Episode 19

In Which Bob Goes Missing and a Request for an Elevator is Submitted

(school bell rings)

Vasilisa: Good morning class. Please open your bestiaries to page fifty and - (stops suddenly in shock) Where's Bob?

Rose Red: Who?

Vasilisa: Bob! Bob the skeleton? He's been here every day helping you on your path to knowledge and none of you even noticed he's missing?

Tristan: Um, Professor Princess Vasilisa, there's a note on the hook where Bob used to be.

Vasilisa: Let me see that.

(post it snatched away noise)

Vasilisa: It's a picture of a... an ice cream cone? Maybe a seashell?

Rose Red: What does it mean professor?

Vasilisa: It means class is not starting until I get Bob back. Now. Do we have any volunteers?

(shuffling sounds or quiet. Maybe a cough)

Vasilisa: Tristan. You've missed a few classes, haven't you?

Tristan: Sorry Professor, I was at a trial, I mean, I was on trial, and there was this rabbit -

Vasilisa: Rescue Bob and I'll strike the absences from your record.

Tristan: Oh... Uh... Thank you, professor. I'll... I'll be back soon.

Nyneve: Good luck, Tristan.

Vasilisa: Here, take the kidnapper's calling card. It might be a clue.

Tristan: Thank you professor.

Rose Red: Pssttt... Tristan. You’re meeting us outside the library later, right?

Tristan: I... I have to go. Go get Bob.

Rose Red: Tristan!

(Door slam)

(music, perhaps, to indicate a change of scene)

Peri: Yeahhh…. Vasilisa came up with that one.

Saffron: VASILISA? While I’ve been busting my wings trying to save two dimensions, you’ve been doing arts and crafts with Vasilisa?!

Peri: Don’t get mad, Saffron! It’s just that… Well, it’s a long story.

(knock knock)

Peri: I'll tell you later... Come in.

Tristan: Hello Peri. Hi Saffron. Welcome back.

Saffron: Thanks half-pint. It's good to be home, even though home descended into absolute madness while I was gone.

Peri: Can we talk about this later? Aren't you supposed to be in class, Tristan?

Tristan: I'm on an errand for Professor.. I mean... does this umm... ice cream cone mean anything to you?

Peri: Let's see... oh no. Tristan. This is no ice cream cone. This is the sigil of the unicorns of the Wondering Woods.

Saffron: Didn't Mrs. Scorchington burn that down?

Peri: She did. They must have migrated to the woods near The Academy.

Saffron: Dragonfire, the only surefire unicorn extermination technique. Since Mrs. Scorchington owes us a favor, let's call her up and...

Tristan: No! Please. I'm sure we can reason with the unicorns. And think of the environmental damage of another forest fire!

Peri: I agree with you that dragonfire should not be our first option, but Tristan, there is no reasoning with unicorns.

Tristan: Why not? I always heard -

Saffron: You heard wrong!

Peri: Unicorns are the most self-righteous, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou -

Saffron: They're judgy prudes.

Peri: Even *I* think so!

Saffron: Yeah, even Peri thinks so! What does that tell you?

Tristan: But they... they have something I need. I need to go talk to them. Can you help me track them down?

Saffron: Can't help you there. Unicorns flee if I so much as step into the same time zone as them.

Peri: *sighs* I'll help you. Come on.

(setting changes to a woods)

Peri: Okay. We got your rainbows. We got your babbling brook. We got your warbling birds. The unicorns are most likely behind that shimmering waterfall. Just follow the sound of windchimes.

Tristan: You're not coming?

Peri: I'll be right here. Call if you need me.

Tristan: O-Okay. (takes deep breath)

(sound of magical windchimes)

Tristan: H-Hello? Is... Is anyone there?

Unicorn 1: (neighs manically) Who is this? Who's this? Who?

Tristan: T-Tristan! Tristan of the Ravenwood. I've come to...

Unicorn 2: YOU! You've committed pre-marital hand holding!

Tristan: What? How do you-?

Unicorn 1: (neighing) Such impropriety! Such indecency! Confess it! Confess!

Tristan: I... I high-fived my friend, N-Nyneve, this morning. (pauses then continues as realizes the unicorns expect more, *unicorns snort*) She got an A on her last test... and she just transferred here recently from Ivan's moat and I-I just felt happy for her...

Unicorn 2: Hmm....

Unicorn 1: HMMM...

Unicorn 2: Reason acceptable. BUT DON'T YOU LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Tristan: Uh, I've come for Professor Vasilisa's skeleton? Please?

Unicorn 1: By skeleton, do you mean this vulgar persons parading around naked?

Unicorn 2: And in front of students no less! The depravity!

Tristan: It's an an anatomical model. It's supposed to-

Unicorn 1: Silence! This debauched villain is not leaving until he is properly clothed!

Tristan: But that sort of defeats the purpose of-

Unicorn 1 and Unicorn 2: (neigh wildly)

Tristan: Peri! A little help please!

Peri: I'm coming, I'm coming.

Unicorn 1: YOU!

Peri: Oh for- what have I done?

