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An Unggoy Life: Chapter 20: Welcome to Armageddon
Posted By: CrazyGrunt<thomas-hoskins@comcast.net>
Date: 1 September 2005, 2:39 pm

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Slipspace, en route to Armageddon, aboard Pillar of Autumn II, Briefing room

      Major Thomas sat in one of the chairs in the briefing room. The chain of command had been informed of what was going on, and he didn't like it. If there was one thing that Thomas hated more than anything, it was being used as a political morale poster.
      "I suggest we all return to our quarters and get some sleep," Admiral Keyes said in a tone that made it sound like an order.
      Thomas walked back down the steel-gray hallways of the ship back to 5th Platoon's recently repaired ODST barracks.
      When he got inside, he saw that most of the platoon was asleep. The only ones who were awake were Krystal, Vicky, Roni Guman, and the only friend Thomas knew who had a military rank for a first name, Corporal Major Bruno. The four of them were playing a game of five-card poker. From the way the poker chips were stacked, it looked like Roni was winning the game. Major was already out because of Roni's winning streak.
      Thomas walked over behind Krystal and teasingly poked her in the shoulder.
      "Hey!" Krystal giggled as she gave him a friendly knock to the side of the head.
      "Ow! Krystal! That hurt," Thomas moaned as he rubbed the spot where she had hit him.
      Everyone laughed, even Thomas. Ever since Thomas had met her, Krystal had always shown her affection for someone by pounding their head two or three times. Thomas liked her because of that.
      "Alright everyone," Thomas said in a no-nonsense tone, "Time to get some sleep. I'll brief everyone on the situation tomorrow at 0900 hours."
      Reluctantly, they all headed to their bunks. Coincidentally, Krystal's bunk was right above his bunk, so she quickly kissed him on the cheek before climbing into her bed. Thomas touched his cheek, then settled down into his bed and fell abruptly asleep.

      "Hailing the capital ship Triumph," The Pillar of Autumn II's Comm officer reported to Miranda eight hours later, "They will respond to the hail momentarily, sir."
      The Triumph was another new design from ONI. Instead of the flat bow of the old UNSC naval vessels, the ship had a bow that slanted downward at a 45 degree angle, and instead of a bridge at the bottom of the bow, the bridge was at the top of the bow's downward slant. The bow was connected to the engines by a neck half a kilometer long covered in fifteen meters of Titanium A. The ship had two Super MAC guns mounted to the underside of the neck, and thirty plasma turret batteries mounted on various parts of the ship. The Triumph's engines were about the size of three frigates stacked on top of each other. The Triumph was about the same size as the Pillar of Autumn II.
      Armageddon had a state of the art orbital platforms, better than the ones protecting Earth. This was because Armageddon was the backup center for ONI's weapon projects in case Reach was glassed. Since Reach had been glassed for the most part, Armageddon became the UWSC's last military stronghold. Ever since the formation of the UWSC, the defect Covenant races, which the citizens of Armageddon called the Defects, shared their technology being used on the battlefield, as well as the knowledge of the top secret projects the Prophet Hierarchs tried to keep under wraps.
      The orbital guns were equipped with the same type of weapon that the Ark had for its main cannon, as well as three Super MAC cannons aligned in a triangle attached to what the crews dubbed the 'Forerunner Cannon.' Four energy projectors were mounted on the corners of the square shaped station.
      A special feature had been intergrated into Armageddon's orbital platforms. The special feature was that if the lower section of the platform became critically damaged, the top section would separate from the bottom section, and still retain its three Super MAC guns AND gain agility.
      "They're responding, sir," The Comm officer called
      "Put it on the Holovid," Miranda ordered, and sat down in the commanders' chair.
      A face appeared on the screen. The face was human, was a white human, with dark brown hair, cropped in the military fashion. He had a pencil-thin mustache, but the thing that bothered Miranda the most was his right eye, which was a cybernetic eye that glowed red, complete with metal plating around the eye, which stuck out two inches from the rest of his face. Combine that with his deeply set eyes, and he looked very intimidating.
      "I am Rear Admiral Parol," He said, "You must be Admiral Keyes, for who else would command the Pillar of Autumn II."
      "Correct," Miranda replied, "We came to help defend Armageddon in case the Ork Waagh decides to swing this way for revenge."
      "I understand the politicians' concerns," Parol replied, "You may begin landing your troops in the cities that Admiral Hood assigned them. If the Orks attack and we're caught with our pants down, the monitor stations Mannheim, Memory of Harvest, and Najaf will alert us of any invasion."
      "Thank you," Miranda replied, "We'll start landing them now."

