Waking Poe

casting.jpg casting.jpg

OOC Date: April 26, 2011
IC Date: February 6, 2128

Petty Officer Poe is brought out of stasis and appraised of the current state of the Genesis.

Crew Stasis Hold - Deck Two

The sickly green glow of the stasis chambers provides most of the light in the cavernous hold - they make enough light on their own, little else is really needed. Two hundred and twenty such chambers are scattered about the hold, containing the entirety of the crew when they're in stasis, each roughly the size of a phone booth and cylindrical in shape.

While the majority of a stasis chamber is made of metal and contains all of the sensitive equipment needed to sustain the person within, the front is made of a high grade plexiglass that is completely clear, allowing a view of the person inside. One would almost think that they stand upright except that their toes do not touch the ground, instead they float in a greenish liquid that accounts for the color of the light coming out of each unit. The people inside wear only the minimum necessary - a version of tighty whities for the men, and the same plus a halter style top for the women. Numerous tubes and wires are connected to them at points all over their bodies, pumping in and filtering out liquid similar to the kind they float in. One of the elements of stasis involves removing all of the blood from the body and replacing it with a synthetic liquid that preserves the internal organs and bones and prevents the body from aging. The liquid they float in does the same for the skin, muscles and hair. Wires connected to the head and various parts of the body stimulate the muscles and brain to prevent atrophy and to keep the person in a hypnotized state of peace.

In addition to the stasis chambers themselves, the hold also contains several control and monitoring stations that allow manual operation of the stasis system when crew members are awake. One door is all that the hold contains, and it leads out to the central corridor of Deck Two.

Consciousness comes slowly, starting at the back of the mind and bubbling up like pockets of air in molasses. It seems to take forever. The first sense to come alive is the general sense of awareness, of being present in the here and now - wherever and whenever that maybe. Realization dawns that the body is floating, and the faint prickles of wires disengage in from the body follows shortly after. Warmth begins to flood in as blood returns to the body and synthetic preservative is cycled out. Tubes retract save for those in the nose and mouth that still provide oxygen. Bubbling and hissing fill the ears and the feet gradually touch the bottom of the chamber, the liquid draining away, and soon feet and legs support the body, or at the very least attempt to. Some may find themselves quite shaky despite the regular stimulation of the muscles. When eyes finally open, the world is blurry and vague. One sensation overcomes everything else.

The hunger.

-Such- hunger.

Poe blinks slowly, as she struggles to maintain her balance against the inner walls of her stasis chamber. Her legs wobbling like those of a young fawn taking it's first steps. She blinks again, more rapidly this time, trying to focus on something, anything really, but only managing to make out blurred outlines. She opens her mouth as if to speak, but the only sound is a low rumble from her stomach, deep and audible, but with such a presence as to double her over clutching at the pangs of hunger. Hunger like she's never felt before.

After years of having no food in one's stomach, hunger is bound to be almost unbearable. The room is dim - most of the light comes from the pods, providing a strange, green glow that is likely not soothing, though it is also probably not disorienting. There are two people in the chamber, one the familiar silhouette of the Commander, the other a Marine in traditional battle uniform. "Miss Poe," Eisley greets, voice clear and calm. "Good morning." Never perky or chipper, she is rather… serene. And likely needs to be, since this is probably not the awakening on aide was anticipating.

Poe wobbles a bit more as she struggles out of the pod, leaning heavily against it for a long moment before she makes an attempt to stand on her own. An attempt that fails rather miserably. Her legs not yet responding as they should to her commands. As a result, the usually very neat aide, finds herself in quite a mess, her legs tangled under her as she glances up at the figures before her. Her eyes focusing suddenly at the sound of her name, her confusion slipping away slowly as she attempts to make her legs work again. "Commander.." she manages in an odd tone, seemingly equal parts recognition and confusion. "Have we arrived, Ma'am?" she inquires as a follow up.

"It's all right," says Eisley, still calm. "Coming out of stasis is never a pleasant thing. Take your time." She gestures to the Marine, who hands her a towel; now that it is obvious that Poe there is not going to vomit bile all over the deck she approaches and crouches to offer said piece of soft, white stuff. "I'm afraid that we have not reached New Eden. I will debrief you later. Right now, you should find your quarters, clean up, and get some food in your stomach." Though this failure to reach the destination should raise a red flag, the Commander's manner is unhurried, indicating an utter lack of crisis.

