The Golconda

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The Golconda

The Golconda is a Generation Ship found near Upaniklis B 3. It is unusual for a Generation Shop in that when it was found it still had a living crew.

The Golconda was first detected in the aftermath of the first galactic Blight outbreak when an anomalous signal was detected in Upaniklis:

One anomaly involved an unexpected call for supplies from the Upaniklis system, which will need to be investigated. But otherwise we are satisfied with our detection methods.

This was followed by the finding of a Listening Post near Upaniklis A 5 which have further details, leading to the discovery of the Golconda near B 3.

…Distress Beacon Signal…

Matches signal detected in: (Upaniklis)
Approximate Signal Range: 0 LY

Th…is Ca…in…….ofth…..nera…..ip Gol……..re in ne….of
s…ppl.ies and me…ci.e…..in vic..n.ty…f a.tr…mical
b..y…..Upanik..s B 3…o.er…..

…Signal Lost…

The uplinks onboard told the story of the ship – which was in need to help from the galactic community. Each is from a different individual, with their own view on whether they should re-connect with the larger galactic community. All are voice-acted.

This is Captain Jonathon Forester. The Golconda colony needs help.

I don’t know how else to say it. To anybody hearing this, this is what’s happening. We have a full colony on board this vessel – that’s tens of thousands of people. Until recently we’ve been entirely self-sufficient, but supplies are starting to run low. More specifically we’re lacking a lot of technical components. Air filters, water recyclers, circuit boards. Things like that. It’s getting harder to patch this equipment up each year. There’s only so long we can make do with What we have.

And the other thing – and this is the real kicker – is that there’s a disease going around Which is knocking people sideways. Flu-like symptoms but much more serious. People are dying. We’re coping as best as we can, but our medical supplies are running low. If it turns into a full—blown epidemic then we’re going to be in real big trouble. So I made the decision to reach out to you. Whoever you are. Hopefully the tech has moved on enough for our signal to be picked up this far out. But the others really weren’t sure if I should be doing this, because…People here don’t want interference from outsiders. But I don’t want to worry them by explaining the reality of our situation. They’re good people; I don’t want them to be scared.

This is Dr Shay Tandis. Captain Forester has asked me to summarise the situation on board the Golconda, particularly in regards to a recent outbreak of disease.

I must preface this by saying that any attempt to summarise the situation feels inadequate. There is so much to say about the symptoms, the development of our detection methods and existing treatment philosophies. Nevertheless, I will attempt to speak concisely for the purpose of this broadcast.

The disease – known colloquially among the people as ‘the wasting kiss’ – is a mutated strain of viral nasopharyngitis. One of the drawbacks of living in an atmospherically self-contained structure for hundreds of years is that illness tends to linger. We can’t very well sterilise a ship of this size, and with each generation these illnesses adapt to remain virulent. This one particularly so.

Antiviral treatments aren’t particularly effective, merely delaying the disease’s progress. We have confirmed six deaths in the past month attributable to the disease. Our medical supplies are somewhat limited, adequate for maintaining health and the occasional serious illness or accident. In the event of a full outbreak, with hundreds of patients requiring treatment, we may be forced to resort to measures such as full quarantine and isolation.

When the Captain first suggested opening communication with outsiders, I must confess to a certain hesitation. On reflection, it would seem the logical decision for the well—being of the crew. One can only imagine what pharmaceutical advancements have been made over the last millennia. The possibilities are fascinating.

Ric Blanchard, Security Chief of the Golconda.

First thing’s first. The safety and protection of the people aboard this ship is my primary objective. During my tenure we have reduced the rate of crime aboard this vessel by 32%. Violent crime is rare, and there hasn’t been a murder in over six years. My team are well trained and do this ship proud in how they address the very specifics demands of the Golconda. You might think an isolated space-faring colony of thousands with no horizons, seasons or other planetary benefits would have gone mad and initiated some kind of mass tragedy. Well not on my watch.

Which is why I need to be clear in my opposition to the Captain’s decision to send out a distress call. Humanity doesn’t enjoy a stellar record of respecting the rights and well-being of indigenous communities. Hell, we don’t know what humanity is anymore past the confines of this thousand—year hull. The risks outweigh the advantages. I’ll follow the Captain’s order, because he’s not let us down yet. Got a good mind, that one. But I’m asking whoever hears this message to understand that we’re looking for a trade of goods and resources only. Communication with the general populace of the Golconda is forbidden. Messages regarding developments outside of the Golconda is forbidden. Direct contact between outsiders and Golconda colonists during an exchange of cargo is forbidden.

We’ve always dealt with hard times ourselves. If it were my call, we’d deal with this by ourselves too.

This is Erin Grey of the Golconda. It is my responsibility as custodian to manage the needs of our people and ensure that everyone is fairly represented. I’m recording this message to satisfy the curiosity of anyone who may respond to our distress signal, I suppose. Truth be told, I’m not sure what to say.

We’re more than just a colony, you see. We’re a family. Whenever a challenge is put in front of us, we resolve it together. When success is achieved, we celebrate collectively. We have a…

It’s hard to put into words. Our ancestors chose to remain on this vessel, centuries ago, and leave our original destination behind. They did so because they had grown to love what they had achieved. Logs from that period show their anxiety at the prospect of leaving the Golconda.

The generation ships were designed to keep colonists healthy, happy and entertained. Somewhere on our journey, we came to feel loved, too.

And yet all things must come to an end. Sickness is rife and supplies are low. After so long fending for ourselves, the time has come to seek assistance from a civilisation we no longer know.

The captain believes humanity has a heart and will come to our aid. If you’re listening to this message, we’re probably going to find out if he’s right soon enough.

Somas Cobb, chaplain. I serve the Golconda, and the Golconda embraces me.

Long ago, I would have been called a priest. Somebody authorised to provide guidance according to the rules of a religion. That’s the role my predecessors fulfilled, at least. Eventually, the old texts were set aside in favour of a less rigid spiritual philosophy. Being able to view the entire nebula over breakfast inclines one towards the contemplative. There are few things more reformative than a sense of complete insignificance.

Now, my role is to show my brothers and sisters that we are all important. Each of us has a role to play. We cannot concern ourselves with the scale of the stage – all we can do is deliver the best performance we can.

Each person aboard the Golconda can trace their heritage from the first inhabitants to the current day. In the present we contemplate the spirit and the soul, allowing the voices of the past to inform our future. Our respect for them, combined with our belief in each other, creates a community of hope.

And here we are, over a thousand years later, about to reach out a hand and hope that humanity accepts it. What lies in store for us, I wonder? What lessons have been learned from history? While I am nervous at the thought of outside assistance, I must admit the question intrigues me.

What did we become?

There was subsequently a competition between rival Federation an Empire plans for the colonists. The Federation option of a new outpost (named Forester’s Choice after the captain of the Golconda) was chosen, which can be seen (along with an Agricultural installation) near to the (now presumably abandoned) Golconda.

A Rare Good – Apa Vietii is now available from Forester’s Choice – the Golconda’s gift back to the community that helped them in their hour of need.

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