Chapter 14: Rolling Heavy Metal Part 1
Lt. Miguel "Jackal" Vega
"Hm... That's a BIGASS APC." Jackal stated as Fireteam Praetorian looked over the M510 Mammoth. It certainly gave a feeling similar to their MARV tank in being heavily armored and armed, but could carry dozens of soldiers inside of it. Sure the MAC gun it had was powerful, but the vehicle wasn't a tank and probably couldn't take as much damage as the MARV or the latest Mastodon variant.
"Seriously, that's all what you have to say Canine?" Emile-A239 said to the GDI supersoldier.
"Real funny Skullhead." Jackal said to the Spartan III. "At least I'm not scratching up my armor to sharpen a kukri."
"Keeps it sharp." Emile said as he sheathed his knife. "Plus it's not like the blade can cut through my armor if I'm careless."
"As I recall about their lore, shouldn't you be cutting yourself for bringing out without it tasting blood?" Vega said with a slight smirk under his helmet.
"Technically I am cutting myself since its on my armor." Emile said, putting his arm in ready position and having a firm grip on his knife. "I can rectify having it taste blood, if you're volunteering."
"You can try." Vega said, not backing down from the challenge and caused Emile to snort.
Noble Team had been assigned with both Blue Team and Praetorian in this mission. The team that had been brought back from their deaths on Reach due to Forerunner intervention was eager to get into the thick of the action. While Jun wasn't with them due to his position as head of the new Spartan branch of the UNSC, they were still more then capable for a fight. Arron had to serve as a replacement sniper with Jun gone, so he carried the new SRS-100 Gauss sniper rifle. This rifle a mix of the SRS platform with components from M99 Stanchion rifle (the original one from the Halo Comics, not the improved one from Halo Wars 2) to make it more effective at punching through Covenant body armor and shielding.
Emile and Jackal traded banter back and forth as they continued to walk on. Jackal was was known as a bit of a funny guy but was also impulsive when it come to seeing opportunities. So he began to test Emile and see if he can get some kind of response.
He can easily tell that the skull-faced Spartan was into slicing apart his opponents since he looked to be a CQC specialist.
Jorge and Ursa were double-checking their heavy weapons to make sure they were fully ready. They shared some small talk as the two heavies of their respective squads.
"So how strong are these Brutes?" Ursa questioned.
"Brutes have been able to lift Spartans in full armor, especially Alpha Brutes." Jorge said as he ejected a 50 caliber bullet to make sure it functioning correctly.
"Ha ha! Believe me my Spartan friend, those over muscled monkeys will know full well how a real warrior fights!" Ursa said while raising his fist to head level.
"Rather confident aren't we?" Jorge pointed out.
"I train myself to regularly fight with enemies bigger and stronger then me." Ursa said. "I've even fought grown bears and other large animals."
"You wrestled bears after you got your augmentations?" Jorge questioned with his eyebrows slightly raising up under his helmet.
"Sometimes to improve oneself, they must go far beyond what is possible." Ursa said while grinning under his helmet. "It's important if you are going to fight with colossal mutants, large cyborgs, and Scrin combat units."
Jorge couldn't help but shake his head in amusement with the Russian-born supersoldier. While he was a bit concerned due to the man's excitement for a fight, he figured that the Centurion knew when was a good time for a fight and when to take things seriously.
'I could see him and Sam as good friends if he was still with us today.' Jorge thought.
Kat meanwhile was speaking with Caster, the tech expert seeing the mutant as interesting from a scientific viewpoint. Sure the UNSC knew about mutations from circumstances such as nuclear fallout. The mutations caused by Tiberium and the powers it gave to those who survived exposure to the crystal.
"So you guys can set up reinforced towers and have any type of defensive turret on them?" Kat questioned Caster.
"Yep, we can disassemble the structures and change them up for new ones depending on the situation, thanks to the built in nanomachines in those turrets." Caster stated. "We also have different turrets for similar roles such as the larger and hard hitting Guardian Cannons or the faster firing, double barreled Gauss Cannons."
"Why do you need so many different turrets for certain roles?" Kat stated.
"Just for options if needed." Caster said. "We've even had our Gatling turrets able to fire upon aircraft as opposed to just infantry and ground units. Plus some turrets better conserve ammo so they can fire for much longer in sieges while others can tear apart larger enemy forces."
"So some serve roles in certain scenarios better then others." Kat stated. "I suppose I can see the logic in that."
Caster then pointed out the armaments on the Mammoth. "For example, I could see your people's Mammoth in an anti-ship role with a few heavy railguns or coil guns. Plus it could help with nailing heavy units if your tanks are having a rough time."
"Actually, HIGHCOM is planning to have a version with twin Onager Mass Drivers for anti-ship use." Kat said. "It's part of an armament program that will improve anti-ship defense for planet-based units and incorporating mobile vehicles for Army and the Marines. Plus some have been planning to add a 1000mm howitzer for fire support."
"Good plan, the latter will be helpful for continuing to engage enemy ships during an invasion." Caster said as she looked at the giant vehicle.
This Mammoth in particular had M71 20mm Gatling turrets for ground and aerial targets along with MG460 grenade launchers and the standard weaponry used on the massive Siege unit.
Chief and Havoc were top of the vehicle looking out toward the North side as they were keeping an eye on any possible movements. While they didn't expect any Covenant or Promethean attack right away, it didn't hurt to be prepared.
"Cortana, you still good?" Havoc said to the AI.
"Good for right now I think." Cortana said. "Dr. Halsey was able to help a bit earlier with my Rampancy, so I'm better then before. Will still need a real fix up on the Olympus when we get back to the rest of the fleet."
"Alright then." Havoc said as he cocked is GD-14 while looked to John. "Ready to kick down the Covie's front door?"
"Affirmative." Chief said as he loaded a magazine in his M739 SAW.
"Attention all allied units with Mammoth One." Cole's voice sounded over the comms. "We've detected multiple Forerunner heavy turrets on the route we're taking to the enemy Kraken towers. They're particle cannons which can easily take out all but the heaviest vehicles. Make sure to take them out before we send up more soldiers to reinforce your advance."
"The mini-MAC should be able to blast through them so make sure that one of you has the designator ready to use." Miranda said while chiming in.
John had picked up the designator and kept it on a new magnetic attachment on his armor. "Designator is in my possession Captain."
