Posted By: alimination602<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 29 December 2007, 2:47 pm
The bright veil of slipstream collapsed around Forward Unto Dawn as she exited slipspace, flanked on either side by Covenant Cruisers, Carriers, Frigates and Destroyers. Commander Keyes was flung forward in her command chair, as the forces of slipspace once again degraded it drew her back into her seat with an "Umph". She scanned across the bridge, everything seemed too have made it through in one piece. "Sakura
." She spoke into thin air. A blue figure fizzled into existence, a young woman blanketed in a loose poncho that lightly covered her feminine form. "Run a scan of the ship, please. Ensure all the components made it through ok" "Of course ma'am" She placed her hand to her forehead, closing her eyes as if in deep thought. She felt her fragments breaking apart and slithering through the ships systems. Reaching out to every circuit in the system, feeling the drain of energy as she broke herself apart and the sudden surge of power as she was reassembled one byte at a time. "All systems green, ma'am". She smiled. "Now link up with the Shipmasters fleet" Sakura once again closed her eyes, opening a COM link with the Shipmasters flagship 'Shadow of Intent'. "COM link online ma'am". Miranda looked up at the screen, the four mandibles of the Shipmaster crackling onto the main view screen. "Shipmaster, Forward Unto Dawn has exited slipspace and is reading 100%".
"Very well commander. What's your plan? As I assume you have one" The commander tapped a control on the side of her chair; a digital map of the planet rose up in front of her reading random statistics on air quality and soil composition. Both things Miranda couldn't give a rat's ass about at this moment in time. "We don't know much about the Ark, so as such our primary objective should be reconnaissance. The Chief and Johnson are going too drop onto the surface and find a landing zone for my ship. Once they've cleared the LZ I'll touch down on the surface and co-ordinate the assault on the Ark. But for now though we should focus on distracting Truth's fleet until the chief can go too ground, after that they can be safely destroyed and we can turn our attention to Truth himself". The Shipmaster leaned forward in his seat. "Very well, with our cannons we will burn a hole through Truth's lies and smite the heart of his damnation". Below him Miranda heard the voice of another elite call out too their leader. "Brute Ships. Standard line. Shipmaster, they outnumber us 3-1" "Then it is an even fight, all cruisers fire at will. Burn their mongrel hides" He slammed his fist on the arm of his chair. Miranda looked out the main view screen, she watched as the Brute fleet swam towards her. Along the frame of the enemy ships purple spots grew across their hulls, each one would soon grow into a deadly laser that could slice clean through her ship as though it were paper thin. She tapped a control on her seat, bringing up a map of the battlefield, the Elite vessels as they moved implicitly towards the waiting Brute Fleet and the Brute Fleet as they held a barrier between the invading Elite fleet and the structure that may soon lead too their ultimate demise. Every vessel was accounted for, except Truth's Forerunner Dreadnought thing.
She tapped her COM unit, a whiff of Johnson's cigar smoke filling her view screen. "Truth's ship isn't taking part in the attack, he must have gone to ground" Johnson settled down into the co-pilots seat. "Roger that ma'am we're on it. Pop the hatch" She turned too her bridge crew. "Open the pelican drop bay" With a flurry of typing her bridge officer turned back too her. "Opening ma'am" The view screen was soon filled with the pulsing purple glow of the force field that sealed the atmosphere with the ship. Her fingers curled around the tips of her armrests. Even though she was half a mile away from the rupture in the ship, she still felt insecurity as she stared down into the empty void, as if she would topple over the edge and fall into oblivion if she took another step forward. She turned to her weapons officer. "Weapons, charge up the MAC gun. Arm Archer Pods A-D and bring up the safety lock codes onto my computer". She watched as her Weapons officer typed out the commands on his keyboard.