Poe furrows her brow slightly at the news from her Commander, raising her hand shakily to accept the offered comfort of the towel. She briskly rubs her face with the soft material, clearing the rest of the haze from her eyes. "Aye Ma'am." she responds to the orders, despite no lack of concern and curiosity as to why she was being awakened then, feelings which are made clear by her expression as she struggles a bit more, finding her feet beneath her and steadying herself before attempting the long climb to a standing position. Once there, she modestly covers up with the towel, her eyes glancing about, making note of the other empty pods. "When shall I report for debriefing, Ma'am?" she asks, still struggling to find her voice in it's entirety.

There are only a few empty pods: twenty on the outside of a count. Most still contain crew, trapped in that strange green stasis gel. Eisley merely waits, eternally patient, slightly imposed between the shaky aide and the Marine who stands at attention by the door. "Two hours," is the answer to that question. "That should give you time to clean up and get re-oriented, though full recovery from hibernation will take somewhat longer than that. I expect that you have questions, but there are some circumstances you need to be appraised of." Of what this is, however, no hints are given.

Poe snaps off as close to a crisp salute as she can muster given the current circumstance. "Aye Ma'am." she offers, holding her unsteady stance as she waits for her dismissal. The slightest hint of a grin flashing across the corner of her mouth, but only for a second, and maybe no one saw. Either way, the picture in her head of herself saluting, all wrapped in a towel and dripping green goo, that was just plain funny.

The salute is returned with far more crispness and formality, such as is customary for the Commander. She tilts her head slightly, then turns so that she can make good her own departure. It is as close to a dismissal as she is going to give right now, particularly since Eisley will be able to leave much more quickly - and easily - than the freshly wakened one can.

//XO's Office - Deck Three

Every good office is dominated by a desk and this one is no exception. The XO's desk is almost eight feet across, half that in width, a sheet of black glass that shimmers through with motes of color. Bits of it light up as needed, becoming brilliant controls that respond to a touch and then fade into nothing when not. Behind it sits a high-backed chair, sleek and black. Behind that is a plasma screen that occupies almost the entire wall, pretending to be a window that looks out into space when not otherwise in use. In front of the desk are two smaller chairs, also black though not as imposing. Black is a theme here; there is also a sleek black sofa set against one wall, ruining the perfect linear symmetry of the room. It matches the charcoal color of the carpet, and imposes in hard lines against the ivory walls.//

Two hours is plenty of time to shower, find clean clothes, and get food in one's belly. There isn't even a line for chow; in fact, the ship is mostly deserted, since there are only 30 or so people awake, out of a crew of 220. Those 30 are thinly spread, too, most of them preoccupied with things in their appointed places of work. Commander Eisley is one such, but she did ask for her aide to report to her office. It is a familiar space: neat, orderly, though today the plasma screen that functions like a window shows a field of stars, tiny points of light strewn out across a field of black. None of them look familiar, but it's space; everything looks the same. She sits behind her desk, fingers moving over the in-glass keyboard, which pulses with light to recognize each stroke.

Poe steps quickly through the doorway of the office, her appearance completely the opposite of the one seen in the stasis hold merely a couple hours ago. Her short blonde hair cleanly styled and her face seeming more fresh now that she's been able to compose herself. Her uniform is worn immaculately. Not a single crease or cuff out of place. Her rank insignia gleaming a bright silver upon her breast, boots shining with an almost mirrored sheen. Making her way before the grand desk, she stops abruptly coming up stock-still, one arm raised in a brisk salute to her commanding officer. "Petty Officer Poe reporting for debriefing, as instructed, Ma'am." She offers modestly. Not the gung-ho hollering of the Marines, but a more professional tone, one reserved for a more refined conversation. She stands there, not even a twitch as she waits for further orders.

"At ease," the XO instructs. "Please, have a seat." She looks a little bit… frayed. Ordinarily, Commander Eisley is a creature of impeccable order herself, with seldom so much as a hair out of place. Now a couple of errant strands of that have slid out of the braid that keeps the lot in regulation binding, safely away from her collar; shadows darken the blue of her eyes. "Did you settle in all right? Was everything where you left it?" Six years of stasis passes in the blink of an eye, but it really was not just yesterday that everyone reported to a tube.

Poe nods in assent as she takes a seat in one of the chairs. "Yes, everything seems to be in order, at least in that concern, Ma'am." she answers, her face clearly showing signs of anxiety. "It is rather quiet around here, I've noticed not all of the crew has been wakened from their stasis. It's almost creepy how quiet it is…" she adds before trailing off.