"Good. Remember while the MAC can fire on its own, the designator will help if you need to to make a pinpoint shot." Miranda said. "We're also aiming to capture the gravity well so that way if the fleets outside make it through to reinforce and we keep the Didact on Requiem, we can have the reinforcements to deal with whatever forces he can assemble to throw at us. Hopefully HIGHCOM does come through with sending more ships and troops are way soon."
The Mammoth drove through the large, rocky area as Warthogs drove alongside it, much like a king's carriage with elite horsemen surrounding it. Lupus tanks were also following behind the Mammoth in the off chance more Promethean tanks appear and try to destroy the Mammoth.
The large Forerunner turret was opening fire on Pelicans passing near it they flew ahead to deal with the Prometheans. One of the transports was clipped by the beam, causing them to go down in a rough landing. The gunships opened fire on the Forerunner weapon, not causing all that much damage.
John quickly aimed the target designator at the large turret as the weapon turned to face the Mammoth. After a few seconds, the lock had been fully achieved and the Mammoth's MAC gun was pointed at the weapon and fired of a round. The slug was able to take out the turret (smaller version of the larger one from the Reclaimer mission) with one shot.
Several Banshees then flew toward the Mammoth, attempting to stop it with enough Fuel Rod Cannon blasts. The M79 rocket launchers opened up along with the M71s as the Banshees flew erratically to avoid the incoming AA fire. Some Fuel Rod Cannon shots impacted the Mammoth, but it thick armor withstood the projectiles but it did cause some causalities for the soldiers that were moving about the Mammoth and damaged some Warthogs. However, the Banshees were completely wiped out.
"Covenant forces at 3 o'clock!" One of the Marines yelled out as they turned their M19 toward the incoming alien force.
A squadron of Ghosts with 4 Revenants and 2 Wraiths advanced forward to assault the large UNSC vehicle, using rocks for cover.
Linda and Jaeger soon opened fire on incoming Ghosts and Wraiths with Nornfang and GLS-130G respectively. They were casually taking out the pilots and disabling the secondary weapons on the Covenant tanks.
Emile, Jackal, and Fred moved out to intercept the incoming force as Jorge and Ursa laid down heavy fire from their weapons. Ursa's laser Gatling was able to cut down the several Grunts and a few Elites as he used the advanced aiming system in his helmet to fire in bursts. Jorge was using HEIAP rounds as he used a jetpack to fly above the battlefield and tore into a couple of Ghosts and easily picking off Jackals and a couple of Elites.
Fred pulled out his SAW and fired multiple bursts into the crowd of Covenant forces, especially tearing up Grunts. A few tried to suicide rush him but he chucked a grenade at them, quickly firing on the explosive as it bounced off the ground and soared over the small aliens. The midair explosion was able to kill or knock down the Grunts as Fred swiped up a few Plasma grenades and tossed them at a trio of Elites, shutting down their energy shields before tearing them apart with his SAW.
Emile was lugging around an M41A1 missile launcher and fired off one munition toward a nearby Ghost. He was able to effectively lead the shot and took out the hover vehicle before quickly engaging a Revenant. This time, the missile he fired did damage the hover vehicle due to the Elite piloting it using the boost to avoid being destroyed. However, a shot from one of the Mammoth's M68 Gauss cannons slammed into the Revenant, finishing it off. He looked back to see John was the one who fire the shot, quickly targeting and taking out an Elite when the weapon allowed him to fire another shot.
He then put away his missile launcher and pulled out his trusty shotgun and quickly slam-fired two rounds into a charging Elite before he rolled to the side and used his thruster pack to shoulder check the alien. As they rolled, Emile pulled out his kukri and brought down the blade as he was able to break the energy shield and got his blade into the Elite's neck. He then twisted his knife and moved the blade to the left, cutting open the alien's neck. He narrowly avoided a charged Plasma shot and fired back with the fallen Elite's Plasma Rifle, taking out the jackal that fired on him.
Ursa then switched to his rocket launcher and fired off a cluster warhead, the missile splitting apart and the mini missiles impacting more of the Ghosts. Some were destroyed and a couple were badly damaged, only to be picked off by the Mammoth's M19s.
A pair of Gauss Warthogs that were on the right side of the Mammoth opened fire with their M68 cannons. The high velocity slugs slammed into a few of the Ghosts as the slugs smashed into the fronts of the however vehicles. One Ghost was hit on its left wing as was spinning around until it slammed into a nearby rock and caused the Elite to fly into the air, being sniped by Linda.
The other was nailed by a shot from Jaeger who switched her GLS-130 to a modified GD-27 AMR railgun she had lying next to her. The heavy 30mm slug was able to completely crashed into the front of the vehicle and caving in part of its front. The Élite flew through the air, only to be torn apart by Ursa's laser Gatling.
A pair of GDI Bloodhound Gunners drove up with 4 GDM-25Gs as they tore into the incoming Ghosts and faced the Covenant vehicles to maneuver out of the way. The Bloodhounds took a good amount of damage from the speedy hover vehicles but they were able to take four of them out. The right M71 in the front Mammoth opened fire on the remaining ones, tear apart three more before they were forced to retreat.
Then the large vehicle was hit with several Fuel Rod Cannons wielded by Elites and Hunters which ambushed the force alongside Plasma Mortar rounds from Wraiths slamming into the side of the vehicle, killing a few UNSC Marines as some of the rounds impacted them really close or directly.
The Wraiths moved around using their boosters to avoid as much return fire from the UNSC vehicles. However, the M71 on the side they were attacking was able to damage them with its AP rounds. A few of them were them nailed with M68 Gauss Cannons as their armor buckled and one shot even damaged the Plasma Mortar on the back.
The unfortunate Wraith was about to fire its weapon a second before it was damaged, which caused an explosion to occur and take out the hover tank.
Suddenly, one of the Warthogs were taken out by a large hardlight bolt. UNSC and GDI personnel turned in the direction of where the bolt came from and saw three Forerunner tanks alongside a large number of Knights, around a small company in strength.
