EP128: Union Dues – Send in the Clowns

By Jeffrey R. DeRego.
Read by Dani Cutler (of Truth Seekrs and The Audio Addicts).
Discuss on our forums.
All stories by Jeffrey R. DeRego

Tina tugs on Kindred’s bullet-tattered red cape. “What kinda tricks do you do?”

Kindred shakes her head as if bewildered by the question. “Tricks?” She glances back at Megaton, who now juggles three Jersey barriers about a hundred meters out in the devastation.

“Let it go Kindred. We’ve been through a lot.”

“Well that’s good. So now you’re free to put on a carnival. Get everyone together and onto the jet now. And I mean now!” Her voice is so loud it draws everyone’s attention away from the show.

Megaton drops the Jersey barriers and the ground shakes.

Kindred lowers herself to one knee beside the little girl. “My trick is special,” she says, “I can make the whole circus disappear. Abracadabra‚Äî”

Rated PG. Contains superhero violence and organizational politics.

Comments (16)

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  1. Rain says:

    I just want to say that I absolutely LOVE Escape Pod and can’t thank you enough for it. I love listening to audiobooks but my addiction is so expensive! Not only that but the biggest audiobook site doesn’t like Linux.

    Can you suggest any other podcasts where they frequently read books rather than just talking about different subjects? I love listening to books/poems.

    Keep up the amazing work. You’ve got a big new fan

  2. Russell Nash says:


    That is one of the topics handeled in our forums. Comments, reviews, and recommendations of podcasts and Podiobooks are very common. Click the “Discussion Forum” link under the resources heading on the left side of the page and join us.

  3. Dani says:

    It was a lot of fun to read- thank you for the opportunity! 🙂

  4. Tom Zimmerman says:

    another great Union Dues story. Made my day at work today! Good job on the reading, Dani.

  5. Me says:

    The story was okay, I’m not a fan of the Union Dues ones so it was probably better than I think.

    Apart from that though I couldn’t get into this one. It felt like it was being read to fast, or without enough interest by the narrator. Difficult to get drawn into the characters and their reactions to events.

  6. Will says:

    I thought this was a great story. I had thought that Union Dues had run it’s course, I thought another story would be flogging a dead horse, and in any case Lycra-clad stories don’t really have much depth – I am delighted to be proved very wrong.

    My experience was pretty much the opposite of “Me”. It was well read, drew me into this otherwise fantastical universe and left me more than a little chilled. Good writing and a good choice of narrator – just what I’ve come to expect from Escape Pod.


  7. Lungdoc says:

    i enjoy the union dues stories, but usually don’t listen to them more than once, unlike other escape pod stories that i have listened to repeatedly. It’s bad enough that mortals have to live the “corporate” life, it’s really sort of depressing to think that “superheroes” would have to also…..

  8. SoulPatch76 says:

    I really, really enjoy the Union Dues stories and wish there were more of them and they would be more frequent. I like how the action is mixed in with the very personal and behind the scenes look at the superheroes life. Can’t wait for the next one !

  9. Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) says:

    This was the first Union Dues story I’d heard, and I liked it enough to go back and listen to the others. Turns out this isn’t even the best one. I like how characters and situations from previous episodes are referenced- but not always from the same point of view or attitude. I like continuity, and I also like different perspectives on the same events, so that’s cool.

    I definitely want more.

  10. […] sorts. At least I find it amusing. Special thanks to EscapePod.org for publishing a great series of superhero stories (of course thanks to Jeffrey R. Derego for writing them!) and providing me the inspiration […]

  11. Dennis Roberts says:

    I tried to download the mp3 but I get a DNS error that the host media.extraneous.org.

  12. Brendan says:

    I also found I couldn’t download the mp3.

  13. SFEley says:

    Fixed. Thanks, folks, for letting me know.

  14. scatterbrain says:

    Excellent as always.

  15. I love the Union Dues series, it was the first story hear from Escape Pod its the one that hooked me.

    Great story thanks.

  16. […] shopping malls, having their own cash cow comic books, and, sometimes, fighting the bad guys. “Union Dues: Send in the Clowns” by Jeffrey R. DeRego (read by Dani Cutler) features the body-armoured Jenny Chrome and her falling […]