      Nugga led the Imperial Unggoy Protectors onto one of the two hundred Phantoms in the Pillar of Autumn II's hangar, not to mention the two hundred pelicans transporting the marines and ODSTs to Armageddon. The other Phantoms were transporting the combined forces of Sangheili, Unggoy, and Lekgolo, also refered to as the Holy Soldiers, to Armageddon as well.
      The Unggoy pilot motioned for them to get in, so Nugga checked the squad. Holi had survived the explosion during the Orks raid on Earth, so the squad was still complete.
      Nugga motioned for them to get into the Phantom, and they all complied. Then Nugga himself climbed aboard the Phantom and sealed the hatch. The Phantom rose, then took off, headed for the city of Volcanus.

      Thomas watched as 5th Platoon boarded two Pelicans. He watched Zeta squad get aboard their Pelican, and watched his own squad, Omega squad scramble into their Pelican. After making sure everyone was aboard, Thomas took his seat near the exit hatch. The hatch closed, and the Pelican took off and headed for the city Infernus.

      "Admiral Parol," the Comm officer of the Triumph reported, "The Najaf reports no irregular activity whatsoever."
      "Understood," Parol replied, "We'll be ready if those Orks try to invade us."

      When Thomas exited the Pelican onto the Infernus spaceport, he knew instantly why it was given that name. It was freakin' hot. One of the garrison commanders had come to show them where their barracks were located.
      "After you have gotten settled in," The commander said, "Feel free to explore the city as you please, but please wear civilian clothing."
      "Right," Thomas said in agreement.
      It was going to be a long tour of duty.