Nearby Gauss Hogs and Rocket Hogs opened fire on one of the Forerunner tanks and its supporting platoon of Knights. Several were taken out due to the sheer amount of firepower coming at them but they were able to cripple and "kill" several of the Knights as the drivers were turning all over the place to avoid the numerous hardlight shots coming at them. The Mammoth's weapons assisted in allowing a good number to withdraw. However, the UNSC Marines moving forward to deal with the Promethean force were taking losses due to the increasing number of the rouge Forerunners as more teleported in.
The enemy tanks were taking enough punishment to cause more losses for the UNSC but one was taken out due to enough Gauss rounds and missiles breaking apart its armor. Mariens armed with heavier weapons were taking down more of the Knights as they spread out and surrounded those that teleported to within melee range.
Suddenly, three V-75 Super Voxs flew in low and dropped off three tanks, escorted by four Orca gunships. The gunships opened fire and cleared enough of the enemy to have the transports slow down and detach the tanks from their undersides. Soon they joined Pelican gunships in tearing apart more of the Knights and giving more room for the UNSC Marines to move around.
Havoc and Chief were in the thick of the fighting, helping cover the Marines to the best of their ability and tearing apart whenever Promethean that got close to them.
"Praetorian Lead this is Vox flight 724." One of the A-50 pilots stated. "We're bringing in some heavy support tanks to help in the advance. Commander Masters figured you could use the additional firepower." The transports gunner opening up with their grenade launchers on packs of incoming Crawlers. 40mm HEDP rounds broke apart their armored bodies as more were broken down and disappeared.
"Much obliged 724." Havoc said as the three Orcas flew away and the tanks in question began to move.
It was a recent version of the Predator tank with two barrels sticking out in front with multiple weapons dotting the tank. Dubbed the Assault Predator, this was a variant designed to give the infantry a vehicle that could help in clearing out enemies in urban combat more effectively alongside sweeping trenches. Twin 50mm Chain guns opened up on the Knights, the shells smashing in their armor. Two missiles flew from the MLRS's on the sides of the tank and straight into one of the Forerunner tanks, causing some damage before a lucky shot from a Gauss round took it out.
A squad of four Akula attack aircraft tore into the last Forerunner tank and took it out along with more Knights. One of them was using an Ion cannon placed in its underbelly and laid the final blow on the advanced armored vehicle.
Two of the Akulas then fired their Lancelot AGMs at a squad of Knights, badly damaging them or taking them out with direct hits. The energy shields took the fire from the hardlight weapons rather well, but the Incineration Cannons were able to cause bleed in damage due to the intense heat. However, much like the plane it was originally based on, the Akula was more then capable of surviving such a weapon.
The Assault Preds fired two more missiles flew out with cluster warheads and impacted several of the Knights, taking a a good number of them out and damaging several others. 50mm airburst shells then broke up the assault as the Forerunner heavy were torn apart as the tanks advanced.
A couple of Orca Gunships were hit by Covenant AA as Longswords flew low in gun runs.
Soon the first Kracken tower come into view and opened fire with its heavy plasma cannons toward the Mammoth, causing some damage. However, John was quick on the target designator
The Mammoth's MAC cannon fired once again, nailing the Kraken tower as it fired its own heavy cannons. The thick armor of the vehicle was able to tank the hits as the heavy slug brought the tower down.
"I'm convinced that the Storm lack survival instincts!" Jackal said as he slammed an Elite with a dropkick in the face. He then rolled forward and tossed an EMP grenade at trio of Jackals, the pulse shutting their shields down and allowing him to take them out with headshots.
"Trust me, these Covies are fanatical as hell and they've been a serious pain in the ass for us." Emile said as he stabbed his kukri into the stomach of a Jackal and tossed it into a group of four Jackals with a grenade following a second later. The following explosion turned them into bloody corpses as he rolled under a fuel Rod Cannon shot from a Heavy Grunt and blasted it apart with a single slug. He pivoted around a leaping Crawler before flipping his shotgun around and held it by his barrel, swinging his weapon like a baseball bat and sent the Promethean flying back into a boulder. He quickly worked the pump and blasted the Crawler with a point blank blast of buckshot. He then grabbed the beast like being and tossed it in the way of a Crawler Snipe's line of sight, intercepting a hardlight bolt from hitting a charging Warthog as its Marines slammed into a trio of Grunts.
GDI Bloodhounds were then dropped in along with Hunter II IFVs and TDs via Super Voxs. Some of the Bloodhounds were armed with 120mm automatic mortars using Cluster, HE, HEAT, smoke, and guided rounds. The mortars broke up packs of Crawlers as they were being teleported in by the Didact to overwhelm both Human groups.
Some Heavy Grunts and Goblin armor equipped Grunts moved up from Shadow APCs. Their gunners laying down as much fire as possible on any troops in the open, causing some casualties.
120mm mortar shells were able to stall Goblin-equipped Grunts as they opened fire onto the UNSC with Fuel Rod Cannons and Plasma Launchers. A number of UNSC light vehicles were destroyed, but the Marines countered with more fire at the armored Grunts.
Some of the Goblin Grunts survived and fired upon the UNSC Warthogs with their Fuel Rod Cannons, taking out a few of them before receiving plenty of return fire.
Vega drew out a HF knife as he fell upon a squad of Goblins. He tossed down an EMP grenade, managing to stun the small aliens as he slammed both of his feet on the head of one of the power armor equipped Grunts, causing it to stumble back before he then stabbed his knife into its neck area.
'Knowing them, they must be trying to send their better units to the front to stall us.' Vega thought as he then tossed the downed Grunt's plasma grenades at two of its follows while avoiding the Fuel Rod Cannons they were armed with. The grenades killed them and Vega engaged the rest with his GD-15, even taking out three more with his laser rifle's underbarrel grenade launcher.
The Mammoth leading the charge then spotted another Kraken tower as Chief soon ran up a steep hill to observe the enemy structure. He laced it with the designator as he used his other hand to fire his Magnum at any Grunts remaining on the top of the hill. The Mammoth's MAC gun fired out and brought the tower down with one shot.
"Alright, looks like they got another one of the Kraken towers down." Caster said over the comms as she telekinetically threw several primed Plasma grenades toward the backs of a quartet of Hunters. The explosives' soon went off, turning both armor and worm into molten slag.
"Bringing in a platoon of Wolverine Mk 4s to the front." Cole said over the comms. "Use them for fast, hard-hitting strikes."
