In this universe, the halo galaxy is an arm of the star wars galaxy and is in the unknown regions. This is Halo after 4 but before 5, with a few tweaks and Star Wars after V but before VI. The Covenant is gone, and the Arbiter, Humanity, and the Banished have formed a shaky alliance after dealing with the Flood Outbreak from Halo Wars 2 ATN. Noble Team is alive. I know some people will be upset at this but to make things fair, the UNSC, Banished, and Swords will be on a fairly even power level with the Empire. More on that later…
The Emperor sat on his throne, eyes closed in meditation. The Rebel Alliance represented a miniscule threat to his Empire after having been uprooted at Hoth and were unaware of the construction of the second Death Star. The Force seemed calm. And yet, there was something. He could feel it in the base of his skull. The Force was telling him something. The mystery angered the Emperor and he summoned power from the Dark Side.
The Force flowed through him, strengthened after having personally executed a rebel spy earlier in the day.
With a final effort, the Emperor traced the mystery to the unknown regions. The cause of the disturbance would be found there.
The Emperor summoned Lord Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn. He did not have to wait long before they answered. There holograms appeared in kneeling positions.
Keeping his head lowered, Lord Vader asked, "What is my bidding, my master?"
The Chiss chose to remain silently kneeled.
"There has been a disturbance in the Force," the Emperor began, "I have traced it to the unknown regions. It is a most unusual disturbance and I wish for you to investigate."
"If I may inquire," Thrawn finally spoke, "What is the nature of this threat? Could it be an uprising of rogue Jedi?"
"I cannot be certain at this time," The Emperor said, "but I don't believe it to be associated with Force users. It is a disturbance I have never felt before, which leads me to believe it is something new. Lord Vader, I wish for you to take your fleet and rendezvous with Grand Admiral Thrawn's fleet, you will leave immediately and investigate."
"It shall be done, my master," Lord Vader recognized the dismissal and faded out of the holoprojector.
"Thrawn, I am recalling you from the unknown regions to take over the hunt for the rebels, meet me here, there are things that I require of you that I must tell you personally," the Emperor addressed the Chiss.
"I will return immediately, and I shall leave Admiral Zaike in charge of the fleet," Thrawn stated, "I believe him to be a competent officer."
"I concur with your assessment," the Emperor said, "I await your arrival. Dismissed."
The hologram faded out and the Emperor returned to meditation. It would take a few days for Thrawn to return, and in the meantime, he would focus on this disturbance. The Force was unusually clouded, and he could not sense any premonitions of what was to come. Nevertheless, he trusted Lord Vader to deliver. His apprentice rarely failed him, and when he did, the punishment was swift, brutal, and necessary. Yes, the Emperor thought, he would learn more of the disturbance soon. That much he was certain.
New Banished Colony
Unknown Jungle Planet
CAS Class Carrier Renewed Ferocity
The Brute Fleetmaster Mortimus stood on the bridge of his flagship and gazed at the new colony of the Banished. No one had been landed yet but he doubted anything would stand in their way.
Preliminary scans had revealed the planet contained various minerals necessary for the Banished warfleet's continued expansion. After the war with the Flood, Atriox had deemed it necessary to grow the Banished military, and new colonies were needed. The shaky alliance formed with the Swords of Sanghelios and the UNSC during that conflict had allowed the Banished more access to much needed resources through traded, but Atriox had decided they needed more, so here they were.
Mortimus looked over his fleet as they orbited the planet, taking scans and readings. He did not like this job very much. Though he understood its importance, the Brute longed for the thrill and satisfaction of combat. It was simply instinctive.
"Fleetmaster," An Elite working the scanners called, "several anomalies has been detected in Sector 318. I count thirty of various sizes. FTL."
"Report!" Mortimus ordered.
"FTL," the Sangheili growled back, "ID unknown. They aren't using Slipspace. This is something new. It's on the far side of the planet."
"Get the fleet out of orbit, I want combat formation" the Fleetmaster ordered, "alert Atriox. Unknown contacts!"
"They should be coming into view now," the Elite stated.
