Adelana Alvares, Quartermaster, assigned to the spaceship: "Limitless".
Living, breathing leafy green; creeping into every crevasse, carpeting the floors and cloaking furniture, claiming every available space with boundless growth. Vines knitted into tall, wall-climbing structures, connecting to their neighboring fellow through twisting networks, supporting plump fruits and nuts. Arboreal wonders connected floor to ceiling and wore necklaces of floral delights. Vegetables in every shape and size stood tall and strong in their artificial holds, like jewels on display.
A static charge cut through the musical dream, shooting life into her dreamy eyes. She ripped the buds from her ears, samba music still playing loudly through them, and drilled at the ringing sensation in their depths. Shortly after, a voice pours through the speakers. The captain, most probably; a male one. Flicking the switch on her music player, she looked around, curiously, inspecting the grey corners of her L-shaped lab. It was something the young woman was unprepared for; hearing the sound of another living human, given the hours spent in absolute solitude. It was the ‘age thing’, surely. Being the youngest onboard not only marked her apart from the other professionals, it also posed the natural question of whether her level of expertise was up to par. With utter, youthful surety, she was convinced that her projects would silence their doubts.
“Raisins?” she laughed. “That confirms who got into box P45.” It was actually P#00045, but who was going to recite every digit for the sake of formality?
Dusting the plant-matter from her hands, she flicked a finger on the leaf of a growing shoot and regarded it with a smile, keenly anticipating the months ahead. "In time, you’ll become the grand-daddy of all spuds," she mused. Adelana was never a keen farmer, but a knack for it formed, nevertheless. Rising from her knee, she looked across the row at its brothers and sisters, then further beyond at the varieties growing in other troughs lining the tables. Without heeding her notes, she charted their growth by memory, knowing that in two weeks time the growth spurts will kick in.
Sweat prickled at the back of neck when she felt the warmth emanating from a glass partition, cordoning off the section divided off for rockwool; a fibrous, sponge-like soil alternative made from spun lava. To jump-start her growing ventures, cubes were provided for her in large quantities, however, she would need to cultivate ‘native’ specimens to judge its suitability as a base for long-term plant growth. In theory, it was possible if she could recreate its natural environment and abide by strict growing conditions, so a heated chamber was built to support its formation, as well as the machine that spins it. Next to that, a long compartment spanning the entirety of the Nursery’s longest wall sat vacant, pocked with small holes that would support the next phase of her planting project.
Opposite the Nursery’s double sliding doors, on its shortest wall, was the entrance to a large aquarium. This sub-chamber was 50% taller than the Nursery and comprised of large tanks that stretched from the arch way and around an observatory platform in the centre, forming a circle. Upon the platform stood three smaller tanks, like sheets of glass, roughly the same height as Adelana, supporting aquatic plant-life and bottom feeders. For the meantime, only a few varieties of fish swam in their divisions of the main tanks, with several more freeze-dried eggs in cryostorage. Two ladders connected each side of the platform to the metallic scaffold looming overhead. It was where she would take samples, feed her water-babies, and introduce grown guppies to the climate-controlled pools. It was also where she liked to waste time.
This Nursery was her little realm. It held what would hopefully become renewable and, dare she say it, self-sufficient sources of food. Fates permitting, it may even blossom into that slice of Eden she so often dreamt about. Adelana had every one of her future years to spend building this project, and looking at the progress made within the past two days, she was optimistic about its progress. A stray thought entered her mind, of an old woman with dirt for skin and green growing out of her hair. She vanquished it with a mental note of the other five on this ship. Even if they didn’t get along, at least she wouldn’t be alone, and under the worst circumstances, she still had her fish. Looking at herself in the glass monitor of the Nursery’s inbuilt computer, she became aware of how sad a concept that actually was. “If my friends could see me now!” thought the young woman with a chuckle.
She headed down the hallways connecting her sector to the main artery - essentially a highway between all areas of the ship. Limitless. An ode to the far-reaching hopes of home. Correction: of a distant planet. This floating colossus was now her home. It was a daunting thought she had little time to identify with, once it was confirmed that the great Professor Alvares would not be embarking on this quest, let alone any sort of jaunt outside his isolation unit. In a way, she missed him, and her distant brother, although a large part of her still loathed them. A fork in the road appeared; one side led to the entertainment room and personal quarters, she elected to take the route leading to where the raisins were.
Reaching the cockpit, she hesitated before the doors and, quite pensively, activated the PR. It reacted to her touch with a beep, insisting she speak through the provided vocal receptor. A space of dead-air sizzled through it, then finally, she spoke, “Hey, it’s Lana. I’m here to investigate a theft,” after a pause to breathe a small chuckle, the Quartermaster continued. “Someone’s broken into the raisins.”
It was hard not to laugh once she’d released the button. The captain sounded like an amiable sort, but just how much of her mischievous behaviour he could take was yet to be discovered.