EPISODE 2 TRANSCRIPT
PRE-SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT: Among the Stars and Bones features characters in a hostile environment and is intended for a mature audience. As such it contains material that may be upsetting or triggering for some people. Specific content warnings can be found in the show notes for each episode. Please, make use of them if you need to.
CONTENT WARNINGS (From show notes)
Medical/Forensic procedure – An alien skeleton undergoes analysis (09:42-13:20)
Violence/Death – Discussion of mass death by suffocation (11:50-15:07)
Violence/Death/War – Discussion of development of a weapon of mass destruction (25:35-28:00)
[Theme Music Plays]
COMPUTER: Among the Stars and Bones
[Theme Music Ends]
[Computer Chime: Open Status Report]
COMPUTER VOICE: For attention of Jennifer Connolly, Eudoxus Initiative. Herodotus Task Force Status Report.Mission: Planet Tefen. Status Report 2. Five Entries included. Entry 1. Comptroller’s Report.
[Computer Chime: Open Entry]
SCENE 1 – COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE
[Background sounds of a ticking analog clock. Regular computer chirps indicate Comptroller Barnes is getting a steady stream of updates from the rest of the mission team.]
ADRIENNE: Commence report: Adrienne Barnes reporting. Jan 13th 2211. Day 5 of Herodotus mission to Tefen. We received your reply cast yesterday. Glad to know we got the phone line back home in working order. I passed along your requested secondment of Ben and Gordon to Lieutenant Riggs’s team. Needless to say they were not happy in the slightest. Ben took it hard. I don’t suppose anyone likes having their spouse or ex-spouse or wherever you two are at these days, ordering them around when they have a clear goal in mind and all the academic data they could ever want in front of them. I expect you’ll be getting a particularly curt report.
But then I’m sure you knew what would happen the second you sent it. And I get it. You’ve got the same pressure from above that all off-site project managers have, right? It’s all about calculated risk to the fastest reward for the corporation, the government or the military. Which these days is pretty much the same thing.
Yes I’m jaded. Comes with being in the game for close to twenty-five years.
In any case, they both, reluctantly, agreed. Though if you think Ben took it hard, you should have seen Gordon’s face when I told him he had to work with Riggs. He accused me of halting the progress of civilisation because of course he thinks he’s discovered the Holy god-damn grail in that cube of his.
And he may not be wrong. I’ve been down to see that control room and it’s something else. It’s still alive, or at least operational in some capacity. And I agree with his assessment that we’re looking at some kind of major control hub for the city. The place itself reminds me of something out of a book I once read. The walls vibrating and pulsing with that slight glow. I don’t think anyone else has noticed, but it seems to brighten as you walk into the room.
Could just be me.
The single body down there adds an element of mystery I personally find a bit unsettling, however. Especially with Gordon and his team members walking around ignoring it like it’s not even there as they pore over the cube and the other technology. Celia has placed a stasis bubble around if for now and will be sending someone down to document it before removing it to the bio pod for study.
I should note that, as instructed, I did not discipline Gordon for breaching the embargo on site exploration. I don’t like it though. We had already found two hundred dead aliens. Granted whatever killed them is likely long deceased or dispersed, but there’s no guarantee. What if it had been a virus or some other dormant biological with the capacity to hibernate for millennia then come out when it sensed food? I know it’s unlikely, but in an alien landscape, it’s my job to think on that level. And it’s important to maintain a certain discipline. I’m not military, but a chain of command and authority has to prevail. Just for commonsense safety. I’m all for giving free rein to genius, but not at the expense of lives. I know corporate will happily break a few eggs for a big payoff omelette, but it’s my arse on the line when it happens, so let’s have it on record that I don’t appreciate the armchair call Jennifer.
On the other hand, Gordon sees his secondment to the military science team to work on the terraformer to be a kind of punishment anyway. So hopefully there is at least some sense around the mission crew that he hasn’t been allowed to violate orders without consequence. It certainly made me feel better. I take my pleasures where I can.
