[Cosmosdex] The Fictional Encyclopedia

[Cosmosdex]

Nethoth V
         

The People Freezer

Nethoth V
β€œIt's cold, it's boring, it's kind of depressing, and it's kind of creepy. All those millions of bodies, suspended in their frozen half lives... I was glad when my term was up, I can tell you that.” β€” Xeleta n Sargas, Cryopreservation Technician

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Dominant Residents: None
Other Residents: None

Fauna: None
Weather: Cold

Danger Level: Safe
Purpose: Long term medical cryopreservation

Original Creator: Xandeross


Physical Description

There is absolutely nothing remarkable about Scade V. It is merely another small outer system iceball, its surface entirely encrusted in a thick layer of ice. Its atmosphere is hardly worthy of even being called that, a barely there mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, completely unbreathable. The temperature never rises above freezing; at the equator in summer it may get as high as twenty below. The only notable features the craters left behind by ancient asteroid impacts.

There aren't even many of those; the star system it is part of has very few asteroids and only a few other planets, all of them equally undistinguished and uninteresting. There are a billion planets just like Scade V. Still, on its surface, there is a single point of light; a tiny station and starport, serving the facility buried deep beneath the ice.

History

Throughout the history of the galaxy there have been many diseases which defeated the medical science of the moment. Whether it's a plague which takes only months for a cure to be synthesized, or a subtle genetic disorder which takes decades or centuries to be fully unraveled; in the interim millions or in some cases even billions could die.

One solution, practiced for thousands of years since the development of effective cryonics, was to cryogenically freeze the afflicted; preserving them in stasis for however long it took for a cure to be developed before reviving them and administering it. Which leads into another issue: that of storage. The are many hospitals capable of storing small numbers of people for short periods of time, but if millions of people need to be stored for years, decades, even centuries, then specialized facilities are needed. Specialized facilities such as Nethoth V.

The properties of Nethoth V make it ideal for such a purpose. The perpetual cold eliminates the need for complex and potentially fallible refrigeration equipment to maintain the cryopreservation. The total lack of tectonic activity means that there is no risk of an earthquake damaging the facility and its precious contents. The relative lack of asteroids means that an asteroid impact is deeply unlikely, and even if one was to occur the vaults are safely buried deep beneath the planet.

The great vaults hold approximately five million individuals. Most are victims of the Century Spore; a slow acting fungal parasite whose tendrils infiltrated deeply into the nervous systems of its victims. Most of the affected were frozen, to await the development of techniques to remove the tendrils without also damaging the nerves.

That was fifty years ago. It is a very difficult problem.

Of the remainder, they suffer from dozens of different disorders. Some have been there only months; others centuries. Some are still the subject of intense effort to develop cures so they can be revived; others languish half forgotten. Throughout the galaxy there are dozens of facilities just like Nethoth V, and so long as the galaxy keeps developing new and exotic maladies they shall remain full.

Locations

Surface Plaza: The surface level of the Nethoth V facility. This is where the tiny permanent crew of the facility lives, and where subjects are moved in and out of the vaults below. (The actual freezing and unthawing takes place elsewhere, at actual hospitals; Nethoth V is exclusively a storage facility.) There is also a modest visitor's center, for the occasional friend or family member visiting a frozen compatriot.

Deep Vaults: The true heart of Nethoth V. Kilometers of winding tunnel carved into the ice cold stone, filled with millions of cryopreservation pods.

Special

None

Trivia

• Throughout history, the question remains. Is it right to keep those frozen for an extended period of time, hundreds of years after their last of kin has died and all their friends have turned to dust or only see them as a distant memory? While some praise their revival, others mourn the death of the world they knew.

Image Gallery

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