Hello everyone, Firstly I apologise for this one taking so long but I have been busy plus re-writes are surprisingly more difficult to write than actual new chapters that and even though I am British I have been focusing on the US presidential election too much, though I feel like I am not the only non-American who feels that way or the only one that cheered when Biden/Harris won. I mean that speech and party were probably the best I have seen from a president-elect. Can't wait to see what great changes they do.
Anyway back to why you are here, I hope you enjoy the rewrite. It isn't a different beginning too much but it is what I feel it should have been from the beginning. I'll probably do the next one and then go back to creating new chapters since it is really only the first couple I hated after getting to where I am now.
Here are the comments/replies then the chapter. Enjoy
Note: I have put the original comments at the bottom so anything in between here and the story start are new ones. (Confusing for rewrites)
Shadefyre - Thanks a lot, the story is growing faster than I had ever expected it to.
Guest - Where did misspell Ahsoka's name? because unless you also misspelt it I have done it the exact same way you did in the comment, Not an insult I genuinely don't know where it's wrong.
L - Yes I included the Onderon arc, the clone wars events are far between because even though the writing style might not seem like it it is still happening in real-time so by the 12th chapter they have been in the Andromeda from several months. I'll possibly bring up the results of the Onderon arc later but I can't imagine needing to change it too much. For the armour, without illustrating it myself the closest resemblance I could find was If you google 'Halo Star Wars Amour' there is one that is white and in the background is a sign that says '02 Storage D' but it is only the closest. Though the UNSC is not likely to start giving away it's developments, I mean it took years with the UNSC and Sangheili.
L - When it comes to order 66 I am desperately trying not to give too much away in these replies because it would ruin the plot but I will say it is planned and ready (the story).
Jctherebel - Thanks a bunch mate
L -Yes I do touch on that a little bit more and I hope I have smoothed over why the UNSC isn't as hostile towards them for cloning as some people portray them in reviews and other stories and you are correct in that they are similar in a lot of ways, (Training Discipline, Augmented/modified, reason for creation, etc. Still, though I have no trouble pitting Fred, James, Linda or any other Spartan-II against many many clones. (James-005 isn't in the story though)
Guest - Yeah he and Gree are two of my favourite less appreciated clones in terms of appearances. Especially Bly for his loyalty to Aayla Secura on planets like Felucia until order 66 happened (Not a spoiler I haven't said that is what happens!)
Chapter One: Bridge (Re-Write)
22:00 Hours, July 24, 2564 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Edge of the Milky Way Galaxy
Stood just ahead of the main holotank in the middle of the bridge, in front of the main forward-facing window was Rear Admiral Thomas. J. Lasky commander of the 1st Exploratory fleet, a battle and research fleet with a multitude of dedicated science vessels and warships and at the head of them was a combination of both. Flagship and pride of the UNSC were the Infinity-Class Supercarriers
Known as the greatest ship humanity ever built weighing in at a colossal 907 million metric tons and measuring at nearly 5.7 kilometres in length, 833 meters in width and 1,041 meters in height it was an amazing spectacle to behold. Armed with four of the most advanced MAC's in development, the series 8, it is also equipped with over one thousand various missile pods, eight hundred and thirty 70mm point defence guns as well as several HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons.
By now a decade had passed since the end of the Human-Covenant War in March of 2553 and had it not been for the heroic action of Spartan 117 and the revelations of the Arbiter it might not have ended and humanity might not have survived. When the truth reached the Covenant of how the prophets had known for a time that the Halo array would not ascend them all to godhood but still believed only themselves would, there was a civil war within and those that believed the words of the arbiter fought against those that thought them lies and the Arbiter a heretic.
After much fighting, the Arbiter and his forces prevailed against the Covenant loyalists and claimed victory in one final grand battle over Sanghelios, with the remaining Covenant forces retreating and hiding in small cells and are now almost completely gone with small groups attempting hit and run tactics with little success. With the end of the Covenant came a new alliance between the Sangheili and Humanity. Despite the less than agreeable attitude of some of the UNSC and Civilian population, the Alliance struck with the Sangheili and the UNSC was recognised.
It took many years for the distaste to leave the UNSC about the alliance but it did and with it, scientific cooperation began and more discoveries of Forerunner technology led to powerful creations, new engines and reactors that could double the energy and thrust produced by the standard UNSC ones, more energy not only meant that the ships cannons were able to fire heavier rounds much faster but that the UNSC ships could now be fitted with energy shields. ONI and Navy Science teams had managed to develop already powerful shields but there was no engine strong enough to power them and the ship, until then.
Technology wasn't all that was developed and discovered though, more and more references and details were uncovered about what the Forerunners called the Mantle of Responsibility, for the most advanced living species to act as caretakers for all life in the galaxy. Coming over more of these ruins that detailed it the UNSC started exhibiting an appreciation of it and while there was no thought of their purpose in life being to protect all sentient beings, in 2562 president Ruth Charet and the joint chief staff signed a new military bill into an act that would be named the MOR Protocol. After ten years it became more of a military saying and purpose to follow and live by.
With more research and development of these new engines, in 2555 the UNSC began what was called the universal refit. Every warship of corvette class and higher was fitted with newly developed Forerunner adapted engines so that they could power the brand new line of energy shields also fitted to them. This refit took two years to fully complete and all the new ships being built would have the same construction of shields and engines. It was during this mass refurbishment that the UNSC deployed its newest creation, the mark 1 discovery probe. To avoid events such as the unforeseen invasion of Harvest from ever happening again.
With the first probes being deployed in early 2556 from science stations across the galaxy more followed suit until over a thousand had been launched, their mission, to follow their programmed path until their scanners either picked up signs of life or civilization or their 20-year service life reached its end. Eight years had passed and nothing had been received from them, it was estimated that by now some of the probe's paths would have taken them into the nearby Andromeda Galaxy.
Looking over reports from the various sections of the fleet Lasky looked up from his screen when he was addressed by the navigations officer. "Admiral Lasky Sir, I'm detecting a locator beacon in grid 7657" Lieutenant James informed him
Lasky put his command pad down to one side and walked over to the station"That's pretty far out, the edge of the Andromeda almost, Source?"
