Where Stars Collide

Categories: Episodes

The Nightly Chill Presents: Where Stars Collide, a sci-fi audio drama in which a man awaits rescue in the void of space with only an AI for companionship.



Read and listen to Where Stars Collide as it was originally released below.


FADE IN:

THEME–UP, UNDER.

HOST
The Nightly Chill proudly invites you to Fight the Dawn! with “Where Stars Collide,” a short-form audio drama in four parts.

When a catastrophic event leaves survivors of an interplanetary transport ship scattered and adrift in space, one man stares into the great and endless abyss of the cosmos as he awaits rescue. This is his tale. This is where fear, hope, and stars collide.

FADE TO:

SCENE 01. GOODBYE MOONMEN

A SILENCE. THEN…

EXPLOSIONS. VARIOUS DIRECTIONS. UP, UNDER.

EMERGENCY ALERT. UP, UNDER.

MASS PANIC.

SECURITY
(shouting)
The escape pods! Get to the escape p–!

LARGE EXPLOSION.

ANOTHER SILENCE. THEN….

SOUNDSCAPE: THE DULL ELECTRONIC BUZZ OF AN OTHERWISE PLEASANT ESCAPE POD.

PANICKED BREATHING–UP, UNDER.

CHARMING SYSTEM START-UP SOUNDS.

DOUG
Neural links established. User identified. Vital signs acquired. Recording streams synced.

USER
(startled, exhausted)
Hello? Hello? Is someone there? Please… what’s going on?

DOUG
Hello, User. My name is Digital Observer Unit-6. But you may call me, Doug. I am here to help.

FADE TO:

SCENE 2. 336 HOURS

SOUNDSCAPE: THE DULL ELECTRONIC BUZZ OF THE OTHERWISE PLEASANT ESCAPE POD.

USER
Doug?

DOUG
Yes, User.

MIKE
(correcting)
Mike.

DOUG
What was that, User?

MIKE
How long have I been bobbing about in space in this cramped, metal egg?

DOUG
Evacuation protocols initiated approximately seven hours ago.

MIKE
How much longer till someone picks all of us up?

SILENCE.

MIKE
Doug?

DOUG
Scan complete.

MIKE
And?

A BEAT.

DOUG
No ships within range.

MIKE
I’m going to die out here.

LONGER, UNCOMFORTABLE BEAT.

DOUG
Life systems currently at 97-point-92-percent. 

MIKE
(wow. okay…)
Uh-huh. Well… Maybe we can use some of this time to work on your bedside manner, Doug.

DOUG
My apologies… Mike.

MIKE
(smiling.)
Yeah. That’s a start.

FADE TO:

SCENE 3. DALLAS PROTOCOL

SOUNDSCAPE: THE DULL ELECTRONIC BUZZ OF THE OTHERWISE PLEASANT ESCAPE POD.

MIKE
So, like…did you always want to be a Nanny when you grew up?

DOUG
(considers this)
In a way.

MIKE
Wait. Really?

DOUG
Prior to my activation four days ago, I did not exist as you know me now. But from the moment of my creation, I have been… compelled to ensure your survival.

MIKE
(chuckling)
I bet you say that to all the humans.

DOUGS
Perhaps. But my programming and purpose affords me the freedom to act independently of my designated User.

MIKE
Well… I guess it’s a good thing we’re such good friends–

SYSTEM ALERT.

MIKE
Doug. Please tell me that freaky alarm means somebody’s finally saving us.

DOUG
Mike, that freaky alarm means somebody’s finally saving us.

MIKE
(surprised)
Seriously?

DOUG
No. But you asked me to–

MIKE
Doug. The alarm.

DOUG
The alert was a relay from distant escape pods.

MIKE
And?

DOUG
Multiple units down. Users, deceased.

MIKE
(heart sinks)
What? How?

DOUG
Cause: unknown.

MIKE
Are we under attack? Is it whoever attacked–

SYSTEM ALERT.

DOUG
Several more units have ceased function. Users–

SEVERAL SYSTEM ALERTS.

MIKE
(terrified)
Doug, what the Hell is going on?

DOUG
Possibilities include faulty or damaged units, unavoidable collision with nearby hazards, malicious forces with no-hostage protocols–

MIKE
(angry, scared)
Yeah. Okay. I get it, Doug.

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.

DOUG
(considers this)
Perhaps the Dallas Protocol–

MIKE
(exhausted, broken)
Doug. Please.
(a beat)
Please, just… just stop.

SEVERAL MORE ALERTS. UP, UNDER.

DOUG
Do not be afraid, Mike. No harm shall come to you.
(a beat)
I promise.

ALERTS CONTINUE, UP AND FADE TO:

SCENE 4. SEE YA, SPACE COWBOY

MIKE ANGRILY BANGS AGAINST THE POD WALLS AND DOOR.

MIKE
Let me out, Doug!

A SILENCE. THEN…

SOUNDSCAPE: THE DULL ELECTRONIC BUZZ OF THE OTHERWISE PLEASANT ESCAPE POD.

BANGING CONTINUES.

DOUG
Mike. Prolonged outbursts will deplete remaining life support at a higher rate. Please, try to remain calm.

MIKE
(furious, panicked.)
Let. Me. Out. Doug.

DOUG
Mike. Help will arrive soon.

BANGING STOPS.

MIKE
You don’t get it! Nobody’s coming for us, Doug! I have, what, three days of life support left before–

DOUG
Incorrect. Life support currently at two-point-

MIKE
Oh, for fu–who cares, Doug? We’re going to die out here!
(considers this)
I’m going to die out here.

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.

DOUG
Mike. The Weaver was a prized commercial–

MIKE
We were three days out from port, Doug. If they were coming for any of us, they would have by now. Either they couldn’t, or…
(considers this)
Or, we weren’t worth it.

DOUG
Mike–

MIKE
Congrats, buddy. You kept me alive long enough to realize I was never going to get rescued.

ANOTHER SILENCE. THEN…

MIKE
Doug?

DOUG
Yes, Mike?

MIKE
I’m really tired.

A SOFT HISS.

DOUG
Sleep now. Mike. I will be here when you wake. No harm shall come to you.

MIKE’S FAINT BREATHING.

DOUG
Goodnight, Mike.

POD DOOR OPENS.

A LONG SILENCE. THEN…

CHARMING SYSTEM SHUTDOWN SOUNDS.

DOUG
Dallas Protocols complete. Mike… User, deceased. Recording, complete. Unit ceasing function in three… two…

ONLY SILENCE.

OUT.

THE END