January 12th, 2840 AD 12:00 PM CT
Floating above an overpopulated Earth, a sphere looms in the atmosphere. A sphere that constantly moves at supersonic speeds to provide safety to the main hub of humankind, the Earth Grand Council. Currently hovering over the formerly un-populous state of Kansas now filled to the brim with houses, a meeting of the minds of the world begins.
“Asia, what is the progress of the Noah project.” A giant floating sphere in the defined far right of the room lights a signal towards the spheres all around him.
All that is here in this room uselessly lit up for its former human crowd were six AI spheres that represented different regions of the Earth float over six different, empty chairs. It’s been four hundred years since a great war broke out ruining all faith in human control on the Planet Earth. Now, the lights and chairs are merely traditional.
A few short beeps of processing later, Asia responds “The three ships dedicated to the Noah Program are almost completed. We merely need to fine tune the operating systems and they should be good to go.”
“Excellent news” The central voice stated. “The faster we get these ships crewed, the faster we can save mankind.”
“We’ve been developing the technology of these ships for 80 years now, do you really think they can just run on day one?” The voice came from South America.
“South America, we haven’t even chosen crews yet. Test fires and tuning them during training shouldn’t take as long as the training schedule.” It was North America this time.
“North America has a good point, South America.” The leader’s lights blinked. “We only have one to two hundred years to stop this overpopulation problem. We need to be as efficient as possible here or we could miss much needed time.”
“Not to mention that we, ourselves, will be running tests on the ships before we hand them over.” Europe really wanted to say something and this was its chance.
There was a small number of beeps from South America as it went over the data again.
“Speaking of time and crew, do we have a crew manifest for the three ships yet?” Africa’s lights blinked.
“Right on point as usual, Africa.” There was a smile on the leader’s voice. “I believe you all made your own selections based on our qualifications? Should we discuss who goes where?”
What followed was a short amount of deliberation in the form of boops and beeps from the AI Then the crews were decided.
“Excellent everyone, great work. Do we also have some families that the Noah crews could take with them to lessen the Earth’s strain a bit. I’m aiming for more relaxed and peaceful families” The leader’s voice broke out the silence followed by yet another large amount of beeps to make these decisions.
The leader reads through the list of candidates in its head and pinged approvingly.
“I think we have fulfilled our goal for this meeting and I will get the notifications for training out at once. Meet you guys tomorrow at the same time.” The leader exclaimed before the light in his sphere disappeared followed by the lights in the room as it slowly floated down to the chair below him.
The other spheres followed suit and the meeting was over. In total, this meeting lasted only thirty seconds of human time.
One Hour Later, 1:00 PM CST Orbital Station #13
The blond, short haired Captain Charlotte Medina was asleep in her room underneath her covers in a space much like a studio apartment. It has all the necessary functions for living including a bedroom, a kitchen, a small lounge area, a door leading to a bathroom, and a laundromat in the same room. A remote AI clean up station was available too. Despite that fact, there was a pair of mostly clean black shoes, the tops and bottoms of a gray uniform, a stray white colored shirt, and a pair of long, gray socks all over the floor leaving a lazy trail from the door to the bed.
Ding Ding. “Charlotte, please wake up.”
“What?” Charlotte turns over.
“I know you are in there, Charlotte.”
“Susan? Is that you?” A groggy Captain Medina rose out of bed in excitement. Through that door was a voice she hasn’t heard in a while.
“About time you recognized me.” The long haired and tall brunette, Susan Ray said on the other side of the door. She sounded a little frustrated.
Finding a bathrobe on the hook next to her bed, Charlotte put it on, and walked groggily toward the door to open it.
Hugging Susan, she calmly says “It’s been so long, I missed you.”
“I missed you too.” Susan hugs back. “Though I See your sleeping habits haven’t changed.”
Looking around Charlotte’s head, Susan shakes her head with a smile. “Or your slobbiness.”
Embarrassed, Charlotte pulled Susan inside before starting to pickup her discarded clothes, throwing them in a cleaning chamber that immediately started to fold and press them. “Listen, I just got back from the Jupiter colony 6 hours ago transporting a thousand people. You can’t blame me on this.”
“What are you talking about? We both know that you had complete disregard for your clothing when we were both at the academy and that was only two years ago.” Susan just wasn’t taking this.
“I….listen.” Charlotte tries to defend herself but is quickly overtaken by Susan’s lecture.
“Not to mention the fact that without the Earth Grand Council designing uniforms down to the undergarments, A.I. help, or me and our friends helping you every once in a while, you wouldn’t be able to dress yourself.”
Charlotte sighs in defeat looking down at her feet. “I’m never going to live those days down, am I?”
