SIERRA ALPHA PRIME

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Chapter 3

THE OASIS

After a three-day journey, the Oldumare arrived at the Plutonian space station called the Oasis. From a window; Joilee observes the space station orbiting the cold dark planet. Once the ship initiated the docking procedures, the crew reported to their designated divisions. Next, Joilee went through the security checkpoint procedures in the docking bay. A security officer scanned Joliee’s sub-dermal bio signs Monitor in her arm. Her military credentials, medical records, and her current health condition; displayed on a Palmer tablet. Once Joilee was permitted to go through, she took an elevator to the space station’s residential area.

The residential area is a haven. The ceiling’s holographic projector portrayed a sunny blue sky. The housing and recreational area were designed similar to Central Park. The pond was filtered and treated water from the ice from Pluto. The cloned trees and grass ensured the production of oxygen for its habitat. With the process of osmosis and distillation, drinking water was abundant.

Even though the residential architectural design was a garden paradise, technology still showed its dominance. Maintenance drones maintain the facility. Even television monitors lined the walls for communications and entertainment. Joilee caught a glimpse of a news story about civil unrest governmental biodomes on Earth.

There has been riots and protests in Dubai, Vancouver, and Salt Lake City biodomes. There was an uproar of accusations of mistreatment against the Citizen’s division. Outcries mistreatment of extended work hours, reduced break time, and demands of increased production rate have been known.

The cosmocratic government supports has been mistreatment the workers for many years. The news report claims the military police had quickly peacefully subdued the crowd. The new report stated that the riot was caused by a terrorist group called Sovereign Liberty. Two of the crew members were watching the story. One of the crew got upset hearing about the protest.

“Fucking terrorists! They are going to ruin everything that we are trying to build.”

“Those protestors should be lined up in the streets and shot in the head,” Joilee smirked

“Save the bullets. Have their asses jettison into space,” her crewmate laughed.

“You nut, anyway see you in a few days,” Joilee replied before continuing on her way.

Joilee reported to the station’s Agricultural division in the science sector. After taking a five-minute transport to her division, she went through another security checkpoint.

“Dr. Reyna Joilee here to report to Dr. Priyat,” Joilee announced.

“Take the elevator to your right,” the security officer directed.

As Joilee is en route, she noticed crates of herbal plants in stasis pods are being loaded onto the transport train. These were the plants that is going to be used for experimental germination for Earth’s plant life on Sierra Alpha Prime. Joilee entered the elevator and rode to ten floors up to the docking office. When the elevator opened, Joilee saw a man of Indian descent. He is in his early fifties.

Priyat was irritated as he was yelling at his subordinates. Priyat was behind schedule in loading supplies, agricultural equipment, and plants. Joilee asked one of the personnel the whereabouts of Officer Deepak Priyat. One of the science officers pointed towards the man yelling at the staff. Joilee hoped that the man wasn’t a belligerent asshole. Joilee nervously walked up to Dr. Priyat.

“Excuse me! Dr. Priyat!” Dr. Priyat turned around in a hostile manner.

“WHAT!”

“I am Dr. Reyna Joilee; I am reporting for duty.” Once Joilee gave her credentials, Priyat’s demeanor became much calmer.

“Oh, Dr. Joilee, my apologies.”

“Kinda busy here?”

“Yes, we are behind schedule in getting equipment and plant specimen loaded onto the Oldumare.”

“Is there anything I can do to help?”

“No, you are fine. Come to my office.”

Joilee and Dr. Priyat went to his office for a briefing.

“I have read your file. Awesome work you have done on Earth.”

“Thank you.”

“While I have a chance. I will brief you on protocol before our mission. All Oldumare crew have to go through orientation. Your briefing is on the Prime Directives, policies on first contact with planetary natives, survival tactics, safety and emergency protocols, and pod stasis use. Your living quarters are on the 30th floor. See you first thing in the morning.”

The next day Joilee had her first briefing about the ship Oldumare. She had to learn the ship’s design, mechanics, and engineering. It was an eight-hour orientation. After completing her first day of training, Joilee went back to her quarters to rest for the day. Joilee stripped down to her underwear, climbed into her bed, and pulled the covers over her body. Just as she closed her eyes, she received a holographic call from Earth. She quickly got up to answer, and to her delight, it was Orlando on the other end.

“Orlando, hey, love.”

“Hey, babe.”

