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Monday, November 15, 2010

Lunar River (Episode 2)

'You won't do it,' Adema said.

'What makes you think otherwise?' Vohne asked.

'Captain, or what should I call you?' Adema asked.

'Sylvina would be fine.'

'Good then, Sylvina. We have a large number of technologies uncovered at the edge of Noxus system. Previously unfound. In fact, the Angels gave us some of their weapons. I hope you will be impressed if you don't mind me introducing them to you.'

'Go ahead then,' Sylvina said, crossing her arms across her chest.

'We have a Dark Drive. Of course you know what it means. It makes your ship shrouded into the background of the universe. Nothing bounce back. It absorbs light and blends with the environment,' Adema said, cheerily.

'Boring,' Sylvina rolled her eyes. She had heard of Dark Drives before. Rimdi had told her about it and it was a very dangerous engine drive. It would simply explode if it was not installed properly. Useful against combats, but risky.

'We have more. Heard of Angel's Flare?' Adema tried to give another trade.

'No,' Sylvina and Vohne said together.

'Then you should have them. It's a weapon that deals large scale damage. Not kilometres, Sylvina, but hundreds and thousands of kilometres. Enough to wipe out an entire solar system.'

Sylvina sighed. 'Adema, it is not that we want to trade with you. We are trying to say we have no more supplies for you. Keep those weapons and technologies. Use them when we face the Vapidus after we have arrived at the Nexus.'

'Yes, please don't waste our time here,' Vohne added. 'When I mean our, I mean you and me as well. War is getting on, Adema. Rimdi is expecting us.'

'We need fuel to go to war, Sylvina,' Adema said.

'We have checked your drive signature. It seems like you are on a high burn trajectory. That consumes fuel. You have more fuel than you have told us. Don't lie to us. You wouldn't catch up on us unless you are powering up to the max,' Sylvina said. 'And don't doubt our scanning system. It's military grade.'

'I have told you: we are not lying,' Adema insisted.

'Listen here,' Vohne said. 'If you depart on Noxus and still reach us, then I can say, your ship and ours departed together in more or less the same time frame. Don't lie to us, Adema. There are no Vapidus behind us.'

'Go now, we have nothing to offer,' Sylvina said, finally. 'Get your ship out from my immediate volume of three hundred kilometres. I am giving you twenty minutes to do that. Or we will make you a wishing star.'

'A wishing star?' Adema blinked.

'We will blast you out of the sky,' Vohne sighed, like a teacher who was fed up with his student.

'Please, Sylvina. We checked your ship already. We saw extra packages of fuel. You don't need all those just to reach the Nexus, don't you?' Adema said.

'You spied on our ship?' Sylvina bellowed.

Adema quickly corrected her mistake. 'We didn't. Please, no offence. We have to do some final checkups to make sure your ship is not hostile.'

'Does our ship look hostile?' Vohne glared.

Adema forced out a hoarse laugh. 'Of course not, but we still have to make sure.'

'Well, thanks for dropping by anyway. We have to leave now. Farewell,' Sylvina said. She nodded to Vohne and shut off the communication window. He nodded back in agreement. He switched on a green holographic display of three dimensional patterns. He dragged a few shapes and fit them into other gaps. He rotated the figure and rearranged once more. Later, he dabbed on the figure twice to make it yellow.

The ship juddered and the centre of gravity was shifting. They were accelerating hard. Lunar River was falling behind. The ship was two kilometres long, at least. It needed time to match Umbraic Nova speed. Like said, size matters in the universe.

'They are not sincere, as far as I can tell,' Vohne said. 'Poor liars.'

'You don't need another eye to see them lying,' Sylvina said. She called up a large display which filled in the room. The lights dimmed. Vohne and she was like swimming in the sea of graphics. A red icon blinked at her eye level, with a blue one at the south of it. Around these two icons, different yellow lights dotted around.

'So we are the red one and the blue one...' Vohne touched his chin with his finger.

'Lunar River, yes,' Sylvina said. 'By twenty minutes, they should be effectively outside our range. Unless they still head on to our direction. If they are capable of speeding that fast, I am starting to worry what magic toys they have in their ship.'

'We cannot have them pass through the Booster before us,' Vohne said.

Sylvina noticed a purple dot some distance away from the two icons. 'The Booster is two months away. I doubt they can overtake us that fast...' she paused. She stared in Vohne's eyes. 'Oh my. Don't look at me like that!'

'It's only a suggestion!' Vohne exclaimed.

'We are humans, Vohne. We don't kill to make us win,' Sylvina snapped.

The blue icon flashed once and gone.

'Did you see that?' Vohne asked.

'Ship, locate Lunar River. In fact, locate any artificial object behind us. Now,' Sylvina said out aloud. She turned back to Vohne, 'This is something weird. They couldn't have possibly run out from our sensor range that quick.'

'That means our sensor malfunctioned,' Vohne said. He reached for a control panel on the deck and ran his fingers along it. He stared at the visuals for a long while. Then he said, 'Nothing here. Everything is fine here. Not even a glitch in the system.'

'No? Nothing?' Sylvina was surprised.

'Report: Clear on all sectors,' a voice echoed. It was the ship reporting.

'Where the hell is Lunar River?' Vohne asked. 'They can't decelerate that hard. Or they have teleported?'

'Please, Vohne, we don't have teleportation device on a classical scale,' Sylvina said. 'Should we turn around and scan the volume?'

'Move ahead,' Vohne said. 'We are under a very tight schedule.'

'Fine,' she replied. 'Let's hope Lunar River is not up to its tricks. We have the ammunition to be ready if it really does so.'

'I thought you disagree on killing,' Vohne said.

'I do,' Sylvina said. She switched off the holographic sea of display and brightened up the room. 'But if you scare the daylights out from my living soul, you aren't going to see one more light in your eyes.'

[Where is Lunar River? Why Adema needed fuel so much? Has Sylvina guessed correctly that she is a bandit? But why Lunar River has vanished from the sensors? Where has it gone?]

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