In the light of his actions though, and your authorisation of his continued work at the bottom of the shaft, I have had no choice but to lift the restriction on travel to the lower floors. Discipline seems to have prevailed thus far at least, with the teams moving through slowly rather than racing off to check out the coolest sites on the tour. The archaeological teams are moving through the living quarters now, investigating the dead aliens and gathering some up for detailed scanning and observation. Celia and their team should have something for you on that in this packet.
Alright. What else is there?
Ah: The probes have not finished their sweep of all open access areas. Probably seven or eight more days. The bots have gotten lighting down to the 21st level, so it’s starting to look a little more alive down there, even as we round up the dead.
There’s been solid progress at the Alpha site now Ben and Gordon are over there, but I’ll leave that to Lieutenant Riggs to discuss.
Oh, and since you asked, the waste management kits were found. Computer error. Still trying to work out what should have occupied the empty space where they weren’t though. Knowing my luck it’ll be either EVA suits or toilet paper. It’s never something inconsequential like spare socks.
Apart from that little hitch, things in my domain are just fine. We continue to have no issues with the atmospheric integrity at either site, so at least we can scratch that off the list of reasons why we’ve now found 600 dead aliens, and counting.
[Computer Chime: End of entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 2. Xenobiology and Xenoanthropology Report
[Computer Chime: Begin Entry]
SCENE 2 – A SECONDARY SCANNING ROOM IN THE XENOBIOLOGY POD
[In the background the sounds of a deep scanner at work. Scanning, then processing, scanning, then processing]
KATHY: Commence report: Kathy Winters on behalf of Celia Pennella, biological science. January…13 2211, Day 5, Herodotus mission.
Thank you for your understanding regarding my first attempt at reporting Ms Connolly. I listened back after your reply came through and…I cringed. And I know I’ll have to take your word on Dr Pennella. You may know them well enough to say they’re lovely once you get to know them, but well I haven’t seen anything like that yet. Not in the six week trip here and not since we got to work either. Which you’ll see from the examination record I’ve inserted into this report. Maybe they’re waiting for me to prove myself? Which I get. This is a pretty senior position for someone to have on their first off-world assignment. I have no idea how I got it. I don’t have a patron. My parents are small-time traders. I went into that interview and I don’t even remember what I said after the initial greeting and somehow, here I am.
I guess I really do need to prove myself. Though, for whatever reason you and the rest of the panel picked me…thank you.
Anyway, here’s the report from the first examination Dr Pennella and I did. It seemed the most relevant thing to include. I’ll come back to sum up our other findings at the end.
[Computer Chime: Inserted Recording]
SCENE 2A – MAIN EXAMINATION ROOM OF XENOBIOLOGY POD (RECORDED EARLIER)
[In the background an ambient harmonic hum of equipment]
CELIA: Examination report: Alien body 004. Beta site Tefen. Skeletal remains found on level 2 in living quarters designated B12. Please note that all relevant data and vid from this examination will be designated EXAM0001 in the data packet. Dr Celia Pennella presiding. Present also is Dr Kathy Winters.
CELIA: Condition of the body when discovered: Alien 004 was one of nine individuals found in the B12 living quarters, all found in a pile – suggesting they may have died while very close together or that the bodies were piled up post-mortem. 004 was selected for examination because their surviving clothing kept the bones together, while the clothing of the others had long since gone to dust, intermingling the bones. No insignias or identifying marks were found on the clothes to indicate status or rank. Skeleton is intact and indicates a height of five feet..?
[SOUND: Kathy tapping a few keys]
KATHY: Two inches.
CELIA: Two inches. Putting it statistically in the 75th percentile for alien height according to all bodies discovered and documented to date. 004 has the shorter arms and higher thorassic section indicating they were likely of the Kepler phenotype. No obvious signs of trauma. The skeleton looks quite healthy with no indications of antemortem injury or wear and tear. I would say this individual was young. Perhaps ten years past the end of growth. Alright, run the scanners.
