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RMitchell

The Rescue Plan

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(Cargo Bay - USS Marauder)

::Captain Jackson stood and watched as the last “tray” of pods was moved into place. His ship now boasted fifteen of these “trays” in the modified cargo bays and holds. Each tray held three rows of seven pods. Each pod held one “member” of his crew. Over three hundred people. ::

oO Why did I sign up for such a mission? It’s a near suicide run. But its still a rescue mission, so if we pull it off, we will be heroes. Oo

::The heavily modified starship had started life as an Achilles class heavy cruiser, which was designed for long-range endurance missions. For this mission, modifications had been made, removing various useless crew comforts and replacing areas with cargo bays and holds. Two large industrial replicators from the larger Mulciber class ships were installed as well. ::

oO Not like we really are going to need the lounge or other such comforts. Oo

::Because of the length of this long-range mission, the majority of the crew had to be put into stasis. ::

oO Still can’t believe I agreed to this. Putting people into modified torpedo tubes for stasis pods. Of all things….. John, you just better be worth it. Oo

::The tray locked into place and the anti-grav lifters withdrew. A tech team quickly attached the leads securing the pod to the ship’s power.::

oO I wonder who had the bright idea to bring the crew aboard already in stasis. Makes things easier for getting under way I guess. Oo

::He watched and waited for the techs to finish and leave the room.::

oO Even with slipstream, its still going to take us a century to reach our destination. Oo

JACKSON: Mara, loading is complete. Take us out.

COMPUTER AI (MARA): Yes captain. Beginning undocking procedures.

::Then with a heavy sigh, he turned and followed the last tech out, and hit the button to seal the doors behind them. The doors slid closed and sealed with a thud, followed by the hiss of pressurization.::

oO So the journey begins…Oo

::Each of the rooms holding pods was designed to maintain its own pressure, just in case a part of the ship took damage and was exposed to space. The bays and the tubes would also help keep the crew protected from any radiation they came across. After all, this was truly a voyage to the unknown.::

oO I just hope it’s worth the cost. Oo

::He made his way up to the bridge and settled into his chair. Around him, a minimum bridge crew worked, with another small team down in main engineering. Once they were safely on course, they would all enter stasis, leaving the ship to Mara, the ship’s AI. She would keep the ship on course and rotate the crew in and out stasis, every so many years in a cycle. That would keep everyone from aging during the trip. Thus six trays each contained a full bridge and engineering crew under one senior officer. The remaining trays contained various specialist who would be awaken when their service was required, including a short platoon of Marines. One tray remained for the currently awake crew. ::

oO By the time we reach them, they will have been lost for over a century. Our hope is that they found a planet to survive on out there, and maybe we find their descendants. Oo

JACKSON: Mara, how long?

MARA: Time to galactic edge, 31 days at current velocity Captain.

JACKSON: Verify we are on the last course of the Monitor?

MARA: Yes captain. Analysis has computed the last known position of the USS Monitor and calculated the course we are now following.

JACKSON: Very well.

(Four weeks later…)

MARA: It is time Captain.

JACKSON: Very well. Time people.

::The bridge crew and he made their way down to the cargo bay and their tray. One after another each climbed into a pod. As senior officer, Captain Jackson went last. He climbed into the pod and settled inside, before pressing the switch. His pod slid closed and he heard the pressure seal activate. It got very cold and he nodded off to sleep.::

oO USS Monitor, here we come…Oo

Captain Jackson

Commanding Officer

USS Marauder

Edited by RMitchell

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