AN: Alright, so the Batarians are in shitloads of trouble. Against the force they have the displeasure of fighting they are quite simply outgunned, it doesn't help that they have effectively been outmaneuvered.

Also to all my readers who are Indian or Hindu, I am sorry about the foul-up last chapter it's fixed now but regardless my deepest apologies.

For those curious HLANFS means Hegemony Liberation Army Navy Fighting Ship

0158 Hours, January 23rd, 2667 (Military Calendar)

In orbit of Planet Vibburn

Onboard the HLANFS Eeluran

"Admiral orders!" Someone shouted, but Admiral Dako didn't hear it. He was too busy trying to get over the fact that everyone in orbit was likely going to die.

"Picking up beta particle spikes! The enemy is preparing to fire plasma!" A sensor officer shouted.

"What are our orders Admiral?"

More calls and cries for orders went up as Dako tried to think of something, anything that they could do to beat back the enemy. But he kept on drawing a blank on the matter.

Someone grabbed him and shook him by the shoulders. "ADMIRAL, YOUR NEEDED RIGHT NOW!" someone bellowed at him and Dako shook himself, finding the sharp, intense eyes of his flag captain.

He sneered at the man, making a mental note to punish him later but nodded. "All ships listen up. All Cruiser squadrons save Cruiser Divisions three and five and nine along with destroyer squadrons two and four through eight as well as frigate squadrons five through twelve commence bombardment of the hostile destroyers to our front. Cruiser division nine, destroyer squadrons nine and ten, and frigate squadrons thirteen and fourteen try and do something about the Super Assault Carrier on our flanks. Cruiser Divisions three and five as well as destroyer squadrons one and three plus the remains of frigate squadron two your going to kill the hostile ships that are below the orbital grid. Frigate Squadron three, if this goes sideways you're to FTL out of here and gather a counterforce. All fighter squadrons engage enemy fighter squadrons, all bomber squadrons the moment we drop shields on an enemy ship attack." Dako ordered sharply before pausing for a brief moment. "All units execute." he finished.

Immediately, his order was followed. The various squadrons and divisions began their maneuvers, formations splitting and reforming with surprising ease and grace. The Eeluran maneuvered like the champion of the void that she was, her powerful sensors sending out waves of energy that quickly painted the target.

"Range to target?" Dako questioned.

"285-megameters and closing we have a firing solution. Sir beta particle spikes are increasing; detecting FCS signals from the enemy ships." The gunnery chief said.

"All ships commence firing." Dako ordered grimly, he knew that there was only one way that this would end.

"Commencing fire aye sir." The gunnery chief replied.

The GUARDIAN I laser mounts that could bear discharged, red stabs of light flashed as the chase batteries fired sending invisible beams of energy at lightspeed towards their target. On-screen additional ships fired their own fore chase laser batteries, sending light beams containing trillions of joules streaking towards their target, the enemy shields flared and flashed into existence as they effortlessly replied the energy beams.

"Final checks complete, spinal batteries commencing fire!" Someone in the gunnery team shouted. A few moments later the deck rumbled as one of the four spinal guns that the Super-Dreadnought was armed and fired, throwing a projectile weighing 7-metric tons at 35,000-km/s. It red-shifted away from the Eeluran and flew across the void. Upon impact, the shield of the Heavy Destroyer flared as it repelled just over a gigaton of destructive force with contemptuous ease.

The other ships opened fire, triple and double digit megaton energy bursts blossoming against the shields of the Heavy Destroyers, which held stubbornly firm. The Eeluran fired again, another gigaton worth of kinetic energy was sent hurtling towards one of the destroyers.

The two CPV class fired their emergency thrusters and split. Dako paled as he spotted what appeared to be a frothing maelstrom of energy beginning to form on as well as under the prow of the enemy ships as they charged their energy projectors. He could hear the gunnery team frantically working to get a new firing solution for the spinal battery.

Then the Heavy Destroyers returned fire at the 220-megameter line, the prow-mounted ventral energy projectors flashed first. Twin beams of blue-silver brilliance that was brighter than the local sun streaked across space, two of the battleships were hit with devastating results.

Both ships had the relativistic plasma beams punch through the kinetic barriers like they hot knife through butter, followed immediately by the 6-meters of ablative armor, the 1.5-meter thick outer hull, 4-meters of interior armor, and the 2-meter thick pressure hull were all sliced through with horrifying ease as if all of that material simply didn't exist. The Superheavy Excavation beam had proven effective against UNSC ships numerous times during the Human-Covenant War and this time was no different, a thirty-five meter wide swath of annihilation was drilled into each Battleship.

A considerable fraction of each ship's mass was simply reduced to vapors.

Explosions rippled through the ships as catastrophic hull breaches cascaded through the vessels faster than Kinetic Barriers or physical emergency bulkheads could stop them, while bulkheads that hadn't been breached by the beams failed as internal explosions from ignited atmosphere rent them apart. It was simply put, a spiraling series of events that even the vaunted damage control systems on UNSC warships would have trouble stopping. Both of the ships that had been struck fell out of formation, explosions convulsing their forms as they simply broke apart in wide glittering arcs.

The Heavy Destroyers weren't done yet however, for they then fired their dual spinal energy projectors, four more lethal beams of relativistic plasma "shrieked" across the void, the other two battleships and both dreadnoughts were speared by beams that were insatiably bright. One dreadnought outright blew up in an ezero core breach immediately while one battleship vanished in the blazing fury of a fusion bottle blowing, the other two ships died slower and seemingly more violent deaths, breaking up with horrifying slowness. Internal explosions blooming within those ships as they fragmented, tearing themselves asunder in a horrifying display that dumped hundreds of tiny forms into the cruel, unforgiving vacuum of space.

In an instant almost the entirety of the heavy firepower that Dako had at his disposal had vanished. His hands shook as he glanced at the screen and gulped as he realized just how poorly this was going. The force he had sent to intercept the Super Assault Carrier was being ripped to shreds by that monster's vast weaponry, already Destroyer Squadron One had lost seven out of ten ships, while Destroyer Squadron Three had lost half of its strength, several Cruisers were already down and if the way that baleful red was glowing from the lateral lines, plasma torpedoes were about to start flying.

"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Admiral, this is Frigate Squadron Three; we're under attack from enemy fighters!" A voice, panicked and sounding desperate cuts through Dako's fear and sorrow like a knife.

Dako glanced at the screen and grimaced, Remnant Seraph fighters were swarming around the surviving frigates and hammering them mercilessly with their pulse lasers, heavy plasma cannons, and he swore that he saw the occasional fuel rod round in the mix. The pulse lasers weren't penetrating the ablative armor, but the plasma and fuel rods were causing the rapidly maneuvering frigates to leave a trail of vaporized ablative armor in their wake as they spat laser fire.

One Seraph blew up as the GUARDIANs finally wore down the shields and punched through its plasma reactor, instantly immolating the fighter in a searing flash.

Brief slipspace ruptures occurred and six Remnant gunships joined the fray, their heavier weaponry proved to problematic for the frigates immediately. One of the three remaining frigates took multiple hits from the plasma lances that the gunships mounted on their broadside, the first salvo splashed across kinetic barriers and caused significant amounts of ablative armor to vaporize and portions of the exterior hull to start glowing red and orange. Then the barriers failed, moments later a second salvo of energy from that gunship streaks across space, the crackling electric green bolts of fire splash across armor.