[SOUND: Kathy hits several keys and the scanners pass over the skeleton. Computer processing of results continues under]
CELIA: Computer is showing no obvious imperfections missed in initial visual scan. Reports of a healed bone from an old injury to the left anterior femur, but otherwise all data points to good overall physical health. Chemical analysis…
[SOUND: Computer completes process and displays results]
KATHY: Coming through now. Seems normal except…
CELIA: Yes. The bones appear to have absorbed high concentrations of a foreign compound.
KATHY: Computer can’t classify it exactly but… [SOUND: Key presses] it’s similar to a number of human chemical weapons. That would be lethal to them.
CELIA: A high probability. Computer does indicate that it would be more than lethal to us.
KATHY: How come there’s no trace of it anywhere else? I mean if the place was sealed when the survey team got here…
CELIA: Fair question. I’ll make a recommendation to scan for possible sources of this gas. Maybe it came from a pocket somewhere below the surface that was breached. Maybe it has a use in the inner workings of the city. Either way, if there’s any left we had better find it, for our own safety. Anything else?
KATHY: Huh. The bones have a higher than usual level of porosity, too. [SOUND: Key presses] The computer is suggesting it’s not a result of environmental conditions in the quarters where they were found.
CELIA: Could be genetic.
KATHY: (Amused) Aliens with osteoporosis? Wonder if they had ads suggesting they drink more milk?
CELIA: Proximan bones have comparatively low calcium levels.
KATHY: I know. Which is why they should drink more milk.
CELIA: Alright, the computer is done throwing up anomalies. I thin we can call this now. We’ll review data later. End recording.
[Computer Chime: End of Inserted Recording]
SCENE 2 (PART 2) A SECONDARY SCANNING ROOM IN THE XENOBIOLOGY POD
[Returning to Kathy from before. In the background the sounds of a deep scanner at work. Scanning, then processing, scanning, then processing]
KATHY: See what I mean about her not warming up to me? I’m not saying that I’m throwing out comedy gold here, but they just flat out ignore me any time I try to lighten things up a bit.
We’ve done eight more examinations since then. The common factors appear to be: exposure to that gas and otherwise good health. No sign of obvious trauma. Alien 004 was the only one with that osteoporosis thing though. Of course we’re only dealing with skeletons at this point. We’re hoping that some of the more heavily sealed sections might have better preserved bodies. The scans indicate a couple of good candidates sealed in the quarters on level 5. Being able to run some tests on flesh might give us better answers.
As to conclusions based on what we have found so far, it’s highly probable the aliens suffocated from this gas. Whether it was a deliberate act on the part of some member or members of the colony, sabotage by an outside force, or some sort of accident, remains unknown. The bodies were a random sampling across three levels and from four separate locations. All show the same signs. I guess there’s not much point speculating further until we can get more evidence or we turn up some records. Scans have found no trace of the gas as yet but when I was speaking to Harry from technology earlier he said he thinks it might have been something produced from deep within the industrial section of the city which they’re only just beginning to document.
Ah…Dr Pennella received your request and will do an examination on the body Gordon Price found in the control room in the bowels of the city. They also wanted me to pass on words to the effect of “What the hell else did you think I was going to do next?” but I’ve cleaned up the language significantly. I think the people sent down to document it where it lies are nearly done and it’s being brought up later today. Since it is the only body we’ve brought in from lower than level 5, there is a possibility it will give us new data. Here’s hoping.
The results of the examination should be ready to go out with the next report.
Oh. Ah…huh, end report.
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 3. Xenoarchaeology Report.
[Computer Chime. Open Entry]
SCENE 3 – TOP LEVEL OF THE BETA SITE CITY OVERLOOKING CENTRAL SHAFT
[The chamber is full of echoes, though less full of machine and tool noises than last time. The murmuring of conversations can be heard, but more distantly, as the majority of team members are working a floor or two lower than last time. There is a small hammer at work somewhere in the distance and occasional drones and bots moving around.]
