Day 008: The 320, Part I
Summary: Lydia Scott must hurry in order to save 320 souls, and maybe the entire Ark's future.
Date: 12 May 2016
Related: None

8 Days After Landing — Escape Pod Launch, The Ark

"The Council will be finalizing the details of the culling in sixteen hours," says Councilman Hank Retter as he helps adjust and then lock the helmet into place. "You need to get down to the ground, find the kids, and radio back their status before then, or…" His throat tightens, and the tension around his eyes gives away all his worry, concern… and guilt.

Lydia Scott reaches up to touch Hank's hand, giving his wrist a gentle squeeze. "I know, Hank… I know. You've told me three times now… I don't have a lot of time." She then drops her focus back to the fitting of the gloves of her zero-g suit. It bears all the age and wear as the rest of the suits, but her helmet has seen a new paint job, including the constellation of Pegasus carefully painted in blue stars across the back of the helmet.

"The 320 are going to be culled, Lydia," he says seriously. "Jaha has delayed as long as he can, but…"

Lydia's smile softens, trying to tap into her comforting maternal instinct, even of Hank is far from the person her son is. "Sixteen hours… I'll find them. We've double-checked the nav systems, we have the coordinates of their landing site…" All of these things do not just reassure Hank, but Lydia too.

Hank had come to her only three days ago to take her into his confidence about what had really happened in the prison station, why people weren't allowed to visit their kids, and what was really going on, on the Ark: they were dying. Oxygen was being carefully reduced in various places of the Ark to stretch days into weeks, but really, they were running out of time. Jaha had already delayed a culling as long as he could, but Kane pushed forward, and now 320 people were going to die… maybe needlessly…

What hit Lydia the hardest was the news that her Cameron was one of the teens now down on Earth. Hank had showed her a tablet of his health readings, reassuring her that, unlike some of the others, her son was still alive. While Kane was certain they were all slowly dying, Hank had been one of the council members who pushed for more information. He was overruled: the 100 were lost, and 320 more lives needed to be sacrificed.

But did they?

Standing before Lydia Scott now, Hank was starting to feel like there was a chance. If she could get to the ground, find the kids, and radio back that they were safe, that the ground was safe, maybe no more lives needed to be lost.

Lydia finishes up her prep, and starts to climb into the refurbished escape pod. They were unable to get an oxygen recycler, forcing Lydia to use her zero-g gear. But at least Hank had secured a radio that would broadcast to the control room, and help verify what he hoped was true.

Lydia fixes Hank with a smile as she watches all his worries and doubts flash across his aged, grey face. She reaches for his hand, and squeezes hard to offer him some comfort. "It will be alright, Hank. You'll hear from me in eight hours, tops. There will be time to stop the culling."

Hank nods, but the comfort does not fully reach his bones. So much has gone wrong since the 100's mission was agreed upon: was there even any hope left that something could go right? Sealing Lydia in her little pod and retreating to the airlocks, Hank hopes so.

From the control room in Alpha Station, there is barely enough warning to warrant reaction when the monitors indicate that the aft escape pod tubes have been activated, and even less time when the escape pod actually launches. The two lieutenants in charge of monitoring the station are at the viewports in a heartbeat, watching as a small bright dot is launched and begins its trajectory toward Earth…

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