When We Arrived at the Centauri System . . .

A ship, a kind of ark, leaves Earth carrying a small band of humans looking for an alternative home. Among the passengers, the wife of the grieving father who followed his dead daughter’s footsteps to a scientific station in Siberia. The father, working on a 30,000-year-old mummy found buried in the ice, unwittingly unleashed a plague virus on the world. Now his wife and their 17-year-old granddaughter volunteer to be among the first humans put into cryogenic sleep.

The adolescents and children remain asleep the whole voyage, but the adults who have necessary skills are awakened to get to work:

When we arrived at the Centauri system, we received a decades-old message from Earth, informing us that a cure for the plague had been discovered — the comatose woke up and people began to rebuild their lives. Funerary corporations expanded to focus on climate projects, building seawalls around coastal cities, sponsoring the solar shade project until the end of the century. The message bid us good luck and farewell. You always have a home here, it said. On this world or on your new home, we’ll find each other again one day. Personal letters arrived, along with general messages to the crew, and for more than a week the ship was abuzz with news and condolences and statistics from revived sports teams, a snapshot of life on Earth for the past fifty years. The ship’s doctor organized daily sharing circles for those who wanted to celebrate or needed support or couldn’t quite articulate how they were supposed to feel.

How High We Go In the Dark, p. 196

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