BEN: I’d like to think you wouldn’t enjoy the petty satisfaction of ordering me around so much. But hey, you know, whatever. You chose to get out of the field after… And sure, I stayed. It might have gotten you all the power, but seriously are you happy about this Jen? Sending me to play button translator in some alien factory? That’s like asking a computer engineer to program your vid-player. Took me about as long, too. Seriously, I worked hard to get here and not just so I could explain to an idiot grandparent that the button with the triangle on it means play.
Okay, okay, rant over. For now. But really, we’ve got a lifetime of data to study here at the Beta site and only months to do it. There’s four hundred levels and change here. That’s four levels per member of this crew, and not everyone has the same expertise, you know?
Look, I did the job. The terraformer control system didn’t exactly have an accessible manual, but I was able, with a bit of help from Gordon, to get my bearings. Between his knowledge of how the Proximans tend to organise console layouts and my understanding of their symbols and language (you know we have six other junior people who could’ve taken care of this, right?) we managed to nut most of it out over the course of about a day. I’m sure I’ll need to do some follow up, particularly if they start digging out some alien’s report to their supervisor on terraforming progress or something, but I think for now I’m off the hook, though Gordon’s probably got his work cut out for him.
It just burns a little that I was ordered. Please, just ask next time.
It’s hard to get pulled away just as we’re getting started here at Beta. There’s an entire mystery to go through here. 600 dead alien bodies. Probably thousands more missing or otherwise unaccounted for. And beyond that we still have yet to find a central repository for records. If they didn’t wipe their data when they left, then we need to find it. And that would just be their written history. Let’s not forget the architecture. And the day to day items. Check out file designate Tefen11-(Beta6;12)-<38>. I’m holding it in my hand right now. I mean is this a diagnostic tool? A laser cutter? A pen? Cheese knife?
Yesterday I went down to level 32 to do some initial assessing of a large vaulted chamber that showed up in the scans. It must have been a gathering place. Balconies. High ceilings. The whole space is tucked in behind the living quarters of the levels above, going up to at least level 28. That’s over a hundred feet. Could’ve been for all kinds of stuff. There was iconography on the walls so it might be a place of worship. Then again maybe the icons were just aesthetic and it’s a concert hall. The acoustics were pretty good. Or if not entertainment it could have been a place for trials. Or debate. Maybe they gathered together for reasons that wouldn’t even occur to a human mind.
But this is my point, we have a chance here not just to understand how they travelled through space. Not just that they explored or mined. We have a chance to understand how they lived. To work out why they chose to go to the stars. Why they explored. Why they mined. What it was all for. Please let me do that work. It’s what we always dreamed of. It’s why we both got into this field, whatever happened after, however it affected us, you must remember that.
Oh– that’s the other thing I wanted to tell you. I managed to finish up at the Alpha site and get back here for a late dinner out in the central shaft. And I was sitting here when the clouds parted. It was dinner time by our clock, but midday on the surface above. And the light of Scorpii shone down through a translucent ceiling. But it wasn’t merely translucent. Somehow, I don’t know how, it broke the light and scattered it in arcs and rainbows, rebounding off projections on the pillars and guardrails on each level to bounce back a hundred times.
The patterns… I…I can’t describe them. I mean I’ve seen holographic images and laser symphonies and all that. I’ve seen what the human mind can conceive. And you remember what the sun setting behind the crystal structures on Vega was like. But this was something else. This was some sort of blending of nature and physics with the creativity of a conscious mind. And it elevated both.
The images changed with the movement of the sun across the sky, shifting like an old-fashioned kaleidoscope. And for, I don’t know, 20 minutes, there was nothing but dead silence in that chamber. There’d been all kinds of activity going on at levels above and below and it all just…stopped. I didn’t really notice, but people came out of the living quarters and out of the alpha site tunnel and everyone just… stood there. It was one of those perfect moments.