That armor boils away, almost immediately afterwards the hull breaches and a tremendous of plume of white gas billows from the frigate and knocks it sideways. The Seraphs pounce immediately, hammering the unshielded frigate with plasma, lasers, and fuel rods. The lasers remain mostly ineffective, but the plasma and fuel rods begin punching craters into the armor and breaching the hull.

Another salvo of plasma lances crash into the ship and it vanishes in a single searing pulse of light and radiation as the magnetic containment for antiproton storage fails. Moments after that, another frigate shatters into a thousand pieces amid a torpedo magazine detonation. While the last frigate is simply burning after taking multiple plasma lances, its motion a simple ballistic arc as it had no helm control.

Dako snarled a particularly foul curse when the last frigate died, moments later the spinal mass accelerator started firing again. Not that it mattered, the hastily put together battle plan that he had come up with for defending Vibburn was rapidly falling apart. The lateral lines and chase plasma turrets on the destroyers to his front were starting to glow a hellish red and cyan light strobbed.

Dako stiffened when he heard an audible pop run through the compartment and he knew that the Eeluran had just been hit by pulse lasers. "All ships engaging the destroyers to our front, launch torpedoes." he ordered even as more pops rang through the hull and to his dismay the displayed battlespace on the tactical hologram shrunk by half.

"Ablative armor down to three meters across multiple sections, lidar dish and primary battlenet antenna array destroyed!" A bridge officer shouted in alarm.

Ah, that explains it. Dako thought, the primary battlenet antenna being destroyed would severely limit the amount of information that they could transmit and receive to the battlenet.

A series of rapid fire thumps rang through the hull and dozens of silvery objects each thirty-meters long are hurled out of tubes, have antimatter drives ignite and then accelerate the warheads, joining the shells and GUARDIAN beams that are flying around.

There was seemingly a pause in the amount of laser fire coming from the alien warships. Then they opened fire again and torpedoes started dying as the pulse lasers used their faster firing rapid-tracking mode to kill the incoming missiles. Their networked point-defenses were slaughtering the torpedoes, Dako could tell that they would be lucky to have more than two or three torpedoes slip through the maelstrom of invisible light.

"Enemy missile separation!" someone on the bridge shouted as each enemy destroyer fired no less than ten plasma torpedoes, followed by their eight fore chase plasma turrets discharging. It looked like a tidal wave of energy was screaming towards them. The hostile lasers flashed again and more pops rang through the Eeluran.

"All ships break formation and take evasive action, bombers I know that the shields aren't down yet on those destroyers but make your runs now, if you can down those shields then we might be able to kill at least one ship." Dako orders.

"Aye-sir, taking evasive action." The helmsman said and the great Super-Dreadnought's engines flared and the ship broke formation, the other vessels scattering as they accelerated and turned. The bombardment from the pulse lasers continued, the ringing series of pops being almost constant now.

"Broadside batteries, fire as they bear! Countermeasures standby!" Dako thunders as the immense warship slews around and starts accelerating, shudders ran through the deck as the broadside mounts began discharging, the destroyer-class mass accelerators throwing shells downrange to impact with the force of 23-megatons.

On the battlenet, more plasma was already flying about, the massive carrier had just launched forty lethal plasma torpedoes and its fore chase plasma turrets were discharging which resulted in another lethal avalanche of hellfire. Just as something similar happened to the force to their rear, another salvo of plasma launched towards the cruisers there.

With multiple avalanches of energy closing in on them and forcing them scatter. The Batarians were in a bad position, but what doomed fleet was when four more ships joined the fray in the midst of a scattering Cruiser Division, two seperate Batarian Cruisers simply crumpled as they got hit by ships with energy shields up dropping out of slipspace. Weapons fire split the void and several Cruisers had their kinetic barriers flare and glow before failing, plasma weaponry promptly tore great wounds into hulls.

The advanced guidance systems onboard the plasma torpedoes and the somewhat less advanced ship-based systems that the plasma rounds fired by the plasma turrets used meant that the Remnant ships in their midst weren't hit. But the Batarian ships were hit.

The Eeluran rocked hard as the immense vessel took a direct hit from a plasma round that crashed against her kinetic barriers like the fist of an angry god. The amount of kinetic energy involved due to the extremely high velocity of the shot caused said barriers to collapse. Some plasma managed to splash against the hull, the immense heat boiling away a large swath of ablative armor and causing the outer hull to breach, multiple broadside mounts were reduced to molten slag. Trailing behind the plasma turret round by a considerable distance came a pair of plasma torpedoes, glowing like fiery dogs of hell.

Upon detection and confirmation of the incoming, the Eeluran launched countermeasures. They were rectangular prism shaped objects that were roughly fifteen meters long and six meters tall and wide. Once deployed into space, thrusters imparted more velocity into them as their reactors powered up and they began transmitting a bevity of signals designed to fool the guidance systems of torpedoes that were used by the various Citadel races.

Against plasma torpedoes however, those countermeasure systems were useless. They promptly ignored the countermeasures and barrelled straight towards the immense Super-Dreadnought. The GUARDIAN batteries discharged at the lethal missiles in a series of stuttering red flashes. During the Human-Covenant War, plasma torpedoes had proven to be nearly impossible to shoot down with lasers and that fact was proven here.

The massive cylindrical form of the Hegemony Super-Dread with a vague tuning fork like bow swung hard into the incoming torpedoes and began to accelerate forwards. The plasma torpedoes adjusted their course and increased their velocity as they entered their terminal stage of flight. More GUARDIAN laser pulses invisible in the void tried to swat them out of the sky to no-avail. The two lethal weapons impacted within seconds of each other with catastrophic results.

The Eeluran cracked and burned as the plasma impacted with incredible force, the various layers of protection did nothing for the plasma torpedoes had considerably more mass than plasma lances or plasma rounds, which combined with their momentum allowed them to burn deep into the Super-Dreadnought even as the magnetic bottle containing the plasma blew while the plasma bursting charge detonated.

Admiral Dako groaned as he got back to his feet as the deck shook and quivered, the temperature had spiked considerably as well, numerous conduits were down as well. "Damage report!" he snarled.

"We're holed, decks five and six, sections ten through fifteen and twenty through twenty-eight. We got multiple plasma fires burning through us, most of the forward broadside mounts on the portside have been slagged." A DAMCON officer shouted.

Dako frowned when he didn't hear his Flag Captain bark out the orders to contain that damage. He looked around CIC and he thought that he saw the man's corpse, crushed under a beam. That caused him to swear softly. "Give all personnel within the affected sections thirty seconds to evacuate and then seal them off and vent the atmosphere." he ordered before glancing at the tac monitor and he grimaced.

Most of the ships were flashing heavy damage from the tidal wave of plasma that had just crashed into his fleet. With the exception of the force that was tangling with the Super Assault Carrier which was getting torn apart, most of the ships fighting that monster were already down and the few that remained were reporting critical damage. Of course then there was those four warships that were running riot among his frigates and destroyers, the fact that they had gunships and attack craft supporting them wasn't helping matters.

