The star ship Avalon is transporting 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members, in hibernation pods, to the planet Homestead II, a journey taking 120 years. Thirty years into its journey, the ship passes through an asteroid field, which causes a malfunction. The malfunction awakens one passenger, mechanical engineer Jim Preston, 90 years too early.
After a year of isolation, with no company except Arthur, an android bartender, Jim grows despondent and contemplates suicide. One day, he notices Aurora Lane in hibernation in her pod. Her video profile reveals she is a writer with a humorous personality. After struggling with the morality of manually reviving Aurora for companionship, he awakens her, claiming her pod also must have malfunctioned. Jim makes Arthur promise not to tell Aurora why she really woke up. Aurora is devastated that she will grow old and die before the ship reaches Homestead II. Her research for a way to re-enter hibernation is fruitless. Eventually, she accepts her situation and begins writing a book about her experiences. Jim and Aurora grow closer, eventually falling in love.
After another year, Arthur inadvertently reveals the truth to Aurora after misinterpreting Jim’s affirmation that he and Aurora have “no secrets” between them. Aurora, angry and distraught, alternately berates, shuns, and physically attacks Jim. Jim attempts to apologize, but is fiercely rejected. The two refrain from contact for some time. Soon after, another pod failure awakens Gus, Chief Deck Officer. The three discover multiple failures throughout the ship’s systems. If not repaired, the ship will continue to suffer critical system failures. Gus attempts repairs with Jim and Aurora’s help, while Aurora still blames Jim for stealing her life. Gus’s body, physically damaged by his malfunctioning pod, begins to fail; the Autodoc, an automated medical diagnostics and treatment pod, shows he has only hours to live. Before dying, Gus gives Jim and Aurora his ID badge to access secure areas and repair the ship.
Jim and Aurora discover a series of holes through the ship’s hull from the meteor collision two years earlier. The computer module administering the fusion reactor that powers the ship has been damaged, causing the ship’s escalating malfunctions. Jim and Aurora replace the damaged module. The computer attempts to vent the reactor as it has a massive reactor fire, but fails. Jim realizes that the reactor must be vented by opening the vent hatch from the ship’s exterior. Aurora assists while admitting she is terrified of losing Jim and being left alone. Aurora, from inside the ship, and Jim, outside, vent the reactor. However, Jim’s tether snaps and his damaged spacesuit loses oxygen; Aurora retrieves and resuscitates Jim in the Autodoc. Jim later learns that the Autodoc can function as a makeshift hibernation pod for Aurora. With only one Autodoc, she realizes she would never see Jim again.
Eighty-eight years later, the ship’s crew awaken shortly before arrival on Homestead II. They discover a small house amid lush vegetation on the ship’s grand concourse area. Aurora’s book reveals that she chose to stay awake with Jim and continue writing her story.
Garfield is copyright © Paws, Inc. If you like the cartoons we reproduce here on Jammy Toast, please consider purchasing some of the Garfield merchandise. These are available through Garfield.com where you can view them in full-colour and at a higher quality!