      The Gorka and Morka materialized from slipspace one klick away from the monitor station Najaf, followed by the Ork fleet and the Droid Army ships. The Najaf tried to transmit a warning to the Triumph and the rest of the fleet, it was annihilated in half a second by the Gorka and Morka's plasma turrets.
      Ghazghkull smiled. Armageddon may have beefed up security, but it was no match for the combined strength of his fleet, the Armada of the Great Despot, the Urgok's Armada, and the Droid Army fleet total firepower. Armageddon was be captured.
      "Lord Grievous, why don't you have some of your ships destroy the other two monitor stations," Zagdakka suggested.
      "I have already sent the destroyer Grand Annihilator and the battleship Geneosis's Pride to destroy the two remaining monitor stations," Grievous replied, "Their firepower is more than enough to eliminate two insignificant monitor stations."
      The Gorka and Morka began to steer toward Armageddon, and Ghazghkull's fleet, consisting of of ten Ork Hulks comprised of varying ships of several different races, slowly followed. Seven shark-like Kill Kroozers, their stubby "fins" carrying Energy projectors, advanced past the slow Hulks and the Gorka and Morka. Twenty Onslaught Attack ships, their rectagular shapes gliding through space, followed suit, but stayed alongside the Gorka and Morka. Thirty Ravager Attack ships were hidden in the recently modified Underside Hangar for ambush purposes. Behind this armada was at least one hundred Droid Army ships, and the Ork asteroid fortresses.
      Ghazghkull knew that on the opposite side of the system Gazgrim's armada and Urgok's armada were headed for Armageddon the long way.
      Urgok's fleet comprised of twenty Kill Kroozers and his personal space hulk, the Unstoppable.
      The Unstoppable was made of multiple Covenant vessels. It was as big as the Gorka and Morka,but it was only three-quarters of the Gorka and Morka's length, and it bristled with old-fashioned plasma turrets and the improved versions. The top of the ship's bow was made out of a Covenant destroyer, while the lower section of the bow was a Covenant crusier, but the hangars bays had been welded shut, given a ton of armor plating, and were filled with reactors for the ten energy projectors attached to the front of the hulk.
      The hulk's engines were made out of two Covenant carriers. Attached to the top of the carriers was the salvaged Covenant captial ship Regret's Journey. The hulk had at least three hundred of the old-fashioned plasma turrets ready to fire on demand. It had a one hundred-fifty of the improved plasma turrets ready to fire on a moments notice as well.
      The Armada of the Great Despot was made up of twenty-five Kill Kroozers, ten Onslaughts, ten abnormally large Roks, and the space hulk that was the armada's flagship, the Dictator.
      The Dictator was made of two of the UNSC's finest ships, the carrier Hannibal and the battleship Basra. The Meks had welded the two ships together so that the Hannibal's bow was fused to the Basra's stern. The resulting space hulk was about as large as the Gorka and Morka, but half as long.
      Both of the ships' hulls had been cannibalised by the Mekboyz. Three tons of Titianium-A now covered the Dictator's hull, plus it had a Kustom force field. The improvised hull had the Great Despot's symbol painted on the side, which was a huge, grinning skull.
      The ship's weapons consisted of captured one hundred plasma turrets, two hundred Archer missile pods, ten missile pods carrying Shiva nuclear-tipped missiles, three MAC guns, and a Super MAC cannon slung on the underside of the ship. Two of the hangars each carried ten thousand Fighta Bommerz. The third hangar carried fifty Longsword attack craft, each one carrying a single Fury tac-nuke. The final hangar carried capture ten pelicans, that had been given a extra ton of armor. Apparently the somebody in Gazgrim's territory had salvaged a human experimental weapon called the Nova, which was a nuke that could crack a planet in half. Despite its size, the Dictator could probably take out a human fleet singlehanded, if given the chance.
      "I want the Onslaughts to move in to cover us while we pick up some of those hodgepodge warbands on Chosin," Ghazghkull ordered the Comm Mek, "I want to be able to keep any UWSC ship that attacks the Gorka and Morka under continual fire after we spring the trap."

      The klaxons went off on board the the Triumph. Admiral Parol stared as the Gorka and Morka accelerated toward the system's ice planet, Chosin. It was followed by forty-seven Ork vessels and at least a hundred ships that he could not identify.
      The Ork fleet was probably stopping at Chosin because it was Ork-infested. They were probably going to pick up more Orks for the invasion of Armageddon.
      "Send a transmission to every UWSC ship in the system," Parol begin giving orders, "The Orks have come for revenge on Armageddon, and they brought friends. Tac Ops, Find out how the HELL they got this far insystem without being detected! Weapons One, prepare to fire on the lead Space Hulk."
      The Triumph accelerated toward the Gorka and Morka, firing its twin Super MAC cannons at the bow of the hulk, which was where the bridge was located on the ship. The rounds collided with the bow, and the Gorka and Morka began listing to the port side.
      A cheer exploded from the bridge of the Triumph, but was quickly silenced by the opening of the Underside Hangar. Inside was the piranha-like hulls of the Ork Ravager Attack ships. The huge jaw-like torpedo bay mounted in the front of the Attack ships had the uncanny ablility open and close with the push of a button for better accuracy.
      Suddenly, Parol noticed that the gargantuan Ork hulk was drifting toward the Triumph. This was no coincidence, he realized. He looked at the tactical readout of the ships hull and saw that the bow of the hulk remained in perfect condition. Too late he realized that the Ravager Attack ships' torpedo bays were opened to the maximum extent.
      The Ravagers opened fire.
      As the Triumph's attempted to escape, Parol realized that the Ork leading this Waagh could be no other than the one Ork that every being in a position of power feared for his cunning and power.
      Ghazghkull had come back for revenge.