"Standby Sir, I'm trying to isolate the interference," Lieutenant James said while adjusting his settings and for a second hesitated to tell Lasky "I have it Sir, It's discovery beacon 343". He finished, remembering why they were sent out and the events of Harvest, Lasky too lost thought for just a second before regaining himself and striding back to the front of the main holotank.
"Roland, lock onto the coordinates of the discovery probe, inform the rest of the fleet to jump and send a message to Fleetcom, we have received an active locator signal from a discovery probe and are heading to investigate". Lasky ordered as the action onboard the ship increased as the crew prepared to enter slipspace as did the rest of the fleet.
Again Lieutenant James addressed Lasky "Sir, estimated time to coordinates 1 hour 27 minutes" He informed the admiral who gave a confirmatory bob of his head,
"Once we exit slip-space form defence pattern SPEAR with minimal and non-combatant ships at the rear" Lasky ordered, the Spear pattern stood for Secure/Protect Each At Rear with the commander of a fleet deciding which ships were to be placed at the rear of the spearhead to reduce the risk of being fired upon.
Overall the 1st exploratory fleet consisted of
1 Infinity class-supercarriers
2 Punic class-supercarriers
2 Thermopylae-class supercarriers
4 Titan class- Dreadnoughts
12 Ajax-Class Heavy Frigates
15 Anlace-class light frigates
15 Hyperion-class destroyers
70 combined exploratory vessels including Aether-class Science Vessel
With the slipspace coordinates input and the crew at the ready, the Infinity opened the first rupture with the rest of the fleet following behind. On the bridge, things were as calm as they could be with nearly all the officers nervous, to say the least, but in the other sections of the supercarrier, things were much more chaotic. All Sabre, Longsword and Broadsword aircraft had been prepped for deployment and waited in their hangers with their pilots on standby ready to rush to them at a moment's notice.
In many of the barracks, troopers and marines had been ordered to general quarters at key parts of the ship in the event of a hostile boarding attempt. Spartan Fireteams headed up the troops sent to the defensive strong points. All of the ODST units reported to the drop pods for the opposite reason of the marines, if they needed to they would board a hostile ship. It was an incredibly long wait with little to none of the crew understanding the reason for the fleetwide general quarter's order until Lasky came over the ship's communication speakers that ran through the ship.
"Attention all crew members of the 1st exploratory fleet, this is Rear Admiral Lasky, we have entered slipspace and are on route to coordinates we received from one of our outermost probes, we do not know what or who we will encounter when we arrive but I have trust in every one of you that you will do you duty and uphold the oath we all took to protect humanity. Most of you will be too young to remember when the covenant first invaded Harvest. Since then we have grown stronger and become wiser, we will not allow anything like that to happen again and if it comes to it will be the ones to fear. May the Mantle Guide you, Lasky out"
The time to the destination went by slower than anyone could have thought but soon they were only a few minutes out and the bridge crew were leant forward in their seats and over holotanks. Lasky entered the bridge. "Captain on Deck'' one of the officers announced with the rest of the crew saluting.
"At ease," he said as they resumed their stations
"Roland, ETA?" He questioned the AI
"Two Minutes three seconds" Roland responded going over his own miniature holographic monitors
"Alert the flight crew and have them ready to deploy, same goes for the ODST divisions, Lieutenant Austen weapons systems and shields status?" Lasky said as he addressed the officer.
"Green across the board, all MAC cannons are ready for target solutions and missile pods are armed and ready. Shields are at one hundred percent" Lieutenant Austen reported.
Lasky slowly walked to the front of the bridge looking out of the clear view screens at slipspace when Roland started the countdown.
"Exiting slipspace," He said as the emergence of black space again appeared to view. Lasky as did some of the front-facing crew shielded their eyes for a flash when they emerged but when they lowered them they saw what they definitely didn't expect and were stunned into silence.
In front of them by several hundred kilometres was a field of floating debris and the source of it seemed clear. In the middle of all of it was a number of what looked like ships with damage all over them, scorch marks, mangled structures and more. Lieutenant Jespersen looked up from his station to the Rear Admiral, "Sir, we have the beacon its six-point two kilometres off of our starboard bow".
Lasky raised his right hand as he and the other officers quickly focused their attention back to their positions. "We'll collect it later, Roland status of the fleet?"
Roland quickly appeared on the holotank "Fleet is fully accounted for and is in position" he replied
Relieved that all the ships had arrived safely he took a breath "Scan everything within an eight hundred mile radius of that field, prioritise life sign scans and energy signatures keep all personnel at their stations, we still don't know what's out there". He ordered
The first scans didn't take long and Roland nearly immediately reported back, "Sir, I am detecting weak energy signals from one of the structures if I had to guess I would say its life support because I am also detecting life signs originating from the same place but they are fading, everything else is dead though". He finished.
"This could end up becoming a first contact scenario if we don't play this right the consequences could be detrimental". Lasky said, thinking about what to do next very carefully.
Looking out into the debris he considered his options, there was no way he could consciously leave whoever was over there to die but he also knows intervening in something like this could backfire in too many ways not to mention he hadn't been given authority to do so. "Roland, is there any chance this is a trap or that ship is rigged in any way?" he questioned
"No, there is hardly enough energy to keep what is running active Sir". Roland quickly replied
Lasky made his choice "Commander Palmer have fireteam Osiris prepare for an away mission to the vessel, track the life and energy signatures once inside and have a squadron of Sabres escort their Pelican, helmet-mounted cameras to be equipped and viewed from the bridge". He ordered as she left and made her way to the CIC.
He turned back to face the holotank "Roland breakdown what we've identified so far" Lasky inquired
Roland nodded and turned to the holotank and brought up several outer images of the ships "After combing through the debris from what angle I could I picked up a more than enough to determine based of the structures and large pieces of debris still intact that there were two types of ships and while I am still analysing the burn marks on the hulls, based on the positions and trajectory I wouldn't be surprised if they were fighting each other". Roland explained moving slides across
While going through the various images and live views Lasky stopped him on one "Wait, Roland what's that?" he asked pointing at the windowed screen at what looked like a dark beige coloured person until it came into view and he could see it was some sort of bot with a flat sloped face with black markings on it.
"I would hazard a guess at it being some kind of droid or service bot, there are dozens of in open space recommend we retrieve some and let the lab tacks analyse them," Roland suggested
Agreeing, Lasky contacted the Titan-Class dreadnought 'Preston. J. Cole' named after the famous Admiral. "Captain Ajex, this is Infinity do you copy?" he said while the signal took a second to clear up.
