PRE-SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT: Welcome to Act 2 of our New Years Eve special episode. Once again, so happy to bring some Among the Stars and Bones content back to your ears. And a little content note before we begin: Along with warnings about alcohol use and gambling from last time, for those of you who aren’t fans of chewing noises, there are a few during the episode, including 2 very prominent ones just after the 33-minute mark of the episode. Oh and stay around for a special treat from the cast and myself to you all at the end.


Alcohol Consumption – Alcohol is present at various points in the episode. Prominent moments involve a drinking game (13:30 – 13:45) and some characters drinking a toast (36:19 – 40:04)

Gambling/Poker – 3 scenes revolve around a poker game (7:45 – 12:10 plus 20:45 – 25:25 and 28:38 – 34:20)

Crunching/Chewing noises – Three in total, the first at 29:28 with two more prominent ones from 33:00 – 33:15


[Theme Music Plays]

COMPUTER: Among the Stars and Bones

[Theme Music Ends and we Fade Up on:]


[The party music and chatter come up before fading into the background. We are back at the Lost in Translation game.]

KLYMENKO: “Friend, your mistake damaged the commander.”

JANINE: (Simultaneous with Klymenko but finishes later) “Your friend’s error hurt you commander.”

HUDSON: Klymenko got it first.

JANINE: Klymenko got it wrong.

KLYMENKO: Nah, that was dead on.

JANINE: Ah, pretty sure.

HUDSON: I gotta go with Klymenko on this one. It’s your shot Janine.

JANINE: Wait, wait, did you take into account the position of the vocative case signifier?

HUDSON: Err…hang on.

[SFX – Hudson starts digging through some pages]

JANINE: Come on.

JENSEN: (No idea what’s happening) Yeah, I mean who forgets to account for the fuckative case signifier?

HUDSON: Look I’m doing my best here. Remy’s notes are a mess and it’s all handwritten.

[SFX – Ben walks up to the others]

BEN: Hey folks, how goes it.

JANINE: Oh professor thank god, you’ve got to settle this.

BEN: I thought Remy was running this game.

JENSEN: There was an…incident. He’s with Dr Chang now.

JANINE: (To herself) It would’ve been fine if he’d drunk more water.

BEN: He’s okay, right?

JANINE: He will be.

BEN: So it’s just you four?

KLYMENKO: There were more, but a few drifted off once Remy left.

BEN: Okay, what are we looking at?

HUDSON: Here. This was the card.

(Beat as Ben reads)

BEN: And what’s the dispute?

JANINE: Well, I thought it was “Your friend’s error hurt you, commander.”

KLYMENKO: And I thought it was “Friend, your mistake damaged or hurt the commander.”

BEN: Hudson?

HUDSON: I’m with Klymenko, but I’m starting to come around to Janine.

BEN: A wise move.


BEN: Usually.

KLYMENKO: Wait, so I’m–

BEN: No.

HUDSON: I’m so confused right now.

BEN: Yeah, and I think you can blame Remy for that one. I think he was trying to catch someone out with the vocative case like I’m guessing Janine thought, but if that were the case he should’ve written it more like…this.

[SFX – Ben writing on a card which he shows to the others]

(Janine, Hudson and Klymenko make a simultaneous noise of understanding)

JENSEN: (Completely lost) Uh…yeah, that makes so much more sense.

BEN: Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.

JENSEN: Name’s Jensen.

BEN: First or last?

KLYMENKO: She won’t say.

BEN: You’re from the military team. Xenoarch? Xenolinguist?

JENSEN: Engineer actually.

BEN: So what brought you here?

JENSEN: My team’s been cooped up most of this trip. So I really needed new faces. And I’dunno, it’s fun watching people get really invested in stuff they’re good at I guess. Even if I don’t get even close to half of it.

BEN: Nice. Alright, if you’re interested, I can give you the five second explanation or the five minute one?

JENSEN: Surprise me.

[The music and chatter gets louder then fades as we transition over to Kathy, Gallini and Logan.]

GALLINI: So this tosser thinks it comes down to biomechanics but, to my way of thinking, size is key. They’re smaller than us, so that gives them a fundamental disadvantage, especially if we consider the relative size of the equipment involved.

LOGAN: And this old git forgets that the size difference is hardly that significant. Their proportionately wider arm span would arguably actually give them advantages in some areas. Besides, there’s no reason why we can’t consider scaling the equipment appropriately as a matter of balance.

GALLINI: The question has always been based on considering “as is”, not–

KATHY: Gentlemen, look as…fascinating as this topic is, I’m not the expert you’re looking for here.

GALLINI: Really?

KATHY: My biological knowledge of the Proximans is far more focused on the…cellular level.

LOGAN: Oh, fair enough, though you must have some thoughts?

KATHY: Fewer than you’d think. But you know who you should speak to?


KATHY: My superior. Dr Pennella. Their work on Proximan biomechanics is some of the foremost in the field.

GALLINI: You think they’d be willing to offer their opinion?

KATHY: (Lying through her teeth) They have been nothing but approachable since I started. And they love speculating on trivial topics like this.

LOGAN: Sounds great.

KATHY: Now if you gentlemen will excuse me.

GALLINI: Sure. Have a good night.

[SFX – Kathy walks on and then stops.]

KATHY: Now where did he go?

[The music and chatter rise then fall as we transition across to Harry and Harris.]

HARRIS: That’s amazing. That’s incredible. Incredibly amazing. I, I didn’t even know you could apply that kind of machine learning here.

HARRY: Neither did I. Then I thought I’d just try it and…I don’t know.

HARRIS: Man, you really gotta learn to take a compliment.

HARRY: I…hear that a lot. Say, where’d your friends go?

HARRIS: Hmm? Must’ve wandered off. They’re not serious tech heads like you and me, right?

HARRY: Yeah. I guess. I should–

HARRIS: That reminds me, there’s something I wanna show you. Got a datapad here somewhere. Come and check this out. Oh, you need another drink?

