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Black Star

Mr. Blonde

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[COLOR="DarkRed"][FONT="Book Antiqua"][I][CENTER]How countlessly they congregate
O'er our tumultuous snow,
Which flows in shapes as tall as trees
When wintry winds do blow--

As if with keenness for our fate,
Our faltering few steps on
To white rest, and a place of rest
Invisible at dawn,--

And yet with neither love nor hate,
Those stars like some snow-white
Minerva's snow-white marble eyes
Without the gift of sight.[/I]

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My name is Icarus Scott; I am Captain of the ship, Elpis II. My crew and I are departing from the last remaining refuge for mankind, a space colony orbiting the neutron star, Sion… the last known star. We are to be the final mission sent out into the darkness to scour the far reaches of our galaxy for another star system to call home. Sion is fading into the shadows, we are running out of time, but so has been our fate for years on end…

After Earth was swallowed up by the swelling death of its own star so very long ago humankind was forced to move on, deep into the Galaxy to search for a new home. Colonies were established on alien worlds, while others were constructed in space, orbiting healthy stars; for a time all was good. But in the countless years since then we have lost every last colony, all of the planets are now frozen in the cold dark, all of the stars… dead, extinct. Alpha Centauri, Rigil Kentaurus, Alpha Cen B, Epsilon Eri… thirty two star systems, forty nine stars; over one thousand colonies now left in the blackness. There is no light left to find. We have lived out our time. Our universe is dying.

Now we cling to our last colony, the Hubris, haloed tightly around the withering star Sion within twenty thousand kilometers of its surface, like the rings of a planet. The Hubris takes in the last of the dwarf star's sputtering energy, giving us just enough solar resource to stay alive. Without Sion there is nothing, only the empty dark, where everything dies. For far too long we have stared out into the starless night of space, into the void lit only by our black star. I yearn to feel things I have only read about: blue skies, clouds, warm sunshine… daylight, but I dare not to hope.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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It’s frighteningly beautiful out here in the dark. We shine our spotlights out on the black void looking for the last remains of human existence, looking for anything. It’s quite eerie seeing the frozen planets floating through the dead sea of space, no longer bound to a star, no orbit to give them days or time. The sight is almost sad. While surrounded with the empty splendor of nothing I can’t help but think about how we shouldn’t even be here. We’ve cheated our own deaths for far too long. And now on at the end of it all we continue to blindly search for salvation, for an answer, for hope… and the last star.

We are now venturing deep into what was once the NGC 7856 cluster. My crew has discovered traces of electromagnetic radiation carried on stellar wind, but this means little to us; this is a fool’s errand. Sixty months into our journey we are chasing ghosts, shadows of stars that died long ago. It’s a shame machines weren’t trusted with this job, the mere arrogance of this task sickens me. All the while my thoughts drift to the Elpis I, which never returned to the Hubris. I now have the creeping suspicion our fate will be the same. I should care… if only I cared. We will lose radio transmission with the colony in three days. I welcome the release.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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Crew Positions Onboard Elpis II[/CENTER][/B]

1. Mission Specialist 1
-The MS 1 is a physicist that monitors the onboard nuclear reactor and cooling systems.

2. Missions Specialist 2

- MS2 will be responsible for the manual repair of damage on the inside and outside of the Elpis II. They are essentially an engineer.

3. Navigator (Second in Command)

- The Navigator's primary duty is to be aware of ship position at all times. Responsibilities include: advising the Captain of estimated timing to destinations while en route, and ensuring hazards are avoided. The navigator is in charge of maintaining the ship's navigational equipment, and generally has responsibility for the Elpis II’s meteorological equipment (the detection of cosmic storms).

4. Mission Specialist 3

- MS3 is charged with maintaining the health of the flight crew and performing minor medical precedures when required. This individual will also work as the resident psychologist. The duties for this position require it to be held by a medical doctor with psychiatric training.

5. Flight Engineer 1

6. Flight Engineer 2

- FE 1 and FE 2 are responsible for monitoring and controlling the Elpis II’s systems during flight. They are essentially pilots.

