April 15. A sunny Saturday. The Ottawa Senators are facing the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is also true of our universe.
Plot Synopsis Edit
Holly opens by recounting some of the things she's learned during her month of homelessness. She concludes with "Pizza is amazing," then talks for a bit about pizza, passover, and eating meals with Oak.
This reminds her that Oak promised to be back to watch the playoffs with her, worst case scenario. Instead, Holly is alone in Alabama. She's eating pizza to feel connected to Oak again, like it's "hockey night." She mentions that nothing else (besides a raw, bloody steak) sounded good.
Holly grows nervous because an SUV has parked near her, but no one has gotten out yet. She pauses the recording to relocate.
Holly distracts herself for a bit by talking about her favorite podcasts that week (Rover Red and Lake Clarity), then thanks Kim and Jody for pledging $10 per broadcast. She mentions that her girlfriend while in university was named Jody.
Holly lists her inventory, but is interrupted at the end by a cat purring and meowing for attention. Holly introduces her as General Leia Janeway, and explains that she feeds and pets the cat in exchange for Leia using her feline cuteness to net more money when Holly is begging.
Holly rambles for a while about using makeup as camouflage, bemoaning the fact that her skills and resources are much worse than Oak's (who used to put makeup on her before parties and work evaluations). She mentions that she would give anything to have Oak do her eyebrows, alluding for the second time this episode to an excess of facial hair. She also talks about the difficulty of constantly being "undercover" as a "normal person."
In explaining how she acquired the funds for a Chromebook and pizza, Holly mentions that she was voted "most likely to die in a hilarious freak accident" and "most likely to become a serial killer" in high school. She pauses again to dodge the SUV, which seems to be following her.
She resumes her explanation of the funds, but her thoughts seem to be even more scattered than usual. She rambles about the word "attractive," which people use as a compliment but, to her, means that the person attracts "all kind of strange and unwanted bullshit." She doesn't understand why anyone, especially strangers, find her attractive, when she forgets she has a physical body and is also autistic and homeless.
Holly digresses again, explaining that she and Oak have a relationship more like Holly and Leia the cat have—Oak goes off to be with other people while Holly does her own thing at home. She references a diplomat Oak seduced in Dubai, after which Oak apparently asked Holly repeatedly if she was upset or jealous. Holly maintains she was not jealous or upset, especially because it helped them accomplish their mission. Likewise, she says, she would be more upset if she had failed her own objective. However, because she was able to buy pizza, a Chromebook, and possibly an iced coffee, she's "totally fine" and "things are good, all things considered."
After a pause, Holly admits that's "sort of a lie." She describes herself as a "ping pong machine of emotions," which she hates, and reports a surge in dissociation, paranoia, and nightmares. Although it is never stated, she seems to be implying that she agreed to have sex with a stranger for money the night before.
Holly says that her decision was illuminating, then returns to the Dubai incident:
Anyway. All that to say that I figured something important out last night. Either you’re incapable of helping me, or you’re an even better actor than I thought. Because I might not care what you do for a mission, but you care a lot.She says that either Oak is dead, imprisoned, or a "sadistic, soul-less asshole." She doesn't think option three is likely, and she can't consider option one lest she become suicidal. She explains that there is "more at stake" than just her own life, and then lashes out at Oak for "doing something stupid" and not planning better, but expecting Holly to kill herself so Oak can have company.
Her phone rings while she's ranting, but Holly accidentally hangs up. It rings again, and this time she answers. General Willard greets her and says they need to talk. He urges her not to hang up, because the topic of the conversation is Oak.
- Prescription eyeglasses
- The clothes she fell asleep in (blouse and skirt suit)
- Some dress shoes
- A smartphone and its charger.
- A worn-out backpack
- Several plastic grocery bags
- A few extra pieces of clothing
- Some toiletries
- A pair of earbuds
- A large piece of unpolished quartz and a smaller piece of pyrite
- Baby wipes
- Holiday Inn towel
- A Chromebook in "fair" condition
- $12 USD
- A cat
Due to donations to her PayPal and Patreon, Holly has also received the following:
- Four nights in the women's shelter, thanks to Kim and Jody both pledging $10 per broadcast
The morse code message (after the initial SOS SOS SOS SOS in the theme song) is encrypted with a Caesar shift, using the keyword Dubai. It translates:
3weeks to deadline. Need 500, transport. Please advise re: Operation Symbiosis ASAP. May accept.