IBSS was the only home Radha knew. When she was young she remembered having a very strict routine where most of the times doctors in white clothes constantly checked her, put needles through her veins and put her into all kind of machines. Nurse Chen took care of her and accompanied her everywhere. Slowly as she grew older she had to attend the "school" where she was taught to read and write. She saw movies and videos of "earth", the large sphere around which IBSS zoomed past around 20 times a day. She would stand on the observation deck and point out various parts of earth to her teacher Suzie. That is India, United States, Russia, Pacific Ocean and so on. Later they would both watch movies where they actually saw more humans, humans dressed up funny and weird and sometimes scary. There were more children like her on earth she was told and schools on earth had thousands of children like her.
Before she knew it more and more people on IBSS had become her friends. Captain Pablo was from Brazil. He would take her to main deck and every other restricted entry places. Once he even took her on a space walk, but that was the only time she had set foot outside the spaceship. They went to center shaft of IBSS which was stationary and hence did not have gravity. They would float up and down in that shaft.
She wanted to visit earth and Suzie and Pablo told her that, that they would be soon. She was told about the concept of aging and dying. But Radha 38 was biologically imortal. She would grow to be 20 years old and will be 20 years forever. Never aging and never dying. Her body would have exceptional healing capacity linked to her willingness to live. Which meant she could grow a finger or new teeth as long as she stays concious and her body has enough nutrients. Of course she was not immortal in a mythological sense because a blow to head or decaptiation would still kill her instantly.
"You have like next 1000 years to see and visit earth" Pablo use to tell her.
Year 2055 however changed everything. Captain Pablo had retired and moved back to earth and a transport capsule. Everyone on the ship was old except Radha and a Junior doctor Silvia. First Officer Rajat was now captain. One day when Radha was busy understanding the internal system of oxygen generator with chief mechanic Fransico, there was a major announcement on the spacecraft. "This is not a drill, secure yourself into the nearest harness" said Captains voice. This meant the gravity generators were being stopped. Fransico quickly pushed Radha into a harness and he went to find himself another chair. The blue lights got switched to red. Alarms had went off. The only people allowed to move around now were the security staff.
"Whats happening?" everyone seemed to ask each other.
"Everyone, this is your captain speaking" a voice was heard after some time as everyone listened intently.
"We have had a major accident on earth. It is not clear what has happened but all communication with earth is completely lost. Thermal signatures show that entire American continent is now covered by cloud of ashes and entire Asia is being hit with Tsunamis. This could be a massive earthquake, nuclear attack or something else. Right now we do not know. Will keep you posted as we have more information".
Everyone was still horrified. Radha found this very unusual as everyone on the ship seems extremely stressed except for her. Everyone had families on earth and memories of earth. She had none. Everyone had the photos of their parents, children and other things on their desks and sleeping pods. For Radha IBSS was her home and earth some just a distant mass of land. So when she observed others getting stressed she was very curious.
As time passed things became more clearer. A change in earth's geological processess had caused a massvie earthquake in Yellowstone USA, wiping out entire western part of USA. This had caused insanely huge Tsunamis in pacific ocean which had nearly destroyed Japan and eastern China. Volcanos had suddenly erupted all over the world and entier antartica was cracked like a glass. Clouds of ashes had lowered earth's temperature to unlivable conditions, knocked out all air traffic and had rendered all communication equipment useless. It also appared that some of nuclear weapons stored in the remote parts of China and Russia had went off. Humanity was doomed. Earth was destroyed and unlivable.
Besides IBSS there was 8 other space stations with people inside them. They could still communicate with each other. Out of which 4 such as IBSS were fully sustainable which meant they could recycle everything without the need to replenish anything from earth. Other 4 which were not sustainable could still last for about 20 years without any support from earth. All these 4 had decided to fly towards mars which had a proper human base with artificial farms. IBSS was by far the largest and most technologically advanced spaceship. It was also the most important one as it had the capability to restart humanity from brink of extinction as it had several Radha embroys still in the freezer and they could create any number of humans from single cells.
IBSS decided to stay around the earth waiting for the right time for earth to approachable again.