The Team wakes. They are cold and hungry and it takes about an hour or two to even approach the feeling of being human. There is one other crew member awake before them…the doctor. Once they are feeling a bit more like themselves, the AI will introduce itself and give them a status report.
Many cryo-chambers were loaded in a hurry, there are many that do not have records (these people were designated for either a different ship or loading at a later date). This chamber was supposed to be for another doctor. This doctor who introduced himself as Dr. Cooper, or ‘Coop’ as many call him. He is roughly in his late 40’s and had not been selected for colonization. He was at a loss to explain how he got into the cryo-chamber. He remembered getting hit on the head with debris during the attack, and that was the last he recalled. He did assure the others he was a fully qualified surgeon. He was to oversee the cryogenesis of the surgeon assigned to the ship.
The current status is this:
The ship went on its authorized course which was supposed to take approximately 11 years. Halfway there, they encountered an errant asteroid field large enough to propose a serious danger to the ship. According to protocol, the AI adjusted the course to veer around it. The fuel allotment allowed for 3 significant course changes. This one took them into a nebula that played havoc on the navigational computer; it was filled with heavy metals.
After they emerged, they were way off course. Doing the calculations, there were three potential destinations after this; three suns that may have Earth-like planet(s) in the system. This was now out of the AI’s capabilities to choose. Per emergency procedure, the captain was woken up and he made the decision for the course.
Because the area had high radiation that even the ship could not completely protect again, the captain had to take the risk of going back into cryo before the recommended 7-day waiting period. He didn’t have a good choice; stay awake and suffer radiation poisoning, or go back and possibly suffer ‘freeze burn’; which is to say, the cryogenesis chemicals have not been purged and re-freezing causes catastropic damage to the body’s cellular structures.
Because of the unknown nature of the current doctor and with the captain unconscious, the AI requested the team to give permission for either Dr. Cooper to see to the captain or not. They deliberated briefly, though it wasn’t a difficult choice. It would take 6-8 hours for another medic to be revived and that would be too late for the captain. If they did nothing, the captain would certainly expire. So, they gave the authorization for Dr. Cooper to proceed.
Another challenge faced the crew. Upon entering the current system, the ship sustained damage to the main supports and stabilizers. Sensors must have been malfunctioning, because they never picked up the anything incoming. They are in a tentative orbit, continually declining… they will lose orbit in an hour or two. If they attempt to use the engines, it is possible they would sheer off from the stresses on the weakened frame.
The team immediately begins working on the stabilizer. It takes about 9 hours to remove the damaged section and replacing it. With only 3 people, it requires all of there efforts. But, it was successful in that they were able to gain a stable orbit with no additional damage to the ship.
While heading back to the command module, the AI contacted them—this module has some medical supplies the doctor is requesting. Since it is close, it would be easier to fetch it for him now rather than hunt for more supplies closer to the medical section.
The AI expressed some concern about the comms; it had been attempting to contact them for some time, but something interfered with the comms. The team back-tracked to the ‘dead zone’. It wasn’t hard to figure out what was causing the problems; they had passed through the module that had been boarded by the Harati.
One of the leeches that is still embedded in the hull. All the soldiers are dead but it appeared to be at minimum power.
Alan brought the doctor his supplies as Wendell examined the leech. He determined that it was sending out some sort of signal, but both decided it is unlikely it penetrated the nebula around this system, the one they had gone through, and the radiation-heavy area of space. Still, they were thinking about what they would do with the leech.
By this time, they were very tired from the extreme physical labor after such a lengthy sleep. And, Wendell still had the injury to his leg to attend to—it had swollen to nearly double. They went over some reports, Alan beginning a cursory examination of the data being sent back by the probes sent to the planet below them.
The planet is approximately 6 million years old—a bit older than Earth. But, the planet looks (by a preliminary analysis) to be geologically in the late Cenozoic period, perhaps the equivalent in the Paleocene Epoch. Meaning there looks to be a great deal of geological activity… tectonic shifting, heavy volcanic activity along the equator, etc. The animal life does not have dinosaurs, per se, but there have been sighting of large reptilian creatures, one or two larger than the African elephant. The largest birds look to be a pteranodon-like creature…except the wing span is closer to 15 feet, far larger than fossils have shown on Earth.
The taxonomy seems to be fully developed, with animals, insects and other life filling all niches. The predominant configuration is 6-limbed animals, where Earth sees largely 4-limbed.
They prepared to go to sleep, instructing the AI to find and awaken more medical personnel.
Everyone slept as the doctor continued to work. The surgery ended about 2 hours before Alan and Wendell woke. The captain is stable for now and the medical people attended to Wendell.
The captain did wake briefly, insisting on seeing his crew for a few minutes, despite the severe disapproval from Coop. He wanted to get a look at the crew he inherited. Most of his command staff were doing some final training in India when the Harati arrived…they never made it to the ship.
Because of the different demographics and diverging histories each ship would face, the organizers of the Exodus erred on the side of commonsense—-they did not attempt to impose any one governmental template for each ship. While a few countries did fund their own Arks, declining to ‘mix’ with other nations, most ships made a conscious effort to include people from every nation, in the hopes to preserve as much of human culture, knowledge and history as possible.
It is understood that the colonies would be run through military rule for one year upon the colonist’s revival. Thereafter, a government would be formed, based on the consensus of the population.
The captain and the crew had discussed their thoughts on the subject, and set up colonial procedures. That was shot to hell when he lost his command staff. The PC’s are now the department heads, since they were training to be 2IC of their respective fields. The Captain is well aware that he does not know their capabilities as intimately as he did with the crew he had been planning for, but he is certain they can learn to grow together.
He explained that he follows the command structure but likes to think he allows for independent thinking, a necessary trait in every good leader. That being said, if he gives an order, he expects them to be followed through, unless a compelling and convincing reason is presented to him.
The first order will be for the Command staff to choose a 2IC by the next meeting. They will better assess their own abilities since they’ve worked together.
Sci: deploy probes to nearby planets and begin analyzing data.
Medical: wake the crew and begin working on any genemods necessary to adapt to the new world.
Manufacturing: Get the arboretum up and running to save the rations. Currently, there are enough rations for 6 months. We’ll need to supplement them as much as possible.
Engineering: examine the fusion reactor and make sure it’s up to specifications.
Sec: update personnel files for crew and passengers. Because of the mad scramble, they did got a lot of people that had been destined to other ships.
Everyone needs to get their labs and departments up and running.