Thirty large triangular ships loomed out from behind the planet. The formation was dwarfed by the Fleetmaster's force, and were smaller too, but upon zooming in, Mortimus could see that they were clearly warships. The largest were similar in size to a Banished battlecruiser, but his three other CAS class carriers were much bigger.
"They're hailing us!" the Brute working comms stated.
"Put them through," Fleetmaster Mortimus ordered.
The bridge screen briefly showed static before a middle aged human in a grey uniform appeared. More grey uniformed humans could be seen in the background. The surprised look on their faces only matched by the surprised look on the bridge crew of the Renewed Ferocity.
"Humans?" Mortimus barked in surprise, "this is Banished space, surely the UNSC knows that?"
"Beasts," the man addressed them, "I know naught of the UNSC. This space belongs to the Galactic Empire now, as do you. Hopefully your integration can be managed without bloodshed."
"You insult me!" Mortimus roared, "Try it again and you shall face the wrath of the Banished. You may not be UNSC but I have fought your kind before. I know the feeling of your skulls crushing under my boot!"
"May we speak with professionalism?" the man asked tiredly, "it would be a shame for us to lose the knowledge that your species could offer the Empire. Allow me to introduce myself, Admiral Zaike of the Empire, aboard ISD Finalizer."
"You are speaking to Fleetmaster Mortimus, of the Banished," Mortimus growled, "if war is your desire, you have come to the right place."
"It's a shame you cannot come quietly," Admiral Zaike sighed, "I'd have loved to see the inner workings of your ships."
"I'll crush you like a bug!" Mortimus roared.
The connection cut, leaving a furious Mortimus staring across space at the Imperial fleet, "battlestations! All ships ready for combat!"
The alarms blared as the ship rumbled slowly into position, the carriers and battlecruisers forming up around it.
"Fleetmaster!" the Elite on scans suddenly called, "new contacts, emerging from behind the planets moon!"
An additional seventy warships emerged from behind the moon. Now it was Mortimus who was outnumbered. He gnashed his teeth and glowered at the enemy.
"All hands to battlestations!" Zaike ordered as the alarms began to blare.
Zaike liked his odds. The forty ships of this new race were all very large, but they were outnumbered more than two to one, and he had a better fleet composition. He knew he had played his cards well, after evaluations from the viper probes had revealed the inhabitants of the neighboring systems to be ferocious, though the visual returns were somehow lost. He had intentionally hidden the bulk of his fleet, only making the hyperdrive jump when his hidden fleet announced unknowns inbound.
The monsters he had seen still unnerved him though. They looked and behaved like Wookies, only bigger and uglier. Their ships did not match their traits physically, though. They had a strange, organic, otherworldly beauty, like one of the sea creatures from his native Naboo.
"Admiral!" the scanning officer called, "Energy buildup detected! They're going to fire!"
"Shields!?" the Admiral asked demanded.
"Up," the weapons officer replied, "intensifying forward deflectors now."
"They can't possibly be firing now!" an officer said, "we're out of range."
"Maybe not for them," the Admiral said, watching his enemy.
The Banished fleet answered the question, as they launched their plasma torpedoes. The purple projectiles sailed through space, guided towards the imperial fleet.
"Increase speed!" Zaike ordered, "we need to get in range. Prepare evasive maneuvers!"
"Sir!" The navigator yelled, "it will be several minutes before we get in range!"
"Sir!" the scanning officer yelled, "Incoming projectiles evaluated as guided plasma. Weapons of this type are unknown in the galaxy!"
The Admiral listened quietly to his officers as the purple energy approached his fleet. He'd find out right now what kind of power these aliens possessed. He grabbed a railing as the plasma rocked his ship. Around him people were knocked off their feet. To his right, a Venator exploded, while an Acclamator leaked atmosphere and lost power.
"Status report!" Admiral Zaike demanded.
His Executive Officer spoke up for the first time during the engagement, "We took many projectiles. Shields are at 33 percent. We lost two star destroyers, six venators, one Interdictor and twenty one Acclamators. The Acclamators took the brunt of the attack. We lost our only Interdictor. We'll be in range in two minutes."
