VOICE: It’s time for Captain Radio!
[Intro music plays: thrilling, space-y synthesizer.]
NARRATOR: These are the adventures of Captain Radio! It is a time of darkness for the galaxy. Captain Radio’s arch-nemesis, the sinister Doctor Orban has ascended to the throne, aided by a mysterious army of masked soldiers. With their space zeppelin missing, Captain Radio and his trusty robotic sidekick Ace have teamed up with the notorious renegade Orion Hunt to rescue Lady Andromeda and free the universe. But formidable perils lurk in every shadow as the HMS Galileo sails through the Plutonic Shoals on their way to the Throne of Jupiter.
You’re listening to Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension. Chapter Two: Songs and Storms. We find our hero keeping watch in the small capsule, on the lookout for Imperium scouts patrolling the icebergs at the edge of the solar system.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Take a look at the scope, Ace, and tell me what you think. Does that look like a scout ship to you?
ACE: Scanning. I am not detecting a vessel in that quadrant. Seventy-five percent probability of it being a natural object.
CAPTAIN RADIO: That’s just what they want us to think. I know Doctor Orban. He’ll be expecting us to mount a rescue.
ACE: Hypothesis accepted. However, this region of outer space is vast. It would take a million vessels a thousand years to locate us.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Well, maybe they got lucky.
ACE: But, my lord count–
CAPTAIN RADIO: What did I tell you about calling me that? We have to maintain our cover. If anyone realizes that I’m Count Xavier, Alpha Centauri would be in the crosshairs of every mad scientist and goose-stepping dictator from here to Vega.
ACE: I apologize for the error. I will remember to commit that to my memory tapes in the future.
CAPTAIN RADIO: No one must know, Ace. Not even Orion. I don’t trust him.
ACE: Shall I lower my trust settings, as well?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Maybe just a couple of notches, alright? Once he gets what he wants, he may turn on us.
[A door opens with a whoosh.]
ORION: How’s the void? Still vast and bleak?
CAPTAIN RADIO: We were just trying to decide if there’s an imperium scout ship hiding in those shadows.
ORION: They’d be crazy to come all the way out here. They’ve heard the stories.
ACE: I am unfamiliar with any folklore surrounding the Plutonic Shoals.
ORION: You mean you really don’t know? This region of deep space is haunted by evil spirits, they say. Ships go missing all the time out here. Their crews all go mad. They say there are creatures in the black — Neptunian sirens who’ll trick you into running your ship aground on a comet or convince you to let all the oxygen out of your capsule. There are a thousand ways to die out here.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I don’t believe in ghost stories.
ORION: Neither do I, but there’s a kernel of truth in any superstition. There is something lurking in these stars. I don’t know if it’s evil, but it has certainly sunk many an unsuspecting ship.
CAPTAIN RADIO: We’ll just have to find its weakness, then.
ORION: And while you’re off performing your heroics, I’ll make sure we get through this alive.
ACE: Can you expand upon your strategy, sir?
ORION: Not strategy. Instinct. Not just anyone can sail through the Plutonic Shoals. Lucky for you, I’m not just anyone.
CAPTAIN RADIO: We’ll see about that.
ORION: Is he always this charming?
ACE: His recent behavior is a deviation from normal parameters. Ever since he returned from the future —
ORION: The future?
CAPTAIN RADIO: I don’t want to talk about it.
ORION: Must have been terrible, all alone with no one begging you for an autograph.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I said I don’t want to talk about it.
ORION: Fine by me. We’ll listen to the solar winds, then.
[We hear a distant whistle of wind outside the capsule.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: What is?
ACE: Solar winds are rarely audible from inside a spacecraft. Except, of course–
ORION: Except if you’re about to be caught in a solar storm. Everybody hang on to something!
NARRATOR: Without warning, a solar storm engulfs the small space vessel. Tongues of fire from the heart of an angry star batter our heroes. Mighty winds threaten to tear the ship to pieces!
[The winds howl. We hear the sound of creaking metal.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Do something!
ORION: I’m trying! I can’t turn the wheel. The winds are too strong!
CAPTAIN RADIO: Then try something else!
ACE: If I may point out, solar storms of this magnitude are notoriously difficult to navigate–
CAPTAIN RADIO: Whose side are you on?!
ORION: I have a plan. It’s either going to work or we’ll crush the ship like a tin can. I’m going to cut engines and vent our hydrogen.
ACE: That will drop us deeper into the storm.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Are you out of your mind?
ORION: Let’s find out.
[We hear Orion flick a row of switches. There’s a rush of air and everything goes silent.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Where are we?
ACE: We appear to be in the eye of the storm.
ORION: Safest place to be.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I may have underestimated you, Orion. Well done.
ORION: Now, the trick will be to stay in here until the storm dissipates.
CAPTAIN RADIO: For how long?
ORION: Ten, maybe twelve hours. Someone will have to stay at the wheel at all times to make sure we don’t drift into the updraft.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’ll take the first shift. You get some rest.
