VOICE: It’s time for Captain Radio!
[Intro music plays: thrilling, space-y synthesizer.]
NARRATOR: These are the adventures of Captain Radio! Time is running out for our intrepid trio as they sail ever closer to Doctor Orban’s fortress. At the fringes of the universe, stars are blinking out of existence. Waves of dark energy are flooding outlying planets.
Armed with an atomic amulet given to him by the Monks of the Dark Adaptation, Captain Radio must close the portal linking our world with the Eleventh Dimension and restore the balance between light and dark. But unbeknownst to our heroes, they’re about to fall victim to a deadly trap.
You’re listening to Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension. Chapter Four: The Leviathan.
As the HMS Galileo enters space routinely patrolled by the Imperium, Orion skims the ship across the frozen rings of Saturn, hoping to evade detection…
ORION: I don’t like the size of these icebergs, Ace. I think we should go around.
ACE: Inadvisable. The Imperium will detect us. Watchtowers are positioned above and below the rings to watch for approaching vessels.
ORION: You sure know a lot about Imperium defenses.
ACE: Affirmative. For many years, I was an Infantry Robot in His Majesty’s Fifth Automaton Regiment.
ORION: You were an Imperium soldier?
ACE: I commanded my battalion. That is until Doctor Orban overrode our programming and used us in his attempt to invade Alpha Centauri. Captain Radio rescued me.
ORION: Explains your loyalty to him.
ACE: I am grateful to him for giving me a second chance. I was an instrument of destruction. Now, I can make up for my past actions.
ORION: You can’t blame yourself for what someone else forced you to do.
ACE: Perhaps. But when I review my memory tapes of that time, I went above and beyond in my service to Doctor Orban. There is blood on my servos.
CAPTAIN RADIO: How much longer until we reach the Throne of Jupiter, Ace?
ACE: Unknown. We are following a mathematically random course in order to appear as debris and evade detection.
ORION: That means it could take a while.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I see.
ORION: Could I speak with you for a moment? In private?
CAPTAIN RADIO: What’s on your mind, Orion?
ORION: When were you planning to tell me that our friendly bucket of bolts is a reformed killing machine?
CAPTAIN RADIO: I don’t see how that’s relevant.
ORION: We’re headed into the epicenter of the Imperium. It’s crawling with Infantry Robots — robots like Ace. I call that relevant.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What’s your point?
ORION: My point is, what if Ace gets confused about which side they’re on? Feels a twinge of nostalgia, blows a fuse, and decides to turn on us?
CAPTAIN RADIO: You’re being ridiculous. I trust Ace with my life. I don’t hold anyone responsible for who they were in the past.
ORION: Give me a break, of course you do. You still see me as some lowlife smuggler. Even after all I’ve done to help you, you don’t trust me.
CAPTAIN RADIO: It’s not that I don’t trust you —
ORION: Then what?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Robots can be reprogrammed. People are a different story.
ACE: Proximity alarm! Unidentified object bearing down on us!
[A distant howl.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: What is it?
ORION: What part of “unidentified” don’t you understand? Gimme the scope.
[Another howl, closer now.]
ORION: I don’t believe it.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What is it? I don’t see anything.
ORION: A Leviathan.
ACE: Improbable. That species was classified as extinct in the year 9824.
ORION: Not extinct. But extremely rare.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What exactly is a leviathan?
ORION: A creature of deep space. So massive it generates its own gravity well. It sustains a cold fusion reaction in its digestive tract by feeding on interstellar gases.
CAPTAIN RADIO: If it lives in deep space, then what’s it doing here?
ORION: I don’t know. It shouldn’t be here.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Extinguishing the stars…
CAPTAIN RADIO: It’s something the Oracle told me. He said Doctor Orban’s Dimension Gate was upsetting the balance of light and dark and stopping fusion in the hearts of stars. Maybe the same thing is happening to the leviathans and this one is trying to escape.
ORION: Incredible. Look at the raised scales along the mantle and tentacles. Each one must be the size of a mountain.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Um, Orion, how big would you say its teeth are?
ORION: I don’t think anyone’s ever been close enough to find out.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Then I guess we’re going to be the first.
