TIMESCANNER is interviewed by David Rheinstrom on an episode of Radio Drama Revival. They discuss knitting, Timescanner's relationship to the Time Bureau, Art movements of the vast future, and what to eat in Atlantis.
Go to Radio Drama Revival's podcast feed to hear a companion interview between David and Infinite Now creator Richard R Penner. More info at www.radiodramarevival.com
Produced by Richard R Penner. Interview improvised by Richard Penner and David Rheinstrom.
The music for this episode is by Psychic Mold, Dr Quandary, Aliceffekt and Matthew Schoendorff. Find more of their music at:
Psychic Mold www.psychicmold.bandcamp.com
Dr Quandary www.DoctorQuandary.com
Matthew Schoendorff www.matthewschoendorff.com/
The Radio Drama Revival theme is by DJ Stranger Danger
Thanks for listening!
Transcript for 1x18 THE RADIO DRAMA REVIVAL / INFINITE NOW CROSSOVER SHOW
The following is an annotated transcript of episode #1683565 of The Infinite Now. Originally broadcast from outside of space-time to Earth, June 30th 2015. Despite the recurring "accidents" that destroyed a majority of the intercepted Infinite Now recordings, this recording still survives. Listen to it here.
CRYSTAL: Incoming transmission from The Timescanner.
CRYSTAL: Entertaining Fellow Time Agents stationed in the field. working in secret to maintain the integrity of the Space time Continuum. broadcasting to you from Time Crystal Omega at the heat death of the universe. here is your host. The Timescanner. and this is The Infinite Now.
TIMESCANNER: Welcome to The Infinite Now. Now, everything in this show is as true as anything can be in this post-truth multiverse that we find ourselves in. Alternative facts may leak through from alternative timelines. Making it difficult to make sense of anything. Time travelers control the media waves and propaganda from both sides of the Causal War bombards us from all angles every minute of every day of our lives. Still I do my very best to be honest with you. All of the stories on The Infinite Now are thoroughly researched. All of the interviews are with actual citizens of actual spacetime and all of my opinions are my real strongly held positions. Dispite the non-fictional nature of the Infinite Now, we seem to have somehow developed a following with fans in the scripted audiodrama comunity. This isn't really surprising. Audiodrama is one of the few forms of entertainment accessible through the transtemporal radios issued to Time Agents in the field. There's even a setting where if the temporal radion senses a timenound civilian is within earshot it will automatically switch away from top secret Time Bureau transmissions and instead start to play era-appropriate audio fiction. Mid 20th century temporal radios might play an episode of Orson Welle's Mercury Theather or for time agents of the 31st century, their radios might broadcast something from the Universal Encyclopedia of the Liminal's procedurally generated audio program known as "Reality Revised." Through this process, many Time Agents have gotten hooked on Audio Fiction. So now there's an overlapping audience for both informative Time Agent broadcasts such as my own and purely mindless audio entertainment. As a result of this I ended up doing an interview with a program called Radio Drama Revival. Which typically interviews creators of such audio dramas. I thought it might be fun to play the interview that Radio Drama Revival did with me on this show so that you could hear it as well. Without any further introduction, here's David Rheinstrom of 2016 Earth interviewing me, The Timescanner, for an episode of Radio Drama Revival.
(Radio Drama Revival Theme music)
DAVID RHEINSTROM: No feature tonight folks, but a real treat of an interview. I had the pleasure of talking to the Timescanner himself all the way from Time Crystal Omega at the Heat Death of the Universe. From Beyond time and beyond the stars, this is Radio Drama Revival
Radio Drama Revival Theme music continues
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Hey, Welcome to Radio Drama Revival. The show that shows the diversity and vitality of modern audio fiction. I'm your host David Rheinstrom and we have an unexpected delight today, friends. Because out of the blue I was invited to talk with a mysterious gentleman who calls himself the Timescanner. What arcane mysteries, what devilish delights, what restaurant recommendations might this man furnish? Well. Take a listen
DAVID RHEINSTROM: How you doing?
TIMESCANNER: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on your show
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Yeah of course. I was curious about how did you become a Time Agent specifically and how does one become a Time Agent generally?