"If we take another barrage they will have almost evened the odds," Admiral Zaike stated, "I want to know when they begin charging up again!"
"They're currently in cooldown," the scanner said.
The fleet of now sixty ships approached the Banished. Left behind were the dead vessels along with eleven ships of various classes too damaged to advance.
"How should we approach?" the navigator inquired.
"Let's try to get beneath them," Admiral Zaike said thoughtfully, "then we can bring our full strength to bear against their underbelly, which will probably be a weak spot."
"Sending the order to the fleet," the comms officer said, "Lets give these overgrown Wookies a surprise!"
"They're descending beneath us," the Brute navigator said.
"Fools," Mortimus laughed, "Begin powering up the glassing beam."
The damaged fleet approached quickly. Mortimus noticed that the had not fired yet, or launched fighters. They were probably too far away to fire. Mortimus realized he respected them slightly now. Anyone who built a ship designed for melee battles was worthy of a shred of respect.
"Fleetmaster," the comms Brute said, "I have the reply from Atriox."
"Put it on," Mortimus ordered.
"I have heard of what you have found, Fleetmaster," Atriox's deep growl filled the bridge, "I expect you to crush these puny humans. I will be having a word with the humans about this. I am not certain that they are not UNSC. I need the visual feed so my analysts can review it. Crush this foe and bring honor to the Jiralhanae and the Banished!"
The transmission ended as the Imperials approached.
"Send live feed of the battle!" Mortimus ordered, "We shall be honored for this great victory."
"Fleetmaster!" the scanning Sangheili called, " They have detected our glassing beam's energy buildup! They're returning to a level heading."
"Stay above them!" Mortimus ordered.
"Plasma torpedoes ready!" the weapons Brute bellowed.
"Fire!" Mortimus ordered.
The plasma torpedoes left their silos and raced through space. The Imperials had much less time for evasive maneuvers this time, as they had cut the distance in two. The plasma hit the hardest on the top of the fleet, in an attempt to force them back down, into the glassing beam's firing cone. The results were once again devastating. Five star destroyers exploded outright, while several more were heavily damaged. Another nineteen Acclamators and six Venators were also destroyed.
"They equal us in numbers!" Mortimus growled in satisfaction.
"Glassing beam ninety percent ready," The weapons Brute stated, "all ships in proper orientation to fire."
Space near Unknown Jungle Planet
"Sir we're even in number and have shields at two percent!" The XO cried.
"Calm yourself!" Admiral Zaike snapped, "I want a status report!"
The XO quickly regained his composure, "Our long range batteries are in range, we will be in range for our main batteries in twenty seconds. Our TIEs are in range to be launched."
"Very well, fire long range weapons, launch the TIEs!"
The lasers reached the Banished fleet quickly and caused their shields to shimmer and glow. No damage was inflicted. The TIEs were being met by the fighters that the Banished were launching. A section on the bottom of each enemy ship now glowed brilliantly white.
"Fire the main batteries!" Admiral Zaike ordered.
The lasers streaked through space and finally the imperials gained a stroke of luck. The lasers were ignored by the Banished after the poor performance of the first barrage and they opened their shields to use their superweapon. The results were devastating. Ten CCS class battlecruisers exploded, along with two CAS class carriers. Many others took heavy damage. The imperials cheered at the success of their main attack. The fight seemed to be turning in their favor. Then the glassing beams struck.
The glows from under the Banished ships finally erupted into a beam of energy. Admiral Zaike watched in horror as ship after ship was annihilated by the brutal beams. The glassing beams broke shield in seconds and drilled through ships even faster, and to make matters worse, then end of the barrage was punctuated by a flight of plasma torpedoes. The only good news was that the TIEs were keeping the alien fighters locked up in the formations of their own ships, and away from the imperial fleet.
Not that it mattered. Finalizer was the only star destroyer left, and the last of his Venators had finally been claimed. Only the single star destroyer along with twelve Acclamators remained. Zaike could feel himself being choked by Vader already, if he even survived the encounter.
