Contamination: Retreat

Contamination: Retreat

Postby Mari » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:01 pm

((You know who you are.))

Introduction

It came from an asteroid, they said. Fallen on an outerworld colony. A flash in the sky and then- in a matter of weeks- eight billions dead.

The Contamination.

Suffocating, smothering, murdering. A disease infecting planets themselves. A virus, fungus, bacterium, living organism, hivemind, no one was sure. But it spread.

Colony after colony fell. Agressive quaratines in affected areas mattered little- for the very matter of the universe worked against the survival of humanity, the survival of terran planets. The survival of life.

A burst of solar wind- spores lifted, drifted on to fall on their next target. Smugglers didn't help either, trafficking in infested goods from the affected planets. Trillions, quadrillions, quintillions, unable to escape, slowly suffocated as their planet died around them. And still, no one knew what it was. But they knew where it was heading, and if it wasn't stopped it would render every planet within seventy million parsecs of the Terran Federation inhabitable.

The human race would have nowhere to go but the long, cold dark of space.

And go some of them did, once it was apparent the sector would soon be devoid of all un-Contaminated life. In droves they boarded the TFS Valkyrie, a decomissioned flagship of the Federation Navy, docked at Arcturus Station and bound for the endless stars. They brought only enough to settle a new world: limited personal posessions, hydropinic labs of greenery, and a small selection of livestock to breed. The metal hallways, cramped quarters, still better than the suffocating death that awaited them on their home planets. They waited, huddled in fear and uncertainty, while the frantic scientists of Arcturus University tried to understand...

But aboard the research ship Perseus, now permanently docked to the Valkyrie, there was naught but frustration. They couldn't even understand how the Contamination afflicted its targets, how it blended the carbon in the soil with oxygen in the atmosphere, starving both plant and animal. And until they understood, they couldn't stop it.

Meanwhile the Valkyrie travelled on and on, system to system, but even when they came across a habitable world it was clear they were still in the Contaminated zone. It seemed they were doomed to wander, drifting from star to star, no home but the cold metal of the Valkyrie and acutely aware that the hated triple-bunks would be their deathbeds. The spark of their lives, of humanity... insignificant against the black, fleeting in the vast expanse of geological time, about to come to a sudden and final end. They each just played their parts in this, the dénouement.

But our story begins before this hopelessess set in. We join here when the Valkyrie is first departing, when spirits though dampened by the appearance of the Contamination are bolstered by the adventure of setting out for new worlds, by the responsibility of ensuring the continuity of the human race. Through the horrors of outerworld destruction they have emerged to rebuild, united in their purpose.

From all worlds and systems they come- Arcturans, Eridani's Epsilians, Vega's Freyans and Tyrish, even a few Etainese from the Tau Ceti system and Thisban miners from Gliese 876. And of course those of the Core Worlds- Earthmen, Martians, and Centauriish. They flock to Arcturus Spaceport to join this voluntary mission, to abandon all they know in search of a better home.
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Re: Contamination: Retreat

Postby Mari » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:10 pm

((For your reference... Bek and Sarah

Bek Parcell was no stranger to space travel, but even she had to admit the Valkyrie was impressive. She normally took small trips between worlds, on overbooked flights in tiny, crowded cabins. She'd never spent an extended period of time on a ship before- well, discounting the time her flight got grounded because of an unexpected solar flare, and she spent six hours on a tarmac in the Sirius sector- but certainly never on a ship designed for the purpose. Or retrofitted, technically. The TFS Valkyrie, Terran Federation Ship, was formerly the NSB Valkyrie: Naval Stellar Barracks. It served primarily as a training facility and mobile barracks unit for the Terran Navy before being retired. Now it will act as a seed, keeping some of the last humans alive and carrying them to far-off galaxies in the hope they can escape the horrors of the Contamination and blossom into a new civilization. Or so Humanity hopes.

