ROSLYN: You've reached the Love and Luck Podcast.
MIRA: [Worried] Kane, please check on Helen when you wake up. She got upset and told me to leave her alone, so I did, but... I'm worried. I don't think she's okay.
We were mucking around with like... god, this sounds stupid, but like... we were playing around with emotions, and we found out that she can like, change mine. And now she's really upset and scared that she's been doing something wrong. She didn't want to be around me in case she kept doing it.
I tried to tell her it was okay, but she wouldn't listen, so... yeah. Please check on her when you get up.
HELEN: [Shaken, upset] Kane... it's Helen. I... wish you or Jason were still up. I really... I really need to talk to you.
I think I might have to revisit all the times I told you that you were being silly for telling me I was magical.
I asked Mira tonight if I could experiment a bit with her, and I think maybe you're right. I think there's something strange about me.
Because... I tried to make her feel things, all different kinds of things, with no trigger. And she did. I made her feel everything, from angry to sad to happy to envious to... completely numb.
I didn't even tell her what I was trying to make her feel, I just asked her if I could try and affect her emotions, and she could tell me how she felt and when she felt it change, and... it all lined up. All of it.
[Tearful] Kane, what is this? Why is this happening? Why can I do this? This doesn't feel like something someone should be able to do. What if I hurt someone? Oh god, what if I've already hurt someone...
HELEN: [Anxious, upset, trying to be brave] Storm, I... I wanted to tell you this as soon as I could, before I lose my nerve. I think there's something wrong with me.
Mira can tell you more about what happened tonight, but the short version is... I seem to be able to influence people's emotions. In a really real, tangible way, not... not just in the usual ways like hugging people or whatever.
[Upset] I just... I don't know if that's what I did to you, if I somehow tricked you into liking me, and I just... if I did, I'm so sorry... I didn't know I was able to do this. I-I didn't know... I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry.
STORM: [Worried] Helen, please call me back when you get this. Are you all right? What on earth is happening?
[Gently] You didn't trick me into liking you, honey. You're wonderful. Everyone likes you, and it's not hard to see why. You're so kind and gentle and caring, only a fool wouldn't love you.
STORM: Mira, give me a call when you get this. Is everything okay with Helen? She left me a strange message and I'm worried about her. She said you could fill me in on some of it, but she wasn't very specific as to what.
Let me know if she's okay, please?
If I don't hear from you either I'm just going to come over to the bar. I'm really worried. Please check on her for me.
KANE: [Tired] Hey Jason. [Sigh] So... a lot has happened this morning.
I woke up to some kind of worrying voicemails, and then I came downstairs to find Helen in tears on the staircase.
The good news is that she believes us now about the magic.
The bad news is that it kind of sent her into a spiral. She was convinced that we all only liked her because she made us like her.
I sat with her for a while and we talked. I think it was good that I was there, because I know what it's like to get into those spirals. I know how it feels to worry that you're doing harm without meaning to.
It was relatively easy to get her to accept that she hadn't tricked you or me, at least. I mean, the timeline alone proves it - we've worked out that she probably only started being able to affect emotions after already living here for a few weeks. So she couldn't have influenced us when we first met and loved her.
Everyone else... well, that may take some time to sink in. But we did make a good start. We did a few little magic experiments, and I managed to help her realize that she can't maintain magic for long periods, so it can't be as simple as forcing anyone to like her, since they'd stop the moment she stopped affecting them. And that hasn't happened to anyone.
[Tired sigh] Storm arrived about an hour ago, and Mira and Ricardo came downstairs not long after that. They're all talking with Helen now and reassuring her as well. Dognerys is also contributing a head in Helen's lap for her to pat.
So, yeah, Mira and Storm know about the magic now. Can't exactly hide it from them in this situation.
It'll still take some time for her to be comfortable with all this, but... I think we're at least on the way.
RICARDO: [Serious, thoughtful] Jason. I think... I have a theory, now. About what causes the magic.
I'm not 100% sure, but... I have an idea, and it's an idea that doesn't have any obvious flaws yet. Going over further details of Helen's experience this morning helped aim me in the right direction.
I think... there are three components to it.
First... we have to love. Very deeply. Not ‘unconditionally' or anything like that... I'm not even sure unconditional love truly exists in the first place. But I think a deep and powerful love is the first trigger.
That's why you and Kane found it at the same time with each other. That's why Julie found it during her pregnancy, that's why Helen found it with her community, here at the bar.
The second thing is... trust. We need to be able to feel vulnerable with that love, to open ourselves to it. We need to trust the subject of our love to be kind to us, even if the love itself is not returned.
The third... is that we must not be afraid. If we love but we're afraid of that love, it doesn't work.
I think that's why I couldn't use it for so long. I love. I love you, and Kane, and the others here at the bar.. and of course I love CJ. And I trust you all, I let myself be vulnerable to you... but I was so afraid. All the time.
It was only after Dognerys came home that I found moments of peace. I found I could be unafraid for the first time in so long. And that... that was when I was able to access the magic myself, rather than just feeling its influence.
Even now... I've been experimenting, and I can't use magic consistently all the time. It comes and goes like a fluctuating power. And I think it's because the fear is so strong in my mind and heart.
I don't know if it will stay that way or not, but... if I've come this far, then... surely I can go further.
JULIE: [Sombre] So... it's decided. Priya and I are going to break up. Completely.
We just... we don't think we'd adjust well to the long distance thing, and... this is already so painful, we don't want to make it worse. So we're going to break up for good when she leaves. We'll stay friends, but... yeah.
[Sigh] This is painful, but I think it's the right choice. I'm going to have so much on my plate in the immediate future, between you and my nurse training... I can't spend that time trying to reconfigure our relationship at the same time.
[Wistful] So... I guess it's just going to be you and me for the next little while. The end of one chapter, but the start of the next. No more Julie and Priya, but... Mumma and baby instead.
[Smiling] Huh. It helps to think of it that way.
We've still got a couple of weeks until Priya leaves, but... she's already started packing. Which is good, because splitting up some of our stuff is going to take time. We've been so entwined for so long... every item needs active consideration.
[Tired sigh] I just... I need some relief from this sorrow.
I'm going to toddle down to the beach again. I need the air and the sea.
The world is so much bigger when I'm standing by the ocean. It's a good reminder of how small I am, and how little I matter in the grand scheme of things. And that's comforting, at the worst of times. Because it means that my pain and sadness barely matter, too.
[Gentle sigh] Who knows, baby. Maybe I'll see your ghost again when I get there, and you can reassure me that everything turns out just fine.
ROSLYN: Love and Luck is written by Erin Kyan, and produced by Passer Vulpes Productions.
Kane is voiced by Lee Davis-Thalbourne. Julie is voiced by Nic Rummery. Helen is voiced by Ashe Connor. Ricardo is voiced by Justin Jones Li. Mira is voiced by Tahlia Celenn. Storm is voiced by Creatrix Tiara. Credits spoken by Roslyn Quin. Recorded by Kermie Breydon and Eris Barnes.
If you're enjoying Love and Luck, consider backing us on Patreon. We do our best not only to make a high quality show for you, but to pay everyone involved in its creation. Your monthly donation will be directly supporting queer art by queer people. Pledge now at patreon.com/passervulpes - that's patreon.com/ P A S S E R V U L P E S.
For more information about Love and Luck, check out our website, loveandluckpodcast.com. You can also find us on facebook as Love and Luck Podcast, on twitter as @LoveLuckPodcast, and on tumblr and instagram as loveandluckpodcast, all one word.
[Music fades out]