Aug. 1, 2019

Episode 1: The Storm

Episode 1: The Storm

Alexa and Beni Ventura are yanked into a timestorm where they meet a distant cousin who gives them an extraordinary mission: travel through time to preserve their culture’s true history.


EPISODE CREDITS

Written and directed by Dania Ramos
Audio engineering, sound design & original music by Michael Aquino
Episode art layout: M. Aquino; original image by Shutterstock/Molotok743

Alicia Rivas as Atabey
Orlando Segarra as Horacio Méndez
Leilany Figueroa as Alexa Ventura
Claudio Venancio as Beni Ventura
Walter F. Rodriguez as Ramiro Ventura
Jennica Carmona as Clara Ventura
Joseph Langham as Captain

Thanks for the Share-out, JD!

Episode consultant: Wil Williams
Content consultant: Charlie Vázquez
Series art: Hispanic Legacy Studio

Timestorm is a Cocotazo Media production made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Google Podcasts creator program, TRAX from PRX, and our Patreon community. Special thanks to equipment sponsor 3DioSound and the KidsListen community.

Series Listening GuideMap Guides | More About Puerto Rico
Episode 1 Guide: Printable | Text only

Sources: The Center for Puerto Rican Studies - Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military: A Century Of Unheralded Service | National Geographic Resource Library - Barometer

Timestorm is produced in Essex County, NJ, the traditional territory of the Leni Lenape people.

Transcript

Episode 01: The Storm

©2018-2020 Cocotazo Media

THE TIMESTORM. ANOTHER DIMENSION.

A thunderclap. Then a zap into a buzz.

ATABEY
Twins. Twelve years old.

HORACIO
Kids? The mission isn't a game.

ATABEY
You're right. And it's a mission that you can't meet alone, Lieutenant Méndez. You need help. Besides, these aren't just any children, they're your family.

HORACIO
Let me guess—

ATABEY / HORACIO
Cousins.

HORACIO
How many dozens of family members have I brought into the timestorm already? Primos, tíos, tías. Every one of them convinced they were having a nightmare or losing their minds. I had to send them right back to earth. Why should these kids be any different?

ATABEY
Watch this.

ATABEY taps into the Ventura twins on earth. ALEXA and BENI’S distorted voices are heard in the timestorm.

ALEXA
It's your turn to load the dishwasher, Beni.

BENI
I want to finish reading this comic book.

ALEXA
Same excuse every time you have chores.

BENI
You'd probably like this one, Alexa. The main character's Puerto Rican like us.

ALEXA
Really? Let me see. Take Back Time. American soldier Lieutenant Horacio Méndez is fighting a war on a foreign shore when he's pulled through an inter-dimensional portal into a timestorm.

BENI
How cool is that?

ALEXA
I don't do inter-dimensional portals.

ATABEY disconnects from the Ventura twins on earth.

HORACIO
That's me. She said my name. The war, the timestorm, the inter-dimensional travel. Pero, how can this be? How does that comic book even exist?

ATABEY
Focus, human. The mission. You need help. And it sounds like this boy will believe you.

HORACIO
Sure, there's a chance with him. But you heard the girl, she doesn't do inter-dimensional portals.

ATABEY
She'll come around. It is her twin brother, after all.

HORACIO
Twins. Two people traveling together. Yes, twins might work well.

ATABEY
We're in agreement then.

HORACIO
Yes, I'm summoning Alexa and Benito Ventura into the timestorm.

MUSIC: THEME SONG - "IN THE TIMESTORM"

Witness. Find. Remember.
The hidden past seeks its dawn,
showing us that we all belong.
Horacio, Alexa, and Beni take back time,
find history in the timestorm.
Witness. Find. Remember.


2017. NEWARK. THE VENTURA HOME. DINING ROOM.

NARRATOR
September seventeenth, two thousand seventeen. Newark, New Jersey.

Rain hits the window. Thunder can be heard in the distance. The Venturas are eating dinner.

RAMIRO
Dinner table rules. Beni!