[SFX – Harris digs through some cans and rubbish to find the datapad]

HARRY: No, I’m good. I’ve gotta–

HARRIS: This’ll only take a second.

[SFX – Harris brings up a file on the datapad]

HARRY: …okay.

(Another music rise and fall and we go back to Lost in Translation.)

JENSEN: Huh. Okay. That made way more sense than I was expecting it to. And in a lot less than five minutes.

KLYMENKO: Yeah well, the professor here literally wrote the book on Proximan language.

BEN: Well…one of them.

JENSEN: Yeah well, in my experience the person who wrote the book is the last person you want it explained by.

KLYMENKO: So whaddya say boss, wanna play a few rounds?

BEN: I feel like someone who can cite themselves to justify their answer has no real business playing.

HUDSON: Hey, better idea. Why don’t you take over running the game? I mean I am clearly out of my depth.

BEN: That I can do.

HUDSON: Praise the universe.

[SFX – Hudson hands the material over to Ben who searches through until he finds the next card]

BEN: Okay, top of the round again, Hudson and Janine. Now…dear lord this handwriting. Uh, first in on the following…



[The game is now in progress. They’re playing Texas Hold ’em. We are on the end of a hand dealt by Celia. For reference, clockwise from Celia is Adrienne, then Gordon, then Laura.]

CELIA: …that’s been the conjecture for some time, though Serrano, in her latest paper proposes that Proximan infrared vision may have been an evolutionary adaptation that originally aided navigation in low-light more than hunting.

LAURA: That’s fascinating.

GORDON: Truly. But we’re waiting on you.

LAURA: I fold.

[SFX – Laura throws in her cards. Celia deals The River card]

CELIA: Six of clubs.

ADRIENNE: Another 10.

[SFX – Chip into pot.]

GORDON: Let’s raise that to 20.

[SFX – Chip in]


GORDON: Adrienne?

ADRIENNE: I’m thinking.

LAURA: So does Serrano have thoughts on the various cave dwelling hypotheses, or is this navigation idea based on other work?

CELIA: Yes, her reasoning is that in a cave environment, infrared would work better in lower light, but also that the likely sensitivity of the central eye would allow detection of minute fluctuations, making it possible to use heat signatures for determining things like passages that lead back to the surface or to geothermal sources.

LAURA: Interesting.

[SFX – Adrienne stacking chips and placing them in.]

ADRIENNE: Alright, I’m going to see you and raise you 50.

GORDON: (An intake of breath) I call.

[SFX – Gordon throws in chips. Adrienne and Gordon flip their cards]

ADRIENNE: Three tens.

GORDON: I made the straight.


[SFX – Gordon raking in his chips]

GORDON: Better luck next time, dear Comptroller.

ADRIENNE: Pour me another Celia.

CELIA: Of course. Your deal.


[SFX – Adrienne shuffles as Celia pours under the following.]

GORDON: So Lieutenant, tell me, why are the military sending along such a sizable team? The science of terraforming isn’t exactly a military thing.

LAURA: Assuming the Alpha site is a terraformer.

GORDON: Of course, but the question stands.

[SFX – Adrienne is now dealing]

LAURA: Well I can’t speak for the entire military, but I’m going to learn more about Proximan technology.

GORDON: With a side of “Maybe there’s a way to blow up a whole planet using the same tech that makes it habitable” into the bargain.

LAURA: What possible practical application could that have?

CELIA: Uh…I’ll add five.

ADRIENNE: I’ll see that. Gordon, what are you doing?

GORDON: Just getting to know the new kid, teacher. I’ll play nice I promise.

LAURA: Is this just a tactic to try and take my money or is this your actual personality?

CELIA: In Gordon’s case, the answer is both.

GORDON: Celia, you wound me.

CELIA: That often happens when one shoots accurately.

ADRIENNE: Either way, I meant what are you doing with your bet, Gordon.

GORDON: Oh. Uh, Call.

LAURA: Call.

[SFX – Gordon and Laura add their chips. Adrienne deals The Flop. Each character throws in cards or adds chips as appropriate on their next lines.]

GORDON: I’ll check.

LAURA: Check.

CELIA: Raise 10.

ADRIENNE: I’m out.

GORDON: I’m in.

LAURA: Alright.

[SFX – Adrienne deals The Turn card]

GORDON: I’m just trying to get the measure of who I’m working with. On a four month expedition it’s important to get to know people.

LAURA: Actually, technically we’ve met.

GORDON: Really? Check.

LAURA: Raise 10.

[SFX – Laura adds a chip as she continues speaking]

LAURA: I attended your lecture at the conference on Ganymede in ’02. We were also introduced at the plenary session at the end by Professor Nasif.

GORDON: Huh, I don’t recall.

CELIA: Call.

[SFX – Celia chips in.]

LAURA: I’m not entirely surprised. You were in the middle of telling a couple of colleagues about some of the “ridiculous” questions you got during your lecture, including one that “smacked of the typical one-track thinking you’d come to associate with military researchers”

GORDON: That sounds like me.

LAURA: It was my question.

GORDON: (Without remorse or surprise) Ah.

ADRIENNE: Bet’s to you Gordon.

GORDON: (Calculating) Fold.

ADRIENNE: Here comes the river then.

[SFX – Adrienne deals The River]

LAURA: Raise 25.

CELIA: I fold.

[SFX – Laura gathers her winnings from the pot. Adrienne gathers up the cards.]

GORDON: So…what was the question?

LAURA: It was about propulsion dynamics.

GORDON: Sounds like my assessment was accurate then. But here we are nine years later and you’re leading a team. Obviously you grew out of it.

LAURA: People do change a lot in that kind of time.

GORDON: Indeed.

LAURA: Some people.


CELIA: I think Laura takes that round on points, what do you think Adrienne?

[SFX – Adrienne places the cards down in front of Gordon]

ADRIENNE: I think it’s Gordon’s deal.