UNSC Hammer Flight
Capt. Marie Olsen
Olsen's gunship flew above the battlefield as her flight moved forward to support the Mammoths barreling toward the Covenant lines. She had had gotten her Pelican repaired from the beating it took when the Prometheans assaulted the Infinity. She had to fight back with her Magnum and M8 PDW as best as she could alongside the Marines, ODSTs, and Spartan IVs that were trying to repel boarders. Now she was facing off against Promethean forces.
Hammer flight was assisting another flight of gunships along multiple regular Pelicans in supporting an advance of a UNSC Marine battalion with several Rhino SPHs aiding their advance.
Some of the Pelicans were facing off with Phaston CAS aircraft as they traded bullets and missiles against hardlight bolts. The shields on the Pelican gunships were effective in stopping a few shots but a few did get damaged, being forced back. Two were even shot down and taken out by the Forerunner fighters before Wolverines had been moved up and tore into the enemy fighters.
Multiple Anvil II missiles slammed into a group of Knights as the latter tried to fire at them with Incineration Cannons.
70mm rounds blasted Crawlers into scrap metal with HEAT rounds along with the 30mm autocannons also taking down Knights. M6 Spartan Lasers were also targeting Knights and knocking them down one shot before finishing them off with 70mm rounds.
However, a couple of the Pelican gunships were shot down and damaged as the number of Prometheans was telling along with new Forerunner AA tanks. Based on the Socket Tank, this one had hardlight autocannons in place of the cannon pods, allowing them to fill the air with sizable bolts.
This forced the gunships to pull out hard maneuvers in order to avoid the incoming as much as possible. However a few more were taken out by the heavier hardlight bolts before Lupus tanks opened fire and blasted the enemy vehicles to scrap metal.
Her gunship had been hit by a few hardlight bolts, but the shield and armor of the gunship allowed it to take them. She then returned fire upon the the Crawlers with her 70mm autocannon. The HEDP rounds blew apart the Crawler Alphas as she flew her gunship to take least damage as possible.
However, Forerunner AA vehicles appeared as they were being put together from the light particles that appeared out of thin air.
"Hammer, pull back!" Marie called out as her flight pulled back from out of range of the enemy vehicles.
Rhinos and Kodiaks opened fire on the Promethean AA vehicles. The heavy plasma howitzer that the former caused more damage on the Forerunner vehicles while the lighter mobile howitzer was able to fire much faster and used RAP rounds to slam into the enemy from farther out. The shells did damage the AA vehicles and disabled the weapons, which forced the Prometheans back and had them bring in artillery of their own to counter the UNSC heavy guns.
Soon, UNSC Marines advanced under the cover of Scorpion and Lupus tanks. The heavy guns of the tanks were able to take out Knights whenever the tankers found out their location. A few Scorpions were mission killed from Incineration Cannon fire this didn't slow the advance. Lupus tanks focused on tackling the Forerunner Socket tanks, their heavier armor allowing them to better stand up to the more advanced vehicles in a fight.
125mm hypervelocity slugs slammed into the hover tanks, doing a good amount of damage to the armor. The autoloading system of the Lupus meant that they were able to lay enough firepower on the Forerunner vehicles. Eventually, the advanced alloys weren't able to take the amount of fire it was taking.
With the AA vehicles taken out, Marie's flight soon got back into the area and opened up once again on the Promethean forces. They tore into the enemy forces with accurate bursts from their 70mm weapons and fired their Spartan Lasers into the enemy tanks.
A group of three Vulture's then flew in, adding their heavy autocannons and missiles into the mix. The GAU-23s tore into the Knights with sabot rounds, breaking apart their armor as Argent V missiles flew into the damaged tanks, finishing them off.
"Looks like the Proms are starting to pull back." Ava stated.
"Yeah, but it looks like we may have to head back to the Infinity for rearming." Marie said while sighing. Her flight hadn't taken any serious losses outside of two gunships that were heavily damaged and forced to pull back. Three other gunships had been damaged but one of them only had light damage, and its energy shield was coming back online.
"This is Major Stevens, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion!" A gruff, older voice sounded over the radio. "We're currently under heavy enemy fire!"
"This is Hammer Lead, what's your sit-rep?" Marie spoke back.
"Our unit was to outflank the Covies to the northeast and establish a fire position for Kodiaks to bring hell down on the forces in the valleys!" The Major stated. "The damn bastards were able to spring a trap and we're currently dealing with both them and several dozen Prometheans!"
"Understood Major." Marie said as she then transmitted to the remaining active gunships. "Hammer, were heading out to assist surrounded Marines. Everyone good to go?"
"Hammer Two here, Winchester on missiles but still good with guns and the M6."
"Hammer Three, still have a dozen missiles and half of my 70mm shells."
"Hammer Four, only have 25% of 70mm rounds left but have a dozen missiles ready."
The other four gunships also had some ammo remaining or were out of one type of ammo.
"Alright, let's head out to support the Marines." Marie said. "Contact any available UNSC aerial assets and see if they can add in their support."
Within minutes, the group of gunships soon arrived over the hill that the Marine company was surrounded and fighting on. A few hundred Prometheans were slowly advancing on the UNSC position as the Marines were throwing everything at the advanced aliens.
"Major Stevens, we're on station to assist." Marie stated. "Where do you want us to strike?"
"Anything that's not shooting bullets is fair game!" The Major said. "Light them up!"
"Understood." Marie said. "Hammer flight, split up and circle around the hill. Anyone with mainly missiles stay at a distance and pick your targets wisely. Those with mainly bullets get up close and pick off any large formation when spotted. Blast those bastards back to the stone age!"
"HO-RAH!" The other pilots said aloud as they split into two groups as they went to outflank the enemy units. Marie lead one group of gunships while Hammer Two took command of the others.
Those gunships with mainly missiles took out packs of Crawlers and any Watchers that were protecting Knights.
Marie was able to adjust the thrusters of her Pelican as she pulled off what could only be described as mid-air drift as she let loose with the 70mm autocannon. The Crawlers were being overloaded from the damage as they were disintegrating. She then fired off her remaining Anvil-II missiles as they broke more of the enemy packs.
"Incoming enemy reinforcements!" One of her gunships shouted out. A few dozen more Knights soon popped out along with packs of Crawlers as they began to open fire on the Pelican gunships.
