AN: This takes place at least in the HALO Universe immediately after the Fall of Reach, where a small UNSC Task Force is running for it's life from Covenant Forces, trying to jump into Slipstream Space and escape. However something happens and these UNSC Ships find themselves in a unique situation.
August 30th, 2552 Military Calendar
Epsilon Eridani System
Onboard UNSC Missouri CLC-20
Rear Admiral Winston Hensley Commanding
With a reverberating bang that resounded through the hull, the portside Emergency thrusters aboard the Valiant class Super Heavy Cruiser UNSC Missouri CLC-20 fired. Forcing the ship onto a new heading in order to dodge the shattered form of the Talos class Destroyer Leader UNSC Resurgence DL-32, the 900 meter long warship had been gutted by an Energy Projector hit during the Fall of Reach.
Trailing behind the Missouri, a single Halcyon class Light Cruiser the UNSC Warrior C-712 fired her starboard emergency thrusters and also dodged the wrecked Resurgence, the old Light Cruiser had taken one hell of a beating and was pushing her old reactors hard just to keep up with the Missouri. Five more UNSC Ships fired their emergency thrusters and dodged the wrecked Destroyer Leader, the ships were the Talos class Destroyer Leader UNSC New Hope DL-45, two Halberd class Destroyers one the famed UNSC Iroquois DD-906 and the other was brand new UNSC Inazuma DD-907, hot on the heels of the two Destroyers and lone Destroyer Leader, came the Paris class Heavy Frigate UNSC Wildcat FFG(H)-341 and the Phoenix class Support Ship UNSC Buccaneer CFV-77.
All of the UNSC Ships showed signs of damage. From somehow given the hell that was the Fall of Reach only dozens of holes from Pulse Laser blasts that had burned holes through 105cm of Titanium A Battleplate like paper with other areas heavily reduced the armor in terms of thickness for UNSC Buccaneer, to having 85% of armor boiled away for UNSC Warrior, the old and obsolete Light Cruiser had taken a hell of a pounding at the hands of the Covenant, having been hit on three separate occasions by Plasma Torpedoes and taking a glancing blow from an Energy Projector. The various UNSC Ships were running for their lives, trying to build up enough charge in their Slipspace Capacitors to escape Epsilon Eridani System and the Covenant that were pursuing them.
As if to punctuate that point, six Covenant CPV class Heavy Destroyer and a Covenant CCS class Battlecruiser glided around the shattered wreck of the UNSC Resurgence and began to close on the fleeing UNSC Ships. Those Covenant Ships, each possessed more firepower than the most powerful member of their group the UNSC Missouri. Not to mention, the largest ship, that CCS class was a good 200 meters longer than the 1,518 meter long Missouri. Plus, their weapons could easily slag the fleeing UNSC Ships effortlessly.
As if the Covenant sensed blood in the water. The leadship in the formation launched fighters, dozens of Seraph class Starfighters and Space Banshees poured from the Hangar Bays, and instantly boosted toward the fleeing UNSC ships. While the lateral lines of one of the Covenant Heavy Destroyers began to glow red as the ship readied a salvo of Plasma Torpedoes.
The various displays and the situation montier on the bridge of the UNSC Missouri displayed all of this. Rear Admiral Winston Hensley hated running away, but given how much of a disaster that the Fall of Reach had been, running away was simply the best option. Staying to try and fight the Covenant here was simply suicidal, considering that normally for the UNSC to beat the Covenant in space, the UNSC needed to outnumber the Covenant Warships 3 to 1 in order to have a chance of winning, and even then two-thirds of the UNSC ships taking part in the action would be destroyed or crippled. But if one got creative or used dicey tactics, then even one UNSC ship could fight multiple Covenant Ships and win.
Or if it had the right upgrades, Admiral Hensley had been stunned when the Halcyon class Light Cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn had in one-on-one combat engaged and destroyed a Covenant Supercruiser, a ship that was responsible for the destruction of multiple UNSC Warships, including a Punic class Supercarrier. He had to admit, that with the triple shot MAC that the Pillar of Autumn had, if every single UNSC Warship in service had those upgrades or at least the Light Cruisers, Heavy Cruisers, Battleships, and Carriers, then the fight would be a lot more equal. They still wouldn't be able to take a hit worth a damn, but it would level the playing field.
