The Second War: Part 1, First Encounters
Posted By: FOrunnER
Date: 24 December 2003, 12:24 AM
January 10, 2557, 500 units (Covenant Standard), Aboard Covenant Cruiser Inner Strength, en orbit around Daeonk (translated roughly to: Fortress World)
Ship Master 'Canamee studied his view screens very carefully. Earlier his ships AI had detected a minor slipspace fluctuation. Although it could have been anything, the High Prophet of Birth himself had broadcasted a fleet-wide signal that every ship should on full alert for anymore 'enemy' attacks. There were supposedly suppose to be no more threats after they had wiped out the last of the human colonies, so why were the prophets worrying? Oh well, it was certainly not his place to question the high-prophet of birth.
"Excellency, the Slipspace drone has not detected anymore fluctuations in the Slipspace currents. It must have been some sort of meteor", said his navigation officer, a red-clad Elite.
"I would have to point to the contrary", said a recognizable but monotone Elite voice from the overhead speakers, the shipboard AI. Unlike the filthy humans, the Covenant did not bother to give there AI's personalities or holo-image's which would distract Ship Masters in battle. There were two classes of AI, and each AI in its class was exactly the same. There was a Ship AI, specifically for shipboard purposes such as monitoring weapons, plotting Slipspace paths, ect. And there was a Tactical AI, which was made specifically to predict enemy tactical plans and help direct Covenant fleets. Most ships carried a standard Ship AI, however Flagships and Cruisers like the Inner Strength carried a Ship AI and a Tactical AI (however there's was temporarily offline).
"The Slipspace currents around the object in question were not simply disturbed as a comet or meteor might do, but they were bended, implying whatever caused the
fluctuation had its own gravity field.", continued the AI, "The only known natural objects that create there own gravity field are stars and planets, and it is very unlikely that something of that size would find its way into Slipspace. I conclude that the object in question is clearly artificial".
This put 'Canamee ill at ease, but outwardly he was unchanged. "One of our own perhaps? An unregistered vessel?".
"Perhaps, but then there is the question of why it would simply pass us by. Daeonk is the only Covenant held, or even habitable for that matter, planet within a thousand light years". At that precise moment the ship jolted, sending everybody not strapped to a chair besides 'Canamee to the floor.
"What in the holy t'holr (closest translation would be 'hell') was that?!?", yelled 'Canamee.
"Slipstream exit paths were detected being made within the fleets perimeter, I was forced to put the ship into extreme acceleration to avoid ending up in the same position as the exit path", said the AI.
"Sir, its right. Over twelve detected Slipstream exit points detected within the perimeter", spoke up the navigation Elite.
"Put them on the view screen, NOW!". Immediately the large domed view port dominating the control panel snapped to life. He could see green Slipspace exit points dotting space around the ships formation. He snarled in rage, if this was to be an enemy attack, he would personally make sure it failed. "Have every single frigate and destroyer charge there weapons to 100%. I want absolutely no less then five ships surrounding each exit point, move the Inner Strength to cover the nearest exit, weapons at full charge".
As the Inner Strength moved into position, a titanic oval-shaped blue ship emerged from each exit, only to meet a semi-circle of angry purple ships, there exit points sealing behind them. For a long while there was nothing but silence, neither ships having opened fire, but neither backing off. 'Canamee had 30 frigates and 20 destroyers in his fleet, surely the dozen or so alien ships realized they could not win at this standoff?
The seemingly fearless manner in which the ships stood against there opposition disturbed 'Canamee, as if they knew something he did not. More to break the silence than anything, he spoke to his bridge officers, "Weapons status? Enemy analysis?"
"Sir, plasma torpedoes hot at 100%, pulse lasers and shields are fully charged. Seraph star-fighters are on standby", replied the weapons officer.
"Enemy analysis completed, Excellency", said the AI, "The ship as well as its counter-parts all seem to bear the exact same model. Each are relative in size to a Dreadnaught. No shields are detected, however the outer armor seems to be electrified, the reason for this is unknown. As for weapons....twelve heavy diamond-projectile launchers encased in a plasma field. No point defense weapons detected. Battle simulations show a 99.87776% chance of enemy ships being destroyed".
'Canamee grinned. All the cards were in his hands. Just as he was about to order an attack, the red-clad navigation Elite yelled, "Excellency, they are hailing us. Audio record only."
"Put it on ship speakers".
A moment later a deep throaty voice boomed out of the ships speakers in plausible Covenant standard, although there was a tinge of discomfort at using the alien words, "Surrender your ships now, you are outgunned. Failure to comply within 30 of your units will result in your ships being forcibly destroyed".
'Canamee put on a throaty laugh, although he was uncomfortable at the aliens boldness. "It is you who are outgunned, in case your race has been denied the ability to count, let me remind you that there are fifty of our ships and only twelve of yours. It will be you who will surrender or die."
