Zimmer064 – steve pain – pandorum (germany)
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In 2174, the human population has grown to the point of exceeding the carry capacity of Earth, causing humanity to build a sleeper ship/interstellar ark named Elysium. The mission is to send 60,000 people on a 123-year trip to an Earth-like planet named Tanis to establish civilization there. Eight years into the mission the ship receives a transmission from Earth in multiple languages including English: „You’re all that’s left of us. Good luck, God bless, and godspeed.“ Some time later two astronauts of the flight crew, an altruistic claustrophobe named Corporal Bower and his level headed Lieutenant named Payton, have awakened in a hyper-sleep chamber by power surges aboard. Due to being under general anesthesia during hyper-sleep for eight years, they are both experiencing drug-induced amnesia. Bower ventures deep into the now seemingly abandoned ship to jump-start the reactor to take control of the ship before it dies, along with everyone on board. He remembers how he was inspired by the flight since childhood, along with his wife being on board the ship and he is suffering from the earlier stages of Pandorum after having a claustrophobic panic attack.
However, he encounters pale-skinned tribal warrior hunters with heightened sense of smell and strength. They practice both endocannibalism and exocannibalism, hanging humans from ropes and cutting their stomachs open. He also meets two members who have become egocentric lone wolf survivalists because they believe the flight crew to be dead thus resorted to survival-of-fittest tactics. The first being a former geneticist of an institute in Brandenburg who has survived for months by mugging others. She initially acts cynical and hostile towards Bower, but later warms up to him after he saves her life from the other survivor, an old cook who survived for years by shamefully feeding on both the hunters and humans along with algae covering the ship. Named Nadia and Leland respectively, the survivors join him when they realize that Bower can fix and fly the ship. He also finds an ally in a selfless and persistent non-English speaking agriculturist, who saves him several times, named Manh.
Meanwhile, Payton encounters a strange young man named Cpl. Gallo, who emerges nude and filthy from the interior of the ship. The corporal claims he had to kill his team in self-defense because they developed Pandorum as Earth mysteriously vanished on their way to Tanis and they are now lost in space. The aftermath is depicted on drawings on the walls of Leland’s lair and he explains the origin of the hunters and their cannibalistic behavior based on what he heard from others. Gallo had developed Pandorum and affected many others on board with it as the drawings depict him along with other passengers with electric sparks around their heads, hinting something abnormal with their minds, along with blood pouring from their noses. He then psychologically manipulated the other psychotics into exiling themselves on the ship to play a nasty game which involved them fighting, hanging each other from ropes, cutting their stomachs open, and feeding on their own. Eventually, he went back into hyper-sleep, leaving the Elysium to become a generation ship. It is hinted that the hunters are the descendants of the psychotic cannibals who have evolved over the course of successive generations into a troglofaunal species and are apparently continuing the game Gallo started with their ancestors as tradition. This was due to an enzyme given to the members through their feeding tubes in hyper-sleep that was supposed to both help their bodies adjust to the conditions on Tanis and speed up evolutionary ecological selection. Instead, they adapted to the conditions of their low sunlit ship.
It is also revealed that Bower’s wife left him, with nothing else left for him on Earth, he enlisted on the mission to find a place in history, while she remained on Earth and vanished along with it, which causes him to grieve to the point of giving up. Out of empathy, Nadia gives emotional support to help him remain optimistic and motivated, saying she saved his life, and that humanity was meant to survive. This helps him to move on but he remembers something about Payton. When the group finally reach the reactor, Manh distracts the cannibals in order for Bower to jump start the reactor. Manh is cornered by their leader but refuses to die without a fight so the creature gives him a weapon to defend himself, which leads to a one-sided battle in the monster’s favor. However, the creature’s arrogance leads to Mahn getting lucky and manages to kill it, but he is killed when he hesitates to slay its child.
The remaining three then head to the control room to gain control of the ship, where Gallo and Payton are. There it is revealed that Payton is not really who he thinks he is and that Gallo is Payton’s hallucination of his younger self; his own memories playing mind games with him. Gallo proceeds to kill Leland who arrives before the others, and is then confronted by Bower and Nadia. Bower remembers what the real Payton looks like and knows he is not his lieutenant. However, the ship is apparently lost somewhere in space where there are no stars and the cannibals close in on them, this causes Bower to have another panic attack and the final stages of Pandorum take effect on him. Gallo then attempts to manipulate him as he did with others, who fell to the psychosis. He tries to convert him to anarcho-egoism and anarcho-primitivism views. Stating that they should create a new world in a wild primitive state with the ship to replace human civilization because its moralistic altruism led to the overpopulation crisis on Earth and that they should embrace predation among each other (referencing the hunters). It’s then revealed that the ship has actually reached Tanis, landing under water, and 923 years have passed since the mission started. Gallo attacks Bower and Nadia tries to defend him. In his delirium, Bower breaks the hull’s window, flooding the ship. Nadia manages to snap Bower out his condition, and they get themselves into his hibernation pod. The flood triggers a hull breach emergency ejecting the active pods to the surface, while Gallo and the cannibals drown. This starts Year One on Tanis with a population of 1,213. [wikipedia]