GORDON: Right you are.

[SFX – Gordon begins to shuffle under the following]

ADRIENNE: You know, speaking of previous meetings, did I tell you Laura that, technically, I won my husband playing poker.

LAURA: Really?

CELIA: Oh I love this story.

ADRIENNE: You see we’d been introduced by mutual friends about four months before the night in question and I immediately…



[The music starts in, then fades away as we return to the Lost in Translation game.

BEN: Come on, this is the last card.

KLYMENKO: I think it’s “The awareness of the current of space”

BEN: I can’t accept that.


JANINE: Okay. It’s…A heightened sense of the cosmically divine?

BEN: Slightly closer, but no.

JANINE: Dammit!

JENSEN: Come on Hudson, bring it home.

HUDSON: Uh…um.

KLYMENKO: Not a chance.

JENSEN: Hey where’s the faith?

KLYMENKO: 50 credits says he won’t do it.

JENSEN: You’re on.

HUDSON: Uh…I really don’t think I’m the horse to back here.

JENSEN: Eh. Got nothing else to spend my money on for the next few months.

JANINE: Come on Hudson, you got this.

HUDSON: Alright…I’ll try…The feeling of the close relationship with space.

BEN: I also cannot accept that.

JENSEN: (under breath) Ah, dammit.

KLYMENKO: That’ll be fifty credits thank you.

JENSEN: Y got a swiper handy?

KLYMENKO: I did not think this through.

JANINE: Well either way, we all lose, so we all drink.

[SFX – The three of them take a shot]

HUDSON: So, what now?

JANINE: I declare myself the overall winner.

KLYMENKO: Based on what?

JANINE: Based on how many fingers am I holding up?

KLYMENKO: You make an excellent point.

JANINE: And as the winner, I dictate what we do next. So, after we get Klymenko some water, we are hitting the dance floor. Come on folks.


KLYMENKO: Let’s do it.

HUDSON: Um…I don’t know if–

JANINE: Come on Hudson.

[SFX – Janine dragging Hudson and Klymenko away to dance]

HUDSON: (Fading out) Wait what about the professor and Jensen?

KLYMENKO: (Fading out) Ah, fuck ’em.

BEN: Not much for dancing either I take it?

JENSEN: Eh, sometimes. I dunno if I’m feeling it tonight. But tell me though, what was the translation of that last one?

BEN: Oh…they were all on the right track, they just didn’t take it far enough, beyond the literal. Um…a number of Proximans have used this expression, and over time it’s become clear there’s a belief in space as a sentient entity in its own right, one that they perceive and in turn perceives them.

JENSEN: Do you mean belief as in religion, or more like the way that sailors used to have their superstitions about the sea?

BEN: That I can’t tell you, but either way, the consensus is that the phrase translates to something like “The apprehension of space when you are within its current.” Apprehension in that sentence being a word cutting both ways.

JENSEN: Known, and being known by.

BEN: Exactly.

JENSEN: Huh. And does that, like…sum up The Proximans to you?

BEN: Yeah, in a way. What’s your take on them?

JENSEN: More of a…puzzle I guess. But literally rather than metaphorically.

BEN: That sounds like an engineer talking.

JENSEN: Well pardon me for wearing my profession on my sleeve.

BEN: Wasn’t meant as a put down. Sorry, do continue.

JENSEN: Thanks. So when I was a kid I used to take apart the old equipment at my grandmother’s agricultural facility on Mars. The challenge was in working out how it all fit together and what it all did. But after a while, that got a little too easy.

BEN: So Proximan tech..?

JENSEN: Was the best way to switch to hard mode, yeah.

BEN: Nice.


BEN: Jensen. How do you read that conversation over there?

JENSEN: Uh…that’s the new kid in xenotech. Harry Kinski or something.

BEN: Kowalski, I think

JENSEN: Either way, his body language is screaming that he’d rather be anywhere else than in that conversation right now.

BEN: And the guy who can’t take the hint, he’s one of yours right?

JENSEN: Yeah, that’s Harris. Good guy, but clearly not reading the room.

BEN: What say we head over and free the poor lad.

JENSEN: (Looking around) Yeah, just let me think…ahah, there.

BEN: What? Where?

JENSEN: See those two on the far side?

BEN: What about them?

JENSEN: Just follow my lead.

BEN: Okay.

(The music rises and falls and we transition to Harry and Harris)

HARRIS: (Fading in) And that’s why I always go with the MZ-186. It’s got the response time you need without the kernel instability of the 337, y’know?

HARRY: Yeah.

HARRIS: N-Now ow on the other hand if you’re going to try and interface with say…a Proximan nav system well–

JENSEN: Harris, you gotta come with us, we need your help.

HARRIS: Oh hey Jensen, what’s up?

JENSEN: It’s Gallini and Logan. They’re at it again.

HARRIS: Oh my god. They’re not arguing about..?

JENSEN: What else? But the tone’s getting…decidedly surly, wouldn’t you say Ben?

BEN: Definitely heated, yeah.

JENSEN: And it’s starting to get personal.

BEN: I think there was even a reference to someone’s mother.

HARRIS: Alright. Sorry Harry, I should probably help Jensen with this. Good talk though. Maybe I’ll catch you later.

HARRY: Sure.

HARRIS: Lead the way.

[SFX – Jensen and Harris walk away]

HARRY: Thanks.

BEN: No problem. Run while you can.

HARRY: What about you?

BEN: I think I’m going to see how this plays out.

HARRY: Good luck.

BEN: Have a good night. Happy New Year.

HARRY: You too.

[SFX – Ben walks off]

HARRY: She’s going to kill me.

[SFX – Harry walks quickly. Stops]

HARRY: Uhhhh.

[SFX – A few more steps and then…]



KATHY: I’ve been looking for you.

HARRY: I know. I’m sorry. That guy from the military group. Harris? He started talking and he wouldn’t–

KATHY: Hey no, I’m sorry. That wasn’t supposed to be…I wasn’t…I…I’m glad you’re here.

