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By Sushi Soucy


Do you believe?

Full Synopsis

Solar has always preferred the stars to people. As a child, they used to sneak out onto their roof at night and talk to aliens. How the aliens were supposed to hear them was unclear, but Solar supposed that if they were out there, they were probably good listeners. Now a freshman at A New School, Solar still goes out to the roof at night- sometimes hiding between the rainbow shadows cast by the Birdcage, other times perched against the foggy glass of the greenhouse. They sit in the starlight with a walkie talkie and try to contact the things beyond. When they’re sad, they eat olives straight from the jar, leaving an ever-growing collection they have dubbed “The Olive Jarden”. 

One night, they make contact- not with an Alien, but with another girl, on another roof, hidden in the darkness of an Averno night. (1. No Choice)

After trying, unsuccessfully, to talk to the person they heard, Solar returns to their dorm in the DUE, only to be met with a party. They go hide in their dorm room with their roommate, Sam. 

Across campus Nova, the girl on the other side of the airwaves, returns to her dorm room. It is entirely empty, except for jars of moss and acorns. 

The next day, Nova goes to the cafeteria to get lunch. She runs into her roommate and her roommates friends. As usual, Nova doesn’t understand any of the jokes they make, and she walks away feeling like everyone else was born with a secret guide to the world- one she never got (2. Ketchup). 

That night, Nova returns to the roof with a walkie talkie. She turns it on and tries to talk to someone- Penya- but they don’t respond. After a few minutes, however, someone else answers- Solar. After a confusing few minutes where Solar thinks Nova is an alien and Nova thinks Solar is the person named Penya, they eventually figure out that they are not, in fact, those people, and they begin talking. They agree to meet up again- via walkie talkie, that is. 

And they do. Every night they go to the roof and talk about everything and nothing. Solar soon realizes that Nova seemingly knows nothing about…. Anything. She doesn’t know what Lord of the Rings or ET or even Google are. So they become “rooftop bookclub buddies” and read new books every week. They watch movies on Netflix and use codenames - Star and Lilo. They become best friends- and they never meet face to face. (3. Like I Do).

But as Solar finds home with Nova, they get further and further from their “real world”. As a member of the DUE, Solar belongs everywhere and nowhere. When they were kidnapped away into the tunnels and fluorescent glow of the commons their first week, they thought they had found their people- the cryptid-hunters and deep sea explorers and most of all, the dreamers. But soon they realized that with their fervent, almost childlike belief in the beyond, they were as far from their classmates as an alien. One night they return from the roof to find their classmates gearing up for a cryptid hunt, (4. Cryptid Hunt) but when they say that the cryptids might not want to be found, they are mocked mercilessly. They return to the roof and get angry for the first time in a long time (5. Stay a Child). 

After they calm down a bit, Solar realizes that they don’t exactly have no one- there is one person who understands. Who sees the world like them. Solar goes up to the roof and asks Nova out- and she says yes (6. The Alien All Along). 

Unfortunately, Nova realizes soon after that eventually, the two will have to meet in person. And she gets scared. Really scared. Because Nova has a secret. She wasn’t just sheltered growing up- she was in the forest. Literally. Nova is a wild one, one of the children saved by the Shadow Mothers and raised wild in the deep woods. When she reaches adulthood and is given the choice of whether to stay or go, Nova leaves the forest- and leaves her family behind. At A New School, she is the weirdo. People assume she grew up in one of those uber-religious homeschool families, or maybe in a bunker. It’s the only explanation for the fact that she can barely work the internet and doesn’t know who Shakespeare is. But with Solar, she isn’t all of that. She’s the version of herself she has made- and she doesn’t want Solar to stop seeing her that way (7. When You See Me). Solar tries to tell her that they will still see her, that they WANT to see her, but she doesn’t listen. Nova gets scared and breaks it off.

Nova goes up to the roof and tries once again to find the person named Penya. Her sister, who’s still in the forest. Once again, there is no answer. (8. Nova Phone Home). But just as she’s about to leave the roof, there’s a crackling on the walkie talkie. Then a voice. Penya. 

“I can’t talk yet. But soon.” Nova holds the walkie talkie to her chest. Soon. Soon can be enough. 

Across campus, Solar tries to get in contact with Nova. She doesn’t answer. Finally, they tell her that they’ll be waiting on the roof of the DDL. They promise that no matter what, if she wants to, they want to get to know her. 

Solar climbs to the roof and sets up fairy lights. They even spruce up the Olive Jarden. They play bad 80’s music. And they wait. 

At first, it seems like Nova will never come. She almost doesn’t. It begins to snow, and Solar sits shivering beneath an umbrella. But then Nova sees the fairy lights glowing through the haze of snow, and Nova  knows she has to go. (9. Supernova).

Before winter break, Nova and Solar share a plate of fries at Skyline Diner. The snow falls outside. They are happy. (10. I Have You Now). 

  1. No Choice- Sushi Soucy

  2. Ketchup- Janeen Garcia

  3. Like I do- Sushi Soucy, Janeen Garcia

  4. Cryptid Hunt- Sushi Soucy, Janeen Garcia, August Greenwood, Morgan Smith, Nalah Palmer

  5. Stay a Child- Sushi Soucy

  6. The Alien All Along- Sushi Soucy, Janeen Garcia

  7. If You See Me- Janeen Garcia

  8. Nova Phone Home- Janeen Garcia

  9. SuperNova- Sushi Soucy, Janeen Garcia

  10. No Choice (reprise)- Sushi Soucy

  11. Nova Phone Home- Bonus track

  1. No Choice- Solar

  2. Ketchup- Nova

  3. Like I do- Solar, Nova

  4. Cryptid Hunt- Solar, Nova, DUE ensemble

  5. Stay a Child- Solar

  6. The Alien All Along- Solar, Nova

  7. If You See Me- Nova

  8. Nova Phone Home- Nova

  9. SuperNova- Solar, Nova

  10. No Choice (reprise)- Solar

  11. Nova Phone Home- Bonus track

Nova Outfits
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