ACE: Confirmed. We are caught in the creature’s gravity. Attempting to pull us away, but I do not believe our engines have enough power.
ORION: Blast it all! We just got the Galileo fixed!
ACE: Our engines had no effect. We will be within the maw in twenty seconds.
ORION: You know, I’m starting to get tired of crashing all the time.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Ace, what are the chances we’ll be able to take off again?
ACE: Assuming we are not destroyed on impact, we will not have enough fuel in our reserves to achieve escape velocity.
CAPTAIN RADIO: What are you saying?
ORION: End of the line.
NARRATOR: Pulled in by the immense gravity well of the leviathan, the HMS Galileo is drawn straight into the creature’s jaws. Sailing between teeth the size of skyscrapers, the ship free-falls into the belly of the beast before crashing into a lake of digestive acid.
[A crash and a splash, followed by the gurgle of digestion.]
ORION: That didn’t sound good.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Ace, check the engines. Let’s see if we can get back in the air.
ACE: Scanning. The damage is extensive.
ORION: The rust bucket is right. We cracked the keel coming down — and I smell a fuel leak.
ACE: It also appears the acidic environment inside the creature is dissolving the hydrogen envelope.
CAPTAIN RADIO: No time to waste, then. We should get started on repairs.
ACE: Sir, I do not think you understand.
ORION: This ship will never fly again.
CAPTAIN RADIO: We’ve outwitted sirens, braved solar storms, we’ve even outrun Imperium gunships, and now you’re telling me we’re going to be stopped by a mindless beast?
ORION: We’re done. Tell him, Ace.
ACE: Orion’s assessment is correct. By my calculations, the Galileo will either be consumed or crushed by gravity as we move toward the creature’s core. Escape impossible.
ORION: To be perfectly honest, we got further than I expected. And we got to see a real-life leviathan up close!
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’m glad you’re getting to realize a lifelong dream, but while we’re trapped in here, Doctor Orban has Andromeda locked away in his dungeon and he’s about to extinguish all life in the universe. We can’t give up. I can’t.
ORION: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. This time we lost. It’s no use getting upset about things you can’t change.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I thought this time would be different. I thought I could change history. I guess I was wrong.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Ace, there’s something I didn’t tell you about what I saw in the future.
ACE: You said you were successful in destroying the Arcadia Crystal.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I was. But then I was trapped. Time is a strange thing, Ace. From your perspective, I was only gone a few weeks, but I had to wait five years for the time portal to re-open. I had time to kill, so I did some traveling.
ORION: What did you see that was so bad?
CAPTAIN RADIO: The galaxy was a graveyard. Something happened, something devastating that left nothing alive, down to the smallest microbe. I went home to Alpha Centauri and even the ruins of the palace had fallen to dust.
ACE: There are any number of factors which could trigger an extinction event. You cannot assume —
CAPTAIN RADIO: I know what I saw. Everything died, and now I know why. It’s because I failed to stop Doctor Orban.
[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. While our heroes are trapped inside the fearsome leviathan, Andromeda remains confined to her prison cell beneath the Throne of Jupiter. Though her hands and feet are shackled, her mind is free to roam the galaxy, searching for a way to defeat Doctor Orban and maybe, just maybe, finding a trace of Captain Radio hidden in the stars…
ANDROMEDA: You’ve got to focus, Andromeda. Sense the room. The cell door. The guard beyond. The staircase. Follow it. The dungeon doors. A long, narrow passage. Breathe. You can do this. Through the passage, the great hall, its windows shuttered, the throne draped in black veils. And in the center of the hall…some kind of…portal. It’s a tear; a wound in the skin of the universe. What in Halley’s Comet is it?
[The cell door opens.]
ANDROMEDA: You there, soldier. What is Doctor Orban creating up there?
SOLDIER: How do you know about the Dimension Gate?
ANDROMEDA: I have my ways. This Dimension Gate, what is it for?
SOLDIER: It will allow more of my people to travel here from our native dimension.
ANDROMEDA: Is that why you’re killing the stars? To make it more like home?
SOLDIER: We’ve done it before, to a thousand other dimensions. Soon yours will be ripe for settlement.