TIMESCANNER: Who I was before I became a Time Agent is classified, unfortunately. It is vital to the survival of the spacetime continuum that this information does not get out. However, Time Agents are recruited through a series of coincidences. For instance, what we're really looking for in a Time Agent is someone who is able to notice very subtle changes in their surroundings so that they would be able to recognize when they had slipped into an alternate timeline.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: What do those look like?
TIMESCANNER: What we tend to do is we have events that are...you might say paranormal...happen and the more that you recognize these events the more they will happen to you. You are chosen because you can recognize these things that would be invisible to those who have a narrower view of what is possible in the Infinite Omniverse. And so you may come across a ghost experience in your grandmother's attic. You may stumble across a crop circle. You may see something out of the corner of your eye while hiking in the woods that you can't quite explain. The more you recognize these things the more you'll see and eventually if you recognize enough of them you will be contacted.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: By whom is my question.
TIMESCANNER: We have rectruitment officers. This is not a very desirable job in the Time Bureau, if you're in the field you often want to be more active than recruiting, but it is an important job nonetheless.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: You say that with a certain kind of bitterness. Did you have to go through like a sort of recruitment cycle? Did you have to work as a recruiter before you became a Time Agent of your caliber?
TIMESCANNER: Oh I would never do that. No. I would have nothing to do with recruiting. My role here is important and that's why I've chosen to stay loosely associated with the Time Bureau.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: What is your current relationship with the Time Bureau?
TIMESCANNER: The Time Bureau has me um...locked up...in the time crystal just outside of time for the safety of the spacetime continuum. If I were to escape they claim that it would have "repercussions."
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Hmm.
TIMESCANNER: So for the time being, and it's been quite a while. When you're outside of time it's hard to tell, but it's been I would say...at least a couple thousand lifetimes. You know you get a little bored. You know I do my podcast. That wouldn't be my main job, but things get kinda boring out past time and I've done a bit of everything. I could be showing you the sweaters I've knitted. I got pretty good after a while.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: What do you use for fiber?
TIMESCANNER: Great question. Those are brought to me by the pigeons.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Oh. Ok.
TIMESCANNER: There are portals that lead from Time Crystal Omega out to other timelines and different points in the spacetime continuum, but they're small portals. The Time Bureau wanted to make sure that I couldn't escape. So we have an aviary with many portals arrayed along the outside and the avian time agents are able to fly through there and they can bring me back small things or deliver mail to me, but I can't quite fit out.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: I don't think I realized the extent to which this was an incarceral podcast. I had assumed this was a sorta SAO kind of deal.
TIMESCANNER: I definitely try to improve moral among the troops. I think that's an important thing to do, but really boredom is the main thing that keeps me doing it.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: I was going to say, because it doesn't seem like you owe the Time Bureau anything.
TIMESCANNER: No. No I definitely do not, but I do believe that there is a nugget of truth about what they're saying about me me needing to stay here or, you know, the end of the spacetime continuum. That kind of thing. So. For the time being. I'll stick around.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Can you state with any clarity the nature of the reasons for your confinement? Or is that classified?
TIMESCANNER: Definitely classified. I'm sorry, David.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Ok. That's alright. Um. What does Time Crystal Omega look like? To what extent have you been given authority to decorate it?
TIMESCANNER: It's great. I mean, it's mainly just video screens and pigeons.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Mmhmm
TIMESCANNER: But I put up some Christmas lights and that gives it some ambience.
dAVID RHEINSTROM: And the textile arts, right? Tell me about the sweaters you've been making.
tIMESCANNER: I send them off. You can only wear so many sweaters. And sweaters aren't necessarily my aesthetic. But they make good gifts. My Aunt Beth loves her sweaters.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: I assume it's quite chilly at the heat death of the universe.
tIMESCANNER: Well, sealed within the time crystal I can create any kind of atmosphere I want
dAVID RHEINSTROM: Oh gotcha.
tIMESCANNER: It's sort of a null-field so obviously outside of the Time Crystal, time doesn't pass, but somehow the absolute zero temperature outside charges the time crystal and keeps it suspended outside of time? You'd have to ask the guys at the Time Bureau fr the details.
dAVID RHEINSTROM: So you are suspended in a moment outside of time? This is not like time is linearly progressing outside of the time crystal after the end of the heat death of the universe?