A man stepped forward into view, average height with a dark grey UNSC uniform and four gold stripes on his arm followed above by a gold star "Affirmative Admiral, Can you believe there could be a whole civilization out there". He said while looking to the left outside his bridge's main forward windows.
While Laskys main thought was the possible threat of another war he couldn't help but agree with him slightly "I need you to dispatch retrieval craft to pick up no more than six of these" Lasky said as he sent the feed of the droids to Captain Ajex. He looked over them with a curious eye. "Once completed bring them to bay 1-f on the Infinity I'll have it clear by then". Lasky closed the communication and looked back to the tactical arrangement. "Roland, widen our flank and extend the fleet widthways by 70%. I want a wider coverage" He ordered.
Roland sent the manoeuvre to the rest of the fleet as the Infinity moved and the entire field was soon half surrounded. Lasky got a notice from the CIC that fireteam Osiris was departing and their helmet cams were ready to be observed from the bridge. He accessed the holotanks systems and opened a large window that split into four showing each viewpoint of the team. "Fireteam Osiris, Comm check" he ordered as they all reached for their comm.
"Spartan Locke, checking in"
"Spartan Vale, checking in"
"Spartan Buck, checking in"
"Spartan Tanaka, checking in"
"Comms are good, all Spartans accounted for sir, we are approaching the craft, the signal is getting stronger," said Locke, leader of fireteam Osiris.
Slowly the Pelican got closer to the ship having to dodge random bits of debris and the rouge couple of asteroids. In the pilot seat, Locke looked for a way in. "I see an opening in the midsection of the ship that looks big enough to fit the ship". He announced as he accelerated the thrusters and piloted the ship closer to the entrance. As he got closer the detail of the ship became clearer he could make out several rows of what couldn't be anything other than exterior weapons, Only two of them were left on one side intact. They didn't look too dissimilar from some of the M910 Rampart point defence used on UNSC ships.
As Locke got the ship in position to the land rear first the Pelican tilted backwards making the two tower-like structures at the back of the ship more clear. "Do you think that's their command centre?" Vale asked, looking over Locke's shoulder.
Buck snorted "How stupid do you have to be to expose your bridge by putting it on a tower," he said mockingly from the co-pilot seat.
"Signals coming from there by the looks of it," Locke said sternly as he motioned with his head at their ship and HUD scanners.
Carefully the ship lowered past the ripped metal and was inside, white lights flickered lighting up the room for brief seconds at a time only for it to cut out and flicked back on again in a random cycle. Using the exterior nose-mounted lights Locke turned on the Pelican landed gently with a small bump. "Infinity, we're inside and departing the Pelican" Locke updated.
They all made their way to the backchecking their armour and weapons, Tanaka hit the button to lower the ramp at the back of the ship. It came down and immediately Buck and Locke exited and crouched by the sides of the ramp covering all sides with the weapons as Vale and Tanaka followed and held their positions and stood ahead of the two. "Lights on," Locke said as they all activated their weapon and helmet lights.
Their surroundings were small and it looked like a hallway with a large chunk of the walls blown away, the walls and floor were all a white or grey metal. It loosely resembled the older UNSC ships that had the same plain textures to focus on more important features like weapons. They saw a doorway that was jammed open by debris and walked over two it managing to get through it. Buck was last through but caught his foot on a random piece of metal, he yanked it free but also pulled off the debris holding the door open and it shut with hiss sound of an airlock.
Locke looked back "You okay Spartan?" Locke asked as Vale helped him up
"Yeah, I'm good," He replied. It looked like they were stuck, in front of them was another door but it was closed. Vale approached the terminal or what looked like one next to the door. Several characters flashed across the screen that they couldn't understand. "Roland are you seeing this?" she asked
"Yes Ma'am, if you can look at it for a few seconds I might be able to create a translation matrix," Roland responded as the Spartan pointed her helmet at the panel and Roland immediately got to work crafting a translation best he could.
"Okay, It'll take some time but I have a few characters figured out, try pressing the red rectangle in the middle right side of the panel," Roland told her as she did and stepped back as the door made a gushing noise. The Spartans instantly raised their weapons to the door as the flood of atmosphere entered the room and it opened. As it did so a mass leant against it fell into the room from the other side. For a brief second, they aimed their weapons at it before getting a look at it. It was a humanoid creature, two legs and two arms with what was clearly a head and it was wearing some kind of all-white armour but with a black scattered mark on the front.
Tanaka and Buck slung their weapons to their holsters on their backs and lifted it up and leant it against the wall. "Is this armour, feels like plastic" Buck said lowering They looked at each other while Vale scanned the being. "No vitals of any kind," she said as she put away her scanner and looked closer at it. She put her hands to its helmet and carefully pulled it up but dropped it to the floor and gasped as well as the team. It looked as human as them.
"What the hell?" Buck exclaimed
Vale rapidly pulled out her scanner again and ran a bio-scan. "It, he is fully human"
"How is that possible and how didn't we know before?" Tanaka said
"Because we're on the edge of the Andromeda system and the last thing any of us thought to scan for was human life".
"Infinity are you seeing this?" Locke asked
"Affirmative, we're still trying to understand it too". Lasky confirmed
Roland spoke up "we have never encountered anything like this before, the chances of human life evolving in more than one galaxy are infinitesimal"
Buck addressed Locke from within the now open corridor "Sir look at this" he said as they left the body and walked to the hall which did have white lights illuminating from the wall. On the floor and against some of the walls were the same white armoured humans, some with their helmets off and they could see that despite some minor differences like their hairstyle they were identical to one another.
"This is bringing up more questions than answers," Buck said as he crouched to one of the fallen troops. All of them had what was undoubtedly weapons near or on them and all had some form of injury that left a black burnt residue. It looked like plasma damage that the old covenant weapons did.
"Locke, life signs are fading we need to double time it" Vale mentioned concerningly
"Copy that, Take point," He said as they quickened their pace in the direction of the life signs.
Roland chimed in "Spartans, I've run scans for human life and I can confirm they're originating from the left of those two towers, I'm looking over your scanners five metres to your right is a long tunnel that runs the length of the ship probably a lift of some kind, it should take you right to the objective". Roland notified them.
