Interstellar Journey – Part 5



Saga – Outside the Solar System

Ship’s Outer Hull Blueprint

Colony Ship.png

The ship is outside the Sol solar system traveling towards Tau Ceti at 90% of light speed.
Captain XO, give me a status report on all ship systems.
XO Aye, Captain. Light-speed plasma engines Alpha and Beta are operating satisfactorily at 90% light speed. Sub-light impulse engines I, II, III, IV, and V are in standby. Supply Modules 1 through 4 are at 100% hull integrity. Living Modules Alpha through Juliet are nominal. Upper, Middle, and Lower Bridges are nominal. In short, Captain, no problems at the moment.
Captain Excellent, XO. That’s what I like to hear. Carry on.
Narrator At about that time, the Doctor enters the Upper Bridge from the elevator and walks purposefully over to the Captain’s chair. The Captain notices him approaching and nods a greeting.
Doctor Captain, there’s a situation that you should be made aware of. Med Bay is receiving a significant number of reports of people complaining of nausea and dizziness in Living Module Echo. They all appear to be from Sector 101.
Captain Interesting. Does the cause appear to be food-borne or air-borne?
Doctor Too early to say at this point. I just wanted to give you a heads-up. I’ll keep you posted if I find out anything more.
Captain Thank you, Doctor. XO, have Ivan come to the Bridge.
XO Aye, Captain. (Paging) Environmental Systems, Ivan, please report to the Upper Bridge immediately. I repeat, Environmental Systems, Ivan, please report to the Upper Bridge immediately.
Narrator A few moments later, Ivan walks into the Upper Bridge from the elevator and reports to the Captain.
Ivan Yes, Captain, you asked for me?
Captain Yes, Ivan. The Doctor has informed me that people are getting sick in Living Module Echo, Sector 101. Cause unknown. I’d like you to check it out to see if the cause could be environmental in nature.
Ivan Aye, Captain. I’ll get on it immediately.
Narrator Ivan and three technicians ride the Monorail from the Command Module to Living Module Echo. They go to the Environmental Controls Area.
Ivan Okay, techs, spread out. Verify all equipment is operating normally and all environmental parameters are within acceptable ranges.
Narrator The environmental techs comply with his orders and begin checking everything. The area is vast and it takes a while for all the checks to be completed.
E-Tech Sir, I’ve found something! The carbon monoxide (CO) level is three times normal in this sector. I don’t know what the cause is yet, but I’d say it’s definitely an environmental issue.
Ivan Good job, Tech. I’ll inform the Captain. Continue monitoring those readings while the other two techs begin investigating the root cause.
Narrator Ivan walks over to a wall communications panel and keys it on.
Ivan Bridge, Environmental Systems. This is Ivan. Captain, we’ve found a problem in Sector 101 in Module Echo. We have abnormally high carbon monoxide levels. We’re investigating the cause now. Ivan out.
Captain May I have your attention, please. This is the Captain speaking. Sector 101 in Living Module Echo is experiencing high levels of carbon monoxide. Anyone feeling ill or nauseous should report to the Med Bay immediately. Inform the Doctor of your whereabouts when you first began feeling ill. Anyone having any information as to the possible cause of high carbon monoxide levels in Sector 101 should notify the Bridge immediately. Unnecessary personnel should remain clear of Sector 101 until further notice. Captain out.
Narrator Fifteen minutes later, an E-tech named Phillips calls the Bridge.
Phillips Bridge, this is E-Tech Phillips in Sector 101, Living Module Echo. I heard the announcement a few minutes ago.
XO Yes, Phillips, go ahead.
Phillips Sir, I didn’t report it previously because I didn’t think it was a problem, but during our initial transition to light speed, the ship jolted slightly and knocked loose a few bottles of pressurized gas stored in a storeroom in this sector. At the time we just put them back in their racks and secured them, and we didn’t think any more of it. But when I heard the announcement about high CO levels, I decided to go back and check those bottles more carefully.
XO Yes? What did you find?
Phililps Sir, two of those bottles were CO bottles and their nozzles apparently developed small cracks that got worse over time. They were leaking CO into the ventilation ducts. Since CO is a purely gaseous material, the particulate filters didn’t remove it. I checked the CO2 scrubbers. They’re operating normally, but they don’t remove CO unless they’re manually configured to do so.
XO Stand by, Phillips. Captain, did you hear that?
Captain Yes, XO. Have Ivan get his techs to make the necessary adjustments to reduce the CO levels and either fix those leaking bottles or jettison them overboard.
XO Aye, Captain. Phillips, repair or dispose of those leaking CO gas bottles ASAP.
Phillips Aye aye, XO.
XO Ivan, this is the XO. Per the Captain, reconfigure the environmental systems in Sector 101 of Module Echo to restore CO levels to normal range.
Ivan Copy that, XO. We are to reconfigure CO2 scrubbers in Sector 101 of Module Echo to reduce CO levels to normal range.
XO That’s correct. Notify the Bridge when that has been done and CO levels have been verified trending downward.
Ivan Will do. Ivan out.
Narrator An hour later, Ivan notifies the Bridge that the CO2 scrubbers have been reconfigured as CO scrubbers and that CO levels are lowering. Ten hours later, the CO levels return to normal.
Ivan Bridge, Environmental Systems. This is Ivan. CO levels in Sector 101 of Module Echo have been restored to the normal bands. Request permission to reconfigure CO scrubbers as CO2 scrubbers again.
Captain Environmental, Bridge. Go ahead, Ivan. Good job. Kudos to your techs for a job well done. And you get an attaboy.
Ivan Aye, Captain. Will do. And thank you, sir.


  1. Where did this scenario take place?
  2. Who brought a problem to the Captain’s attention?
  3. What was the first symptom of the problem?
  4. What was the apparent (first discovered) cause of the problem?
  5. What was the root cause (main, primary, original source) of the problem?
  6. How was the problem solved?
  7. What two gases were mentioned in this scenario?
  8. What is kudos?
  9. Who received credit for solving this problem?
  10. What did the Captain do to protect personnel until the problem could be fixed?

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