Bek dragged her suitcase behind her as she trudged up to the elevator that allowed access to the ship. She crammed in with many other families, conspicuously alone. Her mother had refused to make the trip, citing faith that some higher power would deliver her, and her older sister was already on board. She'd seen the Perseus, the small research ship Sarah worked on, docked to the top of the Valkyrie. It almost looked like a white paper lantern, bright against the cold military gray of the homeship, the curved blades slowly rotating around the stationary pipe-like center to simulate various gravities along its length- the least in the middle bowed furthest from the central pipe, and the greatest in rooms located near the edges close-in. There were even some zero-G labs in the pipe. At least that's what Sarah babbled excitedly to anyone who would listen. Perseus was the foremost labratory in the world, and one of Sarah's graduate professors had recommended her for station there last year, much to her little sister's disinterest. Bek only cared about the Perseus because just maybe she could steal her sister's card and get into the zero-G labs and have some fun swimming through the air and watching spilled liquids ball up. She even had plans for a volleyball-like game, if she could get a couple friends in.

Right now though, she was being pushed and shoved like a sheep among the families surging to get on the ship. She ducked down a side hallway, out of their way, until the path cleared again. She stared at her card's viewscreen, which had her accomodations listed as "K 3054, Bunk 2". She wasn't sure if she should head there first, or try and catch Sarah, so she simply stood indecisively in front of the elevator.
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Re: Contamination: Retreat

Postby Kaye » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:09 pm

Space travel was something almost completely foreign to Ty. He had gone on one ride in a ship, and that was because the Contamination had made it necessary. This was necessary in its own way, but he was still not a hundred percent on leaving. The Contamination had not spread to where they had been staying, but his father did not want to wait around to wait for it to strike again. His father was a man that took no heed of the Scientists and their "explanation" about what the Contamination was, did, or would do. He always said that if they really knew what they were doing then the Contamintion would be eradicated already and they would not have to worry. Seeing as the disease was still spreading, Ty had to believe in what his father was saying. More and more people seemed to be leaning away from the Scientists these days.

Ty slung his bag over his back and pushed his way through the main hold onto the ship. His father was already aboard, working as a maitenance man. Ty would be joining him later; the only way they had secured their place on this ship was by agreeing to help keep it in order. It was a bit of a cheat, but anything to survive, right? Ty pushed against some people, not particularly caring if he offended anyone. It was not as though they would be seeing much of him anyway; he would be below deck, on the bottom-most levels, making sure the guts of this beast still worked.

"K 3056..." Ty muttered, going past some other people bustling to get into their respective places. "3045," he muttered, reading the numbers as he passed, "3046...3047..." He continued on this path until he finally reached the correct passage, reading through until he reached K 3056. Satisfied, he pulled the handle and pulled the door open, going into the room where there were some bunk beds. His card read Bunk 3, so that was where he deposited his bag.

Ty frowned. There was already a bag on his bed, one that was not his but held a lable: Mr. Tyler Hawkins. Frowning, Ty pulled the bag open before groaning under his breath. It was a book of maps that showed the entire layout of the ship, along with all the paneling, wiring, plumping...everything. Boots, hardhat, and jumpsuit completed the "gift". He had not been looking forward to this before, and if anything he was looking forward to it less now.
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Re: Contamination: Retreat

Postby Honor » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:16 pm

Valkyrie....The TFS Valkyrie to be specific. When Annalise Winters gazed up at the name emblazoned on the side of the massive ship it was hard not to be impressed. It was a training ship, up until they had retired it so the letters bore the faint stain of age, wear and tear. The transport elevator that took the small groups of travelers up to the main part of the ship allowed her to view the impressive space craft at a better angle and Annalise lost herself for a moment as she took in all it's glory. She wasn't new to the whole idea of space travel, and she was slightly frightened of it to be honest. Her mother had passed on years before the contamination, trapped in an explosion at the research facility of Arcturus University. Her father had been there too, but Annalise to this day never could figure out why he had escaped without a scratch. It sounded pitiful and a little selfish of her to wish her mother back...if there was anyone she'd rather be fleeing the devastated planet with, it was her mother. The doors hissed open as the elevator slid to a stop, and Annalise was jostled to and fro as she attempted to weave her way into the main hallways through the crowd of frightened and nervous passengers. Families went one way, single travelers went another, and Annalise went the opposite way...clinging to the rail as the crowd thinned to a manageable flow.

