The discovery of an inhabited generation ship has attracted attention from both the Empire and the Federation.
A recent trade appeal in the Upaniklis system provided the Golconda with emergency aid. Each of the superpowers has since deployed a megaship to the area, along with proposals for integrating the Golconda’s crew into the galactic community.
Imperial senator Ava Cornelius released this statement:
“This remarkable thousand-year mission exemplifies humanity’s indomitable spirit. We stand ready to help these colonists complete that mission by constructing a new planetary settlement exclusively for their use. There, they will finally be able to enjoy solid ground and open skies, in a colony that thrives under Imperial protection.”
Federal Congressman Harlan Turk outlined an alternative approach:
“As the descendants of a generation ship launched from Sol, we view these courageous travellers as honorary Federal citizens. We therefore hold that they are entitled to remain a spacefaring commune as their ancestors wished, and intend to honour their traditional way of life with an orbital outpost to call their own.”
There has been minimal communication with the Golconda, and only a select few representatives of Upaniklis Vision Incorporated have interacted with the colonists. Assuming that the freshly donated supplies can fortify this micro-civilisation, vital decisions will need to be made regarding the Golconda’s future.
The initiative in the Upaniklis system to provide the generation ship Golconda with essential supplies has concluded successfully.
A statement was provided by Itsuko Harada of Upaniklis Vision Incorporated:
“Sincere thanks to all traders who delivered medicines and emergency supplies, and also to the brave pilots who protected these shipments against pirate raids. Transfer of the goods to the Golconda has concluded, and I understand they were accepted gratefully.”
The medical supplies were accompanied by representatives of the Interstellar Health Organisation, who advised the colonists on their use. Team leader Dr Ivan Johansen commented:
“Our antiviral agents are far more advanced than those on the Golconda, and early indications suggest patients are responding well to treatment. Hopefully we have halted the outbreak of what the colony calls ‘the wasting kiss’.”
Reports from Upaniklis government insiders indicate that communication with the Golconda has become more frequent, particularly in regards to technological advancements. Local media coverage has fuelled public speculation that the colonists should abandon their ancient vessel and establish a new home in the system.
Pilots who took part in the campaign can now obtain their rewards from Fozard Port in the Upaniklis system.
The culture of the generation ship Golconda has been examined by Professor Elizabeth Perez, head of anthropology at Orion Independent University.
“Little is known about the Golconda’s origins. There are no intact records of its launch, and the lack of archived blueprints suggests a privately funded colonisation attempt. But there’s no doubt this microcosm of 22nd Century society will have diverged over the past thousand years.”
“The inhabitants’ language is entirely comprehensible, however, and their social structure is recognisable. Rigid security measures are in evidence, as one would expect from an isolationist culture.”
“We also know there is a custodian tasked with ensuring the community’s wellbeing, and a chaplain who provides spiritual guidance. All signs point to contentment with – maybe even an addiction to – their spacefaring existence.”
While audio messages recorded by the Golconda crew are available to the galactic community, only a select handful of individuals representing Upaniklis Vision Incorporated have been permitted to dock with the Golconda. Professor Perez travelled to Upaniklis to speak with them as part of her study.
“Interviews with those who delivered supplies were fascinating. As one pilot put it: ‘The loading procedures were done at top speed, hardly any comms chatter at all. Nobody on the Golconda entered the cargo bays before we left. I got the impression they were scared stiff of us.’”
“History shows that isolated cultures can be irrevocably damaged by contact with outsiders. We must ensure that efforts to support the Golconda community do not destroy this unique bubble-colony.”
A generation ship with a living population has been discovered in the Upaniklis system.
The ship’s distress signal was initially picked up by a listening post. Investigating pilots were surprised to find that the ancient vessel - identified as the Golconda - had drifted into the uninhabited region around Upaniklis B.
Generation ships are huge, self-sufficient craft from the pre-hyperdrive era, designed to deliver their original crews’ descendants to uninhabited systems. Launched in the 22nd century, the Golconda has survived for more than a millennium as the home of a self-reliant society.
But it is believed the vessel’s outdated facilities are struggling to meet the needs of its crew. The inhabitants have reported a lack of maintenance materials and medical supplies, the latter made more pertinent by a virus sweeping through the ship.
Itsuko Harada of Upaniklis Vision Incorporated gave the following statement:
“These visitors have crossed incredible distances, entirely disconnected from the rest of humanity until now. Sheer desperation has forced these proud people to call for help – a disease referred to as ‘the wasting kiss’ is running rampant, and in a closed environment its effects may prove catastrophic.”
“Understandably, the Golconda’s people are reluctant to leave their home or interact with the rest of the galaxy, at least at present. They have gratefully accepted our offer of medical supplies and other materials, however.”
Traders are asked to deliver basic medicines, advanced medicines, aluminium, ceramic composites and semiconductors to Fozard Port in the Upaniklis system. Upaniklis Vision Incorporated is also offering bounty vouchers on wanted ships to deter pirate activity in the area.
The initiative is scheduled to run from the 8th to the 14th of November 3305. If the final targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
Robert David Reed (born October 9, 1956 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a Hugo Award-winning American science fiction author. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Nebraska Wesleyan University. Reed is an "extraordinarily prolific" genre short-fiction writer with "Alone" being his 200th professional sale. His work regularly appears in Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Sci Fiction. He has also published eleven novels.
As of 2010, Reed lived in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and daughter.
Elite © 1984 David Braben & Ian Bell. Frontier © 1993 David Braben, Frontier: First Encounters © 1995 David Braben and Elite: Dangerous © 2012, 2013 Frontier Developments plc. All rights reserved. 'Elite', the Elite logo, the Elite: Dangerous logo, 'Frontier' and the Frontier logo are registered trademarks of Frontier Developments plc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and copyright are acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.Wikipedia text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply. Wikipedia image: Wikipedia / CC-BY-SA-3.0