A sequence of codes flashed up on Miranda's view screen. She tapped a series of keys on her armrest. "Archer Missiles armed. MAC Charging, Countdown Initiated. T-minus 34 seconds and counting". She would use the standard attack her father had taught her after the battle of Sigma Octanus IV, Fire 2 opening Salvo's of archer pods to decimate the enemy shields and then finish the enemy ship off with a MAC round. "Fire the first salvo" She watched as each of the tubes was fired from their berths, each trailing a line of smoke towards their waiting target. Eventually the majority found their target, some scraping against the shields and being knocked off course. Others clean misses. Those that did strike the shield exploded harmlessly on the barrier, causing small pockets of white flares along the hull of the ship as they tried to punch they're way through, to little avail. "Fire Salvo 2" Barked Miranda. Again Forward Unto Dawn let loose with another flurry of fire, again some of the shots went wide but most of the missiles impacts along the ships outer shield. "Fire the MAC" An enormous amount of recoil ran through the ship, a thousand times greater than the Archer Missile pods. The heavy MAC round slammed into the alien frigate, the shields withheld the blast for a short time before fizzling, and dieing. The round ripped through the alien ship, striking the reactor and causing a chain reaction. Plumes of fires erupted along the brow of the ship, before it eventually exploded and was encapsulated in the fires. Miranda smiled as she saw the remains of the Brute ship float aimlessly in the void of space. She tapped her COM unit. "Johnson, what's your status" A crackle of static filled the COM link, before being filled by Johnson's voice. "Green ma'am. I just dropped the Chief off at the drop point. I'm now holding position over the operation zone" "Excellent, report back too me when the Chief has secured the LZ. And tell him too make it quick, we don't have enough tonnage to take 'em all on" "Roger that ma'am" She closed the COM link. "Navigation. Get me an angle on the next target".
" Sakura's avatar crackled into existence. Miranda turned from the slaughter in front of her, the wreckage of dozens of identical Covenant ships that floated aimlessly in space, their shattered hulls a monument to their cause. "
.. Sergeant Major Johnson has reported that the Master Chief has secured the Landing Zone and reports that the Dawn is clear for landing" "Excellent. Is there any damage across the ship?" Sakura once again placed her hand to her forehead, scanning the entire ship within a fraction of a second. "No breaches detected in the Dawns hull. We are clear too enter the planet's atmosphere" "Excellent. Take us down" "Gladly" Her avatar faded back into the computer systems. Miranda watched as the words AUTO-PILOT ACTIVATED flashed on the main view screen. She felt the ship lunge out of its orbit, plummeting towards the surface of the planet.
The dark void of space was soon left behind and was soon replaced by the sandy dunes of the desert that covered this segment of the planet. Miranda watched as the ship slowed as it came close towards a large rock formation that sat at the bottom of an enormous metal wall that segmented this area from another. The ships engines threw up a cloud of dust in its path as Miranda looked out over the corpses and wreckage of dozens of Covenant vehicles that were scattered across the LZ. Forward Unto Dawn eventually found her berth as her landing gears dug themselves into the soft dirt and sand beneath them. Miranda tapped a switch as the main view screen shone with the golden dust baked cliff on the aft of the ship. Miranda zoomed in too see the chief as he triumphantly slung his assault rifle across his back. "Chief come too the back of the frigate
." She watched as the chief strode too the rear of the ship. Sakura's avatar pouted at her "I assume you have a plan" "Oh yes I do
.." She tapped the COM link. "Lieutenant, are the vehicles prepped and ready?" "Yes ma'am" a sharp young male's voice came across the link. "Excellent
.." She turned to her AI "
.Sakura, lower the rear cargo lifts" "Yes ma'am" That's what Miranda always liked about Sakura, she would always follow orders too the letter and show unwavering respect too her superiors, especially her. But she still managed a flowery tone that was amazingly uplifting in this wavering time of crisis and uncertainty. Where this may be humanity's last chance too save itself from ultimate destruction and Sakura, in her own way, had been one of the influences that Miranda relied upon for support. With her father gone, Sakura was one of the only true friends she had left in the world. "Now, if we can't go over the wall, we'll go right through it" Sakura finally understood the commander's plan as she watched the three tanks roll off the ramps towards a waiting chief. "Chief, take one of the tanks" She turned off the main view screen as the eagle of the UNSC snapped up in its place. "May I say something ma'am?" Sakura asked out of the blue, she turned too her. "Of course Sakura". "I like the way you think ma'am" She smirked back at her. "I know you do".