The Eeluran shook as a series of ringing pops from more pulse laser hits sang through CIC. Dako knew that it was hopeless, he was tempted to cut his losses and run but that would leave nearly a hundred million people plus several million slaves at the not so tender mercies of the Covenant Remnant. Moments later a series of muffled thumps rang through the super-dreadnought and the DAMCON officer spoke up. "Atmosphere vented, plasma fires dying out."

"Sir, we're being painted by an enemy warship! Energy projector charging!" Someone shouted at him.

"Present our broadside, that will limit the damage! Return fire with all broadside mounts that can bear." He ordered and the Eeluran swung about trying to come about to present the narrowest profile possible.

The great warship didn't make succeed in completing the turn. A lance of blue-white energy that sported a silver tint, brighter than the local star swept through space and speared the warship halfway through her turn. With effortless ease the beam cut through the ship at a fifty-degree angle, carving a twenty-meter wide swath through the ship. Explosions chained up and down its length as bulkheads blew in and atmosphere either escaped or ignited, the strain became too much for the ship and it snapped in twain like a mere twig. Moments later the stern vanishes in the blazing flash of a fusion bottle blowing.

The other Batarian ships, the chain of command for their fleet in so many pieces, were helpless as they tried to reorganize themselves in order to mount a defense. The onslaught of pulse lasers, plasma lances, plasma pulses, plasma rounds, plasma torpedoes, and energy projector shots that the Remnant was unleashing against the Batarians didn't let up. For what it was worth the remaining ships that the Batarians had in orbit died fighting even though many were severely damaged or crippled.

But they had been out-maneuvered and where horrifically out-gunned. Thus frigates and destroyers died left and right while the Cruisers had their numbers thinned out one-by-one. Thirty minutes after the destruction of the Eeluran, the last Batarian ship died with a whimper as the strain became too much for its frame to handle and the vessel broke apart in a glittering arc of debris.

0305 Hours, January 23rd, 2667 (Military Calendar)

In orbit of Vibburn

Onboard the Shadow of Intent

"Enemy fleet destroyed!" A sensor officer announced as the last Batarian Cruiser died as a salvo of plasma lances and pulse lasers combined with a particularly high gee turn caused the vessel to disintegrate.

Thel 'Vadam snorted, this hadn't been a battle at all. If anything, it reminded him about some of the slaughters that had occurred at the start of the Human-Covenant War, except even that wasn't an apt comparison. Even during those early battles, he knew that the UNSC usually acquitted themselves well despite often times being wiped out to a man. The showing that the Batarians had put on however was rather pathetic.

"Move us into position, commence ground operations." Thel ordered sharply.

"Yes Arbiter." the helmsman said before tapping in commands, the massive Shadow of Intent rumbled, her immense bulk came about with an amount of grace that didn't seem possible for a ship the size of the Super Assault Carrier and proceeded to accelerate towards the planet.

Deep within the mighty warship, hundreds nay thousands of warriors, a mixture of Sangheili, Unggoy, T'vaoans, and Mgalekgolo raced to their dropships and drop pods. They were all eager to perform their duty, to descend to the planet's surface and meet the enemy head-on while freeing as many captives as possible from captivity.

0315 Hours, January 23rd, 2667 (Military Calendar)

Enroute to the Auction District of Harr'mae City, Planet Vibburn

Sergeant Cemak Pep'sodor, Terror MBT

Cemak swore as he heard the orders over the command net, it wasn't good. The fleet had apparently been wiped out along with the orbital grid, the observation posts that hadn't been hit yet had spotted dozens if not hundreds of re-entry tracks. They weren't sure what was the composition of the inbound force was, but it was assumed to be rather heavy.

Not that he was concerned with that, his Terror MBT had the armor to go head-to-head with almost anything and its main gun was a terrifying thing. Trailing behind his vehicle was twelve more Terror MBTs and about twice that number of Strike Tanks. Regardless, nobody knew how the Terrors would hold up against Remnant Tanks. It was a known fact that UNSC Tanks had done fairly well against them, but they had still suffered major losses.

"All units, eyes up. Multiple Phantoms inbound, looks like they got a few Liches too." the overall unit commander said over the command freq.

"Any of them carrying tanks?" Cemak asked as he eyed the fiery streaks that were tearing in at an incredible rate.

"At least twenty phantoms are carrying tanks, unknown if they got a plasma mortar or a particle cannon for armament, but given how our luck has been thus far it's probably a combination of the two. Most of them are heading to the warehouse and auction districts, several are headed elsewhere." the unit commander replied in a curt and tight voice.

Cemak swore softly, the enemy craft were now becoming visible and just from the way that they moved, he got the impression that they weren't messing around. Occasionally bolts of yellow-blue fire rained down from the dropships as gunfire crackled and popped sending blue tracers upwards that sparkled upon unyielding energy shields. But there was a distinct lack of SAMs, given the general pasting that the enemy had given them it wasn't surprising.

Several of them peeled away from the main group and moved to intercept them, their engines thrummed subtly with power as they swept in. Slowly they descended till they were out of sight past an overpass that Cemak knew that his tanks would have to cross in order to engage the enemy. Which meant that the only way to his position was through those Remnant tanks, didn't seem too difficult. Hell, Cemak mused this was going to be a piece of cake to borrow a human expression.

"All tanks advance, we shall blast our way past the Remnant forces on the overpass ahead and continue with our mission to provide armor support to the forces in the auction district." Cemak said and with a roar of engines the formation advanced, treads clacking and squeaking as they moved.

In the distance, Cemak could faintly hear the whine of energy weapons dueling with the sounds of mass effect weaponry. He knew that his tanks were desperately needed to help hold off the energy shielded heavy infantry that the Remnants preferred to use as their shock troopers. Then he heard a ghostly howl and from the opposite side of the overpass clawing higher into the air as it streaked towards them came a pair of glowing blue-white projectiles that were as wide as a man were tall.

All four of Cemak's eyes widened as he realized what the projectile was. "All units scatter! Scatter!" he shouted as the plasma mortar shots streaked in.

"Hang-on!" The driver shouted before applying left stick and the tank pivoted to the right as the left track ceased its motion but the right track continued moving as the engine roared. The plasma bombs howled in, Cemak could feel the heat building through his hardsuit even though it was equipped with life support systems that were supposed to keep him cool. His visor went to maximum polarization as the eye-searing comet streaked in.

They hit the ground and exploded, the shockwave punted his tank several meters as if it weighed nothing, a dozen secondaries cooked off immediately after the plasma detonation like blast packs. Cemak looked over his shoulder and paled as he saw that three Terrors were in varying states of destruction as were at nearly half of the Strike Tanks, more disconcerting however was that at least four Strike Tanks had been outright vaporized. To make matters worse his force had effectively been cut in half by the two large craters that glowed a dull red indicating the incredible heat that the bombs had generated upon detonation, as far as he could tell all of his Terror MBTs were on his side of the crater but only one Strike Tank was, worse not all of the Terrors were operational.

"All tanks, listen up for new orders. If your on the wrong side of the craters try and find an alternate route, if your not follow my tank into battle. Driver advance." Cemak ordered and his machine lurched into motion with a thundering roar, the machines that could quickly following him and picking up speed.