7. Communications Officer

- The CO directs and monitors activities to ensure seamless integration of communications and information to and from the Elpis II. They also monitor communication and information activities, ensure command and control, secure and non-secure voice, data, messaging, and video systems and services are available.


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The Elpis II is the second of its design. The ship is divided into three sectors, the command center/living quarters (the Habitat), the nuclear reactor, and the center cylinder (the Tank). The rings of Elpis II rotate clockwise around the Tank, which operates as a gigantic piston. This motion creates centrifugal force, which in turn creates artificial gravity, without this effect the crew would experience muscle atrophy and a loss of bone density due to the extended time in a weightless environment.


The Habitat is located in the first ring of the ELPIS II.

[U][B]Command Center[/B][/U]

The Bridge (Command Room)
-The bridge contains the pilot’s stations and the Captain’s helm.

-The ship’s Doctor (MS3) performs a majority of his/her tasks here.

Crows Nest (Navigational Station)
-The Crow’s Nest as it’s called is merely the Navigators station. The name is simply a call back to the nautical term.

Engineering Depot
-The storage and repair department for the MS2.

Communications Station
-The communication officer monitors information and communication activities from this station.

-The Glovebox is an airlocked room that is used for EVA missions: exploration or repair outside of the Elpis II. The crew will suit up in space suits and exit the ship from the Glovebox. The airlock prevents materials from exiting or entering the Elpis II Habitat.

[U][B]Living Quarters[/B][/U]

Crew Quarters
-Each crew member receives his/her own room. The space is cramped, contaning a a single bunk and a storage compartment for personal effects.

Exercise station

-The living quarters contain three bathrooms.



Greenhouse/ Oxygen Garden
-The greenhouse contains all of the vegetables and fruits required for the crew’s dietary needs. All crew members will be responsible for the upkeep of the greenhouse. The meals on board the Elpis II are strictly vegetarian. The transporation of meat product on this mission is not economically sound.

[U][B]The Boardwalk I [/B][/U]

The Boardwalk is the four arms or spokes connecting the Habitat to the center Tank. It’s purpose is expediated travel between various portions of the Habitat. The crew doesn’t actually walk in the Boardwalk, but instead strap themselves into one of four rovers which propels up to all seven crew members on one of four railways across the fifteen hundred foot span in a matter of seconds. Attached on the outside of the Boardwalk, on the exterior of the ship is a series of highly powerful spotlights which can be used in reconnaissance.

[B][U]The Boardwalk II[/U][/B]

The Boardwalk II is the four spokes connecting the nuclear reactor to the center Tank. It functions in fundamentally the same way, except there are only two rovers and two railways. Each rover has two seats.


The half kilometer wide space craft is driven by a Nuclear Pulse Propulsion reactor, powered by the highly volatile substance U-235, mined directly from the surface of our star, Sion. This propels the ship at sixty two percent the speed of light. The reactor along with the its ‘liquid metal’ cooling system (a sodium, gallium mixture) are located in the second ring of the Elpis II.

General maintaince and observation of the reactor’s systems is required. The MS1 and MS2 will use his/her key card to enter to the reactor from the Tank. They will be the only members on board aside from the Captain that are allowed to enter the reactor. There are oxygen stations in the reactor where a crew member can plug their suit in to feed off of the ship's oxygen supply, instead of depleting their suit's limited reserves.

[U][B]THE TANK[/B][/U]

This is another section of the ship that only the MS1/MS2 and the Captain have clearance into. The MS1/MS2 will use his/her key card to enter the Tank. Upon entering they will step into an airlocked room. In this small room the MS1/MS2 will suit up in an EVA suit. Him/her will strap themselves into a rover similar to those featured in the Boardwalk. This rover however has only two seats (for both Mission Specialists or one MS and the Captain when needed).

The MS1/MS2 will swipe his/her key card into the rover which will in turn open the airlocked door leading into the Tank. Neither the Tank nor the reactor have an oxygen supply, and (unlike the rings) the Tank will not possess artificial gravity. At the other side of the Tank is a airlocked door going into the reactor. Though there is no oxygen in the reactor, the airlock is neccesary for radiation protection.