"Admiral! Report from the UNSC Wildcat, they are reporting that because of the damage that they took from that single Plasma Torpedo, that they are struggling to generate enough speed, they won't be able to enter Slipstream Space! Not without a serious boost in speed!" The Communications Officer of the Missouri, Lt. Sophie Russell said frantically.
After the hell that had been Reach, everyone was on edge and was desperate to escape this system and all of the Covenant Ships in system which was numbering a little over three hundred at the moment, at least two separate Covenant Fleets were in system. "Damnit! All right! I guess it's time to get a little creative. Set us a new course toward Aenus, set us up for a Slingshot orbit! Evie, will that work?" Winston barked.
"Yes sir! Course plotted for the Gas Giant Aenus!" The Helmsman replied and moments later, the deck rumbled and the feeling of gravity shifted slightly as the Missouri changed course, with the various UNSC following her.
"Yes sir, it will work! But we will be seriously pushing our luck with our structural integrity if we do that!" The disembodied female voice of the Missouri's two year old 4th Generation Smart Artificial Intelligence said. Her holographic avatar, appeared in a holotank, code streaming down her body. She was dressed like a late 20th Century USMC Marine, her avatar color was a uniform blue-green.
"Can the other ships we are with take the strain?" Hensley asked, praying that the answer was yes.
"Yessir they can, but it will put some real serious stress on the space frame of the Warrior. But, given the durability of the Halcyon class Light Cruiser, she has roughly a 65% chance of surviving the maneuver." Evie said.
"Wilco on that." Hensley replied.
Suddenly the dreaded cry resounded through the bridge from the Sensor officer. "Contact! Contact! Two Plasma Torpedoes away! Shit! They are targeting the Wildcat!" Lt. Sten Loberg cried.
On one of the monitors, two fiery red bolts of energy detached from the CPV class Heavy Destroyer that had been readying a salvo and the two bolts of plasma shot forward. Rapidly closing with the UNSC Wildcat, the Paris class Heavy had suffered damage to her Reactors and was now trying desperately to evade the two bolts of hellfire that was closing in on the ship. Just before impact the Heavy Frigate fired her starboard emergency thrusters and leaped out of the way of the two oncoming torpedoes, which shot past the ship. The two torpedoes quickly retargeted, streaking toward the Missouri, when suddenly another surprised cry from Lt. Loberg got Admiral Hensley's attention.
"Holy shit! Beta Particle spike! Energy Projector discharge!" Lt. Loberg barked out again. Suddenly as quick as a bolt of lightning splitting the night sky, a brilliant Blue-White Beam of energy lanced out from the CCS class Battlecruiser, the beam impaled the Wildcat through her portside thruster pack, spearing through it as if the 65cm of Titanium-A Battleplate that protected the Heavy Frigate as if it wasn't even there to begin with, it then cleaved into the main hull, just forward of bridge tower, roughly in the middle of the ship height wise, instantly snapping the UNSC Wildcat in half, her engines were still running hot, while the bow arched upward, entering a violent tumble, her MAC Cannon or what was left of it detached itself from the rest of the forward hull and tumbling down and away from the ship, moments later the reactor in the stern gave in and what was left of the stern turned into a star, complete with its own system of co-orbiting debris. Not a single Lifepod had a chance to launch from Paris class Heavy Frigate.
"Holy fuck, if there's one thing that the Covenant are good at, it's shock and awe. God damn, that was brutal." Hensley muttered as the death of the UNSC Wildcat was vividly displayed on a video-display.
"Time to impact on Plasma Torpedoes twenty seconds!" Lt. Loberg barked.
"All hands brace for impact! Prepare to seal Compartments when those torpedoes hit, and vent those areas!" Hensley snapped.
"Yessir!" Lt. Zara Foster, the Operations Officer for the UNSC Missouri replied.
"Impact in ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one...impact!" Loberg shouted as the Missouri shuddered as two bolts of Plasma impaled the Valiant class Super Heavy Cruiser in the portside, in her ventral decks, splashing across the 375 centimeters of Titanium-A Battleplate, boiling through the armor with ease. Shortly after the two impacts, muffled thumps reverberated through the hull as various compartments were sealed and then vented to space.