Two more plasma mortar rounds rose into the night sky, shining like luminous stars. The commander of the tank behind him swore vividly as he spotted the plasma bombs, a sentiment that the others quickly voiced. "Maintain discipline, driver floor it! Out run those things!" Cemak snarled almost immediately his tank bounded forwards as its engine unleashed a throaty howl, continuing to accelerate as the energy rounds screamed in.

Somehow they managed to outrun the plasma shots and they detonated behind them, tearing two more great wounds into the ground and despite that they continued advancing and Cemak knew that they would succeed in getting under the guns of those mortar tanks. His tank just began to crest the overpass when he saw them.

The enemy tanks were based upon the Wraith chassis with a vague beetle like appearance and silver, black, and red armor that glinted menacingly in the harsh light that was cast by the blue-white glow of recycling plasma mortars.

"Gunner target tank, traverse right two degrees and engage at will!" Cemak thundered as he eyed the tank.

The turret traversed until the main gun was pointing at the tank. "Target acquired!"

"Fire!" Cemak bellowed in response.

"On the way!" His gunner shouted and the 130mm Combination Gun discharged, a deep booming thunderclap that was part premixed binary liquid propellant cannon and part mass accelerator cannon. The full caliber tungsten carbide penetrator flew out of barrel and shattered upon energy shielding, sending rippling will o' wisps fluttering across the vehicle's form.

Shit not good. "Hit'em again! Pump him! Pump him!" Cemak shouted as the other tanks engaged, the deep thunderclap of main guns filled the air. His own tank fired twice in rapid succession, he could hear the loader working frantically to keep a steady supply of shells fed to the four round clip.

One of the enemy tanks returned fire, a dazzling purple bolt of energy caught one of the Terror's square in its flat-faced frontal glacis, there wasn't even a flicker from the kinetic barriers but the shot drilled through the layers of composites, ceramics, and metals like butter. Fire jetted from the wound and from the small gap between the turret and hull as well as the hatches with a great rushing roar that seemed to fill the air as the tank brewed up into an inferno.

Moments later, another searing bolt of purple energy cored the remaining Strike Tank and caused the vehicle to outright blow up, throwing its turret high in the air as if it had been kicked by an enraged giant.

Cemak whooped as the shields on one enemy tank failed, then his tank roared its challenge and the shot slammed into its target and amid a scream of alien armor went straight in. Immediately the tank lurched to a halt and its gravity drive began sputtering before it suddenly failed, moments later with mind-numbing roar, the tank exploded as its onboard plasma reactor went critical, bathing the area in harsh blue-white light and shattering all windows that were still intact in the immediate area.

Another Terror lurched to a halt, an oblong hole near the engine spewing fire and smoke. But the tank wasn't out of the fight yet, for its gunner emptied the clip into the Wraith responsible. The first two broke upon the shields but broke them in return, the third one bounced off the armor with an ear-splitting ba-raaaam, and the fourth went straight in. Fire belched from the penetration and hatches as the gravity drive failed sending the machine crashing to the ground.

Cemak for his part swore when a particle bolt barely missed his tank. "Target acquired!" his gunner shouted as the turret came about and pointed at the Wraith responsible.


"On the way!" The main gun roared and the shell impacted with a great flash of energy as the enemy tank's shields struggled to repel the round, regardless the kinetic energy transferred and knocked the Wraith sideways.

"Again!" Cemak snarled as he saw the effects of the first shot.

"On the way!" The gunner cried and the main gun spoke again, the shields broke from the impact of the shell. Before Cemak could yell for another shot, the main gun spoke a third time and the Wraith blew itself apart as the shell punched past the armor and caused the Plasma Reactor to blow.

Another Terror took a direct hit and had a geyser of fire came screaming out of turret as the vehicle jerked to a halt. Moments later part of the overpass blew itself apart as the Mortar Tanks fired and the structure started creaking ominously and jagged cracks appeared in the roadway. The last Particle Cannon armed Wraith shifted into reverse and began to back away along with the other two Covenant vehicles.

"After them, we got to get off this overpass, maintain suppressive fire!" Cemak ordered sharply, immediately his tank pivoted and began accelerating after the Wraiths, the ragged survivors of the fight following him, the coaxial machine gun on the massive machines spitting hate as they did so. But by the time that they had gotten to the bottom of the overpass, which had occurred just as the damned thing collapsed, the enemy tanks had already vanished.

Dammit. Cemak thought bitterly, both at the fact that the remaining enemy tanks were now likely lying in ambush positions somewhere nearby and that he had gone in with ten tanks and came out with five tanks remaining. Of course he suspected that if he had gone in with all of his tanks and in different terrain it likely would've gone differently.

"All tanks advance, we need to get to the auction district!" He snarled even as he heard in the distance the crackle of gunfire, the whine of plasma, and the ghostly wail of plasma mortars.

His tank jerked into motion and it began driving down the highway, the remaining few in tow. There was work that needed to be done.

0335 Hours, January 23rd, 2667 (Military Calendar)

Auction District of Harr'mae City, Planet Vibburn

Private Crarn Kan'kaprak

With a sharp crackling hiss that only a plasma bolt could produce with a near miss causing Private Crarn to instinctively dive into an alley, he spun and poked out of cover. Advancing towards his position was two formations of ten massive aliens each seven feet tall, their weapons spat blue and green fire in a seemingly indiscriminate pattern, while gliding up behind the intimidating aliens, Sangheili, Crarn realized was a trio of the Remnant's equal to a Force Application Vehicle.

The lethal FAVs had lethal plasma cannons that spat hatred as they swept across positions, tearing great chunks out of instacrete with insane ease. A fellow soldier got hit by one of the cannons and Crarn swore as the plasma bolt punched straight the kinetic barriers and then tore a great chunk out of the man's chest, sending what remained of his left arm flopping to the ground separately from his lifeless corpse.

Crarn snarled as he keyed his Omni-tool and flash-fabbed a tech mine, thumbed the activation switch and flung it at a squad of ten aliens. The explosive force that the device had reduced two aliens to bloody messes and popped the shields of others and sent all of them staggering. Crarn allowed his snarl to turn into a feral grin. His rifle came up and he opened fire with precise bursts, 2mm darts of metal fired at relativistic speeds flew down range.

He quickly dropped four aliens, their heads blown open by rounds as he delivered three-round bursts in rapid succession. His fifth burst went wide due to a bolt of plasma splashing across his kinetic barriers and sending him staggering, regardless the alien howled in pain as the rounds caught it in the chest.

Oh shit. Crarn thought as his actions earned him the ire of the plasma cannon mounted on one of the FAVs. He dove behind the wall as a fullislade of plasma was sent flying towards his position. The energy tore into the opposite wall, molten instacrete dust sprayed as the plasma bolts impacted, covering the ground and hitting him. Even though each plasma bolt was passing him from a distance of several meters, the heat was incredible and beyond description. With a cracking roar the opposite wall fractured and came apart.

