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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lunar River (Episode 5)

'What are you going to do?' Vohne asked.

Sylvina ignored him. 'Ship, turn on your shield.'

'The external environment is unfavourable for such requirements. Risk of damaged hull will be upped for eight orders of magnitude. Are you sure you want to do this?' the ship asked.

'Yes. Shut down the entire ship system after deploying,' Sylvina said.

'You are not only going to make us deviate from our course, you are draining our power as well,' Vohne said.

'As long as we don't ram into the Scorch,' she said. 'Ship, now.'

'Shield activating in ten seconds,' the ship replied.

After ten seconds, the ship was moving smoother than expected, even it was under power. The shield had created a similar characteristics of a planet's magnetosphere, deflecting ions and charged particles around it, just like an aerodynamic head of a plane pushing through the clouds. But the 'thing' behind them was coming worryingly close and their ship's power was increasing at a dismaying speed. Passive sensors had already warned them about the closing target.

'It's time to break up,' Sylvina said.

'What? with me?' Vohne was surprised.

'I mean the ship, not you,' she said. She wasn't laughing at him. She was weighing the risk in her mind. The machines in her mind were calculating the probabilities and statistics. 'Umbraic Nova has to break up like it used to be.'

'You cannot do this. We cannot do this,' Vohne said, in fear.

'Umbraic Nova is only a combined ship,' she snapped. 'We will split into two directions. You take the starboard side and I will take the port side. Remember, get into the right ship. Your ship is - '

'Umbra,' Vohne said it for her. 'But this is preposterous.'

'Take Umbra and return to my Nova if nothing happens. No point losing both ships,' she said. 'If you don't see me replying your message for two minutes, I suggest you pull out a speed that God will put fear in it. Don't ever come back to look for me. Never.'

Vohne saw no sense in arguing. He left and began to find his own deck.

Actually Umbraic Nova consisted of two ships: Umbra and Nova. These two ships were not manufactured by Ataraxia, but from Othripus. They were the most powerful ships ever created and they were part of the clans called 'Seven Sisters' for there were seven of these similar ships of different power and characteristics.

Sylvina had forgotten what the powers were for the rest. She knew her ship Nova was capable of creating huge bursts of EMP, nuclear and antimatter in a short period of time. Her ship had several gamma-ray laser and energy turret, but in return, she had the lowest armour of all.

Umbra, however, had larger and more efficient engine. It can reach up to five gees of acceleration in twenty seconds. It was the fastest acceleration ever recorded. It was designed for stealth, speed and scout. It was never meant to carry any heavy guns. It only had rapidfire munitions, such as micropellets, proton specks and heavy energy guns of up to gigahertz.

But, in order to cover each other's weaknesses, Sylvina had agreed to merge both ships to form a single Umbraic Nova by an intervention from Rimdi, their friend.

Now it was the time to split. Sylvina had told the ship to break down its shield before the ship split. By breaking up into two ships, less power was needed to keep the ship together. They would have a forty percent chance to have their power back and seventy percent chance to have half their power back.

That's the best alternative available.

Sylvina's heart trembled. There would be a chance not to see Vohne again. She couldn't hold that feeling. He had been helping her all the time. They both shared the same feeling but neither had spoken it out. It might be the only time left, or it wouldn't be another chance. She wiped her tears off.

She must tell him how she felt before it was too late.

The ship shuddered as Umbra shook away. She checked her engine power and she was right. Power had been upped for forty percent and still increasing. She waited for the right moment to fire her engine and wham through all the ion cloud despite the risk of being paralysed.

Her radar came alive. She saw Umbra began to put off large distance. It was executing a high-burn.

She breathed in hard.

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