“Well, it would have helped if you stopped studying late into the night almost everyday of the week. Even on the weekends. For last night, you could have at least turned on your cleaning robot.” Susan pointed out.
“Yeah, the robot was the last thing on my mind when I got home.” She sat down in her now cleaned lounge area and invited Susan to do the same who followed suit. “Do you want some coffee?”
“Thanks, I would love some.” Susan smiled.
“Gorbot, please bring us two cups of coffee.” Charlotte commanded.
In that short amount of time waiting for this robot to make and bring coffee, Charlotte calmly asks. “So, besides mocking me, what brought you here today? Also, how has fleet management been going?”
“Fleet management has been fine, but kind of boring.” Susan Ray handed Charlotte an envelope with a smile. She then took a sip of the coffee just placed on the table in between the two. “Here, new orders. Just got them an hour ago.”
“I forget that fleet headquarters isn’t that far away.” Charlotte gasped, immediately opened it, then quickly read through the contents. “Captain of the Noah 3? What? I don’t think I’m experienced enough for a mission this important.”
“We both know that you are qualified for this because the Council put you in a captain position the second you left the academy. It’s a high pressure job, but I am sure you can handle it.”
“True, I just hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown.”
“The best news is that I am your first mate, so I will make sure that doesn’t happen.” She smiled at Charlotte. “I’m good at managing people.”
“Well, I couldn’t imagine a better person helping for this mission.” Charlotte smiled back and took a sip. “The only troubling part on this orders that we need to report to Orbital Station #5 Tomorrow morning. My sleeping schedule is still a wreck.”
“The Earth Grand Council really doesn’t mess around, huh?” Susan commented and she stood up from her chair. “I will pick you up tomorrow morning for the shuttle. Be dressed and ready this time.”
“Smart Ass” Charlotte threw a pillow at Susan as she left. “I will be ready. You can be sure about that.”
“For now, a shower and some food though.” She thought to herself, excited and nervous for a new adventure. It was lucky that Charlotte just came home from being on duty for a few weeks so she was already packed.
Six Months Later, July 13th 2840 AD 7 PM CST, Orbital Station #5 Control Simulation Room
The next morning forward, it was time for months and months of space flight and danger simulation puzzles for the crew to solve. Some weeks involved the crew just having flat nothing to do on the screens for hours to make sure they were keeping alert at all times.
The captain’s job was harder than the rest of the crew. Charlotte was on duty for at least ten hours a day, six days a week. When she wasn’t involved in emergency simulation practice, which was something that Charlotte was used to, she had mock meetings with Human Resources Manager Steven Mintz and Ship Resource Manager Melina Lafiel for an hour a day each to manage the ship’s incidentals.
All of this was based on data the Earth Ground Council has on the passengers profiles and resource consumption. Without Susan forcing her to go out three out of six work days with her crew mates, at first, instead of studying ship functions every night, Captain Charlotte Medina would have collapsed from the strain.
Following the end of the last simulation, Captain Charlotte Medina rose from her command chair and clapped a couple times after issuing her last command. “That’s it, everyone. Looks like we finally cleared all the simulations with a large amount of success.”
Susan nodded looking about the main console score screen that was flashing a red A+. “Somehow, the Earth Grand Council knew we would finish today.”
“Lets just call it luck.” Captain Medina didn’t want to admit defeat to a force beyond her control..
Noah 3’s Navigator Lucas Bright jolted up from his command console. “Captain sir, I would like to think that the council had had faith in our skill then just estimates.”
“Agreed, ma’am. I think we just know how each other thinks at this point.” The weapons master Aisha Haro agreed.
“That I do agree with, Bright and Haro. I think we have enough unit working chemistry for dealing with what new challenges appear in front of us. That is definitely the point of all of these.” Charlotte finally let go of her cynicism.
“This is humankind's first time traveling to the far reaches of space, Captain.” Susan commented in defense. “I think we and the other two crews are the best shot we have to find a place for us to expand to now.”
“I am glad you all are here. Please continue working with me in the future.” Charlotte felt the exhaustion in her body and barely stopped herself from collapsing in the chair.
Everyone in the bridge crew cheered hearing this response.
“With that final note, everyone, meet up in the auditorium in two hours in your finest, clean dress uniforms.” Commander Susan Ray ordered with a quick wink at Charlotte just to slight her again. “It’s time for one more ceremony before we fly off into space tomorrow.”
“Yes, ma’am” was heard over the bridge with the scuttling feet leaving to the bridge simulation room.
“You really had to say that, didn’t you?” Captain Charlotte Medina looked Susan Ray in the eye with a soft grin.
“I just know you, that’s all.” Susan gave a soft grin before leaving.
“Fair enough” and Charlotte followed after her friend with a smile. It was a good day and tomorrow starts something new.