Any way one looks at this starship, it was a technological marvel. It was built over a fifteen-year period by the Untied Nations Space Agency (UNSA) in their Lunar Yard facility and completed late in 2084. Divine Scepter, originally intended as a long-range exploration ship, had design features that made it possible to expand the ship’s size from parts manufactured aboard.
The industrial deck, dubbed the Plant, was prodigious. It housed massive, computer-driven fabricators – evolved from 3D printers created earlier in the century. The fabricators along with the huge stores of raw materials made Scepter a self-sufficient entity in space. In the Plant, both civil and military needs were met: from weapons to domestic appliances to computers, and the like. Spare parts were manufactured at will.
When they decided to use the colonizer, to assist a select group to escape from Earth and the Omega Virus, ship designers and builders were among the technical specialists chosen to board Scepter. The original ship had seventy-five rectangular pods attached to each other and to the hull of Scepter. Each pod had an access hatch to each pod it touched as well as to the interior of the ship’s hull. Exoskeletons of new pods were manufactured in the Plant and assembled on the hull’s surface, where the assembly specialists were protected by Scepter’s shields.
The residential pods were small cities with roughly 20,000 citizens each. As the population grew, new pods could and were built throughout the ninety-five-year voyage to Genesis. They resembled the towns and small cities on Earth, with comfortably large attached housing units, schools, entertainment centers and business districts all connected by streets laid out in grids. The lighting within the pods mimicked the shifting shades and hues of natural daytime light on Earth’s surface. When appropriate, the pod’s ‘sky’ went dark and street illumination was activated.
Some specialty pods produced food products, safe water, and oxygen for the entire ship community. Others housed research labs, higher educational facilities, and hospitals. Many of Earth’s plant species were preserved in bio-pods. A defensive force field was designed to surround and protect the ship from space matter and attacks from any alien encounters.
Within the ship’s hull were many decks connected by high-speed vertical elevators, called ‘Lifts’ and horizontal transport tubes. The transport vehicles that traveled the various ‘Tubes’ were dubbed ‘Bullets’. So moving from upper to lower decks was as quick as moving aft to forward, and port to starboard. The interior decks housed the propulsion, navigation, environmental systems, weapons systems, and the military. The Crusader Army controlled by the Church was larger and better equipped than the Navy Marine Corps. Navy personnel controlled and navigated the ship. These two military groups were housed on different decks at opposite ends of Scepter. The massive Landing Bay occupied the aft section of the ship, four decks high. Several shuttle craft of differing sizes and purpose occupied about one-third of the Bay.
For ninety-five years, this mighty starship – the only one of its kind – carried the hopes and dreams and the only remnants of humankind remaining in existence, to their final destination. Genesis would be humanity’s new beginning.
Join us for the next episode: a high school class field trip on Genesis!