However, four Vulture gunships then flew over the battlefield, guns and missiles blazing.
"Hammer, this is Buzzard Flight." One of the Vulture gunship's pilots said aloud. "We're here to lend support."
"Hammer Lead to Buzzard flight, much apricated." Marie said with a slightly tried smile under her helmet. The heavy UNSC gunships unloaded on the enemy with their GAU-23s and Argent V missiles as the latter nailed Knights when they appeared (though some survived due to Watchers placing hardlight barriers). The heavy gunships were taking hits from multiple hardlight weapons but were staying up and continued to pound the enemy as best as they could.
With the Vultures taking most of the enemy fire, Marie's Pelicans were taking advantage of the situation and provided as much firepower as possible to support the ground troops. Eventually, the Prometheans were driven off and more Pelicans flew in to get the company out, especially the wounded.
"We were able to save 70% of the company though a good number are wounded." Hammer Four said aloud.
"Yeah but most of our birds are pretty beaten up." Hammer Five mentioned.
"Hammer, we're heading back to rearm and repair." Marie stated. "Once we're good to go we're heading back into the thick of things."
Multiple "Yes ma'am" and "Understood" were said from the gunships as Hammer Flight flew off.
As they flew away from the area, Marie couldn't help but notice the increasing number of fighters clashing in the air.
More Pelicans were under fire from Promethean fighters as UNSC Sabres, Katanas, and Broadswords were engaging them in fierce dogfights. While the Prometheans had highly advanced technology on their side in terms of weapons and armor, the UNSC had sheer number of munitions and skill.
Marie could only hope that would help carry the day for the UNSC and GDI or they could lose most of their manpower.
Spartan Blue Team
The Spartan known as the Rabbit for her speed as living up to that title as she dashed around and dodged any attacks the Covenant was throwing her her. She was using twin M8 PDWs for both the increased stopping power and heavier rounds to take down enemy shields more quickly.
John and Fred were with Havoc and his team (excluding Jackal, who was lying down fire from his GD-15 on the enemy around Kelly) as Linda was with Jaeger in taking out any high skilled or veteran Elites and Knights to weaken their forces.
They were currently helping a group of transport Warthogs move up their Marines close to the frontline to disembark and reinforce the push toward the building in front of Kelly. It had multiple floors with ramps connecting them.
Kelly used her high speed to distract both Covenant and Promethean forces as she fired away with her M8s. As slid under incoming Plasma Launcher shots, she fired her PDWs at the Sangheili that fired them. Several rounds slammed into the alien's shields as it dove to the side. She then jumped into the air, quickly putting away one of her PDWs, pulled out a new modified UNSC EMP grenade (based on the grenade launched from the M319) to bring down the shields of the alien.
It bounced on the ground and hit the Elite's shields before exploding, the EMP shutting down the shield as Kelly switched the M8 she hadn't put away to semi-auto and fired off a few rounds into the exposed face of the Sangheili, killing them as she was about to roll on the ground. As she was about to stand back up, she brought back out her other M8, switched her active one back to full-auto and continued to tear into any easy targets she saw.
She then saw another Elite being taken out by charged shot from Jackal's GD-15 as the GDI commando moved up and tossed a homing disc at a Shade Turret, taking out the weapon and the gunner in one go.
The two speedy supersoldiers both nodded as they kept moving forward. However, a shadow appeared over Kelly as she was forced to backfilp away from the falling object.
The dust soon settled around the object as it charged forward toward the Spartan.
It was a Hunter that had jumped from one of the cliffs above to try and crush her under its weight.
Vega saw the Hunter behind him and was going to take aim, but his motion tracker lit up with more Covenant forces heading his way. He soon advanced forward while reloading his weapon, knowing that the Spartan could take care of herself.
While Kelly could use her M8s to kill it by getting behind the Hunter, the Rabbit had a different idea.
Kelly then pulled out a new weapon that she had grabbed from the Mammoth's arsenal. It resembled the M45 shotgun that saw use during Reach but had a much larger barrel, even bigger then the one in the 30mm autocannon in the Pelican gunship.
As she pulled off a power slide, avoiding the shield as it was millimeters from her helmet she entered Spartan time as she adjusted her body. Her large shotgun as aimed at the back of the Hunter.
The loud *BOOM* sound from the weapon went off as a large cloud of buckshot completely shredded the back of the Hunter, practically cutting it in half. The recoil of the weapon in her hands would have easily knocked down a regular human, but it was normal recoil in Kelly's hands.
This was the M50 CAWS-S or Spartan Shotgun. It used a massive 2 bore or gauge slug, firing either buckshot, solid slugs, or rocket propelled HE rounds. This was a design had been tested on Reach prior to the invasion, finding small scale use during the battle. After the war, it along with other Spartan-Class weapons soon found themselves massed produced and making them far more devastating in combat against Covenant forces.
The main downside was that the shotgun had only four rounds as supposed to the seven and eight of the M45 and M90 shotguns. However, the trade off was unrivaled stopping power that could knock down shielded Brutes and Elites on their backs and bring down their shields, making the next shot turn them into bloody mist.
Kelly aimed down her M50 at a leaping Crawler, the heavy cloud of buckshot buckling the metal alloy and destroying the head. She quickly reloaded her shotgun and blasted another Crawler before pivoted another and nailing it with a spin kick, sending it into the deep canyon below.
She then pulled out one of her M8s and fired it in bursts at a squad of suicidal Grunts charging at a pack of Crawlers, causing them to drop their grenades and taking both them and a few of the closest Crawlers. Kelly then slammed another Crawler with a front kick and sent a Crawler flying into a nearby wall.
She then unleashed a few bursts from her M8 into the heads of a few Crawlers. The improved rounds compared to the M7 SMG showed how effective this new gun was as the Crawlers were going down with a few well placed bursts.
Her combat senses then warned her about incoming danger as she rolled to the side, avoiding a Knight that had teleported behind her and tried to stab her with its blade hand. Her fired her M50, the heavy blast of buckshot causing the Promethean to stagger back as she slam fired off two more rounds to finally "kill" the Knight. She then pivoted around a leaping Crawler as she twirled her shotgun around to where she held it by the barrel like a baseball bat and swung. Her augmented strength easily allowed her to send the animalistic Promethean flying into a nearby rock.