ORION: Try to hold this course. Ignore your senses and follow the astro-compass. Your eyes can play tricks on you out here.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’ll keep that in mind.
ORION: Wake me if you need anything.
[The door whooshes open as Orion steps out.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Ace, you’d better power down, too. Save your reserves for later.
ACE: Good idea. Powering down.
NARRATOR: Unbeknownst to Captain Radio, an ancient evil has awoken from centuries of slumber, disturbed by the storm and drawn to the space capsule flying overhead. Over the whistling winds, our hero hears distant voices, calling to him with a siren song both beautiful and deadly.
[A haunting ethereal melody, almost like distant voices, rises on the wind.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: What is that sound? Hello? Who’s there?
[The song continues, calling to him.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: By the planets, there’s someone else out there. We’ve got to help them.
NARRATOR: Ignoring the readings on his astro-compass and unaware that he’s edging closer and closer to the inner wall of the storm, Captain Radio turns the Galileo to follow the siren song, spiraling down into the depths of the tempest.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Yes, I can hear you! Can you hear me? Where are you? We’re going to get you out of there.
[The ship begins to shake and rattle. The door opens with a whoosh.]
ORION: What’s going on here? You’re taking us directly into the storm!
CAPTAIN RADIO: Can’t you hear them, Orion?
ORION: Hear what?CAPTAIN RADIOThe voices!
[The siren song lifts again, bringing Orion under their spell.]
ORION: Yes. Yes, I can hear them. We have to find them. They’re trapped down there.
ACE: Powering up. Scanning. We are off course.
CAPTAIN RADIO: It’s okay. We’re following the voices.
ACE: Voices? I am not detecting a transmission.
ORION: They need our help. Can’t you hear them? They’re dying down there!
ACE: I do not understand.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Asteroid directly ahead!
ACE: We are coming in too fast.
ORION: We’ll have to hit it full speed.
CAPTAIN RADIO: It’s the only way we’ll make it in time.
ACE: Your behavior is most irrational. You must change course. Pull up. Pull up now!
[Heroic music swells.]
NARRATOR: Don’t touch that dial! Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension will return after this brief word from our sponsor.
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NARRATOR: We now return to the adventures of Captain Radio. Across the stars, Andromeda languishes in total darkness in the dungeons beneath the Throne of Jupiter, hoping that Captain Radio will save her. All the while, she is forming her own plan to defeat Doctor Orban and his henchmen.
ANDROMEDA: You there, soldier! I demand that you bring me a lantern. This darkness is worse than intolerable — it’s downright inhumane.
SOLDIER: Prisoners do not get to make requests.
ANDROMEDA: You must have misheard me. It wasn’t a request. I was issuing a demand. If I’m to be kept caged like an animal, I should at least have the courtesy of being able to see the faces of my captors.
SOLDIER: Request denied.
ANDROMEDA: Then I demand to speak to your superior officer.
SOLDIER: Request denied.
ANDROMEDA: You leave me no choice. I’ll scream at the top of my lungs day and night until you provide me with a lantern. How would you like that, soldier?
SOLDIERS: Go ahead. We have ways of silencing prisoners.
SOLDIER: I’d like to see you try. Doctor Orban will see you now. Take it up with him.
[We hear the click of a lock. A metal door slides open.]
DOCTOR ORBAN: Good evening, my dear Lady Andromeda. How it pains me to see you in chains like this.
ANDROMEDA: Release me at once, Doctor Orban, or you will suffer the consequences.
DOCTOR ORBAN: I’m afraid that won’t work. Not this time. Your psychokinetic abilities have no power here. You see, I constructed this cell especially for you. The walls are lined with iridium ore, one of the only minerals known to science which can block psychic energy.
Believe me, I wish it were not not necessary. We don’t have to be enemies, you know. With your mental capabilities and my genius, we would be an unstoppable force.
ANDROMEDA: I would never sink so low.
DOCTOR ORBAN: It was worth a try. Is there anything I can get you to make your stay with us more pleasant?
ANDROMEDA: Yes. I require a light source.
DOCTOR ORBAN: You must miss the warmth of sunlight on your face. I wish I could help you, but it’s quite impossible. In time, you’ll learn to see in the dark, as I have.
ANDROMEDA: And why is that?
DOCTOR ORBAN: I can’t tell you. That would be giving you an unfair advantage.
ANDROMEDA: It has something to do with your soldiers, doesn’t it? Why do they keep their faces covered? And where did they come from? Last I checked, the Imperium fleet was off fighting in the Scorpius Constellation, yet you managed to raise an army overnight to murder the king and seize the throne.
DOCTOR ORBAN: Do you think so little of me, Lady Andromeda? I am many things, but I am not a murderer. My brother died of natural causes. He fell into a black hole and was crushed by gravity.
ANDROMEDA: I wonder who pushed him in.
DOCTOR ORBAN: If you’ll excuse me, I really must be going. An emperor’s work is never done. We’ll talk again soon, my dear.