She knew that high above where she stood, the Perseus was docked. It was permanently attached to the recommissioned ship, but the ethereal aura it gave off gave the impression that it was almost floating there. Many viewed the scientists that slaved over lab samples and thick pads of data as their saviors, still others viewed them as the means to an end. Annalise was not an idiot, she had heard the rumors in the streets as well as on her way to the docks, many blamed the researchers...yet still many had hope that they would ultimately find a way. At the moment, Annalise hid her key card until most of the path was clear and then glanced at it. The bright green dot that blinked steadily indicated that she was traveling alone on the Valkyrie, and the red dot below it indicated that she had family on the Perseus. Annalise realized she would have to keep that hidden if she had any wish to not stand out on the lower decks of their new salvation.

"K 3062" she murmured to herself, glancing at the viewscreen on her keycard one last time before heading for the elevators. Best to slip in, lay low until take-off, and then figure out what in the world to do after that.
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Re: Contamination: Retreat

Postby Skatie » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:52 am

Maeby Hawkins

She'd hesitated at the lift which would be her ascent onto the TFS Valkyrie, allowing a surge of other civilians to shove past her in annoyance. Her bright blue eyes roved upwards to squint at the massive spaceship; daunting in size and yet meant to be their safe haven. Turning with difficulty as she was pressed in from all sides, Maeby drank in one final breath to steady herself before submitting to her fate.

The Contamination was beating them, there was no denying that fact at the moment as they fled their homes in search of some unaffected planet. Maeby was trying to remain optomistic as she rose and then stepped onto the TFS Valkyrie nervously, because she thought that she owed her mother that much. After all, the woman was among those trying to rectify this havoc called The Contamination.

For that reason, Maeby was travelling alone. Her key card betrayed her identity as she read it, seeking out her bunk. K 3062, and she was only at K 3056. Glancing over, she paused and found herself shoved out of the way and straight into the compartment she'd been spying on. Clearing her throat and looking uncomfortable, she couldn't act like she hadn't seen him.

"Tyler," she greeted timidly, furtively glancing at his bunkmates, "I'm, uh...I'm in K 3062."

Tuesday Medallion

It was irritating, at best, that she found herself boarding an old Navy training station and was being asked to call it a temporary home. The Contamination had chased her out of her beautiful estate along the Scotish sea and they expected her to happily flounce onto a metal beast? The matter was made no less infuriating by the fact that not even her father's money could procure them private living quarters.

Her mother tried to be graceful about the situation, assuring Tuesday that they'd only be along the hallway and that the government would surely find them a gorgeous new planet in no time. Tuesday, a true cynic, didn't have such faith. The Scientists, she'd decided, were floundering baffoons who had gotten them into this mess, probably by releasing the Contamination and then hiding it from the general populous.

So, it was with disdain that she found her bunk and tossed her bag onto the bed before looking over her roommate. "I'm Tuesday," she informed her, "I guess we're meant to hole up in this sardine can together, so you'd better have good personal hygiene."

Daniel O'Conner

Things were really beginning to look up for Danny. Last week, he'd been living in a littered alleyway and using a discarded, misshapen unbrella as a roof. He'd been picking the locks of homes and eating out of their refrigerators while they were out. It hadn't been a charmed life for him, to say the least, and even the Contamination could bring some positive points to his existance if he looked at it from the right angle. For instance, now he'd have a proper roof and bed.

All around him, he watched civilians carrying a meager bag of clothing onto the TFS Valkyrie and felt like he was the only one who'd had nothing to carry, no one to travel with, nothing to leave behind or miss. To be honest, he was rather surprised that he'd been allowed to board when he'd always been considered less than human otherwise. Flicking his keycard around to read it, he headed for the bunk indicated for him.

K 3060.

First to arrive, he flopped himself haphazardly onto the bunk he'd been assigned and propped his head up with his hands both behind it to watch the doorway. What sorry sap would end up unlucky enough to have him as a bunkmate, he wondered. He half-suspected that he'd get penned up with another low-life like himself, so was rather eager to see if he'd be with some homeless Joe that smelled like dog piss and looked like Oscar the Grouch.
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Re: Contamination: Retreat

Postby Mari » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:57 am

Bek had heard the talk. She may have been only 15, but she wasn't stupid. Faith in the Scientists- and faith in science in general- wasn't exactly prevalent these days. But who could blame them? When it's safer to board a crowded starship without a destination than it is to stay in your own home... people turned away from those who promised to protect them, who insisted they knew everything about everything. In the face of the unknown people reverted to their primitive God-worship, if only in the hope of a physics-defying miracle that only a power unbounded by natural laws could execute.