A few Spartan IVs armed with modified SRS99-S5 rifles were firing on the Covenant forces. This time, the rounds were in fact 20mm rounds with better HE power to damage and whittle down the shields of the heavier Covenant units. Nodding toward the IVs, she quickly caught back up with Jackal who had taken care of the remaining Covenant in the building and was wielding two Suppressors to better dela with the Prometheans and conserve his ammo.
Once they got up to another valley after clearing the building, the two supersoldiers saw the Covenant trying to hold against another armored assault from a platoon of Lupus tanks that had been airdropped.
A handful ODSTs sallied forth on M274-M Gungooses behind the tanks. and opened fire on packs of Crawlers with the tow grenade launchers on the front end of their vehicles. Their helmet's HUD helping them to aim as the 40mm rounds knocked them around as the Helljumpers broke up the packs as best as they could. Following behind the armed ATVs were rocket hogs which were launching their 69mm rockets into the damaged Prometheans, taking out quite a few of them.
The Covenant was causing some more damage as they used mainly heavy weapons to deal with both human groups. They were also being more mobile and flexible with the deployments of their forces. It was having a noticeable effect but they were being split between the human groups and the Prometheans so they had to make due with less then ideal conditions.
In fact, according to some UNSC troops they were encountering Elites with their own energy shields. They were shaped like diamonds as opposed to the circular version that the Jackals generally used. They were stronger then the Jackal's version, allowing them to better tank incoming fire. However, both human groups were adapting around that.
As the two continued to advance, Kelly quickly noticed some of the Watchers were firing a strange beam at the wounded Covenant soldiers as the aliens disappeared. Vega had stopped to see what the Spartan was doing and saw the same thing.
They both looked at each other, it was clear something was going on but they had to set it aside and assist the push forward. They would pass it on once they caught up to the Mammoth and make sure to look into that.
Little did the two know that the Didact had plans for some of the badly wounded Covenant soldiers as his sentinels began to collect them in order to throw a new wrench in the plans of the humans.
With the other Mammoth
Mammoth Two advanced toward a large Covenant base with multiple defenses and artillery guns which were firing toward other UNSC battalion that was facing off with more Promethean forces. A Covenant shield was placed over the artillery position, allowing them to better take returning fire from both human groups. They were also dealing with Phaeton fighters and Banshees dogfighting in the sky and both Promethean and Covenant ground forces.
As the massive UNSC vehicle advanced toward the shield, the manned weapon stations and automated systems were unleashing hell on both enemy forces. The Scythes and M79s on the vehicle were able to tear apart Phaeton fighters after enough time and the MG460s were launching grenades into the packs of Crawlers and Grunts (though there was more of the latter).
The Covenant forces that were not behind cover or shields were being torn apart but did take a few Marines with them with enough concentrated firepower. Those behind cover fired off their weapons as much as possible in order to keep heads down and used their heavy weapons when possible to take out Warthogs and Mongooses.
The Mini-MAC on the vehicle fired off a certain round at the shield that was able to bring it down.
The round in question as a smaller version of the Cov-Killer round that had been developed by ONI for use by the Artemis-class battlecruisers during the war and after. While it was in greater numbers then during the war, it wasn't as widespread as the Navy had been wanting. It was also being produced for use with Onager mini-MACs and with the Mammoths in order to better down Covenant shields to take down their ships more quickly.
Soon, the heavy weapons of the massive vehicle opened up on the Covenant camp, 25mm slugs, 69mm rockets, and various caliber bullets flew from the massive vehicle at the Covenant defenses. Fuel Rod Cannons and Covenant artillery did do visible damage to the massive vehicle, but the sheer amount of firepower from the vehicle overwhelmed the position and the forward defenses.
The Covenant had been laying down multiple portable cover shields as they were making a controlled retreat. This was causing more losses for the UNSC but could only do so much.
Kodiak mobile artillery then opened fire on the Covenant artillery, easing pressure on the UNSC Marine Battalion which received fire support from GDI Akulas and UNSC Longsword bombers.
Soon, a couple of Pelican transports flew low near to the Mammoth as they let out their cargo of soldiers. However, these soldiers were in fact ODSTs with ADS suits as they flew out and began to open fire on the enemy force. The ODSTs unleashed their 20mm rounds and missiles into the Covenant firebase. They soon ran into Grunts equipped with Goblin power armor, who fired back with Fuel Rod Cannons. The improved bubble shields allowed them to take some of the blasts as they used either recoilless rifles or Gauss Cannons to deal with the armored Grunts.
Soon the base was overrun and the UNSC continued on forward, the Mammoth taking out another large Forerunner turret with its MAC gun.
"...And that's the whole situation Admiral." Marcus Holloway said to Lord Terrance Hood, head of the UNSC.
Holloway was taking control of the UNSC fleet when the Infinity had been sucked into Requiem. In absence of another officer taking command, Holloway did so was leading the effort to find a way inside and free both their flagship and the GDI ship that fell in with it.
Speaking of GDI, it took Hood and the other high ranking officers by surprise that they had encountered a group of humans from another world. While they were a bit skeptical, the information that the GDI had sent to the Infinity and the fleet via their first contact package did prove their claims correct.
Different Second World Wars without the Nazis coming to power.
Encountering a crystal akin to the Flood as it was parasitic as it was turning Earth into a planet of death.
A zealous, extremist order of humans lead by the actual First Murder of the Bible who achieved technological advancement that put the UNSC to shame in a number of areas.
A race of biomechanical aliens that possessed a strong empire that spread the crystal out in the galaxy in order to turn planes in harvesting grounds or to help get a fix.
Even with what the UNSC had dealt with over the past few decades, this took them for a loop.
"Well, looks as though the universe has thrown us yet another shocking truth." Commander Jun-A256 said via his hologram. "First that fact that aliens were real after all and now that there are other universes and dimensions outside of our own."
"I can only imagine that the skeptics of such ideas from the past are know rolling in their graves in how wrong they now are." General Frank Hogan of the UNSC Marine Corps stated.
Hood looked around the room at the officers. Some were interested in meeting this new human group and seeing for themselves how they were as a people.
Of course, the one who Hood knew could potentially cause some level of trouble voiced her concerns.
"Admiral are you certain that working with them right away is a wise decision?" Admiral Serin Osman (who was Spartan-II dropout Serin-017), head of the Office of Naval Intelligence spoke her concerns.