Four of them reached it almost a second later and Locke pried open the small twin door to it and the shaft was open. He looked up and took the lead with a running start using his momentum and armour booster thrusters to ascend the shaft from one wall to another until reaching the top and crabbing a piece of metal to hold onto while he primed a small explosive on the door and faced the other way as he detonated it and the doors fell to the floor. He then pushed himself off of the wall and landed feet first into the room followed soon after by the rest of Osiris.
They made it into the room where two more dead were found but in different wear, instead of white plastic like armour, they had dark grey uniforms, not armour. As Vale somersaulted into the room she pointed to the source of the life signs which were behind another door which opened quickly as they approached it. It was a large triangular room with windows at the front and operating stations in the deepened floors where there were more bodies. With their weapons drawn they entered the room covering all angles making sure there was no threat.
Vale ran to the back corner of the room to where the life signs were and they were emitting from one of the non-armoured individuals with a light grey uniform. "Condition?" Locke asked as Vale looked him over.
"Fractured right leg and unconscious, probably from dehydration, Admiral Lasky recommend we extract him to the Infinity for medical treatment," She told him
"Granted, get him back here. Maybe he can explain to us what all this is," Lasky said, gesturing to the debris field.
Buck and Vale both holstered their weapons again and lifted the man by his arms and carried him with his arms around each one of their necks. "Locke I have enough of a translation matrix completed and I am uploading them to your neural implants, I also called the lift you should be able to take it right back down to the ship". Roland informed them.
Eventually, they made it back to the Pelican and came out the same way with medical staff taking the soldier to the infirmary as soon as they boarded the Infinity. Lasky went down from the bridge towards one of the Infinity tram systems to go down to the medical wing where he was being observed when he walked in he saw the human had recovered consciousness and was fully awake and trying to push past one of the doctors, the other doctor behind was about to press the call button for security until Lasky waved him off.
With his hands visible he walked up to him, "I'm Admiral Lasky, Captain of this ship, would you please sit back down so we can talk?" Lasky pleaded.
He didn't sit down but he did let go of the doctor who made his way to the back of the room with the other doctor.
"Thank You," Lasky said as he turned to him
"Who are you people the last thing I remember we were attacked by the Separatists and the next I'm here being held hostage by you people wherever this is it sure ain't a Republic ship" He shouted
"You're on the UNSC Infinity, It'll take some explaining but for now I'll give you the short story, we found your ship in the debris field with some others and when we detected life signs we investigated and brought you back here for medical treatment, you aren't a hostage or prisoner". Lasky tried to explain to him
Slowly he sat back down on the medical bed and Lasky sat on one of the chairs next to it. "We didn't find any name tags or markings, Mind telling?" He asked
"CT-21533 Lieutenant Banks," He said
"CT, guess it would make sense you would have serial numbers," Lasky said
"Serial? no that's my birth number" Banks told him
Lasky frowned in confusion "Birth number?". He said
Banks clarified wondering why he looked nonplused "Well yes, I'm a clone trooper in the grand army of the Republic, you can't not have heard of the GAR we're In the middle of a galactic war," He told him
In front of him, Lasky's look changed "That explains the identical bodies we found" he said tensely, he wanted to be angry that a government would create living soldiers to fight for them but he knew that it wasn't different than what ONI had done years ago to fight the insurrectionists and then the covenant.
"Now how about you explain to me who all of you are?" Banks requested having answered the Admirals questions.
"As I said I am Rear Admiral Lasky and we are with the UNSC" Lasky stated to him
"UNSC?" Lieutenant Banks said back puzzled
"It's short for the United Nations Space Command; it's the Military, exploration and research arm of our government". Lasky said as he walked to the window of the room followed by Lieutenant Banks who stood next to him looking out at some of the fleets. "I've never seen ships like these, how come I've never heard of this UNSC does the Republic know about this?" He asked, looking between Lasky and the large fleet with vessels bigger then he'd seen in the Republic Navy
"No, neither you nor the Republic would have any knowledge of us this is the furthest we have ever ventured out from our galaxy and you are the first living being we've ever encountered from the andromeda, needless to say, we weren't expecting to find other humans especially cloned ones". Lasky replied
Banks takes a moment to understand what Lasky said: "Admiral, you said I wasn't a prisoner, will I be allowed to return?" He asked Lasky
"Of all the questions we've been asking that might be the toughest, we believe we're ready to contact and explore new worlds and people but now that it might actually happen, I'll have to report to high command and then they'll decide where to go from here, for now, though I'll have somebody escort you to your quarters but if you have any questions ask Roland," Lasky said as Roland appeared on the small terminal left of both them.
"He's the AI that runs a lot of the ship, he can see and hear almost anything that goes on," He said as an officer came into the room.
"Ah, Lieutenant Collins, would you mind showing our guest to a free cabin. Make it an officer's one I can't imagine being swarmed by crewmen is on his list of things to do." Lasky said to the officer as he used his flat hand to gesture the clone to the door but he quickly spoke.
"Actually Admiral, if it isn't any trouble I think some company might do some good". Lieutenant Banks said
Lasky looked vaguely surprised "No trouble, Colins I got a leave request before we arrived from Lance Corporal Vance in the 21st infantry there should be a free space there". He told the officer who nodded then saluted as he and Lieutenant Banks left the room. Lasky too left but headed for his ready room.
Once inside he brought up his report so far on all of the discoveries "Roland, contact the office of President Charet and Lord Hood, Priority Alpha One Maximum encryption and monitor all bands to make sure no-one else is listening".
"Yes, Sir" Roland responded bringing up the communication windows and sending the comm signal. Several seconds later the two appeared with a couple of seconds of each other.
"Lord Hood, Madam President, Rear Admiral Lasky reporting". He said with a salute.
"At ease Admiral, This better be good you left your assigned mission and went in search of an active discovery beacon without the approval of NAVCOM". Lord Hood told him with his arms crossed.
"It Is, I am sending my report but the base version is that at 22:02 hundred hours we received the signal from discovery probe 343 located on the edge of the Andromeda galaxy, I made the judgement call to leave our assigned post and investigate and once we arrived we found this," Lasky said as he pulled up the live feed of the wreckage.
