Ever Sharp - Mysteries of the Unknown by Mark Lieberg
Ever Sharp - Repairs & Mysteries
Date: 21 September 2009, 5:08 pm
0504 Hours, February 12, 2543 (Military Calendar)
Location: Unknown, UNSC Frigate Ever Sharp
In all directions, nothing else but the blackness of space was visible from the forward view screen. Silent stars quietly and distantly passed by as the small UNSC Frigate Ever Sharp kept its engines maneuvering with only thruster power. The ship had been attacked a mere two hours ago and had barely managed to escape death once more.
Data, the operational artificial intelligence aboard the vessel, was quietly monitoring repairs throughout the ship. His program was based off a science fiction television show four hundred years ago. His uniform a mix of gray and black suited his character exactly from movies back in the twenty-first century. His gold and yellow skin tone gave a source of illumination inside the bridge, a light source apart from the red lights. However, he could not believe the amount of damage the ship had endured and the energy left to jump out of the previous system. The Captain would not like his report. Engines were down to thrusters, the MAC system had been fried, and only two of the remaining thirty Archer Pods were operational. Fifty-three crewmen lost with another twenty in the infirmary or in cryo-stasis.
Reviewing his files, it was not bad compared to the loss the fleet, protecting the planet Hondas XI, had sustained. Thirty frigates and four destroyers were enveloped by a Covenant ship the UNSC had not encountered before, just one ship against thirty-four. Data was not even sure if the vessel they had encountered was Covenant. One thing was for sure though. The report sent to the Office of Navel Intelligence was sure to have some people look over and study the new information, perhaps even keep them busy.
Data could still not locate and verify the ships position. Referencing from star charts from four different systems and calculating the speed and time from point A to point B gave no help whatsoever. One thing for sure that he did have confirmation of, was that the artifact recovered by the Spartans continued to glow faintly.
Captain Lieberg continued his walk through engineering to examine the full extent of the damage from the battle not too long ago. He noticed crewmen running and yelling from across the deck as they tried to stabilize and bring power back to the Fujikawa-shaw FTL Reactor. Lieberg still could not get over the fact that a single ship wiped out the entire fleet with just one blow, and his ship survived? Even Data could not figure out the probability towards that. Whether it was the artifact the Spartans had required from the surface or just pure dumb luck, no matter what had happened, one key fact remained.
They were still alive.
A chance to live and fight another day became the motto of the decade. Humanity's war against the alien onslaught was a losing tide. Each day brought the Covenant closer to Earth. All, but time kept the aliens from coming. Even with a few victories such as Captain Keyes fight with four Covenant ships and the near-mythological Spartans, it would take a miracle to win this war.
The Captain, impressed with the repair rate of the reactor, walked over to the intercom, "status report Data."
"All repair teams are still working on repairing key systems, however Chief Mathews just reported the MAC system will be completely inoperable. The Spartans are still in the armory and Major Kingsley, including his men, are on standby as well."
Lieberg grinned, "What about Covenant activity?"
"The moon we are currently orbiting has multiple layers and concentrations of iron, silicon, and uranium deposits. Our signal should be masked by the radiation. It is also interfering with our navigational star charts. I have to reference and match the stars in our area in order to give you an exact location of the ships position, however I am having trouble.
"When we made our escape from the fight. I imputed the spatial points gathered from the artifact and placed the jump towards that location. However, all I can do right now is to guess where we have jumped to exactly despite all the data," Data replied stressfully.
"Take your time and make sure to triple check whatever answer you find. Notify me if the Covenant detects us. That is our main priority. I don't want to be in a hole for them to set a trap and waiting for us to spring it."
Lieberg left the engineering deck and managed to find the lift to the armory. He did not know what compelled him to go see the Spartans. Whether it be from the artifact they found on Hondas XI or just for his own conscience. Watching crewman continue repairs gave him the need to remember when the last time his crew, hell even himself, had some good R&R. From what he could remember, it had been nearly two years since he last spoke to his son James.
Living on Earth with his mom, James was finishing high school and preparing for college at the Naval Academy. Lieberg wished he could be there for his sons' graduation. Being in the far reaches of space left nothing but a dark hole in his heart. His ship needed him though.
Humanity needed him.
The double door entrance leading into the armory opened slowly. The Captain could hear multiple noises from inside the room. Metal containers carrying shredder and armor-piercing rounds were used as chairs for the half-ton soldiers. He took a step in and looked around, but before Lieberg could say anything he saw a blur in his peripheral.