The Keeper

  • Submitted on time! Feb 4, 2024
Meteor Shower at the Motel

Took a walk, whilst imagining a meteor shower. Playing around with some ideas in my mind, I was reminded of an older Garage Band session that’s basically one big cascade with a very spacey-atmosphere.

Strapped for time at the computer, I opted to write what could be an episode of Love Death and Robots:

The year is 2080. The comet cluster Halcyon 5 is on an irreconcilable collision course with Earth. For the last three decades since our discovery of Halcyon 5,  not only have we terraformed new planets outside of our solar system but implemented a planet-wide exodus for all people and a full catalog of flora and fauna under project ARC (Absolute Re-Civilization). Successfully completing a 30 year long evacuation, the final ships left Earth as Halcyon 5 breached our solar system and became visible to any remaining unaided earthling eyes.

Entertainment giant VIZEN launched probes to race alongside the descending comets, providing a real-time feed of mother Earth’s next, but likely not last, total immolation.

Our POV begins by following CUSTODES, a bot tasked with custodial duties at the ICBC motel of Azure Falls, Arizona. As Halcyon 5 draws nearer overhead, we see through the motel windows CUSTODES gliding from room to room performing what seem to be the dutiful but sadly futile tasks he must have been programmed to perform. While the heavens swirl above, CUSTODES tends to all nooks and crannies of the already over-tidied motel, finally pausing in the motel office in front of a picture of a family of three: two parents and a little girl. They are standing proudly in front of the Neon sign of the ICBC hotel. The photo has  doilies patterned around the edges, little hearts in the corners. We switch to the POV of CUSTODES, with the word “remote” blinking in the bottom corner. We look on while making our way out into the empty lot, in front of the dormant neon sign, gazing up beyond at Halcyon-5 as it draws nearer.

2:45 – Now outside in the Arizona desert, we observe through CUSTODES, rummaging about the property, rifling through the creosote and bumbling over the rocks, eventually happening upon a little clearing. There, a child’s table, some stools, and a plastic tea set lay strewn about the area, dusty and scratched but unbroken. CUSTODES searches the clearing, overturning small boulders, until at about 5:20, after noticing a nylon strap flapping in nearby bush, zooms in to discover a little pink camera with a cheap little tripod screwed onto the bottom, and little rubber bunny ears above the lense.

4:26 – 5:32 We switch to the POV of the VIZEN drones racing alongside Halcyon 5’s multiplying comets, some small, some large, all mighty, piercing the light cloud layer in the Arizona night sky until the cameras disappear at the moment of impact.

Return to CUSTODES, who snatches the camera and begins racing through the Arizona desert, rabbit-camera dangling behind, as the first marble-sized debris pummels the dry earth. The sun is rising. CUSTODES evades bombardment, for a time, until the fusillade is about to completely engulf our little hero, when a single blue-flames rocket emerges from CUSTODES wee chassis at  6:13.


Vaulting upwards, CUSTODES rushes to clear the swirling debris clouds,  breaking free at 6:29, wheeling about has comets shower downwards all around him.

Our final shot sequence from 6:49 is from the POV of a lone Vizen(TM) drone sitting  in orbit, we wave goodbye one last time as Earth is enveloped,  CUSTODES zooming past our moon.

The camera rotates to follow CUSTODES  blinks into light speed to return the camera to its operator, several galaxies away.


Looking for feedback on

Mostly types by phone so forgive any lack of clarity, but plot-thoughts? Should the kiddie-camera be swapped out for a different precious object? Any and all thoughts welcome!


EliasSZ February 14, 2024 11:02am

I feel like I just took an absolute journey, I read your description as I listened, trying to keep up with the time marks and just had a blast. I think the precious object is exactly right – something so mundane, but meaningful, and something that feels like it captures a childlike innocence, which parallels the simplicity of CUSTODES’s mission, a simple return item to owner.

Also the sounds you created are absolute sick.

Ryan February 12, 2024 11:04am

The precious object should be an Ibanez JEM77P. Otherwise—perfect.

danhunt February 10, 2024 7:37pm

DUDE. The story creation and composition here are sensational! Love it, I hope you one day get hired to score Love, Death, & Robots episodes.

The beginning section in 5 and the guitar techniques you employ during the section starting at 4:30 are fully rad. Amazing work!

alechutson February 9, 2024 3:46pm

WOW. This is a whole universe. Truly remarkable work

Ben February 7, 2024 10:57am

dude you should check out this band Elephantom. they have similar epic, long compositions that sort of blend prog with post rock with psychadelic rock with pop, even with elements of metal and fusion. lots of tight compositions that are complex yet deeply musical and tasteful, paired with heavily syncopated rhythms. scorching instrumentals, a patient long builds.

This is so great. Glad I carved out time for a full, hi-fi listen. Also, as always, great drum programming. Great composition and playing. We would’ve nerded out in highschool together i think.

I think my only suggestion would be to modify something about the 4:27ish part where the drums come in. the drums in that one section sound a little naked or something? thats the only time that i’m taken out of the world you’ve created. I dont know if that means change the composition of them, dirty them up a little with fx, add some bass or synth, lower their volume, or what. but as soon as the bass comes in they start sounding like they sit better, especially as you open up the hihats a little at around 5:12.

The line at 5:50 and 6;00 is so sick. and the epic kick drum in between those two moments. again, such great drum programming. This is a success. 8 and a half minutes of instrumental music, played by a super skilled multi-instrumentalist who loves intricate composition and rhythm and dynamics always has a risk of veering off the rails into Wank Town, but you’ve managed to steer clear. The composition is so patient and pretty and melodic and musical. I mean sure, sometimes you might drive the train right to the gates of Wank Town, just for like 5 seconds, just to shred a little bit and stick out your tongue at the Guitar Center guys who live there. But you never go in. Because legend has it, that once you go into the gates of Wank Town, you grow a soul patch and never leave. Because it’s probably fun.

There’s some Animals As Leaders business happening throughout the entire song.

Thanks for 8 minutes of entertainment that honestly brings me back to some of the stuff that really got me excited about music in my early days.

This one’s… a keeper.

troods February 6, 2024 12:00pm

Love the intentional stumblings, haltings, rumblings, twinklings, especially of the first 3 minutes. Like the dizzy twilight slumber/waking of a mid-hibernation animal in the night.

Ben February 5, 2024 2:50pm (edited)

This completely blew my mind. Not gonna lie, I read the description and saw the length of the track and was like “nah I ain’t got time for this” but I’m so glad I did. This was a journey and I’m glad I went on it. Reminds me of earlier Grizzly Bear songs actually—Daniel Rossen experimenting with unexpected guitar changes combined with Ed Droste’s soundscapes, and songs that take you on winding journeys.

Ben February 7, 2024 10:34am

yeah i hear the GB elements here too.

Ben February 5, 2024 12:37pm (edited)

I listened last night on my phone in the backyard and got 20 seconds in before i was like “Noooooope, not gonna listen to this thru my iphone speakers. this is a Monday afternoon living room stereo listen.” Looking forward to this one.

lazyrabbit February 5, 2024 10:15am

Hell yeah this rips — love the evolution here, I really get the feeling of Halcyon 5 getting ripped into beautiful shreds of light being chased by VIZEN drones. Also I just love the idea of CUSTODES the motel custodian robot that’s really an amazing lil description addition.