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The Mother of All Battles: Surprise
Posted By: Andres<andres_vera2000@yahoo.com>
Date: 11 January 2006, 5:35 am

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0012, January 20, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Controlled Space
Fleet Rally point Baker, Asteroid Field Kappa IV
UNSC Carrier class Hurricane Tsunami

Three hundred gray and black dots flew by the carrier and the Commodore that stood on the top of the control center where activity was, at least, uncommon. The sailors had to track, coordinate and separate hundreds of things before the Dagger and Longswords reached the Covenant fleet. The fifteen Covenant frigates where going to meet, in a few words, a can of whoopass.
"Strike lead on bullseye."
The Admiral stared at the girl in the console staring at her with damped in sweat in her face and hair. "Engage."
Though it was not heard at the time, since the filters on the communications network would not allow it, three hundred voices yielded "Weapon away!" For the powerful Covenant ships, infinite ego and unparallel merciless, this was a total and relentless humiliation.
A large white smokescreen formed infront of the fleet as the fighters and fighter-bombers fired their missiles at the Covenant ships that broke away from their tight formation perfectly in a way that dazzled the entire staff of ship commanders in the UNSC.
"Now." Commodore Diana Gutierrez, a young girl, from a poor family from Mars, smiled. One carrier, six light cruisers, two heavy cruisers and eight destroyers left their hiding places with the brown stones and sighted on. The hard acceleration, tight maneuvering and abrupt movement were not felt in the ship as it exited the asteroid field leading the attack for the entire field.
Her part on the operation was over. It was up for her Captains to do the job.

0012, January 20, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Controlled Space
Exiting the Slipstream
UNSC Heavy Cruiser Iowa class, Surprise

The Enterprise, and six other ships, formed a cluster around the bulk of the force that exited the brown dots that formed the asteroid field. They were, purely, cannon fodder, except maybe, the Enterprise. "Match designated bearings and shoot!"
The hull reverberated and the silver, oval cannonball streaked through space toward one of the fifteen frigates. It struck the vessel amidships between the joint of the hull and the engines. The ship fell apart and exploded shortly after. The other sixteen ships, however, did not have such luck, at best, they lowered their shields.
"Transient! Transient!" called EW amongst several cries of warning. "Vampire! Vampire! Three plasma torpedoes inbound."
"Helm, come about hard one-zero-zero by zero-zero-zero." The ship pulled towards the asteroid field and accelerated, leaving behind the other, older and slower vessels. Poor bastards.

1825, January 20, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Control Space
Ocean Prime, Ocean Continent, City of Caribbean

When she woke up she was somewhere different. It was the dairy store! Kenny had come up with the idea for unlimited ice-cream, what a genius. The problem was, they were all water. No wonder, she thought, it had been real warm that day.
One of the other worlds hat turned into a fireball. No biggy, just creepy. "Hey Kenny!" the older kid was his best friend, until her teddy was found, for saving her life. It was odd that the other grownups did not pay attention at them. They just ran away with their things and their own ilk. "Get over here!"
Kenny came as usual from the storage room without his glasses and a big simle on his face. "Sup Connie?"
"Nothing, just thought we could walk today."
"Sure," said Kenny. "But we better stay close."
"Right now?"
Kenny nodded. "Before it gets dark."

The two children, hand by hand, jumped on the water fountain throwing water at each other and giggled. Tough break, they will have no dry clothes for the night. The old square was the playing ground of all the cool kids on the city and the most beautiful spot on it.
There were two pools, one fish tank and one park with all kinds of toys on it. The only thing missing and it was clear, where other kids to play with. Though he wasn't bored, he was happy to be with Connie. It was just creepy with nobody around. "What do you think is going to happen?"
"Darn," said Kenny. "I don't know."
"Are our families ok?"
"I guess son."
"It is just that," the girl collapsed on his arms, sobbing and crying. "Will I ever see mom again?"
"Shit!" screamed Kenny. "Move Connie!"
"That's just mean," Connie moaned before Kenny grabbed her pink t-shirt by the shoulder and pulling her away. The large, oval, alien ship got hit by the missiles just above the cockpit filling the sky with a beautiful silver wall around it. Sounds of machineguns, lasers and explosions began to be heard and the only thing Kenny wanted was to get to the dairy store two blocks away.

1978h, January 20th, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Control Space
Planet Omega. Joint Forces Command Center.
Big Horn Continent.

