Two men with lives about as different as day and night. One, privileged enough to attain a respected degree. The other, penniless and abandoned by society, relegated to a life on the streets, learning lessons not taught in ivied halls. Forced to rely upon each other in a world where rescue could take months to arrive - if it ever does!
A year not too far in the future. In a secret facility, a government group is working on a project intended to train minimal teams for exploring potential colony planets. There is a need for men who have certain qualifications to be effective in this endeavor:
1) Single. The training for these missions was expected to take a long time, and the missions themselves had the potential to be quite dangerous.
2) Physically fit. Personnel would have to go through rigorous training in basic survival skills. This was not a project for desk-jockeys.
3) Intelligent. Personnel would have a great deal of information to learn and remember, especially in the immediacy of a foreign environment.
4) Self-sufficient. While personnel would be assigned in pairs for safety considerations, they would also need to be able to fend for themselves and make independent decisions in the event that their partner is injured or killed. (Note: Character death is not on the table. Injury for purposes of 'Hey, plot twist!' can be negotiated.)
As the shrink corps processed the requirements, they came to an interesting conclusion. While field researchers fit the bill very neatly, the profile also had a lot in common with certain types of criminals – not the violent or the thrill-seekers, but what were commonly referred to as 'street rats': young men who, for whatever reason, made their living scrounging through the undergrowth of the urban jungle. More likely to steal food than cars; more likely to use a knife than a gun; more likely to evade than confront, although well able to account for themselves if forced into a fight.
As an added benefit, it was more 'budget friendly'. Local prisons were full of potential 'volunteers', and while a trained scientist would be a necessary expense, there was no sense in sending two when a more 'expendable' option was available.
The Scientist: Dr. S. (placeholder name) is used to uncomfortable terrain. He has spent up to a year at a time in remote locations, studying indigenous tribes as well as the ecosystems that they thrive in. He chose to join this project due to the prospect of discovery.
The Convict: C. has been on his own for as long as he can remember. When he ran away from a neglectful family, there wasn't even a missing person report filed. Since then, he's been in numerous scrapes with the law, sometimes spending short stints in juvenile detention. However, now that he is over 18, his latest arrest is due to send him to adult prison – unless he 'volunteers'.
Either character is open for my partner! They have both been left somewhat vague to allow for personalization.
Our story begins as C. is taken to the facility, gets briefed and meets Dr. S. It is not expected that they will immediately like each other – there is no reason that they should. Stage one is them getting to know each other and building some level of mutual 'give-a-damn'. Maybe some trial-time in a survival setting will happen. Actual training will be time-skipped unless there is a pressing reason to RP it. Stage two will be The Accident.
As mentioned, this project is intended to involve exploring potential colony planets. While our heroes are training, the boys in the labs have been looking for likely candidates and setting up a way to get there. This may involve rockets, or some kind of gate technology – but it's New Tech. Things... go wrong. When the colony planet is found, and our heroes are being sent there, something glitches. The place they find themselves is not at all what the lab-boys told them they'd find. Worse, it's going to take some time to get them back. (Assuming that the government wants to deal with the expense – and the embarrassment...)