ANDROMEDA: But why go through all of that trouble? Why come here at all?
DOCTOR ORBAN: My, my, my. We are getting rather chatty aren’t we?
SOLDIER: Apologies, emperor. I don’t know why–
DOCTOR ORBAN: Lady Andromeda was simply flexing her muscles. It would seem our psychic defenses need to be improved. Leave us.
SOLDIER: Yes, my lord.
DOCTOR ORBAN: I’m glad to see you regaining your strength, my dear. I don’t suppose this means you’ve reconsidered my offer?
ANDROMEDA: To betray my people and plunge the galaxy into darkness? Not a chance.
DOCTOR ORBAN: A pity, but I admire your determination. I believe you were interested in the Dimension Gate? I don’t see any harm in letting you in on our little secret. The portal is nearly all the way open. Nothing can stop it now.
ANDROMEDA: Alright, I’ll bite. Why build it?
DOCTOR ORBAN: To bring in reinforcements, of course. Ruling the cosmos with an iron fist requires military power of a kind not seen since the days of the Infinite Sargasian Totality. My allies in the Eleventh Dimension have millions of shocktroops ready to deploy as soon as the gate has stabilized.
ANDROMEDA: What’s in it for them?
DOCTOR ORBAN: Room to expand. New frontiers to tame.
ANDROMEDA: What powers it? It must take an unimaginable amount of energy to bridge the gulf between dimensions.
DOCTOR ORBAN: You mean you haven’t worked it out yet?
[Doctor Orban laughs.]
ANDROMEDA: Whatever energy source you’re using, you won’t be able to hide it. Captain Radio will shut it down and then you’ll be all alone without an army to defend you.
DOCTOR ORBAN: We’ll see about that soon enough. He’s on his way here now.
ANDROMEDA: You mean he’s alive?
DOCTOR ORBAN: For now. My shocktroops tracked him to the moon of Caliban. He’s traveling with that infernal robot and a Taurian smuggler. They managed to escape, just as I predicted they would.
ANDROMEDA: A Taurian? Orion?
DOCTOR ORBAN: Soon, they will arrive at this fortress and launch a heroic rescue attempt. And that will be Captain Radio’s fatal mistake. I’m thinking of making his execution an imperial holiday, to celebrate my final victory. What do you think?
ANDROMEDA: I wouldn’t uncork the champagne just yet.
DOCTOR ORBAN: Your trust in him is heartwarming, but it will not be enough to save him. He’s playing right into my hand — and I want you to watch as I crush him like a Jovian flea.
ANDROMEDA: Doctor Orban, I used to think you were despicable. But now that I’ve gotten to know you, I’m sure of it.
DOCTOR ORBAN: Sticks and stones, my dear. You’ll see. The whole galaxy will see my absolute power. And once the Pangalactic Imperium and the forces of the 11th Dimension are united, maybe then you’ll see it my way.
[The cell door closes behind him.]
NARRATOR: With Doctor Orban and the guards out of earshot, Andromeda turns her attention outward, projecting a psychic message into the stars in hopes of warning Captain Radio before it’s too late.
[The deep, melodic hum of psychic energy.]
ANDROMEDA: Can you hear me, Xavier? It doesn’t have to be a conscious message, just an impression will do. Doctor Orban is expecting you to rescue me. He’s planted a trap of some kind. So, you’ve got to do something he won’t expect.
You’ve got to destroy the Dimension Gate and its power source. Destroy the whole Throne of Jupiter if you have to and let me die in the wreckage. But you have to put aside your ideals and do what must be done to stop Doctor Orban. If you don’t, I fear there won’t be a galaxy left to save.
[Heroic music swells.]
NARRATOR: Far away, deep in the belly of the leviathan, time is running out for Captain Radio, Ace, and Orion, as their ship is slowly digested.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Come on, we’ve got to think of something.
ACE: We have attempted every possible means of escape.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Then let’s try something impossible.
[The leviathan howls again.]
CAPTAIN RADIO: Orion, did that howl sound different to you?
ORION: We’ve probably just upset its system. It didn’t exactly evolve to eat rocket ships.
CAPTAIN RADIO: That gives me an idea. Orion, what exactly were you doing with those flying narwhals when we first met?