Suddenly, the Seraphs attacked, swarming around the UNSC Ships as they pushed their reactors to the limit to reach Aenus, where they could do a slingshot orbit and then jump into slipstream space. The deck of the Missouri rumbled under Hensley's feet as Evie engaged the point-defense network onboard the Valiant class. Some thirty-six out of originally forty-eight AAA Helix Guns came to life, hurling shells into the void, chipping away at the shields that protected the enemy fighters. The other ships did the same, 50mm MLA Autocannons came to life, sending shells screaming into the void. Small fireballs began to erupt and then almost as quickly snap out of existence due to the lack of oxygen as the enemy fighters had their shields hammered down and then had their space frames blown apart by shells.
"Good work Evie on engaging our Point-Defense Network!" Hensley barked as the Missouri shuddered as a Seraph got lucky, and landed a pair of fuel rod shots on the Valiant class Super Cruiser.
"No Problem sir!" Evie said.
On the main video screen, another CPV class Heavy Destroyer, had its lateral lines begin to glow red as it prepared a salvo of plasma torpedoes. The Covenant were going to try their best to destroy these UNSC Ships, particularly the UNSC Missouri, she was a critical asset that the Covenant would love to see destroyed, as she was a Valiant class Super Heavy Cruiser, but everyone knew that they were Command Cruisers and were classified as such, but that they were also Battleships, thirty-eight had been in existence at the start of the Human-Covenant War, now only about a dozen were left.
"Evie! How long until we reach Aenus?" Hensley asked, although he had feeling that he knew the answer.
"Not for another two and half hours sir! We won't be able to last that long." Evie said with resignation in her voice.
"Weapons! Get me an ammo check! For all weapons!" Hensley ordered sharply.
"Sir! We have thirteen full Archer Missile Pods, we also have four Shiva class Thermonuclear warheads left, in terms of MAC ammo we don't have much left, exactly ten MAC rounds. Since we really didn't get into secondary battery range, our Oganer ammunition stocks are at eighty percent!" Lt. Adam Geijer replied.
"Evie! How are ammunition stocks for the rest of our ships?" Hensley asked.
"Most of our ships are just about dry on ordinance. UNSC Buccaneer is reporting that they have exactly one MAC round left and their secondary battery is down to roughly fifty percent, but they are doing okay for PDGs with thirty percent ammunition stocks, and they are almost out of missiles. UNSC Warrior has five MAC rounds left, exactly one Archer Pod that still has missiles, no nukes, their secondary battery is down to roughly twenty percent, and is down to roughly sixty percent for PDGs, UNSC New Hope is literally bone dry on Archer Missiles, Nukes, and MAC Rounds, while their secondary battery is down to five percent for ammunition stocks, and they are at twenty percent for PDG ammunition, UNSC Iroquois is down to two rounds for her MAC cannons, she has no nukes left, no Archer Missiles, and her secondary battery is down to five percent for ammunition, and lastly the UNSC Inazuma is down one MAC cannon, she has seven MAC rounds left, no Archer Missiles, one Nuke, her PDGs are down to twenty percent for ammunition, and her secondary battery is down to three percent for ammunition. We are just about dry for ordinance. I have to ask Captain, what do you have in mind?" Evie stated, but she did sound somewhat curious.
"Something that Captain Keyes would approve of. Evie, calculate the best deceleration burn that all of our ships can handle and then on my mark have them execute it. If it goes like I think it will, the Covenant won't be expecting it and they will over shoot us. Allowing us to drop the hammer them, at the same time, while we are doing that burn. I want our slipstream capacitors to dump their charge right into the MAC Capacitors." Admiral Hensley said.
"Sir, that is absolutely insane! Plus, I am certain that the rest of the bridge crew would be hedged to agree." Evie said stunned at Admiral Hensley was proposing.
"I am well aware of that Evie, but something tells me that the Covenant Bastards won't be expecting it in the slightest. So when we pull this maneuver, it will surprise the Covies. Thus giving us the upper hand. Even though it will be brief, however that will give us the chance to drop the hammer on them." Hensley replied.
"When you put it that way sir. Your plan doesn't sound suicidal anymore but actually pretty brilliant. I know for a fact that they won't be expecting it. So sir, which ship targets which Covenant ship?" Evie said.
"The Missouri and the Iroquois are to target that big bastard of a CCS class, a combination of Archer Missiles, MAC Rounds, and a pair of Nukes ought to do the trick to take that bastard down. While Inazuma, Warrior, and Buccaneer are to focus fire on a CPV class of their choosing. Make sure that they use their secondary battery and their Archer Missiles as well. After that, all ships are to focus on various enemy ships, the EMP from the nukes will knock their shields flat." Hensley said.