ANDROMEDA: Whatever you’re planning, Doctor Orban, you’ll never get away with it. Captain Radio is no doubt on his way here at this very moment. You may as well surrender now.
DOCTOR ORBAN: Yes, he’s used to winning, isn’t he? Twenty-seven times he and I have come into conflict and in every instance, Captain Radio has prevailed. I have spent years studying my every failure and I’ve realized where I went wrong.
Now, I have laid a trap for him with the most irresistible bait. His arrogance and his love for you will be his downfall.
[Doctor Orban laughs. The cell door closes behind him.]
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, the HMS Galileo plunges uncontrollably down through the solar storm. With Captain Radio and Orion under the malevolent influence of the siren song, it’s up to Ace to save the ship from total destruction.
[The sirens sing.]
ACE: This is madness! Asteroid impact in two minutes.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Orion, can we increase our speed?
ORION: I’m trying!
ACE: Behavioral analysis complete. Conclusion: alien hypnosis. I must find a way to disrupt the signal. Attempting high-frequency interference.
[We hear a high-pitched tone. The song ends abruptly.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Ah! Stop that!
ACE: Can you hear me, sir?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Hear you? I can’t hear anything else. My ears are ringing. What was that?
ACE: You and Orion have been hypnotized by Neptunian sirens. They are attempting to use you to destroy the ship.
ORION: What? That’s impossible. Neptunian sirens aren’t real. It’s an old sailor’s tale.
ACE: They are very real. Check the astro-compass.
ORION: Ace is right. We’re way off course.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Get us out of here, Orion.
ACE: Neither of you can be trusted. The sirens may reestablish their control over you at any moment.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Then how are we going to escape?
ACE: I will take the wheel. I am afraid you will both have to be restrained until we are clear of the storm.
ORION: You’ve got to be out of your mind. You want us to put our lives in the hands of a robot?
ACE: I have already calculated the odds of success. This is the only way we will survive.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Do it.
NARRATOR: The winds howl and scream as Ace takes command and sets course for safer skies. And not a moment too soon, for the sirens quickly overwhelm Captain Radio and Orion once again.
[The sirens begin to sing again.]
ORION: I think that’s been long enough. You can let us go.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Come over here and untie us, Ace. We’re alright now.
ORION: We’re fine. Really, we are. I can barely even hear the singing.
ACE: Not until we are out of the storm.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Please, Ace. You’ve got to believe me. We have to turn around.
ORION: They need us! We can’t just leave them.
ACE: Almost there!
CAPTAIN RADIO: If you don’t let us go this instant, I’ll have you taken apart and sold for scrap. Do you hear me?
ACE: You are not feeling well, sir. Please try to relax.
ORION: How can we relax when they’re in danger? Just open the hatch, Ace. If we can’t go to them, let them come to us.
ACE: If I do that, the capsule will lose pressure and you will die.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Open the hatch. You’ll see.
ACE: We will be out of range in three, two, one.
[The singing fades. The winds calm.]
ORION: Where are we?
ACE: We are well beyond the orbit of Neptune and have resumed our course for the Throne of Jupiter.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Excellent work, Ace. I hope we didn’t give you too much trouble back there.
ACE: Your attempts to deceive me and destroy the ship were easy to detect.
ORION: Not bad, rust bucket.
ACE: Compliment accepted.
ORION: Now, let’s see how bad the damage is.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’ll help you.ACEProximity warning! Vessel approaching.
ORION: Let me guess: another one of your ghost ships?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Looks pretty solid to me.
ACE: It is a long-range Imperium scout.
ORION: And it’s almost on top of us!
CAPTAIN RADIO: Can we outrun them?
ORION: We’re in no condition to run. No condition to fight, either.
CAPTAIN RADIO: We’ve come too far to be stopped now. How in the all the stars did they find us?
ORION: It’s too late. We’re as good as dead.
NARRATOR: You’ve been listening to the adventures of Captain Radio! Can our heroes evade capture and almost certain death? Will Captain Radio discover the key to defeating Doctor Orban’s diabolical plot? Can Andromeda warn the others before they fall into a trap? Find out next week in the dramatic third chapter of Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension, brought to you by the General Electric Home Computer.
JONNY: The Adventures of Captain Radio is a production of Obscure Studios. This episode was written and edited by me, Jonny Eberle, and produced by me and Will McDonald. Our Narrator is Scott Kennedy. Captain Radio was played by Will McDonald. Orion was played by Rob Peters. Ace was played by DeLano Hays. Andromeda was played by Abigail Stockley. Doctor Orban was voiced by Jonny Eberle, Sarah Atchison was our Ad Announcer, and Bailey Cunningham played the Soldier.
Special thanks to our Neptunian Sirens: Kate Neale, Katie Gray, Rutger Wagner, and Scott Thorpe. The siren song was mixed by Rutger Wagner. Our theme music was composed by Bailey Cunningham and our artwork was designed by Tami King.
Find us online at obscurestudios.net. And finally, please be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts, so you never miss an episode. If you’re enjoying Captain Radio so far, share it with a friend and help others discover the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.