When the clouds came back we all sort of looked at each other. Little smiles. Then after a few moments, we all just drifted back to what we’d been doing. I had to reheat the ration pack, which made it even less palatable than it was before, but it was totally worth it. I didn’t think to get a recorder going, but you might want to check through general uploads from other members of the team in the data packet. Someone would’ve caught it.
No way that a recording could do it justice though.
And this is what we came here to learn. Something about who these people were that is much more eloquent than their technology. I mean whatever they might be able to do, or how much faster they can travel beyond light speed than us, how they can turn a planet from a storm-raging toxic permanent night to a habitable haven means nothing to me next to the knowledge I got in those 20 minutes.
I learnt something about what the Proximans think of beauty and what it means to them. I mean… they built this colony city, attached it to a ship and sent it god alone knows how far through space. It would have taken forever to construct it, not to mention the space and energy and resources that went into something this large. And they did so knowing they were sending it to burrow into a dark hole on a dark world where it would be in shadow for, who knows, fifty years at least?
But they still thought it important enough, still thought it crucial enough, to create a thing of beauty, something that can’t help but lift the spirit when you see it, against the day when they would be able to clear this sky and have the light of their new sun fall on the ceiling dome and send a well of colour and light down to what was once the darkest of places. That speaks of a people with poetry in their soul. An optimism and sense of hope that I find uplifting in a way I haven’t since we…since we were in happier times.
Um, I think that’s all I have to say today.
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 4. Military Scientific Research Report.
[Computer Chime: Open Entry]
SCENE 4 – A ROOM IN THE ALPHA SITE THAT LIEUTENANT LAURA RIGGS HAS TURNED INTO A TEMPORARY OFFICE
[Distant wind, rain and occasional thunder can be heard from outside the Alpha Site, out on the planet’s surface. There is the regular buzz and squawk of the military comms channel from Riggs’ comms pack that she has set aside in order to record this report]
LAURA: Commence report: Lieutenant Laura Riggs, Military Science Division on Day 5 of the Herodotus mission to Tefen.
Thank you for getting my request through so quickly. I have greatly appreciated the help from Gordon and Ben, even though neither was particularly willing. Gordon Price does not take orders well from a woman. It’s like he’s stuck in the 21st century or something. Maybe it was because I took him away from his pet project, but I doubt it. I’m really tired of men who think being an insufferable asshole is fair trade for them “gracing us” with their “genius”. My thoughts on Mr Price aside, with his and Ben’s help we have discovered how the system was set up and translated most of the controls. Apart from atmosphere and soil improvement, there appears to have been capacity for producing and distributing biomaterial and microbes to help establish a proper biome. The latter may actually be more like a nanovirus as I’m informed the translation is open for debate. Something about linguistic drift over the centuries between First Discovery and the later era this site has been dated to.
Either way we now have a better understanding of what node 3 and 4 do and can proceed accordingly. I am now going to move the focus of operations to the study of the atmospheric node, with smaller teams at the other three attempting to ascertain how each component in the machine worked, the raw materials involved, and how it worked so efficiently they could terraform a whole planet from this one facility.
In response to the question regarding deployment of an atmospheric device, I have to say that while the idea of an atmosphere altering bomb is intriguing, I see some limitations in using the Proximan technology this way. After all, the key to weaponising this tech is that it needs to be reversible. Since all planets with a breathable atmosphere are part of the alliance’s breadbasket, taking out such separatist strongholds on them requires the area to be made reusable afterwards.
This would not be the case if used in bomb form. This is also a single giant engine intended for slow conversion. I don’t think you would see viable results for at least two years if you deployed a replica on the surface of a planet and set it to work.
However, I can conjecture on one possibility: A dual-device system. The first device targets a population centre and explodes. The load, based on the Proximan atmospheric process, expands outward and catalytically changes the local oxygen to carbon dioxide. Humans, animals and other creatures in the vicinity will be affected, but in the short term plants would not. A follow up strike with a device that corrects the balance could then be administered perhaps fifteen minutes later.
