Transcript of Rec#000433 19/08/15: I spoke to Myrtle in the newly renovated kitchen of Adam’s Extra-Fancy Honey Shop. In the lead-up to the grand opening she has been working tirelessly. She agreed to let me record the conversation but refused to stop baking while we talked. In fact, she put me to work stirring some mixture of dry ingredients, though ultimately I don’t think I was much help. I started recording as I was explaining why I was questioning her.
OCTOBER: I’ve spent the last few years investigating the paranormal. All over town and even in other cities. Just trying to make sense of it all, you know? And now I’m here, with this weird group of people. I feel closer to understating than ever before, but I still don’t actually have a clue about anything. I was hoping you could help me understand.
MYRTLE: Understand what, exactly?
OCTOBER: The, uh, the supernatural I guess. You’re an expert on the supernatural and magic and stuff, right?
MYRTLE: Right, right. That’s what I’m here for, they tell me. Supernatural intel.
OCTOBER: You said you were part of some mystic group before?
MYRTLE: The Brazen Alchemists. We thought we were going to revolutionize the world.
OCTOBER: And that’s where you learned to do magic?
MYRTLE: That’s right.
OCTOBER: Could you show me some magic?
(At this point Myrtle picked up an egg and handed it to me to confirm it was a real and ordinary egg. I was satisfied, so she took it back and held it against the table, blew on it, and took away her hand. The egg remained standing upright.)
(After a moment she handed me the egg again tried to get me to replicate what she’d done. I had no success.)
OCTOBER: (laughter) Okay, I admit that I’m impressed, but this is just a magic trick, right? I was hoping for more.
MYRTLE: Well, if you have a match, I can do the one where I make the egg go into a bottle. Or if there’s a deck of cards around here. Or a mirror–
OCTOBER: No, but… I… I was hoping to learn about real magic, you know?
MYRTLE: This is about as real as any magic I know.
OCTOBER: But what about the supernatural? You know, actual physics-defying magic.
MYRTLE: I never said I could deny physics.
OCTOBER: But what about back in the rooftop fight? I saw you do something that made all the smoke go away.
MYRTLE: Right. Cleared the air. Didn’t defy physics to do it. Nothing I do defies physics, as evidenced by the fact I can do it.
OCTOBER: But you know what I mean, don’t you? How did you do do the smoke thing?
MYRTLE: Just the right tools. I had a bag of audokeen powder on hand and I know a few tricks with that stuff.
OCTOBER: What’s audokeen powder?
MYRTLE: Just some kind of powder. Reacts to sound and air and stuff. If you’re asking what it actually is, I don’t know. I know how to work with it, but I wouldn’t know how to make it any more than I’d know how make a mirror from scratch. I just buy the audokeen from an occult supplier I met back in the day.
OCTOBER: So you’re the supernatural expert of this outfit and you don’t believe in magic?
MYRTLE: I fully believe in magic, I just seem to think it’s a different thing than you do. Magic is just tricks. One person knows how to do a thing another person doesn’t know, and that other person calls it magic. I spent my youth learning little tricks like that. Especially the ones that involve rare materials, because then even less people know them so it looks even more magical.
OCTOBER: But what about the supernatural? Like ghosts and stuff? Don’t those disprove science in some way?
(Myrtle was silent for a moment, thinking, while she placed a cookie tray into the oven and set a timer.)
MYRTLE: Look. It sounds like you have some division in your thinking where something is either magic or science and I don’t understand that. I don’t know what you think science is, but it’s just the method we use to understand the universe. Somebody studied the universe, that’s science, and they learned that putting a match in the bottle means you can suck in an egg. The magic trick came from the science.
I was never the smartest member of the Alchemists. I was a decent researcher and I got a knack for picking up the tricks. I rarely made up tricks of my own, and I certainly never designed any of the tech we used, but I became pretty good at doing magic. And I still believe in science. Strongly.
You can’t “disprove science,” kid. And trying to do it is just doing more science. Science is just learning about how this dumb universe works.
I mean, I’ve seen shit that I don’t understand, stuff like it sounds like is what you’re looking for, but that doesn’t mean “science is fake” or whatever you’re trying to get at. It just means I don’t understand it yet, so someone else gets to trick me. If that’s what you’re calling supernatural, then by definition I don’t have any answers for you because I don’t understand it myself.
(Another moment of silence. I think I was staring at the bowl I was supposed to be stirring.)
OCTOBER: I guess that’s makes sense.
So, uh, what’s some of the stuff you’ve seen that you don’t understand?
MYRTLE: Oh, there’s too much to list it all. The universe is infinite and that’s too much room to understand most of it. I mean, those snakes upstairs. I have no idea what that’s about.
OCTOBER: Yeah, weird, right?
MYRTLE: And back in the Alchemists, there was a guy named Blake. Good guy. He had… powers.
MYRTLE: He could do this thing where he could understand any written language by running his fingers over it. Latin, Greek, secret codes, computer language. He don’t know a word of anything but English, but he can read anything that way. Obviously useful for a group like we were. None of us knew how he did it and neither did he really. He used to say a voice came to him when he was young and just told him how he could do it, and then he could.
OCTOBER: What happened to him?
MYRTLE: Still with the Alchemists last I heard.
OCTOBER: Oh, I assumed they’d disbanded or something. Why aren’t you still with them?
MYRTLE: Well, kid, that has nothing to do with the supernatural, so I don’t need to tell you about that today. No offence.
OCTOBER: That’s fair.
MYRTLE: Now, I don’t even know if I should say this, but…
MYRTLE: You know who has seen a lot of weird shit? Dante.
OCTOBER: Yeah. What’s his deal?
MYRTLE: Honestly, I don’t know him that well.
OCTOBER: He was the one who brought you onto our team though, right?
MYRTLE: He was, but still. I spent maybe a month with working with him a few years back. He needed my help with something. But I can tell, if you want stories, talk to him.
MYRTLE: Anyway. Sorry if I’ve disillusioned you or anything like that.
OCTOBER: No, I guess this is what I’m trying to learn.
MYRTLE: Okay then. Tell you what: when the moving company gets my stuff here, you can look at some of my occult books and stuff. If you’re actually interested in learning about this stuff, it’ll give you a good grounding.
OCTOBER: I’d like that.