HARRY: Oh…yeah, me too.

KATHY: And I had my fair share of obstacles to get here too, you know.

HARRY: Yeah.


HARRY: You sure look the part. How did you find a skirt like that. You didn’t have it with you, or anything?

KATHY: No. It, uh…I had to improvise. I got creative with a lab coat I spilled…let’s not talk about that. But it seems to do the trick…You don’t scrub up so bad yourself.

HARRY: My mom always had this thing about having one good outfit no matter where you go, you know, just in case…so…


KATHY: So…shall we dance?

HARRY: Look I really think I might have overstated my ability to pull this off.

KATHY: Me too.

HARRY: Oh. Well then maybe we should–

KATHY: Just take my hand, Harry.

HARRY: But. I mean if neither of us is feeling confident about…well we’re just going to look stupid.

KATHY: Who cares, take my hand.

HARRY: Alright.

[Music rises then fades and we transition to…]


[We are midway through a hand dealt by Laura.]

[SFX – Laura deals The River card.]

LAURA: Alright that’s the Jack of Hearts on the river. Celia?

[SFX – Characters throw in chips or throw in their cards as appropriate through the following dialogue]

CELIA: Fifty.

ADRIENNE: Ooh. I think I will need to see that.

GORDON: (Intake of breath) One hundred.

LAURA: I’m out.

GORDON: Not coming along for the ride? You disappoint me.

CELIA: Well, perhaps if I see you and raise another hundred that’ll settle your disappointment.

GORDON: It might.

ADRIENNE: Nope. Too much for me. You two can sort this out.

GORDON: I call.

[SFX – Celia and Gordon show their cards]

CELIA: Nuts.

GORDON: That is the correct term for the hand, yes. Better luck next time.

[Celia collects the cards for another deal. Gordon collects his winnings]

CELIA: Tonight does not appear to be my night.

ADRIENNE: I hope the company makes up for the loss.

CELIA: Always.

GORDON: Glad to hear it.

CELIA: Mostly.

GORDON: I’ve missed this. The Nabonidus group isn’t nearly this much fun.

ADRIENNE: I thought you were with the Shen Kuo Task Force on your last mission.

GORDON: I was. But I got bounced back mid-mission to come in on the Nabonidus dig. They ran into some unexpected technological questions, so I was requested. And you know what they say, whatever Hollister wants…


[SFX – Celia begins dealing the next hand]

CELIA: Never was so much given to someone so undeserving.

GORDON: Was that aimed at him or me?

CELIA: Dealer’s choice.

GORDON: Ha ha. Anyway, that’s the curse of being the best. Everyone want’s a piece of you.

LAURA: Speaking of which, we seem to be short a blind.

GORDON: Ah, yes.

[SFX – Gordon throws in the chip for the big blind. Characters put in chips or toss away cards as appropriate under the following]

LAURA: I’ll raise 20.

CELIA: Nope.



[SFX – Celia deals the flop]

GORDON: You know it just occurred to me lieutenant. Are you by any chance related to General Riggs?

LAURA: He’s my uncle.


[SFX – Characters throw in chips as appropriate under the following]

GORDON: 40. So, a military family then.

LAURA: Call. And raise 50. And yes, five generations now. My father is a Marine Colonel. Both my brother and sister are naval lieutenants. My mother retired from active service after some injuries during the Vega Riots but she also made Colonel before she did. The families of my aunts and uncles on both sides are not dissimilar.

ADRIENNE: I’ll call.

GORDON: Call. Two colonels and three lieutenants? Quite the full house you’ve got going over there. So why the research commission? Why aren’t you on a starship or in the trenches somewhere?

[SFX – Celia deals the turn.]

LAURA: That was the plan. But my father always said we should each serve according to our capacity. Thomas and Casey had the passion and the talent for spaceflight so they went navy. And when it turned out that engineering and the sciences were my thing, well the choice was obvious.

CELIA: No regrets?

LAURA: Some I suppose. But there’s value in this work. And a challenge. And a chance to do something that has benefit to society beyond the benefit to the military.

GORDON: Beyond weapons development you mean.

LAURA: (Not taking the bait) Yes.


[SFX – the following lines are each followed by chips going into the pot as appropriate]

ADRIENNE: Oh, it’s back to me, isn’t it. Fifty.


LAURA: Call.

CELIA: Here’s the river.

[SFX – Celia deals the river card. Characters place chips into the pot as appropriate during the following]


GORDON: Don’t misunderstand me, lieutenant. I have tremendous respect for multi-generation service. I’ll see that and raise another 100.

LAURA: Thank you. That’s the 200 and 200 more.

GORDON: Keeps it all in the family. The privilege. The rank…The war crimes.

LAURA: If you’re referring to my uncle’s actions during the recent–

GORDON: I am. Though I’m sure there’s plenty of other less-public atrocities to go round.

CELIA: (snapping) Gordon, you are completely out of line!

GORDON: And you know what I think is out of line? Turning a labour dispute into a civil war.

LAURA: That is a gross over-simplification of the current crisis.

GORDON: With double-speak like that you should have joined the diplomatic corp.

LAURA: I won’t let you bait me.


ADRIENNE: I’m folding in case anyone is interested.

[SFX – Adrienne throwing away her cards. A large stack of chips being pushed into the middle]

GORDON: (intake of breath) All in.


GORDON: What say you lieutenant?



[The music is loud as we are now on the dance floor. Harry and Kathy can be heard shuffling as they dance]

HARRY: Everyone is watching.

KATHY: Well how many times have you seen someone go full Mask at the Coco Bongo Club?

HARRY: I have no idea what any of that means.

KATHY: Trust me, no one’s watching. They’re all doing their own thing. And even if they are, let them.

HARRY: Yeah, but we look silly trying to swing dance to this.