"Yes sir, before I transmit this data, do you want me to sync all of our ships so we pull this move off at simultaneously?" Evie asked.
"Damn right Evie!" Hensley said briskly.
"Done sir, waiting for your command sir." Evie said after a moment.
Hensley waited exactly thirty seconds longer.
*BGM: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 OST: Imperial City Defense*
"NOW! Execute it now!" Hensley bellowed as he strapped himself into the command chair on the bridge. With reverberating shudder that ran through the Missouri the Battleship pulled a sudden deceleration burn, at the same time the power that was flowing into the Slipstream Capacitors suddenly began flowing into the MAC Capacitors.
The Covenant Ships, not expecting the sudden slow down by the UNSC ships, shot right past the human vessels. Then, from every ship that had them, dozens of missiles hurled themselves out of their tubes, and the streaked toward the Covenant vessels, then the MACs, which had been almost instantly charged with the sudden power influx from the Slipstream Capacitors discharged, bolts of yellow lightning streaked through space. The first two rounds bounced of the shields of the CPV class Heavy Destroyer that was targeted, the shields flickered and died, blue stabs of light shone through space as Pulse lasers engaged the Archer Missiles. The third shot from the Buccaneer tore through the length of the enemy ship, causing it to lurch violently, as the 600-ton Depleted Uranium Slug simply gutted the ship, pulse laser fire instantly slacked off, Archer Missiles impacted delivering the equivalent of a directed two megaton explosion of TNT right into the hull of the enemy ship. A bright white nuclear fireball erupted as a Shiva class Thermonuclear warhead detonated in close proximity to the enemy ship, the heat of the blast boiling layers of armor and plating away like it was paper, the radiation frying the hull and sensors. Under this hammering punishment the enemy Heavy Destroyer simply broke apart.
Thanks to the EMP the shields on the other destroyers flared brilliantly and died, their engine cones sputtered as the power conduits were fried by the Electromagnetic Pulse.
The CCS class Battlecruiser never stood a chance, as the ordinance arrival was timed so that both the CCS class Battlecruiser and the CPV class Heavy Destroyer were hit simultaneously. It's shields absorbed the brunt of the first three MAC rounds, but failed after the third shell impacted, thus the fourth MAC round plowed into it, punching all the way down the length of the ship. Making it lurch violently as the helmsman of the ship struggled to maintain control. The Pulse Laser fire from the ship snapped out, Archer Missiles, roughly half of the salvo crashed into the ship roughly five seconds later, exactly two seconds after the shields had failed. Directed three megaton explosions ripped through the alien warship, tearing great chunks out of it. Then twin nuclear fire erupted as a pair of 80 megaton Shiva Thermonuclear Warheads impaled the ship and exploded. The CCS class Battlecruiser was simply vaporized.
The EMPs from the nukes rendered the remaining ships suddenly shieldless. Each ship then was targeted by the Oganer Mass Drivers that formed the secondary battery of the UNSC ships, 15cm Depleted Uranium slugs weighing one ton tore into the Covenant Warships. Smashing through armor, plowing through hulls each shot doing incredible damage, a salvo of Archer Missiles tore into the remaining Covenant Ships which had been rendered helpless by the trifecta of EMPs that the nukes had unleashed meant that all of the missiles tore into hulls simply ripping the ships apart.
"HELL YEAH!" Lt. Greijer boomed examining the carnage he and his team had just created. Where there had been seven powerful Covenant Warships, their was now just six huge debris fields.
"I agree with your sentiment Lt. Greijer, but now we need to get the hell out of here before we wind up to our necks in Covenant Warships. Evie, get all of us to Aenus, let's get the hell out of this system!" Hensley ordered.
The next one hour fifty minutes was rather quiet, which was rather surprising, however thirty minutes earlier Admiral Hensley realizing that the Covenant would likely have Aenus locked down tight, ordered a course correction that would take them out of the system. Without using a gravity boost, however the Admiral was concerned about the UNSC Warrior, the old Cruiser was struggling to make it to critical velocity so it could transition into slipstream space.
Then all hell broke loose. "Slipspace rupture!" Lt. Loberg shouted suddenly.
"What?! Where? How many are their?" Hensley barked fiercely his voice carrying an undertone of shock.