BENI
What? I don't have my phone. It's in my room.

RAMIRO
The comic book.

BENI
I was about to put it away. No one's even taken a bite yet.

ALEXA
How can you tell if your nose is stuck in one of those stupid comic books? 

BENI
Oh, please. You're mad because Pa won’t let you knit at the table.

ALEXA
Nope. I just don't like comic books.

BENI
Better than the boring stuff you read.

ALEXA
Biographies are not boring. Tell him, Ma.

CLARA
Librarians stay neutral. Pass the seltzer, please.

A thunderclap.

RAMIRO
Whoa. That storm sure is close.

CLARA
Bueno, I’m glad you're not scheduled to fly a plane in this.

BENI
Can we turn on the air?

RAMIRO
You know the rules. No air-conditioning after—

ALEXA / BENI / RAMIRO
Labor Day.

RAMIRO
When I was growing up in Puerto Rico we just—

ALEXA / BENI / RAMIRO
—cranked open the window.

RAMIRO
That's right. We didn't have the luxury of air-conditioning. Your grandparents didn't believe in it.

CLARA
Speak for your own side of the family because we always ran in the air in Ponce. In fact, Mami said they've been keeping theirs running on a generator ever since Hurricane Irma hit the island.

RAMIRO
Can you imagine running a generator for a week and a half?

BENI
Can we run the air for a minute-and-a-half?

CLARA opens the window. The rain is heard through the open window.

CLARA
Ya. There. Window's open.

A gust of wind blows.

CLARA
Ay! Grab the napkins!

RAMIRO fumbles and grunts, trying to catch napkins.

RAMIRO
Whoa! I— That's some wind!

The electricity fizzles out.

CLARA
Y se fue la—

A dramatic thunderclap. ALEXA and BENI shout as they travel through the portal.


THE TIMESTORM. ANOTHER DIMENSION.

ALEXA and BENI laugh as they land in the timestorm.

BENI
Ah, man, that tickled.

ALEXA
What just happened?

BENI
Where are we?

HORACIO
It worked!

ALEXA and BENI yell in shock.

HORACIO
Perdón. You're probably confused. But there's no need to be frightened. I can’t believe you're here! Twins. Benito and Alexa Ventura. Tremendous!

ALEXA
Do we know you?

HORACIO
My name is Horacio. Somos primos.

BENI
Cousins? 

ALEXA
Yeah, right. This whole thing is super sketchy.

BENI
Where did our parents go?

HORACIO
They're right where you left them. 

ALEXA
Is this is a YouTube hidden camera prank?

HORACIO
YouTube?

ALEXA
Oh, please. Quit the act. I don't know why you dragged me into this. It's way more Beni's scene with this weird fake helicopter.

BENI
A helicopter. Horacio. Wait a minute. What's your last name? 

HORACIO
Méndez.

BENI
Lieutenant Horacio Méndez?

HORACIO
Affirmative.

ALEXA
I feel like I've heard that name before.

BENI
No way! We're pretending we're inside a timestorm! You're supposed to be Horacio Méndez the comic book character!

ALEXA
Ugh. This is a cosplay thing? That's why you're in that old soldier costume?

HORACIO
Cos play. What's that? 

ALEXA
Dressing up as your favorite character. Like you are. Right now.

HORACIO
Oh...you think I'm just a character from the comic book.

BENI
Take Back Time.

HORACIO
Take Back Time. Bueno, I do have questions about this comic book. But, no, they must wait. I need to stay focused and help you understand that, one: you are not dreaming.

ALEXA
You sure about that?

HORACIO
Two: you are not losing your mind.

BENI
This is a weird list.

HORACIO
And, three: I'm not pretending to be Horacio Méndez. I am Horacio Méndez. 

BENI
Whoa.

HORACIO
I was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico in...nineteen forty-nine.

ALEXA
Yep. I’m dreaming. I'm at the table, snoring into Ma's arroz con pollo.

HORACIO
I was a U.S. soldier in the Vietnam War. 

