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Mindset was the third story in the second series of The Classic Audio Adventures, released by Big Finish Productions.

Publisher's summary[]

A voice is calling in the darkness. A voice that only Cally can hear.

Vila has abandoned his crewmates, searching for the mythical water of life. With Cally acting suspiciously, Tarrant and Grant face danger at the heart of paradise.

A gift is being offered. A gift that will cost one member of the Liberator crew dearly.

But will Cally accept?


Vila discovers, via Orac, that before she disappeared Dayna was researching her mother, Careen. Avon instructs Vila to continue with his search while the rest of the crew retire. In the course of his research, Vila stumbles across a reference to the 'Water of Life', apparently found on the planet Karwen. Vila interprets this as a version of the fabled fountain of youth, and decides to go in search of it in the hope of achieving immortality and consequently freedom from fear. Without informing the crew, he instructs Orac to research this further, and Zen to take Liberator to Karwen. On arrival, he persuades Orac to teleport him down remotely.

When Cally's shift begins, Vila is nowhere to be found. The crew find it impossible to establish contact with Vila or to teleport him to the Liberator, so Cally decides to reach him telepathically. Though she finds no trace of Vila, she does feel the presence of a consciousness of some kind. Avon sends Tarrant and Grant down to Karwen to investigate. The pair find a stream near Vila's landing spot and Vila's footprints by it. They proceed to follow his trail.

Meanwhile, Cally hears the voice of Reno, an Auronar who claims to be stranded on Karwen. He begs Cally to come and find him, and Cally is keen to comply. Avon is more sceptical. Cally cannot get a fix on Reno's voice, and Reno seems more interested in flirting with her than helping her to establish his location, but he somewhat poetically describes what he can see: a waterfall with a pool beneath it in a forest clearing, and again entreats Cally to join him. Avon contacts Grant and Tarrant, who report that following Vila's tracks has led them to a waterfall that matches Reno's description, but that they can see nobody else. Orac says that the only location on Karwen that matches Reno's description is the pool near Vila's landing spot. Avon tells Cally not to teleport down yet and instructs Orac to research the Water of Life further.

While investigating the pool, Grant slips into it. In attempting to rescue him, Tarrant finds Vila and Grant, apparently unhurt, lying under the surface of the pool. Whenever he tries to approach, the water becomes agitated. When he reports this to Cally and Avon, Cally contacts Reno and asks him for help. Reno is apparently aware of Vila and Grant's presence, but warns her that the water will not let anyone go. Cally begs him to help. At the same time, the waters swell and capture Tarrant. Reno tells Cally this and, finding that she cannot teleport Tarrant, she decides to teleport down to Karwen. Avon reluctantly agrees. Upon her arrival, she contacts Reno, but now his voice is drowned out by cries of anguish. She makes out Vila, Tarrant and Grant's voices among them. Reno reassures her that it will all be all right once they are together, and continues to flirt with her. Through talking to him, Cally ascertains that Reno is not a clone, despite sounding the same age as Cally and having remarkable telepathic abilites; indeed, he is astonished to learn of cloning on Auron. He admits that his obsession with his own beauty was such that he went in search of the Water of Life in the hope of preserving it forever. Now he is trapped there, forced to listen to the agony of the Water's other victims, long since driven mad by grief and loneliness. He wishes Cally, another telepath, to join him and keep him sane.

On the Liberator, Orac confirms he has found a few references to the Water of Life on Karwen, all from the last two centuries. However, all of these are derived from a single source, a translation of Astark's Archanum Planetarum, which Orac claims is erroneus. Where Astark wrote of Karwen's 'living water', the translator rendered this as 'The Water of Life', leading many to their deaths in search of immortality. Avon contacts Cally to warn her of this, but she has already worked it out. Reno admits he has some control over the Water, and deliberately made it catch Grant and Tarrant. Cally refuses to join Reno, but promises to set him free if possible. Reno keeps the Water in check while Cally uses telepathy to free her friends. While the others teleport to the Liberator, Cally admits to Reno that his body is gone, and that she cannot free him. Despairing, Reno tries to influence the Water to absorb Cally, but Avon teleports down to rescue her.

On the Liberator, Cally confesses to Avon that she is lonely, and was almost tempted to join Reno. Avon sets course for Auron, telling Cally she needs to spend time with her own people. Orac informs Grant, Tarrant and Vila that since returning from Karwen, Avon has been behaving oddly, muttering and laughing to himself. When they try to tell Cally this, she reveals that Avon is in fact Reno, who came to the Liberator with the water in the crew's clothes and took over Avon's body. He offers Cally the opportunity to live with a version of Avon who loves her as she does him. Acting on information from Orac, Grant finds a bone that Reno has brought with him. Cally realises that Reno plans to clone himself on Auron to give himself a new, beautiful body. Cally reveals to Reno that Auron is gone. The crew gather all traces of the Water of Life and place them in the teleport bay, instructing Zen to raise the temperature inside the bay to above boiling point. With the Water dead, Cally helps Avon to expel Reno.

Later, Avon reassures Cally and the others that Reno is dead. But in fact he still hears the voice of Reno, in pain and begging for help...



  • Writer - Jacqueline Rayner
  • Director - Lisa Bowerman
  • Sound design - Martin Montague
  • Music - Jamie Robertson
  • Cover art - Grant Kempster
  • Recorded at - Audio Sorcery

Story notes[]


  • Cally mentions that when she first met Vila, he expressed an intention to live forever, or to die trying. (A: Time Squad)
  • Cally says that before coming into contact with Reno, she thought there were only two other Auronar in existence. (C: Children of Auron)


Tarrant: You'd like immortality, then?

Grant: Who wouldn't?

Tarrant: Well, me for a start. Oh, don't get me wrong: I don't want to die. But it's much too easy to torture a man who can't be killed.

Cally: What use is beauty? It does nothing, it achieves nothing.

Avon: It can bring pleasure to others. I believe you don't even realise how beautiful you are.

External links[]