"Sir," the young airman entered the room almost knocking the door over. "More Covenant ships are entering the system."
"Where are they?"
"Still, by the Oceana star"
"Cool, I'll be right there."
"Cool?" muttered the airmen as he closed the door. Domanenko stood from the chair, almost falling by the effects of the Vodka he sipped earlier and walked out of the elegantly decorated office with wooden walls and red carpeted.
"Time for business then," he opened the door and walked out of the wooden doorframe into a room full of activity. On the large panel that illuminated the entire room with all sorts of colors, there were a growing number of red ovals of different sizes. "Man, is that allot."
"Sir," said Fleet Ops, a veteran admiral of the old school. Black hair and brown eyes, truly an imposing man. I could break him. "It is tight."
"How so?"
"They outnumber us fairly."
"Aw, they always do," he shook his head violently to eliminate the dizziness; it did not work, not at all. "SITREP"
"The bulk of the force is by the Oceana planetary chain and we have reports that the Covenant has begun invasions to destroy the arsenals on the ground." The Admiral said with no particular feeling. "The bad news is that they are sending scout parties
"And how many?"
"Hard to get a number, the jamming is too hard for our long range radars to achieve a lock on the formation, let alone track individual groups."
Marshal Domanenko let out a loud cough heard by everyone in the room. "Then get someone close and check that out. We cant have alien ships wondering around there."
Fleet Ops nodded and with no salute he turned around, and walked away. "Aye sir, I know exactly who."
"Who, Enterprise?" asked the Marshal impotently.
"No," Fleet Ops smiled. "The Surprise."

0200h, January 20, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Controlled Space
Exiting the Slipstream
UNSC Heavy Cruiser Iowa class, Surprise

Two heavy, fixed Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, three light, mobile MACs and thirty 10m conventional howitzers; she was, by all means, a Battleship. Compared to other ships in the UNSC inventory she was, by far a monster. The bridge, it self, was a six story building. A structure over a superstructure. The black and dark gray cammo on the hull was beautiful and the shape, witch some people said looked like a rifle with a big stock and large barrel.
Commodore Bratton was sure, and betted on it, that the designers had in mind the MA-5B when they designed it. Either way, the ship resembled the weapon of the folks who would win the war; the Marines. The main bridge, witch had a natural view of space, was where the ship commander, a young, aggressive commodore from a humble past sat in a confortable chair. In front of the red haired officer was a panel with all sort of displays where all the information needed, wanted and else was displayed. Two mechanical stairs on the sides of the bridge led down two stories where several officers led their divisions.
"Con, radar. Contact with bogeys." Bratton stared at the radar display on his console, thirty bogeys, most likely Seraphs, approached his ship.
"Gunnery, con. Load the ten meters, flak shot. Fire when ready." The autoloaders on the ships bow loaded the heavy rounds too rapidly to count and the ship held fast.
"Con, gunnery. Rounds away." Several blindingly bright flashes stormed the ships bow for a second. Within ten seconds the Seraphs disappeared from the screen.
There was no joyous celebration, no screams of happiness. Dispatching Seraphs was not, colloquially, a big deal. "Con, radar. Clear."
The orders for the small task force of three ships were to screen, shadow and trail of the massing Covenant fleet, an order that made no sense, but everybody understood. With the "Heavy Cruiser," a name given for budgetary reasons, were a destroyer and a light Carrier. "Con, EW. Contact with search radars at two-niner-eight by one eight zero, qualify as Destroyer-bogey."
Though the EW suite was amazing, it was nothing compared to the skills of the officer and crew that manned it, if he said it was a Destroyer, the Captain believed him. "Aye EW."
The ship's position, near the Oceana star, was an exposed one. It was, in a way, to serve as a bait and in a darker, secret way, to try a new weapon. A MAC round based, nuclear weapon, it was, for the Captain, exciting at best. That was, in a way, the reason for the name. A ship built around secrets, expected to give Surprise.
"Con, AO. Recommend deploying air wings." The Action Officer was right, it was time for extra security.
"Deploy the fighter wings out of the Carrier Reach Three, keep them tight in."
"AO, aye sir."
In the old days when ship warfare took place on the vast seas airplanes, after cannons, ruled the day. The modern days were there was all the space necessary to maneuver, literally, a combination of both took place. At the beginning of the war, it all changed. Weapons on the fighters were not powerful enough to hit the warships in the Covenant inventory. It was left then, to the old fashioned naval battles to take place.
"Con, EW. Search radars scanning our direction, no hits insofar."
"Con, aye."
"Con, Radar! Contact!"
Bratton stared at the radar display on his console and a small green oval slowly advanced. "Corvette?"
"Roger that sir," said the XO right next to him.
"Con, Radar. Classify track as Charlie One. Confirmed as a Bass type Corvette."
"Aye," said the Captain. "Com, Con. Contact HQ, we have made contact with screening elements."

