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War on the Home Front, Chapter 1: The Preparation
Posted By: Anthony Coronado<killa_snypa7@hotmail.com>
Date: 30 December 2002, 4:58 am

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      John stood on the bridge of the only heavy cruiser left in the fleet, the Conqueror. She was a magnificently beautiful ship. She had two Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, two thousand Archer missiles, three Shiva III nuclear warheads. She also carried a fully functional squadron of Longsword interceptors, Longbow high altitude heavy bombers, and Dagger fighter jets. She also sported two dozen MV11 Pelican light troop transports, and a half dozen MV12 Albatross heavy troop transports, capable of carrying a company of Marines, with three Warthogs or two Scorpion MBTs. John watched from the bridge as the Earth was enveloped in dozens of mushroom clouds. The worst had come, and it wasn't pretty. They had to invade their own planet.

      "Cortana, this is Echo Charlie Delta Flight 133, requesting permission to land in docking back B3 on Deck 9. Over."

      "This is Cortana, permission granted." The squadron of Longsword interceptors was just returning after scouting the LZ, Honolulu, Hawaii. It was an ideal LZ, it was easily defendable, it had high ground all around to place AA guns, and it had access to an air base, as well as an Earth Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. It was a beautiful, tranquil place, too bad it was going to turn into a living hell. The only problem was, it was already secured.

      "Echo Charlie Delta, what is the ETA of our Longbow bombers? Over."
      "Eleven minutes. They are being escorted by a five squadrons of EF-36 Comanches. We also have two other squadrons of Longbows from the carrier Triumphant. They are carpet bombing the island as we speak. Over."

      "This is Cortana. All emergency personnel teams please report to designated combat zones. We are initiating combat readiness code Alpha. Combat readiness teams Alpha through Foxtrot please report to Hangar B on Deck 11. Combat readiness teams Golf and Hotel please report to Hangar C on Deck 11. All F/A 99-Dagger pilots please report to your jets in Hangar A on Deck 11. All air locks will be closed in tee minus three minutes. Over."

      "Lieutenant Charger, charge MACs one and two please. Vent as much power as you can." "Aye, aye Captain." Lieutenant Charger's fingers danced across the keyboard, charging the Magnetic Accelerator Cannons. "MAC guns at fifty-five percent sir. Charging at three percent per second."

      "Cortana, please check these coordinates." Captain Smith entered a series of numbers and letters. "Those coordinates will put us directly over the LZ. "Yes, Cortana, I am well aware of that." "MAC rounds at seventy-five percent charge sir."

      "Cortana, reroute as much energy you can into those MAC rounds. I want as much punch as I can in those things. We'll only get two shots and the recoil system with be fried." "Cortana, these are the coordinates for the projectiles. I am routing them into the computer now." Cold sweat started to drip from Lieutenant Charger's face. The red hue of the emergency action lights whirled around, adding to the intense and eerie feeling.

      "Helm, maneuver us to these coordinates. I am rerouting them to your console." "Yes, Cortana. Maneuvering into position at 3A2342D9." The Conqueror shuddered as her engines roared to life. The Master Chief felt awkward as the ship turned to port side, maneuvering into position above the island state of Hawaii.

      "Captain, weapons here. MAC guns at eighty-nine percent... ninety... ninety-one... ninety-two... ninety-three... ninety-four... nine-five... ninety-six... ninety-seven... ninety-eight... ninety-nine... MAC rounds at one hundred percent charge, capacitors overheating..."

      "Cortana, vent exhaust heat. Divert coolants to the capacitors." "Aye, Captain." "Fire on my mark Cortana." "Sorry, Captain, she's coming with me." These were the first words spoken by John since they returned from deep space, as he grabbed her small square disc from the databanks, and her hologram disappeared from view. A cool, relaxing overwhelmed his brain as he was reunited with his companion. The Master Chief left without saying another word.

      "Move it Marines, we have to debark from this hangar in two minutes. Get loaded up, grab as much ammo as you need. Get those 'Hogs and Scorpions loaded into those Albatrosses, and then jump in. Let's go Marines." The half dozen MV-12 Albatross heavy troop transports dominated the hangar. Six companies of Marines ran around the hangar, loading up with arms and ammunition, others loading vehicles into their compartments, still more loading medical supplies and surplus munitions. Even through the hustle and bustle of the hangar, Sergeant Enders vaguely saw an enormous soldier, clad in sage green armor into the door.

      The behemoth immediately grabbed an M6D pistol, MA5B assault rifle, an M90 twelve-gauge shotgun, and four M9 HEDP fragmentation grenades. He holstered his pistol to his hip, slung his shotgun over his back, and grabbed his rifle butt and stock, and walked onto an Albatross transport. Dozens of soldiers dropped what they were doing to admire at the mysterious soldier. The Albatross resembled the Pelican in shape, but the Albatross tripled its predecessor in size. And instead of a clamping device in the back, the Albatross had a cargo hold on top to transport vehicles, arms, and ammunition. The other dozen Pelicans debarking carried Marines, and the remaining dozen would transport a single vehicle with extra arms, and ammunition. This small air armada would be escorted by the Longsword interceptors, as well as by the F/A 99 Dagger jet fighters.

      The last soldier entered the Albatross holding the Master Chief. The soldier turned around, tapped a blue button twice, and the large ram behind him lifted up. The soldier took a seat, and strapped himself in. John reached up and took hold of a safety rail running the width of the ship. The emergency light whirled around, adding to the feeling of helplessness. "Welcome aboard flight 167, bound from the cruiser Conqueror in transit to Honolulu, Hawaii. If you need a barf bag, they are conveniently located underneath your seat. In just a few moments our stewardess will be delivering champagne and rib eye steaks. Hold tight, and enjoy the ride." The transport shuddered as her engines revved, and lifted off. "Here we go."

      The half dozen Albatrosses exited the hangar simultaneously, along with the two dozen Pelicans and squadron of Longswords and Daggers. The eight companies of combat Marines tried to prepare themselves for something they would never expect.