Wind and local conditions would come into play, but I suspect that once the initial effects dissipate the atmosphere as a whole would be unaffected. The crops would still be standing, though some follow up work might be needed to deal with impacts on bacteria and insects and other elements of the ecosystem.
I am making a number of assumptions here. Firstly that the Proximan process is based on a sustainable chemical reaction and not entirely dependent on the workings of the machine itself, secondly that the process can be made compact enough to be deployable but still effective.
[Tone indicates she would not find it acceptable] And finally that civilian casualties are considered acceptable.
As I said, mostly conjecture at this point, particularly since we are not exactly sure of the chemistry involved in this machine’s work. And I would hope there might be better, less damaging ways of harnessing and hybridising this tech for our use in a timely fashion.
Either way, given it took only three years from finding a single Proximan ship at First Discovery to adapting their FTL drives to double the speeds of our own, I am confident it will be possible. Very early days, but you can pass my suppositions back to command. I will provide updates as we come to understand this process better. Lieutenant Riggs out.
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 5. Technology Report.
[Computer Chime: Open Entry]
SCENE 5 – THE PROXIMAN CONTROL ROOM AT THE BASE OF THE BETA SITE CITY
[There is a reverberant hum underneath all other noise that seems to fluctuate and pulse slowly. The activity of other members of the tech and bio teams can be heard in the background as they go about their work, scanning equipment and checking and discussing results.]
[PLEASE NOTE: There are also noticeable glitches in the audio with sounds and words repeating and others appearing out of place altogether. This will be indicated in the transcript via underlining.]
GORDON: So I believe I have you to thank for my date with Lieutenant Riggs? Not exactly my type, but it reminded me of what’s important, you know? This is important. Not your damn weather tech. No matter what the military scientists might think of its potential to “end the separatist menace.” That’s the reason we’re here right? To pay To pay to keep the lights on we’ve got to work out a way to blow the hell out of a bunch of people who just want to live a little differently from the rest of us. What’s the plan? Weaponise the atmosphere? (Sarcasm) Sounds both brilliant and cost effective.
Although given the billions of c-credits in ships and guns and bombs they strap to the backs of poor kids who don’t know any better than to enlist, maybe I’m wrong and it is cheaper. Suffocating civilians. Turning their own environment against them.
What I’ve been trying to do, and am unable to do while walking those jarheads with dime-store degrees through their terraforming ABCs, is important. I’ve barely gotten a minute of sleep using all my downtime to crack this damn box. I’ve been trying to pr-pr-probe the thing, working with it here in the control centre where I found it. Been damn near a miracle when I’ve managed to scrape together two hours back to back to back without Lieutenant “Can-you-run-that-by-me-one-more-time” Riggs dialling me up to ask just one more question.
Lucky for everyone I’m a genius.
Here’s what I can tell you so far. The cube is absolutely computing technology. That much seemed obvious but our probes and scans confirmed it. I have attempted to interact directly with the system, being careful to observe protocol, of course, using a non-networked computer set up with my own alien emulator software.
I’m having to adjust it on the fly, because our understanding of their programming methods is 6-6-600 years out of date relative to the technology in this place, and the difference is staggering. But there has been some response from the core system in there. Although when I say response I use the word advisedly.
(Calling out) Harry, what’s the number on the file of the interaction?
HARRY: (from the back of the room) AXU0107.
GORDON: Right. Ms Connolly if you look at the accompanying file, AXU0107, you will see how the box responded to our probe. Bah-you-ware. It didn’t spout garbage. It didn’t run diagnostic. It interacted. It-it queried. I think what we have here is an Artificial Intelligence module. Not a computer per se, but a thinking, living thing thing.
And it appears to still be alive.
Now, the rest of my team has been going over the control room where we found the cube, but they’re making slow progress. That 600 year leap in technology means there’s a lot of guesswork. However we have confirmed my specul-cul-ation that this room is the computer heart of the city. We can trace connections running down into the industrial section of the city below us. Power systems, waste management and the like. The connections also run up into the city proper and are hooked into systems we believe are responsible for lighting and surveillance. So if you’ve got lighting, power regulation and surveillance all in one place, there’s a good chance we’ll identify climate and atmosphere control and the rest here somewhere before long. Pow-chay-trol.
