VOICE: It’s time for Captain Radio!
[Intro music plays: thrilling, space-y synthesizer.]
NARRATOR: These are the adventures of Captain Radio! When we last saw our heroes, they had escaped from the malevolent Neptunian Sirens by the skin of their teeth. However, their victory was short-lived. No sooner had they emerged from the solar storm than the HMS Galileo came face-to-face with an Imperium scout ship. With nowhere to run and no way to hide, Captain Radio may have no choice but to surrender to the agents of Doctor Orban.
You’re listening to Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension. Chapter Three: Monks of the Dark Adaptation.
As the warship bears down on them, Captain Radio, Ace, and Orion scramble to evade capture by the Pangalactic Imperium.
CAPTAIN RADIO: There’s got to be something we can do to get out of this.
ORION: Forget it. We sustained a lot of damage flying through the storm. We’re lucky to be alive at all.
ACE: Perhaps we could wait in the shadow of that nearby comet until they pass.
ORION: Open your eyes, robot! No way they haven’t spotted us. If we try to limp away now, they’ll open fire. No, the smartest thing we can do is surrender.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I never surrender.
ORION: Better get used to the idea, Captain Radio, because I don’t see any other option.
CAPTAIN RADIO: You may have a point. Once they’ve taken us into custody, we’ll just have to come up with a way to escape.
ACE: That may not be necessary.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Don’t tell me you’re quitting, too, Ace.
ACE: Negative. However, I do not believe the scout vessel poses a threat.
ORION: Look at the laser cannons on that thing!
ACE: Yes, but the cannons have not been activated. Observe the hatch immediately below the gun placement.
CAPTAIN RADIO: By the sands of Mars, you’re right. It looks like the hatch has been blown open from the inside.
ORION: Those blasted Neptunian Sirens must’ve tricked the crew into letting all the air out.
ACE: An intriguing hypothesis, but I do not believe that is the case. If you look through the scope, you will notice burn marks on the inner door of the hatch.
CAPTAIN RADIO: An explosion.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Orion, get me an oxygen tank. I’m going over there to take a look. It might be important.
NARRATOR: With an oxygen canister in one hand and his trusty ray gun in the other, Captain Radio boards the Imperium scout only to find the vessel completely deserted.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Captain Radio to Ace. Come in, Ace.
ACE(over the radio): Go ahead, sir. We read you loud and clear.
CAPTAIN RADIO: The ship is empty. There’s no sign of the crew.
ORION(over the radio): We’re getting very strange readings on the astro-compass. Do you see anything which could be creating a magnetic field?
[The sound of popping, sizzling.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: There is something here. It’s hard to describe. It’s all around me, like drops of ink, but when I try to touch one, my hand goes right through it. It’s as if it isn’t even there. I think it’s coming from this room.
NARRATOR: Captain Radio steps into a laboratory. Everywhere, our hero finds evidence of a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong. Broken pieces of equipment and shattered glass beakers hang in midair, frozen in place, while small spheres of a strange black substance flow outward from a single point in the center of the room — a tear in the very fabric of reality.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What on earth were they trying to do here?
NARRATOR: Searching the room, Captain Radio finds a shard of stone. One end is cold and blackened, the other is warm to the touch and glows with an inner light. He places it securely on his belt loop to examine later.
[We hear the stone’s hum.]
ACE(over the radio): Captain Radio, please come in. We need you to come back, sir. The hydrogen leak is worse than anticipated. Orion informs me that we can only maintain this altitude for another ten minutes.
NARRATOR: Back aboard the HMS Galileo, Orion prepares to land the ship for repairs.
ORION: Everybody hold on. This is going to be a rough landing.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Why does that not surprise me?
ACE: Where do you intend to land? My memory tapes have no record of a nearby settlement.
ORION: Caliban is within range. If we can lose a little weight, we might just be able to make it.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Caliban is a lifeless ball of snow and ice.
ORION: That’s what they want the galaxy to think.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Who’s they?
ORION: The monks. I’ll explain when we get there. Right now, I need you to go down below, find anything that isn’t absolutely necessary and toss it.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I hope you know what you’re doing, Orion.
[We hear the door hiss as Captain Radio leaves.]
ORION: Hold together, old girl. Almost there.