KATHY: No, we look amazing succeeding at swing dancing to highly unswingable music. And even if we’re succeeding badly, we’re doing it spectacularly. Go with it.

HARRY: Yeah but–

(A brief interruption as they do a more elaborate move involving a twirling skirt and a lift and a land)

HARRY: I feel like I’m all over the place.

KATHY: Your rhythm is good when you let yourself go.

HARRY: Which is hard while everyone is looking.

KATHY: If we’re getting side-eye, it’s only because we’re taking up space on the floor, and I ain’t apologising for that.

HARRY: We could always take this back to the corner and–

KATHY: Uh, uh. This was your idea.

HARRY: No, it was yours.

KATHY: Was it? No wait–

(Another interruption as they do another elaborate move)

KATHY: I distinctly remembering bringing up dancing tonight and you said wouldn’t it be hilarious if we went full swing dance routine. And I said let’s do it.

HARRY: I was kidding!

KATHY: Well, clearly I wasn’t.


KATHY: If you’d rather we didn’t we could–

[SFX – Approaching footsteps]

JANINE: Oh my god you two are amazing!

HARRY: Uh, thanks.

KLYMENKO: You’ve got to show us some moves.

HARRY: Well, uh it’s…you need to…um…

KATHY: (Taking charge) Alright, form up over here. Harry, we’re going to teach these folks how to dance.

[SFX – Klymenko, Janine and Hudson form a line]

HARRY: Right. Then.

JANINE: What’s a gal gotta do to get a partner around here?

HUDSON: If you’d do me the honour.

JANINE: Why thank you.

KLYMENKO: Are we seriously about do a dance lesson in the middle of this party?

HARRY: I…guess?

KATHY: It’ll probably all end in tears, but what else is New Years for?

KLYMENKO: What do I do for a partner?

JANINE: Use a wooden chair?

KATHY: We’ll work something out.

HARRY: Actually…we could…I mean I kinda know a routine for three.

KATHY: Well there you go.

HARRY: Yeah but…Kathy, what are we doing? We have like five lessons between the two of us.

KATHY: So? It’s still more than they know. Just roll with it. Anything we don’t know, we make up.

HARRY: I’m not really a roll with it kind of guy.

KATHY: Tonight you can be, if you want. We’ll work it out, together.

HARRY: Alright.

KATHY: Let’s do this.



[We pick up from the previous moment at the end of Scene 13.]

LAURA: How much to see ’em?

GORDON: 745, though feel free to count.

LAURA: I trust you.

GORDON: Kind of you.

ADRIENNE: Gordon. This was supposed to be a friendly game. A chance to get to know each other.

GORDON: What do you think I’ve been doing this whole time?


LAURA: Yeah, that’s about what I thought.

GORDON: What was?

LAURA: I think you already know the outcome of the hand. You just want to see what I’ll do.

ADRIENNE: Can we please just–

CELIA: Hush. This is going to play out no matter what we do.

ADRIENNE: So much for a quiet evening.

CELIA: Just pass the snickets.

[SFX – Rustling of snacks and a crunch as Celia eats one]

GORDON: If you’re so sure of what’s happening, then why don’t you tell me what I’m doing?

LAURA: Well let’s see, where to start? You’ve been trying to bait me all evening. Needling me, getting under my skin. You’re trying to find my limit. You thought that insulting my family and my service and my career would do it. So now you’ve gone all in on a strong hand just to see what I’ll do.

GORDON: Alright, you got me. So what do I learn if you call or fold?

LAURA: If I fold, you think you’ve learned that I’m pragmatic and not easily goaded, but also that I can be pushed around and intimidated when you need to. That bodes well for you if I try to rope you into consulting once we’re on Tefen. But equally, if I call, knowing almost certainly that I’ve lost, I’ll be showing you that I’m easily manipulated and ruled by ego or emotion or whatever concept of me you have rattling around that head of yours.

GORDON: Oh, you’re right of course. Like everything else, it’s all about data. So what’ll it be? Which do you see as the better option?

LAURA: I call.

GORDON: Huh, predictable.

LAURA: Only if you think you know why.


LAURA: You think I’d rather go down swinging than be pushed around. But the fact is, I haven’t lost this hand at all. I’ve won.

GORDON: We can’t both have a straight flush.

LAURA: Actually, neither of us do. Here. I know I paid to see yours. But I’ll show you mine first. I’ve got a flush. Not the nut hand by any means, but better than what you’re holding.

GORDON: This is a fun game. So why do you think that?

LAURA: Every time you’ve had a strong hand you take a sharp breath as you bet. Just a tiny little giveaway, but you were pretty sure I’d noticed. You made a point of calling me out for folding on the last hand. You knew I knew by then.

GORDON: There’s a lot of assumptions built into that.

LAURA: Maybe. But you couldn’t resist making sure. That’s why you didn’t re-raise against Celia when you knew you couldn’t be beaten. They’re short-stacked but you couldn’t be sure they’d take their chances and go all-in if you pushed. And they weren’t the mark anyway. You wanted me to see the cards. Me especially, so that I’d be sure I was right.

GORDON: And this hand. I didn’t do this breath thing?

CELIA: Oh you absolutely did.

LAURA: But there was something…different this time. Just a little contrived. Which means you knew that you were doing it this whole time. You faked the tell.

GORDON: You don’t sound that sure.

LAURA: Sure enough, that I will bet the total of this pot again that at best you’re holding…three of a kind

GORDON: I won’t take that bet.

LAURA: Because I’m right.

GORDON: Because you’re right.

[SFX – Gordon flips over his cards]

GORDON: Well, it would seem I’m cleaned out for the evening. So I’ll move on. Adrienne, I will admit that maybe I did take things a little far, and I apologise. I do hope that there was at least some entertainment in my eventual come-uppance.

ADRIENNE: Entertainment isn’t quite the word.

CELIA: (Crunching a snack) I don’t know. I think I’d gladly pay money for a repeat performance.