Eisley draws her hand over the desk, sweeping away the keyboard and whatever she had been working on. The bits of light scatter across the glass and then are gone, saved to memory somewhere in Eve's vast archives. "…yes," she answers. "There have been some… developments." Understatement of the millennium, right here. "The image on the screen behind me is a realtime view of our current location. As you can surely tell from the lack of planet to orbit, we have not reached New Eden. Today's date is February 7th, 2128; I and several other members of the command staff have been awake for nearly a month. We were brought out of stasis when the ship's sensors picked up a signal from an approaching ship of Giver design. It essentially an unmanned probe, a messenger sent to deliver an apology."

Poe stiffens a bit at the last word spoken, the creases of worry deepening slightly as she mulls the idea over. "Apology…? What could they have to apologize for? All they've given to us.. something's wrong.. wh- what is it?" she stammers out, almost as if thinking aloud. Obviously this doesn't sit well with her. Shaking her head quickly to scatter those thoughts she adds, "My apologies, Ma'am. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for all of this."

A ghostly smile is offered, part out of sympathy, part out of sheer exhaustion. "The term Giver is passing out of common parlance. We call them Snails now, because of their appearance. As a species, they had been hunted to near extinction by another spacefaring race referred to as Devourers. In exchange for the lives of the last of their kind, they offered the location of a planet overpopulated by self-destructive beings up to these Devourers… then almost immediately sent us information containing all of their technology and a warning of what was to come." There is a bit of a pause here so that this can settle in, but she goes on. "The highest echelon of command on Earth decided to try and fight what was coming. They sunk the bulk of their funds into an arms race, and built the Genesis as a half-hearted secondary measure that apparently they thought they would not need. The Snails thought that if we worked quickly, we could save as many as 12 million of our people, a small enough fraction of our population that the Devourers would overlook our departure."

Poe blinks rapidly a few times as the information settles in, but remains silent, not wanting to miss a word. When the Comander has finished, or at least paused long enough to get a word in, she finally speaks. Her voice softer, not breaking or cracking, but obviously hurt by the news. Struggling to retain her composure she says, "They.. they sold us out? To save themselves, they sold us out?" Followed by silence as her mind races with the new data it just recieved. "I can't believe this… So, what now? What do we know of Earth? How far until New Eden? Do we go on with our mission as planned?" she finally asks, her voice a bit more controlled now, the initial shock not quite gone, but absent enough to allow for logic to return.

"Essentially, yes, they sold us out." In so many words. Eisley nods a single time to verify this statement, then exhales again. "We received a single transmission from Earth, sent in July of 2124. It.. warned us not to return." Obviously there is more there, but she does not share it here, now, choosing instead to concentrate information elsewhere. "As I said, the Snail apologized for what they had done to us. Their gambit failed, and the Devourers were near to wiping them out anyway. The New Eden site was compromised, so they made several suggestions for alternative paths. Captain Ramesh chose the furthest of these." Even now, under all of this old, now dull pain, she is calm, her voice even and rather rhythmic, moderated for long speeches.
Poe nods along at her Commander's words, a new tension forming in her posture and her mannerisms. "And where has the Captain chosen?" she asks almost tentatively.

"Yesterday we traveled through a wormhole. Today we are…" A gesture is made toward the starfield behind the chair. "…in the Corona Borealis Supercluster, somewhere." Eisley offers a wan smile. "In roughly 12 hours I will be traveling with a delegation to the flagship of yet another alien race to… negotiate for something. As per standing orders, you are on leave for 48 hours to settle back in, recover from stasis, and mourn as you will. You may make appointments to see Dr. St-Sirois and Dr. Jackson, if you so desire." There is a little pause before she softens slightly, still keenly aware of the heaviness of this. "The messages we received are all in the ship's archive, if you wish to view them."

Poe nods in understanding, "I see. I think I'd like to do that." she says, offering a faint smile in return. "Perhaps I can be of assistance to this delegation, as well." she adds as an afterthought. "I'd prefer to get to work as soon as possible. I understand the reasoning for the leave, I just think I'd rather work than dwell on it for now. I'd like to officially request a spot on this delegation. Please, let me know what the Captain says. I'll be in my quarters." she says as she stands, offering another brisk salute before heading for the door.

Back to: Logs