ALEXA
Vietnam? That's intense.

BENI
Vietnam? Wow. 

HORACIO
Records show that in nineteen seventy, my helicopter crashed after it was struck by lightning. Pero, no wreckage was found. That's because the helicopter was yanked through an inter-dimensional portal. Now, I exist in this timestorm. I can't go back.

ALEXA
What? We can't go back?

BENI
(overlapping)
Wait a minute. What do mean: we can't go back?

HORACIO
No, no, no. You can go back. Both of you will go back to that beautiful mess of a world that I miss like crazy. No, what I'm trying to say is that...I can never return because...

BENI
You're dead on earth.

ALEXA
Okay! Ay, ay, ay, ay. This dream needs to end!

HORACIO
But back there, you're both alive. You can travel in time and whenever, wherever you arrive on earth, you'll exist alive as can be. You can help me.

ALEXA
No. We can't. I mean, do you hear yourself? You're asking us to travel in time and change history.

HORACIO
Not change. The mission is to witness, find, and remember history.

ALEXA
Hello? That's what the internet and books are for? 

HORACIO
Too many moments and people from our culture have been overlooked. Lost. Forgotten. Your parents and generations before them were all born in Puerto Rico.

ALEXA
Yeah. But we never lived there.

HORACIO
Our ancestors came not just from the Caribbean, but from Africa and Europe as well. All this is in our blood, part of our identity wherever we are. 

ALEXA
I'll stick to New Jersey two thousand seventeen, thanks.

HORACIO
You can witness pivotal moments, find the people who blazed our culture's path. We need it more than ever. Think of what’s happened in Puerto Rico. How this hurricane's changed everything.

ALEXA
Hurricane Irma? 

HORACIO
Irma. What date is it for you back on earth?

BENI
September seventeenth. 

HORACIO
It's too soon.

HORACIO retrieves an item from his pocket.

HORACIO
Here. Take this.

BENI
A compass!

HORACIO
A barometer. Made of bronze. I took it with me to Vietnam and, one night, it started glowing. That’s when I felt its power. I know it sounds crazy, but the barometer’s control was so strong...it was as if I had to do it. I flew that chopper right into the heart of the storm.

1970. THE SKY OVER VIETNAM. A HELICOPTER CABIN.

A thunderclap. Rain hits the helicopter cabin. Horacio's barometer buzzes.

CAPTAIN
(all CAPTAIN lines are over two-way radio)
Lieutenant Méndez. I've received word that you've gone on an unauthorized solo flight. This is unacceptable. 

HORACIO
I've got a mission, Captain. 

CAPTAIN
Not ordered by the U.S. military. Expedite your return. That's an order.

The barometer buzz intensifies.

CAPTAIN:
What's that sound? 

HORACIO:
My mission.

CAPTAIN:
That sound is your mission?

HORACIO:
The sound of tempus.

A thunderclap. HORACIO shouts as he travels through the portal and then laughs.

FLASHBACK ENDS.

HORACIO
The barometer led me here into the timestorm. See the labels along the edge? 

BENI
Very dry, fair, change, rain, stormy. 

HORACIO
When a time portal opens, another zone appears to complete the circle.

The barometer buzzes.

BENI
There it is. T-e-m-p-u-s. 

BENI/ALEXA
Tempus.

ALEXA
That's 'time' in Latin.

HORACIO
This is what time sounds like. The sound of tempus.

BENI
The barometer's glowing purple!

HORACIO
You're about to return to earth at the exact moment you left. You both have a choice. The weather will guide you. Remember to check the barometer. There's a knob on top. Press it, Beni.

ALEXA
What will that —

A dramatic thunderclap. ALEXA and BENI shout as they travel through the portal.


2017. NEWARK. THE VENTURA HOME. THE DINING ROOM.

The rain is heard through the open window. There's a gust of wind.

CLARA
Ay! Grab the napkins!

RAMIRO fumbles and grunts, trying to catch napkins.

RAMIRO
That's some wind!

