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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Writing Excuses, Season 7, Episode 4, 'Brevity'

I was in a hurry to write this, but it still took three days, off and on. It appears that WE might have closed commenting on old threads, which is a pity for people catching up, like myself. So, anyway, for no particular reason, I thought I would post my response to the Writing Prompt in the S7E04 cast, the subject of which was brevity. The prompt, given by Howard, was 'Give us a group of people on a long trip in space with a problem, which they solve. Do it in 150 words.'

***
 
In years of planning and modelling, they hadn’t considered this. Auto-docs monitored health, coordinating diet and exercise, recommending leisure based on psychometrics. Four crew awake for four weeks annually, rotating with the other forty-four in stasis. Research confirmed that it suspended ageing. The scientists had green-flagged the mission. Progress had been optimal.

Ten years gone, sixty-four remaining, yesterday, Miller had lifted the first corpse from its capsule. Of four, only Dreyfus had been alive. Of the next twelve, only Mai Jong-Won lived. Five anxious faces stared at Miller.

‘Remaining life signs are A1, as were yours.’

‘What’s the arithmetic?’ Powell snapped.

‘At the same attrition there would be nine of us. With stasis, we’d age thirty-two years, without it, sixty-four.

Powell shook her head, ‘Too old, or dead.’

‘There is an answer.’ They all looked at Dreyfus, their slow panic becoming desperate hope. ‘We need to breed a new crew.’

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