TIMESCANNER: Correct. It depends on your point of view, but from my point of view time keeps going on and on and on. From the outside I am actually outside of time.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Did you get to witness the end of all things? Did you get to see the last spark of energy winking out of the universe?
TIMESCANNER: I've got the greatest hits of the universe on these video screens and I've seen all of the important moments happen. The end of the universe was also among them. It's not my favorite.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Sure.
TIMESCANNER: I'm a big fan of the 1980's. There was some really great music happening then. You know the other thing was that it happened slowly so you have to watch it in extreme fast forward.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Sure. What do you most regret?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: We can come back to that.
TIMESCANNER: No that's okay. I can say that the details of my biggest regret are most likely also classified, but when you're a time agent you are asked to do lots of things that are...unethical?..that stretch your ethics a bit. And I certainly have done some of those and I certainly have lost people who are important to me as a result of those actions.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Perhaps a related question: What is your favorite dead civilization?
TIMESCANNER: Well, everyone always mentions Atlantis, right?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Sure.
TIMESCANNER: And Atlantis was pretty great. That's sort of like when people ask someone who their favorite muppet is. Usually they'll try to go for a really obscure muppet. Like you'll say "Lew Zealand! The guy who throws the boomerang fish!" Right?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Sure.
TIMESCANNER: But you know that in truth they really liked Gonzo best, because Gonzo was the best of the weird muppets, right? It's just that any Gonzo-lover would then try to be even weirder than Gonzo.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Sure.
TIMESCANNER: So I'm going to be completely honest and I'm going to say Atlantis.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Alright. Tell me about Atlantis. Tell me about what it was like.
TIMESCANNER: Atlantis wasn't drastically different from what you have there in...I'm sorry, David. What year did you say you are in?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: 2016.
TIMESCANNER: Oh god. Oh I'm so sorry. It's not drastically different than 2016. Again, it's another civilization on the decline. But the technology there was not based on electricity and on quantum mechanics...oh wait, you're not to quantum computers yet, are you? Um. Instead of quantum computers or regular computers their technology tended to be based on parts of the brain which have now atrophied for your time. So there were lots of things that you might consider psychic powers. The internet is in some way an overcompensation for what they had back then and you still have a vestigal part of their psychic internet that they had back in Atlantis. Ant that is called "sleep." Don't you think it's odd that you have to shut down for one third of your existence to recharge?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Yeah. That is very weird.
TIMESCANNER: It totally baffles me that people in your time don't think about this more. And dreams. Does it make sense that you have absurdist versions of reality running through your head while you shut down for 8 hours each night?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: I mean, it always has to me. I always thought of it as sort of my brain processing events through metaphor.
TIMESCANNER: This seems like brainwashing that your people don't think about this more. Obviously this is one half of a technology that is now lost to time. Back in Atlantis, people shit down for the night to "sleep." And when they did they had a shared reality. Basically like the internet. You could communicate with anyone else in the world...and even off world. And through this you could communicate important things. You could make deals with foreign leaders without having to wait for mail to transfer. Because mail was very slow back then. So the next step for your time...You'll see this development in your time, this isn't a major spoiler...is that you're going to have modern technology in your time, computers, that link to your brains while you sleep so that this completes the cycle. It's much like the system that they had in ancient Atlantis The difference, of course, is that in your dreams you will now have corporate advertising.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Oh great. So what period of Atlantis did you spend the most time in? High Lemurian? The Skiffian Republic? The Order of the Black Kelp Days? Like what part, what time period did you spend the most of your life in? What time period of Atlantis was your favorite?
TIMESCANNER: The final days of Atlantis were definitely the best.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Really?
