Summary: When a massive Tyranid fleet appears in orbit, Connor Daly and his son Jatrus must escape the global cataclysm by fleeing into the tunnels beneath their Imperial hive city. Trapped miles below ground, what they find is an uprising of monstrous proportions and the spectres of their own family trauma.
COLD OPEN STORIES produces self-contained short fan audio dramas set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe featuring various characters from different apocalyptic sectors of space.
Each “episode” is meant to be digested on an average commute, averaging 30-45 minutes.
Please ensure that your microphone is capable of recording your performance without picking up overwhelming background noises or excessive peaking/clipping.
Once cast, performers are expected to return their lines within 3 weeks. Roles may contain swearing and shouting in some capacity. If you cannot commit to the needs of a given role please do not audition.
New voice acting? Check out our Voice Acting Guides to get started and learn a little more about what we’re looking for.
Connor Daly [Adult Male] – Less than domineering, he has left many of the hard decisions in life to his wife Imogen Daly. His zest for fatherhood, however, cannot be questioned, and he passionately cares for his boy, Jatrus. Upon the arrival of the Tyranid hive fleet, he must summon a courage he doesn’t at first recognize to escape the horrors above and below.
Jatrus Daly [Teen Boy (14-16)] – Sharing more in common with his mother, Imogen, Jatrus is not nearly as risk-averse as his father. Impressionable and trusting of other Imperial citizens, his openness draws him into conflict between his father and the characters they meet.
Imogen Daly [Adult Female] – A serious, duty-bound woman, Imogen serves in the Imperial Guard and is called to the world’s defence upon the arrival of the Tyranids. This character shares a speaking role with the Norn Queen [below]. Loving her son Jatrus unconditionally, she is easily irritated by signs of weakness, and pushes her boy and husband to assume a more assertive behaviour.
Cross, The Thrall [Young Adult Male] – A resident of the lower levels of the Hive City, Cross is an indentured servant working in the cities’ vast factory network. He is a foil for Connor; self-assured, funny, skillful, but without a family or support network he has become disconnected from deeper social bonds. He has survived the horrors below prior to the Tyranid invasion and becomes a guide to the survivors.
Anita Corrus [Adult Female (Age Variable)] – A resident of the higher sections of the Hive City, Anita has recently lost her child. Imprinting on Jatrus, she has an unhealthy fondness for the boy – with disastrous results.
Mag [Adult Male] – Confident. Professional. An Imperial Guardsman with a close connection to Connor Daly.
Arjun & Costin| Imperial Guard [Any] – The largest fighting force in the Imperium of Man, the Imperial Guard are part of a billions-strong army which protects humanity and pays faith to the Emperor of Mankind. They are made up of people from all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds — the protection of humanity is their rallying cry.
Norn Queen [Female] – Living upon massive Hive Ships in huge chambers, the Norn Queen ingests genetic materials, churning out countless types of creatures that make up the Tyranid Hive Fleet. As it devours its prey, it collects their memories, and through a psychic link called The Shadow in the Warp begins to interact with Connor Daly.
Genestealer Magus [Any] – The mouthpiece of the subterranean Genestealer Cult who openly welcome the Tyranid invasion. Preaches the coming of the Hive Fleet and the “Star Mother”, as per the psychic resonance of the Norn Queen.
Genestealer Captain Sparus [Any] – An espionage specialist, Captain Sparus infiltrated the Imperial Guard and has sought to undermine their defences leading to the arrival of the Tyranid hive fleet.
Genestealer Guard Leonid [Any] – A lieutenant serving under Captain Sparus. Relishes in the brutality of humanity’s fall.
Connor Daly [Adult Male]
- The Imperium runs on fathers. The cosmic symbol of stability. Our sector has constellations named after them. Cepherian. Oridion. Fathers raise their families and sons to be strong. The Father of Mankind is supposed to protect us from holy Terra… but Terra is far ways away…
- I recognize the man, I knew him briefly. He was a soldier, a decorated war veteran. Broad-chested. Handsome. He had fought countless battles, Saved millions by waging war across the stars. By all accounts, he was a good and virtuous man. Before he killed himself.