Then he heard the sound of splintering and immediately went prone and an instant later the wall he had been hiding behind seemingly shattered in an explosion of molten instacrete dust as well as chunks of the stuff. Crarn yelled in pain and anger as hot dust and heavy pieces of debris fell upon him. In the background he heard more gunfire and what sounded like a grenade launcher going to work. Plasma fire sizzled and crackled in return.

Crarn stood up and crouched along the edge of the gaping wound that had been ripped into the structure by the plasma. The aliens were advancing somewhat cautiously, bounding from cover-to-cover in pairs, providing accurate fire lethal fire while the FAVs provided suppressive fire. Energy shields glittered as rounds impacted, causing aliens to reel when struck. One of the FAVs took a direct hit from a grenade and the resulting blast shredded the front-end of the vehicle and caused its gravity drive to fail, sending it crashing to the ground. Immediately the gunner disembarked from the disabled vehicle but the driver didn't.

Snarling, Crarn brought his weapon up and sighted one of the aliens, then let off a long burst from his weapon, expending the last of his thermal clip, he swapped them out and opened fire again. Sharp bursts sang from his rifle and he managed to drop two aliens before they figured out his position.

One of the aliens leveled a strange weapon at him, it had a fairly long barrel with a curved hump that had a multitude of what could be spikes. The alien fired and purple needles the size of his hand streaked towards him producing a blood-curdling shriek. Seven of them crashed against his kinetic barriers and shattered in puffs of pink, lowering them by three-quarters and triggering an audible alarm.

Crarn ducked instinctively and the next burst slashed through the air right where his upper torso had been located. He fired blindly in retaliation from over his cover and in response plasma flew over him causing the air to crackle and pop from the heat the energy bolts.

"All units we're pulling back to our next line of defense, acknowledge." He heard someone, maybe his platoon commander order.

"I can't pullback, I am pinned down by one of the damned FAVs! If I move, I am going to get decapitated or worse!" Crarn said in a mild panic as another sustained burst of plasma swept overhead.

"Dammit, someone support Crarn, he's out of position and pinned down." His squad leader ordered and Crarn swore he heard a foul curse from someone in his fireteam.

He heard sharp orders and shortly after their was a carphoney of gunfire and the shriek of a rocket. Almost immediately the intensity of the fire slackened and he could hear the aliens saying something in strange tongues. Crarn figured they were pulling back, he flashed-fabbed another tech mine and burst out from behind his cover and hurled the device after arming it before bolting.

As he ran up the street towards the fallback point, he heard the tech mine explode and aliens scream in pain and rage. Plasma and crystalline purple needles flew past him as he serpentined, then something hot smashed into him square between the shoulder blades and he went tumbling to the ground as his shields collapsed and searing pain filled his chest as blisters pricked his skin. He tumbled to the ground and quickly scrambled to his feet and began running in a serpentine pattern again as more energy weapons fire streaked towards him.

The asphalt sprayed molten dust and had cracks spider web through it as the energy crashed into it. He had ran maybe twenty meters when he got hit again and this time he yelled in pain as he went tumbling to the ground as searing pain filled his lower back. But as he clawed back to his feet, throwing another tech mine, Crarn realized as he heard the thing explode that he had gotten lucky. Had that been a plasma cannon shot, it likely would've torn him in two. More gunfire tore down the street and began to suppress the enemy, the distinct sound of an HMG joined them.

Come on Crarn! Training was worse than this and your almost to the fallback point. He could see his squad and after flash-fabbing another tech-mine and throwing it scrambled too them.

"Get on the Ranshur, we're pulling back!" His squad leader snarled as he ran up to them.

Crarn was just beginning to do so when he heard a loud roar somewhere behind him. His squad leader looked back and screamed like a little girl, the rest swore vividly and Crarn spun around. He felt something warm begin to accumulate between his legs, but he didn't notice for strolling down the street seemingly oblivious to the gunfire that the squads that had elected to remain behind were directing at it, came four pairs of monsters.

They were freakishly tall and were clad from head-to-foot in thick armor that reminded him of plate mail armor, one arm had a massive shield and the other arm simply appeared to be one big gun, along their back he could see multiple spines. In the fires that burned he could see color glinting dully, the lead pair of monsters had gold armor with red eyes while the other three had blue armor with green eyes.

"What are those things?" Crarn asked as they advanced forwards.

Suddenly a rocket flew out of a window and shrieked towards the lead monster and he thought that he was about to see one of the monsters killed. The thing pivoted towards the rocket and turtled behind its shield. The rocket impacted and detonated in a fireball that shrouded the monster in fire and smoke.

It trudged from the smoke and fire completely unharmed, however it looked more than a little angry. It brought its weapon to bear on the building that had fired the rocket, the maw of which began to glow a harsh green. Then with a mind-numbing roar that was audible even over the sounds of battle, a scalding lance of boiling green shot forth. It impacted the building and immediately instacrete and composites shattered, the beast swept its massive gun from side-to-side as well as up-and-down creating a wave of the lethal green stuff. The short and squat three-story building seemingly disintegrated as the green light impacted it while flames belched upwards. It had taken maybe five seconds to utterly decimate that building.

What was more disconcerting was that even from here, Crarn could hear the screams of the men who had been in that building. It was really disconcerting, particularly as more gunfire bounced and shattered off the aliens' armor. The aliens let out low but deep roars and went on the attack, within moments beams and rapid-fire bolts of green energy were criss-crossing the ground and cutting down soldiers with ruthless efficiency.

"Come on, we got to get the hell out of here!" someone shouted, the squads that had elected to stay behind were running up the street towards them in a dead panic, at least those who could were. A few were firing as they fled while plasma bolts, purple needles, and more shots from those massive alien cannons giving them more incentive. The lethal energies and rounds cut down numerous soldiers.

"To hell to that, covering fire!" His squad leader snarled when he saw the fleeing soldiers. Immediately rifles started barking hate, sending shards of metal flying down range towards their opponents.

Crarn shook himself and scrambled onto the back of the Ranshur, then swung the HMG around and opened fire, focusing on the aliens. He had to provide covering fire for his fellow soldiers and the massive rounds were flung downrange at c-fractional velocities amid a terrifying roar from the machine gun. Despite the fact that the rounds were smaller and lighter than those used by the UNSC's LAAG-line, they were just as effective as the rounds fired by that weapon series, particularly against soft targets.

The kinetic barrier equipped and decently well armored Unggoy and T'vaoan seemed to fly apart in explosions of flame, gore, shattered armor, and feathers as the heavy slugs punched past the kinetic barriers and armor like they didn't exist. The energy-shielded Sangheili fared better, glittering auras of energy flared into life and the warriors scattered to find cover, although not all were successful as occasionally energy shields failed allowing the heavy slugs to tear apart the enemy. The massive aliens however turtled behind their shields and slowly advanced forwards despite the sheer number of rounds that was sparking and bouncing off of them, the general attitude that they had about the situation was as if they were going for an afternoon walk and not advancing through machine gun and rifle fire.

The lead one raised its weapon arm and a green glow built in its maw for two seconds before the cannon fired. The bolt of green energy shrieked across the kilometer of distance in roughly half a second where upon it slammed into the Ranshur right in the center of its five-man cabin. For the briefest of moments Crarn felt and heard the sound of the vehicle's frame bending inward around the projectile as well as his aim getting knocked askew from it. Then the shot exploded.