The head of the UNSC's intelligence branch wasn't in a good mood with the current events. She had expected that the Infinity's main mission would be to track the movements of the Covenant Storm and finally nail Jul'Madma's group as they had raided a large Covenant shipyard that had been badly damaged following the Great Schism and the rush to get access to the ships there. Madma was the obvious winner in that regard and caused the UNSC to give Captain Keyes a full on fleet in order to deliver a crippling blow to the Storm.
The fact that another human group much like the UNSC that was from another dimension and that both the Infinity and the rediscovered Master Chief had been sucked into it
"Osman I could care less about the potential problems in dealing with a possible new human group that isn't part of the Insurrection right now." Hood stated. "We have to see about getting the Infinity and Master Chief out of Requiem and the potential of facing off with Forerunners. We can deal with GDI once things have settled down."
"But Admiral, you know full well that we're dealing with a humanity that is even militaristic then ourselves and is nearly at the number of planets we once possessed prior to the war with the Covenant." Osman said. "Allowing our forces to casually work with them without at least having some form of precautions would be risky considering our current state."
"Are you certain you aren't concerned about there being a humanity that you don't have any tabs on Osman?" Army General Nicholas Strauss said with a small smirk on his face.
The new head of ONI scowled at that. Much like her mentor, the Spartan-II dropout always focused on knowing pretty much everything that was happening in the UNSC and making sure that they could have the chance to manipulate things into their favor.
She honestly had a small headache how the formally dead Miranda Keyes had made things majorly complicated with this new force.
"Tell the Earth Defense Fleet and all colony naval and ground forces to go to DEFCON 2, I want them at the ready in case the Forerunners turn out to be hostile and strike at Earth." Hood ordered. "Ready a task force to reinforce our fleet and GDI's forces and help break down the door to the planet or find another way inside to assist the Infinity."
"And what about precautions with dealing with GDI?" Jun said. "There could be those in the UEG that might see them as Insurrectionists due to being outside of our influence and perhaps could destabilize the current state of the galaxy."
"They were able to help Master Chief and find him while we weren't able to locate him for four years." Hood said. "Considering they brought him back to us without any issue proves they are on the up and up. At the very least we should keep an eye on them to see more of their actions and if they are committed to their mission to become allies and then send diplomats to talk with them."
"At the very least we can see that they are pretty formidable in battle with the Covenant loyalists." General Hogan commented. "They were able to decimate the Storm fleet with few losses due to their advanced technology. If they had shown up during the war, I imagine we have done far more damage to the Covenant and we could have been in a better place then we are now."
"Indeed, they were able to break apart a majority of the Storm's armada in one device battle." Jun stated. "We've been trying to track the fleet down but they've been staying ahead of us due to Madma's use of mainly hit and run attacks while only fighting if there are Forerunner technologies he was trying to acquire. This is arguably the biggest defeat the Loyalist forces have had since the Great Schism itself and should take advantage of it when we can."
"We shouldn't trust them." Osman argued. "How do we know they aren't planning to try and invade our territory for their own gain? We aren't the best shape to fight a power with better technology and an industrial might that may surpass our own."
"This is more important then your own personal paranoia Admiral." Hogan argued. "We could be looking at dealing with a faction of the race that the Covenant saw as Gods that are above them in terms of technology. We may have improved ourselves greatly in the four years after the war, but may not be enough to beat them. If GDI ends up confronting them as well we use this to our favor as an 'Enemy of my enemy is my friend' situation."
"Enough." Hood ordered. "We can try and get a true look into what our new friend's goals are once we deal with the Requiem issue. If it comes down to dealing with a potential enemy Forerunner force then we'll need to send enough ships and manpower to deal with them before they could strike Earth. Have all ODPs fully stocked and armed. If any ship of theirs comes in, I want as many of them ready to blast it into scrap metal."
"Osman, I do agree that precautions have to be taken considering the unusual circumstances." Hood said to the head of ONI. "They are an unknown factor that could shift the balance here in our dimension's Milky Way, and could destabilase if they blunder through here like bulls in a China shop. However, considering there own history and the fact they are similar to us in the function of
"So frankly Admiral, while I will ere on the side of caution don't think I've given you carte blanche to try in infiltrate their systems or anything drastic." Hood stated to the new ONI head.
Hood and Osman stared each other down for a minute or so. Eventually the leader of ONI chose to leave the meeting.
Hood made a mental note to himself to make sure that Osman was kept under watch by any agent in ONI that was loyal to his side.
While they had been useful during the war and pulled out some impressive tech that was now being mass produced, he trusted Parangosky and her successor Osman as far as could throw them.
He wasn't going to have ONI mess up the chance for a new ally.
Hood knew that GDI must be dealing with their own problems back in their universe and knowing the UNSC's luck, they would be dealing with them as well. Thus he would have to let President Ruth Clarent know about this and advise her in the best ways to handle this.
The Arbiter and the Swords of Sangheilios must be aware of things as well. The Spec Ops team that had infiltrated the Storm's ranks had been sending information to them as well as the UNSC. While he wasn't sure if they knew about the new human group, it would be best for them to learn sooner rather then later.
Then there were reports about a new Covenant splinter group that was facing off with other smaller groups. Apparently, this one was showing the ability to be a bit more of an issue. ONI had been carrying out an investigation for a few months now and it maybe best to prepare for them to make any possible assault on UNSC space.
Especially as there was reports that these Covenant may have weapons, ships, and equipment that hadn't been seen by the UNSC during the war.
For now, they need to settle things with this GDI situation soon.
They could iron out the details once the negotiators are able to do their jobs, right now he had to prepare for a possible clash with the beings that ruled the Milky Way long ago.
Codex: SRS99 20mm Modification
Caliber: 14.5x114mm or 20x82mm
Bio: The SRS series of sniper rifles have proven themselves in battles against the Insurrection and Covenant with its hard hitting round. However, Misriah armory workers had been carrying out tests with swapping the caliber of the weapon for a heavier 20mm round. Based off of the 14.5mm round but changed to a shorter 20mm round, this modification has been tested out on the various models of the SRS rifle. While having less range then the 14.5mm round, the heavier round is able to inflict more damage to light vehicles and turrets and the HE shells help break down energy shielding (even knocking Elites and Brutes down from the sheer impact force behind it) while still used to same 4 round magazine as the 14.5mm. Spartans have used the 20mm mod to great effect in taking down Hunters and keeping heads down for friendlies to advance. The modification helps to tackle different targets for Snipers, giving them more versatility (basically the same cartridge change ability as the NTW-20, the inspiration for the SRS rifle).
