Ep. 7 - ENGL112: The Conflict of King Arthur
Pandora has an unpleasant introduction to the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper who believes Pandora may be trying to compete with him.
[[Theme music "Medusa" plays]]
Pandora: Alright, this is your last chance, cause I’m about to start this thing.
Hello, everyone. How are you today? Good? Sure hope so, cause apparently we have a guest today. I say "apparently" because I walked into the radio room and this random guy was sitting here with his arms crossed looking smug. All attempts to talk to him have thus far come up fruitless. I don’t know this guy, so I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure he can talk and hear just fine. He just wants to be difficult for some reason. But I came here to start my show so that’s what I’m gonna do.
You feel like talking, yet? Hm? Were you just saving it for the radio? [no answer] Got a name to go with the pouty look? [still no answer] OK, what was the killer plan, here? Just come in here and be intrusively silent? [nothing] OK, fine. If you’re not gonna talk, I’ll talk for you.
We would like to welcome to the studio Clyde Buttmunch the Third, who is here to defend what he claims is a very normal hobby of collecting nail clippings and then going on--
Pandora: Oh my god, it speaks! Look at that! Arthur?
Arthur: Arthur Pendragon. That is my name.
Pandora: Charmed, I’m sure.
Arthur: You went straight to “Buttmunch”? Really? Not a little juvenile for you?
Pandora: I was improvising and I don’t regret it. I gotta say, Arthur, that you have crashed my studio in what has possibly been the rudest way yet. And that’s not a title I give out lightly. “Rude” is the standard method around here.
Arthur: I guess it’s an honor.
Pandora: Hm. So am I supposed to know who you are? You definitely introduced yourself like I should be impressed.
Arthur: That wasn’t the intention, no. But since you’re so determined, I guess you should know that I’m here to check out the competition.
Pandora: HA! What?
Arthur: I am editor-in-chief of The Mighty Pen
Pandora: The Mighty Pen?
Pandora: The school newspaper?
Arthur: So you have heard of us. The honors keep on coming.
Pandora: Yeah, it’s hard to miss the one news source that’s probably more dead than radio.
Arthur: We believe in keeping it alive.
Pandora: And you actually think I’m trying to compete with you?
Arthur: Not intentionally, no. But whether you want to be competition or not, you are an alternate news source. It’s my duty to check out what you do.
Pandora: Then you could listen to the show over the airwaves, like a normal person. That would be enough to prove to you that very little news happens because people keep on waltzing through here like it’s a train station. I’m not setting out to be daily news show, anyway! I’m just talking on the radio! So if you’re here to intimidate me, then A) You are probably insane because you are way too invested in college news programs, and B) You are barking up the wrong tree, pal.
Arthur: Aren’t one to be intimidated, are you?
Pandora: Damn right I’m not.
Arthur: Well, you can rest on that account. I didn’t intend to intimidate you. That’s not how I operate.
Pandora: Happy to hear it, I’m sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re sitting here being difficult.
Arthur: I intended to tell you as much when you walked in, but you became irritated so fast, I decided to see what would happen. You know, turnabout and all that. What was it you said to Athena that one time? Something about being in the middle too fast and just having to ride it out?
Pandora: ...So you’re a comedian now?
Arthur: No. Just a reporter. You pay attention and get a feel for people after a while.
Pandora: Mmm, creepy.
Arthur: You know what I mean.
Pandora: And what was your feel on me, oh great and mighty reporter man?
Arthur: That you’re temperamental.
Pandora: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t think that’s as impressive as you hoped. A well-placed slow walker on the sidewalk could tell you the same thing.
Arthur: Just an observation in the moment. I’m hardly writing an exposé.
Pandora: Your loss. I’m a fascinating figure.
Pandora: Well, listeners, I’m sorry for this unusual interruption you’ve experienced. If you haven’t tuned out by now, I have good news! It looks like we have a surprise interview today.
Pandora: Today we have Arthur Pendragon, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Mighty Pen. The Mighty Pen has been the premier publication of Mount Olympus University for years, and was, in fact, founded by a Pendragon many generations ago! The Pendragons are a legacy family, and The Mighty Pen is that legacy in print. Is that right, Mr. Pendragon?
Arthur: ...You said you didn’t know who I was.
Pandora: Yeah, well, you were smug about it. You’re not the only person who does research. Though mine wasn’t motivated by spite. Just good old fashioned curiosity.
Arthur: ...You know, you’d make a good reporter.
Pandora: God forbid.
Arthur: [laughs] Sorry, I interrupted your interview. Please, continue.
Pandora: ...Alright. So is it weird knowing that the position of editor-in-chief is seen as your right and not something you earned?
Arthur: I did earn it.
