So I started making notes for this story idea, Crash, and I’m kinda meh about it now. I think that means that it is not a fully viable idea. So, I’m going to leave it to the back-brain to work on – or not.
For posterity, here’s the idea I had:
In space, the ship has had some sort of malfunction that necessitates the captain being awakened early. The crew is awakened from cryogenic sleep for four to six months every five or ten years, in a rotation, so that almost no one is awake the entire trip (impossible since the trip is so long). On this rotation, the chief systems engineer, the captain, and the captains wife are awake. Assorted other, lesser crew members are also awake (maybe three or four). The leadership group knows each other, but the crew people (grunts) don’t know the leadership.
The chief systems engineer and the captain’s wife (who has some actual job and isn’t just a pretty face) have an affair. The chief systems engineer is also married, but his wife is sleeping. The captain finds out. There is a fight, and the captain is killed. The chief engineer fakes the ship’s crash on a nearby inhabitable planet. He then moves the captain’s body into his cryo-pod and claims to be the captain to the awakening crew members. He kills the other leadership members and claims it was a cryo-pod malfunction. Then he turns off the computer, claiming that the ship is beyond repair. They are now stuck on the planet without advanced technology, just what each of them knows. Luckily it was a colony ship, so people know a bunch.
Fast-forward 30 years. The “captain” and his wife had two children, various other folk have bred and moved away from the ship to populate the valley they “crashed” in. Parts of the ship have been re-purposed. The wife dies of old age or whatever, and then the “captain” dies, leaving his son in charge of the community.
There is a faction of people who were raised to be apart of the ship – called “Farers” (space-farers) and a faction that is from the land, called “Firmers.” The Firmers believe in developing their own pathway and have resented the rule from the ship (the “captain”). The Farers worked to try to regain technology and fix the ship to go explore the universe.
The daughter and son discover that their father was not who he said he was. During the uproar caused by this, the world starts to have issues (related to the malfunction of the ship that woke up the original captain). Weather turns bad, earthquakes happen, end of days stuff. The hero and his sister discover that the computer still works and that the world is indeed ending. Then they discover that the ship is still capable of flight. Now it’s time to gather the re-purposed parts again and fix the ship and escape doom by going into space. However, the Firmers don’t want to go or give up their ship parts. The clock is ticking. Will the inadvertent colony work together and survive?