Codex: M50 Heavy Tactical Shotgun
Caliber: 2 bore
Magazine: 3+1 rounds
Bio: Part of the new line of Spartan designed weapons and based on the M45 model from Reach, the M50 is a massive 2 bore/gauge shotgun for dealing with threats at close range or further away with certain munitions. The large 34mm slugs it fires create absolute carnage to the enemy, with buckshot completely turning Grunts and Jackals into bloody mist and even taking down Hunters with one or two shots to the back (appearing to sever them in half). Elites and Brutes were even knocked down flat from the force of the blast and lose a majority of their energy shielding and unshielded Elites and Brutes are turned into mulch. It can also use special high explosive shells which increase the range to 200 meters. It also has attachment rails for a red dot sight, flashlight, and an extended magazine to increase the number of slugs to 6 (5 with 1 in the barrel).
Codex: GRS-100 Gauss Sniper Rifle
Caliber: 14.5x114mm slug
Magazine: 6 slugs
Variants: GRS-100A: 20mm variant for tougher enemies.
GRS-100S: Spartan variant with an improved ORACLE smart scope to improve the accuracy of the weapon and the ability to switch out the caliber of the weapon.
Bio: While the SRS-99 series rifles had proven themselves prior and during the Human-Covenant War, some UNSC snipers wanted to have a weapons that was similar to that of the old M99 Stanchion rifle in a more compact package. This rifle took the base design of the SRS-99 and swapped out the conventional mechanics of the rifle for systems that function in Gauss weapons. It packs far more firepower and range then the standard sniper rifle and is able to bring down energy shields faster by comparison. It has only seen use with ODSTs and Spartans in noticeable numbers and small numbers of veteran Marine snipers have also been seen using it. (Based on the weapon from Halo: Downfall)
Codex: Assault Predator
Weapons: 2 50mm chain guns
2 Mk45 grenade launchers
1 M155 30mm AA gun with a co-ax M100A1 laser CIWS
2 M5 50 cal. Gatling guns (one in hull and one co-ax in the turret)
2 M130 Rapier Multi-Purpose missile launchers (8 missiles per launcher. Two on the sides of the tank) (can replace with M140 Compact Kinetic Missile Launcher (10 missiles each for improved anti-tank combat)
Bio: Designed for heavy infantry support for GDI forces, the Terminator variant of the Predator is a heavier version of the Armata Terminator platform. Its two chain guns can tear apart infantry and elevate high enough to attack aircraft and drones. The chain guns can use guided shells, airburst, Sabot, and high explosive sabot tracer rounds for different missions. The guns can use sub-caliber rounds to achieve better armor penetration if needed, able to chew up Neo Nod Cyborg Reapers and can deal heavy damage to Scrin assault forces. It can be piloted by a GDI AI, controlled by an operator, or driven by two crew members. It can also be brought in via Super Vox and other GDI transports (the Narwhal can bring in 10 of them).
Things are getting more interesting on the Ark and the UNSC HIGHCOM is now planning for the future as Hood is making his move.
Happy 2021 everybody!
So sorry not updating this in forever. Writer's block can be a bit of a pain along with school and work.
However, I'm back and with a new chapter of Flight of the Twin Eagles.
Now while we still get the usual battle scene (based on the Reclaimer mission from Halo 4), we also now have the UNSC coming to terms with a new humanity from another universe in their own. Hood is taking charge and wanting to secure a new ally since it is better to work with groups that share similar to views to your own. Plus with the possibly that enemies form that universe come to their own, its smart to work with those that are combat experience with those people
Expect that Osman won't be a happy camper, especially with their being secret intelligence groups that could rival or surpass ONI.
After learning about the same of the cut weapons and vehicles from Halo Wars 2, I realized I had found ways to make the UNSC more powerful and give the Banished, Covenant Loyalists, and Prometheans some new torn open assholes.
Plus I was able to come up with new ideas to give Spartans more weapons on their armor to give them some power ups.
And this chapter is where I introduce something new for the UNSC, Spartan weapons!
Yeah, this is inspired by Installation00's video about the subject. Honestly the idea of there being weapons that used exclusively by the Spartans to help them against the Covenant makes too much sense (though having something like that in the games in terms of gameplay would be incredibly hard to make balanced and not completely OP), so I figured about going in that direction to make the Spartans do more damage in battle.
The M50 is one such weapon, a real super shotgun (sadly not double barreled like the one we all know and love from DOOM) that can easily turn any Covenant soldier into bloody mist with buckshot. Expect there to be more of these weapons down the line.
As for the round that the Mammoth fired at the Covenant shield barrier, it is a scaled down version of the Cov-Killer round used by the Artemis in Sins of the Prophets. I honestly have to tip my hat to the makers of that mod for giving me ideas on how to improve the UNSC and some ships that I'll be adding into the story. I particularly love the Thanatos-class battleship (which will be a more heavily armored BB with all of that special ONI tech), the Point Blank-class stealth cruiser, the Athens-class carrier, the Noryang-class carrier, and the modders idea of the Baselard spacecraft.
Again, this is why I really like what modders come up with the work they put into the games they love. You guys deserve all the kudos in the world.
I'm also planning to add in weapons from the Operation Trebuchet mod from Arma 3 and the Halo:Downfall story for the UNSC to use, so expect them to appear down the line.
Also, I maybe planning on bring in a special combat suit for Havoc to use that's similar to the one that planned for Master Chief to use in Halo Wars 2 but is based on another mod.
Next chapter will be focused on the Ark with the Spirit of Fire and the rest of Battlegroup Jutland.
Meanwhile, I plan to soon release another story to interest you guys. It's a RWBY fanfiction, but has a alternate future Earth with tech and weapons taken from several games in it as they help Remnant fight Salem and her forces and tear them up some new assholes.
Don't worry, I still plan to update my Pokemon/Sonic crossover just may take a little while. But hey, hope you guys know that I'm still working hard with what I have to deal with.