GORDON: Well in either case, I bid you both a Happy New Year.

CELIA: You too. (Another crunch) Leave the Star Crunch.

GORDON: Of course. Whatever else you may think of me, I have some manners.

ADRIENNE: See you at tomorrow’s meeting Gordon.

GORDON: And lieutenant. My apologies to you also, if I was insensitive. I hope there’re no hard feelings.

LAURA: Not at all. I saw you coming from a mile away.

GORDON: Perhaps. You did win, but at the end of the day I did learn what I wanted to in the process.

LAURA: And what’s that?

GORDON: That you’re smart. I won’t forget that.

LAURA: Well I learned that you’re the sort of person who’d rather make an overly-complicated mind game and push someone’s buttons to get to know them rather than…I don’t know…striking up a conversation, asking their favourite dinosaur, that kind of thing.

[SFX – Gordon gets out of his chair under the following]

GORDON: Well perhaps I’ll try that next time. And let me assure you that while you did well in the game, if we’re ever playing for keeps…you will never see me coming.


GORDON: Night all.

[SFX – Gordon gathers his drinks then walks to the door, making his exit.]

CELIA: You know even on a scale from 1 to Gordon, that was…

ADRIENNE: Off the scale?

CELIA: Indeed.

ADRIENNE: It’s certainly the most I’ve seen Gordon gordon in a long time.

LAURA: Since I’m going to need him when we get to the planet, how badly did I screw up?

CELIA: (Considering) Hmm…

ADRIENNE: (Considering) Uhhh…

CELIA: To be honest…

ADRIENNE: If anything…

CELIA: You’ve probably gone up in his estimation…

ADRIENNE: He might actually respect you.

LAURA: Really?

CELIA: Oh don’t get me wrong, he will still absolutely be a pain in your arse for the entire trip.

ADRIENNE: He just might be a subtly more deferential pain in the arse.

LAURA: I don’t understand how so much ego can be contained in one man.

ADRIENNE: He’s been treated like a rock star of the xenotech world for over a decade. You heard him. Unlike people like myself and Celia, assigned to one team permanently, he gets moved around based on his own choices and where he’s most in demand.

CELIA: A reason, not an excuse.

ADRIENNE: Oh I was not at all trying to excuse him.

CELIA: At least his moving in and out of teams means we don’t have to work with him every time. This is the…fourth?

ADRIENNE: Feels like forty.

LAURA: So that’s how you manage to tolerate him. Smaller doses?

CELIA: Mostly I just ignore him, except when I have no other choice.

ADRIENNE: I don’t have that luxury.

LAURA: Nor do I.


ADRIENNE: Well, given that nothing is likely to top the excitement of that last hand if we continue, perhaps we should stick to something a little more…low intensity.

CELIA: Gin rummy?

ADRIENNE: You take that more seriously than you do poker.

LAURA: I should probably take my leave.

ADRIENNE: Well, at least take a moment and toast the new year. It’s only a few minutes away.

[SFX – A bottle of spirits being handled]

CELIA: This is a 12 year old single malt.

LAURA: Sure.

[SFX – Celia pours three measures]

LAURA: What shall we drink to, apart from the obvious?

CELIA: The mission I suppose – May we all find an answer we’ve always wanted.

LAURA: May we find something to drive humanity to even greater heights.

ADRIENNE: May we all come home safely at the end of it.

CELIA: Cheers.

[SFX – They clink their glasses and all drink]

LAURA: Oh that is good.

CELIA: I find the farther I get from Earth, the lower my tolerance for inferior scotch

ADRIENNE: So tell me Laura, what is your favourite dinosaur?

LAURA: Ha. I always say the crocodile. I’m a fan of anything that knows how to survive no matter the odds. You?

ADRIENNE: I was just curious as to whether you actually had an answer. I’m not sure I could name more than three. And whatever you do, don’t ask Celia.

LAURA: Why not?

CELIA: My answer comes with a comprehensive lecture on exactly why.

LAURA: You’re an enthusiast?

CELIA: Look I’m not saying there’s a slide presentation, but I’m not not saying that either.

(Laura finishes her drink)

LAURA: Well maybe I’ll call that particular bluff another night. I gave my crew leave to enjoy themselves but there’s still a staff meeting to prep for. This was fun. I hope I’m not ruining the party by leaving early, or by killing the game.

ADRIENNE: By my count neither of those are on you.

CELIA: And I would have gladly lost twice the money in half the time just for that look on Gordon’s face.

LAURA: Lord knows we’ll all be plenty busy going about our respective work once we land on Tefen, but if there was a free evening or two on the return..?

ADRIENNE: Consider it a date.

LAURA: Well, happy new year to both of you.

ADRIENNE: Happy New Year.

CELIA: Happy New Year.

[SFX – Laura walks to the door and exits through it]

CELIA: I like her.


CELIA: What is the time anyway?

ADRIENNE: 11:56.

CELIA: Aren’t we the pair.

ADRIENNE: Off in our quiet little corner while the rest of the ship celebrates.

CELIA: There’s no one I’d rather ring in the new year with.

ADRIENNE: My husband aside–

CELIA: I have no problem with second place.

[SFX – Celia topping up the drinks]

CELIA: Here’s to another year on the road together.

[SFX – They clink glasses]

ADRIENNE: Between you and me, I think I’m getting too old for this.

CELIA: Oh pish and tosh.

ADRIENNE: A little over it then.

CELIA: I know. But you’re not quite ready to give it up though.



ADRIENNE: Wonder what the rest are up to at this point.

CELIA: Oh the usual I imagine. Dancing, loud music, barely repressed sexual desire.

ADRIENNE: They’re missing out on the finer things.

CELIA: Cheers to that.

[SFX – A last clink of glasses]

CELIA: Of course we could always try stealing a key to the mid-deck maintenance hatch.

(Adrienne bursts out laughing)



[Back on the dance floor. Harry is at the end of teaching Janine, Klymenko and Hudson the routine he mentioned in the previous scene.]

