ISS Tsiolkovsky - Reactor Cooling Array Cargo Bay 42 - Earthdate: 2316.28.08 08:05 GMT
It is the first day of the nine week "fall cycle" of classes, not that there are
actually seasons here on the ISS Tsiolkovsky, a spaceship on a multi-generational journey to colonize a planet in Nokes, a far-off star system. The Tsiolkovsky education program consists of year-round schooling for all children. Even teenagers are considered children on this colony ship. Your class just finished a three-week un-school period, where you worked your shipboard assigned duties full-time and did not attend classes. The quarantine means that your assigned duties are crucial, and while you are in classes, other teenagers are working their un-school period. For some students, the un-school period is a break from the rigors, and the boredom, of school. For other students, the school periods are their respite.
This is your homeroom:
Your classroom was originally designed to be a cargo hold. Due to "The Unrest", the areas originally designated as classrooms were contained within the adult sector quarantine. "The Unrest" is the euphemism given to the period when the "little ones" plague
ran through the adult population giving rise to extreme levels of violence, distrust, and ultimately the death of the majority of the adult population, as well as the loss of several critical areas of the ISS Tsiolkovsky. The deckplans of the Tsiolkovsky were originally created to keep families together in pods and clusters, allowing for workgroups and their children to exist in small communities - "neighborhoods". The quarantine means the sectors now designated for children have had to convert several areas into classroom facilities. Of course, the adult population, through careful observation and advice through electronic means, assisted the children in constructing these areas to meet protocols.
This cargo room is located near the water reclamation area, as well as the boiler room. The steam pipes to the right of the classroom, can sometimes make Seats 4 uncomfortable. Your desks are simple affairs that were 3D printed to your physical measurements. You are able to sit with reasonable comfort, and there is a flat space where you can dock your Navi. Your Navi is a text-only terminal that ties into the shared network. Of course, there are firewalls to keep you safe.
Instructor Malcolm is displayed on the left-most monitor screen of the duel displays at the head of the class. His opening salvo of educational lecture this morning is about the Donner party."The Donner Party, sometimes called the Donner-Reed Party, was a group of American pioneers led by George Donner and James F. Reed who set out for California in a wagon train in May 1846. Delayed by a series of mishaps and mistakes, they spent the winter of 1846–1847 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada. Some of the pioneers resorted to cannibalism to survive."Mark, who is the class drug dealer? What passes for drugs here? Who wants to "be with" the drug dealer?
Also, Mark, who is most delicious of your fellow students, when it comes to satisfying your Hunger?"The journey west usually took between four and six months, but the Donner Party was slowed by following a new route called Hastings Cutoff, which crossed Utah's Wasatch Mountains and Great Salt Lake Desert. The rugged terrain, and difficulties encountered while traveling along the Humboldt River in present-day Nevada, resulted in the loss of many cattle and wagons, and splits within the group."Tabitha, why did Jace Hyo get stuck with a Seat 4 assignment? Isn't his and Mi Sun's dad up there with Ourania, part of the Council?
What rumor did you hear about Pax that has to be false, Tabitha?"By the beginning of November 1846 the settlers had reached the Sierra Nevada, where they became trapped by an early, heavy snowfall near Truckee (now Donner) Lake, high in the mountains. Their food supplies ran extremely low, and in mid-December some of the group set out on foot to obtain help. Rescuers from California attempted to reach the settlers, but the first relief party did not arrive until the middle of February 1847, almost four months after the wagon train became trapped. Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived to reach California, many of them having eaten the dead for survival."Ourania, what does Nadja do that really gets on your nerves?
Who does the Instructor seem to pay the most attention to, and why do you think that is, Ourania?"Historians have described the episode as one of the most bizarre and spectacular tragedies in Californian history and western-US migration. Now, who can tell me about more recent examples of the tragedies of the Donner Party? Say... something within the last five hundred years..."Ashlee, how did Zola humiliate you?
Why does Priscilla go to the infirmary so often, Ashlee?