PRE=SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT: Welcome back to Among the Stars and Bones. I am so excited to finally be able to share this with you. A note before we begin: The show 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. Although there are no specific warnings for this episode, they will usually be found in the show notes. Please make use of them if you need to. And now, please enjoy this prologue to Season 2.

[A brief refrain from the theme music plays]

COMPUTER VOICE: Among the Stars and Bones

[The music fades]


[Fade up on the outer office area with sounds of a communications feed updating and a petty officer typing at his keyboard. Underneath it is the ambient sound of a starship under way]

[SFX – A door opens and in steps Adrienne Barnes. The door closes]

PETTY OFFICER: (Distracted, focused on another task) Comptoller Barnes? How can I help you?

ADRIENNE: Captain Mayhew requested a meeting?

AIDE: Right, of course.

ADRIENNE: Any idea what this is about?

AIDE: Nope, sorry. The captain just shouted at me when she left to clear her schedule for…

ADRIENNE: Whatever this is?

AIDE: Yeah. Why don’t you head on through? I’m sure Captain Mayhew will be with you both shortly.

[SFX – Adrienne begins to walk across the room]


[SFX – Adrienne reaches a door. It opens and we follow her into the conference room]

ADRIENNE: Hello, Adrienne Barnes. And you are?

FRANCIS: Captain Edward Francis. Marine Force Recon. You’re a civilian?


FRANCIS: Part of the research team they rescued.

ADRIENNE: Yes. That you have to ask suggests you’ve only just come aboard.

FRANCIS: Correct.

ADRIENNE: So what kind of meeting requires a marine force recon captain and a battered and bruised paper-pushing xenoarchaeologist?

FRANCIS: I know why I’m here. If there’s a reason for both of us…hellify know.


ADRIENNE: Emperor Trajan?


ADRIENNE: The quote tattooed on your arm.

FRANCIS: Oh, yes. Ancient military history is a hobby. How did you..?

ADRIENNE: A long time ago, I studied archaeology. Without the xeno.



FRANCIS: What happened?

ADRIENNE: The Proximans did. Funding dried up, and the pressure was on those of us still studying to change majors to get as many warm bodies as possible into the field.



[SFX – Conference room door opens and in walks Captain Mayhew. Francis immediately snaps to attention to salute.]

MAYHEW: As you were Francis.

FRANCIS: (Pulling a data drive from a pouch of his uniform) Thank you for seeing me immediately ma’am, presenting my orders.

MAYHEW: Save yourself the trouble Captain, plans have changed.

ADRIENNE: And why am I here?

MAYHEW: (With a sigh) Look, you should both sit down, this is going to be an unpleasant conversation for all of us. In short, our chains are about to be yanked and none of us are going to like it.

FRANCIS: Ma’am, I don’t follow.

MAYHEW: (As she sits) Nor do I, but then our compliance is always more valued than our comprehension.

[SFX – Adrienne and Francis move to the conference table to sit under the following]

ADRIENNE: Where is this going? I…my team is badly in need of treatment.

FRANCIS: And, with respect, I have several important objectives in Sector 9 including a recovery mission–

MAYHEW Which I am given to understand will now be handled by someone else. And if we’re playing the “who’s messing up whose mission” game then I’m already out two weeks thanks to saving you eggheads and now I’m going to miss the revised rendezvous as well.


MAYHEW: Look, none of this is coming from me–

ADRIENNE: What is “this”?

MAYHEW: I’m getting to it. But before that, can you humour me a moment and explain to Francis what it is you do?

ADRIENNE: Uh…as I said, xenoarchaeology. I head a team of researchers and scientists who study ruins of the Proximan civilisation.

FRANCIS: What has that got to do with–

MAYHEW: Stow it, Francis. Go on.

ADRIENNE: Have you heard of the Eudoxus Initiative?


ADRIENNE: Well, uh…it’s part government, part academia, part corporate and part military. We study the Proximans to learn about them and their technology. There are teams sent out on regular expeditions to study sites
both old and new. We’re the Herodotus Task Force, but there’s also the Shen Kuo group and Nabonidus and–

MAYHEW: That’s the one. Nabonidus. What do you know about their current assignment?

ADRIENNE: Some site miners found 12 miles below the surface of an iceball of a planet in Sector 17. Don’t know much more. Their commencement date was after ours, and we don’t exactly get Xenoarchaeology Monthly delivered 8 light years outside the relay network.

[SFX – As Mayhew speaks a series of computer beeps is heard, indicating that she has called up some sort of presentation or slide show and is going through it as she talks.]

MAYHEW: Well, let’s see what details I can add. The Nabonidus crew made planetfall here, on the planet Angitia on February 11. On Day 2 of their mission, they reported safe landing and that setup operations were complete. On Day 4 they reported on initial findings from the hall that forms the entrance to the site. On Day 6 there was follow-up and some discussion of plans to proceed deeper in. On Day 8, an empty data packet was sent. On Day 10, nothing at all. For the 2 weeks since then, there’s been no other contact.