The electricity fizzles out.

CLARA
Y se fue la luz.

A dramatic thunderclap. ALEXA and BENI laugh as they land back home.

RAMIRO
Are you two laughing at my napkin-catching fail?

BENI
Yeah, that's it.

CLARA shuts the window. 

RAMIRO
I guess it’s dinner by flashlight then.

RAMIRO walks into the kitchen.

CLARA
Mira eso. Whole neighborhood is pitch black.

RAMIRO
(off mic from the kitchen)
Clara, did you move the flashlights? 

CLARA
They're in the drawer.

RAMIRO
I’m looking in the drawer.

CLARA
Well, I didn’t move them.

CLARA walks into the kitchen.

BENI
Alexa. Look. The word 'tempus.' It’s fading.

ALEXA
No, no. It's just a stupid toy. It's just a stupid toy.

BENI
It’s not a toy. It’s proof the timestorm exists. We were both there.

ALEXA
Put the barometer away, Beni. I'm not joking. 

RAMIRO and CLARA walk back into the dining room.

RAMIRO
All right, who's up for shadow puppets?

ALEXA
Sorry. But I...

CLARA
What's wrong? You were so happy a minute ago.

ALEXA
Uh...my stomach's bothering me.

CLARA
Pues, let me get you some ginger ale.

ALEXA
No! No. Thank you. I...I just need to lie down.

RAMIRO
Here. Take a flashlight.

ALEXA
Thanks.

ALEXA stands and shuffles out of the dining room.


2017. NEWARK. THE VENTURA HOME. THE KITCHEN.

MUSIC: TRANSITION - "HOME”

RAMIRO clicks the flashlight on and off several times.

CLARA
Rami. Por favor, either on or off with that flashlight.

RAMIRO
What’s it been? About an hour, you think?

CLARA
I know you’re not complaining. Not with family down in Puerto Rico who haven’t had power since Irma hit ten days ago.

RAMIRO
It was an honest question. I wasn’t complaining. 

CLARA
Sorry. I just…feel guilty sometimes, you know?

RAMIRO
Guilty? You've done so much with that donation drive at the library.

CLARA
All of my co-workers are working hard. Betina's been the best.

RAMIRO
I disagree. I think you're the best.

CLARA
(laughs)
Rami...
(sigh)
Sometimes I wish my parents would just move to the states.

RAMIRO
You know they're not going to leave the island.

CLARA
Has the airline said anything about that new tropical storm?

RAMIRO
It's gaining strength. Might become a hurricane tonight.

CLARA
You're still scheduled for that flight to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday?

RAMIRO
They'll cancel if it gets bad.

CLARA
Irma a week and a half ago and now this storm…it's Minerva, right?

RAMIRO
Maria.

The electricity whirs back on. The microwave beeps.

RAMIRO
Oh. There we go.

CLARA
Thank goodness.


2017. NEWARK. THE VENTURA HOME. ALEXA'S ROOM.

ALEXA
Finally. Light.

BENI knocks on the door.

ALEXA
Come in.

BENI opens the door.

BENI
Hey. Were you just knitting in the dark?

ALEXA
I had a flashlight.

BENI
I found something you might...it's related to history, so I thought...

ALEXA
What is it, Beni?

BENI closes the door.

BENI
The symbol on the barometer is a Taíno pictogram.

ALEXA
The sun.

BENI
You already knew?

ALEXA
Ma has earrings with the same symbol. I asked her what it meant when I borrowed them once.

BENI
Oh. 

ALEXA
Are you always going to walk around with that barometer now?

BENI
You can take it sometimes.

ALEXA
No, thanks.

BENI
Fine.

ALEXA
You want the timestorm to be real. The ultimate role-play. Live in a fantasy where you don't have to deal with reality.

BENI
The timestorm is reality. Just different than we're used to. Horacio said we both have a choice. You can choose to stay. And I can choose to go without you.

ALEXA
Oh, right. You fly around in some other century. I’ll hang here, wondering if you're ever gonna return.