NARRATOR: The Galileo dives through the atmosphere of the frozen moon of Caliban. Without engines or parachutes, there is nothing to slow them down. They approach the surface moving faster than a bullet from a gun before finally crashing into the side of a snowcapped mountain.
[We hear a thunderous crash.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Nice landing.
ORION: You’re welcome. Come on, we’ve gotta get out of here before we freeze to death.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Are you alright, Ace?
ACE: No serious damage detected.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Lead the way.
NARRATOR: Our heroes step out of their ship to behold a moon in perpetual dusk. Through the blowing snow, they can just make out the distant towers of an imposing stone monastery, set high on the steep slopes of the mountain. Together, Captain Radio, Orion, and Ace begin the treacherous climb.
[We hear the sound of bells tolling over the whistle of the icy wind.]
ORION: Watch your step. If you slip, it’s five thousand feet to the bottom. Plenty of time to think about your mistake before you’re impaled on the ice spires.
CAPTAIN RADIO: How comforting.
ACE: Sir, my optical lenses are frosting over.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Don’t worry, Ace, I won’t let you fall. Keep a firm hold on my cloak.
NARRATOR: Without warning, a figure emerges from the blizzard. Captain Radio instinctively reaches for his ray gun, ready to defend them against this stranger.
STRANGER: There is no need for violence. Lower your weapon.
ORION: Do as he says. I apologize for the intrusion, Oracle. This is Captain Radio and Ace. Our ship was damaged in a solar storm. We could use your help getting her spaceworthy again.
THE ORACLE: It has been a long time.
ORION: I know. I’m sorry.
THE ORACLE: The last time you were here, you tried to steal the holy relics of Saint Perigee.
ORION: Look, are you going to help us or not?
THE ORACLE: Come with me. We must get you out of the elements. I will send Sister Octavius to examine your vessel.
CAPTAIN RADIO: You tried to steal from these monks?
ORION: It’s a lot more complicated than that.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’ll bet it is.
NARRATOR: The Oracle places a wrinkled hand on the solid stone of the mountainside. A portion of the rock face slides open to reveal a secret passageway.
[The rumble of sliding stone.]
THE ORACLE: We are the Monks of the Dark Adaptation. As a rule, visitors are prohibited from entering the Abbey, but it seems we must break this rule once again.
ORIONAgain? Who else has been here?
THE ORACLE: The Emperor of Shadows himself, Doctor Orban, paid us a visit not three weeks ago. It was a great honor for our order to receive him.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What did he want?
THE ORACLE: Come inside and I’ll tell you.
[Ominous 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. After crash-landing on the ice moon of Caliban, our heroes went in search of a secretive order of clerics. But Captain Radio suspects this safe haven may not be all it seems, as mere weeks ago, his archenemy Doctor Orban paid a visit to the Monks of the Dark Adaptation in search of an ancient secret.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Do me a favor, Orion: help Ace get defrosted. If Ace’s hydraulics freeze, we’ll be in real trouble. I need to speak with this Oracle of yours.
ORION: I’ll take care of it. And captain?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Yes?
ORION: The Oracle is wise. He can offer answers, but it may not be what you want to hear. I learned that the hard way a long time ago.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’ll keep that in mind.
THE ORACLE: Captain Radio. We need to talk. Walk with me. You have come a long way for what you seek.
CAPTAIN RADIO: You can’t fool me with that old parlor trick. Everyone comes a long way to get here, so you can cut the mystic routine. You don’t know me.
THE ORACLE: It’s no trick. Your name is spoken throughout the universe. Even in our isolation, we have heard of the exploits of the great Captain Radio. I know you freed the Europa Colony from the brutal grip of the Stellar Emanation. I know you rescued the orphans of Procyon. I know you prevented the Earth from being consumed by a rogue black hole.
And I know that royal blood flows through your veins. You are a son of the House of Perseid, cousin of the late King Aster: Count Xavier of Alpha Centauri.
CAPTAIN RADIO: You know a lot, Oracle.
THE ORACLE: I don’t mean to put you in an uncomfortable position, I only wish to clear the air of any falsehood between us. No parlor tricks.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I prefer honesty, myself.
THE ORACLE: Says the man who hides his identity behind a mask.
CAPTAIN RADIO: It is necessary to protect the ones I love.
THE ORACLE: Like Lady Andromeda?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Was she here?