"A dozen! Exactly five kilometers behind us! Not even a kilometer apart!" Loberg replied voice fringed with panic, and for a damned good reason. There was no way in hell that the UNSC could pull off a jump like that, the same was true for the Innies, they couldn't do a slipstream jump like that, which meant that it was the Covenant, hell Admiral Hensley knew it was the Covenant when he heard how close the ruptures were and where they had appeared, he knew just like every other UNSC officer how close together Covenant Warships could exit slipstream space.
"Contact! Multiple contacts, they match known Covenant Silhouettes! We just had, holy fuck, a CSO class Supercarrier, six CCS class Battlecruisers, and five CPV class Heavy Destroyers drop out of slipspace just five kilometers behind us! How the bloody hell do they do that?!" Loberg barked out, panic evident in his voice.
"I have no idea Lieutenant, I have no idea how they can do that! Evie! For the love of god, can we jump yet?" Admiral Hensley stated.
"We will be able to do so in ninety seconds! That's how long it will take for the UNSC Warrior to reach Critical Velocity. Then we can get the hell out of here!" Evie replied briskly.
"Damn good to hear! Hopefully we can get out of here quickly enough!" Hensley said, knowing for a fact that the next ninety seconds would likely be the longest in his life.
"Admiral! Beta Particle spike emanating from one of the CCS class Battlecruisers! It's preparing a salvo of Plasma Torpedoes!" Loberg barked out, and sure enough on one of the vid-screens it displayed that the plasma turrets on one the Covenant Battlecruisers were beginning to glow a dull red as plasma was collected and shaped, being prepared to be fired at the fleeing UNSC ships.
Suddenly after what felt like an eternity, with the lateral lines along all of the Covenant Warships glowing a brilliant angry red, like eyes spearing through the inky blackness of space. Just as the torpedoes launched, Admiral Hensley heard the best damn news in his entire life.
"All ships can now enter Slipspace!" Evie reported.
"All ships jump!" Hensley shouted, the order was quickly repeated and on the fleeing UNSC Warships the most expensive piece of equipment ever built by man, the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine activated, tearing a hole in subspace to access the realm known as Slipstream Space through the use of high-power cyclic particle accelerators, generating micro black holes, these black holes evaporated in the span of a nano-second via Hawking Radiation into useless thermal energy in that nanosecond the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight engine manipulated them and produced a Slipstream Space rupture; greenish splotches appeared on the inky black drop of space like bruises and the UNSC ships shot into them, and in the process bolting for safety.
However the Covenant weren't going to let the humans get away that easily, for the Covenant ships powered up their Slipspace Drives and dashed toward the UNSC Slipstream space ruptures, with the intent of following.
"Shit! Admiral! The Covenant are closing with us rapidly, they are going to follow us!" Evie growled.
"Dammit! So wherever this blind jump dumps us, we will likely have to try and get away from these Covenant bastards and then following the Cole Protocol jump back to Earth." Hensley grated out.
As soon as the last vessel entered Slipstream Space, the ruptures vanished as if they had never existed in the first place. The destination for the UNSC ships, was a star cluster, some one full month worth of travel time away at least for UNSC Slipstream Drives which could only do 2.625 light years a day, but it would be significantly shorter for the Covenant ships which could do an unimaginable 912 light years per day.
Still, as it stood. The UNSC ships were safe for the moment and most of the crew would go into Cryo-Storage for the majority of the duration of the trip through the elusive dimension.
One month later
November 30th, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Unknown Star Cluster
Onboard UNSC Missouri BB-20
Following Admiral Hensley
"Wake up sir." Evie's voice said as Admiral Hensley's Cryo-chamber hissed open. Hensley opened his eyes and blinked rapidly, trying to get the sleep out of his eyes. He took his first breath of fresh air in over three months and gagged, entering a violent coughing fit.
Cursing slightly, he regurgitated and then swallowed the Bronchial Surfactant to replace nutrients lost during Cryosleep. "Goddamnit, I hate that fucking stuff." Hensley growled under his breath as he tried again to take a deep breath and this time was successful.
"Report Evie, where are we?" Hensley asked as he stood up, stretched and then went to go get dressed.
"We are enroute to our slipstream exit point somewhere in Star Cluster NGC 104536, ETA five hours, currently giving the crew the wake-up call." Evie replied.
"Anything particularly interesting about NGC 104536? Anything at all?" Hensley asked as he pulled his Ash Grey Service Dress Shit on.