Pandora: You’re a sophomore. That’s a little young to be in charge of the school newspaper.
Arthur: Actually, output of The Mighty Pen had ceased before I started school. It plummeted pretty quickly after my father graduated, but would see occasional prints until about seven years ago. I worked very hard to bring it back to life, along with my colleagues.
Pandora: Ahhh, so the paper runs on nepotism, then?
Arthur: Are you always so negative?
Pandora: Just asking the hard questions. Someone once told me I would be a good reporter.
Arthur: Anyone who wants to join The Mighty Pen gets a fair shot. At this time, it does happen to be people I have known and trusted for some time.
Pandora: Hmmmm, I see.
Arthur: If you haven’t noticed, there’s a little bit of a divide in this school. Zeus and his crew have never shown much interest in slaving over a keyboard to write stories that might not necessarily feature them. If they did, I would be happy to try their skills.
Pandora: A divide?
Arthur: I’m sure you noticed to some degree. There are groups of people here who have known each other for what seems like an eternity. That’s just how this school is. It’s about connections, strong ones. And my connections are completely different from, say…Osiris’s.
Pandora: Well, he’s a senior.
Arthur: Yeah, and he’s known the other seniors just as long as I’ve known my classmates. You were talking about me being a legacy earlier. Well, there are legacies and connecting threads everywhere. There is more to do with legacy at Mount Olympus University than most people realize.
Pandora: Doesn’t that creep anyone else out? You’re coming into school with pre-made cliques.
Arthur: Just the way things have always been. [Pause] And then, of course, there’s you.
Pandora: What about me?
Arthur: You have zero connections and no one knows who you are. It’s not unheard of, of course, but it is unusual.
Pandora: Um...yeah, Aphrodite said something to that effect.
Arthur: Even Euterpe had a group, did you know that?
Pandora: You know who founded the radio station?
Arthur: I’ve been preparing to go to this school since infancy. I’ve picked up a thing or two.
Pandora: What, it wasn’t more carefully executed research on me?
Arthur: Not this time. Sorry.
Pandora: Well, either way, I’m doing the interviewing here, and I’m on the verge of a hot nepotism scandal, so...you aren’t getting away that easily, Pendragon.
Arthur: If it helps, I’m not the only one in charge. I have a co-editor-in-chief.
Pandora: And they are...what? Your brother? Your second cousin? The nice twin, since I have to assume you’re the evil one.
Arthur: My girlfriend, Guenevere.
Pandora: Ah. There it is.
Arthur: And yes, she earned it, just as much as I did. The Mighty Pen wouldn’t have grown to what it is today without her. She’s worked harder than anyone not only to revive it, but to make it something entirely new. Even if we weren’t dating, I would trust her with The Mighty Pen before anyone. Though, with her dedication and...and just everything, I can’t imagine not being with her.
Pandora: ...Uch. Ok, it’s getting mushy in here. That’s not the vibe I was going for.
Arthur: Sorry. I forgot this was a negative zone.
Pandora: Hey, I may not be personally spoon feeding you sunshine and rainbows, but I like my radio. The fact that I can fill it with my personality is positive to me. Which is why I was ready to physically fight you over it when you first got here.
Arthur: Am I still in danger of that?
Pandora: I haven’t dismissed it. But I also don’t see you as a threat.
Arthur: Oh, really?
Pandora: Yeah. A stick in the mud, maybe. About as much fun as running the mile. But you’re not going to shut me down.
Arthur: Running the mile is the worst thing you could think of?
Pandora: No one runs because they think it’s fun!
Arthur: In that case, I guess the feeling is mutual. You’re right, though. I clearly have nothing to worry about.
Pandora: Is that so?
Arthur: That’s so.
Pandora: ...Ok, well, this isn’t over, Pendragon.
Arthur: I would despair if it was.
Pandora: [chuckles] Alright, get outta my room. You have a newspaper to coddle.
Arthur: And I’ll let you continue to ruin audio media. Try not to forget who I am next time, alright?
Pandora: Goodbye, Arthur.
Arthur: Goodbye, Pandora.
Pandora: ...This school is so weird…
[[Theme song "Medusa" plays]]
Raeanna Nicole Larson: Mount Olympus University is an original story conceived and written by Raeanna Nicole Larson. Sound editing done by the intrepid Luuk Van Hoomissen. Our icon was designed by the incomparable Jess Reed. Music by the industrious Teddy McKrell, whose works can be heard on soundcloud under teddymackerel.
The role of Pandora is played by Raeanna Nicole Larson. Arthur is played by Dakota Bryant.
You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on Twitter @MtOlympusU. Please consider subscribing, rating, and leaving a comment to help more students find us.
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