Out beyond the orbit of Pluto, orbiting the Solar System is the Trieste. The Trieste is not just one spaceship but more a convoy of several ships doing a hugely important job. Most people refer to the Trieste as the 'The Midnight Stargazer' saying it's a more pleasing name but the Trieste is deep in space just as the Trieste of the 20th century was deep in the Mariana Trench.
Early on in the 22nd century the World Medical Foundation (WMF) set up the 'Project Of Irradication', to irradicate all diseases that had a vaccine. It was hoped that everyone in the world could be vaccinated from the diseases and therefore they would have nowhere to go. It was decided that a strain of each disease would be kept in case it ever needed to be studied.
It wasn't long before it was realised that there was one important question that had to be raised. A question that had caused problems before, in the 20th century and could cause the same problems now. Where would the last strain of the diseses be kept?
Many solutions were suggested to the question of a safe, secure place to store the viruses. The securirty had to be the primary consideration since the viruses could be used as a biological weapon if they got into the hands of a terrorist. Below are some of the solutions.
The solution that was finally decided on was to have the viruses along with everything that would be needed to study them on a spaceship orbiting the Solar System out beyond Pluto's orbit.
The people living and working on the Trieste allow people to study the viruses in the laboratories that are part of the convoy. Initally not enough security measures were taken which meant when a terrorist managed to get away with a strain of the Small Pox virus it resulted in the huge death toll of the medical crisis that lasted many years and only ended eight years ago. With a death toll greater than that of both the world wars put togther it was without question something that could never be allowed to happen again.
Any spaceship that wants to study the viruses must have informed the Trieste and received approval six months prior to its arrival. Any ship that approaches the Trieste must surrender control and the entire crew must be sedated. A member of the Trieste crew will then bring the ship into their hanger by remote control and it will be secured there until the captain is happy they can leave at the end of their study period.
The Trieste has authorization to disable any spaceship that does not follow the instructions to the letter, even if it means destroying the approaching ship! If they can't do that before the spaceship arrives then they are instructed to destroy the viruses. So far all ships have followed the rules and the Trieste hasn't been put to the test.
The crew of the Trieste all seem to want to be alone. They only talk to each other when they are on duty and only if they need to. The rest of the time they simply want to be on their own and there is often a deathly silence 'howling' through the Trieste. The crew do use the mess hall but each table would only need one chair.
The captain is the only excpetion to this and although he is lonely he says that the importance of his job means he wouldn't change it for anything else. He does say he would like some company and is desperate for a way to bring the crew together.
Return to Mars and outer planets trading post.Go to top.