"Not really sir. NGC 104536 has six stars in three groups of two stars each. The stars themselves are as follows, three of the stars are Type-G1V Main Sequence Stars, two are Type A2V Main Sequence Stars, and the last one is a Type-F2V Main Sequence Star. One that is really interesting about the various stars in this star cluster is that they all have been confirmed to have planets. But we don't know if they are habitable or not, mainly because it's so far off the beaten track and from the various UEG Colonies that it simply would have been a logistical nightmare to succeed in getting a self-sustaining colony out here." Evie said.
"Understood Evie, however would this place be a good spot to lie low for a few days before we jump back to Earth? Maybe even check to see what sort of planets we are dealing with here, then once we give the Covenant the slip and return to Earth, maybe we can have two Colony Ships filled with colonists, a Phoenix class support ship, and a couple other vessels disappear to this area, where they could give humanity a second wind?" Hensley said as he pulled on his Ash Grey Service Dress Pants.
"Sir, as much as I would be inclined to agree. We would first have to do a survey of an rocky planets we find in system. It would simply take too much time, I am fairly sure that UNSC HIGHCOM would prefer to have the ships that are with us as well as the Missouri to return to Earth for repairs, crew replenishment, and re-armament as quickly as possible." Evie stated.
"Yeah, you are correct their Evie, but remember, the fate of humanity is at risk here. I have seen the estimates, humanity only has a few months left before the Covenant discover Earth and then it's pretty much game over for us. That was before the Covenant attacked and destroyed Reach. Now that estimate is down to likely only a few weeks, I mean goddamnit Epsilon Eridani is right on Earth's doorstep." Hensley snapped, as he put his dress shoes on.
"I am aware sir. Still, to do a survey would take time. However in light of everything that has happened. I do agree that it will be the best bet, to give humanity a second chance." Evie replied.
"Thanks Evie, now the trick will be convincing HIGHCOM to go through with the plan. Anyway, I am going to go to the cafeteria grab a cup of Java and then head to the bridge." Hensley said as he grabbed his hat and strode out of the Cryogenic Stasis Chamber, he had a ship to run and get ready for a real space transition.
Four hours fifty eight minutes later saw Admiral Hensley and the rest of the command staff of the UNSC Missouri or as she was known to her crew Mighty Mo' getting ready for a real space transition.
"Evie, make sure that we are running dark when we exit Slipstream Space. I don't want us to be jumped by any Covenant Warships moments after we exit Slipstream Space. That we would be bad for our well-being." Hensley said.
"Aye Aye sir, running dark." Evier replied.
The next two minutes passed rather slowly it seemed for Admiral Hensley at least. He scowled as he realized that the Covenant had certainly beaten them to NGC 104536, but the good news was that it was a Star Cluster, plenty of places to hide in.
"Real space transition in five...four...three...two...one!" The helmsman said.
ATLAS class Battlestar
Battlestar Strike Group 12
Admiral Courtney Campbell commanding
June 5th, 1996 (Colonial Military Calendar)
Admiral Courtney Campbell of the Colonial Navy was in love. She had just been given her first command after spending nearly twenty eight years as a Viper Pilot. Still she was ecstatic that her command was a mighty Atlas class Battlestar and boy the Excaliber despite being nearly ten years old was still a powerhouse, coming in at 2,750 meters long, with a beam of 850 meters, and a height of 450 meters, she wasn't the biggest fish in the pond, not by a longshot, that honor went to the 4,550 meter long Titan class Battlestar. Plus she had some serious teeth, with two bow mounted facing Super Heavy KEW mounts, each one was a railgun capable of hurling a four ton Slug round to a velocity of 50 kilometers per second, plus thirty-six twin Heavy KEW mounts, sixty twin Medium KEW Mounts, twenty missile turrets, and over four hundred fifty Light KEWs for point defense purposes. But that wasn't all, the Excaliber had quite the aerospace wing as well, with twelve squadrons of Vipers for 240 Viper Mark VIIs, plus four Raptor Squadrons for forty Raptors, plus two Heavy Lifters.
However the Excaliber was not alone, she had her own Battlestar Strike Group, which was different from a Battlestar Group in the fact that a Battlestar Strike Group had only one full-sized Battlestar and not three or four, but they did have generally two Light or Escort Battlestars plus escorts. The composition of her Battlestar Strike Group was her own Battlestar Excaliber, two Tethys class Light Battlestars, one of the newer Nemesis class Battlecruisers, two Erinyes class Battlecruisers, six Cheetah Mark III class Light Cruisers, and a dozen Titan class Gunstars. Plus, to make matters even better, despite the fact that the Tethys class Light Battlestars only carried four squadrons of Vipers and two squadrons of Raptors for an aerospace wing composed of eighty Viper Mark VIIs and twenty Raptors. The Nemesis class Battlecruiser in addition to its heavy armament, heavy armor, it also carried a small complement of Vipers, two Squadrons for forty Viper Mark VIIs. The rest of the ships didn't have any Vipers aboard but they were still heavily armed and armored.