- I look up and see it, looming overhead. A shadow. It has no features, but I can feel its presence fixated on me. The veil pulls back and a thousand eyes open, starved and hungry. The shadow opens its mouth and with a lash of its tongue tears the stars to shreds.
That’s when I see it… the patriarch of these creatures. Hard plates of blue rustle over discolored flesh as it crawls from the shadows. The creature is hunched over, perched on a pipe looking down at the congregation. It raises its left arm, a hairless thing that trails droplets of mucus, and it taps its curved hook to its forehead. From behind its hard plates, its brain emerges, pulsating and malformed.
Jatrus Daly [Teen Boy (14-16)]
- You have to close the gate first! I’ve got it!
- He doesn’t seem well, father. He’s a little odd.
- How long have you been down here?
- What are they, father?
Imogen Daly [Adult Female]
- I love you. So much. But you’re being a coward right now. I don’t say this to be hurtful – you know me. But I have my duty. I need to go.
- Honestly, Connor. Just once I’d appreciate you understanding this. I have to go out there and I need you to step up. Just once. Take our son, head to the lower levels and out of the city if they pass the mesosphere. Understood? Don’t be weak. For both your sakes.
- I was wrong. Resisting what comes is like trying to hold your breath. Eventually you have to greedily inhale or you’ll suffocate.
- I was plucked from the front line as they swarmed over the defences. I was skewered on a long claw and hurled into a sea of snarling, slobbering maws. They tore me to pieces in a matter of heartbeats, my blood staining their claws and teeth.
Cross, The Thrall [Young Adult Male]
- Lower your weapon! Fine! Yes, that’s my weapon. Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that we were being picky.
That path doesn’t lead anywhere. Heh. You have no idea where you’re going, do you?
You’re clearly wrestling with something. They’ve gotten into your dreams, haven’t they? I don’t have any drugs. Just a promise. I promise you, it’ll be painless.
Anita Corrus [Adult Female (Age Variable)]
- The under-hive? It’s too dangerous down there, especially for children.
- The child needs to come with me. I can keep them safe.
- [Weeping] My baby. My baby!
Sparus knows everything about everyone. Went to officers academy before he came here. Has a special memory — what do you call it?
Unlike this hive, the towns of his world didn’t receive word about the invasion. Sparus here made his way here when the spores hit the fringes.
Arjun & Costin| Imperial Guard [Any]
- Don’t stop firing. Give ‘em everything you got!
- For the Emperor!
- Hurry, this way, get behind us! Fire support! First rank, FIRE!
Norn Queen [Female]
- It doesn’t matter how deep you go, father. I am a mother. I have a duty to feed my thousand mouths.
My children will find you. There is no escape for you, or your kind.
- These are my young! A mother’s brood, billions strong! Nourished by my teet, they are ready to consume!
Genestealer Magus [Any]
- -Like leaves from a great tree, they fall to our soil-
- – and from that growth comes new life. Not the kind of humanity made sick from the radiation of this world. New children, born of the Star Mother. Welcome her!-
Genestealer Captain Sparus [Any]
- If you can hear this, rally point is outside the walls. Get to us. Marker Mordia 403.801. Tactical withdrawl is in progress. The Emperor Protects.
- You hear that? An host to our gene.
Surely you knew something wasn’t right. No? No parental intuition?
Genestealer Guard Leonid [Any]
- Sir, one of us.
- The gene is present.
Voice acting talent of all levels of experience are welcome to audition for COLD OPEN STORIES. Please note that you are expected to have a reasonable quality of audio and environment without noticeable background noise. If this is your first time auditioning, check out our Voice Acting Guides.
- Step 1: Choose your character(s) and review heir dialogue samples
- Step 2: Record each character in separate files (.mp3 or .wav)
- Step 3: Attach all audition files in a single email (or google drive link) and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the following information in the body of your email so we can catalogue you for potential:
- First & Last Name.
- Characters your are auditioning for.
- Availability / Turn-around times for recording (how quickly you can re-record with directors notes).