But science, science had rules. Pesky little things that got in the way of ideas like "Maybe tomorrow we'll wake up and the Contamination will be gone." So they turned to the beings of their Ancestors, God and Allah and Zeus and Shiva and all the rest, invisible hands that they believed, if only they asked hard enough, would save them.

Her mother was one. Bek shook her head as she proceeded towards the K level to find her room. Some wondered how Bek and Sarah could be sisters- one a scientist of facts and numbers, the other barely passing math and more interested in the primitive arts- but Bek and Sarah themselves wondered how they could be the daughters of Rita Parcell. A woman who never missed a Mass, who every morning trudged down the street to the Arcturian Orthodox Mega-Church to receive her daily sprititual bounty. And of course, when the collection plate care around, generosity knew no bounds. She saw God's hand in everything- and the Contamination only stengthened her view that He has a Divine Plan for everyone.

As Sarah and her team worked tirelessly to save mankind, her mother denounced her acts as heresy. And as Bek tried to defend her sister's honor, her mother declared her posessed and attempted an exorcism. Bek had been waffling on whether or not to sign up for the Valkyrie mission, but her mother pushed her over the edge.

Thus here she was, standing in front of K-3054. Her new home, it was barely the size of her bedroom back home but was apparently expected to hold three. A triple bunk bed stood against the left wall, facing a set of three lockers on the right. The middle bunk and locker both had metal 2s welded on, so she supposed they were hers. Popping open the locker she found a card updater slot against the far wall, blinking green to indicate there was an update pending. She slid her keycard into it- the blinking stopped and her card spit back out. "Thank you for boarding the TFS Valkyrie, Bek Parcell, " it now read, "first meal will be served at 1900 hours. Detailed maps of the ship have been downloaded onto your card for your convenience." She pressed the middle of the card in acknowledgement, and the message faded. Sure enough under her name she saw an additional option: "Navigation".

She closed the locker and turned to find one of her new roommates- maybe her only if they were lucky, but most likely the third bunk would too be occupied. The girl looked disdainfully at the room and at her, and an intense dislike surged inside of her. Bek tried to push it down, but then this "Tuesday" implied that Bek had better shower regularly or things were not going to go well. Not that Bek would ever consider stopping showering, but who was this girl to say whether she showered or not? Ever rebellious, plans began forming to make this girl's life a living hell. Before she executed those, however, Bek figured she should put a hold on to make sure she wasn't just having a bad day. She extended her hand.

"Hi, I'm Bek. Bek Parcell."
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Re: Contamination: Retreat

Postby Kaye » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:06 am

((Sorry, sorry, sorry that it took so long to reply!!!!))

Shifting through the bag, Ty saw nothing else of great importance. After all, he was only a worker, helping to keep the ship in running order and nothing else. He was no scientist and he would certainly never be able to help change their situation and defeat the Contamination, and with that knowledge he had admitted an early defeat to simply be one of the bottom-feeders of society. Granted, he was a step up from some like the homeless, but it was a small step with a steep incline and a sharp downward slope.

Whoever his roommates were, Ty could imagine them being very much the same as he was. Maybe they were a little older, maybe a little younger; maybe they were a little higher up on the food chin, but then again maybe they were little better than he was. There were too many variables and unknowns for him to make a good call, but if it was any indication about how these things usually worked then Ty was looking forward to time uncounted with people of his status and rank. Both a comfort and an annoyance.

Sighing, he pulled his jumpsuit on over his clothes, doing up the laces on his boots and then pulling on his hardhat as well. His father had told him to go to his room and then come straight to his section and they would get something to eat before they went to their introductory meeting that would tell them their jobs and all that jazz. So with that in mind, Ty pulled the books and layouts into a small bag and slung it over his back before exiting his "room" and going back into the hall.

"What a zoo," he muttered, flattening himself against the wall as a fmaily pushed past. Ingrates. "This is going to be like sardines in a can," he grumbled.
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