was running away from us.
S: I caught up to him, but he said he’s busy. I don’t know with what, it didn’t even look like he had any plant samples to process or anything. Did you make him mad or something?
J: Why do you assume it’s my fault?
S: Because it’s more likely to happen. What?
J: No. I didn’t. And anyway, I think he’s the only other person on campus today. Fauna was here earlier, but I saw her leave. I think we should call this Neocast quits. Who’s going to listen to it, anyway?
S: No way, dude. We are finding someone to talk to. That weird Lenny astrologist is always around. Maybe we can chat with him.
Footsteps are heard again, then the opening and closing of multiple wooden doors, followed by echoing footsteps on stone, maybe marble, floors.
S: Hey! HEY!
Quickened footsteps are heard, scuffing on stone, and a new, gruff voice is heard in response to Si.
S: Would you like to be a part of our Neocast?
???: What – a Neo-casket? I’m just trying to finish up. I’m busy.
S: Please, we’ve run out of possible folks to interview. It would mean so much to us! And we can finish all of your work you have left for the day.
???: Then I get to go home?
S: Yes, yes! Definitely!
J: Si, we don’t actually know if he can … and who is his boss, anyway?
S: Don’t listen to her. You can go home early afterwards.
???: Alright, then.
Footsteps are heard again, then the sound of settling into plush seating, maybe armchairs.
S: Oh-kayyy! Now we’re back.
J: This time we actually are.
S: With us today we have our newest, and best, friend … what is your name, by the way?
???: I’d like to remain anonymous.
Si clears her throat.
S: Ah – ha. Okay, well, welcome Anonymous! Could you describe what you do here in Altador?
A: I’m the janitor. I clean up messes. Then I go home. That’s it.
Some shifting in chairs is heard, perhaps from discomfort.
S: So, how long have you been working here?
A: Shouldn’t you ladies know? I’ve been here as long as you two. And while you two don’t age, I’m no spring Peadackle.
J: We’d like you to explain it for our listeners.
A: Listeners? Where? Who’s here?
J: He’s been the janitor for the municipal buildings in Altador for years. He’s also dabbled in Lost Desert culinary arts. This recording is going to be distributed via the Neopian Times. Si – I thought you told him that?
S: Okay! Wow, so you’ve worked all sorts of places. I’m sure working here comes with its ups and downs. But all inquiring minds want to know – what sort of gossip have you overheard while working around here?
A: For one, King Altador doesn’t want you to do this, uh, whatever you call it. Neo-castle. He told the entire council.
J: Is that why Florin was avoiding us?
A: Don’t know. You know, you all bicker so much it’s hard to keep track of who likes who at each time. The only consistency I see is you two running around. And me working like a Warf.
J: Well, I suppose we can only work together for so many years without falling into a strange family dynamic. I can’t believe we haven’t talked to you, really talked to you, anyway, before.
S: Yeah! You’re just as much a part of this dysfunctional family as we are!
A: No thank you, I’m okay. Don’t need this family. Not with all the messes you leave for me. Getting the urge to break another broom just thinking about it.
J: Oh yeah, I forgot that was your thing. How many of those have you broken? Do you keep them all?
A: Do you count all of the spells you cast? No, I don’t keep them! I throw them in the garbage can that I then have to take out! And then King Altador tells me I’m raising the costs around here! Which to that I say – then maybe you should not have a janitor and do it yourself, or with your fancy magic!
S: Wow. You’re definitely a fire alignment. So, if you weren’t a janitor, what would you choose to be?
A: Uh, well. Hmph. I do like cooking. I guess who doesn’t like food. Foraging for one spice or herb can really change a dish. Or even preparing things at different temperatures. Like burning them. Everyone assumes that’s a mistake or some gross tradition in the Lost Desert. Nope. It changes the flavour. Look it up in a book. I don’t lie.
J: We believe you. That definitely inspires me to try some scorched foods from the Lost Desert. Maybe the three of us should make a trip sometime.
A: Hmph. I don’t know about that.
S: It must be difficult to forage for special ingredients in the Lost Desert. Hey, do you ever talk to Florin? I bet he could help you find some weird stuff to put in your Altadorian dishes.
A: Hmph. I see enough of you people throughout the day. Anyway, I like to do my foraging solo.
S: What’s your favourite dish to make?
A: All kinds. Soups, casseroles, breads. I miss Ummagines the most from the Desert. Around here, common things I use are olives and figs. Can’t reveal my secret ingredients, though.
J: Where do you forage for them?
A: Secret. And anyway, it’s time for me to go now. I’m hungry.
J: Well, thanks for joining us, um, Anonymous.
S: It was so lovely to have you here! You really saved our tails. And next time we see you, we’ll be sure to say hello and chat!
A: Hmph. You don’t have a tail. And if you did, that’d be weird. And you can say hello, but I won’t say it back. Goodbye now.
There is a sound of a chair creaking, fur shuffling, and sandals taking a few steps.
S: Oh! One last thing! Do you have a final message for our listeners?
A: Yes. If you come to any of the Altador municipal buildings, either take your shoes off before traipsing around in here or bring me a replacement broom. Bye-bye now.
J: Thanks again!
Sandals pad away, and a wooden door opens, then is firmly shut.
S: Well. I guess that’s it, right? We did it folks, our first Neocast. Please let us know if you liked it by sending us a scroll by Weewoo, Pteri, or however else you send your neomail.
J: I guess if we get enough feedback, we’ll make a second episode. Otherwise, we’ll just let this idea dry out.
S: What! No way, Jay! Listen, you people! We will be back with another episode and we will have a REAL, FOR SURE scheduled guest to interview! See you then, you lovely people!
J: Bye! And thanks for listening!
The recording crackles, fizzles, and is silent. The illustration of the blue button is now replaced with an image of Si and Jay smiling beside the unenthused ‘Anonymous’ Altador janitor. Below the image reads ‘Thanks!’ in slanted handwriting.