He could see their shocked expressions "Admiral what are we seeing?" President Charet asked as she leaned closer
"A wreckage of what we have estimated to be five ships, two of one make and three of another almost certainly fought each other, whether the rest of their ships retreated or one side won we don't know yet but we did uncover the owners of the ships these two are ships of a government called the Galactic Republic and these are from a Separatist group". Lasky informed
"How is it that you already know this?" Hood enquired
"Because we picked up a passenger" As Lasky pulled up the footage from Osiris's investigation of them finding the alive and unconscious clone.
If the two of them weren't already astonished enough their eyes went even wider, "It can't be, is that a human?" The President asked in awe
"Correct, He identified himself as CT-21533 Lieutenant Banks and he is human but he is a cloned soldier in what is called the Grand Army of the Republic," Admiral Lasky said
"Cloned?" Hood pointed out
"Yes, it seems that whoever has created these clone soldiers has perfected it and they are not the same as any flash clones we could ever create but they are creating and training their own soldiers from birth, sound familiar?" Lasky replied
"Almost painfully so, yes" Charet responded
"We need to decide where to go from here as well as what to do with Lieutenant Banks, I assured him he wasn't a prisoner or hostage but if we release him now then this Republic and Separatist groups will know of us before we even step foot into their space". Lasky reported to them
"We may be forced to initiate first contact" Hood commented
Lasky was about to reply when an officer burst into the room "Lieutenant Jet. What are-" He was cut off by the officer
"Sir, Sensors have picked up incoming ships eta 49 seconds; they don't match any known ship design!" He said loudly and clearly.
"Admiral Lasky, do not fire on any ships unless fired upon first, is that understood?" President Charet ensured after hearing the officers warning.
"Crystal, Rear Admiral Lasky out," He said as he cut the communication and ran from his ready room to the bridge followed closely behind by the Lieutenant, when they got to the bridge Jet resumed his station and Lasky immediately went to the bridge's main holotank where Roland was already waiting.
Immediately Lasky started issuing orders "Have all Science and non-combat vessels engage active camouflage and fall back by one kilometre and get me the Preston" Almost instantly the ships around with no weapons and minimal defences went invisible and pulled back behind the line and Captain Ajex appeared on the holotank.
"I'm Splitting the battlegroup in two, Ajex take control of the right and left rear flanks if it comes to its focus on protecting the defenceless vessels" He ordered
"Yes, Sir" Captain Ajex said before he closed his comm screen, Lasky had 51 Combat capable ships at his command and was ready for whatever came at them. Above them and just behind the wreckage field ten ships blasted into the system and came within several hundred kilometres of the 1st exploratory fleet.
On the bridge the crew was hard at work at their stations, "Sir I count a total of ten ships, I've scanned their structures and six of them appear to be the same as Roland's mock construction from the wreckage as for the other three we can't identify them". A bridge officer told him
"Roland, Specifications?" He asked the Ai still looking at the ships in front of them that hadn't done anything and were probably trying to figure out who they were.
"Six of them do match the hull structure of the ones in the wreckage and they are 825 meters in length and have several of what I guess to be weapon emplacements though I can not determine their range, type of ammunition or power. The other four are just under 1200 meters in length but do not appear to have any outer armour plating". Roland informed him
At this point Lieutenant Jesperson flagged over Admiral Lasky to his panel "Sir, we're being hailed by one of the unknown ships, I can't determine which" he said
"Main viewport". Lasky ordered as he walked over to it in front of the holotank with two of the officer's station and personnel in clear view.
As the communication window came online he was greeted by a creature he had never seen before, it had dark green greyish skin and red slit eyes. "Unknown vessels, you have entered Separatist Alliance Space, if you do not leave within 30 seconds you will be destroyed," It said to them, Besides their appearance and ships, that last sentence was the one that got Lasky's full attention.
"This is Rear Admiral Lasky of the UNSC Infinity, We have no intelligence on the territory of this galaxy and will depart promptly at our own leisure but I warn you any attack on any vessel in this fleet will be declared as an act of war". Lasky warned them sternly
His response was met by a scoff from the other side "We have scanned your vessels weapon systems, do you really think we fear such primitives that use slugthrowers in space, you and your ugly ships no matter their size will be destroyed by the Separatist alliance". He said no more as before Lasky could respond the feed was cut.
He assumed he meant their Magnetic Accelerator Cannons "Power build-up detected in exterior emplacements, they're going to fire!" One of the sensor analysts shouted.
"Roland, get me a firing solution on those ships but do not fire until I give the order, I will not be the reason for another war starting!" He ordered
In front of them, a massive wave of red energy blasted from the turrets on the hostile ships and it headed straight for them. "All auxiliary power to the forward shields and brace for impact!" Lasky ordered as the volley soon hit them and caused several miniature explosions across the hull.
"Status report" Lasky requested as he pulled himself up
"Shields down to 63 percent but it looks like we took most of their fire, other ships are reporting shield losses of no more than 20 percent". Lieutenant Austen briefed from his tactical station.
"Sir, that was laser weaponry, but none like the plasma-based weapons the covenant used I don't understand its mechanism but it must be ionised contained gas somehow" Roland quickly said
"Is the targeting solution ready?" Lasky asked
"39 ships fleetwide MAC and missile barrage ready rest aren't within range Ir doesn't have a clean shot" Lieutenant Austen replied
"Reroute power from the shot dampeners in between MAC shots to the shields and Fire," Lasky said, a second later the ships vibrated and the bows of the ships glowed for a fraction of a second as the several hundred-ton ferric-tungsten projectiles sped towards the hostile ships at 2400 kilometres per minute followed close behind by the hundreds of missiles. The bridge crew of the fleet watched as the hostile ships were struck, three of the longer but less armoured ships immediately exploded when several MAC rounds hit the thin middle section of the ship and split them in two.
The more heavily armoured ships took the brunt of the MAC rounds and several struck home causing the ships to rock and even move back slightly as the massive kinetic force struck it. Point defence cannons came to life as dozens of them tried to shoot down the missiles before they hit the ship and succeeded in a lot of them but a large cluster still collided and caused a chain of explosions which looked like it didn't do anything until the last one hit and overloaded the ship's shields. A large explosion occurred at the rear of the ship on three of the ships causing a chain reaction which led to them exploding from the inside.
