Ruth's Redemption: for Geirla by kjer_99 ()
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Ruth's Redemption is one of those horror stories that the Interstellar Colonization Agency wanted to lock away in its most secret and inaccessible files. Alas! It was not to be. An entire colony abandoned upon a barely habitable planet for nearly two standard centuries. The rediscovery of the survivors was new--BIG news. No matter how hard the ICA tried to stonewall, then make excuses, then spin it, Ruth's Redemption came back to bite them.
The plan had been to terraform, or redeem, a planet barely fit for earthly life. It was a dusty, rocky little world circling around a nondescript star way out on the edge of our arm of the galaxy. Unfortunately, for the first contingent of 10,000 colonists to arrive, Galactic War II broke out. The Galaxy literally went up in smoke. As the war spread, a decision was made by ICA to hold off sending further colonists and supplies to Ruth's Redemption. It was intended to be a temporary measure. First, they needed to coordinate their work with the war effort. The ICA had far too many departments at that time. Rivalries between departments was rife and cooperation was minimal to nonexistent. Most had little idea of what the others were doing. The files on Ruth's Redemption got passed back and forth among various departments with nobody wanting to assume responsibility for the colony. At some point, the files ceased traveling between departments and passed into oblivion. No one at ICA missed them.
Ruth's Redemption was on it own.
Meanwhile, out on the fringe of the galaxy, the colonists had begun the process of terraforming. The planet had its share of hardy vegetation and sea animals, but none of the native flora and fauna could be effectively digested by humans or their livestock. They had to plant fields of earthly seeds. While they tended and waited for the harvest to come, both the people and the livestock had to live off what supplies they had brought with them. These were to be bolstered with two visits per local year to resupply the colony. The colonists did not realize they were in trouble until the first supply ship failed to show.
The Ruthites did what they could. There was severe rationing of everything. It wasn't just food that was in short supply; they needed huge amounts of materials and equipment to keep the terraforming going and to replace items that had worn out. Within a couple of years, the terraforming slowed down. With the passing of a few more, it had stopped. Even as the colonists struggled to keep things working, starvation and disease rapidly thinned their numbers. Decades passed and the colony's social cohesion shattered into various competing factions. Each faction became convinced that the others had more of their dwindling resources then they did. Each was determined to get as much for themselves as they could--anyway they could. Murders, assassinations, massacres increased. Rape and pillage became common. Then came the dark times when cannibalism occurred. To say the practice was the norm would be unfair; however, it was a common event.
Two centuries later, when the astonished crew of destroyer, Galactic Hegemony, found that Ruth's Redemption was a inhabited planet--if barely--the local population had fallen from 10,000 to nearly 2,000. The wonder was that so many had survived for so long.
This is for Geirla, another long-time cyber friend. He has visited my gallery since the very beginning and even before. Almost every time, he has made a comment and they were always worth reading. Thank you, my friend! Hope this is worthy of your own considerable talents. If you have never visited his gallery, you should.
Thanks to all of you for your visit today.
Image Comments (14)
Well worth using ZOOM for some details. CREDITS: Setting: “Ruth's Redemption” by DzFire (DAZ). Figures: Predation's “Lorenzo and Loretta Lorez” (DAZ) and Adam Thwaites's “Pollygon” (MDC). Vehicles: kalebdaark's “Round Raider” and “Wedge Buggy” (Renderosity). Animals: Predation's “Lorez Dog” (DAZ).
Well thanks, Jeremy. Um, now I have to say something clever and worth reading... I really like the image. It gives the place a look of rundown prefab, which is what you'd expect from a half-finished, or barely half-begun colony effort. Great back story. A very plausible failure of bureaucracy. No, wait, I have that file here somewhere....
Yes the zoom really brought the details in focus (which btw)....the entire scene was a great depiction but what amazed me more was your writing skills here Jeremy...Damn fine reading....You have that ability IMO to make one forget to take a breath because the way you write makes one not want to stop reading because it gets better and better as you read along....My dad when growing up had a collection of Louis L'Amour who wrote Westerns and it reminded me of that way of writing..Was a pleasure to stop by today ..(Smiles)...