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Podcast / Girl In Space

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Girl In Space is a science fiction/mystery podcast created by Sarah Rhea Werner and launched in September 2017. The titular Girl has spent all 9000 days of her life on board the Cavatica: an interstellar research vessel created by the mandate of the enigmatic Ra Initiative. Despite now having only the ship's malfunctioning A.I., Charlotte, for company, the Girl enjoys a really pleasant life, tending to the plants and animals in the ship's greenhouse, conducting various scientific experiments, and repeatedly watching the only film left available to her: Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, the Cavatica is slowly shutting down, its systems and components failing and malfunctioning due to age. But this problem takes a backseat on the day when the Girl sees the light of an approaching ship in the distance. It seems that the Ra Initiative's long-absent creators finally want their property back: not just the ship, but its lone human occupant herself...

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This work contains examples of the following:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Kai's idea of inflicting a "flesh wound" on the Fixer is to blow her leg off.
    • Captain Chen later gets his arm blasted off by Frost.
  • And I Must Scream: After Kai is stunned, X worries that he is undergoing this, being fully aware and conscious while trapped inside an unresponsive metal shell. It turns out he's just fine though.
  • Arc Words: The Girl's missing parents are fond of setting these up, including such hits as FIND ME, Do not judge us too harshly, and Honorem Lutem Sanguine.
  • Armor Is Useless: Captain Chen explains that the armor issued to him and his crew is designed to look impressive, not for actual protection.
  • Big Bad: While Caldwell Enterprises as a whole are the primary villain in the grand scheme of things, they menace X personally in the form of Councilor Van Gough.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Thor, who becomes quite excited to finally dish out substantial amounts of pain against her employer.
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  • Brick Joke: At one point the cloned goat that X gets her dairy products from passes away and she has to begin incubating another. It goes unmentioned for several episodes until Dani is running amok after having coffee for the first time.
    Dani (in the background): 'THIS GOAT IS REALLY SMALL!'
  • Catchphrase: "Aural receptors malfunctioning." It's Charlotte's way of telling you she's not going to answer.
    • "Roger that," for Kai.
  • The Chew Toy: Captain Chen, to such an extent that Kai expresses surprise when a series of pained screams turn out to not be him getting shot, maimed, or otherwise brutalized.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What Councilor Van Gough's "loyalty test" amounts to.
  • Crapsack World: The picture that the fleet's members paint of life back among the rest of the human race isn't pretty, with people literally enslaved by various megacorporations and amenities once taken for granted now utterly unheard of. In fact, the reason they want the Cavatica so badly is that it contains the last known reserve of plant and animal life in existence!
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  • Daddy's Girl: X's father was much more of a loving parent toward her than her mother was. It is her mother and her secrets, however, that start taking precedence earlier in the story.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Girl, constantly. Justified given both her decades of isolation and the rudeness with which her visitors treat her.
    • Charlotte is even worse though.
  • The Dragon: Frost, the "Councilor's Assistant" whose job seems to be nothing more than torturing and/or brutally murdering anyone the councilor points at.
  • Eldritch Location: All of the action takes place in the vicinity of a red dwarf star called Ra. It slowly becomes apparent that this is no ordinary red dwarf star, however, and this carries some potentially incredible implications.
  • Evil Old Folks: Both Councilor Van Gough and the menacing "Fixer" sent by Caldwell Enterprises are elderly.
  • Expendable Clone: In episode 110 a graveyard full of these is discovered in the Cavatica's greenhouse. It turns out the Girl's parents had been burying them there for years after using them as test subjects for unknown experiments. Given that the Girl is one herself, this understandably leads to a Heroic BSoD.
  • Fantastic Racism: It is mentioned that in there are many in the setting {including the Big Bad), who regard clones as not human.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Genius Loci: Ra: the red dwarf star that is the story's setting. Later episodes suggest that it may not only be alive, but sentient.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: X and Miles Chen. "Crap" seems to be the strongest word in both of their vocabularies.
  • Gratuitous Latin: "Honorem Lutem Sanguine" - Honor through dirt and blood. It's on a sign erected by the Girl's parents in the greenhouse. It marks the graves of several failed clone children.
  • Hero of Another Story: It initially appears that Thorssen spontaneously rebels against her employer, but it gradually becomes apparent that she has been working with some powerful people to set it up for some time. Then there's the fact that she singlehandedly captures both the Councilor and his ship while everyone else is off tending to their wounds.
  • Indy Ploy: Having spent years being forced to repair a catastrophically failing derelict space vessel on the fly, the Girl is already a master of this by the time Caldwell Enterprises force her to take it on the offensive. Once the mutiny gets underway Kai and Chen prefer to operate this way too.
  • Man in the Machine: Kai, a cyborg who had his brain and spinal cord inserted into a robot body after being dismembered by an explosion.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: The Girl's reaction to having large swathes of her back and upper arm burned away by acid sprayed from combat drones? "Ow."
  • Meaningful Name: Chance, whom it always seems like there is a chance he's finally going to switch sides. So far he hasn't.
  • Must Have Caffeine: The Girl is passionate about her coffee which she makes from beans that she grows. Dani - who has never even heard of it - only tries it reluctantly, and promptly goes berserk on caffeine to great comic effect.
  • No Name Given: The Girl herself. The closest she comes to giving it out is writing an "X" for her signature, and that becomes how everyone refers to her from then on.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: No one - including the Girl - can figure out how Charlotte is being powered. It turns out that she is somehow being powered by the Girl's comatose mother.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Despite being competent enough to care for all of the Cavatica's injured by herself, Dani still gets used for this occasionally, especially when she is zipping around, high on her first coffee.
  • Prison Ship: The Enforcer-1 previously served as this. It was deployed to the Cavatica so that its cells could be used to transport plant and animal specimens. They mostly still get used for prisoners though.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Chance and Frost. The trouble is, they really seem to enjoy punching that clock.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Kai mentions to the Fixer - who is an old woman - that he has worked for the company longer than she has been alive.
  • Scary Black Woman: Frost, whom most people are terrified of with good reason.
  • Smug Snake: If the Councilor and his underlings, Fixer and Frost, are any indication, this seems to be a job requirement for higher-level management at Caldwell Enterprises.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Although technically it's done on the bridge between two airlocks. When Captain Chen and X are pursued by flying combat drones they hit upon the idea of shooting a hole in the connector bridge's wall to suck the drones into space. In a voice recording X's father also mentions them doing this to a hybrid species of insect that turned out wrong and also begs X to do it to a specific human embryo from the collection, although he won't say why.
  • We Can Rule Together: X - who doesn't understand how human hierarchy works at all - suggests this to Captain Chen when she sees how bad a leader Councilor Van Gough is. Chen only starts rejecting the idea vehemently once he remembers he's being recorded.
  • Wham Episode: #111 - We Are Everything, We Are Nothing, which reveals the existence of a second clone who has been living on board the Cavatica all this time.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Clones are not regarded by many to actually be human unfortunately for the Girl, who is one.
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