You are aboard UT-389, also known as “the Metus,” a Unitech combined passenger and cargo ship originating from its port of origin on Luna, and heading to Miskan Station in the Belt. This ship has a newer modular design. It consists of four interchangeable modules that each attach to the ship’s central core. These modules can be attached, detached and rearranged when the ship is in dock, allowing for differing numbers of passenger or cargo modules. Additionally, the ship is designed to quickly spin while in transit, providing light spin-gravity. This gravity decreases as one nears the ship’s core. The core itself is in microgravity.
Two of the modules attached on this voyage are passenger modules, the other two are cargo modules. They’ve been designated Passenger Module A and B, and Cargo Module A and B. You are in Passenger Module A. The trip from Luna to the Belt is expected to take 10 months, consequently all passengers aboard the ship were put into stasis shortly before launch, and the crew was put into stasis shortly afterward. This is standard practice and decreases life support costs.
Stasis slows down bodily systems dramatically, to the point where a person in stasis only ages at 1/10th to 1/100th the usual rate—depending on the quality of the stasis pods and the skill of the operator. When one awakens one’s hair and nails will usually be a bit longer, but one won’t have significantly aged.
Coming out of stasis usually means suffering from stasis sickness. The human body isn’t evolved for long periods of time in hibernation. When this is forced on the body it takes time to recover. Typically the first day out of stasis a person experiences fatigue, stiffness and memory loss while one’s body and brain return to full function. A person starts off recalling only a random selection of memories—experts say somewhere between a tenth and a quarter. This rarely causes identity issues. A person’s basic identity and capabilities, such as speech, are wrapped up in many different memories. It, however, takes time for all of the specifics to come back, as a person’s neurons return to firing though all the right channels.
Every passenger module has a steward. This steward is a member of the crew who is responsible for taking care of the personal needs of the passengers as they are put into stasis, and also tending to them—and keeping them in line—when they come back out of stasis. As coming out of stasis involves a lot of fragile equipment and a lot of confused people, a steward is frequently part flight attendant and part bouncer.
When approaching the ship’s destination, the crew are typically revived a day or so before the passengers. This gives them time to recover from stasis sickness before overseeing the passengers’ emergence and recovery. Passengers are revived a day before the ship’s arrival at the destination port. This gives them time to recover before being shepherded off the ship.
Of course, when something goes wrong all bets are off…