Somewhere in the Covenant controlled Space
High Charity
Ninth age of Reclamation

The flying bed, the red sheets and the Golden armor made the Counsel Chamber fall into a deep, dark silence. Though the carcass had not been found parts of his armor were salvaged from an escape pod. Ornus' Kapaffi had died at the hand of the vile human.
The flames of hatred on the hearts of every member, both Prophet and Elite, burnt their hearts to an unhealthy extent. "Today we grieve a legend among the living," the prophet was to go for hours, boring but enlightening. For the prophet of Joy it was still, the same nightmare haunted him in both sleep and awake. The same man, scarred and small followed him across the halls of High Charity and scared him to his end.
It was not to be a fulfilling experience. "As we speak the largest fleet ever assembled will attack human infected space and cleanse it." The assembly stood, clapped, cheered and laughed. "No human will survive this onslaught."
None in the room knew the omens that the prophet flying a feet over the ground knew. For another hour all noble, plebe and poor paid their respects to the living legend everyone knew, but none met. After the ceremony the fleet circled High Charity and left to space for the glory, and for the Prophet of Joy, to never return.

2014h, January 20, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Controlled Space
Fleet Rally point Baker
UNSC Heavy Cruiser Iowa class, Surprise

"Con, Radar. No movement so far, just more ships inbound, latest count is three-four-five."
The Skipper, however, was not on CON, he was at the bow of the ship where Radar, Fire Control and Gunnery where located. Standing on a balcony above the tube of MAC-1 loading mechanism he overlooked the loading of a new weapon in the UNSC inventory, the MAC launched nuclear weapon. The 550 Kiloton Nuke had only a layer of tungsten to protect it and it had the power to destroy an entire Covenant carrier and its surroundings.
"Beautiful thing that is," said the Chief of the Boat, the best man the Captain knew and the senior enlisted man in the ship.
"Aye," replied Bratton. "It is going to be a showoff."
"Yeah," said COB. "It is going to be blast."
"If it works," Bratton turned around to leave the action of the MAC. "It could change the war."
"Damned right," said the NCO. "It is about time we have a breathier. Cool we have a Big White to try it on."
The Big White Class Cruiser was the Holy Grail, or the devils pitchfork, of ship skippers in the Navy. All feared them, but all, with no exception wanted one painted on the hull of their "boat". In space the Covenant ships had a flare of a pack of sharks deep on the see, swimming in circles looking for a prey. The Covenant hardware had a vicious, bloodthirsty look that only that reminded the first human sailors to meet them as the creatures of the deep oceans on earth when Oil and Sail where the methods of sailing.
"Indeed Chief," said the Captain recalling the experiences with the Covenant ships. From Harvest to Lira Omega, since the first MAC round was fired at that type of ship it had butchered humans in both planet and space. Now it was payback.

"Con, Fire Control. Radar information is uploaded, computed, and ballistic solution is hot on MAC-1." The emotion on the bridge, the fighting compartments and crew compartments, and even the hardware was palpable for everyone, except, the Covenant fleet. His ship had five divisions solely dedicated to fire the ship's weapons, gunnery, radar, EW, fire control and Missile coordinated by de Action Officer. Over two hundred men and woman, all of them made things work, and yet, it was his job that, ironically, made it all happened.
"Aye, fire control."
"Con, Action Officer," called a very tense Lieutenant commander sitting at the center of the ship, inside the Combat Information Center. "Requesting permission to remove the safety on Nuke zero-five-niner-papa."
"Granted." On the panel ahead a red light came at the bow of the silhouette of the ship indicating to all, but specially to him, that the Nuke was hot. "Fire Control, con. Set target track Charlie Niner."
"Fire, Control. Target set, Big White Class Cruiser track Charlie Niner. All conditions met to begin firing of nuclear weapons." The Covenant cruiser, its silvery shape visible on the screens, was in perfect alignment with the turret at the lower bow of the ship.
"Match designated fire solutions and shoot!." A loud metal clang reverberated the hull and the MAC round, barely visible on the scopes, disappeared into space. The next thing the crew saw was a new sun forming at the center of the Covenant fleet.

0245h, January 21, 2563 (UNSC Military Calendar)
Lira Omega System, UNSC Inner Colony Control Space
Ocean Prime, Ocean Continent, Highway West

The APC left down the rustic trail that led to the main base on the prarry bellow the strongpoint. The chaos by the Covenant invasion was over and the Territorial Army had organized, and for the looks of it, was giving a fight.
The large antiaircraft guns on the hill chain around the valley by Highway West was the strong point of the human resistance on the planet and where the largest, most powerful nuclear silo was. Covenant ships had paid dearly on their last attempt to glass the planet. Apparently the only one remaining on the Oceana Chain.
Frank laid on the ground, gripping an SMG on his right hand and smoking a cigarette with his left one, staring at the huge formation of Covenant ships that orbited the planet. The city of Caribbean was the epicenter of a big battle to control the main supply line between the Fort and the Silo and for the looks of it, the Covenant was wining. Only a miracle could save the planet. "C'mon god, just one chance," his head rose. From the sky a light shone down the planet like a sing from heaven. The silhouette of one of the Covenant ships disappeared on the light of witch, undoubtedly, was a nuclear blast.