TIMESCANNER: It was a sort of party. It was sort of like the Marty Gras. Everybody knew it was ending and they just cut loose. It's really a great time. I seriously recommend going at least once. Not more than once. It's a bit much, but if you've got a Spring Break coming up head to the Last Days of Atlantis.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Tell me about your favorite Atlantean restaurant.
TIMESCANNER: If you're going to Atlantis you probably want to eat seafood.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Sure.
TIMESCANNER: The chefs there, they had tens of thousands of years to perfect their creaft. And they had species that in your time have been extinct for ten thousand years. You do have to be careful that the seafood that you eat is not from another psychic super-intelligent creature. For instance, the Architeuthis.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: And you mean the Giant Squid when you say that?
TIMESCANNER: Yes, exactly, the Giant Squid. You really want to be careful. You don't want to eat that, and sometimes it will be mislabeled. Sometimes they'll just tell you that you're eating normal calamari. But when you ingest a psychic animal it has a tendency to do things in the back of your mind. It has a tendency to wrap it's metaphorical tentacles around your brain and you may forget how to speak your native tongue. You may find yourself walking out into the ocean never to return. But besides that, I would say go to Steve's Bar and Grill and order anything on the menu.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Anything at all?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Nothing to avoid at Steve's?
TIMESCANNER: If you're going to order a Thracian Nightmare make sure that you order it on the rocks, and make sure that you stop at three. Any more than that and you never know where or when you will wake up.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Gotcha. What does art look like ten thousand years from now?
TIMESCANNER: Ten thousand years in your future, art will be conceptual art. And I don't mean that in a Sol LeWitt way.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Okay.
TIMESCANNER: I mean we will have 4D printers that will be able to read your thoughts as you have them and will project them in living, moving matter into the room in which you are in. In fact, we have these projectors everywhere in our society in certain planets so that walking down the street is the same as being inside of an art gallery. You'll see everything in your imagination come to life around you. And existence will be creating art. There will be no difference.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: What does art look like 10 billion years from now?
TIMESCANNER: 10 billion years from where you stand the art world is going through a bit of a dry spell.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Okay.
TIMESCANNER: Everyone is kind of back to basics sort of in caveman mode at that point and so art is more or less scratching symbols on cave walls with bison bones. There's some simply wonderful work. I mean, don't get me wrong. If that's your thing.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Do they still have wine and cheese nights on First Fridays in the caves? 'Cause I'll be real, I love art, but I'm mostly there for the snacks. Like 80% there for the snacks.
TIMESCANNER: Bison nuggets. Seal cheese.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: (Laughter) Does anything remain constant about people?
TIMESCANNER: I don't believe there's a such a thing as "Human Nature." I think human nature is a scapegoat. It's an excuse for people not to strive to be better. However, there are tendencies. All of reality has a sort of rhythm to it. There are beats that always happen in a person's life...in a civilization's life...that are repeated over and over again. That's not to say that you can't change the tune. It's not to say that you can't choose for yourself to live in a waltz instead of a punk rock number. Right? But you can change your nature. And humankind can change its nature. It just takes a lot of will. It takes a lot of looking toward the future you want to create and doing that thing.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Do human beings ever make contact with alien civilizations?
TIMESCANNER: David! Come on. You're already in contact with alien civilizations all around you.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Okay. Tell me more.
TIMESCANNER: It's not unlike that movie from the 1990s Men in Black. There are alien civilizations everywhere. And the fact that you don't know about it means that you're not opening your eyes. Which means that, I'm sorry, David. You probably will not be contacted by a Time Bureau recruitment agent at any point in the near future.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: That's. That's fine. I'm not bitter. I mean, I feel like I'm pretty open...
TIMESCANNER: Those who are open to The Unusual will see it all around them. You will see UFOs above the mountains. You'll see hidden messages projected on the moon. I can't believe people don't see those more often.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: ...I mean, it's not like I'm...it's not like I'm talking to a space convict right now...No I guess I'm just a pretty nonobservant person generally. That's fine.
TIMESCANNER: I'm sure you could do better.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Thank you for that note. I accept that note. Would you say from your vantage point at the heat death of the universe that you have any kind of faith in human beings...or other beings?