THE ORACLE: Doctor Orban brought her with him. Her powerful mental abilities are astounding — she would have made an exceptional cleric.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What did Doctor Orban want from you?
THE ORACLE: The same thing you want. Answers only the Monks of the Dark Adaptation can provide. Let me explain. Our order is very ancient. It was founded on a simple principle: that darkness cannot be defeated by light.
Did you know that dark matter comprises 95 percent of the universe? It is everywhere, it surrounds everything, and yet many fear what lies in shadow. They limit themselves to the light. We embrace the darkness — both the dark places in the universe and those within ourselves.
CAPTAIN RADIO: That explains why you don’t have any windows in this place.
THE ORACLE: We monks learn to see in the dark. Doctor Orban shares our philosophy, or so we believed. He came to us with an unusual request. He wanted to understand our unique connection with the Eleventh Dimension.
CAPTAIN RADIO: The Eleventh Dimension?
THE ORACLEIt is a dimension of total darkness, where in the beginning, there was not light, but endless night. We can communicate with this dimension with the use of atomic amulets, which open a small portal.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What comes through this portal?
THE ORACLE: Visions. Prophesies. Things no living mind can comprehend. But the portal is unstable; it can only be opened for a few minutes before it collapses. Doctor Orban was frustrated by this. He wanted to create a Dimension Gate, a permanent but theoretical portal between worlds.
CAPTAIN RADIO: So he could enter the Eleventh Dimension?
THE ORACLE: He didn’t say. But we did allow him to borrow two of our amulets to assist him in his quest.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Why would you do that? Doctor Orban is a madman. There’s no telling what he’s trying to do, but the fate of the galaxy may hang in the balance.
THE ORACLE: We are the guardians of an ancient knowledge, but it is not our place to decide who may or may not have access to it. There is no danger in communicating with the Eleventh Dimension; I do it every day.
CAPTAIN RADIO: But that’s a small portal. What would it take to open a portal like the one Orban talked about — this Dimension Gate?
THE ORACLE: He would need an immense psychokinetic field to even hope to open a portal large enough to pass through. Our holy texts speak of many such attempts, but none succeeded.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What would he want with such a portal? I find it hard to believe Doctor Orban is suddenly interested in spiritual enlightenment.
THE ORACLEWe did not ask.CAPTAIN RADIOWell, maybe you should have.THE ORACLEYou may be more right than you know. Something has gone wrong. Darkness is leaching into our dimension.
Already, it has extinguished hundreds of young stars at the edge of the universe — and the destruction is spreading. I can only assume that Doctor Orban is close to opening a portal. If he is not stopped, the heart of every star will go cold and dark.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Giving you exactly what you want.
THE ORACLE: You misunderstand us. We do not wish to make our dimension like the 11th Dimension. Darkness and light exist in contrast to each other: they need each other. Doctor Orban has upset a delicate balance.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Will you help me stop him?
THE ORACLE: You already have what you need.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I thought we agreed not to use cheap parlor tricks.
THE ORACLE: In your pocket. Our instruments detected a fragment of one of our amulets when you arrived, a piece of one we gave to Doctor Orban.
CAPTAIN RADIO: The stone. We found it on a wrecked Imperium ship.
[The stone hums.]
THE ORACLE: Go. Find Doctor Orban’s Dimension Gate. Use the amulet to close the portal. And do it quickly — the balance between light and dark must be restored before it reaches the point of no return.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Orion and Ace are working with the monks to complete repairs on the HMS Galileo when the scream of a rocket engine pierces the calm of the mountain refuge.
[We hear the rumble of a spacecraft flying overhead.]
ORION: Blast! They’ve found us.
ACE: Affirmative. Imperium troop carrier. Tracking flight pattern. It will land at the Abbey in two minutes.
ORION: We’ve got to warn them.
ACE: But sir, our radio is non-operational.
ORION: Tell the monks to go. If they hurry, they might be able to mount a defense. I’ll get us ready for take-off.
ACE: What about Captain Radio?
ORION: We won’t leave without him… unless we absolutely have to.
NARRATOR: High above, a troop carrier dispatched from the Throne of Jupiter lands amid the towers of the Abbey. Out of the hatch pours a dozen shocktroops — the faceless soldiers of the Imperium.