ADRIENNE: They can’t have just…Is the tachyon pulse signature still coming from their stellarcaster?

MAYHEW: Yes, so equipment failure is unlikely.

FRANCIS: Are you saying they’ve…what? Disappeared?

MAYHEW: I am saying that as of oh-nine-hundred this morning, the brass have made it your job to find out.


MAYHEW: Both your jobs.

ADRIENNE: You can’t be serious. We have 14 dead and many of us are still recovering from injuries, severe dehydration, not to mention the impact of our ordeal.

MAYHEW: I am well aware of what you are going thr–

FRANCIS: (Angry) The brass know there’s a war on, right?

MAYHEW: I’m sure they do Captain, so I suggest you mind your tone.

FRANCIS: (Regaining control) Aye ma’am.

MAYHEW: Remember that I am just the messenger, and this problem has been dumped in my lap too. Barnes, you got the crap kicked out of you, no question. Francis, you’ve got better things to do, as do I. But unfortunately for all of us, as Barnes said, Eudoxus is part government, corporate and military, and it has the clout to match. So these orders come from the top. The scientists are needed to find out what happened to their compatriots, with Captain Francis’s squad as back up. If the universe is kind, we’ll find someone just left their coffee too close to a console and shorted the communications.

ADRIENNE: That’s not how our luck runs.

FRANCIS: Nor mine.

MAYHEW: Which is why, if there’s some sort of alien puzzle to be solved or a rescue to be effected, they’re sending the both of you.

FRANCIS: And if they’re dead?

MAYHEW: Then you find out why, while Barnes picks up the work left behind.

FRANCIS: They want me to babysit a science mission?

MAYHEW: That is correct.

ADRIENNE: And they want us to either pull Nabonidus’s arse out of the fire or do their job for them? By what right?

MAYHEW: I was told, if you asked, that you should check your contract.

ADRIENNE: (Realising what she’s referring to) They wouldn’t dare.

MAYHEW: You’d know better than I Barnes. But for mine, I’d consider the fact they decided to relay this to you via me rather than tell you themselves.

ADRIENNE: I’m going to message Central.

MAYHEW: Feel free. You’ve got three hours before we make the next jump. Of course, by the time you get a reply, we’ll already be there.

ADRIENNE: (Resigned) Of course.

FRANCIS: And how exactly is the command structure going to work? Am I to be placed under civilian authority?

MAYHEW: In matters relating to xenoarchaeology and the sciences, you defer to Barnes and her team. In matters relating to the search and rescue effort, authority will be shared. And if the underlying cause of all this represents a potential threat to the alliance, then you get the call.

ADRIENNE: And if those things come into conflict?

MAYHEW: You’re adults. Work it out.

FRANCIS: And exactly where is this joint command authorised?

ADRIENNE: Actually, though it pains me to say so, that’s already built into the Eudoxus charter. It’s how we’re able to work alongside members of the Military Research Division.

MAYHEW: You’ve just reminded me – for purposes of this mission, the remaining members of Lieutenant Riggs’ military research team are under your command Francis.

FRANCIS: What am I supposed to do with them?

ADRIENNE: I can attest to both their capability and resourcefulness.

FRANCIS: This is a nightmare.

MAYHEW: Agreed. Though thankfully, not my nightmare. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to oversee preparations for the jump to sector 17. In the meantime here are your briefing packets. I imagine you two will have a lot to talk about, so consider the conference room yours til the end of the day.

FRANCIS: (A sigh of resignation) Thank you ma’am, and uh…as for my responses earlier…

MAYHEW: Consider it forgotten. You’ve been dealt a crap hand, no question. I’ll leave you to it.

[SFX – Mayhew exits, the door opening and closing for her as she does.]


FRANCIS: Well…fuck.

ADRIENNE: My thoughts exactly.

[The ambient ship sounds fade out]

[Theme Music Plays]

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

JULIA: Julia Eve as Adrienne Barnes

OLIVER: Oliver Smith as Captain Francis

EMMA: Emma Sherr-Ziarko as Captain Mayhew

CHRIS: Chris Magilton as Petty Officer

DEVIN: Devin Madson as The Computer

COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: The work of the Eudoxus Initiative is made possible by generous research grants from our patrons. We would like to thank all the patrons that have joined us since our previous mission: Jasmin, Sam Hodgson, Michael, Jaromir Prazak, Christina J, Steve, Irvin, Churlington Beesecoat the Third, Paulo, Stardust, Jason Pitre, Christina Y, Bjorn, Jonathan, Ant, Lacey Buchda, Mel, Bek, Sarah Elkins, Seth P, Kara, Namitha, Keystroke Cascade, Lune, David, Solar, Ashlyn, Xerxies, Anne, Rochnariel, Essayjinx, Craig, Jaune Chat, Rage McMuffin, Elisabeth, Jess, Purveyor of Chaos. If you too would like to support humanity’s understanding of alien technology, culture and history, go to For a transcript of this report or additional information, go to If you enjoyed this report, please consider supporting us by rating, reviewing and recommending us. Thank you for listening.

[Theme music continues until fade out]