Returning to the cube, I think this module was here to monitor these systems and report back pertinent data. It might have even run the whole place-lace. It’s difficult to mathematically quantify, but given relative processor power, and how densely pa-pa- packed with hardware the cube is, this thing could be of an intelligence level well beyond what we can conceive. It almost seems a shame to use it for monitoring waste reclamation and keeping the lights on-on. There is evidence to suggest this may not be the whole of the AI either, rather a sort of brain centre with smaller, interconnected programs still at work in the system. I thought them regular programs at first but they seem to be part of an integrated whole. So this thing, this-is-beau-beau-beautiful, glorious cube, might be like a kind of main brain, like a separate parent processor to keep all the little fish swimming through the system. Or you could think of the other programs as sensory organs, reporting back data gathered for consideration.
I can’t wait to get this thing back upstairs and take a closer look at it in-in a Faraday cage, but until then I suppose there are some minor matters to attend to. Harry, would you care to take this?
HARRY: (from the back of the room) Uh..no.
GORDON: No, really. I-I insist. What else do we need to tell the nice lady 46 light years away?
[SOUND: Harry walks closer to the recorder]
HARRY: Uh well, we think we’ve, uh…we’ve come across some computer records.
GORDON: Go on.
HARRY: There’s a unit of… I don’t know what you’d call them. Crystals? Maybe, but the configuration of the surrounding hardware looks like some sort of archive. We are attempting to access them now and ah… we’ll um. We’ll…
GORDON: (like tutoring a child) Report our findings.
HARRY: Er, er right. We’ll report our findings back to the rest of the archaeological team. And um heh heh…was there something else?
GORDON: Yes. The body.
HARRY: Oh yes, the body. It’s being prepped for the move up to biological, but um there was also an…Uh what did you call it?
GORDON: Harry, if you want my job one day-ay you’ll have to get better at the whole talking thing.
HARRY: (Sighs) I know.
GORDON: Relax. Please don’t think badly of him, Ms Connolly. Harry is actually very good-ood at what he does. He’s got a good mind for-for understanding how the Proximans code. And I did put him on the spot there. What Harry is trying to say is that some clothing was intact on the body. We found an insignia, presumably of rank, and also a necklace. Those will be sent on to archaeol-chaeol-ogy once the underlings Celia sent down here finish up and stop getting in my getting in my way.
I’m more interested in the living AI than the dead alien myself, but who knows. If that insignia means something maybe we’re looking at a captain that went down with his ship-ip-ip while everyone else was doing their best to get out of here. Food for thought, but I’ll let your hubby dearest handle that one. End report.
[A pause, followed by a stream of glitched syllables from earlier in the recording. Another pause, and then four distinct syllables – “Seh-Par-Ay-Shun”]
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: End Status Report 2.
[Computer Chime: End of Status Report]
[Theme Music Plays]
COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: This episode of Among the Stars and Bones featured the voices of:
JULIA: Julia Eve as Adrienne Barnes.
JORDAN: Jordan Cobb as Kathy Winters.
SHAKIRA: Shakira Searle as Dr Celia Pennella.
CHRIS: Chris Magilton as Ben Kelleher.
LINDSEY: Lindsey Dorcus as Lieutenant Laura Riggs.
GRAHAM: Graham Rowat as Gordon Price.
SAM: Sam ‘Raethr’ Nguyen as Harry Kowalski.
DEVIN: Devin Madson as The Computer.
COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: The work of the Eudoxus Initiative is made possible by generous research grants from our patrons. If you too would like to support humanity’s understanding of alien technology, culture and history, go to patreon.com/amongthestarsandbones. For a transcript of this report or additional information, go to amongthestarsandbones.com. We can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and merchandise is available through TeePublic. Thank you for listening.