Crarn found himself being thrown off the back of the truck as the vehicle blew itself apart as pain swept through him, he flew five meters and hit the ground hard and went tumbling for another two and a half before coming to a stop. There he lay still for several long minutes before showing signs of life.

Groaning he slowly rolled over and tried to stand, ignoring the fiery pain that was clawing through the side of his body that had been facing the detonation, got to his feet. His HUD was a mess and didn't seem to be completely functioning, his rifle and shotgun were gone, leaving him with just his pistol. He pulled it out and began limping away from the Ranshur which was completely unrecognizable and completely engulfed in flames.

Then he swore that the ground fluttered under his feet. He spun around and immediately began back-pedalling. "Oh Edos! Oh Edos! Oh Edos!" he screamed firing his pistol as he saw the massive alien beginning to crest the hill, the rounds pinged off the armor ineffectively.

Without fanfare the beast batted the wrecked Ranshur aside like it weighed nothing, the wreck coming apart before his very eyes as it flew into a store front with an ear-rattling crash. The thing was huge, it towered over him, well over 3.5-meters in height and those armor plates looked like they were incredibly thick. Before he knew what he was doing he was throwing a tech mine at it.

The device caught the beast square in the chest and rocked it back as the mine unleashed a fair amount of explosive force along with a swarm of electronic trash to clutter the HUD as well as localized energy pulse to flatten shields. To his utter shock, he didn't even see the distinct flash of shields failing or even activating. It made him realize with horror that it hadn't been seemingly invincible because it had ludicrously powerful shields that would require exceptionally heavy weapons to down. No, it was because its armor was just that tough. Furthering increasing how he felt was how the alien seemed to glare at him in a way that was filled with anger and rage.

Then the beast moved, it charged at him like a rampaging Thresher Maw, moving with a level of speed and what you could call grace that was impossible for a creature its size. Crarn screams in utter terror as he voids himself, backpedaling as his pistol spoke as fast as it could cycle. Rounds bouncing ineffectively off its armor, he might as well have been trying to get to orbit by using a jetpack. It cocked its shield back then struck him with a full-blown shield bash that hit like an out of control freight train.

Crarn flew backwards, landing easily three meters away from the massive alien, most of the bones in his body either broken, fractured, or in the case of his ribcage, completely shattered. To his surprise though, he couldn't feel any pain nor did he lose consciousness, indeed losing consciousness would've been a blessing considering what happened next. The massive alien suddenly loomed over and raised its boot.

Yet while he couldn't scream because of his paralysis due to his wounds, he was very much aware of what was happening when the beast brought its boot down on him.

0345 Hours, January 23rd, 2667 (Military Calendar)

Auction District of Harr'mae City, Planet Vibburn

Mgalekgolo Major Ukayu Xaya Bewo

Disgusting. The gestalt of Lekgolo worms that was Ukayu Xaya Bewo thought as it stepped away from the body of the Batarian soldier it had just squashed like a bug. Its three-dimensional HUD painted his objective as five kilometers away, a simple walk and the lack of heavy weaponry meant this would be simple.

"Was that really necessary brother?" The 'speech' of his Bond-Brother, Momuru Xaya Wokko asked in a 'tone' that could be considered amused.

"Not even biofoam and a top of the line autodoc would've saved him. It was a mercy." Ukayu replies as more Batarian rifle fire pings harmlessly off his armor. His HUD illuminates with targets, easily a dozen figures who are positioned in the windows of a building that was about one and a half kilometers away were pelting him with assault rifles and only one of them has a weapon that might threaten his armor, a grenade launcher.

Ukayu snorted, he would be more concerned if that was a UNSC Marine Corps squad just because they always had heavy-duty heavy weapons like Jackhammer missiles. He brought his shield to better position and began advancing with no-fear despite the severity of the weapons fire that was being directed his way.

"Overconfident blighters aren't they?" Momuru asked in a disbelieving 'tone'.

"Suicidal more like it." Ukayu rumbled in response as a grenade crashed against his shield with a muted thud then exploded to little effect.

"Probably brother, shall we teach them the folly of their ways?" Momuru asked as bullets pelted his armor and shield to little effect.

"Yes." Ukayu replied before assigning positions and sending orders as he turtled behind his shield, the rifle fire pinging ineffectively off it. He could literally stand here all day and those rounds wouldn't penetrate his armor, let alone his shield.

The other three bond pairs in his unit joined his own bond-pair at the crest of the hill. Almost immediately the amount of gunfire tapered away to nothing as the soldiers divided their fire. Under any other circumstance it would've been a fairly decent decision, but even Demons gawked at fighting four pairs of Mgalekgolo, mainly because if they fought smart then they were unstoppable.

"Advance, on my command halt and engage the building we are receiving fire with Assault Cannons in anti-building mode." Ukayu ordered and then took a plodding step forwards, moments later the rest of the bond pairs took one in unison and they advanced like that in near perfect lock-step, the ground trembling under the advance of multiple Mgalekgolo that each weighed five to six tons in weight stepped calmly through the maelstrom of firepower without fear.

The amount of fire seemingly increased as they advanced and Ukayu found himself admitting that the Batarians certainly had courage, unfortunately the sort of courage that the Batarians were displaying was of the extremely stupid variety. He knew that even Demons would rather do some crazy scheme to destroy a Covenant Cruiser than face four well coordinated Mgalekgolo pairs.

So they walked forth uncaring about the gunfire. "Multiple enemies in the buildings coming up on our flanks, orders?" One of the bond-brothers asked.

Sure enough the motion tracker was showing targets in the buildings that they were nearly parallel with. Ukayu had to admit that those soldiers knew what they were doing and in a galaxy where armor-mounted motion trackers didn't exist, it might have even worked. Too bad for them, it wouldn't.

"Engage the building to our front, then switch anti-infantry mode and engage the flanking ones with infantry!" Ukayu ordered firmly.

Seven other Mgalekgolo rumbled their response seemingly in unison and immediately after a deep thrum filled the air as the assault cannons cycled up, a menacing green glow suffusing the dark streets. Ukayu watched as on his HUD the red outline figures in the building at the head of the street began to scramble away from the windows and the door that was facing them with amusement. They had finally realized their folly. But the gestalt mused, it was too little too late.

Nothing could have lived where the eight streams of high-pressure radioactive incendiary gel impacted and the building for its part withstood the incredibly destructive punishment about as well as could be expected. The building seemingly exploded outwards amind an incredible gout of flame, bits of shattered building, bodies, and parts of bodies charred to unrecognizability flew through the air.

All it took was a mere thought and his assault cannon changed modes. "Engage the others." He ordered.

Screams of shock and alarm filled the air as the Hunters formed a back-to-back formation then ruthlessly strafed the buildings where the Batarian soldiers had planned to ambush them from, the stealth measures they had under taken by disabling the ezero cores in their armor would have likely succeeded against the Turians or Asari or Salarians, but against vehicle-grade motion trackers that used quantum mechanics? They were woefully ineffective. Rapid-fire pulses of radioactive gel hammered out from the weapons, they punched great holes into the facade, smashed down kinetic barriers, and ripped soldiers apart.