"Report!" Lasky ordered
Lieutenant Austen reported "Six confirmed kills Sir, Half of our MAC rounds collided with rogue debris and asteroids and were thrown off course as were a third of our missiles as well as another third being taken down by point defence weapons. Remaining four ships retreating deeper into the wreckage for cover". He said as Lasky was then addressed by Roland
"Detecting multiple craft exiting the remaining four ships must be fighters and bombers Sir, 700 manned fighters ready and waiting for deployment from the carriers with 300 more in reserve across the fleet". The golden AI said
"All fighters Deploy, arm all point defence cannons and close-in weapons systems" Lasky ordered as they got closer, fighters started pouring out of the carrier bays and waited until they had all been deployed and given the order. Lasky contacted the flight leader, "Stick within two kilometres of the infinity for maximum efficiency with the point defence weapons, you are green, engage" He gave the order and all of the fighters sored past the fleet towards the enemy incoming fighters and bombers. From the bridge, Lasky watched as the forces engaged each other and he could hear all the comm chatter.
"Sir, confirmed kills are coming in, the bulk of their fighters are unshielded and automated and I count no more than 500 of them. I recommend we deploy our bombers to finish their main ships with the reserve fighters as an escort." Roland proposed
"Do it, have the fighters clear a path for the bombers and their escort, the towers are the most exposed part of the ship and mark it as the primary target for the bombers." He ordered
They watched as several dozen bombers took off from the hangers with their escorts and formed up to gun it to the four remaining hostile ships, by the time they reached the main battle the fighters had managed to split the main enemy fighter screen in half pushing them back by their flanks and creating a channel for the bombers to get through. Some of the droids attempted to push through and take out the bombers but were destroyed in their attempts by the gunners of the bomber's exterior weapons and their fighter protection.
Only two bombers were destroyed on their way to the objective. The fighter screen split off when they reached the ships to draw fire away from the enemy ships anti-aircraft defences. Twelve at a time the missiles and bomb payloads were released to hit the bridge towers of the remaining ships. Despite the constant dodging of incoming red bolts of energy, they ordinance hit the target and the three towers ignited causing the rest of the ship to lose control and consequently explode when all shields went offline and they were hit again.
The last ship remaining was a longer less armoured one that didn't have a tower bridge, all of the bombers now had a single target and even the several dozen close in weapons couldn't hit them all in time before it was overwhelmed and completely obliterated by the number of strafing runs it took. As the last ship exploded in a bright light the droid fighter stopped functioning and floated aimlessly in space. The battle was over.
On the bridge Lasky let out a sigh of relief "Roland please tell me we recorded the feed of that battle" He asked
"120 different angles of UNSC fighting strength Sir," Roland said almost smugly
"Attach it to all of our discovery reports and send it immediately to Naval Command and the President's office, class one encryption subject line 1st exploratory fleet attacked, act of war declared by now named Separatist alliance" Lasky ordered as Roland acknowledged and sent it.
"All fighters and bombers returning now sir reported twenty-one casualties" Lieutenant Jet reported
"Once they are back, have the Battlestations order rescinded and begin system scans for all planets as far as we can detect, decloak to conserve power but have all ships engage camouflage if any energy signatures are detected that aren't recognised and friendly". Lasky ordered as he left the bridge.
Hours later the UEG cabinet was in turmoil, the news of an unprovoked attack on a UNSC fleet caused an uproar within the government, dozens of representatives shouted out in demand for revenge and ramification. Deciding not to keep the attack secret from the general public president Ruth Charet made a public speech broadcast across all UNSC worlds as well as the Sangheili military command. In which she announced that an exploration fleet had been attacked without provocation or justification.
Despite the victory of the battle, the citizens of the UEG were not satisfied and protests and petitions in favour of a declaration of war started to occur, in the parliament voices slowly ceased as president Charet entered the room and took her place and the centre podium.
"Representatives of the United Earth Government, by now you are all aware of the events that have transpired within the Andromeda galaxy where one of our explorations fleets was unjustly attacked by a force that had not been provoked. The brave Men and Woman of the UNSC fought valiantly and claimed victory over their attackers but nonetheless, this is an act of war, our people did survive a three-decade-long brush with extinction only for us to be knocked back down after a decade of growth and prosperity, So I shall not delay what we all know what must be done, we shall all cast our votes in favour of war with this Separatist Alliance or withdraw from the Andromeda galaxy entirely".
As she finished the tablets embedded into the tables of the representatives activated and all cast their vote. It took only a matter of seconds before all the votes were in and the result was displayed to president Charet who put them up on the large holographic displays that hung from the ceiling beside the main panel. "489 votes for war and 10 votes against, It is decided as of this moment July 25th 2564 a state of war is declared against the Separatist Alliance'' As she finishes the room erupts with cheers and shouts.
Leaving the room and heading to her private chambers she immediately contacts Rear Admiral Lasky on the developments "Admiral Lasky, I have a development on the Andromeda situation".
"I hope so," Lasky said "I saw your speech, now the public crying for war"
"Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it, the UEG has voted in favour of war with this Separatist alliance" Charet began to explain "The Admiralty is gathering as we speak to discuss plans for the wide-scale deployment of several fleets to the galaxy, for now, though as the highest-ranking naval officer I have declared you to lead the first series of surveillance and trial waves". She explained
Lasky but his right hand to his chin "We would have to try and minimise our presence while we examine our effectiveness against their ground troops in small attacks" Lasky hypothesized
"Have you had any more developments on your end since the battle?" President Charet asked
"Of sorts yes, our scans can only reach so far but we have detected several dozen systems most of which are uninhabited but there was one that piqued our interest, we manage to recover a small star chart from the wreck of one of the Separatist ships and it is named it as Maridun, after completing the scans we detected a vessel approaching the surface at high speed and did not make any successful attempts to decrease speed or evade the planet, further analysis by scout drones picked up images of the crash site and the vessel, it looked similar to the ones we encountered in the debris field so I asked the clone Lieutenant Banks if he knows it and he identified it as a Republic Arquitens-class light cruiser" Lasky briefed splitting the view screen between him and the captured footage.