HARRY: And then back across to Hudson and…That’s it, now you’ve got it.

HUDSON: Uh okay, and then we go into…

[SFX – Hudson sends Janine spinning across the floor]


HARRY: Yeah.

JANINE: This is fun.

KATHY: Right, good let me steal my partner now. I think it’s getting close to that time.

JANINE: Hey do your thing. I’m going to let these two spin me around the floor some more.

KLYMENKO: I don’t think I have another one in me.

JANINE: It’s not even midnight, come on.

[SFX – Janine drags the other two away]

KATHY: Fancy another whirl?

HARRY: Of course.

KATHY: Told you it’d be fine. And fun.

HARRY: You were right. You usually are.

DJ: (Over a mic) Alright folks it’s nearly time. Charge your glasses, grab a partner. 30 seconds til the New Year.

[SFX – A cheer goes up]

KATHY: Way ahead of you bud.

HARRY: I didn’t realise it was nearly midnight.

KATHY: Is that a problem?

HARRY: No, um…of course not.

KATHY: You’re not going to turn into a pumpkin on me are you?

HARRY: No it’s just um…at midnight you usually…Never mind.

DJ: Okay, here we go folks…10.

ALL: 9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!!!

(The crowd begins cheering and whooping and wishing each other a Happy New Year.)

[SFX – Champagne corks and party whistles blowing]

DJ: (Over mic) Alright, sing it with me now…Should old acquaintance be forgot…

ALL: (singing) …and never brought to mind.
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and Auld Lang Syne.

For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

And surely you will buy your cup,
And surely I’ll buy mine.
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne!

[The singing fades out as we go to…]


[A corridor in the crew quarters area. Ben, Harris, Gallini, Logan and Jensen are walking along.]

BEN: Are you telling me he fell for it?

GALLINI: The Colonel had no choice. Either he went along with it or be forced to admit that he couldn’t tell a real artefact from a fake one.

BEN: And what was it really?

LOGAN: Just this souvenir piece my nan picked up from a flea market on Mars. Pretty sure it was straight up plastic.

BEN: (Laughing) And this Colonel Freitag is who your lieutenant answers to?

LOGAN: ’fraid so.

GALLINI: Half the battle has always been in getting the brass to get what we’re doing.

BEN: Yeah I hear that. I’ve seldom done a presentation to the corporate types that didn’t end in “How much?” or “Why should I care?”

[SFX – The footsteps come to an end]

JENSEN: Alright, this is our stop. Hey Harris, you good buddy?

HARRIS: Uhhhh, depends. How many hours sleep am I gonna get?

JENSEN: Looks like about…six?

HARRIS: Hhhhuuhh. May as well fire me out of an airlock then.

LOGAN: It won’t be so bad. I’ll drop by with coffee early.

JENSEN: Riggs did say that we’d ease into the day. Now come on, get to bed.

HARRIS: Right. Did we actually resolve that argument or…

JENSEN: There’s no resolving that argument. They’ll be having it until one of them dies.

HARRIS: Right. Night. Happy New Year.

[SFX – Harris opens his door and steps in]

THE OTHERS: Happy New Year.

[SFX – Harris’s door closes and the other four walk on a few more paces]

JENSEN: And…This is me.

LOGAN: Night Jensen.

GALLINI: Catch you back at the grindstone.

BEN: Seeya Jensen. Thanks for letting me follow in your wake, and the lively conversation. You military folks are a lot of fun.

JENSEN: Anytime, professor.

[SFX – Jensen opens her door and exits. The other three walk on]

GALLINI: You know you’re not so bad yourself Kellahay. For a civvie.

BEN: Well thank you.

[SFX – Gallini brings them to a stop]

GALLINI: Tell me something. Logan and I like to have this out every once in a while.

LOGAN: Ye gods, here we go.

BEN: Oh is this the famous debate?

GALLINI: Curious to know where you stand – Do you think Proximans would be any good at football?


BEN: As in…soccer?


BEN: This is the…Well, what do you mean by good?

[SFX – They resume walking]

LOGAN: You know, able to play well?

BEN: Compared to what? A human?



BEN: So…you’re not even in complete agreement as to what the parameters are?


LOGAN: It varies, depending on how long we’ve been going.

GALLINI: And…how many pints are involved.

BEN: I see. I mean they’re bipeds. I’m sure they have the capacity. But I imagine the look and pace of the game would be very different. And then you’d need to–

GALLINI: Now this is what I’ve been saying all along.

LOGAN: No this is what I’ve been saying all along.

GALLINI: Yes, but you’re still not getting it are you?

LOGAN: What’s to get?

BEN: (Over the top of their continued talking) This corridor takes me to my…

[SFX – Gallini and Logan have veered off down a side corridor. They continue arguing as they fade into the distance]

GALLINI: How the comparison isn’t fair. It’s all about how they would engage with the game.

LOGAN: That’s always been my point. They have the leap, but not the strength, the pace, but not the–

GALLINI: Oh this again. You know we should really hit up Dr Pennella tomorrow and ask them.

LOGAN: It already is tomorrow you prick.

BEN: (With a chuckle) Happy New Year to you too, gentlemen.

[SFX – Ben walks on alone. He yawns]

CELIA: Ben? I did not expect you to still be up.

BEN: Neither did I.

CELIA: So, you took my advice.

BEN: I did. Had a surprisingly good night. Took over the running of a Lost in Translation game after Remy piked early and then somehow ended up in a quiet corner somewhere having a very funny and occasionally very deep conversation with a bunch of the military team.

CELIA: Huh. Who would’ve thought.

BEN: How’d your night go?

CELIA: The highlight of my evening was seeing Gordon get his arse handed to him by Lieutenant Riggs at the poker table.

BEN: That sounds like a sight worth seeing.

CELIA: It was.


CELIA: I’m glad you listened.

BEN: So am I.