Unicorn 2: You know what you have done! You have witnessed exposed stone!

Peri: Exposed Stone? Are you seriously talking about the visit I made to the sculpture exhibit last week? That was art you uncultured -


Unicorn 1 and Unicorn 2: (neigh wildly)

Tristan: Peri, they're blocking our exit. What do we do?

Peri: I'm on it! (texting noises) Saffron. Code Glitter. (send noise)

(magical teleporting noise)

Saffron: Hello unicorns!

Unicorn 1 and Unicorn 2: (one final horrified neigh)

(sound of unicorns galloping away)

Saffron: *tsk* Unicorns, they can never handle a free spirit.

Peri: Here's your skeleton Tristan.

Tristan: Thanks. I gotta run, I'm really late for class.

Saffron: Hold on a sec pipsqueak. What do you want this skeleton for? Did it escape from your dad's dungeons or something?

Tristan: Uh no... it- it belongs to Professor Princess Vasilisa...

Saffron: Vasilisa? Why is everyone doing favors for Vasilisa now? Is she like, everyone's favorite person now?

Peri: As I was trying to explain earlier, I'm not doing this as a personal favor. Professor Vasilisa and I just find ourselves on the same side of the battle in this case.

Tristan: (amid arguing) I... I'll just go now.

Saffron: (fading) It seems to me any side with professor Vasilisa in it is the WRONG SIDE.

Peri (if needed for fading): It's not that simple!

(Door creaks open)

Tristan: Hello?

Vasilisa: BOB! You found him! Well done, Tristan.

Tristan: Where is everybody?

Vasilisa: Oh Bob, I was so worried. Here Tristan, take this. I handed back the graded reports while you were away.

(sound of paper)

Tristan: Wha- What's this?

Vasilisa: I just said, it's your graded report.

Tristan: No, I mean.. Professor, is this an A?

Vasilisa: Yes it is.

Tristan: What? How? Wait, and this little x next to it, means the grade is not an A, right?

Vasilisa: That is a plus sign. You got an A+, Tristan. It was a well written report. Well, it had more typos than correctly spelled words, but I'm not your English teacher.

Tristan: This-This grade can't be right.

Vasilisa: Have some confidence Tristan. You're doing very well in magical biology. Except for the practical aspect. My TA tells me that you're struggling with magic.

Tristan: Yeah, I'm... I'm not doing so well in... actually doing magic. In any of my classes.

Vasilisa: And why not?

Tristan: Because, well, because I'm not magic. All my other classmates are fairies or mermaids or... and I'm.... well, I'm human.

Vasilisa: Tristan. So am I.

Tristan: Sorry, I didn't mean -

Vasilisa: So is your father, so is your mother, so are many of the greatest practitioners of magic. Tristan, as humans, we may not be born with magic, but we are born with the potential to create it. Our magic doesn't lie in our blood or in our breath. Our magic lies in our tools. Some craft magical wands. Others like to forge magical jewelry. I myself, prefer a sterile lab environment and highly sophisticated equipment.

Tristan: I've tried those things. I've tried almost every suggestion in our assigned Grimoire. They don't work-

Vasilisa: Then it's up to you to find what does work for you. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to set up for my lecture.

Tristan: The lecture about the... um, that book?

Vasilisa: Yes. Please don't try to talk me out of it, I've heard enough from your concerned classmates and I don't -

Tristan: No professor, I uh, I actually don't understand why people are so upset.

Vasilisa: Oh, well, have you ever heard of the Witch Wartho?

Tristan: Who?

Vasilisa: I suppose it is my job as your teacher to explain things. Several centuries ago Witch Wartho did many experiments regarding the nature of light and darkness. Her most famous study involved two children which she raised -

Tristan: She experimented on her own children?!

Vasilisa: No, they weren't hers. I'm not sure where she picked them up. Anyway, she wrote her findings in a coded tome that was considered lost for many years. Up until the history majors decided to try to rescue a few books from the Great Library before it burned down.

Tristan: Why would they travel back in time just to get that book?

Vasilisa: I suspect they just grabbed whatever handful was nearest, but nevertheless, her work is groundbreaking, and the recovered knowledge can do much to improve our understanding of the world.

Tristan: Oh, so it can help people?

Vasilisa: You obviously don't read any scientific magical journals. By deciphering the prologue alone, I was able to synthesize an artificial moon the size of a medallion. Now lycanthropes who despise being human never have to face their furless selves again.

Tristan: Wow, that sounds amazing.

Vasilisa: That’s only the beginning. The King of the Land of Eternal Day is coming to open the new library building he donated, with a wing especially dedicated to decrypting the book.

Tristan: King Gunnar gave us a whole new building?

Vasilisa: In return for our research. He’s hoping there’s something in the book that will help nocturnal creatures survive in the sunlight. It would mean a big boost in tourism for his country. I’m giving a speech on the history of light and dark science. You should come.

Tristan: Sure, I’d love to hear more. It’s starting to make a bit more sense why Peri wants to keep the book around.

Vasilisa: Yes. For once she’s not trying to suffocate the course of science. Now here, take this.