“What are you doing up so late. Don’t you have to conduct a training exercise in the morning?”

“That was yesterday,” Orlando replied as he chuckled. Joilee looked at the clock on the hologram.

“Crap, my internal clock must be off.”

“Yeah, being out in space would do that to you. You will lose your sense of time. It happened to me during a zero-gravity training exercise on Mars.”

“So, what do I owe this call?”

“Well, for two reasons. I wanted to make sure that I see that beautiful face before the Oludumarey travel out of the communications range. It’ll take a week before I’ll hear from you.”

“That should not be a problem. Once we replace the old communications space buoys with new sub-communication drones, we should receive a message in days.

“That is still kinda slow for me to hear your voice.”

“Hey! It’s better than nothing! So what is the second thing you have to tell me?”

“Oh yeah, A military vessel is being sent to join the Oldumare in three months. The ship is called the Shango and I will be aboard that ship.”

“The government build a new ship?”

“Yeah, just like the Oldumare, it is equipped with the latest light wave engines. I tell you, it’s the newest assault ship made to kick ass.”

“Why are they sending the military when we already have over 100 personnel that are military trained.”

“They are sending the heavy infantry. Powered armored exo-suits, A.P.C. vehicles, and a platoon of humanoid droids and drones. We have other shit that will bring pain to an enemy. We even have a few augmented soldiers.”

“Augmented soldiers? I thought the council was against creating supersoldiers.”

“They want to make sure we have a fighting chance if we run into a hostile enemy.”

“And what if we run into an enemy that is far more technologically advanced than us.”

“Look, we are not looking to get into a dog fight. We are just there for security,” Orlando replied. Suddenly the holographic starts to have distortion.

’Orlando, you are breaking up.”

“Seems we... are having a superstorm coming,” Orlando replied as the holographic projector ended communications.

“Damn!” Joilee replied with a disappointed tone. However, Joilee saw nothing to do but rest since she had another day of lengthy orientations.

After a few days, Joilee and her team had completed the orientation. Joilee was about to leave for her living quarters when Dr. Priayat asked her to stay.

“Joilee, can I see you for a second?”

“Of course,” Joilee replied.

“Joilee, I looked at your schedule and noticed that you are not scheduled for any duties. Since that, do you mind if I borrow your time?”

“Sure, how may I help?”

“As you know, I am falling behind schedule loading cargo onto the Oldumare. A transport ship will be arriving with the Oasis replacement crew from Hearthropolis in a few days. I have to brief them on protocols. I can’t be two places at once. Do you mind helping me with loading and logging the cargo on the Oldumare?

“What do I need to do?

“How may I help.”

“Ensure that all equipment is functional and loaded properly onto the ship. As of now, I am making you Agricultural dockmaster. Think you can handle it?”

“Of course.”

“Good, you report to duty at four hundred hours.

After taking up the position of docking master, Joilee ensured to speed up the cargo loading process. Joilee was able to get everything agricultural equipment loaded onto the vessel. Finally, the Oldumare crew was ready to board and set their destination to the Sierra Alpha Prime Solar System.

During the first few days, the Oldumare had made final preparations for the ship to enter subspace travel. The last step was to load the Oldumare crew into hyperstasis pods for a medically induced coma. The stasis pod’s outer shell is made from hard carbon and titanium material. The inside was lined with a gel-like mattress that prevented the body from moving from inertia.

During the last 72 hours of the first prep phase for hyper-stasis sleep; the Oldumare crew was ordered to take a laxative and water to prevent fecal impaction and gastrointestinal diseases. Once the digestive system was detoxed; the medical team gave the crew a concoction that suppressed digestive activity for the second phase.

The crew was implanted with a gastrostomy tube for future administration for digestion suppressants; in addition, with. I.V.s. connected to the veins of the crew for periodic drug administration.

The medical staff assisted the crew into the stasis gel pods; connecting gastrostomy tubes and I.V’s to the pod’s drug administer ports. With a push of a button, the crew was given a sedative concoction administered periodically through an I.V.

All biosigns were monitored by a medical computer A.I. system

All except that 100 people out of 300 personnel, such as doctors, ship engineers, bridge personnel, and military, remained awake for the next five years. This method was to reserve food rations and oxygen consumption. Joilee’s science team was the last to be prepped for deep sleep. Joilee closed her eyes with the thoughts of Orlando and her family.

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