[We hear the distant sound of laser blasts.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: That sounds like a ray gun.
THE ORACLE: They’ve returned. Go. Now, before they realize you’re here.
CAPTAIN RADIO: No, I’ll stay. I can help.
THE ORACLE: If you stay, you’ll be captured. We can defend ourselves. Now go!
NARRATOR: Captain Radio runs through the torch-lit passageways, desperately searching for a way out. He turns a corner to descend a staircase and finds the way blocked by advancing soldiers.
SOLDIER: Stop right there!
[A laser blast.]
NARRATOR: Captain Radio instead sprints up the stairs, making his way into the tallest tower. He emerges on the rooftop and finds a dead end. With no escape and Doctor Orban’s soldiers in close pursuit, he turns away from the thousand-foot drop, draws his ray gun, and takes aim at the stairwell.
SOLDIER: Captain Radio, you’re under arrest.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Didn’t anyone tell you? I never surrender.
[Captain Radio fires his ray gun. The Soldier responds with a volley of laser blasts.]
NARRATOR: Just when it seems all hope is lost, a familiar voice calls out from the gently falling snow.
ORION: Need a lift?
NARRATOR: The Galileo descends through the clouds. Orion hangs out of the hatch, reaching a hand out, but the ship is still twenty feet beyond the edge of the tower. It’s either jump or be captured by the forces of darkness.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Wish I could stay, but this is my ride.
NARRATOR: Without a moment’s hesitation, Captain Radio holsters his ray gun and runs as fast as he can to the edge. Laser blasts fill the air around him, singeing his cloak as he takes a flying leap from the top of the tower. He reaches out his hand…
ORION: Got him! Get us out of here, Ace!
ACE: Firing primary rocket now.
[The thrum of a rocket engine.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Thanks for coming back for me.
ORION: I thought about cutting my losses, but Ace insisted. Did you get what you needed from the Oracle?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Yes, I did. This is about more than saving Andromeda now. Every life in the universe is at stake if we don’t stop Doctor Orban.
ORION: The monks like to deliver dire warnings. They can be a little dramatic.
CAPTAIN RADIO: How did you even know they were here?
ORION: Simple. The monks raised me. I was orphaned in the Taurian Civil War. They took me in, tried to train me to become a cleric, but I never really fit in. When I was old enough, I struck out on my own. But I still like to think of it as home.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Someplace to stop by and try to rob every now and then, is that it?
ORION: I wasn’t gonna steal their precious relics. Who wants a dusty mummified foot? I just like to keep the Oracle on his toes. Now, this scroll from the Forbidden Archive, on the other hand, will fetch a pretty penny on the black market.
CAPTAIN RADIO: You’re going to return that.
ORION: No time. The universe is counting on us. Set course for the Throne of Jupiter, rust bucket.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’m serious.
ACE: Course set.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Are you listening to me? You can’t keep that scroll.
[A mysterious organ plays.]
NARRATOR: You’ve been listening to the adventures of Captain Radio! As our heroes fly into the jaws of Doctor Orban’s carefully-laid trap, many questions remain. Can Captain Radio close the Dimension Gate before it’s too late? Will Andromeda discover the true identity of the masked soldiers and uncover their weakness? What fearsome beast is lurking in the Rings of Saturn? Find out next week in the rousing fourth chapter of Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension, brought to you by Tycho Cigarettes, made with real lunar tobacco.
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.
Scott Kennedy is our Narrator, Will McDonald is Captain Radio, Rob Peters is Orion, DeLano Hays is Ace, Bailey Cunningham voiced the Soldiers and the Oracle was played by special guest Ted Fahy.
Our theme music was composed by Bailey Cunningham and our artwork was designed by Tami King.
Obscure Studios is a small, independent production and we rely on word of mouth to grow our audience. If you like the show, there’s a couple of ways you can help us. First, you can leave us a rating and review wherever you listen to podcasts. Second, you can share this episode with a friend. And finally, you can buy us a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi. That’s k-o-dash-f-i-dot-com-slash-obscure-studios. We’ll also post the link in the show notes. We’re going to take a little break, but we’ll be back in a few weeks with the rest of our season. Stay up to date by following Obscure Studios on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit our website: obscurestudios.net.
On behalf of the crew of the HMS Galileo, thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.
[A bell tolls in the distance.]