In the distance something rumbled and Ukayu swore he heard something clatter. If he could, then he would smile, finally something that might be a challenge, because it sounded like a tank at least judging by the pitch. He knew that the only vehicles that really stood a chance against Mgalekgolo were MBTs.

Sure enough on his motion tracker a new blip appeared, a large one that was moving fast toward his position. According to the overlaid street map, it was following the avenues and roads to approach, which confirmed it as a vehicle of some kind. Ukayu gave out his next set of orders, they would split into two pairs and use parallel roads to advance on the objective.

Behind them, with a ghostly hum came thrum and vehicle support in the form of a pair of Revenants and a quartet of Specters glided up. Their weapons hummed with power, supporting the vehicles was several lances of infantry. With a single order, the units dispersed and went about their business.

Ukayu wished he could smirk as he heard the tank approach, mainly because he already knew what he was going to do to the thing. He waited at the second intersection of ten that they had to traverse on the broad route of approach to get to their objective.

"We got you now!" Cemak snarled as he tank was rapidly approaching the vehicle sized enemies that the micro-UAV that was circling overhead had detected. He had just two tanks left after multiple ambushes but finally he could go on the offensive.

"HEAT is loaded boss, these poor sorry fucks won't know what hit them." His loader announced as he socked in the last shell into the clip after swapping out the AP rounds.

"ETA to engagement point is ninety seconds." The driver said as the tank shifted gears and the roar of the engine increased in pitch.

Cemak allowed himself to grin, his three remaining tanks had the chance to help stall the enemy's advance. Finally something was bound to go right on this horrible morning.

"Sighting system is recaliberated, driver next time please don't go ramming enemy tanks, it screws with the firing computer." His gunner growled in response.

"Your still giving me shit about that?" The driver growled furiously. "It prevented that Wraith from hitting us with the plasma mortar and vaporizing us all."

"Oh sure, but I still had to recaliberate the firing computer because we crashed into the that thing at a good rate of speed." The gunner shot back heatedly.

"Don't even get me started on the headache you gave me." The loader added.

Cemak groaned, his crew were professionals but at times they acted like children. "Lock it down, all three of you!" he barked out harshly. "If we go into battle bickering like this then our chances of being killed go up exponentially."

There was silence for several long moments from the crew, the only sounds being that of the engine and the tracks. Cemak looked around and swore he saw a shadow at the intersection with the avenue that this street terminated at, but he wasn't sure. What he was sure of was that his decision to continue despite having his unit almost completely wiped out before reaching his final objective would help his career immensely.

"ETA fifty seconds!" The Driver said and Cemak activated his own weapon station and then he peered through the various viewports of his tank. He could see at the intersection gunfire, plasma, and needles being exchanged. He knew that his tank would be more than enough to tip the balance against the enemy.

"Gunner, once we engage you may fire at will." Cemak said as he counted down the seconds mentally.

"Affirmative." The gunner replied with excitement audible in his voice.

"ETA twenty seconds!" The driver said and then yelled. "Holy shit!"

To Cemak it appeared as if a monster had seemingly materialized right in front of the tank. Oh Edos why?! Cemak thought as the massive alien braced itself yet also had cocked its massive shield back. "Fire at it! Fucking fire at it!" Cemak thundered, not really noticing the usage of the human curse as he opened up with the HMG, hurling massive rounds down range.

"Coaxial on the way!" The gunner shouted as the machine gun bellowed.

The alien had expertly angled itself and the rounds just seemed to be plinking off its armor despite them being heavy rounds at c-fractional velocity. Still why was its shield cocked back like that?

Cemak realized the answer with horror just as the alien blurred into motion, neatly sidestepping just as the main gun discharged, the shot flew past the alien and annihilated a store front. Then it swung its shield and then the next thing he knew, the tank went tumbling sideways straight into a building with a horrid crashing sound.

He blinked as he tried to think about what had just occurred, but his head was pounding from being effectively tumble-polished within his own MBT. He groaned in pain as his hearing slowly returned to normal. He could hear faintly through the hull, the discharge of weaponry.

"Everyone alright?" he asked in a daze.

"I think I broke my hand." His gunner groaned weakly. "What happened, Boss?"

"I think I just broke some ribs," his loader said before letting out a quite painful sounding grunt. "Or all of them also why is the world spinning?"

"You might have hit your head Quick Draw." His gunner said with a groan as he used the nickname that his loader had earned.

"Drumblee Runner, you okay?" Cemak found himself asking his driver, using his nickname for him.

"Ow, that hurt." Drumblee Runner replied groggily. "Did our tank just get bitch slapped?"

To Cemak that seemed like a non-sequitur asking if their tank just got "bitch slapped" but now that he thought of the movement that the alien had done? He actually found himself agreeing with his driver, but it also made him wonder what had been that thing? Sure he knew that if a Krogan with a warhammer got mad enough it could throw around IFVs pretty easily, but he had never seen that done to an MBT before.

He had heard in documentaries that Mgalekgolo, also known as Hunters could knock around tanks like toys. But he could never recall seeing one in what had appeared to be gold armor before, he knew that in the convoluted ranking system that the Remnants used that the different colors signified different ranks. So what did gold for Hunters signify? He really didn't know.

"What's our next move?" Drumble Runner asked, sounding more awake now.

"Let's bailout and then go from there." Cemak groaned as shifted about in the turret and that's when he realized a new problem. "You've gotta be shitting me."

The cause for Cemak's exclamation was simple, the commander's and loader's hatches were now fairly close to what was now the ceiling and considering the lack of maneuvering room within the cramped quarters, it would make getting out a challenge. Unless they were all willing to try and get out via the driver's hatch. They were effectively stuck.

"Well this is a fine mess." someone said, Cemak didn't know who but he agreed with the sentiment.

0420 Hours, January 23rd, 2667 (Military Calendar)

Auction District of Harr'mae City, Planet Vibburn

Mgalekgolo Major Ukayu Xaya Bewo

The Mgalekgolo gave a rumbling snort as the Batarian tank came to rest on its side, its suspension utterly wrecked and its main gun askew. That had been pathetically easy, any experienced tank crew would have known to engage him at range, not try and run him over.

Apparently that fact hadn't been taught to Batarian Tankers. Which had led to that failure, plus he knew from experience that when tanks did try to ram, they almost always fired just a few seconds from impact. Which meant that he had learned the fine art of how to handle suicidal tank crews.

"I am seeing enemies along a barricade, along with a few light tanks." His bond brother reported. Nothing too hard then Ukayu noted, such barricades with infantry and supporting vehicles had been common during The False Crusade and while most barricades were good enough for blocking several hours worth of plasma exchanged in a firefight manner, very few could absorb assault cannons.

The light tanks might complicate matters though, they would have the firepower to kill him and his fellows just through concussive force if they landed enough hits on his body armor. But who said he needed to engage the line directly in an attack that while it would be successful would also be costly? He did have a light assault gun carriage with him after all.

"Gaurt 1-3, put a mortar shot right in the middle of these idiots." Ukayu found himself ordering as he angled his shield while rounds from the light tank impacted his shield with considerable force.