The footage showed the trail the vessel had left in the ground as it crashed and the still smouldering wreckage, "And that's not all, several hours later our drone witnessed an incoming ship that matched the ones used by the Separatists in the attack, by there heading they appear to be descending to the planet I believe this could be our first opportunity to test ourselves against them". Lasky implied
"What's your plan of action?" She asked curiously
Lasky replaced the footage with a tactical map "There are no military bases or outposts of any kind on the planet so when they land they'll likely set up a small operations base and send out scout patrols to recon the area" he points to the makeup of a large square and small red dots representing patrols exciting forward. "From here we can send in Spartan and ODST fireteams via stealth Pelicans and eliminate the enemy forces" Lasky briefs as the display of blue spheres emerging around the red ones appear.
Ruth studies the plan briskly "I can understand the ODST's but are you sure this requires the deployment of Spartans?"
"I am, we may have bested them in space but we don't know how good their ground forces are plus they underestimated us and we had numbers on our side" Lasky explained
"Very well, you have execute authority until further notice, One last thing, I have looked over what you have uncovered so far and as well as our war plans I want you to investigate planets under Separatist rule for anything that breaches the M.O.R protocol given how quickly they decided to attack us and their confidence in it they don't seem like the type of government that would favour a democratic free public or movement". She finished
"Have we considered making contact with the Republic?, outlining targets would be a needful assist not to mention what happens when the Separatists are gone". Lasky mentioned
"It's still being discussed but I believe we will have to at some point, I can't see waging a war against a somewhat galactic power without attracting the attention of their main enemy". She conceded
"I'll do what I can, for now, to maintain undetected, Madam President," Lasky said as Charet closed the communication
Lasky looked to Roland on the holotank "Roland, What is the eta of the Infinity to the planet Maridun?" He asked
"Just the Infinity Sir, Twelve minutes and thirteen seconds" Roland responded
"Lieutenant James, plot a slip-space jump to those coordinates and Roland, inform Captain Ajex of our departure and that until we return he has temporary command of the fleet and send out a fleetwide notice that we are officially at war with the Separatist alliance". He ordered as he walked to the back of the room and off of the bridge. Taking a lift and a tram he arrived at the CIC and addressed a Spartan in white armour as he walked in
"Commander Palmer, briefing room," He said as she followed him into one of the many briefing rooms used before a mission.
"Roland bring up the planet," he said and Roland appeared on the centre terminal and activated the large screens in front of them showing the drone images and tactical maps of the surface of Maridun.
"We are currently on course to Maridun, local inhabitants are minimal and a Separatist force is landing as we speak, this will be the first test of our ground force capabilities against them, I need three Spartan teams and one ODST team ready for deployment to the surface once we arrive, the primary focus of the mission is to test our weapon, amour and combat ability". Lasky said pointing to the marked positions on the map.
"I'll Round up Fireteams Osiris, Lance and Crimson and a squad from the 2nd Shock Battalion". They'll be ready to jump by the time we get there". Palmer said looking back at the map "We'll coordinate a four-pronged approach from two klicks outside their fortifications and await recon patrols, we'll have to be careful though this area here looks inhabited" She said pointing to the flat piece of land with what looked like huts and farms.
Roland enhanced the image slightly "Correct, without ground confirmation we can't be 100 percent sure but we detected no energy signatures coming from that location so it is most likely a Tier-7 civilisation"
The teams spent the remaining time prepping for the mission and making their way down to the flight hangers where four modified stealth variant Pelicans were waiting for them, they got the all-clear for the Infinity bridge control as soon as they exited slip-space cloaked. In sync the ships departed the supercarrier and made their way to the surface, the pilots followed the given coordinates and when the broke through the atmosphere activated the ships cloaking systems and they faded from view.
Onboard one of the Pelicans fireteam Osiris is contacted "Fireteam Osiris this is Commander Palmer do you read?" came the voice
"Affirmative, we read, what's the go-ahead commander?" Locke asked
"Newly acquired intel shows a large force of what we can confirm now are battle droids, same as the ones from the wreckage, moving towards a village of local inhabitants you're to divert form your course and insert above the force, I'm marking it on your HUD's enemy force is 45 seconds out from the village, It'll take you at least a minute, be prepared for a hot landing zone, I say again the drop zone is hot". Commander Palmer told them
"Confirm, new drop zone, leaving the bird in 55 seconds, Locke out," He said as he and his team made their way to the back of the ship.
As the ramp lowered, exposing the dark interior of the Pelican the pilot opened the commlink between the cockpit and them "I'll be at extraction point bravo 2 klicks northeast" He said over the fluttering of the wind. Inside the light went from red to green and they jumped headfirst, headed straight for the ground. As they neared it they could see the enemy droid forces and the village of which they still didn't know what species. But then the droids started firing randomly at the huts.
"Deploy flaps!" Locke shouted heavily to his team as they activated thin metal flaps from the sides of their armour to slow their descent and then crashed into the ground with a loud metallic thud with dust and people flying off. Before the droids even had a moment to see what had fallen in the middle of them they were already under attack.
"Surrender," one of the droids said while aiming his blaster at them. "Engage" is all Locke said in a deep voice before all hell broke loose. Buck fired the first shot from his M45D shotgun which completely splintered the two droids in front of him and heavily damaged two more behind causing them to collapse. Simultaneously Tanaka and Vale used their thrusters to burst into two clusters of droids and used their armours sheer wight to melee them landing on their arms crushing the droids and immediately rolling forward to a crouch position to fire on the droids that had started firing on them.
Locke at the same time as buck reloaded behind cover grabbed an incoming droid behind Buck by its blaster, pulled it forward to the floor and stomped on its head, crushing it in a trio of sparks and whining of dying machinery. Realising they were outmatched the droids had begun to pull back while still firing at the Spartans. From behind cover, Buck noticed the large clifflike hill and turned towards Vale who was firing her MG6 sidearm from behind a rise in the terrain. "Vale, plasma grenade!" he shouted with his hand out and his shotgun in the other hand blasting off a droid's head as it came around the corner.
Olympia grabbed one of her plasma grenades and underarm threw it to Buck who caught it and put his M45D on the ground and upholstered his sidearm pistol. "Be ready to take them out," Buck said over their comms. Locke was about to ask what he was doing but it was too late as he ran out from cover towards the droid forces, using his booster he gained a massive speed run and leapt to the cliff using his momentum and strength to cling to it while still running at a nearly 70-degree angle, as he came within a half-dozen metres of the large droid force he primed the grenade and perfectly aimed in the middle of the group, He pushed himself off of the wall and landed right in front of the plasma grenade and activated his armour energy lock as it detonated.