CELIA: Try not to forget this. Life is better with other people around. Even a curmudgeon like me knows that.

BEN: I’ll try.

CELIA: Good night old friend.

BEN: Happy New Year Celia.

CELIA: Happy New Year Ben. I have a feeling 2211 could be quite the ride.

BEN: Here’s hoping.

[SFX – Ben opens his door and enters his room]


[A flashback to midnight. The final strains of Auld Lang Syne come to a close.]

ALL: (singing) And there’s a hand my trusty friend,
And give me a hand o’ thine.
And we’ll take a right good will draught
For Old Lang Syne.

For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

(The crowd cheers and whoops again, more party whistles etc)

DJ: (on mic) It’s nice to see that sending you all the email with the lyrics paid off! Happy New Year, folks!

(He starts up playing dance music again)

KATHY: Happy New Year Harry

HARRY: Happy New Year to you too…It’s uh…going well so far.

KATHY: Yeah.


KATHY: What were you saying before? Something about what happens at midnight?

HARRY: Well, it…you usually…the person you’re with…you know…I don’t know…

KATHY: Oh! I…I didn’t even think…we were so focused on the dancing thing and I…wow…did you…want toooo…

HARRY: Uh…I mean…

DJ: (on mic) Okay, had a request from one Janine Hattersley to slow it down a little bit

(A change in the music to a slow jazz number)

HARRY: Don’t think even we can swing to this.

KATHY: Probably not.

HARRY: Maybe we should take a–

KATHY: Dance with me.

HARRY: I don’t really know how to dance to something like–

KATHY: Yes you do.

HARRY: Alright.

(They dance.)

KATHY: This is nice.

HARRY: Yeah. Nice.

KATHY: Better than nice…I…I really like dancing with you Harry.


HARRY: How do you do it?

KATHY: Do what?

HARRY: I don’t know…start a swing dance lesson in the middle of a dance floor at a new years party?

KATHY: Hey, from where I was standing, you did most of the work.

HARRY: Well, I mean maybe but…that’s not what I meant.

KATHY: What then?

HARRY: Well I…I haven’t known you long, but I know that being like this…around people, with people, taking the centre of attention, it makes you as anxious as it does me.

KATHY: A lot of the time yeah, but I don’t know. Under special circumstances I find I can.

HARRY: Special circumstances?

KATHY: Yeah. Has a lot to do with the company actually.

HARRY: Uh…I…I see.

[SFX – The music changes slightly. The crowd fades away. We are in a moment and space that only includes the two of them.]

HARRY: I could fall for you so easily.

[SFX – The moment ends. The soundscape shifts back to reality]

KATHY: What was that?

HARRY: Oh, it was nothing. Just…appreciating the moment.

KATHY: Was that all?

HARRY: I’ll tell you another time. For now, let’s just…keep dancing.

(The music swells and rises in volume until it takes over from the other sounds of the party. Harry and Kathy keep on dancing)

(Eventually the music fades out and we switch to the theme music for the credits)

COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: This episode of Among the Stars and Bones featured the voices of:

JORDAN: Jordan Cobb as Kathy Winters.

LINDSEY: Lindsey Dorcus as Lieutenant Laura Riggs.

JULIA: Julia Eve as Adrienne Barnes.

CHRIS: Chris Magilton as Ben Kelleher.

GRAHAM: Graham Rowat as Gordon Price.

SHAKIRA: Shakira Searle as Dr Celia Pennella.

SAM: Sam “Raethr” Nguyen as Harry Kowalski.

LUCILLE: Lucille Valentine as Janine Hattersley.

DYLAN: Dylan Chambers as Logan…


DYLAN: …Gallini!

ANTHONY: Anthony Morales…Harris.

WHITNEY: Whitney Johnson as Jensen.

TAREK: Tarek Esaw as Hudson.

ANDREY: Andrey Dragovich as Klymenko.

EDWYN: Edwyn Tiong as Remy.

DEVIN: Devin Madson as McPhee and The Computer.

COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: This episode of Among the Stars and Bones was made possible by our patrons. Thank you to our patrons. Music credits:

(The music switches from the theme music to an acoustic version of Auld Lang Syne)

CHRIS: Our theme music is composed by Oliver Morris, and in this episode you also heard Ready for Takeoff by WaveArt, New Mechanism by E2YOU, Party Until Dawn by PLAYSTARZ, Party Rock by GvidonAudio, Warm Country by IhorDrums, Ethereal Android by Lance Conrad, The Sense of Style by Elena Anisimova, Secret Alarm System by E2YOU, Stable by E2YOU, Rocket Fuel by DHDMusic, Fun at the Disco by Easy Vibe Sounds, These Romantic Feelings by DPMusic. All of the aforementioned were licensed by MotionArray. And the Auld Lang Syne acoustic version you’re currently listening to is performed by Liberakun Sound and licensed by Pond5.

CHRIS: And finally, as promised – a little treat from us to you. We’re going to play you out with a song.

(The Auld Lang Syne Acoustic Version starts from the start again)

CHRIS: (Singing) Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And Auld Lang Syne.


WHITNEY: (Singing) For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

JORDAN: (Singing) And surely you will buy your cup,
And surely I’ll buy mine.
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

DEVIN: (Singing) For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

SHAKIRA: (Singing) We two have run about the hills,
And picked the daisies fine.
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
Since Auld Lang Syne.

SHAKIRA & GRAHAM: (Singing) For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

GRAHAM: (Singing) We too have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun ’til dine.
But seas between us broad have roared,
Since Auld Lang Syne.

JORDAN & SAM: (Singing) For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.

SAM: (singing) And there’s a hand my trusty friend,
And give me a hand o’ thine.
And we’ll take a right good will draught
For Old Lang Syne.

(The guitar cuts out and all the people listed as singing above come together to sing the last chorus in 5-part harmony)


ALL: (Singing) For Auld Lang Syne my dear,
For Auld Lang Syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For Auld Lang Syne.