The mysterious voice came back again, this time with a cold amusement that chilled him. "Are you threatening us? The holy warriors of the Forerunner themselves? Surely you do not think you can defeat us?"
"AARRRRGGGHH!!!!, YOU LIE, THE COVENANT ARE THE ONLY AND TRUE HOLY WARRIORS OF THE FORERUNNER!! FOR SAYING SUCH BLASPHEMY I WILL GRANT YOU NO MERCY. MAY YOU TRANSCEND TO THE DEEPEST DEPTHS OF T'HOLR!!", 'Canamee spluttered in rage. He violently slammed down on the terminate button and whirled on his bridge officers, "FIRE, ORDER ALL SHIPS TO OPEN FIRE NOW!!"
A few seconds later the Inner Stength opened fire with every weapon she had, followed closely by 50 frigates and destroyers, filling the black void of space with a fireworks display of plasma. The alien ships made no attempts to move, and simply waited for the plasma bolts to reach them. 'Canamee was practically drooling in anticipation, however instead of bursting into flame as they should have, the plasma seemingly fizzled away the moment it hit the armor.
"NOOOO!!!!!!", 'Canamee howled in rage. "FIRE AGAIN, WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT, FIRE AGAIN........", 'Canamee drifted off as he looked at the view screen. The titanic ship before them was violently shaking, although there was no visible damage. Then in an explosion of light, blue plasma flames engulfed the ship, creating a light so bright that the video screens overloaded for a split second before being able to compensate. The inferno before them closely resembled a lit plasma grenade, the outline of the ship was no longer visible, only a gigantic fireball. In unison, the eleven other alien ships also burst into balls of blue plasma flame.
There was no way that they had caused this, but yet they were the only thing that could have. 'Canamee was about to consult the ships AI, when all the alien ships lurched forward, seemingly completely intact. 'Canamee gaped, somewhere in between uncontrollable rage and indescribable awe, when it opened fire. White-hot projectiles flew from the ships guns (now covered up in flames) and slammed into targets. Each one was dead on. The projectiles brought down the Covenant's shields like it was nothing and gutted each ship from stem to stern, with enough momentum afterwards to make it speed off beyond visibility. Within thirty seconds, every single ship was destroyed except the Inner Strength, which had been intentionally unharmed.
'Canamee was still spluttering in disbelief at the situation as twelve fireballs surrounded his ship from all sides. Without warning, the cool voice came back over the speakers, "Fortunately for you, I am a merciful man. You will survive this encounter only to give your so-called Prophets this message: The true Forerunner holy warriors have returned, and we will win the Second War"............
John slowly, groggily, opened his eyes. Outside of his cryo-pod two creatures dressed in full body-suits were waiting. Unafraid, John climbed out of his pod and stood still while one of the white-clad figures ran a hand held device along the length of his bare body. When he was done, the figure nodded to the other and John was handed an over-garment, a plain mud-brown cloth shirt and dark-black leathery looking pants. The two figures waited for him to get dressed then led him down one of the ships numerous hallways.
It had been like this for five years. He had awoken from the same exact pod with no memory of who or what he was, while two white-clad figures hovered over him. At first he had fought relentlessly, and was pretty sure he had killed one of them before, or at least knocked it out, but after five years all will to fight had been crushed in his soul. Usually they took him out of cryo for only a few minutes at a time, sometimes to run scans on his body, sometimes to try and show him what he assumed was supposed to be familiar objects. Every time they did this, no word was spoken. He did what they wanted then they sent him back to cryo, no question asked by either party.
He knew nothing about his captors except they were not human. He had never actually seen them, for the white suits prevented that, but they were easily eight feet tall and possessed technology he had never seen the likes of before. However they were not Covenant, he knew this because for one he was not dead, and two because everything lacked the sickening purple color Covenant technology usually had, and instead was replaced with an electric blue color. Covenant, he knew that word, he knew that they were the aggressors of a 'holy war' on humanity, his race, and he knew that he had a deep hatred for them. What eluded him, was how he could know that and know nothing about his past.
Today his white-clad captors were taking him down a corridor he had never seen before, the tube like hallways sparking electricity as he passed. Finally they stopped him in front of a rounded door with a single square glass window at the front. The first white (as he had come to call them) held on to his shoulders as the second white inserted some sort of keycard into a lot on the door. The door hummed, and the second white guided him into blue-white room. It was pretty much bare except for a white chair sitting right in the middle of the room. The whites directed him to sit, and he did. One of them went over to a control console and flipped a switch, immediately he felt himself stuck to the chair, unable to move his body at all, even his eyes were struck forward.
He could hear the hum of machinery somewhere above, then all the sudden there was an explosion in his mind. A flood of memories and images washed over him, his Spartan training, his teammates, there first mission, the fall of reach, halo, and right up to his last memory. Earth being glassed, his escape pod was shot and he left to float helplessly in space. He screamed, he tried to fight with renewed vigor, but his captors still would not let go.....