What is Among the Stars and Bones?
An sci-fi audio drama about xenoarchaeologists investigating alien ruins on distant worlds. The first season will run for 10 episodes, released bi-weekly starting April 3, 2019. For more on the characters and world of the show, read on.
(And don’t worry, it’s not necessary to know all this to enjoy the show. This is just some background info for those who like to know a little bit more about the world-building of the stories they consume.)
The Crew of the Herodotus Task Force
Comptroller Adrienne Barnes – Mission Control and Logistics
On paper, Adrienne is the head of the mission. In reality, she knows that her role is advisory at best. Cynical, jaded and heartily sick of the politics within the team and back at corporate headquarters, she tries to focus on the one thing still important to her – keeping her crew safe.
Ben Kelleher – Head of Xenoarchaeology
Specialising primarily in translation, Ben has suffered personal tragedy in his pursuit of knowledge of the Proximans. His main hope is that he will one day find the location of the alien’s homeworld, and that somehow doing so will make all that has happened to him worthwhile.
Lieutenant Laura Riggs – Head of the Military Scientific Research Team
A scientist and soldier, Laura’s role is to evaluate left over alien technology in the hopes of finding ways to adapt it for military use. With civil war rife across the outer colonies, she hopes to find something that will bring about a swift end with fewer lives lost.
Dr Celia Pennella – Head of Xenobiology and Xenoanthropology
Celia does not suffer fools or the trivialities of administration and paperwork. Anything they can delegate to a subordinate, they will. Understanding and knowledge itself are their primary motivations.
Kathy Winters – 2iC of Xenobiology and Xenoanthropology
New to off-world expeditions and still finding her feet, Kathy is very nervous to find herself in such a senior role. Passionate about her work, she has a tendency to try and cover her awkwardness with humour, with varying degrees of success.
Gordon Price – Head of Technology
The smartest guy in the room (just ask him), no one understands Proximan technology better. While most senior members of the Herodotus group are regulars, Gordon enjoys rock star status. The corporation puts him on any premium expedition wherever the chances of uncovering the most profitable alien tech exists.
Harry Kowalski – Technology Department
Not at his best when put on the spot, Harry has an intrinsic understanding of Proximan computer programming. Quiet a lot of the time but can talk your ear once he gets going, he is eager to impress in his first time on an off-world expedition.
Janine Hattersley – Logistics Department
Providing logistical support and checking inventory is not Janine’s dream job. Mostly she’s here because it pays the bills and counts as credit towards her masters degree.
Harris – Military Scientist
Steady and competent with a technology and engineering background. One of Riggs’ most reliable team members.
Jensen – Military Scientist
One of the more practical and hands-on members of the team. Looks up to her boss a lot.
Logan – Military Scientist
Some of the military team are scientists and soldiers. Some are scientists who work for soldiers. Logan is a physicist who fits the latter category.
The voice of the machine.
The World of the Show
It’s 2211 and humanity has left Earth and colonised new worlds and explored and exploited many places within thirty or so light years of our home planet.
On Proxima Centauri B. about 40 years ago, the first ever evidence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life was found in the form of a wrecked scouting ship that had crashed there sometime around the year 900 AD (a date used as a yardstick to measure other finds against, referred to as First Discovery). The media dubbed the aliens The Proximans, and since there was nothing to tell where the aliens came from, the name stuck.
Since then there have been a half dozen other discoveries of Proximan sites on other worlds, spawning the fields of xenoarchaeology, xenobiology, xenolinguistics and xenoanthropology, as well as creating much interest in exploiting the technology of the more advanced aliens for humanity’s (corporate) benefit.
This led to the formation of The Eudoxus Initiative, a joint corporate-military-academic entity that combines the resources and expertise of all three fields to make exploration and exploitation of alien finds all the more efficient. The initiative has several taskforces that make regular expeditions and digs across known space.
These expeditions take place weeks, sometimes months of travel away from populated sectors of space, and real-time communication is not possible. However powerful stellarcast generators can send out information packets about once every two days that get documentation, recordings and other data back to headquarters in mere hours. As part of these stellarcasts, all department heads are required to include a summary audio report to the off-site project manager of their mission to update on progress and areas of focus for the mission. It is these reports that form the episodes of Among the Stars and Bones.