Her patrol near the very edge of the Helios Alpha System was nearly complete. Then of course everything went crazy. "DRADIS contacts! Holy frak! Radiation alarms are going crazy here! I have portals of some kind forming, range thirty-thousand kilometers! They are throwing all kinds of radiation out!" The DRADIS operator on the Excaliber barked suddenly.
"What the hell do you mean? Show me!" Campbell snapped out.
One of the view screens flickered from the DRADIS display to an exterior camera. What the camera displayed was incredible. It seemed like space was developing a nasty green and purple bruise. A shimmering portal of energy that led to only the Lords of Kobol knew where. Then they appeared, in something that was incredibly majestic. Several ships, warships glided out of those portals, their engine cones flaring, their thrusters fired, maneuvering the ships with ease, which amazed Campbell, particularly considering that one of the ship was about as big as the Excaliber, maybe a little smaller, but it was still damn big.
Then her eyes began to pick out details on the various ships, what she saw amazed her. They were all damaged, having sustained damage that would have outright crippled or destroyed a Battlestar easily. The most heavily damaged ship that she saw, was probably just over a 1000 meters long, most of it's armor was gone, she could actually see the frame of the ship to a degree. The damage to that vessel was simply enormous.
"Who are they?" Campbell asked as she stared at the ships, which were rapidly assuming a defensive formation that would have be a pain in the ass to crack open. The largest ship, actually moved into the very back of the formation. Making Campbell realize that it must be a logistics ship of some kind.
"Sir! What are our orders?" The helmsman asked nervously.
"Set Condition Two and someone get me a frequency open to that big ship in the lead of that formation!" Campbell barked.
Lights flared, and started flashing yellow. No alarm wailed, but the crew still leapt to their tasks securing the ship and getting her ready for combat in case things went south. However Admiral Campbell's main concern if this situation went hot was that big ship in the led of the formation for the unknown, for all she knew the thing likely had tons of armor, guns, and missile launch points.
"Admiral, we are being hailed, it's one of the crispest signals I have ever heard. Not even slightly scratchy." The comm officer said.
"Let's hear it." Campbell ordered.
A sharp, crisp message came over the speakers. It was distinctly human, male, with an accent that Campbell didn't recognize. Most certainly wasn't an accent from any of the main colonies, the accent was probably from one of the minor colonies scattered throughout the various systems in the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.
"Unknown warships this is the United Nations Space Command Vessel Missouri, please identify yourself or you will be considered hostile." The man on the other end said with a distinctive air of authority, the distinct air of an Admiral, however their was undertone to his voice that said he and his ships had been through hell and back at least twice within a short period of time, meaning that they likely had a bit of an itchy triggerfinger.
"Real friendly bunch." The XO muttered grimly.
"Give them a break, they have probably just been through hell. I would be in the same sort of mood as well." Campbell said as she picked up the phone, nodded to the communications officer and started speaking.
"United Nations Space Command Vessel Missouri, this is the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Navy Battlestar Excaliber, I am Admiral Courtney Campbell, the commanding officer of Battlestar Strike Group Twelve." Campbell said, wanting to take this slow and steady. However she knew that if the Battlestar Pegasus had been here, Admiral Cain would have taken that opening line as an excuse to simply open fire. However the Old Man, well knowing him, his interest would likely be quirked, he certainly would know how to start a first contact.
"Thank god! Finally we encounter another society outside of the UNSC that is actually friendly and doesn't shoot on sight! God, still Admiral Campbell, I bet you are wondering who I am, well to clear that up. I am Rear Admiral Winston Hensley of the UNSC. However we have much to discuss here, and there some that I don't want to discuss on an open channel." The man on the other said, identifying himself as Admiral Winston Hensley.
"Admiral, you are right that we have a lot to discuss. However I have a feeling that this is way above my head. I am going to put in a few calls to Colonial Fleet High Command, let them know of the situation, might get a few visitors as well." Campbell said.
