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Beginnings, Chapter 4 by Salim Farhat
SUMMARY: This is the fourth chapter of Ekove's initial story. The next chapter will be the last.
Location: Sindaric Ocean. Date & Time: 10:15 AM, Greon 7th, 168 AIW (After [the] Imperialist Wars).
Calm, yet the Sindaric Ocean was a large one. For many mariners, civilian and military alike, it was practically a whole world away from their homes and families, leaving them to marvel at the vast expanses of the world they live in.
That particular part of the ocean had a greenish color to it, surprising given the fact that it was blue everywhere else, save for the littoral waters around the islands. The people living in that part of the world jokingly nicknamed the area ‘Junherbs spot', after a brand of fruit juice. An urban legend claimed a merchant ship loaded with the stuff sank there and the cargo got to the ocean. A decidedly silly and untrue tale, but it did leave many wondering about it.
Wondering, of course, when there was time to think about these things. For over two years people had been brooding over the political relationships between Molsar and the rest of the world, many had speculated of the war... and it was no longer wild speculation, but far closer to fact. Though it was not officially declared, nor any nations attacked or invaded, Molsar had ordered its entire merchant fleet and all civilian airplanes to return to their home ports. Furthermore, they fortified just about every single overseas military base and all along their borders and various strategic locations. Their military had been growing tremendously for the past five years and it was no secret. Just about every other nation had expanded their own armed forces in response as well. It didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on.
This, and more, went through the heads of the sailors and pilots of the 2nd Naval Task Force. The Ledornese Navy had sent this to the area to assist the League of Tunbrin forces to protect the region. The League was formed as a response to Molsarian aggression and military ambitions, it was composed of many of the world's most powerful nations, though membership was restricted only to free countries and many dictatorships were forbidden from entering... though that restriction, and more, were starting to fade away as the world situation grew more grim.
The LRS Acob was the strategic center of the fleet, along with an oiler and supply ship to ensure that the fleet could operate so far from its home port. To the crew of the carrier, it was, for all practical purposes, a floating town and airport. The interior of the ship was a honeycomb of watertight and fireproof compartments, with the hangar deck as long as two city blocks. Below the waterline were the engine rooms, fuel tanks, and magazines – containing enough assorted explosives and weapons to level a small city. It would take a week, maybe a month, for your average sailor to learn his way through the ship.
In the bridge, Captain Shinon stood on station, directing the ship and its movements, as well as assisting the admiral in charge of the task force. At that particular moment, he was receiving reports from the destroyers out patrolling the outer areas of the fleet, guarding against submarines, patrol boats, and aircraft.
He was about to ask of the whereabouts of his patrolling aircraft, but before he could speak a lookout reported sighting two fighter planes returning.