Joining the Nation - Part 3

Silver, freshly decanted, threaded his way through the maze of scrap, usable systems, and various oddities recovered during his several days sojourn in low security. Everything shook as technicians tested a refurbished afterburner assembly in one corner. Even from within the explosion-proof clear polycarb chamber housing the test rig, the noise was deafening and small bits and ends shook loose from the stacks of salvage all around. Silver winced at the noise, then hurriedly dodged as a pile of conduits and semi-usable components avalanched across the path. Someone needed to be sent through all this... this stuff. Silver shrugged and picked his way through, finally arriving at the Data Forensics lab.

Located adjacent to the salvage hangar, it was here information was carefully sifted from the surviving systems of the destroyed ships. Most of it was useless, at least taken in small chunks, going into databases for trend analysis. What interested him at the moment was the information from the beat up old cruiser that he had run into. He had sent the easily retrievable data on ahead, before he even docked, and now the techs, pale complexions glowing blue in the dim lab with the light of the monitors, pulled up their early results on the main monitor dominating the far wall:

Designation: FDNL33846, previously 'Wrath,' previously 'Utopia Realized.'

Phantasm Class

Service log:...

Silver scanned quickly through the log, until he came to the date the cruiser was launched. The main structure of the ship was even older than he had thought, from the Nation's golden age, before True Slaves became common. It had been nearly destroyed twice, the first time over a planet, cargo hold and main power conduits breached by laser fire. The ship had floated essentially dead, the – what the log called organic components – had died, for nearly a decade the ship had floated there until the its recovery. Incredible. Reincarnated again only to suffer an even closer brush with death when it suffered a reactor breach fighting Seraphim. That it had been deemed still useful and recovered twice was nothing short of miraculous, and surviving a reactor breach in any condition to be rebuilt - Silver felt a twinge of guilt for destroying such a persistent machine.

Walking back through, once again weaving through the piled refuse created in the name of boredom and profit, Silver came again to the low mounded aftermath of the avalanche across the pathway. Making his way back across, an incongruous shape caught his eye. A book, paper, brown covered and yellow paged. With antiquity? One way to find out. Silver snagged the book and headed toward the blastdoors leading out and toward what the AI concierge claimed was the finest restaurant on this backwater station. He was looking forward to the more complete data from the ship, but not nearly as much as he was looking forward to his first meal in almost a week.

No comments:

Post a Comment