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|Political and military information
Maher was serving aboard the Dark Was the Night at the tail end of the Human-Covenant War in late 2552 when it came under attack by the Covenant. The ship made an emergency slipspace jump, but was too badly damaged to keep operating at full capacity. With no other options, it was set down roughly on the Outer Colony, Losing Hand. The command crew had suffered numerous casualties, so the ship's helmsman, Darren Leone, was advanced to acting captain. One of his first decisions was to promote Lieutenant Maher to be his executive officer.
Almost a year after the crash-landing on Losing Hand, Maher woke Captain Leone one morning to inform him of vandalism that had been found on the side of the ship. The night before had seen a fight break out between some of the local colonists and UNSC personnel, and the defacement was evidently connected to the altercation. Maher had already assigned a work detail to clean it up. He admitted to Darren that he couldn't recognize the style of writing, and when Leone told him to make sure the point defense guns were powered, he disagreed with that decision. The guns were inoperative, but Leone reasoned that if they at least tracked the movements of trespassers, then they would be powerful deterrents to future aberrant behavior. He assured his captain that his wishes would be followed, however, and went on to share the latest about a recent bout of solar flares that was wreaking havoc on their solar-powered power core. He was interrupted by the approach of Sergeant Robertson, escorting Aoife Larsson, a woman involved in the previous night's fight. Maher confirmed to Darren that she had been drunk and disorderly when she had been detained.
After Leone, Robertson, and Aoife left for town, Maher became aware of a shocking realization: a satellite drone in orbit had received a hail in the form of a UNSC recognition code, but it was coming from a Covenant Makar-pattern light corvette. He wasted no time radioing Leone to let him know. That night, Lt. Maher led a town meeting that saw crew and colonists alike gathered to decide what to do about this new threat. Maher told them it would be just eighty-one hours until the ship arrived. He also attempted to assuage their fears, however, by pointing out that it was not behaving according to typical Covenant battle tactics and that they couldn't be sure of its intentions. At dawn, Leone left Maher in charge when he and Robertson went off to find Kevin-A282, a Spartan-III supersoldier who had gone AWOL after they landed on Losing Hand. As they were on their way back, he radioed Darren to let him know that the corvette had accelerated, and would now be there by that very night. He met the captain in the cargo bay as soon as he returned and explained that after noting the increased velocity of the vessel, the drone entered shutdown mode, likely in order to weather the persistent solar flares.
Personality and traits
Maher dressed in a crisp green uniform and had an equally crisp haircut. Captain Leone thought that he always looked as if he had just stepped off the parade ground at an Officer Candidate School. He even suspected that Maher might be hoarding soap and hair care products from the rest of the crew. The junior officer was known to be one that followed orders regardless of his own opinions. Despite his consistent demeanor and presentation, when it seemed that everyone on Losing Hand would be dead soon, even Lieutenant Maher had a rough-looking appearance and haunted eyes.