ORION: You mean when you shut down my small business and threw me off an asteroid?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Precisely.
ORION: Teaching them tricks, mostly. They’re very intelligent creatures once you figure out how to communicate. We were working on loops and flying in formation before you came in and ruined everything.
CAPTAIN RADIO: How exactly did you communicate with them?
ORION: Super-conscious projection. Andromeda taught me how back when we were, well–
CAPTAIN RADIO: I get the idea. Do you think you could use the same technique to communicate with the leviathan?
ORION: I could give it a shot, but what do you want to say? ‘Don’t eat us?’ It seems a little late for that now.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Actually, I was wondering if you could suggest a change of direction. Ace, do you suppose the Imperium could detect us deep inside this creature?
ACE: Highly doubtful. The leviathan’s exoskeleton appears to be an effective shield against outside radiation.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Meaning this thing could fly up to Orban’s front door without giving away our presence.
ORION: Don’t you think a full-sized, interstellar leviathan will get their attention?
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’m counting on it. We’ll need a diversion.
ACE: But sir, we will be dissolved long before we reach the fortress.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Not if we get ourselves outside quickly.
CAPTAIN RADIO: I’m not going to wait here long enough to become lunch. Grab as many oxygen canisters as you can carry. It’s a long walk to get past those teeth.
ORION: This is crazy.
CAPTAIN RADIO: If you’ve got a better idea, I’m all ears.
ORION: What do you think, rust bucket?
ACE: I see no alternative.
ORION: Fine. But there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to communicate, so don’t blame me if this plan of yours goes down the black hole.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Don’t worry, Orion. I trust you. Let’s get going.
NARRATOR: Bruised, battered, and scarred from crawling through the acidic digestive system of the beast, our heroes manage to survive long enough to get to safety. Standing on the dust-strewn surface of the leviathan and with their supply of oxygen running low, Orion attempts to make contact.
ORION: Now, before you get your hopes up, remember that I haven’t done this in years.
CAPTAIN RADIO: You’ll be fine. Just keep in mind that if you can’t do it, every living thing in the universe will die.
ACE: Also, your oxygen canisters will be depleted in seven hours.
ORION: You call this motivation?
CAPTAIN RADIO: Just get on with it.
ORION: Alright, alright. Let me focus. Hang on, I’m getting something. It’s a lot to take in. The leviathan is…angry…terrified…lonely. It has outlived all of its children and all of their children and all of their children.
CAPTAIN RADIO: Can you ask it to help us? There may still be time to save others of its kind.
[The leviathan howls.]
ORION: It understands. I think it wants to help.
ACE: Sir, the leviathan has altered course.
CAPTAIN RADIO: And we’re accelerating. Well done, Orion!
ORION: I’m getting something else. A psychic wave of incredible power. It’s Andromeda! She has a message for you. She says Doctor Orban has laid a trap. She doesn’t know how, but she says there’s only one way to stop him — we’ve got to destroy the Throne of Jupiter.
CAPTAIN RADIO: We can’t do that. There are thousands of people in that fortress, not to mention Andromeda. We can’t let them all die.
ORION: You may not have a choice.
[Suspenseful organ music plays.]
NARRATOR: You’ve been listening to the adventures of Captain Radio! Will Doctor Orban’s evil machinations succeed? Can our heroes close the Dimension Gate and save the universe from annihilation? Find out next week in the exciting, penultimate chapter of Captain Radio and the Mutant Mole People from the Eleventh Dimension, brought to you by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s Personal Telephone Assistant.
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 Stokley. Doctor Orban was played by Jonny Eberle. The Soldiers were voiced by Bailey Cunningham. And the otherworldly howls of the Leviathan were provided by my dog, Jura.
Our theme music was composed by Bailey Cunningham and our artwork was designed by Tami King.
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We’re excited to share that you can now buy cool merchandise featuring the Captain Radio logo and quotes from your favorite episodes. We’ve got stickers, pins, magnets, t-shirts, and more on our new TeePublic store. Find the link to our store and our Ko-Fi account, as well as transcripts and complete show notes on our website: obscurestudios.net. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you next week.