"I understand Admiral. However, please note that my ships are just about dry on ordinance of every type and are in some serious need of repairs. Food and water are also rather high on my list of things to acquire. Particularly since I just got a report from my engineering staff that the FTL drive on my ship, well FUBAR'd itself during the jump we did to get here, which means that the MISSOURI isn't going anywhere, not without six to eight months in drydock to have the stupid thing replaced. Damn lucky it didn't maron my ship in middle of nowhere." Admiral Hensley said, pretty much giving a run down on the condition of his ships.
"I understand Admiral, I will make sure that I emphasize that when I contact High Command." Campbell said before she cut the connection.
She then sighed as she realized that this was going to be a very long day and not just in the metaphorical sense either.
In unknown Star System
September 30th, 2552 (Military Calendar)
Onboard UNSC Missouri BB-20
Admiral Winston Hensley Commanding
Admiral Hensley sighed as the connection was cut. One thing that was for sure, like it or not, the UNSC Missouri wasn't going anywhere. Particularly considering that her Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine had burned itself out on the trip to this Star Cluster. It had likely happened when they were exiting Slipstream Space, either way, the Missouri wasn't going anywhere, not without a space dock, a full shipyard, and anywhere between six to eight months to replace the damn thing. Plus all the other damage that the other UNSC ships had taken, from being basically gutted for UNSC Warrior to the somehow pretty light damage for UNSC Buccaneer, although Hensley suspected that it might be because of the fact that the Buccaneer wasn't a true Warship, just a support craft and thus didn't pose that great a risk to the Covenant Ships, unless it hit one that had its shields down it's MAC cannon was probably about as effective as a shot from Charon class Light Frigate against Covenant Shields in that it would only be able to get one shot off, it would bounce off of the shields and then the Covenant Ship would promptly gut the Frigate.
However the fact stood that they had discovered a section of space where humans lived, totally unknown to the UNSC, hell from the looks of it, they hadn't even meet the Covenant Empire yet. This was incredible news, and it could be a war-winner, particularly with their 'Battlestars'. Still, he didn't know what their technological level of these 'Twelve Colonies of Kobol' was. However first order of business for him was getting his ships repaired and resupplied so they could take the fight to the Covenant if they had to.
Still he knew he had a long day ahead of him. Including a First Contact Mission, damn if he had to go over to the Colonial Ships he wanted to bring a squad of Marines or ODSTs, but he wasn't sure. "What are you thinking about Captain?" Evie asked.
"Evie, I know we have Marines and ODSTs onboard. However I have to ask. Do we have any SPARTANs onboard any of my ships?" Hensley asked.
"Sir, we actually do in fact. The last Pelican that docked with us before we had to break orbit and run like the devil was behind us, was Pelican Zulu 945, docked with two UNSC Marines that had been through the ringer, and three SPARTANs; they are SPARTANS 047, 122, and 137. Members of the SPARTAN Red Team, they were just grateful for the pickup and relieved at the fact that they managed to get off Reach before it got very ugly in orbit. So yes, we do have SPARTANs onboard. Want to use them for an escort if things get ugly during the meet and greet?" Evie asked.
"Exactly, who is the team leader?" Hensley asked.
"Well sir, according SPARTAN-137, their team leader was SPARTAN-043, but they got separated in the chaos to arm some of those terrifying NOVA Bombs that Admiral Danforth Whitcomb is working on. However, the three came to the unanimous decision to make SPARTAN-137 Team Leader, they are operating under the designation Red Team." Evie said.
Hensley nodded, he was happy to know that there was three SPARTANs onboard. "Evie, get SPARTAN-137 up here, just so that I can brief them on this situation." Hensley said.
"Aye, aye sir!" Evie replied.
AN: There we go, that's the end of this chapter, just a teaser really. However one thing of note is that SPARTANs 137, 122, and 047 are canon Spartans. They are listed as MIA on Reach, but in the canon we have no idea what happened to them, we don't know which Red Team these Spartans were in, so I stuck with Delta Red Team. Thus, I took the liberty of having them rescued by a Pelican Dropship, which then landed on the UNSC Missouri.
Also, we can expect that the Covenant will appear at some point during this fic, expect it to occur, considering how big of a force chased the UNSC ships into Slipstream Space, they are probably hiding somewhere or high-tailing it back to High Clarity to alert the Prophets of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. Either way, they will make an appearance in this fic.
Anyway take care folks and I'll catch you next time.