(paper ripping)

Tristan: What's this?

Vasilisa: A note explaining to Professor Holle why you're late for her class.

Tristan: Oh no, I lost track time. I have to run. Bye Professor!

(Transition, like maybe doors or something)

Professor Holle: And that, students, is why we only grant wishes to pure and noble spirits. (tone turns sour) You're late.

Tristan: I'm sorry Professor, I have a note.

Professor Holle: Hmm... unicorns in our woods? They'll be a good influence on you all, no doubt. Now take a seat.

Professor Holle: (dialogue for background) Now as I was saying, a good fairy godmother, pardon, fairy godparent.

Nyneve: Did you find Bob?

Tristan: Huh?

Nyneve: Bony Bob?

Tristan: Oh. Yes, I did.

Professor Holle: No talking in class! Now as I was saying, a good fairy godmother *chuckle* there I go again, a good fairy godparent knows how to identify those deserving of our help. Tristan, put that phone away.

Tristan: I'm sorry, Professor Holle, It- It's like I explained before, I-I need to r-record my notes.

Professor Holle: Oh for the love of all that is good. Can't you simply borrow notes from another student?

Rose Red: Professor Holle, Tristan can't study that way. I'm sure he explained it to you before.

Nyneve: Yes, professor. He explained. I remember.

Professor Holle: Young lady, as exemplary as your memory may be -

Rose Red: Speaking of students with different needs. Professor, as head of the Godparenting department, why haven’t you answered our request for elevators?

Professor Holle: (aghast) Elevators? And ruin the antique architecture?

Rose Red: (firmly) Yes Professor, as much as I like the opportunity to practice levitation every day, Nyneve needs an independent way to get around stairs.

Professor Holle: And what's wrong with using legs?

Nyneve: Don't have any.

Professor Holle: I beg your pardon?

(water splashing or dripping noise)

Nyneve: I have this lovely tail instead.

Professor Holle: Goodness gracious, a mermaid!

Nyneve: With my tail, I can dive into the deepest depths. I can conquer the cruelest currents. And I can I swim through the most savage storms. But on land, I need this wonderful wheeled chair. It’s not so good with stairs.

Professor Holle: Why don’t you transform that tail of yours into good pair of solid legs?

Nyneve: (hisses)

Professor Holle: Young lady, on land we do not hiss at our elders! Detention for the next week. What is this Academy coming to? I instruct classes on how to defend innocents from mermaids. Now they expect me to instruct the mermaids themselves?

Tristan: Nyneve already rescued a frog prince, and and without any training! And she did very well in the entrance exams, and -

Professor Holle: I said no talking in class!

Rose Red: Professor? The elevators?

Professor Holle: (sigh) I'll look over your proposal later Rose, now as I was saying...

(bell rings)

Professor Holle: Class dismissed.

(change ambient noise to woods again)

Rose Red: (afar) Tristan, wait up! (close again) You’re headed to the library?

Tristan: Yes, I am.

Rose Red: Great. Some goblins swapped all my picket signs with pro-book slogans, so I need your arts and crafts skills to make new ones.

Tristan: Umm...

Rose Red: You are you protesting with us, right?

Tristan: I'm not sure if... I thought I’d listen to what Professor Vasilisa has to say first.

Rose Red: What's there to think about Tristan? Witch Wartho was an evil witch, right?

Tristan: Right.

Rose Red: Which means the book is probably filled with evil things that are better of burning like history intended. And anyway, we should not have the books of evil witches in the Academy Library.

Tristan: But Witch Wartho is dead... for a few centuries now I think? And if Professor Vasilisa thinks that we could use the book for good.

Rose Red: Tristan, you don’t seriously believe that frog dissector?

Tristan: Sorry Rose, I guess I’m still undecided on the issue. But I want you to know how much I admire you taking a determined and peaceful stance.

Rose Red: Peaceful?

Tristan: Yeah, protesting

Rose Red: You’re right. What am I doing? It’s going to take more than my amazingly clever slogans. It’s time to kick things up a few notch.

Tristan: Hold on, how many notches?

Rose Red: However many notches it takes! Come on!

Tristan: But!

Rose Red: Hurry, before they start the ceremony!


Post Credit Scene

(Tristan’s mobile rings)

Tristan: Hello?

Saffron: Finally! I’m gonna need a chocolate-vanilla-caramel espresso brewcaccino with extra sugar and extra cinnamon, and one cupcake with rainbow sprinkles minus the green ones and one cupcake with nothing but green sprinkles. If you see cross-sprinkling between the cupcakes send them back!

Tristan: I… I have to get back to class.

Saffron: Class can wait half-pint.  

Tristan: I can’t just leave in the middle of a lecture.

Saffron: Are you telling me that you refuse to get me the much needed nuritionment I need to face a day of making the world a much better place? What kind of intern are you?

Tristan: I’m not. I’m not one. I’m your…  mentee? I guess?

Saffron: Then what the heckity heck am I getting out of this deal?

Tristan: The, um, the satisfaction of passing down knowledge that I will also one day use to make the world a better place?

Saffron: UGH. FINE.