All That's Left of Us
The Legacy Project
Upon revelation that the earth (and much of the nearby solar system!) would be doomed by a coming comet, plans were set to create Ark Ships to attempt colonization of some of the closest star systems. In the past centuries, several systems with potential for habitation had been discovered, but no further leaps toward creation of light speed travel had been developed. Advances had pushed the thresholds significantly closer to noteworthy sublight speeds, but still the precious threshold of light speed was out of humanity’s grasp. As such, it would take many years for these arks to reach their destinations, with generations passing them back on Earth.
“Legacy Alpha” is one such ship, sent out into the stars to try and give humanity a new home. It’s mission is to transport something over two thousand cryo-frozen colonists to a distant star system, and use the resources on board the ship (including the very components of the Ark ship itself) to build a new colony, with more ships to follow and bring more survivors from home. Accompanying the voyage was none other than Felix Faust himself! Ten skeleton crews of starship technicians would cycle in and out on five-year shifts, keeping the ship running while it rocketed toward its destination. Every ten years, the rest of the colonist “ice men” would be thawed in rotation, and given scans and tests by Medics, to ensure their safety.
Having finally reached the far edge of the system it was destined for, the Legacy Alpha slowed down to a system speed, and automatic routines awakened more of the management crew. As the communications came back online (having been powered down during the Long Drift), a number of cached messages finally came through, reporting hardships back home, growing concern about the comets, loss of communications with other Arks, and then one final, disturbing message: “You’re all that’s left of us. Good luck out there, and God bless.”
Our story begins as the ship’s many systems power up again, and the crew is left to ponder this message.
For most of the trip, the ship runs with the 33-person (and one captain) skeleton crew, and a significant chunk of the ship is powered down, separate from life support. Upon arrival in the system:
The final slowdown completes, and the ship rotates 180 degrees once more, preparing to head into the system.
A second flight crew is thawed (in this case, it is crew #1, involving the heroes)
With rotation complete, the exhausted core of the Handwave Drive is ejected into space. The remaining housing is decontaminated, stripped down into smaller parts, then fed to the Metacycler, which converts it to the core materials and adds them to Raw Matter Storage supplies for the onboard Makers. An additional 55 of the Ice Men are thawed – colonial management, planning, and surveying mostly. Their housing is brought online, bring the current total to 122 active.
Combined flight crew begin to plan the corrected course to the new “bread basket” planet they hope to find.
Midway to the destination, the ship rotates 180 degrees a third time, pointing its tail forward, to begin a safe deceleration to the final target.
Finally, the current rough colonization plan kicks in. The external Makers come online, allowing outside construction of additional components. Things like Drop Pods, etc. Thawing the colonists in controlled batches allows them each a month to “come online” on the ship, before shipping them down in drop pods guided with microthrusters and deployable parachutes
The Ship: Legacy Alpha
Legacy Alpha is the first ship of the colonization project, and the one on which our story begins. It is a vast structure of top-grade construction, the single largest man-made creation ever. This colony ship has been pushed along the “Long Drift” of its Deep Space Drive for 135 years, and has just now finally arrived at the outskirts of the Arpeggio System.
Layout and Description
- Colorful, non-intimidating corridors, natural lighting,
The Ship is designed “skyscraper” style, with the engines and thrusters at the bottom, and Command at the top. It is designed so that it will maintain a set 1G acceleration to the halfway point of its voyage, and then it will flip around and maintain a 1G deceleration for the remainder of its trip. During all times except those “flipping” the ship, this gives the insides an artificial gravity.
- Observation deck for viewing the ship and the stars
- WEAPON: A single front-mounted mass-drive entirely for the purpose of destroying dangerous obstacles
- The ship has living arrangements for at most 257 active crew and passengers – most of this space is offline (and 135 of those spaces are one-month short-term bunks only, for the transitioning of waking colonists after arrival)
- For most of the trip, the ship runs with the 33-person (and one captain) skeleton crew, and a significant chunk of the ship is powered down, separate from life support.
- A garden with programmable skylines of different places
- A gym
- A mess hall
Science contains all the science labs, under command of Dr. Felix Faust. There is a sizable Medical Bay, a Post-Cryo Physical Therapy facility, and a Hydroponics & Recycling lab.
One section of Science contains a hundred “baby tanks” for gestating human embryos once the system is reached and colonization officially begins. The entire crew has been reversibly sterilized prior to the voyage, as they can’t risk children or expending resources on unplanned pregnancies. The Baby Tanks allow babies to be started up after arrival, allowing the workers to continue to work on building a new home for humanity.
- Organic Matter Storage (for food compilers)
Cryogenics is the third-largest section of the ship, containing a vast array of sleeper bunks for up to 10,000 adults.
- I’m thinking the Cryo bays are in fact detachable robotic self-guided emergency landers, too.
Raw Matter Storage
Raw Matter is the single largest section of the ship, comprising almost 50% of its bulk. The massive blocks of raw matter feed the industrial makers, both internal and external. The makers are used for ship repairs, and will be spun up in heavy production to build the colony facilities once they have arrived in the system.
Engineering is the second-largest section of the ship, and most of that is due to the vast engines and thrusters. A hefty chunk of that was the Handwave Drive core, which was ejected into space upon arrival in the system. The remaining housing for that core was recycled into raw matter, to be reused in construction of the colony.
Power and Engines
- I don’t remember the power source, was it fusion?
- Deep Space Drive: “Quantum Vacuum Plasma Drive” 7.5% of Light Speed. Called the “Long Drift” when in action.
- In-System Drive: .02 AU/Hour system speed
The Crew and Cargo
- There are 297 core Astronautical Personnel, broken into nine separate 33-man crews (thus 264 cryo tubes in use for them at any one time). The nine astro crews rotate every five years. The Heroes were in crew #1, and as such were just all being awoken as the Handwave Drive finally dropped the Ark off in the new system. This means that crews #1 and #9 are both active at the time of arrival.
- There are 9 trained captains, four initially expected to see active duty, five kept for reserve and emergency. The captains work 40-year shifts, at the end of which they go into cryo so they can see the new home when they arrive.
- There have already been four captains served before the game begins – the firth one, Matthias Albright, is on command upon arrival. They were already determined, lined up in order in Stasis. Out of courtesy, the Old captains are put back into Cryo, so they will see the destination one day!
- ANIMALS and PLANTS
- Definitely a seed farm
- Livestock Animals embryo farm
- Pet animals also!