BENI
You won’t even notice I’m gone.

ALEXA
I don't get it, Beni. You're afraid to bike to school alone. But traveling to other dimensions and centuries by yourself—you’d be okay with that?

BENI
Nobody would know me there. I could be...

ALEXA
What? A hero?

BENI
Not a hero. But more than some kid who gets made fun of for reading comic books and playing video games.

ALEXA
I'll...I'll stop getting on your case about that stuff, okay?

BENI
It's not just you. Sometimes, I want to be someone else, far away in some other...

ALEXA
Time?

BENI
Believe me, Alexa, part of me thinks this is all completely nuts. 

ALEXA
And the other part?

BENI
It wants to time travel.

ALEXA
Okay. Have fun.

BENI
Have fun?

ALEXA
Let's pretend that the crazy dream was real. It kinda sounds like you wouldn't want me there.

BENI
I never said that. 

ALEXA
I know you, Beni. Not just comic books and video games. I know you better than anyone. So if you're looking to travel far away and be someone else, why would you want me around?

BENI
Because you're...smart. You ask the right questions. You see things for what they are and...and why are you looking at me like that?

ALEXA
You're complimenting me. You must really want me to go with you.

BENI
Don't get a big head about it. You're still a pain in my butt. 

ALEXA
Whoa. Guess you're done with the compliments then.

BENI
You're my sister. If I'm going to travel through time, I want you with me. 

ALEXA
If the timestorm actually existed...I'd go with you. 

BENI
Really?

ALEXA
But it's not real. Time travel is impossible.

BENI opens and closes the door.

MUSIC: "IN THE TIMESTORM" (INSTRUMENTAL)


NARRATION
This episode of Timestorm was written by Dania Ramos with audio engineering, sound design, and original music by Michael Aquino. The role of Atabey was played by Alicia Rivas. Horacio Méndez was played by Orlando Segarra. Alexa Ventura was played by Leilany Figueroa. Beni Ventura was played by Claudio Venancio. Ramiro Ventura was played by Walter Rodriguez. Clara Ventura was played by Jennica Carmona. This episode also featured Joseph Langham.

It's time for our Listener Share-out! Here's an adventure share-out sent in by J. D. from New Jersey.

J. D.
Hello. My name is J. D. I want to tell you about this one time I went to Mexico. But since this is about Mexico and they speak in Spanish, I'm going to say - Hi. My name is John Diego - in Spanish. Ready, set, go. Hola, mi nombre es Juan Diego. That was good, right? Hope you liked it. Anyway, my adventure in Mexico was when I went to the dolphin place. The lady who worked at the dolphin place threw fish into the dolphin's mouth. And the dolphin was also a girl. Whenever we splashed the dolphin, it splashed us back. It was so hilarious. I had the time of my life. Then we also went to the ocean - had a breeze - and went all around, ran around the beach. Mexico's so beautiful. I hope I can come back there again. Bye!

NARRATION
Thanks, J. D.! Those dolphins sound pretty funny! 

Hey, listeners, we want to feature your voice in an upcoming episode! You can learn more about how to submit a Share-out by visiting Timestorm Series dot com.

Timestorm is produced by Cocotazo Media and is a proud member of TRAX from PRX. Support for TRAX comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. To learn more about TRAX, visit TRAX dot fm: that’s t-r-a-x-dot fm. Additional support comes from the PRX Google Podcasts creator program.

If you enjoy the show, ask your parents to subscribe to Timestorm on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or the Kids Listen App.

A quick message for our adult listeners: please be sure to check out our free resources including episode guides and transcripts over at Timestorm Series dot com. And if you're interested in more bonus and behind-the-scenes content, we hope you’ll consider joining our Patreon community over at Patreon dot com slash Timestorm. You can also show your support for the series by sharing it with a friend or leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts and Podchaser.

Timestorm is produced in Essex County, New Jersey, which is situated on the traditional territory of the Leni Lenape people.

As always, thanks for listening.

ATABEY
Witness. Find. Remember.