The blue explosion instantly destroyed two-thirds of the remaining droids, turning them into scrap metal and the ones that remained were knocked down and quickly wiped out by the charging three Spartans. Finally after several long minutes of fighting when the shooting stopped and the dust had settled all the droids were in pieces and the only Separatist survivor was the Neimoidian General Lok Durd who was cowering behind a large cluster of destroyed droids. "What do we do with him?" Asked Spartan Buck pointing towards the general. "The Republic will be here soon, they'll deal with him" Locke replied. "Admiral Lasky, the mission was a success; droids have been neutralized heading to the extraction point". Locke said to his comm back to the Infinity.
As he said that he saw several dots on his motion tracker from an opening to the northwest, the rest of them also picked it up and aimed their weapons at the incoming group but they weren't droids it was a group of several humanoid figures, Two of them they didn't recognise but the white armour they did know. "Republic" Buck muttered over the comm. It looked like one of the groups was about to step forward or say something until from the sky three large metal flaming objects flew down to the ground.
For a second it caught their attention but it caught the attention of the Republic forces for longer, Osiris used this opportunity to activate their camouflage and make it out of the village towards exfil point bravo. While running through the plains still cloaked Locke immediately contacted the Infinity command "Infinity I have eyes on three missiles entering the atmosphere headed for the Separatist compound to our south, was that us?"
Admiral Lasky quickly answered, "Affirmative Spartan, Fireteam Crimson managed to infiltrate the compound and discover the Separatists were in possession of a WMD and we believe it was their intention to test in on the local populace we couldn't allow it to fall into Republic or Separatist hands". He explained
"Understood command, we're arriving at the exfil point now and will be back onboard the infinity presently, did any other teams take casualties?" Locke asked
"Fireteam Lance sustained minor injuries, seems like they ran into a relief force that was headed to your location" He replied
"Tell them we owe them one," Buck said as they all reached the Pelican and boarded it with the pilot taking off immediately after. A few moments after it got into the air they saw the missile reach the Separatist compound in the distance impacting it and causing it to go up in fire and smoke.
Meanwhile, on the ground, the Jedi and Clones were struggling to process what they had witnessed. "What Happened here, Who were they and where did those missiles come from?" Aayla Secura asked one of the lurmen who seemed to be just as shocked. "We don't know, they just fell from the sky and then started attacking the droids. It was over in a few moments they were so fast we couldn't even see them for most of it" he replied to the Jedi. "General come look at this" she heard from Captain Rex who was kneeling at one of the droids she and Ashoka walked over while the other clones stood guard.
"What is it?" Aaayla asked, "These droids weren't destroyed with blasters, this looks like projectile damage".
"Slugthrowers haven't been used in centuries, A projectile weapon did this?" Ashoka stated while gesturing to the droid that was falling to pieces. "Whatever it was, I've never seen one that could do this much damage before". But before they could discuss it any further their attention was to the sky as three Republic ships descended to the planet and Aayla seccura begins to hear some static on her comm device, "General can you hear me?, this is Admiral Yularen".
"Yes, I am transmitting our coordinates, send a LAAT to pick us up. We need to report back to Coruscant immediately". Aayla says as they watch the massive explosion in the distance.
Onboard the Infinity all fireteams enter the large circular briefing room and stand in line each squad 2 feet apart, Admiral Lasky and Commander Palmer enter the room with Roland surfacing in the pedestal terminal between Palmer and Lasky. "Firstly, excellent work, all targets were eliminated and the expected use of a WMD on a civilian target was impeded". Palmer said with the atmospheric drone footage showing the scattered and charred remains of the Separatist stronghold.
"With help from captured data components and clone Lieutenant Banks we have been able to correctly identify all combatants fought on the ground," Lasky said while bringing up three detailed images of the droids they had faced. The first being 1.93 metres tall and bone white coloured and armed with an E-5 blaster, the second fractionally shorter at 1.91 meters tall was dark silver and had a small dual blaster attached to its right arm. Lastly was a three-legged droid with two dual blasters and from the collected video from the mission it had a blue shield around it that stopped all projectile and energy that collided with it.
"Firstly, the B1 battle droid, Commander Locke your assessment" Lasky requested
"Intel appears to be correct Sir, they were weak and their reaction times to our attack was slow and sluggish their only advantage appears to be when grouped in large numbers but individually they pose less of a threat than an Unggoy as for the B2 ones they had more combat capable attacks and were not primarily focused on blasting out in the open, their rate of fire was also double that of the B1 I recommend vigilance when engaging in large numbers" Locke informed
"Understood," Lasky said as he switched the main view screen to the last droid "Fireteam Lance were the only ones to encounter these droids, Commander Ridgewell?" Lasky said as Ridgewell walked forward to the large display of their mission feed.
"On first engagement, they appeared to move like a rolling sphere almost, it's outer plating is made of a strong metal as we only managed to eliminate one in transit, the second one stopped approximately ten meters in front of us and detached from this form into this," He said as the footage played to reveal the Droideka opening up and it's shield appearing around it, "None of our shots penetrated the shield at first, it was one way and continued to fire rapidly at our location managing to hit Spartan Will in his chest, shields took the brunt of it but due to the rapid succession of hits it nearly burned through his armour, from cover we did see it move and small stationary objects did pass through the shields, only after constant collective fire did its shields fail and we were able to eliminate the droid. If seen on future battlefields small arms fire does not work effectively and it is recommended to use high wielded weapons such as M6 Nonlinear Rifle, ARC-920 railgun or mounted cannons and Heavy Machine Guns" He finished resuming his position in his team line.
Lasky stepped forward "This is the first combat action taken against Separatist ground troops, all of the information gathered during this operation will be vital in our future battles, Fireteams dismissed," Lasky said as they saluted and walked in line out of the briefing room.
Right there we go the first rewrite of the series, personally, I am a lot more proud of this one because it doesn't differ from the original too much but it is longer and has a more detailed and in-depth story beginning. But that is just my opinion let me know what you think in the reviews. Also again really sorry that this one took a lot longer but as well as the stuff I said at the beginning I also had to make sure it lined up with the other/future chapters.
Anyway, let me know if I missed anything like an incorrect piece of information or a continuity error slough if it is to do with Halo or Star wars lore, weapons, science etc. Please check you are correct first.