The Only Journey of Elpis
In a forgotten module of the services section, ASCLEPIO continued with its monotonous work, its instructions were clear, being less than ten astronomical units away from Proxima Centauri, it should wake up and start the activities for which it had been programmed.
His task could not be delayed, no matter what had happened, he could not postpone them, even though, a little less than halfway through the Elpis' journey, four hundred and nine years later, fatality reached the ship, taking with it, by then, one hundred and twenty-four thousand inhabitants. The new circumstances were not his problem, he had not been programmed to consider them. Regardless of whether there were any living beings aboard the ship, its objective had to be completed.
The high and skeletal android was to be activated and make all the preparations of its section for the arrival to the new planet, fifty days after they had exceeded the expected distance and that same time had ASCLEPIO working ceaselessly, although with little success in their objectives. Only one of the fifty-eight guidelines had been achieved.
In an almost stubborn way he continued exploring the databases of the ship, looking for answers to the questions that it had to solve, but he did not find anything that would help him, only for three of the fifty-eight cases to solve, there was a solution and only one worked, if it did not find anything it had to be deactivated when it arrived to the planet, and there, the humans would take charge of the remaining ones when it was possible.
However, as planned, they should already be doing the braking procedure to enter orbit, and he the final arrangements for its deactivation. It was not so, the ship continued without reducing its speed, in spite of the conflict that this raised to its chronogram, continued with its incessant search, in an endless cycle of the same records, hoping that something new would be loaded and would help it to continue with its task.
In the Cryogenic Ecstasy Room of the Medical Storage Section, fifty-eight bodies were loaded onto the ship eight hundred and sixty-six years ago, all of them awaiting the development, over the next few years, of some kind of medical technology that could restore their health, they would be the only humans to have reached Proxima Centauri b, who also stepped on Titan, all the others were expected to be the descendants of the original crew.
ASCLEPIO, was the guardian and in charge of bringing these unfortunate travellers back to life, but after the death of the ship's inhabitants, no new advances in medical technology had been developed, so he had only managed to find solutions to the problems of three of the inhabitants of the ecstasy room, and two of them had perished when the treatment did not result, only Richard could wake up.
Other stories from the The Only Journey of Elpis series
This story was originally published on my Weku blog.
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