Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pack Light, Save Up, and Ship Out

I'm what some might call a prepper. I love wilderness survival shows and books and gear, but mostly it's because I enjoy the thought experiment of "How would I? What would I?"
I tend to lean towards 72 hour preparedness over long term, backwoods living. And I'm honestly not even that well prepared. If the turd hit the fan tomorrow, I'd be in sad shape to make a go of it.
But that's not what this blog is about. If you want survival tips, here's one - don't ask a worldbuilder nerd!

Enough of that. This is what I really want to talk about.

My blogger buddy Nils, of the recently launched, and I were discussing what we would take in a new world colony scenario. Think as if you were one of the people NASA had selected to go to Mars. But instead of living in pods and spacesuits on a barren rock, your new home would be a lot like Earth - breathable atmosphere, arable soil, etc.

Let's say a very large global corporation is sponsoring most of the cost and essentials to start your new life.  When you arrive you will be guaranteed housing, employment, and medical care. Quality of those conditions is variable based on what "class" of traveler you are.
Your current debts are assumed by the corporation and you will be an indentured servant for a set number of years depending on how much you owe. Any training and tools required for your new job are provided. If you want more/better equipment, then you have to spend your own money or take on additional time in service to pay for it. This is much like the way it was done for early American colonists.

You have to pay some money up front for your fare aboard the massive colony ship.
The occupancy limit is 15,000 including the crew of 3,000. That's a seriously huge ship! Nearly double the passenger count of today's largest cruise liners.
The parsec-hopping journey across the galaxy is guaranteed safe, but it is going to take several years (more than 3, but less than 7) to reach your destination. All amenities on this voyage are taken care of, whether that's like a swanky resort package or militaristic bare essentials, depending on how much you pay for your boarding pass.

You have a maximum of 1 year to save up. For some that means that without a mortgage, car payments, credit cards, etc. they can afford a rather high class passage with comfy, spacious staterooms and fine meals. For others this could be like a prison stay with a lumpy mattress and cold beans...which you paid up front for.

The cheapest pass is $10,000-15,000 dollars. That buys you a squeaky old bunk in general population housing with unsecured shelves for storage and a weekly, cold communal shower. The lights are never completely shut off.
The next cheapest ticket is $18,000-20,000. You get a cramped cabin with a locking door, storage is up to your creative use of floor space, and a twice weekly, warm shower in a curtained stall. You have 1 bare lightbulb for as long as you can make it last before buying a replacement.
Middle class tickets are normally $25,000-30,000. This is like a standard hotel room with 2 double beds, a closet/small dresser, and a private bathroom. Hooray, you get a few lamps and don't have to pay for lightbulbs.
Upper middle class fares are no less than $50,000 but that gets you a 2 bedroom suite with a small kitchenette, jetted tub, large TV, and in room safe.
High class staterooms are $75,000+. This buys you a multi-level townhouse unit with 30% off room service and a holographic suite open 10 am to 10 pm. Non-peak viewing hours are $12 per minute.
You can pay additional fees for room attendants (servants and security), "FREE" unlimited holo-suite usage, and select spa services. Such luxury amenities will run you $82,000 on the low end and easily in excess of $120,000.

Like modern air travel, there is a baggage weight limit per person (children under 12 are not accounted for) and there are certain items that are absolutely forbidden. Rifles, shotguns, and any form of collapsing long gun are not allowed. Handguns are allowed for personal safety, but nothing exceeding .45 caliber and high capacity magazines are forbidden. Blades under 25 cm/10 in are allowed. No machetes, tomahawks, or banana clips. No one is going to care about your nail clippers and 4 oz bottles.

Luggage maximums are 25 lbs, 45 lbs, 70 lbs, 150 lbs, and 250 lbs (up to unlimited) depending on which class fare you purchased.

So...what would you pay and pack?

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