TIMESCANNER: I would say it's a little bleak being stuck inside the Time Crystal. Getting out a bit more if I was able to leave, would certainly do more for my outlook. Also, the fact that from my point fo view, reality has already come to a close...but new branches are always budding on the living organism that is the spacetime continuum. Every time someone chooses to make a new path, chooses to change the world around them, a new timeline is created. They haven't all been said and done. And I see some really promising futures happen in the past.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: What physically is keeping you in Time Crystal Omega?
TIMESCANNER: Basically, I can't fit through the time portals that they created for the pigeons and there's nowhere to go if I leave. I'll instantly freeze and my atoms will vibrate to bits and be spread to the farthest point in the infinite spacetime.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Gotcha. Let me ask you this, Timescanner: Do you like carrot cake?
TIMESCANNER: David, I love carrot cake.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Cool. And Timescanner, can you tell me the carrying capacity of a Time Bureau carrier pigeon?
TIMESCANNER: Pigeon is more of an honorary term. We actually have birds of all sorts. And so I could certainly send a pelican your way if there was something heavier.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Okay. Okay. Cool.
TIMESCANNER: Are you sending me a carrot cake?!?
DAVID RHEINSTROM: What? Maybe.
TIMESCANNER: Oh my gosh, David. You're the best.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: You're the best, Timescanner.
TIMESCANNER: Thank you so much for having me on your show. I really really appreciated it. It definitely killed 45 minutes out of my infinite incarceration. Thank you so much.
DAVID RHEINSTROM: It is my pleasure.
(Radio Drama Revival theme music)
DAVID RHEINSTROM: Folks, that's all the show we have for you tonight, but if you like what you heard today you know what to do. You can subscribe to my podcast, Radio Drama Revival or follow me on twitter @radiodrama.
(Tape stops playing. The hum of the Time Crystal returns. Footsteps as Timescanner walks out to the aviary and opens a door to get a package newly delivered by one of the Carrier Pigeons. Birds flapping feathers, door shutting, steps as Timescanner walks back to his desk.)
TIMESCANNER: Ooooh! Thanks for tuning in Time Agents. I hope you enjoyed listening to that interview as much as I enjoyed answering questions about myself. And to the Radio Drama fans who have found my show: I hope you're enjoying The Infinite Now even though it takes place in the Real World.
TIMESCANNER: Oooh yeah. And listen, I hope I didn't disparage audio fiction earlier when I called it "mindless entertainment." Fiction may not be factual, but it can carry truths. Truths chopped up and sweetened, almost unrecognizable like when you bite into a rich, moist, mildly spiced slice of carrot cake...
(Takes a bite of cake)
TIMESCANNER: ...And it no longer tastes anything like the root vegetables hidden within it. Mmm. Perfect.
(Speaking with a full mouth.)
TIMESCANNER: Some concepts are difficult to get at through any means but fiction. We may not want philosophers to actually tie innocent people to trolley tracks and see which ones you'll kill, but discussing the stories about these scenarios is just as good. Better. The Omniverse is made up of a nearly infinite selection of possible timelines and so sometimes one person's biography is another person's thought experiment and vice versa. Sometimes it's helpful to think about your own life as a useful fiction. What truths might the author of your life be trying to get at by putting you through all these trials? All this pain? And isolation? What if you're the last thought experiment in the universe. Every possible scenario exhausted except for this one. Featuring you. Alone. Testing what the nature of the universe is when there's only one mind left in existence. Just you. After all life has been been extinguished from the universe except for yours...do you still exist? Are you corporeal at all if you have nobody to be corporeal with? Without a physical companion to touch you or to be touched by you how do you even know that you have a body at all? Perhaps you're just a mind floating in infinite emptiness imagining up a multiverse where anything and everything is possible. Maybe you are just a disembodied voice in the void. If a cake is delivered in the middle of the woods and there's nobody there to share it with you, Did you still enjoy it?
(Scraping the last bit of frosting off of the plate.)
TIMESCANNER: Mmmm. Mmmm. (lonely sigh)
CRYSTAL: This has been and will always be The Infinite Now.
CRYSTAL: Transmission complete.