"Sir!" his scanning officer said, "The use of their energy beam seems to have weakened their shields!"
"When can we fire?" Zaike demanded.
"Turbolasers ready!" the weapons officer announced.
"Fire!" Zaike ordered.
The star destroyer lit up as the green lasers raced towards the Banished's battered fleet. The shields flared up, then finally broke. Only eleven ships remained, all of them CCS class except one CAS class carrier. Zaike knew the next barrage would determine the battle's victor. Each side could finish the other in one more attack.
Alarms blared and purple fires burned throughout the ship, and TIE fighters whizzed around the ship, yet Mortimus refused to back down. Being a Fleetmaster, he forced the berserker rage growing within him to stay down. He could not lose his composure now, else he could lose the battle.
Some of his bridge crew had died or been knocked out when the last barrage of turbolasers struck. They lied slumped over their consoles.
The comms Brute was alive, "Atriox is hailing us!"
"Put him through!" Mortimus growled.
Once again, Atriox's voice filled the bridge, though he declined to appear on the holoprojector, "Fleetmaster, I have seen the battle footage live. I need you and your ships more than I need that enemy fleet further damaged. I order you to return immediately. I don't wish to choose another Chosen."
The transmission cut out and Mortimus knew what he had to do, as much as he desired to avenge his brothers and stamp out this new enemy, "Prepare to engage Slipspace drive. Set course for Dosiac."
"Turbolasers ready in thirty seconds," the weapons officer stated.
"Looks like we won't be needing them," Admiral Zaike observed as the Banished opened up their Slipspace portals and left, "that's a new type of FTL. What is the condition of our fleet?"
The XO was slow to respond, "We're at less than a quarter of our original strength, and in exchange for cutting them down to thirty percent strength. Of our damaged ships, we can salvage two star destroyers and seven Acclamators. The rest are total losses. No ship remains intact, every ship will need time in a repair yard."
The Admiral gazed sadly out into space. He had just lost thousands of lives, and let the enemy escape. He had failed and he knew it.
As if on cue, he was summoned by Lord Vader. Admiral Zaike left the bridge and entered his personal quarters before responding. The imposing image of Darth Vader filled appeared from the holoprojector.
"Report," the Sith had little patience and got right to the point.
"We encountered a force of unknown aliens matching the descriptions from the probes. My fleet made contactat range and had a brief conversation. The battle started soon after. They had much greater range than us and quickly cut our numbers down. I lost a total of seventy eight ships. All other suffered major battle damage and need time in repair yards. We initially encountered a force of forty ships. When they decided to retreat, they had twelve ships left. All were of the battlecruiser type except one larger ship. I could not stop them due to the loss of my Interdictor. My failure was due to a lack of knowledge of their tactics or weapons. Though I lost many ships the information from the visual feed is valuable," Zaike finished.
"I have already seen the footage. You performed decently given the situation," Lord Vader stated, "I shall forgive the loss of your ships this time. Return to the base of operations. I will meet you there. Don't fail me again Admiral."
The still shaking Admiral raced back to the bridge and had a course set for Vazuu. The war had just begun, and the Admiral had no more room for error.
Okay so I am aware that many people will be upset about that scenario. Maybe The Banished should have done a precision jump. Maybe the turbolasers should have one shot the battlecruisers. Maybe the turbolasers had a bigger range than plasma torpedoes. Etc. I needed the different galaxies to be balanced, but not identical, so I gave them a tactical situation that gave each side its benefits. The Empire has many more ships so they should start with a numbers advantage. To balance that, the Banished (like the Covenant) tend to fight at range, instead of in close like the empire. Zaike had meant to scare the Brutes by starting far away and slowly approaching. He had no knowledge of the Banished and their ships, so his mistakes are understandable. Be ready for more of this in the future. Also, Star Wars fans: the Empire is going to be a little dumb, in that they're going to attack with a lot of smaller fleets instead of say, half their navy. There's no story if, after one battle, the Emperor sends thousands of ships to annihilate the UNSC, Banished, and Swords. This is not to discourage feedback, just understand that I've thought this through and am aware of some of the more obvious inconsistencies.