The Mission Specialists can control the speed and movement of the rover, unlike in the Boardwalk. If maintainace is required on the inner workings of the Tank, the MS2 will tether him/herself to the rover for safety. The distance between the Habitat and the reactor is seven hundred and eighty two feet. Located in the Tank as was in the reactor are oxygen stations for crew to feed off of.


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EVA SUIT-13458762- B

The EVA suit is equipped with a thirty minute remote oxygen supply. The suit is divided into sixty separate pieces to allow for optimal range of motion, the hard armor protecting against cosmic radiation. The drawback to this feature however is the extended time that is required to don the suit: just under forty five minutes. Under the suit a skin tight pressure suit is worn, the under suit uses mechanial counter pressure wrapping the astronaut in several tight layers of nylon. The pattern designs provide a “stiff” kind of exoskeleton that accomplishes the same protective goal as gas pressurization, but also provides maximum flexibility.


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Circumference: 39,065.23 km

Diameter: 11,553.1 km

Distance to Sion: 19,823.1 km

Population: 23,123,631 people

Gravity from Sion: 94% Earth gravity

The Hubris is powered by fourteen nuclear reactors which are fueled by the substance U-235, which is mined directly from the surface of Sion. The colony is completely enclosed, with minimal windows looking out onto Sion or the blackness of space. The life support of the Hubris is directly linked to its greenhouse oxygen gardens, which are grown under UV lamps; being as the light from Sion is insufficient for the growth of plants. These greenhouses are the only wide open spaces of the Hubris, each covering one hundred square yards.

The rest of the colony is a series of hallways and stairwells, elevators and cramped living quarters. The interior has a cold, steel feeling to it; the resident homes are not more than bunks in a colossal asylum. The Hubris is divided into numerous sectors, each able to be accessed by many railway trains which connect the whole of the colony. Getting around the individual sectors is made easier by moving walkways.

Everyone has a purpose on the Hubris, everyone works for the colony. No unnecessary jobs are performed, if such is discovered, punishment is swift. Even breeding and reproduction is controlled by the colony to prevent overpopulation. Upon birth ninety five percent of all males are sterilized. The remaining five percent become mandatory donors of their seed when they reach sexual maturity, after which they too are sterilized. Colony designated females are then impregnated with the donor’s seed.

Schooling and education are conducted in bi-monthly sessions, as which time an auditory and visual device known as a ‘learning bed’ pumps the student with vast amounts of knowledge at lightning speed. When the child is not at these sessions they are working for the colony, beginning at age nine.

Martial law is a constant on the Hubris. Officers patrol the hallways on a constant basis. Even the Hubris’ Senate despises these actions, but they feel they are necessary for the good of the colony, for the survival of everyone. Many within the Senate have proposed more humanity in the Hubris, but fear is quickly stricken into the hearts of its citizens. Surviving has become more important than living on the Hubris.


positions available: 7 crew members
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I'm going to have the story begin five years into the mission to find a new star, instead of at the beginning of it as I've previously said. A lot of anger and frustration will have been built up after five years cooped up with the same people, and I figure it should make for interesting story telling.

I'll be giving a detailed description of the Epis II, seeing as a majority of the story will take place on board of it. We'll will be doing a few flashbacks to the Hubris now and then though.

Also for anyone that is a science buff: this story will be as realistic as possible, no light speed, no warp drive, nothing too out there. I'll have a scientific explanation to every happening in the story.
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I'm interested in joining.

I have a question though. What kind of positions are you looking to fill? (Navigator, Security Officer, etc.) Sorry if that sounds too much like Star Trek, I just can't think of any better names for the positions that would be filled on a ship like this one.
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Glad to see that it is up, Blonde.

I can't promise my sign up posted by tomorrow, but I'll do my best to get it up by the day after.

I think I'll aim for communications officer. I've already got some inspiration for a character in that position.
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  • 2 weeks later...

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