"Wilco, firing now." The commander/gunner/driver for the fast two-man tank said in response. A moment later he could feel the heat from the plasma mortar as it charged up, harsh red-blue light bathed the street, putting the dark street into harsh illumination. It seemingly whited out the plasma bolts and crystalline needles that were already flying.

Then it discharged, the shot raced down the broad avenue and hit one of the enemy light tanks almost dead on. Both it and a sizeable portion of the barricade evaporated as if it were candle wax exposed to a blow torch. The concussive force caused more of it to shatter, splinter, and crack while the thermal pulse turned easily a half dozen Batarians into live screaming torches that flailed around in a bid to put out the flames, not that it helped them.

"Commence full attack." Ukayu ordered and it dissolved into pandemonium. Energy bursts and crystals streaked downrange and despite the efforts of the remaining light tanks, it was hopeless for them really. A coordinated attack composed of line infantry, shock infantry, heavy infantry, and vehicles; particularly an assault done by the Remnants was something to be feared.

By the end of the third minute of the assault, one of the remaining light tanks was partially slagged and burning while the other was missing its turret and had a gout of fire reaching into the slowly brightening sky, the few mounted machine gun nests had been shattered, while the infantry that weren't brave or foolhardy enough to stand their ground were retreating as fast as they could, with some firing desperately as they fled.

On Ukayu's HUD, he brought the piper for his Assault Cannon to bear on a small group of fleeing batarians and it glowed red. He fired, the burst of pulses his weapon launched forth could still be considered anti-light vehicle rounds, thus they smashed past kinetic barrier and hardsuit with relative ease, sending the soldiers tumbling to the ground in varying states of dismemberment.

It wasn't until thirty minutes later that their main objective was in sight. There was a single MBT guarding it, along with a smattering of infantry, having fought through several more defensive positions Ukayu knew that this advance was likely on its last legs. Most of the regular infantry squads had suffered losses and the shock infantry had most certainly seen better days in terms of numbers, but the vehicles and heavy infantry we're still at full strength.

It really was easy to come up with a plan to crack open that defense. Since it was focused around that tank, ironically enough it put him and his bond-brother in the greatest danger since due to positioning the enemy would get at least one round off first, particularly because the Revenant had poor indirect fire capabilities.

"Alright, here's the plan. Myself and Momuru are going to double-tap the tank, if that doesn't kill it, then you are to hit it with a plasma launcher which likely will kill it if we don't. After the tank is taken care off, everyone else is to engage at will." Ukayu rumbled deeply.

After getting confirmation from the various units. It was child's play to put into motion and its effectiveness couldn't be denied. Ukayu and his bond-brother took great thundering steps into view of the tank, their shields angled.

Almost immediately the machine and infantry fired, Ukayu grunted as the tungsten penetrator impacted his shield and with a horrific scream skipped off it and went wind-milling end over end. It fired three seconds later with similar results but the impact force caused him to stagger slightly, he growled and advanced again. His Assault Cannon hummed with power as it built up a charge and the muzzle glowed a baleful green.

The tank crew panicked and reversed while angling, several slow reacting Batarians vanished under the hulking machine, turning into smears upon the treads and ground; the machine guns spoke their terrifying fury. Sending bullets flying and shattering against armor.

With near simultaneous whumps, the two assault cannons discharged. Twin bolts of green fire flew forth and smashed against the tank one after the other in a devastating one-two punch. The kinetic barriers flashed as the fuel rods detonated in blinding green explosions that sent aerosolized radioactive gel everywhere while the kinetic barriers glowed as armor blackened and cracked as the tarmac the tank rested upon melted.

Already Ukayu was cycling his Assault Cannon up for another shot. It was thrumming with power, but before he could discharge it. A concentrated bolt of red fire the size of a human's forearm streaked past him, it impacted the tank square in the frontal glacis and burrowed through armor like it was paper and detonated inside.

Flames burst out of the hatches and from the lethal wound caused by the plasma launcher, moments later a massive explosion from the reserve ammunition stored in the hull detonated, unseating the turret and causing it to come to rest upon the engine deck.

Ukayu rumbled his thanks to the shock infantry team and then shifted his aim. Then fired. The bolt of green fire streaked across the battlefield and detonated where it instantly chunked easily a half dozen Batarians, rendered four more on the ground screaming in utter agony while the rest seemed stunned from what happened. It was at that moment that the regular line infantry struck, they surged over the hill and their weapons spoke their wrath.

A flurry of plasma and crystalline needs shot forth, barriers flared and armor began to glow while body gloves ignited, despite the massive Mgalekgolo providing fire support, the Batarians didn't break, they fought bitterly. The battle only really began to tip when the shock infantry with their invariably faster firing and harder hitting weaponry swept in behind the steadily advancing line infantry with an indomitable speed and grace.

The harsh foul language that the Batarian soldiers were using quickly turned to screams as the gunfire fell away to nothing as plasma and needles ended lives with brutal efficiency.

However the other team seemed to be having difficulty, the other tank was holding out firmly as streams of gel crashed against its barriers as its armor blacked and its main gun roared defiance. Mass Effect weaponry chattered as it dueled with plasma rifles, plasma repeaters, and assault needlers, light blue streaks dueling with streams of darker blue bolts and bursts of pink needles.

"That tank is sure putting a crimp in my morning, can somebody knock it out?"

"No joy here, that crew is good. They are forcing the Mgalekgolo back with HEDP rounds, which isn't a bad choice and they've already severely injured one plus they are working with the infantry well enough."

"Why hasn't this thing's barriers failed yet? Its taking a hell of a pounding with absolutely no problems."

Ukayu thought about why the kinetic barriers of the enemy tank weren't failing. He had heard stories of tanks with kinetic barriers absorbing immense punishment when they had shifted all of their available output to a single-facing. Such a tactic made tanks incredibly potent in defensive positions but incredibly vulnerable to flanking attacks.

His Assault Cannon came to bear on the tank some 470-meters away and it thrummed with power as a green glow built in the muzzle. Then it discharged with a loud whump. The bolt of green energy covered the distance in an eyeblink before smashing into the tank and punching through its hull and detonating inside. Metal and polymer so deformed it appeared to twisted pieces of hot plastic was flung away from the impact point while the turret was thrown high in the air atop a pillar of flame.

Without their tank support, the Batarians wilted almost immediately under the heavy fire. Plasma and needles began reaping their toll immediately as the main source of firepower for the Batarian position was simply no more. But the Batarians didn't stop fighting, they fought to the last man even as they took additional fire from the flanks.

Ukayu then turned to face his objective, it was a squat building, made of stone instead of polymers and steel or at the very least had a stone facade. Motion Trackers were going crazy, there were hundreds of sentients in the building. Some of which shone red, indicating hostiles but the vast majority shone yellow indicating neutrals. He growled, they had found their objective alright.

Twin fuel rod blasts blew the wall apart and chaos descended as the infantry entered the hole and plasma discharges illuminated the interior of the building as the screams of panicked Batarians filled the air.

AN: Alright there we go, chapter is finished. This honestly took longer than it should have, but I got an explanation for that. First I had to deal with midterms, then I had to deal with